A Summer of Rose Profusion

“Roses do not bloom hurriedly; for beauty, like any masterpiece, takes time to blossom.”
Matshona Dhliwayo

This year has not been like any other during my lifetime. But for all that is going on in the world right now, my rose garden is doing it’s best to share a little beauty.

A subtle fragranced rose that perfumes the yard in the early evening.

Early morning sun warms these recent blooms.

The compact white flowers smell like fresh cracked pepper corns with a hint of rose. When they first opened they resembled a bridal bouquet.

The youngest rose, is now producing multiple blooms and is not bashful with its perfume.

May your weekend blossom beautifully.

Fannie

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Writers, Have You Heard About The Occupation Thesaurus?

Hi everyone! Today I have something fun to share…a special chance to win some help with your writing bills. Awesome, right?

Some of you may know Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi of Writers Helping Writers. Well, today they are releasing a new book, and I’m part of their street team. I’m handing the blog over to them so they can tell you a bit about their Writer’s Showcase event, new book, and a great freebie to check out. Read on!


Certain details can say a lot about who someone is, like a character’s goals, desires, and backstory wound. But did you know there’s another detail that can tie your character’s arc to the plot, provide intense, multi-layered conflict, AND shorten the “get to know the character” curve for readers?

It’s true. Your character’s occupation is a GOLD MINE of storytelling potential.

How much time do you spend on the job? Does it fulfill you or frustrate you? Can you separate work from home? Is it causing you challenges, creating obstacles, or helping you live your truth?

Just like us, most characters will have a job, and the work they do will impact their life. The ups and downs can serve us well in the story.

Maybe you haven’t thought much about jobs in the past and how they act as a window into your character’s personality, interests, and skills. It’s okay, you aren’t alone. The good news is that The Occupation Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers is going to do all the heavy lifting for you. You’ll be able to pick the perfect job for them and discover how to weave it into the very fabric of the story. (Here’s one of the jobs profiled in this book: FIREFIGHTER.)

GIVEAWAY ALERT: THE WRITER’S SHOWCASE IS WAITING

To celebrate the release of a new book, Becca and Angela are running a giveaway from July 20th & July 23rd. You can win some great prizes, including gift certificates that can be spent on writing services within the Writer’s Showcase. Stop by to enter if you like!

Resource Alert: A List of Additional Jobs Profiles For Your Characters!

Some of the amazing writers in our community have put together additional career profiles for you, based on jobs they have done in the past. What a great way to get accurate information so you can better describe the roles and responsibilities that go with a specific job, right? To access this list, GO HERE.

Happy writing to all!

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When You’ve Named Your Cats Ax and Dently on Purpose

After a month of working on sit and stay with my shelter kitties, who are named Ax and Dently on purpose. We accidentally got a photo in the right order of Ax, Sid—the sloth from Ice Age, and Dently.

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, the twin brothers successfully avoided sloth until this photo. I’m such a bad influence.

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When the Marine Cloud Layer Looks Like A Train on Water

When was the last time you looked at the clouds and imagined what things they looked like? Perhaps you saw a dog or a bat or a dragon or an angel.

My husband and I needed to get out of the house for a little bit. We took a drive through Tacoma, Washington, on some of the lesser traveled roads. When we reached Titlow Beach, we spotted this marine layer heading north through the Tacoma Narrows. It made me think of high speed bullet trains.

When is a cloud not a cloud? When we use our imagination.

What do you see?

For those of you in the U.S. have a happy 4th. For the rest of you on this lovely blue planet, stay safe and healthy. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Ciao,

Fannie

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Comfort Food During Stay At Home, Stay Healthy

Some days, I just need soup. Last week hosted one of those days. One of my friend’s shared a vegan cauliflower soup recipe with me. I like to meddle with recipes after I’ve made them a few times. In the perverse nature of things, I occasionally cause my husband to suffer on “monochrome” food night. Yes, it’s been a thing for 26 years.

So into the cauliflower soup I added sautéed spiralized winter squash and a little bit of shredded coconut so it wouldn’t all be the same color and threw caution to the wind with black pepper instead of white. Dare to dare. And my husband actually ate it and liked it. Yeah.

You could say I put the meddle to the cauliflower petal.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Fannie

 

 

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Clematis and Rose

This year has been filled with all sorts of surprises in our garden. Our clematis and climbing roses bloomed at the same time. It is a first. Normally they bloom about a month apart. And normally the clematis, planted in 1999, bursts forth a green white flower that glows at sunset. We were pleasantly surprised when the reddish hues took over the petals this year, but we miss the sunset luminescence.

You can call me anything, but not late for blooming.

Perhaps it put on the show to welcome it’s friend the rose.

May you find beauty in your garden this weekend.

Ciao,

Fannie

 

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A Special Edition: Penny Power Revisited

The PenniesIt’s been a long time since I’ve posted a special edition piece. I was feeling nostalgic because of a photo I found of the neighborhood children participating in a penny hunt in a kiddie pool filled with lawn clippings taken during a neighborhood block party many years ago.  I thought it would be fun to revisit this post from 2015 again . . .

***

When was the last time you considered a penny’s power and influence?

“Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.”

When was the last time you bent over to pick up a penny?

Without looking, which way is Lincoln facing?

Would you think twice before saying “a penny for your thoughts”, before putting a penny in your loafers, before tossing a penny for a wish? If your wish came true, would you consider it a penny well spent?

Or the title of one of Ogden Nash’s poems sums it up, “A Penny Saved is a Penny Well Spent.”

We are nostalgic about our pennies.

Or we would be more “penny wise than pound foolish” and join our Canadian friends who retired their pennies because it cost more to mint them than they are worth.

What if we took a trip back in time. Not via the DeLorean or the Tardis or the Time Machine, but through a book I picked up at a used bookstore.

1987. A time before the internet. Going viral meant sickness or disease—which we have all been reminded of lately with the jackhammer called COVID-19. And landlines were all the rage—well pretty much your only option.

Nationally syndicated columnist, Bob Greene, Chicago Tribune, received an interesting letter from Mike Hayes, a freshman enrolled at the University of Illinois. His parents put four older siblings through school and could not fund Mike beyond his first quarter.

Mike proposed an intriguing idea.

He asked Bob how many people read his column. Mike figured there must be millions of readers. He asked Bob to pitch his readers the idea of sending Mike one penny. If a couple million people sent him one penny—dug it out of the sofa cushions, the floor of their car, off the sidewalk—it would pay for his entire education.

No one thought the idea would work—except Mike.

The cost of a stamp in 1987: 22 cents. More than the cost of the penny.

Intrigued, Bob wrote the column.

In less than four weeks, the “Many Pennies for Mike” fund reached close to 2.3 million pennies. But not everyone sent pennies, some sent nickels, dimes, quarters or more.

In the end, he received enough to pay for his degree and gifted the residual to another deserving student at his university in the form of a scholarship.

Crowd funding before crowd funding.

And in case you want to know, Mike Hayes became a food scientist. And Abe Lincoln’s profile faces right.

Since we’re on the topic of the power and influence of pennies, how about the Beatles lead us out with Penny Lane.

Never under estimate the power of a penny. Until next week.

Ciao,

Fannie

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Cat Connoisseurs versus SPAM Lite

I have two, young, male, rescue cats named Ax and Dently, for you guessed it, accidentally. It’s like having a furry noun and a furry modifier sharing the same space. I’m sure that Dently occasionally wants to modify his brother. Just saying.

Our one-year cat anniversary is next week. My husband and I are still discovering new things about them.

Take exhibit A for example. We have been sheltering in place since the second week in March. We decided we wanted to have some comfort food from our childhood before we discovered the advent of SPAM-aggedon at the grocery stores. Our local grocer still had one can of SPAM Lite on the shelf, but nothing else.

Who can resist pork shoulder and ham cooked in a can?

My husband and I haven’t dined on SPAM in about a decade. When we cracked the can open, Ax and Dently bellied up to the breakfast bar like electromagnets to metal.

Ax and Dently, siblings sharing the same space since before birth.

Who knew they were SPAM connoisseurs? What other secrets are they harboring? A secret lust for Fritos? Or maybe they lean more toward green beans? Only time will tell.

Stay safe and healthy and don’t forget to laugh.

Fannie

 

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What Do You Do for a Ninth Blogiversary?

Several weeks ago I hit a milestone I never imagined, nine years of quietly blogging on WordPress.

What do you do for a 9th blogiversary?

Well, I thought we could take a walk down memory lane and play the anniversary post from 2015 because some dreams do become reality.

***

 

Bloggiversaries happen before you even noticed you're there.

Blogiversaries happen before you even realize you’re holding hands.

Today we celebrate Fannie Cranium’s fourth blogiversary.

Welcome new followers and welcome back friends. Thank you for the likes and comments.

Wdydfae from What Do You Do For an Encore sent me the instructions for his blurb generator algorithm.

Why don’t we start the celebration with a few fun blurbs.

*Fannie puts on her geek goggles. Crank the handle three times. Hmm, seems easy enough. Leaning forward she cranks once, twice, thrice.  The generator clanks. Chugs. Coughs. Smoke billows. The first blurb spews from the slot.*

This blog is . . . Gauchely adroit. . .glumly jovial. . .cunningly cacophonous. . . .

*Fannie hits the emergency stop button. She wipes the soot from her nose and cheeks with a hanky.*

Sorry folks, that didn’t go the way I expected. Wdydfae makes it look so easy.

*  *  *

This journey started because the story teller in me wanted a place to practice writing fiction. This resulted in 166 original short stories about Richard and Fannie Cranium.

Several someones have read “Have You Seen My Pocket Trout” at least once a week for the last four years (make that nine). I wrote it before I learned the meaning of show versus tell. Thank you for keeping one of my first stories alive.

Then there’s the joy of being part of a blogging community. And part of a group blog. Thank you to the crazy, funny bunch over at the Blog of Funny Names. You guys rock!

*  *  *

The universe loves sending opportunities dressed as obstacles.

I spent several guilt ridden, exhausting, life changing, wonderful years caring for parents with dementia. The last three—twenty-four, seven.

The Roman philosopher, Seneca, said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

The short stories are on hold while I finish a book proposal on Alzheimer’s home care. It is taking longer than I planned, but dreams are worth the work.

To keep my sense of humor in tact, I may sneak in a semi-colon for the sheer joy of it. It’s not fiction; who’s going to notice the invisible pair of black stilettos behind the sentence—unless you know to search.

A world without stillettos; a world with lower insurance premiums.

A world without stilettos; a world with lower insurance premiums.

(Some things do take a long time, the book, Dementia Home Care, has a launch date of March 18, 2021. And yes, I snuck in a few Easter Eggs, semi-colons being one of them. I mean really, how could I resist?)

Thank you for writing your thoughts and sharing your thought.

“With our thoughts, we make the world.” ~ Siddhartha Gautama.

***

Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Stay healthy—and don’t forget to laugh.

Ciao,

Fannie

 

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Collateral Beauty

We’ve all had to make changes, adapt with the pandemic. Going to the grocery store at 6 a.m., practice social distancing. Talking to friends and family on the phone or over social media to stay connected.

We’ve been forced to slow down. With it changed my perspective. I noticed the beauty in the rain and relished filling my lungs with the damp, cleaner air. I noticed the golden pollen blanket wrapping my car. I noticed the plants and flowers bursting through the soil. I noticed the small birds building nests in my backyard. I enjoy the generosity of my neighbors.

And enjoy taking a walk before the sun rises.

Don’t forget to notice the collateral beauty.

Fannie

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