Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kids, Hubby, Cook, Clean, Write, FEIS!!!

My whole body hurts today. Maybe vacuuming everywhere on top of all the usual chores wasn't such a good idea this morning, but at least the carpet is clean!

Last night, I went to my Irish Dancing class, and it was so helpful but intense! It was only me and another student (a very sweet high school girl), so my teacher was able to focus on what we needed to work on before the Feis (Irish Dancing competition). I knew all my steps, but making sure my feet are pointed and reaching up to my lower back during my skip-2-3s or leap-2-3s.... those are among the things I need to work on! I am feeling a little nervous because I'll be competing against 10 or so other beginner adult dancers. I really want to make my school, Dillon Magh Adhair Academy, proud since they have only just started the adult class. I did pretty well in feiseanna when I was a teenager, but it's been about 10 years since I've been in one.

I need to remember that even if I don't place amazingly well, I still love dancing and being part of a feis. It really is exciting to be there, with all the other dancers and teachers. You feel part of a special community that is driven by love of the dance. It's great, and now that I am an adult and a parent, it's awesome that I have a chance to be part of something like that. My husband is coming and I can't wait for him to see me dance! He has no idea what to expect, haha. :D

I wanted to write out a list of what I need to work on before the competition. I have a week and a half, which will go by fast. I'm so busy with my kiddos and our home that the days fly by.

--Hamstring exercises
--Practice second part of my Light Jig slowly and make sure my feet are turned out after I do the cuts
--Turn-out exercises
--Practice leap-2-3s slowly to make sure my feet are turned out when I land and that my back foot is pointed up and reaching for my lower back
--Work on keeping toes pointed and "lift up" as my teacher says
--Switch points! Make sure there is a diamond between my feet

So, I have a lot to work on during my evening practice sessions. It's good that I know my steps, but incorporating the techniques and everything will take a lot of work. I have my outfit ready, which is nice, and need to make a list of what to pack and bring to the feis. I love making fun lists like that! ;)

In writing news, I was able to work on my fantasy work-in-progress novel yesterday. I'm relieved that I can still find a little time here and there to move the story along. All these things, like writing and Irish Dancing, require discipline to find time to work on them, and passion to keep going! And yes, the title of this blog post refers to what is going on in my head these days. :D (Irish Dancing and the Feis are taking up a lot of space in my head these days! ;D)

Any other adult Irish Dancers out there? It's a wonderful sport and very cultural as well. If you want some more info about how to get started, let me know! I'd be more than happy to answer any questions! Take care all!

Monday, October 19, 2015

So Much Excitement!!!

Hello friends! We are over midway through October and I can't wait for the holiday season. My kids are obsessed with Halloween and they love seeing Halloween decorations everywhere. I am excited about Halloween, of course, but I'm even more excited about the day after Halloween.

Why, you ask?

Because Sunday November 1 is the Adult Competition day of the East Bay Feis! It'll be my first Feis (Irish Dance competition) in about 10 or so years, so I am really looking forward to it! I have been practicing more at home, which is great but requires a strong will because once the kids are in bed, I'm pretty tired. But I just think about how much I love Irish Dancing and how I want to do well at the Feis and then I  find the energy to practice. I need to work on some technique things, though. Less than two weeks to go!!! And the crazy part is that there are a lot of adults competing in the Adult Beginner category, so now I'm feeling the pressure! :) 

In more exciting news, Mothers Always Write published their October issue today and it's lovely. They published a new poem of mine entitled "Peeling an Orange for My Children," which I am really proud of. I am so happy to see it published, especially in such a great journal. Here is the link to read it: Peeling an Orange for My Children by Ophelia Leong

Let me know what you think! I'm really enjoying this issue. ;) 

I'm still busy over here, but trying to work on writing more, as well as prepare and practice for my upcoming feis. I really love Irish Dancing and I am so happy to be able to dance. Age is just a number and should never stop anybody from doing something they enjoy, like dancing or writing. 

I hope you all are enjoying October! I love Autumn and can't wait for cooler weather! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ebb and Flow

It's early Wednesday afternoon and I've already done four loads of laundry. It's been a busy day! The kids have decided that naps are not cool any more and I have found that finding time to work on writing or blogging or even just practicing my Irish Dancing has been hard to find. So!

Last night I had my dance class and it was WONDERFUL! It was four of us adults in the class and we flew through our dances and even started learning the Hard Jig. So exciting! I was smiling almost the whole class. I know I still have some little things I need to work on, like pointing my toes and kicking up my feet in the back during tip downs, etc. It's a lot of fun!

Two of my poems were recently published in the October issue of Verse-Virtual, an online poetry journal that really promotes poets supporting one another through positive comments and such. It's a lovely journal, full of meaningful poetry and insightful poets. Here is the link to my poems "Foghorns" and "Fossil Hunting with My Father:" Ophelia Leong in Verse-Virtual

In other fantastic news, a line from one of my early published poems is featured on a set of notecards, along with other poets. Made by the great people behind the online literary journal Mothers Always Write, the note cards are gorgeous and would make wonderful gifts! The line is taken from my poem "Song of Coos," which I wrote after my twins were born. :) Here is the link to read about them and purchase: Poetry Note Cards

I'd like to work on my novel again soon, since I feel like I am so close to finishing it. I have been perhaps spending too much time watching episodes of Call the Midwife on Netflix, but it's SO GOOD! I cry almost every episode, and it's such a well-made show. The actors are enormously good, even actors who only play a small part in an episode. I've just been so busy with the kids and the house that lying down and enjoying a great show is so relaxing. I'll find some time to get back into the flow of writing soon. Very energetic toddlers make it a little difficult. I've had to accept that I might not be able to write as much as I'd like to until my kiddos are in school, and that's okay. I need to take care of my family and some day my kids will be older and more independent, and I will find that I have a little more time to work on my projects. As I am writing this, all three of them are on the bed with me and going crazy. At least I can get a blog post done in the midst of the craziness, right? ;)

I will leave you all with a short poem from a vintage book I found at a local thrift store by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The book is entitled "Collected Lyrics" and was published in 1939, which is cool. :)


I know what my heart is like
     Since your love died:
It is like a hollow ledge
Holding a little pool
     Left there by the tide,
     A little tepid pool,
Drying inward from the edge."

What imagery! Such a succinct poem capturing very complex and sad emotions. That last line is what pulls it all together for me, and I find the lining of the stanzas very interesting as well. I find myself drawn to short poems that pack a lot of feeling into a few stanzas. I've written a few myself, and done right the last line can really pack a punch. Hope you all are enjoying your week! What have you been up to? :)