An AHA! Moment

Have you ever watched a movie that you first saw a long time ago…  A movie that became one of your all-time favorites, but it has been so long since you’ve seen it that you can’t remember just exactly what it was about it that moved you so?

Have you ever seen that movie again, much later in your life, and heard loud and clear–AHA!–what had only been seductive whispers years ago?

Here is what I vaguely remembered about the 1993 film, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance (he plays Gilbert’s mentally challenged younger brother, Arnie) was the most stunning thing I have ever witnessed.
  • Johnny Depp (Gilbert) was gorgeous.
  • There was a sweet love story in there somewhere.
  • Johnny Depp was gorgeous.
  • There was a fair amount of family and personal drama, but not so much that it ruined it for me.
  • Johnny Depp was gorgeous.

I saw the movie again recently.  Here is what I now know:

  • There is an RV in it (an Airstream travel trailer)!
  • Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her grandma come to town in the Airstream.  They are full-time RV’ers.  Becky, quirky and oddly beautiful, is a free-wheeling, healing spirit.  A baby earth-mother of sorts.
  • The Momma of Gilbert’s family is Becky’s opposite.  She is me a while back, in so many ways.   Her house, which she rarely leaves, is falling apart around her and her family.  Morbidly obese, her emotional paralysis and neglect are slowly eating away at everything and everyone.
  • Freedom comes at the end with the death of Momma and the destruction of the house.  Merciful freedom.  Fresh air.
  • Gilbert and Arnie go off with Becky and Grandma… in an Airstream caravan!
  • Johnny Depp is gorgeous.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance, stunning.

Life and the cinema sure can be funny.

Now, where is Johnny’s number…?

From the Rooftops! The 30th Day!

Time to yell it from the rooftops:  The book is here!

Before going off on all sorts of self-congratulatory and excited tangents–trust me, they are waiting in the wings–here is the basic information on the book for any reader who would like to check it out:

Title:  The 30th Day.  Found at Amazon’s Kindle ebooks, or via either of these links: or

If you do not have a Kindle device, there are apps that you can get so that you can read their books on many other devices, including iCloud and iPads, various other phones and tablets, etc.  Warning, warning!  Unabashed self-serving plug:  If you like the book, it would be lovely and very useful (for search rankings) if you would be so kind as to provide a positive review.  Thanks in advance to anyone willing to oblige.

Soooooo, I am now a published author.  Self-published, yes, but published nevertheless.  Rather than feeling meek because a grand old publishing house isn’t behind me, I can feel swell because, not only am I an author, I am also a publisher (Dawny is handing out measuring tapes for anyone who would like to measure my swelling head).  My 25 foot house-on-wheels now also serves as a publishing house.  Like, Wow!!!

After going through this process with Kindle Direct Publishing, I feel nothing but amazed gratitude.  The process takes a bit of attention and care, as well it should, but it is fairly easy and streamlined.  For any aspiring authors out there (and I know there are at least a couple who read this blog), all I can say is go for it.  Write your piece and put it out there.

Kindle Publishing is like a great equalizer.  Anyone can have their say on the grand stage.  Anyone can share their stories, their dreams, and their wild and wonderful imaginings.  I guess it’s sort of like the literary version of Youtube.

Enough of the grandiose silliness.  Bottom line, I hope people can enjoy this story that my friend, Rebeccah, and I have created.  Rebeccah is the heart of the tale.  She is real.  Very real.  I met her and her husband at this campground a year ago and that is when I became acquainted with the edges of her story.  They were here again this winter when I returned, and we delved deeper.

The day after my return, Rebeccah and I sat at my dinette, Dawny slumbering peacefully on her chair, as Rebeccah spilled her words, thoughts, inspirations, and occasional bursts of outrageousness and I did my best to keep up on my laptop.  With a few breaks, we have met daily for three months.

Rebeccah is the heart.  I crafted the flesh and the frame.  God brought us together.

May you enjoy the result and, more importantly, may you find a blessing in this little contribution to the literary world.

(Post’s photo is of a self portrait by Rebeccah, “Between Sand and Sea and Sky,” done on a discarded cheese platter.)



Happy Fat Tuesday!

Today our RV park had a Mardi Gras parade.  Industrious participants decorated a pickup truck in purple tissue paper and a million beaded necklaces.  Costumed revelers sat in the truck bed (one lovely lady donned a chicken hat) as the truck blasted its horn and played music while riding up and down rows of RVs. Candy and beads were tossed to the crowd.  Dawny picked up a few necklaces … ain’t she perty!!!

Dawny and I stuck to the rear of the parade, as there were lots of doggies there, and Dawny… well, Dawny continues to think she is boss of the world.  One four-legged participant, Bella (a dachshund-yorkie mix), trotted along  in the middle of the crowd as if she were the Queen, dressed in a glamorous outfit with an assortment of glittery beads and other bejeweled items.  She was magnificent.  I cast my primary vote for her:  Queen Bella!

People danced to the music and blossomed in their costumed glory.  It was a really sweet time.

After the parade, I attended the party of el Capitan and his lovely first mate.  As noted in my post of November 1, 2015 (“I Have a Friend”), el Capitan bought a new-used sailboat recently.  This pre-launch party celebrated all of the effort that has gone into making his ship seaworthy, strong, and beautiful.  Ah, dreamers.  Where would we be without dreamers?

A week or so ago, a gentleman we often encounter on our walks commented that Dawny would probably be happier if she were off-leash.  Yes, he is absolutely right.  But that is not her world now, at least not literally.

It’s mine.

And it is the world of those around me.

I look around at so many of my friends, my neighbors, and I see people who are living outside of the box.  Many are retirees who are getting the most out of their lives and doing so on their terms.  I suspect that’s how many of them lived their lives prior to retirement, while others may be late bloomers.

Not all are of retirement age.  Some are finding ways to earn a living and travel in their homes on wheels, making ends meet in one fashion or another.

All look pretty off-leash to me.  Dreamers, taking charge, making it real.  Put strands of Mardi Gras beads around their neck, a silly hat on their head, and it looks absolutely natural.  Year round.

Would that we all could be so free.  So celebratory.  Always.