SoCS – the 5 Ws and a How

Who, what, when, where, why, and how…I remember learning early on that one of the tenets of storytelling is answering these questions.  Not all in a row or anything, but that a strong story will have all facets.

Oddly enough, I never took much to fiction writing (especially strange when you consider how much I enjoy a good novel) so this lesson might seem to be lost on me, but I’ve found it extrapolates to much in life.  If you don’t have most or all of this information then you’re kind of flying blind on your decisions.

And then the kids came along.  Holy cow, these questions took on a whole new level of importance.

You enter a room to find the floor littered with shoes, pillows in disarray, a shredded envelope on the floor, and a glass of old milk on the table.

**  Who needs to come get their shoes?  What was in the mangled envelope?  When did this happen?  Where are the dogs right now?  Why didn’t I hear any of this going down?  How on earth did that glass of milk manage to stay undisturbed among this mess?

A crash comes from the kitchen and you enter to find eggs scattered across the counter, Gracie snarfing what she can off a plate on the floor, two kids screaming at her from the other side of the room, Phoebe hiding under the table, and a can of Pam slowly rolling across the counter.

**  Whose breakfast is being devoured by the dog?  What were the kids thinking, leaving food unattended with Gracie in the house?  When is this freaking dog gonna stop stealing everything?  Where is BrightSide in the mornings, anyway?  Why can’t I pee in peace for one lousy minute without breakfast going to hell?  How am I going to wrestle an 85 pound dog away from those tasty eggs?

We’re having a (much deserved) lazy afternoon – two dogs and one mama napping before diving into the after school schedule – when someone hits the silent alarm.  One dog jerks upright, turning to the door and letting out a bark a half second earlier than her sister.  Phoebe charges around the couch to the door, hair on end, barking like Cujo on a feeding frenzy.  Gracie throws her considerable heft over the back of the couch and slams into the door beside Phoebe, adding her rowdy bark to the noise.

**  Who triggered the primordial instinct in these creatures to attack the door?  What could possibly be worth all this drama?  When will they learn that the occasional truck drives down our street and is not an actual threat to us?  Where will I take this couch to get it repaired when Gracie finally rips through the leather hurtling over it?  Why do they insist on doing this five times a day?  How have they not gone crashing through the window yet?

Interestingly, despite the fact that “how” is one of the things I ponder most, I’ve found it’s often the question I have to let go since it’s the one I’ll never get answered.

  • How did we get that giant black spot on the ceiling?
  • How did I manage to save the toast and bacon but lose the eggs to Gracie?
  • How do folks at the 8:00am basketball game manage to have their hair and makeup done?
  • How am I supposed to dress when it’s 50 something when we wake up, 70 something in the afternoon, and my internal body temperature fluctuates between ice cube and inferno?


SoCS 2

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays are open to anyone who’d like to participate.  Pop over and give her blog a visit.  This week’s prompt is “how.”

writing “Read me, Seymour!” titles

Imagine this: you’ve reached the end of your time on the Earth.  You’re standing before St. Peter (folks who aren’t on board with the whole Pearly Gates scenario, just roll with me for a minute) and this is what you hear: “Tell me why you deserve to stay in heaven.  You have thirty seconds.  Go.”

You’re faced with arguably the most important pitch of your existence, and the seconds are ticking away.  No pressure, right?

This is what writing titles for the blog feels like.  I have some very loyal friends and family who would probably read my post even if I titled it “the importance of good dental hygiene,” but those folks are gluttons for punishment (aka bound by love).  The rest of the online world has a choice.  To click or not to click, that is the question.

And I have to say that a post on dental hygiene isn’t likely to make me click.

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Forever Family: notes for my 20-something self

Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.

Wedding1

See that sweet face?  (Yeah, BrightSide, too.)  How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.

Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.

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Not every day can be a good shoe day. Apparently.

Because sometimes it’s good to know these things happen to other people, too.

“So apparently, per the news, Seattle is having a Winter Storm Warning, aka WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE IN A FROZEN TUNDRA OF DEATH!!!!

Now I was aware of this, but may have slightly forgotten about it when I was getting ready this morning and picking out my shoes for the day.  My beautiful 3 inch stiletto heeled shoes.

Shut. Up. I. Know.”

Chivalry is dead.. and buried… and then someone dug it back up and peed on it… and then buried it again… with a dead fish…which stinks… literally. | But That’s For Another Blog


ps – This one is front runner for the Best Post Title EVER award, which is a totally made up thing but still highly coveted among us wordy wordsmiths.

Blogger Recognition Award

What a delight to learn that I’d been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!  Many thanks to Mom Of Two Little Girls for visiting RFTM and sharing the love.  You should check out her work – she’s blogging her way through motherhood, and a lot of us can relate to that.

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To pay it forward, here are the rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select 15 other bloggers for this award.
  • Comment on each of their blogs, letting them know they’re nominated and linking back to this post.

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gratitude: a little stick now

So I have this friend…

** In a names have been changed to protect the innocent sort of way, we’ll call her Kay for the sake of this post.

Kay has what you might call a bit of (ahem) trouble with needles, if by “trouble” you mean “transforms from a sweet, sassy, competent woman to the Incredible Hulk at the sight of that pointed implement.”  Shifting from reasonable adult to hazy minded fight-or-flight creature in five seconds flat is her specialty.  Kay’s been known to actually warn medical professionals beforehand that she cannot be held responsible for her actions once the needle appears in the room, and woe to those who do not heed the warning.

Now, to be fair, I hear tell Kay’s gotten much better recently when it comes to her needle phobia.  This is a relief because I’ve always harbored a secret fear that some nurse would freak out, tranquilize her, and call the police, and it’s kinda hard to come up with bail money on short notice.

All of this is my round about way of saying I’m (exceedingly) glad I don’t have a thing with needles.  I get a lot of blood work done – have for years now – and that’s a whole lot easier when needles don’t send me into a massive panic.  Some draws are easier than others, but none of them cause me to threaten the lives of sweet little nurses.

Ahem.  Not that I’m saying that’s happened.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

the secondary market for nanny cams

We never did invest in a nanny cam.  I can see the benefit, especially if someone else spends all day with your kids, but we never felt the need for one in our home.  Or, more accurately, the discussion of having a nanny cam never even came up between BrightSide and me.

There were plenty of times when it would have been advantageous to have a bird’s eye view of what went down in the other room.  Knowing exactly how Sharpie got on the carpet.  Being able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt who threw the first Lego.  These would have saved valuable brain cells spent sorting through denials and accusations, brain cells that might even have fired up to make a dinner or two.  But alas, we went old school.

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