Me and Ms. Swift – SoCS

It’s Saturday, and as Bob Cratchit would say, I was making rather merry last night. Faith and I did attend Christmas By Candlelight at Old Sturbridge, but I didn’t have time to go through my pictures. I did have time to rush a post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I must admit, I had been thinking about this one for a few days. I hope Linda G. Hill doesn’t mind, sometimes things happen and you think, “I’m going to write about that…” Anyway, this week’s prompt is

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘dict.’ Find a word that contains ‘dict’ and use it in your post. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be spun up.

“Hey guys. Did you come together today?”

“Not together, Cheryl, but I noticed David getting out of his car as I was walking up the street, so I called to him.”

“Yeah, sorry the lots are full, we have a big party in the lounge today.”

“I didn’t mean to take the last spot, Dan.”

“That’s OK, David. You’re older and you’re buying me a beer.”

“Fair enough. Cheryl, let’s have our normal libations.”

“That might be an issue, David. I’m not sure we have anymore John Howell’s Bourbon—I just poured the last shot. I’ll check downstairs.”

“I hope you find some. I’m almost addicted to that stuff. I’m not sure I like any of the other bourbons you have can serve as a substitute.”


“Tina? Who’s Tina, Dan. Did you recognize someone in the lounge?”

“No, TINA is an acronym I recently learned. It stands for ‘There Is No Alternative’ albeit it’s normally used when referring to information systems.”

“I thought you retired.”

“I did, but I still like learning.”

“Didn’t Pam have a quip about that this week?”

“She did. She was praising the human capacity to learn. I told her I try to learn something every day.”

“That should be easy for you, Dan. You must have a ton of things that you once knew and have forgotten.”

“You’re in luck, David. Let me wipe the dust off of this bottle and I’ll set up your John Howell’s Special.”

“I hope you didn’t give out the last cherries.”

“I have a secret stash just for you. Well, you and a few other special customers. We also have corn chowder, but it’s moving fast, so I’ll bring you two bowls.”

“David enjoys being special, Cheryl.”

“I know, Dan. I know.”

“Speaking of being special, Dan. I received my copy of ‘When Evil Chooses You’ and I’d like you to sign it for me.”

“I’d be happy to, David. Thanks for asking. Cheryl, can I borrow a pen?”

“Dan, you know about bartenders and pens. Without this pen, I can’t get a tip.”

“I just need to sign David’s copy of my book. You can stay and watch.”

“After you pour my bourbon.”

“OK, here’s the bourbon, the seltzer, the ice, the cherries, and here, Dan, is my pen. Be careful.”

“Whoa, what are you doing Dan?”

“I’m signing your book. What, am I on the wrong page?”

“No, but why are you holding your pen like Taylor Swift?”


“Taylor Swift holds her pen like that. An article I read seemed to suggest she might need occupational therapy.”

“I’ve been holding a pen like this since before Taylor Swift was born, no one ever called an occupational therapist for me.”

“It’s a good thing you didn’t go to my school, Dan. Sister Frances would have interdicted that behavior with a ruler-wrap across your knuckles.”

“Actually, one of the good sisters at the convent in Enfield smacked my hand while I was filling out some raffle tickets at their annual festival. She made me hold the pen what I assume you all feel is the correct way.”

“I don’t much care, Dan, but David’s right. People are all spun up over Taylor Swift. Why do you hold it that way. Maybe she does it for the same reason.”

“I doubt it.”

“Uh oh, Cheryl. You’d better get him another Corona; I predict there’s a story coming.”

“Here you go, Dan. Now why do hold your pen like that?”

“When I was in college, I used to get terrible cramps while taking notes. Especially if I had back-to-back classes.”

“So you tried a different way of holding your pen?”

“Not on purpose. I cut my thumb on a can of tuna. You know, back when they were steel cans and you had to cut the lids off. I had to hold a pen like this for over a week while my thumb healed.”

“And the cramps went away?”

“They did. So I’ve held pens and pencils like this ever since.”

“Except for that day with the nun.”


“I guess it’s good you didn’t go to a Catholic college.”

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

Series page on Amazon

My profile page (and books) on Lulu

All available on Kindle Unlimited!


  1. Thank you! I think that was two laugh-out-louds. They were a nice balance to my own memory of Sister Mary Penmanship. And I say that with affection. That corn chowder is gorgeous! We’ve definitely entered into soup weather, and an image like that speaks to stomach and soul. Nice shot of the drops on the cypress. I do enjoy starting my Saturdays at the bar!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so glad you enjoyed this, Maureen. I wish I had thought of “Sister Mary Penmanship” – that’s a fantastic name. We had a couple wet days this week, and walking early after the rain is always fun. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved your story and the comparison to Taylor Swift. 😄 I went through Catholic grade school and hold my pen as the good nuns taught me. You’ve got the best explanation I’ve ever heard for an alternative to “the right way.” In my book, if it’s legible, you’re doing it rightly for you. Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. When I tried explaining the reason behind the way I hold a pen and the benefit I found (to the good Sister whose cause I was supporting) she had none of it. “Hold it correctly!” Maybe there’s some larger meaning to holding the tried and true method. Hopefully, the therapists that work with Ms. Swift will let us know. Have a great weekend!


  3. My husband is naturally left handed but the teachers did everything they could to change that when he was young. Oddly enough he does most everything else right handed, so it was partly successful.
    Love a good corn chowder!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Haha! I’m right-handed, but I turn my paper sideways like a left-handed person would!

    The third photo will be a story from Pam…”The Leaf and the Raindrop”!

    Old Glory honoring those we lost at Pearl Harbor…a poignant photo Dan.

    Enjoy the weekend Dan, and the snow that’s coming. 🙄

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. I wonder if the woman in the house was wondering why I was spending so much time focusing on her tree. I finally got it. I hope the leaf-lovers will enjoy it.

      I have a small adjustment to make on my snow blower, but I’ll be ready if I need it. It’s time. I can deal with snow, now.

      Maybe the way we hold our pens and paper is our little rebellion. I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

      I hope you have a great weekend.


  5. Boy, I’m definitely out of the loop. I have no idea that Swift holds her pen strange or than she needs therapy. (not that I really care – hold the pen like you’re most comfortable, Dan!)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoyed the video, Dan. (i know, weird, right?) I would have never known about Taylor’s pen holding if you had not brought up the subject. I like corn chowder, and we usually make a batch when the weather turns cold. Great photos too. Thanks for the link. PS I think the nun owes you an apology. Good luck with that.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never would have followed the story if some paparazzi hadn’t snagged a photo of her writing something. Seriously, John, people have too much time and too little life. I love corn chowder, and our weather is definitely on the cold side. I won’t be holding my breath for that apology. The fact that I was contributing to her fundraiser should have been enough for her to cut me some slack, but… I needed to add the link, lest someone try to find John Howell’s Bourbon for a last minute Christmas gift :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Okay let’s try this in order. I was just looking up corn chowder recipes last night, Dan. I happened to get my hands on a few ears of fresh corn at the Feria. Ha! That license plate is cool although my personalized one says ‘Dweeze’ but that’s another story. Hey David! Truth is I make my own drunk cherries any chance I get when fresh cherries are available. And yes, there ARE alternative Bourbons/whiskies. 😊 I’m glad you enjoyed the OSV event last night and we all look forward to photos when you get around to it. After being a scribing medical tech for 35 years I can say with certainty that my pen was always my friend. G2 from Pilot were the best. I hope all is going well with the latest book release. Happy Saturday!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David never fails to amaze me–he knows how Taylor Swift holds her pen?! And so do you–you’re a dude, Dan!
    Question for you: is WP now trying to complete your sentences? It just started a few days ago, but as I type a comment, WP types a few words ahead (usually exactly what I was going to write, which is pretty scary) and then the tab sign appears. What a world, what a world. heh heh. It didn’t complete that sentence. Guess it never watched ‘Spaceballs.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only noticed this aspect of Ms. Swift’s life because someone posted a picture on Twitter. But David is up on all the latest news, Lois 😏

      I don’t write in the WP editor, but Word has been doing “predictive text” for quite some time. It can be scary.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Predictive texting–of course it has a name! I must not have been paying attention, but then I’m not a fan of anyone telling me what to do…so that’s probably it. 😆 Yes, it is scary!
        David is a mess! 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

        • Word definitely gets in the way sometimes. At least there, I can turn it off. I don’t like the WP editor. I only use it when I have a short intro to write, like for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge. I’m going to tell David what you said ;-)

          Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s funny/interesting, Dan. Most of how you’re holding the pen is out of the photo frame, but best I can tell — that’s how I hold my pen too. Although I never held it any other way, and I have the permanent callous on my middle finger to prove it. LOL. My teachers never did mind. Although there have been a few other adults who complained loudly about it. Mostly the jerk-bully-low-level-manager types, looking for some way to enforce their lack luster authority…. Anyhow, I’m more concerned about holding my spoon for that lovely bowl of chowder! Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Truth be told, Teagan, the picture is not great because I don’t yet have my author copies of the new book. The book I appear to be signing is actually “The Evil You Choose.” So, it’s you, me and Taylor Swift. Still, only one of us seems to be drawing concern from the masses. I don’t write enough to have a callous, but I can put that nun on the stand as a witness. However you hold your spoon, the chowder is the best. I hope you have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful photos today, Dan! I’ve been reading about Taylor Swift and the Ticketmaster fiasco, but didn’t know they were onto how she holds her pen. Evidently, too many people don’t understand the need to find alternatives when the “right way” doesn’t work for them. I get tendinitis in my hands at times, so I understand the struggle.

    Hope you and the Editor are having a wonderful weekend and holiday season. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. I can’t believe there are people who care this much about how she holds a pen. I can think of a lot of things that would be a better use of their time. We are having a nice, normal weekend. We might get a little snow tomorrow night, into Monday. I hope you’re having a wonderful time. Isn’t it nice when there’s no work in between Thanksgiving and Christmas?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Cheryl is the best bartender! I vaguely remember my kindergarten teacher saying I’d get a “writer’s bump,” if I held my pencil the way I was holding it. Well, 60 years later, I’m kinda proud of having a writer’s bump, though it’s gotten softer with tying on computers. Glad your way works for you. That’s a nice pose by the grey squirrel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joana. Cheryl is the best. I think there are way more important things to worry about than how someone holds a pen. I didn’t discover this until I was 19, but I’ve held it this way ever since – no cramps. The squirrels are funny. They run, and then they’re like, “Oh, wait, is that the guy that has peanuts?”

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was good to see the flag at half staff for a normal, historic reason and not a pandemic or mass shooting. It was only lowered for the day, but I wanted to include it. Sister Frances probably brings back memories for a lot of people. You probably have pretty good penmanship, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for the shout out! Quite frankly if your handwriting is legible who cares how you hold the pen. Shouldn’t make a difference. Why do people insist on . . . Sorry. I like the picture of the tree weeping… I may . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I saw that license plate outside the bar, I had to snap a pic. When I saw the photo of her holding the pen with a caption about needing occupational therapy, my mind started working on this post even though Linda says “limited planning.”

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Three good word choices. Dictionary was my first thought. The soup in the picture looks really delicious.
    Dewey Decimal System Day was December 10. 📚
    “The only limit to your success is your own imagination” – Shondra Rhimes
    I most recently blogged about my upcoming book and launch party.
    I wish you a merry holiday ⛄ season, and a New Year full of peace, joy, and creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I do feel sorry for Taylor, it’s very unfortunate indeed. So…we have to show up to the bar to get signed copies…….hmm… 🤔😁 Now I’m trying to envision how you hold your pen. My daughter is left-handed and she was forced by her Catholic school teachers to learn to hold the pencil correctly with a small adaptor that was slid onto the pencil. She does have beautiful handwriting.
    On a complete side note, the lack of focus on actual handwriting in school is a shame, I process employment applications for part of my job and I’m amazed at how hard it is to decipher the writing these days. Way to find what works for you and your hand. As always, I enjoyed your nice selection of reflection photos this week and two of the flag :-)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am always amazed at the minor details of a celebrity’s life that find their way into the news. Didn’t anything else happen that day? Isn’t there someone with a real problem? I hold my pen between my index and middle fingers. It rests at the back and is guided by the fingertips. It works well, with almost no pressure being exerted. I honestly think it;s a better way.

      I don’t have great handwriting, but I would always take my time on an application. Things like that help form that first impression.


  15. It’s amazing how we adapt isn’t it? When I was in my mid 30’s I shattered my right wrist ice skating and was in a full arm cast for 9 weeks. I couldn’t write with my right hand with that cast on but, still needed to pay the bills and buy food so the bank let me write checks up to a certain amount with my left hand. By the end of the 9 weeks I was getting better at holding my pen/pencil and writing left handed but as soon as the cast came off I was so thankful to be writing with my right hand again! Better yet, I could drive again! I had a 5 speed manual transmission in those days.

    I loved the drops and puddle images today. Especially that Cypress with drops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my goodness. Not being able to drive must have been awful. I broke my right foot, but fortunately, I had a large pickup at the time and there was room to stick the cast out of the way. Also fortunate, it was an automatic. It’s funny about the bank. I doubt they would care today.

      I’m glad you liked the photos.

      Liked by 1 person

Add your thoughts or join the discussion. One relevant link is OK, more require moderation. Markdown is supported.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.