Monday, September 28, 2009

Journal: out of place

This weekend was beautiful. Not a raincloud shadowed the sky. On Saturday morning, I entered a convenience store to see two children scampering about in galoshes. The little boy wore a white tank top and cut off jean shorts. His little sister wore a yellow t-shirt and panties.

I'm always annoyed when I see people take children out in public half-dressed. For one thing, it's indecent and exploits innocence. For another, I imagine that these children grow up to be the adults whose body parts we see more of than we really desire.

Did I mention they wore galoshes?

At the end of the evening, I saw an entirely different family. The kids wore galoshes.

A magazine article recently suggested adding a "fun" twist to an ensemble by wearing rain boots when it wasn't raining. These kiddos were too young for fashion to be of much interest to them. Instead, I imagined the parents struggling with them to put on normal shoes and the children insisting on the galoshes.

Fun must be the explanation.

Journal: Write about a character whose attire seems out of place but actually has a purpose. Show that purpose in the scene.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mama Mia!

Why did I wait so long to see this show?

It had the longest standing ovation of any show--on or off Broadway--I've ever attended. Sure, they kind of did an entire concert thing that kept us on our feet, but people could have sat down.

They didn't.

They stood. They clapped. They swayed. They danced.

If you know me, you know I love musicals. REALLY love musicals. One of my fantasy weekends is to go to NYC and spend a weekend doing nothing but breakfast, lunch, matinee, dinner, evening performance, late dinner. Then repeat.

The touring show of Mama Mia! could not possibly have been better on Broadway. I was really impressed. Not a single dud in the cast. And I was shocked to note one of the actors was Mr. Electricity from the propane commercials.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Journal: You're-in trouble

Max whipped off his diaper and peed on the floor. He was all giggles on his victory lap around the kitchen until he slipped in the puddle and fell.

Journal: Write about someone who makes a mess of things.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good things

1. My friend Jesse suffers from trigeminal neuralgia. This disease is so painful it's nicknamed the suicide disease because so many sufferers take that road as an escape. He and his sweet wife Alecia learned this week he is a good candidate for microvascular decompression surgery. They'll be in Cincinnati on Tuesday for the procedure. Hope is a wonderful thing.

2. My friends Stephanie and Josh sent an exciting piece of mail this afternoon. They submitted their film to the Sundance Film Festival. Creation is a wonderful thing.

3. My writing group, The Inklings, finally scheduled a time where we can get together in Edmond and critique. On the morning of the meeting, I'm hopefully having a hair appointment with "my Amy,'' whom I miss desperately. Friendship is a wonderful thing.

4. I've had the good fortune of hearing from several former students this week. They seem to be doing well, their futures are bright, and I'm so proud of them. Promise is a wonderful thing.

5. I feel sick, sick, sick--but I'm going to bed early. Rest is a wonderful thing.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Needing Direction

On Saturday I climbed into my Xterra to drive a couple of hours in Seattle-esque weather to the cozy town of Chandler, Ok. Even though I'd been awake since 4:58, I was in a good mood because I was heading to Oklahoma's SCBWI fall conference. This organization always provided valuable information and great speakers. Once my bag and drink and phone were all in their travel-ready positions, I realized my GPS was missing.

No problem, I thought. I had printed directions off the computer the night before just in case weather caused satellite interference. I was prepared.

So, I went on my way. An hour into the journey I realized that I could have been in the same place in half an hour if I'd taken a left, instead of a right, when I turned out of my driveway.

No problem, I thought. In fact, I was a tad smug that my geographically challened self had discovered this fact without the aid of maps or computers.

Twenty minutes later, I panicked. My missing GPS had not dinged and announced, "Recalculating" as it often did when I took a wrong turn. Instead, my inner GPS (which should rarely be trusted) announced, "Are you sure you're going the right way?" In The Middle of Nowhere did not seem like a good place for a turnpike exit, so I whipped out my iPhone and plugged in directions. (Yes, I pulled over before doing so.) My heart beat in a way that had nothing to do with morning caffeine. The GPS on the phone told me I was on an entirely different road than any near the directions I was attempting to follow.

After thirty five minutes, a frustrating conversation with a guy at a gas station, and a quick chat with a police officer, I learned if I'd driven a few seconds longer and actually gone over the hill I would have seen the exit. I was on the right track all along.

After another quick stop to ask directions, I arrived and enjoyed some good sessions.

During the conference, self-doubt crept in regarding my writing and my current project. However, as I've written this I've realized the lesson in metaphor the driving experience was.

If you've created a good map, don't listen to self-doubt or secondary directions. Trust yourself.

Excuse me. I need to get my outline and work on my novel.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Journal: unexpected

I learned what it's like to work with farmers today. My dad went out to take a photo of a barn and get a contract signed. While he was talking to the farm owner, the contract disappeared.

A billy goat ate it.

Right out of his hand.

No kidding.

Journal: Write about something unexpected.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Journal: irresponsible

You can learn a lot about human nature by selling insurance. The same goes for teaching. The law says everyone goes to school and everyone buys insurance.

Or at least is supposed to.

I am appalled at the number of people who drive around every day and do not have car insurance. One of the ladies in our office was in a car accident with one of these people. The other guy plowed into her, totaled her car, and injured her. And he didn't have the common decency to have insurance! Luckily, she had Medpay and Uninsured Motorist, so her insurance paid for this other guy's mistake. Everyone involved was lucky that the accident wasn't worse. What would have happened then?

Statistically, this weekend is a dangerous one to be on the road. However, in my experience, the odds are in your favor that if you have an accident, the other guy has insurance. Why? Because drivers fear being stopped at a traffic check and not having a security verification form, so they buy insurance only before busy holiday weekends.

Looking around it's easy to witness people who have little regard for themselves. It's just too bad that they have such little regard for others, too.

Journal: write about a character who is irresponsible and doesn't care about others

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gossip Girl

I'm hooked.

I know the show has been around a while, but unless I discover some wildly popular trend before it's wildly popular, I'm slow to jump on the bandwagon.

However, I've followed the fashion on the show since its inception. Seriously good stuff, right? So, I finally decided to watch an episode, and the rest is dvr history.

I just watched the prom episode and teared up. It's so romantic when someone loves from afar and loves so much that he's willing to make a girl happy even if her happiness isn't with him. *sniff*

Sure, the teens on that show are nothing like the ones who attended my high school--or I taught for that matter. But isn't that part of the fun? We all want to be more mature, more glamorous, more worldly than we really are. The fallout from bad decisions and a fast-paced lifestyle is much easier to handle when we watch it on tv.

Hmmm. I suppose maybe I should try the books. I know that some school libraries banned the series. It's always been my opinion that if a book is banned it's probably worth reading simply to see what offended people.