Typed while nursing…excuse my typos

You thought I wasn’t going to post today, didn’t you? Me too. But Kai unexpectedly insisted upon nursing before we went to lunch, so here I am. Or, rather, here we are.

Loving:

The beautiful cool, crisp, sunny weather. I am wearing my huge fuzzy knee-high slipper/boots out of necessity, and loving every moment of it.

Reading:

Sadly, not much got read last week. I didn’t even do much on social media, much to the shock and awe of my activity trackers.

Watching:

Nothing I want to. I’m behind on all my shows already. Gotta figure out a way to remedy that.

Listening to:

I have been listening to what I lovingly refer to as the college angst playlist Spotify made for me. And rolling my eyes at some of the lyrics. One of the benefits of 40 is that you are no longer subject to much of the inner turmoil that plagues 20. Which makes me wonder what I will think of my current self at 60. What do I consider important now that I will learn is a complete waste of time?

Working on:

Right now, trying to keep my son from picking my nose. Overall, sorting out insurance for next year, planning a wedding menu, and trying to find time to do my writing homework.

Anticipating:

Next weekend. Zoo Boo, corn maze, and a train ride. Should be fun!

Making me happy:

My son’s sudden infatuation with Owlette from PJ Masks. I’m starting to consider her my daughter-in-law.

 

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Because I should be writing

Here are some pieces I’ve stumbled across in the past week on tightening up your writing. Good for both writers and editors, as well as anyone who thinks words are fun.

Just me?

Ahem. Anyway.

Clamp Down on Unhelping Verbs

297 Flabby Words and Phrases That Rob Your Writing of All Its Power

And here’s a fun article about editing, for those people who think we are the comma police: The Book He Wasn’t Supposed to Write

There. That’s a few tabs down. My browser can breathe a sigh of relief now. (It’ll feel even better once I sort out the size of the wedding cake and we fix the vacuum cleaner.)

You spin me right round, baby

Because it’s Sunday and I’m stealing this time to blog before we go out for the day…prompt time.

Also because Anya is listening to “You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, right round round round” on a loop three feet from me and I cannot concentrate enough to say anything deep and meaningful.

Loving:

It is fall. I love fall. I love fall more than I love Christmas, and I love me some Christmas. As I usually spend most of fall sick with allergies and various other sinus complaints, I can’t really explain why I love fall so much. It is simply the best of the seasons.

Now if the weather would get with the program, I’d love it even more.

As I have taken to honoring the seasons with home decor, I have swapped out the front door wreath and the kitchen tablecloth/flower arrangement. This week I will wash up the throw blanket. And I swapped out our “what we love about summer” pantry door decor with the “what we love about fall”:

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When the seasons change, I save these scraps of paper for the scrapbook I fully intend to put together someday.

Reading:

This past week was crazy on the work front, so…nothing other than kids’ books. But there have been a fair amount of those. Both of my kids are asking to be read to these days, and it warms my little word geek heart.

Watching:

I’m going to admit it: I was not a huge fan of the animated Beauty and the Beast movie. It was all right. But it didn’t hold as dear a place in my heart as, say, The Little Mermaid. I related to Belle as a character, obviously; good on Disney for finally grokking that brainy misfit brunettes need love too. But the whole Beauty/Beast scenario was a bit too Stockholmy for me. I wasn’t a fan in any of its many incarnations. But I love the live action movie — more so than my daughter, who adores it because it’s one of the first she saw in the theater. I have watched it 10 times already, easily. And I don’t watch TV much, or care for musicals.

Listening to:

The other day I spent half an hour hunting down a song I heard on Kai’s Baby Einstein video because I want to play it at the wedding. (Pachelbel’s Canon in D, if you’re curious.)

Working on:

This week I am going to work on turning the pile of craft supplies in the office into wedding decor. My dress comes back from the cleaners, and I will go in for a fitting. (Undergarment shopping might also come into play, depending on the miracles the tailor can bring about.) Engagement pictures will, weather permitting, also take place. I really need to get off my arse and print the invites so we can find out who is actually coming to this shindig. And I need to start scoping recipes for the food.

Wedding stuff. That’s what’s happening.

Anticipating:

Cooler weather. I am tired of my arms; I would like to trade my short-sleeved tees for long-sleeved tees for a while.

Making me happy:

Surprise flowers.

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He buys the prettiest just-because flowers.

Everything is sticky

Kai’s sippy cup is apparently not for toddlers. Though it only has two small holes — one in the straw/handle and a teensy one in the top for ventilation, he managed to pour an entire cup of juice all over my kitchen floor. While I was baking a cake and working (yes, I multitask), and while Angus the Roomba sucked up the Cheerios Kai had dumped on the floor not five minutes previously. I didn’t notice the juice until Kai started slip-sliding in it, by which point Angus had already tracked it to the other side of the kitchen. Yesterday was kind of a freight train, though, so I only had time for a cursory mop. And today I am sticking to the floor.

There is not much that annoys me more than stuff being sticky — the floor especially. I would love to scrub the floor by hand, but that’s not in the cards.

Kai has been especially two today. He woke angry (I woke him up and changed his poopy diaper first thing; he hates being changed), and has vacillated between rage, impishness, and heart-melting affection ever since. I broke down and bribed him in the grocery store: A treat of his choice if he would just let me shop for five minutes. He chose ooey-gooey cinnamon rolls.

I just discovered icing in my hair, and I didn’t even eat one.

I’m cool with letting things get a little dusty. And you really don’t want to see my bathroom sink right now. But I cannot deal with sticky.

And neither can he.

You can hear the sticky.

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On letting go

(I still haven’t done the writing assignment from last week. And my sinus infection is hampering clear thought. So…bloggity blog blog.)

In my goals list is one of those maddeningly vague ones: Let it go. I had something specific in mind when I added it to my list, I’m sure. But that’s gone now. I can, of course, think of things I want to do that fit the goal. But what’s the point?

I don’t mean that in a teenage-angst sort of way. I mean, really, what is the point of letting go? The more I think about it, the more that I see it isn’t what I want to do. I don’t want to let things go; I want to let things in. It’s not that I want to strip my closet down to the bare minimum (though, admittedly, it is a fun exercise to boil my possessions down to only what I need — I enjoy it in much the same way I enjoy Twitter as a writing exercise); it’s that I want to use what’s in there. It’s not that I want to get rid of my old books; it’s that I want to make room for new books. It’s not that I want to cut people out of my life; it’s that I want to fill my life with good people so that there is no room left for the ones who, in some cases years after they left, continue to hurt me.

I’m feeling pretty isolated as of late. And Facebook, which all too often is the sum total of my social interaction, has been irritating me. Again. Which typically puts me in a flush-it-chuck-it-nuke-it mindset.

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Please tell me someone remembers this movie.

I let go is because letting go is easier. It is easier to toss it, to walk away, to retreat into myself than to reach out. It’s why I have resigned myself to having very little in the way of social support, as opposed to putting myself on the line and maybe actually making a friend or two. Or, for a less deep example, it’s why I keep patching and wearing these stupid bras that don’t fit rather than subject myself to an actual bra store that sells something small enough to fit my child-sized ribs.

It’s easier. And I don’t have to talk to people. That could be my epitaph.

But I’m not dead yet. Only the horse is dead. Perhaps I should stop smacking it? And, I don’t know, give Meetup another shot. Or at least go buy some new bras.

A bunch of words about words

Last week I watched the eclipse on my back deck and caught Kai’s kid crud and had a massive falling out with my daughter and then made up with her again and started a writing class after roughly 20 years out of the writing game and started my period after 97 days of cramps and bloating and excruciating back pain.

So I’ve been a little busy.

Loving:

That writing class. I’m now kicking young me for not appreciating college more. There’s nothing more fun than listening to a word person talk about the intricacies of words and the order in which they are put together.

Well, if you’re a word person, anyway. To everyone else, I imagine it’s boring as hell.

Reading:

I am reading. A book. For grown-ups. It’s called Tell the Wolves I’m Home. It’s too soon yet to say what I think of it, because right now I’m just so very excited to be reading a book with no pictures and more than 60 pages.

Watching:

Anya got Beauty and the Beast for her birthday, so we’ve watched that a few times. And Anya has suddenly glommed on to Harry Potter, so…

Listening to:

Um…the writing course, mostly.

Working on:

Squaring away the last few ceremony details, and trying to come up with a fun, but doable, menu for the reception.

Also a late celebration for my parents, as I was too sick the day of their anniversary to do anything for them.

Anticipating:

The fair is coming up. I love the fair.

Making me happy:

Confession time: Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to write this book is that it’s taken me so long to write this book. It’s gone from being a neat story idea into some weird sort of magnum opus, and I didn’t really feel it was an important enough story to be a magnum opus. And I convinced myself that perhaps I’m not really cut out to be a writer and I stopped writing.

But now, just a little way into this writing course, I’m thinking that my problem was I was focused on the story when I should have been focused on the writing. When I think about the truly great stories I’ve read, the ones that stayed with me long after I set the book down, I do not think of stories that are unique or especially powerful, but stories told in a singular way. John Irving comes to mind. Pat Conroy. Kurt Vonnegut. Stephen King. (I know not everyone shares this opinion, but I’m into King for the gut-punch details and the in-depth insight into what makes people tick. He said once that when he writes, he wants your heart. Well, he’s got mine.)

I am much more interested in writing an elegantly crafted story than I am in writing a good tale. Make of that what you will. It’s why poetry always appealed to me more than prose, I think; I was more interested in the music of the language than the relatability of the lyrics. And now I think I would like to apply that on a larger scale. Which is probably way too ambitious of a project for someone in my position, but there you have it. I will either soar, or come running back to editing with my tail between my legs. But I’ll kick myself if I don’t at least try.

And then she was six

It seems like yesterday (and also a lifetime ago) that I was staring, awe-struck, at the little person who’d been growing in my belly for the better part of a year. The baby I’d waited my whole life to have. I can still feel the weight of her in my abdomen, and the comparative lightness of her in my arms. So very tiny, so very perfect in every way — as a c-section baby, she didn’t have that squished head, and she emerged with nary a red mark, a pimple, or blemish of any kind. She was a porcelain doll of an infant.

Until she got angry — and angry she was. I had expected this, given her in utero punches and kicks. But I could not have prepared for the reality.

But mostly she was content. She laughed when she was four days old. She returned my gaze with wonder of her own. She studied everything, and absorbed it all.

I remember all of this, and more. The smell of her hair. The feel of her impossibly tiny fingernails. The soft weight of her cheek pressed against my breast. All of this is as clear to me as my most recent breath.

My angel face is a growing girl now (grown, she insists). She dances, and draws, and sings. She rubs my shoulders when I am tense, and rocks her little brother when he skins his knee. She lives fiercely, with everything she has. She is a force of nature, and I have spent the past 6 years swept up in her wake.

I can’t wait to see where we go next.

Loving:

Fall is coming. It’s not here, but I see it off in the distance. I’m so ready.

Reading:

More Goosebumps. I feel like I should create a reading ritual with Kai, too, so his books aren’t left out.

Watching:

Not much this past week. I’ve been swept up in wedding planning and birthday prep, and taking on extra work besides.

Listening to:

More Kesha than I ever expected.

Working on:

This week, it’s anniversary party time. My parents have been married 48 years. Forty. Eight. Years. Doesn’t leave much time to plan a 50th bash. But in the meantime, I have cake to bake.

Anticipating:

September. Fair season. I love September. Part of me really wanted to get married in September. But as slow as I have been in putting everything together, I’m glad I opted for November.

Making me happy:

I can fit into my wedding dress again. I don’t have to go wedding dress shopping! Such a relief.