19 November 2014

NaNo Continues...

I was making dinner and this mini-scene popped into my head. It has nothing to do with the novel I'm working on for NaNoWriMo, just a mildly entertaining slice-of-life thing.
Like a hopeful future. The person I hope I remember to be.


I cringe inside, hearing my daughter screech for me from the other side of the house. My guests, my best friends from college, try to hide their own discomfort.

To lift the mood I say smoothly, “Ah, the sweet, dulcet tones of my child's voice calling my name. Sweetest music to my ears,” the mood relaxes and I call back, “I'm sorry, are you addressing room service or your mother? You know, the woman who GAVE YOU LIFE?”

Silence from the other end of the house. I'm about to explain that I've talked to my daughter about this when she appears, humble and small, but clearly with a burning question.


“Ah yes!” I feign delighted surprise. “Child whom I love more than life itself, come in!”

She comes in, Ellie Jean, my precocious 11 year old. “Mom, can I go play at Lily's house? Her mom said I could.”

“Are you chores done?”


“You know the rules. You can play at your friend's when your chores are done. Are they done?”


“Then you can mostly go to her house.”

“...what does that mean?”

“It means you can walk ¾ of the way there, then turn around and come back home to finish your chores.” I smile at my friends, both single and childless. I wonder if they envy this little exchange, or if they will remember this scene when they go to their empty apartments and be grateful they only have to take care of themselves.

“Ugh, mom. You could just say 'no.'”

“And you could just do your chores.” I smile playfully at her, “But isn't it more fun this way?”

“Whatever.” She turns on her heel and leaves, presumably to address the undone chores.

“And Ellie?”

She stops, rolls her head to one side and sloooowly half-turns back to me, I can see her eyes are half-lidded. “Whaaaat?”

“I love you.”

Her pose doesn't change but she smiles. “You, too Mom.”

04 November 2014

a short Story for Your pleasure And entertainment

NaNoWriMo continues!

Day 4 and I have 8,115 words so far. I'm doing SO much better than last year and it is invigorating!

It's late, I'm tired, so here's a quick short story I wrote while warming up today. Let me know what you think!

Maybe they won't see me.


Dang it.

“Oh my gosh, is that you Nora?”

“Yeah, woah. Didn't expect to see you two here.”

“We were just out for a stroll,” Callie begins.

“We just had lunch at that new sandwich place, have you tried it yet?” Cameron interjects.

“It's really good. So, what have you been up to?” Callie again.

“Oh. You know. Just..life. Living the dream.”

“Are you still in school?”

Cameron is the one who asks the question so I look at him when I try to answer.

“Actually I grad-” Heat. His skin on my skin, his breath mingling with mine, his eyes watching me, reading me, loving me...
“Woah, are you okay?” He reaches out to steady me and I jerk back. If just a look could unlock that kind of memory, I'd hate to think what physical touch would do.

“I'm fine, sorry. I just-”

“You looked like you were about to pass out. Do you need to sit down?” Callie is like that. Has always been so sweet, so thoughtful to the needs of others. It's why they make such a good pair.

“I've been fighting a pretty bad migraine all day, but it's much better now, I promise.” No more looking at Cameron. “Sorry. I was going to say that I graduated last year. I teach drawing classes at the college now. And my freelance stuff on the side, of course.”

“That sounds wonderful! How do you like it?”

“I love it. I really do.” Change the topic from me. Quick. “And what about you two?? What's it been now...three years of married bliss?”

“Four, actually.” They share an affectionate glance and he squeezes her shoulder gently.

Still dripping with the newly-wed glow. Sickeningly adorable. We were the same way.

No, no, focus. Find something solid to anchor to. Two years ago. Senior project, painting like mad, day and night, to get ready for the gallery show, moving into my own apartment- Feeling the first kicks, first hiccups, and the long delivery, and finally holding my child. Our child. Our son.
“Nora, you should sit down.”

Oh Callie. You have no idea. And never will. I risk a side-glance at Cameron thinking that he will never know, either. Never know the son we had.

“I'm sorry, I just...” I just need to get out of here, is what. “My car is parked just up the street, I should go. Go home, lie down. I'm sure I'll be fine.”

“Are you sure you're okay to drive?”

I'm already walking away. Briskly, hopefully not obviously so. “I'll be fine. Sorry. Good to see you!”

“Nora, are you-”

I might be sprinting. His first birthday. Cupcakes. Fingers and mouth stained with blue frosting. NO. Stop. It didn't happen that way. That would have been last year, and last year I graduated. With honors. Started working part-time for the college. No husband. Not even a boyfriend. Certainly no children.

The memories fade the further away I get from Cameron and his darling wife of four years.

They seem really good for each other. I knew they would be. I knew I would find a place, a time, where they would be together.

I need to consider moving away from this place so I don't run into Cameron anymore. Or anyone significant from that other life, for that matter.

Maybe I'll travel. I've always wanted to see Italy. And now it's just me to worry about.

I should go.

I wonder, for just a moment, if she regrets our trade. And for the millionth time I hope that she doesn't. Never comes back in her crazy machine, demanding to restore us to our proper timelines.  

This is my life now.

No looking back.

Goodnight world. I go now to my well-earned slumber.

02 November 2014

it's NaNo time Again!

I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year, kiddies, who's with me?

Who's with me!?! CHARGE!!!
Woah. Maybe settle down there a little bit. Take a breather.

If you want to join me in the thrilling adventure that is NaNo, please sign up with nanowrimo.org and then check out my profile here: Miss Hobbit on NaNoWriMo.org

Time to go meet my word quota for the day. Let me leave you with my favorite words from yesterday's quota:

"I feel sick.

And tired.

On my back on my bed I feel the turning of the world. A steady tipping that is subtle at first, but after focused attention becomes rapid. The speed of our planet makes me dizzy sometimes.

It's terrifying.

The terror is a comfort.

The rhythm of the earths' movement and the drumming silence on my ears is in perfect harmony with my worried heartbeat. I feel troubled blood pulse through my veins. I try to feel every bone, every organ, every cell. What is wrong? Tell me...what is wrong?


I can no longer see the branches out the window for the darkness that has fallen. 6:00 P.M. then. Which means it's still the same day it was when I laid down. Just under 6 hours left in this day. Then we'll be on the next one, to whittle down those hours, too.

The monotony is suffocating and I try to feel the earths' spin and pull once more. But it's gone.

I feel sick.

And tired.

Guess it's time to get up."

13 August 2014

too Personal to post...but I Did anyway

I'm not sleeping because I'm trying to remember the last time I had fun.

Last week I visited family - we played board games, teased each other, saw Guardians of the Galaxy, talked a lot and laughed a lot more.

That was fun.

But I don't think that counts.

That was outside of my normal life - a special exception to my usual routine. When was the last time I had fun in my routine?

I fear I may have forgotten how to have fun.

I fear I may have never known at all.

There was a significant reduction of fun in my life 2 years and 9 months ago. But before that....
I had three years of being relaxed and happy, but how much fun was there? And even before that...
Single, moving around the state, going to college...always so serious, long to-do lists, plans and appointments. Was I having fun? Why can't I remember?

The daily grind is always a pain, but I really think I could get a small measure of respite if I could alleviate this boredom.

All day long - the chores, the children's shows, the nursery rhymes and baby games, naptime, mealtime, bathtime - it's monotonous. lonely. and boring.

Maybe my circumstances are not to blame at all. Maybe it's me. Maybe it's always been me. I'm the source of the boredom, the lethargy, the mediocrity. I'm the problem.

I would gladly revert back to my old fun-loving self, but I don't know if she ever existed at all... I can't remember her.

Now I'm faced with two choices: accept that I'm broken, having never known how to have fun OR accept that I should not ponder these things after midnight as that hour tends to be riddled with self-doubt and discontent.

I know what you're thinking, and you're probably right.

It's both.

27 July 2014

the Effects of watching TV with A Two Year old

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is one of Ellie's favorite shows right now.

Have you seen it?

'Cuz I sure have.

Yesterday we watched the episode where the children learn when it's appropriate to be silly and when they need to be calm.
All the children were sitting on the floor for story time as the Owl read to them.
Except Prince Wednesday. He was hopping around the floor saying “Ribbit! I'm a frog! Ribbit!"
It distracted from the story, but Owl didn't seem to notice. He just kept reading.

Daniel noticed.

At first he said softly, “Prince Wednesday, I can't hear the story.”
Slightly louder, but still kindly, “Prince Wednesday, I really want to hear this story.”
Now with a soft tiger growl, “Grrr, Prince Wednesday, I can't hear the story!”
Then Daniel stood up, “Stop it, Prince Wednesday!”
And two guards marched in, “Did you raise your voice to the prince?” seized Daniel and took him away.
His mother cried as he looked out from behind cold, iron bars of the dungeon-

No. Wait. That's not right.
Oh yeah....
They sang a song together so Prince Wednesday could calm down. And finished story time. That's what happened.

I should probably get out more.

12 June 2014

on Bad days, There's No Such thing as TMI

I should have known this would be a rough day.

I should have known the moment the cashier in Walgreens asked me, "How are you today?" when I was checking out with nothing but two large packs of Kotex.

If, first thing in the morning, I'm loading up on maxi pads, then I'm pretty sure you can guess what kind of a night I had. You don't need to ask about it. I know you know, just ring it up and let me out of here.

I wanted to say:
"Take a guess." (gesturing to the merchandise)
 or even:
"Better now." (thumbs up toward the merchandise)
but instead I said:
"Great, how are you?" (deliberately NOT looking at the merchandise)

Because cultural programming.

23 May 2014

my Committments

I am committed to Art.

I wasn't always. Not really.

My relationship with Art was wishy-washy, at best. I knew I was Artistic. I wanted to study Art. Make Art. Be surrounded by Art.

...but I wasn't really an artist.

Then I decided I didn't like Art. It was stressful and demanding and time-consuming and I was done. I wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted to do anything BUT Art.
I jumped into music, literature, writing, mathematics... But all of them left a void. I was always unsatisfied. Always searching for something more.

And always, there was Art, hanging at the peripheral begging for attention.

You know those artists who say they don't have a choice? They paint because they have to?

I never understood that. If you don't want to do something, then don't do it. You don't have to do anything. Not really.

I understand now.

It took a long time. Years? Maybe? I don't even know. A lifetime, more likely. A lot of soul-searching and denial and self-doubt.

But it was all worth it because now I know...

...that I am an Artist.

It's what I am. It's more than what I do. It's part of me. It's under my skin and carved into my soul.

Now that I'm done denying what I am, I feel good. And I'm committed.

That's the reason I've been pushing so hard on my facebook page and starting a new blog and getting really active on dA again. It's been hectic. But it feels good. So I do it.

Writing here feels good, too. So here I am, to brush off the dust and remind my little blog that I haven't forgotten it. I've returned to Art like the prodigal son, but there will still be time for writing.


29 March 2014

amen And amen

This has been my life philosophy for a long time and this is the first time I've seen it worded so eloquently and compelling. So here, I share with you, words of a wiser man and possessor of words greater than my own.

"Cherish your doubts, for doubt is the attendant of truth. Doubt is the key to the door of knowledge. It is the servant of discovery. A belief which may not be questioned binds us to error, for there is incompleteness and imperfection in every belief. 
Doubt is the touchstone of truth. It is an acid which eats away the false. Let no one fear for the truth, that doubt may consume it, for doubt is a testing of belief. The truth stands boldly and unafraid. It is not shaken by the testing. 
Truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing, stronger, more secure. Those that would silence doubt are filled with fear; their houses are built on shifting sands. 
But those who fear not doubt, and know its use, are founded on rock. They shall walk in the light of growing knowledge - the work of their hands shall endure. Let us not fear doubt, but let us rejoice in its help. It is to the wise as a staff to the blind. Doubt is the attendant of truth." 
 – Robert Weston