The long and winding road to becoming a writer

My parents had more or less lost interest in child-rearing by the time I came along, a decade after they’d already had three kids. My mother was dramatic and unpredictable which left me a little scared of the world.

If I had a less-than-idyllic childhood, I’ve probably had a happier-than-average adulthood, thanks to fate bringing my soulmate to whom I’ve been married for 44 years.

After marriage, I started college with journalism classes. I worried, though, that if I ever had children I would be like my mother. I reasoned that teachers are generally patient and kind to kids, so…

Writer’s Block, My Furry Ass

My morning walk time came and went because Dog Mom was too busy whining about Medium. There was the usual moaning about writer’s block, bellyaching about editors and griping about “stats”, which is apparently more important than my full bladder.

I’ve been watching closely — partly to see if she’ll forget that half-eaten muffin — and I have a few ideas of my own. I jotted these down while she was out getting the mail and still have time to jump on every piece of furniture in the house before she gets back.

Let me know if you think I’m…

Listen Up, Blatherskites

Forget Karens. I’m dealing with young wisenheimers who seem to think writing on Medium is only for ankle-biters like them. So listen up, all you Kyles and Brittanys — those of us who grew up in the 60s can monkeyshine with the best of you! Need proof? Keep an eye peeled for these on-the-button headlines I plan to pursue in the weeks ahead. And that’s no humbuggery.

1) How to Get That “Young People Smell” Out of Your House

2) Battle Royale: Green Acres vs. Gilligan’s Island

3) A Letter From My Boxes of Photographs

4) Too Many Doilies? …

Why Can’t I Live in a Nice House Without Responsibility?

“This problem is the result of temperature changes and the soil you have here,” he said, pointing at the gap that had opened between the house and the porch, “I’d be willing to bet your foundation issues are extensive.” Extensive is contractor-speak for expensive.

Silly us, carelessly leaving our house outdoors. But ultimately this Pangea-like drifting was caused by trying to be something we are not — dedicated homeowners. Managing a house is an endeavor many people navigate happily and well. We are not those people.

We did it because our elders told us to. “It’s a great investment,” they…

What Would You Do If Your Roommate Asked YOU?

The roommate was out
We were finally alone
I was wondering what
My new boo might condone

I moved close to Susie
I winked at her too
“How’d you like to ‘get lucky’?
I know I’d like to!”

She doesn’t take hints
And I’m shy to a fault
So we sat side by side
But did nothing at all.

So all I could do was to

And I did not like it
Not one little bit.


And then
Something went SPLAT!
How that splat knocked us flat!

We looked! Then we saw him barge in…

Parents and Teachers

My team gave one little girl a brighter future

Luciana’s family had recently moved to the lower-rent area of our stylish suburb and it was immediately clear she was going to struggle in 6th grade. A tiny doll with huge brown eyes, this child was eager to please but confused by every task demanded of her.

“Hey, Felicia,” I said to my teaching partner, “Don’t forget about Luci’s meeting today. Can you remind the others?” She nodded solemnly. Getting this conference scheduled had been no small amount of work.

Seven student desks were arranged in a circle — four for the teaching team, two for the parents and the…

A Song Parody of “I Want to be Sedated” by The Ramones

20, 20, 20, 4 hours ago
I was just vaccinated
So much to do, places to go, oh
Now I am vaccinated

Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane
Hurry, hurry, hurry, before I go insane
I’ll even take a bus or a ferry or a train
Oh no oh, oh, oh, oh

20, 20, 20, 4 hours ago
I was just vaccinated
So much to do, places to go, oh
Now I am vaccinated

Just take me to a bistro, take me to a bar Long as I am out, I’ll go near or I’ll…

Writing Advice

Not Exactly

We often hear the advice that to improve in writing, just write a lot, but there’s a huge missing piece to that notion. You wouldn’t expect to get better at car maintenance or bridge-building by “just doing it more”. You need others to guide you.

I am an introvert. I hike by myself every day, write alone, prefer texting to phone calling. I told myself this was the reason I shied away from getting outside feedback on my work.

Holding Myself Back

I first encountered the admonition to have others look at writing from Scott Dikkers in his “How to Write Funny” series…

A Song Parody of “Everybody Plays the Fool” by The Main Ingredient

Oh no! the whole house is smokin’
Can’t get the front door open
Cryin, “I’m dyin!”
You’re not even thinkin I could be lyin’
Well, before you do anything rash, dig this

I’m the king of April Fool, so fine
I trick at home, I trick at school
Listen baby, a caramel onion may be cruel
Tastes sublime. Take a bite, you’re such a tool

Fooling my friends is such an easy thing to do And here’s my guarantee that I’m gonna love Making fun of you Oh, oh, oh, big fake bugs you soon will see You’ll turn on…

Cindy Shore Smith

Teacher, reader, writer, hiker, wife and mom. Blog can be found at

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