Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Next Chapter

If you regularly visit this blog, you'll notice my posts have been rather sparse of late. I think about blogging a great deal, but quite frankly, there's just not a lot more I want to say here. 

I started the Halcyon Days blog in February 2012. I was spending 10 hours each day away from home
at my workplace, yet I still posted a blog every day. One of my objectives for starting it was discipling myself to write EVERY day. 

I shared a portion of my life: my interests in cooking, gardening, reading. You came to know my dear dogs and followed the story of the cat who came to eat and stayed and gave birth to six kittens. I showed photos of family, the area where I live; told you family stories -- both recent and from days long past. You saw photos of my clothes, accessories, my hair styles and items found while shopping. You learned my position on certain current issues and came to "know" me through the blog. 

To those who have followed me on this journey I say thank you -- you have often been the highlight of my day and I feel I know you, too. The interaction through comments posted have been the highlight of the blog. I will continue to read your blogs and comment as time permits. I don't want to lose you forever. 

Having said the above, I feel it's time to move on. The stories that have been swimming and gestating in my head all these years must be written; some already have been; others are yet to come. They exist clearly but the challenge is to commit them to paper.

Time doesn't exist in our lives forever and if I don't tell my stories who will?  Is my objective to have them published? That remains to be seen but is not the reason I'm writing them. I'm doing so because I must. Even if other eyes never see them.

Are they fiction? Well, yes -- mostly at least! I'm a believer there's mostly no such thing however, unless the story presented itself in a dream. None of my stories did. Some are a part of my life, some happened to people I know, or stories told by family members and acquaintances. But fictionalized in a different place, time and circumstance. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And the guilty

Here are some working titles for a short story collection:

JoBell and Aaron -- the story of a mother and her son
The Funeral -- Joan Dell's boring summer day
The Banker Takes Charge - Or how to snag a husband
I Love My Aunt -- playing the trump card
Poppy Takes Charge -- first time driving an automobile
Moon Over Mount Hood -- A long way from home and missing chocolate pie
Tales from the Cotton Patch -- shut up and take a nap
Rodeo Queens -- all the lovelies in their chiffon formals on a dusty football field
Getting Even in a Mustang -- a triumphant local returns
Drag Racing  -- Boys just want to have fun
Meet Me at the Frosty Dip -- small-town USA in the 60s
Dark Days, Judy's Story -- I wanted my step-father to die
Through an Open Window -- they said he was a peeping tom
Mr. A and the Negligee  -- having a blast at the taxpayers expense
Mama's Story -- Tales from the Great Depression
The Lost Family -- how do such things happen?
Priscilla's Story - coming to terms with the past
Roland's Revenge -- I hate my children because they are just like me
Letters from the Front -- two brothers write home during WWII
Betty Sue's Train Case -- an overnight guest owns many delightful things

If you have read this far and your eyes aren't completely glazed over, allow me to say this is only a short list of my stories. It's always been a curiosity to me that most things that happen in life become a plot for a story. I've been doing this since I was a child. A vivid imagination? A need to right the wrongs of life? Escapism? I certainly do not know the answer. 

In the future I might post a story. If you are signed up for an email when I post you will be notified. I am not closing out the blog for that reason. 

Meanwhile, goodbye for a while. And thank you. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Word Annoyances

Credit BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/10/091008_annoying_words_wup_sl.shtml

I don't know about you, but some words and phrases are so overused I cringe when I hear them. Words that don't mean anything in the context of their usage; words that stall for time; words that indicate the speaker is uninformed on the subject at hand. Laziness, conversationally speaking. 

This is not a complete list. Other lists abound, but here are some of the expressions and utterances I hear and read that are trite and overused and personally annoy me:

Whatever - a conversation killer.

Like - a perfectly good word when used properly, as in "I like apples," but most annonying when inserted into sentences constantly, as in "I, like, drove to the mall today and, like, the traffic was, like, horrible."

You Know - same usage pattern as "like" above.

Seriously? - of course I'm serious. Why else would I say it?

At the end of the day - this is probably the one I'm most tired of. A favorite of politicians stalling for time to provide answers to questions asked of them. 

Totally - what can I say about this one?  Reminds me of bouncy teenage girls effusing about anything/everything. 

Cool - can't you think of a better response?

Awesome - see "cool" above. 

Just 'sayin - slang that was fine for a while but has become much overused. 

That's my list. I know I've failed to include many so please add your favorites in the comments below. 





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