Two-Bit Musings.

Shh.

Just Another Day in Paradise, Yo.

. . .

Hi. How are you, Dear Reader? How do you feel today: body, mind, and soul?

Pause. Think. Answer honestly.

Me? I’m doing just fine, thanks.

I’m currently sitting on our RV love seat, clicking past the miles somewhere between Ohio and Indiana. Sweet Baby Snap is sleeping; Toddler Snap is hopefully about to do the same up in his car seat.

I’m sipping iced coffee, laughingly shrugging at the insane diesel prices, and singing songs from Father John Misty’s latest album in my head.

I feel good.

. . .

I just turned 35.

Seems kinda weird, like that’s much too old and much too young, all at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives; I also feel like I’ve just been born.

And when I close my eyes and quiet my mind, I think about this life. I think about how much I value the simple idea of respect.

I want to show respect in everything I do.

Toward other human beings, animals, and Mother Earth herself.

I want to respect other people’s time. I want to respect their turn to speak.

I want to respect the public goods we all need, like clean water and food. Health. Education. The arts and humanities.

I want it to be known that I respect you because not everything is about me.

. . .

(shrugs)

That’s it for now.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist currently residing on Planet Earth.

Two-Bit Musings.

Is This the Real Life?*

(Is this just fantasy?)*

. . .

This morning started in ordinary fashion: soft baby grunts, a bottle feeding, and our son happily kicking about in our bed, trying to snag Daddy’s iPad from the nightstand.

(I also snuck a bite of raw cookie dough from the fridge at about 4 AM.)

And later on, when I was washing a few dishes here and there–in between sips of coffee, text messages, and sweet toddler yelps–I surprisingly found myself in a place of peace.

It never stops.

This is the life we’ve dreamed of.

. . .

My Sweet Husband and I frequently talk about how fast time passes, and usually these discussions accompany feelings of slight panic, and almost disapproval for how much we’ve achieved.

Sometimes it helps me to organize things, by breaking my life into distinct chapters:

SnapDragon’s Life, in Cheap One-Liners:

-Elementary School: Using Bright Colors for Everything

-Middle School: Being Self-Conscious AF

-High School: Having Fun ‘Rebelling Against Society’, as My Brother Would Say

-College: Not Letting Fear Rule My Life

-Teaching: Trying to Inspire in a Broken System

-Post-Teaching: Anxiety, Depression, & Artistic Discovery

-Motherhood: (Musical Interlude)**

. . .

Anyway, what I’m getting at is that no matter how hard we are on ourselves–no matter how little it seems we’ve done–we have arrived.

In high school I wanted nothing more than to read, write, and become a teacher.

Done.

In college I wanted to travel, paint, and have the type of fun only 20-somethings can.

Done.

Throughout my life I’ve dreamed of art, passion, friendships, and family. I dreamed of a house of my own.

Done, done, and done.

I’ve had moments where I’ve wanted nothing more than to be a stay-at-home Mom, tending to the house in between caring for a couple of little humans.

And here it all is, and here I am, in perfect disarray.

. . .

So, despite how it sounds, this doesn’t mean I’m finished. Just because I’ve accomplished some major goals doesn’t mean there aren’t more on the horizon. My middle school self would be quite proud of my high school self. College SnapDragon evolved into Teacher SnapDragon.

We all keep moving the bar, because really, isn’t that what it means to be alive?

I want to relish each moment, yet continue to plan for a kick-ass future.

. . .

You have done amazing things in this life, Dear Reader. So have I.

So just because you’re in the same sweatpants for three days in a row and haven’t yet brushed your teeth today, it doesn’t mean you’re slacking.***

We’re simply doing the best with the day we’ve got.

Right?

. . .

SnapDragon is an artist who just loves traditionally-feminine things.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for irreverent musings and more.

. . .

*These are Queen lyrics, obviously. Please tell me this footnote is not necessary.

**It’s way too hard to put into words, yo.

***Oh wait. That’s me.

Two-Bit Musings.

Hidden Away.

I’m still here, yo! And doin’ just fine.

. . .

Hello, Dear Reader. And greetings from my shockingly somewhat-cleared-off dining room table, where a fresh iced coffee patiently sits within reach. I’m in fruit-punch pink sweatpants. My lips are annoyingly chapped.

(takes a deep breath)

Blogging is a funny thing: Really, it’s a strangely intimate relationship. I feel the pull to write–to check in–every single day. For real. And it truly bothers me when I don’t. Even when I was in the hospital–mindlessly eating egg salad sandwiches and trying not to freak out about another impending premature birth–SnapDragon was there, too. I viewed myself in all of my facets, the writer included.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Snap’s still here. Even though I’m in mama-mode full force these days, the artist within still breathes. (And she’s been downing delicious cold brew coffee like it’s her job.)

So, let me back up, and clear the writer-ly cobwebs from my sleep-deprived brain. Here we go:

. . .

But First: A Word on 2021

I did sort of a shit job of posting this past year. I dropped the ball in more than one way, but I must say that not completing my Book-of-the-Month posts for the year bothers me, and more than it probably should. And so, I feel the need to declare that I did continue to read.

Here are a few books of note:

To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck

As far as Steinbeck goes, this one was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but wouldn’t be in a rush to read it again.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

This was an intriguing read. Definitely pick it up if you get the chance. I also felt a strong connection with the hermit, when he said he wasn’t going to be ‘intellectually bullied’ into reading Ulysses. Umm, yes.

The Wangs Vs. The World by Jade Chang

I definitely enjoyed this novel. There were parts of it that were true page-turners! I’d be quite proud if my debut novel is as well done as this one.

The Best American Short Stories: 2020 edited by Heidi Pitlor and Curtis Sittenfeld

Reading the newest edition in this series has been a tradition since 2015, The Year of Our Sweet Wedding. And I must say, this one has been the best so far. It’s filled with really smart, beautiful stories.

. . .

Here are a few more thoughts on 2021. In fact, here’s what I started writing on New Year’s Day, right before I went into the hospital:

2021. (lets out an exasperated breath) Amiright?

Well, it’s over.

And while there were certainly some low moments–as there are in every year we live on this planet–I’m choosing to recap the year with some of my favorite happenings:

Home-cooked meals; children’s books on repeat; the flickering of jarred candles; RV adventures; drive-throughs*; well-designed playgrounds; eating vine-ripened tomatoes straight from our container garden; cat snuggles; intelligent cinema; exploring every winding road of our neighborhood; discovering all-but-vacant malls are perfect for toddler-running during a pandemic; moments of solitude; reuniting with vaccinated friends and family; celebrating the holidays in simplicity; modern medicine; yogurt and granola; warm hands and feet.

*Yeah, no. I’m taking a stand against the asinine Drive-Thru spelling. Somebody has to.

. . .

Ahh. Oddly enough, I feel better after airing those accumulated thoughts.

. . .

So Dear Reader, I want to take you warmly by the hand. I want to say Hello, and Happy New Year. I want to remind you that even though we’ve probably never met, you are my friend. You are human, and I am human. And we are in this thing together.

Let’s do this.

. . .

SnapDragon is a blogger who enjoys the hoppiest of IPAs.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her sometimes messy ramblings about who-knows-what.

Two-Bit Musings.

Little Breaths.

October Gold, 2021.
Pennsylvania, USA.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved, yo.

Let us remember that we all require space.

Sometimes a little; sometimes a lot.

Those quiet times hold such delicious potential; the roots do strengthen, as the vine prepares to blossom.

Shh. Close your eyes. Listen.

And allow yourself just to be.

Wonderful things are on the horizon, are they not?

. . .

SnapDragon is a teacher, painter, writer, and mom.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Two-Bit Musings.

Again.

A weirdo-artist rant from a SnapDragon near you.

. . .

I like who I am. Really, I do.

But it’s hard to be a thinker sometimes.

A dweller. A stew-er. An inspired little nugget of a human.

Even as a kid, I was dominated by my own thoughts:

Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. Should. Should.

The only time I’m truly at rest is when I’m asleep, or sick.

Well, maybe that’s not true. I watch high-quality television. But I’m not really relaxing. I get so wrapped up in the magic of the story that I inevitably turn my brain to my own creativity. My stories. My characters.

There they sit, just waiting.

For me.

. . .

In my thirty-four years I still have yet to understand time.

24-ish hours in a day.

Focus on what matters, Snap.

Don’t be someone you’re not.

. . .

Who are you?

I am a mother; partner; homemaker;

reader; blogger; poet; fiction-writer; photographer; painter; draw-er;

friend; family member;

listener;

patron of the arts;

collector of funky clothing, jewelry, and postcards prints;

traveler;

non-meat eater;

anti-religionist;

occasional crafter;

unapologetic snacker.

(And probably a few other things that have slipped the old skull.)

. . .

So I guess what I’m getting at in this toilet-paper-of-a-post is this:

I can’t do it all.

Not everyday, anyway.

No one can.

So I have to stop wasting the precious time I have feeling regretful. Feeling antsy. Feeling like a fraud of an artist because I’m not churning stories or paintings out each day.

Because the process itself–the living, the loving, the dreaming and nightmaring–the coffee breaks and heartfelt conversations–the slipper slides and magazines and sweat-pant days–they bring us to that pinnacle of inspiration, whenever it may arrive.

Deep breaths, yo.

You got this.

. . .

SnapDragon is an artist who invites you to follow her craziness on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Two-Bit Musings.

Chip Lips.

I’ve been eating barbecue chips like they’re goin’ outta style, yo. (But that’s not what this post is about. Better read on. . .)

. . .

Hi.

I’m perched here in our RV, cozied up in fruit-punch-colored sweatpants, the dim hum of the heater droning on in an inexplicably comforting way.

It’s unseasonably cold here in PA, so The SnapDragon Family is playing inside today.

Oh well.

Time for thinking.

Time for dreaming.

Time for resting these weary bones.

. . .

After reading a post by a friend of mine, I’m thinking a lot about control.

And, how very little of it we have in our lives.

Infancy. Toddlerhood. Childhood. Adolescence.

Family. Society. School. Economics.

Then, at last: Adulthood.

Adulthood. Which, generally speaking, is the bulk of our time spent on this planet.

(pause)

(Cue another cycle of circumstances beyond our control.)

. . .

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Dear Reader:

All I can control are my own actions.

All I can control are my own actions.

All I can control are my own actions.

. . .

I want to be:

-Patient. Because wouldn’t I want someone to be patient with me? I’m a flawed human being, just like the rest of ‘em. Sometimes it takes awhile to learn, to get it right. And that’s okay. It’s okay.

-Kind. Again: Golden Rule. Life’s much better when you’re kind. We’re so much prettier when we smile. Plus, people always remember how we made them feel. And I want people to feel valued. I want people to feel loved: friends and strangers both.

-Curious. There is a ridiculous amount to learn in this world, in this universe! Why would I not ask questions? Because I’m afraid of looking stupid? Stupid is as stupid does, Mrs. Blue. I’m going to spend my days learning, and growing. The journey never ends.

-Authentic. I spent far too many years hiding pieces of me. People-pleasing. Dogma-abiding. Apologizing for being human. I. Am. Human. This body is finite. It’s amazing. It’s dirty, and requires a rather unfair amount of upkeep. But it’s mine. And, I hope to use it in ways to spread joy: both to myself, and others.

. . .

And there we have it.

Another snippet from your girl SnapDragon.

(smiles and waves, and grabs another handful of kettle-cooked goodness)

‘Til next time.

. . .

SnapDragon is a homebody who enjoys putting stamps on envelopes.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for all things whimsically-authentic.

Two-Bit Musings.

Reasons I’m Currently Overwhelmed:

A List.

. . .

1. I’m an artist. A writer. A teacher. Feelings of paralyzed inspiration are, unfortunately, just par for the course.

2. I’m tired. While my terror-filled nightmares have made way for frustrating-scenario-type dreams in recent years, I still ain’t gettin’ much rest. Please. I just want one night without a cerebral shit-show.

3. I’ve got too many wires. Internet everywhere. Calls. Texts. Newsfeeds. Emails. Insta-whatever. Zoom meetings. How is a person expected to keep up?

4. The news.

5. Unrealistic expectations are eating my sanity. And it’s my own doing. I’m constantly judging myself. Clean the house! Exercise! Purge all of the clothes, books, and trinkets you no longer use! Post a blog! Work on your novel! Paint! Relax! Why won’t you relax, Snap?

(she blinks)

I’m trying, love.

24 hours sometimes seems like nothing at all.

. . .

SnapDragon is fresh outta sorts today.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon if you want to read the ramblings of a weirdo.

Two-Bit Musings.

The Interview.

SnapDragon asks herself a few pressing questions. (‘Cuz she can, yo.)

Always There, 2021.
Digital Art by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

So I sat down with amateur blogger SnapDragon X., to ask her a thing or two about life. She wore an over-sized teal dress/shirt thing, which she said seems to have become her unofficial uniform as of late. Her polka-dotted leggings undoubtedly completed the Practical-Mom outfit. Plus, there may or may not have been a smear of child-snot on her hip. But, who’s to say?

Question 1: Why do you blog?

I blog because I find it satisfying. Like a journal, it helps me clear my head. It helps me articulate those crazy swirls of thoughts that tend to give me anxiety. But more than a journal, having an available audience adds a layer of. . . accountability, I suppose? Anyway, it’s almost a form of therapy for me. Plus it’s pretty dope to connect with other bloggers.

Question 2: Not counting people, what three things in life make you happiest?

Travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s a town in Pennsylvania, or a stroll in Venice. Seeing new places makes me feel more alive.

Food. I mean. . . come on. Yes we need it to live, but it’s so much fun. And tasty. Going out to eat is truly one of my favorite activities. Calories be damned.

Stories. Whether it’s on the screen or in a book, I just can’t get enough fiction. I’m obsessed with characters. It astounds me at the power they have on our psyche; their influence is timeless. I mean, Ebenezer Scrooge? Frickin’ ingenious.

Question 3: What brings you stress?

Feeling rushed; clutter; when someone’s trying to talk and the TV’s on; being even a minute late; thinking I’ve hurt someone’s feelings; animals in distress; being misunderstood.

Question 4: What three things do you hope to accomplish throughout your life?

I want to be a published author. I want to see my work on a library shelf, or in a magazine.

I want to complete at least 15 years of teaching high school, preferably in an urban setting. I’ve got six so far.

I want to have my own art show. Nothing fancy. But I want to actually have the balls (ovaries?) to put my bizarre paintings on display, and have key players in the local art scene dissect every inch of them.

Question 5: Describe your perfect weekend.

Sleeping in. Egg and cheese sandwiches. Artisan markets. Iced coffees. Craft beers. Watching a brilliant show like BoJack Horseman. Laughing with my two best girls. Talking with my oldest brother about the perfection that is Pink Floyd.

Simple pleasures, yo. They make this world go ‘round.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, reader, and appreciator of the complementary breakfast.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for more tiny tidbits of whatever.

Two-Bit Musings.

500 and Counting, Yo.

Woah! Maybe Snap’s got something to say after all?

(she shrugs and smiles)

. . .

Hey hey hey!

I got notified by the WordPress fairies that I have over 500 followers!

I feel like a cool kid! Like the belle of the ball!

Like. . . the world is my friggin’ oyster, yo!

(whispers: “Wait . . . Who’s SnapDragon?”)

. . .

So stay tuned for more Two-Bit Musings.

More Desert Island Picks.

More treasures from the Book Nook.

More art.

More fun.

More half-witted reflections on this fumbling, bumbling experience we call life.

‘Cuz we in this together, love.

And I thank you.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, reader, painter, collector of funky earrings, and old-soul drinker of coffee, in all of its glorious forms.

Follow if you dare. (Or if you’re bored. Either one.)

Two-Bit Musings.

Unpeeled.

Hi.

. . .

Hello there, Dear Reader. Whoever and wherever you are, love.

How magical it is that we’re meeting here in cyberspace. Complete strangers, living our little lives.

Perhaps we’re a continent or two apart. Or maybe we’re neighbors unbeknownst.

Yet we’re in each other’s homes, in each other’s lives.

Here. Now.

And maybe by the time your eyes skim these uploaded words, your blue light glasses trying their damndest to let you read just one more post, chapter, or page, I’ll have curled up beneath the comforter and drifted to a much-needed dreamless sleep.

And yet our words stay up. Alert. Dedicated.

Alive.

. . .

Who:

SnapDragon X. Writer of fictions, writer of poetry. Lazy painter of cartoonish women in the nude. Homemaker just barely keeping her head above the dishwater. Out-of-the-traditional-classroom educator. Atheist. CD-lover. Former makeup-wearer.

What:

Experiencing feelings of preoccupation; dysphoria; anger; bloat. Also: bliss; synesthesia; rebirth; gratitude.

Where:

(she writes down her precise mailing address in neat, all-capital letters)

When:

All of the todays.

Why:

Doesn’t want to be someone who blindly goes through life, unquestioningly eating the fodder before her. Wants to consume the arts with abandon but also create with purpose. Wants her house, her clothes, her tastes to be unapologetic reflections of her chipped-teacup kind of soul.

How:

Sixty seconds. Sixty minutes. Bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit by bit.

. . .

SnapDragon is a weirdo artist who self-identifies as a curvy-petite badass.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for musings from her outspoken, RV-traveling, book-and-TV-obsessed life.