Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago: Reflections

Even today, everything about it is haunting—the sights, the stories and the images. There’s no way to describe it and everyone has a different memory of the day. Some were at the sites, many watched the events unfold on the TV, and others could only listen to accounts through others. The world was captivated by the unspeakable horror.

Ten years after they were taken, the pictures of 9/11 bring it back to life in an instant. Seeing the smoke billowing from the North Tower of the World Trade Center can still stun me to silence and throw me back to my desk at Circuit City headquarters where I was when news of the terror attacks first reached me. Like most of the rest of the world, we watched from afar, not knowing if the plane flying into the tower was accidental, but gravely concerned for those people who were in the building.

As the staff listened to the radio and tried to keep up with the news on the internet, the second plane flew into the South Tower. And immediately the world knew it was intentional; it was no accident.

The news continued bringing details of the attacks and my co-workers and I had congregated in one of the rooms with a TV. The room was silent, every one of us rapt to any new information we could glean from the news. We watched in disbelief as the sky surrounding the Twin Towers became darker from what was to be the beginning of the end for the people in those buildings.

As the minutes passed, we learned of the plane crashing into the Pentagon and the hijacked jet that crashed into a field in Shanksville. The destruction was unfathomable. In many ways, it didn’t seem real. Never in my life had there been an event of that magnitude. The loss of life, of security, of innocence—those are things that can never be recovered from that day.

Though I didn’t have loved ones in any of the attack sites, I ached and was heartsick for those who did. I’m sure the rest of the world felt as I did—helpless. All we could do was look on from the safety of our offices and homes and pray for all those involved.

Please, let them be rescued from the rubble, from the crashes. But, somehow, though you didn’t want to think it, you knew, after the towers collapsed that those people would not be found; there would be no rescues. The reality of it took your breath away. Tragic and unfair and unacceptable—it shook me to my core.
That day changed the world, and especially the USA, forever. Our country had been violated in a way most of us had never imagined. But from the destruction, the country, backed by nations from around the world, united in new ways. Beauty from the ashes.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but each pictures from 9/11 speak so many more than that. I will never forget the images of people standing in the middle of the street, staring at the Twin Towers, crying or the ghostly figures emerging from the clouds of dust with fear in their eyes. Nor will I forget the pictures of the many heroes who were born that day.
I wasn’t in NY or DC or PA during the attacks… but I’ve been there ever since.
Always remembered, forever grateful.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wow! I've been away for a while!

I don't have many followers and I'm pretty sure that no one has been checking my blog for updates on a daily basis... but that doesn't mean I should have abandoned my poor little blog for 3 months.

I can admit that I have been busy. At work I had a new website launch and a conference to plan for -- all going on at the same time. It was stressful and I didn't get much done other than actual work, and that's even when I was at home.

The website launched and the conference went well, so now I'm picking up the pieces and seeing what is left in my wake. Lots of things were neglected! But, I'm back and I might even consider doing more than just posting this update!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Walkerton Writer Strikes Again

Our most recent writing assignment was to find a news story and write it from two different perspectives. We needed to use details from the story, but were allowed to take liberaties and add fictional elements as we liked.

I selected a story about a sandstorm in Germany. The storm, however bizarre, caused an 80-car pileup and many of the cars were burned as a result. Here's my take on the story:

I know I’m forgetting something! I don’t know how people can be ready at a moment’s notice to fly out of the country on business. Some of us need a little time to consider what to pack. What’s the weather? Will I need a dress? Are there any social functions? And that’s just the clothes! What about this crazy red mane? The constant rainy, damp weather in London will be a complete shock to it! It may need special attention to tame. There are just too many variables for my taste. At least I managed to throw some things into a suitcase and head to the airport in the short window I was given. I should consider that a good omen!

Now I just need the traffic to cooperate. The route to the airport is always an adventure. Faint-hearted drivers just stay off the Audubon. I still remember my first time on the famed roadway—saw my life flash before my eyes! These days it is just a way to get from Point A to Point B.

What is going on? Why are the cars ahead slowing down? I hope it’s not an accident. That’s the last thing I need!

Come on, folks! Let’s go! Move ye arses!

Shite! Oh… maybe that’s what people are slowing for! I’ve never been in one, but I’m fairly certain that’s a sandstorm heading this way. It looks just like a summer storm brewing, but it’s a strange glowing brown color.

If we all just keep at this pace, nice and slow, easy going, I might make it to the airport right before the plan takes off. I wonder if they still expect me to be there two full hours ahead for my international flight. I don’t want to have to call my boss and tell him I missed my flight. I’ve only been at my job for five months. I don’t think he’d looked highly on this. I’m supposed to be show him I can handle the responsibility. I’m actually very good at my job—not just another pretty Irish redhead named Clare.

I still can’t believe I landed this position. I moved to Germany nine months ago to live with my boyfriend and I’d nearly given up landing a job at the prestigious Fischer Marketing Firm. Irish luck must have been on my side though—several resumes, numerous inquisitive calls and even offers to work for free finally wore down the Director. Now I need to show them all I am up for the challenge! And the first challenge I have to overcome, obviously, is making my flight!

Right now, all I can do is concentrate on the road ahead, because it looks like I am going to have to drive right into that massive brown cloud. Great. I just paid this car off and now it’s going to get a sand-papering from the storm. I wonder what my insurance will cover in a situation like this. After this, my car may need a new paint job. But if I knock ‘em dead at this meeting in London, I might be able to afford something extravagant like that paint job.

Bloody hell! The wind is really picking up! I can see the cars ahead of me struggling to stay in their lane. I sure hope this storm passes quickly. I am not a fan of driving in less-than-ideal conditions—especially on this road where just keeping up with the masses seems dangerous.

Ok, wee car, just stay on the road. I’ll guide us through this mess. We’ll be on the other side in no time.

Isn’t this grand? I can’t see anything! What’s the point in headlights if they aren’t lighting the road? All I see is the wall of sand surrounding us. I guess as long as I don’t see any other cars I’m fine.

Damn! That was close!

Just a little further, I’m sure of it. How big can this sandstorm be? My palms are sweating and I’m white-knuckling the poor steering wheel. I guess I’m a little more scared than I thought. Deep breaths. I’m going to be just fine. Breathe.


What happened? Never saw the cars—they came out of nowhere. I couldn’t hit the brakes fast enough. They must have piled up in the sandstorm.

Something doesn’t feel right. I can’t move my legs. And I think I’m bleeding. Yeah, that’s definitely blood on my hand. I must have knocked my head on the steering wheel when I hit that car. So much for paying off my car.

WOW. I feel sore in places I didn’t even know were there. I hope someone called an ambulance and the police, possibly a few firefighters to get me out of here.

Oh my God. What is that smell? Does a sandstorm smell like that? Like dirt and burning rubber? It must be coming from the other cloud—that thick, black one ahead. At least I can see the orange sky starting to show through the brown haze ahead of me. God, I hope they hurry up and get me out of here. It’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

What was that noise? How could the world be so heartless and wake me from the best dream ever—spring break in the Caribbean with a bevy of models. Who can I talk to about continuing this dream every night? Note to self—I better not mention this to my girlfriend. I’m not sure she’d have the same fun imaging it as I did.

Ok, Ok. I’m up! I know the drill—not my first fire, people! You’d think after five years on the job here and four before that in the U.S., they’d stop treating me like the new guy. I guess they’ll always see me as the newbie since I’m only 26 and youngest of the lifers on the crew.

Ha! Look who’s the first one on the engine! Take that—I showed those old guys!

Even though I wish I could have stayed in that dream a little longer, I never tire of the rush of excitement I get from jumping out of sleep into rescue mode. I think that’s what sold me on this job. I don’t have a hero complex, but I have to admit to being an adrenaline junkie. But nothing gets me going like a fire. I can’t explain it. There’s just something mystical and timeless about it. Fire has been around forever—it’s amazing!

I didn’t hear the call specifics, only the alarm, but from what I can hear the guys mumbling, it’s going to be a nasty one. A freak sandstorm or something on the Audubon caused a pile-up. I have no idea what kind of scene we will find when we get there, but with that many cars and people involved it’s going to be pretty bad.

I’ve never been one to shy away from gruesome scenes, but a few in my career have tested my strength. Those are the ones you never forget and I hope I don’t ever get used to those kinds of scenes.

Damn! How can the Captain see the road ahead of us? The sandstorm may have died down, but there is still plenty of brown dust in the air mixed with black smoke. I better put my mask on if I plan on getting my job done in this mess.

Oh my God… I’ve never seen anything like this. How many cars are involved? There must be close to 100! We’re going to need more help! We can’t possibility handle this alone!

Snap out of it, Luca. You have a job to get done. No time to waste. Do what you were trained to do and tune the rest out.

Deep breath. First, is the fire under control? I smell burning rubber and am seriously thankful I put my mask on before getting out of the truck. That smoke! It’s moving across the scene before me like a solid being. I’ve only been able to get a few glimpses of how bad things really are. I’ll have to rely on instinct.

Ok, the fire is out. It’s just smoke lingering. The cars I’ve been able to get to on the outskirts of the pile-up aren’t too bad. Of course, the drivers are really shaken up and unable to get out of their wrecked cars, but otherwise alright.

“Sir? Sir, can you hear me?”

No answer. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since his SUV is now the size of a Smart car. I need to say a quick prayer for him—I’ve done that for all the accident victims I’ve come across in my career. There’s always time for that.

Keep moving, Luca. Don’t linger more than you need to. There may be people still trapped who need help.

Climbing over the tangled mass of vehicles and wreckage, my attempts at finding anyone alive went unanswered. Closer into the middle of the pile-up, cars were blackened with heavy fire damage and no longer recognizable. Scenes like this you don’t know whether to hope for survivors or not. Living or dying through this is something no one should have to go through.

I’m not holding out much hope of finding anyone alive, but I know I still have to check each car.

Only one more vehicle left—another that was fully engulfed in flames. I’m not sure I will ever be able to get this day out of my mind. The number of people killed is astounding. I feel for all the families affected by this tragedy and won’t take for granted going home to my girlfriend.

The sooner I check this car, the sooner I’m home with Clare.
Link to story:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not for Lack of Wanting

Assignment: Write and 1500 word essay based around & using the sentence "I have never wanted anything so badly in my life." Below is my essay.

I’ve never wanted anything so badly in my life. We were at the second specialist in a week and neither offered many options for the future. Though I tried to remain positive, it was becoming increasingly harder to keep hope for a treatment.

We’d been together, me and Roxy (or Miss Priss as I was prone to call her), for nine years—from the day I picked her out among the kittens available from the SPCA. A wee thing back then and only 10 weeks old, she melted my heart right off the bat when I found her curled up into a slightly older orange tabby. It was a ball of cuteness that even hardened men couldn’t ignore.

Two weeks earlier I’d asked my husband, Aaron, to take Roxy to the vet. She’d had a few questionable outcomes with trips to the litter box and I thought it should be checked out. I also instructed him to have her watery eye checked out. If she had an eye infection, she’d need antibiotic eye drops and I’d wrestle her to get them in as I always did.

The day Aaron took Roxy to her appointment I kept myself occupied with work. Though I didn’t believe there was reason to worry, I tended to find myself on edge whenever doctors were involved.

When I answered the phone expecting to hear news of what was ailing Roxy, I was greeted with a peculiar question from Aaron, “Did you notice this bump on Roxy’s head?”

“What bump? I never noticed anything.” I replied, confused by the question and searching my memory for anything I might have missed.

He went on to describe the protrusion the vet found on her forehead. It was palpable and even visible upon closer examination, but still easy to overlook due to her multi-colored tabby camouflage. The vet didn’t have a clear understanding of the bump’s origin or make-up and tossed around hypothetical diagnoses of a cyst or cancer. Before Aaron brought Roxy home, they performed a needle aspiration and sent the sample off for testing.

I spent the next few days trying to retain positive thoughts, talking myself through the options. If the bump turned out to be a cyst, the fix was easy—lance and drain. Should the test came back as cancer, we’d pick an aggressive treatment plan and take care of the situation. No problem.

Roxy’s doctor called after three days with news of what the biopsy uncovered. None of the scenarios I imagined could really prepare me for the diagnosis she delivered.


Cancer was in her sinus cavity, from what they could tell, but they had not yet done enough tests to determine the severity, the extent and the treatment options. Armed with the name of a veterinary surgeon, I immediately thanked the vet and called the number held in my shaking hand. After explaining the news I’d just received to the receptionist, I scheduled an appointment for the next morning.

Our time with the specialist proved to deliver even more dire news. The surgeon, a quiet man in his late 40s with balding hair, had a gentle demeanor. He spoke softly, but compassionately relayed the information we’d need in order to make our decisions.

“I’ve taken a look at the biopsy results your vet sent over and Roxy does have cancer. From what I can tell, it’s a mass in her cranial area where her sinuses are located. The mass is pressing against her left eye causing it to shift slightly from its socket. It’s also starting to crowd the area shared with the brain.” Dr. Trenton explained.

“Is there a treatment for her—surgery? Radiation or chemo?” I asked, inside praying for an easy answer from someone who had experience.

“I’m not sure which treatment would be appropriate or even useful in dealing with the cancer.” He went on to ask, “Has Roxy had any symptoms? Loss of appetite? Seizures?”

“No, she’s still eating and playing. She might be sleeping a little more, but she hasn’t had any seizures.” I answered.

“I’m very surprised to hear that. With the amount the mass is pressing upon the brain, I thought she would have had a few more symptoms. She really sounds like a miracle kitty.” The surgeon noted with surprise in his voice and further explained. “To really get a better understanding of what we are up against, we should get an MRI. I won’t know if surgery is an option until I get a clearer picture of where the mass is located.”

Agreeing with his recommendation to get further testing, I gave my consent to schedule the MRI appointment.

Aaron took Roxy to the clinic the next morning and dropped her off. She needed to stay there for a while in order for her to be put under anesthesia. It was the only way to keep her still enough for the images to come out clearly. I, again, took refuge in work and tried not to think about what she might be going through. Relief flooded me when the technician called to let me know Roxy woke up from the medication and could be picked up later. I’d happily spring her from the vet’s office as there’s a sadness only a pet owner can understand when they leave with their arms empty.

The results from Roxy’s MRI were explained to us the next day. The news left nothing to the imagination. As we were aware, the cancer had grown into her sinus cavity causing her left eye to shift. Because of the location of the cancer, surgery was not an option and the use of radiation and chemotherapy as a workable alternative had become very slim. Armed with additional information, we were referred to a veterinary oncologist in Northern Virginia. The doctor there was one of two in the state and she had become our last option for Roxy.

I scheduled a phone consultation with the oncologist to determine if the treatment she offered would be a viable choice. After Roxy’s test results and scans had been reviewed, it came down to a few simple questions.

“If Roxy was your cat, what would you do?” I posed, hoping her education and the hypothetical plight of her own pet would help me make a decision.

“I would do the radiation and chemo. Cats tolerate the treatment very well and have little to no side effects. From the results I have seen in our office with other cats, this might help her.” She responded.

“Will this cure her?”

“No, with this type of cancer, it’s very likely that it will come back in about six months. I have seen some of my patients last longer though. One even lived another year and a half before recurrence.” The specialist offered matter-of-factly.

I hung up the phone and suddenly felt the serious decisions looming heavily before me. I wished for many things: to crawl under the blankets and pretend like everything was ok, to find a miracle cure for Roxy, to let someone else make the call. Unfortunately, none of those things happened and I went about going over all the options in my mind.

Life went on as usual at home, with morning escapades and evening cuddle time where Miss Priss was showered with affectionate rubs. She still kept herself busy with her old tricks and habits—sitting on the back of the sofa to look out the window, attacking her brother, pawing us in the morning for food and partaking in meal time when she got her way.

After a very emotional conversation with Aaron, I decided to go ahead with the radiation and chemo treatments, all the while feeling in my heart that Roxy was one of those cats who would do well and survive longer than any doctor ever thought. She would be a survivor. She was a miracle kitty, after all.

Perhaps it was because I knew Roxy was sick that I began to notice her need to get away and hide in strange new places in the house. And maybe because I knew she was sick that my imagination started to drift to places I didn’t want to consider. Finally, I had to admit to myself that there was a real possibility she might not recover. The more I thought about it, the louder the voice of my heart became. If it was this hard to go through Roxy’s illness, how could I put her—or myself—through it all another time when she got sick again? I couldn’t. I called the next morning and cancelled the treatment.

As the cancer progressed, she slowed down a bit more—longer naps and fewer romps with her brother. She never lost her affectionate side or her playful nature and because she still seemed so much like herself, I struggled trying to understand how I would know when it was time to make the final decision.

Though I had spent the last few days in a constant state of sadness and reflection, I was able to clearly see when it was time to take Miss Priss on her last car ride. The cancer growth had progressed in such a way that her left eye protruded greatly, causing the eyelid to flip inside out. It was a sign I could not ignore and asked Aaron to call and make the appointment.

As we drove home after Roxy’s last trip, tears ran down my cheeks as my mind flashed through the wonderful times I shared with her. What a miracle she was to my life!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes It Just Comes to You

I had a line stick in my head enough to make me want to write about it. Tonight, with pen in hand, I sat down & put it to use.


She counted on me
In her time of need
I was not enough
Most assuredly
She required more

A time before
On the cusp of eternity
Where life stood
Long and high before me
More than exist
Thriving and dominating
Designed to conquer
And I did

Stark shadows loomedI
n the impending darkness
The connect was lost
Electricity once flowed
Powerful and defining
From my hand, my gift
Not potent nor healing
Now twisted and fated

Crimson waves cascaded
Through secreted openings
Pounding beats echoed
Rhythmic and circadian
Of ancient lore and tribal wisdom
Passed from elder to me
And I, wiser by opportunity
Watched the last of her
The end of her line
Fade before me
With knotted hands.

In case you were wondering what "the line" was that stuck with me, it was... "She counted on me."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Example of 10 Minute Writing Exercise

In both the Creative Writing class I just finished & the Walkerton Writers Group I just started, ten minutes seems to be the magic number for the length of time we should get for a writing exercise. Depending on the topic, ten minutes can be too much time, too little time; move too quickly, move not quickly enough; and sometimes, just right. Typically, I don't get too caught up in finding the 'perfect' story to write about. It is a ten minute exercise, after all.

In my first Walkerton Writers Meeting last week, we were given the writing prompt "I've never been so scared in my life" for our exercise. In my ten minutes, I wrote the following:

I've never been so scared in my life as I was when my little dog, Orion, ran out of the house on that dark night in January.

I opened the door to step outside to retrieve the mail and before I could close it behind me, he was through my legs and down the stairs. I didn't expect him to go far since the ground was covered in days old snow and he's only 15" high to the tips of his perked ears. Unfortunately,m Orion had other plans, taking advantage of the cleared paths and shooting straight down the driveway to the street.

A million scenarios flashed through my mind as I considered how I might find him in the dark. Without a flashlight, there was not enough light to navigate my way through the banked snow. Yet, going inside to find a working flashlight sounded like a time-consuming effort in futility. Still, I opted to search for a flashlight, quickly found one and ran back into the freezing night calling the escapee's name.

I paused every once in a while to listen for the telltale jingle of his collar and continued dow the street in hopes I'd picked the same direction he'd chosen.

After what seemed like an eternity, I turned into the darkness in time to see glance my way and attempt another escape. Calmly, I knelt down, lured him closer with loving, sweet sounds. He ambled my way, crossed right outside of my reach and raced down the street in the opposite direction. The same direction from where I saw headlights approaching in my direction. I doubted the oncoming traffic would see such a small pup, so I did what any mother would do and stood in the middle of the road.
... and then she called time. Ten minutes was up.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From My Sketchbook...

Taking a break from writing to show shots from my sketchbook...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

An Anchor in the Day

Another Creative Writing assignment... the last for the class...

I scheduled Friday for an appointment away from work and used it as an excuse to stay out of the office all day. It gave me the chance to sleep in late and not rush out the door still bleary-eyed as I usually do.

The weather cooperated by summoning up a beautiful sunny, yet very blustery, day. I don’t mind the wind; I love the sound of my wind chimes clanging their unique song. And where other people look to the treetops in fear of when they might topple over, I become lost in the way their spindly arms dance and sway from side to side. As much as the ocean waves lull me to deep sleep, so does the sound of the wind rounding the corner of my house.

With time to spare before the appointment and an intense need to keep myself busy while I waited for Aaron to come home, I pulled my well-worn journal out and perched on the edge of the bed. Leaning closer to the nightstand, I reached out and snagged my favorite pen—or perhaps, pen of the moment—and let it slide into the familiar groove in my hand.

Comfortable… that’s exactly how I felt grasping a pen. Sometimes I have an overpowering urge to write, but nothing in my head to write about. So I grab a pen of assorted color and take note of the way the ink flows over the paper or the way the paper absorbs the ink. I keep going, writing nothing, scribbling anything, until my hand gets tired.

As I waited, I let my feelings about the morning and the impending appointment cascade in waves from my mind onto the paper. Soon the page was covered in neat, controlled purple strokes, reminding me of the beauty in a handwritten love note. Lost in the moment, I didn’t give consideration to words or sentence structure but realize the casual observer wouldn’t even have a passing interest in the content.

Suddenly, my concentration broke with the sound of my cell phone playing “Shameless” by Garth Brooks. Aaron was calling—perhaps he was nearby. I paused to take the call and heard Aaron’s voice on the other end, “I’m in the driveway. I’ve been down here for a few minutes.”

“Were you planning on staying down there much longer without telling me you were waiting?” I asked.

Begrudgingly, I capped the pen and put it back on the nightstand. I hated disruptions when I was trying to get my thoughts on paper, but this couldn’t be helped. I had an appointment that needed to be kept. One thing was certain however—after the meeting, I’d have more than enough to write about. I had better check my pen stock!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's All in the Nose

This week's in-class exercise was writing about a smell or sound that evoked a memory. Specifically, this had to be a bad smell, something stinky, something gag-worthy. Yeah... something goooood.

In the ten minutes we were given, I wrote the following...
I dreaded coming home this week. I know what will be waiting for me when I get there. The dead squirrel smell.

It seems a squirrel, along with friends, chewed through the siding on our house right outside the master bath. The view from the ground was pretty remarkable - two feet wide, a half a foot tall - the hole was indeed gaping.

I don't know how many squirrels were in the posse that wrecked the siding, so I couldn't even guess the number that used the space under the tub as their own Motel 6. Seems like we did indeed leave the light on!

When we realized there was an infestation, my husband set traps - first for mice and then for rats. Both varieties walked away, leaving no victim behind. Aaron then resorted to poison, but we still didn't know if it worked.

Days later, I noted a new scent in the bathroom. Trash? I wondered. Does it need to go out? Aaron bagged it and took it to the curb. Yet, the stench remained.

The next day the odor was stronger. I knew where it was coming from, but still looked for other reasons. Unfortunately, the siding repairman also noticed the smell - a cross between something very rotten and something overly aged.

Aaron came home that same day to inform me he, too, knew it was the scent of a dead squirrel likely killed by the poison and continued to compare it to a less pungent version of a dead body in a crime scene house.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am not Obsessed

More examples of creativity sparked by my online sketchbook class.

Flowers from the bouquet Cop'er sent me for Valentine's Day... Fall colors too. He did good.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Busy Bee

I have been busy! Between Creative Writing & a new online class with Alisa Burke all about sketchbook art & techniques... plus there's the little book that I am thinking about/trying to write - where do I find time for that pesky little job? Or sleep? Or eating?

Sounds a little like I might need an assistant!

This past week was the first of the online class. I found it very inspiring - full of videos and photos! I am a visual person, so this is perfect for me! I even managed to get to know some of my old art materials again & come up with the following results.

I used different materials and tried out how they blended together.
I used regular ole Crayola markers and water to make these colors blend. I also used a purple gel pen for the edges.

I tested for water solubility with pens I was using. Some are just average writing pens.

Something I did to work with watercolor, design, black Sharpies and 3D paints.

I like the 3D paint effect!

Tomorrow is Week #2. I can't wait to see what inspiration comes! If I am lacking in creative avenues, there's always my Creative Writing class on Tuesday!

Now, when did I schedule that vacation???

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vampires All Around Us

I don't typically use this blog to talk about the latest 'crush' I have. I had that little slip a few months ago where I admitted my love for Ryan Buell & Paranormal State, but since I have been good. We haven't talked about NCIS (DiNizzo) or Supernatural (Sam & Dean) or House (Chase) or any of the new movies out or coming out starring Channing Tatum. I've been very good.

Until now.

Now I am going to use this as a forum to let it all out about Ian Somerholder. He is delightful and yummy. Some of you might remember him from "Lost"... or maybe a little known movie called "The Lost Samaritan"... I don't. I have purged all images of Ian except for his sexy role of Damon Salvatore in "The Vampire Diaries".

It's not his (obviously) dashing good looks that won me over... it's not the mystic color of his eyes (though very intoxicating)...

What it is... what it is, my friends, is the way he does "brooding" and the look on his face when he's in sheer anguish and denying his love for another. Ladies, I know you can understand my desire to jump right into the TV and give him a shoulder to cry on. He is, by far, one of the sexiest men on TV right now.

In the show, "The Vampire Diaries", Ian is not the main love interest (though I have high hopes this will change!); his brother, Stefan, is. And in the beginning of the show that was fine--human chick hooks up with nice, Edward-like vampire. This is the way these things go.

Then he happens along...
...and it's all I can do to not scream at Elena and tell her to open her eyes! He's in love with you. Forget the nice brother--take this one!!! PLEASE TAKE THIS ONE!!!

But, alas, the writers haven't asked me for input & I can tell they are just toying with me. The looks that past between the two of them, the situations they find themselves in... heavens, look at me, I'm swooning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Random Facts Writing

A recent assignment in my second session of Creative Writing was to pick a random fact from a list of 31 facts we were given. Once your fact was chosen you were to include it in your writing. For me, this exercise posed a few questions: how long should this be? What exactly am I supposed to write about - fact or fiction? In the end, the writing was short & true.

Read on...

I look out over the balcony to the clear water and can see the reef below. Before coming to Belize, I had never seen such clear water--a clarity that reigns in the Caribbean. Pristine waters, sandy beaches, hammocks in the shade of palm trees all seem to be trademarks of the Caribbean islands. Every vista is postcard perfect.

Back home, the bluish-brown expanse offered little hope for glimpses of the teeming underwater world below. During the many visits to the beach in my youth, I believed this was the way of all large bodies of water. Certainly none could be clear enough to see to the ocean floor! The massive amount of sea life, areas of pollution and typical changes in the weather patterns that affect the currents make it a logical conclusion that ocean water would be churned to a murky shade.

Then I took my first trip to the Caribbean.

Was it the color, the temperature, the vibe of the tropics or crystal blue water that struck me the most? They say the color blue has a calming effect, that it causes your brain to release calming hormones. If that's true, I can understand the laid back mentality of the islands. Blue is all around you--in the sky, the water & the colorful buildings. It's more than a fleeting feeling of relaxation; it's a blanket that envelopes you, shifting your attitude and mood.

I imagine waking every day to find the blue once again greeting me with its soothing effects. It would be a world with little stress and nothing that couldn't be fixed with a journey to look into the depths of the clear sea. Envisioning a world below the water's surface and how peaceful the creatures must live in the blue, day after day, would be enough to transport me to another mind-set.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011