You've entered Melodyland, where perception is slightly skewed, potential is limitless and imaginary people live happily ever after

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 30, 2011 Am I a Grinch?

Goblin time tomorrow night. My neighborhood is kind of isolated and parents from other places bring a lot of kids to us on Halloween. One of the neighbors near the entrance holds a trick or treat party every year in her driveway. Any neighbor who wants to, brings a covered dish and a sack of candy to be put on the candy table and children just come in as far as her driveway to trick or treat. Our houses are not real close together nor near the streets. We're also kind of hilly with no street lights past the first road. I guess the thinking is to keep little kids off the dark streets. I haven't gone to this particular event in the past as we have had other things going on that night, but this year I think we're going to see how it works out.

I can't decide if this is one more way we're doing everything for kids and not letting them learn what it takes to get what they want, or if I'm thinking in the colors of a grinch (green?)

When I remember how it used to be with kids clambering all over the place, dragging sacks door to door in the country where we lived, I feel like the adventure of actually being a free bird to roam around in the dark to your heart's content is a big deal to a little kid (not too little, of course). A child who is required to be under control every minute of his/her life, watched by every adult on the planet, rarely gets the opportunity to have such an adventure. However, I know society has stolen this privilege from our children because it just isn't SAFE. Along with the glory of wrecklessly breezing down a hill on a bike with no helmet.
Along with the responsibility of walking to school. Freedom may become just another word before long.

Maybe our main freedom will only be to choose the path of least resistence in the future.

Friday, October 28, 2011

October 28,2011 Sad Melody

Something I heard on the radio this morning...(political disclaimer, so skip this part if you're sick of it already).

Here's Herman Cain, who says (paraphrased) "In Alabama in the 60's when I went to a MLK rally and we all got on the bus, there was a section in the front different from the section in the back of the bus. I was told I had to ride in the back of the bus. And now, because of this beautiful nation of the United States, I don't have to ride in the back of the bus any more. In fact, I OWN the bus. Not only that, my picture is on the outside of the bus. Not only that, I'm running for President of the United States of America! How beautiful is that!"

Here's Governor Perry, who says (paraphrased) "I'm don't think I'm going to any more of the planned debates. I think they're just an excuse to tear candidates down."

I went to visit my friend's blog at http://www.cherylbdale.blogspot.com/ and wanted to make a comment about a book she had reviewed. But the site insisted I couldn't make a comment because I wasn't registered. So I registered. Then it told me I couldn't make a comment because I wasn't registered. And I've had a couple of people tell me the same thing about leaving comments on my blog here. On the other hand, SOME people have left comments, though I don't know how or why. So, if anybody reading this wants to leave a comment and run into the same problem, please know I'd love to hear from you at www.melodydscott@gmail.com .


Did you ever think you'd have to worry about the state of your dog's teeth? How many dogs have I had over the years and never once thought about the condition of their teeth? Well, one day recently I happened to be plowing around in Abby's mouth to see why she was so obviously upset, and found not only a bone stuck in the arch of the roof of her mouth that she couldn't dislodge, but also just how strange the anatomy of a dog jaw is organized. There is a model of a dog's jawbones in my vet's office (Dr. Habermann at Foothills Vet Clinic on Auraria Road in Dawsonville) but never paid much attention to it until then. So, having removed the errant bone, I decided to compare the model to the actual dog mouth and was appalled at the condition of her teeth. I was a bad mother, having scoffed at other dog mothers who told me they brushed their dogs' teeth. I would never do that, I remember saying. After all, she eats better than we do, special dehydrated Sojos imported turkey and beef. Yuck. After having heart palpatations upon learning just what the charge is for the vet to scale dog teeth, I stopped into my friendly neighborhood pet store and bought some green slime guaranteed to dissolve plaque. It miraculously worked...for a little while. But then plaque was back and now it was time to get serious. Abby goes to the vet on Monday to get her teeth scaled, since I'm such a bad mother (sigh). She'll be there all day and will likely come back demented from the anesthesia (snif) because they have to put her out (probably so she won't bite them--ha! I say to those who don't know Abby). She'll probably be neurotic from being in a vet cage all day (snif) and who knows what goes on behind the white door to the back room of the vet's office.

Sad Melody

Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011 Grandma

Today I look forward to visiting my mom, who as I have mentioned before, is in a group home across town.  She lives with a family that has six children and two other "residents."  All those people give her the attention and care she needs to stimulate her mind and nourish her body.  She can walk around as she wishes and go outside to sit in the sun on bleak mornings.  Mom used to be in a giant care facility that tried to take care of her, but with so many other people in need and regulatory laws, she was falling through the cracks....being left alone when she needed attention.  For one person to take care of her is a full time job for that person.  You'd think one tiny lady wouldn't need that much, but she works at a pace that makes a snail look like a NASCAR racer.  When she lived with us, a normal morning took three hours to get her to the breakfast table.  In the large facility, so many people who not only were tasked to bathe, dress and feed her, but also to maintain the building as well as her specific needs, were different every day.  Were different every shift.  Nobody had a clue whether she ate anything, drank anything, liked anything or was even wearing her clothes.  She had disappeared into a wandering world of oversight, dormant mind and diminishing health.  In the group home, the children entertain her with their antics, Lori the mother fixes the food and knows what she likes to eat, so important when capacity is diminished.  Lori, the mother, knows to give her water to drink, something that takes constant prodding.  Lori knows when to expect bathroom issues to maintain continance.  The elder children and her husband assist Lori when she needs it by watching over the elderly while Lori runs to the drug store or grocery store.

It's a full time job for Lori, who though I tell her constantly, has no idea how grateful my whole family is that we have her.
My mother feared taking our lives from us by burdening us with her aging issues, which none of us can control.  Lori was born to be a caregiver and her life revolves around her "residents."  Her parents were caregivers, had elderly people in their home her whole childhood.  She thinks of all her residents as the grandparents and cares for them in a way our society has bypassed.

Why some of us who are considered "senior citizens" are more capable than others to care for our own parents, simultaneiously to care for our own grandchildren who are not mainstream is an enigma.  There is a resentment issue involved that I didn't expect.  It's humiliating for the parent to be cared for by the "child."  It's resentment by the grandchild to be cared for by the grandparent.  Everybody wants things to happen in the correct order.  Today it's a big bag of conflict and everybody loses.  There is a special place in heaven for people who manage to sustain in a situation like this.

My mother is maybe happier than any time in her life.  That's because of Lori.  I'm as happy as I have ever been in my life.  That's because of Lori.  My family is as happy as they've been in their lives.  That has a lot to do with Lori. 
Our family goes with us on our travels through life.  Making it nurturing as well as free of conflict takes a lifetime of attentiveness.  It would be a shame to spend all that time and realize we've lost the only thing that we every really had.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011 Now I've Seen Everything

Last evening I met with my writer's group and reviewed Jan's and Pat's critiques and new chapters.  Jan's tax office book is coming along well.  If you ever wanted to know what the tax off people live with, your chance will come when the book is out.  I get big laughs out of it as it grows.  Pat seems to be in writer's block.  But she's a trooper and keeps coming to our meetings.  I hope she gets kick started soon.

I've been trying to find out when kids will be trick or treating this year, since Halloween will be on a Monday.  It didn't use to vary, but now one never knows when the goblins will arrive.

Melody Scott

I didn’t think I was old enough to have seen everything yet.  But that’s exactly what’s happened.

I received a neat little envelope which held a folded wedding invitation.  It was simple and tri-folded.  It was engraved on Halloween stationary, complete with witches, ghosts,  arched-back cats, haystacks, and a giant sized “BOO” written in the upper left corner.
The date was October 31, a Monday.  Guests were requested to come in costume.

Weird is what I initially thought.  Unique is what I decided after the shock wore off. 
The couple was registered on line at two stores.  They’d been living together for five years.  What could they possibly need for their home?  The first store registry noted items they had chosen as screw drivers, a reciprocating saw, a power drill and an extension ladder.  My immediate reaction:  I DON’T THINK SO!  The second store listed items more of the blushing bride type:  towels, china, glasses, etc.  I guess there was one store for the more progressive thinkers and one for the old traditional fogeys.  Obviously I showed my category when I bought some china.

A month later we packed up and headed out of state for this wedding, unsure about whether we would be perpetuating a fraud or considered fossils.  Could we bring ourselves to dress as Blackbeard the Pirate and Petunia Pig for this holy event?

We made our way into the conference room of a nice hotel, among Jacks and Jills, Little Bo Peeps, a Nurse Cratchet, several fairies complete with magic wands and innumerable ghouls and bunnies.  We were dressed as wedding guests.  There was an interesting array of tiny children, fresh from trick-or-treating, jack-o-lanterns chocked full of candy, dressed in their Halloween finery.

The large round tables were covered with black table cloths.  Witch candy bowls were full of Snicker bars, Tootsie pops, Dots, jelly beans and etc.  Miniature pumpkins, skeleton heads and ghosts held black and orange candles fresh from Hobby Lobby.  Every table had place settings for ten guests.  There was a white aisle laid through the tables to a podium flanked by flower baskets full of gorgeous orange and red gladioli, Star flowers, chrysanthemums, chili peppers.  Whoever did those flowers was a genius.

The guests arrived as if for a party, joshed each other about the different costumes and teased the children who dashed about on a sugar high.  The crowd settled into the tables, and immediately the ceremony began.  The beautiful and thin bride’s maids wore chocolate brown satin dresses.  They were very elegant looking with more of those wonderful flowers.  The bride was dressed in a traditional wedding gown which was strapless in order to maximize her back and shoulders covered in tattoos of little angel wings.  He was dressed in a tuxedo.  Their rings had just been tattoo’d onto their ring fingers, necessitating the engagement ring to be worn on the bride’s right ring finger.  It was a huge diamond ring, with a gold skull engraved at one end of the diamond, and a spider web engraved at the other side.

Immediately after the wedding, a light buffet was brought into the room and all the guests had dinner while the pictures were taken right there.  The children weren’t interested in dinner, so the adults were entertained by about twelve tiny, dancing, costumed children and one remote-controlled witch’s broom, which really made the evening.

I understand that the hotel was the second choice for the nuptials.  It originally was planned for a cemetery, but they had a scheduling problem.  Maybe the date conflicted with another wedding?

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

Today nothing very interesting happened, so I'm going to put in my Thanksgiving story told to me by The Darrel, who came from a large family.  This story is due to run in the 400 Edition Magazine November issue.


The Thanksgiving to never forget was in 1951.  We'd just moved to a two bedroom house in Oklahoma, all nine of us.  My brother Gary was twelve years old, and baby Tom was two.  Dad's "good deal" rented farmhouse was eleven hundred square feet with no running water, no bathroom, no electricity.  He wanted to farm and there were fifty acres attached.

Mom told us the relatives were coming to visit, so we had chores to do. 
My brother Jerry asked, "Where will we sleep?" 
Mom answered, "Anywhere you fit."
Jerry's eyes got big and round.

Thirty five relatives showed up for the Thanksgiving holidays.  They brought blankets, pies, biscuits, fruit, casseroles, vegetables, dishes, silverware, banjos, guitars and violins.  Dad's thirteen siblings started singing the minute they arrived and didn't stop for four days.

A steady stream of boy cousins cranked buckets of water from the outside well for cooking and babies.  Uncles chopped wood, stoking cook and heat fires as needed.  They butchered a hog out back and killed chickens for forty three people.  Thirteen kids gathered eggs, milked Daisy, then manned the churn endlessly for butter and cream.  And the women cooked more food than I'd ever seen...huge pans of biscuits came out of that little wood stove, followed by cobblers and yeast bread. 

We slept in cars that had gearshifts on the floor while the little kids and adults were spread wall to wall inside the house with music that never ended.

We were rich.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011 Moonshine Festival Weekend

This is Dawsonville's Moonshine Festival weekend, so after having an interview Saturday morning with Mitchell Thomas McVay, we wandered over there to see what's what.  The usual suspects had tents/booths up--funky food vendors with every known food fried to perfection.  The Darrel tried a corndog and I almost relinquished my stomach to a turkey leg until they dropped it into a fat fryer as well.  Grilled I can eat, but not grilled and then deep fat fried.  I saw some rock candy, my favorite until I discovered cactus candy.  But by then it was not yet ten o'clock and I just wasn't ready for dessert.

Then we walked down memory lane among the old cars.  WOW.   I remember Lee Johnson used to have an old Ford I got to ride in when we were 15?  He must have been 16 since I'm sure he was not on the road without a license.  Anyway, I don't recall the exact year of his car, but we saw everything from 1939 sedans and coups right up through the '60's.  I even saw my father's bumper seated coup in the mix.  I don't think I ever saw dad's coup in person, just a picture of it , as mom made him sell it when the children came along.  I don't think she pictured infants in bumper seats and in those days families were one-car entities.

Darrel had a '41 Ford I never met.  He bought it for $25.  It caught on fire from a radio-wiring job that went awry, burned to the ground.  The junkyard that came to pick it up paid him $25 for it.:)

One little man in overalls, a week's growth of gray beard and not very many teeth stood next to his 1940 Ford sedan with an eight cylinder wall-to-wall engine.  Darrel asked him if he used to be a moonshiner.  He said, "Yes, and I'm still a moonshiner.  I would get fifteen gallons of moonshine in the back of that car and sell it all on a Saturday night in Atlanta."  His eyes snapped with memory.  The old car wasn't dolled up with gleaming paint and new leather interior, but it was in good condition and running fine.  Some of the adorable cars were so beautiful it made me wonder why progress has taken us to uniform jellybean body styles.  From mint green to navy blue, yellow, red and black gleaming paintjobs, thousands of dollars and countless loving hours of repairs, chroming, rubbing, modernizing, the cars showed a pride of ownership often lacking from a country man who lives in a modest clapboard mismatched color house in the middle of the north Georgia woods.

We saw one 1940 coupe that had been converted to have electric bucket seats, electric windows, air conditioning, satellite radio and perfection in all respects.  It was owned by a fellow who felt too poorly to come to the show, so his son (about our age) brought it up.  I wonder just how old that man is.  I wonder if he'd had that car for the seventy some years of its life or if he bought it later when he could afford it and vowed to make it into what it meant to him so long ago.

Such a small sprinkling of other cars made me think Henry Ford either had a tight hold on the southern market or the Dodges and Chevvies hadn't been invented yet.

It was 61 degrees with a clear sky and full sunshine--a truly beautiful day to see the glorious trees God painted for the fall.

Then a lady called me saying she wanted to buy a painting of mine hanging in a shop in Gainesville.  It was an altogether fine day, and today promises to be the same.


Friday, October 21, 2011

10/21/11 No Poem Day

I'm getting over the bent to poeticize, so will philosophize instead.  Today I'm going to the Bowen Center to talk with Marcia, the very excellent director there, and look into what I might be able to do that's helpful.  A lot of people volunteer at the Bowen, and though it's technically an art center, it's really a community center, where people meet to quilt, paint, plan events, stage events, rehearse, hang painting shows, hang photography shows, attend classes, have luncheons and dinners, and more.  I've assigned myself the task of organizing since all the other people don't want to do that.  Stuff for all of the aforementioned uses is saved and reused, restocked, and stashed in two fairly sufficient rooms.  With so many people having access to all the tools and accessories, stuff tends to merge into each other, so art gets put in with the acting stuff, munchies get sprinkled among the picture hanging utinsels.   Moi has designated herself Master Organizer.   I'll let you know if it works.  :)

I just finished reading Garden Spells--an analyzer's paradise.  It's so full of metaphors and personification it could be manipulated to mean a huge variety of things.  Mostly, I think the mysticism it depicts touches on the part of us humans that is inexpainable.  We see things differently each from the next person, we interpret things differently- that we cross over or collide at all is purely coincidental.  This story gives a reason for things being what they are to each character.  While life is never that simplistic, it's a satisfying book to read.  The omnicient value of the reader makes it all understandable, whereas in reality we only get one perspective.  I was glad to not have the dark side show up in it.  I guess I get tired of "reality" or "negativism" or whatever you call "justifiable."  In some places of this book, the charm is overwhelming--like the clouds thundering the sky like a herd of elephants.  Like when one character enjoys the happiness of the other.

The story is about two sisters who were estranged mentally by circumstances that occured when they were children, then physically estranged for about ten years.  They're pulled back together ostensibly by a tree, a town, a family name, as young adults and have to get to know each other since they never did as children.  The story brings in many of the small town inhabitants along the way of the main characters building a relationship, thereby rebuilding an extended relationship as well.  It's probably classified as a romance, though it's more about several relationships than only one, and reads simplistically, with a bit of fantasy mixed in.

What I learned from it:  I'm old enough I already know that people change, but stick to who they used to be in fear of that change.  The reasons we become who we are can be a detriment to the opportunities life sends us if we refuse to modify who we are.  Anyway, picky reader that I am, I didn't expect for it to hold my interest, since relationship stories usually hit me as too formula and trite.  Bit this one was kind of nice as a change from my suspense roll.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

10/20/11 Cowboy Poem

The Cowboy Poem

The dusty street he wore inside brought coughs and tears to eyes
like rivers through the parched dry crags of burned and weathered skin.
Slapped into a cloud it rose, puffed up from clothes demised
but forced to service, nonetheless--ragged, worn and thin.

The cud he chewed was spat into a tin beyond his boot
as he shouldered fisted arms he slung across the bar.
Hunched, he fanned his money out, displaying copious loot,
then grinned a rakish, toothy smile and slipped coins in the jar.

"I've been up in yonder hills, buried in my gold,
entombed so long I feel plumb dead, for lack of sinful tunes.
Play me one for old time's sake?  And make my beer real cold."
Who's Done What To Whom droned on all that afternoon.

And while that boy plunked down his coins, he cried and drank and swore
he'd sell his strike and give it up to head on back for home.
Why he'd suffered wind and snow, heat and rain that poured,
he thought he'd known those years ago when he'd left to roam.

But loneliness now stabbed a hole, a wound that wouldn't heal.
Shining window candle lights deep within his mind
tightened wires inside his heart, pulling metal wheels
to shut him off from deep-set needs that cancel out his kind.

Invisible, is what he thought, that's what I've become,
a nothing mind with Midas' gold, a hollow shrunken shell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

10/19/11 Tree Bones

Now I'm on a poetry roll.  Try not to glaze over.


I bow to bones
that spend their time
in racks
of silent bend and sway.
Impossible sticks intent
upon adherence to the ground.

Under skin and over heart
my veins pump oxygen
and make my acorns
fall to winds of lust.

I am become that tree
It is I, staunch
until my roots are torn
burrowed into by acts of worms.

I, a human bark
that clings precipitously
that must be peeled
away from you
like so much paint.

I, who feels your breath
flow and ebb
through pores
become my own.

I am man and tree
and they are me

Okay, I got that out of my system. 
I went to a meeting of the Lakeside Book Club (formerly called Thompson Creek Book Club) yesterday.  They discussed Auraria Dead with me.  One woman asked about the relationship between Maria and her mother.  Another asked about where Rolando came from.  Of course the answers were Maria's mother and father never agreed on anything so ceased to talk to each other, probably because the father (Robert John Charles) and Maria were so compatible the mother was jealous.  Rolando came right out my husband's fertile brain.  I gave him hair and a Guatamalan heritage.  The Darrel (husband) wanted him to be bald.

Anyway, we talked about their new read for next month,  Loving Frank, which I have already read.  It's about Frank Lloyd Wright and his first wife.  An interesting and challenging life for the woman.

I've been in discussion with a book club to read for me on my new book, Chattahoochee Dead.  This is an opportunity for me to see how far I've strayed from my plot before I embarrass myself by sending it to publishers.  It's pretty rough right now, so the time is prime to start rolling out the piecrust.  Fluting comes later.

A couple of things of note:  If you're in a book club and don't have a standard source for reads, consider A Novel Idea Bookstore in Dawsonville.  Very accommodating, Skip and Jill Arnhart keep a wide variety of mostly used books, sometimes new ones.  They're located right behind the GA 400 Outlet Mall in Dawson County.

I got an email from The Hall Book Exchange that they're having a marathon read (only two days, so don't panic) on October 21st and 22nd.  This means you go to their reading room and read everything you can for two days.  Winner wins something elegant.  Meanwhile, writers will be reading their books in another room on a schedule which is on their website.  Everything from multi-genre including children's stories are among the lineup.  It might beat the fare in the theatres during Halloween season.  By the way, their reading room is like grandma's living room.  Maybe even has doilies?
Probably because Myra is everybody's mother/grandma.

This is going to be an excellent week.  Rain pouring out of the sky like we're under a waterfall.  Not too cold yet.  A good day for chili and a good book.  If you're among the working world, pick up a dozen donuts and take them with you to work.  You'll have an immediate 12 new best friends--a good rainy day investment.


Monday, October 17, 2011

10/17/11 Shock Wave, ETC.

I just finished reading Shock Wave by John Sandford.  While it's a little weaker than his outstanding Prey series, Virgil Flowers is always fun to visit.  He's so male..technically irreverent, yet talks to God all the time.  He never misses a chance to admire a woman's assets, but doesn't denigrate the species.  I guess I like him because he's honest and with the story primarily told in third person omnicient, you always know where everybody is coming from.  I know what to expect from Virgil and he doesn't have hidden agendas, even if the other characters might.

I've started Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, which is a little syrupy after Shock Wave.  Probably my comfort zone is in knowing the characters I'm reading, which keeps me with the writers I enjoy so much.  So this new one is like going on a trip to Europe, not knowing if I'm walking into a third world country at every turn.  Do ya think I'm a control freak?

Meanwhile, I started The Paris Wife by Paula McLain a while back and probably will go back to it soon.  I sampled it through Kindle, ran out and debated following through.  The story is about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, a fictional story based on fact, but doesn't read quite like a typical historical fiction.  It's more like a third party follows them around and tells what happens, so it reads easy.  Analyzing why I stopped in mid stream, I probably did that because of my comfort zone issue (see above).  I get the feeling it's all going to go down hill from where it is now.  Hemingway was a pretty chaotic fellow.  And I'm a sucker for good endings.  You'd think I would have figured that out with the title.

I'm getting prodded into reading Bottom Dwellers, which I bought for my grandson because it's Sci Fi.  It's supposed to have a conceptually believable premise, so maybe I'll expand my comfort zone horizon.  I don't think Thad started it yet anyway.  He's been writing an excellent paper on Violins for school.  He has played violin since he had to use a tiny one, and I had no idea he knew so much about each part of the instrument.  I never knew anything about the piano I played as a child except how to hit the right keys.  Kids these days know so much more about the world they live in.  I hope that's a good thing.  I don't really reject learning, but sometimes I think I might know more than I should to live a peaceful life.

My new short story is going to be California Gold, which has been gliding around my brain for a couple of weeks now.  I just haven't been able to get to it yet.

I'm going to leave today with a poem.  I'm a closet poet and have a couple hundred of them lurking in a book in my office.
This one is called The Courtier

Frangipani flowers lined his lacy fragrant bower
where legend blended rhapsody with motive and desire.
Yet his very froggy presence was bulbous, green and wet,
imbused with a fixation that he seldom could forget.

Residing deep inside of him, so handsome, tall and strong
a manifested courtier was imprisoned in that frog.
Limited to crooning love in two-note lullabies
aesthetically impeded more his wish to womanize.

Romanching frogs on a  great scale, with ribbons instead of hair
presumed no metamorphosis would attract a debonair
princess, queen or sorceress of expanded dialogue
who would ever see a princely form within that lumpy frog.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 17, 2011 SHORT SALESMEN

by Melody Scott

We were visited recently by some very short people—saleschildren extraordinaire.  All the way from across the street.  The salesman extraordinaire and his sister, who is wearing a bicycle helmet.
A ring of the doorbell, a barking burst from my dog.  Little kids selling cookie dough to raise money for their school.
Cookie dough?
“You mean I have to cook it myself?”
“Yes.  And it’s very good,” he and his earnest brown eyes assure me.
I peruse the order form.
The sister pets the dog, who is hiding behind me.
“You choose the one you want and put the number in the box, then you put the amount of money for it right here,” he says, and points to the row of boxes on the order form.
“Hmm, I see.”
“The delivery time is this date,” he says, and points to the date.
“Oh.  We’re not going to be home that week, though.  What can we do?”  I ask.
“That’s okay.  My mom has three freezers.  One is in the kitchen, one is in the garage, and we can freeze anything.”  The eyes again.  “You just choose which one you want and put the number in the box.”
“Right.”  I peruse some more.
“You just choose the one you want and put the number right here.”  He points at the now upside down appropriate number, recites it backwards since he’s looking at it upside down.
“I see you have cheesecakes also.”
“Yes, and they’re very good.”
“I think one of those might freeze better and I don’t have to cook it.”
“Yes, and my mom can freeze it.”
“Okay, one frozen cheesecake, and I’ll put the number in the box.”  I notice the form has ten other customers from our neighborhood who will be receiving cookie dough.
The salespeople hurry to the door, one with order forms clenched in his hand.

I settle into my couch, begin to read my book again.

A ring of the doorbell, a barking burst from my dog.  A larger little kid with blue eyes—all the way from next door, accompanied by older brother of previous salesman from across the street.  Selling cookie dough.
“Don’t tell me, you turncoats…you’re selling cookie dough!  I believe a relative of yours was recently here,” I say to the brother who looks remarkably like his sibling.
“Yes.”  They look around outside for other lurking salesmen, undaunted.  Hand me an order form.
“I see.  Well, let me shop a little here.”  I peruse the same order form as before.
This salesman doesn’t have a lot to say.  Neither does the brother.
“I understand you have a freezer,” I say to the brother.
“Yes, I do,” he says.
“I have one too,” salesman #1 says.
“Three of them,” the brother says.
“Well, I’m not going to be home on the delivery date, and you’d have to keep my cookie dough fresh,” I say, looking over my spectacles at salesman #1 of the second group of two.
“My mom will keep it in the freezer,” he nods his head.
“Ah. Well, then, I probably need the pecan-coconut supreme cookie dough, in case I get really hungry next month.”
This salesman doesn’t have a lot to say.  Neither does the brother of the previous salesman  who is busy petting my dog.
“I put the number in the box, right?”  I notice there are only two customers who have ordered cookie dough on this form.
“Yes.”  They both nod.
“Okay, but you’ll be sure that you can freeze it for me until I get home, right?”
“Yes.”  They both nod expressively.
The salesmen hurry out my front door, jump off the porch and run toward the next in our row of houses.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

October 16, 2011 -- Grandma Was Right

I'm adding a little story at the end of this blog.  I missed my few days of blogging, even if I was off pretending I was twelve years old again.  It was easy to regress.  Talking to my friend, Maxine, was very like talking to my imaginary people.  Somehow she and they always say what I like most.  Isn't that a coincidence?
I'm proud of Maxine for surviving a grueling cancer chapter in her life.  The cancer was a snap, the cure was not.  I'm also proud of her for sticking around since we were in high school.  The school isn't there any more, but the memories make me smile.

I received word today that I've got a Thanksgiving short story coming out in the Nov. 1 issue of The 400 Magazine.  It's about my husband's family.  You may want to drop in to see it.  And I'm excited about having a signing with the Thompson Creek Book Club this coming Tuesday, Oct. 18.

I was on line to meet with a book club out of town and they just emailed me they couldn't get my book at the library.  I'm not sure how I feel about this.  Do libraries buy new books?  I know they're doing Kindle ebooks now.  I know I asked about doing a signing at the Dawson Library and was told they have no budget for this.  I'm not sure about the relationship of my book and their non budget.  I didn't think about or expect them to purchase the books, don't see how it costs them money.   I think I'm missing something here.  It's good I like research.

                                     GRANDMA WAS RIGHT
                                             by   Melody Scott

I recently in the mirror and couldn’t figure out when it was I lost my “babe” look.  All my clothes had turned dumpy.  New ones only helped for a little while before they look dumpy too.   The shorter skirt look made my top half and bottom half seem mismatched. 

It had to be the shoes.

I consulted my daughter, who scoffed and said, “Mom, anybody can look like a babe—all you need is five inch platform heels.”

“But I don’t want to look like a hooker!” I said, even knowing fatter does look better when it’s taller.  And I CAN walk in five inch platform heels.  I know because I tried some.  Yuck.

Then I tried an open back wedge style and slid right out of them onto the floor.  I felt like a duck.

I skulked shoe stores until clerks started staring, and I did find some really nice  sandals with low heels.  They had a “nude” look that hinted of babedom.  But it’s autumn now and blue is not my favorite toe color.  I continued the skulk.

Then I saw them—perfectly striped running shoes, sort of sloped downhill, that made me look like I was going fast when I was standing still.

When my grandma was recuperating from having been hit by a car while in a crosswalk at age 81, she very sincerely told the doctor, “I just hate it when I can’t run, I need to be able to run if I want to.”

“Do you run very much?” he asked with a smirk on his face.
“Only when I want to,” she said, without a smirk on her face.

Not long after my car died and its funeral was over, I had to face replacing it.  I tried a four door silver Dodge, an efficient blue compact, even a couple of SUVs.  I didn’t feel right in them—they all looked like jellybeans. 

Then I saw it—A loaded Mark VIII whose inside looked like a 747 jet  cockpit, and whose engine made me smile.  It looks like it's going fast when it’s standing still.

Grandma was right.  I, too, need to be able to run if I want to.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 11, 2011 What a difference a day makes

So many things can happen in one day it makes my head spin.
Yesterday evening I met with my little crit group, Jan Dale (aka Cheryl Dale) and Pat Worley to discuss chapters we've been each working on for our new books. Jan's book is about a small town tax office. Jan used to be the tax commissioner for Forsyth County and has seen many structural and procedural changes in the system there. Pat has spent a lot of time in Washington DC on the fringes of the political world. As an up front observer, she's made some interesting stories wrapped in the tightly knit world of politics. They seem to feel Chattahoochee Dead is coming along fine.

Today I'll be meeting with my book club in Gold Creek to discuss the latest read,
Sister by Rosamund Lupton. It was a very long drawn out story that to me didn't really get started until 3/4 way through the book. Then it took off and a mystery (my favorite) actually started to unreel. Up until then it seemed to be overrun with angst about who what where why when and as with a lot of books, the center seemed about a hundred pages too long.

It's come to me I may have denigrated a friend of mine by bringing her up in a former blog whereby I only discussed an affliction she is forced to deal with instead of noting what a lovely supportive beautiful person she is. Now, that was not very nice. I should have expressed that she has the vision and taste to handle the chameleon Miche Bags, those sophisticated handbags which can be anything you want them to be. The amazing little creatures handle everything you may want to carry from exotic silk scarves to emergency tiaras, from tiger eye black pearls to yellow diamonds. I always carry my diamonds in one. A person is not limited to being only his/her affliction, otherwise we would all be called "Ms. Cancer", "Mr. Thrombosis", "Ms. Croup." Besides, Ms. Wright is naturally blonde, a state of being that I admire very much.

We were supposed to go to Alabama this week, but that trip was cancelled due to my husband needing to be available for a business trip instead. I'm very disappointed, but it looks like we may be in for a rainy week anyway.

The Atanta Writer's Club will meet this Saturday at The Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody at 1:45 in case anybody wants to begin their writing career. Maybe I'll be going to this after all. And next Tuesday I have a signing at a Chinese restaurant with a book club from Dawsonville.

I'm leaving you with another of my endless pile of short stories....

The Glitch
Melody Scott

I have a theory that one can’t accomplish much without the accoutrements necessary for the job. One cannot play baseball without a real baseball, a real mitt and baseball shoes. You can go out into the backyard and throw a tennis ball forever and you will never get the feel for throwing a basketball--they’re worlds apart. And try running on damp dirt in tennis shoes. You’ll mostly slide and fall down.

Now, try tap dancing in sneakers. You’ll hear no tap, you’ll turn no turns. But you will stick to the floor. See what I mean?

So, if you want to do it right, you have to have the shoes. Which is how I happen to own tap shoes. After five weeks of taking tap dance lessons, am I getting better? I don’t think so, even wearing the right shoes.

I can hear the footwork because of the taps on the shoes. Mostly, it sounds right. So the shuffle ball change thing works. I know a flap from a kick and a grapevine from a buffalo. But there is a definite brain wave glitch problem.

I noticed the glitch after I bought the ballet shoes, which now lurk behind the tap shoes in my closet. After about six weeks, I could go into first position, second and third positions. I could hold my hands properly, pinkie extended. But when to arabesque and when to pirouette was a jumble.

Previous to my desire to be a famous dancer, I could vault a horse. I was successful at modern dance, and acrobatics. Pilates was a snap. Yoga actually boring. There was no brain glitch then.

It was when I tried aerobics that it got ugly. The brain glitch arrived in full force, refusing fast-track changing. It didn’t help that I had Attila the Hun for an instructor, and at first used her for an excuse. But I found out shortly it was really the glitch.

I’m planning to buy some cute boots for the line dancing class I’m taking. Never mind I’m a few years behind the craze. If the choreography is short and repetitious and I have the right shoes, maybe the glitch will go away?

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011 Closet Travel

Closet Travel
Melody Scott

Our treadmill lives in our closet, where it has befriended shoes, belts, assorted hats, slacks and a couple of leather jackets.

I hate treadmills in general, because they’re boring and they cause me to sweat, which is not how I envision living my life. However, my husband jumps on the thing every morning and runs nowhere for forty minutes on a flat setting, then proceeds to work out with barbells.

I’ve found I can force myself to use the thing by employing a great deal of escapism.
By pinning a scenic calendar up on the wall, I can envision my walk through boat marinas, beaches, or over poppy-covered desert paths. When I’m especially lazy, I justify less treadmill time by raising the angle and lessening the pace.

My eyes were just starting to open one morning when I heard something in our bedroom. I sat up and saw my husband crawling out of the closet, around the bed to lie on his back, panting. His face was red and sweat was trickling into his ears. He managed to gasp out, “I don’t know what’s wrong. I could only do twenty minutes on the treadmill this morning.” He checked his pulse and mopped his face with a little towel. “I’m just weak for some reason. Even after I slowed down, I still couldn’t make it very long. I better call the doctor.”

I wasn’t sure if I should tell him I’d had a fairly nice climb at a 15% grade up a Colorado mountainside the previous evening, or just let him call the doctor.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October 9, 2011 What Grandpas are Good For

Good Sunday morning!  This is the first day of the rest of my life.  We're going shooting today.  I shocked the Darrel last time we went when I shot the .22 magnum rifle with a scope and hit three shots grouped the size of a silver dollar at 100 yards.  Then when I shot the 2" .38 handgun, I got four out of five plates down on the combat range at 25 feet.  Of course he did better than that.  But he always does better than that.

Yesterday at the book signing in Dahlonega I met some new fine people, one of whom lives in Auraria, so they were happy to get a chance to read a little bit about their community in Auraria Dead.  Some other people from Chicamauga, which, in my ignorace thought was in Tennessee, got one of my books.  They told me the memorial park there is a couple thousand acres in size.  I had no idea and now have to make a trip there to see the place.     Not a lot of peope eating yogurt thought about buying books, but the ones who did were very interesting.  One man came in with his son in a wheelchair. The boy was maybe twenty years old and whatever disease he had prevented him from talking.  I wanted to ask if he understood our conversation and other general questions about him, but felt it was intrusive.  The dad talked alot about some other stuff.  The boy was absolutely beautiful.  He sure likes yogurt.  You gotta wonder what God has in mind.

A little friend of mine has shingles...another form of torture.  I spent a lot of time thinking about her yesterday.  When I was a child I remember that my dad had shingles.  It came and went and was terribly painful.  I thought a little praying for Melanie might help, so whoever might be reading this...take that into consideration today, as I will.

Today I'm leaving you with a grandpa story I hope you enjoy...

by Melody Scott

I was just reminded again of what grandpas are good for.

There was a parade of four children and one large grandpa through this house just minutes ago. They were on their way to the garage, looking for string with which to make a bow. It seems one of them found an arrow in the woods, which would remain flightless if not for the grandpa who knew how to make a bow.

On their way through, they discussed important things such as how to make a slingshot. All they needed was an inner tube. But what would they shoot? Rocks? No, rocks might hurt somebody. How about acorns? They would probably hurt somebody too, in the war they were planning. But acorns are plentiful this time of year, so they were chosen as the preferred ammunition. Now they had to volunteer a bicycle inner tube. One of them knew just the place to find it.

I don’t know what they found to make the bow with, but I know it will work because I know that grandpa. Aha! I’ve just been informed it was made of fresh sapling.

Was this grandpa a retired maker of hunting equipment? No. Was he once the architect of innovative patents? No. The key to this grandpa is he was a boy once. He was not raised with I-Pads or video games or DVDs or I-Pods or even cell phones. He never knew about computer screens or keyboards. Ergo, he had a little time on his hands, between fighting his seven brothers for the only bicycle. He can still make a go cart that really goes, a bow that really shoots and a slingshot to die for.

Yesterday he taught his son-in-law how to tear a hole in the wall and fix a leaky shower faucet, then drywall up the hole, tape, sand and paint it.

I wonder what our grandchildren will teach their grandchildren.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 8, 2011 Peachberry Pie Morning

The Darrel made peach/berry pie for breakfast.  I can't decide if I should hoard it, eat it or freeze it.  Of course he used MY recipe, so why wouldn't it be good?

Yesterday afternoon I was asked to tour the new unfinished courthouse building to see where the art is going to hang when it's finished soon.  Several of us who work with the Bowen Center art people walked all through the construction project wearing very glamorous hard hats, jeans and tennis shoes.  It's an extremely impressive building with a huge rotunda and four court rooms in the middle of Dawsonville, population 500.  I guess the government had some money we sent them to spend.

Anyway, we were told to submit as many pictures for this venture as we wanted.  Since the walls are so large, I've about decided to submit two more in addition to the "Trahlyta's Path" one I posted in this blog a few days ago.  The only rule is the pictures are supposed to depict north Georgia.  Not knowing if Day Lilies are native to Georgia or not, I'm going to submit my "Day Lilies Picture and the mate to the first one I posted, this one named "Beside Still Water."

I'm a little jaded about such things because of my experiences in the past, so it remains to be seen if all of this idea will come to pass or not.

I've been communicating with an internet friend in India, who is an artist and writer.  His name is Ravi and he does some incredible paintings as well as writing books.  I had the privilege of reading his story, "Lover's Rock," when I was working on line on my book at Critique Circle.  This is a site where writers critique each others' work in order to eliminate as many errors in the stories as possible before submitting them to publishers and/or agents.  Anyway, Ravi and I have been discussing publishing in general and he says India has the same problems America has regarding publishing.  I find it interesting that counties so far apart in all ways would have this in common.  Remember, too, Ravi wrote his story in English, not his native language.  I cannot see myself attempting to write anything in his language.  In fact, I neglected to ask him exactly what language that is.

Tara misses her mom.  But she's taken up an interesting relationship with the Darrel.  My husband is Tara's hero--he manages the magic closet where snacks and other foods materialize.  He knows the code to get the job done on trips out the back door.  She resists the temptation to take off to parts unknown with him at the helm of the leash, and with her own head doesn't challenge him very much.  She laughs at me when I call her back from wanderlust times.  She scorns my ability to produce the proper tidbit reward for her prideful deposits on the lawn.  But I'm the sleep buddy--at least so far. 

Best described as twenty pounds of fluffy fur with eight legs sticking up, it's a good way to wake up.  Everybody groggy, walking around with people coffee, which merges into the morning roadrace, the Darrel doing the announcing of who's in the lead as they enter the first table leg curve, who passes on the stretch, and critical jockeying for  position on the inevitable shoulder slide.  Maybe we need more carpet in here?

I've overrun my mouth (fingers) already this morning, so will report on the Yogurt shop book signing happening later today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile I'll leave you a note from my favorite book, "Life's Little Instruction Book."
#171:  Never give up on what you really want to do.  The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.

Be back,


Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7, 2011 Dog lip morning

Today I woke up with soft white dog lips on my right eyelid.  I'm going to tell Arlene and she's going to be jealous.
Dogsitting TaraAnne is kind of like having therapy for a week...and Tara is a therapy dog after all.

I've been thinking a lot about "The Song of the Chattahoochee"  by Sidney Lanier, since the book I'm working on right now now has the title of "Chattahoochee Dead."  I love the way that poem sounds and will probably put it in the book, maybe on the cover as well.  Anyway, here are a few lines from it...

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

Now, if you're not from Georgia you'd have no way of knowing that this poem is about the Chattahoochee River, a lovely river that runs from north Georgia south, joins with the Appalachacola and Flint Rivers and travels further to the gulf of Mexico.  It was dammed up in the 1950s to create Lake Lanier, a huge 600-mile shoreline lake more or less shaped as a "Y."  Of course, ol' Sidney Lanier would never know his river would be dammed up since he died
in 1881.  Anyway, Habersham County is a more northen county and is located at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain and is therefore, quite hilly as Georgia goes. I think the tallest point in Georgia is just at 5000 feet.   Hall County is the next one below Habersham, subsequently less hilly and as one goes south in Georgia, the more flat the terrain.  Told from the viewpoint of the river, this poem flows like the water to the "lover" plain, which begins the piedmont area of Georgia...the area to which all rivers and roads converge as means of transporting people and goods to the seaports south.

I didn't mean for this to turn into a history/geography lesson, only a part of a poem I particularly like.  But then, there's another thing I love...the sound of words.

Okay.  If you're going to be in the area of Dahlonega tomorrow, Saturday Oct. 8, come see me at 2:00 at the Yummie Yogurt and Coffee Cafe at 21 N. Grove St.  If you can't find it, just stand in the middle of the street and yell.  Dahlonega is so small that you will be shown the way to it by somebody.  If you come by and tell me you saw this announcement on my blog (or facebook) I'll give you a free Auraria Dead book.

Dahlonega is an interesting place, aside from its tourist town facade.  Not to bore, but the Smith House has preserved some of the gold mines that run all over under the town.  By this I mean you can see first hand how the goldmines looked by doing the little Smith House tour before you eat a pretty interesting lunch there.

Today I hope everybody gets rich in something.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October 6, 2011

I'm now the proud keeper of two Cavaliers for the week.  My friend Arlene went to Washington DC to be a political animal for a few days.  And today I'm going to see my mom, so I'm going to leave you with a little story about her.  This is a woman best described as Katherine Hepburn in her youth.  She's now 94 and not entirely lucid.  Anyway, I did take a little literary license with the story but it's basically accurate.


By Melody Scott

When Grandma Gaines was 74, I guess she thought she was going to die and wanted to be prepared, so she bought a cemetery plot.  Then she bought two more. 

Plots two and three were for her parents, who had, in fact, fought all their lives and ultimately divorced, then lived and died in separate cities.   In grandma’s child’s eye, though, they were meant to be together.  So she arranged to have them delivered to lie near her in perpetuity, only to find out about the expenses involved...new caskets, permits for crossing state lines, hearse rental, mileage charges, etc.

Now, Grandma Gaines, being a Depression baby, could never have been considered a spendthrift, and while her gesture in changing the last resting places of her parents was seen as magnanimous to her, her generosity didn’t extend to the pockets of the middlemen.  So she researched further and found plain pine boxes sufficient  for reburial, and she didn’t need no stinking hearse because her brother Johnny, age 91, could transport them in the back of his pickup truck.

Moving day came, complete with a caravan of cousins fascinated by and permissive of their eccentric aunt.  Great Uncle John waved to the procession, struck the pedal to the metal and they were off at his number one speed.  Over hill and over dale they drove, great grandpa and grandma wagging from time to time across the open tailgate.

John arrived long before the rest of the caravan could get through the traffic, and was prosaically asleep under a tree at the cemetery when everyone arrived.  The particulars and explanations were handled, and the great grandparents interred once again after their exciting ride.  Then Aunt Ellen pulled out her picnic basket and the children cousins played on the grass.  Cousin Eddie told them to not step on anybody’s head.

Cousin Jill decided to try out resting sites in case she wanted to be buried there as well, and excused herself to the underground residents as she tried out lying on first one then several other locations with empties nearby.  It caught on and other cousins followed suit, each choosing where they might be the most comfortable (if none of their relatives decided to move them.) The cemetery sold eight plots that day.

Grandma Gaines is now 94, and every year on her birthday the whole family gathers to take flowers to their loved ones at the little cemetery and to celebrate all of their birthdays at once with a big cake and lots of fried chicken.

Grandpa Gaines still lies in his plot in another town.  Go figure.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011

I went over to the Bowen Center to paint today.  I'm working on an experimental abstract which doesn't impress me yet.
Anyway, Marcia--the amazing woman who runs the center, asked me to paint one of the Scotty Dogs in an artistic fashion for an outside sign designating the Bowen Center.  They've been needing something that indicates art goes on inside the old 12-grade original Dawson County school house.  So several people will be doing the Scotty dogs which are about two feet by three feet in size, made out of solid steel and in that form to represent the general map appearance of Dawson County.  I'm flattered to be asked to do this.  Now all I have to do is not screw it up.

The new courthouse has been under construction for most of a year now, and is very impressive looking for a city with only 500  people in it.  I think the county now has a 50,000 person population.  The courthouse decorator has asked the Dawson County Arts Council to supply the art for the new building.  Pictures for this venture are to be related to north Georgia environs, so I'm going to enter one called "Trahlyta's Path" which is taken from the fable of Trahlyta, a Cherokee Indian who fell in love with a warrior and lived near Blood Mountain, home of a bloody Indian battle.
If it's accepted it'll be there for, as I understand it, a year.

Yesterday I added the original prologue for Auraria Dead to my blog.  Now I'm deciding whether to add the first chapter of Auraria Dead to it tomorrow.  The other option is to put in a short story.  Another decision to make.....

Tara Anne, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who belongs to a friend of mine, Arlene Ingram, is coming to stay with me and my Cavalier, Abby, for a week beginning tomorrow.  Here's a picture of both of the dogs:

I painted this one last time Tara stayed over with us.  They were in the snow, so it's named "Snow Bunnies" and was purchased by Kay Shumate, of Cumming, GA.

Be back,


Monday, October 3, 2011


This is not in the book, was not published.  But is the original prologue.

                      AURARIA DEAD                       
     The Hummer tore out of the undergrowth of the moonless forest like it was dropped newly born from outer space.  Its searchlight gleamed like a cyclopean eye onto the skeletal bark of winter trees.  Its three occupants couldn’t have cared less that pairs of eyes stared in horror before bouncing off into the dark nothingness of night.
     A bone-jarring thud blew the lights and the blind vehicle
lurched into a bank of rhododendron ten feet high.
     “Keep the damn searchlight on,” the driver rasped to the front seat passenger.  “You think I’m a rodent, that I can see in the dark?” He rubbed his coat sleeve across his runny nose and sniffed, then spit out of the open window.  His cold was worse.  The horrible day had started early when Wanda the bitch had run out on him after throwing all his clothes in the front yard.  His jock strap was dangling from the mailbox when he came home, for Christ’s sake!
    “We’re gonna get stuck out here if you don’t watch where you’re going,” the rider right behind him said.
     “We should have waited till daylight!” the other backseat passenger said as he tightened his seatbelt.
     “Both of you shut the fuck up!” the driver shouted.  He twisted the wheel as a huge form loomed directly before them. 
     After a sudden dive, the truck crunched abruptly still against a huge Red Oak. The driver’s head banged into the steering wheel and he howled.  The front passenger screamed when he cracked his head against the windshield and the man in back choked then fought the seatbelt that had become tangled around his neck.
     “Shit, shit, shit,” the driver said as he jumped out of the vehicle and leaned against the hood of the Hummer.  He held his  bloody nose with both hands.
     “Look, it’s right over here,” the backseat passenger said.  He shined a weak flashlight through the woods on the left.  Tattoos that covered his neck and ran down into his red jacket were garish in the dull dome light.  “See, the trail ends over here, and there’s the mark on the tree.”  He shoved the left rear door open and stepped out of the vehicle.
     The driver grabbed the flashlight from the backseat man, but continued to hold onto his nose with his other hand.  “I’ll do da telling.  You get da stiff out of da back and keep your trap shut.”  Drums pounded in his swollen sinuses.  “You,” he yelled at the front seat passenger, “if you ever intend to see a cut of da money, get your ass and your shobel into dat cave.  Dow!”
     The front passenger slowly peeled himself off his seat, cupped the knot on his forehead with his left hand and headed toward the back door.
     Immediately the back of the Hummer was opened, the tarp-wrapped dark haired body dumped onto the ground without ceremony, as cold as the nearest Hemlock.
     Dragged into the cave, the body was propped into a sitting position against the clay wall.  The tattoo man noticed a candle
stuck in the clay at shoulder height, fumbled in his pocket for a lighter and the cave turned into a mineshaft in its light.
     “Don’tcha wanna break him up some more to disguise him?” asked the tattooed guy.
     “You just like breaking bones,” said the driver.  “Get your ass over here and hump these boxes inside.  Don’t matter noway, he ain’t dever gonna be found.  Get my tarp off him too, I paid seventy bucks for that.”  As much as he wanted to lie right down in the cave to sleep off his illness and broken nose, he knew the others would kill him and run.  Dying in an abandoned mine wasn’t in his plan.
     They stumbled over mining cart rails that ran down the center of the cave, relaying thirty-five pound cardboard boxes from the back of the Hummer to deep inside the shaft.  The boxes had been stacked four high and five wide.  Before long, all three of the men were dripping with sweat.
     Just as they left the cave, the tattooed man tottered over to the body on his short legs and swung his knee up into the dead man’s face, then yowled with pain.  He reared back to kick him, thought better of it and spit on him instead.  “Where are we going to leave my poor dead brother-in-law?” he asked and wiggled his head like he enjoyed his work.
     “Right where he is,” the driver answered. “Take his jacket off him.”
     “Why’d I need another red jacket?  One with a couple holes in it?  You need it, you take it.”
     The driver’s face flushed from pasty white to violent red.  He staggered then leaned over and threw up on the floor of the cave.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This is the best time of year in north Georgia.  The leaves are beginning to turn colors and cool air gets under everybody's skin, making us all want to eat apples and make pumpkin pie.

I met with the North Georgia Mountains Book Coub in Murreyville in September.  I hated to leave that day because those women were so fun to talk with.  Then I had another fun time at the Yahoola Creek Grille where I met with the Dahlonega Books and Booze Book Club and met some more great women.

Something else fun happened this month as well...a man from the Southeastern Mystery Writer's Assn. broadcast that he needed information about riverboat ferries.  He's writing a story that includes a scene on a Missouri River Ferry.  He needed something about the terminology used.  I checked in the back of my brain and discovered I've got a cousin who works barges on the Mississippi River.  He was a long lost cousin I hadn't seen in thirty years, but I have his sister's phone number so called to get Mark's contact number.  He was a delight to talk with, volunteered whatever information he could supply for the SEMWA contact, and we renewed our acquaintance.  His mother and my father are siblings.  It's a shame to lose track of my own people so recklessly.

PJ Feirer of Beau Alexander Wine Store in Gainesville called to tell me she'd sold some of my wineglasses (I paint dogs and cats and ladies on wineglasses)  She said she wanted some pumpkin wineglasses for a Halloween thing they're doing.  I didn't know if I could paint pumpkins, but after I started I found out I could.  So those are now at Beau Alexander for that holiday trick or treat.

I'm going to be at the Yummie Yogurt and Coffee House in Dahlonega on Saturday, October 8 for a book signing of Auraria Dead.  They've also got some of my watercolors.  The signing is from 2-4 in the afternoon.  Bobbie Southwell is the nice lady who owns that new shop.  The cappuccinos are outstanding.

Oct. 11 is my own book club meeting date.  We read Sister this month.  You'll have to read it yourself and let me know how you like it.  I thought it didn't really get started until about  3/4 of the way through the story.  The mystery was good.

Oct. 15 is the meeting date for the Atlanta Writer's Club at Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody.

Oct. 18 I've got a signing at a restaurant in Dawsonville with a neighborhood book club.  I love neighborhood book clubs.  They're so informal that nobody feels pressure from just talking about the books we've read.  Of course I love talking about my characters and stories.  The new book, Chattahoochee Dead is about half finished right now. 

This blog is new and I hope to meet some more interested readers through it as soon as possible.

Until next time,  remember how much potential you've got in your heart.