Monday Music

Just trying to catch up on a few items (I’ve even been doing my dishes…), and the blog is one space I have been neglecting.

After some challenging weeks, and weeks, and more weeks, I am feeling the generous peace that I crave and enjoying some (much needed) sleep and a few quiet hours. (Bouncing back and forth between the demands of playing extrovert while craving the life of an introvert has been challenging.) Today I want to share a few songs that make me smile or strengthen me on those hard days (and since today is Monday…well, let’s get to the music).

This first song has been a long-time favorite. Since I was a child, my musically gifted mother exposed me to melodies more diverse than I could list on several blog posts. One of the constants during those years was the three-octave range of Barbara Streisand. This song is one of my favorites from her film Yentl, a story about a woman so devoted to learning that she is willing to sacrifice her womanhood to continue her quest for knowledge after her father’s death.

The next song has been my companion in seeking positivity during these last several weeks. I’ve been trying to count blessings instead of sheep (though this piece is Bernstein instead of Berlin).

This last song is just for fun–a love song that has become a tether to my amazing husband (who, often–almost always–has held me through my crazy-busy moments). I can’t say what I feel better than a couple of cute one-liners by Ed Sheeran in this song.

So, there you have some fun music for this glorious Monday. As always, sending love and light your way. ❤

An Exercise (in writing)

As I read various novels, poems, blog posts, etc., I am entranced with the ability of writers to capture the essence of mundane or everyday tasks with such descriptive language that acts such as moving wet clothing from the washing machine into the dryer become almost poetic.  Do you know what I mean?  I love reading with the need to somewhat decode and decipher what a writer is talking about through his or her descriptions of actions, items, or individuals.  When I find writing like this, it sinks into my soul and brings me joy.

So…today I offer a writing challenge for your writers out there…and as an example, I will post a description of sorts as part of this post.  Your challenge is to write about something seemingly insignificant–and to give it meaning through language.  Here goes my effort:

After a two-hour-old slice of dry toast and a spicy sausage link, the thirst is almost unquenchable.  Fingers find their way to a white plastic handle holding onto a shiny, serrated slice of metal, as if life depended on it.  Another hand selects firmly the brightly colored sphere, holds the little-larger-than-a-tennis-ball shape firmly to avoid rolling as the blade cuts into the sunshiny flesh, peeling back layers of skin.  Slice, slice, and slice again.  Juicy, acidy, sticky liquid pools onto the dark granite countertop.  Pulling flesh apart from pulp, zest embeds itself under once-long fingernails.  Liquid Vitamin C runs down fingers to wrist as a section brushes lips.  Tongue is moving back and forth, back and forth, sweeping bits and fragments and juice from side to side.  Teeth are grinding, grinding, grinding pulp as juice begins to trickle down a sandpapery throat.  More!  More!  More! Throat screams, and another section grazes incisors, wondering why the wetness of dry mouth propels stickiness while fingers absorb it.  Rinsing the throat with orange while washing fingers with water, both body parts are finally satisfied.

Well, it’s not fantastic…but it’s an exercise, after all.  If you feel so inclined to participate, link back so we can connect and learn from one another, or comment your description exercise at the conclusion of this post.

Happy Writing! 🙂

Choices

As I approach the dashboard of my blog to write this Monday morning, my heart is (honestly) a little heavy.  I know I can sit here and recount the conversations of the weekend and how we are all really no less safe than we were four days ago…but we may feel like we are.  I know I can ignore what I am feeling, as well, and get lost in some editing or fiction writing or a book or movie.  I also know that I can take my advice from Friday (which I posted before the news hit) and count my blessings.  I think I will choose the last.

(I would be dishonest to say that I didn’t hug my little ones a little tighter before they left my door this morning, though.)

I am so very blessed in my life.  Currently, I live in a more-than-ample house with a kitchen I adore using.  I have beautiful, insightful children who impart wisdom to me daily.  I have a handsome husband who loves me in spite of my multitude of flaws, shortcomings, and occasional sadness over situations I cannot control.  I was raised by good parents.  I have amazing friends and family members.  I can rock heels.  (And, last week, I even found brown boots…but that is another story!)

Somehow choosing to focus on the vast blessings before me helps my heart feel a little lighter.  I will try to choose happiness instead of feeding the negative feelings bouncing around my head of fear and uncertainty.  I will count a few more blessings along my path today…and among them will be you, my dear readers.  🙂

Thanks for listening…and reading.  I appreciate you more than you know.

Give and Take

Sometimes we try to give more than we have…sometimes we take more than we should.

When we are children, we often take…and take…and take some more.  We take knowledge from teachers, wisdom from parents, and energy from the world.  We take life, money, hugs, kisses, tears, and habits from those around us willing to give.

When we have children, we give…and give…and give some more.  Sometimes parents feel no end to the constant giving of time and energy devoted to raising our children, loving them in the way they need to feel love, and disciplining in a way that is meaningful to them, as well.

When we are sick, we take…and take.  We take medicines, energy, and support from our caregivers.  We take healing from prayers and hope and faith.

When we are well, we give…and give.  We give treats to neighbors, kind words to those feeling lonely, carefully typed comments on someone’s blog.

When the holidays come around, we give.  We give canned food to shelters, toys to children, and money to charity.

When we get married, we give…and take.  We give ourselves to one another in the name of union and love…and we take companionship, love, connection (which hopefully is shared more than taken).

Where are you on the continuum of giving and taking…and which feels more fulfilling?

I follow the posts from HONY (Humans of New York) on Facebook…and the post came yesterday that Brandon is taking a trip after no breaks for two years.  He has given many people a view of New York through its people that we could not experience without the power of his photography and the internet by which he shares his images.  He has given for two years and (hopefully) will now be able to take a break and bask in the blessing of the gift he has given the world through this creative project he has undertaken.

My husband asked me the other day, “What do you find most challenging?”  A flood of thoughts poured into my mind, including my writing challenges, keeping up with kiddos’ schedules and homework assignments, making time to refill myself so I have something to give…but my reply came simply, in one word.

“Balance.”

Image

Goodbye, November…& NaNoWriMo

I just have one picture to post today…and I will work on my recap (to post sometime next week) of the past month’s adventures!

Winner-100x100-2

I did it!!!!! 🙂

Thank you for all your words of encouragement, likes, and support!

Hope you have checked out the Facebook page, and know you are always welcome to follow me on Twitter!

Hope you have a glorious weekend…I will be walking on clouds until who knows when…!  🙂

Do You NaNoWriMo?

As November’s end is fast approaching, I am behind a bit on my word count (last week brought to our home some illness as well as the holiday that many of you also celebrated).  As of this moment, word count weighs in at 42,644, which, on my word processing program, equates to 153 pages.  Over dinner a week or so ago with some friends, he joked, “Why don’t you just go back to school and use it as a dissertation?”  Some day….

By the end of yesterday, the magic number according to 1,667 words per day would be 43,342…and at the close of today, the goal is 45,009.  Since I had several 800 (maybe) word days during the holidays, and I know I can pull a 4,000 word day (I have already once this month), I’m feeling the energy (even though I’m still below goal) of the magnitude of finishing this amazing feat.  I’m compiling a list of lessons learned this month, which I hope to post at the conclusion of November.

And, I’m wondering how I am going to celebrate….

And I want to give you a shout-out to keep writing!  Your words have a powerful effect on your soul and the lives of others…even if you think you are writing in a private journal or blogging in your own little corner of cyberspace or publishing books–YOUR WORDS ARE IMPORTANT.  Continue to develop your voice and use it–and share it with the world.  You have value beyond measure.  Feel that power and write with it!

Here is one of my favorite “raise your voice” songs:

Strip Me – Natasha Bedingfield

Hi there!

Well, I know I promised some fiction this week (& I do have a draft in my posts), but my week has been on overdrive (& I’m feeling a little bit chicken…cluck, cluck), so I will shoot for next week…or maybe later today (or even tomorrow) if I get back on the computer any time soon.  🙂

Hope your weekend finds you blissfully aware of who you are and the marvelous things you accomplish each day!