Headed New Directions

April 18, 2014 said the above stuff at about 8:03 PM
For the last umpteen years (17 to be precise) my life has been dominated by the various neccessities related to raising children.

Within short order, they'll stop attending college part time and head off somewhere full time. They already spend most of their time working, on course, in school, babysitting, on projects, and at various outside classes.

In short, I now have young women, industrious and ready to be adults, in my home. Even if they don't both know it quite yet.

This means that the life I've grown incredibly accustomed to, with my children as my only constant, needs to shift. And shift soon.

I'm headed back to Costa Rica again, for a few weeks, possibly a few months. I need to think about what shape my life should become once it is no longer kid-shaped.

My friends suggest I write the great american novel, actually anyone who's read my story suggests it.

My sweetheart wants us to move to St Louis. Where he's from. I honestly can't imagine a less inviting place to live from my perspective. I have no allies there. But then again, he has not built up any allies here.

I don't really like living in Florida. But honestly, I don't want to move back to California. The stress levels of living there are what broke me down and caused my two years of poor health that I am just now recovering from.

So, once I'm back from Costa Rica, which I love desperately, I need to reconnect with this state. The state I've had an on-again off again love affair with for so many years. I intend to trek about, wander through the architectural richness of St Augustine, visit the keys, find something to love about this place.

Nearly all it has ever represented to me aside from heat and humidity is an ever present and difficult family dynamic. So perhaps it needs to start representing something else to me.

Or I need to find my niche in the state. Someplace that feels "me" ish. Because Tampa Bay most definitely doesn't, with the possible exception of Ybor City, where I sometimes feel a bit "Portland-y". I'm a west coast gal. But I can't be that anymore, if I want to live anywhere near my daughters once they are grown. They seem to love it here.

And they are definitely grown. Almost.

My writing is finally official

October 27, 2013 said the above stuff at about 11:01 PM
My writing here wasn't official. Here's my first officially published - in print - story. The rest were on websites or under another's name.

Here is the announcement!

http://inkslingersguild.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/the-authors-of-into-the-abyss-presented-by-the-ink-slingers-guild/

It was as much of a heartbreak to be published as I thought, and the editorial process on something that has my name on it and is fiction is a new process for me.

I do feel we reached a great compromise, as the story was nearly 28000 words originally, much longer than a short story. But in the end, we got it down to a short enough length to qualify for the anthology.

Buy it, and let me know what you think here!

Quick as a Wink

September 13, 2013 said the above stuff at about 4:57 PM
I have poised and industrious, dignified, competent children. I should be completely over the moon. And honestly, I am. Don't get me wrong. But a really big part of me wishes they'd go back to being 6 again so we could do the last ten years over again. (Maybe this time with money.)

They're sixteen. I know I've done my job. If I died tomorrow, they'd be just fine. And I think that's the problem, They just don't need me as much as they used to. They are doing exactly what I hoped they'd do - they're looking OUT now. Driving, dual enrollment in college and high school, tests, babysitting, developing relationships and skills they'll need as adults.

And while I'm very proud, I am also feeling the melancholy of it. I'm not getting empty arms syndrome in the usual sense, or depression. I'm not craving a new baby, nor am I in need of medication.

I just didn't have long enough. I recall like it was yesterday when these girls were little bouncy headed things that bashed into my legs when they ran. Now they are taller than me.

I need more time with my babies.


A biracial family still being controversial in 2013?!

June 30, 2013 said the above stuff at about 3:25 PM

Apparently, there has been a month of controversy, with thousands of people freaking out about a biracial family in a cheerios commercial.

Comments and even likes or dislikes had to be disabled. Because this adorable child had two colors of parent.

SERIOUSLY??

I have been raising biracial daughters for sixteen years and in all of those years, I can count on my two hands the total number of assholes people who have brought it to their attention or even cared.

I say this: Cute commercial concept. Glad it didn't MATTER what race the family was. I'm sorry there is still enough hate, bias, and prejudice in the world to generate this kind of momentum, that enough people believe that biracial families are shocking.

Adorable kiddo. Kudos to cheerios for breaking this barrier, although I'm shocked it existed still to be broken.

Psuedo-heroes

said the above stuff at about 10:49 AM
There is a famous quote from Washington that I see posted regularly.

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington 

This quote was researched by a team at Yale several years back. It is entirely apocryphal, appearing in none of Washington's written works or known speeches and first appearing in 1902. It might be a worthwhile statement, I don't care to argue it. My point is that it did not originate with George Washington.

As with so many other false but timely quotes, it ran past me again in my facebook feed today, and got me thinking about the origins of the adage it obliquely quotes. The ancient adage goes:

 'Fire is a useful servant, but a fearful master'

It has long contained a critically important maxim to pass along. These days, fire is rarely a part of a child's life.

In any case, this was consistently passed down through western Europeans since the beginning of civilization there, originating probably elsewhere and earlier. Who knows, probably a hundred generations or more. However, today, at least in the Americas, nearly no one of western European descent knows it, or thinks on its importance. Perhaps we must invent a replacement for electricity, since most houses burn down from electrical fires. Amazing how only a few generations can completely wipe away ages of learning, just by ceasing to pass along the old adages. There were dozens of offshoots of the master/servant theme of adages, such as love, curiosity, imagination, etc... but fire is where it began, as with many things.

  • A stitch in time saves nine,
  • Honey catches more flies than vinegar,
  • Your eyes are bigger than your stomach,
  • Everything in moderation,
  • A watched pot never boils,
  • Idle hands do the devil's work,
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,
  • You must find a way or make one,
  • Well begun is half done,
  • All's well that ends well,
  • There is honor even amongst thieves,
  • Beggars cannot be choosers,
  • Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes,
  • Actions speak louder than words,
  • Better a certain enemy than a doubting friend,
  • The same sun shines on us all, (and it's corollary)
  • Hard rain makes everyone equally wet,
  • Penny wise, pound foolish,
  • Look to the past, look to the present, see the future,
  • Cut off one's nose to spite one's face,
  • The remedy is worse than the disease, 
  • Act well, fear nothing,
  • Never rob Peter to pay Paul,
  • Many others lost with time...

I could dig into each of these is great detail and come up with fascinating depth. There are infinite variations, messages and sometimes polaric meaning depending on who used it. 'Stitch in time' alone is often interpreted to have three rather different meaning. Without digging deeper, (although I recommend you do, if only to comprehend the ancestral wealth of proper scolding in its concentrated form), there are useful bits of knowledge in there that we've lost touch with completely as a culture, simply by dropping out the habits of passing along adages. The concept of the passing down of a moral code (oral or otherwise) has practically disappeared in this passive/recessive age. Aside from a few holdouts, we mostly leave television in charge of informing young minds -- an entirely foolish practice.

Thus they have completely disappeared from use. The notable exception exists of using these colorful turns of phrase as idiomatic seasoning in similar communication. Something along the line of 'Season new food with old spice'. (Yes, that's where the brand name comes from.) A practice that apparently was used by the unknown originator of the above quote from pseudo-Washington.

What I understand from seeing so many false quotations from our apocryphal heroes is that we, in America, are desperately seeking truth, heroics, common sense, and idealism in our leaders and finding none. A sad thought, and I hope my musings have lead me to the wrong conclusion.