"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anniversary and A Cure

It's my blog's anniverary month! We're four years old. I started this blog back in November, 2008, back when it was deemed essential for an emerging writer to have one, but I was afraid that nobody would want to read about my bulky manuscripts and fledgling attempts at publication, so I wrote my first post about beets.

Pretty funny, eh?  Let me explain. When I'm not writing, I'm gardening, and I know that everyone loves good food. (As George Bernard Shaw said,  "There is no love sincerer than the love of food.") So I thought I would begin by writing about something we can all agree on. My first post was about the tremendous beet harvest of 2008 with a recipe for Rosy Beet Risoto from my sister, Bett. And then I shared my mother's homemade spaghetti sauce recipe, memories of the season triggered by a November gale and gunshots on opening day as I carried a bowl of sauce down the road to her place.

Back when pheasants were plentiful, opening day of hunting season was a main event. We always made friedcakes, using my grandma's deep ol' fryer and an ancient recipe. It was an all-day process, at the end of which the counter would be full of warm friedcakes dripping glaze or coated in sugar and cinnamon. The hunters would report in at the back door, eat friedcakes, and discuss the hunt.

But back to blogging. I moved beyond food, and suddenly one day I had a follower and more than one comment. Who would've guessed? I didn't know there would be such a thing as followers and feedback. Did I say I knew anything about blogging? I knew nothing, but I got braver and posted an excerpt of my writing and a poem or two.  I met other writers and artists, editors and interns. I started to get more than a couple of comments on a post, I dared to offer advice, wrote about writer do's and don'ts, and posted a book review. I shared experience and fessed up to rejections. I received a few blog awards (remember when those things were all the rage?) and passed them on. I had fun. 

Of late, many have questioned bogging and wonder if the pheonomon has run it's course. But I think that as long as people hunger to share ideas, receive advice and get feedback, there will be a reason to blog and interesting people who will do it. Blogging opens lines of communication between people who would never have otherwise met. I love getting a comment from Australia or Europe or Asia, or from someone in the next county. Some months I may only get up 2-3 posts but that's OK.

I began by singing beet praises, so let me end this post with a story about beets. When my grandmother was a young woman (my father just a boy), she because very ill with what was then called Quincy. We now know it as acute tonsillitis. She became so sick, she could barely breathe. Grandfather sent for her sisters to come and help. The distance was great with nothing but a team of horses to ease their journey, but they made the trip and arrived on a blustery winter night and started chopping up beets. They made a beet poultice and wrapped it around her neck in a cheesecloth. They didn't cook the beets; they simply chopped them in a food grinder and wrapped them in cheesecloth. They changed the poultice several times during the night. In the morning she was better.

In closing, I'd like to thank all of you for reading what I write and thank you especially for all your encouraging words. Even if you only drop in ocassionally, that's all any writer could ask. I remember each and every one of you. I thank you for making blogging fun.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Friday Flash 55

THE CESSPOOL OF SILENCE
The boys gathered around the hydrant as darkness fell. What’s your nationality? one asked her. Stillness descended like night on the wheat field, and she understood the question carried a weight she didn’t understand. You know, he prodded, where are your ancestors from? She wondered at their silence. She wasn't sure where she was from.
 
It's Friday, so time for a flash, fiction that is. If you write flash fiction, condense it into 55 words and then let the G-Man know. It's fun. It's Friday. Where're you from???

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Boy And His Car Seat


The boy stood beside his car seat, coat open,
small duffle bag at his feet,
like a hitchhiker,
left where he’d been dropped.
His mother talked on her cell phone,
voice carrying across the lot,
watching the cars drive by the gas station,
impatient to get on with her life.
Somebody is late.

 

Written for G-Man and his Friday Flash 55. He has a wonderful poem this week extolling the inner witch in us all. Click on his link to read the history behind the Hedgewitch.

TGIF

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November Stew

Thoughts for November:

Is Sandy an anomaly (just a freak storm), or is Sandy our new reality? Does the fact that Greenland had no summer ice shield for the first time in recorded history have a bearing on the fact that the storm turned inland instead of out to sea, as is the norm?

We're off for the north country for a needed respite. Heading to Lake Superior to catch a sight of the gales of November off the "big  shining sea". But I expect we'll miss the whitecaps to the horizon reported yesterday.

While the devastation on the East Coast is heart wrenching, the new civility in the political campaign is as refreshing as a dip in aforementioned lake. I trust that New York and New Jersey will bounce back with their usual resilience, assisted by the coordinated help of a a fully funded FEMA and a strong Federal Government. At times like this, it sure is nice to have one.

We will be back in time to vote. I hope everyone does. They always talk about "likely" voters in the polling data. What about the 90 million unlikely voters? What would happen to all the polling data if a majority of them turned out?

Five days to the big election. Let's vote!

Oh, and of course I'm taking my diary and my kindle so I can write and write and write, keep in touch with the online world, and inbibe in some of Marquette's famous micro breweries (seeking the muse), all while enjoying the serenity of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Wish me a safe journey! I'll see you in Five.