Monday, April 29, 2013

 Words to the Wise

Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, essays, stories, letters--
The circle leads us round and round, sometimes fast and others slow.
We fling about these products, not always wholly aware that they are nothing
Without the thoughts, ideas and the deep well of imagination we carry inside.

And where do those all come from, I ask, knowing full well the answer--
From the brain, that wonderful mass of convoluted tissue, not beautiful,
Nor is it particularly impressive or resplendent in shape or size.
Yet in this grayish blob are the elements that compel us to write.

I am seventy-five years old. I thought I'd always be the woman who worked hard,
Who tackled difficult tasks, ran businesses, gardened, and backpacked in the high Sierras?
Oh, I knew I'd slow down some, but where did this sudden halt come from?
Whence these strange words and phrases that come into my thoughts unbidden?

I'm still mentally competent, of course I am. That is evident in my writings if not my activities.
But when I'm engaged in some silent task, such as making a morning cup of instant coffee,
It seems as though someone in the background, turns the knob of some ancient radio,
Allowing a short burst of words and then as quickly turns the sound down again.

It isn't as though I can remember these phrases. By the time I pick up a pen to write,
Already the phrase has faded. I thought about a recorder, but speaking aloud would do the same.
And so I live with this strange other world. I suspect such mental events are the basis
For illnesses where voices command action or where God delivers messages to willing listeners.

But for me, grounded as I am in the sciences and psychology, they represent mental processes,
Maybe deteriorating processes, in my brain--my much-prized brain--that has led me
On a merry chase for reason, for beautiful scenery, for interesting companions,
And more than anything, for a life worth living. If something fades away, let it be all my regrets.

Friday, April 26, 2013


There's a new wind blowing in my dreaming. Anyone who knows me has seen my life change in many different directions. And I'm happy with all those twists and turns. Now I'm thinking of--and planning for-- another big one. The next few months are for getting ready and making definite plans. I hope everything will be in order by the first of 2014.

First, I'm getting fit. Silver Sneakers allows me to join a gym, which I did a week ago. I'm working on weight control, aerobics, strength training--all the things that will make my health better. 

Second, I'll be accumulating (saving, not spending) money. Every penny I can spare will go into my Preparation Fund.

Third, I'll get the truck healthy, too. It's a good truck, camper ready with all the hookups and connections. All it needs is some overdue maintenance, I'm hoping.

Fourth, I'm going to buy a used slide-in camper with the overhead bed compartment and everything I need to live in it. Then I'll make a modification inside to accommodate my birds--take out the overhead kitchen cabinets and build a wire cage in their places--with pull-out trays for cleaning.

Fifth, I'll hit the road and travel for as long as I'm able. Without the costs of a settled habitation, I'll be able to support myself on the road.

Sixth and most important is to clear out the little apartment that has been my home for the past three and a half years. Very little will fit in my rolling home. In fact, this part is already beginning and will continue for the entire time before my departure.

It won't be easy to say goodbye to my sweet sister and her three sons and their wives and kids. Being here close to them has been wonderful. But it's time for the next adventure to begin--and I'll be back this way again and again.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Girl Who Dreamed of Ships is now a competitor in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards!

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well, I'm going to bite the $100 bullet and enter The Girl Who Dreamed of Ships in the Self-Published competition this year.



Self-Published Book Awards

Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 21st annual self-published competition — the Annual Self-Published Book Awards. This self-published competition spotlights today’s self-published works and honors self-published authors.
Regular Deadline: May 1, 2013
Wondering what is in it for you?
  • A chance to win $3,000 in cash
  • Get national exposure for your work
  • Catch the attention of prospective editors and publishers
  • A paid trip to the ever-popular Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City!
How to enter: register and pay online or download a printable entry form. (Entry fees are $100 for the first entry, and $75 for each additional entry.)

Enter your book into one or more of these categories:

  • Mainstream/Literary Fiction
  • Genre Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Inspirational (Spiritual, New Age)
  • Life Stories (Biographies, Autobiographies, Family Histories, Memoirs)
  • Children’s/Picture books
  • Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
  • Reference Books (Directories, Encyclopedias, Guide Books)
  • Poetry
One Grand Prize Winner will receive:
  • $3,000 cash and a trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City
  • A priceless endorsement for their book from the Writer’s Digest Editors–10 copies of their book for submission to major publishing review houses.
  • A one-year membership for Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest not-for-profit trade association representing more than 3,000 independent book publishers, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • Guaranteed acceptance in a special sales catalog and national representation through 1,800 salespeople who sell to non-bookstore markets, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Author-U, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A copy of Show Me About Book Publishing and consultation with Book Shepherd Judith Briles (valued at $500), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
Nine First-Place Winners will receive:
  • $1,000 cash and promotion in Writer’s Digest
  • A one-year membership to Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN), courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A guaranteed review in Midwest Book Review, courtesy of Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • A one-year membership to Book Central Station where you can find lists of suppliers rated by previous clients, provided by Brian Jud & Book Marketing Works, LLC.
  • An ebook titled Beyond the Bookstore by Brian Jud (with CD).
All Grand Prize and First Place winners will:
  • Be featured on the Writer’s Digest website
  • Receive a copy of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 4th Edition by Tom and Marilyn Ross.
  • $100 worth of Writer’s Digest Books
Honorable Mention Winners will receive $50 worth of Writer’s Digest Books and be promoted on

All other entrants will receive a brief commentary from the judges along with a link to the entrant’s website (only if the URL is accurate) on

Check out the winners and entrants from the 20th annual competition