Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Watermelon. Tank top. Potato salad. Flip-flops.

Sounds like some sort of Child’s Garden of Verses rhyme (yes, wouldn’t we all still like to go up in a swing?), but actually, it’s my plan of action for the Fourth of July…that, and sitting on the back porch, where I can view the sky-encompassing fireworks from a nearby country club. Probably while humming “Yankee Doodle Dandy” or “Born in the USA” (or, has been the case the past few days, the guitar riff / bass line of “Smooth Criminal”) while downing a cherry limeaid (my newest addiction...and as hot as it's been, the drink really is an -aid, not an -ade).


Thursday, June 18, 2009


It’s actually my pooch’s best summer trick, stealing outdoor scenery. This is the Finley River, where I was enjoying getting a good chunk of my daily writing done (very Thoreau-ian of me, huh?) while Jake got in plenty of tree sniffing and growling at geese:

Now that summer’s decided to sit her big sweaty self right on top of Missouri (and it's turned far too hot for such a heavy-coated dog to be outside), my scenery looks more like a vent. Nope—scratch that. Looks like a Pekingese lying spread eagle on top of a vent, while the air conditioning licks his tummy. He won’t peel himself off till September. Seriously. He eats on top of that vent.

Who am I to deny him such a simple pleasure? And how could I ever get any writing done at the river without him?

That dog has me wrapped around his dewclaw, I swear…

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I’m not really sure when a book can be considered worth its literary salt…I only know when I’ve personally fallen in love.

I mean, sure—some spines on my bookshelf get sold, traded, given away, like trinkets from long-lost exes. But a select group of special others get held onto long after their paperback covers, stained with sunscreen and melted lipstick, have warped, then curled in on themselves like hair taken straight out of a hot roller.

What amazes me are those books that manage to strike such a loud, vibrating chord with so many readers…as a person, we daydream about that special one who falls for us. But there are some books out there that have managed to get thousands to open their hearts and give in. It’s pretty spectacular, when you think about it…

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Seriously. What if the supposed shut-in had chronicled her life online in utterly exhaustive, meticulous detail?

What if F. Scott and Zelda had exchanged “love tsunamis” on Twitter?

What if we had all watched Poe stagger, drunk, into a gutter on YouTube?

Would any of it seem romantic anymore? Would we still troll their pages, mining each passage for clues as to who these poetic giants really were? Or would our literary heroes have been reduced to the train-wreck status of a Lindsay Lohan?

I was just wonderin’.
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