Archive for the ‘City Council’ Category

On Basketball

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

On Sunday, Greg & I went to Chapel Hill to see my beloved ‘Heels play their seventh game of the season.

Now you may be thinking, The sports blog. Please spare me.

Let me say that I love the ECU Pirates on the field and in just about every other way.

UNC Hoops

UNC Hoops


Photo by Greg Eans

But when it comes to basketball, it’s all blue. A particular pale, and not dark, blue. I’ve been watching basketball since I was a little girl when, growing up deep in isolated, rural Edgecombe County where all we had to do was play outside, read and watch an occasional TV program at night. Often sports.

I remember the glory days NBA stars like Kareem and Larry Bird, and of course the Olympic game between the US and the USSR. Naturally I remember N.C. State winning the National Championship in 1974.

In college I was far too busy with my studies to actually attend UNC games, played by the likes of … well … James Worthy, Sam Perkins and a moderately decent guy named Michael Jordan. Nope. Just too busy to wait in line for tickets. In the 1980s I started watching with friends, learning the rules about blocking and charging. Though I’ve never, ever, been able to catch an “offensive screen” call.

These days basketball is much more. It is a metaphor for life. It is the hopeful look at mankind’s ability to persevere. It is character and attainment.

Many times during my campaign for City Council, I’d feel beaten down by the forums and press questions; the rumors; the feeling that I was engaged in a strange public endeavor that I might fail at. That no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get out my positive message; everyone wanted to focus on gossip.

I’d feel like I wanted to give up.

Then I’d remind myself of why I ran for office, sort of simple things like wanting to serve the community, hoping to help usher the City into a more positive future; looking out for the voiceless and powerless; making Greenville a more walkable, bikable place with greenways and parks.

I’d think, What does Carolina do when they’re down by 20 at the half?

They come out shooting. Eventually, the ball goes in the right place. And they close the gap and many times, build up a lead to win.

So I’d gather my forces and come out shooting.

That is why basketball is so important. No matter your team, basketball’s crazy running-jumping-passing motif gives us a paragon of hustle.

And if you can hustle, most of the time you’ll succeed.

Writing again

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

In which the author, now an elected official, returns to her love of writing

Mark the day, Nov. 24, 2009. I find myself with thoughts and time to collect and even record them.

Fiction Daily has for two years been my constant writing companion as have you, dear readers. Since running for office I have neglected writing beyond my professional articles and the speeches and whatnot one must, and should, be able to offer when seeking to serve.

Indeed, campaign obligations made me a much better candidate, and today, official. Preparation for the many forums, interviews and presentations forced me to dig deep into laws, ordinances and budgets to talk about them somewhat intelligently. I feel a much better elected one for it.

In the meantime, WordPress has updated and the new dashboard is unfamiliar! I have thousands of spam comments! But how nice to be back in Fiction Dailyland.

For those coming late to the blog, I am a writer in Greenville, N.C., where I earlier this month was elected to serve as a representative on our City Council for District 3. I should take office on Dec. 7.

In the meantime, I work as a project manager, write articles and create marketing for clients. I am grateful to make a living as a writer.

For the past seven and a half years I’ve been writing a novel, as well. It started out as a short story, with this opening sentence:

August came as usual that year, but the tobacco trucks — with their tall mounds of honey-brown sheaves, the lingering sweet trails and the bumpity wheels of rickety old trucks going to the warehouses — did not.

That sentence opened a door I knew would take more than 5,000 words to walk through. Since writing that sentence in 2002, I have worked on and off. I’ve done character sketches, dwelt on names for my characters, outlined plots and chapters.

I sit to write and sometimes they come, but often these people remain shadows and cutouts, unable or unwilling to reach out with their true selves to me.

Nevertheless I have several hundred pages (most of which I’ll probably toss one day). I have several characters; a homeplace; a town; a villain; a love triangle; great tragedy.

Though ready to serve, no longer campaigning, I hope now to return to my novel, my life.

The working title is The Curing Season or A Cure for August.

A special shout-out to my friend Gene, who has been my constant friend and editorial rock, and whom I look forward to working with again on our various fiction (and fictional) pursuits.

So, to fiction!