Let me tell you a secret

Regret. Ugh. Not only a word but a terrible feeling. One that creeps up in the back of your mind from time to time. Or in my case, things I think about often. Questions I ask myself, like what I’d do differently knowing what I know now. But, would I go back and change things for the better if I could? Going back in time to change one small thing could result in changing much larger things, ultimately changing the person I am right here, right now. Would I want to risk altering the person I am in this moment? Would you?    

 I have two major regrets in my life. My first biggest regret is something I may reveal in the third and final novel to my series, The Pace of Nature. My second biggest regret has to do with me never be able to exercise in a form of running again. And boy, do I long to throw my running shoes on and sprint across the gravel through the windy streets of my townhouse complex. Running used to be my liberation. It meant so much more than not having to pay for a gym membership. It meant, being able to throw my sneakers on after a stressful, frustrating day, and jet right out my front door, knowing that twenty minutes later, I’d re-enter my house in a happier, more fun-spirited mood.

Road to Nowhere? Sharp movements and a shaking fist!

Nowadays the term “starving artist” seems like it’s no longer applicable to an artist’s way of life – at least not mine. Take Hemingway and the lost generation for example. Back in those days, writers spent all their time working on their latest masterpiece, sacrificing materialistic objects such as tickets to plays, and/or dining out at restaurants, and instead lived on a minimum expense, eating canned food and bread if it meant that they could dedicate every waking minute to their art and craft. 

Unfortunately, I, along with other writers I know, have to juggle more than one job in order to carve out little time to write each day. This particular year in general happens to be a rather busy one for me. And it seems like every time I’m finally able to sit down and get back to work on my projects, right as I’m deep in thought with the words flowing, bells from my alarm start chiming and it’s time to shower and get to my other job, my paying job.

Having to force myself to stop writing is highly frustrating and I find myself feeling discouraged and resentful that there’s never enough time in a day.

Let’s talk Game of Thrones: HBO Series Wrap up

For all of you Game of Throne fans who’ve spent the last decade of your life infatuated with the worlds of Westeros & Essos and the lives of the characters within it, then like me, you may be in a bit of shock and denial that the show series has come to an end.

It had certainly been an emotional 6 weeks leading up to season finale. Now that the show series has concluded, and I’ve had a couple of weeks to process the different ways my favorite characters lives have ended, and I’ve had time to process how the writers wrapped-up the storyline in general, I can genuinely say that I am content with how some things ended, but I am also feeling a bit let down by some of the quick plot turns, along with the overall pacing when it comes to certain character arcs.

Game of Thrones had always felt like a carefully plotted, detailed packed story – a story that had once felt so thought-out. I had always assumed the writers of the show would follow through and complete each storyline to its entirely. Sadly, for me, it did not feel that way.

Coma

I hear you. The words are blurred, sentences broken, but I’m still able to put the tattered sounds together.
          At lunch you read me my favorite novel. I know by the names of the characters: Barkley, Henry. I feel the warmth of your hand on mine when you get to the part where the two escape on a boat to Switzerland in the middle of the night. I can tell by the swift change in your voice, and tight clench of your hand, that the part where they almost get caught is near. Gently, you brush your fingers against my arm when they make it to safety, able to start their lives together. But you end it there. I hear the clap of the book fold. You never read all the way to the end.
          You grab my hands between yours and tell me that when I wake up, you and I will start our lives together. You say we’ll have our own adventures.
I respond, telling you we’ll be going home soon. Not to worry, everything will be like it once was. You never hear me. No matter how loud I scream – you never hear me. I feel your tears roll onto my face, down my cheeks, and into my mouth. I taste the salt from your body, and wonder if I’ll ever taste anything more of you ever again.
          At night you sing to me. You rest your head beside mine singing the lyrics of Bobby McGee softly into my ear, telling me ‘you’d trade all of your tomorrows for one single yesterday’. We sing the chorus together, like we always do. You kiss my forehead; brushing your fingers through my hair, putting me to sleep, like you’ve done every night since we’ve been together.
 

***

Above the Mark: Part I

Sophomore year in high school there was this teacher, Mr. Martello who taught American literature. He had this energy about him when reading Emily Dickenson or something jarring from Edgar Allen Poe; his eyes would brighten and he’d sway his hands as if conducting an orchestra. He taught me about Emerson’s lead in the transcendentalist movement and Thoreau’s adventures living at Walden Pond. He once handed out a picture of 35-year-old Walt Whitman standing in a field of grass wearing a black-top hat with a hand on his hip. He then spent the entire hour sharing stories about the war and how Whitman sought out hospitals in D.C to help the wounded. And how Whitman was one of the firsts to change the style of poetry, breaking away from traditional formats; no rhyme or meter. Like a man soaring through the sky and flying as if he were a gust of wind, Whitman wrote freely!

I was fascinated with Mr. Martello. Not in a romantic kind of way, but in a way in which I wanted to learn as much as I possibly could from him. Pick his brain and all that.

Above the Mark: Part II

Today in class Mr. Martello told us all about Margaret Fuller. How she was born in Massachusetts in 1810 to a lawyer/politician father, who’d been disappointed she had not been born a boy. Yet instead of sending Margaret into the kitchen to cook with her mother, or out in the yard to beat-out the rugs, wash clothes and clean glass lanterns; Timothy raised his daughter in his den, homeschooling and educating her with a laborious course study.

At three-in-a-half-years-old Margaret was reading and writing. At four, she knew arithmetic. Before she reached five, she knew English and Latin grammar. Timothy brought his daughter up to read all sorts of books from ancient history, political philosophy, travel, biographies, novels, all the great European authors and playwrights, and so on.

He had told Margaret, “To excel in all things should be your constant aim. Mediocrity is obscurity.”

The Secret to Happiness

Note from founder: Studies show happiness is one of the most well-known sensations people inquire. Some even say it’s the purpose of life. Reports have found that possessing great heaps of money can buy things such as time and good hearty meals. It’s known to have helped people purchase memorable experiences, plow their way to the tops of pyramids, and if you can believe it – bargain their way into the hearts of others! Don’t fret if you don’t have money, sit down with a notebook and pen and write out the following list. # 1) Obsess. Visualize yourself having cash in your pockets and dough in your safe to the point where nothing and no one else matters. # 2) Borrowing isn’t stealing. When at the office or an outing or event, let other people pay for your dinner and drinks. Don’t be so eager to throw down your own cash. # 3) Beg. Stand outside super markets, laundry matts, bookstores, etc., with a sign in your hand that asks others to contribute towards the fundraiser of your choice. And when someone donates, be sure to look out for them the next time they come around!

Confessions of a Woman Gone Mad: Ants

Wednesday June 17th 9:30am:
In the bathroom while brushing my teeth, a little black ant circles the soap dispenser. How did it get in? I walk over to the window to the right above the toilet. No draft or hole. No other ants. Back at the sink, I spit, rinse, flick the light off and walk into the kitchen.

Saturday June 20th 6:00am:
I jump out of the shower and dry off. I dress for work, place the towel on the hook, and then reach into the whicker caddy beside the sink for my deodorant. A little black ant is crawling up the side of it. I let it crawl onto my finger, and then gently place it down against the counter. The ant walks along my finger over to his friends hanging around the faucet.

Confessions of a Woman Gone Mad: Addie

Posted on December 7, 2015 by Britt

Monday September 28th 7:30am:
I stand at the front door and rub my eyes awake. My sister’s there, going on and on about how she has to go to work. My niece is sick and can’t go to school. She has no choice; Addie has to stay with me for the day. She hands me a note, a pink lunch box, kisses Addie on the cheek and darts towards her running car. “See you at four,” she hollers out the window and drives away.

The note:
– Make sure Addie takes a teaspoon of her medicine (see in lunch box) every four hours. Don’t worry, she’s not contagious.
– She eats a lot (like every two hours) so I packed her lunch and plenty of snacks. If she wants anything else, make sure it’s ORGANIC. She only eats organic and her stomach will not be able to handle anything with hormones or pesticides in it. ORGANIC FOOD ONLY.
– NO CANDY
– NO TV
– NO-
I crumble the note in my hand and toss it into the garbage.

CALLING ALL HEMINGWAY AFICIONADOS!!!

Ever wonder how writers start out? Or, about the process of writing a novel? If it were so easy wouldn’t everyone do it?

When I was studying undergrad, a student of English Lit, I drove four in a half hours to Hemingway’s archive at The JFK Library in Boston for research on my final project. The paper was a comparison between his first drafted manuscripts of The Sun Also Rises, vs. his final published version of the novel.

I spent nine hours rummaging through Hemingway’s journals, manuscripts, any paper with any mention of The Sun Also Rises. What an experience!!

As a reader, researcher and writer, I found it illuminating to see first hand Hemingway’s passion, work, and efforts that went into writing his first great novel.

Here is what I discovered: