Views of July

This is the quiet before the chaos. Well, not so much chaos as time-consuming activities – many filled with emotional tugs. Early Saturday morning, I’ll be in Lockport where I’ll be rocking a lanyard and staff shirt. I also have a new skirt for CrabCon. If you’re going, I’ll see you – Gina and I are working the check-in table. The following day, Husband and I will be attending a wake for a dear man. Paul Lawton was a playwright, teacher, and all-round good guy. We both miss his knotty quips and wry humor.

The following week is a wedding and the week after that is our vacation/family reunion in Essex. I’m already closing my eyes and taking extra deep breaths because the sheer number of details associated with preparing for all these things overwhelms me. I won’t make it to Friday night’s writers group this week, next week is iffy and I’ll be out of town the following so that “grounding” will be lacking and Gina will be out of town for weeks, so the Wednesday morning write-ins will also be gone (unless the lovely Mary is up for it – and I have time.) The lack of that structure is unnerving especially when my tablet has been acting up and demonstrably hostile lately. (Why yes, I do love all of my first-world writer problems. They are lovely, aren’t they?) But with all that apprehension, there is also my gratitude…and bugs. This one insisted on having its picture taken.

The bird’s eggs hatched. Here they are hungry on the 4th:


And this is from today. Look how big they are getting! (The picture is blurry and distant because I didn’t want to get dive-bombed.)


These bulbs bloomed.


The pink lilies are still going strong – except for the ones the deer ate.


These lilies line a portion of our driveway.


This is to show how tall the yellow flowers are already – and to show off the newly painted roof on the garden shed.


Oh, this happened, too! I now have garden gates installed!


The fenced-in tent is up and the back end of the woodshed was finished over the holiday weekend – not that it looks very different, but it’s exciting to have a non-leaking roof.


The past few mornings, I’ve supplemented my breakfast with blackberries, conveniently planted by birds right by the tree on my way to the mailbox.


There are pansies in the flower box.


The moss is doing well.


I took a lot of pictures to remind myself of the loveliness here in the summer. It’s far from perfect, often in need of weeding and/or mowing, but its home, where I collect my creekside reflections to share on here.

Thank you for stopping by and for the read.

The unlikely happened, I went a few places, and there’s a hummingbird in my lilies

There’s a tale of elder love on the radio this morning. It’s airing about 20 minutes before the week in politics program. A taste of hope before the chaotic contention. Around here, it happens the opposite way; I do a madcap rendition of cleaning/weeding/organizing/hauling buckets of water to the new trees/mowing before I achieve a calm to read and/or write. Even now, I typed the first three lines before walking away. There was a sink full of dishes, now washed.


The wood shed roof is as complete as it can be – the two ends aren’t done because Husband didn’t have the panels for it. He says he could piece it together with remnants, but he’d prefer solid panels. It’s watertight though, something it hasn’t been in years. Walking back from getting the paper, this blue and white striped sight is quite cheery.


I had an A M A Z I N G run. On the 24th, I got word that my story, “I Am Promilla” won the Postcards Poems and Prose Magazine’s “Clutch” Flash Fiction contest. June 27 will long be remembered as one helluva day. “We’re Toast” was accepted by Bending Genres, Former Cactus took “Tilt-A-Whirl” AND Spelk accepted “The Difference Between Us.” I could not believe it, but it happened and these are all venues I love. I am delighted – plus, on Tuesday, I received payment for “Pirouette” which will be included in the Bacopa Literary Review.

We’ve done a bit of weekend visiting with family recently. There was Ash’s Graduation Party,


And then a quick trip to PA to see Niece from Boston & The Twin where mint leaves were muddled for juleps.


Monday has me traveling alone to another gathering of family of a different sort – a funeral. As the amazing Kathy Fish recently hosted another Fast Flash Reunion on Zoetrope, I’m sure I’ll revisit the prompts to make sense of all the interactions that are coming at me in a furious pace, kind of like the Literary Orphans reading assignments. And the library just emailed that “The Female Persuasion” is in so I’ll be finishing that up soon, too. I better get going, there’s a lot to accomplish in this lull…


like capturing pictures of hummingbirds in my lilies!

Thanks for stopping by and for the read!

I Constantly Notice the Difference, Don’t You?

Yeah, so I know the adage that without bad things going on, you won’t appreciate the good, but seriously, I’m pretty sure I would. A bunch of happy things have been going on–writing wise–but the rest of life has been irritating. To the powers that be, I’d like to point out that I know these beautiful flowers are fabulous:


I don’t need hungry, mean deer flies attacking and biting me every time I go outside just to make me appreciate the beauty of the blooms. Minga!

Anyway, last week, I started taking a playwriting workshop with Bella Poynton. I am loving it. The first session was such a revelation to me–I’ve gotten so many comments on rejections that whatever else was wrong with my manuscripts, the dialogue was good. I had my free writing/first attempt at a play read aloud. It was so exciting. It was one of the first times where I wrote something and came to the end and recognized that. It was a fabulous.

Then, after learning to strip down the conflicts and characters to just “voice,” I came home to find a lovely email from Southeast Review about a story I wrote during June for their Writers Regimen. My “Turtle” story was selected as a finalist for their “spotlight.” I sent two stories in. I thought the other one was stronger, but whatever. The ironic bit is that the story they liked was one where I focused on details of the senses. It didn’t win, but I now have a good story to send out during the upcoming August/September/October Submission Opening Madness. (I love the problems I have.)

Today, was the community blood drive. I thought I’d have time to do that then go to the café and grab a sandwich or a salad or something for dinner before the workshop began. Stupid me for thinking that things would work out! Anyway, I went in to donate, got done, and as I was eating my cookie, I looked down and there was blood all over. The monitor rang a bell; I was taken back and swabbed down and had a new, larger bandage applied. Which would have been fine, but I looked at the blood swabbing and saw the blood all over my shirt and I felt lightheaded, aw hell, I almost went down. I’m good with blood in tubes and bags, but on my arm and shirt, not so much. So, I was sent to rest. I got out of there and had to go buy a new shirt–not an easy task when it’s a “have to”–and I had barely enough time to get to the playwriting workshop, so no dinner for me.

Meanwhile, at home… Husband had called when I was in the intake area. He was looking for a phone number. I couldn’t leave to go get it for him, so after the blood donation/bleeding through the Band-Aid, I called him back and gave him the number. That was at 5:35. There were a few things I’d asked him to do, but by the time I got home–four hours after that phone call–and I had left originally at 4:15–so really, he had 5 hours. FIVE HOURS to do these simple things: a) pull open a tin of food and put it in the dog’s food bowl b) Take a shower c) rinse some bagged lettuce, put it on top of the ton of vegetables I’d already rinsed, peeled, cut up, and put in a salad bowl d) add salad dressing and e) heat up meat and a roll and combine them for a small sandwich.

He managed the meat and roll. That’s it. I’m still SO pissed. How is 5 hours not enough time to get those tiny minor things done? If there was some television show he watched, maybe, but no. There isn’t one, so there is no excuse.

Yes, I’ll stupidly talk to him about this tomorrow. Again. But I don’t think he gets this. I want/need to go out to conferences and workshops and meetings with other writers. When he dicks around and drinks and watches episodes of M*A*S*H for the fiftieth time instead of doing minor things like eating, it makes me feel like I can’t leave the house at all. I’m starting to REALLY resent that. I just hope he doesn’t think that’s a ploy that will keep me. I’m not even trying to be a bitch, I’m just saying that I do see the good and the bad and appreciate the difference. Right now, blood drained and playwriting workshop high, I’m feeling like he’s taking advantage of what I’m providing in the “good” so much that he isn’t recognizing the “bad” if I disappear and stop doing what I do. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Worse than the blistering deer fly bite on my neck.

(Yeah, so, wow, that would be my wounded wife creek side reflections for this week. I hope to god your experiences do vary.)