Weather

Cleaning. Sorting. Living the Dream.

It’s been the usual mad dash between seasons here. The weather has been lovely. I’ve done chores that need to be done before summer ends leaving Husband with time to work on the upper greenhouse.

I began pulling up the rocks around the frog pond. It needs redoing like crazy and now we’re expanding the area around it. Who knows if it will stay above ground level when we have a hard rain, but if it does, what a lovely place to sit and watch dragonflies. So knock on wood…and stone, I guess…pictures may follow though, as I often do, I forgot to take before doing anything photos. This morning, I wasn’t aware I’d be moving rocks at all.

We had the first fire of the season last night. I choose to blame the occasion for my tardiness with this amazing post. “Amaze” in the sense of trying to fill you—the reader—with wonder or astonishment. I don’t know if it will work though. Let’s try an inkblot speed test. What do you see in the next two pictures as you scroll down to the next bit of text? Don’t linger; let your mind go…

What did you see? (You’re only getting an approximation of what I saw. The woodchip was far away; the dead bug, I espied through thick, unwashed window glass.) My mind leapt to flying creatures. An angel and the albino hay field fairy queen to be exact.

Along with those “What is that?” seconds of wonder, I also have personable vegetables this month. I cut into this pepper and not only did a round white thing roll out of it, but I saw this angry face. My only thought when the round white growth rolled out was “What now?”

A day later, this carrot that was far too sexy not to have a photo shoot showed up.

Writing has been ongoing and interesting. I was astounded to receive an email stating I made the longlist in Forge’s contest for a nonfiction piece. I have two stories coming out in Sledgehammer soon and BeZine took a story that received kind words at several places before being picked up. Thank you universe!

So that’s the news from here. I hope you’re doing great and that your town’s version of Ivanka and Jared never get you down. Cheers!

Groundhog Day. Rise and shine campers!

Tuesday greeted me with an email saying I was nominated for an award. It was a great start. I spent time tiding up and attending to loose ends—well, as many as I could manage. After doing some shopping, I went to see Betty and was sad to learn Rudy passed on. He was a good horse and will be missed. Of course after that, I got stuck in her driveway and she was wonderful in helping me get out, but oye, what a chore and after her sadness. Then I came home to a bit of a tiff with Husband, so, I guess that’s the way it goes.

I had to work on Groundhog Day proper (fun fact: my other husband (on stage) also has February second as his birthday) and then Husband took me to J. P. Fitzgerald’s for dinner. All of which is to say, the lack of time at home and laziness have put me behind and thus, this post is late.

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The weather outside is a delightful reason to stay in this morning, catch up on the tax paperwork we have to take to the CPA on Saturday after I get my hair done. I need to firm up my itinerary for AWP panels I want to attend and start packing. I’m going to Washington D.C. though I’m not happy with some of the things going on in the capitol and I’ve been calling to let it be known. I suggest you do, too. The Internet makes it incredibly easy to find the numbers you need. It only takes a minute or so. I mean, come on, someone with the lack of skills that DeVos has? How can you not speak up? It’s our country and the congressmen represent you no matter how you voted. And that rant is over. (Another fun fact: The girl who lived down the street from me and was one of my best friends also was born on Groundhog’s Day.)

I’m excited and have plans to meet many of the people I know only through Facebook and literary journal. And artwork. Until next time, I hope your Black History Month is insightful. Many thanks for stopping by!

 

*These are my creekside reflections; your experiences may vary.

I don’t “do” Saint Patrick’s Day, but I wish you well with your celebration.

I was ill. It wasn’t pretty and if I hadn’t been doing Pilates regularly, I wonder if I wouldn’t have ended up in the emergency department. Hell, last Friday, if I’d been able to get to the phone I would have called Nancy to take me. I think everything is fine now, but it took a lot more out of me than I would have expected.

The writhing in pain on the bathroom floor unable to find a comfortable position was actually the highlight of my week. My heart broke twice with agent rejections and I know, I know, I KNOW it’s a love match and I’m supposed to be grateful I didn’t end up with someone who doesn’t love my work, but right now, I don’t feel like anyone ever will…and as I say that, I need to remind myself that a story of mine made it to the final round of Best Small Fictions.

Trust me, that high didn’t come close balancing out those lows.

Another bright spot is that “Closer to Whole” is up at Pure Slush in the Suits Issue. I am thrilled to have my flash in the same issue at Susan Tepper, Gay Degani, Cezarija Abartis, and many more amazing writers. Many, many thanks to Matt Potter for including my piece.

Last night, Nancy and I went to see “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” Tina Fey did a great job. There were a lot of interesting characters and I’ll be buying it when it comes out on DVD so Husband can see it.

It’s hard to believe the weather is as nice as it’s been, but here’s proof:

crocus

The “normal” crocuses didn’t come up this year – or they did and I missed them thinking it was too early. I haven’t seen any growth where I planted tulips in the fall, but the hyacinth is pushing through in a ring around the flowering pear tree. Husband and I went up the hill on Saturday; the paths were clear.

After posting this, I plan on starting some tomato and pepper seeds. Maybe this year the garden fence will go up…and maybe I’ll find an agent…though giving up is a possibility, too.

I told you being ill took a lot out of me.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by for a read and if you’re my devoted fan in Brazil, thank you for checking in so often. I only post twice a month, in case you were wondering.

*These are my creek side reflections. Your experiences will vary.

One thing done, twenty more added to my to do list.

Here it is, the fourth of June and the garden is finally planted. The screened in tent went up last night and I moved the swing in there this morning. The weather man said it was supposed to be sunny today, but that is not how the sky appears. It is the start of fun part of the year where I’m better off waking early to get outside to beat the muggy heat and the biting bugs. I am not a morning person. I’m not sure I’m an outside person either.

 
The author and my editor liked my review of Muscle Cars. I’ve been asked to conduct an interview with an author I’m unfamiliar with, so when I get a chance, I’ll be expanding my repertoire at The Tavern. Also, I may be revisiting a part of my life soon. I’ll know more on Tuesday, and I don’t want to jinx it, but it involves politics.

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Husband and I made it to our 15th anniversary. It fell on Sunday and he brought me The New York Times, Dunkin Donuts coffee, and these gorgeous flowers. They are holding up well. I guess we are, too—at least we haven’t killed each other yet. The day before our anniversary, there were a few iffy moments.

 
Condensed to Flash: World Classics is out and available at Amazon. I am honored and proud to have a story in there. It’s a gorgeous book with so many great stories by incredible writers. Many thanks to Mark Budman and everyone at Vestal Review Press.

 
Last week was brutal with rejections, so I’m hoping things turn around soon. I’ve got 5 new flash pieces from the workshop—well, one wasn’t directly from there, but the association is close. I’m going to run them by a few friends and then submit. I’ve slacked off with that part of the process recently, but it is difficult not to go outside and enjoy being able to do just that. This winter was unrelenting and I’m so glad it is over. We’ve had the daffodils, the irises are blooming and soon there will be peonies.

 
Thanks for stopping by!

 
(These are my Creekside Reflections; your experiences may vary.)

Being a writer is full of surprises.

11.20A

There has been a barrage of information about the weather. That’s all I’ve seen or heard about lately. The newspaper hasn’t arrived in days. When I’ve gone to watch a show or listen to a radio program, I hear about travel bans and record breaking snowfall totals. I’m a bit surprised since I’m from the area and my motto is “It’s Buffalo. It snows. Get over it,” and let’s face it, when my area gets hit, no one cuts me slack since I’m in “ski country,” and apparently that means I must like the snow, which I do, but that is beside the point. There is more to my world than the weather. What happened with the XL Pipeline? Are the Kardashians still exposing themselves inappropriately? Has ISIS taken over the world? I’m asking because I don’t know. I only know about the snow. There’s been no mail either.

I’m in a funky weird state after learning (via email) great news about one story I wrote only to have that information followed by a heart breaking email about a completely different aspect of my so-called writing career.

Are you ready?

My short story,”Between a Vacuum and Empty Space,” was not only selected for inclusion in a Sci-Fi anthology by Divertir Publishing, but it is going to be the first story and serve as the TITLE for the collection!

How does that happen? I don’t know, but it did. I sent a note to Jim Tuttle (Half of JT and the Law–go follow them) to let him know first because he helped me with the details–I am so grateful to him! His response made me smile. After that, I told Husband, members of Write To Be, and then Chyo. So weird and flattering. I still have a happy about it.

Then, of course, there was the ego-deflating bit. An agent who had requested the first 30 pages of L&C decided she didn’t want to see anymore. Eh. What are you going to do?

These new sagas are a nice breather from the truck needing repairs and the “Help! I don’t know what I’m doing in my NaNo story” angst. It’s fine. It’s life. It’s not French wine, but I could hum a few bars.

And that’s another thing! On the journey to Indiana, we bought wine to take as gifts. One being a strawberry wine from a local vineyard, which Susie got. She opened it and shared a glass with me. It was delightful. I mention this because we hit the liquor store before the storm and we bought another bottle, which happened to be on sale, and there is the odd chance it will be around for the upcoming Christmas Relative Party Shuffle.

Anyway, the excursion netted a bunch of canning jars. I was told of this in advance and thought “a few boxes” meant 20 jars–30 max. Yeah, I haven’t been able to fathom the idea of counting individual jars, but they take up four and a quarter shelves in the basement. Ah, but back to the wine aspect. In clearing the shelves, Husband brought up a black bottle with cobwebs all over it. I was talking to Chyo at the time, described the bottle and the label. Turns out, it is her favorite sparkling wine, Freixenet, from Spain. Neither of us can remember if it was a gift from her to me or a gift I bought to give to her and it was just forgotten. Regardless, it was on its side for years so the cork is probably still good and if you want to know, I had taken it as a sign that the agent I’d sent pages to was going to ask for more, but that didn’t happen. C’est la vie.

Back on the shelf it goes. Maybe tomorrow I’ll hear from “the” agent for me. Until then, I’ll be inside, staying warm because snow is best enjoyed inside a house with wood heat.

11.20B

(*These are my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

It’s My Birthday

I’m sure it’s a matter of paying attention more than anything, but when I have a certain book on my bedside table and flip through it before I go to sleep, the oddest coincidences occur. It’s called “There are No Accidents.” I’m still not convinced.

Anyway, I’m older. Yeah me for not dying in the last 364 days.

The weather was finally decent and I took a walk to the creek. Surprise! The idiot neighbor placed a branch in the middle of the path. *Sigh* If you happen to know this moron, could you please point out to him that it’s easier for me to walk over there and move his phallic symbol twice a day than it is for him to go up and down the hill? I’m really sorry his brain, penis, and prestige at work are all so tiny, but really, enough. I mean if there was a point to it, okay, but there’s not. All it does it irritate me and he needn’t bother. I have relatives for that. (I’m kidding. Most of them are decent human beings. One or two of them though, I’d like to run DNA tests on before condemning a whole alien species based on the behavior of just a few imbeciles.)

Otherwise, I may be going to the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair with Mary Jo on Saturday. Details are being worked out. I hope she’s feeling well enough to do her reading.

I’m still at work on “The Life &.”  My MC was going to start a fight and I didn’t want to her to, so I punished her by not writing very much for a few days. It’s strange–this writing gig. I love FB and Twitter, Zoetrope and the other sites I’ve been on in the past. If I had these characters in my head and thought I was the only one who knew them to be as real as real people, I’d commit myself.

I have queries sent to three agents. I know, I should get more out, but I’m still dealing with an April Fool’s joke or a missed rejection. I sent two stories to a magazine in January. Only one has been rejected so far. *Sigh* I’d love to think I have a shot, but it’s such a very long shot…

The three types of peppers I planted have come up. I expect to see the tomatoes any day. Spring is a lovely time of year.

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Anyway, if you wished me well on Facebook, I do appreciate the gesture. Sorry I’m not all happy happy joy joy about surviving this year. I took some big hits emotionally. I’m sure you’re sick of my remembrances of the dead and/or dying so I won’t do a recap. Really, that’s what I’m thinking about today. It doesn’t get any better than this does it? First world white girl problems. Yeah!

Thank you for stopping by and reading!

(*These are just my creek side reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

TGI August!

Happy August to all!

I’m happy to be stepping out of July’s Camp NaNo. I made my goal by the fudge factor of kicking in a story I wrote on the cusp of the June/July turn over–and I feel spent. I know each time I attempt this crazy idea, I do produce and I do grow as a writer, but I’m done with trying to do anything but a novel in 30 days. Short work/essays/poems are much too hard to try to produce on such a demanding schedule. Added to that, my best friend moved away and was settling into her new home, I took a play writing workshop, and had major property upheavals this month. I am in need of a vacation.

But do I get a moment to relax? HA!

The next draft of my play, “File it Under Whatnots” is due next week–and I want to get a copy of it to Bella Poynton before then so I can hone this piece to as close to perfection as possible. I love that is a priority in my life. I never thought I’d attempt to write a play, but I did.

Should you be clueless, western New York weather is a funky mix and during the summer I try to get up early to take advantage of the cool air to get things done…And getting things done has happened all over the property recently.

My garden was weeded…Not the surrounding area, just where the plants are growing in the raised bed.

garden

Husband heard of a guy who scrapped cars, so we needed to clear out the Subaru. The things in the Subaru needed a home and the “temporary scaffolding” that held a bunch of pipes and things needed to be taken down, moved and reinforced. The leaded glass window he’d pulled out of the wall behind the bookcase earlier this year was in the way. Jim Tuttle had told us frogs need a place to do their thing so they’d stick around our garden.

Thus:

The scaffold was cleared, dismantled, reassembled and the trees were trimmed–not that I have pictures to show you of that. The garden shed was measured,

shed2

cut with a grinder

123,

shed3

and had the window installed.

Shed6

Shed7

We’re not there yet, but the liner is bought, the hole is mostly dug, and I’m looking forward to frogs moving in soon.

pond

The scrapper–one of the nicest strangers I’ve ever met came, took the Subaru AND the 4 dead tires we’d pulled from the creek over the years.

car

scrapper

None of the pictures I took turned out well enough to show you that I got my hair cut and colored as a test run for attending Mary Aker’s book launch at the Roycroft coming up soon. You should join me there!  Plus, while they were in bloom, I appreciated these flowers:

ha

fl

bed

All in all, a great few weeks around here.

(These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.)

Quirky Times, but at least the Wall is Painted

Hi! The wall got prepped and primed and painted. It is wonderful. The color changes from gray to blue to purple. I love it!

These pics do nothing to show you, but here you go. Thank you Donkey! (The painter.)

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I’m in a happy/sad sort of place. I’m going to Chautauqua on Sunday for a writer’s conference. Husband is going to start working ten hour days soon. I’ll be in charge of mowing the lawn while he’s working. I think I’ll be sad a lot when that starts. I’ve started working out to a Jillian Michael’s DVD and wondering why, considering the state of the Earth. For f-’s sake. Who gives a crap about Benghazi, or the IRS or Jolie’s breasts when collectively we should be demanding better treatment of the planet.

I don’t know how to do it. Husband and I own one vehicle. We recycle. Plant flowers for bees and butterflies. We volunteer. I know, it’s not enough and it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth every time I think about it. What do we do to get better, be better, help another person out a little bit more than we are trying? I just don’t know.

It’s probably just a personality trait—I have this wonderful wall now. I must not deserve it so I make myself feel bad about everything else…but the weather throughout the world scares me.

Last week, the radio was off for gobs of time. Now it’s back on and I hate not having power to save the fish that are floating in Lake Erie or the flocking West Nile virus infected birds. F*ck.

So, I suppose I’ll do what I can. Give a thumb up to work I like for r.kv.r.y., plant more flowering vines for bees, breath. Go on with a bit of courage. Hope people I know I love them for being them.

 

(*These are just some of my sad creekside reflections. Your outlook on life may vary.)

Could It be the Weather

Welcome to my first blog after another birthday. If you wished me a happy one on Facebook, I appreciate it and thank you. It was really fun to get that many good wishes. The day before, my award certificate for the Mary Kennedy Eastham Flash Fiction Competition Arrived:

What a great early gift!

Husband brought me a lovely rose which Cat decided was hers:

She can have the flower as long as we’re allowed to live in her house. Territorial? Cat? Nah…

Then there was a tussle over the ribbon:

And there you have it, my birthday.

I’ve been in a funk, but I’m pushing through it. It might be considered a birthday funk though it’s been going on longer than that. *Sigh* Life sometimes, aye?  Maybe the many submissions I sent out on the 31st will be responded to with acceptance. I still have hope. A little bit, though nothing has happened yet. I have had 14 submissions on Submittable with 7 marked as ‘In Progress’ for days now. I’m beginning to think my page is broken.

So, back to the writing…and obsessive checking.

Until next time!

*These are just my creekside reflections. Your experiences may vary.