Saturday, December 28, 2013

Where the Sidewalk Ends (A Figure of Speech)

There is a day that you know. That day is today. It’s very much like running on a path and knowing that the sidewalk will end. You will have to make a choice. You can anticipate it.  In one and a half blocks, equivalent to 9 pre-fabricated concrete slabs, once I’ve stepped over 413 cracks, 4 twigs, and handful of leaves, the sidewalk will end, and I will have to make my choice.  Should I run in the street? Or in the grass? Should I cross?  Is it better on the other side?

If I slow down now, can I have more time to think it over?   Will more time change my decision?  Here it comes.

Metaphor. Simile.  A Figure of Speech. An allegory.

Monday, December 23, 2013


It's so humanly honest to try and give it all your all. I believe in that. I believe in doing everything you can for love and family.  And I have a lot of fight in me, a massive ton of patience and courage for this long war.  Love/family is, after all, the best that we have in this life--we, the lucky ones, we, the loved ones. What else is better than love and family?

What else is so heartbreaking?  When you lose your love, your family, your friends--there is no devastation finer.

I am sitting here in love with my daughter. My little light. I keep all this shit together for her. I have some left for the lucky ones.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

AA Demystified

There are a lot of things that are great about getting drunk. Here is a list:
  1. You don’t need fiber.  Drinking too much cleans out your body. Come hell or high water, if you poison yourself, you will shit and purge all of the contents of your stomach and bowels and you get to start over. Think of it as a fun master cleanse.
  2.  In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas  People often apologize for getting drunk and saying things that they “regret.” I call bullshit on all those people.  I like to get drunk and say things that I mean. Small truths live in us every day, we keep those truths inside all quiet and alone, the things that we can’t say when our walls are up and strong and sober, come out so beautifully when we are drunk.  Think of this as an emotional cleanse and revel in it. (Drink some water for health—being dehydrated is terrible.)
  3.  Brain fog can be relaxing. Do you know how hard we all work to keep our shit together? When I’m hungover, I can’t do it all and I don’t want to. I read and watch mindless TV and eat veggie sticks and apples (everything must be crunchy.) I don’t clean or fuss around the house. I sit still and quiet and chill. I am best (hungover) when I’m not at work, obviously, but even at work, I can quietly focus on one task and tune out the rest. Do you know how hard that is to do without a hangover?
  4.  Sex. Being hungover makes me horny.  I could stay in bed all day and screw. (I love saying screw for sex, it’s so fucking funny.) My body is more sensitive and my crazy brain is turned off and I have no shit in my bowels and my stomach is mostly empty and I feel closer to my emotions and sensuality. Brown chicken brown cow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Triple Bind: Mother, Wife, and Writer, Who Wins?

My life, now, is lived from distraction to distraction. Having a small child and a husband is the antithesis of being a writer.  Even with them gone, for two hours or so, the din in my head is at full roar.  I have to stop being a mother and wife to write. I can’t allow myself to think about laundry (massive piles) or dishes (less massive pile) or making Guinness Beef Stew for supper.  The din of my responsibilities obscures the writer’s voice in my head—the normal noise of my life stifles and suffocates my character, the setting, what’s going on in the book world in my head. What is she [my character] doing while I’m making the beds while I’m writing a grocery list? (Why the fuck am I making the bed? Who cares if the bed is made?) 

Tangent alert:  I make the beds because it’s what I do in the moment when S refuses to put on pants or socks, in that pre-tantrum window, I move over and make the bed and then try to entice S with her socks again. It’s not that the messy beds beckon me, I can leave them, it’s a thing I can do while I’m doing something else, a thing that I can do that overall, makes me feel like a better mom/wife/housekeeper, like when I make my kid wear socks and boots in the snow. I can’t sit in that pre-tantrum moment and write. The window is too short, unpredictable, and unforgiving to thinking and thoughts and writing.

Was it Virginia Wolf or Ann Patchett (or both?) that said that if a woman wants to be a writer, she needs not to be a mother, not to be a wife (in addition to having money and a room of her own?). I would add “good” before “mother” and “wife.” I know there are mothers out there who write… but how can a person be good at doing something creative and quiet and solitary and engrossing and deeply distracting, when she is trying to raise a person to be able to do and be all of those things and much more?  How can I lock myself away and write when I am responsible for S being compassionate and human and warm and fierce and funny and responsible?  I am the example. I have to be present for her. I am her role model (much as Ann Patchett and Virigina Wolf are mine? Maybe I need new role models.)

I’m off to go write. The house is finally quiet. I am steadfast in ignoring the dishes and laundry and beef stew for now.  Today I will write. Tomorrow, I will want to…but who knows?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bad Blogger, Good Writer

To be a good blogger, means that you commit to write 2-3 blog posts per week and if you can't commit to that, good bloggers write at least one post every week on the same day. That's the magic formula to building (and keeping) a reader base. 

I'm a bad blogger. I'm okay with that. Sorry to you folks who wish I wrote more blogs (if there are any of you out there.)

I'm writing a novel and it's kicking my ass. I have very little time to write or blog, but please know that I love you, or at least like and appreciate you. 

Here's a juicy nugget of food truth: roasted butternut squash pureed with stock and cream (and nutmeg, a little cinnamon, S&P, and crushed red pepper) makes the best pasta sauce ever. It's creamy and rich and sweet, and a little spicy. Totally awesome fall flavors. 

Go make that. Then come back and maybe I'll have written another post. One can dream. xx

Sunday, November 10, 2013

(Not?) Writing Again (sigh)

I am writing again. It's just as awful as I remember it.

I am back to my old tricks (procrastination, writing blog, reading your blogs, tweeting, fb-ing, looking up people that I met once at a bar in NYC on facebook, not finding them, or worse, finding them and looking at all their public pictures and inventing their lives now, and wishing I could talk to you or you or the other you. Call me? I will probably answer. Procrastinator.)

I think procrastination is just part of the writing process. I will add it in there the next time some kid asks me how to be a writer--hey kid, have good hobbies and friends that stay up all night because you will need stuff to do when you're avoiding writing. Otherwise, it's easy. Just write.

I even bought a new computer to write on. Can you see my dedication?  Lalala.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Way Tight

I feel like I should have something to say now. Here we are back at the end and I’m kind of speechless. (There is a double meaning, no?)

Here comes the rain and cold and gray. The year is ending. Another day another year another life. Almost nothing has changed this year. My daughter is more beautiful and older, smarter, way funnier—more perfect. I am older and less of the rest of those things.  We are the same, she and I. We are resilient.

Come on then, winter, you aren’t dragging us into the dark with you, we got this. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Olly Olly Oxen Free (ok, so there are 2 metaphors going on here)

There isn’t much left over after waves of regret and joy pummel through our lives.  The same way the ocean takes rocks, shells, landmasses, trees and beats them smooth, wave after wave, this is what life does to us. It’s slow most of the time—a steady wash, over and over.  And, then there are storms, big and heavy, blusterous and massive, exhausting. But does the ocean ever pause? When do we get to call every one in? I’m about as smooth as I’m going to get, you dig?