Tag Archives: driving

5 More in 2023 Please

gatsby cheers

Dr. Tanya continues her #5Things series today by asking what we would like to see more of this year.

1. More book sales! I’m averaging about one per month, which is wonderful since I do no marketing whatsoever, but it would be even more fab to double or triple that number, or what the heck multiply it by 10 or 100, lol.

2. More exercise. I would like the exercise fairy to gently take my hand and coax me into walks and dancercise, somehow able to persuade me this is more fun than watching reruns of Seinfeld (my current obsession).

3. More news stories about cute animals and also snakes because they’re interesting, as opposed to gossipy garbage about celebs (including Royals), even if they behave like reptiles.

4. More (any) ethical behavior by politicians and obscenely rich people. Geez, they suck.

5. More kindness everywhere, especially on social media and the roads. Why is it so hard for some people not to be jerks???

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Looking Back…


Lauren continues the Throwback Thursday series this week with a semi-rerun of an older set of questions (luckily, I don’t remember them because of OBS ~ old brain syndrome). We all wish Lauren good luck with her surgery next week.

1) When you were a kid, what were your creative outlets? As an adult, what have you created that you are most proud of?

I loved to draw and color and paint ~ I spent a whole summer around age 12 with a “how to draw a dog” book. I never did get any good at it, but I had a lot of fun. I also enjoyed sewing, embroidery, jewelry-making, and other crafts. My mom and I went through a candle-making phase. I didn’t write creatively that much back then, only for school really, but as a teen I got more into writing on my own.

As a young mom, I made scrapbooks, which I still have and enjoy perusing from time to time (my daughters do too). I also did a ton of needlepoint back then. Of course, now that I’m old, creative writing is the way I express myself best, though I still like to do crafts once in a while. The problem with crafts, however, is that (a) they tend to be spendy, especially beads and art supplies, and (2) they need SPACE, which I do not have an abundance of.

I’m most proud of the fact that I have written complete novels and self-published them!

book pages sparkle

2) Have you ever saved someone’s life? Did you ever witness someone’s life being saved? Did someone save your life?

Nope times three, though my ex saved me from an adrenaline shot to the heart during labor by remembering that I had issues with lying on my right side. If my OB had been there, I wouldn’t have begun passing out, but she was late, so…

3) Did you ever get lost as a child? How did you handle it? Do you get easily lost now?

I’ve never had a good sense of direction, but I don’t remember getting lost as a child. I probably stayed really close to home, or else rode my bike in a straight line and turned around. I have gotten lost as an adult, both walking and driving, and it really stresses me out. Now I use my GPS all the time and never try to second-guess it, which helps a lot.


4) Did you search out presents your parents hid from you? Did you get caught? Do you hide presents from family members as an adult? Are they ever found?

I don’t remember that this was ever a “thing” I did or that my kids did. I don’t need to hide gifts from anyone now except for Gatsby because he has a tendency to gnaw on the edges of boxes and rip up ribbons.

5) Do you have a special song that was sung to you by either of your parents? Did you sing to your children? (or pets) Care to share the tunes?

My dad was more likely to quote poetry or snippets of literature, and I don’t recall that my mom sang anything. I, however, sang all the time to my kids (unfortunately I have a terrible voice), and so they know all the old silly songs. When my youngest was around 8, her teacher asked if anyone knew “Henry the Eighth,” and she was the only one who did. Well, of course!

Headphones listen music

6) What’s something you were afraid of as a child? What is something you are afraid of as an adult?

I’ve never liked heights and in fact last night had a dream about having to stand so close to the edge of a steep drop that it made me dizzy in my sleep!

7) What do you wish you would have learned more about in school?

Everything! I love to learn.

8) Is there something outside of school you were so interested in you taught yourself about it as an adult?

For a while, I was watching a lot of tutorials on how to paint, but I’ve since lost interest.

9) What made you laugh most when you were a child? What makes you laugh out loud now?

I’ve always enjoyed wordplay and jokes that hinge upon the meaning of words and twists upon meaning.

10) What’s something from your childhood that helped to shape your outlook on life?

I was bullied for being fat and unathletic, which gave me an empathetic perspective toward anyone who doesn’t fit into society’s “ideals.” I’ve noticed that people who were attractive and popular as children struggle to accept or even tolerate those who are different from the norm, but that’s not the case with me.

I was also alone a lot as a child, both because we moved so much and because of my lack of skill at sports, which helped me develop a love for reading. I’m grateful for this as it not only was great for getting top grades, but also it smoothed over times in adulthood where I had no choice but to be alone.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

The Pickup [fffc]

Blonde in an old green car outside a pink motel

She should have known better than to open the glittery envelope from her cousin. Ever since she RSVP’d to the peculiar invitation, Amanda had been feeling uneasy, as though a thunderstorm was approaching, which is how she always felt around Cecelia.

This latest craziness—a surprise hide and seek party to celebrate Cece’s birthday—had somehow morphed into Amanda being tasked to pick up Cece’s ex-husband from the Pepto Motel, where he’d been staying since his release from prison.

Cece had warned Amanda to let Snake drive or else he’d “get weird,” whatever that meant. So Amanda had been parked outside the motel for 45 minutes, waiting in the passenger seat, and there was still no sign of him. Honestly, Cece deserved a spanking!

OMG, there he was. Yikes!

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 193.


Cat walking away explosion fire

Top of the news:
Powerball nears two billion–
Let’s all fantasize
About what we’d do if we won.
Lower down
Plane crash in Tanzania,
Russians bombing Ukraine,
But would we buy a Tesla,
A Jaguar, or a Ferrari?
Oh, why choose?
We could have all three
And drive as much as we pleased,
In spite of the price of gas.
Should we hire a chauffeur
And a masseuse? Naturally!
The world will be our playground.
Midterms on Tuesday,
Philadelphia mass shooting,
Iran gave drones to Putin,
But that tax burden
On our jackpot–
We’ll need to hire a team of CPAs.
Where should we build our dream home?
Let’s sort out our charities.
Mass layoffs at Twitter,
Fire in Manhattan,
Flu exploding everywhere,
Babies catching RSV;
I think I will include
An infinity pool
And an outdoor movie screen.
Aaron Carter dead at 34, so sad.
How many tickets should I buy?
Just one, right?
Since I’m destined to win
This time.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Writer’s Digest 2022 PAD Chapbook Challenge (Day 6: news).

SusieCakes Return

Pumpkin maple cupcake

Remember when I posted in 2013 (reposted in 2021) that I tried two cupcakes from SusieCakes but needed to return to make a fair assessment? Yay, I thought you would remember! Here’s the link for anyone new. I’m happy to report that I have just tried another cupcake from SusieCakes after 9 years. Unlike last time, I did not visit the Westcliff (Newport Beach) bakery with its horrendous parking issues but instead went to the SusieCakes off Hyland in Costa Mesa. The parking situation is much better at this cute mini-mall than in Newport.

What happened is that I stopped at the mall after work because I wanted to make sure there was lots of doggo-friendly outdoor seating near the Greenleaf restaurant for when my daughter came up to have lunch with me. Yep, lots! Since I was there already, I figured why not get a cupcake? SusieCakes was just about to close when I waltzed in and asked for the seasonal pumpkin maple and guess what? It was on the house! I was so happy. No bakery had ever given me a free cupcake before. I took my treasure outside to nom it up by the pretty, peaceful fountain.

It was absolutely wonderful! Not as fancy as one of the Sprinkles’ special flavor cupcakes, simply pure wow pumpkin spice. The cake was not as moist as Sprinkles either, but the blob of buttercream frosting in the center helped out. The frosting was superb, so creamy and rich and full of maple flavor. They really did a great job on this one, and I’m glad I finally tried another SusieCakes creation, this time eating it immediately instead of waiting a couple days.

In case you’re wondering, I do plan to try a couple more Sprinkles’ cupcakes soon. I arrange my visits carefully though, watching for their special flavors and figuring out which ones I really need to try. I have been passing on some of the crazier concoctions because I don’t need candy bars smashed into my cake. Let’s have some boundaries here!

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TGIF ~ Loneliness


Happy Friday.

And I love you so
The people ask me how
How I’ve lived till now
I tell them “I don’t know”

I’ve felt kinda lonely this week, not sure why. Partly it’s due to missing our little Tiger, which means I’m extra super duper grateful for Gatsby’s good health (x’ing fingers), and partly it’s due to the shorter days. There’s something about turning my headlights on during my commute home that makes me think ugh it’s winter again, how depressing, even if it’s still 90 freaking degrees outside.

I guess they understand
How lonely life has been
But life began again
The day you took my hand

The darkening days make me more inclined to hibernate in my house and do nothing socially with other people, which isn’t good for me if that goes on too long. Luckily, I have some nice plans, one of which includes seeing my eldest daughter tomorrow. But I do think about the holidays coming up and how much I miss my mom. I also miss what I never had: a big, loving, close family, who always have each other no matter what. I was blessed with my wonderful girls, fab sons-in-law, and now my sweet grands, so I am thankful for them ~ we’re a small group, but we have lots of love!

And yes I know how lonely life can be
The shadows follow me
And the night won’t set me free
But I don’t let the evening get me down
Now that you’re around me

I’ll be honest: something about winter gets me down, which is related to my failure to find “my person” and create and maintain a romantic, lifetime relationship. Summer is fun and there are lots of activities to distract me from thinking about this topic, but as fall trundles on toward the holidays, couples are so couple-ish that it’s difficult not to mourn this particular aspect of my life, even if I wouldn’t want it if it appeared now. It’s a weird thing. I wish I could have found “my person,” but it’s too late at this point ~ I simply do not want to compromise on anything or tolerate some man telling me what to do (and you know they would).

And you love me too
Your thoughts are just for me
You set my spirit free
I’m happy that you do

My life is so much better without all that drama. And yet… and yet… I still think about it at this time of year especially. What about you? Lonely, not lonely, weekend plans, no plans? Respond in the comments or link back from your own post. Feel free to use the spiffy image that Fandango found, if you like.

I sprinkled lyrics from “And I Love You So” (written by Don McLean for his 1970 debut album Tapestry) throughout this post, and there are three versions that I know of. If you have time, please rate them in order. Here’s mine:

Don McLean (third)

Perry Como (second)

Elvis Presley (first)

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

One-Liner Wednesday

Old car snow stranded

“I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.” ~ The Slow Roasted Italian

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Scare Your World [syw]

Share your world claw egg

Melanie continues her Share Your World series with a freshly hatched set of questions for our first week of October.

1. Favorite horror or Halloween-themed song? Or a song you rarely hear except around a holiday.

I’m partial to “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles. I also like Donovan’s “Season of the Witch,” Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” and “Spooky” by Classics IV. None of these are Halloween songs though.

2. Do you ever see figures in your peripheral vision?

Sometimes. I’m easily startled by shadows.

3. Which urban legend scares you the most? (most countries have such stories – share yours if you would like to) 

“High Beams.” This is a story about how someone flashes their high-beam headlights behind you to warn you that there’s a killer in your backseat. Supposedly, if someone flashes them at you from the opposite direction, that’s bad too, like you’ve been targeted for a crime or something. (That’s if they aren’t warning you that you’re driving with yours on.) I do flinch a lot at high beams, from any direction. They’re super-startling and migraine-triggering.

4. You’re home alone but you hear footsteps in your house, what do you do?

Naturally I put on a white filmy nightgown and dash outside into the darkness like on a cover of a gothic novel. Actually, since I live in a condo-apartment off a common walkway, I often hear footsteps when I’m alone.

5. What is your favorite season?

I do love fall, if only because the nasty end-of-summer heat begins to fade away and I feel better. I’m not big on the holidays though and don’t even have plans for Halloween or Thanksgiving this year. I used to enjoy costumes and such, but that thrill is gone. And as everyone knows, Turkey Day makes me sad for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was my 2016 ghosting.

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Traveling Blogpants!*

Travel pants world map

I would be most pleased and honored if you could put on your traveling pants today and visit my friend Jeff’s blog, where he features my new poem “The Butterfly Poet.” This piece was inspired by a selection from Jeff’s wonderful poetry book Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow.

Next on the travel agenda is a trip over to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, where I am continuing the Dream Interpretation series. Today’s post discusses the various possible meanings of driving dreams.

Bon voyage, wear plenty of sunscreen, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

*Title is from the cute book The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Welcome Back, Melanie! [syw]


Yay, Melanie is back with us and has a fresh set of Share Your World questions! Let’s get started.

Would you rather have no nose, or no arms? (apologies to Fandango, who is olfactory challenged)…

No nose, I suppose, though then I’d be one of those dreaded “mouth-breathers.” For six months in 2005, I pretty much was, and had no sense of smell, due to a persistent sinus infection. It was awful, but having no arms would be worse because I couldn’t snuggle a kitty or write a poem or give anyone the finger while driving.

What is your spirit animal? (Mine –> 🐺 Lone of course 😉 )

A cat, of course! Independent, fussy, and adorable.

Do you think cavemen had nightmares about cavewomen? 🥍 💪🏼😱

Probably more often about bears evicting them from the cave for nonpayment of rent.

Where did the name Pina Colada come from? (for those out of the know of foo-foo drinks, a ‘pina colada” is rum, pineapple and coconut juices and sometimes fancier liquor for a bigger kick (with a paper umbrella sometimes) 🍹🍸 Since I dislike coconut except in the odd Mounds bar or on shrimp; I never had one.

Pineapple + yummy! I love coconut.

How thankful are you for good health, should you enjoy such a state of being? (a bit close to home perhaps, sorry)

I’m thankful things aren’t worse (yet).

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who observe the Jewish New Year!

rosh hashanah apples honey

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.