WHERE’S SPRING?

Seasonal_Festivals

I looked all over for a special calendar and could not find SPRING, so this will have to do for now. As I sit at my desk, I can look out my windows and see nothing but grey clouds, trees waving their branches, and the only sign of spring is the green leaves and green grass. I want to see sunshine, hear birds singing, see and smell flowers in bloom, and know that May Day is just around the corner. Spring seems to get lost between the long winter months and the hot summer months.

Do you remember your ‘Spring Times’? As a child, I remember the opportunity to stay and play outside a little later, watch the flowers peek through the dirt, see squirrels scamper up and down tree trunks, chasing each other and having a good time. And now that we are so close to May, do you remember the May Days? We’d walk up to a friend’s house and hide our May Basket for that special person and run away before anyone saw us.

Guess, Spring Time brings back wonderful memories and yet gives us space to make new memories. Each season gives new hope and ideas to think about and try.

A couple of weeks ago, the Library in my neighborhood, held its first Poetry Reading Night. Great attendance and wonderful poems. I was impressed by all the presenters and their ability to share without any props, like a book, and their words gave music to our ears.

Yeah, I got up, but had to have my poetry book in my hands, my glasses on, and no dancing around. But, it was fun and they plan to do this every so often. Maybe I can get my act together and do this without my book. Doubt it, but hey who knows. So to end this post, I would like to share  MOODS OF MUSIC,

Music opens the windows of the soul creating many moods. Strings of violins being gently caressed sing of intimacy, soft flickering candle light. Rumble of the drums gives a dominating beat to life – slow measured steps or a fast-moving pace. A slide trombone can bring a feeling of melancholy, a sway to the music, a backward trip in memories. Reeds of the clarinet performing jazzy blues mixing the past and present together. Cymbals clashing awakens opportunities yet to be explored.  Moods of music, complacent, invigorating, dreamy. . . Open your soul and listen.

Happy Spring.  Happy Writing.

Patricia

WELCOME TO THE NEW YEAR

I don’t know about all of you, but this past year was full of surprises that crossed different avenues for me. I RETIRED!!! Never thought I’d give up my Silver Sneakers(R) Exercise Group, but after eight years, needed to let go and give the group some new instructors and new choices. They are still in full force and have added new members. Sometimes, it is the right thing to do and help the members grow and learn new moves/exercises.

Thought, this would give me an opportunity to dig further into my writing, which I have done, just not as much as I wanted to accomplish. The ideas are there and my fingers try to hit the ‘write’ keys. Some days are better than others.

Been hitting our little library a lot and going back over some of the old books again. Got interested in reading the classics and older books. Jeffery Archer had a new book out, “This Was A Man,” and I could not just get this without going back over his other novels. It was the seventh book in a series and I needed the background information. Still working my way through the series.

We had our annual meeting and good attendance. Found out our CMA, Office Manager, is being transferred to a new property and we have a new CMA coming in to keep our place in order. Will not know for a while, as he starts this coming week. New opportunities, I hope.

I find myself at ends, but not for long. It takes a while to wind down after working all your life and at times two jobs. Still, I find new avenues to travel and include my writing. I am thinking of doing some volunteer work with The Atlanta Humane Society. Since we have a “NO PET” rule at our Condo, figured this would give me something new to volunteer and give myself a pet for a while. I’d been there to an open house months ago, but couldn’t work and do this type of volunteering. I’ll let you know how this goes.

I had a quiet New Year Eve celebration and watch all the crowds gather at Underground Atlanta for the annual Peach Drop. It was cold, windy, and a little of the sprinkles falling down. NO, not the white kind that stick, only the wet, uncomfortable drizzle. Then learned this would be the last Peach Drop at Underground. Guess it has been sold, so have no idea where or what will happen–upset a lot of attendees.

My wish for you this new 2017 is to be happy and share your happy thoughts with friends, neighbors, and yes, even strangers. Be Inquisitive. Be Inspired. Be Kind.

I’ll see you in a week or so. Until then, keep yourselves busy and have fun.

PATRICIA

Holiday Imagination Gone Wild

images_074This begins the time of the year for holidays, shopping, family get-together, and the rush of trying to get everything done on schedule. NO… this is the time you need to let your imagination off the leash and go wild with your thoughts. The calendars, advertisements, the push to get everything just so, and the list can go on and on, but what would happen if?????

Start looking at ‘FALL’ as a holiday time. remember when you picked up leaves for a project and then noticed how different they all looked? Go for it again and create your new Fall Holiday. Put leaves in baskets, in vases, or scattered across the dining room table, or any table, while your disc player oozes “Autumn Leaves.”

What about Thanksgiving? Scout odd places and look for turkeys. Forget the lives ones for now, rather pictures of all sizes of these birds.  You can attach them to cardboard and place them in your home. Not just the entry way, but in different rooms. Now, the fun begins. What a sight for visitors when they come over. You can even find the bigger plastic eggs (turkey eggs) and add them to the scenes.

Take a walk outside in a park or wooded area and find your own Holiday Center Piece. You will bring so many goodies home and then the fun starts. Your creative side is excited and you can design each room with a different look. A great way for the whole family to get involved, and you’ll never know what each member can find or do to make part of this their own.

Holiday Cards need to get addressed, with a note or two, and mailed. Your imagination starts working on the wild side and you find cards from different places. How about “Save the Elephants, or Pet Rescue Organizations, and you can find many more while your thoughts are in high gear. Not only will you be helping with donations, but you might spark the incentive to adopt a pet. Instead of writing a note, put a paw print on the card for your signature, or maybe one for each of the family.

A big balloon Santa in your hallway, a tree hung from the ceiling (yes, upside down) and decorated with the gifts piled under, will be a big surprise. Then include a “Thankful” box and have pen and paper ready for each visitor or family member to write their own note of thanks.

Let this Holiday Season become alive and have fun. Share your imagination and you’ll have the best of the best.

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HAPPY WRITING.

HAPPY YOU.

HAPPY HOLIDAY IMAGINATION.

Do You Believe in Luck?

What a question to throw at readers? Does this include superstitions or just how we look at luck. Just how you look at luck. Superstitions have been handed down by our family members for many years. True, it is important to look at them and get a sense of your past history and family, but they are not your own.
Luck on the other side of the coin, so to speak, is YOUR thoughts about your life and what can make it better for you. This has nothing to do with what you know of past history, but it is how you make YOUR history work for you.
One of the first things I expect all of you to look at is….people feel lucky when they expect the best things out of life and themselves.  In other words, if you believe in yourself, you are more motivated to keep pushing forward to reach your goal.  Sure, you may have your own lucky charm and there is nothing wrong with this. It is a symbol that represents your possibilities to ‘jump over the rainbow’. And if this makes you feel better, hey go for it. For some, it is wearing the big “R” color (red), or something outlandish from their normal ho-hum styles. For guys, it might be the ‘power’ suit, or the outlandish tie that makes a statement for them.
It does not matter as long as it makes you feel active about your expectations. You’ve gotta go out there and make your own statement. Hard? Pardon me, but it can be damn hard.
Your luck comes from YOU, and you need to let people know who you are. Some days, and I’m speaking both male and female, you want to come out of your norm and shock people. For females, this might mean a new style you’ve never tried like short skirts, tank tops, and jeans, tight jeans. For males, it might be just a step away from suits, ties, stuffy outfits, and into cutoffs, jeans with small (very small) holes and no shined loafers. These examples are not for the faint of heart, but it gives you an explanation for some of the boundaries we have gotten ourselves hooked on. We are not carbon copies of each other and what works for one, may not work for another, and the list goes on and on and on.
This has to be something for you to try to make yourselves stand out in a crowd. Lucky people are not afraid to start conversations with strangers. This is called ‘networking.” Get outside your comfort zone and experience new avenues. It is not always easy to talk to strangers, but you just may find your special needle in that haystack. What you need is to stretch out of your comfort zone, check out other avenues, and trust your gut.
When the day is done and you relax, think of the new world you have entered. Hey, you’ve still got tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow to check things out. Uncertainty is a situation is what we writers strive to achieve. Because with uncertainty, we can change the whole outlook on life, love, and chapters.

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 Patricia says, Happy Writing, Happy Journeys, and Happy Happenings to all of you.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

dog days of summerDid you know this period of August and into September is named after a star, Sirius the Dog Star. Looks like this Sirius is enjoying his air conditioner. The hot weather during this period seems to be hotter, no breezes, and robs one of their energy to be active. I’ve thought about this and remember, way back when, times of air conditioning did not exist. Yeah, they had means to cool businesses, but what about homes. We used fans, like in the picture, in our windows, rooms, porches, and we drank plenty of lemonade, ice tea, water and lots of ice in every drink. Never thought too much about the heat, until we got our first air conditioner. It was a huge, clunky box which my dad installed in one of our living room windows. It cooled the room where we stayed most of the time. Why? Our first black and white television was in this room. As I remember backwards, a lot of firsts entered our lives. Exciting to see pictures on a big screen and be cool at the same time. Then came the first washing machine, but not like the kind that you have in your homes. No, this was similar to the old washer and had ringers you ran the clothes through, after the rinse, to squeeze the water out. Only, this new washer had a motor that rotated the clothes you put inside the machine. You could watch the clothes move around without the use of hands or paddles. Then you hit a release knob and the dirty wash water ran down a drain. When it was empty, you filled the machine with clear water for the rinse, started the motor again so the rotation would rinse the clothes. Now, the final release knob and the water ran out again. Hands ran them through the wringer and they were ready for the clothesline. Wash day was a lot of work. No, I like the laundry days now, except…Oh, the clothes smelled so fresh as they were unpinned from the clothesline and folded up.  I’m happy to have had these experiences and when I do laundry, thankful for all the new technology. But, would love to smell the freshness from the outside, not from a rinse of different smells. It is good to remember what was and be thankful for what is now. Sometimes, we want things to go faster, quicker, and forget what we need is downtime from all our activites. During these “Dog Days of Summer” take time to relax, read, write, connect with friends, old and new, sit back and enjoy your Ice Tea, or Sweet Tea depending where you are spending your hot summer days. Just keep in mind, these days won’t last forever. Soon Fall and Winter will creep up on the calendar. At this point, you’ll remember  the hot days of summer. Enjoy your days, write about your own memories, and you’ll be surprised at what your fingers will dig up for you.

Happy Memories. Happy Days. Happy Writing.

A CHARACTER’S JOURNEY

Two friends“Hey, Ethel look. Patricia has found us again. Thought for a while she’d forgotten where we were.” “No, she’d never do that. She just gave us a vacation,” Edna said, and smiled at her friend. Yeah, these two ladies have become characters that push me forward and give me ideas. But what about YOU?

Your characters now have names and are ready for action. What kind of growth or failures will you create for them? These actions will be determined by the genre of your story. Do not forget their education and clothes for the time period you choose. Take another look at their mannerisms. Is a female character always touching her hair, making certain not a strand is out-of-place? Does this mean she is prissy, self-centered, or trying to get attention. A male character might have a habit of jingling coins in his pockets. Would he be nervous, bored, or is this his way to show off? His career and his clothes tell who he is.

All characters will display their good and bad sides–tempers, smiles, thoughts, craftiness, tediousness, playfulness, serious or obsessiveness. How about a character who never tells the truth, but exaggerates every small detail. Keep these attributes in mind as you begin your story.These are not all of them, but a few to think through as you imagine your own creativeness. Now, think about how you will make the changes needed for your characters to grow? No, not age, rather how to mature and change their outlook on life, love, and living.

This is where the fun begins for the creative writer–be the character. Yeah, you read right. How do you think actors get their parts right for movies. They study, research and play with the character. They have no idea about the character until they get the script in their hands. Of course, it might be a famous person from years ago, but they still need to know the character they become for the movie. Take a character in your story and be that character for a few days. You can reverse roles from male to female. Observe all the people you meet until you feel comfortable with the people who might portray your characters. Study their movements, their facial expressions, their mannerisms, the way they handle different situations, and see if they fit your character or characters.

Make certain you look at all the people you see. No, really look, and be that person for a day. You will see so many sides of a person in such a short time. If you can’t remember everything, take a few notes, and then hit your computer for YOUR story. As you begin, you will find your creative side ready to tackle your characters.

This is what writing is all about–CREATING. Have fun with your characters and your story will begin to come alive on the page. And, if you have a hard time stopping, just do what your characters want.

HAVE FUN.  CREATE.  HAPPY WRITING.,

I REMEMBER WHEN

images_271This is the season of holiday music, bright lights, and bottled memories. I do not know why the Holiday Season brings out recollections of great times of the past, but it does. We are in a more festive mood, a few days off from work, and watch crowds of people running in and out of stores. Advertisements for “THE” holiday dinner and preparations made for a whole generation or maybe just a few.

Of course, we hear the tinkle of bells and see the big kettle waiting for a few spare coins to share with the unlucky people and children. Coat drives collect warm clothing for the unprepared, and Toys for Tots give children a gift they never suspected. This is the season for sharing and includes memories.

This takes me back to Florida and my bottled memories. I remember when we picked out our TREE early to get a good one, and then had to keep it outside until the last-minute for decorating or all the needles would be on the floor. Sometimes, we even strung lights on the wall behind the tree as it could be a fire danger. But one thing I remember with a big smile, were the ‘bubble lights.’ I even found them again for my own tree to share the joy with my son.

I remember going to services at our church on Christmas Eve, a tradition not to be ignored. Playing a part in the story or singing, I waved at my parents. Then the same thing happened when my son had parts to play and I received the wave. Today, I prefer the early service with the kids in sheep costumes and the ‘baahing,’ the Wise men stumbling over their long outfits and songs sung by children of all ages. And yes, the kids still wave without embarrassment to their parents and friends.

As a child, there were grandparents, parents, friends to share the festivities. Then, when I had a child of my own, we spent the ‘night before’ at my parents so we could be home and wait for the big man in the red suit. No chimney, but the back door was left unlocked, just in case.

I remember water-skiing on a lake by our house on Christmas Day. Why? No snow in Florida. I remember when we ate the Big Dinner, on the porch as it was to hot in the house to enjoy all the trimmings.

This is YOUR time to let the memories from your bottled jar out and have your own ‘I Remember When.’ How about a short story or the plot for a new novel on some of these memories for your characters? Excitement occurs when you least expect it, and who knows, love is just around the corner for the character who never thought it could happen.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS. HAPPY WRITING.