The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, December 3, 2011

John Prine is in the House

          Tonight John Prine is in St. Louis. My husband got tickets months ago but unfortunately, he is feeling under the weather, so I scrambled around to find someone who would enjoy the concert.

       "Who is the heck is John Prine?" most people asked.


        I have loved his songs since I was 16, when I asked for a John Prine album for my birthday. His "hit" that year was "The Great Compromise." If you only listen to it on a surface level, it sounds like the classic boy-loses-girl tale. However, this was the Vietnam era, and the lyrics are about so much more.

        Apparently he has a new album out, and on it is a duet with Emmylou Harris. (Shay--stop salivating right now!)

      Here's John Prine singing "In Spite of Ourselves" with Iris DeMent:

           "In Spite of Ourselves" is typical of Prine's lyrics--whimsical and wry, with an occasional sharp-edged point.

       If you are crafty, or into new recipes, go to Pinterest. However, don't blame me if you click on there, and 9 hours later, you finally emerge.

       I'm off to an evening of feeling like a teenager least until the last note disappears from the stage.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I WAS Trained by the Best

          You're dry. Not even a drop of a story in your veins. But then you peruse an editorial calendar and--magically--an idea comes to you.

        It's amazing how the brain works. It gets jogged by certain words, specific smells, particular sounds.

        That's what happened, resulting in my story in Sasee magazine.

        If you'd like to read a short memoir of mine, check it out here  .

NaNoWriMo and WWWP

        It was a WWWP night last night---Wild Women Weilding Pens--and the end of NaNoWriMo. As usual, the critique group made sure it was a rowdy and sometimes bawdy evening. (We're so glad Beth is back!)

        I tried to keep everyone on track and serious. I really did. I tried to prevent the group from veering off into gut-busting ruts. Honest. Unfortunately, it seemed like the rest of the women were determined to snort and guffaw. I just sat by and watched, as I shook my head in disgust.

         One of the writers shared a story from her childhood. That critique led to a serious discussion about the importance of wood in Jesus' life, but then the voices rose, and the talk went off in a whole other direction. I tried to remain rigid with my resolve, but failed...

       I will say I liked my idea for my NaNoWriMo novel, but it's going to take lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of revising before I'll show it to anybody. Even my dog Foley, who eats poop, got one whiff of my novel and has turned his nose up at the prospect of me sharing it with him.  (Have you figured out how I got to the 50,000 mark?  Are you really really really really really curious?) I began the story with my writing critique group, and started writing some short stories from the voices of the other women. I figured, it would be the best of both worlds: a novel and a collection of personal essays. A bathroom book (a book to read in the bathroom, when you only have 10 minutes to read*) and a bedroom book (a book to read in bed before falling asleep).

        That lasted for about three minutes. I found I could not cloak myself in the style of the other writers, and my writing quickly stumbled back to my own style.

        I have one of the characters surviving a traumatic event, and the women begin a part-time business together. That's the only "plot" I have going...Hence, the hot mess quality of the story.

       I submitted two Chicken Soup stories yesterday morning (the deadline was yesterday--hey, it was the morning so I was working ahead) and have a Sasse piece to submit next week; it was critiqued last night, and needs some revising, but then I'll send it off.

      Maybe in a few days I'll write a post about all the things I'm thankful for. The holiday came and went in a blur of family, food and gift-wrapping at our local Barnes and Noble.

       Have a great weekend. Hopefully I can return to commenting on my favorite blogs (I've been reading them) and life will get normal again--or at least as close to normal as I can get...

* Ten minutes in the bathroom? Okay, so perhaps I should stop considering chocolate (it comes from a plant) as a vegetable and hence roughage?