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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas, 2011


  In wishing my writers group a Merry Christmas, 2010, in the post below, I'd add, in 2011, we've seen some come and go. We now have more members to name, and rather than do so and perhaps miss someone, I cast instead, glistening wishes out, for all--all writers, family, friends, colleagues, people--from birth to the aged, of all occupations/talents/skills and being, and send joy, peace and love.
  Peace and love. May we be open to experience more than is present. And on!
  May we all strive for our dreams and highest desires, live our lives to the fullest, and create the lives we want to look happily back on.


  Time flies--It was Halloween, now it's almost Christmas! Like many, I say, I blinked and time passed. It's interesting how that is, especially since during the days, I try to remind myself to be conscious of the moments. They feel so complete...divine...especially on the weekend mornings when it is quiet and sun glistens on the lake. I watch it through my window, have a sip of coffee with my strawberries, and edit through a story I'm preparing for Create Space and Smashword.
  While cleaning out drawers last night, I found my note I wrote for my writers group, last Christmas. We met for dinner. Thought I'd share. Friends are special, or groups we belong to where we enjoy. I enjoy my writers group very much, and am thankful for each.

12-09-10 (Self) Prompt :)  : They met at Tanners for holiday dinner.

It was the meeting for the holidays, 2010, of Hearts and Pens. Not "Pens" really...yet People Engaged N Serenity.      People: The writers           Engaged:  Minds bonded with writing instruments.
Serenity: Peace known to their hearts, through the act of writing.

  It was the writers group Christmas dinner. Instead of Come One, Come All, it was a merry few, who joined to represent the blessed souls whose hearts beat to words manifested on pages.

  To write, to join mind with paper. How does this bring such thrill to the being, tears to the eyes, laughter out of the lips, quiet moments to be thoughtful in?

  It is with words we communicate, bringing us closer in vision, in story, or at best, understanding.

  It is with words, we vibrate ourselves from thoughts and imagination. These take us into traveling around the world, throught the universe, or to the nearby, or within.  In moments of experiences of happiness, grief, wonderment, frustration, problems and resolutions, stories are told.

  It is with words we describe senses. Smells of rank--Steve's smelly fish along the beach's pristine sand and sea salt laden air,    to healing essences of flower oils. Sights of beauty's adornment, to the aghast that make us turn our heads in utter fear. We hear the soft breaths and feel the heat of it, from a lover...with words.

  We've cried with Rachel. Oh, how her words and poet-like writing, can touch and describe the intimate moments.

  And Helen--She is a maestro of writing children's stories!

  Listening, I have hunted through woods in my mind's eye, with Scottie. What a hoot!

  And into psychology of imagery with our German, John, running toward, yet not meeting, his beloved, due to circumstances, until peace enters...then bonding may return.

  Mermaids and adventures at sea, are brought in, naturally like the ocean's waves, by Joe. Joe...goodness, Joe. He who writes novels it seems in our 20 minute prompt time.  And the same may be said about John E. Illustrious Professor John, who can succulently bring in stories--through catacombs of imagined honey as it drips, slowly and thickly within his words. (I really like the old witch in the stormy night story!)

  Most of our prompts do become stories, somehow in the 20 minutes, and they are lovely and lively. Unless Chuck gives us a prompt which makes us melancholy--then we grace the sidewalks of death or dear sentiment.

  Chuck, our leader and winner of, how many FWA awards? CONGRATULATIONS! Now you lead us by example into the computer website and blogging, thank you!

  And our guests, at different times,have always been welcome and enjoyed. An open mat to any who feel the heart beat stronger, quicker--to slowed moments, drawn-in quiet thoughtfulness by the sight of a blank sheet of paper and pen, or computer screen.

  Happy Holidays to you all! I thank you for creating a safe haven, a wonderful explorative meeting place. I appreciate you all, and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, properous, joyful 2011--May all your dreams and goals come true!

  To you, my heart beats wishes of joy,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Silence lay as thick as death. Happy Halloween 2011 :0

This was a prompt last year with our writers group. Since it's Halloween, I thought I'd add it (and not part of a women's fiction novel I'm working on).

Prompt: Silence lay as thick as death.

     Scattered rays of yellow light penetrated in patches through the fog. The owl above turned its head 180 degrees and hooted. Its claws rested calmly on the old oak's branch as it shook dew from soft feathers.

    "Did you hear that, Stanley?"


    Marcus grabbed Stanley's rain jacket and slipped.

    Stanley's flashlight went out and darkness came in to surround the two boys.

    "The owl, Stanley. It wasn't a regular hoot like usual. It was drawn out, like a warning or something. Just like in the story... Beware of the owl with the calm hooot," Marcus whispered.

     Stanley hit the flashlight a couple times. "Old flashlight...Marcus, forget that story. It's just an owl that hoots that way."

     Suddenly a thud came from behind them.
     "Stanley!" Marcus screamed.
     Stanley grabbed Marcus's flashlight. He shined it behind them, over a moss-covered, long branch with dead leaves, lying in the path they walked moments ago.  "It's only a branch. Probably old and gave way in the earlier storm."

     "And now it falls?"

     "Marcus, do you want to go home empty handed, or get what we're looking for?"

     "I don't know."

     Stanley thought to himself, I really don't know either. Instead of letting Marcus know this, he answered strongly. "Well I know. we've got to get it back and get it back tonight before dad comes home."

     The wind swirled around the boys as they stood still. Stanley was waiting for his gut to point the way.  Where were we the other night?  He began to shine light on the concrete tombstones around them.

     John Harrision...Beloved Father and Husband  1873-1938, R.I.P.

     The boys moved past the plotted family section to the next headstone. Hilary Dyer. 1894-1923. May You Dance in the Hereafter.
     "Here we go. I remember this," Stanley said. "We laughed thinking she probably loved jazz and wore frilly outfits and red lipstick. Would have liked to have met you Hilary."

     "Stop kidding, Stanley."

     A crack of lightning lit the sky. A raven, large and blacker than midnight, flew in front of the boys. Marcus yelled hearing the wings flapping. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

     "Six seconds...the storm's going away, Marcus. We're fine."

     Marcus wondered. He still felt dampness brushing his face within heavy swipes of wind. Damp moss came down on his head. He yelled, quickly pulling it off and looked up into the full moon. It was momentarily exposed as the winds had moved the clouds across. "Let's just get dad's lantern and get home." Marcus whispered.

     "It's up there, probably five more grave sites. A couple more minutes, and we'll be out of here."
Stanley stopped. He thought he saw a reflection on glass ahead. It looked like the lantern. He remembered he set it on the oldest grave. He saw a shadow near it. It was the raven. It looked oddly perched on the tombstone... above the lantern.

     " you hear that?"

     "What Marcus? I don't hear anything."

     Surrounding the boys, silence lay, as thick as death.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

my novice sewing experience (not story, true in life :) )

Okay, so last weekend, I'm in a local fabric store, feeling the fabrics... this is almost as good as tasting wines ...well, no, ...maybe.... Yet when a nice fabric is felt, it can be sensuous. 

Background: I've discovered the delight of buying a pattern, material, etc and sewing dresses. I've made two. Semi-wearable. I have a couple more patterns and material.

Anyho, on my recent trip into town, I bought an inexpensive, on sale linen, for a simple black dress. --Let's try again and get better at it, I thought ;)
I also found a pattern for a winter dress, so I was looking at the materials and feeling around (not even looking to see if anyone was watching---of course not, I'm in a fabric store, EVERY woman feeelssss her way around, right?)
I found this great deep brown color and it felt great. It was on sale... I'm there, this is it.

After getting my zippers, (not the more expensive, tactfully hidden ones, just regular ones---I'm thinking I have 2 value deals on the material. Both are noted on sale remember) I went to check out. 
The first material, lightweight linen, black, I bought under 2 yards, and don't freak, the material was under $10 (with sale and coupon).
I saw its price and then ignored the register, looking idly around. I've made over a dozen lap quilts; I know the general total my ears will hear. Then she tells me my purchase was $90. What? I had two inexpensive zippers, 1 pattern (17.95 on sale for .99 ) and a light for my rose quartz lamp.
"What??"  (I forgot to politely say, "Excuse me?")
Oh, the 2 3/4 yards.... it was ears didn't hear...somewhere around 50.   "What?  Wasn't it on sale?" 
"It's 100% wool," she said.
"Do you want it?" she asked.

Of course I wanted it. It FELT good to me, and I liked the color. I already imagined making the dress.
So I bought it. Only thinking, I better make the other dresses I have patterns/material/etc for and practice, practice, practic, before I make this one---and maybe I should get a better zipper.
My pits sweated. I'm only a novice.

So later, I wrote a girlfriend who is a wonderfully talented designer. She's in Amsterdam.
She suggested, since I'm in FL, to line the armpits to protect the wool.
She also noted more info about material, like cashmere can sell for 150 euros per meter, ...200 American dollars per yard (approximately). 

Hm. I'm happy about my purchase. The price was okay in comparison to that. And if I sew it right, I'll be able to drink many glasses of wines while wearing it.  
:) Imagine, being out for a glass of wine, with someone special, listening, laughing, and able to feel the material too under the table. Haha! It is a wonderful world.

Friday, October 7, 2011

1 for Halloween (quite mellow)

05-26-11 Prompt: Her eyes took on a faraway look. “I’ve always wanted more,” she said.

  The hairy beast crouched over its prey, as blood dripped from its fangs.
  Lily stood straight as she could, sticking to the side of the tall pine she hid behind.
  The monster looked once her way. Lily couldn’t see it, but she sensed it. She sensed his low growl rumbling through the air, rippling through the oxygen until it met her ears.
  She felt the breeze blow strands toward her face. “Thank God,” she whispered. She knew she’d be dead if she were down wind from the form she saw at the edge of the old boathouse, and now only yards away.
  She heard a flap of material and knew it was the old windsock on top the roof. If she could hear that, she knew she had to plan a delicate escape. But how to be that quiet, she wondered.
  She paused and heard nothing. No growl. No more tearing of flesh. No more breaking of bones. “Stay together.” She hoped she thought and didn’t say. Nothing. Not a crunch underfoot either. Where is it? Not knowing whether to look, she waited.
  Her eyes took on a faraway look for a moment. I’ve always wanted more, she thought. Never again. Not after this time. … If I get out of here.
  She heard a distant engine on the lake and knew it was Charles. He and Steve were going to pick up her and Margaret at midnight. … If they made it to midnight.  They may have been kidding, but Lily found out tonight the creature of Elton Island was not a myth. It was true. And if they come soon, they may be killed. 
  Lily didn’t know what to do. It was as if her legs were frozen.
  Where’s Margaret, she wondered. Did she make it?
  And where’s the beast?
  Then she heard it. Three clinks. That was the signal. Lily knew Margaret had made it back to the old boathouse.
  But had she seen the beast? The killer in the night… the stalker of prey larger than man, who kills and leaves the bones mangled, looking as if they are stirred dominos of a child’s game.
  “Margaret--” Lily didn’t know what to do. If she ran from her cover, certainly she may run into her death.
  Lily stayed, and still heard nothing. Anger irrationally lifted, thinking she couldn’t listen for the animal over the louder approaching boat engine.
  Lily heard the chains. They were on the deck, around the backside of the boathouse.
  Margaret—the monster! Lily thought.
  She peered around the pine feeling shivers as the moon cast rays of evidence on death nearby.
  It smells Margaret, Lily thought.
  Lily saw a spotlight from the boat going back and forth—along the shore, over the boathouse. It stopped at the other side of the boathouse. It jerked up, down, scattered, then stayed. Lily could make out forms in the boat.
  The boys were almost to shore. She felt her legs strengthen. Her heart beat within her chest stronger than she had ever felt it.
  “HEYY!” She heard Chuck scream. 
  She couldn’t tell the tone.
  What did he see? Lily wondered. Did he see the monster?
  HEY! Again, then laughs.
  Lily was confused. She heard something strange from the boathouse. Wood was being broken. Then glass.
  The boys’ laughter stopped and the spot light danced erratically.
  Lily heard a scream and saw Margaret run to the side. Behind her, Lily saw the monster lounging.
  A flash of light from the boat’s flare gun screamed over the land past the boathouse and into the back of the monster…. Skin, hair, bones and blood dispersed onto the back of Margaret as she fell forward.
  Lily watched the windsock whipping erratically now, and the boys jump off the boat and run toward Margaret. She couldn’t hear anything, except for Margaret’s screams.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Did she know what I was up to that day?

9-22-11 Prompt:  It has always intrigued me… Did she know what I was up to that day?

    It happened one spring day, when the grass was as green as an Irish landscape after soaking in a week’s steady rain and warmth of the sun. 
    But today was overcast,.. because it didn’t work, he had thought, as if the heavens were joined with him in his disappointment.
   However, backing up, on that special day when the grass was green and hope filled the air, and the lungs of this man held breath for possible success…The day where it was his adventure out to see, yet failed.      He wondered, had she been there? Did she know?
   I thought she was far away, he thought.  Only later did he learn of her probable close vicinity.
He racked his brain wondering how she knew. .. Or did she?
   I tried steadily for weeks, to keep it a secret. No one should know. This was my mission, my project.  If it worked, I would let the public know. If I failed, no one would be the wiser.   And wiser all would be, if I had succeeded.
   He looked a her from across the café bar. She sat at the opposite end. She looked too poised, and had glanced many times his way. He noticed.   

   Did she know what I was up to that day?
   I don’t want her to know…unless the experiment becomes a success. Then, she would believe me to be brave, …and smart. 
   A stranger she is. I didn’t want to be strangers. Not any longer. I had wanted to be able to introduce myself by now. And more. But since it failed…I failed, I have to wait.
  What if I don’t have a chance now? No, if she does know, surely she can’t hold it against me for not being successful. She should think me gallant for my effort.
   Hm. She may think me an idiot and fool.

   The man took a sip of his water. Second serving, in a clean glass, no ice. He set it on the placemat, upper right hand corner so its round bottom met the edges precisely.
   He glanced up from his bowed head, to the end of the bar. She was smiling. At him. She waved.
   He began to meekly raise his hand, yet was interrupted.  Someone passed him so close his shoulder was almost brushed. A chill enveloped around him from the closing café door.
   The someone was another man and her eyes followed him…the stranger walking toward her. Her smile reached out to the stranger’s face.
   The man at the opposite end of the bar wanted her eyes to see him, wanted to feel her smile, for him.

   Oh, she must know what I was up to that day, he thought. “What can I do next for her?” He mumbled to himself, lifting steaming soup toward his lips. He kept his head bowed and imagined an empty field, with a track and his new machine to help the world. “This time it will work,” he said, as he delicately patted his lips with his napkin and returned it, centered in his lap.  

Thursday, September 15, 2011

09-08-11 Prompt: "Time passes," she said. "You'll see."

9-08-11  Prompt: "Time passes," she said. “You’ll see.”

  She held my hand with her hands. Her frail and boney hands, with blood vessels enlarged in streets of their own. I wondered about her circulation. Really, I did. How did her vessels make it to 108 years?
She looked at me, a fawn self to her old dearness. I twitched in my chair. Luckily my short blue jean cutoffs had frayed and I could play with white cotton strands. Normally I liked the residents at the nursing home, however, this visit was out of scope. … out of school and it made me nervous... She somehow saw into me.
  Coming every Tuesday and Thursday to practice observation to finish my occupational therapist degree is what drew me here. But now, this very day, with Sadie Marie, I am a companion, not an intern, and she is 86 years my senior.
  Why I wore my cut offs and not a dress, I wondered.

  “You’re still fresh, child, like a strawberry with green near its top. I’m the old oak. Think about it. I came from an acorn 108 years ago.”

  I laughed. “Oh Sadie, you were not an acorn.”

  “You know what I mean. Don’t try to fool me, Sara. I see you. I watch you. You come in here with the others, young and with sparks. But I see you. You’re not one of them. They are all academic. This is fine. It’s good in fact. Your whole group will be fine OTs. But you, child,  study us. You find us intriguing. You linger, helping the most critical, watching their breaths when they talk. You notice what brings them peace or agitation. You look into their eyes and get what they need before they ask. But still,” she hesitated, while I thought this was normal for all of us, and to a point, it is.  Sadie continued, “You look beyond that. You watch us as if you are watching for answers, answers to questions only you ask in your head.”

  I waited for her to talk more.
  “Why you hide behind your youth and exhibit a paleness, I don’t know.”

  “What?” I asked.

  “You hide, Sara. You observe and hide yourself. I’m telling you today, you can’t do that your whole life. You have too many questions, you have too much life in you. Time passes. You don’t have forever,” she said, “You’ll see.”

  “I do see that.”

  “Yes and no. One day you’ll understand deeper there is an end. All seconds are important and how you spend your time and with whom is important.”

  “I see that, Sadie.”

  “Well, I’m telling you, you need to see it more.” She reached over, twisted her back and reached far for her water.

  “Let me get that for you,” I said,.

  “It’s your day off, honey, just relax and visit with me. And tell me, Sara,” she said, “--why’d you wear those shorts in here? They’re too short.”

  Frankly, I thought that was none of her business. In fact, my life was none of her business and why she thought she had the right to tell me what to do, I don’t know. “Sadie—I’m playing tag football after I leave.”

  “Football?! My words. You’re an angel, a delicate creature, why are you playing football?”

  “Because I like it.”

  “Well every bump and bruise you get now, you’ll feel it later. I’m here to tell you.”

  Sadie was telling me more and more. “I know, I know. There is an end and how I get there is important.”

  “Your darn tootin” Sadie said. She aimed to set her water back and I took it before she twisted too far.

  “Can I get you anything, Sadie?”

  “You can get through your life intact, in peace, and happy. Do you know what makes you happy, child?”

  “Sometimes. Sadie, who’s the therapist here?” Although we both knew OTs are mainly for the physical, we went beyond it into thoughts and being.

  “Life’s more than what is seen. That’s all I’m saying. What makes you happy, or what draws your attention is good for your heart. Or more.”

  “Yeah, it’s the or more I wonder about.”

  “I know dear.” She looked at me and smiled.. “So why football?

  “Because it’s fun and I need fun. Otherwise I’d only be thinking.”  

  “I know honey, I know.”

  Then I realized, I liked being here, with Sadie Marie,… she felt familiar to me.