The first concert

My sixth grader had her very first band concert tonight. She just started playing the flute at the end of August. This wonderful evening had it all: a gym packed with people, squeaking clarinets, saxophones that sounded like honking geese, off-tempo percussionists and Christmas tunes. But seriously,  the kids sounded great for beginners. I was impressed. And so very proud. She has been working so hard and has come so far in such a short time. I love watching her love music.

Walls

“I’m fine.”

“Nothing is wrong.”

These become the lies with which we build the walls.

Your walls are quite solid, well-constructed. Even as I lay beside you, touching you, the walls keep me isolated. I cannot surmount them. Even as I feel your warm skin, I am left cold. Outside. You are here, but not.

I try desperately to see around or over the walls, to glimpse what once was. I try to scrape my way though until my fingers bleed but the walls stand firm.

There are so many things that I want to say to you but the walls only deflect and distort them. So we lay – together but miles apart – separated by the loneliest silence.

 

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Written for the Daily Prompt: The Outsiders

 

 

Kid Humor

Living with two girls is… interesting. At 11 and 7, they can’t seem to decide if they are best friends or mortal enemies. They get along sometimes, but they annoy each other most of the time. One reason for that is that they are total opposites in personality and temperament.

My 11 year-old had a project spread out around her on the floor. Everything was in neat, meticulous piles. Everything was just so. Cue the 7 year-old. She came stomping into the room , bringing her special brand of energetic chaos to her sister’s ordered little world. Piles scattered and the 11 year-old’s temper flared.

“Hey! Who do you think you are? The queen bee?!” Oh, the preteen drama.

The little one looked at her, flicked one of her eyebrows and put her hand on her hip. She slowly smiled at her sister and said “Buzz, buzz, baby.”

Endless entertainment.

Halfway through

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November is halfway over so that means NaBloPoMo is halfway over. I have mixed feelings about that. It has been so challenging and I have wanted to quit so many times. Quitting would be easy. So in many ways I am looking forward to the end of the month so I don’t feel the pressure of obligation. 

On the other hand, that obligation has made me dedicated and motivated my stubborn side. I don’t want to fail. That alone has kept me writing and posting on days where I wanted to do anything but.

This has been a good experience because it has made me write more… even though I question the quality. Writing anything is better than writing nothing, right? It has been a stressful experience because many days I have written out of guilt and fear of failure… at the eleventh hour, under the wire.

All I know is I am looking forward to taking a day off on December 1.

Weekend Rewind 11/15/15

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It’s Sunday! That means it is time once again for Weekend Rewind, my weekly chat post – no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

After a rough end to the workweek and the tragic events of Friday night, my little family had a good weekend. It was much needed. My husband had a rare weekend off. His phone was also not working so he couldn’t get called in. We did some shopping yesterday for some things that he has been needing for his new job. Today we took the girls to Melaina’s magical playground, one of their favorite places. We had another nice, warmish fall weekend (maybe our last of the season?) so I wanted to get them outside. After leaving there, we did some more shopping. We came home and did our dinner, baths and Walking Dead routine (hubby and I watch TWD, not the kiddos, ha ha).

Speaking of the Walking Dead, if we don’t find out soon what happened to Glenn, I am going to get stabby (and don’t just tell me that he is dead because I don’t believe it).

When we were shopping around yesterday, we wound up in a pet store. My older daughter begged me for a betta fish. We didn’t get one because it is not something we have talked about before or planned for (and I am not one to spontaneously bring home a new pet). I did agree to consider it for her birthday (which is in 3 months). I also got some ideas and started planning for Christmas in my head, taking mental notes of things to get when I’m not with the kids.

Today is November 15th so that means NaBloPoMo is half over! I can’t tell you how happy I am about that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of it and it has gotten me to write more but it has been a struggle.

It is time for me to get some sleep. Have a great upcoming week, everyone!

It’s Friday and I’m done peopling

I am saddened by the events in Paris this evening. The senseless violence against innocent people breaks my heart. I can only imagine the confusion and fear and pain in that beautiful city tonight. The sickness that infects our world like a cancer and allows these types of heinous things to happen makes me want to vomit. I cannot fathom what kind of dark soul would choose a life of terrorism. I am sending love and prayers to Paris tonight. So much healing will be needed.

A school bus crashed near my house today. The bus ran off the road, hit an embankment and turned on its side. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The kids were pretty shaken up; there were a lot of tears. This is a small community and I know most of those children and their parents. I wanted to just scoop those scared little ones up in my arms and hug them.

It has been an emotional couple of days at my work. We have had several new fetal diagnoses this week which has led to many tears shed in my office. I spent some time today with an adorable, vibrant little girl while her parents were dealt some terrible news about her unborn sibling in the next room. Oblivious, she happily chatted with me about her pets and her preschool. I know her parents are struggling tonight and my heart aches for them.

And now that I have just dumped my negative emotions into a post, it is time for me to turn off the laptop, shut out the world for a bit and withdraw.

Day 9: Balance

Deep in the park, the running path called to me in the early morning silence.  The air hung heavily with overnight chill, an almost-haze that would soon dissipate when warmed by the rising sun.

I was the first one there, happy in my solitude.

I slowly stretched my legs, the resistance shaking the sleep from my muscles. My shoulders clicked as I extended my arms over my head. I strapped my phone into my arm band and nestled my ear buds into place. The silence suddenly filled with music, racing beats that made my body want to move.

I ran, slowly at first and then a bit faster as my body hit its stride. I fell into an easy, fluid rhythm. Each time my feet met the pavement, I felt more in control. I became conscious of my increasing heart rate and the blood pumping through my veins. Part of the music now, I moved in sync, coordinating movement and breath. Inhale. Exhale. Rhythm.

The cool air left a pleasant burn in my lungs. I could feel my mind clear, becoming fertile ground for ideas. My thoughts were sharp and focused. I let my brain wander and explore. Create.

After my run, I returned home for a shower. The water washed away the sweat but my body remained energized, motivated. My muscles were still singing with electricity. I settled into my writing spot and tried to capture some of those ideas that were born on the running path.


A/N: I haven’t ran in a while actually. Not since I threw my back out this past spring. I miss it. It was such an invigorating way to start my day and it would always jumpstart my creativity.

Today’s assignment:

Day 9: Writing and Not Writing

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance?

Happy Veteran’s Day

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I want to wish a happy Veteran’s Day to all of those who have bravely served our country. It takes a special person to sacrifice for total strangers all in the name of serving the greater good.

I don’t get Veteran’s Day off work as a holiday but I take it off every year as a vacation day. My little town has a parade that my girls participate in as scouts. We march to the town square and stand on the courthouse lawn and listen to speeches from the various Veteran’s organizations. There is a gun salute to the fallen soldiers and the playing of Taps. It is extremely important to me to have my girls participate in this. They have to learn that freedom comes with a price and we must respect and honor those who have paid it.

So…

Thank you to my dad, grandfather and uncle.

Thank you to my father-in-law.

Thank you to my cousin who is current active duty.

Thank you to all of my ROTC college friends who have made military careers.

Thank you to the countless men and women who I will never know personally but who fight for me all the same.

Thank you to the POW’s and MIA’s.

Thank you to all those who are no longer with us.

I salute you all.

Day 7: Finding Inspiration in Social Media

Writing is not hard. It is actually quite easy. Writing well? Now, that is hard. Editing? Even harder.

I do agree with this tweet, though. Only I would say that it applies to writers of all levels and not just novelists. As a struggling writer, it is so natural to read a great book and think “how did that author make it look so easy?” That is because the reader doesn’t see the author’s blood, sweat and tears that go into every step of the process from idea to publication.

I think many writers are also their own worst critic. I know I am. I am super critical of everything I write and even more critical of material that I share with others. It is pretty common for me to write something, love it, share it on my blog, start to second guess myself and then have that gut-wrenching feeling that everyone will hate it. Then I read amazing posts on other blogs and think “why can’t I write like that?” I am secretly envious of many bloggers here whose writing skills I feel exceed my own.

So, yes, I believe writers do secretly or not-so-secretly feel this way at least some of the time (and some of us a lot of the time). It’s the nature of the beast. While these thoughts may be fueled by insecurity, I feel they also serve to light the fire of motivation and make us strive for improvement.