My written stories · Uncategorized

Fridays with Flora Felda 6

Read the first 5 episodes here.

March 17th, 2017

Hello again! Now, where did I leave off last time…oh, yes. The kitchen floor…

James, Lavender and I walked for what seemed like hours in the dark. Far above, a nightlight cast a faint light too distant to illuminate our path. Finally, a square shape loomed before us.

“The kitchen table,” I said.

“Strange that’s where we had our party not long ago,” said Lavender.

“There’ll be even more parties if we find this Charm,” said James.

Suddenly the ground shook beneath our feet. We staggered and cried out, too scared to speak or think clearly. Before we knew what was happening, a giant shape hovered over us a minute, blacking out the faint light, and then fell just in front of us with a woosh.

“It’s a human!” Cried Lavender.

“Hush! He’ll hear us!” James hissed, as the three of us ran for cover. We caught our breath, watching as the giant human got himself a midnight snack.

“Soon we’ll get our own midnight snacks,” I said as we waited for him to leave. The possibilities!

Compelled by this thought, we hurried on. Few things blocked our way (except for all those crumbs under the table…does the Authoress ever sweep?)

At last a thin stretch of light appeared on our horizon. Terror suddenly clutched our hearts. The Abyss.

But where else would the Charm of Charmaine be found?



The baby was up every two hours or more last night. I slowly ease him onto my bed, swallowing my sore throat and hoping he’ll stay asleep long enough for me to get coffee and a sippy cup for his big brother. I could try the sling but I don’t want to yet. My shoulders and back ache from nursing all night. I sat slouched on the bed because I was too tired to walk to the rocking chair for every feeding. 

He stirs and grunts. His blue eyes pop open-I’m awake! Oh well, at least he’s happy. Surprisingly, K is still asleep and I hurry to get the assorted beverages. Better grab the tissues, to, for our assorted runny noses. Make that coffee extra strong, please, enough to wipe some of the brain fog and eye pain out. Coffee, can you magically remove yesterday’s makeup for me and make me look (smell) like I got a shower yesterday? 

I sit down with the baby and coffee. Still silence. I should change my clothes at least. Why though, when I’m already dressed? Wash my face, then. Make my bed? Empty the dishwasher? Nope, here comes the toddler. We snuggle for a few minutes to take his mind off the fact that daddy’s at work. Baby is still content, now in his vibrating massage chair. (I guess he should be, on that score.) It’s only a matter of time before he starts fussing again though and we start all over. 

My older two children trickle out to join us. Clothes? Bed? No, I’ll do something I’ve wanted to do for weeks now. I toss together the wet ingredients and add them to the dry ingredients I set aside yesterday. Oatmeal applesauce muffins in 20 minutes.

The entire day can seem to stretch before us like one long, monotonous road. We won’t think about the entire day. Instead, we’ll eat muffins and take it one step at a time.

My life stories · My written stories · Uncategorized

10/10: Day 7

I’m a day late. Oops.

10 Things About My Novel, Or Work In Progress

  1. I’ve drawn a couple of maps for the setting.
  2. Everything  is oriented to North. It may be some psychologically revealing point. Or maybe it just reveals that I’m directionally challenged and like to keep things simple.
  3. It is a fantasy novel, geared towards middle grade readers, possibly older. I’m still figuring that out.
  4. There are three domains or countries in the map, but the story actually takes place in one.
  5. The other two countries do factor into the story though, significantly.
  6. I’ve thought of writing sequels to this novel which explore more of the other two countries, and hopefully beyond.
  7. It took me a while to actually put magic into the story. Kind of hard to avoid tropes though, especially in fantasy.
  8. A lot of the story is hopelessly British. Mannerisms, customs-mostly mannerism. Anglophile that I am, it does make me wonder about the potential narrowing that does to a narrative, to have the author informed by such writings from such a specific place.
  9. On that note, all my early drafts included scenes in which one character acted just like Lord Grantham at the breakfast table from Downton Abby.  Ha! I’ve fixed those parts 🙂
  10. It is a wish of my writer’s heart to give some descriptions of the landscape that echo Montgomery’s evocative writings. I realize that kind of description doesn’t seem too popular in todays’ fiction, especially for younger readers, but. I want to include it anyway. So I’m going to try.
My life stories · Uncategorized

10/10: Day 2

  1. My children are taking swimming lessons from a woman I used to babysit/be a mother’s helper for in college. Today was one of those surreal moments when, the children whom I watched when they were the same age as my toddler, are now teenagers, and were jumping in the pool with my kids. It is something very special to still have a relationship with this family whom I have seen experience a lot in life.
  2. Speaking of teaching, the next 9 items will be brief sketches of past high school and college professors. Such as: one of my math professors in college had a favorite saying: “Math is fun class, say it with me now. Math is what class? Math is fuuuuuun.”
  3. One of my humanities professors wore bright muscles shirts and black slacks to every class. He had several M.D.s and P.H.D.s, one of which involved archaeology, and he had been on several digs. No, he did not wear a hat. And he never left class through a window.
  4. Mr. L., the logic teacher in high school, was tall, round, and called us all by our last names. My friend and I compared him to Coach Boone from Remember the Titans, but, man, could he make us laugh. I really wish I could remember his one-liners.
  5. Mrs. H., one of my high school lit teachers, was famous among students for teaching us the line: “Damn the  torpedoes. Full speed ahead.” She was barely taller than I am (I’m 5’4″) but had a very McGonagall air about her when she wanted to. Minus the accent.
  6. I’ve mentioned him before, but my college Sociology professor kept referring to scientific journals as “scientific urinals”. He was a perfectly capable teacher, so did no one ever bother to tell him that it’s pronounced journal, or was he trying to see who was paying attention? I’ll never know.
  7. The first French professor I studied under was not very strict on…anything. He would change what was due if he thought we might think it too hard and it was a little confusing and frustrating. But, I loved french and went on to take three more semesters despite it.
  8. My next french professor was an undergrad, a Hawaiian native. She seemed very young and stressed, but she taught a good class. And it was where I met my friend, H.B. Roberts. (Bonjour, mon amie!)
  9. My third and final French professor was the best, professor-wise. She was reminiscent of Mrs. H. on the height and temperament. I learned a lot in that class and got to take it with H. B. Roberts, no less. At one time I was getting coffee with her on campus, and our French professor joined us in line. It was the only time I’ve ever towered above my peers and it was…strange and unusual. Although to be fair, I don’t ‘tower’ over H. B.
  10. Lastly, although firstly chronologically (“Although perhaps I should have mentioned this first”, says Mr. Collins), my mother homeschooled me. How she homeschooled four children successfully into high school is beyond me. I have many fond memories of homeschooling lessons. And some not-so-fond ones, like the times it took me 3 hours to do my math lesson. (That happened a lot…) I’m grateful my mom made that lengthy investment, and it’s one I’ll never lose. I hope she is adequately rewarded, although somehow I don’t think that’s possible.

I have this blog in my head

…where I write posts immediately instead of stewing over them for days. I write funny anecdotes, daily snippets, and catch the little thoughts that run through my head before they’re gone. I share funny pictures of my kids (bc I’ve finally gotten over my fear of Internet lurkers and all around creeps) and pictures of the mountain beauty around me, and I write more often. 

Since I am not typically one to write on the lighter side (INFP problems, you guys), I raise a glass in toast to all the blogs that do. One of these days I will share some of my new faves. These blogs have been devoured like chocolate on nights when I should be sleeping. They’ve made me laugh so hard Mike probably thought I was having an athsma attack. Whether portraying the simple pleasures in life or sharing funny incidents, I love love love them. This is the grown up version of the little me who found Dear America diaries at friends’ houses and promptly got lost in them. So sorry, ignored friends. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a nice melancholy post to stew over for a few weeks.


New Paths


Remember when I found that trail right before we moved? How could I have missed something I’d passed so often, I wondered. 

And then we moved and paths opened up to my feet at every turn. The search for a more whole-hearted life is mirrored back to me, in leaves, clay, and gravel. In the rise and fall of the land. In the mystery and welcome of the trees that stand gaurd.   


So I suppose it should come as no surprise to discover a secret path joining two of my favorite places. Behind the library, (I know!) the ground slides into the trees where there is a little tunnel. The path leads down and propels you into a nearby park.

Books and lakes. Stories and paths. Words and wanders. Internal reality joins with external reality.

It’s what I’ve been searching for my whole life.


August in Pictures

Also known as, the backs of my children’s heads. August was full of trails and little explorations.  

this was on the trail behind our apartment.

A visit to the arboretum near us.


One of my August reads. I need to find my favorite quotes from this, such as the one where Anne wonders aloud  why Socarates and his questions weren’t poisoned earlier, in frustration after answering non-stop questions herself. There’s also a good snappy one where she makes short work of a popular but bitter doctor’s theory of life.
Evening light and walks. 


A moment of solitude, hurrah! 



Family trips to the nearby lake and trails.


Little readers. It makes a momma’s heart proud.


Baby in a box!


“See ya on the other side!”-my kids quoting The Emporer’s New Groove. Also makes a momma’s heart proud. Sniff!

Well, we’re far on the other side of September now. Better late than never. 🙂


Life in the “Mountains, Gandalf, mountains!”

Which is what Mike and I say to each other every time we step outside. Or nearly every time. We made it, we’ve been here about 2 weeks, the settling in has begun and the wonder hasn’t left us. 

Pictures can’t do the mountains justice.

Our apartment complex is quite lovely, as apartment complexes go. Our neighbors are polite and friendly. We are right next to the walking trail-which, alas, I’ve had half a hike on yet, because the walking shoes I bought rubbed blisters onto my heels the first time wearing them. But just being able to take walks around the quiet streets in July (and not sweat buckets!) is glorious so far. We’ve taken the kids to the pool a few times, I’ve enjoyed the internet cafe a few times before our internet was installed, and someone else takes care of the grass. Woot!


My new trail!
 Naturally there have been plenty of downs along with the ups. We’ve had a steady stream of family visiting, which is SO fun! And everytime they leave, it feels a bit lonely here. The kitchen and dining rooms are windowless, and though they get quite a bit of light from the living room, there are times I feel claustrophobic. So this morning I added some decor:


Picture taken by my grandfather just outside his house, garland thanks to my mom.
All in all, we are soaking up everything good here that we can. There’s plenty of scope for the imagination. In fact, there are one or two houses behind us nestled on a hill that remind me of a house you’d find in an L.M. Montgomery story. Are they lonely, or mysterious, or do they hide a dark secret? Maybe I’ll have to write a story about one of them.

Oh yes…speaking of mountains, there’s this.

Time to tackle mountains!