Merry Christmas happy day to you all.
Monday, December 17, 2007
We just finished writing group. My turn, my poetry, my hot chocolate splashed with Baileys. No bad. Except for a few lines of convoluted poetry. But Bailey's makes up for a lot!
I offered several Napo poems from assorted years and a couple others. I got very useful feedback, which is oh so welcomed.
Now as usual, the hard part starts. Editing. But with feedback, it gives directions. Maybe in the new year I will post at PFFA because a couple I really want to improve and work on.
Yay!! Writing group day is happy day.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
This is an awesome post.
You know why, fun. Wings and fantastical creatures, and ideas, are fun. Truths are revealed yes, but still fun! Stretching is fun too. Go for it!
Play and have fun this evening! Maybe a zombie or godling will lay an egg in your glove compartment. Or maybe something we do not yet know. Which would be fun too!!
Saturday, December 01, 2007
When you go out and get the mail, you don't expect to feel your life has changed somehow. Or more accurately, who the hell is Patrizia Valduga, and why have I never heard of her before?
By now you know: I need the words.
You'll learn to give me what I seek.
It's my sick mind, it feeds on words.
I'm begging you, for God's sake: speak!
From this month's Poetry. Page 232. Don't waste time, just turn to that page, and read the selections From "One Hundred Quatrains". Damn. Part of this issue, Italian poets selected, translated by assorted people. Off to google. Crack. Both literally smoking, and smacked to the head.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I have gotten at least half of the known Christmas shopping done. There are always unknowns, hence the disclaimer.
But for all that is holy on this earth, I ask Bed, Bath and Beyond to burn/bury/slay the scented pine cones at their front doors. Gag inducing stench. It is truly horrid, and the cinnamon(?) oil must be in the air, because I can still smell it, 45 minutes later. Why would anyone put those in their home! My head still hurts from the smell.
But more shopping is complete, so that is good. The gifts are jumping out at me, and I know exactly for whom I will purchase them. And luckily, almost all on sale. It is good.
I am going to make pizza for dinner, because I want a very casual evening. I don't have to work until next Tuesday, and that is good too. Writing group tomorrow, so I had better get critiquing those poems.
Have a great evening!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
From Choriamb, and I don't even wear perfume, but I think I would wear this. Awesome. And I know it wouldn't make me sneeze, because library smells, and for that matter used book stores, do not make me sneeze. Most perfumes do however.
Saw Evanescence last night. Plus Sick Puppies and Julien-K who opened. Evanescence was fine, Sick Puppies were how music should be played before a crowd, and the third, oh well. They tried. Actually they didn't and that is what annoyed me. They had the lights on the audience, so the singer could see those that adore him, not caring if we couldn't actually see him. I was annoyed. He was annoying. You aren't the rock star you think you are in your dreams. Harsh, I agree, but so was he!
But Sick Puppies rocked, liking a rocking thing, and Evanescence was doing her job. Good for her. The only other annoyance came later in the evening when I noticed some jock guy and some blond girl having a go at it on the main floor. Luckily my daughter (her first rock concert) didn't notice this. Get a room. You were not impressive IMO. Anyway, fun was had by all, hopefully including the blond. Wasn't sure exactly about her. He seemed proud though. Eww
Days are nearing an end for Nablopomo. Amusing name if nothing else. Oh speaking of amusing, line of funny poetry I spouted during dinner: my son's smile rises/ like yeasty dough poofing up... I made me laugh anyway.
Have a good evening. I am going to crash onto the couch.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Not nearly as decadent as it sounds. The velvet for bacteria plating and the chocolate is scented soap. The soap is for my daughter for Christmas. She loves chocolate, so I can not imagine her not liking that. I really hope it smells like real chocolate rather some chemistry experiment gone wrong in New Jersey. I say New Jersey with impunity, because the scents that accompany most of our products with fake flavours and smells are concocted in New Jersey. I will let you know in a few weeks how it smells.
I didn't start Christmas shopping early, but I have tons done. I have never racked up such good savings either. I have even gotten some things on Amazon, just to have around, because they will eventually be someone's gift. So cool.
I am eating spinach and tortellini right now. It is delicious. In a bit I go and get my hair cut. My ever growing at such a rate it becomes annoying hair. And as much as I like my hairdresser, the disconnect between her idea of styling hair and mine are very different things. She does a great job, but I want my hair to look flawless with no work, and she knows that one has to work at ones hair. Hence the disconnect.
Have a great day!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I stole my name on blogspot. Not going to do anything with it, but it is mine! Mine!
I feel a mood coming on. Just in time to go the grocery shop. Because one can't be without bananas. Or some other logic. I will plug in my ipod and listen away ignoring all those around me. Dance party between my ears. "Oh pardon, I didn't hear what you said. I was dancing." It is a good strategy for people to leave you alone.
And in other friendly news, well none really. Have a good one. ;-P
Saturday, November 24, 2007
So as I said in a reply on the previous post, yesterday was a day of smells, that hearkened forth many memories. Talk about an arrow to memory. Scents and smells (I distinguish) are just that.
We went to a hockey game, and on the way there we had to fill up the tank of the minivan at the gas station. There must have been gas on the handle of the pump because when my husband got back in the car he stank of it. Let us just say that I think gasoline is the worst smell in the world. Yes I know it is one of those love it or hate it things. I place myself firmly in the hate it camp. But additionally, there was also a grey sky, with looming snow clouds. When I was a kid, a car my parents owned occasionally had the smell of gas surrounding it. There were always grey skies in Windsor (the curse of the Great Lakes IMO). This atmosphere coupled with hunger is how I remember late Saturday afternoons when I was a kid. We all would go grocery shopping (I don't know why) and by the time all of the errands were done it was nearing dinner time. So hunger, smells of gasoline and grey skies absolutely merge and place me back in my childhood on Saturday afternoons. Plunk. Luckily I had the last slice of the pumpkin pie before we left so I wasn't fully there. Funny how smells do that.
Then when we got to the hockey game, unfortunately there were families all around us who were cigarette smokers. I am allergic so I am completely thrilled I had the presence of mind to have taken some Benadryl before we left. If I hadn't that smell would have led to sneezing and wheezing. Not a pretty sight.
They had wine at the game so I bought a glass. The word glass is extremely generous to use. It was a little plastic cup, with absolutely no support. Not much more than a dixie cup. I was not impressed. So by the time we got to our seats, up and down all of those stairs, we took at circuitous route to our seats, at least of quarter of it had been spilled. I was annoyed. At least it did not burn my hand like hot chocolate did at ice rinks when I was a kid. I distinctly put burned mouths and ice skating together, because they always were. The scent of thick hot chocolate, the smell of crunchy winter ice and the light of snow, another memory. Even now when I burn my mouth, I think of that outdoor ice rink where we used to skate.
At least the game wasn't annoying. The local team lost. I sometimes know what the score will be. I knew they would lose and erroneously predicted a 7-4 loss but the reality was 3-1. I think. I wasn't paying that close attention by that point. The bongo drummer guys had taken off their shirts by the end of the game, so I was distracted. That really does liven up hockey I have to admit. There was also some other guy shouting "Just fight!" That was amusing too. His honesty was refreshing. Some people say they don't like fighting in hockey, but would everyone stand and cheer if they didn't like it? I don't think so. Heh
Other smells of the evening were Parmesan, Zamboni (I am not sure this was an official Zamboni, but close enough), general hockey rink smells, hotdog, popcorn. On the way home only a hint of gasoline, and skunk. Which I didn't see, but smelled about a half a mile later. There was a deer strewn all over the road, but it was fresh, so not yet scented. The car it seemed to have totalled was by the side of the road, and a few minutes later we saw an ambulance zooming the other way. I hope they were okay.
All in all a very scent filled evening for a short trip to a hockey game. Have a great day!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Just got back from the mall. We were only there about an hour and a half. Got a bunch of deals for gifts, and am pleased. The mall was crowded but not as much as expected. I found a parking space immediately, mostly the result of good timing. Pin point accuracy is the management skill for shopping today.
Now I am going to go and eat stuffing for lunch. I love stuffing. It makes me happy. And we are deciding about a hockey game tonight. I know it won't be the real thing, lights and strobes and filler, but I know that going in.
Have a great day, black not withstanding.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Bacon and peanut butter sandwiches? Does anyone remember a bacon and peanut butter craze in the 70's? Because my husband claims to and I replied eewww. Because that would be disgusting. Same time peanut butter cups came out. I don't like those either so I doubt I would have noticed any craze. I have yet to google. They talk about google fu but I worry about google fear. Just eewww. What you really don't want to know.
Happy thanksgiving to those that celebrate. The plans seem to be going well here.
Shopping tomorrow will not be. I have checked the flyers in the newspaper and there are no sales large enough for me to bother to get out of bed to arrive at the stores at 3 or 4 am. Plus it is finally cold here. So I really doubt I will do that. I will have to check to see if the stuff that looks potentially purchasable will be available online. No throngs for me.
Have a great day, and thanks for reading. I appreciate it very much!!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Well that was disappointing. Half the joy of making cranberry sauce is listening for the pop when the cranberries explode into sauciness. They didn't. More like one or two little sighs. I want a pan full of popping cranberries!!
I noticed this year that the cranberries were smaller, not nearly as plump as previous years, but I didn't think it would be an issue. But just now, while cooking them with apple cider (trying something new), no poppage.
The pumpkin has cooked nicely, and is cooling. I will whiz it in the food processor shortly, and leave it to drain. I have found that drained pumpkin makes much smoother pies than those I haven't drained. I do fear that there mightn't be enough for one whole pie, so I might have to get some from last year's stock still in the freezer.
[I think Impotent Cranberries would be a great name for a band.]
Have a great day!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
[Insert complaint about hunger]
[Insert complaint about not writing often enough]
[Insert complaint about neck hurting]
[Insert complaint that I haven't thought of yet]
How's that sound?
It was foggy today, so that was cool. I love warmish fog. Not the cold stuff, because ewwww cold! But the gentle, sometimes blowing in off a lake, sort of fog. I love that. We rarely get it here, and I miss it. I was reminded about fog horns today, and apparently I miss those too. As beautiful as the prairie is, and it really is, some of the grand gestures nature makes are welcome. The quiet prairie sometimes needs the booms of thunder just to rouse it up a bit. Like thunderstorms during snowstorms, again the clash. A good thing. There could be snow tomorrow, so a thunderstorm amongst that would be lovely.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Last night a question prompted me to go searching through my box of stuff from college, and eventually towards the bottom of the box, I found all my old poems. Oh my. Thank god I never had a place to post them anywhere back then. I would have I betcha. I was young. That will the excuse I use, because, I was young. I also found my old diary, and for that too, I will only say, I was young. ::pats head of younger self::
Interestingly, despite the fact I did not write for years, this diary did chronicle how much I loved to write (which I had forgotten), and how I felt about several of the poems written. What was amusing, was that there were poems sprinkled throughout the diary, seemingly whenever they would pop into my mind. There was little editing from thought to finger to pen to paper. I laughed several times. Some are still true. I can look at them critically now, and much of their content: angst and angst. There were a few good lines I think, and I might steal a few of them for the present day. We shall see. One was published in the university newspaper poetry section, and another was published in the yearly poetry journal they put out. Oh my.
Also, interestingly, at least to me, is I know exactly the reason I stopped writing, nothing traumatic but definitely a reason. Now that I am writing again, I wonder what that does to the meaning of that reason. I don't care really, but I am looking at it Cheshire Cat like. Appearing and disappearing at will.
Have a great day!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Last night I worked editing the story that was critiqued at writer's group. There is some freedom to be found tearing a page and a half off your 13 page story, and seeing the strength that emerges. I sort of knew I should, but to actually cut it away was invigorating. It really revitalized the story. For that advice, I am very glad!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I am contemplating doing early morning Black Friday shopping. I have only done it once before and considered it a compete waste of my time. The savings wasn't great enough to get out of bed that early. But some of the things that are rumoured to be on sale this year make me consider it. Desktop computers for $199. Perhaps for my daughter, I don't know. Anyway, I will wait and see, and then see how tired I am after Thanksgiving. I betcha I won't.
I bought Bill Bryson's book, Shakespeare: The World as Stage. So far, just in one chapter, very typical of him, readable, and quite enjoyable. I am not sure how much new there will be, but what the hey. I didn't know about the Nebraska scholar who went to England back in the day, and discovered yet unknown facts about the Bard. That is kind of neat. Yay us! But then he went mad, made a fortune and died rich but unhappy. He should have stuck with the Shakespeare scholarship. Oh well.
Have a great day. I am going to consider Christmas, and how that shall be.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I am so tired. It was a busy day at work, and I am finally home. Exhausting, yet oddly refreshing because the things I did today, are the things about my job that feed me and make it tolerable. Yay for that.
I have my edits sitting in front of me, but sadly I haven't the energy right now to do much about it. The pull between this is a new thing for me. Doing what I have to do vs. doing what I like to do. I have heard people speak of such things, but until the past few years I had never experienced it.
So the weight of tired I will allow to sit heavy, for now. Have a softly joyful evening!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Today at writer's group we decided that in addition to writing, and critiquing we would keep track of what we eat, so I offered this blog space to do so. I hosted today and had tapenade, crackers, an assortment of cheeses, torn fresh bread and this dip.
Hot artichoke dip
1 14 oz tin artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or more to taste, or teaspoon of garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
(Optional: Green onion/scallions are also good in this. Finely chop 1/2 cup and add)
Mix all ingredients and put it in a shallow oven proof dish. Small pie dish works well. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.
Serve with crackers, or veggies to dip.
I served this with my fake Mai Tai recipe (Limeade and spiced rum). The lime cut the smooth of all that cheese! Cheese makes me very happy. It always has!
I have tons of commentary, which is oh so welcomed. I can't wait to start reviewing and revising!
This is an awesome post. I am not sure if I agree with everything it posits about the suburbs but it raises hugely valid questions. I am not sure if any specific designation as a city can be described in any one way. There is evil and good in any area. I think it is a class issue rather than locale. I know people who are living in poverty in the suburbs, both morally and financially.
I was raised far from the suburbs, but am now raising my children in them. Suburbs do soften life, I will admit that. It physically and literally removes you from blatant poverty. Often times people feel they have risen (artful choice of words to describe that escape from poverty don't you think?) out of poverty. In my most recent education last week, in New Orleans that was, is a true fact. You are on higher land when you have money. You are not flooded. You have literally risen.
I realized back in the day that purchasing a car removed me from poor life. I stopped seeing certain aspects of poorer life once I owned a car. I just did not see it any more. I think suburbs do that too. You just don't see it any more, and if you don't know to look, or know where to look, gone. But again, not necessarily different from a rich person who lives in a penthouse removed from the street.
Again it comes to character. That can be had anywhere. I think the more wealth one has, it is even more important to know where to look, and to choose to continue to look. The padding of money allows one the choice, if they choose, not to look. And if one chooses not to look, that IMO is evil. I am trying to raise my children in the suburbs, by trying to show them how to look past the padding of a suburban life. I will admit it is hard, as most parents want to shield their children from harshness. I can only hope and try that the character they, we forge is enough to get past the padding.
Fascinating stuff. Thanks and have a great day!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I was able to switch writing group to tomorrow. I was supposed to host it Friday, but I have to work that day. I went and got a bunch of munchies: some cheese, spreads, crackers and some crusty bread. I will make the hot artichoke dip I love. You bake it after it is mixed, and it is addictingly good. I don't even like artichokes that much, but this is excellent. A case in point where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I think I will serve this with my spiced rum and limeade drink. Yes, weird too, but really delicious. Sort of like a fake Mai Tai.
They will be critiquing my short story. It is weird (woohoo a theme), it is a journeyman story, an angel of sorts who falls, is found, and can't wait to go back to spread the word. Hehe Touches on the power of authority, the resulting blinding of following authority for no just reasons. I think I could probably expand this into several stories, and I might. I will see what the response is tomorrow. There are precursor stories, and stories that could follow, and more from the two characters definitely. In my head anyway, how that translates into, you know, words is always the challenge.
Have a great evening.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Today I noticed something I had noticed before, but it was especially obvious today. I am fascinated with how people line up with what they know, where they see safety in how others whom they think believe as they do. They fall in line with that comradery because it verifies their own world view. Everyone does this of course, but I noticed today especially how one person totally glommed onto the other because they thought they were of like minds. I guess why I noticed it especially, is because they lined up in the other camp than I would be in. Watching them verify who they are, by joining forces was interesting. How these two people will eventually get along, if they do, is still to be determined. I know one of them pretty well, and I could see that the odd comment the other was making will be their downfall. How their like mindedness only goes so far, and the very thing that they bonded over will be the thing that tears them apart.
Human interaction is always interesting. Always. Even when you vehemently disagree. On the topic of my trip last week, I was sharing what I saw when there, and a person with whom I generally disagree on all topics said she agreed with me on the said topic. But her reasoning was completely opposite to mine. She and I came to the same conclusion, but her argument I found repugnant. It is just her conclusion I completely agreed with. How we humans can do this I find fascinating too. Strange bedfellows as the saying goes.
Again, the fallout, whatever it will be, will be interesting. I will take my ZEN post-it note and hug it close.
Have a great evening.
Monday, November 12, 2007
The fellow that is installing our new dishwasher is here right now. He is removing the old one as we speak. It had a recall on it, so it was in our best interest to purchase a new one. Apparently, this one doesn't even have replacement parts any more. So the option of repair, which was given to us, isn't actually possible. We wouldn't have qualified for it anyway, because we had used that fluid you can use to keep spots from appearing on your dishes. The recall had to do with fires starting from that part leaking. Anyhoo, so he showed me how to show "proof of destruction", so we can get our rebate. Also, I was quite pleased that it isn't as gross as I feared under the dishwasher. There is a little open bit near the corner, and dust and stuff would regularly pile up there.
As you can see I am...oooh, the old one is now out and he is going outside to "prep" the new one.
Live blogging dishwasher replacement...ok, it will try to think of something else for today.... more later.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Yet another reason I love Crooks and Liars.
File under lord help us.
given that seems to be a huge part of the problem /upsetting talk
I hope to get some writing done before skating/grocery shopping. They skate, I go grocery shopping. I haven't done a full shop in a while, as I was gone, so our larder is lardless. Actually not true, I have some old lard from two Christmas' ago, when a recipe I wanted to make called for lard, and I could only purchase it in a four pack. So I have three left over, not to be used. I wonder how long that stuff keeps. Probably forever.
And even though it means nothing to anyone, I am in full support of the Writer's strike. Good for them. Also, I am enjoying the picket lines that are shown in print, on the internet and randomly on tv. Just nice to see writers out. In public, not in their office caves writing. It is excellent to put faces to that industry. For people whose skills keep them tied to a computer this opportunity gets their numbers out, not hidden away. They don't have the visibility of the actors, or directors, so this is an opportunity for them I think.
That is enough procrastinating! Have a great day.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Prompted by the PBS In Search of Shakespeare marathon this morning, I dug out some Christopher Marlowe poetry I had about. I had never read Hero and Leander before. Have to say, great. Loved several of the lines especially.
And whose immortal fingers did imprint
That heavenly path with many a curious dint
That runs along his back; but my rude pen
Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men,
Much less of powerful gods: let it suffice
That my slack Muse sings of Leander's eyes;
This is truly beautiful I think. I always try to find the writer in the art, I know, a weakness. But sometimes it sits there plain.
Glister'd with breathing stars, who, where they went,
Frighted the melancholy earth, which deem'd
Eternal heaven to burn,
Awesome. The word gister'd, variation of glistened is so much harsher, next to breathing stars. You can't get much better than Eternal heaven to burn,
The PBS marathon said that Marlowe said that what you love will end you, or something approximating that. I agree completely. Your heaven will burn bright, sometimes more than one can hold.
Await the sentence of her scornful eyes; Hehe, the reader looking down at his page!
What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
He must have enjoyed rewrites!
That is all. Have a great evening. Off to reread.
Good morning. You know the housing market and companies are having a bad time when you receive this in an email:
We are experiencing a delay in the production of your Mortgage Account Statement. We estimate you will receive your statement within 15 days after the posting of your last payment.
They can't even get the mail out. Jeez. I wonder if I sent my payment like that, it would be a problem.
I sent my short story to writer's group yesterday. I hadn't read it in a week or so, and I am still happy with it. I think the ending might short shrift the characters some, but when you feel other stories popping out of your story, it doesn't feel wrong to do that. Although if it is supposed to be stand alone, then yes, it is.
I opened a poem file, but it crashed my computer, so I took that as a sign, to just let it be a little longer. Word is acting funny. Heh.
Have a great day. I haven't a clue what is on the agenda today, except maybe pant shopping for the kids. They keep growing ;-)
Friday, November 09, 2007
I haven't gotten into the Nablopomo groove yet this month. Distractions following me around. I am home now so that should help. I am very much tempted to take the week following next off work for vacation. I will see how my work load looks next week.
I am hosting writers group next week. I hope to edit the short story some today before sending it to them. I thought I brought a copy on my business trip but I did not. Don't know what happened to it. So nothing done. I have today, so no worries.
I have cleaned the bathroom, the living room, but I have yet to unpack. I did steal the coffee that I bought on my trip into the kitchen though. It is sitting on the counter. The rest of my very full suitcase is lying on the bed. Luckily I haven't been upstairs all morning to notice, so go me! I usually unpack in the laundry room, because that is the logical thing to do. I don't like doing things twice. But I brought my suitcase upstairs to get it out of the way.
I might make cookies later today if I have enough sugar. It has been a very long time since I have done that. Shocking really.
Lunch is calling. Have a great day.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
[insert a post for yesterday]
Oh well. I was busy. /excuses
Well, I was.
And as you can see the content in this post, is wildly entertaining. I will be heading home today, and hopefully the flights will be smooth.
I am not a particularly comfortable flier, as you know, heights. I huddle during takeoff and peek during the landing. I watch the flight attendants with an intensity of many suns. Only once have I seen them scared, and that did not please me.
As to writing, I did a teeny bit when I was bored during the events that I worked at here. I got the first line of a poem too, but then was interrupted. Oh well...
Have a great day!!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Vicky's Daily Virgo Forecast
Quickie: Your own time is fluid today, but in a group you must abide by the majority rule.
Overview: It's a good day to make purchases, especially if you're going in on them with someone else. The combined judgment should yield a great investment, or at least a solid addition to your collection of stuff.
I love how the waves of time feel different to different people. How time passes, and how we feel it pass. Kinda cool! Today for example may pass slowly, and I expect it to. Whether or not I can fit in shopping is yet to be decided. That would be fun. I am going to consider a city tour if I can find one that isn't hours and hours long. A shorter 1-2 hour tour would fit my schedule exactly.
If I can find someone to share my expenses, all the better. Have a great day.
Posted by vmh at 7:01 AM
Monday, November 05, 2007
As much as I will miss the tv shows during the writer's strike, I feel slightly guilty for enjoying seeing writers on the news, out, being writers, on strike. You never get to see writers out and about, so these news clips bring me some guilty joy!
Certain mail delivery services, that I will not name, ought to learn to read addresses. And people at these addresses should not accept packages for people they do not know. Because those people then do not get their packages. Simple really.
Beignets are delicious! They don't need all that sugar. (Thank you person who reminded me about these.) It was too late in the day for their coffee, so I bought some French Roast to bring home! Yay.
Valerie Plame's eyes must roll back in her head because she so often has to explain herself repeatedly in front of stupid people. How far can eyes roll I wonder.
I shouldn't click around trying to find NBC. There is no NBC on this hotel network. There almost full circle. Have a great evening.
Posted by vmh at 7:03 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The cold that I thought was developing doesn't appear to be worsening. I said that last time, two or three weeks ago, and it got worse. So let us just pretend that I didn't write that first sentence.
I will be traveling for work for the next four days, so I will try to stay posting. We shall see.
I am bringing my laptop so I will also attempt to get some writing done. Again with the we shall sees.
Have a great day!
Saturday, November 03, 2007
The pizza is in the oven baking, so this will be quick.
When we were kids, sometimes on Saturday evenings, after dinner, when the whole family was watching tv, Dad would decide that he wanted pizza. He knew the fellow who managed the Little Caesars pizza place in town, and he would ring up and order an EXTRA- LARGE pizza. In my mind's memory, it was so big. When it was delivered my Mum would put it on the orange footstool (yes, orange! This would have been in 1970 maybe)in the middle of the front room, and we would eat it, gathering a slice from the open box. Sometimes with paper plates and sometimes with no plates at all. Maybe just napkins.
I watched Good Times earlier today on tv, and was reminded of hours watching tv when I was a kid. These Saturday night pizza feasts were always fun. It was slightly rule breaking I always thought, to eat so much even after dinner, and in the living room to boot!! Once dad even made pancakes. It is he who enjoys cooking between my parents. Mum does it for maintenance, and Dad did it for fun. The difference between the have to and the want to.
Have a great evening!
Friday, November 02, 2007
I am not as busy today as I was yesterday, but the failed trip to Home Depot just now put time back into a rush. It seems to me that a store that big should have multiple wattages of halogen bulbs, rather than just the one, which lead me to believe I was purchasing the correct bulbs. Oh well. I did my own check out, which was an interesting new experience. Like the library, only this version with money, and no books. The clerk was lurking, so I really didn't do it on my own. I think the clerks looked as if us noobs to the new system hadn't a clue. If she had let me read the equipment before taking the bulbs out of my hand, I am sure I would have figured it out. Kinda defeats the purpose IMO.
In other news, writing group is this afternoon. The one lady's two short stories. Read one, very cool, and just printed out the other.
I might go and purchase a dishwasher after lunch. Our recall rebate coupon is almost expired. See, time takes over again. Oooh, a theme for the Title of this post. I write my post, and then write my Title, so it writes itself. Using time for my advantage thank you very much! Last year's Nablopomo had time as its theme as well. You feel time more as you get older, therefore it becomes a thing. In youth, you don't think about time therefore you don't feel it. But then one day, yes even that fast, you feel its presence, and you know. Errr. I haven't decided what the theme will be, but I have a feeling it will decide for me. Themes are like that!
Have a great day everyone. I am off to hunt halogen. It is elusive!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Not doing Nanowrimo because I know my limits. But last year in November I did Nablopomo, which sounds funnier. So I might again. We shall see says the plural me! I thought I would sign up to note my efforts in the blog that was logging them last year, but now they have put together a new site, and that means registration, and double posting, and then I thought to myself: "Are you sure? Now this is not gonna be pretty. We're talking violence, strong language, adult content."
Speaking of Whedon quotes, he is at it again. On tv again. Or will be. Yay! I fear this because fantasy girls, and broken Faith, but I look forward to it more. More here.
Other book group tonight for a book I haven't read. Wine and cookies if nothing else. Maybe I can get a quick see of the book first, so I won't absolutely be clueless.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Have a great day! *g*
Saturday, October 27, 2007
There is something to be said for the advantage gained by not ever editing your own stuff in a day to day sort of way. You do come back to it fresh, when ever it is you do get back to it. I edited and clarified bits in the short story this morning. It doesn't seem as long winded and walking around-y now. Better flow maybe. I just have to create better dialog at the end, because that is where it still needs work. It is difficult writing dialog that is sparse, yet each line full. Delete button don't fail me now...
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Prompted by this and Rob’s suggestion at PFFA and here, I promptly (heh) began thinking about this. How does it feel?
Well it starts with a prompt. Not unlike this post. The prompt can be absolutely any thing: learning that Fibonacci numbers can be used syllabically (just last night in fact), a juxtaposition of a natural or unnatural object, a smile, disaster. I really like the juxtapositioning because they allow so much. Metaphor sneaks in through this door. Metaphor is the sneaky one who tags along if you are lucky. Absolutely anything can prompt. But this is not the poem. It might want to be a poem, but it is not. This is confident, and rising, and sure that it should be. That confidence isn’t a poem either. But the prompt is the fire behind the poem. It is what you hope your poem will be, or at least strive toward at some point in its future. This is an important step, because otherwise you get pedantic wishywashiness. You get the crumpled pages or the overuse (or proper use) of the delete button.
After this plop of whatever the fire/flow/dare I say inspiration is, the feelings range from a sickly like vomiting, to a path as smooth as silk. Mostly this feeling is the feeling of the prompt. Good prompts that are happy joyful, feel that. Others, that hurt, but still demand to be, well they are harder.
The showcase of words is the layer through which this prompt speaks. The bigger your personal internal dictionary, the better the choices. This begins the terror though. At this point it is picking the flowers, or stitching the quilt is the hard part, or dumping handfuls of sand. The design of the thing. The prompt sometimes offers suggestions about this bit, but not always. As the galley master, you get to order them around. But sometimes they don’t listen. So in that the work is hard. I find listening to the words works well. That and rhymezone.com because my memory is not what it used to be.
At some point, there may be more sparks from the prompt that help me. The “Yes!!” moments that really make me feel it is working. Or there may be silence. It is an extremely interactive process between the prompt, and me and the words and the ideas. I do feel like it is sharing. This is when it works well, feeding off of the prompt.
Or it can hurt. It can be frustrating, like a two year old that shouts no for no discernible reason. This frustration often leads to the tossing aside of the poem. A timeout if you will, to continue the toddler metaphor.
The time away from the poem allows us both to breathe.
When I come back to the poem, I am gathered, so I can see where the fire may not have been more than wishful thinking. Or it can show me that the fire really was burning strong for a good reason. At some point here, it might be a poem. This is where it decides to be. And then, when I have the energy, and the wherewithal, I can work some more and it becomes a poem. The latter parts are work. Nothing short of that. It is the hard part, but ultimately the most fulfilling part. The energy of the prompt still needs to be there, it has to still be contained in the poem. I think if the energy is gone, the poem should be scrapped. The poem has to speak the energy or else it isn’t. When it can do this, the poem makes me feel somewhat successful. If the energy is gone, then I think of it as a learning opportunity that I was offered, and took.
There is no losing in this usually. That is the lucky part. I am lucky to feel this, and occasionally be able to do this. In the end is gratitude for having had the experience. Or annoyance that I could not have done better.
Now letting the toddler out of the house is a whole other sensation. I am still learning about that one.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Damn. They never did this sort of thing when I was studying there. I am very jealous right now. Glad to see the department doing such things. Off to download.
I have been sick hence the lack of updating here. And, because I have been sick, there is nothing to update anyway. Except as I was just writing this, I remembered a flash of a dream, that I think I meant to keep for a story. All gone, except the memory of a wisp. Heh, I typed "wish".
Have a great day.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Productive morning this was. I wrote one poem, and finished (heh, not really but I am hopeful) another. It has been a long time since that happened. I was in a mood to write something, but really didn't have any topic in mind. So I started doodling with the keyboard, and ended up with what might be a poem some day. Then I looked in my "current poetry - working on" poem file, and found the one I tidied up. Happy with most of it, but the last bit, which I think should be expanded/fixed/dealt with.
Then I went shopping. Only gone 1/2 hour because I am efficient if nothing else. I think my Benadryl will be kicking in soon, so that will be that for a while.
Have a good one!
I know I am going to regret that subject line!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
I found the map again. I had mapped the town in my story, because I am visual, and want to be able to picture the goings on around town. I lost the map, and then I found it, and then I misplaced it again, and then found it yesterday. Again. I am amused by losing and then finding maps.
Anyway, I might have to rename streets, because State and Main is just a little too clichéd for me this morning. Eh.
I sent the first chapter of this to the writer's group yesterday. My anxiety about it faded some, but talk about the emperor with no clothes. Sadly, I am picturing penguins right now. I do need a little more coffee I think.
I will map some more, and then see what the day brings. Have a good one.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Two little blackbirds sitting on a wall
One named Peter and one named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul,
Come back Peter, come back Paul.
The writing group that I have joined, is a go for next Friday, 2:00 if we don't get permanently lost in the corn maze that morning. Kid's field trip. So I now have to decide which prose I want to send for review.
I am siding with the Trapper first chapter, because that is nearest my heart, and also the most polished as it is 3 years old very shortly. I was inspired by a friend's tales of her home town. It prompted me for the first time in my life to write a character whose story would not go away. Writers talk of that, characters grabbing hold, and this happened to me. So here I am 35K later, only getting to the middle, and it is still around. No one has read any of this, other than a paragraph or two. So I am contemplating the first chapter for this writing group. In one way, I don't want to know what anyone thinks, because, like having your kids held out for review. But on the other hand, I haven't a clue what it is really like, so in that, a review from the others.
But then I have this other short story, prompted by my great uncle (my grandmother's uncle) named Seraphim (who would name that kid that!! ego much?), and a cross between that and some online quiz that gave me the other character's name, and then the story was born. I am a little more curious about this one, because I am so close to it, and can see it on repeat in my mind, that I wonder how it would be read. It seems religious, because angel type creatures, but that isn't what it is. But it would seem like that, and that in between place I find really fascinating. How religion could change the story, how our human mythologies would change how these creatures would be viewed by the reader? Plus touching religious images is always hot button. And if I even come close to making that clear, while still keeping the mythology intact. I know I am not there yet, and it still needs tons of work, less polished then the Trapper chapter. Choices, choices...
In between spaces are so fascinating. The taking of the "what is" and pushing and pulling, and playing with the spaces and the placement and breaking it, and seeing the new empty spaces. And the new forms of what becomes. So cool. Dawn's drawing in The Body. /BtVS reference.
Taking characters who on first read seem sleazy and maybe mean, poor choices, and finding their humanity, and playing with that. Letting them see that too, I think that is cool. One of the themes in the Trapper story, is the idea about how people see other people, and how that affects each of them. How the idea of the town view, the public spectacle of someone's life is the same and different from their inner life. Again, the in between places. That line I wrote in one of my April poems about the spaces between the leaves, the trees, really placed it down. Funny how one line of poetry can say it so clearly.
Have a great day.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Alive Together by Lisel Mueller
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket by John Keats
Fire On The Hills by Robinson Jeffers
I Am Not I by Juan Ramon Jimenez (translated by Robert Bly)
Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy
The Swan by Rainer Maria Rilke (found this on a Dallas subway)
To his Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvel
Selecting A Reader by Ted Kooser
Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (I have the pop up book edition. So cool)
There are always more.
ETA: Now we are getting to the oh yah, can't forget this one.
Snow by Louis Macneice...
The Road Not Taken - By Robert Frost
The World's Wife by Carol Ann Duffy (the whole thing)...
http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/oscar_wilde/poems/11065The Ballad of Reading Gaol
With No Experience In Such Matters by Stephen Dunn
Welcome by Stephen Dunn
Mon Semblable by Stephen Dunn
Chamber Music IX by James Joyce
A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London by Dylan Thomas
Edge by Silvia Plath
Handfuls by Karl Sandburg
We are Seven by William Wordsworth
Sonnet 17 by William Shakespeare
Ya I know, a small theme emerges. Mostly from bookmarks in groups. But a theme nevertheless.
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by TS Eliot (Yes, I know The Waste Land is a better poem, but I think this one is more evocative and truthful. Viagra use in poetry, lilac indeed.) ::waves to one reader::
Belief & Technique For Modern Prose by Jack Kerouac (a poem that is hiding as a list)
Dishonest by Michael Redhill
Shapeshifter Poems by Lucille Clifton
Request to a Year by Judith Wright
A Postcard From The Volcano by Wallace Stevens
On a Tree Fallen Across the Road by Robert Frost
Hurrahing in Harvest by Gerard Manley Hopkins
God's Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins
The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens (I think of it as Mind of Winter)
A Sort Of A Song by William Carlos Williams
The Lost Children by Randall Jarrell
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I read the other day that boredom is rage spread thin. I have been thinking about this, and for me it would be more accurate to say that boredom is passion spread thin. I think that rage spread thin is being depressed. For me boredom and depression are very separate things. For me anyway.
I read a few weeks ago that someone said their writing is like their wife. For me, writing is the cabana boy that brings me fun drinks. Not Nabokov's galley slaves either. Writing gives me great pleasure. I guess for some that would be a considered a wife. I am not clear on the concept of "wife" anyway, never have been, because mostly being called a wife by others is generally not such a creative thing, certainly not meant that way when, say, reduced to just that. Again, labels that work for others, don't for me. Labels that should open the world, and rarely do. Except by some.
And because I just saw a great PBS special first on writing, and then on musical child prodigies, I am going to go and do some writing. The clock rushes. Judith and Martha await, neither wives, but perhaps one will now be a former musical prodigy. Pretty sure Martha. The one with the updo, rather than the sharp as razor pageboy.... who's the town historian. Knows all and keeps it in neat severe packages, to be used later when needed or necessary.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Reading Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson (which is totally intriguing) has reminded me of a debate I am having with myself about revealing my main character's real name. I have only used Trapper as his name, because that is what people call him, and how he refers to himself. In Wittgenstein's Mistress, the main character is telling 1st person POV her adventures. On pg 33 we learn her name (probably). Much is suspect in this novel, so who knows so far. Anyway, because I had assumed the reader wouldn't learn her name, it brought back my own internal debate about my character names.
I wonder if the writer is short changing the reader if we learn their name, or if we don't? Depending on what indicates such. I am especially sensitive this week to short changing readers (looking at you last paragraph in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency).
Another example for me of how reading influences and directs writing.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Is it sad that my lack of posting here, is motivating me to get some actual writing done? I went to the library, and finished editing what I have written, got my time line adjusted (as I had the main character be two ages at the time of the tragedy), and got some research done (title header!) so now I can move forward readjusted, and post here with news of some actual work done.
I never thought this blog place would be anything but documentations. I am somewhat surprised it has motivated me to get off my proverbial butt and work. And it isn't even November or April.
You learn something every day. If you are doing it right! Have a good one.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Reginald Shepherd's Blog: "Working Class Hero"*
Linked over at the PFFA but needs as wide a distribution as it can get. I will do my little part.
Oh my goodness. What beauty and sadness. And the phrase "people who as kids knew lots of words we couldn’t pronounce correctly, because we’d only read them in books." blew my mind, because, well let us just say it is very resonant.
I have read his blog before. Why I love blogging, because we can share the good stuff.
I wanted to Blog Against Racism a few weeks ago, but felt I didn't have much to say, so spreading this will be my offering. Go. Read.
Posted by vmh at 8:16 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I think I titled another post feathers, so this shall be 2.
Today we drove to a year round ice rink for the family to skate. As it turns out only two of the four of us did. My son and I sat at the table area. I brought all my drafts that I printed out last week, the story, the short story and two poems. I expected to work on the story, but since I hadn't read the short story in a while, my eyes went to that. I worked on it a bit, between issuing quarters to my son for the video sort of game. Car racing. I got a bit of editing done. But that isn't the spooky part.
I am not one to be superstitious, or have spooky things happen. Well not often anyway. We won't speak today of knowing when the phone will ring, or premonitions, or things like that. But of feathers. The short story I am writing has quills and feathers in it shall we say? While editing, I was thinking that I liked the story, and it needs work, more action, and that it is funky, but kind of cool, not religious but might be perceived that way, and those sorts of neurotic OMG I suck thoughts. I do try to have some sort of confidence in what I do, knowing full well it all needs so much work. As we were walking out to the car, I was still pondering these fear-y thoughts, and what do I see, but a feather! On the concrete steps up to the parking lot. I love when life speaks to you and gently pats you on the back, easing the fears a little. I smiled, told my daughter, who thought it was way too freaky! Mommy at it again! Seeing metaphor in all she does.
But the feathery point remains, that fate placed a feather, coincidentally or not, in my path. Darn, I should have kept it. I was so surprised, it didn't occur to me to keep it. Oh well, maybe it will be helpful for someone else one day. Like today it was for me!!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Last night we went for the first time, to a restaurant that is best known for its chicken. They even have a giant chicken statue outside the restaurant. And a piano player for our entertainment who could play the piano well. Food was fine but that isn't why I am reporting it here.
I realized as we walked into the restaurant that I have to rewrite the restaurant scene in the story I am writing and locate it there. The ambiance, the dark paneling, and the pew! seating just has (insert much emphasis here) to be in the story. It smelled like an aged used book store, but shockingly, to me anyway, it wasn't a problem. I can't remember the last time I was at a restaurant with live music. Nothing intrusive at all (unlike the brass chicken decor), but still enjoyable. I could wholly picture my characters sitting there for their first dinner. Totally perfect location. I was surprised at my luck. Perfect. Maybe I will even have a chance to rewrite it today before the setting fades into the black of my short term memory. Yet another reason for noting it here. I love my tags.
Have a great one!!!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
When I was Canada a few weeks ago, I picked up Prism International: Contemporary Writing from Canada and Around the World. From the creative writing program at UBC. I had never heard of any of the writers but two short stories in particular were fabulous. Mavis Brown by Gord Grisenthwaite. Excellent. Sharp and painful for Mavis, seen in the eyes and pants of the narrator. This is how a character can be captured. Also, Entropy by J.R. Myers. Again, excellent characterization, not that you would want to know this fellow, but an interesting take on the concept of going home again. And an even more excellent closure to the story. OMG!
As to the poetry, the one that stuck me most was a poem entitled Dry by Rhonda Batchelor. Never heard of her either but her "A stiff wind off the water / carries autumn in its teeth." is really beautiful I think. Talk about grabbing the reader by the literal teeth. Liz Dolan's The Fall reminded me very much of Judith's Wright's Request to a Year. Again excellent stuff and I am very happy to have found it. Off to google.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
It has been a while, but I am still around. I don't have much to say, or update, and the little I feel I do, eh. Feeling somewhat quieted.
I should look at my newest poem I wrote just the other day. Amazing inspiration art galleries are. Two poems now from those inspirations. The energy of those locations is palpable. Not only the marble and the painting textures, and the light, but the artist's effort (can you feel that too when you see or read? I can.), or the invisibility of it too, because it seems so easy. That absence but full presence is keenly felt sometimes. The strokes, whether pen or brush, of art.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I think it is sad that google mostly only references Patrick Leigh Fermor as a travel writer. Granted it does note "literary" in several places, but I think that diminishes what would be his writing. It rivals Joyce, Proust, and Nabokov easily. The languor of Proust, the building of character like Nabokov, and the die hard spirit of Joyce. I just finished A Time of Gifts yesterday and then just dipped into Between the Woods and the Water. It makes me very happy that he is rumoured to be working on the third, to bring him the rest of the way to Constantinople. I am glad he was knighted and all, and that he is revered as a travel writer, but I don't think it should be through the lens of travel, it should be through the lens of the greatest writing of all time. Really and truly beautiful stuff. Europe pales (but is brought alive by the same) when compared to his words. A magnificent feat. I never really have wanted to travel to Germany before, would have been down on the list of places I would visit, but he really makes it and its people, especially during such a dark time, be a place I would want to visit. One of the harrowing aspects of this book, The Time of Gifts, is that the backdrop of the reality of that world clashed with his view of the beauty of it. It really sharpens what was going on and alluded to by him, when he could write of it with such sensitivity. It also brings to light the reality of the real people he met, rather than the big picture of history. It made me think more than once in the last few days, about the daily goings on of the people here, me too, when a horrid war is raging out of our range. Maybe out of the current war, will be a book of the Iraq or Afghan people, written in the same sort of way. How life does go on, while reality rages, and the the stories of history are written. I prefer the writings of the man on the ground, meeting the people, and seeing how they lived. Fermor did this well.
Because I have found him, I will have to read it all. Cuz that is what I do. Highest recommendation for his amazing, beautiful writing.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I am back. More later. It has been quite a fruitful couple of weeks writing (and reading) wise for me. A poem written, several ideas for poems and a couple of thousand words of the story.
This makes me happy. See you soon!!
Monday, July 16, 2007
This and this are lovely.
I won't label myself either because what I think I believe doesn't fit in either place. No surprise when speaking of religion. I don't know what is after, or more than this material world, but I have had experiences that speak to another place and that I can't deny. I don't know if the stories of the religions fit with what I believe but I do think they are attempts at describing this other. I was speaking to my niece today about this very subject, and she is at the point of discovering that stuff sometimes doesn't add up. But I don't think that denies that there is some other thing, power, word that isn't available to describe this thing we all seem to want to describe. I love that we each apply our lives to this discovery, and in that the world expands. Even if there is no other, the discussion about such reaffirms what we are anyway. And that is good.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Stephen King's book, On Writing: A memoir of the Craft is a pretty good book. I just finished reading it this afternoon after a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. He very neatly tells stories of his life as he winds them amongst generally good advice about writing.
I have decided that good writing (about writing even) doesn't depend upon genre, or what is deemed respectable by whom ever deeming (new word?) it as such. A few blogs I read by writers of scifi and fantasy have taught me as much about the craft of writing, as what I have read from those writing poetry type blogs or literary type blogs. Initially I wouldn't have given as much mind to Stephen King, but writing is writing, and I think that more important than genre. The aim should be the same. Plus I loved how The Stand delves into character.
That is all. :-)
Friday, July 06, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I just typed out an actual outline (from my notes) for the Trapper story. We are looking at 20 chapters, 8 of which are written. How well is to be determined, but written nevertheless. I will fill in the details later. But OMG 20 chapters. Who knew?
I have said "Who knew?" very often during this process. I am startlingly amazed by it. Who knew! Not always a question. What percolates out is fascinating to me, as I know not from where it comes, but that doesn't concern me really. I consciously do not let it concern me. I will just say thank you. Because I have found if I let those scary facts concern me, I don't get much writing done. So lalalala. I can repress with the best of them. Mad skillz as they say elsewhere. So while I free my inner critic (crap/not crap), and dance around the words, I let it flow. Some I know the reasoning, because biography works sometimes, and other times the creative muses do their work. Generally I don't believe in the concept of muses, but for lack of a better word, it works.
Have a great holiday if you are in the US. Celebrate like it means something.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Monday, July 02, 2007
This morning while I was waiting for the oil in my car to be changed, tires rotated, fun stuff like that, I outlined almost all of the rest of the story. Really rough, but farther than I have so far. The different threads tie together fairly well. I am mostly happy with it. And yesterday's concerns about Rev. Tithe have been mostly alleviated. He will indeed be useful! The two sisters may or may not be twins, I have yet to decide. They will be the undoing of the crazy postal worker. Since he is their neighbour and they have to endure his goings on in his garage, I am going to let them bring him down. Heh! As to the main female lead, Iris, I think I am going to make radical changes to her look. I have been somewhat unhappy with her look for a while, so I think I am going to give her a redo. It won't involve much rewriting, but I think it will be more realistic. She will still be rough hewn, but with a few edges that aren't gaping and raw dressed in blonde. More tough, less bimbo! She was bordering those fluffy skirt edges, and despite my joking about her middle name being Sue, I don't want to go there ;-)
So happy day, minus the house egging! I will have to update the outline, tightening it up, and then I may make a list of scenes. Some say that is useful to do. I will give it a try. If nothing else, it will keep me from wondering to widely.
Have a great evening!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I just wrote the most broad outline for the rest of the story I am writing.
I dare not yet call it a novel, bad karma or something. It is really bare, but I will trust that it will be filled in nicely as time, and my inspiration work together to help. I do trust that. Hey, it has been three years now, and it is still filling in. Like pie. LOL It doesn't have a strong ending yet either, many many threads to braid together so I am hopeful. >30K and counting. Or not counting.
One character, Reverend Tithe, seems to be forgotten. Maybe I should give him a gun or something. He will be useful as this moves along, giving solace and advice. I will put him to work soon, oooh, like Nabokov who called his characters galley slaves! That's the ticket! ::lashes whip::
Writing gives you a very powerful feeling. Surprising me, that.
Have a good one!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Heh, am writing. I just named the two sisters in my story, and figured out a way to tie them in very naturally. Yay!
Judith and Martha. I think these their names. I feel like Adam, pointing to each and naming them!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Some disappointments, but they were tempered by a poem bit that emerged driving to work this morning. There were three wedding dresses posed in a thrift store window. The light was reflecting, and then there it was.
I will work on it in just a bit. A little woohoo!
ETA: I can't believe I didn't have a poetry tag. I do now.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Best writing advice I heard today: Write forward. This is excellent. We were talking at lunch about revisions in prose, and how it can hinder the new writing; useful time spent, but time spent. My friend said that one of her professors said always to write forward. You can revise and make notes, but make sure you always write forward.
I thought it good advice.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Wrote a few paragraphs just now. You know what constantly amazes me, is getting to know a character. At first they seem just small, and useful, but then they do really come alive. My character Abby, started out as a background character, but she is blooming. Her intentions and ambitions, fears and joys are emerging. Just fascinating. And she likes miniatures. God is in the details, or something!
This process is constantly impressing me with its fruitfulness. Who knew?! Plus my amusement factor in grabbing real life locations, that are perfect in their usefulness! I am hoping there may be more today, but if not, that is fine too!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I was searching for Archibald Lampman poetry at home, and found my Canadian anthologies were gone. So I googled as I am wont to do and found this.
Blogger is being stubborn right now. Anyway, off to read some of these, plus some MacNeice and some Thomas too. All finds before dinner!
Have a great evening!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I haven't seen any today. What's dead should stay dead. /Supernatural quote. Heh.
If you don't watch Supernatural you should. Rivals Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seriously. It does. Best characterization of brothers I have seen in or out of literature. /Supernatural pimping.
I will be gone for a few days, not due to zombies either. I believe that is all. Have a good weekend.
ETA: This is amusing, and money will go to a worthwhile cause! He is a brave man facing those dinosaurs.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Lincoln Writer reminded me that this quote from Nabokov is one of my favorite ever!
It is certainly not then - not in dreams - but when one is wide awake, at moments of robust joy and achievement, on the highest terrace of consciousness, that mortality has a chance to peer beyond its own limits, from the mast, from the past and its castle tower. And although nothing much can be seen through the mist, there is somehow the blissful feeling that one is looking in the right direction.
That is how I wish I could write, with that beauty and that vision. And while I am on inspiring quotes, these by Jack Kerouac aren't so shabby either.
Have a great evening.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Well that took more time than I thought. I uploaded an image for my header. I must have had to resize it 8 times because there is no function on blogger to do that automatically. Anyway, I am happy with it. Lovely prairie.
Have a great day. We are off to the zoo!
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Still around. Many contemplations. A little editing and revision.
The short story I am writing is stuck. I can see the problems, but not sure of the solutions (which will probably yield more problems). I will keep pondering. After I do the updates (right now they are hand written on printed out pages - my process) I will ponder some more. A few minor poem revisions on On Loan and Detroit Memories. Probably the two better of my Napo poems. I haven't decided if I will workshop these. I probably should. Ponders more.
Have a great Sunday!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Now I am laughing. I used the Gender Genie for the poem below, first stanza, and it turns out I am male.
(NOTE: The genie works best on texts of more than 500 words.)
Female Score: 52
Male Score: 139
The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male!
They usually are correct, when I have played before. Given the shortness of the sample, I am not surprised. But I wonder if my poetry is male!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
So I think the reason why people like writing evil characters, is that one can revel in the creative process that gives them these characters. Not the characters or their ...ristics, but in the sheer joy in stretching that far. I know I am not like them in any way, so it just becomes fun to play in their evil. I think if I felt any camaraderie with their actions, I don't think I could write them. It would be too close. But when they are just so icky, one can find much joy! The median-range too close for comfort evil would be much harder.
Back to Percy, the mannequin loving postal carrier. You know, if this story were to ever come to anything, I would have swaths of assorted groups of people angry at me. Swaths! LOL And I don't remember exactly now, because it has been 2+ years, but I think this fellow was based on a real guy. The details have blurred. ::blurs some more:: I hope to ink my story, so that all features of the real people from which this story sprang (should be a word) sprung, well the town anyway, blur.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Birch. Totally. I love birch trees. I love how the bark layers scroll off the tree. I love the scattered bark that rolls down to the ground off the visible roots. I love how there are almost always three. Birch trees are never lonely because there are always two more. The leaves aren't bothersome. They fall gently too. The leaf shape does not shout its point, the wedge shape gentle. But despite that gentility, the very slight sharp teeth that edge the leaf gives it a little zing. Also, birch trees, especially a whole group of them, remind me of winter. The white amongst the green gives homage to all of the seasons, even those not among us.
I had a birch tree at the corner of our house when we lived in Connecticut. I miss so much about that yard, and after the 10 ft tall viburnum that edged the south side of the yard, I miss the birch the most.
Meme by way of Shakespeare's Sister.
Posted by vmh at 8:06 AM
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Sunday, February 25, 2007
You know what is really hard? Keeping consistency with the rules of the universe of a story. Because I started writing this back in December I think, the story has evolved - as it should. But the consistency of the rules that guide the world in which my two characters live, has also. It has made the beginning of the story not feel quite right. I need to edit that first chapter to incorporate the evolved rules of the universe. Even the use of a few words now doesn't feel right. It has assumptions that the end of the story does not. That needs to be fixed.
I am happy with how the story moves along, and with the character development of the main character. I think the ending might be a bit abrupt and I might need to fill that in some more. But overall the premise of the story pleases me very much. Woot and hoo on that. Doesn't always happen I have to say! It has also lead to thoughts of a prequel, as well as a later happening story to tie up some expectations that develop.
Writing is so cool!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
No new words. Just colds and sicknesses. I had fleeting poetical moments from the ice packed snow roads here. They do not plow. I wrote the bits down on a list paper and as I scan my desk right now, I cannot see it. It must be in one of the stacks upstairs. Poem called on account of stacks.
I think there are many reasons to write, and I followed a few blog's discussion of such the other day. I think exhaustion has a lot to do with lack of production. Certainly in my case anyway. Not that I want to think of this as production. It isn't a product. Not for me anyway.
I need to find a local writing group. I saw an ad once, but I never followed up on it. I really should do that. How this paragraph and the previous paragraph relate I think is obvious.
I shall write more when I have more to write. Right now I am just going to sneeze. Have a great evening.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
I received my second annual Kooser valentine today. Little postcard, this year, mailed in Valentine NE. I am not sure he did that last year.
Anyway, sad note, as this will be the last of the series he tells us on the signature line above his name. Too bad. I wonder what it is like to get in at the beginning of some such thing.
Nicely written. Title is This Paper Boat. Ethereal form. As last year, I am not sure if I should type it out for you all. Maybe I will google first and see if it is out there. Good internal rhymes. He places the light weight of the card into the readers hand, like a heart given away. Sigh.
Glad I have the two I have, three actually, as the first, when I was brazen, was given to everyone at the reading.
Thank you Mr. Kooser. Well done! Happy Valentines day to you too!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Ok, I just had a mini revelation. I don’t talk about it here much but our son died almost eight years ago. He was one of a set of twins. But that isn’t the revelation. I was just sitting on the closet floor (the box holding his stuff is too big to move and I noticed the silver cardboard of the box within) rereading some of the cards assorted friends and family sent us after he died. (Always send a card btw, they are helpful even years after.) What the revelation was and how it is related to my writing, is that several of the cards said, “…words are so inadequate”. And in a time like that they might feel like they are failing the event. They aren’t but that isn’t the revelation either. What the revelation was is that I really want my words that I write to not be inadequate. I think I want them to be the words that should be said. I know the reader may or may not have the experience I hope to achieve, heh, I have been on the internet enough to know that isn’t the case. I have been thinking about success in writing. Not financial, or anything like that, but the slow judgment of adequacy. I think my writing resumed after his death as a way to structure my thoughts. I want to be able to use words to pinpoint exactly what I want to say. Now about anything, but initially his/our situation. It is a honing in maybe, a microcosmic peering in at the macro. I think that is especially why poetry draws me now. I think success in poetry is success in that.
Anyway, that is the revelation. Please excuse the parenthetical abuse. Have a great day!
Sunday, January 28, 2007
2400 words yesterday. 200 dozen. I am picturing crates of eggs now. And just as delicate. I don't track words but there you go. Yes I know for someone who doesn't track such things, she comments on it alot. Back story mostly. Their worlds have exploded behind these characters. Setting up. What I did notice, was that it was more outline-y than I would like. I will have to go back and show. But it does get the story out there and that is always of the good. Lather, rinse, repeat. /Buffy reference.
I don't know how much writing I will get done today. I will carry around my notebook just in case. Skating may happen.
What I do need to do is write down words when they occur to me, so they don't get lost to the ether. Not one for the ether farming, remembering. I can't remember if I have always been like this, I suspect yes, but that is what paper is for. Disembowel (last night's word) and ablutional (this morning's) two most recent. Excellent words. I like when words feel as they exit the mouth, particularly the wh sounds. Always have. Especially when I know where they will work. Good writing saves words. Funny that.
Have a great day.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
You know how you know a poetry mag is good? If you are just thumbing through it, and are already blown away. Poetry East is that for me. I can't find a huge number of poetry journals around here but this one is usually available at B&N. I have to say, that every issue I have read has really excellent poetry. There is a certain gentleness that this one has. It doesn't seem to have pretensions and if it does, it doesn't worry about it, or feel the need to argue, but is just comfortable with who it is. Yes, I do anthromorphise everything. And again, superb poetry.
::pads off to read::
Also I realized the other day reading Poetry, that poets and poetry are like Canadians, always trying to figure out who and what they are. Canadians always feel the need to find who they are (in the shadow of the US), and reading the discussions about the need for poetry, its justifications, worth of the poet, those two things linked for me. Poetry, the Canadian to the Prose that is the looming and more financially successful American.
But then again, what do I know.
Monday, January 22, 2007
In addition to all of its other attributes, Google is a time portal. I was googling a writer whose name I was trying to remember, who read at the University of Windsor one time, and I found the link to Generations, its undergrad poetry publication. I was published in that in 1982ish. I hoped some kind soul had
not put them all online, but hadn't. It is probably better that way.
I think it was Czeslaw Milosz or another eastern European writer. I remember only that the book that writer had out that year he read, won all sorts of awards (which his did). None of his title's ring a bell though, so I am not sure. I didn't have the money to actually purchase the book from which he read, although my roommate did. The holes in the library.
I wish I had kept a list of all of the books I couldn't afford at the time. The list would have been long. Therefore, grateful for the googling.
Have a good one!
Sunday, January 21, 2007
My 7 (almost 8 in two weeks) year old son wrote a poem last night. He asked me if it should rhyme and I told him it didn't have to. We read a few humorous poems from the PFFA and he was quite amused and I think that got him into a poetry writing mood. Then he wrote his poem. I told him to use images to tell what he wanted to. He told me I couldn't post it, darn, but I will post just one simile he used:
like watered silk
He has a way with words. So does my daughter who won a writing contest last year. I could learn a thing or two from them.
Have a great day!
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have been updating the Seraphim story. Edit tight. Anyway, I was just waiting for the water for my tea to heat (never boil) and I looked out the kitchen window. In a flash, and was indeed that quick, I felt what I think it must feel like to be a writer1. All of the time, not just in bits and snatches between other moments like the spaces between the tea leaves.2 It was a combination of the scent of the tea, the fallen snow outside, my warm sweatshirt and knitted fingerless gloves all felt while contemplating a story so far entitled The World is White. It passed, and I poured the water over the tea leaves and I came down here to capture the moment.
1 I have never felt this before, in a setting situation rather than while typing - hopefully. I do type hopefully.
2 Yes I know I have drained this metaphor dry in both poems and posts, but it is one I really like.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I was just reminded of Gestetner ink. How it would smell, how we would smell it. We would grab the damp page from our teacher or classmate, our assignment due. But first and foremost we would hold it to our faces and breathe. It was a cloying sweet smell that would rise through our nose and above and beyond. It would soften the best of us. Probably why it lasted so long in the teaching profession. Did other industries even use it? I don't remember. Our teacher would go into the room with the machine that none of us could use. Wearing gloves she would make copies for each of us. Usually during recess time. We always hoped she was running late so when she would bring them fresh to us, have one of us hand out the sheets hoping hoping they would still be damp. I remember them being warm, but that might have just been from her holding them to her chest, her breasts at just the right angle for presentation of the assignment. Then one of us would be selected to hand them out. Quickly. Then we would breathe. I most remember this from grades 4-8 because we were upstairs near the room where the copies were made. Location is everything as they say. Kids today [shakes cane] don't know the joy of this. Photocopies and certainly not PowerPoint's do not have the same allure. Gone with the years, technology removing a most tactile stimulation for kids.
Posted by vmh at 7:11 PM
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Just found this essay after rooting around in the Poetry Foundation website. I even commented. We found Nick Bantock's popup book of Kubla Khan many years ago. What was so excellent about this book was that the popup took away some of the ghastliness of the story of Kubla. The dark images really do unfold the story, the wrecked world and the popup both shows that, and make it palatable, because kids like popups. Kids miss themes that they don't know or understand. If they do sense something awry, they question. Parents answer. If kids can ask and verbalize then they are ready for the answer. The demon lover slipped under my son's radar when he was young but huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail totally took him in. This poem worked really well, because the sound, the rhyme worked to fascinate him.
I wonder how the kids would view this book now that they are older. I might have to dig it out.
ETA: All of kid's literature is full of sadism and doom, a very long history, but I am not sure that is so bad if it is handled correctly by the parents. Little red riding hood and other stories are certainly filled with that. Now that my daughter is entering her teenage years, the stories she can find are filled with so much horror, death, anorexia and doom, or whatever other fill in the blank issue of the month could be. I do filter what my kids read, but if it is done well and well written, that buffers them from the horror. Like Kubla I think. I agree about the Giving Tree. I find that more irksome than most kid's stories because the ending has absolutely no joy, doesn't lift life at all. Working through the horror needs to be the starting point, not the ending.
Huh, Blogger changed the margins in the posting box here. Oh well.
Since reading The Road, I have noticed apocolyptic [heh, this word isn't in the Blogger spellcheck] sorts of themes in many movies over Christmas like The Terminator, and asteroids crashing into earth and other doomsday scenarios. Is that a New Years thing? Last night I had a dream about a saran attack on a nearby apartment building, when we were out of town. Stuff always happens off screen in my dreams. It is a thing. Then I was reading the internets this morning, and someone commented about the comet. Sigh.
Between world politics not being in a picnic basket, but other sorts, I can see how this is happening. Heck, maybe a short story will come from it. My mother in law told a story the other day, that I really want to use. It would tie nicely into this theme.
Have a great day. I am going to hit preview now, and see how this will look. Wish me luck! ETA: It was funky, so I reposted. ::tries again::
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Getting hit on in the poetry section of B&N today was interesting. Partly due to my cluelessness and partly due to my nano earbuds I did not know what he was saying. I took out an ear bud, and I could then hear the fellow, older, greying and probably retired asking me if I had read a certain book of poetry. He asked me if I read poetry. I nodded. Then he said that he was a friend of Ted Kooser (everyone here claims that friendship! ooooh, I should have told him I got Kooser's valentine). I nodded again, and then he told me how much he loved this certain poet, whose name I won't write here because I don't want that traffic (I know that sounds horrible, but I learned my lesson with the moth and tears), and he suggested I purchase the chapbook. Then he sort of toddled off. Happy guy. I wished him well. Silently of course. I think he was as surprised as I meeting another person in the poetry section. That doesn't happen very often. Too bad the book of poetry was more concerned with centering poems, marbled paper and fancy fonts. Lesson learned: do not go gentle into that good chapbook. Rage a little, or toddle.
I ended up purchasing a biography of Dylan Thomas. Can't remember the author's name and I am too lazy to go upstairs and look. [ETA: I am not completely slothful: Dylan Thomas: A New Life by Andrew Lycett] When I picked up that book, I had a memory flash of another book I wanted to look for, but then it was gone in a whisp. Never did return. I am looking forward to learning more about Thomas. I only know some of his poetry; very little about him.
Have a lovely evening, what is left of it of course!
Sunday, January 07, 2007
At some point I will have to sort the links to the left in alphabetical order. But until then, I am going to keep them in the order in which I discover them. A history of sorts.
Woke with two poem bits in my head. That certainly does save me the work of actually trying to think about what to write. I want to call it, oh, I don't know, something referring to political leadership, but that might be too Marilyn-ish. A fractured haiku. First go rounds are evil.
[Poem deleted for extreme woosie-ness]
Did you know that Goethe would tap out his metre for his poems on his lover's back? How wonderful is that?
Have a great day!
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Book group went well the other night. Goethe! Who knew? I knew next to nothing really about him, but I will definitely be reading more. His ideas about the role of the muse are captivating!
Another lady read my first poem (Caught), and then I read a few others. How nervous can one person be reading aloud what is normally an isolated effort? I am down here hunkered over the computer, and a happy few in the world see it, whilst I sit and type and feed the words out there. Now a few more in the world have seen. World grows.
I don't know what it is lately, but I have been having so many ideas for stories, and poems too. Glad to know that 2006 is staked, dead and gone, so maybe that has freed me. That year did weigh on me for a few (too many) reasons, so the hope of the new year reborn has begun. Gives me a new lease, rather than the mortgage and heavy price of the old.
I have the beginnings of another story, rather silly, but fun. I hope to work on the Seraphim story some more today, but the day's events might conspire to keep that from happening. We shall see! My ever hopeful chant/rant to the day. We shall see!
Have a lovely day!
Thursday, January 04, 2007
A member of my book group has kindly requested that I bring a few of my own poems tonight to read. This night is poetry night. I have chosen a few recent poems from the Norton to bring, but I have printed out a few of my Napowrimo poems to bring also. Only a few people in real life have ever read anything I have written. As a matter of fact, I just let my mother-in-law, who is visiting, read the poems.
I must be getting braver. I don't know. Oh my.
Posted by vmh at 7:28 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007
Happy New Year.
This newest short story I am writing hasn't been posted any where yet because I am liking it more and more and want to make it better. I think it is getting better. Well, I hope so anyway. Who knew I had a thing for fallen (6 winged) angels? Well, don't answer that, but these two are only getting more interesting as I tighten it. A part of me thinks it is sheer and utter crap, but another part of me is impressed. I want the former to become the latter, therefore the editing. And they both have nice hands.
I am waiting for steak pie to go into the oven, so I am contemplating feathers becoming quills becoming...oooh, a spoiler.
Have a great evening.