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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Stew, Bread, Pizza, Portishead

Hello there friends! And strangers. And anyone else who might be reading this.

After a few months of pure insanity, I've been working on getting life back on track, and lemme tell far, so good.

As far as writing goes, can I just say that I'm so in love with OpenOffice? Seriously, I'm having a major love affair with it. The fact that it's COMPLETELY FREE also makes me smile. Just a little bit. :)

I've been working on transferring all my hand-written pages, from the week my computer crapped out, onto OO, and in the process, getting back into the groove. The story's been marinating, and I'm almost ready to reach back into the stew and pull out some more awesomeness. A big meaty piece of fantasticness. And now I'm hungry again! (big surprise right?)

I've been on an epic journey of music collection as well, and at this exact moment, I'm listening to Sea Wolf. I love playing their music while I write, and when I clean, and when I drive, and...well, you get the point. Also Sia, girl has one of those haunting sopranos that isn't obnoxious at all, Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, The Drums, Hurricane Bells, and of course, Portishead. Writing and music are like bread and butter to me; like ham and cheese, or pizza and beer, or....dang it! Always with the food/drink comparisons!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Pen Is Mightier Than The...Computer?

After a few weeks of not writing at all, I sat down to get back to it. Unfortunately, my computer had other ideas. After taking it to the geek-shop for repair, I sat down on my porch with my notebook and a pen to jot down some story ideas. Fortunately, my pen had other ideas.

I think I've said this before, but there's something cathartic about writing longhand with a pen on sheets of notebook paper. For me at least. And when I opened my notebook to a fresh page, something took over and I just wrote and wrote.

My story, which I'd been unhappy with because something just wasn't clicking for me, took an entirely different turn. And while my characters are largely the same, (because I love them just the way they are), the plot itself decided to go running off into a new world of intrigue, love, mystery and trust. And I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Whereas before I was struggling to come up with the next thing, now I can't write fast enough to get it all down. It's like the real story was there, buried way down deep, and my original draft was just the outside layer. I had to get all that icing out of the way to get to the cake underneath. And now I'm, well...covered in cake! :)

Now that my computer is fixed, I'm working on transferring my 20 pages of longhand into my writing files. And as soon as my kids get to bed, I'm going to pick up where I left off...I seem to remember an unfinished conversation between my reluctant hero and my possible antagonist...or is he?

Guess I'll have to wait and see!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lightening Strike

Holy cow I have so much to say, and no time! I'll be back with details soon, promise, but for right now all I can say is that sometimes lightening strikes, and it's a good thing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Quick Note...

It's been a while, I know. It's funny how that works, isn't it? I mean, the way time passes at the same speed, every second of forever, and yet we feel like we're swimming in molasses some days, and others are just a blink of the eye.

Recently, certain parts of my life have been fast, and others, slow. Life always tends to intrude on my better times with a little dose of harsh reality every now and then, so while things are definitely pretty good, there's always those things that are a little less good...or just downright bleh.

I've spent so much more time focusing on other aspects of my life right now that my computer has basically been abandoned for a few months. I probably get on it once every 5 days or so, as opposed to 5 times every day. I feel a lot better about that, but it makes me a little sad to because I miss being able to just write it as it comes to me, during the day (or night). But even though I have to put it off now until I get to my designated time to write, I think it's better like this. Less focus on the whole wide (& mostly unimportant, and unrelated to anything I'll ever be a part of) world the internet opens for me, more focus on the reality of my day-to-day life.

Even though I'm writing less here, I'm writing more "there", in my life. And that's great, because there is something so cathartic about writing longhand, to me at least. A good ball point pen, and some blank papers and I'm off, free-falling into whatever universe I want.

Lately I've been getting to the "wine" of the story. The part where the exciting newness has worn off, and reality has more or less settled into it. Now it's work. But it's better now, like wine, because I've got that inital flash down, and a clear-eyed strategy is exactly what's needed to clean it up, and make it work.

Sadly, now that I'm back, I'm leaving again. I'm going on a vacation of sorts, back to the beach, which is currently under thrall of a howling nor'easter, while I'm living in that best part of summer; the last few days of pure sunshine, almost cool air, and freshness.

I'm really excited about going home.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I can't believe how fast the time has passed since I last wrote here! I've been planning everything around the week-long vacation I'll be leaving for in 3 days, and my work and personal lives have been busy!

I've spent a lot of time listening to NPR, largely because of two things: 1.) The CD player in the truck is possibly possessed, and therefore completely unreliable and mostly unusable, and 2.) There aren't a large variety of radio stations available that suit my...eclectic music tastes. While I can pick up about 15 different stations, they all revolve around the same 4 genres: rap, country, talk/religion/Braves games commentaries, and Spanish. No joke, there's at least 4 different Spanish radio stations I pick up. While I do enjoy a little of all of those genres occasionally, it just doesn't suit my day-to-day listening needs. So I started listening to NPR, and got completely sucked into this whole other side of story telling.

For those of you who are unaware, NPR is National Public Radio. And while they do have a lot of interviews with different people, they also play a TON of classical music and opera. I understand that neither of those appeals to the general masses, but let me tell you...I LOVE IT!

I've always loved classical music; it's been a constant part of my life, starting with the movie Fantasia, a childhood obsession of mine, to someone always playing on the piano at my granparents house, to the couple years I spent playing the violin.

Now that I'm concsiously thinking about it, I think I could probably blame, or thank, Fantasia for my current state of semi-maddness when it comes to classical music. Seeing the stories told without words gave me the palette to draw from I guess. Because any time I hear classical music, a story forms in my head. It doesn't matter that I don't know anything about the actual story the composer had in mind; that the beauty of it - IT DOESN'T MATTER!

I love the fact that the music is so strong that it tells it's own story. And believe me, strong is the right word. I've actually missed my turn after work because I get so wrapped up in the story in my head, whether it be a mad horseback chase through the forrest at midnight, rain pouring down, flickers of incandescent lightening showing you brief glimpses of the hunter chasing you, or if it's that first moment when he sees her, and the crowd disappears around them, until it's just him watching her, and her wrapped up in her own little world, unaware of anything but the music and the way her body moves as she dances...when she finally looks up, she sees him and something happens between them, across a dark room full of other people...each recognizes the shock, and as he takes a step towards her, and she unthinkingly takes one towards him, a big man with a scar on his face appears at her elbow and wrenches her out through a side door - her boyfriend. The man is frozen in place by the monumental shift in his life when he saw her, and before he could take more than one step, she's gone, a man he now recognizes as the leader of a street gang he believes is responsible for the death of his father at a gas station hold up years ago, never proven, but always believed none-the-less. First his father and now this girl, this girl he doesn't know but is suddenly aware that he'd lay his life on the line for her, taken from him by some street thug? No. Never. As he turns away, his brain is already planning, already discarding and sifting through different courses of action...because he's going to end it, once and for all.

Um, yeah.

That last one is the one I saw in my head last night when I was listening to a Japanese piece I'd never heard before. As you can see, I get pretty wrapped up in it, hence missing the turn to my house.

But it's just so amazing to me that music, unseen, only heard, can produce these amazing movies in my head, ever crescendo and pause telling me the next thing that happens, each poignant violin solo proclaiming it's love or death or tears or joy...seriously awesome.

After so much mad ramblings, I have to get back to reality, because I have a feeling while I was lost in my action/romance flick my son has probably gotten into something he's not supposed's reeeeeaaaaally quiet out there.....

So until I get back from vacation (yay!), if you get bored, check out 89.5 fm, and see what kind of stories you see. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Smoke, Rain, & a Crown Vic with Peeling Paint

I'm still amazed at how wrapped up I can get when I'm writing. And at how limitless writing a story can be.

As I was writing a few days ago, I noticed both these things. My character has a brief encounter with someone who has a much bigger effect than they realize; in telling one story, I have to tell another.

And after I stared writing the person who is just "passing through", I wanted to just jot down a few things about her story, who she is, how she came to be that way. Twenty minutes later, I realized that I had forgotten about dinner, (burnt), my kids, (covered in milk from purposely spraying each other with it), and the fact that I was just writing a basic outline for a minor character. Her story just wrapped my up and spirited me away. There I was, sitting next to her in an old, second-hand Crown Victoria, smelling that old car smell, watching the rain hit the glass, the road ahead of us...I could smell her cheap ciggarette, which she chain smokes, and see the bug bites on her skinny knees. I noticed the way she constantly kept shifting her eyes to the rear-view mirror, like she was worried someone was following us; even though the idea was ludacris, I began to look at the rear-view more than was neccessary.

I became so wrapped up in her story that I forgot MY story...the one I was writing, until she came along and took over things in her quiet, intense way. Which is actually fitting, considering who she is: a quiet, intense, occasionally scary person, full of holes that once were full of sun and life, holes she tries to fill with too many ciggarettes, and a jaded outlook that somehow doesn't seem to fit her young face and her skinny knees.

Once again, dinner and my children are waiting, but now I'm itching to get back to where we left off....a lonely highway, a sky like old parchment, niether sunny nor cloudy, simply greyish-white and blindingly bright...the rain keeps falling, and the tempo of the windsheild wipers matches the tempo of her tapping foot....most of the smoke pouring out of a crack in her window, but enough of it staying in the old car to make it a little hazy, a little unreal seeming...and her story, spoken in her harsh voice, her old eyes staring out of her young face, making and being unmade at the same time...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Semi-Charmed Kind of (Social) Life

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post! Again, I'm sorry for being completely random and irregular in my postings, but in actuality, this is a good thing.

The reason for my occasional only posts is because I kind of have a semi-social life. While I've restrained myself from typing that line in all caps, and possible making the font larger, and making the whole thing bold, I'm still very excited about this.

Some mysterious force in the universe set me down in the one job in the whole county with the two people I would most easily become friends with, and I've taken full advantage of that fact. So now, instead of waiting 3 months for a night out, I've had a few already this month. Granted, I do get to count Mom's Day, and my birthday, but still...

And last night, I even had a game night, and invited people over to my house. Incredible, I know.

Anyways, to get back to the root of what I was saying before I drifted off on a tangent, as I so often do, I HAVE actually been writing also. I just haven't been writing about writing here. But things are going well, and I've been expanding on one of my ideas. The growth of those idea's never ceases to amaze me.

It starts with the littlest thing, one line in my thoughts maybe. And then things just build and build on that one little thing, and there's suddenly the groundwork for a novel. Freakin' amazing.

But I must leave you with that, fine readers, because my kids are asleep and I don't want to use all my time writing here, when I have to write there.


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Death By Drowning (in words)

It feels like things have been conspiring against me lately when it comes to writing. After having some issues with the computer, which I've fixed (I hope), and then being way too tired after a very tough week with the kids, I just haven't felt it.

I sit down at the computer, and the thought of sinking myself into my fictional world seems like too much work. And that kind of makes me sad, but it also kind of makes me understand further what it is that drives me to write.

I have to really let myself sink into the world I'm creating; I'm standing next to my characters, riding in cars with them, singing in the shower with them, whatever. If I don't submerge myself that way, then what I end up writing just feels like crap to me, like I didn't give it 100%. And I can't have that.

Now that doesn't mean I have to be in a silent house with no distractions. Geez, if I had to have that, I'd never have started writing again! No, I actually listen to music while I write, and I have certain songs for certain things, certain feelings and plots and whatnot. And I have to be able to dedicate at least 30 minutes at a time to it. Getting up every 5 minutes irritates the crap out of me, I lose my train of thought, and spend the next 5 minutes getting back into the groove. And just as I start to write again, I have to get up. Usually to rescue one of the kids from the other.

But this past week, by the time I get the time to drown in my words, I just don't want to. I just want to fall in bed and turn my brain to mush with DVD's.

But after this weekend, and my much needed reprieve, I'm diving back in, head first.

Into the deep end. ;)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Passion is a word that goes both ways. Loving someone passionately, hating someone passionately; opposite ends of the spectrum brought together by the same word. A word that incites all sorts of madness, whether in love or hate, or anything in between.

Passion is really fun to write about. ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Hundred Secret Senses

I recently finished reading a book that was somehow incredibly simple, and at the same time breathtakingly beautiful. I know the image in your head is something akin to a closeup photo of a flower or something; something very plain yet still able to convey infinite beauty. But that's not quite what I mean. Think more like...concrete sidewalks. There is nothing really beautiful about them. They're basic, boring, and functional, always there and mostly unnoticed.

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. Sounds familiar right? She also wrote that other tiny little book that you may have heard of...The Joy Luck Club. I wasn't completely absorbed by it in the first ten took all of twenty.

And she is one of those writer's whose prose is just pure and stunning and every single word has meaning. The book is an art gallery, and every sentence is a Van Gogh, Klimt, Picasso, and Michelangelo. In that sense I compare her to Patricia McKillip, but only in that sense. There were sentences I read over and over, just in and of themselves; they needed no context, no plot to follow, and lost nothing of their impact. Some of them had more, if that's possible.

They were the kinds of words you can just meditate on. Let them marinate, growing more flavorful with each bite, each re-reading.

"With each passing day, I didn't lose hope. I fought to have more."

Amy Tan manages to somehow paint a portrait of a world I have absolutely no familiarity with, and make it feel like my own history. Each character was somehow immanently relatable, while still maintaining their own complete identities.

Best of all, I felt satisfied when I finished it. Bliss.

Read this book, if you want to lose yourself in another world...or two.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Attack of the "life"

So I realize I've been slacking off on posting here, and I'm sorry. I've just been trying to keep up with my life, in general, much less my computer life as well. But things are going well, and it seems like every time I start to write down an idea, another one pops up. In fact, I sat down to start writing a story inspired in part by my blog buddies, but after I went back and re-read, I realized it was going in an entirely different direction. So just like that, there's a new story. I'm actually getting worn out right now just thinking about it. I need a nap, and solid week to just write, write, write.

Maybe in my next life, right?

Until next time :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

911 Writer's Block

So I got on Twitter this morning, to find this link from, of all people, Demi Moore, just begging me to click it.

So I did.

And it is AWESOME! And it made me laugh, which I needed. So thanks Mrs. Kutcher, for sharing this in the Twitterverse.

And just a head's up for all you April Foolers out there...beware the Rickroll. 9 out of 10 links today lead directly to, yep, you guessed it...Rick Astley. What happened to original pranks?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mon coeur est heureux

Last night I woke up from a dream I don't remember, and wrote this down:

"I've left behind the weight of my past, and while I'll never think of this place as home like the beach is home, I feel more comfortable in my skin than I ever could there."

While I'm tempted to edit it into something more flowing, I'll leave it since I have the excuse of being almost completely asleep when I wrote it. But it's so true, and the loss of that weight has done amazing things to me, and especially my urge to write. I sat down after work last night to work on a story I'd been tossing around in my head, one I'd already run by my most delightful friend Carolyn. But when I started writing, I realized it was something totally different. I put on my music, stuck my headphones one, and let my fantastic husband deal with the kids. And I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.

When 2am rolled around, I forced myself to stop and go to bed, but there was still so much there I wanted to get down. I was afraid I'd lose it if I slept on it, actually, but I needn't have worried. When I woke up, I could still see the precise smile on Alex Archer's face, feel the thrill of Jaymes first realizing she's going to take a huge step towards growing up, and hear Leigh's laughter...laughter that sounds a lot like one of my girlfriend's laughs, now that I think about it.

I miss my beach home, always having sand in the sheets no matter what, the way my hair smelled after the salt water and sunscreen dried in it, and even the sight of seagulls flying over head constantly. But I've traded it for dark, swooping hawks, beautiful, distant mountains in different shades of blues and purples everywhere I turn, and a new springtime smell...the mountain coming back to life after a long, wet winter. And all of those things inspire me in a way I'd never feel at home; too comfortable in my element perhaps, to take the details in. But here my eyes, used to flat horizons, long stretches of straight roads and scrubby, windswept trees, are constantly drawn to, and amazed by, the endless rolling green fields, towering trees, and mountains topped with clouds.

Here I am myself; here I am a writer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring Snows

So I haven't written in what feels like a very long time, and I apologize for that. But things have been, well...good. Actually, things have been fantastic. Something has just been right the past few days, and I have been so inspired by so many things.

By everything actually, which is awesome and even a little overwhelming. I mean every little thing is inspiring; from what I see, to what I hear, what I live, what I dream-all of it. The overwhelming part is trying to get it all out of my head and onto paper. If I didn't have kids this wouldn't be quite so hard, but free time isn't in abundance around my house right now, so...

It's like my brain has opened up every line of communication possible, and has become a sponge to everything around me. I've found a ton of new music, which is always inspirational for obvious reasons. I've also been immersed in a new town, and like all places inhabited by humans, gossip abounds. And there are so many truths that sound closer to fiction my fingers just itch to write them down. And I've been reading the Harry Potter books again. I spent the past week on books 6 & 7, both of which make me bawl and sob, and smile and laugh. And anytime I get into a heightened state of emotion, the brain kicks into high gear, and takes off, spouting off ideas and asking's seriously awesome.

And not only do I feel all this inspiration, I feel like I can do it. Like I actually have it in me to achieve something great. Perhaps some people have this ambition inborn, but ambition and achievement have never been something I'm hardwired for.

But right now, things are great, ideas are falling like snow, and I'm making the sweetest family of snowmen ever. Even though I hate snow. And spring is finally here...maybe I should think of something warmer...oh well.

Back to writing!!

(soon to come-a huge thanks to someone for an idea that's grown into something huge...)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Refreshing Rain

It feels like it's been raining endlessly since we got to Georgia, although it hasn't really been. There were some great days full of warmth and sun and happiness; but when it rains, it rains for at least three days at a time.

After the past three days of rain and being cooped up in the house watching Aladdin repeatedly, I finally couldn't take it anymore. Instead of going out to eat with the kids Nana, who is their great-grandma, I told Ryan to just take Chloe, and I was going to stay home with Colin. We had some business to attend to.

After getting Ryan and Chloe out the door, Colin and I got bundled, put on our "mud shoes", and went out to trek through the rain for an early evening walk. It wasn't really raining, just that incessant drizzle that is somehow worse than heavy downpour. The air wasn't too cool, just perfect enough to cool our cheeks off after we ran down the hills. It was a good choice to take him out, for both of us. While Colin had a blast throwing rocks into the pond, and splashing in the puddles, I had a chance to think about writing.

Confession: I haven't written anything in over a week. I KNOW!!! I know. It's been a productive week in my "real life" though, and I'm proud of how awesomely organized I'm getting the new house. But I've been kind of procrastinating about getting back to the book. Because I just wasn't feeling that buzz of anticipation when I sat down at the computer. Because I know I'll have to stop right when I really get going to get one of the kids from their nap...or each other's throats. Because I've been redecorating all three blogs. (What do you think?) Because I know that it's going to take a little work, and I'm lazy.

But the lazy walk through wet scenery revived me from my stupor, and I came back refreshed, and ready to write. The landscape made me think of confrontations, deep thoughts, and passions, both in love and hate. It made me think of true loves, true lusts, and heartaches. And that intense, searing stare one shares with another in that moment before a first kiss happens, or in the moments after one mistakenly takes place...but I'm digressing into story-land, sorry!

So I opened the file, took a deep breath, and jumped in headfirst. Imagine my (pleasant) surprise when I realized it was all there, waiting for me. What was I thinking? Work? This isn't work, this is greeting a friend at the airport when you haven't seen them in ages. This is finding a good book you thought you'd lost and re-reading it just to realize it's still just as good. This is finding a twenty in your jeans while you're waiting in line at Food Lion and wishing you could afford to get a Snickers...

My friends, foes, and lovers were all waiting for me with open arms, begging me to get on with their stories so we can all find out what happens to them.

And the familiar excitement is rushing through my veins again. I cannot wait to write.

Thank you God, for rainy days, for being alive to appreciate them.
Crappy cell phone pic of where we stop to watch the water.
It's so much prettier than this looks, but since I forgot the camera, again...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Oh I Wish I Were...

No, not an Oscar Meyer Weiner. I wish I were (insert any of the following words):



enough to write the story of my actual life. Because the characters who fill my days are so much MORE than any character I could ever come up with. They're all flawed and quirky and some of them are insane and some of them are too good to be true...but they are, and that's the kicker.

Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I go to work, and I see a wide variety of people from a wide variety of places. Most of them have a story to tell, and a few would make excellent chapters in a book.

As real people, they're constantly making choices, showing little facets of their personalities, revealing all those flaws and characteristics that make them into individuals. That is something that is so important to me in characters that I both read and write about. I don't want someone perfect, I want someone flawed. Human. Not ink on a page, but an actual personality in my head, readily available for reference any time their part of the story is up. Some authors miss that entirely, most do credibly well at giving us someone relate-able. And a certain few give us characters who are so perfectly believeable that we become friends, or enemies, or lovers, of any number of things with that character. We form a relationship of some sort that is strong enough to effect us in our daily lives, strong enough to make us a little sad to finish a book. We miss them for a while after that, and sometimes we rush back to them, and sometimes we wait years to open those pages again. Either way, those few characters are exactly right, and we meet as friends who haven't spoked in ages, but fall into the same patterns with little or no effort.

That is precisely what I want need for my characters. And lacking any formal training, or informal for that matter, and going on a purely instinctual level, I often have a tough time translating what I have in my head into written form on a page, without losing that integral core of what makes that character stand out in my head.

The funny thing is, I think I hold myself back more than any lack of schooling. I have a strange perfectionism that doesn't apply to all areas of my life, just some. But writing is one of them. And if I don't feel like what I've written is perfect, then I tend to get discouraged by it. I don't let it go entirely, I just take a while to psyche myself back up to re-read what I've written, and change what I can to fix it.

And half the time, when I've re-read it, I'm surprised by myself and what I've produced. I wonder to myself why I wasn't satisfied while I was writing, when I'm not only satisfied, I'm slightly mystified at my own abilities. It's a good feeling, but not a completely comfortable one, if you know what I mean. It's the same way I feel about adrenyline. Some people adore that feeling, some people avoid it at all costs. I feel slightly sick and yet still excited, two things that don't often go together. Like your first kiss. You felt scared and excited and nervous and exultant all at once...not a comfortable feeling, but not a bad one either.

But the people I see in my day-to-day life are already there. They're already written in stone, to a certain extent, and some things will never change about them. There's a lot less pressure, and a draw that feels almost like the urge to smoke a ciggarette when I really know I shouldn't. Writing about the people in my life would be easier, more entertaining, a much better story, and very guilt/fear inducing. Which is, of course, part of the draw.

Damn you contradictions!! I feel like I am constantly pulling against myself in one way or another...which is totally unrelated, and I apologize for that. Tangets tend to run away with me.

I'm not making any definite stands on writing about the people I know, because change happens every second whether we want it to or not. And sometimes the temptation is just to much to walk away from....

But for now at least, I'll keep my non-fiction story in my head, where it makes me alternately smile and cringe, and write dialogue in my thoughts while I'm on my break at work.

I'll leave you with a quote I like, and a fond farewell for now:

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yum Yum Yum

How do you feel about completely gratuitous male sexiness?

Check it out here, but only if you're really interested. ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1+1=1...& sometimes 3

Well hello again! It seems like forever since I had a minute to write here, even though it's only been a few days. But life never stops, and over the past week it seems like it's made a special point to shove some problem or another in my face just at the precise moment I think I'm finally getting to sit down and write.

So while I haven't actually written anything, I've been thinking a lot about my "litterforts". Inspiration is all around me here in Georgia, in a way that it wasn't on the beach. Not that the Outer Banks are less inspiring in general; in fact, many writers have been inspired by trips to those sandy beaches. (Nights in Rodanthe, anyone?) It's just that after being immersed in the salt air and sea grass for so many years, it becomes commonplace, everyday.

But here, everything is new, and completely different from a geographical aspect. Looking out the window, I see more trees surrounding me in a twenty foot radius than I would see on twenty miles in North Carolina. And the land is constantly moving up and down, from little hills to the majestic mountains that form the backdrop in shades of blue and green for this little storybook town. And everywhere there are little fingers of water reaching out of the ground, turning into tiny brooks and streams, running over rocks and making little waterfalls, something I could stare at all day.

One of my stories, Story #2 to be precise, has a lot of traveling in it...well, so does #1 actually, but of a totally different type. And while I think that #1 will also benefit from my move, #2 will most definitely benefit, in a way that is making my adreneline start to pump just thinking about writing about it! I'm really excited, which is fantastic, because it keeps me from freaking out about the fact that I haven't been able to actually put the pen to the paper, so to speak.

I can see it in my head; going on exploratory walks, seeing everything the world has to offer, plotlines growing into more detailed versions of what I imagine, dialogue speaking to me at random times of the day or night, begging me, "WRITE ME DOWN!", which I try to always do, before I forget.

But I'm most excited about getting back to the "gruntwork", turning the dreaming, flow-of-consciousness pictures into words, sentences, paragraphs, and hopefully pages that my story will grow from. There is no other work in the world, that I've found at least, that I enjoy both sides of the coin: the planning and the execution.

Usually, I'm a planner. I'm slightly obsessive about it actually, and I love having time to think about all sides, and details, that are involved in the planning stage. And while I also occasionally enjoy the execution part, things rarely go as planned, and then I'm forced to think on my feet, something I can actually do well, but don't like to unless forced. I hate seeing a perfect plan fall apart, even when the outcome is just as good if not better than originally planned. It's just a weird quirk I have, one of many.

But with writing, I love the planning, or the dreaming stage, as I tend to think of it, and I love the execution too. And even though the same thing happens, and the page turns out totally different in reality, I'm just as happy (usually) with the outcome. Because writing isn't like math; one plus one doesn't have to equal two. It can equal whatever the heck I want it to! One plus one can equal one, in the manner of two people falling in love and finding their soulmate. One plus one can equal three, in the manner of Stephenie Meyer's The Host, and I won't spoil that one by telling you how that works, in case you haven't read it yet. I recommend it, by the way, even for Twi-haters.

What I'm getting at is, there are no wrong answers in writing. The world is a blank page with no lines, no format, no rules. I can put whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want.

This makes my slightly rebellious self smile smugly. Take that, math teachers of old!! :)

Since I've taken this time this morning to write this, I've used up most of my alloted writing time, which is okay, since writing is writing, therapudic no matter where I do it. But now I'm psyched about getting into it, digging into the grey matter and seeing what comes out, so I'll leave you until next time. Which hopefully will be sooner than last time. ;)

Here is what I'm seeing right now, through the window next to the computer, and off the front porch. While it may not inspire you the way it does me, I wanted to share a little bit of my viewpoint.

The reason they're all blurry is because it's snowing it's butt off, but my camera is too old and slow to actually pick up the snow itself.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Further Down the Rabbit Hole

An extension to the last entry at Twilight Phenomenon, due to the lovely Laura making me think. Thank you Laura! ;)

And I'm feeling a little writing later tonight, well, not too much later I hope, but after the last kid is in bed. Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll have good new for y'all tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bear @*!&#$, Do You Need Assistance?

To any of you who enjoy Stephenie Meyer's work, please give me some feedback, your own personal opinion of the matter at hand. My opinion, as usual, is stated here. ;)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waiting For The Other Shoe

I got a chance to explore my surroundings a little yesterday, which you can read about here if you want, and I've got to tell you...

I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I mean, I wasn't expecting to hate it here, and I wasn't expecting to love it either. But I feel so...ebullient, I guess, that I keep waiting for it change, for something bad to happen.

I feel so comfortable here, in a state where I know no one, even more than I did in any of the houses we lived in on the beach. And not even that, I feel excited about things. I've never been one to get excited about new things, instead feeling a general anxiety stemming from my unreasonable shyness. But I feel different somehow, almost reckless in a way, going out of my way to talk to strangers, driving down streets I'm not familiar with (a big step considering my complete lack of directional skills), and having a generally adventuresome outlook on things.

Also, I feel this first-love type of fluttering every time I think about writing here. This is the atmosphere I need, and I'm anxious to get started. The air itself seems to be filled with words just waiting for me to snatch them away and stick them to my paper. I feel like good things are going to happen.

But amidst all this joyousness, there is an underlying sense of waiting. A little voice in my head whispering "moderation, Ali, moderation". Because, while I am an intrinsically optimistic person, I feel like it's just too good to be true. It doesn't seem right that I should leave my home, my friends, my family, in a time of complete economic fuckary and feel so free, so unfettered from any unhappiness about my situation.

For now though, I'm going to enjoy it, and everything else that makes me smile about this place; like the way shadows of hawks flying over us stretch and shrink as they move from hill to hollow to tree trunk, circling high above on drafts of warm air rising from the mountains, rarely flapping a wing.


Friday, February 20, 2009


Hello all! I hope everyone has been fantastic in my absence. We're settling in our new house, and I've gone back to work, so I don't have a lot of time right now, so I'm just giving you the link to our moving story on my other blog Thought Without Measure.

I have tons more to say, as usual, so hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later!

For those of you who are fellow Twilight fans, check out this link, I think you'll like ;)

Until next time...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Moving To The Country, Gonna Eat A Lotta Peaches!

Okay guys, this blog is officially on hold until I get relocated! I'm finishing up packing, and heading out in one week! I'm not sure how long it will take to get everything set up once I get there, but believe hurts me more than it hurts you!

(I used to hate it when my mom said that to me...then I became a mother myself and it was crystal clear.)

Actually, I'm supposed to be packing right now, but I've been sneaking forlorn glances at my computer all day, my finger tips just itching to touch the I figured just one site would be okay, right? ;) Of course, this is the one I went maybe I can squeeze in my email too...

Well, this is goodbye for now, so I'll leave you with a little visual stimulation, inspired by Carolyn, whose delightful humor I'll miss desperately :)

Until...well, whenever!

Where I'm leaving...the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Where I'm going...

the mountains of Northern Georgia

(all pictures are from the actual towns I lived in/will live in)

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Clear As Glass

My awesome 'net buddy Carolyn just put into words something that I've long understood, yet never acutally articulated, which can make all the difference in the world sometimes.

"When we can't control the big things, we try to control the little ones."

This is so true! I have no control over my current "big picture", so I'm totally obsessing over little things being exact. Now I've stated the reason for my neurosis, I feel much better about it.

As usual, in times like these, I will fall back on my mantra, nicely framed here:

What If...?

What if is a writer's favorite question. What if leads to all sorts of story possibilities, wonderful things that lead to other what ifs. I'm currently asking myself:

"What if I was typing this with two hands instead of one hand, and trying to hold my daughter and keep her away from the keyboard?"

Granted, not the best start to a story, but still, something to think about. And that's the real trick, I think. The thinking about it part. Because over the past two weeks, I've been thinking about a lot of things. Things that make the creative section of the brain work overtime. And it seems to me that the more creative things I think of, the more there are to think of, if you catch my drift. For example, I recently decided I am tired of not having a headboard, and want to make my own. After a few hours of research, I discovered a big handful of cheap, easy ideas that I loved, and that allowed me complete control of the finished product. So over the next few days, more ideas would come to me without being prompted, and from those ideas, other ideas grew, leaving the realm of mere headboards and entering into the world of whole rooms, decorated by me.

Yes, I realize I went off on a slightly long tangent about decorating, but I'm kind of obsessed, so forgive me. And it does have a point, which I'll share with you now.

Once I started thinking about all these ideas, my brain was nice and warmed up and ready for action. So I started thinking about my litterforts, and all that creativeness just swarmed around them and a hundred more what if's appeared, just waiting for me to follow them and see where they lead.

Dealing with relocating my family within a few weeks is leaving me with less and less time for writing what I want, so I spend tons of time thinking about what I want to write, and all these new what if's are so intriguing. There are certain things that are set within a story, and infinite possibilities around those things. And while I can't wait to actually get them out on paper, it's fun to let them run wild in my head too.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Joy, Pure & Simple

Last night was one of my rare nights out, rarer still since my husband is out of town. Instead of doing what we usually do, going out to the local dance/bar scene (we have nothing that could even be referred to as something resembling a club here on the Outer Banks), we decided to just relax and hang out and enjoy drinking mimosas while watching the funniest YouTube video's ever.

It was so wonderful! Hanging out with my best friend is like the best kind of therapy there is. And I have to get it all in now since it's looking like I'll be in Georgia in a month tops! Man, I'm going to MISS HER!! She understands me, and she's the best person I've ever met. Her soul is good. I feel lucky to count her as a friend.

While I was drinking my mimosa (BTW: whoever said those are only for breakfast was crazy!) I was filling her in on my writing progress.

(Tangent: I will now refer to my writing progress as "litterforts", thanks to the wonderful Patricia McKillip and her book The Bell at Sealy Head, which I am currently reading and completely charmed with.)

I told her that I was working on Story 1, but that I wanted to write this other one, Story 2. I started telling her about plot and a little tiny bit about the characters. Just so you know, I am a very passionate talker, I get very into the story I'm telling if I feel strongly about it. So I'm totally getting all wrapped up in this story I'm telling her about and she interrupts me and says,

"That sounds like a screenplay Ali."

And I swear, I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to jump up and down and yell "YES!" as loud as I could while pumping my fist in the air maniacally.

Because here's the thing about Story 2: I see it in my head as a movie. I see the actors and their characteristics, I see the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, and why they are who they are. I see backgrounds, scenery, and hear a soundtrack in my head. And I'm having a hard time writing it in the form I'm used to because I keep seeing this movie playing over and over in my head. That's never happened to me before; neither seeing a movie, nor writing a story out of my head onto paper. And I've very secretly, very far deep down in my brain thought about attempting to write a screenplay.

I cannot believe I even just typed it; the idea is that daunting to me. I'm a high school drop out, a wife, a mother of two, a lazy bones, a poet, a wannabe novelist. I am not a screenwriter, I know nothing about it at all.

But I can't get the damn idea out of my head. It's like this little splinter in my brain and I have to pick at it all the time, but it never comes out. Except it's not a painful splinter, it's a happy one! :)

Also a splinter with a huge amount of possible failure, the biggest handicap I have, in my opinion. Fear of failure will ruin your life. I'm doing my best to overcome, and so far most of the battles have been in my favor.

And the fact that my totally awesome bestie just listened to me talk about this story I saw in my head and pulled out my secret wish into the open to be examined in the light...I don't even know what to say but wow. Moments like those are what life is made of.

So, now, here I am, with an idea and a fantastic dream, and not the slightest inkling of how to turn the one into the other....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Untitled Poem

I'm moving in a few weeks, so I spent today going through boxes and trying to throw away everything I can. It's a long process because I invariably get wrapped up in nostalgia...and believe me, as a person who keeps every strange little memento, there's a lot of nostalgia. One very large box I pulled open was full of poetry I wrote from the ages of 12 to 18 or so, and let me just Reading them again was like looking back at myself. It was like I was sixteen again, feeling all those hormones jumbling around, but I was also reading it with eyes that were ten years older, ten years wiser. I was laughing at the more horrible ones, and feeling a little proud (& surprised) by the better ones when I realized something. I started my love affair with writing by writing poems. I've written literally thousands of them, in every style about everything under the sun. But I haven't written one in a few months. And that's just crazy because I love writing poetry sooooo much! In poems, anything goes. There's no set form, nothing that can't be written about, no grammar, nada.

So I think I'm going to start trying to write something poem-ish every day, just a few lines, because it is so cathartic for me. This was one of the last ones I found, written in 2008, and I thought I would share it with y'all.

Feel free to criticize-I don't bite my tongue, you shouldn't either!

that one word seems to somehow encompass all the rest of them
He wasn't her first love-
He wasn't even love.
But he was something big,
Something formative, something shaping
A movement, a vehicle
From who she'd been to who she wanted to be.
He was a mask she pulled on
to play a role she'd otherwise be too frightened to try.
She learned, she grew, she stretched beneath his hand
Until he no longer recognized her smile
In the bared teeth she showed.
No claws, not yet, but they aren't too far behind
And now-
That one word, like an answer to all her questions
and yet it only makes her more confused.
He doesn't know her, he never did
Although he thinks she is his soul mate
His other, his all
She knows better.
She knows she is only poison in a river
Delicious poison, and more deadly for it
He asks for the heart she gave to him
all those years ago
And when she says she cannot find it
She is lying
She never gave it in the first place.
She kept it tucked away
Safe from herself
So there are no pieces for her to gather out from underneath his skin
Nothing but memories
Begging to remain nothing more than that
Not immune to her own poison
the price of being so sweet
Why can't she stay her own hand?
Knowing it is it's own sweet death
Only makes her want to temp fate a little more
Finding the tipping point on the dagger blade she's walking.
Seeing through her own deceptions makes her ill
but excited too.
She wants to fall down just so he can catch her
knowing she will resent him for it later...or sooner...
And how he did make her head swirl!
For a moment of those colors flying in her brain
She thinks she would trade anything.
Just a word she uses to convince herself she is stronger
better, different.
Funny though, at fifteen, she would have been so much more decisive.
At fifteen, there was no gray
Just black just white
History grows morals crumble
Mysterious mortals start to mumble
Age answers youths questions
But rarely in the dulcet tones we think we want to hear.

And in a completely unrelated tangent: my spellchecker is adamantly informing me that "ya'll" is not spelled correctly.

Well Mr. Spellchecker, I must assure, it is. I'm a southern girl, this is North Carolina, and "ya'll" is a bonafide, contracted way to say "you all"....but better. =)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Full Pages, Full Belly

Hello all, I hope this post finds you well and happy, because I am surely both. I wrote today!!

(insert glorious angel song here)

I wrote and wrote and wrote, and it was so awesome I was just smiling like an idiot at my computer screen. It was one of those days where the words and plots and intrigues and romances and EVERYTHING was just there, waiting for me to come along and scoop it up. The more I write, the more there is to write about. I know there's something I'm wanting to compare it to, you know I'm all about giving examples to help you see what I see, but for some reason whatever it is I want to allude to is eluding me.

(thank you thank you, I'll be here all week)

As my story grows, my plot line changes, and that's really turning into some exciting stuff! And on a totally unrelated yet almost equally satisfying note, I made manicotti and salad and garlic bread for dinner, orange-glazed cinnamon rolls for dessert, and (I know, you're asking yourself how my day could have gotten any better) I watched the SAG awards (yay for Kate and Sean and 30 Rock!) AND (yes, there's even more) I watched United States of Tara and Secret Life of a Call Girl.

I know, they're both slightly trashy, perfectly crass, and hilarious. I adore them both like I enjoy smoking a ciggarette on the porch with a beer in the summer. I know it's bad, it just makes it so much better. I highly recomend US of Tara to anyone who gets my sense of humor. Toni Collette will be recieving awards for it, you heard it here first!

So, my day (and belly) were packed full of happy goodness today,
which I do so hope continues tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ugh, Technology!

So my computer has been down for a couple of days, which meant NO INTERNET.

Ugh, I'll give you a minute to empathize with how truly empty my life has been these past 72 hours without my close companions Facebook, Hotmail, and of course, Blogger.

(big, refreshing inhale....good.)

Now, I'm back, my IV of 'net-goodness is firmly in place, and life can go on again!

(I really missed you guys!)


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Story #1, Welcome Back

I only have a few minutes so this is going to be short. Well, as short as is possible for me, the notoriously long-winded, detail obsessed, wandering story girl.

I re-opened Story #1 the day before yesterday.

(big sigh)

It was glorious. It was like waking up on Sunday morning to the smells of bacon and coffee that someone else made and you just have to get up and get some. It was like Christmas morning.

It was like....

It was like running into that guy from the past who you still think of from time to time, and after running into them realizing that they are everything your mind has built them up to be over the past ten years or so. (That never, by the way, they're always much less interesting than our minds build then up to be over time. I just happened to run into someone a few days say it was disappointing would be an understatement.)

In case you're not getting where I'm going with this, I'll just clarify.

It was amazing!! I spent a few hours doing editing and re-writes, and then suddenly I realized why the story had slowed down before, which is why I lost interest. I had the story line a little confused, and I wasn't quite sure what my characters were doing.

But, lo and behold, I have seen the error of my ways! And now I have a good, solid plot to build off of, and characters who are well and truly their own people.

I can't describe the feeling I get when I'm writing and things are going well, but it's sweet, way-deep-down-in-my-soul sweet. So I'm off to write some more since I have, by my calculations, a solid 20 minutes before my kids start freaking out.

Back again soon faithful readers! =)

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is the meat
the middle of the story.
Madness, hardness of life, troubled.
Incandescently happy. Lust. Sweetness.
She is beautiful. Young body. Old Soul.
Except where it's naive. Shy. Outspoken.
Closed. Opened.
He is beautiful. Dark. Shady places under trees.
Soft covering hard edges. Smooth touch. Fire.
Too much. Too soon.
Too arrogantly right.
But right.
Fighting. Fear. Others.
Running. Forced into togetherness.
A unit of opposite poles. Like puzzle pieces.
The loss.
So this is Goodbye.
She is running.
The magic is dead.
He is lost.
Search. For. Her.
She is almost whole again.
A new friend. Good?

small town usa. girl wakes up.

her finger was bleeding again from where she was chewing her hangnails. a bad, old habit. one that she broke just long enough for the skin to heal, making her long-fingered hands and their oval nails almost beautiful. but then their was life again, stressing making her fingers itch, the scratch each other, then before she knw it they were shredded again.

maybe she was some sort of scik canibal.

probbably not.

what was she supposed to write about? there was no great story line in her head. no leads to be chased. they all seemed to have dead ends. no excitement. just blah.

like everthing else in her life.

shw was young. and unmotivated. and full of wanting for things she did not have.

Another dayy. the same as the last. and the next.
when had that happened to her? When had she ssuddenly stopped moving forward? Or had it not been sudden? had she been creeping towards this life for years? inexorably pulled into the exact life she'd denied she'd ever live. A life full of complaceny. She had a husband, a man she whose ins and outs she knew so well they irritated her. They had a house. A boring, often messy house, full of things that reminded her of other times in her life. Better times perhaps. Pictures of adventures, times when stories had been made, memory turned into legend with the tellings. Stories were all she had now, and the ictures she surrouned her self with.
She had had bgi dreams. To be someone. Someone who did something. A mark maker.
Now she was a mediocre maker. A settler. She had settled. And every day it seemed more and more like she had settled for less. Less than she could have. Less than she should have. She deserved more. She was wasted here, in this small coast town. It was a place of history, drowned in the past. No place for her future. The future she was supposed to have. Why had she setteld? She could no longer remember. It was time for her to leave.
The thought woke her up a little. Where had that come from? She couldn't just leave. She had no car for one thign, and responsibilites here.

they grew up together. they dated a few times, but they seemed to realize that it wasn't the right time. Things were not mature enough yet. they both went off to live their lives. they ened up at home around 25, both with others. had one night, he wants to marry her, she realzied she actually

Friday, January 9, 2009

English Teacher Shout-Out

Today's topic boys and girls-English teachers. We all had them, some of us loved some of them, some of them were scary monstrosities from other worlds, (I'm not kidding, I think my 5th grade teacher really was an alien), and some were forgotten in the summers between verb conjugation and grammatically correct sentence structure.

I'm not sure if my love for English class has biased me, or if I've had a long string of really awesome English teachers. I truly thing it's the latter, but I could be mistaken I guess; it has happened before, actually. ;)

So today, as I prepare for a month without my husband's help with the kids, which means a month with very little actual writing being done, I thought I should give a shout out to those who, for one reason or another, made a serious impact on my life.

DISCLAIMER: This might be really boring for you guys to read, since you don't know these people, but I've been thinking about it for a long time, and I think credit is long over due, so here it is.

Mrs. Cartier- 1st grade- The first teacher who fostered my already evident love of words. She introduced me to Christina Rossetti, and began my life-long affair with poetry. Looking back, I realize what a non-conformist she was, a big deal at the private Christian school I went to, and what a truly amazing person she was. Mrs. Cartier wanted all of us to be exposed to the world, and the different people, and cultures in it. Pretty deep stuff for a bunch of 1st graders. She brought in seaweed for us to eat, years before I had any idea what sushi was. When we asked questions, she answered. An amazing woman, who I've not forgotten once in all the years since.

Ms. Lynch-4th grade- Ahhh, Ms. Lynch. She was young, beautiful, patient, with just enough temper to keep the boys in line. I adored her. She praised my reading abilities, already tested at the college level, without making me feel pressured. She gave me my first copy of The Secret Garden, my all-time favorite book, then and now; and while I've got a few more copies of it since then, the paperback she gave me still sits on my bookshelf, worn and well-loved. She told me to read anything I wanted, and had that kind of incandescent faith only teacher of the young can have: I was able to do anything after her, I was young and untouched by the world, my future was wide open. When I told her I wanted to be a writer, she said "Okay, then you will." I miss those years of innocent dreaming, when I really could do anything.

Mrs. Magan-5th grade-Even though I didn't like her, and often daydreamed during class about what planet had sent her here in disguise, she was the first adult in my entire life to actually discipline me. I quit doing homework that year, I don't remember why, but she put me in after school detention more times than I can remember. I was the only girl in the 5th grade who had ASD, come to think of it. The beginning of my bad ass years, I'm sure.

Mrs. Barnes-7th grade-I was a new girl in a new school in a small town. The type of town where the kids have all been in school together since daycare. They had so much history I was destined to be the outsider for the remainder of my school career, something I always felt keenly over the years. Mrs. Barnes was a firecracker, quick witted, smart, funny, and an iron will to keep those 14 year old hormonal boys in line. They loved her too, despite their attitudes; we all did. She pushed for more, she wouldn't take less than she knew we could give, and she made me feel like I actually belonged somewhere on the small island I was forced to inhabit.

Mrs. Draughn-summer school-I spent a few summers in summer school, I think three total, although it might be four. I was too smart to be there, and too lazy to do the work that I should during the year to prevent having to go. Mrs. Draughn appreciated that, and gave me work to do that was interesting, and work I enjoyed doing. She was my first experience with interpretive writing-she put a picture up on the board and said, "Write me a story. Tell me what's going on." I was hooked. Oh, and one other small, itty bitty thing. She was the woman who introduced my to Stephen King and the Dark Tower. A ways past the "appropriate" reading level for my age, but she understood that books and I had a special relationship. Looking at my bookshelf now, with every book Stephen King has written filling it's shelves, I wish I could have told her thank you. But she probably already knew.

Mrs. McRae-high school- I was lucky enough to be in her class twice, my freshman and sophmore years. Not because I failed, but she taught a few different classes to different grade levels. There are so many things I would say about her, but I'm trying to be concise, so I won't. She was an amazing person, a great teacher, and a true soul. I don't know if that makes sense, but it feels right. She took my enormous love of all things wordy and tamed it into something resembling a frame, gave some method to my madness. She also worked with me, something more teachers should do. She understood that I wasn't going to do the final project because it was boring to me, something easy that I could/should have done in one night, something I would ignore because it didn't interest me. So she gave me an alternate project: To read Great Expectations and write her a paper on it, breaking down the story line chapter by chapter. While this would be the worst form of punishment for normal high school kids, I was in heaven. And as a result, I got a 98 on my final project, pushing my grade for that year high enough to keep me from summer school (again). I still have that project, and I pull it out from time to time.

Mr. Irving- junior year- He was my Creative Writing teacher, my all-time favorite class. He understood that I skipped the entire day of school, only showing up for his class in the afternoon, and he always thanked me for coming. He fostered my creativity, encouraged it, and praised all my efforts. His class was easy for me, being what I loved most, but he kept making me think, kept things fresh. He was a minor character with a lasting impact.

Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Guiley-senior year- Ah, Mr. Guiley. The type of teacher who spawns legends for years to come. My senior English teacher, and last class of the day. Another class I always made it to, though it wasn't the easiest one I had. Mr. Guiley supposedly scored a 1600 on his SAT's, something that was believable and unbelievable at the same time. He drove the oldest car in the school's parking lot, and said he was keeping it for his daughter for her first car. I think she was around 7 at the time. He only actually drove to school when it was raining, otherwise, he walked. He often had a blank expression on his face, and in the middle of a lecture, he would trail off, and stare silently at some unknown point in space, thinking about God only knows what. We would all sit, waiting, wondering, then suddenly he would give himself a little shake and start talking about something totally unrelated to his original conversation. We called them his acid flashbacks, and they were truly amazing. For example:

"Henry David Thoreau was a.........................................(60 seconds later).............................................does anyone know how much pollution LA has by cubic square inch?"

When a student would fall asleep on his desk, Mr. G would continue talking in the same tone of voice while he went to a closet and took out his 9 iron. Never pausing or raising his voice, he would line up his swing, all the while telling us about early American literature, then he would swing with all his might, hitting the underside of the desk with the golf club, producing a shocking sound. It scared those of us who were watching it happen, I can't imagine waking up to that, a golf club hitting directly under your face. And never would he stop his speech, walking to the closet to replace the club, like nothing ever happened.

We had speaker box on the wall beside the clock, where we could hear the school's announcements in the morning and afternoon. No matter what he was talking about, when the voice came out of the box, he would stop, face it, and raise his hand in salute. He would stay there until the announcements were through, and only then would he continue teaching.

He seemed erratic, dazed, slightly silly, and very smart. Despite all of his eccentricities, students loved him, and we all learned exactly what we were supposed to. I adored him and his teaching methods. I just wish we could have gotten out the secret of his SAT score though....

Monday, January 5, 2009

(Insert Large Sigh of Relief Here)

To quote Napoleon Dynamite...."yessss!"

The holiday's are over, the new year is here, and we all survived. Thank God.

I love my family, I love the Christmas break time that allows to all get together, something rare indeed, and I love the relaxed, vacation-like atmosphere that surrounds it. But I am so ready to get back on schedule here! My house is a wreck (one I have no desire to do anything about at this juncture in time), my kids need some structure back in their lives, and I need to write!!

I really enjoyed watching the family dynamics of the holidays, and I had a lot of thoughts drifting around for story lines. The relationships between people have always fascinated me, both in reality and literature, and I've been a people-watcher for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure whether it's due to my years of "practice", or an inborn ability, but I seem to be very....empathetic? I can meet people and get a reading on them very quickly, a very definite sense of who they truly are on a very deep level.

That sounds kind of like a narrator in a terribly bad late night/early morning movie talking about the lead who is actually an idiot (& a terrible actor to boot). Don't get me wrong now! I am a twenty-five year old woman with a very stubborn, opinionated outlook. I am naive, optimistic, idealistic, and much surer of my own worldliness than I have any right to be. All of those things cloud my judgments occasionally, or even frequently ;), however I stick to what I said.

8 times out of 10, my gut tells me no lies. My perceptions (which I just mistyped as "perfections", which is making me giggle now) are usually accurate, if not dead-on. I'm especially reminded of a person I knew was a shady, slimy, no good character over ten years ago. There was nothing obvious about it, and the group of people who have known my longest in my life were all adamant that I was just being a silly teenager when I mentioned my thoughts. Which they had every right to think....Slimy had them all fooled. But my gut told me, and I listened.

Now, ten years later, people are shaking their heads, muttering "What a creep" under their breath (and sometimes not so quietly), about the same Slimy. I'm not surprised. No one can fake it forever.

So anyways, I love to watch the interactions of people, and their reactions, their expressions, and take the things I glean and spin them together into little blurbs, a few sentences in a story. A few of these I've written down, others I let drift away again, but all of them great for keeping the creative process of the mind from getting as fat and lazy as the rest of me over the season of eating rich foods non-stop (which I love).
(See picture at left.)

I'm going to try really, really hard over the next few days to concentrate on turning my house back into something resembling a vague attempt at cleaning, and keep thinking about the blurbs, and then I get back to the nitty-gritty.

It's nice to have work you look forward to; maybe that's how you know you've found the right job. =)