Wednesday, June 23, 2021


 I remember my favorite breakfast.

My daughter, Nina, sat in the passenger seat, and we ate as I drove. We had a shiny black town car that the rental company had, by luck, upgraded from the simple sedan I had ordered. Before we left the parking lot, that luxurious vehicle had told me three times that I was too close to another car or a wall. Don’t you hate it when a car bosses you? 

 We had flown to Los Angeles, gone to Disneyland, then driven to San Diego to visit Sea World. We were driving back to L.A.

We waited until 11 a.m. that morning until Point Loma Sea Food take out or eat in restaurant opened.

We had lunch there many times when we lived in San Diego. We would sit outside in the sunshine with seagulls begging overhead and sea lions barking in the harbor. Although I had many lunches there, I had never ordered breakfast before. 

I ordered my favorite, a crab sandwich. 


“I’m in heaven,” I sang as we barreled up I-5. I’ve tried other crab sandwiches from other restaurants, but none comes close to Point Loma’s. It’s a simple sandwich, crab meat with tartar sauce (I get extra) on sourdough bread. That’s it. Iced tea and lemon completed the meal. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.


 I could have called this chapter #Memoir, for that's what I’m talking about. I could have called the Avocados chapter “What to Write About,” But being a little obtuse can work once in a while. 


“I remember” is an excellent place to start.


You don’t have to wait until you’re old to write a memoir. Write one at 20, 30, 40-80, 90, and beyond.


Memoir used to be an old-folks genre, but not anymore. I was once told that nobody will read your memoir unless you are somebody famous like Shirley MacLaine. It’s different now. You can write many memoirs during your life. Do not begin with, “I was born”—you know the story, schooled, married, children. No, a memoir is that stop alongside the road to strip off your suit and bathe in that swimming hole you glimpsed as you almost drove by. 


 It’s those events that stop the clock.


 And remember, when you tell of events, it is living them all over again. If you end up crying, just wipe your nose with a Kleenex and keep the pen moving. 


This is your life. Make it a good one. If it was a bad one, you could write of that too. But whining—I’d suggest that is for your eyes only.


Traditional wisdom—Oh Lord, traditional wisdom has gotten us into more trouble than Timmy’s escapades on the Lassie show. Okay, here is traditional wisdom: “Without conflict, you have no story.”


Oh, how I’ve struggled with that axion. Conflict. The very thing we are trying to heal in our lives, we are called upon to write on paper. Some writers create such horrible events that when I read or see it, I think, “Do not put this into the world’s consciousness.” 


I know, I have trouble throwing rocks at my heroes.


 What about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl? Doesn’t that present challenges and tell us we need to work for what we want? 


Challenge. Yep, we all like challenges. Otherwise, we would sit around with our fingers up our noses, get fat, and wear out the couch. I tend to shy away from bad guys and wars as challenges and instead face life, which has challenges enough without having to fabricate them. I like adventure, which holds the possibility of having all hell break loose. If your adventure is sublime, it’s a vacation. 


We have how-to books on plumbing, golf, self-examination, and enlightenment. Even those have an element of story. 


I looked online at the ten most famous memoirs of today and found exquisite writing but talk about angst. It was there. I was envious of their turn of the pen, but not their troublesome life. I hope their writing served to heal their wounds.


 What if we write through the horror then leave it behind like footsteps in the snow? 


 By writing our lives’ events, we CAN come out the other side knowing we are strong, capable, and creative creatures.


Remember, old Zig Zigler said, “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.”

Well, well, I tried to show you a minute video, Pebbles in the Pond, but this site had other ideas. It's a moment of calm, and pretty too. The reflection in the water was so perfect we had to throw stones into the pond to show you the water was real.

You can find it on

I would love it if you subscribed to my videos.

Or better yet, purchase a book--look what came yesterday:

A proof of my book, the girl on the Pier. the stripe across the title is to make sure I don't sell it. I approved it, the spine is in the right place, no unnecessary blank pages. I chose a misty, foggy cover for it is a bit of a mystery. 

The first mystery is that a customer offers two million dollars for the painting The Girl on the Pier. 

The second mystery is that when he views it, he says, "But that's not the painting, there is another."

This is a love story, and a search. On Amazon.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Painter with a Pen


A painter with a pen...

That's us. I pulled this from my ebook, I'm Writing Come Join me, for I believe some of you are writers, and I'm here to keep you doing that..

When I was about to graduate from high school, I enrolled in The Art Instruction School. Remember those ads, "Do You Like to Draw?" It was the old-fashioned way of studying at home—you know, called a correspondence course. 

 A salesman came to our house to enroll me after I sent in their asked-for sample drawing. I believe anyone who signed up and paid the fee would qualify, but hey, it's nice to be accepted. When I saw that Charles Schultz had been their student, I considered taking that course a no-brainer.

Schultz transformed his earlier primitive artwork into the gems we know today. At one time, he described his life as "One of rejection after another." Later on, he said, "My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"

Well, dear Schultz, you knew what you wanted, you were steadfast in pursuing it, and so I read, you went to your studio every day. That's a winning combination.

"Bird by bird, Buddy, take it bird by bird." From Anne Lamott's book bird by bird.  (Advice of a father writer to his son on having a book report on birds due the next day.

  Last week my niece told me she got a call from her son's first-grade teacher. Someone had complained that her son had excitedly told the class about a "Penis movie." Some sleuthing revealed that he was talking about "The Peanuts Movie." This film was a 2015 digitally produced movie of the peanuts gang from the imagination of Charles Schultz. My nephew's family had watched it the night


Parents get a grip. You could have asked him to describe the movie.

 And Charles Schultz, a painter with a pen, lives on, now digitally produced in living color.

"The painter with a pen" I found that phrase buried within the Art Instruction course when I was practicing pen and ink drawings. That's what I wanted when I was drawing, and now that's what I wish with my writing.

 If Charles Schultz had stopped after those rejections he spoke of, the world would have been denied multiple hours of entertainment and giggles.

We all remember Snoopy's "Curse you, Red Baron," and Charlie Brown, who just couldn't get anything right, and Lucy—who knows, well, everything

If Walt Disney had stopped his desire to be an animation cartoonist, we wouldn't have a Mickey Mouse and look where that went.

Who knows what you have to offer?

Remember butt on chair, pen to page.