Special Occasions, This Day In Literature, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Blogging, TToT

TToT: Once in a Wild Blue Moon

“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”
–J.K. Rowling

July has come and gone. I’m going to miss it, I will admit.

This week, if there can be a slight theme to my TToT, it would definitely be the innocence and imagination of children.

Plus, multiple birthday announcements to mention.

It’s been a week of cheesecake, mustard, and friendship. I am thankful for all these, but I’m not including them in my official list because I can only handle so many thankfuls.

:-)

Happy Cheesecake/Friendship/Mustard Day to all of you, before I forget to wish it.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For time spent with my brother.

He shared a song with me which he and a group of other Music Industry Arts students had to perform for the class.

He did one of the synthe parts, a girl in the group sang the words, and he wrote a part for the end of a cover they did called Kids by MGMT.

Funnily, I had that exact song in my head. You know what it’s like to have a particular song stuck in your head, so much so to where you can’t help singing/humming it to yourself, over and over again?

Well, that is the exact one he and his classmates chose. They were going to choose Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, but another group chose that one first. I like both.

For the songs he shows me, for his pancakes with Ketchup, and for his support and the fun we have, so much so that time seems to fly by.

For guest posts and the ability to write them for other blogs, as well as having them on mine from time to time.

It’s a great way to get my writing out there. I had two out this week.

Well, one,

Monday Inspirations: Color, Light, and Magic – guest post by Kerry Kijewski,

but the other was technically posted a few weeks ago.

Original Bunker Punks: Triskaidekaphobia,

which I did not realize had been posted right after I’d been contacted, a few weeks ago now.

Thanks, again, to both these blogs for the chance to showcase my writing to your audiences.

For another book released, discovered years after the fact.

Dr Seuss’s “What Pet Should I Get?” came out this week.

This children’s author had such a rich vocabulary and rhyming ability. It was magic how he could string words together, in a way that would totally captivate a child into wanting to learn to read.

If it’s a good book, anyone will read it. I’m totally unashamed about still reading things I loved in my childhood.”
–J.K. Rowling

For the ability to read myself.

I know literacy is a big problem in the world today, in many places, and I am thankful I have the ability. I don’t know where I would be without words and books.

For ice cream, but not just any old ice cream. I am thankful for soft ice cream. It is so much better and there is this little place (Bartley’s Dairy Bar) in my town. It makes the best, smoothest, creamiest soft ice cream around. I got their Salted Caramel Sundae.

MMMMM.

Bartley’s Dairy Bar – Facebook

For the birth of my greatest literary influence: J.K. Rowling.

Rowling once said about juggling writing and her family:

My youngest child asked me the other day, “Mummy, if you had to choose between us and writing, what would you choose?”

And I said, “well I would choose you but I would be very, very grumpy.”

Get to Know J.K. Rowling with 50 Quotes

It’s the big 50 for Rowling and she has achieved something, in those 50 years, that most of us will only ever dream of.

For the birth also of her greatest literary hero, the one that gave me back an imagination that I hadn’t even realized I missed so much:

Happy 35th birthday, Harry Potter!

For the blue moon the other night. I love everything about the moon. It’s so magical and wonderful, so remote and mysterious. It inspires me to want to write and to write well.

Okay, so I have no stunning photos of what it looked like in the sky. Truthfully, I’m glad it isn’t actually blue because I wouldn’t be able to see that if it were anyway. (Feel free to describe how it looked to you, if you saw it this time. I love to hear about it and to imagine it.)

I am thankful for the fact that I can see the moon at all. There are those who are blind, more so than me, who have never seen the moon.

When it’s full it does help me see it better, when I am able to locate it. Often it appears as a street light to my very limited sight. that’s why living in town can make it hard to spot.

I used to recognize it, as we were driving, as the one light that did not move as we drove.

:-)

I have never seen the stars and that sometimes makes me sad, but you can’t have everything. That is why I thought it was interesting when a friend posted this on Facebook:

How can blind people “watch” fireworks?

I can still see fireworks somewhat, can still see the moon’s brightness, and so that’s clearly something to be grateful and thankful for and to never take for granted.

For this past year with my little Lu.

I sometimes regret the sort of snap decision I made to get him that day, with the trouble he sometimes likes to cause me, but Im glad I now have him. I love my not so little anymore kitten.

At what age does he become not a kitten but a cat anyway?

I named him Lumos, a term from the Harry Potter universe, and speaking of…

http://www.wearelumos.org/

Lumos is the spell to ignite the tip of a magic wand with light. Lumos brought light into my life when it felt at its darkest and he still is.

For these last two years.

It has been exactly two years since my family were given the gift of our little superhero/Bubble Guppy, depending on the day or time.

I am thankful that I have my nephew in my life. He is smart beyond words and growing smarter by the day. His enthusiasm is infectious. I can’t help feeling it whenever I am around him.

His big sister is the greatest ally, as siblings should be, and his parents are going to continue to nurture his spirit and his sweetness.

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Okay, so I believe that was a little more than Ten Things of Thankful, but so what if it was? I felt like being loose with the number this week.

:-)

Note: the following song is the original version of the one my brother and his group covered in class.

MGMT – Kids

“Those who write for children, or at least those who write best for children, are not childlike or immature, but they do remember with sometimes painful intensity both what it was to be small and confused and how wonderful was that fierce joy in in the moment that can become so elusive in later life.”
–J.K. Rowling

Whether it’s a musical group, books written for, or the kids themselves, I am grateful and thankful for all things “kids” in my life.

July was a great month, full of the unexpected and memories made and August is Nephew Birthday Month in my family. That makes this coming month one of the best there ever was.

The kids in my life are what make life so sweet. Well, them and soft ice cream of course.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS

SoCS: Hide and Seek

Hello there August.

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

Remember playing hide and seek when you were growing up?

Imogen Heap – Hide And Seek

If only the world could remain as simple and sweet as it was when this game was all there was to having fun in life.

***

It may be a stretch. The point of stream of consciousness is to just write, right? My thoughts do have a common thread running throughout, but you probably need to be inside my head to follow it straight through.

You can try anyway. I will understand if I lose you somewhere along the way.

I’ve had a lot of time, as this summer has gone on, to think about what I’m ready for.

SoCS being “ready”. I immediately thought of Colorblind.

“I am ready. I am ready. I am ready. I am…”

That caused me to think of the line from the Counting Crows song that I first heard in a movie, an important movie from my teenage years.

It was a fairly racy movie, for the fifteen-year-old that I was at the time. It was my American Pie.

American Pie: I did not get the hype. I never did like pie.

:)

This particular movie, with Counting Crows on its soundtrack, I saw in the theatre two times. It was an important part of my sixteenth birthday celebration with friends.

It was about playing games, but they weren’t the kind of games of my childhood. No hide and seek. That’s for sure.

I saw that love often equaled playing games, seemingly the grownup thing to do, but I never really believed that was the right thing.

I knew nothing about love then and would hardly know, for ten years more. What I was learning about love, at age sixteen, I wished I never learned.

Now, whenever I hear this particular Counting Crows song I think of the sweetest, most romantic part of that film and what I was ready for then and what I’m ready for now.

I think of the moments when Colorblind came on, where I was at with love really. The raw emotion that comes from the song and from those moments in my own life make me try harder to leave the emotions and the memories of who I was in the past behind me.

As I learn what dating feels like again and what love has the potential to feel like in the future, I look back on the childhood, free of harsh realities, my teen years and the newness of every emotion, and the risks I’ve taken in love as an adult.

I can always associate a song with anything any prompt might bring up in me, sometimes more than one. It’s all intertwined: music, writing, and love.

But bring back the days of hiding behind some boxes in my parent’s basement, in our back cellar or in a corner, under a pile of clothes in their bedroom.

These days are long gone. Life having refused to stand still since playing this childhood favourite with siblings or friends.

“One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten…ready or not, hear I come!!!”

***

These scattered ramblings are what came to mind for this week’s prompt from Linda:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/31/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-august-115/

The song at the centre of said ramblings:

The Counting Crows – Colorblind

I’m ready for something more than this, more than I’ve experienced thus far, but more than happy to join in a game of hide and seek with my niece or nephews, if they asked.

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Blogging, Fiction Friday, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TGIF, This Day In Literature

Broccoli and the Blue Moon

What a week it has been, the final week of July.

It began with a post I wrote being featured on Confessions of a Broccoli Addict.

Yes, broccoli addict.

:-)

Any blog with a title like that is one I am more than happy to be found on.

MMMMMM. Cooked broccoli.

I love cooked broccoli, guest posting, writing and blogging, Harry Potter, and the moon.

The week is ending with the birthday of J. K. Rowling and her fictional Harry Potter character.

Also, tonight is a blue moon, not really blue at all. It just happens to be the second full moon in a month.

Blue Moon

The moon is so distant and beautiful. It is mysterious and full of longing and wonder.

I thought I would wait to post about my guest appearance on Confessions of a Broccoli Addict, for this final day of July, because my guest post just so happens to be about Rowling and Harry Potter.

Monday Inspirations: Color, Light, and Magic – guest post by Kerry Kijewski

There are so many people, of all ages, who would claim to love Harry Potter just like I’ve done. They are just as obsessed and I sometimes feel lost in the crowd, like I have nothing unique to add, no claim to love it like I do.

I wanted to write about Rowling and Harry Potter, when thinking about what topic I might choose for Urszula’s Monday Inspiration series, because I realized that my reasons for why I love this author and the world she created are uniquely my own. Nobody else has my specific reasons and that is why I believed I had something new to say.

I had no thought of connecting the two when I pitched my topic. I didn’t put together the fact that it was Rowling and Harry’s birthdays in the same week, as I wasn’t the one to choose the date for when my guest post would be featured.

There is an onslaught of Hp/HB articles surfacing online today, Happy 50th Birthday messages for Rowling herself.

50 things you might not know about J.K. Rowling

This July 31st falling at the same time as the blue moon, an ushering in of a new month, all seems lucky to me.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/07/eleanor-wachtel-interviews-jk-rowling.html

Just as lucky as the connected timing of my second chance (kidney transplant in 97) and the beginning of Harry Potter as a series were.

I want to go on writing about why I love Harry Potter, about how Rowling has inspired me to want to write, and how something as simple and beautiful as the moon can be just one more thing to provide inspiration.

“I can’t understand why the whole world doesn’t want to be a writer. What’s better than it?”

I agree J.K. – I agree.

Thanks again, to Confessions of a Broccoli Addict, for a spot on her blog this week.

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day

I’ve Been Punked

I am thrilled to be a punk.

:-)

In anticipation of Friday’s Blue Moon (yes, I am obsessed with coloured moons).

Original Bunker Punks – Triskaidekaphobia

I wrote this piece of flash fiction last summer and I was happy to receive a message, through my blog, from them saying they would like to publish it on their site.

I missed it, somehow, when it was posted. Oh well, better late than never.

Check them out on their site, full of stories from so many other talented and creative people, and on their Facebook page:

Original Bunker Punks

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Interviews, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

Diagnosis – Piece of Cake!

It’s a little over a year now since the launch of:

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge,

on Rose’s blog.

I would find it not long after and make the decision to join in here.

One year later and another summer has arrived. I have been skipping some Memoir Monday posts, a summer break of sorts, but I am nowhere near out of things to say on the subject of disability awareness.

***

Q: At what age were you or your loved ones diagnosed?

A: This question, I thought, would be better answered by those who remember what it was like at the time. I was only an infant after all.

:)

I asked my parents to relay the events of those early days. This is what they said:

Diagnosis for you was kind of gradual. First, I thought things weren’t quite right when you were between 2-3 months because you didn’t follow with your eyes like most kids. The family doctor didn’t notice anything until I pointed it out at the end of your 3 month checkup.

It took a week to be sent to an eye doctor and he realized it was serious but didn’t diagnose anything and sent us to a Pediatric Ophthalmologist.

Dr Orton said that he thought it was Leber’s and said that you were visually impaired but he never said the word blind. We waited until you were 8 months old before they put you under anesthetic and gave us a positive diagnosis.

It was always upsetting when we were dealing with doctors, but as a young baby there were few differences.

CPRI

was involved because of a suggestion from other parents of a blind child by the time you were 8 months old and therefore your development was never really delayed. They were very helpful with lots of suggestions.

So first we just didn’t really know a lot of details and were a little in the dark. It was kind of a wait and see.

With your brother, we asked Dr. Orton about him on one of your visits and he wouldn’t even look into his eyes (2 weeks of age). He said that he had to be older before he could tell us. We knew he was blind by our own experience by the time he was 6-8 weeks old. I don’t know if it is better to learn gradually or be told everything up front.

***

These things couldn’t have been easy on them, but the life I’ve had since being diagnosed is proof of how well they adjusted and thrived as our parents. I owe them everything.

This is where I say that, up until now, I have used the RDAC to write about blindness as a disability I have lived with, through the good and the bad times, but there would be more diagnosed, and this year marks twenty years since the second round of diagnosis would begin.

Going forward, I will be starting a new topic on this blog: Piece of Cake.

This will focus on the kidney disease, that would be added to my diagnosed syndrome.

I have wanted to write a memoir for many years about this time. I had the name picked out from that first day I sat at my brailler and started writing.

In the months and years to come, I will be looking back on these turbulent events, through the power of words.

Next week:

How has your life changed as a result of that diagnosis?

Redefining Disability – Facebook

Come check things out over there.

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Blogging, Book Reviews, History, TToT

TToT: These Lackadaisical July Days

“As long as this exists, I thought, this sunshine & this cloudless sky, & as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?”- Anne Frank, Nov 1943

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

Last week my brother used the term lackadaisical, seemingly out-of-the-blue. Leave it to him to think to use such a rarely utilized word.

He used it for something else, but I have been thinking about it ever since, all this last week. I like it and it seemed to fit a lot of what life’s been like around here.

July is nearly at an end and I have felt unwell this week, mostly physically, but really I see something lacking, in myself. I am in a bit of an energy slump and in a hurried mood to write this and try for some sleep. I will motor through the TToT this time. Though I have developed an outline for these whereby I try to follow days of the week, this time I think I will simply speed things up a bit.

This does not mean I don’t have enough things to be thankful for. The above quote by Anne Frank is one with the greatest perspective and appreciation, even in the worst of circumstances.

If Anne can live by that quote, I can certainly tell you of ten things I am grateful and thankful for.

For the effort shown by bloggers to caption photos.

I owe a special thank you to:

Thankful Me

and

Heels and a Toolbox,

for their consideration and willingness to make it so I can enjoy visual TToT’s, as well as the written ones.

For the pleasant surprise and the thrill of discovering a truly wonderful book.

There has been so much talk about the author of the American classic To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee, releasing Go Set A Watchman. This release has been in the news since being announced last winter. I had my doubts and still do, about the ethics of this book, which I’ve written about before, but I read it and I am glad I did. I don’t call it a sequel, as so many are determined to refer to it as. I don’t know what all the real story surrounding it’s discovery and publication is. All I know is my curiosity got the better of me this week. (My review of the story is still to come.)

I was blown away. I am thankful that a book can still produce such feelings in me. I am thankful for Harper Lee and her beautiful words. I am grateful that this book is getting to see the light of day. It deserves to be read…just one book lover’s opinion.

For a break in the middle of summer, a little cooler than average July day or more than one actually. I just can’t stand humid summer temps.

For another excellent evening attending

A History For Today

and its thoughtful speakers.

For a copy of this week’s speaker’s memoir,

The Hidden Package,

which was given out with admission and our tickets. This was a lovely surprise.

For the opportunity to get my book signed after the talk.

For yet another signed book to add to my recently begun and growing collection.

For soothers.

:-)

No, not for me. They don’t make everything better forever, but for an infant they are magic. This afforded me a few more moments of calm with a sweet little doll in my lap, so her mother could eat.

For raspberry cheesecake cupcakes.

For Decade Adrift. It’s the name of the beautiful music my brother creates out of thin air. Where once there was no beautiful sound, he produces something worth sharing. This song offers a glimpse into his heart and soul. He may think that sounds silly, but I know him better than that. It’s the truth.

Passenger – Let Her Go

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, SoCS

SoCS: Screaming Fire in a Crowded Theater

Have you ever thought of screaming “FIRE” in a crowded theatre?

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS SATURDAY

I’m back for this week’s prompt, after being away on vacation last week.

***

She wanders, aimless, through a huge crowd of preoccupied people, all focused on their own troubles.

She can’t say she entirely blames them for this. She is doing the same.

She feels her smallness in all their size. She feels bodies shoving her, this way and that, like a vessel being tossed about on a restless sea.

When will it end? What will it take?

Invisible is she, though she exists like the rest. Her desire to be heard and seen battles with her need to be left alone, to hide away from all of them.

The urge to jump, step, fly from the subway platform.

The fleeting thought when standing at the railing, at a waterfall, bridge, or river’s edge.

Who would notice? Invisible is freeing.

When she screams in that theatre, for someone to notice the flames, does anybody actually look away from the action going on on the screen in front of them?

As she ambles through the crowd, out somewhere, but still in a sea of bodies – who sees her amongst themselves?

***

I hesitated to write this the way I wrote it, with the terrible events having taken place in a movie theatre in Louisiana, but I wanted to grab my own attention to the helplessness of life, if nobody else’s.

I simply read the prompt for this last SoCS in July:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2515/

We can’t even go to school or watch a movie now?

What is this world coming to?

And still my voice feels muffled and silent, but I keep writing and I don’t remain quiet.

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