By hook or by crook, I’ll create a chapbook

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My dear blogging friend, Mike Allegra, made a particularly interesting comment after reading one of my blog posts.  I had published a poem that day and he recommended that I get working on a chapbook.  I was humbled by his comment and embarrassed that I had never heard of a chapbook.  (Thank you to the kind people at Google for making me slightly more knowledgeable!)

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I rolled the thought around in my head for a while and then that thought, like all the other unrecorded ideas, escaped the confines of my brain.  Much to my delight, the idea had not completely exited my cranium.  The word chapbook popped up again on my radar and made me ponder the thought once again.

I began to go back through my previous posts to reacquaint myself with my poetic entries on this blog.  I was actually surprised at how many poems I have published and I enjoyed reading some of the poems I had completely forgotten.

When I began my writing journey I was a slightly awkward sixth-grader who really knew nothing about stanzas or rhymes.  Words just seemed to come from somewhere and I gravitated more to poetry than I did to storytelling.  Thankfully I have since embraced both but there is always a draw to poetry when I feel the need to express more emotion.

Poetry allows me to tell tales of love and loss.   It gives me permission to dream.  It lets me hope that the world will be a better place.  And it lets me believe in my desires.   By clicking on those links, you’ll see how much I enjoy poetic expression.

I think a chapbook is just the project I need to begin 2016 on the right foot.  Any thoughts or advice in the comments section would be very welcome.

Happy New Year to all and may 2016 bring you all the things you desire!

 

A big ol’ bowl of Christmas

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There are many Christmas traditions I miss – those familiar happenings that only my dad could have created.  He was the biggest kid when it came to Christmas.  He would bravely face the busiest malls leading up to the holidays and no expense was spared. Our tree overflowed with gifts,  the food and drink were abundant and the festivities began bright and early each year with a barrage of Beach Boys music at 6:00 am on that merry morning.  And in the subsequent years, long after I had moved out of the house, that music still sounded when he called me at that same hour to make sure I was up and getting ready to head over.  (side note:  I took a break after writing this paragraph to surf Facebook and one of the videos I turned on was Beach Boys music – got the message loud and clear Dad!)

Our Christmas dinners were much-anticipated.  The turkey was always perfect, the mashed potatoes and gravy were unrivaled and nobody made stuffing like my mom.  We were always thankful for copious amount of food because that meant turkey sandwiches, Turkey Tetrazzini and, of course, my dad’s famous Turkey soup.

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It took me years to figure out why his soup was so good.  I’ve known lots of homes that had the stock simmering and the soup ready the next day but none of those creations even held a candle to my dad’s soup.  It wasn’t until I paid faithful attention that I realized his closely guarded secret when it came to his ingredients.

Each holiday celebration when we have a turkey, I happily pack up the leftovers to recreate dad’s soup and I am confident that my dad would be proud of the results.  When all is said and done, our turkey soup tastes just like Christmas dinner in a bowl.  It’s thick and it has all the components of a full turkey dinner.

I no longer call it Turkey Soup.  It is called Christmas soup, and for good reason.  It takes all the elements of our celebration from the carefully cooked bird, to all of the tasty side dishes, to the laughter at my nephew pointing out that his Under Armor Boxers were on backwards, and simmers all of that magic together in a pot.  It is a soupcon of memories, a fragrant blend of cherished moments, tears and laughter that make up our holiday season.

This years’ Christmas soup is simmering on the stove as I type this blog entry and I’m sure my dad would be happy that his post-festivity creation lives on in the kitchen of our past, present and future holiday celebrations.

 

 

 

 

An answer with a question

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“You can keep asking.  I’m not going to tell you.”

She practically begged him, “I just want a hint.”

“I did not purchase a ring.”

Her shoulders deflated.

“I bought you a circle of gold.”

He knelt and handed her the box.

~~

microstories245

 

 

 

 

When I saw the tree

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She left before I was ready.

Perhaps her smile veiled her true emotion,

shrouding me from the reality

that she had been ready for a while.

Maybe she heard him calling to her,

soft whispers as she slept,

telling her it was okay to let go.

Conspicuous reminders of her appear,

like songs long forgotten

playing on a broken radio.

Repressed smells tickle my senses,

transporting me to another time,

and they render me paralyzed.

She came to me in a dream.

She embraced me as I slept

and whispered words she knew I needed to hear.

 When I saw the tree, I knew.

She was here,

in this place,

in the way she would have wanted to be,

in the form she loved so much.

Her sentinels lay in wait,

their wings ready at a moment’s notice,

to be at my side if I needed them.

~~

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 ~~

fiction245