Changes like Ben

This year’s autumn has brought a few changes. The upper greenhouse window that was broken last year now has a replacement.

10.8.2017A

Bonus, these windows open!

10-8-2017b.jpg

And Ben has come into my life. Everyone, meet Ben, the Grey Subaru.

10-19-2017f1.jpg

Isn’t he fierce? This is the first car I’ve had in 15 years. I picked him up and got him registered on Wednesday. Thursday morning, he passed his inspection so he’s official and legal and it’s so weird to look outside and see a vehicle here. I need to start thinking differently, too. Last night I said something to Husband like, “Well after you get home on Friday I can go -” No. I don’t have to wait. I can go. My thoughts went to all the places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do and see and I had to stop. Priorities must be determined and the biggest and the best one is coming up this weekend!

Gina Detwiler, Jeff Schober, Mary Jo Hodge, Deb Madar, Barbara Early, Mary Akers and Kim Chinquee will be reading their work at 1:00pm at the West Falls-Colden Community Library on the 21st. You’re invited, so why don’t you come? It would be great to see you there! It’s autumn, the leaves are turning color. Gorgeous drive! What a great combination!

10.19.2017A

Last week, Nina Fosati and I attended the Terry Temple Williams lecture that was part of the BABEL series. It was equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.

10.19.2017C

I know, bad shot, but that’s what I get for not thinking ahead. What was neat was that Jeff Schober and Kim Chinquee were there, too. Buffalo is such a small town and now that I have a vehicle, I bet it grows even smaller.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Advertisements

Taking Comfort in Small Things

If you haven’t checked it out, please take a look at Harryhausen, Issue # 31 of Literary Orphans. It’s the first one with me being a Fiction Editor there, and it includes the first – and so far only – piece I’ve accepted in that capacity. Many thanks and congratulations to Tara Isabel Zambrano for her awesome story, “Measurable Hours.”

This is an incredible issue with pieces by Meg Tuite, Paul Beckman, and a story called “Bendy Bone” by Jenna Lyles. Hannah Lanier’s poem, “The World is a Wolf Who Wears Sheep’s Clothing” is an interesting piece worth the read. If you can’t tell, I love my job and am honored to read and champion work like this.

And thank God for art. I’m grateful for the daily choices Nina Fosati posts on Twitter. Last month was Women in Blue, this month is all about Autumn Women. It’s a daily dose of beauty and I appreciate it since the world feels like it’s gone particularly mad lately. Tuesday, I took a long walk in the woods. It helped some. The message I found while walking the labyrinth was to take comfort in the small things so I admired the sparkly rocks and the wildflowers. And then I went into the garden shed . . . There’s a window at the end which looks out at the frog pond. Lately, there have been 6-8 of them.

10.5.2017B

I go in and peer out at them because they are skittish and will dive if I walk too close to the pond. Tuesday, I was passing through to go up the hill and I noticed something on the ledge. It was a frog. I walked over and he jumped off. I thought it odd. I left and when I returned to close the doors, the frog was back and I got a blurry picture.

10.3.2017

It was strange to become the watched. When Husband came home, we joked about how I’d missed my chance to kiss it and have a prince. Maybe. Maybe it’s good enough to have the small hope of inexplicable things in life. It beats thinking about the Las Vegas massacre and how disgusted I am because it wasn’t new. It wasn’t even news; it’s just life in the USA anymore.

Not that I’ve become jaded.

My piece, “The Basket Case” will be included in the Ellipsis One anthology. Magazines my work has appeared in are on display in the Concord Public Library (Thank you Kara Kane!) along with other local writers. Local Authors Live! – the occasional series I host – is coming up soon on the 21st.  The last few meetings of Hamburg Writers’ Group have been a delight and even though the novel critique group didn’t meet on Tuesday, we were in contact.

Perhaps the small things are the greatest comfort anyone can ask for . . .

10.5.2017Ab

Thanks for stopping by!

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.

Writing & Seasons

Yesterday, I got nine unique pieces sent out in hopes of finding a home. I couldn’t find it in me to get out another one. This year has been one of the lowest “submitting” ones I’ve ever had. I know, there’s still a few months, but I’m okay with accepting different years meaning different things. This one was all about a novel I loved, but since the rewrite, I’m worried over it, and worry takes up time.

The steps leading to the backyard have never been “right” so the most recent project is correcting them. We found out the drainage pipe is damaged, so that snag has delayed progress, but there is a solution and if the weather holds, we might finish this weekend. (And if I remember, I’ll take pictures for the next post.)

9.21.2017C

The garden is a disaster – too much rain in the spring, ravenous slugs, and lack of time. I’ve been out there working with the baseball adage of “next year!” in my heart. Not every year of gardening will be bountiful. I did get some nice jalapeños and green beans. I think I’ll have a carrot and parsnip – unless something below the surface has nibbled them away.

I’m not Jewish – that I know of – but this post is sounding like I’m at a new year, doesn’t it? And I’m okay with that. In fact, I think it makes more sense to consider a year right now than at the end of December. I still won’t make a resolution, though. Promising to change isn’t the same as changing.

I do believe in goals and write them out, work toward them, cross them off. There is a list of ten 5-year goals on my fridge and I’ve reached some of them. In fact, seven out of ten is not bad with two years left. The ones not reached? All writing related. Ah well…I suppose I ought to work on the last three so off I go to edit, polish, rewrite and write anew.

Oh! And as a reminder: Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 1:00 there is an author reading. Please join me at the West Falls-Colden Library to hear Kim Chinquee, Barbara Early, Mary Jo Hodge, Gina Detwiler, Mary Akers, Deb Madar and Jeff Schober.

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

9.21.2017B

(It finally bloomed!)

 

*These are all my creekside reflections. Your experience may vary.

Yet Untethered

You know what they say, when you can’t stand staring at a blank page, fold it. Actually, no one says that – as far as I know – but I’ve been folding paper. Like my boats?

9.7.2017A

I know, I know, my technique needs work, but it’s a start.

9.7.2017C.jpg

We got another 5 cord of wood on Sunday. I put up half of it on Monday, as well as cleared the last of the wood destined for the splitter. Yesterday, I finished up, so that bit of winter prep is done.

9.7.2017B

It’s gratifying to see an actual end of a task. If only books and stories were that easy. Speaking of which, I’m stepping away from “Near Eden, New York”  until a new set of eyes looks it over. The last revision strengthened it – I know that  – and I think it is “done” – but I also know I can’t read it objectively anymore, nor can I stop tinkering.

I’ve mapped out a few scenes and conversations for “New Book.” Poor thing doesn’t have a title or a POV yet. Last night, I dreamt of Lettie’s fall. I think it’s time to revisit that story and see if I can’t wrap it up. Or I’ll hole away in the library and take a stab at some new flash. Or fold paper. Or laundry. Or stand in the yard waiting for this tease of a flower to finally bloom.

9.7.2017D.jpg

So many lovely decisions to consider. Thanks for the read and stopping by!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

All of the Things

I’m between books. There. I said it. Excuse me while I hyperventilate. I don’t remember the last time. It feels like I’m in a shuttle, somewhere between Mercury and Uranus. There are vast areas where I could land, a vacuum outside my window, and I have no sense of direction. Not that I ever use hyperbole to describe my anxiety. Completing the revision of Near Eden, New York is slightly wonderful and maddeningly stressful. I know it’s a good book. When will an agent agree and take it to the next step?

 

Instead of panicking, I’m doing all of the things.

8.24.2017A

Husband’s birthday was celebrated by going to The Comfort Zone in Hamburg for the Ten Thousand Vines Wine Pairing. The following day, it was off to Fiesta Bamba in Springville for dinner with playwrights and their families. I had a great time with Bella Poynton, Donna Hoke, T J Snodgrass, Mike Fanelli, Matt Boyle, and the rest. Afterwards, it was off to my least favorite place to watch the 2nd Annual Springville Center for the Arts Staged Shorts. Sunday afternoon, we went with Kim and Paul to The Sportsman Tavern in Buffalo to hear Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials.

8.24.2014H

8-24-2017b.jpg

Monday, I visited Nina Fosati at her home for coffee and a lovely chat. Later, I was at Immaculate Conception in Eden where Husband is working to watch the partial eclipse from the telescope he made.

8-24-2017d.jpg

8.24.2017E

8.24.2017F

Yesterday, Husband came home with a kazoo from the factory and today, I woke up to find I’d won a copy of The Science of Orphan Black via retweet courtesy of P. S. Literary. Tonight, a Cutco rep will be at my house.

Oh, I won a Write Well Award for Men at Science. I look at that story now, and want to change so much of it! At Hamburg Writers’ Group, I haven’t read in weeks. Jim Miner teases that I’m sashaying in and resting on my laurels, but what it really is, is regrouping and refilling. I’m filing, querying, admiring the flowers,

8.24.2017G

studying the frogs,

8.24.2017C

and with the encouragement I got this morning from Tara Isabel Zambrano and Maureen Langloss, I’ll be entering Split Lip Magazine’s Flash Contest.

Next week it’s time for the novel critique group with Mary Akers and Gina Detwiler. Finally! I’ve missed them both over the summer. And on 2 September, winter hours begin at West Falls Colden Library and I’ll be back for my Saturday morning shifts. And if you’re reading this, make note that on Saturday, 21 October 2017 at 1:00 there is an author reading. Please join me to hear Kim Chinquee, Barbara Early, Mary Jo Hodge, Gina Detwiler, Mary Akers, Deb Madar and Jeff Schober.

So yeah, that’s what I mean by “all of the things.”

All of the things but writing…

Grabbing a paper bag!

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences will vary.

Reunion time.

When last I posted, I was preparing for the reunion. It’s over now.

Many thanks to Kate

P7290204.jpg

and Ernie, our gracious hosts. Ernie brought beer that he brewed. It was fantastic and how cool is it that he inadvertently named one after me? (It’s not the first time I’ve been described as “toasty”)

p7290096.jpg

A group of us went to see the Essex Theatre Company’s production of “The Birds.” It was such fun to walk back up the hill and discuss the plot and motives. The cast party was at the schoolhouse so I got to touch base with Ted Cornell (the designer, director, and “Tierney) and Kathryn Cramer (the dramaturg) and to meet Martha Swan and Rob Farkas.

There was an excursion to swim.

P7290100.jpg

Croquet.

cro.jpg

Flights and corn hole at the Ausable Brewing Co.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Paper flower making.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And many, many meals

P7290211.jpg

and conversations

P7290190.jpg

and laughter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rachael and I had a lovely chat across from this embroidered coverlet that hung in the room Husband and I shared.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once home, I went to both nights of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” tryouts. I have no idea if I got a part. The director said one of my readings invoked guilt in him, which – I think – was a compliment. I spent several lovely hours visiting with Nina Fosati at her home. Husband and I had a fantastic early supper with Bob and Teresa at Julie’s. And today, I hit the shops before three when the car had to go back.

shops.jpg

Today was the last bit of the “vay-cay” where I sadly turned in the rental. I hated that car but loved the bit of freedom it provided. Now all thoughts are on finishing up the revision, preparing for the reading I’m hosting in October and freaking out over how badly I did at the audition. Real life is such fun!

Thanks for stopping by and the read!

 

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences ought to vary.)

Oops! It’s Friday and I’m in love with Iced Lemon Biscotti!

Apologizes for my tardiness, but I have fantastic excuses. The first is that the rewrite is going well so I’ve been focusing on that, but the biggest focus has been figuring out the details of our trip to Essex for the family reunion. The car rental is reserved, tickets for the play we’ll be seeing while we’re there are bought, and a cat sitter has been found. Now I’m down to packing, making pasta salad for 40 and cleaning the house before we leave. Piece of cake.

Yesterday there was a tornado in Hamburg. I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it to Tamara Grisanti’s place for her soy candle party, but I did and it was lovely. Iced Lemon Biscotti and Beach Linen were the two Hemlock House candles I bought and would recommend to everyone. We also got to sample some masculine scents that Tamara’s husband created for a bachelor party. I hope they make more of those soon. Kim Chinquee was there, too, and now I have a copy of Veer that will be traveling with me.

7.21.2017D.jpg

There’s a novel critique group coming up and I’m psyched to see Mary Akers and Gina Detwiler again. It’s been too long! Tonight, I’ll be at Comfort Zone for the Hamburg Writers’ Group. Last week, I had the truck and spent time across the street at SPoT Coffee writing two new flashes. Yes, I’m back to being active in Hot Pants on Zoetrope.

Also, I want to say I was so happy to finally accept my first piece for Literary Orphans as Fiction Editor. Congratulations Tara Isabel Zambrano! Her stunning piece, Measurable Hours, will be in the September Issue.

Gardenwise, the hydrangea is blooming

7.21.2017B

and the yellow flowers that attract so many different types of bees are opening up.

7.21.2017c

Writing is a strange process. The more time I don’t have time to write, I write more. A friend of mine was lamenting that he’d just been given a chunk of time and space to do nothing but write and he’s written next to nothing. I’m thinking about ordering him a candle from Hemlock House so the amazing scents will reawaken his imagination.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

7.21.2017A

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences will vary.)