Tag Archives: Published

The B-O-O-K is Done!

Tuh duh! *curtsy *grin from ear to ear* The word count goal for the b-o-o-k has been crushed, which means everything else written is  frosting.  To celebrate, here’s a snippet for your enjoyment and to remind you of the thrill of your first crush.

It was this or MASH.

“…before I could understand what was happening and enjoy the moment, something broke loose and did a nose-dive in my chest. An organ, maybe. Air caught in a painful, but reassuring lump in my throat. Everything began racing at one time. Each thing on the inside. It felt incredible, like every part of me was moving at the cadence it was intended to, but never had. Tears gone, I stood staring at him with eyes stacked to the rim with the full presence of affection or love, or lust, idolatry, promise, hope…all there together and in equal amounts. Overwhelming and exhilarating simultaneously, as if I were being both ruined and made.  Feelings without boundaries, without method, without end, without focus. It was a delightful delirium that I had never felt.

“Looking back, I can attribute the majority of that rush to an onslaught of young hormones, but at the time, and occasionally now, that natural force reigns over rationality like a power-hungry dictator, and it feels amazing.”

I want to hear in the comment section about the crush you still think about from time to time. To make this fun, I’m going to peruse submissions (can be via email, if you’d prefer not to comment for all interwebbies to see) and select my favorite to turn into a semi-fictitious vignette post. The  selected entry will also win a prize related to the “crush” theme, so send a couple of lines for me to read. No limit to the number of submissions. Cannot wait to read about your experience!



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Breaking the Rules (now what have I done?)

The end of April has come and gone and spurned May, like a little hellion what with tornadoes and dead terrorists honchos who’s name rhyme with “Obama” (hurrah on that last one). I sat and watched a week’s worth of these reports a bit like Amelie.   In the beginning of the film, Amelie (if for some reason you haven’t seen it, and I don’t think there is a reason not to) is a child who has been given a camera for her birthday instead of a baby brother. At first, she is so excited with the gift. She runs around her neighborhood capturing pictures of everything she loves.

Then one day, she takes a picture and two cars crash in front of her. Some jackass walks up to little Amelie and says, “Now look what you’ve done.” Poor wee thing takes this immediately to heart and runs home to turn on the tv. News story after news story reports various tragedies all over the world, which makes sense to Amelie, because she’s been taking pictures for a while now. She’s sitting on the sofa, huge remote clutched in both tiny hands, eyes enormous with shock and guilt, and shoulders slumped with the weight of what she thinks she’s done.

That’s how badly I was feeling about missing my April 30th book deadline.

I began thinking over all of the OTHER things I did with April, and I began to wonder if those had caused the problem…and if, generally speaking, the reach of inconsistency is broader than we think. The Butterfly Effect, basically.

The same question popped into my mind today as I put 25lbs of organic carrots into my trunk for juicing, and then drove across the street to grab a Rita’s (Ice. Custard. Happiness.) gelati before heading home. Am I toying with some master design when I slap convention and order in the face like that?

To encourage myself, I’m writing out the top five things I DID do with April, which did not include meeting my own deadline. In no particular order, they are:

1. Worked. I mean, it does take time, and this girl has got bills to pay.
2. Wrestled with life and relationship decisions. Since this is essentially what my book is about, I guess I was bound to start thinking about the topic sometime or other. Why not now, just as my deadline is RIGHT there? This ended up involving much brooding, listening to sad cd’s I haven’t seen since high school, and the inevitable late night, wine-infused, teary chats with my pillow.

3.  Juiced. Now, detoxing is a once a year thing for me, but just as the Lord has promised not to flood the entire Earth again, family and friends (especially Stephanie, who has yet to really forgive me for biting her head off for something trivial four years ago) have made me swear never to only juice, so it’s been one meal a day for me, and a second meal of only raw fruit and veggies, which has kept me balanced and from picking fights at random.

4. Started a new business.

5. Painted my toes, which is no minor thing after keeping tootsies corralled in the cave of close-toed shoes for a season. Cramped and with no sunlight, we all know the sort of disrepair that can occur and the undoing of that requires time, tools, and  muscle. I managed, however, and am proud to say I’ve been clomping about in espadrilles for weeks now.

All of this to say, it’s been a productive and distracting month, but I did write. And there are a mere 1,500 words left to be put down, so off I go…


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Great, leaping, frozen, yellow, cannibalistic, flowering, inconspicuous, lavish, travelling, gaseous, egads! We are entering the 4th month of 2011 already! I really thought we would all have rocket packs installed in our plastic jeans so that we could fly everywhere by now. Alas, no.

Seriously. How hot was this guy?


Many equally interesting things, however, have been happening and I feel compelled to fill you in.

In the early days of February, I took a stab at journalism. Marrying two things I dearly love (no, not the sound of my own voice and coffee): enabling small businesses to thrive and connecting people with their community’s culture, I wrote a piece for Hampton Road’s (read: Norfolk/VA Beach’s) alternative news source, AltDaily.com.

I learned some things:

  1. You should write down things people say because you won’t remember them later, making you less like a journalist and more like a storyteller.
  2. People you least expect are passionate about something and it is really fun and enriching to ask the right questions to find what gets their bombachas in a twist. Try it.
  3. I have no business being a journalist. Fact-checking and paying attention only engage me for so long.

Anyway, I’m chalking that up to being published, which is one of my 3 goals this year. I need to write a cheer for that.

Additionally, TheBecomingYear was surprisingly reviewed by blogger C-C Lester, which was just the most flattering thing to happen since two guys in a pick-up truck crossed 8 lanes of traffic to pull up beside me whilst I was pumping gas at 7-Eleven to tell me I was pretty. (I would imagine that many people are from clear-across an intersection, but HEY! That was nice.)

That’s enough goodness for the first quarter of a new year. I don’t even need to tell you about the trips to San Diego and Atlanta that included some of the best culinary experiences of my life; the fact that Costco (mi amor), in states OTHER than Virginia who have better liquor laws, carry gargantuan gallons of Tanqueray and Tequila, of which I am now a proud owner;   that I scored zebra-print, pony hair, Antonio Melani peep-toe shoes for $28; nor that I have technically learned how to crochet. (That last one is a wild card, since I have yet to decide if it is a “good” thing to acquire a skill you dislike and have no clue what to do with.)

Seriously. How hot are these shoes?


Now April, if you didn’t know, is the final month for completing the B-O-O-K. As it stands, I have 13,000 words to write in 30 days. Not just any words, mind you, but the cleverest, most amusing, and marketable words ever joined. Far be it from me to keep anything simple, or to set myself up properly for success, so I’ve created and obstacle course for the month, which will include more travel and volunteering. Bring it, Q2!

What rad jazz have you been up to this year, and/or what’s in the pipeline for the spring???



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Lumberjacks: A tale of drugs and rock ‘n roll

I’ve taken a break from plowing through the recesses of my memory to unearth boys and men who have contributed to my present expectations, fears, and complexes for my book,  to work on my book’s proposal. Now, I have made it abundantly clear that I struggle with the confines of…anything; routine, discipline, rules, popular opinion, so it should go without saying that writing this proposal is causing serious strain.

Each time I sit down to put the content of my memoir into a marketable format (chapter summaries, cultural relevance, prospective audience, my credibility on the subject matter, and competitive comparisons), I start to shake and mutter “Nobody puts Baby in a corner!”  Because, in the prolific words of the ever-wise and experienced Miley Cyrus, I can’t be tamed.

That said, it must be done, and I have never been one to drop important balls (I could not come up with another way to say that. Sorry. Creativity engaged elsewhere).

I am selecting only the finest of stories from my past to include in the proposal, though I’m sure some smaller characters will make it into the final product. This is similar to presenting the family members with jobs and no obvious mental disorders or addictions to a new beau, but waiting to spring Uncle Eddie, who has a permanent Skoal-ring faded into his Wranglers and was on the 3rd season of Jerry Springer because of his new-found love, who just happened to be his step daughter (fact), until after new beau has become new husband and cannot easily run away.

I thought it’d be fun to drop a character or two who didn’t make the cut here. So, without further ado, I give you the Lumberjacks. They’re called that for two very different reasons.

Lumberjack #1

Late one night, I was sitting at Roger Brown’s in Portsmouth, VA. For no reason in particular, since RB’s is a straight-up sports bar, white people/honkies/crackers are a minority. But not this night. I was there with a Photog from LA. We’d just finished a job for Fox’s release of Avatar to dvd, and this was the spot chosen by the studio for the wrap party. This means that sales teams from every major studio and record label (sales teams- not producers, reader) had descended on Roger Brown’s in the dark of night, ready to get their drink on.

There was no private space, so the back half of the spacious watering hole had been rented, as had a band. A rock ‘n roll band that party goers could join with for karaoke. These 40-something salesmen (primarily) had changed into their best Tommy Bahama shirt and stone-washed jeans.

Being the self-aware person that I am, I kept scanning RB’s other guests to see just how badly the whiskey-doused versions of Pink Cadillac were annoying them (I mean…I was annoyed) and interrupting what they thought would be another relaxed night at RB’s watching the game. Oh. I forgot to mention that the terrible cover band was blocking the big screen.

Photog was pouring vodka past his bleached teeth at record speed, and I was concerned, because he was really slim and had already raided my purse for any pills he could find. I had watched him take a fistful of ibuprofen, a linty sudafed, and perhaps a midol… but he turned his nose up at the mucinex I kept in my car, for the bronchitis I get about every year. I thought this was interesting, because when we had set up our shoot, I had found a plain white pill on the floor, looked at it, and tossed it out and he had shouted, “Are you crazy? What WAS that? Maybe it was good.” So, I believed he did not discriminate.

The night chugged on, but when Photog began to sway and look at me adoringly, and when I had my fill of Lynyrd Skynyrd sing-alongs, I suggested we go outside for fresh air. This seemed to do the trick for us both. Photog became alert and charming, and, with a toss of his perfect Ken-doll coif, he mustered the bravado to chastise the other folks on the patio for their unhealthy smoking habits.

Enter Lumberjack.

Photog was finishing a story about how he got the wicked scar on his arm that resembled a shark attack, when a very tall, lean man came out of the pub and proceeded to creep along the outer wall of the restaurant as if he were on the ledge of an imaginary 32nd floor.  Distracted, Photog stopped to stare, and I followed suit. The man’s eyes were rolled back into his head as he moved, which was bizarre to see. His skin was so dark, and his eyes –sans pupils- were so white, it was as if beams of light were shooting from the sockets. He crept only as far as a potted banana tree, and then wrapped his arms lovingly around it, went absolutely rigid, and then…timber. Like a Warner Brother’s cartoon, legs completely straight, torso parallel to his new tree-friend, which he joined him on his descent, he crashed into the ground.

 There he lay. Spooning a tree. Drooling into the pavement. It was all a little too real for Photog and I, so we sat, and ogled, heads tilted in confusion, trying to piece together what had just happened. We didn’t need to wonder for very long. His girlfriend game flying out of the joint, and knelt beside him, where a few bystanders and servers joined her.

“Don’t call an ambulance!, “ she cried, “I’ll take him home!” She rubbed Lumberjack’s face until he came to, and then told him, “I’ll go get the car. Don’t go anywhere.” For some reason, I found that very funny, but I turned my chuckle into a contorted snort-cough-gag-lion roar to be polite.

To us, she said, “He only had a soda. A soda and chicken! He ain’t never had soda before.”

Photog looked at me and said helpfully, “See? You gotta be careful who you get your “soda” (he did the finger quotes) from.”

“Oh.” I replied, while looking sadly at the banana tree as a busser worked at sweeping up the spewed soil.

The End.

This story has absolutely no resolution and I don’t believe it’s had any influence on my fundamental beliefs and ideals, so I didn’t bother writing it, until now. I do, however, think that Photog and Lumberjack were sensational in their own ways. If you can draw parallels between the two, or extract helpful nuggets from each character, I’d love to hear it. And please go beyond the obvious “Just Say No”.

Lumberjack #2…tomorrow.

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