I started a new class at our local college tonight.  I could feel that nervous energy as I was packing up my notebook, pens and highlighter into my book bag.  I was anxious and excited at the same time.  Why you might ask?  If you’re anyone who knows me I get in moods where I just like to take random classes that “might” interest me.  Usually they end up being a ton or work and really not all that interesting. 

I was looking through the degree sheets at our community college and actually saw an Associates Degree in Creative Writing.  Wow, I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve got about three years of school and no actual degree.  It’s one of my regrets that I have.  I want the stinking piece of paper showing that I completed something…

I just got home from the class and I loved it.  It’s kind of cool being around other people who want to write.  The class is done like a workshop.  We work on our fiction story or one we have in our mind.  We print it out and all the other students write comments all over it and basically critique it.  I know this is a powerful tool and although it can be tough, it’s needed to grow as a writer.  We also have about 30 other writing assignments.

Tonight, he had a girl pull a random book out of her bag, open it up and with her eyes closed just point at a sentence.  I think it was a dictionary.  This is the sentence:

“The sun is warm, the sky is clear, the waves are dancing fast and bright”.

We have to write a 500-word story with a beginning, middle and end.  We will then read them in class next week.  I know the purpose is to see how the stories are all so different and I know this will be a fun class.  It will also get us a little more comfortable in class with that “whole talking out loud.” 

I think my story idea that I will be playing around with throughout the class is the Elvis one I posted about recently.  I actually verbalized it out loud and the whole class started laughing, even the teacher.  He said, “I like it.”  I don’t know if it can be a novel maybe a short story, we’ll just have to see I guess.  Time will tell. 

The assignment for next week I just keeping seeing the next line being something like – “and all I hear is the theme to the movie “Jaws” blaring in my head.”

Take Care

Not sure if this is blog worthy but it’s something I’m playing around with so why not “put it out there.”  I’m trying to write or attempting to write some fiction.   This is why I’ve been a bit absent lately on doing new posts to my blog.  

It’s just a bud of an idea and it’s constantly changing but I keep coming back to it somehow.   It’s about a married couple (mid fifties) from the south.  They go on a trip to Graceland and Earl somehow is turning into Elvis or picked up Elvis’ spirit or something, not sure where it is going yet.  But it’s fun creating it because it constantly keeps changing and going in new directions. 

This is just how my thought process goes and what ideas are rolling around my in my head… 

My notes (these are my actual notes) 

Elvis Story Idea 

Is it possible to write a book about this.  It could be kind of funny. 

I like the name Earl for the man 

Play around with wife’s name (something southern and clumsy, she’s got a nickname) 

First Chapter would be the wife speaking about her husband loosing his mind – 

“It all started when we visited that dang Graceland, Earl’s been acting all kinds of crazy since then.  It started with those ridiculous side burns, I think they call them “mutt and chops.”  I was a little aggravated when he started growing them things but I thought he was going through some kind of middle age crisis.  Oprah talked about that very thing last month on her show.     I thought it best to keep my comments to myself.  I must say though, he looks like a damn idjiot!”

I think it will sound better in third person….

– is wife the protagonist?

– is Earl the protagonist?

– could I write from a male point of view, why not

– how could  this story be about wife growing or is it just about a couple that has gotten kind of bored in their marriage.  They could both grow and become happier people and learn to appreciate each other.  They learn things and desires about each other that they never knew.  Can their marriage survive, hmmmmm….. interesting……  

– maybe this is just a short story and not enough of an idea for a book

– it could almost be like that Nicolas Cage movie where he wakes up in someone else’s body, with someone else’s family even though we know it’s his family. 

The second chapter could be Earl’s POV  – who the he’ll is this women next to me in bed! 

Earl  (written in third person, sounds better)

“Earl Jones slowly opened his eyes and felt a sense of panic wash over him.  Where in the hell was he and who the hell is this old woman laying next to him?  Jesus H. Christ he thought, how much did I have to drink last night?  He slowly slides his hand beneath the blanket and groans,    Earl Jones is completely naked.”

Maybe it’s not even about Elvis.  I like that paragraph about Earl.  I can see him going to the bathroom and shitting a brick when he looks in the mirror.  He washes his face and slowly looks up in the mirror at a total stranger “Holy Shit, he mutters, I need a peanut butter and banana sandwich right now.  (Elvis loved those)….




Do you ever notice that when your running late that “Murphy’s Law” thing always seems to happen.  I often ask myself, “what gives,” ” I mean come on already!”

I was running late leaving the house this morning and of course I have to get behind someone going 15 m.p.h. driving in my neighborhood.    I get on the freeway and no one seems to want to let me merge, “really people.”  I hit every stop light, get behind every slow driver.   And then,  I stop at Walgreens (needed gum)  and there is only one person working the register and I am third in line.  Of course you can guess what happens next, the cashier shouts out, “I need a price check on register one.”  Why wouldn’t he, I thought.  I pull into my parking garage at work at their are no open spots where I normally park.

Oh yeah, the real topper to my morning was:

“Having the toilet seat liner stick to my ass because we are having monsoon season in Nevada and it is so muggy.  It took me forever to peel that second skin from my backside.”  I was almost late clocking in!

One of my husbands favorite words is, “free.”  He can’t resist it, his eyes actually light up and his heart begins to race.  “But it was free,” “they were just throwing it away,” “can you believe they were throwing this away,” “free hotdogs today,” “are you going to finish that sandwich, well if your just going to throw it away…”  These are words and phrases I’ve heard often over our twenty plus years we have been together.

As I write this blog my car isn’t able to fit into the garage, why you ask? Well, because I have some free “shit”, as I call it filling up my garage.  “But, we can sell it on Craig’s List, Vance was just going to throw it away…”

But, the sad fact is that we will probably make a few hundred dollars on this crap and then I will have to listen to Dale say, “just admit it, I was right?” God, I hate that!

I can see him so clearly as a small toddler pulling his little red wagon around the neighborhood and loading it up with all his “treasures.” He says it didn’t happen, but I have my doubts!

This is why my blog is called “the funny side of the street,” because loading this crap ass furniture into my garage I had to laugh at the absurdity of it all.  And that little, happy smile on Dale’s face thinking, “Can you believe he was just going to throw this stuff away, what an idiot!”

I say, “Who’s the idiot,” but only quietly to myself…

Dear Jen, 

You know that I like to write and I have so many feelings I need to get out.  Wow, a blog in your memory, I bet your feeling special.  I’ve been on such an emotional roller coaster since Friday morning when I got the call. 

I can’t believe I’ll never see your smiling face again.  When I dropped you off the Airport as you headed off for a new adventure I wish I had hugged you a little bit harder.  It’s so crazy how fragile life can be and how unseen circumstances can change a life. What if the waitress had taken a little while longer to bring you your check, you had ordered something that took a little longer to cook, you didn’t have that cigarette outside that I know you did.  Then maybe that driver that hit you would have already driven down the street and your paths would not have crossed.  

I know that some people believe that we are all predestined to depart this earth at a certain time, I don’t know if I really believe that, there are just to many variables that have to come into play. 

I know that although we didn’t talk about it much you were a bit of a tortured soul that you tried to hide with a smile and a hearty laugh. But, I always knew…

I’m trying to find comfort in the fact that you don’t have to worry about anything anymore.  You don’t have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders any longer.  I know in time I will feel that way.

But, I’m not ready to say goodbye yet.  Can you call me?

I knew the day was coming close and I could feel my anxiety level rising.  I woke up feeling extremely warm and knew that I wasn’t having a hot flash, at least not this time.  Summer has arrived in Southern Nevada. 

I took a deep breath and headed into my closet.  And there they hung,  “my shorts,” taunting me from the rack.  “Would they fit, zip and still fit across my ass,”  I was truly nervous.  I saw the scale in the closet but didn’t dare climb on it, that could put me in a depression all day.  I slipped on a pair that were a little loose  on me last year.  I must have really over dried them before I put them away because honestly,  they did seem a little smaller.  I did that low dipping squat that all women “instinctively know” that stretches our pants a little bit in the hips and thighs.  The shorts now fit, thank God!  

There was a ray of sunlight  that hit my lower leg and I saw all the fur that had grown over the winter.  I gasped in horror, I mean I can’t go out of the house looking like a caveman.  This shit was so long I heard myself humming a Bob Marley tune and thought of spinning out some dreadlocks on my legs.  And the toe hair, where the he’ll did that come from, just kidding. 

I’m happy to report that it’s safe for me to leave the house again.  I hope all you ladies have an easy transition into the summer season.  Sometimes the “maintenance” is just too much, right?

We’ve got a free month with Net-flicks so I’ve been watching all the episodes of this show called “Ruby.” She’s a, “let’s say” extremely healthy size woman who is on a weight loss journey.  She weighed over 700 pounds and has lost over 300 pounds so far.  She is from Savannah, Georgia and “y’all” she’s just likable.  I laid on my couch last night and watched almost every episode on season two.  

“And y’all, my ass was almost as large as Ruby’s when I finally rolled off the couch”. 

It’s hard to believe that today is three years since my Dad passed away.  How can that even be possible? Where has the time gone? I’m a bit of a “kook” who is always looking for “signs/meaning,” to explain and understand life. 

I sit out on my back patio and look at the Calla Lily flower that was secretly growing in my yard when my Dad died.  It chose to make its appearance the week he died with one single white flower.  Every year since it appears.  Last week I saw a single white flower open, there was a second bud that wasn’t quite ready.  It waited until today.

Thanks Dad –

From winds far away

As I hear my fathers voice

A flower grows…

Writer/Poet 🙂

It’s so strange how all of a sudden an image or thought will provoke me to start writing.  I’ve felt a bit blocked lately but I’m kinda feeling it today.  I’m sitting out on my front patio doing some schoolwork and enjoying the beautiful weather.  My cat is laying on the patio slabs completely covered in dirt and looking up at me, I know he is smiling.  I’m so happy about my new iPad that Dale bought for me last week.  I can sit outside and write as a soft breeze blows across my face, I’m in heaven…

The city put in all new grass turf a few weeks ago in the park that lines my street.  There is a huge 6 foot chainlink fence surrounding the fields to allow the grass to get established before any kids can play on it.  I was just watching two boys who were being “total boys” that thought they were being unobserved grab the fence and shake it to see if they could knock it down.  I think they must have sensed someone watching them as they turned and we made eye contact.  I felt like the crazy old lady ready to shake my ratty old slipper at them, “you boys get away from that fence this minute.”  Don’t worry I didn’t say that but my stern look did.  I kept an eye on them as they walked down the end of the street.

 Boys are just so mischievous and I was transported back in time to my childhood.   God, I love when that happens, its almost like a movie playing in my head.  I wonder, does this  this happen to everyone.   Sometimes I think I should write about growing up on 2 Sharp Street, “cause” it sure was fun.

One of the “characters” in my neighborhood was “Frankie Silver,” he was a year younger than me and lived two houses away.  He was always a “little rough” on the pets in my neighborhood and mainly wildlife in general.  I will not go into much detail on that, but once we saw him punch our cat, or was it kick it.  He was banned from our yard for a long time.  He would stare longingly through our chain link fence as all the kids played in our yard on warm summer days.   Looking back, we could have had a future serial killer on our hands and we didn’t even know it.  

Now, as I ponder on my own life and my struggles of figuring out what I want to do with this “so called life,” I think “Frank”, as we call him now was always on the right path even as kid.  He is now the animal ordinance guy who you call when the raccoons decide to make a home in your attic, he get’s “rid of them.” If you were to ask me what he does with them once they are captured I do not know or want to know.  But he’s lucky, he turned his childhood passion into a lucrative job, go figure!

I’m not even sure how this story went where it did.  I was remembering when Frankie shook the heavy metal tie down off the telephone pole on our street.  “Frankie you better stop it,” we said as we saw two wires hit each other and spark above our heads and slowly all the lights on our street went dark, including the houses.  “oh you’re in big trouble now, here comes Mr. Oppenheimer and he looks mad, RUN…”

My class assignment this week was to write five Haiku’s  – which is something I’ve never done.  Haiku’s are the traditional form of Japanese poetry and generally consist of 17 syllables – five in the first, seven in the second, and five in the third.  Haiku’s usually deal with subjects of the natural world.  I thought Alaska was so beautiful and  what better place to use as inspiration. 

1.  Scarlet red, burnt orange

    A fire in the night sky

    As day turns to night

2.  The lull of the train

     Quiet and peace fill my mind

     Eyes closed, I smile

3.   My ship is a drink

      Floating in a sea of ice

      Through the still water

4.   Walking through the woods

      Total stillness in the air

      I hear myself breathe

5.   Our plane softly lands

      White blanket of snow, so bright

      Quiet fills the air