Aug 31, 2014

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Those Masks we Wear



 
How do you face the world
When you're so indecisive for a face?
How do you convey determination
When you can't pick one to put in place?

So many people are held back
In their image they do bask
You assume to know their persona
But the truth is behind a mask

So which do you choose?
Which face do you want to show?
If you wear a facade
Will it be friend or foe?

Perhaps today you'll leave it off
And the real you they will know
Perhaps no longer hiding
Your heart will finally grow



~inSpireShine
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Aug 27, 2014

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Ariana's Cafe - Prompt 9 - August 27, 2014

Find us on Twitter @ArianasCafe
I am @arianahbrowning

What is Ariana's Cafe?
Simply put: a place for the creative thinker.

How do I use the prompt?
However you like. Use it as inspiration for a discussion, use it to challenge yourself to blog on the prompt as a subject. Use it to help you with a scene that you're struggling with. Use it as inspiration for a piece of artwork.


Bottom line: use your creative mind to come up with something amazing from this prompt.

Are there any rules?

No captcha. If you want to have comment approval, leave a note near the comments area. Too many people have been losing comments, and if their comment disappears, they should know that it didn't go into never land.

No private blogs. If you share, make sure your blog is public. (You can always use my forum arianabrowning.proboards.com to blog publicly for a post, then share that link here.)

No Grammar Police. A lot of the people who join in are not professional writers. They enjoy writing to share their thoughts. Yes, we all appreciate someone who takes the time to spellcheck and grammar check, but not everyone knows proper grammar. We support with these blogs. Don't critique unless it's asked for.


Share whatever you come up with below in the comments. If it's a blog post, share the link (always write some sort of description on the link so people will know you are not just a spammer). If it's a short story you want to share, again, share the link to it. If it's just a thought you had from the prompt, or maybe a scene that it helped you with, share that too. You do not have to share more than you want to, but even if you gained something from this prompt, I would love to hear it so I know they are of value, and which ones are valued most.

You're welcome to tag me on any social network if you share there. :)

Here is the prompt for this week! See you next week.

Ariana's Cafe

Prompt 9 -  August 27, 2014

@arianascafe | @arianahbrowning

Personal Space

What does this mean? Only you can decide.

Here are some questions if you need help, or mix and match.

Novelists: Who is invading your character's personal space, and why are they? What is the purpose of this individual, shoving themselves into the character's personal space? If it's not a who, then what IS invading the character's space? An object, an animal? Who put it there?

Bloggers: What defines your personal space?

                         
Weekly question: What do you consider your personal space? Do you like people invading your space?
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Aug 24, 2014

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So Many Untold Stories


Everything has a story. I live for telling stories, and likewise I see stories everywhere I look. I see a ship out at sea, sitting on the horizon, and I wonder what is going on inside. What the crew are doing, what sort of lives do they have waiting at home? So many untold stories are inside there. I look up and see an airplane, that tiny sliver of silver high up in the sky. So many people aboard; what are they doing, where are they going, what are they thinking about at that moment? Are any of them looking out their window, wondering about the people on the ground and what those people are doing? So many untold stories were up there.


I was on a train to Tampa a few years ago, gazing out the window, taking photos of the things I saw. Some things passed by too quickly to snap. At one point, we were passing a large field beside the tracks when I noticed a red Firebird in the middle of it. I don’t recall the year or much about it, except that it looked worn and unmaintained. There might have been no engine in it for all I knew, but I had no way of making that determination. I grew curious about it. Whose was it? How did it get into the middle of the field, and why was it left there? I also wondered how many others aboard that train and others like it spotted that Firebird; how many shared the same curiosity about it. Catching sight of that car wasn’t the same as seeing a famous landmark or a particular event, but regardless potentially hundreds if not thousands of people each year shared the same chance as I of catching sight of that abandoned car, a car with an untold story

When we rode through Lakeland I thought it very odd that all the streets were empty. There was no traffic, no people walking around. It wasn’t too early in the day so I don’t have any idea why the city that day seemed like a ghost town but there was a story to tell there, I’m sure.

I challenge you to look out your window and tell me what you see. Does it have meaning to you; is there a story there to be told?

There is a line of trees outside of where I used to work, and one tree in particular had caught my eye when I daydreamed out the windows. The foliage was full and thick, with what looked like clumps of green where the leaves seemed to be thicker than in other areas. It was just a tree, one among millions across the surface of this world, but that one reminded me of the tiny trees with plastic foliage clumped together that dotted the landscape of my HO-scale train set I had as a child.


My father had gotten me involved and interested in toy trains, a hobby he equally enjoyed. The train-set sat atop a flat wood board which itself sat atop a pool table when it wasn’t being used, in a spare room in my house that was my playroom. I had a cousin with a bad leg, and once when we were playing pool he tripped and fell so hard against the wall that the plaster broke and his body fell into the space between the walls, causing a gaping hole in the formerly white smooth wall surface. When my father yelled up from downstairs asking what that thud was, I yelled back: “Larry*just fell through the wall!”

My father was not too happy about that.

So you see, that tree outside the window of my old job was a storyteller, and those were the stories it reminded me of.

*Not his real name.



~inSpireShine


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Aug 22, 2014

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Marshmallow Creme Recipe & S'mores cake

For my birthday, I made my own cake. I wasn't going to, but then I saw an old double chocolate mix that we had and figured I would. I have been craving S'mores like nobody's bidness. So when I saw the chocolate cake mix I thought . . . well, why not make a S'mores cake! Mmm . . . right?

Well, I didn't have marshmallow creme and I thought the only way to make homemade marsh creme was by using cream of tarter. That was the only recipe I continued to come across. Then I found the one I'm going to write below. I altered it (as usual) and added more powdered sugar because I wanted a thicker creme. I'm not sure if the recipe that uses cream of tarter will make a stiffer creme since I have never made that version. If you have, let me know.

Either way, here is a picture of my cake, and then the recipe for the creme is below. You can see the yummy goodness that happens when it's hot in the kitchen.



The way that I made my cake was with a Double Chocolate cake mix, two 9" pans. Can't remember the brand. It was a dark chocolate with small chocolate chips. Since the mix had been sitting on the shelf so long, the chips weren't really hard.

I sprinkled graham cracker crumbs on the plate, added one layer of the cake, then covered with some marshmallow creme (don't do in a hot kitchen, that's all I'm sayin' lol). I added a sprinkle of graham crackers again, then another cake layer, and followed same process to finish. I think next time I may add a layer of cut bananas in the center layer as well. AND I will make a graham cracker crust inside the pans before I cook, then pour in the cake mix and cook after. Sprinkling the crumbled graham crackers didn't give it enough "graham cracker to chocolate cake ratio" for my tastes.

Marshmallow Creme Recipe
(I doubled the recipe and it gave me two jars, but this recipe alone is great for one cake)

1 egg white, room temperature
3/4 light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 c powdered sugar (down to 3/4 if you like a more liquidy creme)
2 1/4 tsp vanilla

Yield: 2 cups or so

Beat egg white, syrup, and salt until thick and doubled. I went about 5 minutes on HIGH with the handheld. Incorporate the rest on LOW. I mixed a long time at high afterward to keep it getting thicker.

In fridge this will last covered for about 2 weeks, and freezer, 1 month.

Also great for peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiches, which has become a favorite for me.

If you've tried anything like this, let me know. I'd love to know your recipe. Have you made homemade marshmallow creme with the cream of tarter? Is it stiff?
 
=============
This recipe was shared with me via Sherry in email. Sounds like a great alternative! If you'd like to add one, feel free to share in the comments. :D

Posting with permission:
I have made S'mores cake for years. I use Buttercream frosting mixed in w/Marshmallow Creme. I don't really have a recipe per say. I just use the Buttercream frosting to make the Marshmallow Creme spread easier. Just add the Buttercream frosting to the Marshmallow Creme until you have the consistency you want to spread over the cake. I probably use more Graham Crackers than you do. When I crush them for the frosting, instead of crushing them till they are nothing but crumbs, I leave some larger pieces in the crumbs to sprinkle between the layers & on top of the cake. You could also mix some of the graham cracker pieces into the cake after you have mixed it up. Just fold them into the cake mix. I also shave some chocolate (I use a Hershey's candy bar) to sprinkle between the layers & on top of the cake. I recommend keeping the chocolate in the fridge until you shave it & also after you shave it until you are ready to sprinkle it on the cake. It can get pretty messy otherwise.... Ohhh, I know what.....maybe using Hershey's Milk chocolate chips instead of a candy bar would work. Hmmm.....I might just have to try that....
=============  

Ariana
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Aug 21, 2014

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Who Is C. Christian Andersen?

This question has been asked by many.  My story is long, but it has been an amazing journey.

I was raised on the Old West, spending much of my childhood in places that still depicted a sense of what it was like, and what it is still like in these small farm villages of the Comstock areas of Nevada and California.  I had horses as a child and delivered my first foal by the time I was two.  Horses were my passion and they still are today.  I am involved with the "Let 'em Run Foundation" which was co-founded by my close friend Lacy J. Dalton to preserve our Wild Horse population for future generations to enjoy.
Every year thousands of wild horses are rounded up and sent to slaughter houses.
Wild Horse taken on Toll Rd. on the way to Virginia City, NV
I was less than 5 ft away when I took this photo.
I grew up here, but I haven't always lived here.  My Uncle was a high ranking official in the government, so I spent a lot of time traveling for visits.  I also spent a lot of time around movie sets.  I used to think I wanted to be an Actor, but I've learned that I prefer to be behind the scenes in Production.  My life is a song, so I spend a lot of time hanging out with the Musicians I love.  I love to laugh, so I surround myself with Comedians who make me happy.  I love to read, because it introduces me to the mind of another like me.  I love to write, because it helps me to find myself.

Tag along as I take you on a tour of this life that was granted by a Higher Power, and I will take you to places yet to be imagined.  Welcome to my world.

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Aug 20, 2014

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Ariana's Cafe - Prompt 8 - August 20, 2014

Find us on Twitter @ArianasCafe
I am @arianahbrowning

What is Ariana's Cafe?
Simply put: a place for the creative thinker.

How do I use the prompt?
However you like. Use it as inspiration for a discussion, use it to challenge yourself to blog on the prompt as a subject. Use it to help you with a scene that you're struggling with. Use it as inspiration for a piece of artwork.


Bottom line: use your creative mind to come up with something amazing from this prompt.

Are there any rules?

No captcha. If you want to have comment approval, leave a note near the comments area. Too many people have been losing comments, and if their comment disappears, they should know that it didn't go into never land.

No private blogs. If you share, make sure your blog is public. (You can always use my forum arianabrowning.proboards.com to blog publicly for a post, then share that link here.)

No Grammar Police. A lot of the people who join in are not professional writers. They enjoy writing to share their thoughts. Yes, we all appreciate someone who takes the time to spellcheck and grammar check, but not everyone knows proper grammar. We support with these blogs. Don't critique unless it's asked for.


Share whatever you come up with below in the comments. If it's a blog post, share the link (always write some sort of description on the link so people will know you are not just a spammer). If it's a short story you want to share, again, share the link to it. If it's just a thought you had from the prompt, or maybe a scene that it helped you with, share that too. You do not have to share more than you want to, but even if you gained something from this prompt, I would love to hear it so I know they are of value, and which ones are valued most.

You're welcome to tag me on any social network if you share there. :)

Here is the prompt for this week! See you next week.

Ariana's Cafe

Prompt 8 - August 20, 2014
@arianascafe | @arianahbrowning

I promise . . .

What does this mean? Only you can decide.

Here are some questions if you need help, or mix and match.

Writers: What was the promise made? Which character made the promise? Why is this promise important to the story?

Bloggers: What do you think of the term “I promise”?

Weekly question: Have you ever been promised something that was never delivered? How did that make you feel? What did you learn from it?

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Aug 17, 2014

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Washing the Laundry Pile of Life





I have a question for you. Do You Believe in Yourself?

"We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves."
-- Orison Swett Marden

What do you believe ABOUT yourself? If you are experiencing a lack of something in your life, chances are that you hold a belief in your subconscious that says you aren't worthy of having that quality. Write in your journal the answer to these questions for yourself:
 Where are you not good enough, not worthy enough?
 How willing are you to receive?  
--The Daily Guru

"We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
-- E.E. Cummings



Now, from the mind of Shine: 
At times I am sometimes a negative person dealing with a lot of negativity in my life and my thoughts. But despite the negativity, there are occasional brief spurts of positive thoughts, wants, and beliefs that come into my clouded mind like a ray of hope--or intent--shining through the settling smoke of emotional defeat. Many say, regarding defeat, that you are defeated only when you accept defeat, or when you are unwilling to rise above it to fight harder. Within myself, while one part of me felt defeated and wanted to surrender, there is another part of me that really wants to rise above it all and seek those things which mean much to me.

Yes, while one side of me is too tired, drained, and unconfident/insecure to try to wash the dirty laundry pile of my life, and would prefer to raise the white flag of surrender...the other side, though weaker in comparison, doesn't want to raise that white flag due to how dirty it is; dirty from being among the dirty laundry pile of my life that I've been too tired and weak to wash. Maybe that's my poetic justification for not giving up completely. There is a side of me that feels, ironically, that I can't surrender with a dirty white (dingy gray, actually) flag of surrender, not until I can at least wash the linens to produce a clean flag of surrender...

...because, perhaps subconsciously I know, once I have finally managed to wash that laundry pile and white surrender flag, there will be the victory of a clean laundry pile which would negate any reasoning for surrendering at all.

Does that mean that I've already won, by refusing to raise the dirty white flag? Perhaps yes from a certain perspective, but it’s no, not yet at least. There is still the chance that I would raise the dirty flag regardless. But there is still the chance as well, that I might find enough laundry detergent to wash the entire pile...and a book of matches to burn the flag to ashes.

I need to take the problems analogous to that dirty laundry pile and Shout it out, seek a Fresh Start, find the Method to Surf the rough waters and turn the Tide, pound with my Arm & Hammer rather than Gentle Care and Wisk the obstacles away, Win the battle, Lift Off the weight of regrets, feel Joy and all-temperature-Cheer in All areas of my life, Bounce back from negativity and be a Dynamo of inspiration in a new Era of positive thought, live in a Good Home of satisfaction, Spray & Wash the stains of discontent, find the Oasis of comfort, Gain the Simple Pleasures everyone wants, and eventually, finally, find that special someone to Snuggle with. And despite life giving me lemons, a little bit of lemony scent wouldn't be so bad, would it?


At times people have said that I have a dirty mind. Hey, not everyone has clean sheets you know. 




~inSpireShine
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