What else is happening in May?

This month is full of happenings, especially family ones. May 4 would have been my brother-in-law’s 79th birthday. Today would have been my dad’s 115th birthday though he only lived to be 72. They both died of cancer. Of course, next Sunday, May 13, is Mother’s Day, though I also commemorated Bereaved Mother’s Day yesterday, in memory of our son Paul who left us almost 19 years ago. And after that is my birthday on May 20, and Bob and my 48th anniversary on May 28. … [Read more...]

May flowers and memories (small stones)

I just finished my tenth month writing small stones. The only break was during  my husband's Grand Canyon accident and recovery in November - December 2016. Here are my May small stones, including a couple of photos I posted with the words. By the way, the admin of the small stones  Facebook page, Ger O Neill, creates a new name for our group every month. Last month the name was May flowers and memories. This month we're writing Jewels of June. May flowers and memories May Day and the beginning of mental health month. A great day for people watching and writing at a little café. Congress is trying to decimate mental health care. If they pass the amended American Health Care Act (AHCA), millions of Americans will lose their mental health coverage. Please tell your congress representatives to vote No on AHCA. How can so many things in my house go wrong at the same time? My stove cooktop, a water heater, and dryer are all dead. And service people are nowhere in sight. Fru … [Read more...]

Remembering Mom and Dad

This Mother's Day weekend I remember both my mother and my dad. My dad was born on May 7, 1903 in Poland (the first location in my historical fiction work). He died at age 72 from cancer of the bile duct system. My mother, born on February 12, 2008 in Lithuania, died at age 94 from old age.  Lucky for me, they met and married in Chicago Illinois, making me and my brother and sister first generation Americans. Here are a few photos of them.     … [Read more...]

How I got my book published

Now that this piece was rejected for inclusion into the Authors Publish anthology, I'm free to post it here. Hopefully my experience and perseverance and will to get my book published will inspire other authors to keep sending their work out. Please don't give up. It's worth it in the long run. How I Got My Book Published By Madeline Sharples Two years and sixty-eight queries later I finally got a book contract with a small press the now defunct, Lucky Press. I found Lucky Press through the the firstwriter.com Publishers Instant Alert Service, and followed the submittal instructions so carefully that in her response, the publisher told me my query letter was perfect. (The instructions said: Send query by email with cover letter, short bio, how you can help with marketing, 300-500 word synopsis, and first chapter, all pasted into the body of the email. No attachments. Write "Manuscript Query" in the subject line.) With that and her request to send her my manuscript, I thought I … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day reminiscing

Mother's Day is tough for me. Since my son Paul's death, I'm still not over the sadness of being without him on mother's special day. Yet I look forward to being with my young son Ben and his wife later this afternoon and evening. I know I'll feel a lot better later on. Ben generously digitized all our family photos from the time Paul was born on December 31, 1971, so I spent the last hour or so looking through them in iPhoto. So many wonderful memories and so many wonderful pictures. Here is my favorite - taken in 1991 at our beach by the late Mary Pat Dorr - a couple of years before Paul got sick with bipolar disorder. It was a truly beautiful afternoon.   … [Read more...]

One more Mother’s Day poem – a day late

A Perfect Mother's Day This Mother's Day I don't have to give my mother the perfect not too flowery or gushy card. No matter what it would say she doubted my love unless I wrote, Dearest Mom across the top. This Mother's Day I don't have to comb the stores for the perfect gift hand lotion, a gold charm, a silk scarf, a sweater. Whatever I bought, she always said she didn't need it and could I change it for something else. When she died so many of those gifts came back to me. And I cherish them because they were hers.   And a wonderful card from my daughter-in-law, Marissa. … [Read more...]

Early Mother’s Day poems

My mother has been gone now for over eight years. But she lived a good long life. She was 94 when she died. I wrote the first two poems when she was in very ill health during her last year. I wrote the last poem after her death. Some mother-daughter relationships are tough. I know mine was. But even now, I few days early, she is on my mind. Rest in peace, Hilda. You deserve it. Dream World I look toward my mother's bed in its sunny spot by the window. The young nurse with her is smiling. They both are. She lies in bed, the light blue hospital gown she's wearing has a tiny geometric print of triangles, squares and circles in shades of gray, burgundy and a dark blue. Her pinkish skin looks healthy, and her thin, white hair is brushed off her face. After the nurse leaves, she looks at me with wide, bright eyes and asks, Do you want to play bridge? We need a fourth. I haven't played in years," I say and she accepts that excuse, pointing her long painted … [Read more...]