Author: Caryl Dierksen

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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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). […]

Watch Us Grow!

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Construction / Growth/Sales / Pictures

This isn’t the end, but you can see it from here. Work has begun on Phase 4, the final phase, of Maples at the Sonatas. I know it’s too soon to get all nostalgic about this. So I will spare you those posts until later in the journey. For now, I’ll just share a visual progress report. Here we are—Maples at the Sonatas—from the air. Three pictures taken from three small airplanes in three different […]

I’m Still Here

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Blogging

Shadow has been feeling lonely lately. Or, I should say, she had been feeling ignored until she took matters into her own paws. If I were going to spend hours upon hours on the computer, she would camp out here, where it is so convenient for me to pet her and talk to her that I do just that. My cat has a good point. I have been… obsessed is a little too strong a […]

Words That Jangle in Your Head

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Blogging / Mostly Musings

Where do you get the ideas you write about? Readers sometimes ask me this question. More often, though, I ask it of myself. Where did that idea even come from? And where can I find more of them? It’s a good question because it doesn’t have a simple, clear cut answer. Sometimes, my topic comes from a reader’s suggestion. Other times, I stumble into a situation and  realize it would be fun to write about. […]

A Wine Lovers’ Haven

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Home Elements/Decorating

My neighbor, Sue, is too modest to allow me to call her a wine expert. So let’s just say, she has pursued an interest in the field for quite a few years and has learned a lot along the way. She and her husband, Mike, have a large collection of wines and a large library of books related to it. When they began planning their new home here at Maples at the Sonatas, they knew […]

Party Central

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Holidays / Social Life

Downsizing. It is one of the most common reasons people give for buying a home in Maples at the Sonatas. Once the children are on their own, many find there is no longer a need for as much living space. And then there is maintenance. Our buyers also come looking for less upkeep, both inside and outside the home. After they settle in, they realize they are living comfortably — luxuriously even — in less […]

Welcome, Fluffy New Neighbors

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Animals / Nature

Maples at the Sonatas has welcomed two new families in the past two weeks. First, we have the Robins, living on Verdi, and then we have the Robins, living on the other end of Verdi. It is unclear whether the two families are related. But yes… we are definitely going to the birds here! One mama robin chose to build her nest in a wreath on Sue and Mike’s front door. It’s a nice, private […]