Totally Flummoxed

Totally Flummoxed!

Chapter 1

11:59 October 31st

Will November 1st ever arrive...Yahoo, it is here!!!

12:01 November 1st

It's NaNoWrimo time...finally it is here. I can start work on my novel, the only problem is that I am

totally flummoxed as to what I am going to write about. I guess I will start my day with sending

NaNoWrimo announcements on Facebook and Twitter. That is a good time killer and will help me

really start to cement my ideas in my head. Whew, I am going to have to write 50,000 words in one

month to create this novel/novella and I just hope that I have the “chops” to do it with. I mean that's a

lot of words to write in 30 days. Can I do it? Well, I will never get it done if I just sit here and babble

about it so I guess that I better get my fanny in gear and start writing, after the side trips to Facebook

and Twitter, of course!

Well, I am back. I have been to Facebook where one of my Facebook friends reminded me that I

wouldn't get my novel written if I was fooling around on Facebook. I know that, the same for Twitter

but I have been anxiously waiting for NaNoWriMo to arrive, it is after all National Novel Writing

Month and it only comes around once a year. I have to get my head in gear and start writing my novel

instead of just blogging about it. I may be “Delightfully Loquacious” but that isn't getting the novel



Chapter 2

Nickie Joan was concerned, she didn't know what was going to happen with her grandmother. She had

just found out that her beloved Meema Iris had lung cancer and that she was going to have surgery in

two days. Her grandmother had been admitted to the hospital and Nickie knew that as soon as she

could get off of work she would be at the hospital by her grandmother's side. Nickie's eight hour shift seemed to drag on forever, she didn't really interact with her co-workers, she

smoked her Salem cigarettes and wished that the time would go by more quickly. Nickie felt trapped

like a rat as she answered the phones, took messages for customers and relayed calls as quickly as she


Finally her shift was completed. Nickie went to the house she shared with her grandmother, got some

clothes to wear to work the next day and something to sleep in. She gathered some personal hygiene

products, fed the dog and was back out the door in less than 15 minutes. Nickie drove as fast as she

could to the hospital wondering all the while how bad her Meema's cancer was and how the surgery

would go. As she drove she smoked, thought briefly about the fact that she really needed to quit

smoking and realized that she would deal with that another time. Right now she needed to focus on her


Nickie got to the hospital, parked in the deck and entered via the night entrance. She took the elevator

to the third floor, spoke briefly with her grandmother's nurse and then slipped into her room. Meema

Iris was asleep and snoring softly as Nickie watched her with tears in her eyes. Her Meema looked so

fragile hooked up to all of the IV's and monitors. Nickie wanted to hold her hand or hug her but did not

wish to disturb her sleep so she quietly changed into her nightshirt and then snuggled into the lounge

chair with a blanket and a pillow. Nickie felt compelled to be there in the morning with the doctors

made their rounds. She had to know everything that was going on with her dearest Meema.

Chapter 3

It is still November 1st and I am as confused about what I am going to write as I was when I started. I began writing a story about my grandmother but I don't want to write a sad story again this year. Every time I start to edit my story from last year I begin to cry because it is so sad and heartrending. I want to write a story that is fun, witty and spontaneous. I want it to encourage others to not only read but to write themselves for the sheer joy of writing and reading. There is so much benefit to reading the stories that others have written because they broaden our world internally and externally while in writing we let go of information, thoughts and ideas that have been mulling around in our heads and expand our worlds in a whole different way.

I think I need a vacation. I would like to be away for a few days and see if that helps to broaden my perspective so that I can write my story and not just be focused on heartbreaking themes. I am a happy go lucky kind of gal, why then are my stories so sad.


Chapter 4

November 2nd well, I am getting a “vacation” but not what I had actually had in mind. My sewer line has collapsed and I have to go spend a few days in a hotel while this is getting repaired.

I had thought that my sewer was just backed up, you know roots or something but NO it had to be a major ordeal, right now, right in the middle of NaNoWriMo. Oh joy!


Well, I have packed up. My roommate and I have gotten almost everything together that we need. We have taken our poor little dog who does not have good potty habits to the “pet motel” so that she can board while we are living in the motel. We forgot things like socks, my C- Pap machine and snacks but for the most part we are good to go.

We are in a motel we have stayed in during times past and that we have used to put guests up in. There are things about it that are still “nice” but it is becoming a little frayed around the edges. I guess hard economic times are hitting everywhere.

We are going to a Mexican restaurant nearby for dinner. We haven't been there in about two years but it used to be one of our favorite restaurants. I am looking forward to some cheese dip and enchiladas.


Well, we are back from dinner. It was quite disappointing. The food is not as good as it once was and the large cheese dip that was once $3.75 is now EIGHT dollars and FIFTY cents. I didn't look at the price for a large cheese dip I just ordered it. I almost DIED when I saw the ticket and found that it was EIGHT dollars and FIFTY cents. Well, that restaurant is now off of our list of establishments to visit.

After dinner we watched HGTV, that is one of the best parts about being in a hotel is getting to watch HGTV, we love the shows on there and it is a real change of pace from our daily routine.

I guess I will sign off for tonight, even though I am still totally clueless about what I am going to write for NaNoWriMo!


Chapter Five

November 3rd, well after a night of very little sleep due to not having my C-Pap machine we ran by the house. No digging had started although all the preparatory spray painting had occurred, so we were able to run into the house and get things we had forgotten. We did not get the C-Pap machine because the teensy little bedside table was too small for it to sit on even if we put the phone and radio on the floor. So it got left behind intentionally.

After our foray at the house we went to the grocery store and stocked up on some provisions. We went to the post office to mail books for Paperback Swap, went to the Hallmark store to get note cards and buy a birthday card for our grandson, Rooster Poot who is turning eleven and then to the drug store to pick up prescriptions. We also made a stop at Sonic during Happy Hour and picked up some Limeades and they were tasty, tasty, tasty. Afterward we went back to the hotel for a nap before dinner. Running errands is hard work, whew.

For dinner we went to our favorite Chinese restaurant and were cheerfully greeted by the staff who really like us. The hostess told us that we could not eat there tonight because we were not welcome, we all laughed because she was leading us to our favorite table as she harassed us. It was great fun.

The meal was wonderful as usual and I enjoyed my General Tso's chicken immensely. I even had leftovers to take back to the hotel with me for later. It was a yummy good time.

Upon returning from dinner I decided to take a shower, well, I noticed that the magnets on the shower curtain had it fastened on the OUTSIDE of the tub. I thought this was odd but guessed that that was the way they wanted it. I guessed wrong.

After my nice long shower I opened the curtain and too my HORROR found the bathroom floor flooded. I hollered to my roommate for help. She assisted me in reaching the additional towels so I could sop up the mess. We laughed at my nuttiness and then we watched HGTV again. Our lives are so simple, we were just THRILLED to be watching HGTV and enjoying the searches for new houses and apartments. We live our lives vicariously and as voyeurs! LOL!!!

After television time I fiddled around on HOW and Facebook, now it is time to get ready for bed.


Chapter 6

November 4th, it is around 3am...I can't sleep so I am up working on my NaNoWriMo novel. Work on it has been sporadic at best because all I can think about to write are sad and depressing stories. I want to write something that isn't SAD! I did get about one thousand words written but that is it. I am so behind on my word count.

I need some sleep but we have to be up in order to check out of the hotel in the morning as our sewer is supposed to be fixed by today/tomorrow depending on how you want to look at it. I will be so glad to be home. I really wanted a vacation but this feels more like being a refugee. At least I have clean sheets and a bed so I really shouldn't complain.

I wish that I could watch some more HGTV but that would disturb Miss Teffers who is trying to sleep. I can't wait to be home tomorrow and hope that the sewer is fixed soon enough that we can go get the little dog. We miss her so much. It is sheer agony trying to get through the day without the little dog here to love and amuse us. I am so used to having her spend part of the evening in my lap and letting me pet her and adore her precious little Chihuaha self. Gosh I miss her.

Well, I am starting to feel like I can go to sleep I will try it again although I am worried about trying to move back into the house, getting the little dog and making it to my grandson's birthday party tomorrow night (tonight really) that is an awful lot to do in one day. We shall see what happens!


Chapter 7

November 4th continued

Well, this morning we got up, Miss Teffers did most of the packing as usual, she is SO organized and I tried to help and yet stay out of the way. I amused myself by looking at the beds, Miss Teffers bed looks scarcely touched and mine looks like the Loony Tunes Tasmanian Devil has been dancing in it. Too funny! LOL!!!

We decided that there was no way that we could move back in, get the little dog and attend the birthday party. It was just TOO, TOO much for us to handle. I called my son to let him know that we probably would not be able to attend Rooster Poot's party and explained why. I also told him that we would go by and see Trish his wife and give her out gift for Rooster Poot.

My son was like “Okay whatever.” I refused to let him guilt me, Teffers and I are both disabled and we can only handle so much in a given day.

We checked out of the hotel, went to Seanbo and Trish's house to give Trish Rooster Poot's birthday card with a whole eleven dollars in it. (Insert sarcasm here, but we are broke and doing the best that we can.) We visited with Trish and held new little baby Jessbo. She is really growing and just so cute. It was a pleasure to get to see our precious little granddaughter.

While we were at Trish's mom called to see if we wanted to go eat pizza with her. I said sure and that we would call her when we left Trish's. We left about a half an hour later, went to see the progress being made and saw that our driveway was having to be dug up when we had hoped it would be able to be spared. (Sigh!) Then we called mom and told her we were ready for pizza if she was and we met her at the pizza parlor.

We told her about the status from what we could tell at the house. We were all dismayed about the driveway. We chatted a mile a minute about everything especially baby Jessica while we ate pizz and enjoyed our time together.

Since we didn't really have any place else to go we went to mom's house after having pizza and visited with she and daddy. It was a nice visit. In the mid afternoon, mom called the plumbing company to find out the status of the sewer line replacement and found out after about an hour that the job was finished but they couldn't cover up the open hole until the city inspector had approved it and that could take until tomorrow morning.

As there was nowhere to park and a HUGE hole at our back door which is how we get in and out of the house we decided to check back into the hotel to spend another night. When we got to the hotel I got a handicapped accesible room hoping for a shower that would better meet our needs and a handicapped toilet as the one in the previous room had been much too short and had played havoc on my already bad knees.

We moved BACK into the hotel and found to our amusement that there was no tub at all in the handicapped accessible hotel room. The shower was a shower head that I don't know how anyone in a wheelchair could reach to adjust, a shower stool and a tile floor with two drains in the floor. We laughed and laughed as this type of shower would have been beneficial when I ended up flooding the other bathroom two nights before.

After laughing so at the bathroom and how perfect it was for me with my “water fetish” we collapsed into the beds and took naps. My bed was nice and soft which was perfect as the bed the previous nights had been hard as a board.

When I woke up from my nap I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel and Miss Teffers watched HGTV. After a few hours I joined her in watching HGTV. We did not feel any need to go out for dinner as we were still satisfied from eating pizza earlier in the day.

After watching HGTV for a while I went back to checking out things on the forums at HOW and Facebook, then I worked some more on my NaNoWrimo novel. I am WAY behind on my word count as there has been so much going on and life has been rather hectic. I am still having trouble with plot and characters too. Some of my characters are being most contrary and not cooperating in the least.

I worked on NaNo for a while and then went to bed. I was exhausted despite my nap. It had been a long day.


Chapter 8

November 5th we got up early this morning and actually had time for the complimentary breakfast. Teffers had a waffle and I had a blueberry muffin with strawberry cream cheese. It was pretty good. We watched a little bit of CNN while we were in the breakfast nook and then we went back to our room, pack up AGAIN and then headed toward the house.

There was no activity there so we knew that the inspection had not taken place. We went to my mom's to visit. Finally there was word that the inspection had taken place and that they were filling in the hole. The plumbing supervisor asked mom if she wanted them to pour the concrete today but when we found that it wouldn't be dry by the end of the day mom told the gentleman that we just wanted to go home, we had no place else to park (there is no place to park on the street where we live) so we would just park on the dirt. The plumbers said okay to that.

We left mom's house parked temporarily in a neighbor's driveway while he was at work. Unloaded our van while there was BIG machinery working mere feet from where we were and then went to the vet's office to get our little dog. Now this was a 20 mile drive but we were just so glad to be getting her and taking her home. When we got to the city where she was boarded we had at least an hour to wait before she would be ready because she was getting a bath, flea dip and “manicure,” so we went to get gas, ate a chicken sandwich at Wendy's and visited as we waited.

Finally it was time to get the little dog and she was so happy to see us. Every time we have had to board her (and she hadn't been boarded in over 2 years) she acts like she will never see us again, so her world brightens when we are there to get her.

We got her in the van and talked love talk to her all the way home. When we got to the house we were surprised to see that we had a driveway. Part of it was missing but it was mostly intact. We parked our van, took our little dog into the house and after playing with her, we ALL took naps because we were totally wiped out.

After naps, I worked on my NaNo novel, Teffers read and the little dog continued to nap. She must not have slept much at the “pet motel” she was totally wiped out.

We ate sandwiches for dinner and I spent time writing in the blog (big duh there, eh), visiting on Facebook and Twitter, then working more on the NaNo novel. It is shaping up some but my main character needs an attitude adjustment.

After spending two hours in the 1980s at an answering service I was ready to shut NaNo down and go to bed although for some reason I really wanted a cigarette and a beer.


Chapter 9

November 6th

Life is returning to some degree of normality. I have been working on my NaNoWrimo novel, we have been grocery shopping, the driveway is actually a jigsaw puzzle pieced together from broken pieces of the original, god bless the plumbers we didn't have to slog around in clay and mud.

Coming home from the grocery store, as I was unloading the van I stepping in cat shit, it yakked me out BIG time. I don't handle excrement well at all. It took me forever to get all of the cat crap out of the grooves in the soul of my shoe. It was just GROSS.

The little dog keeps sneezing, Steffie is very worried about this but I think that it is from the flea dip. Little Dog has allergies and the flea dip scent always makes her sneeze. At this point I am not really concerned. I am allergic to the flea dip too and can commiserate with little dog. My eyes are inflamed and I am sneezing too. UGH!!!!

I am glad to be getting my words in on my NaNo novel and that my MC is becoming a little more cooperative. It is so frustrating when your MC takes off on a path of their own device without advising you, the author, of their plans. Geesh!

Tonight we had some Stouffer's Chicken Enchiladas with Rice and a salad for dinner. It was great. The best part is that cooking and cleanup were easy. Now I wish I could make myself NOT feel guilty about eating on paper plates. Life would be so much easier.

I have to say that after years of being careful with the sewer, it is nice to know that there is a new line put it. I don't intend to abuse it or anything but having a new line gives me some peace of mind.

In closing I would have been married to my first husband 34 years today. I was an idiot of nineteen when I got married, really what was I thinking. I certainly was not ready for that kind of commitment although I recognize that some are. I am just glad that I was able to divorce him and let him live his life while I lived mine. Our marriage was a fiasco from Day 1, I should have just gone home and gotten an annulment it would have been better for everyone.


Chapter 10

November 7th

Well, little dog is still sneezing and sleeping a lot. Her asthma like symptoms have increased and Steph is really worried. I am starting to get worried too but you can still really smell the flea dip on her so I am still thinking that could be it. Her nose is dry but not hot. We will see how things go.

My NaNo novel was out of control tonight. I didn't even get one hundred words written. I couldn't focus, minor characters were being cheeky and it was just a muckety muck mess. I gave up and fiddled around on Facebook. I waited around for the “In A Sentence” post...I got an honorable mention for my sentence yesterday we were using the word, Brobdingnagian. I then wrote a sentence for today's challenge and then went to Twitter to catch up on some news. I swear there is a reason I avoid the news it is usually very downbeat and depressing.

I am glad I have this blog to work out my issues with home life, international affairs and my NaNo novel. I don't know what I would do without it.


Chapter 11

November 8th

I have really been cranking on my NaNo novel. The dialogue today is suffering but the narrative is going well. It seems that I can write narrative or dialogue in any give day but not both. I don't get it and I don't like it but that is “the way it is!”

I am still behind on my NaNo word count but I have not doubts that I will catch up. I believe, I believe, I believe!

I have completed another blog post today, cleaned the kitchen, cooked dinner, washed dishes, planned dinner for tomorrow, fiddled around on Twitter and Facebook but the most fun came from attending a “pumpkin roll” in the neighborhood. There is a HUGE straight hill in the neighborhood and on the Sunday after Halloween the neighborhood association sponsors a pumpkin roll where people compete for prizes by rolling their pumpkins down the hill. There is a first, second and third place is guaranteed that pumpkin guts will be everywhere and that kids will be squealing with delight. Some adults squee too!

After the pumpkin rolling competition, everyone who wants to just “roll” a pumpkin gets together in a group and let them rip. What an uproarious mess it is! Such fun!

The weather was perfect and a jolly good time was had by all. NYC may have their big time marathon but we have our pumpkin roll. It is a proud tradition.

Of course, after the pumpkin roll there is a mess to be contained but most people pitch in to help. It is almost as much run as all the rolling is. Sometimes I think a pumpkin “food fight” would be fun but it sure could get nasty fast. I haven't suggested it, LOL!!!

Well, I guess I have covered the highlights for the day, back to writing!


Chapter 12

November 9th

Well, I had a jolly time at the grocery store today. It was senior citizen's day, I don't know WHY I can't remember that and avoid the store on that day. Also, two girls in their 20s were walking down the aisle TOGETHER arguing with each other via cellphone. That's right, they were eye to eye, tooth to toenail and SCREAMING at each other vis a vie their cellphones. Gawd help us all. I wanted to slap the snot out of them. It was impossible to avoid them. I went to the opposite side of the store to get away from them and who shows up less than one aisle later, that's right the “bitch sisters” along with old ladies who really should not be living independently. I swear I don't understand why families do not put their loved ones in assisted living centers or nursing homes. It is the kindest thing to do. A lot of these older people can't read the products on the shelves but they are driving themselves to and from the store. It is a sad commentary on our society that the elderly do not get the assistance they need from their families and communities. I only wish that I was well enough to help out some of the senior citizens in my neighborhood. I do what I can with reading ingredients to people, teling them prices and helping them to reach items on the shelves. I find senior citizen day annoying but really it is because our seniors can't do for themselves as they and their families seem to think they can.

After the screamers left, things were okay except for mother's who don't seem to know how to control their children. I know I am getting old and cranky but park the little darling's fanny in the cart and leave it there. While you are at it blow their snotty noses. It requires some effort to parent children but if you are unwilling to put out the effort then don't breed, you will be doing us all a favor.

Well, I am a crank aren't I but I did find some good fodder for the novel. NaNo is moving on along and I should be caught up before I know it. (So it says in fine print!)

Signing off for another day!


Chapter 13

November 10th

Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald. That was many tragic losses of life that have occurred in my experience maybe it is the Gordon Lightfoot song that makes it so haunting but there is something in the story that grabs hold of one's psyche and doesn't let go.

Writing has been slow today. I did pretty well last night, “Totally Flummoxed” is really taking shape and doesn't remind me of old excrement so I am pleased even with the output is slow.

It has been a rather chilly November day. Besides my usual iced tea I have been consuming hot tea like crazy, I have been drinking a lovely Sugar Cookie flavored herbal and some plum flavored green tea. It has been a nice juxtaposition.

My coffee pot died and I have made some coffee in my French press pot but that takes time away from writing. I have to go buy a new coffee pot and then I will send the carafe to the flea market with mama, people are all the time breaking their carafes and come to the shop looking for replacement carafes because mama is much cheaper than other stores and this way the carafe gets reused instead of going to the landfill. I am all about reusing items if possible.

I am hoping to get a coffee pot with a thermal carafe so that I don't have to keep the electricity going to keep the coffee hot. I try to be a good environmental steward but I do run the water while brushing my teeth and take very long showers, so I am not anywhere near perfect in my efforts.

I guess I need to quit babbling on about environmental living and my carbon footprint so that I can get back to work on the novel. BTW, the grocery store scene has worked well into the story line.


Chapter 14

November 11th

It is Veteran's Day...the day we honor those who have fought to defend our country. I have had relatives that have fought or served during every war since the American revolution. My beloved Poppy Richard served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. He truly was part of the “Greatest Generation.”

I cannot think of Veteran's Day without remembering my trip to “The Wall” when I was in Washington D. C. about 25 years ago. It was an overwhelming experience. I also went past the National Cemetery while riding the subway. It was awe inspiring to see all of those graves of men and women who have served their country. We owe our Veteran's so very much.

I feel lethargy and entropy taking over my ability to work on my novel. This is not a good thing. I have worked so hard to pull together plot devices and characters so that it is a seamless piece of literature and yet there are forces at work in my head and vis a vie my main character that are simply undermining everything that I have accomplished thus far. I do not understand this sudden turn of events and am at a loss to explain it. Things had been going so well, perhaps too well. It is all very vexing.

I find myself wishing that I were in my garden among the ivy and delphinium on a nice spring day when everything feels so fresh, new and vibrant. This would help to lift my spirits and bring me out of this virtually anaerobic state by breathing fresh air and new oxygen into my mind and story line. I know that I can imagine myself in this improved state and bring my tale to a new edgy story line so that I do not get off track and lose my momentum. Right now synergy and the impetus to tell this tale are all that I have going for me so I must break free of these self imposed shackles and rip my story from my brain to my fingertips and free it in a burst of writing energy and velocity. It is time to go back to the tale and bring it forth.


Chapter 15

November 12th

The main character's BDSM tendencies are creating problems in the story line, she wants to be totally dominated by her male lover and yet she is a strong woman in her own right. I keep trying to build her up and help her to recognize her strengths and yet she wants to be paddled, pummeled and fully consumed by her lover. She desires him so very much and wants to feel his cock pounding in her taking her for his own and not allowing any stray thoughts of other lovers to enter her mind as he consumes her.

There is so very much more to the story here. There are issues related to the main character's job, life apart from her lover and her relationship with her son. She cannot allow herself to be lost in the world of bondage and domination while she has so many other tasks to attend to, this is one of the reasons I find myself feeling lugubrious about my novel because the main character and her lover take off on these side excursions of kinky sex involving leather, spankings and bondage. I mean really how can I create a realistic psychotherapist who instead of listening to her clients is fantasizing about being bound to her office chair and her lover performing cunnilingus on her until she begs him to stop and enter her with his turgid member and take her completely so that she can experience orgasm and find some relief from her painful buildup to the edge of her senses.

Do you see my problem? I am trying to process it here in my blog so that maybe I can understand the mindset and motivation of these characters who definitely and defiantly have minds of their own to my despair and chagrin.

I will try to get them to settle down into their “real” lives and leave their sexual peccadilloes behind for a little while.


Chapter 16

November 13th

My characters have not been any more cooperative at all neither has my life. I don't know how I am going to get my novel written and my fifty thousand words in this year. I have felt like crap, keep getting these horrid headaches and of course, am having the problem with my eyes. Let me tell you severe dry eye disorder is NOT for wussies.

So much has been going on around me it is like a swirling maelstrom conspiring to keep me from writing and then when I feel myself stymied I go to Facebook and Twitter to read articles and status updates. I know more about the news and current affairs than I really care to. It is a real pain.

There has been a rash of catnapping in my area and now one of my beloved cats is missing. I hate to think of her hurt somewhere or having been harmed. I hope she is just off on a hunting expedition and is going to show up fine and dandy. I have had she and her sister for thirteen years this month. There were born feral but we caught them and tamed them to a certain degree. I have the scars to prove what an ordeal that it was. I sure hope she shows up, she is a beautiful loving albeit still somewhat wild cat. It isn't like her to not be around. Sigh!

I know that I can't waste anytime during November, I know that I need to focus and get my story in order. I am trying to avoid writing an erotic piece of literature but this main character, a woman in her forties is making this situation difficult. She certainly has her own ideas about what she thinks, feels and does. It is very interesting to say the least.

I guess I will close for now. I hope I can write a few more chapters in my novel.


Chapter 17

November 14th

There are so very many days in November that are tied up in conflict for me, maybe that is why it is hard to write and everything I seem to “throw down” is bawdy escapism at its worst and I do mean worst. I was not meant to write erotic literature. I can write smut and I can write it very well, thank you very much but erotica, not my cup of tea, you have to be too dainty in your language filling it with similes and metaphors, not for me...I tend to get down and dirty. Slash, that is the sound of my whip cutting through the air around me. LOL!!!! I am such a mess.

Today is the birthday of someone who was once in my life. He is a true psychopath and totally dangerous. I know that modern psychiatry has removed the term psychopath from the diagnostic vernacular but that didn't make psychopaths go away, they are still with us and dangerous as ever. This person may be dead now for all I know but until I see a death certificate and a grave I will always be looking over my shoulder wondering if this person is in the shadows waiting to strike. I realize that this gives him a lot of power even though he may not be around but once you have been stalked and victimized the way that I have been you cannot judge how I feel and react. My thoughts and actions are my own. I claim them and must live with them. I don't dwell on possibilities but they do linger in the far recesses of my mind and particular anniversaries such as this birthday bring them to the forefront. The fear will fade again but in the meantime I try to find ways to stay safe and protected from those who have harmed me and who would harm me again.

Such issues cloud my mind and keep me from my novel. It is hard to contemplate the psyche of my protagonist when I am haunted by the past, perhaps it is this past that influences her and makes her difficult to understand and write about. It is all very vexing. Perhaps I should set my novel aside for a while and then come back to it with a fresh mind and clearer thoughts. Maybe a foray though Twitter will inspire me.


Chapter 18

November 15th Oh dear another anniversary, I need to build these into my character's thoughts and actions. I need them to be experiencing angst and strum un drang not me. I need them to have life ecstasy, reality, harshness and bliss.

On this date 13 years ago I lost my best friend of twenty six years, she died of cervical cancer but it was a sudden and unexpected death despite her illness. I was lucky enough to be holding her hand as she crossed over from this world to the next. It was a wonderful gift from the universe that I was with this woman I loved so very much as she moved away from me for the time being.

I find myself lost even though there is a sense of knowing that she is in a better place. Twenty six years is a long relationship. We were married with in a week of each other, she was my matron of honor, we had children nine months apart. Our children were best friends and we vacationed together many times. It was a glorious time. I miss her so very much. I am glad though that she is no longer suffering.

Maybe all this sadness is why my protagonist desires to be dominated so, as the bottom she is in control of the situation and is only as submissive as she chooses to be and then with the safe word the action stops. How nice it would be if all life was that way. We could choose how we are hurt or dominated and then the rest of the time we are free of restraint and oversight. Life can be so freeing on one hand and so constricting on the other. I am beginning to understand where my main character's impetus is coming from. Maybe I should let her have some ropes, a flogger and a fur piece to sooth her striated fanny.

I am seeing things more clearly now even though I am caught up in a quagmire of pain and loss.


Chapter 19

November 16th

I have been asked by a coffee blogger to write a post about NaNoWriMo and coffee. I, of course, quickly agreed to do so. My NaNo avatar is a coffee cup with the information about NaNoWriMo 2010. I can't see how anyone can write their NaNo novel without being fueled by some kind of caffeine or energy drink. My drinks of choice are hot coffee and hot tea. I in fact, just got a NEW coffee pot today that makes coffee directly into a thermal carafe that can keep coffee hot for hours at a time without the burner being on. It could also keep water hot for cocoa and hot tea too. Oh, I am greatly delighted with my new coffee pot and am thrilled at the opportunity to write a post about NaNo and the important role coffee can play in the world of NaNoWriMo.

Besides getting my new coffee pot we went to a doctor appointment that went well, always like doctor appointments that go nicely most doctors need lessons in civility but my daddy had a civil doctor yesterday even though his news was not great (he has some heart issues and failed his stress test) but the doctor was pleasant and helpful. That makes hard news somewhat easier to take. My GF had a doctor appointment today and another coming up in a few days, my goodness lots of time being spent in doctors' offices. Old age is truly not for sissies.

I have gotten some work done on my NaNo novel. It is coming along quite well. It reads like a memoir but is certainly no Roman A Clef. I could have way too much trouble on my hands if I were to write one of those.

I am pleased that the words seem to be flowing well in my novel and that my eyes are doing better. I think that I FINALLY have had enough in the way of eye drops to get to where my eyes are better hydrated and less irritated. This change has only occurred today. It is a pleasant turn of events.

My local pharmacy, and I do mean local independent pharmacy helped me to get the exact eye medication that I wanted. They didn't carry it as a regular item but are special ordering it for me. I appreciate them so very much. My pharmacist is so very good to us. I just wish I could convince more people to use the drug store. The corner druggist is a dying institution but as long as I have one I will use it/him.


Chapter 20

November 17th

Well, I have to say that this novel is moving along much more slowly than my novel last year did. Last year is the only year out of six that I have won and I'll be darned if I lose this year. I simply must get my bones thrown down and my novel written. I mean I have so very much invested in these characters, I can't let them trail off into oblivion without getting my NaNo novel finished. Oh, I know that I can finish my novel in December or January but it just isn't the same as being able to claim victory now, this month, making it possible to thump my chest like the silverback gorilla and stake my claim in the wilds of NaNoVille!

My characters are so real and alive, they argue with me and each other, they live, breathe, make love, drink, eat, smoke and then do it all again because they can, nay they must for they have such a joie de vivre. It is just amazing. That is all I can say it that it is amazing and pleasing all at the same time. This is my time. This is my novel. It will all come together. I believe in myself and in my dreams I am a positive I can person.


Chapter 21 November 18th

My father has been ill and is in the hospital for some tests today. They should have been done sooner but oh no, the man had to go deer hunting. I suppose that if he was going to drop dead then he should do so participating in something that gives him so much pleasure. The man lives and breathes for hunting season. If something happens that he cannot hunt at the proscribed times I fear that he will just give up and die. Then what will mama do. I don't want to think about it. I want his tests today to come out just fine and for him to continue to be the cantankerous old toot that he has been for 75 years. We all need him way too much for him to get too sick and die.

I will be at the hospital in a little while and once the tests are done we will know “what's what” for our next steps. It is a nail biter of an experience.

Now back to my NaNoWriMo novel. What can I say about it? That it is contrary and arbitrary, that my own words conspire against me as I try to write my story and make it a lovely palatable tale that I can do something with at the end of November and can maybe just maybe shape up into something worth selling. I just don't know any longer what to think about my story. It has a life of its own and is just not cooperating with me in the least.

At least I have some answers about daddy now I need answers from my story. They are both ornery beasts. Oh, I don't think that daddy would like being referred to that way but it really is true. I just won't tell him that I called him an ornery beast.

As for the novel, I have used backstory, flashbacks, dreams, conspiracies, forward glances and no end of contrivices and yet the tale of the sassy Southern gal who has taken more than fifty years to find her way to who she is still eludes me in so many ways. I wish I had a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and some Virginia Slims Super Slims Menthol cigarettes to help see me through this novel as they saw me through so many articles, papers and stories before in the past. Some nice red wine to flow through my veins opening up the channels of my imagination as I puff furiously on some cigarettes to draw inspiration from the smoke that filters through them. Alas, I quit smoking, I can't afford a jug of wine and well the bread, I need to save that for dinner tonight. I'd hate to try to explain that we can't have dinner because I needed inspiration.


Thirty Days of Coffee Fueled Literary Abandon

It is November 2010 this is the 30 Days of Literary Abandon known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a time during which many a budding novelist works feverishly to write a fifty thousand word tome that lays the groundwork for a future novel or perhaps novella. Many of this literary efforts are fueled by coffee, the nectar of the gods and the caffeine potion that has provided added impetus to many an author and artiste.

I am an aficionado of java juice and use it to keep my spirits from flagging and my inspiration running hot. I prefer to make a fresh pot with my French press using a nice dark roast to keep my pulse quickened and my heart pounding while many of my compadres prefer to make a 10 cup drip pot of coffee so that they have it ready as they need it. They don't even necessarily keep the pot hot, the will microwave a cuppa joe to warm it up as they need a pick me up to keep the words flowing.

Many "NaNos" go to coffeehouses throughout the world to drink their favorite libation and work on their novels either alone or as part of a "write in" orchestrated by municipal liaisons across the world. Thus the world of coffee and that happy little bean keep the words flowing and the process underway for many participants. If you are a writer pleased join us in 2011, we'd love to have you:

Now, it is time to grind some French roast and make a pot of coffee to fuel my writing for another round.


It was a dark and stormy night. It was hot and humid, nay it was sultry and I dreamed I was on the road to Manderlay, there were vines and trees obstructing my view and yet I found myself curiously aroused by the atmosphere and flora around me.

I have been working on this novel for nineteen days more or less and yet I find that my soul, my purpose my total focus elude me as I try to find ways to write that which is trapped in my mind and refuses to be released vis a via my fingers.

Besides the love and health of my family there is nothing more important to me than finishing my NaNo novel no matter how poorly written it may be. I can always edit and rewrite but the point, nay the bottom line is to finish with fifty thousand words by the end of November. It is so very important to me. I must finish.

I just found out a few minutes ago that the rock band, Sweet Magnolia that used to live upstairs from us is having a "reunion" of sorts tonight. It seems that of the six original members there are only three remaining. The other three have died this year. That takes me aback in ways that I cannot begin to explain.

That was a definitive and difficult time in my life. I lived in a big old rambling house that had been cut into a four plex. Sweet Magnolia lived in the apartment right over ours and their front door was just a few feet from ours. I can't tell you how many times our door was "banged" on in the middle of the night by someone looking for Sweet Magnolia members so they could party.

We were often serenaded by Sweet Magnolia jamming through the night. Sometimes it got old. I was pregnant, it was summertime and I was often tired and fatigued, but for the most part it was pretty cool to live downstairs from a rock band.

David, one of the members used to spend hours on the front porch talking with me about life and the experiences in the universe. We would sip iced tea and converse for hours. We lived in an awesome neighborhood. It was like a small town all unto itself. On night David commented that the neighborhood would be perfect if the "Bluebird Beauty Parlor" across the street from us was the "Bluebird Bar and Grill." Well, I still live in the same neighborhood...our old home is now a fancy bar and grill. The "Bluebird Beauty Parlor" is gone but there are many bars, grills, restaurants and pizza places within walking distances (a few blocks) of where we once sat and watched the world go by. I miss those conversations. David was a gentleman and a world class rocker. Too bad he never escaped the hum drum of being in a regional band. I think he could have done very well but then the world is full of "could have been" musicians, writers and artists.

Also living in "The House" (which is also the name of the restaurant ergo bar and grill, that occupies the space) were a nurse with numerous boyfriends and two women, one of whom, had a 5 year old son. There was a wonderful drag queen named Jerry who often stayed with the women. The three of them had been friends for years. From Jerry, I learned how to do make up and often did make up for the "queens" at the local gay bar called, "The Drummer's Club." It was literally an underground bar, not just a figurative one. It was in a once grand dame hotel that had been closed for years but the bar was still thriving. I was often mistaken for a drag queen at the club when I was sitting down, but once I stood up and my very OBVIOUS pregnancy was showing all offers for dances and free drinks dried up. Back then no one had a conniption if a pregnant woman had a drink or two, my how times have changed over the past thirty three years.

Going back to Sweet Magnolia, they were often on the road and I used to feed their cat. It was a black tom and for the life of me I can't remember his name. How odd, I usually remember such things.

There was a row of businesses across a small yard from our house and the boulevard at the corner. One of these businesses was the Arkansas Philharmonic Theatre. One night Sweet Magnolia was jamming and the audience couldn't hear the actors lines. The stage manager came over to the house and asked Sweet Magnolia if they could either quit practicing for a while or "tone it down" and offered them free tickets to a show if they would. The guys went out for beer until the play was over.

My bedroom was in the front room of the house because it was the only room that had windows that opened and would provide circulation. Our bed was up against the wall that separated our apartment from Sweet Magnolia's apartment. There were stairs on the other side of the wall and the whole area acted like an echo chamber, the guys in Sweet Magnolia always knew when we were having sex. I didn't learn this until we were getting ready to move. SIGH!

As I think about this, the only person I can really totally share all of the experiences in this house with would be my ex-husband. We don't really speak, unless we have no choice. It was not an amicable divorce and the past 31 years have not made it any more so. I wish that we could have had a peaceful divorce and a good relationship but it just wasn't meant to be. We were teenagers who should have never married and we were way to young to have a child and we just didn't know how to come to grips with everything that was going on in our lives. We lived a precarious balancing act together for about 3 1/2 years and it was too much, our relationship was forever damaged and even more sad was the fact that our son experienced way too much of the fallout. He still does. I try to be civil but there is too much old history hanging over our heads like a nuclear mushroom. At this point my son who was so emotionally abused by his father has sided with his abuser and is all kinds of in love with daddy dearest. I have to admit that it hurts but then that is how things go in our lives sometimes.

I really do wish that my ex-husband and I had an amicable relationship because I would like to be able to tell him about the guys from Sweet Magnolia and reminisce about the summer of '77. There were some good times there. To bad everything ended on such a rancid note.

Another interesting piece from the story of "The House," is that I ended up being a roommate with one of the women who lived upstairs in the back and her son, Michael. We lived together in the summer of 1980, talk about another interesting and wild ride. We lived in a trailer park. The sheriff's deputies were out there almost every night and came to our trailer so often that I was on a first name basis with some of them. There were a lot of fights that happened in that trailer park. Domestic violence was a way of life. Speaking of, I met and married my roomie's brother, Dave. I had known Dave for six weeks, couldn't seem to get rid of him, married him because I wanted my son to have a father, and within a week of him marrying me he was gone for 6 weeks, then after he and I had a big fight he was back for six weeks (he had been working on an oil tanker) and after he had been back for about 6 weeks we separated because he was physically abusive to me but primarily because he made the MAJOR mistake of laying a hand on my son. That put an end to that. Six weeks later we were divorced. It was an interesting time in my life. I have NO regrets at not having a continuing relationship with that son of a bitch. I did see his sister on occasion at work but that is ancient history. She works at the same place but I have long moved on. Life is very queer.

Even if I knew how to get in touch with my former sister in law I doubt she would really remember much if anything about Sweet Magnolia although I could be wrong. They were neighbors for quite a while. Life is really strange. It takes all kinds of unusual twists and turns. I mean I can't believe when I look back at things that I was ever Lavonne's roommate or that I married her husband Dave. I can't believe that I got married at 19 and had a baby at 20. I was divorced at 22 the first time and 23 the second time. I never meant to marry at all. I was going to remain single, have a career and if I had a child I would do it via artificial insemination and not deal with any men in my life unless they were for my own amusement. I have always had my own ideas about things. I certainly was not going to get caught in the marriage trap and yet, at the age of 53 I wish I'd known how to maintain a marriage since I found myself in one so that hopefully my son would have had an upbringing with two loving parents. I think that it is delusional to consider that things could have worked out differently but I wish they could have. I was so stupid and naive at nineteen.

Favorite Christmas Story...

Back in nineteen eighty three I started working for the state department of social services. In November of that year I was promoted from a clerical position to being a child protective services worker. Part of our child welfare jobs included providing Christmas for all of our foster children on our case loads and for as many of the protective services families that we could find sponsors to cover. That year all of the kids on the foster care caseloads wanted boom boxes just like most other kids in America and maybe even the rest of the first world countries. (I am not sure if children in third world countries knew about boom boxes at the time or aspired to own one, I admit to total ignorance on this point.)

As protective services workers we were involved in the shopping for these hundreds of boom boxes and let me tell you that as the money trickled in for the purchase of these items the boom boxes were flying off the shelves faster than we could buy them. We were shopping until stores closed trying to find enough boom boxes for all of the foster children on our case loads. It was a gritty, difficult job to procure these while also trying to do the rest of our assigned work too. We were working from can till can't protecting the children of Pulaski County, shopping for Christmas gifts...primarily boom boxes and wrapping hundreds of Christmas presents. We were understaffed, underpaid and to say the very least, over worked!

As we finally got all of the boom boxes purchased and wrapped we started to deliver gifts to the different foster homes, children's homes and residential care facilities. During the delivery process it snowed and iced, I must tell you that at that time Pulaski County, nay the state of Arkansas pretty much shut down when there was snow and ice but yet in our job positions we had to find ways to get to work so that we could finish wrapping Christmas presents and figure out a way to get them delivered.

As the zero hour approached the streets were thawing enough that we could get more presents delivered and we were out until all hours of the night trying to get packages to foster homes in hopes of getting things done before more snow and ice struck us. It was an awesome and at times overwhelming task.

On the last workday before Christmas Eve, I was out with a co-worker delivering Christmas presents in the country where the roads were just finally started to de-ice a little bit. We had one last present to deliver, a bicycle. As we got to the street we were to go down to get to the house that had the foster home on it we found a very HILLY street that had BIG ditches on either side of the road. The ditches were filled with cars that had braved the ice on the road and lost.

My co-worker wasn't willing to drive down the road and I didn't blame her so we walked to the foster home which it turns out was THREE MILES from the crossroad where we had parked the care. The temperature was 32, it was windy and neither one of us had on heavy coats, scarves, gloves or hats because we were going to be in the heated car. Ha, ha, ha!

We walked to the foster home and in fact, almost missed the street that it was on because the street post was covered in snow. We spent some time in the overheated foster home visiting with the youngster who was living there and his foster mother. We then ventured out into the cold again to walk back up and down the hills to the car. It was brutal and icy as we made our trek.

Now you must know that I am a klutz. I had difficulty walking on the ice and kept slip sliding away. I thought that I was going to fall for sure. All of the sudden I heard a bell behind me and there was a bull that was getting ready to charge with me being the closest thing for him to hit. He was about a half a mile away. My co-worker was quite a way ahead of me because she had better footing on the ice. She was safe.

I had no trees to climb, no where to go except into the ditch that was deeper than I am tall. If I had gone into the ditch I would have never gotten out without serious assistance. I did the only thing that I could do, I ran, as fast as I could and then I hit a particularly slick spot on the ice and fell hitting my head hard. I could see the bull running toward me and I prepared to die. Suddenly the bull stopped, less than ten feet from me and turned around to walk the other direction toward the herd of cattle that had also escaped the fence with it. My life was saved by some Christmas miracle. It took a while but I finally got up off of the slick spot in the ice and made it to the car where my co-worker sat smoking. I joined her in a cigarette and told her what had happened. Even with all the commotion she never once turned around to see what had happened.

After we warmed up some and finished our cigarettes she took me as close to my home as she could get without risking wrecking her car on the ice. I walked another mile and a half to get home. I then slept several hours. I ended up sick with a bad cold for Christmas but at least I was alive and hadn't been mauled by the bull!