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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lovely Blogs and Broken Rules

One Lovely Blog AwardJo at Jo on Food, My Travels and A Scent of Chocolate awarded me the One Lovely Blog Award which means that I have to a) thank her for the award and then b) follow the rules:

  1. Name the blogger who awarded you this fantastic award.
  2. List 7 random facts about yourself
  3. Award 15 other bloggers this award (Here's the deal, though, rules in my unlimited opinion are general guidelines. In the essence of time, I have awarded it to 5 other bloggers. I may get struck by lightening, but I doubt it will have anything to do with me bending a rule here and there.)
  4. Enjoy!
 Seven Random Facts About Me
 1) I have an unfinished novel in my beach bag. I'm carrying it around with me this summer. It's some kind of wishful thinking thing I've got going.
2) I enjoy a light breeze, but I detest wind.
3) Repetitive noises drive me over the wall, into the ditch and out of my mind.
4) Every time I finish writing something I panic that I will never think of anything creative ever again. And then I do.
5) I think I'm having a mid-life crisis. To add to that stress, I'm concerned that the two halves of my life aren't adding up to my ideal life expectancy.
6) A favorite way to treat myself is with smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers on crackers.
7) When I was in second grade, I was running across the playground one day at recess and I ran smack-dab into a bumblebee. It stung me. Maybe that's why I don't like surprises.

Not One, But Five More Lovely Blogs
{just had} A Bright Idea
1 Funky Woman
Daily Dodo
Buttered Toast Rocks
Idea City

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Seductive Dance of the Eggplant

They're great in the garden and so easy to grow. What could be more rewarding than a plant that pops up leafy and green as the valley of Paradise? And it's hardy, withstanding drought and beetles and weeds.

The fruit of its stalk beautifies the ordinary garden with a flash of color unlike that of the other ordinary vegetables gathered in the dirt. None compares to the full purple hue of its rounded curves. A painting of temptation in the Garden cannot convince without its inclusion. Aye, it is the essence of temptation itself.

A man, my man, is known to give into it every summer; planting it, harvesting much too much of it, despite my opposition. He is weak to its illusory promises. He thinks he can change it or that it will change of its own voluntary notion. But temptation remains temptation and its richly aubergine skin remains just a pretty cover-up for what lies within.

Bring it into the kitchen light, and it is nothing more than a burden to bear. Beneath that cloak of color is spongy, anemic flesh devoid of flavor. The more determined cook who dares prepare it by battering and dipping and dripping in cheese and sauce only achieves creating a disguise that slides off, revealing its true nature, as fork seeks mouth.

Summer after endless summer, by beloved and I choreograph the seductive dance of the eggplant. He plants and pulls weeds and picks and admires and allows the vile vegetable in its cheap disguise to capture his fascination. I endure the early summer dabbles, flashes in the pan, knowing that he too will eventually recoil from the tasteless fancy.

Everything trickles to an unspoken arrangement of my husband hiding his forbidden fruit in the crisper. Then I, when he is out, transfer the unwanted wages back to the mulch pile, where it has an opportunity to better itself and make a real impact on earth. All things have value - I'm determined to believe that - but not all things feed the summer soul the way a tomato or an ear of corn or a cucumber does.

The tiller feels the same way I do. Either that, or the seductive pull of the eggplants overcame its faculties. Not an hour ago, that tiller suddenly and without warning lit upon the obligatory row of eggplant, cutting it down in a moment of impulsive violent turbulence. When I finally managed to pull the willful tines from the soil, it was too late. The plants had been returned to dust and weeping foliage scraps. Nothing could be saved.

Nothing but me, and my husband, that is. And our summer, of course.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Where's My T-Shirt?

I survived the 2012 April A to Z Blog Challenge. Where's my t-shirt?

Oh, I'm only kidding . . . sort of . . . kind of . . . not really. I think those of us who finished all deserve an


t-shirt. It was a thrilling month of highs and lows and pressure and fear that we might not make it past the elem-n-opey portion of the alphabet (for those whose minds are still addling, that's L, M, N, O, P).

The best part for me was reconnecting with bloggers I met during last year's challenge, such as Brianna and The Golden Eagle. If you didn't visit their blogs during April, you must go there right away.

And meeting new people from around the blogosphere: Jo, Dana, Wendy, and Delores, to name a quick few. Every blog I visited reflected the personality and interests of its host. And I learned, learned, learned without much effort at all. I mean, just think, without Grover, I would have never known what zorbing is or that I might like to do it sometime on a dare.

For me these A to Z challenges are more than just a way to socialize or get more followers. They make me stretch as writer and a reader. They force me to organize my thoughts.

It took me several months, but I worked my posts from the 2011 challenge into a book, ABC Book of Literary Devices, available from Amazon in print and and Kindle versions. If all goes well, the ABC Book of Writing Conventions will be the second in the series and include simple, brief explanations of common grammar, usage, and punctuation errors/misunderstandings.

You might call me obsessive when I tell you that I've already planned out the next four years' worth of themes and posts. But really it's because I want my t-shirt, dog-gone-it.