Friday, August 19, 2011

Killer Nashville - 1

Leaving the workplace at a relatively young age, I soon learned what to do with free time.  Yes, free time can lead to many varying results -- some good, some not so good.  Remember when your mom or grandmother would tell you idle time is the devil's time or something like that?  It sure doesn't have to be.  Many people use free time to do rather good things, constructive efforts, positive endeavors for themselves or others.  Of course, I was not one of those.  Well, at least not until my later years.

At first I did many good deeds, but I found myself working harder than having a job.  What did all this great humanitarian work get me? Two heart attacks!  So my perspective on free time changed.  Deciding disposable hours for rest and relaxation is better than pushing the nose to the ole grindstone, life got easier.  Now I look at free time as an opportunity for making choices like, "Should I get up or roll over?"  Serious business!

So here I am lollygagging along in life choosing R and R over "plan your work" and "work your plan," but then bursts in Gal Friday.  She too is retired, but hasn't caught on to the R and R concept.  She's still in the "plan your work, work your plan" mode.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for whatever she wants to do - as long as it doesn't affect me.

Yesterday or last month, I'm not sure which, with hands on hips and one foot scuffing the rug like a bull ready to charge, she yells,  "The Killer Nashville writer's conference is almost upon us; this is a tremendous opportunity for you to pitch your novel to some agents.  Are you prepared?"  Well, I figured I definitely was prepared; I mean I wrote the damn novel.  I glibly answered "sure" as I rolled over for the remainder of my nap.  WRONG!!!!

She started with, "What's your tag line?"  Tag line, I had no idea what she meant.  The last time I played tag was in second grade and the teacher made me stop cause I was only tagging girls and in improper places.

"What's your follow-up, three-minute pitch?"  Three-minute pitch sounded like my fast ball in Little League.

"Who have you selected for your breakout sessions?"  Break out?  Does this have anything to do with acne or dancing?

"Which agents have you chosen for your pitch sessions?"  What bitch session?

"Have you researched the agents?  Have your read their blogs?  Do you know the novelists they represent?  Do you even know the genres they acquire?"  She didn't stop there; oh no, questions flew at me like arrows from Robin and his Merry Men.  My astute literary answer, "HUH?"

Here I am, back in the plan your work, etc. life.  I miss my naps.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Foundation Fest

The groundbreaking party for our new home is over.  Yep, we folded up the tent and are back home in DE.  Actually we rented a big ole tent, which proved beneficial because it poured during the outdoor party.  The tent was big enough to house all the party-goers so the weather wasn't a problem.

The caterer outdid herself with foods everyone loved.  We ended up with about forty attendees and they chowed down like piranhas on a pork bone.  Although I didn't know about our new neighbors we invited, I certainly knew my old friends wouldn't miss a free meal.  Then I solidified their attendance by offering free booze.  Some drove nine hours to get to Edenton.  Yep, you can count on my old buddies.

Some of them had to reprogram their GPS's.  Apparently they traveled hours on muddy back roads trying to find the party.  I could imagine the panic as they considered missing the very opening of a free booze and food event.  I guess building near the banks of the Great Dismal Swamp has some disadvantages...or benefits, depending on the visitors.

Our builder, Ron, and Michele, his wife/partner, had the building site in pristine condition.  He even called the owner of the adjacent vacant lot to get permission to use the property to park the cars.  He also put straw down so the ladies wouldn't soil their feet and shoes and then provided music.  Nice people.

My friend David, a minister from DE, gave a beautiful blessing which incorporated humor, a little Judaeo-Christian history and a meaningful insight to our house representing new beginnings and welcoming all.  He elaborated on how welcoming our home would be.  Easy for him to say; he wouldn't be ponying up the shekels for all our visitors.  He made it sound like we would be opening up a soup kitchen.  I was plenty nervous, but at least he didn't divulge events from my questionable past. 

Then Lou, another old friend, rose to speak.  (I guess it's now safe to say "old" when referring to any of my surviving friends.  In fact saying "old" is redundant.)  My anxiety level shot to red alert mode.  "Oh, no", I thought, "she's going to roast me and start me off on the wrong foot with my new neighbors."  I silently pleaded to God to intervene.  "Please, dear Lord, don't allow her to tell the truth about me.  Give me a few good months before the new neighbors discover the real Ed."

She stood there watching the nervous sweat dampen my shirt.  Her look of satisfaction chilled me.  She wielded a long slim device wrapped in festive paper and I hoped it had nothing to do with proctology.  Once again, my prayers were answered.  She let me off the hook and said nothing disastrous.  The gift turned out to be a flag for our new flagpole declaring "It's five o'clock somewhere."  Being abstinent, I have no idea what that refers to, but probably something to do with evening prayers.

As the last car left the parking lot, the sun broke through the clouds...Gal Friday and I concluded that was a good omen for our new beginnings.

We dined with a group of friends and later the hard core ended up in a motel room swapping lies.  The older we get, the better we were.  The fish we caught get bigger with each retelling and the golf scores we shot keep getting lower.  We crawled into bed at 3 AM.  I will say this - the older we get, the earlier we hit the hay.  No more all-nighters.