Guest Posts

Meet my dear friend, a gorgeous lady who lunches with style. The one and only Diane Duke.

There are some people you meet on your passage through life and even though you’ve never seen them in the flesh, they still carry enough presence to make you feel warm.

Diane is one of such people that I’ve been comfortable to connect with all these months. She’s smart, fun, wise, friendly and has a great sense of humour. I know that one day, I’ll be lunching with Diane and a host of other lovely people whom I’ve met in this space.

Please read and enjoy getting to know Diane a bit more.

Thank you, my lady, for taking the time to have a chat and all the best with the novella 🙂

I’ve lived in one suburb of Chicago or another my whole life. I’ve been married for quite awhile now and have a big blended family of two children, three stepchildren, a grandchild, six step grandchildren and even a step great grandson!

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I don’t usually break things down quite like that, they’re just my kids and grandkids. But I daresay if you saw us all in one room, you’d be hard pressed to know who belongs to whom. There’s kind of a lot of variety in ages!

Hubby and I also have two aging fur babies, Chief and Inga. Chief is a Chow/ terrier mix and Inga is a Norwegian Elkhound. Needless to say, there are lots and lots of fur and shedding and summertime is not their favorite time of the year!

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I have a B.S. in Journalism and it was so long ago that they call it Communications nowadays! I worked at a non-profit agency in Chicago in public relations and wrote press releases and coordinated fundraisers before leaving my job to get married and raise my family.

Eventually, I went back to work, at first, it was part time jobs, then full time at a law firm back in the city. My second son was born with lots of health problems so I had to leave that job and concentrate on his medical issues, including several surgeries and therapies over the years.

By the time he was three, I started working at home as a court reporting transcriptionist for a Washington, D.C. based firm. Certain federal courts allowed audio recordings, so we would get audio tapes and transcribe them on a deadline and at first mail them back, then later used email.

When I was transcribing, I could type 120 words a minute. I did this for a number of years until I was able to quit working completely and become a Lady Who Lunches! Yes, I’m spoiled and blessed to be able to hang out with my friends and shop and vacation…

I started my blog because I really missed writing – the only writing I was doing was our Christmas newsletter. I actually started getting requests for it from family and friends. So I plunged in and started a blog. This is how I thought blogging would go: I would read books I wanted (romance and light mysteries), write a review, post it on my blog and people would follow me. I found out quickly that if I did that I’d be writing for no one but myself!

So I signed up for WP’s Blogging 101 and made a lot of blogging friends and learned a lot! Since my blog was up and running, I was lucky I had some reviews from Goodreads to repost and keep things going for awhile.

Eventually, I started to write some fiction and some articles about things going on in my life, like physical therapy, personal training, babysitting my grandson, etc. I started exploring other blogs and found how much I loved meeting other people and talking with them.

It still amazes me that I’ve made blogging friends all over the world! I’ve found blogging challenges to be wonderful fun and a great way to meet other bloggers. I’ve done the A to Z Challenge in April and the ongoing Limerick Challenge at Mind and Life Matters and am in the midst of a Kindness Challenge.

Now I spend almost as much time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs as I do writing my own!

I never seriously intended to write a book, but I think I may have been bitten by the writing bug and may start tying together some of my shorter pieces into short stories or a possible novella. We shall see what happens down the road!

My typical days are spent fixing meals when forced, cleaning the house when I have to and going to the gym to work out a couple times a week. Youngest son still lives at home, so he’s going to work out at the gym now, too.

I go to lunch with my friends and I am on a weekly ladies bowling league in the fall and winter. I don’t really like shopping, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like buying! I’m just not much on spending the whole day at the mall. I mow the lawn and garden a little, pick up dog poop in our backyard and shovel snow when needed. Pretty mundane. Oh, and Tuesdays and Thursdays I babysit my three and a half-year-old grandson.

My only published pieces were back when I was in college and in local publications. Well, I guess I had news releases published when I worked for the United Way, but I don’t have any links to those either. The pictures I hopefully attached are Chief (tan dog), Inga (gray dog) and me and Inga having some girl time!

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Thanks, Jackie, for the lovely opportunity. I appreciate your friendship so much!

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The Daily Post · Writing

Those Careless Whispering…

Revealing secrets

Pulitzer winning or not, journalists like to delve into every part of your anatomy and dig out dirty secrets when given the room to do so.

Sometimes, when I read articles or listen to tittle-tattle and junk news that smacks of downright breach of privacy as well as meanness with a good measure of desperate desires to hurt the other person, the quote ”that the heart of man is desperately wicked” comes to my mind.

The great urge to pull down and annihilate the other person takes primal position in their minds and in as much as I like honesty, being upfront and read as an open book, there are certain areas that I would be unwilling to discuss beyond the peripheral aspects.

Putting my family members under undue glare of the limelight is not something that I would be willing to entertain. I guess I will be suspicious about the reporters motive for asking prying questions about family, even if they are nicely and positively coined. I would rather their privacy is maintained, except where they were to choose otherwise.

Issues bordering on sexuality are not topics that I am likely to dabble into either. Oh yes! such hot topics sells the news, but, no thank you! I won’t be your next meal ticket!

I think that the excessive push of sexual boundaries and Mores in today’s world is part of the dysfunction that we are experiencing. Nothing seems to be private anymore! Individual sexual proclivities should be kept personal and not for public consumption. Sometimes, in the bid to say so much and show our fierceness, we hurt ourselves and others.

I am also not sure that I would be willing to discuss my future plans in any details. I like to hold some of my thoughts to my chest, knowing the fact that my tomorrow’s don’t lie in my hands. It leaves me feeling strange, as if I am putting the cart before the horse.

I guess I can pretty much talk about everything else including some dirty secrets in my garden! Who doesn’t have any secrets?

Sometimes, some secrets are even better kept open. That way, they loose their sting and the power to hurt the secret holder.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

In response to The Daily Post prompt Trick Questions.

A Pulitzer-winning reporter is writing an in-depth piece — about you. What are the three questions you really hope she doesn’t ask you?