Time is running out

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I have been blessed over the last six months.  Not only have I been able to work full-time at a job I enjoy, I have been able to focus the substantial increase of my spare time into the things that I am truly passionate about.

I have always been a creative person.  As a child, arts and crafts were my go-to hobby and when I reached the age of eleven I was introduced to the art of writing.  My grade six teacher urged us to express ourselves in ways that I had never thought about and from that moment, I was hooked.  I began to write poetry and short stories.  I was so addicted to words that I got my library card and became a voracious reader.

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I was also introduced to cooking at an early age and, under the tutelage of my dad, learned to create meals that did not come from a recipe.  I learned to experiment with flavors and was able to create some impressive dinners with simple items found in any pantry.  And I made a point to commit his cooking faux pas to memory – NEVER make scrambled eggs with Egg Nog!

I have been able to take all of my spare moments over the last few months and really focus on the things I love – cooking and writing.  This past weekend, I added three thousand more words to my novel-in-progress and spent some time in my own kitchen creating some fantastic and creative soups for myself and my family.  The time is slowly running out for me to have the time to focus on the wants instead of the needs.  Soon the resort will be back in full swing and my spare time will be a dim memory of my past.

My email address is a glaring reminder of how I will spend my remaining days and nights before my world changes – “carpe diem – seize the day”.

Living a thousand lives

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“The man who reads lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen.  The man who never reads lives only one.”

 George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

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There is something divinely quieting about a good book.  It can take all of the external forces in our lives and make them seem non-existent for a few moments. Losing ourselves in a great story line can give us a temporary escape from reality and take us on a journey to a life outside of our own.

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Although authors don’t write with us in mind, their words can give us a momentary reprieve from the demons that stalk us throughout our busy days, those demons who try to dwell in the hours that we would like spend in solitude. When you open a novel or turn on an E-reader, the chaotic minutes that you have survived during your work day cease to exist and the outside world becomes a distant memory.

If you are one of the fortunate few who can switch your work brain to the “off” position, you allow yourself to become fully involved in the plot line that the author has created. You send yourself on a journey far beyond the realm of your existence.  The words on the page seep into your mind and you become lost in the world of fiction.

Those words, the way they are woven into a complex story line, allow us the ability to sink into a place of imagery and intrigue.  Those words have the power to enlighten us, torture us, amuse us, make us cry and keep reality at bay as long as we will let them.

We owe it to ourselves to relish those moments of escape.  We need to permit ourselves to embrace the worlds beyond our own and tune out the brash sounds of our real lives by bathing in the dulcet tones of fictitious adventure. Do yourself a favor…..grab a book, turn off the television and let yourself be transported by the rhythm of words.  You will be surprised at how simple it is to live a thousand lives.

 

Much ado about the opposite of nothing

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 I have been conspicuously absent from reading other blogs, or anything else in the category of the written word, because I have been alarmingly removed from anything resembling spare time.   I am on day 10 of a potential 14-day work stretch without a full day off and will certainly log a great deal of overtime this week.  (too bad I’m on salary)

I miss the carefree hours of being able to have enough brain capacity to read on a recurring basis.   This phenomenon happens frequently this time of year and I feel like I am missing an appendage when I cannot feed the creative appetite that incessantly yearns to be fed by words.

My attention span is non-existent.  My ability to concentrate is tenuous.   My capacity to hold a thought is…………………waning.  And the notion that I have enough brain power to write blog posts on my own site on a frequent basis is nothing short of laughable.

Next week is a quiet week at work, probably the last extensive time period that I will have to fill my desire to absorb words as quickly as I am able to, and write words that long to be freed from my mind, before the onset of summer.   The list of books has been established, the index of writing topics has been inventoried, the sequential collection of email notifications has been queued, the wine has been stored at the proper temperature and the spot on the couch has been reserved.

I can only hope that the three empty days on the calendar at work remain that way, for my sake.  I’m slowly learning to be a little more selfish when it comes to pursuing my true passions and I wish for the break in reality to be able to seek the charms of the fantasy life that awaits me in the world of literature and composition.

Sometimes you just want breakfast for dinner

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I have said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it many times again before they pry my cold, dead fingers from my laptop – I love to cook.  I find great pleasure in mixing flavors and trying new things (sans recipe – my dad would be proud).  Some of those things work and some don’t.  And since I referred to my dad, I will tell you that although he was a fabulous “do it yourself” cook, some recipes just didn’t have the desired effect once on the plate.  For those of you who have ever entertained the idea of scrambled eggs made with eggnog – Don’t Do It!!

I have worked in many restaurants from breakfast diners to fine dining restaurants and I had the foresight to pay attention to how each Chef took the time with their presentation. From swirls of Balsamic Reduction to the height they could achieve on a plate, every little nuance, every detail on that plate, made that dish even more special by enhancing the flavor.  It was food for the eyes as well as the palette.  The term “Amuse Bouche” delighted me.   When a single, delectable morsel became the new trend at the beginning of a meal, I was taken with its modesty in size but explosion of flavor.

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I do my best to amuse my bouche every time I create my feasts, whether it is for company or simply for myself.   But sometimes, on those rare nights you just want to curl up under a blanket with an intriguing book, there is nothing better than a good breakfast for dinner.  Those recognizable morning food items are the epitome of comfort food.  Sizzling homemade pork sausage patties and the perfect fried egg were the perfect end to my day, especially since the eggs were nestled in a bed of potato pancakes.  Simple, delicious and just what the bookworm in me required for the perfect night.  My bouche is amused and it is time to find out who Darwin really is!!

The more things change, the more they are different

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Blogging is a fickle mistress.  Back when I started this journey I had no followers and no clue what I was doing.  I just wanted to write.

With much persistence and an avid desire to keep writing, I did just that.  Along the way, people began to read what I had to say and, not only that, took the time to make comments and leave their two cents about the words I had spent so many hours crafting into submission.  Those were blissful times in my life and, as the momentum continued, I gained new followers and new friends throughout the process.

But as with all things that change, and contrary to the subjective saying, nothing every really stays the same.  Life gets in the way and those little joys that were once so ingrained in our daily lives are shelved to make room for reality.  During the last three summers, work has taken a front seat while my creativity has been stored in a tool box in the trunk of my life.

Every autumn, I find the key, open that trunk and hope my creativity has maintained some of its shape during the bumpy rides it has been made to withstand.  Although the integrity of my imagination seems somewhat intact, the struggle to achieve the same level of contact with readers and followers seems to wane.  It is the fault of no single circumstance and it simply means I have to delve back into the vigor of writing that I had when I began this wonderful pilgrimage through written expression.

I have sworn to be diligent, not only in my writing but, in my covenant to be a good follower of all the blogs I have chosen to support with my likes and comments.  I have been inattentive, through no fault of my own, and have made a pact with myself to make up for my negligence and become more of a presence in this world of words, especially with those who have stuck by me on this ride.

Relationships of every kind take effort.  I look forward to challenging myself to put forth my best effort to post things of meaning and to post them often.  I look forward to mending fences, creating new connections and having my little typewriter appear in many areas of this blogosphere and throughout the other worlds of people who love to read.

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Sometimes it feels like only your keyboard will listen to you, but if you keep at it your audience will grow and you will find your true voice.  ~ SN

 

 

The prodigious exultation of being a word-nerd

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Blogging has allowed me to become a true, and very contented, word snob.  I have always loved words.  As a teenager, I kept a duo-tang (who remembers those?) filled with lined paper and would make note of all the unfamiliar words I came across while devouring all the books I used to read.  Those words that eluded my pubescent mind became a staple of my vocabulary once I had defined them and cemented them into the library of my brain.  They circled my imagination and urged my cerebrum to come out to play.  They tickled my tongue and they began to flow like blood in my veins.

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(look at how lovely my penmanship was in high school)

I assiduously began to incorporate those words into as many scenarios as I could.  My teachers were duly impressed.  My fellow students merely looked at me like I had three heads.  My flamboyant wordiness was an ephemeral fantasy and I had to tone down my elevated rhetoric to become a conventional high-school student filled with angst rather than synonyms.

Today I still continue to incorporate those words into my daily conversations, not to sound more intelligent but, because I enjoy the way those words sound when I say them aloud.  I relish being able to use the phrase ‘alarmingly verbose’ instead of just saying “he talked a lot”.  I enjoy describing winter as arduous and not just “shitty”, although shitty can truly encapsulate the past winter months and potentially the ones to come.  And I will forever want to be mystified by language and not speak simply to communicate.  I want to thrive in my love for words.

My enthusiasm for articulate phrases has never waned.  It has followed me throughout my journey.  It has haunted my sleep and clandestinely pursued me during my conscious hours.  May those words forever churn in the maelstrom of my imagination and may I always be able to maintain my romance with the language of expression.

 

Back in the saddle

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Life happens.  It travels at a million miles per hour (unofficially clocked….we are awaiting confirmation) and it has a nasty habit of redefining our original trajectory.  I had been transported to an alternate dimension of my own reality but I finally figured out a way to get back to my blogging home.  I’m back in the saddle, baby!!

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I have to admit….getting back into the WordPress groove is making me feel good.  Just taking the time to read and comment makes me feel more like myself than I have felt in a while.  I have missed the witty banter.  I have missed all of your literary and poetic genius.  But most of all I have missed that feeling of community that I find when I participate.

I’m looking forward to catching up!!