Friday, July 31, 2015

There's a new ghoul in town.

And it ain't me, peanut heads.

My favorite blog site closed down a year or two ago. It was generous in that it let someone like me write away and submit blog posts. Other posters had much more professional and active blogs. That was Trifecta and my only regret is that I did not make a donation or purchase some of their merchandise. There were 100 to 200 participants twice a week.

I had made a donation to a blog builder, post writer website. I stopped using them because of some nasty feedback about how bad my writing was by one of the editors.  I never enjoyed taking crap and I get away from it whenever I can. Besides, I like a good run-on sentence.

Anyway if you like to write flash fiction, this is a great site - http://www.grammarghoulpress.com/

I am at a lost when it comes to serious blog posts. I know there are lots of big lady blogger sites that even have male members. It is just hard to find one that is active and where you can be at home. I did do the A to Z challenge this year and it did broaden my blog and give me more active blog sites to visit.

One thing I know in life is when you hit the wall so many times, you have to take stock.

I continue my blog in an act or perseverance.
I post pictures on my blog because people seem to like them.
I don't write about writing or the challenges I face about writing. It is right up there with how I cooked dinner.
I no longer feel the need to respond to all the social problems we have.
I may be alone in a Kudzu infested portion of Georgia located exactly at the end of the flat Earth.
I trust my voice.
I'm working on my Southern Gothic Vampire Tale which is not glamorous, sexy or profane.
I really am, no kidding.
Even though I don't like fantasy, horror tales. I've read too many and I've used up my quota for this lifetime.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Four books I've read.

I have read four very different books recently.

My favorite is the biography of Roxanna Britton by her great-grandmother Shirley S. Allen. The story starts in 1850 with Roxanna Britton Comstock who has been recently widowed with two small children. The moves she makes back to Ohio, Indiana, Chicago, Nebraska and Elsinore, California tell so much about the life of a pioneer and the lives of women.

I have almost finished the book, "A Brownstone in Brooklyn" by Julius Thompson. I met Mr. Thompson when he taught a novel writing course with Emory University Continuing Education. The novel is a fascinating tour of the turbulent sixties civil rights movement effects on the residents of Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. It is an engaging story of a young man Andy Pilgrim navigating a shifting world.

The next two books are genre's that I do not normally read. I like to stretch my range, and they were good books. Both books were romance books and they were made more interesting with the combination of another genre with that format.

The Crows by Maris Soule is a romantic thriller. P. J. Benson has to face self-doubt, accusations and menacing threats to her safety after a dying man stumbles through her backdoor into her home.

The Queen's Marine by Susan Gourley is a romantic science fiction novel. Queen Callie and her female crew find their ship crashed on an uncharted planet and brought to safety by scorned soldiers who were bred to be the powerful perfect soldier.

I read all four on my Kindle. I'm a paper and ink book person, but it wasn't bad reading the Kindle.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cutting my toenails in the moonlight

Life is a journey.

So is a blog.

There are several stages. One is where you blow off what you think to the unknown. Then you step back and wonder is that relevant. You also know it is a raw side of yourself. Do you really want to tell all that to a Ukranian hacker?

Then you learn the give and take of a social community. Marvel at someone discussing cutting their toenails can get ten thousand visitors a week. Regularly read a person's running ad and then one day an idea from their blog cuts you to the bone.

My favorite or least favorite is a blog which is essentially the lamentations of a woman's nonexistent love life. I get the all too painful loneliness of longing from self-experience. There is a frustration I feel for them. Reading a person's lonely search for love and they are on the cusp of being fifty. Their big declarations of independence and search for meaning in the outer world. What I did at twenty to not too dazzling results.

The blogger will never see herself in my blog. She doesn't visit other blogs. Besides, I have exposed myself some.

This week I have learned one thing and accepted another. I've learned when I have the desire to make a long ass comment, I should cut and paste it for a future blog post. Then write an appropriate comment.

What I accept is that there is so much "crappolo".  I no longer have that flexibility of youth to think I should mold myself to survive. Reading an article about a killer is no longer a caution but a call to anger at injustice and cruelty.

Meanwhile, I ponder all the blarney people do that is just plain stupid. I think of listing some. Then I remember, I've decided to just accept it. It is not going to change because I have a thought or opinion.

Last night I slipped outside by myself around 11:30 PM and cut my nails in the moonlight. My dog Loretta gets beyond neurotic about nail clippers. Her first impulse is to get in my mom's 85-year-old lap with her 60-pound self. My mother has some powerful juju which can protect a dog from thunder, gunshots, and nail clippers.

I carefully put the clippers in the glove compartment of the car. Loretta was waiting for me at the door. It didn't make sense to her that I would go out without her. I told her, In the olden days, people kept journals. Now we keep blogs that we can edit and delete at will. She seemed happy with my answer.

Maybe I should become a politician when I grow up.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Moving Away From Yesterday

All I needed was probably 30 minutes that could drag into an hour or two to finish painting the small kitchen and dining room of my childhood home when my mother called. It was getting dark. I needed to leave.

I had no intention of leaving until I finished. I gazed out the window. The wolf had begun to stroll the neighborhood of gingerbread houses built in the early 1940's. I patted the lid on the paint can, wrapped the paintbrush in plastic, took off my gloves, washed my hands, picked up my purse, my

Partner was a feral dog my dad rescued
and was difficultto move 
but she made it to dog heaven 
and lived with my small pack
 until she went on to the real dog heaven.
dogs and exited the house within five minutes.

My mom sold the house two years after she moved in with me. I wanted to buy the house, but my mother felt that would cause conflict with my siblings. To think I couldn't wait to get out of that house when I was 18.

Lying on the front stoop as a teenager reading as it rained at night, I used to imagine it being a street in 1800 England. The curve in the road when I looked to the left with the yellow glow of the street light gave the neighborhood a regal glow despite its blue-collar soul.

I feel like knocking on the door of the different renters and give them a lecture about mowing the grass, getting rid of weeds, picking up trash, and what is it with the window blinds being so broken and hung out of kilter. I have a substantial emotional investment.

There are sections of the neighborhood that have held up from decay. When my dad passed away, it was like someone blew a whistle, and the area close to my parent's house went down.

Dad loved his riding mower. He went up and down the road mowing all the single women with kids yard during the day. My mother never allowed him to mow her grass. He mowed it too short. One woman had an angry ex-boyfriend take wires off her car's engine. At midnight, dad went to the fried chicken fast food where a neighbor worked and reattached the wires her ex-boyfriend had pulled from her car.

My mom's pet dachshund's first day in her new home was a fabulous day for her. She ran up and down the hallway with my sister's dog Molly celebrating the new house.

I still drive by the family home and old neighborhood. The family who lost their house when the dad lost his job, the mom who played ball with her sons every day in the alley, the neighbor who discussed the heatheness of unchurched families, birthday parties, sword fights with an old picket fence posts, graduations, marriages, babies, parents roam the streets.

My sister calls my new home, dog heaven. If a dog can move on, so can I.

#Cherished BlogfestThis post is being submitted to the Cherished Blogfest in which you describe a cherished object. A house is rather large, but it is an object.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fort Benjamin Hawkins


On the left side of the skyline, you can see the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds. View from the top.

City of Macon in the distance



Monday, July 20, 2015

Macon Film Festival 2015 and Burt Reynolds

Another Macon Film Festival has come and gone. I didn't like the change to July but in retrospect it is a good thing. I can't go to the music festival Bragg Jam next weekend. Life is a series of trade-offs.

Burt Reynolds 1991 cropped
photo by Alan Light
This year, the best part was the guest host, Burt Reynolds. He was born in Valdosta, GA, raised in Florida and a running back for Florida State. Growing up, he did not have any interest in acting. I got to see the interview after the movie Deliverance.

Deliverance is a phenomenal story and film. Jon Voight is an incredible actor. I did not get to see the movie in 1972. I was 16 and my dad said I could not go to any raunchy movie with a raunchy actor. Burt Reynolds had posed in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine, and my dad who could be the grand titan of propriety did not like him for it.

I had made it to the movie "Love Story" when I was 13. I bragged about what a good movie it was. But, I did not like the movie. So - a little scandal didn't have the appeal it originally had. I did go see the lesser quality flick "Macon County Line" with Max Baur of "The Beverly Hillbillies" fame. Another boring flick I liked because it was cool to like.

So Deliverance was an engrossing surprise. Burt Reynolds was another surprise. I should have known that he was an intelligent artist. He discussed how he played a buffoon in so many roles because that was asked for that there were people who thought that was true of him. Frankly, I started teaching in 1978 and all of the "Smoky and the Bandit" type movies were of my student milieu.

I doubt I watch "Smokey and the Bandit" but I do plan to go back and watch Sharkey's Machine which Burt Reynolds directed and produced. I went to the showing of Sharkey's Machine, but my mother called me in the middle of the movie. I was disappointed to leave. I had gotten a good seat in the front to hear Burt Reynold's interview. Don't worry, mom was fine when I got home.

In short, I am now a huge Burt Reynold's fan. What touched me most was he made sure 12 of his films were made in the state of Georgia. He said Georgia never let him down. I can say he never let Georgia down. We couldn't ask for a better native son.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Better the Joe you know

I wrote this flash fiction for Janet Reid's blog contest. However I did not use the key words.

flim, flam, watch, man, total in a 100 word or less story.

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/2015/07/go-set-watchman-flash-fiction-writing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FLZQZA+%28Janet+Reid%2C+Literary+Agent%29

I'm going to the Macon Film Fest so I doubt I have time to retool it. So I'll share the WIP with you.


Joe's footsteps stopped Claire's reading on the porch.
Turning to smile, the same two quick eyebrow lifts when they met was all she saw through the screen door. I'm Joe Deal and a steal..
After finishing the space opera romance, Claire looked at fireflies, listened to Joe snore and wondered was there more to life..
A loud swoosh and a spacecraft with an elegant, dapper man emerged. My name is Joe Wish to sweep you away.
Claire gave the man a tired wave as she entered her house. “Better the Joe you know then the Joe you don't know”.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Procrastination Hell

What to write about? What shall I write about?

1. What about righteous indignation and people who have unfairly burnt my ass with that.

2. The books I am reading. I will but I want to take time to do them justice in a review. And no my saber is not sharp-edged. It is a butter knife in which I spread it on thick in good comments. I don't review the bad ones because I never finish them.

3. I could wax poetic about the days I finished every book I started no matter what. Maybe that is
why I stopped reading fiction for awhile. After I finish this outer space romance which is pretty good, I will be reading the Hardy Boys number 83 "The Swamp Monster".
4. Dang, I forgot the original number 2 because of the improvised numbers 2 and 3. Double durn, I guess it wasn't important because it is long gone.

5. Macon Film Festival, that could be my A to Z challenge next year.

6. The results of my googling righteous indignation.

7. The reading of narcissistic personality disorder instead of righteous indignation.

8. The discovery of when you read symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, you worry you might have it. Just like you worried about having syphilis and gonorrhea in eighth grade after reading the symptoms even though you were a virgin and had never been kissed. Well kissed by someone romantically even though you thought of that cinematic happening several times a day. Maybe that caused herpes. But back in the day, no one knew about herpes. It was just the big two VDs.

9. You know if you are worried you could be a narcissist, you probably aren't.

10. It is normal for a teenager to be obsessed with their appearance. Speaking as a woman in throes of pre-senior citzenhood, I would scandalize everyone with the clothes I would wear if I woke up with a teenager's body. I can read the headlines. Look at that body from the back because when she turns around, you might pee in your pants. That chick is old.

11. I'm still trying to remember number two and frankly number three. They were so deep, I just know you would have thought I was cool.

This is my little BoDuke better known as the "Dude".
10. Well I thought of another idea for a novel I would like to write. I better go write it down before it disappears with the numbers 2 and 3.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Temple Beth Israel - Inspired Sundays

Temple Beth Israel, Macon, GA, USA
I've shown a few rural churches, and I thought it was time I posted larger buildings of worship. In the middle Georgia area there is more diversity than people expect.

The Temple Beth Israel formed a congregation on October 30, 1859. This particular building was built in 1902. Originally the congregation was Orthodox as most congregations were at the time. Their service followed the German Minhag in Hebrew and German. Today the congregation is Reform Judaism.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Havin' an existential crisis

I love to read about the writing business. My true calling in life is that of a peddler selling my wares. I've been told I was a good salesperson which may or may not be true. I tried to sell collectibles and wasn't that good at it. My cousin can find a pregnant stray dog and sell the dog and puppies easily.

So, just because I like the idea doesn't mean I am good at it even if I was always a high seller of girl scout cookies as a kid. Which moves me to my existential crisis.

I am pushing the big 6 Oh this year. I remember I was so afraid I would turn 60 and not have a book published. I will not have a book published in time for my birthday. But this is not my crisis.

My crisis is I feel pissed with editors and agents about the rules they have. Actually, it is the belly groveling that I think they may expect. Of course I have heard they are looking for a good story that sells. Especially if a writer has a platform to hawk their books. Which makes self publishing look good. Except, I want a level of achievement or confirmation that my book(s) are on the right track.

This is ridiculous in that I have no completed work that I would pitch to anyone.

This is utterly ridiculous in that I have lived a lifetime playing the game, being pragmatic.

So where is this coming from?

Serious post topic -

I am a retired mild mannered teacher. However, the whole issue of publishers and agents dictating the rules bothers me. This is surprising in that I will climb a tree to avoid an argument. So, I am assuming I am not the only one.

I am far, far away from having anything ready to publish. Common sense is if an agent and a big five is interested, tell them anything they want to hear to get the deal but read the contract carefully before signing. Make a deal with anyone reasonable.

So where does this attitude come from and when and how should I rein it in? Am I the only one?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

2/5/2015 - Inspired Sunday

Contrary to what you hear, few people posts signs like this. However, I enjoy seeing one.

Rural church outside of Fort Valley, GA, USA

Friday, July 3, 2015

Badge 149: Shots Fired by Gary P. Jones

 Badge 149: Shots Fired!Badge 149: Shots Fired! by Gary P. Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Badge 149 is a real page turner. I purchased the book at a writer's conference with no expectations. Each chapter begins and ends with you wanting to go to the next chapter.

The inside look at a law enforcement officers work was very honest. Frankly, I was concerned because lifetime retrospectives, and memoirs can be quite dull. This wasn't. It was the story of a good man and his experiences with law enforcement.

The book would be good for the young law enforcement officer to learn from. The book would be good for any young person embarking on any career. Gary Jones did a great job weaving dealing with politics that we all encounter in the workplace into the story.

I'm finished and intend to purchase the next book written by Gary Jones. I usually only read one book by writers I meet. Some are slow slogging. But I finished this book in two days. I had a hard time laying the book down.

View all my reviews

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Just say no, it will be easier.

I fell asleep in the recliner while watching television last night. The television autotuned to film Big Brother at Night. The night time taping is from last year where I would try to guess who was being voted off.

Afterwards, some Christian programming began and man I felt the guilt trip about not donating the $1000 dollars. Even though I was not awake, I thought, this preacher is phenomenal in having a sermon on why you should give them a $1000. I even thought, the outfit should be investigated. Then I woke up, turned the television off and went to sleep where I proceeded to dream about the plea for 143 people to donate $1000.

In the dream, I went through a different exit to avoid telling the people I was not going to donate. After going through the doorway, I was in a different world and there were fun things, and I dilly-dallied before coming back even though I did look for my home.

On returning, I went through another doorway and what do you know. Another world was there. The last world was dangerous and I was hiding out with two other people under brightly colored mulch. I then realised I had to go back to the original doorway and tell those people "No. I have no intention of giving you a $1000 donation.

What is a gal to do? Try to avoid the situation and dang the situation forces you to take the bull by the horns.

Then BoDuke decides to chase tom kitty in the bedroom. Thank God I woke up. I was exhausted from all that traveling, hiding from the law under bright red mulch for being in a world I did not belong.

Anyway, I looked up the website and hit the link for campmeeting. The following donor form popped up.  In the light of day, I could tell them absolutely no. I took a screenphoto of their donor site, but I have blacked out their names. I don't think they need any promotion whatsoever. But they weren't kidding about $1000 donation.

All I can think is I have a hard time getting someone to pick me up at the car repair shop and bring me back. And they can get an absolute stranger to give them $1000.