What I’m Reading
One of my new library books is a YA novel in verse, A Time to Dance, by Padma Venkatraman. It’s about a young classical dance prodigy in India, Veda, whose dreams are shattered after a below the knee amputation. During her recovery, she meets a dancer named Govinda, who views dance as spiritual. I love novels in verse, and multicultural fiction.
What I’m Writing
I finished Chapter 80 of my WIP, and am now up to about 616,000 words. Simultaneous to writing Chapter 81, I’ll have to research the Battle of Saipan. I think I’ll send Rodya to the Battle of Tinian for a little bit, even after getting wounded at Saipan. He wants to prove he’s a brave Marine on his own, after Patya gets a million-dollar wound and can’t look out for him anymore. Then he’ll get sent home once it’s discovered how serious his shoulder was wounded.
I’m looking forward to writing Chapter 82, “Semper Fi,” which uses the Marines’ slogan to reflect how Vladlena and Valentina are forever loyal to their wounded, honourably discharged husbands. Patya’s got a huge adjustment coming up, after his life-changing wounding, and will feel like he’s not a real man, let alone human, anymore. He’ll be convinced Vladka and their daughter Karina will leave him because of his new disability, and Vladka will have to convince him she loves him no matter what and that he’s still a real man where it really counts.
What Inspires Me
I’ve been going to Saturday evening services every week for awhile now, at my regular shul instead of the student centre. I really like walking to shul (about a mile away) and being able to count in a minyan. It’s been a long time since I regularly went to evening services at my Conservative shul. Sadly, I fell out of the habit in large part because of my co-dependent relationship with my ex-“fiancé.” (If my giant stuffed frog could turn into a prince as handsome as his namesake, let’s say circa 1985, that would be great!)
One of our non-pulpit rabbis has been providing the food for seudat shlishit, the third Sabbath meal, since our older friend Mrs. Cohen passed away a few years ago. Mrs. Cohen was like a surrogate grandmother to a lot of people, always did such a nice job of catering seudat shlishit, and was always so nice to me since I began going to that shul in 2003. Before she passed on, this rabbi promised her she’d take over the responsibility of feeding us and preparing meals.
Someday I’d like to be the type of person Mrs. Cohen was to younger congregants, so friendly and welcoming, treating much-younger people like real friends without a big age difference. I still remember when her daughter asked me, by one of the shiva gatherings, how I knew her, and when I said we went to evening services a lot, her daughter’s face lit up. “Oh, she loved that service! It was her baby!”
What Else I’ve Been Up To
I made out like a bandit by the local Coldwater Creek’s closing sale. A number of my items had a discount upon a discount, including a purple necklace which went from $59.95 to $5.96. I got a number of tops of various sorts, including two purple sweaters for colder weather, a purple bracelet, and two 12-count sets of ankle socks. My existing ankle socks are terrible and keep slipping down. Now I can walk to shul more confidently, with proper socks for my new sneakers, and not worry about blisters or stopping constantly to tug my socks back up.
I also got some nice deals at the yearly clearance sale by Catherine’s. My attitude towards my size is so different than it was in my early twenties. Back then I was mortified to have to start wearing a size 14, and broke a zipper on size 10 jeans one morning when trying to get dressed. Now I own the fact that I’m a lower plus size, 14-18, 0X-1X (can wear some 2X also), L-XL. I’ve lost and gained 20 pounds a number of times over the years, but I’ve been something like 160 pounds for quite awhile now. As my old PowerBall instructor said, maybe this is the size my body wants to be at.
I’m healthy and physically active, and pretty stable at this size. It’s just the size I matured into, and my weight is distributed a lot better than it was my senior year of university. I wish society didn’t make girls and women feel so awful about being above a size 6.