One Line A Day


I feel like I’ve told you about the five-year memory book that Ian gave me at the beginning of the year, but I just read through January’s posts, and I didn’t then. 

So maybe I haven’t. 

Anyway, he gave me a five-year memory book at the beginning of the year. It has 366  dated and lined pages, with five spots per page to fill in the year. My mission is to return it when it’s full of memories. 

Obviously, I’m nearly a third of the way through for the first time. This year it’s a journey of optimism; of looking forward to the future and wondering what I will write on this day in the four years to come. 

Of reading the things I have written, five years from now, and remembering them for the first time in a week or a month or five years. 

I imagine it will feel like reading the post from my five-year blogoversary earlier this evening, when I searched my archives for journal and five year while trying to find out if I’ve told you about this book. Two years of posting every day is coming up, and then there’s another four years of sporadic posting before that, so why would I remember my 1,063rd post? I wouldn’t; I didn’t. 

But it was nice to re-read and reminisce. 

And it was nice to think about how far along I’ve come–have I passed a million words yet? In my life, certainly. Since I’ve been writing here? I don’t know. That’s 457 a day. But minus the 200k+ from four NaNoWriMos, it’s only 365 a day. 

I don’t know. But it’s interesting to break it down this way. 

I’m pretty sure this week, the week of our anniversary, will be the most fun to re-read. We have big plans for future vacations. But it will all be cool, even the days I stayed in my pajamas playing Breath of the Wild and we did rock-paper-scissors to see who was going to get out of the house to gather Pok├ęstops to keep our streaks going. 

Btdubs, I highly recommend Breath of the Wild. It’s in the memory book quite a bit since it came out. 


NaNo 2k16

nano-crestY’all. OMG. Seriously, this is the best NaNoWriMo yet. It’s the second day, and I’m over ten thousand words.

Ten. Thousand. Words.

They’re pouring out left and right. And this pile is only going to need minimal editing when I’m done with it. Right now I’m guessing about 80k is where I’ll find the finish line.

I’m psyched. I’m stoked. Let’s do this.

And hopefully my husband will survive this World Series. And my manager. He’s probably shitting bricks too.

Go Cubbies?


Time Traveling Hipster and Turtle Brownies

timetrThe sound tickled just beneath Clara’s ears, almost subsonic in its depth. She worked her jaw to relieve the pressure, but it didn’t help much. She turned her attention back to the photograph, desperately seeking any reason to label it a hoax.

A bell rang in the next room, startling her away from her studies. Clara rose to check on the brownies. They were done to a perfect chewy toughness, just the way she liked them. She grabbed a bag of candy from the counter and methodically pushed a caramel into the center of each brownie square. By the time the brownies were cool enough to cut and plate, the caramels would be perfectly gooey.

She left dessert unattended on the kitchen counter and returned to her home office. Her head twitched to the right, then back to center. That sound again. She gritted her teeth and sat down at her desk. She would have laughed aloud if that sound weren’t setting all of her nerves on edge. So irritating. And only in here, while she’s trying to work.

Clara gave up for the day, closing her files and returning to the kitchen for a brownie and a nice tall glass of milk.


Five Years

I’m horrible with dates. I really am.Well, not important dates. I’m excellent at birthdays and anniversaries–real anniversaries, that is.

Remember in high school when couples celebrated their two-week anniversary and more gag-inducing scenarios like that? To this day, I still don’t understand how in the world they kept up with the dates. Granted, I didn’t have too many romantic entanglements in high school, but still.

Last Friday was the anniversary of the day my in-laws met, so a hard day for my father-in-law. But I don’t know how he remembers it. I only remember the day I met my husband because it was at his brother’s wedding. If we’d just met in passing I’d have not the first clue.

candle

Anyway, today turns out to be my five year anniversary with WordPress. Five years and 1,062 posts. This one’s 1,063. One completed-enough-to-publish novel. Three novel drafts. One memoir-in-progress. Thousands of words, maybe even a million words. That feels like something.

A million words.

But five years and July 17, those don’t feel like such big deals. I’ll forget the date in a few days, and it’ll sneak up on me again next year. When I’m sure I’ll be just as nonplussed.

I mean, I’ve caught hundreds of Pokemon and walked dozens of kilometers in the past ten days.

Anyway, happy five years to me. I’m more proud of the 418 post streak I’ve got going on right now. I’d have the anniversary whether or not I wrote every day.

But hey, thanks for sticking around. I appreciate that.


Broken Bones

The adolescent chant about sticks and stones has it all wrong. Very few would argue that words have never hurt them. 

Because words are powerful. They’re the reason we read, the reason we write. They combine in so many ways, and every way comes with a new meaning. By replacing a single word in a sentence or phrase, the sense can alter from praise to admonishment.

This morning I heard a phrase on the radio that struck me somewhat differently than it has every other time I’ve heard it: just a man. Today I listened to it, let it bounce around in my head until this post was halfway written.

Because just a man is night and day when compared to just a woman.

Just a man is excusive. By using this three-word combination, he’s saying so much more than three words. 

I know my masculinity causes you to expect infallibility, possibly invincibility. Alas, due to the unbelievable coincidence of circumstances beyond my manly control, today I do not live up to my divine intentions.

Just a man means still better than a woman. Just a man means second only to omnipotence. Just a man is not deprecation in the slightest. It’s a boys’ club chuckle, an inside joke.

On the other hand, just a woman is a dismissal. 

That poor thing, she thought she was a worthwhile human being. Such a pity.

Just a woman means we didn’t expect anything more of her. Just a woman means a second class citizen who didn’t know her place. Just a woman is an unabashed guffaw at an attempt to be as good as just a man.

Even in innocent hands, words are weapons.


A Lemony Life

Out of curiosity, I just had a look through my stats to see what has been my most-viewed post–it’s Birth Stories, from nearly two years ago. Of course, I promptly reread it.

The corners of my mouth began to twitch as I read. I’m so me! Isn’t that funny? I was initially merely tickled, then grew more and more pleased with myself. I’d found my voice before the day I wrote those words, the same voice I hear inside my head as I write these words.

But the good cheer faded as I began to mourn that me-who-was. Today-me would be frightening to her. Two years isn’t very long at all, but two weeks can be an eternity.

Ha! Did you see, just there? I made a TTC joke. Kind of.

The past two weeks have taken more of a toll on me and Ian than the past two years. Hell, the past ten years. It has been horrible. And we have at least one more week to go.

I can’t tell you anything because we don’t know anything. At first, no one had any information to give us; now, they’ve simply stopped returning calls. And–just–FUCK!! In some ways, no news is good news, but in others, not so much.

But I’ve digressed myself right on away from the destination I had in mind when I began.

My most viewed post ever, aside from my home page and my about pages, has no comments. Not a single one. I even asked for a hell yeah; no hell yeahs were offered.

It’s not that I value my words any less because they’re missing someone else’s; it just seems odd. I have to wonder: was it something I said? Was it everything I said? Maybe that’s it. I said it all; nothing was left to add.

Or maybe everyone was in a purgatory, like we are right now. It’s hard to pretend that all is well, everything’s fine, perfectly normal when it’s so obviously not. It’s been hard for me to comment, or even like anything. It feels false.

And yet.

Grief and stress and worry are not full time jobs. They’re not clinical depression. There is always a moment to snatch here and there, a moment of something else. It feels wrong when I notice it, as those interludes always do while I’m grieving, but they’re inescapable.

Earlier I read a recipe for some kind of lemon pie or cake or something; it called for ‘lemon rind.’ I considered commenting that they probably mean lemon zest, as the pithy part included in the rind is not so tasty, but I refrained.

I refrained because I had that moment of something else. I was distracted by the word ‘lemon’ itself–it’s so lemony. It’s a good word. It feels silky smooth when you say it, like a perfectly sweetened lemonade. I repeated ‘lemon’ to myself a few times, savoring the taste of the sound. It flows. It’s soft and round and homey. A good word. Solid, but ephemeral.

I caught myself enjoying an imaginary lemon I the midst of our crisis, and it felt wrong. But it felt right. They say to make lemonade. Sometimes all you have is a word.

And yet.

The more things that happen, the less credible I feel. We have two fireproof lockboxes of legal documents and reports and records, and still we obtain more and more and more. We need another lockbox.

When it’s all strewn out across the bed as we search for one particular document, it’s absolutely astounding. The sheer volume of crap we have dealt with in the past five years is unbelievable. I have been here, and I can’t believe it.

I can’t possibly expect anyone else to believe it. No one but us is aware of all of this. As a writer, I would never throw this much at a reader and expect a suspension of disbelief.

I’ll stack our personal headlines up against the state of Florida’s any day, y’all. And Florida is crazy with the headlines.

It’s enough to make me try to remember every wish I made as a child. Birthday candles, wishing wells, shooting stars. What could I possibly have wished for to warrant this? How can this possibly lead to a granted wish?

I don’t really want to know. I don’t ever want to know what other terrible things I have to look forward to. I’ll kick back, secure in the knowledge that I’ll never know the things I do truly want to know. There is a certain kind of bland, tasteless security in knowing this.

I’ll relax, and dream about lemons.