Posted in Family, Fiction, Writing

Less is Better

Phew! I just submitted my final paper for one of the two grad classes I’ve been taking since April 9th. it’s a relief to be done. Although I’ve learned much from both classes, the bigger lesson is not to “bite off more than you can chew” (sorry for the cliche, but all my creativity is wiped the hell out). Anyhow, I’m done, but I could have absorbed more knowledge if I took one class instead of two. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I was overwhelmed by literary thoughts that interrupted my life as a teacher, mother, wife, family member, and friend.

My biggest recommendation to students enrolled in higher education of any level is to go slower when possible. Don’t overload your coursework because your tuition covers 15-21 credits. Ugh! I took 21 credits once as an undergrad and was miserable. Schooling needs to be challenging but not miserable. Take an extra semester if needed.

I will be enjoying the rest of my MFA requirements, slow and steady. I have too many responsibilities beyond another college degree. I love my life to be filled with real people (not just characters in books), backyard places beyond my imagination, and things that might remind me of the people and places I keep in my memories. My point of this unedited post is to live life fully but not overbooked. I seem to learn much more from stepping stones and mini journeys. Big, overzealous leaps often end in clumsy pitfalls.

The final paper I wrote for  The Long Story & Novella course made me realize how smaller can be bigger; majestic mountains can be seen in molehills; novels can grow from character sketches.

Posted in Family, Parenting, Spirtuality

Memory Eternal

Today marks the twelfth anniversary of my beloved father’s death.  This blog is a chapter of my memoir, The Reckoning of the Black Butterfly.  May the memory of Frank. T. Snyder be eternal.

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My favorite picture of my father taken on Easter Sunday, 2006, the last time I saw him.

Continue reading “Memory Eternal”

Posted in Dog Lover, Family, I Hate Puppies

A Doggone Stinky Tail – Happy National Puppy Day!

Not last night, but the night before,

Three tom cats came knocking on my door.

One had a fiddle, one had a drum,

One had a pancake stuck to its bum.  

A couple nights ago, a variation of the above playground song came to mind.  Take note, this isn’t a cute, nostalgic story where I want to skip rope and chant rhymes.  It’s a doggone tale about a stinky tail. Something indeed stuck to one’s bum, but it wasn’t a pancake.

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Continue reading “A Doggone Stinky Tail – Happy National Puppy Day!”

Posted in Family, Holidays, Inspiration

Thank you Veterans for your Service to America

Frank T. Snyder, my father, was a man who valued family and brotherhood, and it’s no wonder, since he was the baby of nine boys.  

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Frank T. Snyder – Army 1952

Their father, Janko Petrovich, immigrated from Croatia to America as a young man who wanted to give his family the streets of diamonds Eastern Europeans (and many others) were promised.  My grandfather was advised on his boat ride over to Americanize his richly ethnic, beautiful name for his family’s future in this country, so he entered America as John Snyder.

A changed name didn’t change the Snyder boys’ merit, contributions, or devotions to community, country, and church.  As young men, all nine extended their band of brotherhood patriotically by serving their country in all four military branches.  

In fact, several of the Snyders served in different branches at the same time during WWII. This was an extremely unusual circumstance, since there had been an unwritten embargo placed by the government that prohibited more than a few brothers to be in the service during war times.  Somehow, they got through this protective red tape and bravely served simultaneously; thankfully, all returned home safely and honorably.

My father was stationed with the Army in England at the tail end of the Korean War. Thank you to everyone who has, does, and will serve our country with loyalty, dedication, and patriotism.  

I’m proud to be an American!

vets-day

 

Posted in Family, Father Time, Parenting

Back to School: Needed Schedule Changes

 

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Goodbye Summer!

I am a high school English teacher who gets ten weeks off every summer.  This particular break, I was ready to go back to work after five weeks.  I felt very unproductive during the summer of 2017. Continue reading “Back to School: Needed Schedule Changes”

Posted in Family, Inspiration, Spirtuality

Ascension Day: Salvation, Memorials, and Butterflies

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Yesterday, May 25th, 2017, was Ascension Day, the fortieth day of this liturgical year’s Easter celebration.  In the following, I attempt to give a brief explanation of this Christian feast day then reveal my spiritual encounter in regards to ascension. I say attempt because it is so hard to describe the indescribable. This is a condensed version of what I witnessed, felt, and believed following the passing of my father, Frank Thomas Snyder, lain to rest on June 8th, 2006. Continue reading “Ascension Day: Salvation, Memorials, and Butterflies”

Posted in Family

Bunco Invite

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Bunco is a simple dice game that can be played by people of all ages. I started playing in a Bunco over ten years ago, when I was in my thirties.  I taught my daughters how to play when they were in elementary school.  My golden years mother still plays with a group of  friends at Silver Sneakers.  Although you can roll with two or more players, the game best lends itself to a group of twelve women.  If you are interested in playing Bunco, starting a group, or learning more about this fun dice game, read on. Continue reading “Bunco Invite”

Posted in Family, Parenting, Teenagers, Wacky World

My Teenager is Sort of Raising an Ant Farm

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I had just walked in on little sister Lena in Cara’s room looking for candy. She was rifling through Cara’s Easter basket — FYI, Easter happened three Sundays ago, but Cara still had a stash left. Anyhow, I was also craving something sugary, specifically chocolate, so I also sneaked in to snoop what Cara hoarded. Lena found a package of M&M’s that we could share. Then, beneath the plastic grass,  I pulled out a box of bite size milk chocolate, peanut butter stuffed bunnies and chicks, Sarris Candy Brand.  I took out a bunny and plopped it in my mouth, just like that.   Continue reading “My Teenager is Sort of Raising an Ant Farm”

Posted in Family, Shadows and Black Clouds, Teenagers

13 Reasons Why: Adults Need to Talk About it.

13 reasons why

I plan to write an exploratory blog a post on why parents and teachers should watch 13 Reasons Why and talk about it with their teenage viewers. Most kids are binging it and having their own conversations. I think adult input is beneficial. If you watched this series, please share your input as an adult viewer and why you think it can help generate a conversation about the issues depicted: suicide, bullying, underage drinking, rape, violence, dishonesty, neglectful parenting, bystander (blind-eye) teaching, premarital sex, homosexuality, depression, social media, and more.

If you aren’t aware, this is a Netflix series based on the book of the same title. The Protagonist, Hannah makes cassette tapes to be distributed to those who she felt influenced her suicide. There is a lot of hurt, pain, blame, and shame revealed. I do NOT agree with how Hannah handled/mishandled her issues, but I think it merits a mature conversation that could help other distressed adolescents.

SPOILER ALERT — When you comment, act as if all readers of the post have viewed the show. If you have not, you may want to refrain from reading comments until you finished the series.  I recommend watching the 30-minute documentary following it on Netflix: 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons.

Comments — I hope to generate a good, adult conversation. Anything you add can find it’s way in my next blog, unless you state otherwise.