June 8th, 2010

Distinctly Southern

Before I begin, let me say I’ve missed you guys! Wait, I’ve missed y’all. That sounds right.

Now that summer is here, I hope you’re able to kick back,splash in a river, listen to some music, or just read a good book.

Speaking of books, I did manage to finish that second novel, The Passion Diary. Whoopa! See, I really was working. Finishing the book hadn’t really sunk in until yesterday, when I began constructing that query letter to send out to agents. It has to be wild, short and attractive. Sounds a bit like an old boyfriend, but all kidding aside, it’s daunting trying to sell yourself and your book in a couple of paragraphs. Lady luck-please wish me that.

And speaking of luck, my dear friend and Author, Jeff Yeager, dubbed The Ultimate Cheapskate by Matt Lauer on The Today Show, has created his own luck with hard work and a creative streak that sizzles. His second book, The Cheapskate Next Door debuts today. www.ultimatecheapskate.com

Yeah, he’s no southerner, but I’ll make an exception in his case and here’s why: I believe he could kick tail in a seed spitting contest, and flat do a jig if he wanted, and that’s good enough for me. I do hope you’ll check out Jeff’s lively work for yourself.

Now back to southerners. We know summer has set in here, due to brutally hot weather. When you walk outside before noon and feel as though you’ve been shoved into a sizzling sauna, you know you’ve landed in south Texas. On days I’m not fortunate enough to be in and around the water, I crank down the air-conditioner, pour some iced tea, and listen to Willie Nelson tunes. This original outlaw never fails to satisfy my musical hankering. To this Texan, his voice is velvety as melted chocolate. And I’ve always loved his braids. And chocolate.

Born and raised in Abbott Texas, Willie’s grandparents gave him mail order music lessons at age six. He wrote his first song at age seven and was playing in a local band at age nine. I finally got to see him in concert last year, and I danced around for days, so excited. He didn’t disappoint, his voice as pure and rawboned now as it ever was. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain is one favorite, along with Whiskey River and Always on my Mind.

I thought of Willie Nelson the other day when I watched my older girls drag in from Summer Fest. They had sat in blistering Texas sun to catch these bands: The Flaming Lips, Girl Talk and Kid Sister. At 11:00 p.m., they got back, worn but happy, saggy pants and sunburned faces, and bandanna’s wound around their sweaty heads.

Of course Willie wears a bandanna. Stay cool!


9 Responses to “Distinctly Southern”

  1. Deanna Schrayer Says:

    Welcome back and congratulations Drain! I know finishing that novel must be such a glorious feeling. I’m anxious to feel that myself. It may take me a while, but thanks to you, Ms. Pushy Queen, I will one day experience that jolt to the soul.

    And congratulations Jeff! I know you’ve worked long and hard on your new book and I hope it brings you much more success. You certainly deserve it.

    How I love Willie! I’m not at all surprised that you described his voice perfectly Dorraine – pure and rawboned. Period. Willie is the epitome of Texas. You’ve taught me something I didn’t know – that of his early mail-order music lessons. At 6-years-old? Wow! No wonder he’s built such a grand reputation.

    Thanks for a lovely post Drain, and I’m so glad you’re back! Can’t wait to read The Passion Diary!

  2. Deanna Schrayer Says:

    By the way, not only do I Finally know the point of my story, (the novel), I have a working title – Intersection. I truly am having a blast working on it, so thank you again!

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Congratulations Drain, I’m so excited for you. No wonder you were ‘missing”. And I can’t wait to read it. Yeah!!! All the best with the query letter. May it fill every agent who reads it with determination to get your novel published.

    It’s so funny you should mention Willie and tell a little about his early days. I was at a memorial on Monday and the minister mentioned Willie. He was telling how Willie used to teach sunday school lessons in his church and stopped when he was challenged about singing and playing in a bars on Saturday nights. I’m hoping we are not going to hear any sad news about him.

  4. Dorraine Says:

    Hi Deanna!

    Love the title you chose for your book! So happy your story has veered in the perfect direction. Can’t wait to see what you do with this.

    Thanks so much for the welcome back. It feels good to be back, and glorious to finally finish this book. In fact, it doesn’t feel real yet. When you work on something for so long, and pour so much of yourself into the characters, you almost hate to give them up, but yet you need to. Bittersweet, that’s what it is.

    Yes, your soul will get that jolt one day. Let me know when yours is finished and I’ll celebrate with you from here.

    It’s always fun to learn something new. I had no idea Willie Nelson began so early in life either, but it’s not surprising with his gift. Think I need a little Willie this morning!

  5. Dorraine Says:

    Hi E!

    Thanks for your sweet wishes. Your encouragement means so much to me.

    Willie teaching Sunday school? Now there’s a picture I’d love to see. Actually, I think he’s a fine man. And you can’t keep talent like his bottled up. :-)

  6. Paige Says:

    Great news about the book ;-)

    A little Willie goes a long way with me, but he is one awesome song writer.

  7. Dorraine Says:

    Thank you, Paige! Well, I guess I knew not everyone would favor Willie, but it’s still Blue Skies regardless.

  8. keiko amano Says:

    Dorraine,

    Congratulation on finishing your second book!
    That’s a huge accomplishment.

    The other day, I was in an old fashioned tiny coffee shop in Yokohama with a Japanese friend. She prefers such place over a franchise kind. I won’t go into such a place by myself because often customers smoke. But we can count on a good cup of coffee, and the shop was empty, so we went in. And we had a great cup of coffee, and the music was Willie Nelson. Mmm, it was heaven.

  9. Dorraine Says:

    Thanks so much, Keiko! :)

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Eleven-year-old Marnie Evans longs to be precious. She wishes on stars for parents who adore her, even though her family is dysfunctional. She also believes that jack rabbits and a boot-wearing Texas angel show her mysterious signs of things to come. Continue Reading


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