Monday, May 22, 2017

Janet Reid's 100th Flash Fiction Contest

I had fun entering Janet Reid's Flash Fiction Contest and reading all that fabulous writing.

The challenge was to incorporate these five words into a micro-fiction of 100 words or less. The words could be alone or incorporated into other words.

- fin
- scapegrace
- gaze
- forti
- scram

Here are the finalists and their entries:

Congrats to Kate Outhwaite!

Here's my flash fiction story.

Jane looks a right mess, and I tell her so.

"Couldn't sleep," she said. "That bloody scapegrace kept me up, tossing and turning, humming in his sleep. Finally I slipped out to the gazebo to catch a few winks."

She opens two beers. I fortify myself with a gulp before looking for Paul.

He's playing the piano. His eyes are kaleidoscopes.

"Cool tune," I say. "Got any lyrics?"

"Scrambled eggs. Oh, you've got such lovely legs."

I need a place to hide away. "You've been smoking up again. Honestly, Paul, I wasn't born yesterday."

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Amsterdam - CBS Sunday Morning, May 21, 2017

In case you missed it, CBS's Sunday Morning program, filmed in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam, tulips, canals, Keukenhof,'s all here. Enjoy!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Tulips on My Terrace...

Choosing colours was a happy accident. When I bought them, they were closed and I couldn't determine the colours.

I have tulips to look at, so Spring can begin!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

When Felix met Victoria...

In the spring of 1841, Felix Mendelssohn waited nervously in Queen Victoria's court. After his long career as a composer, he was about to receive a knighthood.

The line moved forward slowly. Queen Victoria sat on her throne and each man kneeled before her while she mumbled something and moved her sword from one shoulder to the other.

At last, he reached the front of the line. It was his turn.

Thrilled, he knelt before the queen. This was the most important day of his life. He knew he was supposed to say a foreign phrase which he had memorized, but..

his mind went completely blank!

So he said the first foreign phrase he could think of, which was:

"Ma nishtanah ha lilah ha zeh me chol ha lalot?"

Queen Victoria was not amused but she didn't lose her cool. She replied:

"Why is this knight different from all other knights?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Only 34 More Days of Pre-Spring

In case you were wondering...

Pre-Spring ends February 28


Early Spring starts March 1!

In the meantime, here's some sunshine I imported, just for you.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dancing Down the Freeway of Life (movie review)

Although I love California, I'm not a big fan of Los Angeles. La La Land, the new musical fantasy movie, reveals both the car-clogged side I'm familiar with and a surreal fantasy perspective that lives in the dreams of aspiring artists.

The opening song and dance on the freeway shows the duality of the city and the duality of one's view of life. Most of those people stuck in traffic are on their way to dull jobs such as Mia's (Emma Stone) barista one, but dream of doing something creative; in her case, acting in movies. She meets Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), an aspiring jazz musician reduced to playing Jingle Bells on the restaurant's piano.

La La Land is visually stunning. The director shows Los Angeles in her best possible light, all twinkling lights seen from hilltops, a lonely pier at sunset, or a conveniently empty planetarium. We hardly ever see the traffic and highways and road rage. We do see the rejection and frustration, the conflict between selling out and being true to your ideals.

Most of the songs are forgettable, except for "City of Stars" and the haunting "Audition," which made me cry, much to my husband's surprise. He found La La Land "two hours of nothing." He felt there was no plot.

Maybe you have to be a creative person in order to get this movie. Although it has delightful songs and dances, it isn't as fluffy as it seems. It really made me think.

Is life a daily grind where talent is ignored or rejected over and over?

Or is it a freewheeling dance down the freeway?