Friday, November 4, 2016

Never Resist Pie.

The holidays are a-coming. And, in forty-eight years, I've never dreaded any of them. This is where I feel blessed; I have no relatives--visiting or not--that I loathe seeing. No one that inspires me to stock up on extra alcohol. (Yuk-yuk!)

Even luckier, I don't suffer nightmare-traveling. How, you ask? I just don't. Meaning, I don't travel during the holidays. And the few times I do, I don't even attempt to be at my destination 'in time for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's Eve/Day,' because I have In-laws with careers that aren't holiday-break-friendly. So, there's the lack of that form of familial pressure.
But if you're receiving the "Just get here!" level of stress from clan, why would you willingly oblige them?

The only festivity unpleasantness I choose is the few extra pounds that'll stretch the elastic on my yoga pants. And by the way, men? Chuck the belts! Waistline bondage and Stove-Top stuffing never went hand-in-hand. Loosening the buckle notches to watch football was verboten in my house, growing up; Mah thought it tacky. She was always more easy-going about sweat-pants.

Christmas will be especially fab; I'm house-sitting! Holiday fare, flat-screen, peace, Netflix, solitude....ohhhhmmmm. The only primo improvement would be a lazy cat to keep me company, but I can't have it all. And the home-owners usually honor my simple request of a Barnes & Noble gift-card, in lieu of an elaborate, dust-collecting, porcelain-whatever. So I win again. (And I've routinely spent the card online inside an hour!)

But I'll still have opportunities to hang with an awesomely hip sect that won't have me reaching for the Captain Morgan.

Friday, October 28, 2016

'Unfortunately, at this time...'

'My first writing contest rejection letter.'  ~ J. Lawson

Not nearly as powerful as Hemingway's flash fiction piece, but there it is. Oh, I should think there'd be thoughtful questions for it. For instance...

'Well, what did you write about that the judges didn't like?'
'Did you make too many grammar/punctuation errors?'
'Didn't you send it in time for the deadline?'
'Ohhhh...did you forget to pay the contest fee?'
'Do you mean you've been entering contests, and this is the first time your work was rejected?'

Of course, a jaded Gemini writer--with a Spock-like eyebrow lift--would've known what the first question should be: 'How many writing contests have you actually entered?'

Ya got me! This was the first one. I've known for some time that I had to let contest judges see what I'd been submitting to writing clubs all along. Procrastination was my demon in this, despite that I'll sneer at it in others. And, I'm not feeling that elation that my short story was even read. Plenty of people have read my material; the only diff here was a cash-exchange obligation.

So, I'll try again, likely get another rejection, try again, get another rejection...that's a writer's life. And, despite the J.K. Rowling/Kathryn Stockett/Jane Austen rejection stories, (Oh, yes, even Mr. Darcy was told 'No.') I won't presume to believe I'll 'make it' one day as a published writer. Everyone of my college-writing course professors have given the 'don't quit your day-job' confirmation. In fact, I have favorite, published writers that still have their day-jobs. 

But it's still fun to dream. I'll just hope it doesn't take so many rejection emails before I cancel my annual MS Word subscription. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Acknowledgement Is Overrated

     Can it be a blessing to not be working? Right now, I have a family member thinking that
very thing, kind of.

     Yah, I would like to be working at least part-time. Solvent enough to purchase the occasional ‘needful,’ and be a tax-paying contributor. But much as the Gemini that I am, (lost in my head) right now I’m told that I’m contributing in one of the most important ways. 
      Just wish Uncle Sam agreed with me. Sigh…ah well.
      I’ve sort of come out of C.N.A. retirement for a time. Acronym for Certified Nursing Assistant; the pros that take care of your parents or grandparents either at home or a professional facility.
      A more accurate corporate acronym? Compensation Not Ample. Last check of the Bureau of Labor & Industries has C.N.A.’s only earning $12.36 an hour. So, I’m of the ‘Fight-for-15’ variety.
      If you have one or two in your family, then you have it hammered into your conscience just how much work they do. It was a twenty-year career for me. Paid career, mind you. Being a childfree meant not coming home to non-paid caregiving responsibilities. 
So, unless I’m fortunate to win a lottery, I’d never make ‘nurse-with-a-purse.’ (Snerk!)
     But currently, I look after a person who has been fighting for her life. And, her life is my compensation. So, tcha to Uncle Sam; I am contributing.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Strong is the New Pretty

Disclaimer: The poem below is not mine. But I wanted very much to share it for all. It's empowering and beautiful, and I give kudos to those with such talent. I enjoy reading others poetry, but possess no aspirations to write it myself.

How's that for a writer whose sixth-great-uncle is Scotland's National Poet?  

'For the Women who are Meant for More' by Sarah L. Harvey

Here’s to the gritty, truth-seeking goddesses who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
Here’s to the brave, badass females who have blasted through a nightmare of shit to be standing here today.
The luscious ladies who love feeling the raw earth beneath their bare feet, and bow down proudly to the supple, winding curves of their thick, fleshy hips.
Here’s to the creative vixens who breathe their sun-soaked, moonlit, windswept, star-dusted dreams to life, every damn day—rain or shine.
Here’s to the wise women who, time and time again, have chosen their own hearts.
I applaud you, with every fibre of my being. I honour you.
I am you.
We are strong and confusing, complicated and powerful, magical and maddening—we are meant for so much more.
We will never be happy stuffed in a sparkling white kitchen with a floral apron, a sleek bun, and carefully applied pink liquid lipstick to complete the wax mask of our fake smiles, playing the role of perfect wife or perfect girlfriend or perfect mother.
Our hearts will choke. Our spirits will scream.
We will never be happy sitting in a grey office working 9 to 5, watching the clock tick slowly, while our souls shrivel to the buzzing sound of fluorescent lights, unable to breathe in the fresh, muddy scent of gusty winds and the frantic, jewelled sweetness of budding cherry blossoms.
We will never be okay sipping champagne, trying on haute couture, and talking about ways to make our asses skinny and recipes for dinner parties and how to get a man to love us.
We don’t really give a damn about any of that—
We want to talk about soul. About dripping truth. About magic. About death. About struggle. About the world’s heart-breaking pain.
We wanna stand in the billowing breeze and decipher wise whispers of the wind as it roars through each singing strand of our thirsty, messy hair.
But, for a painfully long time, we have denied who we really are.
We have tried and tried and tried to squeeze our wild wings and paint-splattered hearts into the cramped plastic moulds of what we “should” be.
How miraculously we have failed.
Why do we rip ourselves up into sad, feathery pieces, trying so hard to slide into pretty little lives that, quite frankly, don’t even appeal to us?
Normal won’t cut it—extraordinary is what we’re here for.
We are meant to merge with the moon, cry with the rain, rise with the tides, and shine with every goddamn slice of shimmering yellow sun.
We are meant to run through crowded streets, with love in our hearts and tangerine scarves streaming through our fingertips as we dance to the sobbing drum of the world’s crying tears.
We are meant to make art that grows gritty wings and inspires sad, closed hearts to break the fuck open.
We are meant to stick out our tongues in a fierce lion’s breath in the most unexpected moments—
Our dreams and visions and destinies must come first.
Because we aren’t here to play small; to be polite, people-pleasing pretty plastic barbie dolls with empty, lifeless hearts—we are here to make waves, to chase dreams, to stand in the blazing fires of truth—and we know it.
We are here to live from the harrowing depths of our souls.
Why deny it anymore?
Let’s reach inside our supple skin and taste the thick river of bubbling magic that pulses through our veins like rubies.
Let’s shed the suffocating lives that were never meant to be ours—the lives we’ve brainwashed ourselves into tolerating, but are slowing killing our souls.
It’s time to burn, baby, burn!
Let’s make a pact with our hearts—a vow to listen that inner spark of magic, of truth, of delicious fire that cannot be denied for a minute more.
Let us promise now—
To honour who we really are.
To be forces of light, of love, of sacred power.
To let our star-dust spirits rise—and soar and soar and soar!
Extraordinary flows through our veins. Normal won’t cut it.
We are meant for so much more.
Badass, truth-lovin’, dream-weaving sisters, let’s stop smacking our spirits down and squeezing ourselves into suffocating roles that will never satisfy our thirsty, roaring souls—
We won’t fit.
We aren’t meant to.
Our wings won’t slide through small doors. We are meant for so much more—
Our dreams and visions and destinies must come first.
Please, answer the rain-drenched, whispering wolf calls of your wild soul.
Do not let your wings lie sticky and suffocated, in a sad clump on the floor.
Do not let your vibrant spirit wither into a colourless grey existence.
Do not let your jewelled destiny lie dormant and dead.
Do not live the life you think you “should.”
Fuck should—
Live the life that makes your heart beat louder, the life that sets your bones sweetly on fire, the life you can’t stand not living—
Answer the blossoming calls of your wild soul!
Go, now—
Into the lush, emerald forest of who you really are.
Find yourself.
Discover your gifts.
Share your gritty magic with the world.
Follow the promising path of your courageous destiny.
Do not settle for an empty half-life.
Do not settle for good enough.
Do not settle for anything less than exquisite or extraordinary.
Oh, sweet wise, wild woman—do not settle—
At all. 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Time - Ideas = %$&@#!!

Some Xmas gifts probably shouldn't be ignored...especially by a writer with writers block.

Has any writer described a block as mental constipation? I'll have to research that. In the pro tempore, the omitted Xmas gift has recently been ink-assaulted with mymories that others likely choose to forget. With bleach and a match, no less.

(And yes, I researched that word, and no one's using it yet, supposedly)

My under-appreciated lil' bro and smart-as-sin SIL gave me this (pictured) book. They didn't have to second-guess its purchase when they were looking for writer-inspired paraphernalia. I'm just not proud that it took me a shameful amount of time to write anything in it. Even its contributors unknowingly instill a reprehensible sense of inertia in me.

Nevertheless, it's helping better than milk-of-magnesia. 

"...I mean, there is actual butter coming out of my pen." ~ 'The Paper'