Category Archives: Blogging

Design Contest

The always eloquent Linda G. Hill at lindaghill.com is running a design contest for her One-Liner Wednesday. I thought it would be fun to throw in my idea for a badge.

“ The winner’s badge will be available for anyone who participates in One-Liner Wednesday to post permanently on their website as a widget and/or to embed in each weekly One-Liner Wednesday post.”

 As those who read my blog regularly know I do love a line that often twists and turns. Here is my entry:

 

One-Liner Wednesday

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The Mists of Time

This story i for Linda G Hill.  It is a ghost story and a love story and it is historically correct.  I live in the town mentioned and their park is still here. Check out Just Jot It January at http://lindaghill.com/2016/01/29/just-jot-it-january-29th-ghost/

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No one knows exactly what happened on that final day or even what actually happened during the preceding weeks. He was one of the countless summer visitors that would arrive from places like Toronto by steamship. As many as 3000 people would visit Oakville in a single day. They mingled with the local folk in the beautiful summer days of that year. His name was Aloysius.

Her name was Mary. She was born on the 15th of April in the year of our Lord 1881. Her father worked in the Carson & Sons Planing Mill. He worked there for 30 years and for half of those years he carried a secret.

Mary didn’t have a mother. Or rather she didn’t remember her. She died while giving birth to Mary’s younger brother, he didn’t survive either. When she was very young Mary learned to take care of the house and her father. It’s what women did in those days, they took care of things.

Jacob was a good man, was Mary’s father. But he didn’t know what to do with his little girl. She wasn’t a little girl anymore. She was a young woman, a young, beautiful woman. Like the youth of all centuries she wanted some excitement. So on that fateful day she left the chores in her home to go for a walk in George’s Square.

Mary was positively giddy. It was a beautiful day, bright sunshine, a gentle breeze, and the smell of flowers the air. She didn’t go far; there was a park very close to her father’s work. He used to take her there when she was a small child. It was a favourite place for people to congregate. It is believed that’s where she met Aloysius.

“Hello.”

Mary turned around. What she saw made her smile and blush at the same time.

“Hello.”

“Are you from around here?” The smiling gentleman asked.

Mary blushed again. “Yes I am. Are you lost?”

The gentleman breathed deeply and put his hands in his pockets. “I have just come up from the city and I’m wondering where are the best places that I should visit. I’m only here for the day.” He looked down at this beautiful raven haired young woman, he was quite tall, “Would you be willing to show me the sites?”

Mary had been feeling the need for little excitement in her life, and here it was standing right in front of her. He looked to be a gentleman from the city, perhaps a wealthy gentleman. She was at first a little nervous but it was a beautiful day and she was feeling adventurous.

“I would love to give you a tour of the town. My name is Mary.”

“And you can call me Aloysius.”

“That is quite an unusual name.” She tried to hide her smile, unsuccessfully. Then she thought that perhaps she had been impolite.

The gentleman in question simply chuckled out loud, “I was named after my father, by my mother. It is quite a moniker.” His smile deepened. “It’s nice to be a little different.”

As the two walked through George’s Square they became more comfortable with each other. He was a young gentleman well attired and well spoken. She was a young girl, barely a woman with a girlish delight in being free.

We can’t know what was actually said when the two met but Mary kept a diary. Years later it would be found and many of the questions surrounding their story would be answered.

Aloysius was indeed a gentleman. Actually he was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was in service in the city of Toronto. Every Sunday he was given leave to pursue his own interests, whatever they may be. Once he met Mary he spent every Sunday of that fateful summer in the small town of Oakville, on the shores of Lake Ontario. They would visit the strawberry market, walk along the shoreline and picnic under the trees. Their friendship grew and over the many weeks so did their love.

During this time Mary’s father was under the impression that she was helping out at their local church. As he was not one to attend services he never questioned her supposed attendance. So he was completely unaware of the growing relationship between Mary and Aloysius. He wasn’t the only one. While they never intentionally hid themselves from Mary’s friends, they didn’t frequent areas that the others normally attended. But eventually the summer ended and so did the steamship from Toronto.

“Mary I’m asking you to come back to Toronto with me. You can live with my sister until the wedding. I know I can find you work with the mistress of the house. She is always looking for competent maids or perhaps a tutor for the children.”

Mary held the hands of the man she loved but she could not look him in the eye. “I have told my father nothing. He doesn’t even know you exist. I can’t just leave him”.

“Beloved I have to leave. This is the last boat of the season. I have no means to support myself here in Oakville. I have a good life in Toronto. We have talked about this. Let me approach your father and ask for your hand in marriage. He must agree.”

Very slowly Mary withdrew her hands from the grip of the man she loved. She still had not looked into his eyes. “I will speak to my father and I will return here shortly. The boat doesn’t leave for several hours. You must trust me. I will return.”

Slowly Mary raised her head and looked deep into the eyes of the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. Her hand touched his cheek gently, no words were necessary. She smiled and left him waiting on the pier.

When Mary returned home her father wasn’t there. She knew he sometimes went into the plant on Sundays so that is where she went. It’s difficult to know what actually happened on that tragic day in Carson and Sons Planing Mill. What we do know is that Mary died in there. She may have fallen or she may have been struck down. No one knows or no one is speaking of it.

Mary’s father would not speak of that day except to say that there was an accident. Aloysius waited on the pier but his beloved never showed and he didn’t know why. He left on the last steamship of the summer.

The next year the steamships did not return to plying the waters near Oakville for passengers and Aloysius was unable to return to Mary. He tried writing letters but they were never answered. Many years went by, Jacob mourned the loss of his daughter but he never spoke of it to anyone. Some said they often found him sitting on a chair outside the Mill talking to himself. It sounded as if he was talking to someone else but no one was nearby. There are those who said he was talking to his daughter, or the spirit of his daughter. Perhaps he was trying to atone for what had happened. Jacob never said and he died the year the Mill was closed.

Aloysius eventually married. He had three daughters, the last one he called Mary. He was never a happy man; he rarely smiled and was never seen to laugh. After many years of marriage his wife died and his daughters married and had children of their own. In time Aloysius once again visited Oakville. It had been a lifetime and the town was no longer sleepy anymore. It was vibrant and alive. Aloysius went back to the places that he and Mary had once known. The shoreline was much more built up and the main street had more stores. The house where Mary had once lived was gone. George’s Square was still there and the trees were bigger and more lush. Aloysius sat on a bench and remembered how happy he had been so many years ago and he wondered if Mary was happy now.

It was dusk when a married couple out walking in the fresh autumn air noticed a well-dressed older man sitting on a park bench. When they returned from their constitutional the gentleman had not moved. The man stopped to inquire if there was anything wrong. That’s when he discovered that Aloysius had died. He had died in the last place that he was happy.

There are those who say that on a warm summer night just about dusk if you’re very careful and very lucky you can see the misty outline of two people sitting on a park bench. One shape is that of a well-dressed gentleman, a young man and the other is of a very young woman with long dark hair.

Perhaps what they could not have while they lived, they found together in the mists of the spirit world.

the end

 

 

Just Jot It January

The prompt for today is  “Mendaciloquent”  by Coralee at musefullymendaciloquent.com. If you don’t already know her, click on the link and check out her blog!

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I cannot tell a lie

My mendaciloquent skills are lacking

So never fear the truth

cuz the other’s what I’m tracking!

As aways many thank to Linda G Hill for Just Jot it January at lindaghill.com

Blog 101 Day 11

 

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Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

 

I must say I really enjoy reading the prompts that abound in the blogging world. I rarely do them but I love to read them. And I enjoy the many different interpretations. I have always thought of a prompt as a gentle forceful application of a lower appendage to a rear mid-level protuberance. K now say that four times quickly! It’s a kick up the backside!

Seriously! It’s somebody thinking about how to get you to write something. And that’s a good thing! The reason I rarely do prompts is that I have way too many ideas and I am woefully adequate when it comes to focusing. By the time I have organized my thoughts and sat down to write this magnificent opus, it’s three days later and I’m four prompts behind.

I am not an organized person nor am I a disciplined writer. I’ve always thought of myself as a guerrilla writer. I have flashes of ideas, write for a few hours and then walk away until the next time I get a flash. I do write snippets every day. That I can’t stop. I do love the one-liner! One of my favourite things to do is to read other peoples interpretation of the prompt.

Maybe one day I would appreciate that forceful application of a lower appendage and do a proper prompt. Don’t hold your breath, but maybe.

Blogging 101 – Day 9

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 Day Nine: Get Inspired By the Neighbours

Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday.

What is the most important aspect about blogging? In my humble opinion, it is the relationship with other bloggers. We comment to show support, join in the fun, and to question. The most important of these is the support.

When I first started blogging three years ago I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. WordPress set me up with how you do it but I had no idea of the ramifications of that. So I wrote. I asked questions. And I worried. I had no idea if what I had to say was of any interest to anyone. I had nothing to worry about.

Several of the people who reached out to me three years ago in my comments and with the ‘like’ button are still with me. I cherish them. And they have become my friends. When I lost my furry babies they supported my grief. When I am worried or sad or frightened I can always reach out to the friends I’ve made through blogging.

I remember when one blogger was facing a typhoon. I wasn’t the only one who worried about him until he let us know he was safe. He lives on the other side of the world and yet he is really only a keystroke away.

 Yesterday morning one of the first things I read was a comment attached to a poem I posted that morning. Now I love reading comments. I particularly like reading positive comments (they always are). The other thing I like about comments are the introductions. Maryruth 16 introduced herself and told me a little bit about herself. It was intriguing. It made me want to go and see what she had offer.

That was how I found maryruthblog.com. What I found was an intelligent and intriguing blog written by a woman who likes to question.   She admits she doesn’t have all the answers but she’s working on it. I like her attitude, I like her words, I like her pictures. Yep I’m going to like this blog. You should check her out: maryruthblog.com.

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Blogging 101, Day Five

Day Five: Love Your Theme

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.

Today’s assignment was intriguing and yes terrifying! I tend to be one of those people that I stop looking when I’m happy. There were things about my blog that I wasn’t perfectly happy about but all in all I was quite satisfied. I must admit I thought I might skip this assignment. But then I realized I need to get out of my comfort zone. We all do.

I guess that’s pretty much the same in life as well. At least in mine. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. However, isn’t there always an ‘however’? However, there is always room for improvement.   It couldn’t hurt to look.   So I looked.

I experienced information overload! There are some beautiful sites, there are some that are too simple and some that are too elaborate. I am a simple girl with simple tastes. I decided that I would change to one that I liked and live with it for a couple of days. Change is hard. But it can be the impetus necessary to open your eyes to something new.

What do you think of the new look? And yes you can be politely brutal. Ha ha ha ha! But I do want honesty. Thanks for looking, thanks for reading, thanks for being you!

Blogging 101, Day Four

 

Day Four:   Identify your audience

Today’s Assignment:   Publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read.

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Now this is an interesting assignment.   Who is my ideal audience? Who is the reader that I write for? Well I guess simply put it’s anybody who reads and has a pulse! Seriously! I love the fact that I have readers from all over the world. I have been to only a handful of places on this planet and to read the words of someone in a country half a world away is fascinating. To know that they’re reading my words back is titillating.

Originally I started writing on the advice of my father. It was to help me understand the changes going on in my world. I had had a major MS attack and was forced to leave work. Everyone knew I wasn’t going back but it took me two years to figure it out. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people that allowed me to come to the realization myself.

I guess when I write I think of my father. He always believed in honesty and integrity. I hope I do his memory justice.

I also write for my mother who always had such an incredible faith in me no matter what I did. She also had no qualms about telling me didn’t like something but I must admit that was pretty rare. She encouraged me and I wrote mostly for her. When she died I didn’t want to write anymore.

Now I write for my readers. I get excited when I see that someone has liked something I have written. I get a huge smile when I get a comment from someone. These people have become friends and they are important to me. They inspire me and they make me want to be a better person. I know that sounds a little sappy but then I’m a little sappy!

I am having fun and I make no excuses for that. My goal is not to offend anyone… much and to share whatever tidbits reside in my mind.

This blogging 101 really is a wonderful way to take stock of ourselves. I hope you enjoy my submission.

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Blogging 101

Daily Quip 2016

Today’s assignment: who I am and why I’m here

You would think having spent 56 years with someone you would know who they were. I’m not sure I know who I am! I am a woman, I am right handed, I’m a redhead turning blonde. The list could go on and on but at the heart of things I am curious.

Right now I am suffering through the cold of a Canadian winter. At least today is cold. Last time I checked it was -21c with the wind chill (-5.8F) brrrrr. I am about to retire and I’m okay with that. I’ve only been blogging for three years. It started as an outlet for my writing. And then I got hooked. I started to read what others had written and almost immediately I became enamoured of the rest of the world. There are some incredible people writing out there!

I keep forgetting to mention that I have multiple sclerosis. I view the world from the seat of a wheelchair. I think of it as an accoutrement not the essence of who I am. I may have an itty-bitty incurable disease but I also have attitude and panache! There’re a few things that do become hindrances but I usually find a way around them. Like I said I have attitude!

Almost 10 years ago I was asked if I would write a newsletter for the apartment building I live in. I did that for nine years and I loved it. When my mother moved into a retirement residence they also had a newsletter and I started writing short stories for them. That went on for about four years. I stopped writing shortly after my mother died. Several months later my brother and sister went to great pains to explain to me that I was an idiot. I should not stop writing! They told me about blogging and convinced me to give it a shot. I was hesitant at first but now I cannot imagine my life without it. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night.

I will always be the child who was afraid of her shadow and of the horrors that were other peoples’ opinions. That little girl may still be inside me but she grew up. I like what I do, no, I love what I do! And I hope others we’ll find some enjoyment in my words.

What do I blog about? Whatever the wind sends my way. I do not have a mandate or a manifesto I simply write whatever pops into my mind. I love the one-liners. Those few words that paint a picture or make me laugh. I started doing them several decades ago and quite frankly I can’t stop! I also write poetry and short stories. I even share some of my artwork. Every now and then I get serious and rant about something that is annoying me. I dredge up memories of my childhood and share them. I’m one of those annoying people that had a wondrous childhood. I guess I am an anomaly. At the moment I’m about to publish my first book. I’m scared and proud in equal measures. But one thing is for sure: I’m having fun!

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