RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


Fabulous Felines – #134 – LA’s famous P-22 Mountain Lion Euthanized

This is the link to a story about P-22 that explains everything better than I can. He was beloved by everyone (except the hit and run driver who finished him off) and I shed a tear to hear of his demise.

Mountain Lion P-22, The ‘Hollywood Cat,’ Is Euthanized | Culver City, CA Patch


Day trip to San Clemente

The first thing I think about when I hear the name San Clemente is “The Western White House.” But that was during Richard Nixon’s presidency which dates me–and by the way, his sprawling beachfront estate was on the market for $65 million last year. I don’t know if it sold. San Clemente is a city in Orange County, California with a population of 64,000, less than 75 miles (120 km) from my home in Culver City.

I met friends at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to hop on the Amtrak train for the journey to the San Clemente Pier. Our first order of business was to eat lunch–always the most important element of any adventure for me. Breakfast or dinner are also acceptable.

We sat at the end table on the corner overhanging the ocean–like being on a cruise ship!

View of the coastline looking south towards San Diego

I liked the contrast of the red umbrellas against the blue sky and ocean

This bird was getting impatient: “Where’s my take-out order?”

Are we in Fiji or Southern California?

Some nice cloud formations that day to make an interesting background for the palm trees

When I arrived home that evening I felt like I’d been on a week’s vacation. Always good to get out of town even if it’s for a few hours.


Quick catch up

Last year (2021) I earned three certificates in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a certificate in editing.

This year I enrolled in an intense proofreading course that I need to finish up. I’ll have to dedicate a month to doing nothing else but that.

Late March or early April I started writing the novel I’ve been threatening to write for decades. My friends were all sick of hearing about my dozens of sci-fi and fantasy short stories that I needed to edit. One of those friends suggested that instead of remaining stuck with those stories and not able to move on, I should pick a completely different genre and write a novel.

So I did.

I started out intending to write a romance. Well, 85,000 words later it is a romance. But there’s a lot more to it. Even a juicy murder mystery. Then came the hard part: re-writing and editing. Gaaahhhh. I was about one third of the way through when the clamoring of my characters was too much to take. They were making so much noise I couldn’t concentrate. They all wanted to continue their stories. But the book is done, I kept telling them. No, we still have a lot to say, they answered.

What could I do? So now I’m about 19,000 words into Book Two–a lot harder than the first one, I must say. One evening I was minding my own business watching TV and swilling down a couple of glasses of wine when those pesky characters screamed at me: there’s a third book! What? The arc of the entire story stabbed me in the brain. It hurt! But I couldn’t ignore it. I now have a trilogy on my hands. And gradually–very gradually–my dear characters are filling in the story.

I watch quite a few interviews with authors on YouTube about how as a writer you are supposed to be sitting at your computer eight hours a day or writing at least 2,000 words a day–but that’s not me. I enjoy too many other activities. And I’m still passionate about photography which takes up a lot of time. I was also told that I should be spending my time getting my first novel ready for publication before dealing with book two and three. But that’s not how I work.

Apparently there are two kinds of writers: pantsers and plotters. I am definitely the former. I write by the seat of my pants. My characters inform my story. Every day is an adventure. Outlines, plots–what do they have to do with anything? So if I publish my first book and the characters change the story in book two or three, then what would I do? So I have to write all three novels. All my life, I’ve always had to do things MY WAY!!!! So this is going to be a long, long process.

I joined the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society back in March and attended an in-person meeting. Next I attended an in-person three-day conference in August. Fortunately it was held in Culver City so I was able to bus/walk to it. In October there was an online week-long conference. At the end my head was spinning–so much information. Having started out with absolutely no knowledge of the publishing industry, now I think–I hope–I have a pretty good idea of all that is involved. I always imagined myself sitting up in my high tower spewing out my novel and publishers would be crawling all over me to get first dibs. Ahem, not quite! I still dream of Amazon Studios (just around the corner from me, as it happens) picking up the rights to my trilogy for a three-year series. Nothing wrong with dreaming. But if that happens, it will only be because of a LOT of hard work on my part.

I still want to use my English teaching skills to help foreign speakers. In fact, the protagonist in my novel–my fictional self–has her own freelance business teaching ESL, and she loves it. I intend to make it happen.

Now I’m going out for a walk. Hopefully, I can upload a few photos from my 2022 adventures when I get back. Until then…


Fabulous Felines: the very sad day

One of the last photos I took of Frankie the evening I arrived home from a trip November 5, 2021.

It is with a very heavy heart I have to announce the passing of my dear little Frankie.

He fell out of bed in the wee hours of Friday morning, December 10. He couldn’t get up off the floor. He had been somewhat poorly but nothing serious. I had an appointment scheduled at the vet for Monday but I realized he wouldn’t make it.

When the vet showed me the report of his tests, everything was in red. She said his heart was strong but nothing else was working. She said this is pretty typical of an older cat. Older cat? He was only eight. She explained to me that he was fifteen years old if he was a day. She said the shelters are dealing with hundreds of cats coming in and they don’t have the time or resources to make a thorough analysis of their ages. They go by size and weight… and Frankie was a small cat so they guessed he was six months to a year old.

Wow! Looking back that explains a LOT of things that I won’t go into here. He plumped out from the skinny cat he was in the beginning but he never really grew from end to end.

I didn’t know when I first adopted him that he was taken to the shelter at death’s door. He was suffering from severe malnutrition. It took them a month to nurse him back to health and get him into adoptable shape. So his fate was probably already set.

And along came me! I went back to the shelter three times before making the final decision to adopt him… and I still wasn’t sure. I called him Ratface! The lady assured me I could bring him back if he didn’t work out within 30 days… as if…

I do not regret adopting him. He had a really good life from the minute he set foot in our house. Freddie welcomed him warmly.

He had the softest, silkiest fur of any cat I ever met.

As the years went by he was a devil and an angel… but always entertaining… and he will be greatly missed. Freddie is an only cat now and that’s how it will stay. I’ve had cats almost all my life. When Freddie has gone (hopefully not for a good many years as I know he certainly IS eight years old!)… no more pets for me. I’m done.

Have fun over the Rainbow Bridge Frankie, you little rascal!

Appreciating the shoe box, July 2021.


Monday Magical Memories – #5 – Visiting the Parthenon in Athens of the South 2014

When I visited Nashville, Tennessee in January (2014) the last thing I expected to be doing was walking up the steps of the Parthenon, temple of the Greek goddess Athena.

On a tour the day before the International Tour Management Institute symposium started, we had driven past Nashville’s replica of this iconic building in Centennial Park. I knew I had to come back on my own and investigate. So on the last day I skipped the seminars and farewell luncheon and trudged up to the park in the bitter cold. There was actually a heatwave that day… a high of 35 degrees F (1.66 degrees C)… twenty degrees warmer than the previous few days!

To see all my photos from this visit, please click here: https://onegoodlifetravels.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/visiting-the-parthenon-in-athens-of-the-south/


Feline Friday – #128 – grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

How do I hate this new version of WordPress? Let me count the ways. I can’t figure out how to get back to the old easy-to-use version.

This blog post that took me so long to write because it is not intuitive, got totally wiped out so now I am really angry.

In corporate life I was a web designer/content manager so I ‘m not a total idiot regarding websites. But WordPress just got way too complicated for my capabilities. When I calm down, IF I calm down, I’ll come back and attempt to re-create the post.



Feline Friday – #121 – doing cat things

Frankie and Freddie enjoying a ray of sun.


After my trip to Yosemite in February I started to unpack… I didn’t realize I had brought a wild animal back with me!


Apparently Frankie and Freddie had a little scuffle. As Frankie likes to wear his collar loose it comes off easily… then he picks it up and carries it around the house.


Freddie always likes to help out in the office… as I type this blog post he is taking up way too much room.


I looked all over the house for Freddie the other day. Where could he be hiding? He is so civic-minded… of course, he was self-isolating!


Up until a week ago we had some chilly days so I turned on the space heater in the living room. Didn’t do a lot of good as Freddie was hogging all the heat for himself.


Before the virus hit I started a ceramics class. I organized all my paints and supplies in bags for easy carrying. One of the bags was not so easy to carry!


I started on a project to scan all my old loose photos that weren’t in albums. Freddie decided I was taking too long to empty the box… he needed it right now! Luckily I was able to rescue the box before he tipped it on to the floor.


Floating down the Snake River

Floating down the Snake River affords some great views… and the scenery is spectacular too! Aside from being very cute, our float guide was personable and knowledgeable and made the trip even more interesting. The Snake River flows from Yellowstone National Park meandering southwards to the Grand Tetons.

Last year I survived a similar float trip down the Bow River near Banff. It’s a terrific way to get up close and personal with nature.

Floating along listening to the waves lapping at the sides of the raft and the sound of the oar dipping into the water is extremely relaxing.

Civilization seems to be a million miles away.

Sit back and enjoy a peaceful trip down the river…

We encountered several fishermen along the way.

The skyscape in this part of the country is as gorgeous as the landscape.

As I mentioned before, this was my second visit to the Grand Tetons. The area is so amazing I hope at some point I will have the opportunity to make it a third time.

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Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone

Three years ago my same traveling companions and I took a Sierra Club trip to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons. It was an in depth look at these areas with plenty of hikes and walks. This trip with Caravan only touched on the places at those two areas. But we got to visit some other places we didn’t see on the previous trip. You lose some, you win some. And in general I was very happy with what we saw on this trip.

I have to admit that the stop at Mammoth Hot Springs was pretty disappointing. It is such a spectacular area. On the Sierra Club trip we started at the top and walked all the way down to the bottom with plenty of time to stop for photo ops. On this tour we were dropped off at the bottom and we had only a short time to view the springs on the lower level.

I felt sorry for the people who had never seen Mammoth Hot Springs before and would never come again… but on the other hand, what they don’t know, they probably wouldn’t miss! I counted my blessings I was able to see the whole of the Springs on my previous trip.


You can see my photos of the previous trip to Mammoth Hot Springs at my former blog, One Good Life Travels.

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine in Yellowstone National Park adjacent to Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District.[3] It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Because of the huge amount of geothermal vents, travertine flourishes.[4] Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas. – Wikipedia

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