A Garden of Delights

Taking on the World; World Scores

Posted on: January 15, 2012

I’ve been feeling somewhat overwhelmed of late these past few weeks.  But it’s a good thing actually.

Recently I’ve become more “interactive” rather than “reactive” to the online community. Though it’s at the moment taking up more of my time than I like, I’m sure that with practice and some better tools (after many had suggested it, I did install Tweetdeck the other day, TY Kristen Lamb), with some trimming and pruning, with some creativity and work, not only will this all work, but it will work well.

Until then, I’m a little down and out of late.

Creamsicle Kitty

He's becoming braver, at least for me

The weather outside right now is lovely but so frigid that I am extra inspired to stay put and not do much.  It makes being the “crazy cat lady” on my road useful.  No matter what, I know there is a furry half-feral outside the back door twice a day depending on me for a supplement to his hunting efforts.  And probably more, though at the moment, I’m afraid they are being chased away by our neighbor’s little yap dogs (I’m not categorically against dogs; I am against unattended dogs that try to intimidate my son in his own yard–especially as it keeps Marcus from wanting to play outside).

There have been some wonderful things going on of late.  Through the ROW80 community of writers, I have found some amazing blogs online as well as challenge upon challenge to tickle my adventurous streak.  Today, thanks Alberta at Alberta Reads, I now know about the Telling Tales Challenge 2012.  It looks deliciously tasty, and I will be signing up this evening.  Yep, another challenge…  But I can do this with my other challenges; it merely focuses my choices for the 50/50/Me a bit more.

And through the ROW80 blog hop, little delights that have always attracted me seem to be appearing out of the woodwork saying “Look!  See how awesome this is?”

This week’s best example is the pieces I found on Ryukyu Glass

One of the rosettes from the chapel at the Albany Rural Cemetery

Simple but lovely

Why did this interest me?  Why do people find anything interesting? I’ve always loved glass, stained glass, colored glass, patterns of light and color…  One of my favorite places to go is the Corning Glass museum. It’s one of the reasons I love going into churches, especially old churches with huge stained glass rosettes. Even old abandoned churches (some people who know me would say especially old abandoned churches) where the glass is gone and all remains is a wooden outline draw me to them.  I look at these old beauties and wonder what the design looked like, how they had been removed… did the colorful shards tinkle down like a cascade of  gems one day?  Was the window sold off to a collector, to another church?  Is it still there, hidden from the rest of the world?  And why?

Stories abound!

Really.  Stories DO abound.  Another result of the extra blogging was the added inspiration to try out some flash fiction pieces.  To people who do these regularly, it probably seems silly to say that trying something like this scared the heck out of me.  But something clicked this week and I not only tried one, I went for a second one this morning.

The first I found through

Originally, there were three smaller pieces vying for the spotlight today, but checking into Facebook one of my fellow ROWers, Sharon Howard, posted her piece for another ROWer L.s.Engler’s Five Minute Flash Fiction Challenge.  And, I succumbed to the “shiny factor” and tried it.  The piece actually took 5min 30s, and it’s raw, but it’s a start.

The wall that had once fallen clear and clean, now hung fell white, blue, red and brown with trapped silt and debris…  dead.  What insanity made us come here today?  This glacial mass wasn’t pretty–it was intimidating.

But the kids wanted to climb the waterfall, and this was the time to do it.  Climbing water.  I’d laughed when I’d first heard the idea.  I should have guessed that our young children, the oldest just over ten, inspired by the world and not yet defeated by its reality would find a way.  I had demurred when they’d suggested this chilly hike, saying that if it’s ice, does that really count as water?  But my son, and Dee’s pair too, would not be deterred.

So here were were…  slipping and sliding in the not-quite frozen muck, wondering if we’d finally hit that rock that in warmer climes we’d know was ready to just slide down into the creek below us.

“Mom!  See, it’s not all ice!” shouted Dee’s son.    And, with careful preparation, the three young people, set down their packs on the smooth ice-filled pool that had circled the pond.  They suited up in their safety gear with more ease and familiarity than their mothers.

Dee glanced over to me with a red-cheeked smile. “I told you they would find a way, sis.”

So there you are.  Flash fiction number one.  Not sure if it’s good enough as it is, or if I’d like to develop it further.

The next piece is much smaller and more focused.  The rules are here at Chuck Wendig’s TerribleMinds blog.

When Kat cornered me in the pantry clutching armloads of seeds to my chest, she screeched for help.  Thoughts of my wife and hungry children at home drove me and, unable to see better odds for escape, I darted between Kat’s legs as fast as–THUNK!  Seeds flew from my cheeks as I felt something tear and then pain rising up from my back foot, but I didn’t stop running until I reached the comforting darkness of home.

Between these two pieces, I feel a sense of having done something toward my writing goals.  And the Five Minute piece had an added bonus of being so free form.  I can’t say I’m suddenly all psyched up to write more, but I’m willing to try again.

Links that inspired me:

Firstly, for the joy they brought, let me thank Viansa Blake for directing me first to Celine Shinbutsu’s page were I found this nifty little post on Ryukyu glass.  And not knowing what it was, I searched, spent some time here admiring the photos…  The rest is history!

Another very cool blog by Warren Stokes
Wonderful art work (I confess, I’m a BIG fan of mazes and similar puzzles, and these are superb.)

And this was just funny…
http://grantbarrett.com/hey-girl-words-of-the-year-2

And lastly:

May I thank and welcome my fellow bloggers who braved my sometimes discordant thoughts and clicked the “Follow” button to spend this time with me: Sharon Howard, Raelyn Barclay, and Robert Green.

Have a wonderful Martin Luther King Day.  Have a wonderful weekend as well.

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9 Responses to "Taking on the World; World Scores"

Man. I’m stoked at how many people have taken up that flash fiction writing challenge thanks to Susan! And I love yours! It’s such a great take on the picture prompt.

….but I’ve got to admit. I really love the second one especially. Poor little critter!

You can take some credit for both posts actually. You mentioned that you’d taken your Friday Flash Fiction idea from Chuck’s page. I’ve been semi-following him for a while, and your comment reminded me of how much I wanted to check out what his newest post was. The Three Sentence post was right there demanding I do it. Thanks for the nudge.

This was a very nice post. I enjoyed reading your blog today very much.

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Great work Eden, it’s lovely to see how others are inspired by the things we do! Your flash fiction pieces are great! I’m actually getting into flash fiction a lot more and finding myself enjoying it more than trying to pants my way through a whole novel! lol

[…] While waiting for the verdict on the car, I did manage to gather all the pieces that became this post on my other blog.  So chalk up some creative writing and a lot of typing as […]

Ummmmmm…..

I’m trying to phrase this diplomatically, but –

You’ve got our kids climbing a bleeping frozen waterfall?!?

Oh,and I KNOW you couldn’t make it like the little cute one at Paint Mines Trail…….no, I KNOW you…you;re thinking Kaaterskill, with the deadly plunge…..

Aren’t you?

I know it was a good piece when I need to go out in the living room to find them tangled in blankets, rather than frayed and snapped safety harnesses….

I am literally tense from bosy and mind silently recoiling through that piece.

Awesome!

But –

You’ve got our kids climbing a frizen waterfall!?!?!?! ANd I’m smiling about it?

Fiction, indeed. (And I think I loved it, I think I hated it, too….but maybe that’s just my phobia talking….)

I love you, though, and that part’s for sure! ❤

Sharon — Thank you. I agree. There is something very fun about pantsing little pieces like these. The sense of accomplishment is certainly one. But I really need to work on my bigger pieces too.

Shan — 😀

Yes, it is Kaaterskill. The actual image came from a trip Dan, Laurie and Jim (her Scottish gentleman of the time) climbed up the trail there by the road till we reached the main falls…and Dan and Jim actually climbed the frozen ice wall. Without any climbing equipment (not even special boots). And since they did it safely, I knew our bright and thoughtful kids (I know exactly how much preparation and planning both Miah and Marcus put into things they want to do) would be far better prepared for such a venture.

I’ll have to look and see if I’d brought a camera that day, because it really was quite incredible to look at. And intimidating.

Glad you liked it, and don’t worry. We all got home okay in my story. I’m the only one who twisted my ankle. 😉

For anyone who has never heard or seen of Kaaterskill Falls, it’s one of the tallest waterfalls in New York State. Here’s a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaaterskill_Falls I actually need to head down that way one of these days, since Palenville was basically destroyed in Hurricane Irene. I’m sure the creek ran red that day (mostly from the very rich red clay that forms the soil in the region…always makes the Spring thaws especially dramatic)

[…] cleaning my mental desk a bit, getting the ideas in my head down and out.  That post and my little piece on the Garden of Delights start dealing somewhat with all the stuff that has built up.  Who knew that I could find so much […]

[…] and a few other ROW80 members have been following our lead now including Darlene Steelman and Eden Mabee. This prompt was actually from a couple of weeks back now (I had already got a number of posts […]

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