STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

For Kaylia's Book/Movie/TV Review Blog, please click here to be redirected to Perhaps Reviewed.... 


Also, don't forget to visit Kaylia's Official Website where you can get information about Kaylia's upcoming events, and learn more about her free lance writing and other publications.

Memory Book update

Just ordered Ella's "Birth - 1 Year" memory book.


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She is almost 20 months old... so I feel this is pretty good, time wise.

My *goal* is to finish each of her memory books between her birthday and Christmas, but that is a lofty goal and not super practical. 

Ok, next up:
Matt and Kay Go To Tokyo Memory Book!
Matt and Kay Go To England Memory Book!
Matt and Kay Get MARRIED Memory Book!

Liklihood of these all getting done before the family reunion next month?

Nil to none.

Oh well.


Sometimes you can't win

A list of the things I did tonight that made Ella cry. A partial list that only represents the last hour of our day.

I gave her a fork
I gave her a spoon
I gave her water
I gave her milk
I gave her food.
I didn't let her eat off my plate.
I relented and let her eat off my plate and she realized we had the same food.
I ate some of the food.
I wiped her face.
I wiped her hands
I wiped the table after she had gotten down.
I petted the cat
I turned on a light
I only let her wipe herself twice after going potty.
I didn't need to go potty.
There were too many bubbles in her bath.
There were not enough bubbles in her bath.
I washed her hair
I washed her privates
I washed her back
I didn't wash the duck the right way
I let the water out of the tub
The water did't empty from the tub fast enough
I dried her off with the wrong towel.
I yawned.
I offered her jammies that she hates
I offered another pair of horribly offensive PJs
Another pair.
I didn't pull her PJ pants (first set) on her fast enough.
I read the story in the wrong voice
I sang the wrong song
I sang the wrong other song
I still couldn't figure out which song she wanted
I finally figured it out, but then I didn't sing it enough times.
I tripped over the gate on my way out and had to sing another song.
The blanket was on her feet.
The blanket wasn't on her legs.
I didn't give her enough kisses
I gave her too many kisses

***

I need a drink.


Well, "Bless" You Too Lady

It was a warm day... not a hot day (those are coming) but still, a warm day.

Ella and I were leaving the 99 Cent store.

"Excuse me," a voice from near the door called out  as I adjust my sunglasses, "excuse me?"

I turn and see her, a middle aged woman, sitting cross legged in the two inches of shade granted her by the tiny overhang.

Seeing she has my attention, "Excuse me, do you have any spare change?"

My response is part instinct, all truth, "No, sorry, I don't carry cash."

"Ok, thanks anyway."

At this point Ella notices the dog in the lady's lap, a wiener dog with its tongue hanging out. Ella begins to make the "uff uff" sound and point in glee.

"Umm, I don't have any change, but I have water, does your dog need water?" Leave it to my toddler to remind me to be a decent person.

"Oh yes! I am trying to save up money for water." Whether this is true or not, the dog looks miserable.

"Ok, hang on." I have a costco soda fountain drink cup half full of cold water. I pour another inch into Ella's cup and then roll closer to the woman and hand her the paper cup.

"Oh, thank you! Thank you!"

"No problem," I say backing the stroller up.

"God Bless you!"

"Oh," I have a second of thinking I should just shut up, but I have a big mouth. "Not about God, just trying to be decent. Stay cool!" I turn the stroller (and the still "uff uff" chanting toddler) away and prepare to head down the sidewalk.

"Wait..." I glance back at her, "You don't believe in God?"

"Nope," I smile,try to make myself look as friendly as possible, "Have a good day"

Again, I turn and start to walk away.

I get three steps.

"Well FU*K YOU!" The cup of water hits me in the back and goes flying off into the parking lot.

I look back, she is glaring, clutching the dog to her chest, her eyes tiny needles of hate, "Yeah, you heard me, FU*K You! Hope you have fun in HELL!!!"

My 19 month old is now saying "Ohh? in a questioning tone -on the verge of tears- and my back is wet.

I take a deep breath. Pick up the empty cup, throw it away, and then walk, slowly and deliberately, away. Half way through the parking lot Ella and I sing the ABCs as I try to calm down.

Poor dog.

Quandary ...


In the mail today, addressed to Ella, was a religious story book.

From a religious family member.

Who KNOWS we are not a religious family. Knows beyond a shadow of a doubt because she and I have had several conversations about it.

There was no note, no card, in the envelope... just the book.

I am conflicted. On the one hand I want to be polite and say thank you. I want to honor the sweetness that someone thought of my daughter and spent the time and effort to send her something.

On the other hand, I don't plan on letting her keep the book. She is "reading" it now, but it will probably disappear as soon as her attention wanders.

I am trying to find a way to say thank you… but also please don’t give my child religious books or toys etc in the future. I want to be polite and respectful… but also firm.

Am I being too sensitive? Should I just disappear the book and not say anything?




The sort of loss that is a good loss

It is spring!
A time for growth and change and planting seeds!
And freaking out about swimsuit season.

Ahem

Just a quick "base touching" as it were on those 2014 Goals...

Get out of debt.
Finish the novel. Write fiction worth reading, get it out there for people to read
Get funding for GCV.
Run a well organized house.
Lose weight and get healthy.


As of April 5th.

Get Out of Debt:. (Feb 1st: $12,200. April 5th: $8,670) PROGRESS!!!!
Not as much as I had hoped, but it is a dent, and dents add up. 

Finish the novel. 
Errr. I have stopped working on the novel completely. I have some good reasons. I also sort of quit all my nonfiction jobs. So, there's that. 
I need to change this goal to :Get stuff published and enjoy writing again. In THAT category I am doing ok. I am having a lot of fun writing again and I have submitted two things recently and am getting ready to submit a few other things. This is definitively a work in progress. 

Get funding for GCV (Current Monthly Donors: 4. Promised to be monthly donors: another 2)
Hey you, yeah you... want to donate to a very worthy cause? Click here and consider donating. Even $10 a month can make a HUGE difference. In the meantime I will continue to try to fundraise and find grants and bum spare change off people. Because it matters.

Run a well organized house (Status: The living room / dining room is looking pretty ok)
I still need to redo the bathrooms. I redid the kitchen. I need to Stay On Top Of Putting Things Away. Sigh.

Lose weight and be healthy. (Current Weight: 154.)

I am down by a bit over 5 pounds since the beginning of March.

To celebrate, I got 10 inches of my hair chopped off!

Yay me!


The Road Thus Far

It is hard to look at one’s self fully in the mirror, to not look way, to not let your gaze linger on the parts of your face or body that you like or skip horridly over the parts you don’t.

Hard, but sometimes necessary.

When I graduated from college (May, 2005), I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to hold down some sort of boring but important job (administration assistant) and write short stories and eventually a novel. Or two. I wanted to be published and respected as a writer who created something worth reading. I wanted to see my name online and in print, to see my books on shelves. I wanted to eventually be able to quit that boring but important job and write full time. To take long walks and then sit quietly and write long novels full of literary symbolism and allegory. I wanted to write the sorts of things that English majors would argue about later, “Did you notice the two phone cords in the first chapter, how they were coiled up but  also intertwined… don’t you think that was foreshadowing???”

I got the job but I didn’t write. Instead I embarked on a spiritual journey, leaving my Christian faith behind once and for all and finding meaning in the Pagan world of symbols and chanting, of spoken word stories and of ritual.

I revised my plan. I would be a boring job person by day and a Priestess by night. I would learn the jargon, learn the stories, I would write the songs for the next generation and carry the symbols to others, I would share peace and love and faith in the Goddess.

I wanted to explore myself in new ways. I started thinking more about who I was as a writer, as an artist. I felt disconnected and tried to live my art though life moments, fleeting moments that were full of self deluded clarity. In the mornings, I was still me, still trapped, still floundering.

My marriage ended. (That’s a whole other story)

I took new vows, vows to the Goddess., vows to my Circle, vows to the person that I wanted to be; an artist full of holy grace. I wanted to paint and plant flowers and do something huge and beautiful with my life.

And then I was raped. Brutally and without mercy.

In the moments that followed, I tried to cry out to the Goddess, but it was hollow. I thought about calling out to God. It felt just as empty. I thought about my ex husband and was filled with shame. Not longing, which surprised me, but shame. I found a way to stand up. I found my anger.

And then I found solace in the bottle. Many many many bottles to be exact. Bottle of beer, which I hate. It was like double punishment, forcing myself to drink something I hated in order to black out from a life I was also starting to hate.

The rats in the walls closed in. The “cheerful” Christmas lights on my windows seemed to mock me.

I drank.

And I wrote.

And wrote. And wrote again.

Poetry. Stories. Sketches.

I found my fiction voice again. I escaped into stories of other people, people suffering, but also people who weren’t suffering, people who were just living their lives.

Eventually I decided to get sober. (That’s a whole other story too).

I kept writing. I was amazed I could write without drinking. Sometimes I couldn’t.

I met a man who challenged me, supported me, loved me without saying the words. (He eventually said the words.)

I realized that I had left the Goddess behind and had hardly even noticed. I read science books and atheist books and relabeled myself. Again.

I began to write about science, about critical thinking, about politics.

My fiction was published but instead of feeling accomplished I felt afraid, worried that my best fiction was behind me. I was afraid to start again, afraid to fail when I had gotten the tiniest taste of success.

I wrote more nonfiction, critical essays, more politics.

I started a novel. And then another one. And then another one. They gathered dust.

But nonfiction was easier, it had a quicker pay off.

It was published, applauded, accepted.

I took my place as a blogger, a monthly columnist, a political writer and reporter of the news.

I had a daughter and felt another bit of myself atrophy and die, replaced by being a mom, but still. Could I be more than a mom?

I looked at my fiction and was bored, was afraid, was intimidated.

I hid from fiction and wrote more nonfiction, I took on another role, another blog. I liked listing off my nonfiction accomplishments.

But I would wake up at night and wonder, what am I doing? What am I doing it for?

How can I teach my daughter to follow her heart if I can’t even find the time to follow mine?

And then my fiction was critiqued as being “too nonfiction” in a workshop.

And then I was offered another two opportunities to go further in the nonfiction political world… avenues to name in print, name on blogs, more little tick boxes on my resume.

But, I had hit a wall, and I knew it.

Today I wrote my last Community Alliance article. I sent in my letters of resignation. I closed a few doors firmly and even locked a few.

Fiction. My old friend, My on again off again lover. My muse and my hope and my curse.
Fiction.

Short stories. The novel, a new one of course. Reviewing fiction, reading fiction, WRITING fiction.

There are only so many hours in the day. There are only so many days in our lives. I want to be a writer of fiction. I want my daughter’s mother to be a writer of fiction. I want to be seen in the circles of friends and writers and everywhere else one circles in… as a writer of fiction.

Already I have written 3200 words in a new fiction piece and started to feel the need for a drink, for some time on you tube with cats. Already I have thought about writing a nonfiction article about… anything else.

A new chapter in the same book. Perhaps someday a new book.

I am going to be a writer. I am going to hold down a never boring and always important job (Stay At Home Mom) and write short stories and eventually a novel. And then another one.

One word at a time.

I will build for myself the life of words that I want.

I will be a writer of fiction. I will be published. I will see my name in print, my books on shelves.

Word by word I will create something worth reading.

In the mirror of introspection, I look at my eyes, dark and full of fear. I look at my mouth, too big for its own good at times.

I look long and hard at the body of work I have and the body of work I want. Counting calories, counting words. Pushing myself to sweat, and to also sometimes to stay still and keep typing.

The mirror version of me is ready. And so am I.


Incentives!

I'm trying to lose weight.
Aren't we all?

I have an app to track calories. I have work out videos I do sometimes, but not as often as I should.
And now I have some fun incentives!

Beginning weight: 160
Goal weight: 140

Incentive Plan:

At 155 (yay, the first 5 pounds!) a haircut!

I think I could pull this off....

At 147 (more than half way there!) a mani / pedi

Not my feet / hands. 

At 140 (whew, last 7 pounds are the hardest, right?) New dress and date with my sweetie.


Something bright and flirty like this





So far all I have done is NOT gain... but I will take that as a good sign and keep plugging away.