December 10, 2013
This 11 year old likes to write poems, play soccer, go mountain hiking and wants to be either an actor or a soccer player. He is an artist and an athlete. He even has a nickname. Oman. Pretty cool. But what really got my attention, besides the fact this little guy likes to write poetry (wish I could have seen a poem he's written) was what he wanted for Christmas.
Then, beside the half finished sentence I would also like to tell you Diego wrote in very neat handwriting, "I like to hear old music. Example: Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd." A fifth grader wanted to hear old blue eyes. Huh.
What I'd really like to do is send Diego back in time and let him meet the members of the rat pack. Of course, I would go along and have a cocktail or two and we'd have a fine time.
We all have so many gifts to share and we are all presents wrapped in different colored paper and shining bows. Diego reminded me of that.
November 19, 2013
As a reporter, one of my jobs on the small town newspaper was to write obituaries. Sorta sad, but always fascinating to me the way people spend their lives between birth and death.
Recently in the local newspaper, I came across the above obituary for Caroline Bouher who died at 84. From the obit it sounds as she had a nice long life. Some may have thought the most interesting fact about her was that she was raised on one of the first homestead ranches here in Arizona, horses and wild west and all that stuff, but my attention was grabbed by this sentence: "Rarely could anyone beat her in a game of Scrabble." Wow! Way to go Caroline. Now that's impressive.
Notice my hands are clasped as if I am anxious to put down an amazing word, or maybe just clasped because I'm losing again.
I love to play Scrabble, though I rarely never win. I probably lost that game pictured above. For a long time I thought because I'm a writer I should be a better player, but I got over that. (Learning the two letter words in Scrabble goes a long way in helping one win which I'm finally learning, but I still sorta suck.) Maybe it's just a game that ladies of a certain age like to play, but it seems a lot of my friends like to play Scrabble, too! Hmmm going out to a nightclub or play Scrabble? I pick Scrabble now.
I don't just play Scrabble here in Phoenix, either, I pack up my Scrabble dictionary and even my Scrabble board, if needed, and take it with me when I travel. Just writing that sentence makes me feel old. No dancing shoes in my suitcase. Instead it's Scrabble.
Okay so I'm not Scrabble whiz, but I can call myself a writer, anyway. Maybe someday my obituary will say, "she rarely won a Scrabble game. But she had a blast playing." Maybe in my next life I'll beat Sandy, and Chrissy, and Debbie and Stella, or maybe I'll just enjoy the Scrabble ride in this life and I will be a winner anyway.
October 31, 2013
If women went to the horse race track, I assumed they were tough broads, who wore red lipstick and drank bourbon. The closest race track to my childhood home was Arlington Park, and once or twice my friend's dad took us there. I remember it was very a big place, with a lot of old men. At the time I felt intimidated just thinking about all that money being spent by grownups on, of all things, horses.
I was fascinated, though, by the horses. They were so beautiful, with silky and shiny coats. They ran as if they had wings on their hooves.
Still, I was just a kid. I didn't have money to bet. I was not interested in ordering a yucky cocktail or puffing on a cigarette.
As I got older, and started wearing red lipstick and cocktails tasted pretty darn good, I maybe went to a horse race track once or twice. There remained an aura about them that didn't appeal to me. I didn't understand how to bet on horses, and I didn't like losing money. Yet, when I did go those few times, I loved seeing the horses.
I could have cared less about Album of Horses when I left home. I was 20, too mature for such childish stuff like horses. Oh but in later years I would remember the book and so wish I had saved it. And then at a yard sale last Saturday there it was. I bought Album of Horses for twenty five cents. My name wasn't in the cover page, but I felt as if I had found a piece of my childhood again.
I asked them, "do you ever invite your girlfriends with you on your race track trips?" The one guy said, "Nope. They'd want to talk." Right. Conversation. Why would women think that talking might be fun. Anyway....
In my Album of Horses book there is a painting of the Thoroughbred horse. When I look at it now, I think of the race track. Marguerite Henry wrote, "thoroughbreds are big in heart, high in courage, and they go on to finish the race." I hope I can be like a Thoroughbred, even if I get too old to physically race.
October 10, 2013
The night before, I had a long, busy night at the restaurant, even my feet still hurt, so the minute I read about someone quitting their waitress job, I was right there.
Not only did Miss Tabatha quit her job, but she along with her sour-faced cat, was going to be at a local bookstore promoting their book Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book. The book was on the New York Time's Best Seller List and a movie, yes a movie, is in the works. No more watiressing for Tabatha, plus a book deal, and a movie? What the heck? That morning as I read the article, envy dripped into my cereal bowl and threatened to spill all over my newspaper. .
You mean Tabatha didn't have to struggle to be a writer like so many of the rest of us writers who endure rejection, frustration, long lonely days at the keyboard, and still only dream of making the New York Best Seller's list. You mean all you had to do was adopt a cat? I was both jealous and grumpy.
Apparently Tabatha has been working as waitress for the past 10 year's most recently at this restaurant chain --
Now instead of taking orders for clam chowder soup and salmon, Tabatha is going on television talk shows like this one with her cat. Instead of wearing an apron, she gets to wear make up for the cameras. If I wasn't allergic to cats, I would have put down the paper and gone and adopted a cat right then and there. Nah. Not really. I'm a dog person. Still.
Here's Tabatha and Grumpy Cat at a recent book signing. Okay, so I'm jealous, not just of Tabatha, but of a cat. A cat has had a book singing before me. All this made me discouraged about all the effort and time I've put into my writing career. Why did I even bother with college? With writer's groups? With so many writing seminars. Bummer.
These were my thoughts until today when I learned that the literary author Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Alice Munro is a Canadian author who writes literary short stories that capture the human condition. She writes about deep and profound events in her character's lives. She works magic at storytelling. Her writing is rich and layered. Her stories leave you feeling as if you spent time in the lives of her real people. You come away not just understanding her characters, but your own life, with all it's beauty and pain. In other words, she is a writer who didn't just get a cat.
Still, both her and Grumpy Cat have had the honor of being on the New York Time's Best Seller List. So my writing friends, there is room for all styles and types of writing, both by crabby felines and smart females.