What I've Written About

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Keeping up “The Love”


Let me begin with a passage by Mark Twain from his book Life on the Mississippi. I was going to take a small portion of this, but it is so well written, the language must be enjoyed by all…

     Now when I had mastered the language of this water and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored to me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry had gone out of the majestic river! I still keep in mind a certain wonderful sunset which I witnessed when steamboating was new to me. A broad expanse of the river was turned to blood; in the middle distance the red hue brightened into gold, through which a solitary log came floating, black and conspicuous; in one place a long, slanting mark lay sparkling upon the water; in another the surface was broken by boiling, tumbling rings, that were as many-tinted as an opal; where the ruddy flush was faintest, was a smooth spot that was covered with graceful circles and radiating lines, ever so delicately traced; the shore on our left was densely wooded, and the sombre shadow that fell from this forest was broken in one place by a long, ruffled trail that shone like silver; and high above the forest wall a clean-stemmed dead tree waved a single leafy bough that glowed like a flame in the unobstructed splendor that was flowing from the sun. There were graceful curves, reflected images, woody heights, soft distances; and over the whole scene, far and near, the dissolving lights drifted steadily, enriching it, every passing moment, with new marvels of coloring.
     I stood like one bewitched. I drank it in, in a speechless rapture. The world was new to me, and I had never seen anything like this at home. But as I have said, a day came when I began to cease from noting the glories and the charms which the moon and the sun and the twilight wrought upon the river's face; another day came when I ceased altogether to note them. Then, if that sunset scene had been repeated, I should have looked upon it without rapture, and should have commented upon it, inwardly, after this fashion: This sun means that we are going to have wind to-morrow; that floating log means that the river is rising, small thanks to it; that slanting mark on the water refers to a bluff reef which is going to kill somebody's steamboat one of these nights, if it keeps on stretching out like that; those tumbling ``boils'' show a dissolving bar and a changing channel there; the lines and circles in the slick water over yonder are a warning that that troublesome place is shoaling up dangerously; that silver streak in the shadow of the forest is the ``break'' from a new snag, and he has located himself in the very best place he could have found to fish for steamboats; that tall dead tree, with a single living branch, is not going to last long, and then how is a body ever going to get through this blind place at night without the friendly old landmark?
     No, the romance and the beauty were all gone from the river. All the value any feature of it had for me now was the amount of usefulness it could furnish toward compassing the safe piloting of a steamboat. Since those days, I have pitied doctors from my heart. What does the lovely flush in a beauty's cheek mean to a doctor but a ``break'' that ripples above some deadly disease? Are not all her visible charms sown thick with what are to him the signs and symbols of hidden decay? Does he ever see her beauty at all, or doesn't he simply view her professionally, and comment upon her unwholesome condition all to himself? And doesn't he sometimes wonder whether he has gained most or lost most by learning his trade?

WOW!
Impressive, huh?

And this is what my blog post is all about.

I have always loved writing. I wrote poetry and short stories and picture books. And I loved them all. Then I decided to write a novel. And then another novel. And I decided to take some classes to learn more about how to improve this writing, and how to make it the best it could be. And I worked at it and I loved it.

Then.

I decided to try to get it published.

And I went over it sentence by excruciating sentence. And I thought about whether these characters were actually believable. And I worried that the plot wasn't right, or that the idea itself wasn't sellable. And I stressed and fretted and re-wrote and revised some more.

And I learned something.

These stories I had loved so much were becoming Mark Twain's river. I knew the nuances, avoiding the clich├ęs, creating the characters, nursing the plot points.
BUT I lost the love of the river at sunset, or I should say…I lost the love of just creating a story "for the fun of it."

Now I'm trying to get it back.

It's hard.

But yesterday…I created something I felt was beautiful in my eyes. It was phrased wonderfully and moved the plot forward AND built the character ALL IN ONE SENTENCE. And I thought…


WOW!

I am so glad I learned what I did, or I never would have been able to write this. Just like this. Perfect in my eyes.

So bring on the occasional missed sunset. If learning about the currents can help me write like that…well…I just think it's worth it.

Tell me. What point you are at in your life? Are you still enjoying the gorgeous sunsets and the water rippling in golden hues? Or are you only noticing the log jams and hidden dangers?
Whatever point you're at, I hope you remember to KEEP UP THE LOVE.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Scars Vs. Stars

I write YA books. Or...at least...I try to write YA books. Lately though, I've been wondering if I have the chops for this kind of writing. I mean, it's not like I was a teenager yesterday, or the day before that, or the year before that.


Basically, I have to use my memory in order to write like a teenager. Which is weird and scary and in some ways, non-authentic.


Am I a freak that I can remember what it was like to be a teenager really well? Some days, I still feel like a teenager. And some days those scars and stars I took on me as a teenager seem really... well... real.


So what are SCARS and STARS?




Well, this stems from a little belief of mine.


See, I think, essentially, that we are all exactly the same. I mean, if you look at DNA, every human is exactly the same EXCEPT FOR 1% of their DNA sequence. To be human, you have to have all those human characteristics, right? So where does that 1% come in?


Oh I'm sure a scientist could tell you exactly where that falls. But I'm not a scientist.

I think it falls under your STARS and SCARS.


Let me explain it this way.


What if you took a set of identical twins. They look EXACTLY the same, grow up in EXACTLY the same house with EXACTLY the same parents. Now, let's say that when they are teenagers they fall in love with EXACTLY the same boy. And let's say that this boy falls in love with one of them and they get married. For the girl who was chosen, this would fall under her STAR category. This is wonderful for her. But for the girl who wasn't chosen, this would go in her SCAR category. She can pretend to get over it, but never really does because she's SCARRED.

I bring this up, because I write with my SCARS And STARS fresh in my mind.

I fell in love with someone when I was in high school. We dated for a couple of years...and then it all fell apart. Now I'm happily married. But there is this small sixteen/seventeen year old portion of my soul that still aches when I think about him, that still causes me to be nervous that I will run into him. That reminds me what it feels like to love someone and have them not love you back. That makes the heartache seem fresh.


So when I have to write about this kind of thing in my book. I use that SCAR to help me write.


I won't go into my STARS because I don't want to seem like a major BRAGGER. But... ahem... I have many of those STAR moments as well.


So my question is...'Is it enough to use your STARS and SCARS to write? To write true, realistic YA do you need to be a teenager, or have a teenager, or study teenagers? What do you think? AND do you use your SCARS and STARS to write?

Monday, November 29, 2010

How do you do it?


I've been blogging pretty heavily (at least for me, the used to be queen of the once-a-month blog), following lots of people, facebooking, trying to Twitter, etc. etc. etc

Can I just say that it is consuming ALL of my time. AND I HATE that it is.

See before someone told me that I needed to start promoting myself and joining social networking sites, and gaining followers, I used to be a mom, a full time employee, and a writer. Now I feel like I am being controlled one hundred per cent by my computer and the internet.

Don't get me wrong. I've found some fabulous blogs to follow and new friends and lots of ideas to inspire me. But it is sucking away my entire life.

For me, it is a miracle to get even one blog post up a week, and yet I see these people who do one every day. I see people who tweet and twitter every two minutes, and change their status update on Facebook three times a day, and I just have to ask...

Does your life revolve around facebook updates, twitter tweets, reading blogs, writing blogs, following blogs, etc? And if it does, do you work full time?

Sometimes I feel like the only working mom who is crazy enough to take on this kind of craziness. Is this true? Is it not?

So I guess what I'm doing is taking a poll.
Comment on one or all of these questions.

1. How many sites are you a part of (facebook, twitter, blogger, etc.,etc.)?
2. How many blog posts do you do a week?
3. How many people to do follow?
4. How do you keep up on all the people you follow without burning out?
5. Do you work full time/ part time/ or from the home?
6. What advice can you give to me in order to keep up with it all and not have it consume every spare minute of my life?

And that's it. I feel like my writing is suffering because I'm networking so much I don't have time for it anymore. It makes me sad. :-( I miss writing.

What would you do if you were me?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cubies Are Special...Wait...What's a Cubie?

Okay, Okay, so I know that ninety per cent of people, possibly more, don't know what a Cubie is.


That's okay.


I don't blame you right now, but just know that in five years (if you still don't know what that is) you will be out of the loop...


I HOPE.


See I belong to what is (in my opinion) the best writing group of all time. No. No. Don't tell me yours is good too. I won't believe you.


I've written about my love for them here and here. Go ahead and read those posts. They say a lot about how fabulous we all are. :-)


Well, this group is called "WRITERS CUBED", and we lovingly refer to each other as cubies. (I know that's a little teenager-y, but we write YA for the most part, so that makes it okay).


How did we come up with this name?


Let me share a little tidbits with you about the "specialness" of cubes.


1. Cubes are equal in proportion, size, and shape on every side. This makes it so that everything is equal: the sides, the vertices, the faces, the baces, etc. (Not unlike the Knights of the Round Table, except for much better, because everyone still knew Arthur was the "leader" of that little group even though we supposed to be on equal footing. (Sorry...off on a tangent). Everyone in our group is equal. Whether we've written one story or four, have been published or not, we treat each other as the same. It's awesome.


2. At any time, one of the faces can be the base of the cube. This means that we split the duties of holding everything together equally. We have times when we listen and be a "face" and other times when we lead and be the "base." Great sharing of responsiblities.


3.With the cube, the volume is equal to the third power of any of its dimensions. Which means, as a whole, the cube is equal to three times the amount of any of the sides. Our writers group feels that we are greater when combined together than we would be navigating the world of writing and publishing on our own.


Pretty cool huh?


But what does this have to do with you?


Our group has just launched a new website. Writer's Cubed
(click on word to go to the site...or click on the picture in my sidebar)


Our goal is to help other writers "hang in there" "keep at it" and generally "stick together". Create your own CUBE of writing friends who bolster you up, hold you together, and be your base and support every once in a while.


So head on over there and become a follower. You won't regret it.


(Well, maybe you will...but I don't see why...)


Thanks CUBIE friends for always being there for me. For pushing me to keep writing when I really want to give up or feel like the worst writer in the world. For being my friends through this whole crazy journey!


What about all of you? Who supports you in your writing/blogging journey? Who inspires you to be better than you are?


Don't have that? We can help... WRITERS CUBED! wants to help you become the best writer you can be. :-)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Homework Hatred...You'll Thank Me Later.

I am an adult now. I have been for, oh, about a while. However, there is one thing I have never grown out of...


HATING HOMEWORK

Lest you think I'm lazy, which I'm not, I'm going to give you some very good reasons why homework is a complete waste of time. All of these reasons have been proven with research into child education. (I just didn't want to dredge up my old college and workshop papers to cite references.)


Feel free to tell your child's teacher these reasons the next time your second grader is given an assignment to do a five page report on a country, or do thirty math problems, or fill out a grammar worksheet.


Are you ready?


1) READING:
The only homework EVER to have proven that it improves the way your child thinks is READING. And I'm not talking a little bit here. Thirty to forty minutes is minimum, and I'm not kidding. Of course, this includes you reading aloud to them and talking about what you read and them reading on their own. So if they are little, you read more, if they are older they read more. That's it. It is the ONLY kind of homework that has been proven with research to actually do something for your child. Got it? The only thing!


2) MATH:
Math is only improved by doing lots of problems if your child is getting them perfect every time. If a child is long dividing wrong, doing thirty problems only ingrains the wrongness in their brains and makes them do it wrong forever. In fact, it has been proven that if a child can show they get five problems right, in a row, without any help at all, they know how to do that kind of math. They shouldn't need to do any more than that. In my opinion, teachers just assign that many to make themselves look like they are teaching a lot, but I'd like to know, if you assigned my child forty-five problems, and there are forty-five problems on the page, which problems did they do with the teacher? Hmmmm...think about that for a minute.


3) WRITING:
The reason that writing homework is so dumb is that teachers don't teach the child how to do the assignment before they assign it. Do you know how frustrating it is when my child comes home, says they have to write a two page report on something, and then has no clue on how to do it? I equate it to teaching someone how to build a house by handing them a hammer and a saw and saying, "You have a hammer and saw right? Good luck!". It makes no sense, but often a teacher hands my child a pencil and a piece of paper and says, "Create an essay. You have the paper and pencil right? Good Luck." I'm not against you assigning it. You just better teach them how to do it first. Because, you see, a parent's job is to support and help. A teacher's job is to teach. End of story.


4) HUMONGOUS PROJECTS:
Okay, this is my number one pet peeve. Once again, they are something a teacher assigns and never teaches. If you are going to assign my child to make a diorama, you better show them how that is done AND give them the materials to do it. If you want them to make a paper mache of a state, you better teach them how to mix paper mache and mold it into something. If you want them to write a song in honor of a past president, you better have taught them the musical notes, poetry, and rhythm. Do you see what I'm saying? This kind of homework is homework for parents, not kids. And if you as a teacher can not explain the educational benefit "the child" gains by doing this project, then it isn't a worthwhile project. I am busy enough in my life. I have to jump through hoops all day. I don't need more busy work. I've got enough going as it is.
*Note:Parent led projects are a product of nineteen fifties education. The problem is that back then we were training them to work in a factory. Part of what they needed to learn was to jump through stupid hoops and shut up so they wouldn't get fired. Now we are competing globally. They should be doing things that make them marketable--which would be becoming better readers, writers, and users of oral language. Enough said.


Above all else, my problem with meaningless homework is that it is given to "force" parents into supporting their children in school. I don't need to be coerced into helping my child with things that will really improve the way they think and the way they problem solve. I care about that. I care about things that have been proven to make my child a better student. You don't need to "Make" me do it. Because if you do, I will hate your guts when I'm running to the supermarket at one o'clock in the morning to pick up posterboard to make a collage of things that start with the letter 'A'.


Bonus Bad? The parents who don't really care about what is happening at school don't help their child with the crazy homework. Then their child doesn't ever do the homework, and the child is blamed because their "parent" didn't do their homework. That doesn't make sense. Don't assign it if a child can't do it themselves without a minimum amount of support.


Last, I want you to know I'm not just an angry parent spouting off my beliefs. I am an educator. I taught fifth grade in public schools for nine years and am currently a Literacy Specialist for my school district. My main fight is always about homework and how it really benefits the child doing it. Most of the things teachers still assign at school are products of nineteen fifties (or earlier) beliefs. The world has changed and so should the homework...that's all I'm saying.


So the next time your child is given some whacked out school assignment to build a working replica of a Native American settlement, feel free to print off this blog post. Or at the very least, ask the teacher what educational benefit your child is gaining from doing this asinine busy work, and what they (as the teacher) have taught the students about Native American villages and how they ran. (Because you can know how a Native American settlement worked, ran, and looked without ever having to build one.)



         (Now that is a twenty-first century thinker)

What about you? Do you hate homework? Like it for the bonding time you get with your child? Or are you just happy you are out of that faze of your life?

Signing Off,


Margie


To play along in our visit through the alphabet...go to Jenny's...Jenny Matlock

Monday, November 1, 2010

No No to the NaNo

It's National Novel Writing Month and I can honestly say...

There is no freaking way I will ever get a full novel written in one month. So I'm not even gonna try.

I'm the type of writer who tries to get everything right the first time. Or at least "right enough" that I only have to re-draft seven or eight times.


I work full time, take care of three kids and a husband (so you might as well count that as four kids), help with homework, write, exercise, blog, be a friend, and try to sneak in a few hours of sleep every night. If that makes you tired, it should. It certainly makes me tired.

But I'm off on a tangent. I guess what I'm trying to say is that there isn't much room in my life to do things a million times because I didn't get it right the first go around.

Anyway...I did think it would be a good time to set a lofty goal for myself in regards to my writing, because frankly, the other facets of my life have almost nixed my attempts to get something on the page. Therefore--

dun

dun

dun

My humongous goal--that is going to be stinking impossible to accomplish, but I am determined to do it--is toWrite 30,000 words in the month of November on my current manuscript.

I figure that if I "Put it out there" then I will be more likely to try to accomplish said goal. It will be HARD. But isn't that what a lofty goal is supposed to be?

So GO AHEAD...

DO IT...

MAKE A CRAZY RANDOM GOAL OF YOUR OWN.

RIGHT HERE.

RIGHT THIS SECOND!

What is your goal for the month of November?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FRIENDSHIP AND An Awkward EX Moment

My friend Jo—awesome person and author that she is—is hosting a blogFEST. Well the letter F is for friends, and since Jo is one of my best ones, I am actually displaying some actual writing of my own. BUT only because she asked me to. J

For her thing, you are supposed to write about an awkward "Meeting of the Ex-es" moment. It has taken me some time, but here is what I came up with. (Just so you know, this was scary for me. I hardly ever post my actual writing.) I'm taking a stab at writing from a grown up MALE perspective. Believe me, this is a HUGE stab. I write YA, so all of my stuff is teenage girl stuff. Therefore, forgive me if I accidentally slip into snarkiness. It's the comfortable writing attire for me. I also decided to write about the build up to the awkward ex moment and let you figure out the rest yourself. Anyway…here goes…

READ AWAY! (I'll just be over here, biting my nails)



PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES
"Hey, Honey, where did that new dress shirt go?" I flip through the clothes hanging in my closet. Normally, I don't care much about what I look like, but tonight is special.

"Which dress shirt?" she calls from the other room.

"The blue one. The one I bought yesterday."

"I washed it." My wife walks into the room dangling the freshly ironed shirt from a fingertip. She puts a hand on her hip. "Why are you trying to look so fancy anyway? It's only parent teacher conferences? Most people just wear jeans and a t-shirt." She hands me the shirt, then steps around me to look through her jewelry box. That's what really bothers me. The way she never looks at me anymore.

My fingers shake as I put it on and button it up. I hope she doesn't notice. I hope I'm acting casual enough. I turn away from her and clear my throat. "I thought everyone dresses up for these things."

"Nope." She pulls out a necklace. "No one."

Finally, she walks to her side of the closet and yanks out a button up shirt and some kind of dressy pants. She holds them out to show me. "But if you want to look all decked out, then I'm with you."

An eyebrow raise and fake smile are all I can concede right now. But I watch her as she walks into the bathroom and closes the door silently behind her. At one point she would have invited me in. She wouldn't have been able to keep her hands off me. That was a long time ago.

I secure my tie, check to make sure it looks okay, and proceed to pace until my wife comes out of the bathroom. As soon as I see the door opening, I leave. We've filled our quota of small talk for the day.

Thomas, our son, is watching TV in the living room. I sit next to him on the couch and ruffle his hair. "What's up sport?"

"Nothing." My son is only twelve, but has mastered the art of "don't ask, don't tell" as well as any teenager. He doesn't take his eyes off the television screen.

We sit in silence for a while watching some kind of cartoon show that's too young for him. Not something I'd choose to watch under normal circumstances, but it takes my mind off of what I'm doing tonight. The stupid, conceited, exhilarating thing I'm doing tonight.

"So how's school going?" I ask.

"Fine."

"You like your teacher, Miss…what's her name again?" I put a finger between my collar and my neck, suddenly feeling like I'm strangling.

"Miss Warner. I've told you a million times." Thomas rolls his eyes.

"Oh yes. That is her name." I say it jokingly, but get a ripple of fear in my stomach at the name.

Kathy Warner. Junior year of high school. Backseat of my parents Oldsmobile. Yep. I remember a lot about Kathy Warner. A lot.

"Ready." My wife is putting in her last earring as she stoops to turn off the television. "We don't want to be late." She barely glances at me before heading into the kitchen. Thomas pushes himself off the couch to follow. I wonder how she gets him to like her so much. He is my son, but sometimes I feel like he's just putting up with me.

Checking my tie and hair in the mirror, one last time, I follow them out to the car. My wife is already sitting, seat buckled, in the passenger seat, and checking her lipstick in the overhead mirror. Thomas has found his IPod and is staring out the window, pretending I don't exist. I turn on the radio and back out of the driveway. Rainy Day Woman by Bob Dylan streams from the speakers, bringing back a new wash of Kathy Warner memories. The car warms at the visions tumbling in my mind, until I know I must look flushed. I just thank the lord that my wife doesn't pay any attention to me.

As we pull up to the school, I resist the urge to check how I look in the mirror. It would be a dead giveaway. And I'm not ready yet to explain to my wife why I agreed to come to parent/teacher conferences this year.

She doesn't know about Kathy Warner, because I never told her.

But she will know.

Soon enough.

To look at other awkward EX moments...go here: http://jostorm.blogspot.com/2010/09/writing-promptdialogue-between-exes.html

To Hook up to Alphabe-Thursday, go HERE:Jenny Matlock


What about you? Have you had a freaky EX moment you're willing to share? I didn't dare tell my real life Awkward moment.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easygoing Rebellion!

I'm having the hardest time deciding which blog share I want to do on Thursdays. I LOVE MamaKats Writers Workshop, but I also love Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. So as often as possible, I try to hit both. This week, it actually worked out perfectly for me. Because the prompt was about how I was labeled as a child and how it effected me.

The thing is, the label I was given as a child was Easygoing.

I didn't throw a lot of temper tantrums.

I did everything I was supposed to do in school. (Got good grades + stayed on task + didn't get into fights= trying to be a teacher's pet.)

I went to church on Sunday and didn't complain about it.

I smiled most of the time because I was happy.

I felt bad for kids who got picked on and tried to be nice to them.

Basically, I was a people-pleaser extraordinaire.

This was ME

BUT HERE IS MY SECRET...



I didn't want to be EASYGOING.


I wanted to be BAD.




I was really jealous of the kids who just did whatever they wanted in school. The teacher never forgot the names of the kids who were bad, but they forgot my name a lot.




Sometimes, I wanted to throw a big huge temper tantrum and slam doors and yell at people and CUSS just because.




Every once in a while I wanted to tell the kids that people picked on. "They pick on you because you are weird and annoying!"




Many days, sitting in church, I wished I could just YELL something really loud about how bored I was.





This is what I wanted to be...

BUT...I wasn't.



I was Easygoing. And I was good.






Now I'm older. And I feel very free in the fact that I can be nice when I want to and mean when I feel like it. That I don't have to hide the way I really feel. I guess there are moments when people might label me as a Bee-otch, but I could care less. See, when you've spent your whole childhood making sure everyone is happy and likes you, you kind of get over it.




And you learn that there are moments for both.




BUT...don't worry!




If you run into me, I promise I will still be nice to you. Because you see, Easygoing is not something you grow out of. It's just something you learn to hide sometimes.




What about you? Were you an easygoing child, or a Rebel? (If you were a rebel, be gentle and remember...I so wish I was you. :-)




To link up to other entries, go here...Jenny Matlock

And Here:
Mama's Losin' It





Wednesday, October 13, 2010

D is for DOH!



I am an educated person. I have a bachelor's degree and have taken millions of classes on reading and writing. It's what I do. I teach teachers how to be better at reading and writing. So I've always kind of assumed my brain was big…LIKE THIS… And yet…

Even with all of that…

I AM STILL AN IDIOT MOST OF THE TIME.

See, I don't mean to, but many times I set myself up for embarrassment.

My brain just doesn't think in a logical way. It thinks in a "how-can-I-make-this-as-hard-as-possible" way. I've always gotten excellent grades, scored above average on the SAT and IQ tests, and could ace any test. HOWEVER, when it comes to just surviving in the normal, everyday world"… brilliance escapes me.

Lest you don't believe me, let me just give one example of why I sure am glad that Homer Simpson coined the phrase "DOH!" so that they could add it to the dictionary and I could use it to show what an idiot I am.

The other night, I was laying in bed watching television (something I do before going to sleep every night), when I "thought" I saw a little black speck out of the corner of my eye. I got nervous and sat up straighter. Because, you see, I have an teensy, tiny fear of mosquitoes being in my room at night. I mean, they suck your blood. Doesn't that kind of freak you out a little too? Pretty soon, I start to relax again and kind of forget about the black dot. That is until I hear the unmistakable high-pitched whine of an actual mosquito. So I sit up and swat around my head a couple of times and bury myself in my covers so it won't bite me on my beautiful-non-marred-by-a-mosquito-bite face.

I listen to see if it is still close.

Silence.

After a minute of not hearing anything, I get out of the covers and relax.

Suddenly, the high-pitched whine is back.

Closer this time.

So I wave my hands around my face and in the air to frighten it. Once again, no noise at all. Then a second later, I hear it again.

AND I FREAK OUT.

I jump up and start swinging my arms wildly around, swishing and swishing to displace the air currents and maybe fling it as far from my body as I can. It is while I am in the midst of doing this, that I hear it again.

This time to the side.

And I locate the sound.

And THIS…

Is what I find… On VIBRATE.
And this is how my brain feels now.
DOH!

Please tell me you feel the same way sometimes. Please. Please. Please.

What "DOH!" Moments have you had? I must hear them in order to feel better about myself. :-)

Link up to Alphabe-Thursday…HEREJenny Matlock


And play along.

Oh, and don't forget to link up here... http://writingbycandlelight.blogspot.com/ to read about little old me and be entered into a giveaway. :-)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

C if for Cancer and how it SUCKS ROCKS


Some things make you realize how important your heritage is and how important it is to make your life count. These are three women who really impacted my life. All three were amazing and all had lives that were cut short because of cancer.


Grandma Thayne
My Grandma Thayne passed away when I was three years old. I don't remember anything about her. My only memory of her at all was being at her funeral and it being dark and people crying and me not understanding why everyone was so sad. So it is weird to me that a person I really never knew effected my life so much. I was born on my Grandma's birthday. As a matter of fact, I was born two weeks late in order to be born on her birthday. My name was supposed to be Mindi, but was changed to her name when our b-days matched up. She and her sister married brothers. Me and my sister married brothers. Many people who knew her say I look a lot like her. Grandma Thayne loved to write. She wrote poetry and short stories and always wanted to get published. I wish so much that I had known her. That I could remember one detail, something of her. It makes me jealous that my older sister can remember her hands and I can't. However, I counted on her to be there for me, in my heart, like my mom told me she was. For some reason, because I knew she was somewhere in heaven watching over me, I wanted be my best for her. I wanted to make sure that, since we shared names, I made it a good one. And, more than anything, I want to get published, because in some way, it will be like both of us finally made it.

She found out she had breast cancer when she was fifty. Fifty. That's too young. And it was back in the time when there wasn't very much they could do for you. My mom doesn't talk about it very much. I don't blame her. Losing her mom devastated her. But sometimes I wish she we would tell me more stories about her. I can't wait until the day when I finally do get to meet my Grandma Thayne. SO heaven BETTER be real. J

Grandma Moore
I don't know where I would be if it weren't for this lady. I wasn't one of those children who was raised solely by my parents. I had a huge extended family who met often, every Sunday as a matter of fact. My grandma was a farm wife who canned and bottled food, killed chickens, helped haul hay, and fed me ice cream every time I went to her house. She taught me that family is the most important thing. That friends are good, but being friends with your family is best. Sometimes we did fun things like play night games until it was so pitch black you were likely to find yourself at the bottom of the huge irrigation ditch that lined the house (something that happened more than once in our games of hide and seek), or have huge games of UNO around my grandma's tiny kitchen table. Along with the fun things was mixed a lot of hard work. At grandma's we learned how to really clean a house (down to staining the kitchen cabinets once a year). We herded cows, planted and harvested a huge garden, pruned trees, and branded cattle.
The whole time—HAVING FUN!

Not that we didn't have our issues. My sister and I used to call the Moore Family Gatherings, The Moore Wars (the first of which began because my grandma, thinking she was being nice, bought my cousin a shirt she thought said 'It ain't easy being pretty', which in fact said, "It ain't pretty being easy', something that wouldn't have been a big deal if my cousin hadn't, in fact, been sleeping around at the time. J Hahaha…It still makes me laugh). My grandma gossiped and got angry and picked favorites, and had her times of depression. But she was real.

To be honest, I don't remember my grandma without the word cancer attached to her. She suffered from Melanoma for eleven years, having pieces and parts of her body removed as they became infected. She walked with a limp and had a voice like a bullhorn (hmm hm, so that's where I got it). When she got really bad, I had to go and help take care of her, something that terrified me. I helped change diapers and turned her over in her bed so her bed sores didn't get worse. I was there the night she got really bad and had to leave her home that she loved forever. At the hospital she didn't remember my name.
But I never questioned it. I KNEW she loved me. It was the first thing in my life that let me know I had to live life to the fullest before I got old and couldn't do things anymore. I broke up with my boyfriend the next week. I started doing the things I really wanted to do.

Thanks for that Grandma.


Grandma Jo


Grandma Jo isn't actually my grandma. She was my kid's grandma. Jo was my mother-in-law. The truthfulness of the matter is that there were many times she drove me crazy. She invited my husband and I over for dinner EVERY Sunday. She called to check on us ALL THE TIME. She wanted to do "Girls Nights Out" and actually expected me to come. She was always prying by asking how I was doing. And worst of all, she never would say anything bad about anyone.

It makes me roll my eyes at myself that I was so bothered by these things; that I was bothered because she loved me too much. How STUPID!

Jo was one of the most fun people ever. She dared try anything and laughed all the time. She was interested in other people. I hated going to the store with her because she would run into a million people she knew, and then make friends with ten more. If you stood next to her in the grocery store line, she would know all your children's names, where you were born and raised, and make a connection to you, all in five minutes flat. She saw the best in people, even those who were mean to her. I thought she was making excuses for them, but she just whole-heartedly believed people acting rude were having a bad day, must have hard life, yadda, yadda, yadda. I didn't know how she could do it.

It was devastating when we found out she had Stage Four Breast Cancer. But she was determined to fight and beat it. She gave it a good fight, and actually lasted five years after the diagnosis. A year before she passed away, she took "the girls" (her daughter and three daughter-in-laws) to Vegas. She had a ball gambling and taking us to shows. We stood at the Bellagio Fountains while Sarah Brighton sang "Time to Say Goodbye." I remember looking at her and really feeling like the time was short. A few months before she passed away, she went to Canada on a bear hunt and bagged the largest bear anyone in the family ever had. Up to the moment she left this life, Jo remained positive. She had every reason to mope and complain and wish that things were different. But SHE DIDN'T. She saw the obstacles and thought "I'm going to hurdle that." She chose to be happy. She chose to look at every person in her life as someone valuable and important. The line at her funeral went out of the funeral home, around the building, and down two blocks. She loved people. And because she loved them, they loved her. She lived the saying "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

What a great lesson she taught me. We choose our reaction to the things that happen in our lives. We can live a life of misery or we can live a life of happiness. And it is all up to us.

Man, I miss her. I would give anything to go on one of her "Girls Nights Out" again.

To link up, go hereJenny Matlock

Or hereMama's Losin' It

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gettin' All Up in Myself--THE GIVEAWAY

I'm starting to feel like a bit of a bragger. First, the award yesterday, now a whole entire blog post dedicated to little ole' me.

*Really I feel like I totally deserve it... but you know...I'm doing the humble thing. Eating the "Humble Pie" so to speak.

Anyhow!

My very good friend and one of the members of my completely fabulous writing group has done a blog post about me and about my writing. To be honest, writing is the one part of my life that I feel totally comfortable in--that is--until I have to share it with someone.

An exerpt from my first completed manuscript, The Deception Virus, is included.

Now I know you're thinking, "Just Get To The Freaking Giveaway Already." So here it is.
My fabulous friend at http://writingbycandlelight.blogspot.com/ is giving away Cassandra Claires new book CLOCKWORK ANGEL. I am personally a huge fan of her first series, and can't wait to start this new one.

All you have to do is follow me AND follow her and then leave a comment on one of our blogs (or both if you so prefer).

That's it. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

So stop hanging around here and follow the link to the blog of another amazing author. And bask in my awesome-ness.

Once again, Thanks Jen. I feel totally unworthy.
(*Not really, but you know that 'humble pie' thing is still in effect.)

I’m an Award Winner!



I'm so excited! I just received my very first blog award from a person I don't know in real life. It is from a "Blogging Friend." I actually have friends that exist out there in the world that I have never met face to face.

And it is AMAZING!

Anyway, on to the award. I received this beautiful, shiny new thing just yesterday.

And I was SO EXCITED…I smiled a slit-eyes kind of smile. One of those smiles that shows every laugh line and wrinkle on my face.

Strangely, I was okay with this. Because someone actually thought my blog posts were worthy of an award.

In order to pass on the LOVE, I am awarding the following blogs. I chose these blogs either because they made me laugh, cry, or ponder at some point.

The winners are:

  1. http://www.hidingfromthekids.com/ (Very funny and is into education like me.)
  2. http://floridagirlmidwest.blogspot.com/ (Amazing writing=Great stories.)
  3. http://musingsofapalindrome.blogspot.com/ (Already won this award, but I had to give it again because of her Extremely Fun October-Fest kind of stuff going on right now)
  4. http://idevourkidbooks.blogspot.com/ (Semi-new to blogging but great posts. Trust me. A must read.)
  5. http://adventuresindecorating1.blogspot.com/ (Seriously beautiful decorating ideas. If I had half that talent, my house would be amazing.)

Thanks for all the fabulous ideas, stories, and hilarities. J

Oh—and thanks for the AWARD.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

B is for BOO as in HOO

I'm pulling a double duty today. (Hahaha...I just said 'double duty'. Yes, I am still a ten year old inside.)


My blog post today is written for MamaKats Writer's Workshop and Alphabe-Thursday.

The letter this week is 'B'. The writing prompt, "Signs that your little one isn't that into you anymore."


See, I've always prided myself in being a strict, but cool mom. I have three children; an eleven year old boy, an eight year old girl, and a three year old son. They adore me. Or at least the younger two do. I tell them every day that they should worship the ground I walk on, and they are still little enough to believe me. My oldest however?


When he was little, he thought I was 'Da Bomb'.


No more.


Just a couple of days ago, I was given a sure-fire sign that this is no longer the case.


My oldest, Billy (not his real name, but we needed a B word) used to laugh and join in when I sang and danced. We did impromptu duets in the car, the kitchen, the living room.



Just for fun (I had to whisper it, because he would be mortified if he knew I said that.)


Billy has a new Best friend now. They are Buddies, compadres, pals, amigos. I get it. I do remember being that age. Anyway, I was fixing dinner, listening to the radio, singing and dancing, when they walked in the back door. Well, I'm not going to stop my grand solo just because I have an audience. However, the conversation went something like this...


Billy: Mom, what the heck are you doing?

Me: What does it look like I'm doing? I'm making dinner and singing.

Billy: No you weren't. You were trying to dance too.

Me: So?

Billy: Mom's shouldn't dance. Ever.

Me: Why not?

Billy: Cause it isn't cool. It isn't something that other moms do.

Me: Well they should.

Billy: No, No they shouldn't. Moms dance like moms.



And then it hit me. I am no longer that teenager who was president of the dance team. I am now somebody who dances like...gasp...a mom.


So Billy's new Best friend says: I wish my mom sang while she cooked dinner. She usually just yells at us that we aren't helping and tells us to set the table.

Billy: Cause that is what moms are supposed to do.

Billy's new Best friend: (shrug)

Me(losing my temper a little bit): Okay. If that's what you want. Have you done your homework and reading yet? Better go do it. While you're at it, clean your room, pick up the living room, and the garbages in the bathrooms need to be taken out. After that, get your butt back into this kitchen and set the table, and DO IT NOW!

Billy's new Best friend: (eye roll) You sort of deserved it dude. Don't diss on a mom when she's cooking dinner.

Billy: He's right. I'm sorry. Sing and dance all you want. Just Don't Do It In Front Of Us.


*End of Conversation*


I learned many things from this exchange with pre-teen boys.


A) By son now thinks I'm a dweeb (and he's sort of right)


B) I wish I could adopt his New Best Friend. (he seems to be older and wiser than my son)


C) Even though I dance like a mom, I'm still not going to stop doing it. Because I like it and it's what I do.


D) BOO HOO (My son isn't into me anymore.) *sob* *sniffle* *wipe nose on sleeve*


Want to link up?


Go Here for MamaKats:

Mama's Losin' It



Go Here for Alphabe-Thursday:

Jenny Matlock

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A is for Ascot

This is my first participation in Alphabe-Thursday. And I have to say I am a little bit nervous, because for some reason the only "A" word I could think of had something to do with the word that starts with an 'A' and is related to the word 'butt'.

I knew I couldn't write an entire blog post about an a**, so it took a little bit of brainstorming. I didn't want to do apple or aardvark or acrimonious. And then it hit me.



SCOOBY


DOOBY


DOO.


And more importantly, my favorite character on said show. "FRED."


See, I spent most of my childhood pretending, living, wishing, I could be a part of the Scooby Doo cartoon. I would rush home from school every day so I wouldn't miss a moment of Shaggy's exclamations of "Zoicks", or Velma's ponderings over "My glasses. Where are my glasses?" or Daphne's style, or Scooby's cries of "Raggy! HELP!"


But most of all there was "FRED."


In my young mind, Fred looked a lot like Bo Duke (from the Duke's of Hazzard). Both were blond, buff, and clever. There was some portion of my mind that understood age though. I knew Bo Duke was WAY older than me. Like in his twenties or something. But FRED was a high school kid. Not that old. (Too bad my mind didn't think in terms of reality. Like the fact that Fred is a drawing...and Bo Duke was real live person.)


If you think about it, Fred held the whole Scooby gang together. If it weren't for him, they never would have split into groups allowing Scooby and Shaggy to run into the bad guy, Daphne to get kidnapped, or Velma to lose her glasses. It was also ALWAYS Fred's idea to set a trap and capture the bad guys. True, Shag and Scoob always messed it up and ultimately caught the person wearing the mask, but Fred was the one who started that action.


What can I say?


I had a CRUSH on a cartoon character.


Now I am grown-up. And I married a guy who is tall and blond. (surprise, surprise). Every Halloween I have tried to talk my husband into dressing up as Fred. But he won't do it.


And I won't tell him.


That I want him to dress up like Fred because...


I think Fred is sexy.


(Picture me blushing right about here)


So to me...


A IS FOR ASCOT.


The defining characteristic of Fred. And the one item on clothing I wish my husband would wear.

:-D


Want to Alphbe-Thursday next week? Prepare for the letter B.


Wanna read some of the fabulous 'A' entries?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fifteen Years of Wedded Something.

Yesterday was my fifteen year anniversary. Count it--the big-- 1-5. And sometimes it amazing me that we created a whole family.

Now I always read blog posts where people go on...and on...and on...and on...and on...

about how fabulous their husband is. How it has been "so many" wonderful years. How they don't know what they would do without their husband.


Blah. Blah. Blah.


Don't get me wrong. I Love My Husband.


I just don't like my husband every second, of every day, of every week, of the year. Sometimes I get really mad at him, and even though I love him, I don't like him very much.


I actually think that we really "pull the wool over" single people's eyes. Don't you think that those of us who are married should tell them that marriage is freaking hard? That you have to make sacrifices A LOT? That once you have kids it is SOOOO MUCH harder? That almost every day you have to compromise about something? That you can't be a selfish jerk and make a marriage work?





You don't think we should tell them?





Well... me either!




BUT, I digress.




Even with ALL of That...




Anniversaries are times to focus on why we married this crazy person in the first place, and why we are still married to them.




Not very long ago, I actually had a friend who is contemplating getting married ask me how I knew that my husband was "THE ONE." And to be honest, I hadn't thought about it in such a long time, that I had to pause for a moment and really think. Why did I marry him? How did I know he was the person I wanted to hang out with...well...forever?




And This is what I came up with...



When I met my husband, John (*note: not his real name), I was "sort of" in love with someone else. We started hanging out and dating because this person I liked was off in another country for a couple of years.



It was all just innocent and "friendsy" at first. (Not that there weren't those 'friends-with-benefits' kind of moments). I could talk to him for hours. He would take me to nice restaurants and movies. And we went on FUN dates where we went skiing or sledding or to comedy clubs. Because I liked this other person, it was EASY for Me to be ME.



And then I started realizing I LIKED JOHN (*note: not his real name). As in...liked him, liked him.



HOWEVER, I had a history with this other guy, and I wasn't sure what I wanted. Then John (*note:not his real name) PROPOSED. And I said "yes."



BUT it wasn't real 'yes.' It was a 'yes' that you say because-you-don't-really-know-what-else-to -say 'yes'. It was a FAKE 'YES.'



Well, pretty soon dates were set, and people were invited, and dresses were getting chosen, and.... I WAS TERRIFIED.



Was I doing the right thing? What about this 'other guy' that I thought I loved before? Was I getting married for the wrong reasons? Would I marry him and then wish that I had married 'other guy?'



So I told John (*note: not his real name). And I gritted my teeth and waited for him to be furious.

.

.

.

.

.

ONLY... He Wasn't.



He was understanding and kind. And he told me that he loved me anyway, and that he would let me choose whatever I wanted. And he would be happy for me.



AND THAT IS HOW I KNEW.



Yes, we do have our ups and downs. The rollercoaster of marriage is alive and well in my house. But I still remember why I chose him. And as long as I can remember that...



Then Everything Will Always Be Okay.
*Sorry about the sappiness. I'm allowed that every once in a while, right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Hugeness of my Hatred

Abhore. Detest. Loath. Can't Stand. Dislike Intensely. Opposite of Love. Hatred to the ninth power. Etc. Etc.

These are all words I would use to describe having to cook or bake. Speaking of which. What's the difference? I've never understood it. Either way, a stove is involved, and you get hot and sweaty. Then people come in and devour it in fifteen minutes flat. To me, it is akin to laundry, dishes, and cleaning toilets.

Once is never enough.
You make a big breakfast. As soon as it's cleaned up, you have to start thinking about lunch. You make a decent lunch. As soon as it's cleaned up, you have to start thinking about making dinner. Then you slave away making an awesome dinner, and by the time it is eaten and done, it's time for bed.

I SERIOUSLY don't understand why people love it. It sucks. And I'm not even kidding.

Given this, you will see why I am so proud of myself. I just made this...


ALL

BY

MYSELF

And they were delicous...and made my house smell yummy...and everyone loved them...and it was fabulous.

AND!

I won't be doing it again for probably another five years (which was the last time I made cinnamon rolls).

So you if want yummy food and someone who doesn't cuss and swear under their breath while they create something delicious for you to eat, all the while cursing heaven above for god creating us so we have to eat three times a day.

DON'T

COME

TO

MY

HOUSE.

:-D The End

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Closet Dilemma




One of the prompts for writer's workshop this week was..."Tell us about a childhood fear you have taken into adulthood."

At first, I wanted to be all BRAVE and act like I have no fears, but that wouldn't be true. I'm afraid of lots of things.

HornetsSpidersDust MitesBed Bugs
LiceHaving my skirt tucked into my undies
Swearing in front of people I shouldn't swear in front of
Running into an EX-BoyfriendHaving to admit I'm wrong
Falling off a cliffSushiBoogers on little kids fingers...
and
You get the idea.

HOWEVER. There is one thing I've never admitted before that is completely true.

I still feel like there are monsters in my closet.
I can not sleep with my closet door open. It freaks me out. BIG TIME. Every time I have ever neglected to close it, I wake up in the middle of the night and feel like someone or something is watching from that darker spot in the corner of my room. Several times, I have believed it so much and have been so certain of it, I have to roll out of my bed and crawl (commando-style) over to flip on the light. As soon as the light is on, the thing standing in the open doorway disappears, but it still makes me have a cardiac arrest.

The problem with this is that my husband isn't bothered by the closet--as any rational adult would be--and so he always leaves it open a crack. He'll get up to put something away in his side and leave the door open. I don't dare tell him to close it because I'm scared out of my mind that a boogeyman is going to get me, so I always have to invent some excuse for getting up and then discreetly closing the door. I think he's getting suspicious, but he never says anything.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe in ghosts. I DON'T. When it comes to those kinds of things, I always just say "I choose not to believe."

But I swear. I have a boogeyman in my closet.

And it's making me feel like a hypocrit when I tell my kids that there is nothing in the dark that isn't there in the daylight.
And I hate that some nights I still have to hide under the covers.
And I want to pretend like I'm all courageous and tough.

When really. I'm still just a little kid. Afraid of monsters in my closet.



Join WRITERS WORKSHOP Here: (at MamaKats)
Mama's Losin' It

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Opinionated?. . . Me?. . . Never.

My husband often tells me I'm opinionated. Shaw right. I AM NOT OPINIONATED . How dare he belittle my true gift? There isn't even a category large enough. I guess the only way I would describe it is as ULTRAOpinionated. Or Opinionated to the eighth degree.

I recognize it in myself. HOWEVER...


Why should we not have an opinion about things? Isn't it our right as people in the human race to think whatever we want about the goings on of the world? Do people honestly see news stories, weird behaviors, or get treated a certain way and NOT think SOMETHING about that? This is why, when I saw MamaKat's latest writing prompt 'Go to the Today Show website and write an opinion article about one of the news stories' I jumped on it.


But just one?


Not Me.


Never.


Instead, I'm going to spout my opinions about as many of those news articles as possible. Sound Fun? For me...well...yes.


I can not miss such a golden opportunity.


SO. ARE YOU READY? Good.


Here Goes. . .


BRISTOL WILL WEAR CAROLINA HERRERA; CAMO FOR LEVI AND TRIPP.
Who cares? Bristol is a nobody redneck from the back country of Alaska. She's only famous because her mom ran for Vice President. The man she's marrying is a pin-up model. They fight all the time. The poor baby has to be involved. One month after they marry there will be another news headline on the Today website talking about their divorce. Seriously. This was the top headline of the page. The only thing that interested me was that her plan was to have her husband-to-be wear camouflage. Maybe she's hoping he'll blend into the background, masking the fact that she is making a HUGE mistake.


DO MEN HAVE A BIOLOGICAL CLOCK TOO?
One word. NO. The end.


DICK CHENEY 'DOING WELL' AFTER LIFE-SAVING SURGERY
Honestly. Who is Dick Cheney? Isn't he that Vice President who shot someone? Why does anyone who doesn't really know him need to know this? I know I breathed a sigh of relief when I read this...NOT. I didn't even know he was having surgery. And frankly, since I am not a member of his immediate family or his best friend, it's none of my business. Case closed.


'BLISS REMEMBERED' RECALLING LOVE IN A TIME OF WAR; Frank Defords new novel...blah blah blah
My only opinion on this? I hope that when my book is published there will eventually be a news story about me in the Today Show Headlines. I really could care less that Frank Deford is a sportswriter and now he's written a book that is totally different from what he usually writes. Good for him.


RECOVER FROM THE HEALTH SINS OF YOUR YOUTH
This actually interested me. I watched the whole video segment. How disappointing. Until they can tell me how to recover from stretch marks and sagging "girls" without major surgery I might want to listen.


MATCHMAKER MOM FIELDS DATES FOR SON ON TODAY
Okay...Bwahaahahahahaaa. Sorry. Had to let that out. All I have to say is "good luck, dude." As if your mom trying to find a date for you isn't bad enough, let's publicize it. Does he know what this is telling the female population? Well I'll tell you. 'I'm such a loser that even my mom can't stand me. She can't stand me enough that she is actually pleading with people to get me away from her.' Sad. Really Sad. But you want to know what is MORE sad? That girls actually took up the offer. Come on women. Be strong. You don't want a relationship with a man who has 'mommy issues'. Trust me on this one. That woman sounds like a meddling mother-in-law waiting to happen. Run away. Far Far Away. There is no happily ever after with this. :-)


THE MEL GIBSON TAPES
Oy. What the? Who the? Holy crap. May I just say 'Why Mel? Why?' How come you couldn't have just stayed the hot hollywood celebrity you used to be? You are officially a freak. Which brings another question to my mind. Why does anyone want to be a hollywood celebrity? It seems like, if you stay there long enough, hollywood destroys you. You know, I was talking to my friend the other day about how I wish I were young because there are so many cute, young actors out there right now. And I realized something. Those cute, young actors (the Taylor Lautners, Nick Jonases, and Zac Effrons of the world) are Mel Gibson and Brad Pitts waiting to happen. I truly think something in the 'being famous' water destroys your insides. And I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that you can't even pee without someone asking for your autograph. You can't have a breakup without everyone in the world spouting their opinion about it. You can't have open-heart surgery without it making a headline. So if you want to be famous...good luck to you. Oh, and Mel? You are an a**.


DOZENS FEARED DEAD IN CHINA LANDSLIDES
And finally, All The Way At The Bottom Of The Page, is a true news story. This is sad. It is tragic. For the people who live there, it is life-altering. AND It is buried at the bottom of a news page about crazy celebrities, redneck weddings, famous surgeries, and meddling moms.


This is the problem with America, people. Fame, fortune, money, power, and politics are more important than people. Than caring about the lives of others world-wide. Wow. I didn't realize this was going to turn into a spouting of the problems in the world.


So, I'll clear my throat. Shut up. And go back to listening to Mel Gibson rant like the raving lunatic he his.


Man, I really wish I would have stuck with my original post about the Awkward pet photos...
The caption that came with this was, 'If you love your hen, don't be afraid to shout it from the haystacks'.
Yep, definitely should have stuck with the pet photos. :-)
Over and Out.
Hook up at MamaKats.


Mama's Losin' It

Thursday, July 1, 2010

THAT Moment.

You know how sometimes you are just going about your day when suddenly something jumps right out at you and stops you in your tracks? I had that happen to me today.

This requires a little back-story. Forgive me if you've heard it.

About six months ago. Maybe November-ish. I went into to the doctor for a routine checkup. They took some blood work and found out that my blood platelet count was low (about half of what it should be). I wasn't worried. Platelets just, you know, make you scab and not bruise as easily. I went back a couple more times. Still low. They got worried. I totally didn't. They told me I needed to see a hematologist. I said, "okay, sure, whatever". NO BIG DEAL.

So they give me the address and the directions (because I totally suck at finding places when people just give me an address) and I head out.

I was a bit taken aback when I show up at the place and a large glass-plated sign reads across the door... "Huntsman Cancer Instititute". I walk inside to the waiting room with an open door to about eight people receiving chemotherapy.

CANCER? What the EFF? I think I seriously had an internal panic attack right at that moment. Cancer never occurred to me. What followed was a few months of giving blood and tests and ultrasounds and tests and more tests.

NOT Cancer. Whew. However, I did find out that I have a condition called ITP. Technical term- "You have low blood platelet counts and we can't figure out why."
Anyway, because of this, every so often I have to go and have my blood drawn and tested to be sure the counts don't stoop too low.

Fast forward to TODAY.

I go to my usual appointment. I'm grumpy and tired and annoyed and still a bit panicky. That stinking 'cancer' word always makes my heart accelerate. I wait. The doctor isn't there. (That is a whole other story--believe me.) So then I'm really annoyed. And I want to yell at somebody. But I don't.

As I turn around to leave, my eyes sweep the room and catch. There is a little old lady with a chemo drip in her arm. She's bald, frail, and tiny. She is also smiling. Smiling. I couldn't believe it. Then I glance to the side of the door and read the sign they have hanging there.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.

That sign has been hanging in that office since I started going there. I've never noticed it before. I've heard the saying many times. It's never meant that much. But quite out of the blue. This lady and that sign meshed and made me stop to think. This cute, little old grandma. Who is probably dying. Was dancing in her own personal rain.

And I wasn't.

It got to me. You know? Right then and there I changed my attitude. AND I have a new, personal mantra...Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. Even when lightning strikes your house, or a huge wind blows away the brand new trampoline you just spent $500 on. You pick yourself up and you start dancing. WOW. I hope I don't forget that moment any time soon. I hope I remember to keep dancing. If someone with a storm raging as high as that little old lady can do it, I think I can too.

What about you? Have you ever had "One of THOSE moments?"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Writer's Workshop--Letting My Inner Self *Sparkle*

Popping in for MamaKat's Writing Workshop. I think it is my favorite day of the week now. If you aren't playing yet, you seriously should. (Hook up with the link at the bottom). My prompt I chose this week is "People would be surprised to learn that..."

So here goes.

Gulp.

Confessional time.

I make fun of Stephenie Meyers and the Twilight series all the time. We've all probably heard the negative downsides to this story girls have become obsessed over. Such as.
You should never be happy if a guy sneaks into your room at night and watches you sleep.
Killing yourself is not an acceptable way to deal with a break up.
Stringing along a perfectly nice, innocent guy makes you sort of a prick.

Etc. Etc.

So the Confession.

Deep Breath.

People would be surprised to learn that...I love the Twilight series. And not just the books either. I like the movies too. AHHHHHH! I can't believe I just admitted it. Out Loud. And in front of the whole fifteen people who actually read my blog. :-)

I can't help this weird thing about me. I've tried to NOT like it. I've looked at it intellectually and I know the "bad things". I still like it. I'm sorry. But I am a writer and over the age of thirty AND I like Twilight books. I know it is tantamount to being friends with rich people, eating cavier with them...but craving a hot dog. Or being friends with people who work out, and going running with them and then hurrying home to lay on the couch the rest of the day.

I hang out with great writers and literary people, but I crave the silliness of Sparkling vamps and buff werewolves.

Wow. Liberating. I feel like I just attended an AAA meeting and announced I have a drinking problem. Whew.

In my defense...

1. How can you say Stephenie Meyers is not a good author when millions of people have read and become obsessed over her story. The woman knows how to invoke emotion, obviously, and if you can get people to "feel" your story that much...you've done something right.
2. You don't have to have throbbing, pulsating body parts and nakedness for something to be sexy. I'm just sayin'. . .
3. Who doesn't want a man who would do anything for you. I'm not saying that Bella is worth saving (because frankly, she isn't). I'm just saying that I think people in general are in love with the idea of being "in love". With THAT person. Who loves you SO MUCH they can't stand to be away from you.

And that's it. My whole PATHETIC excuse. I know that right now some people of gasping, clutching their hand to their heart in shock. BUT. . . I had to be honest. Here is my proof. These are all pictures from a 'Breaking Dawn' release party I went to. (I know. I know. I think less of myself too.)





So. Awkwardness. Ummmmm. If you see me, can you just act like you didn't read this? Let's just kind of pretend it's like you accidentally caught me in my undies, AND NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN. Thanks. :-)

Mama's Losin' It