That Tapping Sound That Makes You Feel Like You Accomplished Writing

Because we couldn’t use an actual rotary phone

Here I am tapping out this post on my laptop to that marvelous sound of a typewriter….. No, someone is not using my Royal. I am typing to a program that simulates the sound of a typewriter on your computer.  Seems rather strange when you think about it. Are we all so nostalgic for something that we will make a sound to recreate it on our computer? It’s rather like the cell phones that have a regular phone’s ring, or that attachment you can connect to your cell that looks like a regular handset from a home phone.

Anyways, Walter and I were talking last week about how we he wondered if there was a program to make your laptop typing sound like a typewriter. There is. There are three major ones in fact though I think one is better than others.

I’m using Qwertick which is the simplest of the three. No setting, runs easy, and you can shut it down relatively easy.

Then there is ClicKey which took me a while to figure out how to change the settings. Downside, all keys sound the same, including the Enter key, which on Qwertick actually sounds like an electric typewriter’s carriage return.

The third one is Home Typist which we didn’t like at all. The sounds were a little to computer game sounding, in my opinion

My Royal

So, am I going to use this that often? Probably not. It does bring a bit of nostalgia back into typing, but since I can yank out my Royal anytime I want to actually hear a typewriter, then why not do that? Walter thinks it’s great because he’s not the world’s best typist so the extra sound lets him know he has hit a key. And I have to admit, it is rather fun to hear that sound, though I prefer a manual typewriter sound versus an electric machine sound.

I just find it rather humorous that we search for things to bring back the old into our modern lives, when if we would just unplug the laptop, or cell phone, we could pick up the typewriter or the rotary phone and have those old sounds or feels right at our finger tips.

Check out the apps. Let me know what you think.  Would you use this?  I think the typewriter sound might be fun when I’m working with Dark Room.  Which I happen to love for the minimalist approach to writing. (I would like spell check occasionally, but you know, you can’t have everything when you are going minimalist.

Signing off

Kate

Hey you, did you know I am writing about you?

Hey you! Yes you. No, not you reading this blog, I’m talking to the people who I base my characters off of. Colin O’Donoghue, did you know you are my lead male in a romance I’m writing?  Martin Freeman, did you know you are part of the love triangle that involves Colin?  (FYI, you don’t win, sorry) Tyler Hubbard of FGL, you are a lead male too.  Ladies? You are all models from clothing catalogs I love. You wear fashion like there’s no tomorrow.

What am I getting at here?  I’m talking about having a model for my characters I write about. Just recently I’ve added two to my list of people for characters. The interesting thing is, as you can see from my above list, all my characters are not ‘real’ people. By that I mean, they are actors and not someone I interact with on a regular daily basis. The newest edition to this list is the singer Mika. I first heard about him when I found his song “Big Girl (You are Beautiful)”, then he wore this most glamorous dark blue velvet suit on Dancing With The Stars singing “Popular” with Ariana Grande. That right there kind of cinched it. (I really thought he looked quite cute in that blue suit). And recently I’ve just taken to listening to more of his music and I really like it.

And I need to have him as one of my characters! I can so see him being this super cool best friend to one of my gals. Like Phaedra who lives in SanFran and is a photographer. Or Mia who works in a book store. Or Kate (who is not me and I had her as Alyssa but I don’t like that name so she’s back to ‘Kate’ till I can come up with something better) who is a hotel manager’s personal assistant.  I just need to use him.

So, while all of my character models listed are not people I know, I do have to add that I just told writer Shawn Bird  that I just have to base a character off of her. Check out her blog and look at that super cool, edgy picture she has! I love her hair! That blond, blue and purple  is just rocker chic and I just know that I could come up with something great about that, right? The thing about this, Shawn wrote back and said “That’s funny. I’m used to turning people into characters, not to be turned into one myself! ;-)”shawn bird tweetWow, I’d never thought about how strange it would be know someone was basing a character after you. I don’t know of anyone who would write about me, and I wonder if I would want to know? I had never thought about this because I’m always ‘borrowing’ people from life for my novels. We’ve all done it right?

Well, I have two other people in my life that I have as characters. Calvin, my first crush when I was 5 and my ideal ‘man’ for years, is the hero of “Kate’s” book.  Then there is Mimi. Mimi has become Coco in my Phaedra novel. She is this voluptuous, sassy, curvaceous, redhead that owns a flower shop and she’s just super cool. Hey Mim’s, did you know you were a character? Well you do now!

So, while I stick with mostly famous people, watch out, bloggers. Someday I just might write about you.

Okay, so readers, do you use people in your life as character models? Do you stick with famous people or do you write about that somebody you saw at the coffee shop or bookstore, or market? How do you get your characters?

I really want to know. So comment below and I can’t wait to see how you create your characters.

Signing off

Kate

Walter Mitty is My Soulmate

Yeah, this pretty much sums up what's going on in my brain. I can be in one place physically, but mentally on a mountain.

Yeah, this pretty much sums up what’s going on in my brain. I can be in one place physically, but mentally on a mountain.

Okay, the title might be a smidge misleading since I can’t say as I would want to be married to Walter Mitty.  More like we are simpatico, or twins, or could be really good friends.

I, like Walter, am a dreamer. I have been forever accused of daydreaming my life away, much to my mother’s disgust, dismay, and all around annoyance. Trust me, the years of home schooling were not either one of our friends. (So glad that’s over with.) I daydream so much I have my Pinterest and Tumblr accounts with the word daydream in them. I am a very active daydreamer.

Give me a tedious project and I will be fantasizing the time away. Mulching the yard is really good for this form of what I like to call ‘writing in my mind’. I plot, organize and ‘write’ little things in my head as I’m working. I have plotted out whole scenarios of my characters, then promptly forget them when I go to write them down. Mind writing isn’t quite conducive to actually writing. Not that that will ever stop me. I must daydream.

I blame just being a writer. Give me a picture, a song, a phrase, a weather pattern, a movie, a dance routine, a smell, (I could keep going) and I can write something about it. It might not be good, but I can write away.

I can’t say as I’ve ever been accused of zoning out like Walter Mitty, but I can fantasize right there with him. And just like Walter, I haven’t done a ton of exciting things. I lead a very ordinary life, in my opinion. Granted, my interests would fill out an Eharmony page much walter-mittybetter than his…. And I’ve actually done almost every dating website out there. Not that they have actually worked in my favor. But that’s neither here nor there.

I should also mention that I’m thinking mostly in terms of Ben Stiller as the new Walter Mitty, though I happen to be an absolute fan of Danny Kaye as the original. Both stories are entirely different and both quite wonderful. If you haven’t seen either film, you must. Both of them. Right now. Go. I’ll wait.

For some reason, Ben Stiller riding the skateboard down the mountain in Iceland has become a new inner inspiration to write. (I just saw the film a couple days ago, so the inspiration is really, really new).walter-mitty-3But I think the two of us could be great friends.

Have you ever watched a film, read a book, or seen something fictional that you feel the character could be your best friend? Your soulmate?  Tell me who they were and why. I’d love to know.

Signing off

Kate

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Hold Thy Tongue

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Fra...

Michael Connelly at Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have this thing. It’s called wanting to be right. I always want to be right. In an argument, I want mine to be the one that ‘wins’. I just have this need to be right.  It’s not a very good  personal trait to have. Not that being right is wrong, but feeling the need to be right all the time. It’s kind of hard to explain. And I want to go on a rant when I feel I am right. Hence the title of this post. Do I say something or hold my tongue? Since this is my blog, I’m going to say what I want.

Why am I bringing this up?  Well, I’ve been following this blog of a young author/writer. By young, I mean he just graduated from college last year, I think. So for me, when you are ten years younger than I am, you are still a baby in my eyes. Partly because I swear, anyone under 25 seems to act like a child half the time. So this young writer doesn’t believe you need to read older books to learn style, yet he is a reader of James Patterson, Robert B. Parker, Michael Connelly, etc. Where do you think those author’s got their inspirations? From new books? By disregarding older books, you are disregarding the newer author’s inspirations, and by default, the new authors.

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 ...

Darkly sparkling Chandler dialogue inspired 4 radio plays and a TV-film remake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For instance James Patterson was inspired by The Day of the Jackal , a thriller novel by English writer Frederick Forsyth. Michael Connelly was inspired by Raymond Chandler as well as Robert B. Parker. You can read each of the interviews/articles where I found this information, below.

James Patterson – His Story

Crime Master’s Career has Chandleresque Origins (Michael Connelly)  

Robert B. Parker Author Interview On Writing Mysteries

And in the process of researching these author’s inspiration, I read a brief bit on Raymond Chandler cited by Wikipedia as “Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction.”

Whoa. So, without Raymond Chandler, two very well known authors might never have been. So, clearly it’s not necessary to read anything of his.  He couldn’t possibly know anything.  Can you sense the serious sarcasm here?

I’ve noticed a trend with younger writers. They think they know everything. Especially if they have written something or self published. Did you know that Albert Einstein knew everything about relativity? (again sarcasm) Einstein could just disregard Sir Isaac Newton because he was sooooooo old. Newton couldn’t have possibly known anything about anything. Einstein had it all figured out by those scientists that had just figured out things recently…………………………………………………………..

Great argument.

Image via My Soul Doth Delight

I know next to nothing about writing. But I don’t act like I know everything and if someone a decade older than me were to tell me something regarding writing, I’d listen. I find it counterintuitive for a young writer to tell someone, in their own way,  that what the older writer is saying is, say, wrong. By saying you disagree with the thought that it might be a good idea to read older books is not a really wise statement or frame of thought, in my opinion. I think this goes in line with my post the other day about reading the classics. See HERE

Now, again, how does all of this apply to being right or wrong?  I know I’m right. I know that you need to read older books to know how to find a style and to, GASP, learn a thing or two about writing.  What would this young writer say if  Michael Connelly told him to read a Raymond Chanlder book? “Oh, I don’t need to. It’s old and I don’t read old books?”  That seems foolish and immature in my opinion.

And my opinion is right. As you can see —>

For those interested the blogger I’m discussing is Write me a book, John! and you can read his blog at this address http://johnguillen.wordpress.com

I’m not hyperlinking because I don’t want to connect directly to the blog through this post. Just copy and paste.  The current post in discussion is ‘Genre, Which Genre?’ and I have commented a few times on the post. This is all if you are interested.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy his posts, but this is a follow up to my post about the classics the other day. And it just leads me to wonder how you can be a really good writer if you are not willing to read , and read, and read, and that includes old books. Pardon for the long post and semi rant. If this becomes a regular occurrence, I may have to stop reading this blog. Whew!

I would love some feedback and opinions on whether you agree or disagree.

Signing off

Kate

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Reading Classics to Learn About Character Development, and Please Don’t Say We Don’t Need Them

Disclaimer: This may irritate or annoy younger writers. Proceed only if you want to hear my honest opinion.

I started this morning off reading a reaction post to The Ten Most Haunting Male Literary Characters.  See the original article for this story HERE  I was actually quite fascinated with the list and could understand why many were put on this list, specifically, and I stress this, because it was done by the British.  They have their own tastes and ideas and it was a decidedly British list.

What struck me was the reactionary post.  It was written by a blog I follow, from a young author  and I won’t name names because I’m not out to irritate people, but this thought came to me.  How can you give honest criticism about why certain characters are not on the list, if you have not read most of what is on the list? How can you judge whether or not a character from a book you like should be on the list just because you think the character is haunting?

First off, let’s take the word Haunting.

:  that haunts: such as

a :  lingering in the consciousness :  not readily forgotten <the cathedral organ and the distant voices have a beauty — Claudia Cassidy>

b :  having a disquieting effect :  disturbing <from two handsome and talented young men to two horrors of disintegration — Charles Lee>

Let’s take the second definition.  We are not talking villains exactly. Because while Mr. Rochester could be described as the antagonist in the story of Jane Eyre, he is not exactly that.  Nor is Caliban the villain in The Tempest. These characters have a more in depth point to the story. It’s not merely good or bad, but technically grey.  They are not Good vs. Evil.
That being said, some of the characters on the list are evil, but not necessarily so. The word definition is crucial here.
So where am I going with all of this?
I’m finding that younger writers who have not read a lot of classics, nor have they lived unique lives, don’t have a grasp of what makes a character evil, haunting, disturbed, manipulative, psychotic, complicated or whatever adjective you want to address a character. If you have lived within the sheltered pages of life going from high school to college and that is it for your age, really, you have not lived.  And if you haven’t read the classics, or at least a couple of them, I don’t think you have a grasp on some really good character development.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have not read a ton of classics, but at age 13 I read The Three Musketeers and from there on, I’ve attempted to tackle more in depth books.  Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Scaramouche, Jane Eyre (though I have not finished it yet, but saw the film), The Great Gatsby… I’m blanking on others.  But in the past 10 years, I have learned a lot, and I stress LOT, by reading those types of books. You learn that characters are complicated. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, but there is something about a character that is thought provoking. Heck, even Mr. Darcy could have been considered haunting. (not really, but guys need to read P&P to understand why women adore Darcy….though there is Mr. Knightley…)

I don’t see how anyone can really write without reading some of the more famous works. I never thought I would say that you need to read the classics.  My father would kind of shoot me, but I honestly think you need to read some to get even the slightest grasp on character development and depth.  And if you haven’t read most of the classics, don’t even try to complain about why Voldomort is not on a list but Heathcliff is.  Don’t even go there.

And Haunting doesn’t mean evil.  People, remember that!

Side Disclaimer: I have not nor will not ever read A Clockwork Orange, anything Stephen King or anything really disturbing.

 

Whew! Now that I’m done ranting, I want your input. Are you someone who thinks you need the classics?  Do you think I’m off my rocker?  How do you get your character development? And what do you think of the list of Haunting Male Characters?

Signing off

Kate

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A Writer’s Film

The-Magic-Of-Belle-Isle-Morgan-Freeman1Often, I keep track of films I watch that have a serious writer’s theme to the storyline.  Most recently it was The Magic of Belle Isle staring Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen. First off, I highly recommend this to any writer.  It’s a charming look at how imagination can and is a part of our lives, along with the story of a struggling writer. Plus it ends well and is a charming, charming story.

f03e818295b65975c3f4c94054b4314dOne of the things that got to me most about the film was the relationship Morgan Freeman’s character, Monte, has with his typewriter. At the start of the film he says “She’s a black-hearted whore, and I’m done with her.” Slowly, with the pushing of nine year old Finnegan O’Neil, he starts to write again and by the end of the film, you know he is back in sync with the machine.  There is a line where Finnegan asks Monte why he doesn’t use a computer.

Monte’s response. “I’m going to answer your question in return for blessed silence. Look at that machine. I like that you have to write a bit slower on a manual, I like the way it sounds, I like the way the letters bite into the paper, I like that you can feel as a genuine human being doing the work.”

Sometimes I forget the magic of using my typewriter. I haven’t had the inclination to pull out the Royal (he/she needs a good name instead of just Royal unless I want to envision Royal Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie series).  I actually haven’t had the inclination to do a lot of writing to tell you the truth.  However, whenever I see typewritten words or poems I just inwardly sigh in happiness. When I see someone using a typewriter I want to hug them. And when I see the love of a typewriter expressed in a film, it just makes me want to write to the screenwriter and thank them for making my day.  It doesn’t happen often, because honestly, there are not that many writer-esque films. So when I do see one, I pay attention.

1002004004848400Another film that made me want to start using my Royal (somebody help me name the darn machine) was Shadows in the Sun staring Joshua Jackson and Harvey Keitel.  Along the same lines as Monte, a line by Harvey Keitel’s character says Weldon Parish: “Typewriters make you think about the words you choose more carefully, because you can’t erase them with the push of a button. ”   (side note: great ideas, very cheesy film)

For some reason, even though I know all of this it’s nice to hear it in a film, or a book, or some random post. Little writer’s reminders are nice.

liberal_arts_2012Lastly, just because we are on the subject of writer’s films, I want to mention a new film that I HIGHLY recommend along with The Magic of Belle Isle.  This film is an independent film by actor Josh Radnor titled Liberal Arts.  I won’t go into a description because you can read about online everywhere. Just watch it.  If you love inspiration from all around, classical music, good humor, humor on life and college, and just an all around good feeling when you get done with a movie, then you need to see this.  It’s charming and you just want to meet Josh Radnor when you get done, especially since he wrote, directed and starred in the film.  So so very good.

One last thought.  I think the typewriter used in The Magic of Belle Isle was an Underwood.  I had the opportunity of having my grandfather’s machine, but it didn’t work and he ended up finding someone that liked those kind.  While I still wouldn’t really want one, man, those have got to be one of the coolest looking typewriters around.

Signing off

~Kate

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A Peek Into Kate’s Obsessions

Currently I’m obsessed with several things, which in turn has taken up my time so that I’m not writing blog posts like I normally would. Granted, I usually only get one a week posted, but I haven’t even done that. I’m so far behind my norm that it’s getting out of control. At this rate, or as it stands, I have to type up at least 5-8 posts and try and schedule them for the month so that I can have a bit more downtime during the holiday season.

But until then, here is a peek into my current obsessions and time consuming pursuits. Usually I have three periods during the year where I’m obsessed with something. Springtime usually means Jane Austen, though it seemed to run more mid summer this year. Spring was Georgia O’Keefe, this time around.

  1. Colin O’Donoghue as Captain ‘Killian Jones’ Hook

    Once Upon a Time
    This season of OUAT has been incredible. The plot is so incredibly ridiculous and fabulous that I don’t even know where to start. The family tree of Henry is on beyond the realm of normal thought. But it is so cool. The story makes you just keep coming back for more. Not counting the character of Captain Hook.  Killian Jones, as his real name happens to be, has got to be one of the sexiest actors on a drama right now. Not only is he incredibly charming, he has this way with words (an Irish accent doesn’t hurt), these devilishly good looks that he gives Emma, and an actually really good heart. I’ve even delved into the fan fiction realm regarding what is known as ‘Captain Swan’. Oh, the fan fiction and Captain Swan speculations out there will keep a girl’s heart fluttering at an alarming rate.  Pardon me while I go hyperventilate into a bag or sob in the closet.  All kidding aside, I’ve gone a bit fan girl on the whole show, and my Tumblr account     shows it with various OUAT fan posts, quotes, videos, and chatter between other diehard OUAT fans.  #LongLiveCaptainSwan

  2. Tyler+Hubbard+CMT+Music+Awards+Wonderwall+ZbMiZAHQCaelFlorida Georgia Line I’m not sure when I decided to actually listen to these guys, but I think it was right after the CMA’s that I actually didn’t watch. I missed them, and I think I was on Tumblr and there were posts about these boys. Well, I decided to listen, finally, to their song “Cruise”.  And that was it. I fell in love with them. Due to the ‘love’ part, I’ve now used Tyler Hubbard as a model for a new novel I’m busily tapping writing away at. It’s been a blast to look them up, see pictures, hear songs, and *gasp* see them play at the AMA’s, which was incredibly cool, despite my father rolling his eyes in disgust. Sorry, I know it isn’t ‘real’ country, but it is fun.
  3. Luke Bryan playing a ‘classic’ bro-country song (That’s My Kind of Night)

    Which brings me to my next obsession. Bro-Country Blame it on FGL, but now I’m slightly overdoing the bro-country music (I’m not even sure I know how to spell that) It’s this new genre of non country that has swept the music charts, just in case you don’t listen to country, like me, or haven’t heard the term. Singers like Luke Bryan, Jake Owen, Chris Young, etc., sings songs that seem to have the themes of girls with no name, painted on jeans, moonlight, a truck, always the weekend, always summer, possibly a rap bridge, and beer.  It’s sad. It’s the farthest thing from country next to Taylor Swift and her pop queeness. But I love it and since I’m writing about a singer who sings bro-country, well, listening to it helps. It isn’t because it’s catchy…. ‘Aw Naw

  4. Fernando Sor

    Fernando Sor
    This is a recent obsession and it hasn’t taken full hold over me. Recently I was invited to see an homage of Fernando Sor at my local theater, which is really quite small.  The homage was done by the talent John Doan. I won’t go into details about him, you can see what he does on his website, here, but it gave me a taste of modern classical guitar. It was stunning and moving and I was left breathless as I heard this most amazing music played. Now, I haven’t had the opportunity to hear a lot of Fernando Sor’s actual compositions, but I’ve started looking and so far, it’s really quite wonderful. Something I plan to use for part of my novel.

So, four obsessions isn’t that bad, but they do take up time. It’s interesting that three of them are music. But as I’ve always been one to love music and have it on all the time, it’s not unusual.

I’m curious, what are any of you obsessed with? Something embarrassing like Once Upon a Time? Or something more innocuous?

Let me know.

Signing off

~Kate

Journal Notes – The Great Pumpkin

This is from my journal, October 31, 2012

 

We’re watching Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin.  I love The Great Pumpkin.  Linus is such a dear.  The other night was a perfect Great Pumpkin night.  The nights where the clouds billow and a damp breeze comes down from the mountains.  You can smell wet leaves and the fresh, sharp scent of a freshly started fire.  It only comes in mid to late October.

 

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I rarely have time to type a post for the actual time I want.  Right now as I type this, it is mid February. I was going through my journal after a week of being ill and I just needed to see what had been going on lately. (I sometimes refresh my memory on what I want to write by re-reading the pages)  I found my post/entry on this and though, wow, what a great little thing to have typed up for October.

 

I happen to love The Great Pumpkin, and I look forward to watching it every year after growing up and NEVER watching it.  So what if I’m 31 and I like an old cartoon.  My father still enjoys it.  What’s not to love?  It’s endearing.  It’s kind of tradition.  Right?

 

Hoping everyone has a spectacular and safe Halloween.

 

Signing off

 

~Kate

 

Journal Me Journal You

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Mr. Statham’s caption : A lot on my mind, about time I write it down…

1395784_10151926697108288_1102903619_n

I am  stealing borrowing the two above pictures from Mr. Statham (not the real Jason Statham, but a friend who I swear could be the Man and I mention him in a post from three years ago if you click the highlighted name).  He just posted these tonight on Facebook and I immediately fell in love with them and told him that I was going to use them for a blog post.  My only comment is, that journal is empty! and I think a fountain pen might be needed.  Just saying. But, then, does Jason Statham use a fountain pen? Probably not.

I have not met many men in my life that write in a journal.  Granted, I don’t know tons of men, and most of the ones I do, are old…. So I find it kind of cool and sexy  in a writer-esque sort of way to see that a guy is writing in a journal.  And the mood in the setting is just so very Poe and The Raven to me. (the candles and the moodiness of the look) I can’t explain why I find this so inspiring, but I do.

IMG_1066edit

My ‘midnight’ writing and guest (my dachshund). Not quite as cool, but I have my fountain pens and my Paris pictures and star light…

I am not one to have much of a ‘setting’ when I write.  I write when I get a moment, though as of late, my journaling is at midnight.  I do a lot of midnight entries.  Since the 19th of September, I have spent half my midnights writing in my journal.  Dealing with guy trouble and thoughts that are too big to write about in the day.  Generally more macabre at that time, but I’m more inclined to get to the heart of my troubles when I’m tired and it’s dark out.  I can ‘sob’ out my issues when no one is around.

Writing in my journal is so very private in a way. I know I wrote not long ago that I was inclined to take my journal with me wherever I went (read the post HERE), and while that’s true, I still like my thoughts private.  When something is really troubling me, I like to be along with my thoughts and not feel pressured to get my writing done.

Part of the reason for my midnight entries, which are dated that way as well, are because my life is hectic. I do not have much time in the day for sitting down to voice my thoughts.  I’d love to, but I rarely have time. The few times I do, it’s right after lunch when I have a cup of tea in hand and a few moments to spare.  But at night I stay up. I am such a night owl it’s scary sometimes. So I write. I also play on Tumblr and read emails, but I like to write then.

Adding to this slightly disjointed post, pardon, but it is after midnight. I never said my thoughts were clear at this point…..  It’s always interesting to see the journals people use.  Mr. Statham’s is clearly a guy’s journal.  Brown or black leather, smooth, simplistic, unlined pages, simple pen.  Totally masculine.

But then there’s me.  Right now my journal is a flowery composition book.  As will the next two journals after this one. I need lines because I write on a slope. I need composition books because they are big enough to get my point across without going through two journals a year.  I ramble so I need plenty of room to fit in everything.  And I have been using my fountain pens religiously to write with.

Fountain pens are kind of sexy.  Trust me.  Especially filled with the different inks.  Right now I’m in a Burgundy Mist and Sepia mode.  I just got through black and a unique mix of the Burgundy and black because I was too lazy to clean my pen before I filled it…  Colors reflect my mood.  Sepia is my conservative mood, while Burgundy….. well no boring thoughts were conceived when writing in a wine colored ink….. cue naughty wink

And now I have written a blog post, instead of writing in my journal like Mr. Statham. Now it’s late and I have sleep that is needed, so I shall close.  I’m curious about you dear reader.  If you are a man, do you keep a journal?  What do you write with?  What type of journal do you use?

Girls, what about you?  Tell me, do you like plain or fancy journals?  I’m curious too as to when you like to write.  Do you like writing in the morning when you wake up, thoughts fresh and clean, or do you like to get down and dirty at night?

And because well, I can’t resist, the lovely, handsome, every girl wants him…

Mr. Jason Statham (because I don’t feel I should post my friend’s picture without his consent. But trust me, he really, really looks like this guy)jason-statham12

Signing off

~Kate

The Buzz of It All

yellow jacket's dinner

Yellow jacket on a raspberry flower. These are guys I don’t mess with per say, but they are marvelous as well.

The humble, darling honeybee.  There is something so special about them and yet, I think people forget about them.  Right now I find them hard to forget as I am usually elbow deep in them as I pick raspberries.  they fill the rows of canes with their steady hum as they buzz throughout the blossoms.  Reminding my of W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

The imagery that this poem invokes is utterly romantic in form.  While I don’t live in a bee-loud glade, bees are a constant here.  I wouldn’t know what to do without them around all the time.

honeybee on a rasp

Hanging in there for dinner

I have a very pleasant relationship with bees, absolutely adore them, and probably like them way more than most people do.  I think the bees know it as well. I can thrust  my hands into the canes to pick, bumping up to bees and not having to worry about being stung. Sure, I have been stung, but that was when I rested my hand on a bee.  And the poor dear did not make it out alive.

Glutton resized for Picassa

Gluttonous honeybee on a raspberry flower.

Bumble bees and those beautiful, black, bombing Carpenter bees don’t die if they sting you (love that alliteration) and I have the experience to back that up.  Who knew you shouldn’t pick up Carpenter bee females from possibly drowning in the pool.  It would have been fine had I not used my bare hand.

But I respect bees, and they respect me.  I am forever rescuing honeybees that are half drowned by my watering.  And I hate to see the older girls slowly fade away as they are dying, until one morning you find the still form of one in the dewy grass.  One who will never move again.

Bees are my friends.  A friend of my family is deathly afraid of bees.  She is allergic, I think, so stays far away from them.  It brings to mind a poem I read the other day in  Orion magazine‘s September/October issue about a woman that has an uneasy reltaionship with Shasta daisies and bees.  The bees love her daisises which are around her mailbox, and she’s allergic to bees.  You can read the poem in the picture below.

PerilloI love the line “Going to the bees’.  Actually, I just love the whole darn thing.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about bees that way.  I putter along, picking berries, brushing buzzing, fuzzy bodies, brandishing my camera when I remember to have it on hand.  I adore taking pictures of bees. I wish I could have a catalog I’ve done of every bee.  As in I want to catalog every bee with pictures and more pictures.  I adore bees.  And I like the thought of going to the bees, when I’m out picking in the hum drum sounds.

And that is itself is the buzz of it all.

Signing off

~Kate