Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Card(s)...

Our writing word for today is "card." It's my suggestion, because last week was a week of "cards."

First my husband finally got a Presto card. Our local transit system, the TTC, is phasing out money and tokens in favour of electronic cards that you top-up on-line and then use to board trains and buses, Oh, yes, and streetcars. We are still one of the few cities in North America that has genuine electric powered streetcars!!



Secondly, I also, finally, got a library card. Well, over the years I have had one or two, but they were the old cardboard ones with no on-line access. My new card is electronic and lets me do self check-out and return of books. I also have an on-line account, which lets me order books that are not available at my library. When the books come in, I am sent an e-mail and given a week to pick them up!! This is so civilized!!


However, the system is not entirely flawless. I was notified a day or so after I had set up my account that a book I had ordered, "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist," was in. Well, it turns out it wasn't. Somehow, in my account was a request for a film on disc. I was so disappointed that it wasn't my book, that I didn't even take a look at the title of the film. Wait a minute, maybe I should have. Perhaps the cosmos was trying to tell me something? Now I will never know what it was.



Anyway, the librarian sorted it out, however, I'm still waiting for my book. I'm sure it will come in, eventually, because I have two other books in mind to order. One is old and maybe out of print - It's about $60.00 on Amazon and the other is very new and about $40.00 in Indigo.

The whole idea of using the library is not only to save money but also to stop stockpiling books!!

The pictures? I have used my library card. I have yet to use my presto card!!

Have an enriched day!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

I am committed...

Our writing word for today is "commit." It reminds me that I am committed to enhancing and enjoying whatever time I have left on this amazing planet. I work, for example, at keeping my mind active - I read, play the piano and write. I take on projects - I design and sew clothing, I keep a garden, and go on adventures with friends. I also keep physically active - I walk a lot and bike.



Sometimes, I think, I do too much. I reached a point the other day, when I realized that if I started a new sewing project, I wasn't working in the garden or out walking. Again, if I'm writing, I'm not reading or playing the piano. I think I might have reached an overload and the hot, humid weather wasn't helping. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I also run a small company!!



Time to slow down, be mindful and enjoy something simple! Enter the couscous salad!! I may have become addicted to couscous because it takes 5 minutes to make - boil water, add couscous, remove from heat, cover, wait 5 minutes and fluff!! In that 5 minutes, I went into the garden, snipped parsley, coriander, and mint, picked four small tomatoes and found a zucchini that was almost a foot long!! How did that happen!!



Yes, every once in a while, I have to remind myself that's it's not a race. I need to slow down and enjoy the process and/or the products. The salad was delicious. I have written 3 blog posts in two days. Started work on another piano piece - The Rose of Tralee and I am about to look up the meaning of two words I found in my latest novel - Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Here they are -

Plangent - loud, reverberating, melancholy.

Vertiginous - causing vertigo.

Now what can I commit to today!!

The pictures? Some of my commitments.

Have a dedicated day!!

Fantasy...

Our writing word for today is "fantasy." I often say that I never read fantasy fiction. I will never read Lord of the Rings, for example, and I have never watched Game of Thrones or Outlander. For years, I never even read regular fiction. I only wanted to read true stories.



Somewhere along the road, however, I decided that I wanted to write a novel - now this may be the ultimate fantasy! I followed writers on Facebook and I joined an on-line "indie" publishing group. What I understood from all of this is that, if I wanted to write, I had to read what others had written. I had to learn the writing process by example.



Also, somewhere long the line, I came across a list of the 100 best books to read. Well, actually there are several lists. I decided to blend them together on an excel spreadsheet and keep track of the ones I had read. Yes, is was partly a contest and partly chagrin - most of my friends had read almost all the the 100 books. I was somewhere around 25.



I am now up to approximately 50 novels, having read an extra 15 or so books that are not on any list. I can honestly say that my life has been enriched by fiction. For me reading is partly about the story, partly about the characters, but mostly about how the author uses language. I am a "wordsmith." I love how people use words, how they construct sentences, and how they create imagery.

You see, for all those years I wasn't reading novels, I was reading poetry. Poems are pure fantasy!!

The pictures? Just a bit of fantasy in photographs.

Have a fantastic day!

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rich....

Our writing word for today is "rich." I've never felt the need to be rich in the sense of monetary wealth. My idea of a rich life is having many varied experiences, embellishing and adorning what I have and finding a motherlode of wealth in the freedoms many have fought so hard to protect.



We are very fortunate in Canada. We still have a working democracy. We have freedom of speech, free (for the most part) healthcare, free use of a good deal of public lands, free education to a point, the list goes on. I notice that I have had to qualify some of the "freedoms" on my list. The wolf is always somewhere waiting to take away what he can, as soon as he can.

We have seen public lands go to developers. Public education decline, healthcare compromised and journalists silenced. The middle class is disappearing, rapidly, soon there will be just the very rich and the very poor.



Maybe our enrichment should be to ask ourselves - what we can do to keep and expand the "freedoms" we still have. Certainly we should read more, particularly responsible newspapers, that keep us up to date and put events into perspective - now + then = the future.

We should also write. Write to our government representatives, send letters to the editor, keep a personal weblog. We need to voice our "educated" opinions and the opinions of experts in their fields. I share a lot of posts on Facebook. These posts are from people who are part of a dedicated resistance to current conservative governments' people and policies.



Yes, I believe in levelling the playing field. I believe in taxing the rich and spreading those dollars around to enrich the general public. Let us all be able to have many rich and varied experiences. Let us all be able to embellish and adorn what we have and let us all enjoy the freedoms, we still have.

The pictures? Some things that make my life rich!!

Have a "free" day

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Key...

Our writing word for today is "key." It's a word I gave to the writing challenge and it came to mind because I am "key" challenged. I have more keys than locks. I have little tubs of keys, scattered throughout the house, which belonged to locks at one time - but damned if I can remember which ones.

I even carry several keys on my current key chain that are orphans. I couldn't tell you which doors they open and yes, why do I still carry them around with me. I wonder, in more wistful times, if they opened doors to a Narnia somewhere. Maybe I secretly dream of escapes, so I keep keys to open those doors, should the opportunity ever arise. I do not, however, horde maps - my husband does, hmmm.



Actually we both had a "key day" last week. My husband was looking for a key to the front door, which we never use - both the door and the key. Somehow opening the front door or at least finding the key to the front door became the challenge of the day. None of the keys worked. We threw them out. Then in the middle of the night, of course, nothing sane ever happens during the day, I remembered that the reason the keys didn't fit was because the lock gets "bunged up" with dirt. I didn't bother to ask how or why.



I then remembered that on another "key day" I had cleaned out the dirt with a paper clip and Voila! the key worked. I wish I had remembered this earlier, I could have saved us a few bucks, well maybe quite a few, because the lock is an antique and the door is not a standard size and so to replace the lock is a custom job!!

Mundane matters like, saving money, aside, I can see the plot of story, unfolding - You just happen to have the key to open a mysterious door and an adventure begins - Alice in Wonderland comes to mind.

Have an awesome day!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Implications....

Our writing word for today is "implications" - a word that covers so many different areas that I feel I have to narrow it a little. For years I have been fascinated with the implications of body language. There are so many subtle signs we make daily that send so many different messages. We all know the implications of a weak hand shake, a rolled eye or a quick wink.

There are, however, many more unconscious gestures we make that may mean even more than our words. A quick Google search lists a number of sites that will tell you arms folded in front of you suggests you are wary of the speaker. Or a head turned slightly away indicates some disinterest in the person or topic and fidgeting with jewellery or clothing anytime suggests, anxiety.



Actually, I spend a good deal of time looking at what people wear, rather than what they do, and what their outfit says about them. Obviously a person that's neatly dressed in clothes appropriate for the season, especially if the colours and fabrics are co-ordinated, suggests a person with attention to detail, who is pleased with him/herself and is ready to believe in an harmonious world. However, I often think that these people, although, beautifully turned out, might be a little too meticulous. Does their world have to fit together perfectly? Do they reject anything that doesn't fit into their view of life?



On the other hand, I wonder about the person who appears in a chaos of mis-matched garments, fabrics, and colours. What were they thinking? Or were they even thinking at all. Perhaps, they were thinking too much about non-material (no pun intended) "things." Were they trying to incorporate all the divergent philosophies out there into some sort of meaningful whole, rather than just rejecting what doesn't fit?



I do admire people who can dress well in black, with some amazing adornment to set it all off. These people are canvasses or stages for some artistic "action." They are content within themselves and open to engaging with any idea that comes their way. "Let's see how things play out" may be their by-line.



My favourite people, however, may be those who dress "insanely" on purpose. They wear wild, almost, but not quite, co-ordinated colours. They may seem to be out-of-fashion, but in fact have set their own fashion. They wear bow ties, mis-matched earrings, something hand-painted or handmade..... They are unique and I feel that they are open to accepting the many unique aspects of this world - overt or implied!

Have a meaningful day!!