A Little Birdie Told Me

Sharon had to get a story plunked down, her regular posting was almost due. She’d had a whirlwind of words a couple months ago and wrote one after the other. All she had to do was pick one and post it for so long, she lost the habit. What?Keys

She poured some of her homemade wine and looked back to the blank white page on the screen. What? Just then the dryer kicked off, so she went to fold clothes. On her return, the blank page accosted her once more. Then that insistent dream came at her again.

Three times now she’d dreamed the same marvelous scene. This morning she savored it so long, it made her late for work. Can’t have that anymore! She leaned back and sipped her wine, remembering. She’d been in the house doing some kind of chore when she heard a noise outside. She stepped out onto the screen porch and saw the bright sunshine making dappled shadows. The tree that made the dapples obscured the road, so she went across the porch to the screen door and stepped out into the yard.


The beautiful little birdie that flew into her outstretched had said, “He’s on the way!” Then it flew off into the bluest sky she’d ever seen. The dream held her thoughts. What could it mean? The blank page caught her eye. “I’ll write about that, yeah.”

The story wound about from the dream chores to her telling her friends about the bird to weathering their derision. Night visions, hooey! They laughed and she laughed with them although she still believed it meant something. “Okay, now what? The durned story needs a plot. I could make her start collecting birds. No. I could make her so depressed she … no, the dream was so warm and loving that having something dire happen would just be wrong.

The clock in the corner of the screen said 10:43. She had to rise early for work, so decided to leave the rest for tomorrow night. At least she’d got a start on it. She finished her wine and headed off for beddy-bye. She went to sleep with get up on time riveted into her brain.

Work seemed more onerous than usual; she wanted to get home and finish the story. Naturally, her project took longer than anticipated and everyone else had left by the time she hit ‘save’ for the last time. Gas, of course she had to stop for gas. From there, she considered Burger King but really did want to get right home and the sunshine wouldn’t be around much longer. Thank goodness for pot pies, she’d pop a couple in the microwave first thing.

No sooner had she lit her laptop up, there came a knock on the screen door. UPS with an order? No imminent shipment notification had arrived today. A package from early last week never arrived, so that might be it. No, the UPS guy wouldn’t knock, he’d leave it on the step. Girl Scouts with cookies. Maybe, and thin mints were still the best. If that’s who waited out there, knocking again.

screen-door-1Walking out the door, she saw somebody much taller than a kid. Daylight had faded, yet she discerned he did not wear a brown uniform. At the screen door, she flicked on the outside light and said, “Hello sir. Whatever you’re selling, I can’t afford it. Have a good day.” She turned back.

“Wait a wee minute, I’ve naught to sell.”

His Scotty accent drew her back. “Okay, how can I help you?”

He hoisted a box up into the light’s yellow glow for her to see. “I moved into the house yonder today and found this by the door. It states it belongs to Sharon Turnbull at this address.”

She opened the screen and accepted the box, then stepped outside and let the screen door slam. Gosh the fellow wore handsome tip to toe. “Thanks so much, I’d turned this in as lost.”

“Aye, well, it’s been forlorn o’er there awaiting rescue.” He stuck out a hand. “I’m Michael Dunnaway.”

She adjusted the box to rest on her hip and took his warm hand gladly. “I’m Sharrie and am happy to meet you.” She withdrew her hand sheepishly. “I’m looking forward to meeting your wife. Do you have kids?”

He shook his shaggy head, “Ach, ’tis only me.”

A Cabin-ette?

Instead of cleaning up the cabin as I planned to do and really intended to do, I have been writing more Otto Socks blueOtto and Socks stories. It’s slow going, especially when I deviate from the outline for the series. How can I not let the characters do what they want? I can’t force them, bend them to my will. Now I have to see if I can merge then latest one back into the outlined sequence.

With that frustration, I went out to enjoy the sunshine. I looked up the ridge behind the house and the image of a tiny cabin part way up popped into my head. I pictured the wide steps leading up to it. How would I get electricity up there? With juice, I could move my audio recording up there and Ma’s radio would never interfere again! I am on the edge of phone reception that far up (not at the cabin!) and could do even better with a 4G antenna for Download 090915 054WiFi! Then I could have internet, which I need to upload books to Abe Books. Did I mention I have a storefront there? ‘Old Lady Who?’ is the name, and is something I can do with a few hundred of my excess books. It would be great for uploading manuscripts, voiceover recordings, looking up references and tutorials!Science Books

Glancing back at the cabin, I noted the front gutter and the facing board it is hooked to are falling off. I am plagued by big fat boring bees. The well needs a protective shed, and has needed it for a couple decades. I looked back up the hill and the mini-cabin, the steps and the antenna had vanished. The concrete barrier to keep the ridge from encroaching on the back porch collapsed. I can’t turn on the front porch light because it trips the freezer circuit. The garage doors don’t work without brute force.

I wonder how much it would cost to build that little cabin-ette studio marvel?


More Ambition than Time!

Where I work, we can buy an extra week of vacation a year. For Non-Americans, we are notorious for being driven by work, work, work, thus blog june 039adding one week to the provided two or three weeks is a great increase. I did not buy any vacation as I have difficulty using all I get. Sad I know. Yet if I could buy weekend days at the cabin without impinging on my job (must stay in good graces at the job) I would probably break the bank.

One Project Example: I have the t’Hoot series with  one book ready to edit, then publish…most of what I have to do with that project – except trying to sell them – is done. So of course, I started a new series Otto and Socks that is Mouse readingdifferent than I every tried before. Learning curve. Research. Fifteen drafts of the first one until it feels right. Writing umpteen storylines for subsequent stories since all will (probably) be only 5, 000 to 10,000 words each. They won’t write themselves, either. Learn new formatting and cover software. Design the cover with the series in mind. Plan publishing. Will I establish my own publishing imprint and buy my own codes or not? It-would-take-TIME.

I have that big ol’ canvas that isn’t painting itself (amazing if it did). All I did with it last weekend was cut out paper bubbles of several sizes and fit them up under the crackly part Brushes topto see how it might look. Maybe. If I hee-hawed over my writing as I do with the painting, I’d have never got the first one published!

I have a super cool blue suede jacket, long and flouncy, that is cut out and 1/3 done. I worked on that last in early December. Don’t even remind me of the great stack of My Sweetheartsewing projects by my machine that the cats keep climbing on and knocking onto the thread-strewn floor. See photo of Krink Pestercat saying, “It wasn’t me!” Yet I spent an hour printing out polar bear patterns…and a leopard pattern…and a doggie. I have cloth store coupons in my wallet and visions of thick white fur bounding about in my head. Smack me!

My kiln in the basement awaits an electrician to install the proper electrical outlet, but that has not deterred me from buying all sorts of ceramic instruction books and DVDs. I have a scroll saw collecting dust, as are the wood working saws and such in the garage. The last bookshelf built was in May of 1821. I found a mouse nest in my big box of yarn with the knitting project, needles still stuck in it, mid-purl. I shall not go into the tasks begging for the cabin upkeep or gardening or podcasts or a thousand other things. And right now, I should be hard at work at my job.

Mary holding Hate thin


Gargoyle pair

Making Wine Is Healthy?

Labor Day signals the waning of summer. It sends a strong signal to me that I’d better get all my fermentation done. Fermentation does best, especially for the ale, in a warm house. I am really frugal with using heat that costs me so summer ’tis the season. Therefore today there is a batch of old ale, a batch of Yorkshire bitter and three batches of red wine in fermentation.Cabin June 2015 087

I think I have the hundred bottles I need for the ales, unless some are uncappable. Better find some spares. Okay for the ales. What about the wine?

There are enough bale-top Italian wine bottles for one six-gallon batch, maybe. There are enough plastic fruit juice bottles (think Cabin June 2015 074cranberry juice) for one batch and part of the third one. Time to drink up that healthy fruity juice, at least four half-gallon bottles of it, by next weekend!