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Today's guest is Wren Boudreau, author of the popular titles Ice Cream on the Side and Back to Normal.

She's talking today about the pleasure of owning something of beauty.
As I often say - it's not always an issue of "need", but "want" :).

Visit Wren at her Blog: http://wrenboudreau.blogspot.com/

Enjoys: Reading, Writing, Surfing (the web), Massages (getting them), Chocolate and Hot Bubble Baths.


I haz a Drum:

With Christmas season so recently ended, I’ve been thinking about gifts. In particular, gifts that we want but don’t know why.

Case in point:

A number of years ago, maybe ten or so, I attended a class having to do with teaching methods. One of the young soon-to-be-teachers did a show-and-tell with an African drum as the basis for a poetry lesson. I was impressed, but more than that I was enchanted. I wanted a drum!

I had daydreams of having my own private drum circle (well, maybe that would be an arc), of elevating my soul with primitive beats, of loosening the constraints on my creativity by calling up the wild woman inside of me.

After a bit of wheedling and some judicious pointing and, I admit it, caressing various toms, djembes and bongos, I convinced my husband to consider this. I found a drum under the Christmas tree.

It was beautiful. Exquisitely designed. Waiting to be played.

And I was suddenly too shy to touch it.

Even when I was all alone, I just walked around it, looked at it, brushed my fingers lovingly along its smooth surface. But I didn’t make one sound with it.

Still haven’t. But I’ll be damned if I give that drum away. I’m going to need it someday, I know it.

There are a few other things in my life like this. Things I’ve wanted to have not for any actual reason other than simple want. I’d like to think it’s not a greed issue, but I’ve been known to be pretty shallow, so maybe that’s it. Lucky I’m not a millionaire, because I think I’d have a few too many “things” in my life.

I’m curious if anyone else has had a similar experience - longing for something, finally getting it, then just not knowing what to do with it, or being pleased to simply own it. Or maybe it’s just me?



Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Take the prompt "A NEW RESOLUTION" and write something for the visitors this month. It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.

I'm holding a FREE FICTION DAY on the 28th, so send me new fiction - links to your existing work also welcome! - to clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll post it all then :).


Follow this month with Clare - and the goodies so far:

JAN 15: Favourite worldwide travel with cdn_tam.
JAN 16: 10 cautionary tales from ZA Maxfield! zamaxfield.
JAN 17: The business/pleasure balance of writing from libby_drew.
JAN 18: Why M/M? And who wants to know? from jordan_c_price.
JAN 19: What makes fiction short and sweet for jenre.

JAN 08: A great new novel and sequel from mickieashling.
JAN 09: Fiction and beautiful illustrations from essayel.
JAN 10: Forthcoming menage release from lc_chase.
JAN 11: Fabulous mix of SF and erotic romance from Sloane Taylor and Robert Appleton.
JAN 12: Follow the bizarre photographic history of Wind in Hair Guy with egret17.
JAN 13: When only your family understands the joke, with charliecochrane.
JAN 14: A top 10 of gay books you should read from erastes.

JAN 01: A FREE short from me, revisiting Nic and Aidan from Sparks Fly.
JAN 01: Delicious m/m icons from luscious_words.
JAN 02: Why I want to be a Bond villain! by chrissymunder.
JAN 03: The world of inspiration between 'historical' and 'contemporary' with stevie_carroll.
JAN 04: Some fascinating Swedish proverbs from 1more_sickpuppy.
JAN 05: A round-up of a great year just gone from angelasstone.
JAN 06: The countryside and history that inspires author sandra_lindsey.
JAN 07: The challenge of trying to balance edits, with diannefox and anahcrow.


Check up on the original post and the Guest Schedule for January HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.



( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2011 02:13 pm (UTC)
Oh failure :( Are they at least things of beauty you can admire?

I'd have to learn to drum before I'd ever take it on the road! It's more complicated than I thought!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 12:16 pm (UTC)
I collect musical instruments. I have a: piano (played), cello (tried), guitar (also tried), ukelele, a Ðàn Ty` Bà, a didgeridoo, and a psalter. None of the last four have ever been played and they never will. I bought them because I wanted them, simple as that.
Jan. 20th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
What is a Ðàn Ty` Bà? And a psalter (I thought that was a book of psalms)?

Sounds like you have a great attitude about these instruments!
(no subject) - muse_neko - Jan. 20th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
Not a drum (which is lovely by the way), but a crystal vase. We lived in the Czech Republic where crystal is EVERYWHERE. I walked by this shop often and there was a large vase, very thin in the middle and flaring out at the top. I did not need that vase but after walking by and walking by it was soon time for us to be leaving Prague and who knew when or if I'd be back, so in the guise of it being a "souvenir" I bought it. It sits on my mantle and I'm not sure it's ever had flowers it in because it's not a great shape for most flowers, but I had to have it and while I'm lately all about getting rid of my "crap", there are a lot of things I'll get rid of before that vase.

Things made out of glass in general draw me in. It's best I just stay out of glass shops. Luckily I don't often buy, but I definitely want.
Jan. 20th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
I can imagine going by every day and admiring that vase! I'm so glad it was still there when you decided to buy it. What heartbreak if it had been gone!

And even if it never holds a flower, you enjoy it every day. Good for you!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Oh Val, a Vodou flag. Really? Is it in your living room, over the fireplace? Or hanging over your bed? I think you need to post a picture.

Miniatures...I can see where that could get out of hand very quickly!
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
I really wanted to have a third child. Hub was happy with having just two "we have one of each," he said, "they both sleep well and are settled. I don't want to go back to sleepless nights nights and nappies." I stuck to my guns though and eventually he agreed to try for a third child. It was hardly my fault that it turned out to be twins! (well actually it was my fault, something to do with multi-ovulating, lol!)

Now I have the twins, I wouldn't ever think of trading them in for a single baby. They are both unique, full of character and spirit. Yes, I had a tough time at first (don't even ask me what happened in the world between 2003-5 cos I have no idea). Sometimes you really want something and it turns out to be not what you thought it would be - like an exciting drumming experience - but you get something just as special in return. In my case a chaotic household, and in yours something to admire and which reminds you of how much your husband loves you :).
Jan. 20th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
So we're talking about drums and lutes and flags, and here's Jen with kids! I do like the moral of your story - getting not what you thought, but something just as special.

I'm going to assume that your hub found the specialness, too!
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 20th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
Ah hell, I'm going to have to confess, aren't I? My house is FULL of stuff that has very little earthly use but that we LOVED *g*.

I'm top of the useless list with over 400 pencil boards that I collect because of the gorgeous Japanese anime art. I have no space to display them so they all sit in several large archive boxes at the foot of my bed. But I know they're there and I know I can drop in and look through them at any time. I also have them loaded to the net. And it makes me feel good to look at them every single time :).

And to give Hubby his long-suffering due - this Christmas he bought me a digital photo frame *purely* for loading up the boards so I can look at them. Sweet thought, eh?!
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:07 pm (UTC)
Husbands can be great assets, Clare!

I liked what you said: "...I know they're there..." Sometimes that is what we're looking for when we want things, that comfort.
Jan. 20th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
I have some yarns that have no practical use for knitting, but were so pretty I couldn't resist them... but I'm not remembering anything else at the moment!
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Where do you keep your pretty, impractical yarns? I assume out of the cats' claws! Do you pull them out once in a while like Clare with her prints?

"My preciousssssssssssssss"
(no subject) - egret17 - Jan. 20th, 2011 10:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 21st, 2011 02:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Oh lord yes! I understand.

I don't develop passions for things [apart from books and chocolate] very often, and the item is usually so bizarre that my husband is amused, as well as gobsmacked. Last time it was one perfect trilobate arrrowhead from the Ukraine. Time before, my 45th birthday, it was an expanded foam swept hilt rapier for LARPing that I used to use to poke the kids out of bed in the morning. I keep one on my desk for inspiration and the other by my desk to repel boarders.
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
Books! Oh yes! There are books I must have but may never read. *Pets Mark Twain Autobiography Volume 1* Wish I had the space to display them (but then my husband would realize how many I actually have)!

I'm curious about the rapier. Got a photo?
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Wrenboo, what a surprise to see you here! ('Cause, you know, you're so unpopular and everything. *g*) Have you found your wild woman yet? Are you sure you're looking in the right places?

What a nice husband you have -- except for some of his misguided tastes. (Never mind, everybody. It has to do with sports teams.)

Wanting...hm. I'm not too materialistic, but what little yearning for "stuff" I've had seems to take two directions: rare books and antique Christmas decorations. Oh, for a real Victorian feather tree, or a collection of authentic Belsnickle Santas; first or limited, fine illustrated editions of my favorite books! I adore certain kinds of folk art, too.

The books I would definitely hesitate to touch without gloves. But I'd sure as heck like to read, say, The Whale. Wow.
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
Hi KZ, maybe I'm not looking in the right places!

Don't you have a lot of geese up there in the wilds? I bet you could make your own feather tree to tide you over till you get a "real" one!

I hate to show my ignorance (stop it!) but what is "The Whale"? Do you need gloves to read it?
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kz_snow - Jan. 20th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 20th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
Treadmills! So faithful and patient!

I can relate:

I have an old piano in the basement (one of the first generation of the digital variety). I played it for a while, but haven't touched it in maybe ten years. I can't get rid of it though - What if I get the urge to play again? (My husband finds this particularly aggravating)
(no subject) - jenre - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jordan_c_price - Jan. 20th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jordan_c_price - Jan. 20th, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 20th, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)
LOL This is such a great thread and so entertaining. All these things people get! I used to be the same way until I started moving around after college and oy, you move a few times and then decide about things you can seriously live without. Now I'm definitely the opposite way - I throw out/give away things that I still need! I can't tell you how many times I've thrown out or donated something only to turn around 2 months later and have to get it again.

I don't have much clutter but it's almost an OCD disease now and it's gone too far!
Jan. 20th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean, Kassa, which I why I have a hard time parting with stuff! It's inevitable that I will need something I've just gotten rid of. We've been in our current house for 16 and a half years, and I shudder to think what is in all the big plastic containers in the basement!
Jan. 20th, 2011 08:49 pm (UTC)
I have a pony, and there are times when I get very tired of explaining that I don't actually ride him. We go for walks, and sometimes I think about fixing up the little cart for him to pull, but mostly he just hangs out in the field with his pony friends and I take food to them or just sit and read in the middle of them all.

No one ever asks why my cats do nothing to earn their keep...
Jan. 20th, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Is this a pony-pony or a miniature pony? Either way, it is very cool that you have one. I suppose you have to be careful if you choose to sit in the midst of them though. Tarp goes down first?

Maybe you could tell people that your pony thinks he's a cat!
(no subject) - stevie_carroll - Jan. 20th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stevie_carroll - Jan. 20th, 2011 10:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wrenboo - Jan. 20th, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stevie_carroll - Jan. 21st, 2011 06:00 am (UTC) - Expand
( 51 comments — Leave a comment )

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