Twittering Tales #127 – Dark Train

Here is my tweet-sized entry for this week’s photo prompt Twittering Tales challenge:

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The train draws near in a cloud of fog – the headlight shining through the mist just enough to illuminate the faces of those waiting to board.

I tip my hat downwards to hide my own expression. I do not want to see. I do not want to be seen. Human attachments will hinder my plans.

(280 characters)

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Abecedarian Writing Exercise – On Climate Change

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While reading a book called “Flash! Writing the Very Short Story”, written by John Dufresne, I came across the writing form called a abecedarian. This writing form is where you write a story or other form of creative writing where each new sentence starts with a new letter of the alphabet, going sequentially from A-Z of course. I thought it sounded fun and tried it myself, with a creative writing piece I call On Climate Change:

Another world is not an option. Before we give up on this one, let’s at least put up a fight.

Clean up your mess. Don’t think you can cut corners. Everyone has to learn to work together. Failing to do so, may lead to the annihilation of us all. 

Give up the fossil fuels. How? Imagination – learn to use yours. Join together, share ideas. Keep trying. Let no temporary failures steer you off course. 

Make clear the risks we face. None of us live alone, quit acting like we do. Open your eyes, open your mind, open your heart. 

Practice makes perfect, but persistence wins the game. Quit fighting each other and fight the corrupt system. Right the wrongs that have persisted too long. 

Stop worshiping consumerism. Turn your trash into treasure. Undo the damage our selfishness has created. 

Voice your appreciation for the strong, proud nature of our mother planet. Watch how she rallies to protect her own. X-ray her heart and share the joy you find within. 

YOU hold the future in your collective hands. Zealously protect and celebrate your beautiful home while she is still beautiful.

I hope you liked this little writing exercise. It was indeed fun and I think I might try it again sometime and maybe do a fiction piece.

 

Twittering Tales #124 – Route 66

It took me a couple days to come up with something this week for the Twittering Tales hosted by Kat Myrman, but I finally have something. As I explained before, this writing challenge is to simply write a short story, or poem, or whatever you want as long as it is under 280 characters (the length of a tweet).

Here is this week’s picture prompt and my entry for this week below (photo from Pixabay):

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“Route 66? I remember that road.”

“Great, thanks for the reminiscing, but that doesn’t tell us how to get there.”

“That is a road you only find by following your heart, not a map.”

“Thanks Big Bird, but we aren’t exactly looking for Sesame Street!”

“Shame..I could get you there too.”

SSDI Hearing Update

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Sorry I didn’t update you all yesterday after the hearing, but I was just too exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically after the stress of the day. Overall, I think the hearing went ok. It didn’t start out very well since my husband and I had trouble locating the right building and ended up walking through the thick, slushy snow so far that I had an asthma attack, started crying, and was totally soaked from the knees down by the time we actually found the right building. The roads were bad too from the snowstorm and parking was almost impossible since none of the parking lots had been cleared yet.

Once we got into the building, I had a few minutes to recover from the asthma attack and calm down at least. I also had about 15 minutes to meet with my lawyer before the hearing to go over everything again. During the hearing itself, I was quite nervous. I was doing a lot of rocking back and forth (“stimming” in autistic terms).

I think I only had the nerve to look at the judge two or three times the entire hour I was in there. I mostly stared at the microphone and tried to block out everyone else there while answering questions. That seemed to help my social anxiety. I think I did a decent job answering the judges questions…and she asked a lot. I never lost control of myself, although in my closing remarks I did tear up a bit and got a little emotional talking about how hard it had become for me to keep a job due to my physical and mental disabilities.

Unfortunately, the judge did not tell me her decision yesterday. I will have to wait to receive the official verdict letter. On the positive side, my attorney did say afterwards that he thought it went great and even on the off chance that the judge gave a negative verdict, he thought I had a strong enough case that he would appeal that. I hope it doesn’t come to that though, God only knows how much longer that would make the whole thing drag out…and quite honestly, we need the money as soon as possible, especially since I just got a $1,500 ER bill (our deductible sucks).

January/February Book Subscription Boxes – Kids & Middle Grade

Lately I’ve been trying random book subscription boxes just to try to figure out which one I want to get on a regular basis. For January/February, I tried the following two boxes:

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This first box was the January Book Drop subscription. I picked the middle grade option, although I was torn between that and the young adult option. This subscription box sends you one book per month (along with a card about the book and little extras like bookmarks) and is pretty cheap (about $10 including S&H for this shipment). The Book Drop is run by an independent bookstore, which makes buying it even better since I like to support small businesses.

The book they sent this month was Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. I really enjoyed this mystery novel! The main character is a book nerd and loves to do puzzles, just like me! I did figure out the plot of the book pretty early on though, so the mystery wasn’t all that hard for me.

Here is the second box I received, this one in early February:

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This box was from Kids Bookcase Club. It cost $9.99 plus S&H. You get three kids books a month. This was the 7-8 year old box. Out of the three books they sent, my favorite by far was Terrific by Jon Agee. This picture book is sarcastic and hilarious! I love the grumpy old man who is the main character! The Very Fairy Princess was a cute picture book, but not exactly my taste. The Animal Planet Dolphin Rescue book was a young reader chapter book and it was cute and interesting, but obviously a simple read. For next month’s box, I decided to up the age to the preteen box to see what kind of middle grade books they send.

For the upcoming month I am also trying out the Scribbler subscription box for writers and the SpearCraft Book Box (which comes with all kinds of cool reader goodies)! So stay tuned!!!

Micropoetry: 3 Elfchen Poems

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Recently I discovered Elfchen poems, which are 5-line poems that follow this pattern:
Line 1 – 1 word
Line 2 – 2 words
Line 3 – 3 words
Line 4 – 4 words
Line 5 – 1 word (different than the first line word)

It is also common to take the last word of someone else’s Elfchen poem to start off your own new one.

Here are several of my first tries with this poetic genre:

1.
Always
means never
when you live
in an unstable world,
alone.

2.
Stronger
and yet
weakness creeps in
settles on the edge,
waiting.

3.
Unsaid
the words
lie firmly under
your tongue in cheek,
bitter.

When Someone You Loved Embraces Ignorance

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I have to be careful how I word this post as there is a slight (but unlikely) chance the person I am talking about might read it. However, it has been weighing heavily on my mind so I wanted to talk about it.

There was a person in my personal life I was really close to for several years. I cared about them deeply and loved them like family. They were much younger than myself, so I tried to set a good example for them and be a sort of big sister to them. We spent much of our time together, partly out of necessity at the time and partly because I genuinely enjoyed their company.

Now they are all grown up and I am still in loose contact with them and seeing how they have turned out has kind of broken my heart. They have embraced some radical ideologies that are rude, ignorant, and sometimes bordering on mean or even cruel. I know I only had a real influence on them for a few years, but it still makes me feel like somehow I failed them that they have turned from such a thoughtful, sensitive, caring young person to a cold, bitter, angry, and sometimes hateful adult.

I still love them and know that goodness I knew inside of them must be there somewhere. I know they have had a rough life and many hurtful experiences, just as I had growing up. I wonder if I am being too hard on them. I know sometimes the other side goes way too far with political correctness, perhaps it is just a reactionary thing? Maybe they are just being young and foolish, like we all once were? I don’t know, but it still hurts my heart.

Migraines Caused by Neck Issues?

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I’m still struggling with migraines, but am starting to think that they might actually be cervicogenic headaches (caused by issues in the neck). The last few days, the left side of my neck has been visibly swollen and extremely tight, causing a great deal of pain. I can’t help but notice that the worse the neck pain is, the worse the headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue become as well.

One person on Facebook who also suffers from Ehlers Danlos even suggested that perhaps the migraines may be due to a chiari malformation or craniocervical instability, which are both common issues associated with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. I have wondered about the neck instability possibility, as I often feel like my head is excessively heavy, not supported well by my neck, and sometimes bobbles around almost like a bobblehead. Whenever I sit for long, I have to have a neck rest because my pain worsens quickly if I have to hold my head up without support.

Unfortunately, it looks like if instability is the issue, the answer might be this huge, horribly-uncomfortable-looking neck brace that looks like it would be sensory hell for me. Of course, I do know from a prior MRI that I also have degenerative disc disease throughout my cervical and thoracic spine, and at least a couple herniated cervical discs. Whatever the issue, I wish it would clear up soon! This is miserable and I feel like I am living on NSAIDS, muscle relaxers, and Lidocaine right now.