Monday, December 1, 2008

Today the part of Laura will be played by a Mime.

Quiet. I recently experienced a lot of quiet. Not by choice. Nope. It was me vs. a door. The door won.

My daughter, Cat, and I were trying to hang a door onto my bedroom. We figured out which way was up. Cat carefully measured where each hinge should go, and we painstakingly screwed the hinges connecting the door & the doorframe. It wasn’t easy. My sonic screwdriver’s battery ran out of power (ok-It’s really a cordless screwdriver, but as a fan of Doctor Who…..) Using a manual Phillips head was exhausting. Finally, we remembered that my drill could be used as a screwdriver, and we got the hinges all attached. Took us an entire hour to do all this!

With a flourish, we closed the door. Bampf. It hung at an angle, wouldn’t close, and there was no clearance at the top. Cat was muttering at the door, and near tears. Me? In frustration, I let out a scream, directly at the door.

We both calmed down, and agreed to call Sue, a friend with super skills. However, for me, it was too late. Almost immediately, I could feel a roughness to my voice.

The next morning, I was reduced to whispers. Bad. Part of my day job involves occasionally using the phone. Couldn’t be done, with my ‘obscene phone call voice’! Spending two entire days trying not to talk was neither easy nor fun. To say that I talk a lot is an understatement.

The absolute worst part of this whole ordeal was when the inevitable question would come—“So, how did you lose your voice?” To which I had no choice but to reply, in whispers, “I yelled at this door…” !

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Writing Journey

I began blogging because of an urge to write – regardless of whether or not anyone reads it. I have a need to write.

Like any kid, I first wanted to be a nurse, a fireman, a ballerina or a princess, preferably all four at once. But from the very first day that I fell in love with reading, all I’ve ever truly wanted to be is a writer. That was back in third grade, when we were reading the Boxcar Children series. As I watched my line of stars grow on the reward’s poster, I finally realized that it was someone’s actual job to write these wonderful stories! Why couldn’t that be my job?

While the path of my life meandered as much as a cow in a clover field, I finally came to realize that ‘someday’ had to begin now. I gathered up the courage, and sent out three articles. A year or so later, I had my first published article, August 07 issue of Guideposts Magazine.

Since then, I’ve struggled to find my rhythm in writing. Thanks to such wondrous books as The Writer Mama and Time to Write, I began working within a writing schedule, with set goals.

My comfort zone is in writing ‘the personal essay’, as found within Guideposts. I am currently working on several. Recently, I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and started learning to write fiction. This is so exciting!

Last week, I mailed out a piece to the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition; a piece I have great hopes for. I’ve another that I simply need to polish before sending out.

And I’ve this great idea for a book—in fact, I think I’ll go work on it now!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Writer Mama?

Am I still a Writer Mama? Because Christina Katz’s book, Writer Mama, is one of my favorites, and I frequent her blog,, I found myself asking this very question. Most of the writers who participate in her blog are mothers of small children. When I first found this insightful book, I was the mother of three teenagers, all still in High School. My children were older, but still I felt that I fit in. I was a mother of school-age children. I was a writer with one published article. So, with the others in this unique writer’s community, I participated, commented and did copious amounts of writing.

Now however, my life is different. My twin sons, Ben & Robert, have graduated, and moved out on their own. My daughter, Catherine, has also graduated. She is still living at home. (“Hey, I know how good I have it,” she says.) She is a college student, attending the local community college.

The question is, now that my children are technically adults, am I still considered a Writer Mama? Or am I a fraud, no longer ‘one’ with Tiffany, Heather, and Marnini and all the other creative souls on Christina’s blog? Do I have to shelve my copy of Writer Mama?

No! That’s what I have decided. I am still a mother. While my children no longer need my constant supervision, they still need my prayers, encouragement, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I will never stop being their mother.

I am still a writer, even more so, it seems of late. I’m actually writing this blog post long hand, while sitting in a Tim Hortons just two buildings down from the local branch of my daughter’s community college. Every Monday night, after I drop Catherine off at her English Comp class, I spend the intervening 3 hours holed up here. I sip very hot tea, eat the occasional donut (pumpkin spice tonight) and write.

So, yes, I have decided that I am still amongst the ranks of these creative Goddesses. Hey, Christina, I am a Writer Mama!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New Beginnings

This week, I'm facing a new beginning. My daughter, my youngest child, Catherine, is heading off to college. For the first time in over a dozen years, I no longer have any kids in regular public school. No more yellow school buses, parental forms to sign, birthday cupcakes to bake, no school concerts.

Instead, I watch as she prepares for her first college class at the local community college. A new back pack with wheels, for crossing the campus, very expensive books, and of course, forms. However, this time, she's the one filling them out, signing them.

Strangely, I find that I have the same worries as before (I know, I know...I do worry too much!). Will she be able to find her classes? Does she have the right school supplies? Will she make friends? Oddly, this familiarity comforts me.

Whether I'm ready for it or not, this change is coming. This Wednesday, she heads off to her very first college Art class, followed by a gym class. Then on to the academics. We are as prepared for this as we can be, or she is at least. All I can do is sit on the wayside, with fresh baked Snickerdoodles on hand, to listen as she tells about her first day, and try not to flash back to the similar scene many years ago. Then it was a little girl, bow in her dark curls, wearing a ruffled dress, regaling me about the adventures of kindergarten.

Funny thing is, back then she had a pink backpack too. Guess some things stay the same, despite the changes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By The Way....

By the way... are there any words that strike terror into a woman's heart quite like "By The Way". Whatever follows is Not going to be good. You just know it deep inside. Your heart pounds. What will it be?

By the way.... It's 9 o'clock at night, shopping day is tomorrow, and your child suddenly remembers that he needs 24 frosted cupcakes for class, tomorrow. By the way....It's pouring rain, and your daughter remembers that she needs to complete a science project, due tomorrow. Can you run her to the store for supplies? By the way, I need a permission form and payment for school, tomorrow morning. By the way, my teacher wants you to call her. By the way, my coat zipper broke. (This one, spoken on the way to school on a very chilly, snowy Monday morning!)

There is only a very brief nano-second in the comma between the words, "by the way," and what follows, but during that comma, my heart pounds, my breath comes quicker, and I immediately imagine a dozen senarios, all bad. Because of this, I always feel a sense of relief, because almost nothing I can imagine is as bad as the real situation! After the relief comes the 'oh, no' reaction. Then it passes, and I handle whatever it is, though I confess to the occasional mutterings!

By The Way.....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Murphy Mornings

Have you ever had a Murphy Morning? It's that morning, when a multitude of things just keep going wrong. You find yourself wondering just What is going on? You lose your keys. The socks you put on have a hole in them. You miss your cup & pour creamer onto the table. You trip over the cat (again), knock over the trash can, and step into her water bowl. While bending over to clean all this up, your only clean pair of dress pants rip. And that's just the beginning!

I have often had these Murphy Mornings. They occur in direct porportion to the worst possible time to have them. And when they occur on a Monday....well, there's nothing worse than a Murphy Monday Morning!

Want to hear something truly weird, maybe a bit eccentric? I am in the midst of a Murphy morning....and yet, feeling pretty happy. I made the concious decision this morning, as I was picking up trash & mopping up a yogurt/pudding smear that despite everything that would happen today, I would attempt to be happy despite the circumstances.

Thus far, its working. I am fighting a headache, the outfit I chose for today is proving to be an uncomfortable one, I am craving sugar & caffiene (I avoid breakable things on murphy days, for obvious reasons), it's dark & dismal outside, my budget is screwed...I could go on and on.... but despite it all, I am feeling happy. I just hope I can keep this up... I am having the kind of day wherein I would not be surprised to have a Huffalump come running out of the woods & into the path of my car, causing me to veer into the nearest ditch.... and ye t I am trying & currently succeeding in being happy.