Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Topic Prompt 1: Rain


The rain was laughing.

I shot out of there like a scalded dog. Not out of shame or defeat, but because I didn't think I could contain myself any longer. And I didn't want to go to prison.

I had been running for I don't know how long. I'd run until I couldn't see the lights. Until I couldn't feel the brutal impact of the ground through my legs anymore. Until broken glass shredded my lungs. I'd run and run and still could not escape myself. Could not escape my fury.

I stopped. Cold blades shaved down my back and bled beneath the waistband of my pants. The ache in my feet caught up with me, sending flames up my legs. I raked the glass through my lungs some more.

I looked up at the bruised sky. Fat, pea-sized drops hurled down, striking and banking around me. I had a flash of a memory, a spaceship's viewpoint of traveling at warp speed. For a second I felt my feet elevate, and then it was gone.

I wondered if I waited, if I stood in this spot and stretched my energy as high up into the sky as I could, if I could draw a lightning strike to me. If I could will the unforgiving lance straight through me, through my heart and down into the aloof earth, taking my anger and sadness and spirit with it.

Lightning sizzled my retinas, leaving only static in my vision as the thunder squeezed me in its giant fists.

The rain was laughing, and I was still here.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

You Can't Go Home Again

I am delighted that 100 Words is still being carried on, now over at Thin Spiral Notebook.  The 100 Words format was always fun to me - working with a topic I did not pick, in a strict minimalist flash fiction format. I felt it pushed my tendency to prattle on into an a la Hemingway strip-down. It is always fun, always invigorating.  

This round's prompt is HISTORY.



I moved away thirty years ago. Had the house number not been the same I'd have thought I was in the wrong place. Nothing looked familiar. The aqua paint was replaced with taupe. The sled-hill front yard barely an incline. The pine tree was gone. Was my parakeet still buried under where it stood? Even the cement porch where I'd carved my initials as it set had been demolished at some point. I considered knocking on the door, asking if I could look around - but drove on. Sometimes history doesn't stay with a place - it stays with a person.

  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Tales

Several years back, while I was away on a girls’ weekend, Incrediboy came home from a local festival with a goldfish he had won in one of those ping pong toss games.  I was less than pleased. I have nothing against fish, but I had fish in college and really didn’t care to go through the ordeal again.

I glared at the Hub, who just shrugged and said he had no idea the boy would actually make one of the ping pong balls into its target. I was pretty annoyed that he couldn’t have steered him to a game with stuffed animals or pop guns instead.

I had to admit though, the little drop of sunset orange with big moon eyes was pretty cute.

I took Incrediboy to the local department store and we picked out a nice tank and filter set, some cheery gravel and an assortment of aquarium plants, along with a ceramic Spongebob Pineapple house with lots of windows for the little babe to explore and swim through. I had no idea how long “Flounder” would survive. Who knows how healthy those poor fair fish are to begin with. But if we were to bring an animal into the house, we were going to take care of it as best as we could.

A few years ago Flounder changed from orange to shimmery white, in gradient blotches.  Incrediboy was in a panic and I didn’t know what to make of it.  With a little internet research I learned that goldfish often change color several times in their lives. I had no idea, did you?

Flounder is now 5 years old.  He has most recently turned a soothing blush tone - his body has quadrupled in size and his tail streams out behind him like a gossamer veil.  The pineapple has long since been replaced with a rock cave, which Flounder enjoys hanging out in. Incrediboy adores him.

Over the past few weeks, Flounder has not been himself.  He hasn’t been moving much, and his fins and tail are beginning to deteriorate.  He is losing scales near the base of his tail and is barely eating.  We have been giving him some antibiotics in his tank water as suggested by the pet store, and change his water frequently to give him the most optimal environment.  Most recently he seems to have perked up, but he struggles to swim and has difficulty staying straight up, listing to the side or flipping nose-up like a rocket on a launchpad.  I don’t know if it’s due to his fins and tail being injured or if he is reaching the final mile of his road on earth.

Incrediboy includes Flounder’s health in his prayers every night.

Many people file fish in the category of disposable pets.  They come and go, no big deal. But this particular fish means a lot to this boy.  It will break his heart when Flounder moves on - and while I hate for anything to bring him pain, I appreciate that it will. Such a compassionate heart he has.

Fart and Relax

I think I know what my problem is.

The thing about artists is we want things to come out as perfect and utterly life changing as we envision them in our minds and hearts.  It rarely does, and that makes us brood and struggle with infuriating frustration.

As I shared the other day, I have finally been inspired to start writing again, and will use this dear old format as my starting point.  I toss ideas around in my noggin all day as I work, commute, and go about the chores of the everyday. I barely know where to start once I get the time.

Tonight I sat down to write.

Nothing.

Instead I spent about four hours reading through old posts.  I now feel rather melancholy.  I feel like I will never write like that again.

But why wouldn't I?  I just need a little bit of practice. Loosen up the writing muscles.  Maybe the next stuff will be the best yet.

I just need to "fart and relax", as my BFF says.

I turned 48 earlier this month. Can you believe that?  And remember Incrediboy, the precious toddler from my earlier posts?  He's 13 now.

Time's a-wasting.

Be back tomorrow (or as it were, later today), with some kind of post. Even if it sucks, I will be writing.  :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hello, it's me ...

It has been nearly six years since my last post. Wow.

Is anyone still out there? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't.

That's okay ... nobody was here when I started this blog either.

So what have I been up to? All kinds of crap that hasn't been much fun. But some of it has. For one, a good friend of mine asked me to help him with a book project. We had a lot of fun with it - the story line was his concept and he had written it all out and I handled editing, rewrites and embellishments. There are now two novels out there and a third in progress. Pretty cool huh? All three of our fans are very excited.

 But I digress.

My friend brought his project to me, asking for my help. But in the end he helped me.

I started thinking about writing again. I started thinking about how much I enjoyed keeping this blog and participating in the challenges and writing groups I found. I have decided to pursue a solo project. I have some ideas of what I want to do, and even have a few items to use for it.

The problem is, my writing joints are stiff, my muscles atrophied. I need to start experimenting again. What better place to start than back at the beginning?

Let's see what happens.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ashes and Dust

I initially started this blog to help me work through my emotions surrounding the death of J, my dearest friend. Six years later, I am returning to its roots by writing about losing my father. It feels good to get thoughts and feelings down, even if it doesn't help me solve anything.

The following is my contribution for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Words this week. This round's word is FORGOTTEN. VV is choosing very helpful words for my process. :). Thank you, my sweet readers, for your patience and compassion while indulging me.



Appraising someone else's treasures is more difficult than you'd think. I struggle with evaluating and thinning Dad's beloved book collection, and glance at his sacred "ham shack" in the corner. The old amateur radios that used to whisper through the registers after my bedtime are now quiet until sold to other operators. The powdery ash that was once my Daddy will soon be one with the Rockies, assimilated and quickly forgotten by the elements. I've never been one to linger by caskets or gravestones ... but maybe that's what I'm doing now. Letting go so very reluctantly.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Erasure

After a short respite, I'm returning to Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. This week's prompt is FAMILY - I didn't use the word within my piece, but felt I need not.


After spending the past week disbursing death certificates and helping Mom update their accounts, I had a squinchy feeling of remorse deep within. As if we were erasing him from the world.

His ashes have now reached Colorado, where my brother will scatter them in the mountains. We'll have no grave to visit. Not that I would anyway. Still, it somehow bothers me no one will ever be standing somewhere and know he was here - even strangers.

Such a ridiculous fret. We know. Dad reaches beyond monuments, beyond his own mortality. Blossoming through us.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

XYZ

My final post for the A to Z Challenge, at which I pretty much sucked ;).

Well, much like the challenge, this trying month is over.

Dad's memorial service was today. It was fairly short and sweet - much as he'd prefer. Lots of old familiar faces and awkward but heartfelt words. I managed not to cry while I was there. I worry that Mom is crying right now. Or perhaps that she isn't. We are not very proficient processors of overpowering emotions, either one of us.

I spent time with my brother, nephew and neice this evening. We played Trivial Pursuit and had a fun time. It feels good to laugh and love with my blood. I don't see them nearly enough.

The difficult month that draws to a close tonight has changed me in ways that will never reverse. I have aged, and my heart has lost a few irretrievable shards. I've said goodbye to people I love - people I cannot imagine not being here.

But I have a husband, and a little boy, a dog, friends and family who are here. They love me and I love them. I continue to mourn. But I will do my best to return to the living.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weary (A/Z)

For the A to Z Challenge - Letter W.

My Dad passed away early Saturday morning.

I've been continuing with my previously mentioned running to Mom's, now to help her with arrangements. He wanted to be cremated, which simplified many aspects of the planning. If you can really do that. Very little is simple about laying a loved one to rest.

My brother will scatter Dad's ashes in the Colorado Rockies, which Dad did not propose himself but would no doubt approve of as his point of re-entry, becoming one again with the Earth.

I have drawn a lot of comfort in knowing Dad is no longer suffering. He was in incredible pain and discomfort with his cancer. He was so weary from his fight. While he didn't want to leave us, he seemed to know it was coming sooner than later. I truly think he was ready to be at rest - perhaps even willfully ushering himself there.

My Dad and I shared a delicately balanced, eggshell-filled, and often tumultuous relationship. Not often close, not even always speaking to each other. But he was my Dad, and I his daughter, and in these last few years we have mended or otherwise let go of the static between us. I have had nothing but love for him during these final years, and I know he felt the same.

I have begun mourning a little bit, but the bulk is still to come. This is a big one, and add this blow to the fact that we've lost yet another close family member only a week ago (I had not blogged about this out of respect for family privacy), I truly have not even been able to get into the grieving process very deeply yet. I have a way of holding it together for the sake of being strong for everyone else until it's all done and life can return to normal. But then many days later something will flip the switch. I will probably see an amateur radio license plate on the freeway, or hear Sultans of Swing (one of Dad's favorites) on the radio ... and it will hit me. And I will fully grieve then, because that's when the time will be. It just needs to come to me on its own.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the weary, for they shall find rest.


Rest in Peace, Dad.


~

Sunday, April 24, 2011

VICTORY (A/Z)



~ ~ Happy Easter ~ ~


A to Z Challenge Letter V - Victory over the Grave - He's Alive!