Super Blue Blood Moon

Sounds like a horror movie…and this is the first one in over 150 years, so, of course, we couldn’t miss seeing it.  It was more than worth the venture into the cold night air (okay yankees, don’t laugh….down here we are pretty sure freezing to death happens at 50)

"Winter Halo" created by refracted light from ice crystals.  Beautiful! 12-28-12  It wasn’t a huge supermoon like the one the first of the month…but this one thrilled us with a lunar halo sometimes called a ‘moon dog’. It happens when ice crystals (told you it was cold! lol) in high cirrus clouds refract the moonlight into a ring around the moon.  It was breathtaking.  In another hour I will venture out once more to see if the eclipse, which cannot be seen here on the East Coast, provides the ‘blood’ tinge we have been looking for.

Now…go have a look up at the heavens and embrace the sense of awe in its beauty.

The Wonderful…and the Wicked

It would be lovely if the only thing being ‘wicked’ today was my over-wrought imagination.  Sadly, no.  Climate change has decided to mess with our weather and so, at the beginning of January, here we are on the coast of South Carolina staring winter in its hoary eyes.

In short, it is cold.

Cover the plants kind of cold.

New Zealand is looking better by the minute.

~~~

On a warmer and much more wonderful note, today I celebrate two amazing birthdays.

My sister was born on this day and she has been a joy and a grounding in my world since she made her appearance.  I became her ‘little’ …and certainly more obsessive…mama.  Determined to love and protect this little person with her big dark eyes and sweet smile from the moment she came into my life.  I have other siblings, but this one was/is ‘mine’.  Unlike the middles, she was more like me…not a ‘favorite’, not over-protected, not pampered.  She was tough.  We had to be.  She shared my passion for animals and nature, she was and is a beautiful, compassionate, and deeply caring human being.

I bought her her first horse…a POA aptly named Little Satan…he was her best friend and companion and he adored her as much as she loved and needed him.  Now she has a tough miniature horse out there in Arizona and a gorgeous mustang mare…and they bring her joy each and every day.

I am so thankful for this day and the love it brought into our world.  Happy Birthday, Tamara.

Birthday number two?  The irreplaceable J.R.R. Tolkien!  How can a birthdate not be more magical for being shared with the master of fantasy?  If any of you don’t know…I totally adore Tolkien.  I devoured his books. He gave a girl with a wild imagination another world to live in, another place to dream of, a new place in mt heart to call ‘home’.

Now, so many books and years later, I write fantasy…because I have dreams and worlds of my own to share…and he led the way.  Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien, and thank you.

May we all find new warmth, and new wonders on this beautiful winter day.

 

 

And LIGHT returns to the world

Happy Winter Solstice!  The official beginning of winter, but, more importantly, the shortest day and longest night of the year. Each year the winter solstice brings us the promise of lengthening days, as light returns to the world.

I love this about it….  winter soIstice

So tonight…in this longest darkness of the year…let us celebrate the light which brings us hope….and not forget the darkness…which shows us the stars.

Happy Winter Solstice

 

And I wonder as I wander…

Driving about today, over the bridges and the marsh, the salt creek, the river leading on to the sea and it occurred to me as I turned up yet another prosaic little tree-lined street that this defines much of my life. Not the nondescript neighborhood, but an endless desire to discover someplace or something new.

Image result for winding marsh creek

Even as a very young child I was always begging Grandpa to “take the windy roads” through the Missouri Ozarks, or down some country road…any road or trail that took us into the unknown. Most of the time it was somewhere very mundane…another farm, another ramshackle cabin back in the woods, an old country general store.

One such building is H.D. Gibbes & Sons, which has come to be known as Gibbes Old Country Store. The building was first constructed in 1892 and has remained in the Gibbes family ever since.

Perhaps a new bridge over a winding, rocky creek where we could stop and wade or have  a picnic lunch. Sometimes an old cemetery with quaint and faded markers and worn fencing that bade me to stop and wonder about the lives that ended here.

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I realize that desire to wander without destination, to explore for nothing beyond the chance of discovery, and seeking nothing more than the wonder that surrounds us is exactly who I am, yesterday and today…and off in search of somewhere I have not yet been, a sight not yet seen…tomorrow.

Wicked Wednesday

There is a certain sensual quality to water.  The way it moves, sounds, feels as it caresses the body.  It’s rather a consistent player in my writing, I’ve noted.

Escaping to a quiet pool or stream, standing beneath the flow of water.  Image result for tropical waterfalls

It becomes a sensual escape.

Likewise, music that evokes the emotions water rouses within us provides an escape from the mundane and a fantasy in its own right.

Bring on the water…and let it sweep you into its wild embrace.

Playing with dragons

NaNo being NaNo and all, I am swept up in a jubilant spiral of research and reality, myth and magic, creativity and imagination. Today the subject once more is dragons. Not the stuff of legend…The Hobbit or King Arthur…but more a mixture of paleontology, zoology, and ancient myths. Plus a good healthy dose of ‘what if…’ and a splash of creativity.

Take this WYVERN by Michael Komark     A much more realistic and plausible take on a dragon.  After all, the other version requires it to have evolved from a six legged reptile…and I haven’t seen a lot of those.

Or how about this gorgeous, and different, take on a dragon’s head?   Image result for unique takes on dragons (photo  Damir Martin)

This one is a fun variation, somehow it seems as much insect as reptile, a combination I really like.

Bloochikin                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Anyway, the project has moved my story forward in the creation of my own drachen.

I love it when an idea…or a creature….comes together.

Nothing remarkable

Nope…I can honestly say today was, by most standards, a rather unremarkable day.  The weather was neither gorgeous and warm, or stormy,  or unbearably cold.  Tepid. It was a tepid day.

Nothing exciting happened with the spawn (aka children) if we overlook (please do, I try to) the ride home from daughter’s job with her driving.  OMG!  But we survived; nothing really to be noted.

I went to the grocery store…actually three grocery stores, ha…because one is never enough with this brood 😀  It isn’t very remarkable; in point of fact, it is quite mundane, and yet I noticed, as I was scurrying about doing my unremarkable everyday things, there was always something to smile about.

A scarlet tanager brightened the bird feeder near the gate as I headed out to the store.

Image result for scarlet tanager images

I drove by the very first house my hubby and I ever owned….and smiled at how much it looks the same, memories of those early days of marriage, how much it still needs landscaping, lol.

The sky blushed as I was driving over the bridge to pick my daughter up.

  The colors fill the soul.

Maybe I just like smiling.  Ad reveling in every moment. The joy of living.  One moment at a time.

Nope. Nothing remarkable there.

Sea lions, selkies, and Saturday

I think it was the beach that measured my thoughts today. Distracted, overly-busy, totally unfocused in my mad dash to get everything done for everyone, crazy thoughts danced through my mind carried on the salt-scented breeze. A storm was blowing in; billowing pillows of deepening grey swept across the bright blue of autumn’s skies…and the gusting winds danced to the ocean’s song.

Beach Storm by Misher

I know that melody. I dance to it often; usually alone, in quiet places or in the dark, with only the waves to waltz with me. Today they brought me a companion…or perhaps ‘returned to me’ is more accurate. After all, he and I knew each other well a few years ago, when I was writing his story. Today the storms and the sea and the smell of rain from the ocean brought back those memories…of manatees, sea lions, and my hero from the sea. I think he is ready to return and let me try to finish what we began.

Got a good soaking in the rain while happily distracted with figuring out plot points and changes needed to bring it all together. Got the Miata cleaned up from its adventure with the storm ditch. When you’re already wet, a little storm doesn’t much matter.

Tomorrow he and I will meet on the page once more.  So excited to return to my master of the flute, driftwood, and the sea.

Image result for driftwood carvings

Image result for driftwood carvings

Miles and miles of Memories

Yesterday I spent the day driving to Georgia. Alone. It was rather odd, as I have not gone anywhere without a child along for a really long time.  Then, as I zipped along the country roads, reveling in each new vista, the character of each small town, the beauty of marsh and meadow and forests, I found myself embracing the experience.

Image result for small Georgia town roundabout

A new sense of freedom, a chance to embrace my passion for the unknown, to look beyond the next turn in the road…it was thrilling. I rediscovered a part of ‘me’.

At the end of the day; familiar faces and big Southern hugs and smiles awaited me.  A sense of ‘coming home’ as I shared the evening with my dear friend and her family. But my day wasn’t over’; surprise! we went and got haircuts.  It has been years since I went to a beauty shoppe. I am a very low-maintenance kinda gal, and my hair is a reflection of my hippie roots, ha.  But now I have 8″ less length, layers, and, for the first time in ages…bangs.  It turned out to be more fun than scary, and I am amused with my ‘new look’.

Today, we got up early and drove from their home in Georgia, through Alabama, and a teeny bit of Mississippi, to New Orleans.  No longer alone on my adventure, we laughed, talked, and discussed a hundred different topics. The drive never got boring, and the places we saw were lovely to share.  Cotton fields white with cotton waiting to be picked.

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Wide marshes beneath bridges that stretched seemingly without end across their waters. A small grey fox in the tall grass along the road. Angus and Charolais cattle grazing in rolling pastures. Ancient cemeteries and quaint town squares.  A patchwork of Americana to embrace and remember.

Image result for small Georgia town roundabout

Tonight, seafood, gumbo, jambalaya, and sweet tea in New Orleans with more friends and other writers. Tomorrow….a new adventure awaits.

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Life is sweet… just slow down and embrace the moments that will become enduring memories.

From the mouths of…princesses?

Today we took our 3 yr old “Disney Princess in training” to the park. An excellent plan for a warm, breezy Lowcountry October day. She ran, swang, turned the playhouses into her castles, and doctor clinic (she may be a princess…but she has plans for being a very helpful and busy princess), and of course…Moana’s outrigger, because she had lost Māui and as soon as we found his hook he’d be right back.

The simple joys of childlike wonder and imagination.

She went down to examine the pond…a green bit of marsh filled with the aquatic wonders of the south…fish, crawdads, turtles, and, of course, the occasional alligator.  She was certain, as Moana AND a Princess, she ‘needed’ to go right up to the edge and order Māui out of there. Removal of princess from the pond resulted in the obligatory,  very dramatic sobbing. When asked what she was crying about she looked up with wide eyes and explained: “I am heartbroken. YOU have…BROKEN…my heart.”

It was all I could do not to laugh. So serious.  THIS is a Princess growing before our very eyes into a world class Drama Queen.

Ah childhood…wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.