Thursday, October 28, 2010

To MY Boys of Summer

To borrow a famous line from John Fogerty, "Put me in coach. I'm ready to play."

Finally! But like I said. "I'm Back."
And I'm ready to play, blog, write. Even work. Yeeehaaaa!

But now back to baseball:

Yes, I'm a Rebel. And, yes, I'm a Braves fan. I mean, I am an Atlanta girl and I grew up with Ted Turner. 24/7.

But HEY! What up with getting whupped by San Francisco, boys? Fer cryin out loud!

For the record? I still love ya man.

In spite of being a Rebel, I've got lots of Yankee blood in my veins. My grandfather's nickname was Yank and my dad was little Yank. Then my mama was a Yankee, too.

So, it's no wonder that I loves me some Yankee baseball. Those dudes are always smokin'. Till they got smoked by some Texas sluggers.

Us Rebels know about smokin'. You know, Boston butts and all. No not Sox butts. Pig butts.

Slow smoke one of those little pig puppies and you've got yourself the best pulled pork fixin's in the world. Just don't mess it up with that sweet sweet sauce. Use something spicy vinegary with just a little sweet to tone it down.

Mmmm. Now that's some good World Series eatin'.

Go get 'em, Rebels. Umm Rangers. Show my Californians how we slug 'em in Texas.

This is dedicated to all my friends, family and followers, baseball fans or no. The video is a classic, set to one of my favorite baseball songs, "Centerfield" by John Fogerty. Turn it up. :D

Time to go smoke a butt, That Rebel, Olivia

P.S. If you weren't grinning or in tears or both after watching this video, you MUST watch it agin. Just sayin'. And turn it UP!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Red Letter Day

I’m up early.

Bugsy started talking, as usual, around 7 a.m. He wakes with the day, then naps between my knees until first light. He knows I'll let him out now. Any earlier would mean the basement.

As I lay in half-slumber, the wind gusted rain against my screen and its song stirred an ancient longing.

I love storms.

Instead of going back to bed, I opened the slider Bugsy-wide and we both stuck our noses in the hole. Lightning flashed, with an answering shudder from thunder.

The wind splashed water in my face as Bugsy slipped out. Then he lickity split about-faced and slipped back in. Puss isn't crazy about storms since getting caught up in one.

"Uh-oh," I thought. "Betty."

She wasn’t tucked in to her hidey hole. I had left her last night in the lonely driveway, now the rains lashed at her aged ragtop.

Her silent plea pierced the morning fog, “Bring me in. Give me shelter.”

I bundled up and wiped the sleep from my eyes. And prayed that the old girl would start. But she was happy to see me and fired right up. I could swear she purred, “thank you,” as I left her safe and dry.

Now I sit and let the symphony of the rain bathe my soul.

Oh that this light would linger, to envelope my world in its softness. Bugsy braves the storm and runs out, leaving my side.

I am surrounded by fall color, each leaf a wet jewel shimmering light.

Thunder crashes and Bugs darts back in. He makes for under the chair but leaps instead on to the ottoman at my feet.

Swiping his back a few times with pink tongue, he settles Buddha style, ears splitting the difference between door and window.

Gardenia fills the air, courtesy of a candle from Gold Rush Days. The patter outside grows stronger.

A writing day.

A day full of portent and wonder.

A day full of water, living and alive with splashes of autumn color.

I told cousin Kek the new storyline yesterday, as we swayed back and forth on the swing on Grandmother's (and now her) porch. It seemed fitting. At first I stumbled, but then as I warmed up, out it tumbled.

She loved it. And promptly said, "I bet you sell a million copies and become rich and famous. When you do, I'll be your assistant."

Then we both giggled with delight.

It is heady stuff sharing my stories. I hadn't before, preferring to save them for the keyboard. Until now. First a trusted writer friend, and now my blood.

Guess what. The tale is growing and expanding. It's gaining a life of its own. It belongs to William, a main character, and his heirs. It belongs to the world they give their life to.

Do you know what I mean? Does this happen to you?

I am blessed. And oh so grateful. I love this story. I love this time of year. I love how the rain intensifies the brilliance of ambers and yellows and golds and reds that are still liberally laced with green.

These are my colors. My palate. That of the hunter moon.

The rain falls harder, resounding in the trees. I am humbled.

And. I am back.

Thank you, angels, for sticking around while I was off in the wild gray yonder. Thank you for listening and for all of your thoughts and your love.

And thank you for holding a piece of my story in your heart.

It is a banner day.

A red letter day.

A very good day for writing.

~That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I See Things

I See Signs


Where Red Maples Got Their Name (Acer Rubrum)

I See Skies Tickled Pink Over Corn

And a Home Abandoned, Yet Waiting

I See God's Glory

In Color in the Curves

And Waiting at Home

I See the Magnificence of Fall in Georgia
BTW, if anyone would like to borrow and use my photographs, please feel free to do so. I ask only that you give me credit as the photographer/author and link back to this post and my blog.

Happy Hallows!

~That Rebel, Olivia J. Herrell

Thursday, October 21, 2010

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

Congratulations to Alex J. Cavanaugh whose sci-fi novel, CassaStar, was released on Tuesday!!

CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science fiction/adventure/space opera
ISBN 9780981621067 Dancing Lemur Press LLC

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.

Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

Click on over for links to read the reviews and interviews with Alex and for information on where to get your very own copy.

Rebel yell and a big YEEEEHAAAA!

Way to go Alex! I'll be ordering my copy come payday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

Blues and a poem for a lazy Sunday.

B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray's brother, Jimmie Vaughan.

Excerpt from "Finding Your Way Home, A Soul Survival Kit" by Melody Beattie:

"Fear comes seemingly from out of the blue and disrupts the whole of your life. You can't think, can't feel, can't find the next step, and can't connect with your soul and heart. It disrupts the flow, gets in the way, makes you feel crazy and disconnected from yourself, from God, and from the world around you. Answers seem just out of reach. They all feel wrong anyway, because all you can feel is your fear."


Stand Tall

I wrestle a beast I cannot see,
A monster, fierce and bold.
She destroys and devours,

Stop. Stand still. Turn.
Face the madness in her eyes.
Don't look away,
Stare her down.
Stand tall.

She is smoke and mirrors,
Nothing more.
Look close, push back
Watch her fall.

The smoke clears,
The mirror implodes.
Shards shatter and fly.
Tuck. Duck. Survive.
Stand tall.

~Olivia J. Herrell

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's All Right

Hello Angels. Just checking in to let you know that:

a) I'm all right;

b) I've been in a semi-coma-ic state for the last couple of weeks; and

c) I've missed you something fierce.

Here's a little fall color for you, straight from the North Georgia mountains. Yes, it's a little early, not quite peak. But beautiful, nonetheless.

Remember the Traveling Wilburys? Tom Petty, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, Jim Keltner? Here they are performing "The End of the Line" on an old steam engine as it rolls along.

The embedding has been disabled on youtube so you'll have to click the link to watch and listen. And, yes, there is a teeniny commercial at the beginning. But, if you've never seen this video, and I hadn't, you're in for a real treat. I got goosebumps halfway in. Pay attention. You'll see why.

Love y'all. And thanks for checking in on me.

That Rebel, Olivia

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Near Naked Halloween Costumes. For Men.

Okay. This is a classic example of why I don't set up future posts. I see articles that make me snicker or take notice and save them to write about them later. I then determine whether or not the material is appropriate to post. Then I always, always include a commentary to explain, warn, or soften the blow if it's edgy. Or dicey.

This time I goofed. SORRY! Of course the title probably gave it away.

Now that it has aired, sans explanation, I'll put it back out there.

I ran across this Creative Loafing article about a month ago and it gave me quite the chuckle. I saved it to a post closer to Halloween, then forgot about it. But. I haven't been on blogger a lot lately (do you miss me?). I failed to notice I had a time bomb ticking on my blog.

Sorry guys. I would've warned you. Though I guess the title was warning enough.

For those of you who looked at the pictures and didn't read the article: shame on you. The dude's funny (Shawn Alff). Funnier, even, than the pictures.

In case you're worried, all the private parts are covered. But barely. And you might get a chuckle at the wacky outfits and the wackier men who actually went out on the town in them. One can only hope they had a change of clothes close by.

The point of the story, however, has to do with last year's furor over young girls and women wearing sexy/near naked costumes at Halloween. This dude posits that since women have claimed that day to let it all hang out, maybe men should too.

Some will think this tasteless. You're probably right. But what the hay. I thought it was funny. Happy Birthday, to my buddy Roland. Click on over to his blog and wish him well.

Now, to it. Here is the article published in Creative Loafing last year.

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Passing It On

The following is from one of those email letters that we periodically receive. Most of them don't get forwarded. Lord knows I rarely do. But this one touched me. So. Instead of forwarding it to the people I love, I'm sending it to you as a blog post.

The author is unknown. But whoever you are, if you're out there, your poem is beautiful. And so true.

Here goes:

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature baby..

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:

The origin of this letter is unknown,
But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.


Hold on tight to the ones you love!

This one's for Jules and The Words Crafter:

Monday, October 4, 2010

To My Bobby McGee

[First, let's get 'business' out of the way. If you're clicking over from Patti's How Much Did I Write? Blogfest, here's a quick report: I clocked a couple thousand words and maybe three hours' time on my wip. But I spent the entire week and weekend doing invaluable research, so I consider myself and my week a success.] Now. For 'Bobby':

Today fall surpassed spring as my favorite season of the year.

North Georgia is touched. Its flowing green sentinels line a landscape licked red and yellow. Dogwood, first to bloom in the spring is also first to blush. Lemon poplars mirror fields of butterscotch goldenrod. Sweet gums leak liquid amber.

Applesauce clouds scud across the cornflower blue horizon. I snap pictures while I drive, hoping to capture my little brother's eyes. If you knew Jon, you know this color. I call it Jon's-eye blue.

Flags billow above browning fields and willows dance and sway. The north wind whips the leaves ashiver. Creation waves.

A cycle is complete. After 35 years, I'm home.

Last night, seeing thirtysomething of my high school classmates, I breathed a sigh of relief. Every one of them, half my graduating class, looked exactly the same. Class of '75, you guys look mah-velous!

We danced. We talked. We hugged. We laughed. We cried. And we danced some more.

Nothing had changed. Yet everything has.

We're older, wiser, kinder. Less quick to judge and faster to accept our differences.

When dancing, the songs seem infinitely longer.

I'd be lying by omission if I didn't tell you that it was the most fun I've had in years. And while I was busy having fun? A wound that I wasn't aware of having began to heal.

For traveling the farthest, I won a prize. I chose Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits CD. Then we bid adieu with a promise to meet again.

It took ten months to reach this crossroad. This fall.

As I headed toward home, Janis belted the blues. She immortalized the lyrics of Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson. Some say they were written about her.

In college I wrote a landmark essay (for me). The topic? Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Until today I could only guess the true meaning of these words, this song. At the tender age of nineteen, I had no clue.

Today, with the windows down and Janis's voice ringing in my ears, I got it. Today, I understood.

Calvin*, this song is for you.

*Calvin B. Streets is a master bluesman: writer, composer, lyricist, performer, producer, guitar string virtuoso.

To hear snippets and download tunes from Calvin's CD "He Ain't Done With Me Yet" click here. To see and hear Calvin performing "She's My Baby", an original off his upcoming CD "Ragalicious", click here.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Goldenrod Reunion

Sign at Rock Creek Park in Dawsonville, GA with Goldenrod.
 It's that time of the year. The children have returned to school. Football season is in full swing and the boys of summer are wrapping it up.

October is upon us. Sweater weather. Crystal clear days. Fall winds that rattle the dried leaves from trees not quite ready to say goodbye.

The hay fields are mown and brown. The kudzu blooms, great purple clusters that look like wisteria and smell like grapes.

The temperature highs have plunged from the 90's to the 70's, the lows from the 60's to 49.

It's a fitting time for a reunion. Classmates meet again. It's been thirty-five years. Villa Rica Class of 1975. Here's to you.
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