Thursday, February 27, 2014
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Here are some things I’m thankful for today.
• Today is the first day of my week-long vacation.
• The weather outside has been perfect for two days now—sunshine, a slight breeze, low humidity and temps in the high 70s. My ideal day!
• My blood pressure seems to be under control, and my energy is coming back.
• I have so many wonderful blogs to read.
• I was able to spend time in the library today.
• And it has been an all-around good day!
Hopefully, more entries will follow soon!
Until next time,
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
What's Your Story?
This is a question that Patti Digh asked us during a recent day long writing workshop. What is your story? How do you become aware of your story, and then how do you change it if you need to or want to?
We all tell ourselves stories. Everyone does. All the time. We don't think of them as stories; we think of them as the truth, the way things are. We assume that everyone would say the same thing about the facts, the circumstances, the life. Yet we all choose what to say, how to say it, what voice to say it in, what to include and what to omit. Because we believe it, we tell it. And sometimes, because we tell it, we believe it. It works both ways.
To illustrate what beliefs might be driving us, Patti had us tell the story of our writing life in different voices. Pairing with a partner, one person was the speaker and one was the listener. We told our writing story as ourselves, as a five-year old, as a CEO, and as a successful, New York Times Bestseller author.
I heard how the story changed according to the speaker. I heard my five-year old talk about slights that I thought were laid aside years ago and how she doesn't like to be made fun of. My CEO surprised me the most—she delegates her writing life and lets other people write the blogs—she reads them and says, "That says it exactly!" My bestselling author talked more about hanging out with other authors than she did about writing.
Well, well, well. That is interesting!
Try the exercise. You may be surprised at what you discover. For myself, I'm going to stop delegating my writing so much, and sit down and give voice, my own voice, to what I want to say. I'm going to keep asking myself what story I'm telling in other areas of my life—not just the writing stories, but the weight stories, the housekeeping stories, the love stories, the relationship stories, etc.
How about you? What's your story?
Friday, March 18, 2011
This post is actually pretty much a comment that I left on Gigi Thibodeau's new writing blog, The Magpie's Pen. After I commented, I decided it was long enough to be a blog post on it's own, with a few more details added! Be sure to check out both of Gigi's blogs, The Magpie's Fancy and The Magpie's Pen—they are both beautiful, well written, interesting blogs.
Right now I'm reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. It's a British novel, reminiscent of the Gothic novels I read as a younger person, and the heroines are also writers—I'm enjoying it. I should finish it tonight—the scariest part is coming up, I think!
I'm also reading a book called The Art of Attention by Donald Revell. This one is deep—I read a bit and then have to ponder. I love the book—it's about paying attention to the world as a way of finding poetry and the Divine. Excellent book.
I also have more in the series about writing called The Art of…; I think I have The Art of Syntax, by Ellen Bryant Voigt and The Art of Description, by Mark Doty, in my stack, thanks to Interlibrary Loan. I love Interlibrary Loan—it allows me to read almost any book that my heart desires, if I am willing to wait a bit. And since there are many more books in The Art of series, I have a lot to look forward to.
I 'm also reading One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp . Yes, I read multiple books at a time—something for every mood! Voskamp writes about being thankful for everything as a way of finding and loving God. The book is prose, but she is definitely a poet. Her writing is breathtaking—as a matter of fact, thinking about her way of writing led me to thinking about syntax, and then the book The Art of Syntax came into my attention—synchronicity!
And these aren't including the other books stacked around the house—from the library, from friends, or my own books. Books I've dipped into enough to know I want to finish reading them, yet I haven't started yet.
It was a sobering realization when one day I realized that no matter how much I read I would never be able to read everything in the world—or even everything in my own house—let alone all the new books that are being written every day! Oh, that is so sad to think! Still, I am going to give it my best shot! I read every spare moment that I get. How about you?
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Are you wearing green today? I am. This is the day I claim my Irish ancestry, even though I don't know for sure that I have any. My sister and I decided we had to be Irish though, with a redheaded dad and with our own dark hair and white white skin. We used to joke that we never tanned—we just went outside to take the blue out of our skin!
I love all things Irish and would love to visit there someday. I have a collection of books by Niall Williams and Christine Breen about moving to Ireland. They wrote O Come Ye Back to Ireland, The Luck of the Irish, When Summer's in the Meadow, and The Pipes Are Calling—I think I have them all! All these books chronicle their lives in Ireland. Williams is a writer and Breen paints. They left their jobs and lives in New York City to move to County Clare in western Ireland with the romantic notion that they could pursue their writing and painting full time. Once they arrive, the reality of living in a situation that requires effort and energy just to provide survival sustenance changes their plans somewhat. The books tell their stories of learning how to live and thrive.
If you get a chance, read the books. Or, even better—let's go to Ireland! Until then, here's the top-o-the-morning to ya! Have a wonderful day!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Today is my cousin Shirley's birthday. I haven't seen her in a long time. We used to play together all the time. We played paper dolls, dolls, house, tag, and hide and seek. When we got a little older, we danced. We would turn the stereo up as loud as it would go; it vibrated the house. We would dance to "South Street" and any and all variations of the Twist. Sometimes the boys from her neighborhood would watch us through the window; we always pretended that we didn't see them. Until we wanted to talk to them, then Shirley would screech, "Go away!" and we would run to the front door. Then the boys came to the door to talk with us. We thought we were so sophisticated!
Sometimes we would play hairdresser. I always wanted to do this, and yet I had absolutely no talent for it. Shirley would do my hair; it looked great. I would do her hair, and it was always a disaster! She finally quit playing this game with me!
March is the month for family birthdays. My sister, my older daughter, my husband, my cousin, my sister-in-law, one of my brothers-in-law—I'm sure there are more if I pull up my memory or my birthday list. It's a good month for a birthday—the beginning of spring, blossoming flowers, the greening grass. So, Happy Birthday, Shirley! May your new year be filled with goodness, fun and someone to share good times!