R.S. Williams

All I want is to get the words right.

Tag: Just for Fun

Last Day of School, 1981

On this day in 1981, I finished 1st grade.

Last summer, my mother found in her attic this worn, yellowed sheet of Blue Horse tablet paper. I’m not sure how it survived 37 years of moves, heat, and humidity. Check out the black Sharpie smiley-face at upper right. Somehow, Mrs. Reba Taylor even managed to check everyone’s work before first-grade cookout pandemonium descended upon her classroom.

Friday, May 29, 1981
Today is the very last day of this school year. We are going to have a cookout to celebrate. I hope all of you have a nice summer!

At first, I thought the oversized-pencil handwriting was my sister’s. It looks like the pre-3rd-grade-cursive, little-kid version of her grown-up print penmanship. But Val reminded me that in 1981 she hadn’t yet learned to write, and wouldn’t until the fall of that year.

This is unexpected. It’s also the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)


I’m a real person. Here’s what I sound like.

I’ve been blogging for almost 11 years, on this site and elsewhere. One good thing about this is that, when I’m having trouble creating new material, I’ve still got (literally) hundreds of pages of material to re-post. This saves both my sanity and my hide, in times of creative emptiness.

While my words are slowly coming back to me, I rediscovered this video from a reading I gave a couple years ago. A beloved writer friend organized a Creative Nonfiction Open Mic Night at Underground Books in Carrollton, Georgia. For such a small town, Carrollton boasts an astonishing number of amazing writers. I had a blast meeting new people and hearing them read their work. Here, I read “On Inspiration,” which I first posted in January 2014. It’s been pretty popular, and is also one of my favorites.

A few readers have asked me to post more videos in which I read my work. That might be fun. Stay tuned.

© R.S. Williams (all rights reserved)


From Nooz, Our HR Director


Happy Caturday, Remote Staff:

Tennessee “Nooz” Williams, here.

If you follow R.S. Williams’ social media feed, you’ve seen my photo in many Caturday features. Why, yes: I am part-Siamese, thank you. And yes, I am beautiful.

What you may not know, however, is that I’m also Human Resources Director here at the Happy Kitten Cottage. As HR Director, my duties include informing employees when they’re not meeting expectations, and working with them to improve their performance through a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). And boy, have I got a doozie of an employee for you today.

This employee is so awful that I’m breaking confidentiality rules and making this HR complaint public. Pep talks, sabbaticals, extra time on projects, second and third and 47th chances, dire PIPs—nothing I’ve done has helped. I’m hoping that my broadcasting this complaint to the world will at least shame her into improving. Bastet knows nothing else has.

My hope is that she’s not irredeemable. When she’s on point, her contributions to the team are invaluable. When she’s skewing off course, well, that’s when things get complicated.


Date of filing the HR complaint form: 20 September 2016
HR Complaint Form Number: 2016-073-10-00
Full name of the person filing the complaint: Tennessee “Nooz” Williams
Signature of the person filing the complaint: see scanned form
Proof of Identification: on file
Date of birth: on file

Employee status of the person in the organization/institute: Human Resources Director
Nature of the complaint made: Professional
Name of the person against whom the complaint is made: R.S. Williams, VP Creative Operations

The main points of the allegation:

  1. Lack of work production noticed over the past three months. Employee’s time appears to be spent mostly with dogs (!), surfing Pinterest, or playing guitar. When questioned about these actions, employee states that this is the only way she can “get to the Ryman.”
  2. Employee behavior has become more eccentric. Empty bottles of Belle Meade bourbon have been found scattered around employee’s work space, and employee appears to be impaired during work hours. When questioned about wearing a tank top with a chintz robe and diamonds, employee replied, “I woke up like this.”

The effect on the person filing the complaint:

  • Staff is awakened at all hours of the day and night with employee’s behavior. Lack of creative work produced directly decreases revenue and increases catnip use among staff.

Any other relevant information:

  • Employee has received paints and canvases from sister company in Colorado and has not yet experimented with them.

Signature of the authority with official seal: see scanned form

At this point, I can’t say whether I’m going to fire R.S. Williams. Yeah, she’s doing a crappy job of writing and taking photos these days, but she’s also my, uh, Mama. She took me in four years ago, when some neighborhood kids brought me to her door. I was just eight weeks old, bony, and surviving on squished birds I found in the middle of Clark Street.

And even if she’s not making as much art as I think she should be—and she should be—she’s still the one who scoops my litter box and puts food in my bowl. I tell ya, it’s hell being the head of HR in this place. You get to know your employees, and you grow to love them, and then you feel awful for thinking about firing them when they might really, really need it.

Anyhow, if you’ve enjoyed this post and would like to contribute to Happy Kitten Cottage upkeep, please visit R.S.’s PayPal link. Be sure to include a note telling her to sober up, put down that guitar, coordinate her damn outfit for once, and get to churning out the good stuff.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Hope your Caturday is a great one.

Tennessee “Nooz” Williams

P.S. If you go to the PayPal link and include a note with your contribution, DO NOT tell her I sent you. She’ll know something’s up, for sure, and then I’ll have to put her on another PIP.

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)

NOTE: HR report template from Sample Forms


At the fabric store with my dressmaker mother


A warm summer morning at the fabric store…

ME: Ooooh, look! 60″ wide rayon challis!
MOM: No, no, NO.
ME: It’s feathers! Brightly colored feathers of different shapes and sizes!
MOM: And tacky.
ME: Awww! Come on, Mom.
MOM: What the hell would you do with that?
ME: It’d be a Diane Von Furstenburg-style wrap dress. What else?
MOM: Ugh. Just—ugh! [shudders]
ME: You don’t like it?
MOM: Not only no, but hell no.
ME: Look, you should be happy that at least one of your children is making a bold fashion choice.
MOM: Bold, yes. Fashion, no.

A few minutes later, at the cutting table…

ME: [sliding the bolt across the table] There’s not much left on here…
MOM: Thank you, Jesus.
EMPLOYEE: This print’s really been popular.
MOM: You mean to tell me there are people around here with taste as bad as my daughter’s?

Fifteen minutes later, at the thread display…

ME: Just think, Mom—if I were wearing a dress made out of that feather print, you’d never lose me in the fabric store ever again.
MOM: But I would try!

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Hillside Monday: 4/4/16


“On the Porch with Cats”
LaGrange, Georgia – 11 June 2011

Cats pictured: Clark (foreground) and Smokey.

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Throwback Thursday: 7/10/14


LaGrange, Georgia – Fall 1998
Photo by Kenny Gray

© R. S. Williams (all rights reserved)


Five Random Songs: 2/25/13

The “cat and owl playing” video is the first time I ever heard this post’s featured Random Song. Too bad Sopa De Cabra broke up before I got a chance to see them live. Of course, I probably couldn’t have understood a single thing they sang, as all their lyrics are in Çatalan. Who cares? The music’s good.

As usual, here are five songs I chose at random (more or less) from my music collection. I used Random.org’s number generator to come up with the numbers and choose which songs I’d feature this time. Want to join in the fun? Post your selections and/or the URL for your own random song blog post in the Comments section. And, of course, happy listening! Continue reading

100 watts of fun

Answering the doorbell on a Sunday afternoon. A neighbor’s nine-year-old daughter stands there waiting.

ME: Hi! What’s going on?
GIRL: Miss Rachael, do you have a 100-watt light bulb?
ME: No, but I do have a 40-watt or a 60-watt. Will either of those work?
GIRL: Oh, shoot. My Easy-Bake Oven takes only a 100-watt bulb.

Five Random Songs: 1/14/13

Here’s the first Five Random Songs post of the new year. It’d be a shame not to continue the fun into 2013 with a song from, oh, 1983.

As usual, here are five songs from my music collection, chosen at random. If you create your own list of Five Random Songs, please let me know by posting the URL in the Comments section below.

Won’t you join us? Continue reading

Five Random Songs: 9/24/12

Need a Monday playlist? Perhaps this installment of Five Random Songs will help you get started.

If you put together your own Five Random Songs post, please let me know and include the link in the Comments section. Random.org is just one of many random number generators you can use to pick out your own out-of-the-blue tunes. Continue reading

Five Random Songs: 8/20/12

It’s been a while since the last Five Random Songs post, so here’s a fresh new list for your Monday morning.

Was my former student right? Is it possible to tell what a person’s like simply by looking at his or her music collection? I’m not too sure, but it’s fun to peruse what other people are listening to these days. I’m always discovering new songs thanks to my students and friends. Continue reading

Monday fun

Thanks, Best Coast, for the back-to-work smiles.

Five random songs: 7/30/12

Following up on an earlier post, here are five more random tunes from my music collection. Was my former student correct? Can we really tell a lot about someone just by their CD wallet or their MP3 player? I’m not sure, but it makes for some interesting conversations and great new music.

Feel like joining in on the fun? Choose five random songs from your library (here’s a random number generator, if you’re so inclined) and publish your own random songs playlist. If you do, I hope you’ll leave a link in the Comments section. Continue reading

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all of you celebrating in the U.S. today. Let’s start the holiday with something out of the ordinary.

Everybody expects a John Philip Sousa tune for July 4th. But nobody expects to hear it arranged for guitar. Indeed, Chet Atkins’ version is one of my favorites. Take that, Boston Pops!

And a special note: This is WilliamsWrite’s 100th post. Hooray!

Five random songs

A student once confided that he could tell what anyone was like just from looking at that person’s music collection. So I opened up iTunes on my office computer. “Well? What does mine say about me?” Continue reading

Give him the ball and get out of the way

The 2012 NBA Finals begin tonight. There will be much trash talking. No championship series would be complete without it.

However, to paraphrase an old saying, it ain’t trash talk if you follow through. Witness:

I won’t get started about my disappointment in my Boston Celtics. Or in the fact that we have a weather-themed NBA Finals this year. [deep sigh]

Edited to add: My disappointment is minor compared to that of Seattle basketball fans. Their former Supersonics are now the Oklahoma City Thunder, and playing in the NBA Finals. My condolences, y’all.

Same for blogging, too

(Image from Make Use Of)

When the trolls come out to play, they really come out to play!

More fun with Tagxedo

A couple months ago, I posted about the wonderfully fun Tagxedo word cloud generator. At that point, I hadn’t been posting regularly to either of my blogs, nor had I been Tweeting very much. The results were cute, but a little sad. Neither blog had enough variation to make a really interesting word cloud.

So I made a mental note to Tagxedo them again after another couple dozen posts. Both sites look a little better now, but could still use some improvement. Below is the word cloud for my gardening/architectural history/local history/amateur botanical private eye blog, Forgotten Plants & Places. Continue reading

Multi-tasking eyes

Orange kitty after breakfast on the front porch, 3 April 2010

One eye looks at me, while the other watches what’s happening outside the shot.

Orange kitty after breakfast on the front porch
LaGrange, Georgia—3 April 2010

Yes, it’s Finals Week. Why do you ask?

During final exams, even a “wet floor” sign is game for UWG’s mischievous students. (TLC Building, University of West Georgia, 24 April 2012)

Good thing I wasn’t drinking a soda when I spotted this the other afternoon. Dr. Pepper up the nose really hurts.

Indeed, it’s Finals Week. Thank goodness the students haven’t lost their collective sense of humor. Bless whoever who saw the laugh potential in this yellow plastic sign. All we need now are parachute pants, a cardboard refrigerator carton, and a huge boombox. Ollie & Jerry, anyone?

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