The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Second Bite

         Sometimes I go into spasms of pleasure when I take the first initial bite of something new. Tammy's BLT bites. Anything (and I do mean anything, from her Orgasms to her quiche to her spaghetti) made by Lynn Obermoeller. My grandmother's gravy. (Every time she made it, it was a little different but those brown, fat-laden pools never failed to make me swoon.)

      When something edible is that good, I have to take a second bite. (Or a second helping. Yikes.)

      This morning I was taking a second bite at a story idea. There are two stories I am driven to get published, to honor the people who are at the heart of the pieces.

      One slice-of-life story I am yearning to see in print is about my friend Darice's son. He is the same age as my son, and you will never meet a friendlier, more polite kid than Aaron. He is the kind of young man who could talk to a lamp post and he'd get a response. Now in his mid-twenties, he got his Master's degree, and was enrolled in chiropractic school when someone broke into his house while he was sleeping. Aaron now has a bullet in his spine as a reminder, and has been living as a paraplegic for over a year. (I've submitted a story about him to Chicken Soup, but no news is bad news, so I am going to write another story about him from a different angle.)

      The other story I'm taking another stab at (See? It started as a "bite," but now I'm getting surlier, so "stab" seems more apt.) is about a friend named Ruthie. She and her husband Jim had an unwavering optimism. Jim had Alzheimer's, and they had more than their share of obstacles, but their sunny outlook remained intact. (I submitted an absolutely fabulous story, worthy of a Pulitzer Prize second look, but no. Again, no news means no publishing agreement...)  I'm writing the story from a different perspective, will beg my critique partners-in-crime to read it ("OMG! Another Alzheimer's story?" they'll cry out in protest.) and after it's all polished up, nice and shiny, I'll send it off.

      What are you taking a second (or third) bite of?  What (or who) are you taking a second stab at?  Inquiring minds want to know...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What is Faux About Your Life?

           A few weeks ago, I sponged-painted my once-yucky kitchen counter. It now looks like granite--sleek and mottled with browns and black and tans. And it looks like a brand-new $5,000.00 countertop, and all it cost us was $70.

        Every morning I use an eyelash curler, in an attempt to override my drooping eyelids. 

        And as evidenced by all the skin cleansers and skin sloughers and skin creams that hog up space in my hall closet, it's obvious--I'm trying to be something I'm not (which is older than mud).

         As writers, we specialize in what is faux and what is not. Even if we're writing nonfiction, we're putting our own spin on things, and filling in with details that we forgot long ago.

This collection will be on sale on December 24, 2013.
My slice-of-life story, "Still Dishing It Out"
is going to be one of the 101 story offerings.

I received word yesterday that my story has made it to the final round. I also received a letter yesterday from a epistolary addict  letter-writing maniac  writing friend, and what she wrote made me think... Am I a creative nonfiction writer? Am I a novelist? Or am I whatever I'm dabbling in at the moment?

What is the thing that is most faux about you or your life? Don't be afraid to share. I won't tell a soul...