Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Personal Report on Earth Hour

What a pleasant hour this turned out to be. Candles were strategically placed (in the bathroom especially) and lit about 5 minutes before 8 p.m. local time. The gunfire and sirens that were battling just moments before paused in an uneasy peace and all you could hear outside was traffic from the freeway.

The husband was trying to read by candlelight and the daughter was out with a girlfriend. I used a flash light for the brief period of time that I felt like reading. The dogs lay in the grass, ears perked and noses twitching. I breathed in the darkness. It felt good.

The City of Phoenix was a participant as well but for safety’s sake they had to leave the street lights on so I wasn’t able to see a difference in the night sky. I was hoping to be able to see a few more stars as our light pollution blocks most of them.

As far as my neighborhood, we were the only house that observed the event. My neighbors to the west had all their lights blazing including their back yard flood lights. I guess it was their personal protest and general denial of the whole global warming issue. (Do the math, people.) However, about 8:30 p.m. they turned off the backyard floods and I was really able to enjoy the rest of Earth Hour.

As a side note: I have about 90% of our lights changed to CFS bulbs and my power bill dropped $20 a month after I switched over. That’s $240/year! I plan on getting the remaining 10% taken care of in the near future.

Thank you to all who participated in Earth Hour! Remember Earth Day is April 22nd.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday Night

I sit alone again. Well, not exactly alone as my little dog slumbers on her perch beside me. The future ex-husband has gone off to the fitness center and my daughter naps in her room. My eyes are fuzzy from reading and I’m fighting off the urge to eat something out of sheer boredom.

It scares me to think that this is how it will be when I’m on my own. I must have things to do. I guess I could work on the project I’ve been carrying in my work tote for the last 2 weeks, but I want to enjoy the time away from my job.

My previous optimism is fading in the face of dullness. I have always had these times but they weren’t as ominous as they are now. Usually, I sit with a glass of wine until 8 p.m. or so and then go to bed. By morning I usually have my spirit restored. Sometimes, however, I have whole weekends where the highlight is doing laundry.

I could pay bills. We got our checks early thanks to a mistake in the payroll department. That wouldn’t cheer me any to see that I have to dip into the line of credit to buy groceries, again.

I need a walk. Maybe I’ll put on my sneakers and pop a tape into my ancient cassette tape player (remember them?) and go for a walk. It is still early enough to be safe. Yes, I think I will.

No, I think not. I just heard a gunshot in the distance. Payday weekend. What the hell was I thinking?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hiding

People hide. It’s funny but they tend to hide in crowds. I’m sitting in a coffee shop where only a couple people converse while the rest hide behind their computer screens and newspapers. We congregate to hide. We are a herd mentality that espouses individuality and solitude. We rush about in large groups often at cross purposes to get that bit of the currently popular unique experience for ourselves.

We don’t make eye contact, either. We talk to each other while we look over the other's shoulder or out the window. Yet, somehow this seems to work. The art of conversation is now more of a visual transmission in emails and text messaging. The most obvious example of this is my personal working environment.

Part one of my day is upstairs with men and women in my age group. We came of age with print newspapers and hand written letters. We talk to each other – usually with a punch line and a shared laugh. It is light and easy even when one of us is being catty or downright grumpy. We understand each other.

Part two of my day is downstairs with younger people who do nothing more than emails, Blackberries, webinars, and meetings over a conference phone. Even while they are in face-to-face meetings, they are all surreptitiously looking at their Blackberries while their laptops are open in front of them. They seem uncomfortable with my laughter and jokes.

Where this is leading, I haven’t a clue. I’ve noticed how I start at one end of a topic and by the end of the post I’ve taken a side road and end up in a parking lot without anything more to say. That’s me. I wander in mind and spirit.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sitting in the Back Yard with Wine

The evenings are becoming so beautiful in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Construction on the light rail is taking a break, rush hour traffic has ended, most of my neighbors are inside making their kids work on homework, and my dogs listen to the “evening news.” I have the sprinkler going. I’m starting to get the ground ready to dig the huge hole I’ll need to put my 3 fig trees in.

I’m also getting my personal ground ready for the rest of my life. For some reason, today I feel optimistic. I was on the internet looking at rental townhomes and condos. Rent isn’t nearly as bad as I thought. Most accept small dogs and cats. And looking at the floor plans and photos made me feel spring-like inside at the thought of starting fresh and new.

I’ve been yo-yoing emotionally for several weeks now. Plus, I’m slowly trying to prepare my mother for the divorce. She tells of what she went through with Dad in his later years and tells me to hang in there. She doesn’t know but a fraction of what is going on and she wouldn’t want to. She’s the type that if it isn’t in the Bible or on Fox News, then it doesn’t exist. Fine.

Anyway, the sky to the west is a faded peach and the sky to the east is a medium indigo. Barking from a little dog down the block blends with the whooshing of the water pipes feeding the sprinkler. A jet rumbles on its departure from Sky Harbor. Peace settles in my chest and I know it is fleeting, but I savor the sensation.

Good evening, Arizona.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Larry, Moe, and Curly

There are buds and tiny leaves waiting to pop open here and there on the otherwise bare branches of my lone backyard tree. The ash is the only tree that survived the arson fire we had at my home last summer but it was heavily scorched. I lost my beloved fig and my delicate apricot trees. I looked pretty silly standing in the back yard stroking my soot blackened trees with tears running down my face.

I ordered 3 new fig trees last weekend. They are supposed to ship tomorrow. I’m going to plant them tightly together – I love multi-trunk trees but no one sells them like that. Imperfection has beauty in my eyes.

Except when it is applied to me. Imperfection glares angrily back at me when I look in the mirror. Dangling breasts, sagging stomach, and big liver spots on my face remind me that spring is for the young.

I see beautiful, vibrant older women in television commercials and I’m saddened. I will never be able to look like them without a whole lot of plastic surgery and since I am one of those working poor who will never be able to afford retirement, I will remain as I am.

My husband and I have decided that when we “celebrate” our 25th wedding anniversary (in 5½ years) and our only child is on her own (hopefully), we will then divorce and go our own way. His eye is toward romance and idealized love that I hope he finds because my experience tells me that it is only found in fiction. An end to my marriage has been decided in the spring sunshine and I turn towards planting my fig trees.

I think I’ll name them Larry, Moe, and Curly. The Three Stooges and me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Write about a longing (dream).

I dream of leaving this grimy and dangerous city behind me.

I dream of a farm house surrounded by tall trees and lilac bushes with fields of ripening grain stretching to the horizon.

I dream of a cabin on the edge of a mountain meadow, its back to a forest and bordered by a small stream.

I dream of a house in a small town where I’m labeled as the town eccentric and pretty much left alone.

I dream of an adobe house in the upper level of a small canyon with wildflowers blooming on the sides of the mountain.

I dream of a cabin by a lake in Minnesota in October when no one else is there.

I dream of a houseboat moored on the Mississippi or the upper Colorado.

But these are dreams and will most likely not be a reality. I’ve lived with ever deepening debt for the last 20 years and there isn’t a day that goes by when I’m most grateful that debtor’s prisons no longer exist. No, I’ll just have to visit these places in my dreams.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Write about taking the long way around

Today I was on my way from Phoenix to Payson, Arizona on Highway 87 when about 10 miles north of the casino the road was closed. (I found out later it was an emergency closure due to the road buckling and being dangerous to drive on.) I had two choices. I could turn around and go back the way I came or turn onto the Bush (no relation to the idiot in the Oval Office) Highway and it would take me back to Phoenix as well.

There was no way to get to Payson today. Yes, I could have driven three or four hours longer and gone back through town to get I-17 north to the Camp Verde turn off and then up the mountains and down through Strawberry and Pine to Payson. If I had been planning on staying overnight or a couple of days, I would have, but as I was only going up for a few hours, I totally wimped out.

Which is what I’ve been doing most of my life. I’ve wimped out on the hard roads and taken the easy path. Because of this, my marriage is in trouble.

It was because I was honest. Honesty is a trait highly prized by my husband and so I tend to honor it and tell the truth. But in some cases, and I know most women would agree with me, I needed to lie and to pretend to be someone I wasn’t. Fake it. “When Harry Met Sally” fake it.

I needed to take the long way around; the hard way. But I took the honest, direct approach. So now I pay the price.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Write about the booth in the corner.

There wasn’t much light reaching the corner where her table sat. Her colorful brochures and flashy sign were not enough to grab the eye of the doctor attendees. It had been difficult to get the company to pay for the exhibit fee. Marsha, the Regional Manager, had huffed through her nose when Traci put in the request.
“Waste of time and energy with that bunch. Company won’t like it.”
“But you’ll put in a good word, right Marsha? I really have a good feeling about this one. The organization of this event seems to be sharper than years past.”
“Doesn’t take too much to improve on the usual disasters they put on. Really, Traci, the show in Vegas would be better than Tucson. More fun after hours, too.”
“I can do Vegas, too. That is two weeks after Tucson and San Diego is between. No problems that way. Come on, Marsha.”
Marsha squinted under her frown at Traci. “Something else behind this isn’t there. What is so important that you need to be in Tucson?”
“Just a gut feeling, Marsha. Truth. This will be a good show for me.”
Marsha shook her head, never taking her eyes off of Traci. Then, with another huff through her nose, Marsha snatched the papers from Traci’s hand and signed them.
The check was sent two weeks later and the first weekend in November found Traci sitting beside her booth in the low light of the corner. Attendees would walk up to the table next to her and when they had finished there, they would slide their gaze passed her and settle on the table across the room. Frustration was setting in.
“Dang! This is too dark.” A gray-haired lady with an air of authority stood in front of the table. “I gotta get some light over you.” She walked over to a house phone and talked. After a moment or two she returned. “Sorry about that. I’ve been tied up with meetings. Someone is supposed to come and take care of this dark corner.” Right then, a wizened little man pushed his way through the glass door and scanned the crowd. The gray-haired lady waved him over. “It’s too dark here. No one can see her display. She paid good money to be here and she needs some light.”
“The light is up as far as it can go.”
“Then I need spots or a tall lamp.” She squinted up at the ceiling. “How about changing that bulb out for a spot light? We must do something.”
“Can’t. This is as far up as it goes.”
The gray-haired lady frowned. “No. Unacceptable. We need light. I’ll phone Tricia and see what she can do.” The little man shrugged and walked away as the gray-haired lady fished out a piece of paper from her pocket and dialed her cell phone. While waiting for it to connect she said, “Tricia is head of sales. She will have more clout. I apologize for this.”
Traci smiled and murmured some cliché or two that went unnoticed by the lady. Soon the gray-haired lady turned with a smile. “Tricia said to hang on. She’ll take care of it.” She saw the doctor at the table next to Traci start to turn away. “Doctor Gingham. Let me introduce you to Traci. She’s from Icky Labs. We’ve put the poor girl in a dark corner and no one can see her. Traci, this is Dr. Gingham from Phoenix.”
Traci shook Dr. Gingham’s hand and felt a smile build on her face without having to plaster it there. She got one, at any rate. Just as they were concluding their brief visit, a tall young man with a long stepladder almost knocked her flat as he swung it around to place it under the ceiling light. “Sorry,” he said as he climbed.
Dr. Gingham called his partner over to the table and introduced her to Traci. They had just shaken hands when suddenly, the light from the new bulb thundered to life. It was like her booth had magically appeared.
Whether it was the sudden brightening of her booth or the simple fact that there was more light, Traci couldn’t be sure nor did she care. Visits picked up throughout the afternoon and by day’s end she had cards from over a double dozen doctors with promises to visit their offices the next few days. Her gut feeling was right.
The young blonde woman who met her the day before for setup locations came by just before the day’s event was over. “Well, you did pretty well there. Wasn’t I right about the corner?”
“After the gray-haired lady got the bulb changed, it went great. I didn’t get her name, but give her my thanks.”
The young blonde frowned. “Gray-haired lady?”
“Yes. She had a black and red-flowered pantsuit on. Sort of chubby. Shoulder-length hair. Big, chunky glasses.”
The young blonde paled. “That sounds like Edna. But it can’t be.”
“Why not?”
“Edna died three months ago in a car accident. I’m her replacement.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hair

Today’s prompt was “write about hair.” I immediately recalled a meeting I attended not too long ago. It's the same one that we’ve all sat in on. It’s the one that goes over the same old thing and the minutes I had to write were going to be more cut and paste from previous meetings than anything fresh and new.

My mind drifted. I slowly became aware that I was watching one of the men at the meeting. His back was to me and it was obvious that he was just as bored as I was because he was fidgeting. Being from middle-eastern descent, his head is crowned by a thick, shining, shag carpet of blue black hair. And he was twirling it around his finger like a bored little girl.

He must have felt my eyes on him because after a moment, he froze, jerked his hand down, and then continued to stare at the presentation we were supposed to be watching. I smiled and looked down at my notes. The meeting droned on.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

At Five in the Afternoon...

At five in the afternoon, Lenore sat at a sticky table in a tiny greasy aired diner in a corner of town that was not frequented by the fashionable crowd. That was why she chose this place. It was safe.

She pulled out her notebook and clicked her pen into readiness. Scanning the crowd to make sure no one was looking her way, she bent over the paper and began to write. Out came her day, her month, her likes, dislikes, thoughts, prayers, and her soul. It all leaked out and spread across the page in dashes, dots, curls, and scrawls. It danced to a music that few would ever hear.

A shadow passed over her page, then backed up and stayed. She looked up to see an old woman smiling down at her.

“Keep writing, honey. Keep writing. It is the answer for us all if we but took the time.” The old woman patted Lenore on the shoulder and then walked out the door.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Moon Story

She sat on top of the mesa, feeling the wind finger her short black hair. The night was quiet. An occasional coyote call, the buzz-click of an insect, the shuffle of a vole, and the singing of the stars were all that she could hear. The smell of creosote bushes after the day’s rain drifted up to her nostrils. The sky was still indigo in the west as it clutched the last remaining thoughts of daylight. The moon was due to rise soon.

She turned to the east and with her eyes fixed on the horizon. There, a glow, then a sliver, then a slice, bit by bit the big ivory disc levitated into the black velvet. It was full tonight. Tonight, by the light of the full moon, she would do it. She stood up, slid her clothes off and naked, she turned to face the moon.

Whispering the words her grandmother had taught, she took her knife and slit the skin on her left forearm. Shiny black liquid bubbled up from the slit. Then, the skin on her right forearm. The knife hit the gravelly clay with a metallic thud. Blood dripped down her wrists and over the palms of her hands. She lifted them high towards the moon and chanting the prayers of the forgotten ones, followed its path across the sky.

When the moon set many hours later, she pulled her aching arms down by her side, brushed off some of the dried blood and reached down for her clothes. Now only time would tell if the ceremony worked or not.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Secret Revealed – An Alpha-Poem

Shhh! It’s a secret!
Everyone will want to know.
Can’t you just keep your mouth shut?
Remember the last time we told?
Everyone laughed at us.
To tell this would be worse.

Relax, how bad can it be?
Everyone will understand.
Valued friends gather, no
Enemies among them.
All right everyone!
Listen, I have something to say.
Everyone turns to listen.
Distant expressions and a yawn.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Night

I don’t remember when it changed. Recently I discovered that I welcome the night and the peace it brings to my fenced-in and locked-tight corner of the world. Outside the sirens, horns, and gunshots have control. Not here.

My daylight hours are filled with clocks, traffic, computers, meetings, deadlines, photocopiers, telephones, and loud whining voices. The noise makes it difficult to focus sometimes. There is no privacy, no respite even in the restroom. Everyone knows what everyone else thinks and does. It is hard to breathe.

Night settles down like a hen in her nest. I sit quietly with my glass of wine or cordial of brandy and a computer keyboard or a good book in front of me. When the weather permits, I sit outside and breathe in the twilight and smell the quiet air. My dogs lay in the grass; ears perked, noses twitching, listening to the latest news in the neighborhood. It is only then that the tightly squeezing fist of stress lets go of my chest.

I can breathe at night.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Ach, I'm getting old...

Being the younger side of the Boomer generation, I’m dealing with old age problems for me and the old age of my mother. In the “old days” the family would be together, if not in the same house, at least in the same town. Today we have scattered. My brother is in Oklahoma, my sister in Texas, and here I am in Phoenix. My mother lives two hours away from me in a smaller Arizona town. I fear that phone call I’ll get one day.

And I am not alone. My friends have all the logistics and guilt of dealing with it all, too. I just got off the phone with a friend who is on temporary assignment in Washington DC. Her parents are both experiencing health issues and my friend feels frustrated, helpless, and guilty at not being here to assist them. Fortunately, my husband has a career that allows a very flexible schedule and is able to be the chauffer and local contact for them. What are friends for, anyway?

But it got my friend and me to musing what we will do when it is our turn. Since we are all on the other side of 50, it isn’t such an abstract idea as it was when we were all in our 30’s sipping beer together on hot summer nights. We started thinking of assisted living situations and before you knew it, we were “designing” a care center for our gang.

It wouldn’t work out, and we know it, but in that fleeting moment we held a bit of hope that the future may not be so scary when you face it with your friends.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Close Your Eyes

“This minute. This tiny bit of time. I want to remember this forever.” Wendy closed her eyes, let the magic of the moment flow into her body, and snuggle down into her cells. This is the way she did it. This was the spell she invoked to help her remember.

Wendy opened her eyes. She was five. Ice cream ran down the fingers of both hands and onto the pavement in white sparkles as she walked home in the summer sunshine. Her older sister, also encumbered with two ice cream cones, licked quickly at the creamy sweetness while trying to avoid brain freeze. Grandma had given them each a dime. The Dairy Queen charged a nickel for a small cone.

Becky laughed at her little sister’s desperate attempts to keep up with the melting soft serve ice cream. “It’s on your toes, too. You can’t lick it off of them.”

“I love ice cream.” Wendy leveled off one cone and turned her attention to the other. “I love ice cream almost as much as watermelon.”

“I think I love watermelon more. You can spit the seeds and no one gets mad at you.” Becky flattened her second cone and held them both up in triumph.

“That one is leaking out the bottom,” Wendy pointed.

“Nuts.” Becky began to suck on the bottom of the cone as they rounded the corner and home came into view. Then she took a big bite out of the bottom of the leaking cone and the ice cream popped out of the top and landed in a splat on the sidewalk. Wendy laughed.

She closed her eyes.

She was eight. She opened her eyes to see Mom shaking baking soda under the running water to stop the itching from the clouds of mosquitoes that emerged each summer sunset. That day the neighborhood kids sat in a circle over at the neighbor’s house and chipped mortar off old red bricks. They laughed and told stories while they worked. She discovered that the neighbor boy didn’t wear underwear under his wide-legged shorts.

“I don’t know why you don’t stay inside after supper. You wouldn’t get so bit up if you did,” Mom chided Wendy.

“It’s cooler outside after supper. Danny let me ride his bike. I can ride a two-wheel bike, Mom. Can I have one for my birthday?”

“We’ll see. Take off those filthy clothes and get in the tub. I don’t know how you manage to get so dirty in a yard full of grass.”

Wendy shucked off her shorts and underpants at the same time and climbed into the bathtub. As she settled down into the hot water, her skin slowly gave up the sticky itching feeling and her eyelids felt heavy.

She closed her eyes.

Just after turning twenty-four, Wendy next opened her eyes. She saw the rosy glow of the sunset on the wallpaper hung by her mother in her little rented house. Her half-Siamese cat, Muppet leapt on the sofa arm, walked down the length of her body and settled onto her chest with a purr.

Wendy’s face was hot, puffy and red from crying. Feeling the pain of loneliness drift into the room, Wendy shuddered a bit. Weekends spent alone were getting harder to tolerate, and because she hated her job there was no comfort found during the week.

“One bullet. Just one tiny bullet, Muppet.” She fingered the small handgun and let the tears fall once more. Muppet pulled herself up into a crouch and leaned in close to stare into Wendy’s eyes.

She closed her eyes.

It was that time before dawn when the world is barely visible that she opened her eyes again. She was twenty-nine and nursing her newborn daughter. The dark grey form that draped over the clothesbasket slowly became the red t-shirt her husband wore two days ago when he came home early to tell her he had lost his job.

Never mind. He’ll find another one. Wendy put her sleeping daughter down on a blanket spread on the living room floor and laid down beside her. Little Belle’s eyelashes were thick on her chubby cheeks and her tiny mouth was still puckered from suckling. Wendy gently opened Belle’s fist and wondered again at the tiny fingernails. How could something this miraculous have come from me?

She closed her eyes.

Thirty-four years old and enough grey hair convinced her daughter’s kindergarten classmates that she was Grandma. She opened her eyes to read the instructions that came with the hair color. She thought the color looked too dark, but the opened box was not returnable. With a sigh, Wendy mixed the two liquids and shook up the bottle.

Staring at herself in the mirror, she noticed the lines at the corners of her eyes were deeper. Massaging the frown lines over her nose, she started worrying once more about their finances. The bill collectors were calling and they had a nasty edge to their voices.

“I can’t work any more hours. They won’t let me,” she tried to explain to her husband who was once more between jobs.

“You can get a better job,” he said, “one that pays more. You are wasting yourself at that store.”

“I haven’t had any other job since I left the law office six years ago. I’m out of date. Besides, they hire kids for those jobs.”

The mirror came back into focus and Wendy squirted the hair color on in loops and swirls making little ribbons of brown. Her head looked like a cake from a freak bakery accident.

She closed her eyes.

The funeral went well. At sixty-nine, Wendy opened her eyes to see people’s mouths moving but she could not hear what they were saying. Her husband had died. Belle’s hand clasped tight in her own brought all the comfort she needed. Her brother sent a card with only his signature. As they hadn’t spoken in twenty years, she couldn’t expect any more. Becky was in Texas now, and couldn’t make it back for the services. Wendy knew Becky couldn’t pay for the plane ticket and neither could she.

The organist began to play “Nearer My God to Thee.”

She closed her eyes.

Twilight. Her little dog slept in her lap. Big dog snored in the recliner. Her hip started to send shooting pains down her leg, so she shoved the little dog over onto the sofa, stood up, shuffled over to the living room drapes and pulled them closed, plunging the room into darkness. She scuffled to the bathroom, turned on the light, and once again felt a jolt as an old woman with snowy hair and a face that resembled a roadmap looked back at her in the mirror. “When did I turn eighty?” she asked the little dog that followed her.

She closed her eyes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Places I have Lived

1956 Cellar apartment in Tracy, MN – beginning
1958 Modest house in Tracy, MN – awareness
1960 Old house in New Ulm, MN – cowgirl
1964 New house in New Ulm, MN – skater
1967 Farm house by Sleepy Eye, MN – solitude
1971 Rental house in Sleepy Eye, MN – adolescence
1975 Basement apartment in Canby, MN – loneliness
1976 Upper apartment in Slayton, MN – disconcerted
1976 Rental house in Sleepy Eye, MN – sanctuary
1979 Portioned house in LaPorte, IN – transition
1980 Upstairs apartment in LaPorte, IN – turmoil
1981 Shared house in LaPorte, IN – waiting
1981 Occupied apartment in Phoenix, AZ – provisional
1981 Tiny apartment in Phoenix, AZ – dispossessed
1982 Nameless apartment in Phoenix, AZ – terrified
1983 Little house in Phoenix, AZ – blessing
1988 Top floor apartment in Phoenix, AZ – adventure
1989 House in Phoenix, AZ – home

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Circuit City

A young man sings into the microphone at the coffee shop.

A red haired man in a muscle shirt watches him outside the window as he stamps out his cigarette.

An old woman walking a bike with a flat tire sees the man in a muscle shirt peering into a window.

A driver slows down to turn into the driveway and hopes she doesn’t hit a woman pushing her bike.

A man walks across the parking lot jingling his key and stops as a car slowly turns into the driveway.

A blonde woman waits for her husband at the door as he stands jingling his keys in the parking lot.

A tall man holds the door open for a blonde woman as she pauses to look out at the parking lot.

A waiter swings a tray over his left shoulder as he looks over the other shoulder to see a tall man holding the door open.

A young man sings into the microphone at the coffee shop and watches a waiter swing a tray up to his left shoulder and glance back at the door.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Debut of Daydreamers Welcome

Whoa. I never in a million years would have guessed that I would start a blog. But here I am. I’d like to think this was on a whim, and to some extent it is, but I needed a place where I could semi-publicly write. There is an air of danger for me. Yes, I am a wimp. A scardy-cat. And way too shy for my own writerly good.

Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m a 51 year-old woman who was raised in rural Minnesota by Lutherans. (My mother is still alive, but as she doesn’t own a computer, I’m okay to write how that affects me and I will do so in future blogs.) Anyway, I was a goodie-two-shoes growing up. My father was a Highway Patrolman based in a very small town and everyone knew us. If I so much as parked too far away from the curb, someone would crack a joke about it to my father and then I would hear it. On top of that, I hung out with the Baptist preacher’s daughter and the school superintendent’s daughter. So, I grew up always looking over my shoulder to see who was watching.

This is when my daydreaming kicked into full gear. No one could see what was in my head but me. I was the person I always wanted to be when I was in my daydreams. This is where I really felt free.

Many years later, I fought off a deep depression. Most of the fight was a combination of anti-depressants and journaling. When I felt the need to wean myself off the anti-depressants, journaling became my lifeline to sanity. I journal everyday.

Here is the crux of my whole writing problem: I’m a goodie-two-shoes who is afraid to go back to that dark side of herself for fear of bringing the depression back. Therefore my writing is surface only. There is nothing there to grab on to. Nothing to dive into. It sucks. And I’ve stopped writing because of it.

But something, SOMETHING draws me back to the page. Something is here. What is it?

I think it is the next step in my daydreams. What do you think?