Writing Challenge Q&A: Blessings

Hello, hello once again!  Are you ready for another round of the Writing Challenge Q&A?  Today’s topic is courtesy of another fellow Stonecoaster, Derek Hoffman.  He’s had some blessings of his own recently what with the newest addition to his family and whatnot, so he chose number 12 (“write about 5 blessings in your life”) for me to discuss today.  I totally admit that this topic was way more difficult than it should’ve been, mostly because I’ve been overthinking it.  My original thoughts just seemed uninspired and simple and things that everyone would say.  Then, I realized that none of that matters.  They don’t have to be exciting or complex or unique as long as I’m being honest with myself and you all.  So, here’s a pretty standard list of my blessings, in no particular order.

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My graduating class/faculty from Stonecoast.

1.  If you’ve read my blog posts in the past, you knew Stonecoast (the program where I got my MFA) would be on the list.  It was the first place where I felt comfortable coming out of my shell.  I made some friends for life while I was there.  I miss it a lot, but I’m really happy that I got to experience that kind of community.  Plus, I got to visit the Harraseeket Inn for three winters because of it!  I definitely recommend going there if you get the chance.  Anyway, Stonecoast and the whole experience is something I will always hold dear.

2.  My parents.  It’s overdone, I know, but I have a pretty good reason to include them.  Mom took care of me for 25 years.  Things may not have been great (or even good) between us, but I really do appreciate that she took care of me.  She did everything because I couldn’t do it myself.  When she got sick and passed away, Dad took over.  And even though I probably don’t say it enough, I appreciate him as well.  Plus I get to eat his cooking.  That’s basically a blessing in itself.

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The Minion and I.  I’ve probably posted this before.

3.  Friends.  Yeah, I said it.  Without my friends (you know who you are), I wouldn’t be the delightfully creepy person I am today.  From the early Interwebz friends to the handful of local real life friends to the Stonecoasters, you guys rock.  That is all.

4.  The one really weird blessing that people probably won’t understand is the fact that I’m cripple.  Don’t get me wrong, it usually sucks, but I know myself and I have a pretty good idea of the type of person I would be if I were “normal.”  Let’s just say that I like the person I currently am a lot better.  After all, I’d probably be dead or in jail or at least be a cautionary tale if it weren’t for the crippleness, so yeah.  It’s as good as it is bad.

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I miss my Julia.

 

5.  Pets.  I know it’s hard when we lose them, but I wouldn’t give up knowing any of my animals.  They enrich our lives in so many ways.  They give us unconditional love even when we don’t necessarily deserve it.  Pets are wonderful.

Yeah, it’s not a very insightful list, but who cares?  It’s mine.  What are some of the blessings in your lives?

Writing Challenge Q&A: Silly Things

Hello, hello!  Welcome to another installment of my impromptu Q&A session.  This week’s topic is brought to you by my friend and fellow Stonecoaster, Veda Boyd JonesShe chose number 28, which is “Post five things that make you laugh out loud.”  Only five?  Okay, I’ll see what I can come up with.  I guess the first thing people should be aware of is that my sense of humor isn’t exactly nice.  If you’ve ever seen the following diagram (or something similar) floating around social media sites, then you know what I mean.

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That about sums it up.  Although, maybe the overlap should be bigger.  Just saying.

 

1.  Mildly inappropriate humor.  Fart jokes, sexual innuendo, that kind of stuff.  Because, yes, I am an immature fifteen year old boy at heart.  I must stifle giggles when people talk about keeping abreast of things (haha… I said “breast”).  I adore the candied pecan seller at Scarborough Faire who encourages women and men alike to put his nuts in their mouths.  I have a filthy mind.  Sorry, not sorry.

2.  Stupid puns and joke memes.  One of my favorite memes is the three panel picture of the dog with his chew toy who tells the stupidest punny jokes ever (see below).  The tearable puns are usually amusing as well.  And I must admit that some of my friends are kept around in part because of their ability to pun.  You know who you are.

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That face gets me every time!

 

3.  Old cartoons.  Things like the Animaniacs and even Disney movies.  Mostly because they have a tendency to combine all of the things my inner immature fifteen year old loves.  Plus, I’m old enough to catch the jokes, now.  I laughed when I was a kid, but I do so even more nowadays.

4.  One of my favorite things to do is show off my favorite bands and their beautiful members.  The reactions of people who find out that the gorgeous women are actually men are hilarious.  Whether it’s a hanging jaw or some kind of denial, I always get a good laugh out of it.  My favorite reactions come after guys run their mouths about the attractive ladies, though.  Protest all you want, that person is still a man.  Okay, maybe I’m a little cruel.

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Tell him!  Or let me.

 

 5.  Most horror movies.  Despite my love of reading horror, I don’t watch many scary movies.  This is mostly because I find them more funny than anything.  I’m all like “Yes!  Run up the stairs instead of out the door!  Go greet the axe murderer!”  I just find the stupidity of the characters amusing as all get out.  Don’t tell me you’ve never laughed when the cheerleader got it.  I don’t believe you.

So, now you know the kinds of things that I find amusing (or at least some of them).  What about you?  Is my sense of humor too immature?  Or are you right there with me?  Please, feel free to send me your own lists!  I enjoy a good laugh.

Writing Challenge Q&A: First Love

Hello once again!  It’s time for the next installment of the impromptu Q&A.  This week’s topic is brought to you by my Minion (Joel Rede).  He chose 19, which is “discuss your first love.”  Why the Minion is interested in my lack of a love life is beyond me, but whatever.  This is actually something I don’t really talk about with anyone, so forgive me if it gets a little weird.

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Replace the house thing with Interwebz stalking.  Also, it’s always creepy .  But you accepted that.

So, what exactly is a first love?  I could tell you about my first crush, or the first boy I loved like a sibling, or I could simply say I’ve never had one because I’ve never dated anyone.  All of those stories would be true, but at the same time, they’d be a lie.  I think first love is something we have to identify for ourselves.  Each of our experiences are different.  Some first loves are amazing and some are heartbreaking.  Then, there’s the kind that’s neither breathtakingly beautiful nor Earth-shatteringly horrible, it simply is what it is.  That’s the way mine was.

Don’t get me wrong, my first love was a lot of things.  It was unconventional (back before “we met online” became an acceptable meet-cute outside of the nerd circle).  It was terrifying.  It was beautiful in its own way.  And, ultimately, it was probably unrequited.  But I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, because it was exactly what I needed at the time.

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When I met First Love (the person), I was eighteen, maybe nineteen.  I was hanging out in the Yahoo chatrooms when I spotted a screenname that intrigued me.  After a few minutes of stalking him, I got bored, pounced on him, and stole his boxers (it was this whole running joke between my friends and I back then, don’t ask).  We goofed around and talked in the chatroom for a while, then he eventually PMed me and the rest was history as they say.

Back then, I was in a really dark place.  First Love was the first person I felt comfortable enough showing the darkness to and he accepted it.  He never tried to tell me I shouldn’t be having those thoughts or feelings.  He didn’t try to change me.  He simply supported me when I needed it and talked me through things when I needed a dialogue.  It was terrifying, because he was the first person to see all the parts of myself that I hate and claim to love me for it.  Even when I pushed away, he was there.  Granted, he lives in the UK, so I never had to deal with any of those “let’s meet” conversations (which I probably would’ve shut down right away), but for many years, he was there just to talk to and be sweet talked by.  Like I said, it was what I needed at the time.

Not to mention his influence on my music tastes and the like.  I was mostly punk and metal before First Love came around.  Ugh.  The things we do for love.  But, eventually life started getting in the way.  We both had University (his word, not mine).  Our chances to talk faded away.  I’m glad I got to know him, but I’m happy he got a life outside of the Interwebz.  He deserves so much better than talking to me all the time.

Feel free to discuss your first love!  You know where to find me.

Writing Challenge Q&A: Struggles

Hello, hello!  As you may know, last week I decided to do a writing challenged turned Q&A thing (see it here).  If you haven’t chosen a number, but are still interested in doing so, feel free!  I discussed day 29 last week.  Day 8 is up today.  And days 19, 28, 12, 15, and 26 are coming up in that order (it’s a first come, first served order).  Today’s topic is courtesy of Dallas Funk.  She chose day 8, which is “share something you struggle with.”  Her only stipulation was that it be about more than my struggle to meet my writing goals, because she wants to learn something new about me.  So, I guess I’ll write about the fact that I struggle with expressing myself.

Untitled-1 It’s kind of like that.  But don’t get me wrong, it’s mostly just a face-to-face and/or an emotional thing.  In face-to-face conversations, I mostly just feel awkward when I’m asked for my opinion or whatever, so I end up uh-ing a lot while my brain plots out a response or I just go with the old standbys “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.”  Then there’re those moments when I give a way too concise answer and people look at me like I’m supposed to say more because apparently conciseness isn’t conducive to small talk.  That’s why I like the Interwebz and texting.  I can still have a real-time talk, but I can take my time to think through an answer without feeling like I’m being put on the spot.

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“Uh… I don’t know?”

 

Even worse than all of that, though, is when I have to express myself emotionally.  I laugh, I smile, I cry.  That’s about it.  It’s not like I can jump up and down when I’m excited.  I can’t scream or punch things when I’m angry.  So, negative emotions come out as tears (which only manages to piss me off more because crying is weak even though I know it’s really not).  Positive emotions come out as a smile or a laugh or whatever.  And I’m not blaming this entirely on the fact that I can’t do most of the physical responses, it’s actually mostly because I’m a bottler by nature.  I push emotions deep down into the abyss of my soul where they belong.

The weirdest part is that I don’t have much trouble expressing these things in my writing.  Granted, most of my main characters tend to be fairly reserved with their emotions, but they’re better at expressing themselves than I am.  Maybe it was all of those psychology classes I took that helped.  Who knows?  But I can say that I’m trying to work on learning to express myself better, whether in day-to-day conversation or with my emotions.  The latter is proving the most difficult.  And my hermit-ness doesn’t really help with the former.

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Maybe watching Inside Out would help.

 

What about you?  What do you struggle with?

Until next week!

P.S. I’m debating on posting a poem I wrote in undergrad one of these Fridays.  Anyone interested in that?  After all, it’s National Poetry Month.  But if no one is interested, I won’t do it.