(DailyPost, favorite toy as a child.)
My favorite toy as a young girl was my paper doll collection. I owned as many sets, or books, of paper dolls as I possibly could.
There was a paper doll edition of just about any Hollywood movie star a kid could think of, in addition to all sorts of theme dolls such as Fairy Tales, and various animals. I had TWO sets of the “Twins” paper dolls, featuring babies from newborn to mid-teens (of course I did…) and there was a gorgeous “Wedding” set featuring a huge wedding party including the bride and groom and…well, you know. There was “Raggedy Ann and Andy” paper dolls, which my grandmother especially liked–along with a paper edition of “Shirley Temple.”
My favorite movie star paper doll was the regal red-haired beauty, GREER GARSON. I am not sure why, maybe because she (the doll) had a lot of green outfits in her wardrobe. I love green. (I always wanted red hair, as well, but <sigh> that wasn’t to be.)
(I’ll bet that gorgeous gown was green! It certainly would have been included in the Paper Doll cut-out book.)
Other big stars of the 1940s who also were paper dolls in another dimension were Betty Grable, otherwise known as “The Blonde Bombshell”. She was noted for her shapely legs (aka “gams,”) and her picture on the side of some U.S. Army Air Force planes.
Then there was the “sarong girl,” brunette Dorothy Lamour…star of many south sea adventures. She was also a paper doll with a collection of colorful sarongs…all paper, of course. And Rita Hayworth, auburn-haired pin-up girl, who also had her image painted on the side of the occasional bomber.
A Tall Tale, told in jest, on a sort of a “dare.”
The mail carrier arrives in her little truck about one p.m. We have a big mailbox, which will hold good-sized packages along with lots of regular mail, which sits out by the road. Except for watching on-coming traffic, which I avoid by standing behind and to the side of the box.
Sometimes our mail-lady is off, and another carrier fills in for her. The substitute whips up to the box, jerks it open, and tosses the mail inside. There is often a letter intended for someone else, a neighbor or down-the-road addressee. The sub can be as late as six p.m., and is rarely here earlier than noon.
So when I heard the mail truck at about 10:30, with its distinctive motor sound, from the kitchen where I was making pancakes for breakfast, and had just served myself a tall stack of pancakes– it encouraged me to run out to see what treasures the mail carrier was depositing in my mailbox.
Dashing out the front door, completely forgetting the bluejay who was concerned about her nest, which she had built in a tree near the porch. We could hear the baby birds chirping, but I had forgotten them on my haste to get to the mailbox.
The bird, apparently surprised and quite agitated, did a bombing run over my head, diving and squawking as bluejays will do. I did avoid the bird, which returned to her nest when I had passed.
When I got to the mailbox, I saw that the lazy substitute had decided to just hang the rather large package by its string, from the flag meant to indicate the presence of out-going mail.
It had started to rain, and when I got to the package the ink which had been used for addressing the package had a few drops of rain which had smeared the address, causing the black ink to smudge, and when I extricated the package from the flag, I managed to get black ink on my hands, and on my clothing.
As I dashed back to the house, the bluejay squawked loudly but did not bother to threaten me with its dive-bombing technique.
I could hear Bob, our Irish setter, barking inside the house, and as I entered the kitchen the cat, Trinket, jumped off of the table…knocked over the plate which was holding my stack of pancakes, and accidentally tracked syrup all over the table and when she jumped off the table the whole thing crashed to the floor: the dog, the cat, the plate, the syrup bottle, the pancakes spread with butter and syrup…and the sticky sweet syrup blended unpleasantly with the running ink from the package.
What a mess! And guess what–there was no mail, only the package.
Here is a wide-angle shot of my backyard. This is very early summer, 2015. For perspective, the width of the area shown is about 80-feet. That is my yard-boy (er, Son) with the wheelbarrow. The maze with the succulents in the center, the Chimenera with its Mexican Emblem, in one corner….the old bench. The wooded-area across the far edge of the photo is my Tree Garden. All of the trees and plants in this garden (and elsewhere in the yard, are either volunteers, or shrubs/trees that I planted personally about ten years ago. It is a labor of love, much more work than I am now able to do. I still prune trees to make paths through the garden. Until recently, the only members of the family that understood where and why the Tree Garden was there at all, were the youngest children. I have more to say about my garden, and many photos…and will soon post about it. I chose this photo to use here in response to my PHOTO101 prompt for today…”HOME”… suggested showing in a wide-angle or panorama shot. As is the case with many of my photos, this was taken from my back deck.
This is a question I have asked myself over and over– “if I am a writer, why am I not writing?”
I AM writing, or thinking about writing, or reading some deathless passages penned during my starry-eyed youth. Poetry, expounding on the various virtues and lack thereof possessed by certain passages of fancy…romantic interests with which my life had been wrecked by unrequited love, or various disastrous relationships…real or imagined.
Thinking about writing has always been a favorite of mine.
By “writing” I mean actual seat-in-chair pounding away at the keys, producing Fiction. Non-fiction has always been a form of writing, but not the end-all-be-all of fulfilling the Writer’s need and longing to … well, write. Enthralled by my own turn of a phrase…disappointment at some less-than-ideal piece of work. Who among us Writers has not spent a stray hour re-reading our work and marveling at how remarkable was the phraseology, the genius of putting words together in unique and individual style.
“Gosh that’s good, did I write that?”
Or the flip side of that scenario, where I stare at the page in horror… “Good Lord, I could NOT have written this piece of garbage!”
At this point of this narrative I should say that I have in fact worked as a Writer, newspaper reporter, and writer of countless university-level term papers, I have written about almost everything I know, from Stonehenge in England to ancient pyramids in Mexico. Once I wrote about what happened to bank checks when they were “in float,” which meant from the time a check was written until it arrived at the bank and was attributed to personal checking accounts. (Known in the vernacular as “beating the check to the bank.” )
I wrote about a land-reclamation project which used dredgings from a harbor on Lake Erie, scooped out and deposited in an area a mile out on a cause-way to form a park. Wrote about ghost ships at about the same time; and Johnson’s Island confederate prison out on Lake Erie.
Later, working on graduate degrees in Latin American History, I wrote papers on a vast variety of subjects, including the European Union, Herodotus and other “fathers” of Historiography, and Aztec “Flower Wars.”
The point here is that those feature articles were part of my professional position as a newspaper writer, and as a university student…although I have never really considered these to be examples of “creative writing,” and even though I was physically engaged in “writing” virtually every day in some capacity, I longed to do Writing, with a capital W.
Oh sure, like most writers, I have a novel in the works. In fact, I have FOUR novels in various stages of completion…none anywhere near publication. There is a Civil War novel, a Science Fiction novel, a Murder-Mystery of course, and a Time-Travel work based on the development of Christianity in the New World/Mexico.
Within the dream of dedicated work on those four novels lies my goal of being a Writer. This is what I want to write, although I understand that any readership that I ever develop is much more likely in blogging, working on non-fiction articles, opinion, ranting, and yes, the occasional Fictional short story for a WordPress challenge.
So here’s the thing–if I am a Writer, I write.
(Daily Prompt: living happily forever.)
When the beautiful Princess meets the handsome (and rich) Prince at the end of the fairy tale, and the author tells us that “they lived happily forever after,” the notion is at least implied that the author has taken us along the barbed and beautiful path winding through the story until… The End.
That’s it…the end of the story. Anyone who is interested in hearing about what happens after the presumeably happy couple skips along on their merry way into the sunset. (Remember those grade school book reports at school where we would smugly say to the class : “to find out wat happens next, you will have to read the book….” ? Well, admittedly that was a cop out, but the teacher was well aware of that fact and had a list of embarrassing questions to ask. (It was not easy to fool Miss Cruelhart.)
Oh sure, it’s easy to extrapolate! If one really wants to, we can speculate about the countless ways that the story could develop, or even drag on endlessly as the Princess and the Prince went about their lives in the Ever-after.
Is it even possible to live happily forever after? After what? After the happy ending in the Fairy Tale story as written? How long IS “forever after” anyway? One human life span? What does “happy” require–would it be possible for BOTH the Priness and the Prince to achieve perfect harmony and compatibility indefinitely, until the end of Forever?
What if the Princess REALLY was awakened from her deep and endless sleep, and was socked with the Prince’s infamous bad breath when he kissed her. . (There had to be some reason a handsome and rich Prince would have remained eligible to encounter beautiful Princesses that were just waiting for him to come along and discover her waiting for his attentions.)
Happily “ever-after” might be able to recover from halitosis (if the Prince was rich enough, and someone recommended some good toothpaste,) But how could they get over the negative issues raised when the Princess had the gall to wrinkle her delicate nose in distaste? Talk about hurt feelings…here the guy shows up out of nowhere and uses his magic powers to awaken the Maiden from her sleep, and she rebuffs him?
What if the girl simply does not LIKE the Prince? What if HE doesn’t like her?
No wonder the Fairy Tales end with the “happily ever-after” thing. They would not be as charming if the last sentence in the story was something like: “…the Prince immediately realized his mistake, when the Princess’ first waking word was “EW…” How rude! And actually, chances are that the Prince found her less than attractive up close.–who knew how long she had been lying there in her coma?
(Please note: This Post was originally a Page, for WordPress reasons, so if it seems familiar that is because it has been published verbatim previously. This switch is part of my Housekeeping chores for my blog. Thanks.)
There is a deep and thick underbelly of the city. I usually begin slightly inside the perimeter, heading inside. I don’t know who I am. Sometimes walking in and out of buildings, slum buildings, searching for someone, in condemned apartment buildings, or in courtyards with no walls, ruination and destruction everywhere. I give up the goal, and look around for a street sign, having no idea of location. There is no sign…no street…only ill-defined filth-strewn paths winding off in different directions. No way to get from here to there. A corner where there is no street, more littered paths sinking away. Paths where an ill-blown wind has cleared pass-ways, to a vague intersection…I run to the edge, and peer frantically into the right, then the left, back to the beginning. It becomes clear that there is no right or wrong way, only a thicket of debris that is indescribable…just there.
Finally, after wandering endlessly, seeing no one, hearing nothing except the silent rustle of the papers and leaves…finally I am aware of a presence, someone there where only nothing had stood before. A woman, tall, gaunt, eyes like cold, deep, obsidian… the wind, whispering “There’s no way out.”
“There has to be a way…these city blocks have to end eventually.”
“They do, but there is no easy way, no fast way. No public transportation, no passable roads. Only terrible crushing destruction and devastation, and the remains of what was once….but is no longer. Look up…there is no sky, no ceiling, no clouds…only clear and uncluttered UP. If you can get to the station there is hope.”
“There us a way, for those who dare to take it. It begins here…”
The misty woman inclined her head toward the center, where I now could see what I can only describe as two secured ropes, or strings, such as in an entry to an exhibit or a demonstration. It reminded me of a rope bridge over a gorge, such as one sees in the great colored photos of explorers to the jungle lands. Only this track, if it can be called that, forming the walkway, consisting of two one-inch in diameter ropes placed side by side about six inches apart. The track ropes were not fixed, but seemed to be more or less secure, and above them about waist-high were two more ropes, these thinner and more flexible than the bottom of the track.
People approached the suspension bridge, as it might be called, and stepped onto the bottom track, one foot on each of the parallel ropes. The hand railings were of a thinner rope, more accurately a stout string or twine, which were not taut as one would expect them to be, but more flexible and allowed for a gentle wave-like motion. The bottom track ropes, and the higher track strings, were secured at wide intervals of perhaps eight feet. I stepped onto the apparatus, and the misty woman entered behind me, and she and the man in front of me showed me how to set my feet securely, and to hold onto the string loosely, wrapping strings around my hands in a gathering motion in order to maintain a satisfactory tension.
The track rose steadily from the beginning point, until it was many feet above the ground level, perhaps thirty, then fifty feet high. As long as the rhythmic tension of the string-ropes was steady, there was a secure feeling of comfort and security. Below was a montage of landscape and color, streets packed and lined with all fruits and vegetables, lush collections of the bounty of Earth. There were no people on the streets below.
If only this bounty could be used to feed the world population!
“But this is not possible,” said the woman.. ” Only the deserving can partake of this grand bounty, and they are few and far between.” We passed along, sometimes in an orderly queue, other times the string ropes would stretch or a long gap between the “riders of the ropes” would cause the path to sway and weave about unsteadily.
“Here is everyone’s favorite part…” said the woman facetiously, as we passed over a great canyon of bones and skulls, the remains of dead people and animals. The dead were brought in from everywhere, stored in this terrible receptacle below our secure bridge. Falling off, slipping from our path, was fatal. Fresh bodies lay among the parched bones. The landscape began to assume the character of tunnels, subways or underground passages, concrete walls beginning to take the place of the buildings below. Burned out buildings passed below, rubble, destruction, and death of many kinds.
Eventually the chasm brightened, and great staircases of concrete and stone began to materialize below. Tunnels branched off in all directions.
“This is where we can leave,” the woman said. “Now is the opportunity to jump off of the rope/bridge and escape.”
Unfortunately the alarm interrupted the dream…
It’s about time I changed my blog around, even it is only a new header image and a new background color. There is a lot of other tweaks and major renovation to be done, but that will have to wait awhile. The Big Job around here is that the contractors are finally going to get here on June 8, ready to rip out half of my ceilings and replace drywall. Nationwide paid on my claim months ago, and it is really amazing that they trusted me with sole discretion in dispersing the money. The delay is largely my fault…being as how I preferred not to deal with major renovation while sick in bed with some mysterious illness…even my doctor didn’t commit himself to its nature, and basically said I would just have to deal with the hallucinations from the heavy-duty cough syrup…or do without and cough my guts out. That illness took three weeks to conquer.
There is a silver lining in the Big Job…I have been forced to clear out tons of stuff (boxes of stuff) and books, out of my bedroom and the china cabinets in the kitchen/dining room. On my behalf I would like to say that the influx of “stuff” had two sources: namely my flea market indoor shops and antique mall shop, which were closed by me two years ago or so, resulted in moving all that stuff, including at least a thousand books, out of the shops into my garage, basement, and every room in my house.
Whew! Thus the silver lining…all that stuff is being funneled back out to the garage, and later to other destinations. Such as the Goodwill, maybe a yard sale, a now-is-your-chance-get-it-now-or-forget-it invitation to my family.
It is noteworthy that the trash cans and once-a-month-pick-up trucks have already gotten their share of discards.
Any way, to get on about the Blog. I like the new color. The header image change has been delayed by the sad facts concerning my suddenly forgetting everything I ever knew about camera-to-computer work. The solution to that was really rather obvious (I’m a great follower of Occam’s Razor) in that the camera I was using had never been introduced to the computer! Yes, I should be ashamed to admit it. It’s easier to just blame Windows 8.1 for my failing computer skills…but that is another story.
My search for a new theme for Sometimes continues, however. I keep returning to Bold Life theme.
well Bunky, that’s life at my place–both Cyber and Real.
Here are a few pics from my file. Actually the ones I wanted to use are not cooperating…I have no idea why. I am having a lot of anxiety and grief over getting my last batch of images onto WordPress blog.