“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.
A family portrait for all humanity
blood, sweat, toil, and tears
unraveling racial hatred
in the darkest hours
of rivers and rituals
Happiness is for other people
those who stay
the once mediocre
seek some calm
for them, it’s not discrimination
A war of words underway
The screaming just won’t stop
we seek our way to death.
An enlightened friendship
when coffee brews a different spirit
in all its realness
Sweetness with a side of sarcasm.
is an unwanted
brutal final indignity.
It penalizes what we had
years of relying on what
no one knows.
The dots to greatness
Yup, he had a good idea. The coffee poem and the metamorphosis both improved with his help.
“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.
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
The Wrong Side of Goodbye
in a Sleeping World
for I Will Sin©
Enjoy your Monday. I need to go Mairin, Bruce and Death are calling.
In the Cemetery
Mairin found herself wandering again in the cemetery. Sleep was elusive these days. She found it harder and harder to sleep knowing that her inevitable demise was a reality. Cancer, that terrifying six letter word changed her perspective on a lot of things these days.
She wandered off the cobblestone path in search of the trickling water sound because of a sudden urge to put her toes in the icy water of the stream that ran along the cemetery. She’d forgotten about the meadow, it would be a superb place to lie on a blanket and read a book some afternoon. Mairin didn’t recall seeing a headstone before over here. Strange place for it and why does this gravestone sit alone?
Mairin was sure there must be more to this unresolved story than meets the eye. Why this crooked headstone isn’t perfect like all the other stones in Craven’s Loft Cemetery. The stone carver would be disappointed to see his work isolated and in such bad shape. She felt confident there was a good reason it was placed in this leaf-strewn meadow along the stream’s edge but looking around under this fog-shrouded moon the answer wasn’t clear. What was clear that sleepless nights were becoming her norm. The tall pines cast an eerie shadow but the earthy aroma felt comforting in this lonely place.
Mairin traced her finger across the stone edge. The cold granite felt smooth like glass except for the right corner. Ow, damn it, that hurt. Mairin looked at the blood trickling from her finger. She sucked on her finger savoring the salty taste as she noted the name on the stone. Bruce Lewis. Oh my god, that can’t be. Mairin stumbled back. Her feet refused to budge and her knees buckled. She collapsed on the ground.She shook more than the birch trees in the night breeze as she read.
Bruce Lewis age 64 years of age. The marker said deceased on October 31, 2001. October 31st 2001, that’s a year from now. The birthdate read March 3, 1953. What the hell was going on? The name and birth date are correct but he’s not dead. Bruce was very much alive. Bruce was on a business trip and was due back on Friday. Mairin trembled knowing there was something creepy but she couldn’t for the life of her imagine what. She looked around feeling uneasy when she noticed lying beside the stone a lacy black glove haphazardly across some dried maple leaves. The fog dissipated and the moon glowed brightly above her as Mairin picked up the strangely familiar glove. It’s not possible but there were three black pearl buttons along the edge. It can’t be…. how did my glove end up here?
The wind rustled the pine and the pungent aroma wafted in the air. Mairin staggered to her feet with the glove tightly. Her throat felt raw and scratchy as she retraced her steps back to the main walkway out of the cemetery. None of this made any sense. She should call Bruce and tell him what she discovered. On second thought probably not. He already thinks she’s losing her mind since she got the diagnosis.
“Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”~ William James
“The greatest conflicts are not between two people but between one person and himself.”~ Garth Brooks
Mairin stood outside the courthouse clenching the divorce filing. She trembled and gasped for air. A stranger gawked at her as he passed slowly but said nothing. Get it together Mairin, you’ve been counting this down for five years. You’re almost there. “Take a picture it’ll last longer!” Mairin yelled at the nosey stranger.
Mairin took a deep inhale, straightened her shoulders and purposely strode to her car. I can do this. Initially, she was going to hang out the garage since the kindergarten run was canceled for the day she didn’t have to be back until 1:30 to do her afternoon run. She glanced at her watch and on a whim drove to the local college campus. She gradually drove around a couple of times observing the students coming and going. They have no idea how lucky they are.
Stop hemming and hawing, go to the admissions office. Ask what is needed instead of being a voyeur. Alright, alright I will.
Mairin checked her watch again, second guessing or looking for an excuse not to go but the clock didn’t help. She spoke to the receptionist who directed to an advisor. A slew of questions later and more documents in her hand, she was now enrolled in college. Imagine that, I’m a college student. A 47-year-old clueless college student. What the hell have I done?
Geez, I still have two hours to kill before my next shift. Hmm, when did that tattoo place open? Mairin laughed at some of the designs in the window and strode away. She opened her car and slammed it shut again. Why the hell not? I’ve finally stepped up to the plate I might as well look like a college student. She waltzed her butt into the tat parlor and told the clerk she wanted a tattoo. The man asked if she wanted to look at any design in particular. Mairin shook her head. “Nope, today is the day I’m tossing the chains to the curb. I filed for divorce and I’m serving my soon- to- be ex myself this afternoon. I want a chain bracelet with a broken link around my ankle. Maybe with one daisy so it’s a bit more feminine but I want the tattoo to look like a busted chain. This is my bust out day!”
“I can do that. Have a seat, I’ll get you the waivers. I do have to ask, any contagious diseases?
“Yeah, insanity. Other than that I’m harmless.”
“Okay, let’s do it.”
Thirteen toads, lizards, and bats
Hear my spell unfold and obey
Into the smoke slither away
Rally all of your friends
The time we waited for is ours
Exhume the bodies of the dead
Exile has ended, we are free
Never a ghoul or goblin again
Thirteen witches in a circle
Hear my spell unfold and obey
In a flash fly to the four winds
Raise havoc on humankind
The time we waited for is ours
Exhilarating pleasures to be had
Evil glares no more
Never be a witch again
Thirteen vampires rise from your coffin
Hear my spell unfold and obey
Intrigue and conspiracy everywhere
Reconvene covenants from the past
The time we waited for is ours
Excitement and anticipation
Experience the daylight of your youth
Never be sentenced to darkness again
Thirteen spells set us free
Hear me now and obey
Illicit pleasures for us all
Raise havoc on civilization today
The time we waited for is ours
Each spell better than the last
Eternally from this Halloween night
Never be ignored again©
177 words, 32 lines
“When you make friends with fear, it cannot rule you.” ~ Anne Lamott
Poetry is something I feel very confident writing, it’s when I try to write something more … fear consumes me.
My muse and I know that terror all too well, unfortunately.
I’ve been working on my book now for ten weeks and I have a reasonably solid outline, awesome universal character trait lists for each of my characters. I have pictures of the settings, I even sketched some of them. I did my homework so why wasn’t I writing the story.
That nasty four letter word held me hostage for the last couple weeks until yesterday. I stared at my computer and decided today was the day that demon wasn’t going to win anymore. I wrote for 4 hours straight and threw 1302 words onto 6 pages. I did it.
I turned it into Raz, the man teaching the writing class I’ve been taking. I waited for another email, one of quite a few that over the past ten weeks I’ve dreaded opening. Instead, I got a text message that simply said: “You nailed it.” Three words I hadn’t expected because of that nemesis fear.
Life is too short to let fear make big decisions for you.
What I learned was fear can also be my friend and motivator if I simply change my perspective so I took Eleanor’s advice.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt
So instead of sitting on my laurels and embracing the confidence boost, I tossed my story out to my writing group for critique.
I loved hearing the voice of my character come alive with Pam reading. It’s one thing to read your own work but it’s another to hear it. It still needs a bit of tweaking, there were places where she stumbled reading but the overall consensus was they were invested and wanted more. My character was likable and sounded real. The pacing was good and when it stopped they wanted more.
I embraced my fear this evening and shared my story. I’m ready to do the edits and write more. Fear and I are going to become best buds because like Lamott said, it can’t rule me unless I let it.
Take a quote (funny, inspirational, insightful… it’s up to you) and turn it into a poem. Please include the quote and who it’s by at the bottom of your item. ~ Poetry
A Lie Gets Halfway Around the World, Mate
Don’t be humble, you’re not that great.
I swear, I know the time I won’t be late
Did you say we’re going on a dinner date?
I can’t believe she puts up with so much hate.
Who let the dogs out? Shut the gate?
Did you hear, Winston said, I’m great?
The decorations are so dang ornate.
Let me write it down while you dictate.
I thought I’d lie on the floor straight
writhe in pain for a bit while I wait
Are there cookies on the plate?
She said something about her heart rate
Is she always so sedate?
Do we have time to ice skate?
It doesn’t really matter, it’s fate!
Before the truth has a chance to get its pants on, Mate.
Are you sure you heard it straight? ©
free style 140 w/c 18 lines
“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”
― Winston S. Churchill
Writing Course- Write a Novel in 10 weeks
I just completed the halfway point of the course. Our assignment for this week was the first page of our book. 250 words maximum with the one margin all the way around, 12pt font size and in Times Roman with a header of our title and our last name. Except, I don’t have a name yet, so I wrote TITLE and then my last name. I always leave word in the setting it comes with and apparently that’s not publishing standards so I had to correct that and the font size. Nor do I ever pay attention to the margins or indentations because typically I write poetry. It’s just more things to remember to do before I write.
With that said, I wrote my first page and received positive feedback and I’m proud of you from the instructor. I read it to my husband Vic and a good friend who both agreed I had curiosity aroused immediately and they were invested in the character.
Theresa, I have averaged 25 hours a week this month. I have a twelve-page character traits list, three-page ordinary world scene set-up. I have a strange outline going but right now I’m not really sure how much I’ll stick to it. Mairin, my character has a mind of her own and she keeps surprising me as I write.
And if that isn’t enough on I’m participating in two different writing challenges for the month of August. One I am leading is a virtual blogging trip through all 13 countries in South America. I’ve created activities and planned our lodging and food for each country and the bloggers have to write from those prompts. It’s a fun way to learn about different parts of the world.
Then there is a challenge where we form teams, we review like crazy other writers work, and do writing challenges in hopes of beating the other teams. There are battles where the two teams pledge to do so many reviews and the winner during the set time frame wins extra points. It’s called Game of Thrones, kind of a play off the show. My house is Florent, there is a fox on our banner. There are 13 total houses competing with 10 people on each team for the whole month of August. Last year, we got bumped out of the top three where we had been for 3 years.
This is one of the jellyfish I’m working on for my eldest granddaughter’s new apartment in Santa Barbara. She loves the ocean so everything in her apartment is related.
Thus far we’ve only had 2 days off this month of insanity. Thankfully, no more broken pipes like we began the month. A company came in and removed the rug, what a disaster that was. They set up drying equipment and treated the area for mold. There was no way with my allergies could I handle removing the rug, I had difficulty breathing down there with the cleaning I did do.
We’ve met some fascinating people from around the world. We’ve hosted 3 different families from China, a father, and son from the UK, two different German couples, a young man from India, a woman from Romania, a man from Italy, and right now a young woman from Bangladesh. And tomorrow we have a woman arriving from India and on Monday a man from Africa.
My scones are definitely a hit! Right now I have cinnamon chip scones and cookies I used to make my kids with Rice Krispies, oatmeal, and flour with shredded coconut. There called Ranger cookies. I always tweak them with different ingredients and these have chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. If I get ambitious tomorrow I’ll post the recipe with a picture.
I have peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers growing in containers on the lower level. Everything is growing very well in spite of the crazy weather we’ve had. I am amazed at how huge my cucumber plants are, guess they enjoyed all the rain, because they’re huge and covered with buds. I’ve picked three so far that were six inches long. I’ve picked about 20 cherry tomatoes and 2 huge green peppers and there are at least a dozen more almost ready for picking. The zucchini has been a bit slower but it does have buds finally. I did have lettuce but the dang squirrels dug it up. So to be safe I put bird netting on the rest of my planters.
I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to read all the blogs but after this intense writing course I will catch up.
I’m reading Octavia Butler’s book Parable of a Sower. “Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. When a fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into the world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.” I’m really enjoying the protagonist who is a self-assured young woman who instead of being defeated is taking life by the horns.
Real Life Writers and Critique Group
Now, this is definitely something new for me and the writing group as well, we’re going to an open mic in Philadelphia. A bunch of us are going to present our work to a live audience. To be frankly honest, I’m scared shitless. I panic when I get on stage and there definitely is one there in the bar where this is going on. Thank goodness I won’t be alone. Jordan, Dan, Marcus, are definitely doing presentations. The guys are so comfortable in their skin whereas I’m not. There are going to be about 10 of us going together to support each other. I wish Sara and Pam were in town, their part of our group but no longer live in this area. The ladies would rock at this. So right now it’s me and the guys.
By the way one of my poems was published in a local newspaper.
People Saw It at The Time
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired
Up-close and Unsettled
Inspired by What Lies Beneath
Seduced and Betrayed
In a Galaxy, Far Far Away
Belief is Potent
Mismatched Yet Perfectly Paired