And so it goes, maybe…

A great deal of my inspiration filters down from a writing group I belong to, a mixture of everyday bloggers and others focused more on political, religious and personal issues. All in all, it’s a pleasant mixture of personalities and shared stories, especially with a few long-distance acquaintances made along the way.

Each week there are prompts posted, some are more like challenges but, then again, isn’t writing a challenge in itself? Certain things will incite me to hit the ground running, others, well they leave me staring at a blank screen in my home office.

I went over some recent prompts, long after I’d responded with two which I combined in one post. For the past few days, one keeps jumping out at me, beckoning me to write something, anything. The prompt? If you could trade lives with any person (living or deceased, real or fictional), who would it be, and why?

My response? Put me in Linda Ellerbee’s shoes without hesitation! A longtime Washington correspondent for NBC News, host of NBC News Overnight, Ellerbee was an American journalist, anchor, producer, author, reporter, speaker and commentator. She is widely known as the twenty-five year host of Nick News, Nickelodeon’s highly rated and recognized news program for older school-aged children and teens that addressed substantive issues, including wars, disease and disasters, without condescension. Her work on NBC News Overnight was recognized as possibly the best written and most intelligent news program ever by the jurors of the duPont Columbia Awards.

After 43 years in journalism, Ellerbee retired in 2015 and, from where I’m sitting, that was a tremendous loss to the world of mainstream media. Her style was unapologetic, quite literate, very smart, assertive, funny, keenly observant and irreverent. Would I trade lives with her? Does a bear poop in the woods? Without hesitation, absofackinglutely!

“I never had any desire to be an anchor, because of the air-head image for women,” she says in her smoky Texas lilt. “You’ll see a lot of people on air who look like they blow-dry their teeth. I’d prefer being behind the camera just writing, if it paid as well.”

“I can hold my head up, look in the mirror and I didn’t have to be ashamed of anything I ever did or wrote,” she said. “I fought some battles and I won some and lost some. But I get to walk out the door and look back feeling good about it.”

These are two of my favorite statements from Linda Ellerbee which came at the time of her retirement, during one of many interviews. Her sarcasm was unparalleled, something I can so identify with, along with her ability to override challenges that came her way. Had I made different choices, education-wise, I might have walked a similar path as she did, possibly with a fair amount of success. Maybe.

And so it goes.

From the Writer’s Workshop… If you could trade lives with any person (living or deceased, real or fictional), who would it be, and why?


The gone me.

I miss…being me. 

Somehow, in the past two years, while dealing with the virus pandemic and its continuing aftermath, I’ve lost my edge, whatever that was. 

Who hasn’t? 

Okay, okay, not everyone feels like me but, I’ll bet that if you dig down, deep inside, not everything about the image looking back at you in the mirror is the same. Yes, we’re all older, not necessarily wiser, but damn road-weary of the tumultuous ride life’s taken us on since 2020. 

As much as I enjoy getting out, either to work on my still-limited schedule or just to be part of the mostly unmasked civilization in the stores or restaurants…I’m happier to return home and jump into my pandemic loungewear. Think about it. In some ways, we’ve made it through what I call the “virus gauntlet”, even though the variants continue to threaten everyone. But, either through the vaccination process, or the benefit of any natural immunity incurred from getting Covid or one of its offsprings, we’ve become a lot more resilient and less impacted by all the previous virus hysteria of the past two years.

But just as we were all ready to pick up life’s virus-shattered pieces, along comes a political/financial type of influenza…full-blown inflation and skyrocketing gas prices which our fearless leader attributes to the Russian assault on Ukraine.  C’mon man!! I won’t go into some exhaustive diatribe on this issue even though my inner, sarcastic, child is throwing a tantrum in my head. That…is a rant for another day. Sadly, more and more of such days are heading our way. 

I long to get back to the me who embraced each new day and whatever it brought my way. I laughed more and enjoyed life’s simple pleasures. Maybe I took too much for granted, maybe I ignored mortality staring back at me in the mirror, like it does now. For all of us. 

I miss the me who didn’t give a rat’s ass about matters out of my control. I miss the me who can usually rise to most occasions and take charge. And some people in my life have chosen to be distant, for a myriad of reasons, both personal and likely political, I miss the interactions with them. The current state of our world and its issues has brought so much divisiveness between us all. We need to realize that life is just too damn short to spend time hiding in some corner of our existence on this angry planet.

From Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop…Write a blog post about something you miss.





At times, a necessary evil.

Necessary with respect that both the filing and subsequent payment of local, state and government taxes is mandatory.  Especially the government.  Never, ever, eff with the IRS.  And, here in New York, the DOS is renowned for processing errors which often end up in a battle of wits vs. a computer glitch from the state financial offices.  No matter how perfectly taxpayers cross their t’s and dot their i’s…inevitably, the transmission of tax paperwork will be confirmed on the taxpayer’s end…but not on the state’s rear end.

Yes, a healthy, sarcastic attitude is a must when dealing with the bureaucracy in New York.

So, in short, this is what I’ve been working on this week, last week, and will be, for a few weeks to come.  Personal returns, corporate returns, bottle returns.

Oh wait.  That last one is a story for another day.  Once taxes are done.


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop…Share something you worked on this week.