alphabetchallenge

Utterly Uninspired

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “U”

I had nothing prepared in advance for today. I wrote out a list of ideas for each letter back when this challenge began 20+ days ago. Even then I had absolutely no plans for the letter “U”. I figured that something would come to me eventually. This morning I got my coffee, I sat down, I grabbed the keyboard, and nothing. I read a little, I messed around on Twitter, I updated Facebook, and still nothing. Then I said, out loud, “I am utterly uninspired”. At that moment, this practically wrote itself:

I am utterly uninspired,
Head blank, pen tired.
Try as I may,
Nothing to say.

My mind is comfortably numb,
Wordless outcome.
Makes me crazy,
Brain so hazy.

Looking for a flash in this dark,
Seeking the spark
That lights a fire
And fills my quire.

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Tattoos

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “T”

I am a tattoo fan, a big fan. I got my first tattoo during a visit to Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, when I was 22. My second followed soon after during a subsequent trip to Hawaii, on the island of Maui. It didn’t take me long to want a third, which I got in Chicago. After that I took a good hiatus and didn’t get my fourth until just a few years ago. I actually had that done close to home at Love Tattoo. I do have plans for six more, so I suppose I should pick up the pace on new tattoos if I want to complete the list.

The featured image is my husband’s ambigram tattoo. Looked at from one angle it reads “Live”, from another it says “Life”. I love it. It conveys a simple, yet crucial message. I have plans to share pictures of some of my tattoos in a future post, so none of me this time.

I leave you with a poem about tattoos in tyburn form:

Painting
Lasting
Staining
Speaking
Needle on flesh, painting lasting dreams
Expressive skin staining, speaking reams

Sons

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “S”

This challenge has given me the unique opportunity to introduce everyone to my awesome family. Today I focus all of my attention on my sons, my oldest child, Steven and my youngest, Brandon. The age difference between my boys is nearly 10 years, still they are close. Brandon stays over at Steven’s apartment. They eat pizza and play video and board games like brothers should. I see a lot of Steven in Brandon. The featured image is evidence of that. Those pictures were taken years apart in completely different states. They have the same freckles, the same eyes, the same mannerisms, the same sense of humor. However, for all of their similarities, they have just as many differences.

Steven is extremely driven. He is a biopsychology major in his 3rd year of college. His focus is cognitive psychology and he hopes to obtain a PhD. Steven receives scholarship money and keeps a job as a barista to pay most of his college expenses. He is also a captain on his school’s Ultimate team. He loves music. I lost count of how many instruments he can play. Despite his busy schedule, Steven is well balanced. He has many friends and enjoys the full college experience. Perhaps most importantly, he is an incredible big brother.

SonsStevenMusic

Brandon is the most laid back individual I have ever known. He is quiet, a little shy, very sweet, and loves a good lazy Sunday. His technology skills are impressive for a kid his age. At 2 years old he would belly up to the computer, manipulate the mouse, get on the internet, find the right bookmark, and navigate to his favorite game, completely unassisted. Brandon loves to help in the kitchen. It’s the only thing he likes more than screen time. He has taken several cooking classes at a local bistro.

SonsBoChef

Brothers
Two boys so alike
The reflection in their eyes
Echos of one another

Two boys bound by blood
Distinctive aspirations
Minds and spirits all their own

 SonsBaseball

Raw & Real

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “R”

First and foremost, Happy International Day of Poetry! Also, happy 96th birthday to my Minga! She is my paternal grandmother. I couldn’t say “Grandma” when I was little; it came out “Minga”. My kids and I still call her that to this day. She is a remarkable woman.

While there is much to celebrate, it is bittersweet. Today is also the anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s passing. He was younger than my mother is now when he left this world. It was a life-changing event for many.

Days like today are exactly why I write. I’m jubilant. I want to celebrate. Not everyone my age still has a living grandmother. I have two, both of whom celebrate birthdays this month. They bring great happiness into this world. I am so fortunate. At the same time, I’m melancholy and filled with regret. While I have my grandmas, I don’t have my grandpas. I wasn’t as close to my maternal grandfather as I should have been. There are all sorts of reasons why, none of which are important to me now. I should have known him better. I should have visited more. Conversely, I was very close to my paternal grandfather. He was a character larger than life. He too would also have celebrated a birthday this month. My eyes well with tears as I type. I miss them both. Words, be they stories or poetry or simple ramblings, are therapeutic. It’s an incredible mechanism for dealing with such extreme conflicts of emotion.

On the day my grandfather passed 25 years ago, the words that helped me cope came in the form of poetry:
Dear Grandpa,
Just where do I start?
There are so many
Things in my heart.

I loved you so much,
I now miss you the same.
You had a special touch.
When I needed it, you came.

Why did I wait ‘til now –
Until it was too late,
To tell you how I feel,
To say “Grandpa, you’re great!”?

I am so sorry!
It just isn’t fair.
There was no warning
No time to tell you “I care”.

Everyone tells me,
“Be strong for your Mom”,
But who’s being strong for me
Now that you’re gone?

I loved you too.
I know I wasn’t the greatest,
But the words I say are true.

Grandpa, I miss you,
And I will always, always love you.

I know, it’s not exactly a masterpiece painted of words. However, it’s raw. It’s real. It’s a 15 year old kid figuring out how to deal with death for the first time. It’s something I last read years ago. It stirs up some powerful stuff even after all of this time. Mom, I’m sorry. I know this post will be tough for you.

On an unrelated note, but while I’m being real, there is one more quick thing… Yesterday I blogged my 50th post. It was a thrilling milestone. I don’t know if it was my excitement, if I rushed, if I was careless or lazy or what, but after my post had been published for several hours, I found a typo. I was mortified. Immediately I scrambled to correct it, but could only think of those who had already seen it. It gets better. Several more hours passed before another typo was brought to my attention – complete, total, utter humiliation (combined with extreme gratitude for the friend who pointed it out so I could fix it). I realize that everybody who read yesterday’s post, my 50th no less, saw my errors. I couldn’t just let that go. I had to say something. My readers, I apologize. I am sincerely sorry.

“You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ~Jodi Picoult

Queen of Quite-a-lot

SFoxWriting’s Alphabet Challenge ~ “Q”

Queen of Quite-a-lot, a poem

She commands we serfs
Honor her reign,
Brimming with hubris,
She’s terribly vane.

She flaunts daddy’s cash
But she never shares.
Spending and carousing
Are her only cares.

The value of a fellow
Lies within his wallet.
A meager man’s name?
She wouldn’t recall it.

She buys her friends
Like she buys her shoes.
Deny her a wish
To light her fuse.

She has two for
Every one you’ve got.
She is, after all,
Queen of Quite-a-lot.