Just A Drive By Insult

I’m wearing shorts, tank top, and these boots today. Nothing fancy. An outfit I thought was low-key. They’re my new boots and I love them. I already have a plan to wear them not only with jeans but shorts and dresses. Seriously, they are bad ass.

Walking home from the store today and crossing a street a car stops at that street’s stop sign. The man is maybe in his late fifties. He waves the fingers on both hands while his thumbs stay rapped around the steering wheel. I guess this is him waving me on so I walk with a slight wave of thanks. I hit the corner and keep walking. I hear the man’s car roll up to the pedestrian cross walk just before turning on to the intersection and he says snarky, “Boots in Summer! Really. Okay.”

I didn’t turn around, just kept walking and ignored him as he drove away but I did think, “The better to kick your ass.” Maybe I should have delivered the burn but I don’t think I would feel less annoyed. Tired of rude people that don’t know me and feel the need to make comments. Why is it important to yell at a total stranger not bothering you? You can say it put a damper on my mood but I’m letting it go. I do think his momma should have taught him better manners.

 

White Mountain Fido Boots

 

The Story of Six Word “Novel”

I wrote a six word story last week. Some may think I cheated on my writing production but many famous authors have used this form of writing to tell a story. There is even a story behind the six word story. It goes, Ernest Hemingway was challenged or bet he could write a short story in six words. Hemingway wrote, “For sale: Baby shoes, Never worn.” He won the challenge/bet with this powerful, simple six word story. In 1991, Arthur C. Clark wrote in a letter, “he still can’t think of it without crying.” After many years there is some question whether this actually happened and if Hemingway even wrote this story but the legend lives on and inspires people everyday to write their best six word story.

I’ve decided to take on the challenge. It’s not as easy as you think. I don’t know if I’ll ever write anything as moving as “Baby shoes” but I will continue  to challenge myself and you will witness it from time to time on this blog because I intend to post when I have one I think is good. Do you fine the Six Word Novel as good writing tool? Does it help or hinder?

This Year’s Garden Surprises

I was happy with the bundle I picked on Monday. Gardening is an act in patience and it is beginning to pay off.  Two tomatoes ripen, the eggplant is long and delicious, the Kale is growing wild, and I’m trying to cut the cucumbers before they become too big. The tomatoes seem to be growing bigger this year and there are many green ones hanging on the vines.We gave the plants a bit more room and they are in a row at the back of the garden instead of rows of three next to each other. The plants seem to be bigger and more plentiful this year. Apparently, the squirrels can’t wait for the tomatoes to mature either and have started to steal some. The culprit is pictured below. We have lost two tomatoes (As far as we know) from this little guy and the first one he didn’t even finish. Ungrateful little fur-ball. I joke. We have plenty growing to go around, I just wished he asked first. Another surprise happened with the shape the eggplants. We were expecting Black Beauty Eggplants, which are fat and round. We are surprised the eggplants growing are long and thin but who cares? They are still savory. The peppers are almost big enough to pick. There is something better about growing your own ingredients. Maybe its the taste or the freshness nevertheless I can’t wait to get cooking.

Have You Seen This Squirrel?
Have You Seen This Squirrel?

Be Quiet Brain

I thought I trained my brain to write in the afternoon then last night my mind wouldn’t turn off. I was comfortable in bed with the light off and my brain started to weave words. I was tired and when I’m tired I always think everything sounds noble prize brilliant. I didn’t have a notebook and pen by my bed (what happen to my night notebook?). I didn’t have my phone either. (It is best left charging in the other room incase of 3am emergency alerts.)
Why didn’t I get up and listen to the muse that decided the best time to visit was bed time? I can’t help but think of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk and that quote by Tom Waits where a muse or melody visited him while he was driving and he said, “Excuse me, can you not see that I’m driving? Do I look like I can write down a song right now? If you really want to exist, come back at a more opportune moment when I can take care of you. Otherwise, go bother somebody else today.”
I guess my muse is still in adolescence and although it might see me showing up to the table it doesn’t always feel like writing when I do. It would rather stay in bed and sleep in some days. Then as the light switches off it remembers all it had to say and decides it can’t wait until morning. Now, when the words come, I can sleep because I have less anxiety knowing I’m not missing a story I can write tomorrow. Sometimes, in the morning, I am disappointed I can’t remember what was running through my head but I move on. I start the day with my writing schedule. Occasionally, I find the muse shows up to the table and those days we work in harmony. Those are the days I’m fighting for so I have my nights for sleep.

Spring…Er…Summer Cleaning

I have kept many notebooks and journals with “poems,” ideas for novels and short stories scribbled between their pages. It shouldn’t be surprising when I started using my laptop to write I would hoard it on my hard drive and I have. Recently, I decided it was time to go through and organize my computer. I was cleaning and organizing my laptop and I found many story and article ideas that have lead nowhere. I deleted some. For this small feet I am so proud of myself. It is hard for me to throw away anything I have written. I still find and keep tiny pieces of paper with sentences I have created falling out of other notebooks of scribes I swear I’ll need one day.

A few I finished and put on this blog. The last two post, “Go Out And Adopt a Pet” and “To Whom Ink May Concern” were two articles in my documents never being read. “Adopt a Pet” was an article I wrote as a writing sample for a job application (which I didn’t get). “Ink” was a blog article I was writing for years. I thought it should finally be finished and see the light of day. I put most away into files but now what to do with them? I keep asking myself, “Will I use these ideas and create a short story, novel, or screenplay out of them? There aren’t as many on my laptop or computer as there are in my closet.

Diaries, journals, and notebooks collecting dust with sentences I’ll never use. Do I just burn or shred everything without a glance or read and edit it all waiting for the day I may use it? I guess the best thing would be to throw them out but I must go through them first. Memories and feelings I have forgotten. I read through one of my diaries once. It was hilarious. I recalled that I was just as ridiculous (I’m not talking about rude or obnoxious) at 18 or 22 as every other 18 or 22 year old. I think I would like my novel to be like Roman á clef and use those times/feelings in a book but will I? I know these are the questions every writer asks themselves but the feeling can be overwhelming. Some of the young pieces, like the short story I wrote when I was 12, I will keep. This stage in my life reminds me of a quote from Edgar Degas which said, “Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.”  They are cute, funny, and a memento of when I thought all I wrote was a priceless piece ready for publication.

Cleaning is causing me to make decisions and with these little things I’ve created it feels like a big deal. However, I know no matter how much you like a piece or section sometimes it doesn’t fit and you need to edit it out. You can put it on the side and hope to use it somewhere else one day but it is very unlikely it’s ever used again.

How do you keep your writing? Do you have an expiration date before you can delete it, do you trash right away, or do you keep every thought that makes it on paper (or screen)? How do you organize these scraps of ideas?

 

 

To Whom Ink May Concern

I have seen friends met with negative comments because they have tattoos. Tattoos are for pirates, prisoners, sailers, etc., right? People only get ink for attention, or peer pressure. While some of these stereotypes can be true for a few people, it is not the complete reason everyone who has skin art has gotten one.
I don’t have any tattoos so why should I bring up such a topic? I wrote an article for The Celebrity Cafe sometime ago about Megan Fox having her Marilyn Monroe tattoo removed from her arm. The comments that followed below the piece had nothing to do with the article but people’s opinions about tattooed people. This article is old  and I worked on this blog post along time because I didn’t know if people would except a non-tattooed person writing about skin art.
In the comment section it was mentioned that tattoos are a self-esteem issue and someone’s need to be noticed. However, over time tattoo culture has had a much more in-depth history. Different cultures, communities, and times skin art has been used for healing purposes, rites of passage, marks of status and rank. Some marks are symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, and decorations for bravery. There are even tattoos used for sexual lures and marks of fertility, pledges of love, punishment, and protection. The leased liked marks may be that of outcasts, slaves and convicts. The ones with these marks may find their permanent label empowering. Numerous people use skin art to honor a dead relative or as a reminder of conquered tough times. This is where I think others should think twice before they push their judgement.
A few will use tattooing as an “in” thing but don’t demean the people that have tattoos that hold deep meanings of self-expression. Not everyone who has tattoos should be lumped in with Megan Fox. Not everyone that has tattoos have low self-esteem. Not everyone that has tattoos get them to be notice. Most people I know seem to have a tattoo or ten. And judgement goes both ways. Something I have seen some (not all!) tattooed people looking down on people without tattoos. I have been shunned or had a look of attitude or annoyance come my way when I reveal I don’t have any tattoos. I started keeping quite on flesh art because I was tired of defending why I like tattoos on others but why I don’t have/want any.
I had friends try to help me find something I can ink on to my body but after sometime they gave up and I realize that I don’t have to have or own something to say I like it.I guess I can say I look pretty plan to a tattooed person. The only marks on me are freckle, beauty marks, and the occasional bruise or childhood scar. I have been met with prejudice by friends when I find a man attractive who is tattooed and pierced. A “good” or “plain” girl like me shouldn’t step out of her stereotypical group. I have even shocked a friend or two and was told I couldn’t date someone that was excessively tattooed because I didn’t fit in with that attractive man’s image. I could have argued, “How do you know what any stranger finds attractive?” but we all have perspectives we place on people whether they are tattoo, pierced, or bear. In the end, I think (and I’m no one), who are we to make broad assessments and  judge someone.
State Street’s tattoo shops mainly catered to sailors in the Great Lakes area. (Archival photo courtesy Nick Colella).

Go Out And Adopt A Pet

If you could clone the best pet you’ve ever owned, would you? They won over your heart with that cute face, their spunky personality, and moment’s shared. When they were gone the world stopped. It didn’t matter if you saw the end coming or it was sudden, either way it didn’t make your loss any more or less painful. Now, what if you can have your pet back? Would you clone your best friend? Dog and cats live short lives. With cloning you could have the opportunity to have the same pet for your entire lifetime. There are companies that will clone your cat or dog for you. For 50,000 – 100,000 dollars you can experience another lifetime with them. What about the homeless pets?

With so many homeless pets, strays or animals living in shelters, I can’t help but think that money would be better spent towards vaccination and care of an animal in need. Your perfect pet is gone. There could be another perfect pet waiting for you. A pet that can teach you new, fun lessons about living. Nothing can replace the one gone but you can save the life of one waiting for a chance at life outside a cage. Each animal has a special talent and personality and so many are in need of loving homes. Adopt today.

[I was cleaning out my computer today and I found this old writing I had forgotten all about. I recall it was a sample writing I sent in with a job application but I don’t remember for what company. I don’t think it’s half bad. Think it could have used a better title. Thought I’d leave it here so it can be read.]

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Lana

Whisked Away But Not Wasted Time

Friday. What happen to the week? I can say I am not ready to post and I don’t have a topic this week. This week I haven’t been focused on writing as much as reading. I have had the goal to finish A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Ice And Fire #5) by George R.R. Martin and just did today. I feel relieved to finally be done and caught up but whenever I end one of these books I’m left with a little anxiety over the cliff hangers. Grrr. But it was a good read and week even with the lack of writing.

With that over I want to move on to a lighter read so I have more time to write. This means next Friday won’t sneak up on me (I hope) and I’ll have a story to tell. Until then here is a quote I think fits me and this week:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams

Change dishes to writing and this was my week.

A Day Outside The Library

Sitting outside the New York Public Library. A little girl runs up to her mother pulling a picture book out of the red lion imprinted brown paper bag. Her words are French but her excitement is unmistakable. She is talking fast and I don’t understand the words meaning but I know why she is animated. Here is a little girl thrilled over a book. Her father and I share a smile. We understand each other. But in the moment I see a family’s exhilaration over a child’s enthusiasm for a book purchase I become sad. Others like to say dead tree editions of books are quite literally dead. Does that mean people will miss out on child’s thrill for reading. I can’t imagine a child getting excited about a downloaded picture Kindle edition book like that little girl did. As long as children read I don’t care the platform. I wonder how many Library card and book eager faces the regal lions have seen? It’s possible the lions at the New York Public Library branch have a superpower most places don’t. Or will they see less keen faces over books and more camera flashes with stories of paper past.

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New York Public Library Main Branch Lion Taken By Me