Quicksand [fffc]

Sunset bicycle dog

The evening feels enchanted, with a glorious sunset, a full moon, and possibilities glowing on the horizon.

Nights this magnificent materialize with the expectation that anything might happen ~ a spark, a flame, an explosion ~ and her whole world could change, even on this routine bike ride with her trusty canine companion.

A refugee from fate, she stares at the stars and wonders if they’re finally arranged in just the right order to lure her back into the game, but all she sees are puzzles that she no longer has the skill to solve.

As they pass a familiar hill, a kaleidoscope of images swirls across her mind screen and she begins to feel dysfunctional, lacking any ability to make sense of her past or sort out her future ~ what is this madness called life anyway, she ponders.

“Woof,” barks Tarot, forcing her back into the moment, and she retrieves a poop bag from the roll in her backpack, grateful that paying attention to this basic necessity has terminated her philosophical gyrations.

As they head home, she considers the idea of stopping for an ice cream, but there are so many choices ~ Decadent Fudge Swirl, Salted Caramel Bliss, Strawberry Dreamboat, etc. ~ that she passes up the treat altogether before she trips into a new pit of mental quicksand.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge and Denise’s Six Sentence Story.

Welcome Back, Melanie! [syw]

Sunflowers

Yay, Melanie is back with us and has a fresh set of Share Your World questions! Let’s get started.

Would you rather have no nose, or no arms? (apologies to Fandango, who is olfactory challenged)…

No nose, I suppose, though then I’d be one of those dreaded “mouth-breathers.” For six months in 2005, I pretty much was, and had no sense of smell, due to a persistent sinus infection. It was awful, but having no arms would be worse because I couldn’t snuggle a kitty or write a poem or give anyone the finger while driving.

What is your spirit animal? (Mine –> 🐺 Lone of course 😉 )

A cat, of course! Independent, fussy, and adorable.

Do you think cavemen had nightmares about cavewomen? 🥍 💪🏼😱

Probably more often about bears evicting them from the cave for nonpayment of rent.

Where did the name Pina Colada come from? (for those out of the know of foo-foo drinks, a ‘pina colada” is rum, pineapple and coconut juices and sometimes fancier liquor for a bigger kick (with a paper umbrella sometimes) 🍹🍸 Since I dislike coconut except in the odd Mounds bar or on shrimp; I never had one.

Pineapple + yummy! I love coconut.

How thankful are you for good health, should you enjoy such a state of being? (a bit close to home perhaps, sorry)

I’m thankful things aren’t worse (yet).

Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who observe the Jewish New Year!

rosh hashanah apples honey

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TMP75: Blame Game

TMP monday peeve kitty cat

Welcome to my refreshed Monday Peeve! Unburden yourself of an annoyance and you’ll feel better afterward. Or not. Complain in my comments or crab in your own post. Doesn’t have to be on a Monday. You do you.

Recently I attended a couple mindfulness talks and they reMINDed me of how much I dislike blaming people for their own misfortunes. I’m not talking about telling a criminal he deserves a penalty; what I mean is when peeps tell migraine (and other) sufferers that they can control their disease, which mostly they CANNOT. This has been one of my biggest pet peeves over the years: people announcing that if I would only do this or that, my migraines would get better. NO, THEY WON’T. I have tried all the advice and the only piece that helps is avoiding alcohol, which I learned ages ago. I’ve been suffering for 45 years, and I do not need randos giving me “helpful hints,” which I basically take as an accusation that I cause my own pain by not doing tummy breathing or whatever useless thing.

Actually, the mindful gibberish was amusing in one way because they’d constantly contradict themselves by saying we can control our physical symptoms and then declaring that it was important to “let go” and not try to control things. I do feel better when I don’t think about how I’m feeling all the time and give up trying to figure out how to possibly feel better! I’d rather get lost in a book. That’s more of a “cure” than taking a walk, which all these peeps recommend but often gives me a headache. People actually make a living jabbering about this stuff and selling doodads to go along with it. (I did not spend any money on the talks, following up with consults, or buying amulets, etc.). I do agree with them however that we CAN somewhat control our moods by not letting annoying people into our lives, such as these mindfulness gurus.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

My Favorite Color

turquoise paint splat

Some call it blue; some call it green–
It undulates in between.
Mermaid’s treasure, waterfall,
Synergy upon your wall.
Intuition, misty teal,
So beautiful, it’s unreal.
Paint chip names say hello:
Fairy tale and calypso,
Robin’s egg, cerulean sky…
A sweater or a butterfly,
Jewelry, cupcakes, seaside art–
Turquoise always soothes my heart.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Confessional (favorite color).

SLS: Sweet

Strawberry sugar

Thanks go out as always to Jim Adams, our tuneful host of Song Lyric Sunday. I’m honoring David Bowie (RIP) this weekend (see my TGIF and SOCS posts), so today’s choice is “Changes,” originally from his 1971 album Hunky Dory. (It contains the theme word “sweet.”) It was also released as a single in 1972. Neither the song nor the album did well until Bowie released his next album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which began his ascent into massive popularity ~ and these days “Changes” is considered one of his greats. Bowie was a very versatile artist, both in his musical variety and in his acting talent. He became one of the best-selling and most successful musicians of all time, with over 100 million albums sold, 10 platinum certifications in the UK and 5 in the US, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
There’s gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Letting Go

Fitzgerald quote

Apples, nutmeg, pumpkin pie,
Cinnamon-sprinkled afternoons…
I’m learning how to say goodbye
Under a sky full of lost balloons.
October bakes up crisp and sweet;
Old friends stop to say hello;
Leaves crunch softly at my feet–
There’s beauty in the letting go.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Double quatrain written for WQW (fall or autumn).

Home [socs]

david bowie

We passed upon the stair
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn’t there
He said I was his friend
Which came as a surprise
I spoke into his eyes
I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Yesterday in my TGIF post I mentioned I would be honoring David Bowie (RIP) this weekend because I plan to see Moonage Daydream tonight. The tribute continues today with one of my favorite Bowie songs “The Man Who Sold the World” (click to listen on YouTube), and it’s also the name of the album. I looked it up before I began writing this, but it’s still relatively stream of consciousness. How does the prompt word “home” fit in? Keep reading.

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home
I searched for form and land
For years and years I roamed
I gazed a gazeless stare
We walked a million hills
I must have died alone
A long, long time ago

I was amazed when I read that Bowie wrote this song at 19 ~ I was still writing moons and Junes at that age. Bowie said that the lyrics were about finding yourself, which makes sense, given how he kept radically changing over the years, as if he’d been on a continual search for an identity. Maybe he never truly felt at home with himself until later in life, and I can certainly relate to that.

Who knows?
Not me
I never lost control
You’re face to face
With the man who sold the world

I think he’s talking about meeting another version of himself and not recognizing that person, which is how I feel when I think about my life prior to divorce. Even though I stayed married for over two decades, I never felt like I imagined how a wife should feel. I was uncomfortable in that spousal role and increasingly awkward in my own home as well as during family functions elsewhere. I don’t mean my experience as a mom, which felt surprisingly natural and right (and still does) ~ and I had very few issues when it was just me and them alone or with people other than my ex. It was simply the state of being married that didn’t fit me. I had vastly different expectations from what turned out to be my reality, and I was never able to reconcile it all.

Gatsby Tiger cats in castle condo tree home

Home, in every sense, is a happy place for me now that I’ve created my life to my own specs, full of work I enjoy, lovely family and friends, and sweet little kitties.

Nirvana did a great cover of this song, btw.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

Emberglow

autumn leaves

Summer slips out softly,
Leaving a trail of emberglow.
Warm memories of golden days
Will be savored like drops of honey
Sweetening steaming tea
When the chill winds swirl in.
Shadows lengthen on the walls
And nights grow long again,
But in my mind’s photo album
We are forever young,
Plucking seashells from the sand
And waiting for something
To begin.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

I decided to start using paint chip names for poetic inspiration again, though not necessarily on Fridays as I did previously (still using my PCF tag just because). These will happen whenever the mood strikes and an image from my library calls out for some new lines. I’m using the wall of colors from Sherwin-Williams. Join me if you like.

Multiplicity

bubbles

Jim introduces a good topic today on Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Friday Faithful: how do we deal with multiple prompts? I think of prompts as little bubbles of inspiration to inspire my creativity. The first prompt I became aware of, years ago, was the official WordPress Daily Prompt, which was one word. I’d write a new poem or piece of flash fiction incorporating the word, or sometimes I would find one in my pile of already written work. Then after that prompt disappeared, new ones sprouted up to take its place; sometimes they’re also of the one-word-write-whatever-you-like variety, while other times they’re very specific about form and content.

Occasionally, a bunch of the one-word prompts gel together in my mind to generate a new poem or flash fiction story, but most of the time I can’t fit them all into something that pleases me. I don’t enjoy simply stuffing words into my writing if they don’t sound right, which is why I almost never use the more esoteric words. I’ve always written relatively plainly, which is how I speak too, and see no need to change my style (despite rarely selling anything, which is more of a marketing issue than a writing issue, in my opinion). I don’t want my readers to have to stop and look up words, which is also why I’ve quit using abbreviations and slang that almost no one understands or that annoys people (named Fandango). So the bottom line is that while I often use multiple prompts (maybe three or so), I rarely use the majority of them that show up in my newsfeed.

Lately, I’ve been really digging three challenges in particular that I try to combine into one short story: Fandango’s Story Starter, Emma’s Title Prompt, and Chelle’s Last Sentence Challenge. I can’t always do it, but when I can, I’m very proud of myself, like with this week’s It Began in Darkness. I generally don’t try to lump even more prompts into this three-part challenge. Now, I’m not being critical of others (heaven forbid!), but I like my fiction to be an actual story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end, not snippets of dialog or whatever. So I’m pretty hard on myself in that regard and often delete posts before they hit the air because they don’t measure up to my own standards. I realize that not everyone feels the same way about this, and that’s cool.

The bottom line is that I agree with Jim’s comment that a “well written story should not bounce around being driven just to satisfy the prompts.” Ideally, a story or poem should flow along without the reader being made aware that it’s crammed full of prompts. Sometimes my older posts bug me when I see all the linked words in them, since I think maybe that wrecks the flow, and putting notes at the end of the post is probably a better idea. In fact, I may start doing that in my poetry and fiction from now on!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

TGIF ~ Moonage Daydream

TGIF

Happy Friday!

Hope everyone had a good week. Mine was plagued with itchy eyes and insomnia, but all’s well that ends well, right? Tomorrow I’m planning to see the David Bowie (RIP) movie Moonage Daydream with a couple friends (I will wear an N95 mask during the film even though I’ve had like 75 Covid vaccines), so I’m honoring Mr. Bowie this whole weekend in my posts. Oh, before the movie we’re eating at TGI Fridays… and can you believe this will be the first time I’ve ever been there? I KNOW, RIGHT?! But it’s true. Welp, I suppose it’s possible I’ve been there before and have forgotten. I do forget things in my dotage.

Please share a post with your weekend plans or your favorite David Bowie song or any other TGIF thing you like ~ and feel free to use the awesome logo Fandango found!

It just so happens that the song “Moonage Daydream” fits with Jim’s Thursday Inspiration post (keyword “head”), which is serendipitous or something…

Keep your ‘lectric eye on me, babe
Put your ray gun to my head
Press your space face close to mine, love
Freak out in a moonage daydream, oh yeah!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.