Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why road trips are so great: A photo montage

Sunset photos: Just ahead of the storm system that produced the St. Louis tornado. Lightning all around me until I reached the hotel, barely beat the rain. Power went out in my room briefly when the storms hit.
Purple Martin Inn: A random stop in Griggsville, Ill. which claims to be the purple martin capital of the world. The birds had just migrated back to town in the previous week.
Kitty photo and crepes: A visit to a new friend's home.
Zombie mannequin: Outside a junk shop in Arkansas.
Mark Twain Hotel: Hannibal, Mo, -- boyhood home of the famous author.
Butterfly/feet: A blue morpho at the Butterfly Palace in Branson, Mo.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ghost hunting

Experienced two hotel ghost tours during my stay in Arkansas, one at the Basin Park and another at the Crescent, which includes a trip to the basement morgue. Kept me awake with the lights on, haunted by stories of a sociopathic "doctor" who preyed on the sick and dying. The Basin Park's stories are less ominous though more weird -- the ghost of a talking lion (yep) and a cowboy who walks through walls searching for his horse. Some guests reported seeing an entire ballroom filled with dancers in the middle of the night. It's not just the hotels -- everyone seems to have a story here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I love a book sale

Perused a library book sale with a new writer friend from the colony and found some treasures -- mine included Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood and an encyclopedia of Golden Years movie stars. This grotesque YA book cover was worth a photo but I left the book behind -- don't need any help with nightmares. Still jittery from one involving the famed haunted Crescent Hotel, which is just a little too close to the colony. (Thank you very much, Stephen King and Ghost Hunters.) Good stuff for ghostie stories.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey, look what I found

And bonus, it's a thrift shop.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Room of One's Own

My writing space at the colony.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


As I'm revising my post-apocalyptic young adult novel (Again! Once more, with feeling...) I realize there's a lot of going-into-strangers'-houses-and-checking-out-what-they've-got. You can tell a lot about people from the stuff they have or don't have, what they want you to see and what they don't. When I walk or drive by houses at night, yeah, I like to look in the windows. I'm reading Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue: English & How it Got That Way" and he noted that there's actually word for that (see title of post). I think most of us have it otherwise social networking sites wouldn't be so popular. Windows all over the place. But there, too, people mostly show you what they want you to see, the living room but not the crawlspace. Fiction lets you open the boxes hidden in dark corners.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Big and small

The art show lit a fire and here are some of my latest. Tiny paintings -- 8 x 10 -- a departure from my 48 x 48 masonite behemoths. It's a challenge, painting small. Kind of like a writing prompt: Here are the parameters. You must be as impactful under these circumstances as you are with complete freedom. A few early attempts didn't work, but I think these do. Plus they'll be a lot easier to ship.