Posts Tagged With: writing

a little pre-birthday fun


The folks at Pi Pizza have a great sense of humor.
I’m pleased to report there were no zombies on F Street yesterday.

YBW and I spent our skive day in DC. A little ‘pre-birthday’ fun for me!
Our first stop was NPG for the Sylvia Plath exhibit.

I loved this little look into her life. Hand written journals, correspondence, family photos, even her beautiful wooden desk top built by her brother, from what was once meant to be a coffin lid. (how apropos)
No exhibition catalog. Sad face Robynbird.

In our wandering, we came across this Diane Arbus exhibition. ‘Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs’.

The exhibition catalog was nearly a hundred dollars, um, no thanks.

We walked around the corner to nom some pizza.

YBW’s is the bacon, sausage, and mushrooms. Mine is the prosciutto and spinach.

Since we were in town, I wanted to stop at my most favorite of all the Smithsonian, NGA (y’all we’re so lucky to live where we do with access to all this)
I was looking for a specific book (no where to be found) in the Concourse bookshop when I came across this book.

It’s the exhibition catalog for the Sally Mann exhibit
Y’all! Her photos are absolutely awe inspiring!
Bought that book as soon as we left the exhibit!

The first day of International Week of the Birthday was wonderful!
I got to spend it with my sweetheart doing all the nerdy stuff I love!

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just hold on a bit longer

I haven’t felt like writing in a while.
What’s curious about this is I find I miss it. Writing, that is.
My health has been…questionable. This plays a huge part in my desire and ability to write, but it’s also my mood. Where I am in my head. I haven’t had the emotional strength to write.

I feel as though there are angry little fish swimming round in my brain.
I feel as though I’m barely keeping my head above water.
Chronic pain breeds anxiety and depression.
I’ve got to break the cycle. I’ve got to figure a way to get it together.

Perhaps forcing myself to write will help with that.
If this was my journal I’d just write stream of consciousness stuff till I found my groove. I’ll spare y’all the chaos of that, but I will write about what’s taking up the most space in my mind…

Right now that’s the state of my health.
It didn’t go well at the new neurologist. She had (like every other neurologist I’ve seen) the bedside manner of a toad. I managed to keep it together until I left her office, but once I did I burst into angry tears. I was shaking and crying the whole way home. And I mean ugly crying. Poor YBW just held my hand. I am so frustrated! I just want to know how to feel better! So back to the drawing board for another new neurologist.
I’m tired of living with daily pain. I’ve lost my patience with always being tired. This is no way for a girl to live.

I’m overwhelmed and frustrated with life. It seemed smart at the time to throw myself headlong into school and lula and work, but now I’m realizing I bit off more than I could chew. I’m not sure what needs to be pushed off the plate. School can be pushed off the plate for up to three months, but that’s as long of a term break as I can have without withdrawing. And I can’t do that as I only have two more terms to finish.
Lula is almost successful. But needs more of my time and attention.
Work is overall good. Only it’s hard to stay engaged when I fell awful so frequently.

Perhaps I need to manage my time better. Surely I could do it all if I was properly organized? Though, I feel fairly organized and yet there are things that need to be accomplished that never seem to get checked off the list. I don’t feel like it should be this hard to live my life.

I miss being around my girls. I miss them every single day. It’s much harder to experience than I ever expected. It’s the silly things, being in the car together with fun music and great talks. Getting ready in the mornings together.
It’s hard for me to be so far away from them. Especially when I’m struggling, they bring me such comfort.
I know that they’re grown girls, that Thing 1 is married now, she’d be away from me no matter where I was. Thing 2 is at an age where she might be away from me too. I sometimes suspect it would be easier if it happened in that natural way. Or perhaps it would never be easy at all?

I’m floundering.
Being near my girls would be comforting, but I know that isn’t the way it’s to be.
YBW is comforting, only right now he’s preoccupied with the health of his mother. I see how it causes him to fret and I don’t want my stuff to add to that.

I’m just in a bad place right now. It will pass, and I’ll feel less like this. I’ll feel brighter and more engaged. Until then, I just have to hold on.
I’ve done it this long…
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spirituality and doing it to death

The Kills is my soundtrack as I journal this morning.
This may seem counterintuitive as I’m writing about spirituality, but it’s working for me.
#enigmagirl
Please listen responsibly.

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sassy Robynbird

Sometimes I’m so good I even surprise myself.

I’m writing things that move.
Accomplishing things I didn’t even set out to do.

I’m editing things that need to go.
Words that no longer hold meaning.

Even took my new colored pencils for a spin.
20160717_132640.jpg
They don’t work the way I expected them to work, but they make beautiful color.

I’m having a rather sassy sort of day.
Can I get an amen!?!

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blogger recognition award

blogger recognition award

I’d like to thank Hummingbird Redemption for nominating me for this award! I enjoy reading about your point of view on the world around you.

Here are the Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.
(Done and done.)

Provide a link to the award creator.
(The award creator is a mystery to me.)

Nominate other bloggers.
(Keep reading and you’ll see them.)

State why you started your blog.
(I’ve been a writer since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I started my blog because I wanted to share my experiences and learn from other’s experiences. I just love the idea of teaching and learning, laughing and crying together.)

The Nominees:
(In no particular order.)

Spring into Summer
(Elizabeth is an inspiration!)

Gosh This Divorce
(I have loved every moment of being on this journey with her.)

Thoughts Appear
(Thoughtsy brings so much fun to the table.)

JackCollier7
(Reading Jack’s words makes my heart happy and ache in the best possible way.)

Ginger’s Grocery
(“Ginjuh” has a wicked sense of humor.)

witlessdatingafterfifty
(Robin’s words always move me.)

Most of these blogs have more readers than mine. (Deservedly so.) But if you don’t know them, check them out. I promise it’ll be worth it.

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the magical gift of words

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February 11. 2011 6:11 pm EST
~The fire went on leaping and taunting and sucking up great turbulent currents of air that set the flames snapping like brilliant red sails in a violent wind~
John Berendt – the city of falling angels pg 11 & 12
WOW! To write like this!!

I was at the airport waiting for a flight to board. I always travel with a journal and a book. This particular trip, I was traveling with a Tiffany blue journal (natch) and a book I’d read once before. I have a very vivid memory of writing this…where I was sitting at the gate, what I was wearing, the diet Dr Pepper sweating as it sat on the arm of my seat, and the small dark-skinned woman speaking hushed profanities into her phone.
Inspiration comes from all manner of places. This night as I waited for a plane to bring me here to YBW I was inspired by this compilation of words.

Whether or not you like his writing is of no consequence to me. I adored Midnight in the Garden but I absolutely loved The City of Falling Angels. I like the way he novelizes the factual events. I liked the story of Venice from the master glass blower, Archimede Seguso, to “The Rat Man of Treviso”, Massimo Donadon. The political corruption is fascinating, of course we have our own American brand of that here at home.
Anyway, I dig the book.

I was getting a book for Thing C to borrow and passed this book on my shelf. Just seeing the spine reminded me of this moment.
It’s so random how and when something moves you. I do still love this sentence. But would it have made me write it down if I read it tonight? I don’t honestly know.
What I do know is inspiration is all around us every single moment. The more we read, the more music lyrics we hear and sing, the more we talk with people, the more chances we have to be inspired.
Words are a constant inspiration to me…to be a better writer, or at least to write more.
That’s a promise I’ve made to myself while I’m not working: healing my brain, finishing up wedding plans and writing more.

After all, as Albus Dumbledore said: Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

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14 days!

I never underestimate the importance of a countdown.
I talked about countdowns at they apply to my birthday in counting down.
During the four years that YBW and I dated long distance, we always made a countdown when we knew we would see each other again.
I love counting down to pretty much anything! Right now I’m actually counting down two things simultaneously.
The first is easy: last two weeks at this preschool. The second one is my new favorite: 14 days until Thing 2 arrives!

She and I have been trading texts and emails the last few days:
Me: I’m so excited to see you! I’m going to kiss your face off!!
Thing 2: You know, I have really been needing a good Momma hug this week so all of that love will be hella reciprocated when I get there! I also wanna hug those boys!
Me: It’s gonna be SO great!! Snuggles. Baseball. Tom’s Diner. Snuggles. Lin’s. Hanging out. Snuggles. New do. Girlie stuff. Snuggles. (Y’all notice a pattern? Cause I sure do!)
Thing 2: All those made me really really really excited and smiley!

Me too, girl. Me too!
I’m near bursting with excitement to see my baby girl! We have yet to celebrate her birthday. I can hardly wait for her to open her pressies!
YBW and I scheduled a meeting with the event coordinator at the winery for when Thing 2 is here because we want to share it with her and have her input.

YBW came home today and I said: Want to know something SO exciting?
He said: Sure!
Me: (with a giggle) 14 days!
He giggled and hugged me.
Me: Do you know till what?
YBW: Thing 2 comes!
More giggling.
Me: I’m so excited.
YBW: Me too!
Then I said: I have a little Momma jealousy, I think she’s just as excited to see you as she is to see me.
YBW: REALLY!?!
Me: Yep.
YBW had a GREAT BIG GRIN!

I love a good countdown. It’s a playful way to mark the passing of time between me and something I feel happy about.
I thought, today, of the countdown clock on the wall in Matt Albie’s office on the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
It’s an old show that only lasted one season. It was a tad left-leaning for me but I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. I adore Matthew Perry, and the natural on screen chemistry between him and Bradley Whitford was a joy to watch! Aaron Sorkin’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue suited these actors.
One of my favorite scenes happens during the second episode: The Cold Open.
Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford turns on the clock.

download

Matthew Perry’s character, Matt Albie reacts:
Matt: How did it know?
Danny: How did it know what?
Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week?
Danny: Yeah, it’s a miracle of technology that we’ve invented, an electronic device that can count backwards from seven.
Matt: But it was off.
Danny: It has a battery.
Matt: [in horror] So it always knows?
Danny: Don’t endow the thing with special powers, Matt – it’s a clock.

I disagree, Danny. I’m all about endowing the clock with special powers! But only if you’re counting down to something good.
Matt is counting down until the next show…and he has to write it.
Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? The deadline.
My deadline is picking up my child at the airport on time. I’ll countdown to that ANY day, thanks!

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storytelling part two (classroom fun)

Wednesday’s story looked a bit like this:

(email title)
we tried really hard…but just couldn’t do it

So we tried REALLY REALLY hard to tell a cohesive (this is a big word Miss Robynbird used that kind of means “stays connected”) story today where there is no bloodshed, and nobody gets eaten…but once it got disconnected, she gave to go-ahead to end the story the way we do it best…so here goes:

Miss Robynbird:
Once upon a time there were some children who went for a super long camping trip in the woods. BUT, they were totally safe because nothing scary EVER happened in these woods. This was because there were two VERY special protectors called Miss J and Miss Robynbird who lived in the woods.
Miss J:
When the children got to their campsite, they realized they left their gear at the pond when they stopped to get water. Oh no! So, they had to come up with a plan to build a place stay safe.
(We can’t wait to see what happens, because these kids have mad problem solving skills.)
KR-J:
They builded a tent. Then found lots of wood to make a house. But first they drawed a picture of what the house wanted to look like.
VS:
Then they painted their house and played at the campsite.
EY:
Then they go and find some fishing stuff.
ZB:
And they went to the pond to fish and found their stuff! And that was good because with no support the wood house broke. And then what happened, he build a proper house with support so that it wouldn’t fall. But then it was leaning so they hold it so it wouldn’t fall. And then what happened was the house still leaned.
DA:
They build a new house with straws and bricks and put a window. They paint it. But the construction broke again so they had to do it again with tress and bricks. That’s how they built a new house. A blue house.
AO:
There was a polar bear, he decided to go to sleep in the house. He woke up and had dinner and a snack. The kids saw the bear and they all went in the house to sleep around him.
EY:
Two more polar bears came in the house. Now it was a baby, a Mommy and a Daddy.
(This is when Miss Robynbird and Miss J realized we’d gotten off topic and Miss Robynbird asked TK to do what he does best…he grinned.)
TK:
The brother came. The brother polar bear. And then the Love Monster came. And ate two of the other polar bears.
Miss Robynbird (who had to stop giggling before she could speak): And then protectors of the woods came and told the children to go home.
TK: Miss J is the Love Monster.

So…bears were eaten…but they shouldn’t really have wandered this far south anyway…so they pretty much had it coming.
See! We TOLD you we’re spectacularly good problem solvers!

(Teacher’s Note: The Love Monster comes from a book we read in the classroom called…well…Love Monster.
We’ve just finished a unit on construction in which we learned that architectural drawings must happen before you can build…see how they retain what they learn? It really is so rewarding!)

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storytelling part one (classroom fun)

At the beginning of the school year I started a “game” of writing our own story with the kids in my class. Kind of like playing “telephone” when I was a kid, someone would start the story with “once upon a time…” and then each person would contribute one or two sentences until we had a story.
It was when we were working on the care and keeping of books. My thought process was that if they understood how much hard work went into creating the books they loved, they would be more inclined to take good care of them. This unit of study began with me literally showing them how to handle books and ended with them writing and illustrating their own books.
Over time, we’ll randomly decide to write our own story when we need a quiet but engaging activity…this can happen when I don’t feel like reading a story, but sometimes one of them will suggest it.

When we first started doing writing our own stories, they were a hot hot mess. They were all over the place. The setting jumped around or subjects changed or story lines were completely rewritten as each child had a turn.
But with practice, we slowly began to get better.
With gentle reminders we kept the story on track.
They began to listen to what the child before them said and built from that. They began to create complex sentences. They used the hell out of the words “and” and “then”, but who cares? It’s their story?

This week, we brought storytelling back.
I’m presenting you with a miniseries of the emails I sent to parents each day this week starting on Tuesday and ending on Friday.

(Note: My classroom kids mixed ages from brand new three year olds to four and a half year olds, you will be able to tell the difference based on their language. I have written down their words exactly as they were spoken.)

(email title)
we’re just cool like that

We did something we haven’t done in a really long time…we wrote our own story!
Check it out:
Miss Robynbird started us out:
Once upon a time a queen lived in a castle at the edge of a beautiful forest.
VS:
A witch came. She blew beautiful flowers in the castle.
DA:
A knight have a horsie in the forest.
EY:
The witch locked the queen in a castle with a horrible dragon standing by it with fire in his mouth.
TK:
The dragon breathed fire on the queen then ate the queen up.
JH:
The dragon flowed away.
KR: The knight comes and saves the witch.

We are spectacularly awesome story tellers, no?
Miss Robynbird wonders why it always seems to lead to bloodshed. We don’t actually know why…we just know that’s how we like it!
Miss Robynbird said she wants us to work on writing more stories in which folks (Ha! We think it’s REALLY funny when she says folks!) don’t always end up as dragon food. We’ll try, just to see the look on her face when she sees what we come up with next!

We also started talking a little bit about summer camp and how it will be different from the regular school year. This got us talking about summer and all the cool things summer brings!
Miss Robynbird asked: What’s your favorite part about summer?
DA:
Wearing costumes.
CS:
Cause you get to be a mermaid!
AG:
Summer clothes.
KR:
Going to the park.
MJ:
Big rocket ships.
JK:
Going to the pool.
AO:
Riding my big wheel and going to the pool.
JH:
Going to the beach!
EY:
Me and Mommy going to the pool with Daddy and my brudder and having pizza.
VS:
Having a picnic with Mommy, Daddy and Licity.
CC: Um…um…pool!
TK:
Playing in the sprinkler!
SL:
Go to the pool and wear my goggles!
Miss L:(substitute teacher this day)
Going to the park with my friends.
Miss Robynbird:
Cookouts with friends and family.

Then we started talking more about summer things…
VS: I like weddings!
AG: Me too!
EY: Me too!
VS: I’m going to a wedding!
CS: Me too!
Miss Robynbird: Me too!
CS: Cause you’re gonna marry YBW, right?
Miss Robynbird: Yes, I am.
TK: But Miss Robynbird, I want to marry you.
Miss Robynbird: TK, that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me, thank you.
Then everybody wanted to marry Miss Robynbird, except for CS who wants to marry YBW. And EY who wants to marry (her big brudder) J, and JH who wants to marry T (also her big brother).
We’re just cool like that…we use queens for dragon food and dig all kinds of summer stuff…and as it turns out, we like weddings.

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honoring your commitment (to yourself)

Talked with Thing 2 for a long time yesterday. And while we talked of many things, one part of the conversation struck me and stuck with me. She mentioned she’d been thinking about writing again. I shared with her that I loved her writing and thought even though she wasn’t always comfortable with it, I think it’s very good. She said she was flattered.
I didn’t say it to flatter her. I said it because I believe it. She’s actually quite good.

I told her what I know about writing and about writers. They write every day. They make a commitment to write for a certain amount of time each day. Then they honor their commitment.

I told her I thought it would be so good for her. She’s living in the moment only. With no real vision of her future and not much reflection on her past. I think that’s got to be a hard way to live. I suggested committing herself to a writing schedule might help her break out of that moment to moment living.
The more we talked about it, the more I could hear her begin to really like the idea. She was hopeful that it would ignite some passion within her. (I call it the fire in her belly.) She was expressing her feelings of confusion about what path to take, how to move forward in her life. She is concerned that she has no passion. Like Alice, she used to be much more…muchier. She’s lost her muchness. She knows this and isn’t quite sure how to get back her muchness.

I wondered aloud if writing would stoke the fire in her belly, help her find her passion and remind her of her indefinable muchness…I could hear in her voice that she was really inspired by this.
I expressed that I would in no way “hold her accountable” but I would ask occasionally if she’d written simply out of excitement and curiosity. She liked the idea of that too.

I also shared with her that I was in the process of making such a commitment to myself. That I needed to write more…that I let too much time go between times I write.
I haven’t written since I was in Arizona! Partly because I came home and promptly got sick (So sick I didn’t do anything but lie on the couch and drink apple juice for four days straight.) but a visit to my doctor and a prescription for antibiotics and an inhaler finally sorted me. I’m feeling better enough physically that I’m ready to engage my mind.
So while I’ve suggested to my daughter that she make a commitment to herself, I too will commit to a set bit of time to write each day. It may or may not be in this blog, but I will honor myself and write. I too, am occasionally concerned about my muchness. That I’m so busy living the day to day moments that I’m missing something in me.
I remember something my friend and mentor once said about your first year of teaching, she said it’s “survival year”. I believe that’s true of your first year of anything. The first year of me being here not only held normal adjustments to the spectacular life changes. It was a year in which my beloved child told me she didn’t want me to be her mommy anymore. It was a year in which my dad unexpectedly died. It was a year in which my child and I found our way back to each other. She came to live with us here and left again in a six week period. It was a year in which I changed classrooms in a school where I’ve never felt I completely belong. And (This is the bestest bit!) this was a year in which the man I’ve loved for the last five years put a ring on my finger and asked to call me his wife.
My muchness is all over the freaking place!

Thing 2 and I have traded some snapchats this afternoon. I send her a questioning face asking if she had decided to write today.
She did!
And now I am.
We’re each honoring our commitment to ourselves. I feel a bit as though we’re honoring a commitment to each other too. But that’s honestly not what it’s about, it’s about respecting the decision to do something for ourselves.

Categories: me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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