Your Money. And What I Want You to Do With It.

We all remember Botastic, right? And by Botastic I mean not the exemplary human being of that name, but rather, the post on this here blog that was named in his honor. Quick summary – I participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run, drank too much water like an idiot, ducked into a gas station, found myself next in line to a lovely young lady, with whom I had the following conversation. ME: You’re wearing Clemson orange! LOVELY YOUNG LADY: I work there! ME: Oh really, where at? LYL: Admissions! ME: You must know Gooch! LYL: I love Gooch!

And that’s how I became friends with Alrinthea. Although I didn’t see her again for months. I went to poker lady party at Gooch’s house, and she was there. She stared at me, funny-like. I said, “Convenience store bathroom line!” And she said, “That’s right!” And our friendship was confirmed.

Two things I know about Alrinthea:

  • She’s an exceptionally good person who donates her time and energy to worthy causes.
  • She needs help reaching her goal in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk!
Scrooge McDuck

Illustration of Alrinthea, one week from today.

Which means:

  • I want you to give her money


  • Please


  • Thank you

I will also be donating. Just two days ago I heard the news that a wonderful woman I know was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe I am wrong, but I can’t help but feel that with all the support being summoned for the Susan G. Komen movement, some kind of breakthrough must be in the offing. Please be a part of that movement, and get Alrinthea to her goal! It would be fanfreakingtastic if we could make that happen!


Looks That Way

High Cotton

This is where my parents fired me. Note ominous clouds.

As previously mentioned on this blog, I work for my parents.

They happen to live very close to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, aka, The Cutest Little Airport Ever! There’s two terminals! Everyone’s friendly! There’s a cute little coffee shop! Everything’s a short walk away! Adorable! (I am really not sure how they earn the “International” part of their name – perhaps flights to Canada?)

And so it was that I would be flying to Seattle to visit family and friends at the end of August. My flight out of GSP left early, and so I spent the night at my parents’ place. For dinner my parents were going to make salmon, but I am kind of salmoned out, so then they spur-of-the-moment suggested a dinner at High Cotton in downtown Greenville.

As we strolled across the Liberty Bridge and took in the sight of the Reedy River Falls, I asked what had happened at work. Jane*, as it turned out, had decided to quit. She’d still work for the company, but at home and with far fewer roles. That was too bad, I said. I’d miss Jane.

We then made our way into the lovely restaurant, were seated, and as our waters were being filled, my mom began to tell me about their plans for their new hire. As she listed the tasks the new hire would be taking on, many of them sounded awfully familiar.

“Wait,” I said. “That’s what I do.”

“Hmm-hmm,” my mom said, and continued adding tasks, which again sounded a lot like my job description.

“Am I being fired?”

“It looks that way,” my mom said.

“But Beautifuls, if you need the money, you can come up and answer phones whenever you want,” my dad chimed in. (My dad calls all of the women in our family Beautifuls. Once upon a time we had unique nicknames. I remember Becky’s was Sweet Pea, but I can’t remember Cindy’s or mine. But somewhere along the way he decided to streamline the process and just call all of us Beautifuls. My brother is Boyz or Son, and far too frequently for his taste, he is accidentally labeled Beautifuls.)

While I didn’t say anything out loud, I thought, I don’t think I want to drive 63 miles a day to answer phones

Of course, being the Adams family, my parents looked at my consternated expression and laughed and laughed. It’s what we do. To be fair to my parents, there’s a good reason to fire me. Namely, I don’t know what the holy heck I’m doing. I scan in a document, I label it something obvious, and it might get into the right file. I just don’t know anything about 1099s or K-1s or the various other things I come across. But, I am fabulous on the phones! We all have our talents!

And let’s be honest – while it’s nice to get a little extra cash my heart does not lie in the field of document scanning. So, while on my magic flight to Seattle – and let me tell you it was MAGIC (and no, I am not being sarcastic. It was the most magical day of travel I’ve ever experienced.) – I mentally adjusted to this idea of being fired, came to peace with it, and started to look forward to the next chapter in my life.

During the month of September they looked for the new hire. And then they found her! Huzzah! I was free. Except I wasn’t. “Can you work all the days between now and the Oct. 15th extension deadline?” my mom asked. It’s like a mini-tax season, and the new hire was in serious catch up mode, thanks to so much being left undone while Jane was gone and no one had yet filled her shoes. That said, once you’re fired, and you get used to it, it’s kinda hard to get unused to it.

So, I, for one, an curious as to what’ll happen after Oct. 15th. I could quit, be re-fired, keep working… it’s hard to say.

*Jane is not her real name. I am protecting the innocent.

The Rough House

This last Friday I ventured forth with friends and husband to Abbeville, SC. Things to know about Abbeville:

Of less historical significance is the fact my dad has a “cabin” there. It’s not really a cabin, per se. It’s a double-wide. But this only adds to its charm and allure. The cabin sits on the shore of Lake Secession. Pop Quiz: Lake Secession was named in what year? A.) 1842 B.) 1899 or C.) 1940. All those who picked, C.) 1940, get a piece of candy. I’m not sure when my dad got the cabin. We’re going to say 1999 and call it a day. Point is, it’s been in the family awhile, and I’ve come to consider myself a connoisseur of the various delights of Abbeville and its environs. An amateur connoisseur, to be sure, but an enthusiastic one.

Which is why I was so delighted to experience something not only new in Abbeville, but something fanfreakingtastic and new in Abbeville. I went with my Pot Belly Deli Writing Group friends Lisa and Kim and Evan to a play, First Baptist of Ivy Gap, starring fellow writing group member Tamara. Beforehand we went to The Village Grill for dinner, which was pretty fanglorious, both in terms of food and company, and then we watched the play. (Southern-based friends, you must go! The entire cast is excellent, but I think Tamara brought the most sparkle.) Afterward, we were supposed to go to the Mexican restaurant for margaritas. “Order me a top shelf margarita,” Tamara said, “and I’ll be along in a minute.”

The Rough House.

This is what is on the other side of The Rough House time portal.

Off we went, only to find the Mexican restaurant closing down. There was only one other open option in town: The Rough House. Alternatively, The Roughhouse. They liked to switch it up. Sometimes it was spelled one way, sometimes another. Why go with consistency in spelling when you can have variety? I mean, sometimes I go by Cary or Kerry or Kari or Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate, depending on my mood.

We opened the door of The Rough House and stepped through a time portal. On the other side we arrived in 1932. For reals. Except, did they have styrofoam in 1932? I’m not sure if they did or didn’t, but The Rough House sure did, and the mild-mannered British gentleman who ran the bar served the “top shelf” margarita in styrofoam. With salt. (Top Shelf=Jose Quervo.) It was then that I knew I’d found a new home for my heart, and that my heart would be safe there forevermore.

Pool Hall

Dead things, pool table from 1936, viewing chairs from 1932, interesting Southern state flag.

It turns out The Rough House was built shortly after the, as they refer to it, “War for Southern Independence.” (For when you’re feeling like “The War of Northern Aggression” just sounds a titch too hostile, but you’re still opposed to plain ol’ Civil War.) The bar was established in 1932. Whether it was a speak easy during those last few months of Prohibition I don’t know, but I hope so. Because that would be awesome. It was probably just a pool hall. And it remains a pool hall to this day. Their tables were purchased in 1936. I AM TELLING YOU. TIME PORTAL.

In addition to every piece of furniture, the ornate bar, and the pool tables, there were other things stuck in time there. Quite literally, in fact. And by that I am referring to the large number of dead things forever frozen to their spot on the wall. Bobcat, deer, mountain goat, turkey, elk, and loads of fish adorned the walls, while they themselves were adorned with dust. Lots and lots of dust. To be fair to The Roughhouse, they were awfully high up. I’m sure it’d be a pain to clean. It was sad, though, that their whiskers were all about a half an inch in diameter. Whiskers aren’t supposed to be that thick.

Also, The Rough House caters. Hot dogs. Exclusively hot dogs. Yep, caterin’ hot dogs. (How many people would you need to be feeding before it would make sense to farm out the job of hot dog preparation?)

My favorite moment at The Roughhouse, and it’s hard to pick just one, when there were so many, has to go the accidental hoof grab Lisa made. To back up, at The Rough House, there are things. Just kinda lying around. Sorta on tables and chairs, sorta not. It’ s a huge space so not much gets in the way of anything, it’s just sorta bordered by things. Lisa, whose back was to the wall and assorted things on tables, got up to use the restroom. She placed a balancing hand on a thing on a table. She took a step, stopped, looked, and said, “It’s feet! I just grabbed feet!”

She had, in fact, just manhandled a coat rack made out of deer legs. She proceeded to get a case of the heebie-jeebies. I can’t imagine why. I would hope it goes without saying that when she returned from the bathroom we’d placed her purse and cell phone on top of the deer leg coat rack. Those are the kind of shenanigans that are de rigueur at The Rough House.

ADDENDUM: It has just been noted by Tamara that it was not a deer leg coat rack, but a deer leg GUN RACK. As previously stated, I am but an amateur connoisseur of Abbeville delights.

Mary Kole Webinar

So! Once upon a time, about a week and a half ago, I had a vision and a plan of revamping my website, and then, once it was beautifully and lustrously revamped, I would lead off with the beautiful and lustrous story of my agent acquirement, and I would tell all y’all that I’d signed with Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (For reals. I’m not even lying about that part.)

Alas, the site is not yet redesigned, nor has the story of the agent acquirement been written, but I must tell all y’all about Mary’s Writer’s Digest Webinar, and so my eventual agent acquirement story will be written sans punchline. But we can all pretend to be impressed and surprised once I do get it written, and announce that I signed with Mary Kole of Andrea Brown. (NOT EVEN LYING. I SWEAR.)

So! Mary Kole’s Webinar! All the cool kids are doing it. Here are the stats:

September 23rd * 1pm Eastern * 90 minutes long * Year long access to archived transcript

Best of all, every registrant is guaranteed a critique by Mary. Let me assure you, based on the notes she has given me, the critique will be a.) awesome and b.) worth every penny. For serious. Truly, the woman has a talent. I recommend taking advantage of it!

Here’s a link with all the details: Mary Kole Webinar

It’s going to be good times, as anyone who participated in Write On Con already knows!