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Showing posts from September, 2009

The best candy bar

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't. Truer words have never been spoken. I'm usually not the--nut in my candy bar--kind of person; the same can be applied to my cookie. Let's just say I am a purest when it comes to confectionary delights.
I do like nougat. Yes I do. Milky Way and Three Muskateers hit the spot pretty well, though I've heard complaints that the fluffy nougat gives other folks some head-aches, to which I reply, "Whaeffa." That's me talking with a mouth full of fluff.
I do not like dark chocolate, or mocha. There's just something about that kind of bitter in my sweets that makes me want to get sick. If I want bitter, I'll go grab a hot cup of coffee, not eat it for a snack.
The real issue is those thin, insubstantial candy bars that they sell for the same price as the larger ones. You know, Kit Kats and Twix bars. How we've gone by without a serious revolt I just don't understand. When you're a k…

Frozen cheesecake

Every other Wednesday of the month was payday for Mom, who often struggled to make it financially with three kids at home. After receiving that paycheck every fourteen days, she went to the bank on her lunch hour and then raced to slip the IOU funds back into a little leather money pouch at work. That night we'd all take a trip to the local grocery store located in Spring Hill's one and only strip mall located by the old nursing home. It seemed big at the time, but compared to the huge superstores of today, the place was small and very poorly lit. But it had things you rarely see today, a full on meat department with blood covered butcher leaning over his counter to talk to us kids, an ice cream counter back by the water fountain, and lastly, a manager tower that looked over all three cashier stands. Big stuff.
Mom always had the same shopping list, with nary a violation. Apples, bananas, oranges, turkey bologna, cheese slices, dry wheat bread in plastic brown bag, milk,…

Leave me alone, memories

Why is it that every time fall comes around I have to go through this horrible/wonderful melancholy ache? Memories from all the moments of my life come rushing in at me, demanding that I stop my usual thought process of kids and cleaning, writing and caffeine or food. I get it. Life, for all its bad moments, was pretty cool and worth remembering, but I have things to do. I can't always push pause just to remember the day Kelly Yelton and I pushed her dad's hot rod through the fall parade when its engine stopped working. I can't stop folding the clean sheets just because a picture of Julia at one year with the wind blowing through her baby fine, feathery soft hair under a clear blue sky comes into my mind. Or Liam when I brought him home from the hospital and the world had changed from hot and dusty, to a cold wind blowing crisp leaves through the backyard.
Every memory has its own shock of pain that flashes inside me relentlessly, telling me the obvious: that life is…

Brother and Sisters

Marshall was the oldest of us three, Cathy was the middle child, and I was the youngest with my little red curls and fat cheeks. We lived in a 1970's style house on Franklin Street in Spring Hill, Ks surrounded by blocks and rows of other 1970's houses that all looked pretty much the same. Ours stood out with its strange and hideous paint job of split pea soup color and white shutters beside the front living room windows.
Marshall's room faced the street, and was full of Star Wars posters and figurines strewn around our curly, flat patchy brown carpet which covered the entire floor of the top level of the house, excepting the kitchen where a sickening yellowish patterned vinyl floor stretched out menacingly, poorly reflecting the light coming through our back door.
Being the oldest, Marshall had certain rights. He had his own room--although his closet was filled with all of Mom's cocktail dresses from her times as a United Airlines ticket agent in New York. The rec…

Summer is Gone

I like fall, I really do. I love the bright colors of orange and red against a bright, cornflower blue sky, and the crisp, shivery wind that runs through the heated sunlight and summery grasses. But I don't like what fall is up to. Not at all. It--in a very sneaky way--is getting me ready for a long, dreary, gray, cold, yucky winter. Like a mother slipping peas into her child's meatloaf, fall is slipping in the blanket of depressing days that make me itch inside relentlessly all the way into spring.
The only thing I like about winter is Christmas and when that is over, so am I. Checkmate. I have my eyes closed, thinking ahead, forging past all the icky stuff until I see that first crocus pushing its way through the hard, half-frozen earth.
Summer is such a seductive, beautiful time. The grasses in the fields are swaying gently, calling all of us--the kids, the dogs, and myself to come out and walk and dream. We're hot, breathless, running, laughing under the sunl…

Another Rainy Day in Kansas

I don't like extreme heat, but I am not enjoying this constant stretch of cloudy, rainy weather. Winter is coming and I absolutely dread the short and miserable days ahead, and I was hoping for a decent fall to help get me through until at least late November.
Sure would be nice to see a little sun today. Or tomorrow.
I'm going to turn into Sylvia Plath, I'm so depressed.

Fine tuning that old query letter

Well it's not that old but it feels like it. If it was a car, it would have its second set of tires and a funky seat cover from the auto department at Wal-Mart.
Some really great folks from Absolute Write have given me great tips and I mucho appreciate-o.
The bad news is that I already sent out my old query to about seven different agents. Bummer. I have had two rejections and am still waiting on the others like so many writers out there. When I got my rejection yesterday it really had me down for a few hours, but I am not one to stay down forever. My life has taught me to keep trying no matter what no matter who, no matter how bad it seems.
I don't know why I want to write so bad and why I'd want others to read my work, but I do darnitt, I do. I want people to hear about my characters and love them the way I do. I want them to feel the town I laid out and experience its strangeness and funky ethereal quality.
Talking about loving a written character, I was watchin…

Rare Performance

Today a salesman knocked on my door and like a fool I answered it, only to be met by the same pitch of buying magazines to help kids in less fortunate situations. It's a good cause and if I had actual money I would totally buy me some Rolling Stone, but . . . I'm broke right now. Anyway, so, he gave me the spiel and he was actually very nice and I really wished that I had some money but I had to tell him no. He asks me what I do for a living and I tell him that I am a mom and writer and songwriter and he wants to hear me sing. So . . . I go grab the guitar. And I sing. It's the first public performance I have given in years. How strange, right?
He said that he liked it and that I should perform all the time, which made me feel pretty good. Funny how you're feeling all down in the dumps about yourself and your talents and then some random sales guy lifts you back up.

I'm Poor and Live in Johnson County

"I'm Poor and Live in Johnson County." My mom used to wear that T-shirt when we were kids. You have to understand that Johnson County, for the most part, is an affluent area thriving with huge brand new houses and a major shopping district. I grew up in the small town of Spring Hill which wasn't quite as rich, but had some folks who could qualify as such. The town was just on the edge of the county and acted as a good mix to both splendorous living and country hick attitude. I didn't really see it until I got into high school and noticed that certain kids had nice brand-new cars and brand name clothing. Now that I am grown up and look back it makes me laugh out loud that Mom had the audacity to wear that shirt in front of what she considered snooty folks. Not only that, but it was bright yellow and she didn't always wear a bra. GO MOM.
After Dad left--after the big fight--we had our problems with money, but Mom was a determined woman and made sure we…