Writing 101

Staying in Focus: My Eye Upon the World

I didn’t get this polished and finished for writing 101, but wanted to share it anyway. The topic was to write about my most valued possession.

If I had to choose my most valued possession, I’d have to say it is my camera. Not that my camera is an expensive, professional piece of equipment, by any means.  It is a digital camera, a Canon Rebel XSi and I have several lenses for it including  a large telephoto lens. It takes excellent pictures. I consider this camera. or any camera that I’ve had over the years, my most valued possession because it is my eye on the world. It is through the lens of this camera that I define my world, from the big picture the smallest details. It captures those fleeting moments my eyes fail to see and it preserves memories in the pictures I take, giving me a visual record of my life, from childhood to senior citizen.(Now that is  a lot of pictures! ) My camera is the first thing I grab when it starts to snow, or a butterfly alights on a nearby bush. IMG_8548a Photo05_3I keep it close at hand to catch the light from the setting sun as it paints the color of the houses across the street a rosy glow.

a path of gold from the sun to me

a path of gold from the sun to me

It was my camera that witnessed with me my first sunrise at sea in the waters off the coast of Alaska.  It caught the plume from a humpback whale, and the play of light over the ocean off the coast of Scotland. From majestic mountains to a close up of a flower petalIMG_0015 - Copy, from cloud formations to bubbles in the sky, my camera and I make art where we find it, preserve memories as they happen, inspire my poetry and essays to Photo01_1 Photo01_2 - Copy Photo02_1 - Copy - Copyshare with my readers. I first became interested in photography when I received a Kodak Brownie camera for Christmas when I was seven or eight years old. My family began taking road trips when I was twelve, and each summer we travelled the USA, Canada and Mexico. My little camera got a lot of use. In my teens I had a rangefinder camera, but it wasn’t until I was married that I received my first SLR from my husband for Christmas. I still believe that camera, a Canon Rebel G,took the best pictures of all. I was leery of all this digital stuff taking over the world, but now I wouldn’t go back for anything. Digital cameras are amazing. Within minutes of returning home from vacation, I have my photos downloaded into my laptop, uploaded to Facebook, WordPress and Snapfish. I can run off albums using Photoshop Elements 10, make calendars and books on Snapfish, and have 8 x 10 s framed and displayed before bedtime. I haven’t really explored photography using smart phone or my Kindle Fire HD-X tablet but I imagine technology will nudge me in that direction sooner or later. Someday when I may have forgotten much of my life experience, someone might slip a book of my photos on my lap and the pictures in it may spark a memory here and there. My camera, my eye upon the world, is valuable to me because it  has helped me leave a legacy, a story in photographs of one who lived and what she loved. Here are a few more reasons my camera is my most valuable possession. IMG_0003 IMG_0004 IMGa IMG_0003aIMG_256a5IMG_2893IMG_3067stonehenge







Staying in Focus: Serendipity: Writing 101: Be Brief

Postaday:You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.
JUNE 5, 2014


It was a blustery fall afternoon with the sun a weak partner in the sky, sending tired rays of light through the leaves to dapple the path ahead with what energy it could muster. I felt the same, as I found an empty bench and sat down, placing my black bag next to me. Merely walking required more energy than I had. The break-up had hit me out of the blue, sent my head spinning like the falling leaves around me. I needed someone to talk to but knew no one in this city.
A random gust swept a folded piece of paper off the trodden path and into my hands. I looked around but saw no one I
I looked around me, but no one appeared to be in distress.
I turned the note over in my hand and spied the address of a nearby hotel printed in tiny letters across the bottom. It was the Westminster, a few blocks away. Not even sure what I was doing, I grabbed my bag, turned around and made my way down the two blocks to the Westminster. The doorman let me in and I walked into the middle of the huge reception area. I scanned the crowd and my heart skipped a beat. There on a round leather ottoman sat Steve Wyatt, the boy who grew up next door to me in Brooklyn. He was holding a baby. I hadn’t seen him since we were crowned king and queen of the prom and left to attend colleges on opposite coasts. But I never forgot him.
I crossed the room and he looked up and smiled. “I knew you’d come back, one day,” he said.
I took the child from his arms and laid him on the ottoman. I opened up my black medical bag and pulled out my stethoscope. “Let’s see what’s up with you, little fella. Then Dr. Sally and your daddy have a lot to talk about.”
The sun must have shared my surge of energy, as the clouds cleared suddenly, the rays lit the autumn leaves and filled the hotel lobby with golden sunlight.

Staying in Focus: Free Writing for Writing 101


This is my 20 minutes of free writing for Writing 101. Please excuse any grammatical errors.

I saw my neurologist today. He put me through my paces and I like a well-trained dog did my best –cross  arms in front of chest and stand up, take a walk down the hall back, touch fingers to fingers, open and close the hands real fast, shrug shoulders, grin real big, squeeze his hands. And while he checks reflexes, the questions, this time are: what day is it? what are the names of the streets outside? what is the governor ‘s name? Bingo, 100% on that one.  Then we discuss the progression of the illness. He notices a slight movement that could be the start of dyskenisia, but a new drug is due out by years end to address this, oh joy, another chemical to put in my body when I get up in the morning. Good news is that Azelect will become generic soon. I really hate taking all these pills but I know I have no choice if I want to keep moving. The alarm goes off  at 6:00 am for the thyroid meds and then at 7:30 for the first dose of carbidopa/levodopa and Mirapex for the Parkinson’s , toprol for high blood pressure, clonazepam for anxiety; at 3:0 0 another dose of the carbidopa/levodopa combo again, and the Mirapex and Azelect. And then at 11:00 the third doses of the dopas and Mirapex, plus an aspirin to deter the return of colon cancer. In between I fit in 4 fish oil capsules, vitamin D, folic acid and a multi-vitamin. They are a necessary evil that keeps me moving and hopefully is slowing down the disease. We discuss some difficulty in recalling words now and then and this is most upsetting because I am a wordsmith. They are my connection to the world. I show him a copy of my book and he is quite impressed. He asks if I plan to write more. Already have, I say to him. To myself I add, Loss of language, of words and communication is the worst thing Parkinson’s can do to me. But overall, I am doing above average he says. Keep up the exercise- he believes this has helped immeasurably in slowing the PD down. He asks about any uncontrollable impulses like gambling or over spending. No, I say. There’s just one place that behavior might  be evident – on WordPress where I post my blogs…