Is It Hot Enough For You?

2014-05-08 11.52.45

So hot Libs won’t even mess with the squirrels.

I wish I could explain this opening line that one hears just about every day, twenty times a day, in the South once summer comes along. But for those of you who are NOT from the South or live here in the South, but are experiencing some pretty blistering hot weather these days, there’s a good chance you are hearing this question. So here are a couple of typical responses you can use:

He: Hot enough for you?

You: Hooeey! (Which is Southern for, “Heck, yeah!”)

OR

She: Hot enough for you?

You: Does a wild bear poop in the woods? (The old “answer a question with a question” gambit.)

So if you were outside enjoying hot 4th of July activities, you might’ve missed my “4 for the 4th” post over at The Muffin. I decided to toss out a few short ideas I’ve been thinking about because it was too hot for ruminating on a long idea. I’d be interested if you have any thoughts to share on any or all topics.

Oh! And I also had a Cathy C. Hall interview over at writer friend, Kathryn Schleich’s website. So it’s a bit longer but if you’re stuck inside due to the heat and want something to read, it’s kinda entertaining and there may be a writing tip or two.

And finally, if you are tempted to say something smart-alecky to “Hot enough for you?” like, “Nope, I could stand a few more degrees of heat and humidity!” then please don’t blame me when you get whacked upside the head. Because when it’s hot enough, people do not care at all for smart alecks, no matter where you are.

 

Advertisements

On Birds and Thoughts

afterglow-avian-backlit-556663Sometimes, being alone with my thoughts is pure heaven. I string out complicated story lines in my head, recalling weird names or characters so that I can…well, invent weird and interesting characters. I laugh out loud at crazy shenanigans I imagine but I can also get myself all worked up (which is code in the Hall House for crying) over a sad scene that plays out in my mind. Hours go by with just my constructive thoughts and it’s a fine thing.

But other times, being alone with my thoughts is hellish. I obsess over an imagined or real slight, building up a resentment. Or I let worry build into a whole giant thing over what may or may not even happen! Those negative thoughts play in a loop and I literally make myself miserable, possibly to the point of getting myself “all worked up.” And here’s the frustrating thing: I probably indulge in the unhealthy thoughts more than the creative, joyful ones.

And here’s another thing: I think many of us–maybe most of us–struggle with those kinds of thoughts. It’s part of the human condition. But I heard a quote the other day –and you know how I love my quotes– that smacked me upside the head.

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”   

~ Martin Luther

Hearing those words, I began to imagine a bird building a nest in my hair. But I wouldn’t just sit there, would I? Nope, I’d shoo the birds away, waving my arms, maybe even shouting. And if that didn’t work, I’d move somewhere, far away from the birds.

But when I allow destructive thoughts to build a nest in my mind, what do I do? Why, I just hang out there, watching intently, maybe even handing over more thoughts with which to build a bigger and stronger nest. Instead of actively doing something to shoo the thoughts away!

It was an eye-opening moment for me, y’all, thinking about those birds. And I’ve had a few times, alone with my thoughts these past days, where I’ve had to shoo the birds away. So thank you, Martin Luther (who has lots more fine quotes). And may you, friends, find a way to shoo those negative thoughts out of your mind and build instead a joyful nest that keeps you safe and happy.

And P.S. Almost forgot! Juniorette Hall said I always write a post that’s a plug for my WOW! posts. And I do have a post up over at the Muffin–“The Beauty of a Blog”–but it has nothing to do with birds or thoughts or Martin Luther, so there. Um… it might be helpful to you if you’re an author, so I hope you’ll take a look. (And yes, I know that’s a plug but Juniorette Hall is not the boss of me.)

Photo by luizclas from Pexels

 

 

The Salt Water Cure

IMG_20171206_104403JUNE? What happened to May?

I have a suspicion what happened to May. The same thing that happens in June. These months are weighed down with a regular smorgasbord of sadness for me…My mom’s birthday is in May and she died just a week later. And Mother’s Day. And I try to stay busy, busy, busy. But then June comes along with reminders of Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday and Mister Man’s entirely inconvenient demise…

I came across this Isak Dinesen quote recently and it stopped me in my tracks:

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”

And so I finished up my deadlines, including this for the Muffin: Making Time for Time Off.

I’m where I need to be right now; I can smell the salt water from my porch. And there will probably be a few tears on Father’s Day, and I’ll sweat while taking care of hurricane damage. I may even sweat a bit over a manuscript revision.

Salt water will do its work while I work on the cure for what ails me. (Okay, I probably won’t sweat much, fixing stuff from the hurricane. But I’ll think about painting the flood damaged walls and whatnot and I think that counts.)

Just When You Think You’ve Heard It All

eyebrows-eyes-girl-74472I have a friend who is an agent and mostly, she keeps her agent business to herself. But a few weeks ago, out there in Social Media World, she shared something that stirred up a lot of comments because…well, it straddles that line between scary and outrageous. See for yourself when you read my post over at the Muffin today:

THE WRITER WHO WENT TOO FAR

Yeah, that’s kinda dramatic, putting the post title in all caps, but honestly, y’all, this one’s a doozy. (And P.S. My agent friend said it was okay to share what happened.)

So, yeah. I’m going to leave it there. Except to say that if you have an opinion or comment, I’d love to hear more. (Unless you are the actual writer who went too far. In which case, Mr. Writer, I have recently moved. Somewhere far, far away. Probably in another galaxy.)

My Favorite Thing About May

2014-08-12 15.16.02May came in with temperatures around 80 in my little corner of the world so wheeee! Bring on the heat! Bring on the flip flops, sunscreen, and sandals! Hand me a Popsicle or a long, cool beverage and then don’t bother me. I’ve got reading to do.

It’s not that I don’t read during colder temps; it’s just that I read snuggled up in bed (because duh, I’m cold) and before you know it, my eyelids are getting droopy. Bottom line, it takes me ever so long to finish a book when I do my reading late, late at night.

But when the sun’s shining and the deck’s nice and warm, I take my book (or Kindle) outside and Libs lounges about, too, watching me read. (And just so you know, I get all my writer business work done in the morning, and I write later in the afternoon, so I’m not a complete scofflaw.)

Lately, I’ve had a couple of self-pubbed books at the top of my To Be Read pile. And I thoroughly enjoyed these stories, even though they’re outside the genres I generally read. However, I do have a small bone to pick; you’ll have to zip over to The Muffin to read Self Publishing Pitfalls to get the details. And then you’ll have finished your work, too, and can join me for a lovely after-lunch read on the deck.

Wheeeee!