En-toe-taining Toesday

I’ve only been a part of this blogging community for a couple of months. That means I’ve finally set up my own house here, and now I’ve begun adventuring out into my community to get to know others better. Home, Sweet Home.

To do this, I’ve worked on a few enjoyable challenges lately and made some ‘get-to-know-you’ comments along the way; but this week, I’ve really spread my wings. I’ve come to find there are many engaging opportunities with open invitations to explore the possibilities. Beyond writing a haiku for The Cheeky Diva about LeClown’s great new haircut (read it here), I’ve also submitted a short story (then a poem on Take 2) for Traveling Marla (because I’m green with envy over her beautiful endless scarf – not really; I just did it for fun, but the scarf is lovely on her). My most triumphant feat (feet?), however, came when I shared a picture of my toes on toemail ! I found this idea, at first, to be so creative – to share places and experiences through toe shots; but then, as I looked over pictures I had taken of people, I realized how absolutely innovative it truly must be. Why, you ask? Because people don’t really care that much for toes & feet – these appendages get cropped out of a lot of pictures (at least, they do in mine)!

I just happened to have one (and apparently only one) that my sister snapped of me after I’d climbed some rocks to sit in one of my favorite places. I thought it was worth sharing the view. It’s at Fort Walton Beach in Florida (you can click here if you want to see it), which is a beautiful place. But that’s not really what I meant about my favorite place. I meant because I was hanging out at the water’s edge. It’s no great pic, to be certain, but I did like the way my feet looked like they’d been candy-coated in sugar (which is what those Gulf Shore sands remind me of). And I do always come back from there feeling a little sweeter! And, oh those beautiful emerald and turquoise waters…

 That picture reminded me that I do spend a lot of time at the water’s edge

(not only in real life, but often in my dreams and in my writings), so it’s not surprising that I would’ve been drawn to that same place for my first major writing project and would have given it that same endearing name – At the Water’s Edge. I have to say, the title’s so much a part of myself and that work, I’m pretty certain considering a change would be non-negotiable. It would be like saying, “I don’t like your kid’s name. Give him a new one.” Not gonna’ happen. And that’s truly not me being difficult. (Okay, maybe it is a little bit.) It’s mainly because, just like my own child, I know it well and know that name fits. The characters in that book have become precious to me; their stories are important to me; and the title of that book encompasses the importance of who (and why) they are. Even my characters wrestle with their own identities based in this context:

Danielle laughed at the innuendos being passed between the brothers, but her mind continued to ponder on Wil being a water sign. Isn’t that where she’d always met him? At the water’s edge.

 Here’s a different sort of edginess at the water.

Fall Gauley Gals

Here I am with our all-women crew getting ready to take on the Fall Gauley (Otherwise tenderly named ‘The Beast of the East.’) Hoo-ah! (I’m the tallest one in the group if you’re trying to locate me.)

You might have noticed from this and some past images that I have an affinity to whitewater too. Now that I’ve wrapped up At the Water’s Edge, I’ve entitled my current writing project, Rolling River. Its setting encompasses the early years of an eastern whitewater guide outpost start-up, circa 1980. I always said I’d be my happiest at a dream job where I could chase the world’s whitewaters as a guide throughout the year; so I’m going to dip my pen in the waters, experimenting from my characters’ perspectives. I figure, this way, all my research excursions can be tax-deductible. 😉

Don’t think I didn’t find a way to sneak the water’s edge (literally & literarily) back in.

Here’s a little snippet from Rolling River, of a quaint (and poorly cultured) ceremony used to induct new guides, as told from Cody’s (the narrating character’s) blind-folded point of view:

“Eric,” his voice boomed in the night, causing all voices of tree frogs and crickets and other critters to become still. The fire popping its sparks was the only returned sound. “Here, at the Tahoma…” (I would later learn that meant at the water’s edge and was how all good ceremonies or oaths started out at Rolling River) “…Qaletaqu, Guardian of the People…” (that was Herschel’s Indian name) “…hereby grants me, Metoskah, White Bear…” (I called that one. I definitely had no trouble seeing Big Mike named for a big, white bear, so it made sense whoever named him saw it too) “…with the authority to take you under my paw as my brother of the river, Istaqua, Coyote Man.” Apparently, Coyote Man’s blindfold had already been removed and White Bear was marking his face up with mud from the river. Then there must’ve been a head nod or some kinda’ sign, since Eric began to howl like a crazy man at the moon. It was obvious his name was gonna’ suit him just fine. We went through this again with White Bear giving Sammy the name Tatanka, for ‘bull’, and taking him under his paw, too. I could see Sammy, short and stocky, living up to being a decent bull, even though I didn’t hear him make any noises like I had Eric.

I feel a little here like Cody did at the water’s edge, as I’ve begun this new blogging adventure –

blind-folded to some of its customs, but ready to explore and seek out some awesome new adventures. I keep my online ears perked, trying to figure out some of this civilization’s established traditions, as though I’m an e-anthropologist of sorts. Why, I’ve even gotten my own persona, as have you, in which we’ve somehow experimented around and become inducted – like my humanTriumphant handle (that’s 80’s CB talk, in case you didn’t recognize it).

So thanks for allowing me to share a little snippet about myself today and the early stages of my journaling adventure here, as well as sharing in some engaging opportunities in this wondrous online community. Can’t wait to get to know you better!

Here’s to putting our best feet forward as we journey onward….

Toe-tally enthralled,

-jody

***

And to get a little more in-toe-active…

How do you most enjoy becoming engaged with the blogging community? Or, better yet, what new thing about yourself are you willing to share? (Hey, there’s a comments section for that!)

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