Tuesday, March 13, 2018

desperate to stay focused

I saw a meme that said, "You are what you do. NOT what you SAY you do." UGHHHH! ANGST! FINE.

In the last three days, I have given a very fashionable millenial a successful haircut, counseled said  sophomore, not murdered my husband, actively training a rowdy yahoo of a lab/pitbull puppy (simultaneously apologizing to my best friend for telling her I was getting her a boy toy and instead bringing home a half sick spaz toddler #dawgs) I have ordered goblin Lego figures for a D&D campaign.  Laundry. duh. forever. Cleaned three toilets.  Updated my French homework on duolingo, started Spanish. (hola!) Took my dad-in-law stuffed cabbage and promised him Paprikas in two weeks. Shopped for Irish groceries and toilet paper. Cared for baby chicks. Thought about interior design for living room update. Walked dogs. Trained dogs. Loved dogs.  I HAVE BARELY WRITTEN ANYTHING. (No updates on agents or publishers.)

Here are the two things I have produced:

1.  a poem

Winter has

salient mortality
a chosen
icy acceptance
Like Bukowski
or Sartre

2. a wee bit of creative non fiction 

Dotty Goes to the Movies. By her oldest grand daughter

Lifting the heavy rack of hot Mason jars out of the boiling canning bath the young woman sighed. She had been putting up spaghetti sauce all morning. This last batch needed to cool. She pushed her hair up out of her face. She untied her garlic scented apron and hung it on the hook in the broom closet where she glanced at the Farmer’s Almanac calendar hanging on the nail. She crossed off the Friday July 28 box while she read 1944. She would be 15 in December.

“DORIS RUTH!” her mother’s strident voice called from the porch. Her mother was enormously obese. She lounged in the shade like some misguided whale. “DORIS RUTH!” she bellowed again. Dotty stepped through the door, its wooden framed screen rattled loudly as it slammed shut behind her.

“Yes, Ma?” Dotty was exhausted. She knew her mother was going to call for more lemonade. She didn’t care. Let one of the littles handle it. There were eight other siblings in this family why was SHE always in charge? She stopped on the top step and turned to face her mother, “What do you need?” A red winged blackbird trilled a melody from the huge pine tree that shaded the house. Dotty wished she could fly.  Her mother’s voice made sounds but Dotty did not comprehend her words.

She stepped down the front steps. She noticed they needed to be repainted. The skirt of her calico day dress caught the summer breeze. Her mother’s voice screeched into her consciousness “…bedsheets are still on the line. Bring them in now, girl.”

“Bring them in yourself, you old buzzard! I am going to town.” Suddenly rebellious, Dotty ran down the path. She cleared the gate in the picket fence and sped past the rural mail box. It’s stainless steel mouth gaping open with no mail in it at all.

Dotty kept running until their driveway connected to the county lane. She startled dozens of large grasshoppers which jumped in zigs and zags in front of her. She saw her father and the boys at the far end of the soybean field. Their heads all bent over the front end of the big tractor.  She purposefully did not wave or call out. She needed to get away from her family and the constant chores.

There was a new Cary Grant picture called “Arsenic and Old Lace” playing at The Odeon in town and she had forty-five cents which could get her an afternoon matinee ticket and an ice cold soda. Then she would come home and see if anybody had thought to save her a plate from dinner or if they would have all starved to death, helplessly waiting for her return. She giggled a little vindictively thinking about her four brothers and father, hungry after a long afternoon in the sun, sitting down at the table where no food magically appeared.

A sleek and shiny International pick up rumbled past her. Dust from the dirt road billowing behind it. It stopped. She kept walking as if she didn’t notice.  An elbow leaned out the driver’s window. The sun bronzed young man had a bushy beard that glowed red in the afternoon sunshine. He was a carrot top for sure! He whistled a long low wolf whistle. Doris kept walking.

“Good Afternoon Miss. Can I offer you a ride?” his smile was genuine his accent was Canadian.

Doris looked at her white canvas Keds which were only getting filthier by the dusty minute. She replied, “Why YES. I think I would accept your kindness. How do you feel about Cary Grant pictures?”

The cheerful driver reached across and opened the passenger side door. Doris clambered up into the truck.  They shook hands and she was mesmerized by his dark brown eyes. “My name is Ray. I love the movies. Can I buy you a popcorn?” Doris smiled and leaned back into the seat. The afternoon was looking up.

Monday, March 5, 2018


We were inspired by Alex to dust off the pasta machine. SALUT!

Friday, March 2, 2018