Tag Archives: writing

Whoa, Daddy!

Today, I’d like to share my experiences setting up my new website, loribonati.com.

The site is hosted by a company whose name rhymes with WhoaDaddy. I’ll refer to them as WhoaDaddy for the remainder of this post, because it seems appropriate. It’s been a wild ride. In fact, I could have used some reins.

After choosing a photo and writing a blurb for my home page, my next task was to select a layout design known as a “theme.” The choices were slim, but I quickly found one I liked. It had plenty of white space, something website designers recommend.

I then went about choosing colors for my theme. Or actually, color, singular. After selecting my first color (green), I couldn’t figure out how to choose another one. 

Since I really would have preferred some accent colors, I contacted WhoaDaddy last night. That’s when things got a bit rough.

“Can I add more colors to my theme?” I asked via their chat line.

Hello, Lori. You are augustanahouston.org, right?

“No. I’ve never even heard of them. Is that a website?” (I then looked it up … it’s a church in Houston, Texas!)

Oh, my apologies. Are you loribonati.com?


How can I make your day even better?

Suffice it to say that my day didn’t get better.

I needed to ask my question a number of times before I got a clear answer. First, I was told that I could add more colors by moving a simple slider across my screen toward a word that said “Colorful.” I’d already tried that, with no success, but I tried again. All that did was change light green to dark green.

The technician took control of my screen remotely. I was hopeful. 

How’s that?

The background was now pitch black. There was absolutely no white space on the screen.

“I said I wanted a variety of colors,” I said, and then, feeling the need to be really obvious, I added, “like a rainbow of colors.”

Oh, for more colors, you will need to upgrade to a different plan.

“What do these plans cost?” I wanted to know.

And I had to ask that question more than once before I was directed to another screen that showed four different plan options. They were not unlike those data plans that seem designed to confuse. There was even some sales pressure. Maybe I was just tired. But not too tired to notice that there was a two-year agreement.

Do I have to sign up for two years? I asked.

Oh, no! We do allow you to sign up for just one year if you like.

Well, why didn’t you say so, I wanted to ask. But I kept my cool.

“No thanks, I’ll just keep my current plan for now,” I said.

“That’s fine. The decision is up to you, and we respect that.”  Hmm. That wasn’t really necessary. Of course it’s my decision!

Later that night, I took another look at my site. My one and only blog post, “Shameless Wordling,” had disappeared from the site.

It was still there when I hit the “edit” button, but I couldn’t re-publish it because it said it was already published. I quickly dialed up WhoaDaddy on the chat line again.

“What happened to my blog post?” I asked.

An hours-long scenario followed, in which my blog post was located by a technician who then replaced it with one from The Food Network.

And I didn’t even like the recipes.

Please delete those food pictures asap,” I implored. At least that was taken care of quickly … or so I thought.

After that, the person on the line said she couldn’t help me further. She referred the problem to an advanced team and said it would be corrected within 24 hours.

The next morning:

I checked my site. My blog post was still in limbo, but at least I didn’t see the Food Network pictures anymore. I contacted WhoaDaddy again and was immediately transferred and placed on hold for 30 minutes, while music that I’d opted out of kept playing anyway. Someone finally came on the line, and I asked if he could locate my blog post and republish it.

Yes, I see it. It’s making me hungry!!

He was looking at the Food Network pictures.

I wondered if my post was showing up on the Food Network’s website. Maybe I’d be famous. I anticipated getting hundreds of emails inquiring about the cookbook I’m writing.

I checked my email. I’d gotten only one. It was from WhoaDaddy, and it asked me to rate the experience I’d had with the person who’d put me on hold.

I actually felt sorry for the hungry technician when I had to break it to him that those recipes weren’t mine. He sounded surprised and maybe a bit panicky, so I quickly reassured him that I still had a backup of my blog post. I could sense his palpable relief. 

Perhaps because I’d put him in a good mood, he quickly and efficiently managed to locate my missing post by checking my history, and he then restored it to my site. 

So, the bottom line is that all is well – for now, anyway.

I just hope I’m not mistaken for a church lady again. That could be a problem … or maybe a miracle, if my cookbook gets picked up by the Food Network.

Glasses and Me

Six-Year-Old Me:

I’ve been wearing eyeglasses since I was six years old. My first frames were red. Red PLAID, that is.

Not my actual glasses, but close!

Adult Me:

As an adult, I’ve been careful when purchasing eyewear, in the hopes of not looking as dorky as I did in first grade. My last pair was trendy, a Warby Parker style in a dark blue color called “Beach Glass.” I paid $325 for them in 2019. Here’s an actual, unretouched photo of me in my glasses:

I see I’m still wearing plaid. Oh well.

By 2021, I realized my vision had changed, and so had my taste in frames. Maybe the pandemic changed me. All that dreary news, all those drab and dreary masks. I no longer want such dark frames. It was time to go shopping for glasses. Things went downhill from there.

Late 2021:

I found an eye doctor in my new town and went to see him. When I arrived, there were no cars in the parking lot. That should have been my first clue. Inside, the office looked run-down, there were no other patients waiting, and there was loud classic rock music playing somewhere down the hall. I considered leaving, but then out he came to greet me. He was an older gentleman who seemed a bit forgetful, but he was very nice. I went ahead with the exam and got a new prescription.

Early 2022:

I found frames I liked at Zenni.com (a company I’ve bought glasses from before) and ordered them online. They were really cute: pink, cranberry, and black in a tortoiseshell pattern. Best of all, they only cost $126, including progressive (no-line bifocal) lenses and non-glare coating!

Pink and black … uh-oh. Maybe I’m stuck in the 50s.


I received my Zenni glasses. The prescription seemed off, so I returned them. Zenni inspected them and discovered a manufacturing error. They remade them for me free of charge and sent me another pair … but those were even worse. I couldn’t read the TV screen; I couldn’t even read street signs while driving. I returned this second pair of Zennis. They were inspected as well, and Zenni commendably admitted they’d made another error, just a slight one this time, but enough to earn me a full store credit. I haven’t used it yet. Don’t know if I ever will.

Summer 2022:

I had another eye exam, and my vision had by now changed again. With my new prescription in hand, I decided to take a chance on the optician playing the loud classic rock music in the other half of the office. Boy, I don’t know how to take a hint, do I. When I picked up my new Kate Spades, a right-wing talk show spouting conspiracy theories, instead of classic rock music, was booming out of the guy’s radio. I paid for the glasses ($450) and vowed never to return again.

I had to return again, though, because although I could read street signs off in the distance, I couldn’t read anything else .

Fall, 2022:

It was second opinion time. I saw a new eye doctor, who really seemed on the ball. She said she’d corrected my vision to 20/15 (the best it’s ever been), and I could tell when I looked through her equipment that it was true. The new prescription was a far cry from the one I’d gotten only a few months earlier. Finally, I was getting somewhere! At least, that’s what I thought.

Because now, I needed to find a pair of well-made, affordable glasses. I decided to visit the optician who was part of her practice. Almost immediately, I fell in love with a pair of stylish rose/mauve frames that looked great on me.

The friendly, talkative optician couldn’t  have agreed more as she cheerfully worked up my price quote: with lenses, $832, plus tax.

I. Don’t. Think. So.

I went home without ordering, wondering how a pair of glasses could cost that much. When I started looking into it, I learned that, according to Forbes, The Guardian, the L.A. Times, and other news outlets, there’s been something close to a monopoly in the eyeglass industry for years, and it’s run by a company called Luxottica. And Luxottica actually seems proud of their “vertically integrated business model” that allows them to market their brands through LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Target, etc. Not quite a pyramid scheme, but almost.

Here’s an excerpt from their website:

“Luxottica is a leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear. Its portfolio includes proprietary brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Arnette, Costa del Mar and Alain Mikli, as well as licensed brands including Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Bulgari, Chanel, Coach, Dolce&Gabbana, Ferrari, Michael Kors, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., Valentino and Versace. … One of the Group’s competitive advantages is the vertically integrated business model built over the years, covering the entire value chain: design, product development, manufacturing, logistics and distribution.”

Yep. The eyeglass industry seems to have gone the way of Big Pharma. Since they control distribution, they’re free to charge the consumer whatever they can get away with.

November, 2022:

I’ve been trying to find out if I have insurance coverage for glasses. (I don’t, but after NINE phone calls between various optical companies, my insurance benefits office, and a company called Eye-Med, I’ve discovered that I’m eligible for a discount program with Eye-Med that I have to pay for in order to get the discount. And the information on their website is so confusing that I still don’t know how much that discount is.

I’ve gone back to wearing my three-year old glasses for now. I’ll probably try to find a pair on Warby Parker that I like. I just can’t see spending over $800 on a pair of glasses when my prescription changes about once a year.

How much are YOU willing to pay for a pair of good quality eyeglasses?

This is post #3 in this year’s #NaBloPoMo challenge, a.k.a. #NanoPoblano. To follow my blog, just click below where it says “Follow loristory.”


Lucky to Live in the ROC (Part 3)

Previously, on Lucky to Live in the ROC (Part 1) and Lucky to Live in the ROC (Part 2), I shared two great places to visit in Rochester, New York: the Little Theatre and Highland Park. In Part 3, I reveal more attractions, including THE FOURTH-OLDEST ROLLER COASTER IN THE WORLD!


Seabreeze is a historic amusement park situated in a breezy part of town where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario. It’s been a summer destination for young and old since 1879. I used to go there in the 1960s.

My favorite ride then was Over the Falls, which in those days meant a slow, creaky ride through dank, cobwebby tunnels, and a 40-foot plunge into a pool. Over the Falls eventually got to be over the hill, though (what does that say about me?), and was replaced in 1984 by the Log Flume.

Although I was daring enough to go Over the Falls, I never had the intestinal fortitude to brave the Jack Rabbit, built in 1920. It’s the fourth-oldest roller coaster in the world, but at 102, it’s also the oldest continuously operating roller coaster in America.

Jack Rabbit

Yes, the Jack Rabbit isn’t just old, it’s an antique – entirely constructed of WOOD. And if that isn’t enough to send you screaming from the park, consider this: you’ll be strapping yourself in for a wild ride full of sharp twists and turns on track that clickety-clacks like a rattlesnake (over 2,000 feet of it) , a 75-foot drop, and a dark tunnel signaling the merciful end.

But hold on a minute. If that type of cheap thrill isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other rides here at Seabreeze (including swirling teacups, which caused me to have to sit perfectly still for an hour after being swirled in one of them).

Although Seabreeze Amusement Park happens to be the fourth-oldest operating amusement park in the United States, not all of its rides are old. Here are some of the other rides you’ll see there. Pictured below are the Time Machine, Tilt, Screamin’ Eagle, Revolution 360, Log Flume, Carousel, and Bobsled:

Speaking of old, seniors get in free every Tuesday. They can enjoy all rides for free that day, too. And yes, if you must know, I was there on a Tuesday.

In my next installment of Lucky to Live in the ROC, an epic road trip in search of the perfect pizza leads to some unexpected paintings in the strangest of places.

Be sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss a thing! Just click below, and then look for the small blue button that says “Follow loristory.” Thanks!

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New Latitude, Episode 3: Mouse in a Boat

If you follow “New Latitude,” my ongoing saga about moving, you were left with a cliffhanger last week. Would my mortgage application be approved? Well, the short answer is: Yes! It was!

But the long answer is: Yes … but I want to wait until I can get the COVID-19 vaccine before driving cross-country (or flying, if that’s what I decide to do) … which might be March or even later … so I don’t know yet when I can move … and I can’t even start packing yet!

I feel a little like a very small mouse in a fragile paper boat, about to set out on a wild journey without a compass, a paddle, or a companion (other than a slice of cheese). Actually, I don’t feel that way entirely, but the picture was so cute I decided to build my entire blog post around it! And in case you missed it the first time, here it is again!

Artist: Victoria Borodinova via Pixabay

In order to deal with the stormy seas of moving, I’ve discovered a few ways to stay afloat:

– music

– cooking

– TV-watching

– daily walks, and

– writing.

If you happen to be moving, remember to take a step back from all the planning and immerse yourself in something relaxing instead.

As far as writing goes, I’ve recently discovered a new Facebook group, “The Isolation Journals.” If you’re interested in writing prompts, or just want some interesting topics to ponder, you may want to join the group. It’s described as “an artist-led journaling community founded by Suleika Jaouad.” (Ms. Jaouad is a writer associated with musician Jon Batiste. I only know of her because I Googled Jon Batiste one night after watching him on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. That’s another way I maintain my sanity. Watching The Late Show, that is. Not Googling. Although that helps, too.)

I dipped my toe in The Isolation Journals a bit late (not until prompt #123, actually). Here’s that prompt:

How can your presence enhance the growth of your community?

I hastily scribbled a response and posted it to the group. I’ve already received two likes. Hey, maybe Jon Batiste will read my post!

Do you keep a journal? Have you moved or are you moving? I’d love to hear about your journey.

Happy winter solstice, everyone! And be sure to follow my blog so you won’t miss the next exciting episode of “New Latitude”!

The Curious Case of Life Imitating Art

The muse must have been looking over my shoulder yesterday because, unexpectedly, I stumbled upon a case of life imitating art. Or was art imitating life?

I’d spent most of the day walking my dog, talking with friends online, and reading Anna Quindlen’s novel, “Still Life with Breadcrumbs,” the story of a photographer whose career is in decline.

In late afternoon, I decided to take my car out for a spin, since the last time I’d started it up, it had been sluggish. I feared the battery was about to reach its moment of planned obsolescence. (That would be about par for 2020.) But I hoped that if I drove around for an hour or so, maybe I could revive it.

On a whim, I grabbed my camera before heading out (something I haven’t done in a while, since it’s been too hot during the day for photography). “You never know,” I thought, imagining for just a second a chance encounter with a dust devil, or maybe a space alien. The car sputtered to a reluctant start. Before it could die on me, I put it in gear and headed north.

My destination was Oracle, about half an hour up the road – an unincorporated town whose most famous resident to date has been Buffalo Bill Cody. En route, it occurred to me to plug in an audiobook that was in my phone.

Unfortunately, I’m not too good with modern audio systems in cars (or in phones, for that matter). In fact, I was surprised I’d managed to get the book copied into my phone at all. So as not to cause an accident, I turned off the main highway, Oracle Road, and onto Biosphere Road (which, inconsequentially, leads to Biosphere 2) in order to park, thumb through my owner’s manual, and figure out how to tell my car to read a book to me.

After a few hundred feet, I came to a turnaround. It looked like an ideal place for rattlesnakes and tarantulas to hang out, but I wasn’t planning to get out of the car and join their party, even if they were wearing masks. Heavy, dark storm clouds were gathering in the distance, and a few were above my head. I was anxious to queue up my book and get back on the road.

The clouds had other ideas. They suddenly moved out of the sun’s way, and a shaft of light landed on something smooth, tall, and bright along the trail: a scarred and dusty shrine in the middle of the desert.

It seemed to be a case of life imitating art. You see (spoiler alert), on page 37 in Still Life With Breadcrumbs, that book I’d been reading earlier that day, the protagonist goes for a hike in the woods and comes upon a shrine – a white wooden cross with a glittering child’s volleyball trophy lying on the ground next to it. She takes some photos.

I felt like life was trying to tell me something, so I shut off the engine, grabbed my camera, and got out of the car. Scoping out the ground for snakes or spiders, I cautiously approached the little memorial and took a few photos. As soon as I’d finished and gotten back in my car, I realized I might have made a mistake.

It was 107 degrees out, and there I was in the middle of the Arizona desert with a car whose battery was on its last legs. I wondered how long it would be before AAA could find me. I turned the key in the ignition. The engine choked for a few seconds, and then, reluctantly, it caught.

I sighed, turned the car around, and glanced back at the shrine, but by then the sun had ducked behind the clouds again; the scene was now in shadow. I’d gotten there just at the right moment.

All I could think of on the drive home was the phrase, “life imitates art.” So today I looked that up and learned a thing or two. The idea has been around since at least the time of Plato, who believed art was a poor imitation of life, and for that reason could be dangerous. Aristotle, on the other hand, welcomed art’s imitation of life. And Oscar Wilde’s take was that life imitates art more often than art imitates life. Even Dostoevsky got into the debate, describing it as more of a codependent relationship, where art imitates life, which then imitates art, causing life to owe its very existence to art.

As for me, I was totally flabbergasted by the way my life (finding the shrine) seemed to be imitating art (the book I’m reading). Or maybe art (the book) was imitating life (its pathos) which in turn was imitating art (the shrine). It’s something I thought was worth pondering, especially when I realized one more thread:

In “Still Life With Breadcrumbs,” the protagonist doesn’t notice a certain, possibly significant, detail on the cross until she gets home and enlarges the photo. That same thing happened to me – I didn’t notice the coins at the base of the statue until I got home. Can you spot them?

Shrine 5

I’ve searched online for other photos of this shrine but couldn’t find any, so I don’t know who it’s for. I wish I did. In any case, I think I’ll return soon and add some coins to their collection.



From My Isolation Outpost to Yours

Greetings from Lori’s Isolation Outpost, otherwise known as my home office. My disembodied voice is coming to you through the wonders of a website called WordPress. It’s an apt name for a space that allows me to figuratively “press” you (as opposed to shaking your hand or otherwise coming within six feet of you).

Isolation Outpost is actually my spare bedroom. It has an old oaken table, a sewing table, a dresser, a keyboard, a guitar, and a fake oriental rug where I do a few exercises each morning. (OK, maybe not every morning.) This is where I do office-y things like writing and editing photos. It’s also where I do non-office-y things like online shopping, checking my Facebook page for likes, watching YouTube videos, and researching important topics like how to copy and send mp3 files via email. No home office deduction for me, not after the IRS sees this post, anyway.

I guess since this site’s called WordPress, it would be appropriate to have a Word of the Day. Well, in that case, my word for the day today is PALPITATION. My heart’s been going ker-thump and ker-thumpity thump on and off for about a week now — in fact it’s doing it as I type this sentence. Palpitations can be brought on by any number of conditions, but in my case, I’m pretty sure it’s stress.

You wouldn’t know it to see me. In fact, you wouldn’t even know it to BE me. I look, act, and FEEL very calm most of the time. But I have a feeling this pandemic is getting to me in insidious ways. It may be my new normal. But I’m going to fight it. I’ll reduce my coffee intake, I’ll meditate, I’ll go for a walk, and I’ll watch more comedy. Yes. That’s my plan, anyway.

And I’ll keep taking photos. Here’s a juvenile vermilion flycatcher. He looks pretty chill.

Juvenile Male Vermilion Flycatcher-4

Adult vermilion flycatchers are brilliant red. (I once wrote a song inspired by one.) Young males like the one shown above look like they’ve been partially dipped in a bucket of orange paint. This one’s spreading his tail feathers to sun himself. Maybe I’ll do that today — sun myself, that is. A walkabout in the Arizona sunshine would do my heart good. And maybe it’ll inspire another song!

Here’s a roadrunner I saw a few days ago, also sunning its tail feathers.

Road Runner Preening

He or she (hard to tell the difference) seemed very content to stand still and preen itself while I took its picture, although it did warn me to stay at least six feet away.

Whatever you do today, I hope it’s relaxing and good for your heart … and soul.









Off the Rails

In about a week, this blog will be coming to you from the inside of a train car. Wish me luck, because I’m riding that train for 2,500 miles. That’s three days and three nights of hearing the clickety-clack of train wheels — all the way from Schenectady, New York, where I’ve been visiting family, to Tucson, Arizona, where I live most of the year.


I’ll be in coach class the entire time, without a shower or a bed.  I’ll bet you’ve always wondered what that would be like. But never fear: I’m going to be blogging about it!

And I’m doing this by choice. That’s right. I’ve lost my mind. Gone off the rails, so to speak. Or maybe I’m just taking the train, no big deal.

I do feel unsettled tonight, though. Maybe that’s because, after flying east from Tucson, I’ve been driving around New York State for almost a month: Tucson to Rochester, Rochester to Albany, Albany to Plattsburgh, and very soon it will be Plattsburgh to Schuylerville, and Schuylerville to Schenectady. Whew. I feel dizzy just typing that.

For the past sixteen years, I’ve been making this cross-country trip annually (by air) and I’m growing tired of the back and forth. Am I getting too old for this? Or just temporarily burned out? Maybe I’ll feel better once I’ve returned home and stayed put for a while.

Perhaps my long train trip will help me sort things out. Hopefully, sitting still while moving at rapid speed for three days and three nights will settle my mind. Hey, did I just invent a new kind of mental health treatment — train therapy?

Do you have any advice for the long-distance train traveler, or questions about train travel that you hope will be answered in my train-umentary? If so, please leave comments below.

A Silly Reminder

I see that the year’s almost finished

my calendar tells me it’s true

and lately my posting’s diminished

I have no excuses for you


I blogged every day in November

except for the days I did not

but now, toward the end of December,

I’m finding my blogging skills shot


It’s been a long time since I posted

a month, maybe more, I would guess

you probably thought that I’d ghosted

or that my life’s turned out a mess


But that isn’t true, I’m just lazy

or maybe I’m just on a break

or possibly I’ve gone quite crazy

or could be I’ve jumped in a lake


I don’t believe anyone’s noticed,

I doubt that my presence was missed

it’s not like I’m missing in action

I’m not on the Most Wanted list


But nevertheless, I am back now

just saying hello with this verse

to serve as a silly reminder

that I’m here, for better or worse.


Happy New Year!



Thankful for Peppers

Today I’m going to cheat a bit and write about other people’s posts.

By other people, I mean Cheer Peppers, a.k.a. bloggers participating in the daily November blogging challenge known as NanoPoblano. If you want to indulge in some good reading, and if you’re on Facebook, find the Cheer Peppers group and join it.

Or you can find them in the Cheer Peppers list below. (I hope I haven’t left any out. I borrowed this list from fellow Cheer Pepper Carolyn Owens.)

A.R. at StarvingActivist.com
Barbara at teleportingweena.wordpress.com
Bill at BillFriday.com
Breanna at BooksHooksAndYarn.wordpress.com
Carolyn Owens at InfinityCoaching.net
Cyn at Cynk.wordpress.com
David at TooFullToWrite.com
Dean at DeanKealy.design
Echo at trueecho22.wordpress.com
Gwenlynn at JustALittleBitSweet.com
Hasty at FearingCrazy.wordpress.com
Hope at HopesThoughts.blog
Jessie at BehindTheWillows.com
Jesska at NotThrowingStones.today
Julia at AberrantCrochet.com
Julie at JulieBurton.blog
Kay at SuddenlyTheyAllDied.com
Kim at DrunkOnLifeBlog.com
Lillian at HumanInRecovery.wordpress.com
Liz at CatsAndChocolate.com
Lori at LoriStory.wordpress.com
Matt at TheMatticusKingdom.com
Namy at NamySaysSo.com
Nessa at vanessence.wordpress.com
Nutty at SpokenLikeATrueNut.wordpress.com
Owen at NoTalentForCertainty.com
Paula at TheTemenosJournal.com
Ra at Rarasaur.com
Rebecca at MommyQuits.wordpress.com
Renee at ReneeRobbinsWrites.com
Revis at RevisEdgewater.wordpress.com
Robert at FreshOffThePadPoetry.wordpress.com
Sahara at CreoSomnium.org
Symanntha at FailingAtHaiku.wordpress.com
Quixie at QuixiesMindPalace.wordpress.com

In keeping with the energetic but forgiving spirit of the Cheer Peppers, I’ve been trying to keep up with my daily posts (but not beating myself up if I skip days). I’m also trying to read ALL other Cheer Pepper posts. So far I’ve posted 14/21 days but read all posts for only 3/21 days. I’m batting .667 when it comes to posting, but only .143 for reading.

It’s not that I don’t love reading their posts. I do! It’s just that I run out of time during the week. But I’ll get caught up, I promise! I’m pledging today to read a ton of Cheer Pepper posts over this 4-day weekend.

To prove I’m serious about my pledge, here’s what I’m using to keep track of my progress.


By November 30, I hope to post another photo showing many more check marks in the right hand column.

Cheer Peppers are a thoughtful, funny, kind, and talented bunch, and their work is labor-intensive. Blogging is different from other types of writing, in that blog posts often try to say a lot using a relatively limited number of words.

Good blog posts are attention grabbing, clear, concise, artistic, sometimes amusing, and often deeply personal. It’s difficult to get all of that into a blog post, which is why I’m so thankful I stumbled upon the riches of NanoPoblano. Not only is it good writing practice for me, but it’s introduced me to some amazing people.

Thanks, Cheer Peppers!


A Lizard’s Tale

Yesterday, I met with my writer’s critique group at a local coffee shop. I was the first to arrive. The second to arrive was a woman I’d never met before. She introduced herself as “Liz” before excusing herself and walking toward the coffee counter.

For some strange reason, I decided I’d remember her name by associating it with a lizard. She in no way resembles a lizard. It was just the first thing that popped into my mind when she said, “Liz.”

Another writer — Elaine — arrived and joined me at our table. While awaiting Liz’s return, I told Elaine that I’d just met Liz, and confessed that I was associating her name (not her!) with a lizard. The weird thing is that a second later I realized that Elaine is another Liz. Her nickname is “Liz Lady” because of the work she does with reptiles.

Liz returned to the table and introduced herself to Elaine.

“I’m Liz,” she said, “but my real name’s Roberta. I go by Liz because of a lizard …”

I was too stunned to listen to the rest of her explanation. I’ll have to ask her more about it next time I see her. But while I was sitting there, in between two lizards, I remembered this photo I’d taken once.


Did you know that lizards sing the blues, and that they also like acronyms? To prove it, here’s a blues song written by my friend in the photograph.

DSL Blues

Oh, I’m a desert spiny lizard, but you can call me DSL
I’m a desert spiny lizard, but you can call me DSL
My life is hot and dusty, all this crawlin’ in the desert is hell.

Well, I’m strong and I’m fast, and my scales are a colorful sight
Yeah, I’m strong and I’m fast, and my scales are a colorful sight (that’s right!)
But when people see me comin’ I always give ’em such a fright.

Well, they scream and they holler, they run away and hide
It makes me feel bad, it hurts my pride
I wish they would stay, but instead they just go
I think they are so wrong, IMHO

Now, you may be wondering what I mean by IMHO
Yeah, I’ll bet you never heard a lizard say IMHO
It means “In My Handsome Opinion,” so there you are, and now you know.

And the acronym LOL was a lizard’s invention, I won’t lie
Uh-huh, the acronym LOL was a lizard’s invention, I won’t lie (or bat an eye)
It stands for Lizards On Lunchbreak, now it’s time for me to go and catch some flies … Bye bye!