October 31, 2008

friday free-for-all...

It's here again. Friday. Most beloved day of the week. And today, you get an extra special treat. A poem. From me. Written by me. Not about me :P

This is a sestina--one of my all-time favorite forms. It hinges on the repetition of six words (I like to use nouns myself) in a given order through the first six stanzas. Then they combine in three short lines in the last stanza. The repetition gives this form a rhymth and flow that is unique (and not drive by meter, I might add!).

The way I like to write sestinas is to have random people give me a noun (now you know why I ask!) and then use those to write the poem. Yes, this means I have less control. It also means that I sometimes have to tie together ideas and objects that no sane person would put together. But that is part of the fun.

This particular sestina was written as a challenge between some friends. We all used the same six words and each wrote a sestina. It was a blast! And here is the result:

Elegy for Constantinople

Dream with me of Istanbul-
of Constantine eating licorice,
a culture in generation,
shrouded by one man’s nebula.
Byzantium hears its epilogue
played over and over on the piano.

In these Turkish streets, my footsteps piano—
I tread ever lighter through Istanbul
searching for the epilogue.
Wedged in cobblestone, the blue-flowered licorice
pulls me into a botanical nebula
and I am anchored by a deep-rooted generation.

Will I ever see my own generation?
A child of mine, sitting at this piano—
sent across space from a sparkling nebula,
whispering the secrets of Istanbul,
sneaking twists of licorice—
Will I ever see my own epilogue?

Pinpoints of prophecy litter the epilogue—
Hints to a wiser generation,
advice sweetened with the root of licorice,
rings through time, hitching a ride in the notes of the piano.
It warns of crusaders sacking Istanbul
and the serendipity tucked within the nebula.

Time wraps this world in nebula—
withholding clarity until the epilogue
as it paces the shores of Istanbul.
Waltzing along the final generation,
minutes trip through, like scales on a piano,
or a nymph feasting on licorice.

From seed to pod to bean to candy delight, licorice
dances in a course nebula,
bowing and blushing, displaying piano
as it delivers a one-word epilogue.
Flora and fauna continue generation,
overtaking the streets of Istanbul.

Let the taste of licorice be this dream’s epilogue
and the nebula of the last generation.
I will play life’s piano and dance on rooftops in Istanbul.

October 30, 2008

curls and nonsuch...

I finally got curls. Lots of curls.

I've been waiting for a year now to get another perm. Curls help keep me from hating my ever so straight and ever so flat hair. But curls also cost money. Thanks to a dear friend who took some B&BW stuff off my hands, I had some extra cash. And Shelly told me about the Salon Professional Academy where they do perms for considerably less than most places (and the students are checked every step of the way, so a mishap is no more likely than with any other place).

So I have curls.

But I also have chemical smell.

I don't recall a perm ever being so very smelly before. I didn't sleep a wink last night because the chemicals were so overwhelming. I rinsed my hair this morning just to help (plus, it was frizz city and I can't handle frizz!). I have to hold out until tomorrow to wash it--pray for me!

(photos to come when I have a) someone to take the picture and b) my laptop to upload said picture.)

October 27, 2008

a mesage from my sponsors...you!

It's almost November. That means I'll be writing a novel. Again.

I've written three NaNo novels over the last four years (I took off the year I went to Africa). I love the rush and the frenzy.

And this year, I'm looking for sponsors. The organization that puts on National Novel Writing Month (NaNo) does this as a non-profit. This is their 10th year hosting the event--and they have almost 60,000 people registered to write this year. They even have a Young Writer's program that is encouraging youngsters to write and flex their creative story-telling muscles. And I'm asking you to support me in supporting them.

So if you would like to sponsor me. You can make a one time donation or sponsor me per 1000 words. Just visit here to make a donation. It's safe, secure and you are helping a great cause.

And check back often in November as I post my running total word count!

October 25, 2008

saturday snapshot...

This is from the Thanksgiving feast that I enjoyed in Nambia, 2006. I love the colors in that bowl.

October 24, 2008

friday free-for-all!

Okay--new feature. A "when I feel like it but always on Friday" feature!

It's when I get to do something fun that I don't normally do. Maybe it will be a review, or a poem I've written or a guest blogger. You'll just have to tune in on Friday's to find out.

Today, you get a book review...

As many of you know, I have a goal to read 100 books in 2008. I'm close. This book, The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman, marks my 90th book! Here's the review I posted on www.goodreads.com and on CleanPlace:

Wow. Double wow. This was a great book. I wasn't so sure at first--I was a bit nervous because the story was just so so. But as the story developed it became this beautiful, sparking spider web of lives and loves and hopes and pains that I just couldn't tear myself away. I read 2/3rd of the book in one night--and only stopped because I had to get up in a few hours. I could have read this one in a single sitting if time had permitted.

When I finished, I really wanted to sing "It's a Small World After All" but with a mellow undertone and in a minor key--because that was how the story made me feel. The cool thing, I think, about this book, is that one of the characters in it writes a book that can be read front to back or back to front--and you get a different story. This book works a bit the same. If you read part 3 then 2 then 1, you would get a different effect of the story--but still the same words.

And a fun trivia fact, Alice Hoffman is Jodi Picoult's favorite writer--and with good reason!

October 22, 2008

some days it is worth it...

to get out of bed. I haven't been having the best week so far, and honestly, I just wanted to stay warm and blissfully unaware today (which means staying in bed). But I got up. And I came to Panera to be productive. And I was early enough for souffles.

And as it turned out, my souffle was free because it was about to "expire". That just means they had held it to max hold time and would throw it out. Since it was just expiring, I didn't mind. So I got my favorite breakfast for free.

Now if only the creepy old guys by the window would understand that it's rude to lift the shades and allow all the glares off the cars parked outside in--then we would be having a perfect day!

(I'm sad to report that I've seen nothing wacky this week--nothing. The lack of strange and bizarre things is starting to concern me.)

October 21, 2008

things I just don't get...

* why people WON'T hire you for being well qualified. Don't they understand that just because you CAN do more doesn't mean you always MUST do more? And that sometimes you just want to get a foot in the door and are happy to start at the bottom?

* why I can't use shampoo and conditioner at the same rate.

* why the floor is always 5 degrees colder than the top of the room (okay, I do understand this one, I just fine it odd that it's always 5 degrees).

* why I didn't know how cool forensics were in high school or early college when I might have had a chance to get a degree in it.

* why Sprint thinks that their "product placement" commercials would make anyone want to buy their phones.

* why ANYONE would watch Celebrity Rehab--honestly, I don't like these people anyway, why do I want to watch them act like spoiled children.

October 18, 2008

saturday snapshot...

I love this friendly face. Kisses anyone?

October 16, 2008

well burst my bubble...

I've been house-sitting since the first of October.  It's a great house in Black Forest.  The dog is well-behaved, they have a hot tub and deer visit me during diner.  It's lovely.

But it's not home.

And for the last two days, I've been hanging on the thought that tonight would be my last night.  That Friday night I would be tucked snugly in my own bed at home with my room-darkening shades and my alarm clock ready to lull me out of sleep with my favorite cd.

And then tonight I pull out my calendar to see what time I work Saturday and the evil truth leaps from the page.

Friday is not the 18th.

The owners don't return until the 18th.  

And in that moment, I deflated.  I was crushed under the weight of cruel reality.

And all I wanted was to go home.

lack of whack...

This week, sad to report, has been alarmingly whack free.  Nothing weird or unusual happened.  The only thing that remotely qualified was the drastic plunge of gas prices from $3.19 to $2.96 in less that 24 hours (I know, I almost had a heart attack!)

But I can report that the 90's Trivial Pursuit game has shown us (us being Scott, Shelly, Steve and Betsy, along with myself) that the 90's was a rather trivial decade.  But I did answer the first question for our team without a moment hesitation.  The question was something like (I don't have a direct quote here!): "What TV character travels around in a telephone booth that is much larger inside than it appears on the outside?"  

Oh yeah.  I knew it.

Miss Pottenger would have been proud.

So, keep your eyes open and watching for wacky--I need your help to find it!

October 13, 2008

things I can't do on the mac...

I'm house-sitting in Black Forest for this amazing house. In the backyard there are two ponds and a man-made stream. Yes, there are koi in the pond, but I rarely see them. This couple owns 10 acers and I've seen deer walking by as I ate dinner. It's lovely, really. Even if the dog tried to give me a heart attack yesterday and the smoke detector attempted to damage my hearing for good.

The major drawback to staying at this place is that they don't have wi-fi. There isn't a wi-fi signal in the area to even mooch off of. What do they have? Internet on a Macintosh desktop computer.

While I think Apple does fun commercials--I'm very unconvinced that Macs are better. In fact, after the last two weeks, I'm pretty sure I won't buy one. Ever.

PC's, for all their instability and failings, seem to work logically. I can find stuff and make programs work like they should. They have multiple buttons on the mouse to give you options, including the amazing scroll bar. When I tell my PC to copy something, it does it. It doesn't pretend to copy. The PC also knows the difference between a backspace and a delete. They are not the same thing.

So, I've been having to schlep my way to Panera every few days to get things done online. It's a tad annoying, considering that it means less time by said pond and woods!

If I ever live in such a lovely place, I'm totally having wireless internet so my friends won't suffer!

October 11, 2008

saturday snapshot...

Round Four! This is one of my favorite places in the world--in my hammock! I don't get to use it often, but when I do, it restores peace and tranquility to my life.

October 10, 2008

close call...

So on the way to Panera this evening the driver in the car behind me starts flailing his arms just after I came to a stop. Turns out, the two cars behind HIM rear-ended each other and he got caught as well.

That was close.

Some days we don't know the angels that keep us from harm. Today, I know there were angels between my car and the one behind me. I'm every so thankful!

October 9, 2008

worship part two...

I told you that I had revelations on Sunday--more than one.  I did.  Sunday evening I went with the Myers clan to Street Church.  

Let's just say, Street Church is way out of my comfort zone.  And the funny thing about it is that it isn't the poverty and homelessness that I struggle with.  It's the having to talk to total strangers.  I know that some of you are under the impression that I'm an extrovert.  You're wrong.  I'm rather introverted and I really don't enjoy talking to people I don't know.  When the person in line behind me at Walmart strikes up a conversation, I'm the one who becomes intensely interested in my green beans.  I hate calling for pizza (and I am ever so thankful for internet ordering) because I hate having to interact vocally with someone I don't know.

So you can see why Street Church might be difficult for me.  

But I went.  I never would have gone without Scott and Shelly.  And thankfully, Scott is really good at networking and meeting people.  In turn, he would introduce me and give us something to talk about.  It goes like this.  Scott meets Dennis and they talk for a few minutes.  I come over and Scott says, "Dennis, this is my friend, Sara.  Sara, this is Dennis.  He's an artist."  From that point, I have some point of knowledge that I can hide behind until I've gotten to know Dennis.

I did meet Dennis and he is an artist.  He sells his work on craigslist.  I also met John and Issac.  Issac didn't want to talk, which was sad because he was the one that pricked my interest the most.  

Back to worship.  I've always been a fan of "alternate worship": dancing, art, serving, etc.  I just haven't gotten to stretch myself as of late.  Street Church tugged my worship this week.  I'm sure I'll be going back in the future (as long as I have friends like Scott and Shelly to encourage me!) and I look forward to a time when I will know the people there and not be the introverted wallflower.  Then, we'll be worshiping together--and that's what it is all about.

October 8, 2008

whacky wednesday...

Here we are for the second round of Wacky Wednesday! This week's offering is a observation and photo proof. While waiting for my brother to arrive at a restaurant for dinner, I was hanging out outside. Next door is a liquor store and several 15 minute parking spots. Of the eight or so vehicles that pulled in, at least half had dogs. I'm not sure what caused the run on the store on a Tuesday night (they were doing some good business, judging by traffic), and I'm not sure why so many customers had dogs, but they did. And now, here's the best photo...

who is driving this crazy thing?

Two for the price of one...

What sort of wackiness did YOU see this week?

October 7, 2008


Sunday brought an interesting set of revelations to me.  I got to attend all of worship in our service (something that I don't get to do often due to working in the nursery and not being able to attend the worship service that I fit into best).  Since Shelly was singing, I stood with Kayla (who is 4).  Sometimes, Kayla will let me hold her during worship.  Sometimes she sings, and other times she just rests her head on my shoulder.  This weekend she was a bit tired and spent several songs with her head tucked up against mine.  

And I realized that THAT is my favorite way to worship.  Holding Kayla helps me connect with God--hearing her tiny voice singing along spurs me closer to the Father.  I've known for a while that being around Kay and her brothers is good for me, I just never realized how much I love to worship with her.  I love this little girl's heart!

October 6, 2008

stay tuned for an important announcement...

I have several things I want to blog about--what I did this weekend, the place I'm staying at, the fact that NaNo is coming up--but I also want to put some pictures with those thoughts and since I don't have wireless service out here in the woods, I can't access the pictures on my laptop.  (For those of you who are now scratching your heads, wondering how I'm posting, it is called non-wireless internet connection--I'm at a desktop, a Mac at that.  Don't get me started on the evils of this thing!)  

Anyway, in the meantime, let's play Q&A.  I ask you a question, you leave a comment with your answer.

Question: What is your favorite fall memory?

October 4, 2008

saturday snapshot...

Take three! This week, I'm going with something that makes me every so happy...garlic cheese bread from Old C's!

October 2, 2008


Life is full of comings and goings. Two years ago, one of my bestest friends went to Ghana to serve in the Peace Corps. Dara is amazing and over the last few years, she has really worked to achieve this dream. It was hard to let her go (and that was made even more difficult by my own return from PC service since we thought we would at least be on the same continent for a while). But this December she is coming back. I would say home, but I have a feeling that right now, Ghana is home for her. Home is a funny word and one that I know I can't pin down--so I won't attempt to do so for another person.

I can't wait for Dara to be back. I miss hanging out with her. She is the all-time best person for me to watch movies with because she gets my quirky humor. We are the sort of friends that will go out for a "quick" dinner and still be at the restaurant hours later, deep in conversation. I appreciate Dara's outlook on life, her artist eye and her amazingly generous heart. She is a true blessing in my life.

And in two months, she will be back here, in Colorado. When she left, I told her that the balance of the world was now off-kilter. I'm anxious for it to stabilize again!

October 1, 2008

wacky wednesday...

Ever notice how wacky the world gets sometimes? Or just the fun things, the odd, the bizarre? Well, now we can share. Through the week, I'll be watching and waiting for something wacky. And then on Wednesday, I'll post my find. Join me and leave a comment with your wacky (or funny, odd and bizarre) find!

This week, the thing that made me go "huh?" was the Domino's pizza guy in the drive through line at Chick-Fil-A. I wish I'd gotten a picture, but I had no camera with me :( .