Got It Write This Time

For the past near sixty-one days, I have blogged every single day. Last month for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Writing challenge was arduous enough. That self-promise of thirty-one days straight of blogging, especially when I had posted barely a couple dozen times from all of May 2020 to March of 2021, was truly diving off the deep end to see if I can swim. [I actually did that dived into a 16 foot deep pool without knowing how to swim.] No, I still cannot swim – don’t ask. Luckily I was much better at following through on immersing myself into regularly blogging again.

Because it is following right behind the March challenge, April is its own war as it is all about poetry. Each year for National Poetry Month I look around and enjoy the work of other poets. Each day I also post original work of my own, honoring National Poetry Writing Month. At least I’ve tried to. I admit I in previous years I have been a spotty poster during April at best. If a dozen new works happen it was a good year. C’est la vie.

As I had naught else to do, I also challenged my self to try more of a poetry form I was not fond of the Villanelle. I absolutely knew I could not do thirty days of them, but I have managed one new one per week, the most recent as of today which I published this morning. Which means I now have five villanelles in my poetry portfolio. Having written four more it is better than the single one that has existed for nearly decade by itself, so that is a huge win in my book.

2021 is the only year in which I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month where not only have I not bailed halfway through the month from writing exhaustion. Granted some were posted late, like yesterday’s coming in at nearly 11:30pm, but I will have thirty new poems under my belt, including four new villanelles! With the finish line a mere three days from now, I am confident I will complete it. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for this!


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All That I Need Is Time

All that I need is time
To smooth these nipped edges
How much more can I take
I’m living a nightmare
While standing here awake

All that I need is time
To help me muddle through
These dreams of yesterday
Like popsicles in sun
They come then melt away

All that I need is time
You're still very much here
Not like I have much choice
Each breeze ignites your touch
As the wind holds your voice

All that I need is time
Just take it day by day
Small comforts slowly grow
Nothing lasts forever
This urgent pain will go

National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 3

And today’s poetic form is a Monchielle

The Monchielle is a poem that consists of four five-line stanzas where the first line repeats in
each verse. Each line within the stanzas consist of six syllables, and lines three and five rhyme.

The rhyme pattern is Abcdc Aefgf Ahiji Aklml.

There’s One In There After All

Just because I’m presumin’
That I could be kind of human
If I only had a heart

— Jack Haley [The Tinman] / “Wizard of Oz”

I so often joke about the black hole, empty echo of space, where my pulmonary organ should be. Today I proved the utter fallacy that jest. At least the physical manifestation of said organ, though the emotional/psychological variant thereof may still be in question.

I chose today to finally get around to filing my taxes. I have never filed taxes this late before, even when I owed the IRS. No idea why I chose this year to be so lackadaisical with it, but C’est la vie. I mentally chastised myself for it and got down to business. I file online and it took the little over an hour the it usually takes to get it done. All was fine until I needed to verify myself by providing the document numbers on my state ID or license. I have a lot of things memorized – that is not one of them. So off I go to my bedroom to retrieve my purse and wallet.

Bedroom? Check. Purse? Check. Wallet? Wallet? Bueller? [insert Ben Stein followed by tumbleweed and crickets here.]

Oh! DUH! I didn’t use my purse yesterday. I must have…

…dropped it on the console when I came in? Nā.

…forgot it in my jacket pocket when I hung it up? Nee.

…placed it on the dining table? Nein.

…left it on the bed before it was made and it’s under the cover? Non.

…put it inside the drawer when I took off my jewelry? Nyet.

[That’s a negative in Bengali, Dutch, German, French and Russian for those who weren’t curious.]

Let’s just say I cycled between languages, rooms and locations in said rooms. I bought the wallet in a bright color so that, though small, it stood out among things and be easy to see. So why couldn’t I see it? I even checked the refrigerator, okay? Each negative added to the increased panic. Was I wrong, did I lose it while I was out and it’s all GONE? I was daunted by all the things I’d have to replace in my wallet: credit cards, ID cards, insurance cards, etc. All while being simultaneously glad that while I have most memorized; I also have photo copies of everything, including contact info, so I could begin that arduous process.

Forty-five minutes, and do not ask about the state of my bedroom, later. I plopped down in the club chair in my living room, head lowered in hands, another maybe fifteen minutes from tears of frustration when I spy a splotch of bright colored leather wedged between the side of the sofa and the broken paper shredder waiting to be picked up for refuse. That was when I remembered I had laid my jacket there before I hung it up, not knowing my wallet had fallen out and slipped down but did not make it to the floor I had checked.

The resulting emotional WHEW! was when I noted the palpations that began to ease. I hadn’t noticed as my heartbeat ratcheted up in my increasing panic, but I sure felt the release valve engaged. And me, being me, only had one thing to say for myself as I finished my taxes and put the rooms Hurricane Raivenne ransacked to rights:

I’ll be damned – there’s one in there after all!

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Muse vs Muse vs Muse vs…

Oooh! Makes me wonder….

I’m in a conundrum I can’t recall having ever been in before.

My table easel is with blank canvas is up raring to go. My color palette rests between my and acrylics and watercolors.

So does my sketchpad with its plethora of markers and scores of sharpened colored pencils that lay in wait.

All while cursors blink on three different incomplete stories, a half-begun glosa, and a line for what is free form verse for now, but may become a villanelle, a tritina, an octain or…or…

Not to mention an idea in pieces malingering in Photoshop limbo.

And in the midst of the creative storm is not-so-little, not-so-old, but very frustrated me as I find myself singularly unable to do any one of the above because Muse wants to do each and every single one of the above…

Right.

Freaking.

Now.

So instead, I slice and see which comes out on top.

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Not Banking On It

Most males, especially over 50 are familiar with the semi-joking “I could’ve been rich, but my mother threw away all my (fill in the blank)”. I say men because in the 80’s-90’s the majority of baseball cards/comic collectors were males. It certainly was surprise, to my late-husband when he learned I had become a reader of them in the mid to late-80s. I knew I was a rarity among my friends, a girl who was into comics, my favorite being Marvel’s X-Men series. Yes, I wanted to be Storm – what female into comics didn’t?

I enjoyed the art and the stories, but I was not a collector. I did not purchase with the intent to collect. Still, there were some that I kept for whatever reason. The ones I chose to keep were properly cased in plastic sleeves with backing board. Regrettably, doing so with comics was not a thing when my late-husband was a boy buying them. It was not until he saw me preserving mine that I learned he had comics of his own stacked in box at the back of a closet. He saw how I protect mine, he chose not to go through his and they stayed in their box. A box I did not look in until our third move. Let’s just say when I finally opened that box for the first time I was glad I wore gloves, a good two-thirds of what was in that box was trashed. We did not try to salvage it. As for what was left? Aged, yellow pages, dog-eared pages, cockling, etc. This was the 90s, AOL was still mailing mini-CDs; the Internet had taken off, but it was not the monster we have now. There was no no way to determine the value, if any, of what we had without dragging the entire collection to comics retailer. That never happened. The box was repacked with his hodge-podge of Captain America, Daredevil, Ku Fu Masters et al, and my Spawn and X-Men where they remain untouched through three more moves until yesterday.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I spent the evening going through my comic collection. I say ‘comic collection’ with a massive grain a of salt considering the condition of most of what’s in it and I was not the most conscientious of collectors. Essentially, I finally grouped them by proper title and number. Where 30 years ago I would have had to drag them to a store, last night I used my phone to check the value of a few. There are many I know I bought back in the day, but I was the mom that dumped. However, an unexpected gem, or few, have survived…

Photo of X-Men #266 comic

X-Men #266

One day back in August 1990 I became the owner of Marvel comic’s The Uncanny X-Men #266. I spent one whole whopping dollar for the privilege. I know it’s not in pristine condition 9.8 on their grade scale, but it is a decent 7.0 one. At minimum I would get $100 for it according to a random website I checked even if booted down to a quality of 6.0. I have learned that if I had purchased this issue at a newsstand or retailer rather than the comic subscription service I had at the time would be worth. I’d love to know the logic behind that, but whatever.

The banker box of comics that has existed for nearly twenty years in my possession is now gone. All comics are properly categorized in a filing cabinet. I haven’t gone through each comic and researched their values. Of the random few I checked I know I could pay rent for a couple of months, so that was cool. That’s a project for another, knowing me sunny, day.

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WHEEEEE – Oh – Whomp-whomp

WHEEEEEEEE!

It’s the first day of Spring! The sun is actually shining. The temps here are gazing the line at 60 degrees. The plan is to run errands this mornings, then do something I promised myself I would do for ages. I am finally, FINALLY going to through the collection of comic books that have been in the same bankers box untouched through five different change of addresses. Always sunny days I choose to be in the mood for such, it never fails. 🤣

I’m getting this post out of the way so I don’t have to think about it.

We’re three-quarters through to the finish line! Can you believe it?

The Raivenne Saturday, March 20, 2021 9:30am

Whomp! Whomp! All of the above was written by 9:30am. You know what was done after that? I had breakfast. And after that I ran errands. And three hours after that I came home and sorted laundry. And after that I hit the comics. And after that…. And after that…

Do you know what was NOT done after that? Apparently, clicking Publish. By on my phone and not on my laptop, added with this not being the most exciting of posts, so I knew nothing was amiss until I now.

Whomp Whomp Whomp Whomp <— The Price is Right game show sad trombone sound.

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It’s Been One Year Since You’ve Looked At Me…

At 4pm one year ago today, I walked out of my place of employment without a clue as to when I would return. My boss literally said the words “Don’t come back here tomorrow.” The pandemic had hit, we went into emergency mode and my unit was one that would be working from home. My agency is twenty-four hours. There were/are units that continue to come in. There was no way around it, some services must be handled in person, even in the midst of a pandemic.

That translated to even though the City quarantined, and masks, hand washing/sanitizing and social distancing became de rigueur, on occasion my work wife and I would have to come to the office. It was part necessity and part breaking up what had quickly become the monotony of being cooped home. However, as the weather got cold, every couple of weeks became, once a month and once a month became we have not stepped foot in my office since the very first week of January.

We knew we were entering a ghost town with the barest amount of personnel, so dressing for ‘work’ had fallen by the wayside for my work-wife. I would not wear a full out suit, but I wore slacks and blouses, in my mind it’s the office. Still, we may have visited the office a maximum of fifteen times in this past year. It has dawned to me, now that people are being vaccinated, I suspect my office may reopen by the end of spring. Whether it will return to a full week or some split schedule is undetermined as of yet, as the City as a whole is excruciatingly, but definitely emerging into a new semblance of normal.

I’ve lived in mostly jeans and t-shirts. My wardrobe, work or otherwise, has barely been used in the past year; that is going to change. I know there are clothes in my closet that have not seen the light since Winter 2019. I am not going to lie, I have gained the Covid 20+ and I am not looking forward to going through some of my clothes. And while I admit to the retail therapy I’ve done in the interim, it’s not going to be pretty for some of my wardrobe. Not to mention, 0I have not worn proper shoes in over a year. Can I even walk in my low work heels anymore?

After a year of various levels of quarantine, I am looking forward to regularly seeing friends and (certain), colleagues again, dining in restaurants, going to concerts and movies and Broadway! Above all, I am looking forward to travelling again. Other than a weekend jaunt to Philadelphia last November, I have not left my fair City since I returned from Cuba in spring of 2019. In the words of Lenny Kravitz: I want to get away – I want to fly away – yeah – yeah- yeah

Still, I find myself conflicted. Am I ready for real clothes, five days a week again? After a year of pretty much living in Hermitsville, am I ready for the noise… the people(!)? As much as I am looking forward to being out and about once more am I ready for the world again?

More important is it ready for me?

PS: !! Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!

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Sudoku Who?

I am the first person to admit, while I do well enough at English – I am a writer, poet and blogger after all – my skill in mathematics leaves MUCH to be desired. I never cared about my X and don’t you dare ask me about Y I’m that way. Surprisingly, geometry and I got along. Acute, obtuse, isosceles, squares, and pretty much any dang thing that suffixed in “-agon” were good buddies of mine because it was shapes – my artist brain understood those type of figures. Other than that? Fuhgettaboutit! I get confused looking at math problems in TV and movies. “Good Will Hunting” became a foreign language every time Matt Damon’s character, the eponymous Will, stepped to the black board. Hell, a depiction of high school Trigonometry would have been/still remains out of my depth of comprehension.

Suffice it to say when Sudoku became a ‘thing’, I saw numbers, heard you have to do math and promptly said “Uh… noPe.” To be fair, over the years I have looked at a game or two, tried to fathom it out, but the (il)logic behind them seemed as variable and numerous as, well, numbers. I am not a fan.

Thus, I am not quite sure how on earth THIS happened last night…

Sudoku game finished
A messy win, is a win nonetheless.

A friend online mentioned sudoku and yesterday became one of those weird times where I thought to myself, Meh, why not? I googled “easy” sudoku games, hit a random link and printed one out. I assumed by easy it meant I could complete it in about 30 minutes. HAH! Did I say HAH! ? What I meant was *snort-chortle-snigger-HAH!*. That nonsense took nearly 90 minutes, and as you see from the various scratch outs and overlays; I did not have an easy time at all. However, unlike every other game I attempted in the past, for once I saw the pattern. I had more than half the game done within the first hour. It’s the most I had ever done and it made me determined to complete this miracle. The remainder was correcting my mistakes in order to figure out the rest of the game.

I did not find this fun or relaxing. I still do not understand the appeal. It will likely be a few more years before I am thus intrigued to try again. Still, I was so stunned that I had finally, Finally, FINALLY completed my first sudoku game I took a picture for prosperity. A memory I get to share now, with no plans to try it again in the immediate future.

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+ Energy –

It’s a Monday and it feels as though my energy reserves are all over the place today.

WHAT FUELED ME:

  • COFFEE and drinking it out an oversized mug shaped like a skull
  • Silliness with my best friend this morning
  • Able to get a series of work related items that were on the back burner, completed by noon
  • Muse giving me inspiration for a story
  • Knowing the official start of spring is just mere days away

WHAT DRAINED ME:

  • Realizing the day was passing quickly and I had yet to post
  • A couple of work related calls that were just *aarrghh-ravating*
  • Received incorrect package that took over an hour with customer service to resolve
  • Ol’ Man Winter reminding who’s still in charge with another massive drop in temps today
  • Knowing the feel of spring itself is still a couple of weeks away

WHAT I LEARNED:

I need to slow down take a moment and at least stand at the window to notice the day, I’m clearly down with winter’s chill and I am looking very forward to spring.

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Vegetation Station

Remember yesterday when I turned into Domestic Goddess and lost my dang mind cleaning? Remember that I declared today would be a day of vegetation? Remember?

Yeah…about that…

To be fair I didn’t exactly lie. Some vegetation was done by me. Fine, let me start from the beginning. I woke up 7am and remembered we sprang forward into daylight savings. The only time telling devices that advance automatically are my computer, my TV and my phone. All other clocks and my watches are manual. Meh, I already lost an hour, what’s another one right? I lounged around in my bed reading until each time I glanced at the clock in my bedroom with its one-hour off time annoyed me enough to do something about it. So first job of the day around 10am was to go through the place and set everything that needs setting. That was fine until I reached the living room I saved for last because I was going to vegetate there for a bit. That’s where I once again encountered the three 16qt bags of soil I had purchased to repot my plants. The bags annoyed me yesterday as I had to pick up bags of dirt in order to clean under said bags and put the dirt back on the floor. The irony was not lost and now they blocked the way to the living room clock. Okay that’s it, this needs be handled, now.

See those five pots of plants below? There were only two this morning.

Five potted peace lily plants.

Because I knew this was going to be a mess I was prepared. I had enough sheets of plastic on the floor and nearby furnishings to make Dexter proud. If you don’t get the reference let’s just say I could dismember a body and not get a drop of blood on anything. Soil however is not as cooperative. It takes a surprising amount of time to take what was in two pots and split them into five. And in spite of my best efforts, some soil found the one chink in dirt blocking armor and took advantage of it that yes, I had to sweep and mop the floor again when done.

While cleaning I remembered I needed to go to the bank and after the bank was a few errands since I was already out there and when I came back I needed to make dinner and after dinner was made I played tech support over the phone to someone having a computer issue. [Let’s not talk about that – just no.] When I was done, the last thing I wanted to see was a computer, totally forgetting I need to slice. I ate my dinner, Italian sausage and peppers over linguini with a side salad for the curious, and then I remembered I wanted to start on an art project for my bestie. I swear I do know how to relax, I really do!

Incomplete art project: black silhouette of a seated woman against an abstract purple, gold and white background
incomplete art project

I stopped when my 11pm alarm went off reminding me to get ready for bed, I have work in the morning. I also got peckish, so I went to the fridge and took out an orange. Want to guess what that orange reminded me to do?

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