Christmas Light

WHITE CHRISTMAS TREE MODERN LIGHTS 2 - Ana_J - PX

 

Oh Christmas tree, oh geometric Christmas tree,
Updated decoration of this century,
Combining old tradition with technology —
Eye-catching combination set for all to see.

I wonder if the architect has realized
That though his modern concept is a structural prize,
The Light that gives it meaning appeared to Moses’ eyes.
From burning bush to modern tree, it’s Jesus Christ.

 


photo courtesy of Ana_J @ pixabay

 

 

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Noel Cinquain — Day 4

BURST OF STARS - HAPPY FACE -- Geralt - PX

Noel:
The King is born!
Let everything with breath
Burst forth with shouts of thanksgiving.
Noel!

 

 


photo courtesy of Geralt @ pixabay.com

Smell the Autumn

It’s been a week of enormous strain and pressure, but the result is a great deal of work completed successfully. I’m relieved, a little bit proud, and very much in need of some R&R. Probably won’t get it, but looking at this picture relaxes me. It makes me want to take a long, deep breath and let it out slowly, then kick back, close my eyes, and just inhale the rich scents of autumn.  So I thought I’d just go ahead and share it with you. Some of you might need the refreshing it offers as well.

autumn cabin -- 12019 -- PX

 

 

 


photo: pixabay.com

 

 

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The Beast

I dragged this story out of my archives this morning. I had totally forgotten about writing it more than two years ago, and I enjoyed it so much myself I decided to give it another exposure on this site.


 

BULL SILLHOUETTE EDITED -NEGATIVEThe sun was low in the sky and to my back. I lay on the ground, looking up at the clouds and turning them into all sorts of things. One looked very much like a turtle. One like a smiley face, since it had two holes where the blue peaked through, giving it eyes, and another opening that really did look surprisingly like a grin on a child’s face. One of the clouds looked a little like an old school teacher I’d had who wore her hair piled high on her head in a beehive style. Boy, did that thought give way to pondering where time has gone.

Suddenly, I heard a branch crack behind me. Now, I’m not normally skittish, but this cracking sound was loud enough that I knew it must have been more than just the normal activity of birds or squirrels in the bushes. And, since I was in my own back yard, with a fence around the perimeter, there shouldn’t have been any other creatures – human or otherwise – setting foot beyond that fence uninvited. I didn’t welcome that sound.

I didn’t sit up immediately, but sort of rolled my head to look toward my left first – and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Then I rolled my head toward the right side, and on the ground beside me I saw the shadow of a huge head – not human – but obviously belonging to a beast of a different sort. My heartbeat went into double time, but I just lay there sort of frozen. As I watched, fighting down panic as well as I could, the shadow moved, coming forward and revealing the shoulder area, two legs, and an enormous frame.

I thought about praying, but the words stuck in my throat. I suppose I did manage a silent cry for help, but my primary thought was how to manage rising from my vulnerable position without seeming a threat to said beast and prompting a vicious attack on my person. I contemplated what I had available as a weapon. Well, there was a broken branch or two close by that had blown from a few surrounding trees during a recent windstorm. I glanced again to my left to see if I might be able to reach out for one without actually moving the rest of my body.

As I did so, I felt rather than saw the beast move closer to me. Frantically, I scanned the area to my left, but found no branches big enough to provide weaponry. Just small twigs and several old leaves. Not even a big rock. Finally, I decided that I couldn’t just lie there any longer. If I did so, I was obviously going to be dead meat, and just maybe my jumping up quickly would be enough to throw off the beast’s attention and give me time to start running.

Okay. I squeezed my eyes shut and psyched myself to do it, but just as I opened my eyes, the huge shadow suddenly loomed right over my head, and I knew it was hopeless to try to escape. I could hear it breathing in my ear. Then I really did decide to pray, because if this were to be my home-going, I wanted to be ready. I squeezed my eyes shut again, bracing myself for the impact of the attack, when to my greater shock, something sloppy wet took hold of my right ear. The next thing I knew something else cold and wet nudged me in the side of my neck. And then my face was being slathered with slobber from my chin to my temple. What was it doing? Tasting me to see if I merited being eaten?

I put my hand up to try to cover my face, and when I did, this little furry body just sort of threw itself at my hand and started whining and wriggling, trying to get my hand away. Well, the body attacking mine was so much smaller than I had anticipated that I decided I could open my eyes and chance a look. So I opened one eye and squinted between my fingers, which I still had pressed against my face, and what I saw brought me into a sitting position roaring with laughter.

The little yellow lab puppy who was pouncing me and trying to give me a bath in his saliva couldn’t have been more than three or four months old. So this was the beast I’d seen in shadow form? Surely I wasn’t foolish enough to have made a mistake like that. But upon making the effort to sit upright fully and look around me in all directions, I realized that, sure enough, this little pup and I were the sole occupants of my huge back yard. He was little enough he could have squeezed under the fence if he’d had a mind to. And on further reflection, I realized that considering how low in the sky the sun had been, if it had been shining just right on that little fellow’s body, he would have thrown a shadow many times larger than his real size.

I grabbed the little guy and took him onto my lap, giving him a few good scratches behind the ears and a thorough belly rub. While doing so, I thought about how so many of the problems in my life had looked bigger than life and had threatened to destroy me. But, in truth, when I had finally decided to stand up to them and look them square in the eye and recognize them for exactly what they were and nothing more, I had forced them to show their true identity. And when all was said and done, they were always smaller than I was, and I had eventually defeated every one of them.

I determined to make a lasting mental note of my experience that day and to remember the lesson I’d learned from that little fellow with the monster shadow: Never judge a problem – or a puppy – by its fearsome shadow.

~

 

 

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Weekend Coffee Share 8/18/18

If we were having coffee together today, I’d tell you that I need about 3 more cups, along with a huge piece of chocolate cake and a handful of potato chips — you know — for that ‘sweet & salty’ touch. It could be that I’m just hungry because I’m writing this at suppertime. But I’m not fixing supper right now because I’m waiting for my nephew to come and move a very heavy appliance for me. So I’m probably just really, really hungry period. But boy, the coffee and chocolate cake would make a great supper, if you ask me.

I’ve had a very busy week, but it’s not the kind of stuff I really want to spend time going back over, so instead of telling you about my week, I’m going to do something different this time around. I’m going to give you one of my stories from what will soon be an anthology of short stories from the Elixir of Life Coffeehouse. So put your feet up and have another cup on me while you read.

 

COFFEE & LAPTOP -- Gilliw 1864 -- PX

AS THE PLOT UNRAVELS

“I don’t know what to do,” Neville groaned, rubbing his hands roughly over his face. Then he pushed his laptop out of the way and leaned both elbows onto the coffeehouse table, propping his chin in his hands.

“What’s wrong?” Clarence, the waiter bussing the table next to Neville’s, turned to question him.

Neville looked up, startled. “Oh … blast … I didn’t realize I had said that out loud. Sorry,” he added looking sheepishly around the room to see if other customers had heard. He was relieved to see that Elixir of Life Coffeehouse was having one of its quieter days.

“No problem,” Clarence answered and walked over to Neville’s table. “Can I get you a refill?”

“Yeah, that would be great,” Neville answered, handing the boy his cup. “It’s been a rough writing day.”

The young man returned in record time with Neville’s refill and stayed to talk a moment. “Do you have what they call writer’s block?”

“No.” Neville shook his head and continued. “No, Clarence. This isn’t writer’s block. In fact, I almost wish I did have that dreaded condition. My problem isn’t that I can’t get the story to move along. This story is moving along at an incredible pace. The problem is that it’s writing itself, and my original plot is unraveling as fast as I can put my fingers to the keys.”

“You mean you’re not in control of your own story?” Clarence looked at Neville as if he had lost his mind — just a little. And that made Neville laugh.

“Don’t worry, my boy,” he said. “I’ve not gone bonkers yet. And … thanks for making me laugh. It helps. But to answer your question, no, I’m not in control of my own story.”

“Wow … how does that happen?” Clarence asked, really into this new information he was being exposed to.

“Well it’s not too unusual for a writer to get into a novel and find that one of his characters seems to gravitate in a direction other than what he had originally planned — or that the story seems to be flowing toward an ending that’s different from what he jotted down in his outline. But what’s happening in my story is different.”

“How?”

Neville shook his head and sighed. “I’m not sure how it’s happened, but every character seems to be taking on a brand new identity and making his own decisions. The guy I had pegged as the hero has suddenly become the villain, and the woman he loves is rapidly developing feelings for his best friend — which means he will probably end up killing his best friend — he’s already entertained the idea — and maybe even offing the woman as well.”

“But does it matter who ends up being the villain and the hero — I mean — as long as you have one of each, it’ll come out even, right?”

Neville chuckled. “Well, it’s not quite that easy. My publisher assigned me a contract to do a specific kind of story. One that will be a believable sequel to my last three novels. They were moneymakers, and I’d hate to mess up a record like that. I spent the money I made on them, and now I need more.” He rubbed his face agitatedly again. “Besides that, I’d be breaking my contract if I didn’t give them what I guaranteed.”

“MmMmm, you do have a problem,” Clarence said, so engulfed in the conversation now that he just sat right down at the table beside Neville.  They both sat in silence for a moment, Neville stirring his coffee and staring at it as if he could somehow find an answer in the dark liquid. Finally Clarence asked, “Why don’t you just delete all that part that changed and go back to your first chapter and start over on the story you intended to write. That would take care of it wouldn’t it?”

“Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that.”

“Why not?” Clarence asked, his face showing his obvious confusion.

“Well, Clarence … as strange as I’m sure it sounds to you … the truth is that I’ve totally lost track of the story I intended to write … and besides ….” He paused and glanced off to the side, lost in thought for a long moment. Clarence waited, figuring Neville was trying to work out a plan.

Suddenly Neville looked back at Clarence with a smile on his face. He looked serene  now, rather than agitated, and Clarence leaned toward him across the table to ask, “You figure something out? How to stop this runaway story?”

“Nope,” Neville said, grinning wider. “I’m not going to stop this story, Clarence.”

“Huh?”

Neville reached over and rested his hand on Clarence’s shoulder. “Clarence, my boy, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to give this story my whole heart and soul and let it lead me wherever it wants to go.”

“But what about your contract and all?”

“Blast the contract,” Neville said, beginning to close up his laptop and slip his notes into his briefcase. “If that publisher can’t see the truth about the value of this story, then he can sue me.”

“But –”

“No more ‘but’s‘ my boy,” Neville answered, rising from his chair, laptop under his arm. “This is the best damn story I’ve ever written in my life, and I’ve just decided I’m free enough to give my creativity its own head and let it take me to my destiny.”

He slapped down his last five dollar bill as a tip for Clarence and headed out the door, whistling.

 


If you’d like to take part in the “Weekend Coffee Share” posts, hop over to Eclectic Ali’s site and get the details about how to join the group.

 

 

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Experiment # 2 in New Poetic Form

I’ve composed a second poem in my new form — as yet un-named. I’ve searched to find any indication that this form has been used by any other poets, but I know I haven’t unearthed all the information. So, as I mentioned in my original post when I introduced this form, if anyone out there knows of it’s being used previously, please let me know in the comments below. Once I’m convinced it truly is a new form, I’ll need to give it a name. So if you have suggestions for that as well, let me know.

Just to review, the form is as follows:

5 Lines.
The first, third, and fifth lines have to rhyme.

Line 1 has 3 syllables
Line 2 has 6 syllables
Line 3 has 12 syllables
Line 4 has 6 syllables
Line 5 has 3 syllables

Meter for lines 1 and 5 is dactyl.
Meter for lines 2, 3, 4 is iambic.

I’m still finding this form pretty difficult, but I like a challenge once in a while. If you want to try it and write your own poem in this form, please share it in the comments section or by a link to your own blog.

Here’s this newest effort:

HEALING HAND - DARK SEPIA - FEATHERED

PARAMOUNT KNOWLEDGE

Knowing God:
Oh, what a wondrous thing
To comprehend such pure love; I’m completely awed,
Learning I am priceless
To my God.

 

 


 

Photo Challenge # 206 – Grandpa Elmer

This week’s photo challenge called for writing poetry or a short story. However, the photo reminded me so vividly of my real-life experience that I took the liberty of writing a memoir instead.

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Photo by Vincent Bourilhon

My Grandpa Elmer was a Rambler man. Not a ramb-ling man, you understand. But a Rambler owner. He drove one for years. It was sort of a soft light green color, and I have special memories of that old car that still warm my heart today. Of course, the memories are really of my grandpa, but he and that old car were buddies, so wherever he went, the Rambler went as well.

During the years that Rambler was in the family, I contracted for my first teaching position — in a town about an hour away from my home. It was a very hard time for me. I had just gone through a divorce, and I was broken-hearted and seriously doubting my abilities to succeed at very much. But I did love teaching and had been trained for it, so I took the plunge when the job became available.

I was not to know that the school system itself had very serious problems. The teacher turnover that year involved 20 resignations and new hires to replace them. At the end of that year, the turnover was again abnormally huge — with 13 of us leaving. It was a truly negative experience for most of us who had gone to work there that year, but we all learned a lot — mostly about how to choose our employers with a lot more care. But at least everyone of us did finish the whole year and completed our contracts without giving up due to the bad treatment.

However, I had another particular problem personally. I had no car. I located another teacher from a town very close to my hometown who had taken a position at the same school, and I managed to work out an agreement to ride with him. I paid for the gas, and he drove his car. Unfortunately, his schedule didn’t click with mine on a number of occasions, and when he had to drop me off about half-way home, I was stranded. Getting through each day of teaching in a very bad school environment to start with, and then having to sit for an hour or more, waiting to get a ride with someone else in order to even get home was really dragging me down.

But Grandpa decided to come to my rescue. I can’t count the times he drove that Rambler many miles to come and get me on those very late afternoons when I got stuck part-way home. And he’d always get to my drop-off point within minutes of my arrival.

I was discouraged with that job. The school system was run by  irresponsible and foolish people, and the whole experience was a struggle every day. When I added the driving situation to that mix, I was just about ready to resign from the position, cut my losses, and try for a different position the next school year.

But Grandpa knew that quitting was never the way to go when the only reasons to quit were difficulties and disappointments. There are times in life when we may be led to resign a position in order to move upward and onward, and but those times are positive experiences, and they do not amount to “giving up” or “being beaten” by the circumstances. Grandpa had lived his life overcoming obstacles and circumstances, and he didn’t want me to give in too quickly. He knew it could set a pattern for life if I didn’t learn to stick with a job and finish it once I’d committed to it.

One afternoon I sat in the passenger seat, smothering in the heat pouring from the car vents — Grandpa always wanted his car nice and warm (read that boiling hot). I was so downhearted that particular day that I spoke my thoughts out loud and said I was thinking that maybe I just needed to resign. Grandpa didn’t look at me. And he didn’t raise his voice. Very quietly, he said, “No, Sandy. You don’t want to quit.”

Tears come to my eyes even now when I remember that day. He didn’t add anything else to that statement. But it took root in me. I realized at that moment that my grandfather cared so much that I learn to keep my word and take responsibility for finishing what I committed to that he got into his car and drove all that way, time after time, to make sure I was able to keep that commitment. I decided that if he cared so much about my “making it” that he gave so much of himself, then I owed it to him to stick it out and make myself end the year successfully.

Grandpa’s Rambler didn’t have balloons lifting it into the air. But as I looked at this picture and remembered those rides in that old green car, I realized that I had something even better than balloons lifting me during that year. I had my Grandpa Elmer. And he was truly the “wind beneath my wings.”

 


To participate in the Photo Challenge # 206, visit Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

 

 

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Read

READERS ON TRAIN VINTAGE - ArtsyBee - PX

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Reading makes the heart grow bigger:

Reading brings you entertainment, adventure, knowledge, comfort, and hope.

Reading quickens your mind, stirs your soul, fires your imagination, and enlarges  your dreams.

Reading opens the door to places you’ve never been, sets the calendar to times you’ve never experienced, and introduces you to people you’ve never met.

Let your heart grow bigger. Read a lot.

 


Photo: Courtesy of ArtsyBee @ pixabay.com

author/sandrapavloffconner

 

 

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