Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you reading this! I hope your holidays are happy and you get at least ONE thing you want under the tree! ;-)

Monday, December 12, 2005

A Bird Flies the Nest...

This was a column I wrote when my oldest left for college. It was published in the Highlands County News Sun on August 28th, 2005 in my column, "Laura's Look." Please don't copy without permission... :-)

The fact I would cry at some point was a given.

Don knew it, John knew it, all my friends knew it, and I knew it. My hope was I wouldn’t burst into tears in front of the whole college.

We had spent two days driving from our home in Florida to this small university in western Tennessee. The van was packed with the things John would take with him for his new home – a dorm room. These included a computer, a two drawer filing cabinet, and several suitcases filled with clothes and linens.

John did some of the driving on that long journey. I looked at him over these past few days as I have in the past few months, with wonder. I can still remember when he was so small I could hold him comfortably in one arm. Now he towers over me, well over six feet tall.

When did his voice get so deep? Will he always look like a child to me? I searched his face, wondering when I would see not the boy I raised, but a man on his own. Other parents assure me I will see that one day. Now, I still see the boy.

I knew this day was coming – this time of severing more of the apron strings that bound him to me. Don and I knew that this was a process, that one doesn’t let go all of a sudden, but step by step. This was the biggest step of all.

As the days of John stepping into the college world approached, I know I asked myself all kinds of questions. I have said in the past that John was the first teenager I ever raised. That much is true. Because he was the first, he got two parents who were inexperienced and not yet broken in. Obviously, mistakes were made. (This is not to say we’re doing a perfect job with his brother James – we’re just making different mistakes).

I think most parents at one point in time or another ask themselves if they are doing a good job. As the child enters the late teens, I think the question acquires a new urgency, as the parent realizes the window of influence they have is closing. The young man or woman is no longer under their wing – they are on their own.

Back to the trip. Don, John and I set up his stuff in his room once we got there. College dorms haven’t changed that much since I lived in one more than 20 years ago – the walls are still cinderblock, the furniture still utilitarian. We discovered we had forgotten minor things, such as a trash can and a phone. These things were obtained.

Finally, Sunday afternoon came. It was time. John had an orientation event to attend. Don and I had a fifteen hour drive to start. The bird was ready to fly.

Yes, I cried. I didn’t make quite the fool of myself I thought I might, but there were tears shed. To his credit, John put up with them with a minimum of eye rolling.

I am more fortunate than my parents were in this day of the Internet. We no longer are restricted to expensive long distance calls or snail mail for contact. Email and various chat programs give us more opportunities for communication than there were in the past, though they still haven’t figured out how to drag long detailed answers out of your college student when you ask how things are going.

The bird has flown. Mommy can’t help but watch him go with mingled tears of sorrow, pride, and joy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Between Nano and Christmas - beware, rambling!

50,175 words. That is my total count for National Novel Writing Month. I felt a great sense of joy and relief when I uploaded the wordcount to the Nano Website and got a "good job!' message. That was a lot of work. Now I have to finish the thing, but at least I'm on a less crazed timetable with it!

The column still goes on. I'm lucky that I can usually find something to talk about every week. Reader input is always a joy. Even criticism. It means someone is reading the thing.

I got a reject on a story I wrote before Nano consumed me. It's waiting to get booted back out into the cold cruel world. I need to decide where to send it next.

I also need to finish a short story I started before Nano. It's a little different for me - more of a suspense kind of story. I also need to do some research on the thing.

We are now an iguana-less household. We've had 3 iguanas for a while. The boys decided to give the two big ones to a local pet store, because they were not exactly friendly. The third, a little one, must have missed them, because she turned up dead in her aquarium one evening - we aren't sure why.

I would like to get 4 short stories written and sent before the year is up. That would make 20 short stories I've written and sent out this year. A start. Right now I am trying to pick my writing goals for 2006.

Hope everyone is doing well and not too insane during this season...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Okay, this was embarrassing

I was WIPED this morning. We drove John and his roomate to Orlando to catch a plane back to school, and got home late. I went to bed even later to allow the caffiene I had drunk to stay awake to drive to wear off. Big mistake.

This morning after I drove James to school I was exhausted, so I decided to turn the radio on low and lie down for a bit. I fell asleep. Big mistake number 2.

A few times I woke up a little and heard Perky barking, but they are delivering fill to the property next door so I didn't think much about it. However, at one point his barking sounded like he was outside, so I got up and checked.

The front door was ajar. I have no idea how it got that way. I called for Perky and he came trotting right up to the house. I decided to get the mail.

At the end of the driveway, I heard one of my neighbors call me in an alarmed tone of voice. He said he had chased Perky to the house, seen the door ajar, and tried ringing the doorbell (which I obviously didn't hear). He assumed the worst and called the cops.

Now, on the one hand, I am thankful we have such good neighbors. On the other hand, the cops might STILL find a dead body here if the embarrasment I'm feelling kills me.

Anyway, it's not boring around here...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Nano update and college kid home

Well, as I continue in the insanity that is Nano (National Novel Writing Month) I have passed the 28,000 word count milestone. That means I need to write a mere 22,000 words between now and November 30th. I'm pretty sure I can do it, though I might have lost what's left of my mind by then...

Meanwhile, John is home for Thanksgiving Break, and that has been great. I'm not sure who missed him more - me or the dog. I've been spending some time with John in the evenings - bad news is that sometimes means I've been up with him until 3 am or so, and am exhausted - I've slept away the past two mornings. But I'm not sorry. I'm glad to spend time with him.

Hopefully things will approach normal next week, and I will be back to working on short stories and getting them into the mail. Meanwhile, back to work...

Friday, November 11, 2005

What I've been up to...

Yeah, bet you've been wondering...

Well for one thing, I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month, where the challenge is to write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. I've been meeting with some friends in a local coffee house to help motivate me (and vice versa) to grind out those words. I have good days and bad days with it, up to nearly 12,000 words now (I think). Will keep plugging away...

Earlier this week I sent off three short stories that had been rejected by various markets. Currently I have 10 Star Trek stories submitted to the anthology Strange New Worlds and 6 short stories sent out to various editors. I have another short story partway done that I need to finish up and mail somewhere.

I am also playing World of Warcraft and trying to get in and chat with with my IRC friends.

At some point I am going to finish organizing my office so it doesn't look like it got hit by a hurricane....

Anyway, still alive, still nuts, still trying to do my best.

Monday, October 24, 2005

We're still here!

Yes, Wilma has come and gone, but we are fine. Our fence took another hit (I think vines on a chain link fence are pretty, but it sure makes it easy for the winds to knock it around). It was VERY rainy and windy, but we didn't even lose power, though my cell phone seems a little dicey at the moment.

Pray for those who have yet to go through this thing. But rest assured, we are OK.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Just when you thought it was safe to scrap your hurricane plan...

Looks like we're gonna get a visit from a hurricane after all this year. Wilma looks like a nasty one too. I'm going to go out today to fill up the van, get some supplies, and I'm checking the freezer to see what will be for dinner the next couple of days. (One vow I made last year is that I would NOT be caught with a bunch of food in the freezer to spoil after a hurricane).

We were supposed to have hurricane shutters up by now, but they kept putting us off. Too late now, let's hope we won't miss them this weekend.

Keep us and everyone in the path of this beast in your prayers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's been a while...

Yeah, still here, still alive, just keep forgetting about this blog.

Right now I'm working on another series of short stories; these are non-Trek in nature. I'm with a group of fellow writers who have challenged each other to write and send to magazines five short stories this month. I have one out, am working on #2, and have ideas for the other three. It's just a matter of sitting down and writing them.

It doesn't help that I have gotten readdicted to World of Warcraft. For those who don't know, WOW is an onlne multi-player game that can suck you right up if you are not careful. It's a way to spend time with my yougnest though.

But I really want to make writing my career and if I'm going to do that, I have to buckle down and do it.

I will be working on getting my act together. keeping this blog up, and other things.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Friday, September 30, 2005


Finished 4 Star Trek stories I am submtting for an anthology (Strange New Worlds) and got them to New York before the deadline.

That makes 10 Star Trek stories and 5 non-Trek stories that are lookng for homes.

So far all I've gotten for any of this is rejection letters, ranging from generic to helpful. Taking the weekend off and plan to finish up another short story I was working on and get it out in the mail by the end of the week.

Tonight Don and I are drivng to Orlando to see Sean Hannity and others in a "Battle of the Mouths." Looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

What kind of Jedi are you?

Found this on a friend's LJ blog:

What kind of Jedi are you?
LJ Username
Dark Side Growth Potential - 16%
Light Side Growth Potential - 70%
Master's Name bkhager
How likely you are to lose a limb - 95%
Lightsaber Blade's color Purple
Lightsaber Style Two Lightsabers, one in each hand
This Quiz by neo_epyon - Taken 80011 Times.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Do you watch Battlestar Galactica?

I watch this show, currently running on the Sci Fi channel. It's a recreation of the 70's show tby the same title. Since the second season, I've also been writing reviews of the episodes.

If you want a look at them, check out my friend Dale's online sci-fi mag, located at, and click on "Commentaries."

If you want to check out Battlestar Galactica, the episodes run on the Sci Fi channel on Fridays at 10 PM.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Ok, this is NOT my day for plumbing

OK, so the septic guy comes and pumps out our septic tank. He says everything should run fine.

So I start to run once again the load of sheets and towels I had in the washer, and throw together dinner.

Suddenly James says, "Mom, the sink is filling up!"

Sure enough, the kitchen sink was filling up with water, and as I ran to the sink I looked into the laundry room and saw fresh water on the floor.

We turned off the washer. Further research determined the water in the laundry room was bubbling up from the drainage pipe behind the washing machine.

While Don and James go to church I am sitting at home, waiting for the plumber to call me back.



Ok, as I type this, there is water on the floors of my kitchen (a little), laundry room, and pantry (was a lot more but some of it has dried) and the water to the house is turned off.

The 3 plumbers I called could not fit me in today. A friend who is a realtor sent her handyman over to take a look.

When he found out we hadn't cleaned out our septic tank in the 10 years we've been here, he explained that was a BAD idea.

I only had to call 2 septic people to get one of them to promise to try to get here today.
Waiting to hear back from them.

Why does this kind of stuff happen on days I plan to get massive amounts of work done? :-)

Monday, September 05, 2005

For those who were forced to abandon their pets in Louisiana

A friend of mine asked me to post this to get the word out. Feel free to share it with others.

Forward this? Post it on your blogs? The idea is to get as much information out as possible.

There's hope for stranded pets in the New Orleans area. The Louisiana SPCA, New Orleans' animal control agency, has begun rescuing pets from owners houses.

Louisiana SPCA director Laura Maloney said shelter workers follow other agencies and crews through neighborhoods and rescue pets, some that are locked in houses. At the owners' request, "we break in," she said.

Owners have to call or email the operation and give their name and address and information about where the pet is confined.

The hotline number is: 1-225-578-6111. E-mail should be sent to

The hotline already is in effect, Maloney said. "It's busy an awful lot. We are trying to get a bank of telephones"

AHHH! Who is blocking my writng?

The lonely land of writer's I am, wandering around here, looking for my muse. I am trying to find my way out

Doesn't help that I have a deadline for some of these stories. Grrrrr.

Anyone see my muse wandering around, please send her my way...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

OK, I get the Stupid Award today...

Last week the company that does our pest control called and asked if they could come today. I said, "Sure."

Yesterday James told me he had a two hour early release today. I thought, "No problem." I forgot the pest control people would be coming 1/2 hour after I was supposed to pick up James.

In an unusual move on my part, I left my cell phone off. Normally I have it on, but it wasn't charged and I didn't take the time to plug it into the car charger.

To top it all off, I nearly missed picking James up and when I went running out the door I didn't check to see if the front door was locked.

Well, the pest control person came to the door, found it unlocked, figured I had done so on purpose (some people who work outside the home do so) and came in and started to spray.

Then the alarm went off.

Because my phone was off, I couldn't be reached. The cops showed up to find the pest control person scared out of her wits in her truck. They got hold of Don who came to the house and cleared everything up. He is NOT happy with me.

So I am going to go sit in a corner for a while...

Monday, August 22, 2005

A bridge crossed...

Don and I just returned from delivering our oldest son, John, to college. He is attending Freed Hardeman University in Tennesee, a 15 hour drive from home.

I cried less than you might expect me to, but maybe it hasn't fully hit me yet.

Anyway, I'll post more later. I have a ton of email and other stuff to plow through first...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Arrgh, me hearties!

Ok, years ago, when Windows 3.1 was the standard (yeah, THAT long ago) I became enchanted with a game called Pirates! You might remember it - it took the history of pirates and wove a game that was enchanting, challenging, and just plain fun. I spent many hours on that game, until my operating system outgrew it.

Earlier this year I discovered that the game had been updated. I saw it several times in the store, but the $50 price tag helped me to resist the lure of the 7 seas.

Well, today I gave in. My fate was sealed when I found one copy of it in Electronics Boutique for $29.95. Yes, I bought it. And I just spent 4-5 hours pirating on the 7 seas and enjoying every minute of it.

It will take major doses of discipline to get any work done this week...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I am trying to figure out how to take this past week and boil it down to the couple of paragraphs I only have time to write before I go to bed.

I can't.

There is so much to tell. About the medical mission trip. About the people I met. The things I saw. I am still absorbing it all.

I'm back tired, a little bruised, bug-bitten, and very humbled.

We are so rich in this country. I met with people who don't have electricity where they live. Who don't have indoor plumbing. People who manage to make do without air conditioning, dishwashers, expresso, television, Internet access, and a number of other things we tend to take for granted here in the United States.

Yet these people are not unhappy people. The children are not bored. They smile and laugh. They were good to us who came to provide medical care and spiritual teaching.

Yes, we went to give. But we took back as much as we gave.

I was blessed by the opportunity to go there.

More later...

Friday, July 22, 2005

Off on a mission trip

I've been in a pre-trip crazed fog this week, as Don, the boys and I get ready to leave the country for a week on a medical mission trip to Guyana.

This is not a just going on vacation trip. We are bringing medical stuff (Don and other doctors will be seeing patients all next week) and other things, including stuff for us to pack for snacks. It's not like you can run to Walmart there if you forget something.

I am excited and nervous. It's a great opportunity to share the Gospel with others, and to provide help. But it's my first time doing something like this. I hope I serve God well down there and am the light He wants me to be.

I don't know if I will be able to update the blog from there - we are supposed to have Internet access, but who knows? If not you'll hear from me when I get back. :-)

Friday, July 15, 2005

List 5 reasons you are a geek (dork)

List 5 reasons you are a dork. And make them good reasons. Justify them. Explain them. Be loud and proud of how big a dork you are! Then pick the 5 biggest dorks you know and have them do the same.

Ok, Brenda challenged me on this, though I prefer the term, "Geekette."
Sooo...5 reasons...

1) I have built a computer from the case up.

2) I have Star Trek TNG, DS9, and VOY companions PLUS the Star Trek Encyclopedia which I use for references.

3) I have a stuffed Porthos in my office. (Porthos is the beagle in Star Trek: Enterprise)

4) My bookshelves have books from Star Trek, Forgotten Realms, and of course, The Lord of the Rings.

5) I have a Bible program on my PDA that I often use to follow the sermon.

Now...five fellow geeks (I assume they are people who might read this and have blogs...)

Nat, Dale, Evil Bill, Nelson, and even though he doesn't have a blog, Bryan, because he is truly a geek with a capital G.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

He's now legal!

John passed his drivers' test without any trouble. I asked him where he wanted to go, and he said, "Dairy Queen." Worked for me, so we got celebratory Blizzards.

I was a lot calmer going home slurping my French Silk Pie Blizzard. Why hadn't I considered eating chocolate while he was driving sooner? ;-)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pray for me!

John takes his driver's test tomorrow. I am almost certain he will pass it - he does well.

What I can't figure out is why, since he DOES do well, I am a wreck when he's behind the wheel! Is this just part of being a parent? Is it all the times I saw him handling a bumper car? Is it because his reflexes are superior to mine so he does things I can't?

Anyway, I'll let you know how it turns out. :-)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Steaming mad...

I heard someone on Sean Hannity's radio show today call the United States a terrorist nation. This same woman said years ago that she hoped Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife fed him a lot of eggs and butter so he would get heart disease and die. She says she won't apologize for THAT statement, either.

I get mad when people talk about conservatives being hateful yet someone from the left says something like this and it's OK. When will they call their own into account for what they say?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Building a Computer From the Ground Up 3

It's's ALIVE!

With a cable provided by our preacher (who has asked I not bug him for 2 weeks in payment) I FINALLY have John's new computer up and running. Windows is installed, and all the drivers.

Right now it is taking up half my workbench in my office. John has taken that over so he can install stuff and try it out. We took the network cable that went to my bedroom and hooked him to the Internet with that.

It means I share my office with my 18 year old for the next month or so. I guess that's not so bad, given he goes away to college in August...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Building a Computer From the Ground Up 2

We got the power working!
(Note to those who might ever get it in their heads to build a computer: they include those golden posts for a REASON! Use them!)

So John and I merrily start installing things now that we know we haven't broken anything. Then we find out the ribbon that attaches drives to the motherboard will plug into the hard drive, or the CD/DVD drive - but not both.

Ok, realize I live in a rural town in Central Florida, which has NO decent computer stores, especially no decent computer stores open on Saturday night. So John and I go to a Radio Shack, get a ribbon there, and think our problem is solved.

John says he can handle it. He plugs the middle plug in the ribbon into the hard drive. Nope, still not long enough. He tried to pull it out. It won't budge. He pulls harder. The plug breaks, part of it still firmly inserted into the back of the hard drive.

This is NOT good.

With pliers, a screwdriver, and a lot of kindness from God, we got the broken plug off the back of the hard drive without turning the hard drive into an expensive paperweight. But we are still without a ribbon. Oh, Bryan...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Building a Computer From the Ground Up 1


Well, we got the case open, the CPU and the memory on the motherboard, and the motherboard in the case.

We hooked up all the power supply things we could figure out.

I installed the hard drive and hooked up a monitor and keyboard.

I hit the power switch.


I unplugged and replugged things in, checked the instructions, thought about calling it names, switched power cords...nothing.

It won't turn on. I have no idea why.

I now have a headache and explained to Don that asking me to cook dinner tonight was dangerous.

I'll tackle it again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Quick look at Herbie and Bewitched

I saw "Herbie: Fully Loaded" and "Bewitched" this week. Both are movies that I think appeal to those of my generation at least in concept: both are a part of our past.

Neither film is Oscar material, but worth a matinee if you want a couple of hours to sit back and enjoy yourself. Don't go if you're looking for something deep and meaningful - go for a few laughs and some reminiscing.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A Bittersweet Moment

Yesterday I got "The International Book of Days," a book I ordered. As I held it in my hands and leafed through it a bit, I experienced both joy and sorrow.

Joy, because I played a part in causing this book to happen. My name is on the title page, as a contributor. My name is mentioned in the preface. As a writer, it is a thrill to see my name in a book, to know my work is being read.

Sorrow, because the editor of the book, a good friend, Steve Christianson, passed away in January. I am sad because I had expected to share this joy with him, and to have the opportunity to thank him again for the giving me the chance to work with him on the book. He was willing to take a chance on a writer whose only credentials he had seen to that point was some posts on the Internet. That writer is grateful.

I hope he knew that.

Friday, June 24, 2005

In general...

  • Took time off yesterday with James and took him to see Batman Begins. He enjoyed it and I enjoyed watching him watch it.
  • James went through our old Nintendo 64 games, a few old DVD's, and one or two other games and managed to garner about $32 in store credit at Electronics Boutique. So a game he wanted cost only $18. Not bad.
  • Found that the box that held John's new monitor also had some components in it. Waiting for John to get back from camp before we put it all together.
  • I am bound and determined to finish this one story and get it in the mail. It's a good story, and I want to finish it, but this is one of those times where writing is more work than fun.
  • Speaking of the story, it looks like it will be longer than I expected, which means it might not go to the market I had in mind for it. Oh well...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

"Blob" days

My friend Tina and I have talked about "blob" days recently...days where you don't feel like doing much of anything but sitting around and vegetating.

I had a day kind of like that today. I woke up - late - with a headache, not a good way to start out the day. Plus I tried to play Superwoman and tough it out without meds. This made me cranky.

I just could not get to work on my story today. I mean I have a lot of it plotted out, except for the end. But I simply could not get any words on the laptop today.

Well, maybe tomorrow I'll have more energy...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Adventures in computer building

In a moment of insanity, John and I decided to build the computer he will take to college. Getting advice from our preacher, who is also has a ton of computer knowledge, directed me to a website for parts.
If you are familiar with computer building, you know you have to buy EVERYTHING - drives, video/sound cards, motherboard, and a case to put it all in. We also ordered a monitor and fed it all into the website.
I quickly got email confirmation that two packages were being sent to the house. So, OK. A few days later, I get email confirmation that ANOTHER package is on its way. Huh? What's in the third package.
Thrusday I got 2 packages. One has the monitor. One has the (empty) case.
So I have a computer without a brain. :-)
At least I know what's in the third package.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Heinlein's Rules for Writers

1) You must write
2) You must finish what you write
3) You must not rewrite
4) You must mail what you write to a market
5) You must keep what you write in the mail until it sells.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Bad habits

Sometimes bad habits make a return visit. I admit to falling back into the old habit of staying up VERY late. Past three nights I've been up way past my "bedtime," at least twice way past midnight. Now I'm tired and yesterday I was extremely cranky. It also messes with my work ethic. I haven't finished my short story for the week yet, and if I don't get it done and out by the end of the week I'm going to be VERY disappointed in myself.

Time to fire up the cappucino machine...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Some random thoughts...

1) Do NOT read Stephen King's book, "Roadwork" (written under his penname, Richard Bachman) if you have anything to do. That particular one sucked me in and I HAD to finish it. Not even a horror story in the sense that anything supernatural happened. Just a book about a man's long, slow fall into insanity. King makes it work. It's very scary. And very compelling.

2) Ever feel like you're talking and no one is listening? That happens to me sometimes. I think it's a part of me that's self-centered because of course you want to think people are paying attention to you all the time when in reality they aren't. Doesn't mean you aren't valued, loved, etc. etc., but maybe they have things more important than you on their minds.
Come to think of it, who really DOES want people to pay attention to them all the time? Sometimes you want to be left alone! :-)

3) This weekend I actually unburied part of my office! It looks good, and coupled with a MASSIVE cleanout of my inbox it appears much more organized and ready for work. Now if I could get my brain jumpstarted...

Just some things to think about before bedtime...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Thought For the Day

"It's vital and perfectly appropriate to let God have the final word about everything but it is never right or safe to allow anyone -however popular- or anything -however pervasive- to move us from faithful allegiance to the whole counsel of God. Bigger congregations, friendlier relations, a better reputation and (an uneasy) "unity"--some things are bought at too great a price."

(Jim McGuiggan)

Monday, May 30, 2005

One more highlight

John graduated High School on the 20th. He earned a district GPA of 4.0. Yes, Mom got misty when she heard them call, "Honor Graduate John David Ware..." *sniffle*

Busy week last week!

The highlight (or lowlight) of the week was James smacking himself in the eye with his BB rifle. You remember the movie, "A Christmas Story," where the kid is warned he'll shoot his eye out? No one warned him he could tear his retina whacking himself with the scope, now did they? But James managed to do it and had to undergo laser surgery to fix the tear. He's back to normal and rejoicing in school being out.

I finished another short story - this one a ghost story - and sent it off to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. I started another story today, but may tear up the beginning and start again...not sure. I keep having to tell my internal editor to shut up while writing and it doesn't always listen very well. :-)

Saturday I was awakened to the sound of hammers - they've begun enclosing our carport. They have the walls up (no sheetrock, siding, or insulation, just wood) and are now waiting on the electrician to do some wiring. Don't ask me when all this happens - I just live here. :-)

Friday, May 20, 2005

I don't understand it...

Past couple of days I've been feeling a little down. Part of it is I'm sure fatigue - I'm still a little tired (jet lag maybe?) and maybe part of it is coming away from an intense experience.

Yeah, I need to post about the workshop at some point. Trying to internalize some stuff with it, and trying to catch up on home front (laundry is becoming a critical issue).

Anyway, I figure I'll find my sunny side soon.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I'm baaacck...

After some intense days at a Short Story Workshop in Oregon. I just worked on a column about it, and flirted with going over my word limit because it is almost impossible to describe it in 600-700 words.
Will give details another time - right now it's late for me and I'm still a little sleep deprived (also had my allergies flare up while in Oregon and working to settle them down). Short version - it was an awesome experience and I wish I had gone to one sooner.
More later -

Monday, May 02, 2005


As I type this I am sitting in an Internet Cafe at a Disney resort hotel.

Don had been planning to take a play day off today after doing some CME. He noticed I was stressing out some with my assigned reading and other stuff - I've been getting headaches from the eyestrain we think.

So yesterday as we got ready for services he said, "Why don't you come with me?"

I said, "whoa, I have to finish this reading - I don't have TIME for the Disney thing!"

He said, "You don't have to go to Disney - just relax in the hotel room and finish your reading. No one can find you there and no one will bother you."

After thinking about it I decided why not?

So here I sit, feeling happy and relaxed with less then 200 pages to go on my reading and wondering why I almost said "no" to this!

Did I marry a great guy or what?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Congrats to my grad!

This evening our local congregation had a reception for those young people who are graduating from high school this year. This includes my oldest, John, who is graduating with honors though he has made it clear he'd rather skip the graduation ceremony. He wanted to skip this reception, too, but Don and I stuck to our guns and said he had to go and let people fuss over him.

We've been at this congregation since 1995, so many of the people here have watched my children grow up. They tell me I have good boys. I know John hates the attention, but I love it when the older people come up to him and tell him what a fine young man he is.

We were supposed to make a poster with pictures and lists of John's accomplishments. Don took over the project and did a super job with it. One of my favorite baby pictures was on it (John on a rug with nothing on but a towel) plus his graduation pictures among others.

John has been accepted to the Honors Freshman class at Freed Hardeman University (small Christian college in Tennessee).

The congregation gave each graduate a Bible dictionary. John got a stack of cards (and I know many of them have money in them) among other things.

I'm proud of him. He hates hearing that, but I am.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


It looks like the surgery I had for sleep apnea is having a positive effect. Don says I am snoring less, and when I don't take my sleeping medication I sleep better then I used to without meds (though I still sleep better with medication - duh). There are several people in my congregation who are watching how this goes for me and if it is successful my doc may be getting some new patients. :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Ok, now I didn't mean to hurt feelings...

People, my friends ARE a part of my life. And I value my relationships online and off. Let me give a few more details on recent events...

-- As I have indicated earlier in this blog, I have been up to my ears in getting ready for a writer's workshop next month. This has entailed a huge amount of reading - I have one more book to go after I finish the one I'm in (less than 100 pages to go in it!) and the last book has over 600 pages in it not to mention small print.

-- Our preacher's wife, who is also our church secretary, has been very ill. In fact, she has been in and out of the hospital this past couple of weeks and is back in scheduled to undergo some rather major surgery on Monday. That has meant somebody has had to step in and take over at least some of the office duties. My other name is apparently Somebody.

Please be understanding and patient with me right now. Swamped is a good description of how I feel some days, and it's not that I value any of you less. :-)

I will get back to normal - give me time.


Didn't realize how long it had been since an update. See what happens when you have a life?
Will do a better update later...gotta run.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Ok two days with some pain that hopefully will result in some gain.

Yesterday - minor surgery in my mouth to deal with sleep apnea. This required spraying something vile tasting in my mouth to start the numbing process, then THREE - count them - THREE shots into my soft palette. This was supposed to numb me completely, but I swear I felt the last two of the three posts they inserted go in - the poor nurse got her hand clutched very tightly.
Well the day after surgery I'm still a little sore but not as bad as yesterday. I can eat normally without pain which is a big plus.

Then today James and I went to get international immunizations (the whole family is going to Guyana on a medical mission trip in July). We had to go to a neighboring county because no one where I live did these shots. Because it was a county health department we had to wait a while.
Well, I wound up having to have three shots, which included a tetanus shot because I couldn't remember when my last one was.
So sore arm and sore mouth - don't mess with me :-)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Yet ANOTHER personality test...

I was rated "Schindler's List..." You?


Got hit with a stomach virus I tried to ignore for 2 days. It won today. Stayed home from church, my total food intake consisting of Crystal Lite (food just doesn't sound good today). I feel like a blob, I don't want to do ANYTHING but lay around and vege.

Monday, April 04, 2005

What kind of writer are you?

Got this off my friend "The Merry Piper's" list. It says I'm a plot writer, but I have to think about that one a bit...

You're a Plot writer!

What kind of writer are you?
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I want my hour back!

I hate Daylight Savings in the Spring. They take away an hour without asking if I NEED that hour for sleep or something else.
It's so silly anyway. Do we really have to do this anymore? Or are we so bound to tradition that we do it when the reason for it has long passed?
Color me cranky this morning...

Thursday, March 31, 2005

RIP Terri Schiavo

The poor woman has passed away. For her, the fight is over.

Thought for the Day:

"A clean house is a sign of a broken computer."

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A child's step by step

I've been thinking about this as I watch my 18 year old, John. Even though you can tell when he doesn't shave and he towers over me at 6' 2" (and growing) he still doesn't look like an adult to me. He is still my child, who I once held in my arms and played with.

He is a senior now and can't wait for high school to be over. His college is already selected, and we are making plans for taking him there in August. I'm already telling myself I can't cry until we leave.

When I took him, his brother, and myself to the dentist last week, I had to make an appointment for him that was not with his brother and I. It means he will be gone in less than 6 months.

Each day I watch him take another step away from childhood, towards adulthood and independence. I know it is how it must be, and I will not try to stop it.

But sometimes I think about it and wish I could hug the little boy again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Writers read...

...and writers who are going to a workshop in 5-6 weeks read a LOT. There is a required reading list for a short story workshop I'm going to attend in May. Seven books. All anthologies of various genres. Someone on the list estimated it was something like 3500 pages.
I had to order 5 of the books - the last 4 arrived yesterday. The six I haven't read yet are now stacked on a table in my office. I am almost finished with the first one and my brain is buzzing with ideas.
We are supposed to refrain from commenting on the books until the workshop, where I assume we will tear them to pieces. So if my online friends wonder where I am, I'm probably sprawled on my bed or curled up in a chair - nose in a book.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spring Break!

It's Spring Break, which means the boys are off school for a week. That also means I can follow doctor's orders and try to catch up on lost sleep, since I don't have to get up to drive them to school.

I got some good news over the weekend. As some of my friends know, I was slated for a major 2 week Writers' Workshop in Oregon that was cancelled. Well, there was an opening with the same group for a week long Short Story Workshop in May, and I got in. I am now trying to catch up with the rest of the group, which means getting my hands on and reading 7 books by May 7th. I have 2 of them, both anthologies, and they are HUGE. Good thing I love to read...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hurricane aftermath still

I heard on the news recently that Florida wants all hurricane claims settled by mid-April sometime.

That's funny to me given we still have a fence damaged by a hurricane and we were only able to get our first estimate at repairing it this month (we're getting another one this weekend). It would be nice to get it fixed before hurricane season 2005 starts up. :-)

Terri Schiavo

I find this whole story so troubling. If we tried to starve an animal to death, we would rightfully be called barbaric and unfeeling. But it's ok to starve a human being?

Part of this is the husband does not really come across to me as being concerned for his wife. He has constantly refused to attempt to rehabilitate her and is currently living with another woman with whom he has fathered children. Some people say he has a right to have a life - why stay married to Terri if he wants a life?

While I deplore the slow starvation of Terri Schiavo I have mixed feelings about Congress stepping in. As was pointed out, they had 5 years to intervene, why now?

Whether you think my opinion is a load of peanut butter or not, I think we all can agree about the importance of having your wishes written down someplace. Had Terri's wishes been codified in a document instead of having to resort to hearsay, this story probably would not be making the news it's making.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Ok, I don't understand...

...the whole thing about the Senate Democrats crying "filibuster!" without having to actually filibuster. I mean, shouldn't we be seeing Democrats going hoarse from talking hours upon hours and nothing being done because the Democrats are talking 24/7 ala "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?"

The Republicans are getting slammed for a "nuclear" option to restore the Constitutional requirement of a simple majority vote for judicial nominees. Where is the slamming of the Democrats for falsely crying "filibuster!" without actually doing it?

Ok, I called "The Rush Limbaugh Show." The call screener there explained to me that the laws changed in the 1970's so that all you have to do is call "filibuster!" and then it is up to the other side to get the 60 votes. I think it was a stupid change.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Currently Reading...

Dan Brown's "Deception Point." I finally got around to reading "The DaVinci Code" not too long ago and found Brown has a good flair for storytelling. I enjoyed the book even accounting for the fact that I found its theories on Christianity's history somewhat disturbing and eyebrow raising. But this is not the first time I've been able to lay aside my disagreements with a writer's conclusions and still enjoy the tale.

I liked "The DaVinci Code" enough to get and read all of Brown's work. I read "Digital Fortress" and liked it a LOT - it had as many twists and turns as a good roller coaster. Now I'm into "Deception Point" and find that Brown does characters fairly well.

For me, this is not just reading for enjoyment (though I am an unrepentant bookworm). It's also learning the craft. It is said that writers read a lot and write a lot - seeing how this author weaves his story may help me as I try to weave mine.

Anyway, if you are looking for books to get lost in, try some of Dan Brown's stuff.

Friday, March 11, 2005

We have links!

Look on the left side of the page and you will see links. If your blog is listed and you don't want it to be, then let me know and I will remove it. If your blog ISN'T listed and you want it to be, let me know THAT too! :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Can you say, "Sleep Apnea?"

Looks like I have to - I had a sleep study done last night (how they expect you to sleep when they wire you up like a Christmas tree is a mystery, but anyway...) and it showed that I do stop breathing sometimes - at one point my O2 levels dropped to around 85%, a significant number.
So now the question is what to do. There is a machine that you can use at night, but I want to avoid that. Losing weight will help, but there is also a surgical procedure that can replace the machine. I am looking into that. Will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A Warrior Now Rests

This was originally published in the Highlands County News Sun on Sunday, March 13, 2005 in the column "Laura's Look." Please do not reprint without my permission.

I met June about 6 or 7 years ago when she and her husband Ed first moved to the area and became members of our congregation. June was a marvelous lady, upbeat, with a sense of humor and a lovely singing voice. Those who saw her on the street or about her day probably did not guess that she was engaged in a long battle with cancer. For 18 years June fought the disease, undergoing surgery and treatments. She was able to keep a bright side through most of it, cheerful and refusing to feel sorry for herself. She was active in the work of the church and our Ladies Bible Class.
June was a singer. I loved listening to her as we sang during services. She often sang tenor, and did so beautifully. She once told me I had a good alto voice, but I could never sing as easily as she could. Let me put it this way: I sing. June was a SINGER.
June was a good friend to me. I remember being upset about something that had happened one day and calling her on my cell phone. She comforted me as I sat in my car sobbing in a WalMart parking lot She could make this wonderful chocolate dessert. Knowing my love for chocolate, she once made one of these things just for me. It was huge, a delicious layered dessert in a glass trifle bowl. It took me several days with the help of my family to eat it all, and I enjoyed every bite. When I announced in our Ladies Bible Class that I was going through problems with my siblings, June made a point of sharing the problems she had gone through with her sibling and encouraged me that, in the end, it had turned out well. This was while she was dealing with her last fight with disease. Even though she was going through so much in her own life, her heart had room to embrace my cares and reach out to me. June's last fight was a hard one - fluid in her lungs made breathing difficult and cancer weakened her. While she was in the hospital for treatment, her husband Ed passed away without warning. We mourned his loss, and I knew it would be harder for June to fight. She had long been ready to go home; she had waited out of love for Ed. Early last week this brave warrior laid down her burden and went home to rest. The tears I cry are not for her - I know she is so much happier now. I cry for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, June's daughter, who has lost both father and mother in so short a time, and a lot for myself.
June taught me that bad things did not have to mean you had a bad attitude. You could look outside yourself and the things that tried to drag you down and see sunshine. You could be going through the worst time of your life, but you could lay aside your sorrow and reach out to someone who was hurting.
June also helped me to put my problems in perspective when they threatened to make me crazy. If she could make lemonade out of the lemons her health handed her, what made me think I couldn’t when my problems were so small in comparison?
Somehow I imagine June entering Heaven with a smile on her lips and a song pouring out. While my world is a little darker with her loss, surely Heaven will be a little brighter with her presence.
Rest well, dear June. You have undoubtedly earned it. May I remember your bright outlook when things look dark.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Working at home and other myths

"Work at home," they say. I am blessed that my hubby and I can get along on his income and I want to write, so it sounds great, right? Sounds totally doable, right? Let's deal with reality, OK?
Reality is that everything else seems to come first - house, kids, errands...I know, I know, don't answer the phone, lock your door, etc. I have been trying by setting a specific time to write. It is not a total success yet. Probably no one else's fault but mine - I am not by nature an organized person and I could probably grow in the area of discipline.
So why am I typing on my blog instead of writing? Umm....good question!


Ok. I blame my friend Tina for this. She got into blogging and asked me to visit her blog. Well, to leave a comment on one of her posts, I had to register...and here we are. We'll see how long this lasts.
If you checked my profile, you know I am a writer. I have a column that appears in the Highlands County News Sun on Sundays called "Laura's Look." It has dealt with a variety of subjects over the years, from the serious to the silly. It is a lot of fun to write.
I hope to keep this active as I go on my merry way. Thanks for reading!