Category: Nonfiction

In Search of the Ideal Reader

It’s Day Four of Blogging Fundamentals and I’ve been asked to become a mind reader. What fun! Actually, the assignment is to create a post for my Ideal Reader. And, while I’m at it, include a new (to me) media element.

At the moment, I am wandering around the white space of Evernote, safely behind the curtain, wishing that I had cookies. Real cookies, home made, warm from the oven. Alas, no cookies. That would require planning ahead. Foreknowledge that I’d be having company in the form of my Ideal Reader showing up to peer over my shoulder and maybe help themselves to a warm cookie or two.

Now I wish that I had read ahead, taken a peek at the assignment before hand, worked up a magic wand and a fancy cape, a bit of off-stage smoke, and Voila! The Ideal Reader! And we could have shared a virtual plate of yummy cookies.

Perhaps a list …? (Have you ever noticed how, sometimes, an ellipse resembles a drum roll? If you answered yes, you go to the head of the Ideal Reader Line. No number required.)

Other aspects of the Ideal Reader:

  1. Grew up reading the backs of cereal boxes.
  2. Curious about the world.
  3. Can be brave in small doses.
  4. Fiercely loyal to SOMETHING that makes no sense to others (often this/these thing(s) can be found in quaint museums, dusty attics, abandoned buildings)
  5. Spontaneously creative for the sheer joy of being engaged in the moment (this includes drawing shapes and / or words on fogged up windows).
  6. You probably have a tendency to avoid being like every body else …
  7. But you are still drawn to the idea of having your own tribe (whatever that means).

Well, that’s a start. Mission to discover the Ideal Reader, begun. Check.

New to me elements … probably not a poll. That’s too much like a list. I’m off to find and embed something just for us, Dear Reader. And since I don’t know what I’m doing (but being brave in small doses, in public, with you), I’m going to try to embed an image from Instagram.

Which doesn’t work. At least not the way that the ‘super easy’ instructions seem to imply. So instead of the embedded image, I’m providing you with the link to an Instagram image of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

UPDATE: I figured out how to embed an actual Instagram photo. Not sure how, just stumbled along until I found a photo that I liked and kept trying until something happened. I prefer the image from the link in the previous paragraph. It’s moody, very much like the sea. But this is nice. Never been there, alas. The aquarium, I mean.

These are the waters in which I first fell in love with the sea. In fact, I became convinced that I had been, once upon a time, a mermaid, in another life. (Add Number 8 to the list: Boundless Imagination.)

 I leave you with one of my own photos …

My tiny plastic Creature of the Black Lagoon, exploring …

Where did you go????

This is Day Two of the WordPress University Class Learning the Fundamentals, in which I am asked to change both the title (the site identity) and tag line of this blog. And why not?

Wednesurday was only ever a place holder, something to hold my feet to the fire so that I would blog at least twice a week (Wednesday & Saturday), which I tended not to do. Either I didn’t blog at all, or I blogged every day, or whenever the spirit moved me.

This blog has evolved into my little workshop, a foyer between the story teller and the locked rooms of the heart.

Door bell
Doorbell Photo Credit Little Visuals

Big journey. Little steps. Where did I go? I was always here…

Bliss and the Broken Heart

My first romance involved marbles. I suppose I was seven. He was a boy about my age, part of a street gang in a far away country. Our connection was marbles, a game that I watched from afar because it fascinated me but I hung back because I didn’t know the rules.

One day, this boy came around  with a bag of marbles. His mission was to teach me the game. It was only ever just the two of us, sneaking around like the outsiders that we were, finding the perfect place: the dirt of the school yard baseball field in summer.


Bliss is the broken heart.JPG
Vintage Marbles from my collection.

Then came the day that he told me he was leaving. He didn’t want to go, but he had no choice. None of us did. He reached into his shirt and drew out the leather bag that he always carried around his neck. It contained three small bright shining marbles: the awesome steelies that few of us had ever seen in play. He placed the bag in my hands. I pledge my heart to you, he said. And then he turned and walked away.

Later that afternoon, the doorbell rang. It was HIM. My hero. My heart leapt at the sight of him. He was staying! But no. He had come to take back the marbles. His mother had sent him. It turned out that they were the family marbles. He was very sorry, but ….

I still love marbles, though.

This is Day Four of WordPress University Discovering Your Eye


The Creature of the Cache


C is for Creature. He’s gone missing, my Creature. We’ve been together since April of 2005, when I found him in a geocache site up in New England. I’d gone along with Skip, who was a regular member of a local geocache group. I was doing research for a story, and Skip was kind enough to let me tag along.


We are clearly in the middle of nowhere, but my trusty guide zeros in on a  cache.


Well hidden, but the blue does catch the eye. If you are bending down and looking closely.

And then …  there he is! My creature! My favorite scary monster of time: The Creature of the Black Lagoon!


The rule with geocache is, take something, leave something. Skip comes prepared. He hands me the creature and wanders off. He returns with his backpack, pulls out a small plastic bag with a notebook and pencil inside, and lays it gently into the cache. The trade is made. The deal is done.

Several days later, I take my Creature out for a ride. We head out to the Blackstone River and Canal Heritage Center, which is the closest body of water than I can think of. Some association, anyway.


Here he is, peering out the window of the Visitor Center.

That was years ago. Since then, he’s been hanging out around the house. We live in Florida now. No more adventures, alas. Last time I saw him, he was posing for some sketches I’d done. But mostly I focused on the Manikin, the Gargoyle, and the Troubadour. Maybe the Creature felt neglected? This is what he looked like, last time I saw him, a few weeks back:

Last seen.jpg

Maybe he’s run off to Wakulla Springs. If you see him, tell him to come home, okay?


Note: I’m participating in the  A to Z Blogging Challenge for 2016. The challenge is to write 26 posts, each one tied to a letter of the alphabet.




I haven’t been this thrilled since I managed to successfully relocate a (possibly) Brown Widow Spider from my back porch to the great outdoors. But I digress…

If I were the planning type, this would be Part II of a series. As it stands, this is a follow up to yesterday’s post, in which I lamented the fact that I had been avoiding my outdoor writing space, and possible reasons why.

I asked that age-old question: What would you do if you were me?

Many wonderful responses, all of which I will probably follow. But “Reclaim Your Space” was the refrain, and a flag seemed to be the perfect tool. So this morning, instead of sketching, I worked out various designs for flags. Rummaged through the junk drawer, and then out to the back porch (formerly known as Brown Widow hangout) where I keep my collage papers, and … oh, but here is a photo for you:


This is what I came up with. A bamboo skewer, some hand-dyed rice paper, a bit of painter’s tape (the rice paper is surprisingly fragile and started to fall apart the moment that I used glue), and some 3M tape to patch up the places where the paper continued to fall apart.

My intent had been to plant the flag, take some pictures, do some writing, remove the flag, do a little dance in my head, and get on with my day.

But honestly, I was so psyched by the whole Reclaiming Territory idea that I stopped by the park  on my way to do other errands, marched to my outdoor writing studio and placed the flag. Took some photos. Even took a movie, which I will share if and when I figure out how to do that.

I almost took the flag away with me. But in the spirit of adventure (what would Edmund Hillary do?), I left it in place. Went off and did my errands. Drove by, saw that my flag was still there, hit the brakes, parked, forced myself to walk slowly all the way to the picnic table, and carried away my flag, as if I had rescued some living, fragile thing.