Posted in exercises

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 18)

Day 18: Post 30 facts about yourself.

  1. I work at a public library.
  2. I forget to eat a lot. I get distracted, or it just doesn’t occur to me.
  3. So I have a lot of friends who I associate with food because they make it a habit to feed me first when we meet up.
  4. They’re also really good cooks, which is fortunate because I am not.
  5. I like menial tasks because I can see exactly how much I’ve done at the end.
  6. I crochet. I’ve gotten a lot better in the last few years because I met some friends in college who crocheted and encouraged me to pick it back up and make more than octopuses.
  7. I have a lot of regrets about my college experience (For example, I think I would have benefited from a gap year, since I only went because I didn’t have a better plan when my parents asked. As such, I didn’t think a lot of things through because I didn’t have a goal to begin with.) but I don’t regret going. I met my best friends through college.
  8. I like the idea of minimalism in theory, but blank spaces make me anxious. Especially walls.
  9. I like having specific tools designed for specific tasks. It feels like a luxury. (Another reason why I’m not very good at minimalism.)
  10. I’m frustrating to make plans with because “I want to see you!” is about as far as I get most of the time.
  11. My mother jokes that the last time I was late was my birthday. I’m chronically early.
  12. I can read some French and German (I probably couldn’t create a perfectly conjugated translation, but I can grasp the idea of what’s being discussed.) but I can’t speak it or understand it very well out loud.
  13. But most of my grammar instruction was in French class, so I get a little confused trying to explain some concepts in English. (I usually know the French word, get startled when I realize that two words in English mean the same thing as 6 different words in French, and I don’t understand people who say passive tense is grammatically incorrect.)
  14. I think astrology and tarot are really neat concepts. The question of faith aside, I find they’re useful tools for shifting my perspective about situations that I’m struggling to move forward with.
  15. I used to be really tech savvy, but I think I’ve gotten lazy and impatient. Just call me grandma.
  16. Seriously. I’m the grandma friend. I usually have some form of candy on hand, carry a first aid kit in my purse, and make cookies when I’m sad.
  17. Autumn is my favorite season: favorite colors, favorite food, favorite weather.
  18. I use pet names for everyone. Honey, sweetie, dear, love, heart…
  19. I don’t really know how to talk about myself except in the anecdotal sense. I tell a lot of stories trying to make people laugh.
  20. I’m a Hufflepuff.
  21. I think if I were a demigod in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson universe, I’d probably be a child of Ares. I’m not sure if I’d be proud of that.
  22. My music taste is very eclectic. Spotify never really knows what to throw at me.
  23. In first grade, a boy I was friends with named Jesse brought raw honey comb in for the entire class. It’s still one of my favorite things, even though I don’t get to have it very often.
  24. I love snacks. It’s hard to get me to sit still long enough to focus on a meal unless someone’s sitting with me, and then I don’t shut up long enough to eat.
  25. I throw myself into socializing and then disappear for four months, usually in the winter. There is very little worth enduring the cold, wet darkness for.
  26. I like the idea of snow more than snow days themselves. This is a common theme in my life. I like the idea of things.
  27. I am a blanket collector. I have several bins of them, and when I’m sad I dump them all out and make a nest to burrow into.
  28. I think everyone should collect things that remind them of things that make them happy, be it people, places, or whatever.
  29. I hate wearing socks even though my feet are always cold.
  30. In the summer, I’ll stay in the woods from dawn to dusk as long as I have water and a book. There are lots of state parks near me, so I dedicate summers to learning the trails.
Posted in exercises, poetry

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 17)

Day 17: Write about your zodiac sign and whether or not it fits you.

Cancer brings a little piece of home
wherever she goes
so that she knows that she can never get lost.

My home is in a pendant
carved with “wunjo,” with “joy
carved with a promise
to bring joy to the lives of those I love.

Cancer knows that the ocean
pulls the sand away, chews up rocks and spits them out.
It’s best not to get attached to anything
that she cannot pull close to her chest
till the storm passes.

Posted in exercises, poetry

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 16)

Day 16: Something that you miss

Growing up, I was terrible with

Such an ominous, weighted word
for a few sheets of paper
and pencil scribbles
and eraser shavings.

When five minutes still felt like
next Friday never seemed to arrive
until it did
in a flurry of Thursday nights.

I spent Friday mornings
having homework for breakfast,
curled over my worksheets on the bus
where homework was forbidden.
“It’s in the word,” teachers would tell me
but I was already relaxing
into the comfort of Next Friday.

Time is more precious to me now,
something to be rationed, not guzzled.

But despite my lists,
my notes,
my incessant alarms,
I find I am constantly rushing
frantically scribbling blueprints for solutions,
panting as I reach the bus stop
only to find
I have already missed
my opportunity.

Posted in exercises

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 15)

Day 15: Bullet-point your whole day.

  • It’s cold and cloudy and the only thing making me wake up today is the cat pacing the foot of my bed eager for breakfast. I roll out of bed, stumble to the kitchen. Both cats follow me in a flurry of belled collars and padded paws. I don’t measure the food I dump into the bowl. I stumble back to bed, drift in and out of sleep for two more hours.
  • I roll out of bed again, and it’s still cloudy and cold but I can’t sleep anymore. I stumble into the shower and remain under the water way too long.
  • I change three times. I’m nervous. I’m attending a dinner party with my coworkers tonight, and I don’t know how anyone else will dress. I don’t know what they’ll make. I don’t know who to ask. So I throw ingredients for cheddar corn into the slowcooker, let the weather dictate my choices: comfort and warmth.
  • I change one more time. The shirt doesn’t fit quite right in the shoulders. Nothing ever fits quite right in the shoulders.
  • I go downstairs with my arm full of casserole dish and shoulder weighed down with a new purse I’m not used to carrying yet. I think I’ll be early, standing around in the chill for a minute, so I’m wearing a hat, but my coworker is already waiting for me in front of my house, and I feel uncomfortable that I didn’t realize she was there before. I feel uncomfortable having needed to ask for a ride at all.
  • I’m glad I wore heels, even if everyone else is the same height as me. Feeling tall makes me feel older, and I’m by far the youngest one there.
  • My former supervisor and director walk in, and I realize it’s the first time I’ve interacted with them as something like equals. I’m allowed to joke and not worry about professionalism. The line has already blurred beyond recognition with many of my colleagues. They’ve worked together too long. They know each other too well. It’s frustrating and envious in equal measure.
  • There is so much food.
  • My former supervisor takes her guide dog’s work vest off, lets him lay on my feet during dinner. Any time my leg starts bouncing from nerves, he shoves his cold wet nose into my palm.
  • There is a flurry of motion after dinner. Reaching for containers, sorting dishes, claiming foods. Too many hands, feet, voices. My hip is pressed into the table’s edge, food is shoved into my empty hands.
  • As we pile into the car, I don’t notice the clouds anymore. It’s so rare to see the stars from where we are, anyway. The high school stadium’s floodlights drown out their glow. It’s too cold for me to miss them.
  • I kick off my heels with a satisfying flick of my ankle. Curl into my favorite hoodie. My cats feel they have waited long enough for their routine evening nap, one cat on each side of my legs, filling my twin-sized bed. I don’t make my ritual nighttime tea, hopeful that the day has exhausted me enough to sleep, and allow them to lead me to bed. I have been marathoning 99% Invisible all weekend, and I return to it while I crochet.
  • I swear at my blanket, at my overly ambitious project pile, remind myself that frustration is not an excuse to quit, promise myself I’ll try again tomorrow.
  • I sleep, but only in 90 minute intervals. I dream of a car that meant choices, of book stores, of hiding from angry bosses, of high school cafeterias.
Posted in exercises

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 14)

Day 14: Post your favorite movies that you never get tired of watching.

I’m more of a show-marathoner than a movie connoisseur. If I’m in the mood and have the time to listen, I tend to have something on while I’m doing other things to the side (like writing). Some of my favorite movies are:

  1. Aladdin
  2. The Amazing Spider-man
  3. Avengers
  4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  5. Finding Nemo
  6. Iron Man
  7. Moana
  8. Moulin Rouge
  9. Treasure Planet
  10. Zootopia
Posted in exercises

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 13)

Day 13: What are you excited about?

I haven’t slept in over 24 hours, so what I’m most excited about is the prospect of sleep. I have work tomorrow, and I need it, so I pulled out all the stops: piles of my favorite cuddliest blankets, valerian tea with chamomile and orange honey, super comfy lounge pants, and a super chill feel-good movie to wind down the night. I don’t trust myself to work on projects tonight, because I’ve already had to redo several rows of a crochet project sleepy-me messed up, but I’ve got several projects lined up that I’m going to fuss over the planning stages of during my movie, because I am incapable of sitting completely still.

But it’s still a little early, unless I want to watch the sunrise again, so I’ve cut up an apple and thrown it in a pot of water on the stove with some cinnamon sticks to make my house smell like pie while I settle into my movie night.

I’m going to forgive myself for all the things I’m not doing that I feel like I should be doing, like all the pictures from the places I decided not to go tonight, and know that tomorrow I will be better for the decision to slow down tonight.

Posted in exercises

30 Day Writing Challenge (Day 12)

Day 12: Write about 5 blessings in your life.

  1. Electric blankets and body pillows are the only things that get me to sleep most nights. It’s like falling asleep wrapped in a magical hug that can cure aching joints and muscles. This morning, I had the hardest time getting out of bed because of the pain, so I turned the heat setting up and listened to the rain until my back relaxed.
  2. There are now 3 quality coffee shops within walking distance that are neither Dunkin Donuts nor Starbucks.
  3. 2017 was an incredibly frustrating year full of setbacks, obstacles, and learning to admit limits, but it showed me which friends I can lean on no matter how in/frequently we might see each other. They help me with everything from running errands and doing laundry, never let me talk badly about myself, are constantly encouraging my hobbies and pushing me to take them and myself further, and I love them endlessly. (If you don’t fangirl a little bit when you’re talking about your friends, you need new friends. I’ll be your friend.)
  4. Social media allows me to watch my cousins’ children grow up and maintain a bond with them despite distance and limited ability to travel. Some of them have moved closer this year, and while a four hour drive with $20 tolls is not in the cards every weekend, it’s allowed us to spend holidays together for the first time since we were children.
  5. I may not always have what I want, and there are plenty of things that I need, but I always manage. I am a survivor, no matter what lies my brain whispers on a bad day.
  6. Bonus: These two young kitties always keep me on my toes and make me move on the days it would be all too easy to disappear in bed.

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