Pilates Mat List

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For my Pilates people, here is a list of the advanced Flow Mat series. Now you have no excuses not to practice it at home. Start with the ones you recognize; bring questions for those you don’t. Check out Joe’s class doing the Teaser above.

Level Five Mat

  • Footwork
  • FW
  • Hundreds
  • hundred
  • Roll-Up
  • rolldown
  • Roll-Over
  • rollover
  • Tree
  • tree
  • Single Leg Circles
  • legcircle
  • Rolling Like A Ball
  • ball
  • Single Leg Stretch
  • snglegstr
  • Double Leg Stretch
  • dbllegstrch
  • Scissors
  • sab
  • Double Leg Lower &Lift
  • DLLL
  • Elbow to Knee
  • ETK
  • Around the Clock
  • Around-the-Clock-graphic-300x296
  • Spine Stretch
  • spinestretch
  • Hip Stretch
  • Photo 39
  • Open Leg Rocker
  • olrocker
  • Corkscrew
  • cork
  • Saw
  • saw
  • Swan
  • swan
  • Single Leg Kick
  • snglegkick
  • Double Leg Kick
  • dbllegkick
  • Cat-Cow
  • cat
  • Neck Pull
  • neckpull
  • Hips Off Scissors
  • scissors
  • Hips Off Bicycle
  • bicycle
  • Shoulder Bridge (w/kicks)
  • shldbdg
  • Spine Twist
  • Spinetwist
  • Jack Knife
  • jack
  • Side Kicks (front back, big circles, up-down, develope, little circles, bicycle, squeeze-lift, beats, flutter, kick)
  • sidekick
  • Heel Over Knee Hip Stretch
  • Photo 27
  • Teaser Variations
  • teaser
  • Hip Circles
  • hipcirc
  • Swimming
  • swim
  • Leg Pull Front
  • legpull
  • Leg Pull
  • legpullf
  • Side Kicks Kneeling
  • kickkneel
  • Mermaid/Side Bend
  • MSB
  • Twist 1
  • twister1
  • Twist 2
  • twist2
  • Boomerang
  • boom
  • Seal
  • Untitled
  • Crab
  • crab
  • Rocking
  • rocking
  • Control Balance
  • balancecontrol
  • Push-ups (leg up)
  • pushup
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noun+noun=more

My latest collection: phrases comprised of two nouns that convey meaning beyond the sum of their parts. Do these things have an official name? All I know is that I love them.

  • battle mentality
  • cleavage lean
  • courtroom cruelty
  • death factory
  • faith wound
  • firework kids
  • gawker bottleneck
  • gospel baritone
  • gossip food
  • grudge elephant
  • hound loyalty
  • love history
  • memory flinch
  • mind whip
  • muscle corset
  • nightcrawler fingers
  • ordeal justice
  • shadow facts
  • skeleton trees
  • spectator pews
  • trouble magnet
  • undertow voice
  • whiskey kiss

I’m still missing several letters for the alphabet list, so let me know if you find some favorites in your reading.

 

Fresh

Here’s my story, Fresh, written from a prompt of an oyster picture. Fresh was selected for first runner-up at The Angry Hourglass this past week. I wrote three different oyster stories based on the difficult prompt. The first was about a couple arguing over oysters (and infidelity) at dinner, the second was about the demise of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company as its farms were turned back to wilderness land, and the final one was this campy romp. If you’d like to see Fresh in its natural state with the other AH stories, go here.

FRESH

Vince wanted the new management position, so he had accepted the dinner invitation despite his misgivings. Everyone at Archer Daniels Midland avoided Doctor Hopkins, but the man still had scientific cachet.

Vince rang the doorbell and stared at the sprawling gothic house.

“Vincent! Come in.” Hopkins smiled just a little too broadly, and his eyes flashed with glints that sent uneasy ripples up Vince’s spine.

“The wife’s delayed in Atlanta,” Hopkins said. “It’s just you and me.”

Vince tried to conceal his dismay. “I would have liked to meet Mrs. Hopkins.”

“Next time. Gin and tonic?”

“Please.” Vince glanced around the main room. He’d never seen art like this before. Leather sculptures? Skins? And odd—creatures?—in glass bottles everywhere. One looked like a pig fetus.

Hopkins handed him a tumbler. “Drink! I’ve got oysters. Fresh. The wife likes ‘em with lemon, but I prefer a nice horseradish sauce.”

Oysters: not Vince’s favorite. Vince peered at the bowl of oysters on ice.

“Fresh,” Hopkins repeated, his smile widening as he selected an oyster and slurped it.

Vince blinked. Had he just seen the oysters wriggling in their half-shells?

“I think they’re still alive, Doctor.”

“Yes, yes, they taste better that way!” Hopkins appeared unperturbed, pressing an oyster on Vince, who swallowed it reluctantly.

He almost gagged on the slithering thing. “But they aren’t supposed to move like that even in their—um—natural state.”

Hopkins froze, his smile plastered on his face like a madman’s leer. “I’ve been having some fun, fiddling with a side project in addition to our work on new preservatives at ADM. The wriggling is a side effect of the preservative. Nothing to worry about.”

“W—what’s in the preservative?” Vince swore he felt the oyster crawling back up his esophagus.

“Oh, a little of this, a little of that. You know, stem cells, microbial digestive by-products. I want ‘em fresh.” Hopkins waved suggestively at the glass jars spread throughout the kitchen, beaming. “You and I, Vincent, are making history as my first human subjects!”

Vince didn’t hear him. He was too busy clawing at his throat, struggling to get a breath past the obstructing oyster.

Flash Fiction

Flash fiction isn’t my preferred mode of story-telling. I read and write novels. I like big, chewy ideas and intricate plots with many fingers. I like games of perspective. I have to force myself to write a short story, and flash is the extreme of short. But I’ve been trying to write some flash fiction for a few reasons:

The very short format works perfectly with my limited schedule. It can be hard to jump into my novels when I only have thirty minutes to write. Also, I’m always looking for ways to become more streamlined. Writing flash fiction helps me hone my editing skills and distill my stories to their essence.

One of the things I like about flash fiction is that it’s fun to finish something. Finisher’s accomplishment has been pretty lacking in my writing life, given that I write every day. I’ve produced two novels, but I’ve written thirteen others, including seven intertwined fantasy books whose revisions never end. Finishing something in just a day or two is thrilling and addictive.

One of the things I don’t love about flash fiction is that as a form it seems to prize stylized writing. That makes sense in such a small format that straddles the line between poetry and fiction, but I avoid flair. I’m more of a concept writer than a poetic writer. I cut anything I think of as pretty or purple on principle, because I know that the phrases I find pretty today make me writhe tomorrow. After slaying my darlings for so long, it’s hard to produce flashy language. We’ll see if my prettiness tolerance increases with more time writing the flash. I’m doubtful. You can’t change a #flashdog’s freckles.

For me the real exercise of flash fiction is aligning the story skeleton all at once, in a flash. The form demands a tight, contained process, unlike the novel, which can start out as a sprawling mess of half baked ideas, goopy plot batter, and colorful sprinkles of random images. Often I feel grumpy about working in such a tight space. But I feel grumpy about Turkish get-ups with the kettlebell, too, and eating my leafy greens. When something makes me grumpy, I know it’s fortifying in the best way.

 

What a Body Can Do

My dad asked for a verb list after my last post, so here’s one of my favorites:

Body Action Verbs:

  • arch
  • bounce
  • climb
  • dart
  • emerge
  • flop
  • gambol
  • hunker
  • invert
  • jiggle
  • kneel
  • lean
  • mince
  • nestle
  • oscillate
  • plummet
  • quiver
  • roll
  • slither
  • tuck
  • undulate
  • veer
  • writhe
  • x (I haven’t got a body-action verb for x. If you do, let me know!)
  • yank
  • zip

 

All the Interesting Stuff

Confession: I make alphabetical lists of all kinds of words for different purposes. I have action verb lists, plant lists, things-buildings-can-do lists, and all-time favorite word lists. Here’s my alphabet list titled “All The Interesting Stuff.” I use it when I need a story idea.

  • Addiction
  • Adultery
  • Belief
  • Betrayal
  • Civil War
  • Cyborgs
  • Defiance
  • Disobedience
  • Espionage
  • Ethnobotany
  • Flukes
  • Forbidden knowledge
  • Gambles
  • Gods
  • Hexes
  • Honor
  • Incest
  • Iniquity
  • Jealousy
  • Jeopardy
  • Longing
  • Love
  • Magic
  • Murder
  • Nature
  • Netherworlds
  • Outcasts
  • Outer Space
  • Passions
  • Perdition
  • Quandaries
  • Queens
  • Relentless Pursuit of Power
  • Revolution
  • Seduction
  • Serendipidity
  • Tempests
  • Theft
  • Unrequited love
  • Unknowns
  • Valor
  • Vengeance
  • War
  • Wastrels
  • Xenophobia
  • Xenotransplantation
  • Yielding
  • Yin and Yang
  • Zealots
  • Zeitgeists