Remnants

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burnt.”  (AKA the prompt that won’t die)

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Love lost is like a burnt house.

I roam from room to room, assessing the damage. So much damage. The pieces of us are scattered, strewn about carelessly. Remnants. I take on the task of sifting through, searching for something that I can salvage and reclaim.

I find that some things have survived the fire virtually unscathed. I pick these pieces up and carry them with me. I cherish them. I am thankful for them. Lucky survivors are they.

Other pieces are damaged, but still whole. Maybe they are a little scorched around the edges or torn. Broken but repairable. They have changed but their essence remains the same.  Here I must decide what I can keep and mend and what is better left behind. The pieces that I keep and mend will assimilate into my new normal. So I must choose wisely.

And then there are those pieces that are gone completely, consumed by the fire. Disintegrated. It is almost as if they never existed. But I know that they existed, they live in my memories. I miss some of those pieces dearly. I mourn them. For others, maybe their absence is a blessing in disguise. Maybe I am better off without them, whether I realize it or not.

Our love is a burnt house. An empty shell of what once was.

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The Only Good Spider is a Dead Spider

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Embrace the Ick.”

“The only good spider is a dead spider.”

Anyone who knows me and has spent any time with me at all, has heard me say this.  I wholeheartedly believe it.

My husband is a spider sympathizer. If one is found in the house, he will actually scoop it up with a piece of paper and put it outside. It is madness.  He tells me that spiders are actually useful, that they eat insects or some other nonsense. Lies. Spiders are not useful.

I know it is an irrational fear – I’ve never been physically harmed by a spider – but I have been afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember.  I have a vivid memory of walking in the woods with my dad as a kid and coming upon a big, fat spider in the middle of a web. It was black with yellow stripes on its ugly legs and it was right in front of my face. I had a full blown panic attack.  As I got older, I started having spider stress dreams.  As in, if I were going through a particularly stressful time, it would manifest in my dreams as spider attacks… being surrounded by spiders, having them fall on me, etc.  These are the worst because I wake up screaming and I have to flip on the light and prove to myself that my bed is not full of spiders.  I can never get back to sleep after those.

I guess this is the part where I am supposed to write about the positive virtues about spiders but I truly don’t believe they have any. The only thing that I can think of is that they build beautiful webs. And those webs are strong.  So, kudos to them on their web-building skills, I guess.

And just so you know, I searched for a related photo to go with this post to make it look nice for your viewing pleasure.  Like an idiot, I searched “spider web.” Big mistake. My computer screen was immediately full of pictures of nasty spiders. I almost had a heart attack. So I revised my search to “web.” Lesson learned.  I am thoroughly traumatized.

Old School

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pens and Pencils.”

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

Call me “old school” (which is really just code for “old”), but I love to put pen to paper – literally – and just write.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my smartphone and computer as much as the next person, but I am not ready to live in a paperless world.  

I have two journals that I use to write. I like to carry them with me so that I can jot down ideas whenever inspiration strikes.  I love to hold them, feel them, flip through the pages.  I like to be able to organize my thoughts on the page – scratch things out, draw arrows, write notes in the margin. It just makes me feel like a legit writer.

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The purple one is a gift from my older daughter.  It contains some journaling and just little snippets of story ideas, poems, phrases, observations, etc.  My girls will sometimes steal it and put little notes or drawings in it as well.

The one with the owl is a gift from my friends, Violet and Joanne (hi Violet! hi Joanne! *waves*). Violet  is quite creative and she decorated the inside page:

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Isn’t it the coolest?!  I absolutely adore this journal.  The early framework of my first novel will begin here.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, friends… what does your writing process look like? Do you use pen and paper? Is it all digital? Combination of both?

Mornings = Chaos

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Two Right Feet.”

What are the things you need to do within 30 minutes of waking up to ensure your day gets off on the right foot? What happened the last time you didn’t do one of these things?

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I have to admit, when I read this prompt for the first time I snort-laughed.  I guess I pictured people who have morning routines that may include sipping coffee or yoga or a jog around the neighborhood.  I am not those people.  My mornings are a hot mess.  That is likely because I stay in bed until the last possible minute to the point where I have to rush to get myself and my kids out the door (usually 5-10 minutes late).

(Sidenote: Does anyone else play this game in the morning? *alarm goes off* I look at clock and say “OK, I have an hour, time to get up.”  *hits snooze*  … *alarm goes off*  “OK, if I get up RIGHT NOW, I have 45 minutes. I’m getting up.”  *hits snooze*…. *alarm goes off*  “30 minutes. CRAP. GET UP!”  *hits snooze*… etc.)

And when I finally drag myself out of bed? It is a whirlwind of getting dressed, hair and makeup (the later I am, the lower my standards become), getting the kids out of bed (this usually takes several tries and my “angry voice”), making sure they are dressed and clean (I settle for reasonably presentable), gathering bags/lunches/coats, making sure pets are walked and fed.  Have you ever tried to rush kids?  It is like herding cats.

Mornings = chaos.  

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Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award!

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I have been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award – the award that recognizes unique voices of women throughout the blogosphere. I was nominated by  Italian Hurricane!  Thank you so much, my friend. What an honor. Everyone, please go check out her blog, it is great!

The rules of this award are as follows:  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their site, put the award logo on your blog, answer the ten questions sent to you, make a list of ten questions for your nominees and nominate seven blogs

A couple of the blogs I nominated I have been following for a bit and others are newer follows for me. I have come across some great blogs in the Blogging 101 course. All of these are blogs that I enjoy and I want to spread some love and recognition for all of their hard work. My nominees are:

Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

Nutsrok

Good Woman

From Marisa’s Kitchen

Amanuensis Sobriquet-Reverie

Into the Forgotten

Apparently Anna Has Some Explaining To Do

And now for the questions… Ladies, I am sending you the same set of questions that I have answered below. I can’t wait to see your answers! Blogging is about community so lets all get to know each other.

1. Why did you start blogging?  I started this blog for myself, to get back into creative writing. It is a way for me to reconnect with that love of mine and also to develop my writing skills.

2. Which is your favorite among your blog posts? Why? I think my favorite is That Place. I wrote it for the Writing 101 class and it was one of my earliest posts. It is the kind of emotive writing that I strive for and it evoked some emotional responses in my readers. Score.

3. Who/What inspires most of your blog posts? I draw inspiration from a lot of places – my family, friends, past experiences. I love to write about love and relationships and draw from the past and present men in my life (much to my husband’s chagrin). I love music. Music takes me to a creative place.

4. What are your dreams and goals for your blog? I really just write for me but of course I would like to grow my readership. No one wants to feel like a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear. I love that ripple effect – comments and feedback from readers as they read my blog. So I guess my goal would be to connect with more people.

5. What do you want to accomplish this year? Personally, I am trying to find a new job that would give me more time with my family and hopefully more time for writing. I am always striving to be a better wife and mother. As far as writing, I want to strengthen my skills and get more comfortable sharing my work. I am confident that 2015 will be the year that I start my first novel.

6. What is your favorite book? Why? This one is hard. I love books. I am going to say The Stand by Stephen King. He is my favorite writer of all time. His writing is so detailed and addicting and he is the master of character development. I have read The Stand more times than any of his other books. It has strong characters and is a great story of the battle between good and evil.

7. What brings you joy? My family. I have a supportive husband and two amazing kids. Seriously, seeing life through the eyes of my kids is the best. They are an awesome gift.

8. Describe yourself in 3 words. Responsible. Creative. Loving.

9. Now tell us what 3 words your friends would use to describe you. Loyal. True. Fun.

10. How long have you been blogging? I started a blog over at blogger a few years ago and it never really got off the ground. I got busy and just abandoned it. I started my blog here at wordpress last spring.

 

Memory

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

His eyes stare at me from the photo,

full of light, love and mischief;

full of life.

I remember that morning,

how the light streamed in the window

and accented his face on the pillow,

how his dark hair flopped over one eye,

the look of the stubble on his chin.

This man, who filled my bed and

filled my life with love and laughter,

frozen for a moment in time.

A precious moment, 

brief and fleeting.

If I had known it would be the last photo,

I would have taken a thousand more.

Letting Go

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“I’m tired. I’m ready to go. I love you so much.”

It was the last text message that she sent.

Twenty-two years locked in a broken body, she had no movement except for her wrists and hands. She could not even speak because of the breathing tube in her throat. Her body was riddled with contractures that made it hard to find comfort.  This night was the last in a long line of hospital stays to treat the increasing lung infections. Muscular dystrophy was cold and cruel.

She may have been ready to leave that body, but she was still hesitant to go. While her life was no picnic, it was all she knew. She looked at her mother – her whole world – sitting on the edge of her bed, tears were flowing freely. She hated to think of her mother in so much pain. She would move heaven and earth to be able to take away that woman’s grief. She didn’t want to leave her.

She knew the time was growing near and she squeezed her mother’s hand, partly in panic – wanting to keep that connection, to communicate. Here with mother she was safe and so loved. Everything that lay beyond was unknown.

She had thought often of the end of her life, those final moments. She was not prepared for the conflict – sadness, disappointment, regret, fear, anticipation, relief. They were warring inside of her, noisy and tumultuous.

“Baby, it’s okay. It’s okay to let go,” her mother said, choking back tears.

And she did, later that night, let go.  I like to think that her soul danced into that light with an ease and fluidity that she never knew on this earth.

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A/N:  Dedicated to Victoria. Fly high, sweet girl. You will be missed.