Still here, still writing

One of my favorite activities these days is meeting twice a month with my writing group. Before COVID we met monthly at either of the two leader's houses. Since we stopped gathering in person and now use Zoom to get together we meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Meeting more often a a great way to keep in touch as well as write more. Our last meeting's prompt was: Shoes – symbol of life, a way of being I immediately connected because I was a true shoe person from the time I was a little girl. Here's my writing group piece: When I was in fourth or fifth grade, I used to walk to grade school with a girl named Phyllis. We would pretend we were grownups walking on tippy toes as if we were wearing high heeled shoes. We’d also carry a handbag to match. And after school we’d go to one of our houses and spend the rest of the afternoon drawing shoes. Very high heeled shoes in all colors and styles. Except that not a one of them was suitable for walking and runni … [Read more...]

What do I do all day?

People keep asking me what I do all day. They want to know how this new widow spends her time and deals with her loss. Well, first of all I hate the “widow” word. Isn’t there something else we could call a woman whose husband has died? Well, I suppose not. Plus, I really have other things to do than worry about a word or two. Like continuing to work on all the financial records and documents my husband left me to sort out. And bear in mind I was never a party to anything financial going on during our fifty-year marriage. He was the math guy. He called me innumerate. Even so, I have changed over all the accounts to my name and closed some I don’t want to deal with. I’ve also cancelled a couple of credit card accounts. Right now though, I’m looking through our home improvement records so when and if it comes time to sell my house, I can have write-offs to offset the thousands in taxes I’ll owe. Also, I still am writing. Since last February I’ve been writing a poem a day - it’s … [Read more...]

One step, one breath at a time

I attended my writing group via Zoom yesterday for the first time since my Bob died. Actually I hadn't attended while he was so sick in the hospital either. It was hard to show my pain publicly.  Even participating yesterday was a challenge, though I ended up writing something. Our prompt was to pick a child's toy, make it your title, and then write about it. Here's mine: Lionel Trains When my husband was a boy his father bought him and his brother a set of Lionel electric trains. They were popular in those days – the forties and fifties – before the miniature electric trains became the go-to train toys for little boys. He’d tell us that every Christmas his father would set them up on the floor of their apartment. Three engines, passenger cars, box cars, and of course the red caboose all moved along enough track to go around their living room. They also had railroad crossing gates, little benches, houses, trees and doll-like people to sit round and watch the trains go by. … [Read more...]

My coronavirus life redux

I'm in a writing group that usually meets once a month. Except now during the corona virus stay at home orders, we're meeting twice a month - what else do we have to do - in one of those ubiquitous Zoom meetings. By the way, that is working out very well. So mostly we write about how we're doing during this pandemic. And some of our writing has turned out to be pretty grim - and very honest about how we're feeling. That's how people in writing groups should behave, right? The piece I wrote at yesterday's meeting, using the prompt to write a lost or found poem, went like this: Today has probably been the worst of all days since we were told to stay home. I’ve lost my enthusiasm – even for sitting down and writing here this afternoon. No, don’t worry. I’m not sick. I’m just down in the dumps. And even though I’m still walking every morning and writing my April poem a day and journaling, I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything. Shouldn’t we use this at home time to write, co … [Read more...]

How I spend my time

I’ve been working on a new memoir for the past year or so about aging successfully. One chapter is like this one about how I spend my time. So I’d like to try my thoughts out on you. Would you be interested in a memoir with information like this? I spend a lot of my time at my desk in my writing room. I d write a lot but I must make a true confession – I also spend a lot of time on the internet and on social media because I have a great relationship with my Facebook community. This morning I got out of bed at five forty-five, went off to the bathroom, got on the scale after shedding my pajamas, and then I dressed in my leggings and shirt to go to the gym. Once there, I vary my workouts. Lately I stay on the elliptical for about thirty-five minutes and then walk on the treadmill for twenty-five to give me a full hour of cardio and about nine-five hundred steps. I am truly obsessed, probably motivated by my Fitbit, with getting at least twelve thousand steps every day. After … [Read more...]

Five reasons to be in a writing group

I joined a writing group a couple of years ago. It's called The Last Sunday Writers because we usually meet the last Sunday of the month. Today's meeting was cancelled because of lack of a quorum. Only two of us plus our leader planned to attend, and we weren't prepared to read this month. So what's the point? I usually want to read at the meetings, but I'm still a little traumatized from the feedback from my novel beta readers. I need to give putting myself out there a rest for a while. However, I'm very glad I was invited to join. I had known several people in the group because we attended workshops together. Or if we hadn't met before we had worked with the some of the same writing instructors in the past. So we are a well-knit group with similar goals: continue to write, get feedback from our fellow writers, and network. Five things I like about being in a writing group are: It encourages me to prepare a piece for review once a month: this can be a new essay, story, poem, … [Read more...]