Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Summer Sands Remember

dropping moment by moment to the base
of the hourglass. This last summer
both of my children en residence.

Joys of summers now buried.
Little hands dig moats to
protect sandcastles we built.
Friends and foes strut and snub
on the shore in front of Jack's.
Cookouts around the firepit
hotdogs crunchy from sandy fingers.
Marshmallows black
drop in the sand, but there's always another.
Brown and soft and melting sweet.

Sands below sing of youth
“There’s a new kid in town...”
Boz Scaggs
Fleetwood Mac, Boston and Foreigner.
Drive music for crossing the valley to the beach.
No books, only sand and surf
Summer without obligation.

Deeper still the sands remember
a white '59 Cadillac convertible, big fins shooting jets of flame
Red interior with those cool electric windows.
My daddy at the wheel,
My mama with a headscarf ala Doris Day
She sings "Fly Me to the Moon"
Three sisters giggle in the backseat
No seatbelts hold us down
We are the Coppertone girls.

© 2005 by Carolyn Burns Bass

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Vision of The Good Life

A recent discussion of "The Good Life" in my online writer's group piqued my interest. I posted a couple of paragraphs there, but the concept wouldn't let go of me. What is The Good Life and how do we know when we have it?
I think The Good Life is a metaphorical aspiration enjoyed by millions, but rarely recognized when achieved. I can remember many times when I’ve lived the good life, but always had dreams or other hopes to make it even better.

I had The Good Life back when I was single, writing freelance, and living in a studio apartment overlooking Laguna Beach. Life was good, but it would have been bliss if I had someone special with which to share it.

Newlywed, awed in love with my heroic husband, we left Laguna and traveled to Japan, where we had a fifth-floor apartment overlooking the Inland Sea from one room and the Monzen River delta from another room. We had our first baby. This would have been The Good Life if I hadn’t missed my family so much.

Back in the USA we bought our first home with the big yard, the swimming pool, added two delightful dogs, and the kids flourished in private school. I began my graphic communications business. Life would’ve been So Good if I had enough clients to keep busy until the kids got home from school.

The kids are nearly grown now; the business keeps me busy beyond the school day, but so what? They’re involved with their activities, they have wheels to drive themselves around, and heroic hubby now flies his PD bird on the nightshift. Now I wish I had more time to write.

But looking back, I see a pattern. Laying aside the material possessions that provide temporary delight, The Good Life contains a few simple ingredients: love, family, creative endeavor, and fulfilled ambition. And dogs. Gotta have a dog curled up at my feet to write.
What is your vision of The Good Life? Click on the COMMENTS link below and share with us.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

When Lightning Strikes

One of the most powerful effects of the internet and blogs in particular is how they can touch people’s lives in time of need. I learned through my online writing group that Marianne Mancusi, author of A Connecticut Fashionista in King Author’s Court), returned from the Romance Writers of America conference last weekend to find her home had been struck by lightning and burned to the ground. Marianne lost virtually everything but what she carried with her to the conference. A single woman, Marianne didn’t have renter’s insurance and is facing enormous costs for everything that needs replaced. A group of writers from Literary Chicks is spearheading an effort to raise funds to help Marianne. An online auction is being set up with books signed by authors, manuscripts evaluated by authors and agents, and other objects of literary value. A gift certificate to one of the nationwide chain stores would be appreciated for immediate assistance. Visit Literary Chicks to see how you may help Marianne rebuild her life.