The Path

A year ago, out-of-the-blue, I was overcome with the desire to challenge myself to post daily. The idea was to do it for a year.

I had been struggling at the time with unexplained, extreme fatigue. My ability to be active in my normal life was severely impaired.

The posts became a daily lifeline to my creativity. A way to keep being in the world creatively, even if I could not be physically.

It has been an amazing gift.

That daily connection to readers and other writers has been crucial to my well-being. I am so very grateful for whatever wisdom inspired me to self-challenge myself.

I missed a day or two. But I did post a day for about 362 days. I wish to celebrate that. I could easily just bypass it, which is my tendency of all actions I take.

But not this time. Today, I acknowledge and celebrate my having posted daily for over a year, with a few three exceptions.

I showed up no matter what. On sick days, depressed days, vacation days, super busy days, days I really did not want to write.

And I learned to just write no matter what. To let things be less than perfect. To “just do it.”

I “met” amazing fellow writers and have been exposed to so many wonderful, different verse blogs.

And now, just as suddenly as the idea came to me to do it daily, I find that my desire to continue posting daily has gone.

I am so curious about this. Is it because I am now fully back into activities of my life?

Or are my creative impulses unpredictable?

Is it because I “completed” something and so desire some new challenges?

That has yet to be revealed.

For now, I accept that I challenged myself to do something, loved it, learned a great deal from the doing of it.

I thank those of you who have read me daily or several times a week (or any time!)

I look forward to finding my new pace. Perhaps every other day…

I welcome the wisdom that will surely guide my next step. I have learned to trust my own process. Look where it has brought me so far!

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: unpredictable

Four Star Blues

“Oh, it’s my pleasure, absolutely,” she said with a tinny, manufactured brightness as she cleared away the strangely-soiled sheets from the bathroom floor while a portly couple in hotel bathrobes sat at the table on the terrace, eating what looked to have been a whole roast chicken, making sounds that made her uncomfortable as she worked.

As soon as she could, she got herself out of the room, cursing for the umpteenth time having to do this job.

Once on the other side of the door, she sighed with relief, looking forward to the end of her shift and the bottle of wine awaiting her at home.

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Post: pleasure

A Wrinkle in Time

“Why darling, it’s perfectly natural, it happens to everyone now and then,” she said in a soothing tone, hoping to diffuse the tension that had settled into the folds of the bedsheets that now lay crumpled across their naked bodies.

It took her a few moments to realize that he wasn’t turned away from her in shame, but that he’d actually fallen asleep and was looking annoyingly peaceful.

It was then that she realized that the tension she’d felt was all her own.

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: natural

A New Day

Funny how a word comes in to the collective consciousness.

Yesterday, I wrote about the loss of The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt.

I said posting daily taught me that done is better than perfect. That sometimes I will feel “meh” about what I write, and that is ok.

I asked readers for help!

And the wonderful Suzi suggested Cyranny.

And guess what the word prompt for today was? “Meh!”

Which is how I feel about today’s word prompt.

Meh.

And here I am, posting anyway.

Because the power is in the doing of it.

I could judge myself out of ever sharing my voice, my work.

Or I can take the risk. Lay it on the line. No matter what.

So here I am. Day one post-Daily Post.

Feeling meh.

But taking action away.

(Or maybe because of.)

Inspired by Cyranny’s Word Prompt: meh

Another One Bites the Dust

Today, I mourn the loss of yet another presence in my life.

I am bereft.

I have been working off daily word prompts for about a year that The Daily Post has generously provided.

They have given me an anchor to my days…especially helpful last year at this time when I was having to stay close to home much of the time for health reasons.

It helped me feel connected to the world and to my creativity to post once a day.

It ended up teaching me so much about creativity. About how just doing it is much better than trying to get it “right” or good.

It gave my perfectionism a real run for its money. I had to let each day’s post go, however I felt about its value.

Sometimes I loved what the word prompt prompted. Memories or associations I’d forgotten or never even known I had.

Sometimes I felt totally “dry” and annoyed at the word. Sometimes I’d be shocked when such a prompt led me to an unexpected and wonderful-to-explore place.

I learned to live with posts I wrote that I thought were total drivel. Posts I secretly thought were brilliant. Meh posts.

Thank you The Daily Post for this amazing year and all you have brought to my writing.

I get attached to things.

I’ve grown accustomed to The Daily Post Daily Word Prompts! I had no idea they were ending as of Friday!

I’ve had panic since realizing they were moving on. What will I do? How will I survive?

I have found wonderful readers and other bloggers to follow from TDP. I loved reading the myriad variations off a word!

I feel adrift, at sea. Alone in the great ocean of blogs.

To all of “you” out there: do you know of any similar sites?

I take solace today in Oleta Adam’s prolific rendition of “Everything Must Change,” which I hear in my head every time I lose a good thing in my life to change. She gets me through every time.

At least that never changes.

Disco Dreams

She could hardly breathe, her heart was jumping so high in her chest.

After all of the preparations, all the effort, here she was. Dressed in the new outfit she’d painstakingly chosen at the discounted designer clothes store, she felt almost pretty.

She’d managed to find an outfit she could afford with her babysitting money: a pair of green drawstring pants that miraculously fit her pear-shaped, chubby body and a bright orange, sleeveless terry cloth top.

Her short hair was styled in its usual two round parallel curls on either side of her face which her brother had nicknamed “doo doo curls.” Her short bang unfortunately only accentuated the width of her face, but there was nothing to be done about that.

The freckles that sprinkled her nose and cheeks from summers spent at the pool were the only color on her face.

She’d had her parents drop her off at the club where the party was well into things. She knew it would be painful to walk into it. Better to be in a crowd than risk being seen too clearly.

She entered and walked in quickly, grateful for the darkened atmosphere. It was a disco-themed party for the 7th grade dance club, and so everyone was dressed accordingly and the venue was an actual disco. Instead of alcohol, soda was served.

She went from room to room, seeking two things: the few friends she had that might be there too, and him.

She found the friends and nervously stood, Sprite in hand, the condensation from the outside of the white plastic cup dripping down her hand.

She sucked the inside of her mouth along the braces that lined her upper and lower teeth, finding a strange comfort in the metal that was at the same time so maddening to her.

Through the pulsating lights, she saw him finally: Scott Prewitt, in all his glory. He was the most popular boy in school, blonde and tan. She sat behind him in Spanish class where, amazingly, he’d spoken to her a few times. Not just to pass papers back or anything. He’d made little jokes and seemed to enjoy her laugh.

She had looked forward to this afternoon for weeks, imagining that here, in the lights, in her new clothes, he’d maybe talk to her, which would be incredible.

She forced herself to smile and step forward from the shadows into the light, even though she was so nervous she could barely breathe and felt dizzy.

And just as she did, Scott Prewitt looked right at her and smiled and waved, his face beaming. She couldn’t believe it! It was happening! Her dreams were coming true.

Finally, everyone would see her differently. Because Scott Pruitt saw her, they’d value her, too. Everything would change.

She waited, breathlessly, as he walked towards her, her cheeks almost aching from smiling.

Just as she was saying “Hi Scott,” eyes twinkling, he walked passed her and grabbed Susie Moore, the most popular girl in 7th grade, in a hug, which made Susie squeal.

For what seemed like a lifetime but was actually several awkward seconds, she stood there as her “Hello Scott” hung in the air anemically before being dissipated by Susie’s squeal.

She stepped back into the shadows as she felt the familiar, hot flush of shame shoot down the length of her body.

She drained herself of feeling, determined not to cry. “That will teach you not to hope,” she said to herself as she pinched her arm, punishing herself for thinking things could ever be any different.

She found the restroom as quickly as she could, and there she remained for the full agonizing 40 minutes until her parents came to pick her up again.

Once home she sought and found numbing comfort in a pint of vanilla Haagen Dazs ice cream, and fell asleep into a full-stomach-sugar-induced coma.

Her hope did not have it so easy. A large piece of hers had fallen out of her heart and onto the floor of the disco, where Scott Pruitt and Susie Moore danced across it over and over again until it became unrecognizable.

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: awkward

Sure Thing

“Don’t you think you are being a bit premature in your calculations?” she asked rather tongue-in-cheek of the unbelievably tan and unbearably attractive man who had just ordered a martini for her from the bartender without so much as a hello to her first: “And another for the lovely lady, shaken, not stirred.”

Of course, they both knew that he was actually totally on track.

He’d had her at “martini.”