Author Archives: trentpmcd

About trentpmcd

Trent P. McDonald Musician, composer, author, photographer, general creative.

The Weekly Smile for the 10th of January, 2022 #weeklysmile

Hello! It has been an odd week. After all of the excitement of the holiday season, after all of the excitement of the snowy owl, after the joy of getting my new ‘fridge (last week’s smile), after all of the great food, the family, the friends, etc., this week was almost a let down. OK, I’ll be fair, it was a return to normal. I had to put in a full week of work, I had to shovel snow, I had a lot of chores to do, etc. Normal.

I wasn’t frowning, but after the last few weeks, what stood out to make me smile?

If all else fails, there are kittens! Kittens are always worth a smile :)

Tiberius is about 7 months old, maybe 8. He is super playful and super cute. This week he has been even more active than usual. He played with anything and everything. Just a constant fur ball of energy. Alexander, who is maybe 17 months old and still a bit playful though says he is now a dignified “cat”, is worn done by the little guy, who then goes and forces Grace to play, plays with both dogs, with the humans and then by himself.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 8th of January, 2022 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a large mug of super strong dark roast, a piping cuppa tea or some hot cocoa. We’ll need a warm beverage after being out! It is a bit chilly, and we’ll see some very frigid weather later in the week. And what do you think of the snow? Not a huge amount, but enough to look like winter. Oh, were are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

Wow, a couple of weeks of no coffee post! Were do I start? Not just that, I blogged very little in the last month – I had less hits in December, 2021 than any month since April of 2014, which was my sixth month of blogging! In fact, I received as many views on Wednesday as I did the entire month of December. That isn’t very fair, since most of the views were people looking at my owl photos – Wednesday almost doubled my previous highest single day hit count.

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A Bit of Musical Fun… Overture to a Nursery Crime

Years ago I studied “contemporary concert music”, maybe better known as “modern classical”. Very early into my exploration, long before I had done a deep dive into harmony, counterpoint and such, I did this little joke recording. For the most part it came out pretty well. OK, the timpani rolls are, well, they sound more like machine guns than a musical instrument. I think overall the orchestration came out pretty well, particularly when you remember that I whipped this up in an afternoon.

Again, there are a lot of little jokes hidden in here. Some of the obvious ones – the melody broken up so different instruments play only one or two notes of it, relying on the entire orchestra to make the simple line. Or the poor clarinettist who can’t seem to be able to find the right notes in his solo, even when the first violinist comes by to help…

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It Lies Within

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

I hate cities and this one was no different, dingy and grey.  The crowds of people, far too many and far too close, were as washed-out and lifeless as the cold concrete.

I passed a pavilion filled with sterile art.  I steamed by, dismissive until I noticed.

Bright colors of nature in the form of traditional Japanese art.

I caught my breath.

The artist was painting a new scene, fresh as a spring day.

“How…?” I pointed.

He smiled.

“Beauty is not out there; it is in here.” He touched his heart.

Print in hand, I explored the beautiful city.

***

word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ Brenda Cox. If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.

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I don’t remember when I last participated in Friday Fictioneers. It was a busy December! I hope to be able to start back up again :)

Winter Snow haiku senryu

strike of a new year
radiant white and unformed
the future unfolds

*

blank white page
waiting for our mark
let’s explore

***

This was written for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge.  This week the form was poet’s choice, but we were also supposed to choose a color.  I chose white and two haiku-like poems (a haiku and a senryu) of form 5-7-5 and 3-5-3 (verified at sodacoffee.com/syllables).  I am also going to join Rebecca today.  I chose my own photo.  I’m not 100% sure if this really counts as a haiga, but hopefully it will work :)

Snowy Owl

I spent a lot of time walking on West Dennis beach last week. It isn’t my favorite beach, but it is very close. I was a bit surprised by the numbers of people walking despite the cool and damp weather, but that was fine – I can share ;)

I always start off at the far eastern point of the beach and turn back at different places depending on my mood. On Wednesday, despite my late start (I worked all day), I decided to walk down to the jetty by the river’s mouth. I had noticed a lot of people in one spot, many with cameras, just a little beyond where I’d turned back the day before and so I decided to investigate.

Yep, there was a snowy owl in the dunes. It was pretty dark by then, but I watched it for a few minutes before it flew off.

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The Weekly Smile for the 3rd of January, 2022 #weeklysmile

Hi all! Did you see that date up there? 2022? Wow. Anyway, it is a new year and I have a few good smiles, but I’ll limit it to one. OK, I will link back here with my owl post later today….

Some of you may know that a few years ago I bought a “new” house on Cape Cod. “New” means different, since the house is about 175 years old.Yeah, a lot of issues with old houses. One thing is most of the utilities were missing or old. The very first thing we wanted to replace was the refrigerator. We did order one in early 2020. After that we needed a new hot water tank/heater, new washer and drier, etc. But the ‘fridge never showed up. We went back last year (2021!) and found that because the business was sold there was a mix up. So we ordered again… This was in June.

And it showed up! We had it installed last Monday!

Sounds simple,right?

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The Weekly Smile for the 27th of December, 2021 #weeklysmile

Hi everyone! Yeah, my blogging lately has been pretty much nil. Last week was super tough work-wise, and so when I am not at work, I stay as far from the computer as possible. Since this is supposed to be a smile, I’ll leave that until later :)

Actually, this is going to be a pretty short smile, though I may have a mid-week coffee-share style chat later in the day or tomorrow to fill in the blanks. I’m also trying to keep this down to just one simple idea instead of a bunch of them, and so I will say “Christmas”. I know not everyone celebrates, which is fine. And compared to those that do, mine was very, very low key. I’ll also admit that in the lead up to the holiday I was not as much “into the spirit of things” the way people are supposed to be. Perhaps work? Perhaps. And it was an odd day of freezing rain all day. I finally made it out for a walk late, and I still felt I was taking mine (and the dogs) life into my hands to walk over that super slick surface, even though it was much better than earlier attempts.

Do I sound negative? Sorry, that is not my intention on this little scene setting. The big thing is despite all of that, there is still that holiday feeling. Perhaps it was best shown in a group of friends and neighbors watching the sun set on the shortest day of the year and drinking a champagne toast at exactly astronomical “sunset” to celebrate the coming of light.

And that is exactly what almost all of those winter solstice holidays and celebrations are about, even when “Light” is a metaphor or symbol. The idea and feeling that comes with it, are as old as mankind.

The mornings and evenings seem just as dark as ever, and I know that the deep winter has just begun, and yet there is always the feeling of a fresh new start, a turning of the corner, which, of course, culminates on the New Year.

So that is my smile for the week, Christmas.

What made you smile?

(A reminder – There will not be a Smile Recap post next week).

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Come on, I’m sure you smiled at least once last week.  Why don’t you share it?  I hope you can join in!

Here is list of “rules” and guiding ideas.  If you don’t have time to read it right now, just remember that this is an exercise to spread positivity.  Don’t smile about the misfortune of others.  Don’t smile in a way to excludes others.  Make sure a 12 year old can read it.

To join in, write a post to share your smile and then leave a comment on this post with a link to your smile.  Or, if you prefer, do a pingback to this post (pingback = have a link from your post to this one) (Note – pingbacks have been very inconsistent – please leave a comment :) ).   You can post any time until next Sunday evening (to be simple, I will say midnight GMT, which is 7 PM Sunday for me).  Note – I am no longer compiling the Smiles into a Recap post. I’ll try to get the new smile out between 7 and 8:30 Eastern Time.

The Weekly Smile for the 20th of December, 2021 #weeklysmile

Hi all! Last week was super busy and there was a huge amount at work going on. But there were a few good things. the weather was great, and I got a few runs in. I made my totally from scratch chili, which is always great. but I’ll save the official smile for something a little different.

Our Lions Club had our Christmas/Holiday party on Saturday night. It was a snowy evening and the “crowd” was very small,but it was nice. We have only met in person two or three in the last year and a half, so being together was good. OK, we did have a summer cookout, but that seems so long ago! So it was nice to see everyone. We had the typical Yankee Swap, which is always fun. For the most part it was the typical holiday party, talking, eating and all of those, but it was nice.

That was my smile for the week, a our local Lions Club Christmas/Holiday party and social time after a couple of years of semi-lockdown.

What made you smile?

(A reminder – There will not be a Smile Recap post next week).

****

Come on, I’m sure you smiled at least once last week.  Why don’t you share it?  I hope you can join in!

Here is list of “rules” and guiding ideas.  If you don’t have time to read it right now, just remember that this is an exercise to spread positivity.  Don’t smile about the misfortune of others.  Don’t smile in a way to excludes others.  Make sure a 12 year old can read it.

To join in, write a post to share your smile and then leave a comment on this post with a link to your smile.  Or, if you prefer, do a pingback to this post (pingback = have a link from your post to this one) (Note – pingbacks have been very inconsistent – please leave a comment :) ).   You can post any time until next Sunday evening (to be simple, I will say midnight GMT, which is 7 PM Sunday for me).  Note – I am no longer compiling the Smiles into a Recap post. I’ll try to get the new smile out between 7 and 8:30 Eastern Time.