Off the cuff

I’m just going to let this fly because I’ve been feeling like the biggest writing boob ever.  No, wait, don’t feel bad for me, I do this to myself with the best intentions.  I want to write and then I get in some kind of writing groove and everything is all sunny and shiny and happy and wow and then *smash* the world stops for just a second and the crack in the fabric of the universe gets bigger.  Know what I mean?

I mean, sometimes.

I have these cats and one cat is the dad cat and one cat is the daughter cat and the daughter cat gets all loud and mrowly sometimes and the only way to quiet her down is if the dad cat comes up behind her and grabs her scruff with his teeth and sits on her butt.  It’s really kinda weird.

Our Christmas tree is still up in the living room because we spent last weekend doing things we really wanted to do and letting ourselves relax in a way we haven’t for a very long time.  Now I’m really ready for the tree to go.  I feel like the house needs to be shaken so all the excess glitter can fall to the side and only the important things can stick.

I find friendships to be hard because everyone has a different standard for boundaries and different expectations for what they think their friendships should be.  I like a good friend, and a good laugh.  I like space and breath too.  I don’t see a lot of people a lot of the time because we all have places to be and things to do and we all need time for contemplation.  When I do see people I haven’t seen in a long while I’m usually giddy and sometimes I can’t stop talking even when I like the sound of their voice.

Since Christmas I’ve been reading 5 books, but just yesterday I finished one.  It was a memoir and some of it I loved and some of it frustrated me because I wanted her to move on with herself and not be so caught up in the idea of being single post 30.  I’m not one to talk because I don’t know what it is to be single at this age and how hard it must be to have friends and family constantly at you to find the “right one” and settle down and start breeding.  I just wish the author could have enjoyed herself more and put less pressure on stupid societal expectations.

I’m reading another memoir that I want to love, but I’m having the worst time relating the the author and I hate to say that I feel like she’s condescending and it gets on my nerves.  I thought maybe it was just me so I read some reviews online.  Turns out it’s about 50-50 love/hate.  I’m still reading the book.  I’m about half-way there.

Yesterday, I took my kids to the Y and they almost spent the entire time in the play area, but they didn’t.  Instead they got to fighting about a toy and the little one bonked herself in the nose and it started bleeding a little.  I was on a stationary bike reading a collection of short stories by Truman Capote pretending that was the only thing I had to accomplished for the day when I saw them: the lady and my daughter scanning the room.  I didn’t get to finish my work-out, but I love the way daughters curl up on their mamas.

My oldest daughter has taken to expounding on certain aspects of life and instruction while punctuating with a pointed finger bouncing through the air.  “And Mom,” she says, “Make sure you get good sleep.”  My husband says that’s her being me and I know he’s right.

Somewhere upstairs doors are opening and little girls are waking up.  It isn’t dark outside yet.  The days are getting longer.  Soon it will be warm again.

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About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in adventures in childrearing, cold, friendship, kids, relationships, truth. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Off the cuff

  1. Julie Jeffs says:

    I love this post. Sometimes I think we are related in ways I cannot explain, or maybe I feel like I’m your mom (cuz I’m probably old enough to be), or I just want to be part of your family because everything you write, even the uncomfortable, anxious, itchy stuff feels comforting to me, like it is home. Thank you. You are amazing.

    • pennyjars says:

      Julie, I’d make you my sister in an instant, even though I already have a sister by that name. After all, I have three brothers Robert, so who’s counting? Thank you for everything and everything else.

  2. Beth Lowe says:

    Such authentic writing, Victoria. Like the papa cat grabbing us by the scruff of the neck. Yes, I know about that crack in the universe, and the need to shake everything up until the glitter falls to the side, but, damn, I could never have said it like that. I like space and breath, too; people sometimes say I like it too much. Is it the writer or the personality behind the writer? Dunno. I don’t think it matters. It just is. You know you don’t have to finish the memoir you want to love but don’t, right? Unless it’s written by a friend, you don’t get extra points for that.

    Longer days are, indeed, coming. Be the biggest writing boob ever, just keep the faith and keep it coming.

    • pennyjars says:

      Beth, last night the daughter cat woke me up three times. I’m glad my husband had the faculties to realize maybe there was a reason, the dad cat was caught in a closet. There’s a parable in that, I’m sure of it. Something to do with paying closer attention to the space we inhabit and not being all glitter-headed all the time. I’m going to finish the book. Endings can be surprising. 🙂

  3. Lisa says:

    This is an utterly delightful off the cuff piece, a true slice of Victoria life. Thank you. Here’s to longer days…
    Hugs,
    Lisa

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  5. Holy crap, I love the new blog! I have neglected you! And this gorgeous post is a reminder of what I’m missing — happy new year, Victoria!

    • pennyjars says:

      Happy New Year, Marie! You know, I was over at your blog a few times recently and I was going to mention those old links. What a disappointment they must be. 😉 So glad you stopped!

  6. Off the cuff 🙂
    Everything you wrote is like “a day in the life of a writer” material: weird observations, trying to balance too many books, fumbling through friendships, and reading Truman Capote while exercising (!).

    I head straight for the gossip magazines, by the way.
    On those days when I exercise.
    Which, lately, is zilch.

    <3, xoxo, and all that jazz.

    • pennyjars says:

      Christi, reading a book while exercising is the only way I can do two things–exercise and read a book. I’m going to try again tomorrow and hope there’s no blood shed for any of us. Thank you, thank you.

  7. 2kop says:

    Friendships — thought I’d figured that one out a long time ago. Turns out not so much.

    My house could use a little shaking, too, but somehow I don’t think that the good stuff would stick. That would probably all fall out with the excess glitter and other nonsense, leaving nothing but the crap. But thanks for the beautiful image. It will stick with me.

    • pennyjars says:

      Most of the things I like are attached. When I get my new vacuum, watch out! It’s going to be like the Grinch’s all-Christmas-stuff-sucking-up-machine. I hope it can sort.

      And you’re a pretty fab friend on my list, so I know you got most of it figured anyway. 😉

  8. kario says:

    Love it. And hate it because I can relate.

    Here’s to another book you can love and really sink your teeth into. And here’s to someone helping you take down Christmas. And here’s to you taking your daughter’s advice.

    • pennyjars says:

      Ha ha, Kari, if my daughter will let me, I’d happily take her advice. Oh wait, It’s after midnight. See, there I go again. And books…ah, there are always so many wonderful books. Not to worry on that score. And this weekend is slated for hyper organization. And you…what are you holding off on doing?

  9. Sweepy Jean says:

    Lovely post. Being in the zone, just letting it go–there’s nothing like it! Happy New Year and good luck with the house shaking!

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