Archive for August, 2016

REMEMBERANCES: FAMILY VACATIONS

When on family vacations the trips would sometimes be long, driving to Colorado to visit relatives, or driving to North Carolina for summer vacations. When the kids were small, on our way to Sunset Beach in southern North Carolina, we stopped for a night at our usual place, a truck stop/motel/restaurant. Needless to say, this was an adventure for us all.

We also stopped at places with huge restaurants, and upon entering, found the place to be completely empty. We soon found out why. At one of these stops there was also a motel. We checked in and soon my barefoot wife and children observed the blackened souls of their feet. There was also the time when in a motel we discovered the hole drilled into the bathroom wall for the antenna was bigger than needed. Whoever fixed this must have had my level of handiness, for the hole was stuffed with toilet paper.

But one thing I enjoyed on extended vacations, and never revealed to my family, was my love of going into our van to retrieve something in the early morning after sleeping in a motel, sitting in the driver’s seat, I savored he smell of the interior. The atmosphere was far from usual. Combined were the smells of food packed for the trip, homemade food to share with friends and relatives. At times there would be the smell of the gear for a summer camping trip. All these odors combined to give me the feeling of change, the feeling of adventure, the feeling of family.

August 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

WRITER’S IN THE CHESTER COUNTY, PAOLI AREA. HERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK AND EXPLORE WRITING ISSUES.

Recently, I joined this writers group. Meeting at the Paoli library every Thursday, I have found it to be a source of sharing with fellow writers. Something all writers need.

Come join us and learn who we are and learn.

 

FREE WORKSHOP for WRITERS by WRITERS

Saturday, August 20, 2016

12:00 to 4:30 pm

Paoli Library Meeting Room

18 Darby Rd, Paoli, PA 19301

 

You are invited to join us for a workshop that is designed for proficient writers and authors to learn from one another in an experiential and peer-to-peer forum. This 4½-hour  workshop will be broken into two sessions:

First session: 12:00-2:30 pm. Full group session.

Break/Network 2:30-3:00 pm. Please bring your own food/beverage.

Second session: 3:00-4:30 pm. Small group sessions.

 

The first session will focus on the writer’s  completed goals and lessons learned along the way that can help other writers:

Objective – Each person can speak for up to five minutes  about successes and/or difficulties in areas specific to their writing experience followed by up to five minutes       Q & A. If speaking please come with prepared notes.

 

In the second session writers will break into smaller groups according to genre and/or a specific goal for the workshop.

  • Genre
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Self-publishing
  • Blogging
  • Public speaking
  • Marketing
  • Distribution

 

What to Bring: A brief summary of your work/projects, in order for others to  understand your interests and the main goal you wish to achieve in this workshop.

 

Please RSVP to:    Melanie @ s.j.hart@comcast.net

 

Space limited to 20 due to size of room.  There will be no waiting list. We hope to see you there!

 

August 13, 2016 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

RANTS & RAVES: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ONCE AGAIN. THIS TIME, MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.

I am once again straying from the purpose of this blog to reflect on my human experience in this f—ked up world. This has happened before, and I can guarantee, it will happen again.

In regards to the Catholic Church, I envy those believers who maintain their beliefs no matter what they hear during mass, even if it goes against their knowledge, or what is revealed in the press.

I strayed from the Catholic Church for twenty years or more. But when my daughters were born I decided to reenter the religion, wanting them to have some religious education as opposed to nothing. If they continued to practice their religion into adulthood, it was up to them.

So my girls and I attended church. My former wife was non Catholic, but enjoyed the Christmas and Easter masses.

One Sunday, while my oldest daughter, Annie, was in high school she heard a sermon delivered by a deacon. She was so upset by what she heard that she refused to receive communion. I would later develop an intense dislike for this person by the nonsense he spewed. And all we could do, as a sea of bobble-heads was to agree or remain silent.

Time passed, my girls went to college, and I attended mass alone.

One Sunday, the priest preforming the mass announce that, for the following week, there would be homework, as in bringing a pen. That next Sunday there were post cards in all the pews meant to be sent to our congressmen pleading to vote against abortion.

My church’s mass had suddenly become ‘Big Brother’. The faithful filled out their cards and at the same time studied what all around them were doing. Those who had not done what was told were identified when the cards were collected.  I remember thinking, “Is this legal?”

I can point out other incidents making no sense to me. As the Sunday shortly after it was revealed that the priests in Europe and Ireland were molesting children just as our homegrown clergy. The second collection was to support the European parishes.

There was another incident when for weeks church members stood in front of the congregation and told how they were tithing to the church. Since doing that all of life’s matters had come to a happy conclusion. Eventually, the head priest announced that some parishioners him what he did with this extra money. He announced that he used to money in times of emergency.

What was I missing?                                                                                                                                                                      

I live outside Philadelphia and what tears me apart is the abuse of children by priests. When the abuse became known, the priests were transferred to where they could continue their despicable act. I realized there were priests’ acts I found repulsive, and at the same time, I was expected to confess my sins to someone performing acts I could not comprehend. If I had committed these acts, I would be jailed and considered a sexual pervert for the rest of my life. But if I were a priest I would maybe receive counseling and then off I go to another parish full of children.

Finally, I really get upset when I see my former parish drive crosses into the ground to represent aborted children. I firmly believe a women has the right to decide what to do with her own body and her future. Do I believe that abortion is right, no? But I also believe women should have the right to choose. And for some, this choice may haunt them for the rest of their lives.

 

August 11, 2016 at 8:22 pm Leave a comment

REMEMBERANCES: A MEMORY OF MY CHILDREN

My then wife, Joni, and I were playing work tag. She began work at Chester County Hospital at 3PM, and I left my research job at 3PM. Our girls spent minimal time at the babysitter’s home. After going to the hospital and searching out my wife’s car, I transferred their car seats and picked up Annie, 4, and Lynn, 2. Annie was always the big sister during those times, sharing her knowledge of the world with Lynn. One day, as I listened to them talk buckled into their seats, I heard Annie say, “You know, Lynn, there are people so poor that they don’t have a pool.”

I silently chuckled to myself. We have an in ground pool. The reason I found this amusing was that until I went to college, I lived in a house with no running hot water and no bathtub or shower. How the times of my life have changed.

Another experience fondly remembered is Annie drawing on post-it notes and hanging them in the room which is now my study. These were Annie’s drawings. She then brought her little sister into the room and asked her if she would like to buy any of them. They all had a price on the post-it note.

Innocent Lynn said, “I’ll take this one, and this one and on and on.” At the end of her selection Lynn handed Annie imaginary money.

Annie looked at Lynn and said, “This is reality. No imaginary money accepted.”

I don’t remember how the incident ended, but it is an incident I will always carry in my heart.

  

August 9, 2016 at 8:15 pm 1 comment

POEMS & FLEETING THOUGHTS: THE MIND AND HAPPINESS

The world may

Deny happiness

If you are able

To think.

August 7, 2016 at 8:32 pm Leave a comment

CRITICS

I’m working on a short story, Cliff’s Note, recently rejected but with a good comment and helpful suggestions.  I have a rewrite and decided to try the story on my roommates.

First I tried the story on Sammy (Samantha).  Here is her response, not good, but she wanted to get close to my work.

Jpeg

Jpeg

Next I looked to Millie for an opinion, hoping for a more positive response. After pondering their reaction, I decided I had more work to do.

 

millie work

August 1, 2016 at 10:21 pm 2 comments


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