No Wasted Words

“No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”-Erin Bow

“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can’t put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.”
Erin Bow

I was born and grew up part the way in San Francisco. You could buy fresh San Francisco sourdough bread all over The City.  I really love dark crust sourdough bread with some dry Italian salami and a good cheese, a semi-soft cheese like teleme or Red Hawk from Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Station, Ca. Seems like the only place you can get the original sourdough dark crust bread by Boudin Bakery is at Tadish Grill Restaurant. Both Boudin and Tadish Grill have been around since SF Gold Rush days (1849).

 

 


One Liner Wednesday is hosted by Linda G Hill. Featured image of San Francisco sourdough bread and beer by Jon Sullivan on wikimedia, Image of Red Hawk cheese by Frank Schulenburg on wikimedia, Image of Columbus salami by Kent Wang on Flickr. Had to throw in the Image of Humboldt Fog cheese via Sharona Gott on Flickr.

weds

 

Guess What

A couple of random things for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. Today’s prompt word is “guess.”

You’ll never guess what I did today. You might think it is something exciting or extraordinary. It is something I would have not thought I would be doing. I am not into scrubbing, dusting, and polishing a lot around my house. But today I cleaned almost all the grout of our tile flooring throughout the house. Pretty exciting huh. I used this steamer cleaner and it works pretty well but I can feel that I was using muscles. I am tired and almost skipped writing.

You’ll never guess what else, I started drinking beer instead of wine. I have developed a taste for beer lately. We have some really good breweries in California. One that I am into now is Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California. Oh yeah, I just said ale not beer didn’t I? This one makes me happy because it’s hoppy. I really like the stronger taste, hoppy-ness.  My son told me that in the old sailing ships they would add extra hops to the ale to preserve it on the long voyages to India. It turned out it gave the ale a great flavor. So this afternoon, after I finished my grout cleaning, and before I started making dinner, I decided to have a nice cold Lagunitas IPA India Pale Ale.

Now I am ready to go watch a good English mystery on Amazon. Lately, it’s been Inspector Gently.


This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt today is “guess.” Image of Lagunitas India Pale Ale by Matteo Doni on Flickr.

 

Whales Sleep

“What if the catalyst or the key to understanding creation lay somewhere in the immense mind of the whale? . . . Suppose if God came back from wherever it is he’s been and asked us smilingly if we’d figured it out yet. Suppose he wanted to know if it had finaly occurred to us to ask the whale. And then he sort of looked around and he said, ‘By the way, where are the whales?’ ”
— Cormac McCarthy in Of Whales and Men

Female Sperm Whales sleeping in the Indian Ocean by Stephane Granzotto

“Where great whales come sailing by,

Sail and sail, with unshut eye,

Round the world for ever and aye?…”-Matthew Arnold (from the poem The Forsaken Merman)

Scientists, according to National Geographic,  have discovered that sperm whales have dialects and accents.

 


 

Images of sleeping whales shared on Facebook by Organic Rising. Full set of images on National Geographic.

Quote from Cormac McCarthy found on Spirituality and Practice.com

Quote from Matthew Arnold found on inspiringquotes.us

This post is my contribution to One Liner Wednesday hosted by Linda G Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Low

I was feeling very high when I found out I won the WEP June Challenge for my fiction piece “The Final Transition.” A wonderful surprise and the fantastic high you get from receiving recognition for something you wrote. I was not expecting to win first place. It is hard for me to judge my own writing. Many times I have written something and thought it mediocre and then gotten positive feedback. This has encouraged me to take the risk and put my ideas out there. Other times my writing is not given much notice. But you never know if someone is reading and enjoying a post. I have had a few people tell me how they have liked my writing and I did not know it. So as in life, with writing, we have to expect to experience the highs and the lows. Just don’t let the lows get you down.

Here is a great cartoon from one of favorites, Introvert Doodles by Marzi. It was originally posted on Facebook by Quiet Revolution on Thursday, August 3, 2017

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I think I could check off several things on that list and add a few more. A good way to survive the lows is to realize we are not alone, other people feel the same way.  🙂


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “high/low.” Featured image of City Coaster by Henry Burrows on Flickr.

 

Realm of Dreams by publicdomainpictures.net

The Homecoming

Sarah regained consciousness on the other side of the portal. She was lying on the ground. It took a few minutes for the buzzing in her ears to stop and her vision to clear. She looked up to see the woman stranger looking down at her.

“Welcome to your new home,” the woman said smiling. “Let me help you up,” she said as she reached for Sarah’s hand.

Sarah held the offered hand and stood up shakily. Several other Olders stood around in groups looking dazed. Sarah noticed they were standing on an open plain. As she gazed up to the sky she noticed it was azure blue and there were two moons. The sun was as bright as Earths and felt just as hot on her skin.

“What do you call this place?”, she asked.

“This is Ortus.”

“What is your name?”

” I am Nephele. We need to get you all moving. It is will be a long walk to get our city.”

“Why did we land here out in this barren land?”

” We found it was too disruptive for our citizens when Outworlders arrived in the city.”

Sarah and the other Olders walked along with their Ortusun guides. Sarah noticed she did not feel tired. It is probably all the adrenalin pulsing through my system she thought.

After what seemed like an hour she saw some tall structures in the distance. As they came closer she noticed the sleek outline of a towering building.

“This is the Central Ministry. You will be processed here,” said Nephele.

The Olders were led into the main entrance. They stood in a large hall looking up at the interior of this vast structure. Circular balconies reached up as far as they could see with several doors on each level. In the center was a large chamber with clear walls. Their guides took them to it and, after they were all inside, it began to rise rapidly up several levels. They exited onto a balcony high inside the building and were taken into a spacious hall.

“This is the intake center where you will receive your identification chips and have your health scan.  Once we have determined you are all healthy you will be assigned to your reorientation families.”

“What if some of us aren’t healthy?” a man asked.

“Our medical care can cure Earth illnesses and will have some rejuvenating effects as well.”

“What about the reorientation families?” asked Sarah.

“You will be sent to live with some of our citizens who have volunteered to help you adjust to our society. We see it as a learning opportunity for both the Olders and the Ortusuns. After the reorientation period you will be assigned to your permanent living spaces. You will be matched with a young citizen who shares your talents and you will mentor them. There will be a welcoming ceremony once you complete the reorientation and are ready to be matched. We call it The Homecoming. It will coincide with our Spring Festival.”

Time passed quickly for Sarah as she adjusted to this new world and culture. The Ortusuns did not work as Earth people did. All the work needed to keep the society functioning was performed by machines. They devoted their time to pursuing individual interests, travel, exploration, science, and the arts. It sounded like an ideal life but for the short lifespan of 30 years.

Sarah made friends with another Older that lived near her orientation home. James was an artist that lived in the same section of the city as Sarah. They discovered that they both enjoyed being out in nature and meeting other artists in the community. Sarah found it very easy to talk to James and their friendship developed quickly.

It was time for Spring Festival and The Homecoming. The Olders gathered on the plain where they had first arrived. The ceremony was to take place on the night of the first Full Moon of Coerulus, the largest moon.

A circle of statues enclosed the ceremonial site. They were crowned by flaming urns, and carved with strange animal faces whose eyes seem to glow from an internal fire.

In the center was an ornately decorated dais. The night sky was full of stars. Music was playing with a steady beat that Sarah felt pulsating through her core like the beat of a human heart. Nephele stood to address them.

Mozart_magic_flute painting of stage set by Karl Friedrick Schinkel via Wikimedia

“This is the night of our ancient Spring Festival when we celebrate fertility on our world. This year we are welcoming the Olders back to their place of origin. They bring us the promise of long life.”

Nephele addressed the Olders,” You are welcomed back to the home world of your ancestors, the place of your origin. You are bringing the gift of our genetic seed back to us.”

Some Ortusuns entered the circle and offered each of the Olders a goblet of ceremonial wine. Sarah found the drink pleasant tasting but soon felt the ground swaying, like a boat riding a swell. She looked around and to see James walking off with a young Ortusun woman. Sarah turned her gaze back to the young man who was standing in front of her.  She took his hand and they went out into the night.

It had been four months since The Homecoming and Sarah’s memory of that night was still clouded. As she entered her studio she felt an odd flutter in her belly. There was a knock on the door.

“Your student is here,” announced Alexia her android.

Sarah remembered she had scheduled a meeting with the young sculptor she had agreed to mentor. “Have the student come in here,” she replied.

Sarah could hear Alexia directing the student to the studio. She looked up as he entered the room. She realized she had seen this young man before. It was on the night of the Spring Festival. ” It’s you!” she said as the heat rose in her body.


This post is my contribution to the WEP August Challenge Reunions 

The WEP challenge is hosted by Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Nilanjana Bose, and Olga Godim.

WEP CHALLENGE FOR AUGUST, REUNIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured image ‘Realm of Dreams’ via publicdomainpictures.net, Ministry building is via Foundry on Pixabay.com, Statue is a Cham pedestal from Museum of Cham sculpture( image altered) via wikimedia, Image of ceremony is Painting of stage set for The Magic Flute by artist Karl Friedrich Schinkel (image cropped).

Word Count: 991

Full Critique

 

 

 

Insecure Writers Pet Peeves

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

August 2 Question: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

This is my August post for IWSG. The question is: What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?
This probably does not qualify as a peeve because it is something that irks me about my own writing.  It is that it is difficult to catch all my own writing errors even when I recheck my posts,(several times), for errors. Many times I will catch them after I have published my post. Yikes. Some people, who have read my blog since the beginning, may be surprised to hear me say this. I did step into some controversy once when I said I thought it was wrong for other writers to point out writing errors to bloggers. You might think this is because I was making errors and resented others pointing them out. It was in response to other bloggers mentioning they had been criticized. There is a big part of me that does not like it when I think others are being bullied and so I reacted. I recently read a post by Kimberly Coyle on The Write Life, How To Effectively Give and Receive Constructive Feedback as a Writer.  and the author pointed out is it better not to focus on grammatical errors,

“Remember you are critiquing the overall craft, not mechanics like punctuation and misspellings.

You’re not reading as a copyeditor, but as a fellow writer looking at the bigger picture. When you hyper-focus on the minutia, it helps the writer improve as a practitioner, but not as an artist.”-Kimberly Coyle

I would agree that especially when writers are starting out it is better not to nit pick their writing unless you are asked to edit. I have been a Beta reader a few times. The first time I did it I was pretty insensitive in a remark I made about a character. It is a learning process to be able to give a critique. I am still learning and hope that in the Beta reading I have done since there is improvement.  Another point from Kimberly’s post:

“If a critique doesn’t resonate with you in any way, you’re not compelled to make the recommended changes. You decide how far and how many of the changes will make their way into your work.Trust your instincts. You, the writer, have the final say.”

This is something I know I would struggle with because I am a new writer. This is where the art comes in too because when you are creating it may not be recognized or accepted. We do have to have the final say about our own work.

In regards to first point about catching my own errors, it makes me aware of the necessity of a good editor if I were to publish a short story or book. I have noticed, in recent years, more errors in published books and articles. I have read this is due to publishers cutting back on live editors for spell check type editing. It is annoying to find errors in published articles and books.


Featured image of Woman from Pompeii fresco via Wikimedia.

 

Who Spit On My Rosemary Bush?

I have written a few blogs about my garden. I have been learning about some of the succulents, plants, and trees in my yard. My Pyracantha appears to be doing fine. I had noticed a few woolly aphids and spider mites on it in the Spring but now they are gone. The sage bushes are thriving and attracting hummingbirds and bees. I haven’t gotten out into my small backyard garden as regularly until the past few days. I was looking at the garden through my kitchen window and noticed a cute little bird in my rosemary bush. It looked like it was eating something off the branches. I wondered if birds like eating rosemary and then thought maybe there was some kind of bug on the bush. I went out to look but did not see anything and then recently I noticed a little white ball on one of the branches. At first I though it could be some kind of cocoon or a bit of fluff. Today I decided to investigate and saw several more little white balls on that bush. On closer inspection, they looked like white foam or spit. Either the plant was producing this foam, which I thought can’t be a good sign, or some wild animal was spitting or slobbering on my rosemary. I thought of skunks, coyotes, and my brother in law’s dog. Well, of course I had to google it. Turns out it is Spittlebugs! They are the nymphs of the Froghopper bug. They produce the foam as camouflage or for insulation in hot weather. We have had hot weather here in Southern California. They really don’t spit out the foam, it comes out the other end. I thought I saw one of the adult (froghopper) bugs on the bush but it was too small, and camera shy, for me to get a photo of it. I had never heard of Spittlebugs or Froghoppers. Hopefully they will not infect any other plants. Although, from what I have read, plants usually survive them. I don’t think I want to use any of this rosemary for cooking right now however.  😉

I found some information about Spittlebugs from SFGate and I like this quote from their post:

“A nice stroll through your garden can help reduce stress and calm your nerves — that is until you find unsightly spit-like foam covering your plants.”

That about says it all. 🙂  I hope that little bird comes back and eats some more Froghoppers.

 

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