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Writing Workshop?

 

If anyone knows of a local writing workshop, please let me know. Rosewood Art Center has one, but a beginner can’t jump in until next fall. Thanks!

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Hello world! (Practice Writing 2011)

Two days before Christmas, and not a present is wrapped. Why don’t people understand I’m menopausal and I rather take a nap. In the freezer. It’s been down to freezing temperatures a couple of times, and I’m still wearing my light weight wind breaker. The fine people of Oakwood are starting to look at me like a freak, as they scamper about in their fine wool coats.

I was surprised by a delivery of Omaha Steak goodies from my brother and his family. I can’t remember the last time I had an actual Christmas surprise. My husband, bless his heart, doesn’t do surprises. He does “Come look at these printers on the internet and tell me which one you want.” And then he goes off to click and ship some gifts for himself as well.

I have an idea for a book, but I’m not really sure how to get it out of my head and onto paper, yet. Oh, I should mention now, my sense of humor can stray toward the sarcastic and bawdy so if this is not your cup of tea you should probably not follow my blog. This writer has gotta write uncensored.

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New Misadventures for an Oakwood Superwoman

What’s new for 2013?  For me, the answer is two new jobs.  And I’m just crazy enough to be excited about the situation.  The best part–both jobs are freelance/independent contractor type jobs, so I’m going to be my own boss.  This will be the first time in 20+ years that I wont be collecting a regular paycheck, and its both scary and exciting.

Job #1 became official today (or will be official as soon as the state of Ohio changes my  broker).  I am the newest Realtor for Coldwell Banker Heritage Realtors, at their location across the street from Dayton Mall.  I am going to put my six-year-old Ohio real estate license to work helping sellers and buyers with residential home sales.  The people at CBHR could not be nicer, and since they are the dominant brokerage in Dayton, I am looking forward to learning from the best.  Working in the residential real estate community excites me because everyone should be well taken care of when they are dealing with one of the largest transactions of their life.  My real estate experience and natural tendency to mother everyone should serve me well in this endeavor.

Job #2 is developing my own company, TREe Enterprises, where I will be working as a Freelance Commercial Writer.  So what does that mean?  I will be working primarily with other businesses, writing content for brochures, websites, newsletters, business letters, form letters, and social media.  Is there a market for this?  You better believe it.  There are a ton of businesses (think small and medium size businesses) that are great at their business, but don’t communicate well with clients.  These businesses can’t afford to hire a full-time copywriter, so they pay me to get only the services they need, when they need them.  In turn, I provide these companies with the words to make their communication match their quality of work.  And I can do this for anyone–I’m not limited to Ohio locations.

In my spare time, I’ll be parenting, pinning and working on a novel and some other creative writing.  My best bet for 2013–buy coffee futures and Starbucks stock!  Happy New Year!

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Up On a Rooftop in California

Hi Readers!

Long time no blog.  I have a WIP (that’s work in progress) novel that I am working on.  It’s about a woman searching for her soul mate–its chick lit with some steampunk and erotica thrown in just for fun.  I’m on chapter 4, so who knows when I will finish.

In the meantime, I wrote a short story for the annual Beatnik Cafe that my writers group hosts every December.  For those of you that can’t get to the reading in Beavercreek, here it is for your enjoyment.

Happy Holidays!

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Up On a Rooftop in California

     “Tiffany” Mike yelled, trying to get his wife’s attention.  The crazy woman had him up on the roof in eighty degree heat, setting up a Santa sled near the chimney.  It never felt quite right to be putting up Christmas decorations in the middle of a heat wave, but after twenty years, he expected to sweat off five pounds the weekend after Thanksgiving.
     Mike liked Christmas, mostly because Tiffany and the boys enjoyed the holiday.  But now that the boys were teenagers, holiday vacation was about sleeping in and playing travel ball and hanging out with their girlfriends, not decorating the house with their mother.
     Tiffany finished wrapping the palm tree trunk with green lights.  She looked up and saw Mike waving her down.  “Honey, you want to come up and make sure this sled is right?  I think something is wrong, but I can’t figure it out.”
     Mike heard Tiffany sigh and could have sworn he heard the word idiot.  She’s the perfectionist; she can get up here and figure out the damn sled.  Mike watched Tiffany reach the top of the ladder, step onto the roof, and promptly kick the ladder off the side of the house.
     Mike ran his hand over his face and through his hair.  “Seriously woman, after all these years you still can’t climb a ladder without pushing it away from the house?”
     “I’m a freaking dental hygienist, not one of those property managers that climb up ladders in front of you so you can check out their bottoms.  And you are the one that wanted me up here.”
     “Yeah, so you could check out your beloved Santa sleigh.  I wouldn’t want it to be misangled by five degrees.  The reindeer might miss the hookup and end up in the swimming pool.”
     Tiffany glanced at the sleigh and Mike knew immediately he had it screwed up.  The project manager in him had to make the sleigh look like it realistically landed, centered and balanced across the roof.  “It’s supposed to lean to the left of the chimney.”
     Mike looked at her and sighed.  He wanted to tell her that Santa is subject to the laws of gravity, but it wasn’t worth it.  Getting off the roof will be enough of a fight.  He took the sleigh, moved it to the left, and tightened the securing band.  “Better?”
     “Much, thank you.  At least this isn’t as bad as the first time you put up the sleigh.”
     He couldn’t believe she wanted to bring that up.  “It’s pretty tough to top me putting my foot through the roof, but you may have done it this time.  You want to get on your phone and call one of the boys to put the ladder back up?”
     Tiffany reached around to the back pocket of her shorts.  No phone.  She moved her left hand to reach the other pocket.  No phone.  And then she looked at the palm tree.  Sitting next to the empty light spool was her cell phone.  “I left it by the tree so it wouldn’t fall off the roof.  And the boys took Maddie and Emily to see the new Bond film.”
     Mike heard a car and looked down, hoping it was the boys.  But it was Ben and Kathy, the next door neighbors.  Mike waved them down so they could help with the ladder.  But the Johns didn’t understand the issue and thought Mike was just being friendly.  They tapped on their horn, smiled and waved, leaving for destinations unknown.
     Tiffany had sat down near the top of the roof, and had taken off her t-shirt, revealing a navy blue sports bra.  Mike came over and sat down next to her.  From this angle, he could watch the palm trees swaying in the slight breeze and could make out the ocean in the distance.  “Well, what do you suggest we do now?”
     “One of us could jump off the roof.  It’s only a two-story fall.”  Tiffany looked at him as if he should think this was a good idea.
     “If by one of us jumping you mean me, you can think again.  I have the bum knee, and besides, you have the medical marijuana license.  If anyone needs to risk injury it should be you.”  Mike was in no mood to play Tiffany’s hero, and the heat was only making it worse.  But he had an idea.  “How about if I pull the lights off the roof line, and you use them to lower yourself down the side of the house?”
     Tiffany glared.  “Do you really think I could manage that without kicking in a window?  And I doubt it would support my weight.”
     So she had gained 30 pounds.  He couldn’t have cared less.  She always looked good to him, even when she pulled her hair in a ponytail, washed the makeup off her face, and climbed into bed wearing a nightgown that left everything to the imagination.  Mike took off his t-shirt to wipe the sweat off his face.  When he finished, he noticed that Tiffany was staring at him.
     “What?  Am I burning?  I swear I put on SPF 100 before I came out.”
     “No, you are fine.  I was just watching you take off your shirt and remembered the time we went skinny dipping at the cabin.”  She smiled.
     He remembered too.  Tiffany had won tickets to a mountain retreat.  The girls in her office had some system for winning radio prizes, and it was Tiffany’s turn to keep the gift when they won the weekend getaway for two.  Tiffany’s mom even volunteered to keep the boys.  And Mike had convinced Tiffany to get in the hot tub naked–it will be faster and easier to dry off.  It was a lot faster and easier to do everything without swimsuits.  Up until the maintenance man showed up because he waited until after hours to add the chemical treatment.  Tiffany was not happy about having to get out of the hot tub in front of two men, but it had been a lovely sight.
     Mike smiled and put his shirt on and kissed Tiffany on the forehead.  “Okay, for you, I will jump.  Even if I take out my bum knee.  Want to help me figure out the best place to jump?”
     They looked around.  Definitely not into the back yard–too far to the pool, which was surrounded by decorative rocks and concrete.  The side yard?  It was bad enough having to jump, but into the dog’s bathroom?  Nope, it would have to be the front yard.  Nice and grassy, but with the downhill slope, Mike was a little concerned about rolling into the street.
     “Well, here goes nothing.”  Mike took a deep breath and reminded himself that it was only two stories and it wouldn’t be that bad.
     “No, Mike don’t jump!”  Tiffany’s shrill scream nearly pushed him off the roof.
     “Okay woman, I thought this is what you wanted.  What’s the problem now?”
     “No problem.  Look!”  She pointed down the street.  And sure enough, the black SUV had turned the corner.  Chris and Mick were on their way home and were promptly treated like rescuing heroes by their mother.  Mike couldn’t believe that Tiffany was treating them like princes when he was the one ready to risk bodily injury for her.  At least no one had to jump.

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My Mother, My Daughter

As babies, our first love relationships are formed with our caregivers.  Usually the parents, but you get the picture.  So for me, my first love relationship was with my mother.

I always had the youngest, prettiest mother of any of my friends–although I really didn’t understand at that time that the 18 years between us was probably too small of an age gap.  And while my mom would have benefitted from becoming a mother later in life, there wasn’t one day of my childhood that I didn’t know that she loved me with all her heart.  She was my first friend, my best friend, the person that I could run and tell my troubles to, the one that would hold me when I cried and celebrate my successes with me.

A lot of times it seemed like I was my mother’s parent and maybe I was just as much of an anchor for her as she was for me.  At times in her life, she had to allow each of her sons to live with their fathers, and I know this broke her heart.  While as a child it seemed to me that being a daughter was seen as a defect by my father and step-fathers, it would not have mattered.  To tear my mother and I apart would have been nearly impossible and probably would have killed us both.

So I turned 18, and I was in such a hurry to leave my mother.  Not because I didn’t love her, but I needed to escape her husband.  He was an ill-tempered, functioning alcoholic of a man who never saw anything wrong with the fact that he beat the living daylights out of a child half his size.  And even he couldn’t come between us, even though he tried.  One night, I was probably 15 or 16, and I can’t even remember why I was crying, but I was very upset.  And I heard him tell my mother to ignore me, that I would cry myself out.  It took 90 minutes of inconsolable sobbing, but mom finally came to me and had me calmed down in 5 minutes.  He didn’t have a chance in hell of winning that one.

So in my 20s, I lived in southern California, and only saw my mom once or twice a year.  But my mom was always just a phone call away, ready to help with advise and encouragement and love.  By the time I had moved to Washington state to be near her, I knew it was a good plan, because I knew it was time to have a baby, and I would need her with me in the delivery room.  I knew she would be my birthing room coach before I met my husband, before I conceived, because I knew there was no way I would be able to do it without her.

So when I learned I was pregnant, I knew immediately it was a girl.  I just knew . . . can’t tell you why, I just knew I was destined to have a daughter.  I was not a happy pregnant woman.  I was miserable . . . I had gestational diabetes, the edema swelled my feet from a size 5 1/2 to a 9,  I just looked fatter than ever rather than pregnant, and my asthma acted up to the point that I was on bed rest.  I wondered how I was ever going to form a love relationship with this daughter of mine, when all I could think about was how I wanted this alien invader out of my body.

I believe that even in the womb, Darling Daughter was trying to take care of me.  On Friday, we selected a pediatrician, on Saturday we toured the birthing portion of the hospital (it was also my birthday), and on Sunday, Darling Daughter decided we were ready enough and it was time for her entrance.  After months of nearly hacking up a lung with my asthma, in my 33rd week of pregnancy, I had a little throat clearing cough, and my water broke.  And after 30 hours of labor (all but the last 6 without any medications) my tiny premature daughter arrived.  And Mother of the Writer is the only one of the three of us with the stomach to witness her actual arrival.  I’d seen the films, I didn’t want the image of Darling Daughter exiting my vagina in my head–not enough brain bleach in the world to get that one out.

It was such a relief to have the alien invader out of my body.  And then I had the worst 11 days in my life.  The days in the NICU, the tiny sunglasses to keep the bili lights out of her eyes, the IV in her foot, the gavage tube to feed her.  I can’t tell you when it happened, but by day 7, as I spent my first mother’s day in the NICU rocking my daughter, not wanting to let her go, I realized that Mom had dropped to number two on my list of most important love relationships.

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What’s Next?

Well since Dear Hubby has been hinting about it on my Facebook page, I guess it’s okay to write about our separation, which will likely lead to a divorce down the line. This is a separation of my choosing and I am grateful that Dear Hubby has agreed that an amicable separation is in everyone’s best interest, especially Darling Daughter’s. My first husband hates me to this day, my second husband is a very good friend, and I have no idea what is to become of my relationship with Dear Hubby. Only time will tell.

And for those who need to know why, you don’t. But I will say that things happen in a person’s life that can create physical, emotional, and mental issues. And while it’s nice to think that spouses would be able to help support each other through these issues, sometimes that is just not in the realm of possibility.

Separating doesn’t happen all at once, it’s kind of the reverse process of falling in love. Even though it is truly necessary, that doesn’t make it any easier. But ultimately it amounts to this, I’m not the kind of girl that should be married. And that should be okay.

I’m a strong minded, stubborn, independent woman. And I really hope that doesn’t preclude me from being in a loving relationship. But I have my doubts. Because I have never been able to give up my control freak tendencies to truly become a “we” with a man.

When you add that to my trust issues–thanks to my dad’s and step-dads 2/3 less than enthusiastic parenting of a daughter, I don’t trust very easily and I am filled with doubt. (so for any dads of girls out there–it is important to tell your daughter that she is pretty and funny and that she makes you proud.)

Darling Daughter sees the real me, probably as well as anyone can. She told me boyfriends are okay, she doesn’t even care if one moves in eventually (as long as he isn’t a creeper–she is not talking to a creeper!) but no more husbands. I think she is a very smart girl.

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DOCTOR WHO IS BACK TOMORROW. #dealwithit

Guest blog courtesy of Darling Daughter . . . don’t ask me what it means, I don’t know. 

This blog contains major spoilers from the television show Doctor Who. It sounds crazy. And that is because it is. DUM DUM DUM DOO WOO OOO WEE OOO. MATT SMITH. KAREN GILLIAN. ARTHUR. shakes fist BARROWMAN. MOFFAT. BILLIE PIPER. ROSE TYLER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. DAVID TENNANT IS NUMBER ONE EVEN THOUGH HE IS ACTUALLY NUMBER TEN. HE DIDNT WANT TO GO. SO MANY TEARS WRAPPED UP IN TO ONE FOURTY THREE MINUTE LONG EPISODE. THIRTEEN EPISODES PLUS A CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. HEYYYY THERE IS WATER ON MARS. EXTERMINATE. DELETE. THE FACE OF BOE. TARDIS BLUE. DONNA. MARTHA JONES. THE ONE WHO FORGOT. THE ONE WHO LEFT. THE ONE HE LOST. THE ONE WHO WAITED. IF I COULD DECIDE WHO LIVES AND WHO DIES THAT WOULD MAKE ME A MONSTER. HEY ON THE BRIGHT SIDE IN AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE DAVID TENNANT AND ROSE TYLER ARE OFF LIVING THEIR LIVES. HE IS HUMAN SO HE AGES AND SINCE HE AGES IT CAN ALL WORK OUT. THEY ARE SO MUCH IN LOVE OMG CAN’T HANDLE IT. AND THEN MICKEY AND MARTHA ARE TOGETHER FOREVER. SO THATS PRETTY COOL. OMG TOMORROW IS NEW WHO. THE MASTER. DO YOU HEAR IT? THE SOUND OG THE DRUMS? REMEMBER NINE? CHRIS YOU ARE SO SUPER AWESOME AND PRECIOUS BUT YOU HATED THE WORLD AND WOULDNT LET ANYBODY IN, BUT THEN ALONG CAME ROSE TYLER. SHE SAVED YOU FROM YOURSELF. BUT THEN YOU REGENERATED RIGHT AFTER YOU TOLD HER YOU COULD TAKE HER TO BARCELONA THE PLANET NOT THE COUNTRY. AND THEN YOU TOTALLY FREAKED HER OUT AND YOU WERE ANGRY BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT A GINGER. YOU STILL ARENT. RUDE AND NOT GINGER. RAGGEDY DOCTOR. REMEMBER THAT ONE TIME THAT THE TARDIS BECAME A LADY AND SHE JUST WANTED TO SAY HELLO? #FEELS. REMEMBER WHEN WE ALL THOUGHT DAVID WAS GOING TO REGENERATE BUT THEN HE USED HIS ORIGINAL HAND TO SAVE HIMSELF? IT ALWAYS COMES BACK TO THE ORIGINAL HAND DOESNT IT? TICK TOCK GOES THE CLOCK. RIVER KILLED THE DOCTOR. GALLIFREY. DONT BLINK. BOWTIES ARE COOL. VAN GOGH WAS IN LOVE WITH AMELIA POND. 10 AND ROSE FOREVER. RORY THE CENTURON. WIBLEY WOBLEY TIMEY WIMEY. THE UNIVERSE IS BIG. IT’S VAST AND COMPLICATED AND RIDICULOUS AND SOMETIMES, VERY RARELY, IMPOSSIBLE THINGS JUST HAPPEN AND WE CALL THEM MIRACLES. I DIED AND TURNED INTO A ROMAN.  SPOILERS. ALLONS-Y. GERONIMO. REMEMBER THAT TIME THAT THE TITANIC SANK AND THAT LADY SACRIFICED HERSELF FOR THE DOCTOR? AND THERE WAS THAT REALLY SELFISH DUDE? #FEELS LOL OOD ON THE LOO. WEEPING ANGELS. SONIC SCREWDRIVER. FISH FINGERS AND CUSTARD. TORCHWOOD. THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES. SARAH JANE IN GENERAL. K-9. ARE YOU MY MUMMY? HELLO SWEETIE. THIS IS MY TIMEY WIMEY DETECTOR. IT GOES DING WHEN THERE IS STUFF. RIVER SONG AKA MELODY POND AKA MELS. YOUR DAUGHTER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND BUT ALSO THE PERSON THAT MARRIED YOUR BEST FRIEND. RORY. ALIENS IN LONDON. I’M BURNING UP A SUN JUST TO SAY GOODBYE. #EXTREMEFEELS DALEKS. CYBERMEN. THE CRACK IN THE WALL. TIME AND RELATIVE DIMENSION IN SPACE. BAD WOLF.  THE SILENCE WILL FALL WHEN THE QUESTION IS ASKED. THE FIRST QUESTION. THE QUESTION YOU HAVE BEEN RUNNING FROM ALL YOUR LIFE. DOCTOR WHO?  ps its bigger on the inside.

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Every Little Thing Gonna Be All Right

God bless Bob Marley and can someone please pass the bong? Where do you find the ability to not worry and trust that everything will be all right? Especially in a state that has yet to approve medical marijuana. But when you worry about everything, how do you let go? I’m 44 years old and still haven’t learned this one.

I worry about the health and happiness of my loved ones. The widowed mother, the aging grandmas, several friends going through health and relationship issues. And then there is Darling Daughter. growing up in a scary world–okay, the teenage boys scare me. The boys in her school haven’t figured out her appeal–yet. But I’m sure that day is coming.

I’m clearly still worried about that freaking old job–yay, filter working tonight. I keep having the nightmare that I have to go back and work there. Maybe if I type it out right here, it will register with my brain. I WILL NEVER WORK FOR THOSE BASTARDS AGAIN. I WOULD SOONER TAKE UP RESIDENCY WITH THE HOMELESS OF DAYTON! Good–Let’s hope that takes.

I worry about my new job and getting caught up there. It is the life of a property manager . . . you just can’t move fast enough to make everyone happy. I worry that injuries to my body heal at the speed of slugs. I worry about most everything, because I am so damn good at it.

Let’s imagine lying on a sandy beach, a light wind keeping the temperature mild, a margarita in my hand, reggae playing in the background, and my iPhone back in the hotel room. So how the hell do I get there?