Monday, January 18, 2016

Lego Woman

Sometimes I forget that we are all connected.  We're like a big Lego set, striving to be put together to look like the picture on the box, only some of the pieces are hiding under the bed, others get stepped on in the hallway at midnight, and a few are lost in boxes belonging to other toys.  We all have the basic set of emotions, we all struggle to overcome obstacles, and none of us (or very few of us) "look like the picture on the box."

Sometimes I think I'm the only one who's ever felt a certain way, so no one would ever understand what I'm going through because no one else lived through my f-d up childhood, no else had to deal with raising a small child alone in the wilderness, no one else had to do all the things I pioneered through.  But that doesn't matter.  We all can imagine being in each other's situations, and even though my experiences are unique to me, other people feel similarly enough for the writing of these incidents to be universally appealing.

Scrolling through social media sites reveals this when others are brave enough to share their feelings instead of just memes and reposts of misquotes.  Not me, though.  I want my page to be clean, like my house.  People can normally only see what sparkles.  No messy emotions here, nothing to share, keep on moving.  I'm that Lego piece that doesn't seem to fit anywhere, the green one with the weird shape that belongs to a specialized set that has been out of production for over a decade.  Nothing I share could possibly be relevant to anyone else.  I am unique to me.  I'm unrelatable, an observer in life, not one who belongs really in any one place or time.  In other words, I'm a writer.

And there are lots of me.  There's a whole set full of just the weird-shaped Legos, wondering if anyone has ever felt the way they do or close enough to it to understand and want to share their experiences with the world to see if anyone will buy what they print and say, "Yes, that makes sense.  I can feel that now."  Maybe me and my words do belong somewhere.

So maybe that's the point.  The house doesn't have to be sparkling for others to come over, but make sure there are no Legos on the floor.  Because stepping on them hurts.  A lot.  And if it hurts, then we have to write about it and share it with the world.  That's what we do.  Because we are all connected.

Friday, January 15, 2016

SNHU's Fall Fiction Short Story Competition

I was proud to be an initial reviewer for SNHU's Fall Fiction Short Story Competition, and I'm very glad to see that one of the stories I recommended was chosen by the final panel as the big winner!

SNHU's Fall Fiction Short Story Competition

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  2015 has been a year of many changes for me, and 2016 promises new experiences, so let them all be positive.  I'm especially looking forward to the release of Squirrel Superhighway, or It's Good to be a Dog.  I wish everyone out there a year filled with all that makes you happy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello!  I just wanted to pop on here to wish a happy holiday season to whomever may wander onto this page and to give a squirrelly update.  I am informed of the good news that the illustrations are almost complete, and I am hoping for even better news that they are all the way complete soon!  

In the meantime, more manuscripts are in the process of development, and both Green Gooey Goop and Silly Moments are available as soft cover and ebook in time for the holidays.  

In addition, Possum and I are adjusting well, and we are enjoying our strolls around the neighborhood.  He tries to go fast, but he's like 98 years old, so fast is really just measured by bursts of enthusiasm over bees and butterflies, and then he slows down again so he can pee everywhere.  It's idyllic, really.

I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Owly Birthday

This week has been a week of firsts--first Petco trip without buying anything for King, first time I tried to diaper a dog (Possum) (this is more difficult than you might think), first time I tried to scoop pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate (also more difficult than you might think), and now it's the first birthday since King departed.  

While the Petco trip had me in tears, and the loose diaper had me scurrying around with towels (as did the pomegranate episode), this birthday is actually quite positive.  I've received an outpouring of warmth and well wishes, and I know that King is right beside me, adding to the love.

Therefore, I chose to honor King with my birthday cake decoration of a wise owl perched on a tree branch surrounded by autumn leaves.  What does an owl have to do with a Beagle/Shepherd mix?  Well, there is an enormous owl on a tree branch painted on the brick wall in the back yard, and when we moved in here in 2012, it was fall, and we would spend countless hours together in the back yard, near the friendly gaze of the owl.  So, these days are commemorated in this, my 46th birthday cake.

I will raise a fork to King tonight as I savor my lemon birthday cake.  Here, I'll share some with you, too!  Enjoy!

Made by the exquisite hands of the bakers and decorators at Great Dane Bakery

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Return to Joy

So, I sat down to log in to an early-morning webinar today (8 a.m. on a Saturday--ugh!), sipping my Trader Joe's pumpkin spice chai latte, remembering when I would take the dogs for daily walks in the cool October air and shop at TJ's weekly just because I could because we lived near one finally. I was crying, of course, because that's what people do when their dogs die. I remembered so much joy when we first moved in here in 2012, and it brought more tears as I waited for the meeting to begin. Thankfully, my mic was not activated.

I expected this morning's webinar to be boring and unproductive, and I wanted to go back to bed, possibly for ten more hours. Why not? Shrug. Meh.

Then I logged in to the webinar, and this wonderful song was playing, and it was performed on the piano, and there are just no piano songs that I don't know, like none at all, and I didn't know this one, which puzzled me, so I looked at the title of the song, and it was...

Return to Joy.

Here was King sending me a message to return to the joy and wonder that we once shared when we explored living in this wonderful house in this ideal area and breathed the sea breezes together, reveling in the blossoming palm tree in the back yard and all of the fresh new flowers to sniff (and pee on) (him--not me!) as we would walk around the neighborhood every chance we could.

Ours was a joy of hoodies and flip-flops in October, when pumpkin spice flowed freely, and adventure was only a leash-length away.

So I bought the song. I bought the whole collection of songs--JoyPack1 by ADG3 (Adrien Gardiner).

And I will listen to it as I do my grading this weekend and sip my pumpkin spice chai latte, and I will remember the joy and return to it, continuing it.

A King's Farewell

(2004 - 2015)

King is the one closest to the birdbath in this picture.  

King lost his extended battle with cancer Thursday, October 1, 2015.  

He will always be remembered as a constant source of joy and unconditional love.

I love you, King.

Friday, September 25, 2015

It's Good to Be...a Mom

For a few moments too many, I felt very small in comparison to my colleagues and fellow classmates, and I believed I should be doing "something important" like writing more books or a song or solving homelessness or..."something important."

Then I realized I'm raising a child.

There is nothing more important than this endeavor. There are things I can "also" do, but nothing will ever come first. That's his place.

For all of us who are important in a child’s life, remember that your role is a sacred one and will always be valued in the memories of an adult who was once a cherished child.

On that note, my “It’s Good to Be...” series continues as I draft more manuscripts and cross my fingers for publication.  I am looking forward to sharing my inspiration with readers of all ages very soon!