Blogland Lane Logo by our own Tessa Edwards

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The State of Maine

A freeze is coming. I can tell. When my left knee is dialing the chemist's for prescription refill all on its own, it's time to break out the long underwear.

Not for me, of course. I have my own personal summer to keep me warm. For my partner, the one with three percent body fat. Eventually, I know she'll be tired of sleeping in hat and mittens.

A little hot tea, a little cuddle with the human furnace, and all is well again.

"Jennie? are you almost ready? We really should have left ten minutes ago. And it's
yourfamily after all..."

No answer, but I can hear the hangers sliding back and forth in the closet. Best not to interrupt, even though I know I'm the one who will get the over-the-spectacles glances from her father for making us late.

Outside the gray sky is low enough to touch. I hear a drip-drop-drip every few minutes as the last of this morning's rain finds its zig-zag way to the downspouts. Night rain is better. That sound is so soothing for falling asleep. Better than Ambien.

"Jennie! Any time soon?" I venture again.

Silence for a moment, I know she is rolling her eyes at me, then, "You're not hel-ping..." she sing-songs, "and relax, we won't be late, I promise. Don't we always make it on time?"

She's right, of course, but I'm driving.

And I hate family weddings. I have to spend so much time being...nice. An unnatural state for me. Not that I am mean. I don't think I am, anyway, just bristly. Prickly. Walking through the world with my elbows out. Here in Maine, that's not really so unusual. If you've never heard this before, take my word: Never ask a Maine native for directions. Oh, we'll give them to you, all right, and they may even get you where you are going. But if they do, it's probably by accident. Really, I belong here.

So, the wedding. When it's family, it's supposed to be different. God help me, I do love these people, it's just that I'd rather spend my time with Jennie...or nobody. Small talk has never been my forte, and I am reliably informed that I do a piss-poor job at it. If this were a celebration for friends, or acquaintances, we could make an appearance, then get the hell out of there.

Today, the wedding is Jennie's baby brother, David's, and since I actually kinda like the guy, I have decided to be on my best behavior. Whatever that is. I'm pretty sure it doesn't start out with me nagging Jennie to get it in gear so we can go. Anyway, she's right, we'll be there in plenty of time. Hey, I should be grateful, right? If we had left when I was ready, that would be fifteen more minutes meaningless conversation to smile through. Things are looking up already.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gypsy Caravan On My Blog

I've started my Gypsy Caravan with Renee, Sonia and KJ ~If you'd like to, stop over and have a glass of wine or some dancing my blog is


New Neighbor @ Caribbean Property # 70

~Fighting through the cyber-jungle to get to Blogland # 70 ~
Hello from Cynthia's humid Caribbean corner in the world.

Living in the tropics takes some adjustment! Those of us who grew up with the sharply changing seasons probably experience the greatest impact from the loss of dramatic weather change. (Where did Spring fever go? It used to give me so much energy.) When I first considered moving to Puerto Rico, I wondered how I would get anything done in such heat. It's so hot and humid most of the time, you just want to go to the beach or dash into an air conditioned mall.
Fourteen years ago, my family and I moved to this Latin flavored land, and started working, learning the language, and educating our children. What an uphill climb it has been! Now, it is an uphill drive as we moved from the beach side to the country. We live in the central mountains of Puerto Rico and much of the culture shock of this stressful climb has generally subsided. We still battle dense traffic jams in the morning and equally dense bureaucracy, but for the most part have come to accept the chaos of daily Caribbean life.
Our house is surrounded with multiple shades of green in all directions. Lately, we have had a foggy mist covering the steep mountains. That's me trying to capture the mist before going to work in the morning. It is difficult to reveal our view without some kind of technological skill, though I try, my skill with the phone camera is limited. (Where's the flash? No focus?) My husband took this shot of me. I'm caught in a concentrated attempt to attain a fantastic capture. :-)
Our house is often swelling with nature; the green climbs up over the fence and tries to pull it down!
My favorite tree is the Flamboyant. It's bright red summer presence always brings a smile to my face. Another favorite view, is found in the nearby city, Old San Juan. I love spending time looking at the old fort, El Moro. The old Spanish architecture instantly transports me to another time and another life.

Thank you, Blogland Lane community, for your warmth, creativity and ideas.

My other blog is Oasis Writing Link-

I would certainly welcome your presence there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heart for Haiti

Please be sure to see Lolo's post below. Here is my heart for the Haiti project.

Hearts for Haiti

Laure over at Painted Thoughts has developed a terrific idea to help the people of Haiti through art.We are all going to make hearts in the ATC size - 2.5 x 3.5 and send the image to Laure where she will make a design out of all of them.

Please consider yourself invited to join in!! Just follow the link to her blog.
Every little bit helps. Thank you!

I've sent her this image of my lotus heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Neighborhood Poetry :)

I'm into poetry tonight. There is a serious poem on my own blog but this one wasn't far behind.
Did you know rhyming is no longer in fashion in many poetry circles? HAHAHAHEE!
No can do
Not tried
Not true
Attested to
Can’t outdo
Condon bleu
Here anew
Straight into
Making do
Just outgrew
Take a few
Put me through
Still taboo
In full view
Bottle screw
Book review
Elmer’s glue
The whole slew
Doggy do
Baby shoe
Screw you
Why and who
Break a few
Home brew
Bally hoo
Who knew?
Stomach flu
Kung fu
Wandering Jew
Animal glue
Pacific yew
You have to.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bird Verses - Poetry from 53A

Egret's regret
Couples pecking and sharing
Looking. Waiting. Confounded male

Poetry from 53A

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bloggers for Haiti

I hate hijacking this blog with serious stuff, fund raising, shameless self-promotion or anything like that - it's meant to be a fantasy community of warmth and hope not a desperate plea for support for victims of natural disasters but recent events have darkened our rainbow'd skies and now there's a chance to spread this through your blog communities elsewhere and do some real good in the real world. So forgive my indulgence, it won't happen again (well until the next disaster I guess).

To put it into perspective, Haitians have lost more people than were killed during the 2004 Tsunami which devastated the coastlines of Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India . . .there are 300,000 homeless and they need shelter, now, straight away.

is a Rotary inspired charity who provide immediate aid to the homeless and devastated. A small donation helps to go towards one of these amazing things which can provide a family with shelter, warmth, utensils and a little hope until they can get back on their feet. If you're in the UK, you can support Bloggers for Haiti and donate via this site, established by some bloggy friends of mine. If you're international, click here. It's important to know that the UN are calling this the worst disaster they have EVER attended. There is no Haiti. Only rubble.

Please think about supporting them. Already 1500 of these have been air dropped into Haiti.That's accommodation for 15000 people. . . dig deep all you well-meaning people.

Right, I'll be back to posting sunshine and butterflies soon enough.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Search Dogs Mobilize to help Haitians

One of the blogs I follow, Our Family Cat-a-Log, had this post today. May both humans and dogs alike have a safe journey and know that their efforts and compassion are both admired and humbling... SEARCH DOGS MOBILIZE

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This little elf, Effie, is going to Renee's mom. And I am truly sad because Renee's mom is dying. They don't know when, it could be any moment. Renee has gotten Effie and hopefully today will take her to her mom. You see Effie is her mom's name (maybe nickname) Her mom also had red hair as a girl...
How could Effie not go to Effie.....

The heart only suggests love.

I love you Renee

Poetry from 53A - Outrageous

In she walks, slow and aloof.
Ignoring the looks cast her way,
she stalks, a red-tailed devil tat her escort.

Corseted and pierced, with high high-heels,
She's a heat-seeking missile in the flesh.
Glanced at, stared at, secret looks pry,
So young and so outrageous.

She knows the stir she causes,
indifferent, she neither pauses
nor apologizes for her look.

I read her like I would a poorly written book,
scanned and sketched, details dismissed.
And yet, she makes an enduring impression,
a memory of persistent outrageousness.

Poetry from 53A

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poetry Slam...Camouflage

" You know the type.

Eyes cast downward

like a closed umbrella~

tatoos, flashy clothes, red lips

and hair so black it's electric blue.

As soon as she opens her mouth to speak

you feel her pain.

Searing, white-hot.

And only then do you understand

her need for camouflage.

Regarding Poetry

" Hanging at Cookies,
steam rising from fresh-poured tea
across the table from me.

Chanting, rapping and occasional clapping
manages to fill the void in the room

while strangers work up the courage
to say the words they've held in too long."

I'm SO not a poet but that was sure fun!
Picture Tom Waits voice as the narrator ;)

"C" is for Cookie

"C" is for Cookie
It's also for the corn that
I don't know why I bother chewing
Now, I have placed a picture in
Your mind that will remain
For a long
I can be cruel, it's true
But I hope you still
Love me
That picture.

Cookie's Sunday Night Poetry Slam

No Poetry Slam
Reports to write, damn
But when I'm done
I'll look in to have fun.
Debra Kay has been slamming
While I'm doing my damning
So see the comments before
The slam is a bore.
Oh by the way Happy Year
I hope it brings cheer
I hope you get clear
And music you hear.
I hope you decide
To take a fast ride
Follow the tide
And be happy you tried.
The End.

Valentine Elf Class

I'm teaching this Valentine Elf (or just any house elf: ) on my ning...
Hope everyone is having a great beginning of 2010.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Poetry Slam at Cookie's Creative Cafe & Coffee House

There's going to be a Poetry Slam at Cookie's Cafe.

Anyone who wants can step up to the mike and read her/his poetry.

Doesn't have to rhyme.

Doesn't have to make sense.

Doesn't need anything but a willingness to share

& a voice of your own.

Please consider yourself invited to participate starting this weekend.

Cookie's will be giving out free pieces of chocolate cake, truffles,
and unlimited wine, coffee and tea.

Even if you just write two lines,

or four.

or eight.

Come write

& read

among friends

Bird Verses - Poetry from 53A

Demure and
She sits in her nook
Ear turned to listen for
Rustle of insect wings
To complete her meal.

Bathed in moonlight
Luna's glow
Unveils her hidden space.
Evasive insects
Break away
In search of
Refuge from her
Darting eyes.

Inspiration for this simple pencil drawing came from Desert Colors

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avatar And Our Renee

Renee, this is for you, in two parts.  First, you will have to go to my blog to read "Avatar".  Sometimes, you know a thing but don't know why you know it.   Something is so, so, familiar and yet elusive.  And then the words just flow, like they do when we all think of you.  Lolo said it first - "Renee is pure inspiration".  Kj latched onto it immediately.   And we all caught on quickly. 

So I want to say this to you because we all love you and you mean the world to us.  Here's why.

Renee, you can fly!
You are my Hero
You are the Pathfinder
You are Stardust

I see you.
We all see you.

xoxo right back at you

Blogland Lane Author Success

Latest News on my publisher's website -

Posted at 9:00AM Wednesday 6th January 2010
Cut Short into second reprint in just 6 months
Runaway success for first-time No Exit novelist Leigh Russell, reflected in the fact that her book, Cut Short, has needed to be reprinted twice in just six months. Leigh's follow-up novel, Road Closed, is due in the shops in June this year.

Thank you to everyone on Blogland Lane who bought a copy of Cut Short and helped with this success. I value your support. Cut Short will be available on again very soon. A reprint is in hand as I write this. still have some copies, and the book is available in bookshops throughout the UK.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Getting the emails ready for artbox exchange

Lo and KJ-are you in or out?  It's ok either way-in fact, anyone else who says ok, I wanna play-can still get in.

It's fun fun fun!

to all my friends...

New Year 2009 / 2010 Party Animals animation; Happy New Year clip art graphics Clipart Animaciones Gratis.