The Sandbox Writing Challenge #61 — Happiness is NOT a dropping shoe!

On Oct 25th, Calen dropped a bombshell – three questions in one challenge. Wow! So let’s get to them.


What are the things that make you happy?

Ravens cawing, sunsets, sunrises, hot chocolate on a chilly morning, a good book, a nice chat with a friend, the laughter of children, the contentment of being home, tending the garden, fussing over my houseplants, baking homemade buttermilk biscuits, wearing bracelets, meditating, giving my readers something interesting to read, silence, Pepsi Max, owning one of Karen Lundquist’s paintings (High Noon in the Garden – scroll to second painting to see it), watching documentaries, researching history, pining over Richard Gere and Robert Downey Jr, listening to music….

I think I could go on forever, but I think you get a taste of a few things that make me happy. Ironically, if I had been given this question back in June, I would have said nothing makes me happy.


I think I’m afraid to be really crazy happy
because whenever I do _____________.

Something shitty happens. Seriously, it does. So instead of getting crazy happy over anything, I just allow myself to enjoy “gap” moments. Those tiny things that occur and cause me to stop whatever I am doing, pause and bliss out for a few moments. I’ll take those over something major any day.

Are you one of the fortunate folks who never struggle[s] with that fear of waiting for the other shoe [to] drop?
If you are, tell us why!


I wish I were, but I am not. My life has been polluted with stinky dropped shoes my entire life. I try not to have expectations because they are usually foiled. I try not to get overly joyful about things because I will either get sick or have a mental check-out. Fear has dwelt with me for so long, it not only has its own keys to the mansion and drives my Lexus (oh how I wish!), but now I live in the guest house with a clunker parked outside. Did I mention that I am now a hoarder of shoes? Yep, there’s only a slim passage through the guest house.

Memories Come Flooding Back

It never ceases to amaze me where my childhood memories will stem from. First, I should tell you that I have a difficult time remembering my childhood. I had a childhood illness that has made my long-term memory fuzzy. Generally, I remember only bad things because those get repeated over and over again in my head forcing me to remember them. That is part of my mental illness. But every now and again, something will draw out of me childhood memories. I cherish this because it happens so rarely.

Today, after reading Shawn Bird’s poem Rockery, I was able to relive two memories. The first was the many times while out playing with my sister, I would fall down on pine cones and tear up the same place on my knee. While this is a painful memory, it is also a happy one. We lived in a small house in the country surrounded by a pine tree grove. A slim path led from our house through the woods to a neighbor’s house where my sister and I would go to play with the twins who lived there. My sister always ran ahead of me and I tried my best to keep up, but usually ended up stumbling and falling on the pine cones that covered the path. These were simpler and happier times for me before life got too complicated.

The next memory was of the hen and chicks that my paternal grandmother always grew in terracotta pots in the yard. I remember sitting on the porch staring at them and wondering how they could survive our harsh winters. I guess grandmother brought them inside in the winter, but at that time I had no clue. They were just so small and delicate. I remember thinking once that I wished I was a hen and chick, living in those pots and just soaking up the sun and rain. Again, a simpler and happier time in my life.

Share Your World – 2016 Week 5


for Cee’s Share Your World

If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and things stored on them, people or animals), what would you put on it?

My Orson Scott Card collection, the book The House of Breath by William Goyen and my Dancing Girl bronze statue

If you had a box labelled ‘happiness’, what would you put in it?

All three of my college degrees, the bus ticket from OK to VA, feathers my raven flock leave me, my favorite poetry books, my CD and DVD collections, pictures of past partners who despite the break-ups brought me happiness, pictures of the pets I’ve lost over the years, my sketches and collages, my gratitude journal

What do you want more of in your life?

*Gap* moments

Daily Life List: What do you do on an average day? Make a list of your usual activities you do each day.

This is what I have been doing almost constantly since the 28th of January (some of this I do every day this will be followed by an *)

  • wake up, meditate for 20 mins and then get out of bed*
  • turn on my computer and desk lamp*
  • stumble down the hallway for a pee and coffee*
  • do 20 mins of stretching exercises*
  • check my calendar for the day’s events and to-do list
  • write 750 words
  • turn on my Youtube Music Playlist*
  • get more coffee, stretch my legs, pee*
  • begin my writing projects*
  • finish my writing projects*
  • get more coffee, stretch my legs, pee*
  • go through the list of A2Zers and follow blogs
  • check emails and read blog posts and reblog as necessary
  • stretch my legs, bathroom break if needed*
  • contemplate if I am hungry enough to eat, if yes… cook. If no… read more blogs
  • eat dinner, because by now it is around 3 or 4 pm*
  • reward myself with a movie or tv program*
  • check facebook and twitter, or chat with a friend on the phone
  • take a late evening nap*
  • get out of bed, make tea and read emails or work on other writing projects*
  • return to bed around 2 or 3 am*
  • wash, rinse, repeat

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week I am grateful that I completed my January goals, spent time with my dad, and caught up with an old friend.

This week I am looking forward to writing more horror stories and working on my other writing projects.