Sunday Brunch: That 70′s Summer

Slumber Party

My latest Sunday Brunch piece is up at All Things Girl. We’re filling the blog, while we continue to rebuild the rest of our site since it was hacked – badly – in June.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

If the “slumber party” was small – me and just one or two friends – we’d set up camp in my bedroom. If the group was larger, we’d take over the den or the living room. I’m sure we watched movies, but since VCRs were not yet commonplace, and DVDs hadn’t even been invented, but what I remember are the games and stories.

Slumber party games when I was seven, eight, and nine, were still pretty innocent, and the favorite thing to play was “Light as a Feather; Stiff as a Board.” There are many versions of it, and many explanations for why it becomes possible for four girls to lift a fifth using just two fingers each, but the reality is that as much as, as children, we wanted to pretend it was magic, the chant just helps to unify everyone, and the rest is basic physics.

The rest of the piece can be found HERE.

Image Copyright: creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

Dog Days of Podcasting: Sunday Brunch – Isn’t It Pretty?

Dog Days of Podcasting

Every other Sunday, I write a column called “Sunday Brunch” for the ezine All Things Girl. Regular readers of this site have seen me link to it before.

Today, for my DDoP entry, I picked the Sunday Brunch entry from 17 February 2013, and recorded it, with a bit of extemporaneous book-ending.

You can listen to the recording at SoundCloud or play it in the applet below.

If you want to read the original column, you can find it here.

Sunday Brunch: Cello Hands

My latest Sunday Brunch piece, “Cello Hands” is up at All Things Girl. music6_by_KarpatiGabor_via_MorgueFileAn excerpt is below, but you can read the whole thing here: Sunday Brunch: Cello Hands.

I knew what a cello was, of course, because when I was much younger (five or six) I’d been gifted with a copy of Captain Kangaroo’s album of “Peter and the Wolf,” where he introduces all the orchestral instruments and tells you what characters they represent. (To this day the bassoon reminds me of a happy, sloppy, drunk man, but that’s another story.) “Okay,” I said. “Why not?”

Now, while nine may seem incredibly young and innocent to the average adult, it’s actually a pretty advanced age at which to start learning music, especially for stringed instruments. I’d always been a singer, and I could pick things up pretty quickly, and knew that a quarter note was short and a whole note was long, but this was different. This wasn’t me picking out melodies on my grandmother’s ancient, out-of-tune-except-in-summer-when-the-humidity-made-the-cracked-soundboard-sound-intact piano. This was learning how to think in a whole new language, and literally see the music and then be able to make it.

Sunday Brunch: Heroes, Villains, and Loss – Excerpt

reflectionthroughabugle_by_markcoffey_via_istockphoto

Reflection Through a Bugle by Mark Coffee via iStockPhoto.com – Click to embiggen

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Earlier this week, I found out that a good writing buddy lost his battle to cancer a few months ago. He was a veteran, and an amazing writer, and so I talked a lot about him.

Excerpt:

Fading light dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
From afar drawing nigh — Falls the night.

Like many people, however, especially those of us with family, friends, or loved ones serving in the military, “Taps” has a more emotional context. It’s the bugle call you hear at funerals, and once you’ve heard it in that setting you never lost that connection. For me, the tears come, mostly for my grandfather, but for a string of others as well, from the very first note.

This weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, “Taps” is playing on an infinite loop in my head.

Why? Because I found out recently that a dear friend, a military veteran who survived a tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, then a year in Kabul with the National Guard, lost his last battle, one with that insidious enemy we call “cancer,” in February.

His name was Mike Greene, but I knew him best by the handle he used on OpenDiary (an early blogging platform that existed before LiveJournal or Blogger): WarriorPoet.

You can read the entire post here: http://allthingsgirl.com/2013/05/sunday-brunch-heroes-villains-and-loss/.

Got Verse?

Vintage Typewriter

Vintage Typewriter | Credit: MorgueFile.com | Click to embiggen

From my Sunday Brunch column at All Things Girl:

April is National Poetry Month, at least in the USA, and the eighteenth is the day we’re supposed to acknowledge the poems we carry in our pockets. Most of my clothes don’t even have pockets, and the only poetry I write is not for public consumption, but I’ve loved poetry since I was young enough to embrace A.A. Milne (he wrote SO much more than just Winnie the Pooh) and eschew Dr. Seuss (sorry but his silly sing-song-y stuff does nothing for me), so I thought I’d chat about that today.

Click to read the rest of Nostalgic Verses (Or Marmalade, Shadows, Silverstein, and Shakespeare)

Lamplight is the word of the day….

CherryBlossom-and-Lamps-by-mstroz-via-istockphoto

It’s time for Sunday Brunch at All Things Girl, and today I wrote about lamplight.

Here’s an excerpt:

I remain convinced that the only thing that would improve my house would not be replacing the cabinets or rebuilding the decorative lintel over the front door, but adding a lamp post in the center of my lawn. We have a corner lot, so a light at the center point would shine as a soft, comforting beacon no matter the direction of approach.

Streetlamps aside, my favorite days are what one of my aunts named for me: lamp-lit days. These are the days like this morning, where even hours after sunrise, the sky is shrouded in a cool mist that softens the light and deepens the shadows, making it absolutely necessary to interact with the world from within the protective circle of light from a lamp.

Oh, we have overhead lighting, of course, but somehow to use such glaring brightness would seem a sacrilege.

Click through for the complete post.

Waxing Rhapsodic about Watermelon

watermelon slices

My most recent piece of published writing is last week’s Sunday Brunch piece at All Things Girl.

Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve been almost living on watermelon this summer. Green Watermelon When I was a kid, we didn’t have watermelon that often, and when we did, it came from a farm stand or the back of someone’s pickup truck. We would take home the huge, striped-green melons, and one of the adults would slice them open as the final event of a summer party – the kind that began with splashing at the beach or in a backyard pool, or even just running through sprinklers in the back yard (be careful near the rose-bushes, you might step on a thorn).

The rest of the piece can be read here.