Wednesday, July 27, 2011


For the past week, I've been haunted by a recent dream of mine. And it's not because Brenden Fraser found his way into it. It's because, somehow, my unconscious incorporated literary theory and threw me a curve ball. It went something like this:

The world has survived some kind of apocalypse, and I am on the run from something. It is sinister and it stalks me from one of my childhood homes. My only means of escape is an old suburban. An old, junker suburban with no air-conditioner and bad shocks. It is my fortress.

I climb inside and drive fast and to no specific destination. Just knowing that I need distance, because distance is my only ally. My enemy is ambiguous, I don't know its strengths or weaknesses.

Finally, I stop at an old diner. Yes, my companion is Brenden Fraser, but it isn't really him--otherwise, I probably wouldn't have bothered saving him later. Just sayin'.

Anyway, after I eat some kind of food (the dream didn't specify anything, but even my dream self has good taste in food, so it had to have been excellent) I realize I have a problem. Because I see another me, another Brenden, another just about everyone else I've ever known in my life.

I'm sure you've already guessed, but these Other mes and other yous were the enemy. I'm still not sure what their deal was. But they were evil, zombielike, and yet perfect representations of their doubles in every way.

My "pal" and I fight them off, climb into the suburban, and speed away. But they plague us everywhere, trying to kill us. I manage to keep warding them off, although my "pal" keeps breaking down and sobbing at various and inopportune times.

That's about the extent of it. But Doubles and Others in one? Whew. I don't even want to analyze that dream...

A poem which I reserve the right to redact at any time:

Sometimes, my hopes scrabble away,
faster than tumbleweeds at the command of the wind,
shrivel like tropical flowers in a heat that is anything but semi
and definitely arid--a dust devil circling, spinning
killing with arrogance and display.

Sometimes, I expect them to die, or
at least to abandon me like the fairweather friends they are
because, like the desert nomad and his bitter-eyed wisdom,
I have watched living dreams die mercilessly
sometimes at my own hand.

Sometimes, my hopes defy me--like morning glories
they refuse to die, they are more weed than flower:
they come true, and I am not prepared--elation scoffs to grace my surprise.
Loyal, they thrive, prosper, persevere.
Somewhere, someone is laughing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Atavistic Apologue...

When I was fifteen, the most fascinating thing in the world was history. But not just any history--my family's history. I was on a quest to find adventure, and the most feasible option was to live vicariously on the tales of my forefathers.

I discovered a family history of bootleggers, railroaders, immigrants, and much much more. Even better, I discovered that my granddad sailed to Brazil on a steamboat, trapped in the Yukon, ranched, farmed, and couldn't enlist in the military because he didn't have a permanent address.

Yep. I like to think of him as the family hobo (if you overlook the negative connotations of that word [ehem, rotten teeth]), traveling the world and working any trade that was handy. His mother died of the Spanish Flu, he ran away as a twelve-year-old (got work on a certain steamboat I've mentioned) and he's been going strong ever since.

One day, I will really write his story.

*Atavistic Apologue

Friday, July 15, 2011

On the Horizon

I'm excited. My two weeks of summer break are coming up soon, and I have some awesome goings-on to look forward to.

First, my band, Foley Bluegrass, will be playing at the Lubbock Country Club and at an Ice Cream Social that serves as a fundraiser for a really old, really cool school-building*.

Second, the Tony Hillerman short-mystery-story deadline is fast approaching, and I will be submitting my short story, "Coffee and Cartels," to it! The folks over at Word Harvest can expect my entry soon.

Between song writing, mystery writing, and academic writing, I have my hands full right now. But busy doesn't have to be a bad thing...and it doesn't have to stop me from plotting my next story and/or song...

Speaking of busyness, I'm off to write another paper. Later!

*Picture of me, my sister, and my husband at the old Close City schoolhouse.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I need some SPACE!

I learned a lot this past month about writing. Specifically, rewriting--rewriting the past.
I've been writing fiction for nearly seven years, and I'd like to think I've made headway in that time. But, if my writing doesn't mean anything or change anything, what is the point?

So, after reading Object Lessons by Irish poet, Eavan Boland, I've decided to follow her example and start revising, re-appropriating within my own work. After all, my mystery is set in New Mexico and bolstered with Mexican and New Mexican folklore. Where is my place in that lore? Well, that's what I'm working to discover--my place and the places of others like me. People alive and struggling for space right NOW.

Interestingly, a character I thought was minor for months has suddenly taken on a role as story-teller inside my novel. She's renovating in ways I never saw coming, and it's a good, good thing.