Monday, April 30, 2018

Walk With Me

Yesterday morning Layla and I walked down to the pond.

Rue anemones were blooming at wood's edge.

It was a perfect day -- clear and bright and a little cool.

Wild geranium.

The fragrance of the wisteria was heavenly!

Not sure but this might be a Wood anemone. Tell me if I'm wrong.

The trees are leafing out.

The Osage Orange blossoms smell almost as good as the wisteria.

So many shades of green!

John pruned the wisteria hard last year -- and now the pond house wears it like a hat instead of an all-covering garment.


I love the reflection of those trees.

Can't stop taking pictures -- the wisteria is such a fleeting joy.

Really, that's enough. Look at the color of the leaves on this seedling maple . . .

Or these three sentinel trees at the graveyard on the hill.

And that was just a taste -- I took an even hundred pictures yesterday and edited them down to fifty-four -- some of which I'll be posting this week. 

Spring is surely my favorite season. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Instructions for Living a Life

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

From Mary Oliver's  poem "Sometimes" -- Read it all HERE

These dandelions and their shadows caught my eye this morning. Somehow the shadows seemed more substantial than the originals.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Blue Mountain Island

Photo credit John Skemp
Blue Mountain island
Floats still . . . serene . . . unchanging
Beyond bare branches . . .

As glimpsed by pilgrims
Seeking the ineffable
Amid swirling clouds.

Photo by John Skemp

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Fun Class

Last night was the tenth and last meeting of my Wordplay class -- and what fun it's been! The students have written to prompts of taste, touch, smell, sound, and sight, as well as situational prompts -- a family gathering, a significant loss, an unexpected fork in life's road. They've written pieces that  began with a dictated sentence: "Looking back, ___realized that he/she should never have . . ." or "If only . . ."

And the writing has been consistently good. Funny, touching, insightful -- amazing what got produced in brief (5, 10, or 15 minutes) bursts of writing.

Last night they each brought in a prompt for the class. They were all good but one of the most unusual was this. Write a story in 26 sentences. The first sentence begins with A, the second with B, and so on.

I couldn't believe how well the resulting stories flowed. I doubt that anyone reading them would have noticed the pattern if they hadn't been told of it.

Dialogue worked quite well: For example:

"Again I tell you, I'll do it!"
"But you never-"
"Can't you hear me saying I'll do it?"
"Don't promise something you can't carry out."
"Extra effort is all it'll take -- that and a little luck."
"Foolish to count on luck . . ."
"Great, thanks for the vote of confidence, pal."

If you keep on, it turns into a story. There were some hilarious ones.

Folks said they enjoyed the class -- the spontaneity, the lack of homework or stress. One noted that it was good practice in reading your stuff aloud -- something that's difficult for some folks but this good humored, non-critical gang was a great place for a shy reader to gain confidence.

Great Smokies Writing Program has asked me to offer a 5 week version of the class this summer. (Information HERE.)

I'm looking forward to it!