Author Archives: cwesala

About cwesala

Author. Arizona. Published on Amazon and Nook.

What Makes a Great Country

I’m positive there isn’t one person out there who doesn’t know who they are voting for. Not one day before the election. However, just in case there is one. Just in case someone might read my blog today, I want to ask that person to answer one question before making that decision.

What makes a country great? Is it economic success? Is it all about money – mine, yours, ours. Or, as the Grinch said, Perhaps, perhaps, Christmas means a little bit more. Perhaps democracy, success, greatness mean a little bit more than finances.

What do you feel makes a great country? See if you have a few answers (as I have). Then think about whether we are there yet.

I’m sure, by now, you’ve figured out my answers. Yes, I’m an educator, therapist, volunteer so my answers lean toward social equality, acceptance and love of others, education and health care. Maybe your answers are different, and that’s okay.

Just make certain before you turn in your ballot you give it some thought.

Because according to my friends in Europe and the U.K. and I believe this is world wide– we are no longer the greatest country in any respect except for out military capabilities. And, that my friends, is something we need to think long and hard about.

p.s. – don’t bother responding or ripping me apart. Life is too short. Vote your conscience, but vote!

.

we do nothing…

Children die in school shootings. They are trained to self-protect in the classroom. We cry. We pray for their families. We do nothing.

Hispanic workers can’t get tested for COVID 19. They aren’t citizens. Their children, who were born here, watch them rounded up by authorities and cry on their way home to an empty house. We do nothing.

Black men are murdered by other black men, by gang members, by store owners, by police. We talk about the unfairness. We do nothing.

People live on the street in Arizona in 110 degree temperatures. We deliver water. We drive them to shelters. We drop off clothing and toothpaste. But we do nothing.

Jewish friends are careful what they say or do in public. Their synagogues are burned. Bomb threats are made. We shake our heads in disbelief. We say how wrong it is. But we do nothing.

The gay couple next door watch for bumper stickers indicating your political or religious stance before mentioning their wedding. They make certain children on the block believe they’re just good friends. We sympathize with their situation. We tell them we’re not homophobic. We do nothing.

A Hispanic man and a white woman enter a restaurant in an exclusively white suburb. Most heads turn, if only for a moment. No one criticizes or boos, they simply take a quick glance. The message is still clear.

We talk, we actually grieve, we swear it can’t happen again. That lasts for a few days, a few months, a few years. But we do nothing.

There are over 1000 white supremacist organizations in 2020. Their numbers grow exponentially. We read about it in the paper. We watch documentaries. We talk about the newest groups forming underground.

In 1962 I invited a girl from my high school chorus to meet me at our local drug store soda fountain after school. I had forgotten she wasn’t allowed to enter the store or sit at the counter. It is now 2020, and I woke up this morning wondering what the hell happened to all our promises and dreams? The generation of change. The anti-war, anti-racism, anti-hate generation. The John F. Kennedy generation. What happened?

When will we actually stop talking, sobbing, writing, protesting, agonizing over what to do, and just, for God’s sake, do something? Today I ask myself – what am I going to do?

 

In the days of COVID 19

If you are a writer, you probably feel like I do. Finding the energy or the creativity to write during this time has been difficult. I was feeling this way before COVID due to some family stressors, but now I can’t make myself sit in a chair or pick up a pen, and my notebooks turn into journals instead of anything worth sharing.

I continue to give myself permission to “not” write, knowing that my muse will return and hopefully sooner than later. I always wanted to write. As a child, I had a toy typewriter. I’m pretty old so you may not remember. There was a round dial on top that you turned to get to the letter you wanted, before pressing the key. Talk about pecking out a sentence.

For my high school graduation I was presented with a new aqua blue Corona portable typewriter to take to college. I loved that typewriter and I’ve been trying to find one recently – just for the memories.

My degrees are in Education, English, Counseling and Secondary Administration. I held jobs in each of these capacities during my career. When I retired, the future looked pretty empty and I was nervous about filling my days. Out of the blue I happened upon an article about a creative writing certification program at my local community college and within minutes I phoned the department chair and was practically assured an acceptance letter once I applied. And from then on I wrote, and wrote, and wrote.

So it’s with a heavy heart that I sit at the keyboard or hover over a notebook only to find no words to put on paper.

How has this time been for you? Is it affecting your career? your personal life? your mental health? I’d like to hear from you. Because part of optimism is the ability to “sit it out and wait and know that the future is right around the corner.

Like many of you I grew up during the polio epidemic, then AIDS, Sars, and all the rest. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones and for those in ICU wards across the country. I guess my heavy heart is what is weighing me down.

My best to all of you. I pray that you have not been personally affected, and I pray that you too will regain your energy, positivity and abilities very soon. Like you, I wait.

Valentine Delight

What a wonderful treat on Valentine’s Day!

Now, on March 3, these lovely blooms have burst forth. I enjoy them every time I walk past which, in my open great room setting, is numerous times each hour. It’s been such fun to watch each stage – from the tiny triangular sprouts that popped up just above the soil line, to the daily growth of green stems taking shape, and on Friday, the first of the yellow tulip petals opening wide. The pink and red opened on Sunday and the remainder yesterday.

So fun! I’ll try to save the bulbs, but even if they don’t produce a second time, I have enjoyed weeks of pleasure. Thank you, daughter, for a wonderful gift. Thought I’d pass along this great gift idea.

Valentine’s Day

valentine

Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean a whole lot any more. I don’t recall when it did, actually. But before I sound bah hum bug, let me say that it’s a great day to remember everyone we love. As usual I baked heart-shaped cookies last weekend for my “children”, ages 41 and 46. But they still enjoy a good sugar cookie with gobs of butter cream frosting.

As usual, my daughter surprised me yesterday. I discovered a box on the front porch when I got home and opened it to find a very cute country style metal tub which goes great with my décor. The directions said to remove the moss, place in a sink or bowl of water for 30 min. and find a sunny place. The little bulbs are already peeking out of the soil and I can’t wait to see what they are. It just says bulbs. Will they be pink? Or yellow? Or white? Will they be tulips? I’ll find out in a week or two. Luckily, I have one sunny spot in my entire house – the window above the kitchen counter. Thank goodness.

My son phoned just to say hi and I love you which is always special. And I’m having lunch with friends. So, not a romantic day at all. But I got a valentine card from my sister so it’s a special day.

What did you do on this year’s special day? I hope you enjoyed some sunshine, listened to your favorite music, or bought yourself or some else a bouquet. Valentine’s Day is not about romance as much as love. And for all the love I have surrounding me, I am thankful.

Have you thought about writing?

Recently I found myself wondering when my love of writing and literature began. The first image to materialize was of my 8th grade English teacher. I am standing in front of a sunlit window at Longfellow Junior High, receiving praise and encouragement from her. What she was praising me for, I can’t recall. We were learning the poem, Song of Hiawatha, written in 1865 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Each of us was required to create a diorama and to write a report. I had received my usual A grade but something was special. I strain to remember, but it doesn’t come.

After memorizing the lengthy poem, I had dressed one of my Madame Alexander dolls as the Indian guide, Hiawatha, for my display (with the help of my talented seamstress mother). Something about the flow of that poetry mesmerized me. It rolled off my tongue. It had a drum beat of its own. It spoke to me.

Sometime later – days –possibly years – as I sat in my bedroom reading every book in the library that summer, I was hooked. I would head out of Enid, OK as soon as possible and go to New York. Did I say as an author? I can’t recall, but maybe it crossed my mind. I was a journalism reporter for two years for the high school newspaper and moved to Yearbook as a junior. And I kept a journal daily during my teenage years. I loved to read more than anything in the world, literally walking six miles or more to the public library each week to check out another half dozen books. And yes, that one summer, I had a ridiculous goal of reading every book in that red brick building.

My college major was English Lit. I devoured Shakespeare, Melvin, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway; then taught English for a couple of years before becoming a high school counselor. My writing consisted of journaling and writing poems when I needed to release the bottled up teenage angst I was living.  But mostly, I read.

It took 67 years before I began a Creative Writing certification program and launched a career in writing. A few awards and three short stories published in anthologies sparked my desire for more. Four novels later, here I sit. The last book published last summer and I took six months off. I’m still figuring out what I want to do next. Short stories maybe. Articles. A blog. It will find me soon. It always does – that desire to put pen to paper and write someone else’s story.

What event sparked your writing journey? Do you recall? If you haven’t begun, do you have the desire to tell your story or those of other? It’s never too late.

 

Don’t Miss Out

Sales are good for my newest novel, A Far Away Star. and it’s now available at Best of Books in Edmond, OK.

Available on Amazon in ebook and paperback formats. Or Order directly through me for a signed copy – plus book rate shipping cost.

 

Free Book Promo

Tomorrow October 29 – one day only! Free Kindle version (all ebooks – just use the kindle app) of A Far Away Star – my latest novel which is getting great reviews.

Hope you take advantage of the sale, enjoy the book, leave a review and tell your friends!

Where Have I Been?

I guess that question is for any readers to ask. I have a couple of answers. My two months in MN this summer were fantastic. All of August and September out of the AZ heat was a dream. Love the city of Rochester, my friends there, the senior center, the theater, the library, the big town/small city atmosphere. It’s just wonderful each year.

During that time, I contracted bronchitis. Having never had this, I assumed I’d be treated and well in a week. Now – almost six weeks later – I’m still struggling with coughing and wheezing. It’s improving gradually, but I had no idea!

Also during the past two months, I’ve had a family situation that has required a great deal of attention. It’s been an emotional roller coaster that I’m still riding, but with lots of love and care, it will get resolved.

So– that’s why I haven’t posted in so long.

Meanwhile — good news!  The paperback version of A Far Away Star is now for sale on Amazon. The digital version went live back in August and is selling well. I hope you’ll read the excerpt supplied on Amazon and continue what I believe is a “good read.”

Thanks to all friends and readers and family for your continued support! See you soon.