Friday, May 31, 2013

Things look better in a distance.


Gilded edges have flaws
Gold dust thin and worn 
But a mountain view
Winding rivers and scattered towns
Edges of creation
Against the forest floor
Fog and dust
Dreams drift 
Perfection’s lore.
Alaska highway in Denali National Forest

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reverberation

This is a story for Speakeasy Writing Challenge 111.

This story needed a wee introduction. Some of the historical details are from stories passed down in my family. People in rural Georgia where my dad originated or the mountains of Alabama where my mother originated worked very hard and survived because of the help of one another.

My father's family was more affluent but not wealthy in the sense of the Roosevelts. Bullochs or other gentrified families. They were educated but the wealth was more a management of people and resources. My grandfather lost much of his money early when the banks failed in the 1930s. People would put checks in drawers and not cash them right away. My grandfather was broke from honoring the checks he had written prior to the banking collapse.

When my dad and three brothers returned after fighting in World War II. His father had died and everything had been sold for unpaid taxes. No one ever returned. There was no work in rural areas. The world had changed with automobiles, assembly lines, etc. What remained were the stories.


summertime


The guilt was too much to bear. The hardest person to forgive is you.  Only through the window glass of time do we ever see how much time we wasted with guilt. Now duty is another matter. 

Dorothea Sullivan had natural pink red hair. She had gone to finishing school and wanted to get a better education but it was 1874. They did not offer math at the first finishing school her father visited because as the headmaster said, “It would hurt the delicate mind of a female.” Her father Laurin Sullivan revolted from the comment. This was his only child. The last thing he wanted was for her to lose his fortune with a lack of understanding finance.

Laurin Sullivan was far from rich. He owned a fair amount of land in South Georgia. Sherman marched with his men quickly through that part of Georgia otherwise the mosquitoes would have picked them up and flown away. Dorothea married a man with no money but an affable personality. Jack Bluett’s dimwits left Dorothea in despair. By law, a woman could not vote much less own property.

People had lived on her father’s farm since they were born. Some were white and many were black. Some who moved away would move back but would never stay. They had lost the rhythm of the place. Distant beats reverberated in them. Sometimes they would return a second time. The only ones who stayed were the ones too old to leave again.

For those who stayed, the soil seemed to go directly into their veins like the green corn waving in the wind. Cutting cane followed by syrup boilings, butchering hogs during a cold spell in December and salting meat to eat the rest of the year, drying beans to store in the deep root cellar for short wintry days. All the year’s days merged into a hive of activity.

Minutes, hours, days and years merged into decades. Dorothea’s soft red hair was a huge white puff tucked into a bun at the nape of her neck. Every Saturday morning Dorothea did as her father had done every year of his life, she doled a dollar to every man to spend as he saw fit in town. Bluett did the job now.

One spring like day in January, Dorothea packed envelops for the year’s paydays carefully in a desk cubby. She rolled the desk cover down and locked it. Looking at the robins returning from their winter homes or simply waiting the winter out in the South, the image of walking along the ocean shore as child filled her mind. Dorothea realized everything was in order. She was just an observer at the farm.

Dorothea’s horse and buggy stood at the train station. The train had left an hour ago.  Bluett attached his roan mare beside her mother and rode all night home. Dorothea might return. Tomorrow was Saturday. 

Complaining

Complaining is one reason I write. If I am not careful, it could be the focus.

The real reason I started to write is that it is a childhood wish. I wanted to write a book. Knowing what I do now, I should have started writing and learning how to write thirty years ago.

My hillbilly self thought the story just came out. Now I know you can engineer a story. My stories still just come out. I just make them more palatable for people reading by following the rules.

Another thing I would have done is work with little theatres. I am not an actor and did not think it would be something I would like. I know the people I would have met while making props and costumes would have made my life fuller. The fact that I like to paint and sew were hobbies I could have enjoyed in the process.

When I look at blogs, all us chicks say the same thing. We have struck a point in our life where the writing has to happen. We have figured out no one really cares what you have to say. They are just waiting on being able to talk themselves.

My storylines began because of stress. The problem with being the family caretaker is relatives think they help you by telling you what to do. It never dawns on them what you really need is a break. Four hours or anything where no one can stop what you are doing or talk to you.

My story began as a fantasy for myself then I realized it was an escape wish, then I knew I could write it down as a story. The original fantasy never was written. Other stories emerged. I get 15 minutes here or there to write.

The end result is I can say my opinions in a roundabout way. Give my view of the world for whoever will read it. The blog was created to create a publisher platform. Competing with so many blogs, I am not well read which is good. It gives me a chance to learn, explore.

I have a few funny blog posts mimicking a few well read blogs. Some of this is out of jealousy. Most of it is due to funny commonalities which I think lend humor.

Thanks for reading. And, feel free to give me input. It will make me better at this new hobby.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Relative Strangers - the movie review

Starring Danny DeVito and Kathy Bates as the "river rat" biological parents of an upscale psychologist played by Ron Livingston. Frank and Agnes Maneure really aren't original characters nor or the jokes. But Danny DeVito and Kathy Bates makes you like them, believe them and last of all laugh at all the jokes.

The implausible plotline is not that original but it ends well and you find yourself laughing all the way. There were great sets, details and editing in the film. It's an "Uncle Buck" film where you see the fool is sometimes the foregone conclusions and not the people. People are flawed but they may be better sometimes because of the flaws. You just have to remember that during the holidays.

I looked at the Imdb reviews. I was not surprised it was released overseas and never hit the American market except as DVD sales or television runs. Its a great flick and better by far than so many that come to market. It is not that original of a story.

The comedic talent of Danny DeVito and Kathy Bates is enhanced by other popular actors. I simply love Christine Baranski who plays Ron Livingston's adoptive mother. Beverly D'Angelo played a subtle character whose eccentricity emerges as the film progresses. Neve Campbell played such a nice character and those perfect looks helped.

No the movie is not high brow art. It's entertainment and feel good entertainment at that.

There is another movie that exists of the same title.

Jerks rule

Twitchforks, tweets that main and kill another tweeter. Social media has it good and pitfalls. I snoop unabashed on Facebook. If I am trying to figure out who a person is, their profile is somewhere on the internet.

I've been blogging less than a year. I want to write the Great American Novel. At this point, I got a ways before I get there. I would love to start a MFA program anywhere. The huge elephant in my way, an elderly mom and two handicapped siblings that need help. I've had some people tell me, it is unreasonable for you to take care of them, it will kill you.

Needing a little respite, it may kill me I feel at times. It's just the humanity. How do you walk away from someone who needs you. You don't. How many people live a better life because they ran away from their troubles.

So learning is a process of trial and error. Surprisingly making comments on other people's blogs are good practice. Well I have been irritated by spam bloggers, I have encountered another --->

Susan Tamalumas who has been targeted as a spam blogger by word press.

http://ip-finder.me/wpuser/?user=Susan+Tamalunas

She may have opened a blogger account called AnnB. She is their only friend. She or He left a comment on my blog. I quarantined it as spam. In the scheme of things, it not that big a deal. I have a common name. Nothing has happened to me.

I just feel angry I have to be aware of such foolishness. A friend of mine commented similarly where people felt it appropriate to make snarky comments about a newspaper article where a man from a good family killed a brother and his parents. I couldn't blame her reaction. I read comments under articles and I often wish I had not. Why would I read them = gossip. People volunteer information they should not. I'm not saying I always believe the volunteer information.

Anyway, I enabled capcha. I hate it. I can't get capcha right when I do it for other blogs. Sometimes it takes me three tries.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Procrastination

Trifecta Writing Challenge - Write a 33 work true or fictional apology. When it comes to procrastination, I got an attitude. Thus my 33 words are as follows:


Time and Tide waits for no man is so ancient that no one knows it Origin  I do know the more I procrastinate the less likely I am going tado a damn thing.


Normal Day - real blog post for once

Staking and tying tomato plants has occupied most of my morning. My mother has pruned an azalea bush. I hope it makes it. There are no leaves left. It will be bushier and prettier than ever or dead as a door nail. Plenty of water this summer may help.

I've been writing lots of fiction and have fallen into its pitfalls, which is another serious project to write. I haven't finished the three biggies I am slowly tapping out. Jeez Louise, the dogs love the office work. My sister's dog Checkers who is a hooligan even sneaks in to lie in wait. When I get deep into what I am doing, Checkers has suggested "dog fight" to one the dogs. My office staff know this is verboten.

Dogs know when you are totally lost in thought. Even uncannier is they know when you are going in the car. You can hide your purse in the garage and wear your keys around your neck and they will perk up and start trailing you once you attempt to exit the house.

Two members of my office staff, The small blurry one "Buttons" was redecorating. A dog bed is really comfortable after you tear the stuffing out.
You can see why fiction has its appeal. Mopping floors, picking up dog poop, washing dishes, not in that order, leaves some excitement to be desired. 

The news is terrible. Tornadoes in Oklahoma, innocent children killed by the tornado, killed by their mothers, killed by their brother, politicians making mountains out of molehills and molehills out of mountains, the world is turning off kilter as usual. 

Politicians do provide some comic relief when you listen to what they want to discuss. The eternal search to discredit the other, get re-elected, give jobs to their friends and family, create a disturbance so you will not notice could be a great topic to write about. Until a person disagrees with you. Both parties maintain the other one picks on the other. 

This is why I don't post about politics or religion. We have accepted being a hard head as the norm and I don't want my hard head friends to dislike me. 

What! Who said I was hard head?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old Man - Trifecta Writing Challenge


Charlie Boger came into my classroom. He was 15 and the rest of the class was 11.  The schoolyard dramas had no interest to him.

One day, there was a huge fight in the playground; I headed out as hard as I could to break it up. It was only about 50 yards away but thank goodness, Charlie had stopped it. He did not like seeing someone beat up. Eric Lawson was bleeding from his nose and lip. Paul Smoker’s eyes were blazing.

I sent Eric to the office first so they could doctor his wounds and call his mother. I walked Paul there as I took the class in from the playground. About an hour after recess, 10 minutes before the day was over, they called Charlie Boger to the office.

I sat at my desk and graded a set of spelling tests. I wrote pedantic work across Charlie Boger’s paper. He would find the word in the dictionary every time. I knew he was putting in his time.

As I drove home, there was Charlie Boger walking down the highway about four miles from the school. I pulled over.

” Charlie, why aren’t you on the bus?”

“Miz Rogers, Eric turned me over for hitting him in the face.”

“You didn’t hit him in the face. I saw the whole thing. It was Paul Smoker.”

“That’s what they say. Anyway, I got to get home.”

“Let me give you a ride.”

“I live on a dirt road. Your car won’t stay clean, all that dust and such”.

“They should have gotten you out for the bus.”

“Expelled.”

“Expelled?”

“It’s a good thing.”

“Get in the car.”

He gave me directions as we wound down a narrow dirt road that followed the path of Sabbath Creek.  He got out of the car and several younger children were waiting on him.

Charlie, I plan to get things fixed tomorrow.

He gave me a regretful look.

“It doesn’t matter Miz Rogers. I’ll be 16 next month. My last day of school was due. We got to get the garden in so we can eat. I’m so tired of collard greens. The taters did sorry this year.”

I knew his father had died several years ago. I did get the story straight that next Monday. The school sent a letter to Charlie Boger’s home. He stopped by my room when he returned his books.  He said they did not usually get mail so no one had checked the mailbox.  He asked me if my family was well.   

I would like to say he grew up, prospered and lived a fine life. He drove a log truck for a while and I taught his younger siblings. Two of them graduated from high school.  Charlie fell asleep driving a truck they say. He was only nineteen. I wondered how many people besides me knew he was old man at the funeral.



My life began at a funeral. Some people say life begins at 40 or 50 or that day in your life that you have realization that you will not live forever and some people you worry about could care less about you. It is about them and will always be about them.

I tell the story the funeral was of my pet turtle, Jake. How he was minding his business in the backyard of my grandfather’s house and my grandfather ran over him, breaking his shell.

The truth is it is the day Mindy Sams died pulling out on highway on a rainy day in front of a gravel truck. It was assumed she could not see because of the heavy rain. What was true was we were laughing, talking and not paying attention. I was not wearing a seat belt and when the vehicles collided, I shot like a rocket out of the right passenger window. I had rolled it down sticking my head out in the rain when the collision occurred.

I landed on a thick layer of grass. There was a small depression in the middle, a net in the middle of a marsh. It had rained a lot that winter.  It all happened so quickly. The truck driver was crying. He lifted me like a small child and carried me to the ambulance that was pulling up and sat with me until my parents came and his wife came. I had a few scratches and bruises. My mind was blank.

Later I remembered in bits and pieces. By the funeral, I knew the whole story. For the record, it was the rain. I told my dad about the shampoo, the silliness, the rinsing my hair in the rain. I can hear Mindy’s laughter. My dad went and got my mother. They sat there quietly as I tried to will myself to disappear and escape the guilt.

My grandfather came in. He sat. He talked about how they fought in World War II, some survived. A guy who had survived was killed in a car accident when he returned. Life was fickle. Dad looked at me and said let’s not wallow in guilt.

“Should I at least tell her parents?”

“Hell no.”

“Why should you, would it bring her back to life?”

“Her parents have too big a burden as it is. They would only hate you. Besides, the person who needs to forgive you is yourself.”

At the funeral, I told Mindy goodbye. I couldn't change what happened. I vowed to make the best of my life as possible.

I left the marshes of Georgia never to return that September. I later built a subdivision in that marsh of long ago. People say who would want to live in a marsh. I tell you, it has a beauty of its own. It is the birds nestling down for slumber late in the evening never whispering a word to my granddaughter somersaulting along the boardwalk but fuss grandly as I follow. 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Paradigm


Paradigm
Status Quo                                      

Safe reason
Jealously protected
The boundaries,
A svelte loop of opinion
Juxtaposed reason
Walling 
Stone by stone
Sheltered
on one side.
Exposed on the other
Until the wall
Topples down

Caroline Jessamine


Carolina Jessamine
Lonely lovely flower
Draped across bare trees
With reddening buds of spring
Clusters of yellow bugles
Sing to me
The chorus of woodland nymphs
Native bees

Honky

I read a facebook post about the derivation of Honky.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honky

I looked up Wikepedia's answer. I had heard as a child it was the nasal sound in a white person's speech. I didn't know that is where honky tonk came from.

My grandmother supported 5 children during the 40's and 50's by herself. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Born in 1913, she worked as a field hand. It was something she could do like many other people of her generation.

Somehow we have lost respect for the hard labor. I suspect it has more to do with the disdain some of their employers felt toward the people they hired. My mother and her kin that lived on Lookout Mountain had a problem with people who lived in vacation homes there.

The summer people wanted them to work as domestics and laborers. When it came time to pay, they want to give them discarded clothing never money. People work to buy food, put a roof over their heads. Stores in the thirties did not take rags instead of money just like today.

My grandmother road on the top of logs on the back of a truck when she worked as a field hand. This was common practice. My mom talks about standing with a  row of men catching and throwing heavy boards at 14 and 15. Her golden opportunity was a cotton mill job at 16 in Macon, GA in 1946. Ten years before I was born.

My grandmother fell off those logs and broke a hip. She was about 35 at the time. She was taken home with four children living with her. No money, no medical care was offered or given. She recovered enough to move on to the next job which was maid at a hotel and taking in laundry from people.

At the hotel, her children played outside but some guest complained about the children outside. So my aunt and two uncles at the time had to stop playing and stay out of sight. You didn't have childcare or money to pay for it.

What I have felt bitter about over the years is not the difficult life my grandmother had. It was the fact that no medical care or concern was offered my grandmother by Old man Ramsey when she broke her hip. She had turned down a job at a mill because she felt guilty leaving his farm. But when she was injured, he did nothing. An injured horse or mule would have been treated.

I have always had reservations about his religion because of this. Its a large Christian denomination. I know that people are individuals and it is not fair to have the immediate response I have to them. I'm just always suspicious. One of their tenets is that they are the only true Christian religion. I have liked many individuals of this faith.

I still think of old man Ramsey and my grandmother when people discuss the religion. My parents  raised me to live and let live. I am a Christian but like 59 percent of Muslims in the United States, I don't think we are the only people to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I also know that not all Christians are good people or have your best interests at heart. There are all kinds in every group of people.

This is why I understand the anger some African-Americans feel toward white Americans. It's the memory of the indignity of how people in their family were treated. It took me long time to realize when an African American friend was telling me about how mean white people had been. They were just sharing from one friend to another - venting.  I had no need to defend the white race. They could just as easily be discussing problems in the African American community.

They chose me as a friend. I am white. Obviously,  they have no problem with a white person. I don't share the indignities my family faced. That would turn the conversation into a competition of who had it worse. Sort of like that person who is always sicker than everyone else. At worse like the anonymous troll comment wars after news articles.

Anyway, this is just one person's take on the situation. A friend of my mom talks about her parents and grandparents were harvesters that traveled up and down the mid-west harvesting crops. The picture below are two children working in a beet field October 17, 1940 in Hall County Nebraska. My mother was ten at the time. Below  the photo is the link on Wikimedia Commons. The photo is in the Public Domain by the United States Department of Agriculture archives.

File:Children and Sugar beets Nebraska 1940.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Children_and_Sugar_beets_Nebraska_1940.jpg

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Children's Arguments


A single note on the piano was all Jennifer produced. There was no one home to hear her practice much less play.  Jennifer was half an orphan. She was a senior in high school but it was strange just checking in with dad instead of mom hovering to see that she did everything right.

 Gazing out the window, she watched children walking home from school. Two little girls around eight were running up to a much larger boy who was probably the same age. They looked like little angels in their school uniform.

 The angels knocked the boy down in the flowerbed; crushing and uprooting Sam Glover’s Impatiens. The little boy stands up and tears the chain off the posts that Glover says he uses for decoration but is a coy reminder of the property line.

Jennifer focuses on the sheet music. She turns her head in time to see the boy swinging the chain like a truncheon. The girls are leaning forward taunting him. Oh, this is ridiculous; I will just open the door and look out. They will run off.

Jennifer coolly looks from left to right at the children. The little boy begins to wail loudly. “They goin’ ta beat me up.” Genuine tears are flowing. The girls turn in a snit and walk away. They look back, and then stop at the end of the road, pretend to be talking but face the poor bedeviled boy.

Jennifer reaches in to the foyer and takes her cell phone off a table.

“Would you like to call your mom?”                  
                                 
He nods his head yes. She winces as he wipes his nose with his hand and grasps her cell phone with the same hand. Sniffling, he calls his mother.

He is talking on the phone.  Jennifer hears a woman calling down the road. The girls are gone. His tears dry as he hands her the phone back.

“Mom.” He runs to meet the woman.  Jennifer stands and watches them walk down the road hand in hand. She pauses, reattaches the chain and replants the uprooted flowers.

Walking back into the house, Jennifer thinks about not practicing. She knows the music. She plays scales before playing her mom’s favorite, the Westphalia Waltz.

The phone rings. She plans to ignore it but the number is the one the boy dialed. There is no hello, how do you do, just a woman telling her to mind her own business.

Jennifer starts to talk and the woman hangs up. Fuming, she decides to call back. What does this woman mean she is going to speak to her father?

“Hello”

It’s the boy. “Do you remember me?”

“I dunno.”

“You remember me kid. I saved you from those two girls.”

“You did not. You lying. You lying on me. I weren’t fighting again. Madison and Taylor are my friends.”

His mother is in the background yelling, “Whose on the phone?”

“It’s that crazy old lady who plays the piana.”

Money over Everything - Tears of a Fool.

In Macon Ga, there is a gang called MOE (Money Over Everything). The following picture is of the girl that is 16 being charged as an adult. She and three males gave a ride to two men whose truck broke down. When they got to the men's house, they shot them and stole the electronics in the house.

I
picture taken from this link,

http://macon.13wmaz.com/news/crime/115332-three-arrested-monroe-co-double-homicide

I call her a fool for good reason, she is gotng to be crying big time when she goes to trial. All her flip opinions will be used against her. When I taught school, you saw a fair amount of students who were incredibly bad. The system would try to get them straight by pandering to them.

The pandering seems terrible  but it is a reality . Just like when you have the parent conference with the child. The child is the boss at home. You realize to solve the problem you have to convince the person in charge (the child) to make the needed changes. There is a point where you manage behavior. With experience, there is a sadness when you reach that point. It's going to catch up with them.

There is just lots of craziness and it doesn't have anything to do with the homemade name the girl has, Sameeria Carter. I taught loads of children with unusual names and some of them were white. You cannot judge the quality of character by the socioeconomic  We all have worked with people who would walk all over you for a gold star with their name posted in the washroom.

Think of all those insolvent home loans that created havoc with the housing market. The motivation was the commission. Who cares if the homebuyer reneges on the mortgage? Sounds like potential members for MOE.

In Hawkinsville, GA, this young man probably killed a classmate. Why, the facts are yet to come out and they probably will never be known. The killer, 17 year old honor student Robert Kane Rolison, was taking college classes. They are examining charred remains.

Update, Kane Rolison confessed to the murder. On news media he states he was taking hard drugs and woke up that morning wanting to kill someone. Disgusting.


What do you conclude from all this? Two fools adrift in the legal system. Sameeria and Robert are being tried as adults. For their victims, I hope justice is done. Sameeria is either stupid, insane or ignorant. From news reports, Robert burned the evidence, just not enough. It goes without saying, they will both find G_d in prison.

Update of Sameeria's mugshot. No one  is surprised. What a waste of a young life. She may have been born to be bad but more likely, she acquired the idea that no matter what she did there would be no consequence.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Serendipity

Fiction: Trifecta Writing Challenge. Prompt, use the third definition of deliberate.

It was a whim to put 86 candles on the cake. I had ten more that I put on for ten more years.

I had planned to make a cake for a while. It was a hummingbird cake then Italian Cream Cake. A cook on the news described the chocolate cake he liked. I thought of finely chopped nuts in chocolate icing. It was a tough decision, Chocolate brownie cake or Coca cola cake.

I chose stout yellow candles. Not the normal skinny ones, I wanted to watch them burn. Sip my coffee, look out the window. Think a deliberate thought about the different people who I had loved and blow a few out for each one.

My father said you could live too long. All your friends and loved ones die and you are left alone.  I remember my cousin Agnes died of diphtheria in 1938. My sister Hazel and I were so sad. My dad was putting cardboard in his shoe and said, “It could have been worse; it could have been you.”

Slowly I lit all the candles. It was a beautiful sight. I walked into the kitchen and smoke was pouring from the side of the oven doors. A small square of margarine in the oven was burning. I turned the oven off and the exhaust fan on.  The smoke alarm went off.  I got the fire extinguisher, and then I noticed the flame had gone out.

Throwing open the windows and doors in the back of the apartment to let the smoke escape. I think the neighbors will never know.

Bamm, bamm, bamm on the front door, fire men are on the other side of the peephole. I look at my beautiful cake. Opening the door, I hear myself saying, “It was just a small grease fire.”

Cake is better when you have someone to eat it with others. Next year, the cake will be at the firehouse.

By Francesca Cesa Bianchi, Milano (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-it (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/it/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lakebottom Prime is the bomb!

Yes, you heard me, "bomb" which was cool talk in the 1990s   It's hard to.imagine someone born in 1990 is now 23. Squarely in the throes of - you really are grown and it is not as easy as your parents made it look. Don't despair you will make it. One day, you'll find that your entire adulthood will be speckled with doubt.

 My favorite 23 year old actor, Chase Steven Anderson is definitely making it. He plays the male lead in the indie film Seven Toe Maggie written and directed by Joseph Lavender which will be released this summer. He is the hapless bugler, Brewster Tuttle, in the hilarious comedy, Lakebottom Prime in Columbus, Georgia.  

If you want to go, you need to purchase your tickets soon. Next weekend are the final performances.

Lakebottom Prime Springer Opera House Tickets .


Copyright: Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)

Five from my family went. I had no expectations. I had never been to the Springer Opera House. The theatre is about the same size as the Alliance theatre in Atlanta. 

All of the parking was convenient and free. Accustomed to navigating parking lots, strategically getting my mother out in front of venues with cars honking, Hawaiian peace signs and dirty looks from strangers, then follow a maze from the parking area to the venue, I was already in a state of escape when we just parked in the front, locked the  doors and entered. My 82 year young mother had no trouble navigating with her walker.

 The lobby to the theatre is a feast to the eyes. So many pictures and interesting pieces of history displayed. The resident haint didn't avail himself. A disappointment we are glad to have missed. If you love decorating, the wallpaper, carpeting, paint detail and woodwork was incredible.

We promptly went to the saloon and ate popcorn. I don't know what it is about theatre popcorn.

My brother was complaining. One sister regretted making plans with us. Within the first minute of the play, we were all laughing. The play was so well cast. Helen Varner played Cilla Tucker and when she said her signature, Yay.", inside I was saying "so whoo is calling me boring now."

For my writing friends who enjoy plays and movies in two ways. The plot moved forward and the jokes kept rolling.Topher Payne who wrote Lakebottom Prime, played the part of Tucker Tuttle . I'm always so impressed with the genius of others. I would give more details but the play is too much fun to give spoilers. You have to come see it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dusty road


onomatopoeia - Trifecta Writing Challenge

Man lights a cigarette
Creaky gray Ford
Takes a bump then lump
On a dirt road
Enclosed in deep dirt walls
Brooding trees
Flies hum then buzz
Road kill
Flat as a flitter

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

So you have a bright child.

These are things I do know.

1. Children learn by example. What you model for children they will do. What you say will usually go in one ear and out the other.

2. Discipline your children or the world will do it for you. Your children will not grow up to be perfect.  Some will have trouble managing money, others will be disorganized. Work on what they need to function in society.

3. The next is in respect to the three friends of the Dzhokar Tsarnaev.. Notice the older brother had no friends. Only a wife who worked 80 hours a week.

- Try to instill self confidence and the ability to recognize when a friend will get you in trouble. It looks easy to say with such a horrendous crime. The younger you are, the less able you are to comprehend the magnitude of trouble. We all have funny tales of the stupid things we did as young adults and survived. 

- It's important to share this with a bright child. They are used to being the "good" child. They are much less able to recognize real trouble. They need to know the criminal actions of another person can make them serve time in jail and have  a criminal record.

- A lawyer was speaking to a group of eighth graders and related this story.
A group of late teens were going to each others homes. At each stop, one kid was breaking into unlocked homes and cars stealing items.
 One boy said, where did all this come from. The thief laughed and said what he had been doing. That boy said, "Stop, let me out. " He got out on the side of the highway and walked.
The vehicle was pulled over later that night. Every boy in the vehicle was charged with the crime. The lawyer represented one of the boys who was charged. He said at the end of the trial, he made a point to shake the hand of the boy who got out for his good judgement.

Make sure your good child knows to distance themselves from another child who is engaged in criminal activity. A friend does not involve you in something that can ruin your life. DzhokarTsarnaev is a murderer and he did not care what happened to his three friends. Now each one is in incredible trouble. They are in serious trouble because they are adults. Each one may go to federal prison.

Make sure your child knows no matter what they can discuss something serious and/or life changing without you exploding in anger. If these were your children, you would have sat with them at the police station as they told everything they knew. The American born one had parents who would certainly advised him not to go to the friend's dorm room. The two born in Kgyskstan had parents too far away. I feel more sympathy for them. 

You don't think  anyone will ever meet a criminal. Use this event to educate your child.  Educate them to not have their loyalty be used by someone.

Do I feel sorry for these three 19 year olds. No.
I think the legal system will deal with them fairly. If they have a negative consequence, they are are yet more victims of Tamerlan and Dzhokar Tsarnaev. I feel sorry for the four people who lost their lives, those who lost limbs or were brain damaged or injured by the bombs. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Payback


Across the road from a diner a neon sign flashes, “Beyond Taboo Tattoo”.


"I wonder what they would do if I rolled in there with my walker and demanded a tattoo on my rump.”

“Oh Claire, you are such a card. I suspect they would call ….” Nadine stopped and stirred her chili.  “They would think you had lost it.”

"Nadine, they put a tat on an eighteen year old, why wouldn’t they put one on an octogenarian.”

“Oh my, first blonde tint, now you are doing all that ‘jive’ talk, tat, good lord.  My dad told my brother when he went to fight in World War II, “Don’t you come home with a tattoo or foreign woman.”

“Wasn’t your sister-in-law from Germany?”

“Leroy didn’t get a tattoo. My son, Jerry hates tattoos more than Leroy and dad put together. It must be in the blood.”

A thin man with inch wide stretchers in his ear lobes, hipster jeans, and worn black Metallica t-shirt enters.

"You know who he is Claire?"

"He does look familiar."

"It’s Kenny Alvarado."

“How could I forget him and all those aggravating parent conferences with his mother Jeannette."

Kenny Alvarado gives a polite nod to Claire and Nadine as he approaches the lunch counter.

The lunch counter manager says, “How’s business?”

Kenny shrugs, “I just finished working  on this smelly and I mean smelly dude today. Tattoed his girlfriend’s name on his chest. Imagine someone wanting to be in the same room with that smell. Boss says, he don’t care if an old dude with a smelly diaper wants a rose on his ass. Business is slow.”

“Gotta make hay while the sun shines.” Intones a man sitting next to Nadine. 
  
"Hmmm, I think I’ll have a piece of cheesecake Claire."

"I thought it gave you gas Nadine."

"So does chili. Today is the day I get a tattoo from Kenny. I want my son Jerry to tell Kenny what he thinks about my tattoo."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

All about meme

Trifecta Writing Challenge meme



  1. What is your name (real or otherwise)?  Real - Ann Bennett
  2. Describe your writing style in three words.  Ebbs and flows. 
  3. How long have you been writing online? Less than a year.
  4. Which, if any, other writing challenges do you participate in? Yeah write. They have good prompts.
  5. Describe one way in which you could improve your writing. Practice and criticism. The criticism can be constructive or snarky. Input is great.
  6. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever been given? Study the craft.
  7. Who is your favorite author?  Charles Dickens
  8. How do you make time to write? How do I stop. It's my escape.
  9. Give us one word we should consider using as a prompt. Remember--it must have a third definition. Oh you are a tricky lot. "Picture"
  10. Direct us to one blog post of yours that we shouldn't miss reading. This is not my best post in that I have learned to "reduce" what I ave written. It is the reason I started writing fiction. Its the release of thoughts and emotions.   Daisy feels pretty special

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Visionary


Blog Roll Review

I'm on a roll
I'm on a blog roll.
I'm on a blog roll review.
Looking for something new.

Wild sex with a stranger
Titillating fantasy
It was over soon

 White Guilt served with pictures of oppression
 Important lesson for all
Crude smack of the human condition

Advice Given - learn to love change.
Holed up in a corner with computer.
Not for while will be too soon.

Mealtime woes and dinnertime foes
Whoever heard of a child that wouldn't eat.
I got a dog who won't eat.

 Laughter and small stuff
 Dark comedy review
 Comments add to the stew.

Dinner date with Bee
Pizza and movie with hubby
Sometimes its nice to get out.
One day I'll go to Chicago
and have a night out.

Mod Mom in Jersey has gas pump news
They want change from the gas pump crew
They got, they got, they got the customer service blues.
(I sung that line, be glad you couldn't hear it.)

Teenage beauty quips
War & Peace
With a quick little wit.

I'm on a roll
I'm on a blog roll.
I'm on a blog roll review
Looking for something new.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My fantasy vacation.

Fantasies have a way of changing.  The one thing that will never change is I never will have the money, time, or physical fitness to do it.

The vacation starts with a bargain cruise out of Alaska that terminates in Beijing. Then I researched the trans-Siberian express. Of course I will take a tour that stops in Mongolia. I've seen Lonely Planet's tour of Mongolia. I've watched  a PBS show about Mongolia. Anytime something is written or shown on television about Mongolia, I want to watch or read it.

The train journey ends in Russia, which of course I want to look at too. All those minarets, supping borscht  watching authentic Russians talk on their cellphones as they hurry to their jobs and back home. Not having to wear a scarf tied under my chin, I'll think I look fairly chic.

You can also recognize me as the American because I will be wearing stretch jeans, a USA sweatshirt and glow in the dark white tennis shoes. Every hotel room will be gifted with worn out panties that I throw away at every stop. Somewhere in Russia, I will probably start washing the lousiest pair because somehow I lost half of them. I digress.

Then of course, there is the Cruise I take around fjords of Norway and tour the Scandinavian countries. If one unlucky Finn speaks English, they get to hear how my Aunt 's parents were from Finland and she spoke Finish.

My cousins are all gentrified Minnesotan Lutherans due to her. However, their pappy was half Scot-Irish and half Celtic German from Westphalia. Those Celtic genes and the hot Georgia sun sure can make an interesting blend. One day I should show up at their door.

The cruise extends to England where I get in touch with most of my roots. In Canada, they would say we yanks did not know our roots. It is hard to get sentimental when there are twenty nationalities and more than one race involved. Oh well, I will soak up everything English, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish because I am sure somewhere somehow some foundling in my family tree had that DNA.

Then the fabulous trans-Atlantic cruise that stops in Iceland and Greenland and what the heck gets a little engine trouble and we all have to run around Newfoundland and take tours of Northeast Canada.

Besides soaking in all the scenery, culture, snapping fabulous photographs and videos, I take Mark Twain's unabridged autobiography and read it twice.. I will write a novel on my laptop. All my creative juices will flow. What the heck, lose 50 pounds and be able to run a 5K in 24 minutes afterwards. Fantasies are not to be taken lightly.

It ends in New York City or Boston. I catch a flight to Atlanta and live happily ever after.

Bon Voyage Mates.

My little buddy - Flash Fiction Friday


The cold wind leaves a bite on your face. The summer visitors to this sleepy town have long gone to their homes. Just a small group of locals stayed during the low season.

Orange rays of sunlight peaked above the surface of the lake.

“I spy”

Jeremy meets my gaze, “orange”.

Orange or Urnge?

“Orange” and he stamps his feet like his mom.

We sit on the grass and count the orange jelly beans I have tucked in my pocket. Our new number is 13. He counts solidly and looks me in the eye.  “Thirteen”, He greedily takes his win.

I take several steps to the water’s edge and release Janet’s ashes into the wind. I watch jellybeans dapple the water’s surface.

“Goodbye mom.”

A rock hard sob chokes in my throat. My little buddy was her idea that I resisted. 


We stand in silence as the sun rises.