Wednesday, December 1, 2021

DECEMBER...A MAGICAL MONTH INDEED! AN IWSG POST... AND ... NARCISSUS- A WEP ENTRY

 

Happy December, Everyone!

Once again, it is time for another IWSG post! I am so happy to remember it is so early this month. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and the IWSG team for their loyalty and many hours of helping others with their writing and their insecurities. If you would like to join our group, please visit here.

I just LOVE this time of year. One can smell and feel the magic in the air around us. Many of us are frosted in a winter wonderland while others are in sub-tropical weather decorating palm trees into candy canes! 

So far we in NW IL are snow-free with beautiful autumn weather. Perfect for decorating the exterior of our homes without freezing to death. At least, that is my plan for this weekend. 

The holiday season is also a time to gather with family and close friends. Sadly, this year with a new variant of Covid many people will be apart from their loved ones. But, don't despair, we can still have gatherings via Skype and Facetime. It is certainly not as good, but you can still bake together, have a drink, and celebrate with one another.

I know many get anxious over the holidays because they can't find or afford the right gifts. The holiday isn't about going bankrupt or stressing out, it is a time for LOVE. One thing we did learn from this dreaded disease is that we must appreciate what we have and the special people in our lives. So put on your favorite holiday music, BAKE up some scrumptious goodies, sit by the fire, if you have one, if not, bath your home in candlelight. It's amazing how a few candles create such a soothing and beautiful ambiance. Perhaps, create a new holiday favorite drink... Mix ANYTHING with a bit of rum, cherries, cranberries, orange slices, and cinnamon. It doesn't take much to feel the magic. 

When I was in Colorado last week, I found this absolutely LOVELY bookstore. Yes, they still exist! I found the most charming items inside. Since I don't have children, I never had a copy of "Twas The Night Before Christmas." I found the most beautifully illustrated copy and treated myself to it. I can think of no other story to relax us into such a festive season. I just may read it to my fur baby, Hamlet ... Why not? I could start a new tradition!. I am sure there are many pet parents who may enjoy reading to their beloved fur children... I found in my experience reading out loud does have a major calming effect. 

I would also like to take this time to wish every one of you a Happy, HEALTHY, and Prosperous Holiday season. Enjoy your quiet time and be a peace. We all deserve peace after such a turbulent year.

Sending healing and warm hugs to you all~




And now, the final entry to this year's WEP entry of how Art inspires us... Please visit the others stories at the WEP website!





Tagline: Beauty is literally in the eye of the beholder...


In a forest glen, a sun-kissed waterfall twinkles and cascades over jagged rocks into a tranquil sapphire pool. Twin nymphs and several fairies glide along the surface, dancing to an unheard song. 


A flaxen-haired youth approaches and smiles a smile so captivating; the sisters stare at the handsome stranger. With each one of his steps the fairies sigh and beckon to him.


Curious, the flawless, blue-eyed naiads and several sparkling winged fairies edge the mirror-like pond. They flirt for the young man’s attention as he heads toward them. In a voice that can charm a spider into giving up flies, he introduces himself and asks about the exquisite beauty before him. 


“I have never laid eyes on such a heart-stopping scene.”


Swooning, the mystical ladies are awestruck. He meanders around the water’s edge, kneels, and gazes into pond. The stillness of the clear, blue water reflects every breathtaking detail.


Mesmerized, he stares into the liquid mirror. His breath escapes him. 


“Could this exquisite image be of me?” he whispers. 


The fairies zip over to him and tug at his hair, sleeves, and back. 


Ignoring them, he continues staring into his turquoise eyes framed by long, thick lashes. 


Hissing buzzes in his ears followed by assaults to his face. He swats his hand, making contact with several fairies who hit the ground hard. The others pick up the injured and fly away. 


Hungry and thirsty, he reaches into his canvas bag and takes out food and drink. Nourished, he stretches out and falls asleep.



Hours later, the luminous water nymphs return. They place beside him a goblet made of etched gold filled with sweet nectar. Clasping hands, they sink into the crystalline depths of the pond.


The warmth of the morning sun awakens the youth. Stretching, he sits up and notices the goblet. “How thoughtful.” He raises the cup. “To this enchanting place.” He takes a deep sip and an unnatural compulsion to view his image overwhelms him...


After three days of admiring his reflection, he passes. The fairies gather around him, tears flowing from their eyes. They sprinkle his body with glittering opalescent dust as the nymphs rise from the water, singing, their lyrical voices chanting their sorrow. 


A light breeze caresses the youth’s body and he dissolves into the earth in silence. 


The fairies gather as a burst of bright light and long spikes of emerald shoot from the ground. 


Between each spear, a delicate stem rises. A pearl-like bud forms and blossoms into the first Narcissus. Thousands more yellow and white trumpets announce their arrival and blanket the edge of the pond. A subtle scent perfumes the air as the fairies take flight.


The twins emerge and pick several blooms gently placing them in their hair. Once more, they begin to dance to an unheard song and the fairies follow suit…


All is tranquil forevermore.





67 comments:

  1. Start that new tradition!
    Mix anything - that made me chuckle.
    Fortunately they are saying the new variant is very mild and if it becomes the dominant, it will end the pandemic. Which is good!
    Merry Christmas, Michael.

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    1. Well, it's true. Mixing anything with rum is always wonderful this time of year.

      I hope you are right about the variant, Alex. I have read that they are still not sure what is going to happen and it could be far worse. I like your version so much better. God willing.

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    2. The pandemic is already endemic like the flu, and the new variant is apparently mild. The media is just trying to control people with fear as usual. Small, sensible gatherings are fine. Enjoy your holiday.

      Great imagery in your Narcissus piece.

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    3. Thanks, Melissa. I feel better about it now.

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  2. You're right that the holidays are about love. I've already taken your advice to start baking. I even got a mixer. It's been fun. Happy Holidays!

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  3. Well, considering the reason for Christmas is that God loved us so much He gave us His Son, then it should be about love.

    Glad it's mild somewhere. We've been freezing the past two weeks. Even now, I have a space heater going in my office and I'm still freezing.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Diane. I hope you warm up! That is unusual for the South to be so cold this time of year.

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  4. I've no doubt that Hamlet will enjoy the story. Would if I could own such a great book store!
    Loved your story of Narcissus!
    Wishing you the loveliest of holiday seasons! Stay warm, hot cocoa and brandy is perfect in front of that fire!

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    1. Thank you, Renee! I believe he will...lol Right? I would adore owning a bookstore like that one. AND, I was so pleased that they were busy.

      Same to you and your family!

      Our temps have been moderate, but the evenings are cold. Once I get the Christmas decorating started, I WILL grab a brandy and sit in front of the fire...

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  5. Don't you tell me how nice and fall-like your weather is when it's snowing and blowing outside for me. =P

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    1. Sorry, Patricia... But it most look so Christmasy! I actually hope we see some snow in a few weeks. I LOVE a white Christmas!

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  6. Fantastic entry. Feels like it belongs to the original myth from this painting. 🧚‍♂️🧚‍♀️

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    1. Thank you, Jamie! Such a lovely compliment. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  7. I think our snow is here to stay this time. Enjoy that weather while you can!!
    Great story - I enjoyed the imagery throughout!

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  8. Love. Love your writing!!!

    In Buffalo, NY we have a dusting of snow, which I love at this time. It puts me in the spirit of these holidays.

    Merriest of Christmases, Michael!

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH, Cathrina! This means so much coming from such an accomplished writer!

      How lovely. I do miss NY this time of year. I originally from NYC and there is nothing more wonderful than a NY Christmas. Yes, I would imagine Buffalo is quite beautiful this time of year! Enjoy the holidays! All the best to you and your family this year!

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  9. You have created an enchanting and touching story here for this Dec. theme. Good on you! This starts the holiday season off, Michael.

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    1. Thank you, Lee! I am thrilled you enjoyed the story. Yes, a lovely start to a magical season!

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  10. The Midwest is enjoying some AWESOME weather right now!! I love these temps. I love finding books stores. I frequent a thrift store that sells super cheap like-new books!

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  11. Your WEP entry is delightful. Beautifully written.

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    1. By the way, I'm intrigued as to which bookstore you visited here. We have a couple neat indie bookstores. Sorry I didn't know you were coming out in advance, but then adding in visiting with someone can just add stress to a vacation, and it sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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    2. Hi Shannon. The bookstore was off the mainstream on either eight or ninth street. It is hard to spot at first because it is on the right had side of the strip of buildings with all the parking in front coming from the river. I would have LOVED to meet. I will be back again In mid October for ten days! I hope to catch the fall foliage.

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  12. Sounds like winter is in full swing where you are. I do miss the snowy Christmases! Enjoy the rest of this month!

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  13. I loved your story. Especially the end. Lovely visual imagery. December is a great month of celebration.
    -Sonia from A Hundred Quills

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  14. And he will be beautiful forever more. Admired by thousands, around the world...

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  15. Glad fall is holding on in Illinois to allow you to decorate before all the snow comes, Michael.

    This covid thing is crazy. Will it ever end? An imagery-filled story. Bravo! Merry Christmas. All best to you!

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    1. I certainly hope so, Victoria. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. All the best to you and yours as well.

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  16. I love your rich descriptions, Michael. It was like seeing the Narcissus painting come to life. Sort of reminded me of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
    I can picture you baking up a storm. Such fun. I always love the Christmassy things.

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    1. Thank you, Denise! Me, too. Not baking, YET, but will soon. Right now I am ATTEMPTING to get all the Christmas decorations up in a week. I have a HUGE task, I want three trees this year. LOL We shall see.

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  17. Sorry Michael, what was I thinking? I meant the Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. So beautifully written, but a narcissus gets it in the end.

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    1. I knew what you meant. Thanks, again! Yes, they do...

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  18. Hi Michael - so glad you had that break in Colorado and now have some time to decorate your home - before the snow comes. We've had snow here - thankfully up north, but many have been suffering for days without power - I so feel for them.

    I loved your story - and the fact that you brought out how the plant got its name (I hope it did!!). I've ordered some for the family - as we get them sent up from the Scilly Isle - beautiful scent in the home ...

    Let's hope we can have a peaceful happy Christmas - all the best - Hilary

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  19. Thanks, Hilary! Yes, my trip was MUCH NEEDED and it was beautiful. Yes, I will need at least a full week or a bit more to get it all done. I THREE floors, PLUS, the front porch to decorate. EEK! Lol

    I am so glad you enjoyed the story! I do love writing fantasy. Narcissus is a LOVELY flower and quite fragrant. Yes, it is how it got its name. Yes, we must hope and pray for that peace and for our health. Hugs, Hilary.

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  20. HI Michael, I love your advice about the holidays and completely agree! 👌 Your Narcissus story is crafted so cleverly, progressing from the myth to the flower it's named after. Great imagery! 😍

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  21. A sad but beautifully written tale, Michael. Bringing in the beauty of the flower was a nice touch. Hope you have a peaceful and healthy holiday season.

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    1. Thank you, Nick! I am glad you enjoyed my entry. Wishing you and yours the same!

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  22. A beautiful retelling of the Narcissus myth. Lovely.

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  23. Mix anything? Okay. Don't fret, I think the snow will come (teehee)

    Great story! Happy Holidays!

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  24. Thanks, Holly! Same to you and your family!

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  25. Appreciating what we have and the special people in our lives is key throughout the year. Wishing you the very best!

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  26. Aww, you made Narcissus' story magical!
    I hear you on the mix anything, ha ha! I've been mulling my wine every time we have some!
    Yay for small bookstores :-) We;ve got a copy of Twas the Night... but I don't like the illustrations :p I need to get a different copy sometime.
    Wishing you a wonderful holiday season <3

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    1. The one I bought is ON Amazon super cheap if you buy from them and the illustrations are gorgeous! It has a stunning Santa face on the cover.

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  27. I love your magical spin on the tale!
    Nothing beats a small cosy bookstore. I just wish that more of these little gems existed... *sigh*

    I'm one of those roasting in the sub-tropical weather sipping on umbrella-topped cocktails. The HUMIDITY is already so HIGH my end of the globe.
    Hope that you have a peaceful and prosperous season, Michael.
    Stay warm. A lovely glass of sherry should do the trick.

    I haven't forgotten that I still owe you mail.
    Your e-mail address is still the same, right?

    Take care!

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    1. Me, to, Michelle! Oh, yes, a sherry would be nice...or a nice brandy! Stay cool and wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

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    2. Have a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful & Prosperous New Year!

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  28. Great holiday advice, and a nice take on the story of Narcissus.

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  29. A great take on the prompt! You set the scene beautifully. I think I'd like to stay in such a place for a time, but not the way this youth did.

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  30. I loved your Narcissus story! So magical, laden with details of colour, sight and sound. Happy Holidays to you too Michael!

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  31. A perfectly charming retelling of the Narcissus story - felt as if Caravaggio's painting had come alive! Beautiful and magical imagery, so enjoyed reading.

    And I simply love your holiday message of love - 'it doesn't take much to feel the magic.' Absolutely!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and a fabulous year 2022 ahead.

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    1. Thank you, Nila! It is true. One just has to have their heart open and let all the Christmas joy in! All the best to and yours as well!

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  32. I wonder what was in that goblet 🤔

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  33. A beautiful retelling of the Narcissus myth.
    Sorry I am late in commenting. Happy holidays to you and yours.

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    1. No worries, OO. Thank you! I am happy you enjoyed it. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and all the best for the new year!

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