Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mini Ninjas...
...Crossing the Delaware?

I've been enjoying beginning my day with a blog post.  But what to write?  That's why I begin the blog with a photo - pick one that attracts me that day and riff off it.  I have hundreds of photos, which means hundreds of writing prompts....  So here goes: fingers to keyboard, twelve or so minutes straight, as I attempt to find a story from the outrageous photo above.  A warm-up to my real writing this morning: editing and revising my spec feature, TOPPLE.

"Tumble"  by dana

They stand on the benches in the boat to keep their pajama feet dry.  "I wanted to be first!" cries Lilac Ninja.

"At least you're not last!" whines Pasty Ninja.

"Shut-up both of you!" orders Orange Ninja.  "I won fair and square.  Rock smashes scissors."

"You said he'd choose paper," Pasty Ninja  complains to Lilac Ninja.  "He always chooses paper, you said."

"Well, I was wrong."

"But you said--"

"Shut up!  I said I was wrong.  If you want an apology too you'll have to wait a long time."

"How long?"

"Oh, do be quiet both of you!" sneers Orange Ninja.

"The power's gone to his head.  I knew it would," says Pasty Ninja.  "With ultimate power comes ultimate...uh, something."

"Oh, oh," says Orange Ninja.  "I hear something."

"Rapidly approaching," adds Lilac Ninja.

"You mean--?" Pasty Ninja infers as the trio falls silent, listening with dread to the doom before them.  "Is it the end?"

"Maybe it's just the beginning," guesses Lilac Ninja.

"Of a fantabulous adventure," mocks Orange Ninja.

"Who says fantabulous anymore?" asks Pasty Ninja.

"I do," says Orange Ninja.  "Didn't you hear me?"

"I can't hear anything over the roar!" shouts Pasty Ninja.

And as their boat drifts with the current of the mighty Niagara, taking them tumbling head over feet, over boat, over rocks, through water and spray, we leave our whiny Ninja warrior would-bes to fend for themselves.  Maybe we'll check back tomorrow.  

Or not.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

They're coming!
The daylilies look like clumps of corn as they pop through the cold earth.  It's always a miracle to me they reappear each year.  Hardy beautiful little bastards. :)

And that's going to have to be my post for today.  Spent what might have been my few minutes blogging instead editing my screenplay TOPPLE.  Am on deadline mode now, as May 1 rapidly approaches - the deadline for the Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting.  

Never stop dreaming.  Who knows? One year I might be as lucky as my flowered friends and finally find my blossom....  Oy.  But not today.  Too much reaching for springtime metaphors.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Please be Patient...
...Beginner everything & anything.

Wouldn't it be sweet if we all would just give each other a break?  I don't mean friends, because most of us do that already (or else we wouldn't call each other friend, would we?).  But I do mean family and neighbors and strangers.

Last weekend at Skid School Advanced Driver Training for Teens with our daughter we heard from one instructor who suggested that the next time someone cuts us off, instead of growing enraged, we should give them a break.  Think about the millions of reasons why that person cut you off - she was late, he didn't see you till he was already in his turn, she's driving to the police station to pick up her son, he's driving to the nursing home to see his mother who the nurses have just proclaimed on her last breath, there's a toddler screaming in the back seat driving the driver to distraction, she's craving chocolate frozen yogurt and the local grocers closes in five minutes, or -- yeah -- he might just be a jerk.  But really, how many true jerks are there in our world?

So when I saw this magnet, I pounced: I wanted to let other drivers know that the reason my car was doing the speed limit or -- heaven forbid -- five miles below it was because my new driver was becoming familiar with the vehicle and the road and the rules and all the split second decisions that are or might come into play.  And it worked, till it disappeared from our bumper.  Now I'll need to take a picture of the outrageous new magnet I had custom made - but that will have to be an add on since I am running the risk of arriving late to class today.  And I certainly don't want to speed in order to avoid that (do I, Skid School Instructors?!).

A funny aside: when the magnet above first arrived, my daughter and I placed it on my husband's bumper just before he drove to Brattleboro, VT, to meet up with a buddy of his.  He didn't notice till he walked to the parking lot to return home.  He had wondered why tailgaters suddenly dropped back off his bumper on the trip there.

Patience please.  I'm new at this patience stuff myself.  Just ask my family. Or my students. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Prompt Writing....
What a memorable weekend!

Saturday was spent at the beautiful Derryfield School Campus in Manchester, NH, attending Writers' Day sponsored by the NH Writers' Project.  While I caught up with friends and colleagues, laughed a ton, and even managed to write a few pages to compelling writing prompts, I also emerged victorious in the second annual NH Literary Idol Competition with my micro-fiction piece, "Make-Up."

I learned a ton from writers Joni Cole, James Patrick Kelly, and fellow Hennikerian Joseph Hurka.  And I was reminded that I should blog daily, which given my new state of affairs may be complicated, but seems a laudable goal.

On Sunday my husband and I took our daughter to the Lovering Family Foundation's Safe Teen Driver Program/Skid School run by Stevens Advanced Driver Training out of Bedford, NH.  In five hours she was able to climb behind the wheel several times as she accelerated to over 60 mph, slammed on the brakes before she crashed into the "wall of fire" (actually several traffic cones lined up to simulate the flames), slalomed through five traffic cones at 35 mph, learned to change lanes quickly and safely to avoid a deer--or a horrific driver, and participated in the tailgating crash exercise that taught us all a ton about our driving habits.  It was remarkable!  This week I'll return with my son, if I can drag him there....

I even managed to get a spot of spring gardening in: expanding one garden, weeding all but two of our other ones, and on Friday I dug up the sod for an all new garden that we'll plant once the threat of frost is past.  (We actually awoke to it today--oy!)

Before I return to a day of class preps, grading papers, getting medical records forwarded for our son (my new full-time job - but more on that in future blogs!), contacting our latest local celebrity who volunteered to help with the Oct. 17th reading of "Speak Truth to Power" for Jayme's Fund (more on that too once we're ready to reveal our incredibly talented all-star cast!), and other items on my to-do list, I want to give a shout-out to Brendan Callahan who is running in today's Boston Marathon for Team Fox and for his mom.  Apparently you can actually follow Brendan's progress on-line; his bib number is 25995 (out of 26000 runners).  He'll be taking off when the front of the pack has passed the one-third mark!  Good luck to him, his team, and his family - and to ALL the incredible marathoners today!

Run the good race, All.  I'll try to be here again tomorrow.  Cheers!