#MicroblogMondays

We Three

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It’s nearly Tuesday, but I’m going to treat this like a Microblog (it’s technically still Monday so…). My mother turned 70 recently and the girls and I painted this series for her. We chose the same colors for the background and picked the sea creatures we wanted to paint. I think we did an amazing job. I’m constantly impressed at the creativity and talents my two daughters possess. To be a witness as they blossom and grow continues to be the highest honor.

They are away visiting family and return in a couple of days. Time and space away is good for any relationship. There are outside stresses that have made this distance quite difficult at times. I know we’ll all be glad to be back together again. This triad of canvasses reminds me so much of us. We are all unique and different, we are our own, independent beings, yet when placed together, we flow beautifully.

I have so much to write about. Some time to myself helped nourish my creativity, as well as provide me with free time for some fun and to do some much-needed organizing. I do plan to be back here more regularly. I’ve been writing about cool things over at Nerdy But Flirty, check it out!

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#MicroblogMondays: The Kindness of Others, or, My Sister is the Best

fromDeniseAs I’ve alluded to in my last two posts, life here has been difficult over the past few months. Through all the sleepless nights, heartaches, and challenges, few certainties remained. One of those was the kindness and support of my eldest sister. She continually lent her support, in phone calls, text messages, social media pick-me-ups, packages, and notes in the mail. She lifted up my spirits and brought smiles to my girls all the way from the Northwest.

Just a couple of days ago, she sent another package to my daughters. Inside, there were two bins full of self-care items: lavender-scented heating pad, soft aloe-infused socks, lip balm, mints, a sock monkey, and other goodies. My sister also included a package of their favorite snacks for each of the girls. She also found, printed, and cut out dozens of positive affirmations that I can tape to their snacks and place in random spots for them to find. The time and care it took to make these really touched my heart.

I’m so grateful for her, and her never-ending generosity. The world would be a much greater place if everyone acted a little more like her.

A big thanks to Stirrup Queens for making Monday mornings one of the easiest times to write. Join us!

#MicroblogMondays: I Love New York Except…

NYCnov14 (2)I love New York except when the rent is too damn high and continues to soar and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to afford to live there.

I love New York except when the MTA continues to raise its fares and traveling across a borough with my kids becomes too expensive.

I love New York except when the practices of law enforcement are racist and biased, their actions continue to do harm to those they are being paid to protect, and the NYPD has yet to build any trust within the communities they are supposed to be serving.

I love New York except when I’m tired and cold and sore and stressed out and have a million worries on my mind (like Saturday when I took this picture).

New York, I love you, but…


Thanks, as always, to Stirrup Queens for always giving me a reason to post something on Mondays!

#MicroblogMondays: Don’t Tell Me it’s Going to be Okay, Tell me it Sucks

My daughter had a physical therapy evaluation today and we received worrisome news. Nothing traumatic, her life isn’t in danger, nothing like that, but still, news that means more evaluations and therapy and hurdles for her to have to deal with. This sucks.

I know as I tell my loved ones the news, I’ll be met with their undoubtedly best intentions, and they’ll respond with “she’s tough, it will all be okay” and “it’s good you have some more answers now” or “well, now you know what direction to head in” etc. Fine. I appreciate their encouragement. I know it will all be okay. This kid is tough, she’s been poked and prodded, had tubes and lines in her, has overcome so much. I want her to have it easy. The fact that over 10 years into her life, she still is in pain and still in therapies and still sees too many specialists and still doesn’t have things easy, sucks.

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My Supergirl

I know we’ll see the right specialists and tackle this like her and I have attacked so many other struggles before. Tonight though, I just want someone to tell me they get it. Acknowledge my frustration and hurt and fears for my little one. I don’t need to hear it will all be okay, tell me it sucks, because it does.


As always, major thanks to The Stirrup Queens for #MicroblogMondays. Join us!

#MicroblogMondays: The Name Game

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Mel at Stirrup Queens (who is also responsible for #MicroblogMondays!) wrote today about the controversy surrounding our last names, if we do or don’t change them when we get married.

It took me nearly a year after I got married to change my last name. It just felt strange, so I kept putting it off. At the time, and I was young, no one mentioned I didn’t have to change my last name (people neglected to tell me all sorts of things about life back then). Eventually I found my way to the Social Security office and reluctantly erased my maiden name.

When I divorced, I decided to keep my last name to make it simpler for my kids. Now I feel like my last name doesn’t belong to me. It’s odd signing your name and feeling like you’re forging someone else’s signature. It’s also weird that my ex-husband’s new wife has the same exact name as me…

I’d like to start over and give myself a whole new name. One that feels like me. One that belongs to me.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

#MicroBlogMondays: What I Learned at #BinderCon

#BinderCon

Believing in myself is the biggest barrier to my success.
Initiate it. Be assertive. Be persistent. (#OnlyGirl panel)
Need a mentor & a solid support system for my writing.
Develop your beat, know your stuff, take classes, study structure, be efficient. (Laura Shin)
Embrace my talents, respect myself and my expertise, remember I have a voice that needs to be heard.
Report, report, report. (Jill Abramson)
Claim the things you’re most ashamed of, put them out there, be fearless. (Lisa Selin Davis)
Own it! My work, my words, my worth.
Never work for free.

❥❥Thank you Leigh Stein and Lux Alptraum for putting together a phenomenal event!

❥Join in on #MicroBlogMondays!

#MicroblogMondays – Reaching for the Bottle

glitternailsI was near tears on Saturday night.

I was tired of facing disappointment yet again, and the stress of life was bringing me down.

I wanted to drown my sorrows in booze. Oh, the temptation of forgetting everything, even if only for a few moments…

I weighed my options and reached for a bottle. Thankfully, it was this bottle, of fantastic, glittery nail polish.

I learned it’s impossible to be sad when it looks like Studio 54 exploded onto your fingertips.

#MicroblogMondays: The Perfection Monster

Tea Bag Wisdom

Ah, the wisdom of tea bags. I need to write this quote on my wall so I see it throughout the day. The Perfection Monster sneaks up on me, prevents me from calling a new piece of work (whether visual art or writing) done. I’m constantly seeing something else that could be added or tweaked. If I let the Perfection Monster get to me, I’ll never get anywhere. (Yes, I just looked over at a painting that took two years for me to call “finished” and contemplate what lurks in my drafts folder…) Sometimes, we just have to say “DONE!” (or, alternatively, “fuck it!”) and sign that canvas, hit the “publish” button, without criticizing every last brush or key stroke.

I have found a couple things that help keep the Perfection Monster at bay:

1. I read major publications or other works I respect, and find typos. The grammar nerd in me is aggravated by any error I find, from dinner menus to magazine articles, I’m often appalled that something made it past editors paid to check for mistakes and hit the printer. However, if I pull back for a second, and simply acknowledge we all are just humans doing this work, none of us perfect, I realize my writing never needs to meet the infinite (and ever-climbing) bar I place upon myself.

2. When I head to a museum or gallery, I seek out pieces I’m attracted to or works by artists I have deep respect for. I stand in front of the picture and stare, looking for the mishaps, seeing where paint never hit the canvas, where a line was accidentally blurred, where a touch-up calls too much attention. I see that even the Masters, artists I look up to, aren’t perfect either. It’s an important acknowledgement: we aren’t machines. We breathe, we feel, we create. We make things, and a lot of times those things are flawed.

The fact we’ve opened ourselves up to create anything at all, that alone is beautiful, flaws and all.

What ways do you keep the Perfection Monster away? 

Thanks again to Stirrup Queens for #MicroblogMondays. I missed last week, but was really looking forward to coming back to it today. I went over the 8 sentence limit rule, but what can I say? Rebels gotta rebel.

#MicroBlogMondays: 4 Little Girls

The 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham

The 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham

51 years ago, four young black girls were killed in Birmingham when their church was bombed by the KKK. I had the opportunity to visit the church last summer on my civil rights trip. We have made progress, yes, but I look around and find it devastating about how very far we’ve yet to go.

Today I am thinking of Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the four girls lost that day. Too many black children have had their dreams and their potential ripped away from them. Violence and terror from racists, hate groups, the police, and the PIC must end.

It is my hope that in 51 years from now, I can speak of these crimes and heartaches in historical terms only. Maybe, just maybe, we will have learned our lessons and will no longer leave so many mothers to mourn their children.