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11/6/12 Quick note this draft is not the final draft, it is an unedited first draft

© Melinda D. Garren

Sixtoe lay sprawled on the rock. The last of the days warmth radiating up from the stone. He was content in his solitude, surveying the canyon below him. He had had a good evening, killed a deer, eaten well, and stored the rest of the carcass for the next night. He would need to move under shelter soon, the air was scented with fall rain.

Just as he was shifting his weight to get up, he heard a screeching sound. It was not animal, that he knew. Then he heard scraping and crunching sounds, the sounds hurt his ears. He flattened them to his skull and hissed in the direction of the sound.Then his eyes went round and he hurled himself sideways away from the rock he had been relaxing on. A large shape fell from the grey river, bounced off the rock he had just vacated and tumbled down towards the bottom of the ravine.


© Melinda D. Garren 11/3/2012


Dear readers, I have removed the rest of the story. If you wish to read the fully revised and edited version; SixToe and the Woman; it is now available for most e-books through Smashwords.

For the month of April I’m running a special on the book, in the form of a coupon since this is my first official publishing in e-book format.

Your coupon code is XP62N (not case-sensitive).

Customers enter the code prior to completing their checkout.

Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: XP62N
Expires: May 1, 2014



whispers on the wind

clouds travel

sunlight is dimmed

air chills

whispers on the wind

fall is at hand

leaves turn and drift

whispers on the wind

rakes perch near doors

coats come out of closets

the rain will be here soon

whispers on the wind

the ground and rivers hold the water

the leaves turn to dirt

the land nourishes itself

the land rests

whispers on the wind

spring will come again

~ © Melinda Dawn Garren


from the front yard


How like a rose bush

is each person

They are prickly, hard

if approached wrong they will hurt you with barb’s

When shown love and tender care

When pruned just right while allowing wild growth

the buds appear

When given sun and water

When not pruned to soon

each bud will blossom

Each blossom is unique, fragrant, beautiful

in time each blossom fades and wilts

With tender care wilted blooms are pruned

fall and winter mark times of rest

spring brings renewal and fresh growth

care, love, sun, water …. new buds, new blooms

……… again the cycle repeats

until that most harsh and final winter comes

~ © Melinda D. Garren April 17th, 2012

the rain has come

the rain has gone

the heat of the day was such

the streets have turned to rivers of mist

~ © Melinda D. Garren May 25th, 2012

Blankly I stare

The keyboard awaits input from my fingers

Blankly I stare

The document is unchanged

Blankly I stare

The thoughts refuse to form

Blankly I stare

Why must there be a word count

Blankly I stare

When was this due again

Blankly I stare

I rifle through my notes …. Surely there is something

Blankly I stare

The weather is so nice

Blankly I stare

The screen does not change

Blankly I stare

I know what I wanted to say why do the words not come

Blankly I stare

Surely the teacher will understand …..

Blankly I stare


~ © Melinda D. Garren   April 17th, 2012

Ugh! Just hate it when

I’m trying to build my sculpture the way I want it to look.

This morning I tried flipping it over, so I could work on the inside and the whole bottom fell off :p . So now I have to start over, this time I’m going to just work from the inside out. Trial & Error, a learning process.


bleh :p :p

Take two no good, stucco is not working out for me. I need to come up with a whole new medium, sigh!

This is my review of the day and of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

On October 18th, 2011 I was able to take part in a trip to see San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, or MOMA for short. For me this day felt like an extra special treat for two reasons: first as a working parent and partner I haven’t had the time I would like for such outings; secondly I had been extremely stressed out the day before handling a crisis income tax situation. Our bus arrived about thirty minutes before the MOMA was scheduled to open, which left me with some time to burn.

Across from the entrance to the MOMA are the grounds of the Yerba Buena Gardens. I chose to explore the gardens, and was not disappointed with what I found. I found in the midst of a large city, surrounded on all sides by concrete and steel, a lush and varied landscape to ease the weary soul. As I wandered through and around the park my eyes were constantly met with the beauty of the vibrant plant life. My ears were caressed by the sounds of hushed conversations, children laughing and birds chirping. To my perception the focal point of the gardens is a beautiful two to three story tall waterfall that has walkways around and over it. At the uppermost level of the waterfall is a series of water ways and a smaller waterfall and pool that many birds were drinking from and bathing in. Upon finding that my path of travel had brought me back to where I had started from I found myself in a very relaxed and calmed state of mind. The garden had been the very balm for my soul that I was unaware of needing. The state of relaxation I was then in was as near a perfect state of calm that anyone could hope for and felt to me the perfect state to enter the MOMA in, thus I crossed the street and got my ticket.

Upon entering the MOMA, I was greeted by a vast cavernous space. Within the center of that space is a stair way of striped tile and wood that beckons you to climb, whilst at the same time hiding from sight the treasures to be found on the upper levels. As this was my first trip to the MOMA I chose to let the stairs guide me all the way to the upper most reaches of the building, knowing that I would have to follow the stairs again to the ground floor later. For several flights the stairs continued to be the same cool tile and wood stripes and at points creating an Escher like illusion where the ceiling of the upper stairs meets the tile stripes of the wall. The last set of stairs up were an austere white spiral that felt as if they had been pulled from an old church.

At the very upper reaches I discovered many things to hold my attention and interest. Beautiful sculptures of steel, nylon, wood, and many other pieces of art in a wide variety of mediums on display. Perhaps the quirkiest of all the sculptures that I saw on the upper level was not in the MOMA itself, but viewable from the walkway and rooftop garden. They were two statues of the story book character Waldo. While finding Waldo at the MOMA made me laugh, they reminded me of the hours with the ‘Where’s Waldo’ books and our eldest daughter.  The fascination with the ‘Waldo’ images wore off fast, compared to other pieces of art that drew me back for repeated viewings. There were two pieces in particular that I did go back to view again before leaving the upper floor. The first being ‘A Sac of Rooms All Day Long’ By Alex Schweden, composed of vinyl and electrical components. The second piece that held me in such thrall, with such intensity, that I pushed myself to cross an open expanse in spite of my intense fear of heights, was ‘Sonic Shadows’ by Bill Fontana.

‘A Sac of Rooms All Day Long’ is a fluid sculpture, because the electrical components are constantly changing the shape and dimensions of the sculpture. The main structure is composed of sealed clear vinyl, within the structure is a series of air pumps that rotate to inflate or deflate various parts of the sculpture. When I first stumbled upon this piece it made me think of Do-Ho Suh’s work because the simple outline and suggestion of a home or rooms was being created with minimal detail. As I watched the sculpture deflate and inflate it made me think of the housing crisis and the bubble that has cost many people their homes. Watching longer my thoughts began to turn, and reflect on how fluid time is and how we never truly stay in any place for a long period of time, and how even a room we know intimately will change as time wears on. If a person is willing to spend a fair amount of time, perhaps at least 10 to 15 minutes, to watch this piece it can spark a lot of surreal and deep thoughts, perhaps even some self insights they had not previously consciously thought of.

‘Sonic Shadows’ Is a grated bridge equipped with a network of high-tech vibration sensors, microphones, and speakers that bring all of the hidden sounds a steel bridge across an empty expanse creates into the hearing range of a person. The sound of the bridge as it echoed through the space was not all that held me in utter fascination to the point where I crossed the bridge not once but twice. From the center of the bridge sound is not the only thing that assails the senses. The other stimulus that assails the senses is the visual of the shadows as they transcend their way across a curved, pristine, white wall. As the day progresses the shadows created both by the bridge itself and by the varied steel tubes cutting across the elliptical window above the bridge, in a style reminiscent of the cellular structure of a leaf when viewing the sun through it, create their own shadow paintings on the wall. While the bridge and the steel tubes above the bridge are all man made, it brought to me the same sense of calm as I had encountered earlier in the gardens.

Window above Sonic Shadow

It takes a lot for me to push myself onto a bridge, and yet, with a few sparse pieces of metal, Bill Fontana got me to not only walk out onto a bridge, but to pause on it long enough to take pictures of the upper elements. For this piece that is transcending multiple senses on several levels of awareness I would push myself out onto it yet again should the opportunity arise.

All in all, the trip to San Francisco and the MOMA was wonderful and deeply relaxing. While I enjoyed all aspects of the MOMA, if pressed to say what makes it great, I would have to say the interior architecture of the building itself, with all of the play of straight lines and angles. I would also recommend the wide variety of works on the uppermost floor. My favorite display is ‘Sonic Shadows’, and I would strongly recommend a trip to the MOMA for that interactive piece if for nothing else at all. Perhaps the next viewer will find something different from what I found to spark their soul into a transcended state of calm, relaxation, and a renewed vigor for life.


(This one is super short)

I’d like to say I’ve been super busy. That would only be half right.

Busy yes; work, moving, parenting and all that jazz, but also doing other things that I enjoy doing such as; reading, movies, gaming, cooking, baking, getting involved with a group of like minded folks and having relaxing weekends.

I’m also guilty of putting more updates over on fb than here. However a recent project I just finished doesn’t really fit the fb medium to well so I plan on posting it here.

Today’s menu 12/4/10


slow cooker oatmeal

2 tbsp(about) of a fruit & nut mix

1/2  apple

1/4  Haas avocado

mango+ Kind bar

cup of coffee w/1 tsp of sugar



1 c leftover veggies

left over chow mein (Panda Express)

left over eggplant tofu (Panda Express)


Dinner (planned & cooking)

slow cooker baked beans, vegan

slow cooker pork (for hubby & kids)

mixed vegetables


brown rice

Life got busy with the return of the work year, didn’t leave much time for blogging.

Recently I wasn’t feeling well, and after 2 weeks things weren’t getting better so I bucked up and made myself an appointment. Doctor said more fiber, drop acidic foods and drop the cheese.  I said “but I already eat more than 8 a day between fruits and veg, and almost all of my starches are whole grain …”. I mentally whimpered, a little selfish mental pouting too, I Love Brie & cheddar…. hitched up my grown-up attitude and followed orders. So for a full week I ended up eating vegan (not hubby & kids), and it worked. I started feeling better, the problem cleared up, I’ve slowly added back in the spicy and acidic foods I love, and stayed away from all dairy.

An interesting side event, although I still eat the same foods, just not any dairy, and eat around the same amount of calories within 5 days my weight dropped 5 lbs. Which leads me to believe that although past allergy tests have not indicated a problem I might be allergic to dairy products.

Which means I really have to make some big adjustments to how and with what I cook. I’ll say this much life is never dull.


-Peace, and happy holidays