“Now I’ve done my A to Zs.” (Sung to the tune of Now I know my ABC’s).
“There is something magical in seeing what you can do, what texture and tone and colour you can produce merely with a pen point and a bottle of ink.” Ida Rentoul Outhwaite
Monday 30th April was the last day of our A to Z April Challenge and honestly I’m a little sad to have come to the end. Granted I did cheat a little, by back dating a few of the letters, but I’m cutting myself a little slack as I had only just stumbled across the A to Z Challenge one day before we were due to upload our first post. I played around with a few ideas for a theme and finally a close friend suggested Colour. It was perfect, and very much, me.
Colour has always been a major part of my life. I am forever in awe of the colours I see around me, especially in nature. I’m fascinated by the effect colour has on my emotions, and even now as I write this post I keep glancing out the kitchen window, drawn to the cerulean blue sky, lime green palm trees with golden yellow coconuts, and the bougainvillea bushes with crimson, fuchsia and magenta flowers. It’s a brilliant morning!
I’m very happy I decided to take up the A to Z Challenge. This was my first writing challenge of any sort and I signed up to push myself to be more disciplined, dedicated to writing often and to flex my writing muscles so to speak. Using my theme of Colour, I decided not to limit my imagination to posts about the colours themselves, but instead use the colour names for inspiration.
What I’ve actually learned is that somewhere deep down inside of me, burns a desire for storytelling, not just to relate my own experiences but to imagine and create new characters with their own tales to tell. I found myself experimenting with children’s stories for my little nephew, with poetry, and with ideas for an epic. Imagine that!
It’s very exciting actually and I’m a little humbled by what can only be seen as a gift for me. A little window is now open in my heart through which I see a creative confidence I didn’t realize was there. The future is open in terms of what I’ll do with all this ‘stuff’ that seems to want to jump out of me and onto the page (laptop?), but for now I’m just enjoying the warmth and spontaneity of the process and its possibilities.
Thanks very much to Arlee Bird and the rest of the A to Z April Challenge developers for your advice and encouragement. It’s a great project and I am looking forward to next year’s Challenge. Thanks to all of my fellow bloggers who visited, commented and enjoyed my posts enough to Follow my blog. I look forward to keeping in touch with as much of you as possible. I wish you all an ever-lit fiery red creative spark, a brilliantly colourful imagination and a steady pen, fast and sure. A very special thank you to those dear to my heart who continue to support, encourage and inspire me. You know who you are.
My friends, I’ll see you around the blogosphere!
Zucchini The Great was the star of Caesar’s Veggie Circus and he was very vain about that. Every night before the show he would sit in front of his mirror primping and preening, telling himself he was greater than all the other acts in the circus.
“You are so much more talented than Bok Choy and Pak Choi, those Chinese acrobats.” He said out loud to his reflection as he twirled his moustache. “Anyone can tumble across the floor. And there is nothing special about Asparagus, throwing knives at a board. Pfft. Useless talent really.”
Someone knocked on his door, “Five minutes Mr. Zucchini!” It was Jalapeno, the fire breather. Zucchini the Great grunted. “Now there is a useless talent: fire breathing, Jalapeno would be better off being our fry cook.”
Zucchini the Great stood up and puffed up his chest. “Yes, I am really beautiful and the best one here. Now it’s time for the show to really start.” He made his way to the circus tent and stood waiting at the entrance, watching those two clowns, Carrot Top and Sasquash. “Do they really think anyone came to the circus to see them?” he muttered under his breath.
The night was a success, and Zucchini the Great learned a valuable lesson. Even if he fell again one day, he knew he’d have the support of his friends to get back up. After all, every vegetable deserves a second chance.
I’m out on our back patio watching the inviting blue of our swimming pool ripple gently in the Saturday afternoon breeze. My sister sits at the table beside me, blending tortillon in hand, putting the final touches on her new baby’s first pencil portrait, and we share a bottle of wine. Two slices of yellow fin tuna thaw in the kitchen in preparation for our seared tuna, baby spinach and portobella mushroom evening meal. It is a beautiful afternoon, sitting here listening to the leaves of the palm trees whisper to twittering and chirping birds. Life seems perfect, and full of promise.
“Yellow is the colour of sunshine. Van Gogh said that.” my sister replies when I remark on the seemingly perfect pairing of her bottle of yellow tail shiraz and my yellow fin tuna.
Somewhere Towards The End by Diana Athill lays open on the chair next to me and I am just about to begin her chapter on books and writing. I am enjoying this book which makes me think alot about my mother and my grandmother, even though I see more similarities between myself and Ms. Athill. Her book has sparked in me a need to paint, to draw, to grow flowers and to write. Above all to write.
Here’s to evenings such as this one, surrounded by loved ones and fueled by the creative energy of others.
Do you remember white Chiclets gum? My eldest aunt once told me story about white Chiclets.This is what she said:
“It must’ve been the early 1950s when one day our Uncle came to visit us. He gave my eldest brother $1.00 to buy candy and share amongst my eight brothers and sisters. Most of us were too little to cross the busy street to the candy shop, so my eldest brother went.
“He bought a pack of Chiclets and while opening it on his walk home, one fell out of the pack onto the street. My brother did not know that one of our younger sisters had followed him to the shop, and was walking behind him as he made his way across the street. She saw the Chiclet on the street, stopped, picked it up and put it into her mouth and then tried to run after her brother. But she was hit by a car which knocked her to the side of the road in front of the shoemaker’s house. He picked her up and brought her into our garage.
“Hearing a commotion everyone came out and saw it was my sister. She was crying, wet, and all covered with mud, and Mom told me to go and wash her off. As I did that I spotted bits of the white Chiclet gum in her mouth and yelled “Her teeth are all broken!” Mom came running to see and my sister cried even harder at the thought.
“Soon after, Papa came home and took my sister to the Medical Clinic. She was ok, only badly bruised with some pain where she was hit. She had to stay in bed for a few days. Every day when Papa came home from work he would bring her a pack of white Chiclets. He would say to her: “You almost got killed for one of these Chiclets, now you can have a full pack.” “
It’s been an umberlievable morning and it’s only 7:30! From my bedroom window the pool looked so inviting and perfect for an early swim. I threw on my suit and ran to the edge of the pool, only to be greeted by HIM:
He seemed as startled as I was, probably because of my surprised yelp. Or maybe he was annoyed that I was interrupting his early morning swim. Now what to do? Ooh get my camera of course. Gorgeous colours on him, even though he was a toad. Ochre, gray, umber and brown. He blinked as I snapped. Poor guy. It was time to fish him out.
Feeling a lot like a high jumper holding a long pole, I tried to use the pool broom but he clambered over it, blew bubbles out of his nose and sank to the bottom of the pool. Interesting. I’d never really seen toads in their natural …. er human habitat. I picked up the pool net watching him froggy-kick up to surface, scooped him up easily enough and tossed him toward the grass. He landed with a soft plop and laid low, watching me. Can you believe the ungrateful guy hopped into hiding when he saw me pick up my camera?
Needless to say the pool didn’t seem so inviting anymore. I sat at the little patio table having a cup of tea and reading when very suddenly the rain came, making pretty rings in the pool. I was thinking about how sudden and heavy the rain was when a huge dragonfly whizzed by. He darted this way and that, around my table, hovered over the pool, then zoomed off to my right and straight into the pvc downpipe with a solid ‘thonk’. I walked over to investigate. He lay flat on his back, stunned, with his wings twitching and his little legs doing a bicycle action in the air. The silly thing was getting his wings soaked in the rain. I used a cardboard coaster to lift him out of the rain to a dry place where he could recover.
He really was beautiful. Shimmering wings the colour of burnt umber glistening with tiny droplets of rain, and a superb crash helmet. Hopefully he wouldn’t die from that head on collision. I waited. With a few more twitches he was back in action! He circled me twice and I ducked just in case he was still uncoordinated, then he made a bee line for the pvc guttering again. Thonk! (I’m pretty sure there was a bee laughing somewhere.) The thonk wasn’t as loud as the first one and perhaps just disoriented him as he dipped and banked but didn’t fall. He righted himself, whizzed by again them zoomed away over the lawn. Perhaps he was just old and near sighted. It certainly seemed like odd behaviour for a dragonfly.
I wonder who else I’ll be rescuing today.