Friday, April 30, 2010

Repost for My Niece

Actually this was a combination of one or more happenings, but it was to fit a "prompt" on a writing blog,,and a repost...I don't think my niece (this is her mom,,lol ) has read this and she asked if I had written any stories lately..

"Street, where I grew up"

I love the street where I grew up. Now that might be an overstatement, but I do definitely hold a lot of fondness for the unnamed oil top road that lead out to the main highway.

Well, I guess it had a name but it was always called “First street to the left after you pass Ross’s Affiliated Food Store”, Our house sat almost directly across the street from Grannie and Paw’s house. Both houses are gone now. At least from there. Grannie and Paw’s house now sits in a pasture ten miles toward town. Back to where they moved it from in the first or was it the second place. Anyhow, Daddy’s house was moved thirty miles south to sit next door to one of my sister’s house (the one in this story,,no, sister not the house, well the house too,,just read on). Everyone should rest easy because the street is still there. I saw it just this last Sunday.

I rode over that way intentionally to take a picture for a story that I wrote. I took the picture but decided to not use it for that story, so I will use it for this story. I jump around, a lot, kind of like Grannie and Paw’s house.

Me and my younger sister, (she is still older than me), we stayed into stuff all the time. You remember me telling you about the main highway. Well, we couldn’t ride our J.C. Higgins, Sears Roebuck, store bought bicycles on the main highway, but that was where the filling station was that sold snow cones,- if he ever had ice. There ain’t no need to fill you in on the deciding part of whether or whethern’t we were going. I guess you can say the first leg of the trip was uneventful.

The old codger had a way of intimidating us kids when we ordered our snow cones If you asked for extra syrup, he would stop pouring right then and say, “hee’uh, that’s enough”, and if you didn’t say anything, he liable to just stop anyhow. I can’t remember what she got but I got the coconut. Bright blue. Syrup and ice running down my chin and forearm. Dripping off my elbow onto the sizzling hot oil dirt in front of the old filling station.

Have you ever tried to ride a bicycle while holding onto and eating a snow cone? A bright blue, coconut snow cone? Well she was better at it than I was. I was able to catch up to her at the hill right before you had to turn left, just past Ross’s Affiliated Food Store. It was always a known fact that to get back to, or get to anywhere on a bicycle, there is a race. I had a plan. I was not going to be outsmarted or out bicycled.

I kept a piece of a cane pole stuck behind and through my seat. This was to protect me from dogs. I steadied my left hand, holding half of the bright blue coconut snow cone, on the left handlebar. With my right hand, I reached back and snatched my dog stick from its perch. With one quick motion I won the bicycle battle, but lost the bicycle war. In my mind, it would just slow her down enough so that I could zoom on ahead and have bragging rights to arriving home first. It DID slow her down. My aim was perfect. The cane pole slide between the two spokes just about where the valve stem was. The wheel came around and the cane pole locked against the front wheel support fork.

Here it gets a little fuzzy. From later examination, the fork proved a lot stronger than the spokes. The fork held. Half the spokes didn’t. They vanished. Ass over tea kettle just don’t quiet describe the following event. Luckily the grass at the edge of the street was pretty tall. The dust had not even settled when she jumped up. She was wearing her snow cone mixed with a sundry of other green vegetation. How I held onto that Blue coconut snow cone I can’t even begin to guess, but she gingerly took it from my left hand and soon I was wearing THAT blue snow cone. We didn’t even try to make up a story to tell when we got home. It was our butts! – AAA-ginnn..

Epilogue: This episode was minor. Someday I will tell you about how I had to let her shoot me in the butt with my own BB gun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good morning,, after wrestling with Best Buy all night and still have to go back today. (new computer crashed).. I have the information now.

I send a big thank you to Ms. Keli (septemnermom) at My Voice, My View . She volunteered to be the “Depot Person”. Her email address is on her profile. Add to the beginning story and send your address to Ms. Keli and she will forward your WINNIN PRIZE to you. Now that ain’t to complicated is it. Remember if you don’t want to write a “story comment” just say hi and you win.

Just a couple more things: It would be nice if you would stop by and say hello to Septembermom’s Blogsite (My Voice, My View) and read her efforts. It will be your treat. ALSO, she and some friends have a blogsite that needs a visit and PARTICIPATION,,,,, “Write With Pictures” ,It is a great site to just enjoy and post your reactions to the “Pictures” posted for writing prompts.

Again, Thank you Ms. Keli,, and everyone is invited to come along.. Thanks Glenn

Here we Go..

The Note….

5957 Canal B. The brass address plate dangles askew, missing two of its four anchors. The rain rolls off the canvas awning. An odd crease forms a trough that spits a stream of water two feet beyond the edge of the tattered green covering. Stepping around the splattering geyser, shaking her umbrella, the fashionably dressed lady opened the door and stepped inside.

Twenty years prior, the fishnet had made a nice touch to the d├ęcor, along with the scattered green glass net floats. An over sized fish tank , sitting behind a row of padded leather chairs hummed and bubbled a calypso rhythm. Removing her rain coat the stranger dropped it across the back of the barstool adjacent to the ones he sat in which he sat. It seemed insane that she was even here. The room had an aroma that was definitely of seafood, but did not smell like fish. The stink of stale beer burned her nose.

All she had was a crumpled piece of paper with this address and a name scrawled in pencil. He had handed her the note as he stepped from the subway. No one had seen the assailant. He only took a few steps after getting off the train. He collapsed right in front of her. Her only misfortune was she was waiting to get on the train.

“Please, find Johnnie, tell him….”

He never spoke another word as his hand slid from hers leaving the note and a twenty dollar bill.
Before the police could arrive, she panicked and ran. Now she was here.

“Does anyone know Johnnie Wittenbrook?”

Her question rang throughout the restaurant without warning. The room fell silent. One old bearded seaman pushed his chair back and walked out of the room without speaking. It seemed that even the fish tank had fallen silent.

The quiet was finally broken when…..

Friday, April 23, 2010


The Boss has done gone and spoilt me with this new toy. This is my first post using this new Toshiba NM305 Netbook. It is a departure from my widescreen HP but this one will travel with greater ease. A big ole “Thank You” to The Boss. Hint,, I could use a new pickup too. 


Months Earlier, I did a post where I started a story and others carried it forward with their comments. A few folks that I usually hear from did not participate and their explanation was that they normally didn’t write stories. Well, I understand that, but I invite these folks to jump in and play along too. I haven’t come up with a starting point yet, but I wanted to get input from a few of you.

Ok, here is the thing. When I was just a youngster I grew up with the opportunity to scout and play though out the piney woods of East Texas at my leisure. Now that was all fine and good, but I suppose it left a dent in the fender of my social skills. There weren’t many neighbors or friends around to play with. We had an old dog, but Daddy had to tie a pork chop around my neck to even get that dog to play with me. Come lunch time that even that old dog and I were adversaries. That is beside the point. The point is I am still prone to use those methods in order to attract friends, soooo, as per pre-mentioned post, I have these (see photo,, no I am not going to substitute a pork chop this time) as party favors.

If you will so much as say “hi” in the comment section, you win! Now how easy is that? But, it would be more funner if you would add your view of how the initial story should continue. Use any mood or twist that you would like, just remember women and children might be reading this.

But, there’s a problem on my end. I do not feel comfortable with asking all ya’ll your addresses inorder to send the pens. I have done that in the past and I know some feel comfortable with that, but if someone would volunteer to be the “depot”, I would mail all the pens (in stamped envelopes) to this one person. Participants could comment their address to the “depot person”, so that envelopes could be addressed and sent to the folks that sent the “depot person” their address.. wheeuuw,,,would that work? If this is too complicated, just say so.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"Down Here In Texas"

originally posted at Serendipitous Surplus,, ok I admit it,, I might be a little lazy today..

“Down Here In Texas” It has been over twenty years since I first met these fellows. Do you ever get tired of hearing someone from another country or state proclaim, “Well, the way we do it back in,,,Ya Ya Ya”. Well, I don’t know any other way to put it. Down here in Texas, which comes from the Indian word Tejas, meaning “friendly people”, if ya like somebody, it usually lasts. It don’t mean you have to like ‘em right off. Ya kinda have to sit back and see if they are going to be all “hat” and no “cattle”. Don’t usually take too long. Not what a person says, but what they do, will wind up telling the tale.

What? Hell, no. They ain;t real people. They are made up. Larry McMurtry made ‘em up. Yep, but you know what? They are as fresh 'n gritty in my mind as the dust they stirred up going from Texas to Montana. Cap’em Gus McCrae and Cap’em Woodrow Call. I ain’t trying to “hawk” this book. The Pulitizer Prize has already done that. If ya haven’t already and don’t want to read it, knock ya’ self out. I won’t suffer from that. I already read it and watched the movie several times. One of those times was a long weekend and my youngest daughter was home from school. At my insistence, she watched it with us. It was her first time to see it. She had not read the book at that time. Not going to tell you how it ends but she looked at me with tears in her eyes and paid me a compliment.

“Daddy, you are a combination of Gus and Call rolled up in one.”

At first, I took it as a compliment, but “The Boss let out a grunt and a groan, with a roll of her eyes, which threw me into a state of wondering. I wondered if it was Gus’s charming ways or Call’s steel rod stubbornness she might have been thinking about. That still ain’t the point. The point is some writers can paint such a clear picture of who the characters are. Gus and Call and all the other members of the The Hat Creek Cattle Company came to life on the pages. You could “hear” what they were thinking.“The Last Picture Show” was the first in a series of four, (I think there were only four, well Rino Ranch might make five), but the characters lived their whole lives throughout these books.

I am not sure how McMurtry does it. I read his books. I re-read with just the intent of sneaking a peek at how he does it. I still can’t see a definite formula for his method, but something works.If I could paint just a fraction of the degree of character believability that McMurtry does, then ,, nope I would try to do a little better, but at least I would have the satisfaction that I was progressing. I see these characters in some of your writing out there. I take enjoyment in those characters and I hope you don’t mind if I look at them and say.

“What are those characters thinking?”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Why or How Come?"

I just finished reading a book. It is a mystery. No, No, not the story, well it kind of is a mystery but that isn’t the mystery. I am not a writer so here is the mystery. The mystery is; why are there goodles and gobs of books at places like Barnes and Noble that wouldn’t make good fire starting material and this manuscript, that I just finished, is still on a desktop at the author’s home. This is not the first “baby” of someone’s that I have read. The others were the same way too. Good, Real good. Ok, maybe a “he said, she said” that was not totally captivating, or the genre is a little new to me, and remember I don’t understand the rules of writing, but this is an “amazing” phenomenon to me- It is a mystery to me, that this book has not been picked up.

I received my new issue of Writer’s Digest last night and was scanning through to see what articles were in it. One article had a list of things that should be in a book. I haven’t read the article yet and this is not meant to be a critique of this particular book, but I associated each point the magazine was making to specific situations that I had read in the book. They were all there, so somebody had done their “homework”, even though the main character didn’t really get all wrapped up in school. The characters are real people and will continue to be so, especially when you ask yourself, “What would “…….“ do?”

Being new to writing, I have not latched onto the idea of trying to get my works published. This is a hard business. I guess I am trying to make too many points here, but the main one is DO NOT GIVE UP – EVER… This book, along with others, needs to be read. If a manuscript has been turned down, join a local group and set up critique groups that can input a range of ideas that might be adapted so that the “market” can smile more favorably. Make a short story out of parts of it and submit to different outlets. (not in this particular case perhaps, but a general idea). I have had the opportunity to try new ideas, in marketing in my industry and it is hard to come up with a ‘better mousetrap”, but sometimes the least little tweak can make a difference.

I find this new, to me, medium, is fun thought, provoking and definitely “amazing”.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Need Help and/or Suggestions

I have read, it seems, that in the Blogging World  100 posts is some sort of marker in the road of number of posts.  At that point an event  of some sort is participated in, such as a contest or "give-away".  If you add the number of previous posts, (that by some freak of nature or some other Un-natural occurance cause them to get deleted) and the number of posts since then, there are over 100.  Ok, some of them are pretty lame, but numbers are numbers.

I need a bunch socail chairpeopleto give me hints of what would be interesting to commemorate such an event.  As many suggestions as can be put into the pot the better I can think about it.  If I get no suggestions, then that will be terrible.. I don't know what my next idea would be, so help me out here,, What do you think???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


At almost seven feet tall, bushy white hair and ashy looking whiskers, Great Grandpaw Jessie was kind of scary looking to a semi-timid six year old boy. The old straight, ladder back chair with a laced-in cowhide bottom seemed small even though Great Grandpaw was of slight frame. The mountain of hot coals in the fireplace was little comfort from the cold winter day. This side of the “Dog-run” home was referred to as “the house”. A “dog-run” house is a long single ridge roofed house that was divided in the middle with a wide hallway splitting the house into two sections. No door was at either end allowing the wind to flow through and cool during the summer - or let the “dogs run” through to the front or back yard. The bed rooms were usually on one end and the kitchen and other some room was on the other end. As with most houses of this design, A long porch went pretty much across the whole front of the house and a back porch of various designs attached to the back.

The young boy being restless, always like to play out in the dog run or sit in the wide swing on the front porch. It hung sideways so whoever was sitting there could wave at the traffic (it is a law in Texas that you have to wave at passing cars if it does not endanger yourself or anyone else by freeing a waving hand) or turn the other way and look through the window and check to see if Great Granddaddy was doing ok. Windows were a great invention to be able to see “inside”. The cold wind was sharp and the vision of the fireplace won the battle of decision. The boy could see the warmth inside. Great Grandpaw grinned and motioned for the boy to come on in the “house”.

Three years later the boy was sitting in the same swing watching the traffic. Cars drove by slowly. No one honked their horns. They did wave. Several cars and pickups had parked along the highway. The yard had been full of vehicles since early morning. Aunts, uncles, cousins and various friends were milling around inside and around the house. Uncle Bobby and one of the cousins were sitting on the porch steps drinking tea or soft drink out of a Dixie Cup. The boy nestled a paper plate with green beans and mashed potatoes in my lap. He was careful; He didn’t want to spill anything on his dress pants before they got to the church house. He turned and looked through the window. The effect puzzled the young boy. Instead of seeing inside, he saw himself. Was the window sending a signal? For a brief moment he was amazed at his own reflection. The harder he peered, the more distinct his image was. Gradually his focus relaxed and the interior of the “house” came into view. A window; sometimes to keep things in, sometimes to keep things out. While doing both, and with patience, they will allow you to see what “Is”. The old ladder back, straight chair was sitting in front of the fireplace. It was unoccupied. The boy could clearly see the black and white cow hide stretched across the chair bottom.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Old Dog of a Thing

It’s ugly. I know it is. It has to be. “The Boss” said it was. So there ya go.

Sitting there in the refuge store, the light was dim. I didn’t see it at first. Others were scattered around. Mostly each was sitting off toward different corners. It was kind of sad looking, really. That is not exactly the truth. It was real sad looking. An old yellow dog, of a thing. Sometimes you can see past the scars the patchy spots and a whole array of imperfections. What the heck. Walking over toward it, I could see there was a little life, a spark, as someone might say, left in its old coat. Rustling my hand back and forth across its coat, I could see that a new “do” might bring out the luster. Goodness knows it couldn’t hurt

“How much for this poor ole’peek-id thing?”. The nice lady handed me a cup of freshly brewed coffee as her eyes sadly look it over. I could tell she seemed to have some sort of attachment.

“Sixty Dollars. That should be a fair price.” She pretended to be writing something on a note pad but out of the corner of my eye I could see she was watching me out of the corner of her eye. A line from a Billy Joe Shaver song came to mind….”I saw you looking at me while I was watching you, a’looking at me” or that is pretty close. Sorry Billy Joe.

I guess my grunt and reflexive inhale cause her to suspect my doubts in the worth of sixty dollars, because before I could give an answer of any kind, she added.

“Well, if you will provide a good home, I will drop the price to fifty dollars.”

“Ok, I will pull my pickup around back and make it easier to load.” I gave her two twenty-dollar bills and a ten. One more glance and with a shaking of my head I went out the front door and got in my pickup. Have you ever done something and as soon as the trap door snaps shut you think, “Why in the world did I make that decision?”

“Hey there, Ms Boss, come look what I found today.” Apprehension hung in the air like Spanish moss. “Whadda ya think?”

The way she cut her eyes back and forth at me and then again gave away her secret.

“Uhhh, where you going to keep that thing? Are you planning on keeping it in the house?” Eyes cutting back and forth.

“Well, I guess I can take it out to the manufacturing plant and try to clean it up a little.”

“I think that is a great idea. You always come up with just the right solution.” The Boss cut her eyes back around at me one more time while she was walking back into the house.

It took a week of serious work over but “The Boss” finally let me carry it in the house for a test to see how it behaved. The jury might still be out on whether it gets to stay or not.

(BEFORE,,late upload of pic)

What do ya’ll think?

The Boss and I both think the vote is still out,,lol,, but I had a good time "messin" with it.