Tag Archives: November

Writing

“I must write it all out, at any cost.  Writing is thinking.  It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.”
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Ok, I better stick to this thankful list kick while I’m still in the mood.

This blog is dedicated to writing.

Oh my gosh, am I thankful for writing.  Not only my own, but others’ as well.  I can’t even begin to explain what therapy exists for me in picking up a book to read or picking up a pen to write.  writingblogOh, who am I kidding – no one uses pens anymore.  Maybe I should say grabbing a keyboard and hearing the clicks.  Yeah, that sounds a bit more truthful.  Some of my earliest memories involved hiding out in my room and writing.  Either in a journal, or in a trapper keeper (remember those! Gosh, I’m old…) where I would stash all my poetry.  Unfortunately in all my many moves growing up as an Army brat, that Trapper Keeper got misplaced.  It’s crazy to think of all the hundreds of 12-year-old girl poems that are floating around out there somewhere.  I’m sure they were masterful works of art, mind you.  I mean, New Kids on the Block was a pretty deep subject, ya know.  Duh!

And not only would I retreat to my room to write, but I would also read.  I couldn’t read enough.  You would never see me without a book in my hand (and I’m proud to say, that hasn’t changed much).  Escaping my world and delving into someone else’s was better than any therapy that money could buy.  My therapy would cost me about $5 a session (if it was a paperback, a little more for a hard cover).  Hey, and the session was totally free if I rented my therapist from the local library.  And what brilliant, effective therapy it was.  And still is.

My now-famous friend Zoe (from my previous blogs) sent me a quote one day that made her think of me.  It goes like this:

“Writers are like other people, except for at least one important difference. Other people have daily thoughts and feelings, notice this sky or that smell, but they don’t do much about it. All those thoughts, feelings, sensations, and opinions pass through them like the air they breathe. Not writers. Writers react.”
– Ralph Fletcher

That is it exactly.  I always felt like I was a little weird.  A little different than others because of the fact that I felt things so deeply.  Nothing was insignificant in my life – everything had some kind of deeper meaning.  And eventually, as I grew older, I finally figured out what to do about that.  Put it on paper.  I think that’s what writing is all about.  Those feelings and emotions that well up inside of you need somewhere to go.  It happens to all of us, and we all find ways to deal with it.  Some with writing.  Some with exercise.  Some with music.  Some with art.  Theatre.  Dance.  The list goes on and on.  And then, sadly, there are those who haven’t found a way to express all that is inside of them.  So they suppress instead of express.  Drugs.  Alcohol.  Promiscuity.  Etc.

Oh, I don’t know – maybe I’m full of crap.  But I kinda don’t think so.  I think we all have the same feelings and emotions inside of us at any given time.  What differentiates us from each other, is what we decide to do with them.

time concept, selective focus point, special toned photo f/xSo, will my writing matter someday?  Oh, I don’t know.  I’d like to think so.  So far, this year alone, I have managed to win a writing contest (what I said must have mattered to some judge somewhere); get published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book (a book that is intended to out to millions of readers with positive messages about how to live life to the fullest); and have a small quote published in Guideposts magazine (again, a “pick-me-up” type of publication).  This first year of going public with my writing has given me a pretty good boost.  Maybe it’s beginners’ luck, or maybe it’s the start to something big.  Who knows?  Either way, I know that writing saves me.  I don’t mean that in some drama queen “I’d die without it” kind of way.  I mean it just like I said.  It saves me.  It saves my sanity.  It saves me from feeling like I’m all alone (thanks to you readers who continue to comment telling me how much something I’ve said makes you think of you or your current situation).  And most importantly, it saves me from holding all of these jumbled thoughts and words inside of me.  Thank God I’ve found a way to get it all out there.

So, thank you, Writing.  You are on my thankful list.  Thank you for the gift you’ve given to me, and to others, to somehow change the world.  Even if that world may just be our own.

***

“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.”
– Gloria Steinem

November 1

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
– Eckhart Tolle

Ok.  I think I’m gonna do it this year.

So, I know you’ve all seen the November challenge on Facebook, right?  No, not the no-shave November thing.  (My boyfriend would probably not be too thrilled if I participated in that.  And besides, I’d have to buy larger shirts to fit my arms in if I didn’t shave for 30 days.  That pit hair is comparable to a Chia Pet when it gets out of control.  Seriously.  Ok, TMI, moving on….)

And no, not the “write a novel in a month” November thing (NaNoWriMo).  Ha!  Like that’s going to happen.  I haven’t written a novel in 35 years so far, so I doubt it’s going to happen in the month of November.

No, what I’m talking about is the 30 Days of Gratitude.  Each day, your status is supposed to be about whatever you’re thankful for that day.  Every November, I see it roll around, and every November, I just read everyone else’s status messages and go about my business without participating.  Well, today, I asked myself a question.  “Self,” I said, (that’s what I like to call myself)…

What the heck is wrong with you??”

Come on, chick.  You have a bajillion patrillion things to be thankful for.  Why not dedicate a month of blogs to them?

So, here I am.

Now, I’m going to do my best to not make them generic.  No “today I’m thankful for my family” crap.  No, that’s too easy.  These things are going to be specific.  Not just “family,” but which member of the family?  And why?  You know, stuff like that.

So, there’s no time like today to put my money where my mouth is.

Today, November 1, would have been my grandfather, Greene Halsey’s, 86th birthday.

papaw1

So, today, I’m thankful for him.  Thankful that he existed.  Thankful for the family name that he passed down.  Thankful for the red hair that my kids got because of him.  Thankful for the quiet, honorable man that he was.  Thankful for his insistence that my shoes remain spotless (oh, the memories of seeing him endlessly shining all of our shoes until they practically sparkled).  Thankful for the funny things that he would say on the random times that he did decide to speak up.  Thankful for the money he’d always slip me when he thought no one was looking…and thankful for watching him do the same thing with my kids as they got older.  papaw2Thankful for the lesson that you don’t have to be loud and obnoxious to make your mark on the world.  This quiet man managed to leave behind a legacy with very few words, only actions.  The many non-dramatic, sometimes non-noticed, small tokens of the love that he didn’t quite know how to verbalize remain in all of our memories.

He left this world in February of 2012, but in the ways that matter, he still remains.

So, for my November month of gratitude, I hereby officially nominate Greene Halsey as the first addition to the list.  Welcome, Pa-paw.

And thank you.

And to the rest of you – here’s my challenge to you.  This year, why don’t you join me?  There’s no reason not to.  If you don’t want to write it, don’t.  No status is needed.  No blog entry is required.  Just force yourself, every day for this one little month in your life, to dedicate each and every day to one specific thing for which you’re thankful.  By the end of this month, I’m betting that you’ll be surprised at just how blessed you really are.  And maybe, just maybe, you won’t stop on November 30.

See you tomorrow.

***

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray Love