Just a Thought: Grief

IMG_0194Grief

I had my own notion of grief.
I thought it was a sad time
That followed the death of someone you love.
And you had to push through it
To get to the other side.
But I am learning there is no other side.
There is no pushing through.
But rather,
There is absorption.
Adjustment
Acceptance
And grief is not something you complete.
But rather, you endure.
Grief is not a task to finish,
And move on,
But an element of yourself –
An alteration of your being.
A new way of seeing.
A new definition of self.

Gwen Flowers

Let’s Hear it for Handwriting

filler-1101493_640According to the calendar of days, January 23 is National Handwriting Day. One of my favorite days, to be sure.

Handwriting tends to be underrated in our current society. People text and email as a way of communicating but I find myself longing for the days when I would go to the mailbox and there would be a letter inside, usually from my daughter who was living overseas at the time. The joy of seeing those handwritten pages was amazing. I would write back from time to time. Her dad would even write on occasion. She enjoyed getting the mail just as much as we did.

This doesn’t happen much in my life anymore. I will admit it is my fault.

I just don’t send letters or Christmas cards. I haven’t for a couple of years. I like to get them. Apparently, it is in the sending that I have problems. So, to my sister in law who is the only person to send out Christmas cards – Thank you. Not only for the sentiment but that you took the time to handwrite your cards.

Although I spend plenty of time at my computer writing, at times too much, I still spend at least part of my day with my trusty fountain pen and notebook. Journaling is one of the most important parts of my day.

The funny thing is I still keep most of my notes in this form, including my calendar. I do use a computer for my work calendar but for everything else, it is on paper. I’ve never been able to use the apps that would work with my phone. The funny thing is I don’t trust that. I trust that each time I open a notebook or planner, everything will be right there.

This is a bit old school but I will argue the point that handwriting is still relevant. I think about this every time the computer has a glitch or the internet is down and I am unable to work on my ever growing stack of paperwork. The very thing we depend on is not as reliable as a trusty pen and paper.

There are drawbacks but that is for another day.

For me, I will continue to write in my paper journal with my fountain pen filled with purple ink. There are other colors of course but purple is my favorite. I will continue to spend way too much on pens and ink. Also, finding those wonderful notebooks is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon.

I would encourage you to find a good pen. You know the ones I mean. A good pen is one that feels good in your hand, balances well so you aren’t spending a lot of time wrangling it and has fast ink. That is a must for me. If I am fighting to pull the pen across the page, I tend to get rid of it.F Fat pens are important too. Otherwise, I end up with cramps in my hand.

Handwriting is so much easier with a good pen (or pencil, but that is another discussion).

What kind of implement are you using to write these days?

Friday Five: What Are You Reading?

IMG_0792It’s been a while since I’ve shared what I am reading. As usual, I have a pile, perhaps even more than five but I will attempt to keep my list to that number.

  1. Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders by Susanne Alleyn – I’m in the process of doing some research for a novel I will be writing this year, maybe, and this book seemed like a good idea. Although I have just started reading it, I am recommending it for anyone who is considering writing historical fiction.
  2. By Cunning & Craft by Peter Selgin – The subtitle says “sound advice and practical wisdom for fiction writers” and that is exactly what it is. I am hoping it will help to improve my writing.
  3. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – I’ve fallen in love with the Divergent series and this is the last one. This last one was in my order from Amazon last night and I am saving it for this weekend to begin. It most likely will be finished by the time I go back to work on Monday.
  4. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – I’ve been reading this for a while. This is a good book although I am struggling to stay in it. I’m not sure if that is simply where my life is right now. A friend recommended it to me and I hope to finish it soon.
  5. Ancient Mirrors of Womanhood by Merlin Stone – Interesting perspective on the history of women.

Well, there you have it. Five books on my reading pile. Some will be finished sooner than others but all have a message for me.

What are you reading right now?

When There Are No Words

When the words just won’t come, or, the ones that do are messy, it is time for a Wordless Wednesday. A writer friend of mine made this suggestion for when I have too much going on.

Wordless Wednesdays is simply a photo blog post. I’ve dug into the archives for some of these images. These are just a few of the important people in my life and I hope they are still speaking to me after they see these.

Daphne 1909138_677315478976824_1350057836_o Cook Family Caleb Great Gram & Caleb Heather & Caleb The kidsIMG_0374

 

Mostly my family and some happy memories. I’m sure there are more and I will dig again when the words just won’t come.

Friday Five: January Favorites

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January has little to offer. Here in Northern Michigan, the world is cold and white. There may be variations on this but only in shades. This year has been a little more interesting because of the ups and downs in the temperature but still, cold and white.

Even so, there are some good things about January:

1. Cold and snowy days – Yes, this is a good thing – if you get to stay home and watch it through the window, preferably curled up with a good book and a cup of coffee.

2. No major holidays to deal with – This is a favorite thing because the busy-ness that comes with the holidays is over. Life has settled down a bit.

3. Days have more light – The days are growing longer although it is difficult to see. It may only be seconds but the warmth is coming back. In January, every little bit helps.

4. Soup – January is a perfect month for soups, simmered all day – for those cold, snowy days when you don’t have to go anywhere.

5. Warm socks – Staying warm and cozy is an actual goal during this month.

January is the time of the year is for hunkering down and getting through. Unless you like being outside for skiing, snowshoeing or other winter sport, there isn’t much else.

Still, there is something to be said for the stillness. Winter is a time of rest and renewal. We all need it.

New Year, New Projects

This is a picture of my NaNoWriMo 2015 project:IMG_0780

My as yet unnamed project is over 500 pages and is badly in need of editing. This isn’t truly a new project but it is on my goal list for the year.

Here is a picture of a novella that I wrote in October:

IMG_0781

Though it has a name, it may change and is truly badly in need of editing. I’ve read it through and am taking notes.

Apparently the name of this post is misguided. These are projects that began last year so not really new projects.

I guess the “new” part is the actual editing. Not even editing, major revisions are in the future for each of these two projects.

Revision is new for me. I’ve done a bit in the past but nothing on this scale. It is a bit scary. After all, who wants to look at their own words and say they aren’t good enough.

I took a revision class in the fall. During that class, one of the things we confronted was our fear of necessary writing task. Every one of the people in the class had this same fear.

First things first, reading through the first draft of each. I’ve done it with my novella but not with the novel.

Next step, I’ve been making notes and spending some time thinking of where I want this particular project to go.

I’m not sure which writer said, the first draft is simply telling the story to myself, but that is what has happened. I started with an idea for each of these and has evolved into words on a page.  I’m excited to get through the next  draft.

Well, that won’t happen if I don’t get moving on it.

These are new projects because I have a new determination to actually complete at least a second draft of both of these. There are other things I want to work on but these are top on the list.

Writing has been a journey lifelong journey, this is just the next part.

My writing partner:

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Now Back to My Regularly Scheduled Life

Photo courtesy of my Aunt Barb.
Photo courtesy of my Aunt Barb.

I wish it were that easy.

Life goes on.

This is a truth I believe but still, I haven’t gotten out of bed all day.

At some point, I know I need to get back to my life. Today is not that day.

 

Or, is it.

It is one of my favorite kinds of days – cold and snowy. At least, it’s my favorite when I don’t have to leave my house. If I had to leave, I would have something else to say about it.

For now, I’m enjoying a favorite movie and a hot cup of coffee.

Life will go on soon enough.