There’s a lot of DNA and it’s not a Criminal Minds episode

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I am officially glad I am no longer in my twenties.  Even when I was in my twenties, my regard for a sanitary living space and the respect of my roommates trumped any need to party like it didn’t matter.  I have recently discovered that this is apparently an old-fashioned way of thinking!

A new friend has had the challenging job of being the General Manager at a fast-paced restaurant in the area where I live.  I have frequented there many times and become friends with the staff through our mutual jobs and our shared love of football.  Sure they are a younger crowd and they like to party, but I had no concept of how many of the rules of human nature those parties violated until just recently.

I had a few drinks with the GM last night after he and the head of maintenance had spent the last two days cleaning the remains of those parties once the staff had vacated the houses for the season.  The pictures he took of the damage and the items left behind were shocking to me.  I would have requested a full hazmat suit before I even entered those seasonal dwellings.

dna

(image credit: dnaproject.co.za)

From 10 staff houses, they collected over 90 bags of garbage, repaired holes in drywall that were cleverly disguised by newly purchased plastic vent covers, disposed of a few comforters that would easily have contained so many samples of DNA they would keep a Forensics team busy for months, steam-cleaned carpets and collected an arsenal of bottles and cans from each yard.  The description of some of the parties left me speechless, and that is a tough feat considering I have a writer’s brain and nothing is off-limits when it comes to a story.

There is something extremely soothing about walking into my house and not fearing the unknown.  There will be no naked parties taking place, there will be no food on the counters and tables that have become science projects over an extended period of time and there will be no risk of seeing things that cannot be unseen.

I sure hope the two responsible for the clean up get to reward themselves with the accumulated amount of security deposits and bottle returns.  After those crime scenes, they deserve it!

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!

 

And now for something almost completely different….

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Back in June of 2013, The Cutter presented me with a fun writing challenge.  He gave me four random things to use cohesively in a blog post.  The result is here.  I, in turn, threw down the gauntlet with five arbitrary topics and he brilliantly responded with this post.

The idea was so much fun to write, I thought I would try it again and offer the challenge to anyone else who wishes to participate.  This is not a recurring challenge and there is no deadline.  It just offers a little something outside the box and gives writers an excuse to deviate from their normal routine.  And who knows?  You could pick up a few new followers in the process.

Here are my five random ideas.   If you like the challenge, I’d love to read what you write – don’t forget to tag me.  And feel free to pick some random topics of your own and share it with your blogging friends.

  • ballerina
  • photo finish
  • movie script
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Chinese Food

Happy writing!

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.

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”.

 

 

 

 

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.