Lydia is a freelance copywriter and playwright, watercolorist and gardener living in Michigan. She loves to collaborate with writer friends, one of whom she married. Her inspirations come from all of these interests and relationships.
Sheep, Prisoner-Artists, and Making Anyway
“’Please…draw me a sheep…’ In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don’t dare disobey. Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket.”
Miss Smythe Has a Fantasy
It had been one of those weeks. Three phone calls from parents who thought their children were gods, two or three children who behaved like it and kept everyone from learning, frustrated children who were exhausted and emotional, a fire-drill where a boy broke for the fences, an active shooter drill that was frankly more terrifying than she was prepared for, and an overwhelming sense that the people who paid her salary didn’t actually care if she lived, died, or just needed classroom equipment. She had cried in the bathroom during her lunch break over the sisters who had come to school after calling paramedics to wake their overdosed mother. It had been one of those weeks. If she was honest with herself, nearly all of the weeks felt like this anymore.
I'll Be Zorro, Thanks
At 11, I was going to be Zorro when I grew up, and I was serious about it. There had been a distinct setback to that dream when I had to get glasses (how do you wear a mask with glasses?) but I had rallied and decided I could wear them over it.
Mama's Pear Tree
The perfect storm had catapulted my parents to the home of their dreams. In one fell swoop, Mama had been diagnosed with MS, Daddy had lost his job, and due to a major misunderstanding that would take years to sort out, Grandpa had disowned Daddy and more or less uninvited him to all family gatherings ad infinitum. As grandkids, we were still invited, but we stood with our Daddy and Mama stood with her man. Then our landlord decided that he would rather have his kids live in our house than us, and in the space of one month, we had no job, no house, and no extended family. And Mama was sick.
A Deer in Winter
At first, I just noticed this young doe haunting the same place. She grazed there in broad daylight, tawny body bright against the spring grasses. No doe would stay so long in one place without something to protect…and after several days, I saw him. Stalking carefully through the tall grass behind her was her fawn, balancing effortlessly on his incredibly slender pins. Baby deer can look remarkably like spiders at that age. His dappled coat looked painted on when he was upright, but I knew from experience that it made him invisible when he held very still in the grass.
Brown Paper Package, Tied Up with String
Of all the wedding presents that Shayleen and Max received for their big day, the one that stood out was the one that wasn't wrapped in gold and white and glitter. There wasn't any indication who gave it. No one could remember who brought it and they almost missed it when they were opening their gifts after their honeymoon, their living room piled high with tissue paper, gaudy gift bags, and colored ribbons.
The Importance of a Barncat
Wren’s brother came in from feeding the cattle holding his arm at a funny angle, away from his body, as if his elbow hurt him. Even as she opened her mouth to ask, he put a finger to his lips. “I brought you something,” he spoke quietly, then grimaced. “But I’m going to need help. He’s nervous. Here, hold my sleeve shut.”
A Wake in Winter
It was cold, unmercifully windy, and Wren wasn’t wearing the right kind of coat to combat the weather, but outside was preferable to inside. Inside was warm and stuffy with twenty-five people crammed into the too-small house, all with red eyes, giving hugs every time she turned around, and talking in low voices. The candles dimly lit the living room filled with chairs and the smell of many casseroles hung heavy in the air. There wasn’t a single place to be alone that didn’t reek of too much sympathy and over-warmed pot roast.