Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

It's that time of the week again, and this go-round I've been digging into some D. H. Lawrence. Since it's poetry, the tease I'll post will be two stanzas, rather than two sentences or lines. Because two sentences or lines just wouldn't be enough!

Drumroll, please...

"The night turns slowly round,
Swift trains go by in a rush of light;
Slow trains steal past.
This train beats anxiously, outward bound.

But I am not here.
I am away, beyond the scope of this turning;
There, where the pivot is, the axis
of all this gear."
                              --"Going Back" by D. H. Lawrence

Monday, January 30, 2012

"Miracle." Pronunciation: ˈmɪrəkl(ə).

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online--because the library is not yet open and I therefore cannot get to a trusty hardbacked multiple-volume OED--a miracle (the noun) is:

  1.  an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency,
  2.  a remarkable event or development that brings very welcome consequences,
  3.  industries at the heart of the economic miraclean exceptional product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.
I've always thought of a miracle as something divinely unusual. The kind of thing that doesn't happen very often, and when that thing does happen, it shocks the hell out of you. In a good way of course, but isn't that oh so terribly relative?

Several things occur to me in this vein...

Krakatoa, Indonesia, 1883.
Image courtesy of:
1.) Is this not a miracle?

In 1883, Krakatoa, pictured above, erupted. Erupted big. Big and bad and scary. The blast was heard more than 3,000 miles away. That means someone in, say, southern India, calmly sipping their chai, or perhaps Northern Australia Crocodile Dundee type waving off the dingos, suddenly broke off their conversation to turn one way and then another, and asked their companion, "What was that?"

That was a series of volcanic eruptions that lasted two days straight, sank approximately 2/3 of an island, killed more than 34,000 people, and gave birth not only to a massive tsunami but also Anak Krakatoa, a whole new island, when all was said and done.

I ask again:  Is this not a miracle?

So much death and destruction, and yet during such an event a new earth is being created. An entirely new volcano, and probably thousands of miles away, beaches colored with newly-made sand, fantastic cloud formations, etc., etc., etc. In geographic time, what is two days worth, for creation? Nothing; zilch, zip, nada. It is a blink, two days, or less. In that blink, the earth was thrown up into the atmosphere, and reformed into a new image. In geographic time, what is the destruction of 34,000-plus humans, countless flora, fauna and etc.? Nothing. Zilch, zip, nada.

A blink is all it takes. What happens on a microcosmic scale every time you blink your eyes? A volcanic eruption on the scale of a roly-poly?  I do not know the scientific name of this bug, but it is the gray-brown one that looks armoured, and rolls into a ball the size of a pencil eraser when you poke it with a finger. I hope you understand...

Onto my next point...

Feeling Better, and Other Stuff...

I think I'm on the mend! Of course I still haven't been out and about much--went skiing the other day for a couple hours and it liked t'near kill me--but my brain (and almost my body too) can finally keep up with the world of the healthily-alive! Hooray!

In celebration of that (okay, not really, I was going to enter this year anyhow), I just entered myself into Arlee Bird's A to Z Challenge! It's a pretty simple concept: For the month of April, bloggers write one alphabetical post per day, save Sundays. Those same bloggers try and read a fair few of everyone else's alphabetical posts. Viola! Blog hop!  The signup just opened today, so for those of you interested in learning more or just going for it and entering, click here!

Since that's quite a ways off, I figure I better get in the habit ASAP. For the kind of things I'll likely be writing, stay tuned....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

...and I have the creeping crud. Just so you know. It's awful.


But that does mean I've been doing plenty of reading, as I convalesce--read cough uncontrollably--in bed! Here's the tease for the week, from a nonfiction must-read:

"'Once I dreamed,' declared the little boy, 'that I was captured by cannon balls. They all began to jump and yell.'" The Hero With A Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

Odd, right? Just a tidbit of the weirdo anecdotes you get to read about in this book, and who doesn't love weirdo anecdotes, especially in regards to nature of story telling?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Ghost Story

I got tired of my previous trains of thought and went another direction this week, with a ghost story. Shoo-woop! Haven't ever written a serious one, now that I think of it. Anyway, this week's efforts are unfinished, but since it's shaping up to be a longer story, I decided I would post in installments. Will keep posting as I go. Happy reading, writing, and Sunday everyone!

(A Ghost Story)

Every night she slipped through the lodge made of pale white wood and it reminded her of embers turned to ash. The most awful things in the world were made visible in the dying embers of an already dead fire; this she knew, should she have the ability to know anything any more, which she did not, for she was not, nor ever would be again. Yet she moved through the halls and did remember, by one of those tricks of fate or fortune or failure to die properly, and as she she did her nightgown fluttered incandescent along the smooth paned floors that were worn by those whose flesh still had weight. As she thought of that sad awfulness, gliding night by night in the world in which she no longer lived, down and back the lonely hotwired hallways of an almost white lodge on a sparkling white mountain under a rude thin sky and laughing moon, she dreamt of things she no longer understood. Of a girlhood in the distance, with apples in orchards and rattlesnakes on the porch in sunlight, of wind, of sluggish rivers against which the great Midwestern cities trembled, and knew not for sure how she came to be where she was. For the dreams were disjointed and spiteful. The apples were made of worms and the rattlesnakes enchanted sorcerers; the sunlight bit at her unflesh with rays like sharp teeth, the wind spoke sermons backwards and babies pitched themselves into rivers from the tops of apartment complexes overlooking the bottoms. She hated and feared the outside, even more than she hated and feared the halls, just as all those who are dead hate more the fact that they have an outside still with which they tread and pace and wail into their last vestiges of existence, more than they hate the inner workings which let them know they are stuck in that everlasting decay. It was as she was amidst these hateful almost-thoughts of fear and paradox that she met a living woman who spoke to her.

“Can I take your picture?” the living woman asked the dead. The living woman was one who strode the alleyways of the spirit and yet was blind to it; her hands ran palm to cool damp stones of the walls that led from one street of quickened flesh to another street of rot, and she never noticed the change of tone. She only asked, where is my camera? How best do I capture this?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

It's that time again! This week's tease is from one of my favorite authors:

"The feeling of love is so crucial to our species it is excessive, like labor pain. Lasting love is an act of will."
--The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard

Love, love, love Annie Dillard. The book isn't what I was expecting, but then I don't know exactly what I was expecting. It's an altogether good read. Toodles!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I shall attempt to continue writing a short story each week this year, and so, here's the first of 2012! As usual, it remains unedited and whatnot. Title *wrinkles nose* doesn't work yet but I'll have to fiddle with it to get it right. (*cough, cough* Suggestions welcome!) 

Note: Contains some mild cursing, but nothing too bad.


Behind the hill that was almost a mountain to some and just a bump in the rocks to others, she lengthened her stride. The sun was coming up. It was one of the angry suns. Angry suns meant beauty and a bit of snow later in the day or week. His breath puffed out to the rhythm of the words as they crunched through his mind. This high up, suns were usually a calm thing. A steady thing. The mountains did not care that a sun rose or a sun set beyond their peaks. For they were too old. Had seen too many suns. But some mornings—he paused for breath as she tramped farther from him --mornings like this there was a raging grace that swept down the sky to the rocks of the peaks as if to demand that someone, something, especially the mountains, take note that there was indeed a sun, and by God, it was indeed going to rise, and from it would spill the clouds down and across in orange and fuchsia and a blue violet, the colors the heavens left behind when they fought the earth and bruised one another.

He started again. Poked his snow pole deep. She stalked up the path without one. The colored light strengthened around the two of them. Now she was a good fifty foot ahead and above him. Always ahead and above. She became more than just a dark silhouette in the predawn. She was suddenly a creature. A being of life made of secondhand nylon and polyester and wool. And here and there, bits of dawn-pinked flesh and staticky hair flying out from under her cap.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

I love it when tourists leave behind brand new, uncracked-spine books for yours truly to find and begin reading! I've not yet read this author, and I'm really digging the quirky Southern voice.

As for the tease...

"Every morning she sat at her table under the light, painting tiny single things on cheap paper, and every afternoon she gathered them up, looked them over, and threw them away.

Sometimes people are uneasy when they meet strangers at Dumpsters beside country roads, miles from a town--the dark woods in the background, the sinister-looking shiny black bags, frightening glittery things in the sand, the closest building a dessereted church on a hilld around the bend--so Roger stood back to giver her a comfortable distsnace and waited while she squatted in the mud, lining her little paintings up against the flange at the base of the Dumpster." --Quite a Year for Plums, by Bailey White