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.

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.

Scan City, Population: Me

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write. I have. It’s just that, well, I feel like I don’t have the words, or the brain power to form them. I could try to explain it, or you could just go read this post from Rarasaur, which says exactly how I’ve felt the past couple of weeks much better than I could.

So what have I been up to? Well, I’ve been scanning a lot of photos. I’m hoping that the process will be a little less time-intensive from here on out; I’ve finished scanning all the photo albums that my grandparents kept for me when I was growing up. My grandma wrote who was in each picture, the date it was taken, and what the event was (birthday, holiday, concert, etc.) on the back of every photo in those albums. I wanted to keep track of all that info, but…

Day 28: Focus

It’s really hard to focus on anything other than zoning out in front of the TV right now. I have photos to scan, videos to fix, poems and stories to write, and an anthology to edit, and I can’t seem to focus on any of it. Sunday I had a movie marathon with the kids, and yesterday morning it continued, and that was all I could summon the mental energy for.

I want to know when I’ll be able to go back to work. I want to know when my kids will be able to go back to school (not this school year, but the beginning of the coming school year is up in the air at this point). I want to know when things will return to some semblance of normal.

But the answers to those questions are…

Day 27: Team

I rather miss being part of a team. I’m not athletically inclined, so with the exception of a couple summers spent playing softball in early elementary school, I was never interested in playing sports. Band, however, is just as much a team event as basketball, baseball, or football, and as I’ve written before, I desperately miss being in band.

In order to succeed in band, you have to listen to the other musicians around you (it’s the same for choir, but I was a band geek and not a choir geek, despite my affinity for singing). I miss having a goal to work toward. Well, that’s not true…

Day 22: Tempo

When you have four kids and a job, life moves at a pretty fast tempo. That tempo usually looks a little something like this:

Picture, if you will, a bumblebee as you’re listening. Or even a hummingbird. Actually, a hummingbird might work better. Especially when I was in college and working and dealing with all the kids’ stuff, I kinda felt like this melody line. Even without the added pressure of college coursework, though, there are times where my life feels like I have to move at warp speed in order to keep up.

Or, you know, at ludicrous speed. Whatever.

But lately…

Day 19: Three

Today’s prompt is supposed to be about things that come in three parts. Since I’ve spent the past two days marathoning Voyager, the first thing that popped into my head was Captain Proton. It’s a very silly holodeck program that Tom Paris runs as part of a historical study on how ancient people thought about the future. The Captain Program features in three episodes: “Night,” as mentioned yesterday; “Bride of Chaotica!,” which I watched this afternoon and which is among my favorite episodes; and “Shattered,” which at this rate, I’ll be watching sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Captain Proton, Protector of Earth

Honestly, it’s been so long since I saw “Shattered” last that I only vaguely remember what it’s about, and even then…