It’s the climb

Well, November sure was a blur, wasn’t it? I think this is the first year I’ve failed at NaBloPoMo. Well, the first year I’ve signed up to do it and failed – the college years don’t count. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜„

It bothers me to start things and then not finish them, but I think I just needed to focus on other things in November, like catching up on the sleep I haven’t been getting. Not that focusing on my sleep deprivation improved things any. It probably made them worse. On the bright side, I’ve been doing a lot of writing… πŸ™ƒ

I used to love the holidays, but it seems like the older I get, the harder it is to find that Christmas spirit. This year, for whatever reason, it’s been unusually difficult. Maybe it’s because this whole year has been unusually difficult, maybe it’s because I’m once again in the midst of a writerly crisis of confidence – I don’t know.

I do know that I’ve had “The Christmas Waltz” stuck in my head most of the day and I am super sick of it. Maybe that’ll be the next Christmas song I parody…

My post editor has assured me that the last time I edited this post was at 11:40 p.m. on December 7 (“a date which will live in infamy”), 2020. Clearly, not finishing things I’ve started bothers me less than I want to admit, or I’d have posted this already.

Can I just blame it on 2020? I think I’ll just blame it on 2020.

😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

At any rate, 2021 hasn’t seemed a whole lot better yet, but I’m holding out hope. I mean, things HAVE to get better, right?

Of course they do.

Anyway, I know I’m a little late to the party on this one, but I finally got around to watching this video of Amanda Gorman reading “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration last week, and it gave me chills. This is the sort of writing I aspire to produce: writing that speaks to people, that says something important about who we are and who we want to be. If you haven’t yet seen this reading, do yourself a favor and check it out.

And now, because it’s my birthday and I have the house to myself, I’m going to go and read more poems (and maybe revise a few of my own). Here’s to accomplishing more goals in 2021!

(c) 2021. All rights reserved.

G.O.A.T.

So because I’m chronically behind when it comes to watching TV, I just finished watching theΒ Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time special tonight. If you haven’t seen it yet (even though it aired in January), I won’t spoil it for you, except to say that I was pleased with who won.

But watching this particular special just days after hearing of Alex Trebek’s passing was particularly bittersweet for me. I grew up watchingΒ Jeopardy!, and Alex Trebek is synonymous with it for me (and millions of others, I’m sure). While I’m sure his replacement, whoever that may be, will do a fine job…

Magic nostalgia time

I’ve been working on a poem lately about how different this summer was compared to summers past. And as I was pondering exactly what I was trying to get at with my poem, this came to me:

Summer is a magic time, full of nostalgia for the bygone days of my youth. But as summer fades inevitably into fall, I find myself growing wistful, for summer lasts but a short time, and it seems to grow shorter with each passing year.

Covid time has transformed ordinary seasonal longing for carefree summer fun into a yearning of the acutest kind; I crave a true return to normal life, the kind that will not be possible for some time. With fall fading fast into winter and case counts rapidly rising, it’s hard to hang onto hope.

I wish I could cast all my doubts and fears aside as easily as if I were tossing an anchor over the starboard bow; I wish I could pluck hope from the lake as easily as master anglers pull fish from the deep; I wish I could read the world’s future in my cards.

But since I can’t do any of that, I’ll keep writing about it all instead.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Books!

I saw this on Facebook over the weekend and was intrigued:

Once I’d deciphered as many of these titles as I could (and it wasn’t all of them), naturally I had to quiz my husband. I figured out one of the ones I’d missed as I was reading it to him, and he figured out one of the ones I’d had trouble with. And while I haven’t read number 15 yet, this alternate title (and Seymour’s guess) made me laugh.

How about you – can you name them all?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Writer’s life

I’ve been working on revising a novel lately, and these made me laugh:

I relate to that first one so, so much, and I’m pretty sure this entire series falls squarely into category 3 (aka a bit feral still). But I also kinda relate to the second one, because I enjoy handwriting my drafts (and usually, my revisions), and I write mainly in cursive. While I have enough practice at cursive (and handwriting things in general) that I can write both quickly and legibly in both cursive and print, sometimes it’s easy to mistake one letter for another when glancing quickly at something. πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈπŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Then again, I haven’t summoned lemons when I meant to summon demons, so there’s that… πŸ˜‚

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Hibernation station

Like frozen rivers,
I am alive underneath
My own icy shell.

I feel like I’ve been hibernating for the past three years. Or maybe not hibernating – maybe hibernating is what I need to do now after the craziness that was the past three years.

I’m not even sure what I’m trying to say here.

I’ve been cleaning things up lately, trying to get organized. You wouldn’t know it if you peeked in my room, or if you peeked in my office. I’ve been organizing my music, most of which is stored on my computer. But because I’m old-school, I also have about a thousand CDs (which is probably a conservative estimate). I have so many duplicate songs as a result that it’s not good if my iPod malfunctions and just starts playing every song on it in order.

I don’t know what its beef with my car is, but it needs to get over its pretentious self.

I’m also cleaning out my email. I’m a bit of an email hoarder, but mostly I think my current lack of Gmail storage has more to do with the ridiculous number of pictures I have stored in my Drive than the equally ridiculous number of emails I don’t want to delete.

I’d love to just stop moving, to hibernate, to let my everything rest. But instead, here I am – calm on the surface and paddling like hell underneath.

I’m not sure if any of this makes any sense because I’m really tired, but maybe the making-sense part is less important than the having-written part. Since I’ve done at least one of those things, I’m going to call this a win.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Yea, though I know I gaineth…

I ran across this in some of my old things a while back:

The Twenty-Third Pound

My appetite is my shepherd, I always want. It maketh me to sit down and stuff myself. It leadeth me to my refrigerator repeatedly. It leadeth me in the path of Burger King for a Whopper. It destroyeth my shape. Yea, though I know I gaineth, I will not stop eating. For the food tasteth so good, the ice cream and cookies, they comfort me. When the table is spread before me, it exciteth me. For I knoweth that soon I shall dig in. As I filleth my plate continuously – my clothes runneth smaller. Surely Bugles and weight shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will be fat forever.

It’s a thing I inherited from my dad as a teenager. Back then, I found the parody of Psalm 23 amusing. But then I didn’t have issues with weight control because the 16-year-old metabolism is a wondrous thing.

Looking at it now, twenty years later, after being stuck at home for four months with a fully stocked pantry, I have much different feelings about this once-funny verse. How a person feels about their body is a complicated issue, and it’s no different for me.

If only I could be as “fat” now as I thought I was when I was seventeen.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Revisiting the past

Another unfinished bit that shows promise:

He saw her from across the crowded restaurant; a forgotten melody tinkled softly in the background. But it had been too long; their ship had sailed a long time ago, with him on board and her crying on the shore.

Or had it?

Someone always asks what the one thing is that you’d do over again if given the chance, and people always seemed to answer differently each time they were asked. One day, they’d have tried out for their high school play, or stayed in the dorms when they left for college, or had more fun in school. But for Rian Baley, the answer was always the same: he’d have stayed in Park East instead of running.

He was back now, of course. And he hoped that this time, things would be different. But like his father always said, Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up faster. Hope wouldn’t get him very far. Especially not after the way he left.

It’s kinda fun to reread some of the things I haven’t finished, especially when I love the characters so much (or at least love playing with them). Do you ever reread your old work?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head

This is something I’ve been fiddling with a bit this weekend:

The steady ratta-tat ratta-tat ratta-ratta-ratta-tat of autumn rain on my roof, on my windows, in my downspout, is almost hypnotic. If it weren’t just above freezing, I could almost mistake it for a summer storm. Lightning flashes nearby; thunder ripples, then cracks, in the distance. The wind begins to howl as it whips through the trees, littering my yard with cornstalks from the neighboring fields.

The drive-in scene fromΒ Twister flits through the movie screen in my mind. I pull the blanket a little closer.

It’s not finished, but it has promise, like the sky after a storm.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.