Thursday, July 26, 2018
Since returning home from Sicily, I have been steeped in creative work and tending our vegetable gardens, which are growing by leaps and bounds.
These are the pendants I made, using the collected seaglass and lentil size stones I found on the shingle beach in Scopello.
I have been writing a lot of essays and poems, trying to recapture the best of the experience. (Some of the travel is a bit daunting, especially when you're flying with over 500 people. I think I learned something to make those flights a bit kinder. Seats on the sides of plane or just behind the walls that divide travel classes have a bit more room. If you are given the opportunity to select seats, then pick these areas. You may have to pay a bit more, but it will be worth it. Trust me, I know the difference in leg room.) Thus far, 3 poems and two essays have been selected for publication. What a thrill that is, especially when it's challenging to make scenes as poignant as being there.
Maybe that is always the challenge. Besides writing about Sicily, I have been working on my 100 word story collection. Hoping to put together one hundred 100 word stories. I am writing 1-2 stories a day.Everything and anything can trigger a story. The characters, for the most part, are quirky and behaving badly, or are strangely righteous, or just trying to get by, day by day, and make sense of their lives. These stories are so different from my poetry, and I am having a lot of fun writing these terse ironic scenes. It's deliciously wicked, letting readers "see" the underside of situations.
Here's a link to a 100 word story that I wrote last summer. It was accepted in the fall, and has just been published on Lost Balloon https://lost-balloon.com/2018/07/25/cry-baby-by-m-j-iuppa/
The 100 word story form is a bit addictive, too.
Our gardens are doing quite well, especially having the two week late start. I think we're catching up.
I cannot believe how we have managed to stay ahead of weeds. Seriously, this is a miracle. It's been so hot here. No rain for days, weeks to be exact; then, this past week we have had some slow soaking rain. The plants have jumped in size and fullness, especially squash plants. We had to water, which works, but rain water is the real elixir. We're going to take pictures today and I will post.
I think I did something smart in the section that holds the squash type plants: zucchini, yellow, acorn, butternut, etc. these are shorter rows, north to south, whereas the other rows are longer, east to west.
Consequently, the squash vines are contained to their area and not running amok across the whole garden, which is quite large.
In other news, several weeks ago, we had a terrible disaster with our chickens and turkeys, which were growing up so nicely. A fierce raccoon came in and killed all but three birds. Ugh. We lost 20 birds. I was heartsick.
Now we have that situation solved, and have acquired some new birds. To everything, there is a season . . .