Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Sort of Calm Before the Storm

My Writing Desk
Confession: I've always loved rainstorms.

 The weather is perfect for writing, like the rain is sending out tons of great ideas that drip down onto your laptop computer (well, not literally of course, because that would suck.)

An Appalachian mountain girl, I've found my career path took me down into the "flat lands" of North Carolina, and just two years ago I found where I believe I truly I belong: the gorgeous coastal town of Wilmington, NC.

But with Hurricane Matthew --- well, let's just say there is TOO much storm.

We've been very fortunate and my hearts and prayers go out to those in hard-hit areas.

My understanding (but I'm not a #WeatherChannel guru) is that #HurricaneMatthew will hit us around early AM Sunday. (My church services at the Episcopal church are cancelled. So with all those Episcopalians running around, you know there's an empty ABC store somewhere.)

But all kidding aside, there was no mandatory evacuation  for our area, so I'm just hunkered down and prepared in case the power does go off.

I'm hoping the wind and rain catch my ideas and let them flow into me...but as it looks, they are all being flowed into the tree outside my window.

Everyone stay safe during the #hurricaneWatch.

And for my family and friends in Asheville. You may not see effects from Andrew, but hold on, you'll have your chance when you get snowed in this winter because #WinterIsComing.

Here are some pre-landfall pictures from #CarolinaBeach. They were taken Yesterday 10-8. The picture outside my window was taken 10-7.

And um... Get a FREE book when you sign up for my newsletter (and I only send out like, four a year. So I'm not going to spam you or something.) Sign up here. (Because like all writers, I'm insecure and need validation.)

Monday, April 4, 2016

If the Political Candidates Were Downton Abbey Characters

No, it's not Downton Abbey. You know, that copyright thing.
Millions of Americans recently bid farewell to the Crawley family, and while we said goodbye to one period drama, we're still stuck in the middle of the political drama race to the White House. The presidential candidates and Downton Abbey characters have a lot in common. We've matched them with their counterparts, as well as some reasons you should (or should not) vote for them.

Hillary Clinton:
Violet Crawley
Why? She's been playing this game longer than anyone realizes, which is why she's able to get stuff done. When she can't, she will send a zinger when you least expect it, nailing you to a wall. Something warns you that turning your back on her may be the last thing you do.
Pros: Would always get the last word in diplomatic negotiations.
Cons: Would always get the last word in diplomatic negotiations.

Bernie Sanders:
Tom Branson
Why? Revolution! Everyone deserves a chance! Triumph of the middle class! Who cares about your damn emails! Sanders would be right there with Tom, waving signs at the socialist meetings, maybe even marrying into the Crawley family to bring down the system from the inside.
Pros: A good driver.
Cons: Well, that socialist thing.

Ted Cruz:
Lord Grantham
It's not that he's a bad guy, it's just that he's just so much BETTER than you. And he's always right. Except when he isn't. Then he's still right.
Pros: Impeccable taste in dressing gowns.
Cons: Losing half the family fortune.

John Kasich
Dr. Clarkson
Why? You forget he's there, then suddenly he shows up and delivers a life-changing diagnosis that puzzles everyone. When you want to know more, he fades into the background. 
Pros: Definitely who you want around during childbirth.
Cons: How often will he deliver babies at the White House?

Marco Rubio:
Ms. Pattmore
Wait, is he still in the race?  We don't know because he's running around behind the scenes just trying to keep the GOP family together and afloat, making sure everyone thinks the production was effortless, although it was nothing but blood, sweat and tears. 
Pros: Creates a fabulous Crepes Francaise
Cons: Has a bed and breakfast of "ill repute."

Donald Trump:
Lady Mary
Why? Looks great on camera, and despite being mean and spiteful, everyone still likes them. Is able to ruin your life and still, somehow convince you that it's all your fault.
Pros: Lots of money, and comes through when the chips are down...eventually.
Cons: Must stay away from Turkish diplomats.

I'm typically an apolitcal person, but with the train wreck that is our recent elections, I'm wondering if, like Edith, the voters will ever be happy.

Of course, Frank Underwood from "House of Cards" could wipe the floor with all of them.

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Saint Patrick (and Why He's Cooler Than I Ever Thought He Was)

Confession: Technically, I took this picture in Scotland. But that's okay. Saint
Patrick may have been from there...
No matter where you're from, or where you were born, today, you are Irish. What better way to celebrate one of the great saints in Christendom than with green beer?

But seriously, the more I learned about St. Patrick, the more I learned he was even more cool than I ever knew. Here are the top seven  things you probably didn't know about St. Pat. for #SaintPatricksDay 

1. He was loaded.
At least, his parents were. While St. Patrick may have become a priest and lived a more modest existence later, in his earlier life, his parents were very well-off, particularly by the standards of the time.

2. He wasn't Irish.
He was Scottish. Or English. Maybe Welsh. No one is 100 percent sure where he was from--tradition says his parents were Roman citizens who were most likely living in England. One thing is for certain: he wasn't Irish.

3. Blue is actually the color traditionally associated with St. Patrick -- not green. I'm not sure why. You can see a traditional artistic rendering of his icon here  (or as I call them - Christian Super Hero Trading Cards)

4. He was a slave.
Raiders took Patrick when he was a young man and sold him into salvery where he wokred in Ireland as a shepherd. Patrick leaned on his faith to help him through this difficult time.

5 After he was freed, an angelic vision told him to go back to Ireland.
Imagine going back to the people who enslaved you! Patrick, guided by God, returned. As a result of God working through him, many of the Irish converted to Christianity.

6. He used the shamrock as a teaching tool. 
Patrick had a heart for the souls of the dear Irish people. At the time, the pagan celts were worshipping the sun, moon and other parts of nature. used the shamrock to explain the Trinity--how three separate elements of Father , Son and Holy Spirit can be both three in one, both different, yet the same.

7. Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover?
This has nothing to do with Saint Patrick, but it's 1 in 10,000.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. #ErinGoBraugh!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Some Questions for Mr. Trump (You Won't Get Asked on CNN)

I rarely get political. Seriously. 
The way I look at it, the whole system is broken and we won't go forward until we end career politicians. I don't think Jefferson and Washington envisioned a system where you start running for re-election your first year in office.

But I'm disturbed by Donald Trump. In a really, really, bad way. (Is there a good way to be disturbed?)
I'd like to ask him these questions, none of which are policy related. And you won't see them on CNN.

Mr. Trump, feel free to reply.

1. The name-calling. What's up with that? 
Are we in bleeping THIRD GRADE. I get it. You think people are losers. You diss on women for the way they look (nevermind that you're not exactly Bradley Cooper. ) Free speech and all. I get it. 

But it's not the best for diplomacy. We all know that Kim Jong Un is a (insert derogatory comment here), but to call him that on the world stage, esp. in the decade of You Tube (aka, play your worst moments over and over again) and esp. when he has nukes, well, don't think that's best for business.

2. How are you going to get Mexico to pay for that wall, short of all-out war?
Trade sanctions? See #1 above. I've heard you hire more Mexicans than Americans to work in your hotels. Is that true?  

I got news for you--- Mexico is too busy having issues with drug cartels to pay for the wall. 

3. How do you reconcile your faith with whatever you're doing?
Hey,, I'm not one to throw stones. God  knows I wouldn't want my personal life on display. I'm a Christian, abeit a heavily flawed one. I don't like to question whether or not anyone is a Christian. That's between you and God.

But-- correct me if I'm wrong--didn't you say you haven't asked forgiveness of anyone? That's pretty standard for a card-carrying Christian. Even the most liberal and most conservative theologians would agree on that.

Here's an article from CNN that expounds on this (written by a conservative columnist)

4. Why haven't your PR gurus advised against the orange spray tan?
I'm not being mean or name calling. I'm just saying. You don't look healthy. Take care of yourself. 

5. What the waht is up with the "earpiece malfunction" that made you hesitate on the David Duke question? 
Why didn't you say, "I've got a problem with my earpiece. Can you repeat that?" Or ""Oh, KKK---I thought you said KFC and I was about to comment on their wonderful family bucket deal."

6. Do you really want to make it easier in the constitution to sue the media for defamatory articles?
I get it. I was a reporter for more than 7 years. I agree the media has gone off the rails. But you're in the party of Lincoln, who believed in defending the democracy. May I quote Mark Twain: "The duty of the press is to print the truth and raise hell." 

And do you really think you'll get the votes to do that? Congress has to go along with it you know.

Like most Americans, I'm really put out with things going on with both sides of the politcial spectrum. 

My conclusion on Super Tuesday?
I'm giving out slaps and cupcakes. And I'm all out of cupcakes.