(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Cute Neighbors Edition

We’ve had a lot more snow so far this month than I thought we would, and it’s been so nice. Graham’s been out in the yard snapping pictures (including the little bird from my last post), and I just had to share this one.

This family of deer lives in the woods behind our house, and they’re…not the best neighbors. They eat pretty much everything, including the blossoms from our fruit trees, and they often get stuck behind fences. We’ve had to rescue them more than once. But, be that as it may, they sure are cute, aren’t they?

Winter Bird (A Poem)

Little one,
the time is now
to sing your winter song.
From your ice-covered perch,
let it carry and fly –
over snow-covered fields
and windswept hills,
deep into the meadows and valleys.
Let the cold wind sweep it
far and wide.
Remind us all that
beauty lives
in frost and bloom alike.

Found Friday #41: Another for the (accidental) collection!

I haven’t written a Found Friday in a while, but I picked up a few vintage and antique items over the holidays, and I wanted to share one of them today.

So, I mentioned in a previous Found Friday post that I seem to have accidentally started a collection of antique and vintage ashtrays. Now, I am not a smoker. I never have been. But you know what ashtrays are good for these days? Holding crystals.

Or jewelry, or dried petals, or other various and sundries. Which, honestly, I’ve got a lot of. And I figure it’s much better to repurpose an old ashtray than to see it thrown out, if it’s generally sturdy, nice-looking, and worth a few extra dollars. I like the idea of taking something associated with a bad habit and giving it a better purpose. I’m really not fond of this new culture of quick construction and disposability that we’ve found ourselves in lately, and I love a piece with a story.

Cut to a random Thursday in December, just before Christmas, and I came across this little curiosity in a shop run by a friend of mine:

It’s cheeky, right? With the cigarette holder in the middle, and the leaf and vine embellishments. It was sitting on a shelf, sort of hidden, and I just happened to spot it. So of course I bought it and brought it home.

The friend who owns the shop suggested that it could be a good paintbrush holder, which I can definitely see. But unfortunately, I don’t paint, so I’m not quite sure yet what it’s use will be. That’s okay, though. I’m not quite sure what my use is some days, either. 

Announcing: The 2022 Short Story Challenge!

Last year, I challenged myself to write twelve short stories – one story each month – around a central theme. A few other wonderful writers joined me, and it became a really fun and interesting creative project. So, of course, I’m doing it again.

The rules are the same: Write and post one story each month of 2022. Posted whenever you/I want to (for me, that’s usually the end of the month), and written around one theme. And the theme this year is:

Folklore.

I thought about several options, but this one wouldn’t let me go. How does a story become folklore? What are the necessary elements of a folk tale? What drives us to share folklore? How long does it last? Why does it last, and why, sometimes, does it fade away? Folk tales and folk traditions tie us to our ancestors. They connect us to our cultures, and to each other. Folklore is powerful, and I want to dig into it and see what I can learn along the way.

And if you want to join me, that would be wonderful! If you do, when you post your stories, you can use the tag “2022 Short Story Challenge” and mention this post. But just reading is good, too, and I’m glad you’re here for this journey.  😊

I think 2022 is going to be a wonderful year for stories!

************

If you haven’t read them, or if you want to revisit any of them, here are all of my stories from 2021. Some of them I really liked, some of them I didn’t, and some were certainly easier to write than others. But they were all worth writing, and they each taught me something (or, sometimes, a lot of somethings) about myself, the art of writing, and how to tell stories. I’ve put asterisks by my two favorites, though, because why not?

*The Roads

This Place

Talk Out the Fire

Quiet Neighbors

The Return

Old Friends

*Jesse’s in the Back Room

Just Like Magic

Stage Fright

Cloud Dwellers

Old Enough

The Making of Annie’s Auld Lang Syne

Enjoy, and thank you so much for reading!

New Light (A Poem)

Through the gate and
into the cold winter world,
the New Year comes to greet the Old.
Not to replace or relive,
but revive –
tired hands,
tired hearts,
tired minds –
and bring new light
to the darkest days.

The First Snow Day of 2022

What an utterly unexpected and incredibly lovely surprise!

And quite a nice way to start the new year, I think.

Until yesterday, forecasters predicted this fast-moving snowstorm would go south of us, but here it is. And I am so happy.

I hadn’t planned a busy day today, anyway – Graham’s off of work until tomorrow – but I think I shall officially declare today a Snow Day, and spend it reading, drinking tea, generally lazing about in my pajamas, and gazing out on this beautiful and fleeting winter landscape.

Yes. Perfect.

Sunday Supper #5: Happy New Year!

Hello, 2022! It’s lovely to meet you, and I hope you’re kind to us. Like, seriously. Please.

That’s pretty much where I am today. We had a lovely Christmas, and a very low-key New Year’s Eve and Day, and this evening, I’m mostly just pondering possibilities and wondering what this newest of years will bring. I’ve not made any Very Big Plans, though I have jotted down some goals, especially in regards to my creative work. More to come on that, and I think it’s going to be exciting.

But for now, I’d like to leave you with wishes for a wonderful, fulfilling, peaceful, exciting, creative, memorable, and most of all, a happy New Year. I hope you do cool stuff, make mistakes, learn, grow, draw, paint, dance, cook, eat, sing, read, write, and just generally live the best you can. And if you ever need a cheerleader, know I’m here, in your corner, even from the other side of the world, and I think you got this, whatever it is. Make 2022 a good one, y’all, and I’ll do the same.

Oh, and for supper: Taco Bell. Don’t judge. What’s a good year without a few tacos? 😉