Failure is a required part of the human existence.

Prompt: Carve

The curve of the clock
traced the motion of the second hand
as it curtly constructed
my schedule,
cutting my time
into precisely

The sheen of the blade
sneered as I sliced into succulent flesh,
steak steaming as my husband
sits silently
for his supper,
the rest of the side
served cold
and tasteless.

The lack of clacking on
the keys betray my writer’s block
as emails stack up,
stalking publishers
expecting drafts
that we both know
I cannot

And yet
I’m not sure
which of these failures
into me

Without continual growth, words like improvement and success have no meaning.

Prompt: Growth

You asked for a photo challenge about growth in midwinter Indiana.


Ah, the repulsive squelsh of filthy slush.

And how could this possibly represent growth?

Perhaps it doesn’t, not to you.  To me, it does.

All growth is a series of transition, moving from one season to the next, Newton’s inevitable prophecy of upness versus downness, winter blossoming into spring.  But before winter cleverly slips from our minds so easily, it always does this first.

It slushes. It convinces the road salt to pick at the paint on our cars like hangnails. It slobbers on our floors, leaving half-solid drools of ice on the carpet.  Winter hits a very ugly puberty before it ever dreams of spring.

Yet, it changes.  Like you.

And, most selfishly and most importantly, like me.

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.

Prompt: Brilliant

Because that’s what all of this is, right? Bloody brilliant.

I didn’t get up in the middle of the night to write any of this; rather, I’m sitting cross-legged on my couch with my laptop balancing on my knees.  It’s uncomfortable enough to be considering “stretching” and precarious enough to resemble a yoga pose of sorts.  Multi-tasking, you see, is one of my many talents.  I can even type this sentence with one hand while sipping from my not-warm-enough coffee.

But why is this millennial not at work at 9:37 AM on a Tuesday?

Because I wanted to do something scandalous.  (To be fair, I’ve been doing this type of thing for several months now.)  Please hold all your gasps until the end:

  1. I got married at 21 without any intention of having children soon.
  2. I moved into an apartment on the side of town where I am the racial minority.
  3. I got a tattoo of a Celtic symbol above my elbow which – quite easily, actually – can be seen by conservative family members from both sides.
  4. I chopped my hair and got thick fringe bangs so that I don’t have to wax my eyebrows or put makeup on my forehead.
  5. I quit a corporate job with health benefits and a decent pay because I wasn’t happy with the environment and I wasn’t becoming the person I wanted to be.  Instead, I’m currently a writer and a tutor.
  6. I’m skipping a Master’s program to go straight to a PhD in Cell Molecular Biology (which is a predominantly male field, might I add) and I’m “just” going to teach.  Ya know, because what better waste of a PhD than going to teach undergraduate classes?

And just for kicks and giggles, my husband and I are moving at the end of our lease because management here still hasn’t fixed a broken pipe in our bathroom after 3 weeks of emailing videos of the water streaming from the ceiling into our shower.

The most brilliant thing of all?

My decisions had nothing to do with any of you.  Well, most of you at least.

Some of these choices were made solely by me, and others were split between myself and my gem of a husband.  We decided to become the best type of human beings that we can, to excel in our gifts and abilities, to welcome all people into our tiny home (please excuse the mess in the bathroom), to reflect the light that we find in this life.  We are just trying to truly live, develop into the fullness of ourselves, and slip into our created being like a silk robe.

So yes, darling.  You can judge me and my choices, my lifestyle, my priorities.  I’ll smile gently and send you on your way with a wave of my hand, my watch – a present when my phone was stolen and I purposely lived without one for several weeks – glinting in the light.

Because my life, with all it’s chips and flaws, is brilliant.