#365! And Dog Ears

Despite cloudy skies on this beautiful Tuesday, I’m celebrating! Today, you are reading my 365th blog post. Enough to make a year! In the beginning, I was very sporadic, but then when our Roxie died last summer, I sat down and wrote about losing her. I’ve not missed a whole lot of days since probably Thanksgiving, and today is #365. I’m proud to have developed the habit of at least writing this every day. Writing needs to be a habit. This is. Even if I post very late in the day and it’s very brief, I haven’t missed the day.

I am grateful for all of you who read my posts, whether casually or with your morning coffee every day like my cousin Paula. It makes an author feel good when people look forward to reading. I’ll keep it up if you all do! Thank you so much!

By the title, you may think I’m writing about dog ears in the sense of turning pages down to find your place. Since I just addressed the other meaning for dog ears, I will. I grew up in a family of readers. We always used a book marker. Either a shard of paper, a real book mark, or something. Never turn down the page of a book, whether you own it or borrow it from the library. And never a textbook. Other people had to use those things. I still don’t to this day. If I highlight, underline, write notes in the margins, it took forever to do that, too. Studying became easier in college while working full time and going to school full time at night, with three kids.

The real point about dog ears, is Lexie’s been acting a little weird the last few days. About a week ago, I noticed her ears may need cleaning out. It’s a rare event. Of course, I forgot about it. Now, it appears she’s hurting. That explains her odd behavior. I feel so bad! All of you, right now, if you have pets that can get ear problems, check them out. Better be safe than sorry. I have some handy dandy ear cleaner for her, and cotton balls to wipe out the mess, so if I can get her to hold still, we’ll be good to go. Poor Lexie.

Our best friends have many types of ears, and the ones labs have, unfortunately, are the kind infections can breed in. They’re often warm inside, both from body temp and the folded over ear, and sometimes dirt lodges in there. Goldie stays away from Lexie, but Roxie used to lick her ears like crazy – never an infection. I guess it’s partly luck with them, too. Good luck or bad luck, I don’t want it to get too far away from us. If it’s not better in a day or two, I’ll call the vet.

Back to quilting today. And I’ll do some reading of “As Waters Gone By.” Sam, my book coach, tells me it is a great example of backstory being woven into the fabric of a story – you don’t notice it, but it’s out there when it’s important to see/know it. I need to learn that. You can add it through dialogue, which probably is the easiest way. Conversation is a lot easier to read than a 90 page information dump. We writers sometimes take a long, long way around things to say something simple. And we don’t need to. In fact, we shouldn’t. Thanks, Sam. See? You’re in my head and on my mind. I’m learning and I’m excited about that!

It’s kind of funny, the free photo library that comes with WordPress doesn’t have one photograph of a dog eared book. Not a one. Dog ears come up just as I’ve shown above. Worthy dog ears, but not exactly the kind they should be. Just so glad you stopped by today. I’m cutting it short today again, to get to the quilt. It’ll get done this month or bust! I want to post photos of how beautiful the colors look against a grey wall. The background makes a lot of difference. Just wait until you see what I’m quilting next – it will go above our bed. I’ve shown it briefly before.

This one will be spectacular. Can’t wait!

So, I couldn’t wait to show you. I have never done a feather stitch, think I’ll try it out. I have a pattern for the feather stitch and can pounce it on. An eraser-like item is filled with chalk dust (they actually sell it at quilt stores), and you “pounce” it over the surface of a stencil. It should be a good way to try it. We’ll see how it goes. Another COVID project. Wash up. Wear a mask. Be kind, thoughtful, courteous, and let’s all stay healthy. See you tomorrow!

#Three Hundred Fifty!!!!

I am so proud to share with you, this is #350 of the posted blog pages. It is an accomplishment, a routine to establish, a goal met. I write every day, and I have proof. I know some days have been better than others, and that is normal. The days I have a block, I concentrate on beauty around me. The Babe, Our dogs, nature, my flowers, whatever sticks in my mind. For instance, yesterday I did not set out to talk about my history of Presidential Voting. It just flowed there. It seemed to come from the place of my heart that knows arguing will not solve this issue with people. I wasn’t looking to lose readers, friends, or anything. I don’t think that happened. Thank you.

THIS is what yesterday’s post was.

The flooring guys finished up yesterday, and had to come back today for 1/2 hour to finish up setting the toilet in the guest bath upstairs. No big deal. The dogs, bless them, are so worn out from not being able to nap on their respective couch spots, that they will probably sleep until it’s time for us to go to the Post later for Hamburger Night.

We’ve been helping Tracy get Addison to and from school this week since Dad’s out of town for work. Grandpa takes the responsibility seriously. He missed out on school stuff with his kids, so this is an eye opener. Granted, it’s totally different than back in our day, but it’s even so different than when my kids were in school. Addison and Gavin are happy to be back at the school. It’s built just outside their fence. What a great thing! The lot was empty when they moved in, and suddenly, there was a school.

I received my first two chapters of “The Freeing of Katie Fitzgibbons” back from my writing coach, Sam Tyler, and they’re coming along nicely. I have some homework for today, and we’ll have a conference tomorrow. I am so excited about this whole process. I’m learning, my brain is engaging, and I’m telling a story that’s been on my heart for a lot of years. Yes, it takes a long time, but nothing good is easy. Hard work yields great things. Sam is teaching me how to pull good stuff from myself. It’s amazing.

Yes, It Is!

So my workshop class yesterday was pretty flat. She had us read the first thirty pages of three different “Literary Fiction” novels. One was a Pulitzer Prize Winner. I’m quite open minded. One was total garbage. Almost pornographic. It should have had a warning. Anyone who knows me knows I am pretty accepting of most things. This book was not steamy in a good way, it was full of shock value, nothing of substance. And a third one, I couldn’t take seriously because a gay writer was the narrator about his life and loves, and I pictured this guy talking through the story.

Remember that voice? It’s all I could hear reading the first 30 pages of “Less.”

Ever since I was a kid, I have always pictured the characters in books as a tv or movie star. Or a real person, if I know one who fits the description. The voice always mimics a character I have heard. It’s imagination, at work. And I’ve always had an active one.

As my work on storytelling continues, it is exciting and a little intimidating at the same time. It definitely stretches you as a human, so you notice more things, wonder how to describe situations and people, and search for words you may not have used in an eternity. Sometimes, when writing about an era 50 years ago (after my high school graduation in 1970, for example), it’s a challenge to remember clothing styles, manners of speech, and even what the laws were back then. Some things we take for granted now were not possible in the 1960s and early 1970. Equality for women. Establishing credit in a woman’s own name. Having a bank account if you’re a female. Seriously, it was that bad. This is what feminists really did for us as women. Basic rights, equality in the eyes of the law.

As you ponder that fact, just remember how fortunate we are, as women and men, to be free to live as we do. It is a precious commodity. Let’s protect it. Let’s revere it. Let’s remember how it came to be. Thank you for reading today, I appreciate it a lot. Be safe out there. Be cautious, courteous, and caring. Wash Up, Mask Up, Let’s get rid of the COVID-19 Blues. See you again tomorrow.