Tuesday, August 14, 2012


To the right at the top of this blog you will see the Liebster Award. Presented to me by Sunni of the Surviving Life blog, it's an award to acknowledge up-and-coming quality blogs with less than 200 followers and is much appreciated! After a brief struggle with my muse, Persephone, I was finally able to post this image to the blog and will "wear" it proudly.

Along with this award comes the request to respond to some questions and therein lies the answer to the mystery of why Persephone was miffed. She does not like me to write about myself, only about the characters she gives me! Well, sorry, Seph. Just this once I'm hiding your light under a bushel and letting a little glimmer of mine peek out. You can play tomorrow, OK? It's raining. Go back to bed.

1. What is your greatest achievement so far and why?

This is a bit of a sad one, yet it's important. Several years ago my husband was diagnosed with a form of leukemia we were told was treatable, but not curable. He was told to put his affairs in order. This had hit a seemingly healthy man in the prime of life and to say we were both stunned is the understatement of all time. Nevertheless, we did put affairs in order and in the course of dealing with this catastrophe, Dave and I made a pact. He would give it literally the fight of his life. And when he lost that fight, I would be there with him--at home, in our own bed, with friends. There would be no hospital death, surrounded by kind strangers. No, if we couldn't beat death--and we couldn't--we would make it come on our terms. And we did. So in a sense you could say the greatest achievement of my life came through death. I was my husband's home-care nurse for four and a half years and when the final battle was lost we met it with what I would like to think was consummate grace.

2. How do you spend your free time?

Reading, hiking with my dogs or in travel, usually to Ireland.

3. What is your favorite season and why?

Fall. I love everything about it--the crisp air, the red and gold leaves contrasting with a sky which somehow seems more blue than ever. The crunch of leaves under foot, the smoky smell of them lingering in the air. The last warmth of summer slowly but surely relinquishing itself to winter...looking forward to the mantle of snow covering what will be the flowers of spring. The preparation for rest before beginning anew the endless cycle of life.

4. If you could live anywhere besides where you do now, places today or times back in history, where would it be and why?

There are so many times in history I love to write about, yet I don't think I would actually want to live in them. If now, today, I could live in a little cottage in Ireland where I could write, burn peat, drink vast quantities of tea and walk among the beauty of Connemara or the Dingle Peninsula, I think I might well be the happiest woman on earth.

5. To date, what has been your worst disappointment in life?

Not experiencing a peaceful old age with my husband, looking back on our achievements and memories.

6. How did you get interested in writing?

I think I was simply born that way. As soon as I could print--not even write cursive--I started trying to write "books" on the lined paper my mother kept to make up her shopping lists. She was inordinately pleased. My becoming a writer would have meant more to her than anything else I could ever have done. I hope she knows it finally happened.

7. What advice would you give a new writer?

Persist, persist, never give up. Listen to the inner voice. Nothing you ever hear from the outside will be as important as that one. Do not lose touch with it. It will be your lifeline in difficult times.

8. If you could start all over in life, would you change anything?

I don't think so. I believe this is the life I was meant to live.

9. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

Picking myself up off the ground, metaphorically speaking, after my husband's death and setting out for Ireland, where I didn't know a soul. But it felt like everyone I met was a friend.

10. Are you scared of anything, or do you conquer all your fears and do it anyway?

I'm always afraid of not having enough money, of losing the house I have worked two and three jobs at a time to keep. It's a realistic fear, but I get up every morning and face it anyway.

11. What are the best five words that would describe you?

Iconoclastic, tenacious, honest, loyal, creative.

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