One book leads to another...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Between Two Sides

At a shallow gradient where a sparkling stream gurgles softly over water-smoothed stones, the energetic beaver tirelessly antagonizes his human neighbors with the construction of sturdy and extremely efficient dams.  An accord to this timeless war-of-wills wasn’t reached until someone discovered that the beaver, with all his intelligence and ingenuity, is at heart a peace lover. Peace and quiet that is. He cannot stand the sound of rushing water. Upon relocation to a quieter area, the beaver does not build dams, focusing instead on other, less annoying projects.

While motives widely vary, the single most important, yet latent element between two sides is not impossible to find. It might be found shrouded in doublespeak, or tucked neatly behind carefully crafted diversions. It could also be lurking in uncanny camouflage, but it’s there; the fundamental truth in the middle. Often as not, the truth is stranger than fiction.

And it’s not just people and not just the fittest. The desire for self-preservation doggedly exists in all of nature, as evidenced in the photos below:

At first glance, these two tiny field workers are trudging diligently onward, but they actually enjoy a somewhat sheltered life in relative seclusion as a mushrooming new species called G. Britannicum.

Either someone has forgotten to put away a few Halloween decorations here, or the once vibrant Snapdragons have all gone to seed.

This could very well be photo-shopped but isn’t it intriguing?

“Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Do you look for the truth in the middle? Do you have any strange things growing in your garden? How about Snapdragons?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Woes and Wows

A slight breeze stood a strand of wheat colored hair straight up on his head as he crawled from a muddy drainpipe. A sliver of pale blue between slowly parting clouds seemed all the assurance he needed to hike up his little jeans and resume whatever journey he’d been on before the downpour; the downpour that had separated us.

I expected anger, fear. I anticipated relief when I called his name. A thorny vine of grief tightened around my heart when icy blue barbs glared from his tear-streaked face as he quickened his pace away from me. 

Stunned by profound sorrow, I didn’t, at first, realize that it had been my own voice wailing “What have I done?” that awakened me. But I was ever so glad it had. And I spent the rest of the dark hours thinking about what in the land of languid lizards had possessed me to have a dream like that, and I thought about the passing year in general.

I certainly learned a lot in a year far more eventful than most. From tempestuous trials I learned determination, through jubilant triumphs; humble restraint, infinite patience is required for much-anticipated weddings, and I learned quiet acceptance when unexpected funerals don’t always bring folks together.  Once I had it all mapped out, each in its own drawer of memories, it was easy to see the thread that ties them all together—people. Good, bad or ugly, people make the world go up, or down in just about every conceivable way.   I can count quite a few who’ve influenced events—or outcomes of said events in the last year alone. How about you? Can you count on one hand the people who affected events in your life last year?

I’m of a mind that as long as you’re still learning, you’re still living. I guess I am most assuredly still doing both! But there’s been one thing missing of late. Writing. I haven’t been writing, and I dearly miss it.  Here is where the insecurity pours in like a busted dam upriver; flooding my mind with bony bent twigs of inspiration being swiftly washed away as a treasured muse with an icy blue glare drifts past on an old oven door.  Do any of my fellow InsecureWriters ever feel that setting aside writing for awhile might mean never getting it back? 

Wednesday Word(s):  Truncated Domes: A strip (typically bright yellow) of strategically raised buttons (the worldwide language of braille) placed on the ground near stores, restaurants, parking lots; anywhere pedestrian and vehicular traffic intersect to warn the visually impaired of possibly dangerous areas. It’s not just a courtesy—it’s the law. This product was created by Tilco Vanguard™.   Pretty cool, huh? Honorable mention due to National Braille Month. Does anyone have any books published in braille?

Friday, January 1, 2016


The last sunset of the year exemplified the discordant vibrations emanating from below; where a man with a phone and a pen once again sneaks in baggage while Claim Check is closed, an American fugitive receives refuge in a country rife with corruption, while entire communities shun police protection in preference of lawless freedom. 

Would you recommend confiscating the pen, shutting the door and using more Tasers?

Ages ago, we seemed to get a lot more accomplished.  It‘s been one hundred and fifty three years since President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, yet to this day there are equality protests by folks a hundred years too young to have voted. Evidently, equal rights aren’t enough for one group, which seeks persecution of all who do not conform to their way; such as bakers forced out of business and officials going to jail for performing the duties they were elected to do.

Whatever happened to live and let live?

And what better time than the first day of the year could there be for introductions; as in 1919 when Edsel Ford assumed control of his father’s Motor Company and increased the daily wage to $6.00? There were also somber announcements; in 1942 all production of consumer vehicles was ordered stopped in order to devote all productivity to war vehicles, and The Beatles were turned down in favor of the Tremeloes after an audition with Decca Records. Ellis Island opened on January 1st (1892), as did Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in 1934.  Three years later we began a program called Old Age Pension, whereby a tax on wages accrued benefits for retirement. These days, it seems this hard-earned entitlement is widely misconstrued.  

But we had a lot of fun as well; with the advent of television, Mickey Mouse was an immediate boon to an industry poised to explode on a clamoring public. Pay-per-view movies were introduced on the first day of 1951 and for some reason not released for mass viewing for another 45 years! 

One thing is certain: as long as we still can, writers will never run out of subject matter. These are things I’ve been thinking about as a brand new year begins. Strange, huh? 

So, what are you thinking about? Did you end the year on a good note? Do you have high hopes for this one? 

Happy 2016 Everyone! Or let’s at least give it a good try and just say Yes-today!

Western trivia: In the critically acclaimed mini-series Lonesome Dove, during a thunderstorm early on in the cattle drive, the cattle are all struck by lightning as it was conducted to each one by the tips of their horns. This is an actual, natural phenomenon called ‘St. Elmo’s fire’.