I was proud of myself for
finishing July’s 3100 words, but I was only one day late when I caught up and
entered an entire month in what – a week? Just writing for the sake of writing,
my words pouring forth into little techie box to see what might come to exist.
I write to create, to be creative, to write, to create fictional worlds in
which to spend time in my head when my physical being is stuck in a reality
which lacks imaginative stimulation. To return to my fictional worlds. If it
were truly important, I’d make time…
I know of two people who have
refused to find out the gender of their babies – ‘because it’s the last great
mystery’. Um, no. Modern science has
solved that mystery. You don’t have to wonder. You can know ahead of time.
Really. “Then it’s not as big a deal when the baby is born.” Yes, it is – IF
you don’t tell us the baby’s name in advance. The parents who give their unborn
children nicknames in utero are more creative.
Don’t want gifts of entirely one
gender-specified color? Then say so… “We’re having a girl! She has enough pink
This is how I knew it was a
dream: I wasn’t worried about mold/ mildew.
The bathroom floor was
covered in piles of my sisters’ wet clothes. I was disgusted at the mess. The
screen was in the tub. I noticed the firemen outside the window in the front
yard, over-dressed in full fire regalia to check the hydrants. The stupid cat
had – of course – gotten out through the open window. As soon as I had replaced
the screen, he was there, on the other side, waiting for me to remove the screen
to return the way he had exited.
A day at the zoo: There is so much less pressure to visit every
exhibit in the zoo when you have a membership and can come back at any time. This
is especially true when visiting with little kids. They weren’t even my kids –
because I have none – but yet I was involved in the negotiations to get them to
move on to another exhibit. As it turned out, we had two picnics, and saw the
penguins, polar bears, and the polar bear fountain with the ducks. Fortunately,
the niece didn’t care about the zoo. Then we swam at J’s.
Fortunately, the dream skipped the beginning – getting them
to trust me, getting them to write. They had bought into the Poetry for
Prisoners program and were writing away, filling notebook after notebook. The
prison was co-ed – this is how I knew it was a dream.
One woman had trouble with limericks. She liked using the
aabba format, but they weren’t funny and read them aloud as 12534. Her poems made
more sense that way, but they were written on paper in the correct format. Then
they created poetry posters and laminated them on a machine they had built.
So I got out of bed this morning because I realized that I
need to redesign the book, create the writing retreat flyer, and change Ben’s
career. He needs a middle management job in an advertising firm. He is being
granted a furlough – due to the economy and all… when his supervising manager –
some nice guy with a vague title – tells him to take a break. Everyone needs
to. He asks Ben to account for his last week or so, and Ben realizes that he
has done nothing that is essential to the functionality of the company. Looking
One of the most fun things I’ve ever done was host the HP6
sleepover. Many of us met at a local Borders, and then I had five adults spend
the night at my house – so we all read the book together. The last person went
to bed at 4 a.m. The first person was up at 9. I had breakfast foods and lunch
foods ready to go. Someone would laugh. Someone would ask, “What?” Someone
would say, “Page 238.” And so it continued, until the last person got to page
238 and read it aloud; we all laughed.
We’re now on the 3rd annual road trip w/ J &
the kids. The first year there was only one kid; now there are two. Now they’re
both walking. We’re staying in the lower level of someone’s house in a nice PA neighborhood.
There is a beautiful backyard with tiki bar, in-ground pool, and firepit. The
day trips are all kid-centered, but we like us enough to feed the kids peanut
butter and jelly or chicken nuggets and get Cheesecake Factory to go. So it was
20 minutes out of the way. We can’t get it at home.
These are the things that I wish you understood:
why my friends are so important
why I must travel without you
how much I need you to travel without me
why I work so hard to separate my personal life and professional life
how I need alone time
ow much I need to read to shut off my head at night
how much I need to write
how much I need other creative ventures
how much I miss grad school
how you can’t miss me if I don’t go away;
and none of it means I love you any less.
I will always hold dear in my heart a certain number of
fonts. Palatino, for being the first font I learned; Book Jacket Italic, the
senior year yearbook, nightmare that it was; Calisto, the last name of my
fictional husband, before I ever wanted one or knew mine; Alpha Dance for its
place in that NaNoWriMo novel; Cataclysmic and Dream of Me for their place in
the Creative Inklings logo; Eager Naturalist and EraserDust are just cool;
Floydian, for Lori Kaye; Treefrog and Marydale, for the best year of yearbook
advising ever; and Nina’s Animals in the kids’ coloring books.
I fear exploratory surgery. After four, maybe five rounds of
antibiotics, more if you count ones I took for sinus infections in the
meantime, nothing helps. I’m tired of doctor’s appointments. I’m disappointed
in my shrinking insurance coverage. I’m tired of doctors knowing nothing
despite excruciating amounts of time and money spent in medical school. I’m
tired of throwing antibiotics at a mysterious problem. Then I think of people
with diagnosed diseases and how much worse off they are. At least they have a
name for their troubles. I have several names, few I’d use in front of my
She spent her free time lying in bed, randomly perusing the
internet, her favorites and her delicious list. She stayed in bed because
that’s where the air conditioning was, because she was content to stay in
pajamas all day, because she needed nothing in the rest of the building. While
it kept her from devouring the junk food in the kitchen, she could hardly call
it a diet plan. She stayed close to her cell and home phones, lest she miss a
call. She needed to be needed. Was it her worst flaw? She wasn’t sure she
wanted to know.
She’s coming home! After her life has been put on hold for
two years, the government has finally seen the light and allowed her to return
to it. She’s been gone for four years… she’s been busy for two or three of them
– enrolling in O-levels, passing tests with flying colors, enrolling in A-level
classes, passing tests with flying colors, worrying about college, worrying
about her future, worrying about life. They have a grueling travel route
through four countries in thirty-six hours, barring delays. Four more days… and
the new version of the life she wanted will be all hers.
I have just completed the Vancouver,
Alaska cruise, Denali
National Park trip album for this
year, six weeks after being home. It’s been a crazy six weeks, and most too hot
to sit in the office, printing pictures. So now I “wasted” a beautiful summer
day, inside, at my computer and printer. It’s not a waste if it’s something
that I wanted to do… So, now I have crossed off not only one, but two more
things from my list of 34 items in 3 categorized lists from a weekend in July,
and found out that I can’t complete two.
List of stuff for Tuesday:
I don’t understand people who intentionally make other
people’s lives more difficult. Do people not have enough troubles that others
feel the need to complicate things? Do people do this in order to exude some
sort of power over others? This is the corporate/business form of bullying. She
can’t steal my cookies from my lunch box or trip me in the hallway, so she has
to pull these acts of It’s-not-my-job. She sits in her perfectly climate
controlled office, with job protection in the form of nepotism, creating
problems for others, not doing her job but talking about her dog.
Room to Write
These are the lies that I told you
I love to lie in a hammock with a good book
I love to lie on a couch, on my bed, in an airplane, on a
train, with a good book
I love the white lies that keep people’s feelings from being
I hate the fact that I haven’t yet memorized the proper
conjugation of lie/lay/lying – but there is no mistake that lied means an
untruth. a variation on the truth, a sin of omission, the truth, the whole
truth, and nothing but the truth
Memory is Imagination
I remember the day the dolphins swam next to our boat, and I
jumped overboard and swam with them.
I remember the day I hitchhiked on the belly of the dolphin –
a trained animal in a contained portion of that same ocean.
I remember the campfires and smores, freedom to ride our
bikes to the candy store.
I remember when you said you didn’t want me to go.
I remember all four times you asked me to marry you.
I remember realizing that I no longer have to worry about having
enough money to pay for groceries.
“I will not take these things for granted…”
gallons of milk
eggs in cartons
books at bookstores – bound, not photocopied and sewn
the changing of seasons
the ability to drive
owning my own car
owning my own house
living free from government restrictions imposed upon
a college education
student loans – all paid off
not having to consult my parents for all of my decisions
the ability to hire people to fix my house
driving across the Canadian border
music – cds - mp3s – my iPod Nano
On August 1, 1981, I rang the doorbell at a friend’s house.
I hadn’t seem him in a few years and was really looking forward to this visit.
The fact that I was 10 and had been completely in love with him for six years
had little to do with it. He opened the door, grabbed my hand, and said, “Hurry
up! MTV is about to start!” I had no clue what he was talking about. I was 10.
I had been living out of the country for two years, and I was pop-culture
ignorant. Video Killed the Radio Star
was the first song they played. It got stuck in my head for
years, except that I sang, “Video killed the radio store.” It drove my family nuts. The next video was
Pat Benatar. I have now seen her in concert more times than I can count:
Houston, Lansing, Detroit, Auburn Hills, Flint. Tomorrow (today) I will meet
her in person at the signing of her book, “Between a Heart and a Rock Place.” I
have my question ready for her. But someday that will be me on a book tour, but
not my autobiography of my hard rock career.
I don’t remember being an only child.
I don’t remember learning to read.
I don’t remember when I realized I had ADD.
I don’t remember when I developed OCD.
I don’t remember ever being so homesick.
I don’t remember ever feeling so out of place.
I don’t remember making reservations at the airport Days Inn
when I should have been on an island.
I don’t remember realizing that my sister was one of my best
I don’t remember realizing that I am responsible for my happiness.
I don’t remember ever feeling like the most confident girl
in the room.
Corey needs a second job, but I’m not sure why. I suspect
that he took this job during college summers, and it didn’t occur to him to
quit when he got his software engineering job after graduation. He works at an
outdoor concert venue, working the camera that project the artists on the
big-screen TVs – LCD – not even LED and definitely not HD. LED and HD couldn’t
handle the cold – staying outdoors all the time. It drives him nuts. The
technology is there – they should use it. Techie guys don’t handle low-tech
very well, not even for reasons of nostalgia.
Ben needs a new career, as well. He’s going to be some sort
of vague senior-management HR sort of guy in advertising. He’s going to become obsolete,
company downsizing and all. Despite his high level of management, the higher
ups have realized that they can exist with fewer HR people in the firm. They need
only one. Ben thinks his job is necessary – he’s at it every day, and working
hard all day. But he never works late. He never has to reschedule a vacation
due to work deadlines. He is given two weeks’ notice. Or is he completely
I am mostly in complete denial that I have to start work
again a week from yesterday. I have done nothing. I have read none of the
professional literature on my list. I have barely organized the boxes of mentor
texts that I ordered. I haven’t gone in to set up my corner of the world, hang
new bulletin boards and unpack boxes on shelves. I’m so glad that I numbered my
boxes to make sure I have them all. I really should go in the dungeon and see
what stuff was brought over for me. I dread sharing rooms.
Through the magic of technology, I am able to cheat. I wrote
the entry for the 25th on the 24th… and saved it in the
word document where I save all of my entries, should anything happen to the
website. If it should crash, I have my writing. I am very protective of my
words. I don’t give away words without keeping a copy. I never tear pages from
my journals – only from my notebooks. And even though I probably should, I
never throw away my journals. I even have them on one of the bottom shelves of my
If this is my writing entry for today, then it is my writing
entry for today, no matter where I put it. Last night, I dreamed of NaNoWriMo
merchandise on sale in a hotel boutique. T-shirts, sweaters, and watches. I
took two t-shirts to lunch with me, and the mystery children thought they were
gifts and took them. I had to go back and find Chris Baty and pay for t-shirts that
I didn’t have so that I could ask to see the watches again. I spent several
hundred dollars on NaNo merchandise. I want OLL to expand beyond t-shirts.
I have always had a thing for little things. It’s almost a
wonder that I don’t have a collection of miniatures. One summer, I collected
dimes. I kept them in a pink plastic container after I’d eaten all of the
cinnamon candies. Dimes will sometimes smell like cinnamon. When I travel, I
pick up little things to give away to people when I return. Two of my favorites
have come from Alaska – billikins
and totem coins. I’m also quite fond of the Ty Beanie Babies – for their soft
fur and the fact that someone assigns birthdays to them.
These are the games that I played…
I’m not proud, but I admit that I only pretended to care
when you talked about your work, your family, your friends, or your commute. It
was all a game to see if you could catch me not really listening, not really
When we sat and played cards for hours on end, it was really
only a way to pass the time so that we wouldn’t have to talk, so I wouldn’t
have to struggle in an attempt to carry on conversation or at least an
interesting monologue. It worked every time.
Discipline–or lack thereof
People are suspicious of others who admit to not care for
children and animals. There are animal-people, and there are children-people,
and I am neither of those. I have technically been a cat-owner since 2004, yet
I spent many of those first years saying that I was only their foster owner.
Left to my own devices, I would not choose to own pets. I don’t like being restricted
by someone else’s schedule and needs. I don’t want and won’t have my own
children. I love to borrow other people’s – to play with and return, so I can
regain my freedom.