Dancin' Like Nobody's Watchin'

My mother-in-law invited my husband and I to join her at the Senior Center, (yes, the Senior Center in Charlottesville, VA is a happenin’ place), to hear some big band music. I was a tad reluctant to go out again on a cold, rainy evening, but, you know, there was cake and a fifteen piece band.
I received my AARP card four years ago. I completely forgot about my 50th birthday. But the age thing, it's kinda not a thing to me. It might be called a "senior" center, but it has little to do with age, everything to do with acceptance, and what I enviously saw were some people who can dance!
Somewhere, in the race to grow up, fall in love, buy a home, grow a family, I've neglected my dancing! I watched in wonder as people ten, fifteen, twenty+ years older than me(?), danced, like the song says, “like nobody is watching!” There was love all around our table, but there was also love filling the entire room and no one regretted getting up to dance.
The band was AMAZING! I love…

Within My Control

I’m a control freak. Rather, I recognize the futility of trying to control others, (although my degree in rhetoric does give me license to do so by rhetorical means. It’s a super power I try not to abuse.) So I take full advantage of controlling what I can.
Which is just a long, convoluted way of saying, I want control over my books, the writing, the cover design, the layout… everything. This is where you insert the quote about the man who represents himself in court having a fool for a lawyer. That’s me – a graphic designing fool.
At least, that’s been me for the past three years, which is also why I’ve produced fair little writing in three years. I’ve been studying graphic design. I’m taking my last class this semester and also finishing up an internship. And THAT is the crux of this blog.
I have the resounding pleasure of working with/observing Cassy Roop, cover designer extraordinaire, in her element.
I think Cassy is actually identical twins. How else could one person do as much…

Stinky Michelin

Readers are often very generous in offering me their story ideas. This is one of the reasons I kindly decline their offers:
The phone rang at 6AM. It was my mother calling in fairly animated form. There was a skunk in her house.
It’s not that I have any great exterminating prowess that she called me, but rather, because I have the only other remote control to her garage door. We later learned that the skunk found entry through her pump room – a smallish space below the laundry room floor – that the skunk made his winter home by tunneling under the foundation under the deck. From there, it was just a hop, skip and jump for him to push open the panel that separates the pump room from the furnace room, and from the furnace room, up the stairs to the garage, up a step to the laundry room, up three steps into the kitchen, and then the house was pretty much his oyster.
You’re probably thinking, a skunk in the house – that would be the last straw – but you see, my mother used to have a pet …

Committing Vegicide

Today, we are planning a trip to Edible Landscaping.
Did I mention my brown thumbs.
I kill plants… as a regular part of my favorite hobby, gardening. I never start out with that intention, but that seems to be the way it always plays out. It usually starts with a picture, or a garden tour, and inspiration, that dastardly fodder to my vice. And now, there’s Pinterest! Heaven help the plants of the world. Just look at those beautiful pins!
And it’s not as if I try to kill them. Homocidal maniacs go out into the world with intent to kill, torture, whatever. My vegicide is completely unintentional. My intent is to achieve the unrealistic expectation set by those pins, pictures, garden tours. My sister-in-law gave me one of those air plants for Christmas. 
I killed it. Yes, you know that kind of plant that has a very small, dry root system, that lives in a glass ball or perched on the edge of a sea shell, drinkin…

Somethin's Gotta Give

Double booked. Cross-Scheduled. Chicken-What-Ain't-Got-No-Head

Yep, that describes last week. But hey, I can juggle the balls, keep it all together, right?
Just when you start to get cocky about what you can and you can't do, the earth will jump up and knock you in the head just to bring you back to reality.

So there I was, organized, dressed to the nines, heading to a talk at VCU.
I was about two blocks from the lecture hall when in the distance, I saw the "walk/don't walk" sign change and begin the count-down. So of course, a half-block away, I picked up my pace to make the crossing.

And that's when the earth came up to smack some sense into my head. And down I went.

You have to understand, when a woman of my, er, girth, is suddenly met with the reality of gravity, it is not a graceful reunion. I came down with a gutteral thud... on brick sidewalk... that was crowded with plenty of witnesses.

But it gets worse.

After taking a brief assessment to assure not…

And the winner is... was....

Monti Sykes! Artist, writer, she does it all. And I am happy to call her a guest in the very near future! Welcome, Monti, to The Fox Den!

"Free" Beer and Pork Rinds! Get'em Here!

In this scenario, the "free" bit actually costs the amount of energy it takes to subscribe to my blog. The "beer and pork rinds" is actually a weekend at "The Fox Den: A Writer's Retreat" during the weekend of the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Intrigued? I thought so. The promise of free beer and pork rinds does it every time. (But remember, there isn't really free beer... or pork rinds. Okay, okay, I'll spring for a six-pack of beer, (age restrictions apply), but I cannot bring myself to introduce anyone to pork rinds, which is, as it describes, the rind, a.k.a. skin, or a pork, a.k.a. pig. That's just nasty.

But I digress. The real offer is for a weekend during the Festival of the Book at The Fox Den. What, you ask, is The Fox Den? Well, it's this:

It's quiet. It's a place to hunker down and get that novel started, finished, tackled. And it's all going down during t…