Building A Life or Two

Although I haven’t been posting, I’ve been writing quite a bit. A few days ago, I began a piece about movies adapted from or based on books, inspired by my excitement of watching the final installation of The Hobbit. My son and I went to see it yesterday, and we’re reading the book together as well. I hope every parent experiences the joy of having a literary conversation with an eight year old. It is both simplistic and mind-blowing, pure yet passionate. He and I both cried during “The Battle of Five Armies;” I imagine we’ll both be heartbroken for the same characters before finishing the book.

The piece I wrote was meant to be short, but it grew into several pages and included numerous examples. I’ve decided to turn it into a regular series in this blog. The subject is rich and a joy to explore.

I’ve used the word “joy” twice now just in the first two paragraphs. Some might twist that into saying I’ve finally found a bit of Christmas spirit. My response to that is still “bah humbug!” I am enjoying the holidays, but not because of the holidays themselves.

My son had a magical Christmas morning — the presents appeared at the foot of his bed just like it the Harry Potter series! — and we spent several hours putting together what we named a LEGO Clash of Worlds. At one point, there was a Godzilla-sized MineCraft creeper terrorizing the dwarves of Middle Earth who were up in a burning tree while watching Han Solo team up with Master Chief to try to rescue the baby creeper from Nindroid Kai.

It was pretty intense for a Thursday.

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This week hasn’t been all fantasy and science fiction (actually it has been for books and movies). Reality has creeped in as well. I’ve been making decisions — one might even say resolutions — about my life and my son’s: past, presents, and potential futures.

First of all, I’ve decided to stop hoarding my issues. They seem to keep piling up and overwhelming me. I have about ten examples off the top of my head, but they’re all personal, so let’s move on…

Presents: the spelling was intentional. In the spirit of The Giver, I’ve decided to get my son a bike (sans training wheels) for his ninth birthday this spring. If I can afford it, I might get myself one at the same time so we can go riding together. I can no longer run, due to a health problem, but pedaling would be all right.

As to the future, there are a lot of uncertainties, which is why it is so important that I stop allowing things to clutter. I’ve already gotten rid of the annoying and mostly useless presence of men (including that one from a few weeks ago), I’m allowing myself more time to enjoy myself and relax (by myself like I prefer), and I’m considering a change, professionally (more on that another time).

These really do sound like resolutions. I’m not a fan of those, but I’ll accept the label. I don’t consider the cross from December to January a new year. My beginnings and endings are not dependent on the calendar — they are fluid, constantly changing, with many smaller beginnings and more significant endings. If I have to assign a defining number to each year, then it cannot be the same one everyone else uses; it must be meaningful to me.

My year will be marked by my son’s birthday — my accomplishments measured by his continual growth.

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Building A Life or Two

Although I haven’t been posting, I’ve been writing quite a bit. A few days ago, I began a piece about movies adapted from or based on books, inspired by my excitement of watching the final installation of The Hobbit. My son and I went to see it yesterday, and we’re reading the book together as well. I hope every parent experiences the joy of having a literary conversation with an eight year old. It is both simplistic and mind-blowing, pure yet passionate. He and I both cried during “The Battle of Five Armies;” I imagine we’ll both be heartbroken for the same characters before finishing the book.

The piece I wrote was meant to be short, but it grew into several pages and included numerous examples. I’ve decided to turn it into a regular series in this blog. The subject is rich and a joy to explore.

I’ve used the word “joy” twice now just in the first two paragraphs. Some might twist that into saying I’ve finally found a bit of Christmas spirit. My response to that is still “bah humbug!” I am enjoying the holidays, but not because of the holidays themselves.

My son had a magical Christmas morning — the presents appeared at the foot of his bed just like it the Harry Potter series! — and we spent several hours putting together what we named a LEGO Clash of Worlds. At one point, there was a Godzilla-sized MineCraft creeper terrorizing the dwarves of Middle Earth who were up in a burning tree while watching Han Solo team up with Master Chief to try to rescue the baby creeper from Nindroid Kai.

It was pretty intense for a Thursday.

image

This week hasn’t been all fantasy and science fiction (actually it has been for books and movies). Reality has creeped in as well. I’ve been making decisions — one might even say resolutions — about my life and my son’s: past, presents, and potential futures.

First of all, I’ve decided to stop hoarding my issues. They seem to keep piling up and overwhelming me. I have about ten examples off the top of my head, but they’re all personal, so let’s move on…

Presents: the spelling was intentional. In the spirit of The Giver, I’ve decided to get my son a bike (sans training wheels) for his ninth birthday this spring. If I can afford it, I might get myself one at the same time so we can go riding together. I can no longer run, due to a health problem, but pedaling would be all right.

As to the future, there are a lot of uncertainties, which is why it is so important that I stop allowing things to clutter. I’ve already gotten rid of the annoying and mostly useless presence of men (including that one from a few weeks ago), I’m allowing myself more time to enjoy myself and relax (by myself like I prefer), and I’m considering a change, professionally (more on that another time).

These really do sound like resolutions. I’m not a fan of those, but I’ll accept the label. I don’t consider the cross from December to January a new year. My beginnings and endings are not dependent on the calendar — they are fluid, constantly changing, with many smaller beginnings and more significant endings. If I have to assign a defining number to each year, then it cannot be the same one everyone else uses; it must be meaningful to me.

My year will be marked by my son’s birthday — my accomplishments measured by his continual growth.

Philes and Phobias

The first post is important – as important as any other first for those who find extra meaning in the number one. I am not such a person; however, I can play along. The first page of the first chapter is not the place for revelations; the end of my story should not be my beginning here. There are things I need to say that cannot be said to anyone who knows me, yet I cannot continue being silent. In time, I will tell you everything about me except my true name, for names can become powerful when stolen.

To begin: my first name is not Jane, but it describes me fairly well. Errs is misspelled, which is kind of funny if you think about it. I tell nosy people that I’m six years older than I am because I look six years younger. Although I’ve been engaged 1.5 times, I’ve never been married and plan to remain a single mom until Hell freezes over. (Also, I don’t believe in Hell.)

The only person I trust often tells me that he’s on to me: he says that I like people to think I’m odd when I’m actually “kind of all right.” In truth, I am odd, but no more so than anyone else; I’m just more honest about it. His opinion means everything to me, but he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. He has a mental list of my discovered attributes and quirks, likes and aversions, fears and favorites. The list is incomplete until he learns the worst of me.

Let us begin with the best of me:

The written word is my greatest addiction. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in…wait for it…English, but I went one step further and achieved a minor in Creative Writing because there just wasn’t enough English in my English degree. Of course, this did create a problem with my having to take an extra semester of courses in any other topic because I had too many credits for my major, but that is another story and shall be told another time.

In my world, reading is a sport. Each January 1st, I start with a fresh goal: the number of books and the number of pages to be read by December 31st. This is not a New Year’s resolution – those are rarely kept and usually have more to do with waistline subtraction. This is training. Pretty much every library in the known universe has a reading competition. And, yes, I compete. Last year, I won. That may have been because I was the only one in Munchkinland to actually meet the library’s quota…but I digress. In 2013, I read 50 books and over 16,000 pages; for 2014, I’m aiming for 60 and 20,000.

I believe that Bibliophiles are born not made; my love of reading is in my DNA. My grandfather could not go through a day without a paperback and two packs of unfiltered; he was a chain-smoking book hoarder who made sideways comments about my excessive reading. My mother is a librarian and a lifelong book enthusiast. She has been known to read books to rags, replace them, and then read the replacements to shreds. For a good portion of my life, I have only been recognized when carrying a book. My life can be defined by my love of reading – my personality analyzed by my eclectic taste in genres.

Just to add another generation to the genetic argument, let me tell you about my son: he’s still in elementary school, and he makes all who have read before him appear illiterate. I am convinced that if anyone can engineer the technology that will allow people to be scanned into stories and play out the action, it will be my kid. I’ve already volunteered to be the guinea pig.

Reading is not the only aspect of my love affair with English. I also like to write the books. If not for this pesky fear of success and happiness (not failure), perhaps someone outside my alma mater would be familiar with my work. As it is, I’ve not even tried to be published since senior year, this post being the exception. The trauma behind this publishing block started in 2010. I’m supposed to be over it, but I’ve never been one to forgive or forget. This quality was quite handy when taking five English and Writing courses at once; not so handy for moving on already.