Weekend Writing Prompt #102 – Impress

I almost did not participate this week.  However, today seems a good day to give thanks to those who might not realise that their actions, words, their just being them, mean to me.  I feel much love.

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Thank you, Sammi, for hosting this weekly challenge.  It’s one of my favourites.

Word Prompt

Impress

Challenge

 

There is something more than special about finding and being with people who get you

The ones who take you as you are with all your warts and idiosyncracies

They love you when you laugh and join in on your silliness

They love you when you cry and not only offer their shoulder but cry with you

You don’t have to impress them with anything material

You don’t have to put on airs and pretend to be someone you are not

To you, dear ones, who have given me time, muscles, spirit, space

Know your love for me is impressed deeply in my heart

 

What Happens When You Procrastinate

Last Wednesday I spent the afternoon with my long-lost cousin, Sonya, and when he got home from work, her hubby, Gilles.  A mere one-hour drive and I was back in a winter wonderland.  Yes, granted, this is ski country but still.  It was a shock.  Sonya and Gilles live way out in the boonies but once you get there, one discovers a little slice of paradise.  Let’s face it, if one chooses to live here, one accepts the weather that comes with.  Somehow I did not take a decent picture of the humans so I have stolen this picture from my cousin’s FB page.

Lace, Eagle and Sonya on Lac Dominique

We hadn’t seen each other in fifteen years and honestly, I don’t know who was happier to reconnect.  So I’ll say it was in equal measure and now that we have refound each other, we are not letting this happen again.

We went for a walk on the lake, basically in her backyard, which turned out to be quite the adventure.  We learnt to walk where the snow was packed otherwise we sunk down (up?) past our knees!  The dogs had a blast chasing each other and getting their freak on.  Too bad the sun only occasional peeked out so, forgive me for the crap photos.  To give you an idea just how big these beasts are, below is Eagle just standing next to the kitchen counter…

I regaled them with my “Mick” stories and it was determined that I have a talent in telling stories – such a polite way of saying I hog the conversation, albeit at their urging, dontcha think?

Skip ahead a few days and it brings us to Saturday.  Sitting in my office, doing computer work, I spotted movement in my little tree/bush.  Managed to grab my camera and capture these two from my window before they flew off.  There was a party going on but opening my window scared most of ’em off.  As you can see, the female wasn’t so read to step out into the open, so to speak.  My knowledge of birds is extensive. Red bird, not a robin, female, not so colourful.

Sunday.  The day I was going to post but then did, whatever it was that I did, besides post.  Which means my post about the beautiful spring weather has become something else entirely.  Because, well, you’ll see.  Sunday was gorgeous!  I had no more snow on my front lawn (advantages to living on the sunny side of the street) and Zeke and I were going to take advantage of this 11ºC (52ºF) and go for a good walk.  I figured our usual destinations would be rather mucky so, where to go?  I decided on the Parc de la Freyère, completely forgetting that there was a birding thing going on.  On our way there, I passed by the streets in my old ‘hood and could hear a major loon partay going on.  What a ruckus!  We stopped and yep, there they were hanging out on the bit of ice still or swimming – Canada geese.  Trying to get Zeke to not scare them off, we made our way quietly.  I managed to snap a few pics but it didn’t take long.  They were on to us and took off like the hounds of Hades were after them.  I’m not what you would call a nature photographer but I tried.  They were quick and I just clicked away and prayed.

The damage done, we continued on our way to the park.  There were quite a few birders there with their big-ass telephoto lenses (I look kinda poor with my 75-300mm lens but hey, better than nothing!)

Now THAT’S how you get great shots…

But I did manage to capture a woodpecker – sure it has a formal name.

There were more Canada Geese raising hell but nothing to write home about.

And then came Monday.  Rain.  Freezing rain.  Electricity goes out at 8 am.  I start work at 9 am.  Thankfully I don’t need to blow-dry my hair and it’s bright enough, sorta, outside to do my face, what little I do, do.  First day of work.  Great. I have to scrape my car.  It is April friggen 8th!  Whatevs.  Get to work, meet the new peeps, do my day, all goes well and leave by 4 pm.  (By the way, electricity came back on at about 12:30, I’m told.)

Walk outside.  What?  I come out from work to see this?

OK, OK.  It’s April.  We know foolish things can happen in this month.

Then today happens.  Andrea and I decide to go for breakfast.  It’s chilly.  Back into the negatives.  Sigh. Put on a thicker coat and off we go.  Enjoying a nice breakfast with endless cups of coffee and look outside.  What in the name of all that is holy is that white shit falling like it was bloody Christmas Eve?  For realz?

Umm… April SHOWERS bring May flowers, my ass.

Sorry folks, apparently we are gonna skip that shit this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating a Friend, Dancing with Leonard and Random Act of Kindness

This thing we have has been going on for a few years now.  I’m still in awe at how life’s cards get shuffled and played.  Julie has made a regular appearance on this here blog and today I feel like adding just how much I appreciate our friendship.  It’s funny.  We went to high school together but were never in the same class (she, with the brainiacs; me, with the troublemakers), didn’t do sports together or hang out together but were friendly without being friends per se.  A few years ago, I found out we were in the same kindergarten class!  Not that either of us remembers the other from then.

We had high school reunions and saw each other at those but I feel it was especially after the 150th anniversary of our school (September 11, 2005) that we really started to connect.  She, at the age of 40, had recently become a widow with two young boys, ages 2 and 3. Her story was so tragic.  Her husband was hit by a car in downtown Montreal.  It’s ironic to say now, but I couldn’t imagine what she was going through, then.

Julie and Martyne, Liette and me

Back in high school, Julie and Martyne were good friends, Martyne and Liette were, and still are, best friends and Liette and I were good friends and participants in sports – handball, basketball, volleyball.  Somehow, Julie and I have since become great friends.  I love her to bits.

After this particular get-together, we met for lunch and realised we had a lot in common.  Vive Facebook for keeping us connected.

I was shocked when she showed up at Mick’s funeral because we still weren’t where we are today.  But, having been through what I was going through, she felt compelled to come.  I can still see her walking towards me with her beautiful, warm smile and remember it taking me a few extra seconds to register who she was.  That whole unexpected/out-of-context thing.  From this point on, things changed.  We now had another thing in common. In the past couple of years we have become more than just “cultural chicks”.  (I think we just use those events as excuses to get-together because often times, the best part of our afternoon or evening is the connection we have by sharing stuff.)

Speaking of which.  This time Julie is the one who snagged a couple of tix for a show without knowing who would accompany her (yeah, right!)  Those tickets were for Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM), Dance Me, music of Leonard Cohen.  After holding on to those tickets for one year, the night finally arrived.  We met upstairs from where I was supposed to park.  How in-synch are we?  Neither had her coat.  We both assumed we would eat at one of the restaurants in Complexe Desjardins (where I parked), which we did.  One of the many great things about Montreal is the possibility of making our way underground from one venue to another.  After a shared plate of calamari, our salads of ahi tuna and a glass of wine, we made our way back to Place des Arts.  What fantastic seats we had!  Row F, seats 1 and 2.

No zoom – pretty darn close

Of course, we had to do our usual “us” shot 😉

What. A. Show.  Especially since the last three ballets we saw were less than stellar.   BJM gets criticized for having no soul or emotion while being very energetic and athletic.  I beg to differ.  Obviously, the music was sublime.  The costumes were sobre, pantsuits in blacks and greys, long beige shirts and one in a burgundy dress.  Discussions were had with Leonard himself when the dance company secured the rights to use his songs and he requested they keep his personal life out of things and just focus on the music.  I think they did so brilliantly.  As in most dance creations, there are always little parts that make me wonder where the hell they got that idea from but that in the end, I care not because it is breathtaking to watch.

“Dance Me to the End of Love” had particularly frenetic movements that worked well.

At one point, one of the cast members sat on her knees, a guitarist stood behind her and she sang the sweetest rendition of “So Long Marianne”, not a dancer in sight.  So beautiful.

“Lover, Lover, Lover” was rather humourous.  One male dancing with one after another woman until he falls in exhaustion.  His fellow men come and help him as he regains his strength.

And what can I say of “Suzanne”?  It was sultry and evocative.  I was totaly entranced and was surprised to find myself with tears in my eyes.  I was a good girl and filmed nothing so all I can do is show you a snippet…   Just know that once he picked her up, her feet did not touch the ground until the end of the song.  Insane.

The did not only use Cohen’s older music.  They used three songs from his last album “You want it Darker” including “Steer Your Way” and “String Reprise Treaty” as well as the title song.

Of course they did Hallelujah… This time sung by a male singer, with the same woman offering her sweet soprano for the Hallelujas…and the dancers slowly appeared.  Just sublime.

The set, the lighting effects, the dancers, the music.  Brilliant.  Honestly, one hour and twenty minutes of non-stop bliss.  For this show, we never doubted we got our money’s worth.   It has been playing for a couple of years now, touring all over, and if it comes to your neck of the woods, I would not hesitate to recommend it.

We made our way to the exits, still wrapped in the music and the movement, the chatter around us adding to the buzz. Julie insisted we must make a pitt stop.  We made our ways to the ladies’, sure the line-up would be atrocious, but it turned out not too bad.  And suddenly I got the most intense burn that went from my back to my chest, up to my throat.  This was a whole ‘nother level of heartburn.  Julie could see in my face that all was not well and concern immediately transformed her face.  “Are you okay?”

“Holy shit this is painful,” I grimace.  “Why, oh, why do I not carry ‘Tums’ in my purse?”  I am taking deep breaths, hoping the pain will subside but it is not working.  I scare the shit out of Julie when I say, “You know, women are more likely to feel major heartburn when they are having a heart attack.”  Of course I don’t really think I’m having a heart attack but… I bend over in pain then stand upright, trying in vain to will this agony away.

The lady in front of us in the line-up turned to me and said “I do.  I have some.”  She took a bottle out out of her purse and tapped out two tablets into my hand and then a grey capsule also came out. “Take this as well.  It is charcoal.”  And I know, from my grandmother’s preference for treathing anything naturally, that this is not a bad thing to take.

My gratitude to this generous stranger cannot be suitably expressed.  I gratefully accept her gift, dry-swallowing the charcoal capsule then crunching the two tablets and continue breathing.  By the time a stall liberates for me, I am feeling better.  The pain subsides ever more as Jules and I make our way to the exits.

In the lobby, there is a sculpture that fascinates me every time I go to this particular hall.  I cannot believe I had not photographed it before.  And what did I do this time?  Yes, I did.  BUT, I forgot to get the name of the artist and no amount of Googling at this late hour is helping.  I guess I’ll just have to return and get that info.

We went our separate ways and once settled into my car found that I felt pretty normal.  Got home and shortly thereafter received a text:  “Are you feeling any better Cara? You had me worried there.”

I responded that I had me worried there!

Got another text checking up on me this morning.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #91 – Helter-Skelter

I was in such a rush to publish, I forgot my preamble!!  Thank you, Sammi Cox for hosting this weekly challenge!

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Helter-Skelter

Challenge

There are those who like their days organised, scheduled down to the last minute, no surprises.

Others like to fly by the seat of their pants, helter-skelter style, loathing regiment of any sort.

While I have my structured moments, I’m also a carpe diem woman.  What does that mean?  After my appointments on Friday, I received a text from my friend, Linda:  “OK. You, me at Industria in an hour.”

I looked at the time of the text, saw I had a half-hour to change and join her.  It was unexpectedly crowded.  Why?  Unbeknownst to us, it was “Singles Night”.

What did that mean for us?  Dinner, conversation, and a show!!

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!