creative ramblings & reverie

Friday, November 18, 2011

Writing Spaces

Immense good fortune on a small slip of paper. 
(I'm reminded of a colleague who used to type profound and witty messages on little yellow post-it notes.)


Never soap a geyser.  Yes, I know your mother and I did it, but we’d been drinking a lot of martinis that night.  And the head ranger egged us on.

On the Rooftop of the Uffizi
Oh drink up your champagne, you slow old thing.  We can’t sit here all afternoon, that waiter’s giving us the evil eye already.  Tell him we want the bill—il conto—the next time you see him coming out.  And he should take away this bottle, not just upend it in the ice bucket like that, ridiculously vulgar.  People will think what lushes those ancient British types are, abroad, when not at home riding to hounds.  Just like the Raj all over, they’ll say.  Oh catch his eye, can’t you.  I want to get back to that little shop before they close for the day, get some leather gloves for Ginny and Phyllida and the girls.

Blue Margaritas
The only way to get through hurricane season in Baja is to live on blue margaritas.  Trust me on this, sweetheart.  You won’t sleep, for the heat and the humidity, you’ll lie there dripping, that awful fan like a big bat flying around above you, not to mention the scorpions dropping onto your pillowcase.  You get up early and go straight to the bar, order a blue CuraƧao margarita, one of those heavy two-handed glasses, it’s all you can do to survive.  And at that hour all the Europeans will be coming in on the night flight, and you can catch some great-looking Italian at the bar, before he’s had a chance to find his footing—or some woman with a boat.

Directions to Our House
Be very, very careful coming down Deer Creek from Page Mill; there are often horses rearing in the road, whose riders can’t control them, or tearing up one of the bus stops.
   Pass the Stanford vineyard on the left, what looks like a hillside of wooden crosses like one of those battlefields in Normandy, or the graveyard behind a Mission church, those who didn’t take too well to religion.
    Don’t hit the giant pinecone in the center of the drive.  There’s always one there, sitting glaring at you.  Avoid it.  Remember the Mynaeds’ giant pinecone in the pictures of those Dionysean rites!
    Ignore The Manse as you come past it.  The owner is almost never out shooting at squirrels.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Writing Spaces

Travel writing in the first instance, when travel meant risk and adventure and romance, and mapmakers wrote that all in.

image:   Antique Map of Leo Belgicus (the Low Countries), Visscher C.J. – Gerritsz, 1630

Friday, November 4, 2011

Writing Spaces

Old books and full-blown roses, both essential to writers and to lovers of life.

image:  Trouvais

Spilt Milk

The beginning of a new short-short I've started, about crying over spilt milk—

That summer, after Joey left her for the Roman archaeobiologist, Virginia found herself getting weepy over the slightest things.  Joey things, of course—finding the cord from his navy sweat pants in the back of the closet; the smell of Redken for Men; an Italian stamp, for €0,60, showing the 11th-century Abbey of Santissima Trinita.  But so many other things besides, which snuck up on her unawares.  A certain tone of light, a time of day, a color.  Passing a dance studio (all those graceful, talented, and self-assured young girls).  Seeing an old white-nosed Golden Retriever lay its head trustingly on its owner’s knee.  A mild reproach from an older colleague at work.  An unexpected hole in one heel of her favorite pair of knee socks, given her two Christmases ago by her mother.  A valiant little vapor trail petering out to nothing in the evening sky.  Even a tin of bay leaves at Safeway—exactly like the one she’d bought to make jambalaya with sausages and red peppers and chicken thighs for Joey’s 40th birthday.