Instead of Tanka Tuesdays for the month of October, I will be participating in OctPoWriMo 2013…So enjoy!
Writing Prompt: Imagine yourself in the midst of an Autumnal setting. Using prose, describe what is all around you; what you see, hear, feel, smell, touch. Tell us about the glory of the season. It need not rhyme of course, just put yourself in the setting and through your imagery, take us there too.
I close my eyes and try to envision peace, whatever that may be. A cool breeze. Crunching leaves. A pumpkin spice latte. Sweater weather. Instead, I am plagued by the nausea in my stomach and the ache in my head. A friend jokingly suggested I may be suffering from morning sickness, as it seems to be going around work. Unless I am the latest victim of immaculate conception, my discomfort is caused by something far less glorious than the creation of life: I am the daily inn keeper for a zoo of adolescent gremlins. They are a breeding ground of illnesses I haven’t even heard of, and despite my recent attempt to gain healthiness by starting a vitamin routine– otherwise known as taking the cheapest once a day gummy vitamin for adults I could find– I am falling ill. The gremlins have won. My stomach is plagued by an inexplicable, unrelenting turbulence, and my head is submerged under an unidentifiable sea of germs. The school year has begun, and, despite my educational background, not even textbooks could prepare me for the Autumnal illnesses of being a first year teacher. This is my newfound glory.
Last year’s Autumnal glory involved quite a few Groupon and Living Social deals and wine tastings at local vineyards.
I didn’t know what to expect, and my social anxiety prevented me from wanting to make new friends at the conference, so I decided to do what I had done when I was younger: pretend I was a news reporter and super important at an event.
I ended up creating GingerSass and live-blogging the conference. GingerSass had over 300 hits in its first 24 hours of existence. By the end of the week, GingerSass had a domain name, a Twitter account, and me solemnly swearing that I wouldn’t toss GingerSass to the side after a few weeks, like I have done with so many writing projects in the past.
One year later, GingerSass has grown into something I never could have dreamed of. A year ago, I thought GingerSass would just be something to make me feel like less of an awkward turtle at a conference. Now, GingerSass has over 745 Twitter followers, 170 fans on Facebook, and, on average, over 5,000 visitors per month. THAT’S CRAZY TALK.
GingerSass has given me a lot of opportunities this past year I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I attended the BlogHer conference in NYC. I met fellow bloggers and made some amazing friends. I became a National Runner Up to be the Verizon Ultimate Insider. I’ve booked a few appearances and made a bit of money as a poet (unheard of!). I’ve been mentioned on AfterEllen. I’ve interacted with celebrities whose alter-egos have questioned what a celesbian is and why I want to be one. (coughcoughCadyMcClaincough) I’ve also been sent fun things in the mail, including a book from Eden Riegel’s mom. (I’m still finishing it, Lenore! Sorry!) GingerSass is also found in the first few pages of “celesbian” search results on major search engines.
Besides the Z-list celesbianism I’ve managed to obtain, GingerSass has given me a lot personally. It’s helped me grow as both a person and a writer, and it’s helped me get through anxiety, stress, grieving, student teaching, excitement, a hurricane, love, and so much more. It’s helped me become more in tune with who I am, and who I want to be. GingerSass gave me the voice that I kept locked away for so long, and it has helped remind me that I am a strong, independent, incredibly awkward yet endearingly sassy ginger woman.
GingerSass has been one of the best things that has come into my life, and I am forever grateful for what it has evolved into. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you– THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
I’ll be announcing a giveaway at some point this week to commemorate one year of GingerSass. Until then, be sure to like GingerSass on Facebook, follow @THEGingerSass on Twitter, or subscribe to GingerSass using the “Subscribe” button on the side of this page.
Stay tuned for an update– with cake– later tonight! Thanks again for making this past year possible. I really couldn’t have done it without all of you. <3
Oh, and here’s a Hillary Scott (of Lady Antebellum fame) song I found that perfectly sums up how much my life has changed in the year that GingerSass has been around. Blogging and running GingerSass truly has been life-changing for me.
I was very surprised last night when my first #23til23 challenge was issued by Lenore Riegel, the mother of Eden Riegel, one of my favorite soap actresses and my absolute favorite Bianca Montgomery from All My Children.
I joined the Emily Dickinson community, and then Lenore challenged me to write some poetry “on or about” Emily Dickinson as well.
This poem was influenced by Emily Dickinson’s “A Bird came down the Walk.” I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s “on or about” Emily Dickinson, but it certainly was influenced by her. However, just to be safe, I wrote a haiku introduction dedicated to her.
“A trickling idea of words”
Emily’s words ring truer than nature’s song; now new words are spoken.
An idea trickled down the mind–
It did not know it was seen–
as it bit the future in halves
and swallowed the past whole–
and then this idea settled in
for a long stay in the vulnerable soul–
and then nestled close to the heart
to let hope radiate within—
as it brought forth great surprise–
that danced all around—
in excitement at the prospect of gratification, I suppose—
which further stirred even more adventures
like one gone beyond sanity, cautiousness,
the idea was offered a place to grow
and experiment with testing the limits
of finding one’s self before the advancement of age–
then happiness settle in the fingertips,
with words bursting out from behind colored nails—
as challenges came forth, leaping onto the computer screen
encouraging words of freedom and chance.
Thanks for the challenge, Lenore! Stay tuned to see what other challenges #23til23 throws my way!
I’m twenty-two years old. In my family, the number twenty-two has significance: it’s the year before your life changes forever. My mom, her sisters, and my grandma all have had something important happen at 23. My mom married at twenty-three. My grandmother had my mom at age twenty-three. Without exploiting the lives of anyone else in my family, every woman on my mom’s side of the family has had something momentous happen in her life at twenty three.
In other words, I’m fucked.
I first started reeeeally reflecting on the fact that I will be turning twenty-three this past summer, when I was wrote an evocative piece for a Teachers as Writers course I took over the summer. (This is the same course that inspired the starting of Ten Minute Musings.) With my reflections, both during the summer and in recent months, I realized that I’ve become an adult. I’ve done a lot of growing over the past four years. I’m over twenty one, a college graduate, an out lesbian to my family (minus some extended but close enough), still awkward, and only a few months away from graduating from grad school. In a few months, I will be thrown into the “real” adult world, and I will have to start acting like a legitimate adult.
Now, if you know me, you know this is an odd thing for me to say since I enjoy watching Wheel of Fortune, cooking, sewing, and basically being an old cat lady minus the cats. In five years, I will be almost 28 years old. I see myself settling down, potentially being a homeowner, having a pet dog, having a career in the education field, perhaps being married, and thinking of starting a family. Is this logical dreaming? Some of it is. Do I recognize that these dreams may not be a reality? Of course. One of the most important things I’ve learned this past year is that sometimes you realize that the hopes and dreams you once had may not always happen as you dream them. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that you can still have the hopes and dreams you once wanted, just a little differently.
I’m ready to make twenty-three a different legacy for me– I want it to be the year I find true happiness. I’m ready to start living.
With this in mind, I’m happy to announce that I am embarking on a self-proclaimed journey over the next 23 days. #23til23 will be the chronicling of my life as I approach the Almighty Important Number of 23. Some posts will be funny, other posts will probably be whiny, and there’s guaranteed to be at least one snarky post. Regardless, these posts will chronicle me accomplishing *something* each day until I turn 23… because, if 23 really is destined to be a momentous year, I really want to start it off right.
So join me in this journey! Check back every day for a #23til23 post. Follow the #23til23 hashtag. Retweet me and share my posts like there’s no tomorrow because one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to live in the moment more and take chances I wouldn’t normally take…. which brings me to my next point. I want you sassy readers to suggest things for me to try to accomplish before I turn 23 on January 26th.Tweet me. Email me. Leave a comment on my blog, Facebook, or Google+. Tell me what you want to see me try to do, and, if I can manage it, I’ll try to accomplish it.
That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
Friday, November 30, 2012 What has been the hardest part about blogging daily?
This month has been weird.
It started off with me quoting Lily Briscoe, Dumbledore, and Bon Jovi. It snowed a week after a hurricane, and I discovered that my dog is probably an alien. I tried to get #Bacon2012 to trend on Election Night, and I happily discovered just how much the POTUS Election results meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.
Most nights I’d get home from school, make the mistake of sitting on my couch, bitch about not wanting to get up from my couch, maybe go to work, get home again, shower, be too tired to cook dinner or pack a lunch, and moan and groan to myself about having to post for NaBloPoMo. In fact, most nights I ended up looking like this:
This was taken at work. I literally laid down on the office floor and contemplated going to sleep until my boss arrived for our meeting.
Writing every day has been difficult mainly because I have so many other things to do or worry about. There are lesson plans to write, worksheets to create, papers to grade, lunches to make, eggs to hardboil, and, if I’m feeling REALLY adventurous, my legs to shave. Sometimes I even have hair (on my head) to straighten. I’m literally exhausted all the time, and I have no freaking clue why I would to choose to partake in an entire month of feeling guilted into writing daily during my student teaching internship.
But you know what? At the end of the month, I feel both energized and exhausted.
Live and in person (or screen), it’s MEEEE! Notice the bags under my eyes.
I’m really glad that I took part in NaBloPoMo this month. Despite my complete and utter exhaustion most of the month, partaking in the challenge reconnected me with my blog, my blogging friends, and, most importantly, myself. It reminded me how much I love writing, and how important it is for me to do something I love. November has helped me realize how much I love both teaching in an urban school AND writing, and I hope to be able to continue to do both for the rest of my life.
Happy NaBloPoMo, folks. It’s been a lot of fun. <3