From the Inside of a Storm

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Seascape with Storm Coming on, J. M. W. Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a dark and stormy day, the light softly tinged green. The kind of day that has a phone pinging with weather warnings.

Flash flood, if you’re curious.

The traffic shushes wetly along, a constant hush of white noise, and every now and then the sky rumbles grumpily, punctuating with a flash of stark white light.

I know how it feels.

It’s the kind of day to sit hunkered down over the computer, the romanticism of writing merging with reality for one of those rare, rare moments. It’s the kind of day where a second cup of coffee isn’t a thought but an action, one that happens almost as though through sheer will of the cup.

It’s the kind of day for imagination, for cozy daytime darkness, for conjuring worlds far more colorful than the soggy gray one outside my window.

It’s the kind of day to vanish inside and let the the outside go just for now.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

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Close only counts in horseshoes and epiphanies

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Caspar David Friedrich [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Leaning against my refrigerator door, my feet finding the remaining sticky spot on the floor I missed when my plastic bowl of cut melon decided to shuffle off this mortal fridge coil, I had an epiphany.

Well, that’s not entirely true.

I wanted to have an epiphany. It felt like a good moment for an epiphany, the fibers of my sock scruffing like velcro as moved away. But I don’t lie to you, hypothetical reader, so I admit my only real thoughts were this post and cleaning the floor.

Obviously.

But it was one of those moments, I’m sure you know the kind. when it feels like there’s something dangling just beyond your mental fingertips, something so close but not quite here yet. I cannot pick out the shapes in the mist, but the wind has shifted.

The wind has shifted.

And the sun will burn off the rest.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

#AtoZChallenge: New

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By AE Brehm [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, I noticed spring. There was nothing, but now scarlet tulips sit tight and upright on their emerald stems; lacy hyacinths wave in the strong spring wind; daffodils all smile at the same point in the distance. The grass isn’t brown. There aren’t leaves, not yet, but branches are dotted with the promise of leaves.

Spring.

Some of the flowering trees have started, and the air itself has changed. It’s new.

There’s a reason spring cleaning is a thing. Nature seems to do it itself, pushing away the dead and dried to make way for the green. Rain scrubs the skies. It washes away the things left behind.

There is no tribute to new quite like spring. Winter has come and gone, and with it its cold and stillness. It isn’t still now.

It’s spring. And the world is new.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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#AtoZChallenge: Keeper or keeperless

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By Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Canon 20D + Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Another letter, another inspiration lull (hmm, lull. Note L word for tomorrow), so I decided to go with a hint from the universe and get a random word.

Didn’t exactly work at first.

I got a list of words starting with K I wasn’t sure were words, including Kwakiutl, which, I learned, were a Canadian native American group found in British Colombia. Now we’ve both learned something.

Finally, after several clicks of “generate,” the word “keeperless” (my spellcheck disputes its wordiness) appeared. Keeperless. Curious.

But not fully inspiring. I turned to my trusty thesaurus, with its torn cover and yellowed, curled pages, found K, and closed my eyes.

Justice.

K started on the J page. Aiming a little lower, I pointed. And hit.

Keeper.

Curiouser. Keeper and keeperless. There is a poetry to it, a yin and yang, keeper and keeperless, A balance of words, perhaps only out of chance, perhaps out of something more and mysterious.

Keeper and keeperless.

 

 

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

#AtoZChallenge: Glue

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By Rob Hooft (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Want to glue your eyes to a page?  Aunty Ida is only $0.99 for a limited time! It’s almost over, grab your copy now!

I bought glue from the dollar store once, and it didn’t stick to anything. It didn’t make anything stick together. If you stuck your finger in it–which I did with a recent project–it felt slippery.

Slippery glue.

I have no idea what was really in that bottle. It was white, like the school-project favorite, Elmer’s, but it certainly didn’t didn’t have its glueyness. Anything you applied it to curled up, defiant, uninterested in being attached.

“Things fall apart,” as Yeats wrote.

Things Fall Apart, as Chinua Achebe echoed in the title of his brilliant book about post-colonial Nigeria.

“Things fall apart,” say I, about dollar store glue. But not only dollar store glue.

The center cannot hold.

 

 

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

 Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) ($0.99 for a short time)  and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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Beyond Our Given Universe

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IMG_0856So here we are, already well into August, the year 2016 a roaring train steaming past all the stops. Each day is a day, the normal length, but they slip and slide over one another until there is a pile and we’re eight months in.

There is an alternate reality out there, one where Chicago got the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and right now, in that other world, my neighborhood is loud and packed and the lakefront is inaccessible. The roads are choked with traffic trying to avoid streets closed for events, and helicopters drone overhead.

In that other world.

But here in this one, it’s another lovely Chicago summer, the crowds pulled by the tides of the baseball and festival schedules. The shore of Lake Michigan is as open and gleaming as ever, and I sit here with my thoughts of the possible universes beyond the one we know.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

Chicago Summer Back Again

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IMG_7980So here we are, nearly at the end of June, and time has gotten slippery. The days themselves don’t seem to speed by, but they pile up on (upon?!) one another, careless paper, fluttering away.

Without much of a thought, I’ve gone from heavy coats and hats and boots to reminding myself I don’t need to grab a jacket as I head out the door.

It’s summer.

Real ice-cream-eating, long, languid days of daylight-giving, sweat-inducing summer. Welcome back.

I’ve never really thought about how the change of seasons might influence my writing. Perhaps how I write; dark winter days with a mug of something hot sounds like romantic writing at its finest. And maybe bright summer days should be spent out in the world, away from a keyboard, doing, experiencing.

Maybe.

In Chicago, we earn our summers through slushy wet sidewalks and sharp, needling snowflakes. Through slidey roads and a wind that drives half of your molecules from your body and into the cold beyond.

But our summers melt all of that away, under broad blue skies and a lake made of shifting blue. The humidity can settle down, heavily, and yet people smile.

After all, it’s summer.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!