OctPoWriMo, Day 3

ReclaimingI struggled again today; I can’t seem to find a form I feel like playing with, or a theme or idea I want to commit to paper (or at least, not one that I am emotionally/mentally capable of working through after a day at work).  So today I picked a form – called a Magic 9, with the rhyme scheme abacadaba (get it?) – and wrote my frustration.  A challenge, given the nine-line constraint, but there you go.

Man, I’m looking forward to the weekend.


The Writer

She’s memorize her favorite songs,
and read the same books twenty times,
and scribble verses, and she’d long
to woo a reader with her words.
But she never felt that she belonged;
her writing never measured up
To stand among the pantheon,
And when they said they liked her rhymes,
She turned away, and called them wrong.


This is Day 3 of OctPoWriMo!  Link ups are open until October 5th.

Bear’s Book Haul: Fall Book Sales!

Bear's book haulI feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done a book haul post, but over the last two weeks or so a bunch of local libraries have been having their fall book sales.  While I didn’t get a lot of stuff for myself (except The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook for $2.00, what what), Bear made out like a bandit.  I adore library book sales; books are wonderful, but so damn expensive, and while I adore going to the library, I wish it was more affordable to curate a home library.  At $1 for hardcovers and $.50 for paperbacks, scouting out library sales is something I highly, highly recommend to anyone, but especially if you have young kids (some of Bear’s hardcover books are lovely, but they have like, 400 words, and cost $14.50.  It’s not that I don’t support children’s authors, I just literally can’t afford to buy more than a couple of books at that price.)

It’s going to take a while to work through all the books we got, but I’ll probably drop a note in our regular book hauls about how we’re faring with the book sale books, and which ones have most caught Bear’s fancy (just like we do with the weekly haul posts).

What I thought was the coolest was that there were a few things I found that I remembered fondly from my own childhood, and it’s weird how powerfully nostalgic I felt when I found them, even though I honest to God hadn’t even remembered they’d existed before I saw them on the library table.

Anyway, our haul:

Arthur’s Chicken Pox, by Marc Brown
Arthur’s Valentine, by Marc Brown
Arthur’s Pet Business, by Marc Brown
Arthur’s Teacher Moves In, by Marc Brown
The Goodnight Gecko, by Gil McBarnet
Rainbow Rhino, by Peter Sis
When I’m as Big as Freddie, by Jocelyn Stevenson
Spring Cleaning, by Pat Tornborg
What Do You Do?, by Kingsley Emily
If I Lived Alone, by Michaela Muntean
Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower, by Peggy Parish
Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping, by Peggy Parrish
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, by Dr. Seuss
Curious George Visits the Zoo, by Margaret Rey
Curious George and the Pizza, by Margaret Rey
Curious George Rides a Bike, by H.A. Rey
Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Sunny Bunny Comes Home, by… Lynx Books? (It was part of the Raggedy Ann Grow-and-Learn Library; maybe it was a collaborative effort?)

Sunny Bunny was the one books I remembered by name having owned – and read, and re-read – as a kid, though several of the Sesame Street ones looked super familiar as well.  And, I just need to note, I’m astounded by how well-kept  these books are. The publication date for the editions of the Sesame Street books we bought was 1980.  I mean.  Those books are older than I am, and in far, far better shape quite frankly.

Anyway, as usual, please let me know if there are any books you’d recommend Bear check out, and I’ll let you know how he enjoyed the haul!

 

 

OctPoWriMo: Day 2

ReclaimingI don’t think I’m going to produce a piece of any real substance until I can take the better part of a day to actually work; I’ve felt so muddle-brained and tired the last two days that the thought of trying to write has been ridiculously stressful and anxiety inducing.  I’ve still done it – which is itself a feat – but I’ve picked the shortest forms I could think of, and I’m not thrilled with either of them (I don’t hate them; I’m just not thrilled).

Anyway, today I chose to do a slightly altered pleiades poem (I fudged the syllable count).


Trust Fall, Ninth Grade

Fall, she says, as if it’s easy,
Forgoing every instinct not to;
Forgetting, perhaps, how kids are:
Feigned smiles hiding hive-mind malice–
Friends who’d let you fall, or catch you
For the chance to drop you themselves.


This is Day 2 of OctPoWriMo!  Link ups are open until October 5th.

OctPoWriMo: Day 1

ReclaimingAs excited as I was to start yesterday, I just wasn’t feeling the writing spirit today, but I swore to myself I would power through and write something.  Aside from attention span one of my biggest issues is the overwhelming feeling that I need to be sure something is going to be perfect before I commit it to paper, and that’s… that’s not how reality works, and that’s definitely not how creativity works.

So, here’s my less-than-perfect – but written! – tanka.


Feline

Stalking stockinged feet,
Her eyes like honeyed amber
Tracking prey – my socks
Are two pale doves she covets,
Plump and slow, she hopes, with sleep.


This is Day 1 of OctPoWriMo!  Link ups are open until October 5th.

OctPoWriMo, NaNoWriMo, and Inktober

ReclaimingTomorrow is October 1st – what??  Can you believe it?  After the shortest summer of my life, I feel like the new school year just got underway, and now you’re telling me next week we’re issuing progress reports?  What is even going on?

Anyway, I’m not mad, honestly, because (as we’ve established) fall is one of my favorite times of year, and one of the few times during the year I usually managed to eek out at least a little time to be at least a little creative.  In years past it’s been NaNoWriMo – which I’m doing again this year, though in what capacity (I’m usually a Rebel), I’m not sure – but this year I thought I’d also try my hand at OctPoWriMo, which is October Poetry Writing Month, along with Inktober.*  I know, when I get ambitious I go all out.

Challenges – especially challenges with a set start and end date – tend to work well for me, because they come with an established structure and deadline, and both OctPoWriMo and Inktober have resources that provide you with the opportunities for daily feedback and prompts as well (yet more externally opposed structure and a chance for immediate peer validation?  Yes, please!)

Adding to that, this year my husband expressed interest in participating with OctPoWriMo, which adds an accountability/competitive aspect to it – I don’t want to slack off when I’m up against my husband (yes, I know it’s not actually a competition, but it’s a tiny fire under my ass, so I’ll take it).

I’m excited to start creating, and sharing with you all – I’ll be doing daily-ish updates throughout OctPoWriMo, but I’ll probably just do an end-of-the-month dump for Inktober, since I do intend to do regular posts as well during October, and I have no interest in flooding anybody’s blogroll with my terrible drawings.  Just, on October 31st, they’ll just be here, and you can subject yourself to them at your own discretion.

Who else is participating in any creative challenges this October?



*I’m not an artist – like, I don’t draw, can barely handle stick figures – but I want to.  Inktober will basically be barely decipherable sketches in Sharpie, but I’m hoping it will at least lead to habitual drawing, which might someday lead to me actually getting better.

Keep It Busy

This past month was great, but didn’t really feel like I had any down time, probably because, um, I didn’t.  The last weekend in August hit, and suddenly over Labor Day weekend, we had four non-stop days of parties, festivals, and social gatherings, and from there, we never really lost steam.  We had theatre tickets, apple-picking, bridal showers, game nights, social events, and while it was fun, it was also go, go, go, pretty much non-stop all September.

I find myself — as I’ve gotten older and grown more into my identity as an adult who is actually able to make their own plans — feeling like I need to fill every possible opportunity with activity, and I’ve found that’s become doubly so since having my son.  I can’t tell you exactly why that is – or, I guess, I don’t think I can narrow it down to one thing.  Part of it is that I lived a fairly sheltered and socially deprived life as a child and young adult, and I often feel like I need to “make up” for all the freedom I never got to have during my formative years.  Part of it is, when I have down time, it’s really down time; I wind up being almost entirely sedentary, and my ADHD keeps me from doing anything really constructive (even those things I want to do and enjoy doing).  Having a place to be or an activity to do that is externally scheduled and structured is one of the few ways to guarantee I get out and engage.

But part of it, more and more, is that I feel like I need to be proactive and conscientious about not saddling my son with the stagnant, asocial childhood I had.

I didn’t have anything resembling a social life for, well, most of my life.  There were never any sports teams, never any dance lessons, or swim lessons, or gymnastics.  No Girl Scouts.  A lot of it was because my parent’s didn’t have the money for so much of what makes up a busy, structured youth – our grammar schools were tiny and private (read: where all the money was going), and didn’t offer any extra-curriculars; dance and gymnastics were pricey; and my folks had neither the time, energy, nor inclination to have to put forth the effort for something like Girl Scouts.  Even trips out to eat or to the movies were few and far between.

And I get that.  Bear is an only child and loves to sing and dance, so I’ve sat and priced out a number of music and dance academies, and I can appreciate how my parents – who had three kids and were already also paying tuition for our private schooling – must have felt overwhelmed by the potential cost.

But there were also no bike riding lessons.  There were very few trips to the park, or to the pool.  There weren’t many festivals or fairs, very few events, activities, or parties.  Trips to the library were sporadic at best, and I ha only one friend whose house I was allowed to visit.  I didn’t go to a birthday party until I was thirteen, and I had to fight tooth and nail for that, years after most of my classmates had given up inviting me to parties I was never allowed to attend.  Hell, there was barely even any plying outside. We could get hurt on bikes and skateboards and everyone in our neighborhood was looking to do us in, if you were to believe my parents.  Our time even in our own yard was infrequent.

And I don’t want that for my son.  I don’t want my son to be the kid who is never allowed to go out, and never learns age-appropriate social skills; I don’t want to be the parent that turns around and uses the fact of their lack of social skills as reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to go out.  I don’t want my son to grow up and realize at thirty-six he has virtually no memories of his childhood because he basically didn’t have one, because had so few stand-out moments and formative experiences.

I feel like we’re doing an ok job.  My son’s goes to parks and fairs and parties, and at 3, has already been on a plane more times than I had by the time I was 30.  We go to restaurants and the library, and while I hesitate to spend $14 on a movie ticket when I’m sure he’ll spend most of the time climbing on the seats, he’s been to several free outdoor movie nights.  We’re doing ok.

We’ll see what opportunities October brings, and what memories we can make.

Welcome Fall

Welcome Fall 2018.png

Hello, all.  Don’t know where you are, but over the last few days we have finally been catching the first glimpses of what I would consider true “fall weather,” with highs in the 50s and 60s this week (well, until Wednesday, when they’re expecting a high near 80, but that’s just how New England do).

My family and I have been pretty busy this month; September has had the most social commitments we’ve had for most of this year, and those few days that weren’t consumed by social events or work were filled with trying to fit in all the chores and projects pushed to the side in favor of those social events, so I’ve had spare time, sure, but only at the end of long, exhausting days, so I haven’t been on here much at all.  With the month winding down – this week is pretty busy, but we hit a lull in October – the house in order, and the school year finally falling into a routine, I’m looking forward to finally returning to some fun projects, including keeping this blog updated.

And keep an eye on my Pinterest, especially my seasonal boards – I’m trying to compile a “master list” of Fall Bucket Lists, Dollar Tree craft and home decor ideas, and great treats and meals for the fall and beyond!