Category Archives: Writing

Creature Features & Jigsaw Puzzles

pexels-photo-269399.jpeg

I have a clear memory of watching Creature Features with my mom in the basement of our townhouse in Illinois, which she had turned into a rec room with a ping-pong table, TV, stereo, etc. It was Illinois, if you missed that in the preceding sentence, 40 miles north of Lake Michigan, where it got so cold that if you dropped a record on the floor it would shatter like a dinner plate. (This actually happened.)

I’ve always said I remember putting giant jigsaw puzzles together with my mom while we watched scary movies, and generally, but I was trying to call up a specific memory of this and it’s not working. It actually doesn’t even make sense. The only table we had in the basement large enough for a 1000-2000 piece puzzle was on the side of the room that didn’t have the TV. The stairs were in the middle. Right in front of the stairs was a little storage type room my dad used as a darkroom for photography. On the right side was a TV, sofa, coffee table, etc. On the left side was an old dining room table, another sofa, and the stereo system. We would have had to use the old dining table for the puzzles. So how would we have been watching Creature Features at the same time? Memory fail.

Even though I enjoyed these campy horror movies at the time (because mommy was there), I’ve disliked horror since. Pretty much the entire horror film genre falls into the dislike pile, but I do reserve some exceptions for books, Stephen King in particular. It’s not because the movies themselves are all terrible; it’s because I don’t enjoy having my emotions manipulated to that extent. Now you’ll say I don’t mind the same thing when it happens in the romcoms. And I’ll just shrug. Because people are inconsistent, and I’m a people too. Shockeroo!

The two Creature Features that stayed with me all these years I dub “Coconut Sea Monster” and “Alpine Beheader.” The first was about guys on a military submarine who kept getting murdered brutally cuz one of them had morphed into a monster due to radiation exposure. We didn’t see the murderer until the end and he looked like he was covered in coconut. It was really freaky! The otter one was about peeps trapped in a ski resort during a blizzard and some snow vampire kept grabbing one at a time and ripping off their head. Icky!

You know, this could very well be why I dislike both sailing and skiing. A-ha!

Still love coconut though. Nothing comes between me and a coconut donut.

As far as jigsaw puzzles, still love doing those, but don’t have room for them in my current place, can’t isolate one from the kitty anyway, and they seem sort of time-wastey when I have so many otter projects I want to finish as far as writing and needlework and staring at the walls. Someday though… when I retire maybe, bring on the jigsaw puzzles again! Hey, I wonder if they have Creature Feature puzzles? That could be a thing.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Creature

Advertisements

Inklings

2 birds

I used to write in pen
Wherever I went,
Crossed out words,
Scribbled in margins,
Sloppy as a doctor.
I could read them again,
Bring them back to life,
If I changed my mind
And uncrumpled a page,
Balled up at the bottom
Of my purse in a rage.
Inklings,
Baby thoughts,
Smoothed and soothed,
Nurtured, revived,
Combined and spliced…
FRANKENPOMES!
Sometimes I
Stitched something up
That was almost all right.
How’d that happen?
They go where they go,
These inklings,
Like birds risen from a fire,
Creating their own horizon.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Inkling

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dukes…

20150719_143550

Jennifer Weiner has an interesting op-ed in the NYT celebrating sex ed via the romance novel. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read any of Ms. Weiner’s novels and I want to change that soon. I’ve put her memoir Hungry Heart on my wish list and will be grabbing some of her older novels as well. But in the meantime I enjoyed her article in the NYT, even though I didn’t agree with all of it.

We’re on the same page with the idea that “what goes where” sex ed is necessary but not sufficient for young peeps and of course they will be curious for more information. They will search for it relentlessly. I definitely agree with Ms. Weiner that romance novels give a woman’s sexual satisfaction equal priority to a man’s. No fantasy duke or pirate or spy or CEO ever forgets to please his heroine in the bedroom (or wherever), multiple times. Ms. Weiner makes a good point that, unlike pr0n, romance novels describe complete scenes, including birth control (in contemporaries), various other awkward moments, and follow-up conversations.

Talking is important!

But romance novels, like so many forms of entertainment, focus mostly on fabulous looking characters with beautiful faces and perfect bodies. These are the kinds of people deserving of soul mates, true love, fantastic sex, and happily ever afters… this is the message insidiously drilled into our minds as soon as we’re able to read a book or watch a movie. Ms. Weiner quotes Jennifer Crusie in her article, and Ms. Crusie has given us plus-size heroines in several of her novels, but still they are gorgeous overweight women with great legs, lips, and hair, not the ordinary fat chicks you find shlumping around the supermarket. This is not to criticize ~ I lurve Ms. Crusie’s novels and they’re among my favorite romances. I am… JUST SAYING.

[I know some of you go into a peevey fit when peeps just say. Sorry about that.]

Point is, there’s a downside to young people (aka women let’s be honest cuz young men aren’t going to be reading Crusie et al) consuming the emotional content of their sex ed via romance novels. I should know. I was one.

On the bright side, people are still reading books.

Strategy

pexels-photo-220211.jpeg

If I don’t plan a careful time management strategy, I find myself frittering away my nights and weekends on unproductive nonsense. It’s already the end of January and I have made scant progress on the poetry book I want to self-publish ASAP so that I can move on (back) to finish up my fiction in progress. I have not abandoned my writing! It’s all moldering away in perfectly organized computer folders. However, I am pleased to report that my current needlework project is coming along, but there’s still a long way to go on that as well. Onward to victory!

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Strategy

Funnel

Butterfly

 

I’m finding it very difficult to funnel my limited energy in my free time. There’s so much I want to do, but I’ve been (re)binge-watching Game of Thrones instead of accomplishing anything, and I probably should feel bad about that, though honestly I really don’t care. Since January 1st I have not exercised or begun a new needlework project or written a poem or comedy routine or even done boring paperwork I should do. We are 10 days in and those hours are gone now, that time lost forever. Creativity sparkles all around me like butterflies, each one so interesting…

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Funnel

Regarding Social Media

Typewriter

I like Twitter. There I said it, not that I’m getting paid (or am opposed to getting paid, hey). Since I’ve always had my finger on the pulse, more or less, I had a Twitter account straightaway, along with my Usenutters, where we tweeped what we ate for lunch and such. That was when you got 140 chars, no pics, no fancies. Boring! We quickly moved on to blogging and I eventually closed that account.

Years passed and Twitter seemed to turn into a wasteland of pr0n and politics, so I had no interest in it. But then one of my friends said there were poetry corners with lots of cool poets hanging out and doing flash stuffs, so I poked my head in again. And it was true ~ not just poetry, but prompts and wordgames and art and kitties and otters and all sorts of neato things. I made a new account.

Then I learned you were supposed to promote your writing via Twitter, so I created additional accounts for my ‘nyms, each dedicated to ginning up interest in my books, and x-tweeted with the other ‘nyms… ugh, exhausting. Not to mention, it didn’t help anything. My tweets immediately sank into the tweepy abyss, never to be seen again. Didn’t help if I “hearted” and retweeted other writers’ promos ~ everyone does that. Writing is hugely incestuous and it’s hard to break out of that cycle. Writers who achieve any meaningful success immediately lose their motivation to help lesser writers, and why not? They need to focus on writing their next successful book or else they’ll die. And they’ll probably die anyway. That’s just how it is. Note how successful people have zillions of followers but only follow a few, and this is true across all social media.

Anyway, this isn’t a whine about how I’m not going to write any more so there wah wah. I’ll always write because I’m a writer. But I’ll still bitch about various things, since I’m a bitch. Hehe. I came here to say that I like Twitter and I love blogging, which I plan to do more of, in lieu of so much st00pid, pointless Facebooking. Gah. What a waste of time and energy. Reading Twitter poetry is inspiring; writing on FB gets me warmed up to write in general. FB should be an afterthought, not something I reflexively look at before anything else.

I see so many friends complain about FB, on FB itself, which couldn’t care less, and I have to say… blogs are free. Get over here on WordPress (who isn’t paying me, but again I’m not opposed), get a blog, and choose your own design. It’s so nice to write a whole essay, post pics, control comments, know who visits, easily search for past stuff, etc. I highly recommend it. And if you don’t feel like writing? You can post a silly meme or Hallmark platitude on your blog same as anywhere else.

Think about it. Why gripe about FB and do nothing when there’s a solution right here?

Oh, Instagram. It’s become irritating as well, now that they’ve screwed it up and made it non-chronological so the paid accounts get priority. I haven’t been checking in as much and may unfollow everyone but my actual friends. That’s probably a good idea. I’ve also simply lost interest in photos somewhat. There are so many and okay gorgeous flowers adorable kitties oh looook OTTER and awww a baby and a puppy ooh hot fireman and some cupcakes yummm now more kitties okay… can I be done NO THERE ARE 72 million moar you have not seen omg.

Just get a blog, people, FFS. It’s not that hard.

Promptsoup

Holiday

It’s been an age since I’ve blarghed, though I’ve had plenty of ideas… they tend to loop around in my mind without ever making it to the page, eventually sinking down into the sludge of abandoned dreams. Who’s to say what causes one notion to blossom into a concept that demands my full attention? It’s a mystery!

I feel this writing lull is temporary and soon you, my dear and faithful readers, will be able to gorge on a sumptuous buffet of glorious essays and blissful pomes rather than these meager snippets, bites, and crumbs I’ve been parceling out like a blarghy Scrooge. You’ve been so saintly to continue to hang in there with me and I appreciate you all. ❤

Please let me know in comments what you’re up to during these jolly holidays. Traveling, baking, immersing yourself in a lit’ry or other masterpiece? Just working and/or hanging with your peeps? I can relate to that.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Relate

Speaking of Unfinished Projects…

It’s not only my 2017 NaNoWriMo (and other) writing projects that have been set aside, hopefully temporarily, but also some craft projects too. A while back, actually years ago now, I began making a super special secret item for my Cal daughter, in blue and gold. Took a class and everything. And it’s sitting right here in the bag, unfinished. Technically, it is officially unstarted now, since I ripped out the entire thing due to its being imperfect. I don’t remember how to do it from way back when… sort of a beginner crochet stitch, I guess. Oh look, there are instructions, yippee! Only six steps in total, so how hard can it be? LOL

Next is a scarf for myself I began knitting with circular needles at my other daughter’s two Thanksgivings ago ~ really lovely colors in a variegated yarn. I actually got pretty far on this, maybe over halfway done. Need to figure out how to blend in the next skein of yarn because I used up the first skein, and then end the scarf after that. It’s soooo soft and cozy. Blues and browns, like the sand and sea. I can’t wait to wear it!

I got a craving this weekend to do needlepoint again and began searching Amazon and eBay for kits I might like to make. Found one ~ a trio of beautiful red poppies for a pillow or picture. Yes, I bought that even though I still need to finish the two otter yarny things and all the writing ever. I consider this rather restrained because I almost bought a gorgeous kit of purple pansies too and the only reason I didn’t is because it wasn’t as versatile for picture or pillow. It would have to be a picture when finished and I’m not sure I want a purple picture. I have no problem with a purple pillow.

But what I really want to do is design my own cross stitch pattern. I did a simple one ages ago, and the one I have in mind will be a little more complicated. It’s very mathy and time-consuming, but when has that ever stopped me? Right. I started one yesterday with an online template, but when you use the online ones they either let you do a photo or text and naturally I want a combination of both.

Here’s a weird thing: when I was poking around eBay I found the very first needlework kit project I ever did! No lie, when I was 14 years old, I did this crewel design, brought it with me to babysitting jobs and did it at home while watching TV also. I can’t believe they made so many kits that some are still around in their original packaging 40+ years later. I grabbed a Google image to put here because I think the eBay link might disappear.

Crewel bouquet

Look how beautiful this is! My God, I am tempted to buy it again and remake it, for old times’ sake. You really can go home again. I wonder what happened to mine? It wasn’t this well done, of course. My first project. I didn’t even use stretcher bars. What a n00b.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Knit

Dancing

Dancing

No point in dancing around the truth: I am not going to win NaNoWriMo this year. Today I am about 5,000 words short, which means that even if I write the approximate 1,700 words per day necessary to stay even for the next three days, I’d have to somehow flop 5K words on top of that. Not going to happen, despite it being a long weekend (for me). I have things to do, and I’m in pain besides. I’m still going to write this story though. I like it, and it appears to have something previous ones lacked: a plot.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Dancing

Gratitude

Gratitude

I don’t usually express gratitude publicly. I’m grateful for sumatriptan, which usually knocks out a migraine, but I can’t thank a pill—I should thank a scientist. I’d have to research that, find out who first discovered Imitrex back when. A team of scientists? Who knows. I’m glad it’s generic now, wish I could get more than nine pills per month though, since I get more than nine migraines per month. I could, if I went outside insurance, but who can afford that? Anyway, I am grateful for sumatriptan. My NaNoWriMo wordcount is derailed however due to last night’s pain.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Gratitude