Zippityzerns.com
The Virtual Office of
Author Linda L. Zern
The Author in Three Versions
Linda L. Zern (1958 - Still Kicking)

   Presenting, courtesy of Out of Sight Film Productions and Adam C. Zern, the first ever author interview. Hear the author speak, see the author wear a black turtle-neck, watch her lips move, and be amazed at how smart the director/film editor makes her sound. The author discusses her latest book, The Long-Promised Song.


 

A Brief Introduction:  Linda L. Zern (The Serious Me)

 

They named her Linda so that everyone would know that she was born in the 1950's.  Sister Zern is a native Floridian.   At five she watched, open-mouthed, from the front yard of her row house on Rose Marie Drive, in Titusville, as the first American astronauts raced the Russians into space. From these early memories she believes she became unabashedly moonstruck.

When she was nine she moved with her family to a miniscule rural town in Seminole County, Florida. There under the live oaks and Spanish moss she discovered the thrill of fantasy.

Later, as a wife and mother of four, Sister Zern became acquainted with absurdity, tomfoolery, exhaustion, and multi-tasking. She has served in the Seminary, Institute, Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women’s organizations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and has taught all age groups from eighteen months to eighty plus. 

At the age of forty-two she took a healthy slice of fantasy, added tomfoolery to it, divided it with wonder and created her first children's chapter book, The Pocket Fairies of Middleburg. The reviewer from Writer's Digest called "the perspective of these tiny beings [the pocket fairies] refreshing, enchanting, and intriguing."

The folks at the Florida Publisher's Association were kind enough to award her little book the President's Book Award for best children's book of 2005.

Sister Zern has since published an inspirational book called, The Long-Promised Song, serving as both writer and illustrator. Three collections of her humorous essays (ZippityZern’s Uncommon Nonsense) can be found at <Smashwords.com>. Her award winning essays have been recognized and published at <HumorPress.com>, and her current book, Mooncalf, will be available soon on Amazon. 

The mystical state of Florida remains an enchanting and delightful place for both Sister Zern and her husband of thirty plus years. And so they continue to make their home (along with their horses, Kitty and Selena) among the palmettos and armadillos in the historic town of Saint Cloud. Brother and Sister Zern have ten grandchildren who visit on a weekly basis.

Please note: The author continues to be moonstruck.

 

 

To Contact the author (me) please email (me) at zippityzern@comcast.net

 

 

 

Spin Cycle:

THE SILLY ME

The earth turns. The world goes round and round. Spring follows winter follows fall trails summer. Life is a spinning wheel, inside a circle of stars, revolving on a hula-hoop of hormonal booger dirt.

Sorry. It’s day thirteen. Bad. Angry. Phrase. Day.

I know I don’t write about being menopausal much and that a few readers might find this surprising, but honestly there are some subjects that even I don’t find funny:  bubonic plague, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, finger nails, and menopause.

Then I realized that my “change of life” could be documented on a merry-go-round pie chart of hormonal predictability, and while I haven’t felt this out of control since I was a hysterical thirteen-year old, it is all kind of silly in a tragic, life cycle kind of way. I’m just not sure that it’s funny. Then again, fifty percent of the time I’m not sure that I don’t have the Ebola virus, one hundred percent of time, which is a not and a don’t and that equals a double negative. Get it?

Here are the facts on my monthly, revolving, day-by-day “change of life” spin cycle.

Days 1 through 3:  For three days a month, I feel as if I’m breathing liquid cement, and it’s hard to drag my lungs around, also my arms, legs, and hair. I’m really tired.

The Three Days After That (Days 4, 5, 6) or the Mobster Mentality Days:  I feel like I want to encase people in cement and throw them into a deep ditch full of swampy water. I begin to make a list of likely candidates. By day six, I find that I have run out of time and homicidal desire.

Day 7:  There’s a spring in my step, a glow to my skin, and no bloating. I want to live long enough to be interviewed by someone famous.

Days 8 through 11:  I congratulate myself on not being a fifty-three year old pregnant person.

Day 12: My skin dries up. My hair thins. Wrinkles grow more pronounced. I get pimples. What the fudge sickle?

A Vague Number of Days After That, Ranging From A Single Day to Most Days:  Wandering around my home, I shuffle about ranting about the deplorable state of everything from the burning in my finger bones to the potential collapse of the Greek drachma. Or as my granddaughter asked, “Why you talk yourself all time, YaYa?”  “Because, dear,” I tell her. “I’m the only one who’ll listen to me anymore. Besides, I’ve become the smartest person I know. Let’s get ice cream.”

Day  (I lost track):  Be afraid. Be very afraid. There’s a bright light but I don’t go near it. I feel too mean. The light is all shimmery and shivery. The light is quite possibly afraid of me.

Day 28:  On my knees, I raise my clenched knobby knuckles to the sky and shout, “As God is my witness, this sucks.”

Rinse and Repeat.

I know in my heart that I’m not supposed to be at the mercy of my body chemicals. I. Know. That.

In addition, highly educated tenured college professors have informed me that there is no real difference between the sexes. That male and female exist only in our societal heads. That we are simply the result of our  “conditioning” or is it conditioner?

When I hear troubling theories like that, I look down at my too-tender-to-touch mammary glands, the ones that dangle off the front of my unisex chest on day thirty of my “change of life” pie chart, and I whisper, “Who told you that you were girl boobs?”

Linda (Dizzy Dame) Zern  

 

 

           **Grist 

(THE MILITANT ME)

 

Man, sometimes these college creative writing classes make me wish I’d been taken hostage by Somali pirates, smacked to within an inch of my life, and saved by Seal Team Six.

That would put the razzle in my creative writing dazzle.

Let’s see; what have I got?  Malignant cancer at twenty-six. Blah. Writing about cancer around here is the equivalent of writing yet another drink-drank-drunk tale of giggly good times and party trouble—mostly party trouble. Cancer is so passé.

Crap, I don’t know how to spell passé. Okay, what else?

When I was twelve we lived in the Bahamas in a two-bedroom duplex next to a croupier, and the woods burned down next to our side of the duplex while the Bahamian firemen watched. The croupier didn’t wake up; he worked nights, slept days. My dad worked as a “manager” at the one and only oil refinery on the island; that’s what he said. I think he was a spy.  We lived in bathing suits. That’s probably where I got cancer.

No murders. No mayhem, other than the fire. No vampires. A few mobsters with huge get-away-homes, but they never bugged us. My brother got poison oak. I stepped on a sea urchin.

Next.

I guess I could write about my dad shooting up crap, when I was a kid. He shot that Blue Heron, shot up the barn trying to kill rats, shot my calico kitten in front of me. That’s pretty poignant stuff. Creative writing classes eat that kind of crap up with a spoon, but I’m not sure what the point would be. He was quite the drinker, my dad. Started young, kept it up. Liked to wet the boar’s ball sack down with water and then shock him in the testicles with an electric cattle prod. Good stuff. Gritty. Raw. Honest. Horror and shock and the worst kind of uncertainty.

Am I ready to take all that on? If I am, I’d better hurry, because I’m halfway to dead.

I can write funny. Sure. But I’m no David Sedaris. Not gay. Chose DNA over NYC. Never did dope and I only use alcohol to clean my glasses. I’ve had to wipe my butt with a plane ticket before and cut bubble gum out of my husband’s bottom hair but nothing hip or cool or stoned. You can tell I’m not hip, because I used the word bottom instead of ass when talking about my husband’s ass.

So, what else?

Let’s see. I’ve only had one sexual partner in my entire life, and sure, he’s Super Man and adores me and we still can’t get enough of each other even after thirty plus years but the cutting edge of sexuality—hardly. No skeletons, no closets, although we have done  “it” in a closet and a hayloft and . . .

Okay, so I watched the Apollo rockets rumble towards the moon from my front yard in Titusville with all the other kids whose dads worked at the Cape, and I went to segregated schools in the South, once upon a bad old time. And I know a Polish woman with a tattoo she got when she was a small girl—at Auschwitz. I wrote a short story about her but the community college kids thought the story was about a woman who got old and saggy and her tattoo got ugly. Sigh.

So I fell into the generation gap and drowned. Well, what did I expect; I have scars older than most of the students I go to school with. It’s not their fault.

Maybe, the war stories?

I could write about getting that phone call from Iraq, the one where my kid is so stoned on synthetic morphine, he can barely speak. But he’s fine he slurs and on his way home—just an accident.  Don’t cry, Mom. The magnesium burns aren’t that bad, he tells me.

And suddenly I’m learning more about magnesium flares than I care to know. Magnesium burns at 3200 degrees Fahrenheit. It can melt engine blocks. It melted his Kevlar body armor.

It takes him five days, flat on his stomach to get home: Bagdad, Germany, D.C., Chicago and the world’s premier burn doctors telling him at every stop that he’s looking at skin graphs, potential infection, potential rejection, and months of hospitalization and therapy.

But all along there have been prayers and fasting that have gone up to our God’s heaven like incense from the tabernacle in the wilderness of our afflictions.

Finally he reaches Brook Medical Center in San Antonio where the doctor’s tell him, “SSG Zern, we can’t explain it, but you’ve begun to heal and healthy skin is growing over the third degree burns. We’re releasing you to the barracks to recuperate.”

Ah, but that smacks of faith and religion and miracles and we all know how that plays in some circles.

Damn.

What I wouldn’t give for a good Somali pirate kidnapping.

Okay, that’s it; I got nothing.

Nothing to write about.

 

**Grist: Ground grain. Something that can be turned to one’s advantage.

 

 

 

Please be advised that the original works found on this website are copyrighted 2017 and are protected by dobermans, a yeti, and a really feisty pony--also God. The penalty for pretending that my writing is your writing is . . . well, I don't like to think about it, but remember plagiarizing makes you a cheater, and I can always write new stuff. Amen.