Let’s Think Positive!

Reasons why my day is going better than a trip to the dentist (AKA Let’s think positive!)…

Sunshine after days of gray and gloom. It’s still cold, though..

A relatively quiet work day so far after being stupid busy yesterday

Taco Tuesday

I’m making friends with my new-to-me car. It’s my husband’s car. I’ve started driving it in an effort to save money on my costly commute. It’s a hybrid. A Honda CRZ to be exact. It’s a bit like driving a tic tac box but it is red and zippy.

I have plans tonight and will conveniently miss the State of the Union address. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t watch that trainwreck even if my calendar was as empty as Trump’s brain. But at least I have a legitimate excuse to not tune in.

My plans tonight involve High School Information night for incoming freshmen. Yes, my almost-14-year-old daughter will be in high school in the fall. There will be registration packets and loads of information about curriculum, grading, graduation requirements, scholarships, transcripts, summer school, standardized testing, etc. Doesn’t that sound like fun?! I’ve already received her fall marching band schedule which has thrown a gigantic wrench into my weekend free time (what free time?) in September and October. And I just know I’m going to get roped into the Band Parents Association. I don’t think I’m ready for any of this. Wait… I think I feel a cavity coming on…

 

Written for Daily Prompt

Be careful what you wish for…

This is just the laugh I needed on this dreary election day…

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The Los Angeles Rams have lost four straight games (to give them a 3-5 record) and were showered with boos at home by their own fans on Sunday.

Wait, what’s that, Los Angeles? The Rams are terrible? Damn straight they are. St. Louis endured many, many seasons of suck. We supported them anyway, filling the stadium and making fat bank for Stan Kroenke. Then he heartlessly uprooted them (leaving us with lots of stadium debt) and moved on to greener pastures (that would be you, LA fans).

Be careful what you wish for. You wanted them, you got them. Second thoughts?

Good luck.

 

photo from twitter @TheLARamsNFL

Longing

Today’s daily prompt: Longing

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On this cold, dark day of my winter

I long to stand on the waterfront of my youth

with the sun warming my skin

and the breeze blowing my hair.

I long to cast stones with the carelessness of those earlier days

and let them skim across the water.

How I long to watch their ripples once again

through the eyes of innocence.

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A/N: Kind of fitting for today – my 42nd birthday! Not that I am in my “winter,” but you know how folks can get sentimental when they turn a year older.

Also fitting: that beautiful young lady in the photo is my daughter. My mini-me in many ways, I love to see things anew through her eyes.

For those of you who missed Weekend Rewind last weekend, I apologize. Life has been distracting me this week but I should return this weekend.

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

 

 

Let the music play

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “On the Edge.”

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel — blogging, exercising, reading, cooking. What’s yours?

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Keeping myself on an even keel is not an easy task. I wish I could say that exercise does it for me. At my age and with my aching back, exercise is no longer fun. My husband and kids probably wish cooking was my vice. Alas, it is not. I used to be a voracious reader. I don’t read as much as I used to or as much as I’d like to. I would say reading is my #2.

I have to have my daily dose of music to stay sane. I stream music during my commute (which is over 2 hours total). Depending on what tasks I am doing at work, I may be (and often am) listening to music through my ear buds most of the day. I am known to plug in while I am doing housework. And my favorite is dance nights in the playroom with my girls. We stream music through the computer, turn it up loud and just dance it out.

I am a streaming junkie. It started with Pandora. I also love spotify and slacker. On my phone, there’s also Milk. These are so addictive because there are tons of stations to choose from (and flit between) OR you can customize your own station. Thousands (tens of thousands?) of songs at my fingertips? Yes, please.

My playlist is diverse. There’s pop, rock, country, alternative. There’s oldies and newbies. Every song on my playlist is there because it speaks to me in some way. Being a writer, I am drawn to lyrics. So most are songs that I particularly connect to the lyrics for one reason or another. My new favorite is Photograph by Ed Sheeran. So beautiful. I also love to rock out so there are some songs that I just love the catchy beat.

Music influences my writing. It lifts me up. It makes me think. It can reflect my mood or it can change my mood. A day without music would be like a day trapped in a windowless room devoid of sensory input. I would probably freak out.

What keeps you on an even keel?

photo credit: Thomas Hawk – flickr

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.

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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.

 

 

It’s Not All About You

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Walk the Line.”

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I have always followed The Golden Rule (treat others as you wish to be treated) and it has served me well.  I strive to be “good” (kind, generous, honest, etc.).

Somewhere along the way, I became a parent and I realized the true importance of character.  Because little eyes are always watching and little ears are always listening.  They soak up everything, good and bad.  And everything they absorb is contributing to the person they are now as well as the person they will grow up to be.

So my latest philosophy has been “It’s Not All About You.”  We need to think less about ourselves and more about others and the community around us.  Think about how your words and actions affect those around you. And I think society these days needs a great big heaping helping of “It’s Not All About You.” Some people need to be knocked upside the head with it.  And helicopter parenting and the “everybody gets a trophy” mentality is breeding an entitled generation that also needs to embrace “It’s Not All About You.”

Conscientious, caring and compassionate … my goal is to be a living, breathing example of this to my kids.

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Home

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

 

He turned his head to look at her.  She was radiant, bathed in moonlight.  Her long, wavy hair was fanned out on the blanket beneath her.  She laid next to him,  quiet and still, gazing at the stars.  His eyes ghosted over her silhouette, overwhelmed by her beauty.  She looked innocent and fragile, but he knew better.  She was intelligent, strong and courageous and she had become a grounding force in his life.  She was his sustenance and he needed her like his lungs needed air.

As he had many times before, he wondered how he had come to this place.  With all of the things that he had done, he did not feel like he deserved her attention, let alone her love.  Yet, against all odds, they were here.

She turned her head and he found himself staring into those familiar blue eyes.  He searched them as if the answers to the universe could be found there.  For him, they could be.  All he ever needed to know was right there in front of him.   He was sure of it.

She smiled and touched his face. “You look lost in thought. What are you thinking about?” She asked.

While he had much on his mind, being in this moment with her quieted all of the noise.  Nothing else mattered.

“You. Always you,” he said.

Rolling on his side, he reached out and placed his hand on the gentle swell of her stomach.  He could feel the growing life within and it gave him hope.  He knew not what was to come but he felt a peace settle over him.  He realized that this place, however he came to be there, was home.

 

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A/N: OK, so I linked this to a daily prompt (a few days late, of course) but this is actually a small piece of a much larger project that I’m working on.  I didn’t have much time to edit, so I  know it’s not perfect (nothing ever is, right?). Feedback is welcomed.

 

 

 

Live

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Loving Memory.”

Today Word Press asks me to write my own obituary.

Today is my birthday.  While I am not old, I am getting older.  I am tired and I have aches and pains.  My metabolism is slowing down.  My body is starting to betray me.  But I have a lot of life left to live (or so I hope).

But today –  on my 41st birthday – Word Press has decided to throw me in the grave and start piling on the dirt.  Not today, Word Press.  Not today.

In the last several years, I have seen way too many loved ones taken before their time.  Cancer.  Chronic illness.  Accidents.  I refuse to dwell on death.

To me, it doesn’t matter what pretty words are in the obituary.  What does matter are the feelings and memories that are left in the hearts of the people we leave behind.

So go out today and love.  Make memories.  Live.  That’s what I will be doing.