Tag Archives: Books

Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

Just in Limbo or I Believe in Myself

I open my eyes. Startled I sit up and peer over at the small old-fashioned alarm clock complete with numbers, hands and a built-in light sitting atop Mike’s night table. 6:15. I lay back down. I’m not taking care of my little 2 ½ year old grandson today which means I can write all morning. I moan and bring my hand up to my forehead. I feel groggy. My eyes hurt. I had a restless night tossing and turning. Last night I counted down from ten picturing the numbers in my mind in different colors, first blue then green, hoping to quiet my mind.

At some point I must have succeeded because I eventually feel asleep but I don’t feel refreshed this morning. Sighing I get out of bed and stumble to the computer room to turn on the computer. It takes a while for that sucker to fire up so on my way back to bed I stop and grab my phone off the charger from the living room end table. I unhook it and cradle it in the palm of my hand. I crawl back into bed. I’ll just check my email on my phone, I think, then I won’t have to do that when I go to my computer. Instead I can just sit down and start writing. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I prop up my pillows and nestle my head down. I bring up my HTC android phone and open my Google mail account. I scan through my in-box.

Farmer’s Almanac, Earth Day Special!
Amazon Deals, Pedi/Mani or Haircut deals

Thought for the Day, How to do Exactly What You Want
Ann Elizabeth-Nagle, Ann’s CD Release Concert
Deliberately Delicious, [Jazzminey Crone Chronicles] Comment: “resurging with spring”

I smile when I see the email from Ann and open it first. I read about her up coming CD release concert and I feel joy inside at her hard-earned and hard-won success. Sighing, I close that and stare at the email from Deliberately Delicious. I feel oddly numb.

Last night I just finished reading the memoir Live Through This: a mother’s memoir of runaway daughters and reclaimed love by Debra Gwartney and tossed the book on the floor when I was done. It felt unsatisfying. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I identified with the story about a single woman raising four daughters and the trouble she had with oldest two. I didn’t have four daughters but I understood dealing with out of control teenagers and feeling helpless. I was hoping to understand how things got better for her and her daughters. I didn’t’ get that understanding and was feeling let down.

I started to think of the memoir I am writing and I hope that I am not going to let readers down but how can I not think that I would. It’s not like I am the greatest writer. However, I have been writing on this memoir for over a year. I produced over 100,000 words. At times I felt the writing was going well. At others I felt it was a mess. I paid to have it reviewed. Show don’t tell is what I got. How can you show everything, I thought, the book could go on forever. After being in the dumps about the critique for a week or two, I finally decided to do something about it. I went to Amazon.com and found writing books and ordered four of them.

Showing and Telling: Learn How to Show and When to Tell for Powerful & Balanced Writing by Laurie Alberts,
The Describers Dictionary by David Grambs
The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi
The First 50 Pages: Engage Agents, Editors and Readers, and Set Up Your Novel for Success by Jeff Gerke

I also checked out from Pauline Haas Public Library the book:
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: the Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between by Lee Gutkind.

Some of those books I am reading, some I am using as a reference and some I am doing the exercises in. I think its making a difference. I reworked my memoir making a whole new folder for it called “New Version”. I am making use of more scenes and dialogue. Making it more dynamic.  At least that is what I hope.

But the question still remains and the one that rolled around in my head last night, What’s the point? There are tons of memoirs out there.  Everybody and there mother wrote or is writing a memoir.  Who cares about mine? Why bother? My voice is just one in a sea of voices all clamoring to be heard. I know, I know, I need to focus on the writing and not worry about the end result. It’s just that I am a want-it-now kind of woman so that bit of advice is hard to follow.

And now in my email is a message from Ann. Talented beautiful Ann who struggled with finding a place in her life a midst all her responsibilities for her music. But she did it. She found the time. She found her voice. She got a producer and went to Nashville, cut some tracks. I heard one and the sound is amazing. The message is uplifting. When I talked to her on the phone last night before I finished my book, she told me how Nashville is teeming with singer song writers. She didn’t say she felt like she was just one in the crowd. She just reveled in her experience. So what’s wrong with me.

Sometimes I just want to chuck it all. Wave the white flag and say, Okay, life, you win, I give up. Then I get a comment on my long dormant blog. Someone out there remembers me. Is glad I’m back. It’s bitter-sweet. I am touched by being remembered but I’m not really back. In fact my goal was to pull the plug on my blog. Stop paying for the domain, stop paying for the web service. Just yank the whole thing. Yesterday while I was walking the dogs I thought I better get to it and take care of that blog before it is automatically renewed and taken out of my hands.

Here’s the truth. I haven’t written in my blog because I think I need to be uplifting and inspiring. That is what I said I was to do. Most times, I don’t feel uplifting and inspiring. Far from it. If I try to write something up lifting it would be forced and it would show. I just can’t do it. I am left with nothing to say. I told myself I am not writing because I need to spend the time on my memoir. That’s partly true but not the whole of it. The truth is I am struggling with my choice in choosing to write.

By the way, after I checked my mail from my bed in hopes of saving more time for writing I played mahjong on my phone for at least 45 minutes. The only reason I stopped was because the dogs wanted to go out. Some mornings I am playing for an hour or more. Valuable time I could spend writing but I piss away. It’s not the blog that’s keeping me from writing my memoir its my distractions, my resistance.

And where am I with ditching my blog. In limbo. Just in limbo.

So here is a blog post. It is not uplifting. It is not inspiring. It is just me plugging along. It is just me for some reason writing a blog post. Be it good, bad or indifferent.

And for a bit of uplifting, which I am in dire need of,  here is another one of my photos with a message from myself to myself to help get me through.

IMG_3468

Trusting the Journey

My LifePrints report has finally arrived. The one I mentioned I was going to order in my post , One the Journey Towards Life Purpose. The report was a PDF in my in-box. I clicked on the file from LifePrints.com, downloaded it, then opened it in my adobe reader. I read over the intro of the document, my eyes barely skimming the description of what LifePrints is all about and how finger prints are used to show my life purpose in a rush to get to the heart of it, my actual finger print profile.

Then there it was, a little chart with the symbol representing my fingerprints for each finger. Below that a little box was divided into three parts. Up top were the words, Life Purpose: Highest Self Actualization Point. The middle box was where my Life Lesson: Biggest Hurdle in Life, Challenge Point sat. At the bottom I read about my School (Primary Life Initiation): Life Scale Training Program. All of this is based on Soul Psychology according to Richard Unger founder of LifePrints.

Excitement mounted as I read. I think I am on track I thought. What with my blog and writing. That’s creative, isn’t it? I called Mike to have him read it. I called my friend Ann bursting with the news. However, the next day I crashed. I realized my life purpose was way too much for me. There had to be some kind of mistake.

I checked my astrology report and my numerology chart. All pointed in the same direction. Basically it is to express myself creatively. That’s all fine and good but according to my LifePrints report I am to do this with innovation, meaning develop my own personal style, to follow my own inclinations and develop something that is unique. Argh How am I to do that? So I write a bit but is it enough to be considered “my own persona style” or “something unique.”

Well, all as it should be. As it turns out feeling I can’t do it is part of my life lesson. To quote:

In addition to your Life Lesson described earlier, there is a secondary requirement, which is having faith in your abilities to live your Life Purpose. Until you develop this self confidence, you are likely to keep finding ways to sabotage your best efforts at success.

Fortunately I was given a little check list of eight items to help me with this.

  1.  Start somewhere, do something
  2. Give yourself a chance
  3. Commit all the way.
  4.  Cultivate optimism
  5.  Give it time
  6. Your moment of truth
  7. Find inspiration
  8.  Give yourself a break.

I shared my report and my fears to a friend and before I knew it she gifted me with two fantastic books by Julie Cameron author of The Artist’s Way. These books are The Right to Write and The Sound of Paper. Both are filled with exercises to help me develop a creative life.

I already worked on the exercise in the first chapters of the books. Now I ‘m wondering. Will I maintain, preserve or run for the hills the moment the going gets tough. In other words, can I trust myself.

My good friend Cathy Gawlick, who can be found at Way of the Willow and Life. A new perspective, wrote a marvelous poem describing just that. I would like to share that with you now.

A I began to reflect on
…more than anything I want to trust a journey that I don’t understand….

 It came to me that is is about trusting myself.
And I wonder if I do
trust myself.
To be consistent, to be constant, to be true to myself.

 Is it trusting the journey or
trusting myself on the journey that I will do
what I say I will do, speak as the truth of my heart?
Or both
trusting
the journey not understood
and
trusting myself and the traveler
taking the next step….
ccg

Armed with my check list, my two new books and the help from my husband and friends I am off on a journey to unleash my whole creative self.  I am throwing myself into this, understanding that there will be time where doubt and fear will come in but I will forge on going deep into myself to discover if there is indeed anything unique and individual in me.

Is there a journey that you are on that you need to trust in?

Why I Write

It is time to blog and I am scrambling with what to write. Can’t think of a single thing and does it all matter anyway. That is the same thing I have come up with in regards to my other writing. Why am I writing anyway? What is the point? I guess it is a personal thing for everyone but I thought I will do a web search.

After plugging in the word, “why I write” I found many people talking about that very thing and below is what I came up with for me.

I write because I feel the desire. Where the desire come from I don’t know. I do know I want to make sense of my life. I write in the hopes that the sense I may or may not come up with will help another come to an understanding of what their own life experiences have to tell them.

By doing this I hope to not feel so alone, to connect with others on a deep meaningful level. My blog writing is a part of that. By sharing my experiences and how I cope, I hope others will feel a sense of companionship along life’s journey.

I also write because I want to be heard. And just as importantly I want to hear others. I had hoped that by my sharing, others would feel motivated to share and in turn be heard as well.

These thoughts are all part of my process in discovering my ‘life purpose” which is the theme for my blog right now. I mean I don’t think it is ever too late to find out what I want to be when I grow up. I may be in the latter third of my life but I still want to find some meaningful “work”, if you will, however that may look.  I am exploring if writing is the thing for me.  So what do you think?

 

Is there a book in you? 

Is there a book in you?  – A book by Alison Baverstock

 

 

 

“the only purpose of writing, as an intellectual activity, is to better understand some aspect of the world for yourself by explaining it to others.” – The Mystery Guest by Gregoire Bouiller.

“The pen is the tongue of the mind” – Cervantes (1547- 1616)

“For me one of the great joys of writing is articulating something I felt but never expressed before. The phrase “coming to terms with” means precisely that, finding words to express the experience.”Julia Bell The creative writing course-book

Writing “seems to originate partly in a sense of destiny and partly in the determination to do something about it.” I actually forgot where I got this from.  But it is someone else’s original thought which spoke to me.

Everything Is Relevant

What if… I think it is quite common for us humans to wonder the what if’s. I know I do. At this stage of my life, I find myself doing so more often. I think there is so much I could have done, should have done, wished I’d done. I wonder where I would be now if one thing or another hadn’t happened. However, what I am left with is what is. I understand intellectually that being disappointed with what my life is, where it brought me, how I ended up where I am, is pointless. But then again thinking about it doesn’t have to be pointless. In fact, it can be just the opposite. According to personality theorist Eric Erickson reviewing one’s life is a task for the last stage of life with the ultimate goal of accepting life such as it was/is. It is from this reviewing and evaluating with compassion and acceptance that wisdom is gained.
I just finished reading two books that resonated with basically this message. I thought it was odd that I read these two particular books back to back not knowing that they would resonate for me on related level. And what’s more, I read each book in two days. Which is a record for me. I smile now at the blatant synchronicity at work here.
The first book, Light On Snow by Anita Shreve was from the point of view of an eleven-year-old girl, Nikky. Her and her father were in the habit of taking a walk at a certain time every day but there were times when they didn’t. On the day of this story they found a newborn baby in the snow barely alive. They rescued the little girl and become famous in the local news. The mother of the baby sees the article and shows up at their house. Finding the baby and meeting the mother had a big impact on the Nikky and she wonders what would have happened if her and her father had not went on a walk that day, what if they left later and the baby was completely covered by snow. The baby would never have been found at that crucial time.
With A Hatred For Tulips by Richard Lourie, the two main characters were brothers separated for 60 years and reunited. One brother stayed behind in Holland with the father, the other ended up in the U.S. with the mother. The brother left behind had a horrific story to tell about what happened to the family during WWII in Holland. The Holland brother contemplates the what if’s the consequences of decisions he made.
What stood out for me from these two stories was how every action starting from one’s birth has consequences and relevance to one’s own life, to other’s one comes in contact with, to life in general. The morning after I finished A Hatred For Tulips, I woke thinking about the story which led me to thinking about my life and my what if’s. Oddly enough the phrase, it’s all relevant, popped into my head. “Yes,” I said out loud nodding to myself smiling in spite of my natural tendency toward skepticism, “it is all relevant.” Every single thing that I went through had a reason, was of importance, brought me to where I am today. The trick is to believe my particular circumstances, where I am at now in my life, that my life in particular is of importance not only to myself but also to my family, friends both now and those who are yet to come.

Photo Figure and Tree by Simon Howden