Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


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Three Days of Muses

I had the best three days EVER!!!! Thursday, Friday and Saturday were amazing in every way. I wish I could experience them over and over, but I’ll settle for writing about it and holding the memories in my heart forever! <3

Basically, I had a chance to see live music. Not just any live music, either. But three musical groups/individuals who inspire my writing. I mean… literally, I have written characters and entire short stories based on their songs. These three above all others. It didn’t even really dawn on me all the way until the very last night. I was brought to tears. It seemed very meant to be and I felt lucky… so lucky!!

Here’s how it went down:

THURDSDAY: WILDEWOOD

short stories, writer, new writer, poetry, young adult, novels, music

Kate Burn Photography…Wildewood

Here is where you can check out some of their music. My short story, Proud Mothers, has a strong relationship with their original song Goodbye Morgan. Lemon Moon is another song for which I’ve written a short story…but that one is a work in progress :) In one of my (currently :) ) unpublished manuscripts, a character named Mason Andrews has characteristics and plot surrounding him- all based on another original by Wildewood, a song called Keep My Distance. When I listen to their music at each and every show I make it to (which is most!) I never fail to get inspired to write something, whether directly related or not. They’re just that good!!!

FRIDAY: DEER TICK

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Deer Tick

This picture was taken on my really old school flip phone, but hey! It’s a picture of them! You should check them out here. The lead singer of Deer Tick is also in a band called Middle Brother (favorite songs? Wilderness & Blood and Guts!!), and many of their songs inspire my writing, too. It’s also the Deer Tick song, These Old Shoes, that just so happened to be the first (and maybe last?) song I really learned to play and sing on the guitar. It was fun! To me, that’s the greatest love song of our time.

Bonus: For one song, they called a guest singer onto the stage. Guess who it was? Vanessa Carlton!!! Yeah!! I know!! It was weird. I can only picture her sitting at a huge piano, can’t you? But there she was, at a small-ish bar in Albuquerque, singing along with Deer Tick. She sounded awesome!

I would walk 1,000 miiles....

I would walk 1,000 miles….

and… drum roll please….

SATURDAY: MARK ERELLI

mark erelli, music

OMG! I was shaking!

The name may not ring a bell, but I promise you, if you listen to his music you will not be disappointed. Especially the album he recorded with Jeffrey Foucault (another person you should listen to every day!), Seven Curses. THAT album is the REASON I began to write short stories.

That’s a pretty big deal!!! At least to me it is! So you can imagine what it was like to hear Mark Erelli sing in person. The show was at a house … about fifteen people were there. A new project called “The Standing O” had him come into town and they first interviewed him, then he sang! It was just amazing. It’s the songs The First Mrs. Jones, Wyoming Wind, and Ellis Unit One that made me write my first two short stories ever, I Looked Over Jordan and Wilde Wood Saloon!! I had him sign my short stories!! How cool is that?

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“Keep on writing.” Oh Mark, I will!!

The paper stapled to the top is an e-mail I printed out from over a year ago. I wrote to him and he wrote back! I never thought I would get to meet him.

And there you have it. In three days I had beer sloshed onto my feet, sweaty people mosh pitting beside me, fancy chocolate served on a table in a living room, hard cider, sparkling lemonde, and lots of awesome music (I’ll let you figure out which things go with which shows….) ;) .

Thanks Wildewood, Deer Tick and Mark Erelli!!!!!!!

And as ALWAYS, thank YOU for stopping by Hey Lou!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Narrator

Narrator

By Melinda Williams

The main character in this story is already dead.

Now, being that I’m a narrator, I’ve always been told, and at one point even believed, that at this point a story ceases to exist. Also, it’s general knowledge that one does not kill off a main character under any circumstances (at least until the very end), thus they stop being the main character and the story is no more. However, being that I’ve grown into adult narrator-hood and rules in literature are ever-changing, I’ll go ahead and surmise that this story is not over.

Miller’s death is really just the beginning.

Take Sally, for instance. She loved Miller. She loved him more than any seven year old had ever loved any other seven year old. It was real; at least as far as elementary school crushes are concerned.

“Class, I have terrible… just terrible news,” their teacher, Ms. Pimsley said on October 1st. Sally’s heart sank, for she did not wish to hear terrible, just terrible news on a day when Miller was absent. She could handle all things terrible better if he were by her side. He said he would be at school. They had planned on holding hands that day. So, she wondered, where was he?

“Miller was in an accident,” Ms. Pimsley said, one tear streaming down her cheek and taking with it about half of her mascara, which all the kids noticed but were too trained on manners to act like they noticed.

Death brings out so many lies, doesn’t it? Why did Ms. Pimsley feel the need to say Miller was in an accident? Why couldn’t she simply tell the class the truth…that she didn’t know how he had died?

She wasn’t the only one lying. But Ms. Pimsley said what she said to the class, regardless of how accurate (or inaccurate…). Oh, Sally breathed to herself, that must be why he’s late. I’m glad our teacher is giving us an explanation. Continue reading


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Being Patient and Kind <3

I’ve never been a huge believer in giving up something for lent. It can be fun to challenge yourself… but only if it’s just that: FUN. It’s no good to give up something and then make everyone around you as miserable as you are. Am I right, or am I right? I’ve never successfully given up one particular thing for the entire season, which always left me feeling like I didn’t accomplish something I should have.

SO! This year, rather than giving up something, like coffee or sugar or laughter (ha), I decided to add something to my every day life.

Greg and I have been reading 1 Corinthians 13 every single night.

It sounds simple… the “love is patient, love is kind” verse we all know. I have done a lot of thinking on this particular verse of the Bible, and I think that I’ve always passed it over as something that is “too popular.” How ridiculous of me, first of all. We didn’t have it read at our wedding because I wanted to be more original. Again, how ridiculous. The entire chapter is beautiful and meaningful in a way I had never understood until reading it with my husband every night. It’s perfect for a marriage. In fact, I’d say it’s downright required.

I recommend this sort of “every night ritual” for anyone. ANYONE. Single, married, divorced, dating… basically, if you interact with other people at all, this verse could do you some good. Why not try to be patient and kind in all we do? It will only make the world a better place. Why not STOP being envious of other people, STOP being too proud, and start living a more humble and content existence?

I want to be someone who isn’t quick to get angry. Especially before I ever have kids… I’d love to get my temper in check. (not that I have a crazy temper, but we can all use some improvement, I’m sure!) I want to be someone who can forgive and clean off the slate, especially in my marriage. “Love keeps no record of wrongdoing” has been one of the most influential parts of my lent challenge. I’ve let a lot of things go. I want to protect what’s important to me, trust in Greg, never give up hope for our future and persevere through it all. I’m more than three years into my marriage and I can say that I’ve failed in every single one of these and I will probably fail in them again. I’m human. All I can do is try, pray and wake up every day with a smile that we’ve made it this far! Making something real last is worth it.

The result of all this?

I’m happier, smile more often, I feel lighter (in my soul!) and my marriage is in better shape than ever before. If you read something over and over, eventually it takes on a whole new meaning. Each day something different will pop out at you. It’s just like hearing a song and because your life is different than the last time you heard it, the song has completely changed.

I recommend this challenge, and not just for lent. It’s almost over, anyway. I have a feeling that even after Easter comes and goes, Greg and I will still continue to study this passage and I will continue to pray for those changes to stay with me and grow in my heart. <3

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one of my favorite pictures of us!

On a different note, another thing I did in the past month was read one of the craziest stories of my life.

myra breckinridge, short stories, poetry, young adult, hey lou

you will not believe what these pages hold

Ever heard of Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal? I hadn’t, either. That is, until my brother-in-law told me I should read it. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t tell anyone under the age of 18 to read this book. It was excellent, but uncomfortable (aren’t most great books at least a little bit uncomfortable?) I don’t want to spoil the ending in any way, shape or form, so I won’t tell you too much. I will say that this book is a page turner, CRAZY, sexual, surprising, and will make you gasp as you read it.

Just trust me.

:)


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Honky Tonk Dancin’

Last night I went dancing in a real country bar. Greg (hubby), Meredith (twin) and I went to see our friend Alex play with an old time country band, Honky Tonk Deluxe, on the other side of the mountain. We even took a road trip to get there!!

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Mer and Greg (uh-oh, our driver looks asleep) 

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after eating all our traveling snacks

 

By road trip, I mean we drove an hour to the East side. Why is it that any drive lasting longer than thirty minutes seems to require snack food? I wanted to buy a huge back of dried mangos, some nuts, and of course, bring plenty of water. We didn’t actually need anything, though! We wound up stealing some Nut Thins from my in-laws on the way out of town. Yum.

This is what the bar looked like! The Mineshaft:

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the two lous

The best part of the entire evening was by far the DANCING!!! I love to dance. It used to be hard to get Greg to dance with me, but lately he’s been pretty up for it. That makes me so happy and excited. The interesting thing about this particular bar was that it was filled with older folk who knew how to dance. Twirling, two stepping, line dancing… the whole bit. Every man had a handlebar mustache and boots… every woman had on a studded belt and fancy hair. It was that kind of bar. Even I was hesitant to get on the dance floor, and once we did, I felt totally in the way of the pros.

short stories, writing, young adult, fiction

do we look scared?

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We scooted our way over to the corner of the dance floor. There’s Alex of Wildewood, playing away!!

best picture of the night...

best picture of the night…

Here’s Meredith and me, enjoying the music, food and entertainment (those handlebar mustaches, to be exact.)

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twins!

Overall, it was a great night. We laughed and had so much fun. Every once in a while it’s nice to get to the other side of the mountain. You never know what you’ll see!!

Oh, and did I mention how great my husband is? Not only does he dance with me… he doesn’t leave anyone out! <3

dancing, madrid, short stories

my two favorite people!!


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Spring, Sallys, and Smiles

writer, new writer, garden, author, short stories, young adult

Our garden!!!

It seems as though spring is here… at least in the South Valley. It has been warm and therefore, Greg and I have spent every possible moment outside. When it’s warm we eat every meal in the backyard. We take walks. We bird watch… I smile WAY more. The sunshine makes life that much better. (Look! I even started hanging up my clothes to dry!!!)

Thanks to a friend who is a PRO at gardening and growing crops, we have had hoop houses set up all winter. Look what’s inside!!

garden, young adult, author, short stories

LETTUCE!!!

We picked lettuce (organic!! omg! hooray!!) straight from the backyard, took it inside, washed it, and ate it about ten minutes after picking. I doubt I’ve ever eaten such a nutritious salad before in my life.

gardening, author, young adult

salad aka sally!!

Greg and I call salads “sallys.” Sometimes, if we’ve eaten heavy all week, one of us will say, “Hey Lou? Can we just have sally tonight?”

The answer is always YES!!!

Also- I made the best dressing. Wanna know what was in it? Here, I’ll tell you!

-jalepeno pepper sauce

-olive oil

-dijon mustard

I just poured a little of each and voila! Sally dressing.

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yummmm

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mason jar… yay for no plastic

After some bird watching, eating outside, and enjoying the beautiful day, we are two very content Lous.

<3

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:)