Monday, 31 March 2014

Multidimensional Monday

Today I wrote a story. It was around 2500 words and it was about the unseelie Fey. I had the story gurgling in my head for a while so the story flowed quite swiftly onto the page once I began typing. I sent it off and started its sister piece about the seelie court. I sent all my seasonal fairy stories off too and a mermaid poem. I did my first RhyPiBoMo activity and planned my next and I drew up all the April activities on my window ready to tick off as I go. I am at 127% of my target of writing 500 words per day. Pretty exciting stuff.

I have signed up for my first critique week in April for the RhyPi BoMo and I am about to begin my camp Nano. Big Big moth ahead.

I had to add a sentence to my earlier 38 week challenge story because it did not quite fit the flash fiction criteria. Once I added two short sentences it turned into a short anecdotal style flash fiction rather than a dissertation on cabbages.

here is the revision



Week 2 Cabbage (revised to make it a FF)
My friend the cabbage.
I skim the results of my blood tests and drop the paper on the desk.
Did you know the Russian’s are eating twenty kilograms of cabbage each every year, Belgians 4.7, in the Netherlands they are eating 4kg each and the Spaniards are nibbling 4.2kg while the Americans are munching their way through 3.9kg and here in Oz we are eating less than 2kg. Just two and what does that mean for us? It means someone is eating my share. 
Cabbage seeds travelled to Australia in 1788 with the First Fleet. Some enterprising gardener probably under the threat of the lash,  planted them on Norfolk Island. Cabbage became a favourite vegetable of Australians by the 1830s and was frequently seen at the Sydney Markets. It was used by seafarers as a great source of vitamin C and fibre as well as all the other fabulous nutrients they didn’t even know about but they did know it prevented bleeding gums and bone problems.
I think I had cabbage in some fast food coleslaw not long ago, it might have been cabbage, it was crunchy and pale greenish white and it said cabbage in the fine print.
I used cabbage leaves on my red hot sore mammaries a decade or so ago and it was cool and comfortable and eased my pain but I am not sure I ate the rest of it?
I need to change my thinking about cabbage. Really I do. I read last night that the humble cabbage has been found to protect mice from lethal doses of radiation and has been in numerous tests found to be a useful cancer preventative and “may protect normal tissues during radiation therapy for cancer treatment and prevent or mitigate sickness caused by radiation exposure.” Now that has to be a good reason for eating cabbage! I glance at the test results again and return to reading the webpages.
Not only does the good old cabbage have plenty of vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre, it is also an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B6, and folate; and a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, tryptophan, protein, and magnesium and the Purple cabbage also contains anthocyanins, whatever they are. Sounds like an anti-dinosaur repellent.
Okay I had best make friends with a cabbage or two or three kilograms of it. My future health and wellbeing may depend on it.   401

I loved the poem I wrote and an unusual thing happened when it was complete. I centered the text and it was shaped like a mermaid. No planning it just happened. How incredible is that. What amazing things were happening in that huge gurgling subconscious of mine?

Okay well back to finishing that story or I will run past the deadline.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

strictly Sunday

Today the weather stayed mild and the sky grey. The wind was just a puff and the ground dry. I finished my last story for the World of Fey anthology and sent it off and I had an email from an online ezine AntipodeanSF accepting my story. Then I participated in a rhyming competitive conversation in the Rhyming Picture book fb group which is linked to the Rhyming Picture Book challenge which started on the 30th and will run right through April. I won a prize which was delightful but even more delightful was participating in an hour long rhyming conversation.

I relaxed today for the most part, occasionally doing a bit of study or cruising through the various groups to which I belong in my upward climb to the heights of my new career. I did enjoy some of the comments about my art in the 52 week challenge and my story in the 38 week flash fiction group. I participated in mid week blues busters again last week and I thoroughly enjoy writing to a piece of music as a prompt. I find it fascinating seeing the similarities in the stories as if the music speaks directly to a collective unconsciousness and draws similarities into our writings.

I had a look at the opening page for a new blog about a group of local students and their chaperones heading off to Turkey for ANZAC day. http://warrnambooltoturkey2014.blogspot.com.au/  I am going to follow along. What an awesome experience for these young people to be involved in. They will prove fabulous ambassadors for our little town and for the country I am sure.

I have two more stories to complete before April 1st so tomorrow will be quite hectic for my typing skills. 



six minutes until Sunday



today I wrote one story of 390 words for the 38 week challenge under the theme Autumn..


Week four; Autumn  
Forever Autumn  wc 390
“…You always loved this time of year,
Those fallen leaves lie undisturbed now,
Cause you’re not here
Cause you’re not here
Cause you’re not here…”
I hum as the song fades out and the journalist narrator moves the play into its next scene but I don’t hear any more. “My life will be forever Autumn, now you’re not here…” The phrase spins slowly on repeat in my mind. The trees outside are no different now than they are in full summer. The usual drab olive green, just less dust. I watch the rain seep down the bark turning it from white to grey and I lean my forehead on the cold glass; the scene outside blurs. Tomorrow will be better.
The sun peeks up over the tree tops lighting up the brilliant diamonds of frost on the grass then melting their tiny crystalline hearts. I feel the crunch of the white under my feet as I walk through the still frozen shade. The early morning air fogs my breath and reddens my nose and I reluctantly follow my friends into the field for the annual mushroom pick. My heart is not in it. “’Cause you’re not here…” The tune haunts me. I warm up as the morning progresses and we finally head back with baskets full and jackets over our arms.
“We always loved this time of year.” I blurt and cause a silence in the car. The others make busy with seatbelts and shuffling coats. The conversation starts up with the engine and lingers on recipes for soup. I watch the world spin past and do not join in.
The night is crisply clear with no moon; a perfect night for the aurora. I leave them all in the warmth of the conversation around empty bowls and full wine glasses and I wander bare foot across the dark icy grass. I don’t notice the cold. I see enormous gossamer curtains draped across the sky, blowing gently in cosmic winds. They sing a siren song to my heart and I lose track of time and space in the simple joy of watching thousands of kilometres of translucent greens, creamy whites and softest gold, ripple across the sky. A sense of peace settles on me and I know my life will be forever autumn because you’re here. Right here with me.




 I am listening to a vinyl copy of Jeff Wayne's Musical version of  War of The Worlds.
It is probably the only musical I have ever listened to over and over and over and inflicted on my kids on any long trip. They tell me now that it terrified them which saddens me. I did not  know it at the time. I still sing Forever Autumn and they don't mind that one.




I Slept the morning away after ducking down to the supermarket for a special item. I made a very simple dinner and watched Hannibal, the tv show of the early days of the infamous Hannibal Lector from silence of the lambs. I find it interesting there have been so many shows featuring psychopaths in the last decade. Dexter and Hannibal have been interesting. I found myself watching a scene in which a woman claiming to be vegetarian made me react negatively toward that character and I chuckled realising just how much the writers had swayed me to align myself with the psychopath rather than the irritating journalist. I wanted to talk with someone about the techniques being used and why I was worrying about another character unknowingly being manipulated to his extreme detriment. I like when a writer can shift my alignments and engage me emotionally.

I hope my writing will have that affect on my readers.

I did some more art yesterday and none today. I feel very flat today and maybe some art would have been good. OOPs it is already Sunday so I might as well make this a Sunday post.

The main character is trying to get through London and the alien has just appeared above Big Ben.

Maybe I should use this music to prompt some art.

He looked straight into the eyes of his beloved Carrie...and she began to fight her way to the gangplank.

I wont complete the chapter book challenge with a complete draft but I do have some excellent ideas to flesh out.






Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thickwitted thylacine Thursday

In the wee small hours some moron with a loud set of speakers decided the whole neighbourhood needed to have their eardrums shattered and the glass in their windows rattling with doof doof doof. It went on for twnety or so minutes and abruptly ceased. I don't know if it were police calling, or  a neighbour with a blunt instrument. It stopped. The silence stretched on for ten minutes or so and it began again slightly quieter then stopped again after five or so minutes. I tossed, I turned. I already had a guilty conscience so I had only had two hours sleep. Dragging myself to the backyard I pulled the washing off the line as the clouds began to leak and then made some breakfast of sorts. I plonked myself at the computer at 5.45 to participate in an online seminar at 6am which was a useful 45 minutes and 15+ minutes of promotional material for a course. Then wake up the offspring, take daughter to the school band which we found out later wasn't on because of an excursion my daughter was not on. Home again to take big youngest boy to occ therapy and back for an 11am seminar on promoting and pitching to publishers and agents then back to the school for a Parent teacher interview and then home back to school and home and homework group then some art and blogs and groups and writing. A full day. I dragged myself through it and have constantly been thinking of a HUGE mistake I made yesterday.


The 52 week challenge is at week 13 with Water as the theme. I decided to try out water droplets.


this is a detail from a larger work further down. A beach hut.
 Eau de cologne. another detail...
 fish out of water

A lot of water things in one picture and of course a child with an oversized umbrella is certainly a watery image.
this little fellow is trapped










I have also written the first three stories for the 38 week flash fiction challenge.


Week 1 Frog
Do I like frogs?
Do I like frogs? I love listening to them after the rain.
Do I like frogs though? They are a bit slimy and hard to find.
Do I want to like frogs? Boys like frogs but they are not too kind.
Do you like frogs? They are pretty and colourful and they keep down the flies.
Should we like frogs? They are important to the world these shiny, noisy, damp little things.
Or so I am told, without them the delicate, intricate network that is the food web will fall
And we won’t have frogs at all. We will have flies clogging the skies and dirty water too.
Their songs once gone will leave a silence so profound we will wonder
Why we didn’t do more to stop such loss and sadness will prevail
We should like frogs, in puddles and bogs, creeks and drains
After the rains and through the years.
Frogs. I think I do like frogs.
I ate one once, with garlic and butter.
It was delicious as I recall
A bit like chicken.
I prefer them in the garden.

 

Week 2 Cabbage
My friend the cabbage.
Did you know the Russian’s are eating twenty kilograms of cabbage each every year, Belgians 4.7, in the Netherlands they are eating 4kg each and the Spaniards are nibbling 4.2kg while the Americans are munching their way through 3.9kg and here in Oz we are eating less than 2kg. Just two and what does that mean for us? It means someone is eating my share. 
Cabbage seeds travelled to Australia in 1788 with the First Fleet. Some enterprising gardener probably under the threat of the lash,  planted them on Norfolk Island. Cabbage became a favourite vegetable of Australians by the 1830s and was frequently seen at the Sydney Markets. It was used by seafarers as a great source of vitamin C and fibre as well as all the other fabulous nutrients they didn’t even know about but they did know it prevented bleeding gums and bone problems.
I think I had cabbage in some fast food coleslaw not long ago, it might have been cabbage, it was crunchy and pale greenish white and it said cabbage in the fine print.
I used cabbage leaves on my red hot sore mammaries a decade or so ago and it was cool and comfortable and eased my pain but I am not sure I ate the rest of it?
I need to change my thinking about cabbage. Really I do. I read last night that the humble cabbage has been found to protect mice from lethal doses of radiation and has been in numerous tests found to be a useful cancer preventative and “may protect normal tissues during radiation therapy for cancer treatment and prevent or mitigate sickness caused by radiation exposure.” Now that has to be a good reason for eating cabbage!
Not only does the good old cabbage have plenty of vitamin K, vitamin C and fibre, it is also an excellent source of manganese, vitamin B6, and folate; and a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, tryptophan, protein, and magnesium and the Purple cabbage also contains anthocyanins, whatever they are. Sounds like an anti-dinosaur repellent.
Okay I had best make friends with a cabbage or two or three kilograms of it. My future health and well being may depend on it.   374




“What’s atone?” chewing the pencil end and waiting for the brains trust.
“A whole note or a sound, like the scales, tone, tone, semi tone” The saxophonist yelled down the hallway from her room. “Or do you mean like atonal, ooh ooh we did this in class, it means anarchy for music.” Her voice took on lecture cadences, “atonality describes music that does not conform to the system.”
“A bit like you then dear? No it isn’t music “
“Mum! Sheesh!” the door slammed and I chuckle. “Anyone else in the brains trust, atone?”
“A colour thing like in shade or hue? Hey can hue make me a sammich?” I hear the keys tapping as he continues to stare at his screen and I groan.
“Son you are old enough and ugly enough to make your own sandwich. I don’t think it is about colour either.”
“Mother,” the older deeper voice intones, “You are old enough and ugly enough to use a dictionary.” His keyboard is much quieter than the other and I let silence drag on so he thinks I am offended. “Mother?” I relent at his hint of concern.
“That would be cheating; I don’t want to use a dictionary, besides which it is up in my room.”
“That’s just lazy, wanna sammich?” The big little son lopes past the bench on his way to the loaf.
“No thanks but I would like a cup of tea.”
“Hokay.” He rattles around the kitchen opening doors, drawers and jars then flicks on the kettle.  I listen to the hiss of the water heating and chew the pencil a bit more.
“I know what it means but it’s one of those words that doesn’t get used often enough for me to be absolutely sure. Originally it meant being "at one", in harmony, concord, to bring into unity, with someone but it changed like so many other words so now I am just not confident. Look it up son.”
“Sure, one sec, religious or secular?”
“Secular.”
“Okay, to make amends or reparation, to make up for errors or deficiencies. Mother you have deficiencies you need to atone for. Get your dictionary so you can finish that crossword.”
“You have to make amends for that son. You can cook dinner.”
“Mum, have a sammich and a cuppa.”
“Here’s to atonement.” I toast with my tea.
“Mum joke.” They all groan.                                                   Wc 398

Tomorrow is week four and the theme is Autumn. 

I also entered the mid week blues buster

off to 12 x 12 forum for a few minutes and then on with more writing.