Kick start your week with a lil' moxie!
Kick start your week with a lil' moxie!
“Green tea latte with almond milk.”
This time—the third time—the barista’s voice cut through the air with an edge, meant to slice the person inconveniencing her with a dose of public shaming. Rodney Melliver knew the drink was his, but he couldn’t respond. Shoulders slumped forward and chin to chest, he realized there was a distinct possibility the tiny round table dappled in pastry crumbs might be the last thing he ever saw.
The first tingles danced up his arm while he stood in line, waiting to order the ridiculously overpriced drink everyone at work had talked about. He ignored it at the time because, as had been the case for the past several days, he found himself lost in the past. Memories flooded his mind without warning. Each one bringing him to his knees with shame and regret.
While in line, Rodney was in the midst of reliving his daughter’s birthday. Well, the last one he remembered and, more impressively, acknowledged. Two days past the day she was born, he got her a card and didn’t even bother putting it in the envelope. The freshly turned nine year old was on the couch watching television when he got home. He tossed the card next to her and mumbled happy birthday without breaking his stride to grab a beer from the fridge. Now, eleven years later, remorse had found him, demanding as much attention in the spotlight as the dull prickles traveling up and down his arm and the painful contractions in his chest.
Rodney imagined himself outside of his body. An observer to his own pathetic state: slouched and alone. So alone that there wasn’t even an empty seat at the table for him to welcome potential company. Borrowed earlier by the fleshy-faced guy at the neighboring table. When he watched him carry it away and join his friends, Rodney was gut-punched with jealousy. It had become increasingly difficult for him to see what life could have been if he had only tried.
But he hadn’t. And here he was.
“Green tea latte with…you know what? Forget thi…”
The barista’s voice trailed off and darkness crowded the edges of Rodney’s vision, he hated that his last act before dying would be to add another person to the list of people he had angered.
As the sounds around him melted together into a tinny, echoey jumble, Rodney vowed that if he was given another chance, his life would be different. He would be better. Do better.
And he would definitely try the green tea latte with almond milk.
“Why is this my life?” Dawn sighed as she hung the last sheet up on the line. “Other people have dryers in their homes. Some even have maids and don’t do laundry at all. They just sit around eating bon bons and drinking martinis.”
Tina rolled her eyes at her little sister who pretended like she hadn’t noticed.
“Look, Dawn, we live in Maine, worse yet, Bremen and neither of us have any discernable talent worth getting us out of this place.”
It was Dawn’s turn to roll her eyes, but she felt guilty about it. She knew that Tina was bitter, angry even, and felt guilty because she had recently found out why. Of everyone in their family, heck, of everyone they knew, Tina was the one that should’ve made it out of this town.
At just five years old Tina started studying under Judith Balmer who had been a principle dancer with the New York City Ballet before retiring to Maine. According to the stories not only was Tina naturally gifted, she truly loved ballet. Her talent was so strong that her future was certain.
Then, when she was fourteen she met That Damn Russ and a year later she was pregnant. Not only did she never dance again, she gave up. Resigned herself to being stuck in Bremen, forever attached to That Damn Russ. Forever dreaming of what could have been.
At sixteen, despite being a very pretty girl, Dawn never had a boyfriend. She wasn’t going to be twenty years old with sadness in her eyes like her sister. She wasn’t going to get stuck with her own That Damn Russ.
When Dawn was eight she started getting an allowance and even at that young age she knew she had to save every penny. Every penny represented another step out of town. Babysitting, yard work, she took any job to reach her goal.
Every time she added her latest earnings to her Muppets lunchbox she fantasized about leaving in the middle of the night. Moving to New York without saying a word. She imagined sending her family postcards from Italy and Spain and Australia.
And she dared to hope that with each postcard sent Tina would find the strength to dance again.
It's a brand new year y'al!
Now, I'm not a big fan of making New Year's resolutions because I have failed at way too many. Instead I have replaced resolutions with wishes. So, following are my wishes for 2014 and I wish them for all of you as well:
I wish that each day is filled with love, kindness, beauty, hope, creativity and unlimited possibilities. I also wish for the wisdom to see and appreciate each one.
Happy New Year everyone!
Are you making any New Year's resolutions? Wishes? What are your goals for the new year? Please let me know in the comments below!
I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. My little brother was in town and it was his first time in New York City. It was cold and rainy, but we were able to get to over 13 well known NYC sites in less than two days. Needless to say my body and brain were exhausted.
I am excited to announce that, despite my exhaustion, I did it. NiFiHeNoMo was a success! That's right, as of today the first draft of the novel is finished!
It's amazing to have the weight of not knowing if I could actually do it off of my shoulders. I never thought that writing the book would be easy, but I hadn't considered how difficult the days would be when the well was empty. It was definitely a test of perseverance and more times than not, discipline that I didn't know I had.
While I'm excited about finishing the first draft I have a lot of editing ahead of me which I'm really looking forward to. I am also looking forward to actually reading what I wrote. It turned out that I am more of an organic writer vs. being the type to outline, so the few times that I did go back to read pieces of what I wrote, it all seemed new to me.
I have to admit that my leanings toward organic writing was a surprise considering how organized I like to be in every other aspect of my life. It will be interesting to see what my editing style will be like. I guess I'll find out soon enough!
Are you a planner or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants? Do you have different preferences when it comes to long term vs. short term projects? Life vs. creative endeavors? Let me know in the comments below.
Today I feel amazing!
In April I set a goal to complete an 80,000 word novel. On November 1st, I challenged myself to write 30,000 words in 30 days in order to reach that goal. Well here it is, November 25th and I've officially passed the 80,000!
I am excited and proud, but I still have work to do. That's right. The number is there, but I have another chapter and a half to write before I'm finished.
Now does this mean that I can't have a 'Woohoo Moment'? Heck no! I am woohoo-ing it up over here!
For months I have been daydreaming about finishing the first draft so that I can finally start editing. I have a feeling that editing is going to be fun, fun fun! I'm sure it sounds as though I'm being sarcastic, but I'm not at all. I really am looking forward to the process. It may just be the under utilized English major in me speaking, though. We'll see.
It's Thanksgiving week and we have family coming to town, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in an hour or two to work on the book. No one will notice if I disappear when the game is on, right?
Have you reached or almost reached a long term goal? How did you do it? Comment below and let me know.