My Novels

Monday, June 30, 2003

The great Katherine Hepburn died yesterday. I simply couldn't let her passing go by without commentary. I think she is one of the all-time GREATS of Hollywood (perhaps because she shunned Hollyweird in general). What an independent free-thinking woman -- imagine, a woman NOT being married OR having children. Goodness knows, there seems to be NO actresses willing to become this kind of role-model today!

Here's some of my favorite quotes by Katherine:

"Not everyone is lucky enough to understand how delicious it is to suffer."

"I often wonder whether men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then." (Wow, so TRUE! :-)

"I've been loved, and I've been in love. There's a big difference."

Otherwise, I'm still undecided about moving/houses/property. Over the weekend, DH and I revisited the 16 acres and house out in the rural area. The foreclosure price has been reduced, and it is within our realm of financial possibility now. However, I am not sure I WANT to live out in the country (as I've stated in other entries). Yet, it is so QUIET and SERENE out there, no annoying HUMANS to bother you...makes me sort of think I might like living in such privacy and seclusion. We'll see, I guess. DH is wild about the place, since he could have his horses there and build a huge barn, etc.

I'm still feeling well, physically. I also went on my bike ride both Saturday and Sunday. And today, at noon, once I returned from the grocery store. I weighed 90 lbs this morning. It's dark outside now, raining, and will continue this for the next day or so, due to the tropical storm heading our way from the coast.

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I fear that I am afraid of taking a RISK....

Friday, June 27, 2003

Decisions, decisions, decisions! I just don't know what to do, regarding moving and buying property/house.

I am still undecided about the older house in the Historic District. I contacted the realtor today, and she met me there for a walk-through. DH and I had already been inside, because the doors were unlocked, but I got a better look this time. It does need the work finished that the owner has started -- new appliances installed, new countertops, etc. I think I'd offer $70,000.00...with the stipulation that the owner install central heat/air. I doubt he'd agree, but that is simply all I would offer. Our house is worth at least that much, and we'd sell we would not have a loan on that house. Or rent out our house, and get the loan on it. I NEVER want to live in a place that has a mortgage, especially after seeing how easy it is to lose one -- there's DOZENS of foreclosures here now.

I DO love that house, it's just the kind of older house I enjoy decorating inside. Plus, I feel more at home in an older house (that one was built in 1938), instead of the newer, modern-looking houses. Guess I'll wait and see. Don't know if DH will agree to make an offer, since he'd prefer moving out in the country and buying some property.

Rainy this morning, so I went to the library, then rode the bike later when it was only cloudy. I weighed 88 lbs the other day, but ate more and am back to 90 today. I feel better, and hopefully am over the illness. Time will tell, since I took my last antibiotic the other day.

Not much else to record. Yeah, I'm a slacker when it comes to journal entries lately. But I DO have a lot on my mind, regarding moving, etc. I'll improve in the future, I hope.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Just a brief entry today. I’m feeling better, though not as well as normal. I did manage to go on my bike ride the past couple of days, since I felt it was necessary. Was having occasional cramps in my calf-muscles, due to no exercise! Also, last week I weighed 93, but have dropped back to 90 by cutting down on calories and the biking.

DH’s bid on the property was not accepted, but neither was the next highest bidder. Guess we’ll wait and see what the finance company hopes to get out of it.

In the meantime, we looked at a lovely older house in the Historic District...about five blocks from where we now live. The house needs lots of work, but some of the renovation is being done by whoever recently bought it; they seem to have stopped though, and just put it up for sale. It’s not as reasonably priced as these foreclosures we’ve been looking at, but not out of our reach either. I would LOVE to have another house, and particularly that one, as I see much I could do for improvements in simple, inexpensive interior decorating. Plus, it’s a nicer, quieter neighborhood with larger lots, more space between the older, huge homes. We’ll see, I guess.

Sooner or later, I am sure we will move; just a matter of finding the RIGHT place in the RIGHT location. We spent almost all of yesterday looking at houses/property...

And so it goes...

Friday, June 20, 2003

Usually I don't go almost an entire week before posting...but I've been sick. The minor pain in my right side turned out to be kidney infection, and I had to visit a doctor for that confirmation. Then I had to start taking antibiotics, and have just been lying around all week, trying to recover. Kidney infection, by the way, is quite serious for me...since I have a history of kidney problems due to a metabolism/kidney defect. So I haven't felt well enough to write anything in this journal.

I'm feeling a bit better, but still not up-to-par. In fact, yesterday I felt better than today, and have no idea why. I was able to do a lot of piled-up housework, cook supper, take care of the cats better, etc...but then this morning I felt like I'd been run over by a truck! I almost went back to bed, but managed to get up, get dressed and do a few chores. I need to buy groceries, but just don't feel like tackling that demanding task. Maybe tomorrow...

I sure hope that I don't end up in the hospital, but it's happened before. If so, it'll be for extensive tests, and to see if the kidney problem has flared up again. I'm getting TOO OLD for this sh*it! The whole episode is depressing me, and I was ALREADY depressed. Getting old is awful, and the worst part is that every time you get sick, you think,"Geez, maybe I should just go ahead and end it all, since it's all downhill misery from here on out." Sometimes (like lately) I think it might be best to skip the last few chapters of old age. I mean, if I feel this rotten at 51, how will I feel if I make it to 61 or 71? *Shudder with dread*

So I'll shut up for now. Oh, one more thing, DH made a bid on that land/trailer, and we're still waiting to hear if the foreclosure company will accept it. I don't think so, since it was VERY low...and frankly, I'm not up to the task of all the work it would take to get that trailer in halfway livable shape. Ho hum, what else is new? (sigh)

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Sunday, the day we go on our country drive, get out of the city. We're going to that 15 acres in foreclosure again, look it over more closely since we only saw it late one afternoon. Still hoping to hear the price next week maybe, and that it'll be very reasonable.

Nice this morning, sunny and humid...but thundershowers are predicted for late afternoon. I went on my bike ride late yesterday afternoon, got in the park awhile, then out on the streets/hills to finish. I also went again this morning, because I ALWAYS get the park on Sunday mornings.

I'm having some sort of minor pain in my right side; I think I strained a muscle in my back/side the other day when I cleaned and rearranged the stray cat's feeding area. Maybe it'll get better soon. I was at 91 lbs this morning, but can't complain since I ate a fairly large meal for supper last night.

I want to put an excerpt and link to an interesting article in the New York Times today. You may have to register to read it, but that is free. The article is about the growing discontent and anger among USA soldiers over in Iraq, and in my opinion, there will be a few McVeighs returning from that detail one of these days. Then we'll have some domestic terrorism to deal with, I fear.

Here's the article link and excerpt:

Anxious and Weary of War, G.I.'s Face a New Iraq Mission --By STEVEN LEE MYERS

Several soldiers have received psychological counseling after showing signs of combat stress: nightmares, sleeplessness, edginess, outbursts of anger and what the chaplain called "intrusive thoughts."

"We have guys whose wives are sick, but not sick enough for them to get emergency leave; guys whose wives are cheating on them — they've heard through the grapevine," Major Nordstrom said. "And you know, the hardest thing is we don't have anything to offer them."

Friday, June 13, 2003

You know, every now and then I do think the world has gone completely mad. For example, during the Iraq war, I thought madness ruled. I mean, how sane can war be? And those who lead us into war? Insane.

Now...look at the world it better for the Iraq war? I see in the news DAILY that there's more USA soldiers killed, more Iraqis killed, more mayhem and disaster. What, exactly, have we accomplished. Do we know FOR CERTAIN that Saddam is dead? Or Osama? What a mess.

I actually DO think the best quote I ever read about terrorism was from a Russian General (I forget his name) who said, "Terrorist are like roaches. If you kill one here, a dozen spring up over there!" Ah, so true. And besides, do we Americans REALLY believe that we can KILL them all? And even IF we eliminated the foreign terrorists, what about our own domestic terrorists? Like the idiot killer sitting in a Birmingham jail right now, Eric Rudolph? And what about the Tim McVeighs who will return from our so-called justified war? What a fool's mission, to think WE can rid the world of terrorism.

Let me give the Government a clue: As long as there are discontented people (and there ALWAYS have been in human history) there WILL be terrorism and crime. Get over it! Stop wasting our tax money on fool's errands! *Now I'll get down off my soapbox!*

What else? I went on my bike ride early, but the park was being mown, so I just rode in the streets. Did some housework, did some other stuff and now at the computer. I NEED to work on my writing, but haven't so far, though I HAVE downloaded a few free writer's software programs I think might help. Oh well.

Enough for today. I'll close with this quote:

A policy that sets the United States above and apart from the rules that other states are expected to follow is ultimately unsustainable and self-defeating. Perpetuating U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons as a key component of protecting U.S. security will only make the acquisition of nuclear weapons more attractive to others, not less. ~ Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Neglected the journal again, sorry to say. But I have been busy...not with writing, just everyday stuff. Shopping. Housework. Biking. Cat care. I went out of town the other day too, which took most of the day; it was a trip I make about once every two months. Nice diversion, and a chance to drive the new car!

Summer is here, the heat/humidity is stifling outside! Today we've already had a couple small thundershowers, and I hear ominous thunder in the distance as I type this. I went on my bike ride early (before the storms), then tackled cleaning/rearranging the stray cat feeding area. Quite a job! I was sweaty and hot when I got through, but that is necessary in order to keep that area hygenic. Yesterday morning I cleaned my pet cats' porch, and that was a tough task too.

I weighed in at 89 lbs this morning, though a couple days ago I got up to 92. I nearly panicked! And cut back on calories for a day or so, which brought me back down to 89.

DH and I have also been looking at foreclosures; I've seen so many they are beginning to all run together in my memory. However, we've decided IF we find the "ideal" place, then we'll keep our house in town and have two places, hopefully one in the country. We can spend weekends there, and vacations, and any time we just want to get out of the city. I think that would work best for us, since I'm not sure I'd like living in the country fulltime. We want something affordable though, which we can pay cash for and not totally destroy all our savings. That makes the search more difficult, but it's kind of interesting to look at all of these properties; most are dreadfully neglected, and need work...which we hope to do ourselves in our spare time. Sort of an investment as well as an enjoyable place to stay occasionally.

Let's's a short roundup of the properties we've seen lately.

--An older house and 16 acres. Beautiful pastureland, already fenced with a barn. The house needed some minor work, but was something we could have done. Finance company asked $84,500.00 and we bid $70,000.00 but they only came down to 82,500.00, and it was quite a distance from the city. Additionally, it was not far from where we lived when we first married, which I hated. So no, not a possibility.

--A modern house in disrepair, but large, with a swimming pool. The pool needed a new liner, but was otherwise usable. Five acres in an upscale suburb 8 miles from the city, in a rural setting. The view of mountains out the front windows was magnificent! It was priced at $65,000.00 and a real bargain. But that isn't enough land for DH's horses, so we didn't make an offer.

--An older house in rough shape, located on 20 acres at the dead-end of a road. Very private, and I loved that about it. However, it's all tangled up in legal problems, and not even on the market right now. It was at first, but when we began checking into it, the realtor realized there were problems with the deed (the prior owner had borrowed on the land and house separately!), so it's in legal limbo right now. Still a consideration, I suppose.

--A newer house with remodeled interior and 6 acres, price $64,500.00. It is only fifteen minutes from the city and a reasonable price/possibility. However, the house is not far off a very busy highway and the traffic noise is awful. Plus, 6 acres is probably not enough land for DH's horses. There is no barn, no fencing, lots of stuff we'd have to do. We didn't bid, and it's still available...but I don't think we'll try to negotiate on that one.

--A double-wide mobile home with 15 acres. We looked at this one last night, and I LOVED the privacy, it's on a secondary paved road, then at the very end of a dead-end graveled road. The whole 15 acres is in front of the mobile home, which gives it lots of seclusion and privacy. Woods all around the home, but open land for pasture toward the road. Apparently a felon lived there, and was arrested, lost the place; it's in the process of foreclosure. Lots of mess to clean up, since there's several old, burned-out trailers (used to be a trailer park there), old cars, an old truck trailer, etc. And the mobile home has been totally stripped inside, nothing but the walls and floor/ceiling/roof and structure left. Probably theft by those sneaking in there, since it's so isolated. And this is 15 miles out of the city...but, the good news is that it may be very affordable. We're waiting on the realtor to let us know what the finance company asks for a price. She thinks it will be mostly based on the land, since the mobile home is practically worthless. However, DH and I COULD make it livable enough for a secondary dwelling, and do most of the work ourselves. Definitely a possibility.

And there's been others too, but none so promising as these I have listed. This county has had LOTS of foreclosures in the recent months, and I'm on a mailing list that sends out announcements each time one is announced for bid/sale. Hence, our search continues.

Guess I'll call it quits here, since the storm is approaching and I may have to go offline. Last thought of the day:

""A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the

Friday, June 06, 2003

What oh what to write in this entry? I have been neglecting this journal again, and with no good excuse. I'm sure that there MUST be more interesting things to write about than my daily life: boring! The routine tedium of constant dieting and exercise, trivia of grocery shopping, housework, etc.

I've been going through a spell of itching to write fiction again, and it reminds me of how before I wrote my dozen or so novels, I always wanted to write, but had nothing to write about. When you enter the world of a fictional creation, there's always plenty of drama and danger to write about, which takes you AWAY for mundane reality. Ah yes, that's why I began fiction writing! And why I miss it so much now.

I miss the grand vista of creative writing, and the one writer so aptly put it:

This, of course, is one of the greatest things about novels, and is something I've started to enjoy in my own writing more and more in the last several years - this chance to completely leave the real world behind and to create whatever kind of flights of fancy one may want. Writer as God is an oft-used cliche, but it's a cliche in the first place precisely because it's so true; with an omniscient blink of an eye, a writer can make whatever changes to the natural universe he wants to, including stopping time and getting rid of gravity, and all it takes to enact the change is one command to his typing fingers of, `Thy will be done." --J. Pettus

There is a vast difference between writing in this journal and/or factual writing and creative writing. For example, consider the pedestrian tone of this journal compared to this flight of fiction fancy:

He never played by the rules, for why should he? Playing by the rules was for suckers, squares, idiots that thought the world was ordered according to rules when all it took was one look at the wealthy and powerful to know they didn't play by the rules.

He looked out over the clifftop, seeing the diamond-glint of city lights far below, the hundreds of houses and citizens living their little antlike lives, and knew he could touch any one of them he chose. He could start the car, drive down the highway a few miles and secretly, silently enter any of their homes, disturb their narrow, well-mannered lives and wreak havoc. Ah, the power of not living by rules, it was heady and gave him a rush equaled only by cocaine and sex.

That isn't from a novel, it's just something I wrote on the spur of the moment here. Is it worth pursuing? Who is this mysterious monstrous man? I don't know...but I MIGHT be able to breathe life into him via a story. Is it worth telling? Anyone care to let me know their thoughts via email? If so, drop me a line!

Rainy here all day, so I've been stuck indoors -- had to use the ski machine, though less dull now that I can listen to music with the small radio and earphones.

I'll close with this quote:

Work became more important to me as I grew older. When you are very young, there are competing pleasures. Maybe you need less to make yourself happy because everything is new to you. The world of old age is a shrinking world. Smaller things are magnified. It's like childhood. Few people are important to you, but they are VERY important. Little things get bigger. Food becomes more important. It is your work that makes you feel young, not your love affairs. After a certain point, your love affairs make you feel older." --Director Federico Fellini

If this is how it feels as you age, I DO need to start writing fiction again...and SOON! :-)

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I've been trying to install a comment form, so that readers can make comments on each post. However, apparently Blogger is not allowing me to make any changes to the template. This happened once before, and I found a way around it...but have forgotten what it was. Oh well, I'm sure I'll get it to work eventually.

Beautiful, gloriously beautiful day here in the South. Difficult to believe it is actually June, since we had a mild 75 degrees today, sunny...nice for biking. I went around noon, and it was quite pleasant. I didn't go yesterday, used the ski machine instead with my new radio/headphones. GREAT! Good, fast-paced music does make all the difference if you have to use an indoor exercise machine. I may switch over to the ski machine or stationary bike during some of this summer, when the heat is so bad for biking.

I'll close with this quote about aging/growing old:

"It is high time for me to depart, for at my age I now begin to see things as they really are." --Philosopher Le Bovier De Fontenelle

Ah, so VERY true...and exactly how I feel sometimes these days!

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Sunday...the day of a long afternoon car ride. Time to get out of the house, out of town...and just sightsee. Nice day for it, beautiful blue skies and mild, pleasant temperature. I went on my bike ride early, and it was enjoyable, quiet in the park, a serene time when I'm there all alone with nature. Ring-neck doves nest in the huge cedars, and they call plaintively while I ride the trail; squirrels occasionally dart across my path, and a variety of wild birds dip and dive for leftover crumbs left by people.

I bought a small radio with headphones yesterday, and it's amazing how much these have improved since the last one I had. Remarkable sound, as it has bass boost. I won't use this when I ride the bike, but I need it for the time I'm forced to use my stationary bike or ski machine indoors. And that may be next week, since we're expecting rain almost every day.

I watched an interesting "Inside Fame" last night on CMT about Dwight Yokam. I have always been a fan of his music, even though I don't follow the country music field that closely. I also realize he'd been in several movies, and is a talented actor. What I didn't know is that he'd had a four-year relationship with Bridget Fonda. I am a fan of hers too. At any rate, it was a fascinating biography.

I'll close with these song lyrics by Kansas that capture my mood these days:


I close my eyes
Only for a moment, then the moment's gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind, ohhhh

Now, don't hang on
Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
Everything is dust in the wind
The wind.....