Monday, May 31, 2010

Saturday Centus - Alone

I am joining Jenny for Saturday Centus, a fun weekly meme that let's us stretch our creativity and imagination. We are provided with a prompt, and then write a story with no more than 100 words. The prompt for this week's story is in blue type. Make sure to stop by Jenny's place and see some wonderful writers at work!

"Just look at that sky Daddy! It's the same color that you painted our front porch ceiling. Remember how you told me it would keep the haints at bay? And that magnolia tree is even bigger than the one in our back yard. Isn't this just the prettiest place you've ever seen?"

“May I help you, miss? You look puzzled.” “Mmmm… thank you, I’m just looking for my father. We came in together a moment ago, but he seems to have wandered off.”

"Are you sure? I saw you come in a while ago, and you were alone."

Alone. Reality slowly dawned on me. Yes, I was alone.

I turned and slowly walked back through the gates of the old cemetery. I sure hope Daddy is happy here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alphabe Thursday - S is for ...

Yippee, it's Thursday! My favorite class of the week, Alphabe Thursday, is about to start. Make sure that you get to class on time, Mrs. Matlock loves punctuality. This week our assignment is the letter S. I have no idea why this one gave me fits. I found a bunch of really strange words that begin with S, and I've found some pictures to go along with them. Enjoy!






So sue me for the last one, I'm trying to earn extra credit! Make sure to help Mrs. Matlock grade papers, this class is getting really large!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

If it weren't for bad luck....

I'm finally taking the plunge and joining Jenny Matlock for her Saturday Centus. This is a themed writing meme. We are provided with a prompt, (in blue) and then write a tale using 100 words or less. This is a great creative exercise, and the talent out there is really amazing.
Make sure to visit all the links, I think you'll be pleased to find some really great voices out in blogland!

I look back over my shoulder, squinting into the late afternoon sun, gawking with stunned alarm at the broad rolling muddy waters of the Mississippi.

How did the water rise so fast? Did I dare risk going back to retrieve that tiny slip of paper?
Of all the times for the air conditioning to fail! If the windows had not been open, that little piece of salvation would still be sitting in the sticky cup holder. Instead, it was swept away in that churning, chocolate foam that only hours ago had been a lazy winding river. Typical of my luck. Then, a memory of Mama telling us that we make our own luck. A slow U turn on the slick road, back to retrieve mine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Alphabe Thursday - R is for Rick Bragg

Time for my favorite class, Alphabe Thursday. Don't be late, Mrs. Matlock loves punctuality! This week, we are to write about the letter R. I thought about rabbits, but I'm allergic. Rapunzel, but we all know that story. Rock - n - roll, but I wrote about that last week. So I thought to myself, how about a favorite writer? Rick Bragg immediately came to mind.

Rick Bragg is the Pulitzer Price winning author of several books, a former journalist for the New York Times and currently a writing professor at the University of Alabama.

Rick's writing is strongly rooted in the oral story telling tradition of the South. To quote the man himself:

“My grandfather on my daddy’s side and my grandma on my momma’s side used to try and cuss their miseries away. They could out-cuss any damn body I have ever seen. I am only an amateur cusser at best, but I inherited other things from these people who grew up on the ridges and deep in the hollows of northeastern Alabama, the foothills of the Appalachians. They taught me, on a thousand front porch nights, as a million jugs passed from hand to hand, how to tell a story.”

The first book that I read from his collection of work was "All Over But The Shoutin'". His stories of growing up dirt poor in Alabama rang so true. It covers his discovery of the love for story, and his escape from the dirt scrabble world he lived in to become a writer. And what a writer he became. One of my favorite passages from the book:

You begged the sky for a single cloud. The sun did not shine down, it bored into you, through your hat and hair and skull, until you could feel it inside your very brain, til little specks of that sun seemed to break away and dance around, just outside your eyes. It turned the shovel handle hot and baked the red dirt til you could feel it through your leather work boots, radiating. Your sweat did not drip, it ran, turning the dust to mud on your face, soaking your T-shirt and your jeans, clinging like dead skin. The salt in it stung your eyes, until your lids were bright red and the whites were bloodshot like a drunk man. Every now and then you or some man beside you would uncover a ground rattler, and you would chop it to little pieces with your shovel or beat it to mush with rakes, not just because it could bite you, kill you, but because it got in your way, because you had to take an extra step, to raise your arms an extra time, under that sun."

What would I give to be able to write like this! I swear, after reading this you feel like you need a big tall glass of tea. One of the happiest memories I have is of meeting this man at the Texas Book Festival, and one of my most prized possessions is a signed copy of this book.

"Somebody Told Me" is a collection of his newspaper stories. Read "Where A Child on the Stoop can Strike Fear". But be warned, once you start reading, you won't be able to stop.

From "Ava's Man" to the "Prince of Frogtown", we meet the people and places that shaped this amazing writer. His writing is so evocative. You can feel the heat, smell the dust, see the landscape and the people that formed him.

If you've not read Rick Bragg's work, give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
I've attached links to his facebook page in case you are interested in seeing what he's up to now.!/rickbraggauthor

Now get to class and see what everyone else has chosen for R this week!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

She did it!

We spent a wonderful day Saturday celebrating Cait's graduation. The ceremony was lovely and we were just bursting with pride. We took Cait and a couple of her classmates to dinner at a really fun place in Sanger called Babe's. Oh my goodness, the best fried chicken I have ever had. And I'm from Mississippi, so that's saying something! Just wanted to post a couple of pictures from a very special day, and thank all of my blogging buddies for all the good wishes for our baby girl!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alphabe Thursday - Q is for Queen

Good morning Mrs. Matlock! I've been waiting anxiously all week for class to begin. My favorite class of the week, Alphabe Thursday! This week our letter is Q. I'm so excited. I've known what I wanted to write about since the letter A!

Q stands for Queen!

No, not Queen Elizabeth. QUEEN! One of the greatest rock bands ever! I've loved this band since the first time I heard them. They were so different. The production values, the incredible talent of the band members, the quirky lyrics and musical arrangements. Let's face it, how many bands in the seventies and eighties used ukuleles? But the most striking member of this band was their lead singer and front man Freddie Mercury. That voice! Those dimples :)

From the sheer bombast of God Save the Queen, Sheer Heart Attack and Stone Cold Crazy to the vaudevillian Good Company. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy and Seaside Rendezvous. From the silly, but still rockin' Fat Bottomed Girls and Another One Bites the Dust to the simple but lovely Love of My Life and It's Late.

Listen to Show Must Go On, with the knowledge that Freddie Mercury was dying at the time. It will send chills up your spine.

I loved Queen from the first time I heard them. But the image of them that will live in my mind forever is their performance at Live Aid in 1985. DH and I started watching from the beginning, and it was an incredible event. But when Queen took the stage - oh my goodness!
They positively held the audience spellbound, and gave one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen. I've included the video from their rendition of Radio Ga Ga. Honestly, not anywhere near one of my favorite songs. But watch Freddie and the way he mesmerizes the huge crowd. Seriously, it was almost frightening. For a giggle, watch the very end when Freddie acts as choir director. (click to stop my playlist so you can hear the video)

Freddie Mercury was arguably one the of the greatest rock front men who ever lived. And Queen one of the greatest rock bands. Innovative, lyrical and just plain fun, I LOVE Queen!

Now quick, get to class and see what everyone else has come up with for the letter Q. This should be and interesting week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alphabe Thursday - P is for precious photo memories

It's time for class! Join Mrs. Matlock for Alphabe-Thursday, my favorite class of the week. This week we are to write an essay on the letter P.

Our darling daughter will be graduating from college in 10 short days. And we attended the wedding of one of her high school friends this past weekend. Which has led to some trips down memory lane, and what better way to take the trip than through photographs?

I literally have boxes and boxes and boxes of photographs. Not to mention the 14 photo albums in my storage ottoman. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the advent of digital photography!

Forgive a mom's maudlin trip down memory lane and allow me to share some precious photographic memories with you. This is an edit of the post I did for Cait's 21st birthday. Sorry for "cheating", but it's been totally nuts around here. And besides, I did change it some Mrs. Matlock :)

We were blessed with a child who smiled and laughed almost the entire time she was awake. She was also a ham - if she started fussing, all we had to do was get out the camera and she would break into a huge, cheesy (or in this case) carroty grin!

As you can see, she began critiquing music at a very early age . . .

Her first cassette player. We actually still have this. Who knew it would lead to a life long Ipod addiction? It's a shame that Ipods aren't as cheap as those little cassette players!

She has always loved the camera, and the camera loves her. . . .

From Little Mermaid (see Marty, I did sew some once upon a time!) . . .

To High School Drum Major - Cait has always loved to "dress up" . . .

From "Middle School Good Citizen of the Year" . . . .

To High School Gangster - NOT . . .

From meeting a favorite performer . . .

To being a featured performer . . . . (click to enlarge if you'd like to read this)

From meeting Tigger at Disneyworld . . . .

To marching at Disneyworld in the Main Street USA parade . . .

From proud high school graduate . . .

To confident, strong and accomplished college student!

Thanks for indulging me in my trip down memory lane! Now get to class and listen to everyone else's contribution this week!