Rumi's attributed photoImage by Eliza_Tasbihi via Flickr

And from beyond the intellect, beautiful Love comes dragging her skirts, a cup of wine in her hand.

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Listen carefully ….

sunshineImage by huntz via Flickr"Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine."

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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FeelImage by photographer padawan *(xava du) via Flickr

I've done the scary deed and for the very first time outside of this blog, I have submitted my work for public review to Clever Fiction and the story I sent them is Night Lights which is a  thousand-word short story using the prompts rain, sailboat and shame. If they accept it, it will be on their website within the next day or so.

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New Moon, New Intentions!

New moons are always a great time to start new projects and new intentions. Today I am setting my intention to RE-CREATION, a time to do the things that make sense for my boy and me. It’s time to set boundaries with what I can do, and what I want to do with people, places and things.

  • I will make my life, a work of art!
  • I will set boundaries!
  • I will set aside time to write!
  • I will re-invent the work I do and increase its value!
  • I will not be shy in placing a high value on my work!
  • I will claim what is mine!
  • I will create a place to be!
  • I will value what the God’s universe has to show me!

Night Lights

A thousand-word short story using the prompts rain, sailboat and shame.
Kara woke to the sound of thunder and the branches of the tree outside her window slapping against the clapboard. She walked to the window to close it and saw a light in the distance. Glancing at the clock on her side table, she knew it couldn’t be a light in the dock office. Ben had already locked up for the night after tying up and securing all the boats. He certainly wouldn’t be doing paperwork at 2:30 in the morning. The storm, although loud, was not serious enough to be a concern.  She strained to see better through the rain that poured in sheets, something most people in the South were quite used to enduring. She thought she could make out a mast but wasn’t sure. She just knew something was out of the ordinary for the middle of the night.

Kara’s curiosity got the better of her. She went downstairs, pulled on her wellies, threw her rain slicker over her nightgown and headed out in the rain and down to the dock.  As she got closer, she could make out the shape of a sailboat, looked to be about a 20 footer. She stood at the edge of the dock in the rain watching the boat. It looked like it was listing a bit. She thought about calling Ben but remembered she didn’t grab her cell phone from the foyer table where it was charging. She started to wave her hands hoping someone on the boat would see her. She was startled by a voice from behind her.

“No one’s on the boat”, the voice softly said.

She turned around quickly, fearful all of a sudden that maybe this was a bad idea. She saw him walking toward her then and was stopped by the image of a man, about her age, sopping wet with no shoes. His eyes were a striking blue, piercing her.

“I sprung a leak. Stayed with it as long as I could, tried to guide her as close in as possible. Took the dingy in all the way but when I got to the dock, I slipped and fell into the water. I’m about as wet as I can be”, he said.

Stunned by his piercing eyes and athletic body, she could see the outline of his six-pack abs as his shirt clung close to his body. She still couldn’t speak.

“My names Jake, Jake Johnson. Do you know the dock master by any chance?”

Kara paused a second to find her voice. “Uh, yes! Yes, Ben is the dock master. I was going to call him when I saw the sailboat listing but I forgot my cell phone at the house. Sorry.”

“That’s OK”, Blue eyes said. “I’m surprised to be seeing anyone this time of night. I thought I’d have to wait it out, catch my death from the wet. What made you come out here in the middle of the night and get drenched?”

It was then Kara looked down to see her slicker wide open and her nightgown completely wet from the rain and knew he was looking at her wet clinging nightgown. What was she thinking? She pulled the slicker close but it was too late. Her face was burning with embarrassment and regret. If her mamma was still around, she would have told Kara she should know better, ‘cause she was raised right and you don’t bring any shame on the family, no matter how little bitty it really was. Well, she thought, was a gorgeous man seeing her in her nightgown shameful?

“Well, I saw a light in the distance and my curiosity got to me. I thought maybe someone was in trouble.”

He watched her pull her slicker close and wondered if she had caught him enjoying the view. He was amazed to see her on the dock wearing a pair of rubber boots, and a slicker over her long nightgown that was really nothing but a thin wisp of cotton. He had better think about his predicament and not about how her wet hair fell onto her shoulders or the frame of her face and well, the rest of her too. He needed help and a place to dry out.

“Do you think you could help me out? I need a place to dry out until I can get some help with my boat.”

“Oh, uh sure, I just live up there. I’ll call Ben; he’ll be able to help you. Follow me and while I’m calling, you can wait on the porch.”

She felt bad making him stay on the porch but she didn’t want to take a chance just in case. Not that he couldn’t just grab her now if he was the serial killer type.

He was disappointed he couldn’t get into the house to dry off and the more he looked at her the more he wanted to know her. Maybe this was a place he could disconnect from his hell of a job in New York. The boat was just the start, the freedom he was looking for, and maybe fate brought him here with the tide.

Kara came to the porch with a tray of hot coffee and some cookies. She had changed into jeans and a tee shirt and ran a brush through her hair. The rain had stopped and the humidity was settling in. It wasn’t unusual for the temperatures to remain in the 70’s during the night.

Kara hadn’t been attracted to a man in a very long time; maybe fate was working to her advantage. She knew it was crazy to think what she was thinking.

“I called Ben; he’ll be here in a bit. He making some calls to get you help with the boat and he’s bringing work clothes for you to change into.”

She watched as he wrapped his hands around his coffee mug and wondered why not. She leaned in and smiled, “By the way, my name is Kara.”

© Beachwalkermari 2011

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The Challenge

WritingImage by jjpacres via Flickr
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.”
~~~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I am challenging myself to write something each day, either a creative story telling of some form or a creative business communications piece. Today, I was rather prolific having written two website copy items for a friend who is building her Sweetgrass Basketry business in South Carolina and a crafted lead generation letter for a friend who is a Business Development Specialist in Massachusetts. Working virtually is wonderful affording me the ability to chat with people across the country.
Tomorrow I plan to work on a thousand-word short story using the prompts rain, sailboat and shame. I stumbled upon a website that called for submission of a short story using those three prompts. I have not actually decided if I will submit it to the website, I am more interested in knowing if I can create something, with which I can build my confidence as a fiction writer. Wish me luck!
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Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all keep a little place in the corner of our hearts to hold the simpler times of our lives. How simple would it be to be eight again. Old enough to know how to ride a bike and get around the neighborhood, young enough to believe in Santa Claus  and in the goodness of the world around you. I wouldn’t mind going back in time to the days as portrayed in the television show, The Walton's  where all problems could be solved in thirty minutes including commercials. Uncle John and John-Boy always made everything alright with generosity of spirit and an open mind centered on the good that can be found in each and every person. HOUSE MODEL2
I think it can really be as simple as that, as simple as centering on the good in each person. Well, maybe it’s easier when life is not so confounded. Our world is getting smaller and smaller, technology has opened so many avenues to connect. We are tweeting, emailing, face booking, blogging, sometimes while doing five other things, never fully present in one task, worried about the next thing, our jobs, our finances. We forget to connect with other people in the simple ways, a call to hear someone's voice, sitting down to write a friendly note, a visit to a neighbor, a touch, a smile, a human connection.
Technology can’t give us the human connection. The Walton’s had the human connection, each ready and able to be there for each other in a simpler way, a more connected way. Every episode was chuck full of relationship deepening, to take a phrase from the business world. Only relationship deepening in the business world is widely accepted as building on an existing  opportunity to sell multiple products. I’m thinking relationship deepening among humans is all about taking the time to learn and enjoy a person by centering on the good. Wouldn’t you want to share with family, friends, neighbors and  colleagues and clients in a more connected, centered and simpler way?
Technology doesn’t give us a warm fuzzy feeling but picking up the phone and hearing a friends voice does. How do you feel when you find a handwritten letter in your mailbox? I love the anticipation a handwritten note holds, the moments between taking it from the mail to the moment you sit down and slide the flap open, checking every detail of the envelope. When was the last time you stopped by your neighbors house to say hello? Sharing a moment together builds a remembered bond and don’t we all want to be remembered. Simpler times, simpler ideas help us to slow down and be human.
Stop now and center on the simple good in someone and see how it feels!

Ladies night

“Luck is an attitude!” ~Unknown

She spent so much time thinking about what she wanted to write and when it spilled out of her brain, it was just a few paragraphs that took less than 20 minutes to type into her blog. Then she was blank. She didn’t know how to conjure the story, to make it real, to make it interesting. Maybe the ladies night out would do her some good. She had already told Vera she would meet her at the restaurant, she didn’t want to ride with anyone in case the night turned out to be a waste, she could beg off early and head home. She had already decided it was going to be a two martini night.
She parked her car on the street just a half block from the restaurant and as she got out of the car, her mobile phone sing. It was Vera. “Hey Vera, I just parked. Where are you?” There was a slight pause in the phone, then “We’re on our way, Dee-Dee called to say she was coming. I’m picking her up now, we should be there in ten.”  “No problem” Sophie said, “I’ll find a spot at the bar, see ya’ in a minute.”
The shops were still open, owners hoping to get some business in the horrible economy. Sophie strolled, stopping to look in windows, passing right by the restaurant and continuing up the street. She hadn’t been in this waterside town in many years. Not since she left so long ago after she divorced. The stores were all different but for a few, the Country Store was still there and so was Brooks Brothers. She stopped and looked in the window of the Papryus store, surprized since she had only seen Papryus in malls. It was nice to be able to shop in a small town. She always liked small towns, remembering when she managed a shop in Westport a million years ago. It never ceased to amaze her how weird it felt to be back in NY and how awful. ‘Not for long’ she thought to herself, determined to pick up the pieces and head south or west again.
She strolled as far as the trestle, then turned to head back to the restaurant. She checked out the bar but there were no seats. The plan was, always is,to  eat at the bar rather than get a table. She headed outside and spotted Vera and Dee-Dee coming. “No seats, we’re gonna’ have to stare some people down until they leave.” The three of them headed in and stood near the end of the bar where there was one empty stool. Luck was on their side and a couple was getting ready to leave. “Good evening Ladies, what can I get you” beamed the bartender. “Three Kettle One martini’s very dry, lots of olives” in unison.

Capturing a moment

P writing blueImage via Wikipedia‎"Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid." ~Albert Einstein

All she could hear was him smacking his lips and sucking his teeth and the sound grew louder and louder in her head until she was just pulsing with this horrible noise. She wondered why this habit of his didn’t seem to bother other people. Then again, there weren’t other people often around and when they were, he was just as polite as could be. She knew better. His nasty little habits were constant and at times wondered if he weren’t doing them on purpose when she was nearby. She wished she could run from this hell hole of a house but the universe kept playing dirty tricks on her and she couldn't seem to make things work right.
Her job that she loved and was good at dried up in a minutes notice when a senior partner decided to pull out of the startup company for personal reasons taking the funding with them. One day, she was planning to move back to what she had come to think of as her soul’s home, the next she was calling the movers to re-route the truck to where she had relatives. She lost her job and her means of support for herself and her child. Since she was already scheduled to move in three days, the home she was living in was rented to another family. Sure, she got a pittance of child support but it was no more than just grocery money. She had made a decision long ago to stay far away from her ex who was too dangerous to bother with so she never tried to increase support. It wasn’t like he cared or tried to be a father but that was a story for another day, not something she was going to dredge up from the hidden spaces in her brain. Today, she was going to try something new, she was going to try to write.
She had toyed with the idea so many times and her friends told her she had a knack but she wasn’t sure if having a knack was good enough. She always wondered about authors and how they came up with stories. Were they just writing and writing until something started to appear or were they envisioning a beginning, a middle and an end? Did they know the title when they started? Well, she wasn’t going to worry about that right now. She was going to write. Maybe she would look into a writing class to see if she could pick up pointers, maybe learn something new. Today she was just going to write.
Chapter one
It could have been easier to pick the piƱones with gloves on to avoid the sore fingertips but she had forgotten them in the truck ………
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Harvest Moon

Harvest MoonImage by CaptPiper via Flickr

You must believe in order to receive ... open your heart and your mind!
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I’m a winner at a losing game …

Original depiction of fictional anthropomorphi...Image via WikipediaIt’s not always easy to create a place and sometimes finding yourself lost in a bad dream doesn’t help. I’ve never really ever figured out how and why my  innate self  changes when I am in this place. Here in this city so many call grand. I fall into the rabbit hole every time and it’s always dark and dreary, sometimes rather creepy. The reality of it is that I am not surrounded by my values, I’m not surrounded by like minded people. People who share the distinct honor of ‘getting me’. There is a saying that says you should be happy where you are or something like that but no matter how hard I try, I find no happiness here, just loss, a feeling of emotional poverty. And as I look around, everyone is shouting ‘This is the place to be.’ You know how it goes, Sinatra sang all about it. All I see is a sad bedraggled looking place where the ‘general population’ lives in a bubble thinking their block, their neighborhood, their borough is the seat of the world. You would think they got out more often. There are those who have fashioned their bubble of liberal elitism who are truly the saddest having no real understanding of the rest, believing they are right in every aspect, perpetuating lies about the ‘other’ people, those who don’t reside in their bubble. I can’t even joke about it as my laugh forms a snide sound.
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