Category Archives: Writer's Workshop

We need wardrobe over here!

Writer’s Workshop: Take II!

3.) A wardrobe malfunction.

This prompt made me instantly think of one of my husband’s and my early dates, back in our first year together.

My not-yet hubby came and picked me up. We went out and had fun; of course, always in the full public eye. Remember, we were good-kids. And my dad would have neutered him otherwise. I can’t remember exactly what we did, there’s a good chance it involved some bowling (a good, cheap, fun date), and some time sitting in a park talking or playing guitar (him, not me).

At the end of the day we hugged goodbye. The not-yet hubby put his chin over my shoulder as we hugged. And saw the tag of my shirt.

’cause it was on inside-out the whole time.

It’s a weird little shirt that is made of a very textured fabric. The fabric is the same front and back. It’s one of those where the seams are all visible, and the shirt and stitching are white so it’s like a subtle accent. There’s no turned-under seam, the edges were just surged. So…it was hard to tell if it was on right or not.

And it wasn’t.

And since this was one of our earliest dates, I was mortified!

Not to mention it went over real well at home when I came home from my date with my shirt on inside-out ;-)

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Getting to know me

I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Today I’m doing prompt 2:

2.) About me. Do you have an about me page? Because people want to know. Write a page that describes who you are and what you’re about or spruce up your current about me page!

OK then! Look up. Higher. A little to the left. See that new tab that says “About Me”? Click on it to read the amazingness!

Go ahead, click. I’ll wait!

*pretending to whistle but not knowing how so just blowing out air*

All done? Yeah, I know, it’s really not that amazing, but “click here to read the boringness” just doesn’t work as well at getting readers.

After several weeks of liking none of the prompts at WW, this week I like four. FOUR! So you may be seeing more from me…try to contain yourself.

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Octopus!!!!!

2.) This one time I was sleeping and…

I saw this prompt and knew just what to write. In fact, if my husband had seen this prompt, he might have written his first blog post, because he loves to tell this story!

On our honeymoon my husband and I were spending one of our first nights together. (We were asleep, get your minds out of the gutter!) We’re in our beautiful beachside room, the sounds of the ocean outside our window, after a day spent in the ocean, and I half-wake up flailing and screaming about the octopus in the bed.

That’s right. I had a dream there was an octopus in the bed.

And when waking up, the shadows on the comforter convinced me it was true.

I hit my new husband pretty hard in the head, while frantically backing away. (There was no bruise, he’s just a big baby.)

He assumed I was thinking he was the octopus and was trying to get away. But no, I was nowhere near that unreasonable.

I thought the octopus was in the bed between us.

I was getting out of the way so it would eat him instead of me.

Ah, true love!

Now it’s your turn! Go to Mama Kat’s, choose your prompt, and link up!

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Writer’s Workshop – Take 2!

The prompts this week are so nice I feel the need to answer them twice! Go to Mama Kat‘s to play along, you only have to once ;-)

1.) Write about your wedding song. What was it and why did you choose it?

I love my wedding song. I loved my wedding dance.

If you hadn’t guessed I hate having people staring at me. It’s generally at odds with blending into the wall one of my main general goals in life. So the whole idea of spinning slowly in a circle while some trite song played and I had nothing to think about but their eyes was not popular with me.

So we took dance lessons! We didn’t have anyone choreograph a dance for us, we just learned how to dance. Some basic steps and some fancy additions we could use. And then…we danced. The hubby had parts of it planned in his head…we spun-in-a-circle danced for the intro, then moved into the traditional one-two-three-pause box step…and danced the night away. Or the song away at least. Ending with a beautiful dip (that took lots of practice).

It was beautiful. People cried.

I’m not even shitting you.

I loved it. I forgot all the people staring and just got caught up moving with and following the lead of this wonderful, amazing man who was now mine. Somehow.

The other part I insisted on was picking a song that had meaning to us. That we had a history with. But that we could real-dance to.

Here is what we chose:

Tomorrow morning if you wake up

and the sun does not appear

I will be here.

If in the dark we lose sight of love

hold my hand and have no fear,

’cause I will be here.

I love the affirmation in this song. It’s hard for me to believe one person would actually stay with me forever, through anything.

I will be here

When you feel like being quiet

When you need to speak your mind I will listen

And I will be here

When the laughter turns to crying

Through the living, losing and trying

We’ll be together

I will be here

The hubby introduced me to Steven Curtis Chapman early when we were dating. I still really like his music, even though I’m no longer Christian. His All About Love CD has so much good stuff on it! I love Echoes of Eden…but not quite wedding appropriate. We Will Dance is another great one. But we chose the song we had the most history with.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up

And the future is unclear

I will be here.

Just as sure as seasons were made for change

Our lifetimes were made for these years

So I will be here.

I love the promise of forever. Love it.

I will be here

And you can cry on my shoulder

When the mirror tells us we’re older

I will hold you

And I will be here

To watch you grow in beauty

And tell you all the things you are to me

I will be here.

And for almost two years now, he’s been here. It’s not been all sunshine and roses. But there’s always been sunshine and roses…because he’s been here. (All together now, “Aaaaaaw…*choke* *gag*” What can I say, my blog, my place for corny truths :-)

Love you, hubby.

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Heaven on earth

It’s time for another round of Writer’s Workshop!

The prompt I’ve chosen for this week:

4.) Post a picture and a description that fits into this quote for you: “How far to heaven? Just open your eyes and look. You are in heaven” -Shankar

This is me on my honeymoon in Jamaica.

Best two weeks ever.

We were surrounded by paradise. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort, in a beautiful room, on a beautiful beach. We didn’t have to think. Bored? Do one of dozens of free activities or go to one of the dozens of places to hang out. Hungry? Pick the restaurant or snack shack you feel like. No need to worry about price, not too many options. My new hubby would run down in the morning and get a selection of breakfast items. When I got up (because he was sweet enough to let me sleep in) we’d have breakfast in bed together. Then we’d decide what to do for the day. Go scuba diving? Take out a boat? Sit in the room and kick my hubby’s ass play games? One of my absolute favorite activities is pictured above: pulling a beach chair into the surf and reading in the sun.

The sun kept me warm. The water kept me cool. Together they were the perfect temperature. I have always loved drawing baths and reading, and this was the perfect bath which never got cold or warm. I usually hate the sun, because I hate being hot and my skin is a lovely shade of neon white which turns a lovely shade of lobster red in the sun. But the water kept me exactly right. Heaven. With my new hubby hanging out with me, bringing me drinks, happy himself, and not a care in the world, this was heaven.

Not to mention all the joys of exploring each other :-D

I spent two weeks in heaven. And I loved every minute of it!

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Hahaha..right?

3.) Write about a joke that did not go over well.

See, I have a problem with this. I love to make jokes. I am a very sarcastic person. Verrrrrry sarcastic. And I like to make snide comments. It’s my way of dealing with stupid people. Or stupid situations. Or life.

And I find myself hilarious.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case with my audience.

Even more unfortunately, I can never tell when that is going to be the case. I feel like I make my jokes, and most of the time they go over fine, I get a chuckle or smile. Occaisionally, I get gut-wrenching laughter. And occaisionally, I get looks of horror and disgust.

And I can’t tell the difference between the jokes!

So I just keep throwing them out there, and hoping that this time, the response will be positive. And, like Mama Kat, I only hang out with people who get my humor, or at least are crazy themselves and so won’t judge me too harshly from the occasional (evidently) wildly inappropriate comment.

I have blocked most of those random one-liners that fell flat because, well, they’re no fun to remember.

Also, apparently, my sarcasm gets more subtle as I get more tired. So I say something I feel is absolutely d.r.i.p.p.i.n.g with sarcasm, and my audience takes me seriously. Until my husband pointed this out to me I thought my jokes were just falling flat. Now I’m realizing that when I said things like, “Yeah, that’s a great idea!” or “That sounds fun!” people were actually believing me. (For the record, no, I don’t think dealing with a dog howling all night is fun. Nor, when I was at my FT job, did I think working all weekend sounded like a great idea. But evidently there are people out there who think I did…) I can’t remember a lot of specific examples of this, either, because it’s just something that happens so often. Now that I’m aware, though, when I get that blank look “Oh.” response, I know to say, “I was kidding…” Which usually gets a relieved, “Oh!! Oh, good, thank god!”

*sigh*

So those types of moments happen all the time, so frequently no one stands out to me.

One poorly-taken joke that really sticks out to me, though: I was in the engineering computer lab in college. For my senior thesis I was writing a 100-page single-spaced senior thesis on the 2,000 year history of the teaching against contraception in the Catholic Church (I went to a Catholic college). This did not endear me to the conservative Catholic crowd (of which I had previously been a part). I had a friend who was a follower of a Norse religion (think Vikings…yes, I’m serious) and we were joking about how we were heathens. I still considered myself Catholic at that point, but I wasn’t attending Mass because I couldn’t take it. Anyway, when you feel looked down upon by your school and a lot of people in it, well, you cope. And we were joking together, I can’t even remember about what, just calling each other heathens (as he called himself) and laughing, letting off steam. Then the topic changed and I forgot about the totally normal joking. Another friend, a Protestant, who had been working next to us got in on the conversation, and somehow our topic gravitated, and she got super pissed and said, “Well, why does my opinion even matter, since I’m just a heathen! This is why I don’t talk to Eileen about things, she just judges me!” …um…what? I’m still not entirely how us making fun of ourselves got transitioned to me judging her…but I learned that you never know who’s listening!

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If only…

It’s time for Writer’s Workshop with Mama Kat!

Today’s prompt (well, yesterday’s prompt, but you know):

2) I wish I would have…describe a time when you didn’t take action, but later wished you would have.

This one’s fairly easy for me to answer (after some thought).

About a year and a half ago, I went to my primary care physician for a problem I was having. She prescribed me a med, and told me to come back in a week to see if I was having any side effects. Okiday, hopefully this will work!

A week later, I go back, and tell her I think I’m having a fairly major side-effect. She completely brushes me off. “There’s no way, it’s too early for that to be showing up!” she said confidently. And…she was the expert. She’d gone to med school. If she told me this wasn’t a side-effect, well, then it wasn’t a side effect! It must just be caused by something else in life or…me.

Fast-forward 6 months. For other medical tests, I had to go off of my prescription. I did. And as soon as it was out of my system, that symptom that definitely wasn’t a side effect….went away. Entirely. Completely. Totally.

I felt like me again! It changed my entire perspective on myself, to realize that this horrible symptom I’d been dealing with, thinking it was my fault, was really entirely imposed by a drug.

But, you know, 6 months of thinking there is something wrong with you stays with you. And it’s hard to let go of. And it has affected me in ways I still haven’t been able to shake. It’s been a year, and I’m still suffering from that doctor’s dismissal.

I wish I had stood up to her. I wish I had researched the drug and realized what I was complaining of was an incredibly common side-effect. I wish I’d gone back a few weeks later and made her pay attention.

I wish I hadn’t been so intimidated by “authority” that I let myself suffer for months, in a way that has, and will, affect me for years.

Doctors are just professionals like any other worker. They aren’t gods. They aren’t perfect. And I know my body better than them. At least I’ve learned to (try harder to) stand up for myself in the future.

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Writer’s Workshop: Tattoo

I have moved! I am now blogging at The Energizer Mommy. Please come join me there!

Time for another episode of Writer’s Workshop, hosted by the lovely and talented Mama Kat! ::applause::

Here’s the prompt I chose:

4.) The world is going to come to an end unless you get a tattoo that covers your entire back. Describe the tattoo you’ll get.

I chose this prompt because it’s easy. Here’s the tattoo I’d get:

It’s the marque from the Kushiel series. Phedre’s marque. And while I am in no way chosen by Kushiel, having Joscelin would be quite nice…mmmm…

Oh, did I say that aloud? Oops.

Anyway. The marque definitely fits the criteria. It starts at the base of the spine and curls upwards, all the way to the finnial at the base of the neck. Those who serve Naamah earn their marques through patron gifts. The above is the marque from the cover of the books, but it in no way does justice to the delicious description detailed in the book. Phedre’s marque is described as all black, in nice contrast to her pale skin, except where there are little drops of crimson for blood. It is a briar rose wrapping its way up her back to the finnial at the top. Some people get a bit more artistic.

While some stay truer to the image on the cover

But I think they’re all gorgeous. In part, I’ve never been a big tattoo fan, but in this world marques are so beautiful. I’ve heard this one described with so much respect and admiration over and over and it’s really sunk in how ink in your skin can be beautiful, and I think this is a gorgeous representation.

(All of the above tattoos are from here.)

If not that, then maybe something else nerdy, like  , except in cooler font. I mean, come on, is that not the coolest equation you’ve ever seen? All of math’s coolest numbers in one beautiful line. Or maybe a line of binary going down my spine. I have seen a woman who has this (though I can’t find it! grrr…) and it was damn sexy.

How ’bout you? Go to Mama Kat’s to play along, there are even 4 other prompts to pick from if this one doesn’t strike your fancy!

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WW: What I’ve learned from blogging

In my whole two months blogging now, I have MUCH wisdom to offer. And thanks to Mama Kat‘s prompting, I shall generously share with all of you. No, no need to thank me…please, you can stop applauding now, the adoration in your eyes is thanks enough…

Um..where was I?

Without further ado:

10 things blogging has taught me

  1. A nice comment really, really can make your day.
  2. It is possible to keep one eye on your number of hits and still write for yourself.
  3. It really is therapeutic to get stuff out!
  4. Blog memes (which I had never even heard of before starting) can be super fun.
  5. Said memes will all occur on the same day (i.e. I only have memes I do Tuesday and Friday..but there are a LOT of them. This one is looser, somehow I don’t quite count it as a meme…).
  6. Facebook is nice, but blogging lets you feel more connected to best buds who refuse to move closer to you live far away.
  7. When one of your favorite bloggers comments back on one of your posts, that is more exciting than meeting a celebrity!
  8. People who follow you in a reader and don’t click through can wreck havoc on your confidence! (Yes, I do this, too)
  9. Saying things to an invisible crowd of people in your computer can make it easier to then say them to real-life people. After all, you’ve already gotten it out once.
  10. There are actually people out there who like hearing all my dog-talk. This is a nice change from the glazed-over eyes I’m most often met with in real life.

So there you have it! The first 10 things that came to my head that I learned from blogging!

I find it kind of funny that this was a prompt, since I was just writing about why I blog. I guess I was prepping for Writer’s Workshop without even knowing it!

So head on over to Mama Kat’s, and play along! There are 5 topics to pick from. And as an added bonus, you can see an adorable video of her singing with her kids and..wait for it…a labradoodle!, in an impromptu bathroom concert :-)

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WW: Affirmation

Writer’s Workshop time again:

2. “I need all the help I can get and if repeating something healthy and inspiring to myself several times a day helps, then I’m going to do it!” -What affirmation makes you feel better? WELL THINK OF ONE.

My current affirmation that I just made up need to keep repeating to myself (and hearing from as many people as possible):

My most important job is taking care of my health.

This applies to both physical and mental health.

Today I quit my job. Yes, I realize many will think this is stupid with the economy. I don’t care. Or at least, I’m trying to tell myself I don’t.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Physically I have been so exhausted I am having a hard time getting through each day. I keep making mistakes in simple things. I keep catching myself losing my train of thought mid-sentence. I have no idea of what has happened the last several months..and not in the normal way that I’ve experienced before, that everyone experiences sometimes…in a weird way where all my energy went to just making it through and there was none left for memories or enjoyment.This comes largely from the 10-11.5 hour days I work (getting paid for 8) thanks to “voluntary” training lunches and big long commutes. Not to mention the high stress and mental exertion necessary non-stop all-day.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

I have been getting sick, more than I ever have before in my life. I did not used to get sick. I have been sick repeatedly this winter, and with some of the worst illnesses I can remember having (excluding mono). I threw up for, literally, the first time I can remember. Not cool. I am wearing out my body. No energy left for an immune system.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Mentally..things have not been good. When injuring myself so I can stay in the hospital with no responsibilities and nothing to do but sleep sounds like a not-half-bad plan..well..that’s not how it should be. The depression has been strong. And constant. And dipping down into the really low levels more and more frequently. Life’s not worth living when you can’t bring yourself to care.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

So I quit. This way I can get myself back under control. I can re-find balance. I can get the help I need to do so. Hopefully I can even find out what is causing the CFS (long shot, I can hope).

My most important job is taking care of my health.

My boss was so nice about it. I told him I was leaving for medical reasons, and that I had been trying to deal with/get treatment for my medical problems and keep working full-time and I just cannot do it. I need to stop so I can get well. He told me he valued my work and didn’t want to lose me. He asked if I would be willing to go on medical leave of absence so they could maybe get me back when I was ready. I told him that I had no idea how long treatment would take, a minimum of many months, and that I didn’t know if I’d even be able to work full time right after it was done. He said he didn’t care. He valued my work, he valued me, and he wanted to help me do what was best for me and get me back if possible. I had no idea he thought that highly of me.

He never once tried to convince me to stay.

He never once tried to guilt me.

He told me to take care of myself even while making it clear he was sad to see me go.

It is hard to leave such a supportive, tight-knit company.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

I’ve been slowly telling my work friends. Every time it’s hard. Every time I cry. The thought of losing them hurts. Their shock at losing me is hard. And it’s not like I’m going on to bigger and better things. I’m just crazy and sick.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

With so much support it’s even harder to go. If they were assholes at least I could say, “Screw you,” and leave and focus on me. But they’re not. So I feel guilty. And I feel scared for my future. And I worry if I’m doing the right thing.

My most important job is taking care of my health.

Being an engineer is not my most important job. Starting in May, I am taking care of my health. This is what I should be doing.

Breathe.

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