Thursday, September 24, 2015

Light and shadow

My friend and I abandoned an awesome art show for a few hours on Sunday to go play at Edwards Gardens.  It's not exactly Central Park but it is an oasis in the city.  We were a tad disappointed that so many other people felt the same way.  We had a creepy photo shoot in mind.  Not exactly something you can do without an explanation - or a plethora of horrified looks.

Exhibit A

There's a nice little gazebo. Dark and spider filled, it suited our needs nicely. We took a couple shots but the headless one is my favourite.  I think it was helped by the bulky white sweater I was wearing. It tricked the camera's aperature. Yay!

Exhibit B

I love shadows and all the wonderful things you can do with them. I particularly enjoyed the irony of using lush green grass as our back drop.  I call it Norman Bates meets Whistler's Mother.  The purse over my shoulder changed my shape so that I looked considerably older and wider than normal.  Still, I like it.

Exhibit C

Hmmm, I don't seem to have any photos of the tree that fascinated me with the way the leaves and light played together.  I do have one dark photo of me watching it all.I'm in shadow and holding my hair out of my eyes so I can see better.  Check out the creepy shadow on my arm. The tree is eating me!

In the end I decided against the committment it would require to lie at the bottom of the broken stairs beneath the police tape.  Besides, I prefer to throw the bodies down there, not be one myself.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I had a good conversation on Twitter about writer's inspiration.  I realized that I'm drawn towards horror stories in the Autumn. The obvious correlation to Halloween isn't the only reason. Most of it comes from the scent of decay in the air.  Leaves turn to mould, apples rot on the ground, the by-product of wine grapes presses down on the air with its sour notes.  Mildew permeates everything.

It's also the time of Fall fairs with their carnivals and clowns.  "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."  I always associated that quote with Road Dahl and Ray Bradbury because they had such wicked observations of the nature of man.  I missed out on MacBeth by moving to another province midway through high school.

Yet, Autumn is my favourite season. The smell of wood smoke riding the cool breeze reminds me of Hansel and Gretel. Cotton candy and taffy apples or even apple cider to fill the blood with the sugar rush that makes me feel invincible, daring, confident I'll return unscathed from the dark basement.

It's the time of year when rats scurry from lodging to lodging for the perfect damp place to hide out the winter months.  Squirrels throw the empty walnut shells from the tree.  My yard is littered with the remnants of their gorging feasts. Claw marks decorate the outer blocks of our foundation.

Yet, I love it all. I love the smells, the colours of leaves as they age then float to the ground. I love the myriad textures of the ground as it cools and retains moisture.  Holes appear where before there was solid ground.  The rat-a-tat pop of shells hitting the deck and the angry chatter of squirrels squabbling over the late harvest.  So many flavours dance upon my tongue; pumpkin, peach, wine, fresh corn, squash, rich dark concord grapes.  Autumn is a feast for the senses.

Fear underscores it all. Fear that there won't be enough food. That we're aging faster than we like. That the ground will flood. That the crops won't return next spring.  That there are things waiting in the dark more terrifying than we can imagine.

We like the fear because it shows we care.  We are attached to the return of all we need.  And we believe it all will.  It always has.

There's no reason to think it won't again.

But we enjoy the thrill of fear, regardless.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Safety platform

Last week, I went back to the literal train bridge.  I took a break from writing, work, and other commitments. It was hard not to think of my last post.  I educated my friend about those safety platforms and we decided they would be very useful to have in all aspects of our life.

I don't like to quit. Diets are the only thing I truly abandon and even those get revisited on occasion. I do often switch up one activity for another when I'm frustrated over the lack of progress.  More often than not the progress is held up by my preconceived notions.

I'm about to start a fourth book in the previously mis-named trilogy.  My heroine has amazing conflict and arc. The hero is pretty cool but his conflict and arc are so minor in comparison. I'm trying to decide if that can be twisted to maximum advantage (how can he possibly understand her if he can't relate?) or if I should gut him somehow.

I have retreated to the safety platform, in this case creating a wedding gift, while I ponder which train to follow.  Outrunning them seems unnecessary when I can take my time and see where they're headed instead.

Which train would you follow?

PS - I feel a bit like Sheldon Cooper and his obsession with trains