Thursday, April 30, 2015


Fiorella understands frustration.  She understands anger.  She understands speaking out--even yelling. But what she doesn't understand is deliberate destruction of property.  Or hurting people.

Riots are not for her.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


The Bounce-back Kid has done it again.

Fiorella woke up this morning feeling totally normal--for her, at least.  The bruises are receding, the cut is healing, her nosebleed is minimal, her arm muscles don't hurt, and her split lip is recovering enough that she can smile again.  Now for the trip to to the ear-nose-and-throat guy, to be sure Fio's nose bones are healing right, then for visit to her dentist, to be sure her teeth are aligned correctly.

Thank you to everyone for the good wishes, and a special thanks for the flowers, balloon, and chocolates--you know who you are.

Love to all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fio, the Killer

Fiorella has traced that guilt she told you about--deep inside herself, she still believes that, when she was a very young child, she killed her grandmother.

She's told you about it before, how, as her grandmother lay dying, Fiorella was told to stay in the large foyer outside the front room.  She remembers staring at the umbrella stand, at the front door, the stairs, and around at the empty room, and she knew her grandmother was in bed in the room off the other side of the front room.

Fio can only guess that, because she was alone, she probably entertained herself by singing.

Someone came through the door--a woman whom Fio, of course, cannot identify--and told her she should be quiet because her grandmother was dying. So when Grandma passed on soon afterwards, Fiorella assumed she had killed her by making noise in the foyer.

Yes, she actually believed she was a murderer, and she kept her horrible secret for forty years--until she finally faced the memory and realized there was no way a child could kill a person by making noise.

Unfortunately, though, the belief is still embedded in Fio's psyche.

But strangely enough, it has helped Fio become a better person than she might have been otherwise.  She knew she had to tread the straight and narrow because she had already committed such a terrible crime, a crime she had escaped rightful punishment for. It also gave an overload of responsibility because she apparently had great power.  Yes, Fiorella is out to save the world.

A final thought.  After looking at the dates, Fiorella told you it was her grandmother who was dying, which occurred when Fiorella was four and a half.  But through the years, she always thought it was her great-grandmother who was dying, which occurred when Fio was two and a half.

Take your choice.

Monday, April 27, 2015

To Do or Not to DO

Good Angel:
Do not look down, Fiorella.  Do not look down at the driveway as you take your morning stroll.  Do not pick up yet another sparkly rock, Fiorella.  You already have nineteen boxes of them on the back porch, and Husband is complaining that the driveway had been denuded.

Bad Angel:
Cool it, babe! There's always room for another stone or two.  After all, the boxes aren't taking up much room because you have them neatly stacked.  Besides, the rocks are all so pretty--the ones that look like they're covered by white frosting, the ones that sparkle in the morning sunshine, the ones that look like frozen root beer, the ones with stripes of carmine red in them . . . ,

Go away, Bad Angel!  I will not pick up any more--ooh, look at that one!


Sunday, April 26, 2015


Younger Son was twice-born, first when he was ripped quite timely from Fiorella's motherly womb, and again when she brought him back to life.

In explanation, Son's first birth was a C-section delivery,

The second event happened when Fio and Husband were asleep in bed with Son between them. She suddenly awoke to realize that Baby, smothered by Husband's pillow, had stopped breathing. Husband tried to say something soothing to Fio, but she refused to let this precious baby go.  Thrusting him above her head, she shook him hard.

His responding wail was the most beautiful sound she has ever heard.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Road Writing

The tar guys have paid their yearly visit and calligraphied all the cracks in our two-lane country road.  It's beautiful--like a foreign script--maybe Arabic or a scrawled nagari.  It's also quite practical because, at the rate our road develops cracks and has to be tarred, we'll have a totally re-paved road in another two years.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bloody Fiorella

Running a little behind on the news, but Fio tripped on the road a couple of days ago, when she was out jogging with the dog, and hit the asphalt face-first, which required a speedy trip to the ER.  Since she was dripping with blood from her mouth, nose, a cut on her forehead, and various other scratches and scrapes, the triage nurse moved her to the front of the line.  No two ways about it--Fio was a mess.

So now she's home with a yellow bump on her forehead, an upper lip that's stiff as a duck's beak, a purple shiner, and a broken nose.

Please think healing thoughts in Fio's direction.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Guilt Rides My Back

Fiorella had a horrible guilt dream last night, that she'd mislaid the disabled daughter of a friend whom she'd volunteered to care for.  Suddenly realizing what she had done, Fio wanted to return the child--if she was still alive--to her mother without being caught because your ignoble reporter didn't want to go to jail for the crime, which was a memory lapse, and interrupt her graduate studies.

Now, (1) Fio's graduate studies are a l-o-n-g way in the past,  and (2) she's never been responsible for a disabled child.  Why the dream?  Sheer guilt?  What/whom did the disabled child represent?  One of Fio's half-finished novels--is Lolly calling her back?  One of the many projects that Fio's started around the house?  That baby she miscarried years ago?

Fio ponders.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Telugu, Russian, and Mandarin

Are you ready for the remnants of Fiorella's linguistic erudition?  Native writers, look away, look away, because Fio has probably butchered the scripts.  Translation:  her handwriting used to be more regular and less labored in both Telugu and Russian.

She did have to consult sources to be sure she was correct, which made her wilt, but she quickly revived when she realized the more she worked with the languages, the more she was remembering about them.  In heaven, she will speak in tongues.

In case you're wondering, the Telugu word is the standard greeting and is pronounced nuh-muh-ska-ruh-muh-n-Di.  The "anDi" is a politeness form, and the upper-case D means it is hard.

The Russian entry translates as "Do you speak Russian?" or, as Mrs. Scarjinsky would have said  , "Whether or not do you speak Russian?"  (The operative clue is "li".)

The Mandarin is as it is, but Lord only knows what it would be in combinations.

Um, it took us three hours and a call to Minnesota to get this page on the blog so please get out your magnifying glass to look it over.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Fiorella loves learning how to write in languages that use a non-roman script.  Russian was her first experience.  The Cyrillic alphabet is quite similar to the Roman, which English uses, but just different enough to be tricky.  For instance, "c" always has an "s" sound, and "p" is the spelling of the English "r."

The next script she learned--and she used to be pretty good at both reading and writing it--was for Telugu, a Dravidian language.  Like most Indian scripts, its a syllabary, which means each "letter" is a combination of a consonant and a vowel.  Thus, "Fiorella" would be spelled with just four major "letters:"  fi-yo-re-la.

Let's skip the Sanskrit script, a syllabary called devanagari, which Fio has totally forgotten, and move quickly on to Mandarin, a logosyllabic script, of which Fio actually knows about five "characters."  If you want someone to identify "person," "big," "little," "center" or "mouth," she's your girl.

Fio will give you examples tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Fiorella doubts it was Prometheus who brought light to the world.  She thinks it was a woman, a woman who walked around opening the shades of night on the morning of the world, just as women do every day of the week.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Look at Me!

How disappointing.  No one has ever questioned my driver's license.  And I've had a facelift and several photo-facials since the picture was taken.  And my hair has turned blonde.  And I've lost weight.

Is it my blinding beauty, my engaging personality, or do they figure I'm too old to do any harm?

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I'm hearing namastee a lot these days.  It's quite stylish.  The origin of the Hindi greeting has a spiritual significance, but it's a common greeting in India, and doesn't guarantee the person who utters it isn't going to cut your throat two seconds later.

But that's neither here nor there.  What Fio wants to do is teach you how to pronounce namastee so she doesn't grit her teeth and cut your throat herself.

Listen up, people!  It's not nah-mah-stay, but nuh-mus-stay!  The "a's" are schwas and rhyme with "huh."  They are Hindi's "short a's." (The "long a" in Hindi rhymes with "la" and is indicated by doubling the letter:  "aa.")

The reason for the two "e's" on the end of namastee is that it indicates the vowel is long and should rhyme with "stay".  (The short "e" in Hindi is the same "e" as in "led.")

Oh, and the "t" is soft, like in Spanish.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Invisable Woman

Remember that scene in Pretty Woman when Vivian goes shopping in the posh boutique with a wad of cash in her hand, but no one will wait on her?

Well, Fio had her own Julia Roberts moment, but in a shoe store called Karavel.  And while she may not have had cash in her hand, Fiorella did have a hefty credit card in her purse, and a determination to buy shoes in her brain.

Fio wants new shoes.  She needs new shoes.  

But it was like she was invisible.  There were four employees in the store.  Two of them were taking care of customers, one was behind the register, and one was putting shoes in the racks.  Not one of them greeted or even looked at your faithful correspondent.  Fiorella walked the entire store, looking at shoes, without being acknowledged in the least.

Where is Richard Gere when you need him!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


You know my name
You know my game--
Fortune and fame,
That's my aim

WHAT THE HEART WANTS--$2.99 digitally, about $15.00 for the print version
WHERE THE HEART LEADS due out on November 11

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fiorella Revised

Hey, hey, hey, everyone!  Friend Marion came up with an even more accurate description of Fio, and she even mercifully changed "loony" to "loopy"--although she could have changed it to "lovely" (hint, hint).  On the other hand, "alluring" does the job.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Conspiracy Theorist at Work

Fiorella can out-theorize conspiracy theorists any day of the week.  She dwells in the land of perpetual what-if.

What if that sound in the middle of the night is a burglar, or a serial killer, or a vampire, or a zombie, or the house falling apart, or an alien invasion, or the end of the world or a sound she's made up in her head because she's totally insane and always has been?  What if she's not really human, but a simulacrum someone concocted?  What if she actually died years ago, and she's on perpetual rerun?  What if no one is real but her?  What if she's actually a creature in an experimental zoo?

Had enough?  Well, along the experimental line, what if Fio was rigged up and given her life's difficulties just to see how much one person could take?  What if she was exchanged for another baby at birth?  What if she is living several lives at the same time, and each time she dies in one of those other lives, there are less lives left till her final demise?

Let's get a little less paranoid.  What if one of those sparkly rocks in her driveway is really a precious gem?  What if her dog actually does understands English?  What if Fio can relieve people's pain with warmth radiating from her hands?

And then there are the what-if's that refer to the past, Fio's and others.  And, of course, the glory and the ignominy of the future.  And the ones that pop up whenever she walks out of the house or gets in a car or talks to someone or reads a book or watches television or gets on the computer or writes or eats or sings or DOES ANYTHING OR DOESN'T DO ANYTHING.

And that's just the beginning.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Last Minute

Oops, Fiorella accidentally gave you two for the price of one yesterday so she'll have to come up with something on the spur of the moment today  How about this:

F iorella
I s
O rganized
R ealistic
E nergetic
L ogical
L oony and
A ll yours.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Fiorella and Husband woke up grumpy and in pain.  Every tendon in Fio's body had tightened up as she slept, and her nose wasn't working right.  She didn't want to take a hot bath because, as enjoyable as it would be, hot baths innervate her, and she has lots to do today.  Husband is having a problem with thigh muscles, shoulders muscles, and biceps pulling.

Easter is over.  Must be chocolate withdrawal.

Full Steam Ahead!

Take notes.  Fiorella has set her writing path for the next six months, first finishing off Lolly's story, then writing up the final Bosque Bend story saga, Carmen's story.  After that, she wants to work out Sarah's story, maybe in the meantime revising her Minnesota story, her Austin story, and her vampire story.

In the meantime, enjoy this passage from WHAT THE HEART WANTS:

"When he'd taken her hand, he'd wanted to hold it forever.  What would she have done if he'd brought it to his lips and touched her palm with the tip of his tongue?"

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Fio and Husband rearranged the front porch yesterday, trucking three indoor trees outside and moving the bench over, and everything looks good.  Especially with the pots of purple pansies blooming their heads off. They also rolled the big logs which had been deposited helter-skelter on the lawn into a neat row of back-ups to the bricks defining the driveway.  And today Husband will hose off the porch.

Oh, and our bluebonnet has taken root in the cactus bed,  Spring looks good at Casa Fiorella.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Welcome to the World, Little Lamb

Methinks your Fiorella has come smack-dab up against the reality of a writing career, that it is a business, 180 degrees away from Fio's world of daydreams.

She went through all the steps--entering contests, winning contests, getting a great agent who got her a big publisher, working with a great editor.  But her book, for whatever reason, has not been embraced by the waiting world, as she had assumed it would be.  And now that the second book in the contract is at the publishers, her agent wants her to write a new book in a different setting.

Which leaves Fio is in a quandary about what to write that will be well-received by her agent, a publisher, and readers, yet contain the messages she wants to get out.   And--oh--be a story Fio wants to tell.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Fiorella has the urge to write, but she can't decide which path to follow.  Should she finish up Lolly's story, the half-written romance that readers liked but her agent and editor vetoed?  How about her third Bosque Bend idea--which could also be written as a novella?  Or Leah's story, which she's written a couple of pages of?  Or a revision of one of those old contest winners? Every time Fio makes a decision, she rethinks herself and end up closing the computer,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Food and Fio

Fiorella eats, but she isn't really into food.  She'll eat what tastes good to her--in fact, she'll overeat what tastes good to her--but her palate is way too discriminating.  She doesn't eat sour things, like dark green vegetables, or red things, like ketchup, and she doesn't eat mixtures either.

And aside from scrambled eggs and boiled potatoes, she has no interested in cooking.  In fact, it confounds her why people put so much time and effort into preparing something that has no chance of lasting, that will actually be eaten into oblivion.

She wants her creations to have at least a chance of surviving.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Never-ending Holidays

Fiorella cleaned up from Easter today.  She washed the tablecloth and place mats, threw away chocolate bunny cartons, and picked up stray strands of  Easter grass.

Intermingled with Christmas tinsel that suddenly appeared every time she turned around.

And it's going to be this way till at least Fourth of July.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Thoughts from Day Before Yesterday

Husband just pointed out to Fiorella what he considers to be a gross misapplication of resources--a baseball player receiving a yearly salary of more than thirteen million dollars.  This is not only wrong in regard to real people, who toil for their daily bread, but in regard to the athletes, whose brief time in the financial sun sets them up for unhealthy lifestyles and unrealistic expectations.
Have you noticed that schools are the major target of world-wide extremist groups?
Fiorella went off to HEB to buy last-minute Easter stuff and a couple of replacement bunnies--it's hard to keep chocolate sitting around the house unattended.  While she was there, she ran into Friend Suzy MM four times and they clogged the aisles talking about their dying writers' league.  When she went out the door into the cold wind, she ran into Friend Carol M, and they also talked about the upcoming demise of the writer's league.  Yep, that sucker is a goner.
Fiorella used to be a teacher, and she enjoyed it, but her real goal was to be a writer.  In fact, she assumed that was the real goal of every teacher.  Since then, she's learned that being a teacher is many people's end goal.  Who knew?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Check back later for an Easter illustration, if Fiorella can get it on the screen.

Sweat, tears, and several hours later, here it is, thanks to Husband and to Minnesota Son.  This is a picture of our landing window.  We've left the Christmas candles up. and Fio wanted a springtime look so she started cutting long, winding strands of flowers out of gold and silver paper she had stowed away from candy wrappers, then taping them to the window.  The design grew organically, to use the current buzz word, and every time Fio passed by, she would add something to the design until it suited her eye.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Fiorella is overwhelmed again.  It isn't just the house or the yard or the writing.  It's the literary promotion.  Everywhere Fiorella looks, people are advocating self-promotion, which Fio does NOT want to do.  One reason she held out for an agent and a publisher was so that she would write, write, write her stories, and OTHER people could sell, sell, sell them.  Besides, she was blessed with many talents and skills, but NOT electronics!

Yes, your Fio has a blog, email, and Facebook, but that's it--no Pinterest, no Instagram, no Twitter, no WODDL, no Buffer, no Street Team, no give-aways,  Definitely a dinosaur.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Bad news. The digital piano is back to its old tricks again, and the window washer couldn't proceed with his job because half the screens had been flipped by last year's window washer.  Now Fio and husband have to figure out a way to dislodge and reset the screens that are facing wrong. Aaargh!  And just when Fio was in the last stages of finishing the taxes!

Pity anyone Fio encounters at the San Gabriel Writers' League tonight!  Fio is in a venting mood!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Live and Learn

Great news!  Fiorella, who was really getting tired of playing the harpsichord and chimes modes of her digital piano, can once again also use all three piano-piano modes without them squawking and creaking at her.  Husband had fooled around under the instrument, Fio had called an expert who never showed up, but it was Fio herself, electronic nitwit that she is, who did the job, and it's so embarrassing.

She turned the keyboard off, then turned it back on again.  Apparently digital pianos aren't supposed to be kept running for fifteen years without pause.   Who knew?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fiorella and Addictive Drugs

Interesting.  Fio came across an old blog that Husband wrote while Fio was recovering from heart surgery several years ago and learned that she'd had such a bad reaction to massive doses of Vicodin (=hydrocodone) that she'd refused to take it so the doctor moved her to massive doses of Tylenol.

What was that reaction, you ask.  The same as after her hip replacement--hallucinations whether she was asleep or awake.  Yes, your Fio is not destined for life as a drug addict.  She likes the world to make sense, to have cause and effect, perhaps the most outrageous hallucination of all.