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Showing posts from January, 2011

Say again? Just what am I supposed to do with this.....

Annnnnd, the randomness of my delirium continues...... clearly, sick people should have all means of writing/communicating taken away from them---- ugh!

At some point, in the last couple of days, I apparently created a Word document entitled---- Brainstorm Mash-up.

The only thing in the document was a list of words--13 words/phrases, actually:

Goldfish
Hospice
Fantasy-genre
Pentagon Official
Murder
Blunt Force Trauma
Disheveled Appearance
Dazed
Poison
Shoe In Hand
Dump Truck
Landfill
Cover-up

I know the words/phrases came from several articles I was reading, but, I don't know why I collected them. I would, however, like to create something with them.....maybe a Fantasy Murder-Mystery with a Goldfish as the prime suspect???

No??

Well, I'm sure something will come from it----

In other writerly news--- I'm pretty happy to see that at least one of my New Year's goals has made to the end of the first month (this beats my two-week record by two weeks!) I have managed to upda…

Sniffles and Sneezes and Nyquil, oh my.....

It's amazing what the medicated mind can come up with....

It's even more amazing what the medicated mind can come up with that the un-medicated mind doesn't remember.....

I've been down with a head-cold or mild flu for the last couple of days and when I woke this morning I found that I had written an intriguing line on my dry erase board. The board hangs just over my desk and within arm's length of my bed, so at some point--- in a medicated haze--- I crawled out of bed and scrawled the following across the board:

What if we knew, from birth, the exact moment and means of our death? How would this change the way we live our lives?

That's it. Word for word. Quote unquote.

I'm not sure where my mind was going with this, but it definitely could make for an interesting path. I should probably also mention that this line (in handwriting much more legible than my "normal" scrawl) was sandwiched between 2 other lines on the board.

Sonatas at Midnight--- a t…

Of one mind--Two distinct halves of a very chaotic whole...

Read an article today that announced Vladimir Nabokov's Theory of Butterfly Evolution to be 100% correct.

Nabokov, renowned author of Lolita, published his theory in a 1945 paper. It was met with very little, if any, support. The novelist was a self-taught Butterfly expert and observer and it was for this reason he was not taken seriously. If anything he was regarded as an unoriginal enthusiast.

Some 6-1/2 decades later, his postulated arrival of and later the development of New World Butterflies --- which could not at the time be DNA-verified--- is now the accepted explanation!

I find it both funny and tragically sad that someone, who spent the greater part of his life studying and observing something, might be considered less of a scientist than someone whose "degree" is in the same field. There seems to be this need for a person's identity to be determined by the certificates of study and diplomas earned.

But, there is no magic in a piece of paper.

Are we not s…

You Want To Kick My What? Where?.....

Let's kick it....
Dude this place is kickin'....
Man that test kicked my ass....

So many meanings from so small a word.

My brain has been thoroughly medicated with Nyquil for the last 24 hours. And I found during the few moments when I wasn't unconscious or coughing up another portion of my fragile lungs through my raw throat, that strange things swirled in my mind.


The strange and random idea I latched onto this evening was the multiple meanings we as humans assign to the same word. It's no wonder that non-English speaking individuals have so much trouble learning our language----where a seemingly insignificant word can have 15 different meanings, which can only be determined by the context in which it was spoken.

The most frustrating part of our language has to be context. If you can't understand the context in which the word was spoken, then how will you determine the meaning?? This is even more complicated when one realizes that the same word can have completel…

Teller of untruths, your trousers have just combusted.....

Booksignings are wonderful events.....
Booksignings with author lectures are even better events.....
Booksignings with author lectures that an audience of children is excited to listen to are phenomenal events!!!!

Today was one such phenomenal event! Gordon Korman is a master at reaching the interest of his target audience. It is very clear that he has children, that he's spent a good deal of time around children---- or at the very least, can still work his mind to think like children.

Each 700+ crowd of children that filed into the CAC auditorium today sat rapt as they listened to stories of Everest and Mozart and million-dollar baseball card swindles. Through three lectures and two booksigning sessions, Gordon Korman lost none of his energy, none of his stamina, none of his eagerness to connect with his audience.


One of the more humorous anecdotes he discussed were the problems that he faced when his books were translated into the many languages they are now being read in. Such …

A bit of Poe and shadowed dreams of Raven words and darker things....

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..."



Today marks 202 years since the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. Had he survived more than his 40 short years, one can not imagine the depths his darkness might have reached. He was the godfather of macabre fiction, the grandfather of the short story and the credited progenitor of the detective-fiction genre.

Death followed him like an ever-present shadow, taking more than its fair share of loved ones from his side more quickly than it should. And leaving nothing for him but the bitter, empty, hollow of despair.

But, instead of hiding from or denying the tragedies he endured, Poe chose to wrap his emotions in the twists of plot--- giving voice to his personal demons and a refuge for others as they wrestled with their own. There have been very few creative avenues that haven't been touched by the genius of Edgar Allan Poe--- from poetry to fiction, from art to movies--- his stories have lent themselves readily to…

Of Angel Wings and Fae Moonbeams....

Whilst dancing freely o'er the dewy fields,
as pixie moonbeams leapt 'round us to and fro,
we chanced to hear the wisp of angels' wings,
as they brought their host down to the earth below.

We stopped perchance to catch a glimpse,
of the oft dreamt of creatures we'd denied,
such things as weren't fashion were easier to dismiss,
an open scoff could easily mask the truths that lay inside. 

On muted steps with muffled breath,
we traced the wooded path from where the wings had ceased,
in hopes to find what ne'er we would have sought,
for never do you seek what stern belief claims could never be.

Yet, so sure were we the sound we heard was real,
though in our hearts we tried to hold fast our old beliefs,
in one breath our tongues did all our old truths repeal,
and with the next, speak new truths as if they'd been our only creed.

Such frivolous acts we'd played tonight,
t'were better that we sought a higher path,
our minds now full of oaths for our new ri…

It is indeed a small world, afterall.....

Took a trip to the Old Mill today.... for those unfamiliar with the North Little Rock structure or who might live outside Arkansas.... it is a 1930s replica of an early 1800s grist mill--- Or, for you movie buffs out there... it was filmed in the opening scenes of Gone With the Wind, and is believed to be the only building from that production that still stands.

I've been to the Old Mill many times in the past, and have always marveled at the stone structures that have been cast, sculpted and painted to look like wood. I've only lived in Arkansas since 2002 and every visit to the Old Mill is another chance to marvel at the craftsmanship and another chance to remark on how much the Old Mill reminds me of Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis that my family frequented while I was a child. And, today, I now know WHY--- both places were crafted by the same man.
                                 *bridge at Old Mill*


                         *bridge at Memorial  Park Cemetery*


Growing up, …

Butterfingers and Bambi-- Breakfast of Champions

Well....not really.

But, what else are you supposed to say when someone walks through the door holding a Butterfinger candy bar in one hand and a strip of venison jerky in the other???

It's odd, the pairings that we as humans make with our food. And, most times it isn't even about the pairing of the flavors as it is the pairing of qualities---- Butterfinger and Bambi (ie Sweet and Salty). I guess this is where the pairing of Peanut Butter and Jelly originated, as well as the chocolate-dipped pretzel and chocolate-dipped nuts.

And, the pairings are not confined to just the Sweet/Salt mix..... Look at Sweet/Sour candies or even the Salt/Sour combo made famous in Salt and Vinegar Chips....Salt and Vinegar anything, for that matter. Our tastebuds derive such satisfaction from such confusing combinations. Once we have mastered the simple we then crave the complex.

We crave layers of flavor, wrapped in tight packages of more flavor. And many times, the cravings are so subtly complex…

Connect the Dots, La La La La.....

So, I was trying to get my head around this mess of a story that I have, when my husband-- in his always infinite wisdom-- told me I needed to find some way of tying all the pieces together.

I had bemoaned how my story had not only shifted time-frames in the writing process, but also shifted complete plot points. Granted, I have most of the same characters that I started out with, though quite a few others have joined the cast. But, the essence of what I thought my story was has suddenly become something unrecognizable.

It's sort of like those "Connect-The-Dots" sheets that elementary teachers were so fond of handing out for busy work--- I think they must get secret stashes of the sheets in their teacher survival kits. There was always a different sheet for every different "busy work" episode.

Unlike most of my peers, I thoroughly enjoyed running my pencil line from numbered dot to numbered dot--- there was something thrilling about seeing the page of seemingly…

Thin as Everest air....

When the answers to the world's mysteries go unexplained...
When the secrets of tragic events go unspoken...

All too many times we are left with unanswered questions. The so-called unsolved mysteries plague those who live through and after the events. And when the questions go unanswered, the ingenuity of the human mind---which can leave no question unanswered---is masterful at filling in the blanks. Though, even with the manufactured details, many times the result leads to more unanswered questions than we started with.


Take as evidence the Flannan Isle mystery: An isolated island off the coast of Scotland, the location of a necessary lighthouse, and during the month of December in the year 1900, three lighthouse keepers vanished from the isolated island without a trace--- there was no boat on the island to lend to their escape and the only things that led searchers to believe something was not right were an untouched meal spread out on the table and an overturned chair next to t…

When you saw that bit of bone poking through the ground.....

......what did you find when you dug up the rest of the fossil ???

Stephen King likened the building of a story's plot with the digging of fossils. You see just the tip piercing through the ground... it could be the patella of a mastodon, the sternum of a coyote or the severed finger of a mob hit....but you'll never know unless you keep digging, right?

I've had people ask, where do you get your ideas from? How do you know what you want to write about? Why did you write this story and not that story?

Well, there's no easy answer.....and to show you how twisted, confused and random ideas can be, I'll share what led me to this past NaNoWriMo novel idea .....


"Tangle of Matter and Ghost"-- Title borrowed from the chorus of Leonard Cohen's, The Window. Thank you, Sarah Heustis, for finding that songbook in our "tent sale" books !!

1/ Watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow (I know, strange)...and a woman brought a Victorian necklace …

It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine..........

1./ Dead Blackbirds fall from the Arkansas sky
2./ Dead Drum fish float up from the Arkansas river
3./ ????

So, I never did get the third piece of my apocalyptic trinity. I never did get my eagerly anticipated visit from the Winchester boys and one lovely angel, Castiel. Guess I should be satisfied with the portents we got, even if they didn't lead to a smashing End-Of-The-World party----- ah, well.



We got our dead Blackbirds and our dead Drum fish ---- I was hoping for the third piece, the mocking of the trinity, that solid confirmation that we were living in a newly-discovered portal to Hell, if just to have something more to talk about than the weather and the state of world politics.

Funny how people are so ready to scream the end is coming as soon as something unexplainable happens. How many times, in just my lifetime alone, have I heard the numbers are aligning for the end of the world?? Too many to count.... and each time, the dreaded dead-line (pun intended) passes and w…

Removing the forbidden word removes the power of truth......

I am infuriated, disgusted, distraught and more than dismayed that there will shortly be a "new" version of Huckleberry Finn releasing on shelves. Apparently, it has become so difficult to read because of its inclusion of the hateful word, nigger, that a certain Auburn university professor, Alan Gribben, will release a NewSouth edition---- sans the N-word.

Never-mind the fact that the sole purpose of including the word was to make people feel exactly the way they are feeling. The word itself holds so much emotion that it is difficult for most people to read, let alone speak or hear.


The point of the story was to illustrate conflicting moral issues within the context of racism--- the book itself is NOT racist. We can't teach our children how horrible slavery was if we "band-aid" and "clean-up" the truth of our past. This book was meant to be difficult to read. It was meant to make you feel disgusted. It was meant to show what horrors we could easi…

What to write when you don't know what to write.....

One of the resolutions I made for this year was to update this blog three times a week--- more would be fine, but at minimum I was supposed to add something every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We'll see how long this lasts...

Most years I don't make resolutions because I'm horrible at following through with them. It starts well, becomes an earnest habit--- but, somewhere along the way, without my even noticing, the new habit is lost and is replaced by the even longer-standing habit of not having done it or no longer doing it.

It isn't that the plans I have for myself are too lofty, or that whatever I've planned was so dreadfully horrible as to make me cringe every time it came to perform the task. The habit just stops, slipping out of the daily/weekly routine so quietly as to not make me aware of its leaving.And its absence is never strong enough to make me realize something important is missing. It is usually some weeks or months before I remember that there was &…