Weekend Writing Prompt #271 – Sibilance

When this prompt from Sammi came out in August, I knew not what to write, so I skipped it.  And then I started a new job in September.  I am slowly, desperately, quite possibly, going mad.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to find a way to survive.  Might seem drastic to you but to me?  I just cannot.  That said, I searched on Sammi’s site to find this prompt because I so knew what to write this time!!

wk 271 sibilance

I sit

kitty-corner from a

monologuing soliloquy

to the right

and

not-so-subtle sibilance

to the left

All day

I cannot tune them out

I fear I’ll go mad

Dylan’s face so perfectly represents my sentiments (thanks for letting me use it, J&A!)

 

No, seriously.  Is it not rude to think you are alone in your cubicle? Can you not shut the eff up?

When You’re Feeling Beyond “Meh”…

Even though the temps were ridiculously warm on this November 5th, 2022 – I mean, c’mon!  When was the last time it was 25℃ on this date?  (I always use the “feels like” rather than the posted – it was officially 23℃ but, whatever.)  My goodness.  I googled it and it happened – never!  Yesterday’s temps broke the previous record.  It was still 23℃ (yeah, yeah, yeah 21℃) at 5:30 pm, for goodness sakes!  And yet, I still needed to almost physically kick my butt out of the house.  Mind you, I DID go run for the first time in five weeks in the morning so it’s not like i had completely wasted the day!

I knew I wasn’t going to be productive in the house so, further to a loving nudge, I picked up my camera bag, filled my water bottle and out the door I went.  I hadn’t been to Michel Chartrand Park this year and, even though I knew it would be very “peoplely”, I went anyway.  Maybe there was still something to see and I could get out of these annoying doldrums.

The light was beautiful.  As for the colours, they were a mixture of pale yellows, beiges, browns with pops of bright here and there.  The muted beauty of November.

“The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July.”
~Henry David Thoreau

My mood was steadily lifting as I made my way to a special section of the park (where I brought my mom and a friend at two different occasions) knowing that I would find me some chickadees.  What I found was a noisy young family that followed me from one section to the other, annoying me to no end.  I finally sat down on the bench and waited for them to leave.  It wasn’t too long, thankfully.

The chickadees, who had been invisible up to this point, sang their chickadee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee announcing their arrival.  It was the first time I had one land on my hand and just hang out, looking straight at me, then cocking its head from one side to the other, inquisitively.  Was very cool.

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Another family came by with three little kids.  They watched in awe as the birds came and left from my hand.  I asked them if they wanted to try, getting a nod from Mom, first.  I put a little pile of nuts in each tiny hand.  I told them they had to be really still, otherwise the birds would not come.  The youngest one was a little, shall we say, in the way, and scared off any chickadee brave enough to think about coming close.

I dunno… those little critters don’t look too trustworthy

The parents pulled him a little away and the older two patiently waited.  I asked the mom if I could take pictures and she acquiesced.  Just look at that face!

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Her brother was just as thrilled but he was behind his sister and turned his face and I couldn’t really capture it 🙂  The parents thanked me for sharing nuts and the experience and I left feeling a helluva lot lighter.

Which way to go next?  All the cool inside trails were closed because of the danger of falling dead trees so I was obligated to go along the regular road-like paths with all the other peoples.  This main path goes around the outside, making a full square.  Still, I held hope that some of the inner trails would be open and maybe I could spot a deer.  Nope.

What about me? What am I? Chicken liver?

I walked along, looking for colour, for something, clicking here and there: people walking, berries that popped, leaves still hanging on. and minding my own business, if you will.  However, I started hearing this insistent chirp.  I looked up and this nuthatch was basically giving me hell.  Or begging.  Maybe both!

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I continued towards my car, still thrilled that I was walking, dressed in shorts, on November 5th, and it was nearing five o’clock!  Crazy.  Snapped a few more photos and will leave you with these last ones.  I love how the little bit of colour really popped.

Thanks for hanging out with me.  Hope I didn’t keep you too long!

 

 

 

Morning Pages

Whilst chatting with Bill, my favourite writing pluviophile, he mentioned something about doing his “Morning Pages”; or rather, that he had let himself slack off but would be getting back on track, or something to that effect.

What are Morning Pages, you ask?  I had to look it up.  This was invented by Julia Cameron and is described more fully in her book “The Artist’s Way”.  However, it was more a blog post by Shelby of “Little Coffee Fox”  that got me even more intrigued.

Apparently, this daily ritual can unleash our creative potential, so to speak – and not limited to the creativity in writing, either.  It can help artists of all sorts.  The point of this practice is to encourage us away from negative self-talk and away from the fear that holds us back.

Okay, sounds a little woo-woo but hey… I’ve been writing my gratitude journal for over fifteen years and what harm is there in going to bed thinking of five things to be grateful for?  It forces me to think of five positive things.  Some days the choices are slim but find them, I do.

So. how does this work?  Pretty simple.  Every morning, first thing, you dump your thoughts by writing three pages in longhand.  No plotting or strategizing, just stream of conscious writing.  Nothing pretty, punctuation and all that jazz doesn’t really matter.  The important thing is to simply write whatever comes to mind and to not stop until you have three pages worth.  What if you run out of things to say?  Find anything.  Just do it.  Oh, and here’s the best part.

NEVER READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

More importantly,

NEVER LET ANYONE ELSE READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

It’s a brain dump. Let it out.  And let it go. You can’t let it go if you go back to it, can you?

Alrighty then.  I am three days in.  A little early to see if anything comes from it but I like what Glitter Guide said after she tried it for thirty days:  she missed her therapist a bit less and her mind felt less cluttered as she started the day.  Did she have any big creative breakthroughs?  No. But she was open to the possibility.

And so am I.

Now, if I can just stop calling them Morning Papers maybe Prince will stop taking up space in my head…

 

Off the Rails, They Said – Friday Fictioneers

Well golly-gee whitkicker.  I shoulda known when I woke up at 5 and could not fall back asleep that my day was not gonna go according to plan.  I gave up on sleep, dressed, grabbed my camera and planned to drive just to the overpass to capture the early morning light; so of course my exit was closed, forcing me onto the highway and well, while I was there, might as well go allllll the way to the end and maybe be lucky enough to capture a heron or something.  Got eaten alive by the skeeters whilst attempting.  Couldn’t stay long as I had to get back, do my yoga and take a shower before work.  But hey, it was still early so I’d be able to do my FF… it is, after all, my photo and all.  But nooooo… Start my smoothie, leaving the addition of the frozen fruit till after my shower, so I could sip and write.  Take said shower and, hmmm… the house is awfully quiet. Except for the beep of my alarm system telling me there was no power.  So, no smoothie, no uploading of photos, no writing of FF… And then, work was so darn busy, I couldn’t even be a bad employee and write it there!

Apologies for my long preamble.  Thanks Rochelle for choose my pic!  The one good thing is, this morning, I heard this song and I thought, that could work… Miracles of miracles, I did not forget my plan and here I am, inspired by it!  My story is squished between the photo and the song 😉  Should you be inspired to play along, just click on the frog below and add you 100-word link!

Cute cartoon frog with a stop sign, illustration, vector on white background. | CanStock

Click to play!

Off the Rails, They Said

A too-sharp mind was what she had, they said.   That she was spinning out of control and needed to dull the edges.  That’s what they told her, anyway.  And really, what reason did she have to not believe them?  She knew she had been erratic and they feared for her. It was love, they said.  They loved her.  Here, they said, take these pills, you’ll feel so much better.  So she choked them down and went from full-speed ahead to barely a crawl.  If she could just make it to her bed, it would all stop. She’d be just fine.

 

Back in the Saddle Again

Three weeks.  Three. Whole. Weeks.

I just want all o’ y’all to know I am not belly-aching. Nor whining. Nor whinging.  Nor any other -ing that means the same difference.  Just statin’ the facts, y’hear?  Took me a whole damn three weeks to shake this thing (and I still have a little frog in my throat) but have decided enough was enough.

Today was (is?) the day that I put my lungs to the test! The only thing I had to decide was do I do 20, 25 or 30 minutes?  I promised myself to go slow and if there was anything whatsoever that didn’t feel right, I was going to walk it. Hell, I even brought my ear buds so I could continue listening to “Beloved” by Toni Morrison (such beautiful writing but… what? Anyway.)

The morning had started off with dark skies and rain but by noon, blue skies and puffy clouds and sunshine.  So nice. So inviting and enticing. So perfect.

I set my running app to “run”, my timer to 16 minutes (so I know when to turn around) and started my Tabata timer, choosing the 10 sets of run/walk, for a total of 30:25 and off I went.   I made sure I kept my pace slow and steady.  1:45 minutes of running, 1:00 of walking. Since I am reading “Breath” by James Nestor, I and have been practicing nose breathing.  Oy. Not so easy when running but something I can see improving with time.

The temps were perfect and the wind was lightly gusting, but not enough to bother me.  I put up my hood when it was a bit more chilly than I liked but other than that? Really nice.  I was even able to run through my little park, the mud being minimal. A robin added with a trill of encouragement!

I had barely reached my destination park when my halfway timer went off.  At that point, I decided to make my wall all the way to my discovered path and walk my way back.  So glad I did.

Walking back, I remembered I had my ear buds and turned on my book.  I was in no rush and it felt so good to just be out in the sun without a huge coat.

Of course, I had to take a photo of “my” willow 😉

In all, a distance of 6.7 km (4.15 miles) were run/walked and it felt great.

I got home and not half an hour later?

Talk about great timing!

I was going to end with a poem or response to a prompt like I did last week but hey, look at the time! It’s almost 10:00 p.m. Tomorrow is my first day at my new job.  I need to rest!

Have a fantabulous night, folks (and Monday)! And thanks for sticking with me.

 

WWP #249 – What’s Your Recipe?

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. I really love it.

wk 249 recipe

Do you have the ingredients necessary

for a contented life?

Were they handed down with love

through a family recipe?

Or did you need acquire them elsewhere?

You can always modify the original

Make it yours

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #246 – Saunter

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. Always a pleasure to play with you, Sammi!

 

wk 246 saunter

 

Differing views on getting things done

Where I should like to see you at a trot, when I request it

You prefer to saunter, when you feel like it

I suppose, in the end, getting it done is what’s important

I am trying to convince myself

Hoping to find my zen

 

 

Tending the Home Fires

This past weekend was brutally cold and I remained cocooned in my house. No way in hell was I going out to run in -30ºC (with the wind chill) no way, no how.  For the first time this year, I decided to make a fire in slow burning wood stove.  Man, the wood I have is fairly useless.  Burns just like that (snaps fingers).  My cubby holds three large loads of this wood carrier doohickey.

I burned the whole lot Saturday.  Sunday was supposed to be warmer and I thought I’d go for a run and then fill up the cubby for the next cold snap.  ‘Parently the cold snap wasn’t done.   Whilst the kids were still snoring, I lugged in the three loads, snow-covered, and got that fire going again.  Thankfully snow doesn’t make it that wet.  It was a few degrees warmer than Saturday…

I decided to make a leek and potato soup, which got me to ruminating as I chopped.  I remembered how I followed Pol Martin’s recipe for Crème de poireaux (cream of leek), having graduated from the Sel et Poivre magazines to real cookbooks.  Sel & Poivre was fine and dandy but often included ingredients such as custard powder rather than include how to make the custard.  Funny thing is, in another recipe from a later issue, there was a recipe for crème pâtissière (pastry cream/custard)!  I used to take out both copies so I could combine them.  Especially after having searched high and low for the prepackaged powder crap (and finding it lacking).

Anyway, back to my soup.  I remembered cutting the veg rather small, and never puréeing it in the end.  It never mentioned to purée it and so I didn’t.  I no longer have the book – frankly, because this was the only recipe I ever tried in the otherwise dull and lacklustre book and I now know it off by heart and have probably modified it since, anyway – so I cannot confirm that that part of the recipe was omitted.   Not so much a crème then, was it?  However, I remember really liking it and receiving no complaints.  Funny then, that was the only time I didn’t whizz it up into a smooth and creamy texture, adding a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.  (I have also since figured out that the veg didn’t have to be cut so finely, especially since it was going under the immersion blender, or blender, that I no longer have.)  And then Sunday’s soup.  On a whim, I chopped everything fine and left it as is.  No cream necessary. I loved it.  And guess what?  Different audience, still no complaints!

As much as I could have remained in my cocoon for yet another day, I instead checked my fire and decided that it was warm enough(ish) to go out there, well-bundled up.  By 2:30 pm, I grabbed my camera, hopped into my car and determined where I would walk.  On a whim, I parked near the “country road” and started walking.  Realising I’d have to go a good ways before seeing anything, I trudged back to my car.  Off to the bird sanctuary, instead.  Note to self, these boots, while warm, are so heavy.  Time to go shopping.

I parked on the street behind another car, having noticed the parking lot was pretty full. Ugh. I long for the days when I worked shifts and could come here on a weekday.  It’s way too people-y on the weekends.

I took a good many photos, some of which ended up on the Facebooks and the Instagrams and I shall share them here, saving more for another post… 😉

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #235 – Mirror

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 party!

wk 235 mirror

 

Tempestuous, slate-grey clouds
hang heavy in the sky
mirroring my hungover state
waiting to free themselves

I could curl up into a ball and bemoan my state, or
Be inspired by my love (suffering similarly)
who found the wherewithal to go out and run
I’m inspired

Before long
the crunch of gravel under my feet
erases the pounding in my head
I rejoice in the colours of the leaves
Against the grey, above, and below

The rain starts, and rather than run faster
I slow to a walk
A cleansing of sorts
Alive once again

Standing Tall

It seems I might have a penchant for participating when Merril is hosting Prosery Monday on dVerse.  Hmmm… Wonder why that is? Maybe because the phrases she chooses speak to me. It is not impossible.  For this 144 text of prose – no poetry allowed, we must use the following:

“I am bombarded yet I stand.”
From Adrienne Rich, “Planetarium”

Some go through a large chunk of their life with nary a scrape.  They haven’t lost a single loved one and hardship is a foreign word to them.  The day they do experience loss will be a tough one as they won’t know how to handle it.

Then there are others that you swear were born under a broken star or dark cloud.  They are magnets to misery.  You cannot help but wonder why this seems to be.  What foul past life are they paying for?  And they fall to pieces each time, never learning.

As for me?  They say I am bombarded, yet I stand.  They say I had more than my share and call me resilient.  I just see life, no better, no worse.  I move forward, do what needs to be done and I keep going. I know no other way.