My Thoughts During a Work-day-Wednesday

cat-1101867_1280We writers think really bizarre thoughts sometimes. Thoughts that jump from one random subject to the next; pondering how life works, what our characters might be thinking, wondering if the hum of the fluorescent lights is actually harmful to your health. (I think it is!)

Maybe it was in Jennifer Lawson’s Furiously Happy that inspired this internal monologue. It might have been. Anyway, here are some of my crazy thoughts from being bored at work today:

A weird article I read: Man Rescued at Sea Was Suspect In Grandfather’s Slaying. Turns out this young man owns a boat named, “The Chicken Pox,” and his mother who was going to inherit millions of dollars from said Grandpa, was mysteriously lost at sea. ***Feel free to use this one for a story idea.

Asked a women on the phone how she was and I get back: “I’m okay, I have a family.”  Is this an expression somewhere I don’t know about? Except, she seemed so sad when she said it to me.

I. Hate. Small. Talk.

Dead silences make me nervous…and sleepy.

Note to Self: Look up weather, it’s going to rain five days straight.

On that thought, seasonal depression might set in early. Remember to research insurances and psychiatrists in the area.

Space cowboys are kind of an awesome thing.

OR, maybe it’s the hum of electronics that you hear in the silence that makes me nervous…no one around but THE MACHINES.

I think I would have added more, but then I got distracted by story-planning and actual work helping customers.

How was your day? Happy Writing!

Buying Alcohol at 9 in the Morning

imageThis post isn’t about writing at all, really. It’s not even about alcohol, either.
This summer I turned twenty-eight, (woo me!) but I was having a thought last night, and I have no idea what it means to be a twenty-eight.

Should I feel like an adult? An old lady? Should I just give up all together and realize that being an adult is waay overrated? Hmm. There’s a thought.

Here I am on the brink of thirty, (clearly,) and all I want to do is travel the world, try awesome new food, and adopt a new pet…maybe a rat. It would be cool to have a rodent I could train to do tricks.

Last night, I went to bed at 10pm, and woke up at 8am with Mike this morning. I picked up some things to make enchiladas at Wegmans for dinner tonight, (we here in upstate New York loove our Wegmans), and grabbed some bottles of wine at the nearby liquor store…all before 9am.

Am I getting old?

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My purse I bought.

I tried shopping last night and I realized I don’t even know whats in any more. I picked out a purse and thought, Oh my God, what if its an old lady purse?!

One of my girlfriend’s assured me that it was definitely not…but I guess my point is, I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m way too old to shop in the juniors section, but I’m too young to graduate to cardigans and carpet bags.

I’m ready for that time where I’m not a jittery twenty-year old trying to figure life out, but I don’t have visions of buying a house, or having kids…yet. I still feel like I haven’t done anything.

I guess it makes sense that I am feeling this way, because I’ll always be a kid a heart. The unconventional sort who likes to wear Jon Snow t-shirts, and Star Wars leggings, (I totally don’t have Star Wars leggings, but now I want some!), and who likes to write notes for stories in the shower on my trusty water-proof notebook.

I want to travel the world in a camper that rocks back and forth on the highway, and I want to drink wine at 10am and eat s’mores for breakfast. I want to listen to music with the windows down, and I want to experience new things, and learn a new language.

I’m too old to sleep till noon anymore, because, let’s face it, when you get older, time is a currency all on its own. But I’m not ready for the white picket fence and suburban neighbors. Who of any of my generation can afford that anyway?

I want to live a life of plenty, and I want to be that crazy neighbor that has painted every side of her house a different color.

I want to celebrate the life of an unconventional and I think we should all cheer to that.
I want to live the creative life that I was meant to…

Because there’s no age-limit for creativity, and I’m completely fine with that!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

Ever Tried an Excercise Ball for a Desk Chair?

Just wanted to give a shout out to Dainelle Hunter as a quick thank you for the Liebster Award Nomination! Will follow-up with a blog post this weekend when I’ll be able to take the time and write something clever for it. So look for that this Saturday!


img_20160525_185048557.jpgTonight I treated myself to a little shop therapy. I’ve been trying to get healthier this spring and summer, and along that line is being able to sit at my desk for longer periods at a time without being in agony.

After hurting my shoulder/upper back region at work, I’m always sore and achy after sitting down at a desk for eight hours everyday. And thus, I don’t want to sit at my desk at home and write. (Which is a big problem!)

img_20160525_185058155.jpgMy solution: an exercise ball! I didn’t realize until after doing some research, that some employers let you use an exercise ball at work instead of a chair. As the chances of me getting one at work are very unlikely, I thought I’d try it at home.

The idea is that the ball forces you to balance, thus automatically making you sit up straight which strengthens core muscles and your back, (which is everything that I need strengthened.)

It’s not easy to get used to sitting on a ball instead of a chair, so figured I would alternate between the two for a while until I get used to it.

What do you guys think? Ever tried this before?

My Star Wars Obsession and Spoiler Anxiety, (it’s a real thing, people)

Note: there are no movie spoilers in this, just my silly ramblings about how much of a nerd I am.

I’m sure many of you aren’t aware, but there is a brand new Star Wars out there for your viewing pleasure, and I don’t think enough people are going to see it…I mean, seriously, I think this one is going to flop, people.

tfa_poster_wide_header-1536x864-959818851016 (Laughs). Yeah, right.

Star Wars is everywhere! It was on the sign of our local carpet store when we drove by today; ‘may the floor be with you?’ Seriously?

It was on the Outback-ad I saw a few minutes ago on Facebook; which featured steaks flying at a look-alike Death Star made out of sweet potato.

Last night, it was on the google website when you searched: dare to choose the dark or light side?

img_20151210_133756320.jpgDon’t forget the merchandise: band-aids, toys, coloring books, T-shirts, plushies, mugs, silverware, and ornaments. Star Wars has permeated every corner of our personal galaxy and I’m not sure I was entirely prepared for it.

Originally, Mike and I decided that we would go see Star Wars in I-Max. But, we couldn’t get tickets for opening weekend, so we decided to go the day after Christmas. We wouldn’t have to stand in those long premiere lines, we’d miss the crazy rush, and I was okay with this.

That is…until Star Wars came out yesterday.

Suddenly, Facebook was bombarded with potential spoilers, and I was starting to feel frightened of the people at my work. I heard the words “Star Wars” and I practically ran out of the break room.

Spoilers are something I hate when it comes to any film, but the idea that the surprises in this new movie might get ruined for me, filled me with a new brand of anxiety I didn’t expect.

I had misjudged the hype. Why didn’t I think of this before? Why had I decided to wait? Was I stupid, or something?

I got Star Wars Spoiler anxiety!

I did. Suddenly a week waiting for I-Max felt like years. Was I to assume that I wouldn’t accidentally stumble on a spoiler on google? Or overhear someone in the check out line at the grocery store?  I became nervous, unsettled, and paranoid. I didn’t get on Facebook for a few days.

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My R2-D2 plushy. He sits loyally on my desk and guards my laptop from any potential thieves.

I know Star Wars is just a movie, (although part of me dies when I say that), I know there are more important things in the world to worry about…but the fact that I got anxious worrying about Star Wars spoilers is kind of hilarious.

Well, all that got resolved this morning, because Mike and I decided that we would nip the anxiety in the bud, and we went 10am this morning to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and we loved it. I stretched out on the newly renovated recliner chairs and munched on Cheerios like popcorn.

Really, I told Mike that we were forced to see it, because we were worried about spoilers, and then I laughed like the nerd I am at my accidental pun. Har, har, har. I know, I’m such a dork.

But that brings me to another thing.

My Star Wars spoiler anxiety might have something to do with the Star Wars obsession I’ve developed over the past few months.

It seems like the more silly the merchandise, the more I must have it. I’ve got Star Wars wrapping paper to wrap my presents with this year. I found crayons with colors in it like: outer space, deep space sparkle, tumbleweed, shadow and cadet blue.

I found Star Wars duct tape, (this I reasoned was for projects for gifts, but lets face it, I bought it for myself.)

img_20151213_191720256.jpgI also found a holiday count-down chalk board; I later crossed out holiday and wrote “Star Wars” at the top. Then of course with all this, that doesn’t include the stuffed R2-D2 on my desk, my t-shirts, and posters.

IMG_20151114_203000829IMG_20151114_203017973Did I forget to mention, I ate Star Wars chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight?

Are you guys as obsessed with Star Wars as I am right now? (And please no spoilers if you choose to comment, lets save that for the review I’ll probably post in a few days.)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Shakespeare in the…Parking Garage?

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I almost forgot to share this – I snapped this in the parking garage I park at for work. Looked out my windshield one afternoon and had myself a laugh.

It warms my heart to see that people have the same Englishy nerd sense of humor that I do! Lol.

A New Poem and 200 Followers!

Just wanted to send a quick thank you to Arisa Mameda for being my 200th follower! I never thought even 199 people would be interested in this blog, and I almost gave up on it at one time. Although, the process is going slower than I thought it would, it IS growing…and I couldn’t be more proud. Thank you everyone for reading!

And for a treat, here’s a poem I wrote back in my college days. I was at my prime creativeness back in those days.

It’s actually quite appropriate considering I was reminiscing about my college days at work today and about my British lit teacher who I had such a big crush on back then.

Now you can see how much (more of) a dork I was back then…but ah, he was my muse. 😉


Teacher

 

I thought about asking him to lunch today,

apologize for my lack of enthusiasm

Tell him that I love him and whip out my book

and beg him to read Paradise lost to me.

 

I thought about how that might look though

Sitting there across from me

Dreaming about running my fingers through your hair,

me leaning forward as far as I could–

 

I might wonder what he’d look like if he wore contacts

what he’d look like in a setting

not lit by fluorescents

 

If he might have a woman somewhere— anywhere

Someone he’s made promises to

Wonder if he’s gay.

 

Does he have an older brother?

A house full of sisters waiting to welcome him?

Their arms open wide, a pair of pudgy arms—

 

I might want to know what brought on his devotion

of ancient poets—why Chaucer excites him?

Why he gets lost in Paradise Lost?

Why Beowulf does not intimidate?

 

During class his radio voice washes over me

and lulls me into that dream-like place

that I just left twenty minutes before.

Terry Pratchett and Questioning Gender roles in Fantasy Literature

I’ve been listening to Terry Pratchett’s The Slip of the Keyboard at work recently; it’s basically a collection of essays about his life, writing and his struggles with Alzheimer’s.

pi7KxKpdTIn one of his essays, he mentions how women are portrayed in fantasy. If there is a witch, she is generally evil and crouches around like an old hag, spitting curses at everyone. If she is beautiful, she is seductive, using her sexuality as a means to an end. (I think many Disney villains can be used as an example here: Ursula, Wicked Step Mother, Malificent, etc.)

Gandalf-2On the opposite scale are the Wizards, who are male, wise, and that mentor that most protagonists seek out in times of great peril. Think Gandolf in Lord of the Rings, or Ged in A Wizard of Earthsea.

I guess my question is: Why is this so?

One of my own stories has a witch as its main villain, and I inadvertently made her beautiful, seductive and evil. I did this without thought, yet I’m wondering if this isn’t the time to mix it up a bit? Isn’t it time we had an evil wizard? Or a kind, yet sexy witch, who is not evil?

(J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books don’t really count in this musing, I suppose. As plenty of her witches are very nice, beautiful intelligent people. And Voldemort, a.k.a most evil wizard, ever.)

One thing I love about Terry Pratchett’s writing is that he doesn’t write characters that are predictable. Everyone (of the characters I’ve read so far) are unique and one of a kind. They don’t fit a basic formula, and they aren’t comfortable, which is completely fine. By comfortable, I mean you don’t always know what you can expect from them: one minute they might be performing an act of heroism, the next, you might question their sanity a bit.11751426_10203753735158590_4103356951849478425_n

The point: Terry Pratchett creates real characters that don’t fit into the formula of basic hero and that’s fine. (He also made the point that not all best-selling fantasy books are the best written either.)

This is something I agree with. But I guess what gets me is this whole idea of how women are portrayed in Fantasy. If she is a witch in some stories, why do we assume she is evil?

Do we automatically assign gender roles to specific aspects of fantasy? Do we like when witches are evil? Is the old hag expected to bring bad news? Or is this what we’ve just seen time after time, and so, we use examples of literature before us and think: ‘this the way it’s supposed to be.’

Or, if these gender roles are missing in the novel, does that automatically make it more unique than others? Just a thought.

What do you guys think? Any examples you can think of?

Fill in the Blank: What are these two looking at?

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I took this at work. The river runs right next to the building and here I found on my lunch break two male mallards sitting looking out towards the water.
It gets me thinking of two old man rocking on a front porch, passing the time away. Or maybe its two young men going: “where did all the females go? Do you see any of them, Henry?” (Because of course Henry is the perfect duck name :p)
Anywho, I thought it was amusing. Some pictures really are worth a thousand words. Comment with your own caption if you like!

It Really IS a Wonderful Life…

These last couple days have been a blast. Christmas isn’t apparently just one day in our house, we have been celebrating more of a Christmas week. I think it is definitely time to start eating healthier again, though, and to start exercising. And on that note, while taking a walk on Christmas day near my Grandma’s house, we came upon an old cemetery, and this headstone:

wpid-img_20141225_160829935.jpgNot only is it interesting that this person from middle-of no-where-upstate, New York, fought and died for his country, someone somewhere out there still appreciates him. He was a veteran and that still matters, even if it happened over 50 years ago.

The flowers in front of his headstone were blown over and covered with leaves, but we dusted them off, and nestled them in front of his grave. The wind was blowing and the rain started splattering on our faces, and I tried to identify the significance this moment could possibly have.

Was it sad to be in a graveyard on Christmas afternoon? Was the rain and gloominess really just a way to emphasize it? Every little detail became so important suddenly: the curiosity on my boyfriend’s face as he yells across the headstones: “Look at this one, babe!”

wpid-img_20141225_155031537_hdr.jpgThe way the land curves and rolls; the mounds of grass, the moss that grows in splotches; and the path that cuts through the cemetery between tall, long-limbed trees. If you stood at one end of the path and looked down it, you get the impression that it goes on forever; that life continues somewhere on the “other side” where the road ends.

And meanwhile, the sky is so gray the clouds seem grumpy, like steel-gray eyebrows furrowed in disappointment, that it seems nearly impossible to find the light in the darkness, to stand tall and go about your day.

Except, I wasn’t sad or disappointed, I just felt…blessed. I was thankful to be where I am, in the country I am, with the people who I love and that belong to me. I felt proud for this soldier who had represented my country, and honored that I was the one who righted his flowers, to tell him, (even if it was just in a small way), that he did matter and still does to those who understand freedom and cherish it like I do.

I felt irony because of the name on the headstone, which happens to be the veteran’s father: George Bailey.

George Bailey, the name of the character in It’s a Wonderful Life, the man who didn’t know what wealth truly was until it was taken away from him. That our worth isn’t measured in the dollars in our pockets, but in the lives we touch and the people who love us most.

And isn’t that at the heart of Christmas?

wpid-img_20141210_161130902.jpgI had a fantastic holiday, and I hope everyone else did, too. Did you do anything special this year? Vacation in the tropics? I’d love to hear about it.

Happy Writing everyone!

NaNoWriMo: Results Revealed, and Future Blogging Goals

My NaNoWriMo attempt was a complete failure. Trash. Zilch. Nothing. I managed to write probably about six pages and half an outline.

But the truth of the matter: I’m not ashamed.

Because I was able to realize something.

When I created this website, I did so with the thought that I would also self-publish a novel; Dawn’s Risingwhich was a novel idea I created purely for the purpose of this blog, and that is the problem.

dawns rising cancelledI wasn’t writing my story for the right reasons. I wasn’t in love with it. I didn’t perfect it, I didn’t craft it. I thought I could just sit down and write something worthy of sharing with others, a “practice novel,” but I realize now that I am too proud and care too much about presenting something to an audience that is less than worthy. In order to truly perfect the novel, I would need time, and the truth is there are other projects that I care about more.

I’m realizing, even without my pipe dream that was Dawn’s Rising, my blog is beginning to develop itself. I am finding amazing writers and people out there, and I am writing. I’m writing reviews, and blog posts, but I am still writing. It is excellent practice, and I’m so very proud of myself and my perseverance.

And although Dawn’s Rising is taking a temporary to permanent hiatus, I am excited about the projects that I can now devote my time to. No more wasting time worrying, analyzing and not writing. I want my writing to feel alive again, not like a chore. Although, there is always that fine balance when you write for work or pleasure, but why not have both?

I do want to thank those who have supported and inspired me on here. And I am sorry that I do not have a finished work to present to you that I promised. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be other stories for you to enjoy.

I want that fire back. The complete and unaltered joy of taking pen to paper and nothing exists but me and the story. The feeling that you’ve gone through time; you’ve gone somewhere that no one else has. I want to devote my time to sharing the writing that I care about, so no holding back!

I will continue with the reviews, articles, poetry and short stories and anything that seems worthy of sharing for all you writing, movie, TV, food or story lovers out there.

And that seems like a worthy goal.

Happy writing everyone!