Give Me a Minute

I’ll get it–I will!
I just need a minute or two to think about it…or, you know, purposely NOT think about it. (Because for whatever reason, THAT works.)

We all suffer on occasion from that “tip of the tongue” thing.
Which, by the way, has a scientific name.
Lethologica is the inability to remember a particular word.

Of course, I am able to tell you EVERYTHING else about the misplaced word, everything except what it is. But with enough clues, you’ll get it.

Communication is a team effort.

If only you were here to tell me why I walked into this room


A mental quandary which also has a scientific title.
The Boundary Effect is caused by the brain adjusting to the boundary event–entering a new room–and moving on to a new thought.

When I’m out walking
I strut my stuff
And I’m so strung out
I’m high as a kite
I just might stop to check you out

LET ME GO ON!

Back out and reenter as needed.
This might explain how I have fifty projects going and nothing complete.

Give me a minute, though…I’ve almost got it.
With a bounce in my step and a tune on my tongue, it’s all good.

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Making Senses

I am happy to say that I spent this past weekend working on book two in my Pandoran Legacy series. No, please sit down, no ovation necessary. Your hearty applause is kudos enough. The follow up to A Stranger’s Child is taking its time to emerge, but every little edit is progress in the making.

Anni, my eighteen year old protagonist, has recently discovered she is a descendent of Pandora and it’s fallen to her to collect the evils that her ancestor released into the mortal world. As you can imagine, that’s a tall order which elicits many a reaction. Let’s not forget, she’s an emotional teenager and naturally sensitive. The intensity of her experiences, both new and nostalgic, offer opportunities for me to delve into her sensory world. She’s had an unusual life so far, and this new twist is equally unprecedented. She responds to these duties in a variety of ways–each decision she makes affects the next. Some experiences good, some bad, some powerful, some humbling.

One key to connecting with the reader is to utilize the senses. The character needs to see, smell, touch, taste, and feel in a way that the reader can identify with. Not just “looking” (that’s the easiest, the most used, and also most overused sense), but putting the reader in the scene with the character. The damp heat of a curl-frizzing sauna. The sweet and spicy aroma of a fresh baked cinnamon-apple pie. The icy bite of a door handle on a gloveless hand in a Midwestern Illinois January. The writer needs to invoke an emotion so strong that even the Californian reader who has never had their fingertips seared to frozen metal can relate.

https://blog.leithnissan.com/simple-tricks-open-frozen-car-door-in-no-time/

My Anni’s moods and development are reflective of the things she sees, smells, hears, tastes, and touches. The handsome boy that makes her blush, the tangy thick exhaust of the subway train, the clatter of the switchblade dropping to the blacktop, the delicate pop of the juicy berries on her tongue, and the coolness of the smooth marble column in the forbidden garden.

I’m having a lot of fun living vicariously through her.
I hope my readers will as well.

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Remember when I used to write?

Yes.
That was awesome.

I have SIX publications!

And so many more in the works…except that by “works” I mean not so much working on.

But why?

I want to finish book 2 in the Pandoran Legacy series.
Kimmie has many more ghost mysteries to solve!
Foe Be Us is a gold mine of potential–I have half a dozen phobias written towards the next collection of 13.
And those are just the continuations of series I’ve already begun.
The list of NEW novel ideas is twice as long.

I’ve gotten away from writing focused blog posts. I’m going to try to get back in the groove. Interesting, inspiring, informational resources, reviews, and reflections rife with alliteration, lol, that hopefully writers, readers, and followers will enjoy.

Thank you for your continued support. I enjoy sharing my Monday musings. It will be nice to rediscover my passion for writing–if I don’t tell these stories, who will?

NOBODY, that’s who!
And that’s not fair to my fabulous imagination.
(Look at that–already diving deep into the fiction!)

Not that there’s anything wrong with being a waiter.

Waiters can have groove, too.

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Um, er, ah–

It’s official. Or–I’m finally at a place to recognize that it’s official. I may have been failing for much longer.

Huh? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

I seem to have lost my ability to verbally communicate. With very little practice the past five, six, SEVEN months, I find myself conversationally challenged.

I met some new people Saturday night. Sunday morning I went to message them–only to realize I never introduced myself! I wanted to tell them it was a pleasure to meet them but unfortunately, they never actually met me.

This revelation has me conjuring other conversations I’ve had in the sort of recent past.

Why didn’t I ask how she did when the young woman referenced my DeKalb jacket saying she’d been there earlier in the day for a track meet?

How is it that I forgot to comment on the cool décor of the shop?

Why is it so hard for me to make small talk with a seasonal sales clerk?

Why do I lose track of my next thought in the middle of a chat with a longtime friend?

I replay these verbal absences after the fact, obsessively so, yet I’m no better the next–rare–time I have an exchange.

Friends have called me a “social butterfly“, told me I am their “social glue“. Someone just said that my lockdown life must not be much different since I don’t work 9 to 5. I was like, “WHAT?!” My life is SO different. Before covid I was out of my house almost every day. Driving here, there, everywhere. Meetings, lunch dates, dinners, bbsitting, conferences, concerts, shows, retreats…My entire life was being social. Oh man, has my life changed.

Of course my response was probably a mute nod as I tried to conjure audible thoughts through my face hole.

I have a feeling that once I’m able to hang out and catch up in true social form I will be a volcano of exploding globs of words and phrases and hopefully after repeated exposure, full flowing sentences.

In the meantime, I think I’ll practice talking to myself. And the dogs. And maybe the television. “Oh, Dr. House, why you gotta be such a lovable ass all the time?”

Of course I’ll have to answer on his behalf to fully benefit from the oral exercise.
That should make for lengthy conversations, lol.

I MISS MY PEOPLE!

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Five Amazing Words

I think I know a lot of people.
I think I know a lot ABOUT a lot of people.
That’s why I love when I’m having a conversation with someone and they reveal something about themselves that’s new to me.

I did not know that!”

Five little words. Common, every day words. But in this particular context, they are magical.

I recently discovered that my longtime concert buddy–we’re talking three decades and easily over a hundred shows–doesn’t wear black concert t’s. She stated this and I had to pause, reflect, consider, and finally realize– I did not know that!

Did you know William Shatner is releasing a Blues album? Probably not, but that’s not exactly going to summon the desired response. We were listening to a promo on the radio and they referenced his nationality. William Shatner, he of ecclectic fame throughout my life, is Canadian. I did not know that. Yes, I was more surprised to learn about his Montreal roots than I was to hear about him singing (!?) the blues.

Once in a great while, I learn something new about my husband. We’ve spent pretty much every day together for over thirty-five years. It’s hard to imagine there are things we haven’t discussed. And yet…occasionally I’m blown away by an

“I did not know that!”

factoid.

I think those revelations are wonderful. Not planned. No truth or dare or tell me a secret kind of shenanigans. Totally organic conversational discoveries.

Isn’t it nice to meet someone and find out–later–that they are a vegan? Or teach Pilates? Or love cats? I tease, but it’s true.

I guess it’s because of the millions of details that make up your life, that constitute YOU, that I struggled with the “I AM” mask message that stated the obvious. Sometimes details are visually indisputable. Sometimes they are verbally immediate. Assumptions can be made, extrapolations occur, but isn’t it nice when someone states a personal fact that you didn’t assume, guess, or already know?

I look forward to the I did not know that moments. Bursts of personal history peeking through, illuminating people in a new light.

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Mask Messages: a follow up

I received several interesting comments in response to last week’s post, Messages and Masks. Some were submitted with explanation, others simply stated. A couple were discussed in *gasp* person.

“The first thing that pops into my head is, I AM ME.”

“I guess I’ll need more time, lol, because I can’t possibly sum myself up in a three word message.”

I AM OLD

I AM BEAUTIFUL

I AM INDEPENDENT

“I want this message on my t-shirt across my chest, I AM WOMAN, and my mask to read, HEAR ME ROAR. Stating the obvious? Absolutely. Making a statement? I hope so.”

I AM RIGHT

I AM HUMAN

I AM A PERSON

I AM SO OVER THIS

“I DON’T CARE”, the message said. I responded that wasn’t the assignment. The next comment was, I DON’T CARE! A third message followed: “I AM CARE FREE.”
Not sure it translates equally, but it’s better than being care less, right?

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this follow-up post. It was an insightful little social experiment. I wish I could have discussed the messages in depth, selfishly I want more. Maybe the context of a simple I AM statement, without explanation, gives greater insight to the viewer’s interpretation than the wearer’s meaning.

In closing, I’d like to say, I support you and your message.
YES, YOU ARE.

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Messages and Masks

Had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. I was telling her that I attended a paint and pour class hosted by a woman who wore a mask with a message printed on it. A simple message. An, “I AM” message. An obvious message. I wondered why she’d state something so readily visible. Why not offer insight into something we can’t see? I get that she may have been “owning” the statement, I’m sure it’s important to her. Selfishly, I wanted more. My friend and I discussed what was important to us. She asked me what my mask would say.

I’ve spent the past few days considering…
Maybe~
“I am kind”
but hopefully that’s obvious.
Perhaps~
“I am creative”
but I’m not sure why that would be important.
How about~
“I am trying”
but that could be read two ways, lol.
Of them all, I think I like,
“I am learning”
the best.

Of course, I’d just as soon put it on a t-shirt.

I’ve seen a lot of personalized masks–favorite TV shows, sports teams, pets, etc. Those styles offer insight about the wearer, but they’re not declarations like “I AM”.

What would YOUR mask message be?
What do you want people to know about you?
How do you identify yourself?
Remember, it has to fit across your face and be visible from six feet away.

Or you could wear it on a t-shirt.

Thinking I should jump on the covid marketing bandwagon and print custom masks and matching t-shirts. Simple statement up top, detailed description on the body. TMI across the butt? Leggings it is!
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Labor Day 2020

Good Monday Morning! Happy Labor Day!
I hope today is a break from the laborious grind of contemporary issues.
You know the ones, no need to list them.

According to the official website of the U.S. Government
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Social and economic achievements.
Strength. Prosperity. Well-being of our country.
Nice.

I believe those are worth celebrating.
Thank you, American workers.
You rock.

 

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Six Degrees of House

I recently started watching the television series, House M.D., starring Hugh Laurie. I realize I am late, it aired from 2004-2012, which makes it perfect for twenty-four hour syndication now.

I started to watch episodes on my lunch break, ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there, four straight episodes later that day, because it was on. At first, I caught whatever episode, whenever. Then, you know, once I was hooked, I went back to the beginning to view in order.

Yes, it’s formulaic.
Yes, it’s totally trope-y.
Yes, it’s incredibly smart.
Yes, it can be a bit repetitious.
Yes, they’re probably most likely, after terribly invasive and dangerous procedures, going to save the patient. (spoiler)
But that’s not why I watch.

I watch to see the Who’s Who of Hollywood!
It reminds me of episodes of The Love Boat from when I was a kid. Guest stars from all walks of fame…up and comers, prime timers, and nostalgic wow-they’re-still-alivers.

I keep my phone handy when the show is on. I recognize faces…who is that? Who were they? Who did they become? Remember, my current obsession has been retired for eight years.

SO MANY FAMILIAR FACES!

I wasted a lot of time this morning doing research on the cast.
A LOT of time because there are a LOT of stars!
I made a list. I organized them into categories. Here’re a few:
Musicians: Dave Matthews! LL Cool J! Patrick Stump!
Old associations: Howard Hesseman (WKRP in Cincinnati)! Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show)! Curtis Armstrong (many things, but forever Booger from Revenge of the Nerds)!
New associations: Lucas Till (MacGyver)! Leighton Meester (Single Parents)! Andrew Leeds (Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist)!
Faces I recognize from recent viewingJimmi Simpson and Jurnee Smollett from the new The Twilight Zone series!
Most fun to see: Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame.
Half the cast of Supernatural has been on House, (including Booger).

But the award for being practically EVERYWHERE goes to Mackenzie Astin! As seen on House, The Magicians, and most recently, a kickass new series that’s clever, funny, and touching– Teenage Bounty Hunters!

Okay, this is taking too long.
(and trust me, could take MUCH longer!)

Just for fun, a Six Degrees of House and Kevin Bacon
Guest star Greg Grunberg (Alias) to Hollow Man to Kevin Bacon.
Who needs six degrees?!
First name on the House cast list that I clicked on!
I’m sure there are many, many more.

Did YOU watch House? What did you love about the show?
Do you watch House, what do you love?

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Regrets, I have a few–

–but then again,
does it count as a regret if it’s purely circumstantial remorse?

I could have attended the Prince concert with friends in 2014.
I didn’t go because I was ‘too busy’.
And…
I thought I’d have another chance.

I haven’t been to a stadium show in decades. Too many people. Too much money. Too much hassle.

I never experienced Lollapalooza at Grant Park.
The expense, traffic, heat, sweaty masses, and it’s always over my anniversary weekend.

Give me a live band at The House with six people in the crowd, an eight buck cover, and free parking in downtown DeKalb, and I’m quite happy.

I reflect on all the shows I missed at Otto’s, Andy’s, and The House. Convenient, cheap, and local venues with some kickass bands. But I didn’t go. Otto’s is long gone, Andy’s, too. And The House is closed. Before covid. What are the chances something will reopen downtown DeKalb any time soon?

I could go on and on about things I didn’t do.
At the time, I didn’t want to.
Now, I wish I had.
I miss the opportunity, the luxury, of being able to NOT go.
How lucky were we before, when staying home was a choice?

Regrets, I have a few
and the list is ever-growing…

And yet, what am I not doing now that I will look back and kick myself about?
Seriously, finish that damn book, Mary.

 

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