Thursday, March 28, 2013

Challenge of the Ordinary

I'm still working on my honors thesis, getting ready to present at NCUR in a few weeks. Gulp. I'm occasionally working on my werewolf coming-of-age story as a stress relief. I just finished another GLVWG newsletter and I'm still applying for jobs.

Since the winter is slowly transforming into spring, many of my writer friends have found success with their New Year's goals. Fellow GLVWGer Linda Frindt has met her goal of blogging everyday, despite many personal challenges.

So, it makes me feel like a slacker. Even though I have everything in paragraph one going on, plus work, and family.

But I need to spend more time exercising my writer brain, if only as a way to sharpen the senses.

Now, with Easter coming, and my conference, I probably won't meet a goal of posting everyday. I have met my personal challenge of renewing my journaling habit.

I extend this as a next step: post a blog entry everyday, short, but developed, on something ordinary. Bring to it my writer's eye.

Today it's a toss up. My morning tea or my car.

Here's some words on my car, totally off the cuff and unedited. First draft.


A few months before my husband and I got married we bought our first new car, a 2000 Saturn SL2. The SL1 didn't have enough pep. The Pontiac Sunfire we drove had red dashboard lights that my husband said looked like staring into the fires of Hell. I don't remember what else we looked at, but the choice clearly came to the Saturn.

It had no fancy features. The SL1 we looked at had every special doo-dad. The SL2 didn't even have power windows. They had similar price tags. We took the SL2 for the bigger engine. $14,500 in August 1999.

We used that car to move (twice). We drove to Boston, to Niagara Falls, to Virginia, to North Carolina. We brought home our baby in that car. We piled our bikes into/onto that car and went for rides.

It blew a head gasket last August. Two weeks shy of having it 13 years. I'd been spending about $2,000 a year on car repairs for several years and had already spent my annual car repair budget when it happened. My husband and I discussed it and there was no way we were spending ANOTHER two thousand on an old car.

We started shopping for a new car, but we only had a day to make up our mind. And we saw the price tags on the new cars, close to 30K for a car we thought was comparable to our Saturn. We knew we couldn't spend that. We went to the used car section. At our budget, the salesman was showing us two-year old Hyundais. I had never been so disappointed.

Then, I saw her. She glistened in the sun, a beautiful dark red (my favorite color). A 2005 Nissan Altima with 24,000 miles. She had leather seats, a sun roof, even a six CD-changer. Using our monthly grocery budget as a guide of what we could afford, we bought her. We charged the $1,000 down payment, knowing my mother-in-law was giving us our Christmas present early.

My daughter named her Beauty. She had named the Saturn "Herbie." Yes, like the Love Bug. Even Herbie has a happy ending. My dad had him fixed and we sold him, making a $800 profit once we reimbursed my dad for repairs.

Beauty is fun to drive, but tomorrow we find out how fun. Even though we've owned her for almost six months, tomorrow she takes her first road trip.  


  1. You are so NOT a slacker!!!! You do an amazing job on the GLVWG newsletter. And reading about everything else you're doing, I'm exhausted. LOL! Thank you so much for your kind words. You made me smile today. :)

    Linda Frindt