The mice scattered across the IPad screen and Macavity’s attention was captured. His head bobbled with the mice’s movement until one mouse touched another and squeaked. He jumped back like he had been bitten. He glanced everywhere for the assailant before moving closer again. His hunched body ready for whatever the mice did next. Macavity inched closer to analyze the situation. Another shriek from a mouse. He had to know where the mice were. He pawed the IPad edge in search of the mice before gingerly placing his paw upon the screen. He captured a mouse. Yay, his mission accomplished.
I packed a lot of my bulkier pans today, and moved the ones that I had hanging on the copper pot bar by extra hooks into the cupboard. The pan rack came with six copper hooks but I had way more pans than that so when we hung it up we doubled the chain support and bought extra wrought iron hooks to hold my handled pans. This freed up the cupboard space for all the non-handled pans. The cupboards look less congested now. I didn’t want the next owner thinking all the wrought iron was included when she returns with the building inspector on Tuesday. People are quite presumptuous.
I’m still amused that she noted all landscaping in the bid. Upon further discussion, she was including my planters which are not permanent. Sorry about your luck, buy your own. Some of my planters went to my son’s and some are going with me. When we moved here there was nothing but that ugly green ivy that contractors use. The previous owners did nothing prior to us. In the back yard, I’ve planted hostas, peonies, juniper, hydrangea, lilies, and 2 beautiful rose bushes. There was a rhubarb patch but I’m not seeing it yet this spring. We did have a very wet and cold winter so it may not be returning. In the front, I’ve planted more hostas, 2 more roses, daffodils, lilies, tulips, gladiolus, and a weeping cypress. It’s a lot prettier than it was.
Macavity’s portable dvd player arrived yesterday. He wore out ours watching a cat sitter dvd. Yes, they make videos for cats. It has a continuous loop with birds at a feeder, mice playing in a cage, pigeons on a sidewalk, an owl in a tree, chipmunks scurrying in the grass, butterflies and cricket sounds in a meadow and the occasional frog. He watches for hours at a time, occasionally trying to catch with his paws. Originally, I got the dvd because he had separation anxiety when he first came to our home.
One of the funniest experiences with the original dvd player was the button to turn it on was on top. The television is a touch screen. I used to walk over touch the tv and then the dvd player before we left to do errands. Macavity recognized my scent and began turning the tv and player on himself. It would come on in the middle of the night basically whenever he wanted it. The little shit would even interrupt my program by pushing the dvd start button. Anyway, a friend was spending the weekend with us and I warned him he might hear the tv in the middle of the night. Not to be concerned it would only be Macavity. He rolled his eyes at me.
Surprise, in the morning he says to me the tv woke him up and when he got up to see he noticed our door was open and we were both in bed. Yeah, the hall light does luminate our room if we don’t shut the door which we typically don’t so our cats have free roam. He came downstairs to investigate and no one was visible so he shut the tv off. He didn’t make it up the stairs and the tv came back on. I burst out laughing. And reminded him that I warned him Macavity liked his tv time.
I’m hoping between the familiarity of riding in the car, the lavender calming collar and the dvd player will make our move a positive experience for all of us. I moved it to the bench so I could use my table. He’s intently watching right now while I write. He hopped down off the bench, grabbed a snack while I was packing and returned to the dvd. Usually, he paces while I pack things. Change isn’t easy for Macavity.
7 days left in April and 30 days in May and this experience ends and our new one begins.
Did you see yesterday Joe Long passed. He’s the second member of the Four Seasons. Tommy DeVito passed last fall. Covid didn’t care that they were talented musicians. I’ve been listening to a lot of oldies while I pack. Like Macavity, I need to be less stressed with this what seems like an insurmountable task.
I saw this yesterday . It reminded me of conversations I had with a dear older friend in Maine. There are still several things I haven’t managed but I will. I’m looking forward to a new beginning.
“A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … a youth she’s content to leave behind…. A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age…. A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….. a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored… A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. a feeling of control over her destiny… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to fall in love without losing herself.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… HOW TO QUIT A JOB, BREAK UP WITH A LOVER, AND CONFRONT A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… where to go… be it to her best friend’s kitchen table… or a charming inn in the woods… when her soul needs soothing… EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she can and can’t accomplish in a day… a month…and a year…” ― Pamela Redmond Satran
The memories they hold and the stories they tell. On the fireplace mantle I have a piece of driftwood under the picture of the seagull swooping down over the sand. It’s a grayish brown in color and straight with rounded ends. Nothing spectacular visually but it has a story.
I was working for Northern Outdoors Whitewater Rafting at the Forks, Maine on weekends and driving school bus during the week. On this day, I was carrying food down to the halfway point on the Kennebec River like the other bus drivers for the different rafting companies. A friend of mine, Brenda Gleason was there for New England Whitewater. She and I drove school bus together as well. We had time on our hands waiting for the rafts when I pulled the driftwood from the river. Brenda asked me what was bothering me. Typical me, said everything was fine and dandy. That was always my answer when I didn’t want to talk about things.
I put the piece of driftwood in my bus. I didn’t think about the driftwood again until much later. It was gone when I went to retrieve it after my shift. No surprise. At that time in my life, nothing went as as it was supposed to be.
Monday morning I unlocked my school bus and there on the dash of my bus was the missing driftwood with fine and dandy wood burned along the side. I didn’t see Brenda until later in the day. I thanked her for making my driftwood log special.
That piece of driftwood traveled in my Pontiac Catalina, then my Ford truck and then my Dodge Neon before becoming a part of beach décor. I’m guilty of still saying when I don’t want to talk… I’m fine and dandy.
I’m not sure where it will be displayed in our next home but I know it definitely going with us.
“Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”― Oscar Wilde
If I could have my hair any color for 24 hours, what color would I choose?
I had the electric blue for more than 24 hours, I loved it. But then I’ve had so many hair colors over the years thanks to my awesome friend and hair stylist.The typical colors of auburn, brunette, blonde after chemo stole my hair color. My hair came back in snow white. All of my natural color was gone. So then I tried, Royal blue,turquoise, pink, eggplant, green, red, orange, black and blue together, black and green together, purple, silver with red tips, I love the freedom, I have to express myself.
Am I a Hitchcock fan? If so, what is my favorite movie?
Hitchcock fan oh yeah. My introduction was because my Gramma loved John Forysthe, he starred in an unusual Hitchcock The Trouble with Harry. It wasn’t all that suspenseful, the setting isn’t busy, and the story is unusually quaint but she loved it and I watched it with her.
My second favorite is I Confess. the film stars Montgomery Clift in the leading role as a priest who’s wrongly suspected of murder. I Confess puts the ethics of privacy of the church on the stand, which ultimately results in showing the oath of silence in a new light. Which at the time was novel.
My third favorite is Spellbound. Spellbound is a twisting and turning suspense thriller from Alfred Hitchcock that nearly reaches the heights of his greatest works. Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star in the film and both give excellent performances.
And finally, you can’t be a Hitchcock without the Birds. Why would anyone want to make a movie about Birds? I love birds but there are lots of people who hate birds. That’s due to a phenomenon known as ornithophobia — the fear of birds — and Hitchcock understood better than anyone how to tap into it. According to google to The Birds is one of Hitchcock’s most iconic works and has inspired countless spoofs and parodies over the years. For as silly as a swarm of birds inexplicably attacking people may seem to some, the film speaks more broadly to base human fears about how fragile our sense of security in the world actually is. The delicate balance of our daily routines could unravel and disrupt our lives forever — a horrifying theme indeed. The Birds is a multi-layered horror thriller from the master whose weighty themes cut beneath its story’s strange and frightening surface.
Do I decorate for Autumn/Halloween and will it be affected by this year’s craziness?
I’m the house in the neighborhood that people come to see what I’ve done inside and out each year. I decorate because I love Halloween and how festive or scary I make it depends on my mood more than anything. I love creating the villages each year, I takes lots of pictures so I don’t repeat the set-up.
This year I have more than covid weighing on me. We’re moving and unpacking all the decorations and setting up draws away from what I need to be focusing on. But on the other hand I love how it feels in here with everything up and this is going to be last opportunity in this house. I’m going back and forth on this.
Today’s theme is “time of the day.” What is your favorite time of day? Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you prefer afternoons? Or do you like to go to bed and dream? Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to share about your favorite time of day.
Sunrise is my favorite. It has always called to me but unfortunately so does the stillness of the night. I don’t sleep much. For years, I went to be 11:00-11:30 pm. and rose at 4:30 to be at work at 5:15am because I drove a school bus. After I stopped driving, I worked at Starbucks for 8 years as an opener still retiring at 11:00. Now that I’m home all the time since I was disabled I go to bed at 12:00-12:30 and rise without an alarm at 6:00. My body doesn’t seem to desire more sleep. A lot of times I wake up and watch the sunrise and then fall back asleep. Other times, I ask Vic to drive us to the ocean so I can walk in the wet sand as the sun rises as in the picture I took above with the seagull and the sun rising. I love seeing the fiery glow break on the water.
The Oriental Octet is an invented verse form that appears to emulate the syllabic pattern of the tanka and haiku. It was created by James R. Gray who requests the theme of the poem be nature. The Oriental Octet was created by James Gray
1. Nature theme like tanka
2. Syllable Count: 5-7-5-7-7-5-7-5
Shimmers across a darkened sky
that halo around it does not bode well.
All the signs are hard to deny
soon stormy weather, or maybe a white spell.
Those gusty raw winds chill to the bone.
Small animals scurry to cover
before the wolves catch them alone.
Palpable fear seems to hover,
the fittest survive, the weak will die.
The laws of nature are not fair,
some will struggle to defy
while others give in to despair.
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”~ Edgar Allen Poe
19,148 words thus far in Death and I, the story of Mairin, Bruce, and Death.
This weekend I wrote three found poems with snippets of the NY Times again. I had a great helper too. Macavity laid on the snippets and moved several which ended up being just what I needed. I used pieces of the different poems in my story with Mairin, too, so my cutting the newspaper became an exercise in creative thinking.
“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
― Yoko Ono
A lady I knew in Maine, my rival when it came to Halloween decorations passed away unexpectedly yesterday. We’re the same age, and our children are the same ages. I was reminded how short our lives truly are.
I want to take a moment for the families in Texas whose world was turned upside down in a moment of violence. They are in our prayers. I don’t understand why anyone would do that to another human being.
I’ve written 8650 words, monumental for me in 5 days. I was feeling overwhelmed with my character so I decided to take a mental health break. I made a Thanksgiving centerpiece wreath for our table. It went to together easy enough considering this is my very first attempt at making a wreath. (Yup, I followed a youtube video.) The glitter all over the floor was messy and everywhere with help from Macavity. Overall the project took just over two hours from start to finish and the result was very eye appealing.
The Mistletoe Murder
in what once
was a nation
A Gambler’s Anatomy
City of Dreams
Where America Begins
The Man Who Chose
March of the Lexicon
Words on the Move
Cruel Beautiful World
It’s no longer
When Music Was Life and Death
There are so many things to establish in the background to assure continuity in a book that hadn’t crossed my mind until I began this undertaking. It made me appreciate all the authors I’ve read in my lifetime. Wow!
I feel reasonably comfortable with my conflicts and my protagonist. I have several minor antagonists and one major one who will definitely make his handsome presence known. Putting pictures on my character trait list did help. I found looking at them and imagining how they would handle different complications enjoyable. Yesterday, I worked on my antagonist, oh he’s handsome and dangerous. I looked at a lot of pictures of men before deciding I really like how Patrick Dempsey looked in all black, I could easily see him as my Thanatos.
Now, I’m working on an outline I’ll be comfortable working with over the next month. Who knew there would be so many different types– Snowflake, 3-point, 5-point, 8-points, traditional bullet point, Vogler’s, Campbell’s, pure summary, skeletal outlining, flashlight outlining, free writing, visual mapping, contextual prepping and of course all the different software for outlining. Yikes, it’s confusing.
I’ve been reading Vogler’s Writer’s Journey and Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Some days I feel like I read more than I write because it’s all part of the process of fine tuning my craft. And naturally, everyone has a different take on successful writing techniques.
My setting was pretty easy I’ve created a fictional town in Maine called Bayhollow, the next town over is a college town called Stone Lake with a university called Kampden University. There’s an active military base about 10 miles away in a town called Deadzone. All of these locations are very near the Canadian border.
On WDC they have prep challenge which thus far has kept me to the task which I’m finding helpful because it’s all new to me. Also, there’s the lingering dread 50,000 words hovering too. I find comfort in seeing familiar names pledged to do NaNoWriMo. Misery does love company.
I was reading Theresa’s blog this morning and thinking about how I overcome writing challenges. My go to is my camera when nothing else works. There is something about looking through the portal of small space that makes my muse happy. My perspective is different and very targeted.
The other day while I was creating my setting I had been gathering all the logistics like population, restaurants, and businesses. (world building) I took a break and caught up on reading blogs. Yes, I’m guilty of reading and not always leaving comments. But in this instance, Theresa had drawn a fence on a white background with shading to give the impression of winter or even a sandy beach. I took it as winter in my mind and I saw my protagonist breaking down on a back road and trodding along this seemingly endless fence. The timing was perfect for my muse because it sparked another opportunity for frustration in what seems like mountains on her journey to better her life. Thank you Theresa.
Another way I open my mind to writing is cutting the newspaper into shreds, readable shreds. I grab random titles and move them around I create a poem or a line that fits perfectly in what I’m working on that may have never crossed my mind.
The first poem could easily be part of a conversation my protagonist has and the second could be a fearful moment added to the scene in the cemetery. Muses work in interesting ways as Barber Adagio for Strings by the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in the background.
I do enjoy having dark classical playing in the background. What can I say my muse is a bit twisted.
My compost bin enjoys all the snippets of paper when I’m done so everything has a purpose if you open yourself to the possibilities.
Eyes flare bold red inside the extended dark head
with a huge glistening white-toothed smile.
Wispy smoke swirls hide the body in front of the
pentagram etched in a brazen satanic style.
My neck hair stands up straight in protest to
the sound of nails raked across the granite.
Ew, a smell of rotted meat and cheap perfume
I can’t imagine what created this nasty cesspit.
The earth shudders as the moon briefly appears
from behind the dark sky. The brittle and decayed bones,
what’s left of a body is so close
clearly in my view.
I try to back up, but my feet are frozen.
His bony fingers clench my left ankle painfully
I scream frantically, I hope someone hears me before my
throat gives out. I tug, twist and kick to no avail,
My ankle is firmly in his grasp, I sense my end is near.
A deep, gravelly growl suddenly breaks the eerie silence, I whisper
Help me. His painful grasp loosens as he contemplates his new prize.
I tug myself free. I’m so exhausted I can’t move.
The low growls are so close, I step back, it’s hard to stand.
Gravelly voice whispers to me, run when I command thee.
Blood-curdling screams, a moan filled with annoyance, and loud thuds
made it so hard to hear the raspy voice as the battle ensued.
Run, Run, run fast and don’t look back
I stumble several times before I make it to the house
I lock the doors and wonder when it will end.
Tick, tick, tock, tick, tick, tock damn, I hate that clock
Knife in my hand, hidden in the darkness I wait
Tears trickle down my face, I am relieved to be free
but a sense of dread lingers as I await my fate.