Plague Diary

Not that my case is unique, but during these long, draining months of Pandemically-Paused Life, I find solace and relief whenever I doodle or hone a Gerty drawing. Today I looked through my collection of drawings and found some to share. Each one addresses Gerty’s reaction to or choice concerning COVID-19 in her idiosyncratic way. Gerty is slimming down and has embraced a more active life. Is she reflecting my enthusiasm for frequent early morning walks along the shores of our magnificent Lake Michigan? Could be. Continue reading Plague Diary

Some mornings

Now, my days are fraught with challenges, but they all begin similarly. I hear the cat scratching at my door (husband already up and exercising for hours). I open my eyes, stretch, count my blessings, and practice a few PT exercises. I let Cat into the bedroom and dress in gym clothes or stay in my winter pj’s. Which path to choose—organized list-following or a good wallow with coffee and The New Yorker? Here is my Gerty who faces the same dilemma: Continue reading Some mornings

His Song: Enderfon’s Lament

Earlier this week, you met the Rock Giant, Enderfon, a heroic character in Where Dragons Follow, my fantasy novel #2. While he was imprisoned in his stone shell he composed a number of poems. They are not quite doggerel but he composed them in all seriousness. A good way to pass the time when you don’t have other options. THE SPELL BREAKS Away from my home I wandered afar To lands unknown, driven by quest. I walked alone armed with my mace And promising to do my best.   Like boll ink blots, my eyes lost light. What did I … Continue reading His Song: Enderfon’s Lament

Layers of Time, Paint, and Stories

Decades ago, we bought a yellow frame house on a narrow suburban lot. After living there about five years, we decided to remodel its antiquated and inefficient kitchen. On Day One, workmen invaded the space. They ripped out appliances, cabinetry, and flooring. They attacked the walls and removed layer after layer of painted-over wallpapers. They stopped when they reached the room’s original painted walls from the late 1890’s. After the workmen left that day, we parted plastic sheets separating our dining room from the project to enter the stripped kitchen and inspect the naked space. We could not miss markings scrawled … Continue reading Layers of Time, Paint, and Stories

Lost and Found and Lost

Lost and Found and Lost These days we think we know better. We realize there is no place to hide from a nuclear holocaust. I use the word ‘holocaust,’ meaning ‘burnt offerings,’ because that would be our role in a conflagration of nuclear missile-head strikes. We would be martyrs with no future generations left to appreciate our performance. When I was in grade school, I assumed adults in my life had confidence we could survive a nuclear war. Strategies promoted by Civil Defense would preserve a significant remnant of humanity. We as a species would carry on and maintain the … Continue reading Lost and Found and Lost

Review: Conversation in Sicily by Elio Vittorini

“What is a man?” Vittorini asks. Downright depressed and unhappy with his life and work in a northern Italian megalopolis seems to be the answer as the narrative begins. The narrator’s impromptu return to his native Sicilian hamlet, 15 years after his departure, begins a series of conversations with sharply defined characters he meets along the way and in his home town. Each successive interaction with people as varied as fellow travelers on a train heading south, his mother, or the ghost of his brother, forces the narrator (in an end note Vittorini asserts the book is not autobiographical) to … Continue reading Review: Conversation in Sicily by Elio Vittorini