Category Archives: Creative Writing

Changing Sounds

grandfather-clockI miss the sounds of
footie pajamas on hardwood floors
my husband reading “The Night Kitchen”
little boy giggles
Guitar Hero
conversations overheard at sleepovers
two identical laughs at *cringe* Family Guy

I enjoy hearing
music from the studio
sticks on the practice pad
chimes from the grandfather clock
my son and daughter-in-law’s voices from Texas
big paws leaping onto the bed
laughter while my baby’s on the computer with friends

I look forward to hearing
my spine crack at the chiropractor’s
my youngest agreeing to meet me for lunch between classes
brush crackling as it burns in the fire pit
my granddaughter’s babbling
laughter with my husband
a college band warming up . . . again!

I used a couple of the prompts this week from Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop. Drop by every Tuesday for prompts and Thursday to share your post and read the others. It’s a sure-fire cure for writer’s block!!

I Had NO IDEA What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up!

“What did you want to be when you grew up?” was one of the prompts at Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop this week. I thought I’d throw my two-cents’ worth in, since I’m probably one of the few children to grow up in America with no clue what they wanted to do when they grew up! I was a list-maker and a goal-setter as far back as I can remember. As soon as I could write I insisted on a constant supply of these:
I’m not sure how old I was, since Mom dropped me off for kindergarten and I came home on the bus as a first grader. Being one of the youngest in my class was a bit of a bummer, especially the year everyone turned sixteen and got their driver’s license, so I’m grateful Mom didn’t bump me forward another year when they suggested it a few years later.

I thought school was fun, and I always loved going back to school each fall. The only exception was my one experience with bullying, but it was so carefully done I had no idea what had happened to make me lose all my friends until years later. I read constantly, sometimes finishing two books a day in the summer. My dad had his Master’s in Engineering, so he taught me Trigonometry for fun one weekend when I was a little girl. This served me well since it meant I could sleep through first period Trigonometry in high school after being out way too late the night before. I aced the class, so my teacher gave me a pillow on the last day of class – LOL!

But enjoying school isn’t a job skill. If I could have gotten paid to learn things and take tests that would have been awesome! Anyone hiring? And I am probably the clumsiest person ever. Did I mention that I met my husband when I threw open a door and knocked him into a stack of pickle buckets? Or the time I was a salad bar girl and slipped and dropped a gallon of French dressing? I can’t stand the smell of French dressing to this day. And all my activities on the all-important college scholarship application involved only sitting, standing, and speaking. Individually, not at the same time. I’d have loved to be part of the color guard (what we used to call “flag girls”) in the marching band, but I knew full well that a long metal pole was not something I could be trusted to swing around.

I enjoyed cutting animals open in Anatomy and Physiology, and I always liked writing papers in English, but I got my second B in Physics and dropped that sucker like a hot potato, ruling out majors like Pre-Med, Engineering, and Architecture. And yes, my first B was in gym. I got an 11% on the free-throw test. My mom tried to help. She insisted I take a typing class “just in case”. That was more like an acting class since I refused to wear my glasses and Mom hadn’t given in on the contact argument yet. And my fingers are too short to hit the home keys accurately. So I’d hold my glasses up long enough to memorize whatever was on the board, then type away as fast as I could with two fingers of each hand. Thankfully, my teacher had mercy on me and never came to the back row. Cross out all careers involving typing. What’s left? Cutting open animals. So I earned scholarships and checked “Nursing” on the application form at the University of Kentucky. I didn’t know it was a selective college with a waiting list. I didn’t know anyone who was a nurse. I knew for damn sure I wasn’t going to pin on some silly hat to go to work. But I was a nurse, a pretty good one, for twenty years, and I have never had a nursing cap on my head. Now I write. With four fingers.

But lest you think I was drifting through childhood with no goals let me assure you my mom had goals for me. She wanted me to be Miss Kentucky and then become a paramedic, just like Randolph Mantooth on the TV show Emergency. (Randolph was an actor on the show, but was not Miss Kentucky – just to clarify.)The one episode I remember is when they got a call that a lady was in a bubble bath and had gotten her toe stuck in the faucet. I’m not a paramedic for the same reason I was never an ER nurse. There are many situations in which my only possible response is to look a person in the eye, say, “You are a dumbass,” and walk away. That would have made for a very short episode/career.
One of Mom’s proudest moments was when after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a 3.5 GPA, passing my State Boards on the first attempt, and being hired by a critical care unit that hadn’t hired a new grad in a decade, I passed the ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) Exam, which was at that time the tippy-top exam paramedics could take. But the Miss Kentucky thing was simply never gonna happen. I’ve never been able to walk in heels, I have absolutely no talent, and although I don’t mind public speaking I tend to ramble and talk with my hands. No crown for me! But she’s got the cutest little step-grand-daughter with blonde curls and a “take no prisoners” attitude that I think may just pull it off!

WHO Buys Books “By The Foot”?!

I’m a pretty easy-going sort of person. In fact, I saw this post on Facebook, and wanted to share it, be I was trying to be professional (and pretend my new psych drugs were working) that day. So I didn’t. But it’s too good not to share:
nice as fuck
I feel better. Now, let’s move on to the actual post, which can only be thirteen lines long as specified in Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop. It’s about a site I ran across while looking at color palettes on Pinterest. I was looking for something that would work in my bathroom and look good with black mold in the caulk and gray-ish mildew on the ceiling. I was actually finding some gorgeous palettes for my living room when I came across this picture:
books by the foot
First of all, no book should even be sold “by the foot”. If it was decent enough to be printed, respect it. Don’t sell it for the color of its cover or dust cover (which these all seem to lack), or by topic (such as law, medicine, or religion – all options on this site). That’s right, your lawyer probably bought all those pretty leather books for $80 a foot (3 foot minimum) plus shipping. Your doctor and pastor, too.

Why would anyone remove the dust covers from a book? It’s like skinning a human. That covering is there for protection. DO NOT REMOVE! My best friend once suggested I remove all my dust covers because it would “look prettier”. I was speechless. She reads literary fiction with a lot more patience than I do though, so I gotta cut her some slack.

I realize many people today read ebooks (I read most new books that way myself) or listen to audio-books (which is perfectly acceptable if they are unabridged. If you’re listening to an abridged I sure hope you can return it to the library. If you paid money for it you’re a moron.)

Speaking of morons, has anyone else found themselves unable to converse about literature with other adults? People will even admit it in public.

“Oh, I don’t read. Can’t remember the last time I read a book!” But they know all about every reality TV show. My husband and both of my sons read for enjoyment, have favorite authors, and are excited when a new book comes out in a series they love. If you don’t read something that makes you think your brain is rotting in your skull. Yes, that’s what that smell is.

I can talk to kids about their favorite books, even little ones. Bring up the Pout-Pout Fish, or Llama Llama, or Curious George, or ANY Dr. Seuss  book and we’ve got ourselves a conversation going.

Of course I’ve gone over my 13-line limit (by far), but if you have beautiful bookshelves put BOOKS on them! If you have no intention of reading them buy a backseat full at a yard sale and paint them your perfect accent color or cover them in pretty paper! I won’t fault you for it. Just don’t claim to have read them, because the first one pulled from the shelf will be The Iliad, and I doubt you remember much from that. Even I’m a bit spotty.

So find a genre you like and read more! If you don’t know what genre you’d enjoy (or what a genre is) comment or email me and I’ll suggest a few things. When it comes to literature I’m an omnivore!

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