Scribbling & Scrabble

I sometimes feel as though writing is like a jumbled pile of Scrabble tiles. I mean, the CONCEPT, is bouncing ’round inside the noggin’. Oh yes, I’ve fingered the five w’s; trapped them in my spotlight as they climbed out of the second-floor window at three am.  BUT, actually putting them into words is a nitpicky process of sifting through those tiles, plucking the ripe ones and discarding the rest. Now, repeat that dozens of times.

Please don’t get me wrong, I really do enjoy the challenge and there’s no plans to pack up my carpet bag and move on to selling cleaning products.

However, I’d be guilty of hoodwinking, or at least attempted deception, if I denied that there are times when scooping up those tiles and tossing them into the trash would be considered a viable option for getting a Klondike Bar. 😊

Now put away those Kleenex’s (not an endorsement of any kind, if you prefer Puffs, or some other brand, that’s okay, I guess). This isn’t a woe is me tale. Okay, maybe take just one final blow into that velvety soft tissue and be done with it. This gets better, because the truth is, no matter how much you enjoy something, these moments come.

The best part is when they go away, far, far, yep, keep on walkin’ self-doubt, oops, mind the cliff! That quiet confidence sets in. Those stubborn tiles are eventually wrestled into place, yes, they are nice and snug in their new role as tellers of a tale! Characters birth from them, like images born from the one’s and zero’s of binary code. They rely on us to truck on and finish their story.

If you’re staring at this screen, yes you, right at this moment, and feel like swatting that ‘Delete’ button to send your work to the void of, ‘forever gone.’ DON’T! Sorry, got a wee bit dramatic there.

Ahem. I plead with you to reconsider. The journey is a reward in and of itself. Give yourself TIME. Be gentle and patient with yourself, and others.

Have a blessed day!

(Oh, and maybe eat dark chocolate instead of that ice cream bar . . . much better for you)

Ramblings of a pale-fingered, “Green Thumb.”

These days, I’m expanding my horizons and have been working with a local company that designs and maintains some lavish gardens. Being a greenhorn means that my green thumb is a very light shade of whitish. Needless to say, my question to answer ratio is drastically unbalanced, but hey, I’m loving the journey.  

One of my biggest concerns is mistakenly yanking out a prized flower. A challenge made even harder as most plants haven’t flowered yet.

So, to avoid trouble, I’ve done my level-headed best at recognizing and retaining the appearance of different leaves and seedlings. I’m slowly learning the proper names, but for those that I don’t, I have a “highly specialized” classification system.

Here goes:

A Something: No idea what it is. Yes, there’s something sticking out of the dirt, but I am unable to determine whether it is a weed or a flower. I need to go and ask.

A Thing: Hands off! Still have no idea what the heck it is, but this is a no go for a pull. Yes, I was told what it was, but can’t remember the name.  

Not a thing: Grip and pull! It’s either a weed, a nasty intruder, or the owner just wants it gone. I’ve already been given the green light by the experts, but I forget the name.

Yes, okay, now you’ve been given the code, no red pills required if you are captured by the enemy, though I’m not sure who that could be.

Anyways, I thought it might be fun to create a fictional account of how things might go if I was gardening at home and left to my own destruction.

“Doh! What did I just pull out?”

“Dad? Dad! What did you just shove into your pocket?”

“Oh, um, just a few somethings.”

“Oh no! No! No! Those were Mom’s favorites! I can’t believe you did that! Mom! Mo—”

“Shush! Alright it was just a few things, look, they’re not a thing, really.”

“Not a thing? They’re everything! Those were five orchid seedlings!”

“Really? These grassy things? They looked like weeds.”

“Nope! Definitely somethings and more that, they were a thing! Even in your garden speak.”  

“But how was I supposed to know? None of them even had petals yet. Please tell me these weren’t those reddish, yellowish, and black, weird shaped—”

“Lady’s Slipper Orchids. Yes, the seeds she pointed out at the garden store, and said that she couldn’t wait to see bloom.”

“Look, can we make a deal or something?”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, what if we say that this was the work of a vole.”

“A vole? Is that a thing?”

“Sheesh, kid! You want to hear my proposal or not? Yes, a vole is a thing. It tunnels underground, and sucks down plants from their root. Just like spaghetti. A pack of them are called Doozers. Oh, and they love radishes, too, so we need to watch out for that.”

“Google . . . what is a vole?”

“Ah sheesh! Should have known you would’ve brought that thing out here.”

“A vole is a small rodent about the size of a mouse that dwells primarily above ground. Voles sometimes use tunnels created by moles to feed on plant structures underground. Voles—”

“Oh, shut that silly thing off, would you? See? Even Google agrees with me.”

“Okay, I’ll go with it. But you do the talking, and maybe you should leave out the ridiculous reference to Fraggle Rock.”

“Huh? How’d you know about that show?”

“YouTube. You’re aware that there are more things on there, than just tutorials on how to repair car thingies.”

“Touché.”

“What’s going on you two? You look like you’re up to something.”

“Busted.”

“Sucks to be you too. I was gonna’ buy you a thing, but now you’ll get nothing.”

Review of, Runaway (City Streets Trilogy Book One), by Susanne Perry

First and foremost, I’d like to wish a belated, “Happy Mother’s Day,” to my readers. We travelled the 401 to visit with our families and had a wonderful time with great weather.

Today I’m sharing a review of another fantastic read!

The Deets:

Runaway: a runaway is found dead in an alley. Who is she? Why is she living on the street? The answers lie deep within the community of street dwellers, often ignored or invisible. To find the young woman’s killer, Sergeant Liz Jordan and Officer Kyle Connors must earn the trust of people without permanent addresses, who do not trust the establishment. Delving deep into a world of uncertainty and danger, the investigation uncovers a web of deceit and exploitation that preys on the most vulnerable. Runaway is the first novel in the City Streets Trilogy.

My Thoughts:

Chock full of ample mountain road twisty turns to satisfy any avid mystery fan, Runaway, also makes a powerful statement about the gaping inequalities and cracks in our economic and social welfare system. It’s quite easy to imagine many of the scenarios playing out in communities across the world.

The main characters were three dimensional with idiosyncrasies, addictions, and flaws all well-packaged. As someone who’s spent years in law enforcement, Runaway, brought up a question that I’ve pondered for years. Is someone’s behavior and personality influenced to a greater extent by nature or nurture? I’ve never been able to figure that one out.

Regardless of your stance on this, I’d highly recommend this read for all the reasons mentioned above. I’m looking forward to diving into the rest of this series.

Five Stars!  

Please note that I do not post reviews of books that I deem to be less than four stars. Life’s too short, and if I don’t enjoy the read, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet Susanne:

Perry is the author of The City Streets Series–three mysteries set within the street community of the Pacific Northwest. An avid reader of mysteries, Perry chose to write in that genre, combining love of “who-dun-its” with experience working with people. Runaway, Veteran and Gutter Punk, the three titles in the series, include references to history, places, and culture specific to their Pacific Northwest settings. Perry is a native of Washington state and worked for a variety of non-profit programs serving children and families. Perry resides with her husband in Arizona.

Grab your copy:

Amazon.com

Life’s simple pleasures

Happy Sunday to all! Right now, I’m looking out my window and admiring the beauty that’s lit by another sunny (but cool) morning. It’s just another example of life’s small pleasures that we may often take for granted.

Despite recent world events, there’s still plenty of good out there. Yes, there are those larger ticket items; family and friends, health, fun vacations, good food, and personal freedoms. But what about the little things? Here’s a list of the small things, in no particular order, that I’m personally grateful for. Things which may seem insignificant on their own but add up to a big morale boost. They’re everywhere, if you pay attention.

  1. The swish of the wind as it passes through the needles of an evergreen tree(s)
  2. The courteous driver who stops to let you turn.
  3. The smell of clean laundry- even better if you can dry it on a clothesline outside.
  4. The call of the Loon from the lake at sunset.
  5. The crackle and warmth of a campfire.
  6. Fixing that obnoxious squeaking door.
  7. The feel of a cool breeze kissing away the sweat after a hard day’s work.
  8. A smile.
  9. A belly-laugh.
  10. The first sip of fresh coffee.
  11. Good and full days that make you forget time exists.
  12. The scar(s) that are fodder for excellent stories.
  13. Sunrises/sunsets.
  14. The funny antics and quirks of pets.
  15. Rainbows.
  16. Rainstorms when you’re safely tucked in bed.
  17. Conquering procrastination and just “gettin’ it done.”
  18. Arriving safely at a destination.
  19. Impromptu adventures that provide a lifetime of great memories.
  20. The completion of every chapter that draws a WIP (work in progress) towards, “The End.”

Do any of these connect with you? Please feel free to add more in the comments.