Are you tired of hearing how we are in some “unusual” times?

I had a friend ask recently if all those writers putting together scripts for commercials or designing advertisements had a Thesaurus so they could use another word besides “unusual.”

So, as a public service, here is a list of a few dozen words we writers can use instead of “unusual.”







































Ellen M. Evans Feb. 22, 1936 — Jan. 9, 2020 (Photo provided by author)

The other day, my husband let me know that we’re out of toilet paper, and it took all the control I had to not break down sobbing. I have the same reaction to unfolded baskets of clean laundry. And it’s all my mom’s fault.

My mother, 83 years old and the best caregiver I have ever known, died in January after complications from her chemotherapy for colon cancer. What is it “they” say? “If the cancer doesn’t kill you, the chemo will.” She had lived with my family for the past year or so — 467 days to be exact…


Yes, Cancer.

Damn! Surgery?

Yes. Biopsies, blood tests, PET scans.

Fear. Anger. Chemo.

Sick. Mouth sores. Neuropathy. I can’t feel my feet.

Insert port for “easy access.”

Hope. Anticipation…

Photo by Abishek on Unsplash

A child transforms a bitter, old man into someone filled with love

There once was a man. A man very angry with how his life had developed. He hated his job. He hated his commute, especially in the winter. He hated that his wife’s parents shared his house. He hated that he lived an adult life with no passion, no dreams, no adventure.

He’d had an adventure once and it wasn’t as exciting and fun as he thought it would be. He’d run across fields in Europe while shooting at Germans in World War II, and he hated every second. He was drafted during his freshman year in college. When he came…

Cosmos blossom in a farm field.
Cosmos blossom in a farm field.
Cosmos blossoms in every shade of pink in a field near road construction. (Photo by Susie Taylor)

Farmer’s field is transformed into a wonderland of color

Nestled in a triangular plot at the corner of a county road and a state highway grows a paradise.

Surrounded by impenetrable borders — a paved road, a deep ditch with swamp grass growing in it, and a wooded fencerow — is what usually is a farmer’s field. This year, though, instead of corn or soybeans, the field is awash with a rainbow of color.

All shades of pink cosmos line the outside border while the center of the field boldly clashes with its oranges and yellows and nearly every other color of zinnias. …

A peek at an old Morning Pages entry. Photo by Susie

Trust me, I’d never hurt you.

It will be over before you know it.

It’s not that difficult

No one likes you

I promise I’ll pay you back.

Keep going, it’s not much farther.

It’s OK, Fluffy doesn’t bite (or scratch, or jump on people)

You’re going to LOVE it.

You can take a nap later.

There’s not that much more laundry.

It’s in the mail.

He’s your grandfather; he loves you.

You’ll get into big trouble if you tell.

No one will believe you.

I’m just going to trim your hair.

You won’t need your umbrella today.

You don’t…

Dinner is done. Leftovers are packaged and in the fridge. Dishes are rinsed and in the dishwasher. Kids are occupied with homework. Husband is not home from work yet. Finally, some time for myself.

I check in on the kids making sure they are focused. I quietly open the door to the garage. Slowly “snick” it shut behind me. Tip-toe to the upright freezer in the garage and open the door.

Please, let it be where I left it! I’ve thought about nothing else all day anticipating this cool, creamy, forbidden treat. Oh no! It’s not where I hid it…

This was a summer of doomed relationships for me. I found — and lost — a couple of pets. My mom doesn’t understand how I could become so attached, especially when these creatures are things she routinely squished in her youth. But these wonderful wigglies had me curious.

It all started with Frank and Harvey. Frank was the hardier of the two. I was fascinated watching him crawl from leaf to leaf, defoliating my almost dead tomato plant.

Frank and Harvey were tomato hornworms. You know, those menacing looking green worms with the spikes of death jutting from their bums.

Susie Taylor

Mom, crafter, proofreader, copyeditor, and writer with more experience than you can shake a stick at.

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