Thursday, August 22, 2013

Writing (About) Life--The Writer's Mushroom-y Nutty Backyard

This is the result of a  stroll around the yard, camera in hand. The sun is actually shining. Haven't seen much of that lately.

So look what I found:

A chestnut, of Mel Torme's The Christmas Song fame. You don't want to step on one of these unless you have on really sturdy shoes. I have no idea how a roasted chestnut would taste. I've never eaten one. I know the actual chestnut is hard to get to because of the spines on the outer covering, and if you're going to roast any, you'd better pierce them with something sharp or you'll be sorry. I also know that Native Americans showed starving Early American settlers how to use them for food. (They've probably had second thoughts about that.) And that's about it--except the DH planted the tree over my objections. Chestnut trees smell terrible when they bloom.

A brown mushroom. Make that a very LARGE brown mushroom. This thing is nearly the size of a dinner plate. 

A double mushroom and a pecan. The squirrels have already started on the pecan tree, sampling to see if the pecans are ready and if they're not, throwing them down. This one is from the tree my late dad started from seed. It's always loaded, and the "load" disappears before we ever get any--mostly from all the "sampling."

A green mushroom and an acorn with its cap still on.

A red mushroom in a patch of sunlight.

You've heard of "bedroom eyes?" Well, these are "mushroom eyes." And on the high side of creepy. What are these things, anyway?

This concludes our tour of the Writer's Backyard."

'Til next time...

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Writing (about) Life--Wait, what?

My son took this photo when he was riding past the Rowan County Fairgrounds yesterday. I guess the moral here is take down the old sign before you put up a new one. Unless they actually will have a"Child & Sheep Exhibit" in September.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Writing (About) Life: Found Moments

Do you know about found moments? They are the small incidents that occur in your daily life just for you to appreciate--or ponder. Like a big truck driver parked in the shade in the K-Mart parking lot, eating his lunch and feeding the birds out his window. Or the young boy busing the outside tables at Starbuck's, wearing his headphones and dancing up a storm like nobody was watching while he did it. Or the lone young man dressed in black, standing in the pouring rain in front of Chick-fil-A, holding up a wilted sheet of paper with rainbow stripes on it to the passing traffic--few of whom, I'm sure, had any idea what the rainbow meant.

You have to pay attention, though, or you'll miss these moments. With writers, it can go either way. Sometimes we're like walking sponges, and we soak up everything going on around us. Sometimes we're too far in the writing "zone" to notice anybody or anything.

But the other day I was paying attention, and here's what happened:

When I was in Dollar General, my home away from home (DH says if I didn't show up there every day, the DG people would call the house wanting to know what happened to me.) ANYWAY, there was a young guy in the store with a little girl who looked to be about six, and they were on a "merchandise tour." Sort of like "window shopping," as it were, only from the inside. They probably weren't buying much, but just looking at different things around the store--things the little girl wanted to show him and talk about, and vise versa. As far as I could tell, the little girl never asked if she could have this or that, but she was clearly enjoying herself, and I think he was, too. At one point, I was on the other side of the aisle of shelving where they were. I couldn't see what they were looking at and I didn't hear what the little girl said. But I heard him. He said, "Sure you can! Don't you ever let anybody tell you you can't do something because you're a girl." I rather liked that.