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Posts Tagged ‘Tea’

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I’ve mentioned the Mythology/Folklore course that I enjoyed last semester before graduation.  One of the requirements of the class was to build our own website and incorporate fairytales that we wrote into a theme.  I had such a great time with this assignment.  I shared with the instructor that I would like to find a way to do this full time, if only I could get paid.  ;^)  I researched original fairytales and folklore, then spun my own tales.  I used all of my own photography, as well.  My fellow students — bright, creative souls, had the generosity to vote my site as Best of Class.  I was over the moon excited — such a great honor.  I share it with you here:

Tea and Fairy Tales with Miss C

You’ll find four tales, including an Irish story for this Merry Month of March.  ;^)

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Where do you find your inspiration? As a writer, I’ll tell you, I look in many places. Nature, however, seems to be the place I gravitate to the most. If I can see a waterfall, or hear a stream, it immediately brings a sense of calm. Later, the creativity will follow, into an uncluttered, open mind. (Well, as uncluttered as it gets anyway. There’s always something that could use a little work.) ;^)

Also, I think the best writers are great readers. Devouring books is the perfect way to see how it’s done. Of course, most of us read to read. That is a term that I tossed around frequently while in writing courses these last few years. While dissecting fiction, I wondered if I would ever be able to read for fun again, rather than reading a fictional piece to analyze the techniques.

Last semester, I was in the middle of writing a paper on a book that I really wanted to enjoy and was having a difficult time muddling through the technicalities that hover in the mind of a writer once trained. I mentioned this to a professor. She said, “Oh no! I want you to just read it. Don’t analyze it. Read it. Then go back and see what stands out. See what makes an impact upon you.”

So that is what I’m also asking you — not only where do you gain inspiration for what you do, no matter what dream chasing it may be, but what books do you read that inspire you? Is there someone that you’ve read that made you want to write like them? Why?

My daughter bought A Game of Thrones by G.R.R. Martin for me for Christmas. Looking at the 765 pages and the five or six volumes that follow, I was daunted, to say the least. But I found myself with a few idle days, (due to illness,) (boo) and I was able to read it. The praises of Mr. Martin have been sung far and wide. With an HBO series and untold volumes, he doesn’t need my praise. But I’ll tell you, I was inspired. I want to know history like he does. I want to design fully round characters like he does. I want to create antagonists that you love to hate and protagonists that you love to love, like he does.

I don’t want to be quite so graphic. Do you think that’s a requirement of a writer in this century? I don’t. I still believe that you can be effective without the gore and the four-letter words.  Eyes, ears, and hearts are assaulted on many fronts with access to extensive media and it is increasing.  Yet, I believe that we need more of the healing balm than ripping and shredding.    It  has to do with my views upon violence and its perpetuation.  Where do we draw the line?  On many subjects, I say, loose the boundaries.  But there are other places that I must say that I prefer the lines to be distinctly drawn.  I think that we need this as a society; not to take a head-in-the-sand approach, but to encourage innocence to flourish and gentleness to prevail.  I still hope that it can.

My youngest daughter, also a writer and the one who bought me the book, gave me the journal in the photograph for my graduation.  The embossed cover contains a Jane Austen quote. (She’s also the daughter who might chide me for being too uppity about this violence thing in the Thrones series.) But that’s okay. It takes all kinds. I appreciated reading the book. I loved it. I loved the characters. I want to know what happens to them. But I think that I will try a kinder, gentler writing style.

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” (Jane Austen)

That’s how I feel.

Mary Stewart pulled it off in her epic series of Arthur and Merlin stories, Legacy — The Crystal Cave. She is brilliant at portraying the history, hooking the reader into a marvelous, sweeping tale, and leaves you wanting more.  She can write about the victim, but it’s more about the victory.

I think that is what inspiration is all about. Take a bit of this and a scrap of that, and work it into your own magnificent quilt.

One more quote for today then:
“Writers read.”

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The opportunity to begin again presents itself every morning and I am grateful for it.  I am excited to run into the new year armed with my recently conferred writing degree and a million ideas.  I hope that you’ll join me and see what we can discover.

In 2013, I would like this blog to be a place where we treasure words of wisdom by writers new and old.  I would like to dream here, of my perfect writer’s space.  I would like to write a little fun and fiction, and of course, sip a cup of tea, laugh, and relax.

All the best to you and yours in 2013!

Here’s today’s wisdom, which may be attributed to someone famous, but I could not find it in a quick “google.”  I will say that I heard it from my professors at the University of Oklahoma over and over again and I’m sure I’ve said it here several times myself.

“Writers write.”

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Oh, my!  April has almost passed and I’m just getting this posted…and I’m actually procrastinating, even now with what I should be doing.  ;^)  I’m in the final week of my next-to-last semester in professional writing!  Soooo, I’m supposed to be writing!  ;^-  (I am!)  Actually, I tried something new and set up the photos with this post as a draft, then came back and wrote the content later, then scheduled a date to post it — and that didn’t happen.  Hmmm — first time for me and this tiny corner of technology, but I’ll figure it out next time!

April’s teacup is from one of my favorite sets.  My Great-Aunt Lois, my paternal grandmother’s youngest sister, hand-painted this porcelain cup, years ago for me at the request of my mother.  Beautiful dogwood flowers are the theme.  I love to see the dogwoods in the spring.  I usually keep an eye on one spot in the park where I know a dogwood lives.  This year I missed it.  (I’m missing a lot, but that’s okay, because what I’m doing sort of makes up for it.)  ;^)

Aunt Lois and my Uncle Bob lived in New Mexico where I was born and many of my relatives still live.  Now, Aunt Lois and Uncle Bob live less than an hour from me in Oklahoma.  I love to stop in for a visit.  There are always smiles and welcoming hugs.

Each cup in this set is painted just a little differently in pinks, violets, and greens.

Aunt Lois painted a tiny  scene underneath each cup.  Each one of these is different, too.  What a treasure.

I photographed it when my wisteria was blooming, brief, but spectacular.  ;^)

The tea is one of my favorites ~~ a naturally sweet and fruity herbal by Tazo called Passion.  It has hibiscus in it.  It makes a nice hot tea for something different and is really good iced, as well, since we’ve already gone into the 90s in Oklahoma this spring!!!

I hope that you can take a moment to pour a cup of tea, relax for a moment, and take in the beauty of the day.  Thank you for stopping by!

;^)

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A bit o’ the Irish for you — a cheerful mix of white bone china, vintage plates, and my favorite mint tea ~~ all in a field of clover.

My favorite Irish lullaby ~~ as my grand-daughter Annabelle sings it to her little brother, Jude, and baby sister, Vivienne ~~ taught by her paternal grandmother:

O’er the seas and islands,

Many years ago,

My mother sang a song to me

A song so sweet and low ….

Tura Lura Lural

Tura Lura Lie

Tura Lura Lural

It’s the Irish Lullaby.

To you ~~ My favorite Irish Blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

And the rains fall soft upon your fields.

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Happy March and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Brew your perfect cup of tea and sit down with me. It’s been a while. Let’s chat.

In today’s story, we’ll tip our hats to a tough cookie of the male gender, my brother, Richard. I’m not sure how excited he would be to be called a tough “cookie.” I think he might prefer simply, “tough.” We’ll deviate slightly for his sake. You and I can sip on tea and snack on cookies, but Richard is one tough hombre.
Richard, the Cool Guy

To set the stage, I have to tell you that Richard was born when I was three. I was proud of him from the very beginning. Mother says that when he was a baby, Richard could talk, but he didn’t have to. I did that for him. If he squeaked or squawked, I translated, “He wants this” or “He wants that.” He let me do his talking for him for a while, but that did not last long. He has always known how to be heard without a bossy big sister barging in.

Proof that my brother was tough. Or was it me? He bit me while my mother went to fetch the camera.

Growing up with him in Nevada was never dull. We lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills and created many adventures in the sagebrush based on Daniel Boone, Gunsmoke and Wild, Wild West. We hiked, fished, camped and hunted in those mountains with our family.

Richard and me ~~ goofing around in the Sierra Nevadas on a fishing trip

Zoom forward a couple of decades and this story takes place in Oklahoma, where we all ended up on the prairie. Like many of my stories, this one takes place on a Sunday in the Bible belt.

I made my way to the driveway and our red, family van with my three little daughters, dressed to the nines for church.

In Oklahoma, you can expect anything, and I do mean anything, by way of critters working their paths across the plains. This Sunday, on this territory, (mine, to be exact) the critter was a skunk. That’s certainly not uncommon. My usual response to them is, run fast, run far.

This day, however, the skunk was not walking. It was weaving. It appeared to be a drunk skunk. On a Sunday. A heretical, whisky-drinkin’, drunk skunk. It looked rough, like Rowdy Yates had practiced for Rawhide, up close and personal on him. Scrawny, scroungy, damp and scary. We’re not talking cute little Pepe, here. If you’ve ever seen a live skunk within a few feet of your person, you know fear. To protect themselves, skunks can be vicious, (odor not withstanding.)

This skunk had either been attacked by another animal and did not fare well, or it was rabid. That appeared to be the most likely possibility. It was a sad inevitability of life in the country.

The girls were already in the van. I ran back into the house and called my brother. He lived next door and the skunk was winding through the property between our houses.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

“Skunk on the road! Rabid, I think! Get your gun!” I was worried, of course, about being sprayed and of rabies, but the skunk was miserable, too. He needed to go to skunkie heaven. (Where is that? A sprawling meadow where they chase dogs and spray all day?) (A vast field of daisies where they chat with Bambi, Thumper and Flower?)

In a few moments, dressed in black jeans and a black shirt, as if he knew his role, Richard came swaggering out of the door, John Wayne style, with the rifle.

I heard echoes of that famous, haunting flute whistling the theme from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” floating on a breeze in the background.

Richard, i.e.: Hondo methodically surveyed the scene. Yep. He agreed. It was not pretty.

In slow motion, he carefully lifted the barrel, sighted the mangy critter, and with one shot, “Boom!” In True Grit style sent the pitiful, striped stinker to the happy hunting ground.

Richard tipped the barrel of the shotgun up, blew the smoke off like he was Adam in Bonanza, propped the gun skyward over his shoulder and did that slow swagger back to the house. If I had not just witnessed the scene, I would have sworn he had shot a bull-elk or a bear.

I know that I heard that great cowboy-in-the-sky whisper from the clouds, “I never shot nobody I didn’t have to” and “Everybody gets dead. It was his turn.”

Mesmerized, not knowing whether to laugh or cry, I turned to my impressionable little girls. They sat wide-eyed behind the van window. That day they learned that life is sometimes hard, cruel, and somewhat frightening.

At the front door of his country home, Richard turned slightly and tipped his finger to the front of an imaginary cowboy hat. The Legend vanished until the next episode.

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Welcome to my virtual tearoom!  Find a comfy spot to sit, pour a steaming cup of your favorite tea and let’s chat!

My hope for you here is to find a peaceful place in blog world where you can relax.  The teapot will always be full.  The food will be plentiful and excellent.  The conversation will ebb and flow.  The smiles will be perpetual.

What will find its way to this page?  There will be talk of tea, of course.  Recipes and good ideas will be shared.  Tea cups, teapots, and anything tea-related will be in abundance.  Funny stories, quips, anecdotes, quotes, photos, friendship and great conversation will be at the ready.

As an appropriate beginning to a blog about all-things-tea…I’d like to share my favorite tea with you.  Every morning, before I can even see straight, I head for the tea cabinet.  I reach for the herbal peppermint tea.  My preference is Celestial Seasoning’s Peppermint.  (I promise you — they’re not paying me to say that.  I wish they were.  When they do, I’ll let you know.)  ;^)

When the cup is in my hand and I have taken a sip, all begins to be well with the world.

The fragrance contains something of a revival in it.  This tea tastes like you just went out to your garden and gathered a fist full of fresh peppermint leaves.  After my first cup, I can begin to let my brain take the first baby steps toward the idea of breakfast.

By the time I make the second cup, my eyes are open and complete sentences are beginning to form.

Is anyone else like this in the morning?

I wish I was a morning person, I really do.  I need to be a morning person.

Tell me about your mornings and your tea.

It is very nice to meet you and thank you for stopping by!  (The next cup of tea will be much warmer, now that we’ve broken the ice.)  ;^)

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