It’s Been One Week…

The very first thing I need to say is that I’m so proud of my niece and nephew. Their father – Husband’s twin – is in the ICU in Pittsburgh. Soon, he shall pass. This past week, those two have faced insane choices and weighed courses of actions with uncertain outcomes – not a single thing has been easy. They are doing an amazing job handling all that they are going through and I wish I could hug them long enough and hard enough to ease their pain. (R – if you’re reading this, I love you so much and I’m so sorry!)

And while news of this sadness was arriving, I was online celebrating my amazing week of publications. Thanks once again to Robert Vaughan, Meg Tuite, David O’Connor, and everyone at Bending Genres for publishing We’re Toast. Thank you Cal Marcius at Spelk for publishing The Difference Between Us. On Saturday, I Am Promilla, came out, so many thanks to everyone at Postcard Poems & Prose – especially Elizabeth Stark for her amazing “Promilla.”

The disconnect – online and RL – is surreal sometimes. Ben went to the dealer on 30 July and within a week he wouldn’t start – of course. He needed some repairs done, but since he won’t leave the driveway, I, too, am stuck here. Husband had been planning on taking Friday off to celebrate his birthday, but now he’s thinking of going to work. Because he’s the type of person he is, it wouldn’t surprise me if he figures out Ben’s problem, fixes it, the house gets painted and the crash bar on the front door is installed this weekend. Work is how he processes his feelings, writing is mine, but it’s all too sad right now. Things happened so fast…

And now, the waiting is so long. Yesterday, I walked out to the creek and as I neared the edge, a fledgling heron flew up and away from the spot where it had been feeding. Today, it’s a muggy 80+ degrees outside and the labyrinth is too muddy to walk so I’ll be inside, filing, maybe editing, thinking rando thoughts on the essence of being and hating myself for not saying I love you enough.

Sorry for the not so cheery read, but those are the creekside reflections for this week. And a hearty RIP to Bookman who I learned passed away last Thursday. Thanks universe for all the material, but I don’t really want it.

Advertisements

Better days

Picture0802181145_1(1)

I came across a volunteer lily in the field. I found a different one last year. I’m beginning to wonder if Husband is doing this just to muck with my mind. I know I didn’t plant any in this area, yet they bloom.

Doing the things I know to help, have helped. I’m not in a dark place nor as prone as to slip back there – even when I was insulted at a Springville Center for the Arts event last night…

p8020718.jpg

There were two big changes that made a huge difference. The first was stepping down from my position as Managing Editor at Literary Orphans. I am sorry to disappoint Scott and Mike and everyone else, but it was the worst fit for me. I will be returning to Fiction Editor, a job I adore.

And secondly, in a strange twist, we have cable and high speed internet. For decades, AT&T and others swore it was too expensive to run lines this far. Spectrum came in and now we’re signed up for a 30 day trial of their bundled services. Everything was hooked up on Saturday. On Monday, AT&T called to say they could give us a better deal…right. It’s interesting to have so many channels. Husband and both adore being able to watch PBS; it didn’t come in in the summer with the rabbit ears. I still haven’t figured out this DVR, but I can get the one on Husband’s TV to work. It is such a relief to not worry about going over my data limit.

I took New Dog to the eternal flame. It was lit this time.

Picture0802181216_1

The following Monday, I took him to the groomers. Here he is, acting mopey like Sampson.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next Saturday, “I AM PROMILLA,” comes out on Postcard Poems and Prose. I saw the mock up and it is delightful! Elizabeth did an excellent job. Also, “The Difference Between Us” will appear in Spelk. They choose the most interesting pieces over there. I am thrilled to share these two pieces wtih you and the rest of the world, so please do check them out. They are flash – it won’t take long them. Thanks in advance, and thank you for stopping by for the read!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Been here before and it sucks.

P7090693.jpg

So dear readers, I’m in a funk…dealing with several down days, what have you. I’m doing the things that help weather this mood. I plan on doing some more and getting through this, but right now, I’m not feeling “it.”

The news I was a semi-finalist for Grist’s ProForma contest didn’t help. Monarchs and dragonflies dancing around didn’t either. My first time to the Eternal Flame didn’t do anything for me, not that I thought it would…

P7070679.jpg

There was a spark of momentary joy when I saw at least two bats flying at dusk because they haven’t been here in years, but it didn’t last long.

I’m not a fan of this nor do I want to bring you down to this hole with me, but it’s part of who I am, who I’ve always been, and I deal with it. Please don’t be that person & suggest medication or therapy.  Thank you for putting up with me.

Cheers to you from here.

The unlikely happened, I went a few places, and there’s a hummingbird in my lilies

There’s a tale of elder love on the radio this morning. It’s airing about 20 minutes before the week in politics program. A taste of hope before the chaotic contention. Around here, it happens the opposite way; I do a madcap rendition of cleaning/weeding/organizing/hauling buckets of water to the new trees/mowing before I achieve a calm to read and/or write. Even now, I typed the first three lines before walking away. There was a sink full of dishes, now washed.

p6020496.jpg

The wood shed roof is as complete as it can be – the two ends aren’t done because Husband didn’t have the panels for it. He says he could piece it together with remnants, but he’d prefer solid panels. It’s watertight though, something it hasn’t been in years. Walking back from getting the paper, this blue and white striped sight is quite cheery.

p7040670.jpg

I had an A M A Z I N G run. On the 24th, I got word that my story, “I Am Promilla” won the Postcards Poems and Prose Magazine’s “Clutch” Flash Fiction contest. June 27 will long be remembered as one helluva day. “We’re Toast” was accepted by Bending Genres, Former Cactus took “Tilt-A-Whirl” AND Spelk accepted “The Difference Between Us.” I could not believe it, but it happened and these are all venues I love. I am delighted – plus, on Tuesday, I received payment for “Pirouette” which will be included in the Bacopa Literary Review.

We’ve done a bit of weekend visiting with family recently. There was Ash’s Graduation Party,

p6230618-e1529852472344.jpg

And then a quick trip to PA to see Niece from Boston & The Twin where mint leaves were muddled for juleps.

p62906211.jpg

Monday has me traveling alone to another gathering of family of a different sort – a funeral. As the amazing Kathy Fish recently hosted another Fast Flash Reunion on Zoetrope, I’m sure I’ll revisit the prompts to make sense of all the interactions that are coming at me in a furious pace, kind of like the Literary Orphans reading assignments. And the library just emailed that “The Female Persuasion” is in so I’ll be finishing that up soon, too. I better get going, there’s a lot to accomplish in this lull…

p7040661.jpg

like capturing pictures of hummingbirds in my lilies!

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

Summer is a Whirlwind

Here it is, officially summer and already most of the projects have at least a dent made in them. Half the woodshed roof is done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The massive pain that were the rose bushes in the front yard have been ripped out and replaced with an Azealia bush and a maple.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Plus the roadside portion of  the garden shed is painted and the redigging of the ditch on the hill was started last night, and several new steps to replace the front ones are complete. The next two weekends will be filled with grad parties and visits, so I’m glad we are so far ahead – compared to previous years that is…even with a minor injury of a run-in with the woodspliter. It’s much healed.

a_002

It’s not been all work all the time. I do make a point to enjoy the beauty of flowers and trees we’ve planted and listen to insects and birds though I wish I didn’t have to listen to the pair of cardinals attacking the window outside my office, but one can’t have everything.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On Wednesdays, I’ve been going to one of the multiple SPoT Coffees to write with Mary or Gina – yesterday it was both. Without them and Friday nights at the Comfort Zone with the Hamburg Writers’ Group, I’m afraid I’d lose my way. I can’t say thanks enough to Nina and everyone else who keeps me writing. And the Kathy Fish Fast Flash Reunion starts tonight! You know where I’ll be!

p6090549.jpg

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

My intentions are paving the way to hell…

After a long break from scheduled blog posts, it didn’t occur to me that I’d post late, but here it is, Friday afternoon and I’m just now starting to write this.

And as I write, I’m enjoying the weather from inside the “cabana,” where I can’t see the frog pond, but I hear the activity. This is the view:

6-8b.jpg

Monarchs are flitting about as well as the deer fly and bees. The cotton woods are busily trying to copulate, their seed dances about and falls to coat everything with a soft haze of down.

6-8d.jpg

This is the first day I’ve had to truly enjoy the yard. I’ve spent most of the time away mowing, weeding, gardening, and watering the new trees – generally with Kobe nearby, smelling everything and generally being a happy and good dog. This weekend we’ll be getting 5 cords of wood, so I’m glad I have a few minutes to sit and relax. Kobe is underneath the swing, patient and observant.

6-8c.jpg

Monday, I made a careless mistake/had an accident and went to the doctor’s office instead of the ER. Suffice it to say, I learned a lesson and will be far more diligent with the wood splitter in the future. Nothing broke, but my index finger on my left hand was squashed enough that I’m certain the nail will fall off. It is disgusting to look at – I shan’t share the image.

Prior to that bit of fun, I read Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” which was quite good. It took me longer to finish than I anticipated so I have to return “The Female Persuasion” tonight and sign up for it again. Had I not read last night, I would have been FINE not finishing it, but the main character just left Faith’s house after the weekend stay and I just found out why she had a million messages on her phone when she was out of range. Oi! Sad news!

Writing wise, the biggest thing is the acceptance by Bacopa Literary Review for a flash called “Pirouette.” As I understand it, I’ll be paid for it which is always lovely. I wish I had money to pay all the writers “I” publish at r.kv.r.y. and Literary Orphans, but, alas, I don’t and that sucks, but I love the work that is accepted and try to show it on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ve made it to several “write-ins” with Gina at Spot Coffee and even squeezed in a few hours at home so I have some new work to hone and submit. I’m rather fond of a piece called “The Eaves;” I aimed high with that one. Oh, and the Bellevue Literary Review sent a personal rejection with both praise and suggestions for my “Southern story.” I’m batting it around, sprucing it up, letting it sit, tackling it again.

Tomorrow is my last shift at the library before the summer break. Tonight is another meeting of the Hamburg Writers’ Group where I’ll get a chance to see Nina and the others. I plan on reading a flash tonight that I’m submitting for a contest. I’d had the premise for the story and the first few lines for years but could never get it to go. Sometimes a prompt is the prompt you need to finish something.

 The mail is here, so I’ll gather my things and get ready to post thing. I’ll see some of you soon and I can’t wait! Everyone else, I’ll be back here in two weeks – more or less. That’s my intention anyways…

 Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

6.8E

This post delayed by missing cat, wayward file, and deer

 

In an understatement, let me begin by saying that Thursday was a perfectly terrible day. I got up early to mow the lawn and weed eat before the heat set in. I managed to get the roadside section done but when I took the lawnmower across the bridge to work on the large lawn, I noticed the back left wheel was poised at a 45 degree angle because the deck had broken apart. Good times.

Proceeding to the weed eating, the cordless worked well, but I stopped 2 feet from where the cord would reach – which I didn’t realize until I’d put the cordless away. I did finish both sides of the ditch but when I began the area around the garden, the string ran out.

Did I mention it was a rather warm day? I worked on weeding the patio then went in to work on new book. Wednesday, I’d had a bit of a breakthrough while at SPoT Coffee with Gina and Mary and was anxious to get back to it as I’d come up with a new beginning earlier this month. I saved the file. I hadn’t printed it out. I also hadn’t saved the file in A N Y of the spots where it should or could have gone. I checked, double checked, grew frustrated, panicked, annoyed and then went out to do the rose propagation experiment I’ve only wanted to try for 20 years. Filling the planter and dipping the stems in rooting hormone powder, I convinced myself I dreamt writing those two missing paragraphs. Sigh. I did finally find them, but by then the urge to write was superseded by the desire to read.

That lasted until sitting out on the swing; I looked up and noticed the EIGHT deep purple tulips in the far planter, which had started to open yesterday and should have been picture worthy today, were A L L   GONE. Even the red had disappeared. Bloody stupid greedy deer…I set about placing the fuchsia where the hummingbirds could find them since they are now back and I’m grateful.

5.17A

I then worked on cleaning up the pine tree debris until Husband came home. I put the cat on her leash and we were all outside enjoying the weather and catching up. For five minutes, we let cat wander. Dog went toward the creek, I got up to see where the cat had wandered off to…and she was gone. Completely. We looked, hunted, called, I declared her dead and we went to look over the lawn mower. Husband declared it sufficiently broken enough to get a new one. I checked under the car before driving away.

Oh how Wal-Mart was fun today – I’ll spare you the mind-numbing details – let’s just say the time between realizing I could take the display model and the employees confirming this was 40 minutes. Sigh. After that, I picked up an unfulfilling dinner from Top’s deli even though I could have made dinner at home had I not gone through the whole “I’ll check in the back” routine at Wal-Mart.

Anyways, when I returned home, I was sad to hear cat hadn’t been found yet and I worried more because hawks were circling overhead. While Husband got the new mower up and running, I thought about where cat had been known to go before. You cannot imagine how relieved I was to see the end of her leash. She’d holed up in a piece of…ductwork. I really don’t know what it’s called, but it’s black and round and Husband brought it home because he couldn’t stand that it was being thrown away.

Right, so, cat was found, dinner was eaten, not enough reading, writing, or lawn care occurred BUT – knock on pine – this day is over and Because Science is on and I realize yet again the cosmos have a thing to do and sometimes it’s doing us.

 

5.17B