1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, TravelWriting, TToT

TToT: Holy Humour, Creativity, and Family Guy Batman! – Cross Fading, #10Thankful #Panorama

Walking this morning through the old cemetery in Montreal, where the sun shone down, and flowers grew, and insects busied themselves about the grass and shrubbery, the gravestones stood collected and collectively silent. I observed the names carved thereupon, of generations come and gone, resting beside each other now. And I took note. All those names fading on the stones. Names from all number of nations. Names, all shuffled together on the hillside and beneath the trees. Scottish next to Italian, English and Irish next to French and Spanish, Greek side by side with Polish and German. Names of immigrants, each and every one, come here from the European continent to make and live out their short lives. Names all silent now, long gone, indifferent, forevermore in company, lying in the same ground.

Alexi Murdoch on Instagram

What is an electric blue cloud? What is red? What does an orange sky represent?

Orange Sky – Alexi Murdoch

What a crazy world we live in. I usually write about that in a segment I like to call, “In The News and On My Mind.” However, I just can’t today. I know very little about all the bigger than big factors playing all parts concerned.

What’s happening, when British MP Jo Cox is murdered last week? Venezuela is apparently in crisis. And Brexit is all over the news?

Is it really every man/country for itself now? Do we help each other out, or do we tear each other down, only look out for our own best interest? How can the world survive if we all think like that?

On the other hand, as the US has told itself many times, especially in the last fifteen or so years, one country can’t fix/rescue/control all other countries.

I just don’t know. Canada, where I live, honestly feels more and more like an island in a drowning world. We may be one of the more peaceful, quiet players, but that can’t possibly last forever either.

Canada Day is coming up next week. Perhaps I can figure more out about it all by then, to write more of my thoughts on it, but for now, here is my list of thankfuls.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For the chance to shout, through my words, to the world about the kind of man my own father is, on Father’s Day and every day.

Her Dad Gave Her New Life and Rebirth-Where’s the Father’s Day Card for That? – Good Man Project

Clever title, right?

😉

For my sister and mother and their help.

Update on my email and technology issues is that my sister and mother helped me delete many thousands of emails. I am an email hoarder. I appreciate their patience.

For fresh strawberries/a strawberry moon on the first day of summer.

I am obsessed with moons of all sorts, be they blue or red or super.

Summer solstice and it made me think of the story I wrote about strawberry moons, a few years back. May share that in spoken word format on the new podcast.

For the discovery of electric blue clouds, which I used as an image for my #1000Speak theme for June.

Electric Blue Planet – 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

For the chance to be a part of an important Kickstarter campaign, on a literary travel magazine start-up that is going to bring attention to all the perspectives of travel writing which exist and, up till now, may not have been heard.

If you love to read about travel, exploration, adventure, and place, check out the amazing work they are doing.

Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel – Kickstarter Campaign

They are working to raise a certain amount, before launching their first issue this coming September. They have a goal they hope to meet, so they can pay their writers and contributors a little something, which many places don’t do.

The debate over paying writers is ongoing and I know, like world issues, is two-sided. I just like what Panorama is trying to do.

Maybe journals like it can help stem further divisiveness between cultures, countries, human beings, in the wake of all that’s happened and is happening. Can’t hurt to try anyway. Could end up making all the difference in the world.

That Brian and I finally got our first podcast episode recorded.

Phew!

More work than I ever imagined it would be. Lovely feeling of accomplishment when we did finish though.

In the process, he taught me about “cross fades” and so much more.

It’s not only the recording, but it’s the editing too. We hope to make it sound somewhat professional, while holding onto our authentic style. Entertaining and educational at the same time.

We will be releasing it this coming week.

It’s like jumping off a cliff, metaphorically of course, but exhilarating.

For the challenge of writing new lyrics to a song my brother first wrote several years ago and of which has quickly grown very important to me.

This song is not your typical radio hit. It’s made up of several parts which are almost like their own little, individual songs, inside one longer musical framework. It’s a musical/lyrical journey.

🙂

The theme is getting lost for a decade of your life. What does that feel like? Well, I equate it with getting swept up and sent adrift on an ocean of endless uncertainty.

We just had to work to make my lyrics fit the parts of the song. It needed a melody and further arrangement. It had to be structured. I hope it comes together, just like “Don’t Look Back” came together in the end.

For the gift of colours in my life, even for a little while.

What Is Red?

Red is my favourite colour, but how to describe why and what it is to someone who has never seen it? Hmmm.

😦

My brother asked me, during the podcast, and I thought and thought and thought.

I am grateful that I ever saw orange, blue, red. I lose sight of that sometimes, as I’ve now lost colours from my life, but my brother reminds me to be grateful again.

Oh, and thanks going out to Kristi from

Finding Ninee

for having me along as a guest co-host again.

For hot June days. Hot but not humid.

Big contrast from the weather we had at the beginning of the week to the end of it.

Sure, getting into a car after being in somewhere was like entering a sauna, which I am not fond of, but at least it was a dry heat, not a humid, sticky heat.

For the chance to see Finding Dory in a comfortable chair at the movies (which is a bit of an oxymoron) and for getting to see it with family.

It’s a film about the ocean, which I love. It was my first movie theatre experience with my three-year-old nephew. It was comfortable seats and popcorn and other snacks for breakfast, as it was a children’s morning movie showing.

I also must praise the theatre, not just for their foot rests and lounge recliners, but for their excellent audio description services. I’ve had lots of problems other places, for other movies, but this time it all went smoothly.

Finding Dory was moving for me, in a few places, and I am writing a piece on why that was. Not sure where to try submitting it, but I think it’s worth highlighting.

So, I made something this week. I took a chance and went for it. The world had its moments of turmoil, but I choose to remain cautiously optimistic, for now at least.

Mercury Falling – Sting

I explain to my almost totally blind younger brother about colour and he shows me all the music I didn’t know I’d been missing.

I like the tone of “Mercury Falling” and I like the imagery of it, as sometimes it’s not so easy to feel our world is headed in the right direction, but even winter and lower temperatures aren’t all bad.

“I was free with every road as my home. No limitations and no commitments. But then summer passed and winter came and I fell short for safety. I fell for its spell, slowly humming me to sleep, because I was tired and small, too weak to take or handle those opinions and views, attacking me from every angle. Against my art, against my self, against my very way of living. I collected my thoughts, my few possessions and built isolated walls around my values and character. I protected my own definition of beauty and success like a treasure at the bottom of the sea, for no one saw what I saw, or felt the same as I did, and so I wanted to keep to myself.

― Charlotte Eriksson, Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving

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Fiction Friday, Special Occasions

Triskaidekaphobia

Her dress and the Strawberry Moon.

She was having bad luck anyway, so what could one day do to hurt her? Friday the 13th was a big deal in Port Dover, motorbikes from all over congregated here on every Friday the thirteenth. She was drawn here, against her better judgement.

The noise and the roar were all around her as she made her way through the throngs of bikes and bikers. It was strange how this little place by the lake drew all this. Her red dress stood out against her surroundings. It felt like a fitting outfit with today’s Strawberry or Rose Moon.

This particular June Friday was a decent temperature. It had been hotter on other Friday the 13th motorcycle rallies. This was, however, a rare day because, not only was it Friday the 13th, but it was a full moon, a Strawberry Moon which astronomers could say more about than any of these bikers; they weren’t here to look at the moon. It meant the beginning of strawberry season, the approaching summer solstice or some such thing.

All this chrome and leather and she didn’t know what she was doing here. This was the last day she would choose to be at a lovely little spot like Port Dover. She liked the beach and the quaint atmosphere of this Lake Erie tourist town, but she couldn’t even here herself think now. She hated these bloody things. They were loud and irritating and dangerous, as far as she was concerned.

Her Triskaidekaphobia had gotten worse as she grew older. She had a strange connection to the number thirteen and yet she feared it, for reasons she did not quite understand.

Hotels and apartment buildings left that floor number out. Why did they do that? She always wondered, since childhood. It was just a number, after all, but her luck had been bad on every Friday the thirteenth she could remember. Sure, people said it was only a number and luck had nothing to do with it, good or bad, but they hadn’t been in her shoes. So why was she here now?

The noise kept her from having to think too much about her life and, on a day like this, she needed that. She came to immerse herself in this strange social experiment and to see what all the fuss was about.

The roar of motorbikes surrounded her from every angle and caused a pounding in her head. The headache was a throbbing in her ears, but these bikers seemed to be oblivious to any of that.

One particular biker stood against his parked bike and stared at her. Was it her red dress or her obvious look of discomfort? He seemed keenly interested in watching her there, how she didn’t seem to belong in this place, but here she was all the same.

He spotted her in the crowd. The red of her dress jumped out at him from amongst the sea of bikes. He had traveled around Lake Erie with a group of friends, who had wanted to make the trip for a long while. This was something you definitely had to witness in person to understand what the excitement truly was all about.

“What brings you here?” He walked away from his friends and up to the girl in the red dress without really thinking about it.

“What was that?” She said in a raised voice, to try and be heard over all the racket. It was nearly impossible. How did anyone have any kind of conversation in this environment?

He grabbed her hand and led her some distance away, hoping to escape the bikes for just a moment.

She felt his hand and flinched at the touch, but only resisted for a few seconds, then allowed him to walk her away from the din.

***

The full moon seemed so close, like it was just on the horizon. It seemed shaped differently than normal. This moon only became full on Friday the thirteenth on rare occasions, unlikely that either of them would ever be here for it again.

Was this a dream? The sound of the thousands of bikes was gone, replaced by an erie stillness, all the stranger because he had spent the last several days riding his bike and with his friends and their bikes. He was clearly used to the noise they made. This quiet felt odd to him now, but the girl in the red dress walking along the lake next to him did not.

Now the lake seemed to fall under a strange glow from the full moon and the shore seemed to go on forever. A full moon had an effect on the water of the planet and human beings are made up of mostly water. It felt like the waters of Lake Erie were pulling on them both. Had those predicted solar flares and all that had ever been said about the full moon really cause problems for people? He couldn’t remember having had better luck than this, to have spotted her in red.

She had come here to face something, to let go of something. She had always hated motorcycles. They were loud and obnoxious things and nobody would have expected her to come to this place on this day. Now the full moon made the face of the guy walking beside her look warm in the glow. All the noise from earlier forgotten, the crowd had evaporated and she couldn’t explain how or where everyone went. Maybe her bad luck was changing.

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