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A working professional and part-time writer, full-time Mom and modern day Alice in Wonderland...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Raging Within

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 863 July 19, 2016
Let's try an example in perspectives. I've provided two and you take it from there with which ever one works for you.
1. A young woman not ready to die 2. An old man who is ready to die

The rain came down in heavy, swollen droplets. The weight of the water pressed the tall tomato plants in their wire cages down toward the ground. She found herself thinking about those tomato plants. They had grown remarkably lush, spreading well outside the confines of their towers. Their branches had extended out over the patio, heavy with the swell of ripened red fruit. She wondered if they would be permanently damaged by the storm or if they would rebound with the sun. They has seemed so strong before and now they appeared to be losing the battle with nature, in much the same way she felt she was.

There had been lots of tumultuous weather in her life, storm fronts she had withstood and rebounded from time and time again. She had started to feel stubbornly indestructible. Until yesterday. Until the call from the doctor had interrupted her marathon cleaning session and reordered her whole world. Tomorrow she would sit across from him, he would disclose the results and they would talk about time. She would learn how much she had left and she would be certain it would never seem like enough. She wasn't ready to die. She wasn't ready to bend her limbs to the earth and surrender all her beautiful ripeness to the dirt. 
"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 1343 July 19, 2016
Pick something that happened on this day and talk about it in your blog. I've included a link to give you some ideas.

1848 The first women's rights convention, called by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia C. Mott, was held in Seneca Falls, New York.

On this day in history, the first women's rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. I find this day and event significant as this country is witnessing the first ever female democratic nominee for the Office of the Presidency. As I write this I am astounded at how long it has taken us to get here. The fight for equality has raged on now for over 168 years. Whether or not Hillary is elected, women everywhere should recognize that she represents some measure of victory in the ongoing battle for equal rights. It has taken an excruciating long time for society to accept the concept of a woman as Commander in Chief when you consider that the credential committee of the World's Anti-Slavery Convention held in 1840 in London once ruled that women were "constitutionally unfit for public and business meetings".*

*Reference: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/suffrage1848/a/seneca_falls.htm

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jaden Laughs

My daughter has been in summer camp now for nearly two weeks. She has grown into it, day by day. I get few details about her day when I ask her. She's often worn out at pickup, preferring to climb into the air-conditioned car and sit quietly listening to the radio. When she decides she wants to talk it is usually much later, right before bedtime or when I'm trying to get her into the shower. She suddenly has lots of stories to tell me, like about her going underwater during swim lessons, getting pinched by a baby crab or a new friend she made that day. She chatters on, animated, her green eyes wide and her tan arms and legs in constant motion. My daughter at six is a whirlwind. I can barely keep up with the new lingo, expressions and interests she seems compelled to pick up on a daily basis. I find myself just looking at her, watching her playing with the neighbors or riding her razor around the yard, marveling at her beautiful, strong little body and her boundless energy. I wonder, had I been so full of promise and wonder at her age? So full of sass and spice? My favorite thing about this stage of her journey is the laughter. She has developed several distinct laughs and I hear them at regular intervals. There is the shy giggle, her old standby. She's got a mischievous snicker, reserved for times when she pushing the buttons and almost certainly bound for trouble. There is that slightly less than sincere chuckle for the times she knows the polite thing to do is laugh but she's not really feeling it. My favorite is the completely natural and hearty guffaw that rolls from her in unbridled waves, unhindered by self-consciousness. It is a sound rich with joy. It comes from the center of her budding sense of humor, from the untapped reservoir of fun and childhood mirth inside her. I love to hear her laugh like that. It is heartwarming and infectious.

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 858 July 14, 2016
Prompt: Collect moments, not things. Do you agree?

It is easy to lose the value in material things, to become trapped by the representation of success. Moments are fleeting cross-sections of time and space that can bring far more lasting joy than more tangible things can. I try to remember that its not the vacation photos that matter but the moments captured in those frames, the experiences and the feelings shared and exchanged. I know people who are consumed by the things they have or can obtain but their lives have a vapid quality, something seems lacking despite their obvious success. I think that is sad.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
Day 1338 July 14, 2014
Do you see podcasting as a means of getting your writing out there? Pros and cons?

I am new to all things "podcasting". It seems very "brave new world" to me and I think overall its great exposure for writers who understand how to use it. I am not one of those writers yet though. I have to garner my audiences in the "old ways" and that seems like enough of a challenge for me most days.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Blindspotting and New Snow

Today my heart feels so heavy...actually I think the best way to describe it is that my heart feels so weary. There are things in this life that are so demoralizing that they leech the hope right out of your bones. I have a unique and unfortunate perspective on dealing addiction, on dealing with an addict who is also a family member or loved one. The helplessness and sense of desperation of someone attempting to understand and process that type of situation, resonate with me deeply. I literally feel their pain, all the way to my soul. I've been there. Its hell on Earth and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy let alone someone I love. I know my words of advice may sound calice. I know I don't sound like someone who has compassion - but I do, in spades. It is just that I have been there, and barely made it out with my life. Trying to save someone who refuses to help themselves is like standing in quicksand in steel toed boots, or trying to put out a burning inferno with a silo cup of water. You can put in all the effort, all the love, all the fight you have at your disposal...and it doesn't matter. It doesn't mean we ever stop loving the addicts in our lives, or hurting for them, but we have to be strong in our hearts and in our conviction that we can not control their lives, that we are not responsible for their lives - only our own. An addict will wound you because they know your love for them will allow you to rip those wounds open time and time again, without ever healing...and one day you wake up and realize you've nearly bled out from trying, from caring, from loving. This is a difficult path and there are very cruel lessons to be learned. My heart is heavy because I know the burden, I know that self-doubt and that fear and that heartache. I know how it is to feel your spirit breaking off at the edges. I can only pray for you to have strength to do the things that need to be done, the things that seem heartless when you want to love so badly. I'm a bit distracted today but I've got to give my daily prompts a go...

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 855 -- July 11, 2016
It is said that everything outside our warm, safe circle is our blind spot. Do you sometimes think that you are blind to what’s in front of your eyes or that your subconscious has blocked something from your immediate knowledge of it?

Once upon a time, I think I did have a blind spot but fortunately my own personal trials have granted me a well-earned "eyes wide open" view. I'm a skeptic at heart now. I tend to always assume the worst and hatch a Plan B before I even know if I'll need a Plan A. My default setting is just two ticks shy of always have a contingency plan or escape hatch.

"Blogging Circle of Friends "
Day 1335: July 11, 2016
Prompt: Which season inspires you the most? Why does this season inspire you?

There is something about new fallen snow that inspires me. Waking to it first thing in the morning is like getting a do-over. The world looks for pristine and bright. It can be very beautiful. There is a stillness to new snow that always brings me peace.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Characters and Consquences

"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
Day 852 July 8, 2016
Let's try writing in a very confined space: A bathtub story. Your character/ or you are going to stay in this single, relatively confined space for your entry. Do you think you could write a good story with such restrictions placed on you?

Terri could feel the cold porcelain through the thin silk of the oxford shirt. The voices in the next room suddenly jumped several octaves and she heard a stream of explosive cursing. Terri instinctively slipped down lower in the empty claw foot tub, wrapping her arms protectively around her sides, trying to make herself smaller, less conspicuous than she felt. The bathroom was small, but classy. Terri had once thought it was elegant. The claw foot tub was immaculate and white, standing free in the center of the space. The walls were lemon yellow and the decor was retro chic. It was bright and airy, only now it felt like a prison. The ceiling fan slowing rotating above her head drove a consistent, steady stream of near frigid air straight down onto her head and shoulders, slipped right through the thin layer of cotton and chilling her to the bone.

She listened to the argument raging away in the next room and contemplated, not for the first time, the series of bad decisions that had landed her in this uncomfortable situation. Terri tried to focus on what her plan B was going to actually be if hiding in her lover's bathroom did not work out. She thought about what she might do if Lorne's husband suddenly threw open the door and found his ex-wife hiding, half naked in the bathroom of his brand new home. Things could get far more uncomfortable for Terri certainly than they were right now. As if the point needed to be driven home, the shiny chrome faucet began to drip. Icy cold water began running in rivulets over her bare feet and ankles. "Seriously?"

The volume of the voices had dropped again. Terri gripped the edges of the tub and drew body upward, straining to listen. She could swear she heard soft weeping. A bolt of panic surged through her, bouncing off the gleaming porcelain tomb around her. "Was Nadine in there confessing to him?" For a few fiercely painful moments she imagined her sitting on the end of the bed, her pretty blonde face soaked with guilty tears, one trembling hand pointing to the closed bathroom door...

"Stop that!" Terri commanded herself. Nadine would never expose her. She knew that as well as she knew anything in her life.

Suddenly, there was a single, terrified scream. Masculine. Not Nadine. There came the sound of breaking glass and an ominous, heavy thud somewhere in the house. Terri's ears registered the sounds and therir horrifying implications just as the bathroom door flew open so violently, the hinges tore out with a splintering crash.


"Blogging Circle of Friends "
Day 1332 July 8, 2016
I was reading Creating Characters by the editors at Writer's Digest and came across this:
There is a character hierarchy where not all characters are created equal. They indicate place holders,walk ons, minor characters and your lead characters create the story. I'm curious how do you measure the importance of each character before the story develops or does it just fall into place?

I think character development typically begins well before I write the first word of any fictional piece. I tend to see the characters or character first, then the plot naturally seems to build around them. There always is a tangible connection between any of my main characters and some element or elements of myself. I feel I write stronger that way, craft more relatable characters whether they end up being protagonists or antagonists. Having characters be engaging to my readers is so important because I typically produce shorter fiction. I have a finite number of words with which to capture, engage and entertain. Limited word counts mean I have to develop those characters quickly and tell their complete story - carrying all the threads through to the end. It is challenging, but perhaps less so than writing novel length fiction where you have room to stretch your legs a bit more but have a lot more work to get done with those "legs".

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Remembering Rainbows

Prompt: "We may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way." Gloria Gaither What is your take on this?

Sometimes this life's journey feels like one long, perpetually running stumble. The past year has been filled with proverbial potholes of finding judgment instead of understanding and disdain instead of loyalty. There have been moments when I have had to remind myself that each experience, be it disappointing or uplifting, is part of a bigger journey to understanding this world and one's place in it. I have come to a better clarity than I had before, even if that clarity brings a sadness and sense of loss in its wake. I feel I have a better understanding of what I mean to people in my family, my friendships, my workplace...and for me that has helped shape who I am. That has true value, even if it feels hard earned at times. Life is messy but it is also beautiful and fleeting, not unlike a rainbow. I've realized that there is more joy in life than most of us expect and that its usually the quiet moments that affect the biggest changes or make the deepest impressions on our hearts.

When I was little my grandmother used to ask me to sing her Kermit's "Rainbow Connection"...and I remember doing it quite often. I never seemed to recall all the verses but she typically joined in somewhere along the way. The song always makes me think of her, and those sweet moments I shared with her during my childhood. It is a sound about dreaming, about believing there is more to the world than the very literal and tactile elements of daily life. My grandmother is very much a dreamer, a believer in the power of all things artistic and ethereal. It is, I think, one of her greatest gifts. She has been a powerful influence in my journey.  An avid painter and a poet, my grandmother has taught me to appreciate the beauty in life and the value of all of life's lessons - even the difficult ones. She has taught me to take the time to appreciate the colors, the textures and the patterns all around me and use them to create my own art, to enhance my own craft. As I write this, I realize I would do well to remind myself of her lessons, of her contribution to my life.  I need to focus more on the positive, on the good and less on things that may have wounded me and left me feeling more estranged from her in the last year. There were times in my life that my grandmother's rainbows brought color and light when there could have been only darkness for a girl who felt invisible and lost. I really should do a better job of remembering that truth.

Friday, July 1, 2016

My Dark Sister

My dark sister is cherry painted nails, a black bra strap, a pulsing beat. My dark sister slips into sweat soaked dreams and lurks beneath the skin, a shadow the color of sin. She beckons with a siren's song and rakes the soul with poisoned fingertips. 

 Sometimes I find a line or a start of something and I'm caught completely unaware by where the string of literary logic may have been heading. Reviewing some old blogs, I found the brief passage above residing under the date of July 7th 2010, seven months after the birth of my daughter. I am surprised at the tone, much more ominous then one would expect from such a newly minted mother.  It resides, somewhat uncomfortably between an entry about being depressed and looking for a homeopathic doctor and a blog about feeling joyful just watching my infant daughter sleeping peacefully. Yo-yo much?  Clearly, I was dealing with a roller coaster of emotions at that particular time in my life.  Once again I am thankful that writing was always my preferred method of coping, surely it has kept me med-free and saved a ton of cash on therapy sessions over the years.

So who or what is my dark sister?

An alter ego? A manifestation of dormant deviance? A metaphor for an atypical suburban mid-life crisis?

Well, whoever she was or is, she sounds pretty bad-ass. I think I may keep her around a bit longer.  Who knows, she may show up in a story someday with her sin-colored shadow and deadly digits...