Poem Found

Found this poem when I was looking through some old textbooks for writing prompts (a new idea I have). I’d say it was written around 3 years ago. Right after my mom passed away. It’s not exactly true to my life, except for the feelings it captured.

Not Last, But First
The roaring and babbling echoes
brought the tears.
I was shattered to feel such pain.
So unexpected.

My mind had known there were many
last moments
that would render me
inconsolable with grief.

The last kiss,
the last reaching out
to touch a frail hand.
The last whisper of breath
past beloved lips.

But I had not thought
of all the firsts.

The first basketball game
With one less voice
to cheer me on.
The first good grade when my steps
faltered suddenly
in the run to share good news.

The first rose to bloom
with one less hand
to tend it.

I had known
I would miss you.
That the lasts
would bring sorrow.
But I’d forgotten
about all the firsts.

Since I wrote this poem I’ve dealt with many firsts, and more lasts. With my mother gone, my grandmother’s heart broke and we lost her last year. My daughter lost a baby born to soon. I’ve dealt with an empty nest, full of firsts done alone. And back to more firsts with a new baby that make me miss mom and gran more. This poem still fits. Unedited. Off the cuff. The lasts are hard, but the firsts still bring tears to my eyes.
Note: This was probably more like 5 years ago. Before we lost my mom. The first loss I faced was my grandfather, when I was 10 or so. I used to love running to him to share my day.

22 months 19 days

I can’t get you to leave your headband in your hair, but now that you found your sunglasses you love putting them on and sliding them up. It’s fun to watch you name all the body parts involved: nose, ear, hair, eye. You’re so smart. You also know elbow, toes, feet, butt, flower (our name for private parts), knee, teeth, mouth, chin, eyebrow, neck, shoulder, belly button, fingers, hand. Not only do you know the words, you know the parts. I checked: expectation is that you’d know like 4 or 5 parts by now. A doctor for sure! We’ll start on the grey’s anatomy text next.

22 months 20 days

Was it really this hard the first time? I don’t remember your mom doing this crazy “no” thing. I know, it’s my fault. You think I’m funny every time I get upset at you telling me no. You’ve got a lot of different “no” sounds. The “no no no” when you know that’s not supposed to happen. The “no” said very firmly when you don’t want to do something. Now there is this “no” said ever 5 seconds. It was a very rough day with you at the laundromat using your firm no, then at home all afternoon with your new “no”. I was so frustrated. Sending you to your room didn’t change anything. We’ll have to rework this plan. Looks like our day tired you out though. Even though you said “no” to bedtime.

22 months 18 days

Playing with a new tool on this one. Found my card for camera yay so I can add pictures. I seem to have a hard time getting good ones with her and the cat. This cat: who is both a friend and an enemy. Numerous scratches on her arms attest to the fact that baby girl sometimes gets too rough. But I’ve seen the cat try and reach up to get the food from her mouth to. A love/hate relationship. “Misty get dow!” “Kitty bite. Owwie.” So many of her words are communications with the cat. Misty looks for her even as she swats at her. Alena chases her and pulls her tail even as she complains about bites and scratches. One or the other will eventually learn to avoid the whole situation, but for now, Baby girl/kitty love is evident.

Role Playing Tweets

So you can all read the background regarding the first TwittRPG, so I’ll give you a minute of my own background with RPGs. First, technically, I’m a virgin. Well when it comes to RPGs anyway. I managed to get to first base on my own, with the basic box way back when I was in high school. Would be interesting to run across some of the characters I generated but never used. Keyword there – never. No one in my highschool was interested in an inexperienced player.

Fast forward to about 10 years, finally found a dm willing to start a brand new campaign just to each those eager but naive players. Sweet! I finally got to second base! Over the weeks that followed we managed to get chars built and dip our toes. Then it was over, gone, kaput. I remember not what happened, but I never even got my character up a level!

Then, there were MUDs. Very different, but a great avenue for a fertile mind ripe with old characters yearning to be played. All text based, and all very different. I even did a bit of coding. So there you have it, the sum and total of my experience with the RPG world. But still eager to delve into that universe. And then there was ChattyDM.

When I found twitter, I searched out people talking about my favorite hobbies: like RPGs, geeky stuff, board games. And I kept up with the ones I found interesting. Chatty is very interesting and very smart. It seems very appropriate that he would be the one to run the first RPG that linked Twitter and the gamer world.

Way too much about me but it explains why I was so very excited to be involved in the first place. All the other guys were obviously gamers from way back. I was new and was glad they didn’t ask for a list of my experiences in roleplaying. Like any good DM Chatty gave us a world to live in for a short time. I’ll try to do a nice logical summary of how the game went, good and bad. Because there is always room to grow.

First, unlike other things, twitter lets you hear everyone who’s talking.
Good: Reaction time can be faster, more likely to “hear” what someone else is saying. More of a round-table kind of feel. Sharing ideas is all part of twitter.
  Bad: People in different time zones, makes it hard to actually coordinate. Although the far- reaching part  is what makes twitter cool.
Personal note: we played while I was at work mostly, making it distracting, and I had a followers not happy with the spammy “discussion” so I had to change handles.

Second, the amount of characters made it necessary to be thoughtful in answers.
Good: I had to really think about what I was saying, be concise and not ramble. I imagine some times a character in “Real Life” can go on for a bit.
  Bad: Sometimes it was really hard to get everything you wanted to say across in just one tweet.  I can also see how some “characters” would feel the need to be more verbose to stay in character. (not pointing any fingers at zombies or anything)

Third, Role playing aspect was easier.
Good: Especially for people new to RP, it’s much easier to slip into character when it’s textual. And with only 140 chars, you don’t have to worry about longwinded speeches as an elf or whatever.
  Bad: Did it make it too easy? To play a character that is more play-acting than really thinking “in character”.

Fourth, the campaign is limited.
Good:  I can see this being a campaign run in an hour one night a week for a few weeks, or have the whole campaign last 3 to 4 days with twice-a-day actions.
  Bad:  Well it is limited, and like was said above, getting everyone together in that finite window is tough.
Personal note: The timing that chatty came up with was awesome: Scene, round table discussion between chars, 1 tweet per char, answer to actions, then bonus tweets if earned. I think the round table discussion often got spread out over the day whic was our “fault” not a problem of the genre itself.

Fifth, it has the ability to create RPG groups from all over the world.
Good: Twitter seems to be a really good platform for connecting people that might otherwise not be connected. Imagine a synergy of role players! The creativity that might spark!
  Bad: Time is the biggest factor here. All the different time zones makes it difficult to bring people together.

Overall, it was great fun. Chatty brought up a good point, it’s similar to RPGs, but it’s almost more of a group-storytelling adventure. Which makes it great for novices. I’m not going to spend a lot of time saying why it’s good, I have a feeling my inexperience will butt up against actual rules I know nothing about. I do believe that there’s a lot to RPG, a lot of complexity, and this turns some people off. This is an adventure, an interaction, an entering into a world and finding our way in it. Thanks to a wonderful DM we were able to maim, puzzle, get eaten, think, and discover as a group. As for myself, I actually went and found that online character generator and designed her, complete with back story. But some new people might like the idea of becoming a character without going through all that. Twitter lets you go there, in 140 characters or less.

22 months 17 days

Leaving the house, even getting out of bed, without ‘baby’ is a horrendous mistake. And because she’s smart, she remembers exactly what she took to bed. Pretty soon her arms are full of “baby”, “doggy”, and one more

“baby”. Then she spots “behr” (she says it so cute) and has to find a way to add him to her pile.

She was not happy when I stopped her to take a picture on her way to deposit said babies in her bag. That’s why I just got a picture of the top of her head. She’s pouting. Somehow she always finds room for one more.

22 months 16 days

Stubborn. I am beginning to see the terrible twos on the horizon. Oh who am I kidding, they’ve been poking their ugly head out for a while now. She already told me no when I tried to put the wrong colored socks on. Today, deciding that she didn’t want to get dressed, she ran to my bathroom and put her hands over her head, effectively blocking me from putting her dress on.  It’s going to suck, having to fight the “NOs” but at the sime time it’s wonderful. She’s becoming her own decision maker. Verbally; vociferously vocal even. And she’s not even 2 yet. She’s becoming her own person. A beautiful, smart, stubborn, determined, wonderful person. I can’t wait.