Friday, February 27, 2009

A story

Each month I post on this blog the story (from my Author's Den web site) that received the most hits. This month it was...drum roll...please...

Different Worlds

My Icelandic-Canadian grandparents differed both in physique and in personality. My amma (grandmother) was a dainty slip of a woman. She sang like a meadowlark and spoke in a whisper. She was a mistress of domesticity. Her talents were limitless: her thumb was green, her house immaculate, her meals mouth-watering, and she could craft straw into gold.

My afi (grandfather) was a big bear of a man. He thundered, he roared, but it was all in jest. He was gregarious, by nature.

Afi loved to belt out Icelandic folk songs. In one these songs, I heard him repeat a familiar name. "Olafur," he sang. That was Afi's name. Was he singing his song? I wondered.

"Can you translate the song for me, Afi?" I asked.

"I'm not sure your amma would approve elskan (love)," he said. Amma had forbidden Afi to share Icelandic folklore with me. For you see, my creative mind used his stories to torment me.

"Please, Afi, Amma went to town and she won't back for a while," I begged. I continued to beg until he reluctantly gave in.

"Olafur's song has been passed down from voice to voice in our family for generations," Afi seated in his rocking chair rocked to the beat of his words, "Olafur charmed all women. They couldn't resist him. They dreamed about him. Many people tried to warn Olafur to be careful. They told him he was just too handsome and that that was dangerous. Stubbornly, Olafur refused to heed their warnings. He continued to hike over the Icelandic countryside."

"Even into the land of the huldufok?" I asked. Afi had told me about the huldufok. They were a race of invisible people. Occasionally huldufok would fall in love with humans and lure them into their world.

"Yes, elsken, even into huldufolk land," he confirmed.

"Why was he so foolish?" I asked.

"He had to. He was a shepherd, he had to follow his sheep," Afi told me. "One day, when Olafur was hiking he passed by a waterfall. Through the mist of the falls, he saw a fair maiden. She was standing there, washing as the water coursed over he naked body. Olafur feasted his eyes. She was so beautiful that he fell under her spell. Well, it wasn't long before the maiden realized she had an audience. She was pleased, for you see she was a huldufolk. She and her sisters had set the trap for Olafur."

"Did they catch him?" I asked.

"Yes," Afi said.

"Did Olafur ever escape?" I asked.

"No, and I hope he never does," Afi's reply puzzled me.

So deep in thought was I that I didn't hear the back door open.

"Amma's home," Afi announced and we went to greet her. Afi kissed her. That magical kiss transformed Amma. Through it, her identity was finally revealed. She was that beautiful huldufolk lady.

(c)ldyck '09

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Neglected but not forgotten

Please accept my apologizes for writing so seldom this month. Especially, please accept my apologizes for not reporting about the fund raiser. It was a success. A friend took tons of pictures. And I do plan to post a review. However, I did submit a review about the eveing to the Independent Islander. I wanted to be respectful to them and so I'm waiting for my review to appear in the paper before I post a review here. However, after that does occur (which should be in the next issue) I will post it here. The bonus for you is tons more pictures. So please stay log on for that. I have also been informed that a review will be included in the MayneLiner ( I haven't written this review. So it will be a nice surprise for all of us.

The editor of the Independent Islander has told me that she has a surprise for me. She told me no details beyond telling me to read page 6 of issue 10. I love surprises.

In other news...knitting news...I'm working on another design for Knit Together. I will tell you more when I can.

Still more knitting news...Donna Druchunas' new book Ethnic Knitting Exploration is now available. In the book, Donna explores Lithuanian, Irish and Icelandic knitting. Please visit Donna's blog: and scroll down to Feb 25th - to learn more. I'm thrilled to be included in the blog tour for this new book.

Tomorrow please log on for this month's story.
All the best,

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More books

I devote an hour a day to reading. Its a hour for my muse and I think its a good investment. During the hour I read from three books: a book for spiritual development, a book for educational development, and a work of fiction.

Recently, having successful finished a work of fiction I had the luxury of replacing it. The book I choose was Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards. He is a Canadian author and this is a Canadian book. So far so good.

I am very cruel to books. If they don't capture my attention after ten pages (or sometimes less) I abandon them. This book has passed the test.

I also finished the book for educational development. The new book is The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.

I have tried to read this book before. I have failed. I think the problem was the time - its not a night time read. I also think I wasn't ready for it. I wasn't committed.

Cameron maintains that you must be willing to make a commitment to developing your creativity if you wish her techniques to work for you. I'm on page 34 and have already hit a road block.

The problem is with her techniques. She maintains that the reader must commit to an artist date.

What is an artist date?

Basically, it is a weekly date with yourself. The goal of the date is to do something (anything) that will feed your muse.

No problem here, I read for an hour every day. My muse is growing fat on this hour.

The problems lies in the other technique. The problem lies in what Cameron describes as the morning papers.

What are the morning papers?

Well, basically, you must write three pages each day. Three pages on whatever you want to write about as long as you write three pages.

Writing three page before I start to work on my blog, my novel, or any other piece of writing...crazy!

Do I really need another writing committment right now, I asked myself.

No, was the response.

So, what to do? Should I toss the book aside? Or should I waste my time writing these morning papers?

I tried. I tried on February 16th - I wrote a page. I tried on February 17th - I four lines. I didn't have time for anything on the 18th. Today, today I finished my three pages.

Tomorrow, I may fall off the wagon again. On February 19th, I may write three words or more or less. All I know is that today I wrote three pages and I feel great.

Write on,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sometimes things just happen

I do plan. I even sketch.
However, sometimes the sweater that falls off my needles bares no resemblance to my plan. It doesn't look like my sketch.
No, sometimes my muse takes complete control and what is created is much better than anything I could even imagine.
Case in point...
I have been out and about in this sweater. Everywhere I go, the sweater receives rave reviews. They like the trim of variegated yarn. They like the unexpected patch of variegated at the left front of the sweater. They like the fit the rib stitch ensures. They like the sweater.
I, of course, take full credit. I hope my muse forgives me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

New Love

Tomorrow is Valentine's day. It is also the night of the Rest-Q fund raiser. I'm a little nervous and a lot excited. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and for everything to go well. I greatly appreciate it. (Please stroll down to my Feb 10th post for more details regarding this event.)

Now a story...

Most of my relationships were short lived. Lasting only one month or less - usually less. I had no experience celebrating Valentine's day while in a relationship.

Then, I began dating a man in January and we were still dating in February.

This situation put me in a dilemma: what do I do for Valentine's day?

We've only been dating for a month - its too soon to give him a gift. I don't want to scare him off, I reasoned.

A friend disagreed, you have to do something. He'll be excepting it, this friend told me.

I went to a card shop and poured through the cards. Everything seemed too romantic, too committed. I would have to write the card myself, I thought.

Next problem: what do I buy him?

If I spent a lot of money on him that said something about the relationship. If I spent less that said something else.

I know I'll knit him something, I thought.

Well, it was two days before Valentine's day. If I was going to knit him something I would have to knit quick and it would have to be something small.

I know I'll knit him a scarf.

I had been known to crank out scarves quickly.

Secretly I was able to discover what type of scarves he liked. He told me he liked the rib stitch and very long scarves.

How long?

Well, at least six feet.

Six feet...six could I knit a six foot long scarf in two days?

I knit as fast as I could as long as I could and the scarf measured four feet, five feet, six feet. I made it.

I was so excited. I slipped my card between the folds of the scarf and wrapped it in red tissue paper.

He picked me up. We arrived at his apartment. He had prepared a candlelight dinner. There sitting beside my plate was a single red rose and a cute, tiny little teddy bear.

He had cooked...he had shopped...he had gone to all that trouble for me? My heart beat fast and I melted.

What happened to that boyfriend?

Well, I married him.

He was wearing the scarf I knit when he proposed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

In the paper

The Island Independent is a new Southern Gulf Island paper.
How new?
It just published its eighth issue.
On page 5 of that issue is an article entitled: Mayne animal benefit
The article is about the Valentine's evening fundraiser and I'm the author.
Would you like to read it?
Well, here it is...

Nestled in the heart of Mayne Island is "Rest _ Q Animal Sanctuary."
The sanctuary provides a home for 130 animals. The animals that were once abandoned, neglected and abused now oink, purr, quack, snort and bark happily in their forever home.
Providing such sadly necessary care is expensive.
From where does this funding come?
Well, as their web site,, says, "Rest Q is a registered charity entirely funded by private donations."'
Nan Johnston and Bob Connolly of the singing group "Nan and Bob" wanted to help and where inspired to act. They have enlisted the aide of a few friends and are planning a fund raiser. The evening of Saturday, February 14th will be full of Broadway music, poetry, and delicious desserts. All involved have donated their time. All proceeds will be donated to "Rest - Q Animal Sanctuary." Tickets are $15 and they are going fast. The Ag Hall doors open at 7:30 pm. We invite you to come, enjoy, eat and put a little love in your heart.
"Rest - Q Animal Sanctuary" director, Ty Binfet will be available to answer your questions and receive your donations during the event.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Stand by me

Fill your life with song and you will never be alone.

Rock on
The sun is shining on sunny Mayne Island
I'm going for a walk
Have a great weekend


Thursday, February 05, 2009

Walking in the moonlight

Last night I had the coolest experience.
The time was nine pm and I went out to meet Hubby's ferry.
There are a total of approximately eight street lights on Mayne Island. So I always take a flashlight when I go walking at night.
Usually at night there are very few cars and no people on the road I walk down.
Sometimes I turn off the flashlight while I walk. When I do that I'm overcome by an other worldly feeling. Its as if I have become a disembodied head. I exist without my body.
Last night I turned off the flashlight.
Last night the moon was high in the sky.
Last night moonlight filled the island.
Looking down I could see my white running shoes glowing in the light.
Looking up I could see a large ring around the moon.
The whole experience was so peaceful, so memoriable.
It was a simple experience but one I wish to hold on to.
Today, as I recall that experience, I'm knitting along to...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

He saw his shadow and so we have six more weeks of winter. And I will need everyday as I attempt to prepare for Summer.