From Susan Elder: I agree with you about fake documentation in programs. But in their defense, they get me up off the sofa and stomping around the room screaming at the top of my lungs, “You dolts!  You idiots! Can’t you see what’s in front of you?”

From Linda Smith: I enjoy watching the mundane on TV like reruns of old shows and The Voice and Dancing with the Stars….I am enjoying my road to ‘hell.’

How self-righteous last week’s letter must have been to elicit these responses. The weekly letters I write are as much for me as for someone else. As I grow older, I see that I really am wasting a lot of time. And I don’t have that much left even if I live to be 100 (assuming I am not ga-ga). I simply compared “empty calories” with other pursuits to express my feelings of wanting to make sure that I get enough vitamins in my own pursuits. I don’t always want to constantly judge what’s “good, better, and best” in life.

To be honest, I have essentially completed two historical novels and have at least two more that I would like to write. If I spend my time on empty calories, I’ll never fulfill my dreams. So where are these novels? They are in the hands of a couple of trusted readers to have them test drive them. Maybe they will turn out like my mother’s collection of “collectibles.”  For years, she and Ferdi went to yard and garage sales looking for items the sellers didn’t realize were valuable.  She filled the cellar shelves of her home with them. When it came time to move, there they all were, essentially going for nothing at her yard sale or being donated. Yet, the purpose of those items had been fulfilled with the fun the two of them had discovering them. The money spent was essentially for the entertainment of those weekend mornings.

Maybe my novels will be like that: It was great fun doing deep research in order to make them as accurate as possible. It was fun to find troves of letters and articles on my subjects to use. It was entertaining to use these materials to create stories. I suppose I ought to at least name the books at this point. One, set in Jerusalem of 600 BCE before the final destruction of Solomon’s Temple, is called, “When Babylon Returns.”  The other is set in Nauvoo, Illinois and the nearby areas from about 1838 to 1846 and called “Nauvoo Weave.”  In the future I’d like to write about Mormons and the “Utah War.” The Mormon Colonies in Mexico offer tremendous scope for writing.

But I keep getting side-tracked.  My Cub Scouts are adorable, so they are in my plans. I try to get exercising five days a week. That keeps my mind active as well as my body. I really want to tend our garden, and that takes a lot of effort. I want to visit with neighbors. I try to keep up with friends and family on Facebook. I sometimes have grandchildren’s sports to go to. Doctors’ appointments. How about errands and all the other chores that come with keeping house? And that’s only the beginning. I’ve got to learn to weed my life if I want to achieve some private goals. So I was not trying to sound critical of others last week when I wrote “Empty Calories.” I was giving myself a pep talk. Because the pull of sitting down with a really exciting novel is very strong. I’m sorry but “Mormon Resistance” about the Utah Expedition 1857-1848, though worthwhile, can’t match the appeal of those empty calories I am so fond of. PMA