|This is a Weekly Coffee Share hosted by Eclectic Alli.
Alli manages a weekly list of posts from a small group of bloggers who want to just stay in touch, chat about blogging, writing, travel, photography, children, pets, work, life hacks or just about anything else that might be of interest.
|Link to Last week’s list||Link to This week’s list|
|Link to my Story Blog. Come share a laugh with me.|
So — what do you think of our new coffee joint. It has everything we need: good drinks, great snacks, good friends and plenty of comfy seating that feels safe, warm and inviting, but it suffers some from a common human weakness — it’s new and unfamiliar. Today, I’m not sure that “unfamiliar” is a good thing, because I want to set a tone of comfort, safety, and inner refreshment, and it’s hard to do that when the couch fabric and wall tapestries are all new.
So, I stopped by earlier to figure out where things are and make sure this virtual meeting spot has everything we’ve come to depend on. It does. The coffee is fresh and someone kind person has laid out all the sweeteners and creamers we commonly use. The restrooms are very clean and are right down the hallway. We will still have to stir or add wood occasionally to the fire because it is not one of those soul-less gas flame units, but is the real thing with the wood bin next to the brass poker.
With the smell of fresh cinnamon scones in the air, fresh coffee and snacks nearby, fresh apples and bananas on the counter and a virtual tab for all of this that I set up so we can just help ourselves – and good friends around the coffee table – I think we have everything we need for a great visit. Oh, and I almost forgot, for those of you who are tired of the snow, that built-in shelf next to the fire place must be picking up some heat from the fire because all those quilts are warm. Would you enjoy a warm quilt with your coffee? Pick a color and I’ll grab it for you.
“Okay — let’s do this,” Gary said as he settled back into a corner of the couch. “Ah. I’m going to need this coffee and/or brisk conversation to stay awake in this coach. This is really comfy.”
Last week I described the plum tree in out back yard and Maria asked for photos. Maria rarely asks for anything so I’m keen on delivering. Here’s a close up and wider shot. It’s a good thing she asked when she did because the next morning after I took these shots we had a strong wind and rain gush that knocked most of the blossoms off. You can see that it is still a younger tree, but the fruit it does produce doesn’t last long around our home.
As a nice postscript to how spring has arrived to northern California, even more alligator lizards have come out from behind the herb garden to play on on the sunny bricks, but this new generation doesn’t want me or my camera too close so we’re stuck with this free-use Google shot.
These guys are only about 4-6 inches long from nose to tail-tip, really playful to watch (from a distance of at least 10 feet) and are always welcome. We have a small patch of ivy beside our front walk and on Tuesday, I was leaving to run some errands and almost stepped on a huge lizard I thought had moved on. This guy lives somewhere in this ivy, is just over a foot long and frankly does not look or act as playful or inviting as his much small peers in the back yard.
Last weekend, Beaton had me laughing with his coffee share that gave us a quick tour of how to become an internet troll. I’ve named such narratives, “Rhetorical Tutorials”, and Beaton got me thinking if there might be a fun theme here, creating instructional essays about things you would never really want to do.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve wanted to write entertaining essays for decades, and Beaton’s piece reminded me of one I wrote in high school titled, “The How-to-do-it-almost-all-by-yourself Zit Removing Manual”. I thought it was hysterical because we were all struggling with zits, AKA acne or pimples. One friend in particular was suffering badly and among us, he was the most keen on getting a girl friend and so was overly interested in any method that might vanquish these horrid blemishes. He inspired me to put pen to paper and I produced a 6-page hand written manual with about 8 screwy ways to deal with the problem.
I took it to church with me the first Sunday after it was done and shared it with 4 of my best friends. We had a great laugh. The next day, Monday, I took it to school with me and by my 2nd period class, had shared it with another 3 friends, again resulting in laughter all around. In my 3rd period, Electronics, class, I picked up one more. When I got to my next class, I reached into my pack to share it with my zit-afflicted friend and — horrors! It was gone. I must have left it in my previous class. I ran back to recover it, but no joy. It really was gone. My teacher knew nothing about it and had to get going on his next class. “I’ll keep an eye out for it Gary.”
I left despondent, because I doubted I would ever see it again, and I was right. Whether it made it to the trash or someone to this day pulls it out to show his or her friends in the retirement home what they studied in high school in the good old days – I’ll likely never learn – but it was both, really funny and a painful loss.
I learned that I had the potential to be a writer in high school. I had put together a story of a conflicted romance between a young man in his first job out of school and two different women. One gal who shared many of his interests was just fun to be with, while the other was more edgy and frisky, leaving this guy struggling between his deeper friendship-based relationship and his hormones. I had a couple of chapters drafted and an outline for the rest of the story, when we started a new quarter where I began a creative writing class. On a whim, I brought my draft to class the first day and after we were dismissed I went up to talk with the teacher about whether she might help me finish the story. Her eyes lit up as she read my sample and when she was finished, she put it all down on her desk and said, “I have a better idea Mr. Wilson. I’ll exempt you from all the assignments for this class so you can work on this story. If you finish it by the end of class, I’ll give you an “A”.
Wow! I was excited and I had bi-weekly feedback from my teacher about each chapter. I worked like mad making the story line hold together and typing up each chapter. To this day, I recall one later night when I was trying to get a chapter ready to submit and in the middle of a typed page was a line that I wanted to ready, “… he stopped for a couple of beers.” I had fat-fingered the last word making the sentence read, “… he stopped for a couple of beets.” I laughed for the next 10-15 minutes until I realized that I had to retype the whole page. Ugh. Painful were the days before white-out liquid paper.
My teacher and I even got into the makings of a real argument over the story line where I included a rape scene. My protagonist stepped in to stop the rape and the victim responded in a way my teacher did not agree with. I loved this teacher. She made me make my story much more real. I’ve gone back and read it again and ugh – it’s classic bad high school level writing, but she gave me that “A” and I was hooked.
How about you all? How did you get started writing?
I’m looking forward to reading your coffee share for the week. Thanks for stopping by.