Mostly Wordless Wednesday: The Shimmering Web

The ShimmeringHope you all enjoyed the “conclusion” of October. Onward, for us, to a fog- and moisture-filled November. I wonder if this spider’s sparkly necklace and curtain of fog bode loads of snow-des for winter!

Speaking of rain, blogger Mark “The Gad About Town” Aldrich has a cool post about that  je ne sais quois smell of apres-rain.

Spider Season: A Poem

Spider_small_backSpider Season

What do you do in

spider season?

Enjoy the webs,

never mind the reason(s).

No, not any spider of Frost’s.

Not dimpled, not white.

But fat, and fresh

and stuffed with rendered fright.

Spider_small_belly

I couldn’t get a good angle on this spider, which I think a Neoscona crucifera female (normally nocturnal, but diurnal sometimes in the fall). Anyone with arachnid expertise, please feel free to correct me.

The one that nests there,

outside the screen:

She’s hardly nice

and fuzzily serene.

Tending to her spin,

ignoring huge voyeur eyes,

minding time’s business.

Just wound(ing) infinity, I surmise.


Can anyone tell I’ve been reading (and eyeballing) Edward Gorey’s work lately, not to mention a nifty little book from Tim Burton picked up at the thrift shop recently? Perhaps I’ll share the latter sometime soon.

The horror, the horror!

Thorny issue

Those thorny writer types!

Yes, my (writing) roots are showing AND I’m as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs (I know, I tote that one out a lot).

That is to say, I’ve been crafting a lot of horror or otherwise dark short stories lately (read on to learn about a writing competition now in the judging phase). I’m working on a science fiction one now with a lesbian couple and involving ants, as well as a fan fiction horror short inspired by Halloween. That’s all my internal editor will permit me to speak of just yet.

On another riff, I love this time of year. I’m not going to mention pumpkin lattes, because I’m not even hip enough to be a hipster at this point (and I’ve certainly no desire to be one). I will, however, mention Dairy Queen’s pumpkin blizzards. Or ginger snaps in something pumpkin-y. I will mention the glorious sea change, a seasonal shimmy of leaves, chemically induced, especially along the lovely mountainsides here in the Northern hemisphere. Cuddling with your special someone, even if it’s bound tightly within a cover and consists of sharp-edged pages.

Indeed, it was in the 40s here overnight and is slated to be in the 60s today. Autumn has sprung!

Finally, I will direct you to a horror writing contest that is going on now. I might or might not have a story or two entered. It will be held the ENTIRE month of October, if I understand the rules correctly, with 2 groups of stories (first round) released every other day, so Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 5, and so on. I dedicated my long morning to reading both groups, and geez, Louise. I can promise you one thing: you will enjoy, if not adore, at least one of these stories and discover an author (right now, an anonymous one) to follow. The stories are classified as horror, though some fit that only marginally, and so are friendly to those fond of speculative fiction as a widespread, wickedly pointing, fleshy bits hanging off the end umbrella (I’m thinking Sylvester McGory, fellow DW fans).

So, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, thriller, true crime, horror, applelutely fabulousand, hell, even romance readers . . . come one, come all: The PseudoPod flash fiction writing contest is live, now (I believe you’ll want to navigate, with your new log-in, to the forum called The Arcade; the contest is called Flash Fiction Contest IV – Pseudopod). You’ll have to set up a free account if you wish to vote, however; voting for each set of two groups (18 groups total) will last only 7 days each time and you can vote for up to 3 stories per group.

Anyway, enjoy your week—wherever you are in the world right now, whomever with—and make it applelutely fabulous (couldn’t resist a terrible parting pun, sorry)!

Haiku Thursday: On a Theme of Release

October has become a candypalooza in many parts of the world. But for just a few minutes, why don’t we imagine something different. Perhaps even an Octo-beer. And in that vein, hope you enjoy these haiku drafted written for Haiku Horizons.


 

Frost, Fall, Leaves_20141022_1256

Growing

Do these trees release

willingly, in warm wisdom

learning to let go?

 

Laws of all

We learned from our souls’

terminal velocity

to embrace the Fall.

 

Manifesto

And I will free it

so I can soar, roar, risk it

all and fall, to rise.

 

Lush language

Writer, gulper of

overheard wisdom stolen

from wide-open taps.

 

Writer, brewer

What is writing, if

not distilling strong mood-shine.

Reader, want a jar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gallery of Days: Philosophizing on Thoreausday

 

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. (Walden, 323- 324)

I’ve always said, aloud and in my head, I’d never want to permanently live anwhere there’s only one or two seasons. (Not that I could afford to live in Hawaii, beautiful though it is.) I need variety to splice up my life. Yes, splice. Sounds sorta like a soda pop, but it’s not. Unless you consider the mental effervescence in the mix.

If life (or our perception of it) is strandlike — and that’s obviously debatable — and generally the threads hew (in the bonding sense of the word) together but are not necessarily linear, do we move from thread to thread, then back again, dancing on high-wires, as we age? Seamlessly or not. Many of the threads are touching, raveling, wrestling, melanging together. Perhaps all of them imperceptibly.

I’ve been thinking how even broken or mistuned words can be therapy. My own writings, or others’. Let’s call the last category shelf-therapy. This is when you dig down past the bites and bolts, through the nuts and molts, letter by letter, sherd by sherd, to excavate some dry meaning from the silty bed of experience.

I’m not a mental health expert or adviser, but I do have a therapist/counselor, beyond myself, who therapizes. To me, self-therapizing is allowing yourself to be . . . not exactly hypnotized, not quite enthralled, but more like a human sieve, mindful of everything and nothing at the same time, both absorbing and letting go of thoughts and the emotions that sometimes anchor them. Think of it as an almost “my god, it’s full of stars” moment. Or at least one hopes it’s semi-transcendent.

I haven’t therapized my own mind lately, but I am learning to be my own advocate, my own walking coping card in a mental Rolodex somewhere among the cobby webs or webby cogs. Wobbly blobs? Bloggly wobs? In any case, I’m supposing that autumn + summer (autumner? Gordon Sumner?) is my favorite trio of months, even with all the hen-with-its-head-cut-off freneticness of school days, holidays, and just plain old everyday days daze.

But now, enjoy a gallery, why don’t you? And many thanks for reading and viewing.

 


Imbibe more autumn-themed posts at Sarah Potter Writes (she has several, but here’s just one haiku). View stunning fall colors (but not trees!) at Cee’s photography blog. Or if you want to jump on the October spirit wagon, check out the Grammar Ghoul Press challenge; a worthy example by Janna T is here. Or take a spin on the tilt-a-whirl of Writer’s Digest‘s latest “Your Story” competition.

Mellowing into Fall: Essay and Photos

Leaves Etc._20140924_0928

Hope you like the cotton-candy clouds, JannaT!

If you didn’t know better, you’d think furry brown Cheetos were crossing the road, crawling from cornfield to cornfield. I’ve done a lot of swerving as a consequence. I flick my eyes up to the rearview and watch their little forms rolling around like horseshoes in the sand. And I hope they’re okay.

Yesterday, a hummingbird flitted into our garage, taking refuge, perhaps, from the autumnal cascade that I almost caught in this photo (believe it or not, that spot in the middle right quadrant is a leaf).

It’s that golden time of year again. When none or few still do hang. Shackled by bony branches. Or are they caught up in some Cthulhu’s claws?

Leaves Etc._20140924_0912

Goodbye, Summer.

The rose bush is putting on a small show next to our driveway — a sole spray of pink popping out of the greens. The chives are preparing for lean times, too. Their ends are droopy and brown.

But two watermelons and one cantaloupe cling to life, desperate to ripen. Before snow, or some other surprise, settles in.

When I was a child, fall upset the philosophical applecart of happiness. The animals and plant lives I loved to follow by limb and with eyesight seemed to have drawn in. Hunkered down. Sloughed off. Or gone under.

The main good things to be said for autumn in the Northern hemisphere — it certainly wasn’t returning to school, apart from cross-country running when I was a teenager — were the twin surfeits of sugar and tryptophan. And the mere prospect of snow made my imagination effervesce, especially when I lived close to the ocean.

Leaves Etc._20140924_0939

He’s playing amid the fallen leaves. I’m learning to relax.

Now, I tend to view fall through a yellowed lens. No, not jaundiced exactly, but mellowed. Relaxed. (It’s the medication. Ha!) Embracing the slowing-down of natural processes. Ah, but what to make of the diminished thing? Perhaps we ought to consult a certain bird of Mr. Frost’s? He did remind us, after all, that nothing gold can stay.

In the meantime, enjoy some other autumnal offerings from around the world of WordPressland. For instance: An essay and photo meditation. A re-blogged poem. A poem reimagined (after Chinese poet Li Po). A stream-of-consciousness fiction piece.