Writing On

Our adventure continues to unfold, as all adventures do. We have both been feeling good, finally recovered from several bouts of “pre-school viruses” spread evenly through the family by granddaughter Emma. My writing has been progressing, a bit unevenly, but progressing. I am developing a new rhythm, one that is necessary for fiction writing and quite different from that of poetry and essay. The new rhythm and practice suits me.

We are getting used to motor home living and in a month and a half will be migrating back to the Mount Shasta, California, area. We have been parked for three and a half months by my son’s home in Sierra Vista, Arizona. We have done lots of hiking and explored many trails and lovely areas of the desert, but have not really ventured “out” in the motor home except a weekly trip to dump the holding tanks. Pretty soon now we’ll let the motor home do what motor homes are designed to do – travel, at least enough to get us back to California where we will let our “tiny home” rest for awhile and provide us a cozy place to be.

Below is another sample of the work that is emerging – where it will be in the next novel I do not know. I’m just the writer. Later comes the editing.

Full Moonlight cast the beach in a shimmering white aura. The tiny whitecaps danced in a calm sea and gently broke over the sand. The eternal murmur of the Pacific Ocean was soft in the summer evening, joined this particular night by the rhythmic tum-tum-tum-tum of drumming that echoed out from the bonfire blazing on the sand between the surf and the cliffs.

Dorothy Waters, proprietress of Words and Images bookstore and art gallery, was dressed in a loose and flowing white cotton dress that danced in its own rhythm to the breeze as she swayed rhythmically and tapped her fingers and palm against the face of a large hand-drum she held in her left hand. A circle, comprised of women of all ages, sat around the fire and beat and rapped on drums of all sizes and types, complimenting the rhythm of Dorothy’s lead.

Kathleen O’Hara-Ito, recently retired from the Oregon State Police and now in what she called the, “Alternative Justice” profession, sat with a large African Djembe held between her knees. Her eyes were softly closed and her upper body undulated gently to the beat. She had been part of the “Drumming Up The Moon” circle since its inception. As part of her body/spirit lost itself in the drumming, her mind also played with the memory of that meeting at the Happy Frog cafe a little over six months ago.

The Happy Frog served only breakfast and lunch and therefore closed each day at three. This was seldom the end of the day for the community of people who had gathered around this unusual little cafe since it was purchased by James Cooper eight years ago. An odd, idiosyncratic, and unconventional group had found a home for their spirits in the magic of the Happy Frog. This particular evening found Connie Delaney, Mary O’Hara, Dorothy Waters, Amy Hsu, and Kathleen O’Hara-Ito gathered around a pot of Jasmine Tea and fresh baked blackberry scones. Dorothy, ever the literary, opened the conversation with, “I suppose you’re wondering why I called you here this evening.”

Connie replied in a stage voice filled with dramatic astonishment, “You can’t be implying that one of us is the murderer? That’s impossible!”

Dorothy laughed, “Nothing’s impossible, dear, but I’m not talking about a murder. I have in mind something far more sinister.”

“Count me in,” Mary O’Hara leaned forward with a grin.

“Me too,” her sister Kathleen and Amy Hsu chimed in together.

“You don’t know what I’m thinking,” Dorothy protested.

“They do know, dear,” Connie said, “we all know what you have in mind and we think it’s wonderful and exciting. It’s also very important.”

Dorothy sat quietly, a puzzled expression in her hazel eyes, “But I haven’t…” she began. Then she turned her gaze to Connie. “Do you know what…” she began again.

Connie shrugged her shoulders apologetically, “I’m sorry hon, but I know your drumming and dancing is so important to you. I have the feeling that it is that important to all of us; important beyond those here tonight and important beyond what we can imagine. So I might have mentioned that to Mary. And, of course, Mary told her sister and Kathleen confided in Amy. So… the question becomes, do you have enough drums for all of us?”

Dot sighed comfortably, “I have more than enough drums. In fact, I have a collection in the car that I brought along just in case there was interest.”

“Get them!” cried Kathleen and the others echoed their enthusiasm.

Thus was born the practice of “Drumming Up the Moon.”

 

Blessings to everyone from the desert

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