Friday, March 28, 2008

Prize-Winning Pottery

Lee won second place in the student division of the Students - Members - Faculty Show at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center! Cash prize ... and people showed up at his raku workshop the next day.

The trio was titled Pegasus Triad -- not sure if the judges got it, so I thought I'd see how many of my faithful readers get it. Quiz/Poll is on the right side. I'll post the correct answer in a week or so.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break

Haven't hit the beaches yet, but I'm in Florida over spring break.

No, I'm not partying in some hotel on Clearwater Beach or Treasure Island. No chug contests at wherever the current hot spot is.

I'm home in Safety Harbor. Taking one set of grandkids to the park and going to see another set dance at the Pow Wow Festival. Fixing corned beef and cabbage and watching my hubby smoke pot.


That didn't sound right. How about watching him raku fire some of his pottery, which involves placing the red-hot pots into trash cans filled with shredded newspaper which ignites the paper. Then you cap the can with the lid which creates smoke ... hence the smoking pot.

'Bout as wild as it gets around here. Even on spring break. Which, by the way, is a first for me.

And I promise: No wet t-shirt contests either.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Who Woulda Thunk It?

'Tis the season to be jolly well into getting the tax forms filled out and sent off to the IRS.

So I'm compiling and posting and figuring it all up. And sorting through bills and papers so everything for 2007 gets put away neat and tidy for posterity.

Part of the process is putting all my published or produced writing for the year into a binder. And this year of 2007, I've discovered, was a bit remarkable for me as my work was published in four different genres and in six different publications, including three different newspapers, a children's magazine (short story), a literary review (poem), and an anthology(worship services). Also did some advertising copy writing and learned to write historical research -- a different style than regular academic work, which I also did this year.

I can remember reading a "How to Be a Writer" kind of book in the Pinedale, Wyo., library when I was barely 20 and thinking, "I can do this." I can remember taking a Journalism class and a Literary Magazine Production class at St. Petersburg Junior College's Clearwater Campus a few years later and thinking, "I'd love to do this."

But making a living at it was another matter -- or at least I thought it was -- and so instead of making books I kept them (the financial kind) and, and, and.

And kept writing a little bit at a time. School newsletters. Letters to church vestries and politicos and writers I disagreed with ("Not another letter," my husband would say. "I feel sorry for whoever's getting this one." They were nice. But they were forceful and to the point.) Church skits and plays.

Until here I am 30 years later getting paid to go to school and write!

"I alone know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 ... a combination of Today's English Good News Translation and the New King James Version.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Most of us have had the experience of listening to the radio and having the final strains of a Brahms lullaby or a Metallica serenade segue into the SQWONK! SQWONK! SQWONK! of the Emergency Broadcasting System.

We sit up a little straighter -- but not much because, after all, has there ever really been an emergency when it was used? Mostly we just wait, in varying states of impatience, for the announcer's no-nonsense voice telling us it was "only a test."

Something of that nature took place today in Anniston.

The emergency sirens (or si-REENS, as one new friend says in Alabamese) went off and the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency conducted a simulated "chemical weapons incident" at the Anniston Army Depot. That's where workers are systematically destroying part of the U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons -- some dating back almost half a century.

If this were an actual emergency, as the announcer would say, you probably would not be reading this. That's because I haven't a clue as to what I'm supposed to do. Hold my breath and tape up the doors and windows, I think.

And tune to the emergency broadcasting frequency.

And hope they had gotten their doors and windows taped.