Saturday, February 21, 2015

That one memory

    Do you have that one memory that unwittingly pops up from time to time that just makes you....cringe? Not the happy memory or that memory that makes you quietly sigh as you stare far off into the horizon. I am talking about that memory that physically makes you blush every time you think of it. It is that memory that could qualify for the most embarrassing memory, but it has nothing to do with you falling down in your platform boots in the middle of the hallway right underneath your lit teacher in high school. Totally nonfiction, that example. It has nothing to do with forgetting your money while trying to buy groceries or speaking loudly just as the music dims.

No, this memory is worse because the reason you cringe at it is because you were a total ass. You. Yes, you. You were a complete nincompoop in this memory and each time your mind goes there you want to scream at your past self "DO NOT OPEN YOUR STUPID MOUTH! SHUT IT RIGHT NOW!"

But you can't scream. Or you could but it wouldn't change the memory. And your mind doesn't listen to your obvious unwillingness to think about this memory again so it keeps rolling the film right before your eyes and BAM! There it is. The moment you were an ass.

I have one of those. It was my junior year of college. Or, since I went on and off again for four and a half years let's say it was around that year. I was in a nonficton writing class, even though I didn't need it. Seriously, I, at 23, was like, the bomb. You know? Gah! I was such an ass.

Anyway, my book had just been published and I was walking on air. At the time I had no idea that the publisher was basically a vanity press, which in 2004 was basically like being self-published and  back then that was not a good thing. No one considered you a real writer if you self-published. At the time I really thought that my publisher was a real publisher. Hence the chip on my shoulder. Funny thing though, no one really knew about my book. I didn't announce it to my class because, well, I didn't want to look like a snotty ass. Cringe.

So no one knew the reason behind my haughty
attitude, but that didn't keep me from having one. I wasn't all over the place acting like I was some Shakespeare. I acted normal, but inside my head I was all, "Yeah, I don't need this." You know?

We were sitting around the table filling in time. The teacher asks "what are some things you need to help you write?" No one answers. He looks at me. He was the only one who knew I had written a book and while he wasn't awed, floored, overjoyed, kneeling before me to kiss my hand,  he was very respectful and appreciative that I was young and had a book published. So, he looked at me and asked me. I thought I would try to be funny and said ....(cringe. I don't even want to write this.)

"Gummy bears."

Believe me, I said it like it was hilarious and very interesting. Like Vanity Fair and the New Yorker would be clammering one day to interview anyone who had actually heard me say those funny and so-true words. Yes, gummy bears, I told my class, are needed to write things. To write books, like I've written was basically what I was thinking.

I know. Ass. ASS. I wish I could erase it. Or strangle it. We learn from the past, right? So learn from this to not be such an ass. GAH!





Friday, February 20, 2015

ABC poem

At the break of the morning my fitbit vibrates
Bringing me into reality
Complete with little beings in my bed.
Defying gravity I rise and
Ease into the kitchen.
Fixing coffee, pancakes, and toast
Getting backpacks and change of clothes
Having a quick shower and out we go
I make my way to daycare,
Just two miles down the road
Keeping pace with others in high heeled shoes.
Limited to two hours to write down the fictitious world
Marching against time is my peril
Never getting enough words down.
Oh, now it's time to bail
Priceless image; watching her singing
Queen of the world, she claims to be
Rings sweetly close to her sisters' aims!
Singing we march on home to eat, to nap, to play,
To cook dinner and pick up the house
Up the stairs again, it's homework time
Vacuum up the spilt crackers and pasta
We share a story, take a bath
eXit this day with a yell and a splash
Young little ladies, snug in their beds
Zzzzzzzzz, mama's now nodding her head

Mama's Losin' It My contribution to Mama Kat's prompt to write a poem starting with the letter A and going through the alphabet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meeting my best friend

Have I ever told you how bad my memory is? I don't know what my problem is but I cannot. for the life of me, remember things that other people can remember in detail. So, this memory may be a mixture of one or two memories. But, the underlying theme is the same: sometimes you never know you will end up being your best friend....or something like that.

I went to a small, private school for the majority of my life. It wasn't just small, it was tiny. Every new school year brought maybe one or two or three new kids to the school, and us old students would sniff them out to see who would go to what group. Could we add them to our tiny group? Or would they choose that other group over there?

My group was a bit outcasty, if there is such a word. My parents were divorced and Ali's parents were not as involved as they "should" have been. Plus we dyed our hair..gasp! I know, talk about small. school.

Was it nineth grade? Betty will have to tell me, but I think it was. She came in. Tall, blond and confident. She smiled a lot and seemed like fun.

But she wore a black dress with brown tights. It may have been a brown dress with black tights. Either way, Ali frowned and I agreed, since I had already been set straight by her the previous ear. Something just don't go together, she said, black and navy, white and cream, and black and brown.

But we were not like the Hollywood teenagers. This fashion faux pas was not something that would keep us from allowing her in. No, in fact, we wanted her in. She was boisterous and fun and liked to talk and sing and was just...fun. Problem was, the goody group was eyeing her, too.

I do remember Ali whispering to me, "We gotta get her. Fast." Or something along those lines...:)

Ali worked her charms and I...am not sure what I did. We had the love of photography in common, crazy parent and Jewel. It was destined from the start. And here we continue.

She came to our group and we had a great one and a half years. Then she moved away and we stayed in touch...always keeping our ties tied tight, her and I. Somehow we kept it going, even separated by half a world.

Love you, Betty! If this is not true don't say anything. I would like to pretend I can remember something right....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Broadening the mind

Lugubrious.

Doesn't that word have an awesome sound to it? Lu-gu-bri-us. Luguuuuuuubrious.

What does it mean? I had to look it up, too. Thanks to my kindle I am not longer that lazy reader who passes over words I don't really  know, content with the partial meaning ti get from the phrase that enwraps it. Nope, now I Look. Words. Up.

I know. I know. It is a momentous discovery, this dictionary thing.

Not really. But seriously, as much as I love writing and am I stickler for grammar and used to actually spend time reading the dictionary because my best friend and I had this weird, unspoken competition about how big our vocabularies were, I find that in the last decade my vocabulary may have decreased. At least a little. Okay, well, it certainly didn't increase.

And with little girls now asking about what words mean I find that while I know the implied meaning behind almost all words, many words I don't know the actual dictionary meaning, which is always the most straight forward. In my opinion it is the easiest starting point.

So now I am making cards. And expanding the ol' noggin. Because it's never too late right?

Besides, I have another reason: between the Spanish and the French I find myself literally inventing English words. Just a few lines up I was certain there was such a word as monumentous. There isn't. I have no idea where I pulled that one from. Mixture of Spanish and English? Maybe? My mind simply forgetting the real word and replacing it with made up stuff? More than likely.

There problem with that is that I am not Shakespeare and no one will applaud me making up words. They just look at me funny or outright laugh. I would laugh, too. If I wasn't so concerned about my intelligence being washing down the drain with the dirty dish water.

Apparently you become like the five people you hang around the most. So I have become like a 7,4 and 1 year old. Quite literally. I have been content to use a small amount of words in order to not waste tie explaining meanings all the time. But I am no longer content with this. It is detrimental both to myself and my kids. So, No MORE!

Want to know what got me started? I was reading a Rose Lerner historical romance. Yes, yes. I read romance. Not the crappy stuff. And there is a lot of that. Of course there are simply a lot of crappy books out there these days, no matter what the genre. But good romance books have deep characters and plots, set in historical times. Yes, sex, too. But then, isn't sex a part of our lives too? I'm not talking erotica that is written like pictureless porn.

Enough defending. If you want to look down, go right ahead. If you want to read, I recommend Rose Lerner. Why? She has an awesome vocabulary! I swear! She uses words I would never use in every day life, even though they are perfectly awesome words and work well. She also pulls some really big ones out that made me consult the dictionary. I love it! Making me learn. Making me grow.

So thanks to Rose Lerner I am growing in another area. Perfect!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bemma says "come"

There was once  little, tiny girl named Bemma. She was smaller than everyone around her, though that rarely kept her down. Yes, she had to look up every time someone called her name, but she saw no importance in that. In fact, with her tininess she could fit into many places others could not and could climb things that others could not, albeit with some huffing and puffing. One great advantage to being little tiny was that the bigger people seemed to think it made her 'cute' and therefore rarely said no when she complained of being tired and asked to be held.

Yes, being tiny had its conveniences.

She may have been little but she saw no determinant in her size to anything she wanted to do or get done. It did not keep her from learning to talk, although it seemed the big people around her often smiled at her when she did speak and rarely did what she said unless she screamed it at a high pitch. The one she called Papa usually regretted making her scream so much that he almost always compensated what he said no to by giving her chocolate.

Ah, chocolate. What Bemma called "come." At first, for some reason the big one called Mama cringed each time Bemma said "come, come" but she soon got over it and was herself calling chocolate come in order to be understood by Bemma at times. You must understand that Bemma is on her way to being trilingual and while she is ready to talk and said quite a bit in her own way, she had yet, at the time this story was written, to master many words that the big people understood. She usually mastered them by way of repitition until her tongue could manage to position itself correctly and repeat. This happened with the word up one day as she climbed the stairs one step at a time, her older sister repeating "up, up" to encourage her along. Finally Bemma's tongue repeated it correctly, making all those around her clap and smile. From that day on she made it a point to say "up" whenever she could.

With chocolate this same sister was one evening encouraging Bemma to come along faster as they made their way from school to the dance studio, walking. "Come, Bemma, come," the sister said, every other step giving the small one a candy-coated circle chocolate. This was an encouragement that Bemma liked a lot and was quite proud of herself when she managed to repeat "come" with several of this sweet circles in her mouth. From then on whenever someone asked her to "come" she ran to the corner in the kitchen where Mama usually keeps the sweet things. Soon she figured out that the big people say this word "come" for other meanings, but she chose to only use it when meaning one thing: something dark and sweet.