Monday, September 27, 2010

Forehead Knocker

It's a little ditty my mother taught me a long time ago. I taught it to my children, and now, I've taught it to my grandchildren.

You put the toddler on your lap, facing you. And you say ...

Forehead knocker (point the child's forehead)
Eye winker (point to one of the child's eyes)
Eye blinker (point to the other eye)
Nose dropper (point to the child's nose)
Rosemary (point to the child's cheek)
Rosecherry (point to the other cheek)
Mouth eater (point to the child's mouth)
Chin grinner (point to the child's chin - if it's a girl)
Then tickle her neck and say ... get her! get her! get her!
If it's a little boy on your lap, you point to his chin and say, Chin grin 'em
Then tickle his neck and say ... get him! get him! get him!

For an excellent example, go to my daughter-in-law's September 24, 2010 post at There you will see Andrew demonstrating it. Perfectly.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, September 24, 2010

They Don't Call It The Bible-Belt For Nothing

Hmm. Can one truly write about the South without including the spiritual? Someone once told me there's too much God in southern writing. I wonder if that person really knows what the South is all about? Sure, there's good, Christian people in every corner of this country. But down here, in the real South, they don't call it The Bible-Belt for nothing. In every southern tale I've ever read, God is mentioned many times over. In some novels more than others. But He's there, whether in the positive or the negative, He's there.

I've compiled a long list of books that are NOT published by the Christian publishers, are wringing wet with religion, and were New York Times Bestsellers. In fact, some weren't even set in the South. (i.e. - The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.)

But the South is rich in religion, steeped in Christian heritage, and yes, as well as hypocrisy. Do you know how many churches are in the South? In any given town? Look it up. Writing about the edgy South, the dark South, the gritty South ... you better put God in it somewhere.

Otherwise, it's just feel-good fluff.

Not that there's anything wrong with feel-good, buttered-biscuit, sweet-potato fluff. I read it, if its good writing. But give me a story that feeds that spiritual part of me, and I'm happy. Even if it conflicts with my own beliefs.

I tend to weave God into my stories in bold and subtle ways. In the positive and in the negative. He shows up a lot. And that's because my readers are spiritual and/or religious people. They like it. I like it. My characters tend to be from a South of long ago, and if you know anything about the south of the 50s and 60s ... it rocked with God.

So give me a gutsy story that some author isn't afraid to write, and you can bet, somewhere inside the book, God is mentioned somewhere.

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Down Days

It's been a long month. So much has happened and here we are, nearing the end of September. My friend, Tina, came to visit. We spent the week doing "girlie" things, and taking in the sights and sounds of Bookmarks 2010 in Winston-Salem. I think that was the highlight of the week for Tina, getting her picture taken with Diana Gabaldon, one of her favorite authors.

When Tina flew out of Charlotte, Michael and I headed to Atlanta. My sister's 50th surprise birthday party lasted the entire weekend for me. Fun in the Hotlanta sun. Kathy's not at all wanting to face that big 5-0 birthday but she was a good sport about it, after all. I met two ladies at the party, friends of my sister, who are quite the book enthusiasts! Both belong to large book groups and one is a member of The Margaret Mitchell House. It was fantastic, spending over an hour with these ladies, talking about books. I find more and more, women and men, who love the time they spend with a good book. A real book, not a piece of plastic with words on a monitor. Until my generation dies out, there will always be book buyers. Real books, not fake ones.

Oh sure, I'll eventually break down, buy one of those cold, plastic, book monitors. But you can be sure, if it's a book I love, the hard copy, the "real" book, will sit on my library shelf at home.

Tomorrow, I'm off to speak to a group of book lovers at our local library, and of course, about my work. I'm looking forward to it. But today, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and unpacking.

There's something about being away from home that makes one so grateful for a Down Day. A day to regroup, think about your next step in the road of life, and just how blessed you are to have so many friends and family who care. Down Days are good to not only relax a bit, but to develop your next strategy. Eventually, you find, you can't make everybody happy. Things happen that folks take entirely the wrong way, they develop ideas and thoughts about you that you have no control over. They may be wrong, but you also discover you can't do much to change it. Possibly you've made mistakes, but it's done. There's no going back and redoing anything.

In the end, you know yourself, your own integrity, your own flaws, your own hopes and dreams. So you plow forward, have a Down Day, regroup, and hope for the best. That's it and that's all.

If you've had a busy month, like me, do yourself a favor ... and have a Down Day. I may, in fact, treat myself to an entire Down Week.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Little Girl Named, Lily

Meet Lillian Marie. Our newborn granddaughter. Is she not just precious? Just look at that hair. 7 pounds 2 ounces, 19 inches long, she's sleeping peacefully on my shoulder, loving Mamaw's soft, squishy chest. Dreaming of things only babies dream. Probably of the Heaven she just came from. Lily already has her daddy wrapped around her teeny finger. And her mama, well, Annie is thrilled to say the least. We spent a few days, doing nothing but loving on this bundle of joy. She's not sleeping through the night, yet ... and I think her mommy and daddy are a bit sleep deprived, but oh my, the love of their life has happily consumed them. I'm one proud Nana, you can bet on it. I look forward to watching Lily grow. The happiness she already has brought me is priceless. There's nothing like it. Being a grandmother (or whatever word she chooses to call me) is just the coolest thing. It's nothing like it used to be. Grandma's are pretty cool these days, for the most part. But this little punkin, mmm-mmm, I'm living large today because a little girl, named Lily, has entered my life.

Blessings to you and yours.