One weekend we were out riding the Harley, the next digging out of the snow. Winter finally arrived bringing its entire family to stay for a long visit.
All week it has been raining, high winds, or snow— mostly snow. Wednesday was a snow day, including snow sledding, hot chocolate, creating a snow person, and coloring the snow with my younger two grandkids and daughter. It went back and forth between snow and rain, so we all got soaked, but that didn’t stop us.
The top picture is from my family/friend calendar and was included in my newsletter too. That is our tire man. No one is allowed to move this tire, even when he’s hibernating in the sunny months.
Here is tire man after a couple of snowstorms when he looks like a ghost or Oogie Boogie man from “Nightmare Before Christmas.” I suppose he’s earned a name by now, but no one’s named him yet.
I got little done this week because a good snowstorm distracts me. Being from the Bay Area, I only had seen it snow a couple of times when I went to Lake Tahoe in my teens.
So, for the last 30 years living where it snows brings out that inner child. Poetry usually flows from that, and I look forward to seeing what comes from these storms. I never tire of a snowy event, although driving is optional and avoided.
Here are a couple of pictures of our winter wonderland that calls to me loudly in its silence. As of Thursday, we have close to two feet of snow.
I lost my wedding ring about five years ago. I placed it on the tray next to the bed on the top of my nightstand. In the morning it was gone. Over the next several weeks, I tore the room apart looking for it. I even talked my husband to going under the house and removing the heater vent to look for it. Nothing. I kept hoping it would show up.
My husband was convinced it had been vacuumed up, and I was simply baffled. It filled me with sadness to lose that symbol of our special day 37 years ago.
Recently, we discussed reporting it lost to our house insurance, yet the call was never made.
Wearing my grandmother’s wedding ring now, we took a Harley ride last weekend. It was a perfect day, thanks to the lack of winter weather. It was to be a quick ride with a stop at the river. A usual place to do this was the old 49 bridge. But that day the parking lot was packed, and there were too many people milling around. I suggested we stop right past the new bridge and walk to look at the river.
The river was low. The granite rocks overpowered what should have been a fast-flowing roar underneath us. Today it was as silent as a lake. In the clear water was the reflection of the old bridge deemed unsafe to hold the weight of vehicles.
It was a beautiful view, and I took many shots of it. With the rounded bridge reflection, it reminded me of a circle or opening into nature’s beauty. I wrote a poem about that experience for a challenge. It was a magical moment that I wouldn’t have experienced if it not for the pandemic, drought, and all the people wandering about. I received a new perspective on something I was so familiar with.
We road home through the cooling winds, yet my heart was warm. Somehow, in that brief time over the Yuba River, my heavy burdens dissipated. Like my poem about the fairy singing and magic, I felt like my soul had been cleansed.
How does losing my wedding ring and making a stop at the river connect?
Two days after the river stop, I was getting ready to go on a walk on the Magical Trail. The warmer weather turned over to a more normal chill, so I went into my hat and glove drawer. I couldn’t find my usual knitted gloves, so I chose the fancy leather ones that I save for when I leave the house. When I slipped them on, a finger ran into something.
Puzzled, I pulled my hand back out, expecting to find a small child’s toy in there. It wasn’t, though. It was my ring. Yes, after five years, there it was! I put it on and felt a rush of loving energy rush through me. I couldn’t wait to share this find with my husband.
So you know, it hasn’t been five years since I’ve worn these gloves. When walking the dog, I dislike wearing them since they can’t be washed. It was an unusual choice for me because in the past I’d go gloveless instead of wearing them for that walk.
Whether I ran into some magic that day at the river that brought my ring back to me is something I can’t prove. But I felt a shift or change standing over the river that day, and then my ring came back to me. Coincidence? You decide.
My take away from that day is we can never give up hope. Do I find everything I’ve lost? No. I realized it isn’t lost; it just isn’t in our possession. Sometimes, when it is time, something that wasn’t in my possession returns as my wedding ring did.
This is how it is with writing that won’t flow. The story isn’t ready to come to you—yet. The magic in life holds it for you until then.
Mystical beauty will find you when you least expect it, as long as you are open to it. In the quiet, you will hear its message and find what’s always been there, just unseen.
Note: Winter has finally arrived with some snow! We are expecting a series of storms, fingers crossed, so if I disappear for a day or two it might be due to a down phone line or Wi-Fi. If possible, and safe, I’ll drive down the hill and check-in.
Embrace your inner child by listening to the fairy’s song! D. L. Finn
This is a Haibun Poem, which a prose paragraph finished off by a Haiku/Senyru.
A DAY BY THE SEA
I sat on my pink beach towel lathered in sunscreen, perched atop the warm black sand. The waves crashed against the rocks, making entry into the inviting sea difficult, yet people still swam and snorkeled. The day was uneventful as I sipped water and nibbled on sandy snacks while reading the latest romance novel. As the sky turned orange and the sun disappeared into the horizon, I shivered and tugged on my yellow floral dress. Then, I stood where the water met land, taking in the tropical splendor that reminded me of my innocent childhood days. I allowed the waves to wash over my feet as it tried to pull the sand from under them. The few people who were left at the beach were focused on the golden orb’s departure. Now was the promised time for departure. I scanned the incoming water, hoping nothing would prevent its arrival again. A scarlet glow caught my eye. I smiled deeply as tears of joy filled my eyes. Finally, it was here!
The red orb found me
Transporting me to the ship
I was going home.
I’m excited to have Vashti here today to talk about her new book “Rise of Gadreel.” It’s a great read! Click to see my review.
Hi, everyone! Welcome. Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Denise!
Every story needs its hero and its villain. They are both important to the plot. I enjoy a villain who believes he’s the hero in the story. I also enjoy a villain who is clever, proud, vengeful, deceitful, merciless, and who totally embraces his dark side.
These are a few of my favorite villains:
Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. A nurse and serial killer, Annie, rescues her favorite novelist Paul Sheldon from certain death after a horrible automobile accident. She sweetly nurses him back to health, only to break his legs with a sledgehammer after she finds out his plan to end her favorite novel series. She loved him, but she had to save him from himself. 😉
Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Cersei was extremely clever and had many of the same characteristics of a hero but was completely misdirected. Everything she did was for “the good of the family,” especially, her kids, which she adored. Unfortunately, her eldest son and daughter were poisoned, and her youngest committed suicide.
Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Dr. Hannibal Lector was charming, classy, well read, and highly intelligent. He was also a terrifying, serial killing, cannibal psychiatrist. He knew what he was and embraced his evil ways completely.
In The Rise of Gadreel, the main villain is Satan, who escapes his earthly prison with the help of Lilituen witches by absorbing the body and essence of a young sorcerer, Abigor Chailín. Abigor volunteered to be Satan’s vessel, even though he knew he would perish. During the process of absorption Abigor’s knowledge, experience, and innate magical powers passed on to Satan, who would take over his identity. The following excerpt is in Abigor Chailín’s (Satan’s) voice.
The day moved at the pace of a three-toed sloth, and when evening came at last, bodies willing and able to do my bidding crammed the great hall.
“The time has come,” I said. “Gadreel and her allies, dubbed the Fearless Five, shall enter the gates of London soon, and we must be ready.”
A Lilituen monk stepped forward, his head hung to avoid eye contact, and he wrung his hands as he spoke. “Many have spoken of a persuasive phantom who accompanies Gadreel, as well as a warrior priest who shifts into a fiend at will, a mighty sorceress, and a rock giant.”
I watched him squirm for a while, and then stepped toward him.
“Look at me!” I said. His eyes met mine. “Peasants tend to exaggerate, making issues appear grander than they are. But even if matters were as they claimed, who cares? Have we not formidable warriors and sorcerers in our midst? And most importantly, you have me, and there is not a creature on Earth who can defeat me. Do you disagree?”
“No, Master,” he said. “The people of London, especially the peasants, suffer cold, sickness, and hunger. Their opinion of you, Master, if I may speak freely”—he paused and waited for my permission to go on—“has declined.”
“And why should I care about the opinions of peasants?”
“Because they may decide to join forces with the Fearless Five against us.”
“You stand in a room filled with mighty warriors, sorcerers, and demons, and you are worried about a handful of emaciated farmers? Oh ye of little faith.”
“God is on their side,” the monk said.
“You forget God is up there, and I am down here.” And with those words I placed my hands on the monk’s head, whispering a spell under my breath.
Soon, my hands took on a green aura, and his face came to be the color of a pickled cherry. He convulsed, his eyes bulging out of their sockets, blisters distorting his skin as it darkened to the color of a ripe plum. Steam exploded from his ears, followed by dark blood which also oozed from his eyes and mouth. I lifted my hands and he crumbled, dead, to the ground.
“Take away this filth,” I instructed my servants. They came forth and did my bidding in haste. “Anyone else have doubts? There’s no time for misgivings. Either you are with me or against me. Decide which it is, here and now.”
The assembled remained quiet.
“I shall take your silence to mean that you are with me and ready to do all that I ask of you. The whole of England is in peril, and so is the church. I’ll restore order, and the people shall keep the faith. First, drastic measures are required.”
Lilituens – A sect of witches and sorcerers which include demons and half-breeds with innate magical powers.
Fearless Five – A band of heroes that defend and protect human beings from evil forces. Gadreel, Dracúl, Thomas, Sabina, and Golem make up the Fearless Five.
Tinsel is the newest apprentice in Santa’s Workshop, but this young elf lands himself in strife on his first day!
He’s sent to care for the reindeer and instead ends up on a magical adventure.
Will the Toy-Inspector allow him back into the Workshop?
A fun Christmas story for younger readers and those young at heart.
In March 2019, my sister (who lives in Canada), visited me in New Zealand, and we embarked on a memory tour. We revisited places from our childhood, including Queenstown, where our grandmother used to live.
Our great-grandfather had been an engineer on the iconic century-old coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, back in the day when it transported stock and supplies across Lake Wakatipu. We enjoyed a delightful sunny cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
During our travels, we set a challenge, to each write a 1500 word story. I chose to write a Children’s Christmas story, based on a writing prompt from my Aspiring Author Series, and that’s how, ‘Sleighed’, came to be created.
I haven’t been writing as much as I normally do over the last several months. It was only poetry I could turn to, and even then, not as often. This new year brought in with it lots of hope, but I don’t think our past lessons are quite done with us and add more worry to our lives.
So, one way I clear out my worries is poetry and nature. Sitting outside and taking in the forest’s splendor surrounding me is healing.
When I sit on my cement bench with pen and paper, the words find their way into my pink journal. At that moment, my soul has opened.
Here’s a Tanka I wrote a couple of weeks ago.
Winter’s sweet silence
Quietly I exhale
Into the frigid air
Along my magical trail
Here is where I find my peace.
Watch for an exciting announcement this week.
The Monthly Newsletters will go out on the 20th. If you are subscribed check your email.
Embrace your inner child with poetry! May we all find that peace we are seeking. D. L. Finn
This is another Haibun Poem that is a prose paragraph(s) and Haiku/Senryu that connect based on the picture below.
Darkness was closing in on Dara as the purple sunset’s last streaks gave way to the stars peeking through heavy clouds. The branches clawed at her arms and legs as she pushed her way through the brush. Her sweatshirt couldn’t hold back the icy chill that threatened snow. Dara had escaped that crazy man who grabbed her at the bus stop. She’d walked all day through the thick forest and was positive she’d put enough distance between her and evil, but now she was lost. A chill raced through Dara as she remembered his garbled words behind the clown mask.
“No one will hear you scream here, Little Miss.”
He hadn’t even bothered to learn her name. Dara rammed her foot into a log that sent a jolt of pain through her body. Tears ran freely down her face as she sunk onto the crunchy forest floor. Her hand bumped into a cold glass object that had the bitter scent of kerosene. She felt its handle and base. It was a lantern just like her grandma would use when the power went out. There was a package of matches taped to the top. She struck the wooden match and was rewarded with the scent of sulfur and an orange flame. Hopeful, she turned the knob and held the match to the wick. It worked. The night became a little less scary in the lantern’s warm glow. Please show me how to get back to my family.