Changing it Up: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 32

requires adjustments.
Whether you choose
change or it’s fate’s

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Tuesday Platform

Liner Notes for this Groove: As fall creeps up on me, there are a few changes I need to make. Nothing too terrible, but several things need to shift to better use the resources (especially time) that I have available. One of those changes is moving Blogging Around with Rommy to Fridays instead of Tuesdays, starting in September. 

I expect some changes might take getting used to, but some things will always be constant, like tea. Douglas Adams once wrote, “A cup of tea would restore my normality”. As long as I have a steady supply of the good stuff, I'm sure I'll settle into the changes soon. 😃

Guess I'm going to have to do some image editing.

Fare Thee Well: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 31

Photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash

Wind scatters petals
sighing perfumed memories
as they fly away.
Still, I am grateful for spring
and the sight of the full bloom.

This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

Liner Notes for this Groove: Someone who has been a dear friend to my husband and me since college is going to be moving away this week. Logically we know this is the best thing for him and his family. The cost of living will be much less, there are older relatives there who need care, and littles who will be adored by said relatives. But even though we live in a golden age of communication, we're still really going to miss the whole family.  

We got to spend some time with them before they headed out on Sunday. First we did Chinese buffet and as Ella Leya said in The Orphan Sky, “The conversation ran as fluidly as the tea out of the samovar’s crooked nose.” Then we hung out in our mutual friends' arcade and played like we were still all college kids (until the aforementioned little ones were ready to drop). It was one of the best ways to say goodbye that I could have imagined. 

Here's to Woody and his travels, best of luck. House Driks will miss you.

Song Choice: Saying Goodbye from Muppets Take Manhattan

Negative Feedback and the Nerd Girl

So if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you probably already know I’m kind of a nerd. Like many people who were overachievers in school I got used to the high of a sweet, sweet A+. Maybe a little too used to it. Those hits of external validation become life.

But external validation makes pretty poor armor against negative comments when they come. And they always come, no matter how many honor rolls you were on or AP classes you aced.

Lisa Simpson is not impressed with your negativity.

I’m not going to lie. It’s still not easy for me to handle external criticism, especially if it’s about something that brushes up against a core perception I have of myself. I don’t think I’m alone in that though. I’ve seen some pretty chill people lose it when a soft part of their underbelly gets prodded.

So what do I do when the inevitable negative criticism is lobbed my way? First, I take a deep breath. Then, I’ll call/ PM/ hang out with a member of my personal squad if one of them is available. I have a wonderful inner circle of friends who are kind about letting me vent, while not letting me get stuck in self-pity mode (and good about being caring but honest when I've missed the mark). I try to remind myself that part of being smart is being open to learning. Only an idiot thinks they have nothing more to learn. So what does this negative experience teach me? 

Eventually, I do get to a calm enough place to be objective about the event. And if it the criticism has a valid point, I try to honor that and change.

Of course, there are times I just laugh about it and practice my Spanish cussing with my friends too. Hey, I’m not perfect! 😆

Song Choice: All Star by Smashmouth

This blog post was created for Poets United's Moonlight Musings: The Interactive Edition 1.

Bridge Out: Blogging Around with Rommy, Week 30

Photo by Giancarlo Revolledo on Unsplash

I can't build bridges
when people steal the supplies
and hit me with them.

This poem is linked to the Tuesday Platform at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads.

Liner Notes for this Groove: One of the casualties of 2016 was my patience. Before then, I prided myself on being something of a bridge builder, of being open to hearing a wide range of views.  Like David Stuart Davies wrote in A Taste for Blood, "I'm anybody's for a cuppa and a biscuit.” Or at least, so I thought.

I still aspire to that some days. I want to engage in respectful discourse where the point isn’t to “win” a conversation, but to reach an understanding. If I have the emotional energy for it, I will. Because despite how angry I can get, I still think that it’s going to be well-nigh impossible for society as a whole to move forward if more of that doesn’t happen. *rubs her temples and reaches for ibuprofen when she thinks about all the times people were quick to mouth off instead of paid attention to the actual words exchanged* 

But my time is too precious to engage with the willfully ignorant, with those who can’t be bothered to fact check. I’m not going to go out of my way to keep people like that in my life or spend much time with them either. My mental health is also too precious for that. 


Grief ate half my heart.
Rage consumed half what was left.
What remains of me?

Song Choice: She Used to Be Mine from the play Waitress, performed by Sarah Bareillis 

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash
This poem was created for Imaginary Gardens With Real Toad's prompt, Just One Word: Halved.

Exhausted: Blogging Around with Rommy Week 29

Don’t know if I can
shake off soul deep exhaustion,
when breathing feels brave.

This poem is linked to Imaginary Gardens with Real Toad’s Tuesday Platform.

Liner Notes for this Groove:

“I don't want tea, I want justice!” ― Ally Carter, Uncommon Criminals

To say I’m emotionally drained after this weekend is an understatement. I was already feeling a little less than my perky self when I got involved in a conversation that started when an extremely stupid clueless woman tried to appeal to my husband to agree with her that the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not a racist. (It was, however, more than slightly glorious to watch her shock as my normally soft-spoken husband told her where she go with her nonsense.)

Then I heard about the shooting. And the reason why the shooter did it. There is something profoundly unsettling when you know that you are part of the group a gunman in a recent massacre was hoping to target.

There’s a lot I could blather on about. A bunch of small things I hoped would go my way just didn’t. I could say that’s what’s bothering me if people ask. I probably will use one of those as an excuse, depending on who's doing the asking. But it’d be a lie.

Can't lie to myself though. It's not terribly helpful in the long run. I can do neither more or less than let myself acknowledge what I'm feeling, and work through it as best I can.

Artwork by Cristal Gutiérrez.
See more of her gorgeous art on Instagram and her Etsy store.

Something True

Later she wondered how the needle came to her in the first place. Surely something that powerful would never have been tossed in the trash. Was it an accident? Still, she had never heard of any Legitimus wielding power like this. The theory that made her smile was that maybe it was a combination of the needle and some spark in her, something more powerful than even a Legitmus could wield.

She found it on a cold night, rummaging through the trash. Shouts of ‘Mendacium’ were accompanied by the usual hurled objects and she fled, taking what she salvaged, none of them big enough for a blanket. Then she saw the needle. A pull on a ragged edge got her the thread she needed to stitch the bits together. The resulting blanket was the warmest she’d ever felt.

Next she tried making it into a coat. It was more beautiful than the blanket. She wasn’t surprised when a Legitimus accosted her, demanding to know how trash like her had such a thing.

That’s when the true power revealed itself. A portion that was part of an animal pelt tingled. When she struck back it was with a lion’s paw, leaving a bloody claw mark on his chest. She didn’t remember too much afterwards, but when it was over she sewed in new bits of cloth and bone. Those made her stronger too.

After that, she started frequenting the fight arenas. There was no shortage of cloth and bone there. She wept over the discarded corpses, but took the choicest scraps—skulls, wings—even an ogre’s eye and a lion’s head to match that first piece.

She knew when Legitimus mothers whispered to their children about a monster they were talking about her. Good. She understood there had always been fear behind their contempt. But now here was something true for them to fear.

Emperor of the Dawn
Quincy Washington
Used with Permission

This flash fiction piece was created for Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads' Art Flash 55 and Poets United's Telling Tales with Magaly Guerrero