Tag Archives: life

My Uncle Dick


In our lives, we have people who have lasting influence. Uncle Dick is one for me. He’s a retired principal from the elementary education system. Had he been born in another time, I think he would have been, in addition to the Exchequer to the King, a Poet-Philosopher.

Uncle Dick’s wife, my maternal aunt, recently passed away. Aunt Jeanne routinely helped others and nurtured Uncle Dick. He habitually complimented her positive qualities aloud, publicly. Her loss hit him hard. His children arranged for a Care Corps volunteer to keep an eye on him. The woman who showed up at his door had many of the characteristics of my aunt. Of her, he wrote:

The volunteer from Care Corps–

To ease the vacuum of losing Jeanne,

So much like Jeanne in her caring ways–

Karen.

To me, Jeanne’s twin sister,

Born tardy, forty years late.

Uncle Dick appreciates humor. He sent me a quip about writing that made me smile.

The only way to create a sensation as an essayist these days is to write something mean about a cat.

He reminds me of the importance of awareness, being alive in every moment, at any age. Uncle Dick is in his nineties. In a recent newsletter that he sends monthly to family, under the heading “How to Think More about Sex,” he wrote:

“I quote from a book review for the author Alain de Botton, ‘Deep inside, we never quite forget the need with which we were born: to be accepted as we are, without regard to our deeds; to be loved through the medium of our body; to be enclosed in another’s arms.'”

Thank you, Uncle Dick, for giving me a living example of a love story, for demonstrating the power of language, and for teaching me how to live and laugh in the shadow of loss.

From Dream to Reality


Dates don’t stick in my brain. That’s why I always disliked history classes. The tests seemed to focus on memorization of lots of dates. I was at an instant disadvantage. I would have preferred that the instructors focused on the lessons we can learn from history. If that had been the case, I likely would have majored in history. I love to learn. I hate memorization.

But I digress.

I was saying dates don’t stick in my brain. I can’t remember when I first decided that I would start a writers group. If I were to guess, I would say it was two years ago. About that time, I started attending writing workshops by mystery author Lauren Carr, hosted by different local libraries. In fact, it happened after the first Carr workshop, but before the second. At the second workshop is where I asked for anyone interested to give me his or her contact information.

It took a bit of time to find a meeting place. I had a list of 25 names. I had no idea how many would actually show up. Rose Harris, owner of a local coffee-house in historic Williamsport, MD, was willing to let the group use her back room free of charge two times per month. The local library also had a meeting room, but it was in high demand. The writers group may have to compete for meeting dates. That was no good. Plus, the library felt sterile. The vibe at the Desert Rose Cafe was nurturing, creative, friendly. As an added bonus, “the eats” were good and inexpensive.

Desert Rose Cafe TL

It was the vibe that made the decision for me.

Over time the group whittled down to a dozen, then ten regulars. The group was very diverse, from writing styles to personalities to topical interests. Yet we jelled. We shared work by reading aloud. We criticized (in a constructive way) and guided each other in developing our craft. We encouraged and inspired each other.

The restaurant hosted a writing contest, posting short works from the group in the dining room, asking diners to read and vote on a winner.

We all were winners, because, after the contest, we decided to put together the Anthology. We had faith we could create a collection of short works, edit them, compile them, then publish them in a period of about six months.

With the professional assistance  and coaching of Acorn Book Services in Harpers Ferry, WV, by December, 2012, the humble writers group–Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe–released its first e-book. The members range in age from 30 to 80-plus and live in a three state area.

One member with Asperger’s Syndrome remarked that the release date of the e-book was one of the greatest days in his life. During the course of writing for the Anthology, he made a decision to move out of his parents’ home and into his own apartment, so he could enroll in college. He is currently working on a solo writing project.

An administrator in the local library system called me a couple of days ago to express her surprise and joy that Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe had achieved its goal. She offered to help arrange publicity for the book through the local newspaper. In turn, I offered to promote the library workshops as wellsprings of creativity. Without the library’s workshop, the Anthology would never have been written.

An idea led to a call to action and resulted in the creation and e-printing of a publication. A young man’s life changed. Others came to see that setting a goal and working on it faithfully yielded results. Several are working on new solo projects.

Dreams do come true.

Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, An Anthology, available from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble

Here

http://www.amazon.com/Writers-Desert-Cafe–Anthology-ebook/dp/B00ARYTOYC/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357500066&sr=1-1&keywords=writers+of+the+desert+rose+cafe

or here

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writers-of-the-desert-rose-cafe-an-anthology-fay-moore/1114018983

All About the Southern Girl


I adore the magazine Southern Living. I am charmed by the gardens, decorator colors and recipes. Southern life is about gentility and hospitality. In fact, in the May 2012 issue, I found a list of rules to live by, if you are Southern. I will list three below that will serve the Southerner inside all of us.

A REAL SOUTHERN GIRL SHOULD OWN AN ICED-TEA PITCHER AND A DEVILED-EGG PLATE.

GOOD MANNERS WILL OFTEN TAKE YOU WHERE NEITHER MONEY NOR EDUCATION CAN.

IT’S NEVER TOO SOON TO WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE.

 

Quotes for October 19, 2012 — A “Twofer”


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the Life you have imagined.

and

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

 

–Henry David Thoreau

 

 

Response to Song Prompt “Calling All Angels”


Here’s my sudden fiction piece generated by Train’s “Calling All Angels.” If you’ve ever experienced a personal moment of desperation, you may identify with Hannah. Sometimes things intervene that cannot be explained away.

Angels

by Fay Moore © 2012

Hannah’s thirty. She has a two-year-old and a husband. There are no money problems in the home that any other young married couple isn’t facing. Everyone in the family has good health.

But Hannah is tired, so tired. And with a baby to chase after and a business to run, she doesn’t get caught up on her rest before the daily grind discharges her batteries again.

She shuts herself in the bathroom and cries. She has thirty seconds to herself before there is an intrusion. The baby gets down on his knees outside the door, puts his tiny mouth to the gap between the bottom of it and the floor, and starts calling through the crack, “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy.”

Hannah sits on the closed toilet lid, her face in her hands. Her crying turns to head shaking.

I can’t even go to the bathroom and have five minutes alone,” she laments.

Hannah gets up and unlocks the door. Her toddler scoots in and wraps his arms around her legs.

Where you are, Mommy? I look for you,” he murmurs.

I’m right here,” she answers, scooping him up in her arms. She forces herself to smile at him.

Honey,” her husband calls from the kitchen. “Where are the hamburger rolls?” He’s shoving things around inside the refrigerator.

Hannah carries the child with her to the kitchen.

There aren’t any. We used the last ones the day before yesterday. We’re out of milk and eggs, too. You watch your son,” she says as she hands the toddler off to her husband, “and I’ll make a grocery run. I’ll be back in 30 minutes. That’ll give the two of you time to make the burgers and salad. Need anything else?”

Yeah. A package of razors and a gallon of iced tea. Oh, and some pickles. Those sweet ones.”

Bread and butters?”

Yeah,” he says, as he puts their son in the high chair, placing a plastic bowl half full of Cheerios on the tray.

Hannah blows kisses. Her boy catches them, but her husband has already turned his back and buried his head in the refrigerator, rummaging for dinner ingredients.

Half an hour later, it’s dark outside. Hanna starts home with the groceries. She revisits the feelings she had while in the bathroom at home. She feels grim, then melancholy, then depressed. She begins to think dark thoughts. She grips the wheel with both hands, holding the car to the center of her lane.

She doesn’t know if it is her imagination, but she swears she hears conversation in her head. She is being urged to run the car off the road. She grips the wheel tighter.

I’m tired. I’m worn out. That’s all. I don’t want to die,” she says aloud, half praying, half trying to convince herself to ignore whatever fiend is messing with her thoughts. She’s crying again. Her shoulders begin to slump as her grip relaxes on the steering wheel. The car edges to the right.

At that moment, Hannah’s mind lets go. Though she sees nothing visible, she senses a presence, no, two beings, one at each forward fender. She is driving, but the sensation is that the invisible beings have control and keep her car on the road. She travels about a quarter of a mile with this impression.

Then, it is as if she has returned to herself and shaken off whatever it was that possessed her thoughts. She doesn’t understand exactly what just happened. Her mind tries to reason that she imagined the whole episode. But in her heart, she knows she nearly died by her own hand. Something, or someone, intervened to move the vehicle back onto the roadway. She holds fast to the steering wheel and leans forward, eyes riveted to the road.

Hannah is shaken, but determined to get home safely. She wonders what she will tell her husband. How will she describe what happened?

Angels?” she asks herself.