2020 (48)

My hope is to offer encouragement to writers as well as to those who simply love to read. You will find snippets of things I am working on and special announcements here.

Sunday, 15 November 2020 12:30

Straying Too Far From Delight

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

What I have had for the past six years, what has been constant and steady in my life is the novel I've been writing. This has been my home, the place I could always retreat to. The place I could sometimes even feel powerful...the place where I am most myself.~Lily King (From Writers and Lovers)

Eons ago, when I was new mother, a friend of mine suggested we get babysitters and attend a seminar on organizing our homes. Gain ideas on creating a more beautiful environment. After making the arrangements for childcare, we traveled two hours south from San Bernardino, California to La Jolla. The event was not a traditional seminar located at a hotel, but rather held in the speaker's home. She lived in a sprawling two-story house that overlooked the ocean. She graciously invited us into a space she had carved out in her living room set up with folding chairs. A grand piano sat positioned to our left, and a view of the sparkling ocean lay directly in front of us. The speaker, perhaps in her late fifties or early sixties, stood almost six feet tall. Silver hair brushed the shoulders of her expensive blazer, fitted out with enormous shoulder pads so popular in the nineties. Her lecture provided detailed recommendations on ordering our homes. She then provided a tour of her house, opening drawers and closets, pointing with elegant, tapered fingers to examples of her organizational tips.

I don't remember this woman's name.  All I recall is that on the drive home, my friend and I lamented that we didn't have the ability to do what she'd done. Didn't have the money. Didn't have space. For heaven's sake, her closets were the size of bedrooms in our apartments. I remember the one tip I did remember. "Feel free to use all your unmatched tableware at dinner parties," she exclaimed as she lifted her hair from the giant shoulder pad and flipped the shining strands onto her back. "Eclectic is marvelous!" 

Sunday, 08 November 2020 13:28

A Word From My Father To Open The Day

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

We have become His poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us.~Ephesians 2:10 (The Passion Translation)

I watched my bedroom window go from deep darkness to golden light as the sun rose and made its entrance. I often sit by that window to read and meditate, to gather my thoughts as I open a new day. To make my lists. That morning, though, I could feel my heartbeat thrumming inside my chest, thoughts flailing through all that could possibly go wrong with the move. Fear and a mounting realization emerged that Giovanni and I would face living somewhere impermanently before we landed in our downsize location. 

When my dad died in 2000, I received his Living Bible. My dad loved to study the Bible and had various translations. He often taught classes in the Presbyterian Church where I attended as a girl. This particular Bible held many of his handwritten notes in the margins. That morning I reached for my dad's Bible. I hadn't touched it in several months. In my anxiety-ridden state, I flipped through the pages and landed on a rectangular sheet of scrap paper I'd never found in the twenty years I'd had the Bible. There in my father's distinct printing he'd written a verse out. John 14:4.

Saturday, 31 October 2020 17:10

Metabolizing Emotions

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

I want to rest. I want to breathe quietly again.~Tennessee Williams

I pulled my ball cap snugly over my head and slipped headphones over my ears. A walk listening to classical music during the autumnal weather would do my frayed emotions good. Anxiety loomed with Covid blasting through the world. Politics splintering the country. Our house for sale. The guy who made an offer wanted to cut down all the mature trees in the front yard. The trees felt like the last straw. How I loved those trees. They were like friends. 

I heard leaves crunching underneath my shoes as I walked. Hundreds of acorns lay piled along the side of the road. I carried a mug of hazelnut coffee that warmed my hands. I breathed deeply, exhaling the angst. In the coolness of the morning I let go and lifted my face to the light. 

Sunday, 25 October 2020 19:02

The Noise Of Change

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

The trick is learning to take things as they come and fully, too, with no resistance or fear, not trying to grip them too tightly or make them bend.~Paula McLain (From Circling The Sun)

I yelled at him, my voice thin and high. I slammed my open hand on the table, my palm red, stinging. Then my husband yelled back, striking his hand on the table too. He has bigger hands, so it was loud. "I'm done," I shouted, and ran out of the room. We were fighting about ceilings, (of all things) after looking at houses to buy earlier that day. All I said was that I like high ceilings," I whined. "But you've got to understand, Priscilla, that warm air travels upward, and the utility bills are higher; it's much better to have lower ceilings," he said. His voice was really, really noisy, as was mine.

Change is noisy, and it's not about the ceilings. It's about uncertainty, about ambiguity, about money, about compromise, about living with the opacity of where we'll settle next. It's about grief, too. Letting go of a home and life we've honed and developed for the last decade.

Saturday, 17 October 2020 12:44

What Would Mr. Rogers Do If He Met Donald Trump?

Written by Priscilla K. Garatti

Actually, God considers all of humanity to be prisoners of their unbelief, so that He can unlock our hearts and show His tender mercies to all who come to Him.~Romans 11:32 (The Passion Translation)

I wept through a movie this week. That kind of crying where tears stream down your face and roll down your neck. Where all the mascara pools under your eyes and leaves black smudges. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is based on a true story about the relationship between a magazine writer and Fred Rogers  The magazine writer had established a reputation of being overly harsh and cynical in his reporting. No one wanted to be interviewed by him. His editor at Esquire assigned him to interview Fred Rogers, the only person who would agree to an interview with him. The writer responded with sarcasm, "You mean the guy who talks to little kids? Has all those puppets?" His editor assured him that's who she was talking about. Reluctantly he accepted the assignment, and ultimately his life was transformed by the kindness, love and authenticity of Fred Rogers. 

Mr. Rogers didn't judge the writer regarding his acrimonious and bitter demeanor, but rather welcomed him into his world with no judgment or pretense. Validated him. I thought to myself, "Who am I not loving like Mr. Rogers would?" Immediately Donald Trump came to mind. I'd joined in with all the late-night hosts in laughing at Trump jokes, expressing disdain and contempt toward him. I asked myself, "What if Mr. Rogers met Donald Trump. How would he treat him?"

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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.