Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

  • Autumn hayrides
  • Small town cafés
  • Carving pumpkins
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Turkey and dressing sandwiches (it's an Iowa thing)
  • A quiet room
  • fireflies
  • Parking in an area sunny enough that I don't have to scrape my windows in late Autumn
  • Various accents, especially in the South
  • Woodpeckers

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ten Things That Make Me Smile

  • Chai
  • Mittens
  • Fun Stationary
  • When my frizzy hair calms down
  • Painted toenails
  • Christmas carols
  • Sledding
  • "Boat" cars from the 70s
  • Unique business cards
  • Fun earrings

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ten Things that make me Smile

  • Being so tired that I know I will get a good night's sleep
  • When someone links to my blogs
  • A good seamstress
  • The comics section of the Sunday newspaper
  • Ergonomic keyboards
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • A colorful sunset
  • Driving west during a sunrise/east during a sunset
  • Purple ink pens
  • Pogo sticks

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


months after her death
he cleaned their closet.
the box held love
letters to
another man

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ten Things that Make Me Smile

  • Finding a good seamstress
  • That my new blog is doing well. (only read if you are at least 18 years old)
  • That I was able to buy gas. Nashville is having quite the gas shortage since hurricane Ike
  • Carmel apples
  • Trees in Autumn
  • Ibuprophen
  • The band Gaelic Storm
  • Snowmen
  • Seeing writing made by tracing one's finger through the grime on a dirty car that says, "Wash Me!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Haiku/Short Poetry

trying to sleep
outside my window

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Haiku/Short Poetry

little girl, waffle cone
dripping chocolate
her dress
and scabbed knee

Ten Things that Make Me Smile

  • My new blog. Only read it if you are at least 18 years old.
  • Sleeping in
  • Being taken out to dinner
  • Campfires
  • Being invited to a party
  • The sound of a whistling tea kettle
  • Ice skating
  • S'mores
  • Baptisms
  • Sitting at home, cuddling with my hubby while watching a movie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ten Things that Make Me Smile

  • Naps
  • Cotton candy
  • Free food
  • A full tank of gas
  • The harvest moon
  • Bald eagles
  • Chipmunks
  • Watching kids try to eat corn on the cob who have their two front teeth missing
  • Tongue twisters
  • Taking my bra off at the end of the day!

Untitled Haiku

the dusk picnic
falling leaves

Friday, September 19, 2008


Please share your short poetry!

under my
windshield wiper
amber leaf

sun filled car
tissue from my purse

downpour, afterward
the earthworms

the squirrels
distract me

Ten Things that Make Me Smile, Depending on My Mood

  • Ants
  • Hail stones
  • The toy in the cereal box
  • Ibuprofen
  • Push pins
  • Insurance
  • A good poker hand
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Salad

Ten Things That Make Me Smile. What Makes You Smile?

  • Stuffed animals
  • Hot chocolate
  • Fully intact spider webs
  • Turtles
  • Gummy bears
  • Vanilla candles
  • Warm blankets
  • Feeding ducks
  • Butter nuts

Ode to Pizza Pie

Oh, how I love my dear pizza pie!
The cheesy, gooey stuff
Even in Spain: tuna, oh my!
I can't ever, ever get enough

Pepperoni, sausage, olives, ham
With lots of red, tomato sauce
I'll eat every crumb, every gram
The heck with this program of weight loss!

I wait by my window, peeking through
Watching the delivery boy drive by
With some cold, frothy, golden brew
I'll enjoy my fantastic pizza pie.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ten Things that Make Me Smile. What Makes you smile?

  • Sincere compliments
  • Hard cider
  • Freshly laundered sheets
  • Kids in Halloween costumes
  • The first robin of Spring
  • Better than Sex Cake
  • Gingerbread men
  • My father's curly sideburns
  • Leisure suits
  • Cardinals

Untitled--> I would love to read your haiku

wooden deck
the spilled bird seed

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A few questions I've wondered about for awhile.

Please, share your thoughts.

People say that when it thunders, that the angels are bowling. When it rains, that God is crying. When it hails, did someone loose some marbles?

Why is it that our salad is so naked that we have to "dress" it? Why is good salad dressing made with extra virgin olive oil? Is dressing a naked salad with extra virgin olive oil wrong on some level?

How can the olive oil be extra virgin to begin with? No, it really REALLY hasn't had sex yet. That must be it.

Why do so many foods have human body parts? Why do lettuce and cabbage have a head? Why does corn have ears? Why do potatoes have eyes?

From a language perspective, why is there a difference between grapes and grapefruit? If I were learning English, I think I would be a bit confused.

Why does putting sugar in a cup of coffee make it no longer black?

Why is Mister abbreviated Mr. but Missus abbreviated Mrs. but Miss has no abbreviation? What is the written out word equivalent to Ms.?

Why do pants have legs, shirts have arms, shoes have tongues, socks have toes, but neither socks nor pants have ankles?

Why, with all the technology that we have, do we still have a date on the calendar devoted to a furry little animal predicting how many more weeks of winter we'll have?

If the appetizer is the first course, and dessert is the last course, why isn't the entree called the intercourse?

I know what peas look like and taste like. I know what nuts (you know, the things that grow on trees) look like and taste like. Why are peanuts like neither of these?

Dried grapes are raisins. Dried plums are prunes. Why don't dried apples, pears, bananas, papaya etc. get their own name?

I know the answer to the next one, but still find it strange that hamburger isn't made out of ham.

What is the purpose of red turn arrows on traffic lights?

Why are pancakes considered a meal or side dish and not dessert?

Are woolly mammoths and sheep related in any way?

Grapenuts. Why on earth are they called Grapenuts?

Why is frosting normally served on a cake at room temperature?

At what point are undergarments called panties and not underwear? What do they have to have or not have to cross that line?

Pits are holes that things can fall into. As in, "Sorry I was late for this meeting, I accidentally drove my car into a huge pit." So, why do I have armpits? What ever gets stuck there?

Puppies are cute little animals that drool and chew things up. Why are those fried round things that I get at Long John Silvers called hush puppies?

Why is the place I park called a driveway and not a parkway?

In a pre-arranged marriage, do they serve cantaloupe at the reception?

Why are some guns called shot guns? Isn't that the point?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trying to stay positive

The last twenty four hours have been a little irksome. I tried five different gas stations last night, frantically trying to fill up because I knew I didn't have enough to get to work this morning. The first four were out of gasoline altogether. The fifth had the premium gasoline still available at 4.20 per gallon. There was a huge RV filling up on the other side of my pump. As I paid a few pennies shy of $60 for around 12 1/2 gallons of gas, what was frustrating me was that there was no limit on how much people could buy. I think filling up an RV in that situation is just plain wrong.

So, in an effort to think happy thoughts, here is today's list of 10 things that make me smile. I would love to hear your list.

  • Carmel apples
  • The county fair
  • Chocolate milk
  • The sound of Rice Krispies
  • The pillowcase my hubby gave me that says "Mrs. Always Right" on it
  • Halloween costumes
  • Garage sales
  • Elvis impersonators
  • Colorful stationary
  • Creative bumper stickers
  • Living in a state with no state income tax (Go Tennessee!)

Okay, I can't resist. Here is today's list of 10 things that seldom ever make me smile

  • Struggling to button my jeans
  • Getting caught in traffic
  • That a member of the band I like dies, like today Richard Wright of Pink Floyd
  • Scrubbing the toilet
  • Paying sales tax on groceries (I'm originally from Iowa, where there is no sales tax on groceries)
  • Coughing spells
  • Biting my tongue
  • When the straps of my bra fall down and I have to reach into my shirt to readjust in public.
  • Burned Toast
  • Pushing the snooze button too many times for my own good.

Things that make me smile, depending on the situation and my mood:

  • An overdue fart
  • Wet wipes
  • Realizing I should have gotten my period yesterday
  • Edible clothing/jewelry
  • Fake diamonds
  • Remaindered books
  • Snow
  • frozen pizza
  • Red staplers
  • Deadlines

What are yours?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Things that make me smile

  • Little kids in their Sunday best
  • Chocolate chip pancakes
  • Coupons
  • An entertaining sermon
  • Finding money in the pocket from last year in my winter coat/purse.
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • New crayons
  • Snail mail that isn't a bill
  • Live music
  • Scrabble

What makes you smile?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

There's Too Much Acid in the Ground

How proud was my father
Of his walnut trees!

My mother, “Why bother?”
The tomatoes won’t live! Please!

He loved to shell and hull.
The squirrels stole a few.

The tomatoes void and null,
She wanted them for beef stew.
“There’s too much acid in the ground!
Anyway, those nuts are too much work!”

He refused to cut them down.
(Knowing it drove her bezerk).

Years later, I came back.
Both trees had long since died.
Now, there’s seldom a lack
Of tomatoes: my mother’s pride.

Dating Disaster

Two friends, Courtney and Allison
Took to trying poetry to dinner.
Courtney courted Consonance
And Allison asked Assonance
To date at eight, a double date!
Assonance showed up exactly as expected.
Consonance clearly couldn’t count correctly.
It’s eight already!
Courtney called Consonance to confirm their courtship.

Allison asked Assonance about Alliteration, Allison’s assumed chaperon.
Assonance always averted answering about Alliteration because
Apparently, Alliteration almost ate Assonance in April.
Alliteration tried to take total
Command in Assonance’s attempted Allegories.
Courtney came crying.

“Consonance can’t come! Courtney croaked.
The three thought thoroughly through their
Problem. Perturbed, poor
Courtney cursed Consonance completely.
She swore she’d sever shared relationships right
Out of everyone’s poetic existence.
Allison and Assonance answered,
“Let’s leave.”

Driving dangerously during dating disaster,
The three turned toward
Rhyming Verse Road and parted ways that night.
Allison, annoyed and angry at their plight,
Scolded Courtney for having no insight tonight.
We didn’t personify Consonance and Assonance right!
We should have taken out Free Verse and Hyperbole in hindsight.

Courtney’s reply, “Whatever you do, don’t take out haiku!”
“Haiku’s not a man of words. He won’t have much to say, and you won’t know what to do.”

They agreed and parted ways until their next date
And left romance up to their poetic fate.

A neat idea

I was reading last night. The Happiness Project is such a neat idea. I've told close friends for years that I'm a pessimist wearing an optimist's clothing. So many times, I try to be positive about events in my life, but when things aren't going my way I tend to grumble. So, the keep my mood lifted, I'm going to try to post at least 10 things that make me smile on a regular basis. Feel free to add a comment with your own personal list. These are in no particular order.

-Footie pajamas
-The Smurfs
-Waking up with my hubby's arms around me
-Connecting with old friends
-Ice cream
-Coffee. -->My mother in law taught me to put a scoop of ice cream IN my coffee :-)
-Road trips
-Finishing a good book
-Clearance priced clothing that is actually cheaper when I get to the register than what I thought it would be when I tried it on.

Friday, September 12, 2008


arthritic fingers
the untouched piano keys

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Autumn wake,
the first time I
saw my uncle
without his wheelchair

Monday, September 8, 2008


on bland meat,
in the little cut on my hand
gargling when I have a cold
the tin canned beans.
The story of my friend who baked
cookies and added two cups
salt instead of sugar.
margarita glass rim
baking soda tooth paste
soy sauce, beef bullion cubes,
the shaker with holes one size too big—
having to warn my guests every time!
salt shaker collections at yard sales, chipped.
high blood pressure, eat less
French dip sandwiches
just a dash—
in this recipe
enough to bring out the

the deer with the broken leg
in the city, limping
her fawns following behind.
she licks the salt block in our
after the thunderstorm.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Funk

Yesterday and today I have been rehashing chapter six of my novel. I called my mother to ask what physical actions a really distraught woman would take that would show frustration, fear, and violence but still be an ordinary household chore. My goal was to make my scene as believable as possible, but keep my character at home so that if she were to receive a critical phone call, she could have the privacy to be able to take the call.

My idea of housework and her idea of housework usually are quite different. She keeps a very clean, orderly house. I avoid cleaning and various other chores like the plague. Thank goodness my husband helps me at home! Why scrub the floors when I could be revising, right?

But, after a half hour of discussing different chores, she helped me to set up a believable scene. I'm now excited for the emotions I was able to show through what my character is doing.

Unfortunately, I actually have to do laundry tomorrow in earnest.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Gassy Gassy

Gassy gassy

Pumping gasoline into my car
I watch the dollars leave my wallet.
One week’s worth of stinky stuff
Pours into my gas tank.

Gassy gassy

Bean burritos in my stomach
From the convenience shop.
My husband’s pinched nose as he
Lifts the covers and gives me a dirty look.

Gassy gassy

Helium balloons and champagne glasses.
White wedding reception by invitation
The guests clap after the best man’s speech and
Feeling the tightness of her sleeveless gown when breathing.

Gassy gassy

These early years of marriage and I find out
That I am the better belcher. And laughing.
I wonder if when I am old if we will develop
More gassy gassy then than we have now.

This Week's Bites

Mosquito bite, the little
nub on the
pink, swollen tip
my little finger

Nibbles, purple teeth
marks, twice
on the crook
my neck, under
an ironed shirt collar

Clickity clack, nails
pecking the black
ripping apart

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Country cemetery:
our friend and his family
honoring his mother and son.
He begins to play
the accordion and asks
my husband for some
Songbirds, in the nearby trees
as Amazing Grace fills the
May afternoon air.
And then the polka beat
As his great granddaughter chases
A black, orange butterfly
Behind the no longer used church
As I look upon weather-beaten
headstones, no longer legible
and wonder who they were and
when they even lived and died.
Pondering, if they were dancing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Killer Nashville, Emotions

As I spend a good chunk of Labor Day rewriting my novel, I've been contemplating what I learned during Killer Nashville. Probably the most important tidbit of advice that stuck during the conference was a comment that a panelist made regarding emotion. The question was asked, "How does a writer make the scene fresh when the same things happen over and over?"

I thought about the mono-myth that my college English professors had so diligently discussed when I was studying for my B.A. in English Lit. For a moment, I flashed back to the diagrams of hero, guide, building action, climax, descending action. I must agree, there are only really a handful of stories.

That's when her answer at the conference really clicked. I'm paraphrasing, but the answer went something like this: As long as the scene has the character's emotions, the action will seem new.

Never had I really put stories in that context before. The drafts of my novel had previously focused more on what happens and how the action happens. I focused a lot on the whys of my story. As I rewrite, I'm having to reconnect to my characters. What emotions motivate them throughout the scenes? What charges their reactions to information? Why does the reader care about the character?

All of this, I'm sure, sounds incredibly simple. I should have been thinking in these terms from the beginning. The learning curve of writing is a bit like a rainbow. I know the other end exists, the pot of gold awaiting me. But, try as I might, the other end is always out of sight. There is always something profound to learn about the craft.

on jobs I have had

Spanish teacher, overhearing
about her first date and pregnancy

in the library, I find my
co-worker hiding in a
sofa box from the move to the new building

as store clerk, I never did
understand why people cuss and scream
over a nickle’s difference in price

listening to stories of cancer, murder
being eaten alive
by acid at the
life insurance company

substitute health
teacher, scolding
the boy who announced
which classmate
wasn’t circumcised

student teacher as
I attempt to decipher the main point of an
English essay.

intern at the alternative school
helping a student research the Civil War
who couldn’t read