On December 23rd in the year of our Lord 2010 I posted my first ever blog post. It was the first step to the wildest ride of my life. I hope it doesn’t end anytime soon! It started out as a chronicle of my road to involuntary retirement. But that was only the beginning. I learned a lot this first year about blogging and writing. The WordPress community is full of friendly and supportive people. I was honored with a Freshly Pressed in January 2011, and received a several nominations for Versatile Blogger. One of the many things I want to do in 2012 is get of my behind and give back via nominations to bloggers and commentors who inspire and encourage me.
January through April of 2011 was the last four months of my job. Marking time, waiting for it to be over. There wasn’t much to do those last 4 months. Many of my posts during those months were written at work. All I had to do all day was sat at my computer and bang away. Nobody asked what I was doing because it didn’t matter a whole lot. On my last day at work I threw my stuff in the car and left. That was that. I don’t miss it. Really, I don’t.
Immediately I took off on a train trip to Seattle with my Mom and sister. That was a hoot and a half and fodder for many posts. Then came the long summer of my discontent. What to do with myself. What to do… 40 years of the 9 to 5 fried my mischief bone and I had no clue how to go on. Still wrestling with that one.
The Cosmos handed me a project in the form of a 23-year-old grandson who came to live with us. He was in trouble with substance abuse. He stayed here for 3 months. Mr. Husband and I put 30 pounds on the kid. He was an interesting and expensive pass time. While he was here I took him to every doctor in the Dallas Fort Worth area. At least that’s what it seemed like. The diagnosis was he was as healthy as a horse.
September found me on a road trip with my mother. We went to Yellowstone National Park, and Mt. Rushmore. We had a blast. And Mom and I hadn’t spent time alone like that since….well never. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I took temporary leave of my sanity November and decided to join the NaNoWriMo challenge for National Novel Writing Month. My novel turned out to be too much like a memoir and I practically had nervous breakdown in the process. I don’t recommend a 30 day forced march through one’s psyche and past. It’s no wonder they stress that a novel is supposed to be FICTION. I’m still working on my book but, it will be nothing like it started out to be.
And now here we are on the last day of December. I made it through the holiday season with nothing worse that a head cold. I hope everyone out there in Blogolopolis had a wonderful season. I also wish us all a wonderful 2012 full of new horizons and exciting adventures.
Happy New Year and big hugs and kisses to one and all.
Just for the fun of it, below is a list of most viewed posts of 2011:
DVD Hoarders Anonymous
A Squirrel Ate My Car
I-Like-Big-Steaks and I Can Not Lie
Just Smack Me With a Hammer
News Flash -Texas Declares Independence From Mexico
Never Cutteth Thine Own Hair
Ejected From the New Age Movement
Well NaNoWriMo came and went. I saw, I tried and it kicked my ass. Then I spent another week kicking my own ass. Tried and failed, blah, blah, blah. Couldn’t commit to paper a measly 50 thousand words in 30 days.
Never mind that’s a huge task. It never ceases to amaze me…the things I say to myself. I wouldn’t say such things to a friend or loved one, but I’ll rip my own self a new one at every opportunity. If I lived back on the dark ages I would probably be one of those people who whipped themselves occasionally in front of a cross.
Outrageous deadlines are always in the top 3 of the most hated aspects of corporate life. So what does the great and logical me do? Assign my own self a huge honking deadline and tell me it will be fun. The same thing I struggled with at the corp beehive. It’s a challenge! It will make you a better person. You never know productive you can be until you push yourself. Ah, such pretty words. But, such deadly words. Productivity just for the sake of being productive is a hamster wheel, but familiar. I was floundering around in this “retirement” phase of my life and thought this would be the ticket back to safe and familiar ground.
Well, I am no longer a retired person. I don’t like that label at all. It makes me feel like I’m a past tense ghost of my former self. I’m a writer who just so happened, in the past, to work in a big high-tech rabbit warren. That’s the past…moving along now. Nothing to see here. It is simply part of what made me who I am today.
So every day is a new day. Going to stop trying to sew patches on my old life. I spent the last 6 months doing that and it didn’t work well. Now it’s time for me to reinvent my life wheel. Set my own standards and be me. Whoever the hell that is. I’ll figure it out.
When I was a kid I used to giggle over silly names of books. Then it was the highest humor. The 2 I remember are “20 Yards to the Outhouse” by Willey Makeit and “Under the Grandstands” by Seemore Butts.” I sat in the tree in our yard for days thinking up silly titles. Then I moved on to making up additional verses to silly songs like the ever popular ditty sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey.
On top of old spaghetti all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table, and onto the floor
and then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.
It rolled to the garden and under a bush
and now my poor meatball was covered with mush.
Perhaps to truly understand you have to be bred of a large family. Whatever one may chose to do with their one alloted meatball was their concern. But, you don’t get another one, even if yours is now resting in the garden. I never did think of a refrain or a sequel to it. Such as – Oooh Oooh Wooh, the meatballs I have l known and Loved. Nobody makes meatballs live my Mammy. The kitchen is a lonely place without Mama’s meatballs. Maybe someday I will. Or branch out into other songs.
(sung to the tune of Long Black Veil.)
Ten Years Ago, on a cold dark night,
Someone ate the last piece of pie, ‘neath the town hall light.
The people who saw, they all agreed
That the woman who ran looked a lot like me.
So here I am loving to play with words and one measly day left before the NaNoWriMo deadline. Will I make it? The outcome is grim. Unless I am possessed by a ghost of writers past and write 30 thousand words in the next 24 hours…probably not.
I will try again next year. I will also work on this current book in the meantime. I don’t want to find myself next November in the position of slamming down 50 thousand words on top of finishing the book from this year. No I will not do this to myself!
Unless of course I want to go out in a blaze of dubious glory ala “whatever happened to old Trinity?” Someone scratches their head, “Dunno, last I saw of her she was stroking her keyboard, muttering random numbers as they hauled her away to happy farm.”
Why must some people learn things the hard way? I’m referring to myself of course. I like to bend rules. Even more fun to break them. Sometimes there is a reason for rules though. This whole NaNoWriMo thing is breaking my brain. It’s also causing me to have a mini nervous breakdown. What rule did I break? Why the NO part of NaNoWriMo. No meaning novel. Well blow me down. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still plugging away. The pothole in the road is that my story morphed from a novel into a semi fictional auto-biography. A biography is not a novel.
I broke another rule. Don’t go back and read what you wrote – keep writing! I did and opened Pandora’s box. Oh my god, I think, I can’t write this. Well yes, actually I can, but can I publish this? If I’m willing to run the risk of nobody every speaking to me again, including people I’ve never met, sure go right ahead. Scrambling for rationalization, I think, Eureka, I have a plan. I will wait until everyone I know is dead, then publish. This plan has a major flaw. I don’t know that many people older than me. So I will be dead too. Where’s the fun in that?
Writing about my life poses other problems as well. Scrutinizing one’s entire life on paper in 30 days sends one into a paroxysm of self-examination that would try the hardiest of souls. Maybe there is a damned good reason to explore someone’s life after they are gone. “Did that really happen? Why do you think that’s funny? That was a horrifying experience. Why was that so traumatic to you? That’s happened to others and they aren’t curled up behind the sofa in a fetal position, sniveling into a blanky. What will the result of this month be? Will I spend the rest of the year gluing macaroni smiley faces to paper plates?
So I struggle onward, cursed by my own stubborn attitude. The month is 2 thirds done and the draft is 1 thirds done. Now I remember what I liked the least about corporate hell. Deadlines…the bane of existence. Deadlines are here to stay in my life though. I have to get the inspection sticker renewed on my car on a deadline. Snarling “yer not the boss of me” to the traffic cop who pulls me over for an expired sticker isn’t going to get me very far. Well maybe to the local lockup if he’s had a bad day. But, it’s probably not a good idea to create situations as fodder for future stories.
I’m not writing a long and winding novel like Atlas Shrugged here. More like Atlas Staggered, fell to one knee – then went to happy hour to recuperate and didn’t come home for a week. Never read that book, actually. But, the title has always given me a giggle. Mom hates that book with a passion, so if you’re reading this, Mumzelle, please don’t go into a tizzy. We’ll talk about it next week when I get to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. Turkey and family, that’s living.
What a difference 10 little milligrams makes. The clouds have parted, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, the cat is meowing. I’m back to writing again. Got 14,000 words in on the NaNoWriMo frontier.
Last week I deteriorated into a spineless, humorless, irritable, irrational, brainless blob of quivering ectoplasm. It would have been easy to get a job as an extra in a horror movie portraying the green slime dripping down the wall. That’s how I felt, anyway. If I was going to portray slime I would insist on being hot pink slime, if in my right mind.
Unless you’ve fallen down that dark cold depression rabbit hole it’s difficult to imagine. The only thing I did know last week was that I did NOT want to do anything, go anywhere, eat anything, go to bed, get out of bed, watch TV, take a bath or see what color the sky was. Zero, zip, nada. Everything was shades of gray. Going outside was scary because I might hear the wind blow and that would make me sad. We are just dust in the wind right? I felt already ground to dust. The kind that would not giggle if tickled by a feather duster.
Then after a talk with my beloved head shrinker, we decided to up my meds by a measly 10 mgs. Yee haa! I’m me again. I recognize that woman in the mirror. I’m back to my old self. Laughing, singing, dancing, designing silly hats in my mind, writing about anything and everything that suits my fancy. Mr. Husband and I went to dinner and a movie last night. I’ll have you know I put on makeup, my new boots with the punky silver buckles, and even a bra! How cool is that?
The movie we went to see was “The Immortals.” It was the bloodiest, high tech, computer enhanced, festival of gore and guts, with absolutely no point what-so-ever, that I have ever seen in my entire life. Proves that old point of “just because you can – doesn’t mean you should”… make the film, pay money to go see it, try to figure it out. I thought it was going to be about Greek gods. Well it was, but that was just a backdrop for the non stop carnage. I have now seen a man cleaved in half from side to side, top to bottom, decapitated, dismembered, or detongued. I looked through the 2 halves of a split body to see another man run through with a trident in slow motion. And that was the light stuff. Not for the faint at heart. I don’t recommend it.