Discover Challenge: Apology

23 May

Two words.

That’s all it takes.

Some people are not strong enough, big enough, human enough to say it. They don’t know the power behind it, don’t know why.

It helps glue the pieces back together. It works like a Band-Aid. It doesn’t necessarily stop the hurt, but it stops the bleeding.

It’s not that hard. It really shouldn’t be, because it’s a part of love. When you break someone’s heart, when you fail to be there, when cross the line, when you let someone down, when you make them ache, when you make them cry, when you make them feel less, when you’re unkind, when you make a mistake, when you forget, when they look for a friend and you’re no where to be found.

They restore.

It’s a step closer to forgiveness, but it makes it harder to forgive when the words are not there or when they’re empty. Sometimes they never will be there. It happens to a lot of people. They’re left there waiting for it. They deserve to hear it, but sometimes it never comes and what’s left is a hole that keeps getting bigger, and a struggle to keep going and push through.

But eventually, you come out the other side even if you didn’t hear it. You pushed through with the hole in your heart and know you were worthy of those words. You were worthy of them, and you move on.

You let go.

But it would have been so much easier had they said those words …

I’m sorry.

Yup, like a Band-Aid.

I’m sorry, works better than chocolate and wine.

 

Discover Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

18 May

 

 

Noahs&Pinta (2)

The  Guilty Face … I miss it.

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post.

 

 

The Orange Dictionary and One Page Left

16 May

I remember taking a moment and thinking I should keep it. I should keep it.

And I did.

But in my early 30s, after having moved for the third time in four years, it didn’t survive. It got tossed around in boxes and then eventually tossed in the recycling pile. I remember pausing for a moment, thinking I should keep it. It was Erick’s. I should hold onto it just in case, but I didn’t and I remember feeling a little twinge the next morning when it was gone.

That orange hardcover dictionary with the word DICTIONARY in bold white courier font. He used it during his high school years to look up words he didn’t know, then look up those words in his Spanish-English dictionary, and then finally have an A-ha! moment after twenty minutes because he had finally figured out what they were asking him. He could finally answer.

My uncle Erick … he was more than just an uncle, he was the brother I never had, my role model growing up, my compass when I lost my footing. He showed me education can definitely create change. He was the first one in our family to graduate from college. He was there for me when I was learning my ABCs  and stood by me when I crossed the graduation stage myself. I knew when he had his own family he would be a great dad.

And he was …

uncle erick 007

Uncle Erick … very proud of the pumpkin skills that took place here with his daughter.

So when he died of cancer, when his daughter was only 10 years old, it broke my heart. I knew he was scared, not of death, but of not being in his daughter’s life, watching her grow, dancing at her quinceanera, and clapping for her as she crossed the stage in her cap and gown.

I knew he wanted to be there. So I made sure a part of him would be there with her for all those milestones. I interviewed him and made a scrapbook for her. Quotes, advice, stories, pictures. Messages and things he’d want to say to her when life happened, he was able to do that, to say some of those things.

I’d been giving these pages to her throughout the years, and now 11 years later, after her college graduation I only have one page left. One, and I so wish I still had that dictionary, because it was more than just a book of words, it was a part of his road to success. It was part of his work ethic.

But I didn’t know he was going to die when the dictionary got thrown away. I didn’t know he was gonna get sick. Nobody did. He didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink. He got the cancer just because he got it. And now I only have one page left.

I gave her the college page this weekend, followed by a hug and the I’m-proud-of-you speech, and the I-know-your-dad-is-proud-of-you-too whisper in the ear.

IMG_4430

My uncle, who helped raise me, was there that day too, sitting in the audience with me. His words were there, in black ink, scribbled in his slanted handwriting written during the last days of his life. He wanted to make sure he was there, and I was glad to have made that possible, because he was always there for me.

.

 

 

Discover Challenge: Chance Encounter

11 May

I don’t run into anybody by chance, while clocking in at “the office,” because there is no office. I don’t run into anyone while I’m my lunch break, because I don’t get breaks. I’m not on a 9-5 schedule so most of my chance encounters happen with words.

I hear something that someone says in a movie, song,  book, lecture, Netflix, or in a documentary and it sticks.

It stays with me and changes something in me. It helps align things that are off-center, or gives me an A-Ha! Moment, or makes me feel like I’m on the right track. Sometimes it just opens my eyes when I had no idea they were closed. Sometimes it happens with people during unexpected moments in life, but most of the the time, it happens with words.

 

“The predicament that you are in right now does not define your destiny … You otta look at every negative situation in your house and say … you’re a liar! I don’t believe you.”

— TD Jakes

 

That was a good chance encounter.

 

 

Discover Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

6 May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

IWSG: I Didn’t Think Sushi Would Be Inspirational

4 May

Always … look ahead and above yourself.

Always try … to improve on yourself.  Always strive to elevate your craft.

That’s what he taught me.

–Yoshikazu Ono (Jiro’s Son)

 

I never thought I’d find inspiration through Sushi … to continue the writing journey, to see room for improvement, to keep striving and walking on the yellow-brick road … never saw it coming.

It’s fish, right?

Jiro would probably say … you don’t get it … if you just see fish … you don’t get it.

And he’d be right.

This story is not for you.

I have a different vision of it and of the chefs who take the time to create this art.

Always try …

jiro-dreams-of-sushi-dvd-cover-32

It’s a story that caught my eye … been in my Netflix queue for some time now … but I pressed play and gained a new perspective. It’s good as a writer to refresh your perspective even after an accomplishment. It’s good not to settle too long on a stepping stone, remembering those gold stars. Looking ahead on what else you can create, what you can improve upon is on deck.

Here’s this 80-something year-old man, whom I’ll probably never meet, and his 50-something year old son, teaching me something about craft, about striving, about persistence, about trying to be better than you were last time.

Commitment to passion.

I didn’t think Sushi would inspire.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi was the documentary that kept the inspirational spark burning. It touched a little on failure, but didn’t say things were epic fails, just said apprentices would keep trying until they got it right. Keep trying to master your craft.

That’s the thing about writing, sometimes it may feel like a failure because you can’t get the story right, or it wasn’t received well, but you can’t look at it that way, just have to keep trying. Even when things go great and the story is published or the play is produced, you’ve got to keep trying. The effort to improve continues. Always try …

It stuck with me … that simple message.

As a writer there have been many times when things didn’t look great from a creative or financial perspective, and I’d voluntarily or involuntarily place myself on hiatus. But after watching Jiro’s story and that of his sons, I think those self-imposed breaks will no longer take place.

I’ll just have to keep trying, trying to do better, because cultivating your passion takes undeniable effort and continued pursuit. Even when you’re insecure at times, like all writers and artists are from time to time, passion should outweigh insecurity in the end.

Always try … I’ll keep Jiro and Yoshikazu in mind.

 

 

 

 

Yellow Brick Road Stepping Stones

30 Apr

It was a funny thing being in the front.

I’m not used to it.

I wasn’t only told to do so, but I was strongly encouraged to do it the easy way … voluntarily, otherwise I would have been dragged out of the audience.

And that, I did not want.

So I stood there, among the other writers, in my New York & Company 7th Avenue Slacks and black converse, while other lady writers were in dresses and high heels, waving to the people who were clapping.

I thought it was going to end there … but no … the director of the theater thought it would be a good idea to introduce the writers, one by one. So … there I was at the end of the line, nervously waiting my turn. When he finally introduced me, I announced that I had written La Visita … and they applauded.

 

 

It’s not like I didn’t think they were going to applaud, they clapped for everyone else, but somehow it was different. Other than my kids, I don’t think anyone has ever applauded for me. Maybe volunteers during a race, or at graduation. But nothing like this … this was for imagination, for story, for my words.

I looked at my friends who were sitting in the audience waving at me, and I waved back. I was grateful for their presence and those that had come to the previous shows. The praise and kind words were humbling.

But that was not my favorite part.

I like being behind the scenes.

I liked sitting in the audience and watching their reaction, watching people that I didn’t even know smile at little nuances I had written and hear their laughter during comedic moments. I loved hearing my friends laugh at what I had written. I enjoyed watching the actors become my characters and live out my words on stage. I enjoyed watching the impact of my story.

Most of the time with fiction, I don’t hear or see anyone’s reaction, unless they write to me and mention something. So I’m usually hidden away in the lonely writer sanctuary in the middle of the night, high-fiving myself. But this time around, their smiles and laughter were some of the best high-fives. The hugs from my friends meant a great deal. The compliments from the other writers and actors in the festival were reassuring.

Being in the audience took me back to that good feeling, that girl-scout shindig during my elementary school years, where I stood next to my troop leader, Maria, and watched as the girl scout masses at the camp  watched the show I had helped write and put together.

I felt good and I was proud.

I had landed on another stepping stone in my yellow brick road, one that also took me on a Bucket List Adventure … seeing my words come to life.

And now I’m back in my WordPress community sharing the news and catching up on some reading, and comments. I’ve been on a semi-hiatus for some time because of all the work it took to put this together, but now I return even more inspired to follow the writing journey and take you along with me, if you want to ride on this bus.

Buen Camino my friends.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

27 Apr
IMG_2432 (2)

:)

 

To my four-year old daughter … this is pretty obvious … pretty concrete what she’s talking about and communicating here. However sometimes because of lack of sleep and parenthood in general, things tend to fall under the abstract category. But the sunlight shining behind the painting totally clues you into this masterpiece.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of The Daily Post

 

 

 

 

Don’t Kill Me … But Purple Rain Wasn’t My Favorite

22 Apr

I know it was probably at the top of everybody’s playlist the last couple of  days … And it’s a great song, but it wasn’t my go-to Prince song.

Let’s Go Crazy.

Yup.

That was my jam.

I mean have you heard the beginning?

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life …

Genius.

That was the anthem to let your freak flag fly and be different, at least that’s how my 12 year old self took it to mean. Sex was no where near my radar at that time. It was just about being different and being O.K. with it. Not letting anyone bring you down or try to take your shine away. Just go crazy …

And Prince defined that … not only by being O.K. with yourself but being O.K. was necessary. This was definitely important to have in this world and even though I didn’t know him, and never met him, I was truly saddened to hear about his passing. His music and originality made an such an impact and I so appreciated his artistry and ability to touch people with his words, make them feel.

He was so different, full of creative energy and funk. If you dared to be different he was the guy who led by example and it was so awesome. I’m proud to say that I was able to experience Prince live in concert and it was my very first one.

Definitely set the bar high.

So looking back, remembering the artist, and recalling his songs, and where I was when the clock struck 12 on December 31, 1999, I think about my favorites. I think about growing up with them, and jamming to cassette tapes back in the day when I wore AquaNet Hairspray, Levis Jeans, and L.A. Gear.

So this weekend I’ll continue celebrating his life by watching Purple Rain and listening to my favorites.

Top Ten Prince Songs … in no particular order.

1999

Let’s Go Crazy

Most Beautiful Girl in the World

When Doves Cry

I Wanna Be Your Lover

Get Off

Kiss

Raspberry Beret

Glamorous Life (Written and Produced by Prince, performed by Sheila E.)

Nothing Compares to You (Written by Prince, performed by Sinead O’Connor)

 

CgmJp6pW0AAcd6L.jpg large

 

Buen Camino my friends …

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dinnertime

20 Apr

 

 

My favorites …

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of the Daily Post.

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,608 other followers