Comfort Zone

October. Bam!

While it’s tempting to wait as long as possible before the first wood fire, there’s also the tricky comfort level of humidity and cold bones to consider when living in western New York. Needless to say, we’ve had a few fires already and I’m trying to start one now…

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It’s been a fantastic week. Former Cactus came out early. My story, “Tilt-A-Whirl” was plugged by both Cathy Ulrich and Tommy Dean, so I guess I can die happy now. It’s a great issue including “Boomtown” by A.E. Weisgerber and such fun that Tommy Dean’s “Throttling” was first and mine was last. Alpha, omega…

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Riggwelter #14 contains my story, “Doing the Arithmetic,” a piece I wrote during a Meg Pokrass workshop. Thank you Amy Kinsman for accepting it!

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The esteemed Mary Akers decided to use several of my photos in October’s “Rust” Issue of r.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Review. I don’t think anyone knows how cool that is to me to have my pictures paired with such awesome writing. Thank you Mary! And thank you Gina Detwiler for offering Silo City tours as part of your book launch for “Forsaken.” Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been inspired to snag Husband’s camera and take pictures. I ❤ you both SO much!

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On Wednesday, I met Nina Fosati at The Comfort Zone for dinner, then we went to Kleinhans Music Hall to see Mohsin Hamid as part of the Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel series. It was smart and interesting. We sat by the woman who’s student started/narrated the video describing the block party series. I ❤ Buffalo!

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Oh, while I was talking to Nina, I found out Literary Orphans Issue 36: Nichelle dropped! Not only is my interview with Grant Falkner in this issue, so is this amazing story by z. t. wiser titled “True Love Waits.”. And  “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” by Lori Sambol Brody.  It’s one of my favorite issues!

Seriously. All of this. In one week. Bam.

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Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

Cheers!

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Strange days & happenings…

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I know I’m late with this post. It’s been weird. I started writing this Thursday afternoon:

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Today I had lunch at Julie’s with the SGI Superintendent. She is such a good person – and smart. It was a lovely time and I hope we do end up working on her book. It will be phenomenal when she has some time and it all comes together.

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Yesterday was a “regular” meet up at SPoT Coffee in Orchard Park to write with Gina. It’s been a long time and I was excited to find I could still sit down and write – that, too, has been iffy. The last time I posted, my brother-in-law was still alive. My, how things change. At the service, M and R wore their father’s shirts. I’m sure I’m not the only one who caught their breath – with the hat, the son resembles his father.

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Last Thursday, the cat was acting strange. Mary and Gina – my real life angels – picked me up and we went to Three Girls Café for bunch and catch up. It was so good to spend time with them and try to get back to a semblance of normalcy. I refused to check on the cat – figuring if she was dead, she wouldn’t be reviving, but she was on my mind. I came home, braced myself, and found she was alive. And since then she’s been improving which is miraculous since she’s 19-years-old now. That night, I went to the Comfort Zone for Hamburg Writers’ Group. That, too, was a taste of normalcy. I came home, let the dog out and he tangled with a skunk. Such a roller-coaster of a day.

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And while real life was raucous, the career side has been going along swimmingly. Nina Fosati did a brilliant edit on a story I wrote and I sent it out to higher tier publications. She’s working through a piece I enjoy and – knock on wood – she’ll find the way into it match the tone she wants for it and then it will get published and nominated for prizes. I do think it’s that good.

I received my contributor copy of Bacopa. “Pirouette” is on page 6.

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Furtive Dalliance was released with “Sounds So Familiar,” and after YEARS of submitting, I finally cracked the top ten of On The Premises in the “near death” call for submissions. Weirdly, it was sent at the last minute and I didn’t think it had a chance. It’s a story that Jim Tuttle liked in an early draft. Fingers crossed – but honestly, I’ll be thrilled with the critique.

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The furniture was moved into the “winter mode” and I’ve brought in a few pieces of wood to dry out. Saturday, I start the fall hours at the library with my 10-noon shift. Sunday is Gina’s book release event that I’m so excited to attend. So, apologies for the lateness ~ it’s just the way things have been going as events have prevented sameness and ruts to continue here, creekside, where I haven’t been doing enough reflecting or Pilates…but there has been a lot of love and for that I am grateful.

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Thanks for stopping by and the read!

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Halloween isn’t as scary as this election campaign has been…

 

welcomeThis election cycle has been the worst one ever and I CANNOT wait for it to be over. Why was there NO trigger warnings issued? That’s what I want to know. So, that being said, let us move on to the beauty of the still blooming morning glories

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and the Sweet Gum changing colors.

I went to another Girl’s Night Out, this time at Kim Chinquee’s beautiful home. It is such a treat to be around such smart and interesting women. I also met Tamara Grisanti and hope to work with her in the future. So MANY thanks to Kim for being an awesome host. I’m pushing my comfort zone to drive into Buffalo, but am so glad I am doing it.

The Hamburg Writers’ Group is putting out their second anthology and I’m privileged to not only have some of my work included, but to have been part of the editorial process. HUGE thank you to Nina Fosati for being the true mastermind behind the project. One of the pictures that wasn’t chosen as the cover photo was so inspiring to me that I plan to incorporate it into one of the stories and should I ever get to the end, maybe use that as the cover for the Pete and Tara Stories or whatever title I eventually come up with should I go with the self-publishing option.

That seems so far off in the future though. I‘ve never written a book this way before and I can‘t say I hate it because it seems to be falling into place, but I find myself nit picking and tweaking every time I turn around so, to me, the progress seems slow. I’m at roughly 35,000 words now. When I do NaNoWriMo, I put that many words out in about 21 days and technically, I’ve been working on this since August.

And I’m nervous about the whole thing. Yes, I’ve had some success with individual flashes that have since become fuller chapters, but I could not switch out of this book and return to “Dreaming Lettie” so I sent the first 24 pages to Mary Akers and Gina Miani for this month’s critique. I am so anxious to hear their opinions on these characters. Ugh! The angst of waiting.

Plus I’m not sure I’ll be able to participate in NaNoWriMo this year and I’ve been doing it so long it feels weird to not do it. Another ugh.

I know…it could be worse. There could be another year of the presidential campaign instead of mere weeks.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

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

Pics of Nearly Summer

The problem with living in the moment things is that events in the forefront are what get written about in this blog as opposed to what has already happened. As an example, I forgot to mention Husband and I went to the Arboria luminarium at Buffalo’s Outer Harbor and Tifft Nature Preserve over Memorial Day weekend.

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This past weekend was memorable for the swarm and that I learned how to post a video, but on Facebook, so you’ll have to go here, (SORRY!):

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This is the back of the house. We were outside on the patio talking as we normally do when he gets home from work. I heard a buzzing I couldn’t figure out – it wasn’t the dryer hum, it wasn’t the air compressor kicking on, etc. It got closer and I was drawn right into it. Husband had seen a swarm earlier this spring and talked to Scott, “The Bee Guy” from Delevan who told him they would be docile. Husband took out the camera and around the minute thirty spot, you can see me waving in the bedroom window, trying to get his attention.

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This is the first video – I’d hoped to figure out how to edit the video by today, but no dice. It is clunky, and some of you have seen it before.

Regardless, we’re now looking for someone to retrieve the queen.

After that excitement, I went to the Comfort Zone for the Hamburg Writers Group meeting. Mary Jo Hodge was there and it was good to see her again. Nina Rochella Fosati read a revised version of the story she read last week. I am so impressed with her ability to go back with fresh eyes and strengthen a piece in new and interesting ways. My rewrites rarely get overhauled that much. I hope to learn that skill from her.

This weekend, we got enough gravel so our driveway resembles an actual driveway.

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The herb garden was finished.

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In three days, I wrote over 5000 words in “Dreaming Lettie” for the novel group. Deadlines are the only way some writing gets done. I’d been working on the “new thing” and stopping to go back to Lettie was a bit of a challenge. Keeping up with the lawn and garden has been fun, too. I wrapped up the labyrinth yesterday.

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The garden “complex” is closer to having a fence.

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Ten pines are our newest addition.

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And I’ve got to find time, space and energy to plant these blackberry bushes.

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Also, the beavers are back.IMG_20160616_114330

 

Good times and almost summer fun all around. Thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are only my Creekside Reflections and if yours didn’t vary from mine, that would be awkward.

April flowers including my first hyacinths!

With the recent temperature fluctuations, I was happy to see a few of the daffodils managed to bloom.

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The hyacinths are getting there.

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As well as these roadside tulips.

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This afternoon, thundershowers are predicted, and since it’s April it finally sounds like the weather is on the right track. If the electric goes out, I’ll be catching up on my reading for r.kv.r.y. and Literary Orphans. Oh, the Audrey issue of LO dropped yesterday if you’re looking for amazing writing to peruse, plus there’s an excellent interview by Sanjeev Sethi with Scott Waldyn at The Review Review.

Most of my writing is out. On the Submittable queue, I have 21 listings and 14 of them are marked as “in-progress.” Waiting is such a drag, so I’ll be doing Pilates after I post this. I also need to write more pages in “Dreaming Lettie” to send to the novel critique group. We had been on hiatus and I’m glad that’s over. The support is amazing and I always come away from our meetings energized.

After my “physical” yesterday, I’m convinced our “nurse practioner” is doing drugs. Either that or she’s completely inept. I need to start looking for a new doctor before she kills Husband and me, but I hate searching for doctors. We had the best one ~ Dr. Chow ~ but he left to do research. We finally found another adequate provider, but he moved. Since then, we signed up for another doctor, yet neither one of us has actually seen her – just this “nurse practioner” person. I suppose it’s my own fault for having an appointment after 4:20 on 4/20.

Anyway! I’m looking forward to the weekend. Friday is another meeting of the Hamburg Writer’s Group at the Comfort Zone. Saturday, I’ll be doing my shift at the West Falls-Colden Community Library and then Husband and I are going to travel to see awesome Niece from Boston for at least a few hours. Sunday, it’s an early mad dash home to attend the Taste of the Southtowns, so if you see me at any of those places, say hi – and thanks for stopping by!

 

 

(*These are merely my own Creekside Reflections. If you were here, I’d expect you to see things differently.)

Brief, rushed, short. You know, a normal cold and rainy Thursday afternoon sort of post

First, if you have a story with the  theme of “Blink,” and it is under 3000 words, please send it to r.kv.r.y.  I want to read it.

I start this post knowing I have to leave in a few minutes. I have a meeting with a potential candidate for the school board. Yes, I had been kicking around the idea of running myself, but the more I talked to people and read about the work that it entails, I didn’t see me fitting in the slot – at least not this year. So, the next best thing is supporting people who would be good at such things.

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I’m back. The cherry stuffed French toast at Three Girl’s Café was wonderful, as well as our waitress Michelle, and the conversation.

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I had a lovely birthday. Husband bought me these tulips that looked much better on Sunday. We went out for lunch and had a great time. If you were one of the many darling people who wished me a happy birthday, know that I appreciated that very much and I was delighted to have heard from you. I mean that.

I’ve been at a lot of meetings recently. On Monday, I was at Donna Hoke’s house where it was a thrill to see Gary Earl Ross again. I also saw Joy, a member of Playback, a troupe my mother-in-law founded. That meeting was informative and Donna’s commitment to playwrights is deep, caring and impressive. She’s hosting these meetings for six months as an experiment to see how it goes. Hopefully, I’ll work up my courage to send a play to the group by then.

Tuesday was SGI’s Board of Education meeting. I have far too many things to say about that, but I’ll not bore you with details – unless you call and ask.

From Mary Jo Hodge’s invitation, I have hooked up with Hamburg Writer’s Group. They meet in the Comfort Zone, which is a building my husband knows intimately since he’s worked there multiple times. We meet in the back room and they’re a lovely bunch.

Even though I had great intentions, I’m behind in my word count for Camp NaNo, so that’s where I’ll be, in my library, working on that thing, even though I just got out of data usage jail and would prefer to scroll and search for niggling little details, “new book” needs attention. All right, after I finish The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows. The recommendation was from Gina Detwiler. She has a new book out with Priscilla Shirer called The Prince Warriors. Yeah Gina!

Thanks for the read. Thanks for stopping by this page! Thank you for being you!

 

 

 

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