Writing 101, Day Six – A Character-Building Study

She is undeniable. Her presence is larger than life, and she works with determination to get what she wants. Like a bull, she plows through a crowd to get to her destination. Her behavior is downright rude, but few seem offended.

Her eyes are warm and friendly, pools of melted milk chocolate. When she looks at me, I feel her looking into my soul and the goodness she sees there reflects in her eyes. There is love, forgiveness and acceptance in those warm, dark orbs.

A touchy-feely sort, she seems oblivious to boundaries, and surprisingly, strangers enjoy her friendly, gregarious nature. Often impatient, she barks orders, pacing as she waits to get going. Life is short and she wants to pack in as much living as possible.

There are times when she gets on my nerves, and I let her know how I feel, bu I almost always regret it. She becomes quiet and the hurt in her eyes breaks my heart. Those beautiful, soulful eyes looking out from the depths of sadness. I want more than anything to cheer her up.

She is family to me, my dearest friend and companion. Her name is Missy and she is my dog.

Missy

Missy

Writing 101, Day Five – Be Brief

The third grade classroom was a beehive of activity, as children waited for their teacher, Miss Carruthers, to enter the room. Some children sat talking quietly and others goofed around waiting until the last possible moment to sit down.

Miss Carruthers stood in the doorway, surveying the class when she spotted a note on the floor. A day didn’t go by without a crisis of some sort over lost papers, barrettes, pencil crayons or snacks. Finding it first made life easier later on.

Sad school girlOpening the note, Miss Carruthers walked to Jenny’s desk.

“Jenny, is everything OK?” Miss Carruthers gently asked.

Jenny’s eyes welled up with tears as she looked at Miss Carruthers, “my mom is mad at me.”

Miss Carruthers smiled softly at the sweet, brown-haired child and quietly said, “You dropped this, I think you should read it.”

Jenny reached out, took the note and slowly opened it. Reading it to herself, tears rolling down her face, she turned to Miss Carruthers.

“My mom is sorry, and she loves me!” Jenny smiled as she wiped her tears.

Miss Carruthers patted Jenny on the shoulder and walked to the front of the class.

Another day has begun.

 

Writing 101, Day Three – Three Songs

Piano KeysHow can anyone pick three songs?

I don’t know where to begin, I really don’t. There are childhood songs, church songs, Christmas carols, pop songs from the 80s, songs from the 60s and 70s that my dad would sing.

In my early teens I loved everything from Elton John, and then when I was 16 there were the Bay City Rollers and all the hysteria they invoked. I did go to their concert in Toronto, but I did not scream. I think I was in shock. After all my future husband was on the stage singing. Oh, Leslie McKuen {sigh}.

Then there’s classical music which I loved to play on the piano, basic stuff and not as well as I would’ve liked. I love all kinds of music, and all kinds of songs.

I love praise and worship at church, and I like to bounce around the house to a song with a rockin’ beat. Doing chores with the music cranked is so much fun. I love slow ballads, and even like some of Eminem’s in your face music.

There really are so many options I don’t know what I would pick.

There is ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. I love Judy Garland’s singing, and I don’t know why this one is such a favourite. I also love ‘Amazing Grace’ a powerful, moving song. I like some silly songs, too. As a child, ‘The Yellow Submarine’ was fun. I loved to sing ‘You are my Sunshine’ to my kids.

I remember this song by the Barenaked Ladies. I can’t think of the name, but it was a really fast song, the lyrics song in a long stream. My youngest would howl with laughter whenever it came on the radio. I just remembered the song from ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas’.

Lately, I like anything with a good beat when I’m driving. I’m a great car dancer, and I like to belt one out while I’m driving. I don’t really care who sees me. I’m way passed being cool, not that being cool was ever a possibility.

I just don’t know what I would pick as my top three. There are so many songs and then there’s all the history that goes with them. Popular songs during break-ups, and deaths, births, and weddings. Isn’t it funny how you can hear a song you haven’t heard in a long time, and it takes you back to time long ago.

 

A Room with a View – Writing 101 Day Two

So many rooms, so many choices. If I could go to any room with a view, which room would I pick?

I have a room in mind. It’s an old room, painted an ugly green, in desperate need of a fresh coat, preferably a different colour. This room is a dining room, with two windows overlooking a yard.

I imagine sitting at the old wooden table looking out of the window. There is another house that sits diagonally across the yard, and if I look closely I can see an elderly woman working at her kitchen sink. To the right of the kitchen is a closed-in porch where an elderly man snoozes in his wicker rocker.

Mom with my Nephew

The Room with a View

Directly across from the windows, a short path leads up an incline to big, red barn doors. An old pickup stands in front. Between the barn and the back of the house is a two-door garage with a cherry tree to the left and another cherry tree behind it.

I take in everything I can from this ordinary view. Of all the possible rooms in the world with breath-taking vistas and this is the one I chose.

I turn my attention to the room and it’s occupants, a middle-aged man and woman. They sit at the other end of the table across from each other, eating in companionable silence. I watch them, they are unaware that I am studying them. I haven’t seen them in ten years, and here I am.

There are some people you can go a long time without seeing and then pick up right where you left off. There wasn’t judgement or criticism, just big hugs, and kisses. The room is filled with excitement and joy. The prodigal returns.

My parents are so happy to see me. We are crying and smiling, as we all talk at the same time. We sit at the table, in the room with a view. This is the home I grew up in, the house I couldn’t wait to leave.

My parents want to know about everything that has happened in the past ten years. I tell them about my kids and how they’ve grown up. When I tell them how independent my first-born is, my dad laughs and says, “she’s a firecracker, I knew it!”

It’s important for me to tell my dad how my son reminds me of him. If they met they would enjoy each others company and a love of history.

My mom grew up in the country and loves horses, a passion she shares with my youngest daughter.

We talk for hours and hours. I can’t get enough.

My time is almost up, so we hug each other, and whisper I love you fervently. I want to stay, but I can’t, it’s impossible.Making this trip would mean traveling back in time.

You see, my room with a view is only a memory. The farm is gone, my parents are gone, and the two elderly people, my grandparents, are gone.

So, if I could choose any room? That’s the room I would choose, the dining room painted an ugly green, but the view is extraordinary.

 

 

 

Writing 101 Assignment #1 – Free writing

When I write, I’m careful about each sentence. I agonize, edit, preview, and rewrite many times before I publish, so free writing is a little scary for me.

I have spent hours thinking about what I would write. There’s always a number of things running through my brain at any given time. So what am I going to write about? I don’t have a clue, but here I am trying to come up with something to write.

It’s a struggle to just let go, write with wild abandon, without a care for grammar, spelliGrammarng, or punctuation. What if someone, probably you, judges what I’ve written? “It shouldn’t matter,” we all say that about other people’s opinions, but it does matter. That’s why hater’s have so much power.

A news anchor on Global TV read a few letters from hater’s. They were upset about the clothes she wears. She’s pregnant and people feel she should cover up that big bump with more appropriate clothing. People have written in to tell her how big she is, and how inappropriate her attitude is.

So, she responds to the ugly, hate mail by telling everyone how hard she tries to block the hate, but then catches herself looking in the mirror to check out her size. She asked her husband what he thought about her clothing choices. She hates that the haters got to her. She mentioned that when we say something ugly, a little bit of it will stick.

The one letter she received was from a group of people. They didn’t sign their names or give a return address. In typical bully fashion, they hide behind their hate like the cowards that they are.

This anchor’s co-anchors add their two cents. One of them feels that this kind of mail doesn’t deserve a response, the other co-anchor gets in her own dig, commenting on their poor grammar and spelling. I’m not a hater, but this is as I stated earlier, my worst fear.

I guess what I really fear is looking stupid because seriously, poor grammar portrays someone as uneducated and lazy. My timer went so I’ll wrap this up.

I have a confession, I can’t ignore the prompts that let me know when I’ve made a mistake. Kudos to everyone who wrote freely. I’m stuck in grammar jail.