Friday’s Odds and Ends

Today’s blog post is going to truly be a mix of odds and ends. I am still busy clearing my house to list it for sale, and the task has been daunting, especially my office. A friend once said that a cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind, and I take that very seriously. 
First off, I have a sample of a recent blog post by Kristen Lamb.  On her site, she covers all aspects of the writing game, from words on paper to marketing, and in this post she considers Saying What You Mean.

How do we as writers properly use ugly things?

Sure, a lot of us stay away from these topics or avoid writing in the genres that might land us in cultural minefields. But, we all reach a moment when our fingers pause over the keyboard as we wonder if we really should use that word, or describe a character with a particular label, or hint at a certain belief. It’s universal and unavoidable, really. Because when we are telling stories that mean something to us, that meaning is by nature complex and reflective of the entire spectrum from white to grey to black.

We need to look at what we are saying and why we are saying it. Not just the general theme or message. We have to ask the hard questions of ourselves:

  • How did we get to this point in our lives where we need to write about this theme?
  • Could my message be seen from a different viewpoint? Can I accept that? Why or why not?
  • What does this message say about me as a person and what I believe and value?
  • Am I doing this to work off a grudge? Against whom or what? Why or why not?
  • Am I doing this so I can say things I am not normally allowed to say in society? Why or why not?
 Those are all great questions, and I’d love to see some of your answers in the comments. Since I don’t really have a consistent theme in most of my books, I am not sure how to answer the first question. But I do know that the messages about racism contained in my Seasons Mystery Series can be seen from a different viewpoint, and I accept that. One of the reasons I explore that theme in those books is to gain a better understanding of the issue from all sides.

That message, I hope, shows that I am a person who values and celebrates diversity.

The answer to number 4 is “no.” No grudges.

I had to think about question number 5 for a bit, as it applies to the theme of racism, but then I came to the conclusion that I do talk about my views in society, so there is not anything new on the topic in my books.

Please do share your answers.

Moving on, I’d like to share some helpful hints that I received from Kab Benefield at These were in his last newsletter.

Uses for Cooking Spray:
Use on – Cheese graters to keep cheese from sticking. – Bread boards to keep dough from sticking when rolling out pie crust. – Spoon before measuring honey, it will slide right off.

Storing Camping Coolers:
Before storing your coolers for winter, wash, dry and completely and fill with crumpled newspapers. This will eliminate musty odors and mildew. It also works
for your camper refrigerators.

Now some Friday Fun thanks to Laugh Factory:

An elderly couple are in church. The wife leans over and whispers to her husband, “I just let out a long, silent fart. What should I do?” The husband replies, “First off, replace the batteries in your hearing aid!”

Wife: “In my dream, I saw you in a jewelry store and you bought me a diamond ring.”
Husband: “I had the same dream and I saw your dad paying the bill.”

Dad: “Can I see your report card, son?”
Son: “I don’t have it.”
Dad: “Why?”
Son: “I gave it to my friend. He wanted to scare his parents.”

A young boy comes home from school in a bad mood. His father asks him, “What’s wrong, son?” The kid tells his dad that he’s upset because another kid has been teasing him and calling him gay. The father says, “Punch him in the face next time he does that. I bet he’ll stop.” The kid replies, “Yeah, but he’s so cute!”

That’s all for me, folks. What are your plans for the weekend? I hope to go see the East Texas premiere of “Singleton Boulevard,” written and directed by my friend Gary Martin and starring another friend, Matthew Greer.

3 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds and Ends”

  1. ‘…a cluttered desk is a sign of a creative mind, and I take that very seriously. ‘

    I totally agree with you on the above. I think I need to print out your post, as it has caused numerous brain waves…lol…then I shall respond in depth…in the meantime, I pray for your new ventures and hope ya’ll are safe…just thinking back to walking down the ‘west road’ with you and watching the geese cross…always will remember your long hair, but it is so beautiful now…I recall that ‘laugh’ of yours, especially when dad would make a big joke. Also, those big hair thingy’s…I am way off topic and way tired…but it may be said that ‘a cluttered mind, like mine, may be a sign…’ Hoo Yah

  2. Oh, heaven to bid sakes alive…I look at your photo on the post and it makes my gut hurt…we both need room, either to clear our mind and/or our desks…lol

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