Dec 13, 2009

Sizing up the he/she in your novel.

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. Character is a caricature.
–Ernest Hemingway

In my thoughts, I know a soul and with my eyes I see him standing there. But, without the words to paint for you, his acquaintance you’ll never share. –Doree Anderson

1) Setting up the interview.
a) Allow plenty of uninterrupted time. You need to concentrate, observe and document constantly.
b) The setting or meeting place should be comfortable.
1) the couch, kitchen table, the park or the lounge chair on the back porch.
2) supply ambiance with background music and candles.
c) Offer refreshments

Who are you? Who, who are you? –Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey

2) Getting a glimpse into their mind.
a) It’s not just the words they use.
b) hear the passion and tone of voice.
1) does he/she put emphasis on certain words in a sentence, use their hands to highlight their point.
2) are slang words utilized often?

The creations of a great writer are little more than the moods and passions of his own hearts, given surnames and Christian names, and sent to walk the earth. –William Butler Yeats.

3) Picture yourself sitting beside them, what do you see?
a) Document their mannerisms.
1) a hand to their chin, fingers smoothing down a mustache, nervous laughter, eyes roaming.
b) their dress;
1) style, individualism
A) Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink or Annie Hathaway in Prada
c) their features; eyes, hair
1) contacts or glasses, crossed or uneven.
2) dyed hair, long, short, bald, curly or straight.

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him. –Ray Bradbury

4) Where does he/she see them selves in ten years?
a) education
b) employment
1) ambitions
c) marital status
1) family size or dreams of.

Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with them. – Mel Brooks

You know your characters and their stories. Now all you have to do is convince your readers that they’re worth the time to meet.

Dec 7, 2009

Hey, yeah! I think I do remember you. Aren't you the oldest son to my mother's youngest sister? So what, you're twenty, twenty one? 40! No way, why I remember just a few years ago that you like...

Do you remember me? Cause, evidently, I don't remember you-.

I spent this past weekend in Henderson at my Aunt's "Celebration of Life" and thought about all the interesting faces that I reacquainted my self with. Cousins that I haven't seen or spoken to since the death of my Grandmother about fifteen years ago have changed. Go Figure! They grew up, got married, had children, oh my! They went on about their lives without me.

And here I stood, realizing that I had done the same. My daughter and grandson were with me and were strangers to a lot of them. We say this is a small world yet we let time speed by before we reaquaint ourselves with family so how can we say that we stay in contact with friends? We don't.

I mailed out somewhere around sixty five Christmas Cards. A small amount for sure, but it's because I don't keep in contact with people. I send them (if I remember to) a card once a year that says, "Hey, I remembered to send a card and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, I haven't got the time to call or visit and so, I can't recall if you're married, have children or were you that friend that died? Gee, sorry. But, at least I'll write out your name and address on an envelope and once again tell people that I stay in touch with old friends.

When I had a cousin ask what I do for a living and I said that I write, he asked what I wrote and I went on to tell him, books. Obviously, it's not letters! I write books about people that I make up yet I don't write to those whom I already know. So, here is to all those that I sent out a card to; drop me a note and I'll get back to you around... this time again next year :-(.

Nov 6, 2009

NANO time again!

Writers: get ready, get set and go. For the month of November, hundreds, maybe thousands of writers will put themselves to the test and write a 50,000 word novel. That's right! 30 days of story telling through the fingers and tracked, each word at a time. It's fun.

Write! You don't edit, that's for next month. You don't worry about spelling, let the machine underline it and we'll get back to that next month as well. This month is just for the opportunity to test your self and your ability to capture a story in one month.

So, during the month of October, I spent time interviewing and getting to know the characters that will be brought to life in my novel. Screening places and ideas for story boards and putting it all together so that when November 1st comes around, I'll be ready...

Well, here it is and so far, I'm having a blast. The kids are enjoying themselves as they tentatively get to know each other and will eventually fall in love. So, lift you cup of coffee or wine glass and toast to a productive month of NANO!

Oct 13, 2009

URWA Conference turned out to be absolutely wonderful. The attendance was fantastic, the workshops were top nosh and the networking was phenomenal. An enjoyment to the very end. Christine Witthohn from Book Cents Literary Agency and Amanda Bergeron from Avon/Harper Collins were a lot of fun. (the picture to the left is taken in Park City. br. Me and Mary Martinez, fr is Kim Finnegin, Christine Witthohn, Amanda Bergeron and Lisa Williams-Cox in front of the miner's statue).

The pitches went down and some excellent results followed. I, for one, am happy with the request that I received and the valuable information that Christine gave me. Hook? Oh yeah, the hook. We'll lets just say that the hook was asked for and not given. Yet, Christine still gave a request and I couldn't be happier than a bear with a new roll of Charmin. Since then I've been polishing up my synopsis and getting ready to send it out with my first three chapters. My fingers are crossed and my hopes are raising. Hopefully my heart can wait until she asks for more before pounding from my chest.

Friends exchanged hugs and laughter, even Victoria Dahl dropped by to lift up a glass of wine. If anyone would enjoy a great romance, check out Victoria Dahl's 'Talk Me Down' or 'Start Me Up.' Both are exceptional books. All in all, I don't think there was a person in the whole group that wasn't happy with our conference outcome. My favorite part was the game on Saturday night that Diane Stoddard introduced. Our other visiting agent, Kelly Mortimer was with us as each person wrote down a name of a famous person (dead or alive) and then everyone else tried to guess the name we chose. It was pretty fun in front of the fireplace in the lobby of the Deer Valley 'Lodges.' Next year, I understand that it is going to be tons better. Join us, won't you?

Oct 8, 2009

Hey, Howdy, Hiya,
Posting on our first night here at Deer Valley, Utah's The Lodges. Where Utah's Chapter of RWA's (Romance Writers of America) conference for 2009

Holly heaven, Batman, this place is class. We're talking ala beautiful place. Everything is so gorgeous, done in huge white pine logs, fireplaces, full kitchens, laundry closets in each suite. The suite that we are in is a two bedroom, 3 bathrooms, full sized living room and kitchen with a large 6 person dinning table. Absolutely beautiful. Flip a switch and you have a nice and cozy gas fire in the fireplace, the chairs are big and comfy. Wonderful.

The weather is perfect, crisp fall foliage, the golds, yellows, oranges and reds, a slight nip in the air and traces of a recent snowfall on the ground. Sweater and thick jackets seem to be the appropriate attire. Of course, our cute Mary is wearing flip flops :-)

Our first course of action today was assisting Kelli Ann with the gift bags for the conference attendees and getting everything organized for tomorrow mornings early registration. The day begins at 07:30. The workshops are going to be fun and extremely educational and I'll be up early so I don't miss a thing. The count down to get here has finally made it and now its a rapid whoosh through to the end. Over too soon after waiting so long -life, as always.


Aug 27, 2009

Please...for me! This week, I am saying goodbye to my Aunt. A courageous woman who has fought a long, painful struggle with cancer. Twelve years ago, she went in for her annual mammogram and was told everything looked good. But, they made her another mammogram for six months. One of those, 'just in case' appointments. We'll refer to that as the 'something is there but frankly I have a waiting room full of women and a lunch date, so I'll just cover my butt.'

Six months later, she goes in to have her follow-up mammogram and low and behold, what's this? A lump. You say you mentioned it six months ago. Are you sure? Because, the tech had to have surely seen it and requested an ultra-sound. Hummm. Well, lets do an ultra-sound now. I'm sure there is nothing to worry about.

And the verdict is two, not one now, but two suspicious masses in the left breast. The soonest we'll be able to do that biopsy is.... three weeks. But, no need to worry, it's probably fibrous tumors. Many women your age have them. There wasn't a history of them but, she's in her early fifties so, its possible.

And the verdict is, of course, Cancer. Had it have been anything else, I wouldn't be pounding the keys. She went through everything. An aggressive war was mounted. Well, sure, what else can you do when, it had metastasized to the lung. It's called stop that puppy before it runs amok. Amok, amok, amok it went. from the lungs to the stomach, from the stomach to a black mark on the liver. And she fought. She lost part of her stomach, she lost a lung, they removed the damage to the liver, and she had a Radical Mastectomy before the age of Sixty.

Then, she got sick. (No kidding!) Yep. So after being on blood thinners for a long time, she starts having problems with her back. Osteoporosis? Sure, why not. So they take her off the blood thinners and, yes, she develops a blood clot that does a one way travel to her brain. Stroke! Not massive, bless her heart, just minor. But, now, after enduring all this, she decides that she's had enough. She refuses to eat.

I understand, her daughter understands, but lucky for her she has three sons don't, (you say, you're kidding? Uhm, wish I was!) So, they whine that she's just giving up. Throwing in the towel. "Please....for me!" (Its a good thing these jolly rogers live far away from me cause, I've got a boot that's just itching to kick some cousin's butts.)

So here is the moral of my story, and a reality check for the boys. She has put up with mammograms, ultrasounds, surgery, chemo and radiation for us. If she wants to join her mother, father, sister, brother... my hell, let her. Isn't it her turn? By the way, dudes, it doesn't feel like a smooth vacation when you deny your body nutrition. It's painful. Dying is painful. It is her decision.

I love you, Aunt Judy. I'll mourn your passing, but I'm proud of your heroism. You were my mother's sister, but to me, you were a real good friend. May you never suffer such cruelty again. Goodbye, our gentle warrior.

Ladies, you know your bodies. If you feel something abnormal, fight, kick and scream for that follow up ultrasound. And, biopsies shouldn't be scheduled three weeks out - Do it now! But, most importantly, ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your health. Know how you are doing. Get your mammograms, check your cholesterol, test your blood pressure. And for sure, if you're sick, demand your down time. If you don't properly heal, you won't be doing anybody any good.

Jul 24, 2009

Here is the price of a huge mansion on a private island question: Why does one editor request your full manuscript and another one reject it?

I was asked by a specific person to send them my manuscript, unfortunately I could only submit it to the submissions e-mail address (give you their actual e-mail address, please) but I made SURE to indicate that this specific person requested it. Almost four months later, I receive a rejection. That's fine. I can cowboy up with the best of them. Except who is this other person who sends me back "Thank you for your submission but your manuscript isn't what we are looking for" generic form?

Maybe the editor who requested it was fired. No.
Maybe the editor who requested it left for another company. No.
Maybe the editor who requested it got ran over by a truck. No. (But if the editor did, be darn glad that someone was nice enough to get back to you)

This is my work, my job: Writing. I enjoy writing. Putting plots together, giving characters life. Not this day in and day out frustration of wait a few months and 'someone' will get back to you, or not, publishing world that I'm swimming in.

Maybe it's just a bad day. So what if no one threw me the beach ball. If I can't wait my turn I should probably pick up my towel and try again another day. Let me get this whine with a little cheese, please.

Don't you just hate it when no one chooses you to play on their team?

Jul 5, 2009

HAPPY Independence Day! My brother celebrates his birthday on the fourth. Four days later, I celebrate mine...but I don't get all the fancy fireworks. Nobody sets of bombs to celebrate the passing of my youth. And, I say that's good. I'd rather cry alone anyway!

Congratulations to my Niece, she had a little girl on the 3rd of July.
Welcome to the world Macie. I just hope it goes from bad to good before it matters to you. I look at my grandkids and want to cry - look at the crap their getting. It's a damn shame. I still think there are several greedy pigs out there that should be shot in a firing squad for stealing money. Instead our lovely government is turning a blind eye and letting them keep it. Well, where in the hell is my 50 million dollar bonus. I deserve it too!!!! Oh wait, I don't know who I should be screwing to get it.
Everyone I know has already be screwed.

The end of the year is quickly approaching. Christmas in July starts the snowball down the hill of Holidays. We enjoy the carefree days of August before the kids are back in school and we hear..."I can't wait for Labor day, What are you going to be for Halloween, Are you going any where for Thanksgiving. What do you want for Christmas." And then we begin again. Yep, the snowball is just beginning to slip over the edge to a quick ending to 2009.

I listened to an interview the other evening between Bill Mahr and Billy Bob Thorton regarding the musical groups that we listen to. Billy Bob said that he had asked someone to give him a list of the groups that are going to be remembered a hundred years from now that are popular from 1980- 2010. Then he said to Bill Mahr that from the 1960's - 1980's he could name a hundred popular ones. Bill Mahr agreed except said "well, not a hundred". Listening to the Oldies stations and hearing the ones from the 60's through the 80's, YEAH, you really could come up with a hundred. Maybe not as popular as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eagles, Rio, Led Zeplin, The Who, Three Dog Night, Lynard Skinard (how ever you spell it) but there are a good long list of them. The ones that are performing today are more of the one hit wonders that scream instead of sing, show violance or rap about it, and just plain don't have the beat. You know, that thing called music that you can dance to. Remember the sock hops, Skinny Johnny Mitchell, and Wolfe Man Jack. I do, well...Isn't it a shame that Twisted Sister isn't declaring "We ain't gonna take it anymore?"

Jun 7, 2009

Tired? Now you see it, now you don't. Yes, they'll do it, then they won't. Will there be a school next year or not. They formed a board, they spoke at district meetings, they pleaded for the opportunity to educate or to learn and yet...

Granite High School is closing their doors for the second time. But not to the general public. This time it is closing the educational rights of the destitute student who would never get ahead in a larger school. It is closing to foreigners who have just arrived and speak little to no English. It is closing to the students who are being cared for through foster homes and state custody. It is closing to students that want an education but have a hard time competing with the large volume of students who's parents can afford the football, dance, baseball, cheerleading registration costs. It kind of makes me mad. Now that there is this 'Everyone has a right to an education' act, those who really want to learn are crammed into classrooms with kids that could care less who's tending them that day and they'll let you know it.

During my time on the Valley Journal, Granite High School was a part of my beat. It was truely the funnest place to go. From the unique plays that they performed using students who spoke with accents I enjoyed hearing to watching a child from India adjust and excel in an environment that was so far from their norm. The teachers cared. The students learned. And yet, the school district has decided that there just isn't enough monies in their budget to continue supporting them. What a shame because I'll bet that the percentage of their seniors actually graduated and at least 3/4 of them all received scholorships. That's what happened in 2008.


There is a comandmant that states "Thou shall not kill!. Because you don't get to decide who lives or dies. The creator does. Yet, this
eighteen year old breaks into Kimberly Hain's house during the night with a bat to steal something - what? Hell, he doesn't know, he's 'supposibly' hiped up on drugs. He makes a noice and wakes up the 33 year old mother of a 8 year old and a 6 year old and beats her to death with the baseball bat. The following morning, the 18 year old is acting as though he has no idea what happened during the night at his neighbors house. Hell, the jerk goes so far as to publicly console another neighbor over the tragedy before a news camera.

I met Kimberly Hains in 1999, when she came to work at Cottonwood Hospital on the 5th floor. Her mother-in-law, Cozi was also a part of the unit and Patrick, her husband was a phlebotomist at Primary Childrens Hospital. While working full time on the day shift, Kim was also going to school at night. In 2000, she became pregnant with Terran. I don't think I knew a more excited mother-to-be. Scrub pants and t-shirts became her mom-of-the-year wardrobe. I have a picture of Kim at the baby shower we gave her on the floor where she is holding up a stuffed moose with the biggest grin on her face. How excited she was! For several years, we worked together, often doubling up in doing patient care jobs. If you called her Kimmy or K-K-Kimberly, she would ignore you until you 'get my name right'. Kim, Christa and I enjoyed our jobs working as a three way unit. Christa left to get married and move to Utah county, Kim left to join Pat at Primary's and I left to work for two wonderful surgeons. Now, Kim's next door neighbor has taken her life and left a lot of people with out the priviledge of knowing and working with her as one of the greatest nurses this state will never see. Talking to Christa the other day, we decided we're lucky 'cause at least we have our memories.
"Rest Well My Friend, For You Are Loved. We Shall Remember You With
Warm Thoughts and Deep Words of Joy" Doree

May 23, 2009

For Tiffinie: I give you 'Scout'. On your travels to Alaska and the Bering Sea, for months of fishing, waves and missing me, I present the next best thing; Scout The Warrior.

Scout'll hold those critters at bay for you; growling, barking, as a new member of your crew. Now, he may be young and kind of small but through the years he'll grow mean and tall. Battle plans are in his dreams, ferocious, sturdy, a real killing machine. Delusions are in a big bear's mind, to even think lil' Scout can't tow the line.

Precious as a pup can be, I know that Scout will keep you free. To work those nets of fish and more, you'll need your strength to do the chore. So fit your foot inside your boot, leave the critters to this cute Malamute. Have a grand old time with fun abound, family and friends know you're safe with Scout around.

'Red skies at night, sailor's delight. Red skies in the morning, sailor's take warning.'
Have a good time with your brother and snatch up record catches. See you when you return home.

May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Yes, Ladies, if the shoe fits, wear it. Enjoy it. Dance in it. Because, you get one whole day to be celebrated for it. Child birth. That moment in time when you endure 2, 12, 24, 38 hours of mind numbing, body tearing, gut wrenching pain. But, it is all worth it when on May 10, 2009, your child gives you a day to sit back, relax, and enjoy your efforts. Congratulations!

I didn't mind my 2 hours and 43 minutes of labor. Of course the epideral hadn't taken effect before they wheeled me into the delivery room. How were they to know that she was in a flippin' hurray? They didn't. Each delivery is different, unique; just as the child is. Text books are for throwing out the window. Some are quick and easy, as the child is during their years of growth. Then there are the 36 hours of acid burning agony and the next 21 years of shear terror to follow. But we love them anyway.

So Moms of the world, enjoy. Drink a glass of wine and sit back. Let them finally, make the meal, do the dishes, wipe the table while you watch. Tomorrow is soon enough to redo the dishes, clean the kitchen and get your life back to normal. :-) <3

May 4, 2009

The Class of 1945, some are still alive...

This is a picture of South High's Class of 45. How did they survive? They began High School at the start of WWII. Following the devastation of the Depression and then celebrated their graduation with the ending of the war. They had sports, but the football helmet was made of leather and padding. Not fiberglass and metal. They had school dances with balloons and streamers, slow music followed with a little bebop. Class rings and Letterman's jackets, poverty and death, basket ball champion banners and discrimination, very few jobs but they all worked with pride. That was in 1945. For the most part, this class of students have witnessed a lot! They watched the bombing of Pearl Harbor, retribution in Japan, Korean War, Tani min Square, Kent State riots, the assassination of Kennedy, Watergate and the impeachment of Nixon, landing on the moon, the great floods of the mid-west, the gas wars, terrorism, Gulf war, the fall of the Twin Towers, the damage to the pentagon, the Iraq war, the recession's of 1984, 1992 and today's borderline depression of 2009. To them, it must seem like their life has come around full circle with nothing learned for the future. What a shame.

Immunize - wise?

I remember when we (the students) were called down to the cafeteria for our i
immunizations. You remember, come on! The sugar cube and the shots. Oh what a wonderful day! We were told that these would last us a lifetime. Who's? As soon as that needle came out, kids were dropping like flies, throwing up, passing out, crying and the only thing we have to show for it is a scar (it's the sort of round one on the left shoulder). Small pox - yep, step right up and get your guaranteed 100 percent, never have to worry again, vaccination. Yeah, well, my parents back then, would believe the government. Today, not so much. Proof, give us proof. Because the scar on my arm is no longer a guarantee against the disease. This time, when I'm told to form a line, I'll take mine in a tall glass of bourbon and 7-up, please.

Mar 31, 2009

Oh, so good!

I'm so erotica novel placed second in the Great Expectations contest and the publisher has requested my full manuscript. YEAH. With everything that a writer has to go through, the request of a manuscript is wonderful. It is like being a small mouse and waiting until the time that the big cat actually puts its paws around in a welcoming embrace instead of playing you like a toy.
Tomorrow is April Fools day. What will I do? What will I do. Well, I have plans and they are going to be scrumptious, yummy and filling. And if I win at Bunco, well, that's just all the more better. A little pocket money to see me through the week will be the topping on the whip cream of my life. As we move into the month of April, I am especially looking forward to Spring. Not you see it, now you don't garbage, but the real, leave your winter coat in the closet deal. We gotten a test, but I ready for the whole meal. Just like last year, we get out and do a little work in our yards. Say hello to our neighbors; remember that we have neighbors, and then, wham, bam...It's winter again. (please say again again with a poetic tone as wham bam, thanks).

For all you women writers in this (great?) state of Utah, the Utah chapter of RWA is having a retreat in a gigantic cabin by Altamont in the middle of April. Check with the website for details. Its going to be fun, and a wonderful time for getting those words down, gals.

Until again, see ya.

Mar 22, 2009

The Pain of Grand Parenting

I think the world of my four grandchildren. They are absolutely the love of my life. And, after one day with them, they still are. Two days is pushing it. I don't know if they get on my nerves or if I am one great big nerve to them.

My daughter brought the darlings over on Friday, at 2:00 p.m. I am a saint. I know because I had them through to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The two older kids are at the 'now you see them, now you don't' ages of 9 and 7. They love their video games and the internet. Okay so, they're easy.

The other two are 3 and 2. Both boys, both out to drive grandma insane. They want, they don't want, they need, they have to have, please, please gammy, please. Can we go outside? Ten minutes later, one or the other, or both are crying. Why. He pushed him or he took my... Can we watch a movie? Can we go outside? can we...

Night one, all is well. They go to bed. Those cute little darlings. So sweet. Look at them. One sucks his finger, the other one cuddles a stuffed turtle. One snores. They wake up, way earlier than I do and they drag gammy down stairs cause they want juice. I'm awake...I need coffee but, I'm awake.

The following night, well, suffice it to say those darlings have grown horns, tails and tempers. They are not tired, they will not go to bed and they don't like gammy cause I was born and told them to get to bed.

But, I don't care... I absolutely love these precious children. And, don't call me to tend again for another month.

Cause...Gammy said.

Mar 20, 2009

The Birds

So, How are we spending the first day of spring? We are cleaning out the birds cages. Yes, birds. We have three of the cutest Cockatiels that we enjoy, well, most of the time. But they do not follow orders worth a tink. I have asked them on several occasions to pick up after themselves. But, do they do it? No. There are seeds all over the place. I talk, they don't listen. I show them how it's done, to no avail. Our oldest is thirteen, a male white face. As cute as a bug this boy is. Although, as will almost all small creatures, he is dilutional. Spike believes that he is an eagle (we've shown him pictures but until we can actually place him face to face, it irrelevant. Gilligan is his little buddy.(Yellow or Pied, eleven years old) Sad to find out thought, that she was a she. This birds takes the meaning of 'bird brain' to life. Gilly will stand on top of a mug of coffee, lean down, take a sip, yipe because it is hot, and go in for seconds. Where other birds are afraid of dark places and reluctant to venture into one, Gilly will walk right into a potato chip bag looking for crumbs. But, we love her. Our third is our favorite, (do not tell the other two) Gilly and Spike have parented several babies. We have for the most part, happily given them away. Five years ago, Gilly gave birth to a little Grey that she must not have liked because she pulled all the babies feathers out so I took the little bald baby and every four hours, fed it with a dropper, mother it and fell in love with Chewy. We kept her. This bird is the biggest tease and thinks the world of my husband. Talk about a bird being comfortable in her environment, she is under the assumption that she is a person. Chewy likes kisses, scratches, tummy tickles and snuggling up under your chin.

And so, I spend a day each week vacuuming their room, sterilizing their food dishes and disinfecting their cages. Why? Because I can't get the little buggers to do it for me.

I'm write in the middle of a fantastic scene in my current novel and I have to do the mommy thing - clean up for the winged vultures lying in wait for an innocent shoulder to 'poop' on. Here's to another day in the week of this writer. Have fun.


Mar 9, 2009

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it"...Harlan Ellison

Writers write because we can, we need to, we have to. Or, because, why not? When I write, I try and envision what my goal is as I set up my characters and their GMC; Novella, novel, short story or just putting ink to paper and doodling. But, it is what I see that goes down. Not what someone tells me to write.

Example: Write a story about the Botanical Gardens in Arizona.
No. Why not? Because, I've never been to the Botanical Gardens in
Arizona and therefore I can't pretend and frankly, the only words I'd be
able to supply are:"It's probably a very pretty place with lots of colors
and smells." about writing something regarding fishing as a kid and you get:
Oh, the solitude of being alone? I love when the humidity beads up on my skin, the sun high in a clear blue sky. The smell of dead fish surrounds me as I crouch down with my fishing pole; a hook dangling at the end of the line into the Ozark River, hoping to snag a slimy perch. While a pesky fly buzzes around my head, searching for food and I'll give it to him because I can't stand the rotten taste of perch.

Ain't fishin' fun? Worms make great bait but I prefer minnows. A worm will break in half while you're trying to string them onto the hook but a minnow, well, you just stick that hook right through 'em and off you go. Lickety split and you got your fish.

The theme song of "Mayberry" strolls through my mind. I really do wish I could whistle. Oh, well.

Mar 5, 2009

Hannibal Haven

Care to take a trip? Picture yourself at the entrance to Hannibal, Missouri. That's right, beneath the statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Take a picture - it's worth it. Now continue walking down the hill to the Mississippi River. Have a seat, yes, on the ground, and look out at the tree filled island east of where you're at.

Okay, if you're going to whine about the mud, move south down the shoreline to the marina where they load and unload the riverboat. Pull up a chair.

It is late May, the humidity is climbing but tolerable. It's a warm 86 degrees, the sky is clear and there is a gentle breeze. (the tornado isn't due for at least another two days, and it looks like it will be south of us - feel better? Good, lets continue)

Now,'re sights are on the tree cover island. Huck is mumbling on about Indian Joe and all you can think about is getting a solid five skips on a rock across the calm river. No worries about the decline in the market, the high increase in unemployment, or those stupid taxes that you still have rounded up all the necessary information to file. This is your moment to dream. To visualize a life back in the fifties, when the war was over, the economy was stable and you could be a kid. Think about the next adventure that you and Hunk can do. Climb the hills, chase the deer or lay back, nibble on a piece of grass and listen to the mumbling going on next to you about Indian Joe.

See. It's nice to put the concerns away and take a small vacation.