Tuesday, October 26, 2010


North Carolina Fall

Autumn in North Carolina
The leaves change slowly
mid-October and trees are still green.
Reality a secret:
The time is short

Fall slinks into view in North Carolina
Red and orange and yellow moving across the landscape slowly
Travelling along a fallopian tube
The movement of color along a path of water
The movement of life along a secret vessel

And then you see it
Flashes of red, tints of orange
Fatigue, ennui
Tree tips dazzle in the sunlight
Mood swings give no clue

And then it is November
All the leaves litter the ground
A brown carpet
And the egg that was in your womb
Is in your blood
Secret life, secret color
Gone for another season.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Story ideas

My husband was telling about this news story which recounts a love triangle that resulted in murder. Three people were in a skydiving club together, and two women were both having an affair with the same man. Allegedly, one of the women sabotaged the other woman's parachute, and she plunged to her death.
As a person, I find this story horrifying. It's such a tragedy. As a writer, I find this story fascinating. To kill a fellow skydiver by sabotaging her parachute seems like a particularly horrific breach of trust. It makes me wonder, is there a code, spoken or unspoken, in skydiving clubs about parachutes, and if so, did she break that code? Surely. The alleged killer jumped moments after the victim, so she watched her death. Did she have second thoughts? Did she angle down and try to catch her at the last minute? Or did she watch with secret glee?
I write fiction. But reality provides a rich soil for ideas.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Culinary Napalm

It was a sunny fall day, approaching Halloween, and my mom was making caramel candy, which meant there was a pot of boiling sugar on the stove. And this is how I know Rebecca knew what she was doing, because as soon as she came in the kitchen she crowed “Culinary napalm!” It’s what Alton Brown calls boiling sugar. Rebecca watches Food Network all the time. She still does, no doubt plotting my death. So my mom nodded and told Rebecca to stay on the other side of the island (she's only 8 years old). I was next to mom, helping her cook, like always. I mean, I may have been a beauty queen, but I wasn’t prissy or afraid to get my hands dirty.

I’m still not sure how Rebecca managed it. I just know she must have been planning it for a long time. She left the kitchen without us noticing – we were handling culinary napalm, after all, and then we heard her screaming outside. My mom ran out, commanding me to watch the sugar. The next thing I knew, Rebecca was inside the kitchen, screaming frantically about the squirrel that had attached itself to her, and she pushed me headfirst into the pot.

Yeah, my beauty queen days are over. Rebecca isn’t following in my footsteps either. She just keeps watching Food Network. But I’m not worried. I’m watching DIY network, and I’m getting pretty handy with a nail gun…

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October is here, November approaches...

I've joined NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. And November approaches! I'm looking forward to this challenge, which will be a double challenge given that November is an extraordinarily busy month in the Bayless household. My husband and both nephews have birthdays, and there's Thanksgiving. This year we are traveling for my husband's birthday to DC. Then we usually go to Charlotte for my nephews' birthday parties (which my brother kindly schedules on the same day). And this year we'll be hosting Thanksgiving. So finding time to write EVERY SINGLE DAY will be a challenge, but one that I look forward to. After all, doing something for 30 days will surely help me develop the discipline for when November is over.