Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Momma Bear’s Ready to Roar

I’m sitting here coughing and sniffling and it suddenly hits me that I have to write the blog this week. With my body aching, writing anything is, well, a chore.
I’ve seriously started this three times in some attempt to come up with something. Anything. But since my own health is currently taking a slight blow, my brain is stuck on the subject of, well, health.
I do have some chronic health conditions, which are currently well controlled and I’m actually in good health, generally speaking. Bonnie has serious chronic health conditions and has to monitor her conditions daily. Now that she lives alone I have reasons to worry, though she has friends nearby who worry faster than I do, which is good.
But if you were to see either one of us, say at Walmart, you wouldn’t be inclined to describe us as young and healthy. Well, unless you were already an adult back in the early sixties when we were born and therefore could still consider us kids.
On the other hand, if you were to see any of my adult daughters you could describe all of them as young and healthy. People do it all the time. And the men in my family, especially my two boys, get so frustrated when I let the two who still live at home get out of chores because they don’t feel well or it makes them sick.
You see, both of my younger two daughters have auto-immune diseases.
My youngest daughter has migraines and Fibromyalgia. ‘Flares’ mean muscle soreness which could be all over or localized, or sensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes she gets them both at the same time. Now imagine doing dishes or cooking dinner for a family of six under those conditions.
Yeah. Not happening.
The older of the two girls, my middle daughter, actually has two auto-immune diseases. Fibromyalgia and Lupus. So she not only gets the muscle pain, but she is also sensitive to sun and florescent lights, and Lupus is known for sapping energy. She can’t do yard work and we can’t use the florescent lights in our kitchen. Plus she often doesn’t have the energy to spend a half an hour or more doing dishes or cooking dinner.
Through her Lupus support group she found a post, a blog or something, by someone trying to explain what Lupus was to a friend. This woman told her friend something she dubbed “The Spoon Theory”. This theory is basically that those with auto-immune diseases, in this case Lupus, though I think it applies to all of them, wake up each day and have only so many spoons. Spoons represent energy, and if you don’t have any you can’t do your chores, or much else.
The thing is, just looking at someone, you can’t see auto-immune diseases. Unless you can recognize a Malar, or Butterfly, rash for what it is, how would you know someone has Lupus? How many people realize Michael Jackson had Lupus? You can’t see someone’s reactions to pressure points unless you actually touch them so how would you know by just looking that they have Fibromyalgia? And how about those times when they aren’t experiencing any symptoms?
It all comes back to what I’ve always said. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
If you want to make this momma bear, currently pumped with menopausal hormones, really ticked off, tell one of these two beautiful young ladies they look young and healthy or that their health problems are all in their head.

Yeah, that can rile me, even as sick as I am. How’s that for a picture?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I haven’t been able to write all week. Actually, I haven’t been able to write for a couple of weeks. Chores have been falling by the wayside too, this week at least. Most of what I’ve been doing is reading.


Well, for starters I got a couple of new books, the next two in a series (which honestly I shouldn’t have purchased but I had a strong urge to keep reading) I actually reread what I already had as well. Except when I finished those books, instead of doing the chores I’d been ignoring, or trying my hand at some writing, I found another book to read.


Well, I didn’t know then, but I do now. This final book’s title is “The Happiest Season,” and it’s by Rosemarie Naramore. I’ve read it before, and I’ve had it on my reader for a while, but I honestly have no idea why I suddenly had to read that particular story again.
I mean it’s nice enough. It is in fact a sweet romance set at Christmas time, but I’d never before been inclined to reread it, since it’s a story about a young widow and her son. So it seemed a little weird that I’d WANT to reread it.

But this isn’t the only weird thing that’s happened this week. You see, all week, every time I looked at my clock above my TV, which shows the date, day, and temp along with the time, I got the feeling I’d forgotten something. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pulled out my planner thinking I must have spaced some appointment or other. This was particularly true last Thursday, the fifteenth.

Then I started reading “The Happiest Season” and right in the middle of it the heroine’s best friend brings up that the heroine was having so much trouble emotionally because her husband died at that time of year, and Bam!

I looked at that clock then closed my eyes fighting tears.
Yeah, I forgot something. Why did I have to have a reminder?
Probably because burying myself in one book after another wasn’t good for me, or my house. I wasn’t going to get past it until I faced it. My husband is not only dead he has now been dead a year. I’d been hiding in books instead of facing it.

It isn’t as if this is the only time in this past year I’ve mourned him. It isn’t.

I miss him horribly every time I climb into the bed we used to share. I missed him on Valentine’s Day, Easter, the last weekend in May (which is weird since that was his Rendezvous weekend and my health issues had prevented me from going with him for several years before his death, but I felt pangs of regret that he wasn’t there with his friends). I also missed him on my birthday. I missed him on the anniversary of our first date and his birthday and the anniversary of when he proposed. In fact, that whole week back in August had been a bad week for me too.

Then came November. Gearing up for National Novel Writing month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short), I sorely missed that he would no longer be griping about how much time I was spending writing. Let’s face it I missed my husband.

Now though I’ve been in the group for several years, while only seeing them during NaNo, a few of them, the leaders most particularly knew in the past I had a man in my life. It was kind of hard to miss since for the last few years, I couldn’t drive for health reasons.

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, this local group does scheduled write-ins throughout the month and one of them was set for November 8th. I went. And well, the leader present that day asked what happened to him. I did tell them, no reason not to. Cancer is an awful thing, but it’s a fact of life. I even pointed out that we only learned he had cancer after Christmas the previous year.

Everything was going fine, I answered all their questions about how and when he died without a tear, then one of the ladies present asked, “How long were you together?”

I looked at her and said, “You had to ask,” then tears welled in my eyes. It took me a minute before I could tell them that that day would have been our 28th anniversary. I even mentioned that I’d hoped focusing on my writing at least on that day would have helped me through it. What actually helped me was the hug our leader gave me.

I also got through Thanksgiving — thanks to his sister who reminisced with me over our holiday feast. We both cried.
And I’ll admit to fighting tears at one point while at my sister’s over Christmas both because I missed my husband and because I knew he’d wanted to swing enough money for us to be able to spend the holiday with her, but hadn’t been able to. I only managed it because, well, I don’t have him anymore.

I knew I’d miss him, but why does it have to come at me in waves like this? And will I always have this hard of a time with it? Should I plan on having a bad time the week of his birthday and the week he died for the rest of my life?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Twin Depiction

Since Bonnie posted her comments on authors and how they portray twins I’ve been looking at how twins are depicted in media.  Twins don’t ever seem to be shown as same gender fraternal twins, and only rarely do they do boy/girl fraternal twins. My assumption is that these types tend to come across as regular siblings and it’s harder to define and depict the twin thing whereas with identical twins there is more to work with, just show how they are alike and special. The problem is too many authors forget that they aren’t carbon copies.
Far too often you find stories where no one can tell the twins apart, and as a twin I can tell you, that doesn’t happen. Someone is going to be able to tell them apart even when they are attempting to fool you.
Recently I was reading Richard Paul Evans’ first two Michael Vey books. In them, he has a set of twins, one of which is Michael Vey’s girlfriend. The other is one of the enemy. I know, classic good twin/evil twin. But not really. See the “evil twin” has been brainwashed by the bad guy since she was young girl. One would assume had she grown up with a loving family as her twin had, she wouldn’t be twisted, like the man who raised her.
At first I thought Mr. Evans’ fell into the same twin trap everyone else seems to with the people around them periodically getting them mixed up and always commenting on how alike they are. Then near the end of the second book the bad guy, in one of his attempts to break Mrs. Vey, has the bad twin impersonate Michael’s girlfriend. Mrs. Vey is at first fooled, but then realizes the eyes aren’t quite right. She spotted the dissimilarity and pointed out that the trick didn’t work. The fun part was when the bad guy attempted a similar thing on Michael who eventually just told the bad guy that his girlfriend was prettier. Both the Vey’s could tell them apart.
Mr. Evans got it right.
Yes, people get twins mixed up, but there are going to be a few, who can tell the difference. Both my husband and Bonnie’s could always tell us apart. The weekend we started dating my husband saw a picture of our family and easily picked me out. My brother-in-law never once confused me for his wife.
No two people are exactly alike.
There are variations. It’s not impossible to find them and thereby tell the difference. That’s why I find it highly implausible that a twin could step into their twin’s life and impersonate them for any length of time without someone figuring it out.
So anyone who wants to can pass this on to Richard Paul Evans. I admire him.
Here is an author who knows how to weave a good tale, and made it big even with his first book even after all the publishers rejected him.
Here is a man who is faithful to his wife, children, family, and church.
Here is a man who didn’t let Tourette’s syndrome stop him or slow him down, he’s even used it to write his books. I think he could truly stand tall next to men like Nephi and Helaman (and yes, he’d know who they are). (I once dated a man with Tourette’s, so I do know a little about it.)
Here is a man who gets twins.

The more I learn about him, the more I like him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Happy New Year

Okay, Bonnie was supposed to post this morning but apparently isn’t feeling well so it’s been dumped in my lap, only being the busy mother that I am, I’m swamped. I just returned from a doctor’s appointment (not mine) and am currently trying to fix lunch while typing this and hoping I have enough time to pay the bills before I have to pick-up my son from school. (Something my husband normally does but he’s out of commission too.)  And I still have to run to the store, a normal chore for me.
But while trying to encourage Bonnie to write something I thought of New Year’s Resolutions. I know people do those every year but I’ve long since not bothered. I figure IF I’m going to bother setting a goal and working toward it I don’t need a special day of the year to start on. But my approach to changing me tends to be a slow process.
As an example I decided once I needed to improve my diet, make it healthier, so I started working on it, and I’ve made several changes since then. Most notably I switched to nonfat milk. That was roughly eighteen years ago. My diet is still a work in progress. This last year I worked on decreasing the amount of treats I ate. I still need to work on that, but I’m getting better. Now if I could just get my diet closer in line with a diabetic diet I might be getting somewhere.
While for most things a little at a time is how I approach it, with my writing, it tends to take a back burner because I don’t have large blocks of time to devote to it. When I go to work on a story I need time to re-read the story so I can get the next scene refreshed in my memory. Generally by the time I’ve done that much my writing time evaporates. Either the reading took all my time or some catastrophe requiring my attention befell my household and I have to drop everything and attend to it. Sometimes it’s not actually important, but my family thinks it is, and it’s been something major, like an ER visit, enough times that I always drop what I’m doing.

I know writing goals down and having a support system helps you to accomplish your goals. So, I’m asking you. Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Do you write your goals down? And what kind of support system do you have?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Okay, here is the setting: A young college student at an airport waiting to return home between terms for Christmas talking on the phone with her mother when she suddenly tells her mother she has to go because a member of their church just went past her. The young lady named a specific person who should have been at home in the same city where her parents lived. But neither this lady nor any of her family had been seen at church that day, leaving the young lady’s family confused. Was she home or two states away and why would she be over there anyway? Clearly she can’t be two places at once.
A little while later the family got another phone call, and low and behold, it’s from the same lady the daughter said she’d just seen.
Can you just imagine what the family is thinking?
The father takes the call, commenting on the fact they hadn’t seen her family at church, which she confirms saying, “I know, we’re all home sick right now.”
Okay, so his daughter didn’t see this lady at the airport.
When he asked why she called she told him. “My sister is at the airport and ran into your daughter. They’re coming in on the same flight.”
You can guess the conversation from there. But let me insert the conversation between the sisters before calling the father.
A few minutes earlier Bonnie called and said, “You’ll never believe what just happened.”
“Someone just walked up to me and asked if I was related to the Enos’.”
In my mind I immediately flashed to the fact it was the Sunday before Christmas and the airport she was at was nearest to the school a number of kids from our area were going to and some of them might be flying home.
I asked for a description since she didn’t know the young lady’s name and then asked Bonnie if she could, given the chance, ask the girl her name, mentioning who I thought it was. Well the young lady had told Bonnie her name and she remembered it as soon as I said it. So I got off the phone with Bonnie and called her family where I found out they were a bit confused as to where I was, because of the earlier conversation with her mother.
I assured her father that his daughter hadn’t seen me, “Just very very close.”
Anyway, Bonnie spent a week with us and this Sunday went to Church with me. Because of parking, I dropped her and my daughter at the door and went to find a parking space so they walked into the chapel without me. The first person they saw was astounded when my daughter introduced ‘me’ as her aunt and he told me so when I finally came in. He’d thought I’d changed my hairstyle.
My daughter also noticed another man doing a double take looking between us, but he didn’t come up to us.
Then as we were leaving another lady passing us said, “You could be twins.”
There’s only one response to that and we both said it. “We are.”
I did introduce my sister to several people at church, it’s just those were the most obvious reactions to how much alike we look.
But then I noticed something. Not everyone focused on how we were identical. The first man who saw her at church noticed her hairstyle was different. Others realized we were sisters but didn’t focus on the fact we were identical. And the young lady who saw her at the airport? She did think she saw me go past her, but by the time she was looking Bonnie in the face she realized it wasn’t me. She could see the difference.
And, as my youngest daughter says, “How can anyone mix you up? You don’t look anything alike.”

You be the judge.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Plagiarism and the Law

This is making me angry, so I have to get it off my chest. Here is a blog about one author’s struggle with a plagiarist and the part I find hard to take is this statement by New York Times bestselling author David Farland, “The legal system considers plagiarism to be a civil matter rather than criminal.”

Why isn’t it a criminal offense?

We’re not talking about some lazy kid slapping their name on someone else’s term paper or essay for an easy A, we’re essentially talking about a forger stealing someone else’s hard-earned paycheck and cashing it. How is that not criminal?

I mean honestly, if a man took a log in one hand and knife in the other and spent hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years little by little turning that log into a sculpture then once it’s in its final form the man sands all the rough places. After that he takes a palette of paints, adding color to his creation, and finally he takes the time to add a layer or two of varnish to make it shine, only to have someone else come along, take the piece, change the paint job a little, claim it’s his creation and sell it.

Would anyone argue that wasn’t a crime? Of course not! It is a crime.

So how is that different from a man sitting in front of a computer and spending hours, days, weeks, months, maybe even years word by word filling the screen with a story of thousands of words. Then after all that, he goes through the whole manuscript several times, first fixing the grammatical errors, next tweaking the details, and other times to fix problems with the characters, and another time to work on the story flow, and on and on for up to a dozen or more revisions.

Only to have some unscrupulous cretin take all that work and effort, make a few minor changes, slap his name on it, and sell it! How is that not the same crime as stealing a sculpture and selling it as your own work? 

Do you honestly think authors don’t go through all those steps to create a novel?

Think again!

And I’d like to see any creative person have their creation stolen by someone else, and that someone then sells said work as their own and not cry foul. It is wrong. It is stealing. I mean, really, just look at the words the Thesaurus says you can use instead of plagiarism.
And finally:
Illegal use

Those are all crimes! Why isn’t plagiarism?

I think every artist in the world will agree with me that this is not right and needs to be changed. Do you?

I would also hope everyone who agrees would help Rachel Ann Nunes pay her legal fees. This just isn’t right.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Last week I was on Facebook and saw a couple of videos of young kids, toddlers or younger, reacting to seeing twins for the first time. One was a little girl, toddler, reacting to meeting her father’s twin brother.
Since my sister and I can’t see each other every day because of distance, we’ve had some experience with this reaction. I had two daughters, both under three, when my sister and her husband were able to come visit us at my house. (We’d seen each other a couple of years before at our Dad’s place.)
When my sister walked in it was fun watching the kids look back and forth between the two of us trying to figure out what they were seeing. My older girl, who was pushing three, had actually met my sister at our Dad’s place. Her eyes got big but she accepted my introduction. She was then and always has been a very friendly girl, though a bit shy at first. She had no problems with her Aunt Bonnie.
Now, my younger daughter hated strangers. In fact if she couldn’t see Mommy well then she better have Daddy, or Grandma Sharon (all of which she lived with). Anyone else and she’d scream like a banshee until I picked her up again, and I mean for hours on end without stopping. And she’d probably start screaming for both Sharon and her daddy if I didn’t show up fast enough. So I held her for her first meeting with her Aunt Bonnie. And like all babies, the sight of two faces so similar confused her, but she had mom and was fine.
Then at one point during Bonnie’s visit I needed to run errands and left Bonnie with the kids while my baby was asleep, but I hurried concerned she’d wake up and start her banshee impersonation. However, when I got home I found my kids on the couch with their aunt Bonnie reading a story to them, and my baby was fine.
I avoided the couch and did some chores that needed done while I had the reprieve. And it lasted until my daughter got hungry. At which time she got really upset when she realized the woman holding her didn’t have anything to feed her.
But, besides the people she lived with, Bonnie was the first person who could take care of that particular daughter without earplugs. The next person who walked into her life who ever managed that ended up becoming her favorite uncle.
Anyway, it’s fun watching kids react to seeing two of the same person for the first time. And their confusion can be hilarious if one of those twins is someone they see all the time and the other one isn’t. Kind of reminds me of the incident in eighth grade when the Neilson boy, started talking to me outside our fourth period classes (which were across the hall from each other) and while I was trying to figure out why he would even talk to me Bonnie walked up all happy because we were actually being nice to one another.
He gasped. “There’s two of you!”

At which point I saw the Neilson boy walk into his fourth period class down the hall. “That’s nothing. There’s two of you too.” Which solved the problem of why Bonnie liked him and I didn’t, and apparently solved the same issue for the two of them.