harmony & purpose through words, art, and threads

Entering and Exiting

I turned 61 today. Crazy questions bounce through my brain cells:
  • what the hell have I been doing all these years?
  • whose life is it anyway?
  • where did all this stuff come from?
  • do I need a bigger bookcase or do I need to cull some books? (this one is a no brainer)
  • where should I buy a new bookcase?
  • when will I finish one of those great novels I've started? (maybe they're not so great which is why I haven't finished them yet)
I decided that the crazy leek soup fast I planned on doing today wasn't such a great idea three hours into it and brewed a nice fresh pot of coffee while hubby cooked breakfast. Sometimes, you just gotta let go. We're heading out to Applebea's for dinner tonight to celebrate. (the birthday, not the leek abandonment but that is a good idea too)

I did set a couple of goals:
  • blog three times a week (once would be an improvement)
  • hire Mary from Graphic Confections on Etsy to design a header for this site
  • open my Etsy shop (sorry, no link for this yet because I still need to take pics of my stuff before launch)
  • work on my writing every day (this doesn't count - I'm talking about my current novel )
  • post pics on my blog (take pics for said postings)
And that ought to do it for today. I promise I'll do better next time. (how often have you read that before)

The Story Dancer

Today begins September Story A Day. I've got my small spiral journal, ready to pen ten-sentence or less stories. I never know what will spark a short-short story: an incident, a sighting, a sound, a word or overheard conversation.

 The Story Dancer appeared while watching a reality television program. I'm considering building a series based on what I witnessed – it was beauty in motion.


 He entered stage right. No one could see the baggage he carried. If they could, they'd wonder how he was able to move so lightly across the floor.

 There were moments when he landed hard and sunk into the rubber mat like a stone on hot asphalt but the music pulled him out every time. He danced and twirled before his mother's eyes while she still had her sight, lifted her from a bottle of pills and kicked away the dirty syringes.

 He held her until the love moved the audience to tears.


It was a sad day when The Great Illuminator died.

Tears fell like miniscule flakes of gold leaf and scattered, caught on the breath of sighs and sobs.

Even Old Lady Quill turned out for the funeral. Her knotted fingers wrapped around an enormous lace-bordered hankie as her nurse pushed her wildly patterned and painted wheelchair through the crowd.

No one had seen her for years.

Rumor was she and The Great Illuminator, once admired and sought after as the most famous pair of story and memory recorders in the world, began to fade as society picked up pace and dropped the beauty of a hand-lettered page for a quicker, albeit mechanical looking, document.

Lady Quill and The Great Illuminator continued their adventures in private: he applying layer upon layer of the lives they'd touched in paint and gold leaf, she in broad-edged letters that married themselves into words and stories.

Those that remembered them would stop by their estate for a visit, always being received graciously, always leaving with the gift of a painted page.

Each person attending the funeral brought pages and tossed them onto the grave site until even Old Lady Quill could barely see the separation between The Great Illuminator and herself.

The rains that follow such large displays of grief and remembrance mingled with the gold-flecked tears of the crowd and turned the mountain of memorabilia into a solid mound of story.

Old Lady Quill's pen can still be heard, the skritch-scratch of nib on paper forever recording the memories of friends she'd never meet.

I wrote this short-short story as part of the 2012 Story-A-Day project, held every May. For more information, please visit

So Much Time

It's gone. Time. Eaten and devoured. Don't know where or why. Well, I do but there's no need to say why because it just is. Gone.

I made a vow a couple of weeks ago to follow through on goals. I started by writing short-short stories and I've been posting them over at StoryADay. I'll share them here shortly.

And I'll share what else is happening. For now, know that Penquillity still writes.

NaNoWriMo Eve

Throwing in a quick post about National Novel Writing Month which begins in less than 8 hours. I've got a murder mystery queued and am pacing until time to write.

That's it. I told you this was a quickie. I plan to post throughout the month on my progress and my Rebel NaNo antics.

World-building for a new novel

I've no excuse for 213 days between posts. Can't say I forgot. Can't say I was kidnapped by a gypsy caravan although there was this one funky looking minstrel troupe - but still, no excuse for such negligence. Enough of the woe-is-me-ism. This is what I'm up to today:

I'm world-building in preparation for this year's National Novel Writing Month to commence the first of November - place, time, genre, story arc, setting, character(s). There is this gnawing feeling that I should complete the unfinished novel from last year. Instead, I'm mining it for characters and partial plot because I know last year's story has gone stale due to misdirection.

Earlier this year I discovered Steampunk - fascinating subgenre that falls somewhere between fantasy, science fiction, and Victorian goth. I have this idea but I'm not telling you, not right now, maybe later once its germinated, grown roots, and sprouted into something viable. I can tell you that I'm enjoying where my thoughts are traveling, what my pencil is jotting down in my journal, on index cards, and on any handy scrap of paper.

This novel creation process sends me into a trippy head space and I walk around half in reality, half in this other world. My reality exists in a half-light, and I find myself pondering if whatever sound I hear, person I see, emotion I feel, situation I observe, could twist into the story. I'll be like this for the next several weeks, worse once November begins.

Booking It To Tucson

Touting itself as the 4th largest book festival in the USA, the Tucson Festival of Books is going on this weekend at the UofA campus and I'm looking forward to spending a few days with crazy, bookish people. I'll fill you in on the details when I return to cyberland.


It's snowing today and will continue through into the night. We could get a few inches or a few feet; depends on the elevation and the temperature (which is slowly dropping). I'm ready for a day or two inside, my home wrapped in a blanket of white. I've a knitted afghan I'm working on and a Tunisian lace crochet scarf, both in magenta tones.

The cats have burrowed into their warm spots: Chevy by the heater, Pollyanna and Billy on the wool afghan on the couch. Hubby is reading the paper while I sit and watch the snow fall. Peaceful. Quiet except for the wind chime outside my studio window; it rocks in the same wind that tosses tiny snowflakes in the winter air. I should take a picture but I'm too wrapped up in the magic. Perhaps later. This is the daydream time.

Capturing The Moment

One of these days, I'll figure out how to add photos to this.

In the meantime, I want to share with you a comment I left on my friend Mary's blog -

Mary discusses the beauty of living in the moment and how so many people these days do not practice this. They prefer to zoom along their day, even when they're attending fun events. Few take the time to stop, listen, and absorb. Whether it's a show, an artist as he or she performs, or an exhibition at a fair, a park, or a street. Their way of capturing the moment is to take a picture with their digital camera and then move on to the next "thing." Sometimes these pictures stay buried in the camera's memory for months.

How many people these days are content with simply being in the presence of the moment? Decades of connecting, capturing "the moment" in film (now pixels), is ingrained in the people. It takes courage these days to trust ourselves to remember a moment, let alone hear a story.

I've never been much of a picture taker. Although I carry around a camera, I forget to take it out at "opportune" moments because I'm too caught up in the seeing.

I'm okay with that.

What Inspires Me

The neighborhood is quiet this morning. School is back in session and the parents must be catching up on the sleep they lost during the summer weeks.

The view from my studio window is clear, no clouds dotting the cerean blue sky. Our monsoon season was short-lived, lasting only a few weeks. It may return but for now, the skies are wide open with traces of white clouds gathering along the horizon. It is a time for daydreaming.

What inspires you? What makes your inner being purr? What calms your hectic self? Simplicity relaxes me. When I search for inspiration, I find it in:
  • Words, well written and in a distinctive voice
  • Writing, weaving language into a form that others can play with, dance to, and hold close to their hearts
  • Knitting because it's fun to interlock the same strand of yarn until it transforms into fabric between my fingers
  • Watching people - they are fascinating and, more often than not, find their way into my stories as characters in composite form
  • Playing with my cats - they keep me young and humble
  • Staring at clouds - such beauty, such movement, such growth - and purpose behind their actions. Maybe not here but somewhere on their journey.
There go some now, heading northeast out of the southern sector.
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