Big Dogs

Montagne des PyrenesAlex Terrgi here. At my new dog park I was snoofling around, just enjoying the smells on the ground. Suddenly I felt the ground shake under my feet and my nose vibrated. I turned around and there, right in back of me, looming over me like a big white hairy monster, was a creature I hesitate to call a dog. Although he smelled like a dog, but really dogs are not supposed to come in that size. So I did what anyone would do who turned around to find a monster in back of him – I yipped. Then I yipped again. And then I ran.

I ran right into the lap of my human, who was sitting on a bench in the park. The big white monster was right behind me. Its tongue hung out of its mouth and drool spread behind it like a flag. Its eyes were lit with fire. Its teeth were as big as fence posts.

And do you know what my human did when I jumped on her lap? She laughed! She told me the big white hairy monster just wanted to play, because that is what the monster’s human told her. And she believed him! I’d like to see what she’d do if a big white hairy monster six times her size showed up right in back of her.

I bet she’d yip too.

Stars

SpiritualToday my haiku is from May 27th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Spiritual Seekers, Dreamers, and Other Lovers of Magic & Mystery, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Stars”:

from distant stars
swoop clouds of transparent gods
dancing and chanting

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.  

 

The Consequences of Children’s Literature

My passion for stroies started earlyHere’s another story from a “Making History” class participant. We were discussing arts and entertainment in the 1940s, and she wrote about reading Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky, a 1939 classic children’s book about a courageous little tugboat, to her four year old son. It became his favorite book, and he demanded that she read it nearly every night for over a year. “I guess it’s true that literature has great power,” she said, “because he was fascinated by boats from then on. In fact he made them his life’s work – he’s now the captain of a ferry boat.”

As you can see from the photo on this page, my mom read to me, too. The Poky Little Puppy, which is about a puppy who learns how and when to dig holes under fences, did not have as dramatic an effect on me. Or did it? I do like to dig holes under the fences too, only they are metaphorical holes and fences. What’s behind those fences people erect to keep others from finding out the truths they’d rather keep hidden? I know how to dig the right holes … Ghostwriters are like that.

What did your Mom or Dad read to you when you were young? How did that book affect you? Or … what are you reading to your children or grandchildren right now? Leave a comment and share.

The Little Toot story and many more are in my book “Making History: how to remember, record, interpret & share the events of your life”, based on the classes I’ve been teaching since 2000. Memoir writers, biographers, historians, genealogists, fiction writers, and more, have found this book extremely useful to bring color and life to their books and family histories. Check out sample chapters and reviews on my website. Or buy the book here.

Birdsong

SpiritualToday my haiku is from May 20th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Spiritual Seekers, Dreamers, and Other Lovers of Magic & Mystery, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Birdsong”:

behind the birdsong
gods wait for you to notice
quivering stillness

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.  

 

Alien Poop

Alex Terrgi A large male elkhere. Last week I went to the dog park with my fur-cousin Jackie MuttMix. Jackie is good at finding things her human doesn’t want her to find. That day she found a whole bunch of elk poop and called me over to see. Boy did it smell good. I’m not afraid of elk because even though they’re big they don’t eat dogs. I rolled in the elk poop so I could smell good too. It made my fur green. Unfortunately my human doesn’t want a green dog. And her sense of smell is backward. I thought our dog park day was a winner, but I’m afraid she did not agree with me. Oh well. Humans, what can you do.

Then yesterday me and my human went for a walk on our street, which is not as good as the dog park because we mostly walk on that gray stuff called concrete which doesn’t have anything worth smelling, at least most of the time. But this day it did. On the sidewalks there are some tame trees stuck here and there in little mounds of tame dirt and tame grass – no wild stuff allowed here – and I went over to pee on such a tree. But at the base of the tree guess what I found? BEAR POOP! A real live WILD bear walked down our street, probably the night before when the tame-lovers were in bed, and pooped its wild alien poop for me to find.

Actually I’m kinda glad that the bear only comes out at night because unlike elk, bears are unpredictable and who knows, that pooping bear might have been the kind who eats dogs.

Still, a little wildness here and there doesn’t hurt.

Quest

SpiritualToday my haiku is from May 13th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Spiritual Seekers, Dreamers, and Other Lovers of Magic & Mystery, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Quest”:

we’re all on a Quest
find the ghosts of mystery
beg them for answers

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here.  

An Alternative History of Margarine

Creamy Oleo in a TubWhen I teach my class “Making History” I tell the participants that nothing is too trivial to make a good story and show the flavor of an era. For instance, here’s a story shared by a participant during a discussion of food in the wartime 1940s.

“Margarine was white and looked like a lump of lard,” she said. “It came with a yellow color capsule that you broke into it, to make it look like butter. It was one of my jobs to stir the yellow into the margarine. I hated this job because my older brother told me an elaborate and dirty story about that yellow capsule. He said the margarine factories paid their workers to go to the bathroom in special jars, which they filled the capsules from. It saved money, said my brother, and it was their patriotic duty to go to the bathroom to make margarine capsules. I was only seven, and my brother was ten, so I believed this ridiculous story. I believed it even when my mother told me he was lying. (He got in trouble for it, too.) Every time I had to stir in the color I felt sick to my stomach, and I certainly never ate any margarine. Even today I prefer butter. There are some things worse than fat.”

This story and many more are in my book “Making History: how to remember, record, interpret & share the events of your life”, based on the classes I’ve been teaching since 2000. Memoir writers, biographers, historians, genealogists, fiction writers, and more, have found this book extremely useful to bring color and life to their books. Check out sample chapters and reviews on my website.  Or buy the book here: Making History on Amazon.

And share your own stories (leave a comment here, for instance). What foods did you hate as a child? Why? How do you feel about them today?

Haiku Friday: Witch

SpiritualToday my haiku is from May 6th of my book A Haiku Book of Days for Spiritual Seekers, Dreamers, and Other Lovers of Magic & Mystery, one of a 7-book series. The haiku topic for today is “Witch”:

have a wild witch dream
brewed in a holy cauldron
lit by sacred fire

It’s Haiku Friday again. For the past twenty years or so, it has been my practice to write one haiku every day. Every Friday I share a haiku here, about whatever topic I happen to choose. I invite you to write a haiku on this topic too, and share it with me and the readers of this blog. Just write it in the Comments below. The only rules are: 1) your haiku must be about the named topic; 2) you must follow the 5-7-5 syllable format; 3) no obscenities or hate (I will delete those). That’s it.

If you’re interested in the story of how The Haiku Book of Days series came to be, check out my previous blog post here. You can purchase this book on Amazon here. LINK  http://bit.ly/HaikuSpiritual 

Keep Me Alive!

Dog Park Diary CoverGoody Beagle here, back from the dead. Not possible, you say? But guess what – when someone ghostwrites your book, you will never die!

In one way, I died in 2013, three years ago now. But in another way, the real and only way, I am still here because we can read my words and see my photographs in my really good book that you should probably buy, if you haven’t already.

Here is an excerpt from my book. If you like it, you can buy the whole thing on Amazon

One of the first things I do at the Dog Park is put down my own smell for the day. Then after I leave, my friends – and my enemies – will know that Goody Beagle was here! Every day, I meet up with my dog friends, acquaintances, and sometimes enemies at the Dog Park. I play with my friends. I ignore my acquaintances. If any enemies come around, I show my teeth and hide under the bench my human sits on. You can learn a lot at the Dog Park about how to get along. That’s why humans need to read this book.