Friday, August 3, 2012

Dragon Snot

This week's Friday Fictioneer's story is dedicated to PaPa Jim and Logan

Dragon Snot

“PaPa!” Logan shouted.  “He’s sick.”

“Who, Logan?”


Rather perplexed, PaPa Jim scratched his head.

“Who’s Snapple?”

“My dragon.”

“Oh,” PaPa said trying to hide his smile.  “I didn’t know you had a dragon.  Where does he live?

“In the woods.  We have to bring him gumdrops. He has a cold.”

Now, PaPa Jim loved Logan with all his heart so he decided to play along.  Side-by-side they walked into woods, a bag of gumdrops clutched firmly in Logan’s little hand.  But, alas, no Snapple.

“Maybe he’s sleeping,” PaPa said. “Let’s leave the candy by this tree and he can get it when he wakes up.  Do you think that would be ok?”

Disappointed, Logan sighed. “Ok.”

On the way to the house PaPa  asked, “Logan, how do you know Snapple has a cold?”

Logan walked  over to a rock and pointed at a gooey, icky glob.  “Yuck, what’s that?” PaPa asked.

“Dragon snot.”

Oh, of course.  Dragon snot.  He should’ve known.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Old Dog Learns New Tricks

I am a writer.

My dream of writing and getting a book published finally came true. Soldiers From the Mist (  was released in March 2011 from the High Hill Press AND my second book, The Rook and The Raven ( was released from The Wild Rose Press February 2012.  Not only that, but I’m working on two more best sellers, The Legend of Dixie Dandelion and The Church of the Howling Moon.
The Rook and The Raven

Soldiers FromThe Mist

I was under the delusion that once I got a book published, I’d have it made in the shade.  Those royalty checks would roll in like the tide.  Movie producers would trample themselves getting to my front door.  I do lunch with Oprah and Ellen. I’d quit my day job.


I found out that writing a book is the easiest part of the writing game.  It’s what comes after “The End” that makes an author stark, raving loony tunes—Promotion! 

Big signing parties thrown by New York publishers are a thing of the past.  If you want to sell books and get everyone buzzing, you have to promote.  And where do you promote?  The Internet of course. 

Social media is fast becoming a four-letter word for me.  Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, oh my!  Blogs, tweets, and posts, oh my! This old dog has to learn new tricks. 

OH MY!!!!!

It’s not that I’m a stupid dog, quite the contrary, I’m fairly intelligent.  I can rollover and sit up with the best of em’,  And speak? My bark demands respect. Nope, brains aren’t the problem.  So what’s wrong?  Why can’t I figure out how to add an author page to Facebook? Why do words such as link and pin cause cold sweat to run down the back of my neck?  Just what the car fur is wrong??????????????

Do you think it could possibly be my attitude that is causing this aversion to conquering the land of the Internet? 

Ok.  I can learn this social media crap. Just watch me. I’ll tweet with the birds and post with the . . .  the . . . well, whoever you post with.  I can do it.  I honestly can.  But first, I have to trot down to the store.

  I need a new box of milk bones!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ode to the Hamburger

I wanted something good for lunch.  Something simple.  Something tasty.  But what?   

Left-over spaghetti?  No. Not in the mood. 

Turkey? Yuck.  

 Apples? Watermelon?  Not filling enough.

Hamburger?  Perfect.

Wikipedia describes the classic hamburger as a sandwich of cooked (of course) ground beef patty placed inside a sliced bread roll. Everyone knows that.  Who first came up with this wonder sandwich?  Some say Fletcher Davis sold them at his cafĂ© in Texas in the 1880’s and sold them at the 1904 St Louis World Fair.  Others claim different.  Who cares?

What restaurant has the best?  Delmonico’s in New York offered the burger on its menu in 1826.  McDonalds? Burger King?  Dairy Queen? Sonic?  My vote is for the one grilled in the backyard on an old charcoal grill.  No propane. 

My brother grew-up on hamburgers.  He ate 15 at one sitting when the Burger Broil first opened in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Fifthteen cents a burger. What a deal.  He later sat the Fayetteville High Vocational School record, eating 20 at one time.

It isn’t important to me who invented the burger, where or when it was sold.  The main point is nothing is better than a grilled hamburger complete with cheese, lettuce, pickle, onion, and tomato.  Nothing.

Except bologna and cheese.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Secret Magic of Creation

 Get Crow!

Harry Potter once said, “I love magic.”   Amen, Harry, so do I. 

Webster defines magic as: “as extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural force.”  This definition makes one think  magic is something mysterious, spooky, and unnatural.  Quite the contrary.  Magic is the most natural element in the universe.  More importantly, it doesn’t take a magician, wizard, or sorceress to conjure up the power.  If one is aware, observant, and open, magic comes in many, many ways.
 This morning, magic came to me in the form of a crow feather.

I love crows.  These black-winged, loud-mouthed, characters are intriguing, smart, and beautiful. Crow feathers are black as sin, often with hints of deep blue and purple.  Black is the color of night—and of creation. The black night gives birth to the new day.  I’m a writer, a creator of stories.  Is it any wonder why I have a kinship with the crow?

Crows share their family tree with the raven.  Ravens have great mysticism and mythology about them.  Hmm . . .  interesting.  Is it any wonder I wrote The Rook and The Raven?  (

I’m fortunate to live in a country setting where crows are thick.  Every morning they greet me with their “caw-caw” hello.  They are saying, “pay attention.”  They cry out to watch for the magic of the day.  

I have one crow that is larger than the rest.  I named him Ichabod.  Ichabod flys to my porch rail, hops to the floor, and eats the cat food I leave out for the stray cat.  (which explains why he’s fatter than all the other crows) I never tire of watching him.  I love that he picked my porch to land on.  It gives me a contented, happy feeling. I’d leave cat food out even if there were no strays just so I could see Ichabod in the mornings.

I have a birdbath bowl on the ground in my backyard.  I always make sure to keep it filled because many animals, not only birds, seek the relief of water. This kind act didn’t go unnoticed to Ichabod.  This morning when I went to fill the birdbath, I noticed something black as coal on the ground—a crow feather.  A gift of gratitude for the water, the food, and my love for nature.   
A gift of magic.

Animal-Speak by Ted Andrews says this about the crow: “Wherever crows are there is magic. They are symbols of creation and spiritual strength. They are messengers calling to us about the creation and magic that is alive within our world everyday and available to us.”

  Got crow?

Monday, June 18, 2012


  1.             WHERE ARE THE BEANS?

O.K.  What’s the deal?  What happened to Campbell’s Pork and Beans?

After working my usual 8-5 insanity, I stop at WalMart on the way home to pick up a few things.  I should know better.  A few things at WalMart is next to impossible.  First of all, the minute I hit the front door, I forget what few items I want.  Thus I walk around the store throwing “little” things into my basket.  Second, the crying kids, the rude adults with their baskets in the middle of the isle, and the two checkers on duty is the same at 5:30 as it is at noon.

I’m going to a cookout this weekend.  I want to bring baked beans.  I make mean baked beans.  As you can guess, the main ingredient to baked beans is the bean.  Campbell’s Pork and Beans are the best.  I grew up with Campbell’s Pork and Beans.  It’s sacrilegious to use anything but Campbell’s Pork and Beans.  But guess what?  No damn Campbell’s Pork and Beans!!!

What happened?

There’s a gob of Campbell Soups.  But no beans.

There are: Bush’s beans, Van Camp beans, Giant Value beans, beans with molasses, beans with maple, beans with onions, beans with brown sugar, but no Campbell’s Pork and Beans.


Tooth paste is almost as bad.  Plain ol’ Crest toothpaste is the best.  They have Crest with mouthwash, Crest with whitening, Mint Crest, Mint Crest Gel, Spearmint Crest, Spearmint Crest Gel, Crest for sensitive teeth, Crest Pro-Health, but regular Crest with nothing?  Hard to find.


My few items cost a small fortune. I have to settle for something other than

Campbell’s beans.  And, damn it!  I forgot the toothpaste


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lions, Tigers, Fooey, and Daisy Camo

Logan James Burkett
Lions, Tigers, Fooey and Daisy Camo

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I haven’t blogged in ages.  So sue me. I offer no excuses.  Life is what it is and ya have to do whatcha’ gotta’ do even if some things get put on the back burner—like blogging.

Last December you may recall I blogged about going to see the Christmas lights and Petco with my four-year old great nephew, Logan.  Last week-end Logan and I went on another adventure to the Tulsa Zoo.  We let PaPa and mom come with us too.

I sat in the back alongside Logan in his car seat.  PaPa and mom sat in front.  PaPa had to drive, but mom gets car sick, so she gets to ride shotgun.  Logan provided the entertainment signing at the very tip-top of his lungs to the songs on his IPod.  Oh, yes, even though the kid is only four, he has an IPod and what’s even more astonishing, he knows how to work the damn thing.  I don’t even know how to turn my cell phone to mute. 

Between the 50th or maybe the 55th time of asking, “are we there yet?” Logan told me the first thing he wanted to do at the zoo was ride the Camo.  Hmm . . .  a Camo?

“Logan,” I asked.  “What is a Camo?”

“You know,” he answered in that little kid tone of voice used when adults are just so annoying.  “It’s that thing that doesn’t spit on you.”

“Oh, you mean a Camel.”  (I didn’t tell him those things spit like cornered cats.)

Ten minutes through the zoo gate and Logan spied the Camos.  Of course, I loved the idea of Logan riding a camel.  PaPa never has.  Aunt Ruth never has.  But Logan did.  Five dollars to ride a smelly, hairy animal named Daisy around a small circle one time did seem like a lot to pay, but I forked the money over anyway because, gee, riding a Camo is a once-in-a-life time experience.

After the Camo ride, it was off to the reptiles.  Oh yippee!  The boa, the diamond-back rattler, and I guess a rat-snake all had the same names according to Logan—Fooey.  Why Logan calls all snakes by this name is a child-mystery, but I love it. 

We ate ice-cream, talked to the parrots, and rode the train.  Logan loves trains.  So does PaPa.  The day grew hot, but the Tulsa Zoo has plenty of shade and it wasn’t unbearable, however, my feet were killing me!  I wanted to crawl inside Logan’s stroller and have PaPa push me around, but my butt is too fat and PaPa would’ve gotten a hernia, so I sucked it up and kept on truckin’.  Logan, on the other hand, ran everywhere.  But, hey, that’s what kids do at the zoo.

When I got home, I crashed on the couch and didn’t get up until it was time to go to bed.  Before falling asleep, however, I thanked God for the day.  I thanked Him for PaPa, mom, and me being able to walk so we could take Logan to the zoo.  I thanked Him for love of family.  I thanked Him for a beautiful day full of memories that will last lifetime.

And I thanked Him for Fooey the Snake, and Daisy the Camo.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Church of the Howling Moon

It seems like years sense I've had a blog entry.  Madison Woods Friday Fictoneers picture is just too good to let pass and it fits so well with my new story, The Church of the Howling Moon:

A Howling Moon

"Your daddy came to me one hot, sultry summer night. Took my hand and led me into the bayou where the wind blew cool off the water, and the smell of honeysuckle and jasmine hung heavy like a line of wet sheets in the air.

And there in that swamp, surrounded by cypress trees draped in yards of lacy Spanish moss and the sounds of crickets, frog, and all creatures of the night, he pointed to the inky sky. The moon hung full and round like an orange fireball ready to bust apart at the seams.

"That be a howling moon," he said.  "A moon so beautiful that one look turns your blood to a river of black fire racing through your veins. A moon so powerful it can drive you insane unless you yield to its pull and run and howl into the wild."

Saturday, April 14, 2012


This week's photo prompt from Madison Woods for Friday Fictioneers had me stumped unitl 1:00 in the morning when an idea popped into my head.  Here's what I came up with:

Two seagulls:  Gertrude and Heathcliff:

Heathcliff:   “I wonder who will be the first to sit on the bench today?”
Gertrude:     “Oh, I do hope it’s the bag lady.  She always shares her bread with us.”
Heathcliff:     “If that mama brings her two brats to play, I’m leaving.  Those kids like to chase me."

Gertrude (chuckling):  Now, dear, boys will be boys.”
Heathcliff:      “A tweak from my beak in their seat would stop such foolishness.”
Gertrude:       “Maybe that elderly couple will sit in the sunshine and hold hands later. (Sigh) So romantic."

Heathcliff (nuzzling her neck):   “Just like us, me amour.”
Gertrude: (preening her feathers)   “Oh, Heath, you know how I get when you speak French.”
Heathcliff:       “French!  Suzie Secretary likes to sit on the bench and eat lunch from McDonalds.  French  fries today, baby.”
Gertrude: (disgusted)   “Is food all you think about?”
Heathcliff:        “I’m a bird, Gert. Get over it."

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Jean Louise Finch aka Scout
My all time favorite movie, To Kill a Mockingbird is on TV tonight.  I’ll watch it for what must be the 100th time and love the experience as if it were my first.
To Kill a Mockingbird was the first picture show I remember going to.  Mama loved Gregory Peck and since, in those days, kids went everywhere with their parents, she dragged me and my brother with her to see the movie.  I was in grade school and didn’t understand everything that was going on, but there in the darkness of that theater with the scent of popcorn heavy in the air, the first character I wanted to portray someday was Scout.  
A few years later, in Junior High, I read the book and it became my all time favorite novel.  The movie was great, but the book was awesome.  Scout came to life.  I laughed with her, cried with her, and walked that long, dark scary pathway home in that stupid ham outfit with her. 
In High School drama class I did a reading from To Kill a Mockingbird for an assignment.  Of course I was Scout.  I walked in her shoes.  I pulled her skin on and transformed into a spunky little southern tomboy who loved her daddy more than anything in the world.  I got an A+ and was called Scout until I graduated.   I loved it.
To Kill a Mockingbird has so many messages.  It’s the love of a little girl for her daddy, the coming of age story with Jem, the cruelty of poverty, the tragedy of ignorance and racism, the courage to stand for what is right, and above all, compassion and understanding for your fellow man. 


My all time favorite line in the movie was when Scout said “Hey Boo.”  Those two little words delivered from the lips of an innocent yet wise-beyond -her-years little girl make tears spring to my eyes every time I hear them.
Atticus Finch had it right.  “It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
A bigger sin would be not to watch the movie on its 50th anniversary. 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.   Read it!

Friday, April 6, 2012


Madison's prompt for this week's flash fiction gave me the chills.  Everyone has a dark side. Today I let mine come out to play.

I’m under here.  Can you hear my cries?
Dead.  Murdered.
“Meet me at daybreak,” he said.
Tall.  Dark. Handsome.  I ran away to be with him. To live happier ever after.
But no.
In the dim light of early dawn he held me, not wrapped in his loving arms but under the water instead.
Doomed for eternity to watch the sun rays weave through the trees and spread across the forest floor like warm butter.
I hate butter.
I hate sunrise.  

Saturday, March 31, 2012


This is Madison's picture for this week's Friday Fictioneers. Every thing has heart.  Just ask Ol' Blue.

Ol' Blue

           "Step on it, Bobby Lee!  Them Revenuers ain't fur behind. 'Jest one last run,' that's what ya said.

“Hesh up,” Bobby Lee said and patted the dash.   “Ain’t nothing sitting on four tires can catch Ol’ Blue.”
“Why ya always talking like this piece of junk has a heart?”   
“I warning ya, cousin. Don’t talk agin’ Blue like that.  She’s sensitive.”
“It ain’t alive!  It’s just a bucket of bolts.”
The engine died.  Never to run again.  
Deep in the woods Ol’ Blue sits with a broken heart, never to finish the last moonshiner’s run.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


This week's flash fiction promt by Madison Woods streached my imgination.  What kind of story can I write? No words came. Only silence.  And then, in the quiet, came the thought,  "Keep it simple, stupid!"
I love KISS, so here is my story for this week and Madison's magical picture prompt:

          Very few things in life are black and white.  Simple. Mankind loves to complicate the easy, to improve on the basic.   But Mother Nature, in all her wisdom, reminds us that there is great beauty to behold in simple black and white:

The Skunk

The Moon

The Crow

The Dove
The balance of the positive and the negative working together in harmony, the wisdom in keeping things simple, results in beautiful magic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Ever wonder why computers won’t boot-up?  Data is lost in cyber space? Cell phones drop messages? Appointment times and dates are missed?  The contract signed yesterday is not what is presented today?  Past issues thought to be resolved resurface?   Blame it on Mercury.
Mercury controls communication.
Years ago messages from one ruler to another or between armies were carried by “heralds” who demanded great respect and weren’t to be harmed.  The Roman god, Hermes was the fastest of these messengers.   Because the planet, Mercury is the swiftest moving across the skies, Hermes is otherwise known as Mercury. He wears wings on his cap and sandals.  
Now, the gods like to mess with humans just for the fun of it and to have something to do.  So every once in awhile Mercury shows off and runs backwards.  In the astrology world this is called moving, retro.  When this happens, things connected with communications can get hinky.  It’s advised not to sign contracts or to buy anything having to do with communications such as computers, TV’s, phones, etc. etc. until Mercury decides to behave himself and runs forward or direct.
Often when Mercury is retro, he likes to throw-up things from the past in our faces to take a second look at.  And to make things even more interesting, Mercury likes to run backwards a lot.
Mercury went retro March 12 and will not move direct until April 4th, give or take a few days.  
There can be advantages to Mercury being in retro, however.   The next time your spouse says, “Honey, you didn’t tell me your mother was coming to stay with us for a week,”  you can smile innocently and say:
"Blame it on Mercury!"

Saturday, March 17, 2012


It's been awhile since I've written a story for Madison Wood's Friday Fictioneers.  Sorry about that.  I love this picture and here is my story:

           “Howdy.  My name’s Shep.  That’s my mistress over there playing on the swing.   
She loves me.
When I was a pup, she dressed me up like a doll and put ribbons in my hair.  The cat wondered why I allowed her to degrade me so.  I had three words for that fur ball.
She loves me.
She sneaks table scraps to me at supper time.  And lets me sleep on her bed at night.  Her mom always asks, Why?  She just shrugs.  But I know.
She loves me.
I vow to always watch over her.  To be there waiting when she steps off the school bus.  I’ll let her bury her head in my fur and cry when Tommy McGuire breaks her heart, to lick the tears from her face and wag my tail in understanding.
And, one day, I will die saving her.
Because she loved me."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Read an E-book Week

Hear ye! Here ye!

The week of March 4-10 is read an E-book Week!

Here are two excellent selections, both available on Amazon for download to Kindle. 

Soldiers From the Mist

Three men--three promises.  Two were broken, one should've been.  Trapped for eternity because of these promises, the ghost of Charles Ely haunts the Ozark Hills serching for the fourth that will set him free.

The Rook and The Raven

THE ROOK AND THE RAVEN:  *** also available from Barnes & Noble for The Nook
Love is a power unto itself and will not be denied. But is the love The Rook has for Raven strong enough to transcend dimensions or will it be forever lost between the shadows of time and space?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Oneness

My writing buddy, Jan Morrill, aka Gypsy/Samurai Jan, has written the next New York Times Best Seller and Tony Award winning play, Broken Dolls.   Broken Dolls is a touching, powerful story about the treatment of Japanese/Americans during World War II told through the eyes of nine year old, Sachi Kimura.  In the story, Sachi, her mother, and brother, Nobu are internees held at Rohwer, Arkansas.  

In real life, George Takei (Mr. Sulu on Star Trek) was interned at Rowher.

George Takei

Universe works her magic in strange and mysterious ways.  When Jan heard that Mr. Takei was performing with the Little Rock Symphony last weekend, she immediately took this as a sign to meet Mr. Takei and speak to him about Broken Dolls.  She invited me to come along for the adventure.
Alas, even though George stood only three feet away of us, Jan wasn’t able to talk to him.  But.  Do not despair. Jan’s bold energy surrounded George Takei and set into motion a series of events that must manifest.  It’s called the Law of Attraction.  Only positive things will come from this back yard meeting.
Now for the rest of the story:
When I was in elementary school and junior high, I played the violin in the school’s orchestra.  I was also a member of the Fayetteville High School A Cappella choir and performed in many concerts. I’m an actress as well. (Hard to believe I’m a drama queen, isn’t it?)  I majored in drama at the University of Arkansas and acted in several school plays as well as the Rogers Little Theatre.  It had been quite awhile however since I attended any kind of a performance and years since hearing a symphony. 
I had forgotten the excitement.
I had forgotten the power of a collective consciousness.
Back stage at a play is chaos—makeup, costumes, runaway nerves, high energy straining at the reins to break loose and manifest.  The heavy curtains shut the audience off from this corralled wildness.  Everything seems calm out front but back stage actors run amok.  
Until . . .
The director speaks.
The overture begins.
Actors settle. Calmness seeps through every pore and melts the panic. Magic happens. An unexplainable yet wonderful Oneness unites everyone into a collective consciousness aimed at giving the best performance possible.
Before a symphony, the Wood-Winds tune up, the Strings run scales, drums emit a low thunder, horns blare, the four-hundred person chorus files in, laughter, noise. Mass confusion reigns.
Until . . .
The Conductor steps onto the podium.
The silence is deafening.
Every eye is trained on one person.  The baton he holds becomes a magic wand that unites hundreds of people into one collective consciousness working toward the same goal.  
The result is overwhelming.
This Oneness happens in sports as well.  Ever watch a football team warm up?  Men running everywhere.  No rhyme or reason to what they’re doing.  Confusion.
Until . . .
The Quarterback brings them to the line of scrimmage.
The Oneness takes over.   
The power of a collective consciousness is overwhelming.  Think of the possibilities.  If for one second, every mind united and concentrated all energy toward the same goal, sickness could be healed, famine destroyed, struggle and strife, gone.  Peace and love would rule.  
It would only take one second to change the world into paradise.  One second!
Maybe that’s why plays, symphonies, sports, and the like attract so many people.  Subconsciously we are looking for that director, quarterback, or conductor.  After all, it’s only natural.  
            We were created by a supreme Oneness.