Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter - from Bloody the Blood Drop

Every year I set up a little Easter vignette in the picture window in the living room.

I gather all the appropriate stuffed animals - you know, bunnies, ducks, lambs - from downstairs, and I arrange them in a sweet little pile along with some appropriate Easter books to help set the mood for the holiday.

This year, time got away from me, and I was running behind - digging in the depths of the basement late at night for apparently non-existent rabbits while my two uninterested children watched TV and played on the computer instead of helping me.

As I slogged through piles of plushies previously considered precious, I could feel my spirits drop. Apparently, nobody remembered any of these little guys. Nobody cared about decorating, nobody but me.

I was all set to have a little pity party.

And then I found him. There, at the bottom of the last bin, smiling up at me.

Bloody the Blood Drop. Yep, that's his name. The little plushie that I quite literally paid for in blood. He's a little beanbag in, you guessed it, the shape of a blood drop. He has a belt buckle that boasts "BB," and he wears a very cool black cape with a medical cross on the back.

He was the prize at a Red Cross blood drive at my daughter's elementary school when she was in second grade, and she wanted to win him SO bad. (Who wouldn't, right?) For every sponsor who would give blood, your name was put in a bowl ... and then maybe, just maybe, you - lucky you - would win Bloody the Blood Drop.

But Katie didn't have any sponsors. She comes from squeamish stock - I'll admit I'm not big on blood donating. I do it - I just don't like it. But she begged and pleaded and I finally relented. So her name was placed in the bowl - once.

Usually, my donations are uneventful. But this time I became so nauseous the nurses flipped the gurney I was on so my feet were higher than my head. Lying there, sick and inverted, I heard my daughter's name called; turning my head, I got to see her jump for joy. I figured it was worth it.

I carried Bloody up the stairs. "Do you remember this guy?" I asked my daughter as she sat at her computer. Her  face lit up immediately.

"Bloody the Blood Drop!!" she cried. "I love that guy!'

I might just have to add him to my Easter vignette. You know, somewhere in the back.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Writing inspiration from frosting and anxiety . . . .

I've never really believed in the necessity of writer's angst.

You know what I mean - the belief that a writer can't churn out the copy unless she's dreadfully unhappy. Sure, you hear all about these authors with tortured souls - and I'm sure they have their reasons - but most of the writers I know are pretty even-keeled. Funny, even.

Yes, they may get kind of cranky, but that's mostly because of the paychecks they're pulling down.

That type of angst I find completely understandable. The other kind truly mystified me ...  until last week, when my daughter was leaving on an out-of-state school trip. She and I are very close - and I'm horrendously overprotective - so when she and her dad left for the airport and the house was silent and still, I felt close to tears.

At loose ends, I grabbed a cupcake from the kitchen. I ate off all the frosting. Then I sat down listlessly at my computer, dawdled a few minutes, then started to write. And suddenly, I was able to come up with the intro to a new project I've been wanting to try  - a romance. I've never written one before, and though I had an outline, the beginning was stumping me. Having a place to start my story made me feel (a little) happier that day.

Maybe that's how the whole writer's angst thing works.

"He was gone. And I couldn't stop eating.

Grief does strange things to you, you know. It keeps you up late at night as you sweat and turn and tremble, it makes your eyes glaze over with memories,  it forces you to obsessively search your inbox for messages you know will never arrive.

And it makes you eat. A lot."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm back to blogging ... with some fun 'Chicken Soup' news to share

Blame it on Disney.

You know, that show - "Dog with a Blog?"  Maybe that's why I stopped blogging for awhile. I figured that if canines were blogging, maybe it was time for us humans to give it a rest.

Or maybe my blogging muse was simply on vacation. I wish I would have known; I'd have asked for a postcard. Regardless, I took a little break. But now I'm back. And I have some exciting news.

I just found out that a short story I wrote, "Word by Word," will be included in the new "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers" book, which will be released on May 21. I found out about a month ago I was a finalist, and then last week that I'd actually made it in.

The story focuses on how I lost - and found - my creativity with the help of my family after my sister died. I hope it shows other writers that even if/when you hit a dry patch, it's okay - it doesn't mean your writing days are all behind you.

In the meantime, I'll be doing most of my blogging on this site, and so I hope you'll give me a follow. I promise I'll keep blogging - no wonder what species Disney has blogging next.