Casual Fridays 5/29

image

It’s Friday! Time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

Just a quick note this week… I am going to be camping with my girls and their scout groups all day Friday and Saturday so my internet time will be limited. I want to wish everyone a happy weekend and I will see you all next week for Casual Fridays.

Advertisements

Starve the Beast (Friday Fictioneers)

pleisiosaur_

When little Tess had nightmares, her mother always soothed her. Mother would say, “Monsters feed on fear.  Starve the beast and it will be powerless.”

As Tess grew up, she realized that monsters don’t always have sharp teeth or claws or live under the bed. Some were far more dangerous. Tess’ monster had a handsome face and a charming smile. And a wicked right hook.

Tess patted her pocket, feeling the steel courage hidden there. She was taking back the power. No more covering bruises with makeup. No more lies. No more fear. It was time to starve that beast.


This 100-word story is my offering for Friday Fictioneers – hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Friday Fictioneers is a group of writers that gathers every week to share flash fiction stories of approximately 100 words. Click here and hit the blue froggy button under the photo to read the other stories. There are some very talented folks in FF (and I’m just happy they let me tag along) so please check them out!

photo credit: Douglas MacIlroy

Casual Fridays 5/22/15

jeans enhanced

It’s Friday! Time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

I have a lot of balls up in the air at the moment. There’s always work. School is almost out for the kiddos. Camp is coming up next weekend. There is kid social drama. Personal issues. I could go on and on but I won’t. In an effort to be a positive force, I am going to try to bring some sunshine to this party. No rainclouds.

It is a gorgeous day. The sun is shining and the sky is a brilliant blue. It will be in the mid-70s today which is about as close to perfect as we get here in STL.

It is a three-day weekend, which is always a blessing. It is Memorial Day, which is an important day in my family since we have many veterans (and one member who is still active duty). I am so very thankful for all of the men and women who have served our country.

I have my health. I know so many people right now who are facing serious health issues. Besides an aching back, I am in great shape for my age. This is a true blessing, not something to be taken for granted.

While I may not have my ideal job, I have a job. It supports my family and gives me purpose. I had my annual performance review yesterday and of course my supervisors confirmed my awesomeness. It is easy sometimes to feel like a worker drone, but it is nice to hear positive feedback and appreciation. And the parties here rock.

The bluetooth stopped working in my car yesterday. This was a big deal as I spend a lot of time in my car and use the bluetooth daily. Streaming music makes my commute tolerable. I pulled out my manual last night and fretted over how to fix it. This morning, the bluetooth was working fine. I had brought an auxillary cable just in case, but it was a nice surprise to not need it. (And yes I realize that the very fact that a bluetooth issue registers as a blip on my radar makes me a very lucky person)

I have to say that I have been caught up lately in the trappings of social stress and pettiness. I am a sensitive (and anxious) person so these things weigh heavier on me than they should. I am trying to just be me and let the rest go. What other people say and/or do reflects on them, not on me. I can’t control other people and I should not worry about what I can’t control. Right? I just have to focus on myself and the people in my life that are most important to me.

I haven’t had much writing time lately (I seem to say that a lot) but I am hoping for some this weekend. I am also wanting to add to my reading list. Anyone read any good books lately they would like to recommend?

Happy Friday and I wish everyone a fun and safe weekend!

Edited to add: I forgot one very important piece of sunshine! I got home from work last night (a little bummed about the bluetooth issue) and my husband was cleaning the house. He cleaned up the tent fort the girls had built in the living room, vacuumed the whole house and cleaned the bathroom and kitchen floors. He also had the trash waiting out by the curb. I so appreciate it when he helps out with house stuff! And he also fixed a rock chip in my windshield this week so I think I’ll keep him 😉

Happy One Year Bloggiversary to Me!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.”

How is this year shaping up so far? Write a post about your biggest challenges and achievements thus far.

216516964_40b66d5e15_z

It’s my bloggiversary! One whole year!

I wrote on my About page back then that I was at a crossroads, both personally and professionally. I feel like I am still there on both counts. But as far as my blog goes, I feel like it’s been a good year. I have found some great blogs and made some friends. The WordPress community has been overall very friendly and welcoming. Aside from connecting with others, this blog has given me the push to focus more on my creative writing.

In honor of my bloggiversary, I am sharing some of my favorite posts. A “greatest hits,” if you will (at least according to me).

That Place

Islands

Ashes

Letting Go

The Coupler (Friday Fictioneers)

In the Doghouse (Friday Fictioneers)

Remnants

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to follow my blog and/or read, like or comment on my writing. I appreciate all of you so much! And don’t forget that you can follow me on facebook or twitter.

photo credit: flickr – ADoseofShipBoy

Real to Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”

Hand in hand, we walked down the street toward one of our favorite restaurants. He was particularly animated this time and seemed to have much to say. I took advantage of the time and studied him, absorbing every detail. His sun-kissed skin. The callouses on his fingers. The exact shade of brown in his eyes. His contagious smile. The warmth of his touch. He was just as real to me in that moment as he ever was.

He was in the mood to reminisce, recounting memories of things we used to do, places we used to go. I loved these visits the most. He talked a lot so I could get lost in the tone of his voice and the cadence of his speech, adding sound bites to my memory banks. He laughed a lot and seemed happy. Unlike the visits where he seemed to be trying to tell me something or comforting me through a stressful period, these memory lane visits were all about remembering. He didn’t want me to forget him. As if I ever could.

As we neared the restaurant, the scenery started to change in that wonky, disjointed way of dreams.  That was the usual sign that our time together was almost over. It made me a little sad but I had learned to accept it. I pulled him into an embrace and felt his arms tighten around me. I put my lips close to his ear and whispered, telling him how much I loved him. He said it back to me and I could feel his breath and the vibration in his chest. I told him to come back and visit again soon. I held him in my arms until he was gone.

I used to wake up from those dreams crying, empty and lonely.  After he died, I was angry and raw, lashing out at anyone and everyone. I was so broken back then and the dreams only made his absence harder to bear. As time moves me along to different points of my grief journey, the dreams actually bring me peace and comfort. In some capacity, they are a connection to him that I am thankful for. I realize the dreams may not be real and may in fact be, as some people believe, my subconscious creating a pretty piece of fiction for my heart. Maybe my brain is projecting him into my dreams to pacify and comfort me. But maybe it really is him. Maybe whatever dimension in which his soul now resides allows him to actually visit me in my sleep state. It certainly feels real to me and that’s all that matters.

 

 

Casual Fridays 5/15/15

jeans enhanced

It’s Friday! Time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

Fridays seem to roll around quickly these days! This will be a short one as I haven’t much to say this week.

I had field trip #2 this week. This time it was the fifth grader. We went to a place called Crystal City Underground, a sports/recreation complex completely underground in a cavern system that used to be a sand mine. We took a barge ride on the underground lake and played sand volleyball and disc golf. The volleyball area was well-lit but the disc golf had some pretty dark areas. Imagine a bunch of fifth graders with frisbees running wild in a dark cave. Fun times. And not to mention that I spent a sunny 70-degree day down in a dank 55 degree cave bundled up yet still chilly. Seriously though, it was fun. The kids had fun and the adults had fun too. My daughter, who loves all things rock-related, was completely in her element admiring the rock formations and scouting around outside for rocks and crystals. We really enjoyed this unique place.

There are eight school days left. But who’s counting?

Nice weather and longer daylight has allowed us to resume our daily walks with our dog, Rusty, after work/school/dinner.  It’s great to get the kids outdoors and moving and it gives us all time to share our days. We’ve also been doing a fair amount of gardening and fishing (well, the girls go fishing with my dad. I don’t fish anymore). We also had a robin build a nest in one of our backyard trees so my kids have been closely monitoring the progress from eggs to hatchlings to almost- ready-to-leave-the-nest.

We are having another food party at work (someone is leaving) and the food table is set up right by my desk. So my workspace has become the social area today. Very little work is getting done today.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend, everyone!

Casual Fridays 5/8/15

jeans enhanced

It’s Friday! Time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

Ah, what a week. I took Monday and Tuesday off of work to rest my back. My trips to the chiropractor have been successful and I am feeling much better. I still have some residual pain (very minor) and stiffness with certain movements but I am nearly back to baseline. And I’m 41, so there was some pain and stiffness at baseline.

On Wednesday, I accompanied my six year-old, Caitlin (she seems to have dropped “Cate”), on her first grade field trip. We went to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis. The kids loved it, there were lots of really old trains and a showroom of vintage cars. There was a lot of walking and it was pretty warm, so the parents had a hard time keeping up with the kiddos. Nothing quite compares to the exuberance of an elementary schooler on a field trip. Caitlin was so excited about the trip and about the fact that I was coming along. I treasure these times with her. Afterwards, we had about an hour drive home. She requested country music (a sort of odd request coming from her) so I streamed some on Milk Music and about twenty minutes later she fell asleep.

It has been quite warm here in eastern Missouri – mid to upper 80’s all week with lots of sun. Of course, people start complaining. I have never understood this. We haven’t even gotten our suffocating humidity yet. And it wasn’t that long ago that we were complaining about cold and snow and ice. This is actually the NICE weather before the crazy summer heat and humidity kick in.

The STL Cardinals are on fire right now with the best record in MLB. If you know anything about St. Louis, you know how much we love our Cards. We are a happy city right now.

A short (maybe) plug… I don’t listen to country music all the time but my new favorite artist is James David Carter. He was on season 7 of The Voice (team Blake). He has an amazing voice and he has been working hard for years to build a country music career. Search him on youtube and you will find tons of videos – mostly of covers but also a few original songs. He is releasing a full-length album on May 26. It is independent so he does not have a major label doing promo for him. Please give him a listen and if you like what you hear, support him by buying his album May 26 on itunes or amazon.

And lastly, I want to wish a wonderful Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. Whether your kids are still baking, little or fully grown adults, being a mom is hard work but one of the most rewarding things we can do on this earth. So spend some time with your favorite mom this weekend and tell her how much she means to you. My mom and I had some rough times when I was younger, but I can truly say now that she is my best friend. I am blessed to have her in my life.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Casual Fridays 5/1/15

jeans enhanced

It’s Friday! Time for the latest installment of Casual Fridays, my weekly chat post – no structure, no rules, no prompts, anything goes.  And please also check out Casual Fridays over at Helen’s blog, Good Woman.

Let’s get random…

It’s nearly 10:30 pm here where I live, so this post is coming in just under the wire. It has been a draining week in the Amie Writes camp. I have been dealing with some personal/family issues (which I will not go into). The stress and sadness just kind of seep into the other aspects of life and lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. For that reason, I took it easy on myself this week. I didn’t do any writing and I skipped out on Friday Fictioneers (though I really hope to return next week). I’m always disappointed in myself when I don’t post through the week; however, anything I would have posted this week probably would have been really bad emo poetry (ha ha).

On top of the personal issues, I’ve had physical challenges this week. I threw my back out last weekend. I’ve always had skeletal problems, but I have never had this kind of back pain before. I tried to be optimistic, hoping that it was just a strained muscle that would feel better after a couple days. But after soldiering through the pain for many days, I broke down and saw a chiropractor today – my first ever encounter with one.  My lower back is out of alignment and is pinching a nerve, hence all of the pain and limited mobility. I do feel some improvement after my appointment today but I will need to go back next week for continued treatment to get back up to par.

It is now 10:41. In the spirit of taking care of me, I am signing off and going to bed. I have a very long day tomorrow – and hopefully a very fun day – with my daughters and their scout troops. I definitely need my rest.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!