>Pee in the Wind

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I drove to Jackson yesterday to visit my mother, and also my niece, Aubrey and her husband, Tommy. Last night the three of us went to Mint Restaurant in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I’d been there once before, for lunch, with my dear friend, Sissy, whose daughter, Wisdom, works there. It all sounds so Southern doesn’t it? And it is, with a twist. Read a review here, and see pictures of owners Patrick and Mary Kellly, and chef David Ferris. It’s an amazing place. (They also own Juleps, another of my favorite places in Jackson, Mississippi.)
When you walk in, you feel like you’ve been transported to a brothel in the French Quarter, with the red velvet brocade wallpaper and chandelier and all. And then there’s this amazing picture of Mary (yes, the proprietor) just above the booth in the bar, where we ate. She’s dressed in period clothing. Then the picture is printed on canvas and texture is added. Well done.

I had the “two for one special”—two blood orange martinis for the price of one. Yummy! And She Crab soup and a salad.

I’m so excited because Aubrey is going to participate in the Yoknapatawpha Writers Workshop with me in June (at Ole Miss.) She’s a lawyer, and teaches (legal) writing and has plenty of experience writing legal stuff. But this will be her foray into creative writing.

I spent the night with Aubrey and Tommy in Jackson last night, and this morning I found the craziest coffee mug in their pantry. Of course I had to have my morning coffee in it. Here it is. Don’t you love the inscription? It reminds me of my current mission—continuing to draft my memoir, which sometimes feels like staring down the barrel of a gun… or peeing in the wind.

Go for it! So… here I am (again) at the beach… this time in Gulf Shores, Alabama. For five days of solitude so I can write. The condo where I’m staying (3rd time, so it feels like home) is next to land that belongs to a state park, so it’s kind of isolated, which is nice.

When I arrived this afternoon around 4:30 or so, it was raining. But by 6 pm the rain had stopped, so I ventured out for a walk. Sunset was kind of subdued. The rest of the week is supposed to be sunny, so stay tuned for better pictures in a couple of days. But not a lot of text. I’m going to concentrate my efforts on the memoir and a couple of essays with April deadlines. A writer’s retreat. It’s close to midnight, and I can hear the waves lapping the beach outside my condo balcony, and I can also see tons of stars, which aren’t so visible from midtown Memphis. I am blessed. Good night, moon. (More pictures of Gulf Shores, from my last visit in May, 2008 are here.)

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