Friday, March 30, 2012

Lottery Snobbery.

This might strike most of you as odd, but I'm not buying a lottery ticket for the HUGE jackpot worth over 500 million. In fact, I've never really played the lottery, but I'm not playing this one on purpose.

I don't know how to say this delicately, but I think the amount is obscene, and I wouldn't want to be the winner. Maybe it's the fact that I know how much good that amount of money could do around the country and in the world, if it was used with purpose. I mean, one individual like me could never squander it all--and I would never want to. I'd want to give it away. I know, I know--a good amount will go to tax. But I probably wouldn't even be able to spend a portion of it on beachfront houses and cars without getting a feeling of pause.

I'm aware that this post might make me sound square, silly or just plain unpopular but I don't care. I'm also not trying to ride a high-horse and call myself a selfless person. But the level of fame, frustration and responsibility that would come with that jackpot is too much for me; I'd rather not bother.

I know I'd feel indebted to the world around me, ready to shave off a million at someone who smiled at me in the street. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I'm pleased to share the good news with y'all that three of my poems are appearing this summer in Illuminations: An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing. The journal is currently published at the College of Charleston, and has been around since 1982. I'm excited and honored to be part of it.


Thursday, March 22, 2012


All my life I've remembered my dreams. It's to the point where I've kept dream journals, thought hard about the people in my dreams, about the implications of them, and everything else. On the down side, my dreams often prevent me from getting the deep sleep that I need. 

Last night I dreamed about two people I know, sharing an odd house made of tunnels. The tunnels were narrow and I had trouble fitting through them on my visit. I clearly remember trying to crawl through the narrow passageways of the house on my way from the living room to the bathroom. The strange part was that the actual rooms were normal-sized--only the hallways were meant for crawling. A lesson in the difficulty of transitioning, perhaps?

Another thing about my dreams is that they aren't super trippy. I don't dream about giant anteaters chasing me through fields of squash. I don't have nightmares. Most of my dreams involve the people I know in real life in slightly peculiar circumstances. I also laugh a lot and wake myself up, because the dreams are funny. 

I was in Litchfield with a few friends not too long ago, and I unearthed one of my dream notebooks from my teenaged years that I'd been keeping at the beach house.  I laughed out loud reading the dream descriptions, and wondered why I've recalled my dreams so vividly for so long? I'm not sure of the reason. I guess part of it could be that I'm an unusually light sleeper--every single noise and movement wakes me up unless I'm in Stage 4 sleep, which is rare for me. Needless to say, I often wake up tired and cranky with a head full of odd images. 

As I write this, I'm guzzling a cup of coffee and struggling to wake up so I can begin another day at the new job. I'm also wondering if I should start another dream journal. After all, if these dreams are going to keep me awake and cheat me out of restorative rest, why not get some use out of them and record them for creative purposes? Short stories? Poems? 

Joseph's Dream, by Gaetano Gandolfi

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Do a Good Deed Every (Work) Day.

I had an interesting time at the office today, and it's only my second shift at the new magazine job.

It all started when a sweet-faced girl with a southern drawl walked in and meekly asked me if we were looking for writers.

On a side note: it's been weird managing a team of writers, that is, a group of eager people who are dumping story ideas into my inbox and repeatedly asking me things like "How many words? When's it due?" Essentially, I'm dealing with a crowd of ME.

But this girl seemed a bit different. She was timid, and didn't have a resume. She kept hanging around the parking lot of the building, even after I informed her that the publisher, Bill, was not there.

When Bill finally got back, the girl was still waiting around to ask him for work. I was a little surprised by her lack of pride, admittedly. But Bill, being the jovial and awesome publisher that he is, invited the girl inside right away. She earnestly explained to both of us that she was searching for whatever we had available--whether it was writing articles, distribution, or sales.

"You see...I've been homeless since Friday," she whispered. "My house has been foreclosed. I've spent the last couple of nights in a hotel while I look for work."

Bill and I looked at each other.

"How awful," sighed Bill. "Do you have gas in your car?"

"Oh, yes sir. I have a tiny bit of money...but I really need work."

I stayed silent while Bill sized the girl up. She seemed innocent enough.

"Tell you what. I'll let you distribute some magazines for me," he finally said. "Can you drop off some copies of our Summerville edition in that area? I know it's not much, but I hope it helps you."

The girl was overjoyed. She happily replied that she could do it, and left the office a moment later with one of the sales guys, who was instructed to take her to the warehouse for copies.

After the incident was over, Bill turned to me. "Did I do the right thing?" he asked.

"Yes, I think so," I hedged.

"She seemed sincere," he decided. "I did what I felt."

Later, I couldn't help but think about the meaning behind Bill's outreach--and how good it is to know that I have a boss like that. I've known a lot of people who say they'll go the extra mile for someone in need, but to see it actually happen is refreshing.

Talk is cheap, after all. No matter how good we media types are at doing it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Gig!

So I landed a new gig yesterday: I'm now the managing editor of Mount Pleasant Magazine!! It's a quarterly publication produced by a company called Media Services. I start next week and I'm super duper excited!

Yesterday, my new boss took me out to lunch and gave me the good news that I'm hired. Then he took me to the office and showed me my desk (complete with phone and desktop computer) and introduced me to everyone else around the office. I feel like I made a good first impression.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What People *Want* to Say.

Hi Folks!

This past week has been busier than a wooly mammoth waxing studio. But somehow, in the midst of running around, I've learned something important about people. Everyone is DYING to talk about something personal, and if you invite them to do so, you'll become the sounding board.

I spent a good portion of the week interviewing people for articles in Style & Design. I guess my realization of this fact started with my interviewees, who were eager to spill all kinds of beans to me.

"I can't get through a civic meeting without bringing my Ativan," revealed one woman.

Then a minute later, she offered me a shot of the vodka she brought back from New Orleans. It was only 11 a.m.

"I don't normally drink this early," I admitted. "But if you want to put a splash of Kahlua in your coffee, I don't mind."

I think she actually wanted me to say, "YES! Let's take a shot."

One recurring theme I noticed was ex-husbands. EVERYone I talked to was ready to talk crap in that department.

"It was the most traumatic time of my life," confessed one lady. "I should have never gotten married at 36 years old. I missed my window!"

"My ex left me living in a trailer and driving a car that breaks down on the bridge," said another woman at Tuesday Morning. (I had wandered into the store to inquire why the hell Food Lion had closed next door, and I couldn't therefore buy a greeting card for my old boss' birthday.)

"I'm ...sorry to hear that.." I replied helplessly after listening to her plight.  I was starting to wonder if I had "Please spill your secrets" written on my forehead at that point.

It's funny, but if you give strangers an inch, they'll spout out their autobiographies. As a talk-a-holic, I try not to follow suit.

Anyone else encounter this lately?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My GOODNESS Razors are Expensive...Who Wants Beer?

I have this terrible habit of balking at prices when I'm out shopping for things like toilet paper and makeup...then spending GOBS of money at the restaurants and bars. Illogical, no?

I was thinking about that today when I went to the drug store and the grocery store to purchase several items. I bought lipstick, household cleaning products, other random toiletries....and razors.

For those of you reading this who AREN'T female, you might not know that a package of (good) razors for the legs of ladies can cost about $15. I don't get why. I mean, are they expensive to make? (Oh, right. We're paying for the pink handle and the palm tree on the package. Ugh.)

When I plunked down my moola for the decent set of blades, I felt as pissy as I always do when I'm forced to spend more than $5 on something I keep in my bathroom. Yet at the neighborhood bars, $15 barely covers the price of dinner and a few cocktails. And I'm all too happy to pay that price for food and booze!

The only thing I can come up with to explain this attitude is perhaps the fact that I value food and booze more deeply than luxurious toiletries?

Do any other gals find themselves feeling this way? Or am I a freak?

Happy March!