The house is quiet. The baby is asleep, the cat is lounging in a window, and my husband isn’t home yet. My imagination is itching to tell a story.
I scroll through my Pinterest board, looking for a prompt to start everything off, and I find one that reminds me of something from about three years ago.
Back when my husband and I first started watching Dr. Who, I had a series of particularly unusual dreams. They were weird enough to inspire a flurry of story ideas, and upon remembering it, they make my fingers fidgety. So I decide to do something about it. I am finally going to write something based on them.
I remember that I had posted about them, so I search through the blog for that post. But to my surprise, today’s idea isn’t new. I have already begun writing about the strange dreams.
Even more surprising, though, I realize that I never finished the story. All right, so that’s not the most surprising thing since there are several stories on this blog that began to take shape but were abandoned. (Not forever, necessarily.) However, this story already had so much to it. I was sure that I had to have finished it. But I haven’t.
So, it’s time to revisit the story and actually finish it this time. Three years late is better than never, right?
What Dreams Are Made of (Part 1) is available here. Next week, expect Part 2!
It’s been a while since my last post. The end of pregnancy and beginning of motherhood have been busy, but I’m back now. : )
So far, most of my time has been spent tending my little family (including my sweet cat, who’s handling the transition well), but thanks to my husband, I’ve found some daily time for writing… even though it’s only a sentence or two.
For Christmas, he bought me a special journal. I’ve kept ones for years, but this is one I’d actually be willing to share. And I have every intention to once our daughter is older.
There are several different Happiness Project journals out there, but this one is specifically for mothers.
There have been times when I’ve thought about doing different daily writing exercises kind of like this, like taking a moment from the day and recording it like a scene. But thinking about the day and encapsulating it into one to two sentences has been a great experience.
Throughout the day, I find myself composing what I might write about and reflecting on this new season of life. And it’s brought even more joy to the experience as I think about what I want to remember when my baby is too big to sleep on the Boppy pillow on my lap while I sit at the computer.
It’s come to be a part of the day that I look forward to, and something that has kept me actively writing, even though it’s only been in little chunks here and there.
Do you have a routine writing exercise you like to do? Do you keep a journal?
In early December, my beloved alarm clock took on a life of its own. I’m not sure if it decided that it would rather communicate with words, if it had an odd obsession with the letter j, or if it decided that it fancied postmodernism. In any case, here’s the weird story of what happened.
A few weeks ago, the alarm clock’s story took a new turn. After functioning fine (besides refusing to show the other), the alarm itself stopped working and the numbers and the j had vanished. It showed that it was playing the music with a red light, but there was no music to be heard. It was like a silent death knell.
I wandered despondently into the bathroom to brush my teeth. Where would I find another alarm clock that could take its place? Not only did it play music — which is my preferred way of waking — but it represented years of memories. What was I to do?
When I came back into the bedroom, my husband was just walking away from the nightstand. Behind him, the alarm clock glowed green again. Not just that, but it was all numbers. No more j.
I asked him what he did.
He had done what I was too afraid to do. He unplugged it and plugged it back in. And it had worked. This is the second time he’s saved it while we’ve been married. Fortunately, this time was much easier than taking it completely apart and reassembling it. That’s true love right there.
Now, the alarm clock is back to working normally again. Hopefully, it’ll keep working for a long time to come.
Every January 3rd, I spend more of the day than I should staring at the clock. School isn’t back in yet, which means I’m normally at home. Though there’s plenty of work to do, it’s easy to watch the clock and think about 9:00pm. What will I drink this year? How many minutes does it take to prepare? I have to ready right on time.
Since it fell on a Wednesday this year, we would be at church beforehand, but the timing would be perfect. We would be home in plenty of time, I would make my husband and myself a cup of tea (or maybe hot chocolate for him), and we would have the toast at home. It would be great.
Then reality hit. We got into the car and realized that everything had gone later than usual. We wouldn’t make it home in time. I would miss 9:00.
Though it’s a kind of silly tradition, my husband knows it’s important to me, so he had already thought of a plan B. There’s a Starbucks right on the way home. We swung in, ordered some hot chocolate, and were back in the car in time for the birthday toast.
It didn’t have the same sense of ceremony that Tolkien’s birthday toast normally does, but it still happened. And that’s what really matters.
A belated merry Christmas and happy New Year, everyone!
Around this time every year, I reflect on the past year’s goals and set some new ones. Sometimes, I find that I’ve done a great job. The past two years, not so much.
Finish a draft of the steampunk/fantasy/sci-fi novel
I started with a valiant attempt, but the novel still isn’t ready. Unlike most things I’ve written, it’s really comprised of 2-3 stories that come together to make one narrative. The main one — the one I started with — just can’t seem to find its footing. It needs more time to brew. And that’s okay.
Continue to blog at least weekly, but aim for three times a week
I haven’t done awful with this one, though I did change midyear to two posts a week. It seems like a more reasonable schedule with a baby on the way.
Read more books
I’ve actually done well with this one, considering my previous track record. (It stinks to like books but not feel like you have time to read.) I think, in all, I’ve read 13.75 books. (I’m nearly to the end of Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, which is 652 pages.) Last year, I started reading works by Inklings besides Tolkien and Lewis. So far, I’ve finished two: Robert Harvard and Dorothy Sayers. There are still plenty more to go. I’m hoping to read even more this year… though we’ll see how that goes.
So what about this year? That’s a good question. Since I’m close to a major life change, it’s hard to say what this year will look like, but there still are things I’d like to accomplish.
- Continue to blog at least weekly, but aim for twice a week
(Obviously, I might have to take a short, unscheduled hiatus when the baby comes.)
- Continue to work on my writing projects at least once a week
Regardless of what it is, I want to take some time to keep my writing skill sharp and enjoy my favorite hobby
- Learn to find balance
It’ll be interesting to see what my reflections are on this next year. Between teaching part time, writing, and being a new mother, life is going to be interesting. But I’m excited. We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and I’m ready.
What are your goals for this year? How did you do on last year’s goals? Do you make goals at the beginning of the year or prefer to measure your progress another way?
There are many things that I love about teaching. But one of the hardest things is watching students walk through difficult times.
That was the case for 13 months, when one of my first high school French students was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was a strong and dedicated young woman who took French because she liked it and spoke it beautifully. Only a few months into her second year, she was diagnosed and rushed into emergency surgery.
Last month, she passed away. It’s hard to watch a 17-year-old go through everything that she did, but she did it with more grace and faith than many adults have. I know her attitude challenged me to rethink how I approach hard times and has changed everyone who knew her.
Besides memories and a few pictures, I have one thing to remember her by. A book that her aunt brought from France as a gift. Her mom wanted me to have it for my French classes.
The book is all about fairies.
I love that something from her will always be a part of my classes, especially such a beautiful book. It’s a poignant reminder that life is beautiful, even when it’s difficult, and the power of faith and courage in the face of any trial.
The older I get, the more I realize that I like old technology as much as the new at times. Case in point: my alarm clock. I’ve had the same one for at least fifteen years because it knows how to wake me up properly.
I’ve never been much of a morning person (and it has only gotten more pronounced with pregnancy), so the abruptness of regular alarm clocks kills a little piece of my soul. There’s no easing into the morning with them. They just start shouting mercilessly.
Enter my alarm clock. Stick in a CD. (I think most kids still know what those are.) Set the time. In the morning, I’m eased into the day with gentle music. Yes, my husband’s alarm goes off a few minutes later as a precaution (and as the signal to the cat that he can finally start begging for breakfast), but at least I’m at some level of alertness instead of being startled awake.
The trouble, though, is that things have recently changed with my alarm clock. Does it know that my sleep schedule will soon fall under the dictates of a crying baby? Is it showing some resentment because I missed a milestone anniversary that I’m not aware of? Has post-modernism taken over? Or does it just prefer words now? I’m not sure. But now the display always looks something like this.
The hour has been transformed into a J, regardless of the hour. As minutes tick away, they look like secret messages. Joy. Jog. Jes. Jig.
The clock still knows the hour. The alarm still goes off faithfully. It’s like time is a secret it’s chosen to keep to itself for some unknown reason.
I feel conflicted about what to do. I should take the batteries out, unplug it, and see what it does when it gets power back. But part of me is afraid that it won’t work properly again if I do (and I’m not thinking CD player alarm clocks exist anymore), and part of me would miss this strange phenomenon.
So I put off doing anything about it for a little longer and enjoy this strange phenomenon. Maybe I’ll figure out what’s going on eventually.