Sunday, January 16, 2011

1st draft fun

First draft means writing without censorship or worry about how bad it will be. Lately, I write a lot of exposition and thinking and dreaming and not a whole lot of action. I think this is okay. This is a ROUGH first draft, and I can turn these ideas and thoughts into action in later drafts or just drop them if they're too wordy.

Her father’s death was responsible for her mother’s insanity and her own loss of childhood innocence. When he died, he altered the trajectory of her life, and once she was old enough to blame him, she began to see her father in places she knew he couldn't be. His face would smile out of reflective surfaces: mirrors, the toaster's metallic side, a puddle on the sidewalk, even the store windows she passed on her way to work. He'd become a part of her own reflection, and what concerned her the most was how little the idea of her dead father's face in her cereal spoon bothered her. She accepted his presence the same way another girl might accept a mole on her cheek; he was simply there whenever she looked.

Clearly, whatever it was her mother had, Chance had caught through a sneeze or one of her mother's nightmares— she too was infected with the idea that her dead father could be seen. And it was just a matter of time before she would join Stella in her conversations with the dead man, which is the biggest reason she'd taken a razor to her wrists. She’d long blamed Stella for the many ills in her life, so she might as well add schizophrenia to the list of things she shared with her, right along with the hand-me-down clothes and strange looks in the grocery store.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Writing Prompt #61

Write a brief profile of your parents

Linda, my mom.
Kind. She is one of the strongest women I've ever known. She loves with so much honesty, and everyone loves her. Friends of mine used to say they wished she were their mom, which didn't surprise me. I've always felt so blessed to have her as my mother because she's so much better than I am-- kinder, sweeter, charismatic-- people are drawn to her kind eyes and her willingness to help.

Ron, my dad.
My dad is quiet concern and hard work. When he begins a job, he follows it through, careful to do it right. When he's on the case or when he's driving, I can sleep, I can rest, knowing it will all get done and done well. We'll reach our destination safely, the light will get installed. He's light hearted, young enough to run with the grandkids and keep them giggling. And tender. He's got a steady head in a crisis and a tender heart when you're hurt.

I am so thankful to have two parents who still love each other and pray for me, thinking always of their children and grandchildren before themselves.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Writing Prompt 68

"I thought I saw..."

I thought I saw my grandfather the other day. I was in a grocery store parking lot, and the man's bow-legged gait and faded plaid shirt had me convinced that my grandpa was in town.

I could only see him from behind, and despite the fact that I'd attended his funeral some three years before, I found myself moving from a walk to a slow trot, not wanting him to get into his car until I could see his face. The car was all wrong by the way-- my grandpa drove a blue car, kinda like one of these that he kept in mint condition all by himself. He was a jack of all trades: reader, thinker, mechanic, builder (he built his own house), and furniture maker.

I reached the edge of his parking space. I had to decide if I was going to walk any farther, knowing it would take me from a stranger looking for her own car to possible stalker. I didn't have to make the choice though, because right at that moment, he turned, just slightly to the left, enough for me to see the profile that wasn't Grandpa. His chin was weaker, his nose too large. Someone's grandfather perhaps, but not mine.

Low Carb Lasagna in Pictures

I love cooking lately. Wish I had more time to do it. I do plan to roast tomatoes either tonight or tomorrow, but haven't gotten to it yet. That just sounds so delish.

Sliced my zucchini lengthwise, since the point is for the strips to act as the noodles of this lasagna. If you're wondering why I'd go to all this trouble to get rid of noodles-- it's South Beach and trying to find the least carby recipes possible. I sauteed the zucchini in olive oil with a little reduced fat parmesan to soften them up a bit and add flavor.

For the ricotta part, I used low skim ricotta cheese and added fresh basil and chopped tomatoes

While I was getting all of the other stuff ready, I was browning the ground turkey. I added previously sauteed red and green peppers and red onion to it. Once it was all cooked, I put in about 1/4 a jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce. The alfredo is in place of the traditional red sauce, as again, way fewer carbs this way. But I didn't add a ton since it's such a rich combination with the ricotta.

I used tomatoes in all stages to try to break up the rich cheesy Alfredo thing I had going on. They made a nice garnish on top too. I used two whole Roma tomatoes.

And the finished product, half gone: YUM.

I also put in a layer of fresh basil with the zucchini to help create some firmness. If I made it again, I would either omit the turkey and go full on veggie or use an extra lean hamburger. I don't know the turkey was just a little off in this. And I might take the time to make my own red sauce-- using a South Beach recipe that keeps it from getting too carby. Red sauce is just better in a lasagna.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Writing Prompt #1

I'm not sick, just answering a random writing prompt. ;)

What's the worst part about being sick?

It's definitely not being confined to the couch or having others wait on you hand and foot; it's probably the tossing and turning, not quite sleeping thing I do when I have a fever. And when you're really sick, not "I have a cold" sick, everything is off. You know what I mean? Food tastes differently, your favorite activities just don't feel right, and TV usually sucks. Even if you can watch a good show or read a good book, I find that they still feel "off." Interacting with the people in your family is definitely difficult when you're the one that does homework and dishes and is generally the go-to parent for refereeing.

The best part about being sick is taking a day off with absolutely no guilt. Feeling justified in staying home because I feel awful and can't imagine standing in front of the classroom, trashcan in hand.

If I had to choose the worst sickness, I would definitely pick strep throat and celebrate the fact that as an adult, I so rarely get it anymore. I used to get it at least once a year, sometimes twice. And I got it in a special kind of way-- not only would I have the SEARING throat pain, headache, fever, aching, and chills, but I usually vomited too. Just toss basically all of sicknesses into a bucket and you've got my version of strep throat. The good news? The last time I had it was before my son was born-- 13 years ago. *knocks on wood*

Hope and zucchini lasagna

The morning is always full of inspiration for me-- the kind that makes me want to try new things, believe in the process, trust that it will all work out. I CAN stick with my diet today; I WILL finish my syllabus and teach with enthusiasm today; I WILL write and clean and accomplish all of the things I want to accomplish today.

The feeling doesn't usually hold through the evening, but that's okay-- my mornings rock.

Today, I will make a lasagna with ground turkey and zucchini that is South Beach friendly (meaning I will subsitute Alfredo sauce for tomato sauce and put fresh tomatoes in), and I will roast tomatoes in my oven for a snacks throughout the week (pictures of both to follow), and I will teach class like the rock star I am.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

On music and fabric journals

Listening to old music from just a few years ago, completely random stuff. I used to keep a paper journal, write in it every day-- usually a poem a day or a story fragment or even a to do list. I took that thing everywhere, I mean everywhere-- grocery store, school, bathtub.

I feel like I should try that again. I seem to get on here and think too much. Backspace too easily. Consider, then reconsider, and why?

No drama. In fact, as little as I use this and as few people who stop by, no one will even notice. But I do plan to write in that black and white fabric journal I've had for the past couple of years. Every day. Even if it's just to make a grocery list.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fresh starts

I love resolutions. Most people I know dislike them and refuse to participate, but since I am a lover of planning and lists, this is a natural for me each year. I actually feel a little giddy as I sit down with pen and paper. Most likely the reason I enjoy resolutions is because I am very quick to forgive myself when goals go unmet.

This year, I want to
-- spend time with my God every day: listening to Him and talking back.
--write 750 words five days a week
--finish a rough draft of my novel
--apply to a PhD and/or MFA program
--submit 3 short stories for publication
--get to my goal weight (I'm getting there)
--tell my kids and my husband I love them every day and show them I mean it through my actions and words.
--read 35 books

Time to get busy.