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. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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

(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 from 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.

Pink

Pink looks better
On fingernails and roses
Than it does on my eyes.

Pink feels better on
Fingers and toesies
Than it does on my lips or my nose.

But pink is the best
In the sky at sunset
When it softens the day into night.

(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.

Hey – hey! Guess what day it is?

You know what day it is – it’s Pepper Day! Woo!

And that’s about all the excitement I can muster right now. Because it’s also Hump Day and, well, I’m awfully glad we’re on the downhill slope of the week.

See, my job was another victim of Covid, but I was super fortunate to find a new job in only a couple of weeks. Fourteen years of experience, plus my pretty new(ish) English degree, landed me a job in another law firm, and I started on Monday. While it feels good to be working and having days filled with adult conversation again, and while I’m glad that my younger kids are getting some social interaction with other kids (and trust me, the kids are just as happy about that as I am), it’s been three days of hard mornings. It’s hard enough to go back to work – even at a job you love – after having a couple days off, but after having four months off? Let’s just say I wasn’t sure I’d be equal to the task.

But everything is going well so far, and everyone has been super welcoming, which is wonderful. It’s been a great three days.

And I really don’t know what I was going to say just now. After months of late nights followed by late mornings, I’m exhausted, and I’m pretty sure my brain stopped working for the day somewhere around 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. But I guess this qualifies as a peppery post, because it is, in fact a post that I have drafted, even if it really isn’t very good. But that’s okay because it means there’s room to grow, and if you’re looking for something worth reading, then click here to find some great reads by writers who are more with it today than I am.

And if you’d rather be chatting than reading, then tell me – are you working? Not working? Somewhere in between? Let’s catch up!

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.