Flat brain day

My brain feels flat today. Like popped balloon pancake flat. I have quiet a few things I need to get done but I really don’t want to do anything.

I could have another cup of coffee or force myself to work but I that is what I always do. It is a windy day outside with clouds racing across the sky. My daughter didn’t go to school today because neither her nor I slept well last night.

(Yes I am a horrible parent. I let my kid stay home because she was tired. I did send the other kid to school though. I don’t know if that makes things better or not.)

I think what I will do is go take a nap. Just a short one. Then I will take a walk with my daughter, sit on the porch with a cup of tea, and then I will get busy on all of the things I need to accomplish.

The plan is to gently re-inflate my brain rather than forcing the flat tire to keep rolling.

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Watching the snow fall and a word about morality tales

snow in the treesIt is 6am.  I have been awake for around an hour and a half.  A hot cup of tea is to my right and a cat sits on my window sill to the left.  He is making these distracting purring/chirping sounds because he wants to go outside but the porch is cover in snow.

We received about six inches of fluffy white stuff last night.  I went out when it first started falling and covered my car with a table cloth.  Then around 11pm I went out with a bowl and scooped up snow for snow cream.  The kids loved it.

After filling our bellies full of snow and sugar, the three of us crawled into my bed and moving castlecuddled together while I read them the next chapter of Howl’s Moving Castle.  By the end of the chapter both kids were snoring softly.  Putting the book away with a head pillowed on each shoulder was a little difficult but I managed.

There is no school today so when the sun comes up and my two lovelies awake, we will probably go build snowmen (or snow daleks) after breakfast.  Once sufficiently chilled we will come in to warm drinks and hot soup.  I may write a little, but more than likely I will end up curled up on the couch with my daughter watching Doctor Who.

I have spent the past hour catching up on blog posts I’ve black-41201_640missed this week and doing a little writing work so I won’t feel guilty later.  I also purchased Reflections:On the Magic of Writing  by Diana Wynne Jones.  It is a collection of essays and speeches.  I’ve been reading it slowly.  It is one of those books that makes you want to stop and think after every chapter.

A blog post that I read this morning also made me stop and think.  (You can check it out over at Comet Tales or follow the link above.)  It was in regard to the debate about what writers should be striving for in their writing.

Is it our job to teach?  Is it our job to send messages to our readers?  Should we be standing on soap boxes or telling stories?  Is there a way to do both?  Should we do both?  soapbox_webThese are all questions I gave some serious thought to after reading Stephanie Osborn’s post.

Writer-once-upon-a-time-1024x576In the end, my answers to these questions were simple.  Just write the story.  Anything else that should be in there will fall into place naturally.  People (or at least me as reader) like to read stories.  They don’t often like to read lectures.  Morality tales were the only plays allowed once upon a time.  I think that is one of the reasons Shakespeare was such a breath of fresh air and has survived so long.  He was prolific and gave people variety.

I have no historical accounts to back this up right now.  In fact I imagine my time is just a little off and I do know there were other playwrights that wrote things that were not 284646_432685473474603_712801232_nchurch approved before.  I could look it up. I may do a blog post on that alone one day.  However, this post is running long and my tea cup is empty.  That means it is time to wrap this up.  I encourage you to read Stephanie’s blog post yourself and come up with your own answers.  As with everything in writing, answers to questions like this seem to be author specific. Not all answers work for everyone.

A Chilling Post

Monday’s post wasn’t really a post, so I thought I would make up for it with this one.

tissuesI went to bed sick last night.  I’m still not feeling that great this morning.  I had nightmares all night, (I always do when I get sick), and I woke up with a pulled muscle in my right shoulder and a slightly swollen left eye.   I am not sure what I did to earn either of those, but I am guessing I wrestled with something in my sleep.

It is cold outside. The local weatherman says it is 25 degrees right now, my computer reports 22.   The kids did not want to go to school this morning and I don’t blame them.  Still, I did the evil mom thing and made them go anyway.

However, after dropping them off I could not force myself to return home.  I do dumb things sometimes, and this may prove to be one of them, but instead of going home I took a walk. I haven’t seen “outside” since last year.  It feels like the last sixteen days have been nothing but a repeat of: work, home, school, grocery store.IMG_20140116_074816_035

There is an entrance to The Greenway, a walking trail that goes all over town, just down the road from the school.  So despite being sick and injured,  I decided to stop and take a stroll.  It was great.

I do not like being cold.  It is near the top of my list of things I don’t like.  That’s what makes my impromptu side trip even more odd.

IMG_20140116_074145_770But as lost feeling in my nose and my toes turned into icicles, I also forgot about the pain in my shoulder.  I remembered crunching frozen mud puddles as a kid and I marveled at the steam rising from the small brook that runs near the trail.  The grass was frozen white and reminded me of frosted mini wheats.

There was just one cloud in the sky. It stood like a fluffy white pillar in the distance and IMG_20140116_074504_990gave me a great idea for a story.  Shivering I returned to my still warm car and drove home.

The warm cup of tea I am currently sipping seems like the best I’ve ever had, even though it’s “the cheep stuff” sweetened with a spoon full of honey.  My walk only lasted fifteen or twenty minutes, but it is good to remember what cold feels like every now and again. It makes you enjoy warmth that much more.

Lost words

victorian_lady_having_teaWhile enjoying a morning cup of tea, I flipped through T.V. channels and stumbled upon an interview with a couple of biographers.  These authors spoke at length about the wealth of knowledge they gained from letters.  They said you really got a feel for the personality of the people they wrote books about from their correspondence.  You were able to see the many facets of their personality from the way the wrote to their wives verses the way they wrote to their friends.

Then these authors lamented the fact that writing handwritten letters has become a lost art.  They mentioned that they were uncertain how biographers would gather their information in the future.  We currently communicate through email, texts, tweets, and facebook posts.  It is a rare thing that we even pick up a phone and actually talk to someone rather than just send a short message.

300px-EscribanoI have a cousin who graduated high school with honors, yet cannot read cursive handwriting because the schools he went to decided it was obsolete and therefore did not teach it to their students.  His father would send him letters but had to write them all in print so he could read them without assistance.

This year I received many holiday wishes and greetings through electronic media.  But I received only three actual Christmas cards.  One was from my mother.  One was from the agent who sold me my house a couple of years ago.  The last was hand delivered by my son, who drew it on notebook paper with colored pencils.  The two mailed cards hang on my wall near the Christmas tree.  My son’s card sits next to my alarm clock so it is one of the first things I see in the morning.

100_9068The two biographers mentioned that future generations would probably sort through emails to gather the information for their books.  I think that blogs would also be a decent source, depending on the blog.  My intent with this post is not to put down the many ways we have to communicate.  I have friends all over the country.  Some I would never get to speak with if it were not for text messages and facebook.

However, I would like to encourage those who read this to think about picking up a pen 1when you get a chance and leave words someone can hold in their hand.

Sleeping and Waking

My sleep was filled with dreams last night.  I cannot recall them but I have brief snatches, like catching a flash of color out of the corner of your eye.  I was awakened by clawing and meowing at my bedroom door at five a.m. because my furry mistress and master decided it was breakfast time.  cat breakfast

I am still not quite awake and I would love to lay down and cuddle with my pillow again but I know if I go back to sleep I will be haunted by nightmares.  I’m tired but I am in a semi foul mood and that is not a good combination.

doomMy stomach is tied in knots, probably because I didn’t wake up on my own, but I feel apprehensive as well.  It’s like I am waiting for something unpleasant to happen.  I will probably feel better after a warm shower and a cup of tea…and with the sun actually up.

I can sit on the porch and watch the sun rise this morning with a nice cup of chai, that should raise my spirits.  Still, it is good to record my current unease Victory-Teafor two reasons.

One: It makes me feel better.

Two:  It might come in handy someday with a story.

So if I finally get something written, polished, and ready for audience consumption enough to put it up on Amazon; and someone who reads this blog also reads that work and finds a smartcat_f429-4030scene were a character is awoken by cats and left with a sense of unease….you know where it came from.

Saturday…

book large enough or teaIt is a beautiful day outside. I slept in this morning after staying up late reading. I feel lazy because of it.  I don’t really have anything pressing to do today (for once) so it is okay to be a little lazy.

I think I may take another cup of tea and another book and sit on the porch for awhile, maybe wash some dishes later so I feel like I did something, and maybe visit my brother.  Big plans right?  🙂

This afternoon I will probably move my computer to the porch and get a little writing in and soak up some vitamin D at the same time….or I may read some more.  Like I said, I’m feeling lazy.  I’m not going to stress over much today.

I may even take a long walk down a new trail through a green wood.  (I’ve been listening to the sound track to the Hobbit.)hobbit

Burnt Toast

I slept in this morning.  It was wonderful.  I haven’t done it in a long time.  I awoke refreshed and content with life and decided it was a good day for cinnamon toast.   My daughter hates cinnamon, but she spent the night at a friend’s house so it was just me and my son this morning.  A perfect cinnamon toast day.

I thought I would even go the extra mile and make it in the oven…  The thing is I am easily distracted.  If I don’t set a timer then I will often forget about things in the oven.  This morning I forgot to set a timer.  I remembered about the time the smell of burned bread and cinnamon reached my nose.  So I grabbed an oven mitt and tossed the burned toast out of the kitchen door and discovered it is a beautiful morning.

The sun was still new in the sky and the grass is bright green and covered in purple clover flowers.  And best of all, it isn’t cold!  The air is a little cool but pleasantly so.  This means I can sit on my front porch and enjoy an nice cup of tea…and some cinnamon toast, only this time I am cheating and using the toaster.