Peeling Away

August is upon us, taking a stroll into September. A Way With Words Blog/website is up and running at https://writerswrites.com/. I, and two co-authors, Diana Kinared and Jackie Collins of Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets will be launched on the 6th of September. We invite you to join us at our website where we give glimpses of our twenty-five-year journey that brought our book to life. We will continue to peel away ideas and share stories, poems, suggestions on writing, initiating prompts, even a recipe or two, and titles of outstanding books and authors. This is a place to pull up a chair, open curtains, and windows when weather permits,  grab a pen if you like, and travel along.

Telling Tales and Sharing Secrets Launch Date September 6, 2022

Our book was conceived as an encouragement for anyone who can benefit from the support of a writers’ group. It is a collaborative memoir of over twenty years of our experiences as we developed skills writing poetry, stories of all genres, and personal essay. We were encouraged by teachers and mentors to write a book of our group’s unique journey. We feel it is a helpful model for writers seeking to build a supportive community of their own, to learn and expand writing skills, build trust and develop lasting friendships. The essential elements of a writer’s group are to leave your ego at the door, listen and engage with a good sense of humor. The rewards are immeasurable!

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A Way with Words website/blog…coming soon!

Observation in All Directions

Watch for the new website A Way with Words created by three incredible talented writing friends! You will be abuzz and amazed at what you will see……..one of which is above to set the mood! We are busy working on the new site today, June 16, 2022, at only 103 degrees outside in sunny Tucson. Our sharp little web genius is busy clicking, moving, and creating our new web site while Sadie the cat is busy with George, the Iguana Bearded lizard.

Stay tuned!

Have You Ever Thought…

How time does not stand still? In my last post, (January by the way), I was snuggled down in reflection with my furry friends. One of them recently, and kindly, reminded me it is the girly month of April. April! Isn’t April poetry month? The last of the bulb flowers, i.e., tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, and so on? I can’t grow a bulbous plant if my life depended on it, but my backyard is full of waning Peri Penstemons, California Poppy, and Colorado Lupine. Okay, I compromise. But I have read a lot of books, submitted poetry and short fiction pieces, groomed one of my very hairy cats, and keep my eyebrows plucked. That counts.

How is your spring? I would love to hear about it, and a good book you have read since the beginning of 2022.

Tucking in With Winter Solstice

While December achingly and brightly slid away, I nested into my usual non-quintessential self, retreating and withdrawing inside my home, my studio, my sunlight, and my soul. Each holiday, the University where I have worked for the past thirty-three years, closes its door before Christmas and reopens after the new year.

During those early winter breaks, I found myself diving into projects such as closet cleaning, drawer rearranging, trying new recipes and revisiting old family holiday favorites, pushing or pulling big items of furniture to clean under and behind, organize garage shelves, catching photo albums and scrapbooks up to date. Over the last ten years or more, I began to notice a shift, the need to retreat for reflection and respite. Over time, my secular job allowed me to work fewer hours during the week leaving me much more time at home, and with Covid, more days than not. Therefore, all the above-mentioned tasks are done before the winter solstice is upon me. I find ways to sleep in, roll under the covers, and wait for the sun to spread across the room and onto the walls, waving a warm welcome not expecting me to reply in the least. Most recently, I began to stay up late, watching British shows, and favorite movies, or just sipping on wine in front of the flickering flames in the fireplace, a cat purring beside me. No reason, no thought, no malfunction, it’s just that I can. Simple.

As of late, I keep the expected daily duties in check, spend more time outside with my two cats as we walk together and pace through the gardens and around the yard. Inside, floors are clean, pillows fluffed, fuzzy little lap throws refolded, and an extra cup of coffee in the carafe. No hurry. I imagine the bears and foxes’ snug in their dens, tails or paws curled and wrapped up to their noses. I stretch, do up a few dishes, enter my sunny studio and my eyes filter over the small table of alcohol inks, watercolors, and paintbrushes, a writing journal, or a stack of books and decide which to do first.

Today, I polished silver jewelry that has been unworn, untouched since March of 2020. Time has darkened their purpose, tarnished their beauty. Even though life is not what we have been accustomed to since Covid enveloped the world, I made a decision it is time to wear some jewelry, even if only to the grocery store. Why should the various shades of amber gems, or small diamonds, or various shades of stones be punished? I also rustled through my winter closets and brought out items I have not worn the past year and a half, such as sweaters, jackets, and shoes. I plan to be more prepared and attack any circumstance with new grit. I have a whole new wardrobe!

As each new year is ready to begin, I am ready to begin with it. Ready to be back to more normal, a schedule to keep me borderline, and to focus on short distances. I officially retired from the University of December 2021. We owe each other nothing. We parted quietly and without regrets. Am I ready? You bet I am.

The 5 lb. barbells are dusted, my bicycle tires are new, and a list of goals embedded in my mind and heart that can surface freely and speak to me, nudge me through the days and weeks. When my friends arise from their slumber, we shall spend quality time together.

Like the earth and its companions, I take time to go inwards, to reset my clock, to revamp my spiritual self. Patrice Vecchione in her book Step In To Nature states “Time alone is the best way for imagination’s generative knowledge to become securely imprinted in the very sinew of self.” For me, I acknowledge a fresh year will arrive and am prepared to greet it like a new seed pushing through the soil, ready to climb and give back. The earths cycle I can count on for my renewal of self.

 

Poetry Month

Breezy April

Spring winds tantalize new leaves to catch in a corner,

a tailspin that flurries through morning coffee,

sweep, sweep, sweep like a whisper.

The Arizona ash tree buds and blisters with fuzz,

sticks on shoes, fills cracks and yellows the

bird bath.

Sweep, sweep, sweep across the red brick, the

patches of gray slate and green painted walls.

Petals, colors of honey orange, soft pink, the shade from

the bottoms of baby feet and savage scarlet,

all blink among the vines and stems.

Mother Natures eye shadow seductively winks through

an afternoon,

sweep, sweep, sweep across the girlish

month named April, ever blossoms in annual innocence.

Lunch with Jack Benny

Today I turn another year older, or, to be exact, the same age Jack loved to be! If only true. Since my last little post, the writing gals and I have submitted our manuscript. Yes! We have a list a mile long, and have sent three queries out. We also are creating our new blog for the book and other interestable writings. Web site is Wild-Women-Writers and much will be going on in that nest. Please join us as we travel through our experiences in the writing world, private world, and most entertaining world.

A Thought for Today

Um, nothing.  The chill of the day, the lack of brilliant sunshine, small puddles collected in low spots along the curbs, the lack of traffic, the duty of January 1, dims my wanderings.  I have left my brain on hold, gave it a day off.  Still in pajamas, fireplace snapping, notebooks, magazines, board games still placed on the dining table, a coffee table, an arm of a chair, says not to think.  No resolutions, no lists, no tasks.  Life will rebound tomorrow, life will pop, will come in the shape of wheels, motors, grocery shopping, bill paying, doctor appointments, keeping commitments in all shapes, sizes, and miles.

Today is in, today is unavailable, today is mine.  papers.co-nh01-lonely-quiet-day-home-glasses-sunlight-flare-6-wallpaper[1]

Here kitty, kitty.

 

Burnt Umber

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Each autumn, the clock turns backwards. I am in Illinois to sit among memories of incredible rituals of fall festivals, wiener roasts, harvesting of corn, chilly night hayrides, gnarly vines of squash and pumpkin, fuzzy willy worms creeping across roads, the tipping of outhouses or ringing doorbells late at night and hiding in nearby bushes. A season for pranks and fun.

In Tucson, many years later, I stand in my yard in early September year after year and begin to watch the sky, color of light, and most particularly, the clouds. The morning I notice the club of clouds shaping low at the base of the Catalina’s and along the Rincon Mountains, I know autumn is pushing over the shoulder of summer.  Soon, soon, the temperatures, achingly at a snail’s pace, begin to drop and within a few weeks, the Arizona Ash and Mulberry trees will change clothing, will closet the green and bring on the gold, red and orange.  Strings of whisper thin cobwebs will criss-cross in the air, the slant of shadows begin to shift in a low arch and the morning light will mellow.

Inside, the crock pot, pumpkin recipes, stews and breads and apple pie clutter the kitchen counter. The fire-pit is moved from behind the potting shed and fitted with the right amount of wood for the first evening fire and metal sticks made for marshmallows line in a row.  The cats stretch long and lean and look for little patches of morning sunlight rather than nap under a ceiling fan. It is our season, our time, our patch of autumn.

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