Awarded the Versatile Blogger Award… Yes!

Ok, I have resumed breathing at a normal pace.  When I saw this I was shocked and honored. 🙂 Thank you April Denton!

The Rules:

1.  Thank the person who shared the award with you by linking back to them in your post. 

2.  Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know that you included them in your blog post.

3.  List 7 things about yourself.

1) I have a strange obsession with pens.. I love to buy them and if I see a really nice one that doesn’t belong to me, I have a hard time not stealing it!

2) I think I have a connection with animals, although the animals seem to feel differently (c’mon guys!  let’s get on the same page!)

3) I threw up in my phonics book in second grade in front of the entire class.

4) Once, I accidentally on purpose set a full trashcan on fire (outside).  I scared the poop out of myself and ran like hell.

5) I associate everything with music.

6) My first published piece was a poem (called “Reality & Fantasy”) in a local newspaper at the age of 25.

7) I rescue spiders.

Ok!  Now for the fun part.  My 15 nominations.

Jeremy C Shipp

Breeana Puttroff

Tiffany A White

Anglea M Thomas

Matthew Merrick

Catie Rhodes

Lani Wendt Young

Ashley Elizabeth

Saronai

David Green

Melissa Foster

R A Evans

Sonia G Medeiros

Kristen Lamb

Jody Hedlund

wow.. that was slightly difficult.. 🙂  But loads of fun.. yes?

That’s all for now!

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The Gratitude List

I just read a tweet from a fellow tweeter.  I got the impression she was down in the dumps… she said she felt, “out of sorts.”  I have felt like that many times in my life (I’m sure most people have).   I replied to her tweet and told her to make a gratitude list.

Then I thought, “Darlene!  You’re a genius!  You should make one.”  So I am.  Right here, right now.

I am grateful for:

  • my sobriety
  • my children
  • the ability to use all five of my senses
  • music
  • the gift of writing
  • nature
  • green lights
  • coffee
  • my cats
  • my genes
  • a sunny day
  • a Sunday morning
  • making some one smile
  • a brand new notebook
  • that I was born exactly when I was born
  • Tyler State Park
  • other people’s opinions
  • tolerance….

These are just some of the things I am grateful for.  But, I want to hear from you.  What are you grateful for?  What makes you say thank you.  What helps you through your day?

I Need One Of Those Thingies – Ya Know… That Doo Dad Thingamajig

It has come to my attention (through running around like a mad woman and having twenty-nine pieces of paper in my purse) that I need one of those planner thingies.

I currently have a little notepad, blank index cards, post-it notes and pieces of ripped paper.   This method is not working!

“I know I wrote that down,” I say as I rummage through my larger than necessary purse, filled with lots of stuff I do not need.

These items include:

  • Kindle
  • wallet
  • cup of gum
  • hair band
  • hair spray (I never use it – why is it in there!)
  • notepad
  • 2 tubes of hand lotion
  • keys
  • 27 pieces of paper (I threw 2 away)
  • 3 highlighters
  • 7 multi-colored sharpies (those great pen ones)
  • my other much bigger wallet
  • the wonderful letter my daughter Sarah wrote me when she was about 17 years old
  • 2 tubes of lip gloss
  • change purse
  • bottle of fast release Tylenol
  • hand sanitizer (which I never use – and I rarely get sick)
  • dental floss
  • loose change
  • 4 lighters
  • 11 dollars in cash
  • 3 post-it notes
  • a pack of matches

Ok, I think that is it!  I need one of those little day planner thingies.. but not so much a calendar, but one to write other stuff down.  Maybe it has pockets or something for my little papers.

I also think I need to trade in my large (very pretty) Maize colored purse for a much smaller some other color purse.

What do you carry around with you?

Blogs I Am Enjoying (I Think You Will Too)

Russell Blake – Russell Blake Suspense Writer A lot of good advice.  Funny.  A wee bit sarcastic.  Love it.

Regected Riter – If I want to laugh, I visit this blog.  You should too.

Sonia G. Medeiros continues to wow me.  I notice the more she writes the better she gets.  I love reading her Flash Fiction.

You want quotes with your daily zombie fix?  Look no further than here: Poetry & Zombies.

Haley Whitehall has some great flash fiction on her blog.  I didn’t much read historical fiction until I came upon Haley’s Blog.

These are just a few of my favorite blogs.  Check ’em out, let me know what you think… These blogs help me forget my struggles as a writer and sometimes they give me a new spark.

Thanks guys!

9/11 ROW80 Check-In

On this day it seems that my ROW 80 Check-In is insignificant compared to what today marks.  It was ten years ago today that our nation came under attack.  Thousand of people lost their lives.  Hundreds of people were heroes.

At this moment, there is television coverage and reflections on MSNBC.  I sit here, crying as I watch footage of people running for their lives as the Twin Towers come crashing down. The Pentagon mutilated. A band of heroes on Flight #93 who, in their bravery, prevented the deaths of many more Americans.

I’ll be doing my ROW#80 check-in tomorrow…

God Bless the fallen… we will never forget 9/11/01.

9/11 – Ten Years Later – Ten Million Times Stronger

Every person that was alive and over the age of twelve on 9/11/01 can most likely recall exactly where they were the moment they heard the horrific news that an airplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.

I was sitting at the front desk of Olympic Paper Company in Philadelphia, PA.  I was 28 years old, in college and blindly beginning a serious alcohol and drug problem.

The weather that day was amazing.

At first I thought, wow, how tragic.  I guess the pilot fell asleep or something.  I mean, to crash into a building in a densely populated city, there must have been a malfunction on a surreal level.  Like, who does that?  Crashes into a building?

Then, Janice, a customer service rep who dressed way too young for her age, shouted from the back: “Another plane just hit!”

I was stunned.  We were all stunned.  Two planes hitting the two twin towers minutes apart was no coincidence.  Something was going on….

The news that would flood the airways and television screens for the days to come would be some of the most morbid, tragic words and images any American would hear in their lifetime.

Terrorist attack.

Flight 93.

The Pentagon.

People jumping from buildings 40 – 60 stories in the air to spare the agony of being burned alive.

There were graphic pictures and even more graphic news footage of people running for cover when the second tower could no longer hold on.  That tower came crashing to the ground in defeat, taking thousands of people with it.

I was in a relationship with a man whose sister worked at the Pentagon.  We feared the worst.  Optimistically, we heard that there were survivors in the Pentagon.  His sister had been working on the opposite side from where the plane (missile) had hit.

We received sad news.  His sister was granted a promotion… to the annihilated side of the building two weeks before the attack.

Eventually, after the dust settled and life had to go on, we all got back to our lives.  It all felt different.  Freedom.  Solidarity. United States of America.  It  took on new meaning.  People flew flags anywhere they could.  They taped them to their car antennas and got magnets for their trunks.

And somehow, in some weird twist, many people I have talked to from then  until now, knew someone (or someone of someone) killed in the 9/11 tragedy.

One Nation, Under God, Indivisible… With Liberty and Justice For All.

Songs That Make You Happy

Music feeds our emotions.  Often, when we are sad, we put on sad music.  We wallow in our sorrow as we play songs like “The Final Cut” by Pink Floyd or “Candle in the Wind” by Sir Elton John.

If we just had a fight with our significant other we may put on something like “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” by Smashing Pumpkins or any number of Slayer tunes (my personal fave).

But what about music that makes us happy?  This post comes via hearing a song that could interpreted as sad, but makes me very happy.

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd. That opening G chord makes me forget the troubles I am  having.  I take a deep breath, turn the radio up and just know everything will be okay.  There are many others… but this is the one is at the top of my top ten.

What songs feed your emotions?