Welcome Autumn

autumn coffee

Autumn has always been my favorite season, and even though it doesn’t technically begin until tomorrow night, I wrote about it for Sunday Brunch over at All Things Girl this week. You can read it THERE or you can listen to it on my podcast HERE.

I’ve been a bit off-kilter this last week, staying up too late writing, waiting for updates from my parents who live in La Paz, BCS, Mexico and weathered Hurricane Odile last weekend (they still don’t have power, but Los Cabos is nearly flattened, so it’s all relative).

I pre-ordered the new iPhone 6 plus and it arrived on Friday, and I’m already in love, but I spent a good chunk of yesterday downgrading my iPad Air away from iOS 8 because iOS 8 breaks Audiobus, which means that podcasting apps don’t work.

I have lines to record for two different projects, but my voice is icky. Tomorrow is my studio day. Someone hold me to it.

It’s hard to believe September has just zoomed by and we’re almost into October.

I love fall.

Also? I’m ready for the mosquitoes to die.

Not-so-Manic Monday

Today I…
– queued social media posts for one of my employers, through the end of the month.
– wrote two articles.
– wrote chapter 41 of a fan-fiction epic I’m writing for fun.
– made chicken soup.
– recorded and submitted two auditions for audio dramas.
– taught the puppy to stand from sit.
– started teaching the puppy DOWN.
– recorded and posted a podcast.

You wouldn’t think such non-physical things would be tiring, and yet they are.

From the Vaults: Cotton Candy

The old man’s face glistened with the faint sheen of sweat. Beads of it shimmered at his temples, reflecting the Christmas-light colors of the lights along the midway. He was dressed up, as if for a date, for this occasion, in a short-sleeved cotton shirt, striped in Oxford red, with the collar pressed into crisp points, suspenders, and his best khaki pants, breaking just so across the top of his shoes.

They were old man’s shoes: sturdy brown leather, with steel shanks and rawhide laces. He called them ‘work shoes’ – although the only ‘work’ he still did was to putter in the kitchen or the garden, these days.

A woman in a yellow sun dress and matching sandals, her olive skin smooth despite the greying streaks in her wavy black hair, her dark eyes glowing with contentment, walked beside him, her arm looped through his, her body angled toward him. Her red-tinted lips moved rapidly, but her affectionate nagging was drowned out by the calliope music and the incessant chatter of the little girl with them.

The little girl. The apple of the old couple’s eyes, this child danced around them the way young children do when they’re pumped up on fun, her strawberry braids bobbing in time with her innocent chatter. She halted in front of the cotton candy, watching the hair-net clad women spinning colored sugar into fluffy clouds on paper cones. “Grandpop, may I have some?” she asked. And of course he said yes.

Years later, when the old man was older still, and his work shoes never even visited the garden any more, he would smile into space, remembering the buzzing of mosquitoes, the tinny sound of the carousel’s calliope, and the sticky cotton-candy kisses of a little girl long since grown, who never visited often enough.

Sleep Patterns

I’ve never been very good at sleeping. I either feel like it’s so much wasted time, or I’m afraid of what my imagination will run on the movie screen of my mind, so I avoid it, or I’m so exhausted and cranky that I cannot get enough of it.

Last night, I took melatonin way too late. Today, I was a zombie.

But I was a zombie with incredibly vivid dreams, who woke to make dinner, spend time with my husband, and still get a blog post in under the wire.

Tonight? I’m hoping to be in bed by 1 AM.

Leo Rising (Happy Birthday to Me)

I asked the universe (and my mother) to send me a storm for my birthday. I woke yesterday to thunder, lightning, and torrential rain, which subsided into a steady, soaking rain around noon, and lingered throughout the day.

I love it when nature cooperates with my desires.

Turning forty-four was easy and fun, filled with laughter, good friends, good food, and special gifts: goodies from Lush and a bracelet from Fuzzy, flowers and plants from two of my favorite people, and a non-fiction book from my aunt that I’d never have chosen, but will enjoy.

Happy Birthday to Me, indeed.

By the Numbers

My blog-friend Michael (aka WarriorPoet(2)) died last year, a veteran who fell, not to gunfire or missile blasts, but to cancer, at too young an age.

We used to challenge each other with memes and prompts over on OpenDiary, which also died, just a few months ago, of neglect, mostly – not by the participants but by the site owner who had moved on to other things.

I found this meme while sifting through archives, and thought I’d share it here.

10 words you like in your own language:
brilliant, decadent, fractious, glower, nostalgic, susurration, overzealous, tintinnabulation, zesty, zoetrope,

9 words you like in other languages:
allegro, attraversiamo, ciao, guacala, joyeux, melange, noir, pianissimo, scocciare

8 city names that are fun to say:
Albequerque, Boise, Carcassone, Istanbul, Marrakech, Tehachapi, Tuolomne, Waxahachie

7 words that make you uncomfortable:
autistic, cloaca, can’t, death, fear, truth, war

6 words that relate to your job:
creative, emotional, internal, nebulous, scary, undisciplined

5 words that describe someone you love greatly:
affectionate, forgiving, loyal, silly, understanding

4 words you would use to describe yourself:
improvisational, mercurial, sarcastic, vivacious

3 words that describe your pet:
canine, clingy, quartet

2 words that describe your higher power:
divine spark

1 word to end with:
imagine

Dormant

reading in bed

It’s just over a month til my birthday (5 weeks from Sunday, actually) and I’ve entered the period of the year when I’m sort of creatively dormant. I think, I plan, I read, and lift weights, and play in the kitchen, but my writing slows down to the bare minimum.

Once the calendar page flips to August, however – once it turns to MY month – my creativity always comes surging back like a huge wave breaking over a jetty.

Cool, ferocious, blue-green creativity.

For now though, I have a pot of pasta that will soon become a bowl of aglia e olio, and a chilled wine that’s light and neither too sweet nor too dry, and a beachy novel to read.

Dormant? Maybe.

But it’s just part of my personal cycle.

Dancing Fools

Ballerina Warming Up by David Gilbert

“We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.”
~ Japanese Proverb

I’ve taken dance classes on and off since I was five years old. It started, as it does for most little girls, with ballet. Ballet is still my favorite.

Later it became tap, jazz (my second favorite), show dancing (basically lite ballroom meant for actors), and even hip-hop.

These days, I pretty much dance in my kitchen, and my living room. My life is a musical, and I sing and dance my way through every task, and even dance with my dogs. Especially Teddy. Teddy is an awesome partner. He’s part Catahoula, so dancing comes naturally.

I keep trying to convince Fuzzy to take a ballroom class with me, but he’s the quintessential white boy with no rhythm. He will, however, dance with me in the kitchen, when Teddy lets him cut in.

I love that we’ve been married 19 years and we still dance in the kitchen and sing silly songs to each other.

Image Credit:David Gilbert via 123RF.com

Starlight and Whalesong

Whale Encounter by Kareem Alqaq

Last Saturday, I went to see the grey whales, and got to pet one.

This morning, I wrote about it at All Things Girl.

Most of us think of humpback whales when we think of whale watching, but – at least here in Baja – it’s the grey whales you come to see, and it’s evident from their behavior that the whales are also here to see us. Quite social, it’s almost as if they’re trained. We are in the water with four other boats and there are three or four mother-calf pairs. The mothers, massive creatures that you never see in their entirety, stay farther away from us, monitoring the situation, but the calves are like puppies, going from boat to boat, rolling over to blink at you, or meet your gaze with theirs – they have eyelashes!!! – begging for skritches and belly-rubs, smiling and showing off their baleen.

Here’s an excerpt. For the whole piece, click here: Sunday Brunch: The Hottest Blood of All.