Monthly Archives: January 2015

Final Respects

1) Muse’s next directive: “Fill in the blank: ‘When I first told my family about ___________, they didn’t believe me.’”

When I first told my family about how Pop-pop was gay, they didn’t believe me. I guess it might have been tough to see from where they were sitting. Mom in her rocker every night watching I-Love-Lucy sleep in her own separate little bed, and Dad with his eyes that are always red from the smoke. Me, I get to sit in 5 different seats at school every day because we change classes now. I sit with lots of different sorts. Mom only has the cat and my baby brother to talk to. Dad? I guess Dad might meet some different sorts at the plant, but he doesn’t talk much at home. I don’t think he ever does. You have to talk to people to know things.

Me? I was the first person Jo-Jo told, because we sit together in health class and the diagrams of “Your Growing Body” made her turn as red as her cheer uniform. And Alan Russel just asked the whole 3rd period English class to call him Allison. Nobody even laughed. He’s been wearing lipstick for two years already. Once the gym teacher got over it, the rest of the school stopped noticing. Except May Thomas. She’s been heartbroken about him since we graduated first grade.

So when I told Ma and Pa how it might be nice if we put a picture of brother Miller in Pop-Pop’s coffin with him, I was surprised when they sent me to my room for “disrespecting the dead”.  Then grounded for “smart mouthing”. All I said was, “But they loved each other”. Parents. They mystify me. The rest of my life, I’ve got a handle on. My new schedule with the 5 different rooms all spread out over the school and the 5 different teachers with their 5 different names, desks, and ideas about where I’m supposed to sit. Just yesterday I got a hundred on a quiz on all the capitols. I even pointed out a mistake in algebra class. But my parents? Maybe my brother will figure our parents out. They’re too loud when they talk secretly, and they whisper when they really mean something.

But capitols and variables are things anyone could miss, I guess. I just didn’t expect them to miss the way Pop-Pop looked when he watched Deacon Miller sing in the choir. Always the same squinty glow he had when he peered down at Charlie Brown and the gang when we got the newspaper. And the way they both wore the same cologne, like they were scared to be distinguishable by a blind person. The way they stood locked together, alone in the crowd when they shook hands every Sunday before service.

Even Jesus said, “they know not what they do” so I guess I have to forgive them. I’ll  give Pop-Pop the picture of Mr. Miller with the big smile and brown M&M eyes. It’ll be our secret. I’ll fold it up in the rose I give him before I say goodbye.

 2) My current word count for my novel is: 47,414/ 70,000. 

3) Muse’s next directive: “Write about an appliance, weapon, or vehicle being put to a use for which it was not designed.”

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Starting Over (Again)

My new year started with a bang, lemme tell ya. I stumbled out of my bedroom at 2pm, tripping over my cat who was surly about her empty food dish. There I stood, squirrely-eyed and disheveled, and I was forced to take stock. Inventory was sparse. Post-apocalypse sparse.

1) I had not a scrap of clean clothing. The laundry had been piling up since I returned from Christmas vacation at the homestead. I’d been back a few days now. I’m not telling you how many. You can judge me for my other transgressions.

2) My car sat there in the parking lot, ready to go from it’s recent, uber-responsible maintenance, but I couldn’t drive it. A mysterious and subtle tax was levied against me from a town I lived in three years ago…unbeknownst to me, until the very nice policeman told me I was driving an unregistered vehicle. Then he had my car towed at my expense. For a whole Benji! At 1am… That’s RIGHT, blogosphere. *sniff* The man can void your registration (and not tell you) for an unpaid $6, 2-year’s-late fire tax. Oh, and not knowing about this tax is not a viable excuse. “SUCK IT, CITIZEN…ps: thanks for not getting violent. Now please, pay this ticket for your unruly avoidance of fair and totally logical taxation. Love, your government.”

3) I was pretty sure I lost my credit card the night before…

4) I had no clean dishes. Or food, really. And then!… There’s my card! Safe in the empty Cheezit box, where else!?

5) The very, very expired “Finish the novel!” New Years resolution, circa 2013, is staring at me unapologetically from beneath the grit on the chalkboard. It doesn’t think much of my shark socks.

So, my dearest blog, here I am. Starting over again. I’ve cleaned the blackboard, retired my recreant, tax evasion ways, and fed the cat. And! I’ve become a feminist. Thank you, Caitlin Moran!

This year’s the year! I’ve reset the clock and I’ve got my waypoints. Stick with me for more exciting writing prompts and sneak peeks from my manuscript!!

(…Does meta sarcasm work in text? I bet Tina Fey could manage it.)

No seriously. It’s gonna be a good year. Stay tuned.

 My current word count for my novel is: 45,990/ 70,000. (Why has my word count almost doubled!? Because I went to the school of hard knocks and they said, “yea verily, a novel shall be no less than 70,000 words.” Thanks for asking!)

 Muse’s next directive: “Fill in the blank: ‘When I first told my family about ___________, they didn’t believe me.’” (I hope I find the Muse soon…I think it fled my bookshelf!)