End the -isms: I Hope You Will
When it’s time to stand up,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to speak out,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to rally forth,
I hope you will.
When it’s time to teach,
I hope you will.
It’s all around you.
Opportunity lost in silence.
Every day it’s time.
Break the silence!
Seize the opportunity!
End the -isms!
I hope you will!
(Full Definition of ism by Merriam-Webster: 1: a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory 2: an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief)
You are better than this…
Blah, blah, blah.
Promises to be broken.
Yep, it’s that time once more.
The time that my fellow Americans either look upon with dread or hope, sometimes both.
The time when it becomes okay to look for the absolute worst in a person and broadcast it as loudly and often as possible. In any other venue, it would be called bullying and harassment. But we accept it all as “part of the process” and information we “need to know” so we can choose the right candidate to represent our country to the rest of the world. But really isn’t it just a game of Gossip?
It’s also the time we hear how “horrible” the last guy was and he screwed everything up. As if they were the sole individual making all the decisions, and not part of hundreds of men and women pushing their own agendas and voting on the actions our country will take.
Don’t you think it’s time to change?
When did it become okay to use hate speech toward our country’s leaders? When did it become okay to treat your fellow man with such disdain and cruelty, solely because they aren’t part of your party?
Respect the office even if you don’t agree with the policies of the person elected to that office. Get involved in finding the truth for yourself instead of letting the media and other people tell you what’s true. Don’t antagonize your neighbors for doing the same. Don’t spread lies. Go out and vote for the people you believe will best represent you as an American and not just once every four years, but every election all the way down to the civic levels. Encourage others to do the same, without bullying and harassment. Don’t pretend your voice doesn’t matter.
Find your sense of common decency again America. I love you, and I know you can be better than this.
The Waiting Game
There are times when things are out of my control. I accept this. It doesn’t make life easier though. I hate waiting – and really does ANYONE actually like it? But I hate waiting with a passion. Everything up in the air and on hold until someone else gives you the go ahead. Bleh. My inner control freak is being tethered by a choke collar. As much as I dislike waiting I do love the moment you know the waiting in finally over, even if the outcome isn’t what you wanted it to be, at least its forward momentum.
This has been my July. Hurry up and wait, wait, wait. Now as the month draws to a close I am finally able to move forward again. Hallelujah! I am eager to jump into the next part of life, home, career, etc. Ohp! But wait… Grrrr! Yep, another queue, another pause before you can go, go, go. *sigh*
Do you hear me? Did you hear what I said?
I find myself repeating this almost daily as a mother and wife. It’s become a mantra of sorts, I suppose. My children are busy and often involved in whatever is holding their attention (usually not me) and don’t always respond when I speak to them. Because I care that they understand the rules, the guidelines, the instructions etc. that I have just rattled off, I will repeat myself usually precluded with one of the aforementioned questions. I know this is the norm. I’ve heard and seen it in many of my friends’ households and heard it from my own parents when I was a child as well, but recently I have thought about what I mean when I say these words.
I am an over-thinker. As a writer of novels, this is not a bad thing to be. It makes it easier to imagine every possible outcome for my characters. But as a mother and wife I probably spend too much time on why I use that particular set of sentences. In reality I know they hear me. They are not deaf and I do not have a quiet voice or manner about me. What I mean when I ask them this is “Do you understand what is expected of you?”
“Yes Mom, I hear you.” -The most common of the answers to my questions, and usually accompanied by a sigh of frustration.
But that’s not what I really wanted to ask. And just because they heard me doesn’t mean they understood me. So why not just ask them the question I mean?
Because I might not like the answer? Because I might have to explain? Maybe because I feel pressed for time and don’t want to delve into it any deeper. Maybe because it’s habit. I suppose the answers are as infinite and different as the people giving them. But this over-thinking writer is concerned with how it shapes who we are and the world we live in.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say.”
I’m sure you’ve all heard that phrase before. Do you all hear it in the Horton the elephant’s voice too? 100% LOL
It doesn’t seem like a difficult concept. But the more I think about it, the more I understand that the world around me rarely follows this advice. We say things we don’t mean all the time, during arguments with our family and friends, to our bosses and coworkers to curry favor, to strangers to be polite. What would the world look like if everyone only said exactly what they meant? Would we all want to live in that world? Would it be more complicated? Or less?
Hmm… sounds like another book idea is in the works. Who wants to help me with research?
The Word Garden
I spent a good chunk of the day outside. Anyone that has spent time with me understands this to be something that doesn’t happen often when it’s sunny. I burn and freckle easily, but there were things to do, like wash the windows and plant my wildflower garden, so out I go. I live in the mountains and sunny weather lasts all of three months so if I don’t do it now… Anyway, while I gardened I had some thoughts.
I am a writer. I am a mother. I am a wife, a musician, a friend, and a dozen other things but I am not a gardener. As a kid, my parents gardened. Not just a few flowers here of there but serious gardens of squash, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins and other such edibles that took serious time management skills to keep weeded and watered. My mother grew lilies, tulips, daisies, irises and pansies in several areas around the 2 acres of property they owned. But they all paled in comparison to the jungle she grew indoors. She had every type of houseplant imaginable and they all loved her, growing beautifully under her loving care. So I know a little about what goes into taking care of plants and gardening. But up until a year ago every plant I have ever owned, died. I thought about why that was, while I pulled grass from where it shouldn’t be, and turned soil so it was soft and welcoming for my plants.
What does gardening have to do with writing, you might ask? Let me explain. A story is very much a living thing just like a plant. You can water it and put it in sunlight and it will grow, but if you want it to grow strong you need to nurture it. You have to give it room to expand and become what it is going to be. You need to trim away the dead parts, you need to feed it and coax it into bloom. You have to give it your attention and love.
It’s not enough to just write your story, any more than its enough to just water your plant. You need to spend time on it, be open to letting the story wander and become a living breathing thing. Edit it after you know what it’s going to be not when it’s still a sprout, so you improve its beauty. When you are finished you will have a wonderful strong story.
So, looking back on my experience as a kid and this last year while I have tended a small rose in my home, I realized I am a gardener. I may never be great with plants (though I will keep trying), but I AM a gardener, and what I garden are words.
“She sat amid the clutter of life, buried in the back of an old half-finished basement/root cellar, breathing in the damp sand and years of dust, unaware of anything other than the next word on the page as she pressed the round metal keys methodically with her strong young fingers. The slow but steady clack, snap, clack, snap, clack, snap of the aging typewriter filled the small cemented box with more noise than it had held in years. Its cool dark corners being exposed to harsh lamplight, frightening away the variety of six and eight-legged residents, and bathing the writer in sparkling amber dust motes each time she fidgeted on the tall padded bar stool. The newly handmade, heavily varnished drafting table gleamed in that light, making the dingy shelves and sagging edged boxes spaced around the room appear weathered and ancient by comparison. It was her refuge away from prying eyes and a noisy family that constantly picked at her highly distracted mind, a place where no one ventured unless they had no other choice.
She rolled a new page of neon orange paper into the machine, looked down at the pile of turquoise and purple notebook paper covered in large looping cursive and began again. The story of Rick and Rebekah’s budding romance pulled her back into a place of contentment and safety.”
It’s remarkable how cathartic the writing process can be for me. Stressful day? Write it away. Miffed at the world? Battle it out on the page. Gloomy weather got me down? Fantasy land is just a keyboard away. I suppose it has always been that way. I was an emotional child who tended to wear her heart on her sleeve. So writing was an escape. As a teenager most of my fears and woes could be solved on paper. I wrote angst-ridden poetry and love stories mostly, being a completely average girl back then, and the occasional dream/nightmare turned story. I wrote from the need to pour out the feelings that threatened to overwhelm me. I wrote until it became a habit. Then I wrote because I couldn’t imagine not writing.
I’d like to say that as an adult I no longer need the catharsis. Of course, I would be bald-faced lying if I did. In fact, I actually am more productive in my writing when my life feels like it’s in upheaval, more than any other time. I laugh about it often, because I really hate drama. But I seem to need drama in my life, to put drama on the page. Irritating neighbor that never cleans up after her dogs? Chapter eleven makes its debut. Having to tow people who park across my driveway EVERYDAY? Oh look, a war broke out between good and evil in Chapter twenty! There’s enough drama in my life to write a dozen books and I have the cortisol levels to prove it! So I guess I should be thankful for it all, the annoying to the horrible, because it means I get to do something I can’t imagine my life without, write stories.
Just a Thursday Afternoon
concrete pillowcase full of rocks
neck with a thousand pinpricks
deep rolling ache
joint to joint
tip to top
electrified dance of arms and legs
black dark room
Goodreads and Deadlines
I’m a Goodreads Author as of today. I’m also laboring through the last of the Camp Nano Challenge on my new book project. I have some catching up to do if I am going to make my goal though. 4500 words left to write. I love the challenge of a deadline! Even when the end can be stressful I know that I have really accomplished something when I complete a project by the deadline. It’s nearly addictive for me, the feeling I get when a writing challenge is completed successfully. The more of them I tackle and win, the more I want to do. Of course, it also keeps my word count climbing and the characters in my head happy, so good for all! Well, back to work. Look me up on Goodreads if you happen by!
Good weekend plans
As I have challenged myself to Camp Nano this month, I am working on the new project. My goal for this weekend is to write 5k. Wish me luck!