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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Yes," My piece from writer's bootcamp, Day 9

10 days, 1000 words or less using only prompts and suggested themes as muse. The kind of challenge that let's you know if you really want to write, this is what it takes.  In day 9, the lead line was: "It was the kind of town they warned us about."  The themes: siblings and saying, yes.  


It was the kind of town they warned us about in better circles of people, hatred had a smell like old sweat and sour beer. But sometimes life pulls us down making jealous siblings comfortable, and insecure strangers happy.

It was the kind of life I spent a lifetime running from, but it chased me until it overpowered my optimism and pulled me into the mire. Because sometimes sheer will is not enough and we give in to give up. 

It was the kind of day with no end. I left the big city, dejected by divorce and embarrassed by the secret everyone knew. Thinly veiled grins from those who’d never risen, celebrated my dissent.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Another beautiful dish from Creole cook, Janelle Mercier!

Janelle says: This salad looks like rice but actually is pasta...

Here are her instructions, cher: cook these little darlings..and while you do that you chop up garlic, belle peppers, zucchini and herbs..saute the all in a pan..add some brown sugar, wine, balsamic..pepper, hot vinegar, a bit of honey ...some chili flakes for extra taste...creole know the drill^^

while they get nice (soft still with a bite to it) you mix the boiled pasta rice with fresh tomatos, olives, lemon juice, more pepper, fresh herbs....somme capers too

add the stuff from the pan..and boom...lunch is served...did you bring your fork darlin`?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Can't explain this! I' m watching old Dragnet episodes!

....and enjoying the hell out of 'em.

I love a good detective story and the narrative style of back in the day, so that must be the attraction for Joe Friday and the "names changed to protect the innocent,"---LOL.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

People Watching in an Airport: The Cure for Writer's Block

I saw a woman who looked as if she had murdered her husband, polished, pressed and with scary eyes.  Then there was the obligatory blow hard who assumes we all give a shit about his cell phone conversation--- l am always amazed when a loud person can be boring.

Next up, the young smug couple that we all used to be when we thought we had all the answers to love and relationships. They are flanked by the young parents who have yet to learn that a bit of Jack Daniels in the bottle or liquid Tylenol make for happy travel.

I've been suffering from nearly unbearable Writer's block over the past 12 months. I know what my character will do and be in the sequel to Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper, but I am loathe to create the colorful and dramatic dialogue with narrative that will hold your attention to tell you about it.

Every time I hit the key board, my brain freezes up into a maze of cliché and hackneyed phrases. I refuse to put any of it in a book and will not subject the people kind enough to buy my work, to it.

But leaving Washington, DC headed home to California I found inspiration in an airport. I had an aunt who would recite made up narrative as she watched people. She'd say things like, "You see those two?  That's not her husband, it's her husband's brother. They're running away and that's why they keep looking over their shoulders." Auntie was an elementary school teacher which could account for her active imagination.  But mostly, she was a bit eccentric and told her stories with commitment. I often wondered if she thought they were true.

Who knew that Auntie's inappropriate and judgmental commentary on the lives of complete strangers would re-open the doors to my imagination. And I think I'm ready now to give up  several nights and weekends in order to continue the story of Sarah's and all of the made up people who play a role her in life, part deux!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Grandmother's Journal

My grandmother started a journal the year she got married, 1907.  The frayed and yellowing pages are like pure gold to me as I share in her life more than 100 years after she sat over those pages chronicling every detail in fountain pen.

She wrote about the hard, lean years, the births of children, deaths of children and the joyous purchase of a home for $850 in 1914.

She wrote about the birth of my late mother, a ‘late in life’ child for her.  I don’t have words for the way it feels to read that entry.

Although I am truly a child of television and visual imagery, there is something about seeing the fine lines and letters that my grandmother created. She was from a time when writing in script was the only accepted style of writing. I imagine she took time to form each word.

I love video and the magic it can make in the head and heart, but when I read my grandmother’s words in her dusty journal, I experience the intimacy of the written word that no moving picture could ever replace.


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