Tag Archive | scars

Pandora’s Box


Those of you who have been following my postings know that Facebook and I have been together only a short time. I resisted Facebook because I was worried it would sap my time (it has), keep me focused on the trivial (ditto), and turn me from reality to virtual reality. Lighten up, I’ve been told quite sternly! But with so little time on this earth, why would I want to use it up staring at my laptop or my smart phone?

In this excerpt from PERSEPHONE IN HELL, set in 1968, Ancient Glory narrates the story from 40 years in the future. She’s understanding. She gets that there are exciting and sometimes compelling distractions all around. Paying attention to the important things, to what’s in your heart and mind, the content of your character, the quality of your soul, can be tough with so much competition.

“Maybe that was why a year or more had passed, and no one had noticed Gloria’s scars. No one had seen the ugly lines on her thighs or the jagged breaks against her breasts.

Not one of them had looked, really looked at Gloria. Not even Penny, who shared a bedroom and might have seen at least one of her sister’s fifteen cries for help. Not Sammy, who ignored Glory as much as possible, hoping to tune out the crass remarks he heard around the locker room. Not Dad, always annoyed and uncomfortable around his pretty daughter. And least of all Ma, the mother who might have paid attention but didn’t.

Honestly, there were so many things to think about, so much to occupy one’s mind. There was the mortgage…food for eight…sneakers and coats and shoes and pants for ever growing children…college loans and Vietnam and protests in the streets…heart surgery and a sister-in-law’s last days…taxes, paychecks, money, electricity. One couldn’t see it all.

A daughter’s cutting pain could go unnoticed with other children to tend. A sister’s torn miseries might easily remain unseen when you weren’t even talking to her. An almost grown child’s razor blade lament could be overlooked or forgotten when, after all, it was old news. And how could you pay attention to the ordinariness of life when history was in the making?”

Pandora’s box, Facebook is. Open it. All the fun and troubles and temptations in the world come flying out at you, cluttering space, leaving you staring into an empty abyss and wondering where it ends, where will it end.


Dedicated to the memory of my old friend


Once upon a time in a long forgotten land, I had one phone number and an email address, both of which I shared with my entire immediate family…

A couple of amazing things happened to me over the past weeks. First, under pressure from a well-meaning sibling and my daughter, who both insisted that I MUST open a Facebook account or be forever excluded from all communication with them, I started a #%!!#! account. I struggled my way through the setup, which included having to delete several mistakes (you don’t want to know how many) then added a fan page for my book, PERSEPHONE IN HELL. You can find a link to my Facebook page on this site – please take a look at it, it was so much work – I’m begging you! Several hundred grey hairs later, I now have three email accounts, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and this blog. Plus a smartphone that bleeps and buzzes and texts me all day long. I now have to bring my cell into the can with me so I won’t miss the latest blinking green light that indicates an important contact is attempting to be made. Did I forget anything? Today a so-called friend told me that I should set up an Instagram account too. I officially have no time for any other occupation or avocation, such is my preoccupation with this social media world.

But on to the good news. I’ve been discovered! No, not by Houghton Mifflin or Harper Collins or a Hollywood agent. Discovered by an entity far more significant than a mere publisher or movie producer. I’ve been discovered by my high school class reunion committee!

They found me on Facebook. And here, I’d successfully hidden from them for all these many (too many to count or admit to) years. Somehow, they hunted me down. They found me out. They called my name and surprise (this is the other amazing thing), I am pleased. Every emotion in the world has run through me since a nice woman named Alice found me out. I am humbled and shocked by the attention they’ve shown me. I’m amazed they remember me, that some think fondly of me; that some even like me. Who knew? I didn’t. I spent many years being scared of my past. I blocked out as much as I could until the emotions of my teenage years came screaming back in my writing.

In this passage from my novel, Ancient Glory returns after 40 years to end the story. Glory the teenager has had a rough time of it. She believes that everyone hates her. She’s lost all her friends and the love of her older sister, and thinks that even Mother Nature is out to get her. She despises herself. She needs the comfort and support of knowing that she will somehow survive. She gets it from Ancient Glory…

“And scars will lighten, they’ll pale unless you keep rubbing at them. Best to let them be, let them fade away in their own good time, in their own difficult and savage, cruelly dissonant way. Wait long enough, they’ll fade – it’s the law of nature.”

That’s what I did. I let enough time pass from my troubled youth for my scars to fade. They have lightened, so much so that when I got the call from that nice woman named Alice, I could answer with a hesitant but happy heart.

With many thanks to my old chums.

This posting is dedicated to the memory of my old friend Tom, who tragically could not find the strength to let enough time pass for his own wounds to heal. Tom, if only we could go back in time…

A Waiting Game


It takes solid perspective and a certain maturity to wait. Waiting for something good to happen, like getting an offer for a better job or a HarperCollins editorial review. Waiting for your children to grow up and become independent adults. Waiting to retire to start living. Waiting for the next phase of your life to begin. Truth be told, I’ve never been a patient person. To wait is to hope for life to be better one day. To wait is to wish for an improved future. One day…I’ll get that Mini Cooper I’ve always wanted…my novel will be published…thousands, no millions of people will buy and appreciate my book…those extra pounds will disappear…I’ll buy my luxury city condo and that isolated cave by the salty sea…I’ll make my living by writing.

Hope. It’s a waiting game. Some find hope easy to come by, while others like me get annoyed and impatient, bored and dissatisfied with the endless infinity of a disembodied future. But Ancient Glory takes a practical approach in my novel, PERSEPHONE IN HELL. Forty years after her coming of age, Glory reckons that both hope and impatience are misplaced emotions. Her years have gone by; her life is almost over. It’s time to get real.

“Perhaps I have a bit of a real queen in me after all. Because I decided that I wanted to live. And I’ve learned something, not from all my imaginings and escapes, my fractured histories. I’ve learned there is nothing to be done but accept the explanations. Block out the pain. Go on. Even a queen can only wait so long for good news from across a wide ocean. At some point, she’s got to move on.

And scars will lighten, they’ll pale unless you keep rubbing at them. Best to let them be, let them fade away in their own good time, in their own difficult and savage, cruelly dissonant way. Wait long enough, they’ll fade – it’s the law of nature.”

Wait long enough…no, that’s Ancient Glory. That’s not impatient, impulsive, impetuous me.