Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pea Weather, Part I

Ok, just a little start to a flash fiction piece. Part II will come sometime later...

“Yes, some of them like this weather. The peas love it.” Mrs. Arnold smiled, almost lovingly. She heaved the straw basket onto the countertop, heavy with fresh asparagus and still smelling like the field. Beads of sweat curled around her hairline and her face was splotchy red. “Good weather for peas.” She nodded her head with authority.

“I’ll take two bunches.” Cynthia had had enough. Her innocent comment about rainy weather was not meant to encourage conversation; not with this farmer woman behind the counter, anyway. She strode away while Mrs. Arnold filled a bag with two full bunches of asparagus.

“That’s $9.90, ma’am.”

“Jake, pay her.” Cynthia waved her hand toward the counter, keeping her focus on the shelves of jam.

Jake pulled his wallet from the pocket of his jeans and handed Mrs. Arnold a ten dollar bill. “Keep the change.”

Mrs. Arnold opened the register. She smiled and handed him a dime and the bag of asparagus.

Jake reddened a little, but took the change. “Alright, Cynthia.” He started toward the door; Cynthia reached it before he did, sunglasses on.

“Thanks for stoppin’ by. Enjoy your day!” Mrs. Arnold leaned over the counter, to make sure they’d hear.

“God, I thought I’d be in there all afternoon talking about vegetables!” Cynthia leaned her head back against the smooth leather. Jake backed the car out of the parking space and turned onto the wet road.

“Foggy up here.” He was squinting.

“What do you expect? It’s pea weather!” Cynthia’s laugh was especially shrill when she mocked.

“How far away is it?”

Cynthia was annoyed; she sighed heavily to let him know and reached down to her enormous bag – smooth, soft leather in pristine black. “Here.” She handed him a sheet of paper.

“Cynthia – I can’t…” Jake grabbed the paper with one hand, stuck it in his mouth, and grabbed the wheel again. “These curves are sharper than they look.”

Cynthia’s head was against the leather again.

“I better pull over… I think there’s a spot here.” Jake slowed the car to the side of the road. Park, flashers on, “Ok, let’s see…”

Death of a Coffee Grinder

It is with a sad, sad heart that I announce the end of our fabulous burr grinder. It was an unimposing Cuisinart model that I found at Sam's Club many years ago, tucked behind some very impressive and elaborate models.

The burr actually broke in two. As I said, it gave a lot of years and many, many pots of coffee.

In my search for a new grinder, I am researching via I pass this little site on to my fellow coffee aficionados (geeks?). Keep me in your thoughts as you prepare your fresh coffee this evening...

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Impromptu in E. Specifically, Impromptu in E, Opus 90 by Franz Schubert. A sublime Brendel recording is posted below. I spent several months perfecting this piece to play in a competition (which I lost), but the the time spent with this work is very special to me. It's still one of my favorite piano pieces.

And, it just so happens that impromptu musings by one E(lizabeth) might make a nifty little hobby. So, here it is: thoughts, discussion, fashion, music, always coffee and hopefully a little fiction here and there.

I think I'll start things off with a little flash fiction in the coming days. And, the thought occurs to me that since I know so many delightful writers (uh-hum, Katherine, Mary, Virginia... the list continues...), wouldn't it be wonderful if other writers also posted?

In the meantime, I'd love to know your thoughts on a favorite writer and why you like that writer. Notice, I didn't say THE favorite (don't you hate those "choose only one" questions?!). Just a writer you love that jumps to mind - add a few lines of the author's work that exemplifies why you love this author, if you'd like.

I'll get things started... Willa Cather! Her short story "Paul's Case" is almost perfection, I think. It's descriptive, captivating, haunting, profound, beautiful and always inspires debate and discussion. Excellent stuff! An excerpt:

When he reached the dining room he sat down at a table near a window. The flowers, the white linen, the many-colored wineglasses, the gay toilettes of the women, the low popping of corks, the undulating repetitions of the Blue Danube from the orchestra, all flooded Paul's dream with bewildering radiance. When the roseate tinge of his champagne was added--that cold, precious, bubbling stuff that creamed and foamed in his glass-- Paul wondered that there were honest men in the world at all. This was what all the world was fighting for, he reflected; this was what all the struggle was about. He doubted the reality of his past. Had he ever known a place called Cordelia Street, a place where fagged-looking businessmen got on the early car; mere rivets in a machine they seemed to Paul,--sickening men, with combings of children's hair always hanging to their coats, and the smell of cooking in their clothes. Cordelia Street--Ah, that belonged to another time and country; had he not always been thus, had he not sat here night after night, from as far back as he could remember, looking pensively over just such shimmering textures and slowly twirling the stem of a glass like this one between his thumb and middle finger? He rather thought he had.

Alfred Brendel playing Schubert