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.

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.

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.

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.

Say something, anything…

*taps mic*

Is this thing on?

Is anyone still listening?

As I glanced through my previous posts, I realized that it’s been three months since I last popped in, way back on the inaugural Pepper Day (check out some more recent entries here, and click here for an excellent earworm). Three whole months! It’s crazy how time flies, and the past few months have been a whirlwind as I’ve struggled to get back into something resembling a normal routine.

I’ve been writing a lot lately, though I haven’t been doing it here. I’ve been working on expanding and revising a novel, and it’s taken so much of my mental energy. I’ve also been trying to get back into keeping a diary. I did really well with it when I wasn’t working, but it’s been a struggle to keep up with it now that I’m working again. There are so many things I want to get done each day, and not nearly enough time in the day to squeeze them all in.

But today I wrote a wedding, and it was wonderful. And with any luck, tomorrow I’ll get to write a honeymoon. It’s wonderfully gloomy tonight, full of thunder and lightning and inspiration, although maybe not for honeymoons. It feels good to be creating again.

It feels good to be living again.

How about you? What is life like where you’re at?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

MBS strikes again

It’s been rainy today.

Not the kind of steady rain that makes me long to curl up with a book and a blanket and a nice cup of tea, but the kind of deluge that makes me begin a mental inventory of everything in the basement that might possibly be damaged if the sump pump breaks down and the water begins to rise. It’s not been the kind of thunderstorm that me long to sit and watch roll by from the comfort of a swing on my front porch, but the kind of thunderstorm that makes me turn on the TV so I can catch the latest weather updates, even as I compulsively check my phone for the same thing.

The power flashed here, but didn’t completely go out. The wind howled as if a blizzard were on the way. The rain hit my windows with such force that I wondered if it wasn’t hail instead. And in under an hour…

Day 26: Hidden

Hidden away in the store room of a castle in the clouds, my hopes and dreams of a life among the stars lie half-forgotten amid the debris of a once-vibrant imagination. Covered in cobwebs and rusted from lack of use, my imagination lies in tatters as I await the gruesome end I am certain I will see.

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

What’s up?

Well, my video diary idea rapidly crashed and burned, and with it, my plan to write a new poem (and blog post) every day.

Whoops.

I guess that’s about par for the course, though. Lately it seems that I plan and God laughs (hysterically). So what have I been up to so far in 2020? Well, let’s see. I’ve been:

  • Revising The Lokana Chronicles (again);
  • Writing poetry (but sadly, not every day);
  • Workshopping my poems (yay feedback!);
  • Trying to keep up with the kids;
  • Working;
  • Getting older;
  • Saying goodbye to relatives;
  • Capturing Iowa’s natural beauty with my camera;
  • Playing a ridiculous amount of Harry Potter Wizards Unite and Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery;
  • Stress eating;
  • Catching up with friends, both old and new; and
  • Submitting poems for publication (not that it’s gone well).

I suppose that’s actually quite a lot, given that the new year is only just a couple of months old. And January was definitely crazy – almost as crazy as December, if you can believe it (I know I can’t).

Also, show of hands: Who’s ready to be done with winter?

So how about you? What’s new in your world? Have you been able to stick to your New Year’s resolutions?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

What a beautiful morning

I got today’s video knocked out a bit earlier than yesterday’s. There was a beautiful sunrise this morning, and I couldn’t help shooting it:

Mornings are so pretty in Iowa. But it would be even more peaceful if the boys didn’t argue about every little thing.

Of course, since I’m me, I decided to add to the challenge by writing a poem to go with each day’s video. Yesterday I wrote a haiku about two of my kitties; today I wrote another one about how nice it would be if my kids did’t spend each morning’s wait for the bus in an argument over something. They argue about everything lately.

I’m excited about the poem aspect of this challenge. I’ve gotten back to work onΒ The Lokana Chronicles, but I don’t want my poetryΒ  to fall to the wayside, and this will be a great opportunity to keep those poetic muscles in shape.

Well, that and the two poetry groups I’ve joined in the last six months. πŸ˜„

What about you – have you set any new year’s resolutions?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.