Saturday, December 20, 2014

Coffeeshop Writer's Group - Nearly everyone was there - My Birthday Celebration - Poem: I Make Bread

Stayed up till about 1 am working on my new short story The Ten Lives of Tom O'Shea, based on the story of this highly decorated police officer. 

See this blog post for background info, which also figures in my short story. 

Polished it this morning and got good feedback from the Writer's Group, esp. Floyd. I will do what you suggest, Floyd.

I was shocked and delighted that people remembered my birthday. I'll be 69 on Christmas Day. Brought my cheese challah which everyone enjoyed.

Soft butter is imperative. I walked quickly to the Dairy Case and squeezed every single tub of butter or its surrogate and brought back... Giant Brand of Butter with Canola Oil. Excuse the gap.

Our humble servant Allan Heller could not make it. He appears in my short story as a pizza delivery man.

Our group has a debate going. Shall we email our work to one another? Floyd and I vote yes. So does Linda since she's emailed her new sci-fi story to us.

Some people say they feel overwhelmed by the amount they've gotta read.

For my 60th b'day, my daughter Sarah gave me a most unusual gift. She signed me signed up for a novel-writing class at 

Not only did I write - and finish - my novel - but I had to read chapters by eleven other people. Now that was a lotta reading.

One woman, Anne Strauss, has published two novels. We had an Indian guy in our group, a cardiovascular surgeon, who was working on a novel. Then there was a guy who was an editor of an auto mag.

We'd all get together for an online chat. All eleven! One time Dan and his GF Nicole came over.

"Mom," he said. "I proposed to Nicole." 

Now of course they've got two kids, Grace, four, and Max, 18 months. We're going there for Xmas. I have another challah - just the dough - in the freezer.

Just talked to mom who doesn't wanna go. She doesn't like people seeing her walking with a cane and crexing along.

It's better to be seen, I said, than forgotten.

 Martha sent in some wonderful Xmas memories. She was a shy child, full of unintentional hysterical mischief.

Carly read a fictitious account of a California Xmas. She hails from California. The main character was Jackie. The poor little girl lived in many a different home.

Donna wrote a poem on different views of Christmas.... from the viewpoint of an adult and a child. Very food-centered. Licorice put in Christmas stockings.

The two of them bought me a Xmas cactus for my b'day

I put it in my newly cleaned window sill. BTW, I love the shape of Coke bottles. The little people were given to me by Mom who traveled to Belgium years and years ago. She also bought me the little blue dish in the front.

Thanks for the peanuts, Marf! See they know me. She also got me

How simple! How wonderful!

Kreative Kym wrote some short poems which she read us. Kym, send me a couple and I'll post em if you wish.

Linda is working on a sci-fi piece. The emperor's name is Alaric Linda.

Beatriz read a piece about growing up in Venezuela without her parents. Instead, she was raised for a year by her grandmother, her maid who went home at night, while her parents were in France. Her dad had gotten a grant to study there.

They came home - with their new twins - and Beatriz had no idea who they were.

Wow! Quite a story.

 Who made these professionally drawn bookmarks?
The same individual who gave me a b'day card of a flower and a fly.

Beatriz Moisset.

I really enjoyed my coffee - French Vanilla.

Why is my backpack strapped on? Oh, I guess I'm gonna go shopping. Scott and I are having pizza tonite so I've gotta get the requisite toppings.

Only 9 more minutes until he calls me.

BTW, my blood sugar is 175 from the challah. Let's see if it's gone down any.

Yes, it dropped to 160. But, ya know what? It could also rise. It has a mind of its own.


The first five refused to rise
they were testing me
initiating me into the club.
Is she worthy?
“Whisk oil into yeast, then
beat in four eggs, one at a time.”
I was twenty-four, living
with Millard in a rowhouse in Philadelphia
mom’s porch furniture in
the living room. A blue
slab of formica was my kneading
board on the kitchen table.
The room looked out onto a huge
patch of gray sky, cement, and
not a single blade of grass.

The aroma of the bread
in the oven filled the room
and wrapped around me like
the mantilla worn by
a senorita in love with a
bull fighter.

I did everything right
this time. As the bread
grew like a baby in the oven
I washed the tools in warm
sudsy water: wooden spoon with
a smiling face, rubber
spatula with dough cleaving
to the edges, a deep porcelain
bowl that once held my grandmother’s

Smells good, Millard would say.
Or, rather, that’s what I wanted
him to say, once the bread
stopped being sassy and
claimed me as one of its own.

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