Savoring Letters

Garnet Hill LettersI love letters. I love writing them. I love receiving them.  Letters harken back to the days when that was the only means of communication between people who lived further than a couple miles.  Why, even if you lived close you could send a note or letter because, hey, there were no phones.  Just think about any Jane Austen film, or book, and at some point someone is getting a folded, wax-sealed letter or note.  Ah yes, letters are definitely something that has still hung around despite the technological age of computers and phones.  You still write letters (type) one a computer.  They have not died.

That being said, while I love letters, I’m quite terrible at replying to them.  It’s not that I don’t want to reply, but well, I savor letters.  If someone sends me one, I read it over and over, or mull over it, or think.  The minute I start replying to a letter, I start to forget what was in the letter.  It’s like this mind emptying thing.  So I hold off on replying to letters. I’m sure people wonder if I am ever going to get back to them.  Mrs. Austen would be one that comes to mind recently. I have received several nice emails from her and a letter and I’ve yet to actually reply!  I have things started.  It’s terrible.

Letters are incredibly exciting to receive in the mail.  Actually, anything addressed to one that is not junk or a bill is fun to get in the mail.  My favorite things are letters or books. You really can’t go wrong. I think the only thing that might top it off is if someone could figure out how to send a cup of hot coffee in the mail.  That would be something.  You open your package and there is this perfect steaming cup of joe.  Ah yes.

I go all out for letters a lot of the time.  Pretty stamps, nice paper, written with a fountain pen.  Or I try to do something unique. I  just sent a friend of mine a short letter that I wrote on one half sheet of card stock, folded in thirds, and printed with the tiniest print I could manage.  He was teasing me about my small script, which I thought was relatively normal.  Apparently not.  I like doodling on margins. I like trying new different methods of writing.  I like scribbling notes in margins, though I try to avoid that.  I get my notes better than other people.

I’ve even made my own envelopes by pricking them with a pin to achieve a punched out design.  Wax seals, stickers, letters written on one sheet of paper then folded into an envelope.  I’ve tried it all.  I love having that bit of creativity on hand.  And while I do like email thing, I still savor and take forever to reply.

So, if you have written me a letter and haven’t gotten a reply recently, even if I have promised a speedy reply, don’t take it personally.  I’m still enjoying your letter.  Savoring and digesting it slowly like a really good book.   Oh, and I keep almost every letter I receive.  I have boxes and email folders, and such.

Happy Friday.  Good Friday.

Signing off



The Shiny Down or The Ethereal Up

Similar to what I was seeing.  c. K. Branson

Similar to what I was seeing. c. K. Branson

Tonight the sky is amazing.  There is an almost full moon and a mountain sky filled with the most beautiful cotton puff clouds.  There is no breeze and the crickets have started their chirping.  I can even here a bird that I have yet to identify but he sounds sort of like he’s laughing.

I am always accused of looking at the sky nowadays.  I’m always looking up, or remarking to someone how beautiful the sky is.  My mother is forever asking me if all I ever do is look up.  I have to blame her though.  For years all I did was look down at the ground.  I was always on the hunt for something shiny.  And the common comment was, “don’t you ever look up?”

So, now I look up.  I still look down.  You never know when you might find that stray dime or quarter.  The common penny.  Heck, you might even find a washer or bit of shiny glass.

I like to think that I can relate to Shelley (Percy Bysshe) and his poetry being ethereal.  While I’ve yet to read much of his, I did find it to be more focused on the air and light things.

I’m not as grounded as I probably should be. I spend way more time daydreaming plotting about things that are far from reality.  Yet, can you name a poet, writer, novelist, etc. that is actually grounded?  They all have their moments of what could be termed insanity, though I would rather say it’s just creativity taking hold.  Take Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite poets.  She was more melancholy than others, yet there were moments of pure freedom.

That’s what I tend to do. I shy away from the gloom and dreary things in life.  I think sometimes it will hinder my writing.  I don’t have enough conflict.

Well, I’ll go back to my earlier statement.  I blame my mother on why I always look  up.

Pin Curls – Flash Fiction

Old postcard of Mount Shasta

Hello my lovlies.  (I have seen other girl bloggers use that term and it’s so cute)

As you read this, I am off to the wilds of Mount Shasta.  Okay, not actually the mountain as it is covered in snow, but the city below.  I hope it will be a sunny clear day so I might be able to snap a shot or two of the mountain.

I was puttering around with an idea so here is a smidge of flash fiction to start you off on a Monday.  A bit of back story; I love pin curls, and I love putting my hair up in pin curls.  I’ve yet to master it, in fact I usually come out looking like a cross between a poodle and a fight with an electrical socket.  Not a pretty picture.  But I do try and I hope someday I might have them tamed when I do them.  So, there I was, picturing one of my heroines, Rena Bliss, putting up her hair in pin curls.


IMG_0531-1024x682_largeShe sat at her vanity putting up her hair in pin curls.  She wore a filmy white and pale blue concoction of a summer nightgown; more slip than anything else, though everything essential was modestly covered.  Her glasses were perched o the end of her nose and she frowned intently as she carefully rolled her blond hair up, securing the curl with two bobby pins.

Milo watching in fascination as Rena sectioned and rolled.  She had this perfect set up, her brushes and combs laid out in front of her, spritz bottles of setting lotions and grooming sprays, her bobby pins and other clips in miss matched teacup saucers.  There was a little click and rattle of metal against porcelain every time Rena pulled one out of the dish, then a flash of white teeth as she pried open the pin and jammed it into the curl.  Sometimes she would stop mid curl to take a sip of tea from her pale teal polka-dot teacup.  One hand held the curl in place while the other lifted the cup to lips that were full and very pink.

5236422772_6873713086_largeRena was pure femininity.  The movements she made, the clothes she wore, down to her pale pink fingernails, she was ultra girl.  Which was funny since country life was hardly conducive to all the girly things about her.  But that’s what made her such a fascination to Milo.  And watching her put up her hair; well that just sealed the deal. 

Pretty, flirty, and sexy as hell.  Yeah, she was a dream girl.

Signing off


Springtime, French, and Should I Write About It

English: Dirty Weather Over Hagg Wood Not quit...

English: Dirty Weather Over Hagg Wood Not quite the May weather I had in mind for my walk. From the path above Swinburn’s Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I set about to walk to town yesterday and it was a lovely walk, albeit a bit on the blustery side.  For some reason, I always manage to walk when the nastier weather is coming down the mountainside.  Yesterday was no exception.  Fortunately I had my cloche hat on, though it did require me pushing it down squarely several times due to a brisk wind.

As I walked, I had a selection of French music playing on my mp3 player.  There is something about spring, wind, rain and French music that just goes together. The old adage of springtime in Paris perhaps?  Whatever the reason, Zaz’s La Pluie was tres parfait for the moment.  I highly recommend the song.

As I walked I contemplated on how the weather was perfect for something to write about.  Have you ever noticed that right at the height of a season, you are so immersed in it that you must write about it?  And yes, even though it is right at the ‘first of spring’ we are smack dab in the middle of it.  Spring started back in February when just the start of things came out.  I’ve only come to this realization after reading Liza Dalby‘s East Wind Melts the Ice, which I commented on just the other day.

But seriously, when you are at the height of the season, you just want two immerse yourself in it and kind of wallow.  I feel that way in the summer when it’s hot and muggy, or when that summer storm comes through with all it’s ravaging brilliance of a thunderstorm.  The lightning and thunder, the oppressive moisture cloying the air and pressing down.  Or in autumn when the leaves swirl around you as you walk home.  The all consuming desire to wear plaid and eat apples while carrying a pumpkin home to carve.

Okay, it might be just me, but seasons, weather and nature are very important to me.  They impress upon me not unlike music.  It’s all very important to me and my writing.  So, now I have to add or write something about walking in the blustery weather, wearing a cloche hat and French music playing….. Funny thing, all but for the French music thing, I started something last year that highlighted some of that. I just never finished it.


Signing off


One Hundred

I was just noticing this morning that I had 97 followers here at Kate’s Bookshelf, then boom, I am now at a lovely 100! Wow, thanks you all for following me. No, those three extra numbers are not any more important than the other 97 of you that were following me before. It’s just a nice bit of even numbers kind of thing. Like 50 or something.
So thank you to everyone of you that takes the time to read what I’ve tapped out or posted. I appreciate it.

Signing off

Rainy Nights In The Springtime

Here I am on a rainy spring night.  Yes, it is really finally spring.  Bing is confirming it. (I had to check)  It’s one in the morning and I just had to type something.  I should be picking a picture for Wordless Wednesday, but you are going to get two posts today.

There is something kind of magical about rain on a spring night.  The freshness.  The clean mountain air where I live.  The silence that is far from silent.  The air moves differently and you can feel the change.

Right now I’m reading Liz Dalby’s East Wind Melts the Ice.  It’s a journal mixed with cultural and historical information of Japan.  It takes the Japanese calendar and breaks it down into individual weekly essays.  It’s incredibly fun to read, though I have yet to ever finish the book despite checking it out half a dozen times from the library.  It’s one of those books that’s so good you don’t want to finish it.  Ha ha, that is a really sad excuse, but it’s actually true. I’ve shied away from finishing it.

I am drinking a tepid cup of coffee, though it was hot a bit ago (black, no sugar) and I have Penny and Sparrow’s Ten Boom album playing.  Penny and Sparrow are a new band I found after seeing a post by rainydaysandblankets a Tumblr blog.  Her blog has got to be one of my most favorite to visit.  I really should do a favorites of Tumblr’s blog post.  There are some really great blogs out there.  Anyways, Penny and Sparrow is a really amazing band of two guys.  Check them out if you can.  Quite impressive in the folk-slash-rock genre.

Well, now to see what to post for Wordless.

Signing off


Wordless Wednesdays. Cool!

Okay, so this is a new phenom on the internet.  Wordless Wednesday.  Sorry if I’m behind the times. I don’t always pay attention to the new stuff out for blogging.

For those not in the know…. Like I was ten minutes ago.  Wordless Wednesday = On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it doesn’t need any description.

Ooooooh. I like it.  So, I shall have to give it a try.

Signing off


Scenes With Musical Inspiration

I first heard about using music to inspire a story when I read all about Stephenie Meyer’s account of writing the Twilight Saga.  While I have always enjoyed music and certain songs make me think of writing a story, I had never put music to a scene like they do in a movie.  Since reading Stephenie Meyer’s account though, I have really used music to instil a character, a scene, a story into my mind.  Where a song becomes the character’s song.  A song becomes the story.

For instance, a novel/romance I started  several years ago about a girl running a bookstore all came from Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bookends’ song.  Not even the ‘Old Friends’, though I do adore that song as well since it is part of ‘Bookends’, but just the one song. There is no specific reason for that, other than books = Bookends kind of theme.  But, that song is stuck in my head for that.

Recently, as in just this last week and last night a song and scene fit together almost so perfectly I’m slightly amazed.  I would like all you reader’s input. Whether you agree or not, I’d love to know if you think the music I chose fits with the scene I’ll include below.  Kind of like watching a movie and you hear that one song that just fits perfectly with the scene.  The ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ at the end of You’ve Got Mail.  Or the ‘Northern Sky’ by Nick Drake at the end of Serendipity.  (pardon to the guys who may or may not have watched these chick flicks)

The song of choice is from a new band my father found, The Paper Kites.  The song: “Willow Tree March”. You can hear the song below.

And here is the scene. I’ve mentioned Rena and Owen before, if you’ve read some of my flash fiction.  Here they are at it again, only this time, a kiss. Enjoy and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Rena reached up to hug Owen, pausing as she noticed that he was covered in sawdust and chainsaw oil.  He glanced down and grimaced, but she put her arms around him anyway, hugging him close, not worrying about the grime.  As she pulled away, her eyes rose to his and in that moment she wondered why she had always pulled away from him in every way. She saw the flecks of gold in his blue eyes, the intensity that had always been there, but she had shied away from it.

She moistened her lower lip and as his eyes followed the movement they both moved in one motion. He leaned down and she tipped back her head as his mouth settled on hers, closed and just pressing. It wasn’t passionate and it wasn’t spectacular, but when she pulled back and staggered for a moment, she had to grab his arm to steady herself.

“Mmm. Hmm,” Rena hummed a frown forming and wrinkling her nose.  “Could you, uh, try that again?”

Owen’s arm wrapped around her lower back and he tipped her more until for a moment it felt like her world fell away.  She slid her hand around the back of his neck and held on , clutching his neck, as his mouth settled back on hers.  The tingle started and traveled up her back as his mouth pressed gently.  Before he could pull away, Rena gripped his neck firmly and opened her lips to him.  

Rena almost smiled as she felt Owen change his stance to hold her closer as his mouth moved over hers with staggering results.  Her hands clung to him, holding him as close to her as she could.  She cupped his rough cheek with her left hand, her fingers lightly brushing the stubble, while her other hand slid up into his damp hair at the nape of his neck. 

He tasted of pine and the woods.  The hot summer sun beat down on them as the heady, intoxicating smell of pine resin swirled around them, baking and making their temperatures rise. A symphony of sensations assailed Rena’s senses. He smelled like the sawdust and chainsaw oil, of sweat and summer sunshine.  He was pure nature.  His mouth was warm and so soft on hers, his lips moving over hers sipping and tasting her as if she were a glass of brandy.  And around them the buzzing of bees and insects in the meadow combined with the dying of a chainsaw on the edge of the clearing.  A sudden silence that was deafening.

Rena heard a moan then realized that it was her as Owen deepened the kiss.  He tasted her and settled firmly on her mouth.  She couldn’t get enough; it was too much.  She felt as if she could crawl into his skin; she felt like she needed to shove him away and take off all her clothes that were binding her too tight.  Her fingers fluttered on his skin in panic and he gave her space, his face burying into her neck.  

They gasped for breath, heaving against each other, clinging.  His arms were wrapped around her holding her as if she were a lifeline, while she clung to him, pressing her body as close as she could get.

She felt devistated.  Like her world had come crashing down before sending her in a rush to the stars.   Dazed, confused, aroused.  She was a bundle of nerves.  It was stimulus overload.  She shuddered, but couldn’t pull away. 

It was the whistling catcalls that jolted them both back to reality.  They were far from alone.  Instead, they stood in the center of the clearing, the center of attention, a show almost, to the guys cutting with Owen.  Rena turned a bright red and buried her face in Owen’s shirt, mortified.  Not because it was Owen, but she hated being the center of attention.  She would never live this down. Word would get around.

But then Owen’s fingers tilted her chin to look up at him and as he smiled, she forgot again where she was.  She wanted his mouth on hers again, and she knew he knew it.  Finally, they were in sync.

Well, again, I would love feedback.  I doubt this will every go anywhere, but hey, I love tapping out things.

Signing off