Monday, October 26, 2009

Find the Story

I have no clue what to post about. My thoughts are jumbled and askew, and they won't lead me toward one cohesive theme. Want to muddle through this with me?

I considered not posting at all, but that would feel too much like not brushing my teeth, or having the wrong size jeans, or like a giant zit had found my forehead. I just wouldn't be comfortable with it.

I'll tell you we spent the weekend away, in the midst of extended family, for a cousin's wedding. Logic has me thinking there's some content there to be found, about the various personalities in attendance, how well they convert to paper. Or the romance of the gorgeous bride and her tall, dashing groom; how fairy tale-perfect their story is. Or I could share a picture of my girls dancing in their princess dresses at the reception, and tell you how time rushed past me as I tried not to envision them at their own weddings. That I had the best salad ever at Applebee's, sweet with sauce, crisp with almonds and Asian noodles, perfect with hunks of fried chicken; that my husband's siblings, their families and ours took nearly twenty seats, and we rounded the tables with love and connection. How I nearly lost the whole weekend to one miserable migraine, but made it through, anyway, with the help of a teeny pill, even if while wearing a pained and tired face and struggling to make conversation, or that my littlest had a bad earache, and that I spent a mid-night's hour driving a downtown metro city in search of children's tylenol and ear drops, when what I really, truly, desperately wanted was sleep...

There's a story in everything, isn't there?

Do you look for them, the stories?

Tell me about one from your own weekend.

35 comments:

Rebecca Nazar said...

I'm so sorry about the migraine and earache. Thank God for meds. What did people do before them?

My weekend was a total snore: housework

Susan R. Mills said...

I took a drive through an old neighborhood while trying to kill some time before my son's basketball game. The trees were so tall and beautiful with their changing leaves, I almost cried. It was the most pleasant fifteen minutes I've had in a long time. I'm sorry you had a headache this weekend. But, I'm jealous about the salad at Applebee's. I know of which you speak. It's yummy!

Stina Rose said...

I've had many days where I didn't know what to post...so I didn't. Good for you, for posting even when you didn't know what to write about. Oh, and you're right. There is a story in everything.

My weekend: I think you read about it on my blog. Talk about frustration!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I hate for you to have to experience those nasty migraines!

When I read your post, the first thing I thought of was the soap opera, Days of Our Lives! How those days give us experiences that some time will we use to make our story lines better...more real.

JKB said...

I slept. Slept a lot. And ate chili.

And it was wooooonderful.

(I loved your description of your weekend!!)

JLC said...

You had one very eventful weekend! Glad your migraine took a back seat, and I hope your daughter's ear ache is better now. You are such an awesome mommy! :D

Regina Quentin said...

Hmm. While my own home was unavailable to me this weekend I stayed with some friends that have a full family... there were six of us in the house. It was packed, wonderful, sometimes disturbing, mostly beautiful though, and I am extremely grateful for them.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

You're right--there's always a story.

I spent the weekend remembering. Some long lost memories came to visit and refused to leave until I fully engaged in their presence. It was full of many emotions. They left with a promise to return again.

Terri Tiffany said...

Wow-- that was a story in itself! ANd you drove all over looking for Tylenol? brave mom!
Weekend story? We worked on our bathroom--have to get it done before my husband's surgery in November. Spent time writing--my--what a boring story I'd write.

Jessica said...

Oooh, I'm sorry about the migraine and earache. :-( Glad the girls wore princess dresses though. :-)

Yep, last night we went to my hubby's friend's house for a party because he's getting married soon. He's philippino and there were all sorts of food items that I've never seen before. LOL But I was watching, thinking about how I'd write a story about this. It was pretty cool to be part of a different, yet still American, culture like that. Plus I loved the eggrolls! But I didn't eat the fish heads. LOL

septembermom said...

That salad sounds good!

My weekend was full of birthday parties and soccer fields. The rain hit NY very hard on Saturday. I was nervous about my mother driving up to our house for my nephew's 18th birthday party. Gratefully, she made it back and forth safe and sound. It's something how your nerves really do take you over for a while. I can remember frosting the cake and glancing at the clock every few minutes. I was on edge until she arrived. My family jokes that I inherited my father's worry gene. Now that he's gone, I tend to do all the worrying for the family. Now I know where my gray hair comes from!

lakeviewer said...

Our entire life is a big, long story, that we can rush through, and return to, and distill, or frame in small frames. I teach autobiographical writing: you know where I sit.

thedomesticfringe said...

I'm really sorry you were feeling badly all weekend. I hope your headache is gone now!

I got a new stove on Friday and spent the entire day on Saturday cooking. It was wonderful!

-FringeGirl

Janna Qualman said...

Becca - If I'd lived before medicine with these headaches, I'd have gone for the frying pan.

Susan - I've seen some lovely tree, too. It's just beautiful! And that was my first experience with that salad. My lips are smacking now, just thinking about it.

Christina - I did. I'm still so sorry! That had to be incredibly frustrating.

Donna - I couldn't agree more. It's the day to day stuff that makes our fiction truer.

JKB - That, my friend, sounds like an awesome weekend!

JLC - She seems all better. Thanks!

Regina - What an experience! Hope your home is yours again now.

Kristen - That sounds both lovely and heartbreaking. Bittersweet?

Terri - Surgery? I hope it's routine. And boring? Never!

Jessica, that sounds really cool! Except, yeah, the fish heads. ;)

septembermom - I'm glad she made it! And I know what you mean about the worrying. I'm a stresser, too. I'm trying to learn to pull myself out of it, though.

lakeviewer - Beautifully put.

FringeGirl - Yay! She's cookin' now! ;)

Analisa said...

That was a story a bittersweet one. Some great mixed in with misery the sweet stuff of life.

LeSan said...

Well you managed to pull a wonderful post right out of thin air. hehe. You had excitement, romamnce, tragedy and even adventure. Nice work!
I feel your pain with the migraine and I am sorry you had one during this event. ugh. Happy you had the tiny pill though. yippy.
I never have any idea what I am going to blog about until I start hitting the keys. My starting words are "I got nothing." Yeah, I'm a big planner.
As for my weekend? I'm calling for a do over.

Cindy said...

I love how you find stories in even the small things. I tend to look for them in big events and life changes but really, much of the context for a story is in every day life.

Joanne said...

Sometime, in some way, we just know we'll see your weekend, or some part of it, replayed in your fiction. It's just got to simmer ...

Need More Words said...

Saturday I went to a kick-off party for the Colorado Springs NaNoWriMo group. The butterflies are starting, less than a week before the real work begins.
Diane

Melissa Marsh said...

Yes - stories everywhere. It's wonderful and awe-inspiring and overwhelming. Unfortunately, too many times we do not "see" the stories.

I had a whirlwind weekend of travel and visiting family again.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

Ouch! I know about migraines from personal experience. Hope your little one is better.

My weekend included a bit of writing on Saturday, a Ladies' Night Out with friends, church, and a ride in the country with Mom - leaf peeping.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Kathy said...

Nicely written, Janna.

Let's see. A story. Saturday I did a lot of errands and such, I really don't like grocery shopping very much. At night, I watched a movie with my number one guy, Some parts were quite funny and some made me cry. On Sunday I visited the library, and picked out a book that sounds interesting to me. My sisters came over for some fun on Sunday night, and we shared a lot of laughs which made everything all right.

I had to write my story in rhyme.

Jill Kemerer said...

The salad sounded yummy. As did the wedding.

The migraine? Nope.

I fought one this weekend too. Can you say, worst mood ever?? :)

Here's to a fabulous week!

Janna Qualman said...

Analisa - Good or bad, it all adds up to one big life, doesn't it?

LeSan - A do-over? LOL! I hope the week is better for you.

Thanks, Cindy. I think it makes the mundane parts of life a little nicer. :)

Joanne - I like the way you think.

Best with NaNo this year, Diane!

Melissa - I caught wind of that. I hope all for good reasons!

Susan - Leaf peeping. I can't tell you how much I love that phrase!

Kathy - But of course, rhymegirl! ;)

Oh gosh, Jill. They're the pits, aren't they? There are a lot of bad things I'd do before a migraine.

Jody Hedlund said...

Our times are always a mixture of the beautiful and painful aren't they? And even though you didn't wan to post, I'm glad you did! I just love the way you describe things!

Nadine said...

Your weekend sounds like quite a weekend! Some sweet and some bitter. Sorry to hear about the migraine and ear ache :(

Let's see, a story from my weekend. On Sunday we went to the church to see the relic of Father Damien who was just made a saint. That was a pretty awesome experience.

WendyCinNYC said...

My weekends always center around family and shuttling kids. Fencing practice, tournament, watching a movie together, and bowling--that's pretty much it. I've come to accept the fact that I will never be a good bowler. Never. I'm not heartbroken.

Tamika: said...

Ear aches are the worst, they can rank up there with labor sometimes.

I hope you all are feeling better.

Now that I am walking in writing gift, I do find a story in everything. It's funny, because my husband will comment, "you got all that from a trip to the grocery store?"

Happy writing!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, I get weak when people say they had a migraine. I've had three in my life and they were enough.
Everytime I experience something I always file it away for future writing. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

I signed up for the Nanowrimo event to finish a story I've been struggling to finish, although I do have the outline ready to go. That's the story of my weekend.

Stephen Tremp

Texas Playwright Chick said...

Migraines, I get them too. Ice on back of neck, where the head meets the neck, helps tremendously.

I don't always 'look' for the stories so much as listen for them. I guess they're sort of the same thing, but I hear things in what people say that influence my thoughts and make me ask 'what if'...and then my story arrives.

I had a great weekend! Complete with a whole Saturday spent peacefully hanging out with my hubby.

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, I'm always looking for the stories in everything, especially the little things in life that catch us by surprise.

I had trouble posting yesterday. It must be in the air. I'm glad you fought through it. It was a great post!

Melanie Avila said...

I'm sorry I'm so late getting here -- there's a story in my tardiness. :)

I'm sorry you were feeling so bad. That always seems to happen to me when I'm visiting home. Something about the excitement, perhaps.

I also have the same thing happen where so much goes on that I can't pinpoint one thing to write about. I hope the flash-forwards of the girls' weddings was a good thing.

Janna Qualman said...

Jody - And without sounding cheesy, I suppose that's what makes it life.

Nadine - That sounds powerful!

Wendy - Oh, I love bowling! Used to be decent. Too uptight now. ;)

Tamika - I love that! I'm the same way. :)

Jennifer - Thanks for visiting! I try to, as well. I know there's stuff I miss, but maybe it'll resurface someday down the line.

Stephen - That's a good story! Good luck with NaNo. And thanks for stopping by, too. :)

Texas Playwright Chick - Welcome! I've used the freezer gel pacs with some success, but it seems to work less and less often. Do you use straight ice in a ziploc? And your weekend sounds great! I'm due for one of those kinds of Saturdays.

Heather - Those are my favorite kinds of things. And thanks. :)

Melanie - Oh, I believe it. ;) I think you're right, excitement, stress.

Deb Shucka said...

I'm with you, always looking for the story in whatever happens, or whoever I meet. Sometimes, though, the story is just listening to what our hearts and bodies are saying. And sometimes we don't know the story until we start writing. Like you did here. :-)