Sunday, August 02, 2015


On July 9, 2015, I said I wanted to do an art project a month. July's project was a collage - paper and glue.

I knew I wanted to use the Sycamore bark I had collected (we've lots of the trees on our street.) I thought I wanted to use drink cans, but changed my mind after I began cutting them up. I found a metal screen the lawn company threw out and that became my canvas.

Crypsis is the term for a being's ability to blend into its surrounding.

Final components: glue, metal screen, paper butterflies and dragonflies, glass stones, Sycamore bark, glass beads, a dried flower, a dries leaf and a chunk of wood.

Here's the finished product:

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

i went analoging ~ what did you do?

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July 21, 2008

I was AFK (Away From Keyboard) for several days, nine days to be exact. I managed twenty-two days of writing in a row before I went awol. I can’t decide if I should start over (since I didn’t do any writing - with pen and paper the old-fashioned way as I intended) or if I should pick up where I left off.

I’m voting for the latter since it’s less punitive and it recognizes my accomplishment. So, today will be Day 23 and moving forward not looking behind.

I was in the mountains of Pennsylvania about two hours North and West of the Poconos. This is where my father was born and raised. My family was there for our annual reunion. We’ve been doing this for as long as we’ve been in the States. My father built a log cabin in the town where he was born. This was the first year we were there without my mother. Everyone expected a more peaceful and enjoyable few days. It didn’t work out that way. We were all still miserable and I am searching for the reason why.

I cleaned out the cabin of bags of pillows and blankets and clothes my mother had collected. There should never be that much fabric and stuffing laying around in an enclosed building in a dark wooded and damp area. I found ten unopened toothbrushes and unlabeled pills. The sleeping loft is now more breathable and I don’t have to be afraid of scurrying little critters sneaking around while I sleep.

I’m tired of complaining. I’m tired of yelling and whining and criticisms. I’m tired of people unable to be responsible for their own entertainment. If I don’t get some alone time soon, my head might explode. I don’t want anyone to want anything from me.

I have no idea where I was going with any of this. If you’ve read this far, I’m sorry because this just sucks. Tomorrow, I will go back to the story I started in the last two entries, the one about the killer tea kettle. Go back and read those instead of this claptrap. I could dedicate myself to keeping alive all forms of archaic sayings.

I bet you haven’t noticed that I started every paragraph with the letter ‘i’. Go back and check. That wasted a second of your life. The next one hundred words will not be any more entertaining than the last four hundred so go do something else. i won’t mind. When I’m done here, I’m going to google ‘why did my family gathering go wrong’ and see if I get some help figuring out the problem. It really bothers me that nine people can’t have a few enjoyable days together.

I didn’t even take any pictures while I was on my really enjoyable adventure so the one above is from where I was but it’s from quite a few years ago. No reading, no writing, no pictures, no relaxation, no good conversation, no sightseeing - yeah, I’m calling my five vacation days a total bust.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

don't look at a gift horse

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Huddled in the corner, Joshua Sweet burst out with a wild string of expletives.

“Don’t touch it,” he said between gasps. “I saw things.”

Simon Thunder shook his head. Joshua didn’t scare easy. In their three months together and the one month previous, he had never seen Joshua lose control, not even when they were alone together in the bedroom.

The kettle, old, dented, rusted, lay across the room. Simon felt an urge to pick it up each time he looked at it. He forced himself to check the wrapping instead. Purposely ignoring Joshua and the kettle, he read the labels on the brown paper that had covered the box the kettle came in.

Joshua’s name. That’s why he opened it. But Simon’s address and the post mark for the town of Sea Shore Side. Simon’s hometown, the place he was born, the place he had spent his first thirteen years. The place he hadn’t been to in more than fifteen years. No return address, though. He shook out the paper. He tipped over the box. Nothing. No notes or cards or any clues as to who had sent the package or why.

He’d consider it some stupid and pointless practical joke if it weren’t for Joshua still trembling on the floor. Simon noted that he only felt compelled to pick up the kettle when he looked at it. When he forced his gaze away from the pot, the craving to possess it faded and left him. He grabbed his dark sunglasses. They were UV 400 rated with a special coating that minimized color distortion and helped pick up on magical signatures.

“Danger, Will Robinson!” Simon laughed. The Robot from Lost In Space flashed through his mind. While the warning was comical, it was also deadly serious. The kettle’s aura pulsed in sharp, spiky reds. Not good. No wonder Joshua continued to hyperventilate. Simon pulled on his leather gloves that were lined with a para-aramid synthetic fiber. He hoped they’d be enough to protect him from whatever magic had infected Joshua.

He felt a tug as he bent to pick up the kettle. He wanted to pull off his glasses and gloves. He was just able to resist the urge long enough to put the pot back in its box and close it up. As soon as it was contained in the cardboard, the magically induced longing to physically possess it disappeared. Simon suspected some sort of Earth-based magic since the natural material of the box dampened the magic more than the synthetic materials of his sunglasses and gloves.

Now that the magic was contained, Joshua was calming down. His breathing was more regular and he was able to stand, with the help of the wall behind him.

“I saw my own death.” Joshua gulped. “It wasn’t pretty.”

I put my arms around him. We sat on the couch in silence until the sun’s rays hit the balcony’s windows. Evening was upon them. Joshua’s stomach grumbled. He put his hand on his belly.

“I’ll be dead within the month.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

the sea shore side spirit

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The coastal town on Sea Shore Side has a secret. The current one hundred and fifty residents are the latest generation in ten generations to keep things under wraps. Two hundred years ago, the original settlers began a long series of events that would haunt them and their children for all eternity. Unless the dead could come back and change history.

Simon Thunder had a perfect life. He lived in the city in a modern high rise condo. He drove a classic Cadillac convertible, only on the weekends as he had a driver that took him wherever he needed to go during the week: his office, his gym, the expensive restaurants he frequented and his sexy young boyfriend’s apartment. Joshua Sweet was the frosting on Simon’s cake of life.

They met at work where they both swung swords in their duties as City Constabulary. Joshua was tall and lanky and moved like water. Simon had a hard time concentrating when they were sparing during their practice sessions. The first time they struck swords, Simon had held back. He mistakenly thought his taller, bigger build would easily overpower Joshua. But the younger man had a keen sense of his opponents weaknesses and he flowed in and around Simon’s body making him work harder than he had in years. Only Simon’s vast experience kept Joshua’s sword from making contact.

Not usually an impulsive person, Simon fell in love with Joshua that first day but he didn’t do anything about it. All of his former relationships were with women. He hadn’t clue how to approach Joshua. Luckily, Joshua wasn’t shy. He asked Simon out for a beer to discuss some moves and the rest was history. They had been seeing each other for three months.

Saturday morning, while Simon was in the shower, the doorbell to his condo wrang. Joshua answered and received a package from a courier service. Simon came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel hoping for a quick tumble only to find Joshua passed out on the floor, brown wrapping strewn around him, a copper kettle held to his chest.

Simon rushed to him, knocking the kettle away. It flew across the living room. Simon listened for breathing. It was faint but there. Simon slapped Joshua face. No response. He pulled the flowers Joshua had gotten him out of the crystal vase. They followed the kettle. He tossed the water on Joshua’s head. Joshua sputtered, spitting water out of his mouth and wiping it away from his eyes. He sat up. He grabbed Simon’s shoulders and shook him.

“You didn’t touch it, did you?”

“What happened?”

“I took the package from the delivery woman.” Joshua took a deep breath. He let it out in a long, slow exhale. “I took it to the side board to leave for you and I couldn’t let it go.” He shook his head, his long wet hair sticking to his cheeks.

“I don’t understand.”

“I couldn’t resist. I ripped off the wrapping and opened the box. I reached in, grabbed the kettle like it was the Holy Grail and passed out.”

Sunday, July 12, 2015

I love exercise and other lies I tell myself

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I almost had myself talked out of walking this morning. I got up later than usual. Seven thirty instead of my usual four or five that I get up during the week. I was home alone so I thought I catch up on some sleep. I really like sleeping. I’ve mentioned this before. I have great vivid dreams of exciting adventures and since I know how to do directed dreaming things almost always go my way. I’m a bit of a control freak, so any place where I get what I want, is a good place. Hence, my overwhelming joy in sleeping, napping, having a bit of a snooze.

I need an hour and two cups of coffee before I’m in any way functional, so it was eight thirty or quarter to nine and I began telling myself how I had other things to do and it was hot out and if I walked I wouldn’t be able to do anything else for the rest of the day. Oh, yeah, I’m good with the negative talk.

Then I felt guilty because my daughter has an UP band and we can see each other’s status and she would ask me where mine was. I started with the negative reinforcement or inducements or whateves which would have surely caused me to sit my ass down and not move an inch. I decided instead to make nice nice with me.

Reciting the benefits I knew I would reap if I managed to get over my initial hurdles, I pulled on socks, pants, bra and shirt. I got dressed, in clothes, on a Sunday, yes I did. I knew I would clear my mind of all of the junk that collects there overnight. I’d come up with some good ideas ~ always a nice bonus. I’d warm up my left knee and my hip joints. I’d sweat out toxins. Once I was done, I would feel better physically and I’d be proud of my accomplishment. Only I know how truly hard it is to get me moving. When getting out of bed each morning is a major victory, walking out the door is like climbing Mount Everest.

Before I start, I get grumpy face. I can feel myself scowling and I can feel the tension growing in my neck and shoulders. I build this fantasy in my mind that exercising is like slogging through a clogged sewer drain, sort of like the scene in which Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank Prison. If he knew how disgusting and smelly it would be, I bet he wouldn’t even try. That image is not easy to get over.

Since I know, intellectually, that once I get going, I actually enjoy walking, I need a new picture, a new vision of the walking experience. Something light and musical and rhythmic, like dancing or maybe a butterfly flitting from one beautiful flower to another, collecting pollen and nectar. Maybe I can be light as a fairy. I’d like to be a fairy.