Danger: Grumpy Writer Warning

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I spent the last four months writing each and every day without fail. It’s been an incredibly productive time. The focus on my art has been inspiring and filled me with great contentment.

Then school let out and my writing space was invaded by unscheduled children and visiting relatives. The last six days has been spent catching up – I haven’t seen my parents, brother or sister in more than 5 years – and drinking way too much wine. And not writing. Okay, I wrote a little bit. A paragraph here and one article there. But my days were full of playing tour guide and hostess and …not being a writer.

I’m grumpy. I keep swallowing the urge to be mean, too. Thankfully I realize what’s happening and don’t give in to the desires to curb-stomp those around me.

I was going to cancel my writer’s group on account of the visitors and the excellent weather, but I went anyway. I feel a bit better. I’ve not lost all the grumpiness, but at least I penned this and resigned myself to write fast and furiously after the last relative is taken back to the airport and the children have run off to bike, swim and play with their friends.

In the meantime, I suppose I will allow the stories and characters and other ideas to run rampant through me, through my mind and set up camp until they can run free and play on my pages, much like my vacationing family and children.

What has interrupted your writing time and how did you cope?

Massive Amounts of Real Estate in Seattle Unsecure

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One IT department in Seattle is having a really bad day. I received a tip that all of the Martin Selig properties in Seattle are unsecure and have been for hours and hours.  I called to ask to confirm this but they wouldn’t respond. I tried to call the General Services Administration (GSA), too, and got a voicemail. Why would I call a federal landlord? Because the federal government has leased more than 60 percent of the office space in developer Martin Selig’s  Fifth & Yesler building in downtown Seattle since April 2010. Massive amounts of businesses, government space and non-profits have Selig as a landlord. If you work in one of those buildings, let me know what you know and what’s happening, because the spokes people aren’t talking.

13 years ago today I nearly died…

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Actually I did die. Twice. Flat-line. Raised from the dead both times. The only thing that got me through was knowing I had my babies to take care of — there wasn’t much in my life outside of that keeping me here otherwise.

 In the last 13 years I’ve done some great things and some not so great things. Every day there is a struggle, of course; that’s called life. Life, where your blood courses through your veins and doesn’t leave them to leak all over the mattress, carpet, bathroom floor or tub. It doesn’t eek out your spirit or the spirit of the one who caused the bleeding.

 There was death inside of me that day. I didn’t know it. It wasn’t just flesh, the unborn child, that died. It was a death of some dreams I had, too. In essence, that day and the healing days that followed were a rebirth. I am, therefore, grateful to the powers that be for giving me this unusual suffering that actually began to shine a light into the non-life I had allowed my inner child, the one that knew what she wanted to do and was squashed all along the way through life. That day of epic bloodletting was all about like the doctors of yesteryear — to leech the poison out of my life. To give me a juxtaposition of what I did have and would never have. And what, more importantly, I should concentrate on the haves. I should grow that, it whispered to me as I shivered back to life in the emergency room.

 So what will I do with the next 13 years. Keep struggling. Keep writing. Keep being the caretaker, peacemaker and heartbreaker.  Living to my full potential and make the blood that’s been spilled fertilize the rest of my life.

What great event impacted your life, at first negatively, then far away from that event you see it was for the betterment of you?

The Blood of Roses is within all of us

Sorry Honey, Even If I Keep the Crazy Down, It Lives

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Addicted to creativity and the love of my work? Check.

Regular diet of caffeine and whiskey? Check.

A ginormous library? Check.

Create a living hell in words for my enemies and exes? Check.

Ready to critique and spoil at a single sentence? Check.

Can make a trip to the grocery store look epic? Check.

This is the “you might be a writer, if…” measuring stick.

See here and laugh.  Thanks again to Chuck Wendig for making my Monday tolerable.

I recommend any writers reading this forward that blog link to anyone in your life.

The Comrade Within

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Based on the prompt on Chuck Wendig’s Blog here.

Quick — trying to beat the deadline. This is an exercise in learning to write faster.  Flash Fiction Challenges. You should try it, too.

The Comrade Within

I had left the life I knew.

The next day I would start basic training. I had traveled from Casper, Wyoming to Denver, so I had one more day before I became the government’s property – as one of my classmates had said to me at my farewell party the night before. He was furious with me for signing up. He was spit whiskey breath in my face and called me a government whore. I smoked my last joint and ignored him.

The people in charge of me and the other recruits marched us from the MEPS station. The hotel looked like something off the East Berlin strip. Functional. Not pleasing to the eye. This was not the Hotel Bristol. In fact, I couldn’t find its name any where. Outside there was a dimming red neon sign with just the word “HOTEL” in sans serif font. Its insides smelled like Lysol, old smoke and creeping mold.

The bed spread in my room, #523, was gold lamiae fleur de leis on an orange background and the carpet was roughed-up shag with its richness gone to sludge.

I threw my travel pack on the bed; it bounced back in rebellion. It didn’t want to go to South Carolina. It wanted to stay right here in Rocky Mountain High.

High.

That was something I wouldn’t be doing any time soon.

The recruiter told us we could go tie one on, get laid, whatever we felt we needed and wouldn’t get for the next 9 weeks. But, we better be able to pass the piss and preggers text the next day. “No tattoos tonight either!” was the recruiters parting words.

I  didn’t know what I was going to do. Sleep, perhaps. Something told me I wouldn’t get much sleep learning to become some military pawn. And I hadn’t slept in nearly a month. It hadn’t been a priority. Partying on the other hand, that was s different story. My partying had started a month ago. Communing with every human need, desire and urge had been my goal to the point that getting laid, getting drunk or stoned really wasn’t on my to-do list at that moment. Nothing. Nothing seemed more the desire at that point.

I sat down on the edge of the bed and poked a button on the tv. Judges and an angry white woman behind a sign that read plaintiff and a guy with bad hair stare back at me. I popped it back off. The white electric eye narrows and goes black.

The need for beer suddenly is upon me.

Down in the hotel bar, I see a huddle of some of the other recruits in a table in the corner. I sit at the bar and light up a smoke. The guy behind the bar looks like Vince Price’s cousin.  He gives me my beer order, and looks at me just a moment too long. I turn to look at the guys at the corner table. They look like infants. I’m not a senior citizen, but I realize I’ve already lived longer on my own than any of those kids.

The cigarette pushes some of the ennui I had been feeling in my hotel room out of my head and onto the bar. I watch it scramble down the shellacked wooden surface and plop itself into the Rob Roy of an old man sitting there. His wrinkled faced doesn’t look like it could stand anymore discontent. I raise my beer bottle to him in sympathy, but I’m not feeling compassion. No, it’s better him than me. Maybe he’ll find his own drug. Maybe the maraschino cherry in his drink will take its stem and choke the ennui runaway.

“Can I bum a light from you?”

I turn to my opposite shoulder from Mr. Rob Roy and a kid from the corner table is standing next to me an unlit cigar in his hand.

“You even know how to smoke that?” the bartender says, tossing a pack of hotel bar room matches. The logo on the matches copies the neon sign above this hotel.

The dark-haired kid grunts and takes the matches and makes quick work of getting the cigar lit.

“Didn’t I see you talking to the recruiter?

I nod then sip my beer, keeping my eyes not at the cigar smoker, but ahead at the glasses that line the mirrored wall behind the bar. I can smell his smoke. I know the scent well, but ignore its implications.

“You could join us, ya know,” he says to my silence. “We’re all gonna need to get to know each other any how.”

“Maybe in a bit,” I say. I’m sure he knows I won’t. But, the glimmer of hope he seems to hold in his eyes is what he needs. He walks back to his table and the cigar smoke traces behind him, laughing at me.

I watch them through the mirror. They seem to know each other deeper than circumstance lumping them together. Nine weeks they will likely hate each other, I think. Better than hating themselves, I think.

Back in my room, I run the tub. My hair smells of smoke and beer. I immerse myself in the water and easily sink down. I can hear my heart beat underneath the small pool I’ve created for myself. It thumps and hums and questions me.

Do-Don’t?

Do-Don’t?

Do-Don’t?

Do-Don’t?

Do or Don’t what? My brain screams back. I am doing, the gray said to the red. I am doing all manner of things no one would have ever expected from me.

Outside the flashing lights of the ambulance licked the red neon sans-serif hotel sign. The bartender and cigar smoker stood with arms crossed watching the paramedics bring the gurney out. The bartender rubbed his left arm, which held a faded USMC tattoo under his crisp white shirt. The kid stubbed out his cigar on shoe and tried to think if he knew the woman’s name.