Bad Saturday Night

bad Saturday night copyWhen opportunity lands on my doorstep, I have to seize the moment. In this case, I went out onto my balcony to retrieve something from the storage closet and saw this intriguing scene in the parking lot. How could the fiction writer in me resist? Everyone has a history, comprised of many “remember when moments.” The key is to make the story as entertaining as possible.

I don’t know the gentleman sleeping in the car, which may or may not be his, with the detached bumper,  discarded beer on the ground, open driver’s door for ventilation, and parked skewed onto the handicapped ramp, but I’d like to come up with the parameters of his story, based on the early Sunday morning evidence.

The Bumper: Starting with what appears to be the most obvious, the bumper detached after he careened the driver’s side front tire into the curb and the car bounced back. Since the passenger’s side front tire is propped up, the driver’s side front tire is even lower than usual. That’s merely a consequence of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: Every action has an equal but opposite reaction.

Yet a more interesting explanation would be that he pulled into the parking space, not realizing the passenger’s front tire rode up on the handicap ramp and braked gently, not causing the bumper to fall off. Instead, an angry woman, who was riding shotgun, abruptly got out of the car, slamming the door. When he yelled at her, she responded by telling him to go fuck himself, kicked the bumper, causing it to fall off and ran into her apartment when he hopped out of his car.

He swaggered to the front of the car, saw the bumper on the ground, raised his hands to the heavens, cursed her name once more, sat back in his car to finish the last of his beer and passed out.

The Beer: Alcohol is a must-have in just about any series of miscalculated risks and bad decisions. This guy bought a 24-pack of bottled beer; so he, and perhaps a friend or two could have good time. He may have been tailgating somewhere on the outskirts of a game or, better yet, at a nearby park where one of many free festivals or happenings were taking place.

A twist on the obvious is if this guy actually has very little alcohol in his system due to the presence of some other drug. The beer may have merely whet his whistle in between smoking a combination of recreational drugs.

The Car: Despite its outward appearances, this car is his pride and joy. This guy has experienced a lot of highs and lows that life has thrown his way, but for the past six years, this car has seen him through it all. He will be devastated when he awakes and discovers “Preciosa” with her front bumper off. His eyes will tear up as he lovingly works her bumper back on with the care a parent takes rotating his child’s shoulder back into its socket.

Alternatively, this guy wakes up, rubs his eyes, scratches his balls, belches a stale beer mini-cloud and when he’s awake enough, he’ll wonder where he is, how he wound up here, and most important, why he’s sitting in the driver’s seat of someone else’s car.

The Guy: This is the most challenging aspect of this writing exercise because he could be virtually any guy, especially if this isn’t his car–an idea I really like since it has more possibilities.  Otherwise, this car shows that he’s working class to middle class at best. Since drugs and alcohol are the great equalizers among men, this guy may have found himself in this situation as a fluke or it may be habitual.

Going with the odds, at least one woman is part of how he wound up passed out in a slightly damaged car that may or may not be his. Did she lock him out? Did he mistakenly drive to the wrong apartment complex? Was his intention to stay with a relative who lives here, but he made it as far as the parking lot and figured that was close enough?

The only thing I know for sure, when I returned from my yoga class around 12:15, the car, its bumper and the guy were gone–the discarded bottle of beer remained in the parking space.

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The Forgotten Queen

You all know the fairy tales about the good or evil queen, the good or wicked witch, the evil stepmother, the poor mother, the absent mother, the good daughter, the fair maiden, the bewitched maiden…but what about the forgotten queen?

You may not have noticed her since she never sat on an official throne. Yet you’ve heard the whispers about her. Remember that saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world”? Ah, yes, that expression is about the forgotten queen.

She isn’t the one with the smallest foot or longest hair or in need of a princely kiss or has some business all alone in an enchanted forest.

It is she with eyes in the back of her head, monitoring the sounds of her children while performing some everyday phenomenon like cooking, who knows when to turn around and give the Mother stare, which rips through her guilty children as a warning to stop the offending behavior or else.

It is she, who sacrifices sleep, time, and a quiet dinner to tend to her children, including a temporarily regressed significant other.

It is she, who, in case of an emergency, walks into the middle of a riot and slaps her child out of it to save his life.

She is the kisser of wounds; the teacher of lessons, moral and academic; the general medical practitioner; the judge and jury.

She is the infuser of strength and common sense, sending her children out into the world, separation anxiety be damned.

She is the giver of unconditional love, occasional tough love and timely, sometimes unwanted, free advice.

Her standards are her children’s everlasting measuring stick when judging the cleanliness of their room, the appropriateness of their attire or hairstyle and the worthiness of their current love interest being introduced to her.

Her honor is fought for when another mother’s child dare utters a vicious “Yo Mama” insult.

Her thoughts are worth more than a penny, her true financial compensation values more than a CEO of a fortune 500 company and her services are priceless.

Her power of creation extends beyond fertility to innovations in all domains of knowledge to make the world a better place for her children and future generations.

No league of superheroes can hold a society together more securely than the superglue that is the forgotten queens, the collective mothers of the world.

For all these things and infinitely more, I honor the mothers of the world whose individual names may never appear in a history book, but whose positive attributes will be successfully carried forth in the DNA of every surviving child.



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Steampunk Vampire Slayer

1 slayer

All I need is the opportunity to dress up and I dive in. The latest cosplay inspiration was for a fundraiser at work.

2 slayer

Although the theme was “steampunk,” I find any excuse to carry my sword; hence my vampire slayer character.

3 slayerI searched two Goodwill stores before I found something that looked like a corset. The silver clasp and chains I bought to bling it out cost as much as the top itself!

4 slayerAnother must-have accessory were the aviator’s goggles. I could have also gone with a top hat, but I love taking my dreads to new heights, which caused them to bump into walls since they took up so much space.

5 slayerTo create the multilevel skirt, I modified a long, flowing black skirt and safety-pinned it to the outside of a short, ruffled black skirt. The sacrifice of the long skirt was justified since I’ll wear this costume at least two more times: once while hosting the Austin Writers Roulette and again for Halloween.

6 slayerOne of the best features of this costume, other than how little it cost to put together, was how comfortable it was to wear. One of my coworkers sported a beautiful corset, but it prevented her from sitting comfortably and made driving a challenge.

7 LCCT brochuresEveryone who could, reported to the venue around 8:30 am to decorate for the adult spelling bee. Other than helping to unload things, my job was to fix up the bee decorations and place them attractively around the venue.

8 Courtney & meWe reported back to the venue an hour and a half earlier than we expected participants and guests to arrive. Of course, I took advantage of that time to have a mini photo shoot.
9 tequila shot

And just to prove that I work at one of the coolest non-profits, we ended our brief, pre-event meeting with a tequila shot!

10 the bee-yoncesFor this adult spelling bee, there were 14 teams, including the Bee-yonces, who won the costume contest.

11 dell diamondsThe Dell Diamonds were the returning champs, but took 1st runner up and won the spirit award this year.
12 Lord of the Bees

The Lord of the Bees spiced up the evening since one guy had a scandalously skimpy costume.

14 the spellcasters

Another creatively dressed team was the Spellcasters, sporting their Harry Potter inspired costumes.

13 Courtney Meg & Grayson

The youngest and cutest little bumblebee was only a few months old.

15 Austin Babtist WomenProfessional performance group, Austin Babtist Women (intentional misspelling of “Baptist”) brought even more fun to the evening. I loved how one guy didn’t bother shaving off his mustache.
16 spelling bee teamsThree tuba players joined the spellers on stage. My role as “beekeeper” was to give spellers their numbered name tags for 1st, 2nd and 3rd speller order; seat them in a predetermined numerical order on stage and on time; make sure they were ready to approach the mic during their turn; and escort them off stage when they were not “saved” or after they were “stung.”

As I learned throughout the evening, saving and stinging were the fundraising highlights of the evening. If someone misspelled a word, then an audience member could save the team for $250. A team could be saved up to four times with an increasing cost of $500 the second time, $750 the third time and $1000 the fourth and final time. At any time, another audience member could out bid a save by stinging the team. Once a team was stung, they were escorted off stage.

Those teams lasted much longer than I thought they would through a combination of terrific spelling and saving. Only a few stings took place. Once only two teams remained, we had an intermission. Afterwards, the Austin Babtist Women performed again and then the two teams battled it out. There was a lot of back and forth since both teams had misspellings. There was no clear winner until the very last word was spelled.

As soon as a team member spelled a word correctly, we all cheered. I immediately started breaking down those chairs on stage. I’m so happy my coworkers had already taken down the decorations outside the theatre. We all made quick work to get everything loaded up and out the venue.

At the end of the night, I took home a half full veggie tray and our fundraiser made $87,000 to help low-literate adults and their families!


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Art & Eeyore

1 st art fest

For the third year in a row, I volunteered at the biggest art festival held in Austin. Unlike last year, I had the second shift in the “Artist Hospitality” tent, which meant I didn’t have to do a lot of heavy lifting nor any set up. I just strolled into the tent, located much closer to the entrance than last year, and immediately started booth sitting so an artist could take up to a 30-minute break.

2 canvases of wisdom

Although volunteering for a 3-hour shift qualified me to receive a free pass to look around at the various art booths, I saw nearly everything, walking to and from various booths to sit. I especially liked the mini-canvases of inspirational sayings. Even though this was not the artist’s main thing, her pithy sayings meant more to me than everything else I saw. If I had to pick a favorite saying, it would be “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.”

3 art of relaxing

Perhaps my favorite booth to sit turned out to be the last one.  I reported to the “swinging chairs” guy, who, unlike the other booths, didn’t even have a number. Yet, I had no problem finding his location.

4 art of relaxing

He had two different styles of swinging chairs, but my favorite was the lounger. I spent most of my time kicked back and swinging once he reported to the artist VIP lounge. Despite the peculiarity of a patio furniture seller being at an art festival, the innovative designs can be considered artistic. Plus, at 90 degrees, the temperature motivated people to sit in the shade and test out the swinging chairs.  I handed out the double-sided flyers with prices.

5 percussion circle

And just to prove that I live in Austin, yet another major festival took place on the same day: Eeyore’s Birthday. This music-, drink-, and food-filled festival was the most hippie-ish festival I’ve ever attended, complete with legal and illegal drugs and nudity. Everything pretty much went on and the police just regulated traffic. Most of the food booths were sponsored by various groups in order to raise money and the closest parking cost $15 as a donation to the park.

6 percussion circleAlthough I was supposed to enjoy the festivities with a meetup group, I came later than they did; so I missed the rendezvous. I walked upon a drop-in percussion group and spotted several people I knew. I stayed for about an hour and a half until my boxed wine called me home from the party.

On the way home, I used a $10 gift certificate to get a beef and lamb sandwich with a side of falafel. Since my latest Netflix DVD was waiting for me in the mailbox, I had a wonderful way to wind down from an art and music festival Saturday.


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Adult Fairy Tales

I’ve been struggling with my second novel, The Adventures of Infinity and Negativa, for the past five years. Along the way, I’ve experienced some powerful insights.

The first came when I concluded that I didn’t have the means to pay a graphic artist.  My solution? Paint the beginning of each chapter, which always began with the title characters, exploring some mathematical-logical or physics topic.

The second insight occurred a few weeks after the first. Like a woman taking the longest time to birth her first child, the first canvas took the longest to complete. As a work around to my sense of perfectionism, which had prolonged its completion, I reasoned that the main character, Nuru, was the artist rather than me. This distancing silenced my inner critic and added another dimension to Nuru.

The third insight woke me up one Saturday morning. Since my first novel, Tribe of One, had romantic elements, I’d self-identified as a romance writer. I’d even joined both the national and local chapter of THE romance writers’ group. This particular morning, I realized Adventures was not a romance. I had a clear vision of exactly which changes needed to be made in order to advance the narrative. This insight led to the first major “slashing” (too brutal to be called a mere “editing”) of the manuscript. Although I stopped self-identifying as a romance writer, I continued my membership with the national group since I enjoyed the informative articles in their monthly magazine about craft and the publishing industry.

The fourth insight ushered in the second major slashing where nearly all the minor characters were eliminated. Not only that, all the fabulous dialogue, transitions and descriptions, which were no longer relevant all bit the dust. Stripped to the bones, the manuscript had quicker pace, but little richness. At least I added the true antagonist, Lauren/Lolli.

The fifth insight stopped me from painting.  I’d been completing canvas after canvas at a pretty good clip up until I painted myself into a corner. The problem was, each successive painting looked markedly better than the last; so I couldn’t reorder the opening of the chapters since that would cause me to reorder the paintings. With the first fourteen chapter openings set on canvas, I could only tighten up that writing although I could completely change the rest of the chapter, which I did with total abandonment.

The sixth insight guided the rearrangement of chapters fifteen through twenty-two. At some point in my writing career, I’ll learn how to outline a novel. Until then, I’ll continue writing by the seat of my pants, acknowledging that the occasional major chapter shuffle must take place.

The seventh and latest insight occurred at a recent writers’ workshop. The workshop explored feminism in fairy tales. Our facilitator introduced the topic by giving us a brief background about fairy tale structure. I went pie-eyed. I stopped myself from jumping up and shouting “Eureka!” What a profound revelation for me. The discovery that I write adult fairy tales.  Even Tribe had elements of a fairy tale.

The facilitator suggested a short reading list, which I added to my never-ending book list. Then, I did online research and discovered a 31 fairy tale structure checklist. Adventures satisfied nearly all of them. At the end of that blog post, the author had a bibliography, which rounded out my fairy tale reading list.

One good thing I have going for me is my nonbelief in “writers’ block.” Every time my writing productivity wanes, an experience which some writers attribute to the dreaded “block,” I see it as the result of stubbornly writing along without analyzing if what I’ve written advances the narrative with integrity. Each flash of insight has dutifully reported after I’d honestly asked myself, “Where am I going with this?”

To regain direction, I resort to the same ritual. I hit “caps lock,” select “bold” and type all my think-out-loud thoughts about the characters and plot. Without any judgment and barely any punctuation, I work through what needs to be done. Sometimes, it’s chapter rearrangement. Other times, rethinking of the plot or a listing of things that need to be researched. I consider it writing mediation, bringing out the best in the narrative and advance it to a close–or at least close enough to make it worth my while to pay for a professional editor.

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Fools’ Paradise

14 me reading

Welcome to the Land of Milk and Honey. Home of the Brave. Land of the Free. Where the streets are paved in gold. The sun’s always shining unless we’re dancing in the rain. So turn that frown upside down. This is no place for any Ned Negatives or Debbie Downers.

This is Par-a-dise, baby! Unlike Fantasy Island, all your dreams come true here. You can have any and everything you want. And you can have it now. That’s right, no waiting. This is where everyone is number one. You just have to want it and you can have it. You can have it all ‘cause you deserve it all.

And bigger is always better. Why settle for fun size when you can supersize it? Why take it slow when you can have fast? You should’ve had it already. You should‘ve had it yesterday.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You were born poor or brown or gay or disabled. I’m here to tell you, there’s no need to dwell in the land of disenfranchisement. You can still have it all if you want it all.

You wanna know what the great equalizer is? You wanna know what all the rich, beautiful, sophisticated, upwardly mobile Americans do? They live on CREDIT! Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover…these are the golden tickets to paradise! You allergic to gold? Well, you can get your ticket in platinum, silver, honors, advantage, preferred, premier, select, and DIAMOND. They’re not just a girl’s best friend no mo’!

Nobody who’s anybody slaves away for paradise. When you got all these credit cards, why they’re just as good as money. You pay off some shit and buy mo’ shit. It’s all about taking shortcuts, leveraging loans, zero percent financing, floating checks, robbing Peter to pay Paul, taking the financial leap, braving the freefall. Y’know it’s not the fall that’ll kill you. It’s the sudden stop! So you gotta spread your credit card wings and fly.

SOAR. And buy more and more and more. You don’t keep up with the Joneses. You own those bitches! And buy more and more and more until you’re so massive the gravity of your possessions sucks in everything else. And it grows and spirals outta of control and it consumes your soul. And then you become too big to fail.

Can’t you see it? Heaven on Earth. As far as the eye can see. Everything is yours…for the fleeting moment, before BOOM.

All that remains is silence, the clothes on your back and what you can carry.

Act now, and you can start living in paradise for a special price. Just sign on the dotted line. Don’t worry about the fine print. And tell ‘em The Fool sent ya! (wink)

0 The Fool

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1st Year Freelancing Anniversary

The beautiful thing about trying something new is opening myself up to new experiences. As a highly analytical person, I strategize to maneuver through life as best I can. So, just before resigning from teaching science at a public school, I’d paid off all debt, made a budget and tested the freelance waters.

I found a couple of decent-paying jobs, which led me to believe I could maintain the same lifestyle while working from home. I actually thought I’d “figured out” how to transition from employee to freelancer–all in a couple of months.

Of course, reality isn’t as tidy as dreaming. Very little of the contract work I received overlapped. I always had some money coming in, but hardly ever enough to meet the budget I’d planned. One of the agonizing things was the delay in payment after I’d completed the work, invoiced the client in a timely fashion and had to wait to be paid long after the payment was due.

I reset my budgetary priorities. Much later than I should have, I started clipping coupons and paying attention to the weekly specials at the grocery store. All of my social interactions had to be justified by networking/recruiting opportunities.  No more pure fun, hanging out unless it cost less than ten dollars.

About a month before my most lucrative writing job ended, I included alternative teaching positions in my daily job search. When 2015 arrived, I had three job interviews lined up for part-time teaching/tutoring jobs. The end result: I landed the best job out of the three.

In the meantime, no telecommuting educational writing/editing jobs have graced craigslist.  Since I’m teaching Adult Basic Education and GED classes part-time, I don’t want a second job I have to drive to; so I know that I’m limiting my options.

At the same time, I’m still loving the fact that my schedule allows me to do yoga, write, read, cook, exercise and run errands in the morning and early afternoon. Once I arrive at work, things are relaxing and I enjoy my job, which seems very receptive to embracing the artist in me.

So far, I’ve motivated some coworkers and a student to participate in painting a canvas for charity and secured scholarships for two students to participate in an international poetry festival. As a matter of fact, when I dropped by registration to pick up my packet, the chairperson gifted me 40 tickets for the headlining poet, Nikki Giovanni! Such a tremendous score since this was on the same day we had our big company meeting and a few intense comments had been made during the reporting of the “highlights.” I was so happy to sweeten the mood a little by giving out the free tickets to everyone who could make it. Considering over half of my coworkers are volunteers, who have next to no disposable income, I’m glad I could include them in this cultural event.

I also had many free passes left over for the evening students who were interested in attending. None of my students had never been to the Austin Convention Center, where the show will take place. I even assisted one student with her online search of which bus to take to get there. She was so surprised at how close she lived to the venue. I hope most, if not all, of my students attend. This will be such an eye-opening experience, even if some won’t know what to make of it.

Nonetheless, I don’t feel that I’m making significant progress on finishing my second novel. There’s a part of me that is disheartened by the fact that I don’t have the money to self-publish it. Although that should not be a stopper, my sense of urgency isn’t where it should be with this story.

In the meantime, organizing the Austin Writers Roulette has continued to open doors for me. As good fortune would have it, the roulette falls on the same weekend as the poetry festival. As a matter of fact, it is the culminating event. I’m excited about having fellow poets, my two poet students and some of my coworkers all present during this time.

This freelancing business has landed me in an unexpected place. I’m fortunate to have the flexibility to embrace the adventure.


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Good Morning Kiss

Good Morning KissFor the second year in a row, I contributed to a museum art fundraiser, where a local art supply store donated a 11 x 14″ canvas, 3 tubes of acrylic paint and two paint brushes. Anyone interested in participating, picked up the supplies at the museum and returned a decorated canvas a week before the opening reception. For a month, people bid on paintings via silent auction with the minimum bid starting at $50.

Since “Good Morning Kiss” was my first canvas of the year, I wanted to do something a little challenging. Originally, only the woman’s hand would be in focus, her face would be slightly out of focus and the guy would be completely out of focus. Ha!

Of course my plan was far above my skill level, especially within the allotted three weeks I had to complete the mission. The biggest pitfall was thinking I could dab on paint and still come up with with something that approximated the human form.

I wrestled with making the guy look more than some blob hovering over the woman. He was actually grotesque to look at. Then, his beard and other hair looked wrong.

One breakthrough: the “arm” I painted for him to the left of his head, made a much better “leg” for her! As soon as I made that discovery, I dabbed on a darker brown hue. Had I attempted in the beginning to make that a leg, I’m confident it would have turned out perfectly as his arm! That’s the beauty of my painting talent–I accomplish more when I’m aiming for a different target.

I corrected his beard and hair, thanks to a movie I’d watched during the making of this canvas. Afterwards, I did their hair and signed it.

The best thing about only having three weeks to paint it was not succumbing to perfectionism. When I showed one coworker a picture of this canvas, he exclaimed, “Oh, this actually looks like art!” I took his comment as a compliment and hoped the painting will fetch a decent amount of money for the museum’s educational programs.


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Dollars & Sense

Strutting my way to Bikram yoga one day, I noticed a quarter lying on the sidewalk. Barely breaking my stride, I swooped down to pick it up. To my dismay, it was a nickel. Now, was this just a case of objects appearing bigger from a distance? Or the sign of the financial times that money didn’t seem to go as far as it used to?

Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have bothered to pick up a mere nickel, with a dime being the smallest amount of money worth slowing my roll to retrieve. On the other hand, I have a sister who breaks for any amount of money, even pennies. She justifies this nonsense with the rationale, “That could be a wheat penny!”

Ah, yes, the infamous wheat penny. Minted from 1909 to 1956, wheat pennies have two stalks of wheat on the tails side. Wheat pennies value anywhere from 3 or 4 cents if in poor condition to around $10 in excellent condition. Most are made of copper, but steel wheat pennies were minted during WWII.

My ever optimistic, perpetually broke sister, who excitedly swoops up every stray red cent for the Holy Grail of coins, lives in a quixotic world of seeking something for nothing. Whereas I, the proverbial penny pincher whose time a penny is not worth picking up, am never broke. Even the rare times where I have incurred a debt to study or buy a new car, those loans were paid off well in advance, much to the lender’s chagrin.

Isn’t if funny how some people will waste a lot of time dreaming and scheming to discover treasure in plain sight or win big through state-sponsored gambling, such as lotteries and scratch-off tickets, but turn up their noses disdainfully at the thought of getting a temporary job so they can stop borrowing money to put gas in their car?

A penny for MY thoughts? You’d better put ten of them together. Better yet, toss me a quarter!



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Wraparound Boot Skirts

I got the creative, money-saving idea to make my next costume for the Austin Writers Roulette “Walk in Another’s Shoes” event. At the time, I hadn’t received my federal refund to rent or buy used outlandish shoes. So, I brainstormed wrapping my boots in decorated cloth.

Foolish me actually thought the decorating would take more time. I envisioned hand-sewing the cut ends of the cloth while watching TV. I even contacted a friend who loves crafting. She put me ahead of the game by sewing most of the hems on the two wraps and 12 ties, which really deluded me into thinking I’d have the entire costume sewn up, so to speak, in a matter of hours.

I feared making buttonholes by hand; so I put off the task for a week. Since I’d planned to attend a creative meetup where a costume designer would be present, I figured I’d get her opinion. In the meantime, I consulted one of my sisters who used to be an avid seamstress about making buttonholes by hand. Since she lives in another state, she talked me through the whole technique and answered my naive questions. During this conversation, I began to have an inkling of what I’d gotten myself into.

A few days later, the costume designer schooled me on a couple of things. First of all, the “wraparound boot skirts” were officially called “gaiters.” Gaiters are defined as protective gear worn over the shins. Since my creative endeavor was in no danger of being protective, I felt that my poetic name for them was better.

Secondly, the costume designer suggested the time-saving tip of removing two of the six ties on each wrap in order to sew them closer to where they could tie for a snugger fit. That way, I could avoid the whole handmade buttonhole business!
wrapSomehow, I became illogical after completing this first hurdle. I honestly thought I could decorate the gaiters in less time than I’d made them. I even researched how to attach the feathers, which was a a good thing since none of the research showed anyone using a hot glue gun…my original thought. In the end, I used a combination of heavy-duty double-sided tape, used to hang stuff on the walls, and HAND-SEWING!

Fortunately, the AISD superintendent called a snow day, which meant my evening Adult Basic Education class was canceled.  I spent over 5 hours arranging those feathers, taping them down, then reinforcing the entire shebang by hand-stitching the taped feathers to the cloth.

Oh. My. God. From threading the needle to driving that needle through layers of material with a thimbled finger, never has sewing been such a torturous endeavor!decoratedGranted, it was all worth the effort. After all, I’d spent less than $10 on materials, but that’s not counting my time.  As usual. 3 host's shoes

One of these days, I’m going to be compensated for the time I put into my art. Until then, I’ll just keep accepting donations for my monthly spoken word and poetry show. 14 boot attack

My wraparound boot skirts were a big hit that transcended species.  An adorable English bulldog puppy named Lily could barely contain her enthusiasm. In my yoga class, the instructors often talk about “English bulldog determination.” I got to experience first-hand, thanks to my footwear costume.

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