Seeing Red

As I zip around, up and down the I-5 corridor my heart skips a beat everytime I see RED. Mazda red to be exact. Swimming in a pool of monochrome and muted tones of blue, a sun beam spotlights this glowing red car radiating crimson root chakra energy down the freeway. You sexy thing you!

I’ve been noticing this red for a few years and this week I decided to find out what’s up with this color. Why does it attract my attention so? How was it created? It’s no surprise to me that Mazda calls their signature red “Soul Red Crystal”.

It seems Mazda is very proud of this color. They wanted to reinvent “red” and in doing so painted themselves into a corner (pun intended) because their “new red” could only be applied by hand. Not an efficient process for an international car company. So, Japan being Japan broke down their new process called, Takuminuri, which translates to English as “artisan coloring,” and taught their painting robots to duplicate the techniques of Mazda’s best craftsmen. Of course they did.

Creating Soul Red Crystal was a challenging process, and it required Mazda to reinvent the way cars are painted. Like any beautiful object, the way light dances across its surface is part of the beauty. The interplay of light and form inspired Mazda to create a paint with exceptional depth and reflective quality.

Mazda web site

Mazda goes on to say that they , “…view cars as art, and our desire is to have customers be emotionally moved by their car before even starting the engine.” Hmmmm…”emotionally moved?” I would argue that every manifestation of human emotional movements are activated just being near this color! It’s too sexy for it’s shirt to quote Right Said Fred.

Not only is this paint possibly the fanciest color out there right now, but it is also the most difficult to fix. But what did you expect from the Princess of Paint? “There’s no way to get around this…[Soul Red Crystal is] more complicated than what you’d find on any other car at their price points…” says Repairer Driven News. The paint chips more often than regular boring paint, and is more difficult to match. Well I think it’s still the hottest thing on the freeway. What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed learning more about this car color as I did. Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. I’m off to the races! Take care of yourself and those around you. -Shannon


Short Story: Wolf and Girl

You never know where a great idea for a story will come from.  To me the definition of a “great story” is one you can’t stop writing.  A world that awakens every time a finger tip hits a key, because you yourself love it!  

The story below is a snip from a writing warm up I started one morning, based on a dream I had.  Meant to only be 1-2 pages long, I have decided to expand it into a short story.  My original goal for the exercise was to add place and time to the events.  All stories have to have a world where they wiggle and run.  This is a “Great Story” and I can’t stop writing…  
Wolf and Girl

1364, the Black Forest of Germany and fairy tales, where witches hollered out spells to the sky, and blood sucking creatures, that feed on our dead less than fifteen years prior were born.  The Black Death brought the wolves down out of the forest and into the fringe boundaries of our little town where the dead were burned and buried.   Hungry wolves found dead bodies an easy meal.  Dead mothers, brothers, sisters dragged off, bones licked clean before a priest could speak a prayer.  Great hunters, immune to the plague, rose up, in honor of the dead.  These hunters were paid in wolf pelts, God’s blessing for returning the dead and free beers at the pub.  Hunting parties killed many wolves, none more than my father. 
Mother died in the plague.  Father said my birth weakened her.  Her heart was stronger than most, yet it was not her heart she gave me, but her eyes.  As I grew, I resembled her, which only angered my father more.  The memory of his dead love standing before him every day was like a cut that never healed.  Father’s fame of being the regions “champion hunter” died and ran off with the packs that left in search of new grounds.  Father is now a shell, angry, empty, and full of fermented drink and hate.  Hate towards me, hate towards God. 
When the wolf packs left, my beatings began.  They became more frequent after my hair darkened months later.  Black like the night, it draped over my features, keeping me hidden from him, when I escaped into the woods.  The woods were the last place I should hide from a “champion hunter” who, it was said “could track the wind itself through the thickest brush.”   Yet father let me hide.  He let me run.   His threats would race out the door, as sharp as his ax, chasing me up into the mountains, until my silhouette was hidden from site.  Always he stopped only four trees deep into the forest before resting up against an old pine.  The screams were like a wolf’s howl, words slurred by beer and grief, “Come home!   You can’t hide from me!  I am Reinhardt the greatest hunter!”   I ran until I all I could hear was the sound of the waterfall that never stops, and then I ran some more.

One day while picking berries I found a spot, high in the wood, where an old giant had been cut down.  It made for a nice table, bed and chair; a home for my imagination. In the day I would pretend this was my home, a happy place, full of peace and prosperity.  I was a princess married to a prince and our children were beautiful.   At night, if the sky was clear, moon light would find that tree stump through the dense crowd of conifers for a brief hour, “magic hour” I called it.  When father was at his worst and I knew there was hell to pay, I escaped to my magic place waiting for the beer to leave his blood.   
Last Night
There was a wedding in town.  Everyone in the village was invited and beer flowed like the river Danube.  Father drank more than ever that night.  Free beer goes down easy.  Tonight was my chance!
I raced home ahead of Father to pack, raced in the dark up the quickest trail to the cabin; stars guiding me.  The moon was still low in the sky.  It would be above the trees in a hour lighting my way away from here.  Tonight, the night of the full moon, would be the last night I would spend in the home I was born in.  I knew he would kill me, before forgiving God.  I packed, for a future unknown, I packed for my life.
~~*****~~

Home

This month the assignment for Artistic License was to write about HOME. It is a challenging subject for me since I am currently living with my brother, with no clear home of my own. These types of assignments lead me down a thought path of questions such as: what is home, where is home, and is home defined by me, those that live in it or both? Instead of writing about the +14 different places I’ve lived over the years, I decided to go inward, or backwards, to a moment in my childhood that is ONE definition of home to me. Here it is:

Like a hermit crab, I carry my house around. Attached to my memory enduringly fixed to the mind’s eye reminiscent of a freckle on the iris.

Such a summer day it was, the kind you record every sound and smell.
Was I 12 or 13? Was it July or August? Was it closer to one o’clock or two?

My childhood home on 9th Street. The home was empty; the family out in town, at a game, in the garden. Me? Napping atop my bed spread. Drifting into the lazy summer day.

The window wide open, yellow curtains being caressed by a breeze. A lawn mower or two run in the background. Neighborhood kids on bikes shouting commands, dogs bark for no reason. …I’m in love.

For a moment in time, one that guards my heart in crisis, the peace was seen, heard and felt- and accepted. I owned that day. I return to that day many times as only memories will allow.

This is my home…