Free-For-All Friday

(What is this? My very own meme, which could take the form of other Friday memes out there — random five or ‘fessing up — or non-Friday memes, or anything! Point being to have a little fun and get a little interactive. Feel free to snitch my logo at left and do your Friday thing!)


cannonbeach8Today’s a question-for-you day because I’m feeling thoughtful:

What arouses your serene melancholia?

I describe this as a longing, or yearning, that’s unspecific, that feels like it’s one of the mysteries at humanity’s core. It’s a sweet sadness for no reason. It’s serene because it doesn’t require an answer.

Does this make sense? (It might be that I’m a melancholic personality, I don’t know.)

cannonbeach9In any case, the reason I pose the question is because walking into winds on misty beaches arouses my serene melancholia. (Took these photos the first day — before the mist and wind arrived.)

It’s something about the way my eardrums throb with the cold.

It’s something about the way my ears turn into echoing seashells.

It’s something about the way the wind almost drowns out the sound of waves.




cannonbeach10Now, one more dose of serene melancholia before I return to Portland, where the last 30 pages of manuscript quick-reading await me. Didn’t quite reach my goal for this retreat, but that’s okay.



And one last thought. Saw the following written in sand. “Isaiah 53:5.” It got the storyteller in me wondering why. Nearby, the same person (Robert?) had written “Robert + Kate.”


What do you suppose these lovers on their romantic stroll (because it was a glorious twilight) were talking about? Isaiah 53:5 says,

     But he was pierced for our trangressions,
        he was crushed for our iniquities;
        the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
        and by his wounds we are healed.

I don’t know the Bible, and I’m not religious. This quotation doesn’t inspire serene melancholia, only uneasiness. However, that said, in pondering Isaiah 53:5, perhaps Robert and Kate felt their own kind of serenity.

Not Really Away From it All

Left for my walkabout on the beach, and it was McCain eight to Obama’s three.

Upon returning it’s Obama 103 to McCain’s 58.

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

Driving away from Portland this afternoon I felt strange — as if I were abandoning the election or something. Haha. Good old is updating the results every two minutes.

But I’m not checking every two minutes, I promise.

The Manuscript Says “Hi”

cannonbeach5The manuscript, nicknamed “Red,” is loving the coast and this lodge. The view is wonderful. That’s Haystack Rock.

But, frankly, Red doesn’t want to be worked on yet. It’s tired and sore after the marathon revision its mistress of verbal torture put it through. It would rather cozy into a robe…


cannonbeach3and uncork the Australian Cabernet, or maybe read awhile before napping.






cannonbeach4Red thinks the welcome doggy basket is too cute and wishes it had gotten one. However, there are 24/7 cookies down in the lobby, hopefully chocolate chip, so it can’t complain.





Oh yeah, Luna says “hi” too. This place is so cool the dog-poop bags are scented!

Restlessness and Tuscany

Do you ever get restless? Just restless, precipitated by nothing in particular? And, if so, what do you do about it?

It could be that I’m restless…Could be that I look forward to shaking myself up at some point. You know I’ve been living on a writing grant, which is wonderful, but the thing about writing grants is that to draw the money out as long as possible, you gotta live, well, like a starving artist or something.

I don’t like that term, “starving artist.” Sounds like I’m being pretentious and martyred at the same time. I’m not; it’s just a phrase and by using it most will understand what I’m getting at: I’m living on a strict budget to further a creative goal.

This is fine, but I’m restless. Since my trip to Italy one year ago — who loves Italy? raise your hands! — I’ve led a quiet life. A year of writing mixed with procrastination, a few highs, a few lows, but mostly even keel despite how it may seem to my readers. (I deposit my more dramatic moments on this blog because, let’s face it, they’re more fun to write!)

Here are photos from Italy since I’m thinking about that trip and future trips. Restlessness, be gone!

In Florence, gotta get your touristy cathedral and statuary shots in…

  Santa Maria Novella 









Il Duomo in the background








These are the kind of photos I snap for potential writing fodder…people, details, unusual stuff, typical stuff…

Hanging in a bistro window









At Italy’s oldest wine festival 








A shrine to the Virgin in an olive grove











Italian grandmother











Daily life within ancient buildings









Last but definitely not least, the highlight of the three-week trip: One week in a rental castle(!) at the invitation of a fellow writer for her big 5-0. Fun! (And thanks once again to Stacy and Ron!)

Castello di Magona.
Check it out here.











Hostess with the mostest,
talented musician as well as writer.