Wednesday, September 26, 2012

C'est la Vie

I go to my journal, my mentor, asking my spiritual muse to direct my hand, not just for commercial success, but for courage to share insights that speak to the greater good. I hope my words can touch the heart and spark a flame for change or contemplation. This sounds somewhat like a lofty ‘vision statement’ popular in today’s business world. I see this goal in my novel writing. Not so my blog. I have suffered over this blog, trying to write “something” each week, something worthy of printing.

Every conference I’ve attended in the past ten years has stressed the need for an electronic presence. In January I committed to blogging weekly. The whole thing seemed ego centric. Why would anyone want to read my words? Yet, I have learned to honor a deadline – not always successfully. I have written poorly and poetically, through personal good weather and bad. The words have tossed me or swung me gently into admission. I realize my best blogs are personal. Those honest glimpses of fatty humanity I tend to hide under blousy adjectives. When I’m willing to share, exposing those hidden rolls where we all live, that’s when I’m worth reading. I’m finding it’s not about the product, but the process. This is true with my writing as in life.  

Keep your feet on the path.

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Foot in Eden

A classic tale of passion and murder, One Foot in Eden, holds few surprises, but it's poetic prose captivated me. Ron Rash, a true Southern storyteller, kept me glued to the page with his drawling details of a crime from five different perspectives -- the sheriff, the murderer, his wife, their son (eighteen years later), and the deputy (after the fact.) The culture of Appalachia permeates the pages with mystical dark lore and human characters of the flawed type which everyone can identify. Pulled into rural South Carolina where murder and mysticism mixes with the rising waters of a modern damn, One Foot in Eden transcends ordinary with irony, leaving the reader with a sense of melancholy and satisfaction.
A great read from my Pulpwood Queen's Book List. 
I can't wait to read more from Ron Rash.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Suthern Priide"

Sitting in my living room, I can spot a small alligator in the river that flows past our little slice of Eden. We just returned from a stay in the stomping ground of our Yankee youth. Visiting with relatives both living and dead, we tramped through the cemetery and drove seventy-five miles both directions to hug the neck of my ninety-eight-yr.-old aunt. Life is good.
A dirt road provided exercise complete with blue sky and low humidity. A breeze under huge shade trees was the spot for lawn chairs and our cheering section, as children foot-raced with their grown cousins across the softest grass lawn.
I loved the visit, but my roots have grown deep into the Louisiana mud. A lifetime in this corner of the state has successfully grafted us "suthern." Cradled in hospitality and warm winters, we've been lulled into the slow lifestyle among the swamp grass and long-legged herons. Satiated with jambalaya, boudin, and pralines, we rocked willingly into a our pleasant lifestyle.
For thirty years we lived in the city, raised four children, and I used to get angry when ignorant Northerners queried about the alligators in our back yard. Now I sit on the wharf and smile sweetly, "Yes, Ma'am, his name is Gumbo."