This past Sunday was rough for me, but through the tears and what-ifs and despairs that strikes too easily at times, I took comfort that now my friend Craig will never be forgotten.
Every 9/11 for the past ten years, I’ve done a little navel-gazing and thought hard about the kind of person I am and how I need to change. I try very hard to be fair, honest, and non-judgmental. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt until they give me a reason not to. There are very few people I can honestly say I don’t like, mainly because I’ve become pretty good at eliminating negativity from my life and identifying those who might suck the joy from my me (then running the other way).
See, navel-gazing. But don’t worry, I have a point.
Over the weekend I met a woman who’s in a very rough point in her life. I listened as she vented. I cut her some slack as she made a numerous comments with which I disagreed. I sat silently as she offended me without realizing it. Eventually I got up and said something to a friend, and she’d also been offended. (Sorry for being vague, but I’d rather not get into the particulars.) I never said anything to the woman, but it struck me that this person that none of us had ever met seemed unaware that her words were affecting others. She was hurting, and that’s all that mattered.
A lot of my social life is online, and I see this same behavior repeated over and over again. People venting publicly about things that seem trivial to them, but are quietly hurting those around them. Griping about a spouse isn’t endearing to a widow. Complaining about bratty kids seems ungrateful to those who can’t have children. Moaning about overprotective parents is hurtful to those who’ve lost a parent.
I’m not talking about the guy who tease his wife or the friends who report the episodes of their children; I’m bothered by people who seem unaware of the blessings in their life and can only see the negative. All I’m asking — hoping for — is that those people notice those of us who are listening, and stop to think about how you maybe hurting someone on the sidelines.
Or more appropriately: That letter B is cursed!
I’ve had a heckuva couple days, and I’m blaming it all in the letter B. Take note:
Sunday morning I loaded up the car to take Owen to the dog Beach, and on the way I hit a Baby Bird. I’m talking POOF! Feathers everywhere. After a quick detour through the car wash, we hit the beach where Owen decided — for the first time — to make several dogs his Bitch.
A couple hours later I left my bundle of joy at home and headed out to run errands. First stop: Bed, Bath & Beyond. When I returned to my car, after accidentally hitting the panic button and tossing my bag in the trunk, I tried to start the car. Nothing. After a long story that I don’t have the energy to repeat, I bought a new Battery from a store at the mall. (Thanks for coming to my rescue, mom!)
The rest of the day was uneventful, (aside from Butchering my finger while vacuuming), then Monday evening I found a Bump on Owen’s nose, which today I learned is a pustule. Dictionary.com defines a pustule as “any pimplelike or Blisterlike swelling or elevation.”
Then, on the way home from the vet, my Blinker died. I’ve recently vented on Twitter about how batty non-blinker users make me, so this is the ultimate irony.
At least I still like my Bangs.
ETA: I’ve discovered my timing Belt needs replacing, too. Perhaps I should reconsider the bonfire planned for this weekend?
Writing has dominated my posts lately (which is ironic considering I’ve barely written a word this year) but I’ve been busy doing other stuff, too. First, I have a new blog header! Y’all on readers, come take a peek. I hated the previous one because I flipped the picture and I could never get used to looking at my backwards self, but I’m very happy with this version.
I recently bought a new camera and it takes amazing photos and videos. While trying to download a couple movies of Owen, I ended up loading them into iMovie and making my very first movie. Ready for the fun?
Also, that’s my new place!
Finally, I have written a little bit. Here’s the opening line of what I’m hoping will work it’s way into the sequel for Flicker:
Before last month I never gave much thought to my school’s no-hats-allowed policy, but all that changed when Ramirez shaved my head.
What have you been up to?
There’s a saying: “You know what you call people who wait until the right time to have kids? Childless.” This particular saying doesn’t apply to me, but the thought behind it does. All too often (always) I have ideas for things I’d like to do, but rather than take the initiative to just do it, I wait for someone to come along who may be interested in joining me, or worse, comes up with the idea on their own and suggests it to me.
Writing it makes it sound more ridiculous than I thought. Here are a few examples off the top of my head:
I’ve never been to an NFL game because I figured someone would invite me.
Nine years in Chicago and while I went to Soldier Field for two soccer games and one concert, I’ve yet to see a football game.
I love camping, but I’ve never initiated a trip as an adult.
I did buy a sleeping bag earlier this year so I’d be ready if someone invited me, but I’ve yet to suggest it to anyone.
My apartment complex is adjacent to woods with hiking trails, but I’ve never taken Owen.
THIS I finally did over the weekend. I’d taken Owen to the dog park but no one was there, so I decided to venture in on my own. After living in Chicago and Mexico, my need to be cautious is a tad more heightened than the average person, and strolling through the woods by myself doesn’t seem like a good idea, no matter how safe this community may be. But I decided to try it anyway.
Lo and behold, the trails are wide and easy to follow, plenty of light filters through the trees, and Owen and I had a wonderful hike. I even took him again two days later.
Anyone up for a football game?
What would you do if you could eliminate the worry and just do it?
When you’re too close to something, it’s hard to see it for what it truly is. Whether it’s writing, a relationship, or a group of pictures you’re trying to hang on the wall and just can’t get to line up (they STILL aren’t perfect), taking a step back and looking at things from a new angle can give you a fresh perspective and help you discover a solution that may have eluded you.
I’m still querying Flicker, and while nothing’s stuck yet, I’m determined to sign with an agent and find my book a home. However, I realize that after several months I probably need to tweak (or overhaul) a few things. That’s all fine and good, but where do I even begin? Lucky for me WriteOnCon is going on right now, so I’ve begun there. I’ve posted both my query and the first 250 words, and I’ve already received helpful feedback.
The forums will be open through the 18th, and agents pop in throughout the day for live sessions. It’s free to sign up, so there’s really no excuse not to check it out. (Unless you’re not a writer, in which case… hi mom!)
In addition to Flicker, I’ve had a couple new ideas rattling around, but it’s still too soon to see if one will stick. Maybe I need to flip it upside down to know for sure.