Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Let's call it Limboland.
It's a perpetual state of waiting. You can see things there, although they're a long way off. The best part is that they are in sight. The worst is that you can't quite reach them. Yet.
If you have no patience there you're basically screwed. No amount of mental maneuvers will help to quell the itch. You tell yourself it's a growth thing. You shake off the mood when it strikes and pull out the nearest mantra you can find; preferably one that can soothe you.
Like Joseph Campbell's words: We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
You try your best to philosophize, be bigger, better than you feel deep down inside.
Wear your bravest face, your brightest, shiniest smile.
You can fool most of the people some of the time. But you can't fool yourself. Ever.
It's Limboland. The mirrors there point inward. The reflection is what you'd prefer not to see.
Mostly it's just about hurry up and wait. That age-weary conundrum.
2010's been a great deal of Limboland for me. That said, there were good moments. Some very, very good moments. Greasing-the-wheel moments.
And now my wish for 2011... I hope to set those wheels in motion and roll. Even if it's a slow roll. There's always 2012 to pick up the speed.
I long to leave Limboland behind. It's a great place to visit but you don't want to forward your mail there. It's best to pass right on through.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
So there I was, assessing the clutter in my bedroom where one entire large armoir is designated to house my ever-mounting collection of books. I hadn't realized how colossal this gathering had become. After I packed up a care package to donate to a friend, I pondered the age-new dilemma:
Should I get one of those E-Readers? Like the Kindle, or the Nook?
Pros - I do love technology.
It's better for the environment (less destruction of trees, less waste)
Any book at your fingertips in a matter of minutes
Save a trip to the bookstore
Cons - You can't smell the pages
You can't hold that binding in your hands
At some point it may run out of battery power
No trips to the bookstore
The debate rages on.
Still I think if Santa's listening I might, just maybe, err on the side of the pros. If for no other reason than to keep up with the flow of the times as they roll on by. So, if one of those E-Readers, like the Kindle or the Nook should happen down my chimney...I wouldn't be too upset. After all, if I begin to experience the signs of withdrawl, if I am overcome by the desire to have an ACTUAL book in my hands, thankfully I can always do so.
That is all. Dustpan, please.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Fifteen minutes ago I had no idea how I was going to get along without her.
Fifteen minutes ago I imagined she'd be away forever.
And fifteen minutes ago I fell into a time machine. It morphed minutes into days and days into years - 3 and 1/2 of them to be exact.
Now it seems I'm on the other side of the leaving. The first born, the Independent Spirit is coming home again. To stay. Graduating early. She's bright and shiny, too.
Sound the bells.
Alert the media.
Batten down the hatches.
As the saying goes..."she's baaaaackkk."
What goes around really does come around.
In fifteen minutes - give or take.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
(She plays a mean game of soccer though.)
I will simply say that having her in my life has made the whole thing bearable. Brighter. Sweeter, kinder.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
If you aren't a parent, allow me to enlighten. The answer to that question is almost never good.
Seemed as if she found a teeny tiny kitten and decided to play foster mom.
If you've never been on the other side of that scenario allow me to enlighten. The outcome is almost never good.
You see, we have a small somewhat neurotic pup who pretty much owns this place we call home.
Leaves blowing in the wind tend to freak her out. Need I say more?
I knew my daughter was going to fall head over heels over head, tumbling in love like Jill down that hill. It was basic math. 1 Terminally Cute Kitty + Just About Anyone = Tru Luv 4 eva.
As much as I hated to be the one to bring the party down, I had to. It's not the right time for us to add another branch to our family tree. And pets cost money, i.e. - vets visits, food and paraphernalia.
Please don't get me wrong. I LOVE me some animals.
If I had a bigger house and budget I'd invite them all to drop by and hang a while. But I don't.
Lucky for me, my firstborn is a level headed kid. With only months to go before she graduates she knew she would be a little busy in the coming weeks.
She reluctantly found another home for the unofficial cutest kitten on the face of the earth.
I am pleased to report that Roo (yep she named it) is doing very well.
Lesson here? Love isn't really all you need. Sorry to disagree with those nice boys from England.
And now I return to life as I knew it with another crisis averted. Phew.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
You might presume I'm here to insist otherwise.
In fact I've said this all along. To myself. To anyone who would listen. Experience is a solid teacher. Can't argue with the truth as it comes to be known to you - firsthand.
Throughout my years as a young girl, I've had girls come into and out of my life. I've witnessed the unspoken rivalries, the insidious way some females have of sprouting claws just before they move in for the scratch and pounce. The supposed best of friends morphing into the treacherous Mean Girls.
It's sad but oh so true.
Case in point. This past month a female friend of mine was invited to her 25-year high school reunion. She immediately flew into a panic. "I have to lose ten pounds, fast," she told me. I assumed it was so that she could look her best for her old boyfriend, aka: the jerk that dumped her three weeks before the prom. Make him wish he'd never let her go. But no. That wasn't it. "Are you kidding? I want to one-up all those snotty bitches that thought they were better than me back then." And by snotty bitches she actually meant her former girlfriends, members of her very own clique.
Ahh celery stalks - here she comes.
As for me - I consider myself lucky now in that my very best girlfriend and I have an honest, trusting and rival-free relationship. But it took decades of drama to reach this result. Kind of like climbing a mountain in four inch heels. Very tricky. Have to watch your step.
Perhaps this new book will serve as a wake-up call. As women we should be a cumulative force of reckoning. We should band together in support of our similarities and not rip one another apart for the sake of envy and certainly not for the sake of a man.
And yet I fear it's more a force of nature rather than conditioning.
We are ladies first and sisters second. As the saying goes: It is what it is.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Also makes me wonder who our modern day classic writers are? Would Rowling fit the bill? Surely if sales are any indication. What then of Meyer, or Patterson or King?
Seems to me lately that the population of todays world is split into two types of people.
Those who write and those who don't.
Were that true then approximately 3 billion people are slumped over their keyboards at this very moment attempting to concoct a brand new way of saying the same old thing that's been said time and time again. And said VERY well at that. Is there really a novel way to spin a tale thats been spun and re-spun more than a hula hoop in the 1960's?
I wonder what the competition was like back in the days of Emerson and Irving? Was Whitman reading Tolstoy and thinking, "Damn, now that's good." Was Andersen mulling over Aesop with a "Why didn't I think of that?"
And now we return to our regularly scheduled programing. Unless you have Cable TV.
In that case we'll be back with you when we settle our financial wrangling.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Okay, so here's my beef. If I hear of one more actor/actress/singer/or somebody already famous, writing and releasing a book/novel, I'm going to scream.
It's not that they aren't people with the same passion for the written word as many of us lesser known (or completely unknown) authors. It's not that they aren't as capable or as entitled to coin a catchy phrase or two. But come on you guys, give the rest of us a break. Can't you simply be satisfied with being a household name, wealthy, and more often than not - envied just for being you? Do you really have to throw your already well-worn hat into a terrifically overcrowded book market?
I'm suggesting some consideration for us little guys. It's hard enough to compete with the millions of other non-famous writers vying for an inch or two of shelf space at Borders. Really hard.
(Blogger stomps foot. Pouts. Leaves the room without picking up her toys.)
Okay, I'm back. So sorry for that teeny rant. I hope no innocent stars were injured in the ruckus.
I'll get over it. It's Monday. It's raining. And my back hurts. Goes with the territory.
(Blogger offers a smile.)
Thanks for the ear.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
But then there's those in-between days. The ones where I'm sure I can write something but it'll require far more effort than I feel like putting forth. I call those moments my Avoidance Times. I've become quite the avoidance aficionado. Instead of writing I've been known to:
Vacuum under the couch cushions.(Today I found one black sock, the dog's bone, 3 extra-cheddar Goldfish crackers, and a dried up felt tipped marker.)
Choose a name for my next child (even though I have no intention of having anymore kids in this lifetime.)
Watch E-TV or Judge Judy.(Or American Idol or Modern Family.)
Put on my headphones and sing out loud to my entire IPOD playlist. (This if only the pup is home since she doesn't seem to mind the noise.)
To name just a few.
"You'll miss me," she warns.
And she's right. She scares me straight. Then I'm at it again. Typing, thinking, plotting and typing some more.
There is NO rest for the weary writer. I'm just sayin'...
Friday, September 24, 2010
Author X - (one day post querying approx. 10 agents): I'm feeling really positive. This is the beginning of great things for me. I've consulted 2 different psychics. Do the words,"Oprah" and "six-figure deal" mean anything to you? Eek. I have to check my e-mails. Again.
Author X (one week post queries): I got my first five rejections. Funny. They all said the same exact thing. I need some chocolate and Tylenol. This hurts.
Author X (second week post queries): There must be something wrong with my inbox. I'm not getting any new messages. Do you have the phone number to hotmail?
Author X (during week 3): Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I got a request for 50 pages!!! Life is good after all. I'm on my way!
Author X (at week 6): Please help me. I can't stop refreshing my e-mails. Please. Help.
Me:(suggests trip to movies without internet access and a bottle of Patron.)
Author X (week 8): The agent sent a form R on my partial. How does anyone EVER get published? This is impossible. I'll never write another word again as long as I live.
I suck. Really bad. I need more chocolate. More Tylenol.
Me: Uh-huh. (presents Hershey's, aspirin and extra large Patron.)
What are friends for?
To be continued...
Saturday, September 11, 2010
If you were anywhere else in the country on that September morning, you watched from your TV sets. Another gory program. Was it real? Or was it Hollywood glorifying violence yet again? But from here, where I live, less than 50 miles away from Ground Zero, it was the worst kind of reality. I can still recall stepping out my front door, hours, even days later and breathing in the odd scent in the air. Burning. Smoldering.
I ponder on this day, the topic of dreams once again. Only this time on a larger scale. Not just my own. The dreams of peace and what our world would be without prejudice, anger and hate. I think about the beautiful words of Langston Hughes who wrote:
"Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow."
The same can be said for hope. Hope for tolerance and sensitivity. Hope for our own future, for our children, for our dreams.
Disclaimer: Personal Opinion to Follow:
And just like so many others who have weighed in on the latest controversy...I have an opinion. Of course. I respect all those whose beliefs I don't quite understand. I wish them no harm or foul. However, I am a human being first, chock full of raw emotion and a sense of decency. A human first, a citizen of the Constitution second. It is with the utmost reverence that I add my two cents worth:
Dude - take the party someplace else.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
One day, just 24 hours ago, he wandered off to college. There he'll surely charm and frustrate his professors like only a young man can do.
What's that they say about things that happen in the blink of an eye? I'll tell you what happens...your tiny babies tower over you. They go, and do, and move in the exact opposite direction of you. It's how it's meant to be. In this tale which is the same as so many others written by parents whose kids aren't really kids anymore.
Let's face it. Mothers grow people.
And so it goes - in this story of a little boy.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
It made me think about the lengths we go to when our dreams lay waiting. It made me frightened. It reminded me that life makes no promises and that we presume there's always time. We presume bad things happen to the other guy. We whisper, "There but for the grace of God go I."
And we live our dreams with blind faith. Presuming. Imagining the best, fearlessly.
Until a sad tale presents itself and then...
I'll speak only for myself. I pause and say a prayer. Keep your dreams close and your blessings closer.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
"How do you do that? Especially now?" I was referring to the fact that it was rapidly approaching 100 degrees.
"Battery operated fans," the sweet woman answered. Huge beads of sweat hung at my forehead. She, in her long customary frock and prayer cap appeared cool as a homegrown cucumber.
Okay, I'm spoiled. Way too used to modern conveniences. So I got to thinking, what could I give up, if I had to, even for just a day? Electricity? Nope. My car?
Negative. Makeup, jewelry, hair? Nada to the third power.
There must be something, ONE thing that I could do without, temporarily, for a taste at how it might be to live a simpler life. Right? I decided to shun the computer for the time I was away, even though the hotel had internet access.
It was weird at first. I had to face the cold hard facts at hand. I lead a complicated, twentieth century existence. It's overflowing, spilling out all over the place and at times, impossible to contain. That's why we escape every year or so, to wonder at those folks who clip-clop by in horse drawn buggies with a kind wave. To imagine for a minute, an hour or 48 of them how it might be to shed it all, leave the mayhem behind and be content just the same. The Amish seem united, spiritual, committed, close-knit, a community. Curious. Entertaining. An enigma. Happy.
SO here I am, back in the land of all things electric, the laptop resting on my knees, my inbox jam packed at 91 unread messages. I miss the cornfields, the quiet, the wide open spaces. But I'm comfortable in the air conditioning, hitting delete, delete, delete. Can't have it both ways, I guess.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I would begin by saying that opportunity ISN'T at your doorstep waiting for you to answer. It's hidden out there in the world and if you don't go and seek and scour and seek some more you may never find it.
Good things don't come to those who WAIT. Waiting implies a passivity that'll get you frustrated very quickly. Good things come to those who work like crazy to make them happen, even when so much time passes that you forget why you even wanted it in the first place.
And what about that famous one-liner courtesy of Jerry McGuire; "You complete me." Wrong. YOU complete you. You came into this world a singular unit and you're going out the very same way. The faster you learn to rely on yourself, and not others to provide for you, the better off you'll be.
Your next day is not a guarantee. It's a gift. Assume at any given moment it can be taken away, just like that. If you choose to moan and groan your way through life, it'll pass the same way it will if you smile through it. So smile once in a while just for the hell of it.
The best laid plans will often go awry so make more than one. Plan B is likely to end up a better option so for God's sake, get a notebook and pen and draw a map if you have to, from here to there. Then follow it.
Anyway, chances are if I said any of those things I may not be invited back. Not a problem. I'll save my preaching for the choir. In the meantime may the Class of 2010 be the writers of their own stories, the directors of their plots and the authors of many happy endings before they reach The End.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
So let me see if I understand - am I to ingest a heeping helping, a tablespoon in the morning with an orange juice chaser? Should I sift out the worms or are they part of the magic? And where exactly am I supposed to acquire this dirt? Will there be a cropping up of health food stores with a new aisle specifically catering to the mud aficionado? Or is it wiser to cut out the middleman and buy wholesale right from your own backyard?
All kidding aside, I report these findings with the best of intent. I'm a big believer in the holistic remedy. We need only look toward the Mother of all things Natural to find the answers to some of life's most troubling dilemmas.
The gardeners, farmers and soil toilers of this world have no doubt known of this benefit for some time. And most five year olds, too. It wasn't so long ago that my son was a little boy whose sole purpose was to dig his way to China. He'd wile away hour after blissful hour in a pile of dirt bigger than he was then, smile firmly planted on his face.
I am pleased as punch with this scientific revelation. It's all about having an open mind and a daily romp in the earth's finest. Can you dig it?
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Fast forward eight hours. Post shower. No. Not sunburned. Itchy. Very, very itchy. While I'd been busy with my s & s (sun and sand) and r & r (that ones a given) it seems a group of hungry mosquitoes were going to town on my flip-side. Maybe not a group. Maybe a small third-world mosquito country - one of those starving insect nations who'd sufficiently put an end to their worldly famine courtesy of my bare back. Shoot, when I say covered, I do mean covered in bites.
I am a humanitarian. I donate when I can, crusade when I can't. I have a healthy respect for the food chain and the earth's ecosystem. But, I mean, come on you guys, spread the wings, spread the love. Save the fangs for another happy camper.
From here on out I will decorate my beach body with some OFF. Now excuse me while I run for some more calamine lotion.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I will finally see my manuscript evolve into something I can hold in my hands!
Yeah BUT, so will everyone else. What if people hate it?
One year will go by fast. Before I know it I will be a published author.
Yeah BUT that's assuming the publisher doesn't disband/change their mind/anything bad that equals squashing the whole deal.
For anyone, if there's anyone at all beside me keeping track...this has been a long time coming. The goal now is to disarm the devil. They say it's not the destination so much as it's the journey. Getting there has to be part of the experience, part of the fun. Yeah, but I'm so damn impatient, nervous, READY. Or not.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Affix Krazy Glue to eyelashes. Let dry. Peel, slowly.
Query literary agents for representation.
Roll naked body over bed of razor blades followed by rolling in bed of salt, slowly.
Forward requested material to agent. Wait, wonder, wither and wilt. In that order.
Visit oral surgeon for scheduled root canal. Refuse Novocaine. Instead suggest the biggest needle. Plunge excessively. Do not rinse.
Receive rejection pile with enthusiasm. Write even though you're fairly certain you suck.
Face new day with hope.
Write something new.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Since last we met, over ten years ago, my babies have all but grown. You said they would do so quickly. In fact, you were the first to say, “Don’t blink.” Someone wrote a song about that recently. It’s a big hit. You probably know that the marriage thing didn't pan out. Maybe you suspected the outcome right from the start. It would have done no good to warn me, though. I wouldn’t have listened. In your silent wisdom you recognized this was a lesson I had to live and own myself. I did.
I play with words now. Do you remember when that was our game? We’d choose our favorites, most and least. I always picked the obvious – love, puppy, angels/ murder, rape, pain. You chose the ones I had to think about; tranquility, freedom and light, anxiety, violence and bigotry. It was an ember that became a white hot flame, my love of language now an inferno. I take these words and twist them, bend them, string them together pages long. The game has evolved.
Since last we met, I’ve come to terms with regret. Missed opportunities, fumbled chances, I never did get to say goodbye. I wonder if it would have mattered. Your mind left you to fend for yourself, a stranger to your family and to the reflection in the mirror. But the illness could not rob who you were deep inside; the woman named after the most glorious month, the one where April showers leave their flowers and where the days grow warmer and kinder. It suited you well.
If wishing made all things possible, this would not be a one-sided conversation and my questions no longer go unanswered. It is said you’ve moved on to a better place. Have you? Is there no suffering in your world, nothing to fix, no reason to cry? Was Papa there to meet you? Have you made a home with him once again? You are now the keeper of secrets, the holder of all information, the stuff of mere mortal speculation. I always knew that you really did know everything.
I’m certain there’s more that I could say. Perhaps one day we’ll finish this talk. Until then, until next we meet, you are never too far from me, my grandmother, my friend.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Hero - One who displays great courage and self-sacrifice in the face of danger or adversity.
The Talmud says - A hero is he who conquers his urges.
There are great men out there. My Dad is one. My significant other is another. Men of honor. Men with a heart, a soul, a conscious. Men of value. Men worthy or praise, applause, adulation.
Philandering golf pros do not good heroes make.
People hold your cheers. Keep your hands clasped in prayer. Ask the powers that be for sense in a world where a selfish, heartless man can ration away his numerous transgressions by explaining that he is "addicted."
Give. Me. A. Break.
Teach our young men, our little boys that their bad behavior will not earn them any kudos.
Forgiveness can only be given once restitution is met. Three under par does not equal restitution.
I miss the days when there was an illusion of value. Even if it was just smoke and mirrors. I liked the reflection.
We must choose our hero's with care. We owe it to ourselves to hold out for honesty, for apologies
offered with sincerity, grace and humility.
And now, I'll trade my soap box for a nine iron and swing away.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
In my mind I have followed it, chased it, hunted it down imagining that one ordinary afternoon I'll stumble on the place that time goes to pass. I see a giant sinkhole, twice the size of Texas, hell - twice the size of Canada. Inside are the birthdays, the collection of holidays and the massive quantity of every days that flit on by. It's a cemetery of sorts, with headstones and grave markers that remind me of my 24th year, my 34th and then some. There are flowers, orange and pink and pale yellow ones at the site of the times that were most adored - my babies being born, the first time I fell in love, a vacation with my parents when I was still little enough to think they'd always be like that.
If it sounds as if I'm waxing melancholy, really I'm not. I'm finding that it's a process, step-by-step, toward the acceptance that time is our friend when its on our side, yet very often, it can turn on us when we least expect it. Then its like a locomotive barrelling toward oblivion.
My goal is to arrive at a juncture of my own, where I have a healthy respect for the passing of time while simultaneously, somehow defying it.
When (if) I find a way - I'll be sure to post back. Till then...the clock is ticking and I've got other things to do.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Then I remember that this is home, that I left here for a while years ago only to come rushing back to the arms that welcomed me without a hitch. To some extent I am defined by the map and my spot in the topography. I have my own root system here, albeit currently covered over in about a foot of icy, white accumulation.
Long Island loyalty is a challenge in February. At times it's a challenge no matter what month we're in. Yet, there's something to be said for staying the course and being faithful.
Besides, the flights out are so damn expensive.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
So on Friday, during my usual ritualistic a.m. jaunt for cleanliness, I stepped onto the bath mat only to have my both feet fly out from under me. It was a great fall, a backwards flop. Humpty Dumpty would have been proud as punch.
Now two days later it feels kind of like I've been run over by a very large, very angry Mack truck. My bruised spine, stiff neck and sore muscles remind me how fortunate I was to escape with just those minor injuries.
My goal today is to issue a public service announcement to all those individuals who typically approach their bathrooms with reckless abandon. It is a simple warning:
That place is slippery when wet!
Please, people - wash. But when you do remember one little word. Traction.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
If I look on the bright side, (and there always IS one, right?) I have a home to brave the elements where the heating system works just fine. And if past history counts for anything, soon enough I'll find myself fussing over the high humidity and seeking out the nearest air conditioner.
Yet, the thermometer's always greener on the other side.
This morning my middle finger is adorned with duct tape. Not some weird fashion statement but an attempt to rid my appendage of a stubborn wart that took up residency about one month ago near my knuckle. I'm fairly certain that in a month or two it'll be gone. But for the time being, I remain wrapped, layered, covered up - hidden and healing. I am a human onion, longing to be peeled.
George Herbert said "Every mile is two in winter." Lace up your faux-fur lined booties people. And walk on.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
That said, I warn you, I'm admittedly a wee bit cranky. We are not amused. We are not having fun. Hormones are the pooper every good party needs. Stand clear. I'm Vesuvius, ready to blow at any given moment.
Men will never know the anguish of "reverse puberty" bless their ignorant souls.
Jealous much? Groan....