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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Oldest

My brother was a year and nine months older than I was.According to my parents he was supposed to be my playmate and my protector.He considered me nothing more than his pesky younger sister whom he could blame whenever we got into trouble with the parents. There were times his protective, big brother nature did prevail and he would rescue me from boyfriends who did not know how to take no for an answer, and I, in turn covered for him with our old-fashioned, unhip parents. People often thought I was the oldest.  He was always so youthful looking and so handsome.  I looked mature at the age of twelve and never outgrew my bossiness.   He went off to Vietnam and I went to college and that was where our paths started to go separate ways.  We both married within two years of each other.  His life was fraught with pain, the after effects of Agent Orange and PTSD. He went through three marriages and struggled to win back the affection of his two sons.  My life was full with two divorces, a care…

Horror Movies

I hate horror movies.  I was raised by a grandmother who scared us into obedience with tales of “monstruos, fantasmas, y cuyuis.” (That monsters, ghosts, and boogie men for those of you who do not speak Mexican grandmother.) One wrong move, one tiny bit of rebellion and . . . bam! . . . we were dead meat.  Literally.  El Diablo was always waiting for disobedient children (like me) to make one wrong move so he could close the deal. I did my share of naughty stuff in the daytime to make me worry what might be waiting for my mortal soul at night. There is a good reason I have always slept with a night light.  I was born with an overactive imagination and a lack of mental fortitude when it came to anything that lived and thrived in the dark.    Things with big nasty claws (and in bad need of a manicure) waited for me to fall asleep so they could rip through my mattress and drag me off into . . . wherever spooky creatures drag off big, old marshmallows like me. Things lurked in the dark, wa…

Our Trip to Bountiful

One phone call was all it took for us to change our plans last weekend.We packed the car and off we went on a 1400 mile round-trip visit to the In-laws.HoneyBunch’s mom was turning 86 and we wanted to celebrate with her. For the last thirty-something years since HB left the state of Missouri, he has made very few trips “home,” so his parents made two or three car trips down every year to see him and his sons in Texas. They would come for his birthday, summertime, and over one of the winter holidays.  They would stay for weeks at a time when he was a bachelor.  My father-in-law would help in the wood shop and clean up the yard.  My mother-in-law would clean his house and bake and freeze food for him.   Very few of those trips were ever by plane because my in-laws do not like to fly and because they needed a car for all the “stuff” and gifts they would bring to HB and all the stuff he would send back home with them. Seven years ago, he married me, and I nosed around about his childhood.  …

THE HEAVY LIFTING OF A BEST SELLER

Nothing done well is done quickly. Or cheaply. Or rashly. Or naively.
I have learned this as I struggle to become a published writer.  I started on this adventure four years ago and am still a novice, but I have learned some things along the way through experience. (Cue: It’s a Hard Knock Life)
1.Never trust anyone who tells you they too have “written” a book over the course of A.the drive home from Grandma’s B.a weekend of feverish inspiration C.a dream they had where God and/or His angels came to them with a command to do so. Even the best and the most prolific writers have to roll up their sleeves and put in time and effort into their writing.
2.A memoir is not a chronological, birth to death (or birth to epiphany) biography of a person’s life. A memoir has purpose and a theme. It’s a postage stamp of a moment in a person’s life; a biography is the US Postal Service – large, boring, and archaic. Other than to record an amazing experience or an amazing life, why else would anyone want to…