Writing, writing, and Parkland

Brilliant week of writing at my little job. Monday I did nothing but write — I wrote “Words From Our Founding Director” pieces through December. I had noticed that they didn’t post the piece I wrote for March, and that disheartened me, but the director’s assistant, who does all the work, assured me that I am doing a great job.

And I even got into a conversation with a student!

Wednesday I wrote a letter, which took me about 5 minutes; a list of questions for an exit interview for interns, which took me about 15 minutes, and then I volunteered myself to rewrite all the bios of the advisory board members. There is one man, who happens to speak Arabic and Aramaic. Gee, wonder why they chose him? He needs a better bio. I will try again.

I have finished Chapter 2!! I got Emmy on and off the train, and now I’m on to Chapter 3. I have introduced her to Bootscrape and Captain Manderley, through she doesn’t yet know either of them. Now I have to kill off that poor lieutenant and get blood all over the floor.

Tonight I’m going to see the play “The Snow Geese,” about World War I, and tomorrow I’m driving three hours to Grand Rapids to see the ballet. I missed the last performance because of that terrible storm.

I watched a little of the March Against Gun Violence while I was on the treadmill at the gym and could’t escape it. I hope millennials actually vote this time. They had tremendous power in 2016, too, but they couldn’t trouble themselves to get to the polls.  Women demanding rights, students demanding gun reform — if I were an old white Republican man, I would be worried. Very worried. This could not only change the face of Congress, it could change state legislatures across the country. I hope the millennials vote down ballot, too.

The less I know about the Parkland shooting, the better for me. I still have sentences from the Time magazine coverage of Columbine ringing in my memory, and I need to not remember them because they are linked to a whole series of other terrible memories that can make it hard for me to sleep. Running these things through my mind don’t make any difference to anyone else.

But watching the students might. For the first time since 2016, I feel hopeful about our country. If this could be just the first time politicians vote to reflect the actual will of the people, it would change the world.

Nightmare in Michigan!

A west-side family suffered a night of near-tragedy Saturday when their daughter fell ill and doctors feared for her life.

The drama began when Little Cinderella could be not awakened, despite it being Pancake Day and the pancakes being chocolate chip. Her mother, Queen Elsa, took the child to see Dr. Barbie, who performed a complete checkup and pronounced the girl to be healthy. However, Barbie was called to Little Cinderella’s side after the child returned home. Barbie had her admitted to Hayloft in the Playskool Barn Hospital, where she was attended by Nurse Olaf.

After being discharged, she was admitted twice more before the night was over. She was treated with new medicine from Mexico in the shape of greenery from a train set and had open-heart surgery, during which a broken piece of her heart was replaced with a good piece.

At lat Little Cinderella recovered in time to celebrated her birthday with her relieved family. She marked the occasion by eating chocolate cake and rolling in the buttercream.


Have you guessed yet that Nana was babysitting? As well as directing the health care drama, I guessed that Prince Wednesday in her Daniel Tiger book would be appearing in the Halloween Parade dressed as spinach (no), a rabbit (no), or a clump of mud, the funnest thing I have ever said in her life of three years.

She’s a cutie.

Bad night last night, but I feel fine now. I’m going to the gym later — that should help. I had hoped to start Chapter 2. I just need a first sentence…

This coming weekend, my children will celebrate their 36th birthday. Where have all those years gone? I wish Mike were here. It’s always hardest on holidays. He’s been gone seven years now.

Buster continues to cause trouble, although Alix did follow my suggestion and rearrange the living room to make it more inclusive. He spent my babysitting night playing video games with his friends. If he played alone, I would worry more, but he is interacting with his pals. There was no fighting — at least, none that I had to witness — Saturday night.

I begged off my little job today, because of my lack of sleep, and then overslept, which is the reason I got the job in the first place. I need more working out! And more reasons to haul my butt out of bed. I dreamed I was wearing leggings, but could’t figure out what top to wear.

The dog needs to go to the groomer, as do I. I’m getting my hair done Wednesday, thank God.

Mike with birthday kids
Happy birthday, kids!


Yesterday I ate a blueberry muffin, some popcorn (a lot of popcorn) and some tomato soup. Campbell’s Slow Kettle Tomato and Sweet Basil Bisque. I love that stuff. I don’t know what was up with that eating, though. I did drink a lot of water.

Also yesterday, I met with my trainer. We discussed my terrible shoulder, then did a lot of lower body-core work. I can do a lot of things I would never have tried. including Downward Dog and then you raise one leg behind you — I’m sure there’s a name for this in yoga, but I don’t know any yoga names beyond Dog and Lotus. We did some yoga stretching, too. It felt pretty good, and again, I was surprised I could do it. I underestimate my strength and flexibility, especially my flexibility. We are also working on balance, to prevent, I hope, my little habit of keeling over. I rarely hurt myself, but’s unnerving.

Wednesday I spent hours at my “job” writing the foreword Our Founding Director posts on the website each month. Obviously, she doesn’t do the actual posting — that’s what students are for! — and she doesn’t write the Words from Our Founding Director posts, either (I did not write this one for March). I put words into her mouth for May, June, July and August, and fixed April up a little. It was fun, although it was so quiet in that room that I thought crunching my salad must sound like machine gun fire. I said so, breaking the apparent no-talking rule. Everyone laughed. They were probably astonished that I could be amusing. I otherwise have all the personality of recessed lighting.  It’s a weird place to work, but it was fun to do all that writing.

And speaking of writing, I FINISHED CHAPTER 1! I wrote about 15 pages on Tuesday. There’s so much more to the story now. It’s deeper, not moving faster. I got her to her big decision, to run off pretending to be her dead sister. Chap. 2 starts, in a little while here, I hope, with her getting to the train. I think the train ride will take a lot longer than it did in the first draft. I know more, and I just can see how to up the tension in several layers at once.

I think it’s better, but can’t really tell. Maybe it will just be a bigger flop than before. It’s hard for me to make things sufficiently creepy, but maybe that’s because I haven’t really tried to imagine finding yourself face to face with someone who has no face.

Whoops, I just got distracted by considering where Emmy and the other VADs and nurses live and how she could hear the ambulances so clearly.  It’s hard to sleep, can be hard to sleep, when I’m writing. I get started planning a scene, then I act it out in my head, then it won’t let me alone for another hour.

German ambulance driversGerman ambulance drivers.