Was talking to a junior in high school who had an assignment for English class. After reading the first short story from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the teacher wanted the class to write a two-page paper about the things they themselves carry. They could be physical things or metaphorical things.
After reading the papers, the teacher commented that he thought the class would have more fun with the assignment. He mused that he thought the kids would talk about more physical items, instead, there was a lot of emotional and rather serious topics brought up.
I’m not sure if that is a sign of our times, but if I had talked to my seventeen-year-old self and made her write that paper, I know she was carrying the weight of the world. So it would have been emotionally driven in ‘my time’ as well.
Of course, being a writer, I started thinking about that idea and the book. I remember reading the first chapter of Mr. O’Brien’s book. I was in college and that opening chapter blew my mind. Tim O’Brien’s writing was mind-blowing. And beautiful and horrible and lovely. (I found the first chapter here if you want to check it out.)
All of those thoughts lead to my present day self. What do I carry? Without a filter, if I had to dump it all out and write about it right now, at this very moment… Continue reading
I’ve been thinking on a plethora of thoughts lately. The heat, however, has weighed me down and I’m not quite interested in following any of them down the road they are leading me. I’ve been reading Madeleine L’Engle slowly this summer, as if every paragraph is a conversation we’re having over coffee.
In the early morning hours, I’ve been writing. While the earth is cooled a bit and the air outside doesn’t threaten to choke me with its intensity. I wake with the early dawn and write outside as long as I can. I have three stories I’m writing right now, my morning mood dictates where I’ll spend my words.
Hope is an interesting thing these days, isn’t it? I am stuck in a harsh wash cycle of hoping things work out and hoping I can fight the good fight for the long haul and hoping things will just somehow ‘work out’ over the next few years. The waxing, waning mess is akin to a gaggle of teenage hormones. Screaming and crying one minute; happy go lucky with a plan of action for their future the next.
I’ve got Santa on my mind. That jolly old elf, a once kindly old man who brought gifts to poor children on a long winter’s night, so many years ago. With time and evolution, he’s changed. Or maybe he hasn’t changed, maybe it’s us.
As a kid, I remember my overactive imagination, as I snuggled under my covers too excited to try and sleep. Every Christmas Eve I would lie awake as long as I could. Convinced, at some point I heard the jingle of sleigh bells on the roof, the stomp of a hoof perhaps. The happily whispered “Ho Ho Ho” as he drove out of sight.
Attempt number six is finished my friends. I wrote 51,557 words in a month for National Novel Writing Month. (The challenge being to write 50,000 words in a month which is roughly 1,667 words a day. But when you skip an entire week that number of words a day goes up dramatically. I digress.)
It was a different year this time around. I’m not going to lie, the election effected me so vehemently I played with the idea of giving up writing. I couldn’t bring myself to write anything for about a week. Okay, that’s not entirely true either. I wrote long meanderings about how I was feeling and how I was going to fight. I wrote letters to most of my representatives. And I did write three few short stories. But the writing of this book, this thing that was supposed to be a story for two characters from a previous book…their joy was stolen a bit.
However, that confusion and anger and fear ended up working for good in the story line. Once I committed to finishing this goal I set before myself, it was nice to find solace in a different world for a few moments each day.
So again, I’ve proven to myself what I’m about. Reconnected with my voice and the writer within. And wrote a damn book in a month.
As a writer, I write to make myself feel better. Yes, my fingers have been flying across the keyboard this past week! II love when writing, short stories come out of nowhere and I follow them to their ends. I thought you’d like a little something different today! Continue reading
View of Boise from the Depot
I forget the gem of a state I have here in my little corner of the world. And I’m thankful for my trips this summer that have reminded me why I’ve made this place my home.
Rumi said “It may be that the satisfaction I need depends on my going away, so that when I’ve gone and come back, I’ll find it at home.
My idol, Madeline L’Engle said “Maybe that’s the best part of going away for a vacation – coming home again.”
And sure that’s what I’m feeling.
Here’s a glimpse into how I find stories. Sometimes.
When I was in college, on Thursday nights I would end up sometimes at a bar. I can’t remember thename of the bar as there have been several years placed between me and the times I used to go there and they have changed their name.
So, Thursday nights was ladies night at said bar I can’t remember. Ladies got in free and recieved a free drink as long as you bought one more. So for the price of one beer we could get in and have a decent night. For a starving artist hiding in college this was a great way to spend a Thursday night.
Every thursday the band The Rebecca Scott Decision would play. Headed by, well, you guessed it, Rebecca Scott. She wears a smirk when she plays, short black hair, tall talent. I loved her. There was something about her music when she played live. Kicked my imagination in the very guts. I would fill napkins with imagery from those nights.
(Yes, I was a writer who went to a bar to hang out and ended up in a dark corner scribbling on napkins to make sure I didn’t miss anything.)
The group that gathered were so strange and writeable. There was always the same strange guy who danced awkwardly, never to the beat of the muisc, but his favorite dance move was to slowly punch the air. The table of dolled up girls who had found the bar for the first time and just loved how cute and cozy it was. There were the guys who trolled the bar, predators looking for a lone girl who had separated from the pack. The one girl who came just for the bartender who politely refilled her drinks but didn’t really see her. I loved everything about it, all set to the soundtrack of Rebecca Scott and her music. Continue reading
There might be two types of parenting styles.
There might actually be more than two, but I am beginning to see deep lines cut in the sand in two different worlds of parenting. Sure there are other styles littered around and among said drawn line, but for my purposes here, there are two distinctions.
You see, I was staying at my brother in laws house this past weekend for a last-minute visit. We had ourselves a lovely visit. Got to ride horses and the cousins got to know each other a little better. However, at the end of the day, I believe my kid and I were beginning to put a sort of strain on the household.
I’ve been thinking about the open road. You see, it’s spring in my little corner of the world. The snow is melting and in another life I would be getting ready to take off. Trying to figure out how to mooch a ride off a friend, or where the cheapest plane ticket could get me, or what sofa of what friend would welcome me for a time before I outstayed my welcome.