Ten Forty-Five on a Piney Woods New Year’s Eve

THE GOOD OLD BOYS deep in these panhandle Florida pine woods couldn’t wait until 11:59 to kick up a fuss.  It’s only 9:15 when I hear the first muffled whumps and booms of roman candles, aerial repeaters and shells, and firecrackers.  When I step outside I feel a frisson of electricity in the air and hear the crackle of sparklers. The cloudy night sky erupts into a poor-man’s kaleidoscope.

Buck is writing at his desk in a bright circle. I’m already in bed, leaning against a stack of pillows, listening to a Spotify playlist for a random search of the word “Talisman,” and typing on the extension of my fingers also known as a Surface Pro 2, my all-time favorite gadget tool.

Ah, here he comes now with our treat for the evening, a bag of Dove dark chocolates.

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Earlier this evening we lightly steamed a pound of blue crab claws (the little, cocktail size) and nearly two pounds of sweet and tender Pensacola Bay shrimp. Buck stirred up his special dipping sauce, a mix of horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, ketchup and a smidgen of mayonnaise. I doused a small plate of sliced Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and house-roasted meaty red peppers with olive oil, ground pepper and oregano. We took our feast to the room we call the Snow Porch (the naming of that room is a story for another time), along with a bowl of Naked Pita chips and our drinks, and fell to.

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Tonight is merely an arbitrary convention to delineate one measure of time from the next, but I welcome it as a conscious pause button, a mindful thumb on the scale.

I washed our bed linens today, the Oxford stripe blue sheets and the warm gold duvet cover.  The serene blue and burnished gold please me.

I’ve moved past the Talisman music and have gone to a favorite created playlist for my characters, Grace and Jess. They still have a lot of mountains to climb, a lot of growing to do.

Eons ago when I worked as Director of Communications for the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, we began each year with what we called a “Program of Work.” I have a loose program of work of my own to start the year off with a bang that includes a challenging ten-week online course hosted by Creative Nonfiction, called Boot Camp for Writers.  It begins next week. Mid-month brings a six-week online course, Advanced Fiction. I’m fired up and ready to go.

So am I blogging again?  The title is The Do-It-Yourself Writer, subhead Elizabeth Westmark’s Scribble Space.  Maybe the sub-subhead should be Making It Up As I Go Along.

Hope you chase down or get covered up by clouds of bliss this year.

6 thoughts on “Ten Forty-Five on a Piney Woods New Year’s Eve

  1. Happy New Year!

    We spent the evening quietly, together. Gini prepared her traditional potato/leek/shrimp soup. We toasted at the stroke of midnight with a punch of Vernor’s Ginger Ale and lime sherbet. We kissed – a lot.

    Talk to you soon, Young Sister!

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    1. Vernor’s and lime sherbet kisses. That has the ring of a number one country music hit. (I remember a punch like that with pineapple sherbet, I think.)

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  2. Ah, Beth! How lovely to start this new year with your words. I love your blog posts, always, and I love that you are focusing on writing. I look forward to reading you this year – in as many ways as I can get access to.
    love,
    v

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  3. I’m delighted to hear that you’re starting an online writing class pretty soon. That’s exciting. I’ve taken several over the years since I do better with some direction and motivation which the assignments provide.

    Best wishes from me to you, Beth, in 2014.

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    1. Me, too, Cheryl. Even though I’m playing at fiction now, I keep coming back to the creative nonfiction form and am eager for this class. I look forward to following your adventures and perspective again this year.

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