Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Darker The Night, The Brighter The Light

EARLY MORNING Wednesday there was a serious windstorm in my world. I did not get a wink of sleep in the dark predawn hours.

Wind chimes played wildly like a dysfunctional symphony let loose by its conductor.

The noisy rattling, whistling and swooshing sounds outside the bedroom walls were intimidating and made it clear that life is unpredictable. I was relieved when calm came with the morning light.

During my walk I saw a house (pictured above), that adds considerable charm to the area, had been hit by a broken tree.

Sadly, it was not only broken branches and some trees that fell. A different storm was brewing across the country in the heart of Canada. I watched it unfold on the news.

Everyone knows by now that in the capital city of Ottawa a dashing young man with a beautiful big smile was shot to death.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was a soldier proudly guarding the National War Memorial. His whole bright life lay ahead of him when suddenly he was struck down. A picture truly is worth a thousand words when you see an inspired depiction of the tragedy by a cartoonist HERE.

There was no calm but mass confusion after this storm. It left in its wake broken hearts that likely have yet to comprehend the full significance of what happened. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, killed a few days earlier in Quebec, inadvertently became the symbols of which monuments are made.

Attacks on the Canadian psyche, for whatever motivation, do not weaken but strengthen resolve. Heroes emerge and reassessment and rebuilding takes place on national as well as personal levels after terrible storms.

We have all heard it said, and hope it is true, that the darker the moment the brighter the light that will shine through.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wandering Roots In My World

THIS HOME tucked into a quiet street was a family's pride and joy until time and disrepair left their marks. The dislodged picket fence once sat alongside the trees. I have seen people, pets and birds enjoying the big front yard during my walks over the years.

The house added character and coziness to the neighborhood where larger structures are being built and families mingle out of sight in private backyards.

I will miss seeing this little house along my way. It will have been demolished by the time I post this piece.

According to current trends in Canada, the owners of the replacement house will primarily view it as an investment and likely live there for no more than five years. We are becoming a transient society taking our roots with us from place to place, increasing the cost of housing with every move.

I wonder. Does that make us more detached and less committed to our communities or are we simply more flexible and less prone to attachment to material things? Is home made of brick, wood and mortar or a state of mind nowadays where memories are stored in a suitcase called Cloud?

To the people who plant their roots deep, to the homeless, to the displaced refugees throughout the world, home is a concept that conjures up extraordinarily powerful feelings, "Home is a name, a word," wrote Charles Dickens in one of his novels, "it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration."

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Never Too Soon For Thanksgiving

I AM GLAD we designated a day on the calendar for being thankful because it is all too easy to forget the good things that come our way the whole year through.

It sounds cliché to say I am thankful for the mystifying awesomeness that abounds in our world but it is true.

Perhaps that is why I, as well as many of you, take pictures. The very fact of having the ability to capture a moment of existence in its many forms is a luxury we can appreciate.

I know there is nothing spectacular about any of the photos I took this holiday weekend. Yet somehow catching glimpses of something beyond the pale gray of an ordinary day gave me a lift.

Focusing on the good stuff is not easy in the face of perpetual manmade turmoil but it could be worth the effort. I think Oprah hit on something when she said, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough”








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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wading Into E-Book Waters

WE ARE ALL busy but do you ever feel you could do something different or more with your days?

A little like this sandpiper wading in familiar puddles instead of distant shores, I put off learning how to make an eBook out of a children's story I am fond of that I wrote years ago.

They say it takes five minutes for authors to put their work on Kindle ... any kid can do it. But minutes stretch into hours and hours stretch into days and months when a learning curve and procrastination are at play. I needed to push through the "ugh" hurtle of doing something new and "technical" and instead welcome the challenge. In the process, I realized the piece needed revisions.

Well, I finally did it! Promotion "double-ugh" is now the key and an even greater challenge for me. It is so much easier to expound on the work of others than my own.

I truly baulk at jumping up and down and saying, "Over here! Look at me! Look at me!" Is that a Canadian thing?

This short story includes only two pictures that have nothing to do with birds. The imagination will take wing, however, in what really is an illustrator's dream.

The allegorical tale shows how confidence can build and solutions emerge during scary situations. I wanted the fantasy to be humorous and interestingly enough told for adult readers as well as children to enjoy.

The idea stems from a real-life green sofa I once had that reminded me of a leafy head of lettuce because of its hue and rounded edges. It had a big gap at the back where loose change and other objects disappeared.

The completion of this project has put me closer to another goal. I expect the Penelope Puddle story with its multiple illustrations will be a more formidable formatting challenge when I make that into an eBook.

I do feel a little more prepared now that I have gotten my feet wet with Couch and Company. If you have a second, may I humbly suggest that you check out the book on Amazon HERE.

Postscript to answer a question in the comment section from non-Kindle users: Amazon gave me a link where Kindle Apps for different products, including iPads, can be downloaded for free by opening an Amazon account. I do not have a Kindle or iPad and it all sounds a bit “techie” but the link is HERE.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms