Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Do you know how difficult it is to live without internet?

It's so easy to be so completely addicted to it. Especially in this world, where we are so used to instant communication, to downloading whatever we need. Information overload!

And now, I finally have it again. I didn't have it for so long, and that was difficult. Now, I'm back in the world wide web network! I am in, like Flynn! I'm back, baby! And all that jazz!

So, thrilled to be able to finally focus on my writing, as the internet is surely able to do, being as it can do anything--or at the least, ready to do whatever I need to do as it comes up, and hopefully save myself time--what do I do?

I start writing...and end up watching Glee. Wow.

You know, I totally did miss almost every episode of theirs!

Thank Heavens for the Internet...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kissing Day in Blogland...

Apparently, and thanks to my pal Amalia T. for letting me know, today is Kissing Day! I have to take fantastic!

A kissing scene for you all, from my first novel. I hope you enjoy!!!!

Then Evan was pulling Sallie forward, again. “Oh, Sallie.”

But she was past the point of reason. She was talking, and she realized what she was saying, over and over: “Dead! Dead!”

“Calm down, Sallie.” He swore again, and touched her shoulder. “We need to get you out of here.”

She stopped, and looked at him, her focus sudden. “You need to get everyone out of here.”

“Yes,” he agreed, “But mostly you.”

He’s still here. The voices, chorusing together.

“Not me.” She stopped, and slipped her arm from his grip.

“Sallie, this is not the time!” he said again.

“Clear out,” she said. “Clear out everyone. But leave me.”

“Stop with the sacrificial nonsense. Do you have any idea of what it was like, knowing you were in here?” Evan demanded. “It was like a million explosions going off. We had to fight our way in. I had to make way for Claudia and Leonie, and I couldn’t even follow.” He was bleeding faintly from the wounds on his chest, the wounds from yesterday. “Knowing you could be killed at any second? Unable to see you, to—” he shook his head—“To protect you?”

He’s still here.

“Get Amity outside,” she said. “And get Tom. You have to protect him. He’s not from here.”

“Tom, of course, get Tom,” he said. “I’ll bloody get Tom after I get you out of here!”

“No! You have to save everyone else!”

“I have to save you!” 

“Herrick killed Brenna!” She could see the statement hit him, and she felt horrible. She could see the pain fill his eyes. Perhaps he would listen, then. “He’s killed everyone who’s helped me, and I can’t let him escape.”

“He couldn’t have killed my mother.” Evan shook his head. “She would be safe.”

“He told me himself. You have to leave, Evan. You need to take care of your family. You have to take care of everyone.”

“He’s a liar. He didn’t kill her.” But she could see that he didn’t believe it. “What about Lon?”

She shrugged. “He must still be alive. You have to find him. Save everyone. Be like the Guard he talked about. Be his hero.”

“You’ll always be the hero, Sallie.” Even though death was looming, as bright as the day—when had it become full daylight?—she couldn’t feel it. “And I can’t leave you. Someone needs to keep an eye on you.” He put his hand on her cheek.

She stared at him for a precious second. Hurry! Hurry! The voices were clamoring, ringing, and she knew she had to listen to them, help them, and that they could help her. And she threw her arms around him again, but this time, she pulled him close and kissed him, hard. She could taste blood and sweat and every emotion they each felt. And he anxiously leaned into her, and she could feel his anguish and hers in the adrenaline of the battle.

It was her first kiss, and she never wanted to kiss another person but him again.

They broke apart, and she gasped for air. It had been a mistake, of course. Now she knew he wouldn’t leave her. She shouldn’t have kissed him. “I didn’t mean to do that,” she whispered.

He stared at her, and moved his hand from her face. She hadn’t even noticed he was still touching her. “No.”

“Go!” she screamed. “I don’t want you here! Go!” And she found the wind, in her anger, and she felt a storm, and she reached, and stretched, and she brought it right on top of them.

She turned away, and ran, so he could not follow her in the strength of the gale, so she could not see the look in his eyes. She felt him scrambling to follow her, and she did the right thing, the only thing, and pushed him back with the wind.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New blog

So, I started a new blog. I don't know why. I guess just because I can. And, because I'm obsessed with Christmas trees.

O, Christmas Tree (Because Oh, Christmas Tree as a domain was already taken!)--and I'm using it to post pictures, and more, I suppose, eventually, on Christmas Trees! So check it out, if you'd like! I'd be down with that. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If only...

Do you ever wish that life were a musical? :) That something like this might happen in your own home town?

Did you watch that video? How utterly cool, right?

I've wanted to live in a musical for a long time. And I think I kind of do. It's not too difficult--dance a little in public, sing a little in public, have a constant soundtrack in your head. (I took a quiz once that told my my life's theme song is I'm Walking on Sunshine by Katarina and the Waves.) But seeing something like this made me feel a little wistful that I'm apparently the only cast member in my own personal musical.

It's okay, really--it's just that lately, I've started to remember just how much I love those song-and-dance routines. I guess I'd been away from them for a bit too long. Maybe the real reason for this is because it's Christmas, and despite all barriers, I'm always sentimental at Christmas time. Seriously. Even for decades I didn't live through.

What do you all think about this? I guess, in the words of Colin Firth in "Love Actually," it's Christmas, and I just wanted to...check.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another few adorable links

Not that I mean to inundate with links, but I have a few today.

First two are for fans of the Muppets. Gonzo and the chickens are fantastic, of course; and then there's this *fantastic* beast of a song, also done by the Muppets.

OK, and if you're a comments reader, you'll note Christmas is coming up quite a bit. So, last but not least, one of the funniest videos I have seen this season...the silent monks sing a song for Christmas.

You know, Youtube can be addicting. But I just get so excited when I find something on there that actually seems worthwhile. I think that Muppets and Silent Monks are just perfect harbingers of the Christmas Season! Or any other season, for that matter.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nothing to do with Christmas--owls!

This is a link I found through one of the emails that come to my inbox. It reminds me of the sweet little owls that grew up around here at the beginning of the year! I miss them--I named the babies Methuselah and Jericho.

How can you not want these darlings????

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas, 2009

Dear friends and family,

I’m learning with every passing day just why my parents were always ready to stick a few extra days into the season of Advent, before Christmas came. There’s so much to do, to prepare for the holidays. Gifts to buy, goodies to bake, surprises to make, songs to sing, concerts to prepare for…and with the addition of snow to shovel, and all the other winterizing processes one must do in a house, I can easily see why they might have wanted more time.

At this point, I should add that I am now the proud owner of a house. An exciting move! And a busy one.

It’s easy to get distracted during this time of year—during any time of year. In the course of my job, I found an article that perhaps illustrates this best of all. Out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and reported in the Bismarck Tribune, this story was printed on Dec. 22, 1936:

Mrs. Louis H. Hake, who had just finished baking some cakes for the holidays, discovered that she had somehow misplaced a quarter-inch bolt from her electric mixer. She searched for it frantically, and came to the conclusion that, horror of horrors for any Christmas baker, she had misplaced it directly into one of the cakes she had just finished making.

The only way poor Mrs. Hake could figure on locating this bolt—as she couldn’t tell which cake it was in—was to ask a local doctor to x-ray them. You can imagine her duress; so close to Christmas, all that work accomplished, to find something gone horribly awry. Their phone conversation was interesting; she asked him, “How would you like to x-ray a dozen cakes?”

“I’ll try anything once,” Dr. Stonehouse replied.

The doctor did so, and luckily for Mrs. Hake, he found the bolt in the third cake. And he earned himself a cake as payment, declining any other fees. One hopes that nothing else was baked into her cakes.

But it’s completely understandable, right? It’s easy to lose your head amidst the hustle and bustle.

Not that that’s what Christmas is all about. Baking, decorating, buying—it’s nice, but it’s not the spirit of the season. That’s being with family, and friends; spending time together; and that all-important Love. A man selling his watch to buy combs for his wife’s hair, when she sells her hair to buy him a watch chain. Mr. Edwards bringing Laura Ingalls and her sisters some treats from Santa. An editor reassuring a young girl that there is a Santa Claus. A baby, lying in a manger. I believe there is a song—“Love came down at Christmas time.”

So anyway, I wish you all the best in this season and the New Year. And if you lose a spoon while doing the holiday baking—well, you may just want to check those cakes!

With love,


Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas letter?

So, because I'm running late, I'm thinking I may just post my Christmas letter here. And direct people here. Hm. I can save paper! Except I have the cards already...I just don't have the time. Or the funds to cover tons of postage.

Is it taking something personal and making it less personal? I usually enclose a personal note with my form letter, so saying that a typical Christmas letter is already impersonal isn't going to work, this time. I just am not sure.

But right now, I'm 90 percent sure I'm going to post my letter here! Maybe tomorrow, for that extra post.

As the kids say (I think): Peace out. Or maybe I just picked that up from a Sesame Street Christmas special that I saw part of, yesterday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

New Tree!

Well, as I had foreseen, it has been busy, this month, so far--and it's only, what, Dec. 4? But I do want to share something exciting. I have a Christmas tree!

A Christmas tree, you ask? Why wouldn't you have a tree?

Besides being slightly cheap and having no room? No reason at all, I guess. I had a little tiny tree for some time. But now, my new home is also sporting a little Christmas cheer--a 6.5 foot Christmas Tree, found in one of the offices at work and donated to anyone who claimed it. Free! I jumped on top of that!

We (my family and I) could never have a real tree, and I don't think we'd want it, either--too much of a hassle, too many needles falling off, too much of a fire hazard. (Speaking of, read this for a quirky, perhaps twisted story of Christmas and Santa and fire hazards. No one got hurt too much, I swear.) But I digress from my point.

My tree is set up, now. It was nestled amidst tinsel and popcorn strings of some bygone era (the popcorn didn't look as bad as I might have guessed, to be honest), which has mostly been pulled away from it; and now, just to decorate it, and make it really sparkle.

Of course, I will need to get more lights, as I have just a 50-light string, and, as my brother pointed out, that will barely cover the base. Or the top. In fact, it's lit like a tree from Charlie Brown's Christmas, right now.

But it's my tree, and I love it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

December is tomorrow!

December is tomorrow! And there's so much left to do!

I can hardly believe that in 25 days, it will be that time of the year again. I love Christmas, and everything about it--the traditions, the sweets, the foods, the sharing and caring (that *should* go on throughout the year), the stories, the gifts of the magi (thank you, O. Henry!), and everything else that you can think of. Music, concerts. Little tots with their eyes all aglow.

Oh, but there's so much to do! Twenty-five days doesn't give me nearly enough time. I have to bake my cookies, decorate my home, prepare presents, write two (yes--two) separate Christmas letters, send off everything else, *and* stay on top of my normal duties.

Can I do it? That's the big question of the day. I just have to remember to breathe deeply! It won't be difficult, if the scent of gingerbread and popcorn and other goodies is still in the air...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Happy Black Friday!

I had a good day. Got up at 3:45; ran with hordes of people in all different directions; raced for the best bargains. Towed my mother around. Found gifts for my family. Gifts for me, too (I shouldn't have! Really!).

We go every year; and every year, I have an interesting experience. Not always the best. Black Friday really can bring out the worst in a person, and it's just a shame that that's the case. Like last year, when deaths were reported, due to the fact that people were greedy for goods.

Yes, Black Friday is commercial, but does it really need to be as bad as all that? Good gravy. Death by shopping? It would be funny, in a morbid way, if it weren't true. And in my experiences, it just keeps getting worse.

Last year, I felt like I could have been carried inside Target (I was waiting on the outside) by the wave of people crunched all around me. I could have picked up my feet and let the sheer force of bodies on all sides of me keep me up and take me in.

This year, I played it cool, and just tried to make my way in to find what I needed. I didn't get caught in the push of bodies...until I got inside.

One of the worst experiences inside, this year! People crazy, people running everywhere, things sold out in minutes! And one woman who apparently decided that if she pushed against me with her cart hard enough and enough times, she could make me vanish and go right through where I had been. I may have a bruised heel tomorrow. I may have one already, actually. And she didn't care.

I know I can't complain too much. I do go, myself, after all. (For the adrenaline rush! And the sales.) But I do believe that people should still respect each other. Go around each other. Not just kick someone out of the way. There is no excuse for that. Black Friday should not be a contact sport, nor should it require supervision.

We all may be crazy, but we're not that crazy. Or, we shouldn't be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh, Barbie, you spoiled child

What the heck? Barbie has a chartered jet? Or she can, if you buy it for her, for whatever the price may be.

I just discovered this on an ad for Black Friday goodness (or badness, depending on your views) at Kohl's, and it makes me think about the controversies surrounding Barbie and her friends and her penthouse suite and unrealistic figure and the blow up surrounding her boyfriend Ken (if they're still dating--I don't remember. Curses upon Blaine!)

So, how did Barbie get a jet? I know from magazines I received when I was little, being a fan of Barbie as I was, that she was a model. But she's an every girl's girl, too. She is a movie star, but she's also a doctor, a career woman, a teacher. And somehow she is able to afford a chartered jet? I grew up knowing I could get a car, someday--sure, maybe not a plastic pink one--but in an economy like this, are little girls going to grow up thinking it's easy to get a jet of their own--even if their parents can't afford the toy?

I'm all for dreaming, but something about this strikes me as ridiculous.

As does this link. Bella and Edward Barbies. The horror.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NDYP Columns

So, because I don't want to run out of things to write, I'm going to shamelessly endorse my own columns and writings. Not that I'm out of ideas. Now that I'm slipping into the groove of updating a blog, it does seem like there are constantly things to comment on, to discuss, to write about. But I digress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This post is filled with blinding self-pity, so you shouldn't read it. FYI.

What in the world am I doing?

Trying to write a book? Trying to write at all? What in the world makes me feel that I am qualified to write anything?

And this--my first novel. How is *that* going to go over? First novels shouldn't sell. Right? Even if they've been gone through and changed hundreds of times, quite literally? This isn't what I started with. But is what I'm ending with any better?

Why is this even important to me? How is this going to make a difference? If I sell this book, will it actually sell to anyone else? How does one become creative, and how come I seem to be lacking the creative gene? And how am I to cover for it, and continue on?

OK. End message.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Addendum to "Self-publishing"

Prepare for rejection. Expect it. Often you will get nothing more than a form letter along with your rejections. If you're lucky, you'll get a few lines of constructive criticism. Writing is a lot like dating, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.

People will tell you a story is terrible. Don't storm off. Ask them why they don't like it and what they would do to change it. Don't get me wrong, if you believe in something, REALLY believe in it, don't change a thing. But think of rejection as a chance to polish your story. Or submit somewhere else and be prepared for possible rejection again. Even the best writers spent years being rejected before someone stood up and took notice.

-Will Ross, author of Barfly and One Eighteen: Migration.

Self-publishing nightmares

This is perhaps not the best name for this entry. I think it is very obvious why people should not self-publish. First of all, it seems important for new authors to go through the anguish of rejection before they make it big--it adds so much more to the importance of the FIRST BIG STEP that they are receiving. Self-publishing feels like cheating. And self-publishing--well--if you're the only one who thinks your book or story or novel is good enough to be published, what's the point? What will your readership be like? And doesn't that take your book down a few notches?

OK. So, I discovered that I tend to get worked up over this subject. How, you may ask? I found this article on a local newspaper site: a story of a girl who published something because she thought it would be cool and different.

First major issue I have with this? It's not different. Heck, it seemed like a good 30 percent of my graduating class was writing a book before school got out. Me, too. And you know what? I'm still writing it! I'm still revising it! And thank heavens I am, because it was trash. Trash! Do you know how a high schooler writers? Not everyone can drag out Eragon before they hit college. (Not that I've actually read Eragon yet, by the way.)

Now, I'm glad this girl has done something like this. Writing and working on a big project like this totally helps evolve your understanding of language in a way that a grammar class simply can't. But I don't think she should have published this quite yet. And I think she needed another editor. And, I think she should have gotten rejected a few times, too.

Case in point: here is a bit of an excerpt of her book, taken from the Web site she has up for it.


Amid a rising storm, a powerful elf walked towards a great castle. Drops of rain spattered his face as the wind blew his hair across his eyes. He gripped the hilt of the sword in his left hand, tucked securely into his belt. He edged slowly toward the castle, forcing himself to follow through with his decision. When he approached the thick gray gates, a malicious guard stopped him, staring at him with fierce eyes.

“And just where do you think you’re going?” the man spat at him.

“I came to see Soren. He is expecting me,” said the elf, keeping his voice apathetic.

“Does Lord Aleron know of this?” he demanded.

“Yes, he has been informed.”

“Okay. I’ll take you to Aleron.”

The man silently led the way, the elven man smirking at how easy it had been to get in. The elf watched as the man unlocked the large silver castle door, his grip tightening on his sword. As the man finished tattering with the lock, he hastily jerked out his sword. When the human turned, he jumped in alarm. The elf made one quick thrust of his sword, wincing as he watched the guard gasp in pain; his eyes rolled back as fell to the ground. He knew this was the only way his plan would work and trudged through the door, glancing back one last time to see the crimson stained human. He knew that could easily be him next.

He moved slowly, trying to remain quiet and unseen. What would happen if Aleron saw him? He shuddered and pushed the thought from his mind. He studied his surroundings, glad that this part of the castle seemed to be deserted.

Only a little further now and he would encounter Soren. He slowed to a walk and cautiously peered around the corner to see a man guarding Soren’s door; he was far more muscular than the slender elf and had mussed blond hair. A large sword was slung on his back. The elf decided to get him away from the door first. He walked out from behind the corner to where he could easily be seen. The man guarding the door spotted the elf at once and began yelling ‘intruder.’

The elf began running away from Soren’s door and sure enough, Soren’s guard followed. The elf pressed himself against the wall around a corner as the man continued running past him. The elf drew his sword and stabbed the guard from behind and ran back towards the door, briefly looking back to see the guard lying on the ground. His attack had been swift and precise.

He knocked on Soren’s door anxiously; his hands were now shaking violently. He could hear footsteps approaching as more guards were coming. He had just killed two people and was about to kill yet another, but it had to be done. It was the only way.

A lanky human who looked no older than seventeen opened the door. He had a long narrow chin with high, defined cheekbones. His reddish brown hair fell across his forehead. At the very top of his cheeks were faint blue streaks. His mouth was curved into a small frown. He eyed the elf in disgust with his flashing red eyes.

Soren, I have an important message for you,” said the elf in a keen voice.

“A message? From whom?” he asked apathetically.

OK, if you made it this far, you may be thinking one of two things--either that I'm being too critical, or that this was a hard passage to read. Grammatically okay but not great, too much description, some confusing phrasing, bad word choices, first line needs work--

This is my real problem with self-publishing. Writing should be a work of art. It should mean something, if not to anyone else, at least to you. If it's not--what's the point of it? Here is a way I would edit part of this passage: add description, delete senseless words and change many word choices; not describe people so much in terms of how they look, and express fierceness, apathy, fear, whatever. Don't use the term apathetic, especially not twice within a few pages. Let the ideas grow a little. This story could have been so much sharper.

We all start somewhere, and I think it's great that this girl is writing at all...but how can I take it seriously? Published as if it's a real book, yet edited and written by this girl, published by her, and obviously not ready for it.

But that's the beauty of self-publishing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Health issues

I find that I, an anti-news person almost all of my life, have become obsessed with it. Well, as obsessed as I can be with it. Perhaps this is due in part to my year's work at a local newspaper; perhaps this is due to the current situation of the world: recession, politics (which I am not such a fan of, by the way), world interest. It could be because I really like Harry from CBS' early show, too. Not completely sure. But more and more, I find myself discussing news with my friend at work.

We have some pretty interesting discussions, and today's morphed from new reports by some that people shouldn't be getting mammograms, to men with breast cancer on the rise, to this article from Newsweek: The Case for Killing Granny. She found it, or heard about it--I had not. She sent me this link, and I read it, a little--just a bit. What with the current health care issue, it seems all of this is ever more important, ever more interesting. Most of the time, I feel I don't know what to think. But if a person wants to die, isn't that their right? If a person wants to live, shouldn't they have that option? And if a young woman can get cancer at the age of 27, why shouldn't mammograms be important, no matter the age of the woman (or man)?

I don't know. I really don't. And I hate to not be able to tie up my posts. But there you have it. News never really ends, either. And maybe this is sort of like reports on the healthiness of eggs. First they're bad, then they're good, then the cycle starts all over again. It's almost like the old question of the Chicken and the Egg. In fact, maybe all health issues can be related back to that question.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a fantastic author. Seriously, he just blows my mind.

Last night, instead of sleeping, I stayed up to read yet another one of his short stories out of "M is for Magic," a book geared more for younger readers (though it still contains some heavier themes, much like his other books). It's been fantastic so far, and in fact, it includes a chapter out of one of my favorites of his books--in fact, another book for younger readers: The Graveyard Book.

When I think of these stories, and others he's written--like Coraline, which was made into a decent film by Tim Burton--and Stardust, another motion picture made from his books--I just get so inspired, myself.

Some days, it feels like there is no new Narnia, no new Hogwarts, no new worlds or lands that can possibly be pushed in the way that Lewis, Rowling, Tolkien, Coville, E. Nesbit and other authors have created. And yet--when Gaiman publishes something so bone-chilling, so imaginative and so lustrous out of something that sometimes seems so obvious (when you get to the end), but which you can't see for the beauty of the writing and of the weaving, I feel chills of excitement.

Neil Gaiman inspires me to push myself, to find that blood-curdling edge, to go beyond my imagination. His works seem to tell me it's okay. He writes with such heart, too, and with such conviction--I know his worlds are real.

I will always treasure his books--and thank him for his stories.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The old ways

OK. So, we tend to look down on old wives' tales, right?

The guy in this article--he reminds me of my grandpa. I never met the man, but my mom tells me stories about him. No, he didn't butcher pigs and look at their spleens, nor did he do any other form of augury. However, he could tell weather from different environmental factors. Some my mother told me about; some she didn't.

For example: Heavy fog can make for heavy moisture after 4 to 6 months, as I recall. It's a bit more exact than that, but I really couldn't say for sure, anymore.

The fur on a caterpillar can tell what sort of winter it will be. Heavier for colder winters; less for milder winters.

People laugh at a lot of this. There's no science in it, some say. It's an old wives' tale.

I've seen a lot of this stuff in action. And I've seen it actually work. And it makes sense, to me. Don't we find that we can develop or lose abilities, based on what we know? In fact, it seems to me that it is somewhat related to some evolutionary theories. Survival of the fittest; changing for what is to come.

I don't know if it's all true, but I do have to say--it shouldn't all be laughed at. And I'm going to make sure I have a shovel handy.

But I would do that anyway. After all, experience teaches, as well. And I know what it's like to winter in the midwest, no matter what the caterpillars are saying.

Right now, though, they aren't talking.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Things I have learned, 3

Actually, I've learned a few things. First: when taking down wallpaper, give yourself plenty of time, and use lots of water--make the wall as wet as possible, and then it peels off so much easier. But it will still take ages. And your arm will still ache. Even if you only worked for a few hours.

Second: You can only bend so far when you limbo. Seriously. And you will probably ache all over the next day, unless you are a bendy five-year-old--who, incidentally, will always win the competition. Sorry, but it's seriously stacked against you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Things I have learned, #2

Stuff. Stuff. Who wants stuff?

In the two decades (plus a bit) I've lived on this world, all I've accumulated is stuff. Knick-knacks, clothes, books (!! who can possibly have enough?), pictures, scraps and assorted crafting materials, etc.

What good does it do when we're gone? Or, more immediately, when we're moving?

I'm moving for the umpteenth time in my life, and now more than ever I realize how much I--any of us--accumulate. (It doesn't help that I'm a pack rat!) Oh, oh, oh. Stuff. Will I ever rid myself of it?

And can I ever bear to part with any of it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Things I have learned, 1

There is no point to storing things under your bed, unless it is boxes. When you're little, it's different. I used to love to climb under my bed. Seriously. I got a kick out of diving under there, pushing myself between the bed springs and the dust bunnies, and just relaxing in the little hidey-hole that the sheets and blanket make. Now, what's the point? There isn't. I won't be squirming around in the dust anytime soon to grab something out from under my bed. If it's under there, it's because it's not going to get used for a lo-o-ong time.

Life in general

I think about life in general quite a bit, which is sort of strange, I guess. Like, what is the meaning of life? Except that the question doesn't bother me so much as it did those philosophers years ago and probably even today. Why wouldn't there be life? Maybe I sound cocky, but I can't help it. I feel we're here for a reason, too, but aside from making the world a better place, trying to figure out what our role is and working it to the best of our ability, I feel like life just is. So. Period, end of subject?

No. I'm afraid I'm much too verbose for that. Even though the darn "E" key keeps sticking on me.

It starts off and on. I think of life cycles, you see. I go to a funeral, I go to a wedding. That combination has been happening a lot, for me.

The most recent funeral was for a friend, an old co-worker, who had was 29, had been married a week before, was in the prime of her life. The most recent wedding, for two friends who I had known separately, who met after both had met me, who will be experiencing life and death together in such a different capacity than I would have thought. Living with each other, probably having children, growing old--like their parents have, like mine are. The circle of life continues.

Not for me--not yet.

There is a great little video circling the Web, of a couple who danced in during the wedding procession. The bride planned it all out. It's been called viral, it's so wide-spread, these days. I saw it, and fell in love.

My family didn't like it so much as I did.

"It's a metaphor," I told them. My brother looked at me blankly, while my parents laughed.

"They're dancing is their life. Their dance brought them circling closer and closer together. Now they'll dance on into the future." It might not have been worded as well as that, but isn't that the beauty of writing? You can go back and reword what you said, so that in the future, the past is as pretty as a poem.

Perfection isn't life. But the process of attaining it--perhaps that's a part of life that we don't consider all too often.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inspiration, or lack thereof

I have a friend who tagged me in a note on Facebook with a very interesting idea--pasted below.

OK boys and girls. I need some help. I thought being unemployed would be a perfect time to work on some more artwork, but strangely, I have found that living in one the most artistically cool cities in the world is not improving my inspiration.

I do have one idea, but I need your help.

I would like to do a series of paintings that are inspired from lines or phrases out of a literary work. Can be a poem, a line from a book, music lyrics, quote, whatever. Think similar to, but with less robots.

So basically, I want you to think of the titles of my painting, and then I will paint it! sound good? great!

send away!

So, lately I feel like I've been working toward working with people. And I would like to help her. I feel like it would make me a more artsy person. But here's the deal--I'm not sure I'm artsy. Or able. Or inspiring.

I recently decided that my life is very similar to that of George in "It's a Wonderful Life." I, too, desire to travel. I, too, am anchored to my family--I am very close to my parents and my brother, and I love them very much, and I love being in the same city as them. Mom and I do have a lot of fun together, and we are friends. But sometimes I wonder if that's holding me back. Not that George was held back. He thought he was, but he was the, ahem, inspiration for many and many of the citizens of that sorry old town. Heavens to Betsy, he kept the world from turning into Pottersville!

Yes, I'm a huge fan of the movie.

I thought to myself, well, at least in the future I will realize that I have made a difference, and I ran off down the hallway of my parents house shouting, "Zuzu's petals! Zuzu's petals!" Just because I liked it, the way it felt, the feeling of elated understanding.

Till my brother reminded me, yes, George had done wonderful things...and I hadn't.

Not to turn this into a sobfest for my lack of intricate connection to this world. Not to make this mean I haven't done anything. I know I've talked to some people, cheered some people, affected some people in some small way--it's practically impossible not to affect someone, when we live in society, when we live in a community. But I have not saved a boy who would save a platoon, I have not affected a community in some large way, I have not kept Pottersville from the world. So what have I done?

I've written stuff. I've wanted to write for the longest time, and I've wanted to share for the longest time. I can't even do much with my own blog, so that's obviously not going so well. This was to turn into my legacy...instead, it's become more of a hobby with dreams of a future.

I've loved my family and my friends. Everything about them has affected me. I've hoped that I have also affected them.

I have worked to excel at work, to succeed financially as best as I could at this moment, to prepare for my future. That's a biggie, for me. I'm always worried, especially now, that I will never be able to retire. Which is quite funny, as I'm something of a work-a-holic. Though not that badly of one.

I've given back. Or tried to. Done some work for the community, taught and mentored younger children, etc. Taught Sunday School. To three-year-olds. Need I say more?

So, I've done something, and small though it may be, you never know the impact. I suspect that's the case for everyone, really.

One person's thoughts and manners affect others, as well. And you never know what will happen, what will occur.

So to my friend, I think I will post that moment of inspiration that rises and falls through my mind, regardless of what anyone says or what I view my accomplishments as, to this date.

Zuzu's petals!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goodbye and Farewell

This week, as the entire world is aware, Michael Jackson died. Thursday, I was walking through McDonald's for the second time in the last five or so years (babysitting for a young child), and I saw on the TV screen, "King of pop dead at 50?" I stopped and stared. "Uhh..." I said. I mean, I actually said it--very articulate of me. The little girl next to me had no idea what was going on, of course--she was five, and the artists her music knowledge consists of targets the closest she can get right now to her own age, little girls and boys who have grown up in the spotlight, like Taylor Swift, the cast of High School Musical, Miley Cyrus--the kids who have grown up in spotlight, as did Michael Jackson, but yet growing up in no way similar to Michael Jackson; those achieving adulthood and interesting careers, cultivating their own talent, but who may have no idea how Michael Jackson influenced them, their music, their dancing.

As a person, MJ was a mess. I think it's safe to say that. The entire world knew who he was, and the entire world saw his life. Even his privacy was public. Neverland, law suits, details coming out at all times; not to mention what the newspeople are now calling his anorexic tendencies. I saw a mention of Lisa Marie Presley's blog, after his death--she wasn't surprised. She said that he talked about death, talked about dying young. Well, so he did. Almost 51, with three young children--that's young.

So now, the world is still in shock, perhaps; it is a few days later, but nevertheless, it is unexpected to most of us. There are so many questions--how about his children? His come-back tour? Mounting debt? And what about Jackson himself--how did he die?

His death even overshadowed the death of Farrah Fawcett, pin-up of the 70s, taken too early, as well. In fact, he even overshadows her in this blog entry. Is that right? Why do we seem to mourn him more than Fawcett?

The truth of the matter is, both of these people were major stars. Had they died on their own at separate times, each would likely have gone through news blitz. And more so, had they died like Farrah, of a disease, with some warning--even though she had hopes of a cure--the case would be different.

But Michael Jackson lived and died a public mystery.

This isn't the case of one deserving more than another; it's the case of human curiosity outshining the sadness. And it's not something we can help, really. Can you always stop yourself from looking where you shouldn't? From reading what you're not supposed to? We can try, but that won't stop us from wondering, will it?

There are so many memorials for them both. And while I can't say that I am fast fans of both--I have nothing against them, and I enjoyed at least some of their work--I feel both had their role in this life, as we all do. Perhaps there was more publicity for them, more struggle and strife. Perhaps not. Perhaps it was just a different kind.

At any case, I am thankful for them, for their work here. I feel that we all have some potential, some way to touch the lives of others. They both did, and their memory will live on. Some of the bad will float away, gone with their lives. We'll remember the good, the sad, the tragedy, and we will forget how we thought when they were alive--how Michael Jackson's face looked at the end, how Farrah Fawcett was once apparently blacklisted.

We'll remember how they are now, in death--the legacy of their lives, their work, their family. And they will join the elite group of the famous gone and dead--Elvis Presley, Lucille Ball, Fred Astaire, Heath Ledger, and now, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

They will join the stars in the sky. And we will remember. RIP.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Third post?

So, apparently, I'm not a good blogger. Or so I would suspect, from the more than a year's time since I last posted.

I have a question. Why is life complicated? And as soon as I even type the rhetorical question, my mind rears into action. "Duh, Sarah. Why shouldn't life be complicated?"

It would be nice to have things fall into place easily at all times...but then, I suppose that would be a bit like reading a plotless book. Which brings me to the "Twilight" series...oh, but that's probably best for another time.

I just thought I'd update. So, for now--that's it. And I'll try to be better.