Archive for October, 2011

The List
October 30, 2011

I have… danced in the middle of a grocery store aisle with baby in arms.
I have… lived on an island.
I have… had my first kiss, with my future husband, at a strip club.
I have… given birth. Without drugs.
I have… kissed a man I loved knowing it would be the last time.
I have… written letters and poured out my heart, then never sent them.
I have… yelled at a grown man threatening me with a baseball bat, and sent him running.
I have… danced at a UB40 concert while singing at the top of my lungs.
I have… interviewed Alien Ant Farm.
I have… skinny dipped in the Pacific.
I have… ran into an ex-boyfriend while in early labor.
I have… slept on the beach.
I have… looked down on the clouds, and seen the sun rising above them, at the top of Haleakala.
I have… been haunted.
I have… ridden an elephant.
I have… donated to Lock of Love twice.
I have… fallen asleep in the back of a friends van and been forgotten until he pulled up to his own house.
I have… had my hand kissed by a roman guard at Ceasar’s Palace.
I have… been hit on by a male stripper. Ick.
I have… dipped my daughters toes in the ocean, on a beach in Hawaii, hours before boarding our flight and leaving home to move to California.
I have… gotten married during my hourly lunch break, at work, and not told any one (except our moms).
I have… fallen in love faster, harder, and more completely than I ever thought possible with my daughter.

Linking up to Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop this week. The prompt: List 22 things you have done.

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The Dancer
October 28, 2011

Photo via Write on Edge

It was, she decided again, not only his delicately handsome face and dancer’s sculpted body that attracted her, but he had the animal magnetism she’d read about in dog-eared romance novels. Before he came into her life she hadn’t understood those passages filled with want. She had blushed while reading the intimate scenes and then reread them, trying to understand.

As he swept across the stage, she saw his eyes glancing into the audience and she felt them rest on her. Then he was gone with a powerful leap into the stages wings. She knew he would be resting in the few minutes before his final dance. She barely saw the chorus dancers flitting back and forth, their silhouettes against the white backdrop provided the negative space to his dancing that often came dangerously close to being overfull.

She breathed in and out, willing him to reappear. And then there he was again, forcing her on a journey she’d grown to love. Around and around, she lost her breath and he went faster. The dance’s climax, his final leap, was coming. She reached up, absently wiping tears from her face.

“Excuse me Marie, can I borrow your speakers? Mine aren’t working again, and I need to complete the compliance training.”

The words snapped her out of her reverie. She clicked her mouse and the dance disappeared. A company logo blinked at her from the computer screen bringing her back to her tan cubicle, to her coworker standing behind her, waiting.

“You can unplug them in the back,” she said.

She scooted her chair and watched her coworker kneel down and gather the wires.

“Thanks,” he said. He stood up and left.

Marie’s hand darted back to the mouse and with a click her screen filled with the New York Theatre Ballet stage. She watched him take his final bow and the credits rolled. With a sigh she clicked the play button to restart her recording. She couldn’t remember what she had done every morning, at her desk, before he had come into her life.

This week’s Red Writing Hood prompt from Write on Edge was athleticism. We were asked to write a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction using one of two photographs for inspiration, and keep it at 400 words or less.

The Reminders
October 26, 2011

A few notes:

“Write what you know,” they say. I am knee-deep in motherhood and I seem to have a lot to say. Still, I am more than a mother. I’m waiting for that other voice to creep forth. Until then my daughter is an endless muse.

NaNoWriMo is almost here. I’ve thought about participating in the past, but life always got in the way. Writing a 50,000 word novel in one month—that’s approximately 1,666 words a day—doesn’t sound fun to me. But it does sound like a goal I’d be proud of finishing. The mental debate continues…

The writing community is amazingly open and inviting. I love that.

My daughter will be turning one in less than two weeks, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. Let alone writing anything worthy.

Did I mention NaNoWriMo?

The Costume
October 25, 2011

I didn’t have a store bought costume. I wasn’t dressed as a princess. I stood out, and I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to slink around meowing in a leotard or cackle funny in a tall, black, pointed hat.

There was a school parade for all the elementary kids, and everyone would see me in my orange fuzzy legs and wide rounded butt. They would stare at my white, downy body and made-to-squawk beak. A pink shirt and matching purple shoes and bow meant nothing to me. A duck is still a duck no matter what you dress her as, and Daisy Duck was the wrong Disney Princess.

My Grandma had made the costume for me. She was a maid here, but in El Salvador she had been a talented seamstress. Both jobs paid low, but she spoiled me with what she could; and she could sew anything she thought of or anything she was asked to. I don’t know if the Daisy Duck costume was my idea or her own invention. It’s possible I wanted to be Donald’s perky and saucy wife. But I changed my mind, embarrassed and defeated by homemade couture.

I put the outfit on and my teacher told me she loved it. My best friend said it was cute. I couldn’t hear them. That Halloween day I was a third grader wanting desperately to fit in. Even though I had liked it at home, I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. I took it off.

Now I appreciate the unique and search out the one-of-a-kind. I wish I had held my head high as Daisy Duck. I wish there were pictures.

My grandmother passed away two years ago, three months before I found out I was pregnant. She will never meet her first great-granddaughter or spoil her with dresses and outfits. But she left me with an understanding of the heart that goes into the handcrafted. And she left my mom with her sewing skills and creativity. My daughter already has a closet full of homemade and a Halloween costume sewn by her grandma. This year, she’s dressing up as Snow White.

Today I’m linking up to RemembeRed, a memoir meme for Write on Edge. The prompt this week was to write about a memorable Halloween costume in 400 words.

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

The Vent
October 24, 2011

Nursing isn’t natural,
I don’t care what they say.
Nursing isn’t natural,
Though they shove it in my face.
My boobies hurt, they’re sore all day, my shirt is soaked down front.
Nursing just ‘aint natural,
Nipples aren’t designed to chafe.

Nursing isn’t natural,
With this leechling on for hours.
Nursing isn’t natural,
Leaving me no time for showers.
My bra don’t fit, I want a beer, but no alcohol for me.
Nursing can’t be natural,
And believe me I’m no coward.

Nursing isn’t natural,
Lactation is such a stupid word.
Nursing isn’t natural,
My breast size is absurd.
It isn’t fun, but nonetheless when I look down at babe.
Nursing don’t come natural,
But I’ll keep going just for her.

There are some women whose nursing experience is positive from day one. I am not that woman. Nursing my baby was hard. I took it day by day, and it wan’t until three months had passed that it started getting easier. Now I can pop a cover on and feed her wherever, whenever. But I still remember those days of frustration and crying—exhaustion and pain.

The me now would love to go back and give the me then a hug. Instead I wrote this poem, poking fun at myself and injecting humor into a situation that wasn’t funny at the time. I don’t write poetry, or even read it much, and I know my style is juvenile. What can I say, I’ve read a lot of Shel Silverstein (my stab at poetry does not compare.)