RoadWriter

Heart, Soul, and Rough Edges — A Gypsy Journey of Words and Wonder

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

This Writer's Comfort Food

Red Vines

Red Vines (Photo credit: Incase.)

The right treat can be a perfect break from your creative session. While I write, I like things like Red Vines, nuts, chocolate, crackers. As a reward for a good session, it’s nice to have something richer to treat myself with. Here’s two of my favorite recipes. One on the healthier side, and one on the indulgent. Both tasty.

First off, my recipe for banana muffins. Don’t remember which online site I got the original recipe from. I like that this recipe only takes one banana. Perfect for using up an overripe banana. Bananas also freeze great for this purpose. Defrost in your fridge, cut off an end, and squeeze it out like toothpaste. No mushing necessary!

Banana Muffins

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TB milk
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 banana)
  1. In small bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In separate bowl cream margarine and sugar; add eggs and mix until smooth. Stir in milk and banana. Mix well.
  3. Fold in flour mixture.
  4. Spray muffin tins with PAM. Fill tins 2/3 full.
  5. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Note: This makes about 16 muffins, so I do have to do two batches. The big batch is great for pot lucks too.

The other recipe I’m sharing is more recently discovered. I’ve only made them twice, but they are by far the best cookies I’ve made. Discovered through Pinterest, the original recipe can be found here.

White Chocolate Snickerdoodles

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 TB sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • white chocolate chips
  1. Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and blend well.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well. Add chips (use as many as you think are good, but I do about half a bag.)
  4. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  5. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. (Makes about 4 dozen cookies)

Note: If dough is too sticky, or cookies are too flat, add more flour.

 

What do you like to snack on to give you a needed boost during your creative sessions?

Mary Butterfly Signature

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Make Visible: Summer of Creativity

My poetry does not exist in a vacuum. It reflects my life, at the moment and in retrospect. One way I “fill the well” is through doing arts and crafts projects. Here are pictures of what I’ve been up to for the past 3 months.

IMG_2585 IMG_2587 IMG_2648 IMG_2650 IMG_2652 IMG_2657 IMG_2682

The jacket took about 2 years to embroider off and on, so glad to finish it!

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.”~Robert Bresson, French Film Director

What is a poem?

718660742_2566843587_0What is a poem? Do you only believe it’s poetry if it rhymes? Has line and stanza breaks? What about prose poems?

Confession time: Yes, yes, I know, poetry is compress language, rich imagery, and prose poems are alive and well. But as for me …

Retro

However much I beat myself over the head, reread the definition, stare into space. compose metaphors based on motes of house dust as they drift down in the slow breeze generated by the fireplace insert, I am unable to convince myself there is such a thing as prose poetry, and, reading this over, I know exactly where I would place the line breaks, and the part of me that turns up its poetic nose at free verse wants to go back and make this rhyme.

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Clouds in Flight

Cloud in Flight

Clouds in Flight, Judy Hayden 2012

“Ah, yes, I remember it well”
Maurice Chevalier, in GiGi

Observations

I see and remember
through filters
of place and need,
hunger and fear,
time as instant as breath

You see a cloud
slide through the sky
I feel dragon’s breath
claim the ground
above the trees

Your wide-angle mind
grasps the world’s entirety
— so easy, you say —
it’s all clearly there
fully defined and framed

My mind cannot hold
virtual, visual
logic-formed snapshots,
all pixels in place

Darkroom details,
emotions, shapes,
visceral images
revealed in layers
are my truth

raw word-pictures,
mental music . . .
or
objects defined
by their given names . . .

we each see and say
our imprinted version
of reality as it never is

Michele M. Graf

This poem grew out of a discussion my husband and I had with friends, when we were each describing what we saw and did on part of our life on the road. How could two people come away with such different memories of the same shared event? One of the best parts of being married to one’s absolute opposite is laughing at all the ways we interpret “Life, the Universe, and Everything”. (Thank you Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)

In June, I was co-presenter of the Eugene Public LIbrary Summer Reading Series Poetry Workshop and Showcase. Judy Hayden’s photography was on display as part of the celebration. I went wild when I saw her bird in flight cloud photo — the clearest image of what I’ve tried to explain about how I process the world. Sentimentally, watching cloudscapes and the moon were my special moments with my father when I was young.  Judy graciously agreed to share this magic image with the Poetic Muselings in this post.

A bit about Judy:  I see light and line, color and texture, gladly through my lens; both still and moving images in nature; blessings from the earth, sea, and sky. 

Inspiration for the cloud photo:  During my annual women’s retreat in Eastern Oregon, a time to laugh, cry, and nurture, this amazing bird-like image appeared briefly on our morning walk, bringing us much appreciated joy and inspiration.

Thank you, Judy, for capturing that bird, and allowing it to soar here! We hope to collaborate on other poetry-photo projects in the future, so watch for more.

Get the Lead Out

When I was in eighth grade, the school held a writing contest for students to go to a local Young Writer’s Conference. The topic we had to write a story on was Get the Lead Out. I didn’t have any preconceptions of the phrase, so interpreted it how I wanted. Since writing my story, I’ve used the phrase to remind myself to just write. Here’s my story:

Get the Lead Out

My favorite teacher in Jr. High must have been Mr. Horace D. Wallington, my English teacher.  His favorite—and most often used—expression was “get the lead out”.  At first it was only another way to say get out your pencil and start writing.  At least that’s what it meant to me.  Now I can see that it means more than that.  Much, much, more . . .

“Mr. Wallington . . . Mr. Wallington!”

“Huh?” Mr. Wallington glanced up from the papers he was correcting and noticed Sarah standing beside his desk. “Is there anything I can help you with Sarah?”

“I’m having some trouble with that essay you asked us to write this morning.”

“You mean the one you’re supposed to write about your feelings on World War II.”

“Yea. That’s the one.”

“I’m surprised you even asked me about it. You’re usually so quiet in class that I never know whether you have any questions that need answering.”

“Well . . .”

“Why don’t you come in after school tomorrow and I’ll try to help you with it then.”

“Thanks a lot, Mr. Wallington.”

Sarah turned and headed towards the door.  As she was about to leave, Mr. Wallington called out “Write down everything you know about World War II and bring the paper in with you tomorrow.”

“Okay . . . Anything else?”

“No. That’s all.”

The next day Sarah was right on time.  As she went in, she saw that Mr. Wallington was alone in the classroom.  When he noticed that she had come in, he pulled one of the desks closer to his own.

He asked her to sit down and then sat down himself, perching on the edge of his desk. “Did you write the paper like I asked you to?”

“Yes, I have it right here.” Sarah handed him a small pile of papers.  He flipped through the papers then handed them back to her.

“I see that you have been listening in class.  What I don’t understand is if you know so much about World War II, then why are you having so much trouble writing your paper?”

“Well, I’m not exactly sure how to write it all out.”

“But you wrote it all down right here.”

“I know. It’s just that . . .”

“I think what you’re trying to say is that you’re not quite sure what your feelings are on the subject.”

“I guess you could put it that way.”

“Well, in this situation, my main advice is to just ‘get the lead out,’ as I would always say.”

“But what exactly do you mean when you say that?” Sarah asked earnestly.  “I always thought that it was a figure of speech to say get out your pencil and start working.”

“I suppose in a way it does mean that.  Yet it means more.  You know that lead compound could kill you. Don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“And if you get some in your system, then it’s best to get it out right away, correct?”

“Of course.  That’s the sensible thing to do.”

“Well, the lead is all that information stored up in you. It’s in there, somewhere, and you know you have to get it out.”

“So how am I to go about doing that?”

“ ‘Get the lead out.’ Get that pencil in your hands and just start writing. Let it go. Let it flow out of your system. Don’t force it; just let your hand do the talking. It will all come out, I promise.”

“It’s that easy?” the need for reassurance in her eyes.

Mr. Wallington smiled. “Why don’t you go home and find out for yourself.” He escorted her to the door and held it open for her. She started to walk down the hall, hesitated, and looked back.

“Thank you, Mr. Wallington. I’ll try my best to do as you said.”

“I expect to see that essay on my desk first thing in the morning.”

And it was. He was right. Once I just got down to it and let it all out, it was easy. Not only did I get an “A” on that paper, but my teacher entered it into a national contest, and it won. Here I am now, getting credit for it, but the award should go to him.

Thank you, Mr. Wallington, for the wonderful advice. And for explaining to me that simple phrase: “Get the Lead Out.”

Mary Butterfly Signature

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