Love & Hope in the Pandemic

It’s good to see so many posts and articles praising and thanking our frontline workers. But there are many more examples of love and hope in the pandemic. Let’s look at a few. Row Venice Female gondola rowers in Venice — who are all part of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice — deliver groceries to the elderly and those who cannot shop for themselves. They also volunteer for local farmhouses, delivering organic produce and other products to the elderly and immunocompromised. Follow them on their Instagram account. PPE for Healthcare Workers A start up company, Augment Bionics, used to 3D print affordable prosthetics. Now the company prints PPE for healthcare workers. They need help to continue this effort. If you can afford it, visit their GoFundMe page. Caremongering Canadians, Mita Hans, Valentina Harper, and others started caremongering (a new word) on Facebook. . They wanted to turn scaremongering around into a positive. And they have. There are dozens of these Facebook groups performing acts of kindness for one another. You can search for caremongering and your city in the Facebook search bar. If you don’t have a group near you, why not start one?  Hand Sanitizer One of the many items […]

Life is Like Plumbing

For the past two weeks, my life has been an adventure in plumbing. Over the years, the plumbing in my old house had filled with the debris of years and years of water flowing through old black pipe. The flow of hot water to my kitchen sink had decreased to a trickle. And when my family asked if I would host Thanksgiving dinner again this year, I put my foot down. “Not without hot water in the kitchen,” I said. Unexpectedly, I realized that anything you do, that life is like plumbing. The Assessment My son looked at the problem, opened and shut valves, and studied the pipes in my house. Then he gave me the news. To fix the hot water in the kitchen he had to fix the flow into the hot water heater. To fix the flow into the hot water heater he needed to fix the cold water shut off—for the entire house. And the bill for all the bits and pieces cranked higher and higher. Yikes.  “I can’t afford a plumber to do all that,” I said.  His answer: “I can do it.” I imagined the mess and the long hours of no running water. […]

Dirty Little Secrets to Writing a Good Story

In my post Two Secret Rules for Writers, I said the secret was that there isn’t a secret in writing. I may have to take that back. The truth is there are dirty little secrets to writing a good story. One secret? There’s probably no new story under the sun. Why? Are we writers’ incapable of an original thought? Heck no! The originality comes from the blend and the bend of the story as told by that particular writer at that particular time. Stories come from the stories we have consumed (read, heard, or viewed). So they are all a melding of a ton of different things. Study Story To write the best stories one must study the masters. Study the successful stories. What makes them tick? And how can I use that in my story? Pantsers decry outlines and story structure to their story’s detriment. The way the human brain processes story demands a structure we can recognize. You don’t have to start from an outline, but whatever you write must have the parts in it to be successful. Mish-Mash I’ve mixed bits and pieces of Westerns and Space Opera and Thrillers and mythology. Yes, they went into one […]