Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Pictures Worth 100lbs

Further down you'll see a picture.  A picture taken of me by my Cousin Patti while visiting her in Seattle quite some time ago.

Pictures capture milestones, experiences, loved ones, friends, parties, graduations, weddings, and funerals.  We keep them so we can look back and remember details of those moments.

For some, pictures are a tangible timeline of our own personal history.  For others, pictures are painful reminders of a disturbing past.  The photo below is something different for me.  The photo below is insight into how wrong I was in how I interpreted myself during that time.  It is physical proof that I allowed mental poison to paint my experiences.

When I turned about 7 I went to visit my Grandmother Grace.  I was only gone for 2-3 weeks, but when I returned my Father looked at my Mother and said, "she's gotten big."  By 'big' he was not referring to 'tall.'  Now I didn't know that story for some years later; but at that moment battling bigness became a undeniable theme in my life.  My mother, not wanting me to go through what she did because of her weight problems tried perhaps too hard to help me.

I wasn't always heavy, there were times I slimmed down, but then plumped up, slimmed down again, repeat.  No matter what state I was in I only saw my bigness.  My clothes didn't fit right. I hid my upper arms as they were flabby.  Even today, I still cling to pillows when I sit so people won't notice my stomach bulge.

As for a LOT of women, and more and more recently, men, my body's condition is something which I'm both haunted and defeated. To be honest I am the heaviest I've ever been.  I'm only 20 lbs away from reaching a benchmark of weight gain that leaves me astonished.

You wonder if this is what you are meant to be- and you forget you ever were anything else.  I'm writing this now as a warning for those with son's and daughters- maybe even for yourself- that none of us see ourselves clearly.  When we don't see ourselves clearly, we give up hope, we give in to temptations, we feel being at home in our bodies isn't worth fighting for.

I'm not talking about looking good or sexy or anything like that- I mean feeling healthy.  To feel like you can sit without covering your body from others.  To stop letting your 'bigness' hide your abilities, talents, joy, etc.   I want you to be aware that the people around you, that you see every day who maybe complain about being fat and you shrug it off because "how annoying- they've thin as a rail," really see themselves through a lens of self-prejudice.

I want this to be a warning to you because the girl in the picture below felt too big.  Felt awkward.  Felt fat.  I wonder if I had let go of this thinking back then, if I wouldn't be obese today. 



Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Write Night

I'm sitting in a booth across from one of my oldest friends, laptop open, writing.  She's writing, too.  
We got here at 6 pm.  It is now 8:40 pm, and we'll stay until closing.  This is our weekly ritual for over a year now.  We reconnected after she moved back from Colorado.  In the process of catching up, we discovered we both had story projects we were slacking on.  To motivate each other (and our friendship) we became accountability partners.

We waste a lot of time.  We get a lot done.  Some nights we're pouring words out on computer screens, other nights we talk and surf those same screens.

I enjoy Write Night more than I can say.  It is what I look forward to every week.
Write night is like college when I used to meet up with friends in the SUB. I was always in the student union before, between, and after class.  There were always things to work on, but mostly I was there for the people.

The SUB was magical to me, fully accessible to coffee and food.  No invitation needed; yet, you were soon surrounded by a party of friends, as though by plan.

The colors were muted, and the walkways covered with a faded blue carpet. I didn't love the carpet, but I didn't pay much attention to it either.  When they replaced it with an abstract, dizzying design, I paid a lot of attention.  I raged for worn down blue.   But as the new carpet faded, so did my preoccupation with steel loop fabric.

Friends filtered in and out of the SUB; to study or to chat.  It was like the days when neighbors weren't strangers; when guests dropped in throughout the day, sharing stories and tea or coffee.
Students studied, avoided studying, cried, began and ended relationships, and even slept in the SUB.  Often, nothing happened, and yet anything could.

On September 11, 2001, televisions were set up all over the SUB.  Every day we marched solemnly past News programs replaying each crash over and over.  We stared at screens waiting for updates.  Loud voices were quickly hushed.  But in time that atmosphere faded and the voices of students competed with those of the News Anchors.  It wasn't long before we came to school and the TVs were gone. Often, nothing happened, and yet anything could.

One day a student pulled the leg of a dead horse from her bag and set in on a nearby table.  They had to shoot her sick horse, she explained to a wide eyed friend.  She kept the leg for an upcoming biology presentation. Often, nothing happened, and yet anything could.

I spoke to my father for the last time from the SUB.  I called the VA Hospital from a public-use phone.  I called to tell him I wouldn't be visiting that night.  It was late and I just wanted to go home.

I miss the SUB. I left many things behind there; but, you lose what you love, you're still expected to move forward.  As much as I try, my progress is painfully slow.  After 15 years it can still feel like nothing will ever be good again.  But that's a lie.  Good again is in your path and mine.

For now I meet with my friend once a week to write.  I laugh together with my mother.  I let my friends know I love them.  I run away from, and pursue, 'good again.' But no matter what, 'good again' finds me; often on these nights pouring words onto computer screens.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Who's Regina?


Please enjoy the following except from the book I'm working on.  It's a fictional mystery-comedy-romantic-thingy!

Want to know who Regina is? You'll have to buy my book!*  Spoilers:  She's not that important.

*If its ever published. If its ever finished...

“Officer Henry?”

He smiled. “Hi. Ms. Fifer was it?”

“Yes, you got it, but you can call me Molly…” I didn’t know what to say. Regina was screaming.

“And you can call me Henry.” He looked about. “Quiet tonight.”

“Yep.” Oh, god. I searched for something to say. “Did you learn anything from the Stepford- um the Women’s group?”

He ran a hand up over his face and hair in exasperation. “No... actually I had Frank at the station call their group president to make inquiries.”

He said ‘inquiries’. How cute.

“Would you like to sit down?” I asked.

He nodded and took the chair across from me. “Thanks. Frank didn’t come up with much. The woman said that they had talked to a young man that night but only to ask for help setting up.”

I wrinkled my forehead. “No. That isn’t right. I heard them ask for his input and saw him sitting at the table. He wasn’t setting anything up.”

“That's what you said, yes. I thought it might be worth coming in person. I don’t tend to take the lead when making calls. My accent is too noticeable. Hard to play incognito later when I need to meet suspects in person.”

I smiled. “It’s definitely a signature trait. A southwest accent doesn’t hold up much next to yours.” It was sweet he thought people wouldn’t immediately recognize him regardless. Unlike me most of the town long ago heard of the Irish cop aka the only Irish person within 75 miles of Autumn Falls.

“Thank you! See I keep telling everyone that THEY have the accent but they won’t listen.”

I grinned. “Would you like some coffee?”

He was surprised. “That would be lovely, thank you. Black coffee is fine.”

He said ‘lovely.’ I don’t think I ever enjoyed the sound of that word more.

“I’ll be back.”

At the counter Cindy was blushing. “What a handsome guy!”

I smiled, “You know it! He’d like a medium coffee please. No room.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Early Poems: Part One

After moving to my own house I have been going through The Boxes.  You know the ones.  Filled with priceless worthless treasure; trinkets, movie tickets, birthday and Christmas cards, half empty journals, random photos that never found a frame.

I've found more than a couple journals slathered with awkward writings and poems.  As I come across ones that don't make me cringe, I will share them here.

I'll start with the following three. Keep in mind that the poems below are a good 6-8 years old.  But I don't know if that makes them worse, or better.



Skin

I walked a while in my skin
It peeled and blistered in the sun.
It slipped down, I pulled it up again
Clinging to the burden.

I felt a numbing to the touch
A stinging in my racing blood.
I dropped the fabric from my hands
I left it laying on the ground.

I heard a whisper in the wood
I followed till I found the sound.
I was at last, as I wished,
fully clothed as I bowed down.

Heart

While you were locking down the doors
A shadow slipped in undetected
It haunted all your corners
It fell where hope was unprotected

You really need to dust these places you've neglected.


Do you see her?

Do you see her?
Isn't she good?
It would be far better
If she understood
My love doesn't falter
This flame does not flicker
I'll meet her at the alter
When her Fall turns to Winter

Look to my daughter
Behold my servant
Check out My baby
- isn't she worth it?
I wish she knew me
Her sacrificial Lamb
She's everything she should be
I know because I Am

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Back in Font

I was going to call this Back in Ink, but this is a blog so no ink was harmed in the making of this post.

After a small hiatus of 4 or 5 years I am returning to my blog.  This blog will be full of poems, stories, anecdotes, and (hopefully) updates from our oft delinquent Adventure Club. 

I will not set a strict schedule except that I will post at least once a week. 

Welcome back, you guys!  And, Welcome back, me!

Friday, October 25, 2013

NaNoWriMo

I'm back!  My trip to Oregon was great.  I wandered all over Gresham, Beaverton, and Portland with my friends and family.  It was just want I needed, and although I was ready to come home, I already miss it.  I will share more about my time there in an upcoming post; however, right now I have something else on my mind:  National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo.



NaNoWriMo
*Official crest of NaNoWriMo: That's right- we have a crest.
 
 

NaNoWriMo is kind of a big deal- well, at least to professional and aspiring writers.   It is held every November and thousands of writers participate every year.  In fact, over 145,000 novels are currently registered* on nanowrimo.org, (including mine)!  There is one real purpose to NaNoWriMo: To get you started on that book.  You know- that book you've wanted to write since you were fourteen, twenty-six, fifty, as far back as you can remember, whenever; NaNoWriMo is the kick in the pants you've been waiting for.   

The rules are simple:  50,000 words in 30 days.  They don't even have to be good words.  Just write.  What do you write?  Anything.  Subject/content/characters are all up to you.  You can do it alone, with friends, or join others in your community who are participating.  There are always groups getting together for write-ins, meet and greets, and advice.  Registration is free and you'll have access to all kinds of resources and community forums. 

If you meet this goal- Yay!  If you don't- Yay! You started!  I did it last year, and only made it to 10,000 words.  But that's okay, because its 10,000 words more than what I had before NaNoWriMo.  With less than a week to go, I'm busy preparing for November 1st.  I decided to pick up where I left off last year and turn my 10,000 words into 60,000.  I have all my pages typed up, and just need to finish entering my edits.

Now you might be wondering, "Is NaNoWriMo right for me?"  The answer is YES.  Why?  Because it is right for anyone who wants to try.  And, I think we can agree, that you want to try.

Click here: National Novel Writing Month awaits.


*Registration is only a commitment to participate.  It does not mean you have to upload your novel, or that it will be viewed by others.  The website does allow you to share a brief summary or excerpts from your novel, but it is not required. 


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Curling and Other Natural Disasters

As I alluded in my previous post, there are many more adventures planned before the year is up.  I did say I would be posting some photos of a star gazing trip, and a Bonny Knees competition.  Well, the star gazing was postponed due to inclement weather, and none of my Knee shots turned out.  All you have to know about a Bonny Knee competition:  Blindfolded girls feeling up the knees of kilted men.  Yay, for my heritage!  Don't get any ideas; I was merely a spectator. 

To round out September, my friends and I opted for Curling; another Scotland-originated activity.  Curling isn't terribly easy to convey in a few sentences, so please enjoy the following "instructional" videos:




The importance of Form over Distance:






The benefit of Distance over Technique:






The importance of Follow Through:








 
(Ellen, Laura, Rachel, & our spontaneous teammate, Jun)
 
 
 
Well, I hope you now know all you ever needed to about Curling.  If not, please visit  boisecurlingclub.org for some actual background on this Olympic sport.
 
I will be on the road the next couple of weeks, visiting friends and family in Oregon.  I look forward to sharing about my time there with you all.  Have a great October!