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!

 

 

My Left Foot

It’s 1:25 a.m. and I am being serenaded by one single cricket outside my bedroom window.  He (or is it she?) is loud enough that I can hear it through my closed window.  It doesn’t stop for a second.

I’m trying to determine if one Robax Platinum and one Advil Liquigel will work in tandem for my back and feet. All of one or all of the other I am thinking won’t cut it. I have been lying here writhing in pain, thinking it’s a good thing I sleep alone tonight. A partner would either have left in a huff or taken pity on me and massaged my tender tootsies – if I were particularly lucky.

Despite having soaked my feet in my cool pool – maybe a salted footbath would have been better – the throb continues – particularly in my left foot. I give in and pop a second Advil and let loose a little prayer.

I’m reminded of my first season at the golf course, four years ago. It took me months to adapt and my feet had a hard time of it.  Good shoes go a long way.  Orthotics help as well. Last year I had a much better year with fabulous shoes. Of course, with the mileage we do during a summer, one season is all you can ask from a pair of shoes.

So, this year, the shoe guy came directly to the club with all sorts of samples of the same type of shoe I had last year. Woot! But, not the same model. Not woot.  I opt for a pair and hate them on my second shift. I cannot return them so I go shopping. Find another similar to last year’s and figure I’m good. Nope.

Last year I swore it was my last season and here I am again. What in the blessed fuck am I doing to myself? It is only mid-August and I have until the end of October before golf season ends. Then, come November and December we have 8-10 Christmas parties and then we’re done.  I mean DONE.  January till April will be mine.  And lemme tell you, I am not the only one dreaming of the end. Some of us have been dreaming of it since last June.  It’s been a tough one with lots of huge events like this past night’s. 300+ guests for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. Great cause and they amassed over $300K.

I am not going back next year. I promise myself that. I’m too old for this shit.

It is now 2:30 and I feel the Advil kicking in and hope a visit from Morpheus is pending.

Requital – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #39

This is out of my norm but it’s all Crispina’s fault. She gave me the idea so I ran with it. This is a part two of my Friday Fictioneer story, though I hope this stands alone.  Should you want to read it, click here.  As always, the CCC challenge is open to so many possibilities. To play, click on the CCC and see the rules and regs.  Easy peasy! Today, no poetry, though 😉

Have a fabulous day!

Requital

“Hello, John. Sleep well?”

“Why am I chained?”

“To show you how much I love you. You know, like you did Sally, Francesca, Maria and Brenda. Brenda was my best friend. You wouldn’t know because you cut her off from us. I tried to warn her about you but she wouldn’t listen.”

“Oh, gimme a break. She was an easy mark.”

“Still so cocky.”

He stretched out his arm, pleading, “No. This is real. I love you.”

“Oh, can it, already! You’re so full of yourself. I’ve been studying you for a long time. I knew exactly how to reel you in. It was so easy to pretend you were my whole world.”

“Anna?”

“Sorry, Shark Bait. Too bad you cut yourself while fixing your motor and a wave knocked you off your boat.

She sliced his outstretched arm, pressed a button and released him into the sea.

“Bye, John.”

Word count: 150

Consumed – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning, my readers. I hope your weather has cooled a bit as ours has. (Those who have been cooking these past weeks, that is) Rochelle is busy sunning herself on the beaches of South Carolina and has rerun this picture by Randy Mazie from December 2013. It’s before my time so is new to me!  Thank you, Rochelle, for hosting even when you are out gallivanting!

Click on the blue frog below if you wanna add your own 100-word story.  G’head, don’t be shy!

G’head click me

Consumed

He would have to use a surreptitious, if not furtive, approach to getting close to her as her barriers were firmly in place. He wondered briefly why this was so then dismissed it as unimportant. He was not attracted to easy.

Bit by bit, moment by moment, day by day, he made progress, searching for and finding her every vulnerability, fulfilling her every desire. Her barricades crumbled as he charmed and wove his way in.

When she was finally completely consumed by him, he strangled the life out of her. He got what he wanted and was no longer attracted.

****

For you those of you who’ve passed by a tad later, you are lucky, well, I like to think so, anyway, in that I have written the follow up of this here tale. To read it, just click here.

Fête Nationale au Québec

Today is June 24. For many, this simply is another day in the first days of official summer (northern hemisphere) month of June. In Quebec, it is something else entirely. It is supposedly celebrated by French Canadians across Canada and the few stragglers in the States as well – I have no proof of such celebrations so shall take Wikipedia’s word for it.

It is the feast day of St John the Baptist, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. So how the hell did he become the Patron Saint of Quebec?  And when did the patriotic and political tone for French Quebecers start? And why in the name of all that is holy did I choose to work in a place that is not only open, but is celebrating the anniversary of their opening business?

For many Quebec Anglos, it is simply a statutory holiday. I am one of the lucky ones who has both French and English, well, actually it is Scottish, blood flowing in my veins.  I don’t do that whole “barricade yourself in your house until it passes” thing. Actually, until I worked in a certain company, I had never heard of such a thing. Whatevs, I digress. I party like a Pea Soup on this day – coz I am.

So, because inquiring minds (me) want to know, I went a-digging to get the facts and figures and share with you, my readers, the whole story behind the Fête Nationale du Québec.

The Feast of Saint John the Baptist, or Midsummer, was a happening thing in the Ancien Régime (middle ages) of France. Stands to reason when the first French colonists came over to what became Acadia, they needed a reason to keep the party going. Let’s face it, life was not an easy thing over here in the wilds of Canada. Just think, the first recording of celebrations happened on the shores of Newfoundland in 1606 and then things got ever so more wild on June 23rd, 1636, on the banks of the St. Lawrence River when a bonfire was created and five cannon shots were fired.

In 1834, Ludger Duvernay, a journalist of influence for the newspaper La Minerve, and other patriotes, attended at St. Paddy’s Day parade in Montreal and said hey, if the Irish can have a day, why can’t the French Canadiens also?  And so, the charitable Association Saint-Jean Baptiste was formed and that following June 24th, there was held a grand banquet with 60 francophones and anglophones of Montreal where was sung the song Ô Canada! Mon pays, mes amours (Oh Canada, My country, my loves) – not to be confused with today’s national anthem “Oh, Canada”. The Canada in this song refers to Lower Canada, i.e. today’s southern Quebec. They repeated the celebrations in ’35, ’36 and ’37.

Of course, the English-French thing has been going on forever and a day here in Quebec and way back in those years, there was the Lower Canada Rebellion between les Patriotes québécois and the British so no celebrations happened again until 1843, when the official Saint Jean Baptiste Society, backed by the Catholic Church was formed and officially charted by 1849. Bonfires became a tradition and the first parades started happening.

Ah yes, the Patron Saint part… That happened in 1908.  This helped to re-enforce the connection between Saint Jean Baptiste Day and French-Canadian patriotism. By 1925, this day was declared a provincial holiday in Quebec and during the turbulent political 1960’s, this holiday became very political and by 1977 the holiday became known as La Fête Nationale du Québec, and was completely separated from the church.

Bonfires have been replaced by fireworks and the parades still take place (though, I for one, am not really a parade-goer so I refrain).  Last night from the windows of golf club (around 10 pm), I could see the fireworks happening. Could have been from my town of Boucherville, or the town of Ste-Julie or, nah… I don’t think we would have seen the ones from Montreal!

There were definitely fireworks happening in my home town and off a Facebook Page, I got the following beautiful shot

©Alain Lemay

Guess I’ll be participating in the celebrations vicariously through others once again this year.

Bonne Ste-Jean mes amis!

Till then, I leave you with one of my (many) favourite québécois chanteurs, one that brings me right back to my last year of high school, Paul Piché

Childhood – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday, so I’m Friday Fictioneering!  Yessiree.  This photo by J. Hardy Carroll, chosen by our facilitator by excellence, Rochelle, brought me immediately to childhood.  One like I had.  When times were simpler and freer.

Care to join the party?  Click on the blue frog below to add your 100-word story.  G’head, it’s fun!

Click mo to join in!

Childhood

“Go outside and play. Be home for supper.” Mom dismissed us to go do what children do.

We went to the park. We played games we invented. We hung upside down on the monkey bars. We played hide-and-seek. We disputed. We negotiated. We settled.

Always too soon, Daddy whistled for us to get home for supper.

We jumped on our bikes, disbanding with promises to be back at the park tomorrow.

Nowadays? Kids aren’t allowed out of sight of their parents’ watchful eyes. Everything is scheduled. They’ve no freedom to figure out how to settle the score on their own.

 

Stories My Father Told Me – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday morning my readers!  You know what day it is? Yep… hump day AND Friday Fictioneers day!  Today’s photo of a synagogue reminded me of my dad and his many stories of growing up in Montreal.  Thank you, Rochelle, for keeping this challenge interesting week after week.  And thank you Roger Bultot for allowing us to use your photo.

To join in the fun, click the blue frog below.  Not sure how?  Click on Rochelle’s name for the rules and regs.  Fun and teaches you to use your words sparingly!

©Roger Bultot

Click me!

 

Stories My Father Told Me

Dad always said he was a “goyim mit a Yiddishe kopf” (sic).¹  Grew up in the same ‘hood as Mordecai Richler, and considered himself a real Duddy Kravitz.  Loved to talk about “Shtunks”² — real name, Stringer — owners of the general store that he and his buddies used to torment in their youth. He sure respected the tattoo on their arms, though.  Was so pleased to introduce me to Mrs. Stringer before she passed.  “Such a bad boy was your father!” she scolded and laughed.  We finished our tour with a Wilensky Special.

Why did I not write these stories down?

___________

¹Men with a Jewish head (goy would be singular 😉 )

²Stinkers

Cheers