Last summer, fried cauliflower and zucchini fritters were the thing. This summer, we decided the big deal was getting fresh fish from our local monger at the Thursday farmers market and frying it up … Calabash-style. And it is SO good. Some weeks we have both moms, some weeks just one. This week, we had Rah-Rah, shrimp and grouper. Then we took watermelon rinds out to my chickens and grabbed some goodies from the garden. It was a great day.
We were on a tight timeline today, so we didn’t get too crazy with Locals. But we had a new plus one (my peanut) to add to the interesting conversation. In honor of Brexit, I had fish & chips for lunch after spending the better part of the morning listening to The Beatles.
Lunch was just meh, but nevertheless I felt very continental. I figure Britain’s got a couple weeks to settle into its new predicament before we descend upon London.
My Adventurous Son regaled us with tales from behind the lens (including his work from the Women’s March in Raleigh and the Illiterate Light concert he shot last week at the Cat’s Cradle) and his excitement over the belted Galloways (he does love cows), before the discussion turned to politics. There’s a bunch of heavy shit happening in the world right now, but as I enjoyed a meal with some of my favorite people in the universe, I was reminded of how blessed I am to have strong women in my life and how fortunate I am to have equitable, #feminist men who love me. Pay attention, people … question everything, stand up for what’s right, speak out when you see something inequitable, and include people in your conversation who don’t just look like you. Enjoy the good times when they’re happening, and find a squad for locals lunch!
Last year, my mom and I started something called ‘Locals Breakfast.’ My goal was twofold–keep her from turning feral, and be welcomed a la Norm and Cliff. After nearly every Monday morning at the same restaurant, here are the results:
- they never learned either of our names,
- they did have coffee ready for me and a Coke for her, and
- they did remember our orders: scrambled eggs with bacon, sliced tomatoes and whole wheat toast for me; scrambled eggs, grits and sausage for her.
Did it chap our asses that we remained anonymous? Sorta, but two outta three ain’t bad. Now that loyalty isn’t a goal and anonymity isn’t a bother, we’re switching it up to lunch in the new year, and rotating restaurants. Sometimes it’s just the two of us, sometimes we have extras.
This week, my mom, whose colleagues referred to her as ‘Rah-Rah’ for years, came loaded for bear (check out her outfit). I complimented her wardrobe and accoutrement selection and she said, “Well, nobody’s beat the crap out of me yet.” So, winning.
I thought it would be interesting to wrap up our weekly discussion. This week’s was pretty obvious.
Rah-Rah: “If Roe v. Wade is overturned, it will set us back 50 years. Women have worked so hard to get where we are, and it’s just being chipped away. One of the things that’s so disturbing about voters in America is that they would support this administration no matter what happens, in order to have Roe v. Wade overturned … it’s as if no other issues matter. While that’s such a difficult and private decision for a woman to make–I wish it was something no one ever had to make–what I do support is having the option of making that decision.”
Thanks to the strong women in the world. You keep it running.
Come write with me! I’ve got a busy spring with four classes at two terrific community colleges. Whether you’re pursuing your dream of writing a book, or funding something important in your community, find your verb, and do it on your side of town!
Spring 2020 Schedule
- Introduction to Grantwriting: March 25 – April 29 (WTCC)
- The Business of Writing Romance – workshop: March 28 (CCCC)
- Writing for Young Audiences: April 2 – May 14 (CCCC)
- The Business of Writing Romance – workshop: April 4 (WTCC)
- Introduction to Grantwriting: learn the basics of writing a grant in a hands-on, workshop-style setting. We will cover the different components of grants, and learning to set and maintain a workable grant cycle, building a successful grants management program, developing a logic model, tracking possibilities in the business community, and applying good storytelling to a successful program. (Get in touch if you’d like for me to work directly with your organization.)
- Writing for Young Audiences: develop and begin writing a manuscript for a children’s book during the classwork workshop periods. Additionally, we discuss the business of writing for children, including how to identify publishers, how to write a query and synopsis, and how to market your work.
- The Business of Writing Romance: develop & begin writing a romance book manuscript. Instruction will focus on the craft of writing, along with elements of style (plot, characterization, setting) and process (outlining, etc.). Business discussion includes identifying publishers, preparing queries & submissions, and self vs. traditional publishing.
I am nothing if not an optimist. It’s been a crazy year, but a good one, and as we come to the start of a fresh new year and a fresh new decade, I’ve been reminiscing over the last ten years. They were pretty great, actually. There have been some doozies: I stopped working full-time so I could pursue life as an author; I survived and fought my way back from a life-altering traumatic brain injury; we experienced the death of a close friend, which encouraged us to give in to our wanderlust and stop waiting for the perfect time to travel and see the world. There have been highs and lows, excitement and boredom, happiness and love. In fact, this last decade has been my most creative, most productive yet. Since January 1, 2010, I have:
- published five romances and two children’s books;
- taught creative writing courses at two community colleges;
- been a book reviewer for four major media outlets, in the greatest genre in the world (romance!): MacMillan Publishing’s Heroes & Heartbreakers, USA Today’s Happy Ever After, BookPage, and Frolic.Media;
- travelled to nine countries: US, Canada, Grand Cayman, Belize, Barbados, Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland;
- recreated in 5 of the Seven Seas: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico;
- visited 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites;
- seen three Roman colosseums in three different countries (Tarragona, Spain; Rome, Italy; Lyon, France);
- had one audience with the Pope;
- been blessed with having my mother and my mother-in-law still with us (who are both still lots of fun);
- celebrated twenty-five years of adventure with my husband;
- thoroughly enjoyed life with our *amazing* son;
- been working on two children’s manuscripts;
- been working on two romantic suspense novels and one contemporary one;
- moved out into the country and had three super-successful summers of Victory Gardening; and
- raised the best beagle on the planet.
And best yet: I’m still in my mid-40s!
So a little advice: say Y.E.S. when someone asks you to experience or do something new. Take a leap of faith. Believe in yourself. Save for a vacation – you can do it. Nobody needs to eat several lunches or dinners out each week. Pack a lunch and cook at home. Put priority on your happiness, and enrich your hearts and minds with family and friends. Learn a new language. Take piano lessons. Plant a victory garden. Make a new friend. Volunteer at your local food bank or homeless shelter. Be the best YOU you can be. Think positively: this is going to be a great decade!
I’m excited to be the new Municipal Liaison (ML) in Pittsboro, partnering with Chapel Hill ML, Maia Maile, to host lots of fun events throughout November. Here’s a listing (so far) of kick-off’s, write-in’s and TGIO celebrations. Never participated in NaNo? Check it out here. Want to join our Chapel Hill Wrimos group? Check it out here. Want to join our Chapel Hill Wrimos on Facebook? Check it out here. Want to make a donation? Make it here. You can find me participating as BeckyMoore. Hope to see you at one of the events!
For so much of my career I was behind the scenes. And now, even after two children’s books and five romances, it’s still strange to be the focus of coverage. But I’m excited about the story our local newspaper did on me this week. 🙂
On a side note, it’s not too late to sign up for The Business of Writing Romance at Wake Technical Community College. I’ll be back at Central Carolina in the spring!