Thursday, January 16, 2014

Write on Edge: The Past

       From the too loud television in the family room she heard a song that took her back to Central Junior High. Her hips moved to the familiar tune as she washed the dinner dishes. She smiled when the guitar solo came in, thinking about the boys in the band who wore more makeup than her mother allowed her to in those days.
       She could smell the Aqua Net in the girls’ room and see the graffiti on the wall. She remembered the mean girls who wore Flashdance inspired sweatshirts and matching leg warmers. Her face flushed when she remembered getting teased about her own clothes back then. Trendy clothes that had hung on the clearance rack a little too long or outgrown by a more fashionable cousin. It took a few more years before she was comfortable with her own sense of style and stopped trying to follow trends her family couldn’t afford.
       There were good times of course. She bought her first vinyl albums: Duran Duran, Men at Work, The Police, Prince, and Billy Joel. She gained some independence, being dropped off the Riverdale Roller Rink to skate to “Gloria” and “Oh Mickey”. There wasn’t that kind of independence for her own children these days. Twelve seems too young to see a movie or wander a mall without a parent in the age of helicopter parenting.
       Her pre-teen son bopped into the kitchen looking for a snack (again).
       “Were they just playing Duran Duran on MTV?” She asked him. “I haven’t heard that song in ages.”
       “I thought I heard Hungry Like the Wolf.”
       “Oh, that was a yogurt commercial Mom.”

       So maybe I really am back in the saddle--it’s been a long time since I wrote any fiction. I’m linking up with Write on Edge for the first time in way too long. This week’s prompt is a quote, “The past is a foreign country: the do things differently there.” Please let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Don't Call it a Resolution

Our New "House"
         Hello? Hello? Is there anyone out there? It’s been so long since I’ve posted, I’m not sure if anyone is reading. If there is anyone out there, let me start by saying, “Happy New Year!” If you’re one to make resolutions, may you have the wisdom to make good ones and the strength and support to keep them. I tend to make my resolutions in the fall. For at least twelve years of our early lives, that’s when the new beginnings start and I’ve always found it a good time to start new projects and work on things in my life.
         The projects I started this past fall are a big part of why I’ve done so little writing lately. I am the Vice President of a community theatre group. This year we moved into a new space.  It was an exciting, challenging and time consuming adventure.  I also signed on to the committee to help select plays for next year. Since August I have read dozens of plays and (for the first time I can remember) absolutely no novels.
         In September I began teaching children’s drama classes at a local music and arts school. There has been a huge amount of prep work for the classes, but the teaching part was rewarding beyond words. More than any job I’ve ever had, I feel like I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
         Of course, I still have my day job and plenty of family obligations. Both of my children started new schools in September. And of course they have music lessons, scouts, and sports (they even have a drama class with this crazy teacher). The boys are happy where they are, but the new routine is tiring.
         This was a particularly long Christmas break for the boys, with very few commitments. Entire days went by when I didn’t put on shoes or get in my car. I’ve read three novels for pleasure. There was nothing especially “literary” about them--they were pure entertainment. I even began working on my long-neglected manuscript. I found that I really missed writing. At first, I thought I just missed my readers and fellow writers. But I also missed this weird creative outlet. So here I am, back at my computer. I’m not one to make resolutions, but if I were, I’d resolve to get back to my writing.
         As we speak, the snow is falling and our vacation has been extended by a couple of days. I have soup stock simmering in the slow cooker and plans to bake bread later in the day.  And of course, there will be snow to shovel. Lots of snow. The craziness will begin again on Monday. The boys will go back to school and I’ll have auditions for my next adventure. The routine will start again. Hopefully, I’ll make some time in the routine for writing.
        Happy 2014 everyone!