Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving, Course 2: Southwestern Potato & Veg

Next round!

Southwestern Potato and Veggie Medley

Corn tortillas
sprinkle cheese (topping)
handful cilantro, torn

1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 mushrooms, thickly sliced
5 small/medium red potatoes, THINLY sliced
5? tbsp EVOO
2 pinches of red pepper seeds
1/2 jar green chile sauce (medium or hot)
salt & pepper

Coat large saute pan with oil; heat. Add potatoes; cook on medium 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, cook another 2  minutes, approx. Add onions, tomatoes, belle pepper, mushrooms and half the cilantro. Cook another 5 minutes, adding oil when necessary.

When potatoes are slightly browned, add green chile sauce and red pepper seeds. Salt and pepper to taste; cook down until sauce has taken slightly sweeter, smoky backnotes (some brands you may want to add a pinch of sugar while cooking).

 Meanwhile, heat tortillas until pliable.

Split veggie medley and sauce amongst tortillas. Add cheese and cilantro. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving, Course 1: Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Prepare for flavor overload!!! As I just love cooking, and this is a really special holiday for me, I've kinda went minorly crazy. I'll be posting recipes as I go along, because I'm kinda doing the pantser thing. Ready?

Here we go!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

Any number of medjool dates
Matching number of bacon strips
1/2 pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup honey, approx
1/2 cup torn cilantro, approx
1/2 cup salty/sharp/acrid cheese
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup browned butter

In a bowl, combine most of the pomegranate seeds (saving a few for garnish), most of the cheese, almost entirely all of the cilantro (garnish). Stir. Add teensy splash of wine. Stir. Add a couple squeezes of honey; stir again. Set aside.

Brown butter in small sauce pan over low heat. Remove and set aside.

Slit, pit and stuff dates with above mixture. Preheat oven to 400.

Heat remaining wine to low boil in another small sauce pan. Add most of honey (to taste). Cook alcohol off. Set aside.

Wrap each date with bacon slice. Place in baking dish, bacon edge down (slit up though), evenly spaced apart. Bake for 3 or 4 minutes, flip. Bake 3 or four minutes/until bacon is cooked through. Flip again; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake just long enough to melt.

Meanwhile, arrange serving plate like this: squeeze honey onto plate in design. Sprinkle plate with last of cilantro and pomegranate seeds as garnish.

When finished, place dates on serving dish. Splash dates and dish first with the granules of browned butter, then with the white wine honey sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wolves just love to eat babies... I was reading a newspaper article the other day concerning the reintroduction of different wolves around the States, and I just...*shakes head*...don't quite know what to do with people sometimes.


Having spent a great deal of time in Yellowstone no doubt influenced my views on this subject, but it's not like I grew up in an area with wolves, so they were a big bad scary thing only to be found in fairy tales. They're completely non-existent where I lived as a kid, and yet I remember being excited about the prospect of wolf reintroduction back in the 90s, even if it was thousands of miles away. (Why? Cuz it's cool!)

We humans are not predatory enough to manage ecosystems all on our lonesome. Despite hunting season, about the most predatory we get as a culture are those crazy women who do know, the dreaded great white grocery hunter.

That being said, certain ecosystems need large predators, like wolves, to keep things in line.  For humans, there's more to fear from the naturally territorial and therefore easily pissed off moose than there is from a skittish little wolf pack. Believe me. 

But errm...yeah...not everyone agrees with this. It's a big deal out west (western United States, I mean). In fact, I'm probably irritating a lot of people by my little introduction here. Oh well, I had to introduce the following somehow:

In 2007, a politician actually informed the public that there's nothing wolves like better than the sound of laughing and crying babies, and thus wolves with jump through windows and become baby-snatchers to gobble them up.

Yeeeah....uh... I'm paraphrasing of course, but not by much. A politician actually claimed this in 2007. Can you believe it! Not 1807, not 1907...2007. Get real.

So my next story kind of spins off from that...stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

Must keep up, must keep up! Here's this Tuesday's Teaser, which is a quick blip from wherever in whatever book I happen to be reading on Tuesdays. In this exerpt, the young witch-wizard-maybe-heroine Eskarina is perched in a tree, yelling to her brothers below. Terry Pratchett...gotta love him!

""If you don't want me to come then I'll come,' she said. This sort of thing passes for logic between sibblings."
--from Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett.

And there you have it. I love me some Pratchett, especially the ones with Granny Weatherwax. Or Death. Both are solid bets for a laugh.

Tea...and Assassination!

So just for kicks today I decided to revist old Chrysals Experiment prompts, to, you know, get the juices flowing. Haven't written a short story in, oh, ages... Anyhow, as I started the Chrysalis Experiment late, I began this time at, oddly enough, the beginning. Their first prompt was "I hate polite people. Especially when they're murderers."

Hello, cloud. Hello, other former Chrysalis peoples. Hello, everyone!

Tea…and Assassination

When she opened the front door, the cold air was so staggering it turned all the cabin to winter for a moment, and the blow of it made her paint brushes shudder in their jars. Silhouetted against the night there was a man; there were no clouds and his edges were made clear by starlight. He was dressed warmly. But he was not from anywhere near her small mountain cabin where the wind and the mice sneaked under the door seal, that much was quite clear.

“Yes?” she asked. “Please, come in out of that cold.”

Without a word, the man obliged. “Uhm,” she began, “why don’t I make us some tea.” And she turned to the stove and sink area, glad to be busy.

“I hate polite people. Listen, we’ve got to go.”

“Tea,” she replied obstinately. “It’ll be just a few minutes.” Her hands shook as she turned the kettle on its burner.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Back in the saddle again!

Image courtesy of

It's been quite a long time since I've posted anything, I know, I know. I am going to remedy that soon! For now, a quick update will have to suffice and then I'll get on with my writing as usual.


Spent the summer in Yellowstone. Can't say enough; literally cannot say enough about it. Won't even try to write it here. I'll content myself with the following command: GO! And right before you do, let me know, because I can now direct you to all sorts of secret and wonderful and dangerous places unlike anywhere you've been on earth, guaranteed.

After Yellowstone, there was a short round of family visiting, and then Taos, New Mexico! Just moved in this week; I've got a writing meeting I'm going to tomorrow--how neat is that? That's pretty neat!

(Youtube "Neature Walk" to follow that last bit. I'd include the video myself but alas, my Internet is far, far to slow here to try anything so complex, so you'll have to do it yourself. But it's funny.)

I am woefully behind in NANOWRIMO. This year I've picked up again with my main novel, in order to knock out another solid 50k. Right now I'll be lucky if I hit 30. I could blame family visiting and moving, but we all know there are no excuses. As Professor Moody would say, "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!"

Yes, I quote Harry Potter to myself in order to stay on task. What, you don't?

Anywhosers, that's all for now, since I'm....

*Back in the saddle again!*

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And yes, I love it...

If ever there were a city that could make a girl smile, that city would be San Francisco. Honest to God. No, really. I'd post a picture of that smile and the other smiles I crossed, but alas I've not been able to upload my photos yet, because there are just too many and have taken too long. There's just too much to see; too many people to say hello to; too many sea lions at which I must laugh; too many friends with too many pictures needing taking; too much seafood to eat in restaurants with fantastic views. If, however, you read this post and there are pictures, it's because I was able to upload them all at the airport and choose the ones I wanted for this post.

I leave in the wee hours of the coming morning, and I shall be sad for it. I met two really absolutely wonderful people (Hi guys, if you're reading this!!!!) completely by accident or luck or fate or whathaveyou, and I can't wait to see them again (miss you both!).  More on that when the time comes, but I won't go into all that until I have, again, photos uploaded to prove it.

Aaaanyway, I didn't do everything on my list, but I did the free stuff (lol) and lots of things that weren't on the list that I didn't realize existed until I got here. If you ever get the chance to go to San Francisco and have any questions on good locations to write, eat, wander, get out of breath from walking hills, look at pretty stuff, taking jumping pictures, feed sea gulls, catch some sun, do government paperwork, shop, drink, watch sea lions, find cheap fruit and/or socks, well, ask me! I'll be your one and only SanFrancisco tour guide. I feel like I know this place like the proverbial back of my hand. Incidentally, it's quite tanner. For all the fog I heard about, I've seen five straight days of sunny sun sun sun.

As I leave early in the morning, this was just a quick little post to which I shall later add pictures. And I shall post a detailed series of dealy-bobs on my upcoming travel writing blog!!! Yes, that means another project. I know, I know. *ducks head*

But what's a girl to do?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Travels: San Francisco!

Hey everyone! A to Z Challenge aside (which I'm horribly behind on anyhow), I'll soon be traveling...

to San Francisco!

Any of you near or around there? Let's have coffee (or tea) and annoy the poor baristas with how long we sit and chat and type, lol.

To continue, I hope to be able to time and do:

Pier 39 predawn for the seals.
Coit Tower
That one really long walk down from Coit Tower
City Lights bookstore
Lots of coffee and tea stops
Maybe hit a show (music) or something
Beach trail (can't remember the name)
Ballet studios (for research)
Library (for fun)
Trolley car rides (of course)
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Bridge

Ummm...any recommendations, those of you who live there or have been there frequently?

Directly following that I'll be heading to Montana--Bozeman to be exact. From there it's south to Yellowstone for the summer. But that's to live and work and play, not to vacation.

That being said, as sporadic as my posting has been of late, it's bound to get even worse. The coming week will likely be a flurry of packing and travel arrangements...but I want to try and post every day of my trip, right up until I no longer have WIFI.

That's all for now; I'm off to the post office for shipping boxes! Yayy! (That "yayy" was semi-sarcastic, mind you.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A to Z: "D" as in Dream. Pronunciation: driːm

Again according to the Oxford Dictionaries Online, a dream (the noun) is:

1.a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep
2. a state of mind in which someone is or seems to be unaware of their immediate surroundings
3. a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal
4. an unrealistic or self-deluding fantasy
5. a person or thing perceived as wonderful or perfect

In keeping with English teachers' longheld desire to uphold parallel structures, first things first: the dreams when we have when we are sleeping.

"--You can take away our cars and you can take away our phones but you cannot take away our dreams!
--Yeah, 'cause we're like, sleeping, when we have them!" 

What movie, what movie!?!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A to Z: "C" as in Call for Events

Howdy! I'm scrapping what I was going to put up for the letter "C" in favor of a much more exciting idea, I hope...

I'll post any and all writing-oriented upcoming events for the month of May (since April is already upon us, I'm skipping it) where I am now and in my home state--that I know of, at least.Will post by state first to keep it navigable.

Those of you who feel the urge upon you, comment below as a way of updating the list; I'm sure I'm missing some great events! But please be sure to include the State, City, Location (as in business or address), Title and Date.  That way everyone who swings by this page can get a feel for what's hip and happening or whatever it is people say.

As for me, here's what I know:

Boulder~  Laughing Goat Coffeehouse: "'So You Think You're a Poet' Reading Series" Monday nights
Colorado Springs ~Poor Richard's Bookstore:  "Writers Night." May 28
Denver ~ Tattered Cover:  Booksignings by various authors. May 1-3, 7-10, 21-25, 30 and 31
Englewood ~ Doubletree Hotel: "1001 Ways to Market Your Book." May 3

Kansas City ~ The Writers Place: "Riverfront Reading" May 4, May 11
                       Uptown Arts Bar:  "Blue Monday."  May 14
                       Johnson County Library: "Poetry Reading." May 15 <-------------- This is technically KS
                       The Writers Place: "Sunday Salon."  May 20
                       The Writers Place: "Workshop: Lessons from a Bestseller." May 24
                       The Writers Place: "Reading and Book Release."  May 25
                       The Writer Place: "Writers Place Salon."   (open mic) May 28
Saint Louis ~ Kirkwood Train Station: "Family Friendly Open Mic Night." May 8
                       Touhill Performing Arts Center: "St. Louis Storytelling Festival." May 3
                       Focal Point: "St. Louis Poetry Slam." May 17


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

B: Bird of Blue and Black

Uhm, so "A" is bogging me down and will be back-dated...don't tell! Here's something completely different for "B."

Bird of Blue and Black

Bird of blue and black
beak dipped to the feeder on the deck:
             The mountain is shrouded
             in sun and snow.

You have mined my body of seeds
for treasure and for sustenance,
flicking away the shells with your
beaked mouth.
           I am the feeder;
           am shrouded in sun and snow;
           am the wind which blows you from
your feast and lifts you to mountains
new and far, deserts of sands
in piled shapes you will
not describe to me, smog and cities
that shall remain unnamed
where they fall into that final ebb
of waving sea.
            But all is me.

So do not tell me these things,
bird of blue and black,
nor snap your greedy wings or beak.
          (For I am the seeds of a mountain
          the dunes you drive past
          the smog over the County
          the rush of salted water like tears.)
What is light is light and not is not,
shrouded both in sun and snow.

And you are flown;
          the feeder empty.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A to Z: "A" as in Atoms

Did you know there are 67 octillion atoms in the average human body? Isn't that incredible? Now, I may be a bit on the short side, but the fact is there's a great deal of...stuff...that goes into making me, me.

Then the other day I read that atoms are mostly "empty" space. This statement was then followed by a high discussion of just what "empty" means, in regards to atomical space. From what I understand, "empty" in this instance means somethign more along the lines of "inaccessible," that is, by other atoms, because of quantum whositwhatsits. But that was all beyond me, frankly, and much less interesting. 

They have these scanning tunneling microscropes (STMs) that can recreate supposedly accurate images of things like DNA strands and atoms. Here's a reconstruction of a bunch of silicon atoms:

Image courtesy of:

Know what those sort of remind me of (pardon me; know of what those remind me?)? 

Ever since I was little--usually when I can't sleep because it seems to work best at night or with my eyes closed--if I let my eyes go unfocused and just looked at the air, very vaguely, you understand, I begin to see little dots that kind of shiver back in forth. Never lasts very long; I always lose the dots if I try to follow them; focus on them. They remind me a lot of that photo, minus the computer-added coloring. Vague jumbled up dots that kinda bump into each other. Now let's face it: I'm probably just weird, or have weird eyeballs, a hecitc imagination--something. Maybe it's some kind of after-image effect. But how cool would it be if that were me somehow, for a matter of a milisecond or whatnot, actually seeing atoms? (Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? Tell me if you do!)

That'd we wicked. Highly unlikely, I understand. But very wicked. Anyway...

I digress. Allow me to return. There are 67 octillion atoms in your body, and those atoms are as empty as the atoms that make up the air you breathe. I find that sort of thing just...yeah, well, incredible. So much, and yet so little. You are a walking sack of 67 octillion nothing-filled atoms. Just so you know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

Almost forgot! This week's tease is from Too Much Happiness, a collection of short stories. Here we go...

"When I told Charlene about her we had gotten into the deeper reaches of our conversation--that conversation which seems to only have been broken when we swam or slept. Verna was not so solid an offering, not so vividly repulsive, as Charlene's brother's pumping pimpled bum, and I remember saying that she was awful in a way that I could not describe." --from "Child's Play"  by Alice Munro

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Just have to edit it now, but I think it's finished. Might certainly change the title, btw. Contains adult content and swearing.


Kathy first met him in north concourse of the Miami airport. Outside the dusk air was shimmering off the pavement and the large heady clouds that had formed over the Everglades rolled close to the ground so that water somehow seemed to be everywhere. They did not speak until after everything had happened. There was a little old lady in front of her, waiting in line for coffee. As the woman struggled with her bags, a young man who was possibly still a boy rudely shoved in front of her and began ordering. Then Gracen—for that was his name, she came to find out—took control of the situation. The swiftness with which he handled it was admirable; first a loud but calm voice, then a grab by the shirt collar, then a quick twist and the young manboy was out of the line and in propelled into the arms of two airport security men, and the little old lady was being gingerly helped forward. He turned to Kathy then, and asked if she were alright, touching her gently on the wrist to draw her attention away from the security guards. They got a coffee together.

“I’ve just gotten out of the AmeriBubble,” Kathy pronounced to him, sipping her hot coffee in the artificial chill of the airport. Sudden bouts indoors in Miami always made her feel like she was moving through a bowl of JELLO. “Been wanting to go somewhere new, somewhere with beauty instead of grime or crime or whatever people think Miami has, before I go for my master’s in the summer.”

“What’s the AmeriBubble?” he asked.

“Oh. It’s this…well, I was in AmeriCorp working with these impoverished kids in Oklahoma, and … it’s just that you spend so long around this tiny group of really, uhm—I guess you could call us do-gooders—and everyone’s out in the middle of nowhere all working towards this common goal of helping out these kids, really great kids I mean, even the awful ones, because there’s always a spark of something wonderful in a child, and you kind of create your own little world, away from politics and pollution and crime and the rat race and all that. The AmeriBubble.”

“I see.”

He was a handsome man. She thought she’d continue.

“Anyway, I got back home and I looked around and thought, I’ve just got to get out of here. If I spend another week in this place I’ll go crazy. It’s too … off … to come to after the Bubble, too fake.”

“So you like things to be real, do you?”

“I do. Definitely.”

“And then what about what’s between us?” Gracen pried her hands slowly from her coffee and smothered them with his own; they were large hands, careworn, but Kathy thought she could detect a softness there that other women would have missed. Then he pulled her forward and kissed her.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Weekend Tickler

Just a little weekend tickler; I couldn't resist. Perhaps I'll post a something like this each weekend for fun. Whadya think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

This week's teaser is from an author I've not yet read. I like the writing style, and even like the way the story is meandering about...but I still have no idea what to think of it, lol. Anyway...

Let's get right to it!

"The startle came into Steve's eyes and he jumped up from the table and cracked his head on the crossbeam, heading for the door behind Sess even as she dashed into the new room to look out the window above the bed, where she could get a view of the garden and this strange white element beating against the green of the leaves and the black nullity of the plastic. She had a moment, only that--seconds--to register the hulking dark form grazing there in the midst of the windowblown vegetable garden like an overfed cow, and there was the report of the rifle and the thing went down without a fuss, without a whimper, three hundred fifty pounds of meat, fur and fat delivered right up to them, right in their own garden, and she hardly had time to register the joy and triumph of it when she spotted the cub."  Drop City, by T.C. Boyle

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Belated WIP: Definition Of

 Yes, it's not quite finished, and yes, it's missing a title. All in good time, my pretties. All in good time.

*cackle--I mean, cough*

Definition Of
Every part of my body hurt.

I tried to move. Couldn’t. Wasn’t even sure I should if I could. Gave up. Blinked. Let the room come into focus. I’d gotten flowers—not a lot, but enough I felt kind of stupid. Flowers are for sweet girls, not for guys in the hospital hit by drunk drivers. Oh well. The blinds were pulled partially and a thick chunk of light fell across my bed, where my two legs—were they broken? Apparently they were—lay awkwardly. Oh. If I let my eyes loosely follow the chunk of light I could see where it finally pooled: on the girl. Her head was lowered to her chest, asleep and hanging by a string of light it looked like from over here, and the sun warmed her brass colored hair so that it shined like some kind of spun metal as it fell down over her shoulders. So familiar.

It took me a few tries, but I finally got it:


Her head whipped up and she peered at me, bleary and full of sun, eyes opening and closing frantically. Then she smiled, widened her eyes, and pressed the red button on the alert wand that her hand had been clamped around.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

B is for Beans! B is for Brain, and the way mine hops around!

So I just made this fantastic batch of spicy black beans with cilantro and lime for lunch, and, well, I'm one of those people. One of the hummers. (*laugh*)

Image courtesy of

So there I am, humming "Beans, beans, the magical fruit..." because, as you know, this is an absolute requirement for bean-eating experiences, and then my brain picks up on the word "fruit" and somehow ties it inexplicably to Kumquats, as of course I had just read Michael's latest Ermingard installment over at Hypothetically Writing (formerly Writer with a Slinky; see link in side-bar).

And, well, you know. Kumquats.

Does anyone actually eat those blasted things for enjoyment? I mean this question in earnest.

Long, long ago, in a city far, far away, I, my boyfriend and my roommate would have wine nights. Pretty self explanatory. To accompany the wine we usually did platters of cheese, chocolate and fruit, and would spend the evening focused on the diehard task of getting incredibly, irrevocably wine-smashed. Tough life, right? Anyhow, we tried to incorporate new flavors. Enter Kumquats.

Tuesday Teaser

I know, I know. I've partially fallen off the blogging bandwagon. But I'm back now! Promise! Woot!

And so we come to the Tuesday Teaser: today's random-page tease is.....

"I voted for Dick Gregory in '68, and for "No" in '64 ... but this one is different, and since McGovern is so goddamn maddeningly inept with the kind of words he needs to make people understand what he's up to,  it will save a lot of time here--and strain on my weary head--to remember Bobby Kennedy's ultimate characterization of Richard Nixon, in  a speech at Vanderbilt University in the spring of 1968, not long before he was murdered.

'Richard Nixon,' he said, 'represents the dark side of the American spirit.'" --The Great Shark Hunt, by Hunter S. Thompson

Hmmm....well now! What are you folks reading?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hmmm, what to call it?

Yet another work in progress...--> Hope to finish soon!


She'd been driving for hours, zig zagging so much as she stole down the highways that she wasn't really sure what state she was in any more. In any way. The bloody fishing line rolled loosely on the passenger seat. Have to clean that up eventually. The cell beside her rang. Shit. She hadn't even thought to get rid of the phone; she really wasn't thinking clearly. Oh well. Too late now; might as well answer it.


Sunflower fields slipped by her in the darkness; she could smell the rich earth through her window, cracked so she would be able to smell something else than the blood. Sunflowers...What, that would be Kansas, maybe? Sure, Kansas.

"Tara? What the hell happened?"

Jensen.  Glad to know someone on her side was calling, even if he did work for the sherriff. Even if... she swallowed, touched her swollen skull automatically, right where the hair had matted and dried in a mess of sticky, crusted blood, then shifted the phone on her shoulder. The movement made her blink slow and hard.

"Hey Jensen. Driving right now; sorry I can't talk."

"Wait a minute, wait a minute. Don't hang up. Tara?...Tara?! Tara!"

Tara grimaced.

"I'm here."

"Good. I've got to be quick." His voice was mumbly, quiet. "It's all over that Trey's dead. Heard this evening. It true?"

"I--I've got to go, Jensen."

There came a solid moment of held breath through the line.

"Alright, alright. Hey listen, just, uh, you know. Take care. Get rid of the phone. Dye your hair, pay for everything in cash. You got cash? Shit, I shouldn't be calling you. Yeah, get rid of the phone. Remember, we love you."

"Yeah. You too, Jensie. Tell Anna and the girls I send my love. And that I'm sorry."

"Will do. Get rid of the phone."

As soon as the call ended, Tara rolled the window down and chucked the phone out of the truck and into the darkness. It landed in one of the sunflower fields, the heavy-headed stalks silhouetted like rows of old and dying men as the first bit of gray predawn seeped over the horizon. Jensen was right about the phone. For a brother in law, especially to the man she just murdered, Jensen was alright.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

I just finished a book this evening and loved it. Without further ado.....

"'Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.'"--The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

That's all you get, folks! Get reading~!

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