Saturday – Recalculating

When you’re driving and following Google Maps or whatever app you use for directions, you’ll maybe know a better route, and as you drive, the voice will tell you the app is “recalculating.” I started this month sure I’d crack open the book about writing a book in 30 days. It must have been an omen. There is a monthly calendar on the front; the month, like September, has 30 days. I was elated!

Forward to today, September 4. I’ve driven right past the book on my end table near my chair. I’ve skipped updating the website for the Post (sorry, folks. Just didn’t have it in me earlier this week. At least now you have the Newsletter to view). I’m hoping by Monday evening, it’ll be back on track, as I will be.

So, as I recalculate my next move, it’s important first to update things on FB, Website, IG, and Twitter for the Post. We have a lot going on this month, and we’ve committed to cook and serve for our Nebraska National Guard gathering on 9/11. We are hosting another Car Show Fundraiser this month for the family of Corporal Deagan, who died in Afghanistan late last month. We are also hosting an event to honor the POW/MIA’s on the third Friday in September. We are a thriving entity, and I’m so happy to be a small part of the outreach we do. Stay tuned!

I know just doing stuff will get me where I want to be. I’m behind and need to get caught up. So, laundry’s in. Going to sort some office stuff when finished here, before I check on the Nebraska game again. The game doesn’t have my interest as it used to. I hope they win, I hope they’re successful, but more important things are on the horizon. Like checking on Mom more often, and making sure she has whatever she wants. Her vision is diminishing more and more, so it’s rare she does any adult coloring anymore. She really misses doing that, maybe we can spend time doing that again. We’ll have to see!

This year has been almost as difficult as the Pandemic Lockdown was. We’ve lost two good men from our Wednesday group of VFW table-mates. It’s heartwrenching! And then, losing another friend next week, along with Mom taking a nasty fall in her home of 72 years. My brothers and I have taken some steps at making her mobility a little easier. Hoping she can stay there until she goes to heaven. The wonderful neighbors she has help us tremendously. Thanks Juan, Martha, Kenny, Raymond, and David. We couldn’t do this without you!

As I spend the rest of today taking care of business around the house, please know we’ll get back on track. To help with my grief of these losses and my grief about Mom’s world becoming much smaller due to her advancing age, I am wearing my watch that says, “Live a Great Story.” Nugent, Lenny, and Rick all lived great stories. I have an angel pin on my shirt today, too. Grief has to be dealt with. Perhaps I wasn’t dealing so well. We’ll try this. And God will let me know if it’s the right thing. Like yesterday, when Goldie insisted I sit on the deck with her. Then I could write about Rick Tiger. That’s one for future stories. So grateful for messages presented to me.

Grieving is never easy. You have to acknowledge it, go through it, and come out on the other side. No shortcuts. You cannot avoid it.

Have a beautiful rest of the day. Hopefuly, Nebraska will win a game today. Home game. Yes. It would help. Be kind today. We all need it. See you tomorrow!

Friday Follies

Well, maybe not follies. Imagine, if you will, a time and place where the big, bad dog jumps back and forth with the vacuum cleaner, barking, and having a puppy fit over the very home appliance which cleans up her hair that has been shed like sprinkles from cupcakes. Goldie is such a goof. I’m not sure why she does that, she just does. Lexie has always ignored it as part of life on Raabe Ranch. We are nearly finished autumnizing our home. It looks nice if I must say so myself. Bright and happy. I like that.

I had a come to Jesus moment; a revelation; an incredible idea. I’m going to outline the rest of my chapters by scenes, to write with the six steps for scenes Sam told me about last Thursday. Multiple related scenes can make up a chapter. I think it’ll make it a lot easier to keep track of what I’m doing. While it’s great to believe you can just sit down and write on the fly, it’s really hard to resolve all the issues, keep the tense the same, even keep track of who does what to who (whom?), and why they did it. It’s a lot more complicated than it looks. And writers cannot let that intimidate them. The stories we need to tell also need telling.

Now, that said, I cannot imagine what drives Stephen King to write some of the frightful stuff he writes. I cannot imagine if he himself has inner demons in need of release, or it he just thinks of these things and keeps track of his nightmares. What do you think? I know he has many, many fans. I prefer not to have the bejesus scared out of me. (Or is it BeJesus?) Whichever, I think you get my drift.

Goldie, after wearing herself out yesterday.

This time last year, I honestly pictured myself at book signings, talking to people, sharing merch, and having people ask me when another book would be coming out. It is a powerful thought to hold. And I still expect it to happen someday. I do believe age gives me the confidence needed to do this. I still have some things to learn to make it successful. I’m already a patient person, and I know God will get me there when He thinks I’m ready. I trust in His will, seriously.

COVID has taught us a lot of things. I’m tired of the disruptions being blamed on it. Some of the political strife is intensified because people’s spirits are in a shambles. You add racial tensions, and it’s out of control. I read a powerful article in the past month, stating it’s an insult to Rosa Parks, MLK, and all the others to say there is not racial equality. After all, it is illegal to discriminate against a person of color, a different religion, sexual preference, gender, and the disabled. If you say there is no racial equality, you insult Rosa Parks, MLK, and everyone who fought so hard to get the laws changed, and some who died trying. Don’t belittle their life’s work. Think about that. BTW. It was written by a black woman.

Of course, I have music playing in the background while I write. I am able to write while listening to singing, some folks cannot. Of course, I listen subconsciously to the stories being told in the music. My favorite songwriters are the storytellers. The stories they tell, whether they be happy or sad, funny or serious, unique or shared by many, all help us express our feelings about the very same circumstances. I’d like to think I might be able to write the lyrics to a song someday. Just to try it. I took piano lessons a century or two ago. No, I don’t have confidence to sing in front of people. Or my dogs. I have no idea if I’m any good or not – the Choir nun used to make us sing in a high falsetto in Church, so it kind of ruined us for regular singing. We called her Sister Lulu.

Today, it’s write until I hit a block. Hopefully not a cow writing block.

I want to thank you for reading today, you know how I appreciate it. It will be unusually hot today in Nebraska, hope it’s done once Sunday is over. Hopefully, we’ll both have successful ventures today. I hope you accomplish all you want to. We purposefully rose early today so we would have enough time to get more done. It’s on track to be a great day of accomplishment. Hope yours is too! Be safe, courteous, and kind. If we all do that every day, the mood of our towns, cities, states and nation could start to calm down. It’s worth all of us working on. See you all tomorrow!