Tag Archives: life in general

Atlanta, RT and Booker T.

Jillian here.  I just got back from Atlanta, Ga where I attended the Romantic Times Convention. The convention itself was fun and it was good to see other writer friends as well as chat and interact with readers. I had two pretty awesome things happen in the reader arena – with the same book. I wrote a story called Rex, the Ex and the Hex– first draft was done in 12 days – it was such a fun story to write as the hero believes himself to be hexed and visits a number of hoo-doo folks to try to get rid of the hex (like a witch doctor, a haruspex, a tarot reader, etc).

One reader mentioned she read it and thought it was really good and she could tell I was having a blast as I wrote it. That made me happy as I was glad that shone through.

Another reader saw the cover on a magnet on my table at the signing. She grabbed it and said, “You wrote that?” When I said yes, she said, “I loved it so much, I read it twice and I never do that.” – Her words were worth the trip to Atlanta for me.

The other best thing about the conference wasn’t really related to the conference. My friend Sandra and I went to a concert at a local winery/cafe where they serve tapas and their own wines. I love 1960s music and when she said she wanted to go see a man named Booker T. Jones, a Grammy winner, I was all on board for that. I said, “Booker T. and the M.G.s?”

Well, these days, he travels with his son and two other guys. The music is still wonderful. He and his son played a ballad version of Purple Rain by Prince and it was so moving it brought me to tears.

We got a chance to chat with him in the lobby afterward. What a nice, humble, kind man he was. I could’ve stayed there all night. It was that amazing.  If you get a chance to go, do!

here’s one famous song  and another with his son on guitar.  I tried to upload one of the videos I made but for some reason, the computer said no.  We were seated right by the piano. It was awesome.

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Words: Misused & Misheard

Jillian here. Hope everyone is having a good April so far. Mine has already had some ups and downs but rather than focus on the downs, I thought I’d talk about word usage and misheard words that lead to some interesting conversations.

The reason I have this on my mind was a phone conversation this week with 7 people on the line. We were discussing selling some property. One guy kept saying he was “weary” of a certain kind of sale. It was clear to me he meant “leery” but he kept saying the wrong thing. He couldn’t be weary of the type of sale as no sale took place for him to be tired.

Anyway, the conversation stayed with me and I started thinking about other times I’d heard wrong choices. Lots were with children which is to be expected and lots are people singing wrong words to songs.

Both of my kids used to say “just appeared” for “disappeared”

My husband would sing “the gypsy with the gold “tattoo” instead of gold “capped tooth” – love potion song

One friend used to sing “A shy best man” instead of “a sharp-dressed man” – ZZ Top song

When I was a kid, I’d sing that walking in a winter wonderland song as “later on we’ll perspire as we dream by the fire” – instead of “conspire” – but it made sense, right? Lol

When I went to college, I was stunned to hear some people say “onliest” instead of “only”

Also in college, where I went to school, they pronounced “Jordan” as “Jerden” -thank goodness that wasn’t my last name or I’d be absent always. It took me months to realize what they meant.

You English ladies will appreciate this one. I know a guy here who is named Beauchamp. He pronounces it “Bo-champ” not “Bee-chum”

I could go on but I’d like to hear from you guys. What are some misused or misheard words/lyrics you’ve come in contact with?

Of Writers’ Retreats and Friendship

I have a very dear friend who has an uncle with a house on a small lake a couple hours drive from me and twice a year, he allows her to use it and invite her writer buds over. These retreats are in March and October. I have been blessed to be invited by her to the last three. The ladies there, for the most part are nice and we get a lot done even amongst the laughter and eating. I’ve made what I feel are some lasting friendships with several of them.

Sadly, there is one who seems to be either harder to get to know or just doesn’t care for me. I fully own that I can be overly sensitive but I have a strong sense about people and what they are feeling as well. I have highly tuned empathic skills which means I can tell a lot about how someone is feeling and sometimes take on those feelings myself.

We arrived at the retreat on Thursday and from almost from the time this one woman arrived, she was all about being gruff and unkind to me. I tried to ignore her and put it on the fact that these ladies have been friends for a while and I am the new girl. On Saturday night when she came over and joined in a conversation that she was not part of, I was okay with it. But when I said something in that conversation and she told me to stop talking, I was pretty sure about her feelings for me. Then when she added, and I quote, “In fact, you can just leave.” I knew! You don’t have to hit me over the head, lady. WOW! I was flabbergasted to say the least.

I left the room and went on the porch in tears. Then I came back in and went to get my suitcase as I was heading home right then- never mind it was 9:30 pm and I had a two hour drive.

BUT the women in the group who love me gathered round and said they wouldn’t let me go. They led me out to the porch and talked for a long time until I agreed to stay until morning. I was so glad for their friendship and that they agreed she’d been incredibly rude.

When I came back inside, the woman (and I give her partial credit for this) came over and apologized. What I don’t give her credit for was saying she’d been teasing me with all the things she’d said over the prior three days. It was most assuredly not teasing and I think she knew I knew it- it was almost as if she was seeing how far she could push me and I did take it from Thursday afternoon until Saturday night. It was not the way I envisioned the weekend going.

Not too sure I’ll be going back but I am so torn as I love, love the other people. It would be like punishing myself if I don’t go. But I also don’t want to set myself up for that kind of misery again. It’s a conundrum that I have until October to figure out. What do you think? Am I being too sensitive?

The good news is that I got 8,000 words done in a new story. This one has pirates!!!

Happy March! Jillian

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Happy December!

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Jillian here- nope. I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world. It just seems that way. Laurie is always telling me she doesn’t see how I can do all I do and alas, she is right. I can’t. Things … Continue reading

Welcome to Over The Backyard Fence

Hi, and welcome to the first of many conversations here at Over The Backyard Fence.

Whether you have school-age children or not, this time of year signals a change for everyone. For those of you who are getting your children ready for another school year, your days are filled with preparing them for early wake-ups, buying clothes, and school supplies. Before you know it, school starts and life revolves around carpools, homework, and PTA.

For those of us lucky enough to have survived raising our children, it is a bittersweet time, filled with all the good memories (the bad ones fade, trust us). We may not be sending kids off in the mornings, but we feel the changes that follow Labor Day almost as much. Traffic patterns migrate. School buses trigger a sense that the weather will soon change and we go into “squirrel mode”, beginning to stock up for winter months ahead. At least, that’s what it’s like in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t know what a coming winter feels like in a more tropical climate. Does the instinct to prepare still touch you if the climate is mild?

Wherever you are in life, whether you have children or not, whether you work outside the home or in, we’ve designed this blog with each of you in mind, kind of like a quilting bee or coffee klatch. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, pull up a chair, and join the chat. Leave a comment, read others, or re-comment; whatever works for you. Sort of like chatting over the backyard fence. Forget about your to-do list. Let’s talk about life. Or laugh about it. And maybe learn something in the process.

We’ll kick it off with a question: what does this time of year mean to you? What changes do you see happening in your own life that others might relate to? And do you like those changes? We’d love to hear your thoughts.  And be sure to check back on Friday to see what Lavada is blogging about.

Laurie and Lavada