Today I’m thankful for…

…in no particular order:

  1. A functional washer and dryer.
  2. All the caffeine.
  3. Good health.
  4. The best husband in the history of marriage.
  5. Cherry pie.
  6. My friends and family around the world.
  7. Wonderful writing groups.
  8. A job that pays the bills.
  9. The car that gets me there (and everywhere else).
  10. Bad jokes.
  11. The small load setting on my new washer, because sometimes you just don’t have enough socks to do a large load of whites.

    Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I hope your day was full of family, food, and fun!

    (c) 2016. All rights reserved.

    Today I’m thankful for…

    It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is in just a couple of days. Surely it was only New Year’s last week?

    At any rate, I’d like to take the rest of the week to write about things I am thankful for, and today, I’m thankful for friends, both old and new. I’m lucky enough to have a few old friends, people I’ve known since I was Thumper’s age (which is to say, five), people who’ve seen me through many a rough patch in life as well as many a happy day. Friends like them don’t come around often, and while it’s crazy – not to mention slightly scary – to think that we’ve been friends for almost thirty years, I’m beyond glad to know that some friendships can survive just about anything that life throws our way.

    collage-2016-11-22-15_10_52

    I’m also thankful for Facebook and MySpace (the old version – may it rest in peace) for allowing me to reconnect with old friends I’ve lost track of over the years. If not for MySpace, I’m not sure I’d have reconnected with one old friend so soon and if not for Facebook, there are quite a few dear friends who would have likely remained confined to memories. I reconnected with one such friend over the weekend, and I am so excited to meet up with her Friday and catch up in person. Yay! 😀

    I’m also thankful for blogging and social media in general for allowing me to make so many new friends, friends I would never have met without the internet. The Alliance of Worldbuilders, the Ink Slingers’ League, and the Cheer Peppers are just some of the friends I’m lucky to have made in the last several years, and there are many more out there.

    What about you – what are you thankful for?

    (c) 2016. All rights reserved.

    A question of confidence

    I am happy to have with me once again that inimitable poet, Tallis Steelyard, to talk a little about his latest adventures in Port Naain with his esteemed cartographer friend, Benor Dorfinngil.

    cover-a-bad-pennyIt is, I freely confess, a sore point. I feel somehow that my honour has been traduced, that my good name has been taken in vain. Indeed I, Tallis Steelyard, leading poet of my generation, has been shamelessly taken advantage of.
    It started simply enough when I was asked to promote a short tale, ‘A Bad Penny.’ You’ve heard of it perhaps? I thought not. Perhaps I’ll have to explain further.

    Some petty hack called Jim Webster, a writer of penny dreadfuls of the worst sort, inveigled his way into the confidence of an old friend of mine, one Benor. Now in his youth Benor lived for a while in Port Naain and we were (and still are) friends. So doubtless under the influence of a heady combination of generously plied strong drink and even more generously plied flattery, Benor started telling tales of his adventures in our proud city. So many of these stories were there that this Webster chap produced a collection of them under the title of the ‘Port Naain Intelligencer’.

    Are you still with me? Anyway, I have to tell you, as between friends…

    Champs

    “Please, Lord – just let them win. Just one more game. Please, Lord.”

    Somehow, I thought, if they could just win one more game, if they could have a perfect season like the basketball team before them, then everything would be okay. The hurt feelings, the bitter words, the barely-contained anger – all of it would fade away, and we would be a community once more. Whole. Perfect. Complete.

    I didn’t know how it would all work out; I just knew it would.

    And so I prayed. I prayed harder than I’d prayed since the day my youngest son was born, the day we very nearly lost him because of a careless mistake. I prayed when the clock stopped, I prayed through halftime, I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. “Please, Lord – just let them win. Please, Lord. Please let them win. Please, Lord…”

    I cheered harder than I’d ever cheered in my life. On the outside edge of a sea of blue, I was both a part of the crowd and an observer of it. Their highs were my highs; their lows, my own. I cheered and prayed and prayed and cheered and when I couldn’t watch anymore, I ate cotton candy and prayed even harder.

    “Please, Lord, oh pretty, pretty please let them win. Please, Lord, please…”

    And when that blue-clad warrior plucked the ball from the sky, I screamed and cried and danced where I stood.

     

    (c) 2016. All rights reserved.

    The American Dream

    2015-04-01 15.18.01-5As part of my scheme to make my thirty-second year a year full of awesome, I’ve decided to go back to school. I have big educational plans, and until yesterday, they included starting work on a paralegal degree in January (that plan has now been pushed back to…well, I’m not sure to when yet, but sometime in the future). One of the scholarships I was going to apply for involved writing an essay about the American Dream and, since I won’t be applying for that scholarship now that I won’t be attending that particular school, I decided to share it here.

    It’s probably not my best work, but it’s been a long time since I’ve written a scholarship essay. My essay skills are a bit rusty, and this was good practice. 🙂

    American Dream, (n): 1. The ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American; 2. A life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S. Dictionary.com

    When I think of the American Dream…

    Tinkering: Life Edition

    lifeIf ifs and ands were pots and pans, there’d be no need for tinkers. But then, if wishes were horses, well, beggars could ride. And you know what?

    I have no idea what any of that is supposed to mean.

    I get the wishes and horses and beggars bit. But what have pots and pans to do with tinkering? I’m more likely to tinker with other things when I know I have pots and pans waiting for me in the kitchen.

    Also, I have no idea why these two proverbs popped into my head when I opened up WordPress today. Of all the things to write about, why these?

    Uh…

    It’s been a whirlwind weekend full of family, friends, and fun. If you’d seen me, you might have mistaken me for my dear departed kitty cat, Shadow:

    shadow

    I feel like I’ve been all over the state this weekend, but it sure was fun, and I have a slew of things to write about in that favorite moments book I bought.

    What about you – how did the weekend treat you? Are you ready for Monday?

    (c) 2016. All rights reserved.

    Hope

    “Now is the winter of our discontent.” – William Shakespeare, Richard III

    Hopefully, the winter of our discontent will be made glorious summer sooner rather than later. In the meantime, though, have hope.

    no-matter-how-dark-the-night-the-sun-always-rises-and-hope-with-itGiving up would be easy, and some people will. But if we all give up, who will fix what is broken? No one. And if no one fixes anything, if we all give up, then things will remain broken (and will probably get worse). Now is the time for hard work. It won’t be fun. It will be arduous. Grueling. Painful.

    But it could be worse.

    As long as we have hope, we can overcome anything. The one thing that keeps people going in the face of insurmountable odds is hope. No matter how dark the night, the sun always rises, and hope with it. Others may try to crush your hope, to steal it from you, because hope is power, but don’t let them. Fight hair, tooth, and nail to keep your hope, to keep hope alive.

    Hope is power.

    We need something to hold onto in times like these, so hold onto hope. With hope and hard work, the odds will be ever in your favor.

    (c) 2016. All rights reserved.