Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Old School

"A lot of the other lads peaked when they were 15.  You don't ever want to peak at 15."

James Corden

Poor me. Poor Mrs. Pigface. Mrs. Pigface (her true identity will hopefully remain a mystery) was one of my unfortunate teachers in high school. She had enormous bosoms and would rest her weary arms on them during class. I never liked Mrs. Pigface, but after telling my mother of her many transgressions in the barnyard, my mother offered up a simple explanation...Mrs. Pigface worked hard. She was tired and cranky. She heaved her bosoms out of bed every morning and milked the cows. All of this before heading to school, to teach the likes of me. And what was I doing in class? Well, you guessed it. Defamation drawings. This drawing tickled my friend Barb so much that she still goes hog wild about it. Well, at least she remembers it. I found it recently while scouring the basement for an old book. I found my childhood scrap book instead. And this oldie was cut into a heart shape and lovingly glued inside. Poor Mrs. Pigface. And poor me.

Alas, nobody tagged and defamed me all over any bathroom stalls, or stuck loser sticky notes on my butt, or made me sit with the lunch ladies during lunch. But, I was a loser. I certainly wasn't a high school hero. I think everyone respected my talent for drawing pigs, but still, they didn't want a clumsy art geek on their basketball team. I was teased relentlessly. And, I didn't get invited to any cool parties. Well, I don't think there really were any Risky Business style blowouts back in the day, but if there were, I wasn't invited. And I wouldn't have wanted to see any of my male classmates in their under pants playing air guitar anyway. 

I ran across the above quote from James Corden. It's so true. That quote defines me. I was a late bloomer. I'm nearing my sell by date right now. During our class reunions, I couldn't peel one of my male class mates off me with a lint roller. He was all over this loser like powdered sugar on a beignet. And I was only half baked then. Now, I'm perfectly browned. Now, I feel like a prom queen without a prom. 

But Mrs. Pigface wasn't the only defamation discovery, I found these poor dudes too. I guess sticking a hand down your pants was the ultimate insult back in the day. The funny thing is that all my drawings actually look like their human counterparts! Sorry Jim, Mark and Jessy. But, you really were meanies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Barbed Wire

The Stone Barn. I love those weathered clothespins!

If you have been reading The Chorus of the Crows on a regular basis, you are aware that this is a creative writing blog. Anything goes. I've written about human leftovers, cat poop crimes, feathered floozies, martians (according to Jack Torrence) and a thrift sale of other odd and ends. 

But this blog is also a platform for my future novel. You know...The Chorus of the Crows. Visit my Flying Monkeys post for a big fat blurb and character lowdown. I also created the thorny image below. I like how it portrays the rural side of the story, but also conveys something more sinister and dark. Something that might cut you if you are not careful. You know you're a good ole country gal, when you have numerous memories of traversing fields and forests, and coming to an impasse, then wheedling your way through barbed wire to get where you want to go. I guess that's a perfect analogy for trying to get a book published. There are road blocks set up to stop you.

 Barbed wire is perfectly twisted in its simplicity. 

But back to the real world...

Now, if you're a follower of my blog Sharon's Paws Create you couldn't possibly have missed the fact that my favorite Midwest road trip is to The Stone Barn pizza joint in Nelson, Wisconsin. If it looks familiar, that's because I used the above black and white shot of the pizza place for my header. The Stone Barn is a beloved rural, backwoods and yes, even wood burning pizza place. A novel idea in my book. We were just there. 

In addition to eating pizza, we witnessed a good old boy chewing tobacco and spitting the juice on the gravel floor of the restaurant. Sigh. I wanted to sucker punch that particular character. There were groups of happy Harley riders also sporting dubious table manners. There was an Asian family wearing hanker chiefs over their mouths, playing a ball game on the lawn. They were either recreating a weird bank robbery scene from their favorite Western or worried about all the gross fresh air. And among all the pizza noshers, a group of hungry locals arrived....on horse back. We even overheard another table talking about how last year, a helicopter landed on the lawn to pick up some take out. Only at the Stone Barn!  The pizza is worth it.

My novel is also set on a bucolic, real life farm. Unfortunately, the farm that houses my fictional family burned down years ago.  Luckily, it is still vivid and all too real in my mind's eye. I might be able to dig up actual photos of it for a future post. When I move the antiquated slide projector, I see a stately white washed house with perfectly painted black shutters; sad and wispy trees weeping down willowy vines; corn as high as the 4th of July; rhubarb patches on steroids and a fading red barn as you enter the long gravel driveway. Hopefully, someday, you'll read all about it.

But for now, there's just pizza.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

I'm so high I could eat a star...

"That was some strong ass catnip dude"  Hana / naughty cat, calico advocate, blog personality, soft food activist

1) "I'm so high I could eat a star" Author Unknown

2) "If you substitute marijuana for catnip, tobacco and alcohol, you'll add 8 to 24 years to your life." Jack Herer /Author, Hemp and catnip Activist

3) I think catnip and pot should be legal. I don't smoke it, but I like the smell of it." Andy Warhol /Artist

4)  “Homer, I am getting really worried you are going overboard with this. We are out of clothespins, there are half-eaten cupcakes all around the house, and the curtains smell like doob.” – Marge Simpson / The Simpsons

5)  Of course I know how to roll a catnip joint.” –Martha Stewart / TV Personality, Writer, Business Woman

I took a few hemp colored, italic liberties with the above quotes. Ironically, even though Hana looks higher than a kite in the above photo, catnip really doesn't affect her at all. Nothing. Na-da. When given the chance to inhale, our cat Akua rolls around in ecstasy, while Hana is just plain cat-atonic. In the above photo, she was just accidentally taking a cat nap in front of my husband's i-phone. Don't you just love it when cats fall asleep with their tongue sticking out? Oh, the simple joys of cat stewardship. 

Cats are so laid back and cool. And just like human stoners, they get the munchies for crunchies.  I thought quote # 2 and # 3 were purr-fect for a cat. After all, they do have 9 lives. And purr-fer to get their high through a simple intoxicating sniff. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Five Deadly Sins of Blogging

Sin # 3  Too many duck photos!

It made me sad when I caught myself pretending that everybody out there in cyberspace cared about what I thought, when really nobody gives a shit. And when I multiplied that sad feeling by all the millions of people in their lonely little rooms, furiously writing and posting to their lonely little pages that nobody has time to read because they're all so busy writing and posting, it kind of broke my heart.    Naoko Yasutani on blogging from:

 A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki

So far, I'm absolutely enchanted by Ruth's book. The character Naoko describes her grandmother as someone worthy of being a time being. Because Nao's grandmother is special. She holds time sacred and has even published her words and stories, therefore, making her mark on time. As an aspiring writer, and a time being myself, after all, everyone is, I want to leave my written words in the undulating folds of time. I mean, wouldn't it be wonderful to write a book that would be grabbed off the shelf of an antique store, and read, by a future resident of time? 

But for now, time barely hiccups while I publish yet another tepidly received blog post. Ha!

That's why I started this post off with a quote from Ruth's book. It really describes my love/hate relationship with blogging. I've visited so many blogs that are worthy of time. Bravo to those folks. But there are so many others, that just mindlessly hook up to links, without producing any interesting content. We all know a few blogging offenders on our virtual rounds. Don't we? Of course, what makes good content is personal and subjective to each of us. But here's what I perceive to be a negative example: 

I used to be visited by a blogger I deemed, the duck lady. Apparently, she never left her farm, but blogged passionately and religiously. And her farm was frequented by ducks. Many, many, many ducks. Each week she would photograph these ducks and post every redundant blurry duck photo, whether it was good or not. Each week I would dutifully return her comments, and wonder, what in the heck am I going to say about her latest duck photo? I'm creative. But not that creative.

Uff da Lutefisk. I was at a complete loss. Eventually, she stopped visiting my blog. 

Here are 5 blogging sins from the unofficial book of Sharon...

1) Publishing 1 marginal photograph each post, just so you can hook up to one of the numerous weekly memes/links. If it is marginal, please include at least one cute kitten or puppy. Then, it's O.K.

2) Leaving 100's of comments on blogs all over the world, just to attract visitors to your own blog.  That part is O.K., but usually, these offenders don't even read the blogs they're commenting on. They just want return visits. Well, who doesn't?

3) Duck photos. Enough said. (except when I post a duck photo, which of course is O.K. in the unofficial book of Sharon)  

4) Redundant photos. See above. Please people. Filter out the repetitive duds.

5) O.K. This one always gets my goat. You visit a blog and they don't visit you. But that's not the worst part. They leave a return comment for you...wait for it...on their own gall darn blog. Ga! I hate that!

Now, to see some beautiful Panama birds, with nary a duck in sight, stop by Sharon's Paws Create!