Sunday, August 19, 2012

I've moved to Wordpress

If you're looking for Pamela Foster, please go to:

I'll see you there.

Monday, July 9, 2012

But, I Didn't Pinkie Swear

How much of what we experience do we have a right to share?  Or to put it another way
 I’ll keep your secret.  Unless it’s funny.  Or profound.  Or quirky.  Or sad.  If the personal revelation you share calls forth any of those aforementioned emotions?  Well, then, sooner or later, you’ll probably see a twisted version of the tale in something I write.

For me, this creates the biggest challenge when it concerns one particular person in my life.  See this person is funny and profound and quirky and, sometimes, sad.  And he has been very clear that he does not want me to ever use anything he’s said in anything I write.  Which, because I love and respect him, I agree to do.  But, I’m here to tell you, it just about kills me.  Just yesterday he made the funniest observation I’ve heard in years.

Which I’m not going to share with you.

Do you think God will give me extra credit for keeping this confidence?  You writers out there, how do you handle it when a person with whom you share an experience is adamant about not wanting those insights or feelings shared on the written page? 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July

I got thinking about just what we’re supposed to be celebrating on the Fourth of July.  The signing of the Declaration of Independence.  An illegal protest against taxation without representation. 

History’s a bitch, ain’t she?

I wondered how many of the grand thinkers and philosophers who came up with the bright idea of taking a stand for that particular cause actually fought for its implementation.  Turns out about half.  Fifty-six men signed the Declaration.  Seventeen fought in the American Revolution.  Five were captured.  Eleven more had their homes confiscated.

The reason this all came to mind is that, as we submerge deeper and deeper into the increasingly muddy waters of another presidential election year, I am more and more irritated by those who wave flags.  On both sides of the aisle.

  There are all kinds of ways to be patriotic.  And shoring up a fallacious argument by jumping over the cerebral cortex and coming directly from the amygdala is a time honored way to appeal to voters.  I get that.

So, I don’t mind someone wrapping themselves in the bloody flag to make a political point.  Except it maddens me when the blood on that flag is not their own. It pisses me off when the blood of warriors is called upon to justify what is simply a point of view and, not content to end the farce there, anyone with an opposing opinion is demonized as an ingrate not worthy of sacrifices of real patriots.

Our country is split down the middle with little common ground upon which to build compromise. 
Here’s what I think. 
If we want to honor those who fight in wars our government sends them to fight, let us stop behaving like selfish children.  Let’s reach out to one another, work to hear each other’s words, and find a way to allow the country we profess to love to grow and to find, again, a righteous path to greatness.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Southern Women

I've moved my writer's blog to  It'd be great if you followed me there.

This blog is going to become my rift and rave spot.  The blog is named Secrets and Vices, afterall.  What's posted here has virtually nothing to do with any of my books.  It's just a place to post observations and opinions and see what y'all think, hopefully get some feedback.

One of the differences between Southern woman and the rest of us heathens is that Southern women, as a rule, do not cuss and swear.  I mean, unless they’re fighting with a computer.  Or quilting.  During those two activities, all bets are off, but otherwise, nary a crude utterance will pass their lips.  Yes, there are exceptions.  A dear southern friend and I once had to pinkie swear not to say the ‘f’ word in front of another friend’s eighty-year-old mother.  But, by and large, woman from below the Mason/Dixon do not use profanity.  They especially do not take the Lord’s name in vain.

This is a challenge for me, a Pacific Northwest Redneck transplanted to Northwest Arkansas.  I’m telling you, it’s a hard and trying cultural adjustment. 

The worst thing I ever heard my dad say about a woman was, “She wouldn’t say shit if she had a mouthful.”  Now, I ask you, is that not a clear demand for a girl to call it like she sees it?

I phoned my sister the other day and asked her what she was doing.  “I’m standin’ in my Goddamn garden,” she said sweetly, “looking at my first water-fuckin’-mellon.”

I don’t know what to tell you.  It’s how we talk if left to our crude Yankee tendencies.     

The other difference between a southern woman and an old Humboldt Honey like myself is that a southern woman will hang herself before leaving the house without a bra.  Hell, most of em couldn’t be paid to walk out the front door without foundation makeup, eyeliner, mascara and painted nails.  Me?  I do shave my legs, though since menopause it’s more habit than anything else and I do wear a bra.  Though that last deal is more about the vanities of old age than a defense against a lynching.

All that said, my best friends in the world are from the south.  Nobody is better at wearing a soul to submission with pure-dee graciousness or knocking the argument plum out of a body with words sweeter’n tea.  I may not be from around here, but I am de-damn-lighted to buckle up that bra and censor my words a tad.  It’s a small price to pay to live peaceably in this neck of the woods.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bigfoot Blues Lurks in Woods

1 Comment

Coming soon from High Hill Press: Bigfoot Blues!

The daughter of a longtime Bigfooter enlists the help of her redneck friends to teach a sweet-talking city slicker a backwoods lesson in this rollicking tale by novelist Pamela Foster (Redneck Goddess, 2011).
Samantha is a pretty, spirited bartender who manages VD’s with her on-again-off-again boyfriend and business partner, Hawk. Although the bar is named for their dads (Victor and David), “half the kids in the county phone at least once to giggle some perceived original query.” The Indian, as Sam calls Hawk, is half Yurok and all philanderer, with an appetite for loose women and booze that threatens to ruin any chance of a relationship between the two. Still, Sam isn’t ready to give up on Hawk—yet.
When a finely-dressed, big-city author named Mark Nielson wanders into the bar one evening for a meeting of the believers, the locals expect trouble. But Sam can’t help but be swayed by the sexy stranger with “eyes the color of that variegated moss along a late summer river,” especially after the shabby treatment she’s received from Hawk. Sweet talk and flowers wear down her guard, and soon Sam has a new beau.
When the relationship suddenly takes an awkward turn, Sam’s allegiance to her  beloved father is placed in doubt. Filled with misplaced guilt, Sam begins to question her own beliefs, while fiercely rushing to the defense of her dad. Armed with her .38 and a plan to set things right, Sam leads her city-born suitor into the backwoods wilderness, with Georgia-bred Bubba and childhood friend Lefty trailing behind for support. But none of the four suspects the enormity of the adventure that awaits the group—and the discoveries that will forever change them.
Full of humorous asides and swelling with redneck pride, Bigfoot Blues blends together an eclectic group of believers and nonbelievers for an offbeat but delightfully satisfying tale.
Note: Bigfoot Blues is coming summer 2012 from High Hill Press! In the meantime, hop over to High Hill to find out about a contest to find Bigfoot…and to submit your own story to the Bigfoot Blues Confidential anthology.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Confused Sea

A small boat in a rough sea.  I identify, lately, with that image.

For five years I fell off the side of a panga boat into the Caribbean Sea on a daily basis.  Winds from the east flattened the waves and we skimmed over turquoise glass on our way to the dive site.  West winds ruffled the water and made for a choppy ride.  A storm blowing in from the south or north created ripples or mountains depending on the wind speed.

The local boat captains navigated all of this.  As long as the panga motor could outrun the waves before they swamped the low back of the boat on the way into shore, the captains powered out through the watery mountains and we fell backwards off the boat and sunk below the surface chaos.

Well, yes, there were those occasions on returning home when we leaped over the side the instant the panga cleared the opening of the cove and drug the boat to shore hoping to outrun a threatening wave.  There was even one memorable time when the waves caught us and the boat sunk in plain sight of the dive shop and the sunbathers on the beach.

But, for the most part, as long as the wind was consistent, the little boat bobbed on the rough seas and was waiting to bring us home at the end of our dive.

In a confused sea, the wind can’t make up its mind what direction it wants to blow. Waves kick up from all directions with the occasional rogue to make the boat captain’s life even more interesting.  A confused sea left a boatload of disappointed divers standing on shore cussing the weather while a Mayan boat captain shook his head no and no and hell no.

So, in this time of my life, when nothing seems constant, I remind myself that the weather will change.  But mostly, I remember dropping down through roaring waves into a world of such contrasting peace it always put a smile on my face big enough to leak salt water in around my regulator. 

Peace is here.  I just have to fall backwards into it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm happy for you . . .

In the movie ‘Midnight in Paris’, Hemingway tells Gill, the young novelist, 

“You don’t want the opinion of another writer about your novel.  If is bad, I’ll hate it.  If it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it even more.”

There’s a large element of truth there.  I pretend happiness in the success of other writers, but I’m seldom truly glad for them.  For the exact reason Hemingway mentions.  

Writers are notorious for possessing that inner child prone to tantrums.  

“Me, me, me.  What about me?  I’m just as good a writer as they are.” 

And, truthfully, if I don’t know you and read about your success as a writer, I’ll be a teeny tiny bit happy for you but mostly I’ll be jealous as a three year old at her sister’s birthday party.

Except, right in the muddled-middle of my tiny, selfish life, a funny thing has happened. I find myself with a group of increasingly successful writer friends for whom I am genuinely, joyously happy. 

And here’s the surprise, my life is richer, my joys are multiplied.  Their success really does feel like my success and I know they share in my joys as well.

Ain’t life grand?