Merlin my Muse


What I will be doing in December is as yet an unknown factor.  But one thing I do know is that I will continue to write.  I get so much enjoyment from writing either on the computer or just sitting with pen in hand and scribbling in a composition book.  I think I prefer the act of writing with a pen or pencil, scratching out the words that pop into my head at random.  Usually with a desired goal in mind of course.  Sometimes not.

I will also take another course from Word Press as I get so much out of each course.  Even though it may be the same course I have taken before, I always get something new to add to my knowledge, which never hurts to have.  I enjoy the exchanges with the other students and the critiques, which one always needs if you want to grow in your knowledge of any subject..

I am making a resolution here in November to start painting again, even though I really do not have enough space for it.  I will have to make do.  Painting always relaxes me even though there is a lot of physical work to it, unlike writing.  But it is so gratifying to me when I finish each day’s painting and clean up my mess, to see something that you have created from very little, a bit of paint mixed with water or another solution.

So between the writing and the painting, I will have a busy December and on into January and the new year of 2017.

So to my fellow classmates, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  May we all be productive and successful in the coming years!

A special thanks to @cherilucas for all her help in this and the many classes I have taken.  It’s been a pleasure.




A Christmas Card Acrylic painting I did for the cards I was sending.
A Christmas Card
Acrylic painting I did for the cards I was sending.


Last Christmas – I start thinking about Christmas about a month before and what cards I will send to my nearest and dearest.  The list is getting smaller each year.  Because as I age and the years go on, people I care about are dying at an alarming rate.  I noticed it more this year I think because my brother-in-law died in June and my sister followed him in October.  Her death was the more shocking because it was totally unexpected.  She had a heart attack, her first one ever and that was it.  Where he had lung cancer for several months, which was short enough time but we still had time to prepare ourselves, if one can ever do that.

I was recently thinking about my best friend, Rose Marie because we send each other cards at Christmas and add a few notes to tell each other what has been happening in our lives.  We went to catholic school together and graduated together, and after graduated, we partied together until she met her husband to be.

We were still close and the three of us would still go out dancing together.  We loved to dance.  We continued to go out together until I moved away to another state.  They got engaged and then married.  I also got married and started having children.  Rose Marie was God Mother to my second child.  Then I moved across the country to California.

So cards and letters were how we communicated.  I went back to our hometown for reunions, at least three times, so we did see each other on those times but basically we kept in touch by the Christmas cards.

The Christmas before last, Rose Marie told me that she and her husband, (who have been married now forever it seems)are still going strong and they have a new great-grandchild who is two years old.  I told her that I was doing fine, still painting when I find the time and the family was well, whether that was true or not.

The Christmas before that, I sent out the cards I had painted and received one from Rose Marie as usual.  She had some minor surgery but was recuperating well.  Her husband was also doing well and they were both, “still kicking,” as she put it.  She mused about whether we would ever see each other again.  I wondered as much myself but didn’t put it into words.  I doubt it very much though.

The Christmas before that,  I received the usual card from Rose Marie and she talked about the reunion a few years before that fell through because not only were there so few of us left, but of the ones that were, very few were interested in going to a reunion.  I wasn’t sure I was up to going to that one anyway.  Flying isn’t what it used to be.  People going through your luggage, scanning you with wands and telling you to step aside so you can be searched.  I used to enjoy flying but not anymore.

Rose Marie and I are still communicating by Christmas card and we pretty much know that we will not see each other again but we will always be friends.

For today’s post on Writing 101:  Write a series of anecdotes that have a common theme.

The Topography Of Where I Grew Up

Leaping into unknown
Leaping into unknown


Coal Mining Region

It was an anthracite coal mining town

I would often walk around

And sometime it seemed to me

The ground would give out you see

A big hole would  appear

I’d just stand there and stare

And wonder about the possibility

Of falling into the hole and never be

Seen again forever and a day

It somehow never happened quite that way

I was destined to live a long and eventful life

In spite of all the worries, trials and strife.



California St.-looking down towards the ocean.


A Day Like Any Other

It was a day like any other, a Sunday, only different because everyone was off work and it was quieter than usual out on the street.  Traffic noise was at a standstill, nothing was going on because a lot of people go to church or to brunch or just out for coffee at local coffee-shops.  I arose at my usual time and staggered to the kitchen to put on the tea kettle.  Can’t do much without my tea in the morning.  I usual have about three cups before the old brain waves kick in.

My favorite tea being green tea and now they have so many flavors of green tea, it is hard to pick one.  So every time I go to the store, I pick up a different flavor.  Sometimes its green tea with white tea added, which has a very smooth taste and I like it a bit better than the others.  Others have a fruity flavor added to the green, like mango or peach and then there’s green with jasmine.  It’s always a decision for me in the morning.  Sometimes I reserve the chamomile for the evening, it is so soothing.

After breakfast this morning I go to the computer and check out the news of the day, which of course is never good and sure enough there’s been another school shooting.  I don’t know why I even check the news at that time but it is pretty much in your face when you turn the computer on and I tell myself that I need to have a news free day at least once a week.

My family is usually busy with other things on the weekends, so it is just Lady and myself and she enjoys the extra lap time, while I write my morning notes.  My morning’s writings can be just anything that happened the day before or plans for the day or if I remember a dream I had, I try to jot more of it down and figure it out.  If I am really feeling creative I start a story, short or otherwise, maybe a poem.

By the time I am finished with the notes, it is usually time for lunch and today I am feeling very hungry.  On Sunday I sometimes have a muffin with cream cheese, one that I got at the Farmers Market on Saturday or a scone I got at the same place.  Mostly I buy veggies at the Market but a few local bakeries have stands there and are hard to resist.

When I am done with lunch, Lady usually gets on the bed on the pillows of course, in the sun and she’s off into dreamland for several hours.  Today I have elected to go for a walk downtown for some much-needed exercise.  So armed with sunscreen, a light jacket and a hat I take off.  I take a few dollars with me in case I see something I may like in the several thrift stores on the way.

It is really sunny when I get outside and the hat and sunglasses come in handy.  I go in a few thrift stores but do not find anything I like or need.  Oh well, next time, I tell myself.

About an hour later I find myself back in my apartment and ready for a nap myself.   So I find my book and lie down on the couch where after reading for a while, I fall asleep for at least an hour. When I wake up, it is time for dinner, so I fix myself a light salad and after I am finished it is time to watch a movie.  Time is sure flying by today, I think.  As I am just getting into the movie, the phone rings.  It is my daughter.

Her voice sounds funny and it dawns on me that she has been crying.

“What is it?” I ask.

“It’s Kay,”  she chokes.

“What’s the matter?”  I am really concerned now.

My mind races with all kinds of scenarios, Kay, my sister had just emailed me a few days before and everything was fine.

“She had a heart attack.”

“What,” I gasp.

“Kay had a heart attack and died.”


Story about what happened on one day in your life.

For Writing 101


A 50 Word Story

4th Of July

The explosions were going off all around me!

The dogs were whining and the babies crying!

My head hurt and it was just starting.

But I did promise to come.

But now I am sorry for that promise.

Promise or not, think I am going home.



Coffee Mug

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you about the bad news of terrorists in Paris, in case you hadn’t heard.  Which is not likely as the news is everywhere including Face Book.  Which I know is one of your favorite haunts.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you I am starting a new program of walking every day at least for 30 minutes.  Hopefully, I will continue with that as I really need it.  Got to keep the blood circulating.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you I need to get to the library soon.  My books are overdue and you know how I hate paying late fees or any fees for that matter.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you I’ve finally gotten that new car I have been wanting.  Well new isn’t exactly the right word since it is a 1990 vintage and it is a pick up truck with a cab.  I always wanted a truck but  not exactly at this point in my life but I will take it.  I am sure it will be fun to drive.  We never know what life will bring to us, do we?

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that Lady is doing well, getting her required 23 hours sleep per day and eating good.  Also, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this year in spite of all the losses in the family.

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that I have written an elegy for my sister, Katherine and it will be added to her obituary.  I feel good that I can contribute something.


Until next time then.



Observing nature around you is one of the assignments for Day 10.  So I thought why not observe my cat Lady, who certainly is around me most of the time.  And some of the antics she performs are funny and unique, at least to me.  Most cats do very similar things and then some are unique in their own ways.

Lady has been lonely since Merlin passed away in March of this year.  She still goes to the door looking for him.  They were great buddies and would do many things together, including cuddling up on the couch or a chair together.  Lady would try to get too close to Merlin so that she was practically sitting on top of him.  He would allow this for a time but then he would leave her and go somewhere to be alone.  Lady would usually follow him and make another attempt to cuddle, when at last he would start grooming her which she loved.

I always enjoyed watching them even when they were wrestling around on the rug.  It seemed like they were fighting but no one ever got hurt.  Lady would cry out once in a while for me to come and help her, which of course I usually did.  Then I would reprimand Merlin, who would walk away with his head in the air, but never felt chastened.

Lady has been so good for me after so many losses in my life recently.  She is always there for me to pet and of course she loves sitting on my lap.  She constantly tries to get on my lap when I am at the computer, which is a lot.  It is difficult to type with her on my lap though, so I have a hassock with a small towel or blanket on it for her to sit.  Previously, it was for Merlin to sit there as he always wanted to be at my side or on my lap.

Thank goodness for our pets, I certainly don’t know what I would have done  without my two cats.




What Do I Do When Not Writing?

Above is one of the things I have done and want to get back to when I have the energy.  Painting!  It is an acrylic painting of a Florida Panther.  In my About Page you will see that I have taken many classes in painting and for several years I was painting almost daily.  It has fallen by the wayside of late but I am constantly thinking I need to get back to it.

I lose track of time and go into a zone when I am painting usually, though not all the time.  I have used oils, acrylics and pastels.  Would also like to do watercolors at some point.  This painting has been sold and I have recently had an offer on another painting I did awhile ago, “Starry Night,” after Van Gogh.

I also am an avid reader and every day or night you will find me with my nose in a book.  But I suppose most writers are readers also.  My favorite subject is mysteries as I love trying to solve the mystery as I am reading.  One of my favorite authors is Jeffrey Deaver and I know he is a bit strange but that’s what makes his stories so interesting.  I love many and varied authors and have been going to the library for my books now although have been thinking about getting a Kindle.

On the physical side I try to walk every day but sometimes do not make it every day but most of the time.  Gotta keep the blood circulating!

A Letter to Myself

Marion and Merlin

A Letter to Myself

Dear Marion,

I know you have been saddened recently by all the deaths in the family over the past several months but you really have to pull yourself together.  Breaking into tears at the slightest provocation is not helping you or anyone else.  It’s understandable of course but you need to get out and do more and try to get back to normal again.  Whatever normal is anyhow.

I know your beloved cat, Merlin, of fifteen years got sick and died suddenly, nine months ago, but you still have Lady, Merlin’s little sister to help you get through the grieving process.

Then almost five months ago you lost your favorite brother-in-law to Cancer of course.  Cancer seems to be running rampant in the world!  All my three sisters had it.  This seemed to be  a bit easier to take as you had known about his illness in advance and was able to get up to visit him just before he died. Your sister really took it hard but seemed to be doing well:  she even went to a few classes for people who are grieving.

You went up to visit your sister along with your oldest daughter and stayed with her for a week to try to help her with all the things one needs to do when there is a death in the family.  Aren’t you glad that you made that trip and had that time together?

You all went out to eat and to coffee shops quite a bit, which is one of yours and your sister’s favorite things to do and also one of your daughter’s favorite things to do.  That seems to run in the family, the going to have coffee and or lattes at a local Starbucks.  It is a favorite gathering place for the family.

Then last month you were completely devastated when your sister passed away after having a heart attack.  I know that was completely unexpected as she had been doing so well or seemed to be after the death of her husband. They had always planned on dying together.   I know you were planning to visit her in a few weeks.  But we never know what the future holds for us, do we?

And so I understand how devastated you must be feeling but you have to be strong and be there for your daughters, the ones that actually care and Lady who depends on you for everything.  Lady misses Merlin almost as much as I do.  Together you can get through this time of pain and loss.  I look forward to being there for you also in this your time of need.



My Workspace
My Workspace


Where I write depends to a large extent on how I am feeling that day.  Sometimes I feel like just relaxing and sitting in my recliner, armed with a tablet taken from a nearby three drawer stand which houses my tablets, pens,  pencils and a few sketch books, in case I feel like drawing also.  Of course when I am on the recliner, my cat, Lady insists on being on my lap.  That is not a problem because once she settles down, which sometimes can take quite awhile,  she falls asleep and then I can write.

Of course, I must have my cup of tea at the ready on the stand or I wouldn’t be able to write.  I usually get my best writing done in this position with no music or interruptions or any kind.  I actually go off into another realm when I am writing in the tablet with a pen on the recliner and since a lot of my stories are about my early life growing up, I do actually go back into the past and sometimes get lost there.  If anything unpleasant comes up, which it inevitability does, then I have to shake it off and try to continue.  Also, I sometimes add it to the story warts and all.

Other times I find that just sitting at the computer writing on the keyboard works well for me.  Easier to correct errors and change words or sentences around as necessary.  And of course editing is easy also on the computer.   I can leave my writing, saving it first of course, and go and do something else and come back later to finish what I was writing.  The computer certainly has its advantages that handwriting does not.  Of course the cup of tea is also at the ready when I am at the computer.


Haven’t tried the contact page yet but if anyone wants to contact me they can leave a message in the comment section for now.  Will try to get a contact page out in the near future.