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Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

This is pathetic, y’all. This, this right here, is why I could never be a really for real writer.

I’ve been thinking the last few days about Christmas. Christmaaaas! Imagine that in Oprah voice and sparkly font, because I don’t know how to do that. (The sparkly font part. I know how to do Oprah voice.) I don’t know what it is, because Christmas-when-it-is-not-Christmas is one of my pet peeves, but I could totally be 100%, head over heels in the Christmas spirit right now. I am resisting so hard, because Thanksgiving comes first and it gets the shaft as it is, so I try to celebrate only one holiday at a time. I’ve managed not to break out the Christmas music yet, although I do have Buble’s new one standing by for Thanksgiving evening. I’ve walked through Walmart’s Christmas section more than once and, so help me, Walmart made me sing along to Frosty the other day. I didn’t want to! The Walmart made me!

This is so weird because last year it took me forrreeeevvvvveerrrrrrrr to get in the Christmas spirit. I don’t even know, y’all, but I was a total Grinch. (Compared to my usual level of festivity, that is.) This year, I am ALL ABOUT IT. Bring on the Christmas, I am READY. I have almost completed my shopping. Don’t hate me because I’m amazing.

Where am I even going with this? … Oh yes, I remember. So I’ve been thinking about Christmas, and as soon as I start thinking in that direction my thoughts turn to food. I do some massive Christmas baking and candy-making and it is just about the most fun part of the whole thing, and this year it’s going to be even FUNNER because I’m making a supply list for Sam’s Club. Have you been to Sam’s? Everyone needs to experience it. I have only been once, but you guys? Sam’s is my new happy place. (Along with Hobby Lobby. In my perfect world, Hobby Lobby and Sam’s live next door to each other just down the block from Disney World.) So I’m planning this trip sometime during the beginning of December, when I’ll go to Sam’s for baking supplies and take my sister to [undisclosed pretty pretty makeup store] to pick out her Christmas present. Basically, it will be just about the best day of my life.

And you think I’m kidding, but I am so not kidding.


It’s been quite a dry spell lately, blog-wise. I think the problem is that I’m kind of at such a standstill in life right at this moment – waiting to hear about a job, waiting to hear about grad school – that I just don’t have any blog fodder on a daily basis. Plus there’s the whole issue of having things I want to record but not necessarily wanting to share it all with the Internet, heh. I actually broke out the journal this week and wrote by hand, gasp! I’m going to try to overcome this, though. I’ve made a pact with myself to write something every day, whether it’s to share with all you lovely people or just for myself. I’m a much saner person when I write regularly, and I could really use some more sanity. (Ahem. Nobody comment on that.)

But anyway, it’s May. UC has emptied out, which means the population of my town has shrunk by half … or maybe not quite, but it feels that way. I love the first few weeks of summer, when campus is deserted and it feels like town belongs to the locals again. Yesterday I got to thinking about how I suppose summer is really here now, and to my surprise I found myself mentally composing a love letter to summer.

You should know that I loathe hot weather. I hate the feeling of being overheated, I hate humidity and the havoc it wreaks on my poor hair, I hate sweating and the way my clothes stick to me when I do, I hate any temperatures above 80 when all you want to do is run around naked but you can’t because there are people in the world and it would probably be a good idea not to offend their delicate sensibilities.

But something happens to me every year, in what would be spring if southeastern Kentucky was allowed to have spring. (Which we apparently are not. We go from 40 to 80 with barely a day in between to marvel at the fact that we don’t need jackets to go outside. It’s mean.) I find myself entranced by the warmth, loving the heat and the light. While I vastly prefer sweaters and scarves to bathing suits and shorts, I am almost giddy the first time I get to go outside with the smallest amount of bare skin. I am completely besotted with the sun in my eyes, the slight burning of the sun beating down on my arm through the car window.

I love walking in the cool grass with bare feet. I love the early morning, almost too cool for short sleeves yet somehow foreshadowing the heat that will soon burn off the fog. I love sitting outside as the sun goes down, the heat slowly melting away. I love riding in the car with the windows down, sunglasses in place and hair blowing in the wind. I love getting out sleeveless cotton dresses and flip flops – oh, how I love my flip flops. I love pedicures and smooth legs and the smell of sunscreen and aloe. I love the breeze from the ceiling fan cutting through the thick, warm air in my bedroom at night. I love corn on the cob and cucumbers fresh from the garden. I love that first sip of slushy or lick of ice cream on a hot afternoon. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass. I love riding in the bed of the pickup truck. I love watching a summer storm, the lightning and thunder just scary enough to remind us how small we really are. I love the way the sunlight looks shining through the window, and how you can sit outside and watch the sun set at 10 o’clock at night, while the crickets and frogs sing to you. I love the way we sleep more soundly after the draining heat.

So here’s to you, summer. Welcome back. Next week I may curse you, but this week I love you.

Guess what I did for you?

I wrote you a Thanksgiving haiku.

Actually I wrote you multiple Thanksgiving haikus. Here you go.

Today’s Thanksgiving
Turkey and dressing and pumpkin pie
I’ll pass out later

Thanksgiving has come
Friends and family are together
Now pass the turkey

The cranberry sauce
Does anyone even eat that stuff?
Just taking up space

Thanksgiving dinners
I’m going to have two
Never eat again

[Once I start writing haiku it’s kind of hard to stop.]

I hope you all enjoyed your turkey comas!

Here’s something I don’t think I’ve really mentioned to anyone: I’m a little bit addicted to mommy blogs.

Have you ever read a mommy blog? They’re just what they sound like – moms blog about the cute (and gross) things their kids do, they talk about their husbands and marriages, that sort of thing. And I LOVE them. “Become mommy blogger” is one more thing I’ve added to my list of Things I Must Do When I Have Children. (List also includes quit job to be stay-at-home mom, enroll any and all daughters in dance classes as soon as they can walk, and dress children alike for my own personal enjoyment.)

So for today, I’ve compiled a little linkspam of mommy (and daddy!) blogs that I love.

The first one I started following is Pacing The Panic Room. The author, Ryan, writes about his and his wife’s adventures as they get ready for the birth of their first child. The thing that drew me to this blog first was the photography. Ryan is a photographer and he takes the most awesome belly pictures of his wife every week. This is the most recent:

Awesome, yes? I think so. 🙂

That blog led me to Attack of the Redneck Mommy – and I admit I only looked at this one because of the title, heh. I haven’t had time yet to go back and read more than just the most recent posts, but I plan to. This lady is hilarious, y’all.
From that one – you see the pattern here, right – I found my absolute favorite mommy blog, The Spohrs Are Multiplying. This blogger, Heather, writes some of the funniest stuff I have ever read – just the way she puts things is awesome. And there’s lots of pictures and videos of her little girl, Madeline. This may possibly be the cutest baby ever:

Don’t you just want to squish her? I do! Sadly, Maddie passed away in April – she was a preemie and had been dealing with lots of health problems – and Heather has been writing about this experience too. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful all at once.

While cruising the archives of that blog, I found moosh in indy. Talk about adorable kids! Check out this one, affectionately referred to as The Moosh:

So, you may ask, what is the draw? Why read blogs about the lives of people I don’t know and will probably never meet? Well I’ll tell you. First of all, I think I like mommy blogs specifically because pretty much my number-one goal is to be a mommy myself. I’ve got the whole maternal instincts thing going on, I love little kids, I suffer from raging baby envy. I think that’s why mommy blogs in particular appeal to me the way they do. But beyond that, when you read these blogs, you come to feel like you do know them. Maybe you see similarities to yourself, or to someone you know. So then their story isn’t just theirs, it becomes universal. It could be anyone’s story. You find something you can relate to, or see that someone else has gone through something you may have gone through. I think it’s safe to assume that everyone who might read this knows about the relationships that can be formed across the miles via the Wonderful Interwebz, so that’s why I like blogs.

Plus all these bloggers are awesomely talented writers and really really freakin’ funny. They’re just fun to read.

And now you know what I do at work! 😉


Posted on: 01/19/2009

So … I’ve been dying to write lately. Like, really really dying. Plus I have this creative writing: fiction class and we have to write 3 short stories to turn in. I’ve been getting impatient to get a brilliant idea and get something written down.

So, this weekend something came to me and I actually got right up and wrote it down, which is something new and exciting for me. I even procrastinate the good things.

I wrote this little piece, which is about what I remember from the day my grandfather died. I don’t know where the idea came from, but I wrote it a little differently … from third-person, and exactly as I remember it even though I know I don’t remember everything accurately. When I remember those events, it’s like watching a movie. I see myself going about doing things and interacting with people, instead of remembering myself actually doing it.

And it occurred to me that this is something of a recurring theme in my writing in general. This makes the third piece I’ve written about my grandfather. I can only assume I write about him so much because his death was one of the most significant events in my life, and it affected me in some crazy ways. Writing is cathartic for me since I can’t ever express myself as well verbally as I do in writing, so I guess writing about it is a good thing.

Anyway, now I have a dilemma. I wrote this with the intention of turning it in to my creative writing teacher, but technically it isn’t fiction. I could always pass it off as such, of course, but I probably will take creative writing: nonfiction next semester, if it’s offered. So do I turn it in now or save it? I can’t decide, so I’m posting it. Read if you want, let me know what you think.

It’s a depressing subject matter, FYI. I know, duh, but I just thought I’d mention it. My frame of mind has been a little on the dark side this weekend. It’s this fanfic I’ve been immersed in, which also has a character with a very dirty mouth, and consequently I’ve found myself randomly wanting to drop the F-bomb for the last two days. The person responsible for this, you know your blame.

Here goes. This piece is currently untitled.
The girl lay in bed and stared at the sun coming through the gauzy white curtains and making the pale orange walls impossibly brighter. She felt lightheaded, a little confused, almost panicking but not quite. She couldn’t wipe her friend’s words from her mind, the first thing she’d heard when she answered the ringing phone that had awoken her.

Hey, I heard your grandfather died last night.

And her immediate denial. No, he didn’t.

The line went quiet after that. The friend mumbled something and quickly hung up. She blindly set her cell phone back on the table beside her bed and lay unmoving a moment longer, but sleep was nowhere to be found now.

She was reluctant to get up, but she was too tense to lie there any longer. She had to move, had to feel like she was doing something. Above all else, she hated to feel helpless.
She padded down the carpeted hall into the kitchen and searched for something to eat even though she wasn’t really hungry. The house was quiet, and the silence was somehow ominous. She knew her sister was at school and her parents at work, but still the hush felt wrong.

And she knew. Her grandfather had died during the night, and no one had told her. They probably hadn’t wanted to wake her for that. And on top of that, her friend probably thought she was a freak.

She fought the panic rising in her chest, to no avail. Tears pooled in her eyes and she looked around the kitchen frantically, as if searching for something. As if a confirmation of her fears would be written on the tan painted wall or the green countertop.

Her eyes fell on the cordless phone sitting on the island in the middle of the kitchen and she grabbed for it as a drowning man would a lifeline. With trembling fingers she dialed her mother’s office number; the voice that answered wasn’t the one she wanted to hear. Her mom had just left, and was heading home.

This was bad. It was all the confirmation she needed. Why else would her mom leave work so early?

It would only take her about ten minutes to get home from her office, but it felt more like ten hours to the girl pacing in front of the door. She watched her mother’s red car pull up in front of the house and her heart jumped in her throat. All of a sudden she was nervous.
The door opened and no words were needed. She fell into her mother’s arms, sobbing. Her mother said something, trying to give comfort through her own tears, but later the girl hadn’t the faintest clue what she’d said.

She dressed quickly, not even looking in the mirror, and left with her mother to pick up her sister from school early. They agreed to tell the ten-year-old nothing until they got home. The girl wondered how she would keep the tears at bay that long.

Somehow she succeeded and the little girl was none the wiser, excited at the novelty of going home mid-morning. She chattered happily from the front seat while the older girl sat in the back, trying to cry silently.

Their dad was waiting for them at home. He’d been called to his father’s bedside the night before, and he told them how it had all happened: how they knew it was the end, how calm it had been, how the sores covering his body had strangely faded in death, going away once they had claimed his life. He only broke down once in the telling. The girl thought it was strange that he could sit and relate the story so calmly.

An irrational part of her felt hurt she hadn’t been there. She remembered the last time she’d spoken to her grandfather and he hadn’t even known who she was. She remembered waking up in the middle of the night in the quiet of her dorm room crying, begging God. Please don’t take him yet. Please, we need him. Please. She remembered every hug, and wished she’d had more. She remembered the way he smelled. She remembered the sound of his voice leading the family in song. She remembered so many things he’d said, so many things he’d taught her. She remembered the day they found out the strange sores he’d mentioned in passing were cancer. She remembered every sight of the emaciated, weak man who had once seemed bigger than life.

She dreaded the thought of the funeral to come. She knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it together, and doubted anyone else would fare much better. She couldn’t imagine having the whole family together without her grandfather. It wouldn’t feel right. She wondered if she would ever be able to stop crying.

Two days later she was in a hotel room, getting dressed, fussing with her impossible curls, loaning her sister earrings. She had picked the black dress with orange flowers. She knew the heels would be killing her feet inside of an hour. She adjusted the black sweater until it hung just right. She stared at herself in the mirror. Eyeliner probably wasn’t a good idea … What the hell, she raged internally. It may have been stupid, but she wanted to look nice for her grandfather one last time. He always liked seeing everyone dressed up, always enjoyed the sight of his granddaughters in pretty dresses. She always had to be doing something, and here was something she could do for him. She applied her makeup meticulously, taking especial care with her eyes, her best feature. She made sure to put on the treble clef-shaped earrings as another private tribute to her musical grandfather. She primped until she knew she looked her best. No matter what sort of a mess she was on the inside, it wouldn’t show on the outside.

Later she looked back and realized the two days during which the funeral and burial took place were mostly a blur. She couldn’t really remember details. Everything was a little fuzzy, and her memories seemed as if she were outside her body watching herself. What she did remember, she couldn’t be sure it was accurate.

She never stopped crying. The tears periodically dried up, but they were always there, waiting to be triggered. Anything might do it, and usually at the most inconvenient times. To her surprise she found that she could still smile, could still laugh, could still enjoy life. The unfairness of it all grated, and probably always would. She never sang a song without remembering him. A year passed, then two … and she found that he was never really gone. She knew as long as she remembered him, he would live. The tears and the memories were bittersweet. She would take what she could get.

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