Saturday, January 31, 2009
Voting still up for the book give-a-way---see post below!
Friday, January 30, 2009
And here they are, in no particular order:
It weren’t what I wisht fer my wife. I wanted ‘er taked care of. But I got sick, ya know. And things, theys happened so fast. I lost my job at th’ mill. And the insurance done run out ‘fore th’ medical bills finished comin’. An’ then I’s gone.
Suri got left wit’ a lot when I died. Left wit’ too much. Our’n son, th’ no good bugger, God love ‘im, said he’d help ‘er. But all he did was help ‘er clean out th’ bank account. Only he didn’t give ‘er nothin’. She ain’t seen 'im since.
An’ now, when I looks down from th’ Great Glory Above, I sees ‘er. She huddles on th’ walk, lookin’ old ‘n’ frail. My Suri. She’s wore down, I knows. But she keeps tryin’ to sell them newspape’s o’ hers. It’s all she got. Th’ only way to earn ‘n’ eat.
I pray she join me soon. I wait fer ‘er here in Paradise.
Debbie – Suburb Sanity
While the word rings true and hard, it cannot begin to express the depths of despair that follow it wherever it goes. It surreptitiously enters your life and changes everything you are and have. First, you begin to let the small, unnoticeable things slip: taking the time to call a friend, upkeep on the house, little details at work. Slowly, these small things morph into larger items neglected: dressing properly, caring for your family, striving to get ahead at work.
You know the addiction is in control of your life when you feel drawn to it instead of reading with your child, you don’t bother to go out of the house, and work is an afterthought. There is no world for you outside of the addiction. Nothing can take its place. The pleasure you derive from it cannot be matched by anyone or anything else.
You don’t want to reach out for help. The desire to leave this habit behind and return to your former life is not within you. You cannot see a time it will not be the center of your universe. No matter how difficult life becomes, you will not let go.
Blogging is your life.
Stephen Craig Rowe
Two hundred words are as near as the image. Clear as cold soft snow
I thought about my husband's words as I snapped the picture of the woman before me. The last round of cuts at the newspaper had been close--so close but even with this latest assignement, I wasn't breathing too easy. I wondered what would happen when we couldn't pay the next electric bill...when the bank told us we were behind too many payments.
How did it feel to be on your knees looking up?
I took a step closer and reached out my hand.
Tim - Perception is not always reality
"Helga, the first Mongolian in history with a Swedish name, always had a dream of one day becoming ambidextrous. When she was little, being right handed she used to feel really sorry for her left hand, so she started talk to it behind the right hand’s back.
While her right hand was not looking, she sneakily introduced her left hand to juggling, knitting, driving, paddling, pottery and the piano, in the hope of becoming proficient but to no avail, leading to constant mockery by some of her friends.
However, at 102, Helga always knew she’d have the last laugh as she has outlived all her childhood friends to live and tell the tale that – with great perseverance comes, great reward.
She is now often seen on the streets of Mongolian Townville, nimbly rolling newspaper cigarettes with both hands before puffing away to read the latest obituaries of those who thought she’d never be ambidextrous."
More Than Just A Mother
She sits on the pavement, newspapers a defensive arc against the cold of humanity. Nobody notices her. Even as they drop a coin and snatch a paper, hurrying by to meet self-imposed deadlines, nobody notices her. In the rain they run past her, kicking up sleet in her face. In the blinding heat of the sun she sits, still as a lizard, as children’s laughter echoes through the streets. She has worked the fields till her feet bled from exhaustion; she has borne the children who will shape the future; she has been a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mother; but nobody notices her. She is old now, and one day soon the winds of time will sweep away yesterday’s papers without her. And nobody will notice.
Afiori - (Maria-Thérèse Andersson)
All her friends were gone. She was of no importance to anyone anymore - they even stepped on her as she was sitting on the pavement; it was as if she were invisible.
Really, there was no point in living.
She inhaled the smoke and once again played with thoughts on how to end her life. Would she jump in front of a train? From a bridge?
Still, she couldn't help but look for signs.
If three persons with red shirts passed her within the next five minutes she would go on living.
If the word "hope" was found five times in the same newspaper she would not kill herself.
She inhaled the smoke while she carefully read all the newspapers in the pile in front of her.
as I sit on this street.
They don't see me
and I don't speak.
They don't know that I was once a mom.
I lovingly called her "Jen".
I kissed her check before her prom
and never saw her again.
Unknown woman died last night.
That's what the headlines will say.
Papers surrounded her - it was an awful sight.
Perhaps it is better this way.
People pass, look away, think I sell papers from home. Not so. I shrug shoulder, shoo. I not give up precious news.Gift son give. Lin say read, bring old country to you. Not same. Nothing same. My language, each character tell story of heart left behind.
Not stay in restaurant all day, everyone busy. Lin say sit, enjoy being elder. Old fool he think I am. Invisible paper lantern. I sit outside where lamp in sky shine light on words. Bring water to eyes. Tears float for father, sister. Try night escape, no tell anyone. Bad men come, take away tongue. I lucky get away, some not. They ghosts above rice fields.
Granddaughter want hear story. How survive. How family live when I girl. What words I say?Heart torn out too?
I tell her: Honor where come from.Even if tongue have short life.Respect what elder keep hidden. Some story go out like match. Some burn fire where heart once live.
I try put pieces together. Puzzle I know broken. Never be whole. I find words for Granddaughter.
Maybe help her tongue sing.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
A PEE ESS: I forgot to add: The Rose & Thorn Literary Ezine newsletter will be out in the next few days - I plan to have it ready to go by 2/1. If you haven't signed up for the R&T Newsletter, you can do so HERE. It's emailed to you, and we keep our subscriber emails safe!)
(google images from www.superstock.com & supplementalscience.wordpress.com & asia.cnet.com)
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted it to you, along with his/her blog link.
2. Pass the award to (15) other blogs that you feel are worthy of this recognition. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen as recipients .
Monday, January 26, 2009
Instead of plots and outlines and structure, my brain splinters and gives me a kaleidoscope of images flashing past so quickly that I can’t grab hold of them but one image at a time; but quickly and surely this happens, and I write down an image and another and another and go from there. All in all, its easier for me to just let my brain do its thing, write the story as it comes, and hope for the best.
Surely my brain's way of interpreting my world, in the way it perceives data and love and lives and images and words and thoughts has served me well enough? Or at times has frustrated me. Or left me dizzy with possibilities unseen and unarrived? Or given me gifts? Perhaps there are trade-offs. Perhaps if I saw my world in completes instead of parts, I’d not see things in the way I do, and in not seeing them in the way I do, perhaps I would not have "met" the characters who have come to me in visions of eyes, mouth, and hair. Perhaps I’d be someone else. Then I would not be me. My writing would be someone else's.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
There is the bunny tracks, then the tracks that follow it.
There is blood on the snow, just a little.
The bear tracks that morning.
We see a pair of feline tracks and those tracks go up almost every driveway in the cove--GMR calls it our "Security Cat" of the cove. We laugh.
Deer leave delicate musings.
A soft white feather is frozen; it looks like a strange snowflake, it's feather tips pointing to a blazing blue sky full of crystals.
Our tracks - big ones, smaller ones, doggie ones.
Fat lazy Labrador paw and snout tracks here, there, here there, here there, here there.
Some of the tracks disappear over the edge and towards the creek where the water is cold and icy. Some disappear and maybe forever.
We pause at human prints. Who? Who is walking in our cove? Go Home, we sometimes say, even though we know we shouldn't. If the tourist is loud and leaves lights blaring, we glare at their footprints. If the tourist is respectful of our mountain quiet and dark, we fondly say, "Oh, look, they took a walk." Sometimes there is a commotion in the snow - dogs or children or adults playing, rough-housing, having the time of their lives --maybe up from Florida - waking astounded by snow snow snow!
Sometimes, the tracks are unknown - we peer at them closely...what is that? That's feline, but large, or, that's canine and large and hungry and hunting.
Once, half a rabbit - luckily the upper half. We hurried on, sure we'd interrupted something's meal. We imagined eyes watching, waiting for us to move on...hurry...hurry.
A leaf frozen in a cup with a tiny frozen lake inside for tiny unseen skaters to fly upon.
One perfect snowflake with all its points showing upon Fat Lazy Labrador Jake's black coat.
A headless snowman the tourists' kids fashioned and then abandoned for Florida's sand sculptures.
A shiver of pleasure - the cold is not so bad. the cold clears the head. the cold is a part of the mountain winter. the cold brings snow and fireplace fires and hot chocolate and mittens on grown women and scarfs flying behind as multi-colored flags and furry boots and breath that can be seen and it is good.
Icicles pearl on branch.
Ice sculpture at the drainage pipe -making the ugly breathtaking.
Our tracks lead home to the little log house. We were THERE they say...and there! Our tracks announce our walk. Our tracks fall away and then lead back.
one tiny set of tracks hurries to safety.
Security Cat knows all.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Old McKathryn had a blog, with a link link here and a site site there, here a link, there a site....
First off, The Rose & Thorn Literary Ezine is going to be giving away Adnan Mahmutovic's beautiful collection of stories/poetry entitled REFUGE[E]. I read and reviwed this book, so you can read that HERE. How it works is, when someone makes a donation of $10 or more to R&T, they receive a copy of Adnan's book; that simple. He is a gifted writer.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I can imagine before these long ago people created the spark they knew as good fire, they may have known of the big fire that swelled and grew out of control—lightening strikes a tree in a forest and the trees burn, one after another…big fire was not seen as a help to human, but instead something to be feared. A fiery hot god breathing smoke as it ate its way through anything in its path.
But that day of the sparkling flint arcing from the pounding of rock was a controlled event, something the human did from his or her own hand. From those humble beginnings, I am sitting in front of my fire, with a lemongrass candle burning on the counter, the kettle on to boil for tea. If my lights go out in our high windy day on the mountain, I’ll light a lantern for light. I will remain snug in my little log house, warm and safe and happy with my controlled fires. It’s difficult to name gratitude for something I knew can also create such pain, but all the same, I stare into the fire and am calmed.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Laura Bush, "It's over; finally, it's over...tomorrow I'm staying in my jammies all day without make up and my hair uncombed So THERE....wait, what about the chest of drawers?"
Bush, "Well, shee-it, I had other stuff on my mind. You know? You'll find out. Yup."
A man, "My daddy's rollin over in his grave. I hope he ends up face down."
Kid standing next to his mother, "Will their new dog piddle on the floor? And who'll have to clean it up? Why can't I have a dog? I'd clean up it's piddle. And I'd feed it, too. And take it for walks. One day I'll be president so I can have a dog and someone else can clean up it's poo poo and piddle and I'll be in charge of the whole united states and I can do whatever I want, don't even have to go to bed at nine o clock anymore and I can have ice cream for supper if I want to..."
Scenes: President and Michelle Obama are holding hands, intact, a unit. Mr. and Mrs. Bush are breaking apart and coming together breaking apart and coming together; at some points Laura Bush is rushing to catch up to her husband. Laura Bush looks rather stunned, and rather relieved. Michelle Obama looks rather stunned, and rather proud.
Woman in the crowd, "Did i leave my iron on? And can Pres Obama turn it off just by the power of this thoughts?" Her friend, "You expect too much from one man." Woman, "That's right, I do." Her friend, "Well, stop it - he's just a man. A man's a man's a man." Woman, "Nope, you are wrong. This ain't just a man." Her friend, "Now, put a woman up there... " Woman, "Oh here we go..." Her friend, "Here we go nothing...a man's a man's a man, but a woman....Besides, I voted for someone else..." Woman, "I'm sure I turned that iron off...but..."
Young girl lost in the crowd, but unafraid today for the first time in a long time because everyone is smiling and happy instead of frowning and yelling, "I'll be up there one day. Up there taking that oath."
My first thought was, "Huhn. Who has time for that?" Then the skies opened - my vision cleared! Wait! This could be it! The answer to all my dreams come true. The way to success through simple cutting and pasting! WOW! Yippeee! Or I was bored, or curious, or feeling inspired, or didn't want to let Oprah down. Anywhodlydoo, this was in spring or summer. The windows and doors were open to let in the cool mountain air. The wind caused the leaves on the buckeye and the tulip poplar and the walnut tree to wave at me, as if to say, “Go on, do it...do it...do it…”
I feverishly looked through magazines and sale circulars and Reader’s Digests and catalogues—looking for the perfect images to paste on my vision board. I used one of Good Man Roger’s canvasses as my board.
I’d meant to add to it as days went by, but being the kind of person I am, I “finished” it within a few days and stuck it away somewhere. Um, I think you are supposed to stare at it daily and imagine those things happening. Oops.
When I read someone’s blog about vision boards, I retrieved mine and stared at it, looking to see if anything on it had come true. There was one image that immediately drew my attention. A woman on horseback looked almost exactly like the woman on horseback in the trailer Bellebooks made for Tender Graces. Huhn. Maybe? Maybe? When I created the board, I didn’t know I’d have a publisher for TG. Perhaps some of the other pasted things were hints: published author, southern novels, etc.
Maybe I need to keep it out and stare at certain other things, like the photos of dollar bills representing certain amounts of cash (teehee). The picture that reads, “Win a trip to Italy!”(ohhh!) The photo of my dream bathroom (ahhhh). The one about saving the mountain from developers (um, now that I think about it, this one sort of came true as development has slowed and even stopped in some areas...huhn), the magazines I hope Tender Graces will be mentioned in—you know their reader’s corners where they point out great books to read at the beach or while in the tub. I have non-selfish things there, too, of course – but to go into all the stuff on my vision board would bore everyone to tears.
What do you think about visualization? About positive energies bringing to you what you desire? For sure, positive energies make us feel better. I think the greatest thing I received from that show was the idea of Gratitude. To have a sense of thankfulness for what you do have, instead of lamenting what you do not. It’s hard to feel down when you are listing the things or people or places you feel grateful for.
So, there’s that woman on horseback, and there’s the woman in the trailer who matches her – maybe I’m stretching it? Or, maybe, just maybe …
Don’t forget to enter the “contest” – write your 200 words or fewer in the comments—see the image to the right and click on it for instructions.
Now, I’m going to take a mountain walk and then see how the inaugural celebrations are going!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Drum roll pul-leeeze: the winner is.....ANGIE LEDBETTER, Gumbo Writer. Who was scaringly close and I'm beginning to think she has magical powers or something. Angie's comment below reads, "If I win, I'll pass on Deb's good book to another blogger since I've read and loved it" - so, Angie, I'll have a signed copy mailed to you, and from there its yours to do as you please!
OCEAN Magazine remains one of my favorite places not only to submit my work (she's published my photography, essays, poetry, and a short story), but one of my favorite magazines. Diane Buccheri, publishing editor, does what she does for our oceans - to protect them, honor them. Stop by. Leave a comment, visit and comment on the OCEAN blog. Support. Submit.
I just found Library Thing, and signed up.
I'd love to include some blogs, like when I was reading Barry's blog about how his parents met (War Brides) and up to when he met his wife. I come across so many compelling, funny, poignant, and well-written posts, I'd love to link to them here on Fridays. Any suggestions from y'all would be wonderful - it's hard to pick from all the gooey good stuff out there.
Here are the guesses - if I missed you, please point that out!
Angie Ledbetter said...
I’m guessing 328 jellybeans! If I win, I'll pass on Deb's good book to another blogger since I've read and loved it
Terri Tiffany said...
600 is my guess!
Okay, 218 jelly beans in jar! :)
Small Footprints said...
Glad you're back up and running and glad you're here at blogspot. Oh ... my jellybean guess is: 162
oh yeah, and my guess is 568. :)
t i m said...
I [meaning, a certain she prefers that I] limit my blogging activities to one day a week but my jelly-bean-dar [I invent new words all the time] navigated me here to have a guess at 207.
I guess 191 jelly bellys!
How about 250 beans?
I guess 170 jelly beans.
Jenn Johansson said...
My guess for the jelly bean jar is 127
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Yesterday, I decided to take a few snapshots to see what kind of "author photo" I wanted. I'd always thought I'd use the one on my profile, but I couldn't find the original jpg, and, well, I wanted to see if I could do something different. Um, well....it didn't turn out so well. I am not photogenic, and worse, I can't be still, and I keep either laughing, or jiggling around, or moving at the last minute, or, as you can see from this photo below--I don't know what the heck was happening here - bed-head and it looks as if I've gotten into the vodka or something...geez (Good Man Roger said, "You aren't going to put up that photo!" I said, "Um...I dunno."
Or, if I was to use a "stand in" like this one below, I'd be saying...well...not sure what I'd be saying:
I always thought I'd just snap some goofy photo and be done with it. I never thought about how readers would look at the photo and associate it with the contents of my book. But, that makes sense. Huhn.
There's so much to learn from a first book out. It's an interesting process. And sometimes you feel as if you are tumbling around. I mean, my title is different from what it was (but I knew that would happen! My titles, well, sucked...), the cover is different from what I thought - but I adore my cover and as soon as I saw it I didn't need to see another one-perfect!, so they sure know what they are doing there! My author photos where I thought I'd act goofy-like I wanted a "sixties movie star look" where I had a scarf and sun glasses and red red lipstick - um, it didn't work either - it says "stop taking photos now...NOW NOW!"
(google stock images from forum.electricpicnic.ie, http://www.cjreport.com/)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
So, in the hopes this post will go through, I want to thank y'all for stopping by - I was able to read a few of the comments before my "nettie" went dead again (oh heavy sigh, oh lamentable laments!) And, I will be back to visiting and posting as soon as we figure out this problem ("It's your router ma'am" -- No, no no, not my wireless router, I checked... "But ma'am, we are getting a strong signal..." I know, that's what's funny, but it's not getting to my computer... "But ma'am, blah blah blah blah bladdity bluh blah..." ARGH!
Don't forget to guess the jellybeans (Angie thinks of the most fun kinds of contests!) to win Deb Leblanc's Water Witch.
Aren't we creatures of the net now? Creatures that must be hooked up to Things? The only good part of this is I was able to work on the draft of my second novel without any distractions.
*sob* My nettie...my poor nettie - how I miss you!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I was looking at a Redbook magazine last night and I always love the "Red in the Face, embarrassing moments" section. I've had too many embarrassing moments to count, but one recent one immediately came to mind.
Before I went to Oregon this past summer, I bought a few pair of those "boy cut" undies. They really are comfy. There was one pair that was so cute, and I didn't wear them until on the trip home...underneath a skirt...no stockings (I hate stockings, and it was summer anyway!).
So, I get on the plane no problem. I sit on the plane no problem. But, when it's time to get off the plane and walk the loonnnnngg walk in Dallas to change planes - erk - oops, the dang undies start to slide down....! OMG! I try to walk fast to find the ladies room, but that makes it worse - they slide lower, lower - and I just know I'm going to have undies around my ankles any second. So, I start walking this weird duckyish walk- trying to hold my upper thighs together, while still walking at a brisk pace...people are beginning to stare. I'm trying to WILL the undies to stay up. The undies have a mind of their own -they are snickering and think they really are quite halarious. I try to pretend I'm fixing my skirt and attempt to grab the undies in some kind of way - nope, undies slide and slip and dodge - crafty ole undies!
I can't remember such a long walk to a bathroom...and I barely made it -- those undies were dangerously low on my hips...when I reached the ladies room, they were slipping down my thighs - I ran into the stall and "rigged" them by, um, er, wedging them in best I could *laugh* -- Imagine thongless thongs *shudder*
I don't know which was worse - the thought of having to step out of my undies in the crowded Dallas airport, or the stupid ducky walk I had to do to keep the undies from doing that...haw!
What's your embarrassing moment?
(and don't forget to guess the number of jelly beans in the jellybean jar!)
(google images image from pictures-pictures.net )
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It seems things our momma's taught us not to do or be are played out on that field. The players tattle on each other for one. They'll point and gestulate towards another player, "He did it! Right there, that guy, number 52 ...nya nya nya!" It looks funny to me, to see these Ha-UGE men tattle-telling on each other, jumping up and down pointing to the offender...heehee.
And they cheat! They KNOW they weren't out of bounds or over the first down marker, but, if the referee thinks they are, well, they'll let that slide on by. They wouldn't look their momma's in the eye and say, "Yah, I was too over the line (or not out of bounds), Momma!" Nope, but if no one reallllly notices and it's called one way, they sure aren't going to admit it was something different. Cheating! cheating!
I also notice this. When Good Man Roger is rooting for a team, that team is always treated UNFAIR! by the referees. "HARUMPH, they call every stupid blankity thing on MY TEAM and let the other team slide! THAT WAS A BUM CALL - I CAN'T BELIEVE THE BLANKITY REFEREEE CALLED THAT - THEY DON'T CALL THAT ON THE OTHER TEAM - THIS IS RIDICULOUS - THIS IS NOT FAIR...ARGH!"
And golly gee, it's always the other team getting away with something and always Good Man R's team who is getting the unfair treatment...haw!
But, what would make their mommas proud is the camaraderie. The slaps on the helmet (or rear...although now that I think about it - I've seen fewer rear-slappin's going on...), the way they support each other when one of them messes up, and of course when one does a good job. I watched this yesterday and thought about my friends and I, and how we are like that. The pats on the back, the support when we're down.
Ah well. That's just what I was thinking about yesterday while having my "goof off" day. Now it's back to work.
Friday, I'll have my book give-a-way. Yes, this time I'm doing this ahead of time *laughing* - It's Deborah LeBlanc's "Water Witch."
Have a wonderful day - no tattle-telling, no cheating!
This is the cutest thing - Anyone who knows me, knows I love pigs - Petal Pus, Angie! laughing....
100 Incredibly Useful and Interesting Websites - Okay, I didn't get through the hundred, but maybe another day I want to goof off?
Say Cheese: 12 Photos that shouldn't have been posted online - whew, good - none of me were on there ...
Top 11 Lamest Blogs -- aww, that's mean...laughing...
50 of your favourite words - Poodle-faker? huhn.
And I just know you want to know: what kind of pancake are you? (I was buckwheat something or nother)
Even more compelling - what your belly button says about you...(mine says "You are Trusted")
And sent to me by a friend, Sponsor an Executive... laughing!
Are you an Eco-Friendly Eater - a quiz - I did pretty well :)
Huhn...well - how cheating ants give themselves away... ... ... huhn....
and last but not least- Angie had her "six things that make me happy..." that she was tagged by Wendy, Writes in the City... my six, in no particular order...
1. My friends and family
2. my writing
3. these mountains
4. the biscuits my hubbie is putting in the oven that I'll have with honey butter!
5. the Sunday comics waiting for me to read while watching Sunday Morning
6. the birds at the feeders - there are a lot of them this morning
PS - I took the "Are You Crazy Test" - laughing - here is what my results are (are you surprised?) (and I didn't join or register to get my results, they just sort of showed up some kind of way....): A.D.D. You have Attention Deficit Dis--um, hello!? Are you even reading this anymore? Yoo-hoo!? Hey! Look at this...shiny object...you like that right? That's right...Look at the--hey! Stop that! Look, your nose is on your FACE, you can't *chase it*. It doesn't work that way...oh forget it.
(ha! my 'scope: Pisces
February 19 - March 20
You just can't do everything at once, dear Pisces. How do you expect to recuperate and reduce your stress while at the same time continuing to be a superstar performer in every area of your life? Don't pressure yourself to "perform" today. If you do, you are likely to deplete your reserves even further. Take it easy, rest and relax! You've earned this little break! )
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Of course, whenever we say, “I didn’t sleep a wink last night,” it’s not really the entire truth. We sleep, here and there. But here and there isn’t enough. And didn’t I say in a post below that when a 51 year old woman doesn’t sleep, it shows? And when she doesn’t sleep enough for days and days, it really really shows? You should see me in the mornings—no, I take that back, you should not. The boy-short hair standing on end, the wild fatigued eyes, et cetera et cetera et cetera.
Last night I was filled with anxiety and that anxiety got on my last nerve. I fussed at myself, like this, “I simply can not BE-LIEVE you are anxious! This should be one of the best times of your life! Come on! You got what you wanted, right?”
But, the anxiety shimmered over me like some weirdling fog. That hovering mist of apprehension was so thick; my husband felt it when he walked into the bedroom. I lay on my back, legs stuck out straight, my arms folded over my stomach—hands clenched—my eyes open and staring into the dark. I radiated worry.
I had to take deep breaths. I had to remind myself of gratitude. For it’s hard to feel worried and anxious when you are listing the things that make you thankful. But anxiety is a stubborn ole mulish thing.
I know what my problem is. It’s the “I need to please everyone and I need to make sure I do this perfectly and I need to be the best and the most best and the bestest of the best and nothing else will do and I need to make sure I don’t stumble (even though that’s what people do, stumble sometimes) and I need not to mess this up and I need to be over HERE instead of over THERE because over THERE is just a bit better than over HERE even though HERE was perfectly fine a couple of days ago.”
No wonder the fog wets the room, hangs there. Heavy.
I toss and turn. I think of things I should be doing, could be doing, would be doing if I weren’t lying in bed.
When sleep came, I dreamt of giant dinosaurs and we had to run and hide from them in a big building. This is a recurring dream – it must be a childhood anxiety dream, for variations of it haunt me from time to time. Not so bad in the bigger scheme of nightmares I’ve had, for when I awake, I usually laugh at the B-movie-ness of those dinosaur/monster dreams; however, while having them they are quite “real” – the feeling of “I must get away from the monster! I must run in this building and the monster is right behind me and oh oh oh hurry hurry – the doorknob to the building is right there – will I reach it in time—oh oh, the monster is gaining….OH OH OH – I reach the door with my back tingling not knowing if the monster is about to tear into my flesh, throw open the door, run inside, and then I run run run up stairs or in an elevator, and hope the monster can’t get me. Pant Pant Pant Pant."
When a dream comes to fruition, it is the most glorious thing of all. But, if you are crazy insane as I am, then you begin to attach fears to the dream. You being to Worry. You begin to forget the excitement and start thinking about ways you could mess up the dream.
So, tonight, if this happens again, I will think of the gratitude part. However, I’m open to suggestions – ways I can stop the thoughts tumbling around in my head like some mad crazy out of control clothes dryer- a dryer that has suddenly come alive! It’s eaten my clothes and is tumbling them into a massed mess– and the dryer has teeth! And it’s going to tear up all the clothes- and me, too – oh oh oh! The dryer is coming for me! Oh! Help!
Friday, January 9, 2009
What is more satisfying that knowing someone is reading your work? Well, a big cup of deep creek blend coffee is satisfying. And chocolate. And cheesecake, don't forget cheesecake. And chicken and dumplings--even this "flexitarian" loves a good chicken and dumplings (and my chicken and dumplings are gooooood - thick and rich).
I love to link to other writer’s words, for if we don’t support each other, we are missing a wonderful opportunity to share this writing life. So...
I’d like to know: have you recently had something published? Do you have a book/novel/chapbook out there? A poem, short story, essay? A blogpost you are quite happy about? I'll be searching around, but feel free to let me know in the comments section, or email me, if you come across something or have something of your own to tout! I'll put up the links on Fridays.
I’m going to start it off with my beautiful friend Angie Ledbetter and her book: Seeds of Faith: An Inspirational Almanac – Seasonal Essays, Recipes, and Tips. If you’ve not ordered your copy, just click on the link, or go to Angie’s site; you’ll not be disappointed. Part wisdom, part “down-home heart,” part yummy recipe—Seeds of Faith will rock you in its lyrical chair, soft throw over the lap.
In fact, I love the book (and my dear friend Angie) so much; I am going to give away a new copy by having a “contest.”
In TENDER GRACES, the daddy is a “Shakespeare quoting door-to-door salesman,” so my “contest” today is: what Shakespeare play and scene is this quote from?:
He has no children. All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hell-kite! All? What, all my pretty chickens and their dam At one fell swoop?
First one who figures it out receives a copy of Angie’s book (just make sure I can have your address to have it shipped to you!). Just put your answer in the comments section below. First one to get it right wins; it's that simple! *smiling* And, I am betting Miz Angie will be happy to autograph it for you if you'd like a signed copy!
Now, go BE this day.
Janna Qualman said... Okay! Er, well...Don't anyone hate me for this...My sources say: Macbeth, Act 4, Scene 3
Yes! That's it...Janna wins Angie's beautiful book. Janna - just send me your address so I can get the book to you. And, as I said, I bet our Angie will be happy to sign it, so I'll make arrangements with her to do that if you like. If you have something you'd like for her to say, let me know when you send your address. You can email me at kmtrain at hotmail.com.
Next time, I'll announce the book give-a-way the day before to give people time to come by. This literally was just a thought that entered my pea-head this morning. *laugh* -- But, they'll always be on a Friday, and not every Friday, or my wallet will run dry...*smiling* And, I'll think up some better contests *laugh!*
The next book give-a-way will be WATER WITCH by Deborah Leblanc.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Oh. Oh! Oh, how I hated it when someone would ask me that. For this is what would happen:
Me: Deer in the headlights look, shuffling feet. Then, "Um, well, it's about this woman and she goes back home - yeah, it's about home and family and stuff, and she spreads her momma's ashes, and stuff happens and stuff, and it's like stuff abounds and all manner of stuffity stuff stuff and then, well, it's got this mountain, see, and did I say it was about this woman and family and home and belonging and stuff happens and stuff?"
Them: now they have a deer in the headlights look, followed by a slow blink. They quickly recover and ask: "So~! What's the title?"
Me: Oh crap. "Um, well, see, it's not titled yet...well, it is but the title is temporary, haha, I mean, haha, you know those publishers - I mean, when I get a publisher (for this was before Bellebooks!) they'll change it anyway - and well, anyway, the title I have for it, just temp mind you - not really the title, haha, ah, er, the temporary title, and it kind of sucks, so remember it will change, is [really bad title here]."
Them: Blink. Blink. Blink. Recover: "Oh! well, that's Great! Really Great!"
And I've lost them.
Can you imagine going to the movies and hearing a trailer like this:
“In a world where a woman goes back home, cause it’s all about home and belonging and stuff, to spread the ashes of her mother, and while there, she goes in the attic and finds stuff and looks at all the stuff and it makes her remember all this stuff! And it’s about family and stuff! And belonging too! And somebody gets killed or something, and there’s this crazy Mee Maw and stuff, and …well, AT YOUR FAVORITE THEATERS! …THIS MOVIE THAT HAS A TEMPORARY TITLE THAT KIND OF SUCKS!”
No. No. and No. I always saw my stuff in the “abstract” – tell them it’s about this and that and they will understand what I’m talking about. When instead, I needed a Blurb, a quick one to three or so line that WAS my book—and I just didn’t get it.
Here’s what Bellebooks wrote:
Contemporary southern fiction about a young woman returning to her childhood home in West Virginia to bury her late mother and reconcile memories of a turbulent childhood. Strong commercial women's fiction showcasing this debut author's powerful, poetic voice. A touch of mysticism makes this a transcendent read. For fans of The Secret Lives of Bees, Ya Ya Sisterhood, etc. The first book in a planned trilogy.
What is so hard about that? But, sometimes we can’t see our Forests for our Trees. We see our work in the abstract – we see the meaning and love for our characters and stories that won’t convey to Reader (or to whomever we are querying) what the novel is About.
I’m going to memorize the above, or the back cover of the novel, or whatever I need to memorize, so that when someone asks again: What is your book about? I can quickly and confidently say, “It’s about… and the title is tender graces…”
No more feeling as if I’ve been smacked by pie in the eye.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Instead, my mind will not be still (see below--at least the trombones song is gone...oops...or was gone...Dang it! Help me think of something else...quick!).
The night before last I thought of something I hadn't done, or should do, or it would be cool to do, and of course, being a writer who is always on the ball (ahem) I do not have paper and pen by my bed. Actually, I rarely have paper and pen, for if I do write down any scribbles of something, it languishes in a black hole somewhere. Still, when something hits me upside the head in the middle of the night that may or may not be Important (because after dark, way after dark, weird things become "important"), I should write them down. I didn't; so I lost the thought.
So, last night, I thought of something, and forced myself to get up, go into the living/kitchen/dining area, in the dark, scrabble for a pencil and scrap of paper, and jot it down - just the act of writing it down and seeing the nocturnal paper sitting on the counter reminded me.
All this tossing and turning is getting on my nerves. However, it's "good" tossing and turning. I mean, I wake up Grinning for gawd's sake. Of course, I have my terrified moments -moments where the negative thoughts creep in, and I have to force them away. You just replace a good thought with the creepy or negative thought. You do it until the bad goes away. You do not take any crap from Negative Thought- Negative Thought must be dealt with severely and quickly. Being grateful is a good way to chase away the NT's. I guarantee it.
Bags under the eyes of a 51 year old woman is not purty. When a 51 year old woman loses sleep, it shows. When a 21 year old woman loses sleep, no one knows until she lets out a long yawn and says, "I couldn't sleep a wink!" A 31 year old woman may have a few little darkling circles. A 41 year old woman will show the fatique but a little concealing and Voila! But, darlings, a 51 year old woman just looks TIRED when she's tired *laugh*...however, I notice that if I'm smiling, or feeling upbeat, or having that gratitude feeling, well, no one notices I am tired and no one cares what age I am (and neither do I) and no one knows my age--not even me.
This is an exciting time. But it's also very surreal. I walk around feeling the same; yet different. I sometimes want to shout, "GUESS WHAT? My novel...." etc etc etc. I can't wait to hold TENDER GRACES in my hands - I know I will weep. Oh yes, I'll cry. This tough woman's gonna cry (Right, Angie?....)
I hope I sleep tonight. I hope the ocean's waves of thought after thought after thought will calm so I can just get some rest. But, what a problem to have right now, huh?
Maybe if I count those little lambs.