Pacificmelody's Blog

I've got the computer keys to the kingdom!


Dixie Carter, You Will Be Missed




When I saw the news of her death on the Internet, my heart was filled with sadness. Dixie Carter was a lady in a time when it had rather fallen out of fashion. She was a beautiful, warm-hearted, full-on Southern Steel Magnolia. She was charming and lovely, and she could shred you with her tongue and pick her teeth with your bones while still appearing genteel and gracious.

It has been a long time since I watched “Designing Women”, but I remember that the show addressed some important issues for its day, and I’ll always hold a warm place in my heart for the four ladies of Sugarbaker’s, and for Anthony, of the unfortunate incarceration.

One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was the show where a bunch of the characters got marooned together during a hurricane. At this far remove I can’t even remember exactly why it was so hilarious, but I remember laughing until the tears ran down my face, lying on the couch and howling, holding my sides because they ached.

All four actresses were wonderful, but Julia Sugarbaker was the glue that held it all together in a world very different from the one in which she grew up. She embodied grace and beauty, and she carried with her always the echoes of the nearly forgotten side of the Old South, where being a lady had been raised almost to an art form.

I found this Youtube video of Dixie Carter singing “How Great Thou Art” and have to share it with you. This was my mother’s favorite hymn, and now it is mine, and this version is nothing short of astonishing! I am reduced to helpless sobbing every time I listen.

I love you, Dixie Carter. Thank you!

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My Story is Now Your Story

“I read your new story”, a friend says, and my stomach clenches, while I paste a smiling, interested look on my face. What will she say? The choices run the gamut, from “It was nice.” (the kiss of death), to “Well, I didn’t really understand all of it; you’re so clever.”,  all the way through “Have you checked out the ads on Craigslist lately?”

The phrases that sounded so clever when I  concocted them, may have landed on an understanding and receptive ear, or they may have sailed in one and right out the other. Worse she may say, “I read your new story”, and then segue to a different topic, leaving me hanging, wondering, pathetically insecure and totally unable to ask, “Did you like it?”

A much more likely occurrence is receiving a comment from a total stranger which makes me think, “Yes, that’s exactly what I meant!” When writer, story and reader connect, there’s that moment of pure bliss, where it’s like I’m doing what I’ve always been meant to do. I’ve received what I think of as “stranger compliments” of such delicacy and perception, that they fill me with pure exhilaration. Sometimes a reader’s words shine new light on my own.

More and more lately, my response to the casual “How are you?” would be: “I’ve got the (computer) keys to the kingdom; I’ve made a friend of and teamed with my dragon (I retain Creative Control; the dragon gets an Associate Producer credit); I’ve become quite comfortable out there on that limb; and I’m eager to carry on my quest!” The short answer of course would be, “I feel like I’m flying!”

Does any of this sound familiar? I think about writing as I’m going to sleep, and run story ideas in my head till I blink out for the night. I wake up and love my kitties and smile, as I think of the rendezvous that awaits me at the pressing of a few keys, specially if I have a draft I’ve been polishing that’s almost ready to go. Now and then, I power down the computer so I can get things done. Then I turn it on again, only to check one thing, and I’m gone, until the phone rings or my stomach growls or the cats get bored.

I’m so far past denial I don’t even try anymore. Resistance is Futile. Surrender seems the obvious choice. So I’m giving in to my Muse and I’ll see where it leads. Expect me when you see me.

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