Monday, October 26, 2015

Bad Mom

Prompt #1 from The Writing Collaborative

"Word Choice: One Syllable Words

Write a response (fiction, nonfiction, a scene, a description of a person or place, ect.) that is roughly 500 words and is made up of ONLY one syllable words. This exercise highlights the importance of word choice and pushes the limits of your vocabulary. You may even have to break out a thesaurus! "

When we walk, arms full of books, I try to keep my kids with me.  But right now the boy is out in front and the girl is way far back.  I am torn in two.  I yell at the far one, call to the slow one and then turn my eyes to the baby I hold and my phone.  
       Her eyes are closed.  A smile plays on her small lips.  I grin and try to take a shot of her sweet small face when an old maid walks by.  Her hat is fur and her eyes dark lined. 
“Get off your phone and get your kids!”  She snarls my way. Her paint red lips look cracked.
I look in front, I look back.  Where I saw smiles and slow walks I now see the rush and threat of the busy street.  My heart beats with shame.  
Witch,” I think (but with a B), but I know she is right and it hurts.   My shame grows.  I feel the title mom turn into the curse “fraud.”  I cringe and call once more to my small one who has run out in front. I turn off my phone to grab the one in back.
But, a new plain clothes judge gets off the bus and shouts, “Whose kid is this?  Where is her mom?  It is a shame, a shame the way some moms don’t seem to care.”
“She’s with me,” I call, “She’s okay.”  My girl smiles and takes short strides my way. But she is too close to the bus.  She may fall or worse this new rat may snatch her up. 
“It is not okay” comes the reply from the cavy queen.  She vents her shock and rage.  I reel from the force of her cold call down.  Much of what she says is true.  Risks I can not count come to mind.  I can not keep them safe.  Three is more than I can watch all at once. What can I do?  I am flawed.  I fail.   At last, she gives me a shake of the head and a silent boo. 
I can not move.  A pain grabs my heart and my breath is short and weak.  
My kids still smile and make their way at their own pace.  The fast boy stops in his tracks at the red WAIT hand and the slow one hops over each crack.  I love them all so bad it hurts.  
I start to breath a slow plea to God to give me grace, to help me just to be.  I ask the Son of God to let me take one step and then the next.  I ask Him to take the blame, the guilt, the fear that hold my feet in stone blocks.  
And He is there.  He is real.  I pick up my small girl and hug her tight.  I walk to my first born son and hold his hand.  I look at my baby’s face and her eyes are still closed in peace and sleep.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Writing Update

Here is a letter I wrote to my friend a few days ago.  As I was writing I felt like I was writing to everyone who reads this blog, so I decided to post it.  

     So it has been entirely too long since we talked!  We need to catch up.

     No word on my Glimmer Train submission but I have been writing.  I hope you have been too!   If there is one thing I've learned from reading "The Artist's Way" this summer, it is that everyone has something to say.  I mean you can paint it, glue it, dance it, sing it or write it but I (mostly) loved the challenge of writing 3 pages every day.  It definitely forced me to be more disciplined about writing. And it opened my eyes to the opportunities all around me.  Most of them are at the library which I love!  #nerdalert

          I was really wishing you were with me tonight because it was the very first meeting of the Writer’s Collaborative I joined!!!  The way it is set up is in a workshop style which means each time we meet we have all read one person’s piece (at least twice) and written comments.  The one we read tonight was a totally spooky Stephen King-like horror story.  I actually liked it which is very unlike me because usually blood and gore are not my thing.  Probably the closest thing I’ve read to “horror” is Harry Potter.

       But this workshop was such a cool experience. Everyone got there super early.  I was on time (which for me now that I have three kids is super early) but I was the last one there.  Plus we had a prompt that we could write about as optional homework and everyone did it but me!!!  Help me not become a slacker.  The prompt was...

Word Choice: One Syllable Words

Write a response (fiction, nonfiction, a scene, a description of a person or place, ect.) that is roughly 500 words and is made up of ONLY one syllable words. This exercise highlights the importance of word choice and pushes the limits of your vocabulary. You may even have to break out a thesaurus!  

           Anyways, I really need to get serious and write something that I can put up for critique.  I mean it takes courage to write but then to sit (silently) in a room while 20 people discuss what they thought was awesome and what they found to be BS (baloney and salami) takes a real solid backbone.  The main thing I loved about the format was that it was like being in a book discussion and in a writing seminar at the same time. I was reading really good writing (almost everyone in the group is published, excepted yours truly and learning new writing techniques like new ways to hook my reader.

       So my next blog post will be my stab at the one syllable story prompt.  Until then....onward and upward!

( And I'm always looking for guest writers, so shoot me whatever you are working on if you get a chance:)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Hold My Hand! Actually, Please Don’t By Jane Dietrich

Our blogger this week is my sister, the sculptor,  writer and one of my favorite guests on this blog (and in real life:)
Check out more of her work at

I’m walking along the sidewalk hand in hand with the man I love. It’s a beautiful day; 75 degrees and sunny. A light breeze carries the songs of the birds above to our ears. Our arms swing slightly with each step, telling the world “Hey! Look at this hottie. I’m dating him!”

Yet, something feels off. Is it the growing clamminess of my palm? No…(though that is a bit embarrassing). Is it that our steps aren’t quite in sync? I suppose, but there’s something more. 

It’s the feeling that I’m not centered. My internal compass feels askew. I want to walk a bit more to the right, but then he would be falling off the curb. Isn’t that better than me scraping my arm against the wall? Don’t I deserve to dodge pedestrians coming the other way on my own time?!  

Suddenly claustrophobia sets in. 

The buildings are too close. 
But on the other side l’ll run into the parking meters!
Our pace is too fast, 
now too slow. 
CAN’T YOU LET ME WALK AT MY NORMAL CADENCE?? People say I have a walk that is “so me”. 

Suddenly, the sidewalk situation morphs into a metaphor for my life. The spiral downward picks up speed.  

Is this what marriage is going to be like? Never having my own space? Always touching?   If I can’t get over this, how will I ever make it through a lifetime with you?! 

Now remember, I am madly in love with this guy and usually love him holding my hand. But there’s something about the sidewalk. It just doesn’t seem to be made for two. I need some independence here people. 

So there I am walking, internally freaking the hell out while Hunter observes how beautiful the clouds are.  Lost in my angst, 
I trip. 
Our grasp tightens and I don’t make a complete fool of myself. I snap back to reality.
I do love him. I do want to hold his hand. I can use my words like a five year old and ask to not hold hands for a hot sec. It doesn’t mean we won’t last together. When it comes down to it, I would always choose holding his hand than not having the option.

It is nice to walk on the sidewalk together… but sometimes, let’s not hold hands.