Tag Archives: stories

Bliends – Meet Mesca

Change world mesca

I met Mesca at Psychochromatic Redemption early in 2015 in a Blogging U course (go figure) and her blog continues to fascinate me. With her provoking HIP Photography, poetry, excellent book reviews, prose often set to music, and conversation, she offers “a bit of everything…”

love paints mesca

Debuting as Psychochromatic Inception, Mesca jumped into blogging with both feet sharing her stunning imagery style, multi-genre tunes, a potpourri of fascinating information and unmistakable emotion. She later evolved to rename her blog Psychochromatic Redemption and raised the bar.

Schedule a visit for some enriching me-time soon and enjoy.

“…I know God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity…” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (The Voice)

 

Images are property of Mesca/HIP Photography/Psychochromatic Redemption and not to be shared or otherwise duplicated without prior written permission. Thank you!

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing and Blogging

Chickie

As I prepare for another relocation, yet uncertain where this length of my journey will take me, I think about people and events that brought me to the present.

A few years ago, while discussing a similar situation, my darling Aunt Chickie once told me, “I don’t have many words of wisdom for you, Dear, but I can tell you about mistakes, I’ve made them all!” Over the following hours, and the years afterward we laughed through her memories and with each visit the world felt far less severe.

Patty n Chickie

As a youngster I couldn’t comprehend Chickie ever making a mistake. Now I can appreciate how in hindsight some of her choices may have seemed so to her, but not to me. Raising three teen-aged children in the petulant 1960’s, I can only now imagine she may have felt fallible at times. As a single mother I certainly made some hard choices. She mastered putting any blunder behind her.

Most notable, Chickie never complained. Though a devout Christian, divorced, her inheritance was a devoted mother who often lived with her. She happily married again and became an exceptional step-mother as well. Despite any hardships, Chickie’s lively demeanor was a beacon to us youngsters.

Regardless of the desert heat causing my occasional sweaty, rank arrivals to her home, she always greeted me with genuine smiles, warm hugs and refreshed me. With each visit she told the best stories with helpful, happy, and usually funny anecdotes.

Chickie was a hero. She was and will always be a shining example of gentle, kind love that she consistently poured out on my siblings and me.

Today, while preparing a picnic lunch for my long drive ahead, I remembered helping Chickie make the same recipe I was employing. Long ago, gathering for a particular Memorial Day family outing, she welcomed me into her kitchen to help her prepare the potato salad. In her company I didn’t feel like a fumbling, awkward, insecure pre-teen. She made me feel like a welcome companion.

Blending the dressing into the chopped vegetables and minced pickles, up to her wrists with her bare hands, she suddenly stopped.

Looking intently in my direction, she wondered aloud, “Hmm… Did I wash my hands after I used the bathroom?” Then she overacted a relieved sigh, and answered, “Certainly I did.” Then as she eyed a piece of pickle sticking to her hand she added, “Oh, but then I fingered in my nose…”

For an instant I almost wretched, but, noticing the twinkle in her eye (and remembering how fastidious, the icon of a lady was about washing up upon entering the house and especially the kitchen), we both laughed heartily, drawing the rest of the family into the room with us. And so it always went at Chickie’s house.

Our only paternal aunt, she grew up best friends with Mother and our maternal aunts. Their combined talents for dramatically telling their stories from parochial school, like sabotaging the fearsome “Sister Rosetta Stone’s” yard stick/cane so it would break on the first strike, for instance. These first-person tales vividly etched in my mind, they provided me bright, happy memories. Such recollections often dispelled some of the menacing gloom and confusion that paved my coming years.

In today’s confusing and uncertain world I often draw upon the wealth my family ingrained in me. Chickie helped me recognize how princesses made paupers, we shine as we rise to heights which even darker, sadder souls would not otherwise aspire. Following her example, my sincerest hope is to shine God’s spirit bright enough to inspire others to rise also.

Mary Chickie Green Prince

“Chickie”
1927 – 2014

With fondest affection and deepest admiration.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:9,10 (NLT)

2 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Stumbling Over Statistics

charts-on-laptop-5760x3840_97336I confess, I’m too easily caught up with statistics. What’s more I’ve only recently come to fully appreciate their subjectivity to sometimes obscure factors, and that they are not always entirely accurate. Today, for example I discovered some fine print stating that my statistics source has an average eight percent variable. Does anyone else get the humor?

On to my point. I began my blog mainly to wade farther out into the publishing waters, hoping to develop a reader base, exposure, maybe attract an agent, etc. You get it. I quickly came to appreciate the additional benefits that come with blogging; accountability, increased sensitivity and attention to details. But who am I kidding? The bottom line is exposure.

I officially launched What’s Next (Doing the Next Best Thing) on 11 September 2014. Almost immediately my life’s course took some more overwhelming, unexpected turns. After some months I posted an official “pause” to the blog. I continued extensive, organized journaling but stepped away from writing for publication for that season.

After considerable research I restarted my blog, changing the name to What’s Next in September 2015. Soon I stumbled upon WordPress Blogging U and the WordPress Reader.

From there, wooed by my gradually increasing (and decreasing) number of followers and blogger awards, I posted everything I imagined, again I admit, mostly to inflate my numbers. The adventure continued into more directions than I want to admit to this forum. I was dramatically caught up with my blog statistics.

I had generated new outlines, chapters and a couple of manuscripts for what certainly could have landed on the desk of Spielberg, Coppola, Cassavetes or Jeremy Leven. And then I woke up. In truth, even I lost interest reading them. In in the new-found fun and fellowship of blogging I’d lost sight of my objective and my focus.

shreddYears ago, after filing several rejected manuscripts I learned the painful lesson about ignoring the distractions and simply write my stories. I can only imagine how the world turns for other writers, but in my world those distractions often came disguised as the care and feeding of my family. Juggling work with providing food, clothing, health care and the most accommodating shelter possible for us all became simpler as the boys moved on and out. Through the changes and heartaches I did my best to keep my eye on my goal.

So I’ve proven that statistics are good as a road map as long as they don’t become the focal point. There remains a distinctive balance between making a living and living one’s life. Some days my platform feels a little more slippery than others, but I haven’t fallen off the scale entirely – this week. From my perspective and experience I can only imagine a writer’s life depicted by Richard Castle, Jessica Fletcher and Jamal Wallace. I’m more like William Forrester. All. Fictional. Characters.

While I’ve never gone to war or lived outside the continental U.S. I relate to Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Jane Austen; living and writing about life as they knew it.

But imagine if they had blogged…

 

“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:37,38 (NLT)

 
References:
Castle, 2009 – present; Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
Murder, She Wrote, 1984 – 1996; Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher
Finding Forrester, 2000; Rob Brown as Jamal Wallace and Sean Connery as William Forrester

4 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

Darling Words

Josey tea Carli JeanWrapping up the loose ends of a WP Writing course I had opportunity to visit other bloggers. I began with a like on one of my posts by Twilight73, on to a comment thread and then back to my inbox. From there to a like from Classy, all of which marvelously wove into a tapestry of the love of words.

 

journals pen Kikhail PavstyukExploring words has long been one of my favorite pastimes. Sometimes while writing, especially free-style exercises, random words pop into my work. Sometimes with astounding accuracy a word from somewhere obscure; such mystifying, wonderful sounding words that I wonder how they came to me, through me, and why they moved into those particular stories at those precise moments.

 

puzzle pieceSome of those times, I would later realize one such word didn’t fit into what I actually wanted to say. I’d examine the thought, still enjoy the sounds of the word, the art of the text, then reluctantly replace it. But soon afterward, I would return to the random word and follow it into an entirely different story. These were adventures.

I have wondered if this is odd – but not for long. I am what I am. Today I deduce this is not that odd after all.

5 Comments

Filed under Notes from the Apex

My Strongest Conjuration Part 2

Foundation Issues*

 

“You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right.” Maya Angelou

For what now seems too long, I want more than ever before to go home. My greatest challenge, as always is that my entire concept of home is tricky.

367px-A_Christmas_Carol_-_Mr._Fezziwig's_BallTypically, like Ebeneezer Scrooge’s happier visitations with the Ghost of Christmas Past, when I ponder home, warm feelings of Family Past flow into my fore thoughts. For me, however, debris and sometimes rusted car doors also flow in those treacherous waters. While I mastered those waters long ago, after years of “dealing with it,” it’s now a stale, old happenstance. I typically choose to move forward.

 

But I’m writing about my concept of home, so I’m going to remain in this stream for a moment.

Truth: My early life actually began in Pleasantville, U.S.A. The middle child of my parents’s first three offspring, we were blessed with three generations of a closely connected, devoted, loving and attentive family. After we all migrated to Arizona, we remained close. And then Quinn, my fourth sibling perished from a cold. Though my parents had three more children over the next five years, they never really recovered from the loss or the remorse and guilt that lurk silently in the shadows of such tragedies.

broken houseBy the time I realized something about anything, my parents were no longer like the Cleavers or even the Conners. We slept, kept breathing, ate regularly, people came and went, so nothing was different. And yet nothing was the same. Gradually boarders and nannies replaced grandparents and aunts. Our new, extended family branched out in so many directions, my brother and I were prematurely independent – far too unsupervised for children our ages. In our family unit’s complexity we became more like a grove than a tree.

 

swings

Truth: my siblings and I, naturally all true survivalists, have maneuvered around the globe longer than we’ve lived in the same states. For me, the concept of home has often been incorporeal, not too unlike those who endured migrations during the Great Depression. For the brief time I was an average schoolgirl, home was where I went after classes – when I didn’t play hooky. Home was dry, nobody was hungry, we knew where to find what we needed – and where to hide when we should.

 

“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.”
Mother Teresa

“*Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 (NLT)

 

art: “A Christmas Carol – Mr. Fezziwig’s Ball” by John Leech – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46/46-h/46-h.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Christmas_Carol_-_Mr._Fezziwig%27s_Ball.jpg#

 

3 Comments

Filed under The World According to Roo

Another Unforgettable Day

ZnD Engagement photo

Among the days a mother never forgets, Homecoming Day, the moment her sons’ feet touch native soil again ranks at the top of the list.

I deeply appreciate the comments and private messages to my One Unforgettable Day post, especially those from people who are only getting to know me. I sometimes wonder if today’s American culture overlooks the genuine sacrifices the entire families of our Military Personnel, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders and their Technical Support Teams (the most unsung, every day heroes) make on behalf of the common good.

I barely mentioned the rest of the story that began with One Unforgettable Day in a recent exchange:

Michelle Malone dot org: “The connection a mother has to her children can’t be aptly described in words. I offer you my heartfelt prayers, and I applaud your transparency.”

What’s Next.Wordpress.org: “Thank you. …My first son shipped out for the gulf coast as Nathan arrived at Fort Sam Houston for orthopedic reconstruction. [About eleven months later], Nate redeployed to Iraq to finish that tour. He’ll tell you he had to try to find the half of his foot he lost there. Nathan and Iain criss-crossed again; returning stateside unharmed. Since then, Nate served another tour in Iraq, came home to marry. Weeks after the wedding he deployed on another tour of duty in Korea. With 2014 came another tour in Afghanistan. Still in active duty, Nathan now trains our men and women <strong>stateside</strong> so he and is wife (retired, Army 2010) are raising their two children together. Iain recently retired from the Navy [so he’s no longer subject to recall]. He is a firefighter/paramedic, married to a firefighter/paramedic, they have two children together.”

 

"Nathan" and "Iain" as boots

“Nathan” and “Iain” long, long ago.

Neither Iain nor Nathan consider themselves heroes, although throughout their military careers their jobs frequently put them in harm’s way. Iain continues the work he trained for in the Navy and obtained his paramedic credentials in the private sector. Despite tours of duty in several hostile environments, they both sincerely believe they’re “just doin’ their jobs.”

The Army moved Nathan around in different specialties, thoroughly training him in each capacity, so that he likely has the combined education equivalent of a doctorate degree. Having completed two bachelor degrees, he’s literally too busy doing his job and supporting his family to continue formal education.

 

 

 

"Mr. & Mrs. Iain"

“Mr. & Mrs. Iain”

My sons come from a long line of military, law enforcement and technical services. I wish I had access to compile an album of my family’s service-related photos today. Prints of my grandfathers, my father, uncles and most of my brothers are literally out of my reach. Even if I come across as a bumptious old pest, I think we earned our bragging rights.

 

 

"Iain" (left) and his team mate at work

“Iain” (left) and his team mate after diver training.

"Iain" Volunteering

“Iain” Volunteering

"Nathan" (left) 2014

“Nathan” (left) 2014

"Nathan" teaching

“Nathan” teaching

7 Comments

Filed under The World According to Roo