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.”

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.

Share Your World: 2/20/17

When you cut something with scissors, do you move your jaw (as if you were about to chew)?

I’m having a hard time imagining this one.  I don’t think I do, except perhaps when I’m cutting something difficult like cardboard or the Box Top from a particularly thick cereal box.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?

Oh no.

Are you a collector of anything?  If so, what?

I don’t believe I can be called an official collector of anything.  The closest item would be books, I suppose, though that would be a horrible offense to any true book collector.  However, it’s the only item I’ll gladly buy no matter how many are already in my home.

What size is your bed?

King.  We slept in a double bed for years (with me folding myself in next to my 6’2″ BrightSide) before deciding we’d treat ourselves to a king bed a month before our tenth anniversary.  Ironically, T-man came home a week or two later, so it turned out to be a very timely present indeed.  Quality sleep was highly prized.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

That we survived a weekend packed end to end with kid stuff.  Sleepovers and basketball games and birthday parties and such…Saturday was like a marathon, getting the kids from place to place.

Today was supposed to be a kick back day but T-man stayed home from school sick so that went right out the window.  I do have “take care of me” appointments 0n Wednesday and Thursday, so there’s that to look forward to.  Plus the weather is supposed to be beautiful.


ShareYourWorld

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature – all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

SoCS – that Sam-I-Am!

We sure do love us some Dr. Seuss in this house.  I have a number of favorites.  (Can someone even have “a number” of favorites?)  They’re all books that I would happily read over and over again.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Horton Hatches the Egg, The Sneetches, and The Lorax – all terrific books we read more times than I can count.  But Linda’s prompt can only bring one book to mind – the classic Green Eggs and Ham.

“That Sam-I-Am
That Sam-I-Am!

I do not like
That Sam-I-Am

Do you like
Green eggs and ham?

I do not like them,
Sam-I-Am.
I do not like
Green eggs and ham.”

For someone who’s not a fan of tongue twisters, this is probably one of the last books you’d think I’d love.  The rhymes tumble and twist, rumbling around in my mouth like a couple of marbles as the pace picks up, and I couldn’t help but smile as I barreled my way through the bevy of situations in which the character would not like green eggs and ham.

Nothing would move him to try them – not a house or a mouse or a box or a fox.  Not on a train, in the rain, with a goat, or on a boat.  The illustrations became more and more ridiculous, as did the character’s refusal to consider even the possibility that green eggs and ham might be worth trying.

I’m pretty sure this book resonates with all parents of young picky eaters.  Besides that, though, it is just plain fun to read.  The tongue twisters weren’t the hardest part…that was managing not to say I told you so when green eggs and ham turned out to be delicious.


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 “ham.”

gratitude: capitals, planets, math, and geography

"Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November.
All the rest have thirty-one,
'cept February..." 

blah blah something...

whatever, February has twenty-eight,
twenty-nine in a leap year.

5-things-i-cant-do

I have a rather porous memory.  Some of my friends had the gift of reading something once and it was lodged firmly in their long term memory; I had to work a bit harder than that, and even then I wasn’t always successful.

I mean, learning the capitals for all fifty states?  Talk about torture.  (And talk about gone.  If that info’s still stored in my brain it’s hiding behind some long lost episode of M.A.S.H. or something.)

Mnemonic devices were my saving grace for everything from remembering planet names to the order of operations.  It’s how I memorized the colors of the rainbow, names of the Great Lakes, and that dessert is spelled with two esses.

Having a brain that needs those connections made me a better teacher, too.  Anyone can lecture from a textbook…I taught my kids tips and tricks, how to link facts together, ways to make learning personal so it’s easier to retain.  The same memory glitches that made me work harder are what helped me find better solutions for the kids whose lives I touched.  Including our own.

Thank goodness for those memory aids.


My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

Share Your World: 2/13/17

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?

Am I the only one confused by this question?  I climb into bed with my sheets tucked in from the knees down, but I’ve almost always kicked them loose by midnight.  Which means they’re still tucked in at the foot of the bed, for whatever that’s worth.

Have you stolen a street sign before?

Nope.  And truthfully, it never occurred to me to do so.

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?

Coupons are a roller coaster ride for me.  I’ve gone through periods when I was hard core about clipping, organizing, and using coupons like a boss.  Sometimes I’d clip them, they’d sit around on the counter, then eventually get thrown away after expiring.  I never clipped coupons for things I didn’t buy, though.

Do you have freckles?

Not really, no, not if you’re talking about the freckles I think you are.  Growing up my olive skin was brown and smooth; the only freckles I have are the ones I earned over time.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week we had the chance to participate in a prayer vigil at our local mosque.  It was plenty cold and unbearably windy, but people from all over the county gathered to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters on Thursday evening.  Circling the building and holding our candles to light the night, we lifted our prayers together.

This week is pretty typically booked, so I guess I’m looking forward to the breathing room between the busy moments.


ShareYourWorld

Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature – all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?