Rambling to a Tee #SOCS

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “T, tea, tee.” Theme your post around “tea” or “tee,” or find a word that starts with “T” and talk about that. Bonus points if you manage to incorporate all three. Enjoy!

(Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing is just writing – little to no planning, and no editing – so, please excuse an glaring grammatical errors or other nonsense in today’s post.)

 

A nice cup of terrific tea suits me to a tee. There. All done. Can I have my bonus points now? Do we get even more bonus points if we use all three in the same sentence?

Let’s just get this part out of the way and get to writing – because I have no idea where I’d even want to go with these prompts. I know its stream of consciousness writing and we’re supposed to do this with minimal planning. But still, it seems like I should have some sort of idea of even a vague destination.

I’ve got nada.

I really shouldn’t even be doing this particular post. My list of all the things I need to complete this weekend far exceeds what I’ll probably end up getting done. My weekly newsletter – that’s not too bad. It doesn’t take much time. The workbook I need to complete for a four week class that starts Tuesday…well, that’s the top priority, but it seems I’ve hit a wall of resistance with this one. I don’t even know why. The class was my idea. I proposed it and a library accepted it. Why should I be resisting one of my own ideas? Then there’s the Good Old Days submission I’m working on. The deadline is here and I’ve only got the story roughly started. I have three Chicken Soup for the Soul pieces I’m working on. I’m determined to get another acceptance from them. This goal is turning out to be more challenging. I think I’ve sent them nine or ten (possibly more??) submissions in the past two years and am hearing crickets.

What else is on the list?

Oh yes. I need to be working on a handout for a library presentation that’s coming up in two weeks. I have a week to add to a short story that I want to take to my writer’s group for critique. I need to set up a sale on my web page for an offer that another author and I are working on. And…

Yet, here I am writing this. But I haven’t participated with Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday for too long and that’s something I was enjoying. (Along with her One-Liner Wednesday which I missed the last week or two too.)

Why do I do this?

Do you do it too? Take on too many commitments? Load up your schedule with more tasks than you can humanly complete? Do we think we’re Wonder Woman (or Super Man) and can accomplish it all?

writing-923882__340I sense a larger problem here. Is it procrastination? Trying to keep from being bored? Trying to make up for lost time, thinking I can magically achieve ‘it all’ now? Is it turning 60 and realizing that I’m far, far from where I wanted to be at this age? I think I need to dig deeper on this one – some meditation and journaling seems in order. But…two more items to add to the daily list.

Oh my, I feel like I’m spinning in circles and not accomplishing any purpose here. See what happens when there’s no plan and no structure? This wandering missive is nothing I’d take to my writer’s group – that’s for sure! (Plus they’d be sure to point out the many clichés used today!)

So I think I’ll wrap up this babbling, incoherent post – go make myself a cup of tea, toast myself for crossing one item off of Saturday’s to-do list, and celebrate that despite the deadlines and the list that is never complete, a writing life suits me to a tee.

Do I get extra brownie points for using the prompts twice? Even if they don’t really relate to the post? And…can I spend these points anywhere? Can I cash them in for a really cool prize? (But hey, even if the bonus points aren’t redeemable, I just added 700 words to my monthly word count, and that’s a prize in itself. Right?)

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Tales of a Tale #SoCS

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I’m participating in writing to a prompt for stream of Consciousness Saturday. No editing, no deliberating and changing things – just writing. The prompt for today is to tail/or tale. Use one or the other. Use both. Just write. You can have some fun with it too – here’s the link.

This was an easy choice for me. Tale – of course, because that’s what I do – I tell tales. Mostly about people or items from the past. Occasionally random totally fictional pieces. But quite often it’s a piece from the past that inspires the story, and very often I find family members entering.

Grandpa Jones did that this week. I’d started a new historical fiction short story – Best Thing Since Sliced Bread. I was using two small cookbooks from 1928 as inspiration. That’s it. That’s the whole nugget of how this got started.

When I started researching 1928, I discovered that the first loaf of commercially baked and sliced bread was sold in Chillicothe, Missouri in July, 1928. Another fun tidbit I learned was that several local delegates returned from the Republican National Convention, held in Kansas City in June 1928. A few weeks after they returned, Chevrolet Day was held – an exciting day where the community dressed up as flappers and sheiks and rode in Chevrolets with contests and prizes.

Perfect! Grandpa Jones was from Dawn, just outside Chillicothe. There were my historical tidbits and I created two fictional young girls to star in the tale.

Earlier this week I was talking to my mom and telling her about the new story I’d started. I explained the Chillicothe connection and how it came about. I mentioned Grandpa and said – he was probably just a young boy in 1928. Mom replied, “No, he was born in 1908, so he would have been twenty. He would have been tom-catting around already.”

Excellent! Grandpa Jones just made his entrance. I replied, “So if he was twenty, and from Dawn – just outside Chillicothe – then he probably would have gone to Chevrolet Day.”

“Without a doubt! That’s all he drove his entire life – Chevrolets!”

Luckily the flapper/actress wannabe/best friend doesn’t have a boyfriend. I have a feeling that she and Casey Jones will be dancing about town in this tale.

And by the way, I apologized out loud to Grandma Jones for having Grandpa flitting about town with the young flapper. Mom said that was alright, he didn’t meet Grandma until years later, when he whisked her off her feet and married her in 1935.

You’ve got to love the life of a writer. A little fact, a little history, and a whole lot of make believe. It’s all in the tales we tell.

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Not Your Typical Walk, Run, or Amble Post #SoCS

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Today is Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Here’s the prompt for today’s writing:

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: movement. However, don’t use the word “movement.” Choose some sort of movement, and base your post on that. Enjoy!

You can see more details here, if you’d like to participate yourself.

I was racking my brain to find something to write about, without mentioning the ‘M’ word. (Not so easy to do on a Saturday morning after a busy week) Walk. Run. Amble. Stretch. Reach. Some of the words were inspired by Friday morning’s yoga class and I almost went in that direction.

But I wasn’t committed to that idea. I went about my routine morning tasks, still thinking of what to write about. Then the thought crossed my mind – writing about the unmentionable ‘M’ word prompt doesn’t have to be a word of physical action. Striving to reach personal and business goals is also something that follows the general idea. (And I know, I shouldn’t use ‘idea’ again as I just used it a few lines ago – but in keeping with the idea of stream of consciousness writing, with no edits, the word is staying.)

Work this past week was busy and I found myself not accomplishing my afternoon goals. I didn’t worry or fret about it. With all the flu and illnesses floating around, I also realize that there are times that I need to take care of myself and not push. I need to rest and relax so that I remain healthy and don’t lose days or a week to an illness. I had a few non-productive days that I didn’t finish my goals for the day. So this weekend I’ll buckle down and get back to business. I’ll get back on track of the process about getting closer to my goals – my writing goals for the month, and my personal daily goals. I’ll catch up on a few administrative tasks, add to the word count in two different manuscripts, get out my weekly newsletter, and take action with a small book promotion. By doing these, I’ll be a step closer to reaching another milestone. And that motion is just as good – if not better – than any run, walk, amble or stretch.

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My Favorite Vitamin – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

Find a word that starts with “oc” and use it in your post. Bonus points if you start and end with your post with an “oc” word.

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.

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Occasionally, even though I’m glad I moved to Texas, I miss my California. Especially the beach. My favorite beach, which has been my go-to beach since after high school graduation (many, many moons ago!) is Laguna. I’m a bit of a beach snob. I don’t like flat, sandy beaches. I like craggy cliffs, rocky shores, and tide pools. I don’t even have to touch the water. I just need to see the vast ocean before me, hear the surf, and hear the sound of seagulls screaming in the air above me.

This is one of my favorite Facebook memes. And it’s true. I need the sea. I need the surf. I need the ocean.

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The Empowered Woman – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Blogger Linda G. Hill, organizer of Just Jot It January, also coordinates a Stream of Consciousness Saturday writing event. The prompts that she uses varies from week to week.

This week the prompt directions are:

When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page. Enjoy!

The rules are simple. The basic ones are:

  1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
  2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

And write to the prompt. And a few other administrative things. You can read more about Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday event here.

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This is the first time I’ve participated in Linda’s Stream of Conscious Saturday blogging fun. In the spirit of following the rules, I grabbed for the top piece of paper on my towering pile. (Readers, forgive me, but she said no editing – so no editing it will be. You’ll just get the words that spew forth from my fingers for the next little bit.)

Okay, to be truthful, I did go with Door Number Two. At first I grabbed the top paper from the right hand pile. It was a library flyer. But then I got hung up on which were the sixth, seventh, and eighth words. Do I count the title? Do I count the header? Do I go straight to the information?

If I looked at the header, it would have been ‘closed January 1st.’ Hmmmm, there’s possibilities there. If I went straight to the information about the first event, the words would be ‘to access private’.

Feeling uninspired with each of these possibilities, I switched to the left hand pile. Ah! ‘The Empowered Woman.’ Much better! I’ll choose Door B, thank you very much.

That page was something I printed out October 24th, the information for a submission for Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The heading reads:

Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman
101 Stories about Being Confident, Courageous, and Your True Self

Right away I knew what I was going to write about. I even started it. The first paragraph. Then life started to overwhelm me. A book release in November, a part time job that picks up hours through the holidays, and the usual Christmas madness. I didn’t get back to this until after Christmas. And I’ve added very little to the essay over the past two weeks.

Other tasks were completed and checked off of my list. But I had trouble coming back to this one.

Being for the Chicken Soup crew, I needed to finish this piece to give myself time to set it aside and come back and edit and polish it.

The next thing I knew, it was the morning of January 10th – the day the essay was due. And I still hadn’t even finished it. I berated myself for not finishing it earlier. I knew that I had to ignore everything else on the list and do this item with a looming cutoff date.

As I started feeling pressured – by myself no less – I finally decided to cross it off the list and not even stress about finishing this item.

You know, once that was crossed off and was no longer a nagging ‘to-do’, my shoulders un-tensed and I eased into the rest of the day working on other items feeling relatively calm.

I got to thinking – isn’t part of being an empowered woman also knowing when to not do something? Isn’t allowing ourselves the option of saying ‘no’, or ‘I changed my mind’ a way of empowering ourselves? The choice to not do something we think we should, or not do something that we’d decided to act on earlier, is also a way of gaining internal power.

So, no – you won’t be reading my thoughts about The Empowered Woman in any Chicken Soup book soon. But I’m okay with that. I’m proud of the other items I did accomplish that day. By crossing that line off of my list, I felt stronger and more in control. I’d make a conscious decision about deleting that item, rather than being wishy-washy the rest of the day and sliding into the end of the day with the essay unfinished and unsent.

Now, about this ‘no editing’ part. Not so easy. It’s like the ugly first draft stuff. I’m okay with that. It’s the pushing that unclean, newly birthed creation out into the public view without any cleaning up. But there you have it anyway. And now I find myself starting to hunt for words to finish, so I’ll simply end it here.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Linda!

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