Monday, December 26, 2011

almost there...

I know I promised an announcement today in regard to the new blog project, but instead, I have had a low-grade cold for a week that has my head all fuzzy and un-thinky and I can barely even enjoy my wine.

so, instead...I'm going to post the new bloggy infos sometime before Sunday (because that is when the new project starts) and today I am going to ask you the old cheesy stand-by...(because I really can't come up with anything creative this evening. I'm sorry.)

Oh! and I'm also going to suggest you listen to this version of Auld Lang Syne - because I think it's the loveliest version I've ever heard.

Prompt #87:  What's your New Year's Resolution?

Monday, December 19, 2011

a new project...

No worries...I'm not dropping this one...I'm just beginning a new one on January 1st, in addition to this blog.

The new project is yet unnamed, but it is my own personal take on Stephan Cox's Thing A Day Project. He challenged me a few months back to do TAD in 2012, and I've been moiling and mooshing over how I want to attack that little (BIG) challenge.

And I think I've figured it out.

So look for an announcement next week - I'll direct you to the new site, and I will begin on January 1.

Kind of excited. Kind of freaked out. But...just like Stephan's project "Shit that scares me" I think it's a good idea to go ahead and face the fear and take on new challenges. Stephan...pass me that torch!

Prompt #86: Pick a challenge for yourself. do something uber creative in 2012.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Things (people, places) I love in 400 words...

Thank you, Tanya Geisler for the inspiration...

My sweet (15 year old) baby boy. The perfect silence that follows a fresh snow. Long talks with best friends. Bottles of wine shared with Kaci & Shannon. Dark dark chocolate. The perfect Italian dinner. Incredible breathtaking sunsets. The smell of the ocean. Anna’s laugh. A really great day spent with the camera and my sweetheart. Dance. Texts that say “I love you Mom”. Cheese. Bread. Dancing Matt on youtube. Music that makes me cry. Music that makes me smile. Music that makes me laugh. Road trips with Kaci. Morning text time with my Mom. Surprise gifties “just because”. Highland Coffee Company. Crème Brulee with surprise raspberries. Hugs. Kisses. Wearing the perfect outfit. Having an “I’m amazing!” kind of day. Feeling beautiful. Hugging a tree. Knowing I’m loved. Writing a great poem. Walking barefoot on super soft damp grass. Getting back in touch with long lost friends. Elephants. Cream Cheese and Wheat Thins. Smiles from people I love. Smiles from strangers. Laughing until my belly hurts and tears stream down my face. Super soft comfy blankets. Kitties purring. Wind in my hair. The first hint of Spring. The vibrant colours of fall. The perfect sweater. Phone calls that leave me smiling. My jobs. Bath & Body Works lip gloss. Maddie singing her abc’s to me. Muffin’s smiley face when I plant a thousand kisses on her forehead. Bri screaming “Auntie Karen! I missed you so much!”. My Polar Bear. The friends I can say anything to. Warm rain New Orleans style. Blue cheese stuffed green olives. Hopptini’s. Eastwick. Swingsets. Being back in Louisville and feeling completely happy every time I see the skyline. Driving across the country. Christmas lights. Walking along the Puget Sound. Port Townsend and Better Living Through Coffee’s Chai Latte. The fact that “I’m Henry the 8th I am Henry the 8th I am I am” can make me smile every time I think about it. Being told I’m the “awesomest”.  Watching my favourite movies. Leaves crunching under my feet. Caterpillars and ladybugs. Singing and laughing with Kathi. Finding something I thought I’d lost. Baking something from scratch that makes someone happy. Getting a new tattoo. Taking a long bath with a great book and a glass of wine. Waking up with music in my head. The unconditional love of life-long friends. My family – those I was lucky enough to pick and those linked by blood. This. 

Prompt #85: Your turn. write your own "things I love in 400 words."  It's not as easy as it seems, but it is oh so worth it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

real life...

I've mentioned this a couple times already, but I'm going to say it's been a rough year...or so.

This blog has helped me to express some of the emotions wrapped up tightly in the little fortress of me, but I still proceed with caution. I admit that I'm slightly jealous of those who can just put it all out there. Mind you, I like to see it written succinctly and straight forward as opposed to a 20 paragraph whiny diatribe, but there is something beautiful about bleeding without concern.

I've always been a smile-on-the-outside-bleed-on-the-inside kinda gal. I choose very carefully when it comes to my sounding boards, and how much I decide to share at a particular moment. It doesn't mean I don't trust my friends - my friends are truly among the great loves of my life - but I've often chosen to just work through my struggles on my own.

That said...It's been a melancholy year. One full of change, and heartbreak - moving, finding a new job, working my ass off, missing my kid, and often feeling a bit lost in this maze, trying to figure out who the hell I am. It's that empty nest thing...I've been a mom for so many years, completely wrapped up in my kid, and when he moved out...I was left with...what?

so, I've been sifting through my emotions, and "checking the horizon," and re-learning my role as a mother in this new format.

One of my touchstones shared this song with me a while back...and it's been in my head all I figured it was a good time to share it with you.
Colin Hay "Waiting for my real life to begin"

Prompt #84: "I have an existential map. It has 'You are here' written all over it." ~ Steven Wright.  right? write!

Monday, November 28, 2011

sometimes you just gotta DIY...

I see nothing wrong with tooting your own horn once in awhile. pat yourself on the back. high-five yourself. give yourself kudos.

Because we all need a cheerleader now and then, and we shouldn't always have to rely on others to BE that cheerleader - though I will admit that there is a rather giddy feeling that explodes out of my skin when someone I love tells me I'm awesome!

So, why am I feeling particularly awesome today?

Because, dear friends and readers, I have almost COMPLETELY completed the November PAD (Poem a Day) challenge with Robert Lee Brewer!

I have participated in this challenge (and the April PAD challenge) for the past several years, and though I usually come out at the end of the month with about 15-20 new poems, I've never completed a challenge where I've written a piece for every prompt.

and I am VERY close to doing just that!

I currently have 26 new poems written - plus a few non-prompt poems I've written this month - and let me tell you, this feels great!

So, I'm going to start compiling a second collection and start looking to publish. I mean, why not? Three Thousand Doors needs a follow-up, right? (my Mama likes to joke and tell me my next collection should carry the title "Three Thousand MORE doors." ~shakes head~)

Prompt #83: I'm going to work on compiling another poetry collection. What are you gonna do?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Reading, Writing and...

...not 'rithmetic.

I don't math. not if I can help it.

But I have been reading a lot lately. Fall is a cuddle up with a soft blanket, a fluffy pillow and a fantastic book kind of time for me.

I've also been writing a bunch. Following Robert Lee Brewer's prompts over at Poetic Asides. I'm a couple days behind at the moment, but I currently have 20 new poems to work with, and a writing contest I'm planning to enter in the next two weeks before the deadline.

So I'm feeling pretty artistic, which totally beats that "ugh! I've got nothing creative in me!" feeling that we all get when we hit that brick wall called writer's block.

Prompt #82: Today...head on over to Poetic Asides and pick on of the 21 prompts and write. No matter if it's a poem, a story, a song, a play...just pick a prompt and write on it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Impossible vs. possible

That thing you think you can't do because it's impossible? Maybe it isn't. ~ unknown

I saw this quote on a friend's facebook page a few months back. It's totally managed to stick with me. I printed it up and taped it to my wall. I read it several times a day, think on's pretty much become my mantra; my chant. true! There are so many things that we do, to say, to be...and how many of us just don't do them, say them, be them, because we think they're impossible? for one reason or another - no money, no time, fear.

The thing is...people have proven, over and over again, that they can accomplish amazing things...and so many have great odds to contend with.

So, really, what is it that's holding you back? what holds me back? If nothing is impossible, then it really just comes down to that final decision...

Prompt #81: What do you REALLY want to do...that you just haven't done?

Monday, November 7, 2011

National every kind of writing month...

So it's November.

That means there is A LOT of writing going on!

NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD (Poem A Day) Challenge

and...a new one I just learned of a few days ago...NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month (My friend Lori is doing this one - check out her blog: Funny Strange)

So what are you writing this month? I'm working diligently on the PAD challenge, and I have to say, I'm pretty happy with the pieces I've written thus far!

So hop to it, kids! Get to writing! and if you haven't started...

Prompt #80: start now!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The art of writing letters...

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters.  You can't reread a phone call.  
~ Liz Carpenter

I've been writing a letter to the Universe.

In it, I have written how thankful I am for everything I've ever encountered. All the things, all the people, all the gifts, all the tough times, all the trials.

And I am writing about the things I want. The things I haven't done. The things I've not yet accomplished. The places I've not yet been.

It is an affirmation of love for the wonders of this world, and a petition for guidance toward my unrealised goals and ambitions.

and I expect a prompt answer to my letter. Because the Universe is like that. 

Prompt #79: Write YOUR letter to the Universe.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dusting off...

I pick myself up. dust myself off. and start all over again. ~ Frank Sinatra

As one quite accustomed to doing just that, I will say that at times, starting all over again has been incredibly easy. and other times...there's a bit more challenge to it.

But, I love the rush! I'm addicted to it. It's why I move so often. something new. something fresh.

I don't mind starting over. It's terrifying to some folks, I know, but to me, it is refreshing. What frightens me, is staying in one place too long. overstaying my welcome. becoming hollow. becoming too comfortable. being confined.

It's that whole caged bird thing.

I'd rather fly.

Prompt #78: What do you do when your wings feel too wet to fly?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Waiting to be...

"I know you're a good piano and your song will always're waiting to be what you already are, you're the only one left in your way..."
Josh Clayton-Felt

We do what we get make ends meet

but if we all had our druthers...what would we do?

Prompt #77: What would you do? if nothing held you back?

Monday, October 10, 2011

much muchness...

 "One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar"~ Helen Keller

Sometimes...I push my "muchness" down and ignore it. forget who I am for a time; forget that I am a shining star in the cosmos of eternity.

and then, luckily, I am reminded. by someone, or something...

at that point...everything I worry over seems ridiculously small and petty...and all that matters is that I pursue the things I want; the things that make me happy; the things that make me shine.

I am glowing again...after a time of too much darkness...and I am tired of stifling and censoring the MUCHNESS that is ME!

Prompt #76: Do you need a reminder at times? Do you forget your muchness?

Monday, October 3, 2011


Several years ago, when I was working as a barista in an Abilene coffee & tobacco shop, one of my regulars surprised me.

On my birthday, Alexis, this girl I'd only known for maybe a couple of months, brought me a present.

A set of three gnomes. You know, the garden variety. I was so giddy over this gift! It was the perfect gift, and somehow, she just knew it was perfect.

They became my kitchen gnomes.

They had been guarding my kitchen for about four years, when one day, one tipped over...and his hat and the top of his head broke off.

I cried.

over my gnome.

and I emailed my friend (now living in Australia) to tell her about the gnome tragedy.

Surgery was successful and he was glued back together to guard over my kitchen for many more years. But I always remember that he is wounded. And I lift him with extra care now.

There's something about certain gifts. Finding the perfect gift. Giving the perfect gift. Receiving the perfect gift. Using it. Cherishing it. Smiling at the memory it evokes.

Perhaps the greater gift is that Alexis is still my friend. And perhaps THAT is why those gnomes mean so damn much to me.

Prompt #75: What is your perfect gift memory? Given or received.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The great flood...

So I woke this morning, at 2:30 am, to a partially flooded house.

Apparently the storm rolling through last night dropped 3-5 inches of rain in just an hour. This morning, several roads were closed due to flooding, so's not like I got the worst of it. (thank you!)

So let me tell you how much fun that was at 2:30 in the morning.

I lie. It was not much fun at all. I spent several hours mopping up water and basically just hoping that was the last of it. sigh. and being grateful that we have concrete floors and not carpeting. because omeyegawd...what kind of disaster would that have been!

In the morning light...after only a few hours of sleep...I...well, I was cranky. But this afternoon, I just kind of started feeling very "meh" about the whole thing. I mean, really, what do you do? We live in a basement apartment. weather happens.

Deep breath. sigh.

It made me evaluate though.

Had to get the computers and the cameras up to slightly higher ground. Make sure all the electrical cords are up so they don't get waterlogged and become useless.  Books. Shoes.

There is a part of me that sometimes craves simplicity. How I would love to be a minimalist...but my book collection alone makes that nearly impossible. How do people do it? I am in awe.

Phone. Books. Computer. Camera. External hard drive. Photos. Shoes. and my Honey Bear (teddy bear) a gift from my sister when I was 3.

It's all material...but it means so much!

Prompt #74: What would you save?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Metal & Steel

I have a new love. His name is Bob Schneider.

This singer/songwriter is swiftly shooting up in the ranks of my music loves and coming in a close second to my fave Band, Blue October.

He is a poet. with an incredible voice. I often wake up singing one of his songs in my head.

Bob and Blue October - both Texas talent...coincidence? nah...

I almost fell out of my chair when I found this live version today...because there is a cello! (you know how much I love the cello, right?) Have a listen:


Prompt #73: Now, I want to hear (read) your interpretation of this song. if you need the lyrics you can read them HERE.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hurl words into the darkness...

I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of hunger for life that gnaws in us all.  ~Richard Wright, American Hunger, 1977

There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith 

As writers, we have all hurled those words, we have all opened that is part of living, breathing, swimming in, our art. We are compelled to put our words to paper, in the hope of sharing it with the world; in the hope of feeding that frenzy; in the hope of reaching out to even one other soul who might take comfort, find solace or recognition in those words. 

We bleed onto the page, slice open our souls, pin emotion to the walls and wait...wait for an agent, an editor, a publisher, a friend, a stranger, tell us we've done it. it's good. it's wonderful. it's ready. it's perfect.

and then...then, we do it all again. because we are never done writing; creating.

It takes bravery, persistence, a ridiculously thick skin, and a hell of a lot of gumption...but do it! Because you'll not regret trying, but you will mourn giving up. 

Prompt #72: Are you holding back or are you going for it?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bad habits are like rotten meat...

they stink.

I have several bad habits.

I chew on the inside of my mouth.
I smoke (bleh.)
I procrastinate.
I sometimes try to divine deeper meaning from things that are simply...simple.
I analyze certain things too much, and sometimes, I don't pay proper attention to things that perhaps needed a bit more tending.
I crack my knuckles.
I snap my gum.
I don't always maintain eye contact when I'm speaking to someone (which doesn't mean I'm bored, it usually just means that I've got too many thoughts vying for first place in my brain...but the person I'm talking to doesn't know this.)

and...I have a terrible habit of letting myself fall into patterns of mediocrity. which is a terrible thing. because I fear being ordinary more than I fear spiders.

Being stuck is a position few of us like. We want something new but cannot let go of the old - old ideas, beliefs, habits, even thoughts. We are out of contact with our own genius. Sometimes we know we are stuck; sometimes we don't. In both cases we have to DO something. ~ Rush Limbaugh

Prompt #71: What bad habits do you need to break? How do you fight off the monsters of mediocrity and ordinariness?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The difference between falling and flying...


Sometimes...we all need to be reminded that we are something more.  

When the day to day bogs us down, and we feel like we are doing little more than muddling through, we just need someone to tell us that we Shine! That we are something greater, something better, something incredible. 

I've got a mountain to climb before i get over this hill
I've got a world to unwind before i ever sit still
I've got a hard row to hoe before my seed is sown
I've got a long way to get before i get back home 

~ Bob Schneider

Prompt #70: Write about that person or thing that reminds you that you are amazing.

Monday, August 22, 2011

change your mind...

"I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls."   
~ Anaïs Nin 

I'm a big fan of change.

If something isn't moving right it my life, a job, a town, a relationship, I make a change...exit quietly stage left and move on to the next role.

A year ago, when my son was 13, he decided to make a change in his life, thereby altering mine, and moved to Seattle to live with his father.

It wasn't entirely unexpected, it was just sooner than I would have chosen. I knew one day my child would grow up, move on and make a life of his own, but I thought I had a few more years before having to deal with it. I wanted more time.

It's been rough. ups and downs. lots of tears. I miss him every day that he's not with me. but I've had to adjust to it.

I made some changes of my own, in order to try to make my life "right" again. I moved (several times, trying to find what felt right to me) and landed, happily, back in Louisville, Kentucky - it's the first place that ever really felt like "home" to me...coming back was like stepping into an old photograph, a happy memory.

So, here I am. Getting my feet back under my weight. Discovering how hollow that empty nest can sometimes feel, and cherishing the moments I get to spend with my son during those not-quite-long-enough visits.

I'm adapting, simply because that is what I do. I'm pliable, but tough. stubborn. strong-willed. determined.

but man! I miss my kid when he's not here. 

Prompt #69: How pliable are you? do you embrace change or resist it? do you adapt easily, or fight tooth and nail when change invites itself in?

Monday, August 15, 2011

living on the air in Cincinnati...

Heading out to Cincinnati  for the day. Zoo and Aquarium, so today is a quick post. 
Today's blog and prompt are one in the same...borrowed from my friend, June.
Prompt #68: It's Monday. Do you know who you are, where you're going, what's important? It's never too late to find out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

diamonds on the sea...

What will it take for you to dare to live the way your soul craves… ~ Big Sparkly Life
We all have big dreams and aspirations. Sometimes, we follow through, and sometimes we let things slide. 
For me, there are certain dreams that keep coming back, and I wonder, "huh. why haven't I done that yet?" 
I don't want to miss out on the things I've always wanted. It's time for me to really dare...really do...really go after my goals. 
I mean, really, why wait? 
That's not to say I haven't done a lot of the things I've wanted to do, just that there is still so much more I want! and I want to do it all! does that make me greedy?
I'm the gold in the sunset and diamonds on the sea... ~ Bob Schneider 
Prompt #67: So, what will it take? for you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Moments of kindness...

Because that's what kindness is.  It's not doing something for someone else because they can't, but because you can.  
~ Andrew Iskander

There are precious little moments that bring tears to my eyes, a lump to my throat, and a great big smile to my heart.

I have quietly witnessed the kindness of others. And it is something that never ceases to floor me.

Several years ago, I was working at a coffee bar & smoke shop in Texas, two of my regulars, (lets call them the baker and the butterfly) who had never met before, were having a conversation. Over many shots of espresso and a few cigars, they talked. for hours. somewhere in this conversation, I saw a piece of paper pass from one to the other, and the recipient began to cry. Later I learned that the butterfly had given the baker a check so that he could go put four new tires on his car, which was so desperately in need of new tires he couldn't drive safely anymore without them. The butterfly didn't do it for applause, she simply wrote a check, and quietly slipped it to the baker.

Because she could. and he couldn't.

Several weeks ago, I walked past a homeless man (we'll call him Albert) who told me he could tell me the secret to quitting smoking. I smiled and said thanks. he continued talking, to no one in particular, kind of rambling and mumbling. as I stood there finishing my cigarette, a girl I know (we'll call her Samantha) drove by, stopped her car, spoke with the man for a moment, handed him a folded bill, and drove away. Later, I mentioned to Sam what I had seen, and told her it was the sweetest moment of kindness I had witnessed in a long time. She said: Albert has never asked me for money. I just felt like he could use a blessing today."

This past Saturday, I was working at the bar, and had stepped outside for a ciggie. The door to the salon next door opened and a stylist gently pushed a woman in a wheelchair to her waiting ride. It struck me as one of those above-and-beyond moments that people sometimes do for others.

Simple. Kind. Human. Love.

#66: what are some of the beautiful moments you've been lucky enough to witness?

Monday, July 25, 2011

So many places I'd like to see...

I have a wish list...

...well, I suppose everyone does.

but right now I'm talking about a very specific list in my list of wishes, wants, dreams, travel wish list.

There are places I've wanted to go since I was a little girl, and places I've learned about over the years. Places I've never seen, but I ache for in my soul, like a vaguely remembered dream.

and truly, I've managed a few of them so far, but there is so much more I want to see!

I must see England, and Ireland, The Isle of Man, The Outer Hebrides, Patagonia, Australia, Montserrat, Africa, India, Russia, Germany! Savannah, GA, New Hampshire, Maine, The Carolinas, New York City, Boston, Nova Scotia. I want to see the Louvre and go to Southern Spain. I want to walk The Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Google Earth has been my best friend for virtual "travels" until I am able to make the trips for real. I can "fly" to any city of my choosing. Browse coastlines and cities at my leisure.

Prompt #65: What is on your wish list? or, what places have you've been?

Monday, July 18, 2011

in a nutshell...

My mother used to write a column for several small-town newspapers, it was called "County Roads." (which she compiled a small smattering of for her collection Song of County Roads - published by Silver Boomer Books in September of 2009)

so...long story short, I remember one of her columns ended with a line like "that's me, in a nutshell...which is where I belong." I always loved that line. makes me giggle right out loud, even now, when I can't remember the rest of the article.

so (segue) I present you with my last 10 a nutshell.

at the tail end of October 2010, I left Texas... (all photo credits: keg)

...went to Seattle until just after Christmas... to Minot, North Dakota until mid-February...

...and made a permanent move to Louisville February 13, 2011...

so there you go...a brief little photo montage of my (almost) past year. I'm settled in, with two jobs, I'm writing some poetry again after a few long months of not quite enough motivation or inspiration, I'm moved in to a groovy apartment and things feel like they are calming down a bit, falling into place and adapting to a wonderful stride.

Prompt #64: describe or depict your life in a nutshell.

Monday, July 11, 2011

that's what friends are for...

I've probably mentioned this once or twice, but I just have to say it again, I have a lot of REALLY fantastic friends. 

I consider myself incredibly lucky that I have a veritable plethora of friends I've known for decades. People who I can pick up with right where we left off, whether just a few days ago, or a few years ago.

I realise this is a rare thing. I realise that some people have only one friend. or maybe two. but I have handfuls! handfuls! I'd hate to be without a single one of them.

It's not to say I've not lost precious people along the way. Life moves in patterns, but not all patterns are compatible.

so I've learned to let go when I have to, and appreciate the people who stick around.

Every person in my life is unique and amazing, talented...and so very precious. and I am so incredibly lucky to know these beings I call friend: these individuals who nourish my soul, laugh with me, let me cry on their shoulder, feed me when I forget to eat, cradle me in their hearts and show me undying, unending, unconditional love.

Yep. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Prompt #63: Describe your best friend(s) in five words. then write a piece using those five words.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independently Happy...

It's been a long day...

of bugs, and dust and cleaning cleaning cleaning. frankly, it's been a long few days of moving and cleaning. I've just moved into an apartment after 6 long months of extended-stay motel living.

I had a mini-freak out over the bugs. I realise bugs have their place in this world...I just don't feel like bugs have their place in my home...ya know? but! said bug problem is being addressed, so I'm hoping to relax on that soon.

Today is July fourth. Independence Day. it's a big day for America. there are flags on every lawn, fireworks blasting and booming, and patriotism is abundant. Facebookers have posted many patriotic lyrics, tributes and praises.

it got me thinking about independence...personal independence, how each individual asserts their own, and what it means to each of us...

Prompt #62:    ... so today, write about independence. whether it is a tribute to America, United States soldiers, or your own rights of passage.

Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, June 27, 2011

in my next life...

I used to be a dancer.

I loved dancing. I still love dance. I ache a little when I see a performance; desire deeply to be on that stage.

If I had to state a regret, it would be this...that I gave up dancing.

There is a little part of me who would love to be seventeen again, thinking about going off to college...I would have taken that opportunity I shrugged off...applied to Cornish College of the Arts...danced my heart out...and maybe, just maybe, I would have landed it!


I didn't do it. I didn't apply. I didn't try out. I didn't keep dancing.

and, I miss it!

Prompt #61: Write about the thing you've always wanted to do, but didn't.

Monday, June 20, 2011

be a a genius...

Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe. ~ Stephen King (On Writing)

How I love this quote. It stirs something deep within my soul; awakens a sleeping dragon of creativity.

It churns the same cauldron music does - amazing to me, how just a quote can bring such a sparkle to my psyche.

But maybe that's because he's Stephen King...genius of lyrical writing. He is a talented spider, weaving gruesome webs to entrap his readers. Even though the Horror genre is not my favourite thing, I appreciate his ability to wrap the reader in the soft silk of his writing (and not all he writes is creepy, screepy horror.)

Writing is a chance to paint a picture with words. 

Prompt# 60: find something to paint. use words to create a Monet, Van Gogh, Pollock. choose your subject and paint it. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

roller coaster, yo-yo, angry vortex...release...

I don't tend to share a lot. my emotions are mine to swaddle and smother and keep locked away.

except when writing poetry (which is probably why I had a huge panic attack when Three Thousand Doors was sent off to the printer last year.)

Oh gawd! I'm going to throw up...
it's like...opening up my journal (if I kept one) for all the world to read...f$@#.....

yep. those are pretty much the thoughts that went racing through my head, one after the other, repeatedly.

panic. vomit. journal. swear.

rinse. repeat.

that said, it's been a rough year. stumbling through changes, jumping off emotional cliffs, building wings while falling, tearing my wings to shreds on twisted branches, tumbling through frantic waves of emotion.

tears. panic. uncertainty. frustration. anger.

it took awhile, but I finally found myself brave enough to admit ( myself at first...and then out loud to a few precious friends) that I was broken, lost, upside down...and I needed to find my own way back. build new platforms. recharge. reconstruct.

it reminds me of a line from an article I read years ago..."I don't care who you are, at some point, life will bring you to your knees." (I wish I could remember who or what the article was about, but it was more than a decade ago)

the thing is, when you're on your knees, you have to take a deep breath, and somehow...find your footing again.

Prompt #59: how do YOU fix broken?

Monday, June 6, 2011

in the words of the poet....

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth

Thank you William, that's exactly what I aspire to do every time I scratch out a poem. The breathings of my heart...yes exactly...did you read my mind?

little bits of my soul go into my writing, take wing on my words, and soar out into the ether...

some things take a while to surrender; work up the courage to give them to the world. some things may never be shared. that's okay. some writing is just for the writer.

Prompt #58: Are you filling your paper with the breathings of your heart? write something that you've kept locked within, something that you've put off writing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dancing Matt...

When I get really stressed out, I need to do one of three things...

I need to laugh hysterically for at least 15 minutes until my face hurts.

I need to cry. big fat tears that make my eyes puff up.

or I need to scream. or throw things.

that's four. sometimes I don't like to count properly. 2+2 sometimes equals 5. if I say it does.

there is a video on youtube that allows me to do two of these things...laugh and really just makes me insanely happy. If I'm feeling a little bit blue, it cheers me up like little else can.

I don't feel like I can even describe in proper words much glee this video brings me...the dancing, the music, the locations, the's just...incredible to me.

The music touches my soul in that place where language doesn't's the voice, sound, tone...the symphony...

The dancing makes me giggle. laugh out loud even. but there is a deep beauty in this universal language...and to me, watching all these people, from various locales, joining him and dancing with him...just...makes me smile. It's a celebration!

and the video ends at Gas Works Park. Seattle. where I spent time playing and running around and probably dancing with my longest best friend.

Today...there is no prompt...#57

I just want to share my favourite video with you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Start Now...

you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.
~ Stephen King (On Writing)

Prompt #56: What are you waiting for? What have you always wanted to do? Stop waiting, start doing. Do it now.

Monday, May 16, 2011

shine on...

some people just shine.

they inner draws you to them...makes you curious...makes you...have. to. know. what. makes. them. radiate.

the thing is...we all shine. sometimes, one just has to find what it is...that makes you glimmer.

Prompt #55: what illuminates your soul?

Monday, May 9, 2011

a wee homage to American Beauty...

photo credit: keg

and...a hint. to a project in the works.

prompt #54: What is your first thought when you look at this photograph? (if you click on the photo, you should be able to view the larger image)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

It's officially the one year anniversary of The Absinthe Road. I had intended to announce the winners of the giveaway today and give away two copies of Three Thousand Doors...but no one entered. so...

instead, I'm saying Happy Birthday to The Absinthe Road. my toddler...if you will.

Prompt #53: This week, I'd like to hear from you. Tell me what you like about this blog, or what you don't like. Tell me what changes you'd like to see in the next year, what you'd like to see more of.

Monday, April 25, 2011


A couple of weeks ago I scratched myself in my sleep.

let me rephrase...I clawed myself in my sleep. clawed my face.


I was having a weird dream, which I don't remember at all, the only thing I can think of is that I must have been battling spiders in my sleep and went to fling one off my face and...voila! face clawed.

I had a lovely one inch gash from my left temple down to my cheek bone. I still have a decent-looking mark...hoping that scar will eventually fade...but what's a scar.  scars are groovy. I love scars.

I hate spiders.

Prompt #52: This week, write about the thing you most loathe.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Road...

Ever hear a song and think to yourself, that is SO me! 

I do it all the time.

One of "my songs" is The Road by Frank Turner...with lines like, "only being shackled to the road could ever I be free" and "You won't find your precious answers now by staying in one place" and "I face the horizon everywhere I go, I face the horizon, the horizon is my home" this song jumped up, slapped me in the face, and tagged me the moment I first heard Frank singing at the House of Blues, where he opened for Flogging Molly. I bought two of his Cd's that night, Poetry of the Deed and Love Ire and Song. I'm in love with so many songs on these albums. Ah...mazing. go have a listen folks.

Prompt #51: What is your song? or songs? why?

Monday, April 11, 2011

A is for...

So it's almost the one year anniversary of The Absinthe Road.

I gotta say, folks, I'm pretty proud of myself. (pats self on the back. Good job, self!) A full year of weekly prompts. I've posted every Monday. This is a big deal! I've been sticking to a schedule!

May 3 is the official one year mark. I'm going to do another giveaway. Here's how this one will work...

My current followers, I have an "assignment" for you:

Prompt #50: I'd like you to introduce your friends to The Absinthe Road. Each new follower needs to leave a comment and tell me who sent them. On May 2, I will draw the name of one new follower. New follower and their sendee will each receive a copy of my poetry collection, Three Thousand Doors. Pretty easy prompt this week, yes?

Monday, April 4, 2011

ideas, ideas, ideas...

Spring is in full bloom, which means my creative energies are blooming as well!

I love a good brainstorm.

They are filled with windy idea gusts, rain droplets full of excitement, and thunderclaps bursting with possibility.

I'm anxious to move an idea/brainstorm into the next phase...a collaborative work between a few artists I know...super excited to see what they think of the idea and climb to the next level of this project.

and yes...I'm being obscure...because I keep things close to the vest until I'm ready to announce my intentions. but!

I won't keep it a secret forever.

Prompt #49: When do you brainstorm? What things, seasons, situations, make your creative brain fly into action?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Because I have to...

Writing is a form of personal freedom. It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. ~ Don Delillo

several years ago, the editor for the Abilene Writers Guild asked the question, "Why do you write?"

that question prompted me to write a piece, which she printed in the newsletter, and later, that same piece became the introduction to my book Three Thousand Doors

an excerpt from that piece:

...I write because if I do not
I feel I am no more than a leaf
trapped in the brush at the waters’ edge.
Aimless, worthless;
stagnant and decaying waste... ~ me

Prompt #48: Why do YOU write?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring has sprung...

 and it gave me larynigitis.

but lucky for me, I don't do a voice blog. and my fingers still work...

I love Spring. I love witnessing the budding and blooming of the trees, the blossoms of pink and white, purple and red; spring's garments are beautiful, cheering; it's the time to show off the colours they've been saving up all winter...

Spring reminds me that it's time to renew, refresh, refocus, re-balance. Spring is when my creativity, (sometimes elusive during winter,) jumps back out of my soul and says: HEY! I'm still here! Let's makes something stunning!

So...Happy Spring. Happy creative time. The trees are happy, (they'd make Bob Ross proud,) flowers are blissful, even squirrels and birds are bouncing around in the excitement of things blooming.

enjoy your day.

Prompt #47: Paint a picture, take some photos, write an ode or sonnet...Celebrate Spring!

Monday, March 14, 2011

thing a day...

This week is a shout-out to my friend Lori - funny strange - and her husband Stephan who has been keeping a new blog project - Thing a Day Project - a creativity marathon - since January 1, 2011.

Stephan is a multi-talented phenom.

He sings, he writes, he paints, and he's a voice-over wiz - and a plethora of other talents.

Prompt #46: For your prompt this week, head on over to Stephan's page and get inspired by his project. 74 days in, there is plenty to choose from. and while you're at it, check out Lori's blog...she packs some serious funny!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Light at the end of the tunnel...'s not always a train.

sometimes it is actual sunshine.

Things are looking up. after several months of changing circumstances, new locations and job searches...

...I am starting a new job this evening! hurrah! things are looking up. and I am breathing a bit easier.

and I am thankful.

prompt #45: What are you thankful for?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Weather...or not

So...yesterday we were all set up for a "dynamic" weather system to churn through the Ohio River Valley.

By late evening/early morning the wind was roaring fierce and ferocious-like, and we were pretty sure we were in for a real "walloping."

Then...the storm was past us. in like, a matter of moments. ummm...where did it go? Where was all the rain? Where was the thunder and severe weather? and it's not like it didn't exist...there were several funnel clouds nearby and 65+ mile an hour winds, warnings and was the storm that wasn't.

Not that I'm sad about it. I'm not a big fan of tornadoes. I mean, I appreciate their awesome power, and I'm totally wowed by the dynamics which must be in place in order to create this awesome, turbulent force of nature, I just don't particularly want to be in the path of that power.

Prompt #44: Write about the power of the weather. Write about storms. real storms, life storms, emotional storms.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lean on me...

I'm a lucky girl.

I am blessed with some of the most amazing women in my life, women I am more than proud to call "friend."

A few weeks ago I was transitioning through a rough patch, and I tend to be the type of person who walks through those woods alone. I don't ask for help, I don't like to cry, and I don't want the people I love to know when I've had a bad day. I usually wait until after the fact and then share my dismay.

so a few days ago, when my touchstone girl called and asked how I've been, I told her I'm good now, but a few weeks ago I felt like a disaster. She wondered why I didn't call her. I told her what I just said above.  I didn't want her to know how bad off I'd been.

She said:
as the song goes, "lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll be your friend.  I’ll help you carry on."

Oh yah. That's what friends are for. I guess sometimes we all need a reminder, and we all need to know there are those who love us endlessly, even when we are at our weakest.

Prompt #43: Who do you lean on? Do you sometimes need a reminder that you're not alone - that there are people willing to help carry that load when it gets too heavy?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Change your life...

Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life. 

~ Rainer Maria Rilke 

I love this poem. I love the last line. It's what echoes in my head when I feel disconnected...I remind myself that my happiness, my glee, my light, is all in my hands.   

Prompt #42: Write a piece about changing your life.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Head in the Clouds...'s better to find
your center of gravity
and have it be the place
you radiate out from. ~ Ron Padgett
This past year has been a veritable roller coaster. monumental highs and lows.
and so I have this to say...what I said to a friend earlier:

Life changes. and it demands that we change with it or remain still. I've never been one to remain still. so I change too. some changes are just tougher to swallow than others.
but this is when we find out what we are really made of...

I am finding my center of gravity again...that place I radiate from.

Prompt #41: Where to you radiate from?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sing a Song...Sing out loud...sing out strong...

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~ Aldous Huxley 

You are the music while the music lasts.  ~ T.S. Eliot 

I have a million favourite songs.

Growing up, I could often be found lying across my bed, ears pressed close to my radio, listening...

The first notes of a special tune would start playing and I would exclaim, "Oh my god! This is my FAVOURITE song!" My mother would always laugh and say, "Karen, EVERY song is your favourite song."

While not entirely true...I DO have a lot of faves.

Music makes me smile. it makes me cry. it takes me back in time. brings up loved ones, old friends, memories, places. Music moves me in ways that little else re-charges my soul, lifts me out of dark places, allows me to wallow in a moment, and wraps me in a soft blanket of song.

Prompt #40: What is your "favourite" song. what feelings does it evoke in you?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Heat Wave...

33 degrees is warm!

Never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth, but after several weeks of low teens, single digits and negative temperatures, I've discovered the beauty of a 30+ heat wave. 

Now, really, 33 is still cold...but I'm handling this winter briskness with more verve than I would have believed possible. I've ventured out into the elements a few times to shoot the lovely snow-covered landscape and I'm planning to head to the ice skating rink (it's an indoor rink) on Wednesday for my first step on the ice in roughly 15 years.

I've learned that there is a HUGE difference between a wet cold and a dry cold, and I've discovered the true meaning of WIND CHILL FACTOR.

For the girl who grew up in the Southern California desert (it was usually a DRY heat) moving to the Midwest at the end of December was probably a bit on the crazy side. but here I am. powering through. layering. wearing hats and scarves and boots. and actually...surprisingly...embracing winter.

Prompt #39: In what ways have you surprised yourself?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Visually Speaking...So to Speak...

Prompt #38 - This week is visual prompt week. pick a photo and write. You can write from the perspective of the can be the object in the can write about what the photo makes you think of, or how it makes you feel.  enjoy.

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright Scornphoto

photo copyright keg

photo copyright keg

photo copyright keg

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Silence of Snow...

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? ~ J.B. Priestly 

I am not a big fan of cold weather; I get goosebumps when the temperature drops below 72 degrees.


I love the way the land looks when swathed in fresh comforters of snow. I love the sparkly twinkle of the sun bouncing off mounds of white, like tiny bits of glittery sugar sprinkled over a perfectly iced cake. 


I marvel at the stark white silence that seems to envelope each falling flake. 

There is a moment, when the snow is falling, when everything is pure...perfect...silence...

I love that moment. I crave that moment. I breathe in the silence, gather my thoughts, relax in the absolute quiet and purity of stark, perfect, snow. 

and then I realise I'm freezing my bum off and run inside to take a hot bath and relax with a steaming cup of coffee.

Prompt #37: Snow! write about the snow.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January Greys...

Happy New Year.

It's Monday, January 3rd, and January ugh is threatening...taunting me from its tight, dark, little corner.

If it knows what's good for it, it will just stay there, and shut its trap!

After the fast-paced frenzy of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Celebrations, I often find myself in the first week of January feeling...I don't know...subdued.

It's like there's a big holiday go.go.go. and then suddenly...halt!

It hits me every year.

If I allowed it, I could easily slump into the mucky, cold, icy ball of January sludge and simply wait to thaw out some time in March.

When I was younger, that's exactly what I would have done, but over the years, I've learned to combat that foggy, grey feeling through various creative outlets.
I write. I paint. I work on tedious or silly craft projects. I shoot photos. I concoct new cookie, cake and pie recipes and try them out on my "tasters" (friends and family who are more than happy to sample from my personal bakery.)

I've learned to wade through the greys with big fat boots of happy painted on my soles; the days are getting longer, we're moving closer to the sun and green days of spring are just around the corner!

Prompt #36: Write. Paint. Draw. Bake. Create. What is your outlet when the greys hit you?