Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Monday, July 30, 2018

7/30/18 RMB “Our” People

7/30/18 RMB “Our” People

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

July, with her high temps and summer activities, is coming to a close. August promises to be just as warm, easing us closer to fall.

Comic Con was fun this year and, again, I marvel at what it has become, having lived and participated in its humble beginnings. The costumes have moved from mostly handmade contraptions to elaborate designs worthy of a movie set. A Storm Trooper here, Wonder Woman there, Rochelle Ibarra even donned a costume: Negan from Walking Dead.

Despite the immense size and massive attendance, it is still a place of magical energy, where strangers meet and find common ground, interests and experiences, within minutes.

This year, while waiting in one of those lines that goes forever, where some sleep overnight and many have that zombie look, not from make-up, nor a costume, but from staying up all night for days on end, we met an older woman and her grown daughter. They had traveled from Texas. For the duration of that line, from dawn into the week hours of the morning, and into Ballroom 20 for the Supernatural show’s panel, among others featured, they were “our” people. People who we will likely never see again, yet for those hours of that day, we were connected.  

It is interesting how people will travel great distances to be at one of the many conventions, rallying around a common interest. I suppose it is much like any group activity, a fox hunt, a horse show, a political rally, and so on. Each has its own sort of magic, its own energy. However, I feel there is something more that draws us, more than the interest or focus at hand, it is the gathering, the sharing, the sense of belonging.

What would it take for us to feel that sense daily, to be able to walk anywhere, among strangers and acquaintances alike, and feel that sense of belonging, for all people to be “our” people? We share the planet earth, her resources, the sky, and the seas. We have more in common than we allow ourselves to acknowledge.

To Infinity and Beyond!


Friday, June 29, 2018

6/24/18 RMB Summer, Dreams

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

It is the first weekend of summer here in sunny southern California. Our deserts have settled in up in the 100s during the day, with warm, windy evenings.

I’m listening to Magic Street by Orson Scott Card. I enjoyed Enders Game very much and expected the same experience with this one, but it is a far different read. Although he draws a person into the characters with drama and intrigue, I am looking forward to my next Rita Mae Brown book, Puss'n Cahoots.

On the non-fiction front, I’m listening to Brain Warriors. It is a bit deep, with talk of brain scans and medical terms I’m only vaguely familiar with. I’ll take bits here and there that I can apply to my own life and leave the rest for someone much more ambitious than I, someone more warrior-ish.

I’m also reading a Jack Canfield book, The Success Principles. He is a good guy, that Jack. He writes of good things, inspiring things. This is the second time I’ve read this book. And it is as good, if not better than the first time. I’m a tad bit older and maybe able to digest it better. Interesting how the same experience is felt differently as time goes by, adjusted slightly by the wisdom of age.  

So there we have it, summer is starting out well in my little corner of the world.

The corners of other people’s worlds are less calm and peaceful and some even tragic. I send well wishes out to those facing challenges every day, that their hearts stay strong, and good, and that they have moments of happiness to hold on to.

“I have a dream”… that those who cause strife be guided by a kinder heart and that those who are in the position to mend our world’s aches, do so with unending support.

With high hopes,


Monday, April 30, 2018

4/30/18 RMB Billie Jean King and RMB Books

4/30/18 RMB Billie Jean King and RMB Books

Dear Rita Mae Brown,
I just finished Cat’s Eyewitness. I would enjoy an entire book about Boom Boom’s new romance! As always, it was a joy to spend time with Harry, her animal companions, and friends in Crozet.

I also read the Hunt Ball. Your description of the hunting ventures makes one feel the thrill of the fox hunt.

The unraveling of the mysteries in each novel held my attention and kept me guessing along the way.

This weekend I sat back and watched Battle of the Sexes a movie about Billie Jean King’s tennis match with Bobby Riggs. It was very well done. As someone who lived through the hoopla, I feel they nailed it. I especially enjoyed the extra features, including an interview with Billie Jean King herself.

April zoomed by and tomorrow starts a new month. What an interesting world we live in, where time marches on and our biggest battles are the same with each generation. A new spin here and there keeps the flame alive and the battlegrounds raging.

Keep the words flowing,

Friday, March 30, 2018

3/30/18 RMB What if

3/30/18 RMB What if

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Teddy told me a few years ago to replace the word “should” with “could” in my self-talk. The sentence “I could clean house today.” sounds so much gentler and inviting than “I should clean house today”. It rather turns the meaning to an option, an inviting opportunity.

This month, along those lines, I’ve tossed in “What if”. Sometimes that’s the entire sentence. At others, it proceeds “(What if) I really wanted this house clean, what would I do right now?” That one is in keeping with the same theme, but it works for any kind of plan, to better health, improve work habits, direct and steer my life, you get the picture.

It seemed a concept worth sharing, so there you have it.

By the way, I recently ran across an interview of you by David Letterman dated May 18, 1983, on a show also featuring Johnny Winter. I recommend searching it out for any RMB fans, or Johnny Winter fans for that matter. We are fortunate to live in a time where the images and recordings made in our lifetime are so easily replayed and enjoyed.

In my endeavor to read all of your books in order, I recently finished Whisker of Evil, a collaboration with Sneaky Pie Brown. The last line was one of my favorites, and it wouldn’t be giving away any of the plot to share it. In a conversation about life after death the last line reads:

“I believe in life before death.” Mrs. Murphy smiled.

How very Mrs. Murphy that line is. What if we all reveled and cherished life as much? What if.

Have a Wonderful Easter Weekend,
Loraine Paige

Friday, February 9, 2018

2/9/18 RMB Silent January

2/9/18 RMB Silent January

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Given thirty-one days, I can normally come up with something to say. But January was not a normal month.

On the morning of January 8th, my brother Rocky crossed over to the next phase of our existence. He would have been 62 today, February 9th.

There are days that I still find myself doing something routine, normal in every respect, and feeling that there has been a shift. Normal is not normal anymore because my world no longer includes my Rocky.

Although I talk to him and believe he hears and even responds, it is not the same. He does feel lighter though, no longer struggling for each breath from COPD.

On the morning I flew home to California after his services, a light snow fell. I’ve never been in an Alabama snowfall. Having spent summers there since childhood, this was a first. From my father’s kitchen window, we watched three deer eat the corn and grain he put out for them. Snow landed gently on their brown coats of fir and shiny noses. They visit often, but not normally in the late morning light, with four adults making noise in the kitchen and watching them.

I was thankful for their visit. There is more to say about that trip, but for now, this is enough, just a little hello to you, a Happy Birthday shout out to my big brother, and a new RMB letter. He encouraged my writing. He read the letters I posted to you. He was a one of the good guys, one of those people that always did his best, helped others, did good work, a good listener and a good story teller. When a heated discussion arose about various “kinds” of people, he ended it with the statement “People are people”, asserting that there are good people and bad people in every “kind” of people. He will be missed.

Still adjusting,


Sunday, December 31, 2017

12/31/17 RMB Happy New Year!

12/31/17 RMB Happy New Year!

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

Another year has zoomed by.

In this year some of us faced more challenges than others, all of us had something, at some point or another to laugh about, or be thankful for, or embrace.

My brother faced health challenges and overcame them to be with us at our family reunion. I was thankful that, once again, he could sit across the table from us, tease us, laugh with us, and give us comfort in his very special way. He is a great brother, always has been. And beyond that, he is a great man.

So we embark on a new year. I look forward to reading more of your books, although at the rate you write them, I don’t know if I will ever catch up to your current publication. I am in the middle of Whisker of Evil.

I look forward to accomplishing more and being more of who I want to be in the new year. Although I am happy with who I am, I think it human nature to always want to move forward. I pray that those who guide our country, and the many other counties that comprise our world, see the the wisdom in allowing us to move forward together, as one humankind.

In The Four Agreements, a book of Toltec wisdom, author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the following keys.

1.      Be impeccable with your word.
2.      Don't take anything personally.
3.      Don't make assumptions.
4.      Always do your best.

Sounds like a good plan for the new year to me :)

Happy New Year!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

11/28/17 RMB Happy Birthday!

11/28/17 RMB Happy Birthday! 

Happy Birthday Rita Mae Brown,

It is a cool, crisp morning here in California and I’d bet it is even cooler in Virginia. I hope this day brings you all of what pleases you most, moments of laughter and of peace, birthday greetings from those that matter most to you, and some really good cake!

This day reminds me of the trip your father and aunt took to bring you home as you described it in Rita Will. What an adventurous way to begin your journey. 

Cheers to you on your special day,