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"Bad News" is Happy News

Back in March, I mentioned that a poem of mine was accepted for an anthology of hay(na)ku. "Bad News" is the poem. Now that the anthology is released, I am sharing the poem with you. 

Hay(na)ku poems are composed of six words in three lines. What cracks me up is that my brief bio in the book is 10 times longer.

Over 100 poets from around the world are featured in HAY(NA)KU 15:A Commemorative 15th Year Anniversary Anthology. Published by Paloma Press, it's edited by Eileen R. Tabios, the creator of the hay(na)ku form.




Sunday Morning Experiment

This morning's experiment: Along with my camera, keep a pen and notebook ready at all times while I deadhead daisies in the front yard. I wanted to see if it's possible for me to re-establish an old habit of carrying a journal.

So, what did this old lady note this morning? Here were a few thoughts that got me to put down the scissors and write.

The driveway looks cleaner than the hood of the car.

The Mama would say I was stingy with the water. Proof—all the dried branches on the daisy. 

Must remember to clean the hairball Molly barfed early this morning on The Husband's favorite spot on the couch.

The faint breeze from fog rolling back west, ahhhh.

Two hummingbirds. Ruby throated guy shows Anna's hummingbird guy the sea of red flowers very near me. Don't mind that human.


So, how did I like having pen and notebook on hand?

The greatest advantage, of course, is recording my thoughts rather than forgetting them.

The downside: It took me longer to deadhead the daisy bu…

Hay(na)ku

My six-word poem is called a hay(na)ku, a poetic form created by Eileen R. Tabios. The basic format is this: First line = one word. Second line = two words. Third line = Three words.  If you'd like to learn more, check out Eileen's webpage

In February I submitted three poems for the upcoming anthology, HAY(NA)KU 15 (working title). One of them was accepted. Whooo-hooo! The last time I had a poem published by someone other than me was. . .hmmmm. . .about 40 years ago.




In Every Room!

Pens and Pencils in Every Room! 

That would be my tagline if I were a candidate for political office, never mind what. Forget about a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. For me, it's pens and pencils in every room.

Sure, if you'd like, paper, too.

Ideally, I'd also add a dictionary on every floor in the house, along with an atlas or at least a world map and map of the United States on the walls.

While I'm at it, a current set of the World Book Encyclopedia. Yes, I'm talking actual books. And, let them be in big print. Oooh-la-la, I love me the big print.

Don't get me wrong. I still want an up-to-date Mac computer with decent access to the Internet. That's for research and such.

But, for sudden thoughts that must be quickly written, it's very important that I have pens and pencils in every room. Every room!

I thank you for your time.

Giggle.




Wicked Sweet

Dear Friends, today I give to you my first fictional story as a retired lady. You're welcome. Giggle.



Timidity, Be Gone

A party has been going on in my head, and it has been rather rowdy at times.

We all do need to be rowdy once in a while, but within reason.

Within reason.  Who coined that phrase? How long did it take for others to start saying it? Before it was explained in a dictionary? In a grammar book? Is this phrase an idiom? Are idioms even taught anymore?

Pshew! See what I mean? A party is going on in my head!

Some of you may have thought that my idea of rowdy is making loud and happy noises, and possibly doing a silly prank or two on the Husband. That, of course. Sure. Maybe. Not telling. Giggle.

Rowdy to me is also playing with words and sentences, and thoughts and concepts.

Once upon a time 11 years ago I jumped out of a plane. That was not hard at all. If you freeze, like I think I did, your instructor (the professional skydiver to whom you're hooked), merely pushes you over as he falls forward. Me jumping out of the plane (from 18,000 feet up in the air, too, mind you) was quite easy c…

Wondering. . .

Yesterday's mail brought my royalty check. Whoo-hooo! Just in time to pay the property tax bill. Boo-hoo. I'm grateful, and fortunate, to still receive royalties on career and educational books that I wrote 10 years ago.

Jo in Little Women was asked by Professor Bhaer (who Jo eventually married) why she wrote trashy stories. Her answer: The sale of that trashy story bought something for her family back home, the sale of this trashy story paid for a vacation by the sea for her ill sister who needed the fresh air, and so forth and so on.

Professor Bhaer had the decency to feel bad for bringing it up to Jo, and after he apologized, he encouraged Jo to write something that is dear to her heart.

I'm not saying that my books are trash. Far from it. I have been wondering lately if there is something that is dear to my heart that I want to write. 



Taking a Break for Writing

Note: I wrote this post yesterday from the iPad, then sent it to my computer by email. Perhaps one day I'll learn to cope and paste on iPad. Anyway, by evening, I was too pooped to get on the computer and publish this post. In the end, does it really matter if I had? :-)

I'm taking a short writer's break from being a domestic goddess. Brief no doubt because I have been thinking about writing that first sentence for the last 10 minutes. Every so often that sentence repeated itself in my brain when I wasn't distracted by The Solid Gold Oldies music station on TV playing in the background and by the ambitious things I want to complete before dinner begging for mental attention.

Sigh.

I forgot. What was the intent of this post?

Probably to brag about the things I have finally got to and then some. Should that be one word: then some, thensome?

To my great surprise the Blenheim apricot tree gifted us—and the birdies—with many branches full of fruit. We can't eat the apricot…

Rustiness

Rusty nails.

Rusty rust.

Rusty stringing-words-into-sentences-into-paragraphs-into-stories.

I'll get there. Again. 


The I's Have It

What do the I's have?

I don't know.

The idiom just came to me. So, let me go look it up. . . .

Oh, it's not the I's, but rather the ayes.  Now, that makes sense.  The ayes have it.  In other words, the majority of people who voted in favor of something won. Okey-dokey.

Pondering and writing about that idiom interrupted my original intention for this post. The thought started the other night.  What came first: Ink or inkling?

Did someone have an inkling and needed ink for her pen to write about it? Or, perhaps, hmmm, she spilled ink on herself because someone surprised her by whispering in her ear. She stood up quickly, saying with much irritation to that person, "Inkling!" She was too polite to swear, you see.

This morning, while the Husband and I sat not impatiently in the doctor's office (simply a routine visit for the Husband), I wondered what came first: Imp or impossible? And, Id or idiot?

Intriguing, aye?


The inspiration for today's post is

Oh, Well

Just before we turned off the lights last night, the Husband and I were talking about something that reminded of something else that I thought would be fun to write about today. I always like when that happens.

This morning, I woke up thinking about what I wanted to write. But, I couldn't recall. The Husband couldn't remember either.

I figure the thought would pop up by lunchtime. It didn't happen. Nor, did the thought reveal itself after lunch.

Still, I wrote about something. Ha!

See you tomorrow.

A Slow-Thinking Day

Klunga-langa-tank. Klunga-langa-tank. Klunga-langa-langa-langa-lagna-langa-tank!

That's the Husband's and my new song, based on the sound my purple pencil makes when I push on the end of it. Over and over. And over. And, over.

Words are on strike in my brain today. Or, maybe it's my brain that's on strike. The words are simply in their cubbyholes waiting to be put together into a story. So, if you please, I hope you'll come back tomorrow for my Alphabe Thursday post about the Gilroy Yamamoto Hot Springs.

Ciao. And chow, I would definitely like right now.


Random Scenes: Other People's Junk

“Panties!” the middle-aged woman exclaimed, working her way against the stream of incoming buyers and gawkers. A couple stepped aside when she grumbled, “No respect at all!”

The petite woman carefully placed her estate sale purchases in the back of her prized green 1957 Chevrolet truck. She flipped open a velvet blue lace fan and cooled herself. She wondered who in her right mind would want to buy a dead lady’s panties.

“Hey Midge!” shouted her friend who called herself Lara today. Midge strode over to pick up the bags and baskets beside Lara.

“Lots of great stuff,” Lara said. “Did you see that Whitman copy of Spin and Marty?”

“I would've bought it, if it wasn't falling apart,” said Midge.

Lara nodded. “They should’ve just dumped it. Quite a lot of stuff they should’ve burned or taken to the dump.”

“No kidding,” said Midge. “They were even selling. . .”

“You’ll never guess what I bought!” Lara said at the same time.

“Panties!"

“Panties!”

“What?”

“What?”

“What are you goi…

Random Scenes: I Want Her

I Want Her by  Su-sieee! Mac
"Mom, you're not going to ride the back roads, are you?"

"Hmmm," the grey-haired woman said.

"Mom!" said her son on the phone. "It's dangerous riding alone out there. Remember last year when that runner died...."

"Son, you're channeling your grandmother." She laughed. "I'll be fine. I'm not riding anywhere new. And, I've got the phone."

"Mom, please just ride around your neighborhood."


I can feel her coming.

Leave it alone. Mike's already married.

She's the one I want.



The woman pedaled along the shoulder of the two-lane highway. She almost heeded her son's fears. Silly. Nothing happened at all to her on the back roads. But, the highway was getting her nervous. She was riding later than usual, which meant more cars on the highway as she headed homeward. Were the big rigs speeding by faster than usual? She scooted further to the right.

She's almost h…

Random Scenes: Girl Cousins

Setting: On a late Spring Friday afternoon, two 12-year old cousins are standing on the BART train platform in El Cerrito, a small city across the bay from San Francisco. 

 “The pony-tail lady in jeans and pink sweater," I said to my cousin who was a few months older than me. Whenever we’re in a public place, Sydney and I like to play a game of guessing what people are.

“A dancer. Maybe a ballerina,” Twelve-year old Sydney said, gazing down the BART train platform.

"See the old man with the silver cane behind her."

“A retired guy from the government.”

“The girl in overalls with a brown leather backpack.”

 “Easy. College student, probably UC Berkeley." Sydney lowered her voice and said, "I've got one for you, Jeannie. The tall guy with the bald head and the blond ponytail."

“Where?”

“Behind you.”

I squatted down and pretended to tie my shoe as I glanced at the man wearing a grayish-green raincoat, the belt hanging to the ground. He reminded me of chara…

Random Scenes: Don't Slam the Door!

Don't Slam the Door! by Su-sieee! Mac S-L-A-M !!

“ALESSA!”

“I’m sorry, Ma,” said the tiny young girl. “I forgot.”

“One of these days, Alessa, something terribly awful will happen when you slam that door,” said her mom.

“Yes, Mom,” Alessa said, thinking that was just too silly of an idea. Still, it did frighten Alessa a little and she stopped slamming the door. 

Then, one day she forgot.

S-L-A-M !!

The building shook.

Things tumbled off the shelves and walls.

The trees and the houses rocked and rolled.

The bridges collapsed.

The roads crumbled.

The cities fell apart.

The water in the bay shook.

The mountain tops blew off.

All over the world, the crusts moved and shook and sunk and rose.

The earth spun off its wobble.

It bumped into the moon, next into Mars, and then into Jupiter.

Earth bounced back towards the sun, sucking up all the other planets of the solar system.

The sun and all the planets exploded and swirled into a swirl, swirling, swirling, swirling and collapsing into a black hole.

Everythi…

Random Scenes: A Surprise Visit

Ago  (Ah-go) watched the water slowly run towards the end of the bittermelon row. When he was finished watering all the rows, maybe he would drive to the Senior Center for lunch. The food was okay. The best part was talking with his friends.

Someone was bound to ask him about Song. "Have you heard from her?" "Where is she now?" Although it has been weeks since she left,  a few of his compadres still shook their heads in disbelief that his single daughter was criss-crossing the United States in her small yellow car. Young, unmarried women don't do that, according to them. Not  in the Philippines. Not even in the United States. "Times are different," one friend, usually Danny or Pablo, said. "Song is tough and level-headed. She can handle trouble."

Level-headed, yes, thought Ago, pulling up a weed between the vegetable rows. Tough? Her mother, the Old Lady, thought Song was tough because she talked back. He didn't see it that way. Song de…

Another Rambling Saturday

The greatest thing that happened this past week was Rainy Thursday. It rained throughout the day and night. And, at one point, it came down in buckets. Of course, I had to go outside and take photos. I got totally drenched, and loved every huge raindrop that my tee-shirt absorbed.

The Mama loved the rain, too. She was outside when the rain started, and decided to go hang out in the shed as the sky kept crying. On this coming Wednesday's post, I'll share what she did during the rain.

Writing Travel Bits
Lately, I've been writing descriptions about local places for Mapquest. Once upon a time, I thought I wanted to be a travel writer, but other things came along to drop that thought in the wish bucket. Writing these occasional short pieces is fulfilling that dream. Here are a few of the places I've written about so far: Pinnacles National Park, National Steinbeck Center, San Benito County Historical Park, and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph.


Vanna White
On most we…

John Steinbeck Said . . .

The Husband and I had a wonderful time wandering about on our monthly 23rd date. We saw quite a lot of amazing and interesting stuff and met some very nice people during  our travels.  One of our stops was the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. If you're into John Steinbeck, you'd like this museum. It's all about Steinbeck and his works.

There was so much for me to see, to read, and to absorb as I went from exhibit to the next. Reading the honesty and wonder in Steinbeck's words was like breathing in oxygen.


Writing Under the Influence

The following was written yesterday afternoon (and edited much later) . . .

This is a first for me. Sipping a beer as I tippy-tap out words on the keyboard.

This, I'm having -- the beer -- right after drinking a small (which in olden times would've been medium) cup of wonderful coffee. I drink coffee now and then, alas. I like the taste of coffee, as well as the thinking that evolves with the caffeine, but this old body of mine can no longer handle daily consumption of the stuff.  Pobrecita. See, even the little Spanish I know gets evoked in the brain cells.

Lately, my morning brew is a cup of boiled water. I'm just not into tea or hot lemon juice right now. For the past week, I've been wanting coffee from Vertigo, a coffeehouse in San Juan Bautista that roasts and grinds coffee beans fresh every day. It's about eight miles, more or less, away. Not far at all, but getting dressed and doing this and that before getting into the car first thing in the morning takes t…