Catching up on books

There are many books that I will never have the time (or inclination) to read, but how did I overlook these?

Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships started me exploring recent books written about the Greek and Latin classics told with women at the center, especially the women who were the collateral damage of the Trojan War.

Elinor Cleghorn, Unwell Women, Misdiagnosis and Myths in a Man-made World, about misconceptions of female anatomy and health. This triggered one of my short stories.

Madeline Miller, Circe This earned it wow from me, how could I overlook this book about the witch and goddess Circe. Her life as a daughter of Helios, her exile, then the time spent with Odysseus and the aftermath of that affair. A deep knowledge of the world of the classic literature and an excellent imagination of how women created a life in a world torn apart by war.

Natalie Haynes, Pandora’s Jar this book was published in the U.K. before it will be published in the U.S. next year. Haynes tells the stories of the women of myths and the curtains of history as regards those women.

I agree with Natalie Haynes that the classic literature should be taught, and language (when did Latin disappear from high school curriculums?)–maybe it can start with Emily Watson’s translation of The Odyssey.

I’m looking forward to reading more of the above writers. Hope you have time to make room to read these books in this very busy life.

What have I been doing with my time?

Every writer must have read about Shakespeare writing King Lear during a plague year. I’m sure that it was meant to encourage us to focus on our writing instead of focusing on the havoc caused by Covid-19, the divisions manifested in the elections of 2020, I’m not sure it did.

During that plague year, Shakespeare wrote his 28th play– King Lear, one more of his masterpieces.

What was my writing? A couple of kids books, a couple of short stories, a screenplay adaption of one of those short stories, finished the first draft of a novel, further drafts of that novel, research for future novels–an ok output, certainly not the masterpieces Shakespeare produced during his downtime.

But then I never claimed to be in Shakespeare’s league, just one of those stars to shoot for.

Hope you are at least hanging in there.

Winter doldrums

Looks like I hit the winter doldrums. It is that time of year when a whistling pig dictates your mood–six of winters v spring in six weeks. The cure is activity. But with Covid restrictions and a polar vortex that seems to have come for a long visit, there really isn’t much to do outside.

There are telephone calls to, zoom meetings, Skype, FaceTime to help get us through, cable, Netflix, favorite movies to watch multiple times, and for real excitement there is the trip to the store. It is a perilous adventure during this pandemic.

First thing in planning an adventure is to make a list. Second is deciding on the appropriate attire–go with the everyday attire or wear something to commemorate this great adventure.

The drive, it’s winter–we should all be used to snow and ice by now…unless you are working virtually, then you are up that proverbial creek.

Al last you are at the store, you enter with mask on, and can’t find your list or your phone anywhere…damn, you hope you remember everything because this adventure only happens once a week.

Then the return to a cozy home and anticipate the next great adventure to a store…unless the polar vortex heads north, then there is the great outdoors.

Hope you are finding your cure for the winter doldrums.

Election Fraud

Thousands of people across this nation manned the polls during the November 2020 election. We did it despite not knowing the Covid-19 status of the people voting and the other volunteers who were working with us. We did it so our fellow citizens could exercise their right to vote. I resent the accusations of fraud and irregularities being carelessly thrown around. It isn’t so.

And as for dead people voting, my polling place is near a cemetery, not one of those people crawled out of their graves to vote. Not one floated through the open door and windows. Not one.

We had a good election and a fair election. Stop saying otherwise.

“the new normal”

“The new normal”–I hate that phrase.

The safety measures we are using during the covid-19 pandemic is not the new normal. It is what we do until treatments are found and vaccines are developed to fight against this disease.

The phase we are in is a transition to a new normal. What that normal has not been agreed on by us.

Do we have the grit to get through this transition time?

The time will come again when we can shake hands, hug, meet our loved ones, our neighbors, our friends.

Can we stay the course?

See you along the way.



6 feet

6 feet apart.

6 feet apart is the distance that gives our doctors and scientists the time and space to find treatments and vaccines that work against cover-19.

6 feet apart is the distance that we show respect, concern and love for the people who live in this world with us.

6 feet apart may keep you and your loved ones safe.

6 feet apart will not last forever, unless you are 6 feet under.

Stay safe, stay 6 feet apart…and wear a mask which covers your mouth and nose.

See you along the way.

How did our ancestors do this!

How did those ancestors who crossed oceans on sailing ships, crossed mountains on foot, walked through the prairies deal with this isolation and sameness?  We have phones, TV, movies, books, the web to distract.

We don’t have to forage for food–grocery stores get restocked, people give to their local food pantries for those in need.

What is it about this sameness that we find unbearable?

Is it because we have to think?

Is it because we have to reconsider how we live this life?

Is it because we have to admit how deeply we are connected to everything in this world?

Is it because we might have to change and we don’t want to.

Stay safe and healthy. Cover-19 is giving us a space and time to think about our futures. See you along the way.

strawberry jam memories

I opened the last jar of my homemade strawberry jam. The aromas overwhelmed my senses. Remembrances of biting into a sun-warmed berry, its juice dribbling down my chin led to other memories: the freedom of summer clothes, the long days, the nights filled with stars, laughter of children, eating s’mores made by our young folks–a summer rite of passage, the  gathering of friends, the talks which lasted forever but ended too soon, travels through the United States–the summer of 2019 was enjoyable.

We have plans for the summer of 2020 and the memories we will make–stay well.

Snow Globe world

The past few days were beautiful: snow, blue skies, the scent of spring coming on a southern breeze. But this morning, the skies are gray and it is snowing.

If you can forget the cold, and that within minutes your face can freeze, hands covered with mittens and stuffed deep within coat pockets, toes that seem to take forever to thaw once you can pull them out of your boots.

Then you look up, mesmerized by the snow falling in slow motion. You look around as the snow layers on branches and roofs. You smile. There is charm in being in your personal snow globe.


I guess this is my version of yelling at people to get off my lawn, which I can’t do anyways because the only trespassers on my lawn are sandhill cranes, raccoons, skunks, and other creatures passing through at night.

I don’t like clothes shopping, I only do it as needed. This week I needed blue jeans. Couldn’t find what I wanted. Seems as if women’s jeans are spandex with pretensions of being denim blue jeans–the type you have to peel off after working.What I want are jeans that are meant for work, denim ones. Off I went  to the men’s section to see what I could find..

Most of those jeans are made of denim. I tugged on the jeans I was considering, they had the normal give of denim…except one pair–a hint of spandex has invaded men’s jeans too.

Well, still needed a pair of jeans. I bought the spandex type jean, but am still hoping to find a pair with just the right amount of denim.