Between Arizona’s Dry Winter and Hot Summer, We Get an Ideal Spring

My latest short memoir piece was just published by Six Hens. This nonfiction story was very difficult to write and even more difficult to think of publishing. Called “Boundaries,” it’s about a time when my boundaries were invaded by someone else–and just at that vulnerable season of puberty.


It’s a glorious spring here in Arizona, so I snapped some pix of what I see outside, just to remind me when I’m inside.

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All of these beauties survived the freezes this winter, with a little help from the humans. Hubby and I covered them with old sheets and freeze cloths every time the temperature dipped.

Starting to write again TODAY. Thanks for the motivation last week!!!

If you like the Arizona landscape, I do have a few poems that touch upon that subject in Doll God.  Haha, I haven’t plugged my book in awhile!


Filed under #AmWriting, Arizona, Literary Journals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Publishing, Writing, Writing Talk

59 responses to “Between Arizona’s Dry Winter and Hot Summer, We Get an Ideal Spring

  1. Intense story for such a young girl.

    • Hah, that’s one way to put it! Thanks for reading it, Kate! I just tried a new cat trick. I marinated some cat toys in catnip so that when Kana annoyed Tiger I could pull one out and give it to her. So far so good.

      • It’s a good trick. Makes it nice and fresh.

        • And makes them silly ;).

        • By the way, I have a new idea to have Kana and Tiger get along. I want to adopt Slupe, so I am working on hubby. (gonna be a lot of work) Slupe is only 5, so she is even younger than Kana and they could play together. Of course, Slupe thinks playing is walking up behind another cat and swatting his/her butt. But she’s been at the shelter for two years now and needs a break. And maybe Kana would leave Tiger alone then?

          • Can you do a trial? Kana may need a playmate or they may both gang up on Tiger. You never know with cats.

            • If I do it it will be to foster Slupe first. My only concern really is that once fostered, it would be hard to put her back in a shelter environment. I really love her, and she’s been there so long that she thinks that’s her “home.” She’s a little orange/black calico, very unique looking and not the type to win friends easily. Plus, she was kicked out of Petsmart a long time ago, so she has no real way to get adopted :(.

              • Kicked out of PetSmart? My kinda cat. Good thing I don’t live near you. Sounds like she may have some “tortitude.” She may do great for an older person as an only cat. Good luck.

              • Hahaha. She never gets adopted because she can’t go to PetSmart, and I don’t know what to do for her. She got upset there and refused to in a cage and threw a big hissy fit and they said she can’t come back. That was a year and a half ago. I keep saying we should just change her name . . . .

              • Was there too much commotion for her? Cages too small? If you can figure that out, you may be able to resolve it.

              • I think it was just too much of everything–shove into a kennel and leave the shelter, show up at a store with lots of strangers, shove into a little “bin” there, people goggley-eyed at her, etc. I’m sure I would have acted the same way.

              • She also doesn’t seem to like it when somebody touches her in a way to “manage” her. Move here, let me pick you up, scooch over, that kind of thing.

  2. Congratulations on your recently published story, Luanne. Very emotional read.

  3. I can understand why this was hard to write with all the sexual and emotional confusion to sift through and recall from the point of view of those early teen years. I enjoyed all the sensory details in this piece that so thoroughly ground me in the place and time. Beautiful work. Congratulations!

    • It’s hard to keep from feeling that same sense of powerlessness and shame and isolation even all these years later. I know people have had much worse happen to them, but for me it was a defining time.

  4. Still waiting for our spring to begin up here in Vancouver, Beautiful shots 🙂

  5. Congratulations! And the desert flowers are beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Our flowering trees are blooming everywhere and the pollen is thick. I’m tempted to stop and take pictures every time I pass one, but the Orlando city traffic won’t permit it. 🙁

    • I know what you mean about wanting to stop and take pix. I am like that so often, but usually STYMIED. Or thwarted. One of those big words, you know. Thanks, Susan!

  6. Congratulations on the publication Luanne, it’s a very powerful piece and I can imagine how difficult it was to write and to put out into the world. I felt every emotion as you described the situation (and it brought back some memories for me of boundaries being invaded) – great writing.

    • Ugh, I am sorry to hear that you have those memories of invaded boundaries!!! But thank you so much for your kind words, Andrea. All those negative feelings came pouring back as I wrote it, but now it’s out there and not inside me (I am hoping it works that way haha).

  7. Thanks for sharing the glorious plant photos and the link to your scary story. Congrats on your latest publication.

    • Thanks, WJ! I wish you could see the plants in person. Maybe next year? Did you think the story was scary? It was hard to dredge up those old emotions . . . . .

  8. Good for you, starting to write again. I hope that as soon as I get my tax prep done I’ll be doing the same.

  9. Powerful story, Luanne.

  10. Beautifully written tale in Six Hens, Luanne

  11. Oh, how I love your writing, especially when you take on such difficult memories. Congratulations on its publication and glad to hear you’re writing again 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Marie! I haven’t been very good, even after my pronouncement. heh I’ve written 10 minutes this week so far and Tuesday is almost over. Taxes and family stuff is all weighing on me. Ugh. Tomorrow is another day . . . .

  12. Congratulations on the new publication! Love the descriptions of the surrounding areas, the false sense of safety created by the church and familiar neighborhood. Interesting how the first kissing experience seems wholesome and in the range of normal, while the second experience with Blondie is painful and shaming due to the intent and disregard of Blondie.

    • Oh, thank you so much, Carla. I like the way you put that about the contrast between the two experiences. Karen’s brother is also an “innocent” and Blondie is definitely not. I always wondered if he ended up in prison or learned to control his antisocial instincts. The church and parsonage definitely were boundaries to my neighborhood! And between those were the pines where kissing wasn’t scary.

  13. Just read your memory piece. Very moving and somehow familiar. Nice writing!😊

  14. Wow, Luanne, that story! I could feel it all so intensely. I remember teenage boys like that. You would have fit right in with the other women I spent the past week with. They had written or were writing memoirs, and some also had written stories based on their lives. Beautiful flowers!

  15. What a powerful story, Luanne. I watched a video/read a blog (it all mashes together) recently about hostile behavior as a sign of affection (“maybe he likes you”) and how corrosive that is. This essay shows that so well. Thanks for persevering through the difficulty of writing and the hard decision to publish. It was worth it.

    • Thanks so much, Ellen. Yes, hostile behavior as a sign of affection. Ugh [shudders]. And thanks for reading the story! Hope your day is lovely.

  16. Your photography is quite professional, Luane. I savored the exquisite cacti blooms, liked your pretty pansy and beautiful bougainvilla. Hugs for your sharing these, Luanne!

  17. I was very sorry you had this series of violations by Blondie. Did you talk to your mother about this?
    I was kissed by a Boy Scout one week before I turned 16. We were taking down tents off platforms and later, over a campfire my wish to not be “Sweet 16 and never been kissed” was passed around during “Truth or Dare” time.
    My Mom let me go to his Senior prom at a prominent Cleveland Catholic H.S. When we were coming home, he parked close to my house, we kissed and were affectionate. But when he pulled my long dress up and started to inch his way up with his hand, I was like you had been, upset and nervous saying, “Stop!”
    When I got home my Mom followed me upstairs because although I “said” I had a good time at his prom, she told me my eyes spoke volumes different. While out of my Dad’s ear shot I told her what he had tried to do. She and I sat together as she dictated a note to mail him. It basically said I was too young to date a senior and he had been wrong to try and touch me. He never called and fortunately he didn’t attend any more scouting functions. I was lucky, unlike yourself, he didn’t go to my public H.S.

    • Robin, you were so lucky to have the kind of relationship with your mom that you could tell her! I didn’t have that kind of trust, partially because I thought she would tell my father. I pushed everything down pretty far.

  18. Oh Luanne what a powerful piece of writing. I wanted more, I wanted to hear that the boy got what was coming to him. So hard that when you were in need of a friend you thought you could not tell the others. I forget that when I talk to my daughter about how she could explain to her friends how she feels and at thirteen she says thats too hard. I forget so easily. Thanks for sharing.

    • He definitely didn’t get much, especially since I never told anybody. Here is something weird. For years I assumed he would end up in prison and wondered if I would ever find out that is what happened to him. I have not found out, but I did hear something else. I went to a different high school after junior high than the other kids because we moved across town. But a friend who did stay at that high school said he was there throughout high school. She read my story and said she never realized this happened (of course not since I never told anybody). She was surprised it was Blondie I was talking about. So apparently he went all the way through high school and never got a reputation for being this psychopathic person that I thought he was. Still wonder if he showed his true colors again after high school haha.

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