the change monster

sitting in the house which sits in the town which houses the high school i went to, i’m struck by all the things that have changed since i graduated. new faces (BFs, GFs, husbands, wives, babies), new cars, new clothes, new developments, new responsibilities, new money, new conversations, new roads, and new jobs have expanded and enriched my life and my relationships, and i can’t help but wonder in what ways am i different and in what ways am i still the same?

i’m still shy, but around those who know me best, there are often times when they can’t shut me up.

i’m still athletically inclined, but instead of two hours practices six days a week, i’m lucky to hit three miles three times a week.

i still love to read and i still sneak it in anytime any place.

i still adore children, but the more i learn about childbirth, the more freaked out i get. (holy cow, women are amazing and brave creatures.)

i still dream of being a writer, but now my daydreams are interspersed with the hard work needed to get there.

i have more responsibilities, more bills, more memories, more family members and more friends, but how much of my core self has changed? how much of it should have? i have different habits and different focuses, but i’m still bad at math, still bound to get hopelessly lost, and still fiercely loyal to those who work their way past my armor. two of the three of those would be nice to get better at, but if i put all my energy into learning my times tables (ha, kidding, i totally know 7 x 8 is 56), maybe it’d take away the spare moments i have to catch up with friends and family and is that really worth it?

can we ever completely change? is that really necessary? is it possible to fix your flaws while maintaining your essence of good? how do we decide what needs to change and what’s okay to remain the same? how do you know which is which? is it all trial and error?

will i ever like pineapples?

i obviously don’t have the answers, just the questions. if you’ve got some answers, go ahead and share. please and thank you.


like sands through the hourglass…

we’ve all been there WAITING for the phone to ring, for the job offer, for the sun to shine, for the letter of acceptance, for the light to change, for the plane to take off, for the time to speak up, for dinner to be ready, for the doorbell to ring, for the words to develop, for the text to buzz through, for the medicine to kick in, for him to make his move, for sleep to come, for the email to show up, for the company to arrive, for the time to be right, for the shadows to dissipate, for the traffic to clear, for the whistle to blow, for the other shoe to drop.

the question is, what do you do while waiting? how do you keep yourself busy when all you want to do is watch the pot boil? how do you deal with the lack of control over events that could shape for your life? how do you keep your mind on track when all it wants to do is daydream? how do you keep up the momentum when you must wait for other words to marinate?

how do YOU wait patiently?


writing in the kitchen

i’ve always heard that in order to be a complete athlete, you need to cross-train: ballet will help the football players’ footwork, yoga will improve the lacrosse players’ flexibility, swimming will increase the runners’ lung capacity, and so on and so forth and yet armed with that knowledge, i was surprised to find spending time in the kitchen benefited my writing skills.

let me clarify i was NOT the one cooking. adriana was and then my friend L’s hubby was which is why (a) the food tasted so good and (b) i was able to spectate and speculate.

watching adriana chop and saute and measure and stir and season a vast variety of raw ingredients which then turned into one of the most delicious stews i’ve ever eaten was a lesson in word play. as a writer, it’s my job to mix and whip and shape and pound and sift the words to combine them into the best image you’ve never thought of.

watching my friend L’s hubby present us with a chicken cacciatore dish served over polenta was a lesson in trial and error. that entree is usually served with pasta, but the thin sauce doesn’t work so well with the pasta he’d found out. he decided to try to pouring it over polenta, and what a good decision that was! the flavors and textures melded together and formed a plate of awesome. as a writer, i may think description is best right there when in fact, it’s a bit thin and if i was to use dialogue instead, the characters would mingle and clash and play off each other turning the scene into a page of awesome. it’s important to keep trying new scenes and perspectives and words because just like my taste buds, my brain will know when it’s a page of awesome.

now if only i could flip this lesson on its head and use my time in front of word document to turn myself into a master chef.

book club

BOOK HUNGRY: heat wave

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, vanessa noble, alyson peterson, cynthia reese, elizabeth ryann, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

HEAT WAVE by Richard Castle

what it’s about from amazon: A New York real estate tycoon plunges to his death on a Manhattan sidewalk. A trophy wife with a past survives a narrow escape from a brazen attack. Mobsters and moguls with no shortage of reasons to kill trot out their alibis. And then, in the suffocating grip of a record heat wave, comes another shocking murder and a sharp turn in a tense journey into the dirty little secrets of the wealthy. Secrets that prove to be fatal. Secrets that lay hidden in the dark until one NYPD detective shines a light.

Mystery sensation Richard Castle, blockbuster author of the wildly best-selling Derrick Storm novels, introduces his newest character, NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat. Tough, sexy, professional, Nikki Heat carries a passion for justice as she leads one of New York City’s top homicide squads. She’s hit with an unexpected challenge when the commissioner assigns superstar magazine journalist Jameson Rook to ride along with her to research an article on New York’s Finest. Pulitzer Prize-winning Rook is as much a handful as he is handsome. His wise-cracking and meddling aren’t her only problems. As she works to unravel the secrets of the murdered real estate tycoon, she must also confront the spark between them.

my opinion: first things first. there’s this ABC tv series called CASTLE. in it, there’s the detective kate beckett and the writer richard castle. castle has friends in high places and has been granted access to tag along with beckett so he can get firsthand research experience for his next book series which is based on a female police detective. you follow?

which means the author of this book, richard castle, is a fictional character from a television show.

essentially, this whole book is an elaborate inside joke.

fortunately, i was in on the joke, as i’ve watched more episodes of CASTLE than not, but again, as patty said (in our monthly conversation about the book), this is basically one big marketing ploy. i’m okay with that, but it’s important to keep in mind when reading this book.

it’s fun, fast read, but in this case, i’d rather just watch nathan fillion on screen on monday nights.

p.s. i love that kelly picked a book she’d never read as her choice. i don’t have the cojones to do that because for me, i need to know what i’m recommending, which means i have to have read it first, which means: join us next month as we tackle my pick LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by susan beth pfeffner.