Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Under the Weather

I sometimes wonder where our delightful colloquialisms come from.  Really, under the weather?  Just an odd expression.

My kids have been sick.  I thought they could venture to school yesterday, as my little man was chomping at the bit to go back.  As it turned out, it wasn't the best idea, and Abbie left dance early because she felt nauseous and Nigel was coughing.  Luckily today they are at home, ensconsed in the loving care of Grandma and Grandpa.  Of course, this means they will be spoiled rotten by the time I pick them up, but they will enjoy the hours of movies and Wii.

I thought I may have outsmarted or just been stubborn enough to avoid what has been going around, but this afternoon I'm not sure.  I'm in my office, with a blessed lull, and decided to jump on my blog.  It's been crazy, chaotic, and dramatic.  I'm looking forward to the weekend.

The weather has mirrored the varied health related feelings in me.  This morning while on my way to work, the clouds hung low over the mountains, dark and ominous, snow falling in large fluffy flakes.  At one point, the flakes flew so quickly, it was hard to see the other buildings on campus.  Just a few hours later, I watched the clouds part and blue sky emerge to my delight.  Currently, the steely gray clouds have returned, and make the air around me feel chilled to the bone.  I just want to curl up in my blankets, a good book in hand, and stay there until Spring.  That tells me that my body is just waiting for an excuse to break down, allowing it's own steely gray clouds to descend.

Murphy's law will of course bare itself, and my children will be hale and healthy when I succumb to whatever ailments have kept them from the frivolities of youth.  I hate being under the weather.

*Thanks to Google for the image*

Yes, I did update my blog, Daniel.  You can let me know.  It didn't even take more than a couple of days this time. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Domestic Goddess and Murphy Brown

The intermittent hum and clicking of the sewing machine is the white noise that comforts me today.  As I try to guide the fabric through, my mind wanders as it is want to do, and I see scenes of action, love, and chaos, all waiting for a bit of a voice.  My mind speaks in prose, almost as if my thoughts are from the pages of a novel, describing what I see, feel, and dream.  It is during those times, that it comes to me, when I least expect it, and I revel in the fact that domesticity has given me the solace to find the words I crave.

I have never been the one who anyone could consider domestic, as in the goddess sense.  My forays in the craft world are laughable, and to be honest, my cleaning skills have much to be desired.  If one were to ask a friend from high school, I would not be the one remembered as the June Cleaver-type of woman. The television show Murphy Brown was at it's height (I know, aging myself dreadfully here) and many thought I would be the unwed, career girl, much like she was, hardened and world-wise.  How strange it feels to look back at that time and the goals and dreams I had, and how they have morphed and changed.  I don't say that I am June by any means, nor do I profess to be a Murphy, but I have come to some sort of happy medium for myself, and it awakens the deep seeded dreams awaiting fulfillment.

Today, while at home, nursing my two sick children, I sewed.  I could have been writing, but it didn't feel right.  I had too many thoughts swarming around my head, and I had too much energy to try to log them into my new writing program (StoryMill) to help me organize and prepare my thoughts.  (I'm a digi nut, so I needed something I could use on my laptop, but hadn't found anything other than a spreadsheet to fill in the gaping holes for the stories in my head.) I needed to move, and going outside wasn't an option with croupy coughs and upset tummies.  Sewing was a quiet and productive activity that would help me expend energy while my kidlets slept.

Up and down, the needle made it's way across the fabric, the clicking of the cutting mechanism, sharp, and final at the end of each row.  It was there that I heard the sound of a crow outside in the yard, and I was reminded of something I had meant to record earlier.  The whisper of the bare branches rubbing against my kitchen window created another image ready to capture, all because of the time I spent humming along.

I still don't like to be considered a domestic goddess, although I would more than appreciate the skill it takes to keep my home clutter and dust free.  I would love to have the gourmet meals prepared nightly and well dressed and behaved children to boot.  I've come to the conclusion that no one could come close to that particular exalted sphere.  I am me, and that is all that is important.  I am not June, Murphy, or any derivative thereof.  Hello, my name is Teri, and I want to be a writer.

Thanks to Google for the image!

**In other news, I did receive my very first rejection letter.  While most would think this sad and deterring, it is actually something I am quite happy with.  It shows that I submitted something!!!  I am glad that I submitted and learned from the process.  Onward and upward!**

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What I Can't Say

Writing has always been an outlet for me.  I can spew my thoughts and feelings onto a sheet of paper, and feel as though I have some sort of resolution for any problem or concern.  This has not been the case for me as of late. Because of the confidential nature of my issues (i.e. work) I haven't had time to write down my feelings of frustration.  That isn't to say that I am not experiencing wonderful things to share as well, but when my hands are tied either metaphorically or literarily, the whole creative train comes to a screeching halt.

I must say that although my Google Reader has reached an astounding number of unread posts, I have been lurking around enough each day to get some sort of strength from those who are wiser, and more prolific than I can be at the moment.

Luckily, although my thoughts have been jumbled and I feel bound by the nature of propriety and good sense, although I am sure I lack that most of the time, I have found that sewing baby rag quilts a bit of a stress release.  Where I would have crafted a paragraph of undetermined length, a row of brightly juvenile fabric has become snuggly warmth for some child I do not know.  Amazingly, I'm starting to become quite adept at the art of sewing and cutting these things.  Something that started as nothing more than mere fabric squares, becomes a quilt in a few short hours of work.  A finished product.  Something my words are bereft of doing at the moment.

As the next few weeks unfold, and I see the path the our illustrious (or not so much, depending on your level of sarcasm) legislature takes, my stress may or may not increase.  I'm leaning towards the former, but perhaps I'll luck out...hence the blog make-over.  I think we can all use a bit of luck right now!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Digital Delights

Technology is amazing.  Just think of all the things we can do today, that just even a mere ten years ago we couldn’t do.   Digital music players, cell phones with internet capability and e-mail capability, GPS devices built into cars, electronic book readers.  The list can go on and on.  It amazes me on a daily basis how dependent we have become on technology and what seemed like a luxury yesteryear has become a necessity today.
This past week, I’ve had my own issues with my digital world.  After working on an essay, the one I was hoping to submit at some point, I was getting ready to have a friend read it.  I plugged my 4 GB thumb drive into my computer where I clicked on the file name to open the document.  Nothing.  I ejected it and put it in my laptop.  Nothing.  Hmm.  Turns out the file had somehow become corrupted and it was gone.  My throat began to tighten up with frustration, but luckily, other files on the drive were fine.  I moved all the files to my laptop and formatted the thumb drive to avoid the issues in the future.  It makes me miss those days where I had to write any and all work out by hand before my English teacher would let us go to the computer lab to work on the word processors.  You see, it wasn’t normal to turn in something actually typed back then.  I practiced my script and actually felt confident with it, until my world became a digital mess and I typed everything from notes, memos, letters, and blog posts.  Perhaps if I went back to that old way of thinking, I wouldn’t have lost the essay.  And it was amazing, let me tell you.  (I can say that because it’s gone….)
That same day, my 24 inch flat screen monitor at work decided that it would like to display all sorts of delightful colors other than those that would make my work visible.  Flashes of white, black, and a rainbow of blue, green, and red flashed across the screen before ending with the blank screen of death.  Luckily it is under warranty, so I can get a new one, but it makes my job very difficult to do without the added benefit of a second screen for the fifteen to twenty windows I have to have opened to run the Records Office.  Just a couple of years ago, a second screen would never have been heard of, now it is causing me a lot of extra time and exasperation to get work done without it.
Today, my laptop is sitting on my desk at work, next to my desktop.  I’m not using the laptop for work, just music.  It makes me wonder what I did before the days when I could carry my entire music collection around on a device the size of box of matches.  I seem to recall carrying around a couple of cassette tapes in my backpack along with my walkman.  Two or three were all that I could listen to, and space was an issue. Amongst the books and binders, taking my entire music collection would have been impossible.  Today, my iPod fits in my pocket and has enough space for days of music without ever repeating.  Really, what am I going to do with all that sound?  Enjoy it, and be thankful for the ease that technology gives me. 
What could be next up for me?  An e-book reader, though I’m not sure which one.  The thought of carrying hundreds of books with me at a time makes me giddy at the thought.  While I love the tactile feelings of a printed book, I have times when carrying a large number of books isn’t all that practical.  With a small device, I can have at least one hundred books with me whenever I feel the need to read.  It’s just a matter of time though.  It will become as necessary as everything else.  It is a luxury now, but just wait.
What type of electronic device can’t you live without?
Thanks Google for the image!
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