Thursday, February 28, 2008

Girl Talk

This is called sharing just because I feel like writing.

At the gym this morning I was dropping off the monsters in the monster room when I overheard a pregnant woman behind me laughing and saying something to the effect of "yeah, I'm so glad to be off of bed rest now, I hit thirty eight weeks so they let me come back to the gym." They let her come back to the gym????! And she did???!!

Seriously, when I was on bed rest, I would have been happy if they would have let me walk to the kitchen for my own ice-cream, but if they said "hey, you're about ready to drop that baby anyway, so go ahead and go back to the gym," I would have had a monumental laughing fit and...probably the babies.

Now, for those of you who have never been on bed rest, it is not something you jump up from, get in your car and run back to the gym with a big smile and even bigger belly. Your muscles atrophy, your joints ache, your spirit is basically broken. My bedrest lasted four months and it has taken me exactly two years to jump (struggle) into the car and run (struggle) back to the gym with a small smile and a small-ish belly. But here this woman was--glowing, beautiful and standing without passing out after getting off bed rest!

I have to say, the accomplishment I had felt at even leaving the house this morning in twenty degree weather turned into something small and slimy that I wanted to shake off of my finger.

The moral here I guess is not to compare yourself or what you can handle in life to others but sheesh...

It's hard not being hard on yourself.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today's Short Story

In honor of a story's beginning, today I try to begin again.

recollection of meditation

the house creaks beneath the power of winter winds
follow your breath


what is breath?
it is nothing and everything until I inhale
and then exhale
then it is breath
and still
nothing and everything
stop thinking and be like the exhale

how long have I been staring at the brown weeds beyond the fence?

Where did the purple spot of light go?
That was cool
It sounds like ghosts are walking around upstairs

stop thinking


damn, forgot to turn the phone off.

I'll begin again tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Of Memes and Butterflies

There is lots of great writing advice floating around out there, but since I've been tagged with two Memes by my twin-toting, writing gal pal Shawn, who I can't deny anything, I'll add mine to the mix. Here are a few things I've learned this past year about writing:

Join the Club: Writers tend to be introverts. Let's face it, you have to enjoy spending a good amount of time locked up with yourself to be a writer. We sit around chewing our pens, our fingers hovering over the keyboard in moments of anxiety feeling like we're alone on our make believe planet. The thing I've learned is, it's healthy for us to realize we're not alone. So, join other writers. Join online communities, join local clubs--form connections, friendships, fall in love with other writers, laugh with them, complain to them, rejoice with them. They are your kindred. You are not alone in your nightwalking, your insecurities, your love of words. These are the people that understand you and your goals, your successes and your fears. How great is that???

Be Fearless: I'm still working on this one, but when I say fearless, I mean in life too, not just on the page. One of the things I regret, because it does affect my writing is not having enough life experience. Not getting on that plane or talking to the stranger crying on the sidewalk, not taking the scuba diving class or the chance to learn a new language. You can be the most talented wordsmith in the world, but if you have nothing to write about, no interesting experiences, no first-hand details to weave into your stories they will lack not only substance but authenticity. So live. Be a writer, but don't be just a writer.

Embrace the Struggle: It's not going to come easy, success in this business. I've stopped wanting it to. Did you know--

It’s the struggle against the crysalis that sends blood into the butterfly's wings so they will be strong enough to navigate the wind. Without that struggle, the wings would come out, but they would be deformed and of no use. There is beauty and strength within the struggle--as long as you don't give up.

As for the second's the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
2. Open the book to page 123
3. Find the 5th sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag 5 people

The only book I have on my desk at the moment is Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. So, even though these aren't very exciting lines, here they are (cuz I play by the rules, I can't help myself)

In writing class, painful things come up--the death of a husband, throwing the ashes of a dead baby into the river, a woman going blind. The students read the pieces they just wrote and I tell them they can cry if they need to but to remember to continue to read.

Her point here is-writing is the goal. She goes on to say that writing gives us a chance to take these emotions, even the hard ones, and give them light, color and a story.

Light, color and a story. We have all the fun, don't we?

If you want to have some fun, and haven't done these yet, try it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Surprise

Last night I went to let the dog out and was shocked to see big, juicey wet flakes tumbling through the moonlight. In this city, we see snow very rarely. In fact, the news called it “snow shock” because no one knew it was coming. Within minutes the ground was covered and we spent the next few hours watching the magic show as buckets of glitter fell from the sky; swirling in gusts of wind and piling up on cars, bushes and lawns in a thick, fluffy shimmering blanket. We were inside our very own snow globe.

Besides covering our little corner of the world in white, I was most enchanted with the idea that it was unexpected. When did I stop expecting the unexpected?

Well, in a sense, I haven’t, it’s just that when I think of the unexpected, I think of sudden disasters…car accidents, freak lighting strikes, bombings, a bridge collapsing. You get my point, basically, all the things brought into our livingrooms and minds by the daily news.

The thing I realized is we try to make our world so predictable--so padded, strapped in, secured--that we think we have a handle on what happens within the span of our day. But, then something falls from the sky and we realize we don't have control. We have illusion.

So, the real question is…when did I stop expecting the unexpected to be soft and beautiful and kind?

Expect the unexpected. Sometimes it is truly a gift.

Happy Valentines Day. Love, the Universe.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Thought I'd post a few bits of good news here. First, I have officially typed the last sentence of my novel! I would like to say I've finished it, but with all the editing and filling in of details ahead of me, that would be a big fat lie.

It does feel incredibly good to have it all down though, the whole plot--beginning, middle and end--unfolded and complete. I can now look back at the seeds of its beginnings over three years ago without anxiety over whether I will ever find the time to finish it, find the perfect ending, find myself staring at the words: THE END.

Because I have found all of that and more.

The writing life is good!

On a second happy note--we have made the official decision to move back to Florida this summer. Our house will go on the market in March. Soon sand will replace the hard red clay beneath my feet; a wide open sky will replace monster scrubby trees on rolling hills; balmy breezes will replace frozen toes and saltwater will be my new therapy. I'm going home.

Of course, now we have three weeks to complete a three thousand item list the realtor has provided to get the house ready for sale. I'm sure my euphoria will wax and wane during some of the scrubbing, painting, packing...(what, we have to install a garage door opener?) part. But, right now I am enjoying the joy. Looking forward to the change. Trying not to hug and kiss strangers--that kind of joy.

Okay, just wanted to share. Back to editing I go!