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I’m crazy.

 

I say this with a sigh, so you get a feel for where I’m at. Oh, I may try and pass it off as Hazy, but no. There’s no doubt in my mind I’m certifiably nuts.

 

And sometimes I forget to tap into that. To use it to my advantage.

 

Because it works for people like me. People with a creative inkling. So does a little shot of something strong and throat-blazing first thing in the morning, although I’m holding off on going that route just yet.

 

But I have been pondering this blog lately. Wondering what its really about. And I don’t mean the content. Because honestly no one ever truly knows what the hell I’m rambling on about. Including me, most of the time.

 

And because of that, my sentiments will mean something different. And serve a different purpose. To whomever who reads it. Which I like to believe is a good thing.

 

No, what I mean is. Why am I doing it? At the end of the day, it doesn’t seem it’s getting me any closer to this “making it” thing I hear people referring to. And I’m not using it to get ahead. Or herd myself any closer to what I want to be when I grow up.

 

So yeah. Just when I was thinking the sky was falling—creative people have a tendency towards the fatalistic—I received what I feel compares to a loved one at the finish line cheering me on. Just as I’m about to give up on completing the last grueling marathon mile…

 

It was a morning text.

 

Right after a restless night’s sleep. And I honestly couldn’t have dreamed up anything better than what it said. That I’m talented. And write beautifully. I’m prophetic and a gift! And that I should publish my posts into a book.

 

Now, I know that had I not received that message, I’d still be here, my friends. I know because this blog helps me. And I can only hope it does the same for you. Writing is my passion. And we know there’s no stopping what the heart wants. The heart’s a stubborn bugger, don’t you know.

 

I simply need to bring the scarecrows in off the fields. Shake the birds from their nests. And trust that even though it’s hidden from my site, there is a wild blue over yonder.

 

And trust me. Believing it’s there, even though I can sometimes barely see it through the clouds, is like finding a secret tenner in the glove box just when I thought I’d used my last penny.

 

Boom.

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County Down, Northern Ireland

 

 

 

 

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When I was young, I read all the fairytales. The pretty ones. The sparkly ones. The dark. And the doomful.

 

Most of us did, right?

 

But I wonder…did they have the same effect on everyone else? (If I were feeling silly, I’d insert that little guy here…the one with his finger and thumb resting on his chin. And a pensive look on his little face. (Ah, go on. He’s one of my favorites)

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Stories like Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood. Sleeping Beauty. And The Three Little Pigs.

 

Ohhh yes. I slurped that sinister stuff up like it was flowing from a big huge straw.

 

And it’s strange. Because I’m a realist in most areas of my life. Yet somehow, I’m gullible in this one regard. Probably because I’m a sucker for a great story.

 

I want to believe. Buy in. Exist amongst enchanting pages. And nestle safely between their protective covers. But hey. Only if there’s a good bricklayer about to keep the wolves at bay…I wouldn’t chance landing over in Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and HAM.

 

Anyway, back to my point. And it’s this. As a young girl, I believed in fairy tales.

 

I believed I could wish upon a star.

 

Or a birthday candle.

 

Or a dandelion.

 

And that it would come true. My wish. Whatever it was.

 

And I want that back. My faith. My belief. My gullibility. My trust in the process.

 

That if I dare to wish. Take the leap. And drink from the fountain. That it’ll pay off. That I won’t just be left holding a smoldering wick and a wilting stem.

 

That I can erect my own fairy tale.

 

That I can get back what I lost when I was young.

 

But I need you to believe with me…

 

So are you ready?

 

Okay now…

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Blow…

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Photo taken at Nendrum Castle Lookout, Co Down, NI

 

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I’m still here.

 

Yes. Here.

 

And here.

 

In my turret, looking out over the crumbly beauty of this sleepy little place. Only today, things aren’t as clear as when I wrote to you from my crystal harbor view.

 

Ohh, but our minds are powerful, aren’t they? And what’s in them determines how we start our day. And respectfully, how we end it.

 

But it’s said that we hold the power to change.

 

Our minds.

 

The way we think. And react. And deal with the circumstances of our lives. And although it can be far from easy, it is possible.

 

We have to strap on our harnesses. Tighten our suspenders. And pull up our socks. Maybe even scale a few towers. Who knows. Whatever it takes. To make ourselves see through the muddle that can descend. Often without warning. No foghorn announcing its arrival. Many times, no chance to gird our loins.

 

It’s not always easy to get through. Or over. And a seemingly simple switch of sorts won’t work every time. But it’s always worth a try. Because magic is forever in the air. Just waiting to be plucked by the most persistent stars.

 

But we have to look up.

 

Find it.

 

What ever it is that makes us whole.

 

Because even when it’s hazy, every Prince…and every Princess…can see their own castle through the fog.

As long as they believe it’s there.

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Hope floats, right?

 

Or is it that we float on hope? Do we need to search for it? Call it? Or does it just know where we are? Does hope simply show up at the door…ring the bell? Grab our hands and take us for a spin?

 

I don’t think hope is as lighthearted as that.

 

I do think it finds us. Yes. But it finds us because it’s looking very hard. Looking for the ones who will take it seriously. That won’t waste what it has to offer. That will use its power for good. Hop on its back and have faith that they’ll be in the right place when next their feet touch the soil.

 

I think hope is still.

 

And heavy. A good heavy. An anchor. And that once we manage to grab hold, it weights us. Makes us stable. Gives refuge to wait out the storm. And lets its optimism shower down from a star-studded sky.

 

I think hope is like an Orchid.

 

It’s looking for the people who are willing to turn the crap life has handed them into mulch. Cultivate its roots. And still…still have hope that hope will believe in them. People who trust that if it’s well looked after. Nurtured. Respected. And truly happy.

That they’ll be blessed with living alongside its bloom more often than once a year.

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I wrote a post the other day. Yay, me! About a bird. Well, it seems it was about a bird, but to be honest, I rarely write in a literal sense. I’m just usually the last to know.

 

And people liked it. Oddly, I did too. And that’s a real rarity for me. Because sadly, though not surprisingly, I am plagued with the writer’s plight. One’s own work is never good. And even worse, it’s never enough. In fact, why am I even showing it to anyone, silly monkey! So, to feel like it passed muster is a true blessing indeed.

 

But…I need the formula. What was so likeable? Why did you like it? And the harder question – why did I?

 

It’s laced with attractive language. And a lightness that brings a certain prettiness to the page. It’s short. And sweet. Grammatically correct. And even though it might be what some would perhaps call, wandering, it still manages to be direct and to the point. When you believe I’m actually talking about a bird, that is.

 

And all those things are good. But I don’t think they’re the reasons we liked it, do you? If I had to guess, (which obviously I do because, for some reason, very few people ever actually comment on my posts) I’d say it’s because it’s mysterious. And moving. And metaphorical. Have I gone too far in patting myself on the back? Another thing about writers…most of us are delusional.

 

Anyway…

 

Mystery. Movement. Metaphors.

 

We usually like those three things the best, don’t we?

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Lately, anyone who can get me to finish what I’ve started has my full attention.

 

Obviously.

 

It might also be obvious—at least I hope it is—that I get joy from writing. Despite the fact that tucked inside that joy is a tag. Much like the grating kind that is often stitched into the neck of a shirt.

 

Okay. Side note – Why do they do that? I can’t be the only one who thinks it an unnecessary form of torture. No matter how painstaking my snips, I have inadvertently cut holes in 80% of my wardrobe while trying to remove every last pokey bit.

 

Unnecessary, perhaps. But clearly effective in capturing my attention.

 

And writing is that for me too. I never forget it’s there. It scratches at my skin. Claws at my neck. Breathes, I’m here and you will not be rid of me that easily. Writing is up in my face as boldly and relentlessly as that damn razor-threaded spikey tag. It won’t let me clean. Or organize. Or putter contently the way I used to.

 

It sticks to me while I attempt to be as satisfied as I once was, arranging a closet or making the beds. “You’re not thriving,” it hisses behind me. “None of this stuff will last.” Its tone is chiding, as it references my efforts to keep the house clean. The words, you are not making a difference, branding my neck red and raw. Leaving holes in what once was the solid fabric of my life.

 

So yes, writing itself is a distraction for me. It even makes reading tough. I start a book and can only think, you should be trying to write. Look at this author. They did it. Why can’t you?

 

I have a lot of ¼ (not even ½) read books on my shelves because of this. And I know this is wrong. It is the opposite of what an aspiring writer should do. If you want to be kickass, one of the most important things you should be doing, besides writing, is reading. Lots.

 

Thankfully being unable to finish them for the last year or so hasn’t squelched my enthusiasm for buying books.

 

A short while ago, I picked up Not That Kind of Girl. Purchased in a University bookstore, no less. Which now makes me feel kinda kindred with the author. Like, I “got” her before I even read the book.

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And yes. I did read it. Cover to cover.

 

It’s a compilation of essays. Journal entries. Perfected blog posts. Micro stories. (She may cringe at those last three depictions) And in them, Lena Dunham chronicles the notable times and moments in her life to date.

 

Entertaining. Painful. Hilarious. Tragic. Raw. Moments.

 

She masterfully pegs subjects to the line most of us tend to keep buried at the bottom of the pile. With a hilarity that can only be understood as, broken but mending.

 

Things like, an aggressive sexual encounter in university. One she tried to laugh off initially, but later, had to admit was pretty much a rape. You don’t usually, after all, cry regularly over an encounter that is not.

 

She talks about drugs. Prescription. Illegal. And her use of both. Her family. Growing up. Relationships. Interactions. STD’s. Sexuality. And sexual orientation.

 

Disorders. Eating. Mental. Personality. And physical. Her weight. Her fame. And her low self-esteem. Despite the fact that she has achieved massive success making use of all of these.

 

I know there are a lot of people who will wonder why anyone would ever need or want to share such delicate thoughts. To tell the world they are imperfect. That their life to date has been far from the Shangri-La it may have seemed. “Air dirty laundry,” so to speak.

 

But, even though I sprout from a tight-lipped culture, I do not find myself wondering.

 

Not one of us will get out of here alive, so why be a façade? What’s the point? Like Lena, I believe there’s a bigger picture to be disclosed. We’re not here to impress. To come across like we’re living “the dream” day after day.

 

Positivity is a gift for sure. To ourselves. And to our circle. But so is sharing what’s real.

 

When a life ends, we scramble for answers. We tend to ask, what was it all for? And if the only answer we come up with is, to create the illusion that life was seamless, well, that’s a sad injustice to those that struggled, isn’t it?

 

They were more than that. No matter what it was, good or bad, they had something to teach.

 

Lena Dunham is the itchy tag of her generation. She refuses to be cut out and forgotten. She leaves a hole. Retaliates the smokescreen.


That’s why she wrote this book.
So we don’t feel alone. So we know someone else out there feels like we do. So we can see that there’s “crazy” in us all. And that it’s okay.
And, that it’s also not all that crazy.

 

That we’ll be alright. Somehow. That mistakes are standard. That it’s fine to make them. To be where we are.

 

And to stay there until we’re ready to move on.

 

That’s why we’re living. That’s why we connect. That’s why we ask what it was all for.

 

Lena Dunham is letting us in. She’s just not waiting until she’s gone.

 

I appreciate that.

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I need a fake blog. One where I can post to my heart’s content without anyone knowing who wrote the posts. Why, you may wonder. Well, because post post seems to be the optimum time for me to see the errors of my ways with pure and utter clarity …the many, many errors.

 

It happens every time. I write for hours. I read and reread. I edit. I edit some more. I perfect. I post.

 

I repent.

 

Last week I had to write another short story within 48 hours as part of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Writing Challenge. My assigned genre was Science Fiction, my location, a park fountain, my object, a paper airplane.

 

Now, Sci-fi is truly not my thing. I don’t read it and I certainly don’t write it and I admit that writing it in 48 short hours would have been challenging. However, writing it in 5 hours was downright ball-busting.

 

You’re sent your prompt at midnight on a Friday and you have until midnight on Sunday to submit a 1000-word (max) story that includes all of the elements you were given. As luck would have it, I had commitments pretty much all weekend. I do, after all, consider taking my 3 kids downtown for the entire day to eat, watch a movie and enjoy a live soccer game a priority.

So by the time we got home I was exhausted and convinced myself I’d get up at 5am to start writing Sunday morning. And I did. I got up at the crack of dawn, but when I got downstairs, I decided that getting the laundry corralled, sorted and spinning was yet another priority.

 

I could write in between cycles, right?

 

Well, there’s not as much time in between laundry cycles when you’re trying to get something done, as there is when you’re in a frazzled frenzy waiting on your favorite jeans to dry before you’re due to meet a friend.

 

And then there was the tidying so that the cleaning I needed to do later would be faster. There was an event scheduled to take place at my house the next morning, so Sunday required some home TLC and as we all know, less clutter equals quicker results.

 

I started writing at 12.

 

I finished writing at 5.

 

5 agonizing hours of trying to wrap my mind around the Sci-fi genre, of trying to hurry, of fretting over the impending cleaning, of wondering what dinner would be and who was going to make it, of not hearing what I was reading anymore, of trying to get it right. Of freaking out. Of torture.

 

Anyway, here’s a link to my story just how I submitted it.

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Missing Love

 

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