Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WWW.Wednesday: All About Books!

Books are my favorite things in the world. I was recently accused (identity to remain nameless) of reading too much. I have no problem admitting it. And I’ve been reading instead of writing so that’s my excuse for an almost complete disregard for this blog. It’s been fantastic and if I hadn’t already committed to NaBlogPoMo over at Yeah Write, I would happily continue reading. My “tbr” list is long.

So for WWW. Wednesday at Should Be Reading (thank you for bringing everyone together) we need to answer these three questions to play along.

-       What are you currently reading?
-       What did you recently finish reading?
-       What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading:

To say that I’m obsessed with this book is an understatement. I think about it all the time. I read it while I cook, wait in the car, etc… I even woke during last night (4:00am) seemingly unable to sleep and read an hour. I can’t seem to think about anything else. Only 300 pages left (At a point where wheels are falling off and I love when that happens) of nearly 800. I will be depressed when I finish.

And currently listening to:

I never think of myself as a YA fan but have read a few lately. This one (about 1/3 in) is, for me, outstanding so far. Ahhhh, young and new love. There’s nothing like it in the world.

I recently finished:

I really, really liked this light book. It was quirky. I love quirky. It kept me wanting to read page after page right to the end. Very sweet.

I’m not entirely sure what I will read next but it will be between two I have sitting next to my bed:


Happy Hump Day!!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Secrets of The Arabian Nights

When my husband came into the study yesterday and sat down (which he hardly ever does and never for very long), I immediately prepared myself to talk about the VISA bill as I was just then closing the purchase confirmation screen for some really cool Frye boots (“Just getting a jump start on Christmas shopping, Honey.”). He jumped up when something caught his eye.

As he walked past me to the far corner of the room, his face changed immediately revealing an almost childlike softness. One I hadn’t seen in a while; a peacefulness I couldn’t help but watch.

“I’m trying to recall the last time I’ve seen this.” Smiling, he turned to show me The Arabian Nights. “I don’t even remember how old I was when he gave me it. ”

 “I didn’t know it was in here either,” I said. It’s been in every room in the house at some point.

The cracked, blue spine barely held the cover on or the yellowed pages in. Carefully opening it to the flyleaf, his fingers lightly touched the faded words written in pencil.

"...Christmas 1914..."

 He turned a few pages and I knew exactly why he started to laugh.

 “What’s in there now?” I asked.

“A rock hard pack of gum and a two dollar bill.”

“I wonder whose?”

Shortly after his grandfather gave it to him, my husband created a secret vault (thinking no one would suspect) by carving out its center. Calling it his “safe”, he stored all his valuable belongings in it.  Money, candy, collectibles or anything else he wanted to hide from his older brother who had two nasty habits. Ransacking and Tormenting.

 No one ever discovered his hiding spot, he thought. Accept his mother, although he didn't know it at the time. And she kept his secret.

I remember the moment our kids discovered The Arabian Nights on a bookshelf and came running into the kitchen.

“Look, look! There’s a hole in this book!”

“That’s Daddy’s book. Go ask him about it.”

I watched as two sets of wide-eyed baby blues lit up in amazement, at possibilities and with pride at their Daddy’s cleverness. I could almost see their little wheels spinning with delight.

“How did you do it?”

“What did you hide in there?”

“Was Nano mad you at you for ruining the book?”

But the most important question of all?

“Did Uncle George ever find it?”

"Nope. He never did."

From the moment my husband lifted his old, dusty book from an even dustier shelf in the far corner of a room, generations worth of memories flashed past. There were years spent reading it’s pages, of course, but many, many more hiding things inside its covers. It shows it's age.

So he placed it right back where he found it because someone might return to collect its contents. Or the next generation will find it.

It’s always held someone’s treasures. 

Head over to Yeah Write. Read. Enjoy. Vote. Because it's simply awesome!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trifecta: Phantom

The last quarter moon illuminated our lightless dorm room just enough to distinguish the outline of the other on adjacent beds. We were both half-drunk and sitting “Indian” style with a box of Pizza World lying open on the floor between us. Billy Squier spinning on the turntable.

She exhaled slowly, almost sultry. I watched as smoke wafted illicitly from her lips making a quick and thankful exit out the cracked window. Her dark brown eyes were invisible in the shadows.

“Don’t worry. We aren’t going to get in trouble.” I recognized a patronizing eye roll in her tone of voice.

She always thought she needed to say it, to assure me, right before we did something bad. It wasn’t necessary as I was no stranger to misbehavior, hers or my own.

“You know they like me better, don’t you?”

She was talking about our friends on 4th floor Hewitt and she was intentionally being hurtful. I knew it wasn’t true, so did she, but she'd learned a long time ago how to get under my skin and when to twist a knife. She also knew how to seduce me back. If I wanted to be.

I silently slid under the bedspread that matched hers. I didn’t say another word because I had been her best friend since freshman year in high school, and I didn’t want to tell her what I was thinking. The words were teetering on the exactly edge of my tongue. Waiting.

“You are a self-centered slut and everyone thinks so, too.”

But I didn’t say those words.

My eyes were still open in the almost blackness. Billy still sang. And she still smoked, lighting the next cigarette from the burning filter of the previous one. She casually popped her jaw in such a way that the smoke lifted off her lips in practiced, white rings. Eventually dissipating. Floating away like our phantom friendship.

Using the third definition of the word:

PHANTOM (noun)
3   :  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trifextra: Fearing A Life Of...

“Banality, monotony, and repetitions of repetition. Flat feelings, dull aches, and indifference. Lost time, chances and passions. Broken promises, confidences and hearts. Lifelessness, emptiness, jadedness.”

“Oh, is that all?”

“Well, no. Then there’s…”


Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, wrote, “It's like the smarter you are, the more things can scare you.”  Trifecta  would like a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character).  We already know you're intelligent, so, according to Paterson, you should have no shortage of potential subject matter. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yeah Write: Phone Notes and Ambiguity

Approximately one hundred items reside on the notepad of my phone. There are phone numbers (often without names), blog ideas, websites, long strings of digits (for who knows which account), songs, recipes, sheer babble, and books (and more books) etc., etc. I have absolutely no clue why some exist, or where they came from or even if I wrote them. I don’t recall.

What I have an abundance of, by far, are quotes.

Some for a laugh and, oh so, true like “As I have grown older, I’ve learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.” Unknown (aka the "fuck it" switch)

Or a gut bust (courtesy of Change The Topic on Facebook as one example).

Some are so touching they make my eyes well like “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.” Plato

Some are tortuous reminders of how I should behave (even though I already know, or should). No example will be provided here.

Inspirational quotes are burgeoning. Here are two from famous Leos. “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.“ L. Tolstoy or “Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.” L. Buscaglia

And yet, there is one that keeps nudging for attention; currently occupying an immense amount of real estate in my brain. This is “the one”.

“The key question to keep asking is, 'Are you spending your time on the right things?' Because time is all you have.” Randy Pausch

Have you read it before?

It’s a nagging, if rhetorical, question I ask myself more times a day than you can imagine or I care to admit. So I picked at it. I dug. And it didn’t take long at all when I finally decided to be honest with myself. Of course I didn't like the answer.

It's a resounding “no”. I am not spending my time on the right things. Not by a stretch, not even most of the time. Seems hardly any of the time anymore if I also take into consideration the thinking space devoted to these mental, emotional and clock sucking behaviors (again if I’m being honest). They’ve become habit.

People and issues that shouldn’t matter so much, but do, are distractions. I feel out of touch from my day-to-day life sometimes. Other times, I feel a total disconnect. Like I’m floating along the surface, not at all in a “feet firmly planted” way. And I feel a sense I’m wasting it, time, on those people and issues and it depresses me.

I know how to stop them, those behaviors and distractions that are eating up so much of it. Time. It always comes back to prioritization of time and energies (as a friend often puts it). Balancing  true needs versus reasonable and appropriate wants; pitting "can have" against "shouldn’t have". A tricky distinction sometimes.

Casting aside one of those "wants" is going to hurt. Badly. Tears dropped into my lap as I wrote those last thirteen words. But it’s what I need to do. I know what I need to do.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trifecta: Damn That Moment!

Piazza S. Eustachio
Rome, Italy

I watched as the snowy-haired, wrinkly-skinned accordion player fluidly pumped the bellows of his tattered instrument bringing two children upright in pure delight.

The baby (two maybe three), entranced by twinkling eyes and rhythmic motion of his body, began twirling.

With sheer abandon. Arms overhead.Without concern for anything but her glee.

The older one (six or seven), twirled once then glanced around. Desire in her eyes yet paralyzed with self-consciousness. Slipping behind her mother.

When is that moment? The moment we realize then stop.

Start watching. Stop twirling. Start caring.

Somewhere between two and seven.

Damn that moment.


This week Trifecta is giving us a page from the Oxford English Dictionary. The ninety-ninth page, to be exact.  Click here. From this page, we can choose any word, any definition, to use in our post.  (The word I chose is in bold.)  And instead of the typical 33-333 word limit, they are asking for 99 words exactly. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Trifextra: Sympathy For The Devil

“Just tell me this. Why am I always at the center of your bickering? Why do you weigh so much? And why me?”

“BECAUSE!” they shout simultaneously.

“Oh, right. I forgot for a second.” 

33 words inspired by the classic Stones' song Sympathy For The Devil.