Writing My Life

Now and Then


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NaNoWriMo Update

As you can see by the new widget in my sidebar, I have accepted the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. I know I am crazy, but I ALSO know this is the ONLY way I will EVER complete a novel.

Craziest photo I could find of me - t'was taken LAST November in Bahston

I’ve tried the SANE way – writing every day… worked for a minute; writing a certain amount of words daily … ditto; writing at the same time each day … no luck; write with a buddy … buddy bailed; tried a “MiniWriMo” … same sad story; started and stopped writing a mash-up novel by sort of plagiarizing Thomas Hardy. Sigh.

So here goes.

I told G.E. about my goal and he didn’t even say, “What? Are you NUTS? Aren’t you busy enough? You’re already glued to the computer.” Etc.

I shared my writing idea with him AND read the first 1000 words to him. He was “almost” enthusiastic. Hey! That’s good for the man, okay? He even fell asleep last night without growling – and I mean literally growling – at me to turn off the light. (The growl is really cute and always makes me smile.) Anyway, I typed for about an hour! And then read “until I learned something.”

I plan to leave “mini-posts” to document my progress along the way, but not until after I post my “Autumn Album” tomorrow – LOTS of cute pix of my grandkidlets between September and November.

In the meantime AND if your curious, I’ve written – drum roll, please –

4161 words!

and yes, I’m behind.


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Halloween is over, so why am I sporting a mustache?

This is NO disguise. This is my way of bringing attention to prostate cancer. Not exactly the equivalent killer that breast cancer is to women, it is still a devastating illness for many men. I realize that many of you may know someone who suffers from this form of cancer, and you may think, “Oh, men can live long lives after being diagnosed.” My father-in-law contracted prostate cancer, but that is not what took his life. Many years ago, John Huntsman, Sr. was informed he had the disease, and he was inspired to build the Huntsman Cancer Center as a result. He’s still among the living.

What some don’t know – and I used to be among those – is that the younger the man is when he contracts this disease, usually under 60, the more likely it is to spread into a deadly disease. G.E. and I know a very fine man who has battled prostate cancer for ten years. He is close to our age and has yet to beat it. He may not. So in addition to praying for this great husband, father, and grandpa, I am also sporting this mustache for him. (G.E. would grow one, too, if his employer allowed it.)

Nevertheless, many men are sporting mustaches during the month of November. And a few women, too. 😉


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… power sentences that sort of define my life – years birth through 10 …

Dear Self,

I have been an absentee blogger as of late. September was a roller-coaster month, complete with ups, downs, upSIDE-downs, cork-screws, and unsafe speeds. I am happy I survived, and I welcome October.

Before September turned psycho, I responded to one of WordPress’ pretty cool daily prompts:

For each year you have been alive, write a single sentence about the most important thing that happened to you that year. If you don’t want to get too personal, write a sentence about the most important historic event, or event most interesting to you, that happened in the world that year.

I quickly realized that 63 “power sentences” would take a long time to write and read, and so I decided to write 10 a day. I wrote the first 10 before September sabotaged my efforts. I also thought it might be a good idea to reflect upon why that event deserved its “most important” status, but that would double the length and quadruple the thinking. Suddenly, the whole idea seemed overwhelming, and I ended up saving the draft.

I just stumbled upon what I wrote nearly a month ago and decided “what the heck, push ‘Publish!'” And so I am. Whether or not these are the most important events of the year, I don’t know and I don’t want to think about it any more.

Signed, Me

  1. 1948: I was born on Memorial Day – the original, static holiday, not the rotating date that allows for a 3-day weekend to welcome summer.
  2. 1949: I entertained family and neighbors with non-stop jabbering, punctuated by slapping my own chubby knee for emphasis – early indications of the gift of gab and future chubbiness.
  3. 1950: Mom gave me a sister, and then worried that I’d feel displaced. She spent many years making sure we both felt equally loved. 
  4. 1951: I underwent a tonsillectomy, and swear I remember receiving a beautiful “Storybook Doll” from Daddy, but practical Mom insisted he return it as she deemed the luxury as  UNaffordable! 
  5. 1952: Because I have NO sense of direction, my family calls me Amelia (as in Earheart), but when I was four my sister and I found our way back to our new house from Sunday School. (Maybe Connie knew the way, and I followed her.)
  6. 1953: I remember, or at least think I remember, owning a puppy that was killed by a car, but I took solace in the fact that the angels truly flew him up to heaven.
  7. 1954: I started first grade at a brand new elementary school, and Mom packed “exploding” 7-Up in a thermos that drenched the food in my Annie Oakley lunchbox.
  8. 1955: Second grade in Mrs. Quidor’s class was highlighted by the pet parade where my reincarnated puppy showed up so I’d have a pet to parade.
  9. 1956: Third grade brought the beginning and the end to my dancing career as I officially performed in a dance recital and UNofficially presented an original dance number in Mrs. Q’s “Little Theater.”
  10. 1957: I really fell in love with reading because I wanted to earn a gazillion paper fish to win Mrs. Jorgensen’s Reading Fishbowl competition.
  11. 1958: I knew my 5th grade teacher didn’t like me, and so I wouldn’t ask him if I could be excused to go to the bathroom even if it meant wetting my pants – which I did one time.
Important events that should have made the list:
  • 1954: My grandpa died, and I knew that would be the end of sitting on his knee, licking the paper after he rolled his cigarettes, and eating his pink wintergreen mints.
  • 1954: I almost choked myself to death the day I wore Mom’s yellow scarf around my neck. I took it without her permission and kept pulling the knot tighter and tighter until I thought I couldn’t swallow. By that time the knot was so tight and tiny that my teacher had to cut the scarf off my neck. I had some explainin’ to do!
  • 1956: My first trip to the brand new theme park DISNEYLAND. I fell in love with the place and dreamed of working there when I grew up.  


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… final 50-word fiction or NOT: Kakistocracy …

Today’s WordPress prompt was another perfect fit for the NaBloPoMo’s August theme, Fiction.

“Find a word you don’t know, but like, and use it in a short, paragraph length, story, or a clever sentence.” So here ’tis my effort. Kind of a somber way to end 31 days straight of blogging! WheW!

 

The commentary turned into a prophecy fulfilled.

The BEST shunned public service because of its position at the back of a bus driven by politics.

No one without a personal agenda entered the arena.

The populous surmised that there were no choices.

So why bother?

Results: The WORST of us govern.


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… 50-word “Gatsby” fiction: Jordan and Nick …

Note: Today the WordPress daily prompt intrigued me: “If you could be part of any fictional universe, what would it be? And why? (For example Star Wars, Mad Men, Hamlet, etc.)”

I thought about it throughout the day and decided upon the fictional universe of The Great GatsbyRather than list possible reasons for that choice – the fashions, the conflicted post-World War I era, the intriguing but shallow characters, etc. – I am choosing to enter the universe via my 50-word fiction. So I climbed into the minor-major character Jordan Baker’s psyche to visit Fitzgerald’s literary Jazz-age world.

 

 

I rather resent Daisy’s crusade in finding me a suitable man.

I suppose she distrusts my taste in the male species. Understandable. 

I don’t trust myself – in anything.

Tonight Cousin Nick is the lamb to be sacrificed upon the altar of Jordan’s respectability.

I pray I don’t like the fellow. 


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… stream-of-conscious 50-word fiction: “The Shadow Knows”

I’ve awakened to see shadows rummaging through boxes stacked throughout the room but I don’t move or breathe for fear the figures will materialize into something solid and sinister and I pray my lump of flesh and bones curled up here in this corner will disappear into a sinister shadow.


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… more fun than fiction: Mom and the Mall Pick-up …

Yesterday Mom and I headed for South Towne Center so she could cash in on a fancy-schmanzy free gift with her Estee Lauder purchase. As we were leaving, we paused curbside to allow dozens of cars to exit the parking lot. A hot Mustang Convertible stopped even though many more vehicles lined up behind him.

I waved him on and shouted, “Go ahead. We’re really slow walkers!” Because the top was up and the windows were tinted, I couldn’t see the driver, but he stuck his arm out the window and motioned us to cross.

I yelled thanks, and Mom added, “We sure like your car!” I repeated her sentiments to make sure he heard, and the  driver hollered back something we couldn’t make out.

Still got it at 85!

As we finally got to the other side of the Mustang, the passenger rolled down the window to reveal a very very very good looking young man. The driver leaned towards the passenger’s window as well so that we could see he, too, was a cutie.

The passenger then repeated what the driver had said: “HE SAID HE’LL TEXT YOU LATER!”

I laughed and relayed the message to Mom who is a little hard of hearing, and then I added, “I didn’t know he had your phone number.”

She chuckled and then climbed into my car. That’s when I noticed her phone number printed on the back of her T-shirt!!!!

(Okay, that last paragraph is a lie, but all the rest is true. And I could have kissed those sweet guys for making her day! Thanks young men, whoever and wherever you are.)