Friday, November 30, 2007

A Holiday Quiz

What The Holidays Mean to You

For you, the holidays are about celebration. You enjoy all the fun and fellowship that the holidays bring.

You celebrate the holidays in an over the top style. If something is cute, you'll buy it. People end up with a lot of gifts from you - and your house is like a holiday wonderland, full of decorations.

During the holidays, you feel magical. You love all of the decorations and how happy people are. You like to sit back and take it all in.

You think the holidays should be comforting and relaxing. You don't like the holiday rush... you just like the simple pleasure of the holidays.

Your favorite holiday memories strongly evoke your senses. You are vividly aware of all the tastes, smells, and sounds of the holidays.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Really Good Day... Really!

Today has been one of the best days I've had in ages. Got up really early this morning to greet the Refridge repairman but he called and said he couldn't get to my house until after 3 sometime. I called Mom who said she would get off at 2 and wait for him.

I watched a movie on HBO. "The Return." It was ok. Sort of predictable. Then I got online to catch up on email and ran into J...we had some great laughs and smiles. I really believe that's partly why my day is so good. A good friend like J can make the world a brighter place. And I'm glad mine shines so brightly.

Waiting for Dad to bring me some coffee from the little corner store. He's been gone a while, probably gossiping. He's worse than some women I know.

My work pile is slowly decreasing. If I keep up like I'm going, I'll stay ahead of my work and the workload blues will have to find someone else to sing to.

I have most of my Christmas shopping done. And some are wrapped and ready to put under the tree if I ever get it up. My Christmas spirit meter is on overload.

Life is good.

yahoo's never-ending story

Sometimes I think yahoo is a sore in itself that it can't stop picking at. They are always messing with their private parts, like yahoo mail, messenger, their toolbar and now 360. I have a 360 page but rarely use it. With my groups, the blogs on blogger and my myspace page, I don't feel like fiddling around with 360. I heard a while back that yahoo was changing it for the better.

Yeah right!

Once it changes over, I doubt I will use it much unless it's really really cool and somehow I doubt that. I keep getting invites to join multiply and zedbo/ zebdo /zebod (whichever is right) but I doubt I'll make it over. How many sighs of relief did I just hear?

There are so many social sites out here. Which is truly the best?

William writes a Letter...

Dear Santa,

I want a fly fusion pen and a Harry Potter maraders map journal. A new computer would be cool. I am being a good boy this month. I think my brother is being a good boy this year. But his teacher dont think so.

love william

p.s if im being naugthy just bring the fly fusion pen with the harry potter maraders map journal.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Diet A&W rootbeer...

I'm so in love with it.

Well, things are pretty good today. Don't feel as stressed as yesterday. I'm very behind on returning email, so don't get upset if I haven't emailed in the last few days. Just been very very busy.

Went to the Town of Walmart last night. As I was getting out of the truck, I reached inside my handbag and pulled our my root beer flavored lip gloss...and out tumbled my keys. I had already sent the locked door into motion and bam...the door shut before I could grab them. I was happy I had my cell phone with I called Mom who went to my house and got the spare set. Only to find out later, that it was the office keys that fell out... my truck keys were in my purse safe and sound.

I'm blaming stress on that happening.

Then after I wandered around inside for an hour, I finally made a few purchases and headed home. When I got in, my brother was at the fridge and he said, "Hey Sher-Bears, the ice bin is full of water. Sure enough... the fridge wasn't cooling. So I spent a great amount of time transferring almost thawed items to the freezer in the barn. Then I put stuff in the fridge part in coolers and zipped to the store down the road for ice. In the meantime my brother calls my mother who arrives an hour or so later and is upset I didn't wait for her to arrive so she could help.

No thanks, Mom. I'm a big girl. My uncle is over at the house now, trying to see if he can repair it. I hope so. I just spent $400 on a tank of heating oil. A new fridge isn't in the horizon. Not until after the holidays.

Watched Nip/Tuck last night. That's one messed up show. I had a good laugh at the 'swingers' scene. Sean and his new fiancee decide to go 'watch' and they concluded that their 'safe word' would be 'big wheel'.... the swingers party was at the home of a very ripped black stud who hosts parties for 'soccer moms' and their 'pauchy bald husbands'...he invites other black studs and they all do the women while the men cheer them on. When one guy asked Kate, Sean's girl if she wanted to be next... she hesitated and it freaked Sean out. He started saying "Big wheel, big wheel" over and was funny to me because I had something similar happen when I was dating a guy who was probably 20 years older than me when I was only 24 and in Greenville. We went to a party at one of his friends' house and it was a swinger party. I was shocked to see people screwing on the kitchen table when we entered the backdoor...and the living room was covered in half-naked and naked bodies gyrating... I asked where the restroom was so I could get my eyes back in my head...and was told it was the first right... was a bedroom where girls were doing girls... I ran out of the house...shocked and ready to go. My date found me and I pleaded that I needed to leave because I had a he took me home.

I can laugh about it now. I think God created headaches so women can get out of a bad date or sex.

Back to Nip/ week should be great. They're doing a 'reality show' based on their life and practice. Talk about disfunction!

Going to catch the Shrek Xmas special tonight and then later a show on bigfoot on the history channel. Are they one and the same?

My sister has a 'knot' in her throat where the surgery was done. She's gone to the doctor today to see what he says about it. I pray it's nothing.

Don't beat me!

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) - A seven-year-old Charlotte, NC boy was at the center of a courtroom drama yesterday when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt, in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible.

The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. When the judge then suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him.

After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.

After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Carolina Panthers, whom the boy firmly believes are not capable of beating anyone.

(This is in no way intended to make light of child abuse are any other form of abuse, but rather to highlight how poor the Panthers are of a football team.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Thanks DJ JD for this forward. I am totally disgusted with my Panthers. I'm beginning to wonder why they even play... the Panthers should just hand the ball over to the other team and stick their heads in their asses while the opposing team scores and scores. I know we have injuries coming on...and Steve Smith can almost carry the whole team. But still...there has to be some great players in their mist... so why don't they show up for games?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New little Nephew

Ben and William have a new puppy. It's name is Champ and it's like 7 weeks old. A real charmer.

I told Ben that Champ turns into a real boy at midnight and if his toys have been moved during the night to blame Champ. Would you believe he didn't believe me?

I have to confess the pup is cute. She brought him over for T-day and we played with him. To him, we're just feet he follows. He went from one set to the next, anytime one of us went into motion. I could hear his thoughts, "Feet...feet... we're they going? Hey wait for me!"

Turkeyed out

I'm so tired of turkey. Thank God I gave the last of it away my Great-Uncle. I made him some turkey salad and dropped it off this morning.

This year's holiday was grand. Granny came to visit and we enjoyed lots of good food. My form of blessing came in the guise of a clear conversatin with Granny Saturday morning. Her alzheimer's has been slowly gathering speed and she hasn't been able to follow conversations unless they are simple. But Saturday morning, she was crystal clear. We talked about all kinds of things. I was late for work because of it. As I drove away I realized that sometimes we ignore these little offerrings from God. The ones like Granny's conversation... golden leaves creating fake sunlight, Canada geese in flight at dusk... how sad so many don't realize this.

But I did and I thank God for that blessing.

It's been hectic these last 2 days.... lots of work coming in for me to do. Restorations and copies...and I've evened comissioned two oil paintings. So I will be a busy worker bee until St. Nick arrives.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

*Joke for Today

Why do women wear panties?

It's a law to cover all man holes!

*Courtesy of DJ Jeff Diamond of 107.9 WNCT in Greenville NC>

Golden Sunlight of Thanksgiving

I saw one of the most beautiful autumn foliage visions of the year. A huge tree in someone's yard on Walnut Street. Every leaf on it is golden yellow...and the yard is covered in a carpet of golden leaves. I drove by it this morning and the beauty of the morning sun filtering through the foliage was awesome. My breath caught in my throat and I had to drive by the house at least 3 times this morning. I wondered if anyone else has noticed the beauty of this tree.

I did and I thank God for showing it to me. The miracles we ignore daily amazes me. Give thanks this year for the forgetten beauty of the world and for the things we have, like love, friendship and family & friends.

I know I will.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Panthers Suck

I am so tired of the Carolina Panthers losing. I know they've got people out with injuries but ... that's no excuse. I watched part of the game Sunday, and after the other team scored their 3rd touchdown, I left the room and went to the bedroom and read a romantic gothic novel.

Didn't do much this weekend. Worked till 2 Saturday. Stopped at Target to get a toy but they were some other stuff instead. Cooked some great food and hung out mostly.

Feeling out of sorts today...guess it's the upcoming holidays and I'm worried about the business. Things are slow. I just hope that things start popping after T-day.

And..we had some vandalism at a few of the stores down from me. I don't understand what joys these hoodlums get out of tearing up property! we were spared but one business had to shut down today because those losers cut lines to her electricity.

I guess I should post this and get back to fun stuff like...dreaming of pumpkin pie.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Autum Calls

Everywhere I look I see gold, orange, red and green leaves flying around. I love this time of year. It inspires the artist within me. I love watching the leaves dance with the wind. The soft delicate whirls they employ as they fall to the ground. I want to pick them up and keep them hide them away so I can look at them during the dismal cold of winter, when the trees are bare and naked--exposed to the harsh anger of silence.

I want to dance with the leaves, to embrace their vibrance essence. I am autumn born, fairy of sunsets and dreams.

The year is coming to an end fast, the days of my youth almost spent and I keep thinking that somewhere in the falling of these words, there blooms color in the form of poetry. I guess you'll have to sort through the weeds to find it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Evil Pure Evil....

Sandspurs are!

If you've ever walked barefoot through any sandy terrain like the beach, you've probably stepped on a few.

I hate them. I'm sure they were created right after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God's wrath... sandspurs.

During the Myrtle Beach trip, I stepped on one while walking back to the truck. It was right under the pier of all places. And it went in deep, in the lower part of my arch right above the heel to the outside of my foot. In other words, a blind spot. When I pulled it out, I knew there were some tips still left in.

Sure enough, 6 days later I couldn't walk without pain. Since I couldn't see it, Mom 'operated' on my foot with a sterile needle and peroxide. She thought she got it all. But wasn't sure and suggested I put a piece of raw potato on it to draw any other pieces out. "It works," she said.

Now, 5 days later my foot is sore again. I took a mirror and looked at it. Sure enough there's an angry red spot with a dark dot in it. I guess she'll have to operate again. This time I will do the raw potato thing ...because a sandspur is hell and I don't want to be its bitch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dum Dummy Dummy Head...Me

I was getting rid of old files in my website and with the click of a button...I deleted the magazine sub-domain portion!!!! I thought I was clicking on another sub-domain name instead. I was horrified. I even logged off for hours, upset over it.

Then I gave it some thought and realized I didn't have time for it and haven't updated my website since Jan of this year. Maybe it was time to end it. SO I did. I plan to do a true business site next year with my restoration work, so I guess it's best to end the vanity site.

I hate to do it but... sometimes it's best to move on with. I loved doing the magazine and thank all that helped with submissions. It means so much to know that so many enjoyed the site.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I was in the Dollar Tree store over the weekend. Might have mentioned it already. Anyways, they were playing old 70's music. I love that store because they never play the same thing every day. One day it might be country music, another day pop songs from the 80's and 90' day they even played reggae... I loved that day because one of the songs that was played was a Reggae version of Johnny Be Good. But the best song was 'Day old Banana Pudding.' I sang that song for days.

Anyway... this song came on from Sly and The Family Stone...I sang along...(continued after the song)

Lyrics for: Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)

Lookin' at the devil
Grinnin' at his gun
Fingers start shakin'
I begin to run
Bullets start chasin'
I begin to stop
We begin to wrestle
I was on the top

I want to thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin

Stiff all in the collar
Fluffy in the face
Chit chat chatter tryin'
Stuffy in the place
Thank you for the party
But I could never stay
Many thangs is on my mind
Words in the way

I want to thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin

Dance to the music
All nite long
Everyday people
Sing a simple song
Mama's so happy
Mama start to cry
Papa still singin'
You can make it if you try

I want to thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
(Different strokes for different folks, yeah)
Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin

Flamin' eyes of people fear
Burnin' into you
Many men are missin' much
Hatin' what they do
Youth and truth are makin' love
Dig it for a starter, now
Dyin' young is hard to take
Sellin' out is harder

Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
I want to thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
Thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin
I want to thank you falettinme
Be mice elf agin

As I was going down aisles singing, I came across two black American kids... playing with foam swords. The oldest was about 9 ...the other was around 5. The oldest was singing along with the chorus as loud as he could..

and he sang:

Shaggy and Scooby
Be your self...good friends...

I stopped to listen ...covered my laugh and thought... dude, those are the best misunderstood lyrics I've heard in ages.

Scoob and the Family Stone...

Viva Viagra

When I first heard that comerical...I was horrified! Come on ..this is Elvis. Couldn't they have used some other song?

But after hearing it about 100 times, I realized that as much as Elvis loved Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, he would have really dug Viagra. Probably would have went as far as to do a Viva Viagra World Tour!

Thank ya...thank ya very much Viagra!

I always wanted to be a Super Hero!

I go crazy at least once a day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Monday

Downtown L'ton is deserted. I think 99.9% of the stores are closed. I've had a few customers in today. They were all amazed at how dead the area is. I sort of like the quiet. I can get a lot done today.

Had an ok weekend. Feeling a lot better today. Got to Al's house at around 5:30. He was watching ACC basketball. Pissed that NC State won over UNC. I cooked up some of my delicous sage porkchops, some Asian noodles with a honey sauce and sesame seeds, steamed broccoli and... corn. Al dove on it like it was a life line. Slept in Sunday. Al had to work for a few hours, so the cat and I took a long coffee break. I slipped over to the Dollar Tree store. Found some things like Xmas gift wrap, some stocking stuffers for the nephews...and fuzzy socks. I'm addicted to them. They can line my coffin with them when I depart this sad ole world.

For lunch I cooked some Calzones. For supper I cooked a London Broil in burgandy wine with mushrooms, onions and garlic cloves and some wild rice and brussel sprouts in butter sauce. It was all so good. Al was happy.

We watched the Panthers choke at their home stadium. I swear they need a complete new team. Get rid of the whole freaking lot. I'm so disgusted with them. Al and I tried to watch the Colts game. I couldn't watch all of it...Poor Peyton Manning.... what a nightmare game for him. I hope this doesn't ruin the mood of his commericals. I have to admit I enjoy them.

Well, I'm behind on my novel. Knew it would happen. Luckily I wrote the next few chapters in my head this weekend while I cooked and goofed off with the cat. She's a great sounding board. I'll have to dedicate it to her.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Kleenex, Kleenex...everywhere

I have 8 semi-used Kleenex on my computer desk and nary a box in sight. Sniffles R Me and I am sick of this. My head is fuzzy. I sat at a stop sign for 5 mins, waiting for it to turn green. I'm listening with extra care to customers today for fear that I'll agree to something amoral. This cold is kicking my ass.

On a different note... I thought the CSI/Without a Trace cross-over sucked. Next week looks like a weeper with Sara leaving the show.

A Great American

Wednesday night William and I were watching some kid movie called Everyone's Hero. An animated movie about a loser kid, a talking baseball, Babe Ruth and his bat. William said, "Babe Ruth was a great White American. And Jackie Robinson was a great Black American. I hope I'm a great White American one day." lol.. white American..cracked me up. Never thought of it that way, ya know...

Society harps onsome of us as being a minority and doing great stuff that we forget that there should be no division among races. That all should be honored the same no matter what background. William is struggling to understand this. He thinks because at school they've divided the minorities from all the races that non-minorities should have a tag as well.

Sadly, there will never be recognition as Just plain Americans to everyone who lives under the American flag.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Spooning not Forking

A few months ago I found a spoon on the counter. It was yellow and very thick and sturdy. Not like the thin flimsy kind you get when you order take-out. So it became my favorite spoon to stir my coffee with or to eat soup with. I love this spoon and call it 'Old Yeller."

Last night, William was over and we were in the kitchen discussing his medicine. (He's got Streph throat and is taking pills and not liquid antibotics. He says he's 'growing up now.' I say, 'not so fast, dude.') Anyways, he saw me using the spoon to stir my chicken broth soup and said, "Sherrie, that's one of Ben's toy spoons. He's been looking for it."

I didn't believe him and said, "It's mine now. He can play with one of these." I reached in the silverware drawer and pulled out a white plastic spoon.

"But it doesn't match," said William. "Ben's going to be sad if you take his spoon away."

"He'll get over it. And if he doesn't. I've got kleenex."

The thing is... Ben hasn't played with his plastic food, pots, plates and spoonware since Spring. He can make due without "old Yeller."


I'm fighting a freaking cold. It started last Friday and immediately I began to take the above medicine. My symptons haven't gotten worse nor better. I'm at a stalemate with them. I feel bad enough not to be as productive as I usually am and good enough not to stay home in the bed.

I'm a bit loopy but happy. It sounds nuts I know. So tonight, I'll lay around on the couch and catch Survivor and CSI...and also Without a Trace since CSI spills over to their show.

Survivor has been ok. I am rooting for James or Amanda. I think Todd is gonna flake out this episode.

As for CSI... I am amazed at how it continues to hold my attention year after year. The new girl Ronny is gonna fit in nicely. I hate to see Sara go but I don't think it will impact the show as much as some think. She's never been my favorite but I like her and Grissom together. They really fit.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bigfoot Picture Mystery

This is the photo that I was talking about. I cropped the image and lightened it up. Then went and did a photo search for a bear with mange and found the one below. I think the mystery photo is really a bear with mange. Look at how the legs are. A bigfoot wouldn't stoop like that.

Mystery Solved by Sherrielock Holmes

The ones that got away

Here's a closer shot of a Pompano. Cute little thing.

I hooked one of these red drums at a fueling dock on the intracostal waterway but it threw my hook when it surfaced. Al was totally shocked. He thought I had hooked a phantom fish--probably because I reeled in whenever I felt the slightest touch on my hook.

Al tossed out a few crab traps but we didn't catch any. A guy a few feet away kept catching them with his rod and reel... they would fall off and attack his shoe.

Fishey Fishey ...

Here we are on Saturday afternoon, casting our rod into the Atlantic Ocean. The water was cold and Al cast the rods. I didn't have to get wet.

We each caught a Pompano. They were to small to keep.

I'm baaa-accc-kkkk

We stayed at the Hilton and our view was ocean front/ocean view, although it was more of a side shot. This was the view from the bed beside the balcony. While Al snored away, I laid there and looked at the lights and wondered what everyone was doing. I slept really well after the long drive there. We took a round-about way because Al thought it was shorter. I think he took a wrong turn that waylaid us a few miles off course.

That night we ate at Bimini's Oyster bar. Talk about some killer seafood. It's a local joint that had few tourists. A guy was in the corner playing Jimmy Buffet songs and crooning the tunes. He sounded remarkably like JB. I was totally impressed. We got a seat and ordered some good food. I had conch fritters, homemade chips and cole slaw. Yummy. I forgot what Al ordered. But mine was good and the price wasn't too bad. We stayed a while and listened to the guy sing. A few locals came over and invited us to join them later at the 2001 night club that was just around the corner. I was too tired and declined. After we ate we went back to the room and chilled out.

I caught the sunrise the next morning. It was so beautiful off the ocean. We drove around for awhile after a delicious breakfast at Dino's House of Pancakes. Another yummy meal! Eventually we ended up at the!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Weekend

Well, I'm off to Myrtle Beach. I really hope all of you have a great weekend. It's suppose to be mild and not too cold. I don't mind cool weather though. I love walking down the strand when it's cool. Feels as if the ocean speaks slowly in my ear, because so few are there to distract from the calmness of the sea.

Be safe. Be well and see you Monday!

This is pretty much on Track!

What Your Handwriting Says About You

You are a fairly energetic person. You know how do pace yourself, and you deal well with stress.

You are somewhat outgoing, but you're not a natural extrovert. You think first before you act. You tend to be independent, rational, and logical.

You are balanced and grounded. You know how to get along well with others.

You need a bit of space in your life, but you're not a recluse. You expect people to give you a small amount of privacy, and you respect their privacy as well.

You are somewhat traditional, but you are also open to change. You listen to your head and your heart.

You are a decent communicator. You eventually get your point across, but sometimes you leave things a bit ambiguous.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Nov 1st Hits and Misses

My nephews make great vampires. The picture isn't the best. They wouldn't pose for another. Nor would they sit still while I applied make-up.

Halloween was fun. We went to a carnival hosted by my Uncle Jerry's church. It's only 5 miles away and they did a great job. I saw a few old high school mates I haven't seen in ages. The boys loved it. They had lots of activities and every kid got a prize no matter how badly they performed. The boys got more booty than they do when they go house to house. My devil wig/horns were a hit. One kid asked "What's your devil name?" I didn't have an answer. William said I was "Devil's Snare." I guess that's as close to a name as I got.

The church served hot dogs and soda. I think the lady at the window thought I was a total nut when I asked for a plain hot dog bun, because William won't eat hot dogs but he likes the bun. He took a bite while she watched and then said to her, "Hmmm, that's a tasty bun."

Ben ask half of his hot dog on the drive home. When we got to my house, he told me he was finished with it. My sister was going to toss it away but I said I would eat it. (I forgot to get some supper before our venture). After his bath, he came looking for his hot dog. And cried when he found out it was in my tummy. The only excuse I could think of was telling him that the 'devil' made me do it. I hate the humor was lost on him. I felt really bad for him until he realized that he could eat candy instead.

And so another Halloween is gone. Now November looms overhead like an ugly ear of corn and I've promised myself that I would write another novel. I've got one in mind and actually have a list of characters and a plot, but... a kid adventure is in my I tell the nephews--it's a series of adventures about them and I wonder if maybe I shouldn't write that instead. I guess later on today when I sit down in front of the PC, I'll let whichever one wins the battle to find its way to paper.

Al informed me that we're off to Myrtle beach Friday. HE wanted to leave early 8 am but I have to drop my brother off at work at 9 and I have a few things to do at the studio. It kills me how people think because I work for myself that I can drop everything and just go... I'm no different that those of you who slave for any boss. I have a job that needs to get one but me can do it and when I have deadlines, everything has to wait.

Anyone look at the photo of a 'maybe' bigfoot. It was on yahoo's homepage yesterday. Some authorities say it's a bear with mange. I saved a copy to my PC... I may check it out later and give my own thoughts on it. Wouldn't there be a magnitude of non-believers eating crow if there turns out to be a real bigfoot???

And supernatural activity draining electronics? Mainly digital cameras. I say that the real reason behind this is that these ghost hunters are using standard batteries that don't have the power to run the camera for more than 5 or 6 shots. I know...I had to use standard batteries last night instead of my usual ones made just for digital cameras. I went through an 8 pack only 7 shots of the boys. The batteries can still work on other things like my gameboy but they don't have to pull to work a digital camera. So that mystery is uncovered... use batteries made for digital gadgets, Ghost Hunters.

A Letter from Tom Robbins

Dear NaNoWriMo participant,

When you sit down to begin that novel of yours, the first thing you might want to do is toss a handful of powdered napalm over both shoulders---so as to dispense with any and all of your old writing teachers, the ones whose ghosts surely will be hovering there, saying such things as, "Adverbs should never be...", or "A novel is supposed to convey...", et cetera. Enough! Ye literary bureaucrats, vamoose!

Rules such as "Write what you know," and "Show, don't tell," while doubtlessly grounded in good sense, can be ignored with impunity by any novelist nimble enough to get away with it. There is, in fact, only one rule in writing fiction: Whatever works, works.

Ah, but how can you know if it's working? The truth is, you can't always know (I nearly burned my first novel a dozen times, and it's still in print after 35 years), you just have to sense it, feel it, trust it. It's intu itive, and that peculiar brand of intuition is a gift from the gods. Obviously, most people have received a different package altogether, but until you undo the ribbons you can never be sure.

As the great Nelson Algren once said, “Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.” Most really good fiction is compelled into being. It comes from a kind of uncalculated innocence. You need not have your ending in mind before you commence. Indeed, you need not be certain of exactly what's going to transpire on page 2. If you know the whole story in advance, your novel is probably dead before you begin it. Give it some room to breathe, to change direction, to surprise you. Writing a novel is not so much a project as a journey, a voyage, an adventure.

A topic is necessary, of course; a theme, a general sense of the nexus of effects you'd like your narrative to ultimately produce. Beyond that, you simply pack your imagination, your sense of humor, a character or two, and your personal world view into a little canoe, push it out onto the vast dark river, and see where the currents take you. And should you ever think you hear the sound of dangerous rapids around the next bend, hey, hang on, tighten your focus, and keep paddling---because now you're really writing, baby! This is the best part.

It's a bit like being out of control and totally in charge, simultaneously. If that seems tricky, well, it's a tricky business. Try it. It'll drive you crazy. And you'll love it.

Tom Robbins

Tom Robbins is the author of eight novels, including Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Jitterbug Perfume, and his latest, Villa Incognito.

And so it begins! Wish me luck as I travel down writer's lane, never knowing exactly where my journey of words takes me.