This I Resolve…IV

Well, I tried. I really tried. I figured that by starting my resolutions early in December, I would be home free by New Year’s Eve. Alas, I’m not. Blame it on all the company, blame it on the holidays, blame it on the freak snowstorm we had a few days ago, but most of all, blame it on me waiting until the last minute to put what I thought would be the finishing touches to an End of Life essay that I have been working on for some time for Creative Nonfiction, and deciding I needed to start from scratch. Last night I finally completed what I then thought was the final, final copy.

The postmark deadline was today, and wouldn’t you know it, when I called the Post Office this morning just to verify their hours, I was informed that they were closing today at 3:00 pm  (for the non-holiday of New Year’s Eve, I guess). I’ve always known I work best under pressure. I made some major revisions to my “final, final copy”, took a look at the clock and decided to call it good, and posted the manuscript just 20 minutes before closing time, watching carefully that they applied the all-important postmark before I walked away from the window. Moral? (And next resolution):

Don’t procrastinate!

Poetry Wednesday (well Thursday)

The prompt was late, honest! It was to write a “getting around to something” poem. What could be more a propos than writing about procrastinating making New Year’s resolutions!

This I Resolve

Every December without fail
I compile myself a list
Of resolutions for the coming year
And this I’ve never missed

But this year I fear is different
I think I know just why
Too many resolutions made and broke
In previous years gone by

Is there a point I wonder
In taking up my pen
To list hopes and aspirations
For the year 2010?

Yet habit being so strong
I guess I’ll heed the call
And get around to those pesky things
Before the dropping of the ball!

The Power of Music

This is the time of year that I miss my mother the most. It has been almost two years since that heartbreaking day that she was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with terminal cancer. My story about how I find solace in music was just selected as the winning entry for the first Chicken Soup for the Soul Giveaway Wednesday on Facebook. I hope the story brings comfort to others who are facing loss at the holidays.

Poetry Wednesday

The temperature was a startlingly brisk 12 degrees or so this morning when I headed out of the house, but totally crisp, cool and dry, not to mention the sparkling sunshine. Nary a drop in sight. But if we do get precipitation, as we may well on Saturday, it will come down as snow if we’re lucky, and freezing rain if we’re not.

It was remembering that we had the whole, what would have been the last week of school before the winter break, off last year, that reminded me of snow days. A snow day once in a while is fun– five consecutive days of them not so much fun!

Prompt: “…take the phrase “(blank) Day,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.”

Snow Day

Time melts and oozes
Like Salvador Dali’s clocks–
We’re children once more.

This I Resolve…III

For as long as I can remember, the top item on my list of New Year’s Resolutions was some variant of eat less, exercise more. Or cook more meals from scratch. Try new recipes.  Follow the food pyramid. Try the Mediterranean Diet. Eat smaller portions. Eat less more frequently. Eat less period. Go to the gym 7 days a week. 5 days a week. Shoot for 3. More aerobic activity. Lift weights regularly. More Pilates.  Master the 85 movements of Tai Chi. More yoga. Try some of the 8 am classes. Walk everyday. So for this year? All of the above!

This I Resolve… II

In the continuing effort to formulate New Year’s Resolutions at a leisurely pace, I began to think about my writing aspirations for next year. One thing that I had particularly wanted to do this year, was to write more Amazon reviews. There are two main reasons for this, the first being that when I want to decide whether a book is worth reading and/or buying, I check out the reviews on Amazon first. So what could be cooler than contributing to the collective body of reviews after I have read a book/ watched a movie/ purchased a product?

In the second place, writing a review shortly after I read a book/ watch a movie is the best way I know of reflecting on it. It provides a neat little wrap-up to the whole book reading/ movie watching experience, kind of like having to produce one of those book reports that were so ubiquitous, especially in my elementary school days.

So the resolution: Write Amazon reviews for as many books/movies/products as possible.

Some of my more recent reviews, with Oregon connections:

something has to happen next, by Andrew Michael Roberts (Oregon Book Awards Finalist-poetry, 2009)

Writing the Memoir: From Truth to Art, by Judith Barrington (Non-fiction)

Novel Shortcuts: Ten Techniques that Ensure a Great First Draft, by Laura Whitcomb (Non-fiction)

Mother Knows: 24 Tales of Motherhood, by Susan Burmeister-Brown (Editor of Glimmer Train)

Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family, by Lauren Kessler (an Oregon Reads selection, 2009)

Visibility, by Sarah Neufeld (YA novel)

Bearing the Body: A Novel, by Ehud Havazelet (Oregon Book Awards winner- fiction, 2008)

You can read all my reviews at: Read ’em. Like ’em? Rate ’em! 🙂