Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
|Point of Inspiration Chicken/Cock|
Chickens Were Once Chicks
Chicks are baby chickens.
And are found in Easter baskets wearing
baby colors; powder blue, pink, yellow and green.
often cultivated with large breasts and small brains.
(He’s a thigh man. I like breasts.)
Chickens cross the road, chicks follow and flatten.
Do you want to play chicken? It’s game where
we drive toward each other at high speed,
the one who wants to survive the most? What a chicken!
Chick lit, not solely romantic, empowering
and hot flashes. We're no spring chickens!
Walking around like a chicken with her head cut off!
The sky is falling! The sky is falling!
Crazy chick disease, it’s a softening of the brain.
He’s no chicken, nor is he a chick.
Audio Recording (Does the recording play on your computer?)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
|Beauford Delaney, "Throw it in the Creek" c. 1938|
I remember standing on a street corner with the black painter Beauford Delaney down in the Village, waiting for the light to change, and he pointed down and said, “Look.” I looked and all I saw was water. And he said, “Look again,” which I did, and I saw oil on the water and the city reflected in the puddle. It was a great revelation to me. I can’t explain it. He taught me how to see, and how to trust what I saw. Painters have often taught writers how to see. And once you’ve had that experience, you see differently.* James Baldwin, Paris Review 1984
A lot has been happening lately, and life events are encouraging me to look in new ways.
The painting above references the folk wisdom that if something gets bad enough it should be thrown away, "Throw it in the creek." This is a disturbing thought, because I keep thinking of the Bosnian girl whose brother filmed her throwing black and white puppies in the river. You wonder how could those puppies be bad? I'm making an unsettling connection, but I've just returned from taking my daughter off to college. I don't know quite what to do with myself right now; however, I am delighted that she got into a good school and that she is enjoying her new life. Ultimately, that is what makes me the happiest. Still, we don't realize how our daily lives are shaped by our loved ones until they are away.
|My college girl entering Mystic Pizza|
While I was off the island of Puerto Rico, Sr. Earl, the hurricane, came to visit. My husband called me during the storm, which he was driving through, and gave me a blow by blow (pun?) account! I hear the loud wind while I yell, "Don't talk to me! Drive! You might get hurt!" Then he says, "All the lights are gone. I can't see the road." Finally, I told him I couldn't take the stress anymore- and it was making me not hungry-so please hang up the phone. Oh, I know how bad that sounds! But it was such a surprising response from me that he did get off the phone.
I was at Mystic Pizza when he called. Do you know the restaurant in Mystic, Connecticut? It was the location of the movie, Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts. The movie features three teenage girls who all work at the pizzeria and are trying to figure out what to do with their lives; one is reluctant to marry, another attracts the son of a wealthy family (Julia Roberts), and one is saving up for Yale University. I kept thinking of the story, while we were looking around the area. I never realized that Connecticut was such a sea oriented society. We stopped at the Portuguese Fisherman, and had a very large breakfast! (but no seafood!) It's only open for breakfast and brunch. (I think it should be called a diner now instead of a restaurant.)
|Waffles cannot be contained on the plate! Huge serving sizes!|
The entire area seems to be patriotic and though I may be mistaken, it also seemed conservative. The flags were at half-staff because of an officer who was killed in the line of duty. (I first wrote half-mast but I think that term is best used on ships.) When I was seventeen, I served in the US Navy for four years and I think that this coastal area of Connecticut could be called a Navy town- only it's Coast Guard all the way! I felt that familiar but distant feeling of being around many people who are connected to the military in some way, either business or family. Veterans were proud of their service, and one waitress talked about her boyfriend overseas. Everywhere, the presence of the military was strongly felt. I asked a group of young men for directions and one carefully groomed man stopped in the middle of the road to make sure I got the correct directions. A car honked at us for making them wait, but I just thought that guy was so helpful with his southern accent and polite manner, he probably was in the Coast Guard, (Yes, I know all servicemen are not gentleman- I was in the Navy, after all!)
When I arrived home, the yard was full of hurricane debris; branches and abundant piles of long pine needles. It smelled a bit like Christmas. It took a half day to clean up the yard. I was thinking about hurricanes as I raked and washed.
A hurricane moves in a wide circle, the outer rings bring light rain, and as it picks up strength winds blow and bend trees. If it passes directly over, there is a time when it's profoundly hot, humid and the wind is still. It's a false calm because the storm is getting closer, but if you understand the hurricane's process, you have time to organize for the next ring of wind and rain to arrive. Usually, it's light rain again but then quickly turns into a dangerous storm. In the mountains, trees fall, mud slides, and a telephone pole may fall. But an amazing thing happens- you find the nicest people out on the road waving flashlights and yelling to passing cars (and complete strangers) that the road is blocked. "Slow down! Turn around! Be careful!" And though you cannot hear them, you know they must be warning you of approaching danger because they are risking their own lives while standing out in the storm. You slow down, see the telephone poll, and turn around as my husband did on the night that Earl brushed passed Puerto Rico. He was saved from a car crash because of those people shining their dim flashlights and yelling to save a stranger with all of their might.
The windy rings of change are turbulent, too, but don't you love it when you find heroes along the way? It's in the difficult times that we know how best to serve each other.These were my thoughts as I cleaned up after the storm. I'm having a storm in my life, but it's good. I have so much to celebrate and be thankful for!
|Waiting at the San Juan airport.|
Hi Neighbors! Thanks for reading- I'm sending you good thoughts.
*Thanks to writer, Cynthia Newberry Martin, for the quote and inspiration.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
When I was barely twelve, at my request my Mother bought me my first Tarot deck. If you don't already know (unlikely), the tarot is a means of looking ahead & providing guidance. I have quite a collection of books on the Tarot, and in every one the death card, welcomed by nobody, talks of rebirth as well as physical or relationship or emotional death per se.
Recently I bought myself a little pocket book aptly called 'The Little Black Book of Tarot.' I like it alot.
I read what it said about the Death card and I like the message well enough that I want to share it:
'Don't waste time. The death card doesn't mean that you, or anyone
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Nearly ready to go...................:)
Soon I will meet Emma, Bliss and Stella!from #11 and #9
Although I live at #5 it will be the first time in all these years.......
Hope you enjoy these sweethearts I just love to see the difference in fighting skills and approach (playing) between cat and dog.
When they get along there is nothing more heartwarming to watch then 2 different animals accepting, appreciating and loving each other.
HAW to everyone!
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Busy as I am, what would induce me to get up at 5.30 in the morning? The mystery grew darker as I hurried to catch the first train up to London. Was I going on holiday? No, although the reason for my excursion begins with the same letter… Sorry, as a crime writer I tend to think in ‘clues’, but without more ado, I’ll come clean and confess: I was travelling to Harrogate as an invited guest at the ITV3 Crime Thriller Season Launch Ceremony sponsored by Specsavers.
The shortlist for the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger was announced at a lunchtime ceremony at the The Crown Hotel, Harrogate during the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. This award is made in memory of CWA founder John Creasey, for first books by previously unpublished writers.
CWA Chairman Tom Harper said: “The CWA Dagger Awards have always enjoyed huge prestige among crime fiction fans and authors. The shortlists this year are incredibly strong, and that for the John Creasey has some exciting new talents, all working at the top of their game.”
The shortlisted books:
Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn (Pan)
Cut Short, Leigh Russell (No Exit Press)
Martyr, Rory Clements (John Murray)
Random, Craig Robertson (Simon & Schuster)
Stop Me, Richard Jay Parker (Allison & Busby)
Rupture, Simon Lelic (Picador)
The Holy Thief, William Ryan (Mantle )
The Pull of the Moon, Diane Janes (Robinson)
And if you haven’t worked it out yet – check the second book on the list!
Here are a few photos taken at the ceremony. The first one shows me dwarfed by two giants of crime writing (and I was wearing my heels!) Ian Rankin is on the right of the picture and Mark Billingham on the left. We were swapping horror stories about book signings. The second photo is courtesy of Ali Karim and in the third you can see Tom Harper, chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
My second book, ROAD CLOSED, has been reviewed in The Times "confirms her promise as a writer... well-written, soundly plotted and psychologically acute" ! I've delivered the draft of DEAD END to my publisher for publication in 2011 and am currently researching my next book in the series. Ain't no stopping me now!
Monday, July 5, 2010
I am the S.S. Me - the Steam Ship Me - pushing full speed ahead. My speed is controlled by the power of the coal, the fuel, that I stoke within myself. Yes, I power myself. It is just me that I rely on for the progress that i make.
Work life is a box, a lifetime box that we are all bound in. When I reflect on the me that was, I am not surprised that a lifetime of answering other peoples' demands makes the entrance into retirement so difficult. No matter how prepared I thought I was, I wasn't even close. Oh, sure, the S.S. Me had a direction but it was out there, that-a-way. Or, as Peter Pan said, "Take the first star on the right and go on straight on til morning".
What is the path? Where is it taking me? In fact, what ARE THESE paths? The possibilities are infinite. Each new discovery, step, accomplishment, takes me somewhere else. And then, suddenly I slow, fuel expended and I rest, taking a look around. Where have i landed?
I assess the rocky moments, those moments when the walls of the box I lived in for so long, made the passage harder than it needed to be. Me, I made it harder. I am responsible. Ahead of me now, beyond the rocks I stand upon, is the sweeping beach running north and south and before me is the vast ocean of possibilities. I step forward. A choice can be made. The world awaits. The wind sweeps me up.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Readers, you may know that I veer from a strict recipe whenever I can get away with it but in making this intuitive soup, serious diversions are cultivated. Consequently, I suggest that you follow these directions with care. I cautiously warn you that only the brave go into the Land of Insight Cooking where great experimentation may equal great failure or success!
Healthy Soup Recipe
Saute a cup of chopped onions in olive oil until transparent and fragrant. Add some smashed garlic and continue cooking until soft- about another minute. Add 6 cups vegetable broth (or water). Chop the starchy tubers and/or large vegetables- any roots or green bananas/plantains-to about the same size (1 inch), and add them to the pot. After about 20 minutes, add softer vegetables-corn, green beans, tomatoes. Season with homegrown herbs if you have any. I like basil, oregano and racao (see photo), which is a flat leafed cilantro. Cook for about 30 more minutes. If you want to add a cup of pasta or even rice, you should estimate the time it takes to cook. (Make sure you don't overcook the pasta.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
In my recent batch, I added cubed homegrown calabasa (photo), which is a green encased but orange fleshed squash pumpkin. It's plentiful here in Puerto Rico and is easy to grow. (It can also be the base of a wonderful squash soup.) I also had some white chayote, Christophine, left over from my trip to the local Farmer's Market in Santurce (la placita de santurce) so I added that, too. (photo)
Looking at this as a creative cooking adventure, I thought about what everyone needed and added/subtracted ingredients based on what you might call, insight. Caution: This type of cooking drives onlookers mad as it looks so imprecise. You may change you mind about ingredients and combination at any time, but I think it's a great way to move into the creative feel of cooking.
~~Child: What are you cooking?
~~Mom: You know I don't like to be asked that question!
A Note on Composition: Think of your cooking as an evolving process so that it becomes a bit like creating a painting. You have an opportunity to combine into your cooking all of your food-life-experience, and you get to share it. I like to bring in cooking colors from the north and south- from my childhood and my adulthood. Though impressionistic, this insight method of cooking requires that you consider who you are cooking for. For me, this means I have to consider that my dear ones do not like heat-spice even if it's homegrown! (I make a hot pepper oil that I keep in the refrigerator exclusively for my use.) I have to forgo my selfish desire to warm up the soup up with ever-so-few drops of hot oil.
Enchant your family with "Healthy Soup"created especially by you!
Thank you for spending time with me in my Puerto Rican life. I hope your garden's harvest is plentiful and that you share your version of "healthy soup" with me!
Untangling Memories' Vine
My Healthy Soup this week surprised and delighted me. While cooking, I remembered the first time I came to Puerto Rico and was served guanimes (cornmeal dumplings) by my husband's great aunt who lived with her husband in a small house in the Botanical Gardens. What a novelty. My mom was traveling with us and we broke off from the group to go for a walk "in the jungle". We were impressed! The misty heat, piercing unfamiliar sounds and green lush foliage was both relaxing and frightening.
I never before attempted to make guanimes perhaps because the food seemed so wrapped up in the past. Nonetheless, they were a success and I'm glad I let that memory feeling visit me in the kitchen.
My family loved them! If you want to make these "corn dumplings", you would need corn flour, a bit of salt, oil and water, and banana leaf for wrapping. Make a paste, shape and wrap as you would a burrito. Tie and knot the banana leaf with plain white string on each side of the rectangular shape.
Unwrapping the corn dumpling, guanimes, I found that the banana leaf worked well to hold together the corn flour. (photo)
Blogland Lane Neighbors, I wish you well!
Read the complete post at Oasis Writing Link.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Hello Everyone, it's me, Emily. (Hello, Anne. I'm glad you aren't in the cellar anymore and where are your poems because now even I am looking for them and usually as you know I mostly only care about myself.)
You may know that I had to charge kj $ 15 for use of my garden this weekend. Some of my lollipops and jellybeans were pulled without my permission and even though it was done by a little boy don't you think kj should have asked me first because the whole garden was my idea which brings me to two more points:
first, I think this may be my break through idea. Don't you think little kids like Mr. Ryan and Mr. Baby Drew and even some grown ups would like to have jelly bean and lollipop gardens of their own? You just go out in the back yard and pull what you want and then eat it. I suppose you could plant donuts that way too if you wanted to.
I asked my Uncle Bunny, who is a business bunny (and Janis Joplin's best friend, well not any more but he was until she died and who knows, maybe he still is) and Uncle Bunny told me to write a letter to see if some company wants to produce and sell garden seeds like the ones lolo designed and I planted and Jos is going to be my business manager even though she hasn't told me how much of the profits she wants but I think she is very fair so I am not worried about it.
I am pretty sure I am going to be a millionaire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Lent this year taught me a lesson on seeing more clearly and helped me find a way out of this particular box. I'm out the door this morning and walking down the warm soft sandy beach heading for my favorite coffee house for hours of writing and reflecting.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Every one is invited to contribute to Renee's Book of Love. Visit kj's blog if you want to know how. And if you didn't know her, do yourself a favor and visit http://www.circlingmyhead.blogspot.com/
She is now an Senior Angel and she will watch over all of Blogland Lane. That is for sure.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
I wanted to invite you to check out this new community of bloggers that participate in different projects with posts and comments. Thought some of you might like it. This place is called SpaceCollective, you can check my profile here. If you are interested in participating you can ask for an invitation. Here are some of the projects included:
- The total library: Text that redefines - or - How to redefine the text. Everything related to words, their different interpretations, origins and development.
- Polytopia: The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. As hyperconnectivity increases, our minds are becoming progressively more coupled and cybernetically joined. Polytopia is a space where the newly born Cyberculture of openness and collaboration can be extended by those in pursuit of a combined interactive intelligence. A mind habitat for our multidimensional co-enhancing minds, for we are infonauts in search of a home.
- What happened to nature: The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and philosophers with a sense of awe and ecstasy no longer exists. Putting humanity firmly at the top of the food chain we have separated ourselves from the natural environment by adapting it for our own short term needs. Now that we have left our synthetic imprint on every inch of he planet, while surrendering our survival instinct to science and technology, the question becomes, where do we turn for our sense of awe and ecstasy in an increasingly man-made world?
- Start your own revolution: All major institutions in the world today are grappling to come to terms with the internet. The entertainment industry is struggling to figure out how to respond to downloading and YouTube; educational institutions are forced to reconsider their role in the age of the search engine and Wikipedia; and new political models are suggested by grassroots organizations like MoveOn.org. Thanks to the internet, the tools for revolutionary change are at our fingertips, but as of yet this revolution has no name, no leaders and no formal agenda. We have barely tapped into its potential to become the advanced operating system that will allow us to catch up with the future.