Tag Archives: writing

The Moment of Truth or Holy Crap What Have I done?

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“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”  ~Aldous Huxley

I started this blog on a whim. This is absolutely untrue, of course, because I have been  writing, throwing my writing away, and dreaming of writing, since I was able to hold a pencil. Why do I want to pretend it’s just a silly thing I’ve given very little thought?

A whim by Dictionary.com definition is:

1.A sudden desire or change of mind, esp. one that is unusual or unexplained.

2.A windlass for raising ore or water from a mine.

So the need to write is most definitely not sudden, a change of mind or unexplained. Judging by how many others are writing, the desire is not all that unusual either.

It does feel a little like raising ore from a mine. You know that it’s in there but sweet mother it’s not that easy to get it out is it?

So now all I need to do is to find a psychological windlass that will dredge my soul of all of the homeless characters and the sadistic need to tell a story so that it is out of the mine, much like the monster in Alien, and on to this screen.

As proof that my sadistic tendencies run deep I currently have 27 days to produce a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 pages fit to present to ten others in addition to a published author at week long class I am taking at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Now, I signed up for this sucker on a whim, I can promise you that!!

The moment of truth has arrived. It’s now or never. Shit or get off the pot, as my dear mother was fond of saying.

The countdown begins. Any and all encouragement is appreciated and needed.

I never dreamed of being Shakespeare or Goethe, and I never expected to hold the great mirror of truth up before the world; I dreamed only of being a little pocket mirror, the sort that a woman can carry in her purse; one that reflects small blemishes, and some great beauties, when held close enough to the heart.  ~Peter Altenberg

To write, write(s), wrote, written, writing

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I don’t care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you’re also writing your Oscar acceptance speech.
Nora Ephron

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thewritersworkshop.net

 I have a book in my head and my goal is to write enough to attend a workshop at the Fine Arts Workshop Center In Provincetown in the summer of 2013. Now this may not sound like an insurmountable task unless, of course, one has not written a single word. Then it becomes a little more difficult. 

When I was teaching I was lucky enough to have my class conduct a Skype interview with award winning children’s book author Linda Sue Park who wrote an incredible book,  A Long Walk to Water, that we had read in classOne of my students, who has a severe language based learning disability, intends to become an author and asked a great question. He wanted to know if she ever had writer’s block and what she did about it. Of course like everyone that writes she agreed that not being able to do so on occasion was quite disturbing and then related a story of a friend of hers, also an award winning novelist, who writes for 15 minutes a day, every day. She limits her time this way and rarely experiences writer’s block. My thoughts were that she must be a furious typist but I thought is seemed do-able. So, I promised myself I’d spend 15 minutes a day writing, every day, no excuses. That never happened, except for blogging which wasn’t supposed to count for that 15 minutes, until today. A full page is out of my head and saved on to the computer. I’m sure I’ll edit the crap out of it, figuratively and literally, but I like it. I can feel it when I read it it. Now that I’ve told all of you I suppose I’ll need to follow through too. 

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Let me say that receiving awards does not get old. That being said I’m going to inflict yet another 7 things about me on you, and as a reward for reading I’m going to recommend some really terrific blogs that you may or may not have checked out already. There! That seems like an almost even trade.

To accept the award, the rules are:

Link back to the person who nominated you:

Thank you, Mimi @ http://waitingforthekarmatruck.com/. What can I say about this woman and how would I know when to stop? If there is some small chance you haven’t been following her you absolutely need to. She is just as likely to make you cry and make you laugh and often will do that in the same post. I’d insist she write a book but that would have a beginning and an ending and I prefer to read her every morning with my coffee along with my buddy http://help-me-rhonda.com/. WWW forever!!

Post the award image to your page: Done

Tell seven facts about yourself: Okay, I’ll try short and sweet this time. Long and funny is on my previous post. I like to mix things up : )

  1. I’m an only child. It seemed okay when I was younger and life was not so easy but now I wish I had siblings. Actually I’m thinking about putting an ad in Craigslist for a sister. Do you know anyone looking?
  2. When I was younger I wanted to be a writer for Saturday Night Live. Well, I still sort of do.
  3. I hate speaking in public or in front of a group larger than about 3. I rethink everything I’m going to say until it’s too late to say it. If I have notes I’m better but I still dislike it. Plus it’s weird to carry notes with you at dinner. It’s been misinterpreted for shy, but really it’s just over thinking.
  4. I never wanted to get married but had nine names picked out for children. I guess I was ahead of my time although none of the four I did have were named for fruit or Greek gods.
  5. I love to go to the movies alone. No one talks, you don’t have to share your popcorn and no one reminds you 6 months later that you sobbed like a fool.
  6. This is probably creepy enough for an entire post but when several people I have known passed away I “knew” before I was told. Twice it woke me up in the middle of the night gasping for air. Several were accidental deaths so I could not have expected it, and it happens almost at the time of death so I can’t warn them.  I really do not like this but have no idea what to do about it. 
  7. My family nickname when I was a child was Miss Closed-mouth because I never talked and would never share a secret amongst a family of gossips. The spilling of my guts on this blog is causing much rolling in graves! Haha Gotcha! 

Nominate 10 other blogs (Yes, I can count and I know I’ve listed 12. You’ll thank me, trust me. Remember, this is your reward.)

http://talktodiana.wordpress.com/

http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com/about/

http://aleafinspringtime.wordpress.com/about-me/

http://raisingthecurtain.net/

http://truthletsandthoughtbits.wordpress.com/

http://almostspring.com/

http://joyfulonpurpose.com/

http://donnaanddiablo.wordpress.com/

http://onesidedpancake.wordpress.com/

http://rendezvouswithrenee.com/

http://spilledcookies.com/

http://momentumofjoy.com/

Let them know they are nominated: Will do!

Seven Things About Me Award

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Well, I’m a sucker for an award!  Honestly. I am very grateful that anyone wants to read what I have to say, much less award me with anything.

Okay please humor me and play along.

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.

Thank you, http://forcingmyselfhappy.com/ I just recently started to follow her journey to a happier self and I have to say you’re not only brave but very sweet and interesting. I’m rooting for you!

2.  Share seven things about you. See list below if you are in need of a sedative. : )

3.  Nominate other bloggers you think deserve the award and post on their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated.

 This is difficult. I will spare the several bloggers I adore and who I think deserve every award out there because they are so incredible, because they’ve already received most of the awards and because they will wish a pox upon me for giving them one more thing to do. You know who you are and they know where I live. Enough said.
Instead I will offer you two new blogs I’ve been following in hope that you will take a look and possibly follow:
Wonderull, smart and funny. Enjoy!

7 Things about Me (you’ve been warned)

  1. I talk about them all of the time, but the most important thing about me is that I am the mother of four children ranging in age from 28-16. Everyone is about to move up an age which clearly meant I desperately needed to get a winter hobby in my childbearing years. I adore them all.
  2. I am a pescaterian (vegetarian who occasionally indulges in fish) and a vegan wannabee. I’ve eliminated almost all meat and diary since April. Oh, and wine is made of grapes and vodka from potatoes for those you who wondered. : )
  3. My second biggest fear is getting sick. Not just a flu, but incapacitated and reliant on others. I’m fine being there for others and have done it many times, but I am terribly afraid of ever being on the receiving end.
  4. What is my biggest fear, you ask? The inability to correctly punctuate even though I was an English teacher? Noooooo. It’s that something will happen to one of my kids. Whenever I would hear sirens my heart did a double beat until my youngest finally said, “for crying out loud Mom, they don’t put the sirens on to tell you bad news.” He is so much smarter than I am, although now I just shake when I see any emergency vehicle.
  5. I will turn 50 on December 10. I’ve tried to get it declared a national holiday but so far no luck except for one friend who agrees, or thinks I’m nuts and pretends to agree. I really never considered making it to 50, so I am incredibly pleased. I’m planning on redefining middle age and also living well past 100. The child with the worst record of being consistently nice gets “Depends” duty eventually. It’s my oldest son right now. He is praying for my continued continence.
  6. I just quit my job, started a new business and a nonprofit. When I tell people this they smile and say, “*That’s wonderful.” I suspect they also think I’m nuts, but that’s’ what they say about most people that live extraordinary lives. I’m so full of surprises I usually don’t know what I’m going to do until it’s done. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s a hellish disaster. It’s been quite a ride.
  7. I always like to be learning something new. I just learned how to make pasta and made it with my son this week. That gave me more joy than I can possibly explain.

I have been very fortunate to not only spew my thoughts on to these pages almost daily, but also have some of you like them. Thank you all for reading and bless you all for taking the time to comment.

Delicious ambiguity

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You cannot have a happy ending to a miserable journey.

Abraham-Hicks 

Many of you who have followed my blog over the last few months (have I said thank you recently for that?) have watched me torture myself with the decision of whether to stay at my job as a special education teacher or to dive into a new business in a full-time capacity. The business has already been started and the nonprofit component is waiting in the wings for some attention from me. I can work part time at the business until I’m ready to leave my job or I can just run head long into a new life. Part of the dilemma is that I love the kids that I teach. Until you are a part of teaching a child no one thought would read, to read, or giving a student the confidence to raise his or her hand in class and believe they can add value to a conversation, you can’t imagine how rewarding this path can be. Unfortunately, because of the legal requirements of the special education system I spend about 85% of my time in meetings, writing IEPs, and answering emails from parents who have no faith in the educational system or dare I say have no boundaries’. I pass my lessons on to a tutor who has the joy of teaching it, often not in a way I’d do it myself. This all adds up to an enormous amount of stress and it’s taken a toll on my health and my personal life. I keep asking “is it worth it?” Of course any sensible person would say “no.” Then I get a card in the mail from a student thanking me for my dedication, or telling me they will visit me every day next year. Then there are the students that do come to visit and I get the chance to watch them turn into adults, and know that I was a part of making them understand that their disability is both a blessing and a curse. The fact that they struggle is difficult but as with any difficulty they have the opportunity to let that hardship turn them into people that know how to press on, to work through what would stop a weaker person. They also see the world a little differently and all of the most influential people in history have seen the world in a different way. That’s where we get the innovative thinking that changes the world. Oh, you can see I could go on and on about these wonderful people I’ve had the chance to know. I have been blessed, but it may be time to move on.

Then there’s the stress, which is incredible, and I have to be honest; it’s over-shadowing the good parts. Turning 50 this year, and watching so many people around me stricken down by illness, or worse yet die far too early, causes me to worry about how the stress is impacting my health.  I found the information below in a Huffington Post article but you could find the same in a thousand articles. It has become common knowledge that stress kills.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University found that feeling stressed is linked with a decreased inflammatory response regulation. Their research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 “The immune system’s ability to regulate inflammation predicts who will develop a cold, but more importantly it provides an explanation of how stress can promote disease,” study researcher Sheldon Cohen, of Carnegie Mellon, said in a statement. “When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”

So, I have given myself this weekend to decide what I will do. I think I already know what I’m going to do and having flipped a coin as another blogger suggested confirmed it, but I keep waiting for that moment when I’ll be 100%. Maybe we’re never 100% on anything. Maybe it’s just about following your gut and watching what unfolds.

Thanks for reading. I truly appreciate the support and the friendship I have found here.

Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.

Gilda Radner

Groundhog Day

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Thank you to Genie Speaks for nominating me for the Illuminating Blog Award.  Yesterday started with an award and ended with an award. There were all kind of great happenings in between too. If I had to pick a “groundhog day”, yesterday would be high on the list.

The best part of these awards are that I get to possibly introduce people that read my blog to some other really wonderful writers such as Genie Speaks. She is one of those writers who always has something interesting to say and says it in a way that you want to just pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee with her. Please take a look at her blog.

Okay, now I have to share one random thing. I am not one of those people with a clear path, my life seems to be the stringing together of random things, but I’ll give you just one.

  1. Share one random thing

I have had many jobs in my life but the one that I am most proud of, enjoyed the most, and did for free, was as area coordinator for an organization that brought children, ages 7-12, to the United States from Northern Ireland, mostly Belfast and Derry, for six weeks in the summer. These kids came from rough circumstances during the most recent worst of the “Troubles”. I raised the funds, placed them with host families and coordinated events and did a lot of promoting. I was even featured on the World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Most importantly, this experience allowed my family to bring the same girl, Sarah, from Belfast back each summer for 10 years. She has become a lovely young woman and works with a community development organization in Belfast. She always told me one day she would do something to pay me back for bringing her to the U.S. each summer. I always told her to pay it forward. Now she does, everyday.

Okay, now for the really fun part. I get to share five bloggers whose blogs I consider illuminating. To illuminate is defined as to provide intellectual or spiritual enlightenment and understanding. The following people do that on a regular basis:

  1. Nominate 5 Blogs:

             http://zenandgenki.com/

             http://joyfulonpurpose.com/

             http://somethingville.com/

             http://positiveway.wordpress.com/

             http://400daystil40.wordpress.com/

My wish  today is that you have a day exactly like I had yesterday and that you all keep writing!

I feel lovely today!

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Oh my, I am so excited to say that I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog award.

Now, to those of you who have been nominated for many awards the level of my excitement might seem, well, silly. I woke up my 16 year-old son before his alarm to tell him about the honor, which is clearly not wise. He gave me a high five or a fist bump or something that resembled swatting me away, I’m not really sure, and promptly went back to sleep. So I did a solitary happy dance, clapped a bit, and made coffee. I am having such a good morning!!

Thank you very much to http://spilledcookies.com/.  She’s smart and funny and has great insight (and terrific taste in bloggers) : ). Please take a look at her site, it’s worth the trip!

* In an effort not to bore you all to death with myself I will add that on 6/8/12 I was nominated for the Lovely Blog award for the second time by  Finding Beck . Smart, funny and a pleasure to read. Please go take a look.

The Rules for Award participation are:

▪   Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

▪   Paste the award image on your blog, anywhere.

▪   Tell them 7 facts about yourself.

▪   Nominate 15 other blogs you like for this award.

▪   Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated.

Resume blogging your regular posts.

  1. When I was about six years old I would write and illustrate stories, staple the construction paper together, and go door-to-door in my neighborhood selling them. I’m sure I was very annoying.
  2. I have four children ages 28-16. They are the absolute light of my life, even when they are intent on driving me insane.
  3. I have two Master degrees and a year of law school and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
  4. I have recently switched to a vegan diet with the exception of fish. I can’t seem to give that up, so I officially and publicly apologize to all of the salmon I will eat.
  5. I am very excited about turning 50 this December. I like 50 and appreciate all of the very cool, interesting women who have made that birthday something to look forward to. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUECWLjPeSQ) I need to add Sheryl Crow to this list of fabulous 50’s.
  6. I have just recently started doing Pilates twice a week (see #5) and love my instructor. She challenges me to do things I didn’t know I could do. It carries over in my life. Thank you Alex.
  7. When I started writing this blog I published my posts so quickly, because I was afraid that if I didn’t that I wouldn’t, I would then have to go back in several times to correct grammar and punctuation. Now I just leave the mistakes alone. Anyone who reads it knows I’m not perfect already!

Now for the best part. I get to share with you some very talented, interesting people I have found and followed. Some of these people are so insightful and smart I only wish I knew them in person. Many of them have been given so many awards I don’t expect that they will have the time to repost, but I am enjoying the ability to pass thier blogs on to my followers. In no particular order:

aleafinspringtime
http://aleafinspringtime.wordpress.com

rheath40
http://rendezvouswithrenee.wordpress.com

Genie
http://geniespeaks.wordpress.com

slklesko
http://truthletsandthoughtbits.wordpress.com

Women in Wellness Project
http://rogersdeborah.wordpress.com

mimijk
http://karmatruck.wordpress.com

Rhonda
http://helpmerhondadotcom.wordpress.com

Cathy
http://cathysvoicenow.wordpress.com

The Truth Warrior
http://thetruthfulwarrior.wordpress.com

dianasschwenk
http://talktodiana.wordpress.com

Patti Clark
http://patticlark.wordpress.com

You Were Born To Succeed
http://youwerebornthatway.wordpress.com

elizabeth2560
http://almostspringdotcom.wordpress.com

healthdemystified
http://healthdemystified.wordpress.com

Niki Anandi
http://belletrist09.wordpress.com

payscough
http://goethesdream.wordpress.comWow, that was harder than I thought it would be. Please take a look at these sites. They will make you laugh and cry and more than anything they will make you think and re-evaluate your life, or atleast that is what they have done for me.Thank you.