Archive for the ‘summer’ Category

The artful rusty tractor

July 30, 2012

My father-in-law has what you might call an en plein air tractor shop (or graveyard, depending on your point of view). Yesterday, in the low-angled sun of early evening, the rusting tractors seemed to speak of nostalgia for a disappearing way of life and, at the same time, to take on a new and different life through their wonderful colours, textures and shapes.

Summer holiday brings new ideas (and new Lucky Cat photos)

August 1, 2011

Story ideas come from many places and experiences, and there was plenty to inspire on a recent family holiday, which took me to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Old Quebec, and New York City, with train travel in between. You can read about my search for Lucky Cats in New York City on the Lucky Cat – Maneki Neko blog. To give you a taste, here are a couple photos I like, which didn’t make it into the Lucky Cat post:

If you’re interested in some glimpses of the rest of my trip, here’s the link to the photos I posted on my Facebook page.

Trees I Have Known

July 20, 2010

Anyone else have a favourite tree from childhood? The tree in the photo is one of several Broadleaf Maples that I grew up with. Its branches have held a Tarzan swing (placed there by my dad) for over 40 years, entertaining neighbourhood kids for two generations.

The branches of one Maple reached right to my top floor bedroom window, its broad green leaves playing with sunlight in summer, rustling orange-yellow in fall –always nourishing my spirit.

Another Maple tree supported a sturdy playhouse built by my dad, with the trunk of the tree growing up through the middle of the house and offering the perfect climbing route to the playhouse roof and from there further up to where my brother later built a smaller, more precarious-looking tree house. The small tree house was like a crow’s nest at the top of a ship mast, offering views of all the neighbouring yards and the prefect retreat for hiding away with a novel or a notebook in which to scribble story ideas and secrets.

The Broadleaf Maples were like good friends throughout my childhood, and I missed them when I moved away –especially when I moved back east where Broadleaf Maples don’t grow. When I returned to the westcoast, the familiar large rounded canopies, huge leaves and companionable wind-stirred rustle called out to me like old friends, welcoming me home. They still call.

(The same tree in the 1970s –you can glimpse the treehouse my brother built in the tree behind at the bottom of the photo)

(A fall leaf from a Broadleaf Maple tree near my new house –gives you an idea of how aptly the tree is named)

Haiku for a summer visit to Vancouver Island

September 3, 2009

hundreds flew over

when my father was a boy

twelve nighthawks tonight

Hot summer haiku

July 31, 2009

We’ve been experiencing a heat wave here in Vancouver, which has left everyone in my house (people, dog and cats) lying around sweating (or panting), unable to move or think. Today, the temperature has dropped just enough to give us a bit of a reprieve and allow me to stay for more than a few minutes in my sauna of an office as well as muster up enough energy to record some of the haiku that emerged out of the heat.

First, here’s one I wrote back in early June:

early summer heat
unwelcome guest in our house
the dog pants all night


And during this week’s  heat:

so many windows
open in the summer heat
spilling people’s lives


empty yellow grass
splashed by blue-winged Steller’s jay
beak full of peanut


heavy summer heat
no breeze through open windows
the night train’s whistle


fat slice of orange moon
behind smog and forest fire smoke
terrible beauty


And here’s the surrealistically orange sunset from the night the heat wave started:

July sunset

Twitter and haiku

July 4, 2009

I seem to be devoting more time to tweeting than to blogging lately. Perhaps because it’s so quick and easy to tweet, and so far (still novel) I’m finding it fun and challenging to put as much as possible in as few words as possible (kind of like haiku). In fact, one of the appeals of Twitter is that tweets are the perfect size for haiku, as many haiku addicts have discovered. Hashtags like #haiku and #haikuchallenge also enable people to share haiku and challenge eachother to create haiku on specific topics (somewhat kindred to the original Japanese tradition of haiku as socially created linked verse).  Here are some Twitter haiku samples:

haiku sample

Note: reading from the bottom up, the first challenge was to write a haiku using the words 1. crow 2. hole 3. roof, while the second challenge was to use the word “wolfish.” Fun, I thought (the Internet once again distracting me from work on my novel). Btw, my Twitter moniker: Jacquieink

inside the mall/ outside the mall

June 1, 2009

air conditioning
chills me until I step out
into a warm hug

(it’s like summer today!)

Holiday House Mystery: further adventures in “My Comic Summer”

August 15, 2008

My comic summer

July 20, 2008

Playing with my new Comic Life software (as you can see from the fuzziness of the text, I haven’t quite got the knack of how to publish a comic):