Penitent Sister

Hill-coverAfter yesterday’s post, I laughed and laughed because that was a fun post to write! I told my Beloved, I don’t care if anybody else enjoys the post, I had fun writing it!

But suddenly, in the midst of my laughter, it occurred to me the joke actually might end up being on me! There’s sort of an unwritten rule about lampooning … if the object one uses hasn’t earned iconic status, the joke almost always falls flat.

In my case, I got to thinking about the news reports I’ve been reading that indicate Hillary Clinton’s recent book release isn’t getting the numbers (in sales) that everyone hoped. Uh-oh!

One headline reads:  No one is reading “Hard Choices,” either. The article beneath the headline notes people may purchase but fail to complete the tome. Using a metric that gauges how far into a book readers progress before setting the book aside, Amazon rates Hard Choices as averaging a dismal 2.04%. That’s about 33 pages through this volume of 657 pages!

Another headline says:  Execs on notice after Hillary’s book sales tank. Let me quickly point out that “tank” is a relative term. It would probably be kinder to say the book has not performed as publishers and booksellers had hoped, but its fourth-place standing on the Nielsen book-scan list is hardly the tank.

However, as I began to think about whether or not the book (cover art shown above) has yet to earn “iconic status” – as in immediately recognizable by almost everyone who sees it – I’m not comfortable believing the book has yet reached that pinnacle. Hence, my need to admit the joke’s probably on me, because few may have understood my silly effort was meant to lampoon! Silly me!

Egg on my face, yep. But did that stop me? What do you think? Continue reading “Penitent Sister”

Dream A Little Dream

As a writer, I’m subject to the same inclinations as almost every other writer throughout time:  the unquenchable desire to have my words appear in print. I have had the privilege of selling poetry, prose and fiction, but to date, there isn’t a book on the shelf that declares me as its

Of course, I’ve compiled a book for you to write (another link here), but I consider that a completely different product. This particular book does have my name in it … but not on the cover because you must tell your story as you complete the book and only you can tell that story (not me).

When I was a younger woman, I often dreamed about the books I wanted to write … someday. I also used to dream about an agent (or a publishing house) calling me out of the blue to solicit my upcoming bestseller! (I told you it was a dream!) I had this delusional notion that my brilliance was so obvious, these publishing entities should jump at the chance to snag me into their stable, though I’d never even produced a book-length manuscript!! [I have now but it’s non-fiction.] Continue reading “Dream A Little Dream”

Coming to America

In a couple weeks, my cousin and her husband will be hosting an Open House to welcome a German family with whom my family has recently re-established relations! My cousin has already visited this family in Germany and now, they’re coming to her home. This is going to be fun!

It’s an unusual story and the two families might never have met except for my brother’s ability to speak German and his research in Germany. Here’s why. More than 175 years ago, my great-great-grandmother (Catherine Stricker, 1804-1878) married a man named Hermann Eppe (1804-1849). He took her name and four of their five sons adopted the Stricker name. Only the son who stayed in Germany kept the Eppe name. (Conjecture is that Catherine was the heir to Stricker property and her name took precedence.) Continue reading “Coming to America”

Poker Night, Out

We had weekend guests, so predictably, the schedule included a competitive game of Texas Hold ’em. No money on the line, just bragging rights.'em_Hole_Cards.jpgFrom time to time, I’ll join in the play, but because I’m easily bored, the game often wears me out (long before it’s been brought to a conclusion). On this occasion, my daughter-in-law (DIL) − no fan of poker play − sat down with me before the game commenced and we hatched our own plan for entertainment. We chose dinner and a movie. Continue reading “Poker Night, Out”

Silly Saturday

A light-hearted poem for a lazy Saturday. Need I say more?

seniors, depends, old age, early bird buffet, growing old, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: Senior Break

Belted In

With all the crazy things going on in the world, I feel like today is a good day for playfulness.


Back in the days when my little ones were young and always underfoot, I tended to write a lot of silly poems. It was a distraction, an exercise where I contemplated the ridiculous and found ways to incorporate absurd ideas into verse.

[Actually, I have to acknowledge I write my share of silly poems today. I guess just because I’m older now doesn’t mean I’ve sworn off the silly stuff completely.]

When I open up my file archives, though, silly poems seem to abound. Here’s a poem from my era of childrearing. Suffice it to say, this isn’t a poem of serious import, nor grand insight … simply me attempting (lo, those many years ago) to consider life from a child’s perspective.

belly button, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: Navel History

Asleep At The Pen?

During my writing life, I have subscribed at various times to writing blogs:  how-to write blogs, how-to publish blogs, how-to market your writing blogs. These various online resources provide their take on a plethora of writing-related topics, and many offer helpful tools and information.

tweety-bird-slippers-2-lgI’ve noticed whenever a gaggle of writers gathers, sooner or later, the conversation turns to talking shop and within a short while turns to discussion about processhow do you do what you do? This comparing-notes aspect of writerly minutiae can be as mundane as (1) writing a thousand words a day, (2) composition before noon, editing after noon … or as esoteric as wearing plush Tweety-Bird slippers while you work. (Oops! Now you know my secret!)

Habits. We all have them, not just writers. Sometimes, our habits enhance our level of production, but not always. But it’s not uncommon for us to examine the habits of others with the precise idea that emulating their habits may help us to become a better writer or increase our production or marketability or … whatever.

When I came across the website, I was fascinated by its digest of “interestingness” (their word). One of their posts from last year is titled “Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized.” It rarely hurts to include an illustration, and brainpickings proves its value by including an illustrated chart they’ve developed. Though their database was limited to those writers (over time) who’ve given information about their sleep patterns, the chart doesn’t disappoint.

A couple days ago, when I posted a few clues about my own sleep/wake habits, I hadn’t seen the chart. (Ha! Much to the shock of all, my name was left off!) But I was gratified to see that my favorite writer, C. S. Lewis, was a later sleeper than my normal routine reflects.

What about you? Do your rising habits put you on course for the Pulitzer? Finally, and most importantly, do you favor Tweety-Bird or Sylvester-the-Cat slippers? (Your secret is safe with me, I promise!)

A Is For Aardvark

Because some of my silly verses have been enthusiastically received, I thought I’d offer another one today.

I’m often struck by the variety of interesting and unusual animals in God’s creation. Thinking about the animal kingdom often spurs my imagination and verses like the following are what come from my musings.

aardvark, antipasto, cantaloupe, eggplant parmesan, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: Road to Antiquity

T-Town Interlude

We’re visiting with family in T-town this weekend. With three delightful grandchildren waiting to be doted on, blogging seems somehow less important. Look at these sweet little urchins and tell me you’d choose blogging over such precious ones!


But my commitment to this blog and its readers remains firm and I thought this refreshingly unique political debate video would add levity to a primary season that has been way short on laughs. Perhaps a guffaw or two will make up for my blogging neglect!


Have a great weekend!

Doing Lunch

During the first few years of our marriage, my Beloved and I often visited family located in other states. On one visit to Kansas where his grandparents lived, his grandmother (Georgia) presented me with one of her prized possessions, the plate pictured below.2014-04-30 18.29.28

When she gave us the plate, I felt a bit sheepish about accepting it because she intimated there were others in the family who might be unhappy she’d bestowed this gift on her grandson and his (relatively new) wife. I believe she told us the plate had been a wedding gift when she married her husband Fred in 1915.

The plate has been in our possession for more than forty years through multiple moves. Only rarely have I used it for serving a small birthday cake or serving small delicacies for another special occasion. Most of the time, the plate has either been stored or displayed in a glass-front cabinet.

There are no markings on the plate, so I know little about it outside of its having been in Georgia and Fred’s care before it came to us. Is it china? I’m no expert, but if it is china, I tend to think it’s a somewhat crude example. More likely, it’s a porcelain product. Given that the couple were married in 1915, it is nearly a century old. Is it valuable? Who knows? As I said, I’m no expert! (But if the plate has monetary value, it isn’t safe with me. I’m more likely to accidentally break it … so don’t tell me!)

During the era when my Beloved and I were married, many couples had decided not to plunk down loads of cash for the formal china dinnerware previous generations had insisted upon. (We were one of those couples … practical and penurious.) Consequently, I’ve had very little experience with a fine china product; I’m definitely a stoneware gal. (My lack of experience with Noritake or Wedgwood is a deficit I’ve knowingly lived with all these years, but I confess, at times it makes me feel slightly barbaric. Perhaps that’s why my poetry below reflects a slightly passive-aggressive tone?)

With today being the final day for the 2014 iteration of National Poetry Month, I thought a piece of whimsy would be appropriate. (I started the month off with whimsy as well.)

Mexican plate lunch, plates, China, hot sauce, light verse, poetry, poem
Poem: China’s Finer