Life: glass half empty version.

March 29, 2015 § 10 Comments

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You’re too young,

irresponsible, whiny, mouthy, impulsive.

Too drifty, dreamy, dumb to

pass math, finish your science fair project,

dodge summer school.

Too short, scrawny, knobby, chunky, zitty, metal-mouthed

to get asked to the dance

be called “popular”

kiss a member of the other team.

Too trapped; your bike has a flat.

And no, you can’t borrow the car

for another hundred years.

And even then it’s

a maybe.

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Ninety in March.

March 22, 2015 § 4 Comments


Suddenly it is summer, that season as warm and damp and rich as a slice of red velvet cake.

Summer already? Not by the calendar, which tripped over the official start of spring just two days ago.

But here in Tallahassee we hit ninety during the last week of winter. Then did it again. And again.

Ninety in March is how we do spring in Florida.

IMG_8297Raised up north, I remember spring as a slow and cautious season.

Winter retreated and advanced many times before dragging its sorry self off the field.

Spring flirted with us, encouraging shirtsleeves one day, then vanishing, leaving us scraping ice off windshields and shoveling a late snow.

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The novice makes a list.

March 15, 2015 § 8 Comments

Atticus.I typed “list” into Google Images to see what I’d get.

What stood out among the images of pencils, check marks, and to-dos was this very nice photo of Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

It was completely irrelevant to the search, but perfectly illustrative of how my random-access brain works.

It always finds “Gregory Peck” when searching for “list.”

My brain’s motto is, why be direct when a walk around the block is so much more interesting?

But lately I’ve trying to play it straight by making actual lists–it seems to work for others.

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Delancy Brother’s comes to town!

March 8, 2015 § 5 Comments

Every time I lead the women’s writing retreat on St. George Island I create, for our last exercise, a fictional event, then each of us draws a character from the hat and tells the story of the event through the eyes of that character.

This year a down-and-out circus/carnival rolled into a small, failing town–we writers like to call that the “setting.”

Among the point of view characters on the folded slips of paper were: the kid just learning to read who sees the poster, the clown who dreams of getting off the road and settling down, the town’s evangelical minister who believes this sort of show is a sign the end is near.

My draw from the hat was Juno, the woman who runs the local, underfunded ASPCA. Here’s her story.

Dog in a kennel.

Juno slumped against the wall facing the row of cages and a chorus of yips and yaps with old Fred baying the low notes as if a full moon hung overhead, not a sixty watt bulb that barely lit the corners of the concrete box that was the Greensville ASPCA animal shelter.

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