Friday, February 8, 2013

My Pocketbook Will Go Ooooonnnn and Oooonnnn

This is how cowpokes in Texas get your money.

You feature an exhibit in some high-falutin' museum near the Stock Show and Rodeo and offer up some real cheap tickets, like. Then make those fancy-pants educated-types pay extra to get through a roped-off area to park their glossy cars and pay again to have the privilege to walk twenty yards to get into the lobby of that high-falutin' museum that's normally free to approach. By the time they accomplished what they came down to the wrong-side of town to accomplish, they're out more cash than a rustler at a cat house.

Enjoy your exhibit, suckers.

All that to say: Oh. My. God. I would have sunk all my nanna's fake jewels in that Atlantic to have the opportunity to see the Titanic Artifact exhibit. It's that good.

Vortex faithful know how much of a buff I am about the Titanic, but even if I wasn't, it would have been educational and emotional. As my luck typically goes, I was given the identity of a woman in third class: Mrs. Claus Peter Hanson listed as Jennie L. Howard from Racine, Wisconsin. This is akin to being given a window seat on the Hindenburg. The entire one-hundred year journey though the exhibit--and I do mean journey, from conception and design of the ship to recovery efforts led by non-profit organizations to the crass consumerism of the gift shop afterward (Who wouldn't want a coffee-mug reminder that you just vicariously died aboard the Titanic?) is mesmerizing. I went alone. It was an artist's date of the highest caliber.

Even if the cowboy outside the museum was stroking his moustache in the ticket booth as I left.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chicken Fried Romance with UNsweet Tea

Nathan Bransford remarked last week on how his Google Reader slims with each passing week. We've all known for awhile that blogging has peaked. Times change. I'm mourning the Barnes and Noble announcement that they are closing stores and going the way of Borders. I'm sad that the downsized Books-a-Million I used to visit sells more pop-culture gift-y items than books. I'm positively apoplectic when I think about my children not passing the day in a bookstore as I used to. I am to blame. My last visit to the downsized Books-a-Million, I bought a Big Bang Theory pen that says, "Bazinga," when pushed. I spent only enough time in there to squeeze between errands. The last fifteen books I read were on my Nook. And, yes, your Google Reader is slim because of me. Times change.

But I'm still here, and you are, too, if you're reading this. So let us be pleasant travelers. It's so short a ride.

Those two lines are from a poem someone gave me a month ago. The author unknown at the bottom makes me pine for a name. Someone to thank.

My new ghostwriting project is a departure in many ways. My character has a southern identity, which one might not think a challenge, having lived more than half of my life in a southern latitude. For me, it is. I tend to walk the streets of the South with a grammar pen in one hand and a glass of unsweetened tea in the other because, apparently, unsweet tea exists only in government conspiracy theories south of the Mason-Dixon line. The new project is dark and light, mysterious and universal, sweet and unsweet. It involves a train, which I know seems antiquated, but I am in the South and cross over railroad tracks nearly every day that I'm not holed up in my cocoon, writing. Maybe if I write through the romanticism of a train, I'll stop thinking about how I should use one in a story. Which brings me back to the poem as inspiration for my small-town, romantic Southern tale.

Life is like a journey,
taken on a train
with a pair of travelers
at each windowpane.
I may sit beside you
all the journey through,
or I may sit elsewhere,
never knowing you.
But, if fate should mark me
to sit by your side,
let's be pleasant travelers.
It's so short a ride.

I have one more post in my system before I spin that safe, story world cocoon again. Considering it fattening up your Google Reader. It's what good Southern girls do.