Not Talenti – Friday Fictioneers

It is Wednesday which not only means Hump Day and mid-week, it also means Friday Fictioneers.  I just had to have a little fun with my blogging buddies.  Thank you Na’ama for allowing us to use this photo. And Thank you, Rochelle, for being here week after week with nary a complaint!  G’head, peeps, add your 100-word story by clicking on the frog below!

Na’ama Yehuda

Not Talenti

I am so glad you let me know you were coming to Montreal and were able to stop by for a visit, DK. I’ve been dying to meet you in the flesh for so long.

Well, you did hound me and after you got to meet Sawsan, I was a tad jealous.

I believe I said “If ever you find yourself in Montreal, do please let me know”. That is hardly a hounding.

Same difference.

And, I even have some mint chocolate chip ice cream just for you!

Talenti?

Um. No. Häagen Dazs.

Look at the time! Gotta go!

Really?

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

When You Get a Chance…

The blogosphere has been a gift, an inspiration, a learning experience, an on-going teacher, a place to create, to vent, to share… but you all know this because most of you are bloggers.  I have mentioned how much I appreciate the folks I’ve gotten to know, even doing a sort of Advent Calendar to show my appreciation for some… may have to do another this year, to be determined.

I have become good friends with a few bloggers that has brought us to the Skype stage (or rather, Messenger), allowing us to exchange face to face.  Did so, just this morning, in fact!

I have been so very lucky to meet two bloggers in person. One is from Montreal, right next door to speak, who also happens to be a friend of a friend, proving the world is a puny place.  And one who has become more than a cherished friend with whom I can share anything and everything, as he knows he can with me, our trust and respect for each other is that great.

And just this last Tuesday, I met a third.  Sawsan, who blogs at Last Tambourine, is a wonderful woman that I first “met” through David Kanigan’s fabulous, inspiring, thought-provoking blog, Live and Learn. Sawsan often comments with “return” pieces of poetry or prose to David’s original post and the exchanges between her and David, are wonderful and inspiring, and often humorous and even snarky.  Actually, David’s peeps love to interact with each other on his posts and he has created quite the family.

The world truly is puny as a few months ago, Sawsan and I found out – too late – we were at the same hospital at the same time on different floors visiting our loved ones. What? Damnation…  From that moment on, our exchanges went from solely on David’s blog, to emails and texting.

Again, Sawsan had to come to town (three towns over from mine) to stay with her parents to help out following her mother’s surgery, and this time there was no way in hell we were going to miss meeting each other.  Friday fell through so we had Tuesday and Wednesday left as potentials.  David kept texting us, teasing us that we were not gonna manage to get together… The thing is, when you are in town only now and again, you have family obligations that cannot be avoided.  However, we were able to prove David wrong when she was able to escape the parents and we met for coffee that turned into dinner. We had to send him selfies to prove it 😉

She has a lilting voice with the loveliest accent of her place of birth (Palestine) and a beautiful, sweet smile.  We hugged hello and talked non-stop until it was time to leave. Our senses of humour were in synch and we felt like old friends from the first minute.

When we start this blogging business, we never think things could or would go further than the post page.  Yes, there are those we find ourselves bantering with, some, by sharing our stories, we come to care for. We send each other encouragement, love, friendship, kudos, and we don’t expect things will go to the next level. We might joke and say, next time you are in Chicago, New York, Boulder, etc (coz, right, like I go to any of these places on a whim), don’t forget to look me up!

So when you get a chance…

… you take it!

 

 

 

 

Writing and Music Are But Two

“It’s interesting how we can connect so deeply with friends so different from ourselves. In fact, perhaps it’s these differences ultimately bonding us the most. The opportunity to expand our horizons.”
Brownell Landrum

When one is curious, doors open to worlds that would have remained unknown. This is not a bad thing for those who are content in their own little rented space and have no desire to expand their horizons. I am not one such person. As a matter of fact, I am far removed from that type of person. As a matter of more fact, I am easily bored by those contented persons. I know, this is not a nice thing to say. I choose to surround myself, either physically or virtually, with people who have something to teach me – even if they have no clue that they do.

I never considered myself a writer.  Sure, I kept a diary on and off over the years. Then a diary became a journal, also kept on and off (I can’t tell you how many “theme journals” are lined up with but a few pages scribbled upon).  Still, I would never have used that term until quite recently.  After certain new writer friends told me to stop.  I’m not fighing it any more. I am a writer.

Like my diary/journal days, I started and stopped a few times. I’ve used Blogger, https://dalesdelectables.blogspot.com/ and Tumblr (discovering to my shock as I searched for my account that I had not one but two different blogs here!) https://dalesstuff.tumblr.com/ and https://dalesdelectables.tumblr.com/.

How I ended up in the blogosphere is beyond me. I cannot say how I discovered Blogger, Tumblr or even WordPress. Yet here I am.  I think I truly became a blogger/writer here at WP on August 12, 2013, when I wrote my first post.  Preparing for this post, I got lost in the dark hole that is the internet only this time it was my own stuff!

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

My curiosity with writing led me to “meet” unbelievable numbers of talented writers of all genres. Writers who don’t realise how much they challenge me to do better, to try new things. Things like different styles of poetry: haiku, double etheree, cleave, etc. Heck, I didn’t know there WERE styles of poetry beyond the twelve-syllable rhyming doohickies (OK, I jest, I know this one is an Alexandrine).  Trying to find my voice in short stories, keeping my personality involved. How cool is it that in these new writer friends, I have been asked to beta read their works?

“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

I landed on my post I’m Inspired which truly sums up what makes me tick.  I am a Life Enthusiast who is always on the quest to move forward and learn.

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Speaking of song, I am no musician but I love music.  My curiosity has led me to go see bands I’ve never heard of in all sorts of genres. I won’t lie – there is stuff I really can’t get into like Hardcore Punk or Black Metal. I just sit there in a daze wondering when my hell will end. But that’s me. If you love it, then by all means, ignore me!  Thanks to friends, I have discovered wonderful music like Manu Katché or the band we saw last Friday called Snarky Puppy. To think when my friend Dany suggested it, I thought it was something like black metal – well, wouldn’t you with a name like that?  How wrong I was. A funky, jazzy, world music, rock mélange of music that I would have missed out on, had I been the sort to not want to go outside of her box.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent”
Victor hugo

 

I have promised myself to go to an opera. At least once in my life. I know I am being influenced by the movies but if Ronny can bring Loretta to the Metropolitain Opera House (Moonstruck) Edward can bring Vivian to the San Francisco Opera House (Pretty Woman) and both those women  be moved to tears, maybe I can, too!

 

 

The 2018 Annual Attitude of Gratitude: Bloggers Flood The Internet With Happiness & Positivity!

Dawn Quyle Landau of Tales from the Motherland has issued the 5th annual “50 Happy Things/Attitude of Gratitude” challenge and I am more than pleased to join in once again.  For instructions on the “how-to”, please click here.  Once you’ve figured out how to do it and have been inspired to do it (Why not?  How much can it hurt to bring forth things that make you happy?) click here to add your link.

There is absolutely no order to my following list.  I have set the timer for 15 minutes and this is basically stream of consciousness stuff (i.e. as it comes, I type).  All embellishments are added after the clock has run out and I’ve spell-checked my list 😉

  1. My boys – they remind me that I am human
  2. My home – protects me from the elements
  3. My family – all the way down to second cousins thrice removed
  4. My sisters – despite whatever goes on in life, they are there for me
  5. Mom – without her, I would not be
  6. Friends who are the chosen family
  7. Blogosphere – a world I could not have imagined ten years ago
  8. The friends I’ve made on the blogosphere – I cherish the connections I’ve made
  9. Going to Old Montreal for New Year’s Eve with good friends
  10. Getting on the ferris wheel for the midnight fireworks
  11. Friday Fictioneers – for teaching me how to cut the fluff and get to the point
  12. B – for pushing me to be a better writer while becoming a close friend
  13. My ability and joy of cooking
  14. Sharing my food with those I love
  15. My boys when they help me before I have to ask
  16. My computer – as a tool to connect and write
  17. Internet – bringing the world to my fingertips
  18. Brothers-in-law who help out for stuff that I just cannot do on my own
  19. Girlfriends – to share those things that you just can’t with family
  20. Blogging community – I keep learning
  21. Rochelle for her friendship and for trusting me with her lateest WIP (and any other writings)
  22. Julie for being my “culture friend” and my trusted date for stuff no one else is interested in
  23. Feeling part of my close knit gang
  24. Food – the diversity, the sensuality
  25. My taste buds – which permit me to enjoy all the flavours out there
  26. Good wine
  27. fun work colleagues
  28. New colleagues who seemed to really appreciate me
  29. Clients who appreciate me
  30. My legs for allowing me to take my walks
  31. My big-ass bathtub for when I need to get away from it all
  32. Reading – opening my world to other realms
  33. Writing, which allows me to let go of stuff
  34. Writing prompts that push me to do better
  35. My bed, where I get the rest I need or at least pretend to
  36. My hands which are capable of so much more than I thought
  37. Heating which protects me from the cold
  38. My capacity to love no matter how many times my heart is broken
  39. Being appreciated for what I offer
  40. My wit and sense of humour – keeps me sane
  41. Travel – I need to do more; experience other cultures
  42. The communities I’ve built – virtual and real
  43. Connections I’ve made with people from around the world
  44. A cozy fire, to gaze into, to snuggle with someone
  45. Zeke – who is not getting as much love as he should but will
  46. Eyes – to appreciate the beauty around me
  47. My smile, which seems to be what people remember about me
  48. My camera, which helps me to look at things differently and record the memories
  49. Being able to express myself and be open to others’ opinions
  50. Widow’s pension, which helps to make ends meet
  51. EI which permits me to take the time to rest between jobs
  52. Working a seasonal job which allows me to take the other seasons off
  53. Sense of smell, without it, I would never appreciate food and cooking so much
  54. My body – it may be quite as I would like it to be, but it’s mine and it functions
  55. Dishwashers – because sometimes, doing the dishes just blows
  56. My car – I can go anywhere when I want
  57. My resilience – even though it’s a word that bugs the shit out of me, it is the right word for me
  58. The close friends who will always include me in their happenings
  59. My ability to adapt to whatever life throws my way
  60. My boys – I am so proud of them both for the young men they are becoming
  61. That Iain has decided to go back to school to get a diploma in electricity
  62. That Aidan has decided to pursue an education in animation (yeah, yeah, it has another title that I always forget)
  63. That I know I can count on my sisters for anything
  64. My lack of cynicism – despite the world we live in
  65. My charm that can be helpful when I screw up
  66. Dark chocolate
  67. Camaraderie – that can be found
  68. Facebook – say what you will, I have kept in contact with many because of it
  69. Book, books and more books
  70. Potential for love – I’ve not given up

Advent Calendar – Day 24

In the spirit of Christmas and the Advent Calendar that has been revamped and re-purposed in myriad ways, I have decided to do one of another sort.  Instead of taking one chocolate per day (or wine or whatever goodie is in vogue) or adding one item into a box to donate for a good cause (a very good thing, indeed) I have chosen to send a little love to my favourite blogs.

How did 24 days fly by so fast?  I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed sharing with you some of my favourite blogs and that each “nominee” expressed pleasure at being a part of my calendar.  Such a little idea that did more than I could have hoped.  It was hard but I had to force myself to stop at 24, respecting the Advent Calendar principle.  So, last, but not least:

Day 24 – Yesterday and Today:  Merril’s Historial Musings

Merril D. Smith is a wonderful writer, poet, and fan of musicals, whom I discovered, I believe, through Frank – though I’m not 100% sure he can get full credit as we hang out with a couple other peeps 😉

I have never been much of a poetry buff.  Oh, there are some that I’ve enjoyed reading and do I ever admire those who can recite their favourites off the cuff but I’m far from that – unless Dr. Seuss counts.  So much poetry goes way over my head but not Merril’s.  Hers is a friendly style, for lack of a better term.  From her magnetic poetry, inspired by the Oracle, to her weekly recaps in her Monday Morning Musings, to her haiku and haibun, mostly triggered by the various challenges she participates in, there is something for love.  She mostly spreads joy with the occasional frustration – she is human, after all – in her lyrical verses.  And it’s all her fault I attempted a Cleave Poem (having no friggen clue what it even was)!

She has a lovely family and fabulous husband willing to be dragged to plays, movies, restaurants… and thanks to her enjoyment in the various arts, my “to-read” and “movie-and-plays-to-see” lists keep expanding!

Advent Calendar – Day 23

In the spirit of Christmas and the Advent Calendar that has been revamped and re-purposed in myriad ways, I have decided to do one of another sort.  Instead of taking one chocolate per day (or wine or whatever goodie is in vogue) or adding one item into a box to donate for a good cause (a very good thing, indeed) I have chosen to send a little love to my favourite blogs.

Day 23 – Word Shamble

Lynn Love is a wordsmith hors pair.  Honestly, this woman weaves a tale like no other.  When participating in Friday Fictioneers or What Pegman Saw, I marvel at how she can describe a situation or scene or person in 100-150 words and leave me with the images swirling around my brain.  And she doesn’t do it with an overload of adjectives placed willy-nilly, either.  Each one enhances the story just right.

Her specialty is horror or stories of foreboding and her creepy is often done in a sneaky fashion.  You think all is going well and then you pick up on the little Easter eggs she has subtly hidden within her text.  So good!

I know Lynn sends her work out regularly and eventually a publisher is gonna wake up to her talent and publish it where I shall be first in line to purchase it!

Advent Calendar – Day 22

In the spirit of Christmas and the Advent Calendar that has been revamped and re-purposed in myriad ways, I have decided to do one of another sort.  Instead of taking one chocolate per day (or wine or whatever goodie is in vogue) or adding one item into a box to donate for a good cause (a very good thing, indeed) I have chosen to send a little love to my favourite blogs.

Day 22 – Tails Around the Ranch

I’ve been exchanging with Monika over on a few other blogs for a little while and have had some fun exchanges, especially during Frank’s musicals.  As his official Maître d’, I’m kinda all over the place and she has a good level of sass so it stood to reason that I mosey my way over into her domain.  No regrets there!

Monika and her sidekick Sam, are pet therapists, so there are a lot of shares about the important work they do but no worries, she has a great sense of humour about it and Sam is oh-so patient with her shenanigans, let me tell you.  Even letting her call him Knucklehead!   Along with her Monday Musings, Nearly Wordless Wednesday or her Nature Friday regular posts, she shares lovely photos and thoughts about all sorts of stuff.  The way she writes is the way I imagine a face-to-face conversation would be.  Natural, funny and good-natured, with just enough smart-aleckyness to make it interesting!

Advent Calendar – Day 21

In the spirit of Christmas and the Advent Calendar that has been revamped and re-purposed in myriad ways, I have decided to do one of another sort.  Instead of taking one chocolate per day (or wine or whatever goodie is in vogue) or adding one item into a box to donate for a good cause (a very good thing, indeed) I have chosen to send a little love to my favourite blogs.

Day 21 – Table For One

I met Karen Craven through Marc over at Sorryless. We clicked rather quickly.  Exchanges on posts became exchanges  over email, became exchanges about writing challenge ideas.  More often than not instigated by Karen.  We even managed to get Rochelle and Frank to join in on one or two!

Karen writes fantastic fiction – wonder if her writing skills are what drew her to improv?  And is it her improv skill that helps her to create a whole story based on a one-sided conversation overheard on the train and turn it into a whole story of betrayal turned liberation?  Egg or chicken? 🙂

Most of her posts are snippets of her life, her thoughts about the happenings of the day and dealing with the highs and lows that come from living life.  And when not turning an overheard phrase into fiction, she uses it as a stepping stone to a reflection that makes us, the reader also pause and think.

She is smart, funny, intuitive, sharp and a pleasure to read.  And the third chica from Chicago that I will one day meet!

Advent Calendar – Day 20

In the spirit of Christmas and the Advent Calendar that has been revamped and re-purposed in myriad ways, I have decided to do one of another sort.  Instead of taking one chocolate per day (or wine or whatever goodie is in vogue) or adding one item into a box to donate for a good cause (a very good thing, indeed) I have chosen to send a little love to my favourite blogs.

Day 20 Sorryless

I met Marc through A Frank Angle’s (yes, Frank, this one is all yours) “If” Challenge last February.  It was a sign of things to come.  Miles and miles of comments back and forth, first on Frank’s posts, then on Marc’s, then on mine.  Can’t lie.  Didn’t take long before I was totally smitten.  In the relatively short time since, we have become the best of friends.  A friendship I cherish deeply.

Now… onto why I’ve added this blog to my Advent Calendar!  This guy can write.  I mean seriously WRITE.   He has a way with the phrase that just flows and meanders and roars and soars.  It can punch you in the gut and make you cry.  He is passionate about the subjects he tackles and is not afraid to put it and himself out there.  He’s funny, snarky, rude, romantic (though he’ll deny this one), smart, witty and ironic, to name a few.

And I am far from alone in singing his praises.  His followers all say what I do:  that his skills as a writer are exquisite.

Now, if I can just convince him to write and publish a book…