August 21, 2015 – Small celebrations: Stars, Poetry and Roses

This is the Celebrating the Small Things blog hop, run by Lexa Cain and her two wonderful co-hosts L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge and Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits.

So, what am I celebrating? 

Just pretty things.  I tend to be very visual, and things that make me look and smile

I thought I’d celebrate some beautiful things that, to me, come together.  The first is the last half of the last stanza of Ralph Hodgson’s The Song of Honour, which is nearly my favorite poem of all time.  The other is an image that somehow fits with it.

I stood and stared; the sky was lit,

The sky was stars all over it,
I stood, I knew not why,
Without a wish, without a will,
I stood upon that silent hill
And stared into the sky until
My eyes were blind with stars and still
I stared into the sky.
Design by Toni Ig
And, of course, Roses, like Paris, are always a good idea.

A bouquet of roses brightens a rainy day at Jardins, Jardin Aux Tuileries, annual Paris garden show. © Sheron Long
Paris Flower show at the Jardins des Tuileries. Photo © Sheron Long

What are you celebrating?  

Celebrate May 30, 2014

It is time to celebrate again (wonderful how celebrations come on each others’ heels, isn’t it!).  This lovely Blog Hop is the idea of Vikki at VikLit.  The hop is still open if you want to join, and there are lovely people involved in posting, remembering, celebrating and being just generally awesome – rather like yourself, don’t you think?

The information on the hop is below.  Why don’t you join?  Or, at least, visit the various posts and smile.

Today I am celebrating the fact that the weekend is coming, thatI may actually get some writing done, and I can sleep in tomorrow.

I am at that frustrating and yet delicious stage in a manuscript where I am, as I say, ‘filling in holes’ and also polishing.

The story is set, the plot twists, which seem to come of their own accord, are in place, and I can start pruning my notes to myself, which I have in situ to remind me where things are going and items I need to remember, such as the fact that the character in the scene met the deceased during a riot where she found him injured and nursed him back to health.

Now I’m adjusting the flow, muttering to myself, and wondering if my editor will mind if I send him a ‘rough-finished draft’ and deciding that since I’m paying him (and her and her), they shouldn’t.

My story is set in Paris, and remembering the time I spent there is something to celebrate.  I went during a time of uncertainty, where my job was going away and I didn’t have another lined up.  But it was research for this story that I am finishing (part of a trilogy) and I decided that I was, for once, going to go with my heart.

Peach Rose

It was a wonderful trip. I went alone, took scads of photos, walked all over the place, had an encounter with Michael the Archangel (hint: he’s the patron saint of Police officers – I’ll post about the experience this weekend), and among other things encountered two beautiful roses in the flower market near Notre Dame.

I went there most mornings, and brought back flowers for my hotel room.  These were the loveliest:

A New Rose (for me)

I had never seen a peach rose.  The edges of the petals were lacy, and there was such a sweet, rich scent, too.  It perfumed my hotel room for days.

I had never seen a rose like this one.  Deep, velvety red on the inner part of each petal, almost pure white outside.  And unlike most roses of this shape, it, too, had a wonderful scent.  I did not see another like it for years.

We’ll always have Notre Dame…

Going there by myself, doing my research, staring in awe at the inside of La Sainte Chappelle, strolling through les Jardins des Tuileries, biting off a swear word as the hotel’s toaster hurled my toast through the air and onto the floor – all were the foundations of a wonderful trove of memories that I can savor as I write about Paris in my WIP that will (God willing!) come out in December.

It’s all worth celebrating.

So what are you celebrating?  (I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s this evening…)

Celebrating the Small Things – December 20, 2013

It is Friday again, and a time to stop and take stock of the small things we celebrate, often unknowingly.  Thanks to VikLit, who had the idea for this wonderful bl0g hop, we can remind ourselves of the beautiful things in life that make our days just that much more lovely.  You’re welcome to join – head on over to her blog!

Details are at the end of this post.

I remember, years ago, the first time I bought a condolence card for someone.  I write notes now, of course, but I was in 9th grade then (age 13 for non-USA folk) and I wanted to express to someone my regret at her father’s death.  The card showed white roses and it said ‘God gave us memory so that we could enjoy roses in winter’.

Roses in Winter

It was a nice sentiment and a pretty picture.  At that point I had all my grandparents, both my parents, and had never attended a funeral.

The card was well-received.  And it was true.

Memory allows us to enjoy roses on a snowy day.

I realized this anew over the past week.  Memories of happy times, of good parents, of laughter and caring and some scolding – all came back to me.  And (for those who read Proust) I didn’t have to dip a madeleine in my tea…

I was bored, recently, and found myself remembering travels, books, conversations with friends.  In some cases they were better the second (or twelfth) time around.

Relax – it’s just meatloaf with an onion at the ‘wrist’

What would we do without memory?  How would we know where to go?  How would we equip ourselves for each day’s endeavors?  savor a wonderful meal we enjoyed with others? Or avoid the wretched meatloaf served by the corner restaurant?

We wouldn’t even be able to sing along with our favorite songs on the radio.  For our passengers in the car, that might actually be a blessing.

So I am celebrating memory.

(And I am remembering that today is a Friday!  I hope you all have wonderful weekends.)