Tag Archives: mothers

Even More Sad News.

Butterfly, Be Free!

Mama, an avid reader who became blind, is seen here listening to an audiobook.

This Month, my Mother Passed Away.

(What follows is an edited version of her obituary, written by my sister. )

Joan Alice, or “Joanie” (as everyone called her), 88, died on December 11, 2020.

Joanie was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Frank and Lillian Olejnicki Fijolek, and was a true city girl until moving with her husband, Ted, to Lindenhurst, Illinois, in 1956.  Ted and Joanie were among the pioneers of the village, and their early years were chronicled in her book Love, Joanie: Letters from the Suburban Frontier.

Joanie was a career homemaker.  A devoted wife and mother, she was an excellent cook and slapdash housekeeper who preferred digging ditches, hauling dirt, gardening, listening to opera and reading to such drab chores as washing dishes and/or ironing.  She enjoyed camping, and made even the most…

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Hold That Thought!

As an “organic writer” (aka “pantser”), I follow a non-linear writing habit, edit while writing, and deal with the competing demands of new stories and ideas when they happen. I think that my having raised four children, all born within nine years, prepared me to do this.

An Epicycloid, by Sam Derbyshire

To me, new ideas are more vulnerable to loss than established ones, so I always make time for them. When I return to the earlier work, I feel refreshed and I make good progress with it again.

A Hypotrochoid, by Sam Derbyshire

Think “Spirograph.” If you’re working at the right speed, you won’t jump a gear tooth when you loop to a new idea, you’ll navigate safely back to where you started, and you’ll have something beautiful to show for it.

Various Spirograph Designs. Anonymous. Wikimedia Commons.

Various Spirograph Designs, by Anonymous

It’s what I call “epicyclic thought.” In other words, the kind of multitasking that mothers get used to doing, without their even knowing it.


And that’s Life in the Parallel Universe … the Place where Novels are Real….

Cassini Apparent Astronomy, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1st ed., 1777

Cassini Apparent Astronomy, Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1st ed., 1777


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