Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Checking in...

I'm so sorry I've missed such a block of posts. And I know I owe you a P & D.

I just haven't felt like blogging much lately. I'm working on my writing but I'm still freaked out about my health. Every ping in my head, eyestrain and skipping heartbeat makes me think I need to get offline so I can use the phone. I'm creeped about it. I'm suffering from a creeping malaise.

Peggy over at Hidden Haven said Binky had two buck kids--who she named Winkin' and Nod. So Binky is back with goats of that name, just as when she first came here. Winkin' was my big goofy Togg wether who I practiced most of my goat doctoring skills on. Nod was Winkin's daughter, BossyToe's mom. So now she has two boys of the same name.

I've become addicted to Jigzone. I love jigsaw puzzles but hate the mess and I always lose a piece before I finish it. Anyway, I found this fun little goatie jigsaw for you. Enjoy.

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Aack! Bambi gots six legs!

When I saw this, I thought it sounded oddly familiar--that's because a hunter bagged one with 7 legs in Wisconsin in 2006. I would have thought something like this would have little to no chance in the wild, but I think the Wisconsin deer was full grown.

Looks like something from Greek Mythology, don't it? Hexafaun?

Anyway. It had to get it's second tail removed and is recuperating at a Rome, Ga vet clinic. It will be moved to UGA's deer facility to live out its life.

This sort of thing would become part of the local folklore here. There'd be some story attached to it. Something. Let's make one up.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flashing Away

Well, the flashathon over on Zoe has been going really well. I'm so happy with the work I've been turning out. Some things I'm really proud of. So far the titles for the ones I've written are:

A Pretty Little House
Where Children Are Allowed

Mrs. Betty Cherry

The Puppet Show

Mr. Black Takes a Sunbath

Sister Hayes Takes Up a Serpent

The Best Edible Wax Horse Teeth Ever

Because Magicicadas Have No Mouths

So, I've sort of had to be a bit absent from the blog, because, as you can see--I've been a story-writing fool for the past nine days. We still have another five days.

Another funny thing--a really well-known writer keeps leaving catty comments about my work. I'm not actually bothered since everyone else thinks my work pretty damn good. I'm pretty well-accepted over there, though I'm still very awed by all of them. It's sort of funny and a bit flattering really. I keep wracking my brain trying to figure out exactly which one of the dogs I shot(figure of speech, folks) recently was hers, but keep coming up empty.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I had to go to the doctor in Knoxville yesterday. It's sort of weird when they tell you--even if you know it already that you've reached the end of treatment options for a condition. I'm scared all the time now with every little pain I get in my head. You think--crap--is this it? Is this the moment I stroke out and completely lose some enormous part of me? With other stuff, you sort of know what's going to happen, but with clots--you just don't.

I got sort of upset at the doctor's office. I'm pretty good at hiding fear most of the time, but I'm less so now. I seem to cry at the doctor's more often now--which just makes them think I'm a nutter.

I guess that's why I haven't been blogging much.

I had them write down the names of the weird clotting things I have. I've now had both arterial and veinous thrombotic events--and that's not good. We are sort of in the praying the blood thinners hold stage of things. I'm on all of them.

Aside from the Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, I've got Heterozygous PA1 4G/5G and Heterozygous MTHFR. Guess what I think MTHFR stands for?

They all still think I'm a drug fiend. I may have to leave this part of the country. I'm tired of being treated like a criminal because I hurt and asked for help. I've never gotten any help, so I'm not sure what their problem is.

Anyway, enough of that cheery subject. How about some Porn and Donuts?


Bubba Rubin was halfway home before he reached for his cell phone and found it missing. He groped through the pile of junk mail and Hardee’s wrappers riding shotgun with him, searching for it.

“Awww, fuck.” Bubba wheeled the big Caddy, making a U-turn in the middle of Broadway to head back to the store. He traveled back using the side streets as he always did. Mrs. Bubba had asked him to pick up some items at the grocers and he had left his list. It did not take him long to get back.

He pulled into his parking place beside the store. The big Krispy-Kreme Doughnut van took up its usual two parking spaces across the street. The musician who lived in the loft space sometimes brought him day olds from his day job delivering doughnuts. Bubba heaved himself out of the Caddy and headed for the door.

Lucius and Kellie emerged from the Grotto just in time to see Bubba Rubin emerge from his vehicle. The cell phone shrieked, “Ding-da-da-Ding-da-da-Ding-ding-ding”.

They scrambled for a place to hide. Kellie dove into the center of one of the lingerie racks leaving Lucius to his own devices. Lucius looked around frantically. Finally, he wedged himself behind the Lola Delight Inflatable Pleasure Doll and tried to make himself small.

Bubba knew something was wrong when the door pushed open. He stalked in, his tall frame bristling with orange menace.

“Who’s there?” He looked around the dimly lit store, knowing something was not right. “I’m warning you--I got a gun.”

Bubba did have a gun, but it was behind the counter on the bottom shelf beneath the cash register. The cell phone started up again and Bubba moved behind the checkout counter. He found the phone, looked at the incoming number and answered. It was Mrs. Bubba.

“Hey Honey, Can I call you back? It looks like I’ve had a break-in. I got to call the police.” He reached down to the bottom shelf and slapped the gun on the counter. "Yes, yes, I'll be careful." Bubba tucked the gun in his waistband.

Lucius felt sick. He looked over at Kellie. She looked at him, jerking her head and raising her eyebrows. Lucius knew she was trying to tell him something; he just was not sure what that was.

Bubba walked out into the main part of the store. He rubbed a hand through his thinning orange hair before striding over to the beads hanging from the doorway to the Grotto. He looked in and saw the safe door hanging open. He disappeared into the dark room.

"Goddammit to hell!"

Kellie poked her head out from her hiding place and moved towards the front door, the duffel bag slung like a bandolier over her shoulders. She waved at Lucius to follow her.

Bubba rattled around in the back room cursing and slamming the safe door shut. It popped back open and he slammed it a few more times.

When Lucius eased from his refuge, he found the lace teddy on the Lola Delight doll entangled with his shirt buttons. He wiggled around to see if she would release her rubbery hold on him. Lola had found her man and was not going anywhere. Kellie opened the front door and turned to look at Lucius. She met Lucius' eyes and widened hers. Lucius lurched off the platform Lola stood on. Lola followed him and his duffel bag rattled into the wall. The stand holding Lola upright crashed to the floor.

Bubba charged out of the Grotto just as Kellie slipped out the door with the cash.

Lucius skittered toward the door, holding his vinyl hostage in front of him.

Bubba glared at Lucius before pulling the gun out of his pants and aiming it at him.

“You dumb fuck,” Bubba spat, “Do you think that damn doll is going to help you? I’ll blow your sorry ass to kingdom come!”

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

...and letting the words bleed out.

I'm doing another one of those story a day things. Not here--over on Zoetrope. The Flashathon.

Anyway. Yesterday I wrote a story that hit me so hard, upset me so badly--essentially dredged up stuff I needed to look at, but hadn't for one reason or another. It's a fabulous story. I outdid myself. It's reviewing really well. But the emotional toll was pretty steep. I pretty much had to take to my bed. I felt teary and out of sorts all day.

I know there are writers who say all of their stories are like that. I can't do that. I hurt myself when I write one of those and need to retreat into plot and craft and recover. I need a few days of kitty and puppy stories.

Snake Church News

Don't know if you saw the article in this past weekend's paper--probably not if you don't have a snakehandling church nearby. Anyway, Kentucky is cracking down on the Signs following churches via the wildlife/snake trade route.

Pastor among suspects in illegal snake bust

Religious snakehandlers busted in Kentucky

Snake handling pastor arrested

All the articles have the same info. I'm familiar with Pastor Coot's name. I don't think Jimmy has much to do with the Middleboro church. I haven't had a chance to chat with him about what he thinks about it. Most of the signs followers catch their snakes from the wild, though every once in a while they will get an exotic to handle. I'm not sure if we will see something like this here in Tennessee with Jimmy's church. Hopefully not. I am concerned for him.

There's not a question of animal cruelty in these cases. These guys know snakes--really know them. I've never seen them maltreated and they are actually fond of them. They don't name them or anything, but they always remember certain ones.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Yet another stormy sky for you this Sunday. We've been getting plenty of rain here, at least.

The guineas, bless their little Pavlovian hearts, have become conditioned to the sound of the dog food bin clattering open. They come when I call. You know that song Beverly Hills by Weezer--it's one of my favorites. Anyway, there's a backup chorus in that song that goes, "Gimme, gimme". Did I mention I love that song? Anyway, I've altered it for when I call the guineas.

Beverly Hills - That's where I want to be! (Guinea Guinea)
Living in Beverly Hills...
Beverly Hills - Rolling like a celebrity! (Guinea Guinea)
Living in Beverly Hills...

So, yeah--I got prehistoric farmyard birds who answer to Weezer. So sue me.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I've just not had much to write this week blogwise. I've been blowing my creative juices over on Zoetrope, so I am writing new stories--several really good ones this week. But I can't share them with you here because it limits where I can send them. But as soon as they are published, you'll get the links.

Friend Scott was supposed to be visiting this week. He wanted to come up and get Amos, his sort of dog. Amos is a dog, but he was only sort of Scott's. Scott is doing really well back in Greenville. He has a job at a stable working with horses which is his very most favorite thing. He's living over a stable in an apartment. A different stable than the one he works at. He's really coming out of his shell there and meeting lots of fun interesting people. He bought a horse. Which I think he's going to have to give up because he can't afford it, but it's not like he isn't around horses all day now. He still misses Grassy, but this is really all for the best. Nothing good could have happened here for him.

I hope he finds himself a nice doctor and settles down. Or a dentist.

Some P & D?


Lucius and Kellie watched Bubba lock up. Lucius fiddled with the car's cobra head-shaped shifter, while Kellie slumped down in the driver’s seat and watched as Bubba drove away.

“Are you sure we should do this, Kellie?” Lucius had the jitters and felt like backing out of the plan. He pointed at the “protected by Brinks Security” stickers in the windows. “That place looks pretty well protected. What if we set the alarm off?”

“I told you I saw him punch the code in. Once we are in, we’ll disable the security and it will be easy-weasy.”

Lucius began to realize his girlfriend had hidden talents beyond working the system for drugs and money.

It was still light when Kellie and Lucius went up to the building, both carrying duffel bags. The street was deserted since it was an industrial area. Lucius trailed behind Kellie as they walked to the side door. She pulled a set of lock picks out of her bag.

“What the hell are those?”

“Shhhh.” Kellie fiddled with the lock of the side entrance. The lock opened and Kellie gave the door a shove. The humidity had swollen it shut. Kellie slipped inside, pushing aside a mannequin modeling a white see-through baby doll negligee with crotchless bottoms. Lucius squeezed through after her.

Kellie punched a code into the security panel to quiet the steady beeping. Lucius exhaled the breath he was holding.

Looking around Mistress Mona’s Lingerie and Adult Emporium, Lucius saw the left side of the store was dedicated to lingerie and clothing. The bulk of the inventory was lacy see-through things made of synthetic materials. Mannequins modeled a variety of styles, exposing a great deal of painted flesh-tone plaster, leaving little to the imagination. Lucius took an arrangement of straps, stainless buckles and rings from one rack of leather and leatherette items. He held it up to himself, but could not figure out what it was supposed to be or how it was worn.

Kellie rolled her eyes.

To the right, a newsstand with DVDs and magazines claimed most of that wall to the checkout register. In the corner, just beside the door, was a display featuring The Lola Delight Inflatable Pleasure Doll. She kept watch over the store with vinyl blue eyes and arched eyebrows. Her red lace teddy sported cutouts leaving her pointy breasts and flat ass exposed. Lucius could not shake the feeling she was staring at him as he raided the porn DVDs, throwing them into his bag.

Kellie headed toward the Grotto with Lucius tagging after her. The glass beaded curtain hanging from the archway jangled as she passed through the door. Lucius pawed them out of the way to follow her. Kellie ducked behind the display case, swinging the velvet painting of the Last Supper outward to reveal a safe.

“Crap!” Lucius dropped his bag on the floor. "You didn’t mention no safe!”

"Here, hold this for me." Kellie threw him a small flashlight. He fumbled in the darkness to catch it.

Kellie turned the tumblers with her ear pressed to the safe door. The safe popped open, revealing fat stacks of bills.

"Bingo." She muttered and tossed the wads of cash into her bag.

"Woo Hoo!" Lucius ran behind the counter. "Kellie, you are a genius!"

He grabbed her around the waist and lifted her up to kiss her. As his lips met hers, a cell phone went off in the store, loudly playing "Crazy Frog".


They froze in position for a moment, their eyes wide.

“Turn that damn thing off! I told you to leave it in the car!” Kellie pushed herself away from him.

“Uh…" Lucius stared at her. "I did leave it in the car.”

Friday, July 11, 2008

Reading stuff.

I just finished Michael Chabon's Pulitzer winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and what a delightful, wild ride it was. I'd really loved his Yiddish Policeman's Union so I was really looking forward to reading K & C. He's one of the few really wordy writers I enjoy. I detest Faulkner, but when Chabon gets wordy there's this amazing rhythm to it that you can't help but follow. It's like listening to someone talk really fast who you understand perfectly.

So, I started reading Into the Wild. I'd read Krakauer's original article back in '93. He's a brilliant writer. I'm just so ambivalent about the idealization of what this young man did and how he died. I did not find it mystical, spiritual or transcendent. I found it either a) crazy or b) idiotic. It resulted in a senseless loss of life.

We've seen them come up here now and again. People who idealize "getting back to nature" or "living off the land". Here they can usually hike out--or the rangers mount a rescue operation. People do die up in these mountains. Every year there is some sort of problem where hikers have to be rescued. Every year there are deaths. But it's nothing like the deep bush of Alaska where there really aren't any safety nets.

Nature will hurt you. Don't go out on a date with her unless you're prepared and know what you are doing.

Another thing I'm ambivalent about is markets that don't take simultaneous submissions. I sent my first one of these in today. It's a really good story and I'm going to be peeved if they hold onto it for more than twenty days without letting me know something. I'll most likely be peeved if they reject it after holding onto it for more than 10. If a market is planning to do that they should at least have a week or less turnaround.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The fireflies in Tennessee are fat and slow, larger than the ones I grew up with. They diverted traffic near Gatlinburg earlier this year because of them. People come to the Park to view them, lazily flying through the mountains, settling on the trees like fairy lanterns held aloft.

How odd it is to me that people travel to see what lights up my yard.

When I was a girl, the arrival of the fireflies in the summer in South Carolina was something wonderful. But they were swift and wily there. Hard to catch and each one you put in your jar , the Maxwell House coffee jar that you poked holes in the top so the bugs could breath, was a hard earned prize. You were lucky if you could secret five of them away to take up to bed where you would hold them under the covers and watch them blink and flicker. They smelled like honey and some unnameable essence of bug.

But in the cool nights and darkness--deep mountain darkness where the sky was splashed with stars--they would slow down. I'd spend my days playing with spring lizards and catching crawdads, then at night, sneaked out of Aunt Baby Dear's house to catch those fat slow bugs. Oh, I could fill a jar to brimming with them. They'd even land right on you, just as slow and happy as you please.

They are synchronous here. Glowing green, fat and lazy. Going off like a visible heartbeat. Keeping time with the night. Firefly.

If you'd like to see an awesome photo of the Smoky Mountain Fireflies, check out Judd Patterson's Elkmont Fireflies on Flikr.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I've decided to teach myself how to spin using a drop spindle. I can't really afford, nor do I have room for a spinning wheel. Of course, I'd love one, particularly one of the Appalachian ones and I may, if I find a woodworker skilled enough take the plans and have one built. But for now, I think I probably should start with very basic stuff.

I haven't had much to write on the blog recently. I've been really busy with writing and whatnot.

Peggy over at Hidden Haven is in the middle of her mid-summer kidding storm. BossyToes had a big buck they've named Thunder Toes. He has a skunk stripe. Bridie had a doe kid. They are really loud flashy kids. Go over there if you are jonesing for a baby goat fix.

Still trying to catch Chops to shear him. Which inspired this:

Bad Agricultural Haiku #2

Sheep pants in the dust.
Oh, Chops, please let me shear you?
Runs. Runs. Runs away.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I'm dating this for yesterday. So sorry. Really, I'm sorry. Here's a chicken picture to show you how sorry I am--

Not enough? Here's another of the same chicken beating the crap out of the guineas--

Okay--we good?--Now for some Porn and Donuts:


Mistress Mona’s Lingerie and Adult Emporium sat tucked away on an industrial side street on the north side of Knoxville and carried a selection of plus-size lingerie and fuck-me pumps in sizes up to 14DD in stock. A mixture of drag queens, strippers, working girls and lately, some straight-laced couples formed the clientele. The proprietor’s most recent marketing brainstorm, an entire back room devoted to Christian marital aides called “The Grotto of Earthly Delight”, targeted evangelical Christian couples. It was a real money-maker.

The sign over the door leading to the Grotto said, “Please! Married Couples Only!!!”

You could spot the ones coming to shop in the Grotto. The men, dressed in conservative chinos, polo shirts and women in matching sweater sets, looked furtive and blushed easily. Sometimes the ladies would come alone, clutching their handbags closely to their bosoms. They would pause outside the shop before entering, and then looked around for Mistress Mona.

Mistress Mona was never there. Mistress Mona was, in fact, Bubba Rubin, a freakishly tall, furry man with thinning orange hair and a ruddy complexion. The third generation in a respected family of Southern Jewish shopkeepers, his family tried not to think about him too much. Bubba did not make it to Temple often and had a fondness for Sonny’s pulled pork barbecue, as well as a prescription drug habit.

Biblical themes decorated The Grotto of Earthly Delight. The Garden of Eden was, of course, featured, but to offset any feelings of original sin that might evoke, a large airbrushed velvet painting of the Last Supper hung over the glass showcases filled with “helpmates for the marital bed”. The belly-buttons of the models on the packaging of items such as the Screaming Octopus and Japanese G-Spot Squirmy, had been taped over for modesty’s sake.

Bubba kept a large sum of cash stashed behind the portrait of the Last Supper for his informal check cashing business. He had just made a deposit to the bank of the Last Supper and was about to close up the store. He did not notice the beat up red Fiesta parked across the street when he got his blue Caddy to head home.

Lucius and Kellie watched Bubba lock up. Lucius fiddled with the car's cobra head-shaped shifter, while Kellie slumped down in the driver’s seat, watching as Bubba drove away.

Friday, July 04, 2008

I really have nothing appropriate to say today so I took some pictures of the guineas. They like dogfood and come to the house to beg for it in the late afternoons. Max tried to run them off so he could grub through the dirt for it, but, surprisingly, they held their ground.

Here's a wonderful Fourth to everyone.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I really hate it when life imitates art. Particularly my art.

So, Betsy calls this morning from the road to tell me a porn shop had been broken into off Chapman Highway. Door smashed in. Thing is, I'd already written the getaway in the Krispy Kreme truck last year when that nutter in Michigan took off in one, spilling donuts all over the highway.

I'm pretty deep into another short story that's pretty gruesome and playful. I like combining playful with things playful doesn't normally go with. I think that's what I love so much about Tarantino's work--that he so damn playful with violence. Really dreadful stuff that makes you feel a bit guilty for liking it so much.

Anyway, I thought I'd give you the Newport Plain Talk's most wonderful police blotter headline for yesterday. I'm not linking to them because I think they make him back off the plays on language if he draws too much attention. And then I'm forced to read boring blotter headlines any old hack could come up with. It's like, the high spot of my day--the police blotter headlines. I have a huge crush on Caleb Abramson. I could just listen to him write puns all day long. But you guys know how to google.

Are you ready? Here it is:

Boogertown juvenile picked off roadway

I can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My good friends I help out with computer stuff got phished pretty badly. I've been busy the past few days trying to get the three hundred addresses for Thai Lotto and Chinese Viagra off their email account. Friends don't let friends use Earthlink. It's just been a nightmare. An occasionally funny one, but a nightmare nonetheless.

The dialect here is a very beautiful and distinct one. I've been here long enough that it doesn't really phase me anymore, but it is very different from the rest of the Southeast. It is distinctive enough that they usually subtitle Pastor Jimmy when he appears on the History Channel or Nat'l Geo. So. Earthlink has outsourced their customer service to India. This is normally a good idea since they have a much more computer and science savvy population than we do. However, Smoky Mountain English communicating with Hinglish does not compute at all. Everyone loses.

Which is where I come in. And I didn't fare much better, so it's not just the warring dialects. But I think we have the problem fixed now--after 10 hours of frustrating attempts.

Ran into Jimmy at the library today. He's such a sweet man. The librarian and I were talking about what a great guy he is--both he and Pam are wonderful people.