Sky

One of the stories I’m writing these days is set outside Taos, New Mexico, in the Greater Earth Community where one can find Earthships, structures made of repurposed materials like tires, soda cans, and bottles. But this post isn’t about Earthships (but I did write a poem about it here) although they are pretty cool. It’s about New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment and its beautiful skies.

It’s one of the things I miss about the state; that, and the wonderful people. It’s where a Taos elder, after asking me if I was of this tribe or that tribe, and by the fourth guess when I still said no, told me that it didn’t matter what tribe I belonged, that from that moment on, I was one of them and he gave me a smudge stick to keep.  It’s where friends I never knew stepped in to give a heartbroken girl support and made me laugh and remember how it felt to be happy.  And I remember telling myself then, that one day, when I’d start writing stories again, I’d write one that was set in New Mexico. And now I am.

It’s like being somewhere you’ve never physically been, but the moment your plane lands and you step out, your heart just knows…you’re home.

via Sky — The Daily Post

The Playlist I Write To

Most songs that I like don’t usually play on pop radio stations.  I think it’s because my tastes lean more towards folk, alternative, acoustic and world music.

Inspired by the previous music post, I figured I’d share with you the songs that make up the current playlist that I write to, which inspires the story theme of the novel I’m currently working on.

Ho Hey by The Lumineers


Home by Phillip Phillips


Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips


I Will Wait by Mumford and Sons


Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men

An Ounce of Home

You’re embarking on a yearlong round-the-world adventure, and can take only one small object with you to remind you of home. What do you bring along for the trip?

I’m not religious.  I’m what you’d call a lapsed catholic who knows way more about Buddha and Celtic beliefs than how to recite the Our Father (if they ever stop updating it!).  But if there’s one thing that I will bring on a year-long adventure to explore the world, I’d bring the rosary my mother gave me before I left home for good.

It smells of roses and is supposedly made from rose petals shaped into beads.  Someone who went to Italy gave it to her and when I noticed that it still sat in the same container year after year, unused (she’s a lapsed catholic, too), I asked her if I could have it.  I remember how she thought I’d choose jewelry, but no, it was a simple rosary for me – I’m low maintenance that way.

This little thing is the one thing that reminds me of home.  I can’t even recite the rosary but I like feeling and smelling the beads.  I like lifting it out of its circular container and then putting it back down, hear the soft sound that the beads and their the metal findings make against each other and the plastic.

If there’s anything that reminds me of home – the home where I grew up where we didn’t grow any roses for my mother and stepfather preferred orchids, it’s this simple rosary that after all these years, still smells of roses.

 

Daily Prompt

Hollyhocks

You just inherited $1,000,000 from an aunt you didn’t even know existed. What’s the first thing you buy (or otherwise use the money for)?

"Old Town Window" by Dee Sanchez
“Old Town Window”
by Dee Sanchez

My mom won the lottery when I was about 11 or 12 – and it was a terrible time for me.  You see, all I wanted was that we move away from where we were currently living then, which was right next door to my grandparents and aunts and uncles in a busy street that belonged to my mother’s grandfather.   You couldn’t sneeze without anyone knowing about it – and neither could my mother.

I remember how we looked at houses in the nicer parts of town, where all my other school friends lived.  They were sprawling houses, with big rooms and airy spaces, so unlike the busy street we lived in, where houses were so close together and medical students were everywhere for there was a university just a stone’s throw away.

All I wanted when my mother won the lottery was her independence.  And with each house she looked at, freedom for me – the air, the space – was within reach.

But then my mother did what her parents and all her brothers and sisters told her to do.  Instead of moving into a beautiful house in a subdivision away from all the crowded and always-flooded streets, she stayed where she was.  She renovated her little duplex, with illusions that made it larger than it was, and then gambled the rest of the money away, including the duplex itself.

So if I inherited a million dollars, this is what I would do.  I will know who my friends are, first of all – and that includes relatives and those who will claim to be so (because they will come out from the woodwork the way they did when my mother won) – and I will hire a financial adviser to take care of all my money.  I will pay off my debts and with the money left over, set aside a decent amount for my son that will earn interest as he grows up.  Then from whatever left over, buy a little house somewhere where there is a lot of sun and trees, not too far from neighbors, and with a yard where I can put up a hammock and read a book, and maybe grow hollyhocks that will grow as high as the rooftops.

For even hollyhocks know how much they need the sun and the space in order to survive and most of all, to bloom.

Daily Prompt

Just Another Day

it’s just another day in my neighborhood
it’s a new place for me still
even though it’s been seven years since I moved in
all those years in a standstill,

still holding on to the place I used to call home,
the one I left so long ago
refusing to move on and move forward
refusing to see what I’d always known

that nothing stays the same,
even rituals come and  go
life is always in a flux
this, I’m sure, you and I both know

for each day is an adventure
each morning a new beginning
my days, though they seem, always constant
are spent without any misgivings.

so it’s just another day in my neighborhood
the place I now yearn to know
I’ve waited seven years to finally discover it
seven years till I finally let go.

Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Life After Blogs

Your life without a computer: what does it look like?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us WITHOUT.

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Without the internet I would be crafting like a madwoman and unleashing my creativity with color – and lots of it.

corn-husk-dolls-2When I was a young girl, I was obsessed with corn husk dolls.  I had read about it in one of my mother’s Readers Digest crafting books that she would buy, only to store them in a locked closet with all her other hard cover volumes of other Readers Digest “exclusive” editions.  Luckily this closet was in MY bedroom and so I occupied myself with reading all about how to make this or that, alien discoveries, ghost stories and…you guessed it, corn husk dolls.

Unfortunately I never ever got to create a single corn husk doll because when I told the cook what I needed a corn husk for, she looked at me like I was crazy.  Here we were in the Philippines where all the little girls wanted these ‘Made in the USA’ Barbie dolls and “walking dolls” – which I already had inside my room, mind you – and I wanted to make my own doll.  And not just any doll – but one made from something they normally threw into the pigs’ trough or simply just throw away.

So, no corn husk doll for me.  Although I probably did earn the label ‘that’s the weird one’ in the servants’ quarters.

Fast forward many years later and I found myself all alone in a converted garage studio with two bags filled with craft materials I could never have afforded on my own.  But because I worked for a Michaels Arts & Craft Store near the college where I went to school at nights, they allowed me to get whatever I wanted as long as I came up with something to put in the display cases.  And I was off – with full license to create faux porcelain roses, floral arrangements, wreaths and Easter eggs made from colored string dipped in Mod Podge and wrapped around a balloon.  It was craft heaven for me – and not a single computer or TV in sight for years!  And no one to say I was weird.

Fast forward again to 2007 and I stumbled upon a notice online about a Knit in Public event at a local park.  Having just moved to Long Beach from the South Bay, recently married and totally not knowing anyone in my new city, I decided to go and check it out.  After all, an ex-boyfriend did teach me how to knit four years earlier.  So just like I set out to meet friends on the beach when I was a new resident in Hermosa, I decided to meet new friends in my new home in whatever it is they did in this new city.

And there they were with their knitting needles, handspun yarn and spinning wheels.  It was like being in crafty heaven, only the clouds were all sheep wool, alpaca and even some sparkle!  And someone even brought a real live alpaca!  Soon, I was obsessed with learning how to make my own  yarn using drop spindles and spinning wheels, processing wool from locks all the way to its handspun yarn state, and for the next five years that’s what I did – and still do on occasion.

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I learned all about where yarn comes from – from gorgeous alpaca which I spin and then knit simple caps as gifts, merino and all their different grades,  to the longwools like Wensleydale which my friend Natalie Redding of Namaste Farms raises by herself and shears while wearing designer duds (much to the chagrin of clueless observers who miss her authentic passion for raising these and other animals), hand combing the locks to make sure they don’t mat together in clumps so I can create beautiful shawls or neck thingies that end up in a bin somewhere in the garage.

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Unfortunately these days, while Mr. M and Little M are out painting the town whatever colors fathers and their little boys paint them in, all I think about whenever I knit or spin yarn is that I really should be writing.

Or maybe hang out on the internet.

Daily Prompt