Missing You

Today is my friend Riley’s birthday. I miss him so much. I want to read a new poem from him, hear a new song, and tell him all the ideas I have in my head for things I want to write, the main one using our adolescence together in a ghost story.

Tom and I started going through those bins on our carport that so desperately need purging. I have an action plan for some of them, so I’m on my way. But mostly I wanted to find all my Riley correspondence. It stretches back more years than I will admit to. I’m lucky that he liked to draw and write and gave me so much of his work.

None of his stuff, of course, is part of the purge. Somebody else can trash it after I’m gone. It still means too much to me.

circa our junior high school years

I love you, John Riley. Thank you for an amazing history.

Living on the edge


I don’t know what it is about writers that we can’t seem to pass up any kind of journal, blank or otherwise. When I saw this one, I thought, It’s true. We should do something every day that scares us.

It’s how we grow. It’s how we learn. It’s how we live bravely.

Now every time it catches my eye, I mutter, “Shit. Isn’t reading the news every day ENOUGH?”

Pet Prose: Bob

Author photo.

“The tavern was nearly empty. Outside an engine might backfire or someone might call out but inside all was quiet. The scattered patrons were weathered. They had known lives of labor.

‘People more easily forget those they’ve loved than those they’ve hated.’

The voice came from an old man slouched at the bar. No one looked up from their beers or responded. They weren’t listening. He was just an old man in a bar.”

From Bob’s novel about an old man in a bar, an homage to his favorite writer Ernest Hemingway.

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Pet Prose: Mike

Author photo.

“Anyone could see that she must have been pretty once. Now her eyes were too old for her face, and blank. She walked haltingly down the sidewalk, dodging by instinct the early evening crowd of people spilling from office buildings, and the millennials, laden with heavy backpacks, trudging too close to her.

No one did see. They saw only their handheld devices or the light rail as it slid to a stop.

Nor did she seem to see them, or when their ranks thinned as she reached the promenade that ran alongside the deep, muddy bayou.”

From Mike’s work in progress, the story of a young woman of The New Millennium inspired by his tattered copy of Stephen Crane’s “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets.”

I take photos. I write. Mostly I only take photos of Rescued Pets Movement’s rescued dogs and cats. Since working and volunteering don’t leave me a lot of time to write, I’m spending 2017 borrowing from what these dogs and cats are writing. They said it’s okay.

Bruuuuuce!

If you know me, you know I loved him before the world knew he was Bruuuuuuce! Though we had a slight blip in the late ’80s, I got over it. Now that I’ve read his memoir Born to Run, holy crap, there’s a reason he’s The Boss. I think this may be one of the best rock memoirs I’ve read. Basically, his life is the fictional story I once wanted to write about a musician. Mine remains unpublished, but that’s okay. Bruce is a one of a kind powerhouse, and I can continue to love these pages and all the characters he’s given our world. ‘Cause you know, he’s got this guitar and he learned how to make it talk…

Snoopy Saturday–a coup d’état!

A dog sleeps in the doghouse! A frog has an agenda!

I read this quote from Muppets creator Jim Henson recently.

At some point in my life, I decided, rightly or wrongly, that there are many situations in this life that I can’t do much about: acts of terrorism, feelings of nationalistic prejudice, cold war, etc. So what I should do is concentrate on the situations that my energy can affect.

Feel free to give a shout-out in comments to a person or group who you personally see–and maybe even help!–direct energy toward making our world better, kinder, safer.

Button Sunday

My mind is far away today, in Florida, and it’s hard to focus on anything good. These are exactly the days we should, I guess.

I received the movie Maleficent I think for Christmas of 2014, but it was packed away until Tom and I began sorting through some bins that were never unpacked after our move. We found a lot of DVDs I’d been looking for or had forgotten about, including this movie. Some of us had a movie night at Houndstooth Hall Saturday, and I was finally able to see it. I loved this retelling and think Angelina Jolie was a superb Maleficent (my favorite Disney villain). The Moors have been a good place for my mind to escape to today–an enchanted forest whose inhabitants live peacefully together.

It also gives me a chance to revisit a couple of old posts, from 2007 and 2012, about my Maleficent Moleskine. Marika, it’s finally full after all these years, packed with more memories and mementos than you could imagine. This picture does its thickness no justice, really.

But thanks to your cards, it ends as it began: with this character who must, must be an Aries. Those horns. That attitude. That fiery rage regretted later. Total Ram.

It may seem strange to begin a post with a Disney movie and end it with William Faulkner, but the word that came to me as I watched the movie’s depiction of Maleficent was “prevail.” I sometimes reread Faulkner’s 1950 Nobel Price acceptance speech; today was one of the days I needed it. Here’s an excerpt.

I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.