April 22, 2014

Just Write.


The counselor shuffles the papers on her desk.

“Of course, she’s told you about the whole bullying business,” she says crisply, gathering up the papers and thunking them on the table, forming a neat and even pile.

I shoot my husband a sharp sideways look.

“Um…well…sort of?”

My husband rushes in for the rescue. “I know she got teased a little by some boys a few weeks ago,” he says. “But I wasn’t aware it was considered bullying.”

“She was embarrassed by the teasing,” I say, “but she didn’t seem…”

“Oh, she’s bullied,” the counselor says decisively, clucking her tongue. “Poor thing teared up right there in my office. Tore at my heartstrings, seeing that.”

“She is a very emotional girl,” I say. “She takes things hard and personally, certainly.  She beats herself up if she makes a mistake…”

“Did she mention any names outright?” my husband asks. “The…bullies?”

“No. Kids are reluctant to do that.”

“I’ve asked her outright, though,” I say. “I mean, blatantly. Directly. I’ve asked her, ‘are you being bullied at school?’”

“She always says that things are okay,” my husband adds.

“She’s closing herself off on you,” the counselor says.  “You might have to try other ways of getting her to express herself.”

Other ways. Like what? Voodoo?



The newly neutered Mozz-man whimpers and shakes his head, desperate to free himself from the Cone of Shame around his neck.

He’s dwarfed by the thing; all they had at the vet’s office were the large size cones. His head looks miniscule and fragile in the sturdy structure.

He whimpers again, tries to take two steps forward, falters and falls to the ground.  He stays collapsed on the floor, prone in surrender.

He stays that way for half an hour.

“He’s not moving,” Miss M. says.  “He looks scared.”

“He is scared, honey,” I say. “He’s used to being able to see in all directions, and he can’t do that now.”

“Will he be able to walk?” Miss D. asks.

“Eventually. He’ll try again. He’ll get used to it. We just have to be a little gentle with him right now. It’s kind of like being temporarily blind. He can’t see any of the familiar things around him.”

Even the things right in front of his face.


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Blog Tour fun!

April 21, 2014

Not sure what the dealie-o is here with no spaces between paragraphs? Something weirdo is going on so please forgive!
 I’m excited to be participating in a Writing Blog Tour, thanks to my friend Pamela Hunt Cloyd. If you haven’t been to her blog, Walking on my Hands, you should do yourself a favor and pop on by. Pamela is such a treat–not only is she a lovely person, she’s a graceful, powerful and thoughtful writer. I adore her and always enjoy her words and I know you will, too.
I never knew what a blog tour even was until Pamela asked me to participate (I am so out of touch, readers) but I love the idea of getting to know more writers out there and discovering new blogs and gathering new inspiration for writing. A blog tour is basically a Q and A about how, when and why we write. I’m kind of a chaotic cyclone of a writer, so I doubt I’ll be able to impart any writing wisdom, but what the heck!
So without further ado, I will answer the Tour Questions!  I’ve tagged my awesome friend Shannon at Deepest Worth to follow me on this journey, and I hope you’ll come visit her next week when it’s her turn to shine.
ps: I survived the Erma writing workshop! Details coming soon. I missed you guys!
1) What am I working on?
Good question! Obviously, I’m working on more blog posts, but I’m also toying with the idea of writing a memoir. I have some rough outlines of what I think might work and a few chapters drafted, but to be honest, I’m kind of just duffing around at this point. Making it official seems like way too much pressure and commitment right now. I also just finished contributing to 28 days of play and am shopping around some pieces for freelance writing.
Freelancing requires a bravery that I’m not sure I have; there’s lots of rejection involved and I’m not a Teflon person.  Attending the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop did me a world of good, though.  It helps to connect with people/writers who share your same struggles and journey.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Ummmm, because I am all over the place? In the beginning, my blog was primarily a food/cooking blog and I stuck pretty much to those parameters, but then I got kind of bored and wandered outside of the lines. And I know I’m not supposed to do that!  Perhaps I  have ADHD.  Anyways, I found myself writing more and more about the food and experiences of my past–how food and memory (at least for me) are tightly intertwined.  And then, because that wasn’t far enough off track, I began writing about parenting; usually about how much I suck at parenting and struggle to make sense of this mommy business.  And then, when I got sick of doing that, I began visiting other writing-focused blogs and following their writing prompts/ideas, hoping to stay inspired.
I guess I don’t mind that my blog doesn’t really have a genre, but sometimes my lack of focus annoys me. It also goes against the advice of pretty much every single successful blogger out there. Whoops.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve been interested in food and cooking since I was a little girl, standing next to my mother kneading bread during harsh North Dakota winters. We were often held hostage to the weather, and cooking was a way to pass the time. Plus, everyone likes to eat, right?
As for the other things I write about, I think it just fulfills my need to think out loud. Oftentimes, I write my way out of confusion or pain; it’s my way of trying to make sense of a messy life.  I also write for connection–I have the best readers in the world and they make me feel like I’m part of a community of awesomeness.
4) How does your writing process work?
Ha! What writing process? I’m the most undisciplined and schizoid writer I’ve ever met. Sometimes a memory will float up to the surface and I feel excited about re-living it. Sometimes I’ll stumble on an old photograph and decide to see where that takes me. I’ll flick through cookbooks for something interesting to try. I’ll visit other writing blogs I love and find inspiration blatantly rip them off.  The only thing consistent about my writing process is my inconsistency.
I do find that almost always, I percolate an idea in my head for a few days before I write anything down. By the time I sit down at the computer, I have a pretty good idea where I’m going and what I want to say.
I wish I could be more helpful or insightful about writing process, but the truth is, my writing is (and always will be, I fear) a mystery to me.  I just feel grateful that some people are willing to listen to me blather.
Shannon from Deepest Worth, your turn!
Spill the goods, girl!  What does your writing process look like? Are you steeped in chaos like me, or are you strictly scheduled?
Don’t forget to visit Shannon this week when she weighs in!
I’m drowning in the details of re-entry, dear readers, but give me a few days and I hope to come back swinging!  Right now, I’m sort of a beastly wreck of a thing, but I’m trying to collect myself and that brain I used to have…

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April 16, 2014

Linking up with MamaKat today answering the prompt: Tell us what makes you happy.


~ This picture of the still vibrant, still funny Phil Donahue, taken at the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop this past weekend.


~The EBWW conference itself. 1,000 times different (in a good way) than BlogHer. So many funny, genuine, unpretentious people. Even the big guns, the hot shots–amazingly welcoming and sincere.

~This little riff by Miss M.: (throwing a ball of dirty, stinky socks across the room) “Hey, Mama! I got a pair-a-socks. Not a paradox, mind you, but a pair-a-socks.”  It’s official. She is from Jupiter.

~A warm day and a glimpse of Miss D. catching air (photo is old but she’s still flying)


~The return of Game of Thrones (nerd alert!)

~Dinner with two amazing ladies, who drove down to rockin’ Dayton, Ohio just to sip margaritas with me.  I’d never met them, but they’ve been with me/my blog from the start, when I was on rickety legs and doubting every word. Our hearts know each other, and that’s what matters.  I laughed myself silly.  Meeting readers is just…wow.

~ladybugs. They’re back.


~The way I feel every time my husband walks through the door after a long day of work. My heart just shimmies a little every time. If only I had a tail to wag…

~Speaking of tails. This naughty, delicious, effervescent dog of mine. I’ve never owned a dog and never understood dog people, but now I get it. I am a FOOL for this damn dog. I have even become the crazy lady who whips up special snacks for her dog in the kitchen. What has become of me?



~Miss M.  She still asks for hugs. Oh my heart.

~Thrice-weekly emails from a dear friend, ever since my special week with Fuck You Linda. Her emails are full of news and funny things and, best of all, her “daily happy.”  She’s inspired me to find my daily happy, too. It forces me out of myself and keeps my heart and eyes open.

~Re-runs of Firefly. (nerd alert #2)

~The news that I am the closer for Listen to Your Mother Boulder! Wow! I never expected to close anything in my life except a lot of doors. I am so honored and excited. If you are in my neck of the woods, I’d love to see you on Mother’s Day!



~Another Mother’s Day with Mama. Fuck cancer. She’s kickin’ it.

~Y’all. You rock my socks.

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