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

Transporting Myself and You to Where I Love

Anywhere but here?  Where would I go?

I read the topic for the assignment on Writing 101 and my first thought was to my grandparent’s cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountain. Up the creek to where the water tanks are. To a world where the water tumbles down pink granite into eddies and pools and fountains of slippery, cold mountain water. Where the water has worn away the granite so perfectly it looks like a fine stone mason has been smoothing and carving away to make perfect dips and holes in the rock for the water to slide over in a constant rippling, tumbling motion. Where moss grows on the water’s edge and long stringy and slimy strands of green algae make its home.  Where caddis fly ‘shells’ are buried in the sand and water skeeters (striders) skip across tranquil ponds.  Where the sun shines down bright and hot from a sky so blue it could only be made up. Where the heat bakes the Jeffrey, Ponderosa, and Sugar Pines till all you can smell is cold water and hot, hot, sweet resin. Burning to a bright red in the sun, but cooling off in icy mountain water. A water feature that could never be created by man.

I can smell the pine and mountain air that is only caught high up there. The smell is burned into my mind and I miss it every year.

But I would also go to my favorite bookstore.  Bookends is a small town bookstore where the owner Mia Brooks has a bell above the door that jangles the moment you step inside. Then you hear the music she has playing and you see her standing at her large wood counter right there in front of you. And she has gorgeous wood shelves behind her filled with her store supplies. On the counter she has an antique cash register she only uses for the most important clientele (the children). To the left is an L-shaped staircase that leads up to her office and the adult books, and you can see this as there is this balcony slash gallery above the shop; open to the store below.  Also to the left is the way to the coffee shop next door that is accessed by french doors. and in the L-shape to the right of the stairs is her wood stove with a gold screen around it to keep little hands from burning themselves.

To the right is a large opening to her reading room, which is elegant and all Mia since this room houses Mia’s private collection of books. You can’t buy the books from here, but you can ‘borrow’ them, pulling them off the shelves to read while you sit back in one of her leather arm chairs, though I prefer the Queen Anne chair covered in antique rose brocade. The wood floor is covered in gorgeous Persian rugs and all the shelves are built in walnut. Dark and full of old and new books, but mostly old. The chairs sit next to large windows looking out on the small town.

Travel back from the main counter, behind the wall of her shelves, you find the rest of the store filled with sections of books.  And you can’t forget the room she has behind the wall of the front. This room is where she stores her music. A small room that has a very high end stereo system, including a record player.  You can play anything you like and the music will be piped into the store. She listens to everything, though her tastes match the seasons. She loves to play The Nutcracker Ballet in December.

Her store is a world unto itself…. Partly because her store isn’t real. Well, it’s real in my mind. This store is created for Mia as I try to write her story. Since I can’t seem to get her story written, at least she has her store to continue working in while I figure out what I want to say about her.

Bookends; a store that is real but unreal.

Those two places are where I would go if I could.

Kate

They Were Reading What?

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parson...

English: Bronte Sisters statue, Haworth Parsonage. Taken through the window of the museum shop – sorry about the reflections on the glass! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EH Bates, over at Bumbles Books had a great challenge this week. In her post Defined by Books, she brings up the subject of what our characters would read. What book does your hero like? Does your heroine read romance? Can you define a person by the books they read?  For the answer to that question, I say absolutely!

I just read in Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay (a review I will be writing tomorrow or Wed.) And in it, the hero is a total Hemingway and Greek Tragedy guy. The reasons why this guy is a Hemingway guy is kind of just because of how ‘cool’ Hemingway was. The heroine is an Austen gal.

Who am I as a reader. Um, yes. But I have personal favorites. However how do my characters stack up.

Mia who owns a bookstore is a classics girl. Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, the Bronte sisters, Austen, Zane Grey and magazines. She likes the weirdly unnoticed books like what would come from Persephone Books. She reads magazines because she doesn’t have a lot of time to read, so magazines are quick.

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket ph...

English: Hemingway posing for a dust jacket photo by Lloyd Arnold for the first edition of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, at the Sun Valley Lodge, Idaho, late 1939. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rafe, Mia’s hero is a total Hemingway guy along with books from the 1920’s and 30’s. He’s into jazz so the older style is totally him. He likes John Le Carre and the suspense/spy novel. You would see him reading Flemming. He’s classic and old school and totally like Patrick Warburton in the National Car ad. You know, sexy.

 

My character Rena, who’s a lot like me, would read like me: Emilie Loring, Sir Walter Scott, Tennyson, Bronte, historical romances, contemporary romances, Harlequin, non fiction herbal books, cook books, gardening. She refers to her authors by first name. So you have the Emily’s – Emilie Loring, Emily Dickinson, Emily Bronte. Can make for confusing if she asks for a book, but it also signifies that her books and authors are her friends. Books are her friends so she refers to them in the first person. (Silly, I know, but it is a quirk)

And lastly Phaedra. Since she’s a photographer, she reads a lot of books on photography, as well as travel guides and historical information. Things she can use. But she likes cheesy and girly. Fairytales and silly romance. Her favorite guilty pleasure show is Once Upon a Time, so you have to figure silly romancey fairytale.  I also picture fan fiction. She’s a total Captain Swan girl so she reads fan fiction late at night. She won’t tell anyone that, but oh, we know she just eats it up.

 

I had never thought that much about some of what my characters would read. Rena yes, since she is most like me. Mia more so since she owns a bookstore. But Rafe is a new addition to thinking about it.  I have other characters that I could list, but I need to think about them more.

This was a great writing challenge and I think it will help me with my character depth as well.  Check out Bumbles Books. Her posts are great and thought provoking.  And also, think about what your characters read. I’m going to ping John Guillen since I think he might appreciate such a post or for him to think about.

Kate

 

A World Of Worlds – Flash Fiction

She fell down through the sunshine sea. Down through the
Paradisiac Picture
bubbling water. The waves,waves,waves, down, down, down. Until

she fell through the snow lit sky of Paris. Till she landed

feet first on the frosted rooftops. Till she stood in her

bathing costume. In another world below. She looked up and saw

the sun through the ocean. So far away. Just a little pinprick

in the wintry sky. She was far away now. And to go home was

much further than just up.

This picture just grabbed me and there you have it. I feel I could run with this thought, but not sure. Who knows. Sometimes the little things are much better.

Kate

Photography at Nature’s Serenity

Moss button

Moss button

I futz with photography on a daily basis. I sell my photo cards in town and I am forever fiddling with my images. I love it. I LOVE photography and one day I want a good camera. Right now it’s just a Powershot from Canon, but I have gotten some spectacular images from it.  It’s a challenge and a great hobby, and also something really fun to talk about with people.  I linked my photography blog to here, but I’ve never talked much about it.

So, check it out at Nature’s Serenity.  And enjoy. I am trying to update it more and I have a ton of pictures to load, so keep checking from time to time.

Kate

Saturday Inspires – Ladies

I love looking at beautiful women. There is something about looking at women dressed like I want to look like that inspires me. I’ve loved looking at fashion magazines and Victoria’s Secrets for years and I still like seeing a good looking woman. So, here is my own inspirations for this Saturday.

 

So, any lovely ladies inspire you?

Kate

Lanterns

Emily Dickinson Lanterns  When I saw this quote from Emily Dickinson, I thought it had to be from a poem  and I wanted to find it. Sadly, it seems to be just a quote. I feel it could have been something marvelous.
I found this wonderful picture, and combined the quote with it, and I think it’s perfect.
It reminds me of Loreena McKennitt‘s song ‘The Mummers Dance,’ and sometimes I feel I need to go looking for myself. What a more romantic way than by lantern light.

Happy Sunday
Kate

Suck the Fat

tumblr_mccw94HrWt1qclbwco1_400

 

I love this. I keep bouncing up against it when I pop into one of my folders and it always makes me laugh.
Granted, I try to avoid people that suck the life out of me…. except for the people that take my blood when I donate. I actually like them…. And they are sucking my life….. Lol.

My advice is to avoid people that suck the life.

Happy Sunday.

Kate