Six Sentence Stories

I stumbled across the blog Two Shoes in Texas earlier today.  The author, a woman named Josie, posts writing prompts for her readers to participate in, and the one that started accepting submissions today is called Six Sentence Stories.  Each Thursday, Josie posts a new prompt.  This week’s prompt is “dream.”  Here is my submission.

ECHOES

Your hand snakes over my hip and curls around my hard, rounded belly, tugging slightly to let me know you want me to move backward into the curve of your body.  I breathe, feeling you tighten and push between my legs.  Your lips on my neck make me shiver, and I put my hands out in front of me, pushing back to get closer to you.  Waves of pleasure wash over my consciousness, and my body responds to your touch.  I feel my hoarse breath pulsing at the base of my throat.  My eyes fly open and I stare out into the dark, but you are gone, the only traces left the echo of my ecstasy and the swirling presence inside me.

Gratitutde

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As I’ve been going through August, I’ve been diligent about publicly stating each day one thing for which I am thankful. At first I thought that my Facebook friends and Twitter followers might find my devotion to the exercise quirky or even a tad annoying. Really, who wants to read the status updates of somebody when all she does is focus on how wonderful a life she leads? What’s so interesting about that? Nevertheless, I persevered with my effort, and I have been pleasantly surprised.

I’ve received encouragement, praise and even commentary from a couple of people who said they like the idea so much they’ve decided to do it themselves. One particularly amusing comment from a woman with whom I attended high school a million years ago queried “Are you taking happy pills? If you are, sell me some!”

Of course, I can’t take the credit for the idea; I must defer to Gretchen Rubin and her book The Happiness Project, from whence I borrowed the idea. What I can do, however, is take credit for my implementation and follow through, as well as for the changes it’s generated in my life during a brief period of time.

The three weeks that I’ve been posting my daily thankfulness tidbit, and ruminating on the people and things in my life for which I’m grateful have brought much joy into my life. For the last few years, more often than I’d like to admit I’ve felt sad and downtrodden by life and my place in the world, but the last few weeks it is as if a cloud has lifted and the sun is shining brightly, illuminating all the dark spaces and chasing away the shadows. I made a conscious decision to be happy, and I haven’t let anything stand as an obstacle. I looked around at the happiest people I know and made a deliberate intention to be more like them, to stop battering myself.

Since I stopped incorporating negativity into my life, I find myself turning into an optimist, and that positive attitude is bringing positive energy to my life. My little gratitude experiment has made me happy. That one small shift in attitude has made me realize just how truly blessed I am to have the life I do, the family and friends I do, the husband and child I do. Because I love and cherish my people, and their meaning in my life, for the first time in a long time I feel and know that I am loved and cherished, that I am important.

Determining that I will be happy has given me to freedom to open my heart to all that I have in my life, and I’ve discovered how good giving of myself and letting people see the real me can feel. I’ve stopped hiding myself, stopped trying to protect myself from something I was sure was waiting around every corner, stopped presuming the bottom was going to drop out and instead started assuming that the best is yet to come.

I’ve ripped the tarp off of long buried family secrets and discovered that the dysfunction doesn’t define me, but instead makes me human, makes me approachable and real. I’ve stopped being ashamed of what I’ve survived, and intend to share it, to illuminate it, to confront it at last so that I can be free of it. No longer will I hide the secrets, keeping them in the dark to grow like so much fungus, afraid that if the world sees, it will pass judgment on me for the sins of others.

From the earth to the heavens, thank you. You make me smile.

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It feels the same in any language

Where I’m Going

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Where I’m happiest

I started this blog with just a kernel of an idea:  to get my writing out into the world, possibly find a connection with some like-minded people.  Seven months later, I’m beginning to figure out why the monumental drive to write and publish a blog – and I hope someday more – lives within me.

I took a long detour in life and very nearly threw away everything that was dear to me because I couldn’t see that where I was for the last 15 or so years was neither who I was nor who I wanted to be.  I’m finding my way back to me, day by day, and I hope you’ll be willing and interested to join me for the journey.

With that in mind, I’m making some changes to narrow my focus, to clean up the rough edges and, I hope, find the people who really want to connect with what I have to say.  I know I’ve got a long way to go, but to anyone who has read any of my posts, and is reading this now … thank you.

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Where I belong: my beloved husband

Where I belong, Part II:  my adored son

On Being Brave

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Lately I’ve been reading some squirmingly honest blog posts and articles by some incredibly brave women.  Posts and articles about drug addiction, weight issues, regret at having become a mother, past love affairs, and any number of other cringe-inducing “god, I wish I could erase that from my experience” moments.  I’ve had my fair share of those moments, but not many of them are nearly interesting enough to provide me with enough material for a blog post or an article.  For example, the time that I told my good friend I would never consider purchasing a particular house that had been for sale for some time because it was on a main cut-through street.  A street on which she and her husband had just purchased a house.  Ugh.

What reading those pieces has done for me, however, is given me the courage to look at my own life with honesty and try to discriminate between those little moments that are not worth obsessing over and the things that truly deserve my examination and analysis, the moments that have defined me.  While most of them have been good moments, I’d be lying if I said that all of them have been.

There is the gut-wrenching divorce from my first husband that shattered my soul.

There is the relationship (or lack thereof) that I have with the man who provided half of my DNA (otherwise known as Sperm Donor) that reverberates through my being, affecting everything from my self-confidence to my willingness to be vulnerable in a relationship.  I’d like to be blithe and say that Sperm Donor and how things went down between him and my mother, and between him and me, doesn’t affect me, that he doesn’t have that much power over me, but I’d be lying.  The truth is that he was my father for the first five or so years of my life, and his abandonment has caused problems for me, lots of therapy notwithstanding.

There is the ending of my career, the career that I pursued for most of my life with a single-minded drive bordering on obsession.

There is my marriage and learning how to navigate a long term intimate relationship with another human being not related to me by blood.

There is the birth of my son, the most amazing and awe-inspiring gift I’ve ever received, that turned my world upside down and challenged my opinion of myself and my world view.

There is the decision I made to start this blog, to put myself out there for the world to see, flaws included.  Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that decision set me up for my most recent defining moment.

Last week I received a mass e-mail from Danielle LaPorte, a lifestyle/career guru.  She is starting a new magazine in September, and she’s seeking submissions for the inaugural issue.  My heart leapt when I read through the submission guidelines, and instantly decided to submit something in each of the categories.  Over the last week or so I’ve been revising and shaping up various pieces, and for most of that process I’ve been doubting myself, wondering if I’ve really got any business doing what I intend, wondering if the reviewers will be laughing their asses off reading the materials I’ve submitted.  But still I’m going ahead.  Heart pounding, mouth dry, hands shaking, I will be pushing the submit button and sending my babies out into the publishing world.  I may get my head slapped, but at least I’m moving forward, taking chances, and building the life I want.

With any luck, someday soon I’ll be including a link to my published work.  Wish me godspeed and good fortune.