And now for something completely different

I’ve never been a fan of American Idol. Sure, I watched on occasion, but I am not a big fan of pop music, and I think Simon is just mean sometimes. And mean people suck.

This season, however, I felt compelled to watch the auditions– specifically San Francisco– because my friend’s son auditioned there.  I’ve never met Adam Lambert, he’s been out there trying to make it (and succeeding) in the world during the time I’ve known his dad.

So for the first time, I’ll be paying attention to American Idol, and rooting for Adam, because it’s fun to see the people around you succeed. I wish I had the hutzpah to run full force into the world when I was Adam’s age.  Obviously his confidence in himself is a testament to his parents.  So good job!

And my wish for everyone is that they have the confidence and the persistence to hone their talent, whatever it may be, and get out there and live your dreams….  I know I am finally doing it.

Join me in wishing Adam the best.  He’s really got some talent, and he has excellent taste in music (probably a hat tip to his dad is in order on that one)

Update from the Duke City

I’ve put together this fascinating email newsletter / blog post to update everyone in one fell swoop. It’s much easier on my tired little digits than sending individualized emails to each of you.

Morning Coffee2008 was a year of change for me as you all know.

Big changes.

After much soul searching during my Christmas in Hawaii (picture, right) I decided to apply for graduate schools.

It was all Greg Martin’s fault.

(you can skip this part if you know it already)

In 2007 I attended the Taos Summer Writers Conference, a master class taught by the aforementioned Greg Martin. During my one-on-one conference, Greg said to me, “You know, you make a lot of self-deprecating remarks about not having a masters degree [like some of the others in the class], why don’t you get one?”

It was sort of a DOH! moment. (Oprah calls them Aha! Moments). It was so simple. Why had I not thought of it before? And so, I decided to go for it. But that was back in July…

By the beginning of 2008, having not taken the GRE limited my choices, and then my procrastination (and January 1 deadlines) limited even more choices, until there was only one school left on my list: University of New Mexico where Greg Martin teaches creative non-fiction. Perhaps the universe was trying to tell me something? So I busted my butt getting my application in order, which is no easy task and includes a Letter of Intent and a sample of my writing. Twenty pages of my writing to be exact. Writing that is supposed to show the admissions committee that I am worthy. Oh, and transcripts from every college I ever attended…. Even Grossmont College where I took one class that I couldn’t get into at San Diego State. And three letters of recommendation (thank you Judy Reeves, Amy Wallen, and Jill Badonsky!).

I got the call on March 5, 2008, that I was accepted into the MFA program in Creative Writing at UNM. I was stunned. And afraid. This meant leaving a job I loved, a great roommate, lots of friends and family — and moving to Albuquerque. For three years. At least.

And so I did. Except I didn’t have to leave my job. My boss at is incredibly supportive and has allowed me to telecommute and work part-time.

My house in snowDuring my first trip to Albuquerque in June, I bought a house (pictured left)   Crazy. I was thinking I would wait six months or so before buying, but when looking at rentals that would allow me to have a separate office, the rental expense would be pretty close to a mortgage payment… I found a house, walked in and said, “This is me.”

Buying the house was the easy part. Transitioning back into school after 20 (ahem) years has been challenging. And remembering that I am here to write. And making the time to write.

Continue reading “Update from the Duke City”

The first post of the year

DSC01304I like to spend the beginning of the new year reflecting on accomplishments of the past year, and setting goals for the new year…  I’m not quite ready to share any of that yet, however, I will share my “new” journal with you. It was a gift from my Uncle Johnny who passed away just before Christmas. He was my great uncle, my grandmother’s sister…  the youngest of the five siblings and the last one.  He was a brick layer and he lived on the farm he grew up on in Sedley Virginia– if you look close enough at the picture on the right you’ll see his hat says, “Been there Done that– Sedley” which is pretty funny considering Sedley, Virginia has a population of probably less than 2000 near as I can tell. It’s not even a town, more of a community in South Hampton County.

Note:  Sedley is home to Hubs Peanuts, the best peanuts in the world.

His wife, my aunt Lucille passed away a few years back, she had diabetes (Type 1 I believe).  Their son Curtis also passed away a couple of years ago (he was also a diabetic).  Uncle Johnny did have a grandson and a newly born great grandson.  He also had an adopted daughter who lived across the road, Anita. She called him Pop and looked out for him.  Uncle Johnny had a long life, he was 90, but he will be missed none-the-less.

CIMG1676So back to the journal.  I haven’t been journaling, and I’m not sure why… it’s a good way for me to process what’s going on in my head, to create starts to stories and to work out problems with pieces in progress.  And so, one of my goals for 2009 is to start it up again.  I pulled off the shelf this lovely journal that Uncle Johnny sent as a thank you gift after he visited my sister and I in San Diego two years ago. We had a fantastic time, touring him and Anita around.  He went back and told the whole town what great tour guides we were–  which resulted in more folks (I mean distant relatives) from Sedley visting and looking us up, but that’s another story.

CIMG1677So thank you Uncle Johnny.

I’m sure you received a warm welcome in heavan from your sister Ruby (my grandma),  Lucille and Curtis, your sisters Virginia and Shirley, your brother Tommy, George (my Dad) and many more.

Maybe they even had a big ole plate of fried chicken for you…  rumor had it that you could eat an entire chicken on your own.

PS:  I almost forgot to mention, that the best package ever received in the mail came from Uncle Johnny in 2006.  I mean seriously, you can’t go wrong with a hundred Audrey Hepburn stamps, can you?


filled with Hubs peanuts