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Braking Points

Exploring the Adventure of Aging

Author

ckisler

Announcing the Birth of Braking Points, the Novel

Weighing in at 320 pages
http://thebp.site/183882

Several years ago a novel wrote me. It took me on a journey that began with a contest for a first chapters of unpublished authors–no, I did not win. Still like conception, cells divided, a heart beat was detected, life exploded within me.

There were no charts, no outlines, no forethought of characters or backstories. Only a vague idea of an elderly couple setting out on a road trip. So I accompanied them, my feisty 87 year old protagonist and his wife with dementia. So for the next 9 months, yelp! just like a pregnancy, I put at least 1500 words on the page almost daily. Turns of event, characters emerging, surprised me at times. I read it to Terry every night. His advice helped shape the book. It is dedicated to him.

I based the characters Max and Lily in part on my husband’s parents. Terry’s Dad, Maurice was firm in his commitment to care for his Mom, Dorothy as Alzheimer’s robbed her of memory and personality. I completed this book before my father’s-in-law death in 2011, so he started reading it only to come to me with tears in his eyes. “It’s too soon after [Dorothy died in 2004], maybe I can read it later.” He never did. He was 93 when he died.

I think his emotional response led me to shelf the book for several years. However, time passes. I am getting old myself–right?! I AM Old. There is a verse in the Book of Esther that paraphrased says, “Perhaps, you were born for such a time as this.” Perhaps BRAKING POINTS was born for this time. So with an acknowledgement that all mistakes are mine, Here is my Book Baby #1.

I hope some of you will check it out, maybe even read it AND if you do please rate it and write a review.

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Good Friday 2019

Spring in a Vase, Colored pencils, Mimi

Barefoot Book Club–Read, Reflect, Review–Come Join Me!

Since writing this I have been in a book club and loved it, but still want to reach out to other readers and writers to expand the circle.

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

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Back in 1964 in an English Lit class at Oklahoma State University, I discovered that I was not alone…literature, good literature like life possessed depth and complexity, that authentic literary fiction not only contained truth, but explored it from at least two angles, the author and the reader. I discovered that the author’s intention of plot, sub-plots, characters, the message or moral of the story, might not be what the reader found at all.

When first assigned scholarly commentaries, critiques and essays about literary works, I assumed I would find agreement among the experts, insights into plot and nuances that frankly enhanced my understanding of the work. Boy, was the naive college sophomore I was back then surprised. Instead of finding agreement leading to deeper understanding, I found dissension, arguments, quarreling, bickering all using $100 dollar words that still sounded a lot like profanity. Additionally, I found novice that I…

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Being a Voice–How Writing Has Influenced my Life

Life teems with stories, so many of them left untold. My life expands reading and hearing the stories of others–even the unpleasant ones. Fiction always contains someone’s truth and non-fiction may or may not be truth. Readers vary as do writers, BUT everyone lives their story. I am blessed to love reading for it has taken me on countless journeys AND I am blessed to love writing because there are Stories to tell

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageI am participating in the Positive Writer contest, ‘How Writing Has Influenced my Life’ because from infancy to now, I have had a lifelong love affair with the written word.

While I would love to claim to be a child prodigy, reading at two, writing my first published work at five, that would stretch hypebole to the limit.  However, I contend that input, reading or having others read to one, always preceeds and exceeds output, writing.  So first, it was on the lips of my parents lulling me off to sleep  with bedtime stories. Then after getting my own library card at six, I discovered the power of strings of words on a page and the magic of being able to read them all by myself.

I prefered books with few pictures.  Why?  Because without someone else’s illustrations the words carried me on their wings to a place deep inside…

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Storytellers and Dreamers

“Storytellers and Dreamers” was written for a friend’s seventieth birthday but it seemed an appropriate ‘reshare’ today as I approach my seventy-fourth birthday.  I hope others find a bit of themselves in these lines.


I thought when I was still a child
Someday when I was old I would sit a while,
gather my grandchildren at my side
and take them back for an awesome ride,


Whatever happened, bound to fight and win
Riding my Harley into the wind
going until the road ends


No one told me Vietnam would claim friends

Some returning in boxes draped in flags

or ravaged with terrors and unwanted tags


Or predict the bends in the roads of life
Like so many becoming husband and wife
All of us struggling, some emerging alive
While others split not surviving the strife
We faced in the seventies, longing to flee
Discovering that lonely’s not quite being free


Living the stories we someday could reveal
Spinning them round to max the appeal.
Because down deep there lives the child
Who dreamed of telling stories about when he was wild
To multiple children who would sit at his knee


I imagined their clamor, their joy, their glee
Attentive to Grandpa spinning a yarn
didn’t count on Netflix, iPhones, Tweeting? well, darn!


Inside of this man lives a boy determined to win
Riding a Harley into the wind
Going, going till the road ends
Carving a life, with dreams set to song
Combatting the odds to not get it wrong


The stories we live waking or sleeping
Shape memories, vision, a life worth keeping
Our minds alive with stories some best unshared
With our wild days behind us, why do we care?
Isn’t it past time to dare?


Once we were young, thought life had no end
Stunned even now with each fallen friend
Still unable to see around the next bend. . .
But face it, we know, we comprehend.


So go buy the Harley or sail the seas, fight the waves,
Live the stories we’ve woven, go out really brave
So what if no one listens to the stories we’ve saved
Live life full of spit fire, and whistle past graves.


One thing I know as birthdays come about
Someday at our funerals without a doubt
There will be stories flying about
Granddad, or Grand mom, the secrets all out

Next Time We Are Traveling Through Alabama…Trust Me.

First posted April 14, 2015

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

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On our continuing trek to Kentucky on Sunday, just past Atlanta traveling, Graham requested a bathroom break. Terry and I both started scanning Exit Signs which promised services. Seeing one we scooted right on down the ramp only to find as we turned in the direction indicated that the services were three miles away and required turning onto another road to reach them.

While I scanned the straight path ahead, hopeful for an alternative to a lengthy side bar on a trip that was already stretching into the interminable, I passed the indicated turn. Whoops! So with no other choice I decided to turn around and go back so I pulled onto what looked like an access road. I could even see all the way to where I needed to get to correct my error and get back on track.

What I did not see was a large sign with…

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I Plan, God Laughs…Later I Laugh Some, too.

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageYesterday did not go as planned! After a hectic “Spring Break” with two grandkids and a grandkid for a week, MY PLAN was:

Rise at 4 am EDT–check
Leave at 5 am EDT–left at 5:12 am
Sail smoothly to I-4, take I-4 to Toll Road 429–check
Sail smoothly to the Florida Turnpike, north to I-75–check

[By this time I was smiling broadly, while the plugged in, tuned out younger passengers slept and Terry rode shotgun…I could see Atlanta in my sights by Noon, home in 12, maybe 13 hours…yes, sir, I was feeling good!]

THEN, Red light, red lights, a whole stream of RED LIGHTS!

Terry suddenly alerted, shouting, “Stop!” [Stop was not in my plan, but I did stop. I did not hit anyone or even squeal my brakes and no one hit us. Whew!]

As far as my eyes could see ahead and soon behind, cars and trucks…

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Math for the Seventh Decade…Back to Fifth Grade

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

imageThere is no subject for which the statement, “I have forgotten more than I ever knew” rings truer than Math. While I managed to make good grades in math, Algebra, Geometry…that’s where I dropped off the math train in high school, I have retained only rudementary functions into adulthood. Terry would undoubtedly take exception to that since my subtraction skills as evidenced by reconciling the checkbook still seem lacking. No one is more grateful for the calculator than I. However, the calculator, although admittedly amazing cannot tell me how to do the problem in the first place.

I am not alone! Thank you very much. That much is perfectly clear by the million or more wrong answers to the following problem presented on Facebook:
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Fortunately, in my circle of Facebook Friends two mathmeticians stepped forward, when I reposted the above problem with my WRONG answer of ONE, or possibly FIVE…

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FASHION CONFESSION: I Cannot Wear Thongs–the Feet Variety

My Seventh Decade...The Years Beyond

Sometimes I need a break from serious and lately I have noticed there are a number of bloggers out there who share “what they wore this weekend” or “what I wore to workout.”  Then they post pictures of their tiny twenty-something selves wearing said outfits.  Quick question, does that make them millennials, guess I am not sure about the cut off age for that group. Anyway, they look so cute, in their shirts, hats, scarves, shoes.

Ok, Ok, I admit it, I am a little jealous, because ‘what I wore this weekend, except for church, were jeans and a T-shirt and ‘what I wore to work out’ consisted of a Tulsa Habitat for Humanity T-shirt from the 1980’s and comfy–elastic waist band, knit fabric–pants. I did put on make-up and brush my teeth and hair, but at no time was I ready for a photo shoot.

Come to think of…

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