POTD: Trick or Treat!

Halloween is almost here! Make sure to rest up for the big night so you can put your best foot forward. It’s not just ballerinas who need their beauty sleep. Happy Halloween! May you terrify your neighbors, perfect your pumpkin carving skills and forget your diet until Monday. 


POTD: Dancing Queen

There are moments in life when you manage to choose just the right soundtrack and you can’t keep your foot from tapping. Don’t ever deny yourself the pleasure of leaping to your feet to bust a move, throwing one fist in the air while the other grips an imaginary microphone in what can only be described as the most epic lip sync performance of all time. No one can rock that stage quite like you. 


This freewrite was born in creative writing club in college. The character clicked her way into my consciousness and is loosely based on a few of my own Halloweens growing up. I still remember my sister and I spreading our treats across the dining room table and dividing them into piles for us and for the candy fairy who only came once a year while we were asleep on Halloween night. We were a little disgruntled to give up a portion of our sugary treasure but looking back, we always seemed to get the better end of the deal. 

Her tall high heeled black boots clicked rhythmically on the cold concrete as she walked, a steady metronome  for her thoughts. The red and gold leaves strewn on the path in front of her seemed to leap aside as she passed as if afraid of being trodden on by her heels. It was nearly 7:00pm. The sun hadn’t yet dipped behind the mountains but already, little toddlers in Walmart Elsa costumes and Spiderman masks were scattering over the trimmed lawns that hadn’t yet lost their color. 

She watched them as she walked. They were so excited. She remembered being that small and being just as full of anticipation for the mountains of sweets still to come. She was never allowed to keep all her sugary treasure from the evening’s dance from house to house. Her parents always made her pick her favorite ten pieces. The rest, they said, was for the Candy Fairy, who always came in the night. Every year when she woke the next morning, her extra candy would be gone but in its place would be a present. One year, the candy fairy brought a beautiful leather bound copy of her favorite story, the Lord of the Rings. She still remembered when she first felt those velvety smooth pages, smelled that alluring scent of a new book, sweeter than any candy to her. 

It was just another Santa Claus, another Easter Bunny, another Tooth Fairy. She knew the truth now about where those wonderful gifts came from just like she knew the truth about who set the presents out under the tree every Christmas. She had long since stopped going Trick-or-Treating although she still got dressed up and went out with friends. It was odd. There was a deep sense of nostalgia which ached in her stomach. She missed the days when the Candy Fairy had been real and yet, in some ways, it still was. She had seen behind that curtain around the same time she’d discovered the truth about Santa but she could still feel the magic that had fueled the happy glow in her six-year-old eyes.

Now, she watched it bloom in the wake of dozens of costume clad kids all with orange plastic Jack-o-Lantern buckets swinging from their arms or bouncing behind them as they skipped from house to house. They were all so intent on their treasure hunt. Their parents and younger siblings in strollers trailed behind them, keeping their distance while still close enough to be considered a watchful eye. 

None stopped to wave to her or catch her eye. She didn’t expect them to. Even when it wasn’t Halloween people rarely grew so friendly as to be called neighborly. Not to her. She had long ago been branded as odd. People kept their distance. By now, she barely noticed except around children. All the adults in town knew to stay away but there was still the rare occasion when some little person hadn’t yet been taught to keep away from the weird witch girl who lived on Luna Way up on the hill.

It was hardly her fault. She wasn’t a powerful evil enchantress. Strange things simply happened when she was around, not all of them good.   

UFO’s (Unfinished Objectives)

I’ve always been a planner. I have notebooks filled with goals categorized by achievability, deadlines or my mood at the time when I wrote them. Writing things down always made them feel more real and therefore, one step farther on the road to success. However, starting is only half the battle. I’m very good at starting things. Here are a few of my personal UFO’s from 2020. 

  • Knit a sweater – Despite help from my mom, an expert knitter, I still have the torso and sleeves left to finish.
  • Paint a picture – I was so proud two weeks ago when I finished color #1 on my very first paint by numbers. I haven’t touched it since. 
  • Read my bookshelf – Admittedly, this is more of a long term goal. I keep buying more books.
  • Write a story – Since high school, I’ve toyed with a couple of different storylines that I always thought would be fun to put to paper. Character development was my strength and my downfall. I’ve imagined them in such vivid and wonderful detail that I now find it difficult to be mean to my characters which is of course required to move the plot forward. 
  • Paperwork – The stack of mail and papers to be filed is beginning to look like a daunting task that is slowly taking over my dining room table.
  • Learn to cook – I’m terrified to try new recipes in case they don’t turn out and I’m forced to taste my failure for a week until my next grocery run. 
  • Become a pro on the piano – Similar to my reading list dilemma, this is more long term. I know what I need to do and how to practice but it’s difficult to hone in on one or two songs to get really good at.  
  • Get in shape for my sister’s wedding – I’ve fallen off the exercise wagon so many times I’ve lost count. The joys of solo apartment living; my rules, my schedule and no built in accountability, are a blessing and a curse.
  • Plan my sister’s wedding – Thankfully, there is a fairly rigid schedule that must be kept for this particular goal. So far so good. 
  • Reconnect with friends – The recent global pandemic threw a bit of a wrench in the previously steady progress of my social skills. 
  • Sleep – Much like my social life, my time management skills took a vacation during the long months of lock down and have yet to return in full. 

Well… There you have it. I’m sure there are other unfinished projects on my mind that I’m simply forgetting at the moment but it feels good to get these out of my head. I’m looking forward to a time when I’ll reread this post, clap my hands together and say mischief managed. What are some of your UFO’s and strategies for handling them? Share in the comments.

The World Needs More Moms

Every time I can’t decide what treat to bring for a Saturday game night with friends or what blazer to wear to a company networking event, I call my mom. When I’m stuck at home wondering what to cook for dinner for the week or when I need guidance through my first dropped stitch on a new knitting project, I’ve got her number on speed dial. She hears about every hiccup at work and every dating dilemma. No matter what drama I drudge up for her to help me solve, her patience never ceases to amaze me. 

Moms are full of great ideas. Often, with each kindly delivered suggestion I have to take a moment to thank her and exclaim that “this is why the world needs more moms!” I honestly have no idea where I’d be without mine. Thanks mom!

I’m Only An Apprentice Witch

Happy October everyone! Colder weather is settling in during the month of ghosts, ghouls, and graveyards. Despite the excitement creeping through town like the crunch of dried leaves during the first frost, I think my life this Fall is best summed up by a poem in Jack Prelutsky’s book, Monday’s Troll

I’m only an apprentice witch,
There’s much I’ve left to learn, 
Someday I’ll be a witch-in-full,
But I must wait my turn.
My nasty brews, though noxious,
Lack a certain wretched smell,
Sometimes my spells don’t work at all,
Sometimes they work too well.

I’m only an apprentice witch,
Just seven centuries old,
The elder witches lecture me
To do as I am told.
I strive to grow more hideous,
I’m working on my shriek,
And I’ve not fully mastered 
How to cackle when I speak.

I’m only an apprentice witch
Who’s barely learned to fly,
I’ve been afraid to go too fast, 
Or venture far or high.
Just yesterday I stalled my broom,
And crashed into a ditch,
I’m clearly yet unqualified
To be a full-fledged witch.

Commitment Sucks

Do you ever struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Maybe you didn’t hear your alarm and are in for a mad dash to the office to make it in time for that 8am morning meeting. Maybe you did wake up at your alarm but still stay where you are for a moment, contemplating the seemingly endless slew of conference calls and tedious questions that are waiting for you when you do get up. Sometimes it feels impossible to greet each day with the same staunch enthusiasm which inspired you to pursue this path in the first place.

But you didn’t decide on this career and this life because it was easy. Living the life you want requires determination and discipline and a touch of courage. There’s no avoiding the fact that sometimes, commitment sucks. No matter who you are or what you’re doing, there will always be moments in life when, despite your best efforts, you can’t help but feel like the village idiot. Take these for what they are, the occasional, uncomfortable shove in the right direction, propelling you to be your best self. You are capable of difficult things even if some days you’d rather curl up on your sofa and kill an afternoon with Netflix. 

Even on your worst days you can move mountains. 

POTD: So Long Summer!

The cold drizzle that patters the windows and turns the sky to a churning steely sea makes my living room feel warm and cozy. Maybe I’ll try a new cookie recipe today or eat up a good book while lounging on my sofa in a pair of thick woolen socks. Maybe I’ll knit a sweater while bundled into my favorite handknits. I might strike up a tune on the piano for the silver sky to dance to. The possibilities are endless but one thing’s for sure, summer is packing up and heading south. 

Don’t Wait for the Weekend!

Oops! Another weekend bites the dust. Have you been finding it difficult to motivate since COVID shut downs and stay at home orders? I know I have. Today marks the end of yet another weekend in which I vowed and failed to check some things off of my To Do list. Friday was a much needed reprieve after a particularly stressful work week. However, Saturday and Sunday slipped by in much the same way as most of them do these days. I’m constantly making promises to myself that “I’ll get to it this weekend.” Well, the weekend has come and gone. 

No matter how I strategize and how many lists I make, the weekend never seems to go according to plan. I’ve spent months making promises to myself on Friday only to break them the following Monday. It is time to make some changes! If you put off until the weekend what you could be accomplishing today, you’ve already lost the battle. If you’re like me, you probably spend more time beating yourself up for all the things you haven’t done than you do by actually finishing something.

Let today be a fresh start to a new strategy. Stop waiting for the weekend. There will always be excuses not to do things. Be stronger than your excuses. 

How do you stay motivated amid the pandemic?