“Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility” – James Thurber, via A-Word-A-Day or, Why I Write Humor

I’m at Elaine Blanchard’s writing group in the Shelby County women’s prison, talking about writing, describing the time when I wore a TERRIBLY inappropriate dress to a graduation party for SEMINARIANS and I say, “That’s how I deal with things – I write them.” Then here comes this quote from James Thurber,...

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Driving on a Suspended License

One time, when I lived in Jackson, Mississippi, I walked out of my front door to find a ticket on my windshield. My car was parked in front of my house in a quiet neighborhood, facing the wrong direction. There were no other cars on the street. The ticket was timed at 3:00 a.m. I was outraged – how dare a cop give me a ticket in front of...

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Reading the Masters

Last Year: War and Peace This Year: “Pogo’s Sunday Book” New blog feature: I’ll name a book when I complete it. All comments welcome. Catching me up so far this year: The Emerging Church, Phyllis Tickle Pogo’s Sunday Book, Walt Kelly Coming of Age in Mississippi, Anne Moody Here’s to creative synthesis . ....

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The “Less Fortunate”: My Theory vs Your Theory

My theories can stand up to your theories, boxing gloves raised. Or I can feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, help the ill, visit those in prison. Maybe your path is to educate about poverty, explain how folks arrived there, describe the terrible difficulty in getting out. Maybe my path lies in...

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“Do Not Be Afraid” or What the Hell: Go Ahead, Be Afraid

Here’s the truth: I am afraid. All the time, I fear . . . constantly. In circumstances without justification, I tremble. That’s who I am. I used to deny this about myself. I pretended it wasn’t true. Buck up, I ordered my quaking self. Get over it. Tossing my head, I stomped down the hallway, refusing to acknowledge that this FRIGHTENED me....

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“Do Not Be Afraid”

“Do Not Be Afraid” That’s my sister’s theme for Christmas. She picks a theme every year and, at Christmas dinner, we each talk about our thoughts on the theme. This year, I’ve brought Piglet as a theme visual aide. (A stuffed Piglet, Pooh Bear’s most faithful friend.) I love Piglet, he is the most nervous thing....

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Grinch or Jesus?

Why would we create a season of joy then scowl and purse our lips when those not “us” partake? “Happy Holidays!” “Merry Christmas!” The “reason for the season” is Jesus’s love. Given to us freely, yet we can’t share? The flash of a delighted child’s eye. An early Christmas morn...

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“The check or the email?”

A friend who’d read my blog entry about my book asked: “So, what did you decide – the check or the email?” It reminded me of when someone is telling a story to make a point and I’m listening not to the message but to the plot and they get to the end and I ask, “So . . . what happened to the chicken?” My friend was responding to the...

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Fear or Assistance: You Need Me for WHAT?

I have trouble staying in relationship with needy people. I’m not talking about female friends who’ve just broken up with the man of their dreams. I’m talking about people who need a ride to the Social Security Office. Those who need someone to visit them in jail. Those who ask if maybe they could stay in my spare bedroom. Those who telephone...

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Gifts Unknowingly Given

I didn’t know what cool was until my stepsister Elise came into my life. Christmas of my eighth grade, I weighed eighty pounds. I know this because my new school required a photo id, and the plastic-encased id included my weight. My new father had moved us to a new city, and I’d fallen into a group of friends, but I don’t remember ever starting...

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