Monthly Archives: January 2015

Daily Prompt: Burnt

Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

I don’t like thinking of these things. the biggest loss would be a number of photos fo my mother and aunt as children, one of my paternal grandfather with my father and uncle in a set piece, and one of my father receiving his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He looks so young in it, but he died young at 48. It would break my heart to lose these.

I would be aggravated to lose all the pants that I have finally found that are long enough for me. Women’s pants, even Tall ones,never give a length longer than 34″ and I need a 35″ or 36″. I’ve found a few manufacturers who make real long pants. But the catalog through which I bought them doesn’t carry them anymore.

I would be upset that I didn’t save the cats’ toys and food. They would need a definite time to recover and fond and familiar things might help.

 Finally, I would cry for all the books I’d lose in a fire. I don’t think I need to say anything more about that. Having saved my computer all my written work is saved.

Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

The first is easy, my pocketbook. There is nothing harder than replacing all the cards lost, or even remembering them all. Also, if my house is burning, I ought to have money to buy a good cup of coffee to see me through.

The other four are all technology related. First my smart phone. How else could I find someone to let me sleep on their couch? The second is my MacBook Air, mainly because I’m still paying it off, and it has all my writing on it. If I lost my writing now, I would probably stop completely and pull back in to my turtle shell. Not a good outcome, and one to be avoided at all costs.

Next I would grab the two biggest, in some sense, repositories of my books, my Nook and my Kindle. Between them I have over 2500 books, and that could keep me out of mischief for a very long time. Both of them are fairly new, and should tide me through any other major catastrophes.

All of this is assuming, as the prompt suggests, that my four cats have been saved. Otherwise I would probably get the easily catchable two out and die searching for the champion hiders.

Daily Prompt: Play Lexicographer.

Create a new word and explain its meaning and etymology.

This is a daily prompt right in my wheelhouse. I have created a number of words, primarily for other species in my writing, where there is no word in existence to name them. Some of the names have obvious derivations, such as the felixities and the fliperlies. The cat people’s name comes from their genus, Felix, while the dolphin like fliperlies’ name comes from a 1960s era comedy, Flipper. Others have no obvious connection to existing things.

The avanees and the kerps are named after two typos I made that rang true for me. The avanees, raven like creatures with bigger brains and the ability to talk, were a typo for the name Vanessa, and kerps, two foot tall humans, arose when I mistyped the word keep four times as kerp in one short story. I figured that it was a sign.

My most recent species name arose when I was typing a flash fiction for my writers group. All I knew about the species was that it had tentacles at the time I came to name it. So I threw a syllable into the air metaphorically and came up with Trapolisis. This species later practices a mind-to-mind hypnosis, and I don’t think I realized that yet when I named the species, but it seemed to fit even better.

The bottom line is that I think some about names I give species, but mainly I just wing it!

The Storm

I sit here in Burlington, VT, watching the news about this great storm that is hugging the coast of New England. I lived in the Boston at the time of the blizzard of ’78. Very few people mention the storm that dropped around 20″ the week before the blizzard. It was so hard to dig out from the blizzard because the snow from the earlier snowfall had not been completely cleared.

This storm that is now laying waste to the coast will probably not hit us much, if at all, in Burlington. They predict 2-4″ and that is a notoriously whiffy projection here. With that forecast in the past, we have gotten between 0″ and 10″. So no one I know is placing any bets on this storm. Every map I’ve seen so far has an upper snow line either just above or just below us.

I have volunteered to man our workshop all day tomorrow. The regular morning person has had to drive home twice this year in treacherous conditions and is reluctant to do it again, understandably. I can walk to and from the workshop reasonably, although I regret that it’s uphill on the way home. I doubt I will have many visitors tomorrow, and I will use the time to write, knit and play games. Hopefully, mainly writing!

Ooh! The latest map says we don’t get anything!

Daily Prompt: Two Right Feet

It’s simple when you get to an advanced age. Take all your pills and other medications. At least it means I won’t crash come midday, and might make it through the whole day without a tantrum or a snit.  Being a slightly curmudgeonly older person of the female persuasion, I find the idiocies in the world irritating and occasionally enraging. But the second thing I do after meds is to find the subject of a new political double dactyl. I’ve been lucky so far this week. Mitt Romney’s insane usurpation of the democratic memes of income inequality and the failing of the middle class gave a plethora of riches for the satirist. I am waiting until this afternoon to scrutinize the various Republican responses to the State of the Union address for material for new double dactyls.

In fact, I will share with you one of my Mitt double dactyls here:

Mittfully witfully
Under Obama, see,
Rich are all richer and
Grow with the prez

Wage inequality
Democrats’ fault for sure
Mitt Romney says

Which only goes to show that I have too much time on my hands. I’m thinking of starting another blog devoted totally to double dactyls. I might wait until campaigning is in full swing, for that’s where I get my best ideas. Some are quite good and some are “meh” but it’s fun to do.

Needless to say, I do not double dactyl if I’ve forgotten my meds!

More poetry news

We workshopped some more of my poems today, and it appears I have garnered a fan or two. The same gentleman who liked my poems last week has graced me with the title of poet. I am girding my loins to present the three best to the poetry workshop in the very near future. It will be interesting to hear what others think of my use of an archaic form.

One of the poems I wrote for this week was another pantoum, this time addressing the issue of reading poetry that one thinks is inferior. I am told it is a near universal complaint, this doubting of oneself. I was once again stunned by a comment both of the men at today’s workshop made. They think I speak in a cadence that has its roots in poetry. Coulda hit me with a sledgehammer. I believe I talk the way I always have, and certainly no one before has made such a comment. I have been told by my fiction compatriots that I have a distinctive voice. My response is that and a buck might get me a cup of coffee. And not very good coffee at that.

So I am once again in an awkward place. I have always thought my metier was fantasy, and those who have read my first story (still at the editor) believe it is a very good story. But what if I’m really a poet? I know those who claim to be both. But I don’t seem to be able to do both at the same time. When the poems arise spontaneously, it seems to shut off my narrative stream, and vice versa. Maybe I should give over my mornings to poetry and my evenings to fantasy. The afternoons can be whatever is pressing harder. I may have to quit all my volunteering if I am to make my way in both genres.

Where was all this creativity when I was younger and more able to adjust? Bah, humbug.