A Year in the Life of a Southern Writer: Week One

For the next year I’m going to post a tell-all, behind-the-scenes look that debunks the mystery and glamour and reveals the real writer. I’m changing the post day from Friday to Monday, and I will be doing giveaways throughout the year. I hope you will come along for the ride!  Currently, you can go to Fresh Fiction for my THINK PINK giveaway, which honors my sister, a breast cancer survivor. The contest runs through October and the winner is a signed copy of The Sweetest Hallelujah. Here’s the link: http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=5836

October 11, 5 p.m.: I don’t know why I told my daughter I’d drive all the way to SMU to visit my granddaughter! I’ve been in the car ten hours, I’m starving, my legs are cramped and if I get out of five o’clockDallas traffic without all my body parts intact, it will be a miracle!

Granddaughter (2)Same day, 6:30 p.m.: Cecilia looks gorgeous and if anybody ever tells me I’m too old to make this drive, I’ll slap them silly. I hear the restaurant at the Palomar has an award-winning chef, and I can’t wait to get in there, chow down and show off my granddaughter!

October 12: Campus tour – I wanted to see the George Bush Library, but this is fall break at SMU and it’s closed. To console myself, I take my granddaughter shopping at Mockingbird Station and spend obscene amounts of money. I won’t think about that right now. I rent The Butler so Cecilia and I can watch it.

October 13: Cecilia and I sleep late, have breakfast in bed and watch The Great Gatsby, a FABULOUS movie. Leonardo DiCaprio is an amazing actor. If and when one of my books is actually made into a movie, I hope there’s a part for him. Mostly, though, I hope I don’t have to wear orthopedic shoes to the premiere!  We decide to shop at North Park Mall in the afternoon. The Palomar provides a van for guests (Yippee! No driving in Dallas traffic!), and the cute young drivers knock each other over to open the door for Cecilia. She’s a knock-out! Did I say?

BootsSame day: We both buy boots at the mall. In Texas you always buy boots, right?  There’s a nip in the air, and we get to wear them to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. I try not to trip over the long, pointed toes of my cowboy boots. I wonder if my feet will get fat if I eat all this macadamia nut cheesecake.

October 14: Boo hoo, it’s raining.  I leave Cecilia sleeping and head downstairs for coffee. She had a test in Chinese this past week, and I’ll bet her brain cells are as tired as mine after I’ve pulled a 12-hour writing stint to meet a tight deadline. Anyhow, I sit by the fire and sip coffee, then decide to step outside and check the weather. I’m looking Not So Glamorous in No Makeup and a caftan featuring elephants, and nobody rushes to open my door. Where is Cecilia when I need her?  Back upstairs, we watch The Butler, then finally decide to trudge out in the rain, back to Mockingbird Station to get a cute sweater for my other granddaughter, Susan, who is home with her family in New Hampshire. It’s so wonderful to see sisters who are also best friends. Lovely girls, even if they are my granddaughters, and I’m not the least bit prejudiced!

Same day, evening: The part I dread is here, sending Cecilia back to her dorm in a Palomar van because I’ll be driving home early in the morning. We can’t hug each other enough. I wait till the van pulls out before I cry.

October 15: OMG, I’m driving home in a storm front that’s moving east! Ten of the twelve hours home are spent driving in rain, some of it horrendous! I hope my friends are saying travel prayers! When I get back to Mississippi in one piece, I could kiss the ground. Actually, I almost kiss it anyway. I’m so tired I can hardly stand up.

October 16: ALL DAY IN BED!!  If you ask why, I won’t be responsible for what I’ll do!

October 17: Semi-recovered.  Proud of myself, I, who used to be scared to drive in as small as Oxford, MS!  I get the mail (a horrible pile as big as mountain) then go into my office and try to catch up. Good grief. I’m almost overwhelmed. To top it off, there is no real food in the house because I didn’t shop for groceries before I left and was too tired yesterday when I got home. I scrounge around in the kitchen and find a box of chicken broth. I love this heated with a touch of lemon and served with a dollop of sour cream. I’m the only woman I know who can gain weight on this kind of diet.

The rest of the week: I go straight from bed to kitchen to office in my gown. I hear the doorbell and race for my elephant caftan so the Fed Ex man won’t think I’m trying to drive him mad.  Actually, if he saw me in my gown he might go mad laughing, but I don’t want to admit this to myself.

October 19: I visit my neighbor, who fell trying to move her couch, and is in the nursing home having therapy. It feels wonderful to be away from the computer, doing something ordinary. Then I get groceries and discover a whole new raft of gluten free products. I’m so happy you’d think I had won a Pulitzer Prize. (Hint: If anybody from the Pulitzer Committee is reading this, you really ought to consider The Sweetest Hallelujah. I’m not kidding!)

October 20: Sunday, and one of my favorite days because I get to sing in my church choir. I sing first soprano, and still have a very strong voice, in spite of asthma. I love singing! When I was first diagnosed with asthma, I got disphonia from the inhaler. I would be singing along, then open my mouth for a high note and NOTHING would come out! I thought I was ruined forever! (I’m a VERY DRAMATIC WOMAN, and I don’t know if that comes from being Southern or being a writer or neither.)

That’s it for this week. See you next!

6 Responses to A Year in the Life of a Southern Writer: Week One

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