1. Mrs. Gwen (my mom) is an extremely strong person. Certain life experiences I've had lately have made me realize this more than ever. Sometimes I just get tears in my eyes, thinking about what an amazing role model I have in her.
2. I love my friend Kris. She and I are so different, yet we seem to totally understand each other, and are always "okay," as far as the other is concerned.
3. Purple and gold is a beautiful color scheme.
4. There are few places in the world as unbelievably scenic as western North Carolina.
5. When I learned that William Styron had died, I felt like I'd lost a friend. I read Darkness Visible shortly after my first major (diagnosed, at least) bout with depression and was so relieved to find another writer-type who had dealt with the same thing, and much to the same degree, as I had. His companionship, through his book, really helped me deal with a very difficult time of my life.
6. I learned yesterday that a friend/colleague of mine had been convicted of posting child porn pictures and videos onto the internet and had plead guilty and been sentenced to ten to twelve months in prison. Part of me thought, "Oh, my poor friend. I truly like this person. He's such a kind, intelligent, talented, and good man, child-porn excepted." And part of me was thinking, "Only ten to twelve months??" It's been difficult to process. If anyone else has dealt with this type of situation, please e-mail me.
7. I really hope my friend Amy becomes famous someday. Not because I think she wants to be famous or anything, but because I think she is such a unique, amazing person that the world would be a better place if more people knew her.
8. I've been following our friend Steve's progress on a blog maintained by his daughter, Lauren. It is heartbreaking to read about his struggle with pancreatic cancer, but at the same time I'm so thankful that my family was lucky enough to have him be part of our life. Tonight I was at the LSU-Tennessee game in Knoxville and kept thinking about the bluesy version of the "T for Texas, T for Tennessee" song that he sometimes sang when he played the guitar for us.
9. I could write an entirely truthful essay about how good my life has been. And I could write an entirely truthful essay about how crappy my life has been. One would make you wonder that someone could live such a charmed, perfect life, and the other might cause you to have great pity. What's weird is that both essays would tell the truth. What's maybe not so weird is that most people, if they were writing nerds like me at least, could probably write two equally truthful essays--the good-life essay and the crappy-life essay--that would do the same things.
10. Creative writing is going great. For some reason I tend to write a lot about haggard old people, drunks, earnest Southern Baptists, and fun Episcopalians. Not sure why. Who knows. Maybe I really am a budding "southern writer." I hope I am.
11. If you like