Monthly Archives: October 2013

Tricks, Treats, or Scrambled Eggs

English: Jack-o'-lanterns made of carved pumpk...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided to take a day off from writing so I could get a little writing done. Here’s what I came up with.

As I mentioned in my last post, we are now in the throes of what most people consider to be their favorite season, fall. The month of October lends itself to a multitude of activities that can only be had during these 31 days.

For instance:

  • Oktoberfest, where beer lovers gather to celebrate their favorite beverage, enjoying the peak colors of the beautiful turning leaves and celebrating the crisp cool weather that only fall can bring.
  • There are other activities associated with the 10th month of the year that we mustn’t forget. Namely that single holiday we all know and love, Halloween. What could be more fun than having cute little tikes waddle up to your door in their precious little costumes and utter those barely audible words, “twick or tweat.”
  • Pumpkins carved into jack-o’-lanterns, representing everything from the simple triangular-shaped eyes and nose to the unbelievably intricate works of art that stretch the imagination and confound the senses. Windows dressed with skeletons and ghosts. Monstrous spider webs stretched across hedges and shrubs.
  • Luscious treats for the taking. Miniature chocolate bars of all descriptions. Chocolate covered peanut butter cups that cause the saliva glands to work overtime. Toffee, sour discs and marshmallow chicks.
  • Even the morning after brings new delights. Trees and roofs covered in a woven tapestry of bathroom tissue. Of course, only three-ply can withstand the rigors of flying through the air at the speed of crap. Oh joy, now the morning dew causes the delicate paper to adhere to every surface it contacts bringing with it that uncontrollable desire to clean that which cannot be cleaned.
  • Windows covered in shaving cream, conjure snow-covered landscapes and cozy blazes wrapped in stone fireplaces, but soon turn to unshaven whiskers and glass emblazoned with a permanent haze.

I wonder…will my house and automobile need Lipitor to combat high cholesterol? Probably not. I am comforted by the thought that it’s only the raw eggs drying in the sun. Then suddenly, I remember a letter I have been expecting. Upon reaching the mailbox I realize that it won’t be coming today. On closer inspection it appears that someone has beaten my mental container that was approved by the Postmaster General himself so flat that a single bacteria could not gain entry.

Boy! I can hardly wait till next October.

Just a little FYI on Halloween:

There are so many different theories on the origin of the holiday I’ll leave that to the Halloween scholars and stick to the little I know. November 1st is the Christian holy day known as All Hallow’s Day or All Saint’s Day. November 2nd is All Soul’s Day which leaves October 31st as All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween.

Tell the truth, don’t you feel just a little bit better now that you know why you pick those little bits of toilet paper off your roof each year?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

Pass the Mustard Please

Pommes frites med ketchup

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many times when I write, I find myself pausing to reflect over what I’ve written. Usually this has something to do with the story itself. However, there are instances when my hesitation is due to a situation in my life that parallels that point in my novel. And then there are those times when my dillydallying instructs me in the ways of total irrelevant, off-the-wall, nonsensical ideas that lead to my posting a blog on things that I wonder about, not including myself.

Take that wonderfully red, tomato and vinegar-based condiment we all know and love. It’s the perfect accompaniment to french fries, hamburgers, hot dogs…I even know people who use it on eggs. It’s none other than… I’m not exactly sure what to call it.

 Allow me to step back for a moment. I’ve come to the point in my life where I can now safely consider myself middle-aged. That, in and of itself, is of no concern… well… maybe just a little, but more importantly it gives me a wealth of knowledge that only years can bring… well… maybe not that many years… and maybe not that much knowledge. I guess the best I can hope for is to be half smart or half stupid. You make the call. Anyway I digress; better get back on track.

When I was but a youngster I recall this magical concoction known as, “catsup.” Of course, today it is commonly called, “ketchup.” Come to think of it, I’ve always referred to it as ketchup and can’t actually think of anyone who called it catsup. From what I understand, after an exhaustive search, ketchup was more commonly known as catsup only in the southern United States. In fact, I can only remember seeing the word catsup one time printed on a catsup bottle… In conclusion, maybe you should disregard all that you have just read, for I feel as though I have somehow dropped thirty IQ points for writing it.

The vote is unanimous:  Half stupid

I have time for one more tidbit of stuff. As I have said, we need to be good stewards of this beautiful planet that God has given us. This includes a multitude of things that we need to be mindful of, such as, pollution, conservation and being kind to one another, just to name a few. As I look at my computer screen, I notice the piece of electronic paper I’m writing on and how important conservation efforts have been to preserve our woodland resources.

Conservation actually began with Teddy Roosevelt and has grown (pun intended) into what it is today. As important as it is to keep these conservation methods in place, we should also remember what a wonderful resource trees are and not be afraid to utilize them. The beauty and structure they bring to homes and multitudes of other buildings is unattainable without their contribution. In fact, there are trees planted just for pulpwood to manufacture paper. Believe it or not, there are more trees now than one hundred years ago.

Trees are a renewable resource.  We must continue to plant more than we harvest and leave old-growth forests alone. Of course, there are always a few folks who won’t take, “yes,” for an answer.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

Twenty-Four Hours to Procreate…I Always Thought There’d Be More Time

In my latest writing endeavor I have four different story lines, all supposedly converging near the end of the book in order to bring about a grandiose conclusion. I have a habit of writing myself into inescapable situations; as though a painter spreading a fresh coat of polyurethane on the floor would ignore the door and paint himself into the nearest corner.

Mayfly in May

Mayfly in May (Photo credit: servitude)

 Now at first glance this would seem to be a futile strategy. Imagine an author using this formula to construct a coherent plot while attempting to tie the numerous loose ends together, forming a smooth ball. Ultimately this ball must convey your story to the reader in a simple yet entertaining fashion.

 In other words you want to jerk the reader into your story on the first page and then spit them out after the last word; on the last page, believing that they were the hero in this fantastic journey and that numerous worlds are in their debt.

 I choose to view my present situation as having my “back to the wall,” with just enough room on the floor for my feet… Yep, I’m stuck in the corner again.  Surprisingly, this is the place that I strive to find myself with each new work I create. I have found that when I’m able to free my characters from these desperate situations in which there seem to be no options that my writing is at its best.

 Even though it takes a while to conceive the perfect strategy to exit these literary traps, I don’t consider it to be any form of writer’s block. Rather I view it as a brief respite, if you will, to ensure my writing is the best that it can be and so, I take time to post a blog, which in turn gives me an idea.

 Well, I guess it’s back to the novel, but before I go, I would be remiss if I didn’t pass along a tidbit of totally irrelevant, useless information.

 Since we’re in the firm embrace of the fall season, I’m going to spring forward. Take the Mayfly for instance. No one creature does so little to achieve so much in the world of insects. Since there are many species of Mayflies with varying habits, I’ll do a brief summary that will give a general idea of this insect’s exciting and dynamic life.

 After the egg hatches, the larvae spend anywhere from a couple days to two years living and feeding under water. Once they emerge from their moist living arrangement, they dry out and take to the air.

 In a show of tenderness and affection the male snatches the female from the air, gently molests her and then tosses his love to the side to make her way back to the water, where she will lay her eggs and die, before or after being ingested by a fish. The male then flies off into the sunset to die on dry land. It kinda gets ya right here (hand covering heart) just knowing that romance isn’t dead.

 And to think, they mate for life!


 

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

How do You Know it’s Seasoned Properly if You Don’t Taste it

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

I’m a little more than halfway through the novel I am presently working on. Always on the lookout for blog fodder, during a recent writing session I noticed a number of amber-colored leaves spread across the lawn, signifying the beginning of fall. This in turn caused me to jump deeper inside myself and this is what I crawled out with.

 If you ask someone, “What is your favorite season?” most people will answer, Fall.  Now this is something that I had to ponder.

 It didn’t take long to determine that it is due to the crisp air and the beautiful colors that we are blessed with during that time of year.

 This made me think of the other options we have available to satisfy that meteorological jonesing, namely winter, spring and summer.  I may assume your favorite season is fall, but cannot state that with any accuracy; therefore, you’ll have the unique opportunity to consider my view.  Fortunately, I live in a part of the country that experiences the four climate changes each year.

 First, the season of renewal: spring.

 Some folks see it as a time of reawakening and rebirth after the long cold winter.  Days become warmer; flowers bloom; trees bud and the landscape begins to ooze chlorophyll.

 Now, my take on this new season of beauty and warmth goes more like this.  The humidity begins to increase along with those wonderfully warm temperatures, which in turn causes me to leak. The beautiful budding of trees and flowers coat my vehicles in a dusty yellow powder, we know to be pollen.  Now this irritating dust that makes flora grow also makes my nose blow.  So in conclusion, spring for me is a foreboding glimpse of things to come; bugs to swat; sweat to wipe; eyes to rub and thirty gallons of mucus and phlegm to travel through my facial orifices. And, for that special added bonus, just for living in the troposphere, we enjoy thunderstorms, power outages and tornadoes.

 Next comes summer:

 Who doesn’t love the long lazy days of summer? The kids are out of school. The swimming pools are open and tis the season for the family vacation.

 I don’t know what I like better, mosquitoes siphoning their daily pint of blood or those wonderfully docile wasps that build their abodes over my door. These little psycho’s have no qualms as to when you enter or exit as long as they can jab their organic hypodermic needles deep into your flesh.  For some folks it is the time of year they can rejoice, for the spiders and snakes have returned to bid them a fond ado. To abscond with a phrase from a famous theatrical and cinematic production, and I quote, “These are a few of my favorite things.”

  • Heat waves, flooding rains, biting bugs and hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes cutting swaths through towns, where bloodsucking ticks abound.
  • Spiders, bees, scaly snakes and even occasional earthquakes.
  • Bats darting through the air. “Duck! Don’t let it in your hair.”
  • Each night they eat their weight in bugs; after a rain watch out for slugs.
  • Crickets chirping in the house; visits by a furry mouse.
  • Pulling ticks off canine pets; shots require trips to the vet.
  • Household chores like cutting grass; increases in the price of gas.
  • Sunshine radiating down, my back now red, no sunscreen found.
  • And now, I’ll stop these silly rhymes for I have taken too much time.
  • I realize my greatest fear, cause I have bored myself to tears.

And now everyone’s favorite: fall.

 I have already mentioned the endearing attributes of these golden three months. I would be remiss if I did not state the negative. So here it is: Ragweed! Nuff said.

 Finally, what you’ve all been waiting for… “Drumroll please.” The grand finale: Old Man Winter; Jack Frost and things that go crunch in the night.

  My favorite time of the year– ice on every horizontal surface; dormant vegetation crunching under foot; the trees void of leaves resemble multi-armed creatures eager to dislodge earth imprisoned roots. Single-digit temperatures; white rain accumulating on the lawn and road alike, making driving treacherous. And if one is adventuresome enough for a short jaunt to the beach they can encounter some of the best striped bass fishing available. During the winter I can look out my window and see nothing but the cold, gray landscape of apparent death (even though all is just dormant) I can walk outside unmolested by bloodsucking insects and at night all is quiet, unlike the crickets, frogs, katydids and hoards of other insects who lend their voice to the nighttime summer chorus.

 Although winter is one of my favorite times of year, the paragraph you just read was mainly tongue-in-cheek. There are things I love and dislike about each of the seasons. In fact, the differences are one of the reasons experiencing all four seasons is so wonderful. Holidays to spend with family and friends; summer vacations and being beat unmercifully by ocean waves; surf fishing fall, winter and spring just to name a few.

 All in all just another way to enjoy God’s endless bounty He constantly blesses us with.

 Just in case you hadn’t noticed, I like to fish!

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing