N is for Nothing

I have an English degree. I went thousands of dollars into debt for it. At one time, I was told that I was a brilliant writer by people who had never agreed on ANYTHING ever in their lives except for that one fact.

Here I am, ten years later.

What do I have to show for it?

No novel.

Poetry published here and there.

The odd article.

Still, overall, it feels as though I have nothing to show for all of that hard work I did when I was younger. I busted my rump all those years, and now I’ve got nothing to show for it except for these odd ramblings. I’ve had writer’s block for what seems like eternity. Every time I sit down to write, something comes along and eats my words, my thoughts, my imagination.

My biggest dream in life was to become a mother. I always figured I’d be happily married and writing like a mad dervish while raising my perfect children.

But life has a funny way of giving one what one wants, but twisting it, much like the Monkey’s Paw. Now I’m sitting here at 5am my time, my autistic daughter asleep by my side. I’m struggling to find work that would accommodate her schedule and the times that she is sick with whatever bug she brings home from school. So far, the best option seems to be working from home–writing, researching, reading, doing what I love. Just the same, I sit down to write, and nothing of quality comes out.


Good gracious, what killed the best parts of me? I used to be a good writer. I used to have windows full of beautiful houseplants. I used to have a steady job and a steady paycheck. I used to have a house that I rented on my own. I used to have a car. I used to have pride.

Perhaps now that I have my daughter, I can turn nothing into something. I have someone to fight for. I have a reason to get up each morning. I have a reason to relearn what gave me my green thumb. I have a reason to try and write something worth reading…maybe not for money, but for my own edification. I am healing, slowly. I am returning to who I was.

This nothing is going to turn into something amazing.


M is for Memories

Memories sneak up on us at random times. I think about my best friend from elementary school quite often. We lost touch after I moved away (and to be honest, I don’t think her mother approved of us being friends, since my family was so poor). After two decades of wondering, I’ve found her on Facebook. There’s a strong urge to write her, but I don’t know if she even remembers me, or remembers me fondly if she does remember me. Still, I have an urge to write her, to let her know that I remember her, and I regret losing touch with her. It seems like she’s lost some of her dreams, too. I don’t know what good writing to her would do, but it would be something.

Two days ago, a college classmate of mine died of cancer. It’s been really hard to process it–I’m still young enough to see cancer as something that isn’t supposed to cut us down in our prime–heck, we haven’t even reached mid-life yet!

But there it is: memento mori.

Like my friend from elementary school, I lost touch with him after we graduated. It seems like that happens a lot with people I consider friends–we touch lives briefly, then forget to write.

Will anyone besides my daughter remember me when I die?

Will anyone notice?

Will anyone care?

My memory is written in sand. One day, the tide will wash it away. There will be no memory of it being there. Even if I carve my memory in stone, time and tide will eventually wear it away. Perhaps my descendants will talk of me in that same cobwebbed haze that permeated my mind when my late aunt and my dad talked about genealogies and family lore.

Who will remember now?


L is for Libraries

Libraries are awesome!


K is for Kindness

Sometimes it seems like there is very little kindness left in the world. With all of the wars and the current economic crisis, it would seem that people have forgotten how to be kind. Jobs are cut to preserve the bottom line. Wars are fought to get land, resources, revenge. One slight triggers another. It’s human nature.

Just the same, kindness, much like urban wildflowers, creeps up where you would least expect it. A disabled driver gives a ride to a mother and daughter walking in the cold. A cashier gives a child a sticker. A little girl laughs in innocent joy and gives an elderly man hope again. A man brings the extra produce from his garden to share with his coworkers. A terminal cancer patient visits the children in the cancer ward to read them stories.

Kindness is a gift that costs nothing but a little humility and an openness of the heart. It is a gift to others that gives new life and hope.

I am not as kind as I could be, but I work at it. Every day is a new opportunity to be kind to others. What will you choose?


J is for Judgment

We all pass judgment on a daily basis. We have to. We wouldn’t be able to function if we didn’t weigh our options on everything from what to make for dinner to the consequences of running a stop sign. Once we have made a decision, we have judged all of the options and ruled in favor of the best one.

Judgment gets a bad reputation. I’ve been told before that judgment isn’t up to me in various things; however, if we ceased judging the things in our lives, where would we be? Would we sit in our indecision, or would we come up with a clever synonym so that we can feel good about ourselves for determining rather than judging? What’s so bad about having good judgment or judging something not to be what we need in our lives?

I consider myself open-minded, but I also accept that I make judgments every day that affect my and my family’s future and well-being. If that makes me a Judgy McJudgerson, then so be it.


I is for Interest

I’m always on the lookout for interesting things. If a subject arouses my interest, I will pursue it until I am satisfied, regardless of the topic. I’ve become pretty adept at ferreting out information. There are times, though, that I’ve compiled information at such a rate that I’ve forgotten how I’ve gotten from my starting point to that point.

At first, I thought that a writing prompt such as the alphabet meme would be just the thing to conquer my writer’s block. Instead, though, I found it boring, and I found other things to fill up my time, such as the movie, meetings for the movie, research on various topics, reading, job hunting, and taking care of my daughter.

Am I going to finish this meme? Of course I am. But once I am done with it, I plan on writing from much more interesting prompts, such as news stories. I’ve also checked out a couple of books that are supposed to have unconventional writing prompts. We’ll see if they’re as impressive as they tout themselves to be.


H is for Happiness

Happiness is an elusive thing. I came from a background of abuse and found myself continuing the patterns as an adult. When I had a child, I came to see these repeating patterns for what they were and chose to actively be aware of them and do my best to make new patterns, if only for my daughter’s sake.

One of the things I’m having to learn from scratch is how to be happy. Don’t get me wrong–I’ve had some joyous moments in my life–but I’ve never felt happy for more than a few hours, if that long.

My daughter is a master of happiness, though. When she is sad, she’s never sad for long, and when she is happy, she is a blur of bliss. I hope she can hang onto that as she grows, and I hope that I can learn from her.


G is for Gross

(If you have a weak stomach, skip to the next entry. I won’t mind…really.)

(Still here? Okay, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.)

Being a parent is hard work, and it isn’t always pretty. This is especially the case when a child is potty training or sick. I’ve been pooped on, peed on, vomited on, snotted on…the list goes on and on.

In fact, at this moment, my daughter and I are both fighting raging colds. She’s asleep, thank goodness, but I’m not. You see, my throat is irritated with the rest of my body, and until the ibuprofen kicks in, I’m up drinking hot tea and wishing that I had a less wimpy immune system.

My daughter hasn’t figured out blowing her nose yet, which adds to the risk of catching whatever delightful bug she brings home from school. She tries, but she often forgets that a tissue is what she should blow into, and she often comes to me with a hand full of mucus.

Like I said, G is for Gross. It takes a special kind of love to take care of a sick child. I applaud every parent who is able to do so without headdesking or crying into his or her juicebox.

alphabet meme writing

F is for Failure

I meant to finish this exercise, but life had other plans. I participated in a social media movie called 5ecrets, I looked for work, I had tons of meetings to get stuff done for my daughter…and I learned that I really hated this writing prompt and found nothing inspiring about it whatsoever.

Just the same, I’ll probably finish it out.

Failure happens all of the time. The trick is to not give up and to learn from the failure.