by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
It’s not that I haven’t been doing anything. I just haven’t been doing anything on the blog. At least, not as much as I used to. You see, I’ve been working behind the scenes lately, editing NOLA, working some freelance projects, crafting my upcoming newsletter. (Now, everyone, nod your heads in sympathetic busyness understanding. Thank you.)
Lemmetellya, it’s a bit of a challenge. I wanna get it just.right for y’all, and well, for me. People say “write for yourself” and while that’s a good way to remain happy, it ain’t always gonna bring in the readers. So I am happily crafting my message for you, my beloved Swarm.
And as promised, since it’s a new month, there’s a new Media Menagerie over at New Inklings Press. Did you miss the big reveal on Instagram? It was a live video,
my Nippers’s first actually. And of course he (okay, I) forgot to save it for posterity. So while I introduced you to the current members of our #MediaMenagerie, Nippers also asked what our May member should be. And the next day he whispered his answer in my ear.
Ladies, gentlemen, Southern Belles and Yankee Gents, I give you May’s Media Menagerie Member, Gypsy Skylark Walton.
Gypsy is a fox. Foxes are crafty. They’re quick. They’re stealth-like (hmm, maybe like a ninja?). They’re beautiful. Foxes are smart, too. Problem solvers. What, think I’m wrong? Read Aesop’s Fables. People call them sly and crazy. (the foxes, not the fables).
Now, how did Gypsy get his name? Well, first, from the beautiful Johnny Mercer song, Skylark. Y’all know This Girl’s favorite inspirational movie is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And my favorite song from the soundtrack is Skylark. There’s a line in the chorus, “sad as a gypsy,” and it just gets me every time. It’s such a beautiful visual.
“Gypsy” can mean so many things. Romanian descent. Fortune tellers. But for me, it’s the wanderer, the free spirit, that my Bohemian self relates to. It’s like that old toy, Spirograph. You set your pen in a stencil and draw as it bumps you along the edges. A few ink color and shape changes, and in the end, your wandering pen has created something uniquely beautiful. You can’t have that without the wandering. As a creative soul, there’s nothing more effusing than to be able to just be who I am. Gypsies get that. It could also be that I’m currently addicted to Hallmark Channel’s The Good Witch series. Who doesn’t love a little good magic now and then?
And Walton? Well, that’s two-fold. John-Boy Walton was a writer. Sure, he was a fictional TV character in the 70’s and early 80’s. But still. What self-respecting aspiring writer girl back then didn’t have a crush on him? It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized my fancy for the man was due in great part to his wordsmithing. Let’s not forget that greatest of all goodbyes, “Good night, John-Boy!” I say it often, mostly when signing off social media for the night. Which has led to others calling me Mary-Ellen. (Yah, I’m talking about you, Del and Caleb!). Which now brings me to Caleb. Affectionately known to me and my peeps as JB. Because his last name is Walton. And he’s from the South. And he grew up watching The Waltons and we still talk about our favorite episodes. Oh, and of course, JB (my “little big brother”, not the TV guy) is a writer. So there’s that.
Oh, but wait! There’s more. In chatting with JB recently (again, my JB, not the TV guy) [but if you’re out there, Richard Thomas, and feel like saying “hi,” I wouldn’t mind having you over for coffee!] and sharing Gypsy’s adoption, I realize his initial’s are GSW. Which, in NCIS world, stands for gun shot wound. Okay, not the Southern romantic history y’all were hoping for. But it’s NCIS. Which is another commonality I have with JB (and, well, about 13 billion other humans). And NCIS had the arc about Le Granouille (“The Frog”) which inspired my daughter and I to adopt the shaggy little frog now known as Nippers. And NCIS has a spin-off I may have mentioned once or twice. NCIS: New Orleans. Which is the location for my first City Series novel. Yup. We’ve come full circle.
I now own a stuffed fox named Gypsy because I wanted to be a writer with a frog. I know . . . It’s hard to be in my head sometimes. That’s okay. I know my thoughts. You just have to enjoy the outcome.
Now I want to hear from you: How do you express your creative soul?
With a compass and a spirograph,
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!
Oh, PS: If you haven’t yet taken my survey, and/or want to be added to my email lists for this blog, and/or Firsts in Fiction Newsletter, and/or Molly Jo Realy: Author, Etc. . . . just click on this photo to sign up. BONUS: You’ll get to tell me how you like your coffee. Thanks! (And super-shout out to my über professional graphic artist brother who worked with me to create this awesome visual.)