Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NEW LEAF - 'Slight of Hands'



I’m turning over a new leaf. I been yakking about it around here for a while now, but as of today it’s actually happening. I’m trying my best to get ‘back in the saddle’ of blogging. By that I mean blogging something other than my normal bi-monthly BATTLE OF THE BANDS, and its subsequent RESULTS POST. This will still happen the FIRST and FIFTEENTH of each month with the results posts following on the SEVENTH and TWENTY-FIRST. If you don’t already come by regularly to have a listen and vote for your favorite rendition of the songs I post, please start this Sunday MARCH 1.

BUT, my ‘new leaf’ is to try and post something in between those bi-monthly posts. Something to thrill and excite you, well, at least, something that excites me. I toyed with the idea of doing the A to Z Challenge this year, just to try to get back on track, but then I thought about it for a few weeks and my answer to myself was NAW! I did do it once and that was enough for me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great exercise for those of you who like that kind of stuffs, but being that disciplined to pick a theme, to post every day, then visit other bloggers each day as well; it was too much like ‘work’ to me. In fact it was work. I did finish (with a little help from a friend), but I really don’t want to do THAT again.

In my travels around the blogosphere I try to stop every Monday at the home of Chris Fries. He started something back in January that seems to really be paying off for him. Go on over to his space The Creative Outlet of Stratplayer and check it out. Anyway… Chris is a master at ‘flash fiction’, he manages to post 100 and 50 word stories that are really quite good. He also provides links to another site­­—a contest of sorts, that takes submission for 100 word stories. That site is 100 Word Story I also invite you to check it out.

Well, I wrote something and submitted it. I don’t expect it will be accepted for publication, but remember that ‘new leaf’ project of mine; well, today’s post is that 100 word story. There is a picture prompt for this story that is posted at the site. I will tell you I was prompted by the photo, and some images that came to my mind this past Sunday during a ‘Gong Immersion Session’. You might be wondering what that is. I’m not gonna tell you here, but maybe it will be another ‘new leaf’ post sometime in the future.


‘Slight of Hands’

Watching his fingers fly across the keyboards, I felt the magic. Those beautifully long fingers creating a sound to make the angels envious. How many hours of patient practice at a piano? How many months stretching into years before one could equal this type of spectacle?

I looked down at my own small, inadequate hands and knew they would never make wonderful music. No, these hands scrubbed too many floors, bathed babies, and cooked, cleaned, and cultivated a home. These hands were tired and worn. Yet when he stopped playing and took them in his, a different magic was born.

That’s it. 100 Words no more, no less. Go ahead have at it, and let me know what you think.

I’ve been listening to an incredible CD while I wrote my 100 word submission and this post. It’s Kenny Loggins, ‘Celebrate Me Home’. I love this music, so I’m gonna share and leave you with a tune. I think it’s a rather appropriate tune as we close out February—the month of LOVE. 



Please stop by on Sunday, March 1 for my BATTLE OF THE BANDS.

27 comments:

  1. That was really sweet! Glad you'll be posting more and joining Chris in flash fiction.

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  2. Hands seems to be a common theme lately. Very nice piece!

    And I own the CD. Time to dig it up for a listen again. :)

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    1. Thanks. That is some really great music, I encourage you to get it out and give a listen.

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  3. Nice! Poetry and flash fiction are both things I'm not good at.

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    1. Poetry for me - not so much. I think I'm getting better at the flash fiction though,

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  4. I do love the title track on that one, though I'll admit I haven't heard any of the others. When he put out his live lp during the big late 70s "so-and-so live" craze, my favorites of the many songs that got airplay were that one, Keep The Fire, and his original of What A Fool Believes.

    And the story was very good- especially the way the ending took the story from something everyone could relate to to something very intimate.

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    1. I do like Kenny. I think this album is my favorite.

      Thanks for the comment on the story.

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  6. 'SLIGHT OF HANDS' was really good! I wouldn't be surprised at all if it gets accepted for publication.

    Kenny Loggins had some success with Jim Messina but his first solo album, 'Celebrate Me Home', didn't do much on the charts although the title track became a radio staple during the Holidays.

    Right after that, however, he became a huge hit-making artist.

    The funny thing is that I think that first solo album is one of the most underrated LPs (now CDs) of all time. The stuff that made him rich and famous, I really don't care for. (Except for 'Footloose', which is probably the ONLY song I've ever - wrongly - thought I could actually, almost, sorta-kinda dance to.)

    But that first solo album... WOW! Great songs, fantastic music, and vocal control that is probably unmatched by any male in Pop music history (except Johnny Mathis). That album is without doubt one of my most frequently played: Perhaps Top Ten, but certainly no less than Top Fifteen or Twenty most frequently played... and I own a couple hundred CDs.

    There is not a single bad track on that solo debut album; the vocals are incredible. It starts with 'LADY LUCK' which turns into this electric guitar powerhouse that matches Kenny's powerhouse vocals; it ends with the heart-wrenching--- well, I don't wanna say, because that (and one or two other songs from the album) be destined to be featured in one of my future BOTBs.

    Absolutely one of the best albums in my collection. And it's been in my collection since 1977 - the year of its release!

    ('DADDY'S BACK' is actually my favorite song on 'Celebrate Me Home'. But it barely edges out some of the other spectacular tracks. When I think "Pop Vocals", this original album by Kenny Loggins is always the first one that comes to my mind. Second is probably 'THE ART OF TEA' by Michael Franks. Frank Sinatra? Pshaw! On his best day Sinatra couldn't match vocals with Kenny Loggins!)

    Double Good Stuffs, FAE!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thank you very much for the nice compliment. It makes me feel a lot less nervous about putting my writing 'out there' or 'here' as the case may be. You know me.

      I really like Kenny and I think this is my favorite album. I had owned it as a cassette tape years ago and have no idea what ever happened to the tape. I love 'Celebrate Mr Home' and "Daddy's Back" also. When I stop to think about it, I'm not really familiar with his other albums. Of course, everybody knows 'Footloose' and I don't think anybody can 'sit still' while listening to that tune. If you look above CW mentions 'What A Fool Believes', I've always liked that song but didn't think it was Kenny Loggins (I'm gonna have to look that who as soon as I finish here - always thought it was the Doobie Broothers).

      Gotta say I'm also enjoying the heck out of Michael Franks. Maybe he'll help inspire the newt "New Leaf' post. Ya never know.

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    2. OK, I went and looked that up. 'What a Fool Believes' is written by Michael McDonald (of the Doobie Brothers) and Kenny Loggins. Kenny recorded it also. It's similar but a little different. Maybe more fodder for BOTB, who knows?

      Also, while at Youtube I was reminded of another Kenny song that I love "The House at Pooh Corner'. How could I have forgotten THAT one.

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    3. Yeah, 'THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER' is great. That one is from Kenny's era with Jim Messina. I have a CD copy of it and play it to honor my old pal Kelly "Andy" Anderson on his birthday and on the date of his death.

      I had NO IDEA that Kenny Loggins also recorded a version of 'WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES'. Good song, and the Doobie Brothers recording is in my collection, too.

      Kenny Loggins cowrote it with Michael McDonald? Hmmm... That might be an excellent BOTB match-up. I'll go listen to it at YouTube right now. I learned sumpin' new today.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    4. OK, just listened to the Kenny Loggins version. NOoooooo! Not a snowball's chance in a Phoenix Summer of that version getting my vote over the Michael McDonald hit.

      It just kind of confirms what I'd said above: Of Kenny's solo stuffs, it's that first album and that first album ALONE that I love. His recordings that came afterwards do not appeal to me much at all. He struck gold, but he struck it only once after his break from Messina.

      ~ D-FensDogg

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    5. I have to agree. Can't imagine ANYBODY beating the Doobies on that one.

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  7. A nice heart warming 100 words indeed. Yeah, when blogging becomes work, you don't want that. But a few posts here and there is fine for sure

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    1. Heart Warming, Huh? Thanks, I really didn't think of it that way. I don't know how you do it, posting every day, something I don't think I could ever do

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  8. Good for you aiming for more productivity and off to a nice start with your 100 word story. Hopefully you might have an epiphany over the next few weeks about doing A to Z. It doesn't have to be as much work as many seem to think it is. It's really a matter of self-discipline, organization, and keeping an eye on the benefits that can come from it. After all dedication to a writing career and the ensuing marketing that is inevitable in our age of being a published author is a lot of work as well and A to Z is basically like going to the writing gym to get in shape for what's to come for a writer.

    But at least keep up with BOTB! I've become so into it that I've got posts lined up for the next year so I'd hate to see everyone stop that one.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    A Faraway View

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    1. I know that the A to Z Challenge is close to your heart and I know that many people what even developed novels or other pieces for publication from their posts, but it was just not for me. I do admit that self-discipline and organization may be a weak area for me, but I think I would be better using the time I would put into A to Z (writing my own posts and visiting others) to work on editing one of the three full length manuscripts that I have finished. I have started forcing myself to spend at least one hour each day on edits of the story that nags at me the most. It is coming along nicely.

      I wish you and everyone who has the stamina and desire to participate in A to Z luck, and I will be lurking around an reading and commenting on various posts, but it simply was not my thing(kind of like electronica music, I guess).

      I DO intend to keep up with BOTB. I've even had my moments with it, but find I'm enjoying it more and more the past few months and have no intention to quit.

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  9. I would love to become better at flash fiction someday :)

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    1. Well, you know what 'they' say; practice, Practice, PRACTICE!

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  10. I absolutely adore this post. Your 100 Word Story left me breathless - what an ending!
    Will definitely visit Chris' site.
    Closing out with Kenny Loggins - "...always knew it, nobody told me... I believe in love."
    Bravo, lady!!

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    1. Thank you very much. Breathless, Huh? I can only hope the editors at the site think the same thing and decide to publish it.

      You should definitely check out some of Chris' work. He is a mast at this flash fiction thing. I am truly impressed with the stories he puts together in only 50 words. And, wait until you her some of his music. WOW!

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  11. Far Away Hands -

    I loved your 100 word story! It really is quite good. Like others commenting here, I loved the ending which leaves one's mind dwelling on the two people: who they are, how they met, and just what sort of magic she's anticipating at this point. Is it the magic of a 50-year relationship, or the magic of one only days old? Is it sexual, or platonic? I must admit I've never even HEARD of 100 word stories prior to this, but by any measure, this one must be considered successful.

    As for Loggins: StMcC and I have yakked extensively about him before. Disagreeing, of course. At least in this case we are GENERALLY on the same page, in that we both like him. He loves the one "Celebrate Me Home" album. I like most of his stuff, but in particular love his work with Jimmy Messina. Loggins & Messina are a particular fav of mine. I have and like "Celebrate Me Home," but I would have to say that L&M "On Stage" is one of my top ten favorite albums. "Angry Eyes," "Trilogy: Lovin' Me/To Make a Woman Feel Wanted/Peace of Mind," and "Vahevala" are just fantastic, IMO. So are "House at Pooh.." and "Danny's Song."

    Glad you are making progress in the goals you set for yourself!

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    1. Hey you, thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging words.

      I'm trying my hand at these 100 word stories in an effort to train myself to 'get to the point' in as few words as possible. Not an easy task for me.

      You know I had forgotten about most of Kenny's work with Messina, until I stumbled on 'House at Pooh Corner' at Youtube. Course, some days I think I've forgotten more than I remember, Fortunately, my landlady is French (keeps me in practice). I was at a party at her house last Saturday where French was spoken by most. With my mid-western accent I don't dare try to talk to them(they would spend all night correcting me), but I do wonder if they knew I could understand what they were saying. Fortunately, nobody said anything bad, about me.

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    2. I think that the ability to quickly get to the point is an important tool in the writing arsenal, to be used when appropriate. Many great writers could only write in that style (Hemingway, et al). Having majored in Journalism (ha, ha, what a major,) my go-to style is a short and sweet pyramid of information. I become bored with my own writing after paragraph 3!

      But my favorite style is the long and circuitous: think Tolkien, P.G. Wodehouse, and Bill Bryson. These writers (as well as a mutual friend of ours) take their sweet time to get to the point, never hurrying, but you know getting to the end will be well worth it. With Wodehouse, the WHOLE THING is the fun wordplay... the plot is meaningless.

      I'm sure the 100 word limit is invaluable in practicing using just the perfect words to create a story behind the story. That's what happened with me in this S.O.H. story!

      I didn't know you spoke French! Egads!
      Mes excuses pour mon "pigeon" français!

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    3. While I too enjoy reading those long and circuitous tomes, the authors you mentioned are able to weave a beautiful tapestry that encourages you slip into the pages with. I on the other han, just seem to drone on and on. I'm hoping to learn to make that kind of 'music' with my words as opposed to the droning 'noise'.

      Ha, ha, ha! You really didn't know I spoke French? No apologies necessary, I listen with my mid-western accent too!

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