Joyce Melton

Twig

Sometimes, knowing can be too much, and not knowing is just enough...

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Twig

By Joyce Melton

At the back of the property in Las Perdidas, a gnarled old tree grew. I'd seen it out there many times since we moved. It must have been there before the new subdivision went in and the builders had left it standing because it probably costs money to bulldoze a tree, even a tree that no one needs or wants.

Sparky Is My Hero

Originally posted February 13, 2000 on Original BigCloset

"Sparky Is My Hero"
by Joyce E. Melton
February 13, 2000
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Awake at three a.m.

Awake at three in the morning. It's a contradiction of human existence, I guess.

I'm awake right now because I was having a weird dream. In the dream, Mel Brooks asks what if Buddha had been a nice Jewish boy from Queens?

Siddhartha the Buddha, or as his mother called him, Siddhartha the Bum.

She says to him, Sid, Sid, why don't you get a job? Your brother Marty has a nice job on Wall Street and what are you doing? Sitting under a tree eating plums!

I woke up laughing.

I tried to go back to sleep but Mrs. Gautama kept talking.

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Story Structure

A long discussion with my brother about various longform fictions brought up some ideas I thought to share.

Story structure is key to almost all commercial and popular fiction, movies and television. What I'm talking about is what you might call the information flow of the story if you were an engineer (which both my brother and I have been). The segments below could be episodes or chapters or groups of episodes or chapters. In something as short as a novelette, they could be very short indeed.

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Simple Beans - A Recipe for a Lazy Day

Cut up one slice of bacon (streaky bacon for Brits) into small pieces. Fry in your favorite deep skillet till nearly crisp. Add 1/2 cup chopped brown onion and fry until onion is beginning to brown. Add two cans (three or four cups) of beans, pinto, black, kidney or white. Add two tablespoons molasses, brown sugar or honey. Stir. Turn heat down to medium low and cook uncovered until well-thickened. Cover and turn heat to low and keep cooking until beans are quite tender.

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Katie Leone passed away

I just got the news a few minutes ago. Felix, Katie's boyfriend texted me. Katie passed away after they got home from their paper route this morning. Heart attack, apparently.

Remember Katie who just wanted to touch people with her stories. She was my friend. And think of Felix who loved her.

Hugs to all,
Joyce

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Update on Katie in ICU

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Felix, Katie's boyfriend, reports that they have the heart arrhythmia under control and the blood tests back so they can start fine-tuning the antibiotics. Katie's blood gases are better but that's after they put her on a breathing tube. Her kidneys are working so that's good. She spiked a temp yesterday and during it tried to get up and leave but they talked her back into bed.

Still very serious condition but the doctors believe they have things in hand and she should be getting better from here on.

Hugs to all and thanks for all the prayers and good thoughts,
Erin

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Katie Leone in the ICU

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Katie was taken to the hospital last night with labored breathing, elevated heart rate and a high fever. She has bronchitis, pneumonia and even more alarming, septicemia (blood poisoning). I talked to her about an hour ago and she said she is likely to be in the hospiital for some time.

I'm sure she would appreciate the prayers and good thoughts of the community here at BigCloset where she has been a member for more than twelve years. She has promised to keep me posted and I also talked to her boyfriend. I'll blog an update now and then.

Hugs to all,
Erin

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Jeannie loved Halloween

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Eleven years ago, Jeannie died on the day before Halloween, the holiday she loved for its morbid humor.

Last year at this time, I got out of town and went to New Jersey to be with other friends and try not to notice the loneliness.

This year, I knew I would be alone. I've been depressed since I got back from New Jersey in June, having decided then that I would not run away again.

I have been very ineffective in getting things done the last few months. This afternoon, I re-read my blogs and poems from that awful time and I cried. I cried again for Jeannie.

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Prometheans by Joyce Melton & Lainie Lee from Doppler Press

Doppler Press's newest offering is a compilation of the Promethean Metaverse stories previously posted on BC.

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Herself

 

Herself

by Joyce Melton

 

"It's funny," Leanne said, there near the last.

I sat quietly beside her, not wanting to speak because I didn't think anything could be funny. My wife of less than two years lay dying from internal bleeding that the doctors would not be able to stop, and I didn't feel that I could laugh ever again.

Groo en Español

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Had another good day at the con, bought some comics collections, including one of Groo off of Sergio Aragonés in Spanish. I asked him if he wrote the dialog himself but he said no, that he wrote the stories and drew them but as usual Mark Evanier wrote the dialog and then Sergio had some other person translate Mark's dialog into Spanish. Seems roundabout. :) I know that there are comics out there that Sergio has done in Spanish that he wrote himself but he didn't have any at the con. It sort of tickled him that I bought the one I did.

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A little Spanglish for my brother this morning

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Sing to the tune of "Desperado":

Desayuno,  ¿por qué no vienes a nuestras mesas?
You've been visiting other places
Son casi diez.
 ¡Ay, haces tan frio!
You don't have any more pancakes.
Me gustan aquellos tanto.
 ¿No hacer má¡s puedes?

Con abrazos,
Erin

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Uncle Hank and the Cold Potato Part 2

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Daddy's brother, Uncle Virgil, dropped in on the New Years party that had turned into an Arkansawyer wake for Hank Williams. Naturally, the story had to be retold about the time he had shown up at Ma Dale's and eaten two whole fried chickens all by himself, with biscuits and corn on the cob and buttermilk to drink. Uncle Virgil stood five-foot-five and weighed about 120 pounds but he was a legendary eater.

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Uncle Hank and the Cold Potato Part 1

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Mom taught me my letters and how to sound-spell and I would puzzle out some of the shorter words, getting good enough that with my supply of imagination, a lot of people thought I could read. By the middle of the following summer, before my fifth birthday, I really could though I still needed help with some of the harder words.

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Little Golden Memories in a Little Red House

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I’m not sure how long we stayed with Ma and Pa that time, not more than a few months I’m sure. We moved into a house in town that wasn’t much more than a shed for a short time and then into a place I called The Little Red House. It had asphalt siding made to look like red bricks and it sat between the schoolhouse and The Big Red House where another bunch of cousins lived.

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Ham Biscuit on a Green Glass Plate

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We moved back to Senath, Missouri, midway down the western edge of the Bootheel sometime in 1952. Both sets of grandparents lived there and aunts, uncles and cousins; too many to shake a stick at, as the saying goes.

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The Left-Handed Cantaloupe

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Mom took an immediate job in one of the agricultural sheds since Aunt Opal would stay at home to take care of me and John. Dad soon joined Mom, sorting fruit and vegetables for shipment. I seem to remember this as being cantaloupes, but that doesn't seem right since we arrived in fall after most of the melons would have already been harvested.

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Painting the Chinaberry Trees

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Near the end of the three weeks, Aunt Grace got a phone call from Aunt Opal, the oldest of the sisters. Aunt Opal lived in Brawley, California a town almost as much like Casa Grande as Cleveland is like Chicago, which is to say, quite a lot and not at all.

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Egg McMelton or Breakfast Club Sandwich

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I've had something so good the last few mornings that I had to share it. I call it an Egg McMelton. :)

For each sandwich:
Chopped onion, about one thick slice chopped
Another slice of raw onion, red is really good
Two slices of crisp bacon, or not so crisp if you prefer
Some lettuce, iceberg is fine, leaf lettuce is good, or spinach
A slice of tomato, optional because I seldom have tomato in the house
An egg, the star of the sandwich

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Semi-Annual BC Picnic

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We had a great time at the BC picnic yesterday! We stayed so late, we had to take down the tents in the dark. LOL.

I'll let someone else who's better with names list who all made it, I'm afraid my memory would fail me and I would leave someone out.

It was great to see some old friends and meet a few more new ones in person. I think we talked about everything from document hassles to where to put the period at the end of a quotation. :)

I don't know when we can have another of these but we can probably talk about it in chat.

Hugs to all,
Erin

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Sam Valentine -P2- How Ba-ad Could It Be?

Sam Valentine in on a mission; going home to take a bath. There's no time to deal with random insults from people who think they're bad.

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Sam Valentine -P1- The Knight of Hearts Client

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Sam just wants to go home and wash off the grime of the city.

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A Thanksgiving Poem

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There are folk who are hungry,
But we have food.
There are folk who are cold and in danger,
But we are warm and safe.
There are folk who are alone,
But we have each other.
There are those who have sacrificed
Peace, comfort and joy
That we may have all of those things.
Let us be thankful then,
In memory of them.

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