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Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Slop.

A spoonful of potato hits the plate with a wallop and a little spec of mash lands on the hand holding it.  Instead of shuffling on like most, he pauses, making eye contact.  I steel myself, waiting for a curse word or a dirty look but all I see is empathy.

It’s the last place I want to be and if I hadn’t already committed, I’d be home, covers over my head.

“Bad day?” he asks, his voice soft, but hoarse.

“I’m sorry,” I apologize.  “I didn’t meant to…”

“No big deal.” he shrugs.  “I’ve had worse.”  His smile, as he moves on, leaves me with goose bumps.

“Yes, please.”  The next one says as I turn away from the man with the smile.  Her toothy grin, oily bob and blackened fingernails win her an extra scoop.

“Oh, thank you!” she squeals, as though I’ve just given her a hundred dollar bill.

My head throbs and pain stabs at my sinuses as I wonder which would be more disgusting; wiping my dripping nose with my cuff or pulling out the last damp, crumpled Kleenex I’d tucked into my sleeve.

There’s a lull in the line and I stand behind my steaming tray, looking out at the fifty round tables we had spent the morning setting up.  I find it alarming that all are full.

My toothy friend sits at the one closest, chuckling and chatting with whomever she can engage, her worn out red coat contrasting with her dark hair but matching her cheeks, her potato-covered tongue on display as she laughs.

They are all oohing and ahhing over the stockings we’d filled and placed at each setting; holding up the toothbrushes, bath beads and chocolates, hooting at the decks of cards and bags of mints.

Boom, boom, boom.  I’m tempted to leave my post to grab some aspirin, but the hoards are headed my way.  The warming lamps hover over the food, making me sweat and I start to feel very claustrophobic.

“Just a little, please.” The tiny girl in front of me requests. “I can’t eat very much and I’m not allowed to waste.”

She’s only about five and the sleeves of her shiny dress are completely tattered.  Her chin is just above table level and her big, gold eyes are like dollops of honey suspended over my shiny, silver tray.

“Yeah,” her dad confirms.  “Not too much for her.  Leave the rest of her portion for someone else.”

“How about you?” I ask.

“Oh, I’ll take my fair share.” He says, looking down.  I feel his shame.

“I meant, would you like the rest of her portion?” I shrug, trying to be nonchalant.

“Well, if…” he continues to look down, head hanging like a scorned pup.

Very gently, I place a double helping next to his peas.

“Anybody asks,” I offer, “you send them my way.”

He finally looks up and I can see that his eyes are an older, much more trampled version of his girl’s.  He too, smiles a smile that leaves me reeling.

After about twenty more servings, there’s another break.  I really am desperate for some relief.  My headache has turned into a machete attack and my nose is about to explode over the entire table.

I slide two fingers into my cuff and pull out the mutilated tissue.  Cupping it against my palm, I bring it up to my nose but it’s no use.  There’s more crumple than cotton.  Embarrassed, I try to stuff it back under my sleeve, unnoticed.

Plates are clamoring and I realize someone has cleared my tray away.  That’s my cue to get out on the floor and start helping clean up.

Coffee and tea is being served and everyone’s holding their cup with both hands, aware it may be the last warmth they feel until, well, who knows when.

I make my way around the room, the blinking Christmas lights taunting my overly sensitive eyes, while I push the bus cart loaded with well-used tableware.

As I reach out for yet another empty plate, a familiar finger brushes mine.

“I’m sorry.  I know I’m not supposed to touch you,” he says, “but I thought you might need these.”

I look up from the tan and weathered hand and see his forgiving face once again.  He’s holding out a small packet of Kleenex, the same one I’d placed in his stocking this morning.

I did need them.  I needed the Kleenex, I needed the compassion and I needed these people.

I was ignorant for being surprised that every seat was spoken for, naïve for being shocked that they wanted no more than their fair share, but mostly, I was foolish for thinking that this was the last place I wanted to be.

Give hands 3

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in·spire ( n-sp r )
v. in·spired, in·spir·ing, in·spires
v.tr.
1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion:
3.a. To stimulate to action; motivate
b. To affect or touch:
4. To draw forth; elicit or arouse
5. To be the cause or source of; bring about
6. To draw in (air) by inhaling.
7. Archaic
a. To breathe on.
b. To breathe life into.
v.intr.
1. To stimulate energies, ideals, or reverence
2. To inhale.

A wrecking ball smashes into a building

What makes you tick? What twerks your Miley? Or should that be…Miley’s your twerk…okay, moving on. I promise.

I’m not asking where you get your stories from or your general writing ideas. I’m talking about what spurs you on to actually do it? And not just writing, but whatever your passion pushes you to pursue.

I like writing and whether I’m good at it or, more often than not, bite the big one, I obviously feel compelled to continue. Why is that? I mean, I could just read. There are plenty of novels in which to bury my brain and countless instructionals to whet my wits. I already have a job in make-up artistry and when I’m not doing that, I’m plenty busy in the homemaker department. I don’t actually have to write. In fact, I need to steal time to make that happen and honestly, it can be quite stressful. Did I really just say that?

Me, I tend to be inspired by understanding and authenticity, kindness and sincerity, compassion and positivity. Promoting what’s loved rather than bashing what’s not.

I’m also encouraged by support and recognition. Yes, I do it for me and would continue to do so even if no one ever took notice, yadda, yadda, yadda, but when it comes right down to it, I am very motivated by these two things as well. There’s no other feeling in the (writing) world quite like the appearance of a gold (really it’s orange, but in my mind it’s gold) star at the top of my blog telling me someone’s ‘liked’ my post. Or better yet, a plus sign signaling a new fan (really these are called followers, but I don’t like that word so much) and even better still, an interview published for all to see because of a writing contest I placed well in. Yup, mega motivating, albeit cheek-reddening and sort of bewildering.

** You can read my interview here! **

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Like I said before, sometimes the universe, even if it’s just that little writing corner that you frequent, seems to instinctively know when you need a little oomph.

I’m sending out a quick Friday post to let you know the long-awaited results of that writing contest I mentioned a while back came in. I managed to sink my claws into the rallying rung above and somehow clutched runner-up this time.

Here is a link to my SHORT STORY.

I’m thrilled, but I’m sure I need not point out the pattern forming here and the expectation it lends. I’m really not that tall, so I hope to grow, only of course, to reach the next notch up. I’m quite happy with my height.

Runner Up 1

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liebster blog award

Awards…I’ll admit it here and now, in blood (or keyboard type and virtual paper as this case may be) for all to see; awards pinken my cheeks and ignite my very being with quivers of pleasure. It’s also kinda special that this comes alongside my 50th post.

I write this blog to satiate a passion for creativity and I get a somewhat insane rush from knowing people out there are so generously reading the words I have linked together on a shoestring budget of ability.

Much like my pal over at WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot4 (yes, that’s W…T…F…4 for those of you who are afraid to ask), I am tickled this platform exists to draw us all that much closer to knowing what makes one another tick.

I thank her for the nomination and will follow her lead in bestowing you with five, hopefully not sleep-inducing things about me:

1. I am a perfectionist and sadly, this gets in the way of me completing, umm…most things in my life. That, if you can’t do it perfectly er, right, don’t do it at all mentality is a real buzz kill.

2. I love hard work. Tough to admit, but I love doing things like cleaning the whole house and feeling the ache at the end of the day. (I have to do less and less to feel the same amount of ache with each passing year – score) I’m pretty sure I was a workhorse in another life. Or, maybe that’s this life – I might be confused.

3. I’m a Make-Up Artist by day and while I adore painting faces, I’d gladly pack up my colorful kit should someone hand me an advance and a book deal, only having the caboodle resurface for free family, friends and fun.

4. Contrary to my list of friends and often-full house, I am not a social butterfly. I’ll kick back with the best of them and have a darn good time while doing it, but I very much relish alone time and am rarely pining when hanging with me, myself and I.

5. I am a tough Irish girl. Everyone who knows me can attest to that. What they might not realize, and I can only hold myself responsible for this suppression, is that on the inside I’m as fragile as a twig bearing a heavy load of snow. I’m easily broken.

WTF4’s questions for me:

1-If you could for one day be the opposite sex, what would you do? I would enjoy being able to say whatever I want and have it not be the end of the world.

2-What is your favourite book of all time? No fair! There are too many favorites for too many different reasons! But ok, if you’re going to make me choose – “The Woman Who Walked Into Doors” by Roddy Doyle.

3-What is the one thing you least love about yourself and the one thing you most love about yourself? The fact that I’m a perfectionist and, the fact that I’m a perfectionist. And a bonus: the fact that I’m a perfectionist who rarely does anything perfectly.

4-IF you won ALOT of money, how would you use it? I’d pay off my massive debt and then see what everyone else needs. After that, I’d reinstall the bathroom that I ripped out two years ago and ah, never replaced.

5-Sadly, b/c we all die….cremated, buried or burned? Your choice is….? CREMATION. No way, no how I wanna be rotting in a claustrophobic box 8 feet under. Sorry folks!

As per being graced with a Liebster nomination, it is my pleasure to pass along the cheer. Here are my five nominees: (Some have more than 300 followers, but I’m a rebel)

1 Story A Week

www.1storyaweek.com

A blog for short stories – original, entertaining and written in that easy tone that is so very difficult to achieve.

lth0ms0n

www.lth0ms0n.wordpress.com

Self-described as a “neurotic twenty-something”, I admire this young man’s dedication to his passion and his desire to spread it through the written word.

Renew Moon Yoga

www.renewmoonyoga.wordpress.com

Not just Yoga, Renew Moon is a place to find comfort, inspiration and good reads.

Colored Brush

www.coloredbrush.com

Following her dreams, she paints with imagination, glorious color and the freedom of a creative mind.

Saige Wisdom

www.saigewisdom.blogspot.ca

Saige, (aka) Sara is funny, generous and downright clever. Her blog is entertaining, informative and, at times, heart-achingly honest.

The above five have now been officially nominated and it is their choice (all obligation forbidden here) to keep the party going. Should they choose to rock it, here’s the drill:

~ Write a post with a link to me for the nomination

~ List a few ‘facts’ about yourself to share

~ Answer my five questions

~ Nominate a self-chosen amount of your fave bloggers (with three hundred or less followers)

Here are their questions:

1 ~ What drives you to do whatever it is you do?

2 ~ What brings you the most joy in life?

3 ~ Are you where you want to be at this stage in the game?

4 ~ If you could change one decision you’ve made in life, it would be…?

5 ~ Sweet, savory or both?

Good Lord – I think that wraps it up!

Again, thanks to WTF4 for the vote of confidence and the motivation to write today.

Thanks to all of you for reading!

Hazy out.

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