A Garden of Delights

Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

MOAR!

Posted on: April 10, 2017

Last week I thought I I’d set a S.M.A.R.T. goal for the beginning of this round of the ROW80.  Just a little thing…  one goal, to figure out what I really want to focus my attention on by making a list of ten things I really want to achieve in my life.

My mind of late….

It’s a bit more challenging than I thought.  I found a lot of “this would be so very awesome if I could do it” things, but…  whether it’s because I’ve been in a funk of sorts for a few years now, or because I’ve been too distracted with dealing with day-to-day blargh to want anything except an escape, I just didn’t get it done.

Since we all know that there really is no escape, that leaves a lot of brain-ing for answers that just don’t seem to be here now.  I have worked with the “this would be super awesome” bunch for a few days now, but that’s a huge list, and the processing is taking longer than I’d planned.

I have discovered a few things about myself in this…

  1. I cannot stop myself from discovering and seeing new things—the “Shiny” is all-encompassing.  Even when the ‘new’ things are actually very old (I fully intend to see lots of castles and ruins in a few weeks as we jaunt through England), I feel an obsessive pull to see and discover more.  Or in the words of the web…  MOAR!  Do All The Things really is a thing for me.
  2. All the Things isn’t feasible, but a lot depends on successful navigation of what is possible within the limits of time, energy and physical constraints (money, location, etc.) for me to maintain any kind of mental stability
  3. In addition to All The Things, I also cannot stop myself from obsessively volunteering to help others who share my passion for discovery and finding new things.  (Ask anyone who knows me personally…  I am a (frequently annoying) font of “try this” or “maybe you’d be interested in this” ideas and suggestions for shows, events, challenges, websites, travel info…)

Like many of my friends, I one of those 30 browser tabs open at a time people.  Social media is a dangerous place for me, not so much for the flame-wars (though those can be excellent places for story ideas and character creation) but for the plethora of links and ideas to consider and explore.  The images that inspire ideas…  like these!

Imagine walking these, the cultures of people who lived in such an area through history (keep in mind that whoever posted these photos did overdo the image saturation a bit)…  Copper and thus the Bronze Age in human history, may have occurred because one group of people realized that there were other ways to use the beautiful green stone malachite than for jewelry and personal adornment.  And when did people come up with the idea of making storage containers out of clay and firing them into pottery?

Yeah, I think of some odd stuff…

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jayce_and_the_wheeled_warriors_by_noender-d5zi9mh

credit NOENDER via Deviant Art

Kid TV is for adults

I wasn’t planning on this topic for a blog post this morning.  Actually, I was going to continue along the theme I’d started for my ROW80 Check-in and try writing a piece of flash fiction about a cat and his/her human.  After all, cats do make up a good portion of the internet… and my personal life.

But, I tried something different today…  mostly because I wasn’t finding the words.  I needed help, and I didn’t want to spend too long finding it.  So I hopped over to the One Minute Writer site for a kick in the writer butt.

But the prompt today had nothing to do with cats….

It’s okay though, because Approval Cat said if I could come up with an idea about Kids TV during a one minute writing session, then I should write a post about that instead of cats.  Approval Cat is so very understanding…  especially after some catnip and sardines.

So I’m going to write about inspiration, and how some of the silliest things can trigger one’s imagination and drive her to create stories and art.   I’m going to write about an 80’s cartoon.

Back in high school, I wasn’t the best student.  Bored often, distracted always…  I gave my teachers (and parents) no end of despair when homework was involved.  I liked to draw, but had stopped doing that for a few years because my father had thrown all my work away in a (failed) attempt to get me to focus on schoolwork and not obsess over horses and fantasy worlds.

I firmly believed I couldn’t write.  My grades in English were abysmal, and my best friend seemed to know everything about the subject, could write perfect sentences, spell perfectly, etc., so that felt like her thing, not mine.   And because I had been above-middling in arithmetic all through school without any effort, I listened when people said I should do that instead.

…fade out to middle school and earlier…

Thing was, I’d always created stories.  In the early days, I had created nations with my horse models and Barbies, scribbled little notes and plot lines of an Arabian princess (quite literally an Arabian) named Anocka-Jenay and a helpful rapscallion named Coca-nora helped the queen of the humans find a way to make peace with the equine people against the dangers of…  well, all sorts of kid fears, but usually the “bad” humans.

When my horses were taken away, for a time I still tried to make those stories, but my confidence had never been that high, and I didn’t have the same connection to a lot of other ‘kid things”.  Most of my childhood entertainment had been dismissed by my parents as too juvenile; most of my age peers didn’t talk about Jacques Cousteau, Walter Kronkite, and Quincy M.E. with the same passion I did (if at all).

… fade back in to high school…

There was Star Trek…  I liked it, a lot.  Like a lot of girls (born a decade before me), I thought Walter Koenig was incredibly cute as Chekov, and I did have a short phase of idolizing Spock, though mostly it was a fondness for Leonard Nimoy himself, since In Search Of was also one of my favorite shows, and the “Spock makeup job” made my skin itch.

But for me, Star Trek wasn’t unique.  My parents were avid sci-fi and fantasy readers and watchers, and every weekend there was something genre on the television, either the original Battlestar Galactica, Lost In Space, Buck Rogers, and so many others.  I used to fall asleep listening to Rod Serling’s silken voice drifting up through the floor because it was on so late in syndication.

So, when Shan Jeniah encouraged me (or I encouraged her…  or it was mutual encouragement, I forget now) to start creating a fictional world based on Star Trek because she’d fallen in love with it…  I definitely didn’t refuse.  I did love the show, and I definitely needed an outlet for some of that creative (and often very silly) energy I’d been building up.

But while I enjoyed the show and the writing, I didn’t love it.  And I hadn’t really found something that connected quite right.

Then, one morning while getting ready for school (I often watched cartoons in the morning while eating breakfast), I passed an odd show…  a bit Star Wars-like, a bit corny (okay, a bit more than a bit), with better than average art and cool music.  And, without even knowing why…  I was hooked.  I saw so much potential in these characters for more.  Questions like: why did Gillian have a domed garden before the Monster Minds came; what sort of magic was he using in such a technologically advanced world, flying fish(!), space ships that looked like ancient sailing vessels…  what kind of name for a powerfully intelligent plant creature was “Saw Boss” anyway?!

And..  it didn’t hurt that one of the first real episodes of the show was this one: Final Ride at Journey’s End.  It wowed me.  In the 80’s, it seemed pretty much impossible to find a cartoon that pushed boundaries the way this episode did, leaving viewers wondering if one of the heroes (or somewhat anti-hero) of the story might have died in a suicidal assault on the enemy.

Okay, so it wasn’t that unusual.  But at the time, even my cartoon experience had been severely limited, and though I loved what I’d seen of Robotech, I hadn’t yet seen a whole episode of it, and so didn’t know how dramatic a cartoon could be.  I liked knowing there wasn’t an answer…  answers were offered everywhere in kid’s shows, reassurances like the constant parachutes in G.I. Joe (not that I ever watched that show) or the friendly (read: annoying) commentary of 7-Zark-7 in G-Force that filled in the blank spaces with comforting words about how a town was going to be rebuilt soon or so-and-so was recovering in the hospital and doing well.

As if children needed constant protection against the truths of the world without a huge sugar-coating…

I liked the ambiguity that Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors left me with.  I could work with that ambiguity, and I did.  I created worlds upon worlds based on that ambiguity.

While most of my fiction has moved far away from its roots in Star Trek and JatWW fanfiction (most, not all…  the Was Long Variation and The Dots get regular doses of word love), this show in particular sparked a passion in me that has lasted to this day.  And I don’t see it fading soon.

So, thank you, One Minute Writer, for giving me a chance to speak about an inspiration.  And…  thank you too, Approval Cat, for letting me write about something non-feline.  And thank you most of all, DIC Audiovisuel, for producing this great show.

approvalcat2

Little Things

Posted on: May 8, 2015

Crumbling Beauty

Just a tree by the ditch

Or rather biggish things that are somehow so small we tend to ignore them….

I wasn’t going to post anything for a while, but I kept thinking about pictures and how a photo can make something so ordinary seem surreal and amazing. It’s a matter of focus and highlighting the right details.

Just like fiction… we writers take ordinary people and put them in situations that show how extraordinary they actually are. And why? Because we’re all extraordinary in our own way, but we tend to forget it when the world moves by so fast that everything feels out of focus.

A picture, a story… these are moments when the world stops and we can see the details that make a place, a person… special.

Like the picture above….  It’s no place unusual.  Down here at the edge of Green County, there are crumbling stone walls pretty much everywhere you look.  This  spot I’ve driven past at least three times a week for the last fifteen years, and except for noticing the daffodils in the Spring, I never really stopped to look at it.  But Wednesday night after my karate class, I had some time on my hand as The Boodle has advanced enough to be in the class after mine…  so I walked along the road to get a picture of the small pond there.  A little slowly because gravelly, hilly roads and Dr. Scholls sandals don’t always mix.

In doing so…  I saw this.  I think it was the best picture I took that evening.

So…  what haven’t you slowed down to look consider the beauty of lately?

A new thing...  for me

A new thing… for me

A quick announcement…  starting tomorrow, First Friday Photo will be hosted here.

Just a few simple rules:

  1. You can post as many pictures as you want, but you need to post at least one.
  2. You can only post your own work.  Photoediting is acceptable, as long as it is your own work.
  3. You add your post link to the linky
  4. You add the linky link to your post so people can visit everyone else.

Beyond that…  have fun!  I’m excited to see what you all come up with.  If you want to add links and a bio to your posts so we can find more of you work, please do so.  We’d love to see your Flickr and Imgur pages (at least I would).  And if you would like to tell people how you shot the photo and what (if any) post-processing you used, even better.

And if anyone feels inspired to write a piece of Flash Fiction based on their image, go for it too.  Let’s see where the creative muse takes us.

Won’t you join me tomorrow?

Sometimes people mean so much to us that all “things” seem inadequate.  We say we should give of ourselves, but that comes off as so trite.  And it’s hard to define anyway.  I can’t speak for most people, but I try to make myself available and try to do things for those I love without being reminded or asked anyway.  I love them and try to be attentive to them.

Bubbles!  MUST pop Bubbles (credit Ray Paulsen Photography)

Bubbles! MUST pop Bubbles (credit Ray Paulsen Photography)

So what to give a life partner who makes smiles just happen by being in the same room?  Who frustrates me by leaving the butter out and staring at me blankly when I ask if we need anything from the store before I head out then asks me why I forgot mustard when I get home…  Who perfected the infamous Muppet Dance and does pseudo-ballet twirls in our kitchen as I’m moving boiling water around….

I wrote a poem.

Flavor

I don’t like

      Coffee

Flavored kisses,

bittersweet, tangy

      Let me

take one of my

      Birthday truffles

Make sweet, hot, wet

      Drops on your lips.

Warm, melting,

      caress

my lips

      taste of yours.

My fingers reach to your hair

I hold you there

      Dripping sweetness

      lick it up

      take another bite.

I don’t like coffee

but your flavored kisses

            are too brief.

I wrote this before my husband’s birthday, but sharing it is a very different step.  I hope you’ll all indulge me for the moment as I wish Dan Happy Birthday (a few days off).

At the Henge (photo credit Eden Mabee)

I wasn’t planning on making this post.  With so much going on, it didn’t seem I could find the right headspace to write for August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman blogfest, but I just started reading Elizabeth Anne Mitchell’s “The Most Beautiful Woman” post…  and it got me thinking about how impossible that would be for me to nail down that title to one person.

Closeup decorative grunge vintage woman with beautiful long hairFor me, there is no “most beautiful” woman, unless she is the woman I’d just met and the one I might meet next.

She’s that homeless person that just walked into Bruegger’s this morning with a creaking shopping cart full of plastic bags, most carrying scraps of clothing.  She spent a half-hour in the bathroom, using it to bathe.

English: A picture of a plastic milk bag holde...

She might be the manager who saw Emily (not her real name) come in the store and who smiled and said cheerfully “Are we out of milk?  Would you like more?” and made small talk with her.  And made sure to leave a cup with some bagel bites and made sure there was extra milk and cream left out for the homeless woman to get a small meal before Emily left, wrapping a plastic bag about her shoulder to block off the cold wind.

Perhaps that most beautiful woman is the one I met in line while getting my sandwich.  Despite some rushing, we had a wonderful conversation about the weather and how the sky is so pretty in the Winter.

Just Women

Perhaps she is the receptionist at my son’s school who managed the most amazing smiles even though she lives in daily fear for her son’s life because an autoimmune disorder.

Yes, and no…

 

She’s my sister-in-law, my grandmother, my mother, your mother, your sister, your wife… you.

She is all of us.

 

♥ to all of us  And to the men in our lives too.  You guys are beautiful too!

Photo credits:

  • Beauty of a Woman BlogFest logo (August Mclaughlin)
  • English: A picture of a plastic milk bag holder (or pitcher) with a lid pouring milk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Just Women (Photo credit: tchon92)
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I don’t know how long I’ll continue posting these pieces–certainly for the rest of the week of the Poets on the Page challenge.  As I said: the words need.

For day two, Julie Jordan Scott asked people to choose five things they could see from the vantage point of their reading the original challenge post (at least that’s the impression I took from the post).  Then we were to choose one to write a poem about without naming it.

Of my five items (the Green Man, a peacock feather, fossils, rough wood paneling, and old ribbons from chocolate boxes), only one called out for a poem today:

So cold to touch
you warm
as
I trace you
slowly inward.

The saw laid bare youth,
old age,
death,
left points and sharp edges,
bands of color to abraid my fingers.

Now you shine, polished,
smooth peaks,
miniature valleys of ice.

Were you ever so warm
when you yet lived?

If you’d like to see a picture of my inspiration, click here.  Oddly enough, it’s been almost a year since I posted a piece featuring this on my writing blog Many Worlds Many Minds.


First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

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