Monday, November 29, 2010

So kids,here's how I met your mother....

I am hopelessly obsessed with the TV show How I Met Your Mother. It comes on about four times a night, and I make sure to watch every episode. It's so funny! The first time I saw it I thought it was kind of dumb, but it's really not. After I saw a few more episodes, I was completely hooked.

The basic premise for the show is this guy, Ted Mosby, is telling his kids all about his life leading up to the time he met their mother. He has some awesome, hilarious friends, and in each episode funny things are bound to happen while Ted's romantic endeavors are peppered in between. So far Ted hasn't found the one yet. They are probably saving that event for the very, very last episode of all the four or five seasons (not sure which), so that means I'll probably be watching it forever (or maybe not at the rate I've been going).

Has anyone else out there seen or heard of this show? It's nominated for People's Choice Award, and I don't usually vote for stuff like that, but I can't not vote for this show.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Forgotten

Count the bumps
One – two – three
Braille across the arm

Silver Salamander,
hunger left alone,
you cry the unknown.

Probe the swamp,
brown, murky sludge
untapped memories
lay forgotten

heavy rocks deep in gritty sand
Trail tired fingers across the surface
Empty bubbles percolate,
answer your call.

Four – five – six

It would take strong chains
to haul forgotten fears
from churning depths,
raise the tide,

overflow everything but the source.
So it may seem—the waters are at fault.
They wash away to nothing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Crush

Winter is approaching, and with it comes the question that I have begun to ask myself at this time each year: Who will it be this time? Every year, as I move on to different circumstances in life, I have come to see a pattern surfacing when it comes to guys, crushes, and attempts at relationships. Something of the sort always happens in the winter. My hormones seem to prefer those cold, dreary unending months to make a go at someone or to find a new obsession.

I’d like to say winter was the reason I finally gave in to “Steve”, the computer geek. I was in my junior year of high school, and he was a senior.

Steve was the classic computer nerd with a dark twist. He was scrawny with acne and stringy dark hair that always hung in his eyes, touching the rectangular glasses he wore. He wore dark clothes, usually a black t-shirt two sizes too big, and baggy black pants, also two sizes too big, that he was always pulling up. And he always walked slightly bent over, in this shuffling sort of trudge.

Steve was pretty popular in his class. He was a year ahead of me, and most of his class thought he was pretty cool. Or maybe his class was just friendlier than mine. I had very few friends with my own class, and usually hung mostly with people younger or older than me.

Everyday at lunch, I sat at a table with a group of seniors, mostly because my friend Ashley sat there. Steve almost always sat directly in front of me, and was always making jokes, laughing about stuff, talking about computers or the girlfriend he bought a $200 ring for. I couldn’t believe it. Just sitting across from him and having to look at his acne-marked face and dirty hair was unpleasant. A girlfriend? $200? Fixing computers must pay royally.

Steve had been having girlfriend trouble. They were doing that on and off thing, and for now it seemed that it would be officially off. That’s when Steve started flirting with me.

My first thought: Ewwww. I thought it was disgusting. And when he asked for my phone number I ungraciously rejected him. Ashley thought it was funny or awesome or maybe she was just bored. Anyway, she tried to persuade me to give him my number. I still wouldn’t. Which is when she decided to intervene. She scribbled my number on a scrap of paper and pushed over to Steve who was looking quite triumphant. Ashley just grinned at me and shrugged. I couldn’t believe it.

Steve called me the next day. He kept persisting, and even though I was reluctant to go out with him, I finally agreed. Funny how people grow on you. After a while, I realized that I was beginning to like him. He was funny. He could be unexpectedly charming. And most of the things that turned me off before suddenly became things that I liked about him. Even the way he walked. (I can’t explain why I was somehow turned on by his mad typing skills. Crazy, I know).

We were never anything serious. We went to eat at fast food restaurants. I went to his house once and met his mom and his dog. I watched his band play in the upstairs of this old house. Steve was the singer. They were a “rock” band, the type of which required screaming the lyrics so that the words are incomprehensible. Steve was the screamer, and I listened much to the over-fulfillment of my curiosity.

I think we both grew bored after a while. We were too different from each other. I still liked him though, which at the same time was an annoying complication. I was sad, and it was his fault for starting the whole thing! I think my mom was happy that nothing came of it though.

Anyway, perhaps it’s a coincidence. Maybe the seasons don’t have anything to do with anything. But sometimes it sure seems like it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Who We Really Are

I’ve been reading Marianne Williamson’s book, A Return to Love. It is fabulous, and with the turning of each page, I feel my understanding cracking open just a little more. It is hard not to quote every single paragraph because everything she writes is insightful and encouraging, whether she is writing about relationships, God’s love, miracles, or our careers and aspirations. Throughout, she urges us to put away our judgments and guilt, to always forgive, and to look into our own hearts and minds to see what needs to be changed.

Here are several especially enlightening quotes:

A spiritual teacher from India once pointed out that there is no such thing as a gray sky. The sky is always blue. Sometimes, however, gray clouds come and cover the blue sky. We then think the sky is gray. It is the same with our minds. We’re always perfect. We can’t not be. Our fearful patterns, our dysfunctional habits, take hold within our minds and cover our perfection. Temporarily. That is all. We are still perfect sons of God. There has never been a storm that hasn’t passed. Gray clouds never last forever. the blue sky does. pg. 118

This next quote speaks to me in a special way as I am always second-guessing myself, thinking I’m not good enough, I don’t have real talent, why should I even try.

We all have the potential for greatness, but it gets plowed out of us early. Fear entered when someone told us there’s a first prize, second prize, and third prize, that some efforts deserve an A, and some get a C. After a while, part us becomes afraid to even try. The only thing we have to give to the world is our own grasp on it. The ego argues that this is not enough. It leads us to cover up our simple truth, to try to invent a better one. But the ego isn’t protecting us here, although as always, it pretends to. It isn’t guarding us against making fools of ourselves; it is guarding us against experience of who we really are, the brilliance of expressing it, and the joy that the expression brings to ourselves and others.

I love the story of the little girl who showed her teacher a picture she painted of a tree. The tree was purple. The teacher said, “Sweetheart, I’ve never seen a purple tree, now have I?”

“Oh?” said the little girl. “That’s too bad.” (140-141)

And my Dad is doing fine. After striking the top of his head on a sharp metal pole…again I’m not sure of the particulars, such as where was this deathly pole?...the wound is now healing after having staples put in his head. It was scary though. At first I thought he might have chopped his hand off with the wood-cutter or something.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Perfect End to a Rainy Monday

Shout out to Liz at Laws of Gravity for giving me this award! Liz always has interesting stories to tell about subbing. And we share a love for Harry Potter. :) Thanks again, Liz!

And now to pass it on. It was a hard choice because there are so many great blogs out there, but here are my picks:

To Valerie from Virginia for her blog, bits and pieces. For sharing bits and pieces of her lovely life, and also on this day where she explains why T-giving makes her sad.

To Jackee at Winded Words. She's friendly and always shares insightful musings on the ups and downs and in betweens of the writing life. Definitely worth the read!

To Roland at Writing in the Crosshairs. An excellent writer and thinker with many brilliant and relevant insights.

The rules, as told to me: Acknowledge the giver and pass it on to your favorite blogs.

Have a great week everyone!

Here's a picture of a laughing dragon to complement the monday crazies

Here is how my day is going:

This morning, I rolled out of my bed more bleary-eyed than usual. Promptly, I sneezed and strained my back.

This afternoon, I decided to be smart and take advantage of the nice walking weather. I walked a mile to the library, which was really dumb. Apparently my back was worse than I had previously gauged...when will I ever listen to that small voice in my gut warning me not to do something??

Once I got to the library, I learned there was a tornado watch out. It also started pouring torrents of rain which cascaded down the streets in floods and waves.

But I did succeed in checking out Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets, which my sister keeps making fun of me for reading. Hey, Don't judge unless you've read it yourself!

My dad hit his head on something, apparently was bleeding, and is now at the hospital. What's going on?!!

I'm hoping my back will heal quickly, and I'm looking forward to making Mexican style tacos tonight: corn tortillas, strips of steak, cilantro, onions, and lime juice. I never thought lime would go well on a taco, but it is quite possibly one of the best combinations I've come across.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I want to fill my mind with music: angry loud passionate
while I speed over country roads, accelerating hills,

every window sending wind to whip my face.

I want to face the thunderstorm, arms raised to churning clouds,
pulling lightning from the sky, lips tasting the rain mixed with my tears.

Screaming, crying, moaning, that music in my head;
I want to dance to it, feet lashing grass and dirt,

kicking up dust and flowers, stirring the wind, the air,
the heart of God with the movements of my body, its ceaseless energy.

I want to run.

I bury my hands in moist earth kissed by rain, by me, soaking into my fingernails,
the crevices of my skin, my toes, staining my knees dark as midnight shadows.

I pull weeds, baby trees, uprooting the vines that choke my treasures.

I want to fly, like the forgotten eagle, the hated crow, suspend myself in air,
a hummingbird—still, despite the rapid beat of my wings.

I want to move like a river, plunge like a waterfall, pulse like the ocean
dancing with the turbulent sky.

I consume the sun’s rays until my skin glows
from the ball of fire raging in my soul.

I will stand like a magnolia, powerful, majestic,
even after my flowers have fallen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wisdom from a 4 year old

Ben: "Isaac is my best buddy. He always makes stuff for me. Abbie is always begging me to be her best buddy. That's not how you make friends. You don't beg someone to be your best buddy. You do stuff for them. You go out to eat with them. You make them stuff."

You don't ducktape them to a wall either.

Sidenote: This photo was taken in fun, not serious or anything. I thought the look on his face was hilarious though so I showed it to my roommate, and she didn't even crack a smile! Whoops...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guys, Guys, and More Guys

So yesterday, I had an interview. I also had to meet someone at Panera Bread hours before the interview. I was all dressed up in my interview clothes: my sleek red sweater, my suave grayish slacks, my black heels. I also felt like I was puttin’ myself out there a little bit. I’m not used to dressing up. I don’t wear heels very often. I’m a flip-flop, tennishoe kinda person. I’m the type that sees Amy Adams traipsing all over Ireland in five-inch heels and thinks, “What’s wrong with you?!” (Curious? Watch Leap Year. There’s a lovely, hot guy in it.)

I’m leaving Panera Bread, and out of the corner of my eye, I see this guy wearing a bookbag standing outside. I don’t really think much of it. I get in my car and am about to pull out of the parking lot, when I see this guy standing about three feet away on the driver’s side of my car. He’s kind of waving, trying to get my attention. Feeling a bit creeped out, I roll my window down about two inches. Part of me wonders if I’m about to be robbed, but I don’t want to be rude.

“Do you have a dollar or two you could spare?” he asks me.

I know I don’t have any cash on me, but I look anyway. “Sorry,” I say.

“Oh, alright. It’s okay,” he says. He’s actually pretty attractive looking. Not the type of person I would think of asking for money in a parking lot…

“Are you okay?” I ask.

“Yeah,” he says, as if it’s weird that I should ask that. “Love and peace,” he says as I pull out and drive away.


Next, I go to Barnes and Noble. A friend told me about a book there I should check out about how to ace a job interview. I take the book to the café area and sit at a table to skim through the book.

As I’m reading, another guy kind of walks past my table and sort of looks over at me. He finally decides to sit at the table right next to mine. Even though there are a lot of other empty tables. So he starts taking books out of his book bag, and while I’m trying to concentrate, I notice that he keeps glancing over at me every several minutes.

Nothing happens. Maybe this is a lame story. But I’m not used to people looking at me twice. I just thought it was strange. I guess that’s what I get when I try to look nice. Or at least, nicer.


I don’t even know why I’m writing about this one. I was at Wal-mart this morning and I was pushing my cart toward a check-out lane. I saw this other guy walking toward the same one. He had less stuff than me so I was walking slowly so that he could go first. He was kind of scruffy looking in a hot, lumberjack kind of way. Or maybe I didn’t get a good look at him. But I think I did. I was inexplicably nervous because he let me go in front of him, and I felt strangely self-conscious all of a sudden, and I don’t think I looked at him again, and then, of course, I must have been more flustered than I realized because when I got home I realized I left one of my bags there.

Go figure.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy November 15

Here's to my sister who turns 17 today! Happy birthday girl!

Don't fight the darkness. Bring the light and the darkness will disappear.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, I'll try again tomorrow.

We're fools whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.
--Japanese proverb

Doodles: Mustard Seeds

I don't usually draw anymore, but occasionally I like to put inspirational phrases on the wall behind the desk I work at. Here is one for today. For those who are fighting doubt, in writing or any part of life that taunts you, saying you just can't do it:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jennifer Knapp: thoughts, ponderings, musings, and what-have-you

One of my longtime favorite musicians has returned to the music scene after 7 years. Jennifer Knapp, feeling burned out on music and all the tours she was on, abruptly left the Christian music industry for the outback of Australia. She never considered that she might pick up her guitar again for an audience, yet here she is, with renewed passion and a realization that no matter how far she travels and how long she stays away, music is still irrevocably in her bones.

She isn’t hiding anything. She is who she is and is determined not to let the world pressure her into being something other than herself. That much is sure. Last year, Jennifer announced that she is a lesbian. She appeared on Larry King Live and even had interviews appear in such publications as Christianity Today, discussing her decision. Yet, she still holds her faith in God and claims she is a Christian. I am sure many Christians can hardly wrap their heads around this one. In many perspectives, it’s downright blasphemous. Jennifer had (and has) a lot of courage, revealing such a “secret” and knowing how the Christian community and many of her fans would take it; perhaps rebuking, condemning, attacking.

There once was a time when I would have had the same reaction. I used to think that people who chose such a lifestyle were doomed. Simply, it was the way I had been taught. But I am different now. Surely God would not have us hate, exclude, belittle. Much has been revealed to me, to open my mind and show me that God’s love is wider and deeper than our small minds can conceive, and His ways are not my ways, in ALL THINGS.

Anyway, Jennifer Knapp’s first three albums have continuously inspired and encouraged me throughout the years. Her songs are very open, honest, and full of originality. They push me to examine my own self as her words point to God over and over again.

Her most recent, fourth album is different in that it is not geared or marketed solely to a Christian audience. On her web page, Jennifer says, “There is a strong sense of community that has been in the back of my mind throughout this whole process. I want my core audience to find something familiar, but refreshed, on Letting Go. At the same time, I am so happy to throw off any cloak that has been put upon me that would make any music lover hesitate to listen to my music. I am so excited to bring all different types of people to my party. I’ve written this for them.”

Perhaps God’s Kingdom is less like a judge’s court and more like a party…

Here’s to throwing off the cloak…

Monday, November 8, 2010

What's at Stake? My Sanity...?

Perhaps it was foolish of me to set such a high goal: 3000 words by the end of the day.

It was Saturday, and I had the entire day to catch up on the writing time I missed the day before. I felt good.

Then an unexpected visitor…

A girl I had gone to high school with came home with my mother. I hadn’t seen her in a long time. She needed a place to stay. She has a one year old baby. The father of the baby had dumped her seven months ago and married another woman who already had four kids. This girl was still staying with them because she had nowhere else to go.

Until yesterday. He kicked her out. Didn’t even give her time to get her stuff. He’d have someone else bring it to her later.

She was still wearing an old faded pear of pink striped pajamas and a dirty-looking yellow sweatshirt. I rummaged awkwardly through my drawers and gave her some of my clothes to wear, and then she took a shower.

I’m selfish. I’ll gladly admit it. But it bothers me. It bothers me that my inclination, my need to write turns me into a hermit. Makes me not fully empathize with someone in need because I am missing out on “essential” writing time. Or maybe it was because my plans were not turning out the way I wanted.

I kept saying, “God, a person is more important than this book I’m trying to write by the end of November. A person is more important than completing a 3000 word count by the end of today.” I still didn’t feel any better.

I didn’t want to be rude and lock myself away in my room until I had written a sufficient amount. Besides, I was stuck in the story. I didn’t know where to go next.

I did try to write though. But the girl just sat on my bed and stared at me. I wrote a paragraph until I couldn’t do it anymore. With her watching me, every word I typed sounded stupid.

I felt torn up the whole day because I couldn’t write.

Instead, I talked to her. I made popcorn and hot chocolate and we watched a movie.

And the whole time, I wondered if writing was worth it, if it made me feel selfish and if it made me feel antisocial.

Yesterday, I was back at it. And today, here I am.

But the question I’m still asking myself is: Is it possible to balance the writing life with social life, family life, and working life without having a mental breakdown and making everyone around me question my sanity?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nail Your Novel!

I just received Roz Morris's book Nail Your Novel in the mail today! I can't wait to read it as I work on my own novel idea this November. If you have a chance, check out Roz's blog, Dirty White Candy. I keep plugging her blog every now and then because it's so fun to read through. Dedicated to writing, every post is encouraging, motivating, and helpful. Thank you Roz! :)

In writing news, I keep switching from first person to third. I'm not sure which I like better. I guess it depends on my mood. Today I like third person better. I'm thinking about using it from now on because then I can switch to other characters' perspectives.

All you writers out there, which POV do you prefer? Which works best for you?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


This film is pure genius and a cure for the blues. :) Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Shenanigans

I had quite an entertaining Halloween, and it more than made up for never having gone “trick or treating” when I was a kid. My parents went from showing no interest, discouraging us, telling it was Satan’s holiday to now (15 years or so later) letting my younger siblings take part. Perhaps it’s because I was home schooled until third grade that they never jumped on the Halloween band wagon. Anyway, my parents still preach about“Satan’s holiday,” but they let me and my teenage sister and brother take my four year old brother trick-or-treating.

Here is how our Sunday transpired:

We went to church, and then came home to fix lunch before my Dad went off to work. While that was happening, Dad was outside chopping wood to keep us warm this winter. My brother’s high school friend stopped by to talk to Isaac who was in the house. So naturally, this friend asked my Dad if he could talk to Isaac.

My Dad, who can be quite intimidating for no reason at all, said, “What about?”

“Trick-or-treating,” says Friend.

“We don’t do Halloween,” Dad says gruffly. “That’s devil worship.”

“Okay…” Friend drives off looking confused, and as my Dad said when he came inside, “Like he was going to cry.”

We all railed on Dad for making Isaac’s friend cry and for scaring everybody when ever they came to the house.

Later that day, 5:00 p.m. :

My sister and I are creating our costumes at the last minute. Abbie is a Russian princess, Anastasia style, and I, who originally planned to be a knight, decide to dress as a pirate instead. Isaac, the original one of the group, dons a beige trench coat and sticks a box on his head with eyes and a mouth cut out—Box Dude, I guess? Ben, who was going to wear his Dragon cape decides he wants to be like his brother, who helps him cut arm holes and a rectangular hole in the front out of a paper Save-A-Lot bag. I, for some strange reason, do not act like the adult and talk him back into the dragon cape. (I was busy being a pirate, I guess…)

While out trick-or-treating, everyone asks Ben what he is supposed to be. None of us had any idea. It was a last minute thing, we say. Thus, he is dubbed, “Last Minute Thing.”

Everyone kept asking Isaac what he was supposed to be. Box Boy? The Unknown Comic? And my personal favorite—the Masked Stripper.

No one made any sort of comment about my sister’s costume or mine.

Now, for some pictures as proof: