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Showing posts from March, 2013

One Courageous Child

Years ago I belonged to a parish church that was among the first in our community to enact a “passion play.” It covered Jesus’ life from his arrest on Thursday night, his death on Friday, and his Resurrection on Sunday morning. The props and special effects were engineering feats, the makeup and costumes amazing, but it was the SRO attendance at the one enactment on Good Friday that proved our church had attempted something special. The first year I played in the “the angry mob.”   I really wanted a speaking role, but the deacons and their wives had already taken all of those. I just had to do the best I could with what I had been assigned. The deacon playing Jesus led the way up and down the church aisles carrying a cross. Roman soldiers accompanied him.   Behind them walked John and the two Marys.   The Angry Mob (about a dozen of us) brought up the rear, jeering and calling for Jesus’ death.   I knew I had nailed my performance when a furious preschooler lunged at me from

You Can Count on Me

She knocked on the back door of Do ñ a Nela’s home, waited a second, then knocked again. Her mother came to the screen door, a dust rag in one hand. “Hija, what brings you here?  Is everyone all right?” “Dad never showed up and we are out of food.” “Como siempre.  Esperame aqui. I will be right back.” While she waited, the young woman looked down at her shoes.  She had tucked a thin piece of cardboard inside her right shoe to cover the hole in the sole; the other had a thick elastic band holding it together at the toe. She hated being poor, but at the moment, she hated her father more. He hadn’t been home since last Friday morning and today was Thursday.  By now his paycheck was gone, spent on alcohol and cheap women, while his wife struggled to keep their five children from going hungry. “Toma.”  Her mother returned with a bundle wrapped inside an old pillowcase. “Do ñ a Nela is not home.  She will never miss that onion or those potatoes.  Con cuidado, there’s a couple of


Okay, sisters, this is how it goes. I think I may have invented a new genre and you are on the cutting edge of it. It is going to require your cooperation.  Can I trust you not to weenie out on me?  You will be moving.  You will be talking.  You will be interacting with the print. For lack of a better word, I have called this my karaoke column.  I played with the thought of calling it kamikaze columnizing, but decided to just show you and you can help me name this new invention later. Okay, here we go.  Remember this will only work if you cooperate and participate.  Ready? All the affirmations are in BOLD LETTERS.  Those are your parts. Participation is key. Step one:  turn to the person closest to you and look that person straight in the eye.  Once you catch his or her attention (it might just be you in the mirror but that is okay), smile with confidence and say the following words, loudly and proudly: I’M A BOOMER. Step two (do not be afraid):  Stand up, look about th

The Teacher

  Linda was quiet and shy and never spoke during class, so when she raised her hand and asked to use the restroom, I readily handed her the classroom bathroom pass.   When she didn’t return, I warned the class to behave while I went to check on her.  All the stall doors were ajar except for one. I knocked and called her name. There was no answer.  I squatted down and saw her feet. I called her name again and asked if something was wrong.  That was when I saw the pool of blood.  At first I thought she had started her period.  She was a sixth grader and maybe she didn’t know what to do.  “Linda?  Sweetie?”  When she didn’t answer I thought maybe she’d fainted. I got down on my hands and knees and saw her arms hanging by her side and blood dripping from her wrists. I couldn’t leave her, so I stood and yanked on the door with all my strength.  When it didn’t give, I threw myself on the ground and crawled under the door. (Don’t ask how I did it.  It was forty years ago and I w

The Inspiration Behind My Current Work in Progress (WIP)

Once again in honor of Women’s History Month, this blog addresses the inspiration behind my current WIP, and yes, it was inspired by real women and real events. Before any of you starts to panic, the book is fictional, totally made up, none of you will see yourselves in this novel.  Of course I hope you will identify with the characters, but they are all creations of my imagination and a couple of books on characterization I bought from Amazon. After having spent two-thirds of my life in a profession dominated by women and all of my life in a family of strong women, I feel I have an understanding concerning the female psyche. My current WIP is about a group of women who spend one very long day together in extremely close quarters.  After a few how are you’s and a few more polite questions inquiring on the husband and kids, they start to pass the time by sharing stories, something that has happened since they last saw each other. The first woman sets the bar with her sto

Twelve Female Hero Authors Who Influenced Me to be an Author

In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to share twelve female authors who changed my life forever and who influenced me to try my hand at writing. Some are not widely popular so you might want to try them out. 1.    Charlotte Bront é – English – Her plotting and characters - Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester – are immortal.  2.    Louisa May Alcott – American – I loved how she created a family of Little Women that reminded me of my sisters.  3.    Jane Austen – English – Another author who knew how to build immortal characters. Two words:  Mr. Darcy. Two more words:  hubba hubba. 4.    Emily Dickinson – American - What a poet! Her innovation was pooh-poohed at first, but now we owe her for breaking all those punctuation barriers. 5.    Beverly Cleary – American – She created a little girl in Ramona that reminded me of me when I was a little girl.  I wish I had met Ms. Cleary’s books sooner instead of when I was in my 30’s. 6.    Judy Blume – American - He