Happy New Year-ish

So i have made lots of goals for 2021. Not resolutions, just a nod to things I want to do differently. I started most of them in December, at the very end. I just couldn’t wait.

One thing I’m trying to do is submit my work, my writing more. I enjoy writing, and I have several stories that need homes. I wrote 4 or 5 last year and while not a huge amount– it is still an accomplishment I am proud of. I’ve sent 2 stories out, hopefully to find a home.

I’ve started journalling creatively for 10 minutes before going to bed. It helps with story generation, and also working things out. A fire kitten may be making an appearance in a story soon.

One of my dear friends, my sister from another mother, challenged me to a poem a day writing challenge for the year. I don’t consider myself a poet, but it doesnt say anything about GOOD poetry LOL.

I bought an undated planner and am using it to tey and work out a story I am working on. The story has a lot going on and will probably be longer than most of my writing. I tend to do short and sweet, this needs room to breathe.

So that’s what I’m getting into for 2021. How about you? Any wild crazy plans? Or slow and steady wins the race?

Memory Tree

How do you decorte your Christmas tree? Some do designer level decorating, all gorgeous and color coordinated. Others do theme trees, and they make you go WOW!

I know you know that’s not me. I appreciate a gorgeous tree, but the one I do is not perhaps gorgeous to anyone else. It doesnt have the same meaning for them though….

Because I have a memory tree.

First, a side bar. Be careful about your attitude when ecorating with your kiddos. It always made me anxious when the Princeling was younger– 5 ornaments clumped together? This whole section bare? He is 14 now and wants nothing to do with decorating the tree. Was it me, or was it being 14 and a boy and all the other stuff?

So I had Pops, 94, sitting next to the tree and was showing and talking and having fun while the boy child was xboxing. (NOTE: WE DID NOT BREAK QUARANTINE. WE LIVE TOGETHER. )

And we talked about all the decorations. Some are mine from being a teen, bought either by my mom or my sister. Theyve been mine for years. And there are 3 family ones, from before i was born, bought in Trinadad when Dad was stationed there.

A cable car from a trip to San Francisco with Regina. A modern, weird Mickey one from our second trip to Disney- one ear broken off during the flight home. A metal version, with jingle bells, that one of my besties bought me because mine broke. A star fish from Monterey, an abolone from Fort Bragg. And one and on and on. Small little beaded ornaments handmade by (the boychilds daycare/other mother) Miss Dawns Grandma, both of whom have since passed.

I have a memory tree.

And it is gorgeous.

What about your tree?

Flash Fiction excersize

From the Rose Metal Guide to Flash Fiction… i took a class that uses this book.

Thought you might get a giggle out of this. I enjoyed writing them.

Describe a favorite place, encyclopedia style, but lie.

San Francisco has always leaned a little to the left. They can not help it, as they are on the left coast. This makes them susceptible to rocking and rolling, which can be seen in the way the streets rise and fall, always drifting to the left where the Bay is.

San Francisco is known for the Bay and its cable cars. The two perform an intricate dance, an admirable work of wonder. The tracks & lines are laid carefully and precisely so that when the cable cars make their loop, the end up going under the Bay into the Bay Area Repeating Train tunnel to loop around and start their route over again. Visitors often forget to jump off the old-fashioned trolley cars, going under the bay for a view that is beyond compare. Sharks are often caught peeking at these out of reach snacks.

Lumbar street is the spine of the city. Unfortunately, it is a crooked, cobbled street that the cable cars cannot access except at its cross streets. Tourists must trundle up and down its steep incline on the power of their own two feet. Those who have tried to ride down on bicycle or skate board have found themselves at the bottom of the bay after a wild ride, facing off with hungry, hungry sharks.

Write a second version, as a blog, Instagram Post, travelogue, etc.

2nd version different narrator

So, like, I went to San Francisco to see Lumbar Street. More specifically, I wanted to ride down it. They told me there were gnarly wipeouts, but come on! How hard could it be? #Adventure! Especially if I used a long board and rode it down… while sitting on the board. I mean, like, they SAY it leans to the left…and you’ll end up in the bay… but you have to be there. You don’t get it till you get it. #hungryhungrysharks

I went down Lumbar Street towards the bay like a bat out of hell. I even got air! #SweetMoves. I was wearing heavy leather gloves along with all the safety gear #helmetssavelives. I had thought, like, I could use my hands to slow myself down before launching myself into the Bay. Unfortunately, #IamaKlutz. I started to take my arms down from around my knees, the board wobbled and hit a rock, launching me into the air, over the barrier and into the Bay.

Thank you to the Aquarium on the Pier for starting #vegansharks #peoplearefriendsnotfood. Thank you for also calling #caltrans to come fish me out. I am really sorry about the dented BART car #sosorry. And thank you to SF General for the #topnotch care that like, really really touched my heart. And thanks for the tee-shirt #Isurvivedbeingsharkbait

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

Holiday Conversation Starter

So I’m working on a special treat for my Christmas cards, wanting to “up my game.” It involves Christmas traditions that I love, memories of the holiday and of course my secret talents. Others have wonderful themes that make my eyes turn green with their creativity (I’m looking at you, Drea!).

So i started asking people two questions. 1. What is your favorite Holiday tradition, both from when you were a kid and now. And 2. What was your favorite present as a child at Christmas? These questions work across generations, too.

And it brings you closer to your family. Because in this time of Corona, there might not be a lot under the tree. We can always give of ourselves, tho. The gift of listening. Maybe a secret talent. Maybe just being a voice on the phone.

During World War II, Dad returned home at Christmas time. He brought his mom and sister a roll of… tinfoil like tape. It was used to jam radar devices while flying. My Auntie Mary told me the story, about how he brought it home and they used it to decprate the tree. They were poor– a poor we can’t imagine now. But that tape…. that tinfoil tape made her holiday.

Do yourself a favor and ask questions. Make up your own, or use mine. But ask. Find out about life in the family before you were born. It is the best gift you can give yourself. I have very few stories of my mom’s childhood, because she died when I was 24. Before I knew I needed those stories.

The holidays will be different. But that doesn’t mean they have to be horrible. Wrap yourself in your family’s stories, write them down and savor them. Who knows, Next year, you can turn those answers into a game of trivial pursuit!

Christmas

Its a little early, but I love me some Christmas, especially when I am a little down. 2020… well, its been a year. I wrote this for a group I’m in.

Way back when…

Santa loves me… he always brings me the bestest Christmas Stocking (that’s a lie.. I know it’s Mom—I believe in the magic of being Santa but not one person.. I have known since I was tiny, when Christmas was on a Sunday and Miss Teacher brought in a birthday cake and we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus).

Mom’s stockings rocked. They were…. They were LOVE. She knew me, she got me. It was a mix of silly and sublime, books and toys and hair pretties… even as I grew older. The stockings were designed for each person, thought and care put into each one. And a grand design—what would occupy us until everyone was up on Christmas morning so we could do the family thing.

One year, as a teeney bopper, I thoroughly ruined my own Christmas. I love hints, but I never want to actually know what I’m getting. Why? Because one year all I wanted were some gherkin (????) Boots. Thunk low heeled ankle boot, totally 80’s. She would not tell me, not a clue nothing. Then I told her “I hope you got the x style and not y, because you know I hate y.” she responded with “Of course I bought you x!….. oohhhhhh….. you……!” I got them early. I also got my stocking early—10 or 11pm, she said “Don’t open till Christmas!” I was a good girl—I toed the line. I stayed up watching “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and opened up the stocking at 12:01 am. I loved it. That satisfaction lasted mee until…. I woke up in the morning with no excitement. No expectation. I already had the present I wanted and the stocking. I never did it again.

Too few years passed, I stayed at home while going to college…

And then she died.

I was 24, still at home, going to school. But Dad stepped up, stepped out and made me a stocking so amazeballs that I cried. I didn’t think I would get one. He loved me. He got me. I can still remember the porcelain doll peeking out of the top of the stocking, the Meatloaf CD tucked inside, they Tylenol with the gift card addressed to Daddys little headache. Oh my gosh, the TAGS that man created!

But then Dad remarried and she had her own grown children and grandkids as a priority. I was still at home until I graduated, but… I left soon after. The last time I went home for Christmas ,, her daughter got diamond earrings in her stocking and I got perfume that was someone elses favorite. That I was allergic to. That shit show ended when her daughter told me, in my mothers kitchen, that I was the redheaded stepchild.

I didn’t celebrate on Christmas morning with my Dad until I moved back in with him. And the stocking and christmas love was back. Because its not about the money, its about someone who gets you. Who turns up and shows their love. A well thought out Dollar store stocking means more than diamond earrings. Because it was never about the earrings— I cant wear them. I don’t wear much jewelry, although I love necklaces and hang them on my wall.

On Mothers day, a few years ago, my son found my dad on the ground unable to use his legs. Massive stroke. He recovered, but his driving and shopping days were over. I bought every damn present under the tree, and in the stockings. It took all the… wow, the anticipation, out of Christmas.

The next year, I signed up for the Santa Exchange in the Chatting group. I finally had something under the tree that I didn’t know what it was. I put that Priority Mail box under the tree and it drove my family nuts. I didn’t shake, didn’t peek, nothing. I kept it until it was the last gift to be opened. My delight in the presents was… it was wonderful.

Since then, I keep the tradition of keeping that gift for last. I broke down in Walmart one year, just sobbing “I want my mommy”. My best friend stayed with me in the candle aisle until the storm passed and she asked me what was going on. So I dumped it all on her—and it amazed me that someone who had a close knit family, whose parents were still alive, felt the same way. For the past 2 years, we take our boys to Walmart and they have whatever we can budget and I take her kid shopping and she takes mine. (I’M SORRY 20202 IS MY FAULT BECAUSE I WANTED AND GOT A SUITCASE FOR OUR TRAVELLING WWAAAHHHHH!!!!!!) However, my kid gets me. And she reigns him in to a certain extent. Just like I do with hers.

Still, that Chatting gift stays under the tree until everything else is opened. Everyone wants to know what’s in that box.

I want to make the anticipation last…..

Widow’s Walk

(I wrote this in response to a class assignment. It is inspired by a picture by Rob Gonsalves and the journey of a dear friend. )

Widows walk. They walk along the balcony, pacing out the nights. One step after another, chained to a mast that never comes into view. No skips, no hops for the balcony is dangerous. Weeping into the ocean doesn’t count if you are alone.

Widows walk alone, friends and family woefully out of step. They bear the isolation alone, watching the clouds skittle across the night sky, longing, wistfully, for a glimpse of the one who left them behind. They walk, they pace, they shiver and moan. Even among the crows, they are alone.

Widows walk alone into… . They carve out a path made of stone yet soft as sand. Night becomes day becomes night and still they walk their lonely halls of grief. Typhoons, monsoons, tsunamis break over them. The trick, the widows say, is to let them break. Let them rain down on you, absorb the fury and power of nature into yourself because otherwise it will burn you alive. The clouds on the horizon are puffy and white… or are they a sail in the wind… or will they change as they start to come in. Widows walk alone into…

The unknown. Once you are half of a hole (it’s wrong but it fits and oh how that hurts!) how do you become whole while only half of you is there? Once, you were whole all on your own. You didn’t choose to walk this walk, you didn’t ask for this you didn’t want this–never this– game of life that tossed the rules out on you– why did the rook take the queen– you didn’t know you didn’t want you didn’t mean in when you said you only wanted a minute alone youdidntyoudidntyoudidntyoudidnt

But still. Here we are.

Somber as a post.

Knowing.

Widows
Walk
Alone

Copyright 2020 Wynelda Deaver

2nd Half of 2020

So, we are in the second half of 2020. They year i wemt crazy and bought 3 planners. They all sit empty. Locally, there are more Covid cases exploding here than there were in March. But the local school board decided to do all in for the 2020-21 school year. All kids, all the time, unless parents opted for distance learning. No info on how it would work…

2020 is a bitch. If we had a naming contest for the year, I personally would vote for Cruella.

There is so much wrong with this year…. how do we make some good come out of it? Nt necessarily the huge,YouTube worthy videos (although those were great!) But in a personal way, that gives us joy and helps us through to that next day?

Personally, I write cards. I call people. I need that personal connection. My son has stepped up and learned how to cook my favorite eggs (thabk you kind people of redditt!). He is trying to help out, trying on who he will be as an adult.

In my writing, I have been writing literary stories and i miss magic. I’m in the last 2 weeks of the literary class, and i have learned a lot this year. It helped to have something to do instead of going to museums, the beach… all those places I long to be.

What about you? How are you coping with The social distancing? With not being able to go where you want? What sparks of joy have come your way, and unexpected sparkler i nadark night?

#becausewecan: 82 Cards

A lot of things are going on in the world right now, and what we need is inspiration. The docotrs and scientists need inspiration to find a way to navigate us out of this mess. And we need inspiration to help us remain human and connected in a world of social distancing.

Some things happened the weekend of March 20th that inspired me. Some people inspired me. The first was Jennifer Pastiloff. If you dont follow her on Facebook or Instagram, you should. In the face of losing her livlihood, she decided to hang on by asking “How may I serve?” She did one of her classes online for a donation… to help feed others. To buy diapers, food. To help. She could have set it up and done her confrences that way– Zoomed her way into a paycheck. I still think she should consider it. But at this time, when we needed help, we needed to remember that you can always find 5 beautiful things right here and now… she gave me that reminder. That hope.

The other person that inspired me was Jon Bon Jovi. He did a video of the start of the song and asked that the people watching help write the rest. I don’t remember the name of the song, but i do remember thinking that he has already made an anthem for these crazy days. Because We Can. And also Army of One.

Those who know me know that Bon Jovi wrote the soundtrack to my life. At one point I toyed with writing a monologe set to their music. Is it any wonder that when I was looking for inspiration and comfort and the “Hell yes we can do this!” I turned to them, to the band that I grew up beside?

So.

How many have seen the meme about writing cards to seniors in rehab care facilities? On Monday night i got a wild hair and called the one Dad had been in here locally.  They have 82 people there. Writing cards is my super power. I dont just sign my name, I write. 

And then God laughed. I wrote Tuesday. I came home from work Wednesday and crashed (essential employee). I wrote Thursday. Ended up on the phoen a lot Friday, still wrote thouh. I wrote on my breaks. I wrote on my lunch. I wrote on Saturday and on Sunday morning. And at some point, your brain goes to sleep and magic happens and you’re just creating.

I delivered 82 cards on Sunday. All the cards opened with “To My Special Friend” and ended with the note that they are special and they are loved. I signed only with my first name. No phone number, no return address. Because while it would be great to know if the right card got to the right person… I am fighting my need for positive reinforcement.

I did it because I am an #Armyofone, and #becausewecan.

And also because Jen Pastiloff asked “How May I Serve?”

PAN-ick!

So things are getting wild. People hoarding….toilet paper and bottled water? Going to the grocery store has become an olympic event. The problem is, some are not competing, we are just trying to survive.

I am going to ask a favor of you. It’s a big favor, too.

I am sure you can do it, though.

I have faith in you. In us.





Be kind.



Unfortunately it needs to be said. When the police have to be called to protect the employees at a grocery store— we need to remember who we are. We need to thank those poor cashiers and stock persons, not attack them!  We are not the United States of Anger. We are the US. We are US.

Do you remember getting yelled at by the neighborhood grandma to get your butt back home? Those neighborhood grandmas and grandpas need us to step into being neighbors. To being US. To asking if they are ok, if they need food. Keep the social distance, but please check on them. If you are at a store and know they have an endcap by the frozen food with sliced bread, and you see a woman staring at whats left in the bread aisle, trying to figure out how she is going to make it work, open your mouth and tell her. Tell the lady who asks where you got the flat of eggs. Go online and figure out who has toiet paper for your friend with Irritable Bowl Syndrome. Write letters to your friends and family, to strangers. Pick up a phone and call someone.

Be helpful. Be kind.

Be US.

Nano 2019

So I attempted Nano 2019, with provisions.

There are always provisions lol.

It won’t be a novel, because I don’t write long anymore. It will be a collection of short stories. I can do this!

And then I cheated.

But that was ok, because I made up those words and deleted the rewritten story! I was doing this!

And then I got sick.

Call into work for 3 days, my poor kid making me dinner sick. (He’s 13, don’t feel too bad for him lol). It’s still lingering a few weeks later, and it’s kicking my hiney. Nano became no no for me.

So was it was a loss. Or was It? I wrote words…. lots of words that can be cleaned up and sent out. I learned that I work best in the early morning on Saturrday or Sunday, sitting out in mine and rays cave (more on that in a later post). I put my Christmas tree up Halloween night, and having the lights on with Christmas music playing on Pandora and the words just fly.

And I also learned it is entirely possible to finish one story and start another right away. No tears (well maybe a couple, it was a sad story).

Now I just need to get back into writing.

Ta, my lovelies!