Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving, 2020


 It's different, this year. But despite the changed situation, we can still find things for which we are thankful. When I looked out this morning, I saw the American flag flying, as it always has, from the stanchion attached to the front of our house. There may come a time when we can no longer fly our flag, but until that day, Old Glory will be displayed, symbol of the freedom we enjoy.

Our Thanksgiving Day meal will be a bit different, but we'll still eat it in gratitude--gratitude for our family (near and far), gratitude for enough and more when there's so much want around us, gratitude for the freedoms we take for granted. The political climate, the changes necessary because of the "plague" that surrounds us, the situation in general--all these things affect us, but we can still find things for which to be grateful. I hope the same applies to you all.

See you next week.

BTW--the Kindle edition of my novella, Silent Night, Deadly Night, is priced at 99 cents for the next month. Happy holidays. 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Writing: Memoirs

I was asked recently for some suggestions and help in writing a memoir. Since this is a type of writing I don't ordinarily do, I honestly haven't thought much about it. But, since the request came from one of my relatives, I didn't just blow it off. Instead, I researched the subject a bit, and thought I'd share the information with you.

It's amazing how much "research" we can do by just entering "writing a memoir" in the search engine of our computer. I did, and the first page was filled with suggestions (plus not a few "pay me and I'll publish it" sites). Putting those sites aside, here are my suggestions.

1. Decide the purpose of the memoir. A "memoir" differs from an autobiography in that it simply focuses on one theme or event of a life. So, what's your theme? What's the central truth you want to convey? Settle this in your mind before you start typing.

2. Is this written for publication, or just to get the words down on paper, perhaps for yourself or for your family? There's nothing wrong with the latter. I've often said that if only one person reads what you write, be it a novel or a non-fiction book, perhaps you're the only one who needs it. If the audience is wider than that small circle of yourself and perhaps your family, keep this in mind as you write.

3. Start with something that will pique the reader's interest. For goodness sakes, don't just tell it chronologically. Start with something that will get your reader interested. Then add scenes, both long and short, that illustrate your point. Diagram your life--or the parts you want to emphasize--and choose what will be the opening scene, what will continue the reader's interest, and what will be the concluding scene and truth you want to convey.

4. Be prepared to start over, again and again. It's not easy to write something knowing it will be read by others, and you'll be tempted to shine it up a bit and make yourself look better than you are. But folks aren't going to read the perfect story...they may start it, but tell them about yourself, warts and all.

I haven't said anything about finding a publisher or getting involved with the writing world. That comes later. It's enough to start. If you finish, then you can get into that part of it.

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Just Thinking


 Random thoughts--don't make more of them than that.

I'm glad I left the practice of medicine when I did. There was a time when a physician cared for the whole patient, even when our complaint was outside his/her field. When those situations occurred, we got the word that such-and-such a doctor would be best for us to consult. And out increased knowledge is great (Yes, I keep up, even though I'm retired), but there are too many times when I've run across things I know the physician is doing because "the regs require it."

None of us knows what's ahead. The President has every right to contest the election--and the circumstances are suspicious (although the network crawl still refers to them as "unsubstantiated" even as the person being interviewed substantiates them). We don't know what's ahead, and that's tough. Whatever happens, I have to trust that I'll get through it, the same as I have for so many years. 

I'm still working on my next novel, but mainly in my head. I'll probably sit down and finish writing it one day, but then again, I never thought I'd have one published, much less a bunch of them. Right now, though, I'm going to take it one day at a time.

It seems that a number of my friends and colleagues are voting for free speech without censorship by going to new apps such as Parler. I have a presence on Parler and MeWe, but honestly, it's taken me a long time to get used to Facebook and Twitter--don't know about the newer ones. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Veterans' Day, 2020


 Tomorrow is Veterans' Day. It had its beginning as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, commemorating the armistice that was signed to end the first world war--at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year.

Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, and should not be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in military service. I'm proud to have served, and always feel a special thrill when someone recognizes that I'm a veteran and thanks me for my service--even though it was quite a while ago.

We'll fly our flag today, as we do every day--even amidst the election day confusion. Because brave men and women fought for our right to do so. When you see a veteran today, thank him or her for their service. It will bring a smile to your face and theirs.

Friday, November 06, 2020

Where Do We Go From Here?


 For those checking in, expecting to see a post on writing, let me explain--this election is going to end up in the courts, and however it's decided, we'll still have a divided country. I'm not sure where that leaves us...or me. So for now, I'll just say "I'll be back...I think. I just don't know when or in what form." 

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Vote


 If you haven't done so already,  please vote. Some, myself included, live in states where early voting is allowed, and we did just that. If you see the length of the lines, don't be discouraged--remember, rather than the "scrunched-together" ones we're used to, they include people who are observing social distancing. And if you're tempted to give up, recall what's at stake. Vote!

We live in a republic (so far) that depends on the votes of the people to choose the leaders, That means that each vote--including yours--is important. And if you don't want our system of government to change, vote!

We'll watch the results this evening as we always do, although this year is totally different from years past and we may not know the final results for anywhere from a short time to a long one. No matter the outcome, remember what my parents taught me--if you don't vote, you can't fuss about the result. I hope you'll heed that advice. I did. Vote!