Attempted Break Out From Daily Patterns

Walk-wise, I’m in a rut. Every afternoon for weeks I’ve made the same trek up and across a hill near my house. The incline is steep enough that I feel virtuous and the view is swell.

All of which has nothing to do with this post.

Somewhere there is a list called Ten Things To Never Do On Your Blog. Wonder what number it is on the list: Never Open With An Aside.

If I open with two asides do they cancel each other out?

Anyway.

I walk the same walk every day, so I was amazed to discover that, from one day to the next, my neighbors erected a wood fence, then weathered it, distressed it, and rusted it, to create wonderful textured patterns:

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Alternatively, I’ve walked the same walk every day for weeks without noticing this fence before now. There is a slight chance that that is the explanation. I am someone who walks down the hall of the house where she has lived for a decade and reacts wow! never noticed that wall sconce before.

As I’ve mentioned here recently, I am trying to, struggling to learn how to live in each moment. I’ve lived most of my life inside my head and I’d like to try somewhere new.

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge was On The Way.)

Be Bright and Be Bold

It’s tough to be a flower in her garden. For years we’ve had little rain, and yet the human walks past, muttering, oh right I meant to water you. Too bad I’m running late. Fortunately, Darwin was right and those of us who survive are remarkable specimens.

I am the only poppy of my kind:

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I won’t get much time in the sun so I make the most of it:
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I’m proud to be a native flower. Some of us thrive in the company of kindred spirits:
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But even those of us who must solo reach tall, however grey the day:
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Be bright and be bold, my friends!

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge is Vivid.)

Moments Now vs. Moments Later

I know I’m not alone with this dilemma: the more photographs I take, the harder it is to enjoy the moment. That camera-phone stuck to my face – that oh! good shot! scrutiny – blocks my senses.

But if I’ve got photographs, I can re-live (a weak yet satisfying imitation of) that moment. Without photographs, all I’d remember would be the beach with the pier is nice at sunset:

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By the time I uploaded my photos, I’d forgotten how the surf distorted the pier’s reflection:

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Nowadays, I’m really trying to live in the moment, so as I continued my walk, I pocketed my phone. Then unpocketed it. Many times.

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Capturing a pelican on camera marks a different kind of living in the moment:

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One of the great things about the beach is how quickly everything changes. Every moment really does last a moment. Here’s what happened to the sunset when the fog got just a bit thicker:

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One solution to photographing my moments away might be to keep going back to the beach. I don’t need photo memories of stuff I do and see all the time – do I? Hmm. My photo library draws a different conclusion:

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My cats and my granddaughter. I’m lucky enough to see both all the time. Yet the photo library keeps growing in both categories… Thank goodness for the digital photo era.

(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge was Broken.)

Asphalt Portal

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At first glance the image had an easy explanation – a reflective puddle in a church parking lot. That’s what I thought, and that’s what you would have thought if you were out walking with me. But then I looked up, to enjoy more of the pink clouds. Had we been together, maybe I would have clutched your arm and pointed above our heads. There were no pink clouds.

Our sky was cloud-free.

This wasn’t a reflection, then, but a glimpse of somewhere else. 

Someday perhaps I’ll figure out how to visit. Although I’m not sure whether it’s knowledge, faith, or courage that I lack.

Meanwhile, I can only imagine the somewhere elses as I send Nica to other Frames.

(The WP Photo Challenge is Enveloped.)

Confirmation of Feline Underpinnings

I’m not much for housework, but have always especially hated vacuuming. In fact, once as a kid, to avoid using the vacuum I picked up crud from the carpet in my room with tape. That only took 150 times longer.

Pop math quiz: assume the room was 10 feet by 10 feet, the tape was 1/2 inch wide, and I didn’t clean under my bed. How much tape did I squander that day?

Answer: no one has an answer. No one wants to do math on a frigging blog.

Anyway. Now that I’m a grownup, I live in a carpet-free house. Even without a carpet, I did need a Shop Vac in the kids’ room when they were small. I came to recognize the distinct sounds of common objects as they got sucked up the tube: the clatter of a track cleat, the rattle of a marble, the thunk-ffffff of a sock.

I believe my hatred of vacuums confirms that in a previous life I was a cat. I don’t know what I did wrong, that merited my returning as a lower life form this time.

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I wish I could credit the creator of this famous and oft-posted cartoon. Does anyone know the cartoonist’s name beyond Je-something Be-something? An admittedly casual search yields only the pages that have posted this classic.

This post responds to a WP Daily Prompt.

My Novels Now Have Playlists on Spotify

No question that writing is my calling, but if I had my druthers (or any talent), I’d be a musician. I missed my chance during the punk era, when ability was optional.

Music is exceedingly important to my writing – and the rest of my life. I can’t write while listening to music, yet music dictates the shape and feel of every page.

I’ve now got playlists on Spotify (a digital music service). These playlists summarize the music that constructed my latest novels, Scar Jewelry and Nica of Los Angeles. I put these playlists together after the fact, and they each hold a couple hours of music. Spotify compiled some of the album covers:

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If you’d like to hear both these playlists, take out a free membership on Spotify, then follow scperryz. Or you can listen to the playlist for Nica of Los Angeles. Or the playlist for Scar Jewelry. (I’ve provided browser links but most folks prefer the phone app.)

I’ve got a still-evolving playlist for the still-being-written, second book in the FRAMES series, Nica of XXX. (Nica’s location in the second book is currently embargoed.) Today the new playlist is 9.5 hours long… I suppose that only the music I listen to repeatedly should survive to the final playlist. Anyway, here’s the Spotify thumbnail of the playlist for the new Nica:

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Let me close with a few digressions. (Bookmark this page! Digression on this blog – a first!)

Digression #1. Looking at these album covers, I am reminded that, on the whole, musicians are way cooler than writers. Which sets me to wondering. Do people become musicians because they are that cool, or is it the playing of music that makes them cool?

Digression #2. Spotify is an amazing invention and it rules my version of consumer heaven, along with the automobile seat warmer and the iPad. Driving to a concert recently, Spotify let me listen to nearly an hour’s worth of different versions of Moonshiner. Who knew so many existed? (Verdict: several otherwise-lackluster bands have excellent covers of this song; however, the various cheery Irish versions are creepy. This ain’t no happy drinking song.)

Digression #3. Who wrote Moonshiner? When? No one knows for sure. There is even debate about whether it originated in the U.S. or Ireland. Typically when great art generates immortality, it is not anonymous immortality. To me this adds bittersweetness to one of the saddest songs I know.

My personal favorite Moonshiner isn’t on Spotify because Kelly Joe Phelps hasn’t recorded it (yet?). Fortunately YouTube, bless its digital heart, has a live version: