Today, in the living room, a cactus is growing, occasionally blooming. The plant sits in an Ontario-made crock, decades old and very similar to the crocks used by my mother for canning pickles — 9-day pickles, to be exact.
These pickles were crunchy and sweet with just enough tang to make them the perfect accompaniment for sandwiches and light lunches. Each year, baskets filled with cucumbers were harvested from the garden, washed, trimmed at the ends and sliced lengthwise into 3 or 4 sections. These green spears were placed in crocks, soaked and rinsed and soaked again in a series of water/vinegar/brine baths.
The nine-day process was an annual tradition for which we children were grateful through the long winter when grocery stores were not filled with a cornucopia of fresh produce throughout the year.
Ironically, it seems that canning has made a comeback. Stores and websites are full of canning supplies and recipes. To be honest, I have not picked up on the craze. Occasionally, I have made some chili sauce from one of the old recipes; however, I am not sure that I will try the 9-day pickle operation.
This Relic photo prompt reminds me of some more relics from the past, ones with a traditional faith-based focus. These relics — rosaries, medals, prayerbooks — are not part of a photo collection. They are carried with me, in spirit, every day, reminding me of parents and grandparents who left us with these treasures.
This post is part of a virtual blog tour to which Pamela Smyk Cleary, a Connecticut poet whom I have been following for a few years now, invited me. To quote from her profile, Pamela is a Dabbler in photography, nature, plants and flowers…who shares many a poem and photo on her blog at http://wanponpopix.blogspot.ca. Drop by for a peak!
Writing Process for me – a bit of this and that!
1) What am I working on?
A bit of this and that sums up my current writing here in Ontario, Canada. I keep a small notebook nearby for writing down some poems that are inspired by the day. At this time of year, while enjoying a cup of coffee on the deck, I am treated to a lot of sights and sounds that often lead to a poem or two. You can check out some of these titles through links on my author site .
There are a few ongoing projects, as well:
Poetry chapbook – sorting through a maze of poems to find an overall or connecting theme
Fiction – short stories, maybe something a bit longer, depending on the directions my characters take
Handmade books – upcycling previously used materials into small books, homes for my poems
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Not sure about this one as many poets write in free verse, unstructured lines. The themes for my writing tend to focus on the everyday –nature, people, and events. Also, I write poems and essays about the growing up years in rural southwestern Ontario.Thought I would share a link about Garafraxa, my childhood home in Ontario Canada, just a couple of hours from Buffalo.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Since childhood, as a reader and writer, I have been drawn to words, fascinated by their sounds and connections, everything from nursery rhymes and lullabies to folk and rock music, novels and non-fiction. Writing has always seemed like a natural activity to me, one that I chose to pursue ever more as I grew older with writing poetry and prose.
I continue to write as the spirit moves me.
4) How does my writing process work?
Inspiration comes from many sources from people to nature to events. For the actual writing, I prefer to use blank pages in a notebook or journal, and, more and more, I compose on the computer screen.
Music and colour and pictures inspire me. In my writing, I am inspired by words of Spanish artist Joan Miró who said “I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music”. His words resonate with me so much that I placed this quote in the sidebar of my blog!
Mind mapping, with a variety of colours and directions, is useful for organizing my writing plans. This technique, developed in recent decades, combines well for many who have discovered through surveys that they are very focused on the visual aspect of learning and writing.
Overall, I have been inspired by other writers, both fiction, non-fiction and poetry writers.
Thanks again to Pamela for inviting me to take part in this event.
In turn, I have invited Claudette J. Young (known to some as Claudsy) to join in with a post on June 23. Claudette is a prolific writer in various genres, summed up well here in her bio. Check it out!
Claudette J. Young began writing seriously in 2008 and continues to write in multiple genres. She strives to learn something new each day—a new poetry form, new writing technique, new foreign word, or whatever strikes her fancy. Her primary genres are poetry, science fiction/fantasy, flash fiction, children’s literature, and women’s fiction, along with creative non-fiction, essay, and memoir. She tries to cover all of her bases by writing for audiences that range from young children to senior citizens.
Claudette has been published in numerous online publications for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, as well as print magazines and two international poetry anthologies. She continues to hone her craft by working on multiple projects, including book-length ones. Her regular work can be viewed on her collaborative website and blogs at: http://2voices1song.com/ as well as www.claudettejyoung.com/
Thanks for dropping by this virtual blog tour. Please continue the tour next week at Claudette’s blog listed above.