More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.


Mary Tomlinson 1961-2017When a high school classmate dies, I look at his or her yearbook picture. It may have been the last time I saw that person face-to-face. It gets harder to look at those pictures now. Knowing what time has done to those once youthful faces. Knowing that those faces will never again feel the sun.

Death visited our class early, and it has dogged us since. I lost one of my good friends before our ten-year reunion. Others were lost far too soon. As we enter the latter half of our fifties, a death announcement still comes as a shock. But we know those announcements will become more frequent as time goes on.

One day, someone will announce ours.

Time robs us of our health, our looks, our innocence, and our loved ones. But it gives us experience to learn from, pain to make us stronger, and loss to make us appreciate the people who grace our lives. So we take a moment to stop, mourn, comfort, and most of all, to appreciate.

We walk together for only a short time, and we don’t know when it will end. The recessional plays for us. Let’s enjoy this brief time together before we depart.

Still dissenting and protesting

OK, here’s another “forty years ago” post, but one with present-day relevance. It shows one of the most important lessons a teacher taught me.

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“I feel the need to write…”

My first journal entry, July 23, 1977

Forty years ago (which seems to be a trend of mine lately), I opened a spiral notebook and started to write a journal. This wasn’t when I became a writer. I became a writer when my English teacher Darlene Loiler read that journal, told me that I have potential, and encouraged me to develop it. What drove me to write was that it offered me something I desperately needed as a teenager — connection.

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The worst cars I’ve ever owned

My 1974 Ford Mustang II

Forty years ago, I stepped out of the DMV office as a newly minted California driver. Since then, I’ve owned a number of cars to the Prius that I drive today. Not all of them were pleasant to drive. Here are the worst cars I’ve ever owned in 40 years of driving.

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What’s new with Amiga

Amiga beta coverFirst, thanks to all of you who read and reviewed Amiga in the Inkitt novel writing contest. I got good feedback and learned a lot from the experience.

My goal is to get Amiga in the hands of everyone who wants to read it. (Of course, royalties are nice.) So, I’m looking for other opportunities to publish it. This means that I had to remove Amiga from the Inkitt site. I apologize to all of you who are inconvenienced. If I interrupted your reading of Amiga, you can request a replacement copy through my contact form. Please indicate where you left off in the book and which format you want (PDF, ePub, or Kindle). And if you would like to send me review comments, I’d appreciate it.

Stay tuned to my website for more updates on Amiga. Thank you for your support.