A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rainy Day and the Flying Innuendos

Many years ago, Rainy Day attended a writer's workshop, where we each submitted 5 copies of whatever story we wished to have critiqued by a published author and each other. We each received copies of the other submissions, and we, too, critiqued the story. (Part of the idea of the workshop was to teach us critiquing skills as well as writing skills.)

Now, I don't know how many of you have ever been to a Science Fiction/Fantasy convention, known to all participants as 'the Con', but if you haven't you have missed a great deal of fun.

Cons usually contain 'tracks' -- three tracks at each con (some cons are exclusive, most are not). There is the Costuming Track where people make and wear their costumes (this track often includes movie and tv costumers), there is the Gamer Track where the geeks spend hours and hours and, well, the whole con shut in the gaming room, drinking energy drinks to stay awake and are seldom, if ever, seen by the rest of us, and there is the Writer's Track where professional writers sit on panels and talk about various subjects, and the wannabe writers, and the readers (whom we love, because they buy our stories and books) sit in the audience and listen and ask questions. Some even become groupies. Rainy Day, alas, has no groupies.

Rainy Day spent many years attending these cons, and has sat on both sides of the panelists' table. She now leaves cons to the younger folks, enjoying instead, the fond and funny memories.

Like the time, many years ago, referred to in the lead 'graph when she was in the 'wannabe writer' category and was asked to critique a story in her workshop group. Rainy Day won't go into the nitty gritty, but Rainy Day still laughs at the 'hook' of that story by another wannabe. "My partner and I walked into the tavern, it was filled with flying innuendos." 

Deceased Flying Innuendos Flocculating on Wall

Rainy Day, has, at last, found and photographed a flying innuendo, three actually, hanging on the wall in the Music Machine  in Kennewick. Washington! It took a lifetime number of years of thorough and painstaking research, thousands of miles of driving forth and back across the country, millions of pages of books read, but finally after all this diligent searching, she found some, quite dead and hanging on a wall. Nathan, the owner of Music Machine thoughtfully allowed Rainy Day to photograph them, hence this post. She had no idea they could be so beautiful. She always pictured them as being dark and slimy, with a nasty barb on the end of their nose and entered taverns where they might be flying with fear and trepidation. She had heard on more than one occasion they were even deadly.
Closer view of Jackson RR3 Flying V Guitar

Rainy Day doesn't know what happened to the writer of the story, and if she reads this post, Rainy Day hopes she won't be too upset. After all, every writer makes those kinds of, well, gaffes  sometime in their career. It is shameful only when they are made by established authors and not captured and put to other and good use.

What Rainy Day didn't know is, once captured, the Flying Innuendos give out a high pitched shriek, stiffen and die, and if  their hides are properly cleaned and treated, they can be painted wild and gorgeous colors, and have various sticks and wires attached, and become quite beautiful. And even useful.

Have you ever played with a flying innuendo? Was it fun? What do you think of Flying Innuendos? Do you think Rainy Day should open a tavern some place and call it The Flying Innuendo?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rainy Day is In The Mood!

Rainy Day loves music. She loves just about any kind of music but gangsta rap and progressive jazz (the jazz that's full of discordants). She admits, New Orleans jazz is great – but only in short doses. She grew up on Rock and Roll, she even remembers when the shift came and the crooners departed and the swivel hips of Elvis arrived. Rainy Day remembers Rock Around the Clock and Bill Halley and the Comets. Rainy Day remembers lots of things. Rainy Day remembers folk music and being stranded on the MTA; she remembers the Click Song by Miriam Makeba.

So, for this blog, Rainy Day thought she would use some photographs of musical instruments. Alas, she has no such instruments of her own – unless you count her CD collection and she wasn't too sure about using copyrighted material, so she hauled out her local phone directory. (Have you noticed how heavy they are getting these days? And how much smaller the print is?) Anyhow, she found half dozen stores listed under Music, and called the nearest one, Music Machine  and explained she wanted to photograph some musical instruments for her blog, and would they grant permission? (Now, one would think most people would say 'yes' to such a request, and Nathan did. But not too long ago, Rainy Day wanted to go to the local Pet Chain Store and photograph one of their oh-so-cute guinea pigs and they refused, unless she bought it. So, the question isn't such a silly one after all.) So Rainy Day hustled her bustle, and her camera, to the store and discovered they are almost all string instruments, with a few percussion ones.
These aren't Rainy Day's Daddy's acoustical guitars

Nathan was delighted to have her come in and take as many photos as she wanted. And Rainy Day says if you or your friends or family live in the Kennewick area and are in the market for a guitar, to please, check out the Music Machine!

As she aged -- and boy howdy, has she! – Rainy Day developed an interest in Opera, and even Country Western, though she admits she prefers what is, or was at one time, called 'Rockabilly' to the nasal, whiny, twang of straight CW. She learned her music appreciation from many people – a young friend of her son taught her to love CW, an old boyfriend introduced her to Opera, and her mother immersed her in symphony from an early age. Rock and Roll she got all by herself;-)

Perhaps one of Rainy Day's fascinations of music comes from the fact she doesn't understand how it's written or composed. She can understand how people can put letters together to form words, words into sentences, ad infinitum. She can sort of understand how people can do the equivalent with numbers without breaking into wracking sobs, uncontrollable shakes, and copious tears (Rainy Day is numbers phobic, can you tell?). But she cannot understand how people can write music. How does one see or hear the notes to write them down?
Rainy Day is pretty sure this is from Babylon 5

If there is life after life, if there is a Heaven and Rainy Day eventually gets there; the one burning question to which she wants the answer is: How do people think in musical notes? She understands how an people can see a picture before they paint it, read the novel before it's in the computer, but music—especially anything more complicated than Chop Sticks? It's beyond her comprehension, or as Yul Brynner used to say in The King and I, "Is a puzzlement!"

In the meantime, Rainy Day enjoys music in all but two of the aforementioned forms, from sitar to piano, from voice to cello, and everything in between. She enjoys it on CD, she enjoys it live, she enjoys it on TV, she enjoys it on You Tube, and she enjoys it on the radio. So, periodically, she will have a bit about music. Like today. And she will share with you, when she can, the pieces that brought her joy.

Gentle readers, I introduce you to the Swing Girls who are In the Mood.  The videos are about four and a half minutes long; please have your sound on. If you are of an age, you should have fond memories of Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman and the Big Band era. If you are not of that age, please, become introduced.  And please, put your hands together and join along and Sing, Sing, Sing. And, yes, someday Rainy Day will figure out how to embed the actual video! Honest. 
Do you think in musical notes, or colors, or some other medium? Rainy Day would love to hear from you. Just click on comments, below to open a comment box and write your response. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rainy Day and the Mountain and Art (Can't forget Art;-)

As you all know, Rainy Day has a marvelous collection of friends. Some are writers, some are gourmet cooks, some are quilters, and some are artists, and all her friends are downright interesting. Well, that's obvious, or they wouldn't be her friends!

While Rainy D was on Mount Rainier the other day, parked at Lake Tipsoo, she met a young man named Julian. It seems Julian and his friends all forgot their cameras, so Rainy Day asked for, and received, Julian's email. When her pix were uploaded to her FlickrSite, she let Julian know.
Mt Rainier from Lake Tipsoo

 Julian sent a reply and a correspondence blossomed along with all the wild flowers that were still in bloom on the mountain. By this time of the year, the wild flowers are usually gone, but due to the late and cold spring, they are just now into their prime. It seems Julian Pena is an artist. He is also a blogger!  Gasp, Rainy Day has met a soul mate. She is thinking seriously of adopting Julian as another Grandson. Of course, she has yet to discuss said adoption with Julian, or his parents. However, Rainy Day agrees with Julian that Washington should know more artists than Dale Chihuly, so she is hereby promoting her new friend, Julian. Oh, and if I do adopt him as my Grandson of Choice, he will be my second Julian. I also have a Grand Cat, Julian ;-) Oh, Grand Cats are the same, are they?
Indian Paint Brush, Lake Tipsoo

And her other favorite fine artist is Muriel van Patten. She's known Muriel for many years, and has a print of her's hanging in her eating area. she has two favorite wildlife photographers -  Larry Lynch and Charles Krebs. Charles used to do cute and fuzzy marmots and other furry wildlife, however he has now moved over to photomicrography. When he used to do wildlife, it was the best wildlife photography Rainy Day has ever seen. Now that he does wasp wings under a micro scope, well, it's mind blowing!. Larry does wildlife and scenics. He lives in Florida, and does great shots of Florida wildlife, especially night shots of  alligators, and you know how Rainy Day is about her alligators;-) And if you don't know, well, her favorite alligator shot ever is called Night Stalker, by Larry Lynch.

Western Anemone, seed stage
Now, for those of you who want to buy Rainy Day loverly presents, any of Julian's Japanese style paintings would be wonderful. Or, perhaps you would like to buy her something, anything by Muriel, and any of the night shots of alligators by Larry. Or one of the micro shots by Charles? Whatever you want to buy her, she will be most appreciative. Honest. Trust her.

Of course, Rainy Day is, as you know, an inveterate dreamer. But, you, gentle readers, you may indulge her all you want.
Cow Parsnip with Two Bees

Are you an artist? Ever paint a picture? Draw with inks or crayons? Or both? Do you enjoy going through art galleries? Paging through those marvelously oversized books looking a photos of fine art? Tell Rainy Day. Tell her who your favorite artist is (favorite artists are). Do you like realistic art? Or abstract? Or something else? All you have to do is click on the underlined word comments below and a comment box will magically appear for you to use.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rainy Day and her Writerly Friends

A Random Shot of one of Rainy Day's Book Shelves. Oh, my goodness - do you see any familiar books in there? (wink, wink, nudge, nudge;-)

Rainy Day has been blessed through her years, with meeting many Authors, and becoming friends with most. (Rainy Day admits, there are a few she did not want to be friends with, after meeting them. However, Rainy D further admits maybe she's just a wee bit jealous because they're famous and Rainy Day is just, well, infamous;-)

One of Rainy Day's friends is Jayne. Jayne and her husband own a bookstore, and Rainy Day loves to buy books from them, when she can. Now, Jayne, knowing and befriending several writers, has also been known to pick up a pen now and then and write some pretty good prose.

Alas, Jayne no longer puts pen to paper, or electrons to whatever electrons bond to as they skip across the computer screen. And when Rainy Day recently talked to her about it, she admitted she really doesn't want to write. She wants to, 'have written.'

When Rainy Day met her first Author, Rebecca, Rainy Day was at a science fiction/fantasy convention. She had just attended a panel on which Rebecca was a member. When the panel ended, both Rainy Day and Rebecca beat feet to the nearest Ladies' Room. Rebecca won, and as Rainy Day stood in line impatiently waiting her turn, Rebecca came out, and stopped and talked to Rainy Day.

"And, why are you here?" Rebecca asked.
"I want to be a writer," Rainy Day responded.
"Oh. And, do you write?" Rebecca smiled sweetly as she asked the question.
"I want to be a writer," Rainy Day responded.

It took poor Rebecca about 5 times asking the denser-than-usual Rainy Day if she wrote before the light bulb turned on. (Rainy Day has never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the ceiling.) Finally, Rainy Day responded with the correct answer. "Yes."

"Oh," said Rebecca with a big smile, "then you're a writer"
To which Rainy Day, smiling in response said, "Yes. I'm a writer. Not a very good one, yet, but I want to learn the craft and hopefully get published."

Rainy Day and Rebecca became very good friends. And Rebecca and Jayne were also friends. In fact, Jayne sold Rebecca's books, as well as Rainy Day's once she learned enough of the craft to sell them to a publisher. And, having learned a thing or two about writing, Rainy Day has this to say to all her writerly friends, wannabe writerly friends, and all the other friends she has:

"If you have written a letter, a note, an idea, a recipe.... If you have put pen to paper, electrons to whatever it is electrons cling to, then, YOU HAVE WRITTEN. And Rainy Day is pleased to call you not just Friend, but Writerly Friend! Of course, Rainy Day has friends who have never had the desire to write, and she is just as pleased to call them Friend, too. Rainy Day has friends who write, who paint, who sing, who carry on good conversations, who quilt, who...well, you get the idea. Rainy Day has a very eclectic group of Friends, all of whom she cherishes most dear.

Speaking of writing, Rainy Day discovered a 'new' blog the other day, by Justine Dell. She has a series of posts under the label of Grammar Police (go to the left side of her blog and click on Grammar) that Rainy day is enjoying very much, and thought you writerly readers might also enjoy.  

Do you write? Stories? Novels? Emails to friends? Have you written? Do you paint? Or sing? Is your group of friends, well, eclectic? Rainy Day would love to hear from you. Please click on comments below and a blank comment box should magically appear awaiting you to fill with words -- which you will then have written.