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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Wordy Wednesday - Teen Turmoil

It's Wordy Wednesday time at Blog-a-Rhythm! Woohooo!



Once again, I am motivated to produce, knowing that deadlines come even faster based on time zones in India and that the Linky will be locked in no time!

I thought I'd better get in gear and do Wordy Wednesday, especially since it's my prompt this week. 

I had fun writing this, remembering the turbulent teen years where you could be an emotional wreck one moment and in a state of bliss the next. Emotions were so heightened and raw and you felt like the whole world was scrutinizing you, looking at every flaw, which they weren't of course. You often felt insecure about friendships, worried about being slighted or cast aside for someone more interesting. I constantly fluctuated between admiration and jealousy towards my best friend who was so much more outgoing than me and more popular with the boys. I was so shy I didn't even have a boyfriend as a teenager.

As a teen, everything was such a huge deal and a major crisis from what clothes you wore, to how you wore your hair, to that zit on your chin. Honestly! I think back now on how silly I was and the stupid things I worried about.

If only I could go back now and tell my teen self to relax and enjoy myself more instead of fretting over every little thing, blowing it all out of proportion.

This week's Wordy Wednesday prompt was the phrase:

I would never forgive her for what she'd done.


I would never forgive her for what she’d done. My friend Stacey had a lot of nerve sneaking off with my boyfriend, Tim at my birthday party. They’d been gone for ages.
I pictured them in a dark corner kissing and laughing about how gullible I was.  How could I be so stupid? I should have seen the signs.  I didn’t even want to look at my phone. They had probably posted about their new relationship and plastered Facebook with tons of selfies by now. I hated them both.

How I wished I could hide in my bedroom and forget all about this horrible day. Even in this noisy, crowded room, I felt completely alone. Angry tears welled up in my eyes. This was the worst birthday party ever.

Sometime later, Tim and Stacey appeared. They each carried one side of a huge decorated birthday cake with “Happy Birthday, Kayla!” written on it. Sixteen flickering candles threatened to set off the smoke alarm.

Everyone started to sing Happy Birthday as they placed the cake on the table.
“Happy Birthday, Kayla!” Tim said, putting his arm around me. He kissed my cheek and handed me a colourful gift bag.

I gazed at the beautiful cake in amazement.  Taking a deep breath, I blew out the candles and everyone cheered.

“Thanks, guys,” I said, wiping away happy tears. I smiled at Tim and Stacey.

This was the best birthday party ever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Stinker of a Story





Everyone loves to get praise and hear that they are wonderful. Who doesn’t love that? Especially we writers who spend many a lonely hour hunched in front of our computers or over our pads of paper as we toil away trying to get our ideas just right.  It gives us a boost and makes us feel good.

I wrote a stinker of a story lately. Yes, folks it does happen to me occasionally. I know it’s hard to believe. EHEM…face reddens and whistles while looking other direction…

Now where was I?

My online critique partners were honest with me and told me that my latest creation was contrived, clichéd with cardboard characters and the plot was silly and  implausible.

OUCH! Nothing sugar-coated about that. No one likes to get criticism and most of us try to avoid it at all costs. But sometimes you have to hear it in order to improve.

I found it hard to take at first but now I can see they were right. I write so much better than that if I put my mind to it. That piece was written too quickly, without much thought put into it and it stunk worse than my cats’ litterbox.

Isn’t it worth it to work hard at creating a story with depth, rather than a piece of empty meaningless fluff? I think so.

After receiving my critique, I pouted for a few minutes. I debated giving up the whole writing habit forever but decided against it since I still love it, struggles, rejection, story stinkers and all. So I licked my wounds, and spent a sleepless night dreaming up a new story with real sounding characters. 

The following day, I wrote another story. My critique partner, Jocelyn said it’s much better and more up to my usual standards. Of course it still needs revision, but at least it’s revision-worthy and not garbage like the other story.

Silly fluff flows from my fingers
Like a stench that wafts and lingers,
Stereotypes, clichés galore
This story is a total bore,

A useless plot without much appeal
Cardboard characters who don’t seem real,
Dull and boring, the story falls flat
Even revision can’t help with that,

When a story stinks, the best thing to do
Is ditch the story and start something new!

Monday, August 3, 2015

#Monday Musings - The March of the Seasons has begun!


There is a delicate hint of fall in the air with the shorter days and a coolness to the mornings. From my window, I can see that the bird activity has changed these past few weeks. All the baby birds have gone which makes me sad as I miss watching their funny antics, especially the baby cardinals who were hilarious. They grow up way too fast. Sigh.

The berries are gone on the honeysuckle bush so there are no more gorgeous cedar waxwings. I miss seeing them. The hubs says he will plant more bushes for me next year. I'd love to have a whole yard full of cedar waxwings as I think they are one of the most beautiful birds I've ever seen. Thank goodness for my photos to freeze these special moments in time. 

I was entranced to see this handsome young purple finch at the feeder yesterday. As you can see, he is starting to change colour from his brown speckles to his brilliant red plumage. What a beauty he is! Soon he will be migrating south so I am grateful to have captured some photos of him before he goes.

I’ve been back from my vacation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for a week now and am still trying to establish my routine with what little routine I have. At least fall is coming and that always helps give me more structure. For a person like me who has so many interests, I often feel scattered and jump around from project to project.

I like fall with that “Back to school” feeling of starting something new and the surge of activity after a lazy unstructured summer. I look forward to the cooler days and leaves changing colour. Too bad that winter has to follow.

For those in the northern hemisphere, I hope you can get outside to enjoy our last few weeks of summer. As my dad always says, "It's a longggggggg winter!"

The days grow short with a hint of fall
Summer doesn’t last very long at all,
This season will soon disappear
Gone again for another year,

Opening a book to a brand new page,
Fall will soon take centre stage,
The march of the seasons has begun
Enjoy what’s left of summer fun!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

#Cherished Objects Blogfest

I signed up for the Cherished Blogfest Challenge a while back, forgetting that I’d be on vacation at my parents’ place. It’s a bit more challenging to blog while on vacation with all the routine gone, but it can be done.

Looking at the huge stack of photo books I’ve made of our visits over the years gave me an idea to use them as my cherished objects. I believe it’s important to preserve the memories by getting the photos off the camera and computer. By creating these books, people can look at them and cherish the memories for years to come.


Open a photo book and disappear
To another time, another year,
Memories come spilling out
So much that I’d forgotten about,

We’re older now and the boys have grown
It’s amazing how the time has flown,
I cherish the books more than silver or gold
I will cherish them as much when I grow old.

I am participating in the three day #Cherished Blogfest.




Monday, July 13, 2015

#MondayMusings #MicroblogMondays - Ten Question Tag - Some Quiz Fun

These quizzes are always good for a chuckle or a grimace, depending on if you like them or not.

I enjoy reading other peoples' answers and learning a bit more about them and of course I enjoy doing them for that narcissistic high I get talking about myself. Hehehe! Just kiddin! 


I like quizzes. Didn't you ever do all those silly quizzes in Tiger Beat and Seventeen when you were a teen? I know I did, even if they were completely silly which they usually were. I occasionally do some on Facebook but some are really silly so I try to limit myself since I waste enough time on Facebook as it is.


Feel free to read or not. If you want to do your own quiz, feel free to do that, too.




Photo Credit to MIPhoto at Morguefile.com. I do have a photo of my orange tabby Kobie draped across my computer from a while ago. I didn't want to spend a lot of time searching for it since all my old photos are in backup files on my other computer which is a pain in the butt. 

This one is very cute!

Drum roll..... Let the quizzie thingie begin.....



FOUR THINGS OTHERS CALL ME OTHER THAN MY NAME
Cat, Cath, Dear, Mom

FOUR JOBS I’VE HAD

* Desktop publisher (kind of a glorified clerk who knows typography and graphic junk), 
* envelope stuffer in the bowels of Place Ville Marie in Montreal, 
* military musician in the air Reserve, 
* opaquer (Painter) of cartoon cells for animated cartoons. (the place went bankrupt and we all got laid off, but I met the hubs there so I did okay)

FOUR MOVIES I HAVE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE
* Jane Eyre (BBC 2006 version with Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester. Drools. I'm overdue for a fix when the hubs isn't around as he hates those melodramatic type shows)
* Sound of Music
* Oliver
* Les Miserables

FOUR PLACES I HAVE LIVED
* Gjoa Haven, Nunavut (a tiny town on King William Island in the Arctic Ocean. Talk about remote!!)
* Colorado Springs, Colorado
* Montreal, Quebec
* Portage la Prairie, Manitoba

FOUR PLACES I’VE BEEN
* Devon (A gorgeous part of England on the ocean)
* Rome (So vibrant and full of history)
* New York City (So exciting and too much to see but that’s okay. Gives you a reason to go back!)
* Salzburg, Austria (Saw all the Sound of Music landmarks. What can I say? I love that movie!)

FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE
* Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (My parents are there and I love being by the ocean and the Bras D’Or Lake. So unspoiled and time stands still there.)
* New Zealand (my friend Lee sure makes it look like paradise where she lives)
* Australia – hope to go there some day and meet some friends. Seems so different and yet so similar to Canada.
* British Columbia – haven’t been back in years since going to the School of Music in Esquimalt. So beautiful there. Maybe I’ll go visit Elly some day.

FOUR THINGS I WILL NOT EAT
* Liver
* Brussel Sprouts
* Don’t like raw onions but they’re okay cooked
* Anything deep fried

FOUR FAVORITE FOODS
* Coffee
* Chocolate
* Chicken
* Cheese

FOUR TV SHOWS I WATCH
Don’t really watch TV since we gave up our satellite dish and now I mostly watch movies. I don’t miss it. Too many dumb reality shows for my liking. I did watch season 1 of “When Calls the Heart” on Netflix. Talk about sweet and sappy overload. I liked it for the most part but it was awfully sweet. You can tell it’s done by Michael Landon Jr keeping on the tradition of his dad who did “Little House on the Prairie” back in the 1970s which I also watched since I loved those books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Wish they had made When Calls the Heart it a bit more Canadian feeling since it was supposedly in a mining town in Alberta based on a book by author Janet Oke. Oh well. Beats the heck out of all the gritty realism of Dexter or the inane stupidity of Trailer Park Boys, two shows my sons have watched. BLEK!


FOUR THINGS I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR

* A trip to Cape Breton to see my parents and be by the Atlantic Ocean
* A trip to Nashville in the States to meet critique partners. Hope that works out.
* I hope to make money doing creative things online such as my photography and artwork. It still eludes me so far as I don’t know the secret to good marketing techniques. Good thing I’m enjoying the process and I like learning new things. I haven’t given up yet.
* Playing flute and singing with my different musical groups for seniors’ residences and other events. It doesn’t pay much either but I enjoy it and it reaps other rewards. Some things are much more valuable than money.






Saturday, July 11, 2015

I have a Guardian Angel

I'm connecting this blog post into the 3 Day Quote challenge I'm doing. I found this quote by Roma Downey who played that angel on the show "Touched by an Angel" back in the 1990's.
Do you believe in guardian angels? I like to think we have them. Often there have been times when I was in trouble and someone would come help me just at the right moment. 

Or I would be just about to have a terrible accident and it wouldn't be that bad such as what I describe below.
Here is my poem about having a guardian angel, based on my experience a few weeks ago where I attempted to take a photo of my shadow on the farmers' field while I was riding a bike. 
I did manage to get this photo as I went hurtling into the deep ditch. I don't recommend trying it though! 
I was lucky and my guardian angel was there to save me as I could have been badly injured. The camera and bike could have been damaged, too, but luckily we all escaped unscathed. 

Pretty darn lucky, or was it my Guardian Angel stepping in to assist me? I'll never know for sure but I was pretty grateful to only get one bruise.

I have a guardian angel who is always there
I can feel her presence everywhere,
I only have to give her a shout
She’s always ready to help me out,

I was riding my bike the other night
Taking photos in the golden light,
I saw my shadow stretch and expand
I took a photo using only one hand,

I then encountered a bit of a glitch
I went tumbling into a very deep ditch,
I braced myself for horrendous pain
Thinking that I must be insane,

Instead of landing on my head
I landed on a soft green bed,
I didn’t even shed a single tear
One big bruise was my souvenir,

The camera and bike were also fine
I must have had help from my angel divine,
Thanks, Guardian Angel, you saved my skin
Without you, what a mess I’d be in!


NOTE:

Chicky Kadambari tagged me for  the 3 day quote challenge. Thanks for tagging me, Chicky. Quotes are such an integral part of how I live that it’s only natural for me to blog about them.

Many of my fellow bloggers have already been tagged so I leave it open to readers to take on the challenge if they would like to do it. No pressure!

Here are the rules for anyone who would like to try.

1.   Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.

2.   Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.

3.   Thank the blogger, who nominated you.



Friday, July 10, 2015

I love quotes!

I have been tagged by Chicky Kadambari to take part in the 3 day Quote a Day challenge. 

This seemed a natural challenge for me since I am a quote nut anyhow and love positive and uplifting quotes to start my day. After all, our attitude dictates our day so why not try our best to start off with a positive mindset?

I even joined a Facebook group about quote bombing as I was intrigued by the idea. People print out quotes, cut them apart and leave them around or give them out to people in the course of their day. Sounds kind of fun. I might try it.

I subscribe to quite a few quote sites. One of my favourites is Jonathan Lockwood Huie’s site http://www.jlhuie.com/

He never fails to inspire and his quotes always get my day off to a good start.

Here is one of his quotes for today made into an inspirational poster out of one of my cloud photos.

I love making inspirational quote posters as they take the quote one step further and have that much more of an impact.


How lucky we are when we can have the company of people who really get what we’re about. They don’t judge us or try to fix us, but encourage us in our dreams and aspirations. To have friends like that is a true blessing. 

NOTE:

Chicky Kadambari tagged me for  the 3 day quote challenge. Thanks for tagging me, Chicky. Quotes are such an integral part of how I live that it’s only natural for me to blog about them.

Many of my fellow bloggers have already been tagged so I leave it open to readers to take on the challenge if they would like to do it. No pressure!

Here are the rules for anyone who would like to try.

1.   Post one of your favorite quotes (different quote on each day) on three consecutive days. The quote can be from your favorite book, author, or your own.
2.   Nominate 3 bloggers to challenge them.

3.   Thank the blogger, who nominated you.