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Showing posts from January, 2013

Realizing

Once, when Josh was still very small, my mother-in-law turned to me and said:

"You know, it's like he's always been here."

And right there, in those eight words, she perfectly captured my faith in God.

There are days, like today, when I look at my child and I can almost see eternity stretching backward like a long unfurling satin wing.  We've been on this path together for a while now, though we've forgotten the greater part.  But it was only just tonight, while I had my hands in a bubbly sink full of dishes, that I came to understand the significance of that.




I often think to myself: I am failing my child.

or

I am a terrible mother.

or

I can't believe I just did that, again!

or

What is wrong with me? These kids are making me crazy and they're not even doing anything wrong!

or

I should not be his/her mother.

or

It's no wonder we don't have any more kids.  I don't deserve them.

or

Well, you get the idea.  I am always surprised when I hear other …

Exercising

My brain.  This is the short piece I started working on based on someone else's brainstorm image from class.  I am still trying to write every day, but some days my laziness is just too strong.  Like the force, only less cool.  Still, I'm writing a bit of something most days (and I am not short changing myself when that 'writing' is part of school work.  I have a LOT of it right now, and we're only two weeks in.  Last semester I got a bit lazy and paid the price with last minute rushing; this semester I want to go out nice and easy...if possible.)

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Safe Haven In the milk aisle at Costco, Elise’s four year old daughter Candy announced that she had to use the restroom again. She bobbed on her little feet, knock kneed and bubbling over with all the urgency of her four-year-old full bladder. She pulled at the hem of her pink tutu and tried not to make eye contact with her mom. Looking down at the top of her daughter’s restless blonde head, Elise tried to hold back the…

Brainstorming

Classes officially started back up this week.  At times I am just shocked to be in the homestretch of classes, but then other days I am wondering why it isn't over yet.  This semester I'll be taking six classes.  S-I-X.  I also took six last semester and did ok until the very end when I lost my brain somewhere between Thanksgiving and Neverland.  This semester I am trying to stay more organized and on top of assignments so that I'm not battling down to the last moment.  Two days in and I've almost missed one quiz already so I spent a fortune in ink printing out all the class due date schedules. 

Anyhow, the first assignment for my creative writing class is to come up with a "spring loaded image."  I have the same professor as last semester, so I've actually done this before.  A spring loaded image is basically a short description of an image ripe with potential.  The example my professor uses in class is "A Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road.&qu…

Beginning

The mountains shrouded With swaths of wispy clouds
Sweetly white where they cling
Like babes to their mother’s breast
And snow falls fast, feather upon feather
Blotting out the brown and gloom of winter
Promising ice-kissed spring not far behind.

The slopes of old regrets Go sweeping down
Fast, fast upon the mountainside
Until the depths are reached
Darkness and despair in the canyons
And everywhere shadows
And everywhere paths pointing north

At the precipice An empty hour
Bird calls and swooning wind
A thousand syllables of lost love
Buried in the scent of pine and moss
Growing things asleep in beds
New tomorrows under foot.

A lot riding on a little

Today I channeled my creative energy into a short essay/letter/thing which described my desire and ability to be a teaching assistant while I'm a grad student.  I feel like there is a lot riding on this essay/letter/thing - I can't afford grad school unless they accept me.  Unfortunately for me, the university I currently attend does not like to accept students who graduated from the same university into the Creative Writing Master's program.  I am hoping that the relationships I have made and the samples I submitted are argument enough to get me by.  In the meantime, cross your fingers, toes, and arms for me.  I won't be put out of my misery notified about acceptance until March.  Here is a snippet of one of my writing samples:

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Three news vans huddled like a herd of praying mantises around the bus, antennas extended.Reporters tried not to blink at the bright light of the cameras while they rehearsed in front of a tangled knot of onlookers for the impending live sho…

Under Pressure

Tonight I am filling out an app for grad school.  This is the third I have worked on, and each one has wanted really different stuff so no copy/pasting to make life easier.  This one is also the school I most want to get into and there is only 4 days until the deadline.  Procrastination always keeps my life interesting.

On the upside, plans for my celebatory graduation trip are underway.  Plane tickets procurred, hotels currently under investigation, and a whole lot of dreaming going on.  But you know what they say, if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!  Maybe even grad school.


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(A little sample of my application letter, if you please):


When I was about thirteen years old, my grandmother introduced me to Tony Hillerman.Not in person, of course, but to his novel Skinwalkers.My grandmother was an avid reader of all sorts of fiction and non-fiction, in addition to being a highly educated and well-travelled lover of life; Skinwalkers provided a link between us that remains…

Life imitates art

I suppose because I have dealt with (and continue to deal with) infertility, I thought it could be really interesting to explore a fictional world wherein our reproductive rights are controlled by the government to a much larger degree than we can even imagine now.  Where having children is something you apply for and can be turned down for without explanation (sounds a little bit like adoption...), where population is tightly controlled.  If I could no longer make a choice about whether or not I 'want' children, how would I think, feel, act, respond, cope?  Especially if I was unlucky enough to qualify to even try.  I'm not sure if this will ever go anywhere, and I'm afraid it might be a little too close to the apocolytpic junk that is already on the market, but still - it made me think and therefore write. 

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On the morning of their fourth Trial, they tried to move like shadows through the grass.Weaving in and out of sunlight, placing their feet lightly, their hand…

Dear Josh,

I wish I could tell you that I feel certain.  Certain about what will happen, what choices to make, what paths to go down. 

But I just don't. 

Some things are just hard.

We had a conversation the other night about choices.  It was a hard conversation for both of us, but I hope also a good one.  I had a realization of my own while we were talking, and I hope it's something you remember for a long time.

We talked about the road we have to take.  About how the easy path looks so tempting and so good.  And the hard path looks like it's straight uphill.  But the easy path is a trick, it's a foil.  The easy path only goes down, away from what you want and need, away from the rewards that are worth having.  The hard path goes up towards the things we want and need.  It might take longer, it might look too difficult, but it's the way that leads to the best rewards.  And everytime we take that hard path, we are only being our true, best self.  The one that's full of p…

Dabbling

I actually wrote the beginning of this story a long time ago by hand.  Then I lost it.  The second part has been sitting in my files for a couple of years (at least) while the beginning bumped around in various forms inside my head.  Tonight I took a stab at getting the beginning down, albeit in a different and still quite rough form.  As usual, I have no idea where (if at all) this should go.

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Sheriff Clayton Withers didn’t normally like to take his son, Jack, out with him when he was working.But today Jack was out of school, and his Ma had another one of those headaches that had been troubling her since she’d been in the family way.It was her fourth pregnancy so far, with the last two ending poorly and the babies buried in graves under the tree out back, so Clay didn’t object to having Jack along this time.Besides, Jack kept quiet and watchful as they rode in the summer afternoon heat with their weathered gray hats pulled low over their foreheads and handkerchiefs over their mouth…

Promptly

Something new and extremely rough for today's post.  I used a writing prompt ("write about a day moon") to get me going, the whole point being to get something - anything really - on the page. 

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The moon refused to set.It hung there in the sky like some bulbous seed, full of life and waiting for just the right weather to sprout.Tam watched it doubtfully, warily, waiting for some other sign to come along and wipe away the heavy meaning of a day moon.But everything was quiet.Still.Poised.Even the river, some hundred leagues away, seemed to rush quietly in its banks.It avoided the rocks and normal pitfalls of its course, thrumming instead of crashing against the shore.
They saw hardly any game and so had to wait until late for lunch, finally settling down to eat when the sun was already halfway to setting.Tam’s stomach rumbled uncomfortably, a protest of nerves and a long day walking with only hard Satyr rolls from last night’s leftovers.When Vardos finally speared a ra…

Evolution of a story

Once, a while back, I got a great idea for a funny riff on Lord of the Rings.  We're big fans (of the movies more than the books really) around here, and I thought this would be hilarious if done right.  This is my dusty outline and the question is: is it worth pursuing?  (Side note: I have a ridiculous amount of trouble spelling "pursue".)  Let me know in the comments (or on facebook if that's your mode of choice).

(p.s. These are my ideas and intellectual property and you better not steal them and publish them, especially if it makes a lot of money and I find out about it!)
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Lord of the Swings It’s bad enough being ten years old.Even worse to be ten years old with thick, curly hair that grows way too fast, over large feet and short legs.But then my parents had to go and name me Frodo.

That’s right, my name is Frodo B. Wynn, fifth grader.

Frodo – 10 years old, short for his age, curly hair.His parents were LOTR fanatics and Frodo hates his name.You can’t even shorten …

The problem with writing this story

is that I have absolutely no idea where it's going or if that's the place it should be.

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Joshua was squeezing his eyes shut, squeezing so hard that white lights popped behind his eyelids from the pressure.He squeezed mom’s hand too and felt her squeeze back, felt the reassuring smoothness of her skin, felt her breathe in little gasping breaths that sounded relieved instead of afraid.

But he kept his eyes closed still, hoping against hope that they somehow were back in Gremelda’s cavern where it was safe and cluttered and known. Or better yet, back at home and this was all just a dream.

When I open my eyes, I’ll wake up,’ he said to himself.Breathing deep he let his eyelids lift up. It wasn’t Gremelda’s cavern.Or home.But it wasn’t dark, at least, and the sound of the waterfall was blessedly gone.And the ferns, no more ferns grabbing for his toes.

Instead, they were bathed in the light of a thousand crystal chandeliers hanging from a low, smooth cavern ceiling.No wide opening s…

New Years

This year I've only made two resolutions:

1.  Complain less - I have a great life, so I've got to do more to look at it that way.

2.  Write something every day.

As part of my second resolution, I'll be posting bits of stuff I'm working on here on the blog.  This will hopefully push me to keep my second resolution and provide updates/something to read for the faithful few that continue to stop by. 

Today's posting comes from a story I've posted part of before.  I didn't write anything new for it, per se, but I made some edits and additions.  I'd really like to focus on this story in particular and get it finished.  I began writing it during a vacation to California and I've sort of put it on a shelf, but it's to/about/for my children and I want to get somewhere with it for them.  There is other stuff before and after this section, but I was working on it tonight and figured it was as good a place as any to begin my resolution.

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Josh only real…