Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters


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Love for the Bees!!

One little fact about me: I LOVE honey.

I love bees even more.

Don’t believe me? Okay, so today a cute little bee flew into my house, hung out with me for a while, and then left. It didn’t sting me. It didn’t do anything but keep me company. We had a fabulous time.

You never need to swat a bee!!

If you keep your movement natural and slow, you’ll never be stung :)

ALSO: I’m guessing you wouldn’t do anything to try to kill say, a polar bear, or gray wolf… or anything endangered. Well, bees are going extinct!! There’s something so sad called Colony Collapse Disorder. There’s a great documentary called Vanishing of the Bees. Do your research! Each and every one is important!

They’re really cute and nice if you just get to know them :)

(one time a bee flew INTO my really hot water and died. I pretty much cried. I’m going to spend eternity trying to make up for it!!)

(Also, disclaimer, if you don’t swat a bee and you still get stung, don’t blame me! Accidents happen!)

FUN note: My favorite honey (other than LOCAL!!) is BEE RAW HONEY. Read up on the company’s blog, The Buzz, and learn all you can about these amazing little creatures!

:)

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Too Real For Fiction {Part II}

I can’t make this stuff up….(click here for part I!)

Today I got some advice.

I was sitting in Whole Foods. I had literally just sat down and the stranger at the table beside me says, “Excuse me.”

So I say, “Yes?”

He’s an old guy. I would guess 55 or 60. He starts this conversation with me.

“Okay. Am I freaking you out by talking to you? (I shake my head, try to smile with my eyebrows raised…) Okay. Good. I hope I’m not freaking you out. I’m an old guy. You’re young. I look…. I look a lot older than I should. I look bad for my age. I spent the last forty years or so being bipolar. Do you know what that is? (I nod, keep trying to smile…) It’s this guy disease. I had it. I’ve recently been let back in here. They kicked me out about 9 months ago. I’m on probation. I guess I talk to much. I like to talk to people. I’m a people person. I can’t help that. But the reason I’m saying this… what I’m saying is… are you in show business?”

“No. Not at all.”

“Yeah.” He nods. “You’re probably a nurse. You’re a nurse, aren’t you? Or a teacher. You’re probably a teacher.”

“No… neither, actually.” (more about why I’m NOT a teacher…)

“Probably because you found some amazing guy.”

“Well… I did. But that’s not why I’m not a teacher.”

“Are you married?”

“Yes.”

“Good. You know? I just realized, last week, that I spend my entire life living without the most important thing a person can have. I haven’t been giving out any love. I haven’t had anyone. I’m so lonely. I realized how lonely I am. Truly alone. And it’s my fault. Anyway, why I ask is, I’m happy to hear stories like yours. I’m so happy some people have someone to really love. So, thanks. Thanks for talking to me. Thanks for listening.”

“Sure.”

“Did I creep you out?”

“Nah. Nothing really surprises me anymore.” (which is totally true)

“Alright. Thanks. Thanks a lot.”

Then this guy started talking to the person he was sitting with again and didn’t say another word to me.

The point? Today a total stranger made me realize how lucky I am to have someone to love me and to love in return. It was unexpected advice. Even though part of me was actually totally annoyed to be bothered, another part of me let go of that and really took this as something I should listen to. Not everyone has had the chance to get married. Not everyone has a great family and sisters to talk to every single day. So even if some random stranger never approaches you with some weird soliloquy of their own lives… realize it.

Take those people who are blessings to you and hold them close.

Don’t let them go.

Don’t let a moment with them slip away unnoticed or uncared for.

Smile even when you don’t want to.

Say I Love You even when it’s the last thing you’re feeling.

Pick your crap up off of the floor/counter if that’s the one things that drives them crazy. (I’m working on this!)

Don’t be too hard on people.

Don’t be that guy who wakes up to be 60 something years old and realizes he’s been lonely and it’s his fault. That’s no life.

Be thankful.

Be happy!!!!


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Surviving… and Writing

writer, new writer, short stories, poetry, hey lou

first, you gotta survive!

When I say I’m writing all day long, it usually means that I wander over to do the dishes…fold some laundry…text Greg to see how work is going…and then sit down again to type. That’s not to say that I’m not thinking of what it is I am going to write the entire time. I can’t really stop my mind from thinking the next thought or coming up with the next character.

I like to call this rehearsing. I rehearse all day long, even if I’m busy at work. I never get writer’s block, if I count all the thinking I do as part of the writing process.

Today, as I sat in our hallway (because it heats up faster than the entire house), I listened to music the entire time. One song that really stuck out to me was Cory Branan’s song Survivor Blues. If you haven’t heard of him, look him up. And listen to Survivor Blues. Cory has written some of the most poignant lyrics I have ever heard and some of the most profound are in this one song.

We’ve all heard that old phrase:

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

It’s a popular tattoo. A very clichéd bit of advice to give someone who has had a horrible day.

But what about the flip side to that? What about that terrible, gut wrenching pain that some people feel? Survivor Blues states it plainly:

‘They say it makes you stronger

But first you gotta survive”

What a concept. First, you have to survive whatever it is that is potentially going to make you stronger. It might really suck. The next lyrics says,

“What didn’t kill you will make you wish you died”

Again… what a concept. I’m usually a pretty optimistic person, but yes, there have been days where I felt this way. OR days where I knew someone else was going through something so terrible that this was how they felt.

Yet, at the end of the day, people are resilient. Even people who think to themselves that they’d rather have died than survived whatever they just lived through… even they come out on top. They DO eventually get stronger.

It’s the surviving that counts, though.

Right now I’m constantly inside the world of a character I’ve written, Ezra, who has survived something I would consider awful. If I were him, I’d even wish that I could have died at times. This is what characters do… at least the ones who stay with us as readers. They survive anything. They hit rock bottom and somehow, some way, rise up again. It can be a struggle, a messy, ugly one at that, but a successful struggle in the end. (except for those extremely depressing stories where everything goes to hell and never comes back. but those aren’t the standard… or my favorite)

I hope that as you live your own story and continue to be the main character in your own lives, that you are all surviving whatever it is you are going through!

<3


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Baklava at Midnight

Baklava at Midnight

By Melinda Williams

It was midnight. Or almost midnight. It was late enough for Holly to feel too tired for sleep. Her mouth had never been so dry and her eyes had never been so red. But none of that compared to her emotional state, for she had never felt so guilty before in her life. She’d never once been so reckless as she had been just hours before. The way her chest was flushed, for how long, she didn’t know, was a new sensation.

…try to get over it…

When Holly stepped into the restaurant the lights welcomed her with malice. It’s like they already know, she thought. She wanted to be amused but couldn’t find that emotion buried deep within the burden that was winning.

The peculiar restaurant, Cesar’s Mexican and Greek, served enchiladas with gyros, sopapillas with spanakopita, and always recommended a dessert of baklava. Holly had driven past it almost her entire life and had never stopped inside until that night.

“Alo! What’s it gonna be?” A big Mexican man asked Holly. He was tall and his neck, she was sure, was larger than her thigh. Though his brown eyes with long lashes looked jolly. His name tag said “Stephen.”

“Just baklava,” Holly said. She hadn’t eaten all day.

“Jus’ dessert! Okay, girl. One baklava it is.”

Baklava, being cheap, sweet, a little greasy, yet always wanted, almost made her think of herself at that moment. Almost. Continue reading


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Current OBSESSION

les mis, writer, new writer, poetry, short stories, author

Jean Valjean… swoon

I have a few “all the time” obsessions.

They include: HONEY, KOMBUCHA, and KALE

They’re all food, which I just can’t help. But every once in a while, my obsessions shift gears. This obsession began on Christmas day when I went with my mom and two of my sisters to see Les Miserables. I had always known the “pretty songs” from the musical. I kind of, sort of, knew the story.

BUT OH MY GOSH. I wasn’t prepared for the absolute emotion and epic drama that this movie held. I have a new found love for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman… both actors I had never really paid much attention to. I think every single person (even Amanda Seyfried, who isn’t my favorite) in the movie did an excellent job.

I used to think that Tom Joad was the manliest character EVER written. He is second place now. THE manliest character ever written? Of course, the award goes to Jean Valjean. What he overcame in life… how much he changed… how TRUE he was to himself and God… all equals pretty much the perfect man. And talk about cute college boys. Get them singing together about “red” and “black” with nice clothes and curly hair, and I’m pretty much a goner. Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is one of the most tragic characters ever written. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something so touching, desperate, and depressing as the way she was depicted in this film. Little Cosette was so cute. Eponine, so strong and sad all at the same time. I’m telling you- it’s a MUST SEE FILM.

I cried. My stomach ached from how distraught I was almost the entire time. I couldn’t sleep that night… woke up thinking about it…

Even my husband Greg wants to watch it!  I told him I’d have NO issue seeing it twice. In fact… I’m CRAVING it!!

Thank God I have the soundtrack on my iPod.


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Finally Ready

 I’m finally ready…

I have my coffee. I'm READY!!!

I have my coffee. I’m READY!!!

The new year is here! We’re 5 days in!!! Five is my lucky number. Perfect timing to get back in the swing of things!!!

I’m finally ready to take on the new year. When the clock actually changed, I felt a little overwhelmed. Does anyone else have a different feeling about this one? When 2011 turned into 2012, I felt almost nothing. Another year. Another time when I felt I knew almost exactly what was in store for me. I felt content and comfortable. This time around? I feel a bit unsettled. It’s not a bad thing, not a negative feeling. Just a bit like something is stirring…like there is a change coming, or something entirely unexpected. When the year changed at midnight and I gave Greg a kiss, I felt for the first time that I didn’t know what was coming for the new year. I have no idea what a year from now will look like.

That’s a very exciting thing to realize.

I don’t know where I’ll be living, if I’ll have a kid… what job I might have. I don’t know if I’ll experience something that will change me forever. Every day, we have a chance to make a change or be changed. I know this. But I also feel that especially now, there’s room to grow.

I wanted the year to start out with an exciting trip. My twin sister Meredith and I planned a two night stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We had an amazing, sister-bonding, freezing, and life changing time!!! Sometimes the answers to ALL of life’s questions lie in having coffee with your twin. Sorry for those of you who don’t have one! ;)

writer, new writer, short stories, poetry

Meredith and Me! Walking in the freezing cold!

I jotted down a few new year’s resolutions. Here they are:

Eat Controllably I think this about sums it up. Be in control of what I eat. I don’t feel that I’ve been all that out of control, but after a ton of holiday cheer, it’s definitely time to kick it back into gear with the healthy food!

Move Every Day I know that I don’t have to sweat like a pig in order to get some kind of workout. Some days I go on a short walk or do my [five pound] arm weights… just to make sure I get some movement in!

Stay Positive To go along with this one? Start every day with a smile. It feels cheesy as hell, but when I wake up I make this goofy forced smile, and eventually it turns into a real one! It works!

Give Everyone the Benefit of the Doubt Yes, even that jerk who just cut me off on the highway. They could be having a horrible day. They could be rushing toward a dying family member… you never know! It’s about time I stop judging for good and start worrying about my own self, not what others around me are doing.

Pray More I always need to pray more. When I do, amazing things happen.

Be Patient It is a virtue, after all.

Be Kind I want to be kind all the time!! I might as well start now!

Find Time For Me Discover who I am. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day- if I sit and reflect on the day, the good and the bad, and take in the present moment, I feel much better. Why shouldn’t I do this every day?

Read and Write Each and Every Day I feel more… ME when I do this. I love to do both. When I neglect this part of my life, I find that I allow small things to stress me out. Reading and writing help me stay on the right path.

Be a Better Daughter, Wife, Sister and Friend There are moments when I’ve fallen short in every way.

This is my first “New Year’s Resolution” list. I think I can stick to it! I’ll let you know! :)

What are your resolutions? Have you stuck to any in the past? Are there repeats happening this year? I’d love to know!

<3

writer, poetry, short stories

Maybe I’ll get more in touch with nature, too… ;)