Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3rd: one sentence story

He prefers the mountain air while she dreams nightly of swimming in the ocean, but they both agree their home at the edge of a field of wild flowers is ideal for them, a happy compromise on the ever-important reality of their lives on the daily, other passions aside.

Jennie Seigel gave me:
Mountain Air
Ocean Swim
Wild Flower Fields

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Now Available on eReader

This entire blog is now available for download for only $0.99 for anyone with a Kindle or Nook!

"For this, too, is true -- stories can save us."
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried

Thanks for reading along with me, everyone!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31st: A Final Post on the Eve of the New Year

New Year's Resolution conquered.  If I would have known making a resolution could be so fun, I would have started this ages ago.  I would strongly encourage everyone who does art or writes or crafts or enjoys balancing chemical equations for fun to try this out.  Writing every day has renewed my love of the sport.  I'm addicted once more and I look forward to seeing what today's inspiration will be.  2012, let's see what we can create together.

But we can't move on without saying a fond farewell to 2011.  Man, this year was better than 2010 by leaps and bounds.  Yes, it's true that I got laid off from a job I really loved in 2011, and that was unfortunate on a number of levels.  But that lay off afforded me the time to finish my novel Neverland, Ohio -- FINALLY! --  as well as my first collection of poetry There are Phases to These Things -- you can buy both here:  Thank you so much to those of you who have already purchased one or both of these books.  The response and feedback I've gotten has been overwhelming and I continue to enjoy hearing your thoughts about my work, so please.....keep it comin'.  

This has also been a year where I have been able to appreciate truly my friends and family.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older or maybe it's because of the struggles I had with friends in 2010, but there have been so many times this year that I have sat back and thought, man, I'm a lucky girl.  Where did all of these outstanding individuals come from?  Tracing their origins is just part of the fun.  The people in my day-to-day life are so eclectic and funny and talented and empathetic and oh my god are they smart.  There's something in the water here in Massachusetts, I think.  It's also been a great year for reconnecting with friends who were lost but not forgotten -- this in many ways is linked to publishing Neverland, Ohio and hearing from some great people from my past, but also a few of you super stars of my youth who have come out of the woodwork this year and eased back into my life as if you'd never left.  Thanks for that.  I would say I missed you, but my suspicion is you were always there, anyway.  And, on a similar note, I reconnected with a close friend of mine here in the big bad city after a year or so spent with us not even close to the same page.  But we figured it out and got ourselves back on track, finally.  No matter what -- all of these friends of mine are incredible people and I value each of them and the journey that brought us together.

Then there's the family.  Perhaps you read my post the other day about my nephews (aka The Best Kids Ever).  They are outstanding.  I love love love spending time with them and seeing what catches their young attention.  I just can't say enough about them and how amazing they are.  So are their parents, my sister-in-law and my big brother and my mom who are all holding down the fort there in Ohio.  My little brother is becoming a world traveler, going places I'm sure he never thought he'd go.  I'm so proud of him and all he's accomplished.  Then there's my ninety-six-year-old grandma who's still going out to toss the ball with the kids and has a social life that rivals mine.  What an inspiration!  My family's just fantastic.

So what all of this means is, in addition to thanking The Academy for my New Year's Resolution Completed Award, I would love to thank my friends and family for making it all possible.  And thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read this blog this year.  It's been such a great experience!

There's a brand new year on the horizon (I mean, I think there is -- it's pretty foggy so it's hard to tell) and I am interested to see what's in store.  Whatever's to come, there's one thing I know for sure:  I'll be writing about it.

Stay tuned...

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30th: At the End of This Day (poem)

At the End of This Day

Such a breath, caught
off guard, a surprise reserved
for the feint of heart --
I have never been this pleased.
Alone but fortified, I see
through this brick wall
to the greater outdoors
of my youth, as if
there was such a place
to admire through stone.
But there is and I see it
best when I close my eyes.
What happens when you close yours?
I would guess wrongly,
of that I am certain.  Because with you,
even when I'm right I'm still not right.
I have learned to smile
and mean it to the core -- I have learned
more than I thought I ever could.
My brain is at capacity.
All I see is a series of dots and dashes
across a black screen.  I think
this is a code I will never be able to learn.
Instead, I use my time to look out the window
and see things as they really are.
So much is beautiful.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 29th: My Favorite Kids

I have the best nephews in the world.  Don't even try to argue with me that your nephews are cooler -- sorry, it's not possible.  I just spent the last few days experiencing life through the eyes of a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old and it was an incredible time.  

The oldest is Landon the Talker.  I could barely get a word in edgewise with this kid.  He was giving my brother (in this story we'll call him Uncle Josh) and me directions from his house to my mother's house (Grammy's house, that is), telling us which roads to take and what signs to look for all the while explaining to us that Joker is a bad guy and bad guy's go to jail.  He asks big questions like -- "Why did [our dog] Henry have to go to heaven?" and "What's the government?" and "When is Nutcracker 2 coming out?"  He asks "what time" something will happen (for example, "What time will the wolf come out?" while we're watching Peter and the Wolf) and he says that boys don't wear makeup, even though the boy playing the wolf has grayed up his face to resemble the beast -- "He has makeup but boys don't wear makeup.  Sarey, so why does he have makeup on because boys don't wear makeup!"  At every meal we shared, he would announce, "Aunt Sarey, you're sitting next to me!" and I would cut up his food for him and pour him some juice, whatever he needed.  He tells me what he wants to do for his birthday (which, mind you, is in July) and says in a serious voice that mascots aren't real people and he's only sometimes scared of them.  He asks what I got for Christmas and listens bright eyed until I say Uncle Josh got me some movies (the Indiana Jones box set) and then the questions fire away:  "What's it called?  Is it a kid movie?  Could I watch it?  Is it scary?  What's it about?  Why is it scary?  Why did Uncle Josh buy it for you?  When can I watch it?  But is it scary?"  Then he proceeds to tell me the plot of Cars 2 as he turns his attention back to The Nutcracker, which he has requested Grammy put on the TV in the kitchen.  "Why are they dancing?" he asks.  Then he gets up and shows me his killer dance moves, which involve a range of motions from what I'll kindly call The Carlton to a face down belly flop.  No doubt about it:  Landon's a born dancer.  He'll run full speed across the room, dive bomb himself into my arms and say, "Let go of me!  Let got of me!" and giggle as I pretend to trap him in my arms.  And on the way to the airport, he explains how his daddy (my older brother Casey who works with a university football team) took planes from this airport once and would he be able to watch my plane take off?  Why not?  "Why do you live in Boston?" he asks.  He tells me he lives in Tallmadge, Ohio and that the thermos with the red lid has his apple juice.  "The blue one's Christian's," he says.  The scary part is -- this kid's always right on the money!

Sitting in the next car seat over is Christian.  My middle nephew is about a year and a half younger than the oldest and he is playing a constant game of catch up. If Landon insisted on sitting next to me at every meal, Christian's tiny voice would pipe up with, "Landon, I'll sit next to you!"  He clearly idolizes his older brother.  Heck, I idolize his older brother, so I get it.  But since I'm also the middle child, I am totally on Christian's side.  It's tough to be in the shadow of such a force to be reckoned with -- my older brother was much the same.  Where Christian is different is his athleticism and his total fearlessness.  He insists on being thrown up in the air as high as he can go about a hundred times in a row.  Uncle Josh can dangle him by one ankle and that kid can pull his lower body up to try and free himself.  What???  That takes some major strength.  It makes sense that his favorite thing in life, besides his big brother, is Buzz Lightyear, who he takes with him everywhere.  We don't like Evil Buzz, though, no way.  Christian treasures his collection of hot wheels cars and takes daily inventory of where they all are -- some of them he even puts  "in jail," which means he's hidden them someplace special.  Every once in awhile, he would try to explain something to us -- you know, when Landon would have to take an oxygen break -- and my favorite was the seventy-five times he explained to me what happens at the end of Peter and the Wolf.  Even if Landon has already covered this topic, Christian pursued this line of dialogue every time he could and always in the same insanely awesome way.  He would look me square in the eye, obvious excitement in the telling, as he would squeeze Buzz Lightyear into his arm pit so both hands were free to go out in front of him, his little wrists flexing his palms straight forward.  As he'd start to explain, his fingers would curl in and then flash upwards as he would say in a slow dramatic voice, "And then the duck POPS OUT!"  I never got tired of hearing this explanation of the plot twist at the end when the wolf basically pukes up his ducky dinner.....which is good, because Christian never got tired of 'splaining it.  And it should be noted that as soon as we got in the car to drop me off at the airport, it was my little Christian who said, "But Sarey, I don't want you to go."  What is it about a child's approval of your presence that makes it mean so much more?

And then there's the little guy.  Brayden's a year old on Friday and he can only be described as happy-go-lucky.  He's got this perpetual goofy grin on his face and the sweetest disposition.  Already walking (practically running), he scoots himself around from person to person, only occasionally plopping down.  He's gotta be a mover to keep up with his big brothers.  We celebrated his first birthday this week with a giant Elmo cake, his favorite, and, oh my, that red frosting.  I'm fairly certain his face will be a rosy color for weeks to come.  And I hope he keeps dragging that blanket around him, just like his Uncle Josh used to when he was a lil guy...  His middle name is "Joshua," after all.

You have no idea how much I love hanging out with these kids.  They are bright, imaginative, respectful, loving, and kind.  They are junior rockstars.  And I can't wait until I get to see them again.