Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Welcome!

Welcome to the new series on my literary blog.  I’ve struggled with the format of a different web page design software for several years, but now happily return to Blogger with the help of my new web design specialist, Maddee James of xuni.com.  I’m excited to re-start the conversations I’ve had with you and others interested in literature, writing, and nature.

In 1725, Antonio Vivaldi published his most famous work, Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons).  The first section was entitled Spring, the second Summer, the third Autumn, and the fourth Winter.  That cycle of seasons, in that order, might be the list most people would give if asked to list the seasons of a year.

After a career in academia, I would begin at a different place, with my favorite season, fall.  To me, fall is a time of beginnings, expectations, visions of the future.

Winter is a season of amplification, opening of the boxes of secrets, working to absorb the new ideas popping out of those boxes.  Spring is when cross connections and deeper insights can begin, the bud begins to open.  Summer is full flowering of the ideas in those secret boxes, when the insights from them can be played with in many ways and related to other fields, to life, to other people.

Starting a new web page is like fall, starting off with a new set of secret boxes and a beautiful, stimulating new design.  It invigorated me to create this new website with the xuni designer Maddee James.  I liked the shiny DNA on my old site, but somehow the overall website design felt generic, not specific to authors’ needs, and it simply wasn’t exciting to look at.  I find the new site gives me the pleasure of looking at a beautiful collage, but also gives me the mental challenge of seeing the connections between the different parts of the picture.  I love to reflect on that idea, and to find how swamps, keys, and birds work together, how DNA and the ocean relate to one another, and more.  I hope you will enjoy seeing this stimulating new design too.

I’ve used the previous incarnation of this blog to interview authors of new books, and I invite authors to contact me about reading and reviewing their work.  I’ve also run an annual word play called alphabetaphilia, the results of which you can download and look at.  Let me know if you’d like me to re-start that word play or to keep the blog focused on thoughts on various topics.  I’ve taught writing spirituality and Writing Our Way Forward since I stopped blogging, and I’d like to hear if you want me to discuss some of the insights from these courses on the blog.  Also, if there are topics you’d like to bring out, I’m interested to hear about them.

Please join in conversations that interest you, but please no erotica or painful sarcasm.  Welcome!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#Friday Fictioneers Whitewash

Dear readers and writers,

Time for Friday's 100 word response to a photo posted by Madison Woods (http://madison-woods.com) along with others all over the world.  I always appreciate any input to make the writing better along with reactions to the content.  Cheers, Lorelei

Whitewash

No teenagers live here, so my chances of selling off the whitewash opportunity are nil.  This whole wall has to be done by tonight, Nico said.  I wanted to go to school today too.  We were going to see a movie about pirates but of course, he has to have the back of the inn whitewashed.  And for whom?  Who will ever see it in this narrow street back here, except for old Stefanos and his donkey picking up the trash barrels?  Of course, his daughter Maria sometimes comes along.  Okay, I'm getting to work.  But first, let's see how I can make my hair come to a point.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Harvest Moon Dreams

Hi readers and writers,

I have always been fascinated with the harvest moon, especially with how big it looks.  I know we're supposed to think the huge size is an optical illusion nowadays, but I must say I am not really convinced that some trick of resonance with golden pumpkins and ripe corn doesn't inflate its image as seen by earthlings during harvest season.  Or warm air cooling, or something.

Every year, I feel a pull from that moon, a need to go outside and look at its shape and whatever I can see of its mottled surface.  I love its yellower-than-usual color and how it seems to hang right over the tops of the trees, brushing them with bright moonlight.   I'm sorry to say Halloween was not a favorite holiday when I was a kid, being too closely associated with Twilight Zone and similar fantasies, but the moon made the season worthwhile.  I kept sketches of its shape every night during October most years.

Today, it's hard to remember there IS a moon, we are so insulated.  But moonlight sneaks around the curtains and stripes the blue bedroom rug, and I have to go and look.  Is it round?  Gibbous?  Waxing or waning?  When does it rise and set each night?  You do realize (or maybe not) that rising/setting times change a lot each day?  If you're not a moon-watcher, give it a try this season.  It will pull you in.

cheers,
Lorelei

Thursday, October 4, 2012

#FridayFictioneers: Shadowed Kitchen

Hi readers and writers,
Time for a new 100-word fiction piece inspired by www.madison-woods.com #FridayFictioneers challenges. This week's photo is by Raina Ng.  If you go to Madison's website, you can join in...it's fun to write these and even more fun to see all the different responses to the same image.

I would love any input readers have for me on how to make this snippet better, as well as (of course!) any comments of enjoyment.

Shadowed Kitchen

Here I sat every day in the sweet-smelling shadows after school, after the bus dropped me off.  The smell of the cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon from the jars on the wall always made me daydream of food while I solved the math problems or English analogies.  In those days, every teacher gave us 25 short answer items a night.  Their mantra was "homework works."  In today's world, Adam only learns from the focus of his attention: his computer.  He almost doesn't even watch television any more.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Blackbird Sings, Coming Soon


Hi readers and writers,

I enjoy the annual project of Writing Our Way Home authors Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita, the River of Small Stones they collect in January.  Writers all over the world try to observe something with great intensity and write a short description of it, each day for a month.  A few of these "small stones" are collected by Fiona and Kaspalita and made into a book, an ebook and usually a paperback as well.  The collection of small stones, with philosophical musings of Fiona and Kaspalita, will be released soon.  It's called The Blackbird Sings this year, and I really like the cover design, shown above.  It will be for sale on Amazon and its release will be celebrated by a world-wide festival of new Small Stone poetry.  I'm proud to have a poem in the collection, but I bought last year's even though I had not participated in the project.  I'd encourage you to look at it and if you enjoy short poems, to buy it and perhaps to try your hand a small stone writing.  January will be here soon, and you would surely enjoy joining in if you decide to participate.

cheers,
Laura

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Exchanging Matter With the Universe


Dear readers and writers,

I watched a commercial on TV by accident today and it showed a man made of money, constantly losing dollars as he steered a boat across a lake.  It reminded me of something we don't think about very often.  When we touch things, we leave some of our molecules behind and pick up some of the molecules of the object we felt.  We exchange matter.  Seeing doesn't do that, but touching does.  You leave a sort of calling card and pick up evidence of where you've been.  You aren't exactly the same person as you were before you ran your hand along that rounded stair banister or shining oak table.

I like that idea a lot because it means we're connected with the things around us.  All we have to do is reach out and touch something and we merge with it in a micro way.  I don't know if you've ever touched a butterfly or moth and had a few scales from its wings come off on your fingers.  I had that experience as a child and thought it was pixie dust.  It does look magical, colors beyond what our clothes dyers can produce, shiny and dusty at the same time.  But you've left something for the moth or butterfly, it's just less gorgeous.  Some DNA, some skin cells, collagen, a bit of lipid.

What it really reminds me of is potlatch, the party given by Native Americans in the Vancouver area at which you bring a gift, give it, and take something away with you.  A sort of gift exchange.  I think it would be good for us to become more conscious that this is the way we interact with the universe.

Some exchanges are not equal over time.  I think of the hollows in old stone steps, where many feet have taken a few molecules each time until there's a bite out of the stone.  If we didn't wear shoes, would our molecules have filled in those gaps?

cheers,
Laura
Photo credit : Wikipedia/Creative Commons with thanks.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friday Fictioneers: Trolls

Hi readers and writers,
It's Friday Fictioneers again.  If you'd like to "play" along then go to www.madison-woods.com, where on the blog you'll find all the details about Friday Fictioneers.  The photo prompt this week is pasted below (Photo by Sandra Crook).  We write a 100 word response between Weds and Friday and link them all to Madison Woods' blog.  I am always amazed at how diverse the responses are, given the same photo!

Trolls

As soon as I went through the open gate, I felt it.  A menace hung in the air, especially over those rocks.  I passed the red crystal over the one to the left.  The crystal intoned, "Troll."  How had they been turned into stones?  Was it safe to go this way?  Would they reanimate at night and track me down?  Vancu needed the crystal and I had to try to get it to him.  I wrapped my drab cloak tightly around me and walked down the steps between the troll rocks.  As I passed between them I heard a bass "thrum" and creaking noises.  I started to run.