I’m Adele!!


Not even the wide open views like the one above can be enough to so entrance a driver that I don’t need distraction. As a teenager, driving my Ford Pinto station-wagon around the streets of my hometown (most would tell you I drove on two wheels, or too fast for a four wheels to touch the road) I always had some tunes on, blaring from the speakers as loud as I could stand it. I loved Led Zeppelin and Heart the most but Pink Floyd, Eagles, AC/DC and the real Van Halen and blues music followed close behind. Those are still top choices for me, but I have added Adele, Korn and numerous other alternative rock bands to that list.

One of the songs I loved by the Eagles was ‘Take It Easy’. Though as a teenager, I didn’t understand the meaning of some of the lyrics. I had no idea what they meant when they sang the line, ‘Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy.’ I found out what that meant when I started driving a truck; the constant whine and drone of the tires on the asphalt is unlike any other noise. It’s an animal all its own and mile after mile even on the days when I don’t want the sound of anything else in my world, if I’m driving, I have that drone for company. It’s not comforting by any means but it’s addictive in its own way.

When I’m driving, I ALWAYS have something for noise. It can be a local radio station or a CD or it can be an audiobook; most times, it’s anything that will drown out that drone. One thing that is typical of me is that I sing, whether it sucks or it’s out of tune, if I know half the words and only have myself for an audience, I open up and let it fly. That’s why I have always said that on my side of that windshield, I can be anybody I want. For several days in a row I might be Annie Wilson (as if anybody else could be), or Jonathon Davis, Etta James, Madonna, or BB King. Anyone I want, and nobody else has to suffer for it. And trust me when I say, that’s a good thing.

For now, on my side of that windshield, I’m Adele!!


A Short Story

I had someone send me an email requesting a different sample from one of my books, saying that the samples she’d read weren’t ‘detailed’ enough so maybe this will fix that.


Nataly Conner finally married the love of her life; Nate and Cat Goretti, the two main characters in the book ‘Sunsets In Virginia’, married on May 11, 1996 and they went to Hawaii on a two week honeymoon. This is an excerpt from Part 4 of ‘Sunsets In Virginia’.moonlight

Kahuku Point, HA   5/19/1996

The surf rolled softly onto the sand as they looked up and toward the north. Cat had pulled a sheet from the linen closet and took a small cooler to Nate, who was sitting in the living room and reading a book.
“Here, you carry this and follow me.”
“Sure thing, darlin’; I like it when you’re bossy.”
Nate grinned at Cat as she turned and left the room. Cat looked back to be sure Nate was with her as she picked up a couple of outdoor cushions and stepped off the deck.
“Where are we goin’, darlin’?”
“Just out here. The rain has stopped and the skies are so clear. I’m taking you comet watching.”
Nate snickered, “Cool, I’ve never called it ‘comet watching’ before.”
The stars were close and twinkling. The temperature was in the mid seventies and Cat spread the sheet over the cushions and Nate lay down beside her. The Hale-Bopp Comet was visible with the naked eye; just looking to the north, there was no way to miss it. It had been visible for some time and was getting brighter.
“How did you find out about this, darlin’?”
“I heard it on the news. I’ve seen it before, but it was very faint. It’s getting brighter as it gets closer to Earth.”
“What are comets anyway?” Nate asked.
“They’re balls of ice, gas and dust. Most are visible with a telescope when they’re close to the sun. Some compare them to dirty snowballs, and the nuclei can be a mixture of most anything.”
“How far away is that one?”
“That I don’t know but it depends on the orbit. The lifespan of a comet depends on the orbit too. They could last twenty to two hundred years, maybe millions. They can disintegrate and lose their tails, too. Year before last, the comet called Shoemaker-Levy9 crashed into Jupiter.”
“How big are they?”
“Well, that depends. The nuclei I mentioned is the part that looks like a ball but the shape is irregular and the tails can be different gases. Some are thirty miles across.”
“Really? That would barely fit in the beltway that surrounds Washington DC.”
“Yeah, and comets have been watched since ancient times; the Great Comet of 1811 was visible for months and the scientists predict this one will beat that record.”
“I’ve only heard of Halley’s Comet. I was reading about Mark Twain or really Samuel Clemmons and he was born and died with the comets appearance.”
“Wasn’t Halley’s visible on the day of his birth and death?”
“Not exactly; he was born November 30, 1835 which was two weeks after Halley’s closest approach to Earth and he predicted his death by the return of the comet; he basically said he’d come into this world with the comet and he’d go out with it too. He died one day after the return of Halley’s on April 21, 1910. I love Sam Clemmons; I have always wanted to go see ‘Mark Twain Tonight’, it’s a show that Hal Holbrook does about him. I’ve heard it’s great.”
Cat opened her mouth to say something, but closed it again.
“Has Halley’s been around long?”
“Yes, it’s been seen at least as early as 240 BC and mentioned in ancient texts in China and Babylonia.”
“That is so cool, but I see comets all the time,” Nate said so seriously.
“When have you seen a comet? You never said anything to me about it.”
“I see comets and stars every time you kiss me, sugarbottom. I see planets collide and galaxies born when you make love to me, too.”
Just when Cat thought Nate couldn’t be any sweeter…she burst out laughing at her and Nate reached to grab her before she could get away.
“What are you laughing at?”
“I just, -that was almost too sweet.”
“Really? Well, let me see if I can demonstrate. Maybe I can show you a few stars.”
“I brought you out here for comet watching.”
“All right, then.”
Nate fell back onto her side of their beach bed, leaving Cat alone on her side. Cat rolled toward Nate and Nate rolled away again, and pouted.
“Nope, nope, you had your chance, darlin’. I’m watching a comet.”
“Nate, don’t be like that.”
“Be like what? You turned me down and I’m on my side not pestering you.” Nate took a deep breath and said, “I knew it would be like this; I marry you then show you the will and you’ll only have sex with me once a month from now on. That’s what wives do; they trap you and you can’t catch ’em, ’cause they’re always out runnin’ with someone else.”
Cat stayed in the middle, propping her head up and staring a hole into Nate’s head. She didn’t move away, she just stared at her. Nate started glancing in Cat’s direction, just out of the corner of her eye. Nate turned back toward Cat.
“You don’t believe me do you? That I’m so in love with you that you are my world, my stars and sunshine. You have become my solar system that everything I am and everything I have or will ever do revolves around you.”
Cat only smiled slightly.
“Ok, I won’t bother you anymore.” Nate started to get up but Cat jumped her, lying on top of Nate, she teased her bottom lip. Cat ran her tongue up the side of Nate’s jaw and kissed her ear.
Cat whispered softly, “Don’t ever accuse me of that again; that’s not nice and you know it’s not true. You know I love you more than anyone and always will. You know I will never be anything but yours.”
Nate looked sharply at her wife, “Darlin’, surely you don’t believe I –”
Cat didn’t answer.
“Cat, please tell me you don’t think I was serious. Darlin’?”
Nate reached to touch her cheek and felt for tears, but there were none. Cat put her hand over Nate’s and kissed her palm. Nate was almost to the point of tears, believing she had hurt her. Cat was still close to Nate’s ear.
“Cat, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.”
It was the quietest whisper, more of a breath, but Nate caught it and Cat was on the move as soon as it escaped her lips.
“You’d better come back here, dammit!!” Nate grabbed the bottom of Cat’s swimsuit and yanked her back.
Cat screamed and laughed, but Nate had her. Nate covered her quickly and kissed her for all she was worth, until Cat settled in and returned the kiss. Nate wouldn’t let her go and in the next moment, Cat didn’t want to get away. Nate sat up over Cat’s abdomen, holding her down and pulled her t-shirt over her head. Cat raised her arms to Nate, asking to be held. With her clothing tossed aside, Nate leaned down to kiss her and remove her swim suit. Cat was trying to pull Nate closer but Nate resisted enough that Cat ran her hands over Nate’s back and down around her sides as Nate untied the top piece of Cat suit, releasing her breasts and Nate bent to kiss and fondle them.
Cat was breathing deeply and wanted Nate to lie down with her but Nate was still holding herself above Cat on her hands and knees.
“Baby, lay down here so I can hug you.” Nate snickered at her. “Please.”
“Nope, I’m gonna make comets but right now I’m playin’ with lollipops.”
Cat laughed as Nate continued the attention, before becoming completely engrossed in what Nate was doing, but she still wanted Nate to be closer.
“Baby, you feel so good, please come down here. I want to kiss you, too.”
“No, I’m busy.”
“I’ll give you a Yankee dime.”
“I got half dollars right here.”
“I’ll share the wine I brought with you, pretty please.”
“I’m getting drunk here, too.” Nate was hearing Cat’s breathing getting deeper.
“Baby, if you don’t come down here, I won’t be –”
Nate switched to trailing kisses over her shoulder, pausing at one spot over her collar bone that was especially sensitive and the more Nate sucked and teased it, the more Cat pleaded. Nate was only concentrating on what Cat’s breathing and whispers were telling her. Cat slowly moved her hands up Nate’s thighs and over her hips. She could barely reach Nate’s cheek and ear to kiss her. Cat was still moving her hands over Nate’s skin until she decided to go after Nate another way.
Nate was licking her breasts again and Cat had one hand behind Nate’s neck, but she slipped her other hand between Nate’s thighs and felt of the heated liquid waiting there. Nate released a groan of pure pleasure as Cat moved her fingers, using two fingers to enter her and her thumb to massage the clitoris that was demanding attention. In less than two minutes, Nate had to abandon the kissing and teasing of Cat’s breasts as she lost herself in Cat’s movements. Nate’s breathing spiked as she felt the climax begin to zing through her head and her heart.
“I love you so much,” Nate whispered to her.
Cat held the back of her head, running her fingers through Nate’s hair as she whispered to Nate, “I love you, baby. Let it go, Nate.”
In another moment, Nate was so close to coming and she dropped her head onto Cat’s shoulder and let go; the racing blood in her veins making Nate lightheaded ran faster as she whispered to Cat she was coming.
Nate was so short of breath but breathing so hard, she couldn’t hold herself up any longer and she slowly fell into Cat’s arms. She stretched out next to Cat with her eyes still closed, trying to slow her breathing. Cat loved the feel of Nate so close to her and she wrapped her arms around Nate and held her there.
“Yeah,” Nate breathed, “Definitely comets, darlin’. You want to try some?”
“I’m very close to stars right now,” Cat told her.
Nate rested for one minute and slid down to share her comets and added some lightning too.

My Accent

As long as I’ve been driving, the question I’m asked the most is about ‘where I’m from’. I said before that growing up in Tennessee as a lesbian was never easy but I do love my part of the country; to me, it’s lovely with short rolling hills and winding roads that follow rivers and creeks. There is a certain bright blue of the sky that no other sky can match. When I’m on my way home, crossing the Mississippi river going east or the Tennessee river going west makes me feel at home; it’s the familiar West Tennessee cradle that I grew up in and I’m never ‘at home’ anywhere else. I’m almost there and can feel her arms more with every mile.

The main reason people ask where I’m from is because of my accent. West Tennessee accents are different from East Tennessee accents. Dolly Parton talks fast compared to most local folks around Pigeon Forge, but the accent in West Tennessee flows quicker with warmth. I have had to explain to people before that I don’t sound like Paula Deen; she was raised in a completely different part of the country and that south Georgia is a world away. I have told people who ask about my accent that I don’t have an accent, they do.

People in Texas, say ‘Fork’ with three syllables and people in Georgia say ‘Oil’ with two syllables. We all say ‘Bless their heart’ and pronounce ‘pecan’ in one of three different ways. The first is ‘pee-can’ (which is wrong). The second is ‘pee-kon’ (which is wrong). The third way is ‘puh-kon’ (which is right).

I have always been told, “I love your accent.” For which I’m truly thankful. I was in Santa Maria California a few years ago and the guy driving the forklift was asking me questions while loading my truck. I answered him time and again and when he was through with the loading he told me, “I hope you don’t think I was being too nosy, asking all those questions. To be honest, I just wanted to hear you talking. That is a great accent.”

I don’t usually fall for such things, but to be honest, the compliment made my eyes tear up. It made me miss home that much more. For so many to say that they like the way I speak, that ‘kind’ of compliment was an isolated incident. Until last week.

I was delivering a load of paper in Florida at 1am and while going through my mail on my new phone, the only other driver there came over to my truck and asked to see my phone. Of course I looked at him like he was from the moon and he grinned, “I wouldn’t expect you to hand me that phone. Would you mind if I looked at it while you showed me some things? It’s the type of phone I’m thinking of switching to.”

I smiled back and told him he could step up to look in and we talked for more than 30 minutes. I told him I had to join the modern age and get a phone with internet so I could keep up with the sales of my books, my new blog and my email. He said he had three children in different parts of the country and he was gonna have to do the same thing. Then he asked me about my blog and I told him about ‘Butterbean’. Being a driver, he thought it was a sweet handle and it fit me. His next sentence made me smile.

“You have to tell the ones following your blog about that accent. They should be hearing your words in a true southern style. It’s like a warm chocolate chip cookie, sweet and luscious. It’s ebb and flow is intoxicating like a sip of Gentleman Jack and comforting as an old quilt.”

I said, “You need to quit lyin’ go do some writing too.”

He laughed and said, “You have a good night, sweetheart. Thank you for talking with me.”

I thought about that compliment for awhile. I’m smiling right now.Gainesville, FL Sunset Sunset in Gainesville,FL

I want those toys, too

I was talking to my wife last night about other authors because she’d seen a piece on the news where an unknown author had written a book and became an overnight sensation and made millions of dollars in the last 12 months. Needless to say, I’m not trying to make millions. I think $100,000 would be ok; it would get me out of debt and $200,000 would help me quit driving to write full-time. But I’d want to save about $100,000 to be able to buy a truck when the wife decided she’d had enough of my ‘writing full-time’.

I’ve always said the more famous authors were such braggers; they have a right to be, selling as many books as they do. But have you ever noticed how some of them can’t resist telling about their new toys? A main character in their book would have an SUV worth $100,000 that they took into the woods because of the 4-wheel drive capabilities. That’s crap. A character in a book is a pilot; is it because it’s part of their job or the author could finally afford to learn to fly? Their very first Mercedes always makes it into the book.
I think it would be so cool to be able to write that way; for instance, to be able to describe the dream house I just bought because I could finally afford it. Someone pointed out that some of my characters have expensive stuff. I laughed and said that was because ‘I wanted one’.
The Ford F-150 in metallic chocolate brown with 4 doors and a caramel leather interior that Rhae drives is my favorite truck. And a pipe dream. I’d love to trade this 18-wheeler for that pick up.mustang

I told my wife that if we ever did win the ‘Lot-try’, I’d have to find a small horse farm because I love horses so much and I’d be looking for a 1969 Ford Mustang (like the one in the photo), but I’d be ordering that pickup first. I’m not the type to spend thousands of dollars on a vase or shower curtain, but in my books I describe a few of the toys I’d love to have. The wife wasn’t amused when I said I would ‘like a toy that looked like Cat Goretti’. (character in ‘Sunsets In Virginia’)
I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with millions of dollars, but I’d damn sure go to Hawaii on vacation!

My Windows and Looking Back

Driving a truck, it seems I look back a lot. The view from my windows contains four mirrors looking back. I have seen many sunsets, thunderstorms and rainbows through those mirrors.

Looking back at my life works the same way. Being a lesbian and growing up in Tennessee was never easy and though I tried several different types of relationships, I always went back to women. I’ve never been one to compromise for love. Love me or don’t. It doesn’t matter which, but it does influence whether or not I’ll be back.

At 48 years of age, I’ve been in a relationship for 17 years, driving for 17 years, and I’ve gone home to the same woman for 17 years. I don’t see that changing; unless she comes to her senses and changes the locks.Image

I saw this rare sight in Memphis while I was on my way to the yard one evening about a month a go. I’ve never seen another rainbow like it.