Building Blocks (dressed as rodents…)

Through the years, New Your City has provided a treasure chest of ideas and words for my writing; narrative and poetry. One trip provided a wealth of visual action that, in addition to the serious poem View from the Train, gave the fictional character Dave something to claim as his own (proving once again truth can sound stranger than fiction):
“I spent the late afternoon and evening walking the streets of mid-town. The sights and sounds of the City are so dramatically different from the areas I work and live in. Thus, for me New York has a refreshingly unique personality. It’s as if each of the defined sections, such as the Village or ChinaTown, is but a tablecloth upon which a magnificent dinner is placed. It is as if each area absorbs everything that is placed within; not stripping away the identity of these individual entities, but weaving them into the tapestry spread out before you.”

“All is odd in New York, thus no one entity stands out for very long. The rounding of a corner can bring to light a micro dot of total misplacement, a relic of the past wedged between ultra-modern shops and restaurants of ‘progress.’ Or it can raise the curtain on a montage of human existence: two Orthodox Jews – with their large black brimmed hats and black coats in contrast to the noonday heat – walking past the tourist bedecked steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral turn their heads to look at two blond-haired Scandinavian girls – dressed as rodents for an advertising promotion – yelling at a Pakistani taxi driver who, claiming not to understand their version of English, is explaining – high-pitched, at a feverish pace – to a policeman why he ran over their Mouse Cart, while four Chinese tourists – wearing I love New York t-shirts and carrying bags from an East European deli – are taking pictures of the hundreds of Wisconsin cheese pamphlets now littering the sidewalk. Nothing is odd when everything is unique; this is New York City.”
(Through a Stranger’s Eyes, © Steven S. Walsky, 2005.)

Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

Squirrel Appreciation Day (Poem repost)

Since January 21 is Squirrel Appreciation Day, here is a repost of a poem…however, first the Building Blocks ‘you what’ introduction:

And then there was the time I got bit by a wild gray squirrel. Note I said ‘wild’; a few years later we would have a pet flying squirrel, Squeaky, who never bit anyone.

It was during second grade recess and the squirrel was on the ground, I thought, just resting. So, being raised around all kinds of pet animals (as I grew up around dog shows and the family pet shop), I was petting it. Unfortunately other kids came over, and I guess they scared the squirrel…I got bit at the top of the area between my thumb and index finger. I bled something fierce (the squirrel hit a vein), the teachers were literally in shock, they called my six grade brother, who had them take me to the hospital, where I met my Mom.

The bleeding was stopped. Then the doctor, with a very serious face, told my Mom the squirrel had died…my Mom had a serious, concerned face…I yelled “Wow, I killed the squirrel”…they looked at me with their serious faces…I thought ‘that squirrel bit the wrong kid!’…that’s when my Mom told me that they would have to test the squirrel for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I had no idea what that was, but from their serious faces I knew the squirrel had not been ‘resting’; and I did not want spots the size of the Rocky Mountains. That’s when my Mom told me it was like rabies, which I understood, NEEDLES!, and I had a serious face. Later the city health department said the squirrel was just sick and had no transmittable illnesses.

I did feel bad for the squirrel.

And, I have a nice little scar that always impressed the ladies…”Yah, I got bit by a wild squirrel.”

BTW: Per a Washington Post February 16, 2014 article, being ‘bitten by a squirrel initial encounter’ now has a medical code W53.21XA.

Squirrel Attack
Growing up around all kinds of critters,
sure I have been bitten
by dogs and cats, a pet alligator, and even a
girl who with me was smitten.
But of the critters that
that left a scar,
it was a wild gray squirrel
the oddest of all.

It was resting on the playground that day,
when I approached it moved not,
and me being just six or seven
thought I was in heaven.
It’s fur was soft and not a flea in sight,
and I should mention,
the squirrel seemed to enjoy the attention.

Then other kids did come around,
unlike me they made loud sounds.
They must have frightened my new pet,
cause that squirrel did wake from it’s nap you see
and sharp teeth dug into me.

Blood shot everywhere,
the teachers were in shock,
the hospital I went,
and the poor squirrel, who was sick,
died before three o’clock.

I learned that day
that squirrels rest on the ground not,
and thankfully
I did not need a shot.
(Squirrel Attack, copyright Steven S. Walsky, 2013.)

Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

Building Blocks (Little Known Holidays)

Periodically, I will write a piece of flash fiction inspired by a little know holiday. Here is another list of more odd holidays that could be writing influential:
January 10: Peculiar People Day, in honor of uniquely different people.

February 23: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day is a day for the dogs, because there is no one else who can really appreciate the true value of a dog biscuit.

March 1: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day salutes America’s favorite sandwich spread.

April 6: Sorry Charlie Day; for all of us who have been spurned, and yet somehow survived it.

May 8: No Socks Day; a day to give your feet a breath of fresh air. Of course washing your feet is a holiday eve requirement.

June 9: Donald Duck Day, in honor of the Walt Disney Donald Duck’s cartoon debut in “The Wise Hen” on June 9, 1934.

July 14: National Nude Day; a good day to cool off from the hot July sun.

August 14: National Creamsicle Day; be cool, flavor not important.

September 28: Ask a Stupid Question Day. (OK, ask why we need to celebrate this holiday.)

October 16: Dictionary Day. This one is easy to define, as it’s in honor of Noah Webster, considered the Father of the American Dictionary, who was born on October 16, 1758.

November 20: Absurdity Day; don’t be absurd and celebrate a truly illogical and senseless holiday.

December 2: Crossword Puzzle Day. This holiday is really not very puzzling; crossword puzzles were created and published on this day in 1913 in the New York World newspaper (1860-1931). Arthur Wynne is credited with creating the modern crossword puzzle.

See Building Blocks (Holiday ideas) for more holidays.

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.