l’épave (the wreckage)

wreckage

I miss the sound of your laughter, your voice, your support
And in the oddest times I miss our battles
The way that you talked sports to me
And allowed me to be who I am
Whether that included being
Curled up on the couch with a book
Or all dressed up after a night out
I could lie to myself and try to convince you that
I don’t miss you at all but
We said that we would always tell each other
The truth so
I’ll be brutally honest even though you’ll never
Read this

Motherhood Excerpt

It’s been a while since I shared a piece from Motherhood so here’s another excerpt from the story that I am trying to get back to. My attention has been diverted from it by work and other characters but I plan to get to work on it as soon as the semester calms down.

thekitchenmotherhood

Noelle walked into the house and could hear the low rumblings of Ryan’s voice so she headed towards the kitchen. As she made her way to the kitchen, the family dog Spock popped his head out of the family room doorway. He quickly lost interest when he saw that she had nothing in her hand and he returned to his khaki and teal printed doggy bed. Noelle continued towards the rear of the house where she could smell Ryan’s gumbo cooking and she rubbed her hands together practically tasting the turkey sausage, chicken and crab that he loaded the dish with.

“Babe, are you cooking gumbo in here? It smells delicious” she said as she plowed through the kitchen door. To her surprise her brother in law sat at the table with a bowl in front of him listening to Ryan talk about something. She didn’t know who was more shocked Ryan or Remy but Noelle smiled at them both before she grabbed a bowl off of one of the shelves and scooped up some rice before ladling some fragrant gumbo over the rice.

Noelle chewed the first spoonful slowly and looked from one brother to the other before she sat on one of the upholstered gray bar seats. She looked around the kitchen as she ate as if seeing it for the first time.
The room had a hominess that was often lost on Noelle. Somehow her husband had managed to make it a place that was cozy enough for the kids and grown up enough for adults to enjoy. The room was painted a green that would not work anywhere else but contrasted nicely with the white trim. The room contained a pass through window where he’d had an oversized piece of maple placed so that there was a breakfast bar type sitting area; this is where she currently sat. She supposed that Ryan couldn’t take all of the credit; his cousin and one of his best friends had helped him with the parts of the house that Noelle wasn’t interested in. The kitchen would be the last place that one would normally find her.

She finally stopped eating and noticed the silence in the room. “Am I interrupting something?” she asked.
Ryan’s mouth had stopped right in the middle of the sentence when she entered the room. He was in the middle of telling Remy how he could use young workers from a local mentoring program as workers for his new project when she waltzed in; entering the kitchen as if she’d just come home from work instead of sneaking into the home that he’d asked her to leave. Not for the first time, Ryan really gave some thought to seriously changing all of the house’s locks.

Remy looked at his brother who remained silent. In fact, he hadn’t moved since Noelle’s entrance except to look at his watch. He wanted her gone before the kids got home and Remy could read that on his face.

“Actually we were discussing some business” Remy told her, “and I need to finish up with him before I scoop up Brock and head out to soccer practice.”

“Well, Ryan and I need to discuss some things too” she said. When she finally turned and looked at him she noticed the look on her husband’s face. Noelle realized that she may have miscalculated today’s appearance.

It seemed as if Ryan was not happy to see her and she thought back to Moira’s suggestion to give him space which she had not been able to do. Noelle knew that he was playing hardball now but she was determined to be home before they could do any more damage to their marriage. All she wanted was him; it was important to her that he knew that.

“But I suppose I could wait until you two finish” she said with a smile. She was already planning to slip upstairs and shower while they were talking.

He couldn’t believe that she’d walked into the house and grabbed a bowl like this was the old days. She seemed to derive pleasure from blindsiding him with her constant appearances and he was quickly becoming frustrated. He knew that Noelle is determined to wear him down so that life, for her, could return to normal. The only problem was that he wasn’t sure whether he could go back to that life.

“No, you don’t need to hang around. I said everything that needed to be said to you on the phone last week. The kids will be home soon and I need to finish up dinner because RJ is having a sleepover and I don’t want the mothers’ of her friends to think that I run a raggedy house” he told her.

Noelle stared back at him stonily. He’d practically told her to leave the house. Again. She absolutely wasn’t going to have this conversation in front of Remy but they were long overdue for a showdown. She had accepted his pissy attitude for as long as she was going to; it was time that he understood that she was only going to accept so much mistreatment from him. She knew that he was angry with her but he was going to have to get over it and soon.

Pretty Girl Problems

pgp2

Being pretty isn’t as easy as some think
It is hard; it is work
It requires effort
It demands poise
It is being on when you want to wear sweats and a ponytail.
It isn’t just heels, make up and glamour
It is the moments of kindness when you want to be mean
It is being charming under pressure and being classy when you want to be nasty
It asks you to be relentless in the face of other’s expectations
Pretty is a bunch of burdens
A gaggle of troubles
That others imagine to be easily solved

Update

wpid-20150105_200833.jpg

Okay, so seven days into the new year and I’ve already accomplished one of the major (but not big) things on my list. Number one on my list was to back up my writing. After losing many pieces on a flash drive and then losing quite a bit more when my old laptop went kaput I have been really wary about losing any more work so last year this was one of my top writing resolutions. It didn’t quite work out so this year I made sure to purchase a new external hard drive specifically for my creative works.

So on Monday, I received my new drive and immediately set about backing up all of my writing. So far, I’ve managed to save all of my fiction and the majority of most of my poetry and blogs. Keep in mind that I have already backed up a lot of this work on my main external drive but I wanted to have a copy that exists separately. The hard part will be continuing to back up on that drive but I am up to the task.

Here’s the latest tool in my writer’s toolbox in its new shiny case. I love it already as well as the security of having a backup for all of my writing.

Renewed

renewed

Over the last two years, I have lost several very important people to me. Those losses took a part of me, they made me less social and more introspective but they also made me wonder whether I’d lost my ability to empathize. Like Dulè Hill’s character Gus on Psych, I am a sympathetic crier especially when watching movies. I have not cried at the loss of a TV show or movie character since 2012 and I thought that I never would cry over the loss of someone not related to me ever again. Then came yesterday morning.

If you are a loyal follower of the blog then you might now that I am a sports junkie. Like a pure addict; if it were in any way possible to shoot, smoke or snort sports then I would be hocking my shoes and other valuables for it. I had the Sunday ticket before it became popular or railed against. I have cut out of fellowship at church to make it home in time for kickoff and I made my first sports bet at the age of twelve. I love talking about sports and may have occasionally hustled some unknowing guys in sports bars or at parties. Some men think that women who look a certain way know nothing about sports.

One of the reasons that I ever thought that I could be successful at being a sports analyst was due in part because of Stuart Scott. So yesterday’s news that his body could no longer fight off the cancer that was attacking him was heartbreaking; in part because I know exactly how that will affect his daughters and his family but also because I was such a huge fan of the man and the anchor. So this morning, I cried. I grieved as real as if he was my family.

On January 1st, I’d started writing this piece on the first about the optimism with which most of us greet the New Year. I wanted to create a poem about being joyous and expecting change and growth. The title was the same as this rant but somehow this seemed more deserving. I am renewed; I know that I have not lost my ability to be empathetic. That I am still able to feel deeply for others and I am grateful for that discovery.

My 2015 Writer’s Resolutions

write it

Yes, I’m still doing this in spite of being a miserable failure at it in 2014. I think that I accomplished three goals out of ten but I am a big believer in achieving one’s goals so I just re-wrote the list sans the things I completed last year and added a few more. One of my favorite books as a child was “The Little Engine That Could” so this is my way of perpetuating the idea. As usual, I have mixed it up. I have some big things and some really minor things on my list. I’m not sharing the list here just giving you a brief overview of a few of the major and minor things that I hope to accomplish this year as a writer.

I am hoping that this is the year that I finally get to London although that isn’t one of my resolutions. I really need it to happen so keep your fingers crossed for me. I also hope to be able to go to AWP even though it’s in Minnesota which should be totally doable. I would definitely love to be a guest blogger at some point this year. Fortunately, I am going to be in the perfect place (hopefully) to accomplish to two of the other items on my list: a writing camp for young people and some big National Poetry Month events.

One of the things that’s always on my list every year is to submit (to literary journals) and I rarely ever do it so this year I am committed to submitting to at least six publications as well as finishing at least two of the novel that I’ve worked on in the last two years. I also have a short story that needs to be written; it’s been a concept since 2001 and I have so many crazy characters and twists to add to it.

Have any of you set some writing goals for yourself this year? How’s your list looking?

Seven Twenty Four Fifty Eight

This is an old piece; it may be on the blog already but in light of the new year and the fact that I am really missing my mom today I decided to share this one. It was one of the last Mother’s Day poems that I wrote for her and I still love it.

mommy

I don’t say it enough
But I love you
You gave up so much for me
That I’d gladly give anything for you
You made me pretty and smart
enough to know that I can’t depend on it
You showed me how to cry when I’m hurt
and how to get over the pain
You gave me the strength to always fight
to know that I control who and what
I become
You not only gave me life but the confidence
to always be myself
gave me the compassion to empathize and
sympathize and the temper to end any argument
You’ve taught me so many things
throughout the years
Because of you I know how to be a mother
How to listen to lies with half an ear
but to love with my whole heart
You made me want to make you proud

You showed me the importance of giving
told me share my good fortune, to enjoy
my own company and to appreciate the little things
Of the many things that you gave me
my favorite thing
is you.