Diggin' Up Bones



I know...you think I've been neglecting you. Never fear- I have been here, recharging my batteries. 

It started when Mertis and I were out wasting time in Tuesday Morning.  Lying on a bottom shelf toward the back, almost hidden by the deep shadows, was a cheap, way-discounted, metal detector.  Instead of towels, I gave in to impulse.

In the process of trying to learn what my new toy can do, I discovered dumpdiggers.com.  It was all downhill after that.

You may not know this, but here's a whole flock of folks out there diggin' up old potties and looking for buried treasure.  Like Ant.

I even found a couple of guys, Heath and Bongo, who make and sell Privy Probes. 

I find this all frankly, fascinating.  Vaguely disturbing but nonetheless fascinating.


Up a Dry Creek Without a Divining Rod


I went up to visit my poor, little cabin Thursday.  There's still no water in the spring box and the well man's on vacation. 


The flowers in the window boxes hung their heads, withering in the heat.  One lone melon vine clung to the Big Ugly bare spot where the sycamore tree used to be.  It had flowered but has apparently given up trying to set fruit, daunted by the harsh, dry soil.


Things are bad enough I've started writing stories about bodies stuffed down dry wells and folks haunted by the ghosts of Yankee soldiers.


Riding the Range...


I knew there was cowgirl in my blood...Great-aunt Miriam Van Waters, riding the range in Oregon. She was a social worker and an author, (although she wrote non-fiction.)

Funny how history repeats itself, huh?


Where I've Been This Week...Week 2

Such a week...

A not good, unpleasant, very bad, week of re-entry...

On Nursing Home Tuesday the weather forecaster says it will be sweltering. I wear a gauzy black skirt. I walk down the facility hallway and into my first patient's room.  I take a seat in her wheelchair and hold her hand because she is crying.

The nursing home is warm and stuffy, but here in her room it is quiet and cool. 

I relax back into the wheelchair to listen, but even as I do my external sensors register how comfortable this room is compared to the rest of the home.  It is so wonderfully cool.

Cool and...clammy?

A tiny alarm bell begins to ring in my head...

Why is the sensation of coolness coming from my ass?

Usually, when the air conditioning cuts on in a building, the unexposed area of the body is not the first part to experience relief.


Oh, dear...

This can't be, and yet, it is...

I am sitting in pee.

I have 8 more patients to see.

And I am wearing thong underwear.

It is only Tuesday morning and yet...

My week does not get any better.


Where I've Been for the Past Week...

I've been in the mountains of western North Carolina at the Wildacres Writers Retreat.  A beautiful place that looks like this...


In a bark-sided guest house, down a steep hill...



Staying in a sumptuous guest suite...


Which I'd leave to walk up long, stone steps


where I spent hours pondering the vagaries of Genre Fiction with these wonderful folks...


Writing and learning about writing is very stressful.  It's tiring and thankless work.  A week like this one can be downright traumatic and not just for the new author.  Even the strongest writer has broken under the intense scrutiny of their peers. 

By Thursday night, there wasn't a one of us who hadn't retreated into our "happy place," that fantasy world that so often soothes the frazzled mind.  We fled into our pasts, seeking out those easy, carefree days when all things were possible.  Those good old days of yore- when a man was a man...


a horse was well, a horse...




And the faculty...well, they still lost what faculties they had...


I'm telling you- This week was hard, especially on the younger ones...



But we all soldiered our loads and went on...The students wrote and read their works aloud...




Because if they knew what would happen if they didn't- If they whined or shirked their writerly responsibilities, or so much as forgot to wear their nametags, the Woman With The Whip would wipe the smiles right off their little,cherubic faces...


It's not easy being a writer...but then, I do suppose it beats the alternative...




Killer Instincts on the Fourth of July

Fishing at Marti's on the Fourth of July is becoming a tradition.  This year, Marti hooked the big one...in the tail.

It was a mighty battle. 


It took help hauling the thing ashore. Just as they landed the puppy, it fought its way free.

Unlike most fish stories, we have proof of its massive girth.


I was there when Marti landed the next catch, too.


Later Marti asked Mertis why she seems bent on squeezing the life out of the little creatures when she's taking them off the hook. (We always throw them back.)


"That's how I was taught," Mert answered.  "You hold them like that so their gills don't cut you."


Marti stabbed the air with her finger.  "You're making that up! I think you're trying to pop their little eyeballs out," she cried.

"You mean cuz I grab 'em like this?" Mert asked.