“Artists are people who are not at all interested in the facts—only in the truth. You get the facts from outside. The truth you get from inside.” --Ursula K. LeGuin

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Some Trails are Happy Ones


“Some trails are happy ones.

“Some are blue.

It’s the way you ride the trail that counts.

“Here’s a happy one for you.”

--Dale Evens


Remember the Sons of the Pioneers with Roy Rogers?

Oh, you are too young?

Oh well, that song is the reason I have the handle of Jewell's Happy Trails.


I googled the Happy Trails song and found that Dale Evans had written it. I also found that she was as cute as bee’s knees, and had a wonderful lyrical voice. She was a singer long before she came on the Western scene with Roy Rogers.


Let's so to the coast I suggested to my husband one weekend. "Don't worry about the weather, it can rain, shine, or storm, I don't care. We can eat at two of our favorite restaurants, “The Waterfront Depot” in Florence one day, and “New Ocean,” in Newport Beach the next.  


 Sweetpea dined on Cajun- Salmon--the piece was larger than I could eat--the first day, and for dessert she ate the tail-end of my ice cream cone of vanilla with salted caramel swirl. Superb. BJ’s homemade ice cream in Florence is the best I have even eaten. It's a good thing we have to drive an hour and a half to get it.

Sweetpea was a happy camper. Me too.

 Sweetpea is not always happy. She has developed a fear of loud noises, and now with her sensitivity, I notice how noisy the world is. If I roll down the car window, a truck will hit its air brakes. In parking lots, there are more slamming doors than seagulls on the breach. Everyplace has beeps, dings, dongs, and thuds.


And we have a quivering dog. 


But on the beach, Sweetpea runs like a gazelle with no apparent thought to the ocean’s roar. The sand is her happy trail. 


I supported the arts in Florence by buying a print. I liked looking at this tiger so much I had to bring it home with me. It's a watercolor titled Mr. Tiger by Lora Zombie. 


We visited The Hot Shop in Newport Beach and watched a glass blower make a glass pumpkin start to finish. 


 I asked him if you could make glass from beach sand, and he told me how refined the glass is they use. It has silica, of course, to which they add sodium carbonate, and potassium, and calcium oxide. The glass makers vary the recipe, adding different chemicals for different uses.  Sometime these artisan blowers need to order their supplies a year in advance. 


 While still hot the glass objects are placed in an annealing oven for slow cooling to prevent cracks. Some take days or weeks, and large items can take months. 


Glass floats are popular on the Oregon coast, and since it’s rare to find those aqua glasses floats once tied to fishing nets, now the glass blowers make beautiful decorative globes—still called floats. 

And then around the corner we ran into a lady pirate--not real. A good sculpture.

At Nye beach, we watched kids in a kayak, and a golden retriever dog swimming across a small channel. There was a man on one bank and the kids on the other, and they would throw sticks, and I don’t know how many times that dog swam across that water way. He would pop out of the water shake, splatter water on the people then jump back in. He was on a happy trail.


  Nye Beach, dog in the water.


“Happy trails to you until we meet again.”

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Hit The Button Before You Know the Answer

Hello Writers,


Yep, I figure you are one, being here and all. But all are welcome. Writers need readers otherwise we are just spitting in the wind.

Seth Godin (premier blogger—one post a day) said, "Hit the button before you know the answer." 


You know, in game shows, if you wait for your brain to process the answer, someone else will get there before you—cause they probably hit the button the moment the announcer finished with the question. They hadn't processed the answer either. They were just quick on the draw.


So, you hit the button and give it over to your brain to come up with the answer. If it doesn't, you lose the same as if you hadn't hit the button.


We're so afraid of making fools of ourselves. I guess school taught us to always have the correct answer, or we will be ridiculed.


I used the hit the button first process in writing my little booklet Where Tiger's Belch.


After reading The Alchemist and wondering how it became a classic for 20 years and why it resonated so with people, I decided that people want to know their destiny. They would search the world looking for it. For me, the true gem of the book, however, was the introduction where Paulo Coelho tells of his yearning and struggle to be a writer.


Anyway, I decided to send my hero out to find her mission, the place where she would know her destiny, and that would be Where the Tiger Belches. 


I didn't know where I was going, and it was fun to see what happened next. I wrote it in installments of one chapter a month for twelve months. This week it is offered on a Kindle special promotion to read for FREE. (Don't tell me about that damn space in the middle of a sentence, I have taken it out 5 times, and it keeps appearing—guess I have a glitch somewhere.)


From Liz Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love), comes this:


When she was writing her first novel--not knowing how to write a novel, and according to her a bad one, she told the Universe, "I didn't tell you I would be a good writer, I just said I would be one. So, you need to jump in here someplace." 


Gilbert's first inclination was to put her half- novel in a drawer and leave it, then she decided, no, I will finish it. If anyone criticizes it, I can say, "Write your own damn book. At least I finished mine."


Keep at it, guys. Keep writing.




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