He’s Back!!! And So Am I–Monday Meanderings

I’ve been almost AWOL in my blogging world for the past six-seven weeks, and now I will share with you one big reason: my husband has been away–in the desert–overseeing and working on a major remodel–primarily of the kitchen. If you ever wonder what your spouses or partners do all day, send them on an extended vacation. It’s been busy.

While he’s been away, I worked on the final edit of the novel I finished several years ago, The Sin of His Father, and am expecting the proof to arrive on Tuesday. I haven’t decided whether to launch it before the holidays or to wait for the New Year. I have a few things happening in November, including surgery on my elbow which may impair my ability to engage.

Cover Photo: Birgit Lerhner Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

Cover Photo: Birgit Lehner
Cover Design: Victoria Slotto

I’ve also launched another blog–“Be Still and Know That I Am God”–spirituality with a Christian twist. I hope you will stop by for a visit.

Have a happy, creative and productive week. I’m off to pop the cork on a bottle of champagne to celebrate David’s return!

Check out my website for a preview of “The Sin of His Father,” Chapter One. WHEN YOU GET TO THE PAGE, YOU WILL NEED TO SCROLL DOWN.  Thank you.

Loss–a Pleiades for dVerse Meeting the Bar

 

leaves

Loss

Leaves cover earth’s body,
languish on her chilled skin.
Lashed by October winds
Lonely branches reach up
longing to touch a star.
Lavish foliage falls,
listlessly surrenders.

dVerse Meeting the Bar‘s prompt, offered by Vandana Sharma, asks us to write a Pleiades–a form that calls for seven lines of six syllables, each line beginning with the same first letter as the one-word title. Reference to the cosmos is encouraged.

I would like to invite you to visit my new blog, And Know That I Am, which deals with spirituality with a Christian focus.

Monday Meanderings–Fall Futility

ash

I’ve spent a good part of the day raking leaves that have fallen from our Ash tree. As I worked, a breeze continued to out-smart me, reminding me that sometimes our best efforts seem to fall short. And yet, if I hadn’t raked, what would it be like tomorrow?

Every effort we make moves us toward achieving a goal. Sometimes it seems tedious, futile. It would be so much easier to sit back and let the leaves fall where they will. Or wait for someone else to do the work…and be able to claim the success of completion.

This is true in so many aspects of our lives, including writing. How many pages have you written only to toss them out or delete them? How much drivel, purple prose? How many cliche-ridden pieces of garbage? But without putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard where would we be? Every now and again out of that garbage heap, something of brilliance arises. Like those leaves, poor writing can become mulch that serves to nourish next season’s yield.

As I raked, I couldn’t but reflect on the nature of my perfectionism. If I’d tried to make it perfect, I would be crazier than I am. Same with writing, don’t you think? At some point I find it necessary to say, “Okay. That’s enough for now.”

There are still tons of leaves on the Ash. And, between the front and back yard, eight more trees that haven’t even the process of letting go. There are still plenty of words waiting to be played with and committed to sentences, paragraphs, prose or poetry. So, let’s keep on raking, writing.

Have a happy week.

For the Love of Reading—Monday Meanderings

 

Photo: V.

Photo: V.

Because my mother became a war widow when I was just an infant, we spent the first seven years of my life in the home of my grandparents. My grandmother had congestive heart failure and was unable to do a lot, so my mother assumed responsibility for household chores. This symbiotic relationship had a profound effect on my development, as my sedentary grandmother played a critical role in the five years before she died.

bambi

I recall that early mornings, most every day, I would drag a pile of Little Golden Books into her bedroom. There, still in bed, she read to me for hours at a time. She spoke to me using adult vocabulary. I fell in love with words before I could read them, and when it came time to learn to read, it came so easily.

One little vignette I will never forget. I suspect it was in the months or even weeks before her death. Her patience had waned along with her strength. I was playing with a toy plastic Brownie camera as she read Lewis Carroll’s fantasy to me. She asked me to cease and desist…several times. I didn’t and she (apparently very calmly) took the camera from me and hurled the length of the living room where we were sitting, I on her lap. To this day I dislike the classic “Alice in Wonderland.”

alice

That being recounted, I have, over the years, continued to develop my love of reading and have, at any given time, several books of various genres on my current reading list. It’s not a leap, and writers know well, that reading nurtures those of us who write and helps to develop imagination in children and adults.

I worry that so many things are supplanting reading. Back in the 1940’s and 50’s when I was a child, there was no virtual reality and, until I was 5, no television. Life was simple and nurtured simple things. Okay. I confess. I’m sounding my age. The point I want to make, the question I ask—what are we doing to promote reading among children and adults?

read

An addendum/disclaimer: it’s good to see so many YA books appearing on the various best-seller lists.

Just for the fun of it—what do you like to read? What are you reading now?

Signz ‘n the Hood–Weekly Photo Challenge

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is asking for “Signs.” Whether straightforward or implied, our lives are informed by signs. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, leaves beginning to change remind us of the approach of cold weather.

I would love to drive the seedier neighborhoods of Reno and capture some of the more outrageous ones that give Reno an mostly undeserved reputation, and perhaps later in the week I make be able to carve out a few minutes to do just that. In the meantime, I’m using my currently time-crunched walk, dogs in tow, to share some signs right here in my own neighborhood.

Welcome to the 'hood. Wildlife rules here.

Welcome to the ‘hood.
Wildlife rules here.

A block from home there is an access to the Truckee River allowing bikers to follow it to Pyramid Lake. This is where the water from Lake Tahoe travels...when we're not in severe drought.

A block from home there is an access to the Truckee River allowing bikers to follow it to Pyramid Lake. This is where the water from Lake Tahoe travels…when we’re not in severe drought.

Crews are repairing the riverwalk.

Crews are repairing the riverwalk.

One of 2 accesses to the river walk that they are improving.

One of 2 accesses to the river walk that they are improving.

Poor neighbors--the kids keep stealing their tomatoes.

Poor neighbors–the kids keep stealing their tomatoes.

Please...be responsible.

Please…be responsible.

The blight of election season. Somebody didn't like Wilson.

The blight of election season. Somebody didn’t like Wilson.

(All photos–Victoria C. Slotto)