Monday, October 8, 2012

Drip, Drip, Drip, Autumn, and Huckleberry Pie

 I'm posting a collage of fall pictures I took when I went on a hike with my family about a week or so ago.  It was lovely. I love fall colors. It was a magical outing. It's vary rare that we get to see the fall colors so brilliant, and so amazing! A storm caught us up on top. It was cold, invigorating, and oh so pretty!  Enjoy. 
                 Below these pictures is my full blog post. Oh, and as you can see, I've changed my blogger template. Not by choice, mind you. The other template was misbehaving. I'm not really sure what the problem was. But the top half of it was going black. So I guess I'm stuck with this template until I can figure it out. Also my wonderful playlist malfunctioned while I was away, as well.  So I'm quite bummed.  Awe, fare thee well, my music and old cheerful template. I'm very sad to see you vanish. Perhaps I will find a better one. I hope. Crosses fingers.
View from the side of the hill

These look like ancient castle walls

just so pretty


Storm is coming

storm is here

more gold

a moment

a quilt of colors

love the mist hugging the mountain


royal trees


"God sometimes does His work with gentle drizzle, not storms. Drip. Drip. Drip--" John Newton Amazing grace.

 I love that quote. It reminds me that even though I want things all at once, my time and God's time are totally different.
I have to be patient.
I have to write one word, drip, one sentence, drip, one paragraph at a time, drip, and do all the in between stuff that makes up my life. Drip, drip drip.

 God is in the pauses just as he is in the tempests. Sometimes it's just hard to see it.
 I'm slowly dripping along with my work. Though it has taken a long time. It's funny how you have a goal in mind, and then life happens. People need you, and storms come. 

I get frustrated when I can’t reach my goal in time. Yet, I'm glad for these breaks as much I dislike them.  They give me writing perspective, more to write about, and more depth.
It's been while, I know. But don't think I have totally neglected this special spot. No. I came here when I was quite out of sorts and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Then, I decided that though I wanted to share with you my frustrations, I probably shouldn't, at least not now.

My Grandpa just died a few weeks ago. My last living grandparent. So now I'm officially a granorphanny. The week he passed was hard for many reasons, and since then, all the things that have happened in between have caused me to shy away from writing. First because my creative juices felt dried up under emotional drainage, and secondly because I was needed in so many different places, and directions. By the time I had time to write I was too tired. 

So suffice it to say that I have wanted to scream at the top of my lungs on many occasions, but had to be perfectly understanding, agreeable, and calm, when all the while, I wanted to do was run. It's downright making me feel like I'm going to burst!

I wish I could go into details. But lets just say, dealing with a number of bipolar people who are going manic, paranoid, is very frustrating. 

Maybe that's why I write. Because I get to air my thoughts without someone taking and twisting them into something I didn't mean. Here, I can put my words down and they are merely words. Nothing more. Thoughts with no real power whatsoever except what I give to them. 

Life is odd. It seems no one is immune from problems, and sadness. Lots of sad things have been happening to those around me. It seems troubles come in waves, and at this point and time, it seriously has.  Friends, and neighbors all around me are going through sickness, pain, divorce, and even death. Problems I wouldn't wish on anyone. But there they are. And here we are, bundled together in the miracle called life.
I guess, the only thing we can really do when troubles happen is to be there for those that need us. To be their shoulder to cry on, if we can. To be an ear. To learn greater compassion from the loss and sadness in our own life, and give that kind of understanding to others hurting around us.

 I sound really morbid I know. But its true. Lately with the seasons change, a cold wind has blown in again, bringing with it all sorts of problems.  The only way I know how to combat its chill and remain unscathed by the frost, is by huddling together, and offering a blanket to those who don't have one.
I'm hoping the cold winds will stop blowing, at least for awhile.

 Today the sun is shining. And the sky is blue, and there is a hint---slight glimmer of good things to come.
So I am happy. I will take all the sunshine while I can, and store it up for a cold, winter's day.
The past few weeks I've been intensely involved in helping my older sister with a book she has been working on. It's a children's book, and if all goes well it should be released soon.

Now that her project is over with. I'm going back to work on my own projects. How I do relish writing, delving into my own thoughts and creating characters and worlds that are quite their own.
 I had planned on getting my next book out before the autumn. But plans are often postponed.  And it is autumn. Maybe it's fitting because of my chosen pen name, Ivory Autumn.

 Even though I love the fall colors, the reds, brilliant yellows and oranges, it makes me feel wistful, and pensive. The changing season is so apparent. The fall tang is in the air--- the empty forsaken quiet of the trees after all the birds have left. The north breeze. The startling emptiness when the neighborhood children are whisked away to school, and the awaking bareness of all the college students leaving. How lonely it feels.
I'm staring out my window. The green of summer has changed dramatically. I can see hundreds of marble-sized, orange-red crab apples weighing down the branches of the tree beside my window. Beyond, the lime-green leaves of the ash tree is tinted with golden leaves, and further on, a line of rust-colored weeds await the farmers torch. 

Summer has really gone. I'm not sure how it vanished. It seemed like it was summer just a moment ago. Hot, and humid, windy, and wonderful.  It was fast, beautiful, and sweet. 
The harvest is here. Our kitchen is full of apples, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, pears, and lets not forget fruit flies---those lovely bugs that reproduce in seconds. Abundances is everywhere.

Yesterday my mom and I picked the huckleberries she planted in the spring, staining our hands in its royal purple hue. They are beautiful berries, a deep purple. As for their taste---well. They are a work in progress. They taste awful when first picked. Blah. Yuck. But after they are cooked, and doctored with a lot of sugar, canned with time, their rich, tart, purple flavor comes out. Huckleberry pie is wonderful.
I could learn a lesson from the huckleberry. At first glace they look scrumptious. Yet it isn't until they are picked, cooked, smothered in sugar, canned, and aged with time, does their true glory come out.
Writing a book is a lot like that, something whose flavor doesn't come through until its been through a long process. At first, you get this beautiful idea. But then it isn't that great until you really prepare it, cook it, fill it with good things, lots of time, and waiting. Only when it's time has come, does it truly become the kind of book-pie you knew it could be.

Yes. Perhaps I too am a huckleberry.
Maybe the problems and bumps in the road are cooking the bitterness out of me, making me sweeter. Hopefully not making me the opposite. Sigh. I guess time will tell:)
Bottled huckleberries

Huckleberry jam

Making jam

Basket full of fresh huckleberries

I came across this music video from my favorite artists, and loved it. It expresses my feelings at this moment.
Hope, frustration, change, trust, and a firm resolve to keep on going even though I don't know what the outcome will be---finding joy in the journey, in every season. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Greetings from a throbbing head


It's a beautiful day outside. There are lots of things going on this weekend. But I fear that I shall be a hermit, and stay indoors.

I have a smashing headache today. I feel like someone hit me over the head with a brick. All I want is for someone to put me out my misery. Seriously.

Oh, woe is me.

Yesterday I threw up, and felt like a piece of poo. I still do. I don't know where I get these random flu bugs.
Especially when I spend most of my time with the written word, and not with real people at all.
Maybe I got this bug from my characters in my book. Yes, that must be it. I got the flu from Gogindy. He did sneeze on me once or twice.   He doesn't cover his mouth when he sneezes, that silly Twisker.

Also, one more thing, my first book in my Fantasy series, Rise of the Fallen, is free today via this link,

And last but not least, my children's chapter book, Flotsam is free today via this link:

Well, that's about all I have brains to post. My head is throbbing, and I can't seem to think clearly.

I shall talk to you later, when my head behaving like a head, and not a throbbing piece of useless machinery.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Crazy creative people, and a wedding!


Hi, aloha, and howdy.

I know. It's been a long while since I last posted. But try as I might, I have been so preoccupied with other things that my blog went onto my back list of to do's.

I'm sitting here, listening to my noisy air conditioner, feeling a wee bit wilted. The air is hot, muggy, humid, and sticky.

Actually, I'm sticky and stinky.
I put vanilla under my armpits to see if that would make them smell nice. They smelled nice for about a minute. Then I went outside to do some heavy duty hula hooping. It was so hot, I had to stop. Now I smell like a skunk, that might have smelled like vanilla at one time. 

Also, note to self, never put peppermint oil under your armpits. It burns like a swearword.

Hmmm...hmmm...hmmm. I'm just in one of those hot, muggy moods. Not a bad mood, mind you. Just a muggy one. One that feels a little bored with oneself, and is itching for a new adventure.

I'm not sure what kind of adventure, but a good one. 

My sister's wedding, was on the 28th.
I can't believe it's come and past. I'm just a little shell shocked. My sister is married! It's crazy. Awe.
Thus the wheel of time turns, and change happens. I hope that my sister will be happy. I hope they both will.

 What a lot of work goes into a wedding.  We are still finding odds and ends to clean up after our magnum-opus.

It seems like my summer has been eaten up by this wedding, and everything had been put on hold. (Not that that's a bad thing) Now that it's over. I'm getting back into doing a few things for myself---like write, edit, and write. I love writing, but sometimes it sure is hard to keep up the self discipline to finish what I started.

There. I said it.

Because I'm proud of all the work that went into my sister's wedding I'm going to grace you with a crazy list of things we did to make it all work. 

Why would a wedding take so much work? Well, because we did pretty much everything ourselves. Crazy. Yes. Creative, you bet.

 I shall list the things we made so you can get full comprehension of what went into this.

My mom made the wedding veil. But she just didn't make it. She made it over about a million times because it had to be just so for my sister.

I'll post the picture I took on the wedding day so you can best appreciate it. :)
Isn't it pretty?

We had a country wedding reception, so my mom made all the grand kids (girls) aprons.
 She also decorated some straw hats, for both the boys and girls to wear.

(Picture of the aprons and my cute nieces below) Note that all my many (I lost count) nieces and nephews are not in this picture.

What else did we make? Well, prior to the wedding, my sister, and I made about a bazillion small cheesecake cupcakes.  Note, that if you ever want to do this for a special occasion that it will be a lot of work. We used cookie dough for the bottom of the cheesecakes, and topped them with fresh raspberries, and other such fruits.

If I had the desire, I could tell you a long story about the heartache of making these. But I will skip it. Instead, you can drool over their scrumptious pictures.

My mom also made lemon bread, caramel filled cookie things. Not to mention we had ham, cheese, crackers, and veggie trays.

Oh, and let's not forget the punch.

And the fact that we also had cake pops, and fancy cupcakes (But the grooms mother made these) I'm not sure if I got a picture of the cake pops.


Yeah, I'm making you hungry aren't I? I'm making me hungry. Hence the fact that they no longer exist.

I have pictures of the making of a lot of the wedding projects. But alas, I don't really want to go through the work of resizing them in order to post them.

It would give me some amount of pleasure to post all the pictures of nitty gritty work that went into everything. But like I said. I'm too lethargic to do so. If my computer didn't take so long loading the pic, and if I didn't have to resize them, I would. But I'm not.

Also, my sister made the wedding cake. I'm proud to say I helped in this project as well. Yes. Crazy.
On the morning of the wedding, my sister and I had to decorate it, then get our butts over to the wedding for pictures.

We had a fun time making the fondant-cloth folds. Also, when we got back from the wedding, we had to rush to get the cake to the church. This almost turned into disaster because I was driving a little too fast, and nearly launched the cake. Not that I was driving fast, fast. It was just that I didn't slow down gradually enough to make a turn. The cake was in the back of the van, and sort of slid, squishing a bit of the frosting. After that, my sister sat in the back of the van, holding the cake from slipping. That really stressed me out. I was so worried that I ruined our masterpiece. But, it arrived in one piece, not too worse for wear.

Here's a pic.  Note that the cake topper was pretty boring. So my mom chopped off the original bride's veil, and redid it. Also, my sister wanted the groom to wear a cowboy hat. But this was a problem as its head was too small.

We couldn't find any  store-bought mini cowboy hats that would fit it.  So, the my sister, made a paper cowboy hat. But it looked silly. So after about a million different tries. Bess, my other sister, made the hat, first out of fondant. But the fondant wasn't stiff enough. So she made one out of clay. Yes, we are crazy. Why in the world didn't we just buy a topper that was cow-boy style?
I'll tell you why. Because...I'm not sure.

I do know that my mom was helpful and ordered a topper my sister didn't want. So she canceled the order, and they ordered a heart-shaped one, with two cowboy hats at the bottom. When it arrived, nobody liked it. So we used the one we had already.  Oh yes, another thing. My sister, the bride, also wove strands of string round the cake topper, to look like cowboy rope.

I can't believe we did all this for a cake topper! But that is the story of this wedding. Creative people can see a million ways to do something that would take a normal person pull out their hair in frustration.


Let's see, what else did we do? Oh, too much.
My sister decided it would save money if we ordered all the flowers for the buttoneers, bride's maids, and her bouquet, etc. Then make them all ourselves. 

The day before the wedding came, our house was not only a cake shop, but a florist shop as well. We had to clean out all the food out of one of our fridges, turn on the air conditioner, and commence with making arrangements. My sister in law helped. But on the day of the wedding, we found that our fridge was too cold and froze a lot of the flowers. It was a sad deal. However, everyone rallied together, helpful hands were able to replace the flowers that had wilted with extra flowers that had not been put in the fridge. So it was not so bad after all. 

Also my sister, my mom and I made the backdrop out of old carpet rolls, wood, paint, glue, and a lot of time and patience. If you're curious how we made them, ask, and I might do a how-to post. But for now, I'll just show you the end result, as it is too much work to explain how we did it all. 

This backdrop was a lot more work than we first supposed. I'm super proud of it.

What else? Oh yes, prior to the wedding we decided that grain would be a fun addition to the decorations. 
So we spent a lot of time, out in the hot sun, clipping grain from my dad's field. We got a ton of it and stored it in a little shed until the wedding. The end result was really pretty, but it was so messy, so itchy, and a pain to transport, I'm not sure it was such a grand idea. 

It was funny because we wanted to decorate the hall a few days before the wedding, so we spent the morning getting all the wedding decorations together, and then hauled them up to the building.  Once we got there we found out, to our dismay, that a funeral was going to be going on in the building. Nobody had told us. So we had to unload all our stuff into a few rooms located outside of the hall, and wait until the afternoon the next day before we could decorate. That was stressful as well. But with the help of all my family, we got it done. We were all exhausted, and tired. But it was fun being able to be with family, to create something beautiful. 

 What else? Oh yes. My sister, the bride, got old lassos from her intended, and chopped them up. Then she wound them around flower containers. They looked pretty nifty. Also she used old boots to put flowers in. 

Oh, and another thing I thought was nifty. My niece made a clay figurine of the bride and groom. I thought it very cute. 

There were many more little details that made the wedding go very nice. But I'm not really going to go into detail as you are probably getting bored. 

I'm going to suffice it to say that it was very nice. We had good times, and interesting times. But---I'm glad it's over with. 

Here are some more pictures I took of the bride and groom. 

 I would put more pictures on here, but I'm going to go foraging for something to eat. Ha. 
Take care. 
I'm signing out. I will post more in the future. Maybe I'll even post my updated book cover for my next book. 

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