On Valentine’s Day I stopped at Safeway. The eleventh hour romance shopping was in full swing. On the big flower-giving holidays I tend to loiter around the bouquets and potted plants. There’s always somebody standing there looking perplexed. Thanks to writing in the Victorian period, I know a bit about the language of flowers. Now and then I offer a helpful suggestion.
I was about to take a shortcut down the beer aisle. There stood a husky fellow in shorts and a T shirt, contemplating the six-packs. In one hand he held a sad bunch of four red carnations. No fern, no babies-breath. Oh no. I was looking at a train wreck just waiting to happen.
Right about then the guy noticed me standing there. I apologized for staring, then flat out said my fairy godmother alarm was going off. The guy laughed. I told him I didn’t want to be rude or anything. I was just concerned because most people associate carnations with funerals.
The guy’s whole vibe changed. He turned pale. I was afraid I had offended him, so I started to apologize. He made a shushing gesture, thanking me up one side and down the other. His lady had lost her father recently. When he said that, I could see him remembering the flowers at that funeral.
About 20 minutes later I headed out to my car. Oddly enough, I crossed paths with the same guy again. Now he held one of the fancy mixed bouquets. He thanked me again, saying he “really thought this must have been a God thing.” The relief in his voice made me feel the same relief.
This year the kids who believe in Santa Claus need answers to their letters more than ever. The Post Office has a plan for making sure the letters you answer will be safe both coming in and going out. Please, so many boys and girls need to know Santa Claus is still there, ready to listen.
The letters to Santa Claus have begun to arrive. Right after Thanksgiving, I let the local post offices know that once again I’d be ready, willing, and able to join the network of Volunteer Elves all over the U.S. We answer the letters children write to Santa Claus. We help keep the magic of childhood bright and sparkling.
If you believed in Santa Claus when you were little, please consider lending a hand this holiday season. There are always more letters than there are volunteers available to answer them. Would you like to know how much joy a letter from Santa Claus can bring? Let me share with you some moments from the more than ten years I’ve been answering these letters.
One young lady asked for a gift certificate to a local bookstore. I called the bookstore, explained myself as a volunteer…
Here’s the latest news on how to participate in the Q&A this coming Saturday!
Hi, everyone. We’re doing something a little different for our meeting on 11/21/20, 10:30 AM, with Laurie R. King. We’re taking questions in advance so that we can be well-organized and make the best use of our time. You can not only submit your own question, but you can vote on those already submitted. The Pigeonhole system automatically puts the most popular question(s) at the top of the list. To submit your question, just go to www.pigeonhole.at and enter pass code COASTAL1121. If you haven’t pre-registered, now’s a great time to sign up athttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc-moqj8uH9SKJKktykhtlTayjm_xa5hx I look forward to seeing all dog you on Saturday!
Sharon E. Cathcart Award-Winning Historical Fiction Author Member, Historical Novel Society & Sisters in Crime
A new sponsor for NaNoWriMo 2020 is Sisters in Crime. Are you writing a mystery? Are you interested in the techniques of good storytelling and the insight from a master of suspense? This event is for you!
Date: Saturday NOVEMBER 21
Time: 10:30 – 12:00
Topic: In Conversation with Laurie R. King. An informal Q&A session.
Laurie R. King is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels and other works, including the Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes stories. She is probably the only writer to have both an Edgar and an honorary doctorate in theology. She spent her childhood reading her way through libraries up and down the West Coast; her middle years raising children, renovating houses, traveling the world, and doing a BA and MA in theology. King now lives a genteel life of crime, on California’s central coast, and is a founding member of Coastal Cruisers.
Please contact chapter social media liaison Victoria Kazarian, firstname.lastname@example.org, to register. Zoom information will be sent out prior to the meeting.
October is right around the corner. That means pulling together our notes, ideas, research, and munchies! Whether you’re a planner or a pantser, it’s time to do all those little things that will put us just where we need to be on November 1st.
I am one of the municipal liaisons for my region. All over the world, MLs are gearing up to provide crucial support during #NaNoWriMo to writers both experienced and brand new. Wherever you may be, I hope you will find these highlights from previous years useful as you get ready for this year’s writing marathon.
For NaNoWriMo 2020, I plan to write another novel set in my Kyoto Steampunk universe. If you’d like to know more about Dr. William Harrington, a British physician who finds himself facing the gods and monsters of Kyoto, Japan, please click here.
Hello again. I come to you from the throes of the pandemic here in California. Our Governor Gavin Newsom now requires all of us (with appropriate exceptions) to wear masks when we’re out in public. Not just when we’re going into stores or other essential activities, but all the time. I’m delighted. As the mother of a medically fragile child, I don’t care how low the odds of infection might be. Any odds are too high when it comes to risking my son’s life.
The world has changed so much. Four months. Everything is different. If we know nothing else, we know we’re not alone in this world. We can kill each other by being careless. We can save each other by being mindful. We can unite, be strong, say a kind word. We can use that word, make signs, write on walls, spread it across the Internet, wear it on a T shirt, paint it on a car window. We can spread that kind word.
We can make the world better. Life is hard, times are tough, but we can make this pandemic a chance to heal more than just torn up lungs and traumatized minds. We can be the people we needed. We can delay the achievement of our private glories as we come together to build a world where we all can thrive.
I don’t know much, but I do know our hearts are all the same color. We are all the same in our component parts. Blood, breath, bone, spirit. We are all humanity. Bring back the Rainbow Coalition. Bring back the songs that we all sang together.
I believe this. I believe every word of it. I’m just one person. Sometimes that’s all it takes. Let’s start helping each other. We could all use a little more kindness.
April is Autism Awareness Month. As you can see, I’ve “gone blue” in support of ASD children and adults everywhere. As the T shirt says:
It takes a special mom to know what a child cannot say.
Both of my sons have difficulties with their verbal skills. John has speech delay. Michael doesn’t not speak at all, aside from some vigorous vocalizing. I am fortunate in that words seem to be what I’m good at in this life. Public speaking, sales, writing fiction and nonfiction. I had no idea my ability with words would stand me in such good stead given how hard it is for both of my boys to communicate.
What really keeps me going right now is the generosity and support of my community. By that I mean all of you folks reading this. All the folks who have donated to the GoFundMe, Safeguarding My Special Needs Sons. As of today, the total amount donated is over $3,000. In these strange, stressful, and scary times, the weight of enduring the divorce process is crushing me. I have to stay strong for my boys, to help them make the most of each day.
Thank you. Thank you so much. If I could do it, I would hug every single one of you.
Please keep sharing the link to the GoFundMe. Being able to pay a good lawyer to protect my interests and my boys’ future will do so much to keep all three of us strong until we get to that brighter future we all are hoping for.
As you may recall, last year my sister moved out of my house and soon after that my mother passed away. The time has come to reveal the third event that made 2019 even more stressful.
I filed for divorce.
I am one of those women who let the man take care of all the finances. This was a serious mistake. I can’t discuss the legal fine points here. Let me just say my husband has made a number of questionable decisions and went to some lengths to conceal them. As a writer I don’t make a lot of money. The royalties I do have coming in don’t amount to a lot, a fact painfully clear when I put together all my income tax information. Last year was hard on me emotionally and financially.
Lawyers cost money, especially divorce lawyers. With that in mind, I have organized a GoFundMe. I’ve found a lawyer who will protect my interests and those of my sons. We need someone who will keep us safe against spite, vengeance, and legal maneuvering.
Please. Any donation will help me protect my boys and build a better life.
Hello again. Here I am, back from my extended absence.
I can’t recall the last time I was so happy to see a year end. 2019 was hell with a side of chaos. Lots of people were saying that, and I don’t blame them a bit.
Unfortunately, 2020 isn’t turning out to be all that wonderful, either.
For those of you who are just joining us, a quick recap:
Last June I lost my mother.
November saw me having emergency surgery to remove my gall bladder.
The holidays were profoundly depressing.
I’m still here, still fighting the good fight for my own sake and the health and well-being of my sons. Michael is medically fragile. This means he’s in serious danger if the coronavirus gets to him. John is picking up on all the stress and having his own struggles.
I apologize for this being rather bare bones. I wanted to get something up so you’d know I haven’t vanished off the face of the earth.
The A to Z Blog Challenge is coming in April, so I hope to resume regular posting then.
I'm a professional writer living in Northern California with my husband and two sons. Fantasy in various forms is my reading and writing pleasure. I'm a history buff, a Japanophile, and I love to learn about language(s). I enjoy making jewelry, using natural materials such as wood, bone, semiprecious stones, and seashells. I collect bookmarks and wind chimes.