Archive for May, 2015

Mondays with Melitas – May 25, 2015


Let’s hope everyone will enjoy a change of pace in the story line today.   I haven’t dug up a tale from the old days for a long time, and they do keep lurking about and coming to the fore every now and again.

My grandfather Marcos Antonio Forster and his wife, Guadalupe Avila Forster: out of 13 children they managed to raise only 6 to adulthood.

Now Don Marcos was tall, tall, tall, well over 6 feet. Antonia Guadalupe was a very diminutive but a slightly buxom woman.

The first son, Marquitos, was as tall as his dad, the second son, Frank, was the opposite, very, very short, maybe 5’3″ or 5’4″ and skinny. I won’t go any farther on this – stop right there- because Frank is the hero of this saga.

In the photo, there he is, all dapper with his best suit all pressed, the usual boots but what is that trailing down his back below his hu-hu? My goodness! That is his hair!! No wonder the kid has such a forlorn look. The hair must be giving him a headache. Poor Frank, but I wonder if he was in a gang like they have been having around here these last decades, the hair is well kempt so no relation to these hippies. If I had been living in that era, the boys would not be safe around me, I would be yanking away at the flowing locks every chance I could get! They would be running to their mama endlessly. And I would be getting the ruler on my behind, endlessly. I probably would not have lived through childhood. Then none of these informative stories would have gotten out.

But to think Grandma and Grandpa had to bundle the kid with all that hair onto the train in San Juan Capistrano to go to Los Angeles where they had an appointment with the photo gallery called “Elite Gallery Payne Stanton and Company.” What an undertaking! The photo states on the back “duplicates of this card can be furnished at any time.” There is no address, or I would send for copies to give to Frank’s grandkids and great grandkids – None of his sons or daughters are trodding the green grass these days. That would save me 5 pictures to get me off a bit cheaper.

Frank was a trooper though, there was a small pox epidemic and everyone in the house at the time was down with it. BUT, there was Frank and the Chinese cook waiting on everybody, keeping them with food and water. Frank was there with his boots on 24-7, probably about 6 or 7 years old at the time.

That is just one of my many stories I have yet to share…keep tuned in for next week’s exciting episode~frank

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A remarkable woman….

family-after-dads-viewing1After I learned that my step-mom passed away yesterday, I was filled full of many different emotions. Sadness of course knowing she was no longer here on this earth, but also a certain sense of awe as I know that when my dad passed a big piece of her went with him and now they are together.

This morning I come to the blank page and would like to give a sort of tribute to the woman named Lee that was married to my dad.

I remember the first time I met Lee, it was at a restaurant outside of Seattle and I was on a book tour with my book Fig on a Stick. I hadn’t talked to my dad in several years and knew he wasn’t far away and asked him if we would like to meet and I would take him out for dinner. The date was set and my dad told me he would pick me up at the hotel and was bringing his wife Lee.

I guess I had met Lee when I was a kid visiting my dad for a few weeks during a summer vacation, but I don’t really remember much about her except she had 2 kids Danny and Chrissy and some goats. She and her then husband at the time were good friends of my dad.

To be honest I was a little disappointed he would be bringing “her” along, but of course I was disappointed. All my remembrances of the last woman he was married to was far from pleasant and unfortunately I had put Lee in that box, without even knowing her.

I waited in the lobby back in 2006 and watched for my dad and even though I hadn’t seen him in several years there he was, still looking the same but different. The difference I would later understand was that he was happy and that he was loved.

Lee gave me a warm hug, but as I said earlier I had placed her in “that” corner of step-mom. The evening was great, we talked, my dad beamed. Everyone who walked by he picked up my book and said, “this is my daughter, she wrote a book!”

It was all very endearing actually. And then the evening ended and I hugged them both good-bye happy to see my dad happy.

Fast forward 5 years, the year is now 2011 and my brother, sister and I get word that our dad has Leukemia and not much time to live. We 3, get on a plane, but we miss his passing by one day. That night in our hotel is very vivid as the 3 of us share memories of our dad and then the conversation turns to Lee and our step-brother and sister that we don’t really know.

I say to Terry and Sandy, we may have to prepare ourselves. They may not appreciate us coming to say our good-byes since we all haven’t really seen dad in several years. We all braced ourselves for the next day when we would all be at the viewing.

We 3 arrived that morning first. We said our final good-byes and we even each wrote our dad a letter and placed it inside his suit. We were nervous and filled with emotion.

When Lee and Dan his wife April and Chrissy came in, what happened will never be forgotten. They treated us with so much love. We all hugged and cried together and told stories about our Dad. We learned how much our dad still talked about us when we were little and that we were very much loved. I will always be grateful for the new family that we became a part of that day.

I was fortunate enough to make 2 more visits to Washington to visit with them before she passed away.

So yes, my heart is sad for the loss of an amazing woman that really adored my dad. She welcomed us with open arms and my heart hurts for Dan and Chrissy in particular.

Her memory is a blessing to me an d my siblings in so many ways. She is now at peace with my dad and I know that together they are complete.

Thanks again Lee for accepting us and loving us when we needed it. Give Dad a hug from all of us.


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Mondays with Melitas – May 18, 2015

Melitas May 18, 2015BEEG ANNOUNCEMENT

For my readers, — in the event there might be a few still hunkering around.

Yes, “THE” book is finished!!!!!!  Off it went to the Publisher yesterday, and here I am today, May 16, 2015, writing a  blog for “Mondays with So and So.”  It took me awhile to get those cobwebs out of my mind.  You would’ve thought someone was decorating for Halloween up there.  I’m going to give it the old “college try” for another book.  Hear that!!!  I guess I can still dream, can’t I?

I can hear my Coach Tammy saying “Just don’t get ahead of yourself — finish this blog and deliver it to me—then we can get it all fired up for the web site before everyone forgets how you look.  Okay, Kid?”

Okay, then.  I will bring this to a quick close to get ahead of the game instead of ahead of myself.  I’m a little confused at this point anyway.  I really need to proceed slowly to get back up to speed.  (Ha!)

In conclusion, all of you should get busy and practice composing great “replies” so that you will have something to say to ME.  If you love what I have said, then tell me; and if you don’t like what I said, tell me — those can be so funny.  They all make my day.

Love you all.


MELITAS FORSTER                                               MONDAYS WITH MELITAS

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Short Story Workshop May 17, 2015

There are still a few spaces left for the May 17 workshop.  I will be teaching a brand new class on Short Story.  If you are interested, I would love to sign you up, just email me at

Interested in attending an upcoming retreat?

July: Calgary, Alberta

Sept: Camas, Washington (near Portland)

Oct: Palm Springs, California (date to be announced)

January: Whale Watching and Writing in Loreto, BajaTLC-Logo SilverSage-FB

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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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