Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Y'all Are Lost

Day two in Jackson Mississippi turned out to be exhausting. We started our search for an apartment at 9 a.m. driving from one complex or office to the next. I tried to take down notes of each place--what was good or bad. We got lost, took wrong turns, and waited too long before eating lunch (meaning we got pretty crabby). My favorite apartment visit was actually not because of the apartment we saw, but the man who showed it to us. He took our driver's licenses "in case [we] tried to kidnap [him], then they'd know who to look for" and he noticed that we were from Utah and asked us what brought us to Mississippi. Jo suspects that he could tell we were a couple, and after she pointed it out, I think she may be right.

As we walked to a separate building to look at the available apartment the man told us about good places to stop for lunch, and where the fun college age people liked to hang out. He showed us the apartment, complete with a little button that automatically calls the police. Then he proceeded to tell us that he'd be happy to have us rent from them, but ensured us that we were in the wrong place. He pulled out an apartment guide and marked some places that he thought were in the good part of town even though they were a little out of our price range. He walked us to the door and said, "Y'all are lost." A little baffled, but very grateful for his honesty, we crossed that place off our list and focused more on places in the areas he suggested.

I just can't help thinking about how right he was when he said, "Y'all are lost." We still had no idea what we were doing in Mississippi. Everything at the time seemed frustrating and scary and foreign, and we wondered if things would work out at all. Having a complete stranger point out our emotional and physical state somehow made the day a little more whimsical and easier to handle. We had rented a truck and driven into a new place completely blind. Despite all the research I did on the internet before leaving, nothing ever seems to be the same in person. We were happy to leave with a little piece of local guidance and a laugh at the complete honesty we found.

Write on!

My First Night in Mississippi, Y'all

After 5 different states and a total of 25 hours in an uncomfortable rental truck, we made it to Jackson, Mississippi.

Jo, Christien, and I were very happy to get out of the truck and stretch our legs, and we felt weird (for lack of a better word) to think that we were actually in Mississippi--almost 2,000 miles from home.

The air felt clear and thick and cool. We checked into our motel room and set out to experience the South firsthand. We chose a Mediterranean place called Feifer's, and found a table on the screened-porch side.

A group of college-age people chatted loudly at a table near ours and we tried to decipher bits of their conversation we overheard.

I felt anxious and excited to sit on a porch in Mississippi, eating a fresh salad, and listening to what could very well become my own accent in due time.

I have no problem with developing a drawl, but I'm unsure about the particularities regarding the uses of certain words or phrases. In an attempt to understand exactly how "y'all" is used, I asked Jo and Christien about the proper usage of the word. We discussed it as we ate, and wondered if "y'all" is ever used when speaking to a single person or if it's strictly used when addressing two or more people. We laughed and tried to imitate some of the endearing accents we overheard, and we had a really great time.

When we left, our waitress said, "Thank y'all", and then added with a wink "And by that I mean, 'Thank you.'"

We all felt a little embarrassed that she had overheard our musings, but it was comforting to know that she at least had a sense of humor about it.

The question still remains, however, about how to use "y'all". Maybe a native speaker can enlighten me, but is it ever used for addressing just one person or is "you" still commonly used??

I think I'll proceed to only use "y'all" to address two or more persons so as not to overuse the word or make too much a fool of myself any further.

Write on, y'all.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Goodbye Mustang Sally

Yesterday I did something really hard.
I had to say goodbye to my dear friend of three years.
The one who sang with me on long drives, carried me through hot summers, and impressed all my friends and a few strangers--she was that cool.

During our friendship we traveled everywhere. We saw Disneyland and the Golden Gate Bridge, Las Vegas, San Diego, the Salt Flats, and Lake Tahoe.

We listened to audio books, raced against the fastest-looking cars on the freeway, and got busted a few times by the cops.
She took me wherever I wanted to go.

And now, 20,000 miles later,  she's gone. Off to make new memories with someone else.
She was a good car. I already miss her like crazy, but sometimes there comes a point in a relationship when it's time to move on and go separate ways.

Our final goodbye hug

I'll sure miss you, Sally.
Thanks for being there for me!
I wish you the best on your new adventures.

Write on!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Apartment Searching

I've been searching and submitting applications for rental homes and apartments and town homes in Jackson and I feel like I'm not getting any closer to having somewhere to live when I move *gasp* NEXT WEEK.

I realized today that I've abandoned my writing with all my house hunting and stressing out about will I be fit enough for my job/how do I eat enough to keep up with such intense workouts/will someone please please please buy my car!

And in this abandonment I, of course, am not getting any closer to finishing my novel and submitting it to agents, even though my goal was to do all that before I move.

Unfortunately, since moving across the country is kind of a big deal, I think my new goal is simply to finish, edit, and submit before my job starts in May...I hope I can do it. I'm hoping that once we actually find a place--I hope we can find a place!--and settle in, then I'll have more time and energy to think  about my writing.

For now, I'm still searching for a good place to live.

Write on!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wildfire Mystery

Even though I'm still working on my chopped line novel, I've got another story rolling around in the back of my mind. I'm excited about it. But, I'm also a little nervous because it's a mystery, and I don't know how to write mysteries. I don't feel like I've read very many mysteries other than the Boxcar Children when I was about nine or ten.

So, I went to the library and got a bunch of different mystery novels. I got a couple Nancy Drew books (which are in the children's section of the library--which debunks my whole idea about how children's books need to have main characters who are children...). And I got a couple mysteries by Nevada Barr about a park ranger that goes around solving crimes in national parks (they're adult novels). And I got some weird looking mysteries about Sammy Keyes (also from the children's section).

So far, I think I can do better than Carolyn Keene on writing mysteries (no offense to the Nancy Drew fans out there!). But I also think I'm learning a few things about mystery writing from reading her books--even if she uses the phrase "the young sleuth" way too much.

My mystery is going to be awesome. I already know who my main character/detective will be (sort of) and where it will be set and who some of the suspects are and who the culprit is. I'm super excited.

I don't want to spill too much info because I want to maintain my enthusiasm for it long enough to get it written down, but I'll tell you this much: it will be a middle grade (8-12 yrs) mystery about wildfires.

Do you know any good mystery novels?
Any mysteries involving fire?

Write on!