Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pumpkins Galore

The Dallas Arboretum is like a fairytale this time of year. The pumpkin could turn into Cinderella's coach. I'm going to let the pictures stand for themselves. It's magical. It's fabulous and an absolute gem of a venue.
I was born in October. Fall colors. Pumpkins. The splash of oranges and crimsons speak to me. The mums are going to burst here in a week or two. The colors are shloshing in my brain. I feel a poem coming on....

October Heat

October, burning leaves
it’s in my memory, inhale,
nose tingles
deep in my blood,
burnt leaf smoke oozes from my pores
airy wisps of ash encircle my head
seeps into my hair.
erie figures drifted in and out of the haze,
rakes in hand
swooshing crimson, orange, and yellow leaves

today, October in the South
air-conditioner whir kicks on at six
wheezes to a halt late evening.
dollars fly about the room
distilling humidity, cooling tepid air,
I sweat.

step on crunchy grass
wind chimes still
flags slacken, droopily oppressed
scurry back indoors
soul compresses

yearn for fire reds, golden, and deep oranges
brown, drab leaves herald fall this year.
it can’t be October.
pumpkins will explode in this heat,
melt into a pumpkin pie
not glow with Halloween candles.

thanks for indulging me. Isn't this gorgeous? Go now -enjoy Autumn at the Arboretum.

Yep - bobbing for cool is this?
Fall Fever!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fall Take Away

First day of fall, and I've been back a week from PA. I escaped in time. These lovely green leaves on the 90 plus feet tall oak trees will slowly turn colors and then drop like crazy. Layers of crimson and gold. Tons of crunchy acorns. All underfoot awaiting a rake.
Browsing through a copy of Traditional Home (October 2009), a quote caught my eye courtesy of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery. "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing to take away."

Definitely true words when editing a story or plucking at a poem. Or for my father, when the last leaf drifts from the tree, is raked up, and snow blankets the bare limbs.
FYI- upon perusing the magazine, the color green is IN. Plus coax quiet rooms to speak up with color. That could also be said of many paragraphs I wrote this morning. Back to the drawing board.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Perfectly Good

Here's a sculpture in downtown Philly symbolizing struggle.
Cool ceiling in the Masonic Temple, a place that embodies learning, questioning, and skepticism.

Huge monopoly pieces as art - guess you never know when the dominos will fall. I read an obituary on a Mr. John Elson (see Time Magazine 9/21/09). He was a writer and editor for Time and I was struck by a few quotes. " He once said the process of editing was the opposite of jurisprudence. Every writer was guilty until proved innocent."

As I sat on my father's inviting front porch, I read Mr. Elson's advice to writers, " Never let the search for the perfect get in the way of the perfectly good."

But when in doubt, go to the library. The North Wales Library was my retreat, my haven, and a harbor of excellent childhood memories. It's going upscale in 2010 - new digs, new computerization. Good for them, but I'll miss the old card system where I could see my name on the list inside a book. Aah, perfect memories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Symbols and Such - Philly Style

Open the door to the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, now giving tours. It's an amazing building and the membership included Ben Franklin and George Washington. Frankly, you don't get clear answers to your questions about the Freemasons. Nonetheless, they definitely admire education, hard work, and architecture.
A glimpse into design for the ages. Gasp

I love stained glass and this is glorious.

The temple is quite impressive. I'm writing this to salute Dan Brown's new book The Lost Symbol. Apparently he is saving the world of publishing. After The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, the man can write his own ticket. The Masonic Temple in Philly, long closed to public viewing, is open to tours and willing to expose itself to interest thanks to Dan Brown, et al. The idea of hidden treasure (think Nic Cage in National Treasure) and secret societies is a money making operation. I enjoyed the tour of the Masonic Temple in Philly and plan to read up on the whole operation.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall in Philly -Brush with Fame

Fall in Philadelphia brought a rainy dreary day. Nonetheless, my good friend Joan and I dodged the raindrops to wander about. William Penn keeps watch atop City Hall.
Ben Franklin should live in today's publishing world. Bet the Farmer's Almanac would still be a hit and he'd have an agent.

The City of Brotherly Love. You can't see it but this sculpture heads up one end of Ben Franklin Parkway. Way in the distance is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, ready for you to charge up the steps and give your best Rocky impression.

Love and Relationships - Is that working for you? Dr.Phil brings his show to Philly on Wednesday 9/23, but was in town for promo work. Joan and I were hanging in the Comcast building lobby to watch their huge video screen (fun clips). Anyway, Dr. Phil was filming blurbs, and we had a brush with fame.

Robin McGraw (l), an author in her own right was gracious and joined Joan (r) for a picture. Robin was very pleasant and asked, "Where are we?" Joan replied, "Comcast building." "No, like where are we?" Joan and I both said, "Philadelphia." She smiled and said they'd traveled so much recently, she had no idea.
Aah, the price of fame. They were headed back to New York. Joan and I caught the train to the 'burbs.
Fun in Philadelphia.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Somebody beat me to it

They say you can't go home again, but I disagree. I'm back in the home I grew up in. The fifty year old kid sled still sits in the garage, the basement is still scary, and there are always sticks to pick up in the yard. We sit at the kitchen table constantly and then if you hear any outdoor noise, you can crane your neck to peer out the front window and see what's new. Truly life hasn't changed much. I visit twice a year or so and laugh a lot.

I read an article in today's paper about a young man (age 28) who moved back in with his parents in San Diego. He'd always found his father (age 73) humorous and wrote down his father's pronouncements, quips, and opinions. Now, in the age of Twitter, he began to post them. Gathering a huge following, he garnered an agent and an opportunity for a book. Drat! Why didn't I think of that? My father (age 78) is a fount of phrases worthy of print.

We also watched a show on CNBC called the Oprah Effect. Essentially, any business, any book, anything that catches Oprah's eye and is on her show is guaranteed to go through the roof. A woman, who's a yoga instructor, has blogged about her attempt to live a life espoused by Oprah. (Think Julie Powell blogging about her Julia Child cooking - 524 recipes in a year). Well, success. The woman has an agent and a book contract thanks to her tie-in to Oprah.

Goes to show, you never know what will click or catch an agent's eye. Perhaps I should have visited my father more often and learned how to tweet. The world is missing out, that's for sure.

P.S. My father has a computer but no port to upload pics and I was lazy and didn't bring my laptop. Yeah, I know. No wonder somebody's beating me to it.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Holy Cow! Serena totally kicked butt tonight over in Queens, NY. The U.S. Open Tennis is an experience. Ray and I rode the rails to Queens in 2001 and enjoyed a day of tennis. The crowds, the energy, the sheer geometry of shots. If you've never played tennis or seen it live, then I don't think I can explain the absolute genius involved in winning this tournament. The crowds are incredibly amazing.
What does this have to do with writing? Craftmanship. Training. Hard Work. Determination.
That sums it up.
Bam! Tune in to ESPN2 and watch athletes at work. Amazing craft.