Poem: Something Missing

Because…was feeling all the feels the other night.

Something Missing

A boy kicks a hacky sack
outside alphabet soup, toy shop
on that liberal side of town

You can be surrounded by people
And feel so lonely
Smell of incense, wet dirt
Live music, sounds nice
the summer night, to tell a story
a story filled with heartbreak, regrets and new memories

Security is an old man with an empty coffee cup
Families are diverse and couples walk unashamed with tattoos and purple hair
The singer croons and someone in the crown whistles
And I think that this night feels perfect,  almost

The seat next to me is empty
And just as a write this – someone whistles
But it’s not you, babe. It’s not you.

Our Vacation Out West Part 3: Zion National Park, The Emerald Pools

On our vacation this year, Mike and I played the license plate game. We made a list of all 50 states and checked off all the license plates we saw on our drive out to Utah. The only state besides Hawaii we couldn’t collect was Rhode Island, and guess which state’s license plate we saw last night in the Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot around here?!

From New York to Utah, we saw 48 license plates, not including Hawaii and Rhode Island. (RI was our holy grail of license plates until last night). We also saw two Canadian plates and one from Mexico. It was fun and it was exciting and it passed the time. I wish I was back on that road trip, seeing sights that I have never seen before.

This post is about three weeks late, but it is fun to reminisce on the fun times we had. Hey, if you missed part 1 and part 2 of our vacation you can click on the links to view them.

This was probably the best time I have ever had…and I’m trying to find another vacation to compare, but I really can’t.

After about two and a half days of driving, Mike and I made it to our KOA in Cedar City, Utah. The campgrounds are about an hour away from Zion National Park. The tent sites were very close together and at first I didn’t like it at all but then I shook myself a bit. I was on vacation! Why was I complaining?

We got our tent up very quickly, and it was really all a matter of getting dinner for the night and going to bed.

We found a diner about two minutes down the road from the KOA, called “All American Diner.” Anytime Mike and I can find a great diner, with good, cheap food, we call it a special treat.

The next day we headed to Zion National Park. The first day, we hiked the emerald pools trail, which was about a 5 mile round trip. A good portion of it was climbing up hill; I wasn’t prepared to climb it in about 110 degree heat. We took plenty of water and had our snacks, but the heat, man.

When we got back to the car that first day, the car’s thermometer registered 117 degrees!But while hiking, you’re walking up sand that’s so hot you can feel the heat burn through your sneakers. The sun beats down on your hat covered head and you long for shade, like you long for cold water when your throat is dry and your tongue feels thick.

That’s also what makes the pools you see on this hike so special; it is like a small oasis in the middle of this desert climate, but the hike is more difficult the higher up you go.

The trail becomes steeper, narrower; the shade trees are a little bit more sparse. I was struggling to catch my breath in the heat and wondered if it was all worth it. And then you come around a bend in the trail and that view. That. View. For one delicious, corny second, you feel like you are the only person on earth, and this view was made just for you. Now, mind you, I am a very easily entertained person…so that might have something to do with it. But, seriously, guys. If you can’t appreciate a view like this and call it nothing less than phenomenal, there’s something wrong with you.

This is the second pool, about two-thirds of the way up the trail.

At the very top of the trail, were these squirrels that kept hanging around, hoping for some snacks or trail mix. It’s $100 fine to feed the animals in the park, but kids can’t resist…not very often you have wild animals hanging around near your feet, and trying to climb into your backpack.

And if you make it to the very top, there is a larger pool of water at the very top. It looks like a small beach in the middle of the mountains. If you were allowed to swim in it, if there weren’t so many people trying to catch their breath, it might have felt more magical. But by that time, I think the heat had really done Mike and I in.

Afterwards, we got food at the park and then headed back to our campsite. The further we got from Zion, thankfully, the cooler it became. A 99 degrees felt practically chilly compared to 110…kinda. Not really. But what fun we had!

Next day, we hiked the Narrows! And then after that, the Grand Canyon.

A Quiet Walk By The Falls

I never get tired of these falls by my house. I write about them all the time, I know, but I can’t help it. I love the sound of the running water. So relaxing. I like the way the water smells. I like jumping from rock to rock on the edge of the shore, like I used to do as a child.But that water. There’s no other music like it in the world…this is my crack. This is the sound I fall asleep to. This is the soundtrack for many of the poems that I write.

Adventure is found along the shores of creeks, and falls and rivers. When the water just continues on and on and beckons…it teases you to follow, to discover where it ends.

How I wanted to jump in and go with it tonight, guys. There is freedom here, and longing. I wanted to see where it would take me. I wanted to go, go, go…

Is there something like this that inspires you?

Happy Writing!

Poem: Library 

stacks of books
quiet corners
and table nooks
The chairs are patterned
The carpet’s soft
Daylight beckons
Here’s where we start off:
Pick your destination
A rocket to space
Mars like universe
A romantic place
He’s on a pirate ship
She’s in the sky
Stomp through
castles and lakes
Watch dragons fly

Hiking through jungles
Searching for treasure
Double-secret-agent-lives
Just for her pleasure

Here’s the adventure:
Giants and elves
Magic spells
Risking your life
One sunny afternoon
All on bookshelves

It’s Okay to Admit You Need Help

Things have been a little quiet here on the blogging front. Not intentionally. This week I’ve been sick with a lovely head cold and I have some new things going on in my life and thought I would take some time to chat about it.

It’s not easy…admitting that you need help. Help comes in many different forms. Emotional…educational…physical.

You might have heard me mention it a time or two: depression and anxiety.

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective disorder, which is basically depression that one gets based on the lack of sunlight in the winter months. It’s no fun when a chemical in your brain stops working properly and tells you not to be happy anymore.

I’ve…managed with that the last several years. But lately, it seems like the older I get the worse my anxiety is. I have always been a classified “worry-wort,” but there comes a time, where it’s not just worry. Where anxiety becomes something more than just double checking that your doors are locked after you locked them. Twice. And after you already check again for the third time.

The older I get, it seems like the more I don’t function properly. I’ve been debating back and forth why I don’t see myself as “normal” anymore. Why, I think that’s something I ought to be, and why normal isn’t really the same for anyone. What’s normal? And why is it something anyone wants to be, anyway?

But anyway, I digress. The point…I’ve started going to therapy.

Some people might think, so? I’ve gone to therapy, what’s the big deal? But this is a big deal for me. I’m not used to telling my life problems to people, and it’s not always easy admitting that you need help.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and there’s no shame in getting that help. Depression and anxiety are not easy things, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

We all react to our life struggles in different ways, and we all have to find our own ways to encounter such challenges. I am not afraid to talk about my depression and anxiety, but I was afraid to get help. And I’m still afraid in some ways…do people look at me differently? Do I look different?

Does anyone judge me? But…I have to press on.

When I started this blog, I wanted to make sure it was a place that I could always come to, to make sure I was still writing. Now, I also want it to be a place where I can talk freely about my problems with depression and anxiety.

It’s something that needs to be talked about, and seeing as writers and creative sorts always seem to be the ones who struggle with depression and anxiety…we should all do a lot of talking about it.

Anyway, I hope you guys are having a great night, and I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Happy writing!

Reading Anything Good Lately?

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I always know it’s time to clean my bedroom, when the books start piling up next to the bed. And they do, regularly. Case in point: the picture above. (Apparently the book store clerk thought it was a crime that I haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth yet. I know!)

But it got me thinking tonight, how much I love books. And I do read a lot.

Because every new book is new inspiration. Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter’s book, The Long Earth, had me thinking about parallel universes today, and how cool it would be to write a book about a different earth in a different part of the universe.

Kristin Cashore’s, Graceling, reminds me that dialogue is fun. The banter between characters is supposed to be full of tension and then yet equally entertaining but with an end game in mind.

And this new book that I started reading last month, by Genevieve Cogman, The Invisible Library, reminds me that many, many people share a love for books and it is something that connects us in more ways than others. Sharing a good book with someone else is like sharing a gift sometimes. If that book brings joy, well then, yeah, it was definitely worth it.

Anyway, What are you reading? Anything good?! Got any recommendations?

Hope everyone is having a great night!

Poem: Rain

Sigh, I love rain…how many poems have I written about rain? Too many. Very much a rainy Thursday today. But despite the gloom, I had a rather nice day!

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Big drops in tiny puddles

leaves heavy and wet

cats shaking paws all befuddled

Let’s see if it’s stopped yet

Rain boots and big umbrellas

yellow coats and squeaky shoes

’round a corner, “let’s splash that fella!”

sniffley noses, colds and flus

For me: it’s a good book and hot tea

quiet adventures, all alone

it’s not lonely, my book and me

It’s…a feeling of home.

 

I like writing silly poems like this for you guys. It entertains me…and rhyming is fun even if you’re just doing it for fun. Hope everyone had a great day! Happy writing!

Discipline and Writing

Been having a hard time sitting down and working on projects lately. Maybe its the warmer weather. Maybe it’s that good ol’ writers fear again; creeping in and telling me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never write anything worthy.

How horrible. How crippling.

I was thinking of something to write for a blog post this afternoon, and of course, I can’t think of it now. Figures.

dorymemeI thought a Dory meme was just perfect, considering that Finding Dory came out this weekend – which I really want to see!

I got to remember to just keep writing…to just keep at it. But how?

Discipline.

The mind kind of rebels at the thought of more rules, and such things as…discipline. We get enough of it at work. We get enough of it from society.

Always rules. Always things that we can’t do…or shouldn’t do. Always holding back, when really we want to shout at the top of our lungs: You are stupid. Enough, already!

(That last bit is mostly aimed at the political crap we’ve had to deal with, lately.)

But why do we have to have rules when it comes to writing, too?

Well, without discipline, I would never get anything done. I mean…I DON’T get anything done. And it takes a good deal of discipline to sit down at your desk even when there a million other things that you think you ought to be doing instead.

And I think at this point, it also comes down to your priorities. How does writing rank in your list of things that need to be done? Are you putting it off for other reasons? Writers fear? Self-doubt?

Sometimes I turn to other activities because I doubt myself, and approaching my desk is close to standing in front of a crowded room and delivering a speech. (Please excuse my wobbly knees.)

But enough already! I know I definitely need to work on setting a time for writing each day. No more Netflix for me. Maybe it means cutting out things in my life that I don’t exactly need. I know I scroll Facebook less and less now.

And especially…no more putting it off because of fear. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

What are your guys take on this? How do you get done what needs to be done?

The Liebster Award Nomination!

Thank you to Dainelle Hunter for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It means a lot to me that you thought of me. 🙂 I hope this gives readers more of an insight into my writing and what this blog is about.

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The rules are as follows:

1: Thank the blog who nominated you and link back to them.
2: Make a blog post telling 11 facts about you.
3: Answer the 11 questions from the blog who nominated you.
4: Prepare 11 questions for those you will nominate.
5: Nominate 11 new bloggers (those who have less than 200 followers) by commenting in one of their blog posts.

11 Facts About Me:

~My favorite TV Show of all time is Firefly. (FireflyThe fact that it only had one season is an atrocity.

~I only write with one with kind of pen. (Gel pen, black ink, pilot G-2 07.)

~I hate memes where the sentences are deliberately spelled wrong, drives me nuts! (Like: ‘he’s doin me a hurtin’….grrrraaggh)

~I like to write movie and TV show reviews.wpid-img_20140602_185717984.jpg

~I love libraries and books stores.

~I am a tea drinker, love tea.

~I love being outdoors; the trees, the quietness.

~I have an obsession with nicknames. A lot of my characters have nicknames. I think its interesting how people/characters are much more than the names they are given, and the ones they’ve grown into.

~I am a dog person. I like cats, too. But if I were to have one pet it’d be a golden retriever, lab, or a mix.

~My favorite color is now purple. (It used to be blue but my grandma passed recently and that was also her color.)

~I own about five different Star Wars t-shirts.

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Answering 11 Questions for being Nominated:

1. Why did you start blogging?

  • I started blogging to get myself to write an least something a day. I wasn’t writing anymore and it worried me. I would go weeks without writing anything. I started blogging just to get back into writing.

2. What do you love/ hate about blogging?

  • I love how freeing blogging is. It really is like writing in a diary, you can feel free to be yourself and that’s that.  I hate that I don’t have the time to write daily or more quality posts.

3.What is your philosophy?

  • I’d say…Live life to the fullest, no regrets.

4.What career are you pursuing/ What is your occupation and why?

  • I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Ideally a writer, who actually makes money. 😛 Right now I’m in data entry.

5.Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • Hopefully published! And working on other projects.

6.Who is your favorite fictional character?

  • I’ve always loved Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is supposed to be the bad guy, but by the end of the show you can’t help but love him. He’s so pathetic and amusing.

7. What is your favorite movie?

  • I have a lot. Inception, Star Wars (of course), Princess Bride, Guardians of the Galaxy are probably the top faves though.

8.What is your favorite book/ quote?

  • I am a big fan of Maggie Steifvater. All of her words are great. But I really loved this one from The Dream Theives:

“There are three kinds of secrets. One is the sort everyone knows about, the sort you need at least two people for. One to keep it. One to never know. The second is a harder kind of secret: one you keep from yourself. Every day, thousands of confessions are kept from their would-be confessors, none of these people knowing that their never-admitted secrets all boil down to the same three words: I am afraid.”

9.  What is your zodiac sign?

  • Gemini.

10. What is your biggest fear?

  • Fear of failure is a big one for me.

11. Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.

  • I had a dream I was a dolphin once. I was leaping in and out of waves, it was so much fun and exhilarating…and then I woke up.

Questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite book of all time?
  2. Why did you start blogging?
  3. What is your biggest fear?
  4. If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?
  5. What is your favorite kind of food?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. What is your favorite thing to do during the Summer?
  8. What is your Zodiac sign?
  9. Do you believe in the supernatural? (Vampires, werewolves, ghosts?)
  10. Describe your strangest dream.
  11. What would you say is the best thing about you?

And that’s that! I can’t wait to read what you guys come up with!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 🙂

There’s Always Time for More Books

So, a week or so ago, I strained a muscle on the right side of my back. I am now in physical therapy for it, (which in itself is a whole new realm of pain,) but boy, you never realize how much all the muscles are interconnected! And since I am right-handed, every time I use my right hand, it makes my whole arm hurt…

Anyway, yesterday, I ran out of my strong pain meds, and while on errands, and although I felt like someone was stabbing a sharp instrument into the muscle in my back, we stumbled upon this cute book shop not far from our house.

It was a used book shop full of old and rare books, and every corner of the small shop was jammed packed with all sorts of old treasures. The owner of the shop greeted us when we walked in, and the door did a small jingle as it shut behind us. The first book I picked up was published in 1901, and I felt my heart beat with excitement.

I could barely move from the pain, but I couldn’t wait to find a new book, or an old one, or just something to spark the imagination, to take myself to some different world, to a magical realm of my very own. I like the smell of old books, too. I like the smell of the pages…all dusty, ink and possibilities.

“Let me know if I can help you find something,” said the shop owner; an old man of retirement age, with white hair and beard, intelligent eyes and a shirt that read, ‘There’s always room for more books.’

And suddenly I could picture it: I would come here on Saturday afternoons and look for books. One rainy afternoon I would strike up a conversation with the old man about antique books, which would then lead into a conversation about favorite authors, and then writing; and then next thing I know, a month later its like Tuesdays with Morrie for us…he’s my new writing mentor and that’s that. He’ll be my sudden spark of inspiration, my friend, my encouragement…all because I stumbled into his shop one blustery April afternoon.

Michael’s voice interrupts my thoughts, though, while I’m standing there dumbly in the wonderfully warm book shop. “Babe, we got to leave. We won’t have time to get your pain meds before my appointment.”

Me: (hopefully)  “Five more minutes?”

For the record, we didn’t have time to stop at the store before Michael’s eye appointment, but it inspired this blog post.

There’s always time for books…even if you are in pain…because for me, books are a medicine of a different kind, and I love it!

Hope you guys are having a great weekend!

Happy Writing!