Exploring New Orleans

Audubon Zoo New Orleans LA

Thinking about families, and memories and fun, today we spent about 3 hours hanging out with my cousins and my aunt for dinner. Of course, no matter how much we asked her not to, she cooked. And it was delicious! We had pulled pork BBQ, stuffed eggs, green beans, mashed potatoes, and tossed salad. The best part was the two desserts: my aunt’s homemade Pecan Pie Muffins and sliced Happy Mother’s Day chocolate cake. To complement the meal (See, Guy, I was listening), fresh brewed coffee and conversation.

My aim for tomorrow is to drive over to Audubon Zoo so my hubby can have some fun watching the animals, and maybe even ride the train. I don’t know if the train is still there, but that ride became the highlight of every trip down here when we were children.

After that, who knows? Lots to do: going to Baton Rouge to see other family; meeting a local writer friend downtown and walking the French Quarter; taking my hubby for some beignets and cafe au lait; visiting the World War II Museum downtown; and many other choices.

The end of the week promises to be even better because I plan to attempt something I’ve never done before: sneak into a hotel restaurant where a national conference is taking place, and see old friends who have no idea I’m coming. That is, unless they happen to read this blog.

New Orleans has a myriad of things to recommend it, not the least of which is the very spirit of the place that enabled the people to drag the city out of the muck and mire of Hurricane Katrina, shining once more as the Birthplace of Jazz.

I hope to hear some jazz this week. Maybe I’ll even get to sing some. Maybe I’ll get lucky and run into Scott Bakula filming NCIS-New Orleans. You just never know.

Until tomorrow, write well and write often.


Louisiana Bound!


I’m on the road again, so glad to be on the road ag….oops. Hi there! Sitting here in my hotel room, watching TV with my hubby, about halfway to New Orleans to visit relatives. ( I found out yesterday that the Romantic Times convention is in town part of this next week. Guess who’s gonna try to sneak in and say hello!)

As I drove our rental car through Central and North Florida, I noticed the trees and the plants changing as we got further away from our home in South Florida. Palm trees giving way to pines; pines giving way to oaks, maples, and the occasional magnolia tree by the side of the road. Rain beginning as we turned West, feathering the front window and cleaning off the dreaded Love Bug infestation.

What are Love Bugs, you ask? They are the scourge of driving and even walking during two times of the year. Now and the end of the summer, when all the babies they made by hanging in midair having some fun are out making their own babies. They join up, the female in front, the male in back ( no more details; there might be impressionable minds reading this blog), the female flying with all her might, trying to GET AWAY from the male who is, ahem, attached to her never to go away.

Especially when the loving idiotic bugs are flying IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD and impact on the front, side, back, middle, windshields of all the cars driving on the roads.

Writing, putting things down on cyberpaper, keeping up with my life, all these go together. Even when I’m not “writing” I am. Ideas flow through your brain. Ping ponging around in your brain, ideas flowing free form through the keyboard can inform your life. And life comes through your eyes and heart and experience, and out on the page through your madly typing fingers. ┬áCommunicating ideas and hopes and dreams through my stories and blog is how I keep in touch with the world. Even when I’m madly out of touch with “reality”, I am weaving truth into the whole cloth of fiction, hoping that the reader will get the point.

I try not to slam the book over their heads with my ideas and dreams, but sneak these things into the edges and sidelong glances of my characters. Giving their lives reality.

So, here I sit, listening to music and thinking of all the friends and readers who will peruse this blog. And hoping that this method of communication called fiction writing can change a heart, open a mind, and guide someone onto a new way of thinking.

Till next time. Write well and read.


Memories and Writing

Canal Streeet 1903


In a week from now, I will be visiting my mom’s home town, New Orleans, Louisiana. It will be the first time I’ve been there in almost 20 years. In 1996, I drove from my home near Charlotte, NC, with my then 6-year-old son, to attend the funeral of my 90-year-old Grandmother. We called her Mamaw Robertson. She had lived a full and very interesting life, most of which I know nothing about. Yet.

When my husband and I drive from our hotel over to Metairie, we will be visiting my now 88-year-old aunt. I will be 62 in July, and the rest of my siblings are aging after me. It’s time to go “home” and find out who my Mamaw really was.

Not just the older woman I remember from my youth and young adulthood, but the little girl, the young wife and mother.

We will look at pictures and I will listen to my aunt telling my family stories. I’m glad I didn’t wait too late.

I waited too late for my Mamaw to tell me her stories.

That’s our job, you know. To keep alive the voices of the past, and inform the voices of the future. To carry on the Flag of family.

To keep it real.

I write because I can do other. I will tell those stories to my son. While I am here to tell them.

Give him my memories of childhood, being his mom, being a writer, being a daughter and sister.

We all need to do this. Even if you are not a writer or a teller of stories as such, tell your children, tell your nieces, nephews, cousins, whoever will listen.

So that the voices of our family now gone will no longer be silent.

Tell the stories. And be ready for your turn.

Family is more than any writing career. Family trumps everything. Even life.