Thanks to Jayne, a member of the Camden Writers Group, this wonderful admonishment has been resurrected from the deep recesses of my mind.
Last week’s critique group meeting was spent reviewing several submissions, one of which was entitled, Seas the Day. An experimental piece, Jayne stretched her writers’ wings, exploring the use of ‘flashback’ in the telling of a recent event in her life.
What’s fun to note is her punny use of the phrase Seize the Day. I learned that it’s a beach-y quote, commonly quipped among those of the Carolina Coastal Community. Never heard it before, but I’m always up for a good entendre, double or not.
Jayne is always blogging about her writers group and how much she loves us all. Or in her words, “That is to say, I love learning and growing, and the members of the group continue to help me do just that.”
I’m with ya, Jayne.
It’s been a little over a year since I joined the group and it’s taken about as long to find my own personal comfort-niche within it. The past few months have seen several of us unable to join in the bi-monthly meetings, greet several new members and keep up with pieces submitted for critique.
Once April rolled around, I decided no matter what, I’d hunker down, work on the submissions e-mailed for the next meeting and get my sorry body to Camden for a face-to-face critique meeting. A little FYI here is in order. I often joke that my social and cultural outlets occur at exits #131 (Wounded Warriors horse therapy) and #98 (writers group) off of Interstate 20 headed West from Florence, SC. That makes for a 45-60 minute one-way trek to the critique meetings. I love to drive, that’s not a problem, but my back wasn’t on the same page with that at all for most of last month.
Meanwhile, one of our members, Brenda, was offered a contract on her second novel and decided to treat the entire writers group to a celebration luncheon after the upcoming meeting.
Critique went well, full of bite, substance, encouragement and guidance. It was a pleasure to contribute to the mix without having anything of my own to be critiqued. These meetings serve as a valuable platform for creative interactions with other semi-local (he)artists. I always leave recharged and energized to continue on whatever project is top of the list for me at the moment.
This time we got to transfer that energy around Brenda’s celebratory table. Congrats to our author member and thanks to her for a fine luncheon.
Interestingly, it was at that luncheon that I discovered pickled okra. Crispy elongated pods that will now grace my antipasto plate offering at our own home celebratory gatherings.
This discovery is a biggie for me. Most of what I’ve taste-tested here in the Deep South is not to my liking. Veggies are served up mushy and tasteless, though heavily laden with salt and sugar. Perhaps that’s a desperate attempt to add flavor to the resultant blandness of Southern boiled vegetables, but in my book fresh is best.
Granted, okra’s gotten a bad rap. Mention this veggie’s name and fear and loathing are common reactions. But I posit that’s due to the traditional method of preparation that’s applied to all vegetables here in the Deep South. Only with okra, its gooey, gluey, slimy self comes to the surface once placed in boiling water. Yucko.
Crispier okra tidbits come by way of deep fat frying, another routine culinary technique here in the Deep South. Kind of negates the positive health attributes of vegetables in general to deep fat fry them.
However, here before my very eyes and mouth was a crunchy, healthy and fully edible Southern vegetable: pickled okra.
But, I’m learning this is a new-to-me Southern culinary tradition: Pickled Produce. Not just veggies, but fruits and who knows what else. Personally, I’m on the look-out for some local watermelon pickles…
Back to the title of this post…
Sees, Seas, Seize the Day.
In the spirit of the play on words, here then is an experimental writing snippet employing the use of 3rd person in recounting bits of my day.
Laura awakens to the glint of reflected sunlight sneaking through her partially closed window blinds. The bright chartreuse shining off the stand of Sweetgum trees along the back property line overpowers the unusually clear blue of the sky.
Such a beginning often offers false hopes. Such was not the case on this Earth Day, 2015.
Opening the front door, Laura expected to feel the usual effects of the heavy humidity that blankets this part of the country. Instead, the Swamplands greeted her with soft breezy teases:
“Breathe deeply, you will not be disappointed.”
Clear bursts of fresh air permeated her lungs for the first time since moving from a mile high to lower elevations. The warmth of the sun caressed rather than oppressed her being.
This morning, nestled between springtime’s April showers, Laura sees the day.
It’s a Colorado kind of day – high and dry in the midst of the Carolinas.
…Sitting on the front porch listening to the spring chatter of nesting birds, Laura ends the day sipping the last of her Chardonnay.