A month away

June 3, 2014 said the above stuff at about 7:48 PM
I have spent the last month in Costa Rica. A week of that was awash in absolute pandemonium, with 17 children from my daughters school present. It was exhausting, and very compressed.

The rest of the time has been spent in a peaceful quiet solitude, mostly walking on beaches. I needed it. Life has given me a tumultuous couple of years... so much so that I barely blogged.

You may or may not have noticed, but I did. The art slowly leeching out of my life. Much less blogging. Much less singing. Not to mention piano, painting, drawing, or dancing…

Writing I still do. I can't help it. The hours of sneaking off into my office to write, with a nagging memory of a frown of disapproval for not having been working when promised. But such is my life. To fit the time into do anything artistic, something else must be allowed to lapse. Workety work work work.

I didn't do much of any kind of expression. The humming and singing died out... Physical illness played a part. But I'm recovering. Difficulties with relationships played a part. Being stressed beyond my limits played a part. 

But a month away spent mostly in quiet reflection has done a world of good for my sense of peace. Peace being essential to the creation of art. To the creation of anything.

I don't know why this noisy tropical country provides more stillness than my home life. But it does. There's something to not being a part of what is around you that allows you a sense of tranquility.

I'm hoping that I can retain this sense of calm once I have returned to the busy repetitious workaday life of my home. And the people there, who have waited patiently for my return, not understanding probably as well as I would like the degree to which I desperately needed some space.

As I near 40, I am just beginning to learn about myself how very much I prefer solitude to constant companionship. Or at least long stretches of solitude between times spent crunched elbow to elbow with others.

I'm not terribly comfortable with this fact, this lesson I have learned about myself. I would prefer to be a very sociable creature. The life of the party, the woman everyone knows brings laughter where she goes. And to a degree, I'm a social person. I can be depended on to help any of my friends when they need it. I don't shun the company of those I love. But, I find refuge in the silent spaces, the reflection time.

I know myself. I understand myself. And that's good enough for me when I am alone. I don't get lonely until a breadth of time that stretches the patience of those who are lonely without me. 

I've been here long enough, in this paradise of monocongos and birds in tall trees, or beaches and morning laughter from jokes in a foreign tongue, in this place of displaced people whose emptiness jars, in this land of wandering addicts, to now miss my children and my man, to miss the companionship and laughter of mealtime shared. To miss the sanity of understanding every word spoken around you.

I once again need a body beside me in the bed, and people to talk to. I think this good thing, to be coming home.

But, I hope I can retain the calm I've found, long enough to pick up the dropped strands of my various arts, and begin to weave them back into my life. They are sorely missed.

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.