Author: T. L. Sherwood

T. L. Sherwood lives beside Eighteen Mile Creek in western New York. Her work has appeared in Rosebud, Thema, Literary Orphans, and Vestal Review among other places.

Strange days & happenings…

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I know I’m late with this post. It’s been weird. I started writing this Thursday afternoon:

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Today I had lunch at Julie’s with the SGI Superintendent. She is such a good person – and smart. It was a lovely time and I hope we do end up working on her book. It will be phenomenal when she has some time and it all comes together.

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Yesterday was a “regular” meet up at SPoT Coffee in Orchard Park to write with Gina. It’s been a long time and I was excited to find I could still sit down and write – that, too, has been iffy. The last time I posted, my brother-in-law was still alive. My, how things change. At the service, M and R wore their father’s shirts. I’m sure I’m not the only one who caught their breath – with the hat, the son resembles his father.

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Last Thursday, the cat was acting strange. Mary and Gina – my real life angels – picked me up and we went to Three Girls Café for bunch and catch up. It was so good to spend time with them and try to get back to a semblance of normalcy. I refused to check on the cat – figuring if she was dead, she wouldn’t be reviving, but she was on my mind. I came home, braced myself, and found she was alive. And since then she’s been improving which is miraculous since she’s 19-years-old now. That night, I went to the Comfort Zone for Hamburg Writers’ Group. That, too, was a taste of normalcy. I came home, let the dog out and he tangled with a skunk. Such a roller-coaster of a day.

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And while real life was raucous, the career side has been going along swimmingly. Nina Fosati did a brilliant edit on a story I wrote and I sent it out to higher tier publications. She’s working through a piece I enjoy and – knock on wood – she’ll find the way into it match the tone she wants for it and then it will get published and nominated for prizes. I do think it’s that good.

I received my contributor copy of Bacopa. “Pirouette” is on page 6.

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Furtive Dalliance was released with “Sounds So Familiar,” and after YEARS of submitting, I finally cracked the top ten of On The Premises in the “near death” call for submissions. Weirdly, it was sent at the last minute and I didn’t think it had a chance. It’s a story that Jim Tuttle liked in an early draft. Fingers crossed – but honestly, I’ll be thrilled with the critique.

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The furniture was moved into the “winter mode” and I’ve brought in a few pieces of wood to dry out. Saturday, I start the fall hours at the library with my 10-noon shift. Sunday is Gina’s book release event that I’m so excited to attend. So, apologies for the lateness ~ it’s just the way things have been going as events have prevented sameness and ruts to continue here, creekside, where I haven’t been doing enough reflecting or Pilates…but there has been a lot of love and for that I am grateful.

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Thanks for stopping by and the read!

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It’s Been One Week…

The very first thing I need to say is that I’m so proud of my niece and nephew. Their father – Husband’s twin – is in the ICU in Pittsburgh. It’s possible he may pass away; if he lives there will be a long recovery ahead. This past week, those two have faced insane choices and weighed courses of actions with uncertain outcomes – not a single thing has been easy. They are doing an amazing job handling all that they are going through and I wish I could hug them long enough and hard enough to ease their worry and stress. (R – if you’re reading this, I love you so much!)

And while news of this sadness was arriving, I was online celebrating my amazing week of publications. Thanks once again to Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, David O’Connor, and everyone at Bending Genres for publishing We’re Toast. Thank you Cal Marcius at Spelk for publishing The Difference Between Us. On Saturday, I Am Promilla, came out, so many thanks to everyone at Postcard Poems & Prose – especially Elizabeth Stark for her amazing “Promilla.”

The disconnect – online and RL – is surreal sometimes. Ben went to the dealer on 30 July and within a week he wouldn’t start – of course. He needed some repairs done, but since he won’t leave the driveway, I, too, am stuck here. Husband had been planning on taking Friday off to celebrate his birthday, but now he’s thinking of going to work. Because he’s the type of person he is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he figures out Ben’s problem, fixes it, the house gets painted and the crash bar on the front door is installed this weekend. Work is how he processes his feelings, writing is mine, but it’s all too sad right now. Things happened so fast…

And now, the waiting is so long. Yesterday, I walked out to the creek and as I neared the edge, a fledgling heron flew up and away from the spot where it had been feeding. Today, it’s a muggy 80+ degrees outside and the labyrinth is too muddy to walk so I’ll be inside, filing, maybe editing, thinking rando thoughts on the essence of being and hating myself for not saying I love you enough.

Sorry for the not so cheery read, but those are the creekside reflections for this week. And a hearty RIP to Bookman who I learned passed away last Thursday. Thanks universe for all the material, but I don’t really want it.

Better days

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I came across a volunteer lily in the field. I found a different one last year. I’m beginning to wonder if Husband is doing this just to muck with my mind. I know I didn’t plant any in this area, yet they bloom.

Doing the things I know to help, have helped. I’m not in a dark place nor as prone as to slip back there – even when I was insulted at a Springville Center for the Arts event last night…

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There were two big changes that made a huge difference. The first was stepping down from my position as Managing Editor at Literary Orphans. I am sorry to disappoint Scott and Mike and everyone else, but it was the worst fit for me. I will be returning to Fiction Editor, a job I adore.

And secondly, in a strange twist, we have cable and high speed internet. For decades, AT&T and others swore it was too expensive to run lines this far. Spectrum came in and now we’re signed up for a 30 day trial of their bundled services. Everything was hooked up on Saturday. On Monday, AT&T called to say they could give us a better deal…right. It’s interesting to have so many channels. Husband and both adore being able to watch PBS; it didn’t come in in the summer with the rabbit ears. I still haven’t figured out this DVR, but I can get the one on Husband’s TV to work. It is such a relief to not worry about going over my data limit.

I took New Dog to the eternal flame. It was lit this time.

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The following Monday, I took him to the groomers. Here he is, acting mopey like Sampson.

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Next Saturday, “I AM PROMILLA,” comes out on Postcard Poems and Prose. I saw the mock up and it is delightful! Elizabeth did an excellent job. Also, “The Difference Between Us” will appear in Spelk. They choose the most interesting pieces over there. I am thrilled to share these two pieces wtih you and the rest of the world, so please do check them out. They are flash – it won’t take long them. Thanks in advance, and thank you for stopping by for the read!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Been here before and it sucks.

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So dear readers, I’m in a funk…dealing with several down days, what have you. I’m doing the things that help weather this mood. I plan on doing some more and getting through this, but right now, I’m not feeling “it.”

The news I was a semi-finalist for Grist’s ProForma contest didn’t help. Monarchs and dragonflies dancing around didn’t either. My first time to the Eternal Flame didn’t do anything for me, not that I thought it would…

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There was a spark of momentary joy when I saw at least two bats flying at dusk because they haven’t been here in years, but it didn’t last long.

I’m not a fan of this nor do I want to bring you down to this hole with me, but it’s part of who I am, who I’ve always been, and I deal with it. Please don’t be that person & suggest medication or therapy.  Thank you for putting up with me.

Cheers to you from here.

The unlikely happened, I went a few places, and there’s a hummingbird in my lilies

There’s a tale of elder love on the radio this morning. It’s airing about 20 minutes before the week in politics program. A taste of hope before the chaotic contention. Around here, it happens the opposite way; I do a madcap rendition of cleaning/weeding/organizing/hauling buckets of water to the new trees/mowing before I achieve a calm to read and/or write. Even now, I typed the first three lines before walking away. There was a sink full of dishes, now washed.

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The wood shed roof is as complete as it can be – the two ends aren’t done because Husband didn’t have the panels for it. He says he could piece it together with remnants, but he’d prefer solid panels. It’s watertight though, something it hasn’t been in years. Walking back from getting the paper, this blue and white striped sight is quite cheery.

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I had an A M A Z I N G run. On the 24th, I got word that my story, “I Am Promilla” won the Postcards Poems and Prose Magazine’s “Clutch” Flash Fiction contest. June 27 will long be remembered as one helluva day. “We’re Toast” was accepted by Bending Genres, Former Cactus took “Tilt-A-Whirl” AND Spelk accepted “The Difference Between Us.” I could not believe it, but it happened and these are all venues I love. I am delighted – plus, on Tuesday, I received payment for “Pirouette” which will be included in the Bacopa Literary Review.

We’ve done a bit of weekend visiting with family recently. There was Ash’s Graduation Party,

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And then a quick trip to PA to see Niece from Boston & The Twin where mint leaves were muddled for juleps.

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Monday has me traveling alone to another gathering of family of a different sort – a funeral. As the amazing Kathy Fish recently hosted another Fast Flash Reunion on Zoetrope, I’m sure I’ll revisit the prompts to make sense of all the interactions that are coming at me in a furious pace, kind of like the Literary Orphans reading assignments. And the library just emailed that “The Female Persuasion” is in so I’ll be finishing that up soon, too. I better get going, there’s a lot to accomplish in this lull…

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like capturing pictures of hummingbirds in my lilies!

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

Summer is a Whirlwind

Here it is, officially summer and already most of the projects have at least a dent made in them. Half the woodshed roof is done.

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The massive pain that were the rose bushes in the front yard have been ripped out and replaced with an Azealia bush and a maple.

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Plus the roadside portion of  the garden shed is painted and the redigging of the ditch on the hill was started last night, and several new steps to replace the front ones are complete. The next two weekends will be filled with grad parties and visits, so I’m glad we are so far ahead – compared to previous years that is…even with a minor injury of a run-in with the woodspliter. It’s much healed.

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It’s not been all work all the time. I do make a point to enjoy the beauty of flowers and trees we’ve planted and listen to insects and birds though I wish I didn’t have to listen to the pair of cardinals attacking the window outside my office, but one can’t have everything.

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On Wednesdays, I’ve been going to one of the multiple SPoT Coffees to write with Mary or Gina – yesterday it was both. Without them and Friday nights at the Comfort Zone with the Hamburg Writers’ Group, I’m afraid I’d lose my way. I can’t say thanks enough to Nina and everyone else who keeps me writing. And the Kathy Fish Fast Flash Reunion starts tonight! You know where I’ll be!

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Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

My intentions are paving the way to hell…

After a long break from scheduled blog posts, it didn’t occur to me that I’d post late, but here it is, Friday afternoon and I’m just now starting to write this.

And as I write, I’m enjoying the weather from inside the “cabana,” where I can’t see the frog pond, but I hear the activity. This is the view:

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Monarchs are flitting about as well as the deer fly and bees. The cotton woods are busily trying to copulate, their seed dances about and falls to coat everything with a soft haze of down.

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This is the first day I’ve had to truly enjoy the yard. I’ve spent most of the time away mowing, weeding, gardening, and watering the new trees – generally with Kobe nearby, smelling everything and generally being a happy and good dog. This weekend we’ll be getting 5 cords of wood, so I’m glad I have a few minutes to sit and relax. Kobe is underneath the swing, patient and observant.

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Monday, I made a careless mistake/had an accident and went to the doctor’s office instead of the ER. Suffice it to say, I learned a lesson and will be far more diligent with the wood splitter in the future. Nothing broke, but my index finger on my left hand was squashed enough that I’m certain the nail will fall off. It is disgusting to look at – I shan’t share the image.

Prior to that bit of fun, I read Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” which was quite good. It took me longer to finish than I anticipated so I have to return “The Female Persuasion” tonight and sign up for it again. Had I not read last night, I would have been FINE not finishing it, but the main character just left Faith’s house after the weekend stay and I just found out why she had a million messages on her phone when she was out of range. Oi! Sad news!

Writing wise, the biggest thing is the acceptance by Bacopa Literary Review for a flash called “Pirouette.” As I understand it, I’ll be paid for it which is always lovely. I wish I had money to pay all the writers “I” publish at r.kv.r.y. and Literary Orphans, but, alas, I don’t and that sucks, but I love the work that is accepted and try to show it on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ve made it to several “write-ins” with Gina at Spot Coffee and even squeezed in a few hours at home so I have some new work to hone and submit. I’m rather fond of a piece called “The Eaves;” I aimed high with that one. Oh, and the Bellevue Literary Review sent a personal rejection with both praise and suggestions for my “Southern story.” I’m batting it around, sprucing it up, letting it sit, tackling it again.

Tomorrow is my last shift at the library before the summer break. Tonight is another meeting of the Hamburg Writers’ Group where I’ll get a chance to see Nina and the others. I plan on reading a flash tonight that I’m submitting for a contest. I’d had the premise for the story and the first few lines for years but could never get it to go. Sometimes a prompt is the prompt you need to finish something.

 The mail is here, so I’ll gather my things and get ready to post thing. I’ll see some of you soon and I can’t wait! Everyone else, I’ll be back here in two weeks – more or less. That’s my intention anyways…

 Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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