Arts, Day in the life

Desirable Dark Art

I know this might be an odd item to post for Easter, but the last thing I expected to get out of a writing program was the discovery of a haunting painter. (Silly, as I ignored the fact that the class was in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC)

Behind the lecturer was this painting entitled The Gathering.

Intense, no? I’ve seen a few graveyards like this, but not in this kind of light.

As great as the lecture was, I found myself studying this painting more than paying attention to the speaker. And I wasn’t alone. A couple of us took photos and one woman had already looked up the artist online at:

barn owl barn swallow

He explores the delicate polarity of life by showcasing nature before a backdrop of mist and manufactured landscapes.


This Asheville artist has me inspired.

Go to his site and check out more.

Oh, and . . .

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Arts, Books, Day in the life, Just Plain Strange

Weird Word of the Week Series

:Image result for images of sleeping on a train

Since I wrapped my last novel, I’ve been riding The Lazy Train when it comes to writing. Four years on a project is a long time! I need to do some shorter stuff that will help me ease from the steps into the deep end of the pool. Inspired by a tattoo artist who was advised to draw like crazy to develop a portfolio before she ever picked up an ink gun, I am trying a similar move with words. (And I know Julie Powell did this with cooking a few years back which started as a blog, then turned into a book, then a movie. You just never know the possibilities.)

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I will scour various sources for words that I consider weird and will post short thoughts about them. Who knows what will come out? I’ll keep it brief. Then I will crown the Weird Word of the Week.  I’d considered doing this daily, because I like the idea of a regimen, but wasn’t sure how many weird words I would encounter. And, let’s face it, Word of the Day has been done to death.

Alpha helix is weird, and two words. Defined, a spatial configuration of many protein molecules in which . . . I stopped reading because unless I were writing about a scientist, I would never have an opportunity to use such a word, much less understand it. (I would have to call my sister, the physics teacher.)

My husband has had the word nosegay in this pocket since the 7th grade. It is a small bouquet of flowers. In this century sounds like a slur, or a pharmaceutical.

Alright . . .

Is alright weird? It might be apropos. See how I’m easing in? Okay, it’s a rubber life raft that’s almost as large as the pool. If you stay with me, it will get better.

I do think it is odd to either be alright or all right. The shorter alright is used mainly in dialogue and considered incorrect in formal writing. Whereas all right is higher brow and scholarly. My writing critique group has landed on me more than a couple of times about that.

Many folks are waking up this New Year’s morning to say, “Alright. Today I start the __________ (diet, workout, regimen, project, new attitude toward humanity).”

Me? I’m adding Weird Word of the Week to my already odd repertoire. You know if it’s strange and unusual I’ve got to move closer to it.


Enjoy the final day of your holiday.


Mr. “Alright. Alright. Alright.”

Image result for images of matthew mcconaughey alright alright alright




Day in the life, Meta Stuff

Decide What You Want


The link at the bottom coincides with an experience I had this week – the second time in my life this has occurred.

I was cleaning out my office and a piece of paper fell from who-knows-where. The date was 11/21/00 – five months after I had lost everything in an apartment fire. I was apparently doing an exercise of writing what I thought would be my ideal environment. I wrote what I imagined would be a lovely place to live, what kind of friends I would have there, what I would be doing for work and leisure, and how this environment would shape me.

My mouth dropped open when I read it. Thirteen years later, I had nearly everything on that piece of paper. I’ll say 90%. Keep in mind that I was starting over with clothes pulled from the closets of friends and an old car. Being a realist, my expectations were not fame and fortune. Just a corner to call my own in a beautiful place, doing work I enjoy, surrounded by like-minded friends. I’m fortunate enough to have that now.

I had also done this after my first marriage ended. I had written a list of fourteen qualities I wanted in an ideal mate.  I used to show it to people who would laugh and say, “You don’t want much, do you?” A year after I met my current husband, I found that list. He was everything on the list.

If you know what you want, your subconscious goes to work on drawing it to you. Now that’s true power. If you don’t know what you really want, it won’t happen until you figure it out. But devote time to figuring it out. Then write it down. It worked for me, twice.