Weekend Links + Friday Fiction Photo

{copyright Serenity Bolt Photography}

I took this photo last winter in Butte, Montana. An old hotel, a laundromat, a moving truck…surely there is a story here.

It’s up to you to tell it.

Your submissions can be as long or short as you want. I’ll post the winning entry next week. I can’t wait to find out what happened here!

Now, some links for your weekend perusal:

Timeless, simple gold and brass jewelry from South African designer Karin Rae Matthee.

Learn the surprising reason why it’s dark at night with this animated video.

Really beautiful Pendant lamps from recycled books.

How to make easy ghosts to put on a Halloween cake. Super cool!

Lessons learned from writing love letters to strangers. Ahhh…

A good list of things to do for fall at Orchid Grey.

And finally….this week’s selections from I Need A Music Guide (and I always need a guide!)

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Weekend Links + Fiction Photo

I took this photo last week on an empty backroad on Cape Cod. An old motel, a broken phone, a car…surely there is a story here.

It’s up to you to tell it.

Your submissions can be as long or short as you want. I’ll post the winning entry next week. I can’t wait to find out what happened here!

Now, some links for your weekend perusal:

  • Have you discovered Art.com? Every print imaginable…browse to your heart’s content! I almost felt like this deserved a post of its own, I love this site so much.
  • Pretty handpiece jewelry from Palomarie.
  • 20 ways to let go of regret.
  • There is something about the way that the modern and the ancient are seamlessly fused in this Spanish convent by architect David Closes that I can’t stop looking at.
  • English designer Isabel Knowles makes lovely handmade skirts, dresses and tops. I love all of them…and good news- she has both an etsy shop and a blog!
  • Wearelucky. “I decided to pass on my good luck to others by giving away £1,000 every day. I planned to give the money to complete strangers – someone different every time – and all I’d ask is that they’d do something positive with the cash. I didn’t just want to share the money; I wanted to share the responsibility that came with it. I would take a few photos, ask a few questions and build a gallery of Lucky people and stories.” Um, hello. Hi everyone. Right here.
  • Happy Birthday, E.B. White. The author of my favorite children’s book (no, not “Charlotte’s Web”, “The Trumpet of the Swan”) turned 113 this week. Here is a vintage animated film based on The Family That Dwelt Apart.
  • Did someone say glow-in-the-dark cupcakes?

Have a good weekend!

xo Serenity

48,000 Words To Go…And I’m Going To Give Myself A Year

November 13, 2010

Sitting at a cafe, editing the work I've done so far on the novel. I think I've realized that I'm not going to finish the Nanowrimo project in a month. I can't seem to resist the urge to edit what I've written, and that ends up taking up a lot of my time. I just can't speedwrite through 25,000 words in two weeks. I've written 4,000 words (13 pages or so) of a rough outline and that's good enough, I think. I'm not sure that I really like the idea of writing a throwaway novel in a month just for the sake of finishing a challenge, although I guess that's the point. If anyone is interested, here is a very unedited rough sketch of part of the  first chapter.

***note: names of cars have been changed  to protect the innocent***  

I am told that there was a first house that collapsed, but I have no memory of it.

According to my father, it had been built in the traditional style, square and on stilts. One day the whole thing came down with a great crash and they salvaged the hand-peeled logs and began anew, building a second house that became a sprawling octagonal home for both humans and goats who lived underneath, waking us with their constant headbutting, indignant at being left out in the cold.

The expanse of soft, sheltered ground under the house was dark and cavernous, and one afternoon my mother and I discovered  one of our female goats named Abigail lying under the house, white belly heaving softly in the dim light. I can't remember seeing her face or even her head, just the great expanse of her curled body lying prone in the dirt.

"We need to get her water," my mother said, taking my hand and hiking up her skirt to climb back out from under the house.

"Then we've got to to go down to Tony Roselle’s and see if he can help."

I gripped her hand tightly, still listening to the slow wheezing in the dirt and feeling a crawling dread. We emerged from under the house and walked to the spring, where I waited while my mother filled a bucket and brought it back down to Abigail. The water, ice cold even in the summer, dribbled through my fingers. The spring flowed down the mountain, making a brief stop in an antique refrigerator that my father used to keep our perishable food in, which was also outfitted with a screen to keep the frogs out.

Sunlight dappled on the leaves of the tall trees surrounding the cabin, making harsh shadows against the bright green. Suddenly my mother reappeared without the bucket.

“All right, Ren. Ready?” I nodded.

She took my hand again and we began the hike down to Tony Roselle’s cabin. Tony had a wizened look and smelled of pipe smoke. My parents had sold him a few acres of their land to build a camp on a few years back. He was a teacher who usually came up on weekends. We couldn’t be sure he’d be home, but he was our only chance for help because my father was out running errands with our 1940’s pickup truck, Clara, and wouldn’t be back until late that evening. Tony’s cabin was small- more of a camp than a house. He saw us coming down the hill from his small plant-filled porch. He was wearing a plain white T shirt and had the usual pipe stuck in his mouth.

"Well, hello there."  "Hi Tony..how are you? Hate to bother you, but it’s one of our goats…there’s something wrong with her and she’s lying under the house right now. Ben’s away…. you think you could come up and take a look at her?"

"I don’t know all that much about animals, but I’ll see if I can help you out. Maybe try to get her out where we can take a look at her."

 We three began our hike back up the rough road to the cabin. As we walked, I forgot about the goat and focused on stepping in and out of the ruts along the edge of the road, some part of my brain watching out as always for the bears I was sure I  would one day spot on a walk through the woods. The rhythm of adult voices provided a lilting background hum to accompany my marching footsteps.

In my dream I am running down the familiar path from the field and garden, past the compost pile toward the house. To my right the woods are a dark mass in which I can see the bears, waiting and watching for the right moment. I trip over the little rock that sticks up on the path and I go down. Now I am unable to move, unable to scream- I know that the bears have left the woods.

The Month of Writing Furiously

October 23, 2010  

So, I've decided to undertake a writing project of gargantuan proportions. I signed up for National Novel Writing Month. During the month of November, I am to write 50,ooo words of an original novel. Somehow, I feel like this is just what I needed. I work best under pressure- it's very freeing. I feel like it smashes mental blocks with a sledgehammer of calm purpose. In college, I used to write all my papers the night before, and most of my poems a few hours before class. I love it. You have no choice but to get to the heart of the matter. Do or die. 50,000 words is roughly 175 pages, which is 6 pages a day. It can be done. I think if I write for two hours a day I can finish it, no problem. There's no judging of the work, so editing can happen later. Apparently someone actually published a novel that they wrote for this thing called "Water For Elephants," which is now being made into a movie (starring Robert Pattison, which is unfortunate. But still inspiring). You aren't supposed to actually start writing until Nov. 1, but all sorts of planning is definitely allowed. And if I fail to finish the entire thing….well, then I have been writing consistently for one month, which is pretty good too.  

46,000 Words To Go…And I ‘ m Going To Give Myself A Year

Sitting at a cafe, editing the work I've done so far on the novel. I think I've realized that I'm not going to finish the Nanowrimo project in a month. I can't seem to resist the urge to edit what I've written, and that ends up taking up a lot of my time. I just can't speedwrite through 25,000 words in two weeks. I've written 4,000 words (13 pages or so) of a rough outline and that's good enough, I think. I'm not sure that I really like the idea of writing a throwaway novel in a month just for the sake of finishing a challenge, although I guess that's the point. If anyone is interested, here is a very unedited rough sketch of part of the  first chapter.   ***note: names of cars have been changed to protect the innocent***      

I am told that there was a first house that collapsed, but I have no memory of it. According to my father, it had been built in the traditional style, square and on stilts. One day the whole thing came down with a great crash and they salvaged the hand-peeled logs and began anew, building a second house that became a sprawling octagonal home for both humans and goats who lived underneath, waking us with their constant headbutting, indignant at being left out in the cold. The expanse of soft, sheltered ground under the house was dark and cavernous, and one afternoon my mother and I discovered Abigail, one of our female goats, lying under the house, her white belly heaving softly in the dim light. I can't remember her face or even her head, just the great expanse of her curled body lying prone in the dirt. "We need to get her water," my mother said, taking my hand and hiking up her skirt to climb back out from under the house. "Then we've got to to go down to Tony Roselle’s and see if he can help." I gripped her hand tightly, still listening to the slow wheezing in the dirt and feeling a crawling sort of dread. We emerged from under the house and walked to the spring, where I waited while my mother filled a bucket and brought it back down to Abigail. The water, always ice cold even in the summer, dribbled through my fingers. The spring flowed down the mountain, making a brief stop in an antique refrigerator that my father used to keep our perishable food in, which was also outfitted with a screen to keep the frogs out. Sunlight dappled on the leaves of the tall trees surrounding the cabin, making harsh shadows against the bright green. Suddenly my mother reappeared without the bucket. “All right, Ren. Ready?” I nodded. She took my hand again and we began the hike down to Tony Roselle’s cabin. Tony was an older man with a wizened look who smelled of pipe smoke. My parents had sold him a few acres of their land to build a camp on a few years back. He was a teacher, and usually came up on weekends. We couldn’t be sure he’d be home, but he was our only chance for help since my father was out running errands with Clara, our 1940’s pickup truck, and wouldn’t be back until much later in the evening. Tony’s cabin was very small- a camp, really. He saw us coming down the hill from his small porch that was filled with hanging plants. He was wearing a plain white T shirt and had the  usual pipe stuck in his mouth. -Well, hello there. -Hi Tony..how are you? We’re sorry to bother you, but it’s one of our goats…there’s something wrong with her and she’s                  lying under the house. Ben’s away…. you think you could come up and take a look at her? -Now, I don’t know much about animals, but I’ll see if I can help you girls out. Maybe try to get her out where we can see her          better. We three hiked back up the rough road to the cabin. As we walked, I forgot about the goat and focused on stepping in and out of the ruts along the edge of the road, some part of my brain watching out as always for the bears I obsessed about one day spotting on a walk through the woods. The rhythm of adult voices provided a lilting background hum to accompany my marching footsteps. In my dream I am running down the familiar path from the field and garden, past the compost pile toward the house. To my right the woods are a dark mass in which I can see the bears, waiting and watching for the right moment. I trip over the little rock that sticks up on the path and I go down. Now I am unable to move, unable to scream- I know that the bears have left the woods.