Still Alive

I blinked.  At least that’s what it feels like.

Life this summer has been crazy which is why I haven’t posted in some time now.

The primary reason is that I’m focused on the notes from my publisher per Tears of Min Brock.

Say good-bye adverbs.  Say hello “show don’t tell.”  Add some back story here.  Toss in character depth there.  New cover to ponder, proof, tweak…

I hope you’ll be patient as we remodel; it’s taking a wee bit longer than anticipated.  I’m biased, but I think it will be well worth the wait!

Gotta go…characters are calling!

“I’m NOT a Girl!”

It happened just the other day…again!

Someone thought I was a girl.

No, not by the way I look or dress or walk, but simply based upon the sound of my voice.

Since most of you have never met me, and since the words I’m typing  cannot “sound” and thus you can’t hear me (by the way, if you can, please seek medical attention immediately!) you’ll have to take my word for it that I have an odd sounding voice.

You’d think that I’d be used to it by now.  After all, I’ve had it since, gee, let me think…  And yet, invariably, the sales call or the McDonald’s drive-through reply of, “Thank you, Ma’am!” slams the truth home: I don’t sound like I think I sound!

My voice has been compared to that of Joe Pesci or Ty Pennington’s (sorry, fellas!) and when I sing (I use the term loosely!) I can imitate Geddy Lee from Rush.  Flattering?  Sometimes.  Fun to showcase at parties?  You bet!  And yes, getting a room full of folks to laugh is great, but it doesn’t heal the sting, no, the emotional trauma caused by those sanguine drive-through greeters…

“Ma’am, would you like to Super Size that?”  “No! I want to Super Size your your thick skull before I crack you one!”

And unlike bad breath or rude etiquette, I can’t change or fix it; I’m stuck with this tone!  I suppose I could fashion some hi-tech gizmo with digitized voices and wear it 24/7.  No one would dare call me “Ma’am” or “Mrs Lowder” with the testosterone-laced voice of James Earl Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Clint Eastwood!  And the annoying sales call?  I’d have them cowering beneath their cubicle wishing their momma was nearby!

Years ago, I’d defend myself brashly with retorts like: “I’m Mr. Lowder!” or “I’m NOT a girl!”  But the years have worn me down.  Now, I simply answer their question, or order the latte, all the while wagging my head like the beaten old hound that I am.

And then I go home, fire up my computer and pour out my wrath on them in my stories.

Hey, you’ve got to get your motivation from somewhere.

Vengeance is mine, saith the writer.  Mighty is the pen!

“Why’d You Shoot My Dog?”

Rounding the bend, I saw the sign and slowed my bike for a better look.  It was staked in the front yard of a gorgeous country home.  I often pass this idyllic neighborhood when cycling and dream of one day living out here.  A peaceful river gurgles on one side of the road; expensive homes sit on ten acre lots; Tennessee’s rolling hills paint a serene backdrop.

But then there was the sign.  Professionally made, it said something to the effect of, “To the person that shot my dog, could you please tell me why?”

My image of the perfect neighborhood was shattered.  Violence like this doesn’t…shouldn’t happen out in the country! This sorta thing happens in low-rent districts or trailer parks, NOT here.

But it did.  And judging by the tone of the sign, I imagined this dog to be a gentle creature, one that would wag his tail and lick you incessantly.  Sure, like many country dogs, he probably wandered off a bit too much.  But is that any reason to shoot him?

I biked past the same area yesterday.  The sign was gone.  But in reality, you can never remove a sign like this.  It will forever tarnish this quaint neighborhood with the image of a bullet, a dog, and the answer to its lingering question…

Evil lurks everywhere, even in pastoral settings like this.

To War or “Let it Be”?

The nice thing about living in the Southeast is the milder weather.  Case in point: yesterday I weed wacked my big yard.  As I listened to the buzz-brrr of my machine, I took stock of my yard.

The weed to grass ratio was, well, embarrassing.  Weed killer would reduce my yard to Oklahoma during the 1930’s Dust Bowl!

And then there are the moles in the back.  They’ve built a tunnel system that rivals London’s Tube.

A wealthy man would pay to have someone fix it.  A zealous “green-thumber” would roll up his sleeves and dive in.  Seeing I’m neither, I have to either declare all out war or start singing “Let it Be.”

Of course, there’s another solution. I could unleash my dachshund on the moles (since they’re bred to hunt badgers) and force my kids into slave labor for the next 6 months.  I would “manage” from the shade, sipping mint juleps and serenading them with, “Let it Be.”

Now THAT sounds like a plan! 🙂

Lemonade? Anyone?

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

You know the saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

It’s a great saying with a lot of truth and pizazz to staying positive, but there are times I want to pitch it (usually in someone’s face!)

To be honest, this week is one of those times.  I feel like I’ve got gallons of the citrus stuff but no one interested in sampling or buying.  By the way, I’m not just talking about my books.

Yes, my cynical nature is particularly tart today, and being exhausted isn’t helping me either.

And like you, I have choices.  I can continue to squeeze out lemonade or I can take a bath in it and really get bitter (something my family LOVES!)

So I’ll press on… I’ll acknowledge my dire attitude, do my best to adjust and realign, and start to count the many blessing I do have.   Let’s call this honest hope.

It’s also times like these I’m thankful I’m married to a very positive person who takes my “Eeyoreisms” with much grace…and glasses of lemonade.