Flash Memoir: The Train

A train is a means of conveyance that moves on a track from one place to another. Passengers wait on a platform before departing for their destinations. I remember sitting with my mother in her hospital room as she was dying. This was December, 1999. I sat in the darkened room while she slept. I…

Facebook Responses to My Gas Nozzle Story

Interestingly, admitting my foibles about my recent gas hose dissection brought forth a plethora of comments, mainly from those who were willing to admit their mistakes as well. I’m glad to see I am not alone in the realm of doing dumb things. Is this a birds of a feather thing or just the universal…

“Old Ladyhood”

I have officially entered “Old Ladyhood.” A few days back when I pulled into a 76 gas station with a Del Taco inside, I said to Ray, “You start pumping the gas and then go inside to order. I’ll finish up right after I wrap up this text I’m writing.” Ray nodded, and headed over…

Repost: My Imaginary Friend, Tommy Wizzims

I told this story to some of the volunteers at the St. Thomas the Apostle Breakfast Club where we were feeding the homeless yesterday morning. Someone was saying she fell in love with a teenage boy when she was three. I had to tell her about Tommy Wizzims. Here is that story written a while…

Grilling Up Here in Ojai

Ray suggested last night that we break in our “new” charcoal grill that our friend had given back after using it once in fourteen years. Of course the grill had been outside all those years so it was rusted. Ray brought it up here to Ojai, scrubbed all the rust off and then painted it…

A Few Thoughts on Flash Fiction and Nonfiction

I teach a flash fiction and nonfiction class for Story Circle Network. Right now I am teaching flash nonfiction. ¬†Flash is usually a piece that is limited to around 1200 words maximum. Here are some thoughts on this type of writing. Flash fiction and flash nonfiction differ clearly in content, but many of the needs…

Pasadena Tonight with Our Family and Uncle Sam

Tonight our family gathered in Pasadena at the Levitt Pavilion to hear the Chambers Brothers and to have a visit with my brother Sam, who is visiting from Tennessee. This was a picnic in the park and Rachael and Ariel, Liz, Sarah, Gregorio, Luna and Nico joined Ray, Sam and me.¬†(Ron had a prior commitment.)…

Ray’s Insides – Our Garage

Ray and I have been cleaning our garage today. This is not a small task since we physically handle so many antiques and collectibles when dealing with estates. Still, this space is so cool and unique I wanted to share some pictures of it. This is classic Ray Beaty with tons of stuff hung on…

Striving for a Better Life: The Story Of One of My Students

I am working with one young man, Fong, who is a Vietnamese American whose parents stowed away in a cargo ship to escape the brutal Communist regime in Vietnam in the late 1980’s. They were granted political asylum in the U.S. and are citizens. Fong is a UCLA graduate and is applying to medical school….

College Essay Central

This has been a heavy college essay day. I had three students for two hours each and three students (triplets) for an hour and a half meeting with their parents at Mel’s Diner. (They are from Florida and have been visiting colleges in CA). Lots of good discussion and writing going on, I must say….