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Showing posts from March, 2011

A Revolutionary New Diet...

Recently I went on a diet. Like most diets this one was scheduled around a major life event. My daughter's wedding. There would be no shopping for a mother-of-the-bride dress until the pounds came off.
Typically I go on a diet on Monday and by Wednesday I've folded beneath the weight of a German chocolate cake. I've been hijacked by as little as a stale pink sugar wafer discovered in the dark recesses of the bread drawer.
But this time things were going to be different. I could tell as I went to get the mail and discovered the first crocus of the season.
Life was looking up. Even though an icy rain began to fall, my spirits weren't dampened. Not even when huge drops pelted me on the head and I had to dash inside.
My latest plan would revolutionize dieting. If it worked for me it would work for the world. I smelled a book deal. I could see myself all made-over and liposuctioned sitting between Oprah and Dr. Oz.
It was full speed ahead. Gone were those complex menus. T…

Mother's Leather Britches...

My mother gardened all her life. It was one of her great loves, next to family, God, and country.

Because she grew up during the Depression, she learned to use every last item from her garden for canning, preserving, drying or pickling.

Every year at the end of the green bean season she made leather britches, dried beans that would keep for the winter.

These were the last beans hanging on the vines. The beans inside had grown to full size with outsides a bit withered. They were beyond the stage to can or preserve, or even to pickle.

Although her fried pickled green beans and corn bread were the best in the world. (Well, next to her biscuits and fried apples.)

Mother started the drying process with clean beans. She would spread a clean white sheet on a table in the wash room and spread the beans out on that, giving them space to dry. Sometime she would carry the sheet outside and put them on a table in the sun to further the process.

The next step involved needle and thread and when …


Wednesday, March 16, 2011
High School - Poca High School, Putnam County, WV
What year was it?
Fall 1960 - Spring 1963

What were your favorite bands, or singers?
Sam Cook, Chubby Checker, Conway Twitty (It's only make believe), Johnny Rodriquez.
Meatloaf. ELvis.

What was your favorite outfit?
Straight skirts, blouses, cardigans or jackets, little heels.

Other Outfits?
Jeans and a white Dr. Ben Casey shirt.

What was up with your hair?
Everything. I put peroxide on it. Lemon juice, thinking it needed to be lighter.
I cut it, styled it, put it in a pony tail or a french twist. Hair was the most important thing in my life in high school. And hair spray, the stiffer the better.

Who were your best friends?
Patti Jones, Karen Mattox, and Susie Bailey all thru elem school. Then added on Donna Dailey, Sharon "Mouse" Hackett and Janice Wick and many others. Also Bonnie Kerwood who was older than me and lived near me so we hung out listening to records after school. Sometimes her pa…

Rewriting/ Quotes by other writers

Sometimes beginning writers say they don't believe in rewriting because they're afraid they'll "lose the spontaneity" of the first draft. This is naive; rewriting means making the work better by adding, deleting, and revising; what worked well in the first draft stays--that's the effective spontaneity. Most professional writers know the heady sense of control that comes with the revision process--this is where one knows one has mastery of the writing craft. Note the following comments. Not sure who wrote the above intro but the quotes below are worthy of sharing. Enjoy!

"It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is common in all writing and among the best of writers."
- E. B. White

"I don't write easily or rapidly. My first draft usually has only a few elements worth keeping. I have to find what those are and build from them and throw out what doesn't work, or what simply is not aliv…

Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

HELP! Amy Tan's book Saving Fish from Drowning was recommended by two friends, Pam and Cheri.

I love what the story is about but I'm getting bogged down in so much detail in the beginning. What's that about? I suspect it's me and my hyperactive self having trouble settling down!

I want to know more about the story and what happens to these tourists who disappear in a foreign land.

But I've found myself skipping through some of the narrative and moving on to the more exciting parts.

Did you read this book? Did you have any trouble moving through the story? I'm leaving it on the end table and attempting a few pages every night. I find myself continually flipping over a few pages to see how long some of the details are.

IF you did read this, help me out here. Does it speed up in the middle. I enjoy Amy's beautiful writing and don't want to give up on this like I do some of the others.

I want to finish and I plan to continue to keep it close at hand.

But …

A Story - Mommy's Visit - After she was gone...

"Where did you get all those roosters on the top of your cabinets? I recognize the small set. It came from that little white house we bought up in Cass, there right along the main road into town. We bought it just after the train went in. Remember? One bedroom upstairs was ceiling to floor with jigsaw puzzles. Lordy! That house was something else. You still have the Bible I gave you from the little old lady who lived there?”

 “You know we kept the little one room cement block camp Bob, your step dad, had your cousin Dencil to build over on Jack Wiseman’s property, there where the little Dairy Queen was. The campsite was behind it. WE loved that little place. WE had an out house. I didn’t mind it at all. Why should I? I grew up with one. We had a fireplace in that little house and we’d pack for a week to go up there. Always stopped in Marlington to get groceries. We were on our way up there one time and at the store Bob had one of those mini strokes. I was afraid we’d never get …