Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wednesday Evening Meanderings

Donald and I have just gotten flu shots today.

First flu shots we've ever gotten in our 24 + years together. The only time either of us has had the flu was the first year we were together and we were two very sick puppies. We both missed two and a half weeks of work. That's a huge chunk of missed work at one time!

Since then, we've both had a few pretty bad colds and I had bronchitis once and thought it was going to absolutely put me in my grave, but basically we're two of the healthiest people I know.

All this flu talk this year, along with the fact that I'll be getting on a plane next Wednesday, helped us decide that we might need to break with our "no flu shots" tradition. And so we did. Now we'll just see how it goes. This was the seasonal flu shot, the H1N1 shots won't be available till later, and the way I understand it - that's being recommended in addition to the seasonal shot. Seems like an awful lot of shots to me.

I've not been overly impressed with the seasonal shot in the past - seems like whatever vaccine is chosen ends up being the wrong one to fight that year's flu. But oh well - what do I know.

Anyway. We've had our shots.

But I don't really want to talk about the flu, or flu shots.

Many of you are members of DorothyL, so you'll be familiar with this lovely little book that I do want to talk about. THE WRITER'S JOURNEY JOURNAL: Inspiration, Information and Humor to help you find your way as a writer. It came up in conversation at DorothyL just this week. It is a lovely little book! It's compiled and edited by Tony Burton, and it's available through Wolfmont Press. Mine was a gift from my friend Radine Trees Nehring who writes the "Something to Die for" mystery series, which I adore. In the first book of the series, A VALLEY TO DIE FOR, this passage in the introduction grabbed me, and the series has maintained its hold on my heart ever since. "
She began to turn slowly, still looking up into the treetops. She was, she decided, performing a symbolic ritual--turning away from asphalt, traffic, lined-up buildings, and rushing people. She was also turning away from Mrs. Amos Anderson McCrite, city wife. She was now Carrie Culpeper McCrite, independent woman, and Ozarks forest dweller.

She stood in a green well with walls unbroken by anything but the narrow window of her lane to the road."

This passage SO perfectly describes the very feelings I had the day Donald and I moved into this little house we now live in here in Boone, NC. We moved to this little town in the North Carolina mountains from Atlanta. And I did feel just like Carrie; like I was turning away from asphalt, traffic, lined-up buildings, and rushing people. I was totally blown away that someone could write what I was feeling! I immediately felt a kinship towards Ms. Nehring, but had no idea we would go on to become friends.

I was touched and honored by Radine's gift. I admired it, I picked it up over and over and read the essays included - many written by people from the mystery community who I know, or know of, and I enjoyed reading the quotes included on the top of each page. It's a simple delight. But I never wrote the first word in it. During a recent conversation about THE WRITER'S JOURNEY JOURNAL at DorothyL, I mentioned that I may have finally decided that I was actually ready to put the journal to the use for which it was intended and actually write in it. Maybe.

I've been in the terrible habit of jotting down ideas about things I want to blog about on whatever's handy - my desk calendar, a sticky note, the backs of envelopes - you know what I mean. We're all guilty of jotting those odd and random little notes to ourselves, many of which we never see again. One of the DorothyL members, Jenny Milchman, who writes the wonderful "Suspense Your Disbelief" blog suggested a fun thing. Start using the darn book, and then put a copy of one of the pages from the journal with my notes on it right here in Meanderings and Muses. So here 'tis. You probably can't read my notes, and that's O.K. - they're all ideas that will end up here anyway, and probably pretty soon. And I must say - allowing myself to finally write in my Writer's Journey Journal is fun. It's satisfying, fulfilling, makes me smile and it's just . . . fun. I've always been a firm believer in doing little things for ourselves which make us happy. We all need to allow ourselves little pleasures that bring us those feelings of fulfillment and bring forth a smile. Life is short. We only get to do it once. No dress rehearsal, as that saying goes. So why not do it with a smile? And if it's something as small as allowing yourself to write in a sparkly new journal, with bright shiny pages begging to be written upon, then what's the hold-up?! Go ahead, write away, then sit back and admire how beauteous 'YOUR' words look upon that page.

And now -

I LOVE give-aways, and wish I could do more of them.

I'm going to work on that.

But while I'm doing that, I do have a copy of a book I'd love to give to someone who might be interested.

Nope - NOT a copy of THE WRITER'S JOURNEY JOURNAL - Sorry! You'll have to find your own copy of that (and you should!).

But, if you're interested in receiving a copy of another book I've been squealing about here at Meanderings and Muses lately, (squealing about quite a lot, actually), just leave a comment at the bottom of this post. I'll draw a name on Saturday, and post the winning name on Sunday. Please check on Sunday, and if you're the winner, send me an email with your mailing address so I can get the book in the mail to you on Monday. (If we don't take care of this on Sunday and Monday, it will have to wait till I return from Bouchercon, and I'd rather not have it wait that long. )

Have you guessed what the book is?! Bet you have!

Here tis - ta DA!

Clothes Lines from 75 western North Carolina women writers.

i just love this book.


jenny milchman said...

I love how this came out! I have been trying to curb my rampant commenting, but this one begs for a response...The quote you chose is such a metaphor for the writer's journey--"the narrow window of her lane to the road"--and I felt as if I almost *could* make out a few of your writerly jottings on that page, Kaye. We should all do this, at least some of the time, instead of the stray backs of receipts...I think it would elevate my words.

Charlotte said...

i love your blog...

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the kind words about THE WRITER'S JOURNEY JOURNAL. It was a project that simmered in my fevered brain for months before I decided to do anything about it.

Radine is one of my favorite authors, too... and that makes it natural that I'm publishing the next novel in her "To Die For..." series in the Spring of 2010.

I note that you had something written in your Journal that I said on D-L not long ago, and still hold—at least in a non-literal sense—to be true: Some people just need killin'.

Tony Burton
Wolfmont Press

Vicki Lane said...

Good for you for finally writing in that journal! I have at last copied some of my attempts at poetry into a very beautiful blank book I was given years ago.

Felt good.

Radine said...

Kaye, what you have said about THE WRITERS' JOURNEY JOURNAL echoes how I feel. This beautiful little book is such a friendly companion to anyone who lives using words to express thoughts. (Isn't that all of us?)

As to CLOTHES LINES? What a friend it is! It has chats with 75 wonderful women who share their thoughts, secrets, loves, and messages with us all. And, it's not just for women. It's great for men who want to understand women better and, especially, for men who are creating female characters in their writing. It's a book that says, "This is who we are!"

Radine said...

Kaye, thanks for putting in lovely words so many of the reasons I, too, love A WRITERS' JOURNEY JOURNAL. It's a joy to own and use.

AND I love CLOTHES LINES, including, especially, the essay by Kaye Barley about her red jacket. (I WANT a red jacket.) These tiny stories, essays, and poems are so friendly, and so US, if we're female. Each is like a conversation with a friend. As to the men, well, if you guys want to understand women better or, especially, write about women, this book is just what you need.

Radine said...

OOOPS from Radine: I wrote my first comment then couldn't figure out how to get it posted and Google wouldn't accept my password set up for their site. Everything vanished. So I started over, re-created my access code, and wrote another comment, wishing I could remember just what I said the first time! I was somewhat flustered by then which does happen to me when I am dealing with the mysterious ways of the Internet. (Obviously I was flustered--I typed "lives" instead of "loves" at one point and didn't catch the mistake.) I guess this is all to the good. You KNOW how I really feel about your use of THE WRITERS' JOURNEY JOURNAL, and how I feel about CLOTHES LINES because I have, more or less, said it twice. Okay, I echo it for a third time.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a great book. I too believe life is short. Why not smile along the way. I'm still waiting for my flu shot. Every time I call they are out of it.

Patricia said...

Kaye you have a way of always touching my heart...

caryn said...

I was so happy for you when I saw that your piece was included in this book! From DL participant to blogger to PUBLISHED author! I'm in awe Girlfriend!

Jen Forbus said...

Good for you, Kaye! I'm glad you started writing in your journal and that it makes you happy! I, too, often jot notes in any old place about things to write on the blog. I have started using a designated little book now, though. Sure makes the ideas easier to locate when I start to blog! Ha!

Gail Hueting said...

I read your blog from time to time. I think that's a good use for the writer's journal--to put blog ideas in it.

I'm writing this on Friday and read your response to Obama's Nobel Prize (which surprised me too). Definitely courtesy and civlility would be a plus in public life.

B.G. Ritts said...

I got my flu shot last week so that if I got sick from it, I'd be over it by the time B'con got here.

I'm looking forward to seeing your written-in journal 'in person' next week!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

my original intent with Meanderings and Muses was to build a little virtual community where people felt comfortable and safe, could share a laugh, a smile and a tear, along with ideas. These comments by you wonderful people make my heart sing and make me think perhaps we've achieved what we set out to do. And we'll continue our building.

Thank you. (Radine - Thank you THREE times!)

And as a follow-up . . . dang. Now that I've started writing in this book I can't seem to quit! LOL! Tony, I expect I'll be giving you a call to order another one.

BG - great minds thinking alike! I thought EXACTLY the same thing! If this flu shot makes me sick, surely I'll be well by the time I go to Indianapolis! Ha! Too Funny! No ill effects, at all! Whew! I'll see you Wednesday (WITH my Writer's Journey Journal!)