Author: Caryl Dierksen

A Cup of Coffee

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Mostly Musings

After a long break, I’m returning to my online blogging class. Today’s assignment, my second-to-the-last, is a virtual coffee date. In this type of post, I am to share thoughts in the informal way I might if I were actually talking to a friend over a cup of coffee. So… I have brewed up two mugs of strong, hot Black Magic coffee. Let’s sit in my sunroom and chat.   If we were having coffee […]

Puzzled

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Animals / Just for Fun

I loved working jigsaw puzzles when I was a kid. Somehow, though, it seems that I outgrew them. I don’t remember exactly how or why it happened, only that when I went away to college, I didn’t take any along. But now, after more than a 50-year absence, I’ve redeveloped a passion for jigsaw puzzles. And I know exactly how that happened. Last February, when I spent a week with Sue in a condo on […]

A Slice of Vacation Life

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Blogging / Just for Fun / Nature

Today’s assignment is to recreate the events of a single day. This one will be easy, since I will draw on memories of my recent stay with my friend, Sue, in her rental condo in Orange Beach, AL   I wake up when I wake up, without an alarm or obligation. I know without getting out of bed whether Sue is up before me. The first thing she does each morning is open the glass […]

Mapping My Family Home

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Blogging / Mostly Musings

  Today’s assignment is to write a post based on a map. I am doing that, but you will have to read for a while before we get to the maps.   It was, I don’t know, maybe 2013 or -14, a late afternoon, when my phone rang.  I didn’t recognize the number that came up, but I knew the 319 area code.  It is for eastern Iowa, where I was born and raised. A family […]

Tweet, Tweet

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Blogging

Today’s assignment calls for me to “mine my own material.” This means that I search my writing in places other than this blog for ideas. So, for example, I might use something I’ve written on other social media sites or in journals or, really, anywhere. I’ve ruled out Facebook posts because too many of you reading this blog are FB friends, which means you would be reading re-runs. I’ve also ruled out the journals that […]

School Shooting, Number Gazillion

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Blogging

I. April 20, 1999:  It was a Tuesday, the end of a normal school day. I packed up the papers I was taking home to grade and locked my classroom. That year, due to a student enrollment that had outgrown our building, I was teaching in a mobile classroom on the front lawn of Woodstock High School. It was a short walk across the street to the parking lot and my car. I started the […]

A Road Not Taken

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Blogging / Mostly Musings

Today my assignment is to take two published posts on a common theme, combine them, and make them into something new. The posts—For Sale: My Abbey and My Abbey, Still My Sweet Home—tell the story of my unsuccessful attempt to move to a different home in the Maples.     March 2016. When I moved into my Abbey in October 2010, I told everyone, including myself, there would be no more moves. It was my […]

A Post about “The Post”

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Blogging

Today, again, I am combining two assignments into one post. In the first, I am to write about a place where I have spent time observing my surroundings. In the second, I am to critique a piece of artwork.   On Friday I had the pleasure of seeing The Post at the Woodstock Theatre—Classic Cinemas. I arrived early for the 11:25 a.m. show so that I could watch, listen, and soak up my surroundings for this assignment. It […]

A Letter to the Past

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Blogging

Today’s assignment is to write a post in the form of a letter. I am writing to my maternal grandmother, Hilda Hagen Hahn (1892–1957). My Dear Nana, You chose to end your life in 1957. I was 10, old enough to understand some of it, but not as much as I do now. Craig was 7 and has only vague memories. Though it was 60 years ago, I remember our phone ringing early in the […]

Oprah Speaks Her Truth

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Blogging

Today’s blogging assignment asks me to respond to a tweet. Since I am pretty much a Twitter addict, this will be both fun and a challenge. I have “favorited” 252 tweets over the past few years. How could I choose only one? I ended up not using any of them but going with a timely one posted last night. “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” @Oprah’s inspiring #GoldenGlobes message to the […]

Brushing Up My Shakespeare

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Blogging

Note to my readers: I’m finding that creating a post worthy of publishing every day is more time-consuming that I expected. So I am going to spread out the assignments and take some days off. Today I’m going to take another liberty and combine yesterday’s topic, which was to write about a photo, with today’s, which is to write about a quote.   You are looking at an original copy of the First Folio of […]

Andrea’s Choices

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Blogging

To my readers: Today’s assignment is to pick one word from a list of six and to write a post inspired by the word. I selected the word choice, but I’m not going to apply it to myself. Today I’m writing about Andrea Jackson, the main character in my new novel. Note: There will be NO spoilers in this post.   Andrea’s choices in Teaching Mysteries 201: The Strike Andrea, a high school English teacher in […]

The View from 70

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Blogging

   To my readers: I’m continuing my blogging class with today’s assignment of writing a list. Things I like about being 70 At 70, when I meet someone new, I no longer get suspicious glances when I tell them I’m retired. That was not always the case when I retired at 55. If I uttered the R-word 15 years ago, faces looked at me with a combination of surprise, envy, and resentment of my good […]

Why I Write

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Blogging

To my readers: I am beginning the new year by taking a class on blogging. For the next three weeks, I will be writing responses to daily assignments. This WordPress icon will identify posts that are part of my coursework. Today’s topic: Why I write.   I write because I like the challenge of pulling an intangible thought from my brain and recording it in tangible form, whether on paper or a screen. I write […]

Not Too Late

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Holidays / Woodstock

It’s New Years morning. In my imagination, I’m standing on a bridge passing from 2017 to 2018. I can see both from here. It’s a time for reflecting, for planning, for living in the past but dreaming of the future. Beginning a new year, with all of its promise, is always exciting. Yet I have a few regrets about 2017, mostly of opportunities not seized rather than those that I did. It’s too late now to […]

Now For Some Shameless Self-Promotion

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Uncategorized

You are invited to a Book Signing for my new novel, TEACHING MYSTERIES 201: THE STRIKE. This coming Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 pm, I will be talking about the book and signing copies at Read Between the Lynes on the Woodstock Square. This is a busy time of year, but if you have a few minutes and care to stop by, I’d love to see you. If you can’t make it Sunday but […]

Remembering My Dad, A Would-be Veteran

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Holidays / Mostly Musings

Editor’s note: I usually don’t believe in rerunning posts. Perhaps I should say, it’s fine for others, but I prefer to come up with something new for my own blog. But… it’s Veteran’s Day, and I want to acknowledge it.  Because I haven’t come up with anything I like better, here is the post that I published four years ago today. I hope you’ll like it.   My father, Carl Dierksen, tried very hard to […]

Happy Halloween 2017

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Holidays / Just for Fun

Trick-or-treating is underway at the Maples. Every year that I’ve lived here, we’ve had more costumed kids stop by. And each year it has been more fun. One of the most creative groups I’ve seen tonight came over from our next-door community, The Sonatas. It’s cold, so one of the dads rigged up a heater on the golf cart that carried the parents while the kids ran door to door. Many of the costumes are […]

My New Novel

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Blogging

Maybe 7 is a lucky number after all. It was 7 years ago that I moved into my new Abbey, which eventually led me to begin this blog. It was also 7 years ago that I began the first draft of a new novel that I expected to be quick and easy to write. After all, it is a sequel. I already had developed most of the main characters, the setting, the genre (cozy mystery). […]