Friday, June 13, 2014

Changes Happening and Ideas Needed

When I turned 50, I had the sense that things were going to change in significant and good ways.  It was a vague prophecy, but I sensed relationships improving, personal issues resolved, pain healing, stresses diminishing, and certain sufferings ending.

I so hate being vague when I write but some areas of life--usually the very best stories--are not for public consumption until much much later.

Sigh.  Sorry.

I share all this because in one sense at least I have a sense of an era coming to an end.  You might recall that in the last ten years I've spent a significant amount of time and resources on my parents.

They wanted to stay in their house, and they wanted to be independent.  Very much so.  The diplomatic social worker used the word "resistant."  Some of us may at times have used a different adjective that starts with "S" and has eight letters.

But we also admired them, and how can you say no to your parents?  Especially parents who are that tough and determined into their 90s.  So we did what it took to keep them afloat and at home.

I think I flew to Minnesota at least six times in the last year and a half.

It made me feel like I was always catching up from the last visit and getting ready for the next one, and I never got past the surface of what needed to be done at home.  Because in between those visits I was also teaching, hosting, cooking, friending, writing, wifing, momming, and everything else.

Mom passed away in December.  We've just returned from a frantic 10 days of sorting Mom and Dad's things, hosting a sale, and prepping Dad for a trip and after that to move into my brother's basement.

So I've been trying to wrap my head around all these changes and what this new phase of life really means.

It's not that I regret a single one of those drop-everything-and-head-for-the-airport trips, but, to be honest, they were hard.

Hard times come, and we forge ahead doing what needs to be done, not knowing how long this will last.  And then when the time is right, the hard times end.

Over these years, I've managed to blog, to keep up with my column, and to publish a column-collection now and then.  That's about all the writing I've done, even though other ideas and opportunities show up regularly.

It'll be interesting to see if I'm led in new directions there, and what they are.

Meanwhile.  I have plenty of chapters for a new collection, book 5 in the series.  I plan to meet with the graphic designer this summer and hope to have the book out by fall.

However.  I need a title.

Many have suggested more of the In the [Location] the [character/s] is/are [Verb] titles, such as In the Basement the Mice are Gnawing or In the Closet the Skeletons are Rattling or Outside the Neighbors are Laughing.

All of these have their charms but they don't work for me.  The last one was taken off the list because if someone says or implies "I write humor and I am funny" I never think they're funny.

I welcome your suggestions of all shapes and sizes--Upstairs the Peasants type or something else entirely.  Extra credit to anyone who pulls a line out of one of my columns of the last 3 years and makes it into a title.

A prize, of course, to the one that I use.  A free book of course.  And maybe I'll even credit you on the small-print page.  In the comments, feel free to share ideas for both titles and prizes.

Quote of the Day:
We suffer from "silent callers" every so often, where the phone rings and we say hello and are greeted with silence.  No recording or spiel or even breathing.  When this happens, we quote Bible verses to them because it gives us a sense of authority over the situation, instead of feeling creepy and kind of violated.
Phone: ring ring

Jenny: Hello?
Jenny: HELLO??
Jenny: Mom! I need some Bible verses!
Me: The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Jenny: The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Jenny: I need another one.

Emily: You whisper and they hear not. You shout and they hear you not.
Jenny: What?? You whisper and??
Emily: They hear not.
Jenny: They hear not. You shout and they hear you not.
Me: HUH???
Emily: I made it up.
Me: W.O.W.
Phone: Ring ring.
Me: Hello?

My friend Patti: Dorcas? I was wondering what's happening with prayer meeting tonight. I didn't get the message. I tried calling earlier and your daughter must not have heard me. She just quoted all these Bible verses to me.
Me and Patti: [Lots of LOL]


  1. Chasing Dust Bunnies
    Serious and Seriouser
    The Taming of the Crew
    Good Old Days of Tomorrow

    Ha! That last one needs you looking dreamily off into the distance!
    I don't know if any of these tickle your fancy, but it's just a few from the top of my head. Best wishes!

  2. Outside the owls are hooting.
    Outside the wind is howling. I dunno I'm thinking something with outside. Fits in from your kids and you taking multiple trips,etc.
    Outside the pigs are squealing. OK so getting a little silly ;-)

  3. Inside the vortex is spinning...
    outside the circus is calling...

  4. Outside the King is Brownbagging

  5. 1421Inside My daughter is quoting verses.. LOL

  6. Dorcas Byler6/14/2014 9:26 AM

    Inside the Hearts are Pounding
    Outside the Minons are Cavorting

    Just a few from the top of my head...

  7. In the Attic the Mice are Listening

  8. Book title... she in the shoe. Love your blog

  9. (In which Dorcas hints darkly at changes coming. :) Curious to hear more soon, I hope...)

    Crazy Quilts, Crazy Quotes

    At the Window Mom is Gesturing

    Outside the Plane is Waiting

    Mixing and Matching /Mix-Up, Match-Up/ Mix Match Mush :) - that was a joke- / some variation

    (Thinking about Jenny’s cooking, your children leaving home, your children dating, and your whoopie pie analogies. :)

    Can’t You See We’re All Behind You?

    For this one, you’d have to do a joke cover, with a mom in the drivers’ seat of a van and a bunch of young people eye-rolling, yawning, head-phoning, vocalizing, or otherwise conducting themselves in the back seats. Or a mom walking Beatles-style toward the edge of a cliff, with a string of followers. But perhaps in your last chapter you could do a tie-in with a more serious meaning—the Biblical cloud of witnesses, particularly with your mom going home.

    Okay, they’re not very good. I liked Kendra’s above, The Taming of the Crew. Wishing you inspiration!

  10. I couldn't get into the Registar Guard so couldn't go back very far, but here are a few.

    From March 2014

    Outside, the Drenching Rain
    Inside...Hope and Happiness

    From December 2013
    Invisible Threads
    Miraculous Connections

    Makeshift Stars
    Miraculous Connections

  11. Upstairs the peasants are shouting & they hear you not. ☺

  12. I read this days ago and wanted to let you know that last night I dreamt that you chose "Downstairs Emily is Laughing". :)

  13. The Purple Girls and Other Conundrums

  14. Here's another;
    A Well-Spun Yarn, Unfaschtandich!