Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh dear, I’ve been tagged!

OK, so my dear friends Yazmin, of A Pretty Rock, and Joanne, of JoJoBell, tagged me, so I have to tag five people in return and give you Six Random Things About Me:

Consider yourself tagged:
1. Maryam of My Marrakesh
2. Leeza of LeezyBloggs
4. Holly of Bijoux D’Odalisque
5. Mike of Dutton Art

Six Random Facts About me:
1. I just finished my first Creative Writing course ever ... and I’m sad it’s over.
2. I hate wearing socks in my shoes. I’ll wear them to bed at night, but they come off in the morning.
3. I’m going to be 42 in less than two weeks and most days I’m still wondering what I want to be when I grow up.
4. I would love to take a year off to travel the world with my two girls.
5. I love my job, but I’m not sure it loves me. I am on my third computer in three years … I don’t know why they keep breaking.
6. I hate running, except in a forest. Running on uneven ground, where I stand to sprain my ankle or break my neck is just so much more fun than a flat trail.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Writing Assignment No. 5

Marianne felt the phone in her pocket vibrate and answered it before it started playing the tune of "You're so Beautiful." "Hello?"

"Hi, it's me. It's an emergency." On the other end of the phone was Marianne's dear friend Caroline.

"What's going on?"

"I just got off the phone with Thomas. He's threatening to take me back to court again."

"On what grounds?" Marianne asked. She felt for her friend. She has been through so much already, Lord, she thought, isn't it time she got a break. "Hey, give me a second, I have to get off Ziggy and open the gate."

"You're talking to me while you're on your horse?" Caroline started laughing.

"Yes, and I had to stop and open the gate and join the others on the trail," Marianne chuckled. "I have been neglecting him lately, and he was none too happy about the short ride today, but enough about us. What's going on?" she asked again, as she closed the gate behind her and got back up on her Tennessee Walker.

"So, Thomas called me about the girls and the upcoming holiday and before I knew it we were arguing about money again. He is now severely behind on his child support payments, and somehow he still makes me out to be the bad guy. Now he's supposedly got an "ace" up his sleeve and is taking me back to court. I know I should put my trust in God, but I am so tired of fighting like this."

"Tell me exactly what he said," Marianne encouraged her friend, knowing that a burden shared weighed less. She had been there herself just a few years earlier. The ugly divorce that came just nine months after her wedding vows. She struggled for so many months on her own and learned from her mistakes that she should have reached out to her friends, no matter how scared she was to appear the fool for marrying Harry after only knowing him for four months. From her own experience, she learned that everyone needs someone to confide in, but more importantly, everyone needs someone to pray for them.

Caroline recounted the ugly phone conversation she had just had with her ex-husband and waited for Marianne's reaction. She was sure of one thing: Caroline had handled herself much better this time. From the sounds of it, she had not fallen apart, and she had not hung up on him or threatened him in return. She'd come a long way from the young blushing bride she had been ten years earlier, when she and Thomas had married. Maybe she had needed to grow up a little more. It seemed unfair that this was the way God had chosen for her to mature, but no matter how difficult they would sometimes seem, Marianne was confident in God's ways. She continued to listen patiently as her friend relived the last half-hour. She knew how much Caroline had already been through, losing her husband, losing her house and taking care of two children on her own. When Caroline finished talking, Marianne thanked God for her friend before offering her encouragement.

"It sounds to me like you handled this very well, Caroline. I am so proud of you for not falling apart and for keeping your composure. Remember, we don't fight flesh and blood, but the powers and principalities." Marianne knew that Caroline was familiar with the scripture she referring to.

"I know. And thank you. I'm proud of myself, too."

"I really don't think Thomas has a leg to stand on. What judge is going to listen to a man who is already breaking the law by not giving you what has been court-ordered?"

"Well, that's what I was thinking, too, but I still get so scared that he is going to be able to hurt us in some way."

"Let's pray right now for God's protection and for His strength and wisdom," Marianne said as she began to pray for her friend.

(668 words)

And the instructor said:

It's going VERY WELL, Katja. You know we must be creative and you know why. So just let it flow into your private writing time. Eva

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Writing Assignment No. 4

As I look at my necklace, I begin to remember where I was at the time I made it. I was living in the only house I’ve ever lived in. A lovely split-level house that I had made a home for my husband and our children. I had recently picked up a new hobby I had been thinking about for quite some time. I remember my first trip to a bead store and how overwhelmed I was. I looked in awe at all the sparkly and shiny stones and beads in all shapes and sizes hanging on the walls. I have become quite familiar with bead stores since then, but that day I felt like a fish out of water. I looked at all the treasures in all the different colors and walked out without purchasing anything. I didn’t return until years later, when I had a plan and a purpose for my trip.

I remember leafing through one of my favorite catalogs at the time. A catalog filled with handcrafted articles, such as leather belts, boots, skirts, sweaters, and jewelry. The most beautiful jewelry I had ever seen. With each book that came in the mail, I was intrigued with each of the artists’ individual style. I also realized that I would never be able to afford any of them, no matter how simple they seemed. I thought back to my first visit to that bead store and thought, I can make something like this. With a picture of a very simple pearl and silver necklace in mind, I returned to the store and bought a strand of pearls, a bag of sterling silver balls, beading wire and a lobster clasp. Armed with my purchases I went home and made my first necklace.

As my confidence grew, I created my own version of the very popular Y-necklace and that is the necklace I have in front of me today. It was birthed out of love for citrine and peridot. I can’t recall if I realized the significance of those gemstones back then, but they are not lost on me today. My birthday is in November, which has citrine as its birthstone. Peridot is the birthstone of August, the month my two daughters were born three years apart.

This necklace, in its simplicity and its complexity, represents me in a different place. I have since gone through a heartbreaking separation from the love of my life. I have survived a divorce I believed I would never have to face. I lost my house before foreclosures became a trend. For the past three and a half years, I have shared custody every other weekend with the man I thought I would grow old with. This necklace takes me back to the time before and makes me sad. This necklace also brings me to the present, making me look around and see all the things God has blessed me with. I have a job I love. I have too healthy girls. I have friends whose shoulders I am allowed to cry on and who I can support in return. I have a roof over my head, a reliable car, clothes and shoes, and we have never gone hungry.

More than that, God has blessed me with creativity, with resilience and with unconditional love. I have learned that I can do it. When I think that there is not one more ounce of energy in me to raise these girls on my own, I find myself doing it. When I feel utterly defeated, He sends someone along with a word of courage. When I am in need of being comforted, He brings me love in little arms and little kisses. This necklace is proof that things made with care will last, and items treasured become more valuable with time. Whether they are children, friendships or the love of God. (646)

The only thing my instructor said, was:

Nudge: Check the guidelines for Okay? Eva

Hm ... I guess it's not negative, at least?!

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Third Writing Assignment

Jonas turns the light on in Molly's bedroom and gently puts a hand on her back. "Time to get up, Sunshine." Molly stretches and tries to open her eyes. This morning, she doesn't want to. She turns her back and tries to pull the covers back over her head to keep the light out. "Molly munchkin," Jonas prods her, "if you don't get up, I can't fix you happy-face pancakes." Molly peeks from under the blanket. "Five," she says. "That's a lot of happy faces. Are you sure?" "Mmm. Two." "OK. Two it is."

Jonas leaves his precocious 4-year-old in bed and starts to prepare breakfast. Soon Molly comes and wraps her little arms around his legs. He treasures their sweet little morning ritual. He often finds himself prodding her along, but he still treasures the sweet, sleepy girl he has been blessed with. "Let's eat some pancakes," he announces, "and then we have to brush our teeth and ..." "And put some clothes on," Molly finishes his sentence. "That's right!"

Today Jonas decides to walk Molly to preschool instead of taking the city bus. There is a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and they laugh as they make tracks on the sidewalk. Jonas slides his feet to make it seem as if his feet are as long as skis and Molly giggles as she tries to do the same. Her giggles stop when they reach preschool. "Daddy, are you going to pick me up?" "Of course, don't I always pick you up on Mondays?" "I think so, Daddy." "How about I promise you so." Jonas bends down to take off her jacket. He gives her a squeeze. "I will be back to get you in six hours." Molly watches her father leave, assured that he will be back later. (302 words)

I didn’t make the dialogue breaks here, thinking I’d save some space!

And the instructor's reaction:

You gave me chills, this is wonderful. Is it part of a novel? Tell me yes. Eva

I think I am totally excited and soaring and on cloud something or other! On to the next assignment, right!