Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Personal Space—I’d Totally Go to Mars

Have you heard about the wife and mother who’s been accepted as a candidate for a mission to Mars? She won’t be coming back, and even if she could the radiation exposure from the trip wouldn’t render a good prognosis.

I think she’s amazing.

Have you ever seen an ancient Cathedral or ruins in Greece or Egypt? They’re the types of places where the workers who laid the foundation would never see the finished project. Maybe their children or grandchildren would.

What the hell has happened to that type of imagination and work ethic?

A couple years ago I heard that a private company was looking for a couple married forever. They wanted a man and woman who could go on a journey into outer space without killing each other (my words). Apparently twenty years of marriage was considered a good indicator for lack of homicidal impulses. That’s kind of a joke, and I’m wondering if trial runs wouldn’t find that long-term married couples don’t make it past the moon before something mysterious offs a mate. I mean rarely a night of snoring goes by where I don’t briefly consider that a pillow would shush him up—but I can get up and write in another room. When I make Dear Hubby nuts he packs up and goes fishing. Putting a couple alone on a spaceship, I don’t know. I’m not sure that’s a good investment.

Still, when I first heard about the couple to Mars I tried to get more data. It certainly piqued my interest, and I love to travel. I asked my husband about it. He’s a man of Science, I knew he’d be into it. I mentioned it to my kids. We’d be able to talk via Satellite. I’d still be able to Tweet at them. It’s not like there’d be no communication. Someone’s got to go, why not us? It could be my chance to be part of something bigger. I could be part of the first team in to map out what might someday become an intergalactic highway for humanity.

When I mentioned it to my oldest daughter she considered me with a serious expression. She has eyes like a galaxy and can see just that far. “Mother. If you’re thinking about going to Mars because you’d have years and years to work on your novels where no one would interrupt you, I just think you should know that would officially make you the lamest person in the universe.”


Don’t you hate when other people can see right through you to your ulterior motives? Give me a break. It’s hard to get alone time to write! Some people write in crowded cafes or coffee shops, that is where their muse whispers stories to them. I’m an absolute believer in muses. I assume the muse is simply a part of the brain where story churns. In the correct environment those stories shoot out from that muse-y section of the brain and into the conscious mind. For some writers activity stimulates that portion of the mind. For others, we need midnight, a moat, or an intergalactic space ship.

Even if I’d have ulterior motives for volunteering for such an opportunity, I still think that the woman who’s been accepted into the program is amazing. She has the foresight to look beyond the everyday and love tomorrow, even if she won’t be around to see it maybe thanks to her, someone else will be.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


There are different types of vacation. Your introvert/extrovert status might determine what type is right for you.
  1. Visit-cation: This is when you're going to visit family/friends. Maybe it's fun, but how often is it relaxing?
  2. Disney-cation: Fun for some, but who's relaxed? Possibly all those extroverts darting around. I didn't find being stuck behind the Light Parade as traumatic as my little ones. I wanna go hoooome! I hate Disneyland! but I will say I found Disney way more fun when my kids were much older and I could be the person whining behind the Light Parade. My feet hurt! Can we go nowwww?
  3. Fishing-cation: There are surely variations of this vacation. Golfing. Sporting Events. Car Shows. I'm sticking to fishing because it's one I'm familiar with. This is likely great if you like fishing (or whatever). If you're being dragged by a spouse and planning to spend the entire time holed up with your laptop being run on a generator so you can write your novel, just STFU because you're still going on vacation. Yay.
  4. Beach-cation: Really? Become one with the sand, sizzle in the sun, float around the jelly-fish. This one is intermittent bouts of joy interspersed with occasional pain. But isn't that any vacation?
  5. Vegas-cation: This will require all of the money. ALL OF IT. I like Vegas, I don't gamble, but I like the shows, the pools, the sunshine, and the ridiculous Hunger Games Capitol-Opulence of it. 
  6. Mission-cation: The. Best. If you're really fortunate your mission trip will take you to a tropical island. No matter where it takes you, you won't come back feeling wretched about leaving all your $ someplace undeserving, and you'll have a better view of the world we live in.
  7. Retreat-cation: Another best. My favorites have been monasteries. You can stay at many monasteries on the cheap. If you're an introvert, check these puppies out. 
  8. Camping-cation: How organized are you? Camping wrecks me when I get to that part where I have to plan and pack everything for meals. Just. No.
  9. Tourist-cation: You're going someplace amazing and playing tourist. This could be anything from a National Park to Portugal. Tourist-cations are a blast, just pack extra patience and roll with it. If you're Tourist-cationing with someone who can't roll with it or has a shortage of patience, good luck with that.
  10. Cruise-cation: Even though I've never gone (Dear Hubby is only interested if everyone is going to be fishing off the ship) I've watched enough people float back from them to know I shouldn't leave this off my vacation list.
  11. Zero-$-cation: This is also known as "I'm paying off my student loans"/"I hate people who can go on vacation" not going on vacation. Everyone has a decade or two of this type of vacation-less existence. It's still a good idea to escape the every day. I recommend a friend's couch (good time for a Visit-cation) or five days with Netflix and a pile of library books, but I'm an introvert.

What other types of vacation did I leave out? I'm sure there are more, but I'm going on vacation so I'm done here. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Until They Don't--Waiting for Your Real Life to Begin

Writing, S.R. Karfelt, Author, Writer, World
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe

Worlds wait.

Sit in shadows,
Spin in circles,
Shudder in sorrow,
Suffer in silence,

Worlds wait.

Know your nonsense,
Knife your lover,
Knight your idol,
Now or never,

Worlds wait.

Buy some dinner,
Bide some time,
Break some hearts,
Build some high-hopes,

Worlds wait.

Hope for more,
Hunt for flesh,
Hail to power,
Huddle in fear,

Worlds wait.

Choose your friends,
Clean your closets,
Clear your skeletons,
Clothe your dreams,

Worlds wait.

Torch some bridges,
Tame some lions,
Talk some trash,
Tell some tall-tales,

Worlds wait.

Live a nightmare,
Love one too,
Learn to dance,
Leave it all,

Worlds wait.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dreamy Assumptions--There are Reasons My House Looks Like This, but Why Should We Care?

Author, S.R. Karfelt, Assumptions, Messy House, Swimming
S.R. Karfelt/Photo Rights Reserved


Someone might assume I have company, house-guests outstaying their welcome while I oversee a couple kids—it would explain the Play Doh at the edge of my desk and the plastic Jack-o-lantern crammed with Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, spider rings, and foil wrapped chocolate Easter eggs.

They’d be wrong.

Those odds and ends are an archaeological accounting of my life over the past months.

The unpacked suitcases are from my last two trips and the duffle bag stuffed with camouflaged sweatshirts is from my guy’s last fishing trip. The overflowing hampers are because I’m taking my sweet time coming off a vacation high, and unpacking only after catching up with bills and email and writing.

The floor length gown draped over the back of the sofa is from a June wedding and on its way to the dry cleaner, in good time. Piles of pillows beside the guest room bed are a reminder that I did have houseguests about six weeks ago, before I abandoned my life, tossed fifty pounds of writing utensils, clothes, and books into a suitcase and ran off to Greece for a month.

All the stagnant coffee cups littered throughout the house are testimony to habit. Normally I gather up Dear Hubby’s leavings when he goes to work in the morning. I wasn’t here to do it, and I think he suffers from coffee cup blindness.

Those stemmed glasses neatly lining the kitchen counter are from old June wedding toasts. They’re clean, but they’re too tall for the cupboard shelves.

That glass container full of smooth stones perched on the edge of the kitchen island is a stand-in for a bottle full of grainy sand and tiny seashells with “Alonissos” hand painted in gold lettering. It would have been perfect there and I planned to set it there when I bought it. I paid the ridiculous amount of €17 for that bottle of sand, but my suitcase was overweight and I took it out and left it on a chair in a mosquito netting draped room at the Aretousa Hotel in Skiathos, Greece.

Right in the middle of unpacking and cleaning up, I put everything aside to make an emergency trip to Hobby Lobby and purchase stuff to help create my own ‘Alonissos Beach in Glass Masterpiece’. Unpacking and messes can wait when inspiration strikes. That is my new motto.

That, and breathe.

In the midst of all the piles of stuff to be sorted and put away there is a delicious warm smell permeating the house, because I did clear the dining room table of Amazon packages and receipts. I polished the wood and laid out a linen table runner, placing an apple crumble scented candle in the middle of a large decorative candle holder. I keep it lit and it reminds me about the breathing part.

The house also smells of quinoa stuffed peppers that I put in the crockpot earlier today. They’re simmering with a jar of tomatoes I canned last summer. It isn’t likely they’ll be finished by dinner though, because I slept too late to get them cooking in time.

I’m still adjusting to the time change, and I stayed up really late last night.

Yesterday evening I had so much energy I went for a late hike and took that large wooden staff that’s leaning against the wall in my cluttered office. Coyotes come out early this time of year, and I like to think I could use that staff to frighten them off—like Gandalf against an army of Orcs.

After my long hike I went to a late movie and didn’t get home and to sleep until close to 3:00 a.m. on account of the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park still flitting through my mind. They didn’t bother me for long though.

When I finally did fall asleep I dreamt about snorkeling in the Aegean—going deeper and deeper—swimming with starfish, sea urchins, black fish, flat silvery fish that caught the light, dolphins, and an occasional whale.

Have you ever had the kind of dreams you float through? I highly recommend them. Go ahead and make all the assumptions you want about company, priorities, or bad housekeeping. I’m busy living, breathing, and floating. 

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