Hello Again…

I’ve been resisting writing, just a few stray sentences escaping on rare occasions, suppressing every urge as it crept up. Writing hurts, because it makes me confront truths. Truths I’d rather avoid or just keep moving past, moving so fast, the memories only faintly remain. I don’t think escapism is the right route though and truly it only lasts for so long before I cave. I’ll write and stay writing.

My words are finally beginning to creep out of me. Just in the past couple of weeks, I’ve been beginning to write again, after almost nothing for two months. Not because I have to, but because I want to, I’m going to do the over share thing and get personal a minute. If you’ve visited this blog before, you know I do personal, so here it goes…(not everything, just a bit, sooo…you can breathe and hopefully read on…)

It’s taken me a bit longer to catch my breath than usual as my already overloaded life took a plunge(A.K.A.-nosedive, plummet, dropped off the deep end, etc.) and has been changed dramatically. March brought way more than spring. It brought bittersweet. My husband died March 10th, coming after a long decline in his health. We were back on hospice briefly before it happened. It came quickly and at home, where we wanted. I’d been with him for about 24 years, so I no longer quite know my place in life.

The sweet, came ten days later, our daughter gave birth to a beautiful little boy, her firstborn and my first grandchild. My daughter had the same midwife I had when I had her, but I was able to be the one to catch him. He was welcomed into grandma’s loving hands, then handed to his mother, my daughter. He was born in our home, a planned home birth, welcomed with love and adored by both his parents.

So it is, that within our home, where we’ve lived since our daughter was three years old, the full circle of life took place in only a few brief weeks. It’s sad his grandfather never got to hold him. He loved babies and especially would’ve loved him. The timing came as I guess it was meant to, as every treasured moment I was able to hold my grandson, helped to ease my sorrow. Life goes on, and there is no more reassurance of that, than the birth of a child and the flowery emergence of spring.

I’m back to writing and I’ll see where it goes. Hopefully I’ll keep blogging too and more posts will follow. I don’t claim to know anything right now and it will take time. I’m trying to be gentle with myself, realize it will really take time, and figure things out. I’ve got to get rid of the “shoulds”, there are too many of those I keep trying to hold onto, and just learn how to live in this new life I find myself in.

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Snowy Day Ramblings

Snowy Bench

Snowy Bench

I just finished sipping a cup of homemade hot chocolate. It’s the perfect thing to do on a frosty day like today. Way more snow fell yesterday in our little part of North Carolina than we’ve seen in many years.  It never lasts long, so I just content myself to staying cozily indoors till the roads are safe. Of course since over 3 snowflakes fell, pretty much everything is closed anyway. The only venturing out I do is to take the occasional picture and to feed the outside critters(the resident goat, guinea, and couple of chickens).

It’s been one of those slow kind of days I enjoy. It started with making some delicious wholesome homemade banana muffins, full of good stuff like flaxseed and fresh ground whole wheat flour. I did some essentials, like cleaning up a bit, then it’s been computer time for me. My internet works at the archaic speed of the dial-up age, but I’ve still managed to mostly catch up reading blog posts and emails for now.

I’m still writing, just been quiet. Mainly writing in my journal, bits of non-fiction, and a few poems as the mood strikes. I’ve been reading plenty too, including I just got my hands on The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice, which I’ve been wanting to read for some time now. I’m not far into it yet, but it looks good and though I’m not a big horror fan, I do enjoy werewolf and vampire stories. I’ll have to share about some of the ebooks I’ve read in another post some time.

Besides going to become a grandmother within a couple of months, the thing I’m most excited about is I might actually get to go to my first ever writers conference. It’s the Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair in Lumberton. It happens to be in the same town my husband’s side of the family usually has family reunions in and best of all the price is right within my budget as the admission is free. Several of the talks look interesting.

On a totally other note, if you’ve ever felt life is not going as you planned(ok…I must really be a dreamer if I think it’s supposed to…huh?) or you’re getting older and feel suddenly you don’t know what you want to do when you grow up, then I ran across a couple of interesting blog posts this morning. Both of them are on the same site, but gave me something to think about. Read the comments too, there were some interesting ones. The posts are If You Could Do Anything for a Living, What Would You Do? and The Problem with Plans : What I Learned from Getting Laid Off.

Best wishes in your life and writing endeavors. Here’s one of the many poems I’ve been writing lately…

Heartsong

Somethings are just known
Without any doubt
Felt down deep
Make life worth living
Make life complete
Slip into place
Perfect poetry
Sung between hearts
Grounding my soul
Giving me peace
A return to dreams
An awakening hope

This and That

This is one of those “little of this and that” type posts, kind of like show and tell at school or concocting soup in the kitchen from a variety of ingredients. I just wanted to share a few things…

I’m excited! A memoir piece I wrote was accepted in an anthology, Back to School 2013 Memoir Anthology. It’s now out on Amazon. My piece is called, “Confessions of a High School Social Phobic”. If you like writing memoir or would like to try your hand, there’s another call for submissions with a November deadline. You can find out more in the post over at the Karenzo Media blog.

Despite the craziness of my chaotic life, I’ve managed to read a couple of books too. One of the books, In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant, is a novel set in the Renaissance period. The two main characters are the courtesan and a dwarf. The two flee tragic circumstances in Rome and move to Venice, overcoming much so the courtesan’s business flourishes again. The story is told through the eyes of the dwarf, which offers an interesting perspective.

This book kept my interest all the way through the end. This author is so good at being descriptive, that it’s easy to visualize the settings and the characters. I won’t spoil the ending, in case you decide to read it, but I will say it didn’t end the way I thought it was going to. I enjoyed it! (the book, not the ending) It’s the second book I’ve read by this author, The Birth of Venus being the first.

The other book was a memoir I’ve had on my wish list for awhile, Loose Girl : A Memoir of Promiscuity by Kerry Cohen. It’s a memoir about a woman’s journey from promiscuity to learning how to have a real intimate relationship and how to love herself. She runs through guy after guy and pays the consequences for her actions through loss of friendships, chances at real love, degradation of self, and disease. There’s no fairy tale ending, but like the rest of us, I think it’s about self discovery and always trying to do better.

I think the author is brave for writing truthfully about such a taboo subject, but I was troubled so much I almost stopped reading the book a time or two. It wasn’t the promiscuity causing me such a problem, but the references to drug use interspersed throughout the book. There were parts as well, where her actions seemed shallow and selfish. I know that sounds so judgmental and I know none of us are perfect, but it’s my opinion as a reader. It was interesting enough and I wanted to understand more, so I did finish the book and I was glad I did. She’s bluntly honest.

Memoirs are one of my favorite things to read and write lately. Here’s a neat list I ran across of suggested memoirs to read. It’s by a woman who teaches memoir classes. The post is Writing Memoir? Read Memoir. Here’s a good article over at the Huffington Post by Linda Joy Myers, PhD. with tips on writing memoir too. One final tidbit I’ll leave you with is a quote I ran across. It’s a good one if you’re ever sitting there having guilt that you should be cleaning rather than writing… “At worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.”—Rose Macaulay. I love it! 🙂

The Book of Me – Prompt 1: Who am I?

The Book of Me, Written by You is a series of weekly writing prompts to embark on a journal of self discovery, which was created by Julie Goucher at Angler’s Rest. I just found out about it today when I read a post about it by Vikki over at The View Outside blog. I went right away and signed up. Today is the first day of it! 🙂

I’ve had a lot of time on my hands for contemplation, so this sounds right up my alley. I don’t know that I’ll share everything I write, but I’ll share at least some of it. Today’s prompt was : “Who am I?” and it was supposed to be asked 20 times. Here’s my list. It led to a more detailed version of this, but I’m weighing sharing it or not.

  1. I am Sabrina.
  2. I am a strong woman in a line of strong women.
  3. I am a daughter, mother, wife, sister, aunt, granddaughter, and sister-in-law.
  4. I am a caregiver to my husband.
  5. I am a nurse.
  6. I am a crochet fanatic.
  7. I am a creative crafty person.
  8. I am a cook, who loves to dabble with recipes.
  9. I am a budding herbalist and aromatherapist.
  10. I am a reader, reading endlessly at times.
  11. I am a poet and writer.
  12. I am a lover of bluegrass and country music.
  13. I am a barefoot country girl.
  14. I am a homesteader.
  15. I am a romantic and passionate being.
  16. I am a dreamer, who’s temporarily lost the way to dream.
  17. I am a believer with mustard seed size faith right now, but it’s there.
  18. I am finding my voice after having lost it for years.
  19. I am an unfinished being.
  20. I am myself.

Books and More

It’s been way too long since I’ve blogged and I do miss it. I won’t start with any apologies or false promises of blog posts becoming more regular soon. My life is just in an emotional chaotic state right now…being a caregiver and having a multitude of unanswerable questions about the future. I’m doing the moment by moment living thing and never know what each day will bring.

I’m still writing and thought I’d just share some of the things I’ve run across lately. I just finished reading a fantastic book I found at the library last week. My mother came for a visit and it was the first trip I’ve had to the library in a long time. The book was Pain, Parties, Work : Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 by Elizabeth Winder.

I’ve been interested in the writer Sylvia Plath since I learned about her and watched the movie Sylvia, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow. The book provided an insightful look into Sylvia Plath’s life, most of it, of course, focused on the month she spent as a guest editor at Mademoiselle. It was more about who she was as a person during that time than about her writing, though it was touched on throughout. There are excerpts from her journal as well, but from other times, as the author says Sylvia only wrote a paragraph about the whole month in New York.

It’s a different kind of book, but a good read. There are things in it about the 50’s from fashion to the way women were viewed by men. It even has quite a bit about her various boyfriends. There are many quotes in the book about Sylvia by some of the other guest editors and old boyfriends. The last part of the book had information I never knew about her nervous breakdown and suicide attempt soon after her return from New York.

I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever read offering a better view as to who she was as a person. It still makes me sad. She was so talented and had two beautiful children when she committed suicide at 30 years old. It makes me wish she could’ve seen what others saw and realized she had so much more life to live.

Since I finished it and had to move on, I found a book I’ve never read sitting in a stack in my living room. The book is Founding Mothers : The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts. I picked it up at a used book store years ago, because it sounded interesting. Who knows why I haven’t read it before? (Must have had my nose in another good book and forgot) 🙂

It’s incredible! I am utterly amazed at how articulate the founding mothers were and I’m only to page 65 in the book so far. Women poets even contributed to the beginnings of America as a country independent from England. Some of the excerpts of Abigail Adams’ letters demonstrate a vocabulary surpassing many women of today, though she had no formal education other than that by her father. (No insult meant and I am including myself here) 🙂

Well, those are my current reads. Need to add to my “To-Read” list. I found a list of memoirs in a post Writing Memoir? Read Memoir over at the blog of Marion Roach Smith, which has some possibilities. One last thing I’ll leave with you is a neat post I read that made me smile. As wonderfully ideallic as I think it sounds to write sitting in a café somewhere, the writer of this post Squirrel, over at the blog A Thought Grows, is so how I’d be…a writer with “writer ADD” and getting little done. I’ll settle for my tea and the quiet of home or a nice grassy spot outside.  🙂

Happy writing and share any thoughts and/or any suggestions for good books you’ve read…

Woman on a Train

If you’ve been following this blog a bit, you know I don’t do much fiction writing. Yesterday I read this piece, “Stories I Create on the Train”, over at Cara Theoron’s blog and was inspired to write something. It’s short and a bit of a risqué story for me, so there’s your warning if you’d rather not read it. It doesn’t get explicit. I wasn’t really planning on posting it, but someone(who knows who she is if she’s reading this) encouraged me that maybe I should share it…

The train stops one more time. This will be the last stop before I reach my destination, even the word sounds final. I’m nervous, so decide just to stay seated instead of stretching my legs. A woman in love, yet reality is sinking in, I’m leaving the only world I’ve known since childhood. I need a distraction from my pulsating heart, more than my book is providing. I hear the bustle of passengers.

I notice a woman as I look up from my book. She’s probably in her 30’s. Her auburn hair falls in ringlets right on top of the swell of her bosom. She pulled it to the side with a swipe of her hand when she sat down. She crosses her well toned legs which peek out from the slit on her dress. I’m betting she does yoga and not merely for relaxation. There are more enjoyable ways to relax. It’s not the only thing that crosses my mind.

As I look at her face, I notice she seems self absorbed in thought and suddenly smiles slightly. Maybe she’s thinking of her evening to come, eager to meet her lover. She opens her purse and starts adding some finishing touches, a bit of shimmering rose lipstick and a dab of perfume. She swaps her practical earrings, probably worn in an office, for a dangling pair that glitter in the sunlight.

I imagine the lipstick will not be long upon her lips. Any traces of it will quickly disappear in a passionate kiss with her lover, tongues swirling as they taste each other. He’ll probably begin there, trail kisses down her neck, and quickly find her breasts.

My face warms as I feel a blush across my cheeks, not from embarrassment over my thoughts about this stranger, but rather the delight of remembrance. Memories from long ago just add to my curiosity. I can imagine she has a lover skilled in the art of lovemaking, the kind that will take his time and devour her.

Both of them will be blissfully content afterwards and she’ll immediately begin thinking of when she’ll see him again. Does she take this train to him every week? Are things more complicated and can she only go to him once a month, yet longing for more? Oh, I’m familiar with the bittersweet romances. It can make you wonder if passion is enough. It’s why I’m sitting here now, still in an unsure state, though I was convinced I made up my mind.

I twirl the engagement ring on my finger and suddenly think. I remember glancing at the woman’s hands, perfectly polished pink nails, but can’t remember if she was wearing a ring. Her hands are folded in her lap and I can’t tell now. My stop is coming up ahead. No, I imagine the only ring she wears is for sentimental reasons like a ring from her mother. She’s not promised to another, but bound by heart to her lover for as long as it lasts.

 

 

 

A Book Lover’s Dream

©Illumination Photographics by Selena Lynn

©Illumination Photographics by Selena Lynn Bullock

Spring is in the air and thoughts of love. Well, I’m in love with reading. It’s not a bad thing and many well seasoned writers point out if you’re going to write, you need to read. Read far and wide, not just your writing genre. You can pick up on many good and bad things in reading, which will help you with your writing. Another bit of sound advice, which I need to take, don’t read so much about how to write, just WRITE.

My daughter has found she has a natural affinity for grammar and writing in her college English class. I don’t think it has much to do with any special curriculum used during her years as a homeschooler. I attribute it more to her being raised in a reading filled environment. Books have always been around our home, many childhood trips to libraries and bookstores, bedtimes filled with stories read aloud, and encouraging her to read books of her own choosing.

We’re both still voracious readers, just have very different tastes in books. I love going to the library and stocking up on books. Caregiving responsibilities have increased, so I hadn’t been in a while. I finally got to go(clapping hands and smiling big) and it was great…I think my enthusiasm may have scared the young librarian at the desk. 🙂 I told my sister it was as good as chocolate or s-e-x.

I checked out a big stack of books I’ve been wanting to get my hands on, as well as a few Mother Earth magazines. I was one HAPPY woman. I won’t bore you with all my books, some are just random ones I have an interest in like gardening and crochet.

Two were writing books : How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore(I don’t want to be famous, but it looked interesting on the flip through. I’ve enjoyed the humor the author uses throughout.) and On Writing : A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King(Love this…though be forewarned he is blunt and there is a bit of cursing if you’re on the prim & proper side. It’d be one of those times to not throw the baby out with the bath water as the saying goes…he offers a lot of good advice). The funny thing is this is the only book by Stephen King I’ve ever read…I don’t do scary.

Two other books were just for my reading enjoyment and have been on my “To Read” list a while. One is Interpreter of Maladies, which is a book of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. The other was Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. I’m enjoying both of these, but have seen in places first hand examples of how too much detail can slow a story down. There are places with just the right amount of description, which make it easy to picture the story in my mind.

On a side note…if libraries make your heart soar, here’s a link with pictures of incredible libraries.

Simplicity for Writing’s Sake

(Last week I was sick with a very sore throat…only felt like curling up with a good book and doing bare essentials. My voice is back, still trying to kick my writing back into gear. Figured I’d do a post for starters.)

Nice cup of tea and writing

Nice cup of tea and writing

What’s the most important thing a writer needs to do?…WRITE! This can get difficult when so many things get in the way. Any writer can probably list a zillion things which keep them from writing, we’re bombarded with distractions and interruptions on a daily basis. This is LIFE! Many writers will claim, because of all this it’s hard to find time to write.

Now, no one start throwing wads of balled up paper at me…I have TIME…I have time in excess! My problems are procrastinating and getting my head in the right spot.  I’ve become even a more full time caregiver to my spouse. He sleeps many hours a day, due to his health problems, so there’s plenty of uninterrupted writing time. I’m even one of those writers with a job allowing me time to write, though I don’t work many days a month.

The trouble is I feel so overwhelmed at times, it feels as if I’d need a backhoe to start digging my way out. After doing, what I guess you could call some soul searching, I think I’ve happened upon a solution of sorts. I’ve decided I need to start simplifying. It’ll be slow go, but it will feel like I’m getting somewhere and help me to clear my head, so I can write more productively.

I’m not giving up blogging, I’m too attached, but I am trying to reduce some of the other clutter in my life. It’s a reevaluation of sorts. These are some of the steps I’m going to take in an attempt to simplify life :

  • Unsubscribe from email newsletters no longer applicable or useful in my life(example-no longer homeschool, but still get homeschool newsletters)
  • Unfollow some blogs I’m just not so interested in or find helpful
  • Limit time spent on facebook—considering taking a facebook break for a few days as well as unfriending a few groups and people that post so much it’s overwhelming to sort through
  • Limit time spent on pinterest—this is a stress reducer for me—usually good with my time, just need to continue
  • Try not to have internet up if writing on computer unless : 1. need for reference–sometimes use Dictionary.com to look up words I’m not sure about; or 2. to listen to my favorite YouTube playlist while I write–Soothing Music

I’m going to head to the kitchen for a hot cup of herbal tea, hit the play button on my favorite music CD, and sit at the kitchen table writing with pen and paper.  Have you thought of ways you can free up your mind and your life, so you can write or write more effectively? Happy writing… 🙂

Snowy Inspiration

Right now I’m sitting at the computer and enjoying the view of snow falling through the kitchen windows. It’s absolutely beautiful. The flakes are smaller, but not long ago, the biggest fluffiest snowflakes I’ve ever seen were falling. It’s been such a great day…including getting to eat a bowl of snow cream! 🙂

Carpenter

Snowy Woods

Light Shining Through

Light Shining Through

What does this have to do with writing? Nothing…other than I have found my way out of the writing impasse I was at, which I refuse to call writer’s block. I had plenty to write about. I was just not in the mood and was being resistant to writing.

The truth comes out when I write and sometimes I just plain and simply don’t want to face it. It’s not always pretty and at times downright painful. Instead, I’ll do absolutely anything to put off writing. I’ve been baking, cooking, crocheting…anything except writing. (On the plus side…I can make a really good loaf of homemade bread from scratch now. 🙂 )

Snow Covered Benches

Snow Covered Benches

The past several days have been wonderful writing days. It feels incredible to be able to really write again. It began with writing in my journal. Who knows, maybe I worked through something in it. Journals are great for processing stuff. No matter how I got there, I did. I’m back to working on personal essays and writing poetry.

I’ve been so inspired, I just wanted to share and thought I’d share some inspiration with you too. Here are some pictures of the snow I took from around the yard…just enjoy or get creative and write something. I have nothing fancy set up for you to leave your links on(maybe one day I’ll figure out Mr. Linky), but you are welcome to leave a link in your comment below if you’d like. Happy writing… : )

Fresh Start to 2013

Image of a modern fountain pen writing in curs...

Image of a modern fountain pen writing in cursive script. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s hoping 2013 will be a better year. I’m recharged and planning to leave the past in the past. I’m ready to make a fresh start in 2013. This will mean some changes, so please be patient with me.

I will be playing around with my blog a little(already changed the theme today). Just trying some new things out. Will take some time till I get things comfortable and sorted out. It’s like rearranging furniture.

I’m trying to motivate myself as well, so I guess creating some goals are the way to go. I’ve given this some thought. I did try to make sure I have realistic goals, so I don’t set myself up for failure. A big part of being realistic is knowing I have a bit of a chaotic life most of the time. Without further adieu, here are the goals…

Writing Goals for 2013 :
(will be doing more writing than this, but it’s a start)
1. Blog twice a week(continued from 2012-failed last year 😦 )

2. Read 2 books per month

3. Complete the 100k in 100 days Challenge(read more about over at Quiller’s Place or 100k in 100 days facebook group)

4. Find and join a local writer’s group

5. Finish poetry book

6. Work on revamping blog a bit

Feel free to share your thoughts and maybe some of your goals for 2013… 🙂

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