Forest Sounds

The Ragtag Daily Prompt for today is the word SOUND.
My response will be this poem by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman:

SOLITUDE

How still it is here in the woods. The trees
Stand motionless, as if they did not dare
To stir, lest it should break the spell. The air
Hangs quiet as spaces in a marble frieze.
Even this little brook, that runs at ease,
Whispering and gurgling in its knotted bed,
Seems but to deepen with its curling thread
Of sound the shadowy sun-pierced silences.

Sometimes a hawk screams or a woodpecker
Startles the stillness from its fixed mood
With his loud careless tap. Sometimes I hear
The dreamy white-throat from some far-off tree
Pipe slowly on the listening solitude
His five pure notes succeeding pensively.

Archibald Lampman
1861 – 1899

Bench by stream.jpg

Other Side of the Bars

Today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt word is KNACKERED.

I’ve been feeling a bit like that myself lately. 🙂

Actually, this is a word I’ve rarely heard here in western Canada, but have come across it in books by British authors. Enough that I get the picture.

Panda.Andrea Bohl
Photo by Andrea Bohl — Pixabay

The Other Side of the Bars

Oh, don’t those creatures wear me out! A constant stream of them parading past my part of the forest all day long making weird noises, snapping fingers, coaxing me to do tricks as as if I were a monkey! They litter my cage with peanuts and popcorn, as if I’d eat the stuff they eat. The short ones are the worst for squealing and wailing, especially when they come in big groups, guided by a few big ones.

By mid afternoon the sun is so hot and I’m so knackered I want to sleep for hours. But the gawkers keep calling and whistling at me. Thankfully, towards evening all those creatures disappear and a blessed hush falls. Even those noisy hyenas shut up for the night. I can finally relax, munch some comforting leaves, then stretch out and have that sleep I’ve been wanting all day.

Tomorrow morning it’ll all start again. What a life!

Words Hard to Work with

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word today is Imperceptible.

This is an interesting word, but a poor choice for a writer’s tool box. Imperceptible means not perceived, neither by the senses — like something no one can see, smell, hear or feel — nor by the understanding. Something sort of “not-there-but-hovering somewhere-awaiting-some-reveal.”

It’s a word writers tend to work around somehow, seeing they have to show in some way, or let their character sense, the emotion or object. Our hero can’t go out in the rain and not see, smell, hear, or feel it, and still somehow know that it’s raining. Likewise they can’t sense a frown or a sneering tone. So authors are inclined to tack “barely” and “almost” onto the word:

 “We expect you gone by sundown, stranger.” Kid Goodson caught the almost imperceptible menace in Black Bart’s tone.
A frown, barely perceptible, darkened the Kid’s brow. “I’m not leaving until I find out what I want to know.” He tossed the bartender two silver dollars and walked out. His ear caught the almost imperceptible sigh of Sally Saloon-Wench.

The thing is, if no one perceives the whatever, there’s not much point in mentioning it, either, unless as a narrator-to-reader aside:

 Indignation, as yet imperceptible to Kid Goodson, was simmering in the bosoms of the town folks. Looks were exchanged and heads silently shook as unspoken sentiments were shared by the listeners. They weren’t going to stand for a show-down in their streets.

No, imperceptible isn’t a word story writers are apt to employ very often. News commentators, on the other hand, may use it at times.

Initially the jury seemed completely swayed by Slick Lawyer’s defense presentation, but at some point an imperceptible shift took place. When the jurors returned from deliberation the defense was shocked to hear their unanimous. “We find the defendant guilty as charged.”

 “While Governor Lord ruled the state, the majority of voters seemed quite content to let him. However, when his successor Tyson Rant took office, an imperceptible grassroots discontent soon began to make itself felt.”

Like smouldering coals, feelings aren’t usually unperceived for very long. Sooner or later Ty Rant is going to see signs of that grassroots discontent.
 “One day the Governor found a dozen dead ducks on his doorstep. The next day university students staged a sit-in on his lawn. A week later farmers blockaded his driveway with hay bales while old ladies carried protest signs and boys pelted his house with rotten tomatoes.
 “Slowly, almost imperceptibly, he became aware that his constituents just weren’t happy with him.”

And thus ends my discourse on this unusual word.

Poor Planning

Ragtag Daily Prompt word today: ARCHITECT

Poor Planning

He hired a trendy architect to design a beautiful, large house with an open floor plan and lots of windows, for he loved the sunlight.

Architect

The crowning touch was his spiral staircase winding up to a brilliant skylight.

A Spiral.stairs (2)

Yes, it was a house anyone would be proud to own, and delighted to live in. His guests oohed and ahhed.

The only thing he never factored in was the weather. He built his house on the Canadian prairie and the very first winter the thermometer dropped to -40F/C and hovered there for ten days. January was warmer, -30 C. By the end of Feb is was all the way up to -20 C and by April 15th it hit 0 C. On June 1st, after he paid his heating bill, he was bankrupt.

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

In actual fact we do have some very nice houses and office buildings here, but serious consideration is given as to how we’ll keep them warm in winter.  🙂

Light Laughter

I regret that I missed doing Crimson’s challenge last week. I even had a good little tale…but may get to use it some other time. And my response this week will be a light verse, as I’m still deep in my ATCUSS project. (A Total Clean-Up of my Sewing Space.)

I’m keeping tract of everything I do so when the end of the month comes I’ll have a record to show for my efforts. So far I’m pleased with what I’ve accomplished. I’ve cleaned up drawers, pieced two blanket tops for our Sewing Circle (which is cheating, as it’s not exactly MY sewing but they’ll be happy), did minor mends on 3 garments, and turned four fraying collars on hubby’s shirts. (Does anyone else do that any more?) Then he decided to catch the flow and bought two more pairs of pants I needed to hem, and now a suit, of which the pants need some adjusting. Today’s project.

It’s been really cold here this week: -20 C this morning and we have a light dusting of snow. Two evenings ago I had a treat: looking out the west window I saw the great horned owl perched in a tree just back of our garage. All puffed up — one HUGE bird! When I see him around I make sure both our cats are inside. I’ve heard rumors…

Now back to the prompts. The Word-of-the-Day prompt this morning is LIGHT, and Crimson’s Challenge #52 is the following photo:
https://crimsonprose.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/flixton.jpg

My response:

zephyrs rustle
the fallen leaves — your light laughter
my stale jokes

Weather and Words

I see that our prompt words today are FALLING, given us by Ragtag Daily Prompt, and NAIVE, from Word of the Day.

I’ve no problem responding to these, as snow started falling Sunday about 8pm — within a few hours we had a white blanket over our land — and I’m not naive enough to think this will soon disappear.

At first the snow was coming down more evenly, but later Sunday evening the wind picked up and we had near-blizzard conditions at times. We haven’t had much more snow, but yesterday’s and this morning’s weather continues with icy wind.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day is LACKADAISICAL, an interesting word for sure. At least I always thought it meant something like HAPHAZARD, or lacking plan, order, or direction. Like my approach to cleaning: do a bit here, a bit there, a bit now, a bit then. It’s what this weather makes me feel like being. 

However, reading the definition I see that lackadaisical has come down from an old English expression, “Alack a day.” A “Woe is me!” type phrase. More like when you haven’t got the heart to start some project. Or when ice, snow, and wind rob you of the spirit or zest to go strolling or frolicking outdoors.

Speaking of spirit and zest, are you aware that NaNoWriMo starts in only three days? At 11:59 on October 31 writers all over the world will be taking their place at their computer to zealously power out their first session. The more laid-back writers will wait until first thing in the morning to begin the month-long writing jag.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Are you gathering facts, working on your outline, plot and resolution? I always get enthused and enjoy the challenge of Nanowrimo, but this year I’ve decided to rather do my own marathon in November. I’m calling it ATCUSS: A Total Clean-Up of my Sewing Space. “Mend it, sew it, finish it, or out with it” will be my motto this month.

Unlike Nano participants, I set my own rules for ATCUSS and can start today. My sewing room tends to be a catch-all —“just until I can take care of this.” You know how that goes, right? Well, I’ve learned that having a cluttered work space is depressing and contributes to a lackadaisical approach to any project, so yesterday I took care of the clean laundry and ironing the sewing room been catching for the last two weeks.

If you’re doing NanoWriMo or some other special project this coming month, I do wish you the Passion, Fervor, Ardor, Enthusiasm and Zeal to establish and carry out your game plan. According to Merriam-Webster, these words ” mean intense emotion compelling action.” You can wish me the same as I begin my project.