Friday, June 15, 2018

"Frugality is one of the most beautiful and joyful words 
in the English language, and yet one that we are culturally
cut off from understanding and enjoying. The consumption 
society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, 
and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things." 
~Elise Boulding, Norwegian-born American Quaker sociologist and author. 


I found this as I was reading a small book, Wabi Sabi- The Art of Everyday Life,  given to me by the daughter of a woman I visited as a hospice chaplain and provided the funeral service for the family.  I felt that it fit with the place I am in my life right now today.  Over the past few months I have been decluttering, separating what has sentimental value from what is really simple and beautiful.  Right now I want simple and beautiful--it's my journey to becoming a minimalist.

So, I have lovely things that I have acquired over the years and decided to put on them on Etsy.  It's time for these items to find another home where they will be treasured.  The first one I decided to  show on Etsy was a bracelet signed stamped by Navajo silversmith/lapidarist, Carol Kee.  She is known for her depiction of Disney characters in her jewelry.  I acquired this Jiminy Cricket bracelet when I owned a shop in Florida on Amelia Island. It was more like a gallery of traditional Native American art and rare and unusual beads and findings.  I was told by a Navajo silversmith, who often visited the shop to display his work and technique, that she was actually given permission by Walt Disney to recreate his characters.  I couldn't part with so tucked it away.

Sadly, Carol Kee crossed over several years ago.  This Jiminy Cricket bracelet is probably one of her earliest works, a very rare collector's piece and may be the only one of it's kind, and most likely created in the late fifties or early sixties. Walt Disney died December 15, 1966.  The bracelet is sterling silver with mother of pearl, jet, turquoise and coral.

Now on my journey to becoming a minimalist -- its time for someone else to enjoy it.
You can see it on Etsy here 

Treasured today, but in it's day Pinocchio was a flop. The Adventures of Pinocchio (1911 film), a live-action silent film directed by Giulio Antamoro, was based on a novel.  The Adventures of Pinocchio (1936), historically noted was an unfinished animated feature film.  Disney's animation, Pinocchio was released in February 7, 1940.  Personally, I think the message is very fitting today.  "Let your conscience be you guide."

Here is a treat for you... a trip down memory lane... "Give a little whistle"  Enjoy

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Life carried me away.

I didn't keep up with documenting each MasterClass as I got bored and let life carry me away.  Not with listening to Judy Blume's fascinating lectures about her writing process-- I just got bored with the whole thing. MasterClass is a great idea if you are someone who has the time to sift through everything.  After I completing all the lessons, I got an email that the "Hub" had new notifications so went back in and saw this challenge.  The challenge was to write a short story and there was a word limit for 500 if you were writing poetry and 250 for short stories and it wasn't just for Judy Blume's class it was for anyone taking a writing class. I decided to give it a try because there is something about limited story word challenges that I really like. There was a picture of an elder man and woman smiling at each other and the story was to be based around that picture.
Since I read the directions to quickly I thought that the story was 500 words.  Once I realized that it was 250 words, I made many cuts and changes  hoping not to lose the story-line.  I will post them both here.

Enjoy...
“Come this way,” she said, moving the group along.  “We think you will love the recreation room and we have activities that are truly inspirational.”  She motions to the group to come along.  “We think you will agree that living here is akin to being on vacation every day.”

He’s barely listening.  Instead, he is thinking that this is what it’s all come down to—senior living. He sighs and glances around the atrium then stepping away from the group, he walks into the sun room.  It was light and airy.  A woman sits facing the wall of windows and the wide expanse of grass beyond.  


He looks, then turns to looked again.   He wakes up the woman.  Her eyes are closed.  “Martha?” he said. She doesn’t respond.

“She’s probably sleeping.” He turns to see a tall thin woman standing behind him dressed in a light blue tunic. 
“She sleeps a lot lately,” she said.
“Is this Martha Holmes”, he said. 
“Why yes. It is,” she said.  “Martha has been with us for about 10 years now.  Lovely lady. Do you know her?”   
“I believe I do.”  He said, bending down.  “Martha,” he whispered.

The woman opens her eyes.
“Harry.  Harry-- you came.”
“And you still have the bluest eyes,” he said. The man took a deep breath and then smiled.

“I just knew you would come.  I’ve been sitting here waiting.  They said you weren’t coming.”

He feels a hand on his arm and a voice says, “I’m sorry.  My mother gets confused a lot lately. Mother, it’s me you were waiting for.  Remember?”
He turns to see a face that brings back a flood of memories.“It is all right,” he said, “She’s an old friend. You look just like your mother.” 

“I thought we would be late.” Martha said.  Then trying to stand, she turns to the tall thin woman in the blue tunic, “I hope you don’t mind.  I won’t be here for dinner.  We are going to the prom.  Aren’t we, Harry?

In one swoop, he reaches across the table, plucks a rose out of the vase and hands it to her.  
“Are we going now?”
“I believe we are,” he said. 
He reaches down helping her to stand.  She takes his hand, “I think they are playing our song,” she said.
“Why I think they are.” he said, the words catching in his throat. 
She reaches up, her fingertips lightly brushing across his cheek.  “I am so glad you came.  I knew you would.”

He folds his arms around her--the years crumble away as they sway to music only she can hear.  A tear spills from his eye as they waltz across the floor.
“We should go away together—tonight like we planned,” she said, looking up at him.  “Away –far away from here.”

“Tomorrow,” he whispers, “We’ll talk tomorrow.”
The two women stand by the wall of windows and watch as Martha lays her head upon his chest and they move together ever so slowly.  (500 wrds)

-------------

“Come this way,” she says, moving the group along. “We think you will love the recreation room and we have activities that are truly inspirational.” She motions as if to hurry the group. “We think you will agree that living here is akin to being on vacation every day.”

He’s barely listening. Instead, he’s thinking that this what it’s all come to—senior living. He sighs and glances around the atrium then stepping away from the group, he walks into the sun room. It was light and airy. A woman sat facing the wall of windows and the wide expanse of grass beyond. He looks, then turns to look again. Slowly, he walks up the woman. Her eyes are closed. “Martha?” he says. She doesn’t respond.

“She’s probably sleeping. She sleeps a lot lately.”
He turns to see a tall thin woman standing behind him.
“Martha has been with us for about 10 years now. Lovely lady. Do you know her?” the woman says.

“I believe I do,” then bending down, he whispers. “Martha.”
“Harry—is that really you?”
“And you still have the bluest eyes,” he says.

She reaches up, her fingertips lightly brushing across his cheek, she says. “Let’s go inside—they’re dancing already.”

He helps her stand up.
“I think they are playing our song,” she says.
“I think they are.” he says, the words catching in his throat. He folds his arms around her. A tear spills from his eye as they move together across the floor.  (250 wrds)


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Judy Blume's MasterClass here

Inside Creative Writing- 31 hours free to watch - find it on YouTube or here 
A video series on "YouTube" following the creative process of short story writing.   It records Pulitizer Prize winning author, Professor Robert Olen Butler of Florida State University, in real time writing a short story from inspiration to completion.  I found this encouraging because writing is difficult.  It can be talked about lectured about but to watch the process as it happens is inspiring.  It helped me immensely to become more comfortable with my own writing process. If you are filled with stories and characters and wonder where they come from then this series is for you.