If you have read one of my earlier posts – Books and Life – I wrote about a summer I spent in Newtown, CT. My cousins grew up in Newtown. My aunt taught in an area elementary school for many years. Newtown is an important part of my families’ history. The pain of Sandy Hook is their pain, as well.
The events of that horrendous day made the nation weep. It is important for us to remember and to bring change, so we won’t have to continue to watch other communities and families torn apart.
In early October, ‘Newtown’ will be released in theaters. I’m going to see it so I can acknowledge the bravery, sacrifice and heartache felt by this small community. I hope you will join me in supporting this documentary film.
The town where I grew up has an awesome apple orchard. There is a gift shop, restaurant, children’s activities and of course, delicious apples! Each year, my out-of-town siblings and I travel back home for “Scarecrow” soup and warm apple pie with cinnamon ice cream. It is a tradition that we look forward to each fall.
My husband and I ventured to the orchard today. It was foggy and cool out. Hardly anyone was in the store and restaurant. We were able to browse the assorted jams, jellies, and other tasty food items without fighting the crowds. There are many wonderful orchards across the country, but I think of this one as being ‘ours.’ It has been the scene of many family gatherings over the years.
The sun made an appearance later in the day, so I took my husband to the lake. It’s a small lake with a golf course, located adjacent to it. The same course where I played golf in my high school and college years. The temperature was pleasant in the mid-sixties, and the sun shone brightly. Few people were out and about, although the day was one of the dwindling warm days left before winter blasts us. Children ran down the hill towards the lake while their parents called for them to return to the picnic table. A small boat with some fishermen could be seen slowly moving near the shore. Geese were parading on the beach while others floated on the surface of the lake. Across the way, the Veteran’s Memorial sits high on the hill. I mentally made a note to take my husband there in the future.
For me, autumn is a sensory delight. I look forward to the vibrant colors of the turning leaves and the crunch of those same leaves underfoot. I long for the smell of baking pies and the unique scent of firewood burning in the hearth. I can’t wait to dig out my sweaters and soft scarves. The roar of the crowd cheering at the high school football game takes me back to my youth. As I watch the little children running from one home to the next yelling “Trick or Treat,” I see my sons’ joy during those special Halloween nights.
Autumn provides not only fond memories but opportunities to create new ones.
Enjoy your autumn days!
As a registered nurse for over 30 years, I saw the positive changes in survival rates for certain types of cancer. It is likely each of us will experience the heartbreak of finding out a loved one, or even ourselves, will encounter due to a diagnosis of cancer. Help support Cancer Research.
One of the fantastic charities we are raising funds for is Cancer Research UK. One of the most recognised charities in Britain, this cause has a vision to increase the survival rate of cancer victims to 75% within the next twenty years.
The charity as it is today has been around since 2002, and currently supports the work of over 4,000 doctors, scientists, and nurses throughout the UK. With the money they raise, they are able to fund these developments and they hold fundraising events to help even more people.
So far, the charity has funded major breakthroughs in a wide range of areas. Not only do they focus on finding out more about each cancer type individually, but they also explore other areas such as cancer biology, cancer drugs, clinical trials, radiotherapy, and the cancer prevention, just to name a few.
Nowadays, more than half the people who are…
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Note from Kate:
I saw this poem this morning after I read my email. My email notice sounded sexist and I seriously was planning on ‘Unfollowing’ the author. Instead, I was blown away by the sensitivity shown by Luke Atkins. The author informed us that he wrote it at 4 am. Just wanted to give him a round of applause for poetry every woman feels and lives.
Venus. A limbless, lifeless lump of antiquity. A marble slab of meticulous, conscientious sexual tension. A photo opportunity—devoid of meaningful human exchange. No change or range. An estrange…
When I came up with the idea for Exodus, it wasn’t even an election year. I didn’t want to write a “fiction-mimicking-life type of story. I planned to write a Romantic Suspense which had aspects of domestic terrorism.
As each chapter rolled out, my writing forum members would ask if I was getting inspiration from the current political cycle. That would be a ‘negative’. My original premise came from my time in the Army Reserve in the 80’s. An individual or group had tried to gain access to the reserve center to obtain military equipment. They weren’t successful, thank goodness.
“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. ~ Mark Twain
This led me to research domestic terrorism. I found some mind-blowing statistics about the rapid increase in extremist groups and domestic terrorism over the last two decades. I had no idea.
Violence in the name of political beliefs isn’t a new idea. Think Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton’s duel, assassinations or attempts on political figures, and the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma in the 90’s, you will find a small sampling of my thought process.
I write fiction. I create plausible and implausible worlds where I decide the outcome. I do think the adage “truth is stranger than fiction” is true. This is a crazy world with unpredictable people, and I’m happy the world isn’t comprised of cookie-cutter people. How dull would the paintings, music, film and books be without the diverse creative citizens of our world.
I can only say, I hope and pray this political season doesn’t reflect my book. If so, we are in for a helluva ride!!
** I’m offering a discount coupon code SE34Q , so you can buy the recently published Exodus on Smashwords for only 99 cents! Follow this link for my book page — Smashwords Offer good through 10/7/16.
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At the office, Barbara was known as the Post-It Queen. The multi-colored, adhesive-backed bits of notepaper cluttered her computer monitor, her phone, and the calendar on her desk. Her co-workers couldn’t believe she relied on an organizer/appointment book, so riddled with Post-Its and crammed with scraps of paper, coupons, and newspaper clippings, she had to secure it with a large rubber band.
“Why don’t you use the organizational apps on your computer and smartphone?” her friend, Dee, asked her after the rubber band broke and papers floated like confetti on the breeze.
“I like my system,” Barbara defended while scampering on her hands and knees to capture the intricate details of her life before she lost them. The next day, she missed an important teleconference and realized she needed to change her ways. A nearby bookstore had a section devoted to organization. By the number of books on the subject, Barbara ascertained providing instruction to people so they could deal with their messy lives was a lucrative industry.
The more promising book titles were removed from their shelves for a thorough assessment. A final selection was made, and Barbara walked with determination to the checkout counter. Her life was never going to be the same after this important purchase.
Barbara cradled her pathway- to-a-new-reality in her arms as she went home. A weekend spent in contemplation and enlightenment awaited her. Next week, she planned to put into practice her new organizational skills. But first, Barbara needed to remove some clutter from her coffee table for her new book. She stuffed the newspapers and adverts under the table.
Wanting to be in a relaxed mood to enable her full concentration, Barbara took a bubble bath. But first, she removed the dirty laundry from the bathroom and placed it in a pile in the hall. Then, she searched for the expensive bath salts she purchased six months ago. Barbara removed all of the items from under her sink. She emptied the shelf in the linen closet with shampoos, moisturizers, and mouthwash.
She couldn’t find them. Well, after this weekend, she wouldn’t worry about misplacing items. Everything would be in its designated place. How wonderful it would be! She could already imagine the looks of envy her friends would give her when they saw her clean apartment.
Since a soothing bath wasn’t in the cards, Barbara decided a cup of tea as she ingested the wisdom from ‘Organization for the Busy Professional’ would be just as good. Her mother gave her some tea for Christmas. Barbara checked every cupboard in the kitchen until she found it in its gift bag sitting on top of her refrigerator behind some other items. Now, to find a teapot.
After a lengthy search, Barbara lay back on her couch tossing and kicking items off to make room. Her new book sat under a layer of clutter. When she awoke the next morning on the couch, she was unable to remember where she put her new book. It took her most of the weekend to find it. But she did find it under a blanket, some pillows and a newspaper or two.
Closing the book with a decisive thump, Barbara smiled in triumph. Now she had the necessary tools to become more organized. Barbara considered herself a free spirit, and didn’t feel the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” was true. A new way of life was around the corner. Barbara was sure everyone would be calling her Ms. Organization before too long.
*Author’s Note: This short story was written in response to the writing prompt — Organization.