Action Figure

I come with coffee,
which is a bit of a cheat,
like doping.
But it gets me going,
to get it done–
all those things that
make my eyes glaze,
my brain become dazed,
like problems
(not exercises,
as they are so politically-correctly called)
with numbers.
Finals are almost here,
and then I can toss all my notes
into the bonfire
while drinking my java,
spiked with vodka.

25 Things of Little Importancethat Make My Day Perfect

1. Waking early, to everyone else still sleeping
2. Recalling an old memory, & being able to hold onto it
3. Remembering a new word I learned, for it is another color to add to my literary palette
4. Writing a new piece that seemed to come from nothing
5. Drinking a cuppa java while sharing my writing with new friends
6. Reading a handwritten letter from an old friend
7. Getting good news in the mail, & sharing it with whoever will listen
8. Running into someone who remembers me from years past, for it meant I’d made an impression
9. Realizing I accomplished a goal I’d never made, for it was inside me all along
10. Parting with something that meant little to me, but means a great deal to someone else
11. Discovering a Brady Bunch episode I haven’t seen
12. Listening to old Christmas music while a fire on the television crackles
13. Having all the ingredients for a new recipe, & deliciousness ensues
14. Remembering to pull my Mexican Coca-Cola from the freezer at just the right time
15. Enjoying dark chocolate with hazelnuts or marzipan
16. Driving to the beach when it’s 82 degrees with a breeze
17. Finding the perfect seashell—a tiny glimpse of the celestial kingdom
18. Burning calories while playing outside in the shade—MOMents that Heaven are made of
19. When twilight lasts as long as the day
20. Stopping to breathe in the scent of the gardenias
21. Capturing a butterfly with my camera
22. Climbing into bed & falling asleep to the sound of rain
23. When I see my husband as he sees me, & know, I chose the right one for me
24. When I make my daughter laugh & know that yes, I was meant to be her mom
25. When I see something old in a new way, & it’s like the first time I’ve seen it

Thoughts on Writing, on Books

Dante

  1. A $6 book will provide about a 3 more hours of enjoyment than a $3 cup of coffee, but they are a match made in Heaven.
  2. You can still learn from reading bad books, even how to write a bad book, who will publish it, who will read it.  It’s okay to write horse puckey, because it sells.  Horse puckey might help keep you eating so you can write that Great American Novel.
  3. The author of a memoir is the most unreliable narrator.
  4. DVDs are clutter, books are décor.
  5. Books don’t change.  Perspective does.
  6. Stories mean something.  Even Jesus spoke in parables.
  7. Great writers don’t need to steal.  They simply find inspiration in the work of others.
  8. A great plot will keep you reading to the end; great characters will keep you re-reading.
  9. You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you usually can by its synopsis.
  10. The mark of a great writer is being able to engage all of the senses.  http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/07/humans-have-a-lot-more-than-five-senses/
  11. Less is more (especially when it comes to smut and profanity).  Too much can dull the senses and be distracting.
  12. The advent of the selfie has made the whole “one picture is equal to a 1000 words” false.

November’s Daily Writing Ritual

I log onto Twitter,
writing my daily six-word story
while I munch on ham on toast.
I need coffee.
Hannah comes in,
bringing one of her balls.
It is playtime in the hall,
where the floor is hard,
where the balls roll better
and make a really cool noise.

I sit back down to write my daily poem
for the Writer’s Digest PAD competition,
trying not to come up with an idea,
but let it come to me.
When it comes,
Hannah comes in,
handing me the bubble vial,
a pink magic wand;
I am the fairy godmother who
blows out balls that float like
little Cinderella coaches.

I still need coffee.
I work on a scholarship essay,
a short story,
or some other small project,
trying to get the creative blood flowing.
Hannah comes in,
slamming her rotary toy telephone
in my lap.
I make a pretend call to Dada,
or Grandma,
performing really bad improv while
reciting the phone numbers
so that one day she’ll remember them.

I finally open up my NaNoWriMo novel,
no longer resisting my obsessive compulsive need to edit,
even though doing so
is like making sure each brick has been laid straight,
so I can keep driving on this road to the finish line
called “The End”.
Hannah comes in,
handing me a toy,
and we go play.
Maybe by relaxing my mind,
reading a bedtime story,
I will become unblocked.
I forgot about needing coffee.

At then, it is the end of the night
that the words come,
and I borrow time from sleep,
stealing from the day that needs it.

ALERT

I am alert.
French roast,
brewed to perfection—
is my ultra-sensory experience.
A splash of cream,
a dash of sugar,
frozen coffee cubes,
topped with a mound of hazelnut whipped cream . . .
like an island floating atop a mocha sea.
The ice in the cup shift like little bergs.
The first sip is always the best,
the last, the saddest—
like the beach after the rain on a gray day.

Coffee is like Candyland for grown-ups,
a Fantasia for java fanatics,
a jubilee for joe aficionados.
Caffeine and chocolate,
with a spoonful of sweetness,
be it sugar or agave—
is my drug of choice.
Composed by alchemists called baristas,
this bewitching brew heightens our senses,
contributing to that euphoric state
known as “wakey-wakey.”

A warm brownie,
dense and moist,
is the manna that completes
my morning sacrament—
good to the last drop.
My day begins.
I am alert.