Apr 22, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Eight

For anyone who's new, you can catch the previous weeks here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
Week 5, Week 6, Week 7,

I was in a doodling mood on the weekend, so I managed to wreck a couple more pages of my journal.

The first page I was instructed to Use This As a Test Page for Pens, Paints, Markers, Or Art Supplies. While I do have a large stash of art supplies, I chose to use it instead as a test page for the pens and markers on and in my desk.



I have quite the assortment, don't I? What can I say, I like coloured pens! And markers. :-D

The other page I did told me to Trace the Things in Your Bag (or Pockets). Let the lines overlap. To make it easier to see I used a different colour for each item.



Then I got the bright idea to number them objects. As you can see, there are 12 of them. I challenge you to try and figure out what these items are. You can leave your guesses in the comments, or if you're shy you can email them to me at carolrward(at)gmail(dot)com. You can also request a better copy of the picture to make it easier for guessing.

If I get enough people guessing, I'm even willing to cough up a prize for the person who gets the most right. :-D

Join me here next week to see how I've wrecked my journal. And I'll include the list of objects from my purse.

Apr 20, 2015

Medianic Monday

medianic ~ of, like or pertaining to spiritualists, mediums or prophets

Spring is just bursting out all over these days. Not in my gardens, of course, mine get too much shade for early blooming and I don't have any bulbs. But the crocuses are coming up in my daughter's garden, and I see little snow drops and other spring flowers in the neighbours yards.

But I have something far more interesting blooming in my garden:



Daphne has made a nest under my butterfly bush.

On the one hand, she's got such great camouflage it seems kind of perfect. Once the bush gets some leaves on it you'll never know she's there. But on the other hand, this is my front garden, right up against the house. Is this bird crazy, or what?

I don't know what time she arrives, but it must be some time during the night because she's there early in the morning. And she stays until almost noon, sometimes later. Meanwhile, we have a lone drake who camps out in the pool and I have to wonder if he's waiting for her to make an appearance, which she usually does in the early afternoon.

It was a glorious weekend, weather-wise. Saturday was so nice out we actually had the deck door open for most of the day. What a novelty, to have fresh air in the house! It almost makes up for the fact it's supposed to rain all week. But April showers bring May flowers, right?

Speaking of flowers . . .

If you saw my Wednesday post, then you know the story of my orchid. The buds are still opening and I have two blossoms now:



It's been a long time since my orchid has bloomed, I was ready to give up hope. But as I said on Wednesday, it really likes the kitchen window sill. You can't see it, but there's a miniature orchid sitting next to it and I'm hoping it's going to learn by example and grow a bloom stalk too.

And while we're on the subject of growing . . . my little Ellie-beans is three months old now and growing like a weed. She loves it when you talk to her, and apparently she thought what Grammie had to say was pretty funny:



Now who can argue with a face like that? :-D

Apr 16, 2015

Still Celebrating Poetry Month


When it comes to writing, I'm a pantser all the way. That is to say, I don't do a lot of planning ahead of time, I just sit down and start writing. But when it comes to poetry, I'm pretty much the opposite - I prefer the structure of forms.

As frustrating as it can be to work within a frame-work of syllable counts and rhymes, there's something comforting about it as well. I've explored over a hundred different poetry forms and while some of the poems produced weren't my best, it was still an interesting experience.

However, the one form I cannot seem to master is the Free Verse. This is the form that has no form - no syllable counts, no rhyme scheme . . . and it just feels wrong to me somehow. I have a confession to make. I just don't get free verse. I didn't understand it in high school, I don't understand it now. It just seems so . . . undisciplined!

That being said, I do try my hand at it from time to time. And one of those times presented itself when I had to create a poem for a young adult story I was working on. It's a romance between a football jock and a nerdy girl, and early in the story he went to one of her poetry readings. So naturally I had to create a poem for her to read, and here it is:


Judgement

You do not know me
and yet you judge me
you form your opinion
without knowing the facts.

I'm the woman in the corner
sipping her latte
wearing long sleeves
to hide her shattered dreams.

I'm the man whose hand trembles
ever so slightly
as he reaches for his coffee
wishing it was something else.

I'm the life of the party
everyone's darling
hiding the emptiness
behind a cheerful facade.

I'm the girl in the corner
alone with her book
the words her armour
keeping the world at bay.

I'm the fat girl in high school
I'm the boy with the acne
I'm the man with the ragged coat
I'm the woman with scars.

I'm the blind man with the tin cup
I'm the woman sleeping in the alley
I'm the kid on the skateboard
I'm man playing sax in the subway.

I speak and my words fly away
you listen, but you do not hear.
You do not know me
yet you judge me
still.

Apr 15, 2015

Wednesday Fail

Okay. So I didn't exactly forget my Wreck This Journal post, I just didn't have a chance to do any wrecking last week. But I don't want you to leave empty handed, so I took a couple of pictures for you of other things. :-)

First we have an orchid in bud:



This was very exciting for me. I love orchids. A long time ago, when I worked in a grocery store, I used to admire the orchids in the plant department, but since I was only getting minimum wage, I couldn't afford one. However, I made friends with the plant lady and she had two orchids that were on death's door that she sold me for $5.

I took these orchids home and nursed them back to health, and lo and behold, against everyone's expectations, they bloomed. Granted they'd only get two or three blossoms on their bloom stalks, but the blooms would last for weeks.

I also had an orchid I'd started from a seedling that took seven years to bloom, but boy was it worth the wait. The blossom was huge.

Now we fast forward to a couple of years ago when we had an extremely hot summer and I learned the hard way that orchids do not like air conditioning. The orchid I'd started from scratch was a few yards away from the air conditioner, but in the direct line of cold air. And the two I'd nursed back to health were on a table beside the air conditioner.

I thought I'd lost them all, but I was able to nurse one of my two from the grocery store back to health. During the winter I put it on the kitchen window ledge so it'd have lots of sunlight, and it seemed much happier. Then one day I noticed it was getting a bloom stalk. I kept turning it to keep it from touching the cold window until the stalk was long enough that I could gently twist tie it to a stick in the pot.

Today my vigilance was rewarded when I saw this:



I can't help wonder how many of those buds I can get to bloom. :-)

And now for something completely different . . .

Remember I was telling you the ducks were back? Yesterday I could see water splashing up from the pool and went to see what was going on. I remember how much fun Daphne used to have taking a bath in the pool. Well, Daphne wasn't having much fun. She had two male ducks after her and they seemed to be trying to drown her - they kept shoving her head under the water. So I went out an yelled at them, and they took their argument onto dry land where they chased her into the neighbor's yard.

Then this morning, when I was leaving for the gym, I heard a rustling in the front garden. I just figured it was the wind. But when I came home I noticed this:



You might need to click on it for a better view, but it looks like Daphne found the perfect place to hide.

I'd say spring has well and truly sprung, wouldn't you? ;-)

Apr 13, 2015

Macrotous Monday

macrotous ~ big-eared

Thanks to some serious rain we had last week, the snow is finally gone. At least from our yard it is. The house behind us still has some snow showing in the grove of trees in their side yard, but not a great deal of it. But while our days are warming up, the nights are still cool enough that there's a skim of ice on the pool in the mornings. This is not making our feathered friends very happy.

Yes, that's right, our little ducky friends are back.

Daphne and Donald checked out the pool early last week, but it was still mostly frozen. So by the time the water on the tarp had thawed enough they could be swimming in it, they kind of disappeared. But they were back on Saturday. The only spent a little while in the pool, then they relocated to the pond garden in the back of the yard where they hunkered down for the day.

I didn't get a picture of them, but I did get a picture of this guy yesterday:



Isn't he pretty? He was a little skittish though and jumped up on the side of the pool as soon as he heard the sliding door open. Then a little while later he was joined by another male but neither of them wanted their picture taken. I'm sure it would have been a different story if I'd had any bread crusts for them. ;-)

I was actually surprised to see him. I heard him this morning, but when I looked out there was a film of ice over the pool and he was standing on the edge. Normally once the ducks have visited in the morning they rarely come back during the day. Of course this might have been a totally different duck, it's not like I've tagged them.

I've been trying to spend more time working in my office lately, and I've had some company:



As you know, my cats are weirdoes. Most of them will sleep in a specific spot, and only that spot, for a few weeks or months and then find a new spot. The exception is Romi - he has a cave in the workroom and he's been sleeping in that during the day for years.

Taz and Julius had been sleeping on our bed for the last few months, but only after we've both vacated it in the morning. As soon as they hear the curtains open, they're there. But Taz got tired of waiting for the bed to be free, so he started sleeping in the nook instead.

But wherever else you find them during the day you'll still find them sprawled all over the carpet in the dining room when the sun is shining. 'Cause that's just the way my cats roll. ;-)

Apr 9, 2015

Happy Poetry Month



You know, I used to write a lot of poetry. A LOT. And I was really into forms - I even had a whole blog devoted to them at one time. But the thing with me and poetry is, it's never consistent. It comes and goes. For the last year or so I've been in a dry spell and haven't been writing any poetry, so I'm having to dig deep into the archives to find something to share.

For this week's tribute to National Poetry Month, I chose a fun form. It's called the Flarf.

What makes a Flarf both fun and easy is the fact you take your raw material from the internet, specifically a Google search. Simply use two unrelated terms, like "anarchy + tuna melt" or "beautiful + corpse" and piece together your poem by cutting and pasting from the search results page.

You can also write a Flarf based on your Twitter or Facebook feeds, but I chose the more traditional Google search. The terms I used were "kitten + apocalypse".


Kitten Apocalypse

The world will end by kittens
and I want to explain how this will happen
in a lot of depth but
I have not made the video!

Mass resurrection
brings all dead party
and raid members back to life.
Beware.. The kittens have gone crazy!
To me, they are truly evil.

Do you see kittens staring at you?
Do they look sinister/evil!?
Avoid the radioactive zombie kittens
in a post apocalyptic nightmare!
Zombies, don't mess with angry kittens!

Kittens are the new ninjas.
Check out this vicious cat killing spree!
Meet Hiromi, the shy artist;
her cat Vince, who has a secret;
her best friend Kitty with all the visions

It's the kitten apocalypse! ...
Animated zombie kittens!
Zombie kittens are attacking!
Why the hell are you still reading?

Apocalypse warning,
kittens involved.
If you see these,
you're probably screwed.

No one suspected
the zombie apocalypse
would look so cute.



Would you survive the Kitten Apocalypse? Take the test and find out.

Would you survive the kitten apocolypse? -- Make and Take a Fun Test @ NerdTests.com's User Tests!
My Result: Yea!
-= click to take @ NerdTests.com =-



Apr 8, 2015

Wreck This Journal - Week Seven

For anyone who's new, you can catch the previous weeks here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4
Week 5, Week 6,

It's been a while since I've done any journal wrecking, and I only managed two pages, but they were fun pages. :-D

The first page was divided into strips with instructions to make a paper chain. On the other side of the page is the one I'm collecting fruit stickers on, and since I didn't want to ruin my collection I opted to use other paper for my paper chain and just stick it on the page.





The other page I chose simply said: .drawkcab etirW or Write backward. And you know me, I couldn't just do a couple of sentences, I did a whole story. And while I'll be the first to admit it was kind of fun, it was also incredibly time consuming. And I couldn't believe I fit the entire story on the two pages.



I apologize for the poor quality of the picture. I had a really good one saved to a folder on my lap top and it disappeared. It was there yesterday afternoon, and when I went to insert it into this post it was gone. Poof! Vanished. So I had to rush a bit to get the new picture. And just because I'm a nice person, I'm posting the backwards story below, followed by the frontwards version. :-D

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
?sasnaK ot yaw eht em llet enoyna nac ,woN

.ma I ereh dna ,ecived gnikcart a dna gnihtolc elbatius htiw dettiftuo saw I .ydob reh ni enob suorutnevda na evah t’nseod ohw ,eM .meht eveirter ot eciohc lacigol eht saw I – sreppils ybur eht dna – sehctiw owt tub ,eno ton tsol ew tluaf ym saw ti yllacinhcet ecniS

.yawateg remmus a sa ydnah ni emoc evah dluow ti ,yllaer emahs a si hcihw ,eltsac s’hctiwtseW fo erac koot sekauqhtrae seires A .seerged net tuoba deppord evah tsum erutarepmet ehT .noisnemid ruo tfel sreppils eht tnemom eht ,esruoc fo ,wenk eW

.seil lla ,seiL ?sreppils eht fo rewop eht tuoba reh dlot ohw eno eht saw I taht ruomur tahT .ytiC dlaremE eht ni kcab saw lrig eht dna nworht neeb ydaerla dah retaw ehT .etal oot saw I tub enevretni ot deirt I .esrow srettam gnikam tsuj ,flesreh sreppils eht eveirter ot deirt dna ,seod yllausu ehs hcihw ,tneitapmi tog hctiwtseW esruoc fO

?seippop fo dleif eht rof sngis eht ees yeht t’ndiD .elbuort rof stengam erew yeht ekil saw ti dnA .tseW tub yaw hcihw yreve levart ot demees yehT .lamsyba saw sdneirf reh dna lrig eht fo noitcerid fo esnes ehT

.ssecorp noitceles eht fo tuo tfel neeb d’eh tespu tsuj saw eh kniht I .tseuq cihtym fo dnik emos otni ti denrut tooc dlo eht ,renwo lufthgir rieht ot sreppils ybur eht reviled ot reh gnillet fo daetsnI .trapa llaf ot detrats lla yllaer ti erehw s’tahT .lrig eht htiw gnola meht tnes eh yhw ylbaborp si hcihw ,sraey rof ssa s’draziw eht ni niap a neeb dah meht fo eerht ehT .noil ygnam a dna ,nam nit ytsur a ,worceracs dlo yttar a – evisserpminu ytterp erew yeht tub ,egaruotne reh pu dekcip lrig eht ,yltcaxe ,nehw wonk t’nod I

.tseW lrig eht dnes draziw eht evah tsuj ot tseisae demees ti os ,ygrene no wol elttil a erew su fo tser ehT .sreppils eht evah dluohs ehs dna tfel hctiw lufrewop tsom eht saw hctiwtseW eht taht dediced saw ti yllanif tub ,slairt dna stset eht hguorht teg ot elihw a su koot tI .eb ot saw renwo wen eht ohw tuo derugif ew elihw elbuort fo tuo reh peek d’eh gnikniht ,ecalp tsrif eht ni ytiC dlaremE eht fo egrahc ni tup neeb evah reven dluohs ohw ,draziw loof taht ot reh tnes neht dna teef s’dlihc eht evael t’ndluoc sreppils eht dedneterp I oS

.meht dellortnoc evah dluoc yeht yaw on saw ereht ,ylf a taws ot rewop hguone esiar t’ndluoc yeht meht fo tol eht neewteb dnA .meht fo yna tif d’yeht hguoht sa ton s’tI ?sreppils ybur eht devresed yeht kniht yeht dluoc woH !snikhcnum eht dnA .ecalp tsrif eht ni ereht gnidnats neeb evah t’ndluow ehs ,snikhcnum yksep esoht gnisaet neeb t’ndah hctiwtsaE fi ,yllaer thgir reh devres tI .dednal esuoh eht nehw )draziw tnetepmocni eno dna( sehctiw evif ot nwod ydaerla erew eW

.lliw ruo ot meht dneb ot ,meht lortnoc ot rewop fo laed taerg a sekat ti dna nwo rieht fo lliw a evah yehT .tneitnes er’yeht – sreppils ybur eht fo terces eht s’ereH .meht gniraew hctiw tsegnorts eht eb ot sah ti dnA .sreppils ybur eht gniraew si ruof eht fo eno fi ylno tub ,ruof htiw enod eb nac tI .gniog zO peek ot sehctiw xis fo rewop eht sekat tI

.flesym fo daeha gnitteg m’I tuB .reh htiw emoh sreppils esoht koot ehs nehw dniheb tfel ehs soahc eht ot derapmoc gnihton si dlrow reh ni detaerc sah dlihc taht soahc ehT .sehctiw ew era emit fo htgnel yna rof meht raew ylefas nac ohw seno ylno ehT .slatrom erem rof tnaem reven erew yehT .sreppils ybur eht tuoba gnihtemos dnatsrednu ot evah uoY

.meht tirehni ot saw ohw no detov su fo tser eht elihw meht raew reh tel ot refas saw ti thguoht tsuj I .emit thgir eht ta ecalp thgir eht ni eb ot deneppah tsuj ehs ,su fo eno saw ehs hguoht sa ton s’tI .meht peek ot tnaem reven saw ehs tub egavlas fo thgir yb sreh erew yehT

tseuQ ehT

The Quest

They were hers by right of salvage but she was never meant to keep them. It’s not as though she was one of us, she just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I just thought it was safer to let her wear them while the rest of us voted on who was to inherit them.

You have to understand something about the ruby slippers. They were never meant for mere mortals. The only ones who can safely wear them for any length of time are we witches. The chaos that child has created in her world is nothing compared to the chaos she left behind when she took those slippers home with her. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It takes the power of six witches to keep Oz going. It can be done with four, but only if one of the four is wearing the ruby slippers. And it has to be the strongest witch wearing them. Here’s the secret of the ruby slippers – they’re sentient. They have a will of their own and it takes a great deal of power to control them, to bend them to our will.

We were already down to five witches (and one incompetent wizard) when the house landed. It served her right really, if Eastwitch hadn’t been teasing those pesky munchkins, she wouldn’t have been standing there in the first place. And the munchkins! How could they think they deserved the ruby slippers? It’s not as though they’d fit any of them. And between the lot of them they couldn’t raise enough power to swat a fly, there was no way they could have controlled them.

So I pretended the slippers couldn’t leave the child’s feet and then sent her to that fool wizard, who should never have been put in charge of the Emerald City in the first place, thinking he’d keep her out of trouble while we figured out who the new owner was to be. It took us a while to get through the tests and trials, but finally it was decided that the Westwitch was the most powerful witch left and she should have the slippers. The rest of us were a little low on energy, so it seemed easiest to just have the wizard send the girl West.

I don’t know when, exactly, the girl picked up her entourage, but they were pretty unimpressive – a ratty old scarecrow, a rusty tin man, and a mangy lion. The three of them had been a pain in the wizard’s ass for years, which is probably why he sent them along with the girl. That’s where it really all started to fall apart. Instead of telling her to deliver the ruby slippers to their rightful owner, the old coot turned it into some kind of mythic quest. I think he was just upset he’d been left out of the selection process.

The sense of direction of the girl and her friends was abysmal. They seemed to travel every which way but West. And it was like they were magnets for trouble. Didn’t they see the signs for the field of poppies?

Of course Westwitch got impatient, which she usually does, and tried to retrieve the slippers herself, just making matters worse. I tried to intervene but I was too late. The water had already been thrown and the girl was back in the Emerald City. That rumour that I was the one who told her about the power of the slippers? Lies, all lies.

We knew, of course, the moment the slippers left our dimension. The temperature must have dropped about ten degrees. A series earthquakes took care of Westwitch’s castle, which is a shame really, it would have come in handy as a summer getaway.

Since technically it was my fault we lost not one, but two witches – and the ruby slippers – I was the logical choice to retrieve them. Me, who doesn’t have an adventurous bone in her body. I was outfitted with suitable clothing and a tracking device, and here I am.

Now, can anyone tell me the way to Kansas?