Be still

I am sitting here on the couch trying to write a ‘signature talk’, which would be so much (expletive) easier if I could just decide on one fullsizerendertopic, already! I am trying to figure out how to combine my metaphysical nurse blog with my kwrites blog under one domain, a version of my name, which I bought 14 months ago as part of a workshop but that’s where it ended. I never did anything with it, except to look at it longingly from time to time. Now I am trying to decide if combining it all is even a good idea!
I am giving several topic-specific talks over the next few months and I am trying to write those.
I am writing a parent ad (sorry, but this feels like a ploy to get more money from us) for the high school yearbook because my graduating daughter WANTS one.
I am debating (OMG! YES! STILL!) if I should give yet another talk at an upcoming event (this internal debate has been raging for months now) and if so, WTF to base the presentation on.
And then I realize that I am actually doing none of these things, except the ‘just sitting here on the couch’ part. Okay, and eating a large quantity of chocolate (#lunch).
Surrounded by paper. And pens. And my laptop. And my iPhone playing Pandora.
I am a (expletive) mess.
And then this song comes on:

And I hear the words:  Be still and trust my plan. I’m more than you think I am.

And then, with tears streaming, I know it’s true.

MOVIE REVIEW: Patriot’s Day

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I went to see Patriot’s Day  at the movies this week. I was anxious about seeing it, because I had some personal connections to those events and locations surrounding the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013, so I didn’t know how I would react emotionally. It’s actually because of this that I felt I needed to see it.

Overall, I am glad I went, even though I didn’t like it very much.

Or at all.

This movie was much gorier than it had to be to deliver the same message, in my opinion. It was grisly, gruesome, violent, and bloody (these are most of the synonyms I could find for ‘gory’, because I thought just one ‘gory’ didn’t fully convey my horror).

I’m a nurse, but I’m not that kind of nurse.

When I am watching something that I want to hide from, I am able to put my severe nearsightedness to work to my advantage. I just push those glasses up to my forehead and then the screen is blurry and out of focus enough to allow me to, you know, stay in the theater.

And it wasn’t just during the bombing scene. The soul-crushing bloody guts and death went on and on. And on. In many scenes thereafter.

Early in the movie, I noticed the camera was lingering on the legs and feet of the beautiful couple in the apartment. I realized, oh, these are people who are going to lose their limbs in the bombing. Ugh. Predictable. Terrible.

On the plus side, Mark Wahlburg was amazing in his role as the Boston cop. Hello? Can I just say what a breath of fresh air it is to hear someone speak with a ‘Boston accent’ who really has one and doesn’t murder it?

OMG. See how all that brutality informed my writing just now?
There was also an older man playing a Watertown cop whose acting stole the scene (so sorry that I don’t know his name). And the female Framingham cop on the roof? She nailed it.

About midway through the movie, 4 or 5 youths came into the theater with their hoods pulled up over their heads and one even had on (gasp!) a backpack. I am embarrassed to admit that, at the sight of this, I felt fear. I mean, the bombs in Boston were packed in backpacksBatman flashed through my mind. I was very glad to hold the hand of my husband sitting to my left, between me, my daughter, and them.

So, I think Patriot’s Day is an important movie but I would say that, if you can, you should be kind to yourself and wait for the cleaned up made-for-TV version.

BOOK REVIEW: The Vineyards of Allegretti by Jennifer Davies

I loved this story about Vivian and Michael, who have known each other most of their lives, but have been apart for a period of time and as the book opens, they are just coming vineyards-of-allegrettiback together. They love each other, but have not admitted this to each other. Heck, they have barely admitted it to themselves! Complicating things are paramours from the past. Each of them have a ‘bad guy/girl’ in their dating history that puts them both at risk.
Full disclosure: I was predisposed to love this book! The Vineyards of Allegretti is full of Italian things: food, wine, countryside, and beautiful people, and I myself am Italian, and love all things Italian.
I identified with Vivian’s tendency to try to fix everyone and everything in her life. Vivian at least has the presence of mind to realize that she probably isn’t qualified to give advice since her own life was (at the moment) a train wreck.
The romantic interludes are the perfect escape for your afternoon that is otherwise filled with dishes and laundry.

You can find The Vineyards of Allegretti by Jennifer Davies here. Read this book!

Taping an interview for TV

It was my great pleasure and good fortune to be invited to be on Write Now with Gayle Heney.  I met Gayle at the New England writenow3Authors Expo last summer. After the taping date was confirmed, a helpful email arrived with instructions for how to get there, what to wear, where to park…

But back to that ‘what to wear’ part. The part where it mentioned to avoid wearing black because that was the color of the backdrop of the set. Oh, and a collar or a lapel of some sort would be good so there is a place to clip the microphone.

If you want to discover really quickly how much you think “Black! I’ll wear black!” when you are in a dress -up situation, be advised not to wear that color.

I realized pretty quickly that I was, you know, in big trouble. Plus, collars? Lapels? I was bereft of them.

I tortured my friend Sheila with photos of dress and sweater combinations. Right up until a half hour before I left for the studio this morning. In the end, it wasn’t about the clothes at all, because it was about the BOOK. I was getting to talk on TV with a skilled interviewer who had read my book, about my book.

How great is that?

My episode should air in April or May. I will post the link when it’s ready! YAY!

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The BRAVE Interview #6 January 2017: Linda Buoncuore

Hello! Here is The BRAVE Interview for this month. ENJOY!

lindaI guess it’s not the biggest thing anyone has ever done, and of course many have already done it, I am sure.  I am an introvert in many ways. Going to work everyday in sales is a challenge for me, as many people are not very nice, as this society has changed so much. I brave going to work everyday, and holding my composure to many that think that the world revolves only around them. I used to work part-time, but now I am full-time, which makes it harder and sometimes tiresome to trudge through the day-to-day occurrences.  Retail is not easy, and it’s not my dream job, but I get through it.

The winter time is the hardest time for getting to work, as I have to catch a bus, and I have to walk a half mile down a steep hill to get to it at 5am. Luckily, the weather has not been too bad. I worry, as I have broken my ankle twice in my twenties, same ankle, the breaks an inch apart, and I fear falling, and getting hurt again, but I go. I know I am tougher than that, and do not let my fear control me. I just leave a little earlier, so I can walk a little slower. 

Each day I have to sell, sell, and sell memberships and warranties, as well as the products themselves. Not a very easy task. It seems you have to put up a front, almost to a point where you have to give so much to get very little in return. As I feel there isn’t much of an initiative to sell them.  I try not to lose myself, and my integrity, to do this, and it can be a battle at times.

So, I guess my brave thing is going to a place everyday that I am not even sure I want to be at times, and do what I am supposed to be doing there, though wishing I was somewhere else.

Trying to figure out what my next step should be to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the people I work with, and I do like some of my customers, but I am an introvert, and it’s not always easy for me to be someone I am not sure I really am.

Thank you so much, Linda, for your candid and honest expression of your brave thing. 

If you’d like to read the other interviews in the series, click here for the list: https://kwrites.com/?s=the+BRAVE+interview

If you’d like to be interviewed for this series about your own ‘one brave thing’, email me at kreads@gmail.com.

Hello from Heaven

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Big Nana with her great-granddaughter Ariana in her kitchen in Nantasket

As I recently wrote, my son moved into his new apartment. Apartments, as we all know, usually need furniture. As a mother, I want to (over) help him with this. When I got my first apartment, my mother and my grandmother went to great lengths to make sure I had everything I might need or want, opening their cupboards, closets, drawers, and wallets to help me get things I didn’t even know I would need. I always knew that I would do the same for my own children one day.

The current need for my son’s apartment is for a kitchen table and chairs. I remembered my grandmother’s kitchen table has been stored at my brother’s house for years. I checked to make sure it was still there and usable. My brother determined (after some digging) that it was.
I started thinking of how my grandmother, Big Nana, spent most of her life helping her family. She has been dead since 2004, but she is still helping her family all these years after her death. Because now her kitchen table and chairs, at which we ate so many wonderful, lovingly prepared meals, will now serve my son and his girlfriend.

And here is the biggest gift of all: when my brother was looking for the chairs, he found a photo Nana, as well as some of my mother and father that I have never seen before.

It feels like they are all saying ‘Hello’ to us from heaven tonight, and letting us know that they are still watching over us and taking care of us, even though they are not here physically with us anymore.

What a wonderful start to 2017.

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Endings and beginnings

box-truckThe new year is already promising to be a very different one from those prior.

My firstborn is moving out and getting his own apartment. I am happy and excited for him.

I am also sad that he is no longer living here. I am still checking the driveway to make sure he is home safe at night, and he moved out almost a week ago. This new feeling that I’m experiencing–I’ve dubbed it HappySad.

I flash back on my own first leave-taking from my family of origin. My mother tearing up. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “I’m afraid I’m never gonna see you.” I reassured her that of course she would still see me. I would come by all the time. I’d call. She just looked at me with those eyes that knew the truth, even as I ‘doth proclaim too much’.
She was right,  of course. I rarely went over. I eventually started calling her once a week because I felt obligated, not out of a true desire to speak to her. I loved my mother, so it wasn’t about that. I don’t know what it was about, to tell you the truth. I just moved out and I didn’t look back (until I had to move back, but that’s another, sadder story).

I was free!

So, as I watched my son excitedly packing up for his move to his first apartment, part of me was channeling my own mother, feeling her exact emotions, I am sure. “I’m never going to see him now,” I thought.

What goes around, comes around.

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