Monday, March 30, 2009

Last Minute Change in Plans

Just got back from Curves.
Yeah, I know I said I was going to ditch it tonight but I figured with the President following me on Twitter...well, I didn't want him to think I'm a weenie.

And I actually feel pretty good.

A Friend of Barack's......

I just got this email message:

"Hi, Mitzi Flyte (witchyldy).
Barack Obama (BarackObama) is now following your updates on Twitter."

Well...How about that.
The President will now know that I hardly slept last night; I'm barely making it through the day; and I'm ditching Curves.

I'm sure he'll think: "Too much information".

But it's sure nice to know he cares.

Now we know why he wanted to keep his Blackberry - all those tweets from his peeps.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good News/Bad News from the Last Week

The time from last Saturday (PLRW's workshop with Jonathan Maberry) and today - Sunday - has my brain and my soon-to-be elderly body on overload.

Jonathan's workshop was energetic and he filled my sixty-one year old brain with great ideas.
I worked on some of those ideas the next day.

Monday and Tuesday found me back at my "day job" and the usual long term care, not enough census, we use too much agency, and we get too little money angst that creates.

Wednesday I was off to the PADONA conference in Hershey, PA. I treated myself to a room in the Hotel - beautiful and friendly. This conference had the best workshops of all the PADONA conferences I've attended (many) and my brain and notebook are full of things that I want to initiate and remind and in service and advise - things, I'm sure, will lead to more of the above angst.

I got home from Hershey Friday at 5:30PM and immediately took a shower and got ready for the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer's Group conference. I attended a 7PM workshop with an editor and then networked during the cocktail party. By 8 AM I was back at the conference (luckily in a hotel just a mile away from home) for a full day of workshops, networking and more informational overload.

The Good News: I have a request for a full manuscript of my paranormal mystery from an editor and a request for my memoir proposal from an agent.
The Bad News: I go back to the Day Job tomorrow.
The Good News: I have a Day Job.
The Bad News: I'm pooped!
The Good News: I get energized by these conferences and writing - even on the work for the Day Job.

Actually, there's only good news.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I'm at the beautiful Hotel Hershey for the annual PADONA conference. PADONA stands for Pennsylvania Directors of Nursing Association/Long Term Care Division. There must be more than 350 nurses here - most of whom work in management.

The workshops have been outstanding this year. And during one, I, along with about thirty other nurses, was able to stand up and receive applause because we've been in the profession more than forty years.

If you ever get a chance to hear Leah Klush, a nurse who has her own consulting business, do it. She tells it like it is, but with humor.

There are a lot of "me's" out there - older nurses who are tired and wonder how much longer they can do the job.

Thirty of us stood up today, on arthritic knees and with sore backs.

We deserved the applause.

March Madness...

...and I don't mean basketball, either.

March has been intense.

I was in Seattle visiting Heather at the beginning of the month where i finished writing and revising a mystery short story.

The week I came home, there were meetings at work. That Saturday was Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers meeting where we got ready for our workshop with Jonathan Maberry.

The workshop was the following Saturday.

This week I was in the office two days and then onto the PADONA (PA Directors of Nursing Long Term Care Division) Conference for three days in Hershey PA.

On Friday when I leave Hershey I will go home, shower, grab a bit fo supper, change clothes and go to the cocktail party for The Write Stuff, Great Lehigh Valley Writers Group writing conference. Saturday is the full day of that conference where I'll be pitching my memoir.

The last Sunday of March will be my Day of Rest - if I give myself permission.

I want to revise a short story for the Deadly Ink Conference and I want to start working on my tiny yard.

March Madness and I've been running around like the March Hare.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lovely Dream


Why do the best dreams come right before the alarm goes off?
Mine do and last night was no different.
I found myself walking along an English country road, carrying tomatoes (don't have an explanation- that's just what it was).

I walked by a stone cottage on a curve in the road when a woman came out to greet me and ask me in for tea. I watched her make scones and she said, "I use two sticks of butter. I know, everyone cringes at that. But I still do it - makes them taste better." She lived there with her two sisters and we sat and talked about how I got to England.

Evidently I went to England instead of going to work. I had yet to call work to tell them where I was and I didn't care. I was in England. The sisters told me where to sell my tomatoes and I walked down to the village and then back up to their cottage. While back at their cottage someone delivered eggs and flour for them.

Then the four of us got in their car so they could drive me back to my cottage (MY cottage - wow!) and one of the sisters showed me a map of the area.

Interpretation: I want to return to England. I want to stay in a cottage in Cornwall or Somerset. I want to walk the country roads.

And the three sisters? Well....
The iconic English witches, of course.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tip to Writers...

Jonathan Maberry

If you ever get the chance to hear this man speak about writing, the industry and marketing your work, DO IT. Do not hesitate. Your brain may be spinning afterwards, but it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cut Bait?

I've been pitching this book, a possible series, for more than two years.
No nibbles...well...maybe a couple of nibbles and some tentative bites.
But I haven't reeled in an agent or an editor.
I've been published - but in short fiction and nonfiction and only sporadically.
I see and hear of others' successes and I wonder if it's time for me to pack it in - stop writing.
Why should I keep subjecting myself to ongoing rejection? Isn't enough that I've been rejected by men I loved. Does my writing have to be rejected, too?
I'm not a writer wanna-be. I write daily. I've written countless short stories and articles. I've completed three novels and I revising two of them. I submit. I work hard at it. I guess just not hard enough.

I can't stop writing. I know that. I have all these stories that need to come out. Maybe I should just stop submitting and deluding myself that I can be published in novel length.
After all, just who am I that I should be a published novelist?
No college degree.
No years of journalism.
I'm just a nurse. Nothing at all, really. Good enough to clean up excrement and take care of the dying and the confused and the barely living- but not much good for anything else, as society views. A nurse with no college degree is almost worthless.
Except for my memoir.
Maybe that will get me published.
What a hoot that would be. I get published because of the freakin' job I didn't want and drag myself to daily. For some reason that makes me a bit sick to my stomach. It's almost like the universe is saying, that's all I am good for - clean up piss, shit, vomit - get punched, knocked out - and still never good enough- always falling short.

And my fiction?
Maybe I have to finally realize that the last forty-five years of my professional life is what I deserved - nothing more. Maybe I need to stop reaching for a fifty year old dream. Maybe it's time to just grow up.

Maybe I'm still sucking on those sour grapes.
Or maybe I'm trying too hard.
Or maybe I'm just in a funk.
Or maybe I just got another rejection.

Fish or cut bait?

I guess I'll just put another worm on the hook.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Sometimes I feel as if I should be lonely.
I come home at night to cats. (Yeah, typical - crazy, single, old cat lady - just not a house-full of cats).
I come home to books that I'm eager to read.
I come home to books that I'm eager to write.
I have a little yard that will soon have flowers, a rose bush and a lilac bush. Right now it has massive amounts of birds who entertain me and the cats.
I have a cute apartment.
I have good friends.
I have an intense job, that although it's frustrating at times, gives me a wonderful salary and sometimes even some secondary gain.
I have the most wonderful and brightest daughter - who lives too far away.
I have a "fake" daughter - who I see almost everyday.
Both bring me joy and both say that I've mentored them and helped them to grow into intelligent women.

So, I guess I should be lonely.
But I'm not.
No apologies.
In fact, I'm usually quite happy - blog rants, aside.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sour Grapes

A member of a small writers' group, never comes to meetings, never volunteers for anything, never comes to a workshop and never posts on the loop - UNTIL she gets an agent and a sale.

And now she may come to a meeting.
To get her bouquet of flowers?
To make nice to people who may buy her book?
To lord it over the rest of us?

Maybe it's to prove to us that all the time we spent trying to make the group (and its members) successful could have been put to better use by WRITING!

What an aha moment!

Rethinking lots of things today.

Sour grapes?
Damn betcha!

And, before anyone asks, I won't delete this blog. It's how I feel. At least I'm honest about it.
Age will do that for you - allow your honesty to come out.

Freedom of thought and speech.

Double invisibility...

(Reprinted from the blog: The Last Nurse with permission by the author.)
It started with a hard drive meltdown. I had no files. The I.T. guys fixed my five-year old company laptop so I could email - but everything I'd saved was gone.

They took out the hard drive to send it to a specialist to get fixed and then to have files retrieved.

That was four weeks ago and one of those weeks I was on vacation. So I get back from vacation and nada- zip-nothing. No email, no post-it note - nuttin' honey from any I.T. guy about the hard drive. So I wrote an email to them with a cc to my boss. That was when somehow it got moving.

But, you see, I'm "just a nurse." I may be a department head - but I'm still "just a nurse." My department of QA nurses may have helped their facilities get the best Department of Health surveys of the last 10 years, but we're still "just nurses." I mean - why should WE get new laptops. Give them to the accounting guys and the marketing people.

Ah, yes, the marketing people - at least one doesn't even know who their building's Regional Nurse is. Not that the Regional Nurse is that important - she was just the facility's acting DON for months (while I covered that regional nurse's region...ahem...).

So just what about the term "nursing home" don't you understand?

Why it's the word "nursing" - as in just a....

May I inform anyone reading this, that nurses and nurse aides are the ones who do the scut work. We are the ones who clean up all bodily excrements. We are the ones who clean and feed and bathe. We are the ones who give the meds, make the beds, walk the halls, help to move. We are the ones who redress the wounds, turn and reposition, give the injections, start the tube feedings, talk to the families, get yelled at by families, doctors, corporate.

Nursing - that's who does the care.
Not marketing.
Not accounting.
Not dietary.
Not social service.
Not secretaries.

We are the ones who get hit, punched, kicked.

We are the ones who do the work - who give the care - who care.

What don't you understand about that?

And sometimes we need a hard drive fixed before weeks have gone by.

The Invisible Woman

Just show up and do the work. If you don't show up and don't do the work, they'll miss you - someone else will be doing the work - that's why they'll miss you.

Show up 20 pounds lighter, without your glasses and completely new hair and....


No one notices you unless you stop doing the work.

I made a decision to be good to myself and to do things that will be good for me, and not worry about everyone else. Because there are very few people who really care.

If it's better for me, then I will do it.
If it takes time away from me, I won't do it.
People who are used to who you "were" (and took advantage of that) will not like the changes. Oh, well. Too bad, so sad.

Rick Nelson said it best: "If you can't please everyone, may as well please yourself."
And expect nothing from those around you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Stephen King kinda day....

No, I didn't meet any weird clowns, huge spiders, Jack with an ax or cell-phone created zombies.

I wrote all morning and read all afternoon (well, I watched Investigation Discovery for a bit, too).
And I didn't get to take my walk because the northern part of the Seattle area (I'm visiting Heather) was having an impromptu snowstorm.

Write in the morning, read in the afternoon, take a walk and spend the evening with family and friends. King in "On Writing" gives this as his daily schedule. And he writes everyday - EVERY day - even Christmas and his birthday.

I was on my own yesterday because Heather was "tele-working" and she was determined about it - she started early and finished late. In the evening we watched Olberman and Maddow, talked politics, history and the paranormal (inspired by a couple of bad episodes of Paranormal State).

Today she'll be at Varsity Communications and I'll be on my own again.

It's gonna be a Stephen King kinda day.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Watch this Video...

...and if you don't cry...

Well, please stop reading my blogs - don't want you near me. Even virtually.

This is why animals have so much to teach humans.

The Reality of Cleaning When You're 62.....

1. Have 2 cups of strong coffee
2. Ignore palpitations
3. Load dishwasher
4. Sit down
5. Dust
6. Sit down
7. Do litter boxes (if you don't have cats, ignore #7)
8. Sit down then get up and put litter garbage bag outside on the patio
9. Continue to sit for a few more minutes while trying not to get involved with John King and his "magic board" - not a porn site.
10. Drag out vacuum cleaner (preferably one that does cat hair, unless you were able to ignore #7 and part of #8)
11. Sit down
12. Turn on vacuum and try NOT to sit down. Vacuum.
13. You may sit down in between rooms if necessary. For me, it's necessary.
14. Sit down
15. Clean out twenty pounds of cat hair from vacuum and look for cats who are hiding. If you don't have cats, don't look for them, you may find some.
16. Sit down
17. Take out garbage
18. Sit down and now you can watch John King or read or write. You are done.

The next day:
1. Turn on dishwasher since you forgot to do it in between all those "sit downs".