Duned In In Delaware

September 23, 2014

the substance of a shadow in tall grass

Duned in in Delaware  Painting by ntaylorcollins (c)2014

Duned in in Delaware
Painting by ntaylorcollins (c)2014

I wrote this fragment a couple of years ago in a journal on one of those days when nature and I found harmony.  This past Sunday such harmony found me again at one of my favorite Delaware beaches, Bethany Beach.

I spent the day painting while my grandson had a grand time running in and out of the pounding surf and building various structures in the damp cool sand.  Gulls, kites, the small advertising plane with bright red banner in tow provided our overhead entertainment as clouds formed and reformed in an ever-less threatening array of rain clouds. For most of the day, the clouds dipped low enough to provide a hazy fog when mixed with the sea blues and grays.

Buried beyond the replenished dunes, housetops took on the muted colors of the day. Dune grasses struggle to keep a foothold and the low snow fencing help provide traction to the ever shifting sands. It used to be you could sit on the boardwalk or the seaward facing porches to a full view of the ocean.  The current dune situation is much higher than the boardwalk and the best view is from southern-end high rises or from the vantage point of the beach.

There was little hint of shadows in these tall grasses as the shifting clouds grayed the colors of the day.  As I captured this overcast mood on the houses, I was trying to decide if they are content to be nestled in behind the dune or whether they are standing on tiptoe peering over this powerful bulkhead.

If the past is any indication of the future, this dune will, too, soon pass. Or should that be — this dune will to soon pass… For now, I plan to get down there every possible day this fall to capture this fluid evanscent scene…

D A Y U M…

July 7, 2014

In the emergency room a few years ago, they said, “You probably have an aneurysm.”  

I remember – a sigh – I think it was me who did that. My only thought… This can’t be good.

This can’t be good. My first thought at this moment. 

A Medicare card arrived today. It has my name on it.  MY NAME… MY NAME on it.

It’s better than hearing you might have an aneurysm but…but…

But… I’m not ready to lose the baby in my boomer…


But...but... I'm not ready to lose the baby in my boomer...

But…but… I’m not ready to lose the baby in my boomer…

A Month of Poetry

April 8, 2014
2014 Poetry Month

2014 Poetry Month


For special writing projects, I keep a separate journal. This year for National Poetry Month I chose an old lined journal of 256 pages. It’s canvas with faux leather corners and spine with a red ribbon book mark.

Handwritten thoughts are still my choice of entry into the writing process. It’s totally a part of an analog process when doing the creative flow part. When it’s time to start editing, I become digital and work at my computer.

Not Writing. Book In My Head – Day 8

April 8, 2014

As I enter Day 8 of National Poetry Month, I’m up to page 36 in my journal. I start a new one each time I have a specific project I want to keep intact. Today’s selection is based on a philosopher of interest. I hope you check out his work.  Poetry, fire and closed spaces are a few topics he explores. 

We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.  Gaston Bachelard


Not Writing a Book in My Head – Prompt 4

April 4, 2014

#NationalpoetryMonth Writing prompt for April 4

Writable about

Writable about

Not Writing a Book in Your Head

April 17, 2013

Not Writing a Book in Your Head

Writing is your personal answer on your journey to discover what the questions are. I hand-write random thoughts, jagged fragments in jumbled cryptic description in my journals. My advice: Write down the rattle–there’s time for fixing later. n taylor collins, writer

Follow these simple writing steps and begin:

  • Focus on what you are thinking about when something strikes an emotional or tangible chord.
  • Begin writing your thoughts down – this is the part where the “writing a book in your head” becomes actually writing a book.  Take note — “Writing a book in your head” is thinking, not writing.
  • Write down your spontaneous thoughts.  Concentrate on the flow of words leaving your mind.  Watch them become visible tangible markings on a page.
  • Every day, or as often as you can, repeat this process. Just write down your spontaneous thoughts.
  • Write for 30 days.  If you do,  a habit of writing is developed.
  • Writers write.  You are writing that book. You are no longer just thinking.
  • For now, write. Write something each day for the next 30 days and the next 30 days.
  • Check back with me in 60 days for the next step..

Remember, thinking  a book in your head is not the same as writing it.   Writing stakes a claim on the writing part when you stake a claim on being a writer. 

A link to how I found inspiration in a card from a poet friend, Helen.  http://tinyurl.com/c2c6m4l

©2013 ntaylor collins (please keep credit with reposts)

Tomato By Any Name is an Appetizer – Part 1 of 2

February 26, 2013

Food and Recipes?

Cooking is not my forte...

Cooking is not my forte…

Ok – I will admit it – the kitchen is a foreign country that has an un-interpretable language to me.  Cooking has too many nuances, too many rules, too many tools!

I like to eat.  That part of food I understand.  I have a kitchen – that cooking part, recipes, I do not understand.

Gadgets still lurk in dark recesses of cabinets and drawers that I haven’t an inkling what to do with.  I got them at my kitchen bridal shower.  That was 45 years ago.

I decided recently that I need to learn to cook and maybe I should write about that, too.  The reasons were simple:

I am dating a man – a younger, used-to-eating-well-as-he’s-into-physical-fitness-and-all-that man.

AND  I ran into a man at an entrepreneur event – a Delaware slightly obsessed foodie,  who is a genius, named Dave.   He offers free cooking classes in his store.  Free.  That’s as in “no cost to take the cooking part.”  I will only have to pay for what I may purchase depending upon the desired results of the cooking and my immediate impulse on the given day of the free class.  In other words – it’s going to cost a fortune to learn how to cook!   But… I’m hooked by the free part.  I’m in Dave.  I’m in.

So here’s what I really know about cooking.  I’ll start with appetizers.

I have two best recipes for just about anything.  If you know how to cook or not, you will find these of interest.  If you master these top-secret carefully selected recipes you will never be at a loss when someone stops by or you are expected to “bring a little something” to a party or event.   The second recipe will be in my next post. Here’s the first no-fail recipe.

Sister’s Empty-Dish Salsa

This works for any size dish or pan.  You just increase or decrease the ingredients accordingly.  I’m giving you the 9 x 13 version which works well for feasts.

The Ingredients

  • 2 packages 8 oz. cream cheese (low-fat, regular fat, etc. – it doesn’t matter.  Just buy the best ingredients if you want it to taste the best)
  • Salsa (this can be from well-known brands in a jar or your own family recipe – my “secret” ingredient is found in the standard 15 oz. jar.  I’m not here to make this difficult for you – your choice of salsa can be red hot, mild, chunky, whatever.  And you can use the larger jar as well  but it’s not really necessary as it tastes great with smaller one.  If you’re really feeling creative, then chop up a fresh tomato and throw that in as well.)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (plain old regular medium, sharp, or extra sharp, low-fat, no fat or whatever.  Again, the better quality the cheese, the better the taste.)
  • Bag of favorite scoopable chips – (this recipe screams scoopables)

The Process

  1. The first layer is the cream cheese.  Spread it out evenly on your pan or dish with a wooden spoon.  A wooden spoon works best for this.  ( If you don’t have any wooden spoons,  you should check out Dave’s shop as he has just about anything that you need to stock your kitchen like a chef.)
  2. For the second layer, evenly spread out the choice of salsa.  (so far so good, right?)
  3. Lastly,  load it up with cheddar on the top.   Sprinkle as much or as little of this as you want.  You know your crowd.  If they’re cheese lovers, add lots.  (These layers do not get stirred together, OK?)
  4. Bake at 350 for about 15 – 25 minutes.   It varies on how crispy you want your cheese.

The Creative Part

If you’re making a smaller portion, which I seem to do almost every day, just slather on some cream cheese, a little salsa, and top with cheese in your dish or bowl that fits the microwave.  Nuk for about 3 – 5 minutes (covered)   I will admit the cheese doesn’t get crispy but it melts nicely.  Test different lengths of time to get the consistency you like as microwaves vary.

My sister, practically a gourmet chef, swears by the oven as it makes the cheese crunchier.  I, as stated before, just like to eat, so microwaving is just fine for me.  The individual portions are great, too, for things like super bowl parties as you have your own dish and can be a double dipper if you want.

So now all you have to do is pick out your favorite scoopable chip – there are so many varieties out there now – and your appetizer will just knock them over.  Your dish will be one of the first to empty.  I can almost guarantee you that.

My second recipe, BFF Tomato Blues, involves Roma tomatoes (or any tomato) and fresh mozzarella.  I’ll post this next as I’m trying to do shorter blog posts.  I plan to incorporate my cooking experience in this blog as this blog represents my life (creative aspects mostly) more than any one particular aspect of it.  My focus is writing about what I’m interested in.  Right now, it’s cooking.   If you want to subscribe, you’ll be sure not to miss what passes as my attempt for enjoying a creative life.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’d love to hear if you try this recipe.     And remember my motto:   Cooking is not just an adventure, it’s a job.  Cheers. 



AN ASIDE:   And smaller dishes are great if friends just stop by unexpectedly as well.  Even though the last time several girlfriends did stop by I wasn’t able to make this for them and they know why, but I won’t be sharing this on this blog post but maybe another one.  And you know who you are girlfriends if you’re reading this, and you had better not comment!  LOL

I hold the copyright to this post.  I realize recipes are technically not but in the context of this post my words are.  ntaylorcollins ©2013  And if you’re in the northern Delaware area, Greenville specifically, stop by and see Dave at his store. 

Maybe we’ll run in to each other and the next thing you know, I’ll be writing about you. :-)

%d bloggers like this: