Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where I Write

I'm working on my third novel and for this mountain of work, I'm now writing in my new office. The farmhouse we remodeled, or fixed up, or whatever you want to call it is about done. It's beautiful, I really must say. But my office is the best part of the house. It's roomy; plenty of space for the antique table I use as my desk, a soft leather love seat, and six cherry wood bookcases. Bookcases filled with a collection of books I've read and books I intend to read in the next five years. Artwork I love fills each wall that's not covered by books. There's even new carpet on the floor. It's the office I've dreamed of, and now ... (giggle) ... here I sit.

I listen to music when I write which comes from Pandora Internet radio piped in from the living room. It's perfect. I can choose the music according to my mood. Typically, it's music without words. New age music is great writing music. But once in a while I get a notion for a little 60s rock and roll, and then I play it loud, often setting the scene for the next chapter I'm working on. Sometimes a little bluegrass fits nicely, or a Celtic number.

Finding inspiration is as easy as a glimpse outside. The farm is a beautiful place to work, clear my head, and breathe in the fresh air flooding through my window. My style is eclectic, and so is my work. I paint my stories in broad strokes, which is how I decorate. Fearlessly. Mixing the old with the new. Lace curtains with rustic round-bottom baskets dating back fifty years or more. An old pottery collection with hand-embroidered dresser scarves. I'm eclectic in about every avenue of my life, come to think about it. I won't be dictated to. And that includes what I write.

But where I write is important to me. And where I write now is pretty damn near perfect.

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Help

I saw the movie today. Based on the bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett, the movie surprised me. I really loved it. I laughed, I cried, and I want to see it again.

The Help is a story of prejudice and the ignorance of our country during the "simpler times" of the 60s. Were they really all that simple? I believe it was an extremely complicated time; however, The Help digs far deeper than the story of abuse against African-American maids in Mississippi. This is a film about women who looked down their snooty noses at anyone black or white, who did not agree with them or follow their lead. It exposes not only the constant battle of the black maid to survive during that time period, but also shows the hate in those who inflicted their horrible working conditions.

I was just a bitty girl during the early sixties, a third-grader when Kennedy was shot, but I remember the race issues and the snide comments made by the members of my community, even though we lived in a sheltered Midwestern town. Nobody where I lived hired any "help." Except the big shots in the rubber industry. In fact, my white grandparents were hired help. My maternal grandmother was a maid and my grandfather was a groundskeeper. They worked for a man who owned one of the rubber companies in Akron, Ohio. But I can guarantee you, they never suffered like the black maids and groundskeepers in Jackson, Mississippi. Not in the least. They lived on the premises and used whatever toilet in the house they chose to pee in.

I highly recommend the movie. Go see it. It's a history lesson everybody needs to see. A real refresher on the south of the 60s.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thoughtless Comments

I heard a comment, if you can call it that, made about a certain struggling writer two days ago.

"Why don't they give up? Why don't they get off their fat ass and go get a ten-dollar an hour job and contribute?"

I know what you're thinking. What a jerk. But every writer struggles with these thoughts. When do we give up? When do we throw in the dirty towel and just cut our losses? Most writers have day jobs and write in the early and late hours of the day. I have been extremely blessed in that my husband believes in me (even more than I do at times) and refuses to let me ... give up. I have worked hard all my life for the opportunity to write full time, and now that it's here, I'm not giving that up. For nobody.

But the poor writer with the fat ass has to endure this arrogant comment rolling around in his/her head. How do they overcome the thoughtless words that were flung at them like rotten fruit? The answer is, they just keep writing. Maybe they find another way to earn a little extra money, but they keep on writing. And someday, when their book hits the bestseller lists, they can put the comment to bed.

Ask God to bless the idiot/psycho who said this. Ask God to bless 'em real good.

Blessings today, to struggling writers everywhere.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Southern Fried Women - A New Version

August 1st is the re-release date of Southern Fried Women! My publisher for Southern Fried Women, Satya House, is excited to announce the new version!


The stories are the same and the look of the book is only slightly different, but the excitement has not wavered a bit. Available for purchase from your local bookstore,,, or on my web site,, this cult classic continues to sell and gain momentum. Sometimes it amazes me. I receive mail each week from my readers and I'm thrilled. The characters, the stories, the themes of death, love, guilt, grief, and overcoming life's biggest obstacles resonate with each person who has ever picked it up and found themselves immersed in it.

Southern Fried Women is here to stay. I hope you'll pick up a copy soon!

Blessings to you and yours.