Sunday, January 29, 2012

We are all memory makers.

Memories, like the corners of my mind. Misty watercolor memories . . .  la. . . la . .  la . . . of the way we were.

     It seems that the idea of making memories and remembering memories keeps coming to mind lately. It isn’t unusual for the Lord to work with me in this way. When the same thought keeps showing up in various venues, I just know. One very recent thing that crossed my path was not personal, yet touched my life.
     My doctor’s 32-year-old son died suddenly. He was very athletic, lived a very healthy lifestyle, and apparently meant a lot to a great many people. She said over 840 people attended his funeral. He played baseball. They really don’t know what caused him to have a massive stroke. All she knew was it had to be some genetic defect.
     Things like this do not make sense to our conscious minds. Mothers are not supposed to outlive their children was something she shared with me. In addition, where my mind has been lately, I realized that all the memories she has of this son are just that . . . all she has. There will be no more.
     We are all making memories in one way or another. We never know on what day or at what hour the last thing we say or do will become the last memory we ever make. When I started thinking about writing, Not Enough Nuts and Raisins, I knew that it was going to be based on some personal memories. Although set in a fictional world, nevertheless woven with real memories.
      I recently started a writing class that meets just up the hill in the Wellness Center building associated with the apartment complex I live in. It is a course on writing one’s memoirs. I almost didn’t sign up to take it because my writing is mainly fictional. But it kept coming to my attention and I knew if nothing else, I would enjoy sharing what I write with others of the same persuasion. As I have commented before, people who love to write are a strange lot. It really takes one to know one in this creative art form.
     But the class came about at the same time I decided to write NENAR. Sometimes we don’t want to remember things. Sometimes it is good that we do not remember, but more times than not it is a good thing.
     With just two classes under my belt and it being the format that it is, I have been struck by how wide the gap there is between various family dynamics. There is one woman who it became quite evident that she had a very ‘natural’ upbringing. She learned music from the flowing of a creek; her color palate was taught by nature. Her mother and father sent her outside to play with the things she found. Manmade toys were rare.
     Another woman is a ballerina and she and her brother was raise in a very artistic household. They performed plays, sang, and danced for the family. Her toys were homemade props and costumes made from adult’s hand-me-downs.
     And yet another woman’s class assignment revealed being one of ten kids raise on very little. Having to share toys and sometimes making those games and toys up as they went along. I thought it particularly creative on one woman’s part when she said depending on what stage of maturity an ear of corn was at, meant if she had a blonde or brunette cornhusk doll. (For those of you who are not familiar with this thought, the silks became the hair. Blonde silks are formed when the corn is green and growing. It turns brown when the corn is ripe.)
     It is extremely hard to envision a child of today finding anything worthwhile in owning a cornhusk doll. One common thread that is running among all of us in this class is that a complete way of life is dying. Standards, morals, integrity, customs, everyday objects, and actions are literally becoming outdated.
     As I sit and listen to the others read their stories, it stirs up the same set of feelings. With the passing of every age, we are losing some very valuable memories that we will never get back. At the very beginning of the class, an all too common thread became evident. That most of our younger family members are not interested in hearing these old stories. There were a few who had older adult children who were somewhat encouraging about ‘mom writing her memoirs’. However, most of us shook our heads in agreement that this electronically handicapped era of instant stimulation is robbing this generation of their imagination, and creative abilities. It left us all wondering what kind of memories would be handed down in a few more years.
     The other common threads tying this class together become very evident with each student’s arrival. Silver hair, slow gates accompanied by canes, limited hearing, not letting aches or pains keep us from attending, and a look that seems all to familiar in one another’s eyes as stories are shared. Although we have different backgrounds and family settings that are for sure are not the same, yet we understand the necessity of leaving memories. We all know that one day, those in our families, though reluctant today, will be thankful one day when their hair turns silver, to have mom and dad’s memories to read.
     Whether woven into fiction, journaled, or written as memoirs . . . we all owe it to one another to not let the memories get lost. When the makers of those memories are gone there will not be any more made to remember.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Chapters posted of Not Enough Nuts and Raisins

New Chapters posted of Not Enough Nuts and Raisins

 I have been busy with some other writing, but I think I have gotten back on track with this book. In fact it has kept me awake lately. I really hate when that happens. I will begin thinking about where I want to go with the next chapters and before I know it I am writing it in my head. I try to distract myself by thinking of other things because as the story unfolds it sounds so good to me. The problem being is that I am too tired to get back up and write it.
     I have lost some pretty good writing doing that. But the more I try to avoid writing in my head, the more it comes to me. On one occasion when I fell prey to this habit I wrote so much in my head that when I opened the actual file I thought I had failed to save what I had written last. Then I realized that I had gotten carried away during the night and had never really written any of it. Trying to reproduce it was really a challenge. Don’t you just hate that?

     Well, at least I am being disciplined. This makes me proud of myself. I hope all who are reading along are enjoying it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Not Enough Nuts and Raisins -posted chapters

     Well, its getting really interesting now. I just posted the last of the chapters of Not Enough Nuts and Raisins that I already had written. Now it’s going to be fresh from the ‘oven’ from here on out. This is really going to test my creative muscle as well as my purpose to be disciplined in my writing. Part of me, (my creative juices) are anxiously optimistic and part of me (my undisciplined nature) will be approaching this with coffee cup in hand, keyboard ready and fingers warmed up. Here we go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Knowing What We Know Now

     Ah, that old saying, “If I only knew then what I know now.” What is your ‘knowing’? Mine could make for a long list. But one of the biggest ‘knowing’ for me is, that I would have paced myself in one category.
            Let me inject something to think about first before I reveal my ‘knowing’

Every one of us has the same set of needs shown above. It you are human, alive and breathing –you qualify. The starting point or highest need is at the base. After all, if none of these are being fulfilled, then there is nothing to build the others upon. Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, (a state of equilibrium-balance) and excretion, I think we can all agree are essential in our lives.

By the second level, security of body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health and property we start to step away from one another. Then friendship, family and sexual intimacy really creates a big divide. Not in the necessity of all of these, but in the variance of degrees we each have them in our lives.

Self–esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, and by others and finally morality, creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts really opens a gap between us as individuals.

Here is the greatest thing I wish I knew then, acceptance of facts.  Oh, my, just writing it makes me want to befriend myself. One other thing I will inject here is something that for years was a running joke between a dear friend and me. In fact she gave me this written on Birthday cards, posters, pillows, throws, refrigerator magnets, and stationary. The reason was that I screwed it up every time I said it. I never could get past whatever mental block I had in the reciting of this serenity prayer.

“God give me the grace to accept the things that cannot be changed, courage to change
 the things that can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference."

Even now I had to look it up online. But the line that I finally, finally, finally saw as the key to my own mental acceptance of facts is. . . . the wisdom to know the difference! For years I had it backward. I think it was my getting older and wearing out emotionally and physically that caused me to open my eyes. If I had back all the time, strength, money, emotional fortitude, and abilities that I poured into situations that were never, ever, never ever, NEVER EVER going to change and put all that into the ones that could change, I’d be laying on a beach sipping a delightful cold tropical drink with one of those colorful fancy little umbrellas waiting for my massage and selecting my dinner off of a Five Star restaurant menu.  

And the truth of why I couldn’t grasp that prayer is because somewhere deep down inside of me I believed that if I just tried harder, longer and with greater care, I could change that circumstance. I really believed. I hung on to some things like a bulldog.

I can’t and don’t and shouldn’t do that any more. I’ve been given a new set of eyes in the last few years. I look at which side the situation falls under and move ahead accordingly.

Let’s face it; there are things in life that we simply cannot do any thing about. The ship has sailed. What I never could give myself was the peace of knowing I had done everything I could and let the acceptance of that fact take me forward. Acceptance is an incredible liberating thing. That and along with it, realistic expectations.

In closing I’ll tell on myself yet again. I think that was a big part of why I fought so desperately with my circumstances; my expectations were not rational. I remember a time my mother let me order two little books out of the Weekly Reader pamphlet  that was sent home once a month. I was thrilled beyond words! I poured over the pages until I about wore the print off. I finally made my choice, sealed and taped the coins in the envelope, (yes, you could send coins through the mail back then), carried it to the mailbox and then I did the craziest thing.

The next day I ran to the mailbox to see if my books had come. I did that everyday for two weeks. I knew in my mind that my expectations all the way to that mailbox, for at least the first week, were futile.  But it was what was in my heart that took me out there hoping beyond hope that somehow miraculously those books would come to me sooner. And the thing that drove me to expect such an impossible thing to happen was something I still can’t explain. I just believed so much. I know it sounds Pollyannaish. And I can’t explain how or why I got a quadruple dose of it, but I did. It caused for some astonishing events in my life and some devastatingly hard events.

So, I guess that is one of the MAJOR reasons I love to write. Because every expectation whether large or small can be realized in that fictional world. There are NO limits. You want it to happen, it can happen. You want skybluepink flowers, you can have them. In fiction you can change anything. There is nothing outside of your imaginary reach.

Whereas in this world. . .  well, may God continue to grant me the wisdom to know the difference.   

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today I am the windshield…



     A few years ago there was a song titled, “Some days you’re the bug, some days you’re the windshield.”  It referenced those days when everything you do goes wrong and those days when everything you do goes oh so right! Well, today I am definitely the windshield!
     I am a self taught computer-geek. VERY, self taught. I know nothing. Every advancement I have made has come with a cost. A numb derrière, loss of brain cells, frustration, and fatigue. But . . . the rewards over the years have been days like today.  
     When I decided to post my ongoing story to share with anyone who wanted to read along with its creation, I wanted to be able to add and post in a way that was easy for me on the creating side and easy for my readers.
     Over the weekend I hit one snag after the next. I spent 8 hours going in and out of my blog, my files, downloading tools, etc. etc. etc. finally I gave up and let it all settle in my brain. This morning I decided, like playing the piano, if others can do it, so can I. (I don’t play the piano, by the way. I just always thought it was possible if others can do it.) So with more determination than an ant after my sugar bowl, I found my solution to my problem. I think. Let’s give it a whirl.

Click on the page above NOT ENOUGH NUTS AND RASINS . You will see a link, click on it and read the latest additions.


And feedback is surely appreciated….

Sunday, January 15, 2012

You are, “Who?

     While going through some older files on another computer I stumbled across some things that I wrote years ago. I am always amazed that as I read them I cannot remember writing them. But write them I did. This one struck a cord I think worth sharing. I wrote it in 2009, obviously for a contest. Three years have past and the world’s situation has continued to get worse. But the call for renewed trust in our Nation and our foundational belief system is as needed as ever.
            This, like most of what I write, came from an actual event.  Although written with a fictional twist, it came from a true story shared one morning at the church I attended for twenty-five years.

     The reflection in the mirror was of a sixty-five year old man who had faithfully served God for many years, but these were new and troubling times. No longer would a sentimental syrupy-sweet sermon be sufficient. This was the year 2009 and splashed across the front page of newspapers from corner to corner of the country were stories of economic fallout threatening people already struggling with fears, pain, loss of their homes, their jobs and even the most unspeakable, the loss of their own lives and often times taking those of their household with them.
     While questioning if the sermon he had prepared would be a lifeline this morning or end up a frivolously woven thread in someone’s otherwise desperate situation, the words of his most revered Professor at seminary popped into his mind. Its arrival was timely. His advice to his young budding seminary students had been this, “Preach to the youngest parishioner.” Certainly this was good advice, seeing that Jesus himself had made note of the Kingdom of God being likened unto a child.  If a child could understand and be encouraged by his text this morning, then perhaps the whole of the wavering congregation he had been called to oversee as the interim pastor until a more permanent pastor could be found, would also be encouraged.
     With renewed passion he walked the short distance out into the foyer where he instantly came face to face with what he felt was his youngest target.  This four foot squirming “Sunday-suited” little boy, busily tugging at the tie that was now askew at his neck, was preoccupied with his distorted facial image in his highly shined shoes.  A perfect candidate.
     Having learned that children oftentimes can feel small and insignificant having to look into the knees of towering adults, this determined seasoned clergy slowly knelt down on one knee, coming within inches of his intended. Being so absorbed in his mirrored facial contortions emulating being strangled by the tie that had now become a venomous snake, he was startled by the man kneeling directly in front of him.  He rocked back on his new Sunday shoes, wide-eyed with innocent skepticism.
     Extending his hand, the Reverend introduced himself to who was now his most important congregational member of the day. “Hello there, young man, I am Greenberry Lord.”  The small replica of his proud mother, who was greeting her way down the aisle to her favored pew, third from the front on the right, pretended she didn’t see her offspring’s disheveled new Sunday-ware.  
     It was the Reverend now at the mercy of this small boy reluctant to even return the offer of a handshake. Not only did he defiantly cross his arms over his chest, covering the snake that had now turned back into a tie, but his small youthful brow furrowed in total disbelief as his cherub mouth twisted from side to side finally ending up in a show of displeasure.  His body language reflected his utter disbelief to the Reverend’s introduction of being who he said he was.  But it was the young boy’s remark as he turned and marched down the aisle toward the safety of his mother that left the Reverend completely flabbergasted.
     As Reverend Greenberry Lord made his way slowly up to the platform he spoke briefly with the Deacon requesting that he not be formally introduced this morning.  Based on the experienced advice of his Patriarch and Professor, and the reaction he received from it, this was going to be a tough crowd this morning.  He used the time during the first welcoming hymn to gather his thoughts. The expression on the young boy’s face, now seated by his mother, had turned to an unbelieving scowl at the revelation that the man who had knelt in front of him and introduced himself as Greenberry Lord only moments ago was, in fact, the morning speaker.
     With the order of the service already being altered, this left the detail driven Deacon at a loss as to what to do next. Feeling his pain, Reverend Greenberry Lord took his place behind the pulpit where undoubtedly countless others had faced his present dilemma.  The growing input of quiet into the service eventually brought all eyes to rest on the man who now wondered if what he had to say was what he should say.  Again, as quickly as the words of his professor had come into his mind, another voice lent him his sermon for the morning. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in the one who sent me .Trust that I am who I say I am.”  That was it. That was what he knew he was to deliver to this congregation. 
     It became highly evident when people began responding to what was probably the shortest sermon this group of people had ever heard, that it was the timeliest message.  Some came quietly to the alter to pray. Some sat in their seats with tears flowing unashamedly. Some reached over to share personally with the person sitting beside them. Some sought out others across the sanctuary to briefly engage in acts of forgiveness or encouragement.
     Never in all his years of preaching had Reverend Greenberry Lord experienced the out flowing of the Spirit of God after so few words. The air around him had become highly charged with power to save by what was the apparent statement of sarcastic unbelief of one small boy. His words had perhaps become the harbinger of the intents and hearts of the congregation of this church now experiencing revival as never before. Perhaps even echoing the words of a world in direr need of a Savior who seemed too good to be true. A savior, who like this aging Reverend, being who he said he is to a doubtful little boy.
     When the small child had voiced his skeptical retort of, “Oh yeah, and I am Strawberry Jesus,” had this little boy been used to honestly portray the majority of the world’s current mindset? A world caught up in unbelief, skepticism, and misunderstanding?  If so, there was still hope. For if the few words spoken on this beautiful Sunday morning that had found their intended mark in the hearts of this struggling congregation, could they not spread throughout a nation?
     Reverend Greenberry Lord watched his newest young friend bounding through the sanctuary’s open door seeking freedom from his Sunday best. Had he reached the youngest this morning? Had such a small number of words hid themselves in this young heart to reappear one day, making an impact on his world? Only time would tell.  Assuredly the turn of phrase of this small child had made a profound impact on this veteran man of God causing him to hear yet another voicing in his heart, “and a young child shall lead them.”

     As a final note, the Reverend's name really was, Greenberry Lord.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gone with the Wind – is still a trigger.

      If you are like me, there are certain words or pictures, people or places that trigger the memories of someone you know or knew. One of the biggest triggers in my life is the movie Gone with the Wind. My mother absolutely loved this movie. She knew every character, and what was more amazing was what she knew about the actors who played those characters.
      She once said to me, when we were just sitting around, not even talking about the movie, “Do you know what the name of the horse was that Scarlett’s father rode in the scene where he fell?” I must have looked at her as if she had three heads, but she just smiled and informed me, that the horse’s name was Silver, the same horse that the Lone Ranger used. Now who would know that? Right?
      My mother would, that is who. (Just to be sure that my memory is serving me well, I went on line and sure enough). . . . [The white horse ridden by O'Hara was also used as the Lone Ranger's horse Silver in 1938].
      But Mom didn’t need to do a Google search; all she had to do was search her memories. I remember kidding her so much about her favorite character in the movie, Scarlett O’Hara. I called her a ‘spoiled little snit’. Oh, my, you would have thought I had just insulted the Queen!

This was the conversation that took place instantly after my remark,

     “Oh, no! . . . she wasn’t a snit. You shouldn’t call her that. Scarlett was a good girl. She couldn’t help it. She was raised to be a southern belle. She was fun and mischievous. And sometimes just naughty. How could you not love her?”

     In that moment of instant defense of her beloved Scarlett, I realized something about the connection to another character and my mother. If you know about this film, you know that Scarlett chased after Ashley Wilkes relentlessly. Shamelessly is more like it. She had been seen kissing Ashley earlier on the day of Ashley’s birthday. Of course, Scarlett wants to pout and avoid the public ridicule she knows she has coming for her actions, by pretending to be ill and not go to the party.
     But good ole Rhett is not having it. He picks out a red, low-cut tight fitting gown, throws it at her, and tells her she is going to face her accusers. Then to really put the whip to her, he leaves her at the front door of the Wilkes home to face the onslaught of disapproval –alone.
     The knock comes at the door, and you can see all the tight-lipped old prudes already at the party rolling their eyes because they just can’t believe that that little hussy Scarlett O’Hara would actually be showing up at the party.

    Here is where this scene makes its lasting impression on me –of all times.

     Dear sweet Melanie . . . . God rest her soul, goes to the door, and instead of the reaction that everyone is waiting for, gives us all something to think about.
    “Oh, look everyone, it’s Scarlett. Oh, Scarlett how lovely you look tonight. Come in and help me welcome my guest.”

     This is not the reaction that everyone else in the room would have used. I can remember all the times I watched that movie with my mother knowing that scene was coming and feeling the same way.
     Two very different characterizations. As polar opposite as they can be. I’d watch Olivia de Havilland and think what an incredible actress she was. Her words, her mannerisms, tone of voice, and gestures were all believable. There was not a trace of any condemnation toward Scarlett. She played it beautifully. Of course, even though Scarlett and Melanie are fictional, the emotions they evoke are real. It got to be an amusing time for she and I whenever I walked in and found her watching, yet again, Gone with the Wind.

     I’d attempt my best southern belle voice, pat her hand and say, “Oh, look Mama, it’s Scarlett”.

     These three things bring back memories about my mother, she loved cats, she always carried her purse with her no matter where she went, (had to be white in the summer), and that she dearly loved Scarlett O’Hara.
     Mama was cremated. When the time was right, on one beautiful sunny Florida morning my sister and I ceremoniously escorted her ashes, a little stuffed kitten, her white purse, and a copy of Gone with the Wind to her final resting place in the front yard.

     It was one of the rightest things I have ever done.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Big Leap

After giving my idea to post a fictional novel as I am writing it, a great deal of thought, I have come to a conclusion.  Maybe a few conclusions.

1.       Why not take the risk.

2.       I need the discipline.

3.       It might be myself and only a few others reading it.

4.       Its never been done before, (that I know about.)

5.       The characters are all in favor of the publicity. i.e.  Toba, Mr. Gilbert, Star, and Mr. Stewart Crown, and some I haven’t even created yet.

6.       I’ll have yet another book finished.

So here we go. I’ll post what seems the best amount of chapters that I already have written. Then as the chapters get actually from day to day, it will be interesting to see what happens. Thank you in advance all who will be reading along with me and I would thoroughly appreciate all the feedback and word-of-mouth reference to the site.

So with no further ado,  please enjoy, Not enough Nuts and Raisins.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Open mouth insert foot - “What was she thinking?”

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind when everything seems to fall, break, stick, or require doing it at least three times to get it right? Those days almost seem inviting to the ones that contain that unexpected blow that comes out of left field and hits you smack in the heart.
Apparently, I set myself up for just one of those occasions when I offered my commentary of antagonistic antagonists. When something has a strange way of evolving, I have to back up and take another look at it.  
“What was she thinking?” I am glad you asked. If you note to the right side of the page you will see a poll asking if anyone would be interested in reading along as I post pages on a current novel I am writing. When the idea to do this hit me, I went to the 16 plus files that I have started and pulled out one that I really knew the beginning, middle, and end of. I guess I was picking the one that if I started this online I would not end up embarrassed when it stopped dead in the water because I had no finish for it. This story has a personal vein running through it and in my other post, I was reflecting on whether or not I would be able to bare my soul through the writing because this book has a highly recognizable antagonist - my father.

My father was the subject of the Bullies and Ticking time bombs … post. He was a bully and a ticking time bomb. And, we, my mother, sister and myself, let him get away with it. When we heard the car door slam and knew he was home, there was running all right. Running like rats abandoning a sinking ship. There was no running to greet a father who caught his kids up in his arms and gave them a welcoming kiss. We scrambled around being sure nothing was out of place that his newspaper lay untouched and folded on his chair. That no schoolbooks or personal items were left in the living room. No shoes taken off and left by a chair. If the TV was on, someone had better be watching it. The list of punishable ‘bombs’ subject to detonating goes on and on.
The ‘football’ that he kept jerking out of my attempt to kick was anything and everything I said or did. The book I was planning to post has a very unusual title. “Not enough Nuts and Raisins.” It seemed so appropriate. The title does not always come until somewhere in the writing. But this one jumped out from the beginning. Nothing…. And, when I say nothing, you will just have to take my word for it; nothing my mother, sister, or especially me ever did was good enough. Sunday dinner was usually later in the day and was the main meal of the day. According to Gil Todd that meal was generally enough and “by-god when he was growing up you were damn lucky to get it”. So something of a bread pudding or rice pudding was made and a small bowl was our evening meal.

Raisins… were put into everything! The problem being was what was the correct amount? When was it one too many raisins or one to few? We NEVER got it right. If we decided from the last pudding that he had said there weren’t enough raisins, we threw in a few more. When that pudding had “too damn many”, we adjusted accordingly. Thus, we never seemed to find the magical number.
Anything that required nuts, always walnuts, also held the same dilemma. When was enough enough? Again, never. Christmas gifts, Birthday gifts, Father’s Day, they all generated a critique of how whatever it was had something wrong with it. You would think after years of trying to please, we would get it right. He was more lenient with my sister because he liked her. I, on the other hand, was not ever going to come up to snuff. I never realized the futility of all my years of trying until long after I became an adult. Nothing I ever did all those years was ever going to be praised or appreciated by him; because they came from me.

Therefore, the main focus of the other post was totally and completely on the memories I would be stirring up and did I really want to unleash all that pain again? Little did I know that another pot was stirring. My father was the nastiest kind of bully. He mentally beat his family every day. My sister coped by shutting him out. My mother read a lot and got lost in each book’s free-spirited femme fatale. I, like Charlie Brown, lived with the crazy notion that if I just kept believing and tried harder one day I would win him over. For all my trying to please, all I ever got was pushed further and further way while the personal critiques became more and more devastatingly painful.
Although, even when strangers were around and had nothing personally to fear from Gil Todd, everyone still allowed him to continue in his bad behavior. Everyone seemed innately afraid of him, just like Lucy. He had that same invisible bubble around him that made most people tolerate his critical judgments simply because of the fear of what he might say or do. He was saying and doing it anyway so what more could we have feared? But fear we, I, did. We all did everything possible to avoid the pitfalls. And brother, when we accidentally let something we knew better than to let happen, happened… well Katie bar the door! We heard about it for weeks. Then every time something else bothered him, it all was rehashed again. We never got past it. We took our mental beating and then got beat again.
He was everything and more of what I wrote in the post. He was my total mind thought. So if anyone thought himself or herself the target of that post, I apologize. I am sorry, but you were not on my mind.

I really thought it was a very selfish opportunity to vent my personal frustrations attached to the character that I would be writing about with the hopes that he would become as iconic as Lucy. Don’t we all as writers wish for that! Seeing that this is my blog and writing is the main topic I got lost in the hopefulness of believing what I write would invoke lasting emotions. I guess it did.
Just to clarify how deeply etched the painful memories that this antagonist would call up, if I pursue this book, I’ll be even more vulnerable and share that when my father died, just to bring home the ‘ going to have it my way, get-even-with-you, I’ll show you who really is in control, one last time’ assertiveness,  neither my sister nor myself were notified of his death. She learned about it from a friend who read the obituary and she told me. It was completely after the fact.

It was his final way of showing us who was boss. Lovely memories, huh?
So, to answer any questions, “No, my post had nothing whatsoever to do with anyone else.” I guess I finally stopped being afraid of what he might do. The ticking time bomb has been defused. If the story shows up here and anyone does come and read it, they will know some of what makes up the main character,  Mr. Gilbert, a very very antagonistic antagonist.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Blame it on the Sciatica when a writer disappears

When a writer disappears for a few days, it can be a number of things. You may find them wandering out in a field mumbling incoherently while looking for inspiration or sitting in a shower until the water turns icy cold pursuing the true definition of sensory adjectives. Or… you might find them moaning in pain either in a chair, on the bed, trying to get from the bed to the chair or nailed in their chair by a hot searing razor-edged invisible rod that has shot through the back of the chair and hip, proceeding out the front of the knee resulting in a burst of pain resembling being boiled in oil brought on by any rising up or sitting down, lying flat or attempting any of the above. Thus, a blog left apparently unattended for a few days.
Ah, but not today. You see, the angle of the writer’s body while writing on the keyboard while seated in this chair lends to a precarious likeness of a contortionist  stuffing himself or herself into a steamer trunk. Seeing as I have never been able to place both feet more than a few inches above the floor let alone put them behind my head or owned a steamer trunk, you would think that this proposed example of pain was not possible. However, I can assure you that sciatica can and will contort you into extremely odd positions or transform every nerve in your body into a liquid substance and pour you out of a boot! In other words, sciatica is the devil’s work.
With that said, I have only shifted about ten times in my chair in order to keep my fingers from seizing up on the keyboard or running screaming out into the light dusting of snow on the knoll across the way. I am definitely a true dedicated participant of the art.

So, how was your Christmas and New Year?  Another new year to dream our dreams and do those things that we put off until about this time of year. I guess that is why I took the plunge and started my blog before it fell under the heading of, “New Year’s resolutions”. With the attack of sciatica, I would have already failed.

I am finding the older, I get, (which I will be another year older in two days), that putting things off means running out of time to do it at all. So if there is something you need to do, let me encourage you to do it, now. I also started the needing to lose weight thing six months ago as well. Only this time something different happened. I just gave up trying to lose weight. With the creation of the Biggest Looser, we have seen tremendous and powerful examples of success with this problem. But, and  like most of you, there is no trainer, no high-tech equipment, dietitian at my disposal or free sumptuously planned meals magically appearing at my door three times a day. No, there’s just me, my passionate love of bread, old arthritic bones and of course, the latest, my nemesis – sciatica tag teaming me for failure.
The good part of what changed in me has given me a thirty-pound weight loss!! YES, IT IS COMING OFF AND I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW. Sorry, I guess I was carried away. One thing I can tell you is things do not taste like they did when I was younger. Whether it is ageing overused chemical-compounded taste buds or canned low sodium everything, I am not sure what has made the difference.

I adopted Sue’s eat-a-bite method. One or two bites and I am done with it. It cuts the calories like you wouldn’t believe. The calories of a completely “big” piece of pie compared to two bites of pie. And if I can narrow pie down to ‘bites’ you know something happened.
Also, I am toying with the idea of starting an ongoing page with a story that I am writing right now. You would be reading it as I am writing it. I guess I’d like to see if there are some interested readers. Even if I do not gather too many I will figure it is due to limited marketing.

Being new with blogging and all its gadgets, I am still figuring out stuff. There might even be a way to poll interested readers. So you see I have my work cut out for me. Now if someone will help pray the sciatica away, I will be forever grateful and return the ‘prayer’ time.