FUN: Another Read and Rendering


God is Just Not Fair drawingGod is Just Not Fair Cover


Fun: My Latest Read and Rendering


 Redeeming Love cover


Redeeming Love drawingI’ve noticed a disturbing trend in how I feel after I take the time to read. I’m investing time reading and I’m reading for many reasons – to become a better writer by comparing and contrasting author styles to my own, for pleasure, for ideas for lessons for my middle school creative writing students. 

I ain’t gettin’ any younger so I figured I’d better find a way to help turn this tide of frustration. It was getting to be so annoying I considered taking every book in my “to read” stack and either returning them to their owners, the library or donating them to charity.

One day while wasting time on social media I discovered an idea I’ve now put to use. I don’t know if it has an official name but basically the idea is to take a 8.5 x 11 paper and after reading a book, record dialogue you liked or vocabulary or whatever. It doesn’t have to be a time suck and I’ve figured out the easiest way for me is to use sticky flags or somehow “marking” what I read. I’m choosy, you know, like those mothers who choose Jiff peanut butter. Then, I take the paper and sketch the title and author name so it’s somewhat similar in how it looks. I don’t stress over this. The purpose is to help recall not to increase my blood pressure, which, by the way I was supposed to take today. Seriously. 

The next step simply involves writing those nuggets of wisdom or whatever on the paper, in any direction, in any way I choose. I find that during the process, I am giving myself a VIP tour of the book’s contents. 

I’m now happier because it’s helping me recall more about the stories. 

Who knows? Maybe you’d like to try. 

The idea is to not become a major art project but to have fun. And fun does not have an expiration date simply because I’m more than half a century old. 

Why don’t you try? I’d love to see what you do with the idea. 

Poem a Day 7: Self Portrait Poem


Poem a Day 7: Self Portrait Poem.

Poem A Day Challenge Day 4: Since________


Hundreds of hymns I sang as a kid
I loved music and rhyming
I most certainly did

The rhythms and crescendos
I adored even more
I knew many old songs
In my heart they are stored

When I saw this prompt for poetry you see
Since______(blank) made me think of one hymn particularly
With its strong repetition and solid declaring
I sang with conviction
With others in sharing

Since Jesus came into my heart was the phrase
It reminds me of my childhood and hymn singing ways
It reminds me that I decided to let Him come in
In fact, I think
I’ll just sing it again!

NAPOWRIMO Day 2: A Journey Poem



My computer battery is going dead in 15 minutes

I’ll be making another journey

To my office

To the surge protector

Guarding my cords so as not to experience

The journey of my written works and notes

And lesson plans and emails

And “this will be helpful oneday” files

As they vanish into the atmosphere

Forever and forever


And in several hours

Before I decide to head to bed

I’ll be making the journey to my kitchen

Where my lonely Apple charger cord

Hangs listlessly in the wall awaiting for its friend

The iphone to drop by and connect


Tomorrow morning I’ll make

My usual 5-day a week journey

From my home near a hospital

To a school in downtown

Where I’ll hear slamming lockers,

Laughing students,

“Do we have to do THIS?”

And all that comes with

Being a middle school teacher.


I remind my students occasionally.

“I have already been through middle school.”

It’s their turn.

But I’m here as they make their journeys

Through adolescence,

6th grade,

7th grade,

8th grade and through the hallways

Where they’re like salmon swimming upstream.


And as I begin my journey home after another day

I’ll start all over again

But making sure this time

That when I begin writing on my computer

I won’t have to stop and make that journey to my office to

Plug into the surge protector.


That’s because it bugs me to have to stop my writing journey

For electricity.

NAPOWRIMO: Day 1: A Beginning Poem/An Ending Poem or a Combination


Finally, in Tune!

For more years than I can remember

I warmed the piano bench

On the back porches

Of grandmotherly piano teachers

Who chided me for not putting in my practice time.


I endured hours of practice balancing

A penny on each wrist

To learn and maintain

Correct piano-hand posture.

The fun wore off as the pennies plummeted to the floor.


I elevated myself to a reasonable height

By sitting atop telephone books

In order to reach the keyboard

And practice with those darn pennies

–          The ones that seemed determined to dare gravity.


For some reason, I stayed connected

To the music

And became a medal-winning pianist

I wore a long white dress of red-dotted swiss fabric

To a recital at a junior college

And playing on the baby grand on stage

Made it worth the practice time, the pennies and the phone books.


But my desire deteriorated

After moving to yet another city

Because it meant

Another new teacher

And I was certain that his unimpressive exterior

Would probably mean more gritted-teeth endurance.


Oh, how wrong I was

Because it was Mr. Ferguson

His lanky lack of muscles

His job as a church pianist

And his one sentence to me

That helped me discover


Joy at the keyboard

Freedom in playing

And determination to continue

Because he unlocked my mental cage

And told me to

Stop playing “like a girl.”


Thank you, Mr. Ferguson, wherever you are.



Writing Challenge Day 3: An identifying characteristic




PROMPT: Write about a characteristic you have that identifies you. It could be a physical characteristic, a personality trait, a particular behavior or habit, something that makes you uniquely you. What is it? Describe it? How do you feel about having this characteristic? Is it something that has served or hindered you in life? What, if anything, would you change about this?

MY RESPONSE: A characteristic that defines me: fluttering around like a butterfly from one hobby to another. Instead of being predictable and completing each project, I sometimes lose interest, netting myself partially finished projects. A front-wrap blouse. One partially knitted sock. Necklaces and earrings needing repair. But I also have completed projects as well such as drapes for our first home, many fringed-fleece blankets for hospital patients and also making meals for others.

It used to bother me when I didn’t stick with projects and complete them until one day, when my husband, sons and I were in California on a trip, we met up with my great uncle. In conversation, I mentioned my unfinished works and how I tried so many new things. I told him it bothered me and made me think something was wrong. He looked at me and said, “I think you’re smart, like to learn new things then get bored and have to move on.”

From that day, I had a new perspective on the temporary nature of some of my activities. I’ll always be glad Uncle Max enabled me to see how much I truly love to learn and that my efforts in moving to new activities were an example of that desire.