All These Drafts!

I have 74 drafts sitting here in WordPress.

Seventy-four posts drafted and waiting to find out when – or even if – they will be published.

That seems like so many, but I don’t know how many other bloggers might have. I have nothing to which I can compare.

Sometimes I grab one of those drafts, polish it off, and publish it, even though it may have been started a year or more ago.

If you are willing to share your secret number of current drafts, I am willing to hear about it right here in the comments. Eh? Whadda ya say?


Someone’s thoughts on running

I’m loving the “Reader” feature of WordPress.

Here is a post I found by a fellow blogger. I wanted to comment about how much I appreciated his thoughts about running, but comments were closed. In the link below, I share it so I can reread it and comment on specifics later. If others want to comment, my comment section is open.

The blog entry was called “I Remember What it Was That I Loved About Running”.

When creativity fails #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Every writer has moments when creativity fails them. We sit before our computer and the words refuse to come, or when they do, they seem awkward. At times like this, we feel alone and isolated. After all, an idea is jammed in our head and words should fall from our fingers like water from the tap.

I have suffered this, the same as every author does. However, it never gets too firm a grip on me because I have several exercises that help me write my way through the block. Something we sometimes forget is that the act of writing every day builds mental muscle tone and keeps you fit and in thehabit ofwriting.

Every author suffers a dry spell now and then. Even so, this job requires us to practice, just like music or dancing. Doing well at anything artistic or sports related requires discipline. Just like…

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It feels good to have everything out of my room,

with brand new carpet in place.

I almost don’t want to put stuff back,

 I’m happy to play in an empty space.

I didn’t mean that to be poetic, but it worked out that way.

On a related note, the song “Simplify” by Wes King comes to mind.

Should have talked it over
Should have thought it through
I think I might have bit off
A little more than I could chew
Well, I have got to get out
From underneath this weight
Or it’s gonna kill me

But the shining of the silver
The glimmer of the gold
Kept giving me a fever
But left me feeling cold
I’m right back in the middle
And if I don’t come out soon
Come in and get me

‘Cause I keep slaying all these dragons
But more keep coming
And I keep praying for this fight to end

Uh, oh, here I go
Wading through a lot of stuff you know
Juggling it all while I’m balancing on a wire
Slow down, I have found
Seems that every time I turn around
Got one foot in the muck
And another foot in the mire
Well, I’m scaling down
Pulling back, got to try
To simplify

I put my golden ring on
Unseen I went down where
War and peace collided
Inside the dragon’s lair
When pleasure is your master
Convenience is your key
Your heart’s divided

Well, I keep weighing
All these options
More keep a coming
And I keep straying
From the way I’m told

Uh, oh, here I go
Wading through a lot of stuff you know
Juggling it all while I’m balancing on a wire
Slow down, I have found
Seems that every time I turn around
Got one foot in the muck
And another foot in the mire
Well, I’m scaling down
Pulling back, got to try
To simplify

An evening in the life of a mom of seven

He’s giving the middle finger

I recognized the exasperation in my oldest daughter’s voice as she did a rapid trudge up the stairs, laptop computer from work in her arms still warm from the safety course it fed her tonight, to the room she usually shares with my youngest daughter. I say “usually” because depending on how many of my kids are home, the sleeping arrangements get shuffled.

“I’ve got SO MUCH work to do!” she said in that voice that sounded suspiciously like my own when in such a state. Tired, slightly annoyed, a hint of anger, but accepting the lot as something that has to be done.

She added, “And I wish my relationship wasn’t such a job.”

Her boyfriend’s first language is Spanish, so, as can be a problem even in partnerships where mother tongues match, communication is sometimes a challenge.

My heart goes out to my daughter. I really, really get it.

A bit earlier this evening, my second daughter phoned. She lives five hours away, so phone calls are our main meetup. I put her on speaker and everyone present could hear each other. Life went on around us in our respective homes as we chatted.

And tonight life in my home was lively. It happens in spurts. A lot of people got hungry at once, so there were my three youngest kids all over the kitchen – one making grilled cheese sandwiches because the beef-barley-vegetable soup I made today, which my youngest son and daughter were serving up for themselves, wasn’t to his liking, but he so kindly told me about it and I assured him I was not offended.

While putting dishes away, I reached to put my favorite huge wooden spoon into the utensil crock on top of the wood cook stove’s warming oven. My attention was divided amongst talking on the phone, hearing multiple voices, and watching out for kids, cats, and dogs.

“Oh noooo!” I said as I watched the wooden spoon slip out of my hand head-first. Pieces of wood splintered off its rounded nose that hit the floor in front of my Aussie/Border Collie/Kelpie who was asleep on her mat. That woke her up.

I described what just elicited my “Oh nooo!” to my daughter on the phone while my groggy dog reminded me it was time to do the bedtime potty run for her and my other dog.

I led both dogs out amidst the lively kitchen noises and pulled the heavy sliding glass door behind me. The inside noises were suddenly gone and all I heard was the clickety-click of dog toenails running down wooden stairs.

As I stood sock-footed on the deck, looking up at the sky with expectation to see stars that shone so brightly last night but that were instead covered by clouds, I spoke into my phone:

“Ya know, I was once like you, a quiet girl in my early 20s who didn’t have any dogs, cats, or kids. And now look at me. I have a community in my house.”

We mused together about that. When I went back inside with the dogs, I said to my youngest three kids:

“I had a revelation here. I had been wanting to know a way to describe to you guys how I’m not just a mom… how I’m really a real person… and talking to Corndog (that’s a nickname for that daughter – and when I first told her it was a nickname, when she was 3 years old, she said “I’m not Nick” in her sly little humoured way) outside, it dawned on me how to describe it.”

And I told them the same thing I told Corndog outside. I think they got it. They know their big sister as more of one of them than as an adult. But I think they now have a bit of a foundation on which to build their understanding of me as a person.

I never used to understand what it was for my mom to be a person. She was just my mom. Just my sister’s mom. Just a mom in general.

But then I had kids of my own, and that’s when I started realizing how human my mom was. And how there is no such thing as “just a mom”.

And the more time I spend around my kids, in all of their ages and experiences, I get to know more about who I myself am as a person.

I see parts of myself in all of my kids. The more I see that, the better I understand each of them.

Life’s interesting to observe, how it goes around and around like that.

And no, I haven’t been smoking anything, though I did used to wax philosophical with my friends back in my teen years while under the influence of the odd mind-altering substance.

Not that I need to alter my thoughts. They’ve always been this way in their natural state: observant, trying to connect the connections for the sake of entertaining myself and anyone willing to hear about it, though it’s mostly in writing rather than speaking.

That’s five kids mentioned. One teenaged son just sold his truck to a rancher today. My question was, “Did ya get as much for it as you wanted?”

His answer was “No, not quite, but it’s okay.”

I love his mellow acceptance. He went out with some friends tonight. He’s a smart, compassionate human. I pray he’s safe. I pray that for all my kids and often.

And the other kid I haven’t yet mentioned is four hours north. I did hear from her today one tiny bit. She replied to a message I sent her two nights ago. Actually it was a photo I’d sent her. She must have been away working in the wilderness till then, as is often the case. Her reply was simply “lol!” Because, you see, the photo was of the front paws of one of our four cats. The caption I gave it was “He’s giving the middle finger.”

That’s a thing for my kids and me. We don’t swear at each other, but we flip each other the bird regularly. Humorously. Lovingly. Strangers might think we’re strange, but people ARE strange when you’re a stranger.

And there you have a slice of my life.

Removed by Music

Do you ever imagine, while driving, that you might die suddenly in a motor vehicle accident, and the loud music to which you were listening is still blaring from the speakers when too-late rescuers find you? Then they look at your phone and review recent track history to see what song was playing when you crashed. That song gets played at your memorial and your loved ones cry.

I envision it occasionally. I did today while driving from my house to the store.

Here I sit in my car, finishing the coffee I brought from home, letting my phone charge a bit before dashing in for groceries, and writing a blog entry.

“More Than A Feeling” by Boston plays on my car’s stereo. I dug that one out to download recently as my teenaged son is learning to play guitar and I thought he might like its intro. He’s always throwing songs my way that move him, and they re-move me as they are mostly songs that originally moved me, too, at his age, and continue in their movement now.

But back to the thought of being removed from this body while music plays. If it had happened on my drive to town today, it would have occurred during one of these tunes:

1. Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty

2. Put Another Log On The Fire by Tompall Glaser

3. Call Me The Breeze by Lynyrd Skynyrd

4. Travelin’ Shoes by Ruthie Foster

Then I parked and Starman by David Bowie came on. I could have been accidentally or purposely shot during that and have died as happily as during any of the previous songs.

Lady Gaga and some guy just sang “The Shallows” together, and now John Mayer is singing about how someone’s Body’s A Wonderland while his hands do the great things they do to a guitar.

Off I go to brave the grocery store. If I don’t make it out, pick some fine music to play in memory of me and enjoy the rest of your day.

Saturday nothings…

spring melt2

Just a quick note because I want to keep seeing the little thing that tells me how many days of a streak I’m on with posting blog entries on WordPress.

The photo above is from the nearby town of 100 Mile House, BC. Snow has finally melted away, the ice is turning back to liquid H2O, and the sun is shining.

I had a great day today, but right now there’s no time to write about it. Maybe I’ll get a chance to talk another time about the meeting I had with a local author, and all the encouragement I gathered as a result, but for now I’m off to buy a few beef weiners and maybe some s’mores ingredients for a bonfire is in the works this evening.

Oh, and if you want to leave a comment, I hope you can find the procedure to do so. I’ve not had time to fix things up on my blog to make the comment section easier, or to include an auto-signature line that apologizes for the necessity of having to sign up with a free WordPress account before you can comment. But if you do get it figured out, let me know you’re alive and tell me a bit about your day. Not many people read my blog anyway, so you don’t have to worry about ending up being spammed by replies.

PS: Here it is – the thing that tells me I’m on a 7-day streak.
Saturday nothings indeed! 🙂

7 day streak

Testing the comments section

Can you please do me a favour and let me know if the comment button even shows up under my blog entries? If you see it, can you please put a comment in? It doesn’t need to be big. A word or two will suffice, to let me know if it’s working. If the comment box is gone, I need to figure out how to fix that.

If you can’t find a comment box, but you know another way to contact me, please do so that way.

I know my writing is bad, but geeze, is it THAT bad that nobody comments at all, not even to complain? 😀

Write as if no one will read it

I write these blog entries with the assumption that nobody will read them.

I hear it in my mind in Kathy Mattea’s voice when she sang, “You got to sing like you don’t need the money… Love like you’ll never get hurt… You’ve got to dance, dance, dance, like nobody’s watching… It’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work.”

You got to write, write, write, like nobody’s reading…

And then when you learn that somebody read it, if you did it well, you might find that the feeling is that of comfort.

Several years ago, when I was new to blogging, a niece, who was in her early teens at the time, said, “I like it when you write from the heart. You should write more of that.”

I think that’s good advice.

I’ve always felt best about writing from the heart, that is, writing without worrying how it will be taken. I do sometimes have to carefully choose my words so they don’t get misundertsood by certain people who have proven a tendency to twist my meaning, but more often than not, I just let it flow.

I know there is a risk that someone will read my words.You are reading them right now. And there is a list of people who purposely follow my blog, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they will read each entry.

But people stumble across my writing in other ways, too.

When I was 18, I was at the family home of the guy who ended up becoming my first husband. A friend of his grabbed my purse and opened it, saying, “Whatcha got in here?”

He took out my journal and I gave a mild protest, like, “Oh, no… don’t read that.”

But I didn’t really want him to not read it. He read it out loud, at first as though he was mocking me, but he kept reading long after a few sentences. And I was glad. I just sat there and smiled smugly, like, “Ha. Go ahead and read. I have nothing to hide, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the ride.”

Somebody once told me, “Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t want to be seen by the whole world if it fell into the wrong hands.”

I’ve written things I didn’t want anyone else to see, and they did fall into the wrong hands, but that was before I learned that advice.

Sometimes people surprise me and say something to the effect of having read what I wrote in my blog entries or elsewhere on the internet. It’s a comfortable feeling of having unknowingly invited someone into my pointless little world, and finding that something I said stuck in their mind.

How about you? Can you relate to any of this? I’d love to hear how you feel about the production of your own writing. Leave a comment below, if you can find the elusive comment box, or otherwise connect with me.

(Kathy Mattea’s video: “Come From The Heart”)