Day 4 – Perfectly puffy

She walked up the aisle wearing an exact copy of the most famous wedding dress of the century.  Guests were entranced with the white powder puff sleeves and flowing skirts. 

“How sweet”,  some murmured. 

“She looks like a meringue”,  others unkindly tittered. 

The bride was unfazed. At last her girlhood dream had come true. 

She was a princess bride at last. 

This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’
https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/07/01/july-writing-prompts-2/

Day 3 – Misty moon magic

Maddening moonshine nights
Sleepless and restless she lies
Shining seas, wild mind

The full moon gleams
Sleepless and restless she lies
Wishing for sweet dreams

Glistening moon shines
Crazy hope across the seas
Yet loveless and sleepless she pines.

LianaB


This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’
https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/07/01/july-writing-prompts-2/

2. City in the sky

They are up there, I  know.

Look for the glow of their city lights in the night sky.
See them fly that rocket of green. Heading home to their galaxy star castles.

Or are they coming here, sight unseen, to harvest the unsuspecting ones? Those who dare to venture out at night, those who point cameras towards the light to capture Lady Aurora’s sunglow. 
Do they sit in their skyscrapers looking down on our world. Are they scheming to capture the photographers who seek the mysteries of their skies?

Where does Lady Aurora hide in the daylight?

This is my response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’
https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/07/01/july-writing-prompts-2/

Day 1. The page where the heart speaks words

When the heart starts beating rapidly it is time. Don’t think about what others might think, just speak. Believe that the words will come. 

Sage advice given to this nervous first time public speaker many years ago. 
Standing up and speaking my mind was a scary thing to do. It’s not that I didn’t have words to say. It’s just that I felt too strongly about what my words meant to me. Where else would or could the words come from if not from my heart. And yet they resisted. 

Where are the pages of my notes? What if my voice croaks? What if they laugh at me? My fears threatened to overcome me. Who else has felt that fear? 

Hidden deep within the hidden  tunnels and crevices of my beating heart, I felt them start to stir. With each surge they got stronger. The words were on their way. 

It’s true that we speak when our heart is in our mouth. I hummed to myself…, “Drums keep pounding rhythm to my brain.  And the beat goes on! “
Then I thought;What  is the worst that can happen?  I set aside those notes. Just breathe. Just do it. And I did.   My heartfelt words found their way. And it was good. 


LianaB


This is a response to a Flash Fiction prompt from ‘Putting My Feet In the Dirt’, July Writing Prompts hosted by ‘M’
https://puttingmyfeetinthedirt.com/2020/07/01/july-writing-prompts-2/

Creativity craves Companionship not Criticism

 Is this true for you?

My mind is buzzing with ideas to release my creativity yet I procrastinate – why? 
Is it a fear of failing, of falling into a black hole,  or being criticised?

Yes that is likely to be biggest fear of all – why do I struggle with criticism so much? Even when it is constructive although more often than not it is destructive.

It may be human nature to criticise and blame another for perceived procrastination – but – the big BUT – why should it matter? As long as I am doing what is necessary for a harmonious life – eg cooking, housecleaning, bill paying and gardening spring to mind. Surely after all the mundane tasks of life are done and dusted (yeah nah  maybe not the dusting) then I can soar free into my creative zone. 

Seek inspiration from nature

The sun is peaking out from behind the clouds, the sky is blue in patches, the sea is calm and ‘flat as’. The early birds are out making tracks in the dew as they hop, stop, listen then bury their beaks into the soft turf, emerging with a wiggly worm for their breakfast. I love watching their steady progress across the grass. This is much better than throwing out some bread crusts. I wonder what the earthworms think about the sudden intrusion into their underground world?  

Here they are, minding their own wormhole, burrowing deep to chew and spew the leafy mould, turning the detritus of autumn leaves into soil. These little magic munchers are such super soil turners.  They help to fertilise the soil by bringing nutrients closer to the surface. They live in soil at depths of up to 2 metres and feed on decaying organic matter in the soil.

Did you know?

“Earthworms are hermaphrodites where each earthworm contains both male and female sex organs. The male and female sex organs can produce sperm and egg respectively in each earthworm. Although earthworms are hermaphrodites, most need a mate to reproduce. … The slime tube will form an “egg cocoon” and be put into the soil. Both worms create offspring.”

Double the luck! Very creative and good companionship, I reckon. So maybe creativity does crave companionship? So that was another interesting ‘rabbit hole’ or should I say ‘wormhole’ I went down. I’ll never look at an earthworm in quite the same way again.

Create- don’t Procrastinate

I have planted a germ of an idea for creating a circle of creativity in the neighbourhood.  I thought it would be very cool to create some art each day but it wasn’t easy to get art supplies during lockdown so let us just share the resources we all have in our cupboards.  Over the coldest and bleakest of the winter months we will meet in my little cosy corner downstairs.  We will bring our own projects and just create – whilst we listen to music, chat and drink coffee. Hopefully this will accomplish a couple of goals I have. 

  1. complete a couple of art projects I have had on the backburner for a couple of years
  2. spend intentional time developing my skills and becoming more creative

I am hopeful this will help to keep the winter woes from the door for us all.  Whatever happens will happen. Lets just  see where this journey takes us? And maybe, just maybe, I will enjoy my creativity in good company and be able to ignore that criticism.

LianaB

Travel is indeed a life changer

On a freezing, windy, raining Wellington day over 60 years ago the TSS Captain Cook departed with the last batch of troops to fight in the Malayan Emergency. My family was on that ship.

We departed Wellington Harbour on Guy Fawkes Day, 5th November 1959 amidst a backdrop of fireworks displays and streamers. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was to be the final  voyage of TSS Captain Cook. The troopship TSS Captain Cook started as the RMS Letitia, then renamed the Empire Brent by the Australian Ministry of Transport and finally became the TSS Captain Cook when it was bought by the NZ  government. 

“On the 2nd August 1957, official authority was granted to raise and train the first “Regular” Infantry Battalion in New Zealand history. Under the command of Lt-Col W. R. K. Morrison DSO, the 1st New Zealand Regiment would be New Zealand’s land force commitment to the British Commonwealth Far East Reserve, The 1st Battalion, The New Zealand Regiment was deployed to Malaya from October 1957 as part the 28th Commonwealth Infantry Brigade Group. Between 1958 and 1964 the NZ Regiment would rotate 3 Battalions through Malaya. “
This deployment was unique in New Zealand military history, as it would be the first time that families would accompany a New Zealand overseas military deployment to an overseas location. 

Fortunately I didn’t know too much about jungle warfare or political wrangling so I just had an amazing experience living in a different culture, surrounded by the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Burmese populations.  There were also Australian and British families who became my school friends at the British Commonweatlth school I attended for that first year. 


Travelling has opened my eyes to an appreciation of the many and varied cultures that make up this world. Although the travel bug may have bitten me at that tender age, it would be many more years before I travelled overseas again – and that was to be a much different experience. 

The First Ten Years – Part 1 – How I got my name

The last light of the day
The setting shining its las light across the sea

I was born on 14 March 1950. The other big news event of that day was  that of a half-grown female leopard escaping from Auckland Zoo.  Like Caesar, the Ides of March  (15 March) was not a good day for this leopard as it only got to eat half a possum before it was hunted down and shot dead by the local army officer. 

This news story lead the front page of the Christchurch Star-Sun even superseding the news from the Malay Emergency.  Also mentioned was the King of England awarding a gallantry award to a NZ officer for his role in Malaya.

No wonder the event of my birth did not  make the headline news that day.

I was named after Liana Angelicci – an Italian school teacher my father met in Piarocco, Italy during World War II.  He emphasised it was a platonic relationship however he was in a war torn country; he was a shell shocked machine gunner who had seen service in Egypt as well as Italy. Who knows the real truth? My feeling is that he took comfort where and when he could and perhaps that helped him survive those stressful times. 

Many years later, both my parents went to Italy on a 27 Battalion reunion  tour. They found that little village of Piarocco and Liana’s old house, knocked on the door and discovered she had married a doctor in the next village and moved away.  Whatever happened, I do feel a special connection with Italy. Growing up, I did not know of anyone else who shared my name. I love my name as it is quite unique. I feel that it has strengthened my sense of individuality. 

The dictionary definition of Liana means a ‘clinging jungle vine” I like to think that I am tenacious rather than clinging. I can survive through tough times and I seldom give up despite at times being in a less than nurturing environment.

Does our name influence who we become?

First Camera

The starlet that started it all

A stroke of luck, a winning ticket and my first camera was purchased with the winnings.  Nine pound to a nine year old was a substantial amount of money in 1959.  I knew exactly what I wanted to buy – a camera. 

And just like that,  I was on my way to a lifelong passion for photography. Little did I know it then, but this was the start of my journey in photography.

That little Brownie Starlet film camera was my pride and joy. My first subjects were the family pets – a black and white cat called Kiwi, and a German shepherd pup named Scamp.  

I remember taking a photo of my sister who had been tricked into standing alongside a tree where someone had draped a dead snake, and just as I pressed the shutter, I had someone say – oh no there’s a snake!  She screamed and I snapped her reaction. 
I had such fun with my camera. Everywhere I went, the camera came too. Thus started the habit of a lifetime. 

Black Beauty
My first riding lesson on Chunkette

Yes even to the riding stables where my other passion lived. A black mare, Chunkette was her name. My friend and I had our first riding lessons on a pair of racehorses. Adjutant was the big chestnut gelding, but the little black mare was my favourite. Probably she reminded me of Black Beauty. She was quite small so it was much easier to clamber on her back and learn how to walk, trot and then canter.  She had a gentle nature and I loved spending time with her.  She was very photogenic too. 

Chunkette in her stable
My first favourite racehorse

Riding racehorses
Racehorse riding lessons

I quickly expanded my subjects to include family members, school friends, horses and crocodiles. As a child I lived in Malaya for two years so I had a wide variety of new experiences and sights to record. 

I developed my love for photography as I strolled around. Once the film roll was finished, I had to endure a lengthy wait  before I could see  the developed and printed pictures . This was made even more difficult as I had to wait till my next week’s pocket money was in my pocket too. My pocket money was spent on developing and printing those first humble attempts.

Many years later, I was wandering in a camera store in Singapore, and there was the exact same camera model. Wonderful childhood memories flooded back and once again, I was that young girl with her very first camera capturing the wonders of the world around her. 
I wonder whatever did happen to that first camera. I hope that whoever used it next had as many fun-filled adventures with it as I had.