Knowing Goldy

(The True Story Of An Adventurous Englishman
Born In 1892)

By Wayland Combe Wright
of
The Octopus’s Garden

© 2017 © 2017 Wayland Combe Wright

Goldy Becomes An Engineer

Leopold Aloysius Goldsmith, whom we nicknamed Goldy, was very much a part of our family. He had been born in Birmingham to a good well-to-do Jewish family and he certainly looked very Jewish but I wasn’t to realise that until I was older.

      Goldy was a born performer. As a boy he wanted to join the circus and he trained to be a contortionist at home. He was so insistent that his parents let him stay at home on Sundays when they went to church so that he could practice (like Albert Einstein’s parents and many others, Goldy’s parents though ethnically Jewish belonged to a Christian church). Once, he proudly told me that on one Sunday he got to the point of being able to hook both feet behind his head but then he laughingly continued saying that he got locked in this position and couldn’t get out. He just had to wait in agonising pain until his parents came home from church.

Continue reading “Knowing Goldy”

IWSG January 3, 2018: Schedule Writing & Publishing

IWSG Badge-smIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s  Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 3 posting of the IWSG are: Tyrean Martinson, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Jennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria!

IWSG Day Question: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

IWSG Short Answer: Gratitude.

Until a few minutes ago, my answer was “Conflict” followed by a sob-story about my dedication to others while sacrificing my time to write.

Conflict: My needs or the needs of my husband and others? This question really forced me to take a fresh at my priorities.

Without out a doubt, it takes time to spend three days a week supporting husband by driving him to rehabilitation. It was the right decision. Shouldering all the household chores and using a two-wheel dolly to get our laundry and groceries to/from the boat is just part of the deal. (We live in a marina, on a boat in Mexico).

Gratitude: How many people witness and help a person realize miracle? After three back surgeries, he was forced to learn to walk again. It’s been a long hard fought battle. After 18 months of blood, sweat, and tears, he’s gone from a leg brace & walker to vigorous workouts on the ellipse/step machine and treadmill.

About six weeks ago he had a big set back. The intense workouts stressed his big toe joint. The pain was so intense he needed a wheelchair to get from the boat to the car. Gratitude: we had doctors and medication to assist with recovery.

In November, our La Cruz Writers’ Group restarted our Saturday gatherings.  I’m their fearless leader. Gratitude: my reward is getting personal writing tips  and watching others thrive and attain their writing goals.

One member is a paraplegic and uses Voice to Text software to write. I volunteered to be his beta reader and provide feedback. Once this article is complete (20,000 words and growing), I’ll turn my attention to my writing. Gratitude: The joy we both experience as his true story comes alive.

Did I mention I’m also producing a local Meet The Author event? Gratitude: Three authors will meet new fans and three terrific writers enrich my life.

Thank you Alex and your awesome co-hosts for creating this safe space to write. Gratitude: For nearly two years, I’ve kept my writing commitment alive by setting time aside to participate in IWSG monthly blog fest.

Gratitude: Rick is recovering, he’s driving again and able to lift the laundry from the dock to the boat. I have more energy for me. I’m discovering scrapes of time to write. With a bit of luck, I’ll return to my favorite writing ritual: writing before dawn & with a good cup of coffee.

Gratitude: I’m editing this post in the wee hours of the morning and sipping delicious java.

Gratitude: Fresh perspective + different choices = new reality

IWSG 6 December 2017: Looking Back

IWSG Badge-smIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s  Support Group (IWSG) is enjoying its monthly blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. IWSG is a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are: Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather Gardner!

IWSG Question: As you look back on 2017, with all its successes and failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

IWSG Short Answer: I didn’t say, “Thank you.”

In June of last year, I was on my own in France, I didn’t speak a word of French, and Rick (my husband) was on morphine in a nearby hospital. Today’s challenge: find the bus to his hospital and put money on my cell phone.

Head down I studied my wrinkled map and hoping it I was moving in the general direction of the bus stop and phone store. I sensed someone walking in step beside me. I was instantly on guard. I glanced to my left and there was a somewhat disheveled young man with a shaggy hair cut, a tired backpack strapped to his back, and wearing frayed sneakers.

My first thought, “Is he homeless?”

He asked, in English tinged with a French accent, “Can I help you with your map?” I asked myself, Do I accept his help? Can I trust this young man? I’m on high alert remembering the time I gave a friendly smile to a stranger and damn near got raped.

I decided my need for help was greater than my safety.

I glance over and say, “I’m trying to get to the Orange phone store and put money on my cell phone. Can you find it on my map?”

I hand him the crumpled map, he looks at it and turns it 90 degrees. He says, “See the railroad station over there?”

He nods to our right. Then points to the railroad line on the map, and says “Now where we are standing is in alignment with the railroad tracks.”

I think to myself, “Duh, I’m so stupid. How did I miss the railroad tracks?

With the map oriented to the railway station, he pointed to a street a few blocks away, “The Orange store is there, let’s go.”

I said, “The owner of the Inn, where I’m staying, gave me this map and told me to stay on this street, walk three blocks, and turn left.”

He said, “This is a short cut.”

“Do I go with him?”

After about a five-minute walk, I see the Orange store up ahead in the middle of the block.

He says, “I’ll go in with you to make sure you get what you pay for.”

I thought, “Be careful, he’s probably going to pick your pocket. Don’t let him see how many Euros you have in your wallet.”

We finish my transaction and back on the sidewalk, he asks, “Where are you going?”

I reply, “I’m taking the bus to the hospital to see my husband.”

He said, “I’m going to the hospital, too.”

Now I’m convinced he’s going to tell me his Hard Luck story and try to separate me from my money.

We boarded the bus and pay the fare. The bus is fairly empty, I settle on a bench seat and he sits across from me. Convinced he wanted money, I offered him two Euros for his help. He refuses and says he goes to the hospital twice a month.

I turn from gazing out the window and ask, “Are you a hospital volunteer?”

He kinda shrugs and says, “My kidneys are failing, so I go in for renal tests.”

Looking at my shoes, I say, “I’m so very sorry.” I lift my chin and ask, “How are you doing?”

He replies, “I’m OK. I have my own place and my parents live nearby.”

I asked, “Do you have a job?”

He replies, “No, I’m on disability. My biggest joy in life is helping strangers.”

I say to myself, “And I thought he might rape me!

Suddenly, my mind sparkles with insight and fresh understanding.

We look at each other and I know I can trust him.

The bus stops at the hospital and we get off. Silently, we walk together toward the hospital and before we go our separate ways, I turn and say, “Take care of yourself.”

I stepped into the elevator and punched the second floor button. As I ascend, I realize I was so consumed with fear and distrust, I didn’t ask his name or even thank him.

IWSG NaNo or Not? 1 November 2017

IWSG Badge-smIt’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s  Support Group (IWSG). The once per month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the November 1 posting of the IWSG are Tonja Drecker, Diane Burton,  MJ Fifield, and
Rebecca Douglass!


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QUESTION: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?
 
ANSWER: Nope. Never started, so nothing to finish. I’ve been curious, but not enough to put myself under the daily commitment. 
 
If you’ve participated in NaNo, how did you deal with the daily commitment? Were you stressed? What did you gain?
 
For those in my camp, why didn’t you join the NaNo challenge?
 
Thank you for visiting. I’ll be stopping by your blog, too.
 

 

IWSG: “Have You Slipped Personal Info Into a Character?” Oct. 4, 2017

IIWSG Badge-sm

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s  Support Group (IWSG). The once per month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the October 4 posting of the IWSG are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!


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Before I answer this month’s question, I’d like to thank all of you that were able to find my blog site.

If by some miracle, my comment and Gravatar/Avatar link on WordPress sites, brought you here, I’m thrilled. Those with Blogger blogs seem to find me without issue.

In the past, my linked comments on WordPress sites, took you to my domain home page (la-vita.us), not my IWSG blog site (la-vita.us/Write).

If my investment of blood, sweat,  tears, and money did pay off, and you’re here, hurray! If my WordPress pals are still in the weeds, I’ll be forever grateful if someone can help me direct my Gravatar/Avatar links to this Website. If there is a third option, I’m willing to try it.

A special thinks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and Raimey Gallant for their endless patience while I tried to sort out this mess.

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Question: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

Answer: Yup, all the time. My stories are about my adventures, so I do my best get real personal. My goal is to write gripping stories about our life in Mexico and living on our sailboat La Vita.

My challenge is to identify and express my feelings and senses. The article, How to Write Vivid Descriptions by presented a fresh approach to creating vivid scenes.

The  stories I tell are first person, so I especially enjoyed The Challenges of the First-Person POV, by James Scott Bell. Thank you, Jane Friedman for inviting James to be a guest on your blog.

Thank you, Christine Rains for publishing an inspiring and informative  newsletter.

 

 

IWSG: “Surprised Yourself with Writing” Sept. 6, 2017

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the Sept 6 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
Answer: I’m surprised how incredibly difficult it is to sit my butt in the chair, put pen to paper, and start writing.

I have a serious case of avoidance. I completely underestimated the power of inertia.

Continue reading “IWSG: “Surprised Yourself with Writing” Sept. 6, 2017”

IWSG: “Your pet peeves?” Aug. 2, 2017

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

AUGUST 2 QUESTION:
What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

AUGUST 2 ANSWER:
Excess words that clutter the sentences and pull me out of the story. News stories are the worst. I guess they get paid by the word…not for quality. 

I get peeved at myself for my limited vocabulary. Any suggestions for expanding my mental thesaurus dictionary?

Right now I’m peeved because I can’t think of anything else to add. To make your visit more interesting, I’m including a link to Grammar Girl’s Top Five Pet Peeves of 2008. The Grammar Girl examples capture popular issues of the time. A fun read.

I look forward to visiting your site and learning about your pet peeves.