Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tomorrow?

Tomorrow never comes. Well, that saying surely seems true as I sit here and read my last offering of my musings. It seems that life has grabbed me up and I've never quite got around to writing that review about Lena Roy's workshop and the humorous incident that happened that day. And now the problem is that I don't quite remember what it is that I wanted to share with you all. In the words of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh, oh bother!

And that brings to mind, what IS a Pooh anyway? Why is he Winnie THE Pooh? Is he, like Tigger, the only one? Hmm... Well, I'll contemplate that another time too. Perhaps tomorrow! I am choosing to believe that it does come. It just changes its name to Today. 

And today I look back at yesterday, which once was a today and even a tomorrow, and I see that quite a lot has happened in my life since I wrote that blog after attending Lena's workshop. Yes, quite a lot, like I worked my fingers off for quite a while actually getting paid to write. Imagine that! I guess I -am- a writer if I got paid to do it! (That makes me laugh a little.) But there is still so much inside me that I hope to one day put into words that can be shared with others. Maybe this blog will be the catalyst to put me back on that particular path of writing. I think I'll start... tomorrow.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” 
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Am a Writer, I Think...

Since deciding that I am a writer underneath this exterior that appears to be an ordinary wife and mother, I have attended a few workshops in an attempt to further my skill.  Today was one of those opportunities and I was able to attend a workshop called "Mining Your Life for Fiction", led by Lena Roy, author of Edges and granddaughter of Madeleine L'Engle.  In case you don't recognize grandma's name, she is probably best known for writing A Wrinkle in Time.  Lena was encouraging and inspiring and I came away believing in myself a little bit more! Well worth my twenty dollar investment in the three-hour afternoon workshop I'd say!

Let me tell you about the workshop, but first let me back up and tell you about my initial encounter with Lena.  Thursday night she was our speaker at the Mobile Writer's Guild meeting and she spoke about a number of things, but one message stuck out for me.  To paraphrase that message, no writer is really any better than another.  Now some may have more technical skill, or write more eloquent prose than another, but we all have a story to tell. And if in your heart you feel you are a writer, then who is to tell you that you aren't? That may not be exactly what Lena said, but it is the essence of her message that I took home with me on Thursday night.

I guess her message resonated with me because I can remember wanting to be a writer since I was a teen, but never quite feeling I deserved to think of myself in those terms.  After all, I have no college degree declaring me to be an English scholar, or anything that sounds like I am entitled to be a writer.  In fact, I have no degree at all.  But I do remember my English 101 teacher in my year or so of college, keeping me late one day to tell me I had no business in her class and that she was moving me to another more "advanced" and creative class.  I also remember in my senior year of high school, my English teacher encouraged me to enter one of my pieces in a contest because she felt I had real potential to win.  I didn't follow through on that and I have no idea why... probably I felt too exposed to share my writing with others at that point in time.  It still feels like standing on a stage naked even to write something as simple as this blog post.  But here I am these days, standing naked before you, my dear reader, declaring myself to be a "writer".  After all, if Lena Roy can stand before me and say "I am a writer" when she grew up in the shadow of her prize-winning writer grandmother (although Lena never indicated she felt she was in her grandmother's shadow, I just think I would have felt that way), then surely I too can say, "I am a writer".

OK, so I haven't told you about the workshop, but you know what? I've decided not to tonight.  Sorry, perhaps tomorrow I'll share with you my thoughts about the workshop, especially the librarian I met and what made me chuckle about her.  I think it will make you chuckle too!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Thought

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is a question we use to initiate small talk this time of year as commonly as we greet each other with “Merry Christmas”.  Usually we get a pretty standard answer and on our way we go.  But I got an answer Friday that took me by surprise.

As I was being wheeled out to my transportation home by a rather somber hospital employee, I couldn't take the silence and offered up the question.  But instead of the standard “Almost” or “Just about”, I got “I don't celebrate Christmas.”  Momentary awkward silence.  Thankfully she let me off the hook pretty quickly and followed up with “If people treated each other the way they do on Christmas the other 364 days of the year, the world would be a much better place, so I choose to celebrate life every day.”  Well, I couldn't argue with that, even though I felt like somehow I should.

My mind whirled with all kinds of thoughts about Christmas, life in general, and the profound or clever things I might say in response.  But I sat there in silence as we descended to the ground floor in the elevator.  As she rolled me out, I offered up some lame response that I don't even remember now.  The only thing I did say in response that might bear repeating was that some of us needed a day like Christmas to remind us of how we should treat each other the other 364 days of the year.

I know that a little baby boy was born in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago and lived a life that we can only hope to come close to duplicating.  He died on a cross, and more importantly, rose from the dead on the third day in order to give us the opportunity to have everlasting life.  I bet that little baby boy feels a lot like the somber hospital employee does.  If we care only about ourselves for 364 days and spend lots of money on each other and pretend we care for only one day, then we make a mockery out of his sacrifice on that cross.  So let's make sure we celebrate his resurrected life (and ours) every day and treat each other with kindness and consideration.  Let's make sure Christmas day is the day we just pause to remember why we celebrate life the other 364 days of the year!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A "Peace" of Writing


Life seems like it takes you by the coat tails sometimes and just spins you around, keeping you from doing the things that bring you the most pleasure and contentment in life. That's how it's been with my writing lately. So many things have crossed my mind that I've wanted to sit down and write about, but somehow, there just hasn't been time to do so or when there was time, the other pieces of the puzzle eluded me. So today, I have a few minutes and what am I doing? I'm writing about absolutely nothing except the fact that I wish that I'd had more time and opportunity to write in the past few months.

It's amazing to me how the simple act of putting my thoughts into words and down on “paper” can clear my own mind and give me a sense of peace. The world we live in is so “noisy”. Televisions, radios, billboards, traffic, children, pets, jobs, bills – all of these things screaming for our attention. Sometimes it's necessary for my sanity to step away from all that and pick up the “pen” and just write. Anything, it doesn't matter what, just anything that unites me with my thoughts alone is a suitable subject to help me feel at peace with myself again.

It's nice if what I write brings a smile to someone else or perhaps provokes them to deeper thought about some subject. But if the only thing I accomplish is to bring a bit of peace to my own tired and weary soul, then that is accomplishment enough. I don't know if that's how other writers feel, but it is how I feel and perhaps the foremost reason I write – to give a moment of peace to myself in this noisy, busy world that I live in. Maybe you might want to try it too the next time you're feeling the need to “get away from it all”.

Peace to you all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Own Personal Mardi Gras Parade... of a sort!

Mardi Gras has begun and many Mobilians have moonpies, beads, and the procession of floats down the streets of Mobile on their minds. But this afternoon I am sitting here on the banks of Steele Creek watching my family fish while a parade of a different sort is going on just on the other side of the creek. The wintry weather has given way to warmer days this week and spring fever has infected many of us. It is compelling us to get outside into the warm sunshine and fresh air. Too long we've been help captive inside the four walls of the stale houses where we take our refuge from winter.  This is evident by the number of boaters waiting to launch while others await their turn to leave having already enjoyed their turn at freedom.
It's a beautiful sight in its own right. Boats of all different colors, boats of many sizes, old boats, new boats, some that aren't boats at all, but rather they are deemed personal watercraft instead, all gracefully sitting on the water, carrying their passengers to one destination to another and making a parade of their own today.
And in this parade, instead of the sounds of the revelers crying "throw me something Mister", it's the various fisherman calling to each other "Are they bitin' for ya' today?" Instead of the sounds of the marching bands, it is the music of the boat engines I hear. Some idling smoothly while others spit and sputter in stark contrast to the peaceful sounds of the birds chirping in the trees behind me.
Interspersed with the boats in today's parade there are the beautifully feathered ducks gracefully, seemingly effortlessly, gliding past.
It may not yield the moonpies, doubloons, and other trinkets that make Mardi Gras so much fun. But sharing this parade with my family is a treasure I wouldn't trade for all the Mardi Gras haul in the world!

2/19/2011

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanks Mike! I'll never forget Pearl Harbor, thanks to you!

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It is an important day in history and one I will never forget. And while I would like to thank my history teachers for the fine job they did, I cannot give credit to anyone but one of my first boyfriends, Mike D, for searing this date into my brain for eternity.
Today is the anniversary of my first date with Mike. He taught me a lot. He was a Navy brat (his words) and had lived all over the world it seemed to me. He was smart, and I loved to listen to him talk. He had the sexiest blue eyes that just melted my young insides to butter. And he was so charming, he called me his beautiful Aphrodite. *Sigh* How much more charming could you get to a teenage girl?
But he taught me a lot more than an important historical date. He taught me to never brag to your friends about how good-looking your new boyfriend is until you've seen him without his cap!
I met Mike at Indian Lanes and he made my heart flutter with his blue eyes and cute little posterior. But he wore a cap and I couldn't see his hair. We all know how important the hair is! By night's end however, he had my phone number and we had set our first date for December 6th, 1979 to see the Senior class play, Boys and Ghouls Together, at Satsuma High School. I was so excited!
He arrived to pick me up and I went to open the front door. Shock! His hair! I had bragged to all my friends about how cute he was! But that hair ruined it! It was almost a "little boy meets GI Joe" haircut. All I could see from that point forward that night was his hair.
But I was polite, although a bit cold probably, looking back on the night. We went to the play and I sat hoping no one would see us as I listened to him talk about random stuff. But I will never forget him asking me, "Do you know what tomorrow is?"
No, I was clueless as to what tomorrow was. But Mike went on to explain to me what Dec. 7th represented and why I should care. Well, it stuck. I still remember 32 years later.
And I still remember that date with Mike above most others too. I went home intending to never go out with him again. My God, could you blame me? Did you see that haircut!?!
He called me up a couple of days later and asked me out again. I turned him down. But he was gutsy enough to ask why. I was cruel (and shallow) enough to answer him honestly.
He must have really thought I was something special, because he offered to change his hairstyle. So I said okay. And at his request, I told him how I thought his hair should look. We dated for 8 months or so after that. And he taught me many more little life lessons and I think he might have made me a better person. I no longer judge people by their haircuts at least.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Change your profile pic on Facebook?

There's a lot of buzz going around right now about the Facebook user campaign to change profile pics to raise awareness of child abuse.  There's also a lot of talk about it being started by a pedophile as an attempt to entice children to approve their friend requests to them.
First of all, I think it's a wonderful thing that we as individuals can influence and inform so many people through social sites like Facebook.  But I think we would all do better to donate $5 to our favorite cause rather than change our profile picture.  Of course, it wouldn't hurt to do both! There's nothing wrong with having a little fun and being even a bit silly at times.  But how much more good could be done for all these causes if we took even a small amount and donated it to legitimate organizations that work for our favorite causes.
As for the pedophile angle, here's my two cents worth.  Even if this was started by a pedophile, would that really change anything? If you're being a responsible parent, you're monitoring your childrens' activity on Facebook and the computer in general. And while we can't keep an eye on our children every moment of every day, there are things that we can do to protect our children.  A couple of very simple things to do are to keep computer use in a public area of your home and check your computer's history occasionally.  Hold your children accountable by having their passwords for the sites they visit that require them and then occasionally poke around and see what they're up to.
Is that spying? Well, it may border on it, but in these days of technology, parenthood is a whole new world.  It's my personal opinion that we have to be a bit nosy for the good of our children.  After all, if we don't care, someone else will.  And it might just be that pedophile.