Writing: The Art of Romanticizing Life

I’ll be the first to admit that my life is, by no means, glamorous. I am in, in no way, the best at anything. I have many talents but am a master of none, as the saying goes.

But when I tell people stories of my life, they listen. Or they read, because I am a writer and all. I lived a life that was very clumsy, but for that I have stories to tell. I did not live them so that I could make a profit or for the attention. Many of the stories I have to tell about my life, I truly wish I could take back and never live through again.

But why do you even bring them up, if you wished they never happened?

I am who I am today, because of those events. Because of my mistakes. While there is a teeny bit of satisfaction from people being interested in what I have to say, I honestly want people to learn from my life.

How do you get people to listen?

As a writer, stories are told in a way that place people in the moment. I put them there with me in the emergency room in Baghdad, in the concrete shelter of a bunker in Talil, in a helicopter over Mosul, on the seas of the Persian Gulf.  They listen as if they were on the receiving end of the phone call, the bad news, the heartbreak, the fear. Things that they have felt before but claim “I can’t even begin to imagine.”

Oh, but you can. And I will help you.

Writing is taking my day, mundane and routine, giving the details of what would normally go unnoticed, and changing the perspective of the person reading (or listening. I tell a lot of stories, too).

Writers church up the details, regardless of their intent. We make things darker, bolder, sexier, more precious. We put makeup on the pig, and fool them all.

This is kind of embarrassing but I’ll admit to it:

I have a habit of commentating my life as I go through my day. It makes me more conscious of my emotions, easier to control because I imagine people are listening to my thoughts and watching me throughout my day. This exercise also helps me to search out those romantic details of my day, and explore them.

Disclaimer: By romance, I am not referring to any type of relationship with people. I am referring to the ability to make something ordinary or otherwise a footnote and showing it in a light that makes it appear desirable.

Example: I have recently resigned from my job. I will, more or less, be a stay at home mom. For those who live there, they know it’s not as exciting as it sounds. But the writer in me divulges more, because heaven forbid anyone think my life is boring or mundane. I’m quitting my job to write full time and focus on my children. My book is finally finished and I have begun seeking representation. I should be published by the summer of 2018.

See how romantic that sounds? Not once did I mention dirty dishes or poopy diapers. Scrubbing the toilet or folding an endless pile of laundry. My hope was that you would imagine me, in my business casual, typing in my home office while my children play quietly on the floor in their clean day clothes (I just laughed so hard I snorted).

So you, writer, can you “church up” your day to day? Can you paint a sexy picture of your #bedhairdontcare? Can you fool us into believing Beyonce ACTUALLY woke up like that? That is my challenge for you today. Tweet it, FaceBook it, Instagram it.

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#myromanticlife

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Yeah- I’m into Fitness… Fitn’ess Crazy Schedule into 24 hours!

Geez Louis I have been a busy lady. I’ve come back to work this week after a couple stays in the hospital with my littlest little. Since September sucked so bad, I decided to change a few things. One of these things is my health. After baby number 2 and a long and drawn out Postpartum Depression, I have found myself 20 lbs overweight, and 30 lbs from where I’d like to be. Dammit.

So now I have to try fitn’ess terrible hectic schedule into 24 hours and be successful at EVERYTHING- because what’s the point of all the stress if I’m not?

Just for your peace of mind, there is a list- in order- of the things i do 4 of 5 days a week.

Get the kids to the sitter on time

Get to work on time

Leave 1/2 way through and get my son to afternoon preschool on time

Work on my book

Make 2 calls for sponsorship for the nonprofit I support

Workout

Get kid from School on time

MAYBE go to the grocery store (this is like 3 of 5 days)

Get daughter from the sitter on time

3 different dinners because heaven forbid everyone have to eat the same thing

Feed children and entertain them for 1-3 hours

Bed time for Tiny

Work on book

Bed time for son

More book? Snuggle with the mister (because he needs attention too!!)

Sleep….

Up at 5am and try again

I am constantly moving and juggling. I am hoping to make a few extra changes in the coming weeks, but until then this is my life. I am excited to not be fat anymore, though. So I have that going for me.

A few things that have helped me stay on track with my fitn’ess:

  1. Stick to a strict eating schedule. Even if it’s an off day like a weekend or a Wednesday when I work all day and son doesn’t have school. I also leave most of my eating to the afternoon because I do not like to work out after eating too much and the evening is when I snack. So if I know I have a few hundred calories of food I can eat, I don’t feel as guilty. I don’t eat after 8 because I’m usually dead tired by then.
  2. Giving myself time to get “ready” for my workout. I take about 30 minutes to drink a preworkout magic motivation potion, change my clothes, set up the TV, get my weights out and I don’t feel rushed. When I am stressed, I am completely unmotivated and feel like I can only do so much of the whole workout and I ultimately talk myself out of doing the whole thing. SO… letting myself get ready helps me.
  3. Scheduling the same time to do it! That way I know I have enough time between book and preschool pick up to get ready and do the whole work out.
  4. Friends, accountability and community. I love having people in my corner to pump me up and cheer me on while they are going through their journey as well. I’m a bit competitive so I don’t want to be the one that is slacking. I love the motivation it gives me and could not do it without you guys. (Because I know you love me and read my blogs too).

 

My goal is fitn’ess @ss into a certain dress by a certain date in January. My baby factory is closed and there is no reason for me to ever be fat ever again. Here’s to a healthier and fitter me.

 

Thank October- I’m Awake!!!

September was a horrible month for me and my house and I am thankful that it is over. I had every intention on doing amazing things in September to include pitching my book, but none of those things happened.

I had a slew of family visit me, which in itself is not a bad thing. My sister came to visit from KCMO for a weekend and then days later my husband’s entire immediate family came for my daughter’s first birthday. My dad and his family made it to her celebration as well.

After her party, I rushed her to the emergency room. My poor little girl was admitted to the ICU right away. What my family and I assumed was just a cold, was a virus and pneumonia. She barely skirted getting a breathing tube. After a few days, she bounced back and released after 5 days. A week later, we were back, readmitted but not nearly as bad as the first time. The doctors could not determine if it was the same illness that was complicated by another on top of it, or if she simply caught the same illness again. We were discharged and things are looking up for my little miss.

I had some pretty big personal struggles going on through all of that that weighed heavy on me and my family, but have since cleared up as well. The past is the past and we plan on leaving it there.

What does October bring?

Struggles probably. Final edits. Work with the Ghost Town Writer’s Retreat which I am really excited about. Juggling work and kids. You know, more of the same.

I have quite a few blog posts actually scheduled for the month to keep everyone engaged in what’s going on. Thank you all for your support through these struggles and encouragement to meet my goals.

My hopes that your October is significantly better than last month. Even if September was not all that bad for you. Cheers!

The Mystery of the Disappearing Underpants- A Book Review

This is a middle level reader for 3rd grade and up. You can purchase this chapter book HERE.

I loved this book. It is written as the secret spy log of three neighborhood kids trying to solve multiple mysteries. They end up getting into quite a bit of trouble along the way.

This book brought me back to the days of my childhood and the radical adventures my friends and I would send ourselves on. What I really loved was the ease of reading. The author alternates narrators between each member of the spy team, and it is incredibly fun and easy to keep up with.

As an American reader, I found that sometimes I was having to reread some lines to get a better grasp of what was happening or what the narrator meant, but I would 100% encourage my son to read this to expand his knowledge of English cultures and reading within context. Nothing was far from deduction.

Nikki Young, thank you for writing such a rich adventure for the growing generations. I cannot wait until my children are old enough to devour this book as quickly as I did.

Weird Dreams

Some things that comes with a creative mind are crazy dreams. In the light of recent lamentatious posts, I feel a good laugh is far overdue. This dream is going to give away my age.

Soooo… I’m in a house next door to my old home in Louisiana that I have not lived since 1999. I’m in the living room with all five Backstreet Boys (I laughed when I typed that out). Anyway, they are dancing around me trying to seduce me with their harmonies, and sexy dance moves and I am singing along playing hard to get (think every single ’90s pop music video with a ton of black and red pleather).

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Anyway, so it’s over and AJ McLean (oh I’ve had the hots for him since I was 13) propositions me for casual sex. I laugh in his face and say no because I’m like married. So he takes some other girl to a back room and I leave because gross.

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Anyway, I kept thinking about the whole song and dance scene all morning and laughing because that pretty much sums up my every pubescent daydream. Bieber has nothing on grown men. Now if you don’t mind, I think I will spend the day looking at old Tiger Beats on the interwebs. CHEERS!

Not me. Not this time.

HappyBirthdayMy Love

I have never been the one to mess with. I have either always knew the rule or researched it enough to know whether my stance on the matter was right or wrong. Health/ dental insurance don’t mess with me.  I know my contract in and out. I know what I am “entitled to”.

“But Dacia, you’re a millennial, you’re not entitled to anything!

I am a ten year Army veteran. I have earned my health and dental plans. (But really they are my husband’s work’s so shut up. Yes I have ‘earned’ them)

So let me tell you women something. You do not have to agree with what they tell you.

You don’t have to go along because you don’t know any better

You can learn negative and detrimental things of you own past that bring to light something you held at high regard.

You can learn that ‘”protection” might not have actually saved you from the danger of your own family.

You can learn that after 32 years of existence, what you thought you had built your own foundation  on was a lie or was kept a secret from you, in hopes that it would go away.

I feel ashamed and defensive. I feel like I am owed the truth on the matter before I go chiseling at the details.

I feel that being so comfortably removed from the situation has, yes, saved me from the physical hurt that others have experienced but also left the remaining victims silent in their recovery, personal remorse, and unable to anonymously share their side of the story.

Ladies- You are not alone. Many have felt this pain. It is not my story to tell, but if you can help others by stepping up, then maybe it’s worth it.

It is time that you have felt this validation. That YOU know that you are loved despite the things that happened to you.

I grew up so far removed. My memories are locked in the photos I own. I try to apply principles to my own little family that has very different dynamics.

If you can please help me to understand why women lay so vulnerable to men;   not allowing their own voices to be heard. Why do you place your husband above the love of your children? Then I may be able to sleep tonight.

The Generation That Built Us

Having a daughter has completely derailed me. Things that I have kept high on a shelf, have come down to tiny hands that don’t understand the frailty of the memories they hold.

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This bunny has a good 25 years on her new owner.

My father being in the military, we rarely lived close to family. When we did go “home” to visit, we stayed with my grandmother; my father’s mother. I only just recently found out my own mother hated it. But my brother, sister and I loved everything about it. The cookie jar that held snack cakes instead of just plain ole cookies, the “haunted barn” we’d explore only supervised by my aunt, who would later in life become my roommate, the smell of coffee and cigarettes at all hours of the day, and Grandma. Her cooking, her gifts, her love, and her pride in us: the grandkids.

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Always so proud of us (I’m the bottom left of the main photo.. My cousin is the innocent by-standard. Her blog can be found HERE).

My Grandmother was the face of everything that the subsequent generations wanted to be to their family: the Matriarch. There was not a get together that she was not in the center of. Her cooking alone is enough for its own post.  It was never ever about what she bought us. What she gave us, she made with her own two hands. I am happy that even at a young age, I recognized the prize that was handed to me that Christmas.

Hand sewn bunnies, like the one gifted to me in the first photo, were given to all the granddaughters she had at the time. Many MANY more came later, but as her eye sight went, and her arthritis worsened, fewer things were sewn and less gifts were made.

And now as a mother, I treasure more the things my mother makes for me and my children. I want her to be proud of my children like my grandmother was proud of us. I want my daughter to know the line of strong women that she comes from. I also want her to know the value and worth behind taking a few abstract materials, a little bit of finesse and a lot of love and transforming it into an heirloom; a token of love and life that will transcend her own if treated delicately.

Grandma, thank you for sharing your gifts with us. I hope I do well to teach my kiddos of your diligence, your love and your pride in them. Even my littlest little who did not get to meet you. We love and miss you dearly.