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Showing posts from October, 2017

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Time to slay your own dragons, ladies.

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My first kiss was an unwanted one. I was seven years old when a boy named David pushed me up against the wall outside our apartment building. Forcing his mouth on mine, his breath, hot and fusty, something sickly sweet like apple juice and milk gone sour in his gut that made me squirm. I don’t remember seeing him as I ran with my brother and the other neighborhood kids through the empty lot next door, scrabbling over the toppled trees, slick with moss, tripping over the bramble of twigs and woodsy decay, but he must have been there, his knees as scratched and muddied as ours, before he caught up with me in the driveway that ran alongside and behind the apartment building. 
As usual I’d tagged along in my older brother’s shadow. Tag, hide and seek, cowboys and indians, the games kids used to play. Outdoors, up and down the streets, no watchful mommies on red alert. Ignoring our mothers’ warnings—don’t go into the woods, don’t go into the woods—we went into the woods, woods that in fact …

Dreaming of France: I'll meet you in the garden

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Today's post was inspired by Paulita Kincer, my fellow blogger currently in the midst of picking up her entire American life and moving to France with her husband. Today she shared a photo of herself relaxing, as Parisians do, at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. 

It's a place where people take their dogs, and those who still smoke, may smoke. A place where one can sit and read the newspaper.
Have an afternoon nap
Or scratch each others backs.
A place where one day this past spring I put my feet up on the rim of the pond and watched the children sailing their boats before the guard very politely came over to say Madame, please, the chairs must remain in the back. 

A place where one day in the future I hope to return and possibly have a rendezvous with Paulita. She and I can sit and people-watch while our husbands fetch us coffee and sandwiches. What do you say Paulita? Meet you in the garden?

Posted for Paulita’s weekly Dreaming of France meme.

A tree is a tree is a tree: finding a passion

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I know I haven’t shared anything new here in ages, the truth is I’m working on a novel and with a book-in-progress on my mind, my creative spirit is otherwise engaged. 


There is one aspect of the writing process I’d like to share here, to see what you think, and that’s the interest that the main male character, Jacob, has in botany, trees in particular. Part of the pleasure of writing the novel has been following his passion, learning more about trees myself. Like my female protagonist, Alex, I also find myself noticing different kinds of trees everywhere I go. The stunning pink flowering tree pictured above with its hibiscus-like blooms is an example of the Silk Floss tree a South American relative of the Kapok tree. This one caught my eye as I was walking by the Pan Pacific park here in Los Angeles in early October. The tropical species does really well in Southern California’s generally warm and dry climate. While they’re clearly gorgeous, the Silk Floss tree is more than just a pre…

British Isles Friday: Little pink houses for you and for me.

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"Ain't that America, home of the free"? No John Mellencamp, it's not. This little pink house is in London, on Elgin Crescent in Nottinghill. A street known for it's pretty pastel-painted row houses.
When I think of the colorful—colourful?—houses of Nottinghill, I think of rows of shining happy facades, neat as a pin. My mind skims right over the places where they need a touch up, the chipped white painted iron work of the front gate, the dirt that comes with the drizzle of the rain tainting the cornice over the front porch.
My photos from the trip that took us to London last spring clear the misty haze from my romanticized image, revealing the truth. As pretty as this pink house is, it isn't perfect. Still, I love it. I'm a fan of pink houses, turquoise walls, green doors, houses painted in the colors that you see on homes in the tropics.
They're not everyone's cup of tea, many preferring houses that come in shades of white and grey. How about you? Wo…

A funny thing happened on the way to the laundry room

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I'm heading back to my apartment, carrying my plastic laundry basket, heavy with 2 loads of freshly washed whites. The basket itself is pale green only because I couldn't find turquoise. I am absolutely crazy about turquoise. So there I am, walking down the path, when I'm startled by a glimpse of turquoise at the top of a neighbor's stairs. 

My eyes dial in and I see it's a girl, a girl with bright aqua-colored hair, the very same Katy Perry blue I yearn to dye my own hair. The girl, talking to her boyfriend (my assumption from how close to each other they stand) catches my eye, we smile.

"I love your hair," I call out as I pass. "Oh, to be young again, I'd love to have hair that color."

At which point she peels away from her boyfriend and heads down the stairs. "You should!" she says. "And I'm not that young, I'm thirty." 

"Ha! You're a baby!" 

But I'm glad I haven't called her a girl out loud. D…

Dreaming of France: Kicking back in the Sun at the Tuileries

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Le Jardins de Tuileries (from my instagram) I took this photograph last Spring on our trip to France.  I love how most everyone is simply relaxing in the sun, sleeping even, in the middle of the work week.

Every week for the last few years, I've tried to create a French themed blogpost like this one, here or at Chapter1-take1 to connect with my friend Paulita's Dreaming of France meme. I call her my friend but we've never met. You know how that weird internet thing can be, connecting you with strangers from around the globe in oddly intimate ways.

Now Paulita, who has been dreaming and fantasizing about living in France for years, sharing her photos, her memories from her trips, is actually doing it. After taking oodles of journeys to France, waiting for their kids to reach adulthood, scouting out locations, she and her husband put their house on the market. The house is in escrow and in the next couple of months, escrow will close and they'll be gone. Like F. Scott and Ze…