Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix’s double take prompt using the words presence – the state of being present/ presents – gifts and holy – with religious significance/holey – perforated, with holes/ and wholly – fully, completely.
Credit: Emily Mortar via Unsplash
The variegated violet sky was an odd site in winter as rain was dangerous this time of year, an ominous icey presence; Jane turned the ring her boyfriend Finn had given her as a Christmas present and her engagement ring. His holy and reverent attitude towards his Great-Grandmother’s wedding ring was strange, Jane thought, as she gazed at the large gleaming diamond and the holey pinpoints around the central diamond filled with tiny white diamonds too. She turned back to the window, staring at the sky outside and recalled telling Finn that all she wanted was a small purple diamond; Jane did not desire this heavy weight of history and duty that hurt her finger; it made the love she once wholly felt for Finn feel cheap and worthless — her preferences did not matter to him, she realized they never would.
He sings the song, he knows so well, “American Pie” resounds,
A story “a long long time ago” the lyrics found,
On the lips of those passing by,
Throwing coins for memories sighed,
Thinking of “the day the music —
Died,” a plane crash in history mused.
Brought into the present, the “music [that] makes [him] smile.”
Singing talent innate: “Bye, Bye Miss American pie.”
He sings of the “good old boys . . . drinking whiskey and rye,”
Of the day they thought “this would be the day that” they’d up and die,
He breathes life into Rock and Roll,
Thinks music can save “mortal” souls.
His sonorous voice knows he has —
No luck; but he’ll sing for the past.
For “Miss American pie;” she drives her “Chevy” to the dry —
Levy;” all passing, know the lyrics “the day the music died.”
He’s a hit, his voice similar to Don McLean of past,
He drives home the point as if it were shards of sharp glass.
As history occurred, passed,
“Dirges in the dark” that collapse.
Of forgotten heroes, music lost,
Of times forgotten, with cost.
Singing for the “kings” and “queens” who walk on by, listening,
He sings the song he knows so well “Bye Bye . . . American pie.”
Don McLean – “American Pie”
Wrapped Refrain (Form No. 2), created by Jan Turner, carries some similar aspects as her Wrapped Refrain form, with further advanced techniques. It consists of 2 or more stanzas of 8 lines each, with the following set rules:
“Wow, Dad. Look at that space suit. I want to wear it,” William said to Ben.
“Uh, no. Not happening.”
“This is major Tom to ground control / I’m stepping through the door/ [and] I’m floating in the most peculiar way.”
“Take the headphones from your ears and listen to your son,” Violet chided.
“I’m listening to William. He wants to wear the space suit and I said he can’t. What else can I say?” Ben asked.
“Just stop listening to your iPhone and be present,” Violet said rolling her eyes.
“But I have to finish this song. It’s a classic –the theme song to this museum moment.”
“What song Dad?” William asked curious.
“David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity.”
“Oh, I love that song, turn it up. Take the headphones out,” Violet said. William nodded in agreement.
They chuckled before singing out loud: “For here am I sitting in a tin can / [far] above the world / [planet] earth is blue / [and] there’s nothing I can do . . .” until they reached the end of the song.
When they had finished the three of them looked up surprised to have everyone present at the museum’s space exhibit applauding their singing.
Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s prompt. First we are to go to Wikipedia and go to the ‘Random Article’ Button, his is our title. Second we are to HERE and find a randomly generated picture.
Ring the bells ring them, sound organ pipes too,
Atlantis sinks to obscurity.
Earth trembles, calls with a tune sung,
Ring the bells; last time you’ll hear them out loud.
Welcome to my bi-weekly interview series. I’m pleased to introduce to you today an interview with dog enthusiast, thoughtful, and entertaining writer,Colin Chappell. He is often accompanied by his friendly and energetic dogRay. In fact, Ray is one of Colin’sfavorite topics. You can visit Colin on his blog: A Dogs Life? (Stories of Me and Him).
1. Please Tell Us A Bit About Yourself?
My name is Colin Chappell. When I was born, my parents were expecting a girl so, when I arrived, they showed great initiative by thumbing through the BBC Radio Times looking for male names. If Colin Yearsley (a classical pianist) had a second name, I would have probably had a second name also; my older sister did. I am originally from Peterborough (U.K.), and now live in Oakville, Ontario, Canada (on the outskirts of Toronto).
I was born immediately after WWII and moved around the U.K. a lot when I was young because both my parents were in the theater. My Dad designed and painted scenery, while my Mum worked in the costumes area.
The introduction of television decimated the demand for theater and my parents had to make some major decisions. Growing up, my Mum held down multiple jobs and my Dad came home only on weekends. He was working approximately one-hundred-miles away from where we lived. My Dad eventually decided to build his own house. He learned how to do this successfully from library books, visiting construction sites, and asking a ton of questions.
2. What Kind of Affect Has Your Childhood Had On You?
I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.
I wanted to be a locomotive driver, but was told that I couldn’t do this job by my Dad. I went to college to pursue a career as ‘Master’ of a cargo ship. I achieved a 2nd Class Honors Certificate and was welcomed into the Blue Star Line. I was ready to join ‘Scottish Star’ in Glasgow; however, I failed a medical exam which blocked my first chosen career path. This was my welcome to the world of adulthood and the realities of the world.
“I learned to make the best of any situation, knowing it could always be worse. I learned to not be afraid to step out of my comfort zone; to swallow my pride and ask questions as necessary.” – Collin Chappell
3. When Did You Being Writing and Blogging?
I have always enjoyed writing short pieces and songs, but they were always private and I rarely shared my work. I cannot recall how I discovered blogging. But I had already been adopted by my dog Ray and wanted to share our experiences. It was also an opportunity to write publicly which was appealing to me. My blog was officially launched in October, 2014.
Later, my desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray.He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!
4. What Does Writing and Blogging Mean to You? Why Do You Write?
Writing is rewarding for many reasons. It allows me to express myself, to be as creative as I can, and to have some tangible evidence of my creativity and expression. No doubt there are psychological benefits to writing also. Poetry is a natural extension of writing because of my earlier days song writing; however, my blog is also my vehicle to present my poetry to the world.
Blogging is the corner stone of my literary endeavors because not only can I now share with the world, but I can receive feedback. I have access to links to bloggers and writers with similar interests and concepts. As well, I am generally able to create a worldwide network of wonderful people. Over time I have developed friends around the world of all ages, cultures, religious beliefs (etc.) Now I have the pleasure of knowing many details about friends which go well beyond mere blogging.
” . . . [M]y desire to write was extended into a book about my first eighteen-months (pre-blog) with Ray. He made a huge impact on me and was nothing like any dog that I would have chosen to adopt. But Ray had a special appeal and after a few months, I loved him!” – Colin Chappell
5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write? Is There A Time of Day You Most Enjoy Writing?
Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.
Ray is also hugely inspiring.He is unlike any dog I have ever known. Just by watching him (which I do a lot) I’m invariably provided with the basis for a blog post. I also inspire and motivate myself.I am retired so have the luxury of as much time as I wish to allocate to blogging and writing but I do have many other interests.
There isn’t a particular time of day I enjoy writing more. Although, mornings and late evenings tend to be my most productive times. This is due more to convenience relative to other day to day activities. It’s not that I feel more particularly creative during these times.
7. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects?
I have two active projects at the moment:
My first priority is promoting my book: Who Said I was up for Adoption?All profits from this book go to theHumane Societywhom rescued my beloved Ray. It’s hard to make the whole world aware of a book without investing large sums of money to market it.Self-promoting is more financially feasible, but a difficult and time consuming job.
My second priority is publishing a book of my poems. It is tentatively titled: Tina andOtherStories and could be available Spring 2017. My poetry book is ready to be published but some financial decisions have to be made.
I am uncomfortable making these choices until I have a better grasp of how Ray’s book is selling. Hopefully, I can make a decision within the next six to eight-weeks. I also have various other similar projects ‘on the back burner,’ but they will have to wait.
“Some of my inspiration and motivation comes from the world! From various events occurring which cause me to think because I need to know where I stand. It is important for me, to understand myself. To do this involves constant internal interrogation, until I can come up with a feasible rationale which supports my views.” – Colin Chappell
You can purchase Colin’s book from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Indigo, Google Play, Nook, and IBooks. Here’s another link to Colin’s page where you can find links to all book sellers noted: HERE.
9. Can You Briefly Describe Your Publishing Process? Will You Continue With the Same Process in the Future?
I researched a number of leads before publishing and just as life in general — you get what you pay for. The inexpensive route (a relative term) dictated I take responsibility for areas of publishing I knew nothing about.
If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world becausedog loversexistin every country. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’sHumane Society.
My compromise was to have a contract with FriesenPress. They provided their expertise in cover design, book layout, proofreading, overall suggestions, legalities, and ensuring Ray’s book was available to all major book retailers. Regrets? I have none, although, what I learned during this publishing process will reduce the cost of publishing my poetry book!
10. Do You Have A Particular Writing Process?
Blogging – I write from heart to keyboard, and then read, re-read, re-read, fine tuning the piece. Sometimes I will leave a post for a few hours and then read it again to get a fresh perspective. I like to plan to create ahead of time, but more often I end up creating immediately prior to posting. I will not hit the ‘Publish’ button unless I am absolutely happy with my post.
Book Writing– I use exactly the same process, especially with poetry.Reading a poem can often draw attention to a bad line or difficult rhythm. My intended book of poetry is being reviewed, although, it was completed well over six-months ago.Who Said I was up forAdoption? was completed over a nine-month period, but took an additional eighteen-months to polish well enough to publish.
“If my book was planned for purely local distribution, I would have chosen that route, but that was not my goal. I wanted to market my book to the world becausedog loversexist in everycountry. Most significantly, this book is a fundraiser for Ray’sHumane Society.” – Colin Chappell
11. Do You Prefer Certain Areas or Genres of Reading and Writing?
I have little time for reading fiction — JRR Tolkein being the exception. It’s not that I don’t enjoy fiction, but more that I want to understand more about people and the real world. I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’ poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need torelate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with fiction.
12. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers?
Write… write… write.
Be honest to yourself.
Write… write… write.
Use blogging as much as you can because there is so much support out there in the blogging world for novice writers.
Write… write… write.
If you are pleased with what you write, then what other people think of it is secondary.
Write… write… write.
If you are not pleased with what you write, you need to spend time finding why you are unhappy with it. Once you have identified the problem, you can start working on the solution — Very logical!
“I recently read a beautifully emotional ‘lost love’poem. I was devastated to learn later the poem was pure fiction! I need to relate to the writer and I feel I cannot do that with a fictional piece of writing.” – Colin Chappell
13. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Writing?
I have volunteered in numerous diverse places over the years, and every position I held was valuable education for me. It was valuable both because of the work involved and in the learning it provided me.
I support a number of charitable organizations which help people regain their self-respect and of course, I support animal rescue organizations.Life has been and still is, a wonderful education; however, one must always participate in life to see any results.
14. Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like to Follow? What Do You Like About Them?
I really do not have favorite blogs, but I do enjoy more philosophical blogs as they are thought provoking.Dog related blogs are interesting simply because I can relate to the topics presented. Any post I read that promotes a positive mental attitude maintains my attention. In a world which seems to celebrate negativity, we need as many positive vibes as possible!
15. Here is a Piece From Colin’s Blog, One of His Favorite Poetic Verse Posts:
Thanks so much to Colin for sharing with us his book, poetry, love for Ray, and his experience in life and writing. I loved discovering he both searches inside himself to find the right answers and also engages with the world to learn and discover the things he needs to know. His love of learning and passion for volunteering is something we can all aspire to.
If you would like to be featured as a writer and blogger in my bi-weekly interview series please reach-out to me on my contact page. Thanks for reading and see you in two-weeks!
The Mirror Sestet, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem that can be written in one or more stanzas of 6 lines each. The specific guidelines for this form are as follows:
The first word of line 1 rhymes with the last word of line 1.
The first word of line 2 is the last word of line 1
and the last word of line 2 is the 1st word of line 1.
The first word of line 3 rhymes with the last word of line 3.
The first word of line 4 is the last word of line 3
and the last word of line 4 is the 1st word of line 3.
The first word of line 5 rhymes with the last word of line 5.
The first word of line 6 is the last word of line 5
and the last word of line 6 is the 1st word of line 5.
The Mirror Sestet can also be written in non-rhyme.
All rules must be followed except there is no 1st and last word rhyming.
Prompt: Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.
Coldplay, “The Scientist.”
(Please go onto my blog page to see this music video if you can’t see it here.)
I was just guessing at numbers and figures, pulling the puzzles apart. Questions of science, science and progress, do not speak as loud as my heart. Tell me you love me, come back and haunt me, oh what a rush to the start. – “The Scientist.” Coldplay
If you’ve watched the music video for the song “The Scientist,” by the band Coldplay, you understand in the music video you experience the story of the ‘the scientist’ (Chris Martin’s role) in reverse. Martin the lead singer of Coldplay plays the ‘the scientist’ in the music video and begins the music video lying on a random mattress outside of a residence and he moves backwards throughout the entire day.
We see ‘the scientist’ eventually return to a scene of an accident where his girlfriend was killed. She comes back to life and we are taken back to a point where she is taking off her jacket instead of putting it on, and doing up her seat belt, instead of taking it off. Hence, we know why the girlfriend crashes through the wind shield later — no seat belt.
At the end of the music video, ‘the scientist’ and his girlfriend are a happy couple on a regular day driving. Martin sings, “I’ll take you back to the start,” at the end of each of the choruses and it’s because ‘the start,’ his time with his girlfriend before the car accident was wonderful.’The scientist’ merely wants to be with his girlfriend as before.
The second verse — the quote provided — always seemed Frankensteinish to me. The main character played by Martin alludes to himself being a scientist and is like the mad scientist in Frankenstein “guessing at numbers and figures” and “pulling the puzzles apart” trying to make time go back to a point where his girlfriend is still alive. But unlike a mad scientist, this scientist discovers “questions of science, science and progress, do no speak as loud as [his] heart.”
‘The scientist’ Martin plays, feels his love for his girlfriend and his desire to see his girlfriend is beyond the answers all scientific progress can provide him. He wants for science to help him, to make his girlfriend alive, but science doesn’t have that capability. He wants to hear is his girlfriend “tell [him she] love[s him].” ‘The scientist’ wants memories of his girlfriend to “come back and haunt him.” He wants everything to go back to the way they were before the car accident — at the beginning. It’s why he sings, “oh what a rush to the start,” at the end of this verse.
In his mind ‘the scientist’ wants the past back. He can’t have it back because that’s not how science or reality works. You can’t go back to the past except through your memories. You can only live the present and look forward to the future. Coldplay’s song “The Scientist,” speaks of ‘the scientist’s wish for his memories to be real again, to be the present, to go “back to the start” and be with his beloved. For me, “The Scientist” is a distressing song and has always touched my heart. It makes me sad thinking about ‘the scientist’s’ predicament.
What if you could return to the past and change something, would you, if science provided you with the capability? I think if nothing else, this song tells me that the whole concept of love and emotion is not scientific or not only. There is something about love and our desire to be with our loved ones, which goes beyond science and is a matter of the heart: “The heart has reasons which reason cannot understand,” as the saying goes. Listening to this song tells me even though people believe we as a society are advanced in science, we are not as advanced as we would like to believe. There are emotions and feelings science will never truly be able to explain.
New Years like Christmas, maybe gone sooner then you think. After nursing hangovers from late nights, booze, or both, the future will become clear on January 2, 2016.
We will all arise from our holiday slumber and the chocolate binging — eating the whole box; the wine and egg nog guzzling (not at the same time); the superfluous shopping; the endless company; the traditions that we practice once a year; the singing of carols and playing of Christmas music; the dressing up in party wear; playing with our new pieces of technology like they won’t be replaced by a newer version soon; and we will pack away Christmas and New Years celebrations for another year.
The Christmas tree will have no ornaments and be put away until next November; the spice and pine candles and trinkets will go away in a box; special dishes and table clothes will go into storage; and the wreaths on our doors won’t welcome anyone anymore. The house will seem bare inside and outside you’ll probably take down your Christmad lights — or turn them off at least. What could be so good about the empty feeling in the house when reality sets in. What’s so important about a New Year anyway?
I’ll tell you, it’s a chance for change, a new beginning. I’m not going to tell you to make a New Year’s resolution you can’t possibly keep. I have read that the reason people fail so much at their resolutions is due to their high standards. People aren’t setting achievable goals or do not realize that making changes takes time. It is best to break your goals down into little steps. These steps will make your goal more reachable. Keep the end goal in mind, but focus on the little steps along the way. That’s only if your heart is set on a resolution. But something is more important then your resolutions.
I think we all have to stop thinking that when we achieve some lofty goal (say lose 10 lbs) our life will change drastically. We will have all dreams come true! No, reality check. Life is here right now, there is no later without the now. I know it’s yogi talk but I think it is good advice to know: stay present and in the moment through each event of life. People will not remember you for what you said but for what you did. Be present in the lives of your children, your partner, your family, your closest friends and even your suspicious cat or crazy dog. Perhaps, if we are present we will choose where it is wiser to spend are time and with who.
Perhaps, we will stop wasting time and thinking, ‘Should I?’ And instead go, do it! Go travel, buy that expensive pair of shoes; pay off your debts; choose to not work on Sunday’s; find God in a Church; meet new people; take a course; write until your fingers hurt; publish that book; create your own job; have another kid; retire early. Live life boldly, with zest. You only live once and then we go “into the night.”
And don’t be frustrated when the things in life you want don’t come your way right away. Life takes work, everything takes work and time. You want to stick to your small goals, then be present as you make those milestones; even if you are only going out and walking around the block twice for exercise at lunch. Even if you are trying painting for the first time, pick up a brush. Book those flights to Amsterdam.
So, do I have any resolutions of my own I do? They are small goals. To only eat when I’m hungry and never until I am full. To do 10 minutes of Cardio on the bike or elliptical every week day. And to choose to do things with people rather then buy stuff. To be present.
Inspiration For Your Thoughts:
1. Forever is composed of nows. – Emily Dickinson
2.The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosvelt
3. Let everything happen to you,
Beauty and terror.
Just keep going,
No feeling is final.
– Rainer Maira Rilke
4. You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
– Henry David Thoreau
5. Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour. – Walt Whitman
6. If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that nobody is here forever. You have to live for the moment, each and every day . . . the here, the now. – Simone Elkeles