Walks With Memaw

The sun starts to make its way into the western sky, leaving in the clouds behind it the most radiant shades of red and orange. Dark is coming which only motivates me to clear my dinner plate faster knowing that I won’t be excused from the table until I do. After I get the okay from momma, I jump up from my seat and run full force through the house and out of the front door causing the screen door to slam closed behind me. Dad shouts a warning, “don’t slam the door,” but I don’t even look back. I make my way across the driveway and over into the next yard. Outside, my papaw is watering his well-kept rose bushes and manicured lawn. He lifts the water hose my way, pretending that he is going to soak me with it but I know better from the many times we’ve played this game before. I make my way through his yard and up to the house. I sling open the front door and yell inside.We going today?” I wait to hear the small, sweet voice of the woman who makes my world turn. I know she’s in the kitchen, finishing up the dinner dishes but I don’t dare step inside with my shoes on. “Almost ready,” I hear my memaw call out.

It doesn’t take much to keep a eight-year-old girl from Frostproof, Florida entertained. We head down the driveway together and start out on our mile-long walk which consists of walking the streets of our neighborhood, Overocker Circle, four times. I don’t remember the days before our walks started, in my mind it’s just what we’ve always done. I don’t think that it was the walks that I enjoyed but rather the games that were played along the way. We sang nursery rhymes, played I-spy, told stories and talked about our day. Walks around that little country block is where I was first introduced to Baa, Baa Black Sheep, The Three Bears, and Henny Penny. I heard my very first Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl with sweaty palms and tired feet after a few times around the circle. I listened to made-up stories and configured my very own tall tales. Those moments were without a doubt where I first formed my love of words. I loved every word that came out of her mouth and now wish so much to have the opportunity to hear them all over again. As I memorized the songs and stories that she would teach me, I immediately began teaching them to my little sister. I just knew that she would need to know them one day for her walks with memaw. As our walks got fewer and fewer, we began taking along a notebook full of our little rhymes and I only recently realized its purpose. My memaw was losing her memories. My little sister would never enjoy the long walks and playful songs with our memaw. Alzheimer’s took that opportunity away before she was old enough to even understand what was happening.

I write every day of my life now. Oftentimes I think of my memaw while I do knowing that she would be proud of me following my dreams. I am so grateful for the time that I had with her and the writer that I have become because of that time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I keep my own notebook now that I will one day share with my grandchildren as we hurry through our dinner plates, rushing outside to meet for our walks.

Writing, simply

Writing, simply
Sometimes the thought of writing can be scary. You don’t even have to mention the word novel, it can be as simple as keeping a journal, sharing memories with a loved one or trying your hand at poetry. No matter how much practice you’ve had or how big (or small) your project might be, the thought of completing a written piece may seem like a stretch. Breaking it down, step-by-step, helps the beginning writer see that it’s really only a series of small tasks that produce an end result you can be proud of.

Before you begin:
Make a plan: Have an idea of what you wish to accomplish. If you want to write family stories and recipes for future generations, make a list of what all you want to include. If you wish to write short stories or a novel, you will need to begin with a basic outline.

Set up your work area: This doesn’t mean that you have to construct a library and find a desk with one of those old timey writer’s lamps. It simply means to make an area that is quiet and inspires you. Your writing area may be a cozy corner in your bedroom or outside on a swing somewhere. No rules!

Set your schedule: Make a plan and stick to it. If you need to take time off, schedule that as time off. Make sure that this time is uninterrupted time and let others know that you will be unavailable. This will help you maintain the integrity of your schedule.

And you’re off:
Start small: Aim to write no more than 300 words per day. This helps you get going without feeling overwhelmed. You will know when you are ready to increase your word count.

Have clear goals: Whether it be a word count, chapter completion, or other goal, make sure you have some. This will help you track your progress and keep you on target.

Get ongoing feedback: Find an honest person and learn to take criticism. It is better to realize you’re in a mess early on rather than when you’ve finished your entire piece.

Wrap it up:
Edit: edit, edit, edit. Then edit once more!

Share: Don’t put that piece in a drawer somewhere! Share it with someone. Send it to a publisher, self-publish, or give to a friend. You’ve worked hard, be proud!

Get back to it: Start a new piece. The more you write, the easier it gets so get started on something new right away.

Find your support:
Find a great writer’s group where you can share and learn with other writers.
Calhoun Area Writer’s Meeting
Friday, July 25
6-7:30p
Harris Arts Center Community Room
Karli Land karlisemail@yahoo.com
423*322*0504

Where I Wanna Be

There is a harsh reality

Living between two worlds

One seen with eyes wide open

One seen with eyes closed tight

 

Eyes closed, perfection

Only laughter, only beauty

Eyes opened, a broken world

People dying, children lost

 

Eyes closed, there are no limits

No worries, no cares

Eyes opened, loved ones lost

Gone too soon, true despair

 

Eyes closed, adventures await

Go anywhere, be anyone

Eyes opened, life mundane

Day to day, mere existence

 

Eyes closed, adventures grow weary

Hidden in darkness, kept still

Eyes opened, beyond worries

Little ones laughing, joy abounds

 

Eyes closed, no longer appealing

Suddenly constricted, slightly imprisoned

Eyes opened, human connection

My little ones playing

 

Eyes closed, colors have faded

I long for the light

Eyes opened, where I want to be

Happiness abounds

 

Eyes closed, I’m missing too much

Moments slip by

Eyes opened, I realize this place

Which I have tried to avoid

Is exactly where I want to be

The Day That Ol’ Man Jenkins Died

Trying my hand at some amateur poetry. :)

This is written about a man who died during a church service (which actually happened)….and is a 3 part poem. First part is the perspective of the preacher who was preaching, second part is from the little boy in the pew behind the man, third part is from Josephine Jenkins, the mans wife. Hope you like it!

THE DAY THAT OL’ MAN JENKINS DIED

My name is James McMillon and I work a farm these days

I used to be a pastor and led my sheep in praise

I still have sheep, sheep a plenty, but its not quite the same

These sheep are quiet, dont eat as much, and they are way more tame

I miss those days, standin tall, preachin till bout noon

Had no idea I’d be run off, and all so very soon

You see I was there that sad, dark day and remember it so well

I never saw him pass away, I missed it when he fell

I heard the shrieks and all the screams, thought my message was that good

So I started yellin a little louder, thought my words were understood

Now’s a good time to pass the plate, with everyone so aroused

I had no idea what was happening and what our tiny church had housed

I saw sweet Josephine sittin there, with terror on her face

I knew the spirit was workin, so I ran to her with haste

I asked for her weekly offering, just a mere ten percent is all

Thats when I saw him layin there and I swear this is what happened y’all

I thought that he was stoopin down, to try to miss the plate

So I told everyone to hush up now, the offering could wait

I explained that greediness was bad and especially playin dead

And before I knew what was goin on, I used my Bible and struck his head

I saw Betty Lou raise to her feet, and come at me with her purse

I ducked and turn to run thinkin things couldn’t get much worse

But I was wrong cause her husband Jesse came at me pretty fast

I took off down the isle and left that crazy church in my past

I’d say that day caused quite a stir, forced me now to hide

I preached my very last sermon, the day that ol’ man Jenkins died

 

My name is little Billy Barters and I have a funny story to tell

It all happened late last spring, I watched him as he fell

I gotta admit I was cross that day, as we pulled into the lot

I had gotten the switch from dad already cause I called my sister a snot

As I threw myself down in my seat, my view blocked by Josephine’s hat

I conjured up a dirty plan and turned into a sneaky rat

You see, the man was always grumpy, never a kind word to say

Always complaining about something, he was set in his cranky old way

The building is too cold, the music is too loud

I’m gonna stop coming to this church, cause I just can’t stand the crowd

There’s too many kids around, you would hear him mumble

And don’t get me started bout the service running over, his stomach would start to grumble

It started out pretty innocent, a small spit ball or two

But then I had the idea of ideas, you see, pranks were all I knew

I reached into my backback, right on past the good book

I had to be real sneaky, cause dad was giving me the look

I waited for the right moment, waited till he was barely awake

I took my hand from my bag and I pulled out a rubber snake

My sister, she just watched me, didn’t even tattle

She knew paybacks would be awful, after dad gave me the paddle

So just as the preachin reached its hallelujah peak

I laid that snake upon his shoulder and waited for the shriek

At first he didn’t notice, he was noddin off real good

So in udder desperation, I did all that I could

I threw my finger in my mouth and scooped up a finger full of spit

I gave that man a wet willy, as sloppy as wet willys get

His head shot up, he grabbed his ear and much to his surprise

As he turned to see a snake in his hands, I saw terror in his eyes

Many times I look back with a chuckle, and many times I’ve just cried

That was the last prank I ever pulled, the day Ol man Jenkins died

 

My name is Josephine Jenkins and I lost so much that day

My husband, my faith, my sanity, I seem to have lost my way

You see, he wasn’t outgoing, he wasn’t friendly, not many a kind word he shared

But for me, I didn’t need all that stuff cause I knew deep down he really cared

It was the little things that he did for me, things you would never see

Like the day that my daddy died, in the backyard he planted a tree

He bought me the book Gone With The Wind that time when my back went out

He propped me up, fixed me some tea, and asked what the book was about

He always remembered me at holidays, and he always had a surprise

And saturday morning with him by my side, we’d watch the sunrise

That day was a shock to many, I’m sure a day they’d like to forget

But that day makes me look back on my life and I have not one regret

As he laid there so lifeless, I admit I struggled to hold back the tears

I held him for the first time as he had done for me all those years

I knew that it was over, a soft goodbye I cried

I lost my life and my best friend, the day my husband died.

Book Teaser

NOT AT ALL a novel writer but I am trying to venture out and try new things…so….here goes…

I saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing. Dazed and confused I stood, trying to assess what had just happened. I remembered a gun shot, loud! As it rang in my ear it seemed to take all of my memories with it. In that moment I had no recollection of myself, my life, and all that I thought I knew vanished, causing me to question my own existence. As I looked down beside me I could see the trail of blood beginning to spread itself out onto my floor. It slowly made its way to where I was standing and wrapped itself around my shoe. I cringed at the thought of having it touch me and I tried my best to move away but shock and horror had paralyzed me. At that moment I gave no thought to who the blood belonged to. If it was mine, I felt no pain. I felt nothing; no pain, no sorrow, no loss, nothing. An intense nothing. The area around me began to fill with light. So much so that I felt my eyes tighten as if I may be blinded by the intensity of that light. As I began to look around me I could hear sounds. Heavy breathing which I assumed to be my own, the ceiling fan with its annoying squeak, I could hear the sound of a television playing in the distance. As I looked down at the trail of blood which now encased the outline of my foot, I began to follow it to its origin with my eyes. I don’t know that I ever could have been prepared for what my eyes landed upon. There he lie, in a puddle of his own blood. In a matter of one second, my memories began to return to me and slowly began flooding my mind. The way he looked, the sound of his voice. I stared in disbelief as his body lay on my floor, void of life. How does life continue without the person that carries you through it? My horror turned to overwhelming sadness and I began to feel rage. Who did this? How did this happen? As I stood there, feeling returned to me. I felt a tear roll down my cheek. I felt my heart pounding inside of my chest. I felt the cold metal object in my hand. I knew what I was holding without even looking down. My body gave way under my weight. I no longer had control of my muscles. As I dropped to my knees, I heard the sound of the gun hitting my floor.  

How ‘FROZEN’ Changed My Life

“What does the fox say” seems to be a question of the past and now our minds have moved on to building snowmen. I am all about catchy so those cute little tunes are constantly bouncing around in my mind fighting for space…often winning over things like remembering to start the laundry or pulling dinner out of the oven on time.
The other day as I drove through town running errands, I caught myself singing “Watching the hours tick byyyyy…” right before turning on my blinker…tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…
In closing, I realize that I am only contributing to the madness by humming these little tunes thereby passing them subliminally to other unsuspecting nuts. Even yet, I still cannot help but to combat my children arguing by turning to them with a sly smile and a melody on my tongue as I tell them lovingly to ‘Let It Go’ :)