…… 2014!!

Don’t forget to come visit me in my new space. Make it your New Year’s Resolution, okay?

http://paperandclouds.net

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Writing Group & Ponies

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When I picked Daughter up from school yesterday she immediately asked me what we were going to do that evening. I told her we’d eat dinner and we’d play, but then I had to leave for Writing Group.

“What is Writing Group?” she asked.

Fair question, I thought. Glad I didn’t say I was going to Happy Hour.

“Well,” I told her, trying to figure out how to explain it, “Writing Group is when I get together with friends that like to write stories and we talk about them.”

“Do you write stories?”

“Yes,” I said, realizing that occasionally I do.

“Do you write stories for kids?”

“Well, not really, Kiddo. I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t.”

“Oh.”

She’s quiet and I turn onto Minnehaha Avenue from her school’s parking lot.

“Kiddo, would you want me to write a story for kids.”

“Yeah…”

“What do you think I should write about?”

This is where I got excited. Actually, the whole conversation was exciting, but I never expected a writing prompt from my 4.5YO.

And after some hesitation, she started.

“Um, Mommy?”

“Yes, babe?”

“I think you should write a story about Ariel. The mermaid.”

I smile broadly, but keep quiet.

“And My Little Pony. Ariel and My Little Pony. Can you write a story about that?”

I quietly chuckle.

Of course. Her two favorite characters of the week. A Disney mermaid (Hey, if she had to go Disney, I’m glad she went with the one that can swim.) and a group of Ponies that I know nothing about, but I’m learning quickly.

“Yes, kiddo, I can write a story about Arial and the Ponies.”

Or at least I can write a blog post.

Just Write: Just Write, Already

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So, I’ve got a few days off. And like yesterday, I’m doing a good job filling up the time. Today, after I drop daughter off, I plan to go for a quick run, then tour another school, drop off more stuff at a consignment shop, get a massage, walk the dogs, the pick up the kid so we can go on a field trip to Ikea. Somewhere in there, I hope to write, if only for a few minutes.

Why is it so stinking hard to write? Not just to find the time, but to actually sit down and put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard. I have no problem getting myself to vacuum or workout or curl up with a book, but to actually do the act of writing? That’s horrifying. Yet, the list of what I want to write keeps growing. Is all that material just incubating? Waiting until the timing is right to slide down my shoulders, into my fingers and onto the page?

I sure hope so. Because there ain’t a whole lot of writing going on in these parts right now.

At least I wrote this.

PS: Look who’s back after 10 days at Grandma & Grandpas. They were so thrilled to see each other. Above they’re even holding paws! 

PSS: THis photo is deceiving. He weighs only 15 lbs, she’s probably over 50.

My Monday

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It’s Monday and I have ten more minutes to myself in the coffee shop before I go through another school tour, stop by the office (quickly) and drop some clothes at the consignment shop. It’s my first of three days with me. Husband is at work, Daughter is at school, so it’s me and the dogs. I have lots planned, but hopefully not too much. Hopefully I can spend some time in this space and get my writing project back up and running.

Ten days off, but just three all to myself. How is it that this time goes so quickly? An hour to run to the bank, an hour to workout, a few minutes in the book store, time stuck in traffic and then the day is gone!

Here, the coffee shop is packed. And I overhear bits of conversations. One man has a newborn son, yet lingers over coffee with his buddy. Two women in dreadlocks, who look quite a bit alike, have just dropped their kids at school and are chatting with a couple of older women. An older guy is cutting out soda. The proprietor, who appears to know everyone, is running a race for charity on Thanksgiving Day with his partner. And he’s not cooking.

I love listening to the bits and pieces. Life is full of all sorts of bits and pieces. Today my bits and pieces feel all consuming. But at least they’re mine.

Just Write: NaNoWrMo, Sort of

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As you probably know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWrMo) started lasted Friday with the start of November. I am not participating. Or not officially. Or not at all. But in the spirit of the whole idea, I am promising myself that I will write something every day this month. And grocery lists don’t count. Friday I wrote about 200 words. Saturday about the same. Sunday I watched this  video about storyboarding your book. Monday I made a list of my 25 islands (See Sunday). I have no idea what I’ll write later today.

But I know I’ll write.

Saying Goodbye

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I’ve been struggling with how to write this for weeks. in fact, just now as I wrote that I got choked up. It would be easier to just close the tab and do a google search for Geico Owl rather than write this. At least then I’d be laughing. Instead, I’m trying to let go of our house. The only house our daughter and dogs have known. The house where we’ve lived for over 11 years. The house that’s we’ve turned into a home. A very lovely, comfortable, totally-us home.

Besides our childhood homes, we’ve lived in this house longer than anywhere in our lives. And we’ve created a life together here. It’s hard to imagine living anywhere else. When we walk through other houses, evaluating layout and room sizes, I always remember what it was like to walk through our house the first time. We were young. Just 32 and 29. We weren’t married. We didn’t even have real furniture.

And know we’re looking again. For our next house, that we can turn into our next home. For the house we’ll hopefully retire in. For the house our daughter will call home. For the yard our dogs will run through. For the deck where we’ll watch the sunset and the kitchen where we’ll make dutch pancakes on Christmas morning.
But before we can find the new place, I still have to say goodbye to this place. To the view of the river from the front yard. The trails, the road, the eagles, fox, racoons, oppossums. To the backyard where daughter spent hours playing on her climber, running down the hill, planting beside me. To the back deck, which newly built, is my favorite Sunday morning reading spot. To the kitchen, which we gutted and has pumped out huge turkeys and platters of sushi. Daughter’s bedroom where I rocked and changed and sang and laughed with my favorite girl. The TV room which has been a movie theater, a dance studio and a deep dark forest of pillows all in the same night. The vaulted living room with soaring windows and a view that can’t be beat. The master bedroom which carries memories of it’s own. The master bath which we also gutted and turned into a sanctuary from the stresses of the world. The loft and office where we’ve created and painted and yoga’d and read. To the basement that I scrubbed the day we moved in and daughter painted just months ago.
It sounds silly, saying goodbye to a house. But I feel like I have to let go. Somebody else will take care of it and make it their own. Maybe they’ll paint walls or finish the basement. Maybe they’ll have better luck with the thick, rich soil in the garden. Maybe they’ll bring a new dog home and watch him run through the backyard ears straight back.
The house will be fine without us. And we’ll be fine without the house. So, goodbye 4516. Thanks for everything.

I’m Dreaming

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I’m in the thick of an online class/experience right now called Mondo Beyondo. It’s hard to describe, but it’s all about exploring our dreams. And not the dreams that happen when our heads hit the pillow, but the dreams for your life, your hopes and fears and wishes and, well, dreams.

It’s encouraging, it’s enlighting and it’s even been fun. I’ll share more as I wind down the road.

But watch this.

And read this.

I’ll see you on the other side.