Bees Intrigue Me

Have you read Sweetness and Light by Hattie Ellis?  Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee Cover I have long been interested in bees and how they do their thing.  When a friend began beekeeping my interest gravitated to the forefront once again.  I love all things gardening and nature to the point that I find it hard to narrow my focus for very long.  Now having completed the Master Gardener course I have become aware of all the ‘society’ groups for absolutely everything.  My head is on FIRE with desire to do it all.  But alas, I have  a smidgen of sense and haven’t set up a tent at the MG Pavilion where all the societies meet.
I have been developing a curriculum as part of my program with Kids Ecology Corps on Butterflies, Moths and Their Habitats.  The ecology of such leads to the dire status of our pollinators.  At the Family Fall Festival (Mounts Botanical Garden) I was tending the Ticket Sales table by the Butterfly Garden and my neighbor was the Bee Guy.  Much intrigued, I learned how little I really know or am aware of when it comes to bees.  So off to the library to seek knowledge. To my delight I found Hattie Ellis’ Sweetness an Light on the shelf.  She makes a great stab at telling the history of the bee from the stone age to present day.  Intriguing, indeed.
The bee guy caught the scent of my keen interest and did his best to convince me to take delivery of a hive.  He has a grant for the education and sustainability of honey bees.  Therefore, he is recruiting new keepers.
This morning I was reading Ellis beneath my Kapok tree, enjoying my new yellow two seated glider and coffee.  I became aware of a back noise that seemed to waft to and fro or up and down.  I paused from my reading and took note around the garden. As my eyes traveled upward I caught sight of a few spider webs and an interesting dance of avoidance by none other than bees.  The Kapok Tree is an easy twenty feet in height.  The top is covered in hundreds of sweet blooms and there like a flitting hairnet was a great number of bees pollinating and collecting.  How perfect a morning, reading of bees and their plight of evolution, travel through the ages adapting to climate differences, and acclimating to the nuances of plant blooms all intermixed with man and our relationship with the honey bee even if we were/are unaware.
Pondering the task of bee keeping . . .  and do I have an appropriate space for a hive . . .  
I recall the first bee sting.  I was running barefoot in the yard of clover in Oklahoma City when I felt a jab of fire between my toes.  I plopped down to look and there hung the little fellow wriggling free, the stinger still in my foot, and the bee oozing its guts.  Poor little creature . . . and so began my fascination with bees.  I was 5.  And here decades later in Florida, I am still fascinated.


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Missed by Lisa Combs

Missed    by Lisa Combs


Myrtle Partridge.  Good neighbor, good friend, all round good person.  Myrtle, selling at the church bizarre, serving pancakes to patriots at the VFW, seven consecutive volunteer of the year awards from the local nature center and she visited house bound citizens in need of company, a game of scrabble, or a few groceries delivered.  Myrtle was the one every one counted on, every one took for granted.  Until Tuesday when girls and Moms waited for Myrtle to deliver the Girl Scout cookies exclaiming, “ Its not like Myrtle to be late.  We need to get these cookies out there.  Wonder what is keeping her?”  She never showed, girls and moms retreated to homes where TV news and evening papers proclaimed:

Las Vegas novice first time gambler hits the big time.  From small town Ohio, Myrtle Partridge won 27 million dollars at the Roulette table in Vegas, went to the nearest travel agency, purchased a suite on the Queen Mary III.  Bon Voyage Myrtle.

Small town Ohio never saw or heard from Myrtle again. 


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Playing with Words in May

In response to the Story A Day in MAy Challenge from Julie Duffy over at Story A Day

Lemon Sunshine by Lisa Combs

Rain fell in sheets. Lightening splintered the sky, thunder cracked and vibrated Midge’s teeth. She held MobyCat tighter than he cared for. Sensing her fear, he stayed. Storm drains flooded, water rushed up the driveway. The street became a lake.  Midge carried MobyCat to the kitchen and made a cup of tea.  She added lemon. The rain stopped, the clouds broke and the sun glistened through raindrops clinging to her windows.  Her fear subsided and MobyCat leaped from her arms to curl on his pillow in the kitchen rocking chair.

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What, wattpad?

ImageWattpad is an online community of writers and readers.  Writers can post work in chapters, sellect covers, have followers, follow others, read from a long list of genres and authors. Readers love wattpad for the variety of at your finger tips reading material for all tastes and ages.  Writers like and dislike wattpad.  We like it as a forum for getting work out there and getting a feel of acceptance or rejection.  We don’t like it for the distraction it is from the preferred task and use of writerly time of actual writing.  Writers are compelled of late to spend more time developing the digital platform thought to be necessary for ‘getting out there’ than creating new work.  Face Book, Twitter, blogging, watt padding, following followers and participating in the newtwork to grow a reader base is intense.  How to manage it all is the challenge of the day for serious writers.

Florida Writers Association is a fabulous organization of writers helping other writers.  In line with that mantra, a member of FWA and of my particular critique group, Jade Kerrion spoke last week on what it takes to start the build of a digital platform, how to manage the time for each component and how they  loop to one another.  She took an over whelming topic and pared it down to something the not so techie savy can approach.  Watt pad wasn’t on her list butthen she is well published with a huge following with a strong digital platform.  She dosn’t need wattpad.

Here is my attempt to put myself out there a little further.  Broaden the digital platform a bit broader.  Find me at twitter as storybakerlisa, here at my blog, and on wattpad as LD Rush (  I know, pen names.  Why use them and how to create a good one.  That is another post for later.  Come on around to a few digital hangouts and see if you can find me in the act of spilling words, story building one line at a time.

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Numbered Structure

David checked his rear view mirror.  Speed limit 65 didn’t keep him from going 80.  He tapped fingers to the rapid beat of the music blaring from the radio.  Colors of the cars and trucks on the road formed an on going pattern.  David often lost himself in number analysis when he felt stressed. Three blue, two black, seven white, a gray.  Three two seven one.  He searched to match that pattern. He only used cars going in against him if he had gone three miles with out matching the pattern.  The car clock read two twenty-seven.  Not a match, off by a digit, missing a digit. He pondered how he could make that part of the pattern.  Sometimes distractions were distracted. He followed the rules to his own game and slowed down by five miles per hour.  He started over.  There, if he used vehicles coming up from behind him.  Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.  Five blue, two red, one yellow, two trucks. Trucks not in the sequence, disregard. Two white and two silver.  Five two one, two. Match that.  He checked the rear view mirror and began.   He checked mileage. There it starts with five white cars, two blue vans, one?  One, one, one. He searched. And there was a lone red car coming to pass him.  And now two.  He needed two.

He looked at the passenger of the car passing him.  He saw an arm come up. Two fingers.  Peace sign.  Two heads showed up in the window.  As he formed the thought that fingers and heads didn’t count, he saw a glint. The gun. Two shots. Did that make the match, then.  David would never know.  He slumped over the steering wheel, the car veered into the other lane of traffic, between two semis, off on the emergency lane, down into the  grassy swale.

The receipt stuck in the cup with the lottery ticket seemed out of place to the officer checking David’s pulse.  “DOA, call a bus,” he called to his partner. “Come look at this.  Pour Luck for the Bastard.”  The officer looked at the ticket.  52125212. A match. The lottery of pattern squared.

Numbers shape structure of existence. He was born on January twenty-third.  123,  ’45. Life metered out. And finally, death on June 7 ’89. The ambulance arrived, boarded him onto the gurney.  The tow truck, number 10, loaded David’s Lamborghini onto the flat bed. The driver handed the officer the claim check.  Caught in the search for the matching pattern the officer found it just as an SUV careened across the lane and rammed him. The officer was thrown into the air and landed in a heap. His watch stopped upon impact and  would forever read 11:12 AM. Numbers shape the structure of transformation.

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A Review of A Very Special Book

Every one should check this guy out, never mind he is only 6! He’s got it right!L

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Writers in Tune with Writers

Networking with other writers can be a tough gig sometimes.  We all have a schedule of some kind, family demanding attention and time.   Then, you gift yourself some writerly camaraderie.  After a critique group meeting earlier this month a few of us stepped out before dashing away home.  We raised our glasses in toasts for accomplishments, having a prodigal member of sorts amongs us, and to celebrate allowing ourselves some time off the timer clock together.  I came away with many bits and deepened friendships.  But it took one of these saged ones to lock on to a core piece of me as a writer. Let me explain.  I have a bread bakers’ blog (long neglected and now revived) and a writer’s blog. The wise one beyond years or an old soul as he describes himself offered, “You should put your two passions together and write a story to go in the package with your breads as part of the gift, STORY BREADS.”  An obvious strategy, you’d think I’d’ve (is there such a thing as a double contraction, Caryn?) thought of it ages ago.  Sometimes we are too close to our puzzle parts that we don’t put key pieces together.

Think you can do it alone?  I’m here to remind writers, you need other writers in your life to reflect back to you that which you are to close to see.

Check out my critique partner’s book~

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Here Comes May and the Challenge that Ate My Guts Last Year

I'm writing A Story A Day in May 2013! This is a new year.  I have revived my writing blog and have a plan. Moving forward with a overgrown attitude that I’ll kick butt this year by posting 31 stories.Bring on the prompts.  The ink well is filled, nibs sharpened and I am raring to smear some ink. Come by and read, comment, critique.  Wellington Writers, Boca Writers, Palm Beach Writers sign up for some insanity and fun.  Come on. is where you get a badge and sign up.  While you’re pondering your decision check out with Larry Brooks for how to stay in the game and keep the ideas flowing.

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Butterfly Soul Mates

Talespinner at Work

Perched in the garden swing among the birds visiting the feeder and the butterflies flittering about the tiger lilies, Cara read from her diary.  The edges of the paper were soft and frayed by time. She brushed a wisp of gray hair from her cheek and enjoyed the sun on her face.

She closed her eyes and  movies of her past played on.  Good, bad, happy sad; all of it.  She was hiking with Roger in the Andes, then she taught others the joy of finger spinning wool from lamas.  She showed Reed how to hold a flat rock just right for skipping across the lake.  Oh the lake, she spent half her life there.  Her grandfather taught her to dress the fish they caught and how to ready them for the iron skillet he set right in the coals.

Memories like these kept her company anymore.  She sat down each Sunday afternoon…

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Unsuspected Trigger

Story Building One Line at a Time

Photograph by gaelikka

An Unsuspected Trigger

I have looked forward to today for weeks. I wanted a day to sleep in, take a long walk, and hang on the porch, reading and kicking back.  I took up a comfy posture in my porch chair.  Blue sky, shade, and second floor perch to watch the day and read my book.  I was set.

I recognize the words; words pass but the images are from my past.  I flip the page back and read again, but half way down the page a different movie runs in my head.  I reach for my glass to break the distraction.  I like the fizz in the soda and let the cool slide down. But it doesn’t clear my thoughts. Focus. I turn a page and read, “ The boy threw stones across the water, waiting for his brother.”

There. There, that is the trigger. …

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Reading is Essential to Writing, Read Across the Genres

Book Review: Dark Life and Rip Tide by Kat Falls, 2010, 2011, YA SF, written by Lisa Combs


Kat Falls created an underwater world for 15 year old character Ty, his family and neighbors as an environment for their survival after a cataclysmic event causing the east coast off the US to crash into the ocean. In this setting, drama unfolds as the author takes you below the surface of the waves for mystery and suspense. She deftly knits ocean life, the wild west and super powers into adventure for the young adult population but don’t let that keep you not so YA readers from taking the plunge to read Kat Fall’s Dark Life and Rip Tide. Science about the geography of the ocean, life in the wild life of the ocean and instinct for human survival is her structure to deliver a great story. Kat Falls welds the pen with originality, clarity and fluidity. Within her tale, Ms. Falls brings current social issues to the surface concerning how to feed the masses, how to handle the ever growing pile of refuse and the age old dilemma human makes of who’s in charge, who can you trust, and how to get along. No spoilers here. Young Ty wrestles with innocence, right and wrong, consequences to his choices and an ever so slight romance. Ms. Falls has delivered a great read of science fiction for the Ya + audience.

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Writing is Writing, Write?

ImageI write nature programs for presentations in the park. Our current project is Butterflies/Moths and Their Plants. I have surfed the web for information, ideas and materials from which I can put a great kids progra together. It is not fiction but science fact I am after for this project. I enjoy the research and the bits I learn. I love putting together a sort of jigsaw collection of information for the kids so that they learn, are inspired and motivated. Of late, this is what has cosumed my writing time. But writing is writing, write? I mean, right!

Fun Facts: Butterflies don’t pee, technically. As they consume nectar, sugar liquids thier bodies process and comsume there’s no waste by product. Some adult moths don’t have mouths so they can’t eat. Caterpillar poo is called frass and is rich in nutrients as fertilizer for the butterfly garden. Caterpillars are plant specific for what they eat. Plant what they want to eat and they won’t eat your herbs. Yes, butterflies sleep.

So, writing is writing, right? And my characters can be grumpy for afew days so I can get this project under wraps. I have cranked out about 2,500 words on a WIP when taking a break from butterflies. And my characters have no reason to be grumpy. I have revived this blog. That I am writing, counts. The butterflies say so.

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Networking Blogs

Here is a bit of a challenge, network your blog.  Once at the page to do so, there are dialog boxes to fill in.  But wait, what is this one for?  Click the question mark and off you go to learn.  Got that, now go back to where I was inputting info.  Oh! Man! It’s gone.  Start over? RATS.  Okay, started over.  New question.  Nope.  Not clicking the question mark.  No more wild goose chase for me.  Continue, okay.  That worked. Cheers!  Next.  And that worked, too.

That is my summary of the process I went through to network my blog.  What now?  More bloggers from the writers’ critique group are encouraged to take the plunge.  With a network, we can blog hop, like, comment and support one another and build our following, perhaps.  All part of a thing our illustrious moderator calls PLATFORM.  We have to begin somewhere and this seems to be it!

Now, I am thinking this look a bit plain and needs to be jazzed up with an image, add a little color.  Oh, you know, that is another challenge I will address that shortly in a new post.  Afterall, no one is going to read forty pages.  Break it up into snippets because a blog stroll should be brief and fun, not laborious.  And before this one gets to that point~

Farewell for now, come back soon.

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