Elseblog: Sunday Brunch: The Coming of the Cardinals

The Coming of the Cardinals

 

On the first Sunday of each month, I write a column called “Sunday Brunch” over at the e-zine Modern Creative Life. This excerpt is from the piece I published in November. You can read the whole piece here. You can also listen to me read it at BathtubMermaid.com.

Excerpt:

We have a whole family of those bright red birds, and they return every year. The females are feathered grey and rust and red, and arrive with the first signs of being egg-heavy. The males are brilliant crimson and scarlet, and when they cock their heads and stare at me from their bright eyes, I’m convinced they’re appraising me in the same way I’m assessing them.

At the beginning of the season, I watch them building nests, but as the fall deepens into what passes for winter in this part of Texas, they aren’t quite so visible. Instead of witnessing constant activity, a morning visit feels like a kind of gift from Mother Nature herself.

It’s not only live cardinals that come into my life each year, however. As I slowly turn the decorations in my house from fall and harvest, Halloween and Thanksgiving, to winter, Christmas, and even Valentine’s Day, these ruby-plumed birds have a presence inside my house.

Published Elswhere: Not Exactly Persephone

Not Exactly Persephone

Today I have a story over at Modern Creative Life. An excerpt is below, and you can read the full text of Not Exactly Persephone at this link.

It was her trademark, she said. A beret with a butterfly pin was how the world would know she was herself.

The first time she saw him, it was when she rounded the bend just this side of the creek. He was preternaturally still, focused on the winged creature perched on his fingertips (he had long, graceful fingers, she noticed) and she froze mid-step, afraid to disturb him, or spook the colorful insect he was studying.

But even one small-ish woman’s breathing is enough to change the melody of the forest, and when he glanced up, their eyes met.

It wasn’t a cosmic thing, not really. Just two people acknowledging each other’s presence, and moving along on separate paths.

I’d love it if you visited the link for the full story and told me what you think

Not Exactly Persephone at Modern Creative Life

Shameless Self-Promotion – Volume II

Copyright : Andrey Bortnikov (Follow)

 

Happy Halloween!

Thanks to my friends Nuchtchas and Mark, and my husband (who kept the dogs quiet), there’s a special Halloween episode of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub.

It’s an audio presentation of three of the stories I’ve written for HorrorDailies this month (Lips, Under Glass, and The Ghost Waltz), and  the run-time is about half an hour.

Where can you find it, you ask?

Click here: http://www.bathtubmermaid.com/2016/10/tbm-1610-31-spooky-short-stories-vol-ii/

 

 

Shameless Self-Promotion: The Bathtub Mermaid – Spooky Short Stories

 Copyright : Andrey Bortnikov (Follow)

 

I’m dealing with some severe autoimmune issues this autumn, some of which mean I have either no brain or no energy to write on any given day. That’s been the case for a good chunk of the week, but yesterday, I didn’t write because I spent half the day stitching three of the stories I’ve already written and posted into an episode of my podcast.

If you want to hear my friends and me doing audio interpretation of “The Rules,” “The Lady of La Paz,” or “Egaeus’s Protege,” please click through to:

The Bathtub Mermaid: Spooky Short Stories

The total runtime of the episode is about twelve minutes.

Happy HorrorDailies!

 

 

Sunday Brunch: The Ghosts We Choose

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_captblack76'>captblack76 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

I’m cheating a little with this post, because I’m really just providing an excerpt to this month’s Sunday Brunch column over at Modern Creative Life.

Here’s the excerpt:

A bottle of Clinique make-up, left in the medicine cabinet in my guest bathroom, smells like clay, but it also smells like Halloween, 1976, when my mother costumed me as Pocahontas and used her normal color to darken my fairer skin. (Cultural appropriation wasn’t a hot topic, back then, but even if it had been, my costume was an homage, not a mockery.)

Forty years later, that scent is so closely associated with my mother that when I see her and she no longer carries that aroma (because she’s long since changed her make-up routine), I have to stop and remind myself that she’s the same woman who bore me, raised me, and whose opinion is still, always, vitally important.

And here’s the link to the complete piece. Sunday Brunch: The Ghosts We Choose

Sunday Brunch: August Nocturne

eclipse

 

When All Things Girl still existed, I had a regular column called “Sunday Brunch.” Well, the core team of ATG launched a new ezine, Modern Creative Life, in March, and I’m writing “Sunday Brunch” over there once a month. Here’s an excerpt from this month’s post:

With the flip of a calendar page (or a swipe of finger on a smartphone) July is gone for another year, and it is August, my month. The first summer month when, even though the sun is still reluctant to set, the days are discernably shorter, and the nights incrementally longer.

I’ve always been attuned to the night. While some people are morning people, happy and chirpy at first light, the only time I typically see dawn is when I haven’t yet been to bed. I have never been afraid of darkness; rather I crave it.

I come by it naturally.

The night before I was born, there was a full moon and an eclipse. If that doesn’t lock you into a special relationship with nighttime, I don’t know what does. (Recently, I asked my mother if she remembered any of that, and she reminded me that she’d been a little preoccupied with being in labor.)

You can read the rest of the post at Modern Creative Life, and if you’re so inclined, consider submitting an essay, poem, or piece of short fiction to our next issue, which launches in September and has the theme of  Wisdom.

 

 

Image copyright: solerf / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Audio: The Bathtub Mermaid on Crayons

I climbed the stairs to my studio to record lines for an audio drama, and ended up working on a podcast as well.
Actually, first I recorded new opening and closing bits for my podcast so I finally have a general template for easy, easy production.
Then I riffed on crayons in a personal essay. I’m not sure what the exact schedule of the podcast is going to be, but probably around the first and fifteenth of every month. It works for me, I think to do it regularly, but not to the point of it being a stressful project.

Listen to On Crayons: http://www.bathtubmermaid.com/2015/09/tbm-1509-16-on-crayons/

It’s that time…

Mermaid Lounge It’s that time again. That time of year when I join the insanity known as The Dog Days of Podcasting, and commit to doing a podcast a day for thirty consecutive days.

This year’s project began on Tuesday (which, coincidentally, was my last day of The 100 Day Project), and continues through September 4th, and you can find my stuff at The Bathtub Mermaid, but I’m also in iTunes. (There should be an itunes link in the collection of social media icons in my sidebar.)

In previous years I’ve had oodles of essays and flash fiction to share, but I’ve been busy on other projects this year, so I’m mixing it up with interviews, creative non-fiction pieces written earlier this summer, and pieces inspired by the 100 notecards currently adorning the front and sides of my refrigerator.

The things is, my creativity always wanes in July, but my birthday is in August, and as soon as the calendar page flipped, I was inspired again.

So watch out – and listen to my Tales from the Tub – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Elseblog: The Summer Smile Ten Dollars Can Buy

bucket of flowers My friend Debra is hosting a project called Summer Love Notes this year. It’s free, and if you sign up you get an essay or piece of art sent to your email box every morning.

Debra loves to share her ideas with her friends, and I’m really flattered that she invited me to be part of the amazing group of writers and artists she’s assembled. I’ve been reading and enjoying all sorts of great stuff.

Today’s SLN post is courtesy of yours truly, and you can read it HERE.

Here’s an excerpt:

More than once, I have spent my last ten dollars fulfilling that need – buying a bouquet of irises, indulging in five bunches of daffodils, filling the house with carnations – because those small joys that bring summer into the house are the things that keep me going, even when I feel tired, frumpy, and boring.

And here’s the photo-credit for the image we used:

Photo Credit (for the bucket of flowers): Copyright: fotogestoeber / 123RF Stock Photo

Please do consider signing up for future posts – it’s really nice to have something lovely in one’s inbox every morning.