Writing Milestones: 2020 to 2022

I have a new novel coming out in April 2022. And the upside of the “COVID years” has created a superb plot line in the second book of the contemporary Western.

The last two years have blurred into one, with dual tracks of survival and rescue. I find it difficult to recall exactly when events happened in the twenty-four month period from beginning in January 2020, as I arrived home from a medical mission to Puerto Rico to assist with earthquake relief.

The airport workers were buzzing about the SARS COVID 19 virus outbreak and how they were all at risk. It did catch my attention, recalling how the Ebola outbreak began in the United States from persons arriving from stricken countries-and how it was properly handled. I wasn’t worried.

My personal concerns about an upcoming job change, as well as getting my latest Contemporary Western novel written during were foremost in my mind. So much so, the rash of adolescent patients during February 2020 with severe respiratory illness, not due to seasonal influenza that took forever to resolve, I attributed…

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Just Let It Be

Thanks, I needed that!

December can be stressful. Even more so this year as we navigate the increasingly uncertain terrain of Covid.

Whenever I feel discouraged or overwhelmed, I take time to read and reflect upon the following Zen parable:

Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, “I am thirsty. Please get me some water from that lake.”

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing the lake right at the edge of it. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, “How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink?” So, he came back…

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Traditions

This is such a moving and well timed post about holidays.

There are a lot of traditions that have built up around this time of year. A tradition is simply a habit that is carried out at the same time, and often the meaning is forgotten in the mists of time. Some of our most treasured traditions are related to a pagan celebration, a family recipe or even a marketing campaign.

Some are a way to connect with family – a recipe for biscuits or gravy that is handed down through the generations. You taste the same cookie of your childhood and for that magical moment your parents are still alive, and you feel the fur of your old dog under your fingers. A time of year when memories strike the hardest, and for many a time of sorrow for lost loved ones. All amidst a society bent on celebrating, a forced good cheer and social activity that may hide a…

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#Vaccines Work #Masks Work

For the first time for as long as I can remember, I have flu like symptoms. But my rapid COVID 19 and Influenza tests remain negative, and I have no fever. I have spent the last three months vaccinating persons living in homeless and transient housing situations agains COVID 19. And the last three weeks vaccinating kids ages 5-17 against COVID 19, which requires a lot more hand holding and close contact than vaccinating adults.

I believe I contracted this virus from my daughter (also COVID vaccinated but not yet boosted) who works in retail and has the same symptoms but she is also negative for COVID 19. We aren’t wearing masks at home as my entire family is vaccinated, and I got my Moderna booster three weeks ago.

Why am I posting this? Because I received my first COVID in vaccines January and February 2021, and despite my vaccinating thousands of New Yorkers ((yes, really, I’ve lost count), from all walks of life in pop ups and the Javits Center where we administered 10K per day at its acme, I have not had a sniffle. And I worked hospital inpatient services in Brooklyn from March through June 2020, at the worst time of the COVID 19 pandemic. We may not have had vaccines, but they gave us adequate PPE, including N 95 masks, impermeable gowns, and face shields.

I may not be feeling too great right now, but I don’t have COVID (nor have I ever had COVID antibodies). Wearing masks and getting vaccines during a life threatening pandemic with a virus so dangerous and virulent are not political statements. They are common sense. And just like vaccines, they work.

Parking Meters: A Twenty Year Flashback to 9/12/2001

Candles started appearing at dusk. In windows, on front porches. In my Queens neighborhood, people were spontaneously drawn, carrying anything they could find with a light source, to an impromptu march down the main drag, led by exhausted police officers and firefighters. We lined the sidewalks, waving flags, burning our fingers, holding hands, singing God Bless America.

9/12/01. The stench of burning jet fuel, plastic, paper, and human beings wafted over the NYC. Every rear car window and front door sported an American flag poster, as did fences around schools, churches, security grates on storefronts.

Everyone waited patiently in security checkpoint lines at the bridges and tunnels. No bosses said a word if you were late for work. No horns, no reckless driving-there wasn’t anyplace that seemed important enough to hurry to anymore.

The sounds of commercial jets had been replaced by F-16’s flying over the City at regular intervals. The wail of sirens sent people into fits of tears, and there was always someone, often a stranger, there to comfort them, help them.

Candles started appearing at dusk. In windows, on front porches. In my Queens neighborhood, people were spontaneously drawn, carrying anything they could find with a light source, to an impromptu march down the…

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A Controlled Burn Off

As you read this, I will be sitting on a beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. My annual escape to the place where my creative energies are at their height likely harkens back to my happiest childhood memories, which, with few exceptions, are a mélange of saltwater, beaches, boats and family celebrations. Not only did I vacation with my family on the Cape, our waterfront home was an idlic oasis at a time when no one thought twice about a seven year old taking long solitary walks on the beach early in the morning.

The premise of many of my novels, and much of my nonfiction are based on those experiences filtered through the mind of this adult, struggling to recapture and/or protect the mystical allure as well as the memories of people and places that are long gone or seriously endangered.

The writer’s block I’ve been chronicling here on the…

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A Writer’s Garden—A Garden In The Treetops by Carole Ann Moleti

Slowing down has helped me appreciate the small details that are essential for writers, and I hope this experience will enhance my ability to find pearls to enhance my prose as well.

What has the pandemic been like for you and your writing process? And how has your adjustment to ‘normalization’ been going?

Catherine Castle

Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Carole Ann Moleti, with a most unusual garden view.

Welcome, Carole!

Normally, when I think of a garden, I think of our frog pond, flowers and vegetables. But For the last year and a half, I’ve become accustomed to the view from my second story bedroom window. It’s the only room large and private enough for me to take my Zoom Yoga and Ballet classes.

Whether it’s setting up a makeshift barre or spreading out my mat, the hour and fifteen minutes doing something physical, as well as seeing familiar faces, has been a comforting ritual. This was particularly important because as a nurse practitioner, my workdays have been long, unpredictable, stressful, and emotional for the…

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Happy Book Birthday to The Widow’s Walk

Even the most mundane experience or encounter can lead to inspiration for a plot, or a character, or a scene.

I was delighted when Debbie Gilbert sent me a contract renewal last spring for The Widow’s Walk: Book Two in the Unfinished Business Series. That will keep it smack in the middle of the prequel, Breakwater Beach and the Sequel, Storm Watch.

It was July 4th weekend circa 2006 when I was opening up a summer cottage, vacuuming up flies and pulling dust covers off furniture that I had an inspiration to write a short story about a woman who finds a trunk full of old clothes in the attic and is left wondering who the owner was, and how they came to be there.

I missed most of the celebrations that weekend, but the 13,000 word short story Breakwater Beach had been born. My beta readers liked it, but wanted to know what came before. So, after much angst, I finished the very complex dual story…

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Friday Feature Carole Ann Moleti The Unfinished Business #series

Most of the characters in my novels are composites of people I know. But Harley, a secondary character in Storm Watch, was inspired by a chance meeting I can only describe as a gift.

C.D. Hersh

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

The inspiration behind her book series

by

Carole Ann Moleti

My family has vacationed on Cape Cod since I was very young, and I have always been intrigued by the history of the Brewster sea captains and their wives

I had the sudden inspiration to write a story about a woman who finds a trunk of old clothes and learns sad truths about the person who they once belonged to. The Unfinished Business series begins with a ghost story (Breakwater Beach: Book One) and continues with how past life experiences influence our fears, fantasies, and choices (The Widow’s Walk: Book Two).

The inspiration for Storm Watch: Book Three came when I was siting on the real Breakwater Beach in Brewster, Massachusetts on the Cape and there was a fisherman in his beached boat, waiting for the tide to come in. Just…

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Beauty and the Bees

Gardening is a lot like writing. Real life gets in the way and stifles your creativity.

It seemed to take such a long time for warmer weather to arrive in the Northeastern United States. Though 2021 has been much less tumultuous than 2020, emerging from the cocoon that I’d buried myself in has not been easy. I’m sure that most of you agree that coming to the point of a “new normal” has not been a straightforward path.

My adrenaline has been pumping so hard and so long, that sitting still has become impossible. I figit, can’t get comfortable, and have difficulty focusing on anything, especially the details that are so important to writing. And my moods swing from hyperactive to phlegmatic, and it’s hard to get out of bed, then hard to get out of the house.

Last Sunday the temperatures rose into the high 70’s and there was no wind. I stared at my back patio which was a mess, with flats of plants…

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