Thursday, December 29, 2011


     Reflexology, it’s a word not given credit by lots of folks.  Coo-coos, quacks, witch doctors, wanna-be doctors, and many more phrases attribute to any practice of holistic healing.  This is too bad, because the one and only experience I recently had, and hope to repeat soon, defied all of the above.
     As a new soldier, at my first duty station only about a year, I was involved in an accident with my feet.  I won’t get into the details, but it was bad. Since then, my feet have given me problems.  Problems that will probably lead to arthritis when I’m older.  I hope not though.
     After seeing a couple of podiatrists, and having different arch supports fitted to my feet, nothing worked.  All the inserts I tried were ineffective.  Even soaking my feet in those massaging and bubbling “foot tubs” you can buy anywhere was a waste of money.  Different shoes had no effect either.  So, I just learned to deal with the constant ache when I walked too much or stood too long.  I guess that’s what most people do with a chronic condition; we just learn to live with it when we can find no relief.
     Almost three years ago, I met a reflexologist.  As the Beauregard Parish Transportation Secretary, I am in daily contact with school bus drivers.  One day, a driver came in and our conversation turned to aching feet.  My ears pricked up as she explained she practiced reflexology.  She talked.  I listened.  After all, what would it hurt since nothing else brought me relief, I thought.  Months passed, as I kept wanting to visit Ms. Sue but everything seemed to keep getting in the way.  Last month, I finally went to see her.  Ironically, it was on Veterans’ Day.
     She had a little room set up in her house with dim lighting, soft music, a neck pillow, a fleece blanket, and a chair which reclined all the way back.  As soon as my feet were in the air, Ms. Sue removed my shoes and socks and started her magic. 
     Quickly she explained her feelings.  “God has given me a gift,” she said.  I believed her as I felt more than just tingling in her touch.  We talked as she worked on my feet.  Yes, it hurt, at first.  I told her how I wished I could relax, but nobody had ever pressed so hard on certain places.  It was hard for me to relax through the pressure she was applying.  She understood exactly what I was saying and said, “When I get through, it won’t hurt anymore.”  She was right.
     She devoted more than a half hour to my sore, tired, worn out feet.  Then, she told me to place my feet in a foot massager.  Yet, this was no ordinary massager.  The machine went all the way up to my knees.  It kneaded my calf and chin muscles, squeezed my feet back and forth, as tiny balls rolled under my feet simultaneously.  She left me to the machine, and exited for a little while.  I almost fell asleep. 
     When I got up, put my shoes and socks on, my entire body was tingling.  In my entire 41 years on this planet, my feet never felt so good, so relaxed, or so alive.  I said, “I feel like I’m walking on clouds.”  She smiled, nodded, and said, “I know, your facial expression says it all.”
     Now, I’m not a doctor, neither is Ms. Sue, but I will tell you I cannot wait to go back.  Proudly, I recommend for anyone to try this experience one time.  If you are a skeptic or a believer, please don’t continue to go through pain.  Another humbling aspect about Ms. Sue is that she doesn’t expect payment.  If you can pay, she’ll take it.  However, if you can’t, she will still beg you to come.  She said, “Some of my clients pay me in a baked cake, or they bring me eggs.” 
     Like in life, when all else fails, then we turn to Jesus.  Well, I’m here to encourage you when all else fails, try reflexology.  Mrs. Sue Granger at Longville only works on personal referrals.  She doesn’t advertise except for the few business cards she gave me.  If you want her number, let me know!
     I truly believe she has been given a gift from God, since her soul purpose is to help.   “It’s not about the money,” she said.  Why are we so skeptical when it comes to believing in miracles?  They happen to us all the time, but we just don’t see them.  We’re too busy, we’re too broke, we’re too this or too that.  I saw it, and I felt it that day.  Through the power of Jesus, I do believe Ms. Sue performed a miracle on my feet.  A miracle I want you to receive as well.  A miracle I can’t wait to experience again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Bucket List

“My Bucket List”
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, renewal, and rejoicing. In that spirit, I’ve made a bucket list and combined two facets of my life, emotional and physical, into this list.
  • Make a positive impact in someone’s life.
  • Try always being optimistic (which is hard at times).
  • Develop whatever talent God gave me.
  • Treat people with respect and dignity.
  • Enjoy my life.
  • Visit Jerusalem and the pyramids of Egypt (yeah, like that’s gonna happen.)
  • Go back to New York City.
  • See the Gettysburg battlefield.
  • Ride in a carriage and a streetcar in New Orleans.
  • Meet Robert Duvall and Billy Bob Thornton.
  • Have an experience with a ghost (preferably an affable spirit)
  • Be remembered when I die.
Those are just a few that came to me, there’s many more! We all need a bucket list. Yet, of all the things I haven’t done, here are some awesome things I HAVE experienced (including having a picture made with some fabulous writers):
  • Spent seven years in the Army, right out of high school.
  • Coached kids in basketball for almost ten years.
  • Saw the international space station fly over earth.
  • Wore a Superbowl ring on my finger.
  • Witnessed both a Broadway play, and an off-Broadway play.
  • Donated blood, with my mom, for Lifeshare on Mother’s Day one year.
  • Corresponded with producers of Rocky Balboa, The Stand, & Crocodile Dundee.
  • Had one of my screenplays compared to Mel Brooks.
  • Met Lois Smith who, as a young person, appeared in East of Eden with James Dean.
  • Participated in a poetry reading.
  • Spoke to students, and adults, on creative writing.
  • Knew one of my great-grandfathers, and one of my great-grandmothers.
  • Walked in the footsteps of slaves at plantations throughout Louisiana.
  • Captured two ghosts, or something unexplainable, in photographs.
Naturally, the accomplished list is much longer too.  The point is, of all the things I haven’t done, there are some really cool things I have done.  Adding to the cool list is meeting and having my photo taken with the award-winning writers Tony Kushner and Mark Harris! (I wanted them to squeeze me until I exploded!) What about you? Make your own list. It may surprise you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Bridge to Publication

“Advice from Insiders”
     On Saturday, Nov 12th, Bayou Writers’ Group of Lake Charles hosted their 8th annual writing conference, ‘A Bridge to Publication’. My guess is about 60 people attended, although I haven’t seen the official numbers yet. Guest speakers included D.B. Grady, a Baton Rouge author and contributor to The Atlantic; Anita Mumm, first reader at the Literary Nelson Agency in Colorado; and Columnist, AND New York Times best-selling author, Mark Harris.
      At the beginning of the program, emcee Curt Iles, encouraged attendees to be “writing sponges.” I took his advice, and absorbed information all day! So much so, by the end of the day I felt mentally whipped. Seriously! It was as if my mind could hold no more input. For added fun, we had door prizes and our “On the Wall Contest” where the premise was to entice your reader from the very first page. I was excited when my uncle, Rick Bailey, won with his entry titled, “The 19th Kentucky Regiment.” He is working on an historical fiction novel about the Civil War and I anxiously await its completion! He is a wonderful writer.
      Each presenter shared valuable insight. For example, D.B. Grady explained why it’s better to have an agent than a publisher, and why being published badly is worse than not being published at all. Additionally, Anita Mumm presented key points on the importance of query letters. Finally, Mark Harris posed four questions to the audience.
1) Who are you, and how are you conveying who you are to readers?
2) Whom are you writing for?
3) How much feedback do you want from readers?
4) Why are you choosing to write about the things you want to write about?
      As Forrest Gump© says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Well, you never know who you will meet at our conferences. Case in point, Mark Harris’ husband is none other than the Tony©, Emmy©, and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, and Golden Globe©, AND Academy Award© nominee, Tony Kushner! (Who was in the audience! I swear! I have pictures to prove it! Oh my God, I really tried not to stalk them, but couldn’t help myself!)
      On a more serious note, if you are a writer, I invite you to become a member of Bayou Writers’ Group. We meet to educate, encourage, and inspire each other as we continually strive to be better writers. Being around other writers is uplifting. If you are looking for a writing group, we “get it” at BWG. Check out our website at As president, I look forward to meeting you!
      Our membership did a fantastic job of preparing and decorating for this event. It took months of planning to pull this off, and saying “thank you” in no way conveys my gratitude. BWG is the best! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 2011 Louisiana Book Festival

This Saturday, Oct 29th, I'll be working as a volunteer at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge.  I can't wait.  My job will be author escorts from inside the Capitol.  Woo-Hoo!  Can't wait to see the Capitol up close.  I also can't wait to meet and visit with authors from around the state.  The best part, it's all FREE!  That's right, free! 

They'll be writers, food, music, and children's activities; not to mention a few Bayou Writers' Group members will be there.  Both Rodney Hennigan and Curt Iles will be there.  Rodney will be part of a panel of authors giving a presentation, and Curt will be a vendor selling his books and making contacts.  This should be a great experience.

I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Forget Fantasy Football, How 'Bout a Fantasy Interview?

If you had one, only one, person to interview who would it be, and what would you say?  Do you think the words twirling around in your brain could actually come out of your mouth, or would you only stand there like the biggest idiot on the planet?  I'd like to put that to the test some day say on...

Clint Eastwood...

Robert Duvall...

Ben Stiller...

There has to be somebody out there who knows these people?  I've heard they're famous.  (It could happen!)

Who would you interview?  Think about it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Reflection of Myself

Hello!  It's been a while and I apologize.  Although writing still consumes me, three months is a long time to disregard my blog.  So, here is a piece.

I said to my peers at work the other day in regards to writing, "Y'all have children.  You already have left something behind.  I don't have kids.  Writing is my way of leaving something behind."  I don't think my words sank in because the looks on their faces reflected they had forgotten what their lives were like without children.

But, it's true.  I want to leave words behind.  Words are just as tangible as a house, a picture album, or family home videos.  My words are my family.  I mold and cultivate my pieces to what I want them to be, just as parents do to their children.  I'm sure all writers do the same.  Don't they?  However, those of us with no offspring offer a different beauty, a different addition to this big world.

We offer feelings, confusions, doubts, ideas, and emotions all intertwined with a hope others see us just as we see the reflection of parents in their children.  My words are indeed my children, and I hope you can see me reflected in them!

*Random thought - In addition to your children, what else are you contributing to the world?