Linda Bittle - West Plains, Missouri 65775

This is Not Where I Thought I Was Going

I’ve Been Writing on and Here are Links to My Favorite Stories

Big life changes sometimes change what a writer needs to write about and how we write it. This blog is personal, and much of what I’ve been writing doesn’t really belong here. Well, some of it does, but I’m looking for a larger audience than I can draw here. So, I cautiously started publishing some of my work on where I can potentially start making some money with words instead of sweat and physical labor. And it’s starting to work! I now have 174 followers, most of whom I do not know. And I’ve been paid a total of less than one dollar so far. But it’s a start for an unknown writer!

A late summer pasture with mountains in the background and wild sunflowers to the fore.
I miss the western landscapes of Idaho, and I’m content to be in Missouri for now.
Photo by Linda Bittle © 2023

The Best of My Writing

The first story I published back in September of 2022 was a funny one about riding the senior bus here in West Plains. All true, and disturbing – but funny.

The four stories that actually do belong on this blog came early in 2023. Here’s the one about finding gratitude after my upstairs neighbor’s furnace went out while she was out of town, and I suddenly had water pouring out of my kitchen light fixture. On Christmas Eve.

And this one, about becoming divorced on Valentine’s Day.

Then there’s my whining about how much I hate tornado season in Missouri.

And what was probably the hardest one to write, about falling on my face and deciding to take early retirement. Those photos still make my nose ache.

Surprising Insights From 2020 and 2021

Just like everyone else in the world, I’ve found that the past couple of years have been difficult for reasons beyond my control. I’ve spent way more time than usual in one funk or another. I’ve spent way more time binge-watching old TV shows on streaming channels. And that’s how I rediscovered my love of the classic TV westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. A few of them ran up to the mid 1970s, but the quality of the storytelling went downhill.

My very favorite story to date is this one, published in December of 2022.

I most recently followed up with this, and this,

The west is going to be a theme I return to again and again. I miss the landscapes of rural Idaho and the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains. I’m not sure I’d move back to either of those places, but a part of me will always wish I could have stayed out west.

I’m happy that I can see my family easily. Especially now that Mom is getting older and frail. I love going on adventures with my sister, and that my brother is only just down in Oklahoma, less than a day’s drive away. I love seeing my aunt and uncle and the cousins from time to time. And I’ve made some wonderful new friends here. The Ozarks have a certain beauty and appeal. The trees and plants are familiar. I’m a farmer’s daughter, so the people are my people.

But that longing to see western prairies and western deserts and western mountains is strong in me. And I can’t help but think that a writer should be able to travel at will, because some of the best stories are found where towns are scarce, the wildlife is really wild, and where cowboys-real ones and fictional ones-maintain order on the range. I’m hoping that my earnings from Medium will allow me to go back from time to time. And while I’m waiting for that to happen, I’ll be writing more about westerns and other things that might not belong here on my blog.

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