Thursday, April 30, 2009

Script Frenzy

I just came through the finish line as a winner for Script Frenzy, the challenge to write the first draft of a screenplay in the month of April. The challenge was to write 100 pages of a screenplay. I'm still not finished because I still have more drama, the big crisis, and the ending to add. I'm working from my novel that I wrote in November for National Novel Writing Month. I left off on page 138 of my novel and still have to go to the end on page 182. Then rewrites come to cut what isn't needed and to rework words to add more suspense and conflict. Oh, the fun of it all.

You can go to and do a search for wendywrites to find me.

Now I think I need a nap!

Hats off to Chris Baty who created the challenge of Script Frenzy and National Novel Writing Month. He's my writing hero. He's amazing, selfless, and is responsible for writers blossoming around the world. He deserves great rewards and praise for all his accomplishments.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Script Frenzy

I've been writing fast and furious. I put myself on a schedule starting on April 23rd to write 15 pages a day. So far I am doing it. Right now I'm on page 76 so I'm right on schedule. I'll finish in two days. Such a deal.

I love these writing challenges. I love to press myself beyond what I think is possible. This will be the first time that I have finished a complete first draft of a 100 page screenplay. I am basing this screenplay on the nano novel that I wrote in November, another great challenge.

Now I HAVE to participate in both competitions. It's addictive. It's necessary. It pushes me. It's exhilarating.

Next time join in the fun. Challenge yourself. See what is possible.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


We just refinanced our house with a lower interest rate of 5.2% with Countrywide. We signed the papers a few days ago so it's a big load off my mind. Things will be easier.

I love our house in Alsea and our property. It's a tiny house and we aren't close to mega shopping but it is where we can afford to live. It's beautiful here and I love it. I love the wild birds that visit. I love the fresh air. I love the weather that is mild year around. I love it that I can have a garden. My husband would never move from here. He's happy and loves to cut brush. It's a great place to write and to read stacks of books. Out my front room window as I write, I see cows grazing and birds in the wetland across the road. Everything will be a little easier now.

Thanks, Countrywide for helping us out.

Timberhill Athletic Club

I am back at Timberhill Athletic Club. I love it there. I'm one of those strange beings who loves to exercise and there is no better place than Timberhill.

I started back on Friday. I wasn't sure that I could finish my usual schedule but I did so I was happy. I did one hour on the elliptical runner and I swam in the pool for one hour. Yesterday I went back for another hour on the elliptical runner and another hour in the deep in of the pool.

It's pretty close to heaven being at Timberhill. I love being in the water in the deep end of the lap pool and I love the Precor elliptical machines.

My top priorities for my health are to exercise and to eat healthy.

Script Frenzy

So I am in the middle of Script Frenzy. I should be almost done or done but things have been a little chaotic this month with my husband so sick and everything that needs to be done. Anyway, I was determined not to give up and to finish. I put myself on a schedule of writing 15 pages a day starting on April 23rd. I have to get to page 60 today. The challenge of Script Frenzy is to write the first draft of a screenplay during the month of April. I am basing my screenplay on the nano novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month in November. I've since gone through 4 revisions. I wrote the novel with a screenplay in mind. So I am in the middle of fun.
Let the fun continue...........

Bird Strikes

Bird strikes are in the news again. I saw an article in the Corvallis Gazette Times and on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

There are 1/2 million bird strikes a year or 23 a day. The majority of bird strikes (birds that fly into the engines of jet planes) don't cause a safety hazard. JFK is built in the middle of wetlands. Canada Geese brought down Flight 1549. Is the answer to get rid of birds? NO! NO!

The answer is to solve the problem. Everyone I've talked to said it is impossible to solve the problem. What kind of thinking is that? I don't believe that any problem can't be solved. There should be a covering over the engines to prevent the birds from going inside the engines and disabling them. With all the new lightweight materials created for large aircraft and all the gifted engineers out there, someone should be able to come up with a solution.

I bet that if there was a competition with the science stars from different high schools working with university engineering students and their professors, viable solutions could be found in every state of our nation.


I love Tide and I wouldn't use anything else to wash my laundry. I've been using it for years. I'm happy that when concern about phosphates and the environment came up that Tide doesn't have any. I can trust Tide.

Tide now has a new program to help people in disasters. It's called Tide Loads of Hope. They help out by washing the clothes of disaster victims. That's nice. That's Tide.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homeless in Benton County

It's in the news this morning in the Corvallis Gazette Times that Benton County is hiring a mental health counselor for the homeless. Boy, that's going to solve the problem. It may help but it is not going to solve the problem for housing, the lack of medical resources, the lack of money, the lack of support structure, and the myriad of other problems that result when a society doesn't value people.

We need universal health care. We need to realize that there needs to be a basic level of care for all people. Every human being alive has potential to accomplish something positive in society, IF basic care is given. Some human beings have the genetics and genius to solve world problems and invent new solutions but if these people are homeless struggling to survive, eat, keep warm, and find a safe home, they cannot possibly contribute to our society. We lose. Genius doesn't just come from the richest 5% who have the money to nurture talent. Most often it comes in all skin colors, and all economic levels.

Why isn't housing built for the homeless? Churches who say they care about the homeless, should get together to build apartment buildings for the homeless.

I find it interesting that people who say they care about the homeless think that the homeless should have the opportunity to go wherever they want in downtown Corvallis or any city. The homeless have unique and special problems. When the homeless are given free range of any city, often a city changes. People start to stay away from downtown businesses because they are harrassed by homeless people. Once I visited a downtown grocery store. I got into my car and was putting on my seat belt. I looked out my windshield and saw a homeless guy in front of my car stomping on a bicycle. He was violent. I pressed the button for all my doors to lock. I couldn't leave my parking space because I was blocked. I tried to not cause attention to myself and waited for him to leave. This isn't okay. It isn't safe. It makes people not want to shop in the downtown stores where homeless people are allowed to wander.

The homeless are not bad people. They are people who have been thrown away by society and no longer valued. They are people who have lost their support system. Sometimes they have medical and drug abuse issues. Sometimes they have mental health problems. When budgets cut back on services to people and no longer served, it is a disaster waiting to happen. One mental health worker for the homeless isn't going to solve all the problems.

Anyone who has enough bad luck, loses their job and support system could find themselves homeless. They are no different from anyone else. They are people who are stressed to their limits. I've never been homeless but I feel compassion for those who are.

Maybe there should be centers built in areas of each state that are out in the country and not close to any population areas. All resources could be at these centers to uplift, encourage, and heal these people to get them ready to move into society as contributing adults. The centers should teach self sufficiency. They could grow their own food, learn to build their own buildings, learn to govern themselves, learn business, and heal.

All people matter, all people are of worth and not just the richest 5% of the population with all the money.

When I hear the rich grumbling and saying that they have it so hard, I roll my eyes. Some of the richest people want to leave Manhattan because they don't want to pay the taxes. Shame on them for being so selfish! Maybe the rich can't buy every toy they want now or change mansions every three years or have to give up one of their vacation homes. All they can think of is themselves. Greed rules in this country. It dominates the Republican Party. It dominates in the hearts of conservatives who don't care about other people who are less fortunate.

A new reality show would be interesting to place a team of homeless people and a team of the richest 5% of Americans and see if they can learn to find common ground and learn to respect one another and learn from one another.

We should all be kinder to one another. We should all be nicer. We should smile, even when we are having a hard time. We should find ways to reach out to help and reach out to encourage.

I'm grateful we have President Obama in the White House. He is the greatest President in the history of the United States. He will solve the problems in this country. He will turn things around. He will make things better. He is a good man, a kind man, a genius.

Credit Cards

It's interesting how credit card companies raise interest rates that used to be thought of as loan shark rates, raise fees, and then the credit of individuals are destroyed and the people can't pay their credit card bills anymore. Sometimes it seems like that the people who are in charge of money are clueless since it seems logical to me that you don't destroy the population that you depend upon for business survival.


It's a gorgeous day today. It's 5:43 a.m. in Alsea at the moment. The birds are already singing in the trees in my front yard. It's going to be a warm day.

It's a day to spend out doors in the garden, walking, or soaking up the sun in a chair reading a great book.


Do I agree with President Obama's release of documents that prove that President Bush ordered torture? Yes. The truth is the truth and should be displayed for the world. Torture is a crime, an international crime and should not be sanctioned or condoned.

Blogger Review

I received an e-mail from Blogger saying that I need to fill out a form or my blog will be deleted but I can't find the form. The link was supposed to take me from my e-mail box to the form but instead it placed me on the blogger dashboard of my blog. The message is gone now saying that my blog might be deleted. Thank you, Blogger. Thank you, Google the Great.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Freedom of Speech

I just received a message that my blog is considered as spam by someone and my blog is going to be reviewed.

If my blog is deleted because of my own opinions, then this country is in pretty bad shape. Everyone has a right to an opinion in this country. I don't attend public protests. I believe in the law and the right to debate with words. I am speaking my own truth based on my own experience.


I shake my head at all the people who are publically protesting taxes. President Obama just lowered taxes for 95% of the population but the richest 5% who want to keep every penny and not share a dime are manipulating others into believing that taxes for the rich is bad. In fact, these people are going even further and saying that no one should pay taxes. That's anarchy in my book.

It is amazing to me how some poor and middle-income Republicans buy into the idea that the rich need every penny and carry the banner for the agenda of the rich.

After the economic devastation of the last eight years of the Bush administration where greed ruled, it's about time that everyone has a chance, not just the richest 5%.

We need universal health care for all people. Hospitals and doctors should concentrate on prevention and giving care, not in the almighty dollar.

We need to protect social security, which is the only proven retirement system. If you put this money in the hands of private enterprise, you know how that will turn out. It will be a crap shoot, or a lottery. We can't allow the elderly who are no longer able to take care of themselves to be put out in the street with no protection. Government was set up as a safe guard to protect the people of the United States and Social Security was created to protect the elderly at a time when they are most vulnerable.

President Obama is doing all the right things to protect the people in this country. We have never had a better President in the history of the United States. He has my complete trust and faith.


Where am I on the religion front? I feel disillusioned from my questions and experiences. I still don't know where I belong or if I want to belong. I grew up as a Lutheran going to church every Sunday with my parents. I had an unfortunate experience as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 to 2001 during which time I found out that this church is not what it seems or pretends. I was recently told by an Episcopal priest that if I go to church, I should sit in the back and not talk--in other words, I should hide my light under a bushel. I've always told my children to be the best you can be and to shine so that advice just didn't feel right since I am looking for a place where I will be encouraged to live up to my potential. I learned in attending services at an Episcopal church that in the 3rd century, the story of Jesus was changed and politically motivated. Jesus, a good Jewish boy who wanted everyone to get along and be kind to one another became more than a man in order to jazz up the story. Then I saw a special on the history channel called Christmas Unwrapped with the details and evidence. My husband was raised Jewish. I spoke with a Rabbi recently who said that God is within and answers come from within so why go to church or synagogue? Or was he saying to me that I didn't belong there either? A few years ago, I spoke with a woman my age who said that if she didn't keep up her membership in her church, she would have no friends. I thought that was sad. I still enjoy watching and listening to Joel Osteen every week. He's positive and encouraging but you have to live in Houston to be part of his church. So I'm waiting. Someday I will figure it out. Someday it will become clear where I belong.

Doctors and Health Care

I was recently sent an evaluation form for a doctor. I ignored it for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to fill it out. After my husband kept nudging me to fill it out and send it in, I finally did. I answered it honestly based on my experience as I stood in my shoes. After I sent it in, a part of me wished I had shredded the evaluation and not turned it in. I don't like the idea of judging someone who went to medical school and who really tries even if they don't always hit A-level behavior. Then I thought about it some more and realized that a check and balance system is necessary. Doctors aren't gods who must be revered and never challenged or questioned. Everyone is human. Everyone has a right to an opinion. If it weren't for lawyers who keep people on their toes and journalists who dig up the truth, only crooks would rule.

Friday, April 10, 2009


My husband, Leslie and I have been married almost 37 years. It will be 37 years on April 17th.

Les has been seriously ill and was recently in the hospital at Good Samaritan in Corvallis. He was in ICU for five days and on 2nd South for 5 days. He had to have hemodialysis for over a month and is now recovering. He no longer has to have dialysis. His body is healing and he feels much better. Why did this medical emergency occur? No one knows. No one has figured it out yet. No one has any definitive answers.

Les was seriously ill and was in the hospital at Good Samaritan in Corvallis in 2007. No one knew why he landed in the hospital and almost died that time either. Could it have something to do with what happened this time?

Was it residual effects from Valley Fever or coccidioidomycosis that he contracted in 1978 when we lived in Arroyo Grande, California?
Is it auto-immune?
Is it a medication allergy or other allergy?

Tests during the hospital ruled out most of these questions. So what is it?

Dr. Broskie in Salem sent his records and slides to Dr. J. Charles Jennette at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Jennette is the number one kidney pathologist in the world and Dr. Broskie studied under him in medical school. Dr. Jennette said it's an allergy but tests haven't been taken to identify the allergy.

Answers are needed so he doesn't land in the hospital again with life-threatening symptoms. Doctors are consulting with one another. Zillions of tests have been taken but no answers so far have been found.

When Les came home from the hospital with renal failure and having to have hemodialysis, I started to measure urine, even though I wasn't asked to do so, and write down everything he ate and drank to give to his doctors. I figured that his diet was important and knowing what went in and out was important for the doctors to know. Maybe it helped. At least I gave doctors data they wouldn't have had so they could make decisions about diet change. I freqently played the positive affirmations CD, I AM HEALED NOW put out by Think Right Now. I think that helped too.

Bills are piling up and may come to a 1/2 a million buckeroos. We will never finish paying off these kind of bills. I need to win the lottery or have Publishers Clearinghouse drive up to my door. If people were valued in this country and if there were universal health care, worry about money for doctor bills wouldn't be an issue. In the United States, greed rules.

There is so much in life that we can't do anything about and are powerless to change. All you can do is do your best every day to keep one foot in front of the other to move forward.

Fred Decker

On the front page of the Corvallis Gazette Times this morning on the center fold is the story about Fred Decker. I was sad to see that he died last Friday. I knew Fred Decker from Toastmasters in Corvallis. He was a distinguished toastmaster or DTM, an honor earned from being a great speaker. He had a brilliant mind and loved to debate issues. I liked him and respected him, even though I didn't agree with him on every issue.

He had been selected by President Reagan for a position in the Department of Education and was very proud of this honor. I learned from the article in the GT that he was the founding father of atmospheric sciences at Oregon State University and was professor emeritus in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. He believed in protecting the environment. He was a philatelist, a collector of postage stamps.

He was 91. He encouraged people and was a good person. He encouraged me. I valued him. It would have been nice to have had frequent conversations where I could have learned more from him--how he thought, why he believed in what he did, and what was important to him. People don't talk much anymore. Fred Decker liked to talk and believed in having an opinion. He will be missed.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Margaret Anderson

I learned at the feet of a master teacher and writer yesterday when I attended FOOLING AROUND WITH WORDS from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at LBCC Benton Center in Corvallis. I came to hear Margaret Anderson who has written 29 books for children and probably hundreds of articles. She writes about science and has a way of getting anyone within hearing range excited about science. I admire her. She is the greatest writer that I know personally. She should be honored at the White House for her accomplishments. She should also appear on the Craig Ferguson show on late night television since she was born in Scotland. He would love her too.

She earned her degree in genetics from Edinburgh University in Scotland.

When she walked her little sister, Ann, to school a mile from their home, she told her stories to get her to hurry so she arrived on time. She's been telling stories her whole life and she is great at engaging the attention of everyone.

She was an amazing mother who stayed at home with her children and taught them all to love learning. She said that she told ironing stories. As she stood ironing, her children would sit around her listening to her stories.

When she was asked by Enslow Publishers to pick either Darwin or Mendel for the Great Minds of Science Series that goes into schools and libraries, you would think she would choose Mendel since she has a degree in genetics and learned all about his fruit fly experiements at university but instead she chose Darwin who already had 27 books about Darwin on the library shelf. I think that is so cool that she wasn't at all intimidated by all the books already written as most writers would be. I know I could read all of the books written about Darwin and I know that Margaret Anderson's book about Darwin is the best. She says it better. She picks the words that will spark the interest and find common ground with the reader so they will want to learn. She's a master writer and a master teacher. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from her yesterday. I admire and respect Margaret for her writing, her great accomplishments, her teaching, and as a person.

Order all of Margaret Anderson's books to give to your children and all the children you know. Read them outloud to the children in your life and see the magic of great writing that encourages learning. Go to Grass Roots Bookstore in Corvallis at 227 SW 2nd Street to buy them or go to If you go to Grass Roots Bookstore, you have a chance of having the books autographed. Call Grass Roots at 1-541-754-7668 to order several copies of Margaret Anderson's books. Since she lives in Corvallis, it is highly likely that Grass Roots can arrange to have your books autographed.

Writers should study the books and articles of Margaret Anderson to learn how to write well. There should be a university class in every university that has a writing program that reads, discusses, and studies only the books of Margaret Anderson. She is that great. Just read her and see for yourself.

Also subscribe to ASK Magazine which is part of the Cricket Magazine Group put out by the Smithsonian. It's an amazing science magazine for children. Coming up in the newest issue about dirt is Margaret's article about the burying beetle. Learn all about it. You will love ASK magazine and you will treasure each time you see an article by Margaret.

Thank you, Margaret for one of the best days I've spent in a long time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Casey Eye Institute

I visited the Casey Eye Institute yesterday near the waterfront in downtown Portland on the 11th floor. I love looking out the windows to see the full panorama of Portland with the beautiful KOIN tower, the Willamette River snaking through the landscape, the boats, the highways with tiny cars, the bridges, the apartment buildings, homes, and businesses nestled in all the spots to fill up the landscape. Portland is a beautiful city.

I enjoyed the elevator rides. The female voice on the elevator is very pleasant announcing each floor and I enjoyed her company. On my final ride out the building, I commented to the woman next to me about her pleasant voice. She said, “Yes, but it gets old when you hear it several times a day.” So I said, “Well, then they need to add a jazzy hologram.” She thought that was a great idea. So do I. People would come to the OHSU Health and Wellness Center just to ride the elevators.

I parked far away from the elevator in the parking structure on the purple level 1. I was thinking as I walked towards the elevator that the air quality was horrible and filled with exhaust. My mind then went to one of my ideas that there needs to be air purifiers in all cars, especially when you are stuck in a traffic jam in a large city on a freeway. Then I wondered why there isn’t an air purifying system on airplanes to prevent the notorious air circulation that often circulates unwanted air-born illnesses. So I thought that’s another thing that is needed at this location—an air purifying system in the parking structure.

When I was taking the visual field test, I remembered what I thought when I was first told I was going to take the test. I had imagined it much differently. I thought my head would be face down on a table held comfortably cradled in some kind of soft material overlooking a tank of water. I thought I would have to tell or signal exactly where the moving object occurred, which is different than just pressing a button when I saw a tiny light in different points of my field of vision. I guess it would be hard though to keep your eyes focused in the center with my field of vision test because there would be so many exciting things happening in the tank of water with all kinds of fish movement and other points of interest. Or it could be animated and interactive with all interaction directly fed into the computer to be evaluated. There could be Disney animation for children. Oh the possibilities.............