Tuesday Testify

Today has been a good day. I never know what to expect when taking Mom out – she had a haircut, we did her errands and had lunch. Good day all around. I saw a man a couple blocks from her home, and I wondered what his story was. It was very moving for me to witness.

At the traffic light on 24th and F Streets, the block where our Grandfather’s drug store was, I stopped at the red light. I saw a man with a shovel and a very small rake bending over the curb where the storm sewer was. He was cleaning it out. I got Mom in the car, and when we stopped again at the intersection to turn and go South, I saw the man in full view .

He was working on a packed, clogged up storm sewer. Digging out as much dirt, debris, and leaves as he could. He had a prosthetic leg from the knee down on one leg. Wow. Right away, I imagined he was a Veteran, maybe injured by an IED. What a noble thing to do, trying to dig out the storm sewer. I would imagine further the businesses on that part of the block may have sewers backing up into their basements. The clogged storm sewer could be contributing to the problem.

I wonder if the City of Omaha knew of the problem? Were they slow to respond if a call was made? I have no way of knowing, so I cannot say, only speculate. What I saw was a determined man, with a strong, admiriable character, who tried to resolve a problem. Most people would just complain, scroll on their phones, and make angry phone calls. I saw someone who had a handicap that didn’t stop him from digging his heels in and try to make a bad situation better. It made me admire his spirit, and know he’s going to make the most of his life.By watching him for less than five minutes, I made what could have been wrong judgement about a man and his life. I think it’s a good story.

It could have gone like this;

What if he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident? It could have happened like this. It still spoke of someone with tenacity, who set out to solve a problem with a jam packed storm sewer that is causing a problem. I cannot think of any negative take on this wonderful sight I saw today.

Humans never cease to amaze me. I choose to think the best of them, not the worst. As I end tonight, I hope you also find good in our fellow humans. There is always more good than bad. It’s why we get to continue on living for the generations we do. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it, and hope you have a lovely evening. We’ll have an earlier blog tomorrow, so stay tuned! Be Safe, Be Kind, Be a Good Human See you tomorrow!

Remnants and New Horizons

If you know the Babe and me personally, you know I have supplies for a bunch of hobbies. And I mean a bunch. There is a giant closet full of fabric of all kinds. Partial Bolts, large pieces for specific projects, remnants that go with my stash for quilts and clothing, and fat quarters (no, it’s not a body part), fat eighths, pre-cuts, Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls, it all sounds so delicious! Those are all the names of certain cuts of fabrics for quilts. It’s a vast collection. And I swear I have a use for it all. It’s not hurting anyone, and it’s not eating anything, so it’s fine. Of course, when the Babe talks about it, I could mention the barn-shaped shed, the woodworking tools, all that. We won’t go there.

Those remnants and bolts are important to me for future projects. Just as are the manuscripts I looked at yesterday are important to the author’s journey I’m on. It’s gearing up this year. It’s time. Now or never? No, not that extreme. It’s becoming important to move into it. Call it intuition; call it timing; call it what you want. I’m ready. Let’s go!

There are people to contact, questions to ask, formats to learn, photos or drawings?; What font? What do kids like? I feel like I’m on the high dive at the Olympics! Have I mentioned I can’t swim? Terrifying yet exhilarating. Woo hoo. I hope you’ll stay with me. We’ve come this far.

As my new friend Carol Gino taught me in her book, “Me and Mario” (the story of her twenty-year relationship with Mario Puzo, author of the Godfather), Puzo said a story is like making a quilt. (Boy, did this make sense to me!) I can take these parts of a story (pre-cuts, layer cakes, bolts, and so forth) and put them together. Through the magic of ProWritingAid and editing software, I can rearrange the pieces in any order, until it reaches the most pleasing arrangement.

Today is all about a beginning. Keeping parts of what is important. Building on those pieces. Adding more when you see fit. Changing things that don’t work. Being brave to be yourself. Be brave enough to tell your stories. My musician friends have done that very thing all year. Facebook Live got a workout. They established Venmo accounts. Survival is what it’s about now for them. As soon as you can, go see live music again. Please! They need your support now more than ever.

As I write a to-do list for me through the month of January 2021, know how grateful I am for your support all this time. We’ve met nearly 500 times through my blog. Thank you for being here! I’m off to pick up groceries (it saves me so much time!) and stow them. Then write the e-mails, etc. for creating the LLC, contacting the illustrator, all stuff that’s overwhelming and exciting. Who says retirement is boring? Not me, never! Blessings on all of you.

Friday’s Session

It’s 10:26, the breakfast dishes are soaking, I made the bed; the dogs are napping, and I’ve just read through another edit of my Chapters Three and Four. I’ve read it’s best to read out loud when doing that. It’s true, you hear some weird things when you do that. I feel pretty confident about the two chapters. I may get bold and share a part of them on the creative FB groups I belong to. And here, as I become braver. I can tell I’m learning, and that’s a good feeling.

The red pencil needs sharpening. I have to laugh at the Pro Writing Aid software I use. I’ve been happy with it, but lately, I see them suggesting to use, say “beat;” and then you correct it, they tell you “beat ” and you could chase your tail all day long. If you turn off the suggestion, you turn it off not just on that one example, but on all occurrences of it until the end of time! Be careful what you wish for. The thing is, don’t totally rely on the software. Sometimes it makes little sense.

Stories. We all have them. We all tell them. We share some; we keep others hidden away and shout others from the rooftops. How do we decide which ones to share? I believe it may work the same when writing a song, and you need the very best of all words for the perfect song. Lennon and McCartney proved that. Brian Wilson lived that. Bruce Springsteen preaches that. Jon Bon Jovi gets that done in fine fashion. They bless us with rich stories of words and sounds of music which tell our stories better than we could have ever hoped to. How do they know?

They know because they have a gift. They’re aware they need to share the gift with others. How generous! We’ve met some wonderful musicians in the past seven or eight years who are local, some are not. We’ve discovered they are very down to earth for all being geniuses. I believe they are. Their messages are always positive, they are all very grateful people, too. You just don’t hear that from a bean counter, you know? There are difficulties, especially now during the Pandemic. Travel and late night gigs are tough on relationships. They make great sacrifices to share their creations with us. How lucky we are.

Writers? I’m finding out how hard it is to write a novel, not just gush words as we do when speaking. When I was a kid, I had a fantasy of being a reporter for our local newspaper. I wanted to see my name in print. My dad worked there my entire life. I was on our school newspaper for a while, and it was cool to see your name in print. That fantasy remained a fantasy. As I got older, the fantasy morphed into writing a children’s book. I have a few manuscripts, I’m looking for a young artist to help me out. I’m contacting her after Christmas and hoping we can work together. She’s very good, and I know children love whimsical artwork in books.

Words, words, words. It’s hard to choose the right ones from time to time. Other times, they flow like a river. Writing against the tide can be difficult. But going with the flow isn’t always the right thing to do. I’m really enjoying the book I’m reading by Carol Gino, “Me and Mario.” It’s about her twenty-year relationship with Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather. Yesterday, as she as describing her learning from him about writing, this phrase struck me: “What you need to learn is the carpentry of writing.” She questioned him further, and he replied, “Writing can’t be taught but it can be learned. Carpentry is the nuts and bolts of writing.” And there you have it. Ms. Gino, if you read this, know I’m fascinated by the advice he gave you. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

One thing our entire family learned from Dad had to do with quality paper. Newsprint has transformed over the years, from 1952 until present day. They have shaved it down, the width is much less than years ago. The thickness of the paper has gone from much thicker to onion skin thin. While the Babe and still took the paper, I remarked the paper itself was so thin you could see through it, making it hard for aging eyes to read. In a bright light, you could see the shadow of the next page interfere with what you were attempting to read. Poor quality.

And don’t get me started about printed books! Oh my gosh, the slick glossy paper is the stuff they make my dreams of. It would be so expensive to have a book printed on that. I’m jealous of the folks that can do that. Maybe someday, I can too. You never know. Thanks, Dad. It’s funny when someone else in our family and I look at a book, we open and feel the pages. “Excellent stuff, Dad would approve.” It’s a warm, wonderful memory. I know, we’re a weird lot.

With that fond memory, it’s time to get back to writing. It’s been a great day so far, and I’m working so it continues. Thank you for reading today, hope you return tomorrow. I’ll be here, as usual. Be Safe. Be Courteous. Be Kind. Be Thoughtful. Let’s all work to make this world a kinder place. Thank you.