Turning myself into Elvis Costello

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Elvis costello

I am neither becoming transgendered nor am I becoming a rock star but I am going to fit myself into a frame of Elvis’ mind – Every day I write the book.  Come November 1st, that statement will become my new mantra.  I have idly complained, mostly to myself, that I have not been spending any time with my work-in-progress.  We have severe detachment issues but all that is about to change.

With NaNoWriMo looming, I have made a promise to myself to set a writing schedule and do everything in my power to stick to it.  I am not going to set myself up for disappointment by saying I am going to finish my novel in a month but I am going to write as much as my brain will let me in the month of November.  Hopefully the writing Gods will smile on me and allow my creative juices to flow freely and possibly continue on into December until the full story comes to fruition.

I am excited to get back into the character’s minds and allow myself to become fully involved in the process.  There is a great story rattling around in my brain and it is time to put it where it belongs.

Perhaps I should also heed the advice of another popular Elvis – A Little Less Conversation (a little more action).  Wish me luck!!  And to all of you who will be officially participating in NaNoWriMo – may the force be with you!

 

Are you sure you dialed the right number?

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There is a distinct advantage to having a truly bizarre message on your cell phone or answering machine.  Those few audacious lines can thwart unwanted voice messages and cause callers and telemarketers to rethink the redial.

cell phone

I had blogged here about finding the comedic genius that I have since “borrowed” for my outgoing message and how many times I had to call back to get all of the information but my persistence certainly paid off.  I have had many missed callers who have failed to leave a message for me and, since I do not run a business from my phone, I have no qualms leaving things at status quo.

I can discern which callers took the time to listen to every word.  The messages I do receive from people who have never heard the message before generally begin with light giggles and a true appreciation for the silliness the message represents.  I have been encouraged many times to change my voice message but I cannot imagine any other string of words that would amuse me as much as these words.

This is what callers hear when they dial my number:

You have reached the Port Carling Mental Health Hotline.

  • If you are obsessive or compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.
  • If you are co-dependant, please ask someone to press 2 for you.
  • If you have multiple personalities, please press 3,4,5 and 6
  • If you are paranoid, we already know who you are and what you want, but stay on the line while we trace your call.
  • If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.
  • If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

There are extended versions of this message but, sadly, I am only afforded so much time to record my outgoing greeting.  If you ever need a good laugh, call me!

 

Dia De Los Muertos

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She reaches out to me from beyond the stars,

her energy refracts in the light.

A prism of colors dances in the air

and her presence warms the still night.

I enter the evening, void of emotion,

a hollow shell of what I had been.

But the bond that was created when she gave birth to me

seems to linger like it does in a dream.

A single flower I carry in my hand,

asking her spirit to Forget-Me-Not.

Feeling her embrace as the wind churns the leaves,

I feel transported from my steadfast spot.

She is happy now in her place of rest,

free to exist as she wants.

No longer burdened by the shackles of illness,

it is only peace and happiness she flaunts.

 My soul is warmed by her visit,

the binds on my heart are released.

She leaves me now but I know she will return,

her promise gives me a great sense of peace.

~~

gg-wkbadge-e1411321572196

Written for the Grammar Ghoul Challenge #4:

to use the Word prompt:

Void (adjective):
Completely empty.

And to tie it in with this animated short video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCQnUuq-TEE&feature=player_embedded

As I watched the video, I knew this poem would be about my mom.

I wish D.I.Y. meant ‘did it yesterday’

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Today was my first day off in what feels like a month and, instead of spending it resting as one is wont to do, I spent it doing all of the things I have had on the back burner for months.

With the resurgence of winter just around the corner and the increase in the noise level of vermin trying to nest for said winter, it was time to go on the offensive.  Thankfully I am a woman who is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  I cannot fathom paying someone to do a job I am fully capable of doing myself so today was spent filling holes in my foundation, repairing the holes and cracks in my drywall and raking my lawn.  And, as accomplished as I feel at the end of my day, I wish I had done this sooner.

Drywall-installation-and-repair

(image credit)

Having done all of these tasks when I should have done them would have meant I could have soaked in the rays of the ever elusive sun.   I don’t often procrastinate, but these menial jobs have been put off too many times to count.  Life seems to have gotten in the way and all of my D.I.Y. projects have been collecting dust in the corner of my good intentions.

But now they are done.  Those little tasks can now be labelled as “did it yesterday” and I can move on to tomorrow with a clear conscience.   Any moral judgement I have of myself can now be reserved for the next batch of tasks I put off until “tomorrow”.

 

 

 

 

Four score and a lesson in compassion

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Was I guilty of ageism?  Perhaps.  But when the senior’s euchre tournament bus tour arrived at the lodge on Sunday, I was genuinely dreading the three days that would follow.  I made an egregious error in judgement.

Admittedly, the tour did not begin well for the 42 participants but the fault was not ours.  A slight hiccup in their agenda had caused them to arrive an hour and a half early and we were thoroughly unprepared for the sudden onset of walkers, luggage and upset elders.  We did our best to scramble and be as accommodating as possible.   I made a witty speech welcoming them on behalf of the owners and staff and my words were met with sullen stares and moderate contempt.  It was a bumpy start.

old couple-743330

(image credit)

Once we regained control our momentum increased and we began getting everyone settled into their rooms.  Betty and Rose reached their three stairs and Betty took the lead.  Once she was at the top, Rose began to follow.  Betty reached for the door frame and found nothing but a handful of air.  As I turned to look behind me, Betty, doing her best impression of a tree being felled in the forest, fell straight backwards and took Rose out, using her as a cushion for the fall.  The two ladies I had escorted to their room had just fallen and couldn’t get up.   Thankfully we got them into an upright and relatively stable position and, after many unqualified examinations, we deemed they were medically stable.

The group’s first dinner was an interesting event.  Still unsure of their surroundings, many uttered complaints that hung in the air like cartoon balloons.  There were threats of husbands being called to retrieve them the following morning and the night was punctuated by another woman being hit in the head by a heartily kicked-open kitchen door.  In the span of six hours, we had potentially concussed three women.

But then something changed.  Over the course of the following 60 hours, attitude and understanding rapidly evolved on both sides.  We understood the nature of their initial frustration and they understood the nature of our good will and hospitality.  By the end of their three night stay, I was calling them all by their first name and I was truly sad to see them climb the stairs to get back on the bus.  There were many hugs and talk of seeing them again next year.  I will admit that I was close to tears saying goodbye to these lovely souls.

Perhaps it was the sideways glances I got from Rose that reminded me so much of my mom.  Maybe it was that bond of parenthood I have been missing since my mom and dad passed.  Whatever the reason, I will be ready and willing to welcome that next bus tour with open arms and use this enlightening experience as a lesson for the future.

When passion supersedes thinking

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Sometimes I think too much.  I beat an idea to death because I am too stubborn to let the words flow they way they want to flow from my brain.  When that happens, the passion I have for those words seems to die a slow death and is replaced by the perfunctory task of trying to string a simple sentence together.

A few nights ago I watched the movie “Chef” with Jon Favreau.  Although his career path in the movie is obviously not a writer, his struggle to hold onto his passion becomes interrupted and his job becomes a menial task.  He lets too many outside influences tarnish the joy he gets from, not just cooking food but, creating food.

I took a lot of wisdom from that movie, so much so that I watched it a second time.  The underlying theme really struck the right chord in the orchestra of my creativity.  I watched his character peel back the unwanted opinions that had been constricting his imagination and he went right back to the basics, to the thing he fell in love with, and he rekindled his passion for food.

creative writing

(image credit)

I’m going to wipe my writing counter clean and start from scratch.  I’m going to build the ingredients of my stories and get back to that place where my love for words began.  I’m going to let that passion speak for itself and not pound it into submission.  I am simply going to write.

 

 

 

 

Just one nice, looonnnngggg sniff

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I had just about given up on harnessing anything creative today when my dog sat on the floor next to me and rested her face on the window sill.  Almost motionless, she stared intently as a chipmunk ran back and forth across the lawn, each time carrying another acorn to its hiding spot.  Callaway didn’t utter even the slightest whine as she watched the little furry creature passing by about 50 times.

chippy

Every so often the chippie would pause for a rest, choosing to stop about 10 feet from my living room window.  This intrigued Callaway even more.  Pushing her nose up to the screen, she took deep breaths with the hope of getting just a tiny hint of Eau de Chippie.

I knew the writer in me had begun to take over for the pet owner when I realized her behavior reminded me of Hannibal Lecter displaying his highly acute sense of smell to Agent Starling from behind his glass partition.  There’s hope yet for finishing my novel….I just need to pay more attention to my dog!