Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In which I think out loud

"I gotta tell my story. It's the only way I can make things right." ~Jed, a character in my new WIP

Jed said these words to me yesterday--along with many others. He's the first character I've met in quite some time who's been very willing to divulge his story with little prompting from me. If I let him go on this way--telling me bits and pieces of his life--I can see the story forming. It's only when I start to second-guess him that the direction of the story becomes unclear.

I second-guessed Jed today.

Jed appears to me as an octogenarian with a need to tell about the things that have happened to him throughout his life, showing how the challenges he faced led him to his current situation. The story he tells encompasses not only his early life but also his later years with his own family--his wife and children--and highlights his regrets and the wisdom he hopes to impart to his grandchildren, in the hope that they won't make his mistakes.

Today, however, I started to wonder if the story would best be told with a focus only on Jed's youth, written as a young adult novel about how he coped with his mother's illness and how that illness affected him and shaped his character. I can see two possible challenges if I choose this scenario: first, I've never written young adult novels, and second, I've never written a male main character. Neither of these challenges is insurmountable, of course--there's a first time for everything, after all--but I admit that I'm a little nervous about this second scenario due mainly to my lack of knowledge of the young adult market. Reading current YA books would help, of course, and to this end, on Twitter today I asked for recommendations of good, well-written young adult novels with strong male main characters. I would appreciate your suggestions, too--just in case I choose to take this path.

I think in the end, I'm probably going to have to try writing both stories to see which one fits Jed best. No matter which focus I choose, this book will be a challenge for me both in its subject matter and in its form--but it's a challenge that I'm looking forward to.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memoriam

They fell, but o'er their glorious grave,
Floats free the banner of the cause they died to save.

~Francis Marion Crawford, American writer

Let us never forget.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Going along for the ride

"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable." ~Francis Bacon, Sr., English lawyer and philosopher

There's nothing better than a story idea that comes out of nowhere, sparking the imagination with no provocation. Each morning as a writing warm-up, I write 100 words on whatever topic comes to mind. This morning I was penning words about my WIP when I found myself writing instead about an octogenarian named Jed. I have no idea where this character came from or why he started to tell me his story at that moment, but I allowed him to talk. And talk. He's been walking beside me all day, and I've listened carefully as he's shared stories about his life: about his father, who died at a young age; about the years when Jed ran away from home; about the wife that Jed recently lost and the children who rarely visit... All day long, the words have continued to flow. I'm not sure exactly where this character will lead me--I don't know whether he's a main character in a short story or a minor character in a novel--but I'm thrilled to be going along for the ride.

These moments don't come to me often; a character I've never met before doesn't usually start whispering his life story. But I'm always grateful for these unsought thoughts, these ideas that come unbidden to take root in my mind and heart.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Family really is what it's all about

I wrote this short paragraph earlier this afternoon:
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are visiting today. The kids were so excited to see them, especially my son, who, as he waited for them to arrive, kept saying over and over "I'm getting so tired of waiting" until my husband and I, though a little exasperated, just looked at each other and laughed. Right now, my daughter is napping upstairs while my son--my inquisitive, happy little boy--is outside with his Aunt Kathy, collecting bugs with his new bug detecting kit, which he just received from his long-awaited and very loved grandma and aunt.
It's been a wonderful visit. Tomorrow the two of them will come over for brunch before making the three-hour drive back to Pennsylvania. After they leave, I hope to catch up on my writing and my blog commenting. I hope all of my friends in the Unites States are having a great Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Silver lining

Today's 100 words:
It's another dreary, rainy day here in Western New York. My husband commented on his way out the door this morning that he's beginning to think he lives on the West Coast. It's true that we usually don't get quite so much rain here. I'm not crazy about it, but I try to see the positives: the kids love stomping in the puddles, my son likes the worms and using his Thomas umbrella, and the rain cleanses the town and brings new life to the lawn and flowers--something bright and cheerful to look forward to after the storms pass.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My kids are playing in the living room, and all is right in my world

I tweeted this earlier today:

The kids are pretending to give each other baths in the doll's bathtub. I love just to sit and listen to them!

I've been trying to clean the house today because my mother-in-law and sister-in-law will be visiting this weekend, so the kids have been playing on their own. Listening to them play together and talk to each other warms my heart, and I often stop whatever I'm doing--washing dishes, folding clothes, scrubbing crayon marks off the walls--and eavesdrop on them. If I have the camcorder handy, sometimes I'll lurk around the corner and try to record them before they notice me and stop doing whatever cute thing they happen to be doing. Other times, like today, I'll take pictures of my son "washing" my daughter's hair as she sits in a white plastic tub that is way too small for even her tiny, 22-month-old bottom.

These moments--these small moments of everyday life--are so precious. They are the moments that make me glad I'm a mother, glad that I've been given such a huge and awesome responsibility. Despite the many times when the scene isn't quite as  idyllic--when someone is screaming and someone else is crying for a diaper  change--I love my job. I love my life. My family is everything. And even though there are still so many things I want for myself in life--to be a published author is just one--my children are more important right now. They need me, and I'm learning every day just how much I need them too.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Just wait until your father gets home!"

When I was a kid, my little sister tattled on me for playing doctor with the neighbor boy, and my angry mom said she was going to tell my dad. I remember screaming, "If you tell him, I'm running away," and I filled my backpack with several books and stomped out into the backyard, where I sat reading on the steps until dinnertime. Mom appeared in the doorway then and said she'd changed her mind and wouldn't tell, so I reluctantly went into the house for goulash. More than thirty years later, I still wonder if she ever told him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Favorite

A few days ago, my friend called to vent about her mother. She said that all her life, she has struggled to do right in her mother's eyes, and no matter what she does, it's never good enough. On the other hand, she said, her sister has always been the perfect one who can do no wrong, the one their mother adores. The favorite.

I remember having similar feelings when I was growing up. Our parents never said that they had favorites, but I think my sister and brother and I all thought we sensed something that drew our parents to one of us more than the others. My sister, who is about two and a half years younger than I am, has asserted for many years that I am our dad's favorite, our brother is our mom's favorite, and she is...there. According to her, her only purpose in being born was to serve as a playmate for me. (Although it certainly wasn't our parents' intention that she feel this way, she is partially correct. Our brother is thirteen years older than I am, and our parents always felt that he should have had a sibling close in age as a playmate and confidant. When I was born all those years later, they decided that they would have another baby so that I would never feel alone, like our brother did. This is why my sister feels that she was born only to make sure I was never lonely. But that's only part of the story. The part that she forgets is that our parents never would have tried to conceive her if they didn't want her.)

My sister is correct on her other point, however: growing up, I did feel like my dad's favorite a lot of the time. He would let me get away with things that my mom never would. I don't know that I was his favorite, however. I know that my dad was excited when I was born because he had wanted a daughter, so in that sense, I might have been his favorite, but my mom and I, although we had a few volatile years when I was a teenager, are also close and have been ever since I left those turbulent years. Yet if anyone had asked me when I was a kid if my parents had favorites, I would have answered that they did.

Now that I'm a mother, however, my perspective has changed. I realize that as much as it seemed as though my parents had favorites, I know now that they didn't. Motherhood has taught me that parents do love their kids equally. Although children are different in so many respects, the love parents have for their kids is exactly the same. Now, there are times when I might like one of my kids more than the other: when one is being an angel and the other is acting up or when one sits quietly and the other screams because she didn't get her way and then cries until she vomits all over me, for example. But through it all, no matter what challenges they give me, no matter what they do or say, the love I have for them is the same.

No favorites.

Monday, May 23, 2011

What I Know

Writers are often told to write what they know. I personally don't subscribe to that belief--I think writers should write what they love--but for the record, what follows is a short list of what I know, all of which I learned today:

1. I know that a young child won't sit still and be quiet in a waiting area no matter how many times you ask him or how many snacks you offer. Also, the loudness of the child's voice is directly proportional to how many people are glaring at the child's mother.

2. I know that when you go into a car repair shop to have just one thing fixed, the mechanics, great sleuths that they are, will never fail to find a half-dozen more necessary repairs. This is good for safety's sake, of course, but bad for the credit card.

3. Similarly, I know that car repair costs breed like the proverbial rabbits. Today's $700 brake job will unfortunately be followed by tomorrow's $800 bill for new tires.

4. Finally, I know that a child who cries because she is tired of waiting four hours for the aforementioned brakes to be fixed will climb up on your lap, then vomit all the food she ate in her entire life all over your shirt and pants, much to your horror and embarrassment and the other customers' disgust. You must then sit there with no change of clothes while the repairs that you were just told would take "only another ten minutes" proceed to take nearly an hour. (If it weren't for a kindly older couple who jumped up to help me, I have no idea how I would have extricated myself from that mess. I was drenched. I literally could not stand up.)

So today, those are the things I know. Do I think they're story fodder? Perhaps. Do I intend to use them? Not if I can help it. It's more than enough just to live them.

Trust me.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Unfortunately, you're never too young to be humiliated

Notice: The post planned for tonight has been postponed due to the writer's extreme exhaustion from a weekend spent chasing small children around the trash-strewn grounds of a local festival; pushing a double stroller uphill through crowds of people all seemingly going in the opposite direction; and standing in endless lines to buy corn dogs and french fries that were destined to end their lives on the ground rather than in any child's mouth. The writer hopes you will accept this humble replacement post. She assures that what it lacks in length it makes up for in her humiliation factor. Please enjoy.

When I was in the third grade, I walked into the wrong classroom one morning. I couldn't find my desk, and a girl standing near the chalkboard looked at me strangely as I, assuming she was new, blathered on about how the teacher must have moved our desks around again and "I'll just have to find mine later 'cause I really have to pee. The bus ride is sooo long..." Then, as I left the classroom bathroom, I finally--FINALLY--realized I was in the wrong room, and, red-faced and wanting to cry, I grabbed my bag, tried to ignore the smirking girl, and tripped out the door.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It's nearly 11 p.m., and we just got back from taking the kids to the Lilac Festival. We enjoyed the food and the rides, but we're all exhausted and want nothing more than to sleep. The kids are in bed now, and I think that's where I'll be headed in a few minutes. I hope you all enjoyed your Saturday and have a fun and productive Sunday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Daddy's Little Girl

Today's 100 words:

I am the oldest girl in my family, and I remember being twelve and seeing the look on my father's face when he noticed I was wearing makeup--a flash of sadness, another of nervousness at what the makeup meant: certainty that I was growing older, maybe becoming interested in guys--and I knew that in that second, my dad was worrying about the years to come, visualizing a procession of boys knocking on his door, then whisking his daughter to who knows where for who knows what. And I understood--I really did--but I still wore the makeup.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I've mentioned before how my current fiction project is stalled. For whatever reason, I've reached a point I can't seem to see past. In my May 15th blog post, I talked about how I haven't worked on this WIP in weeks; by work, I mean that I haven't written any new words. However, I have been thinking about it constantly--even dreaming about it--but when it comes to producing words, I can't do it. I don't know if I'm blocked or just too close to the story or what, but I just can't seem to get anywhere. It's been a very frustrating experience.

It occurred to me this morning that I should probably set that project aside for a  while--completely. I don't even want to think about it; instead, I hope to let my subconscious work on it and--(fingers crossed)--find a way out. In the meantime, I think I'm going to shift my focus to writing more short stories and trying my hand at flash fiction. I'm hoping a change in "scenery" might help me to gain new perspective on my novel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I wrote this piece a few months ago for another Web site:
It's interesting how you form a mental picture of people when you talk to them online in a chat room or read their postings on a blog or on a site like this one. You take their words for what they are--words--because words are all you have, and you make assumptions about what the person must be like or look like or do. I think you can get to know people better this way, before all the superficiality of looks clouds your opinion, before you summarily dismiss people just because they don't "look" intelligent or interesting or fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Staying drunk on writing

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." ~Ray Bradbury

It occurred to me today that, although I've mentioned my other writing projects in passing, I haven't described them with any detail. Lately my mind has been completely wrapped up in my stalled fiction WIP, a contemporary story about love and infidelity, but even though I'm having trouble with that novel, I am staying drunk on writing by working on a couple of other projects in the meantime.

The first project, my father's memoir, is close to my heart, a story that I want to tell both because I think it's important to record family history and because I think that my dad's career as a logger in Upper Michigan is something that would interest the locals. My dad grew up as the oldest of ten children, with about twenty-five years between him and his youngest brother, Jeffrey, who passed away last summer. Uncle Jeff was actually several months younger than my dad's own son, my brother--definitely an interesting dynamic. Dad has so many stories about growing up among all those kids and about logging with his father, from the early days when horses, rather than semis, were still used in the woods until he retired several years ago. He's recorded many of his stories for me, and I'm in the process of transcribing them--a long, painstaking job--and deciding on the focus and direction I need to take as I write his story.

My other project is also a memoir--my own. I was a NaNoWriMo rebel last November; instead of writing a novel, as the rules require, I wrote about memories from my own life--my childhood, school years, first loves, my marriages, the births of my children... I ended up "winning" NaNo, exceeding the required 50,000-word count by more than 20,000 words, which just shows that I can blather on about myself with the best of them! I've had this project on hold since November. I need to think about a unifying theme, that one thing that my memoir is about, which, since doing so involves stepping back and looking objectively at my own life--at moments I lived--is proving to be difficult. I'll go back to it one day, though, if for no other reason than to ensure that my kids will know what my life was like and how it shaped the person I am today.

In addition to these projects, I work on several smaller pieces each day, from vignettes to short stories to other writing that defies easy classification. I'm always working on something. I have to write. It's the only thing that keeps me sane.

I'd love to hear about your projects. What have you been working on lately?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Creating memories

The kids had a lot of fun Sunday when we took them--in the pouring rain--to see Thomas the Tank Engine. My four-year-old made sure to tell everyone he saw at the library today about the trip and how excited he was to now be the owner of a Thomas alarm clock!

I'm glad they had fun. It's important to me that the kids have good memories of their childhoods. For many summers, our parents took me and my sister to the U.P. State Fair, and I remember how excited I always was and how I couldn't wait to tell everyone at school what I had done during the summer. I don't know if my kids will remember this visit to Thomas--especially my daughter, who's only 22 months old--but I'm glad we went. Seeing them so excited about the world makes me feel excited too, and looking through their eyes reminds me that the world, in spite of it all, is still a wonderful, magical place.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I just noticed that the entry I posted last Wednesday (The Elephant) now has today's date. A Blogger issue, maybe?

The Elephant

There's an elephant in the room--or in my blog, rather. It's writing. I haven't said much about my WIP lately because truthfully, I haven't written any new words for quite some time. I do a lot of writing each day, both here and on other sites, but I haven't been able to bring myself to work on my project. I've stalled.

My reluctance to work on my book stems from the fact that fiction is starting to be too much like fact. Goethe once said, "Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will." I think that's exactly where I am. My book has become too real. I'm drawing from my life and my experiences, which I do think is valuable in creating believable prose, but this time, I feel exposed. This time, I'm portraying myself against my will.

What will I do? I'll write through it; I have no choice. I have to tell the story, and the only way to do that is to write. But I think that leaving this project alone for several weeks was important; I think that it may have given me some clarity. My step back will help me to move forward.

And I will.

Writing is intensely personal. I agree with Goethe that the writer can't divorce himself from his writing; something of him--an experience, a trait, an emotion, a glimpse of his soul--will always be present in whatever he creates. It can't not be there.

What about you? Have you ever come to a point where your writing became too real, perhaps revealing things you didn't want or weren't prepared to reveal? What did you do?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Riding the rails

We're taking the kids to see and ride Thomas the Tank Engine tomorrow. I just told them tonight before bed, and I can hear them talking about it in their room right now. My son is the most excited, as he's been interested in trains for several years. He's telling his sister all about Thomas and the Island of Sodor and reminding her that although Thomas is sleeping right now, he'll be at the Island tomorrow. I heard such dreaminess in his voice as he sleepily said, "I wanna go to the Island of Sodor..."  His voice was so sweet, so full of longing, and it melted my heart. I'm glad they're so excited. I hope tomorrow is special for them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Silliness

He hated tomatoes. He could stomach them sometimes if they were liquefied in a sauce, but he always paid for his impulsive indulgences with a sharp case of heartburn and a marriage to Tums. Otherwise, he never ate tomatoes. As a child, he decided it was the seeds that deterred him. He didn't like the look of them, the way they sort of floated among the red, jelly-like ooze. When he was three, he couldn't understand why someone would eat seeds: "Aren't you planting them in your stomach?" he questioned. Then everyone laughed at him. He hated that too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I found this quote today, fell in love with it, and wanted to share. Enjoy!

"My great-grandfather used to say to his wife, my great-grandmother, who in turn told her daughter, my grandmother, who repeated it to her daughter, my mother, who used to remind her daughter, my own sister, that to talk well and eloquently was a very great art, but that an equally great one was to know the right moment to stop." ~Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Monday, May 9, 2011

The last time

I don't think about it that often, but this morning my husband reminded me about how any time we do something, it's possible that we could be doing that thing for the last time. If you kept this as a constant thought in your mind, a constant refrain, would you do things with more passion, with more conviction? Would you make sure to say the things you've always meant to say? Would you never go to bed angry?

Would I?

My uncle died two days ago. I wonder what his answers to these questions would be...

I wrote the 100 words above on August 12, 2010. Since my uncle's death on August 10 and my grandma's death on September 16, I've given much more thought to the things that I do or don't do and the words that I say or don't say. The older I get, the more I'm aware of the passage of time and how it's impossible to know what our future holds. In my day-to-day life, I try to be mindful of the things I say and do, conscious of the certain fact that one day, those things will be the last things and those words will be the last words. Things as mundane as helping my kids put their shoes on or asking them yet again to hold still while I comb their hair--too soon these things will be in the past, and as much as I complain about them now, I know I will miss these moments once they're gone. One day, my daughter will be able to tie her own shoes and comb her own hair; she won't need me to do these things for her. And my son--soon he'll be choosing his own clothes and reading on his own; he'll no longer need my help.

I wish we could predict these last times. But, knowing that we can't, I'm trying, in my own clumsy, stumbling way, to live each moment fully, to experience and laugh and love, to be quicker to forgive and more patient with others. I want to be able to look back and feel as though I embraced every moment of my life, both the good and the bad, no tears and no regrets.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wisdom passed down, memories cherished

"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." ~Charles R. Swindoll, evangelical Christian pastor

I have so many wonderful memories of the days I shared with my mother as I was growing up. She stayed at home with my sister and me, and I remember many times when she would drop whatever it was she was doing--chopping vegetables for a stew, vacuuming, working on the books for Dad's business--and play with us, helping us to build a fort made out of blankets and chairs or reading our favorite books over and over or showing us how we could turn the kitchen bar stools into makeshift horses and ride them into the sunset... And even after I started school and teachers and homework became the new focus of my days, my mother continued to be the person I could count on to be there waiting for me as I got off the bus each day, ready with a snack and an ear. I loved those after-school conversations!

When I entered the turbulent high school years, my mother became my confidant. Of course we had moments when we clashed, when we couldn't see eye to eye about makeup or boyfriends or curfews, but still I sought out her advice when teenage life seemed too treacherous to navigate. I knew she was there, that I never had to go through anything alone, and that was a comfort.

The six years I spent earning my college degrees brought new changes and challenges to my life: serious relationships, concerns about how to put myself through school, decisions about what to do after I graduated... Mom was always willing to give me advice, but she didn't step in unless I asked her. Sometimes I took her advice, and sometimes I didn't, but the talks we had about things that were important to me--and to her--are some of the best memories I have of that period of my life.

And now that I have children of my own, I appreciate more and more the things that my mother taught me, the things she did for me, her many sacrifices, and the effort she made to make sure that I had good memories of growing up, snapshots of life that I'll always cherish. She showed me what being a caring parent means, and I think about her example every day as I try to be the best possible mother I can be.

If I can be only half as good as my mother, I will feel like a success.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Oh, gym class, how I loathed thee...

For the most part, I loved school--from kindergarten right on up through the moment I walked across the stage to receive my master's degree. But in high school, there was one class I dreaded, one class I hated so much that I hoped for snow days and prayed for fire drills to put me out of my misery: gym.

The only class I truly despised in high school was gym. I hated everything about it, from having to change into shorts and get all sweaty in the middle of the day to being forced to do sit-ups on the hard gym floor. The only part of gym class that I could mildly tolerate (but still despised) was gymnastics. All I had to do then was practice handstands and forward rolls, and no one was throwing balls at my head or yelling at me to run faster or measuring me as I stood shivering on cold locker-room tile.

So tell me: Is there a class you wish you'd never been required to take?

Friday, May 6, 2011

The greatest gift

My little boy has had a fever for most of the day. He took two naps this afternoon and asked to go to bed tonight, things that never happen around here. The kids rarely get sick, and when they do, my worry gene kicks into overdrive. The nighttime checks become more frequent; I become obsessed with making sure their water cups are never empty; I carry the thermometer from room to room and check their temperatures over and over again...

So tonight I will worry, as all parents do, and I will wake myself up and tiptoe upstairs to my son's room. I will lay my hand across his forehead and then his cheek; I will take his temperature and ask him if he needs a drink of water or to use the bathroom. Then I'll tuck him in and make my way back downstairs, where I will set my alarm so I can wake up and do it all again. I won't sleep much, but that doesn't matter.

He's my precious little boy, and I would do anything for him. He gave me the greatest gift in all the world: he made me a mom.

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Elusive words

Lately I've been having trouble writing. The ideas are there, but I can't seem to catch them, so I'm left feeling frustrated--and cranky! I know this happens to all writers at some point. It's happened to me before, and it will happen again.

I wrote the following 100-words exercise on April 4 when I was feeling the same way:
Sleet rings against the window, and the steadiness of it--ping, ping, ping--has a trancelike quality to it, and I can almost forget that it's there as I sit and write these words, these words that for the past several days have been so hard to pull from my mind, for whatever reason, and I've realized how hard it is to be a writer whose ideas are drifting away from her, rolling like a tumbleweed down the road, and even though I chase after them, run as fast as I can to catch them, somehow they still elude me.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

For a moment...

I find joy when I see my children get so excited about simple things, like helping me stir the cake batter. My three-year-old in particular has kept very close to my elbow lately, constantly telling me "I can help" and "Let me do it myself, Mommy." Oftentimes I have to swallow my impatience as my tasks inevitably take longer to complete with my son's help, but still my heart swells with love and pride (and, I admit, a bit of sadness for time that passes too quickly) over what my little boy is already big enough to accomplish.

*I wrote this in December. My little boy is four now.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

They walked these streets; they lived and breathed.

I wrote this 100-words exercise on February 12 as I was thinking about the setting of a story. I grew up in Upper Michigan, and ghosts towns are common in many of the northernmost areas. Even as a child, I was fascinated by these tiny towns that once hummed with life but now were nothing more than the leaning buildings, rusted vehicles, and boarded-up windows I saw from the backseat of my parents' blue Buick. I always had questions: Who had lived here? Why did they leave? Where did they go? And if no one knew the answers, my imagination would step in.
Abandoned places fascinate me. I love exploring ghost towns, imagining the lives that were lived inside the decrepit buildings, the people who once called the town home. The term ghost town intrigues me: do some spirits love a place so much that they stay there for eternity? Does their laughter still echo in the boarded-up movie theater? Do shouting, excited children play an eternal game of catch in the park while proud parents watch nearby? These places speak to the writer in me, the one who imagines and creates and dreams what was and what could be.

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's All About Me(me)

Deb Bryan at The Monster in Your Closet (a great blog!) tagged me for this meme. Here we go!

If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?
I would relive those very first moments in the hospital when I finally held my children in my arms.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?
I used to tell people that I had no regrets, but if I'm being honest with myself, I do. However, I would never change anything. If I did, I wouldn't be here now, happy with my children and my husband and a life that I love.

What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?
Felicity Porter from Felicity. We're both women who do a lot of living in our heads; we analyze everything, maybe to a fault. In the show, Felicity begins as a shy, naive college freshman who, through her years at school, grows to become an outspoken, mature woman. I like to think I followed a similar path when I did my undergraduate and graduate degrees.

If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would it be?
I'm the kind of person who finds $10 in a parking lot and then puts it in the church collection plate because she feels guilty for having it and sad for the person who dropped it. (True story.) I couldn't push anyone off a cliff, but if I'm forced to answer, there was this one girl who made my life hell in elementary school...

Name one habit you want to change in yourself.
I wish I didn't have such a short temper. I get angry so easily.

Describe yourself in one word.

Describe the person who named you in this meme in one word.

Why do you blog? Answer in one sentence.
I blog because I have things to say that I don't always feel comfortable saying out loud.

Name at least 3 people to send this meme to, and then inform them.
Tara Tyler

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another memory: lazy weekends

I've been thinking a lot about my childhood this weekend, and this morning I wrote this one-sentence, 100-words exercise about lazy weekend mornings: 
I remember many lazy weekends when I was a child, mornings spent in bed, reading my favorite books and listening to the hum of the household around me--Mom and Dad talking in the kitchen, my sister in the living room, her spoon clanking against her cereal bowl, the Road Runner's beep-beep blaring from the television--and I would keep reading, forgetting about breakfast, forgetting sometimes about lunch, as I immersed myself in someone else's reality, someone else's life, until from a kind of fog, I would hear my mother calling me, jarring me back to my own reality.