2014-15 Fall School Year Pictures
Austin is a Senior this year!
Ellie & Marcus are in Kindergarten!
(How did that happen?!)
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Happy 5th Birthday to my Twinnies!
Photos taken by “The Look” Photography
Sometimes you are not suited to something. For instance, I doubt that I would make a very good doctor. Even assuming I could get through medical school passing fair I don’t care for blood and gore, my personality isn’t chock full of empathy, in short, my bedside manner would suck and my attention span is such that I wouldn’t be able to stay with the task on hand.
You may love basketball. You could spend hours practicing and trying to hone your skills. You may have a real passion for the game. But you may also be five foot nothing and a chubby white female. No matter your great desire and your no-quit attitude you are unlikely to become a member of the WNBA. BUT… you can support the local booster club. You can be a team supporter and go to games and cheer. You can focus that love in other ways. When we redirect this way it’s usually looked on as being REALISTIC.
When someone realizes as a part of that natural progression from childhood to young adult to mature adult that they are not suited to a particular career and they instead steer themselves to something they are good at we applaud it as self-awareness. We don’t call a mean-spirited spazmatron a quitter for not going into medicine. So I wonder then, why are we so hard on people in other aspects of their life.
Let’s take another example. I know several very happy, long-lived couples who have chosen for personal reasons not to have children. (Incidentally they all do have pets.) Why do they get viewed as ‘less than’ or ‘a bit strange’? Perhaps they have the self-awareness to know they are suited to be parents. Isn’t it a good thing if folks like that abstain from inflicting themselves on another human life; especially a life that would depend so heavily on them for so many years? Don’t you suppose that folks ill-prepared for parenthood just might be the ones that end up with neglected or abused children? Even if they try very hard to be good parents perhaps they simply don’t have the genetic makeup for it. Why do we debase those folks?
I personally have become aware of something about myself. And up to this point in my life I thought I was a failure and a quitter. I thought I was doing something wrong, I thought I had fallen short somehow. I realize now that it’s not true. There is nothing wrong with me. I am simply not suited to be in the role of wife\girlfriend. I’m no damn good at it. It doesn’t have anything to do with a lack of effort either. I’m not a bad or immoral person. In fact, I think I’m quite moral, kind-hearted, generous and loving. But I don’t have the genetic make-up to be involved with another adult for whom I’ve no real connection outside of sating a need for companionship. Certainly some of it could be marked up to poor matches. But I don’t think that’s the whole story. I see too many inequities in the male\female union. I have a big problem with that and because I’m not an idiot I have a hard time letting it pass. Do not misunderstand. I am not suggesting that folks in blissfully happy relationships are simpering dimwits. However, I may be subtly suggesting that at least within the realm of their partnership they are least overlooking much and at most lying their asses off about the bliss.
I spent years feeling like a catastrophe over my divorces and other failed relationships. I thought I had let-down my kids, my family, myself, God and pretty much everyone. I realize now that shit happens and life goes on. Not only that, but I simply don’t fit well into that mold. I am a good friend, mom, sister, daughter, aunt, teacher, worker…. But I suck at being a partner (and not in a good way). I’ve come to terms with it. I have decided to focus on all those other relationships and aspects of my life that bring me joy and allow me to give joy. If we only get this one life why would you want spend one single minute struggling in a pit of despair?
Embrace the horror! Love your bad-self an always be who you are. Unless you can be a unicorn, then always be a unicorn.
Prompt: Write a birthday poem or card for Dad!
Written by Emily Harstone.
Setting is the key to many stories. I Capture the Castle by Dodi Smith would not be nearly so powerful if it was set elsewhere. The Great Gatsby would be a completely different story if it took place in the Midwest. So many stories rely on their location to tell the story.
This exercise is one of creating a solid setting. Think of a place you would like to write about, then find a photo of it. Maybe it will be a photo you took, or one you found on the internet.
Focus on the photo but don’t describe what is going on in it, instead add details to it, expand from it, try and flesh out the world. Use it as a jumping off point for your imagination.
Don’t try to add characters or a plot, just imagine the details of the land itself. Describe the weather there, the temperature, the types of trees, and ferns. Or perhaps it is a desert and you have to describe it in terms of dust, sky, and sand.
This exercise is all about imagining the environment. Try and spend at least ten minutes describing it on paper. After the first ten minutes you can do anything, you can save the location for later, you can add people, you could even throw the exercise away. No matter what you do from there, you will have improved your ability to create a detailed setting.
There is a saying in the martial arts to describe the proper mind frame needed to become a master. Mind like water. This is a state of mind that writers must strive for as well. Write about that feeling. Have you ever experienced it? If so how did it feel? What images does the phrase “Mind like water” bring to…well your mind?
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
? Bruce Lee
Written by Emily Harstone.
This exercise involves several steps. The only material you need is a pen (or pencil), a piece of paper, and a timer.
Once you have all your materials set up, picture a character in your head. After you have thought about the character for a minute or two, set a timer for five minutes. Write during these five minutes. After the timer buzzes, read over what you have written.
Next set another timer for five minutes. Now try to convey the character from the perspective of another person. Once the timer buzzes review what you have written again.
Before you set the timer a third time imagine how your character would behave in a foreign country. Write about how the character behaves in this situation.
The fourth timer is set for only one minute. Now try to convey this character in just one sentence.
By the end of this exercise you should have a much better sense of this new character that you have created. You should know how they would behave in all sorts of strange situations. If you like this character you can even keep him or her around for a longer project.
5-minute character, self:
5-minute character, other:
5-minute character as a foreigner:
1-minute character in a single line:
It would be the easiest answer to say money. Rampant commercialism and greed have encased me in a situation in which I can’t escape. But… that would be too simple an answer. If I made more of an effort to reduce un-needed expenditures I don’t rightfully think I could continue to blame the almighty dollar for my plight. Do not misunderstand, I do believe that money is indeed the root of all evil but my chains are more subtle. I am bound by complacency. By what is easier to resolve to or ignore instead of fighting against. The sad look dismissed, the distant stare ignored, the down-cast eyes averted… all these and so much more that are looked over to avoid conflict. Passivity and the great desire to avoid any confrontation, even of the smallest kind, are my chains – and I am their willing captive. Until such time that I feel strong enough to stand up to the dissent and have that final confrontation I will remain here in this self-induced prison.
PROMPT: Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.
In the shade of the house, in the sunshine of the riverbank near the
boats, in the shade of the Sal-wood forest, in the shade of the fig tree
is where Siddhartha grew up, the handsome son of the Brahman, the young
falcon, together with his friend Govinda, son of a Brahman.
I was but a lowly serving girl to the Prince and his court. In secret I longed, not for Prince Siddhartha,
but for his dear-heart, Govinda. How I longed for him to take me in his arms and make me his but alas it was not meant to be.
Govinda loved only Siddhartha and would never turn his eyes or heart from him.
To be continued…