War Games – Second Dose

Last time was just for fun,
Bows and arrows shooting at a stationary bull’s eye.
When it was done,
The soldiers rested.
After twenty eight days of preparation,
Recording in the annals of cells,
The battle plan,
Lined up,
Ready,
Trained,
The real war games begin.
This is where the warriors come to life,
And thrive.
The faux enemy behaves like the real thing,
And to fail has consequences.
The fort left open, vulnerable, even while receiving the award,
the designation, “Certified Vaccinated”.
This body is a walking battleground,
In a greater army that hopes,
One by one,
to provide no place,
for the real enemy to call home.


My experience with the second dose of the Moderna Covid -19 vaccine was about 18 hours of sore arm, sore throat, pounding headache, stiff neck and a low grade fever that made me want to hide under a rock. I didn’t enjoy the day after one bit. It felt like my body was half in flu stage and half in healthy stage…in some kind of limbo that would have drove me mad for longer than one day. Once it was over, it was over, like it didn’t happen except for my arm is slightly sore if I touch it. I’m sharing this for anyone who has not had the vaccine and is curious or if you’re about to get the second dose, plan on a not so good day after.

5 Things I Saw Today (April 15)

  1. Boxers air drying on my deck. Way to go for doing your part in reducing energy waste, Honey.
  2. The cat pretending to be a panther lurking in the bushes. Meanwhile every bird in a one mile radius is screeching warning cries. Does she know and still carries on with her stealth act? Wish I could pretend as much as the cat.
  3. The stack of coffee cups, snack plate, cereal bowl, random silverware next to my desk which tells me I’ve spent 90% of my day sitting in a three by four foot space. I call it my work cockpit. Someone save me from this electronic tomb! Backing away from the cliff. Tomorrow is another day and one day I will quit.
  4. My reflection in the mirror. I have silvery grey hair growing from my temples and I’m not coloring over it. I’ve earned this precious metal and I don’t want anyone to think I’m a young-in. Why would I? I had my time to be fresh, youthful and terribly ignorant. It was great. I wish I enjoyed it more but I’m totally okay with the years I’ve been granted and the wear on my mortal body that has ensued. It makes no sense to resist the transitions in life. Each stage holds a treasure to be enjoyed and I’m hunting it down every day.
  5. Strawberry plants loaded with blossoms in a plant that doubled in size since last year. I see that kind of fruitfulness and it makes me happy. That is tempered by two things. There is frost predicted tonight and I’m not sure those joyous blossoms will make it through. Secondly, I saw a rare squirrel in our yard (is that number 6 on the list?)which I know could race through my whole strawberry patch and gobble up the goods before I can say “strawberry shortcake”. Here’s hoping blossoms survive freeze and furry invaders.

That’s it folks! Just a foray into random stuff. Maybe one of these reflections will inspire you to write! Till then have a good one and keep your eyes open and share a “5 Things” list.

Lost and Found

I owe it all to Rose and her curiosity.

September 2019 summer vacation at the Jersey Shore. Twelve hours of drive, drive, drive spurred on by visions of lazy days reading a Hugh Howey novel, starting a puzzle and of course, always, working on my latest writing project. My I-pad waited like a faithful friend tucked into a travel bag that usually held a laptop.  

When we arrived, we breathed in the salty ocean air, stretched our legs, and piled the contents of the car onto a cart. As usual my husband constructed a perfect tower of luggage, grocery bags, extra pillows, and what must have been fifty assorted loose items.  The last thing to go on top was the I-pad bag. Too late I saw the bag slip to the ground and the I-Pad slide out. To my great relief no harm was done. Neither one of us noticed the red and black flash drive skitter to freedom. I would never miss it since I didn’t intend to bring it and had no PC to install it on.

Days later, mission accomplished, I relaxed with my paperback book open, cold lemonade in my Contigo cup and a bag of barbecue chips strategically hidden from seagulls, though there was one standing on one leg looking straight at me. My phone rang. It was the hotel front desk. A guest had called to say she found something that might be mine, but she was checked out. Could I call her?

I wondered if it was a scam.

When Rose answered and we started to talk, we may have well been classmates at school. My husband looked on with a bewildered face. I just smiled at him as Rose explained that she had pulled in next to our car and found a red flash drive. She apologized for taking it with her thinking it belonged to her friend that had been in the parking space last. Later she opened the drive.

“Are you an author?” she asked.

“Aspiring,” I said.

“Well I spent the past few hours reading your story, I couldn’t put it down. I need to know what happens to Darrell.”

I laughed. I wasn’t even sure she had the latest draft for the story that I had abandoned two years ago.

She shared with me what she liked about it. How it reminded her of the show “The Walking Dead”, and did I model the protagonist after one of the actors on the show? I did not. She gave me some pointers, parts of the story that weren’t working and then promised to return the drive.

It was the single most igniting interaction with a stranger I’ve ever had. I immediately started working on the novel again. Rose volunteered to be a reader and wanted to know how the story would end. So began the quest to stop abandoning characters to digital dungeons, and do what it takes to bring them to life not only in my mind but in as many others that would let them in.

If you know a writer, the greatest gift you can give is to read their drafts and give words of affirmation sprinkled with suggestions. I am in debt to Rose. I need to repay her with a free copy of the published book. Would you join me as I keep my promise to Rose?

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