Good Links (The Pipe and Coffee Edition)

*This Euro-Shade coffee from Onyx Coffee Lab and the hand carved pipe from Uganda (courtesy Mike Rusch) are two of my favorite things these days. I thought I'd share them with you because they're just so pretty. Last night, a small group gathered in the party-room at Copeland's of New Orleans in celebration of Lisa Jo Baker, whose gypsy ways had carried her to Arkansas for a spit. It was a good night filled with conversation about things which I cannot now share, because as my new friend Steve Boss says, Copeland's is the Bourbon Street of Rogers. And as my grandma used to say (long before Las Vegas stole her quip), "what happens on Bourbon street stays on Bourbon Street."

(If you would like, and at some later date, we can discuss how my grandmother first took me to Bourbon street when I was twelve, and can further discuss the efficacy of life lessons learned on that iconic boulevard in my tender years.)

After supper, Amber and I lay in bed sipping tea when Lisa Jo left a message. It went something like this, "I've been traveling, and I'm tired, and I have no words left because motherhood stole them all from me, and would you be kind enough to submit a five minute free write on the word 'visit' in the next ten minutes?"

A Challenge? Why yes, indeed! I love a challenge.

And that brings us to our weekly roundup of good links.

LINKS

1.  Join me today at Lisa Jo's Five Minute Friday free writing prompt. After you read along, jot one yourself. Not familiar with the prompt? It's simple. Sit and write for five minutes about a particular word of Lisa Jo's choosing. This week's word is "visit." Set a timer. Grab a pen, and go! No editing. No second thoughts.

2.  It seems that Facebook is always tinkering with it's site, always trying to attract more users in hopes that it will not go the way of MySpace. This week, the social media network announced that it would again be tinkering with its page algorithms in an effort to make it easier for page managers to share content. What was the problem? I'm glad you asked. Amber shares in her piece "Advice for Bloggers,"

Bloggers, when you link to a blog on Facebook, add the link using only your right hand to type. The tongue should stick out to the left. Set your laptop down. Do a few pirouettes, and then press Enter. That should do it. My friend Lora Lynn thinks you should also spit, but that’s debatable because she’s from Alabama...

3.  Many of you know of my love for Tweetspeak Poetry. They're bringing poetry back to the people, I say, and they're doing it one challenge at a time. For instance, consider their challenge to the poetry-averse Sandra Heska King,

“We’d like you to read not just a poem a day but a poem from one particular poet a day. (That is, the same poet every day.) And that poet, for reasons we have yet to discover, isT.S. Eliot.

Don't miss this piece at Tweetspeak poetry about the 30 day poetry dare.

4. Finally, this week Grace Biskie asked an important question--"what are you supposed to tell your sons about the Black Woman chair?" What's the black woman chair, you ask? Don't miss Grace's piece this week. It's that important.

Video

I feel so terrible about dropping One Direction videos on the blog this week. I'm here to make up for it. I'm leaving with you a few stellar pieces. I hope you enjoy.

What Mama Did: The Imagining

Our friend, Lisa Jo, has been running a series entitled "What Mama Did." She's asked a few of us to pop in and share memories of our mothers, what they did that made our childhood special. I'm there today writing about my mother, but here's a sneak peek.

*****

Before the urban sprawl, the popping up of shopping malls, strip centers, mega churches, and big business,we lived in Grapevine, Texas. In those days, Grapevine was a wide open, endless dirt patch, nestled just north of Dallas. On some mornings, we commuted into the heart of town, where my sister attended a Christian school. I was a tender-hearted child, always broken by my sister’s leaving–she, my best friend, and second-best playmate.

After she slid from the back seat, after the obligatory “have a good day,” my mother, resourceful as she was and hoping to assuage my sadness, would point to the water towers and gas tanks that pimple-marked the Texas landscape. “Look! Imperial drones!” she cried. “We’re doomed!”

*****

Lisa Jo is kind to share her space with me today. You can continue reading the full piece there.  If you happen to visit her site, make sure you peruse her archives. She writes some of the most encouraging stuff on the internet as it relates to motherhood.