Sunday, March 28, 2010

For Mom

Allison dug the paddle deep and pulled. Diamond like drops rained on her as she swung the oar over and into the depths to her right. Left, right, left, right. Dig, pull, dig, pull. She was on a mission.

Ahead she could make out the spit of ground in the early morning mists. Ole sat hunkered down, his blue heron neck folded. She didn't want to wake him from his slumber, but it was important. Allison saw his neck straighten to ballerina length and then his wings stretched. Before she could blink, he took flight.

And then she was there. She dropped the paddle to the bottom of the boat and sat still. The red belly of the canoe sliced through the reeds slowly.  Allison let it glide and she listened, afraid to even breathe. The tall grasses whispered against the canoe and she strained to hear the message, for message there must be. And then the canoe halted, brought to a stop by the same reeds that had hailed her. She drifted against them, leaning over. Closing her eyes. Clearing her mind. The message. What was the message?

The sun rose up full from behind towering pines and still she sat waiting for clarity, until it seemed no message was forthcoming. Defeated, Allison lifted the paddle and gently pushed her way from the reeds. How silly of her to think there would be a message from the other side? That her mother would somehow be able to give her comfort from the grave on this date each year. But she'd been so sure she would find it here. On the lake. In nature. This would be where her mother would speak to her once more.

She guided the boat, hugging the shore. There was no hurry to head home. The woman and her canoe glided on the cool water. Behind her, Ole took his rightful place once again and began to fish. The lily pads when she came upon them surprised her with their delicate white flowers puckered closed. Once again, she pulled the oar from the water and let the boat drift of its own accord.

Allison leaned to the left and let her fingertips graze the water. She closed her eyes. The rocking of the boat soothed and soon the tears that had been held back trickled down her cheeks. And that's when she felt it, a delicate tapping on her wrist. She opened her eyes and saw the iridescent green dragonfly studying her. It gleamed and sparkled. She smiled and it flew away. The message - it was of hope.  

Lou Jean Streed 1939-2009

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Arizona Spring

Yes, it's spring in Arizona. The flowers are blooming.

Everything is so bright and pretty.

We even have the garden growing.
The fruit trees are filled with luscious fruit!

And so is the driveway?

Each and every year since we moved to Arizona ten years ago, our home has been "grape-fruited" - this is apparently the southwestern version of "egged." At first I thought nothing about it. Kids being kids. Only, it's every year. During the spring. On Friday evenings. And the acid from the grapefruits eats the paint off the garage and house. And now that we've started paying attention - it's only our house out of the dozens in our neighborhood. 

I give!

Who are you?
What is the purpose?


Friday, March 26, 2010

The Loose Teas

Serendipity. Not only do I love the way that word rolls around on my tongue, (ser-en-dip-i-ty), and the other equally fun words of serendipitous and serendipitously, but I love even more the meaning. Serendipity: chance, fate, luck, karma - and another favorite word - providence!

This week I got lucky. I was driving from Hemet, California to Bakersfield - a trip I make every other week. Typically I drive straight through, getting gasoline before leaving on both ends. But this week, as fate would have it, I needed to purchase a gift for someone dear to me. We were brought together by chance, and have become very close friends. It was her birthday! And I was going to visit her. I had the card, but I needed a little something.

As I drove, the thought occurred to me that a tea shop was what I wanted to find. My dear friend loves tea, and perhaps I could also find a tea "pretty." But driving on I-10 how would I ever find such a thing? In the distance, I spotted a sign for Bed, Bath and Beyond. This was probably as good as it would get for me. Feeling a bit disappointed, I took the exit and headed down the service road. So you can imagine my surprise when I turned into the  parking lot and my car was heading straight - and I mean straight - for The Loose Teas Cafe and Gift. What providence!

Located in Monrovia - which is another great word to say!- the shop was amazing and so was the staff. They helped me with my present, even going so far as to place it in a beautiful bag with tissue. Gift wrapped! Later when I presented my gift it was loved. Now I'm cursing myself that I didn't buy a second, or a third. So I shall have to stop back next trip. By the way, the iced tea that I took to go - was serendipitously heaven.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring is here!

Writer's prompt: I love looking at photos and telling a story. This one is for you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

From the amazing collection of Ann McDermott

Hello all,

I'm so excited!

Several years ago I started to read the work of Ann McDermott. Her amazing collection of writing is incredible and, until now, has remained unpublished. You see she writes what others consider "fables" and "no one reads fables." I have to tell you, though, her stories are wonderful peeks into the natural world. Some may think they resemble a fable, I just know I enjoy them immensely.

Kudos to Mused, BellaOnline Literary Review and Lisa Shea for recognizes Ann and publishing one of her stories in their spring issue. I, for one, can't wait to see more from her.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Writer's Prompt

Today's writing prompt:

 Take a walk, squint and locate the fear.

This week I've been on line checking out 'book videos'. Videos that have been made to promote a book. Interesting. Very interesting. Check this one out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Critique Groups

For as long as I can remember, I have asked others to read my writing. I had always known I was a writer, and as such, I needed readers. It wasn't until about twenty years ago, though, that my writing ramped-up. I became more consistent and took it a great deal more seriously. I attended writer's conferences and there I learned of the Writer's Critique Group. A small gathering of people who wrote, read and then decorated your work with beautiful red marks, which hopefully helped to make you a better writer.

For more than fifteen years now, I've belonged to the same group. People come and go, but I consider them all accomplices in my writing life. This last week, a published author asked to read and critique my work. I was ecstatic. "Yes! I'm honored to have you read and critique something I've written." She came back with her ideas and started out with this paragraph: "Some writers only want to know they are brilliant. That their baby is perfect as is. If this is you, do not read any further."

I laughed. I guess I'm so far away from believing my 'baby' is perfect that the mere thought caused me to smile. You see, I'm hoping, yes, hoping that I shall gain insight by reading the beautiful little red marks that decorate the paper. I'm yearning for success and each mark, I believe, brings me closer.

Monday, March 1, 2010


Today I needed some inspiration.

First of all, I should tell you, I've been a bit under-the-weather. Which is so unlike me. When I'm asked, "How are you?" I'm always, "Well."

So to not be my best is unusual. It has created a problem for me, my mind isn't functioning like it normally does.

Then I found the perfect quote: When walking through the valley of shadows, remember, a shadow is cast by a light - Aeschylus

So behind this shadow on my day - my sickness, is the light! And I do so love the light. All of a sudden I'm feeling so much better. Ahhhh!