Rise and Shine at seven forty-seven
first breaths unremembered
There was always love surrounding
warm arms waiting
a soft blanket against crisp fall air
Paper hats & piñatas & chocolate cake
& smiles deeply felt
The virgin in her protective shell
keeping each part of life in its separate place
Nature’s palette adds its own paint
shifting greens to golds
newness to ne’er-do-well
and it falls
tumbling, dancing, orange-red to the ground
not the first
but the deepest
Another beginning at the start of death
branches baring solid stems
never mind, they whisper
all things heal
September 17, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thank you, Linda, for sending along these two blog awards! (Which reminds me I had 2 from Andra some time ago I forgot to post. *blush* Now I can’t find them. Yes, I need help.)
The first is:
I’m passing this one along to--
S.G. Cardin – http://sgcardin.blogspot.com
Lisa - Peel the Onion - music, society and humor
Paul - http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendId=492549152
Check out their blogs. You won’t be disappointed. :-)
With this one comes Q/A …
When posting the award, list 7 of your favorite things, 7 of your favorite activities, and 7 things no one knows about you.
Okay then, I’ll give it a go but as long as I’ve been blogging, there may not be 7 things I’m willing to share that’s not already known. ;-)
5- Gorgeous Scenery
6- Scottish Coffee (any good coffee, but in particular)
7- Chocolate (of course)
2- HD Biking
4- Getting to know people and chatting (seriously, although I’m not as available for it as I’d like)
7- Learning stuff on the computer (design work, etc)
Unknowns (at least largely unknown):
1- I have a phone phobia. I rarely pick it up even to call family.
2- I’m actually a Type A personality although most who kind of know me would think I’m a B.
3- I took dance lessons most of the time I was growing up but don’t like to dance in public.
4- I have 3 siblings and 9 first cousins.
5- I have original signatures of 23 singer/musicians on photos or albums
6- I also have a signed thank you from Laura Bush for sending her a copy of my first novel. I have tons of respect for her and wish I could have met her personally.
7- I have a collection of M&M items for my kitchen and Seraphim Angels in the rest of my house.
I’m sending this to:
Andra – http://www.almarquardt.com/blog/
Dawn - http://blogs.myspace.com/dawncolclasure
David - http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1461602
TC – http://thewritegardener.blogspot.com
Charlotte - http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/1028995
Jen - http://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/931550 (this one is restricted to members)
DJ – http://blogs.myspace.com/mtclimber1976
So.. if you like blog-hopping like I do, skim around and check out these Lovely, Kreativ Blogs!
And many thanks to Linda Banche, romance author:
Friday, September 11, 2009
Pentagon – September 2001
I took this photo and the one below about a week after September 11th. We lived 15 miles away.
In June 2002, we took relatives into Washington DC. This was an eerie site:
A plane over the Washington Memorial.
I was also in Northern Virginia when terrorists with a white van were on a random killing spree. I still cringe when I see white vans.
In September 2002, we visited New York City and Ground Zero:
I have yet to visit Shanksville, Pennsylvania, but I will.
Now, photos taken of the September 11th mastermind by the Red Cross are being spread around by Al Qaida terrorists and sympathizers in order to garner support for another attack.
We cannot forget. And we cannot let our guard down.
Be safe, America. Freedom cannot be destroyed. We can’t allow it.
There hasn’t been one September 11th yet I have not shed tears for my country and the families and friends of the victims. I hope it never becomes enough “past history” that I’ll stop. For some of us, it will never be in the past. It will always be with us.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
While listening to a short band interview the other day where they talked about pyrotechnics and wanting MORE for each tour, I had to wonder why it’s so hard now to go to a “simple” rock concert and just … well, LISTEN to the music. How about getting rid of all that elaborate, expensive menagerie of stuff, lowering the price, and focusing on the music?
I guess I’m a tad old-fashioned. I go to concerts for the music. I like bands because of the music, not because of the looks and hype. I listen to words. I pay attention to intricacies.
So, when I find new music that takes me back to the days of concerts focusing on music, I can’t help but share it.
On September 9th, 1971, 38 years ago today, John Lennon released the “Imagine” LP. Even those who know next to nothing about Lennon or the Beatles know the title track. Imagine. The Seventies were very much about imagining. It was a creative, highly artsy time. I was only 5 when the album was released so to me the Seventies meant starting grade school and family birthday parties and little contact with the wider world. There was, however, music. Within music of the times, as I mentioned in an earlier post, we find the inner depths and attitudes of the times.
Now, in the form of an intriguing, enlightening new CD titled “Yellow Submarine” and produced by Marino De Silva, we have a nice recapture of the times and soul of the Sixties and early Seventies.
I have to say when I first heard about the CD, I was less than overwhelmed. I expected it to be all Beatles remakes and in general, I’d rather listen to the real thing than to a remake. There are exceptions.
Why did I order it, then? I’m big on research. I have to be for my job. So I researched the CD and found that not only do proceeds from the CD benefit Angels on Earth, De Silva’s foundation to help children with autism, but De Silva has also been an advocate for assisting the military and their families. That sold me. What can I say? As spouse of a retired soldier and Desert Storm veteran, I do have fondness for those who at least try to understand and care about what the military deals with, and especially those who try to do something to help. I’m also supportive of children’s charities. I didn’t order one. I ordered two.
The review: What can I say? I’m so impressed with this CD I’m thinking I should have bought more than two and used them for gifts. I still might. I’m a sucker for acoustic music, especially acoustic guitar, and for music that highlights individual instruments. With Yellow Submarine, there are lots of acoustic and highlighted instruments. I’m enamored with Steven Swinford’s Two Of Us acoustic guitar track and John Argent’s gorgeous piano version of Lady Madonna. The flute highlight in Jethro Tull’s Pavane is impossible to work through instead of stopping to listen (and I can work through most anything). The production of songs featuring greats Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, and Jimmy Page is so well done I can hear every sound in all its glory. It’s crisp and clear and about the music, not the hype. I was introduced to a few names I didn’t know and will now remember. Of course De Silva’s guitar work shines through and the title track by Duncan Faure featuring Marino De Silva is one of the exception remakes, a great cover.
Along with incredible music, there are clips of interviews with the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix.
I love this mix of music old and new, all in the same style and texture and technical excellence. There is no mush here. This is music by those who excel at music.
This is a must-have CD for anyone who enjoys 60s-70s sounds, as well as for anyone truly into the sound and skill of music at its best.
Find it here: YellowSubmarineCD.org and add them at Myspace
Find info on Marino De Silva on his website.
Since I have an extra CD, I’m using it as a giveaway – a raffle for anyone who comments about this review. Leave your own review if you’ve heard it or just say hello! I’ll run it through the weekend to allow time and make the cutoff date Monday the 14th at noon Eastern. I’ll throw in a few things of my own, as well. ;-)
Thursday, September 03, 2009
There is Scottish Thistle growing along the roads beside our house. We’re in western Pennsylvania, which apparently has such deep Celtic roots and ancestry that thistle happened to spring up from the earth. Okay, I suppose someone brought some back from Scotland. It wasn’t us, although we were there last summer, and although I had a lot of fun admiring the country’s national emblem growing wild in the highlands and along roads and being depicted on street signs and shop signs. I didn’t notice it here before. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention.
To be honest, it likely didn’t have the chance to grow as well as it has this year because … well, our state has yet to approve a budget so weeds alongside the roads aren’t being cut. At least that’s my theory as to why they’re taking over the sideline landscapes.
Yes, I’m enjoying the purple thistle. It reminds me of Scotland and I have a true, deep love for that country. It doesn’t quite match the love I have for my own, but it would be one of two places I would relocate if I every got kicked out of here (and with some of my political opinions, maybe I will be). The other would be Italy, but then I’d have to learn Italian. The Scots at least speak English: not quite American English but close enough to catch on quickly.
No, I don’t have plans to move, but when I mentioned to my husband that a local plant nursery had thistle growing in front of their building, which I thought was very cool, he said, “I can’t imagine why anyone would plant a sticker bush.”
Oh. I suppose he has a point. As I thought about it, I decided I wouldn’t actually want it in my yard, either. It’s a weed, you know. It will spread and take over if it’s allowed. And although I enjoy the bit of it I see, there is a line things need to maintain or else they cause havoc.
I also enjoy the goldenrod not being cut down. I’m allergic to the stuff and definitely don’t want THAT in my yard, but in my car as I’m driving past with the windows closed, it’s very pretty. [Now I’m hoping I’m naming that bright yellow weed correctly. TC, my professional gardening friend, may correct me, a gardening amateur.]
But that’s the way it often goes – something that looks like a very cool idea in its bright and shiny glory at a distance changes once you start looking closer. I think we see that in politics a lot. I’ll leave that thought for the moment. I blog politically blatant at Myspace and sometimes at Facebook, but not here. Don’t worry. I won’t start.
I know we see it in everyday life. And I see it in writing. Adverbs are weeds, for instance. In their proper place and kept at a minimum, they are pretty words that help a writer get an image across. Left to spread uncontrolled, however, they muddy the waters and we’re left with so many of them it’s hard to see the grass. I love grass. It’s the basic structure, the spreading earthy grounding soul of a yard, and of a book. I’ve become obsessed with grass after living in the south for 12 years and having such a time trying to keep my yard green and fresh. I planted some recently here and go look out at it every day. It’s thriving. I did nothing but prepare the soil, throw some straw over top to hold it and mulch it, and timed it just before a few days of rain moved in … and it’s thriving on its own. A beautiful site.
The patch that was nothing but packed dirt and weeds is now soul-soothing (green will do that for you) and makes me feel like my thumb is a touch more natural than I thought.
Of course I have flowers, also. The marigolds in the photo above are now planted here and there around my flower beds. Many don’t like marigolds because they smell bad. Yes, but they are natural pest deterrents. Critters don’t like their smell, either. I put marigolds in with my veggies this year and have had very little trouble with Japanese Beatles.
Flowers are the extra description of a novel. They highlight the story, bring color and beauty. Again, though, too much of it and it overpowers everything until the story is too hard to find.
Nature is about balance. Grass should be central. The Japanese would disagree with me, but I’m an American and so my statement stands. We like pretty yards of rolling grass without weeds and highlighted by flowers. That’s how I like my fiction, also. Rolling grass [story] with maybe a dandelion accent [weeds] here and there and a flowery [descriptive] highlight.
Tomorrow (September 4th) I’ll be introducing myself during Classic Romance Revival’s “Author Intro” month, part of their grand opening celebration. Come by and see what you can win just by commenting!