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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cross-Purpose Revelation



Cross-Purpose Revelation




Seems I can’t spend time at the beach without having at least one epiphany…something about water rushing to shore and time to think without interruption. Add being a writer into the mix, and the revelations trip all over each other trying to be the most profound.

This trip, the Cross-Purpose Revelation beat out the others. No worry. They’ll be back for seconds like redneck relatives at an all-you-can-eat potluck dinner.

The wind raged the entire four days, flinging sand into the air. The late September sun beat down, oblivious to the fact the first day of fall loomed. Waves crashed to shore, beating the shells to pumice. A scattering of North Florida surfers—thrilled over the churning sea—fought the rip tide on their short boards.

At one spot, a narrow sandbar confused the incoming surf. Primary waves combated secondary waves, sending fountains of spray into the air.

Cross-purpose waves, like life, often came from opposite directions, buffeting me. Which way to go? What’s the most important? What crisis requires the majority of attention? The questions bombarded my brain. Meanwhile, the waves crashed, blended. Ultimately, they all made it to shore, licked a small mark on the sand, then sucked back into the whole.

Where was the grand epiphany? Here goes.

No matter what turmoil, what conflict, what indecision, what cross-purposes life flings your way, the outcome is the same. You make a small mark, then your spirit blends back into the common ocean. And you try not to let the waves pound you to mush.


I must get back to work. Stop all this thinking. Epiphanies are exhausting.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Fun and Trials of Being a Writer




I often wonder what other people do--those not equally blessed and cursed with a need to write. Can they sit and have a meal without picking out details of their fellow diners' dress and gestures? Do they ignore the chit-chat around them? Can they just have a ice-cold beer and blackened grouper sandwich without imagining some story about the blond senior biker woman sitting two seats down?

Well, I can't. And a trip to a local waterfront eatery/cantina yields so much material for future Southern fiction novels, I nearly hurt myself entering snippets on my smartphone's notepad. Why do I need to invent dialogue when I can borrow it for free?


Here you go...


"We have only the finest Walmart wine. The kind with the screw-off cap."

"She's not listening. She's back on the crack again."
"Hey, you're not the only woman in my life."
"Sorry I was lookin' down your shirt."
"I don't know how your liver still functions."
"Gonna be a good day. Most of the staff's still sober."
"You sure are hanging out here a lot. What, did you piss off your wife again?"

Add to this: a rousing conversation about Duck Dynasty--with said biker lady and her, I think, granddaughter. Then, there were the signs...the "no pissin' off the dock" sign (above) and the one suggesting you not leave food unattended because of marauding seagulls. Lord help.


See, this is why I love the South. May hate the heat, the humidity, and some of the narrow attitudes...still...it is a breeding ground for my writing.


Plus, remember...I can poke fun. I'm from here.