English Nerds

So my daughter shared a memory from six years ago on her FB page. It made me laugh out loud, so I’m sharing it here in hopes it will make you laugh, too:

 

“I had this dream where Gregor Samsa visited and he ate my head off…” -Me
“No more Kafka for you!” -@Laura Swan Jinkins
“Only one in ten families in America would understand that…” -@Trey Jinkins

English majors…Gotta love ’em.(:

Sayin’ “Hi!”

Here it is, 1:57 AM, my time, and I’m still awake. I finished a short story for my writers critique group and emailed it to my group. Putzed around a bit on the internet and I really should call it a night. Tomorrow (today?) I plan to do the lessons from the ladies Bible study I recently joined. Tomorrow (this?) evening, we’ll be headed to Galveston to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday.

The last couple of weeks have been super busy business-wise, which is great. This week looks a little slower, and I’m okay with that, too. It will give me the opportunity to take care of some other things and maybe read a book (or two).

One (two) thing(s) I am working on — planning more road trips with my guy. We’re going to stay home this summer (except for possibly taking a one or two night trip). Next summer, though — this girl’s got plans, and I am so glad my guy is always game for my plans! I’ve got two tentative trips cooking on Road Trippers.

Trip “A” involves flying to Pittsburgh and then renting a car to drive to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Southwest Airlines has reasonable fares to Pittsburgh (a smidge over $300 roundtrip for each of us). On the way to Prince Edward Island (the land of Anne with an “E”) we will pass through New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. I’m pretty sure I can find us some cool stuff to see along that route. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself — the states are so small that we can knock out some serious sightseeing in a very short time.

Trip “B” is a little more involved, since it takes us to the West/Northwest part of the country. I discovered it’s only about 8 hours to Carlsbad, New Mexico, where there are some incredible caves to be seen. Next stop: Phoenix, Arizona and Taliesin West — Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home. Followed, possibly, by Fresno, California (there’s an underground garden there???) and Medford, Oregon… on the way to Everett, Washington travelers pass the Mount St. Helen’s Visitors Center. It’s crazy to think the whole side of that mountain blew off when the volcano erupted.

I was doing good planning Trip “B” until I realized I’d want us to have time to travel over to Vancouver Island — by this time, the trip is getting REALLY long. So I’m thinking perhaps we should fly up to Seattle and then drive around Washington State and British Columbia (similarly to the Prince Edward Island trip).

I don’t know. There’s just so much out there to see and I want to see it ALL.

If you could plan your dream trip, where would you go? Comments below, please and thank you!

Laura

Smash Glass Love

Normally I steer clear of art classes. I get frustrated when my work doesn’t look the way I think it should look, or when I struggle to achieve the precision needed to draw, paint, or cut something exactly the way it should be. There are two media with which I am comfortable: words and paper. I enjoy creating with words, and I love to cut and paste beautiful papers into cards, scrapbook pages, etc.

When I venture into the worlds of paint or glass, I can feel myself getting  a little anxious.  One of those “Painting with a Twist” classes was fun, except I struggled to keep pace with the instructor. “Okay, now take a bit of yellow on your brush and swirl it around…” WAIT! I’m not finished with the blue! I finished the painting, but I was exhausted when the class was done.

I took a mosaic class a couple of years ago and trying to cut the glass into the right size bits and then glue them down on the glass block was stressful. It just didn’t look the way I thought it should look. I still haven’t finished that project.

Friday night I think I found my jam when it comes to artsy creation, though. I signed up for a “Smash Glass” class at The Center in Lake Jackson. Taught by Linda Strickland (a lovely lady, I must say!), the class was so much fun!

Each of us selected a canvas on which to arrange our designs. If we wanted to, we could embellish our canvases with paints and use a hairdryer to dry them before getting down to the business of glass arrangement.

Linda set up a table before we arrived. In a neat row, plastic tubs held generous selections of broken glass, sorted by color. Purples, cobalts, aqua, red, gold, green, clear, silver mercury glass — smooth glass, textured glass, frosted glass. Shards of different shapes and sizes, sparkling under the lights of the art studio. I had fond flashbacks to my visit to the Corning Museum of Glass last summer and all the beautiful glass I’d seen. We were each provided with a plastic tub to put our selections in. Plastic gloves helped protect our fingers from any little slivers that might prick us.

After gathering a good assortment of glass pieces in my favorite colors, I went back to my spot and decided to paint my canvas first. Using a foam brush and four metallic craft paints, I swirled them around the canvas in circles until the entire canvas was covered with pearlized shades of blue. After drying the paint with a hairdryer, I began laying the pieces of glass on my canvas in an abstract design. I knew I would get frustrated if I tried to create a picture of some kind, so the abstract route seemed to be the safest way to go.

Linda provided advice on design (my original layout was a little too ’round’), and I ended up with a piece of art that made me smile. When each of us finished, we carried our work over to a table where it would wait until later in the evening when Linda would pour resin over the entire work, adhering the glass to the canvas and giving the canvas a glass-like appearance as well.

I picked up my creation the next day and I can’t wait to add picture wire to the back so I can hang it on the wall! One of my classmates said it made her think of pirate’s treasure underwater and I love that description. I’m looking forward to another class where I can finally enjoy a form of art that feels very free and relaxing.fullsizeoutput_89cd

Highly Recommended:

Anything taught by Ron Rozelle. I didn’t grow up in the Brazosport area, so I didn’t have the good luck to sit at the feet of Brazoswood High’s most excellent creative writing teacher. Fortunately, since retiring, Ron has chosen to share his writerly wisdom by teaching three day workshops for those seeking to unleash their inner Hemingway,  Bradbury, or whomever. If you work, I can’t think of a better use of a vacation day or two. If you’re retired, all the better. I attended his Wordsmithing 101 class at the beginning of January and it was worth every penny of the registration fee. Great teaching well-seasoned with entertaining stories and encouragement.

If you’re in the Brazosport area or out near Brenham, I urge you to avail yourself of Ron’s expertise. You won’t be sorry.

Two upcoming events on my agenda that I’m very much looking forward to are a repeat of my Wordsmithing 101 workshop in Clute, in the Brazosport area south of Houston, in March and a memoir workshop in Brenham, Texas in June. Both communities have excellent hotels, good places to eat, and interesting things to […]

via Two upcoming writing workshops — Ron Rozelle Wordsmith

Twenty-Two

I became a mom twenty-two years ago today. I could wax poetic about what an amazing and beautiful young woman my daughter has become. I could share with you the mixed fear and pride I felt when she traveled (with great excitement) to a Central American country to serve in missions. I could tell you how smart she is and that the creative gene is stronfullsizeoutput_8522g in her. We could chuckle over how she curls up on the sofa in comfy clothes and teaches herself new embroidery stitches while watching episodes of Doctor Who, like she’s a really cool granny. I could rattle off her literary accomplishments — completing NANOWRIMO four times, having her poem published in the college literary magazine, rocking it like Noah Webster in the writing department.

 

But then I’d just be bragging.

 

 

fullsizeoutput_8543

 

 

 

My girl is twenty-two today and I love her very much.

 

Happy birthday, Jami-girl!

Image Magazine

The first issue of 2018 is now available and yours truly has THREE contributions within its pages! My first story in the spring of 2016 was about the Alvin Historical Museum, and readers enjoyed it so much that I was asked to continue with a series on the museums throughout Brazoria County. A few months later I pitched the idea of a series of short articles on the historical markers throughout the county. Thus were born two regular series: Museum Go-Round and Park at the Mark.

Park at the Mark: The Confederate Cemetery (page 28)

Out of the Storm: The Marguerite Rogers House Museum (page 30)

I also have a Writer’s Reflections  piece in this issue, thinking back on the half marathon I walked in 2017.

The Friendship Race (page 36)

I hope you enjoy my articles, as well as those of the delightfully talented writers I am honored to work with!

Keep choosing joy!

Laura

P.S. — In addition to writing our articles, we also do all our own photography, unless otherwise noted.