For those of you who heard my reading at Waterline Writers this weekend (video in the days ahead), you will get a kick out of knowing that my father was once convinced by my mother to take four girls to see Pippi Longstocking when I was young.
The year was 1969. He was the only guy in the place.
No, he never did forgive her.
New writing today, so no cutting room floor. This was just a little 'slice of life' bit as my Dad and I reminisced about cinematic history.
It is a STUNNING day out. Get off your dang computer and get thee outside now!
Drawn with Words is a collaboration project between writers and visual artists. Writers are asked to create a story of 200 words or less which will be incorporated into artwork by local artists. Writers: Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for the stories is August 9th. The artwork and writing will be displayed at the Art In Your Eye Festival (September 21-22, 2013) and incorporated into a book, which will include the entire writing, a photo of the accompanying artwork, and a profile of both the artist and the writer. NEW THIS YEAR! The book will be sold as a fundraiser for the festival. The artist may keep or sell the artwork after the festival. For printable instructions, click here.
That's what today was all about. I'm counting this as a writing day, even though it was spent entirely deciding what I would not write and filling up my shredder.
That isn't what I expected was going to happen. After such a fabulous night at Waterline Writers (videos will get posted in the days ahead, and they are all rockin', btw), I was ready to tackle my stack of mishmosh to keep the memoir rolling along.
After staring at the pile of stuff waiting for edits and feeling no writing mojo stirring, I opted to take one line and the next thing you know I had a two page story flowing out of my fingers (about grocery shopping for a father who isn't eating). I was starting to wonder if my energy for this was starting to wane after the effortful feelings of the last couple days but the fresh page gave me fresh energy. Good thing, too, because I have an absolutely packed day of obligations ahead of me and need to get crackin'. Nothing else to add today, just remember to sleep in tomorrow so you can watch the next Hawks game in its entirety and don't forget to come hear me read at Waterline Writers on Sunday if you are in the area!
This was a day I was dreading. Not this particular day as much as this layer of going through the "B" pile of edits. These are the pieces that may have merit, or may just have the seed of an idea in one sentence but, either way, rewrites and cuts are going to be pretty significant. I may have more than one post for today depending on my tolerance for this (and the number of things I need to attend to today, on such a gorgeous day as this).
Here is a piece that makes a valid point in life but it isn't relevant in the book.(Since it isn't in the book, I'm not spending more time editing it, so this is posted "as is".)
And it was a good massage (I had forgotten how good massages are. I can't wait three years for the next one, not in a 50 year old body.) If you are near Wheaton, IL, I do recommend Keina Quinn,
Three overtimes and it was only game ONE? These boys all came to play. Fifth longest game in Stanley Cup playoff history. And an excellent game at that. Stick handling, puck possession, wizard like little maneuvers from everyone. Most excellent. Shame we don't have a power play (at all. el stinko.) BUT, even with that, what an outcome! Poor Rask. Nothing you can do against a double deflection at the crease.
And Penny managed to stay in the room the entire time (the thunder probably helped...she had it coming and going). And, yes, she did want her full hour walk after the game and she got it. It's not her fault that playoff hockey is so insane.
Seriously, I don't have time to be dinking around on the web but I stumbled on this site, which I would describe as The Onion's Sports Section (but it isn't, it's just hilarious that way). Just read down the headlines in JukeNews and you'll see what I mean. I did a search for hockey and saw this headline:
If their hockey fights are any indicator, Russian children are maniacs
Today I finally decided to tackle the edit of a piece that put the issue of why this memoir mentions so little about my siblings' involvement with my Dad in his final months (years, actually) front and center. It's nothing unsavory, it's just that he wasn't an involved father and therefore he ended up with a lot of uninvolved kids. Why I was involved is probably more remarkable than why the rest of the kids weren't.
What surprises me though is how little of what happened at that time matters to me at this point.
This really IS the story of me and my father, not of my family. The truth is, there really isn't much of a story to my family. That used to be a source of angst for me, and sometimes outright anger. Now it's become as neutral a fact as my height, or the color of my eyes. It's just the way it went in my family. We are a consistent people. Likely the same can be said of you and yours, whatever that consistency may look like.
Of course, the edit took some work to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I did need to do some deep thinking on what I wanted to say about the family dynamic and why. Add to that, the rather meandering nature of the piece in front of me, and it was one of the more challenging edits of late. I had everything but the kitchen sink in here.
The nice thing is that while I was staring out the window trying to find a mental thread to weave all this together, I was reminded of how cool it is to have a window that alllows you to watch a gorgeous red fox trot across the street. Hope the ducklings are on their toes this morning. Someone is likely hoping for breakfast...
All the hodge podge stuff in the piece means I did actually end up with a cutting room floor piece for you, a scene from my backyard by the marsh:
I spotted a crayfish by the marsh. Actually, it spotted me first. I spied him when he thrust himself into full combat position, claws splayed out fearlessly overhead, legs extended to their fullest to increase both his height and his base of stability. He was ready. He was fierce.
He also stole my heart.
“Excellent! Come on then.” I grabbed a twig. “I’ll help you practice so you can be ready in case the grackles find you.”
And I meant it. I know he had to fight for his life out there every day and every night. I’ve seen what a couple grackles can do to a crayfish. I didn’t even consider the raccoons.
He seized the twig. He lunged. He snapped. He guarded his spot like a goalie in the Stanley Cup playoffs. If I had the ability to fashion some tiny hockey pucks I’d have had him work on that, too.
And with that, I must be off. I am finally using the Christmas gift certificate my husband gave me for a massage and facial today. So well timed. It's been three years since I've had a massage...many more since I've had a facial. So looking forward to this.
Of course, how long the massage effects last once the puck drops tonight...yow.