Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31st: Now We Know Our ABC's, Thanks for Playing Along with Me!

December 31st.  Again.  Another year of daily writing in the literal books.  Another year full of surprises, humility, learning, and growth.  This blog introduced me to words I'd never even knew existed and sometimes triggered memories of days gone by.  I was definitely challenged, intellectually and creatively, and I am happy with how this project came out.  Thank you, eternally, to all of you who played along or read along or both.  I felt freer this year than I have in a very long time and was happy to dig into the tunnels of childhood memories and early Boston days and more.  I hope you enjoyed it, too.  Stay tuned for projects mined from these pages -- there's one already completed called Home Field Advantage, that pulls from my October Baseball Madness, something I decided to put together specifically for my nine-year-old nephew (and baseball enthusiast both on and off the field) Landon but then opted to give to all of my family members for Christmas.  Now that they've all gotten their copies, I will make paperback (only) versions available for you all shortly.  

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to get inspired.  My original plan was to take things that inspire all of you and use them to write my daily posts, and I think I will still be doing some of that...  But as this project draws closer, I am overwhelmed by things that inspire me daily -- many of those things being propagated by you, my friends, family, community, country, world-at-large -- and I want to draw attention to those things, those moments that impact my life -- and my hope is that these stories will impact you as well!  

Maybe it's because this is the first New Year's Eve in, god, forever, that I haven't been hacking up a lung from my customary Christmas cough, but I am feeling so full of love, hope, grace, and promise for the future.  So many people have gone on bitter tirades about what a shit year 2016 has been, and I can understand why, in the global sense and maybe for some in the personal sense.  For me, though, 2016 has been like a big, warm hug.  This time of year is when the shit really hit the fan for me a few years ago (Christmas 2013 through early January 2014, especially), and I am one of those people who reflects on anniversaries of both wonderful and challenging times.  Surviving the tumultuous clusterfuck that was 2014, as a whole, shattered everything about who I believed I was up until that point.  My life was so irrevocably bound to the life of another person that I had no idea how I would ever move on.  After ten years in an often intense and manipulative relationship with a person I firmly believed would be the definition of the rest of my life, I limped very painfully into 2015, knowing that I'd made the absolute right decision to let him go, but also knowing that doing the "right" thing seemed an impossible thing.  Or so it felt, until I used my daily promise to write to help understand my feelings and deal with them head-on.  Off the page, too, I worked through the wreckage and found places to rebuild, to stabilize, to grow.  So by the time the calendar flipped to 2016, it was the freshest breath of air to be returning to my ABC's.  I'm still healing and processing that change of life and it's still sometimes very difficult, but for the most part, I feel....relieved to be where I am.  Free.  Happy.  Restored.  I'm back, baby, and it feels so good.  For me, 2016 was when the bloom returned to the rose, so to speak, and I feel open and ready for what's to come next.

I hope you'll stick with me for next year's writing project.  It should be a good one.

Just my buddy Ganesh & me, removin' obstacles wherever we go.
HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE, EVERYONE!


Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30th: Z is for Zonk

The zoologist was zipping up his coat when -- zonk -- his degree fell off his office wall and landed directly on his head, stunning him for a moment before picking it up and noticing something he'd never noticed before:  they'd spelled his name wrong -- and he puzzled over it the flip of an "I" and an "E" and his mind went straight to the childhood rhyme, "I before E except after C" and before he knew it, he was holding the fallen degree in one hand and scrolling through YouTube with the other, searching desperately for School House Rocks videos and conjunctions and turning bills into laws and numbers and adverbs and so much more and it wasn't until his colleague came into their shared office and gasped that he was bleeding, just a little, where the edge of the frame had nicked his brow, but even as he went to dab the blood with a tissue, he excitedly pointed out the still-playing video and invited her to sing along and she stared at him, still unaccustomed to his, well, wackiness, and said in an uncertain voice, "They're ready for you in the lecture hall," and he hopped up, degree still clutched under his arm, and said, "Right, yes, on my way," and dashed on down the hall with the sounds of "3 is a Magic Number" chasing after him.


Today's words:
Zonk - Bob Hunsche
Zipping - Hollie Sitosky
Zoologist - Nik Ricci

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 29th: Y is for Yo-Yo

An eight-year-old Lily got yo-yo in her Christmas stocking that she played with quite expertly while her mother cracked an egg into a pan to cook the yolk to soggy perfection, which made Lily's stomach grumble with a pre-emptive yum-yum, and even though it was just the two of them this year, it would turn out to be one of the best of Lily's young life, just her mother and her, giggling and counting stars on the tree with the sound of Bing Crosby crooning from the old record player that only came out for special occasions, none more special than this.



Today's words:
Yo-yo - Hollie Sitosky
Yum-yum - Bob Hunsche
Yolk - Nik Ricci

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28th: X is for Xanadu

 "A million lights are dancing and you are a shooting star
An everlasting world and you are here with me, eternally,
Xanadu, Xanadu --"

~ Olivia Newton John

Her love imploded,
rocketing her DNA out
in xenomorphic splendor
of ecstasy and lace,
reconfiguring everything,
her eyelashes, her toes,
blossoming her senses
to a state of euphoria
that left her signing everything
"XOXO," even in the sand
and the snow, it was all
"XOXO" and no other
beauty could burn
the atmosphere so purely
and without prejudice,
something so complete
that it made her sing,
off-key and brilliant
in her total state
of unbeatable bliss --



Today's words:
Xanadu - Bob Hunsche
Xenomorphic - Nik Ricci
XOXO - Hollie Sitosky

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27th: W is for Wrangle

She had to wrangle her father's dogs -- a Weimaraner named Ghost and two chocolate labs named Joe and Walrus --  the day he had his whipple procedure that would hopefully remove most of his pancreatic cancer and as she cursed the lack of discipline of these three gangly beasts, she was also happy to have the distraction for the next stretch of days while the whole family waited to see how it would all turn out.


Today's words:
Wrangle - Bob Hunsche
Whipple - Hollie Sitosky
Walrus - Nik Ricci
Weimaraner - Heather Smith Welling

Monday, December 26, 2016

December 26th: V is for Visualize

He would tell the kids nerdy things like, "The pectoral fins are dorsal to cloacal fin but ventral to the dorsal fin" and he'd have them lay down on the floor and visualize life from under the water, looking up,while he played whale and whooshing water sounds and the kids loved it and the other parents shook their heads and kept pouring the wine. 

Today's words:
Visualize - Bob Hunsche
Ventral - Nik Ricci 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25th: U is for Untied

She untied the bow and inside the box was a real upgrade of her previous teddy bear, so she named it "Ursus" because it seemed like a more sophisticated choice than "Teddy" and she couldn't wait to show it off to all her friends she n the school bus, simply thrilled to have a new cuddly friend to play with.

Today's words:
Untied - Bob Hunsche
Upgrade - Hollie Sitosky
Ursus - Nik Ricci