I Didn’t March

I didn’t March last weekend. Before you get all excited one way or the other, there were a few mitigating circumstances.  1. I’m a chicken, and there has been much violence lately at protests. 2. I also had my son last weekend, and with his SPD, I did not want to take a chance. It could have been fine, or worst case see above. Instead, we went and saw Hidden Figures. More on that later.

I’m happy for you if you feel women’s rights are right where they need to be. Although I have had a fairly charmed life, I don’t see it that way. There are some major areas that we need to protect, and some we need to change.

Womens health needs to be protected. Planned Parenthood is important. Take abortion off the table, because I’m not getting in to that argument right now. I’m talking about women’s health. I’m talking about when I lost my health insurance while on maternity leave (after the birth), and Planned Parenthood provided my post natal exam. They also kept a tight monitor on my iron levels, which were extremely low, and got me the info to get on WIC. Later, right before the Affordable Care Act, they helped me through the diagnosis of Fibroid Tumors, kept a tight check on my cervix which had bad cells in it, and supported me through what was going on. As soon as ACA went through, and I had insurance, they got my info to my Doctor quickly and we’re happy that I was getting the treatment I needed that they couldn’t provide. I know this because they called to follow up with me. And because of federal and state funding, all that care, except for the ultrasound (I had to go to an outside provider for that) it was free. I even got my monogram through them.
There is a disconnect between how the law is written, and how it is implemented. I’m assuming we can all agree that rape is wrong. And yet, how often do we ask what she was doing out that late, or what was she wearing.. it should not matter where I am, what I’m wearing, the time or even how drunk I am or if I’ve ever had sex before. Rape is a crime of violence, and yet we often blame the woman. Even when the man is held accountable, he can get a slap on the wrist because of the bright future he had shown. Want to know why more women don’t report rape? See above. Believe me, I know how lucky I am in this regard. The statics are heart breaking.
The workplace can also be a minefield for women. Get past the not getting paid the same as men. Let’s talk about having a boss who belittled you, never allows you to succeed and blames you for loosing customers who left 5 years BEFORE you were hired. Or being cussed out for 10 minutes on the phone for saying “thank you for holding, this is Wyndie, how can i help you?”. I have had great male bosses, don’t get me wrong. My current boss is awesome. I don’t think he cares what I wear, he cares how I do my job. He also doesn’t have inappropriate content in his email. I have had bosses whose email I had to clean out that was such a smutt factory I finally refused and suffered the consequences. And there were consequences. 
I didnt march for those things. I believe in them, but didnt march. In the end, whether you marched or not, I hope you can be kind to the other side. We are all in this ride together, and if it breaks down we are all screwed. 
One last thought. I have a friend who is very conserative. She doesn’t understand the March. But if I called her and said I felt I needed to go but was scared or didn’t know how to get there, ornwhatever, she would have been there for me. She would have taken me, called people out for pushing and shoving and littering, but she would have been there for me. People over politics. Because we are on the same ride. Women especially need solidarity.
Oh, and Marching? Peacefully PROTESTING? It’s a right.and because of women protesting, we have the ability to vote. Back then, women were dismissed as being hysterical for their political views and could be put in an insane asylum. Those women marched, even though others didn’t understand or believe in them. Even though it was dangerous. We can’t understand what they went through but owe an incredible debt to them. At the time they were dismissed.
Please stop dismissing women who March. Who knows what they’ll say 100 years from now about the Womens March of 2017? I’d love to read that story…. 

Description

The weather here in Northern California has been… complicated. Today was nice.

Last night it was not.

One major thing that this crazy weather has done for my writing: helped me with description. I’ve always been a little light on description, but the following have popped out of my mouth:

The wind is blowing so hard, I’m glad I’m *not* in Kansas.

There’s so much water on the ground, with the fog coming up around it… it looks like a Lady in the Lake scene— in the middle of a cow field. (It did! It was gorgeous!)

And so on and so forth.

“Oh Shit, there’s a tree in the parking lot” the phrase has a lot of heat behind it, and it was more a large limb than the whole tree. And while the parking lot is LINED with trees, these limb(s) were lying in the middle of the asphalt. My sister understood, especially when I clarified for her. But when we’re creating our scenes, we don’t have that give and take.

So. I am learning to describe my surroundings for my sister. Because it makes it so much nicer for her to have a visual when we’re talking. Just as we need to have visuals for our readers.

So. Take stock, figure out what you can practice your description on. I try to describe things for my siter, and also in my journal. As always, there’s a different flow when you’re talking as opposed to writing, but that just gives us fodder for dialog.

 

 

Keeping Honest with Writing

I didn’t promise that I would write every day in 2017. That was never one of my resolutions. Instead, I made a resolution that I would be honest about it.

So. Since I accidentally ended up with 2 day planner/calendar thingees from Christmas, I am using one of them to keep track of how many pages I write per day. This is handwritten pages, by the way. I still prefer starting out creatively with pen to paper.

Since that first night, I have only had 2 days with a zero word count.

I’ve tried Nano. I’ve tried getting other people to keep me honest.

Turns out, I only need to be honest with myself. All my writing for the day goes in there, so a day’s entries might be:

Wrote 1 page
Journaled
Wrote to Aunt Mary
Blog Post.

Not much to it. Nothing fancy. No bells, no whistles. Just a writer, being honest about the time she puts into writing. There’s so much else that we are, in addition to writers. It’s easy to forget to take the time to breath in, take pen in hand and write.

 

Storms

I live in Northern California, which is currently getting hammered by storms. An observation from this morning:

The morning sky looked like the soft part of the night. Purpley and deep blue, gorgeous at night. Terrifying in the morning.

I had not seen the effects of the storm until I drove home last night. I came home Friday night in advance of the storm. I stayed in all weekend. So I knew my little country roads would probably be flooded (they were) Monday morning and took another route.As the description above tells you, it’s not too bright when I leave in the morning, especially when it’s storming.

On the way home, I saw a river expand its banks to…everywhere. Almost up to the freeway. The little wetlands area, that in previous years became a pond in the winter…. more like a lake currently. In the comfort of my room, we can hear the rain and wind pummell the house.

I am terrified that even if I can make it to work tomorrow, I might not make it home.

And yet, it’s not so bad where I’m at. Our house is safe, and comfortable. My alternate route takes me about 10 minutes, maybe 15 of back tracking. There is someone whose house I see on the way home, and where their backyard trees are… it’s now a part of the river. The water is creeping closer and closer to them, and I wonder…. Did they leave? Or are they staying to try and save their house, their things?

There will be many., many stories of this winter. Mine won’t even be a blip. But this morning, I noticed that my morning sky looked  more like night time.

The waters are running fast and deep out there.  Stay safe.

The Princeling’s Dream

So my son, like many a 10 year old has multiple things he wants to do. One of them is being a video game designer. When I saw the library having a class about coding and making video games, well… He’s all signed up. I found someone to drop him off, and I’ll go meet him at the library.

He also wants, very desperately, to be a YouTube star. I don’t understand a lot of what he’s asking for technologically speaking, but I do understand desire. Creativity. Putting yourself out there.

Yes, he puts himself out there, talking about video games. Sometimes, the video is of us, or of a field trip to Mission San Jose. He regularly creates these videos, and they are important to him.

He’s my kid, and he’s pursuing his dream.

Mommy is following suit.

See, right here? This post? Written earlier, and scheduled. I know I’m going to be gone over then next week, but I also know that I want to be more regular on my posting. So.I am doing as the Princeling does, and working towards it.

If you feel like giving the boy a hand, you can go see his videos on YouTube, under Weare We

He’s being brave, and creative…. and I’m proud.

2017

Time feels close, like it’s hovering nearby. Perhaps it’s the New Year (welcome, 2017!), perhaps it’s how close to the mid-century mark I am.

So this is the year I make my goals and try to hit every single one of them, or at least make progress. Try for real, not just make a plan, work for a little while towards it, then give up when it’s no longer convenient.

Life is not about convenience.  Life isn’t easy, and the things that are worth having definitely are not easy peasy lemon squeezy.

So here goes:

 

There are 3 print publications (magazines) I want to make it into:

Parenting (specific article— now I need to learn how to pitch an article)

Oprah (just cuz, wow! It’s Oprah’s Magazine!)

The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy (and this, the big one. I’ve gotten a personalized rejection, but… need to make it in!)

 

On the novel front, I need to find my inner novelist and let her out. I did ok for November (10,000 words), but the novel itself was too dark. I do not want my writing to depress me. Realistically, I am not currently at a place in time where I can write that story, about a mentally ill character, without it affecting my mental health. I have enough stress, and well… I want to write what I want to read.

For my personal writing, I I will continue to send out my little ray’s of sunshine into the world, as well as start to keep a journal. During Christmas, I updated my address list so a few more people have been added into the mix of cards. It’s something I really enjoy, and as I said— it’s my way of spreading sunshine.

For travel, this year I want to go to the following places:

 

San Diego

Moma, San Francisco

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco

De Young Museum, San Francisco

Monterey

Lake Tahoe

Santa Cruz J

 

I need more adventures, especially with my boy.

 

So. I have a plan set, a goal. Now to start accomplishing them J

 

What goals do you have for the new year?

Santa Mom

I felt my mom close to me this weekend, as if she were with me while I shopped. She was there as I found the special soup spoons she used when we were sick, and the babmoo grippers thingees that she used to pull toast out when it got stuck in the toaster. She was there with me in a tractor supply store (don’t ask), as I started bawling.

I started bawling, the first time, because of a day planner. The year my mom died, she kept a day planner, and used the spaces for days of the week as a sort of journal. The comings and goings of us kids, all grown, and her little trips with dad… all in the little journal. Some weeks were full to the brim. Some only had a few filled out.

Then she died.

I couldn’t look at that blank planner, so I started filling it in for her. Comings and goings, a little glimpse into life right after she died. It was 20 or so years ago, but I still remember that journal. I think I still have it somewhere. But I know it. I know the cover, i know the feel of it, and I know what it looked like on the inside.

And in the tractor supply store, right with all the calendars… was a copy of that same damn planner, only for 2017. Same. Damn. One.

I bought it. I will put it into my stocking, and I will write in it. Buying it means that I now have 2 but one will be for my writing and one will be for my adventures in mommyhood.with my boy.

And then Walmart happened.

In talking with a friend, I told her I don’t know why I’m so emotional today. I don’t know why this is happening, but…

But I’m tired of being the one to do for everyone. I do stockings for everyone in the house, because Mom did. Because to me, that stocking shows time and attention and love. Dad used to do mine, and help with his current wife’s stocking… but since the stroke (and maybe a little before), it hasn’t happened.

I know every single present that is currently under the tree.

Even mine.

And it sucks. Because my son would love to do it for me. And wanted to. But I didn’t think to think outside the little house. But next year, next year… I have 2 different people who have said that they will take him out shopping for me, and help him do my stocking too.

Friends and family are a blessing. But sometimes, you have to stop being so strong and powering through… at least enough to ask for help.

I fell Mom close to me right now. Not just because of the stuff, but because of people willing to come together and help out.

Love you guys.

If you know someone who is a single parent, if the child is old enough, offer to take them shopping for their parent. Both the child and the single parent will appreciate it. Being strong and keeping it together, especially under the pressure of making the perfect holiday is tough.