35 Days to 35: Back Story

If I’m chewing my fingernails, it must be a day for design. I had the bad habit of chewing my nails when I was a child, but managed to break myself of it long ago. That is, unless I’m designing something. As I stated before, I don’t have my Mom’s talent for illustration. I have to make do with a limited computer program and a stunted artistic mind. I started off today with nice long(ish) nails. No longer.
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35 Days to 35: My Mother, the Artist

My Mom Rebekah is a woman of many, many talents, although she wouldn’t see it that way. She’s recently added ‘published author’ to that repertoire. One of my favorite talents of hers is her artistic ability. I can remember growing up and being in awe of her ability to make things come to life. Norman Rockwell is my favorite male painter, but without a trace of hesitation, I can say that she is my favorite female painter.

She imbues every painting with so much life, light and color. To me, she has an instantly recognizable style. They seem to leap off the canvas. She’s also tried her hand (successfully, in my opinion) to wood carving, ornaments, gourds, pumpkins, and the like. While not having a lick of this kind of talent myself, I do enjoy bragging about hers.
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Climbing the Mountain

As someone who seemingly has unceasing dreams and aspirations, I can honestly say I understand the drive, the passion and the insanity that a big dream, or even a calling, can inflict upon the poor soul who dared to have it in the first place.

In 2012, my mother, Rebekah, was inflicted by such a calling. She called me and told me she had an idea for a story, maybe even a novel. She outlined the whole thing for me and then laughed as she told me I should write it for her. To her shock and dismay, I turned her down. “That’s the thing about a dream, Mom. It has to be lived out by the person who has it. Nobody else can do it for you.”

“But I don’t know how!” she replied. I reminded her that my first film was made with little more knowledge than that. But I learned along the way, and there was one thing I was certain of. If I could do it, she could do it. While I knew it would be scary for her, I also knew that there was no replacement for the euphoria she would feel when she finished. Even if, as she said she feared, no one ever read it, it would be her own personal scaled mountain.

And the view would be glorious.

Once she realized I was serious when I said I wasn’t going to write it for her, she decided she would tackle that mountain. On December 27th, 2012, she began her story.

Now, December 27, 2014, exactly two years, and hundreds of hours of writing, researching, and rewriting later, not only does she have a completed book, but she has a SECOND book fully drafted. On November 1st of this year, she entered NaNoWriMo, which is short for “National Novel Writing Month.” The goal is to draft a 50k word novel in 30 days or less.

She finished in 21.

Back in July, I asked her to sit down and answer a few questions about the book. I told her I would publish them when the book became available. This is that interview.
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“Two Blueberry Muffins”- Novel Excerpt

This week, I am sharing on of my favorite chapters from my work in progress, the novelization of my second film, “The Hepburn Girls.” This is still very much rough draft form, but I’d love to hear your feedback, and if it is something you would enjoy reading once the novel is complete.

For a synopsis of the film, please visit my tab labeled “The Hepburn Girls.”


Two Blueberry Muffins

Lunchtime finally rolls around and I tuck myself away in my favorite reading area. I never eat in the break room. It smells like burned popcorn tinged with the lingering aroma of stinky burritos. Instead, I like to eat the same way I work, surrounded by intelligent words. I am nose deep in a novel when I hear some rustling and the chair scrape beside me. I look up into the face of pure joy in human form.

Larry Louis is my classmate from high school. We used to ride the bus together before Alfred started driving. With Will Smith’s movie star good looks and a personality to match, Larry grew up to become our town’s mailman and favorite citizen.

A long time ago, I teased him about becoming mayor of the city since he seemed to already know everything about everyone anyway. He just smiled and shook his head.  I knew him well enough to read between the lines. While the suit of politics would fit him perfectly, his shoes of service were workman’s boots. To stuff him away in an office would kill his joy; he preferred to serve man and commune with God in nature.

I never brought it up again.
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Dear Katelyn

Dear Katelyn,

I know this may be difficult for you to believe, seeing as there are hundreds of babies born every day, and you might be concerned that your parents were exaggerating, but, your Mom and Dad are correct when they inform you that on June 12, 2014, you were the most beautiful, perfect soul to enter this world. For the first few days of your existence, your mother was heard to utter over and over, “Isn’t she the cutest thing EVER?” to anyone who would listen.

Right now, things are still really fresh and new (and cold) to you, and you’re awesome at sleeping a lot, so I’m happy, as one of your surrogate Aunts, to give you a quick family history, and to talk about perfect timing.

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The Golden Corral Bathroom Cookie War Radio Drama

The Golden Corral was the second stop of the day after wandering aimlessly around the massive expanse of a retail store that is the “Bass Pro Shop.” From one sensory overload to another, it was an afternoon of indulgence that only Southerners know how to partake of.

After feasting on the smorgasbord like Templeton the Rat at the fair, I made the necessary bathroom visit before departing. A few seconds behind me followed a very impressive child screamer of about five years old or younger, and his mother.

(Reminder: This encounter was so impressive, I’m writing a post about it, so don’t stop reading yet.)

I must confess that I stayed in the stall longer than I should have to listen to the outcome. It turned out to be dinner and a show. But more like a Radio Drama, since, you know, I couldn’t see their faces.

Scene: Golden Corral Bathroom

Sobbing child enters, followed by Mother.

Wait….I must edit that. Not sobbing.

Gut wrenching, melodramatic screaming child enters followed by Mother.


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