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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Sister Scrooge on Christmas Eve

       They both raced to the velvet chaise next to their parent’s bed. "Goodnight girls. Sweet dreams." Daddy had taken them outside and covered them for the night. It felt like the North Pole. Bitter cold winds swept around the house and the temperature took a dive into something Californians typically only see in fancy, French-doored Sub-Zero refrigerators—something resembling popsicles.
Summer days in the window(Fiona up close and Pinky)

Getting comfortable when it's cold is generally difficult for Chihuahuas. They aren't used to cold weather and even with pink sweaters, their ears and toes feel icy.  
Walking with Mommy-- wearing coats


"Move over or I'm telling Mom!" Pinky whined. “Tomorrow’s Christmas and we have to be good!” 
"Bah humbug," Fiona mumbled, as she sprawled her matchstick legs behind her as far as they would go. A complete and utter Scrooge, her adorable face and diminutive physique didn’t automatically make her sweet. “All you ever want are treats and more treats,” she said with a haughty tone. “The only reason you want to be good is so you can get more snacks. Will you ever stop being a slob?”
 "For an itty-bitty thing you sure are nasty!” Pinky made a sad face, accidentally pulling part of the covers off Fiona.
"You are a moron. Why don’t you shut up or grow up? For goodness sake, aren’t you like seventy-seven in human years?" Fiona grunted. "Go to sleep and leave me alone.” She buried her face into the soft comforter and closed her eyes.
After a long day of home inspections, kitchen floor cleanups and all around holiday excitement, Pinky was tired too. Outweighing Fiona by at least fifteen pounds wasn't enough to give Pinky the upper hand. In fact, Fiona was in charge of everything and it wasn't fair. 
This is their large and spacious bed
 Using her nose, she pushed Fiona's skinny legs aside and plopped onto the green chaise. A few minutes later, the tinier Chihuahua re-positioned herself under the covers. Pinky didn't want to complain but a small growl attracted Mommy who came to make sure they were properly covered. First, she wanted to take a peek at her two naughty pups. To her delight, she found Fiona's head resting on Pinky's patient haunches. 

“Aren’t you two the cutest? Merry Christmas,” she whispered. We’ll have sleighs full of fun tomorrow. After turning off the light, she listened to the wind howling in the yard and wondered whether it might snow. And as the light of the full moon crept under the window shades, she thanked God for all her blessings--even the furry, four-legged ones--now sleeping like angels.... 

Friday, December 18, 2015

There's Room in My Heart

There’s room in my heart to wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. There’s also room for cheerful thoughts--towards those who don’t celebrate Christmas--for contentment and joy and of course--a lovely and safe 2016!

There’s room in my heart. Quite a bit actually—it’s like a giant airplane hangar waiting for kindness to enter. It’s a place to dance and sing about good things, whine and cry about the bad and toast the hopes and dreams of a coming year while sharing our stories. The ceiling is high in my heart. Breezy and light with room for many angels, I put my closest allies, my dearest friends on ornate pedestals and in my imagination, I think of them at a giant award ceremony receiving the highest honor my heart can bestow.  

There’s room in my heart for good tidings and lactose free eggnog—giggles and excitement. I can decorate with strings of twinkling lights or hire a nice old man to set up a train set, such as the one I had as a kid. Then, when we’re getting tired of celebrating and singing Christmas carols, we can sit on satin pillows around the tree, praying for peace. 

May God Bless You All!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Three Ways To Add Time into Your Life Right Now!

While shopping and running errands, you’ve probably noticed that time seems to slip by faster than a cheetah on speed. Of course, I have no experience with crack or cheetahs but since wildlife and opium plants might mingle, there could be a weird chance something like that could develop. Somewhere near a leaking power plant or near a nuclear testing site—but I digress. What I want to do is offer a suggestion about making time slow again. Women who have given birth know the drill. They could write this post too because expecting is exactly that—the expectation of a new life with nine months of built in anticipation, anxiousness and of course pain. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t really know that either but I’ve heard great stories from wonderful mothers.
 The rest of us might recall waiting for Christmas or maybe we waited in the rain for a bus and thought it would never show up. Here are three great ways to add some make believe but still valuable, time into your already busy week.
1.     Create a small goal with a surprise at the end.
Pages or Pounds?
With writing, it’s pages, or with dieting it’s pounds. There’s a number involved and they sound similar. 1500 calories or 1500 words a day. Set a goal but make it attainable. At the end of the week if you’ve reached your goals you can reward yourself; but only at the end of the week. Rewards have to be something you don’t indulge in frequently such as a special slice of cake or tickets to a theater. The trick is to look forward to the reward and the week will crawl by like a naked turtle looking for her shell.
2.     Make a date to go somewhere fun
Weekend Trip or Vacation?
You’ve always wanted to go to Universal Studios? Hawaii? Well this might be a great time to plan a trip--something stellar- and rockin’ fun-- such as a New Year cruise or maybe a weekend trip to Vegas? The anticipation will drive you batty because it’s something you’ve
wanted to do for a very long time. Once you book the tickets, it will seem like you’re back in third grade waiting for recess. Time will return to you in spades. The clock will tick louder than usual. It will seem you’ll never get there and it will be so worth it when you do.
3.     Plan a party a month in advance
Be a Guest or Hostess
It’s still almost a month out but planning a New Year Party will be a cinch. It’s not the planning but the space between the minute you start planning and the actual event that seems to create the slowness of time. If you know of a spectacular party you want to attend then make sure you’re on the list. Getting married in the New Year? Congrats but the minutes will seem eternal.  Even being a guest at upcoming nuptials can be exciting. The farther off the event and the more elaborate the gala, the more you’ll see clocks stopping and minutes crawling like slugs into your garden.
The Present of Time
So there you are: My intangible gift to you—a few scattered minutes to cherish and hold until something wonderful happens—and you inhale before you go screaming and laughing through Times Square on New Year’s Eve or exhale cold vapor while riding a roller-coaster at a local amusement park. Before the kisses and hugs, before the spilled champagne and before opening packages under the tree; as this calendar year draws to an end, I want to wish all my family members, friends and followers a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Grateful, Overstuffed Hearts

Good and Bad Stuffing
A poem by Eve Gaal
(Note: Little bit of silly word play for Thanksgiving:
 Each line as two words that sound the same but....)

Listen to rap while wrapping.
Bake date bread before dating.
Buy a wok after walking.
Lie down-- hear lies.
See from ocean to sea,
males rarely send mail.
Sew your dress-- find it isn’t so.
Frosted tiers,--shedding tears,
Unfazed-- enter a phase.
No--means knowing.
Dye your hair—you’re not prepared to die.
Hear the hymn-- listen to Him,
head to sole into your soul.
By and large you buy it,
By casting nets—earn a role in the cast.
Harpoon a whale while wailing.
Box out of a box--
a major feat but you land on your feet.
Do the unthinkable--kneel on morning dew.
Pray for the preyed upon.

You are not the ewe in the meadow.
Write about everything being right,
the open chutes are shooting,
weigh your options-- find your way--
like a soldier in the corps--injured to the core.
One who wins and has won.
Ready for round two— maybe three and four too,

Life's not easy but great and you’re grate-ful!
This turkey is filled with
 gratitude instead of stuffing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Backyard Forecasting

Pre-El Nino?

The clouds are hiding now.
The storm is on the way.
So they say.
Plan ahead.
Those high paid meteorologists
Wearing expensive clothes--
Have warnings,
fancy maps
Doppler radar,
and serious expressions on their faces.
It’s time to prepare.
Buy umbrellas,
flood insurance.
Stock up on food,
at least make sure you have a raincoat.
sunshine is streaming all over the place.
You grab your sunglasses and sit in the shade.
You’re out a few hundred dollars but you’re ready.
And on such a wonderful November day
You see the frantic hummingbird poke her head into the last of the blossoms—

and think it’s funny
because even without the Prime Time weather team--

She knows. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Empowering Fashions?

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s no wonder the catalog companies are testing my postman’s biceps. Poor guy must really get a workout schlepping all the fashion, gift and toy catalogs. Last night I flipped through a couple of my favorites and realized I’m hopelessly out of style. I used to know what to wear but moving to a deserted golf course for ten years has altered my sense of style. Silk blouses were too hot when the mercury rose past 89 degrees and suit jackets slumped on a chair most of the day. At least I’ve learned that shorts aren’t for middle-aged women. Skinny, tall or short and plump,

please don’t wear shorts to anything. Not even a golf tournament. They are ugly and unless you’re one of the Bud girls or something, don't even consider wearing shorts with boots.

But what do I know? I like dresses and I cannot lie. My favorite dress style is from before my mother went to school and I also love the vintage dresses from when my grandmother went to school!There's no denying the pink, the lace and the style of the dresses from the early part of the 20th Century glorified the weaker sex. Something my extra large athletic build and 5 foot 9 inch stature can only dream about. Weak? Me? Not unless I'm sick.
Ubiquitous jeans, however are my go to, for cool days and long winter nights.

Let me get back to these fashion catalogs and what women are subjected to wearing in 2015. Certainly nothing "weak" about either of these acceptable styles:

 1. Severe political statement, candidate-style suits
 2. Robin Hood meets Peter Pan (Angled bottom- flowing tunic, leggings and ankle boots)

Thanks to John T. Molloy and his book “Dress for Success", I wore imposing navy blue suits for many years. Honestly, I’m not exaggerating or dramatizing when I say a manager handed me that exact book after noticing my handmade little frocks. (Yes, I used to sew romantic, ladylike dresses.) Some of my "power" suits have followed me from the L.A. hustle and bustle where they served me well. They also did a pretty good job in Temecula and later I transported them out to La Quinta in the desert where they collected desert dust for ten years before recently moving to Wildomar. Now they just gently stare and wonder why I haven’t donated them to Angel View, our local charity.With manly lapels and straight skirts, the suits fill me with guilt for working from home. They also remind me of the 80’s and 90’s. Can’t think of too many great reasons for keeping them but political office? Not a chance!  

Anyway,back to the second group of catalogs from my soon-to-be buff postman. What’s with that "Saving the World look" ladies? Don’t forget, Robin Hood and Peter Pan, though fictional characters, are both young men. Have I missed something important while being busy along the path of life? After all, I picked up People Magazine at the dentist and perused Us and Glamour Magazine before getting a mammogram. I mean how did I become so oblivious?

Of course, all the models look gorgeous in their leggings, flowing tunics and ankle boots but for lack of a quiver filled with arrows, you’d think we live in a place like Panem from the Hunger Games. Have women decided to give up femininity all together for the sake of political correctness--or is it to fight? Engage in battle? Win? Will I be outed as an enemy due to my weak looking, dress-wearing tendencies?   Should I swap my suits for tunics and leggings and join the androgynous march into tomorrow wearing tough looking ankle boots? Maybe I can arm-wrestle the postman and put a feather in my cap? Nah, I prefer tea-length dresses accompanied by intelligent conversation and a side of chocolate biscuits. Or perhaps a rendezvous at Starbucks, wearing my loose fitting jeans. 

(P.S. I'd mention the catalogs specifically, but don't want them to get mad at me. 
If you're curious then please send me an email-evegaal at gmail and I'll give you the name of the catalogs.)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Finding Your Inner Artist

For those who know how to paint but aren’t painting because they're too busy. Or for those who want to learn to paint and the most interesting group, those who think they know how to paint, but haven’t been brave enough to try. There’s also those who did try but didn’t like what they saw and gave up. Bad. Very naughty group. Don’t ever give up!! Perhaps someone laughed, or you yourself became overly critical. We can be so hard on ourselves. I know this from experience. Whether singing on a stage or writing poetry, we need to lighten up and try again. Rework, repaint, restore, rewrite, edit, renew, decorate!

This reminds me of a wobbly bench my husband made for my mother. He had never taken wood-shop but attempted to make a simple bench from used pine, adorning it with green paint and red tulips. Though the bench was weak and not a safe place to sit, mother loved it, proudly placing it outside her front door. I think it made a great place for potted plants. As time went on, it took on a country-style patina and looked even better before finally falling apart. It really was a cute bench and it was certainly artistic. 

How do you define art? Of course, there’s a basic way to hold a brush and some elementary fundamentals about mixing colors but let’s say you don't understand all of the hundreds of technical aspects but want to do it anyway. Who will stop you and who would dare say your completed creation is not art? (Do not listen to bratty older sisters and brothers because they were born to intentionally give you a hard time about everything.) Do you only like paintings that look like photographs or do you enjoy cubism, impressionism and pointillism?
By Miro

 How about getting in touch with your own version of shabby-chic such as the aforementioned bench? There are many, many variations on a theme and multiple canvases waiting for your perspective. Before I wrote this post, I saw a website dedicated to a painter who paints on the ends of logs. They were gorgeous and inspiring. Speaking of inspiring, one site I visit often is March House Books which highlights children’s book illustrators and painters. Have you seen those paintings on old saw blades? I have a relative (through marriage) who paints on silk. She's amazingly talented and becoming famous in her own country. Even I tried to paint desert landscapes onto rocks for paperweights and while I wouldn’t say I’m horrible, I prefer writing to painting.

The point is, you should invest in the paint and be the artist you were meant to be. Best of all there’s no such thing as “perfect.” Find time to create artwork part-time and share it online, so the world can see and benefit from your unique vision. We are waiting to see through your eyes. When can we see your work?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

You'd Take a Book to Surgery or Up K2

You love to read.

Somehow, you were able to sneak Dad’s flashlight under your covers so you could finish the story.

Do you remember? Did you get in trouble? (I did)

You took a bus to the library and checked out more books than you could carry. Still, somehow you managed. When you returned the books, you remembered to bring a bigger bag for the next load.

You loved the library’s summer reading program.

Your excruciatingly heavy backpack had 30% school related items and the rest were great books.

You volunteered at a library and miss the card catalogs.

Other kids took sunglasses and lotion to camp while you took books.

You love squirreling away valuable minutes checking the progress of a book you’re reading, one paragraph at a time, during your break. You’re on the clock but maybe one more more minute...heck you’ll finish it during lunch.

You’d rather buy paperbacks than candy or cigarettes.

You wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island, as long as there are boatloads of good books.

There’s always a novel in your purse or jacket. Several in your car and they used to be bungee-cord strapped to the back of your bike.

When you’re at a party, you pick up books instead of socialize.

You feel weird about lending books for various, personal reasons.

When friends make you mad, it’s not that big of a deal because books make you feel better.
Sometimes, you read more than one book at a time.

You don’t understand why people like magazines and periodicals when books are so much better.

Your Kindle or Nook is always charged.

Your Amazon account is out of control.

You admit to making notes in the margins and creating dog-eared corners but only in books you own.

Your apartment will be, or is, walking distance to the library or a bookstore.

There are special stuffed chairs that appear to be designed specifically for reading and nothing else.

No one should interrupt you while you’re reading. There ought to be a law.

You love to read. 
Am I right? 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Late Summer/Early Fall Book Reviews

Here are the books I’ve enjoyed reading these last few weeks. Independent authors wrote these incredibly creative stories and I’m sure they’d appreciate it if you’d order a copy too.

Imaginative Fantasy....

Land of Midnight Days(The Silver Flute Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Katrina Jack

I’m still trying to figure out why it took me all summer to get through this fascinating book. I love reading fantasy and Katrina Jack the author, did a superb job of describing the main characters. There’s a half brother called Zeb and a good group of friends called Helen, Kelly, Fred and Joe. There’s the evil landlord Ezra who is actually an ogre and a myriad of leviathans stomping their feet and causing trouble. There are many types of demons fighting in the streets and an epic battle with Diablo and other unsavory characters but my problem and I will admit this is my problem, was that I couldn’t keep track of the names. This clever writer not only made up her plot and story but she also invented alternative life forms and mental concepts such as brain communications using her imagination. Poor Jeremiah is a deaf flautist and as someone who played the flute for nine years and is married to a man losing his hearing, I felt a certain kindship as he searched for his mother. Maybe I couldn’t relate to a main character who couldn’t speak but I have to admit this urban fantasy is unique and incredibly creative. Jeremiah’s flute however, was nothing like my little silver tone special from Sears & Roebuck. His flute is magic and holds many untold secrets, evident from the filigreed scrolling and the lighted keys that glow brighter as the story weaves around Greycheck’s mansion and Bridge Street. The Gangers, the Grachlach, the Suldali, the Wannabes, the Dragash and street warriors (I honestly couldn’t keep track of these guys but maybe I have a touch of ADD) are marching around throwing rocks preparing for battle. How will it end? Fortunately, there’s the magic flute and more books in this trilogy by an amazingly talented author, ready to help you find out.

Sensitive Subject....

Samah Ronit
Author: Shelly Arkon

I’ve read some other books by this author and was surprised at the intensity and immense seriousness of this current subject. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this emotional story and recommend it highly. In fact, everyone should read this book. Every mother and daughter should read it because there’s a wonderful message and a twist reminding us, of a higher power.

Nostalgic Americana....

Starlight, Starbright...
Author: Barbara Elliot Carpenter

There’s something sweet and poetic about the way this author wove together artful words to create this wonderful story. This is not only a story about growing up in a small town called Redbud Grove but rather an unfolding of truth that will draw you in, making you reminisce about your own childhood. The town has misfits, widows, petty criminals, bad boys, racial bias, even murder. What at first sounds like innocent nostalgia, gradually unfolds into painful lessons of reality. Sissy Bannister tells you her own Saturday Evening Post style story by listening to others. She uses clever techniques such as eavesdropping at the diner, befriending the elderly, hovering at the top of the stairs or listening through the heating vent above her parent’s room. Her attic bedroom looks East onto the stars where she takes it all in and processes the meaning before deciding what to do and how to act. Best of all, she has many friends who help her along the way. But like any young girl wanting to test the waters of adulthood, she crosses into dangerous territory several times making you, the reader turn the pages in anticipation. Will she make it across the park, back to her brother and baby sister? Will her parents be mad?
One of my favorite lines in the entire book, although there are many, is near the end when she says, “I had a place here, a position!” That she did, and now remarkably, she has a place, in my heart. I loved this book! If you want to learn about life in the early fifties or if you enjoy sentimental movies with narrators such as A Christmas Story, La Bamba, Grease, Chocolat, Dead Poet’s Society, Forrest Gump, Driving Miss Daisy, you’ll love Starlight, Starbright.....

A Steampunk Fantasy....

Dragonfly Warrior(The Mechanica Wars, Book 1)
Author: Jay Noel

Once the main character, Prince Kanze Zenjiro utters, “I accept this Sacred Quest,” the reader travels on an amazing voyage traversing across continents into heavily guarded cities by airship, locomobile or submersible. Drawn deep into pirated oceans and dusty deserts you’ll be mesmerized as you follow Zen in his quest for The Sky Blade that will unite his nation with other nations against the threat of the Iberian Empire. Fortunately, he has purity, a belief in fate and a magical talisman called Ishen hanging around his neck. Best of all, he has made some friends along the way to help him with his journey.
You’ll love Noel’s clear and vivid descriptions and the colorful characters will remind you of Jules Verne without any of the old-fashioned writing or ruffled shirts. The fantasy plot describes every detail without being boring and culminates in a gigantic battle at the home of an evil arms dealer. The prince faces challenge after challenge and finds disappointment where he had hoped to find honor. Who will break the samurai code and what happens with the ‘Sacred Quest’? Put on your leather wrapped goggles and get set for an adventure that will leave you steaming ahead for more!
With big-screen style settings, fast-paced action and brilliant dialogue, the mere act of reading Dragonfly Warrior, will make you feel like you’re at the movies!

Click here to enter the Amazon site where you can order these amazing books.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Desert Rocks Rolls From Coachella to Temecula Valley

It’s no secret I love rocks. Each so unique, surprising and though sometimes brittle, they offer support when we climb, represent stability and strength and can look amazing showing off colorful stratigraphy such as solidified sediment whether dotted in speckles, dressed in solids or glittering with microscopic gems, silica or quartz. My previous blog was titled The Desert Rocks because one of the things that attracted me to the desert was the megaliths rising from the sand in the Coachella Valley. In fact, they drew me like a magnet and I had to live there until pulling myself back to normal society ten years later. Lured and enchanted by the historic boulders, I had to stare at the reassuring mountain of rocks every morning and see them every night.
The summer heat makes this look a bit hazy.
The entire point of Penniless Hearts is about moving on with your life, and there on the first page, my book begins like this: “Rocks and boulders that stand atop mountains for eons eventually loosen their solid grip, tumbling down into awaiting valleys.” I had to leave my beloved rocks and move to a place where rocks were no more than perhaps the foundation upon which to build the rest of my life. No more ragged mountains of stone to drool over every morning or comforting peaks shielding my insecurities. I had to leave the purple hazed shadows, the apricot sunrise, the tan sunset and step back into reality because I didn’t need rocks. I had learned my lesson. I, am a rock.

Today, I still have the Desert Rocks as a creative writing business and I’d love to help anyone needing assistance by writing something truly original and effective. When I write something for another business, I infuse it with various layers similar to a sedimentary rock, making it colorful like igneous rock but also keeping it professional by using all the positive aspects that move business forward with the needed conglomerate or metamorphic principles necessary for success. The writing has to make someone move like the ones tumbling out of the valley. Like me.

When I’m not working on the sequel to Penniless Hearts or writing poetry, I’m working on my business, Desert Rocks Creative Media. If you need help coming up with a clever domain name, a slogan, or simply need a re-write for your resume or web page, my 25 years of copy-writing, creative writing, marketing and advertising experience will help you gain the attention you need. My ideas have helped many entrepreneurs with ad-copy, press releases and website content. I’ve ghostwritten a few children’s stories and recently even found out I wrote a song for someone who recorded my lyrics. From conceptualization to implementation, my goal is to write engaging, informative or humorous material to create movement and thereby action.

It should also be noted, that while I edit and proofread all of my own work, I am not an editor and do not find editing interesting or creative. If you are looking for someone to edit or rework your writing, then please ask for a referral. 

The best way to reach me is to email me at evegaal@gmail(dot) com. Please send me a note so we can get started on changing your perspective, solidifying your brand and more importantly, increasing profit.

Monday, October 5, 2015

50 Reasons Social Media Takes Time

1.       Think up a blog topic
2.       Unsubscribe from a catalog company(Can be difficult)
3.     Wade through promotional emails before deleting
4.   Clean out the cache on your Smartphone
5.   Manage cookies
6.  Clear browsing data
7.  Disable phishing
8. Wish everyone a Happy Birthday!
9. Read and respond to notifications
10. Change passwords if necessary
11. Delete spam
12. Select a default browser
13. Change the auto responses
14. Remember your passwords/username?
15. Answer private messages
16. Participate in dialogue with stranger who sent mysterious friend request
17. Think of witty comments
18. Share cute posts with your friends
19. Trolling for ‘Likes’for your author page
20. Pray for all the people you promised you’d pray for
21. Order something online
22. Get distracted by sensational posts
23. Create or join a group or two or three
24. Float around Pinterest until you’re ready to bake something
25. Visit other blogs, leave comments then return to see if they got answered
26. Print a recipe
27. Edit your profile picture
28. Change your cover photo
29. Add a clever sounding bio
30. Endorse a professional friend
31. Ask for a recommendation
32. Search for interesting groups to join
33. Write the blog for heaven's sake
34. Search for a copyright free picture
35. Respond to blog comments
36. Copy, paste & spellchecker technicalities. 
37. Figure out how to email a scan
38. Proofread and edit your post
39. Answer questions for an interview
40. Go on a blog hop
41. Write a review and post it.
42. Visit groups and mention or advertise something
43. Create an ad
44. YouTube videos
45. Retweet or send an email
46. Play a game-match three-invite your friends and die.
47. Stare at weird photos
48. Rate and recommend a book other than your own
49. Select inbox messages and read, save or trash
50. Add books to your shelf
Should I go on? There's more....
What's your favorite social media time-suck? 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Autumn Painting

Sparkling stars and a blood moon work overtime to brighten,
even colorize our evenings.
The drab overheated,
dried-out summer now focused on rekindling energy.

A life force and spiritual awakening flutters in early fall,
lifting us like withering petals
behind eyes into the sky.
Preparing us for winter,
offering assurance,
to enter next year with renewed hope.

Today we totter on parched grass,
an embarrassing crunch follows our footsteps.
Soon torrential rains may fill crevices
of a seasonal palette--
clogging drains with drops
of mixed hues consisting
of jade and auburn leaves--
swirling around with globules of burnished umber--
highlighted with antique gold.

The artist’s easel waits.

 We eagerly anticipate the unveiling.

-Eve Gaal

This is a lovely painting of a cottage--hidden in a forest of intertwining trees--my photo doesn't do it justice.

Are the colors changing around you too?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Scandalous Fiona

Down South in sunny California
Lives a princess with oodles of attitude,
part Chihuahua, part muse, her name: Fiona.
It’s absolutely no secret she prefers going nude.
Forget the fancy collars the frou-frou clothes
disgusted by training snacks, expensive toys.
Cute as a fawn from head to her toes,
Her ears take in every single noise.
To top it off she’s rather stuck up--
Ceremoniously carry her downstairs ala palanquin,
Unlike most dogs, hardly a pup,
Cuddle too hard, she bursts into fits.
Too many kisses make her want to flee.
Upon hand-embroidered European pillows she sits,
Like a Monarch with a pedigree--

Until it’s time to pee.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Basics of Our Intangible Hearts

In case someone is wondering what this blog is about: 

What is an intangible heart?

1.       It is the non-cardiovascular, metaphysical heart connecting all of us.

2.       It is an ageless feeling of warmth, security and shared laughter.

3.       It is the knowledge you’re in the company of friends. Mutual acceptance.

4.       It’s the good part of our soul—the part that loves—the part that forgives.

5.       It can withstand open heart or bypass surgery,
 stents, pacemakers—even transplants.

6.       It binds together(such as a community or religion)
 but can free the unwilling, those wanting release....

7.       It is not that wise but knows what’s important. It is grateful.

8.       It is humble, willing to help and can even be proud at the same time

9.       It is energetic and filled with starlight, reflecting into the heavens.

10.   It is the eternal voice of reason and a piece-perhaps sacred-
-of God lingering within-- it never dies.

These are just the obvious ones--can you think of a few more?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Behind Castle Walls

When we moved to our new home I felt fortunate to have a view of Mount Palomar, in San Diego. I’ve always enjoyed looking out at the mountains, dreaming of those elusive possibilities that are right over the horizon. Unfortunately, the builder of these homes decided on buying the flood zone next to us and he fenced us in with big cement blocks, developing a rather close-knit community right next door. Though I’m sad, I’m not completely disheartened. As a person who spent most of her life looking at those potentialities and trying to help others, I believe there’s a reason I’m supposed to reflect and look within right now. Ironically, I don’t have a choice in the matter and being ‘forced’ into thinking about life reminds me of studying for finals in school. No more sunrises over the mountain and no more views-- this is real folks and it feels serious.
Our private little temple, behind the wall in our gazebo.
It was much nicer with a view.

 Inside all of us are endless horizons and in my case, perhaps I’ve crossed so many mountains (literally by hiking or moving as well as figuratively), landing in so many valleys that I may have missed something along the way. (Knowing my attention span, this is highly possible.) Though I love reading books by talented authors and enjoy spiritual and religious verses, maybe it's time to search inside my own soul. And though I’ve always been a fan of prayer, there is much more I need to figure out.
A private place to read or think about the meaning of life.
 The morning glories are taking over!

 Our ugly wall--that will eventually be hidden behind green anyway—(greener still--after the drought)--appears to be a coincidental factor--coupled with a gentle dose of transcendent serendipity. I’ll take it as a sign to pray and meditate prior to writing, because maybe I’ll find my answers, deep inside. More importantly,  it’s time to stop dreaming about all those countless options. I’ve had years of doing that. It’s time to collect my thoughts, throw the dice and take a chance on my personal skill-set. Hmmm, let me contemplate on that for a while; here behind our castle wall.

Does it all sound like part of a plan?
 Can anyone relate and does this make sense to you?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day Campaigners

Press Release:

(Southern California)Two female candidates recently announced their candidacy and are running for President on a special third party ticket called the Sniffocrats. With so many on the Ruffandfluffican ticket they decided on veering into un-soiled territory where the law of the land begins with dog-walking and ends with treats.
 By entering the race, they have found a great deal of support among certain groups including: most dog bloggers, animal rights activists, meat packers, pet store owners, puppy obedience trainers, groomers, flea shampoo manufacturers, K9 officers, drug sniffing dogs, guide dogs and anonymous cat haters.
 That's a large, formidable group of voters! 
With a proud Hispanic heritage and natural cuteness, these very American Chihuahuas are sure to win the race. 
Keep your eyes on Pinky and Fiona and watch their pawl numbers rise in the coming months!

                                                    Happy Labrador Day, whoops,
                                               we mean Happy Labor Day Everyone!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Your Comments are Dope!

My thing is confidence. It swells and ebbs like the tides. Sometimes I’m all braggadocio, full of brazen arrogance with years of experience and a decent vocabulary. Other times I’m knock-kneed and humbled, looking for basic words to express the simplest ideas and emotions. At my age, this isn’t fun because it feels like I’m sitting on a roller-coaster waiting for the scary part to take over or the fun part to make me forget about the scary part. I’ve figured out the things in my childhood that made me who I am and I’ve read lots of self-help books to help me overcome my insecurities. Still, I think it’s painful as all heck when progress seems slow and rejection emails lollygag around my trash folder. 
Google Images

Creative writing is, and has been, my specialty ever since my friend Dave made me business cards in high school. Before the internet, before email, before social media, there I was with my Underwood typewriter plunking out stories and heartfelt poems. Bottles of whiteout slathered all over the place, I even had actual friends and a few publishers that found what I wrote mildly interesting. That was over 30 years ago and I'm surprised and unhappy to inform you--age doesn't automatically cure this problem. Whether you’re an actual friend—or not-- most of the people who read this blog are genuine, kind people who enjoy creative writing and guess what? 
Your positive comments and reviews make my confidence meter rise! 

 If there’s anything you enjoy about my blog or perhaps you’ve read my stories, poems in anthologies or happened to come across Penniless Hearts, my novel --set in Hawaii—please comment, share or tell your friends. You are the reader and I appreciate everything about you, especially that boost of confidence and the way you make me feel. Thank you!