You should carry a notebook always If you want to be a writer Like me
So if you think of something hear something see something you can collect it to remember to write later
Any notebook will do I use my notes App Because I can’t be trusted to carry more things around with me I mean, are you kidding me?
Collect those stories and ideas In meetings During D&D Campaigns (Especially, during D&D Campaigns) Before you fall asleep
Only then will you Really Be a Writer Like me
Just this past week I collected stories and ideas In meetings: You get to take the cactus in the end During a D&D Campaign: I might be intimidating without the mockery And my personal favorite … Before I fell asleep: My sfuccte oh c oh dd I be should get f in or hi if cjkefw
So much potential in Collected ideas Plus – Never forget revision, writers I might be intimidating without the mockery You get to take the cactus in the end
My sfuccte oh c oh dd I be should get f in or hi if cjkefw
Last night, like every night, I did the few remaining dishes in the sink. I wanted to put them in the dishwasher. But I hadn’t asked the boys to put away the clean dishes, and it just wasn’t worth the extra effort. So instead I piled more clean dishes on top of the drying rack, and hoped no cat mischief would knock any plates to their death like last week. I rescued my favorite plate and put it in the cabinet just in case. So proud!
Last night, like every night, I set the coffee up for this morning. I love that “Brew Later” button. Even if I’ve fallen asleep on the couch, or watched one too many episodes of something, I can convince myself that my“6-am self” will really appreciate the 2 minutes of effort tonight. So proud!
Last night, like every night, I started reading in bed but only made it a chapter or two before my eyes started closing. Somehow, I noticed this, and turned off my bedside lamp before falling asleep. I even took my glasses off! So proud!
This morning, like every morning, I woke up way before my 6:00 alarm. I turn off the “Brew Later” button, and click “Brew Now.” I heat up some oatmilk for my coffee, and stare at the pile of dishes. I think about how some people would use this extra morning hour to put away those clean dishes. I should use this time, I just know it!
This morning, like every morning, I get tired of waiting for the slow coffee pot to finish up. I take the pot out, hoping it’s a pause and serve. I pour my cup, replace the pot, and walk to the couch. The coffee finishes brewing by the time I sit down. I wonder if this is an analogy that I’m supposed to learn form. Something about patience, I bet. The coffee is done literally moments after I can’t wait any longer — every day. I’m supposed to learn from this, I just know it!
This morning, like every morning, I sit on the couch and watch the cats figure out their social order. I tell myself I should be getting stuff done in these quiet early bird hours. Soon I might close my eyes again. I might even fall asleep until my next alarm tells me it is time to get ready for school. There will be time later to get stuff done later, I just know it.
You had a request for your birthday Asked me for a gift of writing No gift, you said I mean it, you said.
So I keep writing to you in my head as I walk to my car from classroom to classroom around the block with my dog
Yesterday, I saw an inspirational quote – it said once you’ve known someone for 10 years they become family. I wonder what happens after 35 years. Has it been 35? Friendship math is hard especially when you have to decide if you count from the first bus ride
At 20, we were 10 years in – a decade. Family. I could have written then— stories about bus stops, bus seat, late busses, saltines and hot chocolate Bat Mitzvahs and scrabble crushes and sewing class and secrets boyfriends, drives to school, moving, graduation the importance of sour cream cheddar chips and peanut chews Hub Salads with ranch and important conversations at Eat-n-Park
At 30 2 decades in Aunt Sara and Aunt Ona to our kids I could have written then — Stories about college graduation and more moving, planning weddings, wedding speeches and periwinkle dresses and also planning babies, showers and calls in the middle of the night about emergency C-sections, bravery, love, the NICU nursing and pumping and sleeping on Elmo couches and 24-hour nurses and eventually babies meeting each other and cribs and toddlers and more babies and the absolute exhaustion, and oh – husbands too.
We are past 40 now (yikes) Over 3 decades in Our families are family Our kids like cousins Every so often we pile all 7 kids together on a couch for a picture, and there was that one time we piled them in your car and took them to Ikea.
I know I promised you a gift of writing but there’s a problem. you can’t fit 35 years onto a page I thought I could write articulately, but I don’t know how to shout it with words how you are a rock a soft place a holder of my memories a cheerleader I’d be lucky just to know you but I get to love you to! I couldn’t live without sending you memes, and exchanging pictures of our wine pours
One day, decades ago, we stood at a bus stop in the snow. we sat in your car driving to school. we hung out at the mall. we had saltines and secrets we said goodbye and you moved to Florida. you came back and left again It was decades ago we cried at each other’s weddings decades!
I don’t know how it’s been decades since we’re still so young.
Happy Birthday, Sara.
A Gift of Writing for You:
Roses are red So is your hair It’s amazing how you’re always there
“I’m never going to need this.” E tells me as I help him with his algebra homework. “I mean, nobody is ever going to come up to me and say like, ‘Can you solve this? -2.5 (0.5K+2.4) = -K-5.45.’ Maybe if I was going to be a mathematician, or an engineer. But, I’m never going to need this.”
I sighed and coughed (again), happy to at least be helping with his algebra next to him on the couch, and not 6 feet away like last week.
“Well, I don’t know.” I said. “I used to say the same thing. But I now I do need it.”
“For what?” E asks, eyebrows furrowed.
“To help you! Right now! Here you are! I need what I learned in high school algebra!”
He rolled his eyes, and we got back to work.
Poor E: 12 years old, great math brain, plus amazing ability to overthink. He gets the overthinking part from me – so imagine how helpful I am with his algebra homework when we get to parts where we have to use the distributive property with negative variable. I think 3-3x -3 is just 3x, right? Thank goodness he likes to check his work. (I won’t even try to explain our in depth conversations about why -5.45 + 6 = 0.55 and not 0.45. I think I got myself confused with that one, actually.)
For the last few problems, we figured out a good color coding system on the iPad for like terms.
“It’s like our own Kahn Academy!” E said.
“On a academy … Ona academy . . . OnAcademy! Why haven’t I ever thought of that?” I asked. “OnAcademy.com!”
That earned me another eye roll and a sigh. “.org you mean? But, please don’t make that a thing, mom.”
But, it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? OnAcademy?
I wake up, have coffee, get ready, wake up the boys, take the dog out, pack my bag and then finally focus my brain for school on the drive to our first day In Service.
“I need a song that will set the tone for the year,” I think or maybe I say to myself as I press shuffle. “Whatever song comes on, that’s going to be it! .”
I laugh when This Year starts to play. The Mountain Goats were recommended by John and Hank Green on Dear Hank and John and they mentioned this very song because of this very chorus.
I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me
It’s not quite the mood I was looking for to start off the 2022-2023 school year, so I skip to the next song.
That’s exactly how I feel That’s exactly how I feel That’s exactly how I feel
I skip again, and again, and again. All great music, from Allman Brothers’ Soulshine to Baby Tate’s I am. But I start to wonder if maybe this year deserves it’s own morning playlist. Or, should I just keep listening to Hidden Bodies on Audible?
There is a cardinal in the tree outside my window this morning.
Some people say cardinals are your loved ones who have passed, saying hello.
“That’s not you, Mardi.” I think. “I know you say hello with hummingbirds.”
I sip my coffee, and remember the time, just weeks after Mardi died: An intense porch argument with my then husband was interrupted by several hummingbirds flying onto the porch, some straight for his head. Yea. She definitely says hello with hummingbirds.
Suddenly, there is a hummingbird in the tree outside my window.
She flies to the top of my window and hovers there, staring in.
“There’s a hummingbird at our window!” I tell the kids. They don’t seem to understand why this is so important.
I watch the hummingbird fly down to the bottom of the window, where the cardinal has landed on a bush. They both stare into my family room for a bit, and then the hummingbird flies away.
The cardinal stays though, for just a moment.
So I guess she says hello with hummingbirds and cardinals.
Please do your best to read this slice of documentary narration in Morgan Freeman’s or Sir David Attenborough’s voice.
Hey! It’s a choose your own narrator slice! How might you narrate a part of your summer?
“Upstairs in his private den, the new baby practices his hunting skills. Watch as he perseveres against all odds.”
“As Clyde rests in his den, the cats and dog go about their daily routines, perhaps sensing a shift in the wind.”
“Soon it is time to introduce the animals to each other. In the wilds of the first floor, the cats and dog work to create their own social order.”
“The young kitten is brave. Maybe braver than he should be.”
“While wary of the newcomer, the fluffiest member of the family instinctively watches out for the baby. He even puts himself between the dog and the kitten when necessary. His sister is not so quick to protect. She wants to live her own life and starts lowly growling if Clyde comes too close.
The older cats will share their food, but, so that nobody is confused, they will still guard their sleeping habitat with all their heart.”
“The cats are working it out, but over here you see this 55 pound dog who is trying hard, but still unsure of what to do. He knows he isn’t supposed to fixate on the new kitten, but he’s curious. He wants to play, but he’s also afraid. Only time will tell. Will they will become friends, or simply creatures that cohabitate?”
“Listen for the sounds of the social order being created: The low growl of warning from a cat high up in their tree; the warning hiss from one cat to the another; the frightened hiss of a young tailless kitten; the whine of confused dog; the wagging of a tail; the crunching of food shared among the felines.”
“These sounds tell the real tale of this non-traditional animal family. We can only be but silent observers of the majestic dance of these household pets.”