Fog

I love fog in the morning. There is something about being enveloped in a gray shroud that invokes the imagination like nothing else. There is freedom from the mundane. There is a chance for something unexpected to take place. Despite all my logical predispositions to accept that what before me is real, I keep the idea in the back of my mind that magic can happen at any time.

There are different forms of fog that lead to different feelings, at least that’s what I’ve observed.

Some mornings, the fog is localized over the river. In the distance I can make out a puffy, low-lying shroud hovering over the entrenched, shallow river-way, this cloud stretching into the distance in either direction, but the rest of the air is clear and sunny.  If I happen close enough to a pond on such a day, I see the tendrils of mist snaking up from the surface of the water like breath from water nymphs. I want to take a closer look, but there is always somewhere to be and a fence between me and the water.

Then there are the low-slung clouds licking the peaks of the hills and leaving the valleys free and open. We rarely have such clouds here. We are not in the mountains, so to see such a site is a novelty.

Today’s fog is the kind of fog that comes up from the moist earth, as water vapor becomes trapped as condensation just above the ground where the dew point has reached the optimum temperature. It has rained heavily the last two nights, bringing slightly cooler air that, unfortunately, heats up quickly again during the last frying days of summer. This is saturating fog. You can feel it on your skin when you step outside. You can feel it in your lungs as you breath. There is an earthy aroma penetrating your olfactory senses that reminds you that all living things eventually decay to make room for fresh life.

Clouds in the upper atmosphere block the sun, prohibiting the fiery orb from burning away the fog. The mist lingers. The fog is a blanket that does not offer cozy comfort. Instead, there is a restlessness in the soul, a anxiety spawned from the unknown. We often associate fog with being lost, like sailors on the sea unable to make out the rocky shore until it is too late to turn the rudder.

The fog is not too thick. You can see a few hundred feet, and further everything begins to gray-0ut and disappear, as though the horizon is suddenly with in easy reach and nothing exists beyond. The world is smaller, closer. I drive along the road with faith that everything that existed yesterday is in the same place today. Secretly, I’m excited that something more interesting might happen today. The fog brings with it ethereal magic, a sense that the mythical creatures of ancient lore are playing nearby, hidden from our mortal eyes by the misty curtain. You might think you see something, a shape in the fog unfamiliar to you, a figure dancing in the haze. But it’s gone when you edge closer. Is it your imagination or are the sprites teasing you?

Fog gives my mind freedom to imagine what might lie beyond the next bend in the road, even though I drive this route everyday of the week. Maybe the next best story will begin with a foggy morning.

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7-7-7 Challenge

photoI find many challenges out there on the blog waves to be very interesting, and many are very useful in getting the creative juices flowing.  This one will give the readers of Pouring the Cup, my first novel, a little taste of what is coming up in the second book.

Recently, Pouring the Cup was on sale, and the results were wonderful. Currently, the novel is $2.99 for the Kindle Edition. The title is now published by Creativia. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the  authors under this publishing umbrella through social media, and hope for many wonderful things to come in the future.

Book Two is getting close to the Beta Reader stage and I hope to have it published before the end of 2014.

In essence, the challenge dictates:  On your Work In Progress, go to page 7, chose the 7th line, and post 7 lines.

From Drinking the Wine:

“That sounds like an excellent game,” Quinn chirped with a broad grin on his round, sun-starved face. He had allowed his thinning cap of blonde hair to lengthen over the winter months, and the thin locks lay feathered back from his brow. “Let’s go around the table and tell everyone something we’d like to accomplish this year, no matter how small. I’ll go first.” Interlacing his fingers with Axandra’s, he made no qualms about looking her in the eyes and announcing, “I want to make this woman the happiest possible by marrying her and lifting her up every day that I see her.”

“Is that a proposal?” Marta gasped with surprise.

“No,” Axandra shook her head sheepishly, her cheeks blazing crimson at her lover’s open broadcast. “I already asked him and he said yes,” she revealed.

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Thanks to knrwrites for the idea.  I wasn’t tagged by anyone for the challenge.

Poetry Corner

The Mirror

More than a Reflection
The Mirror allows us to gaze upon
Our own Outlines
Our Shells
Our Masks
Our Cloaks
Our Framework

Do you look at your Outside
In the Mirror
Or do you take the Time
To look into your own Eyes
To what others might see
Inside

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Cicada

Susurrus then silence
A crescendoing cacophony accompanies
The rocketing temperature
Of summer’s supreme days and nights

My children complain of the clatter
The scraping song of the hard-shelled insects
Who surrender their sheddings
On the hose outside the House

 

 

 

Pouring the Cup-Promo

Originally posted on Writerbee's Book Reviews:

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On the faraway planet of Bona Dea, in a society forged by ancient settlers, trouble is brewing. Young psychic Axandra, never comfortable with her gift, is being forced to use it for the benefit of her people as ruling matriarch of the entire world and host to a powerful entity known only as the Goddess.

Struggling with her fate, used as a pawn between warring factions, life for Axandra is almost too much to bear. Even the ministrations of her beloved companion, Quinn, may not prove powerful enough to overcome the stress threatening to destroy Axandra’s fragile soul.

Buy Now!

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Lost in the Twitterverse

Apparently I am ignorant to the laws of the Twitterverse. I’m finding the lack of punctuation, abbreviations, and slang creates a confusing atmosphere where being drawn into a feed may or may not be a conversation, but they look surprisingly alike in structure. Throw in numbers used as words, and I become baffled, my eyes losing focus among the characters.

I grew to adulthood believing that a conversation was a mutual exchange of information between people with an understanding of the topic, a direct interchange of two or more willing participants.  I have found myself pulled into a poorly written Twitter exchanges because someone attached my handle to it, but in no way was the “conversation” directed at me or inviting my comment, at least not to my understanding. Due to a lack of punctuation, a tweet can be read with several different meanings, not all of which leave a positive impression. Usually, I refuse to be drawn in, for I know that the “discussion” will eventually be lost within the multitude of misguided mentionings.

Twitter’s inherently brief structure has always puzzled me, hence my long delay in joining the ranks of the Tweeters. Constructing a coherent message in 140 characters or less is not impossible, but does restrict the use of vocabulary and is further limited if one wishes to include a handle or a link or a hashtag or any of the myriad of tools to gain exposure from tens of thousands of eyes. I prefer to restrict my Tweeting to business, but even that proves challenging to get the entire, clear message across the eyes of the Tweetees. It does provide practice in succinctness.

At times, I read Tweets and shake my head in utter confusion as to what they mean. They look like gibberish, a jumble of letters and numbers and characters of a language alien to my background but somewhat resembling my native tongue.  And we wonder why we are no longer able to understand each other in real life.

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Just 5 Minutes?

This is a question I seem to be asking constantly of late. “Can I have just 5 minutes by myself?”  or “Can you two get along for just 5 minutes together?”

Five minutes seems like a much more difficult goal than ever before. Or it is just that when I think of five minutes, it’s really a much shorter time in real life than in my head. But it seems that every time I turn around to try to work on a task, there is an interruption. Whether that is at home or at work, I just need 5 minutes to finish what I’m doing.

Well, I’m sure that this happens to other people. So what do you do when you need that five minutes and it’s just not in the stars for today? Or any day, it seems?

Can I have just 5 minutes, PLEASE??

 

 

 

Driving Tips – Stop Stopping

Warning, this is a bit of a rant.

I live near Kansas City. The Metro area holds about 2 million people (about half a million in KCMO itself). Two major interstates run through the city, I-35 and I-70. After all, we are the center of America, the crossroads of the country. So why is it that drivers in the metro can’t figure out how to merge without stopping four lanes of traffic!

After driving on the east coast near NYC, Hartford, and other much larger metropolitan areas (such as Chicago on the way back), I am simply amazed that millions more people can drive without the same jams. The Chicago area holds three times as many people in a consolidated area as the entire state of Kansas.  They have traffic, but it still moves forward a lot faster than I-35 N at 5:30 on a Tuesday evening. And I-35 N is against the outgoing rush hour of people fleeing downtown KC to head home to their suburban McMasions in south Johnson County.

It’s called the zipper, people. You look ahead, you adjust your speed, and you make room for a car to weave in ahead of you without smashing down on your brakes. If you are merging, take advantage of that hole. Hit the gas. Share the road. We’ll all reach our destinations on time and in one piece if we cooperate on the roadway. We’re all in the same hurry.

I known this is part of the American psyche. Competition, speed, my-way on the highway. We are taught from childhood that we need to be faster and more aggressive than anyone else, even when it isn’t in our best interest to do so. Sometimes you have to assert yourself to get where you need to go, but bottling 6 lanes down to three in  a few miles isn’t the place for it.

I don’t mind letting people in, as long as they are respectful in the process. Use your blinker so I know you’re coming. Don’t try to take off my front bumper when you squeeze in. Don’t try to ram my behind. I’ve usually got kids in the car, and–while I don’t mind if you hurt me so much–if they get hurt because you’re being a jackhole, I will sue you to your last dollar.

Brakes should be used sparingly on the Interstate. It’s a highway meant to speed people through the area. It’s not for sight-seeing or lollygagging. If you follow the rules and give a couple of car lengths at high speeds, you’ll have plenty of time to slow down in the event of an emergency. If you are tailgating at 70 miles per hour, it’s your fault if the person in front of you needs to slow down and you don’t have time to react. Do you remember high school physics? What happens when an object moving at a high rate of speed hits on object standing still. A big bloody mess that didn’t need to happen.traffic

Now, I respect that Kansas Citians are not quite so crazy at high speeds as New Yorkers and Massholes (it’s 80 or get outta my way). We’re a little bit nicer to each other. Just a little. Because, you might actually know the person in front of you from somewhere, since there aren’t as many people around.

So, people, let’s figure out how to drive our cars and do it safely so we can get to our destinations without road rage or accidents. Please, and thank you.

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Photo obviously not KC, since we don’t have any mountains nearby.