That Holiday Feeling

This morning I awoke sad because there was no candy in my shoes. I told this to my Islamic best friend, who was instantly baffled. I explained that it was Saint Nicholas Day here on the Christian calendar, and she recalled a kindergarten memory of receiving a orange in her sneaker. That was the first and last time she participated in such a tradition. It was typical, for me, to awake each December 6th to find Hershey Kisses and candy canes tucked in the toes of my Mary Janes. Of course, this tradition ceased when I moved out of my parents house, but Mom would always try to remember and give me little candies on the day. So, with her currently decommissioned, I was vaguely forlorn that there was no candy in my shoe.

Anyway, I’d mentioned to Sahar that we have another holiday on the 8th, and it reminded me, as I explained it to her, then it’s probably our most ridiculous. No offense to any of my Catholic or Christian readers, but why do we have a feast day celebrating a very special date night for Mary’s parents? A surprising amount of people I know, including those raised Catholic and Christian, think that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception has to do with the day that Jesus was conceived. No, no, my friends. It was Mary who was born without Original Sin, thus becoming perfect vessel for God’s son. And here we are, insisting folk go to church to celebrate Mary’s parents taking the train to pound town. We were in about 7th grade when we figured this out by the way, and I don’t recall anyone saying “hey this makes perfect sense!” Mostly just sex jokes, guys. Not well executed, St. Paul’s School.


I then went on to start explaining Advent, but at this point spelling everything out seems so ridiculous. Advent is kind of like Lent, another crazy Catholic thing. Except Advent is only 4 weeks long, commemorates each week with the lighting of a candle, and you don’t have to give anything up like you do during Lent where it’s all about the sacrificing. Advent is about waiting and being patient-super fun time for the grade-school crowd. I remember we would start the holiday season by making our Advent wreaths: pine circles with four candles attached, three purple and one pink. That’s how we knew it was Christmastime at school. We also knew we would be going to mass every week until Christmas. Like I said, a super fun time for a 6th grader.


But then comes the actual day! It’s  the birth of Jesus! Except for the part where he was born in the springtime, and in an effort to convert the pagans, the church chose Yule as the time of celebration for Jesus.


Once upon a time, Bernadette was in a play at a church with one of her friends. I believe they were Methodists. Anyway, my aunt Ka, the Sister of Mercy, attended with me. The theme of the play was “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I was immediately outraged, because I absolutely hate that phrase, as it is completely false. I don’t mind Jesus being the reason you celebrate, but like…The Druids are the reason for the “season.” Now, I’m not Catholic anymore, obviously. When I celebrate Christmas, I am celebrating a phase of the Earth. I am celebrating a new year coming, and an old one passing through. If you want to celebrate Jesus’s birthday, that’s perfectly cool with me, we just can’t be out here denying facts, is all I’m saying. Anyway, that year, Ka give me a “Jesus is the reason for the season” ornament. My mom thinks it was a genuine gesture; I think it was a little prank. Ka may have been a nun, but she was also very smart, funny, and “got me,” even when mom thought she wouldn’t.


I don’t know where I was going with most of this. Christmas still does not seem real to me this year. I think I might need some help getting into the spirit. Where can I put in for a Christmas miracle; is there some sort of lotto? Anyway, you let me know, and meanwhile I will keep checking my shoes for Hershey Kisses.

Death is a Schoolyard Bully

Me and Death in the School Parking Lot, 3pm.

Oh, how we would fight. A gruesome battle, I’d tell him to drop his weapon and fight me like a human! But you know I would fight dirty. There would be hair pulled, should he have hair.  I would punch him so hard in the nose that I wouldn’t even notice my broken hand bones, only his shattered skull-face staring back at me with hollow eyes.  Then I’d kick him in his metaphorical balls.

I haven’t had therapy in a month, guys.

To say that I am not constantly thinking about death would be an obvious lie, given that my mother has been practically catatonic for several months now. But over the weekend, something happened that made me even more angry with the entire concept of death.  First, some backstory.

Early in our years together, Mark brought me home to meet his mother for the first time. While we were in town, we visited his sister Dawn and her family. I met her son Connor, who was maybe 8 or so at the time, and her daughter Bella, who was still a baby. Connor and I bonded when he taught me how to play zombies on Call of Duty. He was an incredibly sweet little boy with the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen. That was the first time I met him, and also the last. Shortly after our visit, his parents split, and Connor chose to stay with his father. Mark was always a little sad about this, because Connor was extra special to him. He just so happened to have been born the same day as M. Mark told me that the moms-to-be were in a race; he’s pretty sure Dawn won. But because of this, he always thought of Connor on M’s birthday.

So, Sunday morning I went to work, and as I was opening the shop, Mark called me. He was crying, and I immediately thought my mother was dead. Rational brain took over, telling me that it was unlikely I would get this call from my husband and not my father. I begged him to tell me what happened, and he told me that Connor had been killed in an accident. I called my boss, and he came in to relieve me. When I got home, I found a devastated husband. I cried with him, mostly because this boy was just a boy. Mostly, because he’s the same age as one of my boys. Mostly, because of his mother Dawn, who does not deserve this pain.

Later, Mark was sleeping, and I cried again. But this time, I was crying because it’s not fair. It is not fair that a teenage boy departed this world, while my mother is lying in a hospital bed clinging to life. I love my mother, I miss my mother, and I want my mother to get better. But I also know, and have to face every day, that she is currently living my worst nightmare. I wouldn’t wish what she is going through on anyone, absolute least of all her. There are many times that I wish she just never woke up that morning I found her. It seems that would be more fair. And I don’t think I could confront that fact until this weekend.

A lot of my friends and family read my blog, and they all know my mother very well, and I’m sure they’re all sobbing right now. And I’m sorry, truly, for bringing a spot of sadness into your day. But, it needn’t be sad. This morning I told my father were going to have Christmas, if for no other reason then Maureen would simply kill us if we did not. He can’t imagine a Christmas without Mom, none of us can, but we’re going to do what I told him we’re going to do: we’re going to be sad. But, we’re also going to find little bits to make us happy. And it’s going to work! Do you know how I know? Because when my aunt Ka died, that is exactly what my mother told me to do…find the silver linings, and all the little joys.

So, I’m going to get a team together to decorate my dad’s house for Christmas. I’m going to take my girls over there to make cut-out cookies the same way I would every other year. We’re going to go to my grandma’s on Christmas Eve and spend it with the family, and even though somebody is going to cry, we’re still going to eat and drink and be merry. We are going to open presents on Christmas Day, and there’s a real good chance I’m going to cook a ham.

I do not care if I am sad 99% of the time- I will remind myself of what my mother reminds me constantly, the best compliment she has ever given: I am the strongest woman she knows. That’s how come I can beat up that schoolyard bully called Death.

Botched Assignments

Since I was Catholic for 25 years, I acquired a couple of goddaughters. One being my sister Bernadette, of whom I was not technically godmother, because I was not old enough in the church’s eyes at the time. But they made an exception for me, giving my good standing in the church and in school. I really was quite the exceptional Catholic at age 13 . So when she was a couple months old and I was nearly 14, I dressed up and went to church and we had a ceremony initiating her into Catholicism, and making me promise in front of God and the congregation that I would raise her in the Catholic Church as a spiritual guide. A couple of years later, D was born and we went through the whole thing again, with me promising much more reluctantly to make sure she stayed a good Catholic. Well, she turned 21 the other day. She is the legal full adult now…although I still wouldn’t rent her a car. I started to think about the fact that I left the Church, and sort of stopped guiding those I was supposed to be guiding. I wondered where she stood spiritually, because I know my sister didn’t pan out the way my parents had planned. Both of their daughters left the church, and became flaming pagans. So naturally, I had to check in with D to see where she was. Turns out, exact same story.
Forced when she was younger, bailed as soon as she could, took up an interest in Wicca. Not practicing, but definitely investigating. So in the end, I didn’t so much end up raising a couple of good Catholics soldiers, so much as a couple of heathens…just like their godmother.
[  ] I remember being young and thinking about the possibility of having children. This was never forefront in my brain, but was more of an implied future that I, at the time, didn’t really think I had much say in. But still, I picked out names, considered what colors I would paint bedrooms, and mentally considered godparents. As time went on however, my options dwindled. People who I would have chosen left the church, and it made me consider why. I mean, I had my first problem when I was about 8 with Catholicism. That would be the day that I learned I could never be a priest. See, in school we were taught about the sacraments- we were told that when you got older, you were called to one of two sacraments: Marriage, or the Holy Order. The Holy Order seemed pretty cool, mainly because my aunt was a Sister of Mercy and I saw the way she lived. She got to share a house with her best friend, go on lots of trips, and spent her time working with the church- which, again, as an 8-year-old who had been Catholics since the day she was baptized, this sounded rad. The thing is, however, I was a preformer. I was not interested in the second-banana role of the nun. I wanted to be in the spotlight. I wanted to say Mass. And then my very loving Aunt Ka very gently told me that was not an option, as I was a woman, and thus the first seed of doubt that I was in the wrong game was planted. But I held off on expressing my contrary reviews even as they grew with age. What would have happened? Would my mother have disowned me for wanting to give up the Church and turn from God? Would I have had to leave my friends and switch schools? Would I have had to give up teaching the littles at Religious Education, something I really did love doing? So, I kept my mouth shut. I was very happy to be asked to be Bernadette’s godmother, and at the time that really meant something to me, religiously. It was a little different when D came along. Her mother, Beth, was not quite simpatico with the church at the time, but *her* mother was….and is…hugely involved. When D  was about two or so, it was agreed that she would be baptized at our church. Beth chose me and her brother Tom as the godparents. I remember asking her why, with my doubts, did she choose me? She replied something about how we were best friends, and she was a single mother, and if there was anyone that was going to take care of her baby should something happen, it was going to be me. The Church describes godparents as the leaders of a child’s spiritual upbringing. Some people define godparents as a sort of backup, just in case. My own parents did that in two ways for me. Ka was my godmother, and while she would never be able to take me in should the worst happen, my godfather Uncle Terry and his wife Sue, certainly would. And so, I became both those things to a baby D. Beth knew I wasn’t going to make her Catholic, but she also knew I would always have that child’s back. I think my parents felt similarly, because while I am Bernadette’s godmother, one of the best Catholics I know is her godfather. He is a humble man, so he probably doesn’t feel the same way I do about it, but him and his family exemplify what good Christianity is, and that has always given me hope.
[  ] So no, I don’t go to church anymore. And neither do my godchildren, mostly for the exact same reasons that I left, and it would appear we all found the same answers in the same place. So maybe, in the end, I did exactly what I set out to do

Snowpocolypse

I guess the obvious blog for the week is that I have been buried under several feet of snow for several days. The seasoned reader knows that I hail from Western New York-Buffalo, in particular. We are known for many things, mainly chicken wings, and apocalyptic snow storms. Myself, I can’t eat a chicken wing anymore. But, I can be buried in my house for 4 days!
I wrote a while back about how I think our mayor sucks. This is not an uncommon thread throughout the city- in fact, the man did not win the primary. You can read about that here, if you’d like. Anyway, when he was campaigning for re-election, he went real hard in the South District of the city. Now, as I wrote about after the Tops shooting, my city is fairly segregated. I live in a predominantly white, mostly Irish neighborhood. Yet our mayor is black, and so was his opponent, but here in South Buffalo they sure seemed to like calling her a God-forsaken devil socialist, for some reason. I personally believe this has to do with the fact that our country is a lot more sexist than it is racist, but I digress. The point is that the mayor went really hard scooping up those white votes down here. And he won, and then a huge snowstorm was projected, as it is nearly every year. I mean this is not new-he’s been in office forever- but he still allocates resources inappropriately during snowstorms. Everybody knows this…the new thing this year was a map that told you which streets were plowed. Which worked awesome until you noticed that the worst hit part of the city had absolutely no plows in it whatsoever, but the mayor’s street was fresh and clear. Then, the map suddenly stopped working, just as the rest of the city was released from a travel ban. But no, not my neighborhood of South Buffalo. We ended up needing outside crews.
The ban was finally lifted on Monday night, so I went out and started my car to discover that the battery had died. The perfect cherry atop my sundae of despair. Then, I found out school was canceled for the rest of the week, and since I wasn’t able to make it to Avis, now I will definitely be late on rent. So what did I do? I kicked this s*** out of a pile of snow.
AAA came and replaced my battery, and I was able to make it into work the next morning, which is in Orchard Park, where they had significantly more snow. Our parking lot, which is not just for parking but is essentially my office, is an absolute disaster. I spent most of my day yesterday cleaning returned cars and watching Boss-Mark try to get a Honda Civic out of a pile of snow.
Then, on the way home, the end of the street I live off was blocked. There were cops everywhere, and I kind of just assumed it was another snow removal crew. When I got home and went on my phone, I discovered that one of the workers for the city was killed last night down the street from me by a front loader. So now snow removal is suspended for another 48 hours. Which I totally understand, but I’m also not sure of the logistics for traveling around the city today. It really is scary to think of though, especially when just on Monday afternoon I was walking down that street because I needed some air. I feel terrible for that worker’s family right now.
So, the storm is over. Yesterday at work I didn’t even have my jacket on, and frankly I was mad I wore my boots because they hurt my feet. I am very nervous about the next few days, because Boss-Mark is out of town again, so I shall be running the shop. But today is Thanksgiving, so I get a little break first, more or less. Actually less, because in about an hour I’m going to drive to Salamanca to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in a nursing home with my mother. Then I’m going to my father’s to cook some foods to take to my Aunt Mary’s for dinner. We had Thanksgiving at Mary’s one year, the year that Mark lived there. It was nice, and it was fun, and I remember Mom being stress free about it. But we never did it again, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that Mom just loves making Thanksgiving dinner. She always invited over Sharon and Kevin, and it was always one of the best meals of the year. This year though, mom won’t be an attendance. Sharon and Kevin are doing nothing. I’m happy we are going to Mary’s, because at least we have done that before, so for me it is less stressful of a change, but my mom won’t be there. And that, my friends, just f****** sucks. There’s no other way to put it.
I need to focus on things to be thankful for. Like maybe the fact that I can actually drive my car down to see my mom today, instead of having a dead battery and impassable roads. Or that my aunt is swooping in as she does to cheer my spirits. Thankfulness for my new home, and my good job, and my loving friends and family. I will do my hardest to focus on these things today, because that’s what my mother would tell me to do.

Snow Daze

As I sit here, and begin this blog, thunder roars in my ears. Here in Western New York, we often have thundersnow during big storms. I received word Wednesday night that my afternoon job would be canceled Thursday and Friday. And this morning, I texted Work-Mark and told him my street had not been plowed and there was a driving ban still, so he told me to stay home.

Okay…now what?


I really want to write, to spend the whole snowy day immersed in my words. But the truth is, I am still not comfortable at my desk for some reason. Currently, I am writing on my phone while sitting on my couch in the living room. Maybe it is that I am not ready to write in the space I have created, or maybe it is because I am taking my snow day to heart.


Do you remember being a kid, and listening to the radio, or watching the runner on the news? Now I get a robocall when school is closed, or an email or text message. But what wonderful anticipation we had that children today will not experience- we sat there and prayed to the gods of childhood wonder and hoped that we would be free for one day! One day, with no questions or teachers or homework. They would say our school’s name over the radio and we would erupt in cheers! I would run upstairs and change out of my uniform and back into my pajamas. My mom would make me a nice breakfast, and we would watch TV together. In the afternoon, I would play in the snow, building snowmen and forts and having snowball fights with the kids in the neighborhood while my father shoveled the driveway.

Today, my kids are home from school- at their mother’s currently – and they will be here later, provided driving bans lift. They did not wake up at the crack of dawn today to listen to the radio with that delicious anticipation. In fact, they are probably still asleep, already fully aware that the world is blanketed in white. I never went back to sleep on those snow days- it seemed a waste of a perfectly good day off. So here now I am at 8:30 in the morning, thinking of what I shall do with my day that exists within the four walls of my apartment. Eventually, Mark will shovel, and I will dust off the car. But until then, I will stay in my pajamas and drink hot coffee and think of all the things I could be writing if I could just get my butt to sit at my desk.

Happy Friday.

Dead Birds

I haven’t been able to type on my computer for some time now. I have been doing pretty much everything on my phone, using talk to text or my thumbs. Currently there is not enough light for me to see the keyboard well enough, and I also generally feel stifled in the space I have set aside for writing in the bedroom. I had my own office for so long, and I am missing it something fierce. Alas, I still feel the desire to write even if sitting at the desk makes me sick to my stomach for some reason.
Today I am on my phone, but it is mostly because I am in process of setting up a new social account. If you were unaware, that massive rich idiot Elephant Tusk bought Twitter, and has caused a 44 billion dollar tire fire. Many of my Twitter folks have fled already, and many more intend to go down with the ship, myself included. However, after we sink and then swim ashore, where shall we go? I posed the question to my Twitter friends, and it looks like there are two social medias upcoming that are splitting us. Some people are going to a network called CounterSocial, which I know very little about but have already snagged my handle on just in case. It seems that a lot of people, however, are going to a site called Mastodon, so I traveled over there and got my handle as well. Hamneggs716- here, there, everywhere.
So far, my only gripe with Mastodon is that I cannot easily find my friends. I have over 6,000 followers on Twitter, and there is a good chunk of them that I will miss- so I am hoping to find them on this new app, but I am not very confident.
Quite a few of my writer friends are freaking out at the demise of Twitter, and I won’t say I am not one of them. I know this may be silly to some, but it was not until I started to expand my Twitter following and connect with fellow writers that I felt I could share my work with the world, as well. I have made honest-to-god friends through this app, from all over the place. Fortunately, many of the people that I am the closest to via Twitter have already found other ways to stay in touch, be it through Facebook or email or even one special woman who sends me Christmas cards. Still, it is sad to see something that we built- a community- go down in flames because a billionaire wanted a new toy. Not that I don’t love what the Twitter folks are doing to him…with the parody accounts and the trolling, I can feel the mutiny at hand. Many of my friends are tweeting about how much they will miss this platform when he finally runs it straight into the ground. I will miss it too. It’s not like with MySpace, where Facebook came along and was just better and we moved over there without hesitation and let Myspace wither and die. We are moving to Mastodon, but I don’t know that it’s better. I don’t know that it will have the same effect Twitter did. Someday 10 years from now, will I look back and think of my Twitter page and my 6,000 followers in the same way I think of my MySpace with my top eight? Only time will tell.
That is all for today, just a little lament for a  dying website that brought me so much joy.

Happy Tuesday.

Pep Talk

As you may know, I work in an elementary school as an after-school teacher. I spend a couple of hours each day helping K-1 students with thier homework, followed by K-8 recreation time in the library, where I exert my powers over the game closet.
You may also know I work at a car rental shop as well. These are vastly different jobs, in every way, including the paychecks. So when boss-Mark at Avis asked if I wanted some afternoon hours, my budget forced me to consider.The drawback to the school job is that it is a lot of gas money. It’s all the way across the city. Avis is ten minutes from my house. So given less driving and more money, it seems obvious that I should take more hours at Avis.  Then, something happened…and a sign was bestowed unto me.
Someone I love had a meltdown, the kind you get from clinical depression; the kind I have lived through a few times now.  I helped this person all week, while considering a job scheduling change. I was still leaning towards Avis hours when I found a meme on Facebook, with a phone number. I called it, my person next to me trying to hold themselves together, and my heart was suddenly filled with love.
If you call this number, you reach a group of children at a school somewhere in the US who are doing a school project/social experiment. They have record tons of inspirational messages and pep talks. We sat there and listened to them all, and I found my friend crying at the end, telling me how much they needed that.
The next day, they got up off the mat.  They ate, and hydrated, and slept real sleep. I don’t think it was only those kiddos somewhere out there, but I know they helped.

And so, I thought of my kiddos at the school, and suddenly a little extra money and a little less drive time seemed silly when compared to the faces I meet when I walk into that cafeteria each day.  Oh to be five, when all your worst fears and disappointments could be evaporated by a hug from your teacher! 
And I get hugs, all day every day. I have been told I am a favorite by a few students, and the competition to play games with me during recreation is fierce. I don’t think I could even give up one day of that job for the other, because even though I love working at Avis with the grownups, there is still a small part of me forever devote to childcare and education.
Anyhoo, here’s the number: 1-707-873-7862.
Seriously, you need to call it. That feeling you get? I get that everyday.

Writer’s Burnout

Oh my God, I think I have writer’s block.  I can’t settle on a topic, can’t choose a project, and have started this blog seven times. I can’t focus to edit the WIP and I can’t decide on anything for the blog, and I can’t create something new for the Patreon, so I am panicking.  I finally have a little time to write, given that school is out for the day for elections, but I have nothing.

Election Day in the USA!  Right??  No!  I tried that topic, but I don’t have anything to say that I haven’t said already.  Any seasoned reader knows this is one of my top five holidays’, and I of course did my civic duty bright and early.  You should do the same…and that’s literally all I have to say on that. 

I opened my WIP and stared at it for a few minutes, so if that counts as writing then I am doing just fine.  And I also tried to pen some Patreon poetry, but it is lacking.  So instead I will obsess over what to post tomorrow until I finally force something out of myself that I don’t quite love…ick. That sounds terrible.

A weatherman on Twitter said that if you live within 200 miles of a Great Lake, expect the snow this weekend.  Since I live literally two miles from one of those guys, I suppose autumn is over now.  Maybe that’s why i feel so tired.  We just changed the stupid clocks again, so naturally it feels like 6pm right now though it is not even three in the afternoon.  I want a cup of cocoa and a good movie and a blanket, but I am pushing myself to live life…which I shouldn’t, in a sense.  There’s that quote, that if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.  That is so true, and I am trying to remember that as I sit here and try to convince myself that taking a bubble bath would be a productive thing.  It doesn’t feel that way…but it is.

No.  I refuse to bend to writer’s block; I will only suffer a little writer’s burnout.  Easily remedied by an easy to make dinner and a Hulu subscription. Away I go.

A Tough Tuesday

It is November 2nd, and I have written nothing.  Nothing for NaNo, unsurprisingly, but also nothing for my blog or Patreon yet this week, so here I sit catching up on the word game while I have a spare hour.  Blog comes first, followed by a Patreon update, then perhaps I will grab 1500 words out of my WIP and see what I can do with them.  Alas, I suspect that by the time I get to task number three, I will run out of time.  I had all morning yesterday to write, but I forfeited it to go drive down and visit my mom, instead.  She is currently in a nursing home and rehab facility in Salamanca, so the drive was a little better than when she was in Erie.

She seems ok, same as usual, and I spent a little while trying to get her to communicate with me in some way, but nothing really came of it.  So, I got frustrated, and gave her a good firm talking to about how if she doesn’t start swallowing and speaking she’s never coming home, and then she just starts swallowing, as if showing off!  “Good, now do it with some food!” I said. 

I went to leave, and I did hug-a-head.  It’s this silly thing we have always done, where we hug each other’s head and say “Hug a head!” and then the other person says “Hug a head!” and it’s just this cutesy nonsense we have always done.  So, I hug her head, and I say “hug a head!”

And doesn’t this woman respond, raspy, but clear enough: “Hug a head!”

I screamed, and cried at the same time; I was so startled, and also happy.  When I was in Salem, I was sad because all but one of my voicemails from my mother was deleted from my phone, and I wanted to be able to hear her voice.  It made me sad that I couldn’t remember the last thing she said to me.  I know it was something along the lines of “I’m sleeping in tomorrow, so don’t come over too early…” but nothing specific.  Now, I have something!  The last thing my mother said to me was “hug a head.”  No recording, but at least I have this memory until her speech expands again. 

I drove home, and when I arrived, I noticed that my car was behaving strangely, for the third time this month.  Reluctant to return to the mechanic, I spent the time I should have been writing driving to the gas station and checking the oil…of which there was none.  I mean…zero.  Dry as a bone.

Checking the little tag from Valvoline, I discovered I should have gotten it changed about 700 miles prior.  I am, of course, unsurprised that this detail slipped my mind during the past month or so.  I got some oil and put it in and then drove back to dad’s house to borrow his car to go to work.  Then…it was time to go to work.  So, no words dropped, for anything.

At work there was a gas leak, so we had to evacuate to the community center, which caused chaos to reign, particular in my K-1 class.  Little kids suck at change in setting and activity…so, of course, we dropped them in an unfamiliar building and had them do their homework in the gym, instead of at a table in a classroom.  Many of my kiddos didn’t have homework because they were evacuated before folders were handed out, so really I just had to corral them for an hour or so.  Then the littles were taken down to the basement to a game room, and I manned a computer lab that none of them were very interested in once they discovered the computers lacked both Roblox and Minecraft. 

When I got home, I was exhausted, because I didn’t sleep much the night before.  I went to bed early, again forfeiting my writing time for the day, and slept soundly until I awoke to go get an oil change this morning.

You know, I really love my jobs.  They are both very rewarding, but on days like to day I am sad that I have so little time to devote to my writing.  Even now, it is almost 1pm, so I need to wrap this up and post it before I get ready to go.  I have just enough time to finish this and post my Patreon, but I don’t think the WIP is getting touched today.  There are just not enough hours in my days anymore.

NoNoNaNo

Earlier this month I set up my profile page for this years National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo, or henceforth, just NaNo.  I decided I would do my “final” draft of my novel, assuming as one does that by the start of November my life would be a little more in order…and it is.  However, time is now a factor.  I work every afternoon at the school, and 3-5 mornings a week at Avis.  On top of that I have writing responsibilities, household responsibilities, deep-dive motherhood on weekends, a mother who is sick in another state, and my own mental and physical well-being to deal with.  It can get overwhelming, so why am I trying to throw 1,667 words a day on top of it?

Because I am a writer, and I am crazy.

As evidenced by the fact that I’ve been up since 3am waiting to write this, but there wasn’t enough light until now at a quarter to eight.  I am really missing my office right now…it is the only thing i have missed from the old apartment.  I hate having this noisy old computer in my bedroom, and I don’t feel as much good energy as I did when there was a door that I could fling open and let in the air and sun.  I wrote the first draft of my novel there, and I am a little sad I will be finishing it elsewhere. 

But then, will I ever finish it?

I like NaNo because it pushes me to write, and I work well with deadlines.  It helps me get organized and stay focused on the task.  Last year, I ate, slept, and breathed my book throughout the month of November, and I won NaNo, and I got my +50k words.  Just like I did when I won in 2019 with my novella, The Second Before.  The following year, I planned on starting my first draft of my novel, and broke my pinky.  Then last year, I accomplished the feat.  This year…well, I think it’s a broken-pinky year.  Seriously…there is something wrong with my hand.  Same pinky, but this time it is a pain in the knuckle.  Anytime my doctor would like to call me back would be great.  But I digress…

My point is that I feel like I will maybe give it a go, but I also think it isn’t going to work out, and I don’t know if it’s my self-doubt or my psychic abilities talking this time.  Thing is, I know deep down that finishing this is my key to financial freedom…I don’t usually brag about my stuff, but if I retained wide publication with this book, Netflix would come calling.  As a theatrical person, I can confidently say it would make a great little script.  Alas, I am stalled because…life.

I think of Stephen, of course, tossing the first chapters of Carrie into the trash, certain no one would read it.  That was me, last year.  I think about JKR a lot, too (despite not wanting to anymore,) but I imagine her sitting in a little coffee shop or something penning Harry Potter on napkins and waiting for the welfare check to come in the mail.  That is me, right now. 

My book is this lovely little cup, see.  It’s a little mishappen…think of a Rae Dunn mug, Many imperfections, not quite circular, but sturdy and simple…useful.  That is what I have right now.  I mean, I started with just the lump of clay and formed me up some pottery, so I am pleased with what I have accomplished and if I stopped there, it would still be a valiant effort.  But what I want is an ornate teacup.  The teacup is beautiful and perfect and free of flaws, usually with an accompanying coaster (read: film option.)  Or maybe I want a Yeti thermos, scientifically proven to work, perfect for on-the-go situations and new opportunities (read: sequels.)  The point is that I really love Rae Dunn, but my mug needs a little more shine.

So that’s what I intend to do in November.  Provided my hands and head and stomach all get together and cooperate, but it’s been days since that happened so I am not holding out much hope.

In other news, my reading is tomorrow night, and I have it all planned and timed and everything.  I’m a little nervous, but not very.  I just kind of wish it was tomorrow already, is all.