Live Like There is No Tomorrow

There is a new show on the CW called ‘No Tomorrow‘, all about this guy who believes the earth is going to be blown up by an asteroid in 8 months and so many days. Because of this, he has created his Apocalist…… his list of things he is going to do before the world ends. Now, first off, just saying, this is a fun show. Not horribly clean. But still, very fun.

Moving on.  Do you have a list? I guess in a sense this is a bucket list, but I like a ‘no tomorrow’ list. A list of things like you will do like it’s no tomorrow. Personally, I don’t have a list, but I’ve been thinking of doing it just for the fun of it. I have a cute little notebook, one of the many, my family gave me this year for my birthday, and even if I never get to these dreams, it’s not a bad thing.

Some of the things on my list would be:

  1. Go to Paris
  2. Go to Monte Carlo and see Grand Prix
  3. Kiss Boris
  4. Kiss new guy I’m interested in
  5. Play the bassoon
  6. Play a flute
  7. Play a violin
  8. Meet the President (doesn’t matter which one)
  9. Go speed boating on Lake Tahoe
  10. Go to the Space Needle in Seattle……

Okay, so some of them aren’t terribly interesting; going places is a big thing of mine, but there are other things I want to do. I mean, it’s kind of fun to think of doing things and attempting to do things. Granted, a lot of them require money… well except for kissing Boris….. but still, one can dream.

Do you have a list? I think we all should start having lists.  Oh, I want to run a 5K and a 10K!

Kate

Kisses and Cigarettes

staticdesign-mart-scholliers-unsplashI dream about really good kisses as much as I dream about having a cigarette. I crave really good kisses as much as I crave that first drag on a cigarette. Funny thing; I’ve never smoked. Unless you call that one puff my father let me try  of one of his really good cigars. Trust me, it wasn’t that good. In fact, after swirling the smoke around my mouth, I wondered why anyone would want to do this.  And I didn’t even inhale.

But ever since then, I want a cigarette so bad. Not all the time, but after that dream where I can’t find my pack of them and I need a smoke, I’ll wake up wishing I could light one up. An insatiable desire for the forbidden.

After that dream with an incredible kiss, I swear I wake up , lips tingling, heart racing, wishing it had really happened and I’ll be getting another one soon. An insatiable desire for pure, unadulterated pleasure.

Neither have happened. I wake up, go about my day wishing for one or the other……… or both if the dream was so nice as to grant me with two cravings. Oddly, both cravings involve the lips. Weird, huh?

I’ve had one good kiss in my life. One so good I refer to it here and there. I dream about it, write about it, think about it. It’s kind of like that one taste of tobacco smoke. That kiss kine of opened my eyes to what a good kiss is like. Especially after two boyfriends and countless bad kisses from them. At the time, I didn’t know they were bad kisses. Now that I’ve had good bourbon, why would I go back to cheap crap?

How could two very simple things take control of my life? Currently I’m thinking about both cravings days after two very vivid dreams. Personally I think the only way to cure either is to go have a smoke then have a really good kiss. But then, would it cure the disease or make me need a fix that much more?

Signing off

Kate

Writing in the Car

innovative journal writing

 

I rarely write in the car due to motion-sickness. Ah the joy of looking down at print then suddenly you are swimming and ready to half pass out. Bleh. It happens more often than not, so I’ve grown quite used to just riding in the car and making sure I am staring straight out the window.

However, one thing that I’ve wanted to try for a while is jotting down the things I see as I am in the car and create a poem from it. Susan Wooldridge wrote a whole poem on it when she visited us up north from Chico. She wrote down our street names and what she saw along the road. I knew where she was because of what she had written up. In another poem from her Bathing With Ants, you know she is writing down things as she is driving a car full of vegetables somewhere, as the signs and places and feelings are there.

On a recent trip to Klamath Falls, I was fortunate enough to have my new pocket journal I splurged on for my birthday. It’s this gorgeous little leather cover with snazzy, expensive paper inside (I hacked it and made my own insert-able booklet so as not to go crazy spendy on paper) The picture above is me in the car, writing as I go.  Phrases to the poem that I’m writing, which I’ve yet to finish yet, are “Throw out the buttercups, there are cornflowers along the road, and the wallflower pops up its orange head, the milkweed’s about to burst……
Grass lake and falling snows and geese standing in dismay, a Phantom driving slowly…..

 

I love the Phantom line because we were following behind a semi truck with the name Phantom on it.  And fortunately I wasn’t driving. I could not have written anything had I been driving. That’s just too dangerous.  Anyways, I liked how I could capture what I was seeing, though as you drive 60+ mph, it’s hard to capture it all. I had to start just writing down snippets and hope for the best, all while watching amazing bird life and mountain snows fall, and strawberry fields all planted, and rain and rivers and lakes and pelicans flying by…. yes, pelicans, and I swear I saw cormorants as well…. Klamath Falls is stopping and breeding point for some ‘exotic’ birds.  I think it’s cool.

And Mrs. B was wondering why I was writing in the car, but I can’t turn off my brain. I haven’t been able to turn it off since April when I was writing every day, multiple poems and thinking about things differently.  No, I haven’t posted much here since april, but I have been crazy thinking and writing things down in other places. I have so much I’ve written that it’s crazy. And half the things I write, I don’t know what to do with them!

But I must ask, have you ever written in the car? While driving? At a stop sign? As the passenger?  Do you note things you see and write them down later?  I try and make this giant moving picture in my head, a film of sorts, but I can’t keep it all. I try to remember every detail but there is so much to see.

Kate

Imagining Opening Shots to Music

In Poemcrazy, Susan talks about seeing things and having them be ‘opening shots’, like in films where you have that first opening scene.  While I don’t pay attention always to opening scenes, I make up my own in my head when I hear music that I like. Recently the song used for the Behr paint has been stuck in my head.  The song, “Imagine Color” by Kasper Ramone makes think of New York in the 1940s and you see this panorama of buildings in greys panning to an artist swirling paint over canvas and you start sing the city come alive with different color.

I have been thinking a lot of opening scenes as I listen to music.  Or closing shots sometimes. Like that end of the movie where everything figures itself out okay?  There is a song by Jesse Malin, “Downliner”, and I feel like this is one of those songs where you see people getting out of a car on the sidewalk overlooking a bay on a bright, sunny, windy day, at the end when everyone is coming together and the story is done.

It’s funny how music always creates a story in my head.  “Lay, Lady, Lay” by Bob Dylan has a very 70s western vibe to me and I imagine scenes from Once Upon a Time in the West, or something risque from the 70s.  It fits with the Janet Dailey books I read; romance novels that are, as one person mentioned at my writing group, candy books.  You read candy novels for fun and nothing specific other than you enjoy a bit of fluff.  I figure you could get a toothache if you read too many of those.  (I’ve read enough and my PC Kindle is filled with a few too many.)

I create stories for most of the music I listen to, or I insert it into a story I’m writing, or the song itself is a story. I think I wrote about that years ago when I mentioned the song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” I like a song that has a story behind it.  Probably why I like a lot of folk music. I can see the story.  It’s also the reason I like certain music videos that have a definite story in them, or something that seems to need to be written about.   Maybe this is why I like flash fiction.  It’s a little blip of a story in three and a half minutes; music videos, that is.

Does anyone else ever hear a song and it brings a scene to mind?  Or a story in a music video?  I’d love to know some of your favorites.

Kate

Dreaming of Colorado

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks

Buena Vista at the foot of the Collegiate Peaks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been dreaming about Colorado a lot lately.  At random moments, a John Denver song will pop into my head and I’m thinking about the Rockies and the way Colorado felt. I lived there for two years in my early teens, and while at the time I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have, now I find myself missing it horribly.

Just recently I was watching a Tiny House, Big Living where a young couple converts a bus into a tiny home. The couple was out of Boulder, but they traveled to outside of Denver and Red Rocks. I watched the weather and the scenery wishing desperately that I could be there or go. Red Rocks has been one of those places I really want to go and see a concert played. Unfortunately, who I want to see play is either dead (John Denver) or won’t play the concert I want to see (Mumford & Sons version of “I Will Wait”. With all of those amazing lights strung across the stage.)

Recently I have started a story that takes place in Vail though I have never been there. In face, I have never been to Denver, Boulder, Red Rocks… I lived in the middle of the state, half an hour from Leadville (been there), an hour from Aspen (haven’t been there), and a few hours from Ryal Gorge and Canyon City (been there!). I wish I could have seen Aspen, but Mr. B didn’t want to see how it had changed from the 70s when he had seen it. I can understand that. But oh, Colorado aspens, can I rave?

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado

English: Aspen trees near Aspen, Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But occasionally I dream of living where John Denver made his home. I love that he wrote songs about it, like Starwood in Aspen and his Christmas song, Aspenglow. Then there’s Rocky Mountain High. Seriously those songs sum up Colorado perfectly. (Ironically a John Denver song came on a the doctor’s while I sit here, but it’s Country Roads, so not technically about Colorado- and I wrote this two days ago and I’m just now typing it up. I’m not actually at the doctors right now)

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO.

Mount Princeton near Buena Vista, CO. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not sure why Colorado is calling to me, except for lately not really feeling like I”m in the mountains. Strange since yesterday was one of those perfect stormy, mountain days. A day where the mountains were obliterated by clouds and we woke to snow all the way down. But since I live on the valley floor, I feel like I’m more in the country. Strange as well since I have to only walk fifteen to twenty minutes and I can be climbing up the mountains. I’m that close. But California mountains are different from Colorado mountains. I remember telling a boyfriend, who visited from Pennsylvania, that we did everything big out here, but our mountains are nothing compared to the amazing beauty of the Rockies. The sheer size of 14,000-foot peaks can’t be explained.

There is a wildness about Colorado. Still untamed. Still undiscovered, though I doubt that is the case. I just remember visiting Tincup and that had once been something, but was no more. Okay, there was sort of a town, but one place we stopped outside of Tincup was what you see in the pictures above. The way the wild had claimed everything again. The way the exploding brightness of the sun shone on the clear mountain streams, being so high up the air was crisp and clear. The air was so pure. So clean. So cold and brisk.

The mountains, lakes, and aspens were magic.

I love California with all of my heart. This is my state. This is where I come from. I’m a fifth generation and the Sierra Nevada mountains are my ‘home’. But there is something about colorado that just makes me want to come stay a bit and visit again. With my camera where I can take so many pictures I couldn’t possibly forget.

To visit St. Elmo where the hummingbirds take over the historical ghost town….. while across the street the chipmunks enthrall people…. that is one place I definitely want to see again.

Well, I’m dreaming of Colorado, wishing for a Rocky Mountain High…

Kate

 

Playing With Words, Or What I Found In An Anne Lindbergh Book

So I have become a frequent member of the local Saturday Writing Circle at my local library. I’ve mentioned it in passing with a short piece of Flash fiction I wrote recently.  One of our writing prompts comes from the mix mash of pieces of paper with either a word or a number on it. If you choose the number, you walk around the room, which happens to have all the books the Friends of the Library sell, pull off a book, turn to the page number you chose, and use a word from that to write from. I almost always choose this method because it’s broad and there are a bunch of words you can find in one page.

This last week I chose a book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh and who would have thought that a wealth of words could come from page 220 (the date of the day I was writing) of the book, “North to the Orient?” This book has a story behind it as well. I chose the book partly because a few years ago my family and I were going through our books, discarding what we were not going to read. Several of the books were Anne Lindbergh books my grandmother had gotten from her mentor years ago.  I kept a few and got rid of several. Well this dark blue book, sitting on the non fiction shelf, called to me. Just because I thought it would be familiar in that I knew the author. Well, after reading the page, I decided I HAD to take it home and read it. When I got home, I told Mrs. B about it, and she asked dryly if it was one of the books we had gotten rid of. Well, I flipped to the front cover and there was the nameplate with the name of my grandmother’s mentor.  Oh how things circle around. Ironic that I am now reading a book I discarded three years ago.

But now onto page 220.  While I didn’t use all of these, what caught my eye were these words or phrases:

a small island of roofs, sea of flood, the two words were separated, the world of nightmare, the world of reality, the flash of waking, magic lamp, hair-bridge, the pull of a trigger…….

A sentence: ….magic rests on a knife-edge—a lam, a tinderbox, and “open sesame.”

Aren’t those wonderful? I continued on with my story of Reality of Dreams, which relates to The Magic Orb I wrote several years ago. C.B. Wentworth wanted me to finish that piece of flash fiction and I have sudden inspiration to finish the story. I now have a way to finish the story. I think. This is what I have been working on at my weekly writing group.

So while I won’t share all of the story yet, I am going to post bits and pieces at time. But do you play with words? Do you hunt for words in books? I have found it a really good way to find inspiration. The Reality of Dreams was inspired by words in Cannery Row, and a Tea Shop Mystery book by Laura Childs.

So, how do you get your word prompts? I’d love to know.

Kate

Emilie Loring’s Novels as a Film Guide

I was sitting there last night watching White Christmas, a film I love and should be a staple at Christmas, and as I watched Betty get all mad at Bob and storm off, I thought, wow, this is really like an Emilie Loring novel.

Now granted, there wasn’t much mystery involved, nor was there  a woman scorned trying to win back someone.  There wasn’t a whole exact specificity that made it like an Emilie Loring, but I still say it was.  The shenanigans and how everything was solved in the end.  Even to the misunderstanding of Betty and her running off to the Carousel Club, and Bob going to see her and trying to fix it.  It really is semi similar.  Maybe that’s why I love the story as I do.

And recently, watching the film Aloha with Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, I thought the same thing.  The film has mystery, intrigue, romance, a woman who wants the hero back, a new woman, a new love interest, people wanting to settle down, a villain.  It’s all there. Updated, with some sex, but still, the premise of the film is very Loring-esque.

You have the guy that comes back home, to Hawaii, there’s the girl who’s his guide, and while she likes him, she’s cautious about him, there’s the ex  girlfriend who is kind of interested in the guy, there’s the business man who has sketchy business dealings…. Will the guy end up with the girl? Or go back to his ex? And what about that sketchy businessman? Did I mention that the guy used to be in the military?

I mean, really, could this be any closer to an Emilie Loring book?  I honestly don’t think so.

So now my new mission in life is to watch films with this style of storyline.  Technically, Pride and Prejudice is along these lines.  Okay, it’s a lot like an Emilie Loring.  And maybe that is what makes these such classic stories.  They have a specific theme that pits good against bad, and guy against girl.  And the guy always get the right girl.

A story isn’t any good with out a little intrigue and conflict.  While White Christmas doesn’t have much intrigue, it still has conflict.  And singing….. the singing makes up for the lack of intrigue.

Aloha has plenty of all things.  Romance and intrigue and conflict.

Does anyone else have some good films that have this story line?  Oh, Sabrina with Humphry Bogart and Audrey Hepburn is a lot like this story line as well!

Clearly I have a Loring vibe still.  I think part of that is because I am reading Patti Bender’s blog as she write’s Emilie Loring’s biography.  Could it be any better than that?  I love this. I’m so excited about it.  And she also has read Loring’s books over and over.  So I get to hear about one of my favorite subjects. Emilie Loring novels.  I think I’m in heaven.

Kate

One Word Prompts: Secret – Writing 101

5186_16e7I have secrets. I live with secrets. I’m filled with secrets. I love to keep secrets. I hate to keep secrets. Secrets are part of being a woman still living at home. Secrets are what make a writer considering we don’t have time, nor the inclination to discuss all of what is going on in our heads.

I exist sometimes on secrets. Things I have done that no one knows. Secrets I have shared with one person. Secrets of my own thoughts. I can’t share everything about me, nor do I want to, but when I have to, it’s very hard to keep a secret. Especially at Christmas or Birthdays. Then I feel like I need to explode.

In today’s prompt about a one word inspiration, there was a list of words to choose from, ‘Secret’ being the one I picked.   Then there was the suggestion :

If you like these one-word prompts, consider a Prompt Box: an offline well of inspiration that you can draw from on a rainy day. Andrea Badgley keeps prompts on slips of paper in a Chinese tea tin; I use an old jewelry box I bought from a market in Italy. In whatever vessel you choose, add slips of paper with single words, as we’ve practiced here. Short phrases work well, too.

I want to have jars of prompts. And jars of secrets. Jars of places I want to go. Jars of quotes  important to me. Jars of things I want to do with a man…. That’s where the secrets come in. A wish jar. Jars of wishes, hopes and dreams. Jars of secrets.

ce0623ea7abe8a8aebe6a5ba4384d8a0_2_largeIt sounds exotic and wonderful. A little bit sexy, a little bit naughty, and a whole lot of magical. Can you imagine if you, my reader could reach your hand into any one of these jars and pull out a slip and read what I had written? There would be all kinds of things you could find out. Thank goodness for my secrets.

My journal is filled with secrets. Things I would never tell anyone. My journal is dangerous and I would hate for it to get out. But at the same time, sometimes I wish I could share my secrets with someone. Ah, someday.

Secrets are a thing I like so much that I have several songs with the word in the title.  My favorite would be One Republic’s ‘Secrets’, and The Piano Guys cover of the same song.  Second favorite is Maroon 5’s ‘Secret.  That one. Whew… steamy.  But there are several others that have just hit me over the years.

One day I think I’ll have a row of apothecary jars filled with all my secrets. They will be lined up on a mirrored shelf, behind locked glass doors.  One can look and get a glimpse of the secret, but not the whole thing…..

Hermione – Day No. 30

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Keeping with the theme of almost Halloween, and girls, and reading…… I love Hermione. I’ve loved her from the getgo. I love that she reads, and thank goodness she did. Hermione is the best witch ever, in my opinion. Better than Samantha (Bewitched) Better than the Halliwell sisters…..Better than a lot of other witches.

Kate

Death by Poison – Day No. 28

behold here's poisonPoison: a woman’s weapon, as it has been said.  Poison is a crafty art. It takes much more premeditation to murder by poison. Guns, knives, blunt force…… All can be used in the heat of passion, something men are more likely to use as their emotions tend to be more volatile. But poison is a slow process. Unless you are going for insta-kill, in that case, just pour the arsenic on like sugar.

I love to think of poisoning like the Brewster sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace. Their potion was certainly effective. All those poor, lonely, old men never know what hit them! As Martha Brewster’s recipe goes:” Well, Mortimer, for a gallon of elderberry wine I take a teaspoonful of arsenic, and add a half-teaspoonful of strychnine, and then just a pinch of cyanide.”

Mortimer: “Should have quite a kick.”

1897716_10153608284891291_1671472435308598067_nNo kidding. Quite a kick is putting it mildly. And now days, I’m not sure you could get any of those poisons easily. But then why would you want to?  And plus, do you really want to Google those searches to find said poisons?  As this image illustrates ———->   You have to really be careful out there. I found these comments from Facebook that people made in regards to this picture. I think they are accurate.

I especially worry about my googling for ways to poison someone with a plant. And… how long does it take someone to die if they’ve been poisoned.”

And “I actually worry about this sometimes. I mean…one minute I’m looking up knock-off recipes for Arby’s sauce and the next I’ve googled how much TNT it takes to blow up a city block. Kind of….um….odd.

And  “Lol well, on the bright side, should they google our names we’ll all be on one list & our overnight stay in jail will be one filled with stories”

617VA903KVL51Is9yESLoL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_So, yeah, looking up how to poison your character might not be wise.

For years I’ve wanted this book,   to the left. And the one  to the right is perfect. You could find out all kinds of things to kill off your characters in those books.  And in England there is ‘The Deadly Garden.’ Alnwick Garden, it’s called. I guess that’s to make it sound…. less deadly. Hmmph! Sure. Now that would be a fun place to visit. The Deadly Garden

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Poison a la Carte with Timothy Hutton as Archie Goodwin

I’ve always thought it would be fun to kill off a character with poison. Especially ever since there was the Nero Wolfe episode “Poison a la Carte”. ( I can’t ever seem to read the books, but anyhow).  So there was murder by arsenic in that episode and from that point on, it’s like I just wanted to write a story where someone murdered someone by poison. But having to do all the research and writing a mystery is not my forte. The mystery is my issue. But writing about poison is still in my mind.

And yeah, the murderer would be a woman. Clearly.

So…. a woman’s poison…….

Do you ever want to write about poisoning a character? And do you google it? And do you worry about the NSA/CIA/FBI?

Kate