Tag Archives: writing

A Truce

It had been a strugglesome week at work and I was feeling rushed and dejected when my husband suggested we go outside and have a few practice swings with the clubs. A few days before, I had reluctantly agreed to join an outing of four couples for nine holes of golf. Let me tell you something about golf. I don’t care for it. I find it full of aggravation and without reward. I was dreading spending my first opportunity to relax feeling like a total failure surrounded by people who play regularly. But I am a good sport…sort of. “Fine,” I had said, sounding more like “Why GOLF?”

The last time I had played was four years before and it had ranked among the worst leisure experiences of my life. I don’t know how many years it was before that I had played but it was more than four. Last Friday out in the yard, I picked up my driver with poor grace and assumed the position. Instantly there was a blaring chorus of voices in my head. Some were telling me what a bad experience I was about to have, some were telling me what a lousy golfer I am in general, and others were critiquing every single aspect of my swing (SO many ways to do it wrong). It was both deafening and oddly familiar. They sounded just like the voices that used to hound me when I was writing. I couldn’t believe how awful it felt, and I couldn’t believe I had persevered with writing as long as I had, clinging to a certainty that I had to battle through the noise and the unrelenting negativity. As I said in my last post I eventually did give up, and rebooted my writing in Safe Mode, which for me was to only write when I felt like it and to only write for myself. I chose to share my writing when I wanted to with a supportive group of friends who also write, but I absolutely gave myself permission to not do our writing prompts at all, or to write about something else if I wanted. I gave up overthinking and trying to be perfect, and in doing so had made peace with my writing. The voices quieted to a manageable murmur.

Out there in the yard, facing down a leaf in substitution for a dimpled ball, I decided that If I could do that with writing, when I really, really care about writing, I could also do this with golf. Some of the advice my husband offered made no sense. “Position your club face so it impacts the leaf like this.” “Aim so you hit the leaf right at this point.” Incomprehensible concepts which I rejected. Some of the things he said resonated. “Plant your feet.” Yes, this I had experienced in yoga and Pilates, feeling my feet connected with the earth as though my body was an extension of the planet. “Slow your swing.” That I understood, even if I didn’t like it. I just wanted to get the game OVER, but when I slowed down, my swing felt more controlled. Out on the course with an actual ball and an adjusted attitude (less competitive, more experimental and compassionate toward myself) I had a not-terrible time. I had a few (feet planted, slow tempo) strokes that were pretty decent, and the rest (which were absolutely consistent with my status as a perennial beginner) didn’t bother me. Best of all, my inner critics were silent. Nine holes wore me out, and I ended up with a blister on my thumb and some sore muscles the next day, but I also found I had been able to call a truce with the sport. I would be willing to golf again…you know, once my back loosened up.

I even learned a few things from golf that I can apply to my writing. If my metaphysical feet are planted, I have strength and balance to write from. If I don’t rush my message, it comes at its own pace and makes more sense. More peace, fewer voices seems like a good direction to keep moving toward. Fore!

Lynnette golfing

Hey, there. Missed you.

I happened to catch up with an old wordpress friend, lahikmajoe, today (“old” as in haven’t interacted in a very long time, and “catch up” as in I saw his post on Twitter, followed the link to his blog, commented, he commented back and visited one of my old posts and commented…it’s the digital-age version of catching up and reminiscing over coffee.) It has been nearly a year since I have posted anything, and well over a year since I posted any of my so-called “normal” material. I was knocked out by how much I have missed this blog and you people (assuming you are still out there.)

Back then I was fearful and busy and struggling to find something to say. The badly-fitting job I tried so hard at collapsed, but more time didn’t mean more writing. There was a long dark night of searching my soul, a reboot of my writing in “Safe Mode,” and finally another iteration of me as a working person. Now I am working furiously (figuratively, but sometimes literally also) and taking a class and doing a project, and all the  family and church stuff, and still searching. Now, however, I am searching more hopefully, gratefully, and with more of an attitude of acceptance and interest than fear.

I ask myself, do I have time for one more thing? Do I have time to formulate my crazy spinning tangential thinking into a coherent message on a semi-regular basis? Probably not, but I am not sure coherent messaging was ever my strong suit. The real question is, will I have time later? No one knows. I am feeling a little fragile upon hearing of Robin Williams’ death today, and maybe that too is moving me back into this space. We can’t definitely say that me catching lahikmajoe’s tweet in that brief moment before it rolled to the bottom of the feed and off the edge of the earth is actually a sign the universe is beckoning me back to the blogosphere. But if it feels like it, a little, that tells me something.

So, I am back, and really curious to see what I have to say. Thanks for visiting.


An affirmation from a very helpful book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers


A Bit of Fiction, and An Observation

The problem with writing science fiction in this age is that it catches up to you. I get an idea, I mull it over, I write it down, I let it ripen, I revise, I dither, and then there it is, a reality on the news. Perhaps if I cut out the dithering…Anyway, I wrote the first draft of this piece in June of 2011 and the other day on public radio I heard about this and this. Which aren’t quite what the story is about, but enough so to make what I thought were some innovative ideas look pretty ho-hum. If I didn’t know what to do with the story before when it felt edgy, I certainly don’t now. There is always a risk in sharing fiction like this, more so than just spilling commentary and images like I usually do, but I feel 2013 should be a little more about risk in the Wordtabulous domain. So here it is, first fiction in 2013. I hope you like it.

Rose Colored Lenses

by Lynnette Dobberpuhl

“Sit here,” Leone directed, glancing around the park center. Mason took a spot on the cement bench encircling a fountain, feeling burdened by the backpack she’d made him put on over his suit jacket. The sky was slightly overcast as usual, and the robust drought-loving plants sagged wearily in their planters. People hurried by alone and in couples, a few pushing strollers or walking dogs, rarely looking at each other. They were like the lackluster breeze: not fully there. Leone reached into Mason’s backpack and pulled out a folded piece of paper, a pair of eyeglasses and a brown fedora. She held them out to him.

He looked from the items to her face. “Seriously?” he asked.

“Trust me,” she urged. He studied her a moment more. Her black hair pulled back in a shellacked bun was as intense as her manner. She pierced him with blue eyes framed by black eyeglasses. He sighed. The hat was heavy, and felt tighter than it should have; there was something built into the band. The eyeglasses also felt weighty, but were perfectly clear. She handed him the sheet of paper, which looked like a normal piece of copier paper folded in half along its width. Mason looked at the blank page, then quizzically turned his gaze back to Leone. She was fiddling with an electronic tablet. “Wait,” she advised without looking at him.

Mason looked back at the paper. He heard a click and then saw a flash. His vision began to swim a bit. Small swirls of color coalesced into letters on the page, which seemed to gain weight in his hand and suddenly he was no longer holding a piece of paper, but a hardcover book. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,” he read. It was A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. He concealed his surprise: the pages were thick, and turned with a rustle. They appeared to be sewn in and hand trimmed. The cover was slightly distressed leather with the title and author embossed in gold. He ran his hands over the book; it looked and felt like a beloved tome from a grand library. “Smell it,” commanded Leone. Mason pulled the book closer to his face and inhaled a familiar aged, dry papery aroma, with…was that a hint of pipe smoke? “Flip through the pages,” Mason felt the weight of the book shift in his hand as he opened it. He stopped at page 145, and read these words ‘Many a night he vaguely and unhappily wandered there, when wine had brought no transitory gladness to him; many a dreary daybreak revealed his solitary figure lingering there…’ He closed the book, hearing the snap of the cover clapping shut, feeling the whisper of air on his face as the pages came together.

“Remarkable, the new reader, is it?” He slipped the glasses off and the weight and image dissolved to reveal the paper still in his hand.

“The paper is nothing special, it’s just a prop to keep you from looking silly as you turn invisible pages,” Leone explained as she took the paper from him. “But Mason, that’s not why I brought you out here. I could have shown you that in the lab. Put the specs back on.” He complied and she fiddled again with the tablet. A movie played in front of his eyes, hovering at arm’s length. “This is kid stuff. Now this,” she said, working the tablet, “is the real thing.” The movie stopped and he heard the soft strains of a violin concerto. “Look around,” she said. As he did, Mason noted that the hazy sky had blued up somewhat, and that a few puffy clouds had formed. The flora looked greener in the better light. Altogether, the park seemed more cheerful. To his surprise the people walking by seemed to feel it, too. He detected a few soft smiles, some open gestures in conversation, unlike the usual huddled hurry. My God, he thought, is that a butterfly? With a gasp, he pulled the eyeglasses from his face and the illusion faded away. The sky was still overcast, the plants limp and tinged with gray, the sullen parade moved on as though watched by a judgmental eye. “Put those back on, you’re not done,” protested Leone. Taking a deep breath, Mason once again submitted and the music changed to a Latin beat. The bright sun beamed in a cloudless sky and flowers appeared in the hedges. A blond woman in a cheerful red dress moved down the path, swinging her hips to the beat. She smiled at him. He nudged the glasses down slightly to peer over the tops to see a pale woman in a burgundy trench coat glancing at him nervously before hurrying past. Then the music changed to death metal. Grey clouds swirled overhead and the plants around all withered. The path looked as though it was paved with crumbling gravestones. The people wore dark clothes that were slightly tattered and now seemed to move with a menacing intensity. Mason began shaking his head in disbelief.

“Hey, different strokes for different folks, right? One more thing…” Leone said, and the music switched back to the concerto. The weather cleared and Mason caught a hint of fresh cut grass on the wind. “Look around, and tell me if you notice anyone in particular,” Leone instructed. Mason looked around. The people walking past moved at the same pace, but seemed unrushed, more dignified. A mother was smiling at her child on a park bench to their right. Everyone seemed attractive but unremarkable. Then he saw her, across the path and a little to their left. An older woman was leaning against a low stone wall, doing a crossword or something on a folded newspaper. She glowed faintly, and Mason felt a surge of amiability toward her, as though she was someone pleasant he’d met briefly some time ago, except he was sure he’d never seen her before.

“Who is that?” he asked.

“That is our department head, Jane Fairbanks, and she wants to meet you,” Leone said, switching off the device. The better world faded back into the everyday and Mason stood, removing the hat and glasses. Jane Fairbanks, genuinely smiling, came over to greet him.

Back in the lab’s conference room they sipped a fortified tea-flavored beverage and ignored a plate of grayish wafers and cookies. Mason had questions: what was it called, how had they kept it a secret, how soon before the system could be streamlined and miniaturized, his head hurt; had they given him a tumor? And finally, would it work on food, adding flavor to the tasteless cookies for instance?

Fairbanks smiled at his enthusiasm. “We call it Lensis,” she said. “It has been developed entirely in-house by a small group of professionals in fields ranging from neuroscience, computer programming and engineering, and psychology, to fine art. Headaches are not uncommon at first, but there are no detectable health impacts beyond an elevated feeling of well-being. We are making in-roads on the taste issue, though it isn’t ready yet, and we have all the designs set up for a variety of streamlined systems. We are only months away from prototypes that could be worn under any type of hat or headband, or with modified eyeglasses and a slim strap that could be inserted around the back of the head and hidden under hair. Ultimately, people could have implants inserted invisibly beneath the scalp and wear contact lenses and never have a visible gadget at all. We won’t even need an external controller, because it can be operated with eye and head movements.”

“How would such a device be powered?” Mason asked, imagining a five pound battery pack implanted beneath his skin.

“Future generations can be powered wirelessly using kinetic, solar or chemical power cells.”

“Tell me more about that trick where you were shining and no one else was.”

Fairbanks smiled again. “We call that the ‘Glow.’ There will be a setting on each Lensis unit that allows users to turn on the Glow so they can be recognized by anyone else using Lensis in the area. It will build a community feeling, which we anticipating being useful in marketing.”

“And that warm, fuzzy feeling I got when I saw you all lit up?”

“That’s all part of the Glow, Mr. Mason.”

“Could the Glow be applied to objects as well? Say cars, or restaurants?”

“Mr. Mason, I understand what you are getting at, but the use of Lensis as a marketing tool could be a problem. If the public feels they are being manipulated as consumers, there will be a backlash. You remember how laughable the product placement strategy was in movies from around the turn of the century?”

“Perhaps something more subtle and understated, then?”

An inscrutable Fairbanks regarded him for a moment. “Perhaps,” she said.

Mason nodded. “So what do you need me for?”

“We have contacted you because we are out of funds. To build our next prototypes, to miniaturize the devices to a practical level, we need an investor.”

“If you want money, I need to know more about the commercial application. I can see the potential as an entertainment device…”

“Mr. Mason, consider these numbers,” Fairbanks said, sliding a dig-I button toward him. Mason applied it to his smart device and began flipping through charts and tables. “The first charts indicate the earnings potential for the system as an entertainment device alone, but look at the data preceding charts 6 & 7.” Mason skipped ahead. “Our preliminary findings show that using the system alleviates symptoms of depression. As you saw, it completely alters, one could say revolutionizes, a person’s perception of reality without altering reality itself.” She paused for emphasis. “Mr. Mason, do you have any idea how much money is spent in this country alone on medication to alleviate depression?”

“22.8 billion dollars annually,” answered Mason.

Fairbanks raised an eyebrow at his ready answer and continued, “And since Lensis is a device intended for entertainment, do you know how much time and money would be needed to help it pass through FDA loopholes?”

“Exactly zero, I believe,” Mason said.

“You believe correctly. Mr. Mason, do you represent anyone you believe might be interested in being part of the Lensis revolution?”

“I just may have someone in mind, Ms. Fairbanks.”

A few days before the Lensis release Mason returned to his grandparent’s farm with a Lensis device. He was curious to see how the effect worked on isolated places untouched by urban blight. First, he walked around the house, the old barn, the pond and the orchard and examined it all with the naked eye. He noted the peeling paint on the house, the decaying boards in the hayloft under the gap where the roof had collapsed, the overgrowth of scrub trees in the ailing orchard, but overall the pond, the yard—everything looked roughly as he’d remembered it. Then, he’d put on Lensis. The breeze had freshened, the air softening against his skin. The windowpanes glittered in the sun and his ears were filled with the buzzing of insects and frogs and the chirping of birds. An earthy, barnyard smell hinted at the animals he now remembered: a horse and two cows, and a small flock of chickens. He walked around the barn and the air became fragrant with apples hanging on the branches. A light gust rustled the grasses around the pond and he turned to look, his breath catching in his throat. Every twenty-five feet or so a blinding white egret stood sentinel around the edge of the sparkling water, watching for minnows and frogs. Those birds had fascinated him every year until one fall, decades ago, they had flown away for the winter, and never returned. He felt an odd sort of anticipation, as though at any minute someone he loved would drive up and call him to help unload groceries from the car.

He was startled when, hours later, he was pulled from his Lensis state by the beeping of his alarm, warning him he needed to leave to be back in the city for his evening meetings. His head no longer hurt after using the device, but seeing the Lensis effect evaporate to leave him in a yard full of dingy buildings and a muddy wetland brought an ache to his soul. His hand trembled on the steering column as he drove back to the city thinking, too sweet a poison and resolved never to put Lensis on again.

Edward Brandell examined his reflection in the window overlooking the city that stretched as far as the eye could see. His kingdom was spread before him, dimly illuminated with the New Conservation Approved bulbs, but he was noting the bags under his eyes. He brought the lead glass highball tumbler to his lips and savored the flavor and burn of the whiskey in his mouth, throat and gut. In a world of synthetic food and artificial flavors the real thing was worth any price. A door opened and closed quietly behind him. “Well?” he asked without turning.

Mason’s voice was tired. “We quelled the riot at the tire plant. One dead and twelve injured before we re-engaged Lensis access.”

“Re-engaged? I banned that damned system from the workplace! You can’t give in to them like that.”

“Ed, take it easy. We’ve got them on a five-minute access for every hour they are in the building. That’s huge progress. Maybe we can stretch it to five minutes for every three hours, but we are going to have to take this gradually. I swear to God, when we blocked that signal, I thought people were going to have seizures.”

“Those Lensis things aren’t even supposed to be in the building. It’s a condition of employment for Christ’s sake!”

“Well they ALL have them, and I am not exaggerating, Ed. People are hooked. Shutting them off cold turkey for eight hours will guarantee you a hell of a lot worse than some broken windows.”

“Well,” Brandell snapped, “letting them work with those things on is going to get people killed, either workers from being distracted on the factory floor, or customers driving on bad tires that looked good enough to quality control from their ‘happy place.’”

“It’s worse than that, Ed,” Mason said quietly. “The tire plant is the tip of the iceberg. The Lensis effect, which made you rich and got your candidates elected, is everywhere. We’ve got bus drivers, systems management people, doctors and teachers, hell, maybe even police officers using it at all hours, and now they wonder how they ever survived without it. Mistakes are being made, and no one notices because they are lost in feeling good. The number of people who have boycotted Lensis has dwindled to almost nothing, and the few who still are boycotting are written off as a fringe culture.”

“It’s a hell of a mess,” Brandell sighed. “What do we do?”

“Up to you. We could introduce a bug that would defeat some of the ‘feel good,’ and make it easier for people to wean themselves off, but then you are going to lose most of what you’ve gained. Society and the economy will reawaken to its slow demise.”

“That’s a cheery prospect.” Brandell took another sip of whiskey, looking at Mason’s reflection in the window. The man looked thin, he thought. “We’ll talk about it tomorrow; go get some rest. And, Mason,” he said, as Mason turned to the door.



Mason sagged, then exited without reply. In his rooms a few floors down he slumped into an overstuffed armchair that looked out over the same view Brandell enjoyed above. His mind’s eye was not on the city, but turned inward to the farm that was his childhood home.

They had been horrifyingly successful. The Lensis product had sold out immediately and continued to sell out, with each new generation more profitable than the last. Suicide rates went down and the economy picked up as people worked to afford Lensis devices and then demand increased for several other products benefiting from a subtly engineered Glow. Specially built Lensis systems designed to decrease prison violence worked splendidly and soon educational applications were also developed. But by this time the problems began to surface. Claims of sexual assault became muddled with perceived consent and inaccurate rose-colored descriptions. The murder and suicide rates rose again, higher than before. Robbery also increased as those without work became desperate for resources to access Lensis states, but public outcry was absent. The world viewed through rose-colored lenses was bearable, a sanctuary removed from the disintegrating planet and unraveling future view that had been descending upon them for generations.

Groaning, Mason tore at his hair, as though by opening his skull he could exorcise the demons he himself had invited in. Then he stood and straightened his tie, smoothed his hair. In the next room, his bedroom, he opened a wall safe behind a painting of egrets. Inside, there were two items: a loaded handgun and the Lensis device. Choosing, Mason settled himself on the center of his bed. In the darkness there was a click and a flash.

What’s Cooking?

Writing is like cooking. It looks so easy and fun when somebody else is doing it, but is a total freaking mess and full of traps when I go at it on my own. Reading a book primes my literary pump the same way watching a cooking show gets me thinking “chef’s hat,” inspiring all kinds of confidence and energy because I see the beautifully produced final product, not the labor, the re-writes or the re-takes (when the plot twist or souffle implodes.) By the time I start bleeding, because knives and other sharp  utensils really aren’t my thing, or by the time I am painfully knotted in a narrative thread, it is too late to completely turn back. Sure, I could toss the mess in the garbage, clean off the countertops and call for pizza. I could close without saving and pull out a new book to read. But the ghost of the unfinished dish or story will haunt me, prodding me to try again. “Come back!!” it will wail in a ghostly voice, and, my friends, I need no more voices in my head telling me to do anything. It is noisy and crowded in there as it is. When I see it through to the end, even if I don’t particularly care for the result (and my assorted Philistines have nothing favorable to say,) I can still feel some satisfaction, or at least humorous resignation toward the experience. Maybe it wasn’t a success, but it was progress.

Writing, cooking, academic performance, or even living: it is harder than it looks. Obstacles arise. Natural ability only takes you so far and the rest is work and perseverance. Sigh. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a mess in my kitchen I need to attend to.

A Note To Those Who Stop In

I am not trying to blow up my own blog or anything, but for those of you who blog here, there or anywhere, do you ever get the feeling some bloggers “like” your posts  just to get your attention and lure you to their site? And then their site is nothing more than the reproduction of other people’s posts? Or  images from other sites? I don’t want to be overly harsh, here. I mean, some of these images are clever and funny and I am glad I saw them, but they weren’t original to the person who posted them, and it was hard to figure out where they originated…which I am sure was a total accident. One time? (At band camp? sorry–I just heard that in my head.) I posted on my blog and within ten literal seconds of uploading my post I got a “like” from another blogger? It was a longish post, one that would be hard to even read in under a minute, let alone ten seconds. It was pretty good though, don’t get me wrong. Totally “like”able. Just maybe not that fast?

When I first started blogging, oh so many months ago, I was just a teensy bit raging against the void. I was having some trouble with pitching a manuscript to agents and publishers, and struggling with my voice and how tiny it sounds in the vacuum outside my head. I found friendship here and built some confidence. I stepped wrong a time or two, and owned it. The world didn’t shatter. I discovered others struggling with some of the same and some different issues and I found myself caring about them and what they have to say. In this time I have also been slammed with spam, and culled through tag-trawling in a most cynical way. I have built a following of real people, spambots and the hapless google searchers seeking information on the musical group “Walk Off The Earth” (yes, I totally love you kids and you can sleep on my couches if you come through town–you kids in the band, not the searchers, sorry,) and the ones who want to know what’s the latest on KARE 11 news anchor Rena Sarigianopoulos (I know, she’s awesome, I love her too, but I have nothing further on her since the Home & Garden Show.)  So speaking in terms of gross vs. net, I have increased my gross following. Do I have more net readers? If I do, what does that, exactly, signify?

Some of us write for attention. Okay, all of us here write for attention. If we weren’t, we’d be writing in a journal and it would never occur to us to “put it all out there” where anyone can see. Some of us write for the possibility of being discovered, hoping someone will find us on our counter stool at the soda fountain and say, “Hey, kid, I like your style! Why don’t you audition for a role with us? We’ll make you a big star!” It could happen. I would be swimming in my lottery millions, statistically speaking, before it does, but it has happened. Some of us simply write trying to make that ephemeral connection, thought to thought. The connection where something we think, then write, hits another’s neurons like the 4 ball into the side pocket, when just a second before the 4 ball was perfectly stationery there on the green felt. This next statement is important. We. Never. Touch. Each. Other. Not physically. Google it. It has to do with electrons and electromagnetic fields and the kind of stuff that simultaneously attracts and repels (like my brain and physics,) but we never never physically touch anything or anyone. But an idea can be transmitted from one brain to another and a connection made in that transmission. And that…that is what brings me back time and again to the words and the page and the endless frustration and joy that is writing.

So to all you real people out there, the ones who are here on purpose and the ones that just want to know if Leah McLean from KSTP 5 is pregnant (yes, she is, send her a note with your best wishes) and even the ones who are hoping I will click on your link to see  your plagiarized images or your digital cookie death traps, I want to say thank you. Thank you for checking in. Thank you for letting me know you are there. I hope you find what you are looking for, or at least something worthwhile. I hope you find a connection in this world and that it warms your soul, as you have mine. Thank you.

When Time Stops, Moonlit Moment

Words streaming through my brain, linking, twisting, and rejoining—urgently and repeatedly, drove me from my bed at 4:38 this morning. Intent upon capturing some and exorcising others, I slunk down the stairs to find my west facing living room aglow in moonlight. I stopped, as did the words in my head. As much as I admire sunrises and sunsets in all their varying colorful glamour, the moon exerts a pull on my heart as of tides. Her cool monochromatic sublimity loosens my grip on the fevered daytime strivings that have followed me into the night. Stop now. See. Breathe.

List of My Best New Things from 2011, and a Look Ahead to 2012

All in all, 2011 was an amazing year. I have here a short (by no means complete) list of things that made this year special to me.

Honda CR-V: Yes, I still love my car and am SO happy I am no longer driving the truck. However, I think the better gas mileage I get is being offset by the fact that I no longer try to avoid driving, which is not very environmentally conscious of me. In 2012, I will try to respect my environment by riding my bike more for quick little trips. I will shoot for at least one trip by bike per week,  beginning when the temps hit 55+ degrees again.

Manuscript Submission: As my dad was overly fond of saying about anything unpleasant (hard work, unimaginable filth to be waded through, mind-numbing tedium,) “It’s good for you! It builds character!” Submitting manuscripts has been really good for me. It turns out that rejection didn’t destroy me after all. Finding agents to submit to, and sending queries out was so stressful I literally shook. All the craziest voices in my head rose in a chorus to tell me what a disaster the whole enterprise would turn out to be. I was on the verge of a collapse, and then, guess what? I got some form letters that said “not for us” and it was no big deal. I propose that in 2012, I will shoot for three times as many rejections for Hollywood University, and maybe a bunch for Sleepers as well.

Novel Revision: Speaking of Sleepers, I am really happy that I still want to work on that manuscript. I didn’t do a lot with it in 2011, but I know now that it is standing the test of time, at least with me. I am in LOVE with most of what I do, when I am doing it, but after I’ve worked on a small piece even 12 hours of  downtime between the writing and the re-reading is illuminating. Once the heat and energy dies down, I find a lot of what I’ve written to be boring and/or embarrassing. Some of it is salvageable, some is not. I still love Sleepers, although there are some kinks to work out and 2012 is the year, baby!

She Said Writer’s Retreats: So much fun! Friendship and photography and technology and old haunts and haunted houses and therapeutic conversation and giggles and shopping. And wine and food. Oh, and writing–I said that, right? More in 2012, please!

Coffee: It isn’t like I had never had coffee before, but my interest in it certainly grew this year. In 2011, coffee was demonstrated to diminish the occurrence of depression in women and prostate cancer in men. I also got a good coffeemaker. Coffee makes me feel smart and lively (and do stupid things faster with more energy!)  I still love tea and will continue to drink that occasionally, but I think 2012 will see me embracing the bean buzz with both arms.

Blogging:  Wordtabulous has been a superfun adventure. I’ve met people, shared some info, registered some opinions, figured out some things, had some meltdowns, and hopefully given cause for a chuckle or a “Yeah, sister!” once in awhile. I have also had a riot finding and following other blogs which have expanded my world quite a bit. Thank you wordpress, and bloggers and followers (and especially you commenters and “likers”–there is a special place in my heart for you!) I hope 2012 sees continued blogging, perhaps with more focus and punch (or not, as the shotgun approach seems to be my natural inclination.) I hope to see more of you, dear reader! Thanks for dropping in, and all the best to you and yours in the New Year!


Thursday Thoughts, Vol. 2

Saw two great, completely unrelated movies today: My Life Without Me, which held me spellbound and resulted in me cancelling my chiropractic appointment so I could watch to the end even though I have DVR. Made me cry a little, and vow to be a better person. Watch it! Everybody, I am talking to you! Also: Men In Black. I love that clever, funny, malecentric show! Noisy Cricket! Funny, the world needs more funny. Hopefully I will be viewing Elf this weekend with my church lady gurrls. In the spirit of fellowship we will be watching some holiday flick, eating and exfoliating our hands with a sugar scrub.

Here is my recipe for a homemade sugar scrub that will leave your hands or feet so silky soft for pennies: 2 Tbsp. sugar stirred up with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, optionally you can add a few drops of essential oil or the zest of two oranges for a refreshing scent. Mix well and rub one tsp. gently into your skin. Rinse away with a small amount of liquid soap. You are welcome!

I am conflicted. I have a couple of novels I am working on, about which I feel pretty good. One is in revision, one is in process. They both need a lot of work. I have one memoir completed (Hollywood University, two chapters up for your review under Blogroll over there in the right column,) but no idea where to send it. Eight rejections to date is nothing, NOTHING, in the world of publication seekers, but I carefully research the folks I send it to. I don’t throw queries around like glitter, friends. I am seriously not knowing where to go next with this. Let it ride? Wait for God to provide the opening at the right time? Or is God waiting for me to show the persistence needed to carry this thing through? I hate these questions. I’ll keep looking but I think I might need to work on some noveling too.

Just had the awesomest (thank you for the word, Amy of Lucy’s Football) time writing the next blog post of So then SHE said…with my BFF Kelly. Think “Password” meets “Who’s on First.” Check it out! Hope you like it. Love!

Top 10 Things I Do When I Should Be Noveling

10.  knitting, or crocheting, or some other archaic pastime (living history!)

9.  checking my sons’ grades on the internet (terrifying)

8.  searching my pantry for carbs (chocolate? graham crackers? stale crackers? good enough!)

7.  playing beyond Tetris on my phone; I am not getting any better (so ashamed…)

6.  checking my wordtabulous site stats (am I relevant?)

5.  babytalking to the cat (we both like that)

4.  checking my email; surely someone has sent me some charming forwards (see the silent monks singing the Hallelujah Chorus at http://voxvocispublicus.homestead.com/Index.html)

3.  checking out the blogs I follow and trying to give some thoughtful comments to show I care (because I do!)

2.  getting sucked into whatever reality nonsense Mr. Wordtabulous is watching at the time (Marathon Boy-horrifying and fascinating)

1.  blogging my dysfunctional life approach for all to enjoy (Cheers! Now go get something done!)

This Blogger’s Prayer

Oh my God, oh my God, please. Please let someone read it who gets it. Please let someone read what I wrote and say, “Wow, that is so [cool, right, inspiring, funny, ANYTHING.] Please let me not be just another asshat who is obsessed with being noticed, even though that is what it feels like I am. Please help me understand what it is I am doing or what it is I am supposed to be doing. Why do I keep feeling like putting words on a page? I mean, I am glad my mom and a couple of my long-suffering friends take the time to check in, but does this whole writing endeavor make sense? All this effort and angst for what? There is so much crap out there, God, have you SEEN all the crap out there? I don’t want to be putting out crap. I know I shouldn’t care about being liked, God, but then why did you build me so I care so MUCH about whether people like what I do or write? That is freakin’ mean, God. Harsh. To make me so insecure and so exhibitionistic at the same time, and then to wrap me up in the culture that says “If you can dream it you can achieve it,” but then make me so cynical that I know that is idiotic. Is this is a joke? Am I amusing you? I didn’t take you for snarky, Lord, but I am feeling like the dork stumbling past the cool kid’s table, and you are snorting milk out of your nose. OK, that’s not true. You wouldn’t laugh at me. But you are keeping some secrets and it sucks. I hate not understanding the direction or the point of this.

And that, right there, is the point. Understanding is my anchor; research and analysis is how I control my world. You want to be my anchor and want me to know that control is an illusion. Dude. I don’t have to like it, but I see your point. As always, God, oh my God, 1) help me, and 2) thanks.