Wanting to be Wanton

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I began this blog by naming it based on my intentions of what I would be posting. The word “wanton” (not to be confused with “wonton” of the Chinese soup and deep fried variety) has three different meanings.

The first is maliciousness or viciousness that is unprovoked, or with cruel intention. No, that is not what I had in mind. Definitely not going to virtually bitch slap anyone here (at least not intentionally). The second meaning involves sexual promiscuity and unchaste loose women, you know, like the ones who cavorted with pirates when their ships landed ashore. So if someone came upon the blog looking for porn or pirate tales, they too would be out of luck. Lastly, wanton also means to play or frolic.

It was my intention for this to be a place where I could frolic with words playfully and flirtatiously. I intended to be here at least several times a week, not just a handful of times per year. I didn’t want each post to take hours to write; rather it would be a place to spontaneously spurt out what might be on my mind at any given moment. Like a kitten walking along a sidewalk that spots a leaf and decides to pounce on it, throws itself on its back, tosses the leaf in the air, then struts off down the sidewalk again with nary a furtive glance back. Yes, that is what I desired to do here, with words.

As I opened the calendar today to the first day of the first month of a new year, I had a surging feeling of renewal. I began to reflect on what my goals were for the coming year. I became possessed by a sense of urgency to return to writing here; writing the way I initially intended to. So here I am with no idea of what might be to come in the days ahead, but ready to write come what may.

Happy New Year! Love and light to all – may you too be blessed with an urge to write, renew, revisit, frolic or pounce.

xoxo

ARGH! Fell off the learning curve today…thump.

Just a quick note to let followers/ readers know I am attempting to renovate some parts of my blog. I am experiencing some difficulty and lost some of my headers and content which I am in process of trying to rescue from cyberspace or parts unknown.

I will be adding some new “menu” items / categories, as well as including my publishing credits. Soon to follow will be a bit about my writing group members the “Underground Writing Cohorts”. So stay tuned.

Feeling less Wanton Word Flirt today and more Inept Blog Renovator….

….thanks for your patience!

No better day to return!

Upon waking this morning I grabbed the book on the top of the stack beside me, Patti Smith’s “M Train’. It had recently been recommended by
Eunice, a writer, mentor to many who have had attended one of her writing workshops, and the woman whose voice I always hear when I write.
Knowing I would have to be up early tomorrow, I allowed myself the luxury of remaining horizontal between the flannelette sheets to read for two
consecutive hours finishing the book.

I then picked up my phone to check my e-mails and Facebook. I was reminded today was International Women’s Day,
which reminded me in turn that today is Eunice’s birthday. How fitting, a woman who encourages women to tell their stories, celebrating her own birth
on the same day we celebrate women all over the world. In the post today I received a boxed collection of Alice Munro’s work I ordered awhile back.
Eunice’s workshop title is a play on words of Nobel-prize winning short story author Alice Munro’s novel “Lives of Girls and Women”.

Serendipity? Synchronicity? Fate? Power of intention? Female energy?

I’ve neglected my blog for over a year. I have procrastinated for weeks, contemplating my return. The universe was telling me today was the day.

Thank you Patti Smith. Thank you Eunice. Thank you Alice Munro. Thank you girls and women everywhere. I heard you all.

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Playing Princess

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Fox stole, crinoline, satin and organza dresses, rhinestone jewellery, lace veil, and beaded drawstring evening bag; what more could a woman want? Or a little girl. My youngest auntie would dress me up in all this out-dated paraphernalia from some treasure chest in my grandparents’ house. I had no idea whose wardrobe and accessories these were to begin with, definitely not my grandmother’s as she was a plain dresser. I did not care; to me they were all mine! My Dad suspects they were left behind by Great-Aunt Lily who lived in California for awhile. I was only about four years old when Auntie Louise and I started this fantastical game of dress-up, but I remember bits and pieces of it to this day. To my delight, a couple of years ago my parents found photos of me in splendid bliss as “the princess” and “the bride”.

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This is another piece of “Bite-Size Memoir” ( memoir in 150 words – no more, no less) a writing project initiated by Lisa Reiter.

To learn more about it go to:http://sharingthestoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/bite-size-memoir-no-8-dressing-up/

No Champagne, No Cake…

Wanton Word Flirt is celebrating its first anniversary. Flinging myself into the blogosphere with few expectations and little foresight, here are a few random thoughts on the first year:

No champagne, no birthday cake… just wishes to write more wantonly. My writing has been “careful, safe, nice”. That was not my original intent. I want to laugh louder, cry harder, be more reckless if and when I want to be.

Opening my blog today I found a birthday gift of 100 followers. I am grateful for those who have been reading my words. You are from 52 different countries all over the world including Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Brazil, Netherlands, Fiji and more. Thank you all for visiting, reading, commenting, sharing, and inspiring.

Learning the technical aspects  of having a blog will be a work in progress. I do love my new look though!

Although I would write whether I blog or not, being part of a seemingly endless community of bloggers, poets, fiction writers, memoirists, and readers across the world is an invigorating experience for a writer.

I have discovered that kindred spirits, serendipity, and synergy abound; all I have to do is put my writing out in the world.

Cheers!

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Book Club Tonight!

I don’t get out much. People often use that expression in a cliché sort of way, but for me, it is a reality. Unless you call wandering around my yard, looking up at the sky daydreaming and occasionally having poetic inspiration hit me between the eyes “getting out”, I don’t get out much. So it is with much anticipation I look forward to the monthly book club gathering at our local public library.

Library book club is perfect for people like me who have limited energy to be hosting guests at home, yet enjoy socializing. It combines two of my greatest loves – reading and socializing – into one enjoyable evening. I highly recommend it.

“Top 10” list of why I love book club:

  1. I read books that I never otherwise would choose to read on my own. Each year members submit a list of books they recommend, then the library programmer / book club facilitator selects one per month for the upcoming year. The list is always an eclectic collection across all genres.
  2. Just as I read books I would not have ever read, I have met interesting people I surely would never have run in to otherwise; our paths just never would have crossed.
  3. We are a diverse group ranging in age from about 25 to 75, from all types of backgrounds culturally, socio-economically, educationally, and so on, which makes for interesting and enlightening discussion.
  4. Every person brings a unique perspective to the reading of the story, so it often amazes me what another individual gleans from a story / character that I may have missed entirely.
  5. Whomever has their book chosen for that particular month brings a snack, so everyone takes a turn being “hostess”, without having anyone in to their home. No fuss, no muss.
  6. It is affordable to anyone; all you need is a library card. Once a member, the books are ordered for you automatically. You receive an e-mail when your book for the month is ready for pick-up.
  7. As a dabbling writer, I consider book club professional development. Not just the reading of another writer’s work, but also the varied reader’s responses to those words.
  8. I love discussion, even a good argument on occasion within respectful limits. The structure of the evening allows for every reader to express their opinions. I appreciate the honesty of the members.
  9. I enjoy watching people come to book club as “reluctant” or “retired” readers get excited about books again, and develop a sense of belonging to their new “tribe”. It’s fun to be shopping and have someone wave from across the store at me and holler “Hi!”, then I hear them tell their shopping partner excitedly, “I know her from book club!”
  10.  Last, but definitely not least….author visits! Need I say more; nothing like hearing about a book directly from the person that wrote it. We have had local authors visit, Skype visit with a New York Times Bestselling author, award winning Canadian authors, even an author who has sold millions of books world-wide has visited our little library. Most, if not all, have complimented our group on the level of interest and questions about their work.Author Photo for back cover008Photo above from Shannon Raelynn author visit. Visit: http://www.shannonraelynn.com

 

You Might Be Canadian If…

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Let’s enjoy  the beautiful Fall weather while it lasts. I just came back from running around town doing errands in my flip-flop sandals when the radio announcer said ” it is time to put the flip-flops away”.

NO! I refuse! Too soon we will be back to Winter. Beside which, we have not even had a flake of snow yet. I will take that as my cue and only that – snow that accumulates, staying put on the ground.

On that note, here are a few “You might be Canadian if…” sayings I wrote:

You might be Canadian if you wear flip-flops after the first snowfall.

You might be Canadian if you have ever backed out of your driveway with your neon orange extension cord still plugged into your vehicle.

You might be Canadian if you take your kids out to DQ for ice cream cones after their school Christmas concert.

You might be Canadian if you can jump right into your yoga pants / top that have been sitting in minus 25 degree Celsius vehicle all day.

BRRRRR! Let’s not even go there yet!

Thoughts from 5314th trip to the grocery store…

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As I pushed my cart down the aisle in a near Zombie trance, I noticed a young, recently engaged couple, friends of my children, who have recently moved in together.  They did not see me as I was quite far down an aisle.  They were looking at items in a feature area away from the main aisles. I could see them smiling, touching, talking, laughing, in love.

Seeing their obvious pleasure in each others company even while doing the tedious task of grocery shopping gave me momentary delight. To be young, in love, learning about what your partner likes, maybe deciding on gourmet meals to cook together, it appeared they were enjoying every minute of it.

Their joy had jolted me out of my trance to a place of cognitive thought. When did I stop loving visits to the grocery store? Did I ever love it?

Maybe I thought it was exciting when I first moved out on my own to attend university, living in an apartment with a friend. Finally independent, having the choice of what to buy and cook might have been fun, though I don’t recall it being so.

We had to take the bus to the Safeway store several blocks away because neither of us had a vehicle. No, I don’t think I loved it even then. We were on a budget, so bought lots of tuna, wieners, ground beef, pasta, and cheaper produce. Plus we had to juggle our full bags on and off the bus, always hoping they would not split open allowing our apples to roll down the aisle, or the sidewalk.

Grocery shopping was definitely not the highlight of my life back then, it isn’t now. I paused to realize I had been shopping for groceries for over thirty years. No wonder it felt like such drudgery. With an average of three visits per week being a conservative estimate (admittedly I have never been a seven day meal planner) I had been grocery shopping well over 5000 times!

About the time I finished that thought, I was next to the young couple. Spotting me, we exchanged greetings. I blurted out, “Looks like you two are having fun shopping together. Enjoy it. After you have been buying groceries for thirty years it is not so much fun anymore.”

They simply smiled in response, romantic love blinding them to my cynicism. I was grateful for that. Let them have their ignorant bliss. Time goes too quickly, before they know it they will be on their 5314th trip to the grocery store too.

(Coming soon…..more thoughts from the grocery store, including “If I was Oprah….”)

First 15 Minutes in Day Surgery

(What follows below is the first draft of a  writing assignment I completed for writing group. The exercise was to show “setting” of our choice, fact or fiction. )

Celeste leaned back on the narrow bed that was covered by a thin white cotton sheet smelling slightly of chlorine bleach stretched over the thick rubbery plastic mattress pad. Feeling the soft rubbery surface underneath her reminded her of sleeping on an air mattress that was only half inflated. Some might be bothered by the faint bleach odor but to her it brought back memories of the neighbourhood swimming pool. Good memories. The flat as a pancake pillow underneath her head was also plastic, covered by a well bleached, highly sanitized, vellum thin pillowcase. Though the bed was bound to be hot and uncomfortable for someone with a fever, it was fine for someone chilled with fear, someone like Celeste.

She wiggled and adjusted her body to get more comfortable, finding just the right position to support her aching spine and hips. Breathing a lengthy drawn out sigh, she felt her body momentarily relax in spite of her racing mind. She tugged on the slightly rough but thick blanket on the end of the bed, pulling it up over her entire body. She had the thought: “what if this was a magic blanket, that pulling it up over your body could make you disappear Chris Angel style?” If only.

Having been temporarily left alone with her thoughts, she stared up at the stark white ceiling. Her eyes then slowly drifted downwards to the barren white walls decorated only with medical paraphernalia such as oxygen outlets, suction vessels, and call button cords. Her eyes went down to the recently polished white linoleum tile floor, then up to the printed plaid wedgewood blue with tangerine orange curtain separating the beds. Thankfully someone at some point had made the decision to provide a touch of color and cheeriness to the otherwise plain bleak room. She hoped they at least got a high five for that decision.

Resting her right arm alongside her body, she kept it still and straight so as not to disturb the IV that had been inserted. She had not been prepared for the chemical medicinal smell that invaded her nostrils, so strong that she tasted it on her tongue for a few seconds before it dispersed into the air as the nurse swabbed her arm then plunged the tiny needle into her blue-green vein.

All was quiet at the moment except for country music being played softly. She recognized Johnny Reid crooning a ballad. Possibly it was slowing her pulse. Yes, it seemed it was. Research said music could do that; she believed it to be true. Johnny Reid was probably a wise choice. His mellow voice probably would not be overly offensive to any of the people in the room, no head bangers or gang bangers here today.

As Celeste had entered the day surgery ward with the chubby, slightly limping, pleasant demeanor but all business nurse leading the way to her bed, she had checked out the other patients, none of which had their bedside curtains completely drawn. One older middle aged Native woman with glasses on, eyes closed, possibly sleeping or perhaps just pretending. One older middle aged Caucasian woman with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail reading an Oprah Pick book. Celeste could recognize the large white sticker signifying it being an Oprah book from across the room. One older man beginning to rouse, momentarily trying to talk to the woman on the chair beside him, sounding like a soft-spoken Darth Vader, since he had an oxygen mask covering his mouth and nose. One very elderly lady, with two middle aged men standing at her bedside wearing ball caps, blue jeans, one a white t-shirt, the other a denim work shirt, quietly discussing a concrete pouring project, while the woman lay completely still, eyes staring straight ahead.

Just as the nurse showed Celeste the bed that was to be hers for the day, next to the sliver of an oak paneled closet that would store her clothes while she was wearing her baby blue, always revealing, opening in the back hospital gown, another nurse wheeled in a patient on a gurney. She delivered the older woman to the bed directly across from Celeste’s, and announced “V___25 P___ 150” to the only other nurse in the room, the one preparing to take Celeste’s medical history once she was changed.

Celeste remembered those were the drugs she had the last time she had been here for tests. She also remembered those were some of the drugs MJ had in his bloodstream at the time of his death. They were extremely fast acting, caused amnesia too. When you woke up you felt like you had been out for only two seconds, and nothing had happened at all. It was the only thing about today she was looking forward to – the chance to think and feel nothing at all for half an hour. She realized at that moment how someone became addicted to drugs. How she could become addicted to something that made her think and feel nothing at all.