Regrets and reprieves

Ever wonder about what might have been?  I don’t very often but in the last few weeks have indulged in a romanticized trip down memory lane.

A friend from college recently mentioned via Facebook that a mutual friend from back then wasn’t doing very well. You see, the mutual friend was tucked way back in a cubbyhole in my brain as “the one that got away.” It’s a really long story and I won’t torture you with the details except to say that I always thought it was my own fault. I’ve carried around regret for years and, from time to time, wondered what might have been—until my friend and I took our conversation offline (yes, people do still have conversations outside of Facebook) and I learned more.

You see, I’ve always believed in fate, that things happen for a reason. Maybe not the things I want, much less the reason I want them, or when for that matter, but there is always a reason. As a result, I’ve pretty much strolled through life going with gut instinct. I learned early on that over-thinking big decisions leads me down the wrong path. Doesn’t matter what the decision is about. Whether it’s to pick up and move across the country or what color car to buy, if I over think it, it does not work out well for me. (I still, to this day, can’t fathom why I bought that gray car. I hated it. I hate gray. Yet, it seemed like such a good idea at the time.)

I digress.

Hearing more about our friend, and how he’s conducted his life, brought an end to my little excursion down memory lane. You see, it turns out that if the “one that got away” hadn’t, I would have gotten what I wanted at the time, but would have regretted it year after year after year. That regretful reality would have been so much worse that my regretful “what might have been” illusion.

Which leads me to reprieve.

From where I sit now, it looks like that fateful day, regretful though it was at the time, was my reprieve from a lifetime of disillusion.

Moving forward

This happy camper’s big decision today is whether to go with dusting first or running the vacuum. H-m-m-m, my gut says read my new book.



Green is good!

I was commenting on a post from When all is said … and I had an idea. Not necessarily an original idea, but it’s the first time it popped into my brain so I’m calling it my idea.

You see, I read a lot.

Not only do I read a lot but I buy a lot of books, mostly from As a result I pretty much always have a stack of empty cardboard shipping boxes piled up in a corner, sometimes in my home office (mostly), sometimes in the kitchen (at the moment).

Reusable-MailerMy idea is that Amazon should provide a reusable shipping carton that we can swap back and forth.

They could send me my monthly fix of books (aka, my regular order) in the reusable plastic carton then I could fold it down and return it empty just in time for the next month’s shipment.

Just think of all the cardboard, and the trees, that would be saved.

Even better, Amazon could provide the cartons printed on the inside with the “postage paid business reply” stuff needed so when returned to them empty it wouldn’t cost me a penny. But would they just up their shipping charges or the cost of books? Maybe, or maybe not. Anyway, the failing Postal Service could also benefit because they’d be getting paid for the mailing costs going both ways. Which is one more than they’re getting paid for at the moment.

Amazon would save tons of money because they wouldn’t have to keep buying loads of cardboard boxes. They would have to keep buying the reusable plastic cartons, though, because, let’s face it, even plastic wears out eventually. But, not as often as cardboard!

They wouldn’t have to send my books in my carton either. They could just send them in any old reusable plastic carton from anybody’s last book order. I mean, why would they want to have to keep up with which carton belongs to which customer?

The cartons would be printed on one side with the Amazon logo and a place to slap a shipping label. The other side could have the standard business reply mailer stuff. You know, the bar code, etc.

Now, if I could just figure out how to make reusable packing tape.

Hmmm …

The Booker Award

A hearty, though belated, thanks to fellow blogger, Gail, at The Jotter’s Joint, for nominating my blog. If you’re not familiar with her blog, check it out. I know you’ll be glad you did.

On to the rules …

Accepting this award includes:

  • Nominate other blogs, at least 5 but as many as 10 if you like. Be sure to let them know they’ve been nominated.
  • Post the Booker Award image.
  • Share your top 5 books of all time.

Blogs I nominate:

The Canary Review – A great blog about books.

Nonsense to Momsense – Funny. Funny. Funny.

Magic in Little Things – Touches my heart.

A Minimalist’s Bookshelf – Words about words. Love it.

Kristen Lamb’s Blog – Lots to be learned from this savvy blogger.

Post the award image.

It’s up there on the right. Can’t miss it.

List my top 5 books of all time.

That’s a tough one. I read like it’s required for breathing but here goes …

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand: You either love Rand’s epic novel or you hate it and all it and it’s author ever stood for. Me? I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I first read it as an impressionable eighteen year old and thought it was the greatest book ever written. I grew up, however, and realized that, for me, it’s just an entertaining story about interesting people. Still love to read it, though.

The Stand, by Steven King: This novel scared the bejeezus out of me. A truly excellent read. If you haven’t read it, then buy it, borrow it, or even snitch it, but read it. Soon.

This Perfect Day, by Ira Levin: Levin delivers the goods in this book. Very, very interesting read. Try it. It’s nothing like Rosemary’s Baby.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien: My first introduction to fantasy. Can’t wait for the movie to come out. If it’s half as good as the book, it will be excellent.

The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart: Arthur. Merlin. A quest. What more could you want in a great book? It’s a trilogy so be sure to read the other two books as well … The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment.


Karma – It’s a Wicked Thing!

Sitting here thinking about what to blog about.

I already milked my cataract surgery for all it’s worth so time to move on to something at least halfway interesting that doesn’t include body parts or involve a book review but can’t think of a thing.

Nope, not a thing.

Don’t you just hate when that happens?

You sit in front of the keyboard with your fingers desperate to type but there’s absolutely nothing floating around in your pea brain that’s fit to share with the rest of the world. At times like these, you suffer for your art in a way that only the truly devoted can understand. All you want to do is tap, tap, tap on those keys but not a thing pops into your head.

Blog writing 101

A friend gave me a book a few years ago about how writers should get out of bed every morning and just write. It doesn’t matter what you write. What matters is the physical act of writing. It’s supposed to get the juices flowing and the ideas churning and finally, when you least expect it, brilliance flies from your fingertips right to your keyboard and the great American novel is born. (LOL!)

I can’t remember the name of the book but I vaguely recall it was something along the lines of The Art of Writing, or maybe something sorta like that. Anyway, the gist of it was that if you want to be a writer, you have to be intentional about it. You can’t just sit down and start typing gibberish. (What?)

Carrying on …

I would share with you the actual title of that book except that I must have given it away (maybe to Goodwill) because I sure can’t find it on any of my bookshelves and I just wasted a good five minutes searching for it. I did come across a couple of other reads, however, that you might find interesting.

The first is What Is Karma?  by Paul Brunton. It caught my eye as I was scanning the shelves because I’m pretty sure tonight’s writer’s block is really just payback for giving away that other book.

The second is Calendar Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year by David Ewing Duncan. This is a fascinating little book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about how we got to where we are today. Seriously, it’s a page-turner. (And, no, I’m not being sarcastic. Promise!)

When all else fails …

I spent another 5 minutes scanning for a title about writing that looked familiar but no luck. Did you know there are about a gazillion books out there that explain writing everything from books to screenplays?

I did come across a couple of interesting titles that might be worth taking a peek at, for example:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing, 2nd Edition by Laurie E. Rozakis

Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay by Adair Lara

I have to fess up that I’ve not read either of these books. I also have to admit that I just love the titles so I might one day.


Shopping … ugh!

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point or other, I started to really dislike shopping.

I’m not talking about shopping for something specific like a ladder or a lamp for my office. I’m talking about window shopping, browsing for fun, strolling the mall to see what’s new — that sort of shopping.

I can think of about a gazillion things I’d rather do with my time, including going to the post office. Shopping is tedious unless there’s something specific that I need to find. But, as with most things, there is an exception or two.

First there’s junk shopping. I can spend a ridiculous amount of time prowling around junk shops, flea markets, antique stores, etc.  Junk is fascinating. What makes us buy something then a few years later discard it? (Okay, I do have that thing about switching sofas every few years, so never mind.)

Second is Internet shopping. I can spend half a day on Amazon. And, then there’s Muffys.  (They have saddle shoes. Real ones. In brown or  green as well as black.) Then there’s Greenleaf. I tracked them down after a vacation in Charleston where I found the best sachet — honey and orange — pure bliss for my sniffer.

You can find almost anything you need online. I was looking for those long sock things you see in front of the freezers at the supermarket one day and after only about a half hour of searching — bingo — PIG. (In addition to Absorbent Socks, they have a fun & games page with the Match game, Morphing Sparky, and Mind-Reading Swine. Ya gotta’ see it!)

So, what brought all this up? I made my annual Spring pilgrimage to the local mall a couple of days ago and found a great sweater, but not in my size. Of course, the clerk called around to their other stores and found one for me. So now, I have to go pick it up tomorrow at the “big” mall about 30 miles away. I dread it. Too many people. I haven’t a clue where this specific store is in that mall. It’ll take forever. Yada, yada yada.

I really like that sweater, though.

Guess I’ll just have to tough it out.

If you don’t hear from me within a week, send out a search party ’cause I’ve gone on a shopping spree!