Friday, December 31, 2010

Here comes adventure!

The sun is shining on this last day of the year, but it isn't warm enough to melt the frozen surface of the dog's water bowl or keep me from huffing on my icy fingertips. So imagine my surprise when I saw this curious mantis checking me out from the top of my struggling fig tree. I got to thinking about my usual resolutions.... and decided to toss them all in favor of just one. I resolve to be more mindful next year. Pay more attention to my world. Who knows what adventures it will lead to?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grateful for little things

Today was the first day of sun after a week of downpours, mudslides, washed out bridges and general mayhem of the soggiest kind!
After being stuck in the house for so long, it was easy to notice the little things. Like very cool toadstools.


And red red berries just in time for Christmas.
And a tiny turtle, lost in a mudslide and rescued from a sidewalk.
And the last bee as the sun slips away on a perfect eve before Christmas.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two blog days in a row. Say it ain't so!

I know. It is a big surprise to me too, but I have been checking out other people's blogs and discovering that a blog is actually a little diary of sorts...meaning you write something pretty much every day. YES! Who knew? So here it is, the next day, and just when I thought there was nothing much to say, a WOLF trots by the house and off down the road.

He is HUGE and according to my hubby, has escaped from animal control on numerous occasions, most recently actually taking the stick/noose thingy with him, leaping a fence with it still on his neck and disappearing back up into the hills. So I'm not only glad he has lost it, but that I got to see him for reals!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Storm Prisoner

the rain pounds the roof
demands entrance
dashes to the gutter and overflows it
attacks the ground below 

an army of leaves sticks rocks
advances in a wall of mud
defeats the porch step
presses against the door

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Looking Back at the Exciting Stuff!

 Can you spare a moment while I catch you up on the last two months? It's been a really exciting time, believe me!

In October, I focused on creating two scary short stories for the 19th annual Riverside Ghost Walk, a fundraiser for the California Riverside Ballet. Both stories were accepted for performance at the two day event, which thousands of folks attended! (Here's the gargoyle that performed in my story,The Fog)
What about November, you ask? Oh, I wrote a novel.
Well--50,000 words. I participated for the first time in National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo, and accepted the challenge  to write 1664 words a day for 30 days. At the end of that time, a body should have a novel-length manuscript!
It was intense, exhausting, frustrating and exhilarating! But I did it (yippie!) and I'm totally jazzed to have an actual NOVEL to begin the revision process on.  I'd love to have it ready to submit to a publisher before next November... so I can do NaNoWriMo  again for the sequel!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Forgotten Graves


 I finally got into the old cemetery on Agua Mansa today. It is sad, stark, lonely, vandalized, peaceful, weed-strewn, vanishing. Lizards posture in the hot sun on tombstones, dragonflies battle over tumbleweed territories and the ground is riddled with squirrel holes, causing the grave markers to tilt and topple.

Personally I have no bone to pick with graveyards, I take the air there willingly, perhaps more willingly than elsewhere, when take the air I must.”  Samuel Beckett

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Day of Weird


Today was miserably hot, especially for September! Out of the blue - I got the urge to go haunt an old cemetery. Did I mention it was a weird day? I drove to a "pioneer" cemetery in Colton where it is rumored an Earp is buried. Closed. How do you close a cemetery? Why? Do visiting hours matter to the deceased? It was 2 PM on a Sunday afternoon, seems to me like a good time to visit your folks. Anyway, disappointed but undaunted, I headed for Riverside, where I know there is a great old marble orchard...cuz some of my own folks are resting there. Bad news...the place is "restored" which means that now there is a fence around the whole old section. What? Come on, I want to walk on the green grass and respectfully enjoy some of the wonderful 1800's tombstones. What is the deal? I gave up. Hot and frustrated,  I headed through downtown Riverside and stopped at the Mission Inn. For the next two hours I got totally and completely lost...every time I saw a sign that said hotel guests only I went that way, clear to the top level (wonderful view!) taking photos and trying to look like a guest. No one stopped me and I explored to my heart's content, finding amazing little tiny doors leading nowhere, stairs that appear out of the wall and lead up to disappear into a solid ceiling, intriguing stained glass and tile work, nooks and crannies galore.
Seriously, is Baby Jesus waving goodbye to me as I leave? Sweet.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Flying Thru the Sprinklers

One more wonderful way to spend an hour...watching sparrows fly through the sprinker. I am positive they do it for the exhilaration of chasing each other back and forth while the rest splash about in the grassy puddle beneath the spray.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting Found

Took off on my scooter for a 'random ride' this afternoon.
Here is the wisdom I brought home:
Follow a road you don't know.
If the pavement runs out, keep going.
When you think you should go right, go left.
Stop for every amazing thing.
Climb a hill you don't think you can.
You will find yourself in unexpected places.

Bored is not an option!

Webster's defines the word bored as "tired of the world". What? To be tired of the world you have to have seen, smelled, tasted, listened and sensed it all! Climbed mountains, swum oceans, weathered every shifting season, experienced all the wonderful nuances of human interaction, watched feathered, furred and finned creatures live their simple and amazing lives; tested yourself to your limits and beyond-- daring, dreaming, exploring! Bored? Not possible.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Breezes

Today while I rode along our lumpy bumpy street trying to tame my wild bicycle and keep it out of the sticker ambushes and pothole perils, I was captivated by the smells of the neighborhood. The trees offered delicate frangrances as I passed- pine, magnolia, orange blossom and cedar . Dogs barked and raced me along their fences, stirring up wet grass and fall leaves - musty and reminiscent of childhood. Last night's rowdy barbecue left a trace of woodsmoke and blackened ribs on the air and a scrawny old cat marking a mailbox donated his pungent contribution. I thought how important it is to occasionally open all the windows in my head, so that my senses can come alive and drink in the wonder that is waiting on the other side of the glass.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Take the Time

Slow down. Hold still.
Watch a bee long enough that you can see the grains of pollen.

In the Light of Day...

Well, the whole late night blog idea was great. Till  morning came and off to my busy day I went...and now it is Saturday night. So calling it 'hoboannie every day' might be a bit ambitious! I had a great writer's critique session today - I promise I am not just in it for the amazing Panera bearclaws and coffee. Small group today (two wonderful authors and one very sweet author's mom) and I got to know them better in the more intimate setting. I am so blown away by the process of critique! The first time I had to read a short story my hands became blocks of ice, my vision narrowed to a few words on the paper and I thought, I'm gonna pass out before I get to the great twist at the end! No idea why I was so anxious, it wasn't like they were going to taser me for using the wrong verb tense. I survived, and the resulting comments and helpful suggestions were awesome. I am hooked. I look forward to Saturday mornings and always leave feeling so inspired, I want to sit in my car and write...can't even wait to get home!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My First Blog

As Mom would say, "If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?" Um, sure, why not. In the case of blogging, anyway. It's ten at night and I'm feeling strangely inspired to jump over the blog cliff. Hopefully it will be part journal, part travelogue, some poetry, photography and other bits and pieces of what I love to do!