This, so far, has been the most wonderfully-dreary, rainy day. Chilly. Dark. Wet. I know it doesn’t sound like the type of weather from which dreams are formed, but I’ve been struggling in this yucky July heat to try and get into a wintery sort of mindset, just for a little while, for my writing. This sleepy, quiet, overcast morning? Just the ticket. So for it as well as a rambly list of other blessings, I am very thankful.

I’ll post again in a few days, whenever I’ve got more to write about.

Until next time.


leave it there

Because it’s just been one of those days when I *need* it.


Read about Bradley Walker via Rory Feek’s Blog, This Life I Live here


It was her last request.

The last thing on the list Joey gave me, of what she wanted at her funeral service… when the time came.  And we both knew that time was coming soon.

“I’d like for someone to sing the hymn Leave It There at my graveside”, Joey said.  And then she stopped and added, “no… not someone”, and she looked at me and smiled, “I want Bradley Walker to sing it for me”.

There were other things that she’d requested too…“a simple service in our concert hall” so her hometown pastor could share the gospel… ‘a plain wooden box’ that our friend Thomas would build for her by hand, …‘lined with a quilt’ made by her seventy-five year old friend, Ms. Joan.  Just those few things… and a song.  Sung to her by one of the sweetest men, and voices she’d ever known.

A week-and-a-half later, on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in March, we all gathered together around the simple wooden box, lined with a quilt, and we said goodbye to my beautiful wife… with a song.  KEEP READING

trash to Toyland

I got really crazed with stress earlier and I needed to get out of the house, so I drove down the road to the Center of Hope thrift store and poked around in one man’s trash.

I like and collect records, especially old Disney ones. I found this one labeled with an oil pen 39 cents. I thought that was awesome. When I got to the counter, it was 25 cents. I thought that was even better.

The cover says A magnificent full-color illustrated book and long-playing record, Walt Disney’s Story and Songs From Babes in Toyland, copyright 1961. Music based on the Victor Herbert Operetta, adapted by George Bruns, with new lyrics by Mel Leven. And it does have a super-sweet storybook inside, with crazy-cute retro illustrations.

I haven’t played the whole thing through yet, but I’m going to in a little while so I have something fun and nostalgic to play while I try and polish up my manuscript. Can’t wait! 🙂 Then I might watch the 1986 version of the movie, because I haven’t seen it since I was very small, and this record reminded me of how fun it was.

Until next time.


ceiling bumps

I was in high school. Junior year? Probably earlier.

We had tornado drills. The same bell as the tardy bell or the ones to signal class changes, just rapid fire, repetitive. In the part of the world I live in, tornadoes are just something you deal with, more so in March and April, but throughout the year.

When the warning went off, we’d line up, leave the class room and follow the teacher out into the hall where everyone would line up against the lockers, push their knees up and drop their faces against their legs. Legs up, heads down. And wait. Between kindergarten and the final graduation in 12th grade, I’m sure I endured a few hundred of these drills. They weren’t bad, just scary for anyone who’d ever actually survived being in a building that was hit by a tornado (we had a few in my class who became hysterical each and every time, because they did, in fact, survive a terrible tornado that hit their church, like they ended up under pews in the rubble of what was left of the building, but this is another story, maybe).

The exact year eludes me. Is that the right word? Elude? I don’t know what year it was, is what I mean, but that’s not that important anyway.

I was sitting on the tile floor, hugging my legs, glad to be missing out on class, not feeling overly threatened by the weather at all. The kids were quiet, whispering, complaining that the floor was dirty or struggling not to nod off, the usual quiet clamor.

The classroom across from me opened up and out came a small cluster of students from a special needs class. They found seats with their teachers across from me. As always, I forced a smile when one of them caught me staring, then I looked away (I wasn’t a social butterfly which shouldn’t shock you because if you’ve met me…).

He was a kid from the trailer park down the road from where I lived. He had the wrong haircut and definitely the wrong shoes. Being a girl who most definitely always had the wrong haircut and the wrong shoes, I knew well enough how to identify these things. He pulled his legs up to his middle and between his hands and his cargo pants, he was hugging a big black book with Holy Bible written in gold uppercase lettering.

He smiled at his teacher, a little bit jittery and uneasy. And he said something along the lines of, I’m not scared, God will protect me.

Kind of off the wall but, I remember that instance so well, it’s remarkable.

I had been in church all my life. The sight of someone holding a bible was nothing if not normal to me. That being said, the sound of someone mentioning God’s name in my presence was so natural, I shouldn’t have thought twice about what the kid said. But I did.

I felt sorry for him. I immediately looked around to see who was laughing at him, because I expected it and for good reason. And then I wondered what was wrong with him–why did he say something that sounded so innocent it should have come from a child’s mouth instead of a teenager. I can say that now because I’ve thought about this so much over the years and I’ve made peace with the reality behind what I thought and how I felt, the confusion and quite frankly, disappointment I felt with myself in hindsight.

This kid sat down in front of me and proudly professed his faith, a faith I suppose I thought I shared. And my question was, what was wrong with him? Almost immediately after the question crossed my mind, I think a better one arose. What’s wrong with *me*?

I don’t think the issue here was that I didn’t agree with what the boy said. I mean, it is and always has been my understanding that just because you believe doesn’t mean you’ll always be kept from harm’s way. I remember going to my grandmother with that question whenever I saw a video about the Holocaust when I was younger. Does bad things happen to good people? Yes. Why? So he had faith that he’d be kept safe even though we’re not always guaranteed to be? Not the issue. What he said wasn’t the problem. My reaction to it was.

The problem was, I was, like maybe most kids are, so concerned with protecting myself from ridicule from my peers, I had actually allowed that fear to push me into living a double life, of sorts. I was too scared to be at school who I was at home and at church on Sundays. Not only that, but I was judging someone else for not being inhibited the way I was. Maybe.

Perhaps I’ve spent way too much time thinking about this whole ordeal, but I have to say something happened inside me that day that caused me to really take a look at myself and rethink what I was doing and how I was doing it, and as trivial as it might sound to other people, I think what happened during that tornado drill that morning actually changed me, for the better, maybe forever.

Random. Winding. Ranty. Rambly. Maybe even weird. But it feels good to put it all on paper after all this time. And it’s nice to remind myself to stay true to myself and how rotten it feels whenever you lose yourself, then what a blessing it is to see in someone else whatever it is you’ve been missing, yourself. 😉


mixed metaphors & musical matrimony

I’ve been hitting the playlist kind of heavy lately. You don’t have to guess what song that reminds me of. Suffice to say, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about just how much joy we as humans seem to get from sharing our favorite music with other humans. There’s a long list of reasons, but they all eventually lead back to one explanation. When our own words fail us (or when we fail them?) music speaks and we all know, no matter what you’re going through in life, somewhere somehow there’s a song for it–kind of like those greeting cards at the drug store in the 2 for $1 section.

As for my writing, I suffered through a couple of drought-style weeks of barely any writing at all. I was uninspired and thirsty as all get out, which is funny because the weather here was so rainy during that time that maybe talking floods and droughts is inappropriate. I’m already starting to feel dizzy. Hang in there, I’ll try and bring this one home before I crash and burn. 😉 Blah, blah, blah, when it rains it pours. This story is gushing out of me from all openings. I can’t get it down on paper quick enough. And by the way, lately, I feel like one of those witches on the vampire shows who has used all of her power up doing some crazy intense witchy-woo and when it’s all said and done and she’s saved the day, she falls over and curls up, sweaty and mentally drained of every last ounce of energy…Is this a thing that happens to other writers? Maybe I’m just weak in the head. I should do brain aerobics or something. That could be a post for another day.

#nowplaying Eric Church, Record Year

one more light

Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there

I think I have the brain flu, if that’s a thing.

Lately, whenever I sit down to watch television or read, I can’t shut my own words down long enough to take in someone elses. I hate that. Sometimes I want to hunker over a mirror and hold my breath until my eyes bug out and my face turns red and scream at the top of my lungs, would you shut up for five minutes, please? 

I swear, I’m not insane. At least you’ll never prove it with documents. 🙂

Yesterday afternoon, I woke up from a nap and read about Chester Bennington’s suicide. Ever since, I can’t stop thinking about art and artists…and how strange it is that someone so many people have always looked to for strength and inspiration could possibly lose his own battle with darkness. Or did he even ‘lose his battle’?! If a person is so aware and alert, sensitive to human suffering, everything going on around him that he channels his pain through his amazing art, essentially sparking conversation and affecting positive change throughout our culture, across the world even, how can what happened be considered a ‘loss’ on his part? Maybe it was just a decision he made? To take things into his own hands?! Perhaps even considering the thought, quiet as it is, that suicide can or could be just a decision (educated and inspired or not) someone makes or has made is just too much to say out loud. I guess that’s why I’m writing this here.

Every single time we lose someone to a possible mental illness, although I hate calling it that, this question bounces around off the walls of my head. Why? But that’s not really the question, is it? Because I can imagine a million and one answers to that question. Maybe it’s not even about answering a question anymore. Maybe it’s just about a feeling the sense of loss and defeat gives me. The only way I can explain what I feel, truly is–Owww.

It sucks. It hurts. It’s terrible that people feel so trapped by hurt that they end up, for whatever reason, deciding that it is or was just time to toss in the towel, especially when they’ve already given so much to those around them, you just know their potential was boundless, or it could have been, if only…

It’s difficult for me to put words to paper (digital or not) right now, because I have so many thoughts shooting off in so many directions, I can’t seem to string together a coherent sentence. So maybe for now, the thing to do is channel what I’m feeling into my art. Other than prayer and exercise, I don’t know what else to do, anyway.

From the land of the emo and perpetually torn, until next time.

One More Light, Linkin Park on Kimmel

& now, a word from our sponsors

I totally just randomly picked an artist in my library this morning because I wanted to listen to something while I did my writing, and holy cow, do I just now remember why I have every album the Fray ever did?! Took me to church, they did. Present mood 100% elevated, so I’m sharing.

He will do one of two things
He will admit to everything
Or he’ll say he’s just not the same
And you’ll begin to wonder why you came

*Best opening to a song ever.*

I found God on the corner of First and Amistad
Where the west was all but won
All alone
Smoking his last cigarette…


Back to making things up. 🙂


my alleged magic scarf

My husband got me this scarf over a year ago in the gift shop at Cracker Barrel. I’m not an accessory kinda girl. As a matter of fact, even just wearing a ring or lip-gloss makes me feel like I’m painting the peacock, not because I’m just too pretty on my own, but because I prefer to be uninhibited by arbitrary add-ons.

For real. When I was little, my aunt was putting press-on nails on and I asked her to let me wear some. After some mass amount of begging and pleading, she agreed to put some cheap dollar store nails on me. Not even an hour later, I realized I couldn’t get my Barbie’s dress fastened as easily with my new sparkly claws on. So I popped them suckers off and never looked back.

Back to the scarf. If you know anything about me, you know I love anything remotely nautical. When my husband brought me this scarf home, I felt a little torn, but hung it on a hook in my writing room and decided I’d probably never wear it, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t still admire it just the same. My pretty, patriotic-colored gift stayed on the hook ever since, well, up until a few weeks ago.

For the record, when I pulled the scarf down and took it off the hook declaring to one and all, this magic scarf will help me write the most amazing story, I was just being my usual, make something out of nothing, find something to smile about, throw a parade in the middle of a rain shower, wanna play license plate bingo? self. The funniest thing happened this morning, though, when I wrapped my magic mermaid scarf around my neck and sat down at my laptop to write.

(Drumroll please?!)

I wrote.

Given, this blog post isn’t exactly the great American novel, but it’s sure to warm me up for some pretty incredible creating later on this morning. Guess we’ll see. Either way, at least my neck isn’t cold.

Happy Thursday.


For a solid week in April, I painted the same flamingo every single morning until I used up a 30 sheet watercolor paper tablet. What did I gain from this? Two things. 1) Painting relaxes me and just in case we haven’t met yet, I, of all people, at any given time, definitely need to relax. 2) My baby niece (who by the way had JUST visited the zoo for the first time ever, a month before and saw real live flamingos up close and in person) said that one of them looked almost like the real thing. Score and score…but I still can’t paint a proper big pink bird. 😉 I’ll keep practicing.

for Pete & me

Autauga County, AL (2016)

The picture above was taken in South Alabama last summer, on the side of the road. This is one of my favorite pictures, not because it is very impressive in the way of amateur photography, but because the morning I took it, I got to spend the day doing one of my very favorite things, riding around with my husband way down south, listening to the radio, and taking pictures to bring back home with me to remind me of a perfect day. I get all these thoughts in my head about harvesting happy whenever I think about this, but I should probably try and focus on my original reason for posting.

I started writing this post over a month ago before I abandoned and left it for dead. When I woke up this morning, face down, body in a giant x-shape on the mattress, I had exactly 2 thoughts. 1) Oww–my face. 2) I think I wrote myself into a corner again.

In case you’ve never heard the idiom I’ve painted myself into a corner, it pretty much means to do something that takes away all your other choices or to put yourself in a sticky situation, limiting the way you can act from that point forward. As far as painting myself into a creative corner, well, I’ve done it before and I’ve done it again (cue the ellipsis overuse and abuse)…

To the best of my understanding, this happens more than not whenever I’m thinking too much about the way other people will react to my creation and I let that, or the FEAR of possible ridicule prevent me from telling the story I truly want to tell. I set out troubleshooting, trying to follow all the steps they tell us to follow, clear out clichés blah blah blah blah, and so on. Honestly, I can’t even bring myself to form a proper list at this point, because I’m too mentally exhausted to bother. That should say a lot.

Because this trouble always seems to find me (or do I find it) and yes it is TROUBLE in none-other-than shouty caps, for sure, this post shall serve as a reminder to myself. You are not telling his or her story. If  ‘they’ read it and don’t like it, so what? Let them tell their own story, if  ‘they’ feel so compelled.  You are telling YOUR story. For Pete’s sake, tell it.