It’s A Little Bit Greek To Me

A sudden rainstorm over a two day period came and blew out the heat and summer dust. In a few days the summer smell went to autumn, or early autumn, in a flash.  Step outside to gorgeousness and sweet air.  It’s been a minor perfection.

Work has kept me at a constant spiral of in, out, split shifts, late nights, huge workloads, and a constant ever present desire to write when I can. Even a few words. An older gentleman who has heard my work asked me the other day if I was still writing. He’s so sweet. Yes, I am still writing. A lot more than I thought I could while being this busy, but also a lot less than I would like. Time is much more precious. Reading too. I read this amazing retelling of the Hades and Persephone story. Very adult. Very good. I love Greek myths, always have, and retellings are fun. I found Lore Olympus on Webtoon, which I had seen some of the art on Pinterest, and it has been another delightful retelling. Modernized. I would love to read more retellings.

Lore Olympus. Persephone and Hades…. yum!

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

Lore Olympus  

I’m on the hunt for more fun retellings of other Greek or Mythology  stories.

Wilson Tennu has gotten a few more words out recently, which as been nice. I like how I’m able to step into another frame and write about him. I had to get over some road blocks with him.

Just like I recently picked up a novel about the Sierra Nevadas I started a couple years ago. I finally knuckled down and came to a point where I have been trying to get to, and now have some basis, and plot points. It is a huge event for me because I write by the seat of my pants. Though at least with this novel, I’m taking a novel I already love and have read multiple times and rewriting it to be like what I want as I always found some fault. I’ve changed the setting and the theme some. Instead of a harmless mistake of scheduling, this is an actual setup of two people by the sister of the girl and her husband who met the guy and is a friends. Guy and Gal hate each other from a work standpoint, but well, things change. Surprisingly, Instagram is what helped take this novel off because I could find pictures of the place I was writing about, since I live 8 hours away these days. I grew up there, but haven’t been back in a 20 years. So I needed a bit of help.

I’m going to include a few lines of a Wilson Tennu poem I’m working on. It’s nearly finished, but not quite. I was inspired by Greek Muses, muses in my life, and tarot or oracle cards. It’s from Wilson’s POV

I watch her shuffle the large deck of cards
cutting, rotating, shuffling again.
She has four decks, one classic,
the other three are one’s she lovingly stroked
then tapped rhythmically with her pearl varnished nails.
It’s a height of summertime kind of day, and she,
she’s an oracle, Delphi would admit her in an instant.
A grass heated breeze blows in through wire screens,
wild florals and sweet wild oat turning tan and gold
as July slowly bakes on, lazily spinning the ceiling fan,
around and around, and she sits in the middle of my bed,
her legs crossed under her white skirt spread out ,
her blonde hair snapping out impatient like;
Electricity flows through her veins and lightning
flashes in her ever changing sea and sky blue eyes.
“Y know I’m no good at this,” she sing-songs her words,
shaking her head bemused, flipping a card over with a small frown,
two little indents forming between her brows.
She and I had joked about a reading, answering existential questions
as we sang our way through the breakdown and mopping
when she’s as put together as any chef should be.
As unlike she is now, all Greek muse like,
humming her approval of one card I pick
consulting her books at another,
and our glasses sit, sweating pools of water rings
on the wooden table, forgotten in the moment.

By Katie Lyn Branson copywrite 2019

Isn’t that fun? Summer ish?

Kate

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Sail Away, Sail Away, Float Away – Musings

Dona and I were catching up the other day since I never get to catch up in person what with living in a restaurant most of the time. Plus she has a busy life as well, and as writing groups and such are not in the forecast for me to get to, well an instant message or two is our only chance at communication.

So she is busy; I am busy. She said she wanted to win the lottery so she could stop. Me being the progressive daydreamer I am, or ‘zoning out’ as Walter Mitty does, I couldn’t just let it rest at winning the lottery. In a flip second I had spun this grand exciting idea that was given a thumbs up and an “I like that’ vibe.

So first you win the lottery. It has to be someone from my writing group, as that is the only way for this whole scenario to work. Lottery won, then what we all need is to use that money to purchase a writer’s retreat. Which is another way of saying a grand estate with a large enough house to have rooms for all of us writers, with plenty of extra rooms to wander around writing. Because as writers, it’s a must that you can’t just sit in one spot. It has to be accessible to a garden, or gardens might be more apt. Considering we are almost always Jane Austen fans, a place to walk amongst the country might be good. A pond, or lake. Personally, I would like a folly or two… So it needs to be plenty of acreage to take long walks. Of course I am thinking of the English countryside… with the rainy afternoons and the chance you might run into that handsome farmer just down the road, or maybe he is a gentleman of the peers and you can run off and marry… I’m digressing. Pardon non Jane Austen fans.

Then of course the house must have a large enough library to house all of our book collections. Two level if possible. The size of Belle’s library might be a bit much, but it doesn’t hurt to consider it.

Then there must be a second estate purchased that is for the winter months. Living in the colder climates and the snow and cold, I start dreaming of tropical places to visit right after Christmas. The Christmas Tree might still be up, but ooh do I want to be where there is warm beach sand and the thought of a fruity drink with an umbrella as I sit under an umbrella contemplating sunbathing or swimming.

Now, due to my current work/job, of course I would be the inhouse pastry chef. I would hire someone to help me with the rest of the cooking, because as a writer as well, I would need time to write! But I could play around with marvelous pastries and desserts. Of course we would all take tea in the afternoon. I would have made delectable treats for that. As we all sit around a lovely tea service and talk about what we wrote that day. And what we were going to work on into the evening, provided we were not watching that next marvelous Hallmark movie, or Downton Abbey, or something British and utterly delightful.

Of course, there would be late night snacks, as writers are notorious night owls. If we all went off to bed, within a decent time range, there would be low lights on throughout the house for those sleepless nights one of us got up to write in the middle of the night. Which can’t be done in bed. I mean, it can, but if one can’t, then we must be able to get down to the kitchen without stubbing a toe.

This is much more detailed than what I wrote off to Dona, but I thought, what a marvelous dream. And the thought of a community of close writer friends is rather lovely. I can picture this a little too well. I could actually go on and on about it, but well, you all probably have your own little ideas of what would make a great writer’s retreat/estate for your group of writers. I like the idea of being able to have the two ‘home bases’, but then being able to visit mountain cabins and lakes, the ocean, the prairie, France, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest, and maybe Maine or New York and the Hamptons, throughout the year. One must keep the adventure active to write.

Again, clearly, I’m dreaming. And when I dream, I go big. I go so so very big.
So, readers and writers alike. What would your perfect writing life be?
Kate

Midsummer Thunderstorms

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

Midsummer and the thunderstorms pile up….thick, beautiful whiteness, greyness, and stagnant air gets thick with moisture…. silence reigns as things too quiet to hear, suddenly are as loud as a cricket in your ear…. slips of blue blue blue fill up pockets of where the white and grey have spread just a little to reveal the serenity above the pounding drums and flashes of quicksilver violin spats…. swirling, whirling way up high, twisting around the needle branches of the pines, swallows spin and dance in the warm air, spinning up up up, to plummet down again….. and every hue of every summer flower is as vibrant as the paint in an artists paintbox, swirled out in extravagant splashes of orange, purple, red, pink, magenta, blue, yellow….. Greeness and yellowness, the grasses waving on the hills and meadows, the spires of seed heads bobbing in the waving winds that have been stirred up by the unsettled air, cut grasses, hay, laying in rows, billowing green rippling like the sea in shades of mint, olive, asparagus green, oh every shade known to man, rippling onward, stopping only by the stalwart blockades of the hills, filled with the resinous perfumes of pine, juniper, cedar, sweet maple of the sugarpines,….. the cicadas have stopped their humming and murmuring, now the raspy grasshoppers take the tune, and the buzz and hum, a perpetual hum of a white noise as bees move throughout collecting nectar….. only a splatter of rain may fall, the drops splatting in the dry dry dirt, kicking up little powderpuffs of dust then filling the air with wet dust dampness dirt….. before the asphalt gets its spicy sweet wet smell, and the grasses and hay are dampened… oh summer thunderstorms are the magic of the year….more magic than the first snowfall, this unstable sweltering explosion of fire and water and wind and earth… all the elements have come out to play……

Photo by John Westrock on Unsplash

So, I’m in bed, but I was out watching some of the thunderstorms pile up. Can you tell I love summer thunderstorms?  I’ve been writing about them in various stages for the past ten plus years. Always different, never capturing what I want to say. I love living where they happen. When I lived in Colorado, they happened almost every day, but they lacked the heat buildup that we get here in northern CA. They didn’t have the sweet hot smell of a burnt out summer and dried grasses.

Last year I had created a character a la B.H. Fairchild’s way of a heteronym, (see Wikipedia’s description) a Wilson Tennu, who comes to CA after a breakup of a love affair and experiences the summer thunderstorms as these giant wars between the gods of mythology. This Wilson guy ‘wrote’ some of my massive and narrative poems that went into the rejected manuscript, and he has become my inspiration for looking at things differently. I am also quite attached to his poetry. He’s rather remarkable in my opinion.

Anyways, viewing thunderstorms from someone that lives in New Orleans (which is where he lives, in an apartment above Bourbon Street) would be an interesting take on how they come about here in NorCal. They seem to just explode out of nowhere. Maybe all thunderstorms are the same way. I want to be on the prairie sometime and watch them form. Far enough away from a tornado, but still see them form. Let’s just say I respect and admire and adore summer thunderstorms.

So enjoy my little rambling description. If you live here, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, well I hope you can picture the magic.

Kate

A Snowed In Christmas Present – Short Story

Back in March my local libraries hosted their annual story contest. It’s a chance for the people in the valley to get their creative hats going, especially the schools, to write a three-page story.  Or if you are the 1st and 2nd graders, well, whatever you can write.

Over the years I have entered at various points. This year I won first place and it was kind of nice, having one 2nd and 3rd as well over the years. Below is my entry. My Hallmark of a three page story. I entered this year to challenge myself to writing  a story in three pages. I guess I made it work. Enjoy. Oh and it was inspired by this picture from Bing from a few years ago.

A Snowed In Christmas Present

Christmas Eve

Jess tramped through the deep snow, her snowshoes keeping her above the deep whiteness. Her shepherd, Max, bounded along at her side. The destination was a cabin tucked into a copse of pines near the old ski trails at the back of the new ski resort. In dry weather it was a half hour hike, but with all the snow, it took Jess over an hour to reach the primitive cabin. Built in the 40s by her grandfather, when he had owned all the surrounding land, the cabin was a sturdy log structure with a small lean-to built out back where the dry wood was stored. There was a small loft with a bed over the main room of the cabin, and that was where Jess slept most of the time, though sometimes she’d crash on the ancient sofa some relative had somehow carted to the cabin. It had always been a mystery as to how it had gotten to the cabin from so far.

It was late afternoon when Jess and Max arrived. It took Jess another twenty minutes shoveling the snow away from the front door with the snow shovel tucked under the eaves before she could get into the cabin. She quickly started a fire in the pot belly stove then started another one in the small wood cook stove. She got pans of snow on the stove to melt while Max checked out all of the corners of that cabin for mice that might have set up house in the early part of the winter. Satisfied there had been no intruders, he flopped in front of the stove with a groan. Jess laughed at him as she lit kerosene lanterns. She brought in more snow and added it to the pans on the stove before she started dinner. She had brought fresh supplies to add to the many stored items in the pantry. A stew was in order for a cold, snowy night like tonight.

She cut up carrots and potatoes to add to the tinned beef. As the stew bubbled and simmered on the stove, she mixed up biscuits from the flour and dry ingredients in the mouse-proof canisters. Soon, she and Max were eating a hot meal on this last Christmas Eve Jess would be spending in this cabin.

It was while Jess was buttering a second biscuit that she was startled by a loud knock on the front door. Max growled low and deep as she went to the window and peeked out. There stood a man with skies and poles. She quickly opened the door and saw that the man had a gash on his cheek and one of the skies was broken.

“Oh come in,” she urged and shushed Max who barked.

“Thank you,” the man said, nearly stumbling into the room. “I didn’t think I would make it; then I saw your light.”

Jess grabbed the skies and poles from him and helped him to the weary couch and noticed he was limping on his left foot. He collapsed with a groan and Jess quickly leaned the skies against the wall and grabbed the small box of medical supplies off a shelf.

“What happened?” she asked as she dampened a rag and cleaned the bloody wound on the man’s cheek.

“I was cross-country skiing up one of the old trails and ended up too close to a tree. Sank deep into the snow, hit some branches, broke a ski, and sprained my ankle.

“Oh dear. Sorry,” she muttered as she dabbed at the gash with iodine and the man winced.

“S’okay. What is someone doing out in this cabin on Christmas Eve?” he asked as if to distract himself.

“Says the man out skiing on a night when it’s supposed to snow the same night.” Jess smiled as the man gave a rueful laugh. “Max and I are spending our last Christmas here. My grandparents have owned this cabin for years, but due to some bad business deals by my uncles, they finally had to sell it to some developer. I guess he wants to make a resort here to back up the ski resort on the other side of the mountain. My grandfather used to own that land as well, but sold it years ago. So, since the developer wants to get started as soon as the spring thaw, and it’s tradition, here I am.” Jess tacked steri-strips across the gash.  “I don’t think this is going to need stitches.”

“Thank you. I’m Tom, by the way.” The man reached up and touched his cheek gingerly.

“I’m Jess Simmons. Now let’s get your ankle looked at. I don’t think you are going to be able to get out tonight on that ankle. You are at least an hour from the highway in this snow.

“I can’t impose on you,” Tom protested half-heartedly. Jess made a face at his protest as she brought a pan of snow that was mounded and set it on the ottoman.

“Right. You can barely walk and the snow is already coming down. I don’t think you are going to be able to leave. Face it, mister, you are my captive. Now take off your sock and rest your foot on this snow. It should take down some of the swelling.”

Tom did as she bade, winced at the cold, but then relaxed into the couch as Jess brought him a bowl of stew and a biscuit. He ate quietly while Jess made coffee and pulled some canned peaches from the pantry. They feasted on peaches and cream for dessert.

Then they talked after that, Jess telling Tom of the history of the land around the cabin and the cabin itself.  Outside the snow came down faster and faster.  Tom talked about his love of skiing and the mountains and getting away from his life in the city. Jess ranted about the investor who probably planned to tear up the land and make a gaudy resort. Tom told her he was an investor as well, but hated gaudy. He preferred classic mountain lodges. They talked late into the night sharing their life in the unusual circumstances of their meeting.  

In the morning, it was clear that they weren’t going to be able to get out of the cabin except to reach the outhouse behind the lean-to and the lean-to itself. They were snowed in. Which was what Jess had planned on, but Tom had not. He was worried his assistant would be going crazy since he’d never made it back to his hotel room at the ski resort, but there wasn’t much that could be done about it. So Jess and Tom spent an unusual Christmas together, playing cards, eating the simple but tasty meal Jess fixed and talking more and more.  Max claimed Tom as his own, using him as a pillow and not wanting to leave his side. Jess had never seen Max be so taken with someone other than her.

They spent two days together in the cabin before the snow blew away enough from the door that they could make their escape. Not that Jess was complaining. She liked Tom and was sad that their interlude was at an end, as strange as the situation was. It hadn’t hurt that he was a rather charming companion and quite good looking as well.

The hike to the highway was slow going, as Tom still had a limp and the one ski was broken, but they made it after a few hours. From there, Jess was able to drive Tom to the ski resort. In the whirlwind shuffle of getting him into the hotel and the staff making a fuss, she and Tom got separated. Jess thought of staying and calling his room after he got settled, but decided that she would come back tomorrow. She and Max went home, which was only an hour down the road in the small mountain community. Much to her dismay though, when she called resort, the staff told her that Tom had checked out and not left any forwarding address. Nor was the hotel going to give out his phone number.

Jess spent the rest of her holiday in a slump of disappointment, wishing she could speak with Tom and knowing the sale of the land was at the first of the year.

“Well, Max,” she said on New Year’s Eve, “it was fun while it lasted.”  Max sighed against her. He’d been moping since she’d let Tom off at the hotel. It was a very unsatisfactory way to end the year……..

Christmas Eve one year later.

Jess hiked through the few inches of snow towards the cabin. Max, as usual, bounded along beside her. There was a lot less snow than last year and the sky was clear and crisp. It was going to be a gorgeous Christmas Eve, made even more perfect by the fact that Jess now held the deed to the land around her cabin. The sale had gone through for the cabin back in January, but not long after the papers had transferred to the new owner, a thick packet had arrived in the mail. Much to Jess’s surprise, the new owner had learned of her love of the land and had gifted it to her with the deed to the land and cabin. Her grandparent’s bills were paid and she had the cabin now in her name. 

Jess had sent a thank you note through the brokerage firm that handled the sale, but she hadn’t heard anything else. Even now, months later, she was still semi stunned that she owned the cabin and could come here whenever she wanted.

The cabin was waiting there in the trees, cheery as when she had closed it up a few months ago for winter. She was looking forward to being able to celebrate again.

The lanterns were lit and a thick steak was sizzling on the stove when a knock came at the door. It was with a sense of déjà vu that Jess looked out the window to see a man standing at the door with skies in hand.  She opened the door.

“Tom!” she gasped. “What are you doing here?” She stepped aside to let the tall man in. “How did you know I was going to be here? Were you out skiing again? You aren’t hurt are you?”

Tom laughed. “You ask a lot of questions.” He leaned his skies against the wall and scratched Max who had come up to lean against the man.  “I’m here to see you. I was only skiing in from the road; no I’m not hurt. And as to why I’m here….” He paused.  “I wanted to see if my investment was getting good use. Since you are here, then I would say it is.”

“What do you mean your investment?”  Jess flipped the steak and peeled a couple extra carrots since she knew Tom was going to stay.

“Well, you did receive the deed to this cabin, yes?” Tom leaned against the counter near where she worked.

“Yes. How did you know about that?”

“Because, I’m Tom Winterthorne. I was the person that had been investing in the land around here.”

“What?! You’re Winterthorne Investments?” Jess stopped peeling.

“Yes. It was your stories of this cabin and spending time here charmed me so much I couldn’t let it leave your hands. So, I bought the land and had it righted back to you. There will always be land to invest in, but well, it’s not too often you find a woman you like who has such passion for the history of land.”

“I can’t believe you did this. I can’t believe you are the investor. I wasn’t very nice in describing you last year.” Jess ducked her head, embarrassed.

“You were unhappy. I couldn’t take it personally since I have done a few things that are like what you said.”

“I called the hotel after I let you off last year. You had checked out.  I thought I wouldn’t see you again.”  Jess dumped the cut up carrots into a pan with butter.

“Did you want to?”  Tom tipped his head to the side in question.

“I did. Very much so. I liked you. I liked our time we spent together, as strange as it was.” She ran her fingers through her hair.

“So did I. That’s partly why I came here tonight. I was hoping you would honor your traditions and come back. I was hoping to find you here.” He reached out and grabbed her hand and tugged her close. “I was hoping you wouldn’t hate me too much for me being me. I was hoping I could spend this Christmas with you as a friend again.” He leaned down and kissed her gently. “And maybe as the promise of something more.”

“I don’t think we are going to get snowed in this year,” Jess replied, “but I can’t think of a nicer present then to spend it with you.”

And if you had been standing outside of the cabin at that moment, you would have seen Jess lean up and kiss Tom as high in the sky the stars twinkled on this clear Christmas Eve.

 

Copywrite 2017 by Katie Lyn Branson

October 4th – Write 31 Days – Misted Mountains

misty-mountains

The first three days of October have been misted over and rainy and the perfect start to October. Wait, just wait till I get to the James Taylor feelings. The days are coming. I love the mountains misted over. What you can’t see is that it snowed yesterday and the day before high up on the tips. A dusting at 6000 feet. Oh fall, you are here.

Beclouded

The sky is low, the clouds are mean,
A traveling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How some one treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.
Emily Dickinson

Side note…. I love Emily Dickinson. Like LOVE her. So finding this little one is so lovely and perfect for today.

Kate

PAD Day 17 – Haiku – A Bevy of Haikus

Lilac

Lilac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lilac blooms above
scenting the air with perfume
a moon winks his eye

Apple blossoms fall
the wind tossing pale petals
Ah spring is near gone

Apple blossoms

Apple blossoms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rushing creek waters
bubble and burst forth happy
a piney wind blows

Waxing Gibbous Moon

Waxing Gibbous Moon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The green lawn freshly cut
a sharp smell of green and new
Robins come to eat

Buzzing busy bees
go forth to buzz in flowers
the lilac sways here

Honestly, the thought of writing haikus today did not put me in a poetic mood. I go through phases where a haiku or two is on my mind. But for the most part, I have never had them capture my interest quite like CB Wentworth has been able to do. She is amazing with how she writes so many all the time. I am semi envious, other than for me, my poetic form is something else. So to each his own. I am glad that these haikus turned out so well. I was sitting out under the lilac after a walk and the almost waxing gibbous moon was visible. The smell of pines was like summer and just the way the lilacs waved overhead inspired me. Thank goodness. I was actually worried there as I was ready to put a pox on haikus.

I think walking is a great way to be inspired. If you are walking along a rushing creek with the smell of fresh mountain air blowing down on you, you get double points of inspiration. So a walk was clearly a need.

I hope others, if they are doing the PAD had luck with their haikus. I am excited to see what tomorrow’s prompt will be. It’s hard to believe it’s already the end of the 17th!

Kate

PAD Day 9 – Hide Out

Step back into that faraway corner
right there
tucked back in poetry and plays
just look
It’s darker than the rest of rows
come see
but it’s homey and safe from eyes
that watch
So I can write all undisturbed
so quiet
and read till the clocks shut down
and stop
till she says the library’s closing
up tight
but my place is mine to claim
right there
My spot is only mine to write
for now
Until I need the books to hold
me tight
for my next writing time
just there
No one else uses this place
just see
that it’s for me and only me
to have

I like to write in the library back in the non fiction because I usually don’t get disturbed there. Not that I write there often. In fact, I probably only visit my spot a couple times a year, but I know that whenever I visit, I can have the spot all to myself because it’s very unused. So I like it. It’s kind of funny to have a spot, a hide out that rarely gets used.

But then I have other hide outs….

It’s the summer sun that pulls me out
to webbed and shrouded blueberries
where the dry mulch makes my skin
tingle and electrify up
A whisper of wind in the pines
warm resin scents the air a thick perfume
And I’m supposed to be watering
Or picking those ripe blue balls
but instead I’m scribbling here
or reading on that stump
the whisperings of a Frenchman
in my ear making me sleepy
and so very unmotivated to work
And I could hang my hammock under
the whispering pine trees
living out here always with the summer heat

I take a stack of books and my notebook out to the blueberries to pick… and never get to reading or writing, but I like having the option if I want to. And usually I’m listening to The French Whisperer, having those ASMR tingles going all over my head and practically falling asleep as I pick, or water. It’s rather dangerous, but I don’t get very interrupted out there, so it’s nice. The video below is one of my favorite ones to listen to. And I have this thing for a French accent…

I actually want to create a few more hide outs, but I have yet to find one that I can really hide out in. I need a spot in the shade, by the creek. I need to find one. I really like how Robert, over at Writer’s Digest talked about a hide out in a picture. I recommend reading it HERE

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

 

Morning in Prose – Poetry

Winter DaysI’m not awake as I wait for the coffee to perk, my dog trying to make sure I love him with head-butts nd snuffles since he is why I’m up; he knows I wanted to sleep in as we now sit crashed on a sofa, him under my old baby quilt, fast asleep and cozy while I’m bleary-eyed waiting for the only thing that makes the mornings tolerable, while outside the sun shines warm, trying to beat back the cold north wind of a blustery March day, trying to be spring as winter hangs on with sharp, clutching nails, though the violets seem oblivious to the cold as their warm, sweet scent floats up, mocking the cold.

Now the mountains are shrouded in mist and cold, a wild needle-like wind bites and sinks into the skin, and I feel like I’m back in January while the calendar says spring is moments away, or years, or just days…. Only the weather seems to know what the mornings shall bring…..

 

Just a bit of prose, I think.

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