Give Me Your Best Shot

And so, I’m back in front of Hemingway with a cup of coffee a safe distance away.  We got to Glasgow after dark on Christmas Eve, met with hugs and pretzels.  We then settled down to watch Bad Santa for the second time in 24 hours.  Followed by Mr Popper’s Penguins, during which I fell asleep.  Sarge still hasn’t forgiven me.

The air-mattress was the same height as the couch.  I may have rolled from one to the other and continued to snore like a girl.

Me getting up from an air-mattress is like something out of an I Love Lucy episode.  On Christmas day, Sarge was up first, and the see-saw action was just the momentum I needed.

I may have cried at the end of Miracle on 34th Street, somewhere between pancakes and presents, and before Poker.  I may have cried at the end of the game, too.  Not  because I lost.  Because I got a little over-whelmed.  I do that.  It makes me frustratingly loveable.

On Boxing Day, Sarge and I took a stroll to the coffee-shop where we ended our seven-hour first date.   Then we went to the pub, because the Ferris wheel was closed.

We went home to left-overs and Home Alone.  I may have cried at the end.

We left the next day, after planning our next trips.

And today, I’m sitting here lining up next year and going over this one.

Here are my highlights, thrills and one spill of 2011.

I welcomed this year surrounded by loved ones and strangers on an island.  I then came home to my shrinking wardrobe, and reminisced about a pen.

In February, I admitted I had piles, and found poetry in one of them.

In March, I renewed my passport and turned 30.

In April, a nurse named Karen super-glued my head, and I went to work with a black eye.

In May, I admitted that I grew up thinking Nina Simone was a man, amongst other things.

In June, Sarge met my New York family.

In July, I went back to Glasgow for laughs and cheesecake, and came back to Edinburgh and got locked in a toilet.

In August, I fried my computer and got caught in the rain.

In September, I left my phone at work.  Hilarity ensued.  Apparently.  I may have also said my boyfriend is better than coffee.  Maybe.  OK, I did.  I also stayed on Island Number 3 of 2011.

In October, I made a decision.

In November, I made a pact with my Dad.  I’m still working on it.

And earlier this month, I said I don’t sleep with my colleagues, which might have confused cinema staff.

What about you?  What are your highlights of 2011?

Sarge and I are on the road again tomorrow.  Happy New Year when it comes!

(Inspired by life and Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop)

Cracking the window and lighting things up for 2012.

It’s Not About The Stuff

And so, I may be sitting here listening to music, getting ready to break open the Baileys and watch an episode of The Sopranos before we get the train to Glasgow tomorrow.  There was one last traipse around the mall today.  I came home with a headache and a realisation, as I do every year.  It’s not about the stuff.  I can’t wait to get where I’m going tomorrow, I need to give my Dad a hug, and laugh for a few days in a row.  I may cry, too.   But I’ll blame that on the Baileys.

Have a great holiday, people.  I hope you are with the ones you love.

 

A Writer Reads

Cover of "3 AM Epiphany"
Cover of 3 AM Epiphany

I now write for the groovy Limebird Writers, and my first post as LimeBird Lorna is now live!  Go check it out here, or here:

 

I find inspiration everywhere, but sometimes I need a little push.  On slow days, I go to these books for a prompt, a spark, or some words on the craft:

 

The Writer’s Block – I truly love this thing.  We go back a long way and we’ve been through a lot.  This little book is coffee-stained, highlighted, dented and loved.

 

3 AM Epiphany – In my mind, this book makes you write outside the box.  Interesting prompts with word limits prove that less usually leads to more.

 

The Writer’s Idea Book – This book uses personal prompts and other prompts in order for you to get words on a page then re-write them.

 

The Art of Writing Fiction – This is a new one on me, but very useful.  My favourite at the moment.

 

So, those are on my writing shelf at home.  I also have a teeny tiny copy of Writing Down the Bones, but it’s too tiny to read, so I haven’t.  And while I did go through a morning pages phase, The Artist’s Way is not my favourite thing.

 

When I’m stalling, I also read my favourite authors, and I have a thing for first novels.

 

What writing books do you read?

Where do you find inspiration?

 

Must Shake Things Up

This was my do not want list for 2011.  Except for a few items, it worked.  So I’ve been thinking on another one.

I won’t have time for the following things next year.  Because I’ll be having too much fun concentrating on other things.

 

Boredom.  I used to say that bored people weren’t creative enough.  And then I got over myself.  But boredom isn’t fun, and really isn’t productive.  And so, less of that.  I love my life, I just want to do more with it.

Negativity.  Because No is not cool.

Worry.  It’s a waste of time.  So don’t do it.  Life is good.

Self-induced stress.  Snap out of it.  Burn some incense and chill the hell out.

Unfinished books.  Mine and other people’s.  Read and write to done.

Blank notebooks.  Fill every page with everything.

Fireworks #1
Image by Camera Slayer via Flickr

Bad coffee.  Because I still don’t have the time.

2012 will be a year of adventure.  Of shaking things up and making stuff happen.  Can’t wait!

What’ s on your Do Not Want list for 2012?

 

Proof of Pumpkin

After Thanksgiving, I waxed nostalgic about canned pumpkin.  My friend who writes at Calypte’s Scanner Diary, told me where I might find some.  And today, Sarge comes home from Christmas shopping with two cans of this lovely stuff:

My boyfriend is the best.

 

I like how the light is shining on the can.  As if it’s been sent by the Gods of Canned Pumpkin.  Or my Nana.

An Open Letter to the Vet

What follows is the text of the letter going along with CJ to her vet’s visit today:

Hi,

This is CJ.  She’s 9.  She’s being re-homed up North, due to my boyfriend’s allergies.  We used to live on a farm, but she’s been a flat-cat since 2005, when we moved to Glasgow.

She is third-generation feral, and she was fixed when she was a year old.  I believe she had shots at that time.

She needed a booster when we lived in Glasgow and I wanted to get her chipped, but the vet could do neither at the time, due to an infected scratch on CJ’s neck.

What she needs now is a booster and a chip, and some kitty anti-depressants (milk pills?) for her upcoming journey, and also a vapouriser-plug-in-magic-thing for her new home.  Everyone will thank you for it.

I am sending her to you, accompanied by my boyfriend, because I am a big chicken.  I hate to see her stressed.

My boyfriend may be stressed too, because he thinks this whole thing is his fault.  It isn’t.

Please be nice to them both.

And my boyfriend doesn’t need a chip.

Thanks,

Lorna

CJ’s Human/The Cat’s Mother

P.S.  The background to this story, complete with more existential reasoning, can be found here.

CJ is disgruntled.

I Don’t Sleep With My Colleagues

Sarge and I still date. Each other. It’s allowed. And also important. When he’s working late, and I’m not working enough, dating is a way for us to remember what the other one looks like without tired eyes (his) or PMS (mine). These days, our dates are weekend trips to the movies after having coffee that Sarge doesn’t have to make for me. And I promise, these dates do differ from our nights in with fish and chips and a box-set (Northern Exposure, The Sopranos, Spaced, Black Books.)

And so yesterday, high on holiday mochas with whip, we rolled into the cinema to see Hugo. We asked for our tickets and there was a pause.

The wheelchair space needed to be ‘released’ and this required approval from the manager. The manager comes over and eyeballs me, possibly waiting to see if I’ll leap up and proclaim that I only use the chair to get the not-really discounted seats.

‘We have to make sure that the space isn’t booked by someone who doesn’t need it, you see.’ He said this to Sarge, not me. ‘And there’s your ticket. So you can sit next to your colleague.’

‘She’s my girlfriend.’

‘Oh. Enjoy the show.’ He went away. Leaving us with the girl at the counter.

‘Are we colleagues?’ I asked Sarge. ‘Because, you should know, I don’t sleep with my colleagues. And if we did work together, we’d never get any work done.’

‘No’, he said.

And with that we went into the movie. Where I transferred into a seat and Sarge parked the chair into its designated space.

‘Can I hold your hand? Or is that not allowed? Since we’re colleagues?’

‘That’s okay, I think it’s in the contract somewhere,’ I said.

I have CP. I hire a PA to do all the things Sarge, as my boyfriend, shouldn’t have to do. Nor would I want him to. I have been on friendly terms with all my PAs; we have a laugh on the way to my office building. Where I work. With my colleagues. Sarge is not one of them.

Saturday was the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and this is also Disability History Month in Scotland. I’ve been trying to think of something to say about these important days. On Saturday, I wrote words that had nothing to do with my CP, and then I spoke to my Dad. When Sarge got home from an afternoon spent playing ancient geek games, we had the aforementioned fish and chips and shared our evening with the Sopranos.

And yesterday I went on a date. With my boyfriend. Because I could. I can celebrate Saturday, and any other day, by just being here. Living my life, changing the things I can and hoping for the rest. Because that’s all anyone can do.

I mentioned earlier that I wanted to say something important and worthwhile within my ramble, I guess my two c(p)ents is this. Every disabled person out there has family and friends, people who care for them and support them, without being paid to do so. Some have partners and jobs. We even go to the movies.

After Hugo, Sarge and I came home, where we weren’t colleagues. Sometime in the future we might be, if I break my own rule and we ever open that bookshop we talk about.  But that’s another post.

Us. And I don’t take these kinds of photos with my colleagues.