Sunday, June 29, 2014

Currently: the month of June trembled like a butterfly

Current Books: I have been working through a writing book by Jessica Bell, alongside Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (a reread). I'm finally reading The Alchemyst, about Nic Flamel. I recently finished Harmless by Dana Reinhardt. In the car, the boys and I are listening to Loser by Jerry Spinelli and I have Melissa Joan Hart's memoir playing off and on.

Current Playlist: I downloaded the Regina Spektor song from the opening of Orange is the New Black. I also keep returning to "Fighting for Nothing" by Meg & Dia.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Staying at a friend's house for multiple nights when I really need to be finishing up some school stuff with the kiddos.

Current Colors: I keep picking up clothes in red and aqua.

Current Food: Leila made brownies last night. Matt grilled steaks. I like food so much better when I don't have to stress about creating it.

Current Drink: Leila brought coffee home from Hawaii and it is yummy.

Current Favorite Favorite: Joshilyn spoke at her church and I always love hearing her speak, so I listened (via this link) and sat in my bed crying. The big issue I have been struggling with lately, the fear of not being welcome at the table because of who I want to bring with me… Other fears as well, but that one… It's a good sermon, well-worth your time.

Current Triumph: Amazing feedback on my manuscript.

Current Bane-of-my-Existence: Boys' bad attitudes and how their play time always devolves into a brawl.

Current Indulgence: I'm taking a poetry class online. I'm letting my brain play with words and images and meter for a bit. I think indulging in my poetry love is actually good for my fiction as well.

Current Mood: Hopeful

Current Outfit: We are getting ready to head to church. I'm in dark skinny jeans and a bright blue Piko top.

Current #1 Blessing: I can't help but thank God for my husband. He sees my writing as my career, even though I haven't sold a book yet. I have the freedom to devote as much time as I want to perfecting my query, trading manuscripts with my critique partner, researching agents to make sure I only query those I truly think will like my book and be good to work with in the long-term. I cannot imagine putting in the writing-hours I do if I also had to work full-time and had a husband who expected June Cleaver. God bless my man.

Current Quote“What is the greatest mistake a parent can make?' she asked. 'To believe that your children will be just like you” 
― Michael ScottThe Enchantress

Current Photo: From my second wedding this month.

Title taken from this lovely bit of Neruda.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


In honor of Mandy and Will tying the knot today, I'm posting the poem I wrote for them. And a photo of Mandy and me, snapped at her rehearsal dinner.

I've known both Mandy and Will since they were in high school.  I'm amazed by them. They bless each other and bring joy. Having walked alongside Mandy through some heavy stuff, I know Will is good for her because he makes her shine. He brought a lightness to her spirit that has been absent in previous relationships.

I love you two.


She lay on a bathroom floor,
sat beside me in a green field,
whispered wishes,
hidden bruises,
tomorrow's dreams.

She's beautiful.

He hoped for healing,
disappeared inside the haze
of self and memory,
walked out of pain
a man.

He's beautiful.

I watch them laugh.
He holds her hand.

Tomorrow is a bathroom floor,
a green field,
a haze and a healing.
It holds bruises,
hides dreams,
changes self
and memory.

She walks down an aisle.
He waits for her.

He holds her hand.
I watch them vow
till death do part two hearts.
They will walk through pain
and joy,
out of this wedding and this church,
into hope and whispered
into marriage that is 
dreams and history
daily woven intricately,
loving unconditionally.

They are beautiful.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

She Left With Roxanne

Roxanne was perfect.


Jules knew it the moment she spotted her, wearing sleek black and silver, her angles sharp and curves soft.

“You are mine,” Jules said aloud.

A man in khakis glanced up and arched one eyebrow.

Jules ignored him. She left with Roxanne.

That was ten years ago, ten tumultuous years. A lot changed, like her job in sales. Now she was VP of distribution. Jules used to wear wedges, and now she wore stilettos. She used to drive a used sedan, and now she drove an SUV with so many luxuries, it could double as a spa. Her hair had been long and wavy that day, when she first laid eyes on Roxanne. Now it was cut short and kept straight, hitting her jaw at just the right angle.

The truth of her loss hasn’t sunk in.

Jules stands alone in the cosmetics aisle at CVS. Her new circle of friends would be appalled to see her there. They all purchase their foundation and eye shadow from Sephora and stores of that ilk. Jules does not. She feels like a cheater even going in those stores. It was here, in this very aisle, that she spotted Roxanne, that she approached her confidently and admired her perfect balance of sexiness and no-nonsense know how.

“Ma’am?” A young man approaches. “This is the last one. I looked everywhere.”

He hands Jules a tube of lipstick.

She remembers taking Roxanne home, peeling like fruit, pressing her lips against perfection. No one and no thing had ever made her feel that good.

Now she’s crying. In the cosmetics aisle. At CVS.

“I’m sorry,” the clerk mumbles. He looks at his feet and then backs slowly away from the crazy lady in her black suit and high heels. You get all types in a 24-hour drug store, but this is a new one for him.

Jules exits the store. She doesn’t stop to pay, and the cashier doesn’t notice. The young man does, but he keeps quiet. Something about her demeanor makes him think it’s not worth it. That woman isn’t all there.

In her car, Jules fingers the plastic cylinder. She watches the sunlight glint off the red waxy surface of the lipstick. One last time, she flips the tube upside down and reads the label, the name of the color…


And, beneath that, a yellow sticker...



Thanks, Sasha, for your offering of a woman discovering her favorite lipstick has been discontinued after ten years.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Come Play With Me!

I'm thinking of a series of vignettes on my blog. I'd love some participation.

Offer me a character name.

Give me a life situation.

Or offer me some other detail.

I will write something using your offering.

Ready… GO!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I Am Not the Sun

I had a bad day yesterday.

Or, rather, I got bad news yesterday. My personal rule: I can wallow in self-pity for 24 hours and then I must move on.

I didn't even use the whole 24 hours. My critique partner was able to drag me out of the mire. God bless her. Today, I am focusing on my next steps and not dwelling on the negative feelings. Also, a friend stopped by to give me a book, and it just happens to be a book on my wish list. I'm hoping it will knock me out of my reading funk. Lately, I pick up books and read a chapter or two before getting bored. Even good books.

My oldest is at camp this week. My youngest has VBS. So I've had a few hours of peace each day. That's been nice. Yesterday I sat in Starbucks with a friend for a long time. Today I have been working in my husband's office and not one child has interrupted. Heavenly.

I'm still doing my morning pages. It really is helpful. I'm also rereading Writing Down the Bones. Sometimes I need those reminders, the encouragement to keep my basic tools in good working order.

I have some friends going through REALLY hard stuff right now.




I'm still doing a lot of waiting. But my waiting is nothing compared to the struggles these friends are facing. I am trying to keep perspective. I am not the sun. No one revolves around me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Don't Do Normal Things

I'm trying to bump myself out of a funk by returning to morning pages. It has helped a bit in just three days. Tuesday, I took my notebook, my copy of Writing Down the Bones and my favorite pen to our church. I found a Sunday School room with a comfy couch, closed the door, and dove in. I meditated. I stared out a window. I thought about things. I read. I wrote. I got to the bottom of something that was following me around, mentally.

It was good.

Yesterday, I didn't get to go out for my morning pages, but I wrote anyway. I scribbled memories for three pages. Then, I took myself to visit a friend and knock some items off my errand list. There are certain people in my life who will ALWAYS improve my day with their presence. Toni is one of those people, and a couple of hours with her did me good.

Today, I wrote after a meeting at church, and then I did some creative play with media for Sunday, running everything through on the big screens to make sure all is in place.

Now, I'm plotting a fun dessert for family night (baked s'more bars) and a yummy black bean soup for dinner tomorrow. I've almost finished season 6 of Mad Men, and Orange is the New Black returns this weekend. The Fault in Our Stars comes out this weekend as well. I'm planning to see it with a friend next week.

I'm reading Pratchett and Steinbeck. Because I don't do normal things.

Saturday is Nattie Day. I don't suppose anyone will see me in my tiara, but I'll wear it anyway. I have purple Jamberries for my toes as well.

7 years.

She has now missed as much of the 21st century as she saw.

The whole heaven/afterlife issue still makes my chest tighten and tears spring to my eyes. I'm not sure I will ever find peace with that, not this side of the Jordan, anyhow.

And let's move on, because now I want to cry.

If I am true to what I say, "Write what scares you," I suppose I'll have to write about the afterlife sometime.

No time soon.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

How are YOU, dear reader?

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