Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remember When | Winter Wonderland

Do you remember when winter was synonimus with playing in the snow after dark, and making snow angels, even if the "snow" was only a quarter inch thick? When we whined about having to don scarves and mittens before venturing forth, but if we lost one we cried because it was our "favorite"? Remember going to Grama's for hot cocoa and Christmas dinner, and our favorite part of the holidays was playing outside with our cousins and siblings until we couldn't feel our fingers or toes, and our cheeks were so red they resembled shiny tree ornaments? Do you remember those days of carefree snowy excitement? I do. I miss them. I want to bring them back...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simple Life | Priorities and Dreams

I feel inspired. Brin, of My Messy, Thrilling Life, is a brilliant writer, and a woman of deep faith and beautiful vision. I have been reading her work for a few months now, and I am finally taking the time to read her blog from the begining (way back in 2005). Freeman House, an old farmhouse somewhere between Wichita and Texas, pops up frequently in her writings, always in the sad, past tense, and I am finally learning about the magnificent place! How I long for the simple life she so eloquently describes...

Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran is a book I hope to read soon. Charmed, simple - I want these things in my life, and I finally realized that I am the only one who can acheive those goals; I have to determine for myself what is important to me, and then put those beliefs into action. I want a quiet life of home, hearth, family and service. I feel it in my soul; I need to slow down, and focus on what matters.

I have always been one of those people who is good at most things I try, and for years I have believed this tendency must mean that I am meant to do something big, something important. What I never took into account was that doing what I was created to do doesn't mean that I have to do everything! And who, besides God, is to say what is "important", anyway?

I've been doing a great deal of thinking lately, about what really matters to me. Knowing God, and having a personal, intimate relationship with Him is at the top of the list, though I am shamed to admit that this was not the case until recently. These past few years have been difficult ones, and I allowed my circumstances to drive a wedge - a wall of silence and bitterness - between myself and His holiness. I am done with that now. It has been like living without oxygen.

What is really important to me...

Family. My husband is my best of best friends; he is my confidant, my lover, my hero. The one I turn to when I need grounding, and the one that I cling to when in need of comfort. He is my sunshine when all else is dark, and I love him more thoroughly than I can even begin to express! After God, he embodies what is important to me.

Relationships. We have a large family, between us; I love all, and like most, which is (I hope) the same as can be said by them of me! We are so distant, geographically, from family I love, it grieves me at times. I hope to travel, or have them as guests, many times in the years to come. I am excited to soon live near my beautiful niece, and I can't wait to meet my nephew when he makes his debut this spring! When I think of simplicity and joy, I imagine a life where I can devote myself to family; to being the best aunty I can be, and to sharing the joys and sorrows of life with those I love.

Home. A place of my own. Ah, the joy and peace I feel when I even think of it! I don't want anything fancy; simplicity is my friend, cozy and quaint my neighbors. I would love to own an old farmhouse, old and in need of a tender touch, with a small parcel of land and maybe an old barn. I would love to put that old farmhouse back together again, room by room, piece by piece, and restore to her that old time charm and serenity of kinder years. I want a home with character, personality. I want to name my home, like Brin did with Freeman House. And I want to spend my days there, growing old with my beloved husband, surrounded by family, friends, children and grandchildren, and die in my bed, and old woman at peace with God and life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Build A Better Pillow

I wish, I wish, I had a picture for you today! I woke up this morning from the best nights sleep in months, only to discover that my pillow was actually -

*drumroll please*


Nick says he came up sometime in the early A.M.'s and when I rolled over I grabbed him instead of my pillow and he just stayed there until I woke up! And he was so excited when I finally did - licking and happy whining ensued as has never been heard or seen before! It was nice, and very wet.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Narrative Development: My Perspective

I sit at my desk, staring out the window, past the bare-branched oak tree that skitters dry twigs across the glass, to the low-flowing river across the street. The Canadian geese have left us for warmer climes, and the few ducks who remain do not brave the currents, instead hiding in the reeds and long grass along the eroded banks. Wispy white clouds scuttle across the pale blue sky like hermit crabs, carrying reminders of snow. November is a dreary month, even in big sky country, Wyoming.

The sound of scuffling snaps my attention back into my attic room; Butters is under the bed again, making mince meat out of his Nylabone. A wry smile tugs at the corners of my mouth; just a month ago, we were preparing to say goodbye to the little guy after he ate half of Platty, his stuffed platapus, and about a baskball's worth of Polyfil stuffing, to say nothing of the plastic spoon and half a paper plate! I had no idea how very much I loved him until I almost lost him. Now he sits there, gnawing away at the one toy he is still allowed, and my heart can barely contain this feeling of love and joy!

Turning my attention to the screen in front of me, I pause; what was I writing? Oh, right! Narrative. Something about...tension. Creating it, feeling it, expressing it creatively. I should get back to it, I suppose...

Copyright 2010 @ Alena Belleque. DO NOT COPY.

When I consider narrative developement, my process is simple. Feel the story; show my readers what I see, and do it in such a way that they barely realize that they are no longer sitting and reading, but have become an emotional part of the narrative before them. I want my reader to become the character - to see what she sees, feel what she feels, and to experience every conflict as if they were actually there, in the story, in her skin. I achieve this by writing, for the most part, in real time. I prefer active tense to passive, and first person to third. I feel that if a story should not so much be told, as lived. The emotional, mental, and spiritual impact is far greater, in my opinion. And as a writer, if I connect with my characters, and with my story, I believe that my audience will as well.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grampa Beside Me

I remember standing there, snow all around, the wind whispering in the distant tops of the pine forest. Grampa's arms and chest were so warm, as he knelt behind me, holding his hand out in front of us, full of seeds. The White Tail looked warily at me, but seemed to trust Grampa, and she came up to us, her hooves making soft crunching noises in the snow. The doe was small, but to me she was very large. I held onto Grampa's coat sleeve with my little mittened hands, and held my breath as her muzzle reached from Grampa's hand. He murmered to the deer, and her ears pricked forward and back, as if she was listening to his soft voice.

Grampa sank onto one knee, and gently lifted my hand toward the deer. I wanted to snatch it back, afraid for a moment that the deer might bite me, but the strong assurance of his arm around my little waist reminded me that Grampa would never allow anything bad to happen to me. I forgot to breathe; the deer leaned forward and nuzzled my palm.

I could not resist a soft squeal of delight, and the doe shied away, dancing over the crusty snow to the heard that fed a short distance away at the feed trough and Grampa's salt blocks. Grampa swept me up in his arms, and let you that deep chuckle that I loved so much. I snuggled into his embrace, my cold nose warmed against his hoary cheek, as he carried me back to the house, the scent of Grama's cooking wafting out to greet us.