Thursday, December 31, 2009

Easy Come - Easy Go

Here we go again. With only hours left in 2009, it's time to take a peek at what this odd year amounted to. As aspirations go - I was full steam ahead - hit the ground running and kept at it until, well, I ran out of gas. It was the year I ALMOST got an agent. Too bad this isn't horseshoes or hand grenades. It's publishing, and "almost" doesn't count for much here. There's no bitterness, no regrets and no shoulda/woulda/coulda. If anything, I reached my end of '08 resolution with about two weeks to spare.
2010 will bring significant changes. Real changes. Tangible, hands-on stuff. Not the fluff that dreams are made of, like a spot on the shelf at B & N, Borders, etc. If that happens, if it's part of some grand design, then I'll be ready to meet it. Happily. If not, I'll be just as content as I was before all the madness first ensued.
Growing up is tough sometimes.
So I part '09 much in the same way I went in - slightly disillusioned and a tad dehydrated. But here, nonetheless.
Blessings all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Low Elf Esteem

I didn't coin that phrase. It's another one of those I wish I had been clever enough of think of first. Anyway, it's fitting now, in this (almost) zero hour. Halls are decked, gay apparel is donned (whatever?) and the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Outside the window, there's a freshly laid blanket of snow courtesy of the seasons premiere blizzard.
For all intense and purposes it's Christmas 101. And by the look of things I pulled an A plus. low elf esteem nudges with those same old nagging doubts. Did I do enough? Will everyone get what they really wanted? What is it about this particular holiday that dredges up my latent ego issues and images of a perfect Christmas past, when I wasn't the director of the show, but merely a joyful participant?
It's all up to me these days. In as much as I'm fairly certain I have risen to the occasion, I look to my kids for validation; suddenly insecure that I am capable of creating a December 25th that my own offspring will attempt to replicate when its their turn at the helm.
All this needless worrying when I'm well aware that in the scheme of things, this is merely a blip on the radar screen. Yet, when you're the main memory maker - you're like Avis. You try harder.
A dose of elf-confidence is in order. That, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
A mothers work is just never done.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Undeniable Change

The tree is trimmed. And today I made a sizable dent in my Xmas shopping. I'm humming holiday tunes in spite of my publicly denouncing the early arrival of EVERYTHING CHRISTMAS. Heaven knows, I've succumbed. I know I have.
This years celebration is bittersweet. There's a very good chance it'll be the last one that takes place in the house I've lived in for a decade & a half. With plans underway to try and move by the middle of 2010, I've spent months constructing my defense. The mantra of the season is, "embrace change, warmly." Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
As a creature of habit this attitude will take some getting used to. That, and maybe a Valium.
I want to throw my arms around whatever lies ahead. I want to meet it head on with a prescription-free smile.
More than that though, I want to memorize every single square inch of these rooms, decorated now in ribbons and bows, poinsettias and twinkling lights.
I am well aware that home is where the heart is. Trouble is, my hearts been HERE for so very long residing within these old, familiar walls.
Alas, life goes on. The calendar won't be denied. Heaven knows, I've succumbed in spite of myself.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Save a Turkey - Eat an Artichoke

Complaining comes easy. No practice required.
Work is a drag. I hate the rain. When will I ever get ahead? This traffic sucks. Does anyone else in this house know how to change an empty toilet paper roll? Men. I don't get enough sleep. I have to color my hair - again. Kids. Calories. Exercise. A little help now and then, please?
It's the gratitude that's a challenge. So hard to remember that there's so much to be thankful for.
A steady paycheck. Water. Striving for success. A car. A home. Men. Shut-eye, when I can get it. Excellence by Loreal. KIDS. Three squares. Rockin a treadmill. Being self-sufficient.
For every yin there's a yang. I can go on and on but there's a turkey that needs basting.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Count your blessings until you run out of numbers.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The New R & R

It wasn't all that long ago when it meant rest and relaxation. Two words that conjure up images of 400 thread count cotton sheets, lazy Sunday mornings, maybe even a long-awaited, highly anticipated vacation out of town. That was then; peacefully, oblivious then.
R & R has a different meaning now. In fact, it has several:
request and review - this is a good one. Somebody, some elusive somebody thinks that perhaps you've created something worth a second look. Well, okay then. Now you're talkin'.
Or, it could also stand for -
revise and resubmit - also not a bad one. Not as great as the initial request since it signals the commencement of the roll-up-your-sleeve changes and more second guessing, followed by serious nail-biting. Overall, however, still not a bad thing since potential lingers and hope still floats. For now.
Which brings me to the dreaded -
read and rejected - Simply and by far my least favorite of the r & r's. Very little explanation needed here. It is precisely what it is. No thank you. Move along. Do not pass go. Have you ever considered a career in yodeling?
Lately I've had a run on requests. My cup runneth over. And yet, there's this unwavering dark, gloomy patch of land, at the far southeast corner of my soul that taunts - You still don't have the ultimate R - the offer of Representation. For this I stumble on, collect my r's and grab a nap when I can, on 400 thread count cotton sheets.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Fog

(I wrote this as an ode to all the lovesick &/or middle-aged people whose once nubile minds have temporarily turned to a dissonant state of disarray. The opinions expressed herein don't necessarily reflect my own...)

Its gloves on my feet
A cold drink to eat

Page one says “the end”

one plus one is three
M and E just isn’t me

Is this a strange new backwards trend?

I sit to stand
The ocean is sand

Its sense in logic never-land

A tear is a smile
An inch is a mile

Is that my heart there in your hand?

Is it love when reason leaves
or is it fantasy deceives?

My toes are planted in the sky
The answer to because is why
It’s evident or it would seem
I’m caught up in some crazy dream
Wake me quickly if you will
or maybe there’s a magic pill

The fairy tales have all come true
What does that mean for me and you?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Holidazed & Confused

It arrived stuffed between two innocent pages of the latest issue of People magazine, wedged snuggly between Kate and that guy. The bright red envelope should have been a clue, as it tumbled out announcing itself. "Here I am. Your very first Christmas card."
Wait, what?
I mean, I know I've been a little tired lately...but had I slept right through November? No offense to the over-enthusiastic sender. I'm a huge fan of organization and a solid pro-active attitude. Why put off till tomorrow what you can do waaaaaay too early? I promise I won't rant and rave over how time is careening away and about my pet peeve of doing anything to help it move along any faster. And no, I won't waste a single second expounding the virtues of living in the present moment, especially since I've yet to master that particular skill. However, I'm still munching on Halloween leftovers (all the good stuff is long gone). Can't I just have one minute to breathe before the turkey and trimmings? Am I allowed to digest my Mounds bar, put away the plastic pumpkin flowerpots, and dust, maybe read a book?
I suppose it's inevitable. Every year the holidays come sooner than they did the year before. I think it might be a side effect of that whole global warming thing. Either way, now I am merrily mindful that the season is only a postage stamp away.
Fa la la la la.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Waking Up in Harrah’s/Being the House

I recently found myself (a self-declared non-gambler) in Atlantic City, due to what I refer to as a family obligation, making the best of things while playing Blackjack to pass the time. The dealer was showing an ace.
“He’s got a ten under there,” the slightly inebriated, total stranger sitting next to me, whispered into my ear. “Never fails. Odds are always in favor of the house.”
Turned out the stranger was right. The dealer had a blackjack, then had about five or six more. Nobody at that table stood a fighting chance. Still we wagered our chips, we hit, we stayed, each of us indulging an unspoken fantasy that we’d end up with pockets a little fatter than when we started. I was heading straight over to the Swarovski store with my winnings. Umm – yeah. Didn’t happen.
The casino was bulging at the seams. (Did someone say recession?) If I was a betting girl I’d go “all in” with the notion that the vast majority left for home far lighter, monetarily speaking, than they’d arrived. Were they all just too obsessed with the remote chance that they could somehow, someway beat those nasty old odds?
I want to beat them too. I want to see the world through cut crystal eyes, want to bring a dream to life, feed an insatiable fire in my gut, pull a 21. It’s a gamble I wake up to every day. Like it or not, I’m addicted to the possibility that I can beat the odds – be the dealer for a change. Or be the house.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What William Knew

It was a special kind of torture, having to read Shakespeare in high school. All I could think back then was, “What the hell is this guy trying to say?” and oh yeah, “What does he know anyway?”
Fast forward twenty-something years. Still don’t read much Shakespeare, I’m afraid. Only now I’ve managed to figure out a thing or two about his many quotes. And you know what? They actually make sense. I wonder if I had to grow up some in order for the words to have meaning. Maybe I had to get divorced to appreciate, “The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.” Maybe I had to have two kids to get, “How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" (Note – my children have since found their manners.) And who in their right mind can’t relate to, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”
Perhaps I had to become an author-in-waiting to understand, “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
I’m attempting to write, pushing doubt and fear aside to promote my novel, and wrangling hope that one day I’ll see it in print. It may be a crazy, long shot but, after all, “Though this be madness, yet there is method in 't."

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I don’t know what made me think of her. My grandmother, gone for a decade, yet still smiling out at me from the picture frames scattered here and there, most in need of a good dust rag. But it seems her memory comes calling, like a neighbor you weren’t expecting but you’re just as glad to see. I sit with the faded conversations, hers and mine; visiting the ones I like best. Then I remember the Gramisms –shots of wisdom, advice delivered in her sweet way, never preachy, condescending or glib.

Keep your underpants clean and your conscience cleaner.

If you leave the house and forget your manners, go back for them.

Take a minute, just one, in 24 hours and help yourself to a fresh lungful of air. Then immediately thank God that you can.

Carry a song in your heart or someplace close by. When the rain falls, and it will, reach in and sing it away.

Life was simpler then, with my grandmother alive and a younger me with a younger mind – more spacious, excited, ready. It drizzles more now and I sing less. My conscience needs a dusting too. Please and thank you are often optional. I breathe mostly without a careful gratitude – until the memories come calling. And I answer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

One Loyal Heart

I remember it like it was yesterday. Creative Writing 101. I was eager to learn...bright-eyed, bushy-tailed; the Energizer bunny on steroids. We were a motley crew, assembled in desks meant for more youthful bodies, strewn together in the same way a homemade quilt is created - swatches of colors, shapes, sizes; mismatched and uneven. Yet our goals were so close they were nearly indistinguishable one from the next. Our first assignment was two questions long. Why do you want to write? And what are you going to say? Answer must be 100 words or less. Just last night I found my homework. That one. It went like this :

I want to write a perfect story about an imperfect world.

I want to write about the way I believe things ought to be because it can be a welcome escape from the way things really are.

I want to write about ordinary people with ordinary lives who discover themselves to be extraordinary when given the chance.

Most of all I want to write to breathe easier, expose a truth, bond with another human soul, and deliver a dream to the light of reality because these things make me who I am.

That was well over five years ago. And yet, those very things still ring true today. Seems the more changes that come, the more the heart remains loyal to itself.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a little Romance

I promised myself I wouldn’t ever discuss love. Mostly ‘cause it’s all been said and done before. Why then, at my ripe old age of (clears throat, mumbles,) why does it seem like the topic of romance never seems to go away? I’m a sucker for the girl meets boy, girl flips for boy, cue the drama, heartache, toss in a tear or two, the good, the bad, the ugly. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I thought once I reached a certain point in my life I’d mellow out; stop living in the hearts and flower fantasies that, in my mind, almost always end up happily ever after. Not so. I still actively seek a love story. In fact, sometimes I chase it, regardless of the worn out plot line, familiar characters and unoriginal premise. And regardless of the endings.
It was Benjamin Disraeli, a novelist in the 1800’s who said, “Romance has been elegantly defined as the offspring of fiction and love.” It’s no coincidence than, that as an aspiring writer I am intensely and eagerly drawn to both. I’ll take no more than my fair share. Indulge me in the written word. Perhaps I’ll be a glutton there. But just a little romance will do.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Hardest Part

I was with her earlier today, at my day job - the REAL one. She's ten years old, belongs to a customer. Her name is Maya. We were discussing the virtue of patience.
"It's my birthday in 8 months, 2 weeks and 3 days," she said in between serious licks of a cherry blow pop.
I was immediately impressed with her mathematical ability.
"I can't wait," she added. "Then I can get my ears pierced."
So 11 had its understandable appeal. The 8 months, 2 weeks and 3 days did not. Also understandable.
"That's cool," I told her. "It'll be here before you know it."
"Not true," she countered, "It's like a million, trillion months from now."
I was reminded then of her true age and her less than stellar math prowess.
Yet, I get it. When we're waiting for something to happen, something we want so badly, suddenly regular time morphs into dog years. One equals seven. It's the math of the impatient.
I'm waiting too. For a yes. For a contract. For a validation. For Life - Part Two to commence.
It's dog years - big time.
Tom Petty said it best. It's the hardest part. The waiting.
Maya and I couldn't agree more.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Road Traveled in Spite of it All

I've heard it said that the road to stardom is littered with broken dreams (and equally offensive debris.) So what about the road to publication? Ask anyone who has traveled it. It's a veritable minefield. You have your potholes, your detours, the four revision pile-up, overturned queries and major agent jams. Red lights? You can't even imagine. Stop signs? You'll be yielding more than you care to. I'll screech to a halt here. You get the point. There's surely no need to beat an analogy to a bloody (annoying) pulp.
Simply stated - it ain't easy.
What's a girl with writing in her veins to do?
I've trunked the idea more than once. Can't happen. Won't happen. The odds are stacked against me. Why bother?
The bigger question is, why not?
After all, what's life without a little frustration, heartache, yearning, begging, pleading, pacing and hysteria?
Regardless of all the above, people write because they have to. It goes, eat, drink, sleep, breathe, write. It isn't optional. It what we do in spite of our better judgement, in spite of the littered road and in spite of it all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


So I'm trying this blog stuff on for size. As of this minute it feels like an itchy wool sweater two sizes too small and creeping up my neck. (Aack - it's getting harder and harder to breathe...)
Here's hoping I'll get the hang of it real soon.
PS - That profile picture is of my baby. Isn't she the cutest? Way more attractive than I am so she'll do for now.
Test, test this is only a test. In the event of an actual emergency you will be notified as to which blog to follow.