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Showing posts from July, 2018

HOMELESS BEAUTY ON BARRACKS

Homeless Beauty on Barracks

I cannot stop thinking about the homeless beauty outside Café EnVie. Tall, athletic, dirty. White t-shirt tied in a tight bow above her belly button.

Walking home from St. Cecilia’s, the taste of brown butter still on my lips, potatoes Lyonnaise crunch still savored by taste buds. I had eaten every bite, my only meal since breakfast. Redfish Almondine, somehow flaky and tender. Only one of our five carried leftovers, the result of earlier Willie Mayes fried chicken. Her ‘food baby’ wouldn’t let her finish her own flaky fish dinner. Barracks Street was busy, of course, and as I was transported to San Francisco’s foggy bay by a friend’s words, I needed to move behind and beside to make room for evening strollers from opposite directions.

We crossed over Decatur, music from further away filling the air. A clump of people crowded, crouched over at their waists on the adjacent corner, like kids roasting marshmallows around a campfire, leaning in to check the brow…

POWERFUL WRITING MADE POSSIBLE BY NOWM 2018

Powerful Writing made possible via New Orleans Writing Marathon 
“Why don’t you take a pause and clean your room?” This last line delivered in a humorous anecdote while breakfasting at Croissant D’or, and as I laughed, something clicked in my head and I immediately had to write.             I was reminded of all the times I had said something similar to my own two kids. Robbie’s carpet was a deep, dark blue, but I only know that because I bought it. Katie wanted red, bright like summer tomatoes, but settled on a dark forest green when Momma put her foot down.             How many wasted moments, worrying/nagging/fighting about the stupid rooms?             “I can’t even see your floors!” I would argue. “Why did I pay for carpet if we were never going to see it again?”           And Katie, preparing for Air Force departure, piles, heaping piles of clothes and all the things she’d collected in her eighteen years so far. She was only allowed one large khaki military bag and a small duffel whe…

Yes, Baby, Yes!

Monday, July 9       EnVie Cafe, 4:30 PM

In the Quarter. Again. Sitting across from Janice, her pen moving furiously across her journal, a secret smile upon her lips.

It feels like home, like it has been too long since I was here last. Less than five months since I walked the hot concrete streets, but an entire year since the NOWM.

More familiar every year, more family than the year earlier, deeper hugs, brighter reconnections, and a bigger pile of lookin' forward to...

'The sounds of New Orleans' on the speakers, jazz, raucous across the scales. It would let me know I was here even if I were blind. My ears would give this place away--the sax and trumpets, the drawling of "Yes, Baby, Yes!" and the bravado of the 'Who dats?!'

New journal now filling, purchased just for this event. New faces to meet, places to discover, words to pen.

Let the magic take me where it may. I am ready to let it in.


BREAKFAST, LUNCH & SASSY SALADS

Friday, July 6th 1:54 PM
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Lancaster's Diner

Mmm...my tastebuds already know the Ephemera which awaits them, here at a high two seater table in the front window of Lancaster's. New flavors, delivered by the gingham shirted, overall short wearing waitress, reminiscent of Sweetilicious.

The first spoonful is not a disappointment. Rich yet delicate, the spice creates close my eyes appreciation for the shrimp and crab that sacrificed their lives-heightened as the heaping Sassy Salad-1/2 order sky high-is set beside the cup of bisque.

This place feels like home-warm, cozy, filling me with contented sighs as I settle into the hair. Country music softly plays in the background; Janice across the small square table.

The four boys at the adjacent table finally abandon their video games, devices pocketed as platters of chicken & fries are devoured. Mmm...the oldest groans, biting into crispy fried chicken. Finally, over fries and ranch dressing, the boys beg…

Chocolate Ice Cream Toddler

Chocolate Ice Cream Toddler

Covington Farmers Market, 7/7/2018 ~11:30 a.m.
Mouth open like a baby bird, the chubby cheeks lend themselves to two deep dimples. Sweaty hair on the back of his neck evidence to his love of the music, as he bops his head in perfect rhythm to Lambert's band. Between bites of chocolate ice cream served to him by his mother, the youngster relaxes back into his stroller seat, blue flip flops tapping to the beat.
Unable to contain the musician inside him, his hands clap and he lurches forward, trying to escape. I can imagine him, dancing, holding the stroller for support, khaki shorts and purple t-shirt rocking.
Dance like nobody is watching I think, or, like you're two, blessed with long dark lashes, and chubby thighs that can withstand hours of unbridled moving, not a care in the world except the music...and that next bite of chocolate ice cream coming your way.

ROUGH AND READY (or not, here they come) WRITINGS FROM NOWM 2018

Four years ago, I timidly approached my very first New Orleans trip. I still remember my trepidation, sweating in the backseat of an airport shuttle van, listening to some rather horrible women discussing 'friends' of theirs in the most uncomplimentary terms. I remember worrying that I was going to be late for the first night's events, having not realized just how long it would take the shuttle to get me to LeRichelieu, the final destination deep in the French Quarter comprised of one way streets.
     That was back in 2014, five New Orleans Writing Marathon events ago. I've only missed one year. The year my girl was stationed in Qatar and I didn't know when she was coming home. It was a horrible, awful, stressful year, and I needed to be home when the Air Force decided she could come home; so, I passed on New Orleans and my week of writing in good company.
     I was a poopy diaper the entire time, despite gifting myself with day writing trips of my own at ho…