Monthly Archives: April 2016

Zone #atozchallenge


So, is the Writing Zone myth or reality?

Sure sounds like an enchanted land where our words flow from somewhere inside through our fingertips and onto our keyboards, every word a perfect concoction of powerful, vibrant prose.

A maniacally beautiful groove that goes on for hours. When we pull away from the keyboard, we’re so pumped with writerly adrenaline, ready for a run around the neighborhood before returning to our beautiful words to polish them off into envious finality.

I believe there is such a place. I spent some time there, but none of the above happened. This widely written-about Writing Zone is an accumulation of zones for this writer — ideas popping out of nowhere while driving, great dialog lines inspired by overheard snippets of conversation, the perfect setting prompted by a hike up Santa Suzanna Pass. 


Somehow, the story emerges, and that overrides all angst, because in the end … there is The End.

Another end we’ve come to is that of the Blogging Challenge. 

I’ve enjoyed meeting you, dear blogging friend, although rushed by time constrains dictated by daily blogging. It’s been a joy reconnecting with old friends. I plan to go though the list and follow you back, if I haven’t already. Sure hope we’ll continue to read each other, and you will continue to teach me much, much more.

Until then … my very best,


Images: Amberzen & DasWortgewand/Pixabay

Yard #atozchallenge


I once read that having a Zen place — a small area of our own, carved into a corner of our worlds — is important.  A place to escape to, perhaps, let the mind and spirit be.

While I don’t have a real Zen area of my own, I sit out in the backyard sometimes, alone, and do absolutely nothing. It’s a place near the rosemary plant, and my sitting area consists of a pile of bricks.


Sitting area

I’ve tried to read while there, but the place hasn’t allowed distractions from a state of complete disconnect. When I brought a book, my mind wandered off the page, my gaze crawled to the top of the trees, the roses, a cat on the neighbor’s fence; my hearing picked up someone’s voice in the distance.

Not being able to read or write was a source of annoyance, but I’ve come to realize that fragmented thoughts made their way through while in that latent state, even if they took shape and reappeared out of the ether much later.

The yard, sitting in this particular place, might be where important thoughts are born, but not where they make their first sound, not where they learn to crawl or walk.  That happens later, when the process becomes complete on its own, free of influence.

Do you have a Zen place  — a tiny corner uniquely your own?

Xanadu #atozchallenge


This is my X from 2013 with some additions — sorry about the repeat — and a favorite entry and word: Xanadu, the epitome of inner peace.

What is Xanadu?

An idyllic place poet Samuel Tyler Coleridge saw in a dream, which drove him to write Kubla Khan, an imaginative composition.



Only one fragment made it from Coleridge’s dream on paper; and we are left to regret the knock on the door which erased the rest of the poem from his mind. As it exists, the poem is a representation of verse attributed to mystery in dream.

Critics denounced Kubla Khan as a composition of sound rather than sense. As is often the case, years later the poem received recognition for its literary meaning:  mankind (a tyrant who imposes his will on people) set against natural beauty.

Coleridge, we learn, was influenced by a 17th century travel book and by opium taken before he fell asleep. Hence Xanadu was born — a state of mind, a place of beauty and contentment.

Kubla Khan (Partial)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery…..

It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!


Talk about miracles, we’re nearing the end of the Challenge!


Images: musenmotivation.wordpress honeygrove

Willow #atozchallenge


The willow, with its ability to not only survive but thrive, is an inspiration to move with life rather than resist our feelings.

Its branches extending canopies, bending outrageously without snapping, the tree is a metaphorical reminder to keep going and reach higher no matter the conditions. 

There is something majestic about the willow’s presence, isn’t there?  Its character and gesture, its silhouettes of shapes where the light cuts through, where the breeze caresses just so.

I am a willow of the wilderness/ Loving the wind that bent me. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps for this reason the willow plays an important role in folklore, as in Julianna Horatia Ewing’s The Willow Man.

There once was a Willow, and he was very old; And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold; But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow; There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe. All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow’s skin, His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin; Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see; And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree. ~ Julianna Horatia Ewing


Willow Man

The stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the willow survives bending with the wind. ~ Bruce Lee

Image: the goddesstree