Saturday, January 31, 2009

Psssst! Our Angie Gumbo Writer....

Angie has a poem up on Found Poetry! HERE go read - Angie is a gifted poet. She also just had a poem accepted by a print publication OCEAN magazine. GO ANGIE GO! YAYYY!

Voting still up for the book give-a-way---see post below!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Posted stories for book give-a-way!

I am so proud to put up the writing here - beautifully done, all of you. I want to comment on everyone's story, but I told you I wouldn't do that until after the "winner" of BRIDA was decided. But, I can say that I am blown away by all of your words. Beautiful! Stunning, revealing, filled with images that stay with me - I know these people-and that my friends is what writing is all about. yes. Well done.

I've posted the "poll" where you can vote for the one you respond to the most on the sidebar to your right. Don't think of this as a "contest" but instead a celebration of writer's words and how those words create a visceral response in you...then vote. On Monday, I will announce who receives the copy of BRIDA. I am glad I am not voting, because I wouldn't be able to decide ... in fact, lucky me - I get to "vote" for them all. Brava Writers!

And here they are, in no particular order:
Janna Qualman - Something She Wrote

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
upon words well written.
That warm withina place where words
Never free and alone
When one
has the
Years meld,
Faces change,
give birth
that sustain
The mountian
Poetry and
Tender Graces.

The fiddler does not count words
and droans
in the
that even
stones can hear.
"We're only footsteps away from the next person."

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)
She had long since lost the fear of smoking. Of doing anything that's bad for you, for that matter. I'm sick of living, the old woman thought as she saw the legs of the crowds pass her by.

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.


Small Footprints

I'm invisible
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

Work, work, now get to work, work, watch me work now...

I have been distracted the last few days, and for a bit longer I'll be distracted and busy as well. If I suddenly "disappear" just a little bit, there's good reason for it!

First, I took a few days to do some things around the little log house, for I know things are going to get crazy with the book (crazier?). We took the sofa from downstairs (it's like brand new as it's rarely used) and put it upstairs and took the one upstairs and put it downstairs - it's like having a new sofa! (I tell you, hauling a heavy-arse sofa up our stairs was no small feat - *huff puff errghhhhhh*) We bought a new chair made and sold by locals, and will get that today. I bought (ordered) a couple of new pillows and a throw from locals, and am waiting for them to arrive. So, our living room has a new look. Yay!
Then yesterday my friend (an executive chef and photographer) Christy Bishop came up to our place and snapped some "author photos" - she had a hard time getting me to stay still and to "look natural" - I detest photo-taking (as all my friends and family know - there are few pictures of me not making a face, or whatever). She finally told Good Man Roger - "give her some of that wine..." teehee...that helped...teehee. I'll see those today after she puts them on a disk.

Then! Bellebooks and I are going into the "line editing" phase of Tender Graces, so I will need to get very focused and get that done. My beautiful literary-goddess friend Mary Ann Ledbetter (yes, that name's familiar isn't it! She's Angie Gumbo Writer's sis in law!) wrote up a really intelligent, fun, beautiful intuitive Reader's Guide, and I need to look at that to get it to BB (and if you are an author who needs a Reader's Guide - she is one to think about - I am so pleased with what she did.) I have to write an acknowledgments page (eeeekk!) And, as well, I need to start thinking about the second book - which fortunately is already drafted out and has been sitting in the files just waiting - it tells the continued story of Virginia Kate.

I'm all a-dither and what all what not whatever *laugh*
Get your stories in today for the book give-a-way. You have until 8:00AM tomorrow, Friday, morning and then I will put them all up. Then, you can vote on your favorite from Friday until Monday - and Monday I'll announce the winner of BRIDA.

Okay - this must be the most boring rambling post in the history of boring rambling posts - I'll be round to visit you all today and then I'm knuckling down and getting to work!

Oh, PS -- I saw this pillow while looking for down-filled pillows online - um...LAUGHING! lawd...I don't know why it disturbed me -but ...hummmm...erk. It just seems ... wrong, somehow. There's a story here - someone tell it -- it begs to be told. The person who buys this pillow has a story!

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 & &

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Here comes the....moon, and I say, it's all right..

I like full moons. I like to go outside and howl at the moon. It is not allowed in a polite society. But a full moon is made to be howled to. To stare at in awe. To let the light wash over your face and cleanse away a bad day. Full moons are magic.
A full moon in daylight rests on a branch and I want to climb the tree and reach out and touch it. The moon is mysteriously silent. The sun is Loud. I can imagine if the Sun was a god and the Moon was a god, the Sun god would be the big apple cheeked loud, masculine god, sort of like that one on Mr. Scrooge – where he is laughing uproariously, loudly, full full full of it all! But the Moon god would be pale, not weirdling pale, but ethereal pale, feminine, graceful, but big boned and strong, quietly reverent to all it cast its light on, prayerful and not boastful. I love the full moon. When's the next one?

I put up the Premio Dardos award - *smiling* - I didn't name my fifteen blogs...yet? I am going to ponderifcaterate this part of it carefully...even if it takes me years (laughing...).

The book give-a-way contest is almost over. Friday the stories go up and everyone can vote for their favorite. I don't think I stated how long I'd leave the stories up, so I'll post that on Friday when I post the stories. So you have from now until Friday morning to get those stories in (if you don't know what I'm talking about - see the sidebar where the image of the 'old woman' with the newspapers is and click on the image).


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Up up and away, my head's a balloooonnn

Premio-Dardas: "This award 'acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

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.

Angie Gumbo Writer gave me this award. She thinks better of me than I ever think of myself. So, I can't let her down. I have to keep striving to be a better person, writer, being. But...then....

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 .

This is the part where I bet I'll let Angie down, which is why I can't post the award "certificate" on my site...because I'll not be able to choose, and I'll get all flustered, and I'll go back and forth, and I'll get distracted, and I'll put it off and then try again and eventually it never gets done. I could say "Look at my blogroll and there are my favorite places," but that's not what they asked - they asked me to pick 15. My head floats as in a balloon, hoving there, all boyant and airy--I can blame it on "novel stuff" and that would be partly right, but, I think it is my nature to shirk picking things I favor. I'm like a kid in a candy store: that one, no that one, no that one. Dang. So, I can't put the award on my site that my beautiful friend so lovingly attributed to this blog. It would be cheating, since I haven't done my part.
But Angie would think that of me, wouldn't she? She, as I said, thinks better of me than I am. That's what I think. In fact, she should have two of those awards - she should have mine as well as the one she was awarded.
(google image from

Monday, January 26, 2009

I can('t) see clearly now, my brain is frogged...I (ignore) all obstacles in my way...

I’d always thought about the writing process as just what it was: I sit down; I write; the story comes out. It makes for good fun to write this way, for I simply have a character nudge me (and I may only see that characters eyes, mouth, hair, and I may "hear" a prompt, “This is how it is…”) and off I go. In my way of "seeing and hearing," traditional stories about family and friends and Place and Belonging arrive—nothing really all that original. The originality is in the cracks and crevices, in the wording perhaps, or between the between. We find ourselves in our writing and our writing finds us--there is the meeting, the sonic boom of crashing together. The "oh!" of surprise at this big bang of creation.

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.
Embrace You. Be true to your writing, to yourself. Write What You Know means much more than what is apparent.
One more week for the book give-a-way! On Friday, I will collect all the "entries" and publish them on this blog. Then I will put up the names of those entires. Everyone will read these beautiful writings placed here and vote on the one that somehow tugs at something visceral - that has them think "oh!" or that makes them laugh or cry or think or that excites them - whatever it is that will cause one to say "That's the one I choose."
(google image from

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Momma's little baby love ...salt rising bread!

In Tender Graces, there is food - what self-respecting southerner wouldn't include food in their writing? Well, I guess instead of food there may be some other thing you can taste and feel the texture of, roll it around on your tongue, swallow it down, and it gets in your veins--into the marrow of your bones even. So, every now and then, maybe on Sundays, I think I'll add a recipe from tender graces, and/or a link to something pertaining to that recipe.

In the book, I write about Grandma Faith baking bread to save "run-away" money, and then Momma bakes, too; when she has to figure things out she pounds up the dough--like Salt Rising Bread (or Salt Risen Bread). In Louisiana chapters, there's of course food....South Louisiana IS food, the entire place smells spicey and you can't pass a block without some kind of food establishment sitting there...even the worst restaurants in South Louisiana are better than some of the best ones in some cities. No lie! Ask Angie Gumbo Writer! They just know what they are doing (I wrote about this in New Southerner - this dynamic of South Louisiana).

I thought I'd start off with salt rising bread. Not many people have heard of it and not many have tasted it. It's not about the "salt" but the origins behind it.

Susan R. Brown's Salt Rising Bread Project. She has the best website on Salt Rising Bread! All kinds of links there and information and recipes.

And googling, I something I found from an "old curmudgeon" who talks about the bread and memories.
And a more on Salt Rising Bread
Enjoy your Sunday. Maybe bake some bread - or go to the little local bakery and buy a loaf or two of your favorite - especially if they are little independent bakeries who need our business!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Walking in a winter wander-land...

In our cove at Killian Knob, we walk, and we point to tracks. There, tire tracks where a tourist started up and then had to turn around...the tracks abruptly stop and I can imagine the terror of the tourist as they contemplate what to do, then deciding to just give up and turn around, park down and walk up; slip-slidy steps. Or, the sliding SUV tracks for the tourist who decides to try to make it up the steep part of the road-oops-tracks in the ditch.

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.
(PS - one set of tracks I forgot - and until I was vacuuming and saw the little lost forgotten tuft of fur; well, she reminded me - my old girl's ghost tracks. How she loved her mountain walks...)

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....

All right. It's Friday and time for links. And, as usual, if you have a blog post, or someone else's blog post you enjoyed/loved/were inspired by, or an interesting or informative (or funny) website - let me know and I'll post it on Friday Link Day. There are so many places I visit where I am blown away by the prose, poetry, artwork, the beauty and truths and wit and humor.
I was going to link some of the blogs I go to regularly where I laugh and smile and sometimes cry (and they are in my blogroll, too!), but I had so many links, I threw up my hands and decided to approach that in another way later...

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.

Okay, I thought I'd include a "the most fun I had playing around post of the week" just because. Here is the Chesterdrawers still in the White House convo...Charles "Charlie" Gibson really did say something about all that was left in the White House was a chest of drawers....I just found that funny. I wonder what observations you all had? Or is that day already behind us, fading away as things settle in.

Good Man Roger and I have been watching PBS's Make Em Laugh... and we laugh.

I got this site from Angie Gumbo Writer... Cutest blog on the block -that's where my background came from.

And I was searching for unique business card sites other than Staples or Office Depot, and came upon the coolest business cards (and there is more, but I haven't looked at those things yet) ...Zazzle, and their Vintage business cards. I found and ordered some business cards and can't wait to see them. You can customize them by adding text and/or images. I'll let you know how they turn out when I get them.
Book love - the title says it!
Not to show my age or anything - but, I'm a member of NABBW - Dotsie Bregel started this organization a few years back and its membership and support grows. They are an active, supportive bunch and have a forum and etc. If you are a boomer woman, you may want to check it out!
And while talking about boomers- Oil of Olay has this new face stuff out: Professional Pro-X - anyone tried it? Would you spend the extra on it? Know anyone who has or will? Don't care, let the wrinkles come and be-damned it all? What wrinkles?

Check out Timothy Green's blog - he's an editor at RATTLE, Poetry for the 21st Century. Good stuff there.

This from NATURE really pulled at me...elephants...they are incredible animals.

Heifer International - I like how they handle their gift giving charity. But, charity-giving is a personal thing. I'm passing this link on only because I'd never heard of them until someone else told me about them.

And for a social psychology test from Humboldt U, click HERE. Why do I bother to take tests when I only prove how crazy I am? I'm a Pisces for gawd's sake...*sigh*

Dang - I have so many links, but I better stop here until next Friday. Again, if you have a post, a blog, a website, something you think would be interesting/informative/fun/funny for me to link to, let me know! And check out my "links and blogroll" - you'll see what I mean about the talent and beauty and truths out there in Blogland.

Don't forget to enter the book give-a-way contest outlined HERE. The book is BRIDA by Paulo Coelho.

All right - go Do the Day...
(googles images from and

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fire on the mountain, lightening ooga aahgah oooooo!

First off - Suburb Sanity had an idea for the book give-a-way contest...if you would rather post your "entry" - the 200 words or fewer (and I know that's really "micro-fiction" - but, it's a practice in getting started, in drawing out an idea or a "caption" if you will, and keeping things short and tight enough for everyone's busy schedules!) - on your blog and then link it in the comments section, I will accept that. If you've already written yours, feel free to still do that if you wish. Just write it as a blog post on your blog, come to the comments here and tell me you've posted the entry and then put the link that leads back to the entry. Of course, you may also just post it in the comments section here just as before!
Now, you can stop here and go on to your Good Day, or read a little something I wrote on the YOG one day. I am off to walk and then do some pilates or yoga or some other health-wise bladdity doo doo.

Somewhere, someplace far away or not so far away, someone named or never named, cocked their head, raised high their arm and with a quick descending pound, struck a flint they had no idea was a flint, and created a spark. The spark was interesting, so they did it again and again, watched as the light bounced off the rock. Maybe they laughed, maybe they ran to get their friends and family to watch, maybe they were afraid and thought some god played a trick on them. Whatever happened in this long long ago, someone someplace named or unnamed created a spark that would then create a controlled fire. I want to thank them for it. They will never know my thanks, never know that what they created out of earth’s humble offerings would change the way human’s light their spaces, prepare their food, and create warmth. I am imagining there was no fanfare, and I am certain there were no research grants, there was no name written in history books, nothing to mark that day the spark created what human would come to both appreciate…without the fear of fire’s Other Side.

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.
(google image from

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Down that long long road, with many a winding turn...

Thoughts from a Woman on a Red Couch on a Tuesday afternoon when History was Made.

News announcer, "Well, all the Bush's stuff is out, except for a chest of drawers; they'll get that out later." Other announcer, "Chest of drawers ... yes, that's all that's left -last thing left..."
Mr. Obama, as he readies to be sworn in, "I wish my granny and mother were here; I can't belive this is happening, but it is. In just moments, I will be president of the US. Dang!"

Woman in crowd, "I am over-come."

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?"

George Bush, "Aw hell, my grannies chesterdrawers is still in the white house. I knew I'd forget something. Can't think of everything. Always have to think of everything. Well, when I get to the ranch, I'm having me a beer! so THERE!"

President Obama, as he stands with the outgoing President Bush, "I hope Bush got his chest of drawers - my mother in law has something she wants to put there, right in that spot."
Michelle Obama, "What chest of drawers? Who cares about a chest of drawers? We are President of the United States! Whoohooo!"

Conversation between Bush and Obama: Obama, "Did you get that chest of drawers out yet?"

Bush, "Naw, not yet..."

Obama, "Why not? My mother in law has something to put there, right in that spot."

Bush, "I'll get it sheesh ...give a man time. I been busy."

Obama, "You've had 8 years to think about getting that chest of drawers outta there."

Bush, "Well, shee-it, I had other stuff on my mind. You know? You'll find out. Yup."

Obama, "Well, okay; I guess so, but don't wait too long now, okay?"

Bush, "Yep; you'll find out about your own chesterdrawers one day. yup...haw!"
Man in crowd, "I voted for the other guy, but damned if I don't feel proud right now."

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."

Biden thinks, Do I look handsome in this blue tie? My wife picked it out; I was doubtful, but I have to admit, I look great in it." (Meanwhile, his wife thinks, "Why cant he pick out his own ties, he's a grown man, for god's sake. I been picking out his ties for too long. This is the LAST tie I pick out.")

Hillary Clinton is thinking, of course, "It shoulda been me. it shoulda been me. Dammit!" Mr. Clinton thinks, "I'm hongry. Where's the buffet?"

The Private Note to Obama from Bush : Dear Barrack Obama, Did you know you can have whatever you want to eat anytime you want it? pistrami at 3AM - no problem! oysters in a month without an R - they can make it happen...!"
Later, that night: "Michelle, I was thinking about strawberry shortcake." "Hon, it's late..." The lights fade, the door is closed - the rest is None of Our Business...
(image from google:

I can see clearly now, my vision board is done...

One day I watched Oprah and they were talking about vision boards -- in fact, someone in their blog yesterday was talking about them too and I wish I could remember who so I could link them (here she is Serenity Room). I laughed when Oprah said, "I have to get one of those!" and the woman said, "Oh no, Oprah, you have to make one for yourself..." and Oprah said, "Oh! of course, yes! and I will!"

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…”

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!
(Note - am watching now - how can you not feel emotional? Oh, Pearlman is playing his violin and Yo Yo his cello -- I could cry; oh how lovely. how lovely. how lovely.)
(google stock image from:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dream a little dream of... Giant Chickens?

Maybe I was feeling some inner guilt for eating the chicken and dumplings, or as I called them: "Dump-er-lings, since I just dumped stuff in the pot. After all, I am what has been coined by someone somewere as a "Flexitarian;" meaning, I will eat seafood/fish, and sometimes, rarely, I'll eat some kinds of meat and never others. I made my easy pleasy chicken dumplings because Good Man Roger loves them - and since he usually does the cooking, it was a chance for me to doodle-dee-doo around in the kitchen. (And to sweeten the pot, so to speak, he made the recipe even easier, of which is below.)

So, since I ate the chicken in the chicken and dump-er-lings, I dreamed about chickens come to attack the city - or someone's city. There was one HUGE giananticus chicken--big as a seven story building!--and then all that chicken's little mean pecking chickens. They swarmed all over and created havoc unknown to man ever! The giant chicken did that staring in the window thing -it's cold beady empty-headed eye appraising...oh! shudder!
Then I dreamed I was on an episode of Scrubs - the one where they did a musical - and I was dancing around singing, "Boop oop ee doo, boop oop ee doo, boop oop ee doo be doo bee doo oop oop a doooOooOO-Bee Do!" All the while I had a bathtowel wrapped around me - even though I was wearing clothes. Huhn. Really. I did dream that.

Ah well, my good friends - what did you dream last night? Or are you one of those who never remembers their dreams? If anyone else dreamed of giant chickens, well -- ! --!

Oh, and don't forget the contest for the book-give-a-way; look below, or to the right in the column where instructions are -just click on the image.

Now, for my chicken and dump-er-lings. I swear this is the easiest thing. You can also boil your own poor little chicken and make your own stock. You can make your own biscuit dough, too. I used to do all that. Or you can be a lazy-arse cook that I've become and do what I did (and Small Footprints- I bet you'll think of a good vegetarian way to make this!):

(Photo not mine) In olive oil, I sauteed half an onion until soft (I added a pinch of salt too and something I never add, just a pinch of Cavendar's -just to see how it would taste), then added a little garlic, and when that was cooked down, I added just a bit of flour and stirred it around. Then I poured in a box of Emeril's chicken stock; and let that work on coming to a boil. Meanwhile, I threw some flour on a cutting board, opened a can of Grand Biscuits (not the butter ones-they'll melt too much!) and then smashed flat the biscuits and then cut them into strips. When they were all cut up and the stock boiling, I added the biscuit strips to the stock. I had already cut up into bite-sized pieces the chicken from a deli chicken GMR bought (yup, didn't even have to make my own stock, or boil my own chicken, or make my own biscuits - laughing!) - and after the dumplings had began to cook through, and this doesn't take long, I added the cut up chicken. I let that simmer a bit and added salt and lots of pepper (I like lots of pepper in mine). Finally, I added cream (or milk, or whatever - it just makes a nice southern white gravy) and let it cook a bit. We like ours thick and creamy. Then, you eat, and if you are a Flexitarian, you feel kinda gross you're eating chicken and then when you go to bed, you dream about giant chickens and its little chicken helpers running into a city to creat havoc upon the land.
(google images from and

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Put your left hand in, put your right hand in, put them both right in and type them all about

The next book give-a-way "contest" begins today. I thought I'd try to make it writing-related. If you don't call yourself a writer, it doesn't matter - we all have something inside of us that allows beauty to reveal itself in words, or if not beauty then truths, or perceptions, the human condition - et cetera!

From the posted image in the column to the right (and pasted below), write whatever you wish from however the image prompts you to, but keep it to 200 words or fewer. Place your writing in the comments section. Then, we're going to vote a winner. The book again is: Paul Coelho's BRIDA - unsigned, but a brand new copy. I'll keep the image up for two weeks this time, instead of a week, to give y'all time to join in, if you so wish. Just let yourself relax into this. Have fun with it. At the end of the two weeks, I'll post all the "entries" and will enable a way you all can vote on the one that is your favorite.
I talked about trailers yesterday -Bellebooks made the trailer (it's at the bottom of this blog, the only place I could fit it without it being too big and in your face) - BB has worked like a house afire for TG and I am humbled and appreciative and quite happy with BB. Last night I lay under my feather comforter, and the winds came roaring over the ridge and through the cove (and a soft snow fell - but this I could not know, because snow doesn't announce itself like it's louder sister rain)...and I thought how glad I am I made the decision to go with a small press. "Small" is a funny word - for Bellebooks has heart - big wonderful heart (and am I saying big publishers do not have heart and do not care about their writers? Nope. But...there is a difference all the same, and I like this difference). Here's the link for the trailer to TG. It's weird to see interpretations of your words. And, I know when readers read the book, they'll have their own images and thoughts and interpretations - and that is how it should be!

Okay, here's the image for the contest. Write in 200 words or fewer your interpretation of the image. Again, relax into it - have fun with it - maybe you will see something right outside the photo, something that didn't make it into the frame, someone or something that isn't apparent, someone or something that has nothing to do with this woman, or everything to do with this woman. Or, maybe this woman is the everything.

(google image from

Trailers for sale or rent.....

I have a trailer. We're tweaking it here and there as we look at it or get feedback, but it's fun (while waiting for mine - here's one to watch ...teeheehee... 500 impressions in 2 minutes )
I am feeling a little wild - a little whoopee - a little gigglypoo and as if I should dance. Not because of anything in particular - except that I feel happy right now. It's not just my VK coming alive - it's the way the chimes are singing in the wind, the bones of the trees tipping over and back, the way my hair is stuck up on end and I don't care, the coffee taste on my tongue, the cold north carolina mountain air-but I'm tucked in my little log house nice and warm, the way my robe feels soft and cozy, the way I can feel the buzz of all of you even though I can't see your eyes--blues and browns and greens and hazels--the way the birds flock to the feeder with their feathers puffed out against the chill, the red squirrels grown plump on our sunflower seeds, the way the currents of the air hold promise for things I've wished for in the dark, my eyes open to the black night, but a good black night, a mountain cove night, a night that turns into a brightly lit morning with the mists hovering over the Great Smoky Mountains - those grandfathers and grandmothers that cradle me here, ancient and wild and bold. Yes, I'm feeling a little wild and as if I will dance.

It's weird when you begin to see interpretations of your words into images - covers, trailers, and even titles. How curious I'd be to sit down with people who will read the book, or those who have, and ask them questions. Or to show them a series of images and ask them to pull out those that say "tender graces, that's it right there, that's the book/the character/the setting/the tone/the feeling of it." Maybe I'll do that one day.
I thought of a new "contest" for the BRIDA book. It's probably lame as poo-bah-doo but for a writer, I am sometimes sadly lacking in imagination *laugh* This was my midnight thought: to have a couple of smiles put here, the mouth only, and the one who guesses who the smiles belong to wins the BRIDA book -huh? huh? yeah? *laugh* Of course, it'd be "famous" people smile; I mean, not like the guy down in the valley who owns the little grocery, or my Aunt Mabel--especially since I don't have an Aunt Mabel. Anyway, unless I just finish all my Deep Creek Blend coffee and realize this is a really bad idea, that's what I'll post tomorrow...mouths. Huhn. Yeah.

Okay, I'm placing an image here of when I was a baby - about six months I guess. On my left hand, "wedding ring finger" is a ring! Since this is the first time I've ever seen a photo of me as a baby this young (long story), I never knew about this ring. And why would they put it on the "wedding ring" finger? Anyone else ever wore a baby ring when you were a babe? Anyone know if there's some significance to it being on that finger - or maybe they just stuck it there because that's were rings went back then and people didn't really wear rings on other fingers? Huhn. Anyway - first time I've seen a baby photo of any baby with a ring on their finger, but I've been told this was a big thing "way back in the dark ages of the fifties and early sixties." Now I know my incredible cuteness and that little curl on my head will distract you - but, there's that ring, on my little teeny finger. You can click on the image to see it larger if you can't see that ring.

(stock image from google:[ More from )

Friday, January 16, 2009

What a wunnerful world ...ohhhhh yeahhhh

First - it's minus 2 degrees outside at Killian Knob in my cove on the mountain. MINUS 2! I think that's the record cold, really record cold, at least for the past four years. Dang.

All rightee then. Friday's are where I post links to places, writers, blogs, et cetera. (And am open to any suggestions for places and people to post on Fridays). As well, it's time to announce the winner of the "how many jelly beans in the jar" contest to win Deb Leblanc's latest book, Water Witch.

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!

Here are the links for today - give them a visit. Let's all support each other! It's a big ole wunnerful world out dere.

If I can tout The Rose & Thorn for a moment. The Winter Issue of The Rose & Thorn Literary Ezine is up. Go by, read, enjoy. As well, The Roses & Thorns, where R&T staff post tips and tidbits for writers/readers, etc., and where we also post book reviews (Susan Reinhardt is up right now), author interviews, etc. Go by and take a look every now and then and see what's going on. R&T did well, again, in the Preditors and Editors poll.

BACKSTORY, "Where authors share secrets, truths, logical and illogical moments that sparked their fiction or memoirs. Brought to you by M.J. Rose and Jessica Keener."

Fellow Backspacer Adrienne Kress has a new book out. Timothy and the Dragon's Gate
Adnan Mahmutovic is a good friend and gifted writer. A Bosnian refugee who now lives in Sweden, his writing takes the breath away. I had the honor of editing his short story for R&T, and then editing his novel, for which the novella length will be published soon.

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.

That's it for now! The next book for my book give-a-way is a brand new-unread- but unsigned, copy of: Paulo Coelho's "BRIDA." I'll have a new contest beginning soon.

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!
kimmi said...
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
gana said...
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.
JOY said...
I guess 191 jelly bellys!
Jessica said...
How about 250 beans?
Sharla said...
I guess 170 jelly beans.
Jenn Johansson said...
My guess for the jelly bean jar is 127

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I hope you were a beautiful baby, cause baby you sure ain't now...

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, 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."
My photographer friend is supposed to come up here and snap a few shots. I'm thinking I should just recreate my profile picture. Seems to work. Seems simple enough. And that's how most people see me.
I never thought about how author photos should "show" the readers what type of books you write. So, like if I wanted to use the one below, I would be saying "Humor Writer" and not Southern Women's Fiction" or whatever.

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!"

Ah well, this is the thing: writers don't know how to market themselves. Writers don't know what's best for them in the realm of Titles and Book Covers and Photos, oh my! If we were in charge of all of these things, many of our books would be sitting on shelves gathering dust, with crappy titles, uninspiring or inappropriate covers, and weird photographs. Huhn.

I hope if you haven't guessed the number of jelly beans in the jar to win Water Witch, you will do so - just put the guess in the comments! Tomorrow I announce the winner.

Two other book give-a-ways will be unsigned, but brand new books: Paulo Coelho's "Brida," and Joseph O'Neil's "Netherland" - unless those authors just happen to stumble across this blog and offer to sign them!

And if you are an author and want to donate a book for a give-a-way, please email me and let me know!
And now I leave you with what I think should be my author wrinkles, no forehead butt(more on forehead butt later), just that crooked smile:

(google stock images from,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Can't Get No...internet connection - and I try and I try and I try, but can't go no OH NO!

I'm hoping my connection lasts long enough to write this post! So, you know you are a full-blown nettie-addict when your internet connection is out on day two (or only works when it feels like it for a minute or two) and you either walk about dazed mumbling and grumbling, or are on the phone saying, "I DON'T CARE IF YOU SAY I HAVE A STRONG CONNECTION, MY INTERNET CONNECTION IS NOT WORKING - I NEED MY INTERNET--GIVE ME MY INTERNET - FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT! WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW FOR A TECHNICIAN--?? I'VE BEEN WITHOUT INTERNET FOR 24-HOURS! THIS IS DAY TWO....AUUUGGHHHHHH!" and then try begging and cajoling, "I have chocolate...lots of want some chocolate don't you? Or does your technician like beer? wine? how about my firstborn? ....pleasssse pleeeeaasseee...fix my net! pllleeeaaseee...I beg of you..."

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 poor nettie - how I miss you!

Oh! I may have a connection now...we have a technician here for an unrelated matter and he fiddled with something...and...and - Do you think he'll freak out if I run up to him and hug him and kiss him and ... I guess I shouldn't do that; I guess a simple Thank You will be enough.
Today I was going to post a photo my brother sent me - but I'll do that tomorrow. There's a "mystery" to it I can't figure out and I'm hoping someone out there can tell me what it's about.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leaving (my undies) on a Jet Plane...

Oh! last night at last the anxiety and jitters and weird dreams departed...what a relief! I've been bouncing off the walls - here at home, in bloggersville, et cetera. Humph. I finally took a deep breath and put things back into perspective.

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 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 )

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Their cheatin' hearts, will tell on you

I was watching football playoffs, well watching and surfing the net and playing (see below teehee) and as usual, notice some things about football and its players.

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!

Obladee Obladah, links go on, yah, la la la la links go on..and on..and on...and on...

I know I said, "this blog is about the novel, etc etc etc!" But, sometimes a girl just needs a break! Right? So, last night I sat here on the red couch just looking around the net. Aimlessly. La Tee Dahingly. Sometimes one link will lead to another link to another. So, here are some of the places I ended up last night.

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 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

Mr. Sandman, send me a... scream? la la la...

I can’t sleep.

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

I wander and wonder who? who wrote some book of....& A Contest!

(P.S. I wanted to mention: Travis Erwin. If you've not gone by his site, then please think of doing so. He and his family lost their home to a fire. It is times like these when strangers come together to help each other - and that is what makes this community a family. You can buy a brick at THIS website if you can and if the spirit moves you to do so.)

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

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

When the phrase hits your eye like a big piece of pie...

"What is your novel about?"

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

Little Lambs and I-me

I've been tossing and turning. You'd think I'd sleep the sleep of innocent lambs who know they won't be lambchops and will romp around fields of clover baa-ing and kicking up their tiny little hooves (I'm running with this lamb thing, ain't I? laughing...).

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.