Fiction? Maybe

As I stated in my blog on Friday I did indeed go to the three (actually more like 2 and 1/2) hour workshop on Fiction Fundamentals.   Surprisingly I found it very informative and fun.  The instructor definitely had a plan and from the time we started until the workshop was over she challenged us (although not many participated) with questions, gave literary examples and interjected humor that actually made sense within the context.

I took notes, participated in the writing exercises and in general learned that fiction writing is nothing to be afraid of attempting.  In the Write Types writing group we have awesome fiction writers whose imagination seems limitless.   I do not think I have the same capacity to “make” something up but having gone through this workshop I actually think I might be able to come up with something – maybe…

So…you may ask “have you begun to write fiction”.  “No,”  I must reply  ” not yet.  I am still mulling the prospect over.  What type of fiction should I write…Mystery (I love mystery’s), Paranormal( so much research to do), Historical (ditto research reason),  Romance (hate torn bodices) or Sci Fi (ahhh-the imagination at work for sure)?  So many choices; so many  things to ponder.

I have decided to get organized instead.  I have so much material on writing and it is all scattered all over the place.  Notes from this workshop and others, books, manuals, tons of stuff to be, at least, gathered into one place and then organized again.  My goal is to be pondering my first attempt at a short fiction story as I gather, discard and organize all that I have into some semblance of order.

Wish me luck.

Merilee Calvin Watts


A New Day

Today is a new day for me in my writing world – maybe…I am going to take a class or really just go to a three hour workshop on fiction writing. I have been to others using what I gleamed from the author teaching in my memoir writing but today I am going to try and listen with a different ear. I hope to hear something that tingles my senses and encourages me to try and write a bit of fiction; taking the characters I meet on a daily basis and creatively turn them into images-pictures-characters within a viable premises and capture others imagination.

I have been stalled on my writing – I do enjoy putting words together but am not overly ambitious . I write to feel the flow of words transform themselves onto a page-if someone responds to those words, even better. To create a piece of work is a commitment and most days my recorded television shows harken me to wallow in their visual fantasies.

My goal for today is to continue to learn. Hopefully, a spark of excitement for the writing process will lite me up and I will pen a few words.

Have a fun day today!

Merilee Calvin Watts

Mona’s In The House

The following poem was written to help me with my grief over losing a very special friend. She waged an amazing three year battle against metastatic colon cancer. I so miss her strength, daunting humor and smile, her class. Her spirit is all around me. I am blessed to have had this unique individual in my life. I am blessed with many uniquely wonderful people in my life. Enjoy!

Christmas was the time
Her spirit soared beyond us
To sing in the holy choir.
Heaven resonates with Gods laughter.
Mona’s in the house.

Family and friends surround
Giving and receiving love.
Encouraging her to let go.
They would be ok.
Mona would be in their house.

Sorrow of her passing;
Is intermingled with joy.
Her pain and suffering has ended.
Her battle will be remembered.
Mona wrote chapters in her doctor’s house

The cheering at Sanford Stadium
Will be out of sync; the ruckus of tailgating
Not quite as much fun
But the bulldogs will win with
Mona is in their house.

Books will be read; discussions will follow
Our group a bit smaller
Her energy and spirit
Is within us all
Mona’s in the house.

Her strength and humor
Her desire to live each day
To give and be studied
Inspired everyone to be and do a little bit more.
Mona will always be in the house!

Merilee Watts

I Don’t Remember by Bonnie McGarity Williams

I don’t remember anyone telling me I would be old one day.
I saw old in people’s faces, homes needing new paint and new roofs
Rusted cars in graveyards of abandonment.
My granny was old because she was a granny and was supposed to be.
All these olds were around me but I don’t remember anyone telling me that
I would be old
One day.
Gray and plump like old granny lugging her big black pocket book around.
Or wobbly like the man bent, walking with a cane down the street looking for home.
Now I am old and I am angry.
Would I be less if I knew ahead of time or did I live youthfully in my mind?
But maybe I was told and now that I am old
I just don’t remember.

Bonnie McGarity Williams
October 29, 2012


Finally you think, breathing a sign of relief. That pain in the ass day of giving thanks is over and the madness of holiday shopping can begin. I mean really – why give anybody time off for something as mundane as giving thanks when there is money to be made – items to unload from the shelves – all in the name of Black Friday and outrageous savings. But isn’t it supposed to be in the name of Christmas giving?

Of course you have to camp put for a week, or stand for hours with your hand on whatever (those really special cheap towels) in order to actually buy. If your hand jerks, making someone believe you did not want the towels – Lordy Lordy – you are shoved aside as another hand reaches over you in a flash to touch some part of a towel – pushing you aside to get a better grip – all because your hand slipped a fraction of an inch.

Once you get the first item in your buggy it’s off to chase the next item down. Pushing your buggie through the throng of overheated, snarling shoppers you find the yourself being handed a ticket guaranteeing you the really great deal on the television. Once the ticket is in hand you must take your place in line and wait until the sale actually begins. After two hours it is time to put the prized television in your buggy but everything shifts with an employees’ mistaken idea that changing the beginning of the line would provide more efficient distribution.

Frustration and anger radiates from those in front who all of a sudden are in the back of the line. A bit of a push and shove and attitudes are beginning to erupt when the okay is given for televisions to go into buggies. Whew! Riot averted you think as you push your prize to the check out line.

Welcome to the holidays of gift giving, of celebration, of joy, of goodwill to all men. Right….

May 1st Isn’t Just May Day by Carla Beasley

Entering “This Day In History” into the Google search box returns over two billion results. If all days were created equally, that would average almost 5,500 hits per day, with each site listing multiple events. Could anyone really read a list this long? Would anyone really care?

Take May First, otherwise known as May Day, a day that conjures images of spring sunshine, the sweet fragrance of flower blossoms, girls in white dresses with ribbons in their shining tresses, and long streamers from the ubiquitous maypoles. The celebration of May Day takes place in hundreds of towns, villages, and school yards across the United States.

But just in case it’s raining this May Day or you live in an urban condo with no fresh green grass or your child has come down sick and can’t dance around the maypole, perhaps you’d like to have your own reason to celebrate May 1st. Try out one of these causes célèbre.

May 1, 1926 – Weekends. Ford factory workers get a 40-hour work week. Henry Ford was forward thinking in his treatment of the Ford Motor Company employees. Already doubling the standard day’s wage from $2.34 to $5.00 a day in 1914 and reducing the work-week from 6 days to 5 in 1922, Ford adopted the 5-day, 40-hour work-week in 1926. In years following, other companies followed his lead. However, workers were expected to be more productive during the shorter work week. So, while you celebrate May 1st for the wonder of weekends, remember that you also have to do more with less the rest of the week.

May 1, 1962 – Discount shopping. My personal favorite. The first Target store opens in Roseville, Minn. If you happen to live in an un-Targeted area, then May 1st could be one of many uncelebrated days.

May 1, 1967 – The King. Elvis Presley marries Priscilla in Las Vegas. Although it lasted only six years, the joining of Elvis and Priscilla lives on as one of the famous royal weddings. Celebrate May 1st by putting on some really good rock ‘n roll – “Blue Suede Shoes,” “All Shook Up,” or “Unchained Melody,” to name only three of 756 The King recorded.

May 1, 1884 – Tall buildings! The Home Insurance Company building begins on May 1, 1884, the first building to carry its entire weight on a steel frame. Tall buildings had traditionally been built of stone or cast iron, both unsuitable for stability or large windows. An 1896 investigation by The Engineering Record declared that in spite of patents and innovations in other states and countries, that the building’s engineer, William Jenney, did in fact design and erect the world’s first skyscraper.

May 1, 1931 – King Kong. The same year that the Home Insurance Building was torn down, the Empire State Building opened in New York City. At 102 stories, it would be the world’s tallest building for the next 41 years. The movie King Kong was released in 1933, picturing the giant ape holding a beautiful woman and swatting airplanes from atop this skyscraper. Fix popcorn and watch the original or any of the Kong’s sequels and remakes to celebrate great buildings and great movies.

May 1, 1918 – Late night TV. May 1, 1918, is Jack Paar’s birthday. Although no longer a household name, Paar revolutionized the Tonight Show and with it, all late-night TV. Jack hosted the show called only “Tonight” on NBC in 1957. Up until then, late-night TV had consisted of variety hours or news, but Paar’s introduction of celebrity guests, witty interviews, and frank commentary on current events set a new standard hugely popular with TV viewers. Johnny Carson stepped into Paar’s shoes in 1962, followed by other great late-night hosts. Take your pick from David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Fallon, or others, and ring out May 1st by staying up till midnight – or later.

With so many ways to celebrate May 1st without ever leaving your home, why would anyone need a maypole. Enjoy this famous day in history your way. If you want the frivolity to last longer, enter “May 2nd” into your favorite search engine and begin celebrating all over again.

By Carla Beasley

Saturday Night at the VFW

BINGO! The shouted word rings through out the small VFW hall as yet another person wins what was supposed to be yours. Only one number needed and you had waited and waited and waited for it to show itself on the wall mounted monitor. Again!

The sound of pages being ripped off pads of bingo numbers, shuffling of feet as preparations are made to shove chairs back to form lines into the small kitchen/concession area. Losing can be a thirsty proposition as well as needing a little something to shove into your mouth providing comfort.

Stepping through the door you are greeted by a six-foot five mammoth of a man. He is very large in all ways. The smile and twinkle in his eyes has you giving your order with a smile in return. Moving along the counter top is another six-foot male, face lined with wrinkles and grin exposing a few gaps in his smile as he hears the call for the deep fat fryer to go to work. The third person, at five foot eight or so and female handles a little bit of everything. The grill, sandwiches,serving the special and like her husband and father, her smiles radiates volumes of warmth. The fourth is the runt. She is only five feet, nicely rounded with a few wrinkles to go with her naturally grey/white hair and had a genuine smile all her own. She is the novice, her first time working the concession and sandwiches are her thing tonight.

For the next hour and a half the kitchen is hopping. French Fries and onion rings fly out the door. Bread for egg, chicken and BLT’s are toasted, condiments applied, stuffing on one side and the lid applied. The sandwiches go out alone or accompanied by their fried side of choice. The “special” is plated, pie or cake is served and everyone walks back to their paper bingo cards armed for the next game.

This scene is played over and over again on Tuesday and Saturday nights. I am the fourth person and am a fill-in for the regular who is taking a break after being (I can only assume) consumed by the overpowering smell of hot grease.

How did I luck into this opportunity? The concessionaires are friends and what the heck – I walk away with forty dollars in my pocket. And I get to watch all of the people. Mostly old people but some neat characters, wonderful craggy faces, and all so wanting to welcome and help someone new.

But finally it was over! The stand was closed and now we clean. Everything washed, wiped, and mopped. Bathrooms mucked out and awaited the final BINGO!to be mopped. I did not have to wait and wearily climbed into my golden chariot and sped home to quickly change into my nightie and take to the bed.

Sunday I did absolutely nothing. My body was screaming at the assault of actually having to work steadily for a couple of hours. I sat and dozed, read my book, watched the tele and pulled myself up only to go to the loo and eat bread and cheese. Jesse had to fend for himself.

Forty dollars in my pocket and I am ready to face it again on Saturday. This is good for me, right?