Monday, July 29, 2013
If I don't jot it gets lost.
It's very late and I'm sleepy.
--BUT!!! I have a notebook and a pen.
(You should have seen my hands the next day. 'Indelible' is the c0rrect word.)
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Today I am celebrating taking a half day's vacation and driving down to visit my mother. My father died this past summer and Monday would have been their 63rd anniversary. I thought she would like company (we try to be with her as much as we can). But aside from that, she's a lot of fun and has been a wonderful mother who, though I love and respect her as my mother, has turned into a friend I enjoy 'hanging with', as the American slang goes.
So I have taken a half day and will be driving down through the New York and New Jersey countryside (stopping at stands that sell beautiful 'Beefsteak' tomatoes and fresh corn), and then on to Mom's house. I'll be setting up her computer (she actually got one!) and showing her some good things on it - like Facebook, where her grandchildren are posting.
She's very bright (I'd say brilliant) and is a quick learner with a devastating, subtle wit. It should be fun.
|Kadesh - wretched cover!|
|My new cover for Kadesh! A Wrap!|
I wrote it during the 2012 NaNoWriMo and made the requisite words, then got busy. It's good, but it needs a lot of work, both in composing and in editing. I'm having fun. Now if I could just come up with a better cover... Perhaps this one? It does capture the personality and attitude of one of the major characters, the Crown Prince.
This blog hop is the brainchild of VikLit, who thought it a good and enjoyable (and beneficial!) thing to pause regularly and not only count our blessings, but celebrate them. Why not join?
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Her clothing appeared clean, her equipment was in good order (for a stroller) and the children seemed to be well-fed.
|Wal-Mart lady photo I refer to|
In fact, the only thing that seemed to qualify her for the standard 'Gosh-Awful Wal-Mart People Show' was the fact that she was carrying what appeared to be a sudden weight gain on her thighs, hips and buttocks to the point where the jeans, which appeared to be decent quality ones, whatever the maker, did not have any looseness in them and her outline seemed distorted. Not badly distorted, mind you. She might have taken a size 18 (US) in trousers over the thighs. The rest of her was fairly slim. Oh - and she did have a tattoo across her lower back. If she had worn jeans that actually fit, I doubt anyone would have snapped the photo.
I frowned and eyed the picture again. Two children, apparently under 3 - 4 years old. Very tight jeans - pregnancy weight, maybe? Based on some other observations, she might well be a nursing mother. And she was in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Hm.
That photo made me think, and I remembered the various slide shows of 'Wal-Mart people' that I had laughed at over the years. It struck me that maybe I wouldn't be laughing at them any more. Or, at least, I wouldn't be looking at them any more.
Why? Well, a couple of reasons. First of all, it seems that a lot of the 'gosh-awful Wal-Mart people' are overweight. Some of them are very overweight, indeed. Does that make them somehow contemptible? Or less worthy of respect? A dear friend died this summer. She was very heavy, but she dressed well and carried herself with pride. I imagined someone putting her in a 'people of Wal-Mart slide show and cringed.
Some of the outfits are truly bizarre - but speaking as one who has walked down the streets of New York and Philadelphia , the clothing and hair is no more weird that I've seen on the streets. For that matter, if someone had been around last Thursday morning at 5:30 AM they might have had quite a photo opportunity with me trundling my trash receptacle to the curb, wearing my night attire, with hair uncombed, muttering under my breath about the annoying company that handles recycling for my town.
And let's be honest here - a lot of people are hurting for money and they need to shop somewhere cheap. And they can't afford to buy new, larger jeans (or spiffier clothes). While I don't like scammers and criminals, the bulk of people hurting for money are neither.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Her husband was watching her. “It is hot,” she said.
He frowned and nodded to two servants bearing feather fans.
Rai and Mayet were sitting together, both smiling, though from Mayet’s straight smile and the stiff set of Rai’s shoulders some sort of quarrel was brewing. Was it too soon after Mayet’s confinement? Iyneferti might know. But from the way Rai was ogling that dancer- She blinked as he threw another ring and watched as the girl put it down the front of her loincloth.
She suppressed a chuckle, caught her daughter's eye, and had to look away. The girl made her giggle like a new wife. Most embarrassing!
She frowned at the ewer. A sip would be wonderful. “Yes, thank you, good Tuti,” she said, and sipped. She looked up to see her husband smiling at her. The dancer was on her knees, bending back...
A hand closed around hers. She met her husband’s smiling gaze, relinquished the cup, and watched him turn it to sip from her side and hand it back under cover of the music.
She lowered her eyes. After five children and twenty years wed, he could still make her heart flutter even as she thought Oh, Ast, please: no more babies!
The cup was in her hands. She turned it, sipped, and set it down.
Movement at the doorway - a flurry among the servants, the doors swinging wide -
A man strode into the hall, tall, broad-shouldered with sun-browned skin and back hair. Gold glinted from wrists and upper arms, warrior’s gold hung at his neck and lay flashing against the satisfying swell of his chest.
The room was silent. He stepped forward into a sudden roar of sound, the crash of applause, a rising, wordless murmur that built to a crescendo, as palpable as a wall of water.
The man faltered, his dark eyes beneath straight brows flashing for a moment before the shoulders squared. He moved through the throng in the sudden silence, his eyes on hers -
Hori! Her heart leapt with delight. Her son - and such a son!
She beamed as he approached, rose as he went to one knee, his hands at his breast, his head lowered.
Her husband had risen and was speaking measured, warm words of greeting that she could not hear through the glad singing of her heart.
“Welcome home, my son!” she said to him as he raised her hand to his lips.
This is scheduled to be published early 2014. We'll see how I do.,, Deadlines can be exhilarating - or truly annoying,
Friday, July 19, 2013
Today I'm raising a glass / smiling while contemplating / cheering for / quietly appreciating something truly worth celebrating. For me, anyhow:
I started blogging a while back just for something to do. It was enjoyable - and then I started meeting other people who had blogs about all sorts of things - families, crocheting, collections of inspiring snippets, whether about the Chelsea Flower Show or travel. Writers who do other things than shout about buying their books. Helpful people, enjoyable people, people I would probably invite to my home for dinner. Once it was cleaned to my satisfaction.
People celebrating, people sharing, people just being...people.
You're worth celebrating, folks!
This blog hop is the brainchild of the delightful VikLit, whose blog is well worth visiting whether or not it's Friday and you are celebrating. Every week that participants can, they stop, take stock, recognize that life is full of small celebrations that go unnoticed, and they celebrate. The participants are on the list - look around - celebrate! And maybe join? You'd be welcome!
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
|Has someone suggested Prunes?|
We were off to the races with the limericks. I've forgotten most of them ("Good!" my family might say) but a few came back, and I am happy to share:
On myself (NOT biographical):
A hazel-eyed cookie named Wilder
Met a plausible scamp who begilder.
He was nabbed by a Copper
For Conduct Improper -
And posting his bail really rilder
Then, laughing at Elizabeth and Richard Taylor's flatulent endeavor that barged down the Nile and sank, I came out with these:
Egyptian Queen Cleo saw Caesar -
His face and form didn't displaesar.
She had her slaves lug
Her, rolled up in a rug,
To seduce that unfortunate gaesar.
And, finally, this:
Queen Cleo laid hold of an asp
Whose sour disposition did rasp.
Her ending was bad,
So remember, my lad -
Never fool with a Snake in the Grasp.
You can breathe now - I don't recall any more.
At this moment.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
|Grandpa at 90|
He was in his nineties that evening, a WWI veteran, a musician, a fly fisherman, gardener - my Grampa. He was talking about life, and he said that young men think of all the things they want to do in the future, while an old man like him knows that the future contains his departure.
Grandpa lived to be 100 years old plus a month. His last words to me, when I hurried to the hospital to see him, were 'I love you!'. He died in his sleep.
On the evening I mentioned, I started thinking, and I ultimately wrote a poem. I like the form of a sonnet, and that is what I wrote. My grandfather loved it. And I lost it in the course of many moves. I didn't have a computer at that time, just paper.
It was entered in a poetry contest of sorts (the kind where you 'win' and get to buy a volume of poetry that contains your effort. I didn't bother) and then it was lost.
Recently, I tried to find it. My mother went through all her papers - no luck. But she gave me a number of old poems, which I put away. Last night I was sorting through them - and here it is, not lost forever and regretted, but complete, tying the past to the present.
Monday, July 8, 2013
|A Sugar Ant|
At any rate, I returned, counted noses, said hello, made certain they had food put out for them, and did a circuit of the house, checking to see that all was well. Aside from the cries of the starving hordes, all was well.
|Dead Mouse. RIP. Caption by Frida|
Then I found this:
Now, I don't think animals are stupid, though I suspect the brain power of a lobster isn't terribly high. But you might think that a species that is always getting nailed by hawks, owls, weasels and cats might have some way of communicating the notion that a certain place is not necessarily the best one to slip inside and take a snooze.
Hoboes had a sign that indicated that a generous woman lived in a house:
|"Stay away from THIS place!!"|
You would think that mice or voles or other such would have a similar sign that warns travelers off:
I'm not sure who left the love token, whether Frida (getting old at 9),
|Frida, age 9|
Orlando (in the Special forces but a bit of a doofus,
or Casey (the Maine Coon, a breed famous for producing mousers).
My money is on Casey. I think Frida wrote the sign, however...
Myself, I was busy doing battle with some poison ivy that strayed into my yard. Wonder Woman (yours truly) is fine.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
She then called to ask me if I minded. Minded? Generosity? Kindness? Not I! I've been the beneficiary of it quite a lot over the past several years. How could I object?
|Fresh Raspberry Pie|
It's easy, delicious - how could I not share the recipe?
So here it is:
|Must use fresh berries!|
UNBAKED PIE SHELL
If you are one of those who likes to have people believe that
you never, ever, EVER use store-bought anything, you buy a frozen crust, thaw it and crimp the crust with your fingers once the thing is thawed. Somehow, a crimped crust just looks more homemade to eaters. Me, I don't mind buying them (but check ingredients; some crusts do have sugar in them). I also make a very good crust from scratch. It's a nearly-forgotten skill. Rather like starting a fire using kindling.
The (very strong) temptation, if you have chidren watching as you stir in the gelatin, is to cackle, look slyly at them, and say with your best Wicked Witch of the West voice, "Poison! It is Poison!"
Happy fourth, you all!
Monday, July 1, 2013
I spoke about a scene I wanted to write in a love story I was working on, hindered a little by exhaustion and malaise. People were very kind and supportive, and I am showing my thanks (well, trying to do so!) by posting a rough version of the scene I mentioned.
[Copyright (C) 2013 by Diana Wilder , all rights reserved, etc and reserving the right to edit this till I'm happy with it...]
It was amazing, she thought, how tiring it was to recline upon cushions and allow beasts of burden to draw you along in a cart. Where was the sense of it? She smiled at the menservants and stepped back as they began to lead the teams away.
One of the donkeys sidestepped, throwing its head up and then prancing.
As though he has not spent the better part of a week pulling me along, she thought. He still full of prance, and I exhausted.
The doors swung open and she saw her mother’s butler beaming at her.
“Welcome home, My Princess!”
She returned his smile. “It is good to be back Master Hefner. Is my mother awake?”
“She retired some time ago,” H said.
AND SO ON
In her chambers, seated in the low stool, she listened, heavy-eyed, to the murmurs about her as they braided her hair. She lifted her polished bronze mirror. Her fatigue-smudged refection yawned back at her. Her robes were folded and set aside, she settled into her sorely-missed bed to the sound of murmured good-nights. Someone’s kiss warmed her cheek as she faded into sleep…
** ** **
The moon cast a coverlet of silver across her bed. She sighed and opened her eyes to smile at the stars, yawn and turn on her side, and drifted to the soft chime of music…
She rose through the layers of oblivion, her weariness falling away from her as the notes seemed to quiver in the night.
A harp, she thought. The music was almost too soft to hear. She sat up, scarcely breathing, as the notes rose and fell, softer than a breath but as clear as the sigh of the wind. …Where was it coming from?
She rose from her bed, drew her shawl about her shoulders and stood silently as the sound faded. Had she only dreamed it?
It came again on the echo of that thought, a sound of wind and sunshine.
She was fully awake now, listening as the music twined through the wind, caught stars in its threads…
She slid from beneath her covers, caught up her shawl, and went into the star-sparked night, moving silently along the worn stone ramparts.
The sound was nearer. She could barely distinguish it from the wind sifting down along the ridges.
The walkway passed above an open courtyard, half-sheltered by the ramparts’ buttressed overhang. Her father had brought a worker in timber to build the supports. She had sometimes sheltered there when a rain squall caught her.
She moved softly to the wall and leaned over to gaze into the courtyard. The glow of a tiny oil lamp warmed the night.
A man was kneeling by the wall, half-sheltered by the overhang. The lamp sparked details that seemed to flash and vanish. Dark hair, the light easing over a strong line of shoulders, long fingers moving with delicate precision over the quivering strings.
The music strengthened a little. He had stiffened, even as he continued to play, his head moving slowly from side to side…
Her breath caught as he raised his head. The wind teased the fringe of her shawl. She stepped back into silence.
A soft shimmer of sound strengthened as the harpist played again. She stepped softly away from the balustrade and returned silently to her rooms, to dream of moonlight and music.
FROM THE MAN’S POINT OF VIEW. HE IS AT THE LADY’S HOME TO NEGOTIATE A TREATY BETWEEN HIS PEOPLE AND HER FATHER’S. HE IS IN AN OUTSIDE COURTYARD, HALF-DOZING IN THE AFTERNOON, HE HEARS SOMEONE SPEAKING…
The voice made him open his eyes, oddly breathless. It was like a voice from a dream. It was a woman’s voice, but lower than many with a quality of water running over bronze. Chiming… But that implied a high voice, and this one was lower, softer, warmer, with the touch of a smile.
Loveliness, he thought, and then blinked at the extravagance of the notion. But yet- He thought confusedly that ‘lovely’ was the correct word. Love…
The voice spoke again. He frowned, trying to understand the words. He knew many languages and dialects, but this one was strange to him.
He pushed to his feet as the voice spoke again with that same chiming sound…
Who was she?
He hurried to the wall, breathless, in time to see the flicker of a shawl entering the palace.
He turned. The door— If he could overtake her, he thought feverishly, if he could see her - speak with her-
He swore silently and turned to face the King.
THIS IS A DAY AFTER THE PRIOR SCENE. THE LADY AWAKENS TO THE SOUND OF THE HARP.
A ripple of notes drew her to the edge of the casement.
The man knelt, as before, with the harp in his arms, coaxing the strings with quiet strokes that brought the song of the wind.
She leaned over the casement. The wind caught her hair and spilled it across her face. She closed her eyes, reveling in its cool touch.
“Welcome again, O Lady Watcher in the night.” The words were quiet; for a moment she had thought it was the sound of the wind. She had been silent, she knew. Something must have caught his attention. Perhaps the flutter of her sleeve?
She opened her eyes. The man’s face was turned up toward her. He was one of the Egyptians; the straight, dark hair confirmed that. The flash of dark eyes caught her. But it faded, eased. The hands moved again on the strings.
“Shall I play a song for you, My Lady?”
His voice pleased her. It was quiet, tinged with a smile, though it had a sense of strength, as though he could fill a room with it if he wished to shout.
She chuckled. “Wait,” she said. “Wait - I will come down to you.”
The music stilled abruptly as she spoke. It began again with a slight quiver that had faded by the time she arrived at the courtyard.
He was still kneeling by his harp, but he bowed over the strings. "Am I intruding in your rooms?" he asked. He seemed almost breathless.
She folded her hands at her breast and returned his bow. "No, My Lord. This belongs to no one…"
"You were here earlier,” he said, plucking another ripple of sound. His voice had altered subtly. He almost seemed hesitant. “Who are you?”
“I am Chara. And you?”
“I am Hori.”