A Garden of Delights

Posts Tagged ‘telling tales

Back From…

Posted on: May 23, 2017

Old cemeteries can be fun…

Oh…  many places—and times!—can’t forget about the very many time periods I just visited these past few weeks.

I thought I might be able to get around to a quick video/photo blog post while I was in England the past near-month, but…  even doing a quick Facebook photo post was often more than I could pull off easily.  Internet things were not the way I’d anticipated they would be in the the UK after over 10 years.  Ten years ago, the internet was spotty, but predictable.  You plugged your phone into the outlets at the hotel and waited most of the night for your photos to make the long journey across the ocean to home.

These days, you could do things faster, but the photos were generally bigger (and I took a LOT more of them) and things were wireless.  The hotels expected most people to have their own cell phones with basic connections, so oddly enough, internet access was even more spotty.  I did have a usable cellphone there with 3G service (as a non-resident, getting service with 4G and tethering/hotspotting was more of a PITA than I wanted to deal with, so our Pokémon Go use was limited to visits in Starbucks and Wetherspoons (what Elizabeth Anne and I affectionately call the Applebee’s of the UK) where we could get The Cloud or BT_Wifi.

I never thought I would miss Google Starbucks, but…  having an 11 year-old with his heart set on capturing a Mr. Mime (he saw one but never got close enough to catch it) brought out how nice it was to have our US wireless setups the way we do.  Of course, I was an idiot and mis-understood when my husband explained to me how our emergency back-up phone was supposed to work, which made this all the worse.  Ting does have a way to use its service overseas and we’d set our son’s phone up as “if we can’t get anything else, we can use this” device.  It seemed a reasonable thing to do for a $5 surcharge for the month.  Thing is…  calls would have been outrageous cost-wise.

First night in London, we went HERE

But…  it seems data wouldn’t have been.  I could have let the Boodle get online once in a while to try capturing the European exclusive Mr. Mime Pokémon.  Thankfully the Boodle said he had a wonderful time despite this (he’s already making plans for our ‘next trip’ and he hasn’t mentioned Pokémon at all, but he has mentioned several castles and historic ruins he wants to see).

I really don’t know how to describe how wonderful (and how frustrating at times) this trip was.  I thought I was going with few expectations, since I knew how different it would be to make this trip with my son after so many years away.  But I did have expectations… as did the Boodle.  They didn’t ruin the trip, but sometimes things were a bit harder because of them.  We  discovered that our interests aren’t as in sync as we’d both have liked (prime examples: the Boodle is quite obsessed with Stratford-upon-Avon and waking up late, while I found Stratford too touristy and wanted to up and out the door early to See All The Things!).

It would easily take as many weeks as we were in England to describe all the amazing things we did and experienced there.  I know my favorite parts, even with all the other parts being so good, were the three visits with fellow writers (fellow ROWer Alberta Ross and fellow WIPpeteers: Kate Frost and Elaine Jeremiah).  But there was also meeting Ann, caretaker of the Witley Court Facebook page and site staff; Marta, site archaeologist at Vindolanda; Issac and Rachel, the boy and his mother we met at Dover Castle and spent and evening playing on gun turrets and playgrounds and finally enjoying dinner with next to the English Channel…

How can one put the awesomeness of this sort of experience into a blog post?

I don’t think I could, and I’m not even going to try.  I will just leave you with one of our final views (well, except for the sushi bar at Heathrow airport) of England…  a view down the pond of St. Jame’s Park in London (we were almost, but not quite to Buckingham Palace when I took this picture) looking toward the Thames, the London Eye and 10 Downing Street.  Next week I’ll talk all about the writing I didn’t do while I was ‘across The Pond’.  😉

As the sights fade away…

 

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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?

It’s Flash Fiction Friday again.  And it’s also the day that my very first guest blog post!  If you’d like to check it out, head over to Everyone’s Story by Elaine Stock.  I’d love your comments, but please don’t stop there.  Elaine has wonderful guests every week, it might be worth some time to look over her past posts.

But wait!  That has nothing to do with Flash Fiction.  The Five Minute Getaway image that LS Engler used for her piece was lovely, but not the inspiration I needed.  So I went to the I Can Haz Cheeseburger site and found this great image (and Sharon Howard chose for her own for a delightful piece you should check out) and chose this one (isn’t it AWESOME?):

Illluminated Ice Palace, Schwarzsee, Switzerland via The Guardian

Ice Palace via The Guardian

Valistii grimaced as he looked over the barren expanse.  Dividing the Family like this had never been his intentions, but the way things had been between his brother and he…  He looked over at his wife, as she stood off by the excavating equipment, pulling the furs around her body closer.  She wasn’t looking at their soon to be new home.  She wasn’t looking at him.  She wasn’t even looking at her children.

She was looking, as always to the north and the  warm equatorial archipelago that formed his brother’s home.  Their old home…  Just because he couldn’t bear the thought of living there any longer didn’t mean, in her opinion, that she should have been forced o leave her home.  That Valistii had been able to convince her of the move at all only.  The sovereign had requested them personally as the new lord and lady of this new district.

This new district…  This wasteland of ice!

Why when he was finally old enough to be the lord of anything this problem land of nothing!  There were times he–

A burst of static broke through in his wrist com. |Sier!  We found something!|

Valistii allowed his binoculars to fall against his chest.  Something?  Out here?  He wobbled his way over the icy crust toward his step-son’s scout crew.  “Something?” he said as he slid the last few steps.

Lir waved a hand in front of him toward the rest of the crew.  “Look for yourself, Father.”

He needn’t have said so.  Indeed, Valistii hardly had heard the younger man.  He was too busy staring.  “Méykis bless!” he whispered.

To be the Lord of such a magnificent place!

So, the first three paragraphs were the only ones that fit in the 5 minutes.  New stories were just not flowing tonight.  But as I wrote it did get easier…  except that I still need to wake up around 6 am and it’s already 2am.  😛

I have other things I should be posting about such as updates for my Telling Tales and Bookmark Challenges.  Nothing doing tonight.  I’ll just leave you with a list of some wonderful Flash Fiction to enjoy.  Have a great night!

Weaving through mountains

Weaving through mountains

It’s Friday.  I looked over the Flash Fiction options today and my eyes just glazed over and my brain …which is set on some temperature well over 100 degrees at the moment…  just stopped.  So, I’ll forward on the lovely prompt that L.S.Engler posted for her Five Minute Getaway piece.  I’m going to give you the link for Chuck Wendig’s frighteningly detailed assignment for this week.  I’m going to apologize to myself (and Albert) for not even trying to start the Flash Fiction February challenge.

And I’ll send you over to my writing process blog Many Worlds From Many Minds for the opening of a story line I’ve played with for some time.

I am also putting out a request for guest bloggers.  The topic will be “What Inspires Me”…  The posts don’t have to be writing related only.  In fact, I’d be delighted if they were not.  We’re all far more than the accumulation of our words.  Contact me via email at mouse(at)sff(dot)net or @Kymele on Twitter if you would be interested.

Hopefully tomorrow after some sleep I will feel energized enough to finish my photography posts (at least one of them).

Oh, and to add silliness to more silliness…  I’m adding yet another online challenge to my list of to “get done”s.  This one, of course works wonderfully between the two other reading challenges I’m involved in: 50/50/Me and Telling Tales 2012.  I’m not sure I could pull it off well if it didn’t.  This one is called The Bookmark Break Challenge.  It’s to encourage me to finish all those half-red books I was enjoying then got sidetracked from for some strange reason.  You should check it out and spend a bit of time looking over Aubrie Anne’s earlier posts.  She has some amazing tidbits hiding in there.

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. Read the rest of this entry »


First Friday Photo

Something to inspire

obligatory “What I Allow”

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