Tag Archives: vacation

Introspective Perspective

Random thoughts while driving…

The meeting was set for 1:00 pm on Saturday in the quaint coffee house, Pebble Ridge, in Rocky Mountain House. My new author is from Red Deer and it would be a short drive west for him to finally meet to discuss his book project.

I started out from home at 8:00 am, filled the tank, and got a cold drink to go. I couldn’t understand why I was so thirsty so early, but realized it might have been the consumption of wine the evening before… Rested and raring to go, it was easy to rise and pack and hit the road early. Although another route was more direct, I chose the longer way to enjoy the journey. It’s not always about the destination – although that can be important – how you get there, too, makes all the difference sometimes. For one – heading west always feels right and, for two, taking the Cowboy Trail is a good choice because it feels right, too. I’ve been this way before a few times lately (highway 16 west to highway 22 south), but I love the drive – the feel of it relaxes me and sets my mind free of city encumbrances. Driving alone, however, is open game for thinking – good and bad. If I don’t want to think, I play music to drown out the persistent voices, the constant thoughts, the never ending discussion between the realist and the dreamer. The radio station fades away and I play the soundtrack from Cavalia or Maroon 5.

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A robin poses for a close up shot.

A bumblebee buzzes around the windows looking for in or through or whatever. Sunshine sits in the Miette Hot Springs parking lot looking like a big yellow flower in a meadow of concrete – tasty temptation for the timid little bee. I roll my driver’s side window up and two seconds later it attempts to say a closer hello. A robin hops nearby on the pathway along the trees, and I mega zoom in on it – magnifying its feathers and bright eyed curiosity. I sit contemplating my move. I remain there for about an hour, reading, calming frazzled nerves that poke in and out of the relaxing peace. I cannot explain the diametrically opposed pieces of my mind. Happy. Sad. Inspired. Depressed. Peaceful. Anxious. The parking lot fills up – it’s time to move on.

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I could see the same view day after day and it would still humble me, overwhelm me with its magnificence.

When I drive the mountain roads I cannot believe the feelings that wash over me. I often wonder if those people who speed by in fast cars, neglecting the stop at look outs, ignoring points of interest, not even slowing down to enjoy the wildlife – I wonder, if they ever feel the emotion I do in the mountains. Perhaps, they did the trip before and it’s no big thing. Perhaps, they are too focused on the end point to notice the points of interest along the way. My emotions run the gamut – my mind stops, starts, and suspends itself in the magnificence of my surroundings. I am soothed by its beauty, overwhelmed and humbled by its magnitude. I cry at the thought of leaving this world and never seeing such beauty again. Then, I admonish myself for silliness and return to revel in the moment.

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Distant waterfall cascades down the mountain.

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An eagle flies o’er mountain high…

At a roadside turnout, high above the river below, I stop along the guardrail to take in the vast panorama. Mountains with snow covered peaks, shimmering shale rocks, greenery of all shades. A distant waterfall cascades down the mountainside. The telephoto lens brings the river from the valley floor and the highest shimmering rock face to me as if in reach. Out of the corner of my eye I see it – circling, circling, circling… Soaring on upper air currents, the large bird covers the sky in wide spread wings, so high it is even a speck in my lens. I am not sure of the species of raptor, but the bird is magnificent. The words to the sound about love lifting us up, come to mind and ring in my head, prompting tears to spring to my eyes, again.

The trip wasn’t totally about doing everything I love, but it encompassed some of the ‘musts’. I already mentioned the Highway 22 South route – well, 11 West is a dream and being in Rocky Mountain House with a free night ahead of me meant I couldn’t pass up the chance to see things I love and traverse the route with such beauty. My travels now include limits, however. Due to health issues, there are limits I never had to consider before, but there they are, forefront in planning and executing events. Accepting I have limitations both angers and frustrates me. In moments of appreciation, I think of all the things I’ve done and all the things I still can do. I digress and say thanks – at peace with the body’s changes. With those thoughts, I decided I would explore some different things/places amongst the wonderfully familiar, while taking time to clear my head and rest my back and knees.

For the most part, driving is easy until I log too many hours in the Sunshine saddle – then the back begins to remind me of its chronic pain. I need to stretch and walk a bit to loosen up the muscles and work the knees. Refreshing road weary eyes is always a good thing, too. My stops are frequent because of the awe I feel – lots of pictures return home with me – but, I temper my attempt at each stop depending upon my ability. Many times, I am the best darned truck window photographer! Since I stopped at Athabasca Falls last year on the reverse trip, I decided I would stop at Sunwapta Falls this time. However, I couldn’t proceed past the parking lot because, although only a .1 km hike to the vantage points overlooking the water, all of the pathway is a downhill grade and that is a no-no for the knees. Acceptance of limitation. I listened to the roar of the water rushing below, thankful for my sense of hearing and sight.

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A decision to stop for the day to rest weary bones offered me opportunity to stay in a place I never stayed before… another new experience.

The need to keep in motion produces undesirable effects. The conundrum being more movement = activity = weight loss, but more movement = pain = exasperation! The pills I am on to manage pain help with numbing it so I can sleep and I don’t get overtired, sometimes. Depending on the activity (and the weather) my pain is what it is – constant. At times, it is excruciating, forcing me to just take things easy. Doctor’s orders are movement, keep active, but my body’s response is anything but accommodating. I most likely will need double knee replacement surgery, but the weight loss is a must in order to proceed in that direction. The weekend needed to be modified with extended rest to recover bothersome knee pain. The prior long weekend retreat tired me out – 2nd floor rooms in a lodge meant stairs multiple times per day. I mentioned this concern to my doctor on a previous visit. I took it very slow. Writing, yes. Stair master, no.

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6th Bridge – the sounds of birds and rushing water soothed. When the small parking filled, I escaped with pictures to remember it by.

It was exciting to travel familiar roads, but also intriguing to discover new ones. I took some time to discover 6th Bridge where I sat for some time reading. I took some pictures of the water and the bridge, then vacated when it started to get busy. Bikers, hikers, and other sightseers. The road to Miette Hot Springs was awesome – winding, curving, bordered by cliffs, rises, and lots of trees. It took me deeper into the back country. Again, I parked and listened to the birds, did some reading, and took pictures. As before, I backtracked and headed to the highway and proceeded east on 16. East is not good. It means leaving behind something as profound as the images of the Rockies in my mirror that soon fade from sight. My mood soured despite respite in the glorious mountains. How can one feel so inflated, yet depressed? So inspired, yet so empty? So determined to do better with renewed vigor – all the while, feeling overwhelmed with all that lays ahead… Prospects and potential paralyze – how can that be?

The comfort I take in all of this is my ability to see the beauty, appreciate the wonder, realize the potential for danger or recognize opportunity, and even laugh at myself with good humor, as necessary. The feelings described above hit me every time I leave the mountains to return home, leaving me to wonder why I never moved there if such a connection rips my very soul by their separation from my view. I concede – I was fearless in my youth and have become jaded in my aging even though I would certainly consider the move – looking around the little cabin I rented I surmised – “I could live here.”

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Amazing colors… there’s probably shiny things and a squirrel in there, too 😉

So to end this blog about perspective and its inward retrospection while getting away – I leave you with a tip while driving throughout the Alberta countryside. Be aware that if Main Street is blocked off in Small Town, Alberta – and there are people pulling lawn chairs to the curb side – it could mean there is a celebration you are not privy to. I wondered why that little girl waved to me… All I could think was how lucky I was I had such a beautiful, bright truck! Sunshine was in her glory parading by the locals… oh, look, what a beautiful tree!

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Day 4 – Catering to the Lazy Artist

Easter Long Weekend 2014 Blog Pictorial – continued…

Fresh air and exploration takes it out of you – or, perhaps, it’s that feeling of satisfaction that just keeps you rooted to one spot – a happy, inspiring spot made for self-reflection and creativity. The camera was quiet today although the mind’s eye was a flicker with all the images snapped and transferred over the course of Day 2 and Day 3. Had I not found the horses yesterday, I would have been more eager to go out today – to seek and to find, confirming for myself that I could see them how they are, free, in nature. Had I not found the band I did, I would have had to go forth in order to fulfill my sense of holiday destiny.

If I had arrived Friday, I would have been moving on today, but the delay had a way of working out in the end especially when things are relaxed and flexible. Three days at “A Bed in Heaven” really was relaxing and desired. The weather held nicely today although the wind was cool at times, but in all reality, there is still snow on the ridges and hillsides nearby, in the fields and in the shadows – the breeze whispers chilling messages as it grasps the cold and flows by…  in its windy way, it asks me what I discovered on my journey. How can express my appreciation and gratitude for this opportunity? As I write, it is calm now and the sun’s warmth feels heavenly upon me as I sit on the deck outside my room.

I discovered, as I have known for many years, I am good on my own, with more than enough interests to keep me busy, entertained, and occupied. That does not mean I am alone, nor do I want to be for any length of time – I want to be in love and I want to care about people – I deserve those who love and care about me. It’s really like the saying: the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. This… truly, has always been my quest.

I discovered that although I like to think I could go back to the ways of the world before the Internet and advanced communications, I don’t believe I could and don’t care to… there is just too much connectedness with my work and my networks through it to give it up completely. I have my lap top with me. I admit… I watched some TV. I checked emails and I posted to Facebook and to my blog. I could not text or phone, however… so it was quiet in a way that it isn’t when I am home. We are, though, bound to the limits of the technology itself. When there is no reception, no hook-ups, no way to connect… it doesn’t matter what you want or desire.

I discovered I am only limited by my own fears and insecurities – this is nothing to do with being loved, not about having friends or others around, not about jobs or work or money – but just about living without fear of what might happen. I keep to the path and stay safe. I know my limits and won’t push for more. I am contented with my journey – is it as exciting and adventurous as some? No. But it’s mine and I take it as I please. Because you step out of your comfort zone your mind tends to focus on the things you don’t know and cannot see – a cougar stalking you, coming across the path of a bear. In the wild, these things are my fears and tend to keep me tame in my quest. Again, with someone along for the hike, it might be a different story, but why put oneself in harm’s way, just because you can. I can treasure my memories because, for the most part, they are not marred by incident. Yesterday’s issue reminded me of being 23 and so wrapped up in my own little world, lost in a stranger’s arms, that it panicked a travel companion to the point of reporting me missing. I never wanted to be that person again – it leads me to believe you cannot ever be free without someone standing there with your bridle and reins, saying, “Dammit, where is she?”

Some general impressions of my Easter long weekend journey:

  • Why must some people throw cans and other garbage to the road side?
  • Why do some drivers of trucks have to drive so fast?
  • Why do those in a hurry travel the road less taken?
  • To some people, horses make a mess… really?
  • The numbers of wildies don’t warrant such opposition – less than a thousand animals? There is so much country out there – really?
  • The tallest of towers does not provide reception amongst the tallest of trees and the tallest of mountains.
  • My hosts at the B&B are amazing people.
  • I take too many pictures!! Good thing this is the digital age and not 32 mm film!! (Regarding my comment above about the camera being quiet… I just downloaded 42 pictures… and I didn’t even leave the deck…)
  • I see pictures in everything – except people – why is that? (My biggest regret was not having a recent picture of my mother – yet I still neglect the subject of people, for the most part.)
  • You can pack all the fruit and vegetables and cheese and nuts you want… I feel like I am going to eat a gazillion hamburgers upon my return.
  • As much as it would have been nice to have someone else along for the ride, I did do this thing for someone special… me!

Oh, yes… the lazy artist thing… well, I don’t think I was lazy at all. I only slept until 8:00. I worked on some editing. I read through and plotted the illustrations for two stories I am working on with one of my DWP authors. I wrote and posted 4 blogs so far. And I took a gazillion photos. I did not put any miles on the car today and plan to be up and out early tomorrow morning. I haven’t decided my return route but I like a road I have not taken before… or I could return the same way. Thinking like a wild horse… that’s the power of freedom.

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Autumn Equinox

Persephone danced. With outstretched arms she embraced the sun, her tawny skin alive with the season’s color kissed upon her; beaded moisture played along her flesh and among the lighted beams became alive like dazzling diamonds. Breezy fingers sent shivers up her spine and she laughed as she welcomed the soft-tipped traces as they felt their way up her arm to her shoulder then along her graceful neck and to her chin. Her laughter turned to a pleasant hiss as Summer’s lips touched hers in a sultry, forbidden kiss.

“You must stay with me, Persephone, as I would miss you as I miss the warmth of this season’s day.”

“I cannot.” She was immediately sorry for her sudden and tactless answer. She took a breath and gave an apologetic smile before continuing. “I wish for nothing more, my sweet, but a promise and a pledge must be honored, whatever the toll.” 

“It is not only I that misses you – you know your mother wants you here, where you belong, her own flesh and blood.”

“I feel her desperation while I am gone – it allows me no pleasure, and yet I am expected to provide it.”

“You have pleasure here, you love the sunshine and…” Summer turned a shade of pale pink, a blush that highlighted her youthful face “…you have pleasure in Summer.” Persephone stopped. She glanced upon the girl who dared express rash dreams as bold desires, even as autumn threatened near, yet unseen.

“You are a most precious friend and confidant – our days together will provide encouragement and inspiration enough to get me through my long dark sojourn. But know this…” she grasped the girl’s shoulders, her eyes intense and promise sure… “I will always return to you in the spring.”

Persephone took Summer’s warm hands in hers and they twirled in dancing circles upon a fading green. Their lively show of carefree gaiety mimicked the limbs of beckoning trees and together they swayed on nature’s stage. A circling eagle took up the cry from far above and Persephone paused. Summer came to an abrupt halt. As daylight waned and warmth passed into cooling dusk, where crimson fire melded to a midnight velvet; the hours equal light and dark – Persephone knelt upon the earth and placed her hands upon the soil, her eyes closed, head bowed. A single tear slid down her cheek.  

Quietly, Summer offered her friend a Sunflower bloom. “Please take this – to remember me by – I’m feeling weak as if already without you, and yet you are not gone.” Feeling faint, Summer laid her head upon Persephone’s lap, her hand brief upon her lips to retrieve a kiss, and then touched to Persephone’s tear-stained cheek. The girl’s hand was frosty cold and Persephone shivered.

A golden mantle fell from all around, swirling, teasing, hiding green and calling forth with upraised voice; and the last summer day burdened by its dying wish and in a labored breath spoke of cooler winds and crystal laden air – a brief warning of the things to come – yet trying to hide the treachery and deceit with golden promises and a fleeting warm caress. The Sunflower withered, blackened by the frost and Persephone laid it upon the deadened earth. With a whispered good –bye, she faded into the night, giving in to autumn and its golden splendor, her heart and soul once again called home to Hades.

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September Long Weekend

I don’t know what it is about this weekend that makes it so striking in its memories.

Perhaps, it is just because the time of year finds some things ending and others just beginning. It is like spring in that regard where newness takes on a personality of its own guiding us into the upcoming unknown – whether it is season, project, or feeling, with seemingly little effort. We don’t struggle as much with this season because it eases us into the change with such beauty – all of nature calls to us: cooling winds and comfortable sleep, shorter days cut by silent seconds, calling geese practise overhead, and trees slip silent into their golden frocks. There is a change that comes with turning the calendar page to read: September. The long weekend is like taking another stab at failing summer, hoping to get in one last… … …

For me, one of my favorite short stories is written based on a trip to the mountains I took many years ago. It has morphed in length and words to become the compact piece provided below. In recent memory, the long weekend signaled the true ending to several emotional events including acceptance that a trip east did not work out as planned and a passionate one night stand signed off a no hope relationship. It also warns of impending work over the long stretch ahead and planning is realized. But of the simpler times when young hormones raged and understanding love was yet to be discovered, Keep on Smiling is a memory written from those emotional depths and as the Stones said… I was looking for an “emotional rescue.”  

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I remember the day I met RJ like it was yesterday. It was the long weekend in September and my friend and I had driven to the mountains just to get away. At 23, I was having difficulties with dating and love. I was “sowing my wild oats,” if you could refer to a woman as such; working hard and partying harder. I equated sex with love and if it were true I might have found happiness.

I had recently dropped out of University and was searching for myself yet wondering if Mr. Right would ever come along. My efforts to find him were futile. “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places” was my theme song. I thought I was supposed to find Mr. Right and get married. Up until then I had been so sure of my future. It would have included law school but when I discovered I enjoyed immediate things, I picked the easy way out.

That weekend in Banff found us doing things we loved. We did a lot of sight-seeing and a little shopping. A cool breeze was already starting to blow down from the snow-covered peaks but it was a glorious weekend.

After a full day, we changed and headed back to the evening crowds. We chose a quaint little restaurant where we ordered our meal complete with wine. After nine o’clock, most of the local eateries transformed into dance clubs and we remained there for the rest of the evening. The crowds, the dance beat, the drinking until all hours; “Emotional Rescue” by the Stones was playing. And there he was.

He was medium height and athletic; dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. What I noticed were his eyes ~ they pierced your very soul. His dark hair was on the long side with one of those light patches in the front. Striking!

We danced. We connected. My heart was lost in one fell swoop… again. We talked. He was going to Vancouver to make his way in the world. He was fun to be with. He stole my heart. We spent the night together holding each other close trying to make the magic last. I remember lying awake at one point thinking about the morning fast approaching. Daylight. It would soon be here and we would be leaving. So would he.

I tended to forget I was with my friend and by morning she was frantic when I hadn’t returned. Didn’t she realize I was clinging to another chance at love? My indignation was unfounded as my feelings usually came first with my exploits leaving someone in the lurch while I went about my quest.

I left RJ in the early morning. My friend had packed in a frenzied worry. She cruised the streets; making a stop at the local RCMP detachment, she was advised I was not yet considered a missing person. She returned to the B&B. There I was. She was not impressed but I offered no excuses.

As we drove away, it was not just silence that returned home with me. I couldn’t explain my feelings. My heart ached in that empty sort of way. RJ had come to mean so much in such a short time, it was painfully hard to accept, let alone explain. I felt like I left something behind.

Looking back over that weekend and my fondness for it, I remember something he said to me; something that has remained with me all these years. When we parted ways (me in that tearful way I do), he gently touched my face. He didn’t say good-bye. He just said, “Keep on smiling.” Then… he went his way… and I, mine.

That chance meeting remains one of my fondest memories. I often wonder what happened to RJ. I never did know him by anything other than RJ. I don’t even know what RJ stood for. To me, now, it represents the temporary happiness of the time even if the void I felt afterwards lingered. The memory of the time embraces me with a warmth I cannot explain and when I am filled with yearning I just remember all I have to do is…”keep on smiling.”   

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Tribute to a Midsummer’s Night

Midsummer and we are into August… the days are creeping away yet there is so much more to do. We have had our share of Alberta blue skies, dotted with paintbrush clouds that would look so phoney if a painter merely dabbed them on a vibrant blue canvas. We have had more than our share of rain and severe storm threats but we go on. We live and deal with all that happens around us which is what life is about… but don’t forget to dream! Believe in the unbelievable, take comfort in the reality of goals and achievement, hold close to your heart the special feelings you have for those you love and make the most of your days, midsummer or otherwise. Most of all, revel in the warmth of a midsummer’s  dream… Always.

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A Journey of Brothers

The “goal” of crossing “writing a book” off my life list of things to do has been a true journey. I have loved writing for a long time and most prior keepsakes are of short verses, poetry, and short stories by the binder full, in junior high. My ability to create an image through artwork or creative writing was encouraged by many teachers along the way. I come by the talents naturally, as they are plentiful in varying degrees throughout my family. In 2000, I cleaned house of all my creative endeavors, except writing and drawing/painting, to concentrate on my these true passions.  National Novel Writing Month, November 2009 proved to be fruitful in producing my first novel, An Italian Son, yet to be edited and released. National Novel Writing Month, November 2010, although punctuated with bursts of fury and distraction, allowed me to produce novel #2, Power Struggle, again awaiting another edit before release. My constant love, and perhaps that could be why I am reluctant to devote the time I need to finish it, An Elizabethan Affair – is ongoing. Do I want to let him go just yet? With my schedule, it seemed to make sense that an ebook novella might be the first book to be released.

Way back in June 2009, a writing prompt posted on our group’s web site (http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com/) inspired me to write a short story based on the visual image it gave me. An accumulation of several prompts guided me into a journey I could not control – let alone explain. Stories come to writers, for whatever reason, and they must be told; they are developed in a particular setting because certain details fit, they are populated with characters we flesh out as if they are real. To a writer, they are real in our minds and the goal is to transform those players to the page so they are real for the reader, too. I am not just trying to sell my first ebook to you – I want you to know about the process it took to become a story that will morph into a collection of three novellas by the end of this year. Novella 1 came to be about Aaslan through a series of prompts, like I mentioned above, and as I wrote I wove the prompts together back and forth between brother, Aaslan, and sister, Aisha, and it soon became clear there was a “journey” I had to follow. Specific words and details provided an appropriate setting and, although some details were changed through research and authentication, the story unfolded in the countryside of Turkey. I love the process of finding things that just fit – a synchronicity of sorts. I love the way a tale comes to pass and wonder on its amazing ability to fall into place with little effort, as if it’s meant to be. Why did I have to tell this story? What connection do I have to this tale other than writer? Not sure – perhaps, there is a connection to something between the “once upon a time” and “the end” that exists without explanation. There was a draw to the elaborate yet simplistic lives that come together with one purpose. Writing this also had a profound effect on me in that recollection of school day courses came to mind and reminders of things once read and/or studied brought back feelings of deja vu.

In writing this story, I chose names for my characters that reflected their personality traits already manifest in their being but also soon to be strengthened through their journey. A Journey of Brothers is a novella of just over 23,000 words and follows the main characters of Aaslan, Aisha, Udmurt, Saharra, and Haidar. There are a few secondary characters who play significant roles in book one – but also play significant roles in the back story, one not told directly but referred to during the course of this book. The secondary plot, one in addition to the actual quest set upon by the main characters, unfolds as we move forward to a resolution of sorts by the end of the book. It was amazing how this came to be through a series of prompts used to tell portions in segmented short stories. Putting them together to weave an untold mystery was amazing, for not only me, but for my characters who discovered a hidden secret about their past. Some things wrapped up by the end of the book but there were suggestions of more as the writing continued – it was easy to decide to write two sequels – there are stories yet to tell.

A short description of A Journey of Brothers:

“When Aaslan’s duty to escort his sister, Aisha, to a neighboring village is met with defeat, he must journey to find his sister through the underground tunnels of the Turkish countryside. He fights little boy fears in a grown up world to regain his honor and save her life. With the help of friends, his destiny becomes one of survival and growth. He is soon to earn the name he bears, or die trying.”

A Journey of Brothers is available through #Smashwords, the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks.  In the future, I will publish this book in print copy through my publishing company, Dream Write Publishing. Thank you for sharing my writing journey.

 
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/206099

I want to thank my mom for her encouragement with this book. She read it through and helped with the proofreading. Her support has made a significant impact on me as a writer and her statement a few years ago “you really are a writer” meant the world to me. I don’t look for acceptance and accolades – to me, you do what is right and what is your way. If others accept your honesty in staying your ground and making a stand, then it was meant to be because you are being true to who you are. We all have a “journey” upon this earth – discovering your passion and following that road makes life fulfilling. She would love to see this story as a movie – so would I! Love you, Mom.

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What would you do…

There appears to be a reluctance to write and to share as evidenced by my lack of July blog posts. Rest assured, it is not due to a lack of words, but the better part of the month has been spent on reading others’ words and editing for upcoming book releases. I have also written a significant amount at work and although the social media tweets and comments and links have been plentiful, my posts have been remotely distant. At least, that’s how I am feeling them. I always want to offer encouragement through my work – but this month – I just really want to scream. That, of course, would do no good for loud words are not heard any better than softly spoken ones. In fact, silence often speaks loudest.

The month has its range from good to bad, with the good being extremely rewarding sliding into the depressive vast oasis of middling, right on to the other end of the scale tipping with heart breaking. When I think on the worst of the bad, I have to constantly remind myself of the words shared in a sibling moment… keep positive – that is what will defeat the bad. Positivity – I am shamed at times to remember these very words are offered by someone who suffered one of those very bad moments not that long ago.

Suffice it to say, that is the extent I am willing to go and hereinafter will keep my words positive even if I harbor deep within a distinct bitterness. The only place they will leave a bad taste is in my own mouth – they will not be said if they cannot ring with positivity.

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Several articles and posts over the last couple of days have addressed the value of words; specifically writers who offer their words to the big world and lessen their value by giving them away for free. Now I am not opposed to donating a copy of your work, here and there, for the purposes of promoting or creating awareness about you as an author or your book as “the next best read.” The real centre of my disdain lies in the provision of books (ebooks in particular) for the ridiculous price of free. My short comment to this is: if you don’t value your work as a writer/author, how do you expect anyone else to find value in it? I’m not suggesting everything written is well written; I am certainly against overpricing and gouging the consumer to make a buck; there could even be an argument in there somewhere about every written work’s literary value, or lack thereof…

If you are only sitting there, day in and day out, plugging out cheap trash to a repetitive plot outline with only a change in the character’s names, perhaps free is where they should be. AND I am in no way targeting any one genre – all can be trash if not written well. BUT if you are just a new author and you don’t have a name, and think that giving away your book will build you that name… well, you need to rethink your logic. Don’t think that giving away your work is going to get you that name. It takes time – persistence and a willingness to continue to hone your craft, share your expertise, and create new work. It takes more than one book.  It takes building a reputation as a good writer and building a network of followers. It takes a positive attitude and image. Perhaps you have to revisit why you write.

The extremely proud moment of the month saw me publish my first ebook online. The other extreme which pales all other lows will not be gone with the close of a cover. At this moment in time, I wish I could be packaged and sold under the name of “Klondike”, for I feel as if I have sweet chocolaty goodness on the outside for everyone to see and “I scream” in the middle – no matter what I do.

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Feature and Follow

Connecting with other Writers - As a writer, being in a somewhat lonely craft, it is imperative to make connections, when possible, to others who share your passion. The commitment to the written word is best known to others who spend their time immersed within the aura of creativity. The blogging world is one such place to find a friendly, encouraging sort - reading, writing, sharing, and following... is what makes this community connected.

Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that is designed to provide some much-appreciated exposure to the bloggers participating, and to expand their following. Hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each of whom feature a chosen blog for the week, it’s an interesting way to get to know one another.

Please take the time to read and follow my blog and I, in turn, will read and follow yours.

Thank you to those who read and already follow; I appreciate your support and comments, when time permits.

Keep on reading, and writing!

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Filed under On Writing

Calling For Love on the Solstice

Drawing from the Mother’s strength, Faylinn channeled the energy of the elements into her very being and with each breath she felt a little piece of anxiety fall away. Water: a cleanse ridding her body of impurities. Air: flooding her heart with life. Earth: grounding her despite flights of fantasy. Fire: burning with passion to consume.

She was ready. This day, long and born of promises of life anew, opened the doors to other worlds. The sun warmed her as she sat, eyes closed to the observations of the physical world, her heart open to the offerings of the earth. She felt the cool stone of the sacred bench beneath her; the air became very still as she sat within the arms of the garden. She was awash in the calming scent of lavender.

Your silence speaks loudly to me even though in the depths of my soul I know you are still out there. Without reason, without voice, without calling – I am left without doubt of your intent. Weave wonders for me to follow. To dream. To hope. To let go and to regret the undoing and the undone. I do not question your meaning for me in this lifetime and respect the one you have given me. Your silence speaks volumes to my heart and I succumb to you, alone, and with desire.

Faylinn was aware of the warm hand-like breeze that played at the sides of her face, the ends of her long dark hair, the bottom of her skirt. It encircled her as if arms held her close; a low whisper in her ear sent shivers down her body despite the heat. She opened her eyes.

He sat before her and she was not afraid. Although a grotesque leafy mask hid his features, piercing dark eyes were prominent amongst the green foliage and they watched her intently. A dark velvet cape hung from his shoulders draped casually over the arms of the magnificent oaken throne. Rock jewels of the earth encrusted the staff he held in one hand while the other scratched the scraggly bearded chin.

“You are not afraid.” He extended the end of the staff towards her, playfully lifting the hem of her skirt.

“No, I am not. I accept my fate in this world and if love is to abandon me, I put my faith in the hands of the Mother.”

“Ah. I see.” He stood before her; the heavy green cloak flowed away from him, revealing his weathered body. “Close your eyes.” She could feel his approach. His shadow fell upon her but it was as if thousands of small hands caressed her skin. Ready to accept the fates of the earth and the Greenman who stood before her, she relaxed expecting to be drawn into his will with all of nature’s creatures devouring her soul.

Instead, his lilting laughter sang out sweetly then faded from all sound; his last caress to her face left the warmth of the evening sun; the intoxicating scent of forest was replaced with the sweet smell of lavender. Faylinn opened her eyes and smiled.

Silently, she thanked the spirit of the woods and blessed the Mother’s gracious kindness, on this, the day of renewal. She knew in her heart her quest would be clear and if she truly put her trust in the elements of the earth all of her questions would be answered.  

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Filed under On Dreaming, On Life, On Thinking, On Writing

Heed the Call – A Graduation Dedication on Life

Waters ripple… breezes beckon… conspiracy tempts the soul to motion.

Pitch and roll… whispered secrets, call little boats out to the ocean.

“Come see what land lies far beyond the protected shelter of your bay.

Maybe there a brand new life… untold treasures… a brand new day.”

~~~~~~~~~~

Tethered to a dock below… while maternal mountains tower above

Mighty eagle shares the sky with hawk and harmonious dove.

Shoreline grasses dance their best to lapping sounds of waves at crest.

Sunshine blesses happy home… tied to wharf where safe it rests.

~~~~~~~~~~

The waters repeat their gentle pull and winds they whip the boat astern.

“Come out to sea… adventurous be… there is so much more for you to learn.”

A tempting draw to far off lands beyond the dune of comfort sands,

But they will not coax too far this time… destiny not yet in one’s own hands.

~~~~~~~~~~

Abrasive sea. Relentless fear… it wears upon the shaken hull.

Stormy weather threatens high before there is another lull.

Chipped and worn and tossed about… what’s to become of thee?

Salty tears for journey’s loss… feeling unworthy of the sea.

~~~~~~~~~~

Loving hands mend wounds that show and soon will heal okay.

A fresh new coat of make-up paint covers pain of yesterday.

But what of scars too deep to mend… internal bonds a rift?

Silent waters… emotions deep… despite care’s loving gift.

~~~~~~~~~~

What of the winds that call out to you, “Come to the great beyond.”

Home is dear, but lands far and near, encourage you to respond.

Someone said the sorrow sweet in ways when we part so…

Then set it free to chance the storm… untie it… let it go.

~~~~~~~~~~

Waters surround, and then out to sea… waves set life in motion.

The rope untied. Heart filled with pride, as craft sets out upon the ocean.

A distant spot that bobs and rocks… while fading out of sight…

Follow stars. Land near and far; determined dreams you cannot fight.

~~~~~~~~~~

Although it seems a modest boat cannot compare to ocean liner.

Refurbished bow and stalwart oar… make proud the ship’s designer.

To heed the call of destined squall… a dreaded lifelong wait.

Cut the ties… despite the cries. The journey… a captain’s fate.

~~~~~~~~~~

Linda J. Pedley © 2003

Photo by Gary Iverson -source Internet

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Filed under On Life