Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Thank you to all of you who were able to make it to my party last night! I had a blast and I think a lot of other people did too. The food was Amazing! The people were Amazing! It was a really great time!!

And I don't think I've ever lost so badly at chess before! So thank you also to all of you who beat me. It was a humbling experience, to say the least. HaHa! :)

This is going to be a shorty, but news in my life includes:

I was laid off from my writing job last Monday. It was shocking and just another sad commentary on our economy. I never thought I'd be laid But the Great news is, I realized I don't want to write for money anymore (not as main income, anyway) and I want to do something completely different that I've never before attempted!! So voila! I got a job as a server at a local restaurant and I'm really super excited!! They didn't care that I have no experience. My pitch was, Give me something new and I'll be excited about it and do really great!!

So I'm excited about this little holiday break and I'm excited to start my new job at the end of it!

Today was a really great day, spending time with family, friends, eating more good food (I don't think I'll ever have to eat food again after today!! :) mmmm but I still have good pie waiting for me at home! :)

Hope you all enjoyed the day just as much doing something you love. Even if it was just sleeping and relaxing all day feeling good (or maybe sad) but at the end of all of it rested and well with much to look forward to and much to be grateful for.

Once again, and for the last time until next year: Happy Happy Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Thanksgiving Dinner Party

I went to Baxter's last Saturday for the open mic, a little unplanned, with little intention to stay. Some of you I saw over there, and some of you know I did stay, the whole time. I stayed because I found myself experiencing something that I'd been craving for a long time. (no, not the food, even though it's excellent :) There was this true, all around good energy flowing through the place, a real community feel, with even something more. It was exhilarating! Meeting new people, spending time with old friends, laughing, talking, sharing the ultimate-personal poetry that makes open mics a success.

I caught myself thinking back to the Cup o' Joes days, which really wasn't that long ago. I remembered the first few times I started going to Cup o' Joes again - April of this year - (I'd been a fan since high school, but moved too far away to go back) I loved Joes. For me it started out as a place I could go where I didn't have to explain anything about myself. I could invite someone for a game of pool and have good conversation without having to go into detail about the drama in my life. No explanations were necessary, no judgments were made. And I kept going back. I practically lived there, working on my newspaper articles, my novel, even some poetry after awhile.

It happened slowly, almost so slowly I didn't realize it was happening. I started fitting in. I started knowing the crowd there. I started sharing a little bit more about myself and they'd share with me a little bit more about them and pretty soon I felt like part of the group, a part of the community that was Joes.

And then it closed down. Thinking back, I think it was while it was in danger that people really started forming together. I knew I wanted to be a part of that and so I was. I think I felt how a lot of people felt, afraid that with the closing of Joes, that energy and community feel would close as well. I realized last Saturday, it's only begun.

So I figure I have one of two ways to approach this holiday season. I hear often in the adult world, people saying things like "now holidays just seem like any other day, where's the magic that used to be there when we were kids? What's the big deal?" Or "It's all about money and businesses anyway" Or "yeah...holidays suck this time of year..." I admit, with everything that happened in my life this year, I was definitely leaning towards that last train of thought. But then something happened.

I realized I could do something about it. Something so big, yet so simple, that it would not only ensure myself of having a great time this holiday season, but possibly those around me, also. The hardest part of the holidays, I think for anyone, is being alone. Even the grinches of grinches who won't admit to it don't like being alone during the holidays. It just gets sad and depressing. Personally, I really start missing my family a lot and the good times, even if back then they weren't that's the whole childhood feel the holidays used to bring. I figured I wouldn't be the only one missing all that.

The kind of energy I felt at Baxter's last Saturday is the kind of energy I want to feel this holiday season. It is my intention, with this Thanksgiving party, and other parties throughout this season, to continue that feeling of community, of family, of reaching out to each other to sustain the energy that makes the holidays magical.

And I realize all of this may sound ridiculously sentimental and a lot cornball. But for this time of year, I'm allowing myself, this once, to be so. With the economy the way it is now, and with families struggling the way they do, I feel that now, more than any other time, it's so important to come together as a community, as friends, as possibly a family of our own, to laugh, share, eat good food, and build those relationships that have the potential to be strong, free of judgment, and long-lasting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Other Colored Queen

It was before I knew that you holding me was such a burden
And I made sure to wait
until I understood how much I didn’t mean to you,
And for all those games of chess to become a faded memory.
Along with the board I made for you.
The one with the intricate design,
your design, that I spent so much time
Etching into the wood of the board
that was a Christmas gift for you.
Well now I’m making one of my own, for myself.
A Christmas gift for me,
To carry me through the new year
and all the years beyond.
But like as in playing a game of chess,
I have no brilliant moves to make.
No one is standing over my shoulder
warning me not to move to that square.
Or is there?
At times, sometimes, so many times,
I’ve wished there were someone there, now.
And I realize that with all of my energies
I’ve chosen it to be so,
Just as back then I’d made sure there wasn’t.
When I’d left my phone turned off
Until I was far enough away
that I knew I couldn’t be talked into turning back.
And now at the times when I catch myself asking:
What if there had been then?
If there had been, would I have made that move?
It’s confirmed that back then I had succeeded
in making sure there wasn’t – just in case.
And now I’ve made sure there are.
My pieces on my board,
Defending my squares and my positions,
giving me suggestions for a safer play.
But I see how you still see that back then
that square was the one most fatal.
The Check Mate of Check Mates.
And now it’s too late.
I’ve already walked out, I’ve already left.
And maybe it wasn’t such a brilliant move.
And maybe if I’d looked harder I could have found a safer square.
But that’s something I would have to have done from the beginning,
And we both know I never gave myself that chance. Or us.
And now here I am: the other colored queen
On a different board in a different game of chess.
But as I stand up in the morning with my bed still half made,
And feel that pang of memory from when you were once there
I remember it was in a different bed, a different home,
on a different block of street. And I know that this move was safest.
So what if on this board the pieces aren’t all arranged quite right,
Maybe I like the concept of Chess 960.
Maybe the important thing is all of the pieces are present
And over time I’ll have them all arranged just right.
This time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Voices of the City

I really dig where I work and where I live. Today's especially interesting with the H8te Petitioners outside of the city county building, right across the street from me. Personal opinion? People should have rights to chose and people should have rights of speech. It's pretty simple. Personally I think there's a few higher priorities on the agenda of late. Like maybe the polar ice caps melting, or our economy, stuff like that, at least when it came to voting and supporting stuff.

Wow! If you think about it, it's really astonishing! All those people in CA who put up so much money to take away people's rights - what if they'd used that for Anything else, like sheltering the homeless for the winter, or research on preserving our environment!

Yes, I'm so totally excited that Obama won!! It's a little funny, I think, that gas prices have dropped since the election. It seems like a really good omen, don't you think?

Alright, lighter stuff, or heavier, depending on who you are ;)

It's now the middle of NaNoWriMo (National Writer's Month) and my word count is ...well... pathetic. For those of you wondering what I'm talking about, the goal is 50,000 words in 30 days. My goal at the beginning of the month was half that because I already had close to 25,000 on my current novel before the start of the month, and another 25,000 would put me at the necessary 50,000 total I want for it.

Thanks to NaNoWriMo I've finally beat the halfway mark!! YaY! Last I checked I was at 25,073 or something close to that. Unfortunately and honestly my quest to fill the other half isn't going quite as planned. It's the same thing that happens every year. I start off with great intentions for writing everyday at the beginning of the month, but I miss and miss and miss and pretty soon, I'm anti-writing the rest of the month. Maybe I'll make it the one month I don't write anything at all.

Wow. Me not writing. That would be like ...going without sugar (which I have done before, so bad example) or maybe air? (I've done that before too...once...but obviously not for 30 days...) ...or...well, how about for the rest of the population: texting. Can you imagine not having text messaging on your phone? (Self: yes, I can - the question is, can I imagine Having text messaging on my phone? Answer: lately, yes. it'd be great, something I'll look into) For me it might be not being able to receive texting, cuz I can still get text messages and I Love Those! **Hint**Hint** <3

Okay. I'm going to stop talking to myself now and go back to what I should be I'm at work... and on a Saturday... yippee. It's actually really awesome, I work at a writing center and the place is packed today with people all wanting to do NaNoWriMo writing! Go Them! Maybe I'll sneak in a few words on my own stuff :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn Changes

Who else is totally stoked that Obama won! And what a speech! Just the contrast between him and that guy we have in there currently (dare I say his name!) Honestly! What a difference. But I'll suppose we already know all that. I wish he could go into office right away. But soon enough, right?

The weather intrigues me. Yesterday the earth was blanketed in snow and today it's back to where it was before yesterday. Is that a sign of things to come? Not really, though, right? Things tomorrow will never be as they were today - hence a world of incessant change. And I ask, what are the constants? We create things that we think may be constant, and for a little bit they are, yet time allots for so much... in such cases, it's nice to feel like we'll finally have someone in office who knows what to do with those changes. He seems like such a good choice, so much potential, but is he? It's really an interesting concept...politics...

Okay, I will stop speaking in abstract riddles, or maybe just nonsense.

Is it just me or did this week pass by rather quickly...? I'll post something more on Saturday, but for now this is as much as I can reasonably lay out.

To those who are writers, lose yourself in writing. Write free and long and let nothing stand in your way as distraction.

The Girl in the Glass

I lock eyes with myself in the mirror and stare
And I wonder, I wonder who’s there,
Staring back through the cryptic-distortion
Separating me from myself, searching for the girl
Underneath that hairsprayed makeup-perfection fancy-clothes façade,
A kaleidoscope of color, my cover for the girl-child underneath
It is too rare a happening that I glimpse her hiding –
The girl who knows with confidence how to laugh so free,
The girl who can love without fear,
Who knows how to cry and when,
The girl who never feels safe enough to dwell free inside me.
It is her eyes I catch in the mirror – an ocean,
A sea of glass, shattering with my reflection.
The shards become water, spilling out, over, around, beyond me.
And I’m swallowed up, hopelessly reaching for air.
My eyes turn empty, staring up through the water, the ocean, sightless at her.
Just as my spirit departs from my soul,
She reaches – that girl-child – and grasps, reaching, grips my soggy wrist
And pulls me from the ocean’s depths, up, up, and breaking through to the top
I breathe. And I breathe – my first real breath.
She tells me: keep breathing, you can stop drowning now.
Stop drowning! In the roaring, trouble-tossed sea
And just breathe!
It’s time to start swimming, she whispers.
Swim, breathe, smile breathe, grow-free breathe, cherish every moment
Cry out the painful tears with passion!
Breathe love, breathe laugh, breathe live, breathe air,
Breathe grow – we are one, now, together,
I will stay this time, with you. We’re safe.
You can stop jumping into the glass, the mirror, the façade
That is really that ocean of guilt, of misery
From which I caught you drowning. Again.
Don’t jump next time. Just breathe.
We’re safe, together – I love you. Breathe.