The Best of Fantastic Fest: My Husband, His Films, and a Flying Vegetable Steamer

Last week a friend asked what David and I have done for fun lately. A long silence followed. After a courtship comprising concerts, coffee houses, radio spots, tacos Tapatio on Christmas morning in Ciudad Acuna, and a road trip that David's brother termed a kamikaze vacation to Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Georgia between Christmas and … Continue reading The Best of Fantastic Fest: My Husband, His Films, and a Flying Vegetable Steamer

Brazos Writers’ Women and Crime: The Lost Photos

Photos that should have appeared in yesterday's post about the September 5th Brazos Writers' Women and Crime workshop--didn't. Somewhere in the endless loop of composing, editing, and previewing, they slipped away unnoticed. But they're back now, the remains of a day well spent.  

Brazos Writers’ Women and Crime: Facts, Projected Details, and a Streak of Luck

Just the Facts, Ma'am:  Gale Albright and Kathy Waller spent a pleasant and productive day at  Brazos Writers' Women and Crime workshop, held at the Southwood Community Center in College Station, Texas. Speakers included Mary Ringo, private investigator at Gumshoe Investigative Services, on Life as a PI; Courtney Head, DNA Analyst at the Houston Forensic Science Center, … Continue reading Brazos Writers’ Women and Crime: Facts, Projected Details, and a Streak of Luck

Happy Birthday, Veazey

Today is my cousin Mary Veazey's birthday. I will not say how old she is. I'll say only that she is old enough that she's always thought she had the right to boss me around. We have had many good times together. The most memorable, right now, aside from the times we almost broke up church … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Veazey

Shattering a Vase

I’m posting today at Austin Mystery Writers–a meditation on how harrrrrrrrrd I work at writing and why I should stop moaning about it. I also share an anecdote from Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels, about turning failure into success.

Austin Mystery Writers

…it was like taking a vase and setting it down so hard it shatters…

~  Tracy Chevalier

When I taught secondary English, grading essays was my least favorite task. I was happy to read them, but assigning letter grades? I hated that.

I hated judging. I hated trying to determine the difference between a B and an A, or, worse, between a B-plus and an A-minus.

English: Henry Fuseli - Hamlet and his father'... English: Henry Fuseli – Hamlet and his father’s Ghost (1780-1785, ink and pencil on cardboard, 38 × 49,5 cm) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the worst–the part that made me want to moan like the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, “Oh, horrible, oh, horrible, most horrible!”–was listening to students who thought their work merited higher grades: “But I worked so harrrrrrrd.

Some had watched classmates complete an entire assignment during a lull in history class and then score A’s. It wasn’t fair.

“Harrrrrrrrrrd”was my signal to say

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