An Octothorpe & an Ellipsis walked into a bar…

# and …

Seriously, that “hashtag” thing everyone (cooler than I am) is using to “tag” their Twitter and Instagram feeds is actually, seriously, called an Octothorpe. Here’s a link to my source on that (BTW,thanks, Oxford dictionary

True confession time: apparently, I overuse the octothorp in my texting, Facebooking, general writing. At least according to my kids, I do (you know I overheard you all talking at Grandmas house, and you are ALL in agreement, but no one wants to have “that weird conversation with Mom” #awkward, #dontmakemomcry, #whywontshestop)

And the ellipses . . .?

Again, thanks, Oxford Dictionary… but I’ll take it from here…. My own writing group The Plot Sisters has pointed out gently, patiently, calmly… that I overuse THAT particular bit of punctuation in my fiction-writing.

So, what am I? Some sort of punctuation slaphappy slob?

Bordering on illiteracy?

Do I throw punctuation rules out  the window like uncooked fish at the end of a long weekend? Am I insensitive to the nuances of the octothorp? Irreverent with its purposeful use in the world of coding, dismissive of its actual role in sorting all of the shit out there in Tw!tterland? And the ellipsis point? The set of ellipses… three of them, like my children, obediently marching in a line . . .  #wonderingwhowilltellmom, #rockpaperscissoranyone?

I’m at an impasse … #conundrum.

Until I stopped for a moment and gave pause to the cause. I, like millions (OK, maybe only thousands) of Octothorp-Offenders use the # for the simple fact that it makes you notice what we have said. It turns a phrase into a clever joke, #dontwant2misreadanything. #busyfeelingcool. #relevant. Ah yes. Relevant. 

The bane of growing older in our plentiful American society is “relevance.” I’m guilty, I’ve shifted a glance to the younger set, to see what is coming next? What’s new? What’s cool? I’ve set aside that which was perfectly fine, for what is perfectly new. Perhaps I should spend this next year re-thinking that strategy? Instead of hash-tagging something sassy and bold, I’ll just say it! Or write it! Least of all, tag it.

And, about that other problem of mine . . . my Emphatic Ellipses. I tend to use them to slow things down.

The pacing of a story. . .

I’m buying time . . .

I don’t know what to say . . .

Gah! There I’ve said it out loud. I use the . . . when I don’t know what the Hell to write next, and I’m stuck. So, I trail off and slip off of the page for a moment. Only problem is, I tend to put my reader to sleep. So, I need to cool it in my writing. 

It’s T minus 15, Folks, I’m finishing this blog post, and looking down the barrel of 2016. Time to put the punctuated foibles and faux pas of 2015 to bed and dare to do better in Sweet 16.

Be better.

Be Relevant on my own terms. No Octothorp needed.

Time to finish the damn book, too. Period.

I’ll catch you on the flip side, Folks.

Happy New Year!

Be your best you ever, on your own terms.

I’m a rational woman, really I am….

I’m a rational woman, really I am.

Honest. I have nearly 52 years experience with “rational”… but today, I staked out a car from a Tim Horton’s parking lot, caught a glimpse of “Sonic Blue” as it headed to the highway, and then, like some sort of crazy person, I TOO JUMPED ON THE HIGHWAY to tail it! … at a distance, of course, at least that’s what I told myself… I wasn’t going to get “too” close. I didn’t want to be “seen”. And I drove, and drove, and DROVE…. close to 80 mph before putting myself in check, and realizing that it was OK if I didn’t see the “sonic blue” Escape for a couple of days. It was OK that he had put “just the bare necessities” in the back. This included, by the way, his IKEA mattress (rolled up and tied), his Bronco’s flag (neatly appointed), and a guitar.

“Do you have enough underwear?” I asked. (necessities, right?)

“Don’t worry, Mom, I’ve got this.”

So, if you happened to be travelling northbound on I-675 today around 7:30PM, you may have caught a glimpse of me clutching the wheel, straining my neck, I would have been muttering ‘just one more hill, and I’ll see him again.’…oh, and I was crying, and breathing through my mouth because when I cry…. I REALLY CRY… That ugly, can’t hide it, puffy-eyed, snotty cry….

I got off ten miles after I started, and began the return trip home. Tears that refused to be denied running down my face, and I drove the rest of the way home thinking I was an irrational loon. Who does this? I had driven to the gas station with him to fill up his tank…. we hugged again, I handed him a little cash “Chipotle money” and kissed him on his cheek. I got in my car, waved and left first….. (only to drive across the street to the Tim Horton’s to wait for him to ‘drive past’…. )

And then I lost my marbles.

He’s safe at his buddies’ house in Columbus (3 text messages in the last few hours prove it). He’ll be job-hunting tomorrow (he promises more text messages, as new information warrants).

Those moments this evening that caught me unawares, were a repeat of feelings I had nearly 23 years ago…. I decided then to trust The Universe and walk in a path of honesty with this little bundle.

If I didn’t know what to do, I told him. If I did know what to do… I told him.

So, now, I don’t know what the Future holds for you, Son. I didn’t know then, and haven’t a clue about it now. But I do know that if you walk with Integrity and Honesty. If you live your life in the Light, it will all work out the way it’s supposed to. It’s worked out OK so far.

If you need to come back to regroup, that’s cool. If you don’t come back except to visit , that’s cool too.

Listen to your Heart.

Trust your Gut.

Follow your Bliss.

Live with Passion.

I love you.