Little Girl Writing


In beginning a memoir project, I decided to dig through my old journals just to get a feel for what fifteen year old me was thinking. Holy cow, I think I should have just closed it up and left it be. Teenaged angst, early views on relationships and the all-important she likes him-he likes someone else drama happening. I didn’t remember writing any of the events that transpired in those pages, but I remember the feelings. The awkwardness. The shyness. The melodramatic events of school dances and hockey games; movie nights and trips to the record store; history classes and failed math tests. How much I missed my Dad.  

I skipped ahead to my second year of college to compare. It seems I grew up a bit in that time. The theatrical expressions were lessened and I spoke more of the transition of becoming my own person from that of a little girl in a confusing world. I loved living in the city. I loved working with the kids in residential treatment. I loved feeling necessary, intelligent and valued. I grew in college. I grew from a little girl writing down her daily activities to a young woman experiencing a life independent of parent, familiarity and routine. My entries were less frequent as I moved through classes and newfound friendships; downtown escapades and girl retreats up to northern Ontario. As I read through my second year the absence of the mention of my brother’s death was surprising. Not a word about one of the most traumatic events of my young life was there.  

The glaringly obvious absence of such an event should not have been a surprise. I must have thought I had outgrown the use of a journal and had no need to write such drama down on pages. I must have been so overwhelmed with emotion, I couldn’t bring myself to record it at all. I wish I had. I wish I would have written every last detail of it. The shattering phone call. The train ride home. The days leading up to the funeral. The Thanksgiving dinner where we laughed until we cried. The devastation of watching my brother grow from an impulsive angry child to a more mature independent young man with his own apartment and a girlfriend, then having it all taken away in an instant. His life was moving forward in a more positive adult direction. We were all breathing sighs of relief. And then it changed.  

It could have been cathartic. I remember thinking as I walked away from those difficult days with my mother and my family and boarded the train back to school that I was returning a different person. I remember thinking I wasn’t the same after his death. I had changed somehow. I had grown.

I have been journal writing these past few months on a more regular basis. It may not be filled with all of the drama and angst of my teenaged years, but I find it soothing to write my thoughts on paper. It may not be cathartic nor reveal a secret hidden meaning of life, but it certainly gives me perspective on my life now and my life then. Perspectives on my changing world as my children grow from kids to adults, embarking on their own journeys and new discoveries; and how I continue to fit in to their ever-evolving lives. Apparently, my main reason for living right now is dinner prep and food organization.  

With all of life’s changes, it’s nice to take a look at where we were and where we strive to be. Maybe keeping a journal is another way of taking stock and reflecting on the journey. If you are a journal writer, take a look back occasionally to see where you were.  

You may be surprised at how far you’ve come.  

 

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I Have No Business Watching the Osmonds or Reading King…Apparently

Please tell me why I just spent ninety minutes watching the Osmonds’ life story? Ugh… I shit you not, that’s exactly what I did for NINETY INANE MINUTES.  How is that even legal?

 My life has reached a point of stagnation that a movie about the Osmonds manages to hold my attention FOR NINEY MINUTES.  I just kept watching and watching.  It was like I couldn’t tear my eyes away and when the Donny and Marie show spirals out of control it was like I was reliving the tragedy “I’m a little bit country” all over again…then they lose 80 million dollars (yeah, 80 million) and then they start a tour again, then Merril faints (oh noooo)  and then suddenly, they’re all grown up and singing on some wanton stage dressed in black, “He’s ma Brother”   The End.  There.

 I just saved you from having to watch that movie. 

You. Are. Welcome.

RUN KIDS, RUN!!

RUN KIDS, RUN!!

In other relevant news, I just finished reading Under the Dome by Mr. King and it was fabulous.  A tad long, but great.  Wonderful.  You all should read it…just kinda flip through some of the non-essential boring stuff…you’ll see what I mean if you get the epic book that could double as the manual for orchestrating world domination with nothing more than a few arm bands and lighter fluid.  AND, written in Japanese…It’s huge and heavy so if you plan on carrying it around with you, don’t.  You’ll end up in the emergency room with back spasms or shoulder issues. They (meaning Steve) should have affixed a warning label on the cover stating the weight of the book may cause damage to your central nervous system if carried long distances.  Or brain issues if you read incessantly for periods of time that you get confused if there’s a dome surrounding your house or if that’s just your cat blocking the windows with her giant fur-clad body. Or when the next case of radiation may spontaneously invade your space that you think you need to run to Walmart to see if they have wayward lead rolls in stock to cover the windows of your car should you choose to drive up to the nearest cliff to see the strange purple flashing light….it’s a King book, remember?

Bigger than the dome

Bigger than the dome

  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  It’s a two-man lift, …or two-woman lift…or one-man/one-woman lift.  An epic saga in that I-wanna-read-it-all-in-one-sitting-but-I’m-slowly-going-crosseyed-and-what’s-that-strange-idiotic-cat-doing-since-I-don’t-own-a-fucking-cat kinda book.  You get what I’m saying here…IT’S FUCKING HEAVY.   Just to be clear. 

‘Cause that was totally comprehensible…

It’s been a long day.  I need wine.   I could possibly be checking in with you all later this evening if I’m not drunk…or it may be more fun if I am.  Either way. 

Wine.

 

 

 

 

Big Things…I Bring Cups!!

 coffe girls

I’ve noticed recently that if I ever get the least bit annoyed with someone, I instantly refer to that person as an asshole.   Incidentally, there are A LOT of assholes around.   Due to the current economic climate in this province, we are constantly being inundated with emails about lobbying the government.  After each email, I refer to the writer as an asshole and delete it.  I’ve deleted so many emails and labeled each author according to his asshole seniority number.  So far, the seniority ends at number twenty five.  Asshole number twenty five sounds like he needs therapy and strong intervention techniques to quell his over-riding anger management issues.  Asshole twelve is immature and requires some English translation lessons.  Of course, this whole thing could be attributed to my over-active sensitivity issues due to the lack of grains in my diet and my heightened need for sugar.  Just sayin’….

I was on Twitter when I noticed that the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Literature was a book about North Korea and carries the reader “into the most intimate spaces of the human heart” Sounds totally depressing to me. If I ever win a Pulitzer for my awesome book, I won’t be carrying readers to any totalitarian countries that are ready to aim missiles at your head just so the reader could experience it or visit intimate spaces in people’s hearts.  That’s too weird, even for me.  My book would probably cover the wild and wacky world of taxidermy…or the controversial world of flatulence smell reduction underwear inventors…true story.

I’ve realized that I’m totally addicted to caffeine and sugar.  Since limiting my carbohydrate intake to a few spare pieces of fruit and accidental bread crumbs that happen to land on the floor that I invariably fight the dog for, I have noticed my dependency on coffee has risen substantially.  I’ve also become distinctly aware that if I don’t drink said coffee in a timely manner, I become a snarling bitch ready to stab you in the face should you decide to get in my way.  Case in point.  This morning’s conversation with Hubby:

Me:  Can you get in the shower soon please?  I have to get ready too.

Him:  Relax it’s only 6:20!

Me: *grumble, fuck off, grumble, bitch*

Ten minutes later:

Me:  Can you puhlease get in the shower?  Ugh, I KNEW I should have got in there before you!  God, I was going to, blah, blah blah, blah

Him: For Pete’s sake (Author’s note:  That would be me: I don’t know who Pete is, but for his sake, I should have shut up already)

Me:  I HAVE TO GET TO WORK

Him:  It’s 6:30! You don’t need to be at work until 8:00!!

Me: *irritated silence*

Ten minutes later

Him:  I’m getting in the shower now

Me:  It’s about time!  I’ve been waiting…I so should have gone first.  I don’t know why I was….blah, blah, blah…*stocks off to the kitchen whilst the dog is biting my pant leg which leads to dragging said snarling dog along the kitchen floor while I attempt to pour more coffee and continually complain about Hubby’s slowness and lack of consideration for others who have to get to work, dammit*

Fifteen minutes later

Him:  Didn’t you hear me?  I yelled I was out of the shower so you could get in since you’re in such a hurry this morning

Me:  NO, I DIDN’T HEAR YOU SINCE I WAS BUSY MAKING YOUR LUNCH AND HELPING TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE AND TRYING TO GET THE FUCKING DOG DETACHED FROM MY PANT-LEG!!

Him:  Okay, you don’t have to get all snippy about it.

Me: Was I snippy?  Hmpft.  You would be too if you had to wait for you to get out of the shower.

Him:  *rolls eyes and leaves*

Good idea….

Lovely Car Noises and Bad Book Reads

The episode-that-shall-not-be-named has been hitting the rounds these days.  I’ve got a few people who know what happened and are only too pleased to tease the fuck out of me whenever possible.  It’s fun until someone loses an eye, people.

I recently read a book that I don’t usually read.  Just for kicks.  Have you read this stuff that is hitting the best seller list?  It was a new release by one of those authors that writes a bunch of books in a week and everyone reads them incessantly and the Best seller people decide to bestow the grand title of Best Seller and there’s mad dash to read a bad book…or three.   Gawd, it was like the cliché-monster was roaming around and decided to vomit all over her pages.  WTF was THAT?  The ending was bad…just bad.  If you happen to read it…just don’t.  Don’t waste your precious and valuable time.  Read something else.  Read Fifty Shades if you have to.  Really.  I’m fucking serious.  It wasn’t that it was THAT bad, it was just….kinda sappy and…uncomfortable.  Yeah.  Uncomfortable, that’s how it made me feel.  I didn’t care if the protagonist got her revenge and I didn’t care if the guy she slept with twenty years ago at a random college party and had a secret love child with (and neglected to tell him that little tidbit) and to whom she sent letters to every year for eighteen years ( so as to get some attention and perhaps cash to help raise the child) only to find out she HAD THE WRONG FUCKING ADDRESS!!…I didn’t care if he lived or died.  It just didn’t make me want to read more.  It kinda made me want to suggest an alternate ending.  Or suggest the protagonist find another hobby. Or stick cocktail forks angrily in my eyes.   Hmmm…So now that I’ve told you the ending, wanna read the book?   I should have posted a spoiler alert….

The WRONG Michaels....she is NOT the author I was referring to..

The WRONG Michaels….she is NOT the author I was referring to..

I’ve been wondering where I’ve been getting all these wonderful readers from lately who drop by and sign up or even read a bit.  And comment.  That’s so nice.  Especially since I am feeling a bit lonely out here underconnected and isolated.  How did they find me?  I wonder…

My lovely car is making a lovely rattling noise that nobody seems to know how it got there. Or where it’s coming from.   Further investigation is warranted, but I’m procrastinating.  AND, the bottom part of the bumper now has a permanent split in it where D1 slid into a snow bank.  Thanks for that, by the way.  Really.  It was better than her slamming into the rear of another car and she felt bad about it until I told her it was cracked before anyway…she just helped it along a little by splitting it completely in half.  I bet the tires will give out again soon just to round out my car-asspain-bit.  Awesome.  At least I’ve never run out of gas at an intersection nor have it completely stall out on a highway.  At least I have THAT TO BE THANKFUL FOR!  Yay me!

So, to round out today’s little bit: I’m getting the shit teased out of me for the episode-that-shall-not-be-named, I read a book that was a bit on the shitty side, my lovely car is making a strange lovely noise and I love my readers…thanks for checking in!!

Memories of Book Club

book-club

I was reminded of my book club days today when I was at the book store.  A woman next to me had asked the cashier if a copy of a particular book had arrived that she needed to read for her next club meeting.  It was my lunch hour and I was perusing the aisles searching for a good read.  I found Alice right where I knew she would be.  The last copy of Munro’s ‘Best Stories’ and I headed to the check out right behind book club lady.

I was about to say a few years ago, but really it was almost ten now, we had been relocated to St. Stephen, New Brunswick for what was going to be a short 18mth stint.  A border town, we quickly became used to driving back and forth between New Brunswick and Maine for milk and gas.  I think it’s a bit harder to do that now, but at the time it was no big issue.  The border guards got used to seeing residents go back and forth and knew the reasons for the regular visits even before their customary interrogation.

In order to meet some new people, the wife of the real estate agent we used to secure a house suggested I join her one evening for her book club meeting.  “Do you like reading?”   I explained my expansive collection and she told me the title of their newest read and where to find it.  “See you there.”

I can’t exactly remember the very first meeting, but I do recall it was colorful.  And the women were not what I was expecting.  Two older women in their sixties who were retired teachers and the ‘leaders’ of the group issued the suggested readings for each new book, and were certainly the most astute of our little group.  They took the club very seriously and initiated conversations regarding the characters and the setting, plot analysis usually followed and then we got down to the stuff they were really there to chat about.  The town gossip.  Ugh.  Since I was a newbie, I was quite happy to be isolated from this part of the evening.

Initially, the books were dished out on a biweekly basis, but since the majority of the ladies in the group had full-time employment, the assignment of reading a new book every two weeks and then analyzing it, became a task too great.  The meetings were rescheduled to monthly sessions that surrounded tea drinking and some Polish Princess references too over-the-top even for the die-hard group members.  I was regularly asked my opinion on the assigned books and I hoped I was able to give a somewhat intelligent answer…you know, other than ‘I liked it’.  I can’t remember, but I do remember being asked regarding our next selections.  I usually left that to the die-hards to dish out.  I still had small kids demanding my attention and a new job to contend with.  Searching reads for everyone to get their hands on with one library in town and a book store across the border, it was a bit tough for the ten of us to find the book we needed and have it read before the next meeting.  I did not want to be in charge of that little experience.  The book titles were emailed at the beginning of each month, or if someone was on the ball, by the time the meeting came around we were alerted to the next book for the next meeting.  Somehow, we all managed.

Shortly before we moved I believe book club hit the skids and disbanded.  The Polish Princesses perhaps became too much for the average working woman to contend with.  Maybe the whole analyzing thing took second stage to the gossiping…it happens.  I wonder if the club got back together to read Fifty Shades?  THAT would have been one hell of a series of trash meetings….

Whatever the reason, book club became a blip in my memory until today.  It was enjoyable while it lasted and I was able to read a few interesting reads and be introduced to some new authors that I otherwise may have overlooked.  Some I liked, some I trashed, but for the most part, book club was a positive experience for me.  Polish Princesses and all….

The Taller The Chair, The Harder I Fall

I had a post all ready to go in my head at 7am and now it’s gone.  I hate it when that happens.  I should have immediately gotten out of bed and written the damned thing down.

Who am I kidding? There’s no way I would have gotten out of bed at that hour on a Saturday morning just to write something down.  Pfffttt….

I think the post had something to do with the Stephen King  book I’m rereading…or the stories I’m trying to write…or …hmm…I can’t remember.

I’m thinking it was King’s advice on writing that has me almost on the edge of throwing myself from the tallest chair in my vicinity and ending it all right now.  His expression of ‘there are bad writers everywhere’ has me hoping his finger is not pointing in my direction.  Not that it should…or it would.  I just think ‘Gawd, I don’t want to be that girl.  The girl who writes so badly everyone holds their collective noses in disgust and turns in rapid repulsion.’    Geesh…that would be just, just..fucking sucky.  Ugh.

I like that he suggests writers should read as much as possible.  I like that he attempts to be encouraging without trying to be too condescending or arrogant.  He actually comes off as your buddy who’s just trying to help you out a bit and he may have a few words of advice for we lowly lot…Not that he’s any good himself or anything.  Pfftt…he’s only Stephen King for God’s sake!!

Since my infamous and showy New Year’s resolution to ‘write more’ takes the cake in articulate and profound proclamations,  I guess the King advice may come in handy.    Then again, my new chairs are just the right height….