Everything is intricate. Even on the surface, nothing is simple.
I feel this complexity is inherent in everything; more and more I will search out what makes up a life, how a character came to make a choice that on the surface appears natural. When someone tells a joke after a long set-up, I marvel at the comedian’s ability to weave a complex story that ends in an unexpected punchline. Whenever I am walking around the pond with Zippy and Kipling, I study the pathway I walk upon: the wild grass stretches out in vibrant and various shades of green, the dogs panting in play; I see the many different grasses, weeds, dandelions, mushroom caps, fallen pine needles, maple leaves, the occasional Zippy and Kipling droppings I remove and throw into the brush, that make up the land’s carpet — all of these things and hundreds, if not thousands, more, build the path in front of me.
Substitute a story, a character created for a longer novella, a plot for this pathway. I walk in fictional dreamscapes. That is the life I choose most of the time. The time I spend meditating, walking, mowing the lawn, brings me to different places, sometimes different worlds.
Just the other day, I almost stepped on the pictured dragonfly with the clear wings. The dogs trotted by him as he trembled, wings dappled with early morning dew, because Kipling’s too busy being an investigative puppy, and Zippy always tries to steer clear of her incessant immature ways; they didn’t notice his quivering form as it lay there drying out. The sun burst forth through morning clouds, reflecting light. The dragonfly couldn’t fly, levitate from the ground like a helicopter and shoot off. Was it injured? I had no knowledge of dragonflies beyond what the Washington State insect is: the Green Darner, a dragonfly with the body resembling a darning needle. And I only learned about that in recent times because the publishing house that found me through my first book, Sandcastle and Other Stories, wants to publish my books, and chose the Green Darner as its icon.
Picking the dragonfly up, shuffling my index finger beneath his fragile head, his thread-like legs grasped the skin and he crawled into my palm. I gazed at the detail in his clear wings, the pattern there, and I knew if I looked at him under a microscope the world of these lines would become even more intricate, dazzling — the life designs a see-through quilt. Then the body, rigid, and pinkish to cattail brown, long, attached to a new sprout-colored body, breathed. I’m sure that the dragonfly weighed something, but I couldn’t compare his weight to anything but a drifting leaf caught on a breeze, the weight of a thought.
He wouldn’t leave my palm. I saved him from something unknown, something in the future that maybe wouldn’t be as kind a meeting, or I’d like to think so. Kipling watched me as I moved to a signpost near one of the bridges along the wetlands. Now she grew interested, but Zippy going into the water distracted her and she thought about following him into the deep. I tried several times to move the dragonfly onto the top of the railway-tie post, and he clung to my hand, curled where I rolled my hand. How do you teach an insect anything?
Shuffling. Content. Breathing. Wings unmoving. The dragonfly walked off my palm with a nudge from behind, a gentle push, and he appeared resplendent there. He took tiny dragonfly steps and dried out. I wanted to stay there and watch him for hours. Zippy and Kipling grew bored and made me follow them to their next competitive game of chase the tennis ball. Kipling is faster than Zippy now, but Zippy is alpha and he keeps track of his herd, Kipling and I, and puts us both in a pecking order.
The main focus today is getting back on track. There are so many wonderful memories that make up a life, the events have happened and they are memories now, and I forget that even the strange meetings with new people, new animals, bring me to the present moment. I need to thank so many people for helping me on my writing journey, how they each helped me on a stop along the way.
1) Wyatt McIntyre is a continuing supporter of Sandcastle and Other Stories. His reading the tales in one sitting and then posting a review on his blog came at an auspicious time early on and helped spread the word to many new readers. Just hit the link HERE to read Wyatt’s review. A fellow writer, Wyatt has just published a new book, The Last Dance, and you can find it at Amazon HERE. He is on Twitter too so follow Wyatt there @wyattmcintyre. And Follow his blog too for more great writing.
2) Kelly Stone Gamble has a good sense of humor, and that is what draws me to most good peeps I call friend. She was gracious enough to say she would love to be a host for a future Guest Post on her writing blog (she now has a humor blog too, Sixes and Sevens, and I love that). I wanted to write something very special for Kelly’s blog since I didn’t want her to laugh at me too much. The post that came out of a week of writing and thinking, editing and shuffling thoughts around, ended up talking about how family and friends reacted long ago in early May to the news that Sandcastle and Other Stories was just published . The title is You Wrote A Book? You? Justin Bog? and you can read all about it HERE. I love the honesty in life writing, and hopefully you will too. You can follow Kelly on Twitter @KellySGamble.
3) Someone who has been a continuous support for many writers out there in the Social Media pond is Keven Swarbrick, an author of two books — Louie has Landed: The Early Days and Louie has Landed: The Second Encounter. Kevin leads a great author group on Facebook, and he placed me in the Author Spotlight not too long ago. Thank you my friend. You can find Kevin’s books at Amazon by clicking HERE. Kevin is a brit who looks at life with a keen observational eye, and then writes everything down — never holding back either — and that’s the kind of mate I like to drink with too. You can follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinSwarbrick.
4 & 5) The last two peeps are some of my favorite people and friends I met a long time ago on Twitter and through my writing blog, and they’ve since started one of the best and more comedic podcasts out there today: Amber Jerome~Norrgard and Dionne Lister, who are co hosts of TweepNation. They were kind enough to allow me to come on the podcast and talk about Sandcastle and Other Stories. Dionne and Amber make me laugh weekly, but they are both also serious writers who have put out great books. Shadows of the Realm by Dionne Lister, and Amber Jerome~Norrgard’s books, including 4 a.m. can be found at Amazon, along with Amber’s new book My Beautiful Jewel. Follow on Twitter @DionneLister, @AmberNorrgard, and @TweepNation.
So many people to thank and it may be simple to do so, but a thank you is every bit as intricate as a dragonflies wings. There are patterns to the process, and everyone follows a separate path to gratitude.
Thank you for reading, and may your imaginary wings help you soar today and always,
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