I cannot believe I hated tomatoes for all of my childhood and much of my adult life. Thank the deities, things change or else I’d be missing out on some juicy goodness from the vine. There are a couple of downsides that I can think of, though: accidentally buying mushy tomatoes or waiting too long to eat them and having them go rotten, despite your best intentions to cook them “tomorrow.”

I did neither with a recent purchase of three lovely, deep red fruit. Yep. We call it vegetable but ‘maters are fruit. I sliced them up and stored them in the fridge for use in quick and easy sandwiches such as a grilled cheese or the simplicity of this tomato on whole wheat toast with basil pesto. It’s a filling and delicious Meatless Monday choice.

Tomato sandwich

Tomato and pesto sandwich

 

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I am a sugar addict. I forsook baked goods and other processed sweets in favor of honey – that is, until I began drizzling the amber goodness indiscriminately and all too frequently. The good people at the Lifestyle Management program pointed out that all I was doing was displacing one food for another.  Yes, honey is “natural” but that doesn’t make it fair game for unrestrained, immoderate self-indulgence. Since I am prone to displacement, at least go for fruit.  It’s a good thing that July is blueberry month!

Berries

Blueberries and raspberries!

I used a pint of those blueberries to make a Blueberry Sour cream Pie with whole wheat crust. Thank you Whole Foods! Until I got charged up by food again, I had no idea their site was such a treasure trove of fresh, low fat or vegetarian / vegan recipes.  I also have plans to make Blueberry Spelt Muffins but instead of refined sugar, I’ll be trying Sucanat, a brand of pure dried sugar cane juice.  This unrefined low process sugar retains the nutrients of the sugar cane.

Watch out stove. Here I come!

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White Tulips

Tulips In The Rain

Birds too-EE  TEE-oo

Cars sploosh rain with their tires

Sounds through my window.

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“Is that a talking dog?”

Once upon a time, there were these people called journalists.  They wrote stories about stuff they saw or heard, often using short, attention-grabbing devices to pique your interest in finding out the rest of the story.

I used to be one of those broadcast journalists.  I even taught other people how to do that news-writing thing, usually referring them to examples of something called the “inverted pyramid” – basically a structure that places the barest, most important who-what-when-where-why stuff at the top, leaving the sordid details below.  If  you’re pressed for time or space, the inverted pyramid lets the reporter or editor chop details from the bottom without losing the guts of the story.

The headline or anecdotal lede (sounds like reed) is another device that’s often used – especially by those in radio.   I made up this quick example as part of a discussion on keeping your lede front and center.  I thought the story (with its classic headline) was weird.  I like weird so I’m sharing it here.

Man bites dog; mutt lives to tell the tale.

Joe Blough was walking down Main Street around 6:30 Monday evening.  The street lamps were just coming on to light his way through the darkening skies. Out from the shadows stepped a dog of uncertain parentage and ownership.

“Show me your papers,” demanded the scowl-faced man.  The mutt gave a sharp bark, refusing to comply.  Joe, being a rough, burly sort accustomed to his demands being met, took this as an affront to his obviously superior homo sapiens status.

You see,  Joe spent many years with international mercenaries, training canines and carrier pigeons so the animals would do the private army’s bidding. Poop bombs and going for the jugular were the specialty areas for which he received many accolades over the years. It was this attitude that Joe carried with him that evening: a submissive dog is the best dog.  For this particular four-legged fellow however, that dog don’t hunt.

The mutt took an athletic, growling leap for Joe’s throat but his trajectory was slightly off.  Joe tilted to one side and grabbed hold of  the dog’s ear with his teeth, shaking him.  Angry and bleeding, the dog limped back to the alley. That’s where I came in. I am the vet who found him and to whom he told his tale of woe.

Joe Blough was arrested and charged with grievous bodily harm.  He awaits trial.

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Tesla Coil

Tesla Strikes Again

Winter Welcome to 2011

Rumbling thunder sounds

Bright flashes jolt morning skies

Change in the weather.

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Snowy evergreen

Let It Snow!

Ginger scents the air
Snowflakes blow sideways outdoors
Wet boots stand empty.

Seasons change; new life
New year and promise of hope.
Yuletide gifts to you!

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The lights and music
Resonate through chill air and
Winter rituals.

Digging the spirit,
But not the commercial trash.
Sell, sell, sell me? No!

Oft-used mute button
Stems adulterating tide;
Just keeping it real.

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What is the well-spring of creation
Does it lie without or within
Why are we troubled by temptation
Doomed to struggle but never win.*

My rich dreams of chocolate coffee beans
Of sweetly snuggling  Stephen Fry
Of interviewing Prince Will & Kate
I scream, “Oh, God! Why them? Oh, why?”

Are dreams the source, our secret selves’ place
Where reality takes a rest
Where monkeys fly swift through crimson skies
Where fears and wishes find solace.

*These words were actually on the edge of my brain as I awoke.

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Doorway to Crazy Town

Doorway to Dreamland

+++

I pluck at my eyes

Drooped lids stick to reddened orbs

Sleep. I need more sleep.

+++

I ask; it eludes

Sweet release from tensioned day

Sandman, be my love.

+++

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National Novel Writing Month

This is my first time giving the 30 day / 50,000 word challenge a go.

I know some people find success in this effort by crafting an outline beforehand.  Many have done it before and are very well aware of what’s involved.  Others, like me, are flying by the seat of their pants with not even so much as a theme or genre, knowing that success equals pumping out an average of 1,670 words a day.  Can’t think about it too hard though.  The words have to flow from me.  The story will take shape.

According to the folks at NaNoWriMo.org, there are 3 1/2 things to know about this competition:

1) It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. Really. You’ve read a lot of novels, so you’re completely up to the challenge of writing one.

2) Do not edit as you go. Editing is for December. Think of November as an experiment in pure output. Even if it’s hard at first, leave ugly prose and poorly written passages on the page to be cleaned up later. In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.

3) Tell everyone you know that you’re writing a novel in November. This will pay big dividends in Week Two, when the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who’ve had to hear about your novel for the past month.

3.5) There will be times you’ll want to quit during November. This is okay. Everyone who wins NaNoWriMo wanted to quit at some point in November. Stick it out. See it through. Week Two can be hard. Week Three is much better. Week Four will make you want to yodel.

Well alright then. November 1st, it’s game on!

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