Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Sixty-one Days and a Year-in-Review

new yearsI started this blog last April and my posting was an infrequent, irregular activity.  Then on the spur of the moment on Halloween night I decided to do the 2012 NaNoWriMo and I accomplished a 50,000 word novel draft in 26 days.  Then, since I was on a roll, I decided to accept a challenge to blog every day through the end of the year.  There were some days when I struggled to find something interesting to write about.  Sometimes, I made it easy on myself and posted photographs.  But I did manage to write or make a blog post every day for 61 days.

I am going to try to carry on with a regular posting pattern, but probably not something every day.  My plan is to post at least twice a week,  more as I can.   So, I thank all of you who subscribed to my blog and for all the kind comments that kept me motivated to post every day.  There is more to come so please stay tuned.

And now, I am responding to the last Photo Challenge of the Year at The Daily Post.  This is to provide a visual “Year-in-Review”.   Below are some images that I took throughout 2012 that have served as inspiration (or as the final creative expressions in their own right).  Some I have posted, some you are seeing for the first time.

Happy New Year and I’ll see you on the flip side.

My inspiration has been in finding new places to people watch and make notes…

and in taking the train to explore my city…

In finding places to inspire my short stories…

And for more short stories...

Things old.....

And looking at things old……

fossil snail

From the Masters....

Learning from the Masters…..

And the not-so-masterful....

And the not-so-masterful….

From hanging in the garden with my Dad....

From hanging in the garden with my Dad….

From the great outdoors....

From the great outdoors….

From the great "out-there"....

From the great “out-there”….

From gathering with family.....

From gathering with family…..

and with friends.....

and with friends…..

From the spiritual....

From the spiritual….

To the fantastical....

To the fantastical….

And from the Great Dance of Life!

And from the Great Dance of Life!

ljgloyd (c) 2012


The Lady in White

I was experimenting in Photoshop to see if I could create fog.  I was moderately successful; it did not come out exactly the way I envisioned.  So to save the image, I plopped the image of the woman into the photo and messed around with her layer until I got a somewhat ghostly image.


Manipulated photography.
LJGloyd (c) 2012


High Noon


The Daily Post prompt:  At noon today, take a pause in what you’re doing or thinking about. Make a note of it, and write a post about it later.

Actually, I am starting this post before noon time today because I figure I am not going to be doing anything different at noon than what I am doing three hours earlier.  I am home today with a bad cold.  Nothing like having your holidays ruled by the feeling that your head is filled with concrete.

Of course, if I were well, I would be spending the day at an automotive garage investigating why my car’s transmission is acting up.  Or spending the day caring for relatives who are also sick.   Or shopping for a new computer because this one has taken to booting up only when it wants to.

Being confined at home, I hope I will not watching the news at noon.   Besides the other squirreliness going on the world, all I will hear is news of the impending fiscal cliff we are all about to fall off.

So, in light of all this, I think at noon, I will turn off the tv, open another box of tissue, and ponder all that is good with my life.   I have a job, I have a roof over my head, I have food,  I have electricity, I have fresh running water, and I have people in my life who care enough for me to call and ask how I am faring.

In a few days, I will be well and can get back to taking care of the other pressing details of my life with a little less of a “woe-is-me” attitude.

Maybe this little “time-out” is actually a good thing.   This is my body’s way of telling me to “sit down,  shut up, and listen for a change.”      I have been called to a “show down at High Noon” to do a little reconciling and prioritizing of the things that are important in my life and some that are not so much.

Okay, I think I get it now.  Now, where is my inhaler?

ljg,  writing on Wednesday morning, 12/26/2012

Postscript:  What did I actually do at 12 noon?  I was napping.

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A Recommended Book for Writers

book imageIf you find yourself with a bit of a writer’s block, I highly recommend any of the exercises in Your First 1000 Days in Writerspark: 1000 Tight Writing Exercises.     This books provides 1000 prompts to get your writing going.  You may never show any of the results of these exercises to an audience,  but the point of the prompts is to get you to write.   Who knows — one of these prompts may be that one germ of inspiration that will get that novel started that you have always wanted to write.

Here is an example of what you will find in this book.  Exercise #1 prompts:  “Write a 100 or fewer word story, poem, or essay that contains the following elements:  thunder, watermelon seeds, a shred of cloth.”

My response:

Old Tilly sat on a rusted lawn chair outside her trailer. A lead- gray sky pressed down on her, and she listened to thunder rumble in the distance.  She stared at the heap of dried watermelon seeds  she had spat out the day before when she sat doing much the same thing as today and the day before.   Her hands fidgeted with the shred of cloth from her ragged housecoat.  She tasted the wind and wondered what trouble would visit her home today.

This book, only available in digital format, is reasonably priced at $2.99, a wonderful bargain for such a resource.

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Merry Christmas


May You and Your Loved Ones Enjoy a Blessed Christmas!


Miss Pelican

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while  Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  (The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 1-20, New International Version) 


More Traditions

As a child, my dad used to take us all out for a drive on Christmas Eve to look at Christmas lights on houses.  Usually, this was to allow “Santa Grandma and Grandpa” to put out the gifts we would open Christmas Eve when we returned home.   I have kept up a version of that tradition, though not necessarily on Christmas Eve.    A few nights ago a friend and I usually went out after dinner to look at Christmas lights on “Candy Cane Lane”, a street in our community that goes all out each year to decorate.  Then we go home and exchange gifts.  We have done this for a number of years so it has now become a tradition.

Here are a few selections from this year’s Candy Cane Lane.


ccl 5

ccl 3

ccl 4



We all have holiday traditions and usually they have come from our families, cultures of origin, or faith communities.  Sometimes we create our own traditions.  If you do something for long enough in an established way, it becomes a tradition.

For the last few years, I and some friends have gotten together some time just before Christmas for a “hen-fest.”    This usually involves a trip for Chinese dim sum or Moroccan food followed by gift giving and much frivolity.    In recent years, most of our nest of hens have flown the coop,  but some of us still keep up the tradition that has evolved over the years.   This year’s feast was dim sum.

dimsum 1

dimsum 2 small

What traditions have you created in your life?

ljg 2012


Memorable Meals


Baja Sunset

Today’ s prompt from The Daily Post is this: “Some people eat to live, while others live to eat. What about you? How far would you travel for the best meal of your life?”

I do not know if there are any meals for which I would specifically travel a far distance, but my travels have led me to some memorable meals.  Fondly remembered meals include hotdogs at Nathan’s and a midnight chocolate mousse at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City,  sweet and creamy Maine lobster fresh off the boat in Kennebunkport,  chicken and green chile soup in Santa Fe, and a rosemary-fragranced clam chowder on Cannery Row in Monterey.

However, my most memorable meals are from trips to the Pacific Coast of Baja California, Mexico.

These meals have included carnitas cooked in a cauldron in a parking lot, chicken roasted over mesquite wood, and grilled fish and garlic shrimp  served up at a tarp-covered dirt-floored cafe appropriately called El Carrizal.  El Carrizal means “reedbed”, but my companions and I affectionately called this cafe situated at a low point along Highway 1 “Fish-in-a-Ditch”.

My memorable meals in Baja were not limited to rustic road-side fare.   We also enjoyed several meals at El Rey Sol, the oldest French restaurant in Mexico.   The rosemary lamb chops served there were my favorite, but a brace of quail in a wine reduction comes in second.

But, the meal that I remember most fondly is that wonderful, glorious, lard-fried, cabbage-garnished, beer- battered, world-famous Ensenada Fish Taco.  We would usually roll into Ensenada about 9 a.m. and head straight to the El Fenix fish taco stand a few blocks off the tourist street.  We would belly up to the counter and, since we were such regulars, the counter women would immediately pull a perfectly fried golden wedge of angelito fish out of the pot of boiling lard, slap it into a warm tortilla, and hand it to us on a paper plate.   Since the stand was usually crowded with locals, even at that time of the morning, we would often stand off to one side and eat our tacos over a trash can.   How cool is that?

The wonderful thing about Baja Californian cuisine is that it is locally sourced before being locally sourced became a hip thing:  wine and olives from the Valle de Guadalupe a few miles north;  fresh produce, poultry and meat from the rich farmlands around Maneadero, and succulent seafood from the cold waters of the California current.

This stroll down culinary lane is making my mouth water.

Dos Hermanos Carnitas Restaurant

Dos Hermanos Carnitas Restaurant
Note the cauldron on the porch on the far right

"Tourist Street" Ensenada, down the street from the best roasted chicken restaurant on the planet, Las Brasas

“Tourist Street” in Ensenada where there is a restaurant that serves mesquite roasted chicken, the best I’ve ever eaten.

El Fenix fish taco stand! Oh, yeah!

El Fenix fish taco stand! Oh, yeah!

Locally produced honey and olives on the roadside near Maneadero

Locally produced honey and olives on the roadside near Maneadero

ljgloyd (c) 2012