Potentially Nonsense

No one expects the duckie inquisition.

Category: Write 31 Days (page 1 of 4)

Virtual high-fives for everyone

This month I have written through my own excuses. I’ve looked at them, listened to them, recognized them, and then walked right through them like they were cobwebs disguised as cages.

I found out I can do what I didn’t think I could. I’ve learned I can write even when I absolutely don’t think I can. Even when I have a really good reason for not writing. I checked in with something every single day this month. Believe me, I’m as surprised as you are.

Reader, you’re awesome, you know that? From your toes to your crown, you are awesome. You’ve survived everything in your life – all the trials and challenges, all the bullshit, all the times you wanted to give up, and here you are. This is it. The last day of Write 31 Days, 2018 and 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts.

Image with a purple background, quoting the podcast Welcome to Night Vale: You too have survived. Survived everything up to this moment.

Because it’s not October without an appearance by Welcome to Night Vale.

Virtual high-fives for everyone, and especially these people:

* Ruth, who runs The Nerd Factory, where readers think, and thinkers read. Also, she’s wicked interesting.
* Jen, who is holding space and befriending dragons.
* Neta, who is enjoying The View From Here.
* Wendy, who makes a darn good waffle.
* Maxine, who finds happiness in the chaos.
* Cheryl, over in her online corner, storying away.
* Miccah, who thinks all the thoughts.
* Gattina, who has a beautiful case of writer’s cramps.
* Lee Ann, at the Unfocused Life.
* Margaret, who has set out in quest of truth.
* Albarclay: Have I mentioned how very much I love reading hiking memoirs? Cos I do.
* Julie, who is planting a garden.
* Andrew, at Blessed are the Pure of Heart is frickin’ awesome, and you should go check out his blog right now. I’ll wait.
* Penny, who is stumbling along in the most interesting way possible.
* Mary, whose blog is where creativity and love meet.
* Roanna, because she’s been my friend since Jesus lost his sandals, and she writes like an angel possessed. Visit her at Squirrels and Tequila.
* Ron, at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Colleen at Loose Leaf Notes.
* Country Dew, at Blue Country Magic.

Big love to everyone who dropped by and left a word or two. You’re the best.

Thank you so much for visiting.


The End

Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Come closer.

Tomorrow’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: CLOSE.

So. Close. Is anyone else eyeing tomorrow with suspicion? Did a whole month really pass, or is this some kind of trick? I haven’t kept a writing schedule since 2012 – the last time I participated in Write 31 Days. This felt so good. It felt really good to finish something, and to succeed at something, even if it was something as silly as writing about why I’m not writing.

“Close doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand-grenades” was a phrase I grew up hearing a lot. Do or do not. Succeed, or cover up all evidence of ever having tried. I have mixed feelings about all of those, but it’s sure nice to have a win amidst feeling so much as if I’ve failed.

I’m going to try to use this for motivation for a November project. No, not NaNoWriMo. I’m not crazy. But I’m tired of living so close to the edge. I’m tired of cutting my budget so close. I’m tired of scheduling my day so closely to get it all done, and I miss being close to friends and family. It all comes down to my close, close finances. Accounting for inflation, I made more money in my 20s, with less experience and fewer skills, than I’m currently making. ARGH.

So I’m looking at what’s holding me back, and what I can do about it. Don’t worry, I’ll only be playing my cards so close to my chest for another day or two, then I’ll share what I’m up to. I know when to fold ’em. The reveal is close to hand.

Also…

Y’all have no idea how much self restraint it’s taking to not repost the lyrics to “Closer.”

I may, in fact, have put them on this post but commented them out so I’m the only one who can see them. Who knows? It’s a closely guarded secret.

I’m sticking with the five minute rule, today. See? I can keep the rules close to my heart, sometimes.

Wait. Was the prompt “close” or “close”? D’oh! Photo credit to Phil Hearing.Thanks, Phil!

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Insane courage, lodgepole pine, and having a voice

Today’s Five Minute Freewrite prompt is: VOICE

I’m not writing today because my voice is not important. My voice got me in trouble when I used it as a kid, and as a wife. My body and heart are quick to remind me why it’s a bad idea.

My voice is not important, and when I’ve used it, it’s brought me pain. So I’m going to stay stuck in my past and keep doing as I’ve always done, living a silent life, because who would want to listen to me? And if they do listen, the consequences are going to be painful.

^^ These have been hard thoughts to get past. That bit of bad coding is in there deep, and two years of good therapy has only begun to help me get it figured out. It might be a life-long habit, this breaking of old habit.

So I’m not writing today.

But if I were writing today, and did have a voice, I would want it to be made of earth and air. I would want it to feel like wind in a dry pine woods, with at least one thin Lodgepole creaking as it leans in the wind. I would want my voice and my higher self grounded in earth, and flexing around obstacles. It should be a necessary nothing that nonetheless moves, shifting things before and after it.

If I had a voice, I would want to talk about deeply important trivial things, because in the words of The Crow, nothing is trivial. I would want to use it to laugh too loud, and to laugh with other people.

Part of this Write 31 Days project, for me, is just getting past the initial block in my brain that stops my voice. If I can do that, I can say anything.

Listening to The Minimalists podcast, led me to look up Jeff Sanders talking about 20 seconds of courage. (Apparently this is from “We Bought a Zoo,” but I’ve not seen it.) Who can’t be brave for 20 seconds? This concept has done more to help me over my blocks than almost anything else. Often it brings some dissociation with it, but I’m getting better at accepting that disorientation, and quicker at bringing my self back. That’s where all the grueling work of healing and therapy has come in.

This is a Post of Nope, and a double serving of overcoming my own nope (writing and speaking).

Do you struggle with feeling your words, your voice, is unimportant? How do you speak up for yourself, for others? Any advice for someone trying to find theirs, and to heal in this area?

Your voice is important, y’all. And so is mine.

Now get out there and use it! I can’t wait to read blogs and hear your textual voices, this morning.

In case you’re having a bad day, here is a photo of my Jaynie, being so very helpful.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Personality defrag

The Write 31 Days prompt for today is: The struggle is real. What’s yours?

For nearly the last two years, I’ve been doing the work of pulling myself together. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a chameleon, and I hate it. There was an art to being safe in my childhood home. It was mostly Bad to be noticed. It was Good to be helpful. It was Good to be quiet. It was Bad to let anyone outside the family know what was going on inside the family.

Awesome, right? Right. I’m not alone in this experience, but I sure felt alone at the time. I think that isolation was part of the point, looking back.

All six of my siblings and I learned to give different faces to different people. It was a survival thing.

Our senses of reality were f*cked with. I’ve continuously kept a journal since I was twelve, because I was told so many times that something happened that didn’t, or didn’t that did. My siblings and I still, still sometimes check in with each other, just like when we were kids. “Did that happen? Do you remember? Mom says it did/didn’t.”

A journal was unchangeable. Ink on paper was reliable. I still sometimes go back and check an old journal, and sometimes I remembered it right, and sometimes I didn’t.

We all learned to wear carefully crafted faces, different for each person watching us. We learned different sets of memory, different for each person we were presenting to. We fragmented for survival.

The thing is, we are our memories.

It’s like I took a dozen different jigsaw puzzles, and shook them together in a box, and nothing goes together quite right, even though some of it does. Sometimes. Kind of. The story the puzzle tells makes no sense. Memories don’t quite work together, and it takes some outside help to make sense of it all, and sort out the stories we were told to remember, and the ones that actually happened.

So I’ve been doing some head chiropracty, trying to pull everything as straight as possible. It will probably never all quite fit, but it can be better aligned. My therapist was worth twice his weight in gold, for having the patience of a god. EMDR and therapy has changed my life, y’all. It’s dangerous to go skull spelunking alone. And thank goodness for modern medicine to correct my brain chemistry so I could start therapy.

During this 31 day challenge, I had a real thunderbolt moment. I’m a whole, fully integrated person when I’m writing. All the fog clears. The puzzle pieces make sense. I can think more clearly. I can remember more clearly. I knew this, but I didn’t know it, you know? Since you’re taking part in the Write 31 Day October blogging challenge, it’s even money that you do know this. I don’t know if it’s because I originally began writing to track my own reality, or if that’s just how brains generally work.

My continuing struggle with integrating and with running a personality defrag is made easier by writing, and writing is easier when I’m less isolated. I’m grateful you’re here with me, traveling through this writing challenge like we’re all on the yellow brick road, waving to the pixels as we skip past.

Thanks for being here with me.

In case you need something to smile about, here is a Corgi in a scarf.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Too busy making soup.

Hmm. Let’s see. Am I going to write today, considering I linked up with one October writing challenge called Write 31 Days, and another called 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writing Prompts: 2018 Edition?

Nope.1

I’m not writing today, and I’ll tell you why. I’m too busy making soup. See? Perfectly reasonable reason to not write. Tasty, tasty, warm, lovely soup.

I was going to make the Internet-Famous 44 Clove Soup, but then thought nah. I’ll stick with something I already know how to make. I’ll come for you someday, intriguing garlic soup, but today is not that day.

I make potato leek soup in a big batch in order to freeze it. If you want to eat it right off, don’t put it in the fridge.2 You’ll need to use an immersion blender or something, instead of pouring boiling hot soup into a blender. Obviously. I mean, you wouldn’t actually do that, right? Pour boiling hot soup into a blender? Please don’t do that. I like you, and don’t want you to be horrifically scarred.

Potato Leek Soup

3 T butter
4 leeks, roughly chopped (just the white and light green parts)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (From a jar. Because I’m fancy like that.)
2 # Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (Peel or don’t peel. Up to you. I don’t, but I’m a casual cook.)
7 C chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 C heavy cream or half-and-half (whatever’s easy and handy)

Melt the butter in a big ole soup pot. Add leeks and garlic, and cook until they’re tender (about 10 minutes).

Add potatoes, stock, bay leaves, thyme, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover and simmer over low for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. You want them to be mashable.

Fish out the bay leaves. Allow to cool, then put it in the fridge until it’s cold.

Add the heavy cream or half-and-half. Run it through a blender in batches, or mash it up well with a potato masher. If it’s too thick, add water or stock to thin it out. Bag and freeze in the portions you’d like. After thawing, salt and pepper to taste.3

I’ll spare you a food photo. I don’t know how people on Instagram manage it. Anytime I try to take a photo of food, it looks utterly nauseating.

So here is a happy doggo, instead.

Photo by Andrea Reiman.

TLDR: No writing today. Only soup.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Taking a moment

This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt (and Day 26 of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes) is: MOMENT.

This has been such a long, long week. I’m not even quite sure why, except that it was a Two Migraine + Dentist Visit Week. Actually, that’s probably why, right there.

Today I’m not writing for the Write 31 Day Challenge or Five Minute Free Writes because I’m too busy taking a moment, or two moments, or many moments, to read and comment on everyone else’s lovely work. Seriously, have you read what you’ve written? I just love it. I love the community of this challenge. I hope someone picks up the mantle for next year.

So no post today. This post is a figment of my imagination. This is not the post you’re looking for. Move along.

Time to go on virtual walkabout and say hi to everyone.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Thursday 13: Say what?

This is my second week of trying out Thursday 13. It’s kind of fun. I find myself actively watching for weird place names, now.

Top 13 fantastic place names I’ve seen this week:

1. Stardust Way
2. Vassal Ct
3. Apple Valley, CA
4. Effort, PA
5. Happiness Ln
6. Waddy, KY
7. Supply, NC
8. Bumpnose Rd
9. Bunnie Dr
10. Pond Shores Rd
11. Porch St
12. Newcomerstown, OH
13. Spotswood, NJ

These were shared via comments, last week:

* Hazardville, CT and Bumpass, VA were proposed by Ron at Scrambled, not Fried.
* Christmas, FL and Satan’s Kingdom, MA1 and Breakneck Hill Rd were shared by the amazing Jen.
* Batman Thumper Rd and Merlin’s Way were nominated by Colleen, who has the best notes.
* Country Dew slayed me with Climax, NC. I would love to send a postcard from there.

Are there any place names that have tickled your fancy? Do fancies even like being tickled? It’s probably best to ask, first.

And in case you’re having a hard day, this is a terrible photo of something that made me smile, recently.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

The banshee scream of Netflix

Oh, wow. Nope. I couldn’t possibly write a single thing, today. Nope nope nope.

I’m far too busy scaring the crap out of myself watching The Haunting of Hill House.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

When Netflix started showing off the trailer, I thought to myself, “Haha. That looks terrible. Good thing I’m not going to watch it.”

Ha. Ha.

Then a friend posted about it on Twitter, and… I was doomed. I love scary movies, and scary books, and scary podcasts, and scary most things, but I didn’t want to get sucked into something because, you know. Writing. And also because the trailers looked goofy. Horror is either amazing, or awful.

Maybe I’ll just watch the first episode. It’s sure to be silly. Right?

Oh. Oh, no.

Readers, it’s perfect and terrifying. I love it so much. So that’s why I’m not writing, today. I’m listening to the banshee scream1 of Netflix. I couldn’t possibly write today. Nope.

ps. Have you read or watched or listened to something good, recently? I’m running short on scary podcasts. Although Limetown is meant to be releasing season two, soon. Hopefully not until after Write 31 Days is done.

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

My own private Ida-nope.

Today’s post is short1. I’m going to go to bed early. I’m going to get up later than I’ve been getting up this week, because I’m writing this ahead of time. I’m scheduling it.

In the morning, I’m going to take a longer shower than necessary. I’m going to have two, two cups of coffee.2 I’ll take the dog on his constitutional, and then I’ll go to work. After work, the doggo and I are going for another walk. How decadent!

That’s what my self care looks like, today. That’s how I’m going to take care of myself. That’s how I’m going to protect my self, today. I may come back later and post pics of the walk, or I may not. It will be a surprise for both of us.

So I’m not writing a proper post today, because I’m opting in for a little nonproductive time spent taking care of myself.

Are you doing anything intentional this month to look after or protect your own wild and precious self?

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

Weekend Link Love, sans weekend, with unexpected rabbits.

But, but, it’s not the weekend! How can you have weekend link love without a weekend?? I’m so glad you asked. I plan to use a clever distra-

Is that a rabbit over there??

Oh, my bad. I think it was just some leaves. Anywho. Welcome to weekend link love #3. I’m your host, Jae. This post is also brought to you by the letter 22, and the number H.

And also these lovely folks:

* Barbie, who excels at Whispers and Wanderings.
* Jackie, whose voice is restorative.
* Angela, whose heart is indeed abundant.
* Colleen, who takes the best loose leaf notes.
* The forgetful one, whose writing is memorable.
* Janis, who is a champion five minute free writer.
* Country Dew, who knows a good place name when she sees it.
* LeVar Burton Reads, just because the man is a damn icon. AN ICON.
* Amanda Palmer, who I could not be more in love with. What an incredible woman. Even when I don’t agree with her, I get where she’s coming from.

I’d also like to thank the entire state of Idaho, but most especially the Boise greenbelt, which I miss like a coal miner misses his wife. Have I mentioned I’m homesick?

I am. A bit. Just a bit.

Maybe more than a bit. A tidge? A smattering? I can never remember. Is it a smattering of homesickness, or a tidge of homesickness? I’m delighted that a group of rabbits is called a fluffle. Maybe I’m a fluffle of homesick. Let’s go with that.

Once upon a time, I had a bunny named George. As in, love him and pat him and feed him and name him George. George did not look like this rabbit. George was an eating rabbit. Only we didn’t eat George. He was just for pretty, despite looking like an eating rabbit instead of a pretty rabbit. And I loved him. And that’s my bunny story.

Happy (not actually a) weekend, everyone!

This blog has been taken over by the 2018 Write 31 Days challenge. Here’s the sweet, sweet index of all my posts of nope.

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