Work

XV | 10 THINGS OF THANKFUL | XV


Okay, two hours before Sunday ends, and I’m just getting started on my list and I’ve only been able to visit two or three blogs (and catching up on past TToTs on top of it). Where did I go wrong? I used to be so up and prompt with all this Thankful stuff!* I haven’t really been online much all week. I have been productive and figuring out some shakiness on the workfront, but I hope it’s just a minor hiccup.

Lots of girlfriend time, though, and I’m certain that is what most of my list will revolve around. So let’s get to what I’m thankful for this week…


  1. Random conversations with strangers (admittedly not always categorized in the “Thankful” department). This occurred last week, but as I was picking up the grounds around my apartments an older lady walking her dog struck up a conversation as she was passing by. She asked if I owned the place, and I explained I only maintained the grounds and lived on site. She expressed how great the property always looked, and that some people in the neighborhood never seem to care. It was a great compliment (and maybe I was already Thankful for this, but it never hurts to re-remember! After talking about family heritage, work anecdotes, and her dog attempting to bite me when I went to pet it, they were on their merry.
  2. As I said above, I’ve spent a lot of time this week with my ladyfolk** and without divulging any sort of sexy-time schedule***, which grandmotherly sorts tend to find distasteful, I just wanted to say that I’m very Thankful for the time we’ve been able to spend together****.
  3. My girlfriend being able to handle my smartassery (most of the time…). I’m a smartass. There is no ifs, ands or buts about it (well maybe a few butts). Sarcasm isn’t generally a liked quality for some, but I do feel it has it’s place and is an art that can be crafted and honed over time. Sometimes this backfires, and my only hope is it’s known I am not being serious. Though, I admit there is a fine line between joking with sarcasm and slipping into the negative realm of being a prick. Hopefully I don’t fall into that category too often…
  4. My girlfriend being okay with my completely random singing about pretty much anything and everything. I’m uncertain if you’ve ever watched How I Met Your Mother, but I feel that I share a singing quirk of one of the major characters (Marshall) of the show. The singing/songs are usually made up and nonsensical. In the past, this has likely been pretty annoying for some of those frequenting any prolonged amount of presence with me, but Kate seems to be completely okay with this. That’s awesome!
  5. This weekend my girlfriend not only cooked dinner (curry) Saturday evening, but also cooked breakfast (apple cinnamon pannenkoeken, turkey bacon, eggs, english muffins and orange juice!) on Sunday morning. Okay well, dinner was at like… 11:00pm and breakfast was at about 2:30pm. We are really bad at timing meals! Either way, they were both very delicious, especially the hearty breakfast!
  6. Before eating breakfast, Kate brought me to the Farmer’s Market. It was the first time being to one, and I was a bit nervous, but it was awesome. So many fresh fruits (though seasonally not much variety) and vegetables! I’d definitely like to go back (maybe even buy a thing or three) once I know I will be able to actually consume the produce in a timely fashion before it spoils.
  7. Overall, I am extremely thankful for a lazy weekend. We passed up attending Renn Fest, going to a movie, and she turned down attending a baseball game. It was nice to just keep it low key and relax together.
  8. Standing up for myself. Some major events this week — oddly, come to think of it, this was a stressful week...— included some work issues. They contacted me out of the blue saying I owed them a pretty big chunk of change. This was based on rent and bills I supposedly hadn’t paid (some over 8 months old). Well, I have always paid my rent (and the one phone bill they asked I pay) on time, and had documentation of such, though bank statements shows they never cashed the checks. That is an incredible annoyance, because I do technically owe some of that money, but why was this brought up months down the road? Then there were the charges on the ledger they sent me that seemed to come out of thin air. So when breaking everything down about what I owed, and that the mistake wasn’t on my end, and questioning the phantom charges, they agreed with my records and (I think…) we came to an understanding/agreement. Monday will tell...
  9. I’m Thankful I figured and hashed out all my medical insurance problems. I may have already been Thankful for this, but it also deserves repeating. That shit can be a real nightmare and I dislike any problematic circumstances dealing with such!
  10. Finally, I’m Thankful for the cooler weather. Fall is my favorite season and it is fast approaching! This weekend, especially, has been much cooler and it makes for lovely evening walks. I’m excited and hope to find a day, when the leaves are changing color, to go on a roadtrip for some nature photography.

*11:59pm cst Saturday evenings…
**Girlfriend
***Which is ALL the time
****You’re welcome Christine…*****
*****Don't fucken bust my kneecaps!

Feel free to leave your Thankful List in the comments below, if you aren’t participating directly with the blog hop!

IDLE MUSINGS

Last week my family said goodbye to my uncle. Things seem calmer, but it's likely because everyone is going about their grieving in different ways. That and the fact I am not in close proximity of most of my family anymore. We aren’t talking states away, but I have a very small radius of travel; something I want to change sooner than later.

I spoke of another loss, one hopefully salvageable. It pales in comparison to a death in the family, but it's an important matter, nonetheless.

Before getting to that, though, I will start on a lighter note...

Your You’re the Writer

Yesterday was my review for the new company I work for. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. With everything going on the last few weeks, I had fallen a bit behind. The company uses a Self-Assessment form, where you critique your own work/skills/strengths/weaknesses/etc. It was interesting. Similar to some of the questions asked in the interview I had with the company.

Questions like: What are five strengths you possess?

Could you believe I could only think of four during my interview? It happened! Granted I was on thirty minutes of sleep, but still. I never really think about those kinds of things. What I’m good at, strengths, positive traits/skills. It was a bit easier this time around, thankfully.

I couldn’t print out the form, so I ended up writing my answers on index cards. I was excited when my manager seemed interested I used them. I may be obsessed, I use them for many things. She let me start the review.

“You’re the writer...” she began.

I must have told her I wanted to write and forgot. I think I got flustered, maybe embarrassed, and tried explaining I hadn’t written much in a while. It was, however, encouraging to make sure I do a little writing each day; especially my fiction.

The review went really well. Things were in order and we spoke about advancement opportunities, so I will be playing it by ear. It would be nice to shift into a new role, learn some new skills. Overall it turned out to be a good day, with a clearer outlook on the work front.

Wildflower

In a previous post, THE BRIDGE, I mentioned a Wildcard associated with NaNoWriMo.  This individual played an important role in inspiring my writing, encouraging me to complete NaNo, and fueling various other projects thereafter. Looking back, I apparently wasn’t completely aware of just how influential the individual had been to my work.

Now the part that some may find hard to believe, is that I had specifically asked for a Muse months ago. Asked the Universe, for all those new age spiritualists out there. So, I got what I asked for, but unfortunately not at the most opportune time, at least in terms of being able to explore it to a desired capacity. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. I just wanted to write again.

So this Muse came into my life and that’s what happened. I began to write again. More expansive than outlines and ideas. Spending time with them somehow created a surge of inspiration and desire to create. I couldn’t explain it and still can’t. It just was. It scared me; still does. It played a factor in, to some extent, the breakdown discussed in that earlier post linked above.

While things were exciting for a time, eventually due to circumstances, the connection had to be momentarily released. I hope it’s a very temporary situation. It was important to myself to be realistic and honest about the situation, rather than pretend I was okay with it or that things would change. Continuing down that path would have bode negative for both myself and them. Different people at different places, but perhaps down the road the friendship will resume more fully.

Since the severance, I have coincidentally been lacking in my fiction. I’m sure a lot of it is in my head, but unless someone has known someone that created this effect, I can’t explain it. It comes off as magical. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t contemplated sacrificing some happiness in attempts to assure I could at least have access to just a taste now and again. It can be very euphoric.

Music plays a large role in my writing, and fuels a lot of my fiction. Not as fleshed out, but little blips of scenes. I’m hoping it will suffice, and that I can unlock that part of me that was unleashed when in the presence of a Muse. The belief is, naturally, that the source is within you and I agree (or so I will tell myself). The trouble comes in accessing it freely.

Wildflower is the name of a Smashing Pumpkins song I dedicated to this situation. To me, the song is about someone chasing another who is always out of reach. In doing so, eventually it becomes too much and they need to let go, or risk the task consuming them. That is the simplistic explanation.

The song took on a slightly different meaning when listening to it live, where the singer had changed a line of lyrics from "When it's far too gone, I'd move on" to "When it's all too much, I've had enough." Originally, in context, it sounded like he was giving permission to the other to move on once he became unmanageable. To go and be free and live without him. With the change, it is more giving himself permission and letting go (and how the original line was meant to be taken - at least in my theory). Either way, give it a listen. I love it!

Flash Fiction

I decided to try my hand at Flash Fiction. Essentially it is a piece consisting of fewer words than a short story. I believe under a thousand (or maybe three thousand?) words is common. There was a contest held a few weeks ago and the rules specified for a piece of fiction of 250 words or less. Writing within these confines is sometimes referred to as Micro Fiction. Also, as a fun twist, you had to use at least four of ten pre-selected words.

The words:

EVENING-QUARRY-ACCENT-ROSE-TEAR-MINUTE-GRAVE-CLOSE-ENTRANCE-BOW

It was a lot of fun and very challenging. I’d like to do more Flash Fiction. I feel it will help me in terms of brevity with my fiction. This past weekend I received the dreaded email stating my story didn’t make it to the next round of judging. That is unfortunate, but was expected. It was more for the experience of it. I don’t think I’ve submitted anything into a contest since high school; maybe first grade.

The piece was inspired by the circumstances involving the Muse, and also a song I was inspired to write during the period we were in touch. For that reason, it is a very personal story, but would love to share it.

I’m currently placing all of my fiction on a blog specifically designed for my writing. You can read my Flash Fiction contest entry there:

Dreams in the Shade of Ink: Fireflies

Feel free to check it out, comment, and explore the other writing projects I am working on! Any constructive feedback is always welcomed; both here and there.

Until then, I will endure the only thing standing between that fleeting inspiration and myself. Those words that wish to be written, but enjoy a good game of hide-and-seek.

Time.

Have you ever had a Muse? For those out there inspired by music, what song(s) or band(s) really gets your mojo flowing? Have you ever written any Flash Fiction? I'd love to read some from others!