Word wonderment

Write an opinion and invite controversy.

Write an argument and expect challenge.

Write a report and anticipate questions.

Write a book and ensure unpredictable responses.

Write a song, and be understood.

It’s a fine wonderment.

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Change of cart

This year’s Christmas gifts will avoid past mistakes, wherein I purchased clothes in the wrong size, color and style; tech gizmos out of use three years ago; jewelry that looked expensive online; hand tools with no purpose whatsoever.

Instead: salt and pepper shakers shaped like Oregon, wise frig magnets (“Silence is golden. Duct tape is silver.”), talking bottle opener that says “Pop!” and grownup footie jammies.

Grownup footie jammies may be a risky choice, but the tag says “One size fits all.”

I take that as a guarantee.

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Reason # 57 Why Folks Don’t Write

Some folks think writing is too hard.

But, writing a novel, or anything with words in it, is easy.

Waiting for the story to arrive is hard.

It’s like holding an open house for a dysfunctional crowd who arrive at different times with varying intensities, conflicting purposes, all talking at once, nobody really listening. Characters, plot, setting, theme, point of view, conflict, resolution, pace, flow, style, plausibility move randomly, sometimes crowding each other, either jostling for attention or shyly withdrawn.

Story arrives in its own time. It gentles the crowd. It’s worth the wait.

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Sweet Home

Like many others, our Chicago neighborhood has a community page. A few recent postings remind me what giving thanks is about:

“We found this (photo) pretty calico kitty. Anyone looking for her? She is sweet and has a cold.”

“I saw the car that sideswiped the Honda parked at (X and Y) intersection yesterday. Message me if I can help.”

“I have a full package of wood flooring (photo) from our recent redo. Free if you can use it.”

“Big THANKS to whoever found my ID and keys and returned them to our building security office.”

…In other news, a big THANKS to University Libraries for inviting me to post a (3-minute) video about my novels The Women’s Center and Snag the Moon:


or scroll at


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Speed bump

Lately, my husband’s and my car has been spending more time alone, what with pandemic impact, more work-at-home, high cost of petrol.

Lonesome status also was true of our family car in the 1960s, what with Dad’s belief a car ride was an occasion. This mandated a purpose and a plan, neither of which my two brothers and I were adept at providing.

Dad made it clear the Pontiac grand prix did not gad about to relieve boredom, thrill us with speed, impress friends, or traverse terrain our feet could navigate.

We became reasonably content just to HAVE a car, should the need for a ride manifest itself.

Lately, I often feel likewise.

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Buttoned up

Where did Mom get her buttons?

Years after her passing, it’s no mystery to my two brothers and me about their systemic storage: 59 bags organized by color, size, value. She did likewise with vegetable cans, kid-art, Dad’s handkerchiefs.

No mystery about WHY Mom saved buttons. She knew scarcity. She was 6 years old when the stock market bellied up and the not-so-great Depression commenced. She was 18 years old when almost all young men went away to war, and 33 years old when her three children scoured Sears Roebuck & Co.’s Christmas Wish Book, developing inflated expectations.

But where did thousands of buttons come from? Family clothing was a dwindling resource. Mom was too proud to beg, too frugal to buy, too busy to scavenge, too Roman Catholic to steal.

Mystery remains.

Continue reading
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Snippet tip

The “not-good-enough” pest hinders all writers. But, though not every sentence will be brilliant, every word is imbued with potential power.

Save snippets. Jot them. Allow them to breathe.

Gather enough grains and you will have a beach.

Okay. That last sentence is NOT brilliant.


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Well won

Any sport offers a chance to win. Some folks bet on the outcome to win money. Some cheer for their favorite to win shared elation Some play a sport to become the best they can be.

Those who wager put money on the line. Those who cheer put emotions on the line. Those who play put themselves on the line.

Only one of these endeavors guarantees triumph.

Tonight Chicago’s Women’s National Basketball team, SKY, competes with Connecticut SUN. The victor will move to the finals to play Las Vegas ACES for the national championship.

The players win, regardless of outcome.

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Fantasy Fan

A nice gent I know told me, “I won’t read your latest novel, Snag the Moon. It’s contemporary fiction. I like to read sci-fi fantasy.”

This is very good, mostly. He doesn’t care about best seller lists or classics or must-reads for course credit or five star rankings. He doesn’t critique, discuss, review, or judge. He likes to read what he likes to read. His joy is his own.

This is very good, mostly for him, and the authors of sci-fi fantasy of course.

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Snag the Moon

Thank you for stopping by “Mrs. Fitz’s Story Emporium.” I hope you’ll share a story of your own or just browse what’s here.

Happy to announce the publication of my latest novel, Snag the Moon, an offbeat story of two Chicago misfits on a mission!

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