Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Moroccan Room (A wiriter's retreat)

I think every writer longs for a space to call their own, a quiet corner where they can work undisturbed, but few have the luxury of having one. Often, hours for writing are eeked out after the household goes to bed or in the wee hours of the morning before everyone rises.

So writers take their laptops and learn to adjust to the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop atmosphere or they hide away in a quiet corner of the local library for those few hours they need to connect with their muse.

I was having a hard time finding a place to escape. I need solitude. I am too much of a people person to be in a coffee shop without striking up a conversation. I can’t stand the solitude of a library – as much as I adore reading. And, there was no peace at home. My elderly father who lives with me rises before I do and goes to bed long after I have retired. In the time between he has become addicted to the T.V. since mom passed two and a half years ago. The volume is set at an ear-ringing level due to his hearing loss, which seems to be something we cannot correct to his satisfaction.

Hence, I had a dilemma. My writing had come to a standstill, until I came up with the idea of converting the back deck into a writing/reading room. That was last summer, and this summer it was completed. 

Dad is always game for a project. He and our Jack-of-all-trades, Amos, covered the deck with a solid roof on one end and a corrugated plastic roof with lattice on the other. They screened it in, then when fall descended on us last week they completed glassing it in. 

I decided to decorate it in jewel tones and the more I worked on it, the more it became known as the Moroccan Room. It is plush to the point of opulent. It is wired for lights, the soothing sound of the bubble pot, music, heater (to chase the fall chill away), and laptop. The Wifi even agreed to work for me in my quiet retreat.

The kids from school joke and call it my hookah lounge. It has been referred to as the Harem room. I have had many offers from friends who want to move in. It has been a hit with everyone. For me, it is my retreat…my quiet place…my muse who happens to be a heavy set guy with a full beard and a head full of wild black hair loves it. He has taken up permanent residence in the chair in the corners, tea glass in hand with his feet propped up on a pile of plush pillows.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Isis' Weekend, or The Cat Awakening

Isis, my cat, does not understand about weekends. She thinks a Saturday or a Sunday is like any other day of the week.

On weekdays, we rise and have a companionable romp with a shoelace, or a battle around the scratching post with a peacock feather. I always set aside 15-20 minutes of my morning to play with her.

But on the weekend, I don't want to get up at 5:30 am. So after just so much of the Siamese Whisker Torture, a dragging of long tickling whiskers on my cheek, nose or any other exposed skin, I get up, feed and water Isis and go back to bed to sleep, I wish, another two and a half or three hours.

However, this plan has not taken Isis into consideration. She wants to play like any other day of the week.

Her first strategy to get me up and at it, is to entice me by example. I hear her batting around a ball or paper, of which she usually has no less than half a dozen, it being her favorite toy.

If this act does not work, the next is sure to get my attention. She starts up her engine in the living room. She revs her motor as she tears at her kitty tree. Then she literally ZOOMS around the house. Her favorite race course includes me as part of the straight away. Occasionally, I even become a pit stop with a authoritative Yow! for me to speed up in my part as crew chief.

If the first two devices still leave me with my head firmly shoved under my pillow and my body still wrapped tightly in covers, the last tactic is sure to get results. It's called the Guilt Trip.

She starts by bringing her catnip mouse to bed. She lays it as an offering to me on my pillow with a plaintive Yow? This first maneuver is never enough to motivate me into rising. I only dig in further. The next object she delivers is her shoulder pad. It used to be my shoulder pad, now Isis used it as a comfort toy, like a dog uses an old shoe or 'Linus' his blanket. Next is one of those wadded pieces of paper, or her plastic center out of the scotch tape roll. And so it goes on, each thing brought, each presented with a begging yow as though to say, "look, don't you feel guilty lying there when I have no one to play with?"

After a while the pile of toys has grown so that I envision myself as a headline in one of those tabloid newspapers in the supermarket checkout line; Woman Suffocates in Bed! - Buried by CAT TOYS!

So finally with a sigh, I relent, uncover, get up and play!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


The waves flatten as they curl toward the shore.The small orange buoy bobs in and out of view beyond the surf line.

The sky stretches out endlessly above the sea, blue with wispy feather-like clouds. The white is just enough to make the blue seem that much brighter.

The early raisers amble slowly with head down, pushing at possible 'finds' in the sand with their toes. On occasion a particularly eye catching object will tempt them to stoop and examine it more closely. Perhaps this one is interesting enough to place on the mantel of the beach house, or in the basket of treasures back home.

The beach dogs bound and race, barking at their masters, the waves, the glory of the morning. In the city they would snarl and nip at each other, here they merely pass. The wonder of the place, the limitless space, frees them from their territorial boundaries.

I sit on the dune before the house. My legs curled beneath me. Last night, I kept this same vigil as I watched the full moon make its own gift of sparkling jewels upon the ocean's surface. Watched the moon and the sea turn the world into a magical place where one could imagine sleeping dragons beneath the dunes and 'Aires Above the Water' performed by schools of talented porpoise and whales - their wet backs glistening in the moonlight.

Now the sun has replaced the moon. The early morning breeze cools my cheeks, caressing them gently.

It's really too early for the sand to be warm, but nonetheless, I slip off my shoes and socks and wiggle my toes into the sand with inner satisfaction.

This is heaven. This is what we are born for - live for. These small microcosms of time when, for a few minutes, everything in life seems perfect. My soul breathes in the perfection of the moment. I relax gently into the day and smile.

My Friend

What can I say
Except it is thus,
That she is my friend
Through knowledge and trust.

And with more knowledge
Our friendship will grow,
And we will walk hand and hand
Into the future unknown.

With my friend at my side
Adventures we'll seek,
And live life more fully
For the company we keep.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Unforgettable Event - June 18, 2013

I have been lucky enough to receive a handful of reviews at this point in my career. However, I felt this one deserved some blog time. I was very moved when I read this review of "We 3," my book about caregiving for my elder parents. I would like to personally thank Travis for taking the time to share his own experiences and for putting his feelings so eloquently to paper.

Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
There are many audiences for books of this type. People will read Ms. Snyder's work for: comfort from the feeling of aging, reflection of family closeness, to cope with caring for a loved one, and so much more.

For me, this was an eye opening experience, showing how loving people can be to one another. Having grown up in a dysfunctional family with any number of betrayals and dark revelations, it is a relief to know that people can love at this level. You really grasp the tangible strength of the author's character and bare bones honesty that many wouldn't be brave enough to reflect.

If you're not reading this selection for soul searching or comfort, you'll enjoy the à la carte chapter selections that can be indulged at any time like a palette of fresh, wholesome fruit.

The real strength in this author comes forward when she is telling the stories of real life struggles; through her eyes, and the eyes of those involved. The style reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I would enjoy seeing how this author could bring about another true-life story. She is at her best in those moments that inspire awkward silence in others. Where someone else may find despair, she finds new hope, and another reason to love stronger. If ever there were a testament for how to be grateful; this definitely is a strong component.

For those who want to learn to love during hard times; this will be a fireplace to their heart. For those who have suffered the dark corners of the world; this will give them a glimpse of what a real family should strive toward. For those who want to gain perspective at a time when change seems unbearable; this will reinvigorate their senses to the endless possibilities of life and appreciation.

Monday, September 2, 2013

One Thousand Worlds in One Thousand Words

"A place where new worlds are born. A place where fantasy writers can showcase their work, by submitting a short synopsis and the opening thousand words of their published novels, short stories, novellas or works in progress. A place where readers can come to find great new authors, and leave feedback on their work. A place to find a thousand new worlds." - Richie Earl

I am pleased to say I was the first, of what I hope will be many, that Richie posted on this site.

Please drop in and have a look. Support by adding your work or comment, buying an author's work posted here.

Thank you, Richie