Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Possibility of Words

A vague memory will surface from time to time of when I was about four or five years old, and my mother was teaching me how to read. I can recall the annoyance and frustration my four-year-old self felt of being "forced" to do such tedious work as stringing the sounds of letters together to make words. Now, of course, I feel nothing but gratitude for her dodged patience and persistence, because I find that I have fallen in love with the written word. I love the possibility that exists within them. I love feeling that a blank page is like a canvas, and that the words I put on it create a painting. I love the thrill of opening a new book and not knowing where the words will take me, and the thrill of opening an old book and being able to take the journey again.

Words can create and destroy. They can soothe and rile. They can pull forth the entire range of human emotion, and paint vistas that are beautiful or ugly, and every possibility in between. Words can take the reader to far off and exotic places - whether they exist in reality or not. They can bring the past to life, or illuminate a future. Combined skillfully, words can walk the reader down the corridor of a medieval castle, or the mud strewn ruts of a peasant village. They can send you soaring into the sky on the backs of dragons and plunge you into the abyss of the ocean. Words can be beautiful, mundane, startling, bold, evasive, dangerous...everything is a possibility.

This, perhaps, is why I love writing so much. I dabbled in it as a child, creating poems and ballads, but not until I graduated from university did I begin to devote time to it in earnest, and it has quickly become a passion.

Because that is what I love - I love to create things.

To weave pictures and paint words.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Big Boy and the Little Man

Keani: "What is that thing?"
Keani: "I can't get the toy, Mom..."
Keani: "Yes! He's distracted. Gonna grab it while I've got the chance."
This is how Keani eats; taking kibble bits out of his bowl and dropping them on the floor.
Icewind: "Don't worry Mom, I'll clean it up."
Keani: "I'll think I'll eat my food after all. I don't need your help."
Keani: "Gotta finish this before he comes back."
Icewind: "Oh, fine, I'll eat my own food. It's exactly the same anyway."
Keani: "My foot. This is my foot."
Keani in the driver's seat
Keani: Zzzzzz
Icewind: "Are you checking up on us?|

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Inferno on the Road

A dense cloud of black smoke became visible as I approached the intersection, billowing up into the sky. Traffic, including myself, were diverted to the right, where most people opted to abandon their cars and scramble onto the grassy stretch beside a plaza to witness the blaze.
The photos don't capture it, but flames were licking out of the side in a huge snarling mass, writhing like they were alive. Thankfully, a woman standing by answered my anxious query about the driver with the information that whoever it was had gotten away. That was wonderful news.
A fire truck and a police cruiser pulled up just before I left, though. Not something you expect to see on the way home from work.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ordinary or Extraordinary

The air was a blend of coolness and warmth on Monday. A wonderful day for a walk or two, despite the minute droplets of intermittent rain. We took advantage of the weather to go for a stroll in a local park. It's a place we've been to many, many times. Grasses, trees, flowers, leaves, water... as I explained to a student last week, two people can watch the same sunrise, and see something completely different. To one, it's just a sunrise. To the other, it's dark shadowy clouds dramatically under lit by the rising sun, with a rosy blush throughout. Same sunrise, different perspective.
Same park, different perspective.


Bridging the distance

Quiet place for a picnic

Graceful arc

Tibetan Spaniels generally love being on high places, and Keani is no exception.

Autumn's touch

Park residents

Splashes of color. The flowers reminded me of snapdragons

Winding trail


The sinuous shapes of trees

In a field of clover


Tree bark patterns

Ordinary or extraordinary?

Growing ducklings and their mother

Alone in a sea of green

Bridal trails of ivy

Touching a mirror

Icewind, happily on top of everything

In the driver's seat with Dad

 The Friendly Guardian

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Art in Motion: Heron

I can't BELIEVE how much trouble I had getting this one to look decent on screen. Didn't really succeed, unfortunately, as it still looks a bit fuzzy. *Sighs* Oh well.  I started this drawing last week and worked on it for little bits, usually at night, when I had finished my writing and other things for the day and wanted to watch a bit of television. Drawing and painting are two of the things I can actually do in front of the T.V., and it keeps me from feeling that I am "wasting" time, *lol.*

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Another Season

The tang of Fall is in the air, and I even find myself thinking about snow, and *Gasp!* Christmas. Horrifying, I know. It may have something to do with being wound up over the imminent, and imminently huge, schedule change that is looming just around the corner. I have to say that I am tired of having it hanging over us - I want to just wade in and get it rolling, already!

On the other hand, it may have something to do with what we spent six hours straight doing, yesterday. It was the perfect day for it; breezy, mild, but not cold. Yes, yesterday we cleaned out 3/4 of the gardens. A little early, you say? Perhaps. But I know I won't have the time (or the inclination, probably), to do it once I'm back in school full time, teaching piano three days a week and still hoping to do a bit of writing/ artwork, and, of course, spend time with my hubby and canine babies.

So we pulled and plucked, chopped and snipped, and the result was eleven bags of yard waste, and much barer looking gardens. The verdict is in on the weed carpets, though. The bad news is that No, they do not stop weeds from growing, HOWEVER, they make the weeds much, MUCH easier to pull. So yes, they are staying as a yearly garden staple.
To celebrate and commemorate another growing season, I have posted photos of the phases it's gone through from March to the peak of the summer. It began, as usual, on my glass kitchen table, with newspaper, Styrofoam cups, a water spritzer and a huge amount of seeds...
...and progressed to the two mini "greenhouses," we put up by our kitchen windows. These two shelves become home to hundreds of plants - both vegetables and flowers - from the months of March to June.

Once the soil warms, it's time to go at it with shovels and other digging implements for the purpose of weeding, loosening the soil, and enriching it with things like composted manure.
This year, we added the step of covering the garden plots with weed carpet. Aaaah, it looks so clean...
At this point, I often wonder if the garden will ever look like it did last year, *lol* These are the seedlings in their cup planters. I placed them where I felt they should be planted (by height, color, etc...) Hubby isn't as familiar with their characteristics as I am, of course, so this was how he was able to help me "install" them.
Almost there. Carpet doesn't look too clean, now, covered in plants and dirt.
And Voila! One garden plot done. For me, it's an annual act of faith to believe that these little ones, sparse looking as they are right now, will fill out, join together, and actually form a flower garden.
And they certainly tried their best not to disappoint.
And there it is...
...Until Next Year!

Keani, Tibetan Spaniel

Icewind and Keani - New Beginnings