Archive for the ‘holidays’ Tag

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013   Leave a comment

English: A clock made in Revolutionary France,...

The time has come to get writing! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

And so another year is over, now is the time I sit back, look over what I’ve written this past year, where I’ve submitted, and, more importantly, the things I did not write or submit.

2012 was not very productive when it came to my writing. The poet who is famed by her friends for submitting material an average of 600 times annually  barely cleared 100 submissions. The novel which I began in 2011 has been sitting dormant most of the year, with maybe 500 words added.

In my defense, I did remarry and move 800 miles last year, two events that took up not only a lot of time, but a lot of physical and mental energy. I also did a lot more reading than I had done in 2011, researching for new writing projects as well as giving my brain a chance to soak in something a little less stressful than the reality of court dates and lease signing.

But it’s a new year, all of that is behind us now, we’re happy in our new home, with room to spread out, a sunny yellow office and a table fit for two laptops, plus printer and lamp. The time has come to jump back on the horse and get some writing writ.

I resolve to write at least a thousand words a day. That should give me at least one gimme day, when I write the three blogs I’m responsible for n a weekly basis. It may even give me a day and a half. If I start with those in the beginning of the week, not only will it free up my creative juices for other projects, it will give me a chance to warm up my typing fingers and my brain, still soggy from the weekend.

I will submit something at least once a day. Just one thing a day won’t be as crazy as five a day, which was what I was doing right before I got sick. Even if life throws us another curveball, I can send something once a day. Giving myself this goal will not only give my work visibility, it will also help spur me on to write new stuff, to edit edit edit, and to reach out to others in the writing community.

Liquid Imagination   Leave a comment

Decorated gingerbread cookies

Image via Wikipedia

To read the poem Gingerbread Mean, click here

Today, on snow day #2 for this week, my oldest son and niece are making gingersnaps with their grandmother while the younger ones nap. I figure this is a good day to blog about my poem about the dark side of gingerbread men, called Gingerbread Mean, that was just published in Liquid Imagination this week.

Before I go into the story though, just please click the link and check it out, for the artwork alone. It’s pretty good, perhaps the best thing someone has ever put with one of my poems. There have been times in the past I’ve really cringed at the kind of artwork an edtior will choose to put with a poem or short story of mine, but this, I’m really impressed. So please, click the link and check it out. I’ll wait.

 

…….

 

Ok? Seen it? Good. Pretty cool, huh?

Anywho, I love Christmas. I really, really do. I love to give, I’m a giver. And I’ve got a lot of people to give to. But there are times when even the most fanatic of Christmas lovers gets dragged down with all the commercialism, the busyness, the drama that goes into the modern Christmas. Especially one that is in the middle of a divorce.

So, this poem came out of that feeling, of being overwhelmed with Christmas cheer. And, being me, I had to add a dash of creepy anthropomorphism into it, making the gingerbread men feel the burn of the oven.

Think, on this day when most of the country is buried in snowpocalypse. When we’re glued to our tvs, wondering what the Egyptians will do next in an attempt to oust their president. What drags you down now, that at some point in your life you really, truly loved. What changed? Write about it, add a cookie or two for sweetness. Get out of your blizzard coma and write something.

Stickman Review   Leave a comment

Soup Kitchen

Image by Frankie Roberto via Flickr

To read Thanks.Giving. click here

This is a story, based in part on an experience I had a few years ago, helping out at a local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving. It was shortly after my former spouse had gotten out of rehab, and he very strongly wanted to begin to give back to the community in some way, a common precept of AA. I agreed to go with him, so after our meal at my mother’s, we said  goodbye to our family and went down to St. Vincent’s.

Serving in a soup kitchen, working with the homeless, wasn’t something new to me, but it was to him. While he did his duty, making sure the bowls and plates were full, I took the time to sit down, and get to know some of the people there. I think we were both blessed by the experience, and I look fondly on it as one of the best times we had, together.

This very short story, Thanks. Giving. is an amalgamation of some of the stories I heard from the people we served. Names, of course, have been changed. This is also one of the rare times I use an obscenity within a written work of mine. Considering the content, and the daily, harsh lives of the homeless, I didn’t feel the use of the c word was superfluous, rather it was appropriate to jar those of us comfortably sitting in our warm homes, reading stories off the internet, make us feel a taste of what life on the streets, make us squirm.

Shortly after this Thanksgiving, I discovered I was pregnant, and so didn’t have the opportunity to go back, when the smells of my own kitchen were bad enough to send me running, I didn’t want nausea to undermine the work being done. These days I volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, both on building sites and at the local Restore. If you’re short on New Years Resolutions this year, I encourage you to find some way to volunteer, give back in even a small way, on a weekly or monthly basis, as your schedule allows. If I can do it, between three kids, two ex-husbands, and one full time job, anyone can!

NaNoWRiMo, Day 2   Leave a comment

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the U.S.

Image via Wikipedia

The word today was halcyon, a place or state of calm. I free wrote ideas for a poem during lunch at a local Chinese buffet, which was at that hour quite calm and peaceful for me. Those notes evolved into a poem about zodiacs and grandparents.

I did not get to Cain. Due to a sugar crash from pilfered Halloween candy, I just wasn’t able. I plan on getting to it again tomorrow. One problem is, is that the part I’m working on involves a character I’m just not invested in. He’s quite a cliche, a stereotype, so I’m thinking of cutting the whole section, but I’m not sure. Ergo, no action whatsoever taken.

In the works as well this month, continued work on a short story I began a few months ago about a woman divorcing her zombie husband. It’s good, and deserves some face time. So, maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow if I’m still on the fence about Cain’s latest disciple.

Halcyon, it’s a good word. At the very least, use it in a sentence sometime tonight or tomorrow. Find yourself a halcyon of your own to work in. Escape the misanthropes.

Tonopah Review   Leave a comment

A campfire

Image via Wikipedia

http://www.tonopahreview.org/one-of-the-boys.html

In 2009, the Tonopah Review published one of my favorite poems I’ve ever written, called “One of the Boys”.  Full disclosure, I am not an orphan, I do have two older half brothers, but they didn’t raise me, in fact I didn’t even meet them until I was 12.  And I didn’t write this for them, though I love both of them dearly.

No, this poem was written after a long weekend away with writer friends, out in the woods of the Catskill Mountains. One thing you may not know about me, I build a darn good fire.  On the last night out, I built a large bonfire from wood carried in from the surrounding forest by three of the gentlemen on the trip. One of them, walking up behind me as I nudged some seasoned branches into place, told me it was “a damn good fire.” I don’t think I’ve ever received a nicer compliment.

Many times on camping trips in groups, there seems to be a gender gap, wherein the men do some jobs, the women do others. Typically, it’s an unwritten rule that the men build the fire, although our ancestors I’m sure would disagree with this. Even in the back yard, it’s the men who rule the grill, play with fire, take the risks, while the ladies spoon the potato salad. So, I knew the compliment was solid, and hard won.

The next day, before heading home to my kids, I wrote the beginnings of this poem, dedicated to Colin, Scott, and in memory of Glenn.

Lit Up   Leave a comment

http://litupmagazine.wordpress.com/new/

Lit Up is an awesome online journal that has published a few things of mine, most recently a poem entitled “To the Mother of All Mothers”  I wrote it for a Christmas card, and they published it in the summer time, which was pretty ballsy on their part.

I wanted to do something humorous for Christmas, and not just do the whole sentimental thing as in years past. I’ve always liked writing poems to stick into birthday cards, Christmas cards, shower cards, you get te idea. It makes me really think about the person I’m gifting, and turns a generic Christmas card into a personal gift of joy. Which, after all, is what Christmas is all about.

I have three kids, ages 2, 4, and 12. So I know a thing or two about how children not free from sin behave, and imagined how nice it must have been to bring up Jesus. Typing this now, I begin to wonder how Mary and Joseph dealt with their other children after Jesus. I may just have to write about that. Hmmm……

Today, think about the people in your life who could really use a card from you. Someone you’re thankful for, or who is having a birthday, or is unwell. Why not write a poem or a short story for them to stick in the card?