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!

The Faces that We Wear

It’s easy to seem like an angel on social media – especially when all that you post is positive things: your boyfriend giving you flowers, going out to dinner, making food, shout-outs to friends you haven’t seen in a while.

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Me at Clear water beach, Fl. (I love these sunshiny pictures of myself).

What is important is the face that you wear when no one else is around. And for me that includes: Sunday morning hair all lop-sided to one side, standing in front of the refrigerator in a nightie, gnawing on cold chicken wings and pizza.

(Oh, and I forgot to add the little happy dance I do when I eat something that is yummy.)

The point? We all present ourselves in a different way depending on where we are…and if you are the rare individual who is able to treat everyone with the same type of sauce, then good for you. You are rare and few in between.

Most of us don’t have that luxury. We wear our professional faces to work, our worried ones find comfort from Mom, the harassed need-a-glass-of-wine look we share with our girlfriends (or maybe that’s just me), and our significant others see everything in between, bare skin and all.

And maybe that’s the point I’m trying to make. We may wear different faces to different people but its the face that you wear when you are around your significant other and yourself that is the most important of all.

He or she is the one who should know your faults, should know what makes you cry, should know that you’re not always an angel, despite how hard you try to be. 😉

Its our faults that make us who we are. I know I’m not perfect. I’m stubborn. I’m whiny. I suck at housework. I’m grumpy in the early morning, I take three-hour naps and I’ll eat food until it makes me sick; drink wine on a week night.

Yet, despite my flaws, I have managed to find someone who loves me in spite of all those things. (And I didn’t even mentioned the winter blues that I get.) He puts up with me and I with him, and isn’t that true definition of belonging?

To love someone’s insides and outsides, despite the many different faces that we wear. Love is a many splendid thing. And sure, love is blind.

But maybe that’s the point: No one is perfect. And we should never pretend to be.

Poem: Heartbreak

Author’s Note:

I love finding stuff that I didn’t know I had written. Was in my closet looking for paperwork…I know, who keeps paperwork in their closet, right? But it’s me. I am forever unorganized. And I found this poem in an old backpack. Who knows why it was there…I think I was using it for notes or something. Anywho, thought I’d share. 😛 Hope everyone is having a great night!

Happy Writing!


Heartbreak

I guess I never understood the expression:

loving someone so much that it’s painful

’till now

The way you smile and your eyes light up

your teeth much straighter than mine

makes me think

you don’t realize the power

that a simple touch

and a simple smile has

 

But falling for you

is like getting slapped

a thousand times

 

How do I know you won’t hurt me?

with my brain, my body

the dreams of the future?

It’s all a matter of trust

 

And that’s something I don’t have.

8 TV Shows to love and find inspiration from

I get a lot of my inspiration from great TV shows, and I think people sometimes forget that TV Shows are only as good as the writers behind them. It has to have all the pieces in the formula to make it complete: great characters, an interesting and believable world and a great story.

I get inspired by these great stories and characters and love them sometimes just as much as my favorite books. So I thought I’d share some of my favorites of the past several years and why I think they deserve a good watch.

(It all depends on what you are into, too.) Me, I love science fiction/fantasy and alternate realities, but mostly I love great characters and these shows have all that and more:

8. Once Upon a Time Once-Upon-a-Time-Poster

From the brilliant creators of LOST, the first few seasons follow Emma and the other characters of Storybrooke, Maine in a world where fairy tale creatures don’t know who they truly are. The show presses you to believe in them as you follow these troubled characters and hope that they’ll be able to find true happiness. There’s true love between Snow White and Prince Charming, and despite the clichés, there happens to be something different and fresh about each character you see here, and you will see all sorts of fairy tale characters from multiple worlds.

7. Chuck1024x768chuck_sarah1

One of my favorites, but clearly not up to par as a show like Game of Thrones. Chuck is about “Chuck,” a man who works at a Buy More (think Best Buy) whose life changes when he has a super computer downloaded into his head. Mostly I love this show because of Chuck played by Zachary Levi. Others might know him as the voice of Flynn on Disney’s Tangled. He’s that awkward, yet handsome nerd that everyone has in their lives and knows and loves. He’s relate-able, there’s action, there’s chemistry, and instead of becoming repetitive, the show and the characters continue to grow throughout the seasons.

6. BonesBones_(1)Bones is about forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and how her partnership with the FBI helps them solve murders. I love the chemistry between Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI agent, Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). It is a relationship that definitely has more depth to it than just physical chemistry. You begin to understand that at the end of the day, these two are best friends, and can overcome any odds together. Plus, there’s a great cast and a humor that evens out the gruesome deaths and murders that the crew solves on each episode. Without the chemistry between all the characters, this show would have died a quick death a long time ago.

5. Downton Abbey

DowntonAbbey1A period drama that focuses on the lives of the people who live and work in a large house, “Downton Abbey” that functions in the early 1900s and into the 1920s. Each character faces trials and tribulations, and the characters downstairs, (the kitchen, maids, footmen, etc.) are just as important as the lords and ladies of the manor in all their finery. Maggie Smith delivers great one liners, and the costumes, colors and dialogue transports you to a world that is very different from the one we live in now. I have a hard time writing after watching this show, merely because the character’s accents and mannerisms get in my head and it is sometimes hard to switch it off! It is a great show if you need to escape for a while.

4. Breaking Bad

Breaking-Bad-Season-51It is fourth, merely because there are other TV shows that I love more, however, this one takes the cake when it comes to great writing. The show is about high school chemistry teacher, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with lung cancer. He decides to make and sell crystal meth to leave a legacy for his family.  I love the bro-mance between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s characters, and each season amps up the suspense as you’re taken along with Walter White on his journey of self discovery. It challenges the idea of right and wrong and each episode feels like a movie – there’s a lot of cinematic moments, great landscapes; Vince Gilligan is a pro when it comes to the awkward conversation.

3. Game of Thrones

Game_of_thrones_castGeorge R.R. Martin’s books come to life on the screen, the phrase “Winter is coming,” should be heard throughout the realm – this show airs on HBO on Sunday nights, although now we have to wait a whole year for the new season! The show follows several characters, (more than several actually) as they make their way through the seven kingdoms; some with desires for the throne, some with dragons, some with destinations of their own. There’s gruesome deaths, sex, love, fights, dragons, and epic fantasy. If you love all that…then this show is for you. The show doesn’t skimp on the special effects either…it is HBO after-all. Not for the faint of heart, but that’s what makes it so great.

2. LOST

lost-headerAnd yes, I wrote it in great big capital letters, like it appeared on the show. (Writing it in lowercase just seems an insult to the show really.) LOST follows the lives of several survivors of a plane crash on an island somewhere in the south pacific. Unbeknownst to them, there is a greater purpose at work here as we learn how these characters lives are interconnected. There are so many themes in here for the starving English major: Death/Life, Science/Religion, Heaven/Hell, Right/Wrong, Retribution/Rebirth; it is a conspiracy theorist’s paradise and the skies the limit on what may or may not happen here. I fell in love with this show, and it is definitely worth it to see great actors, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, and of course Josh Holloway’s dimples.

1. Firefly

FireflyI don’t know if you have heard the story: Firefly, the almost was. It aired for 14 episodes, when producers cancelled the show, not realizing (apparently) that it was starting to grow a fan-base; a fan-base so large that they were able to make a movie to conclude the show! I don’t know if there is a producer somewhere kicking himself for the mistake (there should be!) but had this continued on for five or more seasons it would have been a huge hit. Like every Firefly fan, it bugs me to no end that there weren’t more episodes to this show…ANYWAY…

Firefly follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew on Serenity as they ‘keep on flying,’ in the black; taking jobs when they can, either legal or illegally all while trying to exist under the empire of the Alliance, which tries its best to make the little man feel very small and insignificant. It touches on the idea of freedom and what it truly means; as well as friendship, loyalty and love. But mostly what draws you in is the great characters – a testament to Joss Whedon’s writing skills, of course. Viewers are usually hooked after the first episode. (I know I was!)

Well, that’s that! If you have other great TV shows that deserve a good watch, let me know! I’ve also recently started watching Orange is the New Black – and that one has got me hooked as well!

Happy Writing people!

 

 

 

 

A kaleidoscope of Love – show your holiday spirit!

There’s been something on my mind lately and that is Love.

love pic

Art done on Paint; by AJM

What is it exactly?

A discussion in one of my college classes about love suggested that love can be varying. We were talking mostly about the love that you feel towards someone – how someone described as being in love as a sacrifice of themselves, to be so consumed by another person, you forget who you are.

To love someone is to put that other person before you, to care that they hurt, to want to make their passage in this world as easy as possible.

So, the question on my mind is: How do you know when it’s real?

Even as I write this, I find it ironic that every other song on my Pandora station has to do with love, or even has the word in the song. Love is everywhere. It is in the very fabric of our being; to find that place where we belong, where we are appreciated, where we are needed.

In my opinion, it is simple, really. We seek to define love to understand it. We give it different meanings and write different definitions for it. But real love shouldn’t need to be defined, it is only felt. Whether it makes sense or not, is beyond the point.

With real love we risk real heartbreak, but it is a sacrifice that everyone must accept to find where he or she truly belongs.

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Me and my cat Milo, when he was a kitten. What a goofball!

On that note, I’ve decided to focus on something else this holiday season…and that is giving gifts to show the ones I love how truly thankful I am to be known by them, to love and be loved.

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Every year I struggle with Christmas and the fact that it is so commercialized! (I blame the years I worked in retail. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday!) I’d decided to do a few things to bring myself back into the holiday spirit and to focus on the love and selflessness that the holiday is meant to show:

  • make my own gifts this year; instead of focusing on buying, buying, buying
  • bake more!
  • cherish the memories, never miss a photo opportunity!
  • try more outdoor activities

What are you doing to get into the holiday spirit? Thoughts below if you got them!