Tag Archives: Beth Clymer

Whiteout

The other day, as I tore into a new package of whiteout at my office, I caught myself. I had made the order for the corrective tape myself after several coworkers had passed by my desk in a vain hunt for it, yet once it arrived it just sat ineffectually by the printer. Finally, I found a use for it. “Awwwww yeeeeah,” I thought, giddy with anticipation.

Then I thought, “Wait. What the hell is wrong with me?”

I slipped quietly out of my office at 5:00 sharp and into the bathroom to change into thermal breeches. I layered two pairs of socks, a thermal shirt, polo shirt, hoodie, and windbreaker until I resembled Ralphie’s younger brother, Randy, from A Christmas Story.

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Waking up

Busy:  it’s both commonly bemoaned and universally worshiped, at least in the states. Lifestyle magazines across the board cater their content to their frazzled readership – I dare you to browse the magazine aisle and count the covers that don’t include some headline along the lines of “No Fuss Recipes for your most hectic days,” “Fitness secrets for the busy mom!”– and fast food restaurants have built empires on the backs of our fast lane lifestyles.

I’m busy.

Not that I’m complaining. I am thankful for the job, friends, and experiences that keep me so swamped. However, more often than not, perspective is a whisper, not a shout, and it often goes unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Busy wake up call

Photo Credit: CHPCC.org

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Forged in the Fire

“I am a rider, dammit.”

This is what I tell myself some days as I tack up the most recent project horse I’ve started riding. There have been times I have had trouble believing it.

As a starry-eyed seven year-old enamored with the film “The Last Unicorn”, I arrived at the conclusion that I, like the lead character, was a unicorn trapped in the body of a human. Eventually, I admitted to myself that unicorns did not exist and that was a silly thing to believe. I exchanged that whimsical notion for another: I was a horse trapped in the body of a human being. By nine years old, I’d abandoned my self-inflicted identity crisis and decided that I just thought horses were really, really cool.

I cast my pom-poms to the side (much to the relief of all parties involved) and declared that I wanted to take riding lessons. My passion was ignited and history unfolded soon after my first joyful lap around the ring on a pony named Charlie. For half an hour every Saturday morning, I was an Olympic hopeful and Charlie was the equine archetype of athleticism and speed.

Tragically, we were trapped in the stubby-legged bodies of a suburban fifth-grader and a slightly bored lesson pony. But I was a rider, dammit!

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How to (Not) Write like an Idiot.

Do you want to know the quickest way to make your reader roll their eyes in disgust? I’ll bet you do.

Here’s (one) secret to writing like an idiot:

Use really big words that you have a weak understanding of to make yourself sound smarter.

If you don’t want to write like an arrogant windbag, then for the love of Hemingway, don’t insert unwieldy words into perfectly acceptable sentences for the sake of being esoteric. A savvy reader will see right through your attempts at sounding highbrow. Write like you’ve got something to say, not like you’ve got something to prove about yourself.

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Running for Justice

Blog originally published on bclymeratmeetjustice.wordpress.com on September 17, 2011.

The night before my first 5K, I carefully laid out my running outfit and sneakers, my iPod and a Clif bar for breakfast. I lovingly smoothed my Wellspring Living Stop Injustice 5K ticket out and attached the driving directions I’d written down on a post-it note. I even went to sleep at what my father wouldn’t term an unholy hour.

Eight hours later I was careening down the connector calling my room mate to see if she wouldn’t mind searching my room for the ticket. Another 5 minutes after that, I was calling her again for the directions. Forty minutes after that, I was calling my dad to see if he could get the correct directions for me since I’d evidently written down the wrong ones. My shoes were untied, my iPod earbuds were tangled. And I was late.

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Ouch.

Blog originally published on WordPress.com on December 7th, 2010.

My life is dissolving quickly into a series of unfortunate events, but I’m fortunately sort of a masochist so I don’t mind. Misery gives me something to write about, anyway! Nevertheless, misery also kind of sucks a little, so I’ve been trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps: throwing myself into running and clawing my way toward more riding, forcing myself to venture out into the sunlight every now and then, that kind of thing. However, whenever I think I’m on my way out of the hole, life has a tendency to take it’s open palm and slap me back down.

Case in point:

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