Monday, May 4, 2009

Springing Ahead

From the time the clock springs ahead an hour, I spend the next couple of months in a frenzy trying to catch up to that hour I somehow managed to lose and totally forget where I put it...

Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Reminds me of the Stephanie Meyers Twilight series where there’s a single blank page for the months Bella simply isn't functioning without Edward. Had this huge ah-ha moment flipping through those pages and even laughed aloud as yep, have some of those months myself, probably more often than I care to admit!

A bit like the last two months and this blog...started around March, April, and now...MAY!!
There, might’ve caught back up to it this month.

Spring hits and suddenly there's warm weather and sunshine and I struggle to make myself write something.

Oh, I'm still like an elephant that never forgets as I'm around...dabbling a bit here and there with a few various projects.

Writer's Eye 2008

Discover Southside

Bull Bay Review

Then of course, there's always this lovely warm sunny weather we've been having!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cemetery Moles

Just ran across this little gem of a poem by Robert Wrigley and had to share.
"Cemetery Moles" appears in this month's The Atlantic. Check it out! The link is below:

If you find the ending hard to believe, I have to say I sincerely don't doubt it. By the extensive damage moles can create in a yard, or a cemetery for all intensive purposes, there's this incorrect assumption which makes them seem so much larger than life...until you see a very tiny one, a cat leaves as a present on the back stoop, and mistake it for a mouse.

The poem made me think of the camp songs we used to sing to gross ourselves out - the ones about the worms crawling in and out. Though, I can't recall anyone ever saying anything about moles!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Epitaph for a Writer

This week, among other things, I've decided what I want written on my epitaph.

"Perfect submission, all is at rest."

Blessed assurance has been one of my favorite hymns since I was a little girl, singing it loudly and proudly (not to mention off-key and uncaring). In a bunch of drafts and scribble scratch it has taken on particular new and special meaning to me. This line is often my reminder to keep digging in the trenches and putting my behind in the chair. For a writer, the search for perfection is continuous. We're always striving to capture feelings, brilliance, elegance, and delight through stringing together the perfect choice of words. Yet, what really is this illusive perfection? I think it's different for every one of us, but we always recognize it when it's a small moment meant only for us. How great art thou editor of editors!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Interment: An Internet Poem

I wrote this poem a while ago, as the first line oddly began while I was waiting in a funeral procession and looking at everything around me. Strange, how that sometimes happens...a line begins, in a most unusual sort of way and then it goes in its own direction. Granted, a somewhat odd take on things, but a different did make me pause for a few moments at the unique similarities and at how various aspects of pop culture tend to "pop" into my mind at the most unusual times.


Traffic to the site,
closely monitored by
clicked on headlights.

In an instant,
policeman messaging forward,
eyes google out of windows.

All the while, struggling to reconfigure-
defragment this hard drive.
Error. Files not found.

Surfing. Searching. Yahoo!
Baby boomers of the plot com era!
Can you digg?

Friends, no BC or CC gathered here,
yet decorate myspace
and write on my wall.

Choose to stumble upon
the links, the interconnectedness,
of deleted cookies crumbling.

Switch packets to packets,
In God We Trust,
Rest in unassembled pieces.

Visitors are always welcome!
Please no tracking urls,
but feel free to roll over.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out With the Old...

I guess this is the second housekeeping part of every new year...out with the old...

In your writing last year, was there something leftover that you'd just really like to let die? Or wish it would just keel right on over? And get the heck out of your life? I mean, bury it already!

A while back, I think after a season premiere of Grey's Anatomy and watching Meredith try to drown herself in the bathtub (and wanting to tell her that an oven would've been MUCH more effective) I contemplated the whole death aspect of our pop culture, and though how it's filled with sorrow and grief, and so on, there is still such a high level of entertainment associated around death.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I really don't want a whole lot of hateful comments from Meredith or Plath fans about how I'm being insensitive, but have you ever at least considered the possibility that in pop culture there is indeed a certain entertainment value toward death? We have this fascination toward the grotesque on so many multiple levels.

Having lived beside a cemetery for a number of years, I see this quite keenly every day. Sometimes I think it has to be funny too or else it would be unbearable. Especially since there are probably a thousand families out there who I'd like to say, "If you're going to spend so much money on the artificial flowers on your loved ones graves, you should take care of them because I HATE having to pick them up out of my own front yard every time the wind blows really hard!"

Has anyone else ever done that? I get anonymous special deliveries all the time and it's always the most awkward feeling. First, I think I should thank someone. Silk red roses certainly are beautiful, though I generally do prefer fresh. Second, there's part of me that feels I should insist, "Oh, I'm so very very sorry...there's just no way I could possibly accept these, they're simply too much." Third, there's a part of me that truly feels sorry for the person whose flower saddle or vase is now empty because the arrangement wasn't properly secured. And last, but certainly not least, since I lost my own grandmother near the end of last year, the arrival of each and every new bouquet has her speaking to me with her Depression era words of wisdom, "Those are just too pretty now, for you to let them sit there and rot. You know better than to let those go to waste!"

I do hope my grandma understands that I don't for the life of me know what to do with cemetery flowers...they're not exactly like old cel phones that you can just drop off somewhere and donate to a good cause. And I'll admit it...there are a few older looking graves that I occasionally feel sorry for and venture out stealthily to play a fun quick game of "pin the flowers on the tombstomb" when I think none of my neighbors are looking.

Even right now there's this rather large white styrofoam cross sitting beside my front porch stoop that I haven't a clue what to do with. It's beautiful really. One of the nicer more expensive arrangements and I would think someone is pretty sad that it just blew into my front yard. It's just sitting there. I can't bring myself to do anything with it just yet. Each time I go out to run an errand I think, that would certainly be beautiful for Valentine's Day and someone's probably really going to miss it. And as I come back from my errand, it's as if this still small whisper is saying, "Take up the cross."

It's a bit unnerving...and what exactly am I supposed to do with it?

Grandma never left me any sage advice about what to do with these sort of things...but, she did insist that I should keep writing. Maybe that's the greatest thing about really loving to write. It never dies and it never will be something you can just bury.

That said, if you still need to borrow a shovel and throw some dirt on an idea, by all means feel free to go right ahead and do so. It might make you feel better. If it doesn't, then give me a shout. I can give you an exceptional discount on silk floral arrangements.

Writing Goals for 2009

The start of a new year always brings with it this irritating feeling of inadequacy. Last year's to-do list is still lingering around with its leftovers that I try to keep longer than cold spaghetti covered in saran wrap in the way back of the refrigerator. There's just something about cold spaghetti that seems, simply unappetizing.

Who really wants to eat it? Or go through the trouble of heating it up in the microwave? All the hassle for some limp noodles?

Ever get that feeling about what you're writing?

I know I do. Especially since I have it programmed in my brain that pasta is nothing but cheap carbohydrates and it's so much quicker and easier to go get another box and heat up a fresh pot!

Writing is often the same way as it's so much easier to toss aside an unpolished clump of junk and go pick up someone else's shiny new book which either reminds me of Garden Rotini in assorted flavors or homemade Fettucini Alfredo.

So, one of my writing goals for 2009 is to stop being such a cold, limp noodle. To really find out what's hiding in the way back of my refrigerator. To not be scared to throw out some green looking, funky smelling leftovers, and discover some compost material or just plain trash.

As a writer, if you've got something hiding in your refrigerator than I'd like to challenge you to pick up that leftover spaghetti - that half finished novel you set aside 'round about June last summer, that idea that's been simmering on the stove, that tiny piece of macaroni that's been camping out between the eggs and the butter, or that notion you shoved into the crisper that's slowly turning brown around the edges like a forgotten head of lettuce.

Let's start using those noodles!

I promise to do the same...soon as I really do clean out my refrigerator because right now I'm sure I've got a few noodles that have dehydrated into nothingness and become jelly super glued onto the bottom of something.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Virginia Festival of the Book

Need a reason to come visit Virginia?
Here's a great one -

March 18-22, 2009 will be the 15th Annual Virginia Festival of the Book!

Five, yes FIVE days of mostly free literary events that are open to the public, with the intent to honor book culture and promote reading and literacy.

Wow! What a great excuse to come hang out in Charlottesville!

Look for the weekly contest too for a chance to win a festival shopping bag and event tickets.


The bouquet residence

The bouquet residence
delivery from the other side of the fence