Category Archives: Musings

The Art of Forgiveness

“It took a long time, but as soon as I let go of my anger and resentment, I was free. I dropped the chains I’d been carrying around like Ebenezer Scrooge and felt as if a single balloon could lift me off the ground and carry me to the sky.”

I wrote those words some time ago while working on a story in which my main character had been betrayed. She was suffocating under the weight of her own hostility and venom. As the writer who created this character, I understood her refusal to forgive. In fact, I was quite sure I didn’t want her to . . . 

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Filed under Excerpts, Julie Brown, Musings, quotes, True Stories

Monday, Monday

HT1001I love Mondays. That’s kind of un-American, isn’t it?  Like saying I don’t much like fireworks–also true.  But back to Mondays.  We’re all supposed to prefer weekends to weekdays because weekends are the times dedicated to fun fun fun. You know–long hillside hikes, and parties, a trip to the art museum, and parties, a day at Disneyland, and parties. But in the midst of this sybaritic whirl, chances are you neglect to wash the dishes or pick up the kids’ toys, so that by Monday all the hampers are overflowing with damp towels and your kitchen looks more like a Continue reading

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Filed under Jean Shriver, Musings

In Defense of Prejudice

And what’s this got to do with writing anyway?

One of my writing colleagues recently published an article about prejudice against beauty. What? Who doesn’t like beauty? We all enjoy seeing beautiful things, places, faces. But what we don’t usually consider is how that pretty face makes us feel. Envious? Intimidated? Intrigued? Superior? Before that gorgeous gal utters a single word, have we judged her based on appearance? Continue reading

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Filed under beauty, humor, Julie Brown, Musings, prejudice, Writing Tips

Lost and Found in Santa Monica

Two dauntless dames from Vassar’s Class of ‘54 plan to meet for lunch in Santa Monica. This memorylaneshould be easy, except Alumna Number One lives several miles down the coast and rarely drives her grey Camry into the metropolis of which Santa Monica is a part.

She looks up the address on Google and memorizes the location.…well, sort of. She doesn’t remember how to find the GPS button on her phone. When she exits the freeway, she turns in the direction she thought the map had indicated, looking for 27th and Pearl. She can find 26th and 28th streets, but no 27th and no Pearl. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, Jean Shriver, Musings, short but true

The Day the Country Store Catalog Arrived…

The catalog from the Vermont Country Store arrived in the mail today. Immediately, I’m plunged into countrystore Continue reading

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Filed under Jean Shriver, Musings

Aroint Thee, Unholy Adverb! Hie Thee Hence! Fie! Fie!

ShaltNot-ShaltTooA few years ago, there suddenly appeared, as if from Heaven, a new rule for writers, no doubt engraved somewhere in marble or ivory: THOU SHALT NOT USE ADVERBS. (For those who are unclear as to what an adverb is, the rule has a variant: GET RID OF ALL LY WORDS. [1])  The source of this rule is unknown to me at this time, but one authority blames it on Continue reading

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Filed under Excerpts, Jeff Guenther, Musings, Writing Tips

Parking Lot Philosopher

ParkingOceanI put my groceries in my car trunk, (all except the bag of low sodium popcorn) and settled myself into the front seat of my car. Time to drive home, but I didn’t feel like it. Home meant cleaning chores, laundry, and some vigorous digging in the garden. I’d rather stay here. It didn’t hurt that my supermarket parking lot has one of the best views in town. It overlooks the ocean, which today was a steely gray with dramatic black clouds filling the sky above. Continue reading

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Filed under Jean Shriver, Musings

What’s in a Word?

urnWhat’s in a Word?

When my cousin Ruth phoned, I said, “You were nice to call. I bet you remembered this is the day my mother died. “
“Alice,” she said, and I could just see her primming her lips, “nobody says died any more. You really should say Continue reading

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Filed under Jean Shriver, Musings, True Stories

Suicide is Not Painless

by Mary Jo Hazard

Last August 11th, Robin Williams committed suicide. He left three adult children to cope with his death—heartbroken, without a choice.

On September 26, 1972, my father shot himself. It was my sister’s birthday. He sat on my old twin bed, in the bedroom my sister and I had shared as children, and Continue reading

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Filed under Mary Jo Hazard, Musings, True Stories

Dan the Packer Man

muleskinner

Big Dan rests thoughtfully in silent scrutiny, a cigarette dangling from pursed lips, with a mind to the packing of the mules and the proper balance of trinkets and toys of little boy campers and fishermen who have pressed their gear upon him once again.

His mind is not upon them for the moment, but upon ropes and ties and stresses and strains in proper sequence, for he detests the thought of a dropped load or even the time to re-cinch one, when a previous inspection could have avoided disaster. Continue reading

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Filed under Musings, Tom Mooney