Fifth Week Fiction: Setting the Scene

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With all the focus on villainy this month, you’d think my Fifth Week Fiction would follow suit. But, uh, to be honest…I don’t have any great antagonist material. It’s something I, too, need to work on.

Instead, I’ve been given the request to present a scene focused on building the setting and making it feel real to the reader. I’m not sure how well I do with all of that, either, but I’m willing to share what I’ve practiced.

In our previous Fifth Week Fictions we got to know Tainock and Jazz (oh, whoops, gave away her name). In this snippet, I’m switching gears and looking at characters from another series in the works. Enjoy these darling little kiddos and all their mental illness quirks.

(I’m sorry, I have no picture this time. You’ll just have to use your imaaaaaginatiiiiiooooon…)


Past the harbor and into the town proper, covered by its grand trees: Xavier was gawking up to try to find their tops. The trees towered higher than Frenlang’s walls, higher than its clock. They shielded Manara like umbrellas, with branches fanning and interlocking. Their leaves almost completely obstructed moonlight, so paper lanterns guided the way—strung in rows between Manara’s buildings and splashing the streets in paint-like pink, orange, and purple.

The roads branched much like the trees did: abruptly and tangled. When several forks in the road had confused Jaitoph’s already feeble sense of direction, Rahrei and Lau stopped before a squat building with oblong windows boiling out candle glow. Rahrei reached into the pockets of her bag and retrieved the folded check. She tapped her nose twice with the paper.

“I won’t take long,” she said.

When the bank’s double doors had closed behind her, Lau reached into her bag and retrieved the book he’d stuffed in there earlier. He turned to a page marked by a ribbon and began to read under the lamplight.

Xavier hadn’t stopped staring at the trees, his head tilted at the most extreme angle to study them. “En’t none of ‘em fallen?” he gawped.

Lau looked up from his book. “Not in my lifetime,” he replied.

Xavier snapped his head forward. “You very old?”

“Thirty-two,” Lau said.

Xavier pondered the age a moment. “Guess ’at’s long enough.” When he saw the book in Lau’s hand, the trees no longer seemed to interest him. “You like those?” he asked.

Lau’s reply was bemused. “You mean books? Well, this one’s a little dry and self-absorbed. History can be touch and go.”

“History? En’t that for learnin’? We used to trade stories on the street an’ try to tell the toppest one. I heard some books’re made that way, too.”

“Yes, there are also those kinds of books,” Lau answered. He replaced his bookmark and tucked the book back in Rahrei’s bag. Then, reaching over to rub his horse’s neck, he said, in a sudden change,

“Are you making a friend?”

His eyes were on Wren; she had, due to an itching curiosity, crept out from behind Jaitoph to watch the horse. Lau gently tugged the reigns to bring the animal’s head down, but he made no other move. Wren shrank back at first, but the longer she studied the horse, the more she edged forward.

Jaitoph was surprised at her bravery. Maybe she liked the horse the same as she liked birds or the crippled goat on the road to Frenlang. The horse was colored pale as her, dappled in gray. It watched her approach with black eyes. Wren stretched out a hand and let her fingers wait just centimeters from the horse’s nose. The horse nudged her arm. Wren started back and clutched her hand to her chest.

“She’s inquisitive about you,” Lau said. “Her name is Pear, after her preferred treat.”

Wren reached again for the horse’s face and this time made contact. Tentatively she stroked the velvet muzzle. Pear answered with a satisfied huff.

“What…what happened to her leg?” Wren asked, staring anywhere but at Lau.

“Just a stumble. She’s old, and her muscles aren’t so strong anymore.”

“Did she break it?”

“No, it’s a sprain. Nothing serious,” Lau said. He nodded toward Jaitoph. “How did your friend break his arm?”

Jaitoph reflexively cradled his splint.

“I-in the ship wreck,” Wren replied, still caressing the horse’s lowered head.

“I see,” the man said. “He looks pretty tough. Does he look after you?”

Wren glanced at Jaitoph and seemed to realize she wasn’t as close by her friend as she’d thought. When she turned back toward Lau, her answer was a bashful shrug.

“That’s all right,” Lau said. “Not everything has to be my business. Jaitoph…is it?”

Jaitoph startled at hearing his name and momentarily forgot his surly attitude.

“Ah. Not to surprise you. Rahrei let me know your names at the dock. But you aren’t the one whose ribs were injured, I think.”

“That was me!” Xavier offered, for once relieving Jaitoph for cutting in. “Xavier. That’s my name. I got bit by the Murkie. Did Rahrei say it was me?”

“She did,” Lau said. He might have been smirking, except his scar made it look more like a wince. “It’s…unusual for anyone to survive a Murkie attack.”

“Well, I did ‘cause…” Xavier’s boast diminished as he looked at Wren. He ended with, “I’m just that good.”

“Mhm, really,” the man said. “Someone as puissant as you shouldn’t have even worried about the trees falling.”

While Xavier mumbled and mangled the word “puissant,” Lau continued, “So we have Jaitoph, Xavier…” He peered down. “And Pear’s friend.”

Wren blushed madly and stared hard at the horse. Then, to Jaitoph’s great surprise, she squeaked out, “Wren.”

Lau nodded and spoke solemnly: “Be sure to remember her name, Pear; she’s trusted you with it.”

Pear tossed her mane and kept her face right where Wren could reach.


(Kinda dropped you into the middle there, didn’t I?)

Adventures in Idaho – Ramblings by the River

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Because why wouldn’t you drive for two and a half hours just to sit out in the middle of nowhere and write?

You know what one of my biggest problems is as a writer (aside from procrastination)? In order to publicize my craft I have to stare at a computer for hours to type it out, but the only way I gain inspiration for what I write is if I’m away from my computer and doing something else!

(Guess where I’m writing this from right now. Here’s a hint: it’s not at a computer.)

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I’ve learned that to keep my juices flowing and make my heart happy I sometimes just have to run from the regular routine. Sit out on a rock in the middle of the wilderness. Stare at green things for an hour. Worry others with my independence ’cause I’m a grown woman, and I can do whatever I want.

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It’s healthy, you know, to surround yourself with greenery from time to time (or all the time and keep twelve plants at home to love and tend and pamper and treat like your babies and – *obsessive twitch*). It lowers stress levels, and… Why are you looking at me so funny?


And now – some deep riverside thoughts written in my journal:

Do you ever get an awesome wallpaper for your phone, and you just kinda find yourself checking the time on it four times a minute because you want to enjoy that picture again? Some people have the valid excuse that it’s a photo of their significant other or their children; but mine is a geeky drawing, and I fangirl like an idiot every time I look at it. (I’m lookin’ at it right now, hee hee.)

You know, that brings up another question: Why are gamers and “geeks” constantly stereotyped as the “stay home, do nothing” sort of people? I’ve never felt like loving video games and loving the outdoors were mutually exclusive. Can’t we all just have our hobbies and interests and learn about new things from each other? CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

…Whoa, why am I getting preachy sitting beside this calm, eddying water? I thought this was supposed to lower my stress levels…

ALSO – There’s this truck that’s sitting in the same pull-off spot as Calcifer (my car), and it’s honestly kind of bothering me. Like, yo, dude, get your own spot by the river. Why you gotta be crowding all up on my happy space? (Stress levels elevating again…)

Well, I’d best be going anyway. I plan to get home by dinner time, and Boise Fry Company is calling my name.

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Ah, my home away from home.

 

(Here, pretend this is a fancy photos blog and check out these other “artistic” shots):

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(Until next time, readers.)

A Practice in Dedication

Writing

My worst sin as a writer is perfectionism. I’ll delay and delay and delay writing a piece just because I know I’m not going to create the exact scene or feeling that plays so perfectly in my mind. Not to mention the trouble I have creating bridges between my perfected scenes – those gaps where I have NO idea how to get from point A to point B.

Do all artists suffer this? I’d like to think only the really excellent ones do. *preens shamelessly*

It’s time, though, to break this bad habit and foster a new good habit of writing despite anything – mood, worries, frustration, WHATEVER. And the way I plan to commit to this exercise…

…is by finishing a fan fiction.

(I have a feeling some of my family – and possibly friends – are groaning in dismay right about now.)

The beauty of fan fiction is that the setting and characters are already prepared for you, which relieves some of the creative strain. That way, you can focus more on improving dialogue, description, action: the more observed parts of the writing process. With the background work already done for me, the hope is that this exercise will not only train me to stay focused on a project – even if perfectionism rears its ugly head – but will perhaps also teach me to loosen up and allow the creative process some breathing room to be less stiff, which is what perfectionism ultimately breeds.

If you are somehow intrigued and want details on this project – the game on which my fan fiction is based, the type of story it’ll be – then I’m going to leave you (mostly) disappointed. I plan to keep this hush-hush until finished, although I may allow an update or even a sneak peek over the next few months.

But…hey! Hopefully by next year I’ll have the FULL project available for y’all to read. I mean, it might not be that exciting for those of you uninterested in video game fan work…but on the plus side, I can’t copyright it to sell, so at least it’ll be free entertainment.

Wish me luck, everyone!

 

(The above picture is courtesy of the Professor Layton series, playable on Nintendo DS and 3DS.)

Fifth Week Fiction: Dynamic Introductions

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As you may have noticed, we’ve got another fifth Friday this month. Which means…it’s time for our second installment of “Fifth Week Fiction”!

Since we’re spending the summer studying dynamic introductions, I thought I’d show some of my own practice in the art. I typically feel confident with character development, but I seem to lack the skill for punchy scenes.

So here’s me having a little fun while (hopefully) practicing what I preach. For this exercise, I present these two characters:

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Art courtesy of Carla Ceballos. Behold the anime intensity.

The boy you already met in my previous Fifth Week Fiction. Here he is meeting the girl:


“Important Person,” a voice monotoned nearby.

Tainock looked up from his book. There was no one on the walkway near enough to speak with him, but Amadeus had also lifted his head and perked his ears like he’d heard something.

Tainock warily lowered his eyes back to the book. He read an intro concerning the establishment of tachs, the law force instigated by Guardian Bemdin when –

“Important Person, if I could please have a word with you.”

Tainock heard Amadeus rumble. There was still no one around.

“Ye-es?” he mumbled.

The short tree next to him shivered, and Tainock caught a glint of shiny green between the waxy leaves. He heard a branch snap, and whatever was in the tree tumbled into the bushes underneath. Amadeus leaped up and snarled, which began to draw the attention of people nearby.

Tainock put a hand on Amadeus’s neck, hoping to subdue him before too many started staring. He peered into the brush and watched, amazed, as a metallic reptile wriggled on its back, swinging stubby claw feet to right itself. As soon as it had rolled over and turned to face Tainock it continued as though nothing had happened:

“Important Person, I wish to make you aware of a pressing matter – ”

“You’re an iguana,” Tainock interrupted.

“Correct. That is my build. Now, if you give me a moment – ”

“But you’re mechanical,” Tainock said.

“Please, Important Person, focus on the matter at hand. I must caution you on the interaction you will have with a cohort of mine.”

“Matter at hand?” Tainock said. “Cohort?”

Passers-by were definitely gawking now, none being close enough to see the little robot iguana.

“You will meet her shortly. She has a question to ask that is of great importance to her. But I want to clarify matters on two points. One: her question has no validity whatsoever. Two: she has poor social skills.”

“Poor social skills,” Tainock repeated. “What, do you mean she’s shy?”

“Shy?” said the iguana. “I wish that was her problem.”

Tainock heard something like metal striking metal up above, but didn’t have a chance to look up before torrential water gushed over him, knocking him onto the walkway. Water flooded everywhere, even pushing Amadeus back.

Tainock was aware of a cut on his cheek and the sting in his palms and wrists when he’d tried to break his fall. The passers-by who had been gawking he now heard shrieking as they fled the disaster.

Over where he’d been sitting the water had slowed to a spray as emergency shut-off valves began to kick in. And in the mess of flood-flattened and uprooted plants there crouched a girl – dark-skinned with darker freckles, orange hair shaved close on one side and braided down to her waist on the other. She steadied herself by clutching the bench with an odd, bright metal hand.

She grinned at Tainock.

“You have to be the Guardian, with that star pinned to your chest. But I didn’t expect you to look so much like a Dawnian.”

The robotic iguana sidled up onto the girl’s shoulder and studied Tainock from that perch.

“I apologize, Important Person,” he said. “The warning never comes soon enough.”

Tainock, stunned speechless, had the sense to command a hackled Amadeus down and check to see if anyone else would be in harm’s way should this girl be volatile. A hundred lessons on crisis mitigation scrambled through his head.

What had Uncle taught him? Find the reason before taking action (not that they’d ever applied it in their own interactions). The iguana had said the girl had a question. Maybe in answering it he’d get a chance to hold her in custody –

“You’re quiet,” the girl said. “You think I’m strange. I know. But I hear it’s hard to get your attention, so I had to be drastic.”

Tainock ventured, “The…uh…robot on your shoulder said you had a question.” Oh, yes, THAT sounded authoritative. He tried again: “I’ll give you permission to ask, but then you must come with me for the damage you’ve caused here.”

The girl let free a catastrophic laugh.

“No, that’s not the way it works. If you answer my question, you have to come with me.”

Tainock fumbled. “I…what?” he said. This discussion wasn’t going like the lessons said it should.

“Where’s my family?” the girl asked.

“Family?” Tainock could hear how stupid he sounded. “That’s it? That’s your question?”

“Yes. Where’s my family?” the girl repeated, like suddenly Tainock would understand.

“Wh – Look, I don’t even know who you are.” Tainock’s eyes went from her face to her metal arm. Both arms were metal, he realized. And her feet and legs. “I can’t be expected to tell you where your family is.”

The girl tilted her head, as though resigned. “Huh. Yeah, I was told you wouldn’t let me know. But that’s not going to work on me!”

And then she sprang and threw Tainock to the ground.

Adventures in Washington – Home

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My friend Charity postulates that there are two kinds of people: those who love oceans, and those who love mountains. For any who are ambi-environment, there’s the Washington coast.

(Unless you like your oceans warm, in which case you’ll need to look elsewhere.)

I’m blessed with generous parents, who invited me to share in this ocean-side vacation. They’re a good team to travel with because they actually do things – like visit cranberry farms, sight-see at Oysterville, try the local cuisine – whereas I’m the less exciting vacationer and am satisfied to lay back at the cabin and do nothing.

I’m also terrible at documenting the events of a vacation, so you’ll unfortunately get very little visual proof of our adventures from me. Though I AM always ready to capture great signage:

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But hey – I don’t write a travel blog: I write a geeky, personal thoughts blog. And that doesn’t require fancy pictures to draw in readers through vicarious living.

(It requires engaging word skills, which, you know, are also sometimes a crapshoot for me. But still!)

If there’s one thing I do well – vacationing or otherwise – it’s overthink. And with a week-long break giving me plenty of time to dwell on esoteric matters that don’t need this sort of attention, here’s what I determined:

Home is not a place.

I have no attachment to Washington state. Despite its coast being lovely and green and quietly serene (but we won’t talk about Seattle – yikes), I was content to be only a visitor. This coming from someone who would bury herself in flora given the chance.

My parents live in mid-Washington territory, and of course I have attachments to them. (They say you’ll always be your parents’ baby, and I am oddly willing to embrace that title, despite being ten years away from middle age myself.) As I spent the week with them – part of it at their house, part of it beach-side – I felt a complete sense of belonging.

Finding peace in the company of family you love goes without saying, but I think it was more than that – more than the childlike safety or the familiarity of people you’ve known all your life. I trust my parents, and in turn I set worries and fears aside when with them. On my own, I tend to let my mind overwhelm me. (Overthinking, ya?)

Now, that’s not much of a revelation, but what I did realize is that I didn’t ever have to be without that rest. Even when I go back to life on my own, I have Someone near me who should always have my trust. He is also ready to shelter me from trouble and stress.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” [I Peter 5:7] That confidence and peace is the true proof of “home”.

I used to think I’d never have that feeling until I met my special someone, arranged my white-picket-fence house, felt the comfort of my own family. Now, it doesn’t matter what happens. I’ve always had Home living in me, prepared ahead for me. Something like that doesn’t need external circumstances to foster its existence.

(But having an oceanside view never hurts.)

Houseplant Tales, Part III – Right in the Childhood

Oh yes. There’s still plenty of plant family to talk about.

Izzy

Say hello to Izzy, my schefflera. As you can see, poor Izzy is having some back issues and requires temporary bracing. This is what happens when enthusiasm for sunlight exceeds the development of a root system. (Danged shady living space causing trouble for my plant babies.)

Izzy’s name was the suggestion of a friend, if I remember right. I’m not sure why that particular moniker was chosen for the little guy, but I approve. It means he’s named after this great character:

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The kid, not the bug.

Oh man, Digimon was such a great show, filled with deep characterization, real human struggles, ridiculous monster battles, and really cheesy dubbing. I remember going into it thinking, “Well, if I can’t watch Pokemon, maybe this will be a fair enough substitute.” (TV options are slim in Wyoming. You know we still watch our shows by candlelight, right?)

Honestly, I think I got the better deal with Digimon. While Ash was runnin’ around focused on being “the very best”, the Digimon kids were reconciling feelings toward divorce, parent expectations, and (in Izzy’s particular case) adoption – all while bonding with a personal little “mon” devoted to protecting them. (Who doesn’t want their own wolf/dino/giant insect to help them work through life’s problems?)

Adorable ladybug-mon digivolved tooo…TERRIFYING RHINO BEETLE-MON.

Not bad for a show aimed to sell merchandise overshadowed by a certain Nintendo franchise, eh?

…Wait. Was this supposed to be a houseplant post? I totally forgot.

Houseplant Tales, Part II – Not a Potterhead, More Like a Planter-head

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This is Lucius, my dracaena.

Lucius used to have two baby variegated dracaenas named Neo and Polly who shared his soil space, but…uh…he aggressively choked them out after just a few months’ acquaintance.

Bad parenting, Lucius! Bad!

In case you’re wondering – yes, Lucius’ name is inspired by Lucius Malfoy (which could explain his parenting techniques, come to think). You might assume this is because I’m a Harry Potter fan, but the naming process was more like:

Me: ” ‘Dracaena’…What does ‘dracaena’ sound most like…? ‘Draco’? But that’s too obvious. Okay, free association: when I think of ‘Draco’ what comes to mind is…”

Lucius & Draco

Ergo, my lush and frondy mini-tree is named after a pasty, blond wizard in what might be the weirdest non-sequitur since the obsession of naming houseplants like they’re your children. (Psh, who does that?) But in all fairness, “Lucius” and “lush” sound kinda similar, so there’s at least SOME logical connection.

As for my general feelings about Harry Potter…I didn’t make it past Order of the Phoenix in the books. Stopped at Goblet of Fire with the movies. (I guess the story lost its “magic” for me? *rimshot* *or maybe just literally shot*) So dracaena Lucius’ name is not really an homage to the series at all. …I feel like this takes away some of my geek cred.

Good thing my horticulture cred is still on point.

(I apologize for any HP ignorance in this post.)

A Brief Bit of Prose

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What, oh what to do with an extra week in the month? Well, I WAS going to post about a trip I’d planned to take to Bruneau Sand Dunes last weekend, but Idaho weather saw fit to rain us out. And I wasn’t all that interested in exploring Bruneau “Mud” Dunes.

Then I figured – Hey, a fifth week doesn’t come around all that often. I should do something completely different! So now, I present to you: “Fifth Week Fiction” (I totally just made up that title, like, right this second), during which I’ll share a short snippet from some of my personal story writing.

I’ll post material from my original fiction and maybe even occasionally a bit of fan fiction. (Hey, writing practice is writing practice, right?) And if it turns out my writing bores you…well…I guess you can be thankful there’s only 4 fifth Fridays this year.

(But I really hope my writing doesn’t bore you. That kind of defeats the point.)

And now, without further ado – an excerpt from an original story, taken wildly out of context:


Tainock saw the bright neon tape first, the dead body second.

It appeared to be another homeless person. A man, Tainock thought. He was wearing a garbage bag, but it had been torn down the back, and the man’s buttocks stuck straight up due to his prone position.

“Couldn’t you…cover him up?” Tainock asked, troubled by the scene.

“Master Guardian,” The tach who answered was either being respectful, or he’d perfected the flat response when asked a stupid question. “We would, except his wound is on his back. You can look for yourself.”

He retracted the tape and ushered Tainock through. Other hobos lingered as close as possible to the crime scene, craning to catch a glimpse of their dead compatriot. They didn’t even have the modesty to look away when Tainock caught them rubber-necking.

Tainock circled around the dead body. He saw only the profile of the man’s face, smushed against the pavement. Other than the grotesque expression, it had typical – if haggard – features. No signs of physical trauma. As the tach had said, the killing blows had been dealt to the man’s back.

There were deep, bloody gashes across the shoulder blades and down around the abdomen. They were oddly jagged, like something blunter than a knife had torn them open. They also seemed to form a strange sort of pattern. Tainock walked to the back of the corpse and read the cuts.

Read them?

They said “Al-Fāȧn”: Dawn script. “He doesn’t know.” Tainock thought sleep deprivation had finally started to take its toll. Writing in a man’s back? He tilted his head; maybe a different angle would show he’d only imagined the word.

“Al-Fāȧn”, the gashes said, clear as Tainock had ever studied the language.

“He doesn’t know” what?

 

Tainock met back with the tachs at the edge of the crime scene.

“Sir” one of them greeted.

“The wounds on that hobo are a word. I mean, they spell something in – in…Dawnian.”

Tainock immediately regretted sharing the information. Now the crime might be considered a racial murder, and with things being what they were between Dawn and Dusk…

“Master Guardian, with the girl roaming free, I think it’s our priority to find and hold her for interrogation,” said one of the tachs. “She’s likely behind the killing.”

Tainock couldn’t picture her as a murderer. At least, not a calculated one who cut obscure phrases into someone’s skin.

“We’ll continue searching,” Tainock said. “But, uh, if you find her, don’t do anything until I get to talk to her.”

The tachs looked at him like he’d said to give her more human backs to scrawl on. “Of course, you’ll be contacted right away,” said one.

There was the “stupidity tolerance” voice again. Tainock assumed it’d be a constant for the rest of this career.


(Thank you all for indulging me.) 🙂

Houseplant Tales, Part I – The “Root” of an Obsession

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When I said there’d be silly posts, I meant there would be silly posts.

This is Panda, my parlor palm. He’s the first plant I bought when I moved into my own apartment (but not this blog’s first victim of my sucky camera skills). When I picked him from Fred Meyer’s houseplant jungle, he was small enough to hold in one hand. Now, as you can see, he’s firmly asserted himself in the household.

He’s proven to be my gateway into an addiction to all things photosynthetic. (Can you believe that’s a word? I can’t believe that’s a word.) Since him I’ve tried my hand at upwards of 15 different houseplants, some who unfortunately languished during my last couple of moves, but many who, like Panda, decided my horticultural prowess was halfway decent (unlike what I can do with a camera) and thus stuck around.

Don’t worry. You’ll get to meet every one of them in time.

Why this obsession with greenery? A bit of backstory: one fateful summer, when I was a wee sprout growing up in the Wyoming wastelands, I had a Vacation Bible School experience that would change my life.

(I regret to say, it wasn’t spiritual.)

For one of the day’s object lessons (heck if I remember what it was), each child was sent home with a tiny plant to nurture – perhaps as an allegory of God’s loving care for us? At any rate, we all received a spider plant. You know the one:

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Thank you, Wikipedia.

Our teacher informed us that if we kept this leafy delight alive, it would produce babies from offshoot tendrils, which we could then replant endlessly to create the spider plant hedge of our dreams. (What? A child’s fantasy is allowed to go a little wild.)

Oh man. I was SUPER excited. I cradled that baby plant all the way home, convinced my mom to place it in a point of prominence on our kitchen sill facing the windows, and dreamed of the way the little tendrils would trail down the side of the wall. I made plans to water it faithfully and check on it every day to make sure it had all the sun and moisture it needed.

That sucker died in two days, its fronds curled brownly inward much like the way an actual spider leaves this mortal coil.

To this day I blame the Wyoming desert for my plant’s quick demise (though this is likely unfair, considering my mom had a schefflera and aloe plant that both did very well in our Green River home). When I moved to Idaho, I realized it might be the right time to try my green thumb again.

(Southern Idaho is still a desert, I grant you. But at least it’s an irrigated desert.)

Now I happily live the dream of being a plant mama, and despite my friends who say I need an intervention, this fixation has nothing whatsoever to do with guilt at killing my VBS project so many years ago.

(I’m so sorry, spider plant! Will these ten plants I now own atone for my sins? Please forgi-i-i-ive meeeeeee! *sob*)

Adventures in Idaho: Friends are Friends Forever

Me & Carla

Carla, here, has been my pal for 17 years. I have many more photos documenting our nearly two decades of shenanigans, but I won’t make you suffer anything prior to our college time. I ‘d rather stow all the incriminating evidence that I was an awkward and ungainly teenager (who grew up to be an awkward and ungainly adult; let’s be honest).

We enjoyed a weekend together recently, catching up and re-bonding after years and miles of separation. Circumstances change a person, no mistake – but some people are just meant to stick together, come what may.

It helps when they share a similar manifestation of insanity, of course.

(Speaking of incriminating photos…)

We visited with family and local friends, ate way too much restaurant food, slept in, watched cartoons, and fancied ourselves up with temporary tattoos (like proper grown women, you know). We basked in a warm Saturday afternoon out at Meridian’s Village, watching the plaza fountain synchronize to the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” and gawking in surprise at the bird man who came marching through with three parrots and a cockatoo on his arms.

I mean, if this didn’t convince Carla that Idaho is great, I don’t know what will. (Although I think my state’s greatness was sealed earlier by a visit to Boise Fry Company.)

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Purple fries and blueberry ketchup – #myOTP

The last night of our visit together, I took a thoughtful look around my apartment. Carla had already gone to sleep, so I tidied up some dishes, did a bit of writing prep, and let the DVD player and TV shut off on their own after our day-long movie marathon. With my feet propped up, I took a moment to bask in the “lived-in” feeling of my apartment. There is nothing warmer.

Our hug at the airport was long, but the goodbye felt short. Still, it had everything in it that two long-time friends needed to express. We already know there’ll be opportunity for more adventures in the future.

Carla Visit5
Some things will never change.