Writing, Reading, and Smiling . . . It's Contagious.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Seanachaí's News

Levi Montgomery, Me, E. Michaels; Veterans Park, Marion, OH; 5-29-10
Before I delve into this month's installment of Seanachaí's News, I want to share a special day I had. Yesterday afternoon I was able to meet author Levi Montgomery and his daughter, Lacey, during their journey through the country. Levi is everything he proclaims to be, right down to his no-nonsense publishing theory. Not without a sense of humor, he shared his views on publishing, writing, and life and was often led to funny topics and antics by his animated daughter, Lacey.

Be sure to check out their travel log, Road Trip 2010! If you haven't read Levi's work yet, do so!


On the last Sunday of each month, I compile "Seanachaí's News," a status report that assesses my work during the current month and also formulates my plans for the upcoming months. It will also give you a peek at my works in progress.

My Work During the Current Month

  1. Why does the month of May go so well with the name Mindy? My latest short-short , "Mindy May," has the answer.
  2. "The Making of a J.e.raffe" is a short, creative work of "nonfiction" that conveys multiple meanings depending on the reader.
  3. Walking Barefoot with Crows takes a look at the fine line between fiction and nonfiction.
  4. Part III of "Murmuring that Creeps into the Life of a Wandering Soul" gives the reader a glimpse of my journey through life with a collection of my new haiku.

My Plans for the Upcoming Months

  1. I'm currently working as tech support for E. Michaels on the latest title for Sunflower Footsteps. It's entitled Little Duck Gets Ready For School and will be available this summer. This second title in The Feel Good Series is a story for younger readers. Each title in the series encourages self-confidence and includes a story to read and color, activities to complete, and games to play.


As always, I love to hear from you. If you’re in the cyber-neighborhood,
drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It’s contagious.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Murmuring that Creeps into the Life of a Wandering Soul, Part III

You know the drill by now. Besides, I cut my finger this morning, so typing is a challenge.



 whisper to the trees
and watch the blushing flowers
fall onto the snow

still, grey sky above
scent of rain from my guitar
ginger in a jar

stand alone in sand
the sun burns the painted egg
dancing in a glass

A haiku for Tina
berries on the vine
blood flowing from my fingers
taste the warm, ripe fruit

5/19/10  The Moon
crooning in the night
closes his eyes and hammers
a hole in the moon

nails jam in wet earth
last song of spring pools in fields
bleeds onto my hands

click of the shutter
and the scent of lavender
beneath the bright moon

dog barks at the moon
man growls and grabs club to strike 
frogs croaking at night

his hat's in the trash
she's alone and free tonight
no tears--just a fox

drains the coffee cup
picks up his pencil and breathes
life in the tired world


If you enjoyed the moon photo, you can view more from my moon album.


As always, I love to hear from you.
If you're in the cyber-neighborhood, drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It's contagious.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Walking Barefoot with Crows

As I awaited my turn in the dentist's chair on Thursday, my eyes wandered to the streaked window above the magazine rack. On the grassy hill overlooking the parking lot was a large flock of crows searching for worms. When the birds spotted their prey, their glossy black heads jackknifed and their sharp beaks stabbed the moist earth.

I often think of myself as wandering over a large field. Whether I'm writing fiction or nonfiction, I hunt for truth along the way. I'm also searching for something new to sprinkle upon the tasty morsel I stumble upon. Whether it be a way to alter style, format, or voice, I consider the newfound understanding to be an hors d'oeuvre that supplements the meal I present to my readers.

Sometimes these hors d'oeuvres alter "the truth" of a piece. When I affix the tag "nonfiction" to a post I often add "creative writing" and "short story" as companions because all writing is a discovery and an adventure. Whether or not I have a fact-based beginning is insignificant. It may give me a point of reference, but it also sparks my creativity and where I'll end up is unknown to me until the last word has been crafted.

Does the writer have a responsibility to readers? Absolutely. My job is to take your hand and guide you through an old idea in a new way. I don't want to lose you or confuse you along the way and I don't want you to feel as if I'm the last word. I want to stir your beliefs, your memories, and your notions of reality and illusion.

Reality and illusion. Different, yet the same. Two people can observe the same situation or scene (the reality) and retell it in two or more different ways (the illusion of the reality).

I wrote a haiku earlier this week that was based upon a dream I had. I dreamed that I got out of bed in the middle of the night, looked through the window, and saw a crater-like hole in the moon. This dream, though fantasy, actually happened. Therefore it is reality. The next morning I was haunted by the phrase "a hole in the moon." After struggling with words, rhyming scheme, voice, and other techniques, I came up with the following:

crooning in the night
closes his eyes and hammers
a hole in the moon

Why "crooning"? Because it gives "moon" some balance. It can also stand for "dream." Why "his"? It sounds better with "hammers" than "her" because of the final S. Anyhow, what I ended up with was a perception of the reality. Although this piece stands for a dream that I had, it can mean many other things depending on who is reading it and the life experiences brought to the reading. A friend of mine asked me if he was hammering a hole in the moon or hammering a hole in his head. My answer: whichever you prefer. My thought: I'm glad I inspired another interpretation. I have encouraged this reader to pierce that hilltop field and pull out a unique morsel or "worm."

So, with all of that said and after the questioning I arouse in readers with each weekly blog post, I can truthfully answer the following:

Who is the real J.E.?

The answer is easy:
Look closely. I'm the one walking barefoot with crows. 


As always, I love to hear from you.
If you're in the cyber-neighborhood, drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It's contagious.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"The Making of a J.e.raffe"

A wise friend suggested that I make a giraffe. I'm not artistic, so I made one the only way I know how.

"The Making of a J.e.raffe"

Poppy was looking for something and Chip thought he knew what it was. Five years later they were married and waited out a January blizzard in an apartment that smelled like old fish. The offspring was born two years later in August. It had black hair and yellow flesh and was allergic to milk. It roared as a lion and had the neck of a giraffe.

The giraffe grew quickly from all those sliced hot dogs smothered with ketchup. After its repast it would laze beneath an orange zoo quilt, tracing other jungle beasts with its curious, stained fingers. No one could make the jeraffe go to sleep without its consent. The tiny beast was given spots.

The creature came of age and was sent to a hated school. It tried to hide its long neck and ugly brown spots but was often misunderstood by the social, short-necked beasts who had stacks of printed green paper cut into rectangles. Once the jeraffe won a pink Jesus pencil free of charge. Now it's lost. The jeraffe is lost. The world is lost.

When the jeraffe became an adult, a wolf found it. The jeraffe played along until the wolf saw the spots and long neck. Now the wolf is gone. Where is the choral exaltation?

J.e.raffe gave up hot dogs, masks, and scarves and found a blue typewriter. Now it writes every day about things that don't matter, hoping that other wandering beasts will pick up the forage and find a part of themselves that has been mislaid. 

J.e.raffe sits alone in the jungle and occasionally stumbles upon other nomadic animals. Sometimes they hold hands as they comb the undergrowth, searching for an escape. 

Despite the futility, the key is understanding that no one eludes the snare beneath the tree. Just don't stick your neck in it. That's what hooves are for.


As always, I love to hear from you.
If you're in the cyber-neighborhood, drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It's contagious.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"Mindy May"

I was up until 2:00 a.m. last night, haunted by the month of May and wondering why it went so well with the name Mindy. 

This is what I discovered. . . .


"Mindy May"


   The robins woke me up at 4:30 just before the alarm went off. I mumbled something about the short weekend like I always do and stumbled into the bathroom with my eyes closed. Shaving cream sputtered from a rusty can and I felt your fingers brush my face. Then I opened my eyes and remembered.
   I still hurry to finish in the bathroom even though it doesn't matter anymore. Breakfast is getting easier, too. I remember to put the second coffee cup back in the cabinet before I cross that gouge your brother made in the linoleum. Maybe by June I'll learn not to get it out at all.
   Where did you put my tie, Mindy? You know, that one you hate with the yellow stripes. So help me, I've nearly turned the place upside down looking for it.
   I still hate your mother. I take that back. I despise your mother. Did you give her a key? Every night when I come home I can tell that the house has been rearranged. I have no idea what she's looking for, but I know she's been here because I can smell permanent and muscle cream in every freaking room. Jeez, Mindy, you DIDN'T give her a key, did you?
4/26/10  Just Some Junk
   The porch is a mess. Yeah, I know it's May and you'll want to start grilling out there, but I haven't felt like bagging up the trash. OK, so I've been pitching A LOT of things out there. Maybe if I throw enough crap out there you'll tell me to get my sorry butt out there and pick the mess up.
   Oh, Mindy, I--
   OK, I'm breathing now.
   Your brother was over Saturday. I don't think I said more than ten words all day. I let him talk at me for eight hours while we ate pizza. Pizza and pretzels. No, I didn't check my blood sugar. I felt fine. I haven't checked it for two days. I probably shouldn't have told you that because now you'll worry. While we ate we watched that dumb horse race. Yeah, he still pretends to blow that dumb horn and makes that stupid noise when the horses are loaded into the gate. Why does he do that? Watched some boxing, too. You were right. It's nothing more than a bunch of spoiled bigmouths dancing around and popping each other's face.
   I broke the handle off the lid that fits on top of that large pan you keep in the oven. I wasn't cooking. I got mad at something (I can't even remember what it was) and it was the first thing I grabbed. Now there's a dent in the drywall in the kitchen.
   The lilacs are blooming. I cut a bunch like you always do and put them on your dresser without spilling any of the water. They should last for a couple of days because I put a couple of aspirins in the vase before I filled it. If you hurry back they should still be here. 
   There's a bunch of folded-up papers on the dresser, too. They're next to the small cedar box where you keep your shell necklaces. I've been writing to you every day since you left and tucking the notes underneath that lace thing. I might have to get a bowl or something to stuff them in so they don't fall on the floor.

Dear God, Mindy. 
Where are you? 
It's May.



As always, I love to hear from you. If you're in the cyber-neighborhood,
drop me a line.

In the meantime, keep writing, reading, and smiling.
It's contagious.