Oprah has a name for this…….

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Not everyone has the opportunity to experience a full-circle moment in their lifetime – that epic twist of fate when something you had spent so much time dwelling on in your past creeps up on you in your present.  I had one of those moments today.

I am a product of the 80’s.  I was never a slave to the hair and poorly-chosen fashion (most days) but the movies of the 80’s live on in my current reality.  I can recite those movies verbatim and I recognize a bit of myself in each one of those iconic movie roles that I watched as an impressionable teenager.  And though there were fleeting moments of seeing similarities between the starring roles and my teenage psyche, I always felt a deeper connection with the weirdos, the poets, the dreamers.

It was this truth that bonded me to Andrew McCarthy’s character, Kevin,  in St. Elmo’s Fire in 1985.  Though his role was meant to be a bit of an outcast, Kevin was the definition of how I saw myself in those days.  He was a creative soul, misunderstood on many occasions but he held true to himself.  Unlike me at the time, Kevin knew who he was and, although he struggled, in the end he wasn’t afraid to be that person.  He wanted to describe what he saw in a myriad of ways.  He wanted to describe life by every little detail and not just watch it go by.  He wanted to write.  And he was going to see his way to his future on his battered Underwood typewriter.

That line stuck with me.  It haunted me, actually, and I have seen that written line in a loop in my head for many years.  Like a headlining banner at a movie theatre,  the words “battered Underwood typewriter” scrolled incessantly around my brain.  The image of that machine, the clacking of the keys, kept me bonded to that dream of writing.  And now that image has become a reality.

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In a moment of complete serendipity, I have been gifted an Underwood typewriter.   I have been given a battered, plunking, beautiful, historic typewriter that could write chapters of its own given the chance.  Its stories are burned into the keys.  Its ribbon holds a wealth of ideas and the rest is not history, but my story.  It is up to me to cajole the remainder of the tales from this relic.  This battered Underwood typewriter could be the one thing that reminds me that I can write and, just maybe, will help me get to the next stage of my writing success.

 

The only one

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The night lay in wait.

The sun fell through the sky

and the trees held the ball of fire close to them.

The air grew cold and the stars lit the sky with their light.

Dusk had come

and lent calm to the end of the day.

The songs of the birds has ceased

and the sound of night crept up on the pair

as they sat with wine in hand.

His stare caught her off guard.

She brought the glass to her lips and drank.

She could feel his gaze burn her skin

and his smile made her heart warm.

The fire roared and the sparks lit the sky.

This was the night.

She knew it, she felt it.

He got down on one knee and gave her the box.

It was carved from a branch of the tree they knew,

a tree that saw two friends grow since they were young.

The ring and the box were pure love.

She lay a kiss on his lips

and said yes.

~~

This was written in response to the Daily Prompt that was my suggestion today!!  Write about anything you choose using only one-syllable words.  It was also inspired by a friends recent engagement and the ring box was carved from a branch of a tree they played under as children.

Staring down the storm

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Storms always present themselves in many ways.  They can be the physical thunder and lightning storm that makes us huddle in our comfortable homes and wait for the weather to pass.  Or they can be storms in our lives – occurrences that turn our world upside down and wreak havoc on the solitude of our existence.

storm

Our true strength shows in how we weather those storms.  We can hide in a corner and wait for the storm to do its damage or we can prepare ourselves for that storm and face it head on.  The vengeance of that tempest can only affect us as much as we will let it.

Disturbances will happen.  That truth is inevitable.  Being adaptable and knowing how to deal with unexpected cyclones in our reality makes us stronger and helps us to anticipate the next storm and be a little more prepared for the next downburst.

Climate changes, whether literal or anecdotal, can fluctuate on a whim.  The more malleable we are, the easier it will be to deal with the initial assault and face the aftermath that it leaves in its wake.

It is impossible to predict the storms we will face in our lives but we must have the courage and tenacity to combat the unrest that floats in the clouds that hover over our reality.  That whirlwind can only gain as much strength as we give it.  Facing that maelstrom head on may deflate some of the wind that pushes it forward and leave us feeling stronger than the original gust that hit us in the first place.  Show the storm who is boss – don’t let a little wind and rain get you down.

Nobody thinks it will happen to them

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Winter is upon us and, as luck would have it, I was very ill-prepared for the sudden onset of about two feet of snow.  Our friends to the south of us in the Buffalo area got it much worse than we did and I hope everyone is safe and warm preparing for the clean up after that terrible lake-effect snow that was dumped on your world.

The flurry of flurries made me realize how far behind I am with following my prep list for the “festive” season.  My summer tires are currently doing a remarkable job getting me to and from work and my golf clubs are still using the valuable space in my trunk that should now be reserved for my winter safety kit.

Those kits are rarely seen in vehicles but, if you were one of the people trapped on the Interstate during the storm that pounded Buffalo, are a very welcome use of space when you are stranded in bad weather.

Having a safety kit in your car is such a simple way to help prevent what could be a terrifying experience.  It is so easy to collect the necessities and have it in your trunk, just in case.  Good things to keep on hand are:  candles and a metal container to hold them, matches or lighter, snack food like nuts, trail mix or energy bars, a blanket, a change of clothes and footwear, flares, a flashlight, a whistle, kitty litter or a bag of sand (I keep strips of carpet to put under my tires – they are awesome!) and bottled water (using plastic bottles that do not crack).

safety kit

These items should be there as well as your usual items like jumper cables, spare tire, windshield washer fluid and small shovel.

Please be safe this winter.  It only takes a trip to the Dollar Store and a few minutes of your time, but it could save a life, maybe even yours!

 

The art of procrastination

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procrastination

I am not usually one to procrastinate.  I like to take the bull by the horns and just get things done.  But more and more lately, I am putting things into piles and some of those piles are collecting a great amount of proverbial dust.

The piles of tasks that I am pushing to the side are things nobody can see because they are in my head.  But I seem to have a found a wonderful corner of my mind that has a giant rug and all of those things I want to be doing have been swept under that giant Persian beauty!

It’s unlike me to be this unmotivated.  I’m not going to be in that deadline-induced panic but I am going to be disappointed if I don’t lift up that rug soon and deal with what is hiding under there!  I guess I’m going to have to buy some steel-toed boots and give myself a good, swift kick in the ass.  (another of my mom’s great sayings)

What do you do to get yourself back in the saddle?

 

Would I hit the button and turn the chair for MY voice?

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Lately I have been going back through past blog posts and reacquainting myself with some of the words I have thrown out into the eternal abyss known as the Internet.   After spending time digesting my previous musings, I have come to a great awareness about the novel I am attempting to finish.  Unless I just keep writing the damned thing and stop editing as much as I’m writing, I’m never going to finish the book in this lifetime!

From two years ago, when I began this blogging journey, to now, my writing voice has changed.  That same voice that was so timid in the beginning has grown and evolved into someone different.  It has gone through that rite of passage to be comfortable in its own timbre.

Looking back on some of my earlier posts, I am so tempted to edit and repost some of those phrases and paragraphs but I would be doing myself a grave injustice.  I would be denying who I was when I wrote those posts and not allowing myself to accept the voice I had when I began.  The same holds true for those chapters of my novel that were written from that less experienced recess of my brain.  While the characters will evolve with my determination to finish the book, those first chapters speak volumes about the beginning of their journey as the cast and my journey as a writer and their director.

chair on the voice

(image credit)

I’m glad my voice is different now.   It sounds more experienced.  It is comfortable being heard by others.  It has a more believable quality to it because it has faith in its ramblings.  If I were a judge in that chair, I would hit the button to see what my voice has to say next!

 

My “get-up-and-go” got up and went

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The subject line of this post was always one of my favorites of my mom’s strange sayings.  Whenever she was feeling under the weather or she was just exhausted she would pull out this beauty so we knew her true state of mind.

Yesterday and today I really empathized with this statement and its underlying feeling.  I feel like I have lost my mojo.  I’m sure it is nothing more than a case of the November blahs but getting out of bed the last two mornings has been a struggle.  The bleak grey landscape and bare branches hold no promise of those sunny, warm days that are a thing of the past.  I may regret typing this next string of words but I really can’t wait for the ground to be blanketed with snow.  That is a bold statement taunting the God of weather since this was the view from my living room last winter!

trapped

At least that fresh fallen snow is beautiful to look at and, if nothing else, it makes my dog extremely happy which, in turn, makes me happy.

In the interim, if anyone has seen my “get-up-and-go” could you please send it home to me?  It’s time to kick November’s arse and I could use the back-up!