• The treasure we carry inside

    My son nailed me to the wall. “What are you going to do with those cabins? You either must get rid of them or fix them up. They’re falling down.” “I know, but it’s not about the cabins, but what’s inside.” He pushed for an answer I wasn’t ready to give. “I’m not ready to do anything. The buildings are full of my art supplies, two mat drawers brimming over with prints. They hold hundreds of pieces of art.” He hammered another two-penny nail into my board of reasoning. “But, you’re not painting.”…

  • Beware of Cliche's

    Beware of cliché plots, phrases, and words. Get creative. Rephrase the cliché to convey the same meaning as the original expression. Here are some steps to take if you find clichés in your work: Think about the meaning of the cliché. Use a dictionary to identify synonyms that could replace the word or phrase that is a cliché. Rewrite the sentence with new words in place of the cliché. For example, I am writing a western drama. Instead of “To each his own.” I wrote, “Let him fit in his own sti…

  • The one last shot

    The last trip of summer proved to be one of the best trips of our lives. Our family members traveled from Colorado, northern California and Arizona, and convened in Los Angeles to see the premiere of our grandson’s first featured film, “Space Waves.” For three nights, we were entertained, challenged and blown away by the quality of this coming-of-age film. It was a project four years in the making, one riddled with trials and lessons learned. Each night, an aerial shot crawled across the norther…

  • The unfinished man

    A young woman loves the cowboy in her man, but that “cowboy” is not always marriage material. My grandson placed a book in my hands, “Fathered by God” by John Eldredge, written in 2009. He had read it and wanted to discuss the cowboy and lover stages. Since our family saw him through the cowboy stage and wondered what in the world happened to this sweet boy, I wanted to understand why and what we could have done to prevent some of his actions. This book led to several discussions while our famil…