THE WRITE PLACE…

…to build a community. Share Patti Hall's journey …


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Birthdays; Cherished Memories Revisited

Paul swinging in the sunshine. PHALL PHOTO 2008

Paul swinging in the sunshine.
PHALL PHOTO 2008

I originally posted this just after I started my blog, and again in 2013, but I wanted re-post it in honor of Paul’s birth date this year. Paul loved celebration, surprises and family. I remember this last birthday before he was diagnosed with leukemia. We lined our merged five grand daughters up on the couch and took pictures. We so loved our little girlies :>)

Paul is/was a Leo and loved being in the lime light on his special day, okay, on any day. He was very quiet about his pride of place, but if you knew him well, loved him, you could see the glow of it in his bright blue eyes and that smile…

I gave him this 3-D NASCAR card that he kept next to his chair for months; he’d never seen anything like it and I think he loved it better than his actual gift. He loved getting gifts, but that was nothing compared to how he loved finding the perfect thing for someone special. He was very into the drama of giving gifts.

We went out to eat with friends 3 times a week and one of the places was at the local casino. While waiting in line, you pass the gift shop. We’d often have our friends hold our place in line, while we looked in the display cases. I’d oooh and ah over the pretty, shiny things, then we’d move back into the line waiting to get in for dinner.

That Christmas, I had a lot of gifts in all sorts of shapes and sizes. By the time all the gifts were opened, I saw what he had done. He used his casino points and bought me every piece of jewelry I had made noise about at the gift shop during the past year! Crazy guy. Thankfully, he also bought me a jewelry armoir to put it all in.

Enjoy…

A Piece of Our Story in Poetry

This is a piece of our story; the man I knew. This was written for his birthday, 11 months before cancer entered our lives.

20 Aug 2007

Paul teased me about writing a book for him, instead I wrote this poem for his 60th birthday.

Book of Paul…

He is everything wonderful that I ever needed,

handsomely wrapped up in one big tender man.

His rolling laughter leads to coughing fits;

spitting up water and vitamins,

and then falling off the bed!

A prankster to his core,

full of special surprises for all.

A memory-maker, his camera always within reach,

he records the Kodak moments of our lives.

His cards & gifts & little notes come from the heart,

and always meet their target.

He loves easily and deeply…

his children, grandchildren, his friends & me!

He would love to be a millionaire,

but he lives well, and is generous with what he has.

His tastes and beliefs are “traditional”,

yet he has an open mind and can embrace the non-traditional,

except food, of course!

He loves Taco Time, NASCAR, animal shows,

Funniest Videos, Cops and bad sci-fi movies.

Every day he says and does funny or special things for me,

he can calm me with only a look, or a touch.

He wants us together, no matter what,

and turns every errand into a “date”.

He acts crabby sometimes,

but just below the surface is a joke or a prank or a smile.

He notices the little things,

and always says “thank you”.

For a T-shirt and jeans guy,

he sure is a clothes horse!

He gives hugs and touches often,

he sings seriously and dances with a laugh.

Happy Birthday… With All My Love,

Patti

Sorry about the quality of this photo. I snapped it on my way out the door. This is Paul’s part of a little alter I have in my beach cave, for all those we’ve lost the last few years.

P1140494


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A Bawdy Tune For The Gypsy Moon

Foggy Moon

On July 22nd, I woke from an afternoon nap, with this in my head. May cause raised eyebrows or blushes; not for the faint of heart 🙂

A Bawdy Tune For The Gypsy Moon

When I’m in the mood for a little fun and a few spicy sips,

I head to The Mermaid Saloon and watch for the ships!

 

I muss up my hair, dab some color on my eyes and lips,

add a basket of jewelry on ears, neck and wrists!

 

I dress for laughing and drinking

and dancing for hours, for catching that look,

then reeling them in and sinking the hook!

 

After hugs and hellos and downing a few,

I like to sing with the sailors who stand at the bar all askew!

 

Then I dance a few jigs with other merry-making women who know just what to do,

and last, but not least,

I like the never-kept, but promising kiss, of a one-eyed, tattooed, peg-legged stranger or two!

Patti Hall 2014

P1030073


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A-Z April Challenge; X = Nightmares About Algebra

caution slippery sign

X + 2 = 5

X, even more than Y, brings back algebra angst—to the 10th power. In my sophomore year of high school my math teacher actually patted my hand and told me, “You’ll pass, don’t worry.” I was sobbing over pre-pre-algebra. The tears were not about failing the class. I was crying about not understanding and about him teaching me as if I already understood the secret fundamentals of math.

Fast forward to college. Still not a member of the secret society of math, I pulled up my big girl panties and gave it the old college try. This teacher was not willing to give me a passing grade and he had no idea how to speak the math-for-dummies language either. Math, especially algebra, brought out a lot of hidden anger in me. I was finally able to express that anger with some damn fine cussing. Not at the teacher. At least not to his face.

Later, I passed a basic algebra class (with a little help from my friends), but was still not given the secret codes to get me to the next level. Many years later, I had to go back and take, either college level algebra or probabilities and statistics. I took the p & s class. Somehow I achieved a “C,” that felt miraculously like an “A+.” It was the first “C” that I was ever proud of.

However, that p & s class really took the fun out of my lofty ideals of chance. When everything can be precisely predicted and calculated down to exact numbers…well, where’s the fun in that? I mean, if you look at the back at your lottery ticket and see that your chance of winning is 1 in 400 thousand trillions, why even get your hopes up and waste your dollar? I so wanted to waste that dollar, but p & s class prevented me. See what that class did to me?!

Of course, had I taken the college level algebra class, I don’t think I’d be sharing this nightmare with you…it would be difficult to type wearing a straight jacket.

Post script 

I give you, my faithful readers, one absolutely beautiful fact (the ONLY beautiful one) about algebra. The word “algebra” means “a reunion of broken parts.” Poetic, isn’t it? So, poetic, that I used it for the title of my book of poetry. I will let you know when I publish it.

Happy Equations,

Patti

1writeplacewordpress at gmail dot com or you can private message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/patti.hall.3950

 

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html


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One Year on Word Press. Thanks!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, it has been a year since I began blogging. Even though it was very lonely the first few months, you eventually found me and have kept me going with your support and encouragement ever since. The secret to bringing folks to your blog is so simple: Get out and visit, comment and “like” other blogs. That’s it. Go forth and make friends :>)

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Here’s how the first 6 months went for me. I didn’t know one blogger and had no idea how to blog. After a couple months of loneliness, I started searching for info about memoir and children’s writing and publishing. During my quest for info I started visiting other blogs, I made some friends. Adding photos to my posts seemed to bring more people to this little community. Popping in on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites, really brought some new faces to The Write Place.

I hope to add some highlights of the second half of my first year in the next few days, but for now, here is what I was up to my first six months…

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Six entries in March 2013, including things like:

I posted a quote that seemed to fit my state of mind as I began this new endeavor of public blogging, writing and (hopefully) publishing. “Do not hurry, do not rest,” by Goethe. As fast as I wanted to get started, I knew that I also wanted to take my time and not make a bunch of (public) mistakes.

I was unsure of what/how to begin, but decided to use my long dormant maiden name for my writing. I posted a poem inspired by my mother, who instilled the love of reading and humor in me. Another poem that I posted that first month reflected the pain of the sudden and unexpected loss of one of my sisters the year before.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach, WA w/Coast Guard Tower. Phall Photo 2013  

The post, Keeper Book Synopsis, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-x tells the genesis story of the handcrafted “Keepers” that my friend (Leslee) and I created years ago. My hopes are to publish the stories that I wrote for each one. I also finished typing a 2500 word story that I wrote for my children in 1996.

The last entry of March 2013 says, in part, “I woke up this morning, well, it was really almost 11. Anyway, I was looking around and my eye caught on some star wands that I need to give my granddaughters, from a mutual friend. Soon I had a story rumbling in my head and I was off. I have been writing and editing all damn day long, and half the night! I made some coffee, finally ate a snack, packed some things for my move [home relocation] tomorrow and wrote like crazy. I completed a children’s story 10 words shy of 4000 words. Crazy. It just came out. Does it happen like that for you? And, hey, I have no illusions that this would not get whittled in half by a real editor, but I’m good with that. It is the process that is so…gripping, so addictive.”

April- 12 entries. This was my third month going to the local writer group that I joined, and I posted,  “Have been checking out and “following” several other writer blogs. Have been “invited” to join a writer site that allows us to give and receive feed-back. I am learning about the current trends in writing and publishing…” Another entry, Good Grief, A Widow Writes A Memoir, http://wp.me/p3i5jo-V explains some of the things I was learning about memoir writing and how painful it can be to write about Paul’s illness and death. Still is.

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Breakfast for fawn. Across from my driveway.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I posted about a writer retreat and a writer conference in Homer, Alaska, which is also home to one of my sisters and her husband. I began taking a writing class taught by a local writer, and I met several other writers there. I posted a poem that I wrote for Paul’s 60th birthday in 2007. I made an ambitious attempt at a blogging schedule. Hilarious, if you really know me; the “s” word and me are not close.

I signed onto several more social media venues and shared some sites with helpful information for writers. I touched on some newsy information in one post, about the way technology is taking away our privacy. I wrote a poem about the deaths and injuries in the Boston marathon bombing and the explosion in Texas. I posted a short story about a child molester/monster.

Kites down on beach. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Kites down on beach.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I moved Maggie (my trailer/cave/home) from the bay outside of Westport, into Westport proper and closer to the beach. The worst shock and heartache of my life happened on the 26th, when my grandson died. Still dealing with the other recent losses in my life, I stopped blogging for awhile.

May- 13 entries. I lost my mind a bit, but returned to blogging late in the month, with 2 poems on grief and loss. Lady In The Cave http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1N and Treasured Souls http://wp.me/p3i5jo-1P  were followed by a post complaining about the new parameters for the medical definition of grief. I wrote a few other poems/essays and shared some of the writing/publishing information that I was learning. Still very few visitors or followers on my blog, but I kept on. This was my first poetry/photo combo post: Beach Bird Bliss http://wp.me/p3i5jo-2c and it made me realize how much readers enjoy photos along with the words.

Fresh seed pod on tree. PHALL PHOTO 2013 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

Fresh seed pod on tree.
PHALL PHOTO 2013
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS19

June- 22 entries. This was a very busy writing month and I had some fun with the essay, Things That Go Rrrrr, Crash, and Drip In The Night http://wp.me/p3i5jo-4w. I also got better at working with photos and started posting photos for Word Press Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges. I posted quite a bit under Writing Journal as I learned about and organized for successful memoir writing. The post, New! Dedicated Memoir Page and Sneak Peek of Prologue http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3m tells the story of how I got from the house that Paul and I shared, to living at the beach. What I Would Tell You Now http://wp.me/p3i5jo-3v is a letter to my late husband, written long after he was gone. I also started writing and submitting book reviews this month.

Butterfly on Flower in my friend's garden. Phall Photo 2013

Butterfly on Flower in my friend’s garden.
Phall Photo 2013

These are busy days, but I will try to post the summary of July-December 2013, in the next few days… Still not smoking and happy about it, over 2 months later!!!!!!!! Was thrilled to know that one of my sisters quit smoking 4 days ago too. So cool.

Happy Almost Spring!

Patti

Thistles PHALL PHOTO 2013

Thistles
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 


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Heart Room

060

“It is funny how you do not miss affection until it is given, but once it is, it can never be enough; you would drown in it if possible.” Libba BrayThe Sweet Far Thing

The Heart Room Door

The heart cracked and broke into all those pieces and rolled across the floor.

Grief stricken and shaken by the mounting losses, I ran straight out of the door.

I pulled it closed behind me. “Click” went the lock, then I swallowed down the key.

Further along the hallway, I curled into a closet, to mend what little was left of me.

Years went by; I patched the leaking eyes and embroidered an acceptable smile.

Still, and even so, opening that closet door would take a good long while.

Like shiny pieces of mercury, the heart fragments rolled and bumped along the floor,

eventually, they melded together, and slipped right under the heart room door.

Down the hall, in the closet, the door opened slowly and all I could do was stare:

the heart was whole, held gently in your hands, as you pulled me in to begin the repair.

Patti Hall 2014


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Winter Ready, In Thoughts and Photos

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder, "My colors can't get much boulder, it's time for crisp winter white, long dark day, to cold, cold night."

Fall taps Winter on the shoulder,
“My colors can’t get much bolder,
it’s time for crisp winter white,
long dark day, to cold, cold night.”

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees, "Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees, I've talked to the creatures; they say they're ready, They've packed their homes, slow and steady."

The red-headed Green Man fully agrees,
“Leafs, yellow and brown are up to my knees,
I’ve talked to the creatures; they say they’re ready,
They’ve packed their homes, slow and steady.”

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold, ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Seed pods stand strong, ready for the cold,
ready to winter-dream of being green and bold.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide, A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Strong winds will sail them far and wide,
A blanket of snow will give them places to hide.

Patti Hall 2013

PHALL PHOTOS 2013


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This One Is For Leslee; The Silk Ribbons of Friendship

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn=Leslee Phall Photo 2013

Fall = Pumpkins and Corn and…
Phall Photo 2013

Fall’s magic and joy

shines from her heart to her eyes

corn stalks and pumpkins

Of all the people on this planet that I know, no one brings the magic and joy of each holiday to life, as Leslee does. Halloween and Christmas are her yearly pedestal projects, but oh, her Valentine and birthday creations are also grand. She beckons the inner child from anyone in her orbit, and sings the fairies from their hiding places.

Sadly, Leslee has been out of my orbit for too many years. She’s getting closer though, and once I knew that she was back in…I began to feel a girlish giggle and a fairy’s impish grin emerge from somewhere deep within. They swim up through the pain and loss that I have experienced in her absence. What wonders will now be unleashed?

Within about 18 months, 25 years ago, I met four incredibly strong and supportive women. Leslee was one of them. The other three, Gwen, Vickie and Roxanne, each have special ribbons that bond us together. If I had to pick one word for the ribbon that connects me to each, it would be humor for Gwen, strength for Vickie, and spirit for Roxanne. Of course, they are all a mixture of those, and many other beautiful silk ribbons.

This writing inspires me to remind us all to write a love/friendship letter to those that we share that special ribbon with. Have I ever told Gwen how much her laughter means to me, or Vickie, how her steadfast strength has always helped keep my feet on the ground, or Roxanne, how her gentle spirit soothes me like a babe in arms? And Leslee, how the fairies welcome me into their circle when she is in my life? She sets my imagination free.

Peace,

Patti