Monday, April 30, 2012

Zooma Atlanta


On Sunday, April 22nd, I ran my first ever half marathon - Zooma Atlanta, held at Lake Lanier in Buford.

My friend Denise ran a half marathon a few weeks back and blogged about it (click HERE). I hoped that I would be able to share my experience in a similar way.

Alas, all I remember is the pain.

Somewhere between miles 9 and 10, my left knee gave out on me. Up until then, I was mostly running. After that point, I was mostly limping. At mile 11-ish, the pain became so excruciating I actually started to cry.

I kept walking.

And I FINISHED.

Which is all I ever wanted. And all that really matters, as far as I am concerned.

What is your dream? GO FOR IT. Don't stop until you reach the finish line.

Even if it hurts.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A funny thing happened while I was out fishing...

Today my friend and blog sister Tammy Schubert shared some of her experiences with online dating in a funny, thought provoking blog post (click HERE), prompting me to share another recent experience of my own.

A couple of weeks ago, a guy I will refer to as RP contacted me through Plenty of Fish. We exchanged a couple of polite messages, not remotely suggestive or off-putting, so when he said he would prefer to chat via email, I gave him my address. Our conversation is detailed below, with corrections to his numerous spelling and punctuation errors.

SUNDAY

12:59 AM
RP: Reporting for DUTY! Can I see more of you? Not like your body, well unless you want, but just more pics. I can return favor to you. I hope you sleep great, Pam - very nice to have met you!

1:19AM
Pam: Yes, of course, I will try to add some more pics to my profile in the next day or two. Nice to have met you, too!

1:24AM
RP: Dang, I thought you'd indicated you were sending them here??? Oh, well, I'll wait if I have to. For now, just go to bed. Just imagine a good hot stone massage with hot oil. That'll get you good and relaxed and settled.

2:29AM
RP: Would it bother you if I send nude pics? Would be in good taste, satisfactory, quenching for your thirst. I promise they'll be well done. :-)

(At this point I dropped out of the conversation, assuming this gentleman would take no reply as a no.)

7:54PM
RP: Oh, I forgot to ask. What are your favorite sexual positions? What is your bra size? What is your favorite style of panties. WELL???

9:10PM
RP: Do you by chance use Skype?

MONDAY

12:53AM
RP: Enjoy, I hope.

(Attached were two nude photographs: one close-up and one full-body. I suppose these were intended to excite me but they had quite the opposite effect. I attempted to block his email address but apparently was unsuccessful as I received one final message from him a few hours later.)

10:33PM
RP: Thanks for being a ****-tease. This will be the last time I contact you. You may as well have been a little scared 18 year old girl. You're no woman. Also, don't bother replying as you've been blocked, princess.

* * *

I may be a fiction writer, but I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

* * *
Inspired by my friends and the speakers at Georgia Romance Writers monthly meeting last Saturday, I am finally back on track with my novel. Revising is hard work, and my word count has been actually decreased during the process, but at some point I will have cut all that needs to be cut and will start adding the scenes necessary to finish my story. I will share more about all that, as well as my experience running the Zooma Atlanta half marathon on Sunday, next week. I am committed to posting more regularly, according to this schedule.

Monday: Living Loud
Tuesday: That Need to Create
Wednesday: Books and Writing
Thursday: Keeping It Fresh
Friday: I've been Thinking...

There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing my life on this blog. If I provide you with a chuckle or two in the process, so much the better. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I guess he told me...

From an email I received earlier this evening from a connection made Monday through an online dating site:

Well, I'm not embarrassed to admit when I make a mistake. I thought you had class. I was obviously mistaken...If there was anything in my last e-mail that turned you off, then you have a problem. And whatever the reason, your rudeness in not responding at all, again, shows a total lack of class. All you had to say was, "Steve, sorry, I'm not interested."


Any single person over the age of 45 (maybe 40) who doesn't realize that the pickings get slimmer as you get older is an idiot. It is not about what YOU have to offer, it is about what is AVAILABLE on the other side. and part of that is "networking,"which means being nice to EVERYONE since you don't know who you will meet through that person, even if he or she is not your cup of tea. And when you are NOT nice, it usually will come back to haunt you. I will not go into my attributes, but trust me, age 52, you screwed up...


I will not waste any more time with you than writing this note...You know, if you don't know how to conduct yourself with some class, you really should stay home. And I'm sure the pickings are great in Dacula. bye-bye!

Ahem.

My reply?

This week I have been dealing with a pretty intense family situation on top of my regularly scheduled life--working full time, taking care of my kids, and keeping up my training for the half marathon I am running on Sunday. Finally, I have a few minutes to settle in with my laptop; I have actually looked forward to taking time to compose a thoughtful reply to the email I received from you Tuesday evening. I see now that won't be necessary. If the choice is between being 52 and single and being involved with an egotistical, verbally abusive male, well, thank you for sparing me the agony of decision. 

And now, I will not waste any more time with HIM.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Adventure Continues

August, 2003
If only we could lock them up and keep them safe forever.

And why does it make you sad to see how everything hangs by such thin and whimsical threads? Because you're a dreamer, an incredible dreamer, with a tiny spark hidden somewhere inside you which cannot die, which even you cannot kill or quench and which tortures you horribly because all the odds are against its continual burning. In the midst of the foulest decay and putrid savagery, this spark speaks to you of beauty, of human warmth and kindness, of goodness, of greatness, of heroism, of martyrdom, and it speaks to you of love.

~ Eldridge Cleaver


My kids make mistakes. People I cherish get sick, get hurt, even die. Things wear out or break, necessitating replacement or repair. April 15th rolls around every spring.

After so many years of life on this planet, why do these events still catch me off guard?

The older I get, the more I realize how little control I really have over anything besides my own behavior. So this is where I choose to place my focus. Nothing and no one can take away my dreams. But the only way I can impact the outcome is to do the work.

1000 words a day.

I managed 522 this morning. Which means I've got 478 to go.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy Hands

I went on a jewelry-making frenzy over the weekend. It's a great escape; my hands are busy but my mind is free to wander here, there and everywhere. And in the end I have beautiful pieces to add to my Etsy shop (click HERE).

I made eight pairs of earrings,

Sunflowers, goddesses, amazonite, lapis and more.

two stamped metal pendants,

These are copper; I plan to offer brass, sterling and silver-filled, as well.

and eight more pendants following the directions in this tutorial.

With the addition of some charms, crystals, and pearls, these will be funky and fun.
I will start listing these pieces in my online store tomorrow. 

What do you do to occupy your hands and clear your head?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Back in the saddle


I made the mistake of going out with an old boyfriend Friday night. I won't go into the details; it is enough to say that agreeing to see him was a tremendous error in judgment. Because while I still have deep feelings for him, he looks to me for nothing more than a good time. And I deserve better than that.

The good news is it didn't take long for me to realize it. I came home early, angry and dejected, and made a few promises to myself before I went to bed. Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  So it's time for a different approach.

I think what I really need right now is to take some time out to heal my broken heart and do the things I love: read, make things, work on my music, tend my home, hang out with my children.

And FINISH MY BOOK.

I have two partial requests and a full request outstanding; I need to complete my revision ASAP and submit it to these agents who expressed interest in my story and have the power to help me achieve my dreams. And I'm starting TODAY, with 1000 words.

Everything, absolutely everything else, is taking a back seat to my writing. It's a minimum of 1000 words a day.

Or bust.

If you want to keep track of my progress, scroll down the right side bar and look for the progress meter for The Wishing Box. It's the story of my heart.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Staring Down the Wolves

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it, and you have the power to revoke it at any moment.
~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

During the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Mackenzie, I had a recurring nightmare. I dreamt that I was in a vast, empty room being hurled to and fro through space like a human bouncy ball, close call after close call with the walls, ceiling and floor, magically veering just in the nick of time and avoiding collision, injury and pain. It was a terrifying and exhausting.

Well, I'm feeling like a human bouncy ball once again. When I posted THIS a couple of weeks ago, I thought the worst was behind me. Granted, we're not facing tragedy. The illnesses and injuries have been relatively minor; the house is still standing; there is food in the pantry. Still, chaos and calamity remain in hot pursuit, wolves nipping at my heels, keeping me running scared.

But there's no use trying to escape; I must confront those hungry beasts before they completely rob me of my dreams. Things break down, our children make poor choices, Uncle Sam comes to collect what we owe. We can let these situations derail us or we can deal with them and move on.

Towards that end, I have put together a short list of goals - for this blog, for my writing, for my Etsy store, for my music and teaching, for my home and family. These are small things, realistic and achievable, but maybe checking those items off every day, one by one, will help wash away my feelings of helplessness and restore my sense of personal power.

And the wolves will tuck their tails between their legs and slink off in defeat.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Atlanta Color Run Encore

Today I ran the craziest, most colorful 5K of my life: the Atlanta Color Run Encore, held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA in support of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. At the beginning of the event, I looked like this.

My brother Eric and me in black and white.
Three miles later, I looked like this.

Colorized!
This event is less about speed and more about having a wacky good time with friends and family - and literally thousands of perfect strangers. Here in Atlanta, we were blessed with a perfect day to be outdoors, sunny and warm. The atmosphere was pure party; there was an enthusiastic announcer who kept us organized at the beginning and the end of the race and loudspeakers blasting feel-good music from start to finish. The point, of course, was to become a cheerful mess, so at the conclusion of each kilometer, we were blitzed with powdered color (a cornstarch based formula, 100% natural and safe) by volunteers. But the real fun was at the finish line. Each participant received a color as part of the race packet and saved it until the end, where every fifteen minutes the announcer counted us down to a massive color throw producing a magnificent rainbow cloud that was a joy to behold. This video will give you some idea what the experience is like.


If you ever have the opportunity to participate in a Color Run - and they happen all across the United States; you can see the tour schedule HERE - grab it and go. You won't be sorry.

My sister-in-law SeDonna, Eric and me.
We are already looking forward to next year!