Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PYHO: California


Here I come.  I can't wait to see go on this road trip with my four fellows (the husband and three boys).

To see your sunshine.  To feel the sand between my toes as we walk on the beach. To breathe in the salty air.  To watch the ocean tide come in and go out as the water slaps against the shore.  To just look out at the endless, endless ocean.

To see the amazement on my three little boys' faces as they plunge their hands in the sand again and watch the waves roll over their feet.

To see family that we only get to see a couple of times a year.

You give this to me, California.

No offense, Colorado.  You are beautiful too.  But you are home, and right now home is filled with stress, and bills, and things that need to get done before a certain time.  The busyness of life.

I love our life here in Colorado.  I just need a mental break.

And with California - as we visit L.A. and Bakersfield and Santa Barbara - my brain will be free of bills and deadlines and appointments and messy houses.

My brain and body will be free to just relax and meditate and take in the pleasures of a good baseball game on 4th of July weekend and a calm, quiet night on the beach with just my hubby as we continue to celebrate 10 years together, along with the happy hugs from family and the visit with our boys' fiesty great-grandma.

I'm brimming with excitement to be heading out, which is tempered of course, by all the prepping I have to do to get this family ready for our road trip.


But California, we'll be on our way soon, to see you.  Yes!  My eye is on the prize and that keeps me pushing through the tediousness of preparation.

In-N-Out Burger here we come.

Friday, June 24, 2011


In this piece, I revisit characters from an earlier piece I wrote.  The following continues from where that piece left off.  


A painful breath in.  A throbbing ache in her head.  Silence all around.

A memory.  Car rushing towards them.  Rolling over.  A hard thud, then stillness.

Cameron slumped in the passenger seat beside her.  Desperate panic rushed through her then.

God, let him be alright. 


Oh, Alex.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean to get your precious son hurt.  Not on my watch.  

Tears filled her eyes.

I love your son.  As much as I love you. 

She tried to move, but couldn't.  Took another breath in and then the pain in her head went sharp.  Darkness rushed in like an ocean wave.


A knot of worry the size of the Earth lodged itself in his chest.  Alex was about to shoot a scene when the call came for him.

"Alex?"  That was his manager who drove the car they sat in now.

He shook his head.  He didn't have a voice.

The car stopped in front of the hospital.


Twenty minutes later, Alex sat in the stark hospital room.

"Alex, do you want anything?"  His manager again.

He shook his head again.  Still no voice.

He couldn't muster one when the doctor spoke to him a few minutes ago, either.

Thoughts ran wild with worry in his head, but voice.

He stared at the still woman lying before him, tears in his eyes.   His son was going to be okay, thank God, but Kayla, lying still in her beauty, they weren't sure.

Life. So precious.  So fleeting. 

That morning, Kayla was vibrant - full of life as he hugged her close and kissed her lips.  Now, here she was, barely holding onto it.

Alex leaned down and hugged her tight, pressing his cheek against hers, his lips against hers.

Kayla, baby, hang on.  Hang on.  


This piece is inspired by a prompt from The Red Dress Club which asks you to write a flash fiction piece inspired by the word "Life".

Concrit welcomed. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

This One-Year Old Thanks You...

So I'm sitting here at my computer going through old posts when I decided to go back to the first post I ever wrote.  That post was a year ago - June 19, 2010.  


I made a year yesterday?  Well, it certainly looks like I did.  I missed my own Blogaversary by a day.   Tells you what constantly running after 3 kiddos will do to one's brain.  At least, to my brain anyway.

I don't have any snazzy contests or giveaways planned.  I wouldn't even know how to begin to plan them (yet) and my brain is a bit fried to do a week long celebration of my one year in the blogging world (yes, I lack stamina).   I admire the bloggers who do these things when their blogaversaries come around.  One day, I'll have it together.  

What I do have to give away is a HUGE THANK YOU to those of you who have taken the time to read my words over the year from how much I adore my NYC Subway art to the defining memories of my childhood, to adjusting to life outside of the city, to how blogging sometimes feels like high school.   Not to mention the fiction and memoir writing I've been sprinkling in here and there along with the pouring out of my heart's deepest feelings, a lot of which I couldn't have done without the amazing prompting of The Red Dress Club, MamaKat's Pretty Much World Famous Writer's Workshop, and Shell's Pour Your Heart Out meme.  

I've appreciated all your thoughts, comments and feedback.   I notice each and every one of you who has stopped by and left a comment as well as those of you out there who read me, though you don't comment. 

I appreciate the virtual friends I've made over the year.  It's been great to be a part of an online community of people with whom I can share with, relate to, and support as I get each in return.  

You don't know how much it tickles my heart when I hear actual friends and acquaintances mention how they read my blog often or to overhear conversations of friends talking to their friends about my blog.  

I had a friend recently encourage me in front of a group of people who knew me (and not my blog) to continue writing and sharing my stories on this blog because the stories touch people.  I was floored to hear him say that.  It's what I want to do most of all with my writing -- touch people.   For this blogger/writer who wonders if anyone out there is reading her words - it was a jolt to my heart.  

It is now the spark that will keep me sharing and writing my best words from my heart.  Words that hopefully will appeal, touch, commiserate and make you laugh.  Somehow, maybe I'll enrich you as a lot of you have enriched me over this past year since I've started this blog.  

SO....THANK YOU from the top and bottom of my heart....for your love, support and honesty.  

Thanks to my Mom, who suggested I start this blog in the first place (though I don't think she reads it that much anymore). 

Mucho thanks to my Designer hubby and our three Butterscotch Babies for allowing me to steal time away from them to concentrate on this "baby".  I couldn't have done it without their patience.  They put up with me.  Even in the moment, I'm shoving pieces of bagel at the 15 month old to buy more time on the computer as I write this. 

And thanks again to all of YOU.   YOU keep me going.   Truly.

And this Bronx girl's heart is warmed.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

To Playdate or Not Playdate?

There's a boy who is a friend to my 6 year old who has been mean to him and physically picking on him for the last year and a half. I saw the effects of it today and it gave me pause to think.

We were at this boy's birthday party today.  Before we left, my husband said to me: "If he (our 6 year old) begins to feel uncomfortable and wants to go home, you should go home."

I nodded, agreeing, thinking this is what I will do but not believing it would come to this.

Well, halfway into the party the 6 year old came to me, stating just that: he wanted to go home.  The boy was being mean to him again.  He had stated the latter to me twice before this time.

I rubbed his shoulder and nodded.  We would go, soon.

The next moment the boy came out of his house and stared at my 6 year old.  He was holding a toy up in front of him - innocuous toy - and just staring at my boy.  By the way my 6 year old starting getting agitated, you would've thought he was being threatened by the toy.  My son was intimidated.

I've witnessed this kind of interaction between them before in their classroom, once before.  Unbelievable but real.    I felt the vibe off this kid, even though he wasn't doing anything but staring at my son and holding up a toy.  Intimidation was present.

"Stop it," he told the boy. "Stop it!"

I started soothing my son, who responded, "He's being mean to me, again."  The boy kept staring and then he walked away.

"Ignore him," I said.  "Don't let him get to you."

It's this boy's way.  He's been called out several times for his mean behavior towards other kids at school.  Even at his own birthday party, a few kids, including my son, were getting annoyed by his behavior.  His mother's aware of it.  I'm sure his father is - somewhat.

And yet this boy and my son have had their sweet moments.  They play well together.  However, more often than not, he's been aggressive towards my 6 year old.  It's been a year and a half, and I can now see the effects through the way my boy reacts around him.  Like a person who has been traumatized.  It hurts my heart to witness this and even write about it.  I wish it wasn't so but it is.

At the end of the party, this boy's parents were suggesting playdates between our boys.  I could even leave my son at their house for a few hours so the boys can play.  They are being kind and reaching out. In moments, I believe the boy sincerely wants to play with my son.

But I hesitate.

If being in the same space with this boy causes my boy to become agitated after awhile, is it even a good idea?  Even if I embraced the other mom's thought that if these two play together more often outside of school, she could help her boy not be so mean to mine's, is it wise?  Or should I push past my doubts?

In moments, my 6 year old is up for it and other moments, not so much.  He wants to be friends with this boy and enjoys the friendship when things are good but then he gets picked on physically most times when they are together.   I get it because I've seen this boy be really sweet to my boy and after they play for awhile, just reach out and hit him behind the knee or push him to the ground without provocation from my son.

So there's my dilemma.  Playdate or no playdate?

What do you think?  What would you do?  Have you experienced this before with your kids?  Please share, because I'm still not sure which direction to go with this.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rockin' The Bump!

 So I've rocked the baby bump three times in the last 5 years.  The outcome: three amazing, beautiful little boys.

My first boy is baking in the belly in 2005.  
This is the first and only picture of the bump taken right before I left for the hospital to give birth. 

My second boy is baking in the belly in 2007
Me, just relaxing with his older brother on the couch.

My third boy baking in the belly in 2010 (A little half-view of the bump)
Taking professional maternity photos with the family on the playground nearby our home. 

So there you have it.  Wow, memories!

We're rockin' the bump over at Shell's: Things I Can't Say.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

365 Photo Project: Beautiful Accidents

I am still working on my 365 Photo Project.  It's turning out to be a less than 365 Photo Project as I face the challenge of remembering to take a photo everyday.  I can't even tell you what number day I'm on but I know I'll need to take a photo soon.

Despite my forgetfulness, it's been fulfilling so I'm sticking with it, even though it's not turning out as perfect as I envisioned it would.  In addition to forgetting to take a photo some days, it seems like my photography has gone downhill instead of improving.  That can be discouraging...

...until I stumble upon some cool photos that have come out of my camera (I took these!).  I call them my "beautiful accidents" because they were totally not set up and yet, here they are.  It's these beautiful accidents that inspire me and keep me pursuing this new love of photography.  

Here are a few of them (in pairs):

The 15 month old in all his crusty babyness... 

Rural Boulder in all its beauty...

The 3 year old on a bridge above the creek in town...

The 6 year old hanging out...

Our cat, Chelsea George Bates. 

Not perfection but these give me hope...

Are you in the midst of a 365 photo project or any project? How's it going for you?  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Just A Little Faith...

Just a little faith. That's all that's needed.

This isn't a get-rich quick scheme. Or even a finite rich scheme. When I signed up for this career I knew that it was possible that I would make money within the first five years. I also knew that it was a possibility that I wouldn't make money in the first five. Or ten.  Or fifteen.  It's just the nature of the business.

You looked at it like any general occupation. I write, the money will come. You would see my name in the film credits or on a book on a shelf in a Barnes and Noble bookstore, a couple of years after I started.

But it doesn't quite work that way. Not in the business of screenwriting or fiction writing. People can write for years, query agents for years before they get at least their toe, much less foot in the door.

And because the results haven't happened for me yet, doesn't mean that I'm not serious about this writing thing.

Because you haven't seen the book on the shelf, doesn't mean I'm not working on it. Just because it seems like I'm in the same place I was in when you last checked in on my writing career doesn't mean progress hasn't been made.

You have to understand that progress in screenwriting/fiction writing isn't always linear.  You don't necessarily see the direct results as soon as you put the work in. It's like a bamboo tree that  needs to be watered for years before it shows any kind of major growth.  They grow very little in the first four years, then suddenly in the fifth year, they shoot up to about 80/90 feet.    The tree sprouts huge.

I believe my writing career will sprout "huge".  I'm faithful, even through my own personal doubts in moments.    The results may not be seen now but I believe it's still going to happen.  This isn't some pipe dream. It's too deep a passion to be just a hobby.

And having been exposed to both the film and literary industries for as long as I have, I have an idea of how things work, and overnight success are not the norm.  A lot of times, not even successes after being in the industry for five or ten years are the norm.  They happen, but it's not the typical.  But the break will come.

"You're going to make us rich," says the Husband who is working at a top position at a magazine and making a hundred times more than I do, only because I make "zero" right now.  We joke about it, but he believes that.  He truly does.  He is faithful.

If nothing else, my future income will afford us a lifestyle security (including college savings) that we will need later.  But he says it because he understands the exponential growth that comes with a writing lifestyle.  You work for pennies for years and then the "break" comes along and you finally make a sizeable income.

I need you to understand that.  It takes nine months usually before a baby is fully developed and ready to be born in this world.   With a writing career - along with others, like it - it works the same way, except that it may take longer.

So trust me.

Believe in me.

Even though I'm taking care of a  growing family and life is busy right now, the writing focus is still there. Always has been.

The dream is still on.   The goals are still in place.

And the results.

They'll come.  Believe it.

It just takes a little faith.

This post is inspired and made possible by Shell and her Pour Your Heart Out meme where you are able to express whatever it is that is on your heart.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who I Am

This is piece centers around the main character in a mystery novel that I am working on: 

I stare hard at my face in the mirror. Scruitinizing it.  My light yellow skin with the wide, dark eyes and smattering of freckles across my nose. My origins are from New Orleans.  I'm the only son to an artist father and now dead mother.

Yet, I still don't know...who I am.

What I am.

And why the blood follows me home.  On my clothes.  On my skin.

And why I don't remember how the blood got there even though I can guess.  It's like I blackout for a few hours and wake up to shock of red covering me.

I'm killing or involved in a killing.  Of what? Or who?  My heart lurches at the thought.

There have been a string of murders with the same MO happening throughout New Orleans in the last several months. They say a serial killer is on the loose.

I cringe.  Could it be me?

I've tried psychologists, psychotherapists, even a hypnotist.  I fear what will be revealed during those sessions but the burning desire to know who I am trumps that fear.

You see, I'm tired of coming home in the early morning hours, exhausted, clothes stained with blood.  I'm tired of the constant scrubbing I have to do to get the blood off my clothes.

I hate living like this.  With this horrific unknown.

The blood.  Incriminating evidence.  Of what, though?  I want to know.   It's killing me.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror, then place my fedora on my head.

Oh, the irony.  I'm a private investigator and I can't even figure out the mystery that is me.

Until I do, I have to live with this nightmare.

I sigh sadly, turn and walk out the door.

This piece was inspired by a writing prompt from the red dress club which asks us to tell us what our character wants.