Entry No. 65

The Darkest Sunlight

My home is quiet but for the clicking of keys and occasional clink of my teacup returning to rest on my nightstand. Again, I begin typing, dragging my thoughts back to reality caveman-style, having gently sipped the deep, dark brew of other lands, which I happen to prefer hot – hot like the center of the sun.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.51.04 AMAnd this, this is where writing stories is so bittersweet. I expect few to understand. Journeying the deep of an imagination so vivid it’s nearly tangible, then having to leave, come back and write it all down and…. You see, this is why the tea always, always must be hot.

People wonder why writers are often such reclusive creatures. It’s usually on purpose – so we don’t frighten the few who innocently, or bravely, dare try us on a day-to-day basis, away. Not many can relish for long, the intensity of a mind that involuntarily sees a story come alive in anything its gaze happens upon.  Nor once we’ve sailed that vast ocean and truly seen it, grasp the agony of holding an untold story inside of us.

And what, pray-tell with the conversations writers hold daily with people who do not exist, in a time to come from what never was… No, no we don’t talk to ourselves. Rather, we converse regularly with the people we’ve created from nothing. It’s a wonder we’re sane.

And so the tea is searing hot, to remind the senses of what is real between pages, so a reader can someday take a journey and for a moment, forget altogether. Because really, any story that leaves one feeling anything less than an urge to crawl inside a book’s pages and live there, forever, was never a story at all.

Ever stop and wonder how they do it, that thing? Where you find bits of yourself woven in a tale, as if mistakenly left there, by an author you’ve never met?  People don’t realize, but that’s what they’re really saying you know, when they mention a book they “simply cannot put down.” What they mean to convey is, “I’ve read untold parts of my soul.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.49.15 AMFancy often, the inner workings of a writer’s mind; how they navigate that beautifully bright, yet morbid and twisted labyrinth so you can see heaven, taste earth and smell hell all in a chapter from your living room? It’s truly the darkest sunlight.

Pondered much the goings-on, the internal habits of those peculiar ones who smile, say little, are caught studying you; then plunk words on paper in such a way to either make your nerves curl, spirit soar or heart shatter from shock barely a moment later?  Perchance, it’s best left a mystery, a gift for the ones who always question if we’re writing about them and should perhaps behave better.

Alas, I beg you ponder, next instant a writer leaves you breathless, wanting more, you know “it’s two in the morning…just one more chapter.” Consider perhaps we too, didn’t want to come back but did anyway, just for you. Hence we write, to taste life twice. To relive, add a pulse and shock to breathing, the things we see in untold places for the waning imagination of many.

It’s there we’ll hide, in the tangible shadow of the shining story, created from the realest nothing ever known. Then slip away unnoticed but for an occasional curious glance beyond its pages. And just what telling it all was really like, we rarely share with so very few…  Time to sip the tea again.

#writing #oceaninaraindrop #thedarkestsunlight

Entry No. 59

The London Fog

FullSizeRender-2If you’re a serious tea fan, you’ve likely heard of the London Fog.  It’s an Earl Grey based tea served warm with steamed milk and a shot of vanilla syrup.  The drink originated in Vancouver, British Colombia and in Scotland, is known as a Vancouver Fog.  At Starbuck’s and other coffee shops, it’s often called an Earl Grey Latte.  Anyway, I had my first one in New York last month.  Actually, I had several of them.  I was surprised I enjoyed it so as, I’ve never been one for Earl Grey. The London Fog changed my mind.

FullSizeRenderThere are so many versions of this drink;  the Atlantic City Fog {replaces Earl Grey with Rose tea}, Nanaimo Mist {replaces vanilla syrup with almond syrup}, Savannah Fog {replaces vanilla syrup with lavender syrup} and the London Smog {a London Fog with an added shot of espresso} are among my favorites.  All of these drinks are made with steamed milk and if you don’t have a fancy machine for this, it’s fine.  I make my steamed milk here at home in a mini French Press. I found my mini press at Marshall’s a while ago, but here’s a link for one the same size as mine.

FullSizeRender-1To make steamed milk in a French Press, just warm the milk for about thirty {30} seconds in a microwave, don’t boil it, just warm it.  Then pump the milk in the press quickly for ten {10} seconds or less.  It’s that simple.  You can also warm milk in a jar in the microwave, then tightly secure the lid on the jar and shake it for a bit, vigorously, with the warm milk inside.  Either way will give you a nice, foamy topper for your London Fog. {recipe below}

Continue reading

Entry No. 57

IMG_8241Well, at last I’m an author and I wanted to share it before this year is over.   I began writing a children’s book nearly four years ago and stopped about a third of the way through.  Sometimes, we just have to live a little longer, let our roots grow a little stronger, let God work a little deeper to finish a “chapter” in life.  In the last month, I wrote the rest of the story and put the final pieces together. In a few weeks, it will be available through Amazon, etc. but for now, it can be ordered directly here. “The Edge of the Wood” is a rhyming children’s story about a solitary tree on a hill, who wished he’d have grown in the forest instead.  At this link, it is $14.99 through Blurb.  Once it goes to Amazon it will go up some so, I wanted to give everyone a chance to order one early.  I hope reading the story touches your life as deeply as writing it has changed mine.