Chicago, then 2 Nights on a Train

I am sitting here in bed on my last night in Texas for this trip. Tomorrow, I’m headed for Chicago to visit a friend for a few days, and then on Wednesday, we’ll board an Amtrak train and head back to LA. That trip starts at noon on Wednesday and ends at 8 am on…

Texas and a Covid Scare

I have been in Texas for two weeks, which is a little longer than we usually stay. It’s been a good trip with lots of work tackled both at our building and in our barn outback. Our visit was complicated a bit by a Covid exposure we hadn’t expected. A friend of ours came down…

The Beauty of Revision

I have been a writing coach for over twenty years. During that time, I have spent countless hours working with students, editing and revising their work. As I often say to them, “We first take your rough draft and make sure it’s structured correctly with its beginning, middle, and end, and then we go through…

What Needs To Be Done

What needs to be done? Big and small Easy and hard A minute, an hour A week, a month A year or two No worries Life has a rhythm and a pace An ebb and a flow And I am learning How old am I? That my only job Is to stay focused Doing what…

Life as an Editor

I have been editing a manuscript today Switching out a word, a phrase, sometimes a whole sentence Looking for repetition to eliminate while keeping the rhythm of the words Searching for themes, motifs, and tropes that will illuminate the writing Delighting when I stumble upon an apt metaphor Or a succinctly stated feeling Or a…

In All Matters, Big and Small

Dear Father in heaven, guide me as You would have me go. I pray this prayer every day. It is a reminder to myself to open my heart and trust that my Higher Power – God and Jesus – are watching over me and shepherding me along the way. I often hear non-religious people posit the question, “Why would God…

More Wisdom from Another

Today I found this index card among my stack that I bought at an estate sale years ago. It is typed but is not signed. It reads: Short Course in Human Relations The 6 Most Important Words: I admit I made a mistake. The 5 Most Important Words: You did a good job. The 4…

More Words of Wisdom from Another

Another card from the stack of handwritten index cards I bought at an estate sale years ago reads: To be seen, stand up; To be heard, speak up; To learn, shut up! I will admit that this card offers some wisdom that I can benefit from. I have a tendency not to always just shut…

Someone Else’s Wisdom

I was sorting through boxes the other day here in Texas and I came upon a stack of index cards held together with a rubber band. I started going through the cards and remembered that I found them a long time ago (can’t remember when) at an estate sale. Most have handwritten sayings on them…

Multi-Tasking in Texas

I am tired tonight. Tired enough that I believe I could lay my head down on my writing table and go straight to sleep. Over the past several days, Ray and I have been tackling lots of the toughest spots we have here in Texas. Hauling lots of furniture and boxes out of our barn…