Summer

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

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South of Buffalo Summer Thoughts

While r.kv.r.y. is closed to submissions over the summer, I continue to read for Literary Orphans and enjoy the hell out of that. I want to extend a super big lovely congratulations to Nellie Aberdeen–whoever you are. I pressed the awesome Mike Joyce to accept her story “Inoculate .” The best part–which I read in the cover letter after falling in love with her story–was that it will be her first published story. The B. B. King issue is looking to be one of the best issues ever!

A friend is going over “L&C” and while I wait on his suggestions, I’ve been working on short stories. I have a new one sent out; it’s in a form I haven’t tried often but I think it turned out well. I have another story in that form, but I can’t grab its throat and make it work so I’ve set it aside. The last story I wrote, I set in Texas which doesn’t happen often. I finished tweaking it yesterday and now it’s sitting in a folder waiting a week for another look. The story between those two doesn’t have a title yet. I think I might be working on more short stories today since it’s too wet to do much outside.

At least there are flowers.

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And when I can’t get outside to enjoy those, I find it’s hard to be sad about that when there are pink mini carnations in a cobalt blue vase nearby.

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We’ve had enough rain to make mowing impossible. Wind took down a box elder which fell into the yard instead of the ditch. The two dead pines were taken down. My watching Downton Abbey earned me props from Husband; he’d never before considered pulling out the stumps. With the winch and chains, they each came out rather easily–and the chainsaw blade didn’t get trashed, so thank you Lady Edith for your time on the farm.

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Firewood delivery is being arranged; we’re over halfway done with the woodshed extension cleanup and new floor. We have a trip in October forming–we’ll be traveling to Elkhart, Indiana to see Buddy Guy with my fantastic ex sister-in-law and her husband. Stopping to visit friends in Fort Wayne and Cleveland along the way–or on the way home–are options being considered. Just another case of summer in western New York going too fast, but I am enjoying it as best I can–plus I’ll have tomatoes soon. I can’t wait!

 

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

Summer: Hot and Hard

Summer always seems to be filled with interesting beautiful opportunities, and hard, hot work. On Monday, I went to Burger King and met up with an old friend. He had put out a CD and since he lives in Gowanda, I didn’t see the need to pay postage. We had a lovely catch up and he signed my CD case. He’s putting together another collection and I wish him well on that project. (I’d link a website to plug him, but he doesn’t have one yet.)

On the 11th, I sat in the library and wrote 1500 words–a story and a partial flash. By the 14th, the story “Brown Eyed Bess” was sent out to three places. I don’t know where it came from, but it is good. I sent it to XO man. He loved it. I sent it to an honorary member of Ugly Babies. I asked, “Yes? Or is it lacking?” and received this response, “Yes. This is new, both in timeline and in voice. I like the location very much.”

When I started the celebration thread on Zoetrope, I asked a paraphrased question that Mary Akers had brought up in her office, “How can you tell whether what you’re writing is good or not?” Some people mentioned “flow” and while I understand that, that isn’t what I meant. When I was writing “Brown Eyed Bess,” I knew it was a good story. I can’t say why I knew, but I just took a look at the original draft (written in a font I’ve never used before) and while I polished the piece, the bones were there…and really good bones at that.

Husband and I usually get two loads of firewood per summer weekend and that takes up so much time. This year, after the initial two loads, Husband signed out the white dump truck from work on a Sunday and in two trips, got ten cords that are now sitting in the driveway. I put up the first row in the woodshed on Monday–just moving the wood left over from last year over, really. Yesterday, I put in the second row. I had plans to put up the third today, but I forgot that the picking up the pieces and putting them in the wheelbarrow is different from just moving wood over. So, I’m achy today and I don’t see that happening.

Instead, I’m packing. Since Husband is working in Cuba, we decided we’d stop in at Jeff Rose’s party. Tonight, Dog is going to a kennel. I’m getting up early and going with Husband on Friday. I’ll be camping out in a teacher’s lounge and reading. Then we’re driving to Binghamton, checking into the hotel and walking over to Mr. Rose’s place for a bit. On Saturday, we’re going to the museum, then the party and then home. I’m nervous! New people, which aren’t all that ne. I’ve interacted with them on Zoetrope for years. Mr. Budman is likely to be at the party. He is Editor of Vestal Review where my first flash was accepted. I don’t know why this makes me so nervous, but it does…

So, that is a roundup of my recent doings and upcoming weekend. I hope yours is fantastic and filled with no stress at all. Thanks for stopping by!

(These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.)