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Yesterday, Mom and I ate at Lisa’s Sports Bar. Yes, we did. See, I went into Butt Drugs to get a prescription filled, and Margie was eating a carry-out plate lunch of country fried steak, my mother’s all-time favorite dish. The place she used to get it closed and we’ve been chasing around looking for another connection, so OF COURSE I asked Margie where she got it, and she said Lisa’s.

We had been there once before, and felt like we got the fish-eye from the regulars (most likely our imagination), so this time we went through to the back room, which was pretty much empty.


Lisa’s is a smoker-friendly establishment. When I say “smoker-friendly”, I mean there are ashtrays on every table, on the washbasin in the bathroom AND ON THE BACK OF EVERY TOILET TANK. The men’s and women’s rooms were marked not only by the standard plaques, but like this:


I’m like, “I have got to take a picture of this.” Which I did.

The food was FANTASTIC! Down-home cooking of the finest kind. Mom got her all-time favorite dish, country-fried steak, mashed potatoes and fried apples. I got the fish sandwich. Both were outstanding. The coffee was really good, too. AFTER we had our food, we found out they have frog legs, my mother’s other all-time favorite dish. When we got the bill, we called the waitress over twice to make sure she had included everything–it was so low we were convinced she’d undercharged us. But no, it was really that low.

After that, we went to Alstott’s, the Best. Hardware. EVER! They have SO MUCH STUFF, and they’re always so helpful and friendly. I got an immersion blender and had to be dragged away. They have cast iron cookware, some made specifically for campfires (like I would ever camp…) and things to cut things off things and all kinds of flashlights, and… well, STUFF. It’s great!

Today, I’m at Cafe on the Square. Saw J’s daughter, Nathan of Cellar on the Square, Darryl, Butchie. Darryl was given some bubbles and was walking around blowing bubbs.


Nathan and I talked about pumpkin wine. A friend sent me a recipe, but Nathan said he already has one. He said to bring him the one I have, though, because it might be different from the one he has.

Well, that’s enough of this. I’m working on updating my website and hope to get the new version up by spring. I think I’ll keep this blog and just use the web site for professional stuff.

BTW, I’m tweeting on Twitter!


Writing prompt: Send a character into a restaurant where he/she feels out of place.

I didn’t go into town today–just so cold, and I had a yearning for the home fires. So I’m going to stay online until I get my pictures loaded, and anyone who wants to call us can just lump it.

sparkleFirst, here is a picture of Janet, one of my dear friends at church. I call her “Sparkle”, not because we share the same taste for glittery jewelry, but because she makes me happy. No matter what’s going on in her life–and she’s had some hard times–she can always dig up a smile for me, and she can usually come up with some comment that makes me laugh. You can’t see what a sweet smile she has, because she was pretending she was avoiding my camera, but maybe you can see the gleam of mischief in her eyes.

Okay, so now I’ll try to post my pictures of Corydon, which I took yesterday. Charlie says it snowed big-time at home, and covered the grass. I didn’t see that in Corydon, so I don’t think it snowed THAT hard in town. Corydon is so small, you wouldn’t think it had room for weather variations, but it does seem to. Friends have said they can sit in the sun on their ridge and look over to my ridge and watch it rain. Cool!

Anyway, here is my lair at the library. This isn’t the entrance, and has a big sign on it saying “Please use other door”, but people come in it sometimes. Maybe I’ll start snapping their pictures when they do it. Maybe I’ll get a Junior Library Police badge in my Ovaltine. Maybe not. The black thing close to the doors is one of Corydon’s many historical markers. The bigger black thing toward the edge of the photo is a clock. I totally LOVE having a town clock!


Here is my other lair, Cafe on the Square at Magdalena’s.

And here is Joy’Z, the terrific diner that’s losing its space due to a rent rise that’s impossible to meet.


Finally, here is the Square. Beautiful place. The small stone building is Indiana’s First State Capitol Building, which has been restored. The tee-ninesy building beyond it is a storage shed. The big brick building behind it is the Court House. All the trees are strung with white lights, all switched on at the Light Up Corydon celebration at the end of November. The gentleman in bronze is former Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon, who was from Corydon.


So that’s my little town. See why I love it?

I just had an ugly thought: What if the owner of the building where Joy’Z is has had an offer from Wal-Mart, who wants to put a “neighborhood grocery” in there? Great. I needed something else to keep me up nights.


writing prompt: Would your main character be for or against the scenario I’ve just outlined? Why or why not?

I’m blogging at the coffee house this morning. It’s been spitting snow all morning and they’re playing Christmas music, and town already had Light Up Corydon, so it’s CHRISTMAS! Yesterday was the First Sunday of Advent, too, so even GOD says it’s the Christmas season. ha!

Here are some pictures of our pretty town, all Christmassed up:

NOPE! I ran out of time and had to come home. I’m hoping I can get back in town tomorrow and post some pictures.

Had a great time this morning. I went to breakfast with my husband and some of his buds.

Sad news, though: Joy’Z Diner, where we like to have breakfast and lunch, is closing. Their rent got raised $500 a month!!! Not to $500 a month, mind you, but by $500 a month. If what they were paying a month wasn’t enough, I wonder how nothing a month is going to work out? 😦

Good news: I went to the coffee house and Butchie was in, playing classical and semi-classical guitar. Christina was there, working away on her Mac. And Charlie (husband) came in after his buds left to say hi and see where I hang out. 🙂

Now I’m home, which is always nice. Forrest was here–a neighbor dog. He’s HUGE but very sweet-natured. Trouble is, he terrifies the small grandchildren just because he’s the size of a pony, and he’s a pack magnet. When he isn’t here, our dog plays alone, or with our daughter’s dog. When Forrest is here, the Schmeltzhounds come up, and Tito from down the street, and Charlie said today a couple of beagles and a frolic of puppies were here, too! That’s gone beyond a pack–that’s like DogTown, USA.

Well, that’s enough of that.


Writing prompt: Make a character who’s scared of dogs. Come up with a weird reason.

The Southern Indiana Writers will be signing GHOSTS and other anthologies at Cafe on the Square in Corydon (see previous posts) on Black Friday, November 28, 2008. Y’all come!

I’m probably taking tomorrow off, but you never know what trivia may enter my brain and burst forth from my fingertips. Meanwhile, here is a link to a story for ya.

The Cautionary Tale of Silas Rockport
Written in response to Paul Molyneaux’s (editor of Laughter Loaf) remark, “It’s hard to commercialize a holiday based on gratitude and humility.”


Writing Prompt: Where does your main character go for Thanksgiving, if anywhere? Your villain?

Katya (The Good One)

Katya (The Good One)

Al (The Bad One)

Al (The Bad One)

I was on my way out of the house when I caught one of the cats peeing in the front closet. This cleared up a point of contention between my husband and me, as he’s been accusing MY cat of being the Secret Pisser. So Katya has been VINDICATED and CLEARED OF ALL CHARGES.

After I cleaned up the mess and freshened the air, I left. Came back because I forgot my keys and left. Came back because I forgot the book I wanted to give Butchie and left. Stopped off to visit with Mom and have a cup of her good coffee and pick up some letters she wanted mailed and left.

I went to the Cafe on the Square and got a little writing done but Charlene Burke, the new friend I met yesterday, turns out to be an art-quality beader, and I had to go to her blog and then to her flickr sets to look at her beading creations. Drooling on the keyboard….

Gave Butchie his copy of GHOSTS… ON THE SQUARE… AND ELSEWHERE.

Then I met Joy and T and Joanna of Southern Indiana Writers for lunch at Magdalena’s and arranged for a signing there from 9-noon on November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. Pray for us. The others had to move on, but I came to the library and arranged for us to do a signing here on Saturday, December 13 from 1-4 pm.

SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII is out and available!! I should have some copies at the library signing. Wheeee! Here is a review that I think I may frame! The author of it, by the way, is no relation to me, despite the same last name.

And now my time at the library is over and I must go home, having written a mere 712 words so far today on my NaNoWriMo book. I am, however, up to 29,000 words, so I’m fairly well on track.


Writing prompt: A person or animal accused of doing something wrong is vindicated. A simple plot, but a good, tried-and-true one.


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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