The Things You Do For Love – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Wednesday! You know what that means!  It means Friday Fictioneers where we try to fool you into thinking it’s the wrong day!  Our fellow FriFic buddy, Ted Strutz is recuperating enough to start snapping pictures again, so our lovely leader Rochelle has shown her support to his recovery by using his photo this week as prompt.   Do play along by clicking on the frog below and adding your 100-word story, with beginning, middle and end.

©Ted Strutz

Illustration of a Merry Frog on a Boat in the Sea by brux | GraphicRiver

Nicki leaned over the rail, arms spread out as if trying to capture the wind, the mountains, delighting in the salty spray misting her face. Her eyes sparkled, “Isn’t this absolutely beautiful?”

Tony stared straight ahead, wishing for death or at least terra firma. “Would you step away from the railing, please?” he gritted through his teeth. “Makes me nervous.”

“Oh, pooh! Stop worrying! Oh. My. Are the bands not working? I so hoped they would. We’re almost there. Do you know how much I love you for doing this?”

“When I can breathe without heaving, you can show me.”

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.


Walking. With Stanley

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery… However (Stanley’s favourite word), I do so hope you don’t mind, David Kanigan, of Live & Learn, that I have usurped your style for this post.  As I was considering writing what shall follow, I kept hearing in my head “Walking… With Stanley” and, well, I decided not to fight it. I’m inspired by you but will still add my own thing by bombarding inserting photos here and there.

I have been convinced into actually using my subscription to Audible by my fellow blogger and friend Janet.  You see, she told me about Stanley Tucci’s new book, entitled “Taste: My Life Through Food“. and said she had listened to it, as read by the author himself, and found it wonderful.  I said I didn’t listen to books and she said maybe I was like her sister who doesn’t like to be read to.  I said I think it was more about my not liking to have continual sound in my ears.  I can be up for most of the day, in total silence, before I turn on the TV (when at home).  We exchanged back and forth and next thing I knew, I was on Audible, thrilled to find I had one credit and was able to get it for free.

Usually, when I walk, my movie is the view around me and the accompanying sounds of nature serve as soundtrack.  I have to admit that when running, I am too busy trying to regulate my breathing and trying to convince myself that I am totally loving it (I’m actually starting to), to notice.  I am, however (there it is again), getting a tad bored during my forced every-other-morning walks. (Gah! I cannot wait for this year-long challenge to end!)   Anyway, why not try listening to a book?  It might make the time go by faster or feel a tad less monotonous.  There are only so many times I can be thrilled at the sight of “my” willow.

Okay, so how does it go, D.K.?

3ºC (37.4ºF), 6:44 a.m., Tuesday, November 2nd.

Boucherville, La Seigneurie neighbourhood. Day, I have no idea but day 364 will be on January 2.

Wind is negligible.  I have a thick white (to be seen) sweatshirt over two layers of tops, my tuque (not tuk, David) and gloves. I don’t feel the cold at all.

I start my new book.  And I walk. Not my usual path. I go right instead of left outside of my house, past Industrial Blvd.. I snap a pic as I’ve decided to take a daily record.  It’s still very dark and I see the morning crescent moon.  I’m half-tempted to go back and get my real camera but that defeats my walk with purpose. I’m already bad enough taking pics with my phone!

I decide I’m going to go to the second block and turn up de Nogent which will bring me, I am frankly not too sure where, but am not too worried. I’ve got lots of time and it’s not that complicated.  I am enjoying listening to Stanley wax on about his youth and his love of food through memories of family meals and can now understand why David ends up buying both the Kindle and the Audible versions as I think, shit!  I would’ve highlighted that part. Or, dammit! I want that recipe (coz he gives quite a few of them).  Now what?  No way in hell I am going to stop and mark the time and the chapter so I can go back to it.  Hmm.  Not sure now about this whole listening to a book thing.  Still on the fence.

However, (yes, Stanley, your editor should have pointed out just how many times you say it), I continue listening and don’t fret as I cannot do much about it for now and before I know it, I find myself in the park that I usually go through first on my runs.  I’ve not gotten lost after all.  It’s still pretty dark.  Already the ubiquitous hockey rink has been set up in preparation for the upcoming season of thwwack of a puck slapping the boards, the Ksssh-ksssh-ksssh  of skates cutting into the ice and shouts of laughter.

A chapter ends and I notice the sky is starting to “orange up”.

I look at my watch and see it’s 7:11 and think wow, only half an hour has passed?  How fast have I been walking?  Or was that loop a helluva lot shorter than I realised? I decide on a whim to make my way over to the overpass and hope the sunrise will be capturable.  This is the only place I can even hope to do so. Where David has the best spot EVER to get it and does so spectacularly every morning, I have none.  I have lots of options for the sunset, however ( 😉 ) so not all is lost.  I make my way up to the top of the overpass and not only is the traffic so loud that I cannot hear Stanley, getting aggravated at the bombarding to my eardrums while I’m at it, the sunrise was totally not worth it and, as if that wasn’t enough, I screwed up and it’s blurry. C’est la vie.

As a result, have decided to only listen to the book when I am walking – far from traffic.  Or when I am raking up 12 effing bags of leaves.  The noise level was tolerable but not idea.  I have come to realise I prefer quiet streets or parks to do my listening.

And no. I do not want to get noise eliminating ear buds. I want to know if a car is coming and could run me over.  And, imagine that, on today’s noon walk?  I realised I had forgotten my buds but still could listen to the book through my phone in my pocket.  As my guy would say, Win, meet Win! (And a reminder to leave a set at work!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #234 – Empire

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.  I decided to go the fashion route.  And I am cheating a little… Wasn’t quite an empire waist 😉  Apologies on the quality of the photo below. Picture of a picture and all that 😉  Should you wish to participate in this challenge, click here to add your link.  Thank you, Sammi for your weekly challenge!

wk 234 empire

Benefits of an Empire Waist

It’s a second marriage; you’re wearing white?

Not white, ecru.

Hmm.

What?  Would you have me wear red, since I’m a divorcée, who then had three children out of wedlock?

Don’t be silly. You’re marrying the father of your children.

That’s right.  Anyway, what do you think of this one?

I like the style. Sort of Grecian.

I like the empire waist.

Hides your lumps.

Hey!

What?

So not cool.

 

Missing Zeke – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #156

When I saw this week’s Crimson Creative Challenge Prompt, I thought, hmmm… reminds me of another we had done, awhile ago.  So I went searching and was surprised to find that the prompt, no. 108, was issued on December 3, 2020, and I responded, as I often do, the next day, so on the 4th.  Exactly five months later, my boy Zeke was with the angels.  And now?  It is six months, to the day of his passing. I guess sometimes there is a numerical thing that goes on. This time with the number 4.  Anyway. I digress and blather on. A little poem, for Zeke

Eleven months to the day I wrote about you

How you had slowed down and we had switched places

Where once you waited for me,

I now waited for you

Five months to the day, you slowed to a stop

Passing over the Rainbow Bridge

Such a lovely expression, isn’t it?

 

My walks still take place in various woods around me

And each time I think how much you would

have loved this one, or that one

I sometimes think I see you out yonder

And I wait and I wait and I wait

But I know, deep in my heart

it is naught but wishful thinking

Creating Art – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday!  It is time for Friday Fictioneers, where a bunch of us rush to post on Wednesday because Friday seems too far away.  This week our lovely leader, Rochelle, has gotten the rights to Jennifer Pendergast’s lovely photo.  Did an idea pop into your head upon seeing this lovely bit of children’s art?  Then by all means, do share by clicking on my Lego frog below and add the link to your 100-word story!

©Jennifer Pendergast

Lego Frog Building Instructions - Lego Classic 10698 "How To" - YouTube

Click to play!

Hey babe, what are you up to?

I’m creating a collage.

It looks like a child made it.

Good, it’s supposed to.  I am calling it “Innocence at Play”.

No, seriously.  It looks like a three year old made it.

Right.  And like I said, that is good. It’s what I’m aiming for.

Are you telling me that you will get paid for this crap?

It is not crap. It is art. And yes, I will.

The shit you can get away with when you are a recognized artist.

Isn’t it grand? Plus, it pays the mortgage, so stop bitching.

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #233- Vellichor

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.  I so love when Sammi chooses a word I have to look up. How could I resist?  I couldn’t.

 

wk 233 vellichor

That Je Ne Sais Quoi

 

“The Book Nook”

Senses stimulated

Eyes see shelves and piles of books

Ears hear soft classical in the background

Fingers touch soft, used leather

Nose takes in that scent of musty

Together they make up a feeling

John Koenig calls it vellichor

Strange wistfulness

Sounds right to me

 

Spooky Is As Spooky Does

On Monday, Frank J. Tassone hosted dVerse’s Haibun Monday.  He said:  “Let’s feel the spooky sensation of this coming Halloween/Samhain! Let’s celebrate that emotion of dread. Let’s write our haibun that states or references fear.”

Looking for a particular photo and some inspiration I went through my pictures.  I found a couple (though not the one I really wanted) and settled on this one.  Shall we?

Nicole was practically skipping as she made her way home, still feeling warm and fuzzy from the lovely evening she had had with her besties. Getting together for dinner and a movie was always so much fun.  In the spirit of the upcoming holiday, they had gone to see Halloween #27. (Seriously? When were they going to give it up already?)  She giggled as she thought of how ludicrous the whole thing was until she noticed how dark and quiet the woods seemed suddenly.  Where was the birdsong? The buzzing of insects?  She tripped over the roots of a tree, just managing to stay upright.  The willies crept in and she imagined the tree branches reaching towards her to grab her.  She stumbled forward, fear overtaking her reasoning as she hurried to get out of the now-scary woods and out into the clearing. What the hell was wrong with her anyway?

Fear courses through veins

Causing heart palpitations

None of it is real

Beware

Pam asked me to use my photo for an eventual post. So glad I said yes. This is so much fun.  Do please go visit Pam’s blog and let her know how wonderful her poem is!

 

Butterfly Sand

The witching night,

Will soon be here,

When the wise ones,

Know to fear.

The moon is full,

And the spirits walk,

Doing mischief,

They will not balk.

Near at hand,

Too close to breathe,

Evil spirits,

Begin to seethe.

Stay inside,

Your doors locked tight.

Draperies drawn,

Against the night.

Just in time,

The dawn will rise,

And all is safe,

Before our eyes.

But please remember,

In one year’s time,

On the witching night,

The ghosts will rhyme

The photograph of the moon that I used was with the permission of Dale over at adelectablelife.com. She has quite an interesting blog if you want to check it out. I would recommend it. The witch just popped on by.

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Walktober 2021 St-Rémi d’Amherst & Brébeuf

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

― Nathaniel Hawthorne

I could not agree more, Nate!

This year I planned ahead for my Walktober, hosted by the lovely Robin at Breezes at Dawn.  Planned so far ahead, It’s been almost three weeks since I went for my walk and I’m only sharing now?  Life and all that.

For many years my sisters and our families would “go up north” to my mother’s for Thanksgiving (2nd weekend in October, in Canada).  Each time, I’d think, darn… we seem to be just a week too late to see the colours at their apogee.  This time, I thought, I’d not be fooled!

My cousin Sonya and I had been wanting to get together for awhile so we planned to meet at my aunt’s (formerly my grandmother’s) in Namur, in the Outaouais region of Quebec. My mother hitched a ride with me so I changed my plans only slightly in that, instead of going for my walk on Saturday, I’d go on Sunday, on my way home.

There are two ways to get to our destination, through the Laurentians (where the colours were sure to be spectacular) or through the Outaouais, which is always a tad behind. Though not the original plan, the latter is the route we ended up taking.  I forewarned my mother that I might be pulling over often!  This was the first stop, just before Fassett (I think!)

The colours are still to show off

It wasn’t long before I pulled over again, this time in the town of Fassett.  Whoa! I had to stop.  The Tragically Hip is a Canadian band close to our hearts, all the more so since the front man, Gord Downie passed away from brain cancer, October 17, 2017.  Someone painted this gorgeous mural on the side of their house.  (Bobcageon is a town in Ontario and the title of one of their songs.)

The colours got more the closer we got to my aunt’s.  From Montebello to Namur, you do not want to stop.  The curves and hills make it way too dangerous so I was looking forward to the next day’s walk.  But until then, there was an evening of good food, wine and lots of laughs in store.

We had a late breakfast, having gone to bed at an ungawdly hour the night before.  Salutations and I was out the door by noon.  This time I was taking the road towards the Laurentians, detouring wherever I got the urge. These following three are just a few of my stops.

About midway between my aunt’s and the highway there is a lovely village called St-Rémi d’Amherst.  My mother lived in an apartment there after my folks split up.  This permitted us to discover the water tower.

Way back (over 25 years ago) there were steps in various parts of the climb. The man who took care of them passed away and over the years they disappeared into the land. Makes it more challenging!  I had joked with my sister that I had had a sort of vision of me falling down the hill and no one was there to help me… feeling I had hexed myself, I thought I should not dare! However, after stopping by the little lake in the village, I couldn’t help but drive my car past the little church towards the entrance. Seeing a bunch of cars already parked, I figured I was safe!  LOL.

The walk up to the old water tower can take a good 30-45 minutes.  You have to walk down a path, to some stairs and a bridge to cross a little river (creek) and then the trek begins in earnest.

The trek, even when there were stairs here and there, was and is a good one. There are moments where you really have to stop and catch your breath.  I do remember once running up the whole way in 15 minutes.  Yeah. Not today!

The view from the top is quite spectacular. I don’t have the crazy gene to climb the tower, though!!

The way down permitted me to notice some fungi while feeling the burn in my thighs!

So glad I decided to risk it.  I continued on my way and remembered that I have promised myself over and over to stop in Brébeuf at the falls.  Oh my.  Such a beautiful place.  And, after my whole lifetime of passing by here, I finally learned they are called the Blueberry Falls (Chutes aux bleuets).

I seem to be unable to control myself when it comes to Walktober.  I tell myself I shall not bombard you with photos and, trust me, I held back!  I hope you enjoyed the walk!