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Go ask Alyce

hatter.jpgDid you know Alyce Hinton? Me neither. Apparently she died last year. She was my great Aunt. The sister of G.W. Ford. My paternal grandfather. A man I also never knew. He and my grandmother, Yin Yin, split the sheets when my father was a wee lad. She remarried, and it was bad form to ever mention him. (Aren’t families fun!)

How did I find this? A probate investigator called Friday. Aunt Alyce died with no surviving heirs. So they’re tracking down relatives to settle her estate. I’ve no idea what the amount might be, or how many other relatives will be found. But hey, they found me, and I’m practically in the Witness Protection Program.

Now here’s the weird part. I’ve been dying to know anything about G.W. Ford––a Chinese immigrant, given the name Ford through adoption. That’s pretty much all I know. I’ve searched the Web. Explored genealogical databases. Bubkis. I’d given up. So last week I decided I’d just fictionalize his story. Fill in the blanks––which are legion. I even sketched out a thumbnail outline. Just for fun.

Then I get the call on Friday.  A FedEx package Saturday.  And more on the way.
I keep looking around for Rod Serling. It's lonely here in the Twilight Zone.

Bizarre coincidence? Fate blowing in my ear? My delusional nature overriding the medication? Do strange coincidences ever inspire you?


Killing the ones you love


I've been busy with the rewrite all weekend. Dancing around it. Writing around it. Then finally lining up the first few chapters of my WIP and shooting them in the head. And what did you do all weekend?


No soup for you

squirrel_1.jpgI finally got an answer from the uber-nerds at Squarespace (my host with the most). Here was their reply:

"We figured out the problem and you were right. Apparently we inadvertently blocked all domains! This has now been corrected."

Peachy. They can’t stop the spam for mail order Viagra, but they can block kindly folks like you from commenting. That’s the thing about technology. Looking for love in all the wrong places. And how was your day?


My obsessive-compulsive disorder. (Does that period look funny to you?)

notobsessive.jpgI have a confession. I have mild OCD. I say mild because I know people who have full-blown, gale-force obsessive compulsive disorders and they’re nothing like me. These are people who completely pluck out their eyebrows during scary movies. Or wash their hands 30 times a day. I even have an Aunt with OCD who was picked up by the Oregon Highway Patrol for walking down I-5 naked––trying to stop cars with the power of God. (Actually, now that I think of it she was more schizophrenic, but it conjures a nice visual doesn’t it?)

Why am I telling you this? Because it’s a wonderful thing. There’s this obsessive zone that can be incredibly productive. Like being a manic-depressive, without that bitter depressive aftertaste. Sure it’s a little odd at times. How odd? Well, I always stop the microwave with two seconds left since it’s my favorite number. Is that so strange? And how do I treat it? I don’t. I indulge it through my work. It gives me something to obsess over.

And it’s not all bad. It’s alleged that sufferers are generally of above-average intelligence. (Bonus!) And famous figures who’ve been known to have OCD include Joey Ramone, Florence Nightingale, Howard Stern, Jessica Alba (Jessica Alba?) and everyone’s favorite Kleenex box-wearing billionaire Howard Hughes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to spell-check this twenty times before posting.

What do you obsess about?