Saturday, August 31, 2013

YAY, I Survived!

A Charlie horse in my right calf woke me up. I was surprised those two dogs attached to my legs that barked endlessly or the splitting headache didn’t wake me. It’s amazing the reaction one can have because of a four inch platform shoe. It was worth all the pain. I survived meeting Gloria Gaynor.

No, I didn’t faint. I couldn’t keep my mouth shut though because Gloria looked right at me and asked where I was from. Such a simple question, right? I pointed to myself and said, “Me?”


“Where am I from?”


I looked around. “St. Louis.” Not being sure if that was the right answer, I then asked, “Or do you mean where I grew up?”

I had to keep reminding myself all night long, “Just own it.” Those were my daughter’s words of wisdom.

Alice Muschany, Cathi LaMarche, Linda O’Connell and myself—us four gals all have stories in Gloria’s upcoming book, We Will Survive. We were invited to meet Gloria before and then be her guests at a private event. We had no idea what the event entailed except to dress in the 70s/80s. Since Gloria’s hit song, “I Will Survive” came out in 1978, I went for that dress attire. I’m pretty sure I was the only one.

The event was a 50th birthday party—the husband surprised his wife with none other than Ms. Gloria Gaynor. Can you imagine?

Observing the crowd, I felt like I was in the 60s/70s, but hey, they were all having fun and so was I. When Gloria sang, “I Am Who I Am,” I told myself, Lynn, you are who you are. You are quiet, conservative. Crowds, celebrities, the whole nine yards cause you to lose all brain function. Hence unable to answer a simple question. But you didn’t trip. You did your best. You made Gloria homemade gooey butter. It’s okay.

I am who I am.

And Gloria is who she is and it was a delight and honor to meet and talk with her. She’s funny, and sweet, and spiritual, and beautiful. Gloria's manager, Stephanie is sweet too and quite the hard worker. There’s so much behind the scenes one is not aware of… and I’m talking for Gloria too. I was exhausted just watching. I'm sure I only saw a glimmer of what takes place.

It hasn’t all really sunk in yet…

But those writer friends of mine are a hoot. I never laughed so hard when we drove home from the event. If you think my eyes squint when I smile, they shut when I laugh. I didn’t want to tell them, “I can’t see!” because I was driving!

I’m sure there’s more to tell and pictures will be on their way too…

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I Will Survive, Or Will I?

If you've read previous blogs, you'll know that my story, “Somehow,” made the cut to be in Gloria Gaynor's book, We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song.

I've always been a little chilled when it comes to celebrities. Never went crazy over anyone. Sure, I like some more than others for a variety of reasons, but they are people, just like the rest of us. Sometimes I think it must be hard being a celebrity, not knowing if people like you just because of your celebrity status rather than because of who you really are. And if you're a celebrity, does that even matter? I'll never know since I'll never be a celebrity.

The closest I've come to being anywhere near a celebrity, other than concerts, was when I shook hands with the St. Louis Mayor. But I didn't know it at the time. I thought the mayor was a valet parking attendant—a friendly one—telling us to enjoy our event.

During the event, we stood around chatting, waiting for dinner. The subject of politics came up—something I know little about it. The mayor was mentioned and I blurted out, "I wouldn't know the mayor if I saw him face to face."

My husband roared.

"What's so funny?"

"You just shook hands with the mayor when you got out of the car!"

"See. Told you I wouldn't know him."

After that, I decided to keep my mouth shut. And I'm thinking that idea will be a good one come this Friday evening when three other local writers (Linda O'Connell, Cathi LaMarche, Alice Muschany) and myself will be meeting Gloria Gaynor! Then we are invited as Gloria's guests to a private show.  If anyone has any tips on how not to faint, let me know because even though I say I've always been chilled about celebrities—truth of the matter, I'll be frozen in awe.

To preorder a copy of the book, go to Amazon.

To know more about Gloria, check out her website.

Stay tuned for details on whether or not I fainted...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Determined or Obsessed?

Isn't this a beautiful bird?


I was inspired by Lisa Ricard Claro’s blog who wrote about a blue bird. I wanted to share my own bluish bird. I first searched on my blog because I thought I’d written about it. Not. I searched my computer. Nothing. I searched my external drive. Notta. I looked through many photos one by one when the search for “bird” or something with bird didn’t pop up. Husband overheard my moaning and groaning… “where is that bird?”

I finally went to bed.  Husband said, “You’re obsessed.”
“No, I’m determined.”
“Determined! Do you think I’m obsessed when I’m doing my school work figuring out a program?”
I personally didn’t think so. But am I? What’s the difference? The ability to let go? I figure once I’ve exhausted all avenues of 1) trying to locate something or 2) solving a problem, then I’ll give up and let go. Until then, I must try all resources. Who else is going to look for something I’m missing? To husband’s credit, he’s searched for things for me and found them! Who’s going to solve my problem? If they did, what would I learn?

My best learning—what sticks—is by solving the problem myself. Whether or not I’m obsessed, is a matter of opinion, but I like to think I’m determined.

If I wasn’t obsessed or determined, you wouldn’t see this beautiful bird that knocked itself silly trying to fly into our window. I rescued him by putting him in a box, but when I went outside to check on him, he was gone. I was happy.

Are you determined or obsessed?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Letter Writing Challenge

Even though I didn’t participate officially in the Letter Writing Challenge this past February (yeah, I'm a little behind) because of school, I still managed to get some mail out. I did participate last year (2012) (you can read about it here). Here's what I sent out this past February 2013:

Letters: 8
Postcards: 8
Birthday cards: 15
Other cards: 15
Packages with cards: 28

Giving me a grand total of 74. Not bad since the challenge was to send out one thing a day, which would be about 28, although it's less than that because they don't count Sundays.

Did you know I love writing letters? And hand-written to boot. You can check out my web on The Lost Art of Letter Writing at

You've got six months to gear up for 2014 Letter Writing Challenge! Mary Robinette Kowal created this idea, so check it out.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


If you don’t know and it’s unclear, don’t guess because you’ll feel stupid asking. Better to look kind of dumb by asking then end up looking like a total moron for not asking. But is that really dumb to ask? I’m thinking not. It’s pretty smart actually—only it took me some time to figure this out.

I wondered about this after I entered a writing competition. In the directions it told you to enter your text in the little box, but that little box didn’t recognize paragraphs so in order to show where your paragraphs were, you entered this little code. They had parentheses around the code “xxx” and I wondered whether the parentheses were part of the code or if it was just to show the code. Also in the directions it said if you had any questions, just ask and they gave an email address.

I wanted to ask, “Are the parentheses part of the code?” But a crazy little monster in my head said, oh you’ll look stupid and they’ll laugh and eliminate you from the contest right off the bat. So I didn’t ask, didn’t put the parentheses with the code and after I hit enter, it showed my little code after each paragraph. I saw others that looked like this too, but I saw one that didn’t have any code and had paragraph breaks. I chewed myself up and spit myself out for being an idiot.

At a St. Louis Writers Guild workshop I attended, three publishers spoke and one thing was crystal clear from all three – follow a company’s guidelines. Your piece will be immediately tossed out if you don’t do what they ask. They want to work with someone who can follow instructions.

I can’t help but wonder whether I was eliminated in the contest for not following instructions.

I then had a dream that showed me what happens when I take it upon myself to do something rather than follow instructions—or by not asking if I’m not sure.

Dream: I was to read my story from the paper. I got nervous thinking it wasn’t good enough and started to add-lib. Part way through, the words disappeared. I became tongue tied and couldn’t figure out where I was at or what to read. Someone in the audience boo’d me and was annoyed. I held the paper up and said to him, “It really is a good story.” But the paper ended up being a knitted piece of material. You couldn’t read thing.

When I woke up I realized I will ASK, no matter how silly it may seem to me. I even bought three big letters to spell A S K that hang on the wall of my writing room.