Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


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Everyday Happenings

Blog Everyday In May Challenge cont…

Day 6, Monday: If you couldn’t answer with your job, how would you answer the question, ‘what do you do’?

This is a fun one. I’d say there are three main things I do.

I write. I hope that one day, it is disqualified for this list… aka, it’s my only job.

writing, short stories, young adult, fiction

almost 3 years ago, at my parent’s house, working on the first book I ever wrote! It was a doozy let me tell you

I read. Every day. Can’t get enough of it. I wish I had more hours in the day simply so I could finish books in one sitting. In fact, part of me wishes I hadn’t entered this challenge, because all I want to do at this very moment is get back to reading The Magician King because it is so good. I had dreams about it last night!

new writer, young adult, reading

CURRENT READ!!!

ps I always, always take book jackets off. I hate them.

I laugh. Most of the time it’s Greg’s silly moments that make me laugh hysterically, but sometimes I am all alone. In fact, Greg tells me that I am the only person he knows who makes themselves laugh as often as I do. What can I say? I guess I’m pretty funny! :)

writing, laughing, what I do

Lou and Lou laughing away :)

So, if you ever think of me, picture me doing at least one of these three things.

What do you do?

<3 Lou

 


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The {Short} Story of Lou

Today I am participating in a challenge…

to write a blog each day in the month of May.

When I woke up today I had no such agenda. But when I looked at my blogging friend Jenny‘s blog, and saw that she was going to do this challenge… based on this other girl, Jenni‘s blog… well, I just had to join in. I will try my hardest.

Each day is guided with a prompt, which is pretty cool. Today’s blog?

Day 1, Wednesday: The story of your life in 250 words or less (or one paragraph… no one will be counting your words… probably)

new mexico, writer, young adult

see? always meant to be in NM :)

Melinda Grey (Wilder) Williams never wanted to be a writer. She grew up a pastor’s kid (still is one to this day {Lutheran, in case you were wondering}) and was born in Virginia, lived in Minnesota, until finally coming to New Mexico, which she considers home. When all the kids in class knew what they wanted to be, Melinda stayed quiet and simply couldn’t decide. But she always loved to read. Her first favorite book was Where The Red Fern Grows. Then it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Later on in life, she discovered many more books (Catcher in the Rye, A Prayer for Owen Meany, 1984, Middlesex, etc) that continued to change her life. She considers Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath to be the best character ever written. She calls him her literary crush. It wasn’t until college, when prompted to write a Young Adult fiction “first chapter,” that she began to write her own fiction and fell in love with writing. She finally knew what she wanted to do and she is doing her best to make that happen. Melinda is lucky enough to be married to a great guy, Greg. She has three loving sisters (two older, one twin) and great parents. Growing up she was shy and awkward,

meredith and me... awkward middle schoolers, but at least awkward together

meredith and me… awkward middle schoolers, but at least awkward together

but that has surely changed (at least the shy part.) She likes who she has become and what she believes in. She is no longer afraid to speak out for a cause (like boycotting GMOs, supporting local and/or organic, awareness of factory conditions for animals, & saving the BEES, just to name a few.) Melinda is currently building a chicken coop in her backyard, growing a garden she hopes will proved a large portion of her food, and working at a bakery. She has written three complete manuscripts and writes Every. Single. Day. Because being a published author is Plan A, not Plan B. Life is good! Melinda wakes up every day wondering how she got so lucky.

writing, fiction, short story

Lou & Lou… so lucky

That’s me in about 250+ words. Now you know a little bit more about me, Melinda, AKA Lou.

Also- Today was a busy, great day!

flowers, garden, writing

“before”

I worked in the yard with Greg for hours. HOURS. We planted a flower bed (above… will hopefully have an “after” picture in the next few weeks!), shoveled pounds and pounds of compost, pulled weeds, neatly stored away our hoop houses for the garden, placed small logs around the periphery of our vegetable garden AND THEN went to run a 5K with my friend. Every second was a blast.  All the proceeds of this run went to Boston Relief. I am so grateful to have a body that is able to run and work in the yard. I am so thankful to be safe at home tonight.

And how cool is this? My dinner will have part of my garden in it! Spinach and garlic!!!

melinda, writer, young adult fiction

did you know young garlic looks like this?

Hope you all had a good day, too!!

<3  Lou


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Lemon Moon {Part I}

Listen to this.

Remember this.

Read this:

 

LEMON MOON

 

By Melinda Williams

 

 

 

August, 2012

JOHNNY

 

You may have grown up seeing at least one “missing person” poster taped up to a wooden pole in your hometown. Maybe you even saw multiple signs a day if you lived somewhere big like New York City or Chicago. The faces may not have meant much. They were just random faces of people you were likely to never meet, find, or care about. You might have felt a pang of regret for the ones who lost them, the ones who were still around. But if you’re from a tiny town, say, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, chances are you’ve seen maybe one. And although it felt like everyone in town knew one another, you didn’t recognize the face.

I now live in a town where half the people are missing, therefore, you get your fair share of “missing person” posters. I’ve grown accustomed to them. I pass by a picture of my second grade teacher every day on my way to the store, and inside Andy, the old guy who owns the store, has up a picture of his wife. Being a small town most everyone was married or at least had someone they loved. And half of each pair disappeared.

Did you hear me?

I said

Half of each pair disappeared. Poof. Vanished. Before eyes. All alone. Unexpectedly. Gone. Forever.

 

And now only I know why.

 

 June, 2010

 

“I’m never going to get out of here,” Anne told me. She and I were walking up the dirt road and away from school. Summer break was upon us. Next year we’d be seniors and for most kids in our town break would just keep on being reality once high school ended. What I mean is, not very many were bound for college. There was no way Anne’s parents could afford to send her anywhere. My future looked a little brighter, except for the fact that I wouldn’t go anywhere without her.

“Sure you will,” I told her, straightening out my baseball cap and running a few steps to kick a rock at the bend in the road.

“That gets dirt everywhere,” she said softly.

“You always wear sandals,” I said right back. She did. We lived in the middle of the desert and she wore open toed sandals every day. Her feet were always dirty because of it. The dust from the road really did get everywhere.

“At least my toes can be free.” Anne crossed her arms in front of her chest and said, “I’m stuck here forever.”

“Who says? Who says you can’t move anywhere you want when we graduate? You could go be a model or something.” It was true, too. Get Anne into a big city and she’d be spotted right away for her good looks, her tall and thin body.

“Oh yeah? It’s that easy? Who’s gonna pay for the car to get me down the highway? Who’s gonna pay my bus fare?”

“Save up for the next year, I guess.” I was only seventeen, just like her. I didn’t know how a kid went about moving away from home. Anne at least had some advantages. She hadn’t always lived in Truth or Consequences. She was beautiful. Her home life was awful, so she had more drive in her to get away. (I’m the guy who can turn a terrible family situation into something positive. It drives Anne crazy, but I know she secretly loves that about me.) Anne didn’t say anything in response, but bent down to pick a small dandelion growing by the side of the road. She held it and stared at it with her feet a foot apart and her head tilted to the side. Her braided hair had loose strands.

“They say these are weeds. If something so pretty can be a weed, then I guess not everything is as it seems.”

Anne often said things like this. I often didn’t respond. Not knowing what to say about dandelions, I stuffed my hands in my pockets and cleared my dry throat. “I’m cookin’ dinner tonight. Want to come over? Kick off summer with style? I bet my dad would even let us each have a beer.”

Anne looked down at the gravel getting coarser under our feet as we walked. We always walked to her house first and then I’d walk home alone. We did this almost every day of the school year since she moved to town in third grade. Her mouth formed a straight line and a strand of her long hair fell forward past her shoulders. “I don’t think I’m free,” she said.

“Oh. Well, okay.” We walked past the big cottonwood tree we’d climb back before she wore short skirts and I was too afraid to embarrass myself. “What are you doing?”

Anne looked at me. Her words were challenging. “Probably hanging out with Gavin.”

Oh, I thought, right. Gavin. Her new boyfriend or whatever he was to her. For her he was a cool older boy who paid attention to her (as if everybody didn’t already), somebody to kiss and hold hands with. For him, she was… someone that I hoped he lied about, because if the stories from the locker room after gym class were true I wouldn’t be able to look at Anne. I convinced myself it was only rumors and cocky Gavin lying through his teeth. If she was capable of doing what he spoke of so often, I sure as hell wanted it to be with me. Anne and I were meant to be. Best friends since third grade. High school sweethearts who had never really been sweet… just there for one another. I was patient in allowing Anne the time for her love to be realized and blossom the way mine already had. Gavin was the only thing in my way.

“Alright.” I kicked another rock.

“If that’s okay with you,” she added, not hiding her annoyance. I hadn’t done a single thing.

“Of course it is,” I said in that calm way I learned from my dad. Never raised my voice. Never showed a temper, if I even had one. If something bothered me no one would ever know but me.

“Maybe another night,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.

“Right. I cook dinner all the time,” I reminded her.

“Right.” Sometimes, although having known each other for nine years, we sounded like acquaintances. We sounded like we had just met.

“See ya, Johnny,” Anne said as she waved to me and her long tan legs walked her up the dirt driveway.

“Bye,” I said. I watched her unlock her front door. I always made sure she got inside before walking away.

Then I headed home by myself. I took the long way. My parents weren’t actually expecting me to cook that night. I would have done it only if Anne had come over. I walked through an old abandoned field, past an ancient adobe house long ago left vacant, and back to the tree by the road that we used to climb. I looked around to make sure I was alone and I put my hands on the lowest branch. I used to give Anne a boost with my hands and then jump up to grab hold. We’d both grown a lot. Anne, more than the average girl, and me, about average. But at least I was tall enough to reach without hardly raising my arms. And up I went, stepping on the sturdiest branches, passing through the thickest part that I was still skinny enough to squeeze through, and eventually perching myself on a high branch. I left my backpack at the bottom of the tree. I didn’t have a book or anything to write with. All I had was my own thoughts and they were enough.

I wished that day that she had chosen me over him. I’d have still helped her climb the tree. Even if she went ahead of me with her short skirt on, I’d never look too closely or try anything. I just wanted to spend time, maybe hold her hand. Maybe even kiss her. And before anyone goes thinking I’m not a regular teenage guy who wants sex all the time, don’t get me wrong. I had my own magazines stashed under my bed and my favorite page had Anne’s long lost twin on it.

The only problem was I would never have the guts to try anything with her. So in order to feel better about the sex I’d probably never have with Anne, I was content with hoping for something as simple as time spent. All those other things would come later once she realized the whole us being meant to be thing.

 

 

Part II coming soon…..


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Can You Find What’s Missing?

Sometimes people ask me one simple question:

How do you find time to write?

And workout? And read an entire book in less than a week? And cook all of my meals from scratch? And spend a large portion of my day just sitting outside, watching birds or gardening or hanging up the laundry to dry? 

Okay, I added all of the others, after the first simple question, How do I find time to write? But I’ve had at least a few people ask me these questions at different times. I really have. And I will be the FIRST to admit that I don’t have a perfect scheduled out system to my life. I forget things, I make mistakes and I do waste time.

Just not very often.

Let me give you a clue as to WHY.

Here are some pictures, taken at different angles, of my living room/dining room.

hey lou, writing, new writer, short stories

Piano and bookshelf

Greg plays the piano ALL THE TIME!!! Coolest thing about it? I grew up with my dad playing this very same piano. My parents recently bought a new vintage piano and gave us this one. Also- this bookshelf is inside the wall. No space is wasted and it is beautifully carved out of wood.

Here’s a close up of the picture of my grandmother, which is sitting on the piano.

My lovely Grandma, Pearl, sitting at her typewriter :)

My lovely Grandma, Pearl, sitting at her typewriter :)

Okay, more pictures. Keep looking to find out what’s missing!!!

hey lou writes, young adult, short stories

“Dining room” and front door

Best part of this picture is the table that my parents bought when they were newlyweds. I wouldn’t buy a new one, ever.

writing, short stories, new writer

Christmas trees and music :)

Yes, we keep our Christmas tree up all year long. We’ve had it up since October 31st, 2010, when we bought it on sale at Hobby Lobby. This room is usually filled with band equipment for Wildewood.

Justin Townes Earle, couch, hey lou writes, writing, reading

Where I read!

And there you have it. The rest of the house is similar. We have a small bedroom with hardly anything inside, a laundry room with a computer for Greg to work on music recordings, and another room that stores most of Wildewood’s equipment and Greg’s big drum set. It’s a modest, yet amazingly comfortable and spacious living arrangement. Oh, it’s also on a half acre. Don’t ask me how we got so lucky. But ask me how often I thank God for such a home. Answer: Every single day.

Did you see it? Or NOT see it? Have you guessed it yet?

I can read, write, blog, clean, sit in the warm sun, garden, workout and spend time with my husband ….ALL BECAUSE…

We have no TV. There it is. This is not a TV bashing blog, either. But will I ever own one again? Not for all the money in the world. (Okay, come to me with a million dollars and I might buy one. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be where anyone can see it) 

In our last place, a small apartment, I really tried to evaluate why I was either unhappy (at times), felt lazy or fat (at times), or felt disconnected with the world around me (almost all the time.) I remember this specific moment. I was watching a “reality” show. Maybe it was The Hills? I’m not quite sure. But what I do know is this: I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh. Here I am, watching someone else live their life. How lame. I need to go live my own life!” And there you have it. Greg and I moved into this place, got rid of our TV, and we’ve never looked back.

I know what some of you are thinking. But, Melinda, The Hills is trash reality TV and I watch great shows or the Food Network or the Discovery Channel… I don’t waste time. I learn and laugh and relax after a really long day. 

Well, I say HOORAY for all of those people who do exactly that. I would say in the beginning that I did miss those “good” TV shows. I like watching other people cook. I love a good special on Abraham Lincoln or a newly discovered animal in the ocean. But do I still miss it at all? Does it even EVER cross my mind? No.

In fact, I am still very busy and on the days when I have zero time to relax, I often wonder how in the world anyone has time for TV. I know that most people are on even tighter schedules than I am! Explain that!

Having no TV hardly makes me a hermit, either. We have Netflix and we watch movies on our laptop. Um… we have the INTERNET… so, yeah, it’s not like we miss out on any news. Simply having a twitter account makes me weirdly more informed about the world than I ever wanted to be.

I recently read this awesome blog about budgeting money. It made me think. I may not be the best at budgeting money, but I have become really good at budgeting my time. It’s something I can truly say I’ve grown to be good at, and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Here’s what a typical day looks like for the Williams household:

A.M.

Greg and I try to wake up together, and unless he has to work at 5 (yikes!), which is rare, we make this happen. Our usual wake up time is anywhere from 6:00 to 7:00, depending. We wake up at LEAST an hour and a half before either of us have to leave. Why? So we can do this:

-Greg makes the coffee

-I made the breakfasts

-Weather permitting, we sit outside to eat and drink

-We might both spend 30 minutes reading

-We might start chatting, which I always love

-I’ll go for a thirty minute run or do a workout at home

-We talk about our days, challenges we might face, and how excited we are for the relaxing evening to come

MID DAY

Greg and I both work. He works full time and I work part time. (I do, however, spend more than a full timer’s worth of time writing.) If we happen to have a day off together, you can bet we’ve done these things:

-Pulled weeds/gardened

-Gone on a short walk

-Made some more coffee and sat outside (bird watching is our new hobby)

-Read more

-I write

-Greg will practice harmonica/drums/piano

-Whip up a good and healthy lunch

-Do laundry, sweep the floor

-Laugh our heads off at least three times (Greg is the funniest person I know)

P.M. 

This is where life really gets busy. Greg, being in a band, has lots of practices and shows. On a rare evening when we have “nothing” to do we’ll make time for:

-Making dinner together

-Talking about our day

-Getting caught up on life… dishes, putting AWAY the previously washed laundry… etc

-Reading some more

-Writing some more

-Practicing music some more

-Going on that run, if I didn’t get to it in the A.M.

See what I mean? Nowhere in there do we have space or a care to “budget” our time to fit in TV watching. Books are better, anyway. It might seem boring. I’m sure what I’ve just described, as a life being lived, seems utterly unexciting to the untrained eye. However, it is anything BUT. We spend quality time. I’ve learned to appreciate the sound of birds and learning what type they are. I’ve learned to savor each moment of silence I can muster up in a day, preferably with Greg right alongside me. I’ve learned to garden and I actually look forward to picking weeds. I get to be outside, I’m healthy and have a body that’s able, and I am caring for something that will provide me with vegetables and fruit to eat.

One drawback, if you can call it that, is how sensitive I have become to too much noise and distraction. I feel just a tad overwhelmed when I am somewhere with TVs blaring or a hundred different sounds buzzing around my head. I feel as if I can’t even listen to or hear the person sitting right next to me. Even in the car, if Greg and I have music playing, we’ll usually both reach to turn it down at the exact same time, and laugh and say, “I couldn’t hear a word you were saying.”

I guess that means I’ve learned to give my full attention to one thing at a time. Plus, I’m addicted to reading. This past month we got our Netflix DVD in the mail and we put off watching the movie for two weeks because each night, when it came down to it, Greg and I both opted for our books instead.

I’m not saying you should go throw your TV out on the curb today. I realize that for some people, this is extreme. (Like the lady who told us we were practically Amish for not owning a microwave… I think she’d faint if she read this.) But just like my last post about phones, I guess the reason for writing this is to encourage people to follow their dreams and not have distractions from those dreams. IMAGINE what you could accomplish if instead of watching TV for two hours a day, you did something productive… something you’ve always wanted to do. Like…

-get in shape (those two hours could be spend hitting the pavement)

-WRITE (it takes tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime)

-sign up for an art class

-volunteer

-go outside and TAKE A WALK (the most therapeutic thing on the planet, in my opinion)

-or whatever it is you’ve been putting off!!

JUST DO IT! (like Nike says…)

Your brain, body, and family will thank you for it. I promise! Feel free to ask me anything about my no-TV household. It’s a topic I’m very passionate about and I have a LOT MORE to say, believe it or not.

Let me know how it goes, or if you do something similar!

<3 Lou


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Anything You Want to Be

Recently, I was reminded of the best Halloween I remember growing up. As a rule, I pretty much hate Halloween. I don’t like anything scary. I don’t like to be tricked, I’m not a big candy eater, and the costumes of today are too ridiculous for my taste. However, there was a great year, back when I was about seven. (notice, I have on a sweatshirt… we are both wearing gloves… it was freezing cold in Minnesota. I was a little mad about the sweatshirt, but I still felt lovely!)

short stories, poetry, young adult

cowgirl and Belle :) <3

Meredith was a cowgirl and I was … Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I remember it well. I had the idea in my head, and so Belle I was. I didn’t have a special yellow dress imitating the dress she wears in the movie. Simply feeling beautiful and believing I looked like her was enough. Don’t get me wrong, I think the costumes that are an exact match are cute, too. But I think there’s something special about a kid who smiles, knowing who they are for Halloween, whether or not anyone can guess it.

And believe it or not, I’m going to relate this back to reading a good book.

When I read a great novel, I automatically put myself in a character’s shoes. It’s perhaps WHY I get so wrapped up in books.

Here’s my list of books I could not finish:

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Blindness by Jose Saramago

Room by Emma Donoghue

Why? Because I had nightmares. Yep. All three of these books (just to name a few) gave me nightmares… horrible, wake up shaking type nightmares, therefore I couldn’t finish them. I sought out people who had braved it ’til the end and made them tell me the ending. I couldn’t stand the thought of being on the road, afraid for the life of my child… afraid that I would be captured and eaten by cannibals. Going blind is probably my greatest fear, and while reading that book I had a nightmare that Meredith went blind, awful things happened, and I could do nothing to save her. Don’t even get me started on Room. I thought about it night and day. And for these reasons, I think these books are great. They are too good. They were so real, I believed I was there. It got into my head. I became the character in so many ways, and that created a world that I didn’t want to be in.

The same goes for books that I can finish all the way. That list is way longer, thank goodness!!

When I read Grapes of Wrath, I felt as if I were Tom Joad, or at least felt comforted knowing he was by my side through the journey to California. I felt I had lived in Greece and had a very strange upbringing when I read Middlesex. My stomach churned and I seriously doubted the people around me as I sat and read The Bell Jar. I cried at the end of Of Mice and Men, because I felt that I had been taking care of Lenny right alongside George.

As a writer, I hope to always place the reader in the story. A good friend of mine once read the first draft of my first manuscript… she gave it back with critique. She had written on the third page in, “Remember how it felt to read Harry Potter? We know Hogwarts. We’ve been there. Make the planet resonate with me in the same way… I want to be there, not just read about it.” That critique changed my writing. I realized that instead of telling, I had to show. We’ve all probably had a teacher give us that advice, but what does it really mean? It means that instead of saying:

I like the desert because I grew up here. My house is great. I don’t think I ever want to move away.

I could say:

The cactus growing in my backyard is enchanting. I have no doubt in my mind that New Mexico is rightfully named “The Land of Enchantment.” In the spring flowers bloom, which always surprises me. Flowers on a prickly cactus? When I still lived in Minnesota I never would have believed it. There are windows in every room where I live. The view changes daily, because the birds are always different and the sunset is never the same as the night before. So many people I know say they can’t wait to get away. Not me. I could live here forever.

By the way, that last paragraph is entirely true!!

What book did you dive into, almost literally? What character did you relate to so strongly, you felt as if you’d been walking in their shoes? Which authors do this best? I’d love to know!

<3

 


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APPEAL

APPEAL

By Melinda Williams

“They’re going to stop us, too,” Cindy said.

I didn’t want to believe her. But she had been right. The moment was so long ago… so in the past. Yet, I thought of the statement daily. Her words, the ones that really came true. How could I have expected anything else to happen?

It wasn’t too cold or hot. The temperature outside was like the kind a person can’t feel. Body temperature. And yet, each person felt what else was in the air. Unrest. Drought. No movement. The world had gone still and although the air was nice it held within it a danger that did more damage than cold or hot ever had. It wasn’t carrying coolness that would hint of a rushing river nearby. It held no humidity to stick to the skin and cause musty nights on the porch. When I thought of Cindy, she was glowing with sweat from dancing with me. I hadn’t seen her in three years. Continue reading


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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

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

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?

short stories, music, mark erelli

“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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Confidence, Truly

There have been times in my life when I felt anything but confident. I have felt, just like any gal, that I was less than pretty, less then talented, or just plain unwanted. Thankfully, those moments have been few and far between. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t exactly walk around thinking I have it all or anything, but I have had some great moments of confidence. It started at a very young age.

Case in point:

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confidence, truly

Please notice: I wrote,

Today and yesterday I figured out that I am good at drawing. (age 7!!)

The teacher must have chuckled as she wrote, “You certainly are!” But then secretly worried about me…

I don’t think anything phased me. I sat there and drew this face and I was proud of it. I wish I could find that little girl and be there again without fail. I wonder what happened? What day came and went where all of a sudden I doubted whether or not I was good at drawing?

I’d like to think that every kid starts out this way. They can do anything. It isn’t until someone tells them they can’t or someone laughs at something they do that they begin to doubt. I wish, so badly, that everyone could be as confident as I was at the age of 7.

And then stay that way.

Another great moment I had as a 7 year old was writing a story titled “The Floppy Bunny.” I really did a horrible, half-assed job at the drawings for that book. But I was so, so proud of the story.

It’s the story of a bunny who has no hair. He’s a bald, naked bunny. He goes around to all these animals, asking them if they have any hair to spare… could he have some? Of course, everyone says no. It isn’t until the Floppy Bunny meets a sheep, who has wool to spare, that he can finally have some hair. They make an entire suit made of wool and the Floppy Bunny wears it, finally feeling comfortable and covered up.

Yes. It was a gripping tale.

I’d like to think that my writing abilities have gotten better ;)

Obviously, if you are here on this blog, you can see that I never did give up on the whole writing thing. I have my short stories, my poetry, and three books I’m working on daily, trying to get published. I am trying to hard to keep that 7 year old version of myself close at heart. I want to be her… unafraid and entirely confident in my abilities.

I hope you can find your own version of her, too!!!

<3

Fun fact: I think I did get a little better at drawing. Wildewood even let me do their cover art…. !!!!

wildewood, hey lou, writer, short stories

confidence, later ;)


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It Was Life

{I found this in an old notebook from college. I wrote it on 12/07/10 during an astronomy class! I hope you enjoy it :) }

short stories, new writer, coffee

It Was Life

By Melinda Williams

I am either

taken to a cafe in Europe

looking great- all women there do

smoking, taking a sip, smoking

my lipstick stain on both

the cigarette and the cup

The conversation is enlightened

yet

I have a subtle

I don’t give a f—

attitude.

Men pass by

One wants to buy me my next

This is the true potential

This is where

one can go

OR

I am stepping inside a gas station

I can smell the bathroom

which is right next to

where I fill up my mug

unfortunately

The smell is cheap

Cheap- unlike the

massive amounts of oil outside

The two, dark liquids

our country runs on

Back in Europe

it wasn’t fuel

It was life


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Finally Ready

 I’m finally ready…

I have my coffee. I'm READY!!!

I have my coffee. I’m READY!!!

The new year is here! We’re 5 days in!!! Five is my lucky number. Perfect timing to get back in the swing of things!!!

I’m finally ready to take on the new year. When the clock actually changed, I felt a little overwhelmed. Does anyone else have a different feeling about this one? When 2011 turned into 2012, I felt almost nothing. Another year. Another time when I felt I knew almost exactly what was in store for me. I felt content and comfortable. This time around? I feel a bit unsettled. It’s not a bad thing, not a negative feeling. Just a bit like something is stirring…like there is a change coming, or something entirely unexpected. When the year changed at midnight and I gave Greg a kiss, I felt for the first time that I didn’t know what was coming for the new year. I have no idea what a year from now will look like.

That’s a very exciting thing to realize.

I don’t know where I’ll be living, if I’ll have a kid… what job I might have. I don’t know if I’ll experience something that will change me forever. Every day, we have a chance to make a change or be changed. I know this. But I also feel that especially now, there’s room to grow.

I wanted the year to start out with an exciting trip. My twin sister Meredith and I planned a two night stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had an amazing, sister-bonding, freezing, and life changing time!!! Sometimes the answers to ALL of life’s questions lie in having coffee with your twin. Sorry for those of you who don’t have one! ;)

writer, new writer, short stories, poetry

Meredith and Me! Walking in the freezing cold!

I jotted down a few new year’s resolutions. Here they are:

Eat Controllably I think this about sums it up. Be in control of what I eat. I don’t feel that I’ve been all that out of control, but after a ton of holiday cheer, it’s definitely time to kick it back into gear with the healthy food!

Move Every Day I know that I don’t have to sweat like a pig in order to get some kind of workout. Some days I go on a short walk or do my [five pound] arm weights… just to make sure I get some movement in!

Stay Positive To go along with this one? Start every day with a smile. It feels cheesy as hell, but when I wake up I make this goofy forced smile, and eventually it turns into a real one! It works!

Give Everyone the Benefit of the Doubt Yes, even that jerk who just cut me off on the highway. They could be having a horrible day. They could be rushing toward a dying family member… you never know! It’s about time I stop judging for good and start worrying about my own self, not what others around me are doing.

Pray More I always need to pray more. When I do, amazing things happen.

Be Patient It is a virtue, after all.

Be Kind I want to be kind all the time!! I might as well start now!

Find Time For Me Discover who I am. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day- if I sit and reflect on the day, the good and the bad, and take in the present moment, I feel much better. Why shouldn’t I do this every day?

Read and Write Each and Every Day I feel more… ME when I do this. I love to do both. When I neglect this part of my life, I find that I allow small things to stress me out. Reading and writing help me stay on the right path.

Be a Better Daughter, Wife, Sister and Friend There are moments when I’ve fallen short in every way.

This is my first “New Year’s Resolution” list. I think I can stick to it! I’ll let you know! :)

What are your resolutions? Have you stuck to any in the past? Are there repeats happening this year? I’d love to know!

<3

writer, poetry, short stories

Maybe I’ll get more in touch with nature, too… ;)