Wednesday, April 30, 2008


When I was a (really)starving writer some years ago, I would pose for my artist friends; they didn't have to pay huge fees for someone and I got some quick cash. (And yes,once, I posed nude.)

I found this sketch that a painter and sculputure named Tracy did.

Those seemingly random lines next to my head are actually part of Gabe who also posed for the 3-D work and though I think the world of him (he played my boyfriend in a play once) I only saved the part with me 'cause I'm all about me



Monday, April 28, 2008

oh, and

a flash about the civil rights movement was published in Poor Mojo's (over to the right under my stories, find "Revolution")and the anthology about Mississippi with another flash about the civil rights movement will be out in May. And there's a possibility of reading in Mississippi in connection with the book's release! I'll read in all 50 states yet!

gjm update

okay, really there's little to update.

I've given my 2 weeks notice and I'm going to use my unused paid time off $$$ to buy me some time.

2 of my kids are getting braces and so I've been scheduling dentist appts. ad nauseum. Oral surgeon as well. Yes, I will have to get back to work SOON to pay what the insurance will not. But, still I'm gonna take myself some time. Besides, the govt. is giving free money away next month, isn't it?

At this point there are no classes available to teach come fall, but no worries 'cause the first semester I taught, at the interview prior I was told there were no classes. "I heard you read and I wanted to meet you," the woman-who-would-become-my-boss told me. The day before the semester began, three classes opened up. So, we'll wait and see.

I did get to spend some time volunteering at the tv station but had to give it up 'cause my hours at my job changed. Found out that I still love production, something I do want to keep pursuing.

And I'm knitting! I'm no
  • Sharon Hurlbut
  • but I've knitted something long and continuous; you might call it a scarf. It kinda looks like one--kinda;-)

    I have three stories out and one I need to get (back) into the mail, other than those, though, I'm clean out of stories.

    The photography subs have not faired well. One yes, some no's, some silence, a send-again-'cause-we-can't-open-what's-on-this-disc (and make it hard copies instead) and two that idle in the reading (waiting) period. Not giving up. I've collected about 250 story rejections so that's prepared me.

    other than the above, I'm just looking for a kitten, enjoying my fish and playing in the dirt.

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    plant pack poet progress

    Strawberries, this time. Yum; I so hope they bloom

    Nothing stays in boxes except seasonal stuff and the green bathroom. Usually homes we've lived in had two bathrooms; one was green and one was blue. Only the blue bathroom with the aquatic theme this time. Am getting the rest of my stuff out of storage next week -- the final purge! Everything will have a place and everything will be in that place!

    It's poetry month. Been reading lots of poetry. A line or two of my own. I haven't written a poem in forever. But I will again. Sometime. Soon. I hope.

    Seriously working on one of the two Viet Nam stories with Bob Arter. Collaboration is interesting. He's very good and his style matches mine. That makes it easy. His experience in that war fleshes out these stories I've been wanting to rewrite for a very long time.


    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    Creative quote for 4-20-08

    My task . . . is to make you see.

    -—Joseph Conrad

    Quote for 4-20-08

    Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.

    --Andre Gide

    Looking at it another way

    So the bears aren't the only thing I'm trimming.

    Getting rid of books as well. I've been waiting for Office Max to put the bookcases I want on sale again and finally, they have but no matter 'cause I don't need many more. I've gone through my non-fiction and cut that stack in less than half. Lots of self-help that I've grown past. Biographies that I thought I might be interested in at the time I bought the book, but Mr. Burton, all that truly fascinated me about you was your passion for Ms. Taylor-- I'm sure the rest of your life might be just as fascinating or provide me with a 'why' you and this woman were so mad about one another, however I just ain't got the time to read all about it.

    Fiction is next. Short story collections are pretty much safe, but there are few novels I really, really want to hang onto. "Brave New World," "Orange Laughter" "Beloved" among others are the ones I will never part with, but Fern Michaels, the last of Danielle Steele (okay, not the paperback ones that introduced me to her but her latest stuff was ???????) well, those books are a credit at Hastings (there's some cds and dvds I could get in exchange) waiting to happen.

    So what I'm trying to say is that I've changed my perspective and I've decided that I don't need more bookshelves, I just need less books.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Creative quote for 4-19-08

    The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.

    --Edward Albee

    Quote for 4-19-08

    We usually get what we anticipate.

    --Claude M. Bristol

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Quote for 4-18-08

    The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.

    --George Bernard Shaw

    doing what I thought would be "unbearable"

    Giving part of my bear collection away.


    Not as hard as I thought it would be and it's a wonderful feeling seeing others enjoy the bears and bear stuff as I have.


    In the Ft. Worth Greyhound station, there is a framed poster on a wall honoring Rosa Parks and what she did for the bus system.


    It was Greyhound and Trailways that disregarded the federal Supreme Court ruling against discrimation/segregation in interstate travel in favor of the states' laws requiring such.

    dirty hands

    been busy planting sunflowers, daisies and tomatoes. still to go: green beans and more sunflowers.

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    Quote for 4-17-08

    Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.


    Literature quote for 4-17-08

    Rereading, we find a new book.

    --Mason Cooley

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    I couldn't help myself. I had to touch B.B. King just to prove that he was really in front of me.

    And no, he didn't call security 'cause security is the one who let me in!

    I am very strategic at times and I chose to go to Nashville because there is a B.B. King Bar & Grill there. I thought he might go there; in fact, I called and asked if they thought he might. The woman I talked to said she didnt' know.

    No matter. It could happen.

    It could.

    The trip to Nashville by Greyhound was uneventful except for the Mexican guy who was whisked off the bus by Border Patrol, and the guy who was whisked off the bus and handcuffed by Border Patrol after the dog sniffed something illegal in his bag, and the woman and her daughter who were left behind in Fort Worth 'cause the bus was on a schedule to get to Dallas;-)

    I got there the day of the concert and spent the afternoon fixing my hair and fretting over what to wear.

    The concert was to start at 8; my daughter and I had plans to eat first, but we got a late start and didn't get down to 2nd Avenue until 7:30. We went to Big River to see what time they closed and it was going to be at midnight. We'd go back.

    At the Ryman Auditorium, we made our way in and searched out the concession stand. A hot dog and a pretzel 'til we could get dinner.

    When I'd purchased my ticket, only single seats were being sold. My seat was on the main floor. When my daughter got hers, one of the last two tickets available, she got one on the balcony. We decided to try and sit together, offer someone in the balcony my main floor seat in exchange. There were two guys who were together so that wouldn't work. I asked a man sitting by himself but he declined. Huh?????

    Well, my daughter told me to go take my seat and only half-heartedly, I did. There are pews on the main floor. It was dark and I hadn't a clue where I was supposed to go so I got an usher to help me find my seat. After the opening act, I went out to chat with my daughter about the performance but she wasn't in her seat.

    I went back downstairs, lingering at the table selling t-shirts and posters.

    I have allergies and my eye was watering. I was wiping the tear away when this guy said, "Don't cry; you'll get to see B.B."

    I laughed.

    "Let me see how this looks on you," he said, raising the t-shirt he'd just bought up to me. "Look at her smile," he told his friend. "Let me see how the other side looks." He turned the shirt around and held it back up to me.

    He was from Tuscaloosa, Alabama; his friend, from Nashville. He had a book about B.B. King, which he let me flip through.

    "What kind of shoes are you wearing?" I asked.

    He asked why.

    "'Cause I want to know if you'll be able to catch me when I run with this."

    He laughed. "Don't let this fat fool you," he said. "I will run you down."

    The book was a Christmas gift from his wife and he'd brought it hoping to get it signed. Reluctantly, I gave it back.

    We chatted. They couldn't believe, and they could believe, that I'd come from New Mexico to Tennessee to see B.B. King.

    "You ever been to one of his concerts?" The t-shirt buying/book-bearing guy asked.

    "Nope. You?"

    He said no.

    I asked his friend if he had.

    He said no too.

    "I guess we're all virgins here."

    I left them with those grins on their faces and returned to my seat, which I found was actually someone else's seat. Looking for seat 6, the usher who had helped me previously had counted in ascending order from the aisle when she should have counted in descending order. My seat was now on the opposite side of the pew.

    "You been to a B.B. King concert before?" the man next to me asked.

    I said no.

    "He's great," he told me. "Look at all of them, taking pictures of Lucille."

    I looked at the stage where people were taking pictures of the guitar on stage on their phones and with cameras.

    I got a little upset because the ticket said no video, no cameras, no audio allowed so I'd left my camera phone back in my daughter's apartment. GRRRRRRRRR

    The lights went down and these two men came on stage and started playing guitars. When they finished, B.B. King was announced and the crowd went insane. Standing ovation. People took their seats except the guy two pews in front of me.

    Sit down, I kept thinking. Sit the f*&^ down.

    "SIT DOWN!" someone behind me yelled. A couple more times and the guy did.


    A perfect view of B.B. King!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He performed sitting down, citing his age (he's 82) and his health. Still the concert was wonderful. He's humble and funny and gifted. My favorite "The Thrill is Gone" was the last song.

    He stood and threw out guitar picks to those in the front pews. Someone placed a cream-colored coat on him and he walked stage left; I thought for a minute he might do a James Brown, throw off the coat and return for another song but the lights came up and sadly the concert was over.

    I met my daughter where we had agreed to meet. She'd bought me a poster. Leaving the Ryman, we saw the tour bus and walked over, but there was only one guy standng in the light rain by the door of the bus.

    We decided to head to dinner.

    "Bring your ticket stubs and you can get in free at B.B. King's," this guy was calling outloud.

    "Is he going to be there?" my daughter asked.

    "Yes," he said. "But you didn't hear me say that."

    Okay, we now knew the rest of the night's agenda.

    We had dinner and then headed to the bar and grill.

    We got a table and listened to the house band for awhile. "Maybe he's not coming," I said.

    We decided to go outside and wait. There were several policemen clustered together before the club and based on what I'd learned about 2nd Avenue and the police when I'd worked there last summer, I knew that something was about to happen. Sure enough two buses pulled up. One parked across from the club on the adjacent street. The other parked before the club, just down from the front door.

    A small crowd gathered around that bus. My daughter urged me to move over with the crowd, but I shook my head. I was thinking that I'd get a better view because I was nearer to the door, Unfortunately, there was a second door just down from where I stood and that's the door B.B. King was wheeled into.

    The crowd applauded as he passed.

    Grrrrr, I thought. Still he was in the building. We went back in.

    We got a table and watched people dancing to the 70 and 80's funk. I kept my eyes on the door to the room where he'd gone into. I thought anytime now, he'll be coming on stage, but suddenly it was a quarter to two in the morning and the house band had finished their set and the stage was pitch black.

    We decided to go since the waitress told us everyone is run out by 2:15. My daughter went to the restroom and I waited outside. The buses were still there, so I went and glanced through the windows into the room where I knew HE was.

    There was a man sitting on the couch and he waved at me. I know how to play the game so I smiled my prettiest smile and waved back.

    He told his guy something and the guy came over and opened the door.

    "Is that guy with a band?" I asked.

    "A band?"

    "This band?" I held up my ticket.


    I asked if there was any chance I could get an autograph, but the guy assured me there was no chance and closed the door.

    I returned to the front entrance to get my daughter, all the while thinking how I might get into that room.

    I told my daughter what had happened and as we passed the window, we both smiled and waved and the guy on the couch had another guy go to the door and invite us in.

    Turns out he was a security guard for B.B. King. We sat down and flirted, chatted and schmoozed . . .

    This older guy came over and was talking to us. A second older guy came over and asked Reggie (the security guy) if we were his children.

    He said no, that we wanted B.B. King's autograph.

    Reggie told him how I'd come "all the way from New Mexico to see B.B."

    "She didn't even come to see me," my daughter told the older guy. "She only came to see B.B. King."

    "On a greyhound bus," Reggie added, shaking his head. He'd already warned me that felons ride on Greyhound buses.

    "Well, if you want his autograph, what you doing here? He's over there."

    "I . . . I can go over there?" I finally got out.

    He told me that when B.B. King was ready to go, he was going to take him out and he wasn't going to stop, keeping him in the cold and rain for us to get an autograph.

    My daughter and I got up off the couch and walked across the room.

    B.B. King was sitting at a table and turned as we approached.

    "Mr. King," I said, "I don't want to bother you, but I was hoping to get your autograph and this man over there said it would be okay if I came over and asked you."

    When he said okay, I unrolled the poster and set it and a pen before him. "I've been trying to see you since 2006."

    "Girl, I've been playing for 110 years and you're just now seeing me," he joked.

    I nodded. "I know. . . " Sometimes, you just think you've got forever, you know?

    Anyway, a relative of his sitting at the table started chatting with me. After he signed the poster , my daughter slipped me her ticket and I set it before him.

    "You just don't want me to get any rest, do you?"

    I met his smile with one of my own.

    "I do. I want you to rest," I assured him, and it was true because I knew that he was heading to another Tennessee city the very next day, "but that was for me and this is for my daughter."

    He turned to my daughter. "Hi Daughter," he said.

    My daughter told him hello and that his show was incredible.

    "It was," I told him. "You are amazing."

    He gave me the ticket and I handed it back to my daughter. She was readying her camera phone, but I shook my head. I didn't want to be that presumptuous.

    But in that quiet moment that followed, I just had to reach out and touch his arm. A momentary touch and a squeal and then a thank you and goodbye.

    On the way out, we thanked Reggie and walked out the club amazed at the events and not really 'cause we'd planned for the very thing, though we hadn't a clue how it would happen.

    I put the poster in my luggage that I planned to check. I was taking some things that I'd left last summer and I only had so many arms.

    When I got back to Las Cruces, my luggage was nowhere to be found. Seems Greyhound will send checked baggage on a bus separate from you if there's too much baggage on the bus you're on. They don't, a service representative told me, guarantee that your baggage will arrive at the same time you do!!!!!


    They'll pay $250 for lost baggage(though the representative assured me that my bag, at the point when I called, was "delayed" not yet lost!) but B.B.King's autograph was priceless.


    But the luggage appeared and I got it and my poster and here's the autograph:

    and I'm happy beyond words. The thrill is definitely not gone!