Let’s Be Purple

Scrambled, Not Fried

I’m sick of all the Red State / Blue State bullshit.
We know what we have to do.

purpleLet’s paint the whole place purple.




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In memory of…

nbsmithblog...random digressions and musings

In memory of…

Marcella Buck.  In my walks around the city, I notice the stones and plaques at the base of trees and bushes.  Because I haven’t lived in this city for very long, I don’t know the history of most of them, nor do I know the people the markers are honoring.  On the other hand, I find them fascinating, and wonder about the person who placed the marker as well as the person or group the marker is honoring.

Okay, I understand when it is honoring a group, for example, the Jaycees.   And I even suspect that many of the individuals are related to the person, who had the marble block placed. That makes perfect sense to me.

My new obsession with a marker, in particular, the marker that bears the name Marcella Buck, has to do with the fact that the huge evergreen that it was planted…

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No, thank you

From the Keyboard


The other night, I watched as a TV food critic led cameras into the kitchen of a trendy new restaurant.

His review of the meal has been rhapsodic, spread over an array of dishes, which he lustily devoured. And, I  thought, gee, I’d like to try that place.

Then he went into the kitchen to talk to the chef—a young man who was clearly thrilled by the attention, his new star-status.

Being the food freak I am, I waited, pen in hand, for the reviewer to repeat the restaurant’s name and address, both of which I’d failed to write down during the opening. Yes, I was smitten, and ready to make a reservation the minute I had a number, That is, until the chef, while demonstrating how he prepared a signature salad, plunged both of his bare hands into the bowl of greens and other ingredients, and fondled them…repeatedly.

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Write What You Know

Scrambled, Not Fried

Write what you know, they say
so he writes the first draft of
the fog and gravel of Route 16
all the way from Barton to Hardwick
every morning before the sun;
and before the sun goes down
he’s revised the revised revision
until all he really thinks he knows
is what he says he’s written.

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Mirror, Mirror

From the Keyboard


Miranda didn’t trust her mirrors so she crawled out of herself for an objective look. It was a nasty trip, through a tight network of brain worms, past the eyes, down the nose. If she had known the route was going to be so twisted and sticky, she would not have worn her cocktail shoes, as they kept sinking into all sorts of matter, and getting tripped up by hairs that wound around her stilettos.

When she finally made it through, and slid down her upper lip—an unexpectedly swift and treacherous fall due to high gloss lipstick—to the floor, she looked up and took stock of her appearance.

It did not impress her.

So she turned to flee only to trip on a mule and fall flat on her back.

The standing Miranda, who was in the process of preparing for a night out, stepped forward to grab a clutch…

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From the Keyboard


I have my favorites: cicadas, which are big and noisy and easily confused into slapstick maneuvers when they occasionally wind up indoors; moths, which must be escorted out before they head for the closet to multiply; spiders, which eat mosquitoes that sneak inside for pre-dawn attacks; crickets, which like to show off by leaping into laundry baskets; and, of course, ladybugs.

I’m told they’re good luck.

When I can, I catch them or coax them onto a tissue or piece of paper and set them free in the yard. When I can’t, I mostly ignore them and hope they’ll leave me alone.

But a couple of nights ago I dropped one of those sweet little beetles as I was transporting it from my nightstand to the window. Unfortunately, it dropped on the wooden floor, and, well, at night, with bad eyes, under poor lighting, I couldn’t find it.

All night…

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How To Not Quit, Even When You Want To

Eva Lesko Natiello


Some scenes are too hard to write. Sometimes your brain starts to hurt just thinking about what should happen next. Most of the time it comes down to those pesky characters. What are they really feeling and thinking, but saying otherwise? People are so damn complicated.

Yesterday my manuscript was torturing me. I couldn’t move forward. Stuck in my puzzle. I was having trouble with the order of disclosure and who’s POV it should be. Should the dialogue contradict what the character was really thinking? Maybe she wasn’t thinking that at all. What was she thinking? Maybe it wasn’t her place to reveal it. Perhaps we should find out some other way.

Geez, how I longed to trim the thorny rose bushes in my back yard. Even they would take less blood than this WIP. While gardening gets me out of my head and out of my house, it also, paradoxically…

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From the Keyboard

1280px-waste_bowl_c-_1812-1815_minton_bone_china_overglaze_enamels_gilding_-_gardiner_museum_toronto_-_dsc00786 Minton China Waste Bowl ( 1812-1815)

What are you saving?  Keeping in that drawer, or cabinet, or closet for the right moment?

I was brought up at a time when parents taught their children that there were play clothes and party clothes, school clothes and just-sitting-around-in-the-house clothes. We had  stainless flatware and silverware, everyday dishes and good china, heavy-duty glasses and crystal; and in every case, the latter was reserved for special occasions.

Recently, I read an article advising people of my generation to re-evaluate our treasures, their necessity in our lives, because our children will be overburdened by the task of disposing of them when we die. Pleasant thought…no? According to this expert, our kids don’t want our finery—the silver, china, and crystal. Nor do they want the carved and beautifully made antiques we hunted for and prized. Those things don’t fit their light-speed lifestyles. They’re too delicate,  require…

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… the fallacy of warnings …

Course of Mirrors

time ago, my son climbing a tree time ago, my son climbing a tree

I shudder when I hear a parent shout, ‘Don’t run into the road – you’ll be will be hit by a car,’ or, ‘Don’t climb that tree – you’ll fall.’ Understandably, parents fear for their children, and want to prevent or change reckless behaviour. Sadly, we’re lumbered with the inherited language of generations.

Even our self-talk innocently emphasises what we don’t want to happen, which is absurdly counterproductive. Notice how last words reverberate, like bad spells, a habit the media perpetuates with: Tiredness kills – Smoking kills – Alcohol kills – Fat kills – Sugar kills …

Instilling fear conjures up the feared. Fear is the real killer.

Why not say instead, ‘Keep safe by staying on the sidewalk,’ or, when climbing, ‘Have a good grip on the branches,’ or, when driving, ‘Stay awake’ …  Specific guidelines might be helpful too, like –…

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Little Free Libraries: Don’t Let The Word Little Fool You

Eva Lesko Natiello


When I first saw a magazine story a few years ago about Little Free Libraries, before I read it, I jumped ahead to look at the photos. Yes, it was true. For the most part, they were no bigger than an apple crate. (With a roof!) The cutest things you’d ever seen. Maybe I’m just partial to tiny things. Like I would take a hobbit house over a palace any day of the week. But that’s me. What would be so appealing about a little library? Isn’t bigger better?

No. Of course not. Not when it comes to books. Because even a library with just one book is a magic carpet ride into a whole new world. A WHOLE NEW WORLD! That, my friend, is gigantic. One book can change your mood, your perspective, your life. That ain’t small.

So when I found out that my very own town had…

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