Yesterday my parents were sitting in their front yard enjoying the cooling evening. My mom saw movement out of the corner of her eye and turned to see their large black and white cat attacking something behind her car. She pointed it out to my dad, thinking the cat had found a beetle or something.
They watched for a moment as the cat swatted at whatever it was then leaped back before going on the offensive again. His retreat was out of proportion for a battle with something small like a bug and made my parents suspect he was fighting something bigger. Taking a shovel with him, my dad walked around the end of the car just as a snake struck at the cat.
The cat avoids the attack and my dad brought the sharp end of the shovel down hard on the back of the snake’s head, severing it from the body. ( It was a poisonous copper head or he wouldn’t have killed it.) Then he scooped the still wriggling snake pieces up with the shovel and carried them off to the edge of the woods, knowing a hawk or crow would eventually find them and enjoy the snack.
Remember to watch your step if you are outside or in your garage. Many snakes like shady spots as much as they like warm places.
I met this Monday morning slowly and with heavy eyes. I was awake before the sun but refused to get out of bed, hoping for a few last minutes of sleep that never came. I don’t really dread Mondays. It is just that there is so much to do on them. It seems like all of the things I was unable to accomplish from Friday just swell until the wave of errands breaks over me on Monday.
I’ve accomplished three tasks already, four if you count taking a shower. (I am not above padding the number of my accomplishments where I can. Especially if it helps me get motivated.) I fetched paperwork I need to fax off, found and acquired coffee, then took the trash down to the curb because it is collection day. All mundane tasks that have nothing to do with writing.
As far as writing goes, I’ve not done much. I checked my email and discovered another rejection slip. After that I showed up here to write a blog post. I really didn’t feel like writing this morning, but it is Monday so here I am.
I showed up. It isn’t much but they say 75% of writing is showing up to the computer even when you don’t want to. (I made that number up. There is a percent that is routinely quoted but I don’t remember what it is right now. 75% sounds about right to me.)
I have a long list of tasks that need to be accomplished today. I will be very surprised if I
get to them all. Many of them are boring things that take me out of the house and out among people I don’t want to talk to. However, if I am good and get at least half of my list done then I will reward myself by reading a book.
My daughter and I went to the Georgia Renaissance festival yesterday and I am longing to read a good fantasy novel. I am still tired, a little sore, and a little sunburned but it was worth it. We had a great time. Maybe I will write a fantasy story too.
Recently I was applying a thick coating of antibiotic cream to an abrasion my eldest achieved from doing something she realized (in retrospect) was a bad idea. It was while listening to her hiss in pain as she attempted to hold still that I was struck with a thought. Kids are a second chance to learn from your own mistakes.
You see, the thing she did was something I easily could have done once upon a time. I have even considered it before. However, by that time I was old enough to think the idea all of the way through and realise what the end result would probably be. She is still at the age of: “I have an idea! Let’s try it.”
Being a parent of really creative children is a joy and a challenge. They come up with some wonderful insights but they also find their fair share of trouble. Sometimes they find that trouble earlier than they are prepared to deal with it. Mostly it is because they simply haven’t learned to think things through. It can be a hard lesson to learn. Some people never learn it.
Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and embarrassment help encourage us to look ahead to possible outcomes. This is a good thing for self preservation but it can also be a bad thing if you only weigh the negative outcomes. There is a balance that has to be learned. Sometimes it is worth it to take the chance. Sometimes it is not. The important thing is to think about things before you do them.
I would like to say this is a lesson I know well, but that would be a lie. In some things I am good at looking ahead and going “Nope. Bad Idea. Okay, Plan B…” In other things it never occurs to me. (Hence the three novels currently being worked on all at the same time.) Sometimes I see the mud puddle and jump it without look to see what the ground is like on the other side. That is a good way to lose shoes. (I know from experience.)
If my daughter had thought things through she wouldn’t have gotten hurt. It is a lesson she has learned and will not repeat soon. It also reminded me of my own mistakes and the things I learned.
Parents like to repeat: Look Before You Leap. There is a reason. It is cliche but it is ancient wisdom we try to pass on. We try to warn our offspring. Often they don’t listen to the warning and end up making their own mistakes anyway, just as we did.
One day they will grow up and pass that phrase on to their own children, who will roll their eyes and make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. However, if the same mistake keeps getting repeated over and over then the lessons aren’t getting through and it may be time for extra guidance. (Unless you are trying to make something. Then those “mistakes” turn into “drafts” or “experiments.”)
Saturday the kids and I drove up to our state capitol in Nashville for a Cherry Blossom Festival. We had a good time. My son learned how to make an origami throwing star, we watch some martial arts demonstrations, and we ate too much. I also learned about taro when I bought a strange white and lavender muffin. (It is kind of like a potato.)
We left the festival around 3pm and were on our way home when we decided to change direction. It was our first trip to Nashville and even though we had a three-hour car ride to look forward to, it seemed a shame not to explore just a little more. That was how we went from celebrating Japanese culture to exploring Ancient Greece. (Well, sort of.)
In 1897 Nashville held an Exposition to celebrate Tennessee’s 100th anniversary as a state. For six months crowds flocked to hear speeches, play games, and watch parades. They also came to see a massive replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. Sadly, that replica was built of plaster and did not withstand time. By 1920 the structure was crumbling.
However, the city of Nashville decided not to let the fascinating building die. Instead, the created a complete replica, inside and out, of the Greek temple using more permanent materials. While the Parthenon in Nashville isn’t made of marble, it was built to the same dimensions and inspires a similar sense of awe.
It is home to a statue of the goddess Athena that stands over 42 feet, with a smaller 6-foot representation of the goddess Nike settled on her hand. (The original statue this one was model after has been lost to time and greed.) Standing at her feet it is nearly impossible not to stare up at the intimidating goddess and imagine her taking a step off of her carved pedestal.
The Parthenon also houses art exhibits on its lower levels, as well as a historical exhibit detailing its creation. The Cherry Blossom festival was fun. The Parthenon was fascinating. We all slept well once we reached home.
My brain feels like dirty, knotted, tangled string. Usually when I get out of work for the week I am eventually able to shake off work like pool water and focus on the part of my life that is the reason I work like I do. Even though I am free from my night job today and I slept last night, I feel depressed. I don’t know if it was the extra work day, the busy week, or the constant feeling that I carry most of my shift after all the day people leave.
My daughter is doing her teenaged angst thing again because she is having trouble at school with grades and other kids. I imagine she feels the same about school as I do work. I wish I could fix it all.
I wish I could write. I know as a writer, unless you are a giant name, it is a struggle to make a living. I know that if I do get all the books that I have in progress finished and out, and even if they do well, I would not be making more that I do now. I would still be balancing bills and paying late fees. However, I think that would be better.
I don’t know how to explain it. I would still be under pressure and stress. I would be working without a safety net. There would be no guarantee I would bring in money. However, being able to pay bills without my shoulders being partially dislocated from heavy stock and my upper back in constant pain from spending hours bent over hanging stickers has its appeal.
I know this isn’t very cheerful for a blog post. I didn’t really intend to write a post but this is where my fingers lead me when I decided to try to write out my current problems. I could have tucked it away in a writing folder or scribbled it out in my journal, but I thought maybe if I put it here I might get some feed back. Maybe someone might have an idea. At the very least if there is someone else out there feeling the same they will know they are not alone.
Easter Sunday was overcast with rays of sun peeking through
the clouds. Blossoms from the Bradford Pear in my yard lay scattered on the ground like a white carpet. It was a nice contrast to the green grass. I would have been lovely with multi-colored eggs scattered about as well.
But we didn’t hunt Easter eggs at my house. Instead we went over to my mom’s for Easter lunch and my eldest scattered Star Wars themed “eggs” in my mom’s flower beds for my youngest to find. We even took the dog. It was nice.
I enjoyed visiting my parents and seeing my brother and his wife. My daughter even got up the nerve to slip behind the steering wheel of our car. We drove up and down the same quarter of a mile road several times and she did very well.
Maybe it doesn’t sound like the most exciting Sunday, but it was well spent enjoying my family and adding to good memories. I would be hard pressed to come up with a better way to spend the time.
Good morning all and special shout out to the new friends I made this morning while the registers were down. (*Waves* Hi Samantha!) It took me a little longer to leave the store, but it all worked out in the end. Sometimes things that should be irritations work to our benefit. It’s not always easy to see it that way but I am happy when I can.
In case you are wondering why I was out and about before the sun, I took the kids out for pancakes before the rest of the world became too crowded. I am doing much better. I’ve had a few anxiety attacks since my last post but no more panic attacks.
I have taken the precautions of avoid large crowds when I can and I’ve cut out most caffeine for now. For frequent readers of my blog, you know of my love of tea and coffee so this has been difficult. I bought decaf but I just can’t bring myself to drink it. Silly, I know.
I haven’t managed a lot of writing over the last few days. I tire a lot easier right now than I normally do. Most of my concentration has been spent on feeling better and household tasks. However, I plan on spending a lot of time catching up on writing today. I have several books that really need to be finished. I guess I better get to it.