Saturday, February 29, 2020

From Computers to Lolly Redlander

Fiorella is still fighting the good fight with her Mac computer, and she'd like to think that, item by item, she is winning. She now knows how to forward information now, thanks to Best Buy's Geek Squad, but she is still having trouble writing on the Write site, which means she'll have to visit Home Depot's computer center today. (Think of how embarrassing it would be to show up at the same place two days in a row.)
Sometimes computers can be so dumb--Fio's keeps posting a notification that updates are ready to install, which she steadfastly ignores. Why should she install updates when she still doesn't know how to "save?"
This coronavirus thing has everyone scared, but Fiorella's Mac is so behind times that it underlined the word with red dots.
Good news: Fio located the name of the guy who fixed her dripping ceiling a while back and has hired him on to fix her back-yard erosion problem. She doesn't want prospective buyers to break an ankle stepping off the back porch.
Even better news: Fiorella has finally finished marking Lolly's story and knows what she needs to do to make it even stronger. Watch out, world--Lolly Redlander is about to burst upon the scene, and there's no stopping her!

Friday, February 28, 2020

Foreward, Fio, FORWARD!

Another harrowing day--after being out on errands for a couple of hours, Fiorella lost her computer for about twice that long before finding it in the house, and, no, she won't tell you the stupid place she finally found it.
Did you know that Macs and PCs can't talk to each other the way they're supposed to? Looks like Fio is going to be taking a lot of cell phone pics of legal documents to send off to her Colorado probate lawyer. Hope that will be enough for him. (She's already done it for the cars she wants Elder Son to check out for her.)
Fiorella had trouble sleeping last night so she's laying off la chocolate today. Wish her well!
Where have all our values gone?
Long time passing....
Where have all our values gone?
Long time ago...
Gold lust has killed them, every one
When will we ever learn
When will we ever learn....

Thursday, February 27, 2020

And What Did You Do on Ash Wednesday, Fiorella?

I drove to Gethsemane Lutheran in Austin for the laying on of the ashes, which, for some reason I don't understand, is very meaningful to me, and, as soon as I got out of the car, I started crying. The tears spilled over as I walked across the grass to the open door and walked up the aisle of the empty, darkened church.
     Was I all alone? Had I missed the ceremony?
     But no--a tall male figure emerged from the shadows, and as he drew nearer, I recognized him as my semi-retired pastor, Karl Gronberg.
     He recognized me at the same time, which brought on another bate of tears, although, again, I don't know why. Maybe nostalgia, maybe the solemnity of the occasion, maybe the relief, for a short time, of not having to deal with decisions about erosion, automobiles, tax preps, and the like, or maybe just because I was thrilled at finding someone I used to know who was still alive and still on the job.
     After Pastor inscribed the cross on my forehead--which triggered another crying jag--we talked about politics, our families, and our departed friends,  then blessed each other on our way.
 PS: I gave him a full bag of DUMP TRUMP buttons.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Time for Mourning

And Fio asks again--is time passing quicker than it used to? Why doesn't she get everything done that's on her daily lista amarilla anymore? It certainly is not that she's moving slower....uh, is it?
One thing Fiorella did get done was turn in her beloved Miata to Richard at Mazda. Her plan is to add whatever proceeds the supposed sale of Baby Car generates to her profit from selling off Husband's Mercedes, then to buy a newish four-door Mazda. This will be a major change in Fio's life, or rather ANOTHER major change in her life.
Your girl is in a quandary about Sonia Dog, who should be getting her yearly check-up and shots at Zoot right about now but can't because because she's figured out how to push her way into the front seat, even with a harness on, which means that Fio and everyone else on the road is in danger.
     Asking Zoot about traveling vets didn't pan out.
Pray for Fio, that the Mercedes won't act up while she's driving to Austin today to get her forehead marked with ashes and visit with friend Kaye at Central Market.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jerusha Bolton?

Fiorella's day didn't begin well--she had a terrible hangover from first her Miata, then her Mercedes, going out on her, and her computer following suit. She was also depressed about current politics, which scare her to death-- what if Putin wangles Trump another term in office and the Orange One cuts into Fio's Social Security like he plans? What if the people that Fiorella values and depends on are thrown out of the country? What if the US turns into Hitler's Germany or Putin's Russia? To make things worse, there is nothing Fio can do about any of her worries but make snide remarks on Facebook, then snarf down a bag of chocolate.
 It was the chocolate that turned the trick. After finishing the chocolate, she was energized enough to go outside and picked up the minor trash still left in the back yard, toss it over the fence into the front yard for future pick up, then go back inside and continue reading the almost-finished romance she was working on five years ago before her publisher killed it as "ahead of its time."
WOW--what a story! It's still rough, of course, and Fio needs to curtail her tendency to cram too many people into one book, but the plot is so intense that even she couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next.
After a break for lunch, Fiorella was still so energized that she put the trash she'd thrown across the fence into her little red wagon and hauled it up to the road, where she also picked up her mail, then came back to the house to continue reading Lolly's story.
One more thing. You won't see Fiorella's name on the book--she's decided to use a pseudonym --probably Jerusha Bolton.

Monday, February 24, 2020

From Planning to Politics

Bastrop Son was kind enough to drive up to Georgetown to help Fiorella with the moving preparation, packing, and hauling, mainly out of Husband's office. There's more to go, of course, but the major work is done--although not for Fio--it's her job to decide what to give away, what to donate, and what to put up for sale.
Son also tried to help Fio with the Mercedes, which had put up a screen threatening her with dire consequences if she didn't get the car into the shop muy pronto. Strangely enough, though, the threat ceased when Fiorella gave the hand brake a hard shake while she was driving to Best Buy for help with her computer.
Did I hear you say that you were having a problem with your computer again, Fio? 
     Yes--apparently Your Girl pushed a button she shouldn't have which caused her screen to go dark and emit a high-pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep sound. Neither Minnesota Son nor Neighbor knew what was going on so Fiorella headed off to Best Buy and got in line for the Geek Squad.  The wait was fairly long, but when a cute red-headed guy took charge of Fiorella's computer, the sound ceased.
To celebrate, Fio bought herself a chocolate rabbit and ate it on the way home.
The POLITICS: returns are starting to come in, but Fiorella is keeping her distance. As she's said before, she will support whichever candidate opposes Trump.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Three Aspects of a Good Day

What a good day! Fiorella went through the first couple of chapters of Lolly's story, marking it all the way, and feels very good about her third book's prospects. It will take a while to get the story in shape, of course, but Your Girl's writing better than ever--probably because you've let her hone her skills on the blog (thank you).
The second part of Fiorella's good day was that su donella found the gold watch Fiorella had lost a while back. It was buried deep in the couch cushions, and all Fio can figure out is that she must have put it on a couch arm, then knocked it down the crevice between the arm and the cushion. 
The third part of her good day was that Bastrop son called and said he'll be coming over not only to help her with the house, but also with the Mercedes, which, as you remember, decided to bite the dust on the same day that Baby Car did.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Too Much to Do, Too Little Time!

One of those busy, busy days again when Fiorella has to wait till the evening to look over Lolly's story, but she's determined to do it, come hell or high water. That girl has been running around in Fio's mind for five years now.
Yours Truly's thrill for the day was to discover that not only her beloved Miata, but also Husband's Mercedes are on the blink. Richard at Mazda was kind enough to keep the doors open until Fio got Baby Car over and then drive Fio home, but the Queen Mary is going to have to wait awhile. Meanwhile, Fio may have make use of Georgetown's one-man taxi service.
In the midst of everything else, Fiorella is madly searching through every piece of paper on the dining room table and all the ships at sea, trying to find some very important 2019 tax information, which is very hard to do, what with all the papers she's accumulated this year.
 Did Fio tell you that one of the Bankers at her bank is an aspiring romance writer? Poeple, we are everywhere, and the world is better for us💓!
How can it already be February 22?? Fio is way behind on what she wanted to get done this month, so please, someone--TURN BACK THE CLOCK!!

Friday, February 21, 2020

From Game to Garbge

Fiorella's back on her game. She spent most of her day running around on errands, then settled in with Sonia Dog, cooked up some salmon (yum!), and brought in more firewood to combat the cold weather that has somehow sneaked into central Texas. La lena is wet, of course, but Fio hopes it will dry by this evening. If not, she'll turn up the thermostat.
One of Fio's errands was to stop by the bank to cash a check and ask for copies of two of her 2019 statements, which have mysteriously disappeared into the mess that used to be her desk. While she was there, she visited with one of the bankers, a would-be romance writer, whom she is cheer-leading.
Speaking of cheer-leading, Fiorella found a letter from the organizers of her high school reunion in her mail box today, and, yes, she's planning to attend, but she won't be driving her Miata this time. As you remember, Baby Car is way past her prime so Fio's been using the Queen Mary more and more, but to tell the truth, Fio is considering hitching a ride with Uber this year.
Friend Paula and Fio spent a fair amount of time solving the problems of the world over the phone yesterday, and it was amazing how much in accord we were. Like attracts like!
Congratulate Fiorella! She got the garbage up on the road the night before instead of having to speed up the driveway in her bathrobe when she heard the trash truck coming up the hill.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Evelyn, Dorothy, Lolly, Fiorella, and The Caring Place

Fiorella drove to Austin in the morning, but didn't make contact with writing friend Evelyn as planned. Both of us got the time wrong. Hmm...was God protecting us against something? Fio always wonders.
     Later, Your Girl drove over to a neighborhood she used to live in and visited with Friend Dorothy, yet another writer friend. Dorothy's preference though, is the cold, hard facts of history rather than the anything-goes fiction which Fiorella favors.
Speaking of Fiorella's writing, she does seem to be on track again. Her multiple first chapters of Lolly's story have been sorted out from the packs of other first chapters she's sorted out from her many, many Lolly info pages, and she intends to go through them this evening to see if there are any differences, then dump the repeats in the fireplace and light a match. Whoosh!
Actually, whatever the situation is, she'll be rewriting some parts of said first chapter because she thinks she introduced too many new characters in it. Not that she'll cut out any of her darlings--just move them on to later chapters.
Hooray for late afternoon naps! Fio awoke full of vim, vigor, and vitality, pulled those stirrups down from the back porch, went out front to finish off the porch, then went into the garage and poured another bag of rock salt into the water softener. Coming back to the kitchen, she sliced and wrapped the other salmon she had bought yesterday, cleaned up the kitchen counter, and put together another bag for The Caring Place.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Life and Death

Fiorella has cleaned up both the front porch and the back porch over the last couple of days, although there is still a pair of wooden stirrups hanging up too high on the wall for her to get down.  She's also gathering together all the memento paraphernalia from Great-Grandfather' George's ranch in case anyone in the family wants some of it, but saving out a few things for herself--like the cotton weights, that just might sell well.
Please don't turn Fio in to her kids, but she ate a giant Russell Stover Easter bunny yesterday afternoon. (It looked lonely.)
Fiorella and Daughter have compared primary presidential choices and, while they're not sure of their ultimate choice, they're both in the same ballpark.
Fio met up with two Mac-owner friends at Starbucks yesterday, and they were kind enough to guide her through the intricacies of double-spacing and changing the font in Apple. Now if Yours Truly can just remember what they said....

As Fio was finishing up the blog yesterday, she received word that her sister-in-law's mother, a gallant lady whom Fiorella and her family loved very much, had just died. The world will be the worse for the loss of June, and so will we 🧡🧡🧡


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Plain Talk Valentine

Fiorella is coming out of her blue funk and thought you might like to read a Valentine's Day sonnet she wrote a while back.

               Plain Talk Valentine
We're married twenty years--I cannot write
Of unrequited love; I will not pine
Classically away, my life ablight,
If you ignore this plain talk valentine
   Some years ago, my sensitivity
Was drowned in diaper pails; I will not try
To write a lover's fantasy, for we
Are long since past that fluff, both you and I
   I will not sing a siren's song to lure
Your love; we have three children, twenty years
In sickness and in health, for rich, for poor--
We've life and death between us, joy and tears:
     You need not read the valentine I'm giving
     You today--our love is in the living

Monday, February 17, 2020

Remembering Wendy, the Wonder Dog

Fiorella doesn't see any rainbows in the sky right now so rather than burden you with her miseries, she'll post a selection of her poems about Sonia's predecessor, Wendy the Weimar:

Wendy Saves the World Again
     Her nape is high, her lip is curled
     Her bark is loud and clear
     As Wendy the Weimar saves the world
     From flying bird and chittering squirrel
     And utterly unconcern-ed deer

Canine Gourmet
     Wendy, Wendy, in the woods
     Eating acorns by the score--
     Wendy, Wendy, in the house
     Vomiting upon the floor
     Wendy, Wendy, I implore
      Don't eat acorns anymore

Narc Bark
    Wrapped and treated yet again,
   Totally unconed,
   Wendy Dog's content at last
   To sit and gnaw her bone
   The vet prescribed some happy pills--
   Yes, Wendy Dig is stoned

Weimars Rule!
     Our Wendy is a sweetie dog
     Who understands her place--
     On pillow soft, on couch or bed,
     Being patted on the head,
     Lazing on the bathroom rug
     Or licking at my face

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Fiorella Is Afraid

Trump is coming after Fiorella's Social Security (which already has had a tax put on it by heartless Ronald Reagan), which will totally skew her finances. Sure, she got some money from Husband's insurance, but it won't last forever, and the cost of living keeps going up, up, up.
It's hard to move from one kind of computer to another. Elder son has been kind enough to help long-distance on the phone, and the Wednesday afternoon Georgetown Library computer people have helped too, but no one knows how to enlarge the type font. There's also half of a book missing that no one seems able to find. (Thank goodness that Fio, being the old-fashioned type, made a paper copy --but it's going to take a lot of time transferring everything word-by-word to the Mac.)
The world has turned upside down--right is called wrong, and wrong is called right; lies are called truth, and truth is called lies. Fiorella is afraid, and you should be too!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Second Page, Finally

    The alcohol was beginning to hit his system now so he took a long swallow to accelerate the effect.  Aah--that felt good--just enough agave to relax him before he hit the hay.
     He looked up at the mirror again as the brunette with tattoos up her arm half-arose from the table, her voice cutting through a sudden lull in the crowd noise.
     "--exactly like Michael McConaughey when he was hot!"
     Cotton gritted his teeth. Not that again. Do all guys from Texas look alike?
     The bright blonde shook her head in disagreement, but the rest of the pack turned on his champion. They seemed to be mocking her about something, but she was hitting back. Then, suddenly dropping out of the fight, she leaned back in her chair, and said something that made them gape, then squawk like angry chickens.
     Cotton lifted his glass to the mirror. Whatever is going on, I'm on your side, Babe!
     Rising from the table, she looked back at her friends and struck a defiant pose with her chin up and her hand on her hip.
     Heads turned in her direction as her voice fluted above the crowd. "I'll show you what I mean! Watch and learn!"
     Cotton took another sip of his drink and let the alcohol slide around his tongue a couple of seconds before swallowing. Whatever Dollface was up to, it was a lot more interesting then watching the post-game analysis on the big-screen TV up against the ceiling.
     Tossing her head and swelling an already-spectacular bosom, she strolled toward the bar, winding her way between the tables and evading the outstretched hands of glassy-eyed celebrators inviting her to join their parties.

     Cotton froze in place.
    Shit! Dollface was on a voyage of conquest, and she was heading his way!
    This was all he didn't need--being targeted by a rich man's headstrong daughter. He knew her type--young, spoiled, and too sexy for her own good. That lime green beaded number she had on had must have cost a fortune, and her hair looked expensive too--some kind of fancy up-do with curls bouncing in front of her ears.
     Yep, Dollface probably had a butterfly on her butt, a rose on her breast, and weed in her purse, none of which Daddy knew about and Cotton sure as hell wasn't going to try to find out about.
     She was going to get herself in real trouble one of these days, but not with him.    

      This page is a little rough, but you get the idea. Fio has now introduced you to the two antagonists/lovers.

Friday, February 14, 2020

More Mac Drama and Some Life-saving Information

Friday the Thirteenth hit Fiorella hard yesterday when she was trying to give you the second page of Lolly's story--the program insisted on messing with the layout, making the text hard to read and utterly unworkable. (And this was just when Fio thought she finally had all her problems with the Mac taken care of.)
The day wasn't too good for another woman either.
     Fiorella wended her way toward the back of Target to find someone--anyone--who could tell her where children's games were, and ran into a desperate situation. An fifty-ish woman, gray in the face, was seated in a hastily-provided chair and telling two employees that she didn't feel well.
     The employees were trying to hurry her purchase (Target's phones were having their own Friday the Thirteenth) without success and the woman was getting weaker by the moment so Fio took up station by her side, ready to catch or comfort her--whichever was needed
     "Get me a soft drink," the woman muttered to one of the employees. "I'm diabetic." Confusion reigned as the employees ignored her and tried even harder to get the phones to work, but Fio made her own voice heard. "Forget the phones! Get her a drink, NOW!"
     It took more time than Fiorella thought it should have, but the male employee did come back with a soda of some kind that the woman guzzled down. When she had her color and her voice back, she thanked all of us and told us that when diabetics are in trouble, they need sugar.
    Fiorella replayed the situation in her mind all the way home and, to be sure she would never forget, muttered DIABETICS IN TROUBLE NEED SUGAR to herself again and again.
     She hopes you will remember it too.


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Thursday Blues

Fiorella is doing her best to be cheerful and forward-looking, but actually, she's somewhat frightened by the dirty tricks coming out of the White House.
     She's also reeling from another couple of rounds with technology yesterday, first at Click, then at the library, which helps dummies like her on Wednesday afternoons. Hopefully, the problem about the iCloud and privacy protection are now solved, but just in case, she's visiting Click again today.
     Life was so much easier when paper, pen, and typewriters ruled the roost.
Speaking of paper, pen, and typewriters, Fiorella is meeting up with writer friend Ann Bell at--where else?--Starbucks this morning, and hoping to get tips on self-publishing. Everyone else has been doing it for five years, but It will be a new adventure for Yours Truly.
And yes, yes, yes, Fiorella will tease you with one more page of Lolly's story tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Author at Work

Whether you want to or not, you are going to get a peek at the first page of the romance Fiorella is now working on. She wrote half of it a couple of years ago, but her publisher said it was too hot to handle so Fio put it on the--uh--back burner 😉

     The bartender was johnny-on-the-spot when the tall, tired-looking man stepped into the hotel bar for a quick drink before going up to his room.
     "What can I get you, bud?"
     Cotton's eyebrows went up. Damn. The kid didn't look old enough to belly up to the bar himself, and here he was selling the stuff. Apparently the usual middle-aged staff had been augmented by the younger generation to handle the crowd tonight.
     "Tequila sour. Put it on my room tab. Bogart, 516."
     "Comin' right up."
      Cotton gazed absently at the long mirror behind the bar. Like probably every other venue in Austin, the Peplum was full to overflowing with Capitol City Community College students who were  enjoying their last night of freedom in the record-busting summer heat before second semester summer classes began--and with CCCC's enrollment up over 40,000, that made for some very happy barkeeps.
     Suddenly, his eyes caught a group of giggling girls sitting a couple of tables behind his back to the side--a bright blonde, two brunettes, and two in-betweens, who were staring at him, putting their heads together, squabbling, then staring at him again.
     What was their problem? Didn't like his sweat?
     Sorry, sweet things, but that's what happens when a guy works eight hours straight in hundred-degree heat clearing acetylene torches out of a supply closet to make room for boxes of petrified bones and plaster casts.  
    He gave himself a cursory glance. Yeah, his T-shirt was streaked with grease, his cargo shorts looked like he'd been on a month-long dig, and his Birkenstocks had absorbed enough strata to take him back to the Mesozoic.
     Rubbing his hand across his stubbly jaw, he realized he hadn't shaved today either.
     He took a taste of the drink the bartender had plopped in front of him, then hunched his shoulders and studied the intricately-carved wood railing above the mirror.
     The Peplum was a classy place. Maybe the ladies were planning to get him kicked out.

WARNING: Fio will be adjusting this page as she writes further.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Eight Truths can tell you where the group that contributed to your DNA has lived in the past, but not your ethnicity. Thus Fiorella's strong Carpatho-Rusyn heritage, dappled across central and eastern Europe, was never recognized until her cousin's wife traced it down.
Fio can't even make a grocery list without her mother's ghost whispering in her ear about the importance of good hand-writing.
Your girl's lady friends, most of whom do not know each other, are what keep her going. Bless them, one and all.
Fiorella was so startled that she floundered for words when a friend she was meeting up with asked her if she knew where she would go when she died, but, on the way home, she came up with just the right answer: "I will be in God's grace, as I am now."
I write to bite
I write to kiss
With either one
I never miss
If you cut me, I'll bleed words.
Just as Fio bewailed her mother not knowing how to drive, her own kids bewail her lack of computer skills
Fio isn't interested in the pundits' interpretations of what's going on in the world. She wants to know what has actually happened, and she'll take it from there.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Speaking of Elmer Gantry.....

Going through pages so old that they'd turned brown and brittle, Fio finally found the information she'd collected several years ago to write a newspaper tell-all regarding a new-to-town prosperity preacher who'd set up shop in North Austin. His twist was an anti-pornography push, and everyone in the area received countless letters in the mail inviting them to join the church's noisy crusade.
     Fiorella was not impressed. In fact, she was so skeptical that she contacted a local newspaper, presented her credentials, and got its backing for a story about the the church.
     Since research is always the name of the game, Fio visited said church one Sunday, and it was quite a shocker to her genteel Lutheran upbringing. The doors were LOCKED SHUT when the the service started, the preacher man invited his richly-dressed bleached-blonde wife to join him on the stage, people made call-outs of thanks from from the audience, and the primary topics were pornography, wealth, and success.
     Later in the week, Fiorella interviewed one of the preacher's five sons in his private office. He shut the door, opened a locked file drawer, sifted through the collection of paperbacks, and pulled one out to show me the kind of "filth" his family was protesting. Sitting down close beside me, he read aloud the most salacious lines, which had been underlined with a red pen." Needless to say, Fio was uncomfortable and wrote up every word of the experience as soon as she got home.
     Here's where the story has an unhappy ending--for Fio, at least. She was trying to do too many things at once (as usual) and lost the notes.
     But it didn't end well for the preacher either. A congregant spotted his car at a local motel where he was shacking up with a woman he was "counseling"--and that was just the start of his troubles. There were also some questions about his high-flying lifestyle, and one of his sons (not the one Fio had interviewed) ended up on the police blotter charged with sending women obscene letters.   
     Needless to say, Preacher Man folded his tents and disappeared into the night.

Hmm...wonder if the whole scene could be written into a book....


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Three Times of Day

MORNING: Fiorella's trip to Austin did not have a happy ending. She couldn't open up her computer, no matter what "password" she fed it. After rushing around, feeding the dog, picking up the house, and considering suicide, she decided to face the music, which meant calling the kids and telling them she wouldn't be contacting them by computer, email, or cell phone for a while.
     Daughter was first in line.
     Fio explained the situation to her, expecting a word or two of sympathy, but instead, Daughter gave her Apple's NATIONAL phone number.
     Fiorella was on the phone within two minutes of hanging up, but it took more than half an hour for a patient young man named COLTON to get your girl back on line. So far, so good, but Fio's going to see what happens next before she declares herself a winner. Once burned, twice shy.
AFTERNOON: It DID work, and Fiorella spent a fair amount of time getting herself up to date on Email and Facebook. Apparently, one of her recent posts about The Children has gone big-time.
 EVENING: Fiorella decided to take the plunge and started rewriting Lolly's story from the very beginning.  In the meantime, she's had a couple of brainstorms about some of the supporting characters. Aah--yippy-yi-ka-yay--it's good to be back in the saddle again!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Fiorella's Adventure

Fiorella spent yesterday morning preparing and delivering Valentine's treats to Chase, Mazda, and Click, then took off to Office Depot, where a nice young man tried every trick to convince her Mac that she was, indeed, its legitimate mistress, but to no avail so he sent her off to the Geek Squad at Best Buy, who sent her off to the Apple Store in the Domain in Austin.
     And that is how Fio ended up spending seven hours in hell.
     The traffic was heavy, of course, but even worse was that Yours Truly had only vague memory of the location of the Domain, a village unto itself. She finally found it, by stopping at a couple of drug stores to get instructions, but what she hadn't anticipated how much the Domain would have grown.
Again Fio relied on the mercy of strangers finally walking through the glass portals of the Apple Store at about 4:30  It was not as upscale as she'd thought it would be. Instead, the one big room was crowded with people yelling back and forth at each other.
      Fiorella's helper, Nevy, had a new tattoo on her arm (the cellophane was still on it), and her nails were painted with an increasing shade of blue, but she knew her business and could shout over everyone in the room. Best of all, she put Fio back on line.
     Now for the trip back home. Fiorella, who had once lived in the general area, thought she could make it back to I-35 with only minor problems, but she was wrong. Things had changed over her twenty-year absence, and she finally had to stop at an H-E-B for help.
     Her trip home took almost two hours, with the sky darkening every moment, and Fio was very tired, but there was more to come--as she was preparing to pull into her driveway, blinding lights came over the hill and a horn sounded. Your girl covered her eyes, slammed on her brakes, and prepared to get out of her car, but the other driver gunned his/her engine and took off with a bit of a scraping sound. After Fio pulled into her garage, she checked the driver's side of her car, but couldn't see any damage so she assumes all is well.
      To finish the story, Fiorella was greeted by a frantic Sonya Dog, who desperately needed to go outside, then hurled herself across Mommy's lap as if to never let her go.

Friday, February 7, 2020

From Politics to Penmanship

Trump's lackluster State of the Union address will be  relegated to the dustbin of history, but Nancy Pelosi's dramatic ripping of the text will be forever remembered and celebrated--like when Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the castle door at Wittinberg🧡🧡🧡
With Valentine's day fast upon us, Fiorella is loading up with chocolate kisses for her neighborhood friends, her Chase bank pals, and her Mazda pals who have kept Baby Car alive, lo, these many years. For the guys at Click Computer Repair, who are all on diets, she'll provides bags of nuts. (And, yes, she puts on her bunny ears when she delivers the goodies and has even been known to hippity-hop up to the curb/door/counter.)
Sonia Dog, who used to gnaw on Barkley rawhide twists till they disintegrated, has been getting persnickety lately, dropping each twist after a single chew, then begging for another one, which flies against Fiorella's grain--those things are expensive, and she doesn't want a single one to go to waste.
     Surely there was some way she could make the bones more appealing to Doggie. Hey, how about melting a half-stick of butter and rolling a couple of Sonia's cast-offs in a flat pan?
     It worked!
Yours Truly has geared herself up by re-reading her first published book and a couple of chapters of one of friend Shiloh Walker's books, and is now getting herself organized to complete the third book in her Bosque Bend series. And yes, God willing, there will be two more after that, each more shocking than the last 😉 😉😉

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Three Poems, a Cry for Help, and a Tease

Please smell
My Chanel
And notice that
My hair is curled--
I'm going out
To meet the world!
Fiorella is a weird duck,
I heartily agree--
You never know just what it is
That she will say or see
And that's the very reason now
That you are reading me
Fiorella writes
All the time
Sometimes in prose
Often in rhyme
As Fio told you, her first strep in reviving her career in romance writing was organizing her old manuscripts. Now she's moving on to step two: skimming though a couple of her favorite authors' books and her own offerings. This step will probably take her a couple of days, especially because she'll have to find somebody who can help her buy and read books on the Internet. She used to know how to do it, but can't figure out the technique on the Mac. (Also, her account might have been closed down.)
Fiorella's first-published book was set in Waco, Texas, as everyone she went to school with figured out. The characters were all fictional, of course....or were they? 😉

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

All You Wanted to Know about Romance Writers

Fiorella's double-decking in Austin today with two of her best friends, Paula and Evelyn. Strangely, they've never met each other, but they're both high-powered woman and both writers. Hmm...that description could be applied to Fio too.
Speaking of writing, Yours Truly has laid out a plan to get herself into the romance-writing mood (pant, pant) again. She's skimming some of her old favorites like Linda Howard  (pant, pant, pant) and is also picking up new books by various friends (pant, pant, pant, pant).
Seriously, omances novels are about relationships, which means more than sexual high-jinks. The writer has to create an atmosphere, a background, that most people can relate to and even identify with, then introduce her main characters and put them through hell so the reader will consider their Happily-Ever-After to be well-earned.
Most romance writers are female and write traditional male-female stories, although some male writers also go the traditional route. Other authors, both male and female, write about male-male or female-female romances. Fio has no problem with any story that involves a loving relationship, but opposes sadism in any form. In fact, she and her heroine waged war against it in Fio's second published book.
Many authors have signature characters in their books. Fiorella's is---guess what--a dog! Your Girl cannot imagine life without a dog so neither can her heroines.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

From Liquor to Revision

Some people choose liquor
Some people choose weed
I load up on chocolate
When I am in need
Celebrate with Fiorella--she finally tracked down a way to get her coumadin-thinned blood checked on a monthly basis. As you will remember, Austin Heartless fired its coumadin nurses a while back and hooked up with a company that provides patients with contraptions with which we're supposed to prick our own fingers, then send the coded info back to the mother office, which sends it on to Austin Heartless. Fio couldn't bring herself to follow through so friend Marie, a former coumadin nurse, was kind enough to drive out to Fio's house to do the job.
     Fio knew the arrangement couldn't last forever, but she was caught by surprise when Marie's son needed extra care night and day. Nothing for Fiorella to do but pray for both of them and seek another way to handle her own situation--which she did today. It took three hours of going from pillar to post, but she finally located a blood-letting operation she can depend on--for now, at least.
     She also learned something else along the way which surprised her---that she isn't the only person who can't wound herself. Her doctor's nurse confessed she couldn't do it either.
Yes, Fio admit the above has been revised. She often looks over previous posts and readjusts them to suit her fancy. It's legal--she's the original source.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Deep Thoughts Etcetera

Just to show you how weird Fiorella is--and has always been--she's going to admit to having an abnormal sense of the passing of time. It's always been there, but the one that really shook her up was when she was six and playing cowboys and Indians with Barbara Tromer in the wheat-like vacant yard next to her friend's home. Everything was going swimmingly until Fio got a strange feeling that stopped her in her tracks--she had gotten so involved with play-acting that the whole afternoon had passed without her realizing it.
     The same feeling can occur even now if Fiorella buries herself in one of her projects for too long without a break. Maybe it's a matter of intensity, but whatever it is, she doesn't like it and she's going to quit writing about the feeling because she's getting it right now. Brrrrrrrr.....
Lolly's grave is about to be reopened. Fio gave up on her a couple of years ago when her publisher, Hachette Group nixed the story line, but times and publishing have changed since then, and Fio wants to give ol' Lolly a second try. After all, those three notebooks full of rewrites should be good for something.
Speaking of projects, Fio is planning to get the back-yard erosion and the whacko fencing taken care of this spring. In the meantime, she's been clearing off the junky stuff that's collected in and around the woodpile on the other side of the driveway and the back porch.



Sunday, February 2, 2020

Politics--Soft Middle--Politics

Fiorella is so excited--someone has put her DUMP TRUMP slogan on yard signs! 
Another milestone for Fio--she's found all five of her Lolly notebooks, the first step in uniting them into one giant loose-leaf libreta. Lolly, for those of you who haven't read Fiorella's first-published romance, is the daughter and of the hero of the first book, and she's as headstrong as they come.
     Going through the years of writings she's now stacked on the steps of the staircase, Fiorella was surprised to learn that she'd been pretty damn headstrong herself. As a reporter, she stepped into some situations that could have been sticky or even dangerous (more on that later), and as a professor, she did things like put together her own curriculum for her Creative Writing class instead of making the students buy a stupid textbook.
 On the side, Fio is trying to collect all the poetry she's ever written through the years. Thank goodness that she'd posted a fair amount of it on her blog because it's hard to keep track of single-sheets of paper. Where the heck is that poem she wrote years ago about herself and her little brother being together under an umbrella while it was raining?
The impeachment thing went about like Fiorella thought it would, which was disgusting, but your girl still has hope. The whole nation has now seen blatant corruption close up, and Nancy Pelosi is not one to put all her eggs in one basket.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

     Sonia's Prayer

Whenever Fio comes back from town,
Puts away her groceries, then sits down,
Sonia Doggie claims her lap,
Closing her eyes as if to nap....
     Mommy, don't ever leave me again--
     I don't know where you've gone so then
     I worry about you. My greatest fear
     Is that someday you will disappear
     Like Daddy did, and never come home
     And I'll be left waiting, all alone 🧡