I read the post to Studly last night, and he found it amusing, but inaccurate. The quote I’d attributed to his old friend, Alan (Allen?) had instead been spoken by one of his coaching mentors, Gabby Hays, who’d told him, “Boy, don’t ever get in too big a hurry to lose.”
I stand corrected. I still like the quote I misremember better.
Years ago, back when Studly Doright was a competitive racquetball player, his primary nemesis on the courts was a guy named Alan (maybe spelled Allen, I don’t recall). Alan was an experienced racquetball player, and the best in our mid-sized Texas town, long before Studly began playing the game, and for years beating Alan at racquetball was Studly’s primary goal.
Now, Studly has always been a competitive soul, and at one time he was quite the athlete. Before long he and Alan were frequently in contention for the city championship. I forget which man ended up with the most first place trophies, but I do believe it was the love of my life. That would be Studly, not Alan.
Alan was, and likely still is, a hoot. He could psyche Studly out before, during, and after a racquetball match, and that was no easy feat. Of course, Studly could give as good as he got. Even when they weren’t on the court, the two played constant mind games on each other.
One day about a week before the city championship, Alan showed up at our home unexpectedly. Studly answered the door invited Alan back to the den where I was sitting on the sofa folding laundry. I had on my workout clothes, no makeup, and my hair was still wet from the shower. Immediately upon seeing me sitting there, Alan exclaimed, “Leslie, until this moment I never realized what a beauty you are!”
This declaration was definitely aimed at unnerving Studly before the big tournament, but for just a second I blushed like a teenager. Alan went on to praise my burgeoning skills in the racquetball court before leaving me with a few words of advice: “Never be in too big a hurry to win or to lose.”
I recalled Alan’s saying today when I realized that I’d been in such a hurry to finish my novel that I’d written a bunch of crap in the last two thousand words or so. What to do? I’ll chunk those words into my “slush” file and try again. It won’t be the first time I’ve had to take that action, but hopefully the last time. For this novel, anyway.
Normally Scout can be found acting as Studly Doright’s home office co-worker, and I have to work alone. We’ve decided she’s the head of Human Resources here at Doright Manor, and considers Studly to be more of an HR problem than I am.
Today, though, she’s been supervising my work. I’m not sure if it’s because she knows I’m coming to the end of the novel I’m writing and is trying to encourage me, or if she’s making sure I don’t slack off. Either way, she’s been sitting and staring at me for a good fifteen minutes. It’s kind of freaking me out.
Yesterday I started writing around 7:30 a.m. Two of my main characters were in a tough spot. One was dealing with something her daughter had just confessed while the other was attempting to reassure her without offering platitudes.
I worked on their conversation for about an hour and still wasn’t happy with it. So, instead of continuing to pound my head against my keyboard, I went back and read the whole thing from the beginning in an effort to crawl inside their heads in a different way.
The effort paid off and I think I’ve handled the conversation in a thoughtful way. At least it doesn’t sound like I’ve strung a bunch of cliches together. In the end, I managed to write 1,023 words on Wednesday, and I fully expect to finish my book within the next seven days. Eek!
I’ll have a party on that day. Jump up and down, cry, turn cartwheels, drink a glass of wine, and probably write a post about the event. Okay, Studly says no cartwheels, but everything else is good to go.
Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is opening up businesses in his state beginning Friday, I believe. Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons—will be considered essential.
Now, you might ask, “Why should that worry you? Don’t you live in Florida?”
Well, yes I do.
In the map above, locate Tallahassee. We live just north of there, and south of Quincy. Georgia is just a few miles north of Quincy. Lots of folks who live in my part of the state work in Georgia, and a bunch of Georgia residents work in Florida. So, you see why I’m concerned, right?
Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis is a Trump sycophant, so it won’t be long before he follows suit, opening our beaches and theme parks before the Corona virus has reached its peak.
At least DeSantis hasn’t yet said we should be happy to die if it means saving the economy as Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick has declared on more than one occasion. Florida has way too many elderly people in residence for DeSantis to say such a thing out loud. But you just know he’s thinking it.
I don’t know about you, but this 63-year-old isn’t sacrificing herself to make Trump’s economy look good. Pardon my language, but fuck that noise.
Typically I’ve only worn hats while at the beach or when I’m suffering from a bad case of helmet head after riding my motorcycle. I look like a doofus in a hat. But finally my hair has completely gotten out of control, so today I donned a hat.
You have no idea how many pictures I had to take before I didn’t look like a crazy woman. Oh, and I couldn’t find my regular mask, so I had to take the souvenir Luckenbach, Texas bandana from its frame in my Texas bedroom for a face covering.
The ghost of Billy the Kid called. He thinks I’d make a fine outlaw.
This was my first Zoom experience, and for the most part the technology worked well. A couple of those attending experienced technical difficulties, and I know that was frustrating for them.
I believe there were nine of us in the meeting, and it truly was an international experience with one attendee from England and another from France. The U.S. was represented by folks from Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, Idaho, and Florida. Due to the time differences, some folks were enjoying a glass of wine while we met, while others were still savoring their morning cups of coffee. Me, being in the middle joined the wine drinkers, of course.
Opinions on the book, Infield by Téa Obreht were mixed. The story tended to appeal most to those of us who’d grown up in the Southwest. The themes of thirst and need certainly resonated with me. It’s not light reading, by any means.
But—there are camels in Infield. And who doesn’t love camels? A very small portion of the book is set in Camp Verde, Texas. Several years ago Studly Doright and I were staying in Kerrville, Texas, with a group of our motorcycling friends. The men left early one morning to enjoy riding the sweeping curves of the Texas Hill Country at speeds that make me shudder, while three of us women set off on our own slower paced ride.
It was my day to lead, and I hate being the leader, but I took my turn without too much grumbling. We had no destination in mind that day, so I just headed south. We hadn’t gone more than about 19 miles when I thought I’d begun hallucinating, for in the near distance stood a camel calmly grazing. There was a sign posted that read “Camp Verde” and another for a general store, so I made an executive decision and turned left into the parking lot.
My friends and I spent the entire morning at the General Store, shopping, having lunch, and learning about the Camel Corps.
It seems I got sidetracked on my book club report, but I’d recommend this method of meeting if your group is jonesing to get together. I’m not very savvy when it comes to technology, but I was able to join the meeting with ease. I did keep forgetting to mute my mic when others were talking. Next time I’ll put a sticky note on my computer to remind me.