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Archive for the ‘General Poo Dee Dah’ Category

Thoughts in a writer’s peaheaded brain at 1:30 and change

10417600_10152480426884176_6460205242015283935_nOnce again, I awoke at the magical hour of one thirty plus change. I’ve had some alarming insane writer thoughts, like, “Is one-thirty going to mean something pivotal? like the hour I am to die one day?” Yes, I think things like this. Same as I used to look over at the clock and it would “always” be eleven:eleven, 11:11. I’d think, “Oh no! Why do I keep looking at the clock and it is 11:11, surely disaster is going to happen at 11:11!” Now, never mind that I could look at a clock fifty times a day and it is only 11:11 twice, but!, those four one’s just kept jumping out at me. So, dear readers, I’m sure I awake at other times than one thirty and change; however, I do not get up and look at the clock. So there.

So, I’m awake and lying there (after going to the bathroom and looking at the clock and wandering in the living room and looking out the window, and wandering into the next room and looking out that window) and I thought how writers (or at least this one) can take any little thing and write an entire damn page out of it. You noticed, huh? Well, dang. I answered myself in my head, “So, like what kinds of any little things do you mean?”

And I answered myself back, “Like little things. You know, insignificant nothings and I turn them into significant somethings.”

Myself said, “Oh, you mean, like for instance, peas.”

“Yes, that’s a good one, peas. Those green peas.”

“So, what about peas?”

“Well, peas are pretty boring; I’m not sure what I’ll come up with.”

“I’m sure you’ll find something, since you are, supposedly, awkwardly, maybely, fortuitously, unfortunately, *snicker* a genius writer *snicker*”

My other self is a gawdamned smart ass.

Anyway, I suddenly had an image of very green peas on a bright white plate. They are sitting there waiting to be eaten by a large bald man. (I just added the large bald man, though I didn’t picture him at one-thirty and change. He just appeared this moment! He’s pretty big and mean looking, so I’ll leave him here.) So, the very green peas on the bright white plate are there, waiting to be consumed by Large Bald Man.

this is a Charlie Brown pea-head

this is a Charlie Brown pea-head

One of the peas (and I swear this is exactly what I was thinking last night other than the large bald man who showed up unexpectedly just now), one of the peas decides it does not want to be eaten. It quivers on the plate, because it all of a sudden decides that being scooped up by a fork, shoved in a nasty moist mouth, chewed, verily I say, masticated to with an inch of its green, with hard teeth until it is a nasty green pulpy mess of gunk, and swallowed down the tube, and into the stomach, where the acid and digestive tract juices will render it even more unrecognizable from its cute round shape, then down it goes, still aware that it was just a moment ago still a cute round pea, and horrified that it is now a disgusting mess, it makes its way into the small and large intestines, along with other extremely disgusting gunk, and is deposited into the toilet, where it will be flushed to more unworthy places.

So, that one pea quivering on the plate, rolls and jumps off the plate, onto the table, and then onto the floor, where it cries out “I’m free! I’m free!”

That is where my thoughts of the very green peas on the bright white plate ended. I was then very tired and wanted to sleep without thinking about peas. I thought maybe I was insane and should be knocked unconscious before I did any more harm to my psyche. So, I wandered around the house again, and wrote on an envelope “Green Pea. Digestive Tract. Table.” And, thus satisfied I would remember things not worth remembering, I went back to bed.

photoYou may be wondering what happened to the little pea that could? Maybe it rolled out the door and is hiding in the woods? or maybe a fox ate it? No, no one but the big bald dude likes peas. What do YOU think happened to that sweet pea? I’d like to know myself. But, it’s time to finish this cup of coffee, y’all. *Kat trails off . . . .* Dang.

 

Monday Classroom: More Grammar Tidbitters (ain’t you gladeravated?)

10305604_10152463711914176_2993508658427162551_nMorning, all y’allses! What? You think all y’allses isn’t correct? Well, it ain’t. It ain’t even correct in many southern towns. Nope. But it’s correct in my pea-head, so there y’allses goes’ses.

Our manuscripts will never be perfect. Yeah, I know! It’s difficult to imagine, isn’t it? That we aren’t or will never be perfect? Nor will our books/essays/short stories, and so on. Lawd and Dang. However, we can do our best to strengthen our work by learning The Rules and applying them when we “should.” Then, we can break those rules with a firm and knowledgeable hand. Right? Riighhht!

downloadDo you own a Strunk & White? No? *Gasp!* Go ye and purchase one. I don’t care if you’ve heard it’s all stuffy-fied. I’ll wait whilst you do. *Jeopardy music here* You back? All right then (and notice, yes sir and yes m’am, that all right is two words—two!).

Now, let us begin.

As I wrote above, all right should be two words. Not alright. Because I say so. So does “Grammar Girl,” who I do agree with (and yes I know what I just did with that sentence and how I ended it!). And I don’t care if people are beginning to “accept things that are used all the time.” Nope. All right?

Do you feel badly? Well, what’s wrong with your hands? Yep. Feeling badly, or feel badly: think about it. Roll that around on your tongue-brain. It is: I feel bad. I feel bad that you think I’m being a grammar bitch (I really don’t feel bad – haha!).

Another of those pesky “ly” words: Most always when we write “hopefully” we mean “I hope or with hope.” Yup. It is with hope that I write this tip prompting you to stop saying “Hopefully, I will understand all this mess.” Well, dang me but “hope” looks like it’s spelled all wrong and I know it is not. Ain’t that funny when a word does that in our heads? One we’ve written many times will all of a sudden be all wrong in said heads?

Of course there are many “ly” words that are perfectly acceptable. Those adverbs — ly words — flummox people right and left and up and down. Another day with the ly-ers.

well, sheee'it

well, sheee’it

Who that? I often see/hear “that” used instead of “who—” if you are writing/speaking of a person, then it is who. She is a woman who likes strawberries right off the vine; not, she is a woman that likes strawberries right off the vine.

Commas before which’s. The dog wanted his walk, which was most inconvenient for the woman who wasn’t yet ready. What? I don’t care! It’s correct! Because Strunk & White say so! And I do, too. Humph. If you hate commas, “that” can be used instead of “which” in many sentences. But if you are going to use “which” then use the comma, which is proper grammar that can be used today and tomorrow and so on and so forth and la tee dah tee dah.

We Southern/Mountain folk often add words and such all and all that stuff and a little bit of this and that the t’other. I often use colloquialism in my work, since my settings are usually in the Appalachian/Deep South. So if you read my work, you will see grammar discombobulations when I am in the character’s voice. However:

Off of is incorrect, and plain old “off” is correct. The woman jumped off of the couch and ran to the porch to yell, “Git off’n my land!” should be The woman jumped off the couch and ran to the porch to yell “Git off’n my land!”

As well, instead of “Could of” we should write/say “could have” – I could of had a V8 is incorrect! Don’t you watch commercials to learn yer grammarfications? It’s I could have had a V8! Or “I could’ve had . . . .” That said, I it may sound as if I am saying the “could of” because I’m southern and charming and oh so mysteriously colloquial. Tee hee.

you nauseate me - just say'n

you nauseate me – just say’n

Nauseous versus Nauseated. If you feel it, it is nauseated. If you or someone or something else is causing the nausea, well then, that is nauseous.  I am nauseated because you vomited on my just-mopped floor, you nauseous pile of vomitus!

Y’allses gots any grammerfications and other writin bloooperdoops you wanna tawlk about?And, as always, if I have an error, which does happen because I’m imperfectly perfect, point ‘er out and I’ll fix it (if I agree).

Now, go do the day!

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Touty Plug of the day: Family Graces, the 3rd book in the Graces Trilogy. This explores Momma’s and Rebekha’s lives more, and we finally learn what happens with Virginia Kate and Gary.

family_graces_-_screen

Poetry Sunday from a Non-Poet

deep creek hike 148I never know what to do with my poetry. I’m really not a poet; I’m a novelist and occasional short story writer. Still, every so often I have to say something in very few words. I have to create an image stuck in my head and heart and other innards that is poking at me and needs release — and it’s something that definitely isn’t going to be a short story or novel. So, unlucky for you dear readers who happen here, *laughing*, I am going to occasionally post them here on Sundays. That way, they have a home and aren’t gathering mold and dust upon my computer. It just makes me feel better – as if I didn’t write them in a lonely vacuum and leave them homeless.

 

 

THE KILLING SPOT

 

The deer pauses

early morning fog twining ‘round a100-year-old oak

whose ancient branches weary to the ground,

reach, touch roots, leave a bit of deceptively soft Spanish moss

to trail along by the action of breezes

 

and she that is alone

lowers her snout to dew spattered grass, sips each blade

a delicate pull of her lips, teeth bite down, chew swallow and begin again.

Silence knows her.

 

He comes on quiet paw

watches her from behind a young swarm of knobby cypress knees—

the mother cypress towering near—steam sears from his heated body,

saliva slips from sharp points of teeth, his tongue protrudes,

slicks along his lips

 

she lifts her head

trembles, the ripples vaguely discernable across her small compact body,

nostrils flare, a tear of moisture drips and falls to the ground

as one tiny hoof lifts in preparation for flight—

 

—and he is upon her

snaps her neck, one swift calculated bite finds its way to her death,

she is consumed,

the rest left as pickings for the scavengers who are patient,

waiting for her fall

 

He saunters away belly distended

the good parts of her he uses for nourishment

the parts he has no need are disgorged upon the earth

 

Her bones are licked clean

Lay bleaching in the sun—

 

And he returns again and again to the killing spot, sniffs, wants more

of what she no longer has to give.

 

 

–kat magendie

 

 

Finding the rest of your (life’s) story . . . .

I found this blog post from right after my father died and my brother and I went on a journey – an odyssey – and I was keeping a little bit of a “blog journal” of our travels —  little did I know how my life would morph and change in unexpected, and very big, ways–though, truth told, I knew change was coming; felt it in my bones, down to the marrow. I read this post as if someone else wrote it, and it contains a message for me. Maybe for someone out there, too.

———————————————————–

10274015_10152437219614176_2351572946895967498_nAs my brother and I left Blanchard Caves on our Odyssey trip, one of the tour guides said to us, “Watch out for deer. They come out this time of the evening.”

It wasn’t ten minutes later, as we carefully drove along an unfamiliar road in the soon-to-be-coming dusky dark, that I saw a deer by the side of the road and said, “Up head. There’s one; be careful.” We passed the deer without incident, both laughing at how we were warned and then there a deer was.

A few miles more, and I saw her. She darted out quickly and in the time it took me to open my mouth and yell, “Watch out!” she’d already ran right into Tommy’s truck. The sickening sound of WHAM! against metal, and our cries of “Oh no!”

deep creek hike 130 Tommy said, “I can’t go back. I just can’t.” The stricken look that formed his features into grief must have mirrored my own.

I said, “I know, Tommy. I understand.”

Yet, as we both said this, he’d already slowed, ready to pull to the side of the road. We both knew we couldn’t leave a suffering animal. We’d just lost our father and the thought of dealing with death of any kind caused our faces to fall into folds of worry and sick and sad. The Odyssey had barely begun and already we were ready to call it Done. It was all too much. Too much. Too much. And if she was suffering, what would we do? How to help her?

Tommy looked into his rearview and said, “Hey wait! She’s up! She’s running into the woods.”

“That means she’s probably okay. Oh I hope so. And Tommy,” I said, “even if she’s not, we can’t go searching for her in unfamiliar woods, especially with dark coming soon.”

“I know,” he said. And we went on our way down that lonely darkening road. The night tainted, unfamiliar. Grieved. It felt as if Tommy and I were the only humans left in the world. Visions of the beautiful animal hurt in the woods pummeled my thoughts. I know Tommy was feeling that too.

084After driving in silence for another hour or so, we began to worry. There was nothing out there but a smattering of farm houses here and there far back from the road. We were tired and ready to settle in for the evening. At last we saw lights in the distance, and we came to a gas-station where we stopped to fill up. As Tommy went inside, I looked around, trying to gauge my bearings, feeling disoriented and exhausted. There were a few men standing around but they didn’t look approachable. Another woman filled her car, but she had an angry expression. I felt uncomfortable there, as if I were an interloper upon their space and place and time.

Just then, a woman pulled up to fill her tank. Something about her calmed me, so I made my decision and walked up to her, “Excuse me,” I said, “But where are we?”

She laughed, and told me.

“Is there a hotel nearby?”

She laughed again, then said, “Not one you’d want to stay in, that’s for sure.”

At my stricken look her face softened. “Hey, look. You can go to Hardy. It’s a little town but it has a couple of decent hotels. And!” She smiles at this, “And! it has a Wal-mart and a McDonalds!”

“Sold!” I grinned at her, then said, “Thank you so very much.”

“No problem. Drive safely. There’s some construction on the way.”

A little over an hour later, Tommy and I were checked-in to a hotel, and set out to the McDonalds for salads and to Wal-mart for a few supplies. Our moods were lighter, our faces lit in relief.

I said to my brother, “I only wish I’d asked her name. She saved us a heap of driving into the unknown.”

107The next morning was bright and beautiful. Tommy and I prepared again for our Odyssey, our faces as bright and beautiful as the morning. “Off we go!, I cried, “Into the wild blue yonder!” We laughed, speeding off to the next adventure.

I think often if we’d have given up because of that evening we were so tired and sad and distraught. I think if we’d have consulted technology and sped our way to an interstate where everything is The Same, given up the discovery we had been so excited about—the old back roads using only our sense of direction and a paper map. I think what if we’d have said the trip was too hard, and we were too tired and disoriented. We’d have missed the Rest of the Story. We’d have never known the days ahead of that evening. We’d have slapped the face of the evenings before The Deer & Lost in the Dark incident when we felt as if the entire world was waiting for us to find little treasures.

The magical world of readingEverything doesn’t have to be easy. Everything doesn’t always go our way, or the right way. Everything we do has ups and downs, has disappointments and successes. It’s when we decide to keep going, to let the dark times teach us to reach out and to find The Rest of The Story, that we live the life we were meant to live—one well-lived.

Will you give up? Or will you find The Rest of Your Story?

Tuesday Morning Coffee: getting your groove on or back or sideways or however a groove works – haw!

When Angie’s nekkid husband comes in (but we didn’t get to see him – lawd!) and Ann says she flaps around her house like a bird – well dang — and I receive texts that Ann interprets as inappropriate (because they usually are – teehee). But we do manage to stay on topic, a little anyway.

And yes, I have neglected my blog and for that I offer up only discombobulated grunts. One day my life will fall back into place, but won’t that be boring? haw! My life, right now, is all about exploration and discovery and wild rides and meeting new people and seeing new (and old) places and experiencing things I’ve never experienced because I’ve been afraid or busy or made excuses or was hiding — now, well, WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HAAWWWWWWWWWWW! watch out, Kat (or watch out, World – maybe I should say!). All many of these experiences will go into my new novel. Yeah. WHUPOW!

Work-out Writer: When it’s like sex

katmagendie:

I miss these old “work out writer” posts and think I shall resurrect them. This one is one of my favorites – “The work out writer: when it’s like sex” . . . .

Originally posted on Kathryn Magendie:

breath -- breeeaath -- breeaaatth -- BREATH breath — breeeaath — breeaaatth — BREATH

Workout: You anticipate the workout, what it will feel like, how good it will be. Your brain flirts with the idea of what you’ll soon experience. You dress in what you know will entice you to the gym, put you in the mood. You hop on the treadmill, and begin slow, slow, slow, warming up, your body begins to Pay Attention, something exciting is about  to happen. The music pulses in your ear, the beat just quick enough to cause your synapses to fire off, your blood to move, your heart to quicken. Arch your back, feel your spine tingle, mouth slightly open so breaths can essss-scaaape.

As the music pulse upbeats, so do you, a little faster, a little more intent, your breath begins to pant, your body oh so aware—you oh so aware of your body and what it can…

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Oprah says, “Don’t Be Attached to the Outcome . . . .” AHA! What about you and your “Goals?” . . .

katmagendie:

Lookee what I found – and this is something I really needed to re-read while going through all my stress and worry and changes and anxiety and chaotic though and insomnia – Kathryn, take your own advice, okay? Okay!

Originally posted on Kathryn Magendie:

$T2eC16ZHJHYE9nzpebcPBQwlkrIDOQ~~60_57When you have done everything that you can do, surrender. Give yourself up to the power and energy that’s greater than yourself  . . . and then don’t be attached to the outcome.”

When I read this last night in the January issue of O (Oprah) Magazine, I had one of her “Aha!” moments. For “attaching myself to the outcome” was exactly the thing I’ve always done. I’ve always been goal-oriented, driven, conscientious, competitive—nothing wrong with those traits, but when “attaching myself to the outcome” of my work, I create a never-ending river of rapids where, despite what I believe, I am not in control, and in fact outside forces and circumstance are completely in control of me as I hurtle from rock to rock, place to place, every so often my head above water, but so often I’m barely able to catch my breath.

In my…

View original 865 more words

My sweet SWEETIE novel: amazon’s monthly 100, lucky me.

sweetie by kat magendieYes, yes; I know lately my posts have been more about my books than usual. It’s something I have shied away from, but when I do that, my readers tell me, how do they know when I have a deal? Or a new book coming out? They have to stumble on it, or Amazon sends them something, or my publishers promote it. And lately, for some reason, Amazon has been focused on giving deals on my books. First The Lightning Charmer was $1.99 (it is still $1.99! I just checked. They keep extending it!), and then Family Graces was $1.99 (not any more), and now my Sweetie novel is on their Amazon Monthly 100 deals for, guess what? Yeah, $1.99. Must be the magical number. It means incredible savings for my regular readers, yes, but what it also means is that new readers find author’s books when Amazon does these deals. So, while I am not  making a lot of money, I am gaining readers: and that, my friends, is mighty wonderful. Few authors go into this for the money, and if they do, they soon realize that this better not be the reason! *grin*

Sweetie has been one of the most talked about of all my novels. I’ve received more mail on this book than any other. Though I will not go look, I have been told people “argued” on Amazon about the ending: many loved it and some didn’t. Despite any of those who may have not liked the ending, it has a 4.4 star rating, so I am guessing most loved the ending and the book *yay!* I took a chance with that ending–but, it was the only one that worked, the only one that was true, that it could ever be.

Some of the questions I receive on Sweetie are: “Are Sweetie and Melissa lovers?” This always surprised me, for the book isn’t about sex or sexual love–it’s about friendship and loyalty, and family in all its forms. I cannot place Sweetie and Melissa as lovers or not as lovers–it is for the readers to decide who they are and who they became after I wrote the last words. “Did Melissa ‘find’ Sweetie at the end?” I never answer this directly, for it would take away the magic. But, okay, what do I really think? Yes. I think Yes. I believe. Yes. I’m also asked: “Did you experience something like what happened in that weird revival tent? It was so vivid and real!” *laughing* No! I made it up! And thank you to those who asked that and said it was so vivid and real! And, “Sweetie can’t feel physical pain? What’s up with that?” This is a real condition, but I didn’t want to make the story “just about” that or the center of that by focusing too much on it or, again, taking away the “supernatural quality” of Sweetie: it’s hovering there; it is a part of who Sweetie is; it is why the town is afraid of her (that and her strange mother), a town that believes in superstition and magic and the supernatural.

Some blurby stuff on Sweetie:

1743500_553542498076585_1943216434_nSWEETIE, a crossover novel for adults and older teens. Kat Magendie writes about the dark bends in the hollers of the soul, most usually the soul of high coves of Appalachia, coal country, West Virginia, or North Carolina, but it could be the soul of any of us on this whirling ball of deep spirits and spit . . . Sweetie is the haunted child of poverty and superstition in her mountain town. Tough for a reason, wild for good purpose, and doomed like her family, if the righteous decide it’s time to clear out the hoodoo troublemakers. Melissa is the opposite, good girl, good family, except for the core of courage that turns out to be a match for Sweetie’s. Odd best friends. And maybe doomed.”

“A little mountain town in the 1960s, a reclusive girl who feels no pain, an unlikely friendship. Melissa will come to understand that just because Sweetie feels no physical pain, does not mean she cannot be hurt  . . . 

Lyrical and poignant gothic southern storytelling. Sweetie is a wild girl, rough, almost feral, yet brave and endlessly honest. When Melissa, a shy, stuttering town girl, befriends Sweetie, the two enrich each other’s lonely lives. But there are some in the Appalachian community who regard Sweetie and her peculiar heritage as sinister…

As always, I appreciate your support. This thing I do is nothing without my readers. You just can’t imagine (unless you too are a novelist) how it feels to know people are reading your work! And if they love it, well, this is the greatest feeling of all. I have so much gratitude. 

Ten answers without questions . . . .

Keep your eye on the prize, y'all

1. Well, since you asked—more than I want to admit.

 
2. Yes, I have, and it hurt like the dickens.

 
3. When hell freezes over, you jackass.

 
4. I might, if I have enough vodka tonics racing through my veins—teeheehee. Oh You!

 
 5. Because if I don’t, the voices in my head take over by shouting and jumping up and down and punching me in the brain and playing football with my synapses and it ain’t pretty, and in fact, is rather disturbingly weirdly fascinating.

 
6. I will if you will.

 
7. There is no evidence. You can’t prove it.

 
116-0018. Yes, they are real; they have always been real; they will forevermore be real; they have been real since 5th or 6th grade and they will be real when I die. Everything from the tippity top to the bittity bottom is Real and Mine. Please stop asking.

 
9. A lot more than you think *coy smile*

10. Three big huge earth-shattering ones, but I was alone. *winks*

Saying goodbye to Professor Dawg . . . .

For those of you who don’t visit my facebook page, I have the sad news that Professor Dawg, who often accompanied my writing posts and workout posts, has left us. We had to let him go a few weeks ago on the vet’s table–I was in Oregon and didn’t get to say a final goodbye; though I’d been saying goodbye to him for a few months before his death, as he’d been ill. He was a good dawg and a good friend. He will be very much missed.

Goodbye Jake . . . Professor Dawg. I won’t be able to use Professor Dawg’s photo here any more after today – it would just break my heart.

my workout buddy

my workout buddy


This woman's face in my hair is not a touched up photo - it really did just show up in the photo - about a week before he died.

This woman’s face in my hair is not a touched up photo – this woman’s face really did just show up in the photo – about a week before he died.


Professor Dawg

Professor Dawg

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