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.
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.
. . .
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.
(she writes down her precise mailing address in neat, all-capital letters)
All of the todays.
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.
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.
I’m sneaking in a quiet moment, as Baby Snap is upstairs snuggling with Papa. (Or, more likely, kicking him in the face with his adorable baby feet.)
I left the “ambient ocean sounds” playing here in the kitchen, because, well, I like it.
Anyway, as I’ve been on break for the past month, I’ve done a bit of soul-searching. (And by ‘soul-searching’ I mean drinking iced coffee, reading Elton John’s autobiography, and wondering why in the fuck I don’t live in Helsinki.)
And so, I’ve decided it’s time for a re-evaluation.
Top to bottom.
No holding back.
Snap as she truly is.
. . .
SnapDragon’s Re-Evaluation of Her Life, Yo:
Jesus Christ. They weren’t lying: age is a cruel joke.
The cold, hard truth is that I’m overweight. Also, it’s probably worth noting that according to the textbook definition, I’ve been ‘overweight’ since the eighth grade. I’ve always had a thick body frame. I’m strong. And, I like to eat. I’m Petite curvy, shall we say?
Anyway, me and my metabolism aren’t getting any younger. So aside from running up and down our stairs roughly 14 times a day, Mama Snap’s gotta get movin’. Stat.
In my heart of hearts, I am An English Teacher.
For the past five years (!) I’ve worked behind-the-scenes at the university level, on programming that aims to support “under-served” high school students. And I don’t begrudge it. I’ve accomplished some important things, and have had some meaningful moments. I have also greatly appreciated a flexible schedule, and even more so now that I have an infant. But at the end of the day, I want my classroom back. My kids. My projects. My little utopia of fiction reading that occasionally houses a fist fight or two. You know: real life.
I will go back. Someday.
It’s probably no surprise that I don’t believe in anything divine. (Except for, say, Paul McCartney in 1969.) But I do, however, believe in the magic of art.
I love stories. (It’s why I became an English teacher.)
I love music. (I’m obsessed. I’ve been known to scowl at people for skipping a track on an album.)
I love painting, photography, and basically anything conjured through vision, time, and expertise.
So I will continue to dig. Bit by bit. Page by page. I will create.
Snap’s a work in progress, yo.
Aren’t we all?
. . .
SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and the complete opposite of a know-it-all. (Most times.)
The sun is shining here in southeast Pennsylvania. Yesterday’s raindrops sparkle in the breeze. And a fresh pot of coffee is at the ready.
May is here!
And you know I’ve already flipped the crisp page on my moose calendar.
Fresh start, yo.
. . .
SnapDragon’s Three Little Goals for May:
1. No Alexa. Okay. Not really. I’m not insane. But the other day when I was writing about my top ten albums, I wanted to listen to Peter Gabriel for some inspiration. And of course my first thought was the say, “Alexa: Play the album ‘So’ by Peter Gabriel.” But I stopped. I felt sad. I missed the ritual of selecting a CD or record from the shelf, placing the delicate disc into the stereo, and committing to the moment. So this month will be filled with listening to music the good old-fashioned way. Streaming can suck it.
2. One Painting. I want to finish one painting. Just one. With two needy cats, an infant, and the occasional Zoom meeting, time to fully immerse myself in the acrylics has fallen to the wayside. But surely I can swap a little of my reading time for painting in the loft.
3. Remember Who I Am. A friend of mine once said, “You carry the weight of the world, Snap.” Alas, it is true. Like the rest, I am a human being and I make mistakes. And I always try to reflect on my actions and take responsibility. I’m not too proud to apologize. But sometimes I second guess myself. I blame myself for everyone else’s misunderstandings and childish actions. And that’s just not fair. Each of us has a role to play as our planet spins for yet another day. May we practice humility in all that we do.
Sending you love, dear friends.
. . .
SnapDragon is writer. She’s working on her first novel, a novella, and a whimsical-yet-wonky blog. She enjoys ice water, oversized clothing, and the genius of Dr. Seuss.
Yet I was extremely bashful about doing so for the first–oh–seventeen years of my life or so.
I still get self-conscious if I know people are listening; if I’m put on the spot I usually clam up and my voice sounds smaller somehow, slightly pinched. I sound my very best when I’m alone, singing the harmony on the top of my lungs, letting the notes ring out like bells.
I think I sound good.
I suppose I can say the same for my writing; it’s in me, dying to get out.
Stephen King says that writing is a form of telepathy, with its ability to transport thoughts, images, and ideas to another person without so much as moving our lips.
It’s a kind of magic, really.
I have always tried to pay attention to detail in my work. Even if it’s only on this blog, which may go unnoticed and unread, to be buried in the depths of the interwebs, I want it to be right.
So I read it.
Is this what I mean to say? Is it completely whole? On-point? Worthy of being read?
Just as I sing out–sometimes sounding shaky and small–once it’s out of me, it’s out of my control.
And this scares the shit out of me.
Because as I’ve told you before, I am terrified of being misunderstood.
But I also recognize a writer’s responsibility: to think, draft, reflect, and experiment until the message is ready.
Leave it in the oven, then let it cool, but go ahead and give it a slice and serve.
Because no one hears the songs that remain in your head.