Friday, March 30, 2012

A new start, a new hope

In my writing workshop I went to on Wednesday night was really good. The instructor said the best advice he could give is just to sit down and write every day even if it was just for fifteen minutes. On Thursday, my day off, I am pleased to say I got done more than fifteen minutes. It is good advice to any writer, just keep writing... it doesn't matter if it is good or not but it is always important to touch pen to paper. 

It did not take long for Iris to find Emmy, she remembered that when Emmy was a child she would always run into the library and pull herself into a corner and hide a way only to come out when she thought no one was looking for her. That is where Iris found Emmy tucked away in the space between the shelves and space between the shelves and the wall. Only now she was bigger and her dresses were bigger too. Iris heard her little whimper when she came into the library and started the game she always played with Emmy when she was younger.
            "I don't see Miss Emmy, she must not be here. Oh wait what was that a bird chirping or a little girl crying."
            "You know I am in here Aunt Iris, I am not a child any more those games won't work on me."
            "I know you are not a child anymore, I just cannot see you going through so much pain I thought I would one of our old games would cheer you up."
            "Cheer me up from forgetting the one man I loved has left me."
            "No, of course not. I have only loved one man, so I can't understand what you are going through but from what I understand about love if it is true it won't ever go away."
            At that Emmy threw herself on Aunt Iris. Iris caught her in a hug and was able to guide her over to the sofa where she could have Emmy's head resting on her lap. Iris did not try to hush her but let her cry until she was all out of tears all the while going back and forth between stroking her hair and patting her back. When Emmy had stopped crying Iris spoke very softly to her.
            "There, there my little Emmy. No matter what happened I am her for you. I have loved you all your life and I will never leave you. I think you and Laurel should come to Boston, it may not cheer you up however it will get you out of this house where everything reminds you of him. Plus with your cousin, Nicholas, marrying Caleb's
 sister I am sure he will be at the wedding and you two can be reunited. Whatever silliness came over him, I am sure your charm you can knock it out."
            "Oh Aunt, do you really think so, Do you really want Laurel and I to come to Boston."
            "I came to Pine Haven with no other desire in mind. My house is so lonely without my Cromwell girls running in and out and now you being out in society I can show you off properly."

To Read more click here

Guest Blogger 2

I am excited to announce my second guest blog post.
Earlier this month Laura wrote a post about what she wanted to be when she grew up. I was so inspired by her post I decided to share with her what I wanted to be when I grew up in my post "What do you want to be?" It was lots of fun writing this post remembering all the things I thought I wanted to be from a ballerina, a train conductor, to now pursing my Masters in Library Science while filling up note books of stories. Life is an interesting journey. Hope you will go over her to her blog and enjoy.

I have enjoyed both having guest bloggers and writing guest blogs. Please contact me if you too would like to be a guest blogger. This has been such fun for me to share other people's stories and adventures. I would love to share yours, rather you are a regular blogger or not I would love to share your writing. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guest Blogger

I am so excited to announce that today I am a guest blogger!!!
Earlier this month Kimberly wrote a guest post for me. The post called "We all have a writing story" and she was kind enough to let me to guest blog for her. My post is My Journey Through Reading where I discuss some influential books in my life.

Writing workshop

Last night I went to a creative writing workshop sponsored by my church. It was a small group but it was great meeting other writers. Writing can some times be a lonely activity so it is fun getting together and hearing other people's thoughts. 

We went through some exercises to get our thoughts out on paper. We focused on our memories to maybe use for a story, but mostly just to get thoughts on our paper. Our second exercise was called "The Old 'Hood". On a piece of paper, we drew a 1/2-inch square somewhere in the middle of the page. This represents the house you grew up in. 

Surrounding that square, draw what you can remember of the neighborhood where you grew up. Draw houses, streets, landmarks, etc. (from a bird's eye perspective). Be thorough, but don't worry about detail, and no one will see it, so you it doesn't have to be pretty. Just show what goes where roughly. Then do the following:
  • In 3 minutes, make a list all the people who live on that map.
  • Pick 3 people and write down one memory of each.
  • Pick 1 of those people and write down three more memories.
  • Pick 1 of those memories and write about it. As much as possible.
I picked my best friend from my child home Katie. It was a great little exercise and I thought I would share my more polished answer with you...

My best friend Katie and I were always together, we lived next door to each other and we were always running in between each other's houses.  I don't remember any one being around us, everyone else around us just seemed too busy to really be in our lives, she had four brothers and my mom was a single working mom so when we were together it was just us. I remember together we never had to look perfect or stylish. She had long dark hair and she never worried about it being messed up, she just pushed it away. And we never worried about having perfect clothes, our parents didn't have a lot of money so we were mostly stuck with hand-me-downs or clothes that were bought at good will and we were okay with that. I thought she was such a tomboy the way she always wanted to play Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (she was the yellow one, I was the pink one) and she never minded getting pushed around by her brothers. But we also played Barbies together, and she introduced me to Alanis Morisette (who I thought was so rock then). Some of my 
favorite memories with her were on my swing set racing to see who could see over the fence the fastest. We could be out on her trampoline or my swing set until sun down and I always remember it being summer so sunset was pretty late. 
I really enjoyed the exercises in dealing with memory. I hope if any more writing workshops come up I can go because I think it is really important to have a writing community.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Procrastination is Bliss

Video: Downton Abbey (Season 1 & 2)
Music: Rolling in the Deep by Adele (Instrumental)

Over the weekend when I was procrastinating doing some homework, I got caught up in watching some YouTube videos. YouTube know my love of Downton Abbey so it recommended this one to me and I loved it so I thought it would be fun to share. Hope you like it too. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Outside my comfort zone

bits of splendor
My bit of splendor comes from stepping outside my comfort zone. On Saturday night some of my friends got together to hang out and it turned out to be a night of improve. We have done improv games in the past but I am really hesitant because it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I told my friend earlier that night that I liked structure, I liked order and my little box. Improv is outside that little box, it has very little structure, and you are not always to be logical but crazy and fun. I can be crazy and fun but it is hard for me to do it when it is on demand. While Improv pushes me out of my comfort zone Saturday night was great fun and it was a wonderful moment of splendor. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Late in February, I wrote about how I was having a mental block, I felt in my story I had written myself into a corner and I didn't know how to back myself out of the corner.

It is hard to explain but I had to go back to the part of the story where it made sense and begin again. I guess some times writing a novel is like going through a maze. When I am writing a story I like to lay out the main points of the plot in my head but most of the time the actions of the characters take the writing places I never suspected. While this is an awesome time to explore sometimes my characters get lost and as a writer I have to put them on the right path. I like writing to explore these different paths sometimes it gets frustrating when you get so lost you don't know how to find your way. As an writer when that happens I have to put down my story again and wait for inspiration to hit me again.
With out further ado here is a part of my re-write "They all Cleared out" in "A Lonely, Empty house"....

            With in a week the house was cleared out of all its guest. No one was overly sad to leave, or gushed over the parting. They didn't praise their hostess with thanks for a wonderful or unforgettable summer, in fact most of the group wish to put the whole season behind them. So they said their goodbyes in a very orderly fashion. Julia pretended could not wait to see her cousins again and she pretended to wish them well but it was all a façade. Her heart was over joyed to leave and get ready for Mrs. Crane's ball and thought of the gown she have to order when they arrived back home. Victoria kissed her nieces goodbye and gave a tight hug to Emmy telling her everything would be alright but she didn't gush or show any deep emotion. Emmy really didn't really care to show any emotion. Emmy really didn't care to show any emotion. She had hated that the society's standards required her to stand out there and see her visitors off, she would rather be by her creek. Laurel felt much the same as Emmy and was relieved when their guest were in the motor coach and out of their lives. The girls did not even wait for the coach to be through the gate.
            Fiona took a deep breath once the coach was out of sight. She turned back and looked at her house. Without the guest she could focus on her family again. A task that seemed too big for her to handle on her own. Her mother's health was decreasing by the day, she was now being confined to her room and if she could make her room and if she could make an appearance it was only to the upstairs parlor and only for a few minutes. Laurel served her grandmother diligently but had hardly spoken two words together to any one since the night that she revealed her heartache. Those word's she  said that night rang through Fiona's head over and over again. Emmy had hardly done anything since Caleb left except for become a shell of her former self. Emmy would go to the creek, a place that used to be a source of delight was now the place she mourned. She would spend most of the day but the creek come back with red swollen eyes sit at the dinner table saying nothing and she barely touch her food. Miss Pembers the loyal house keeper, asked that they only serve Miss Emmy's favorites in order to entice her to eat but nothing worked. Fiona could tell that Emmy was not getting over Caleb and it was only growing worse Fiona wished she knew what to say of what to do to comfort her daughter but nothing came to mind. She only knew she could not carry this burden alone. Whenever she had a burden she turned to her dear friend Iris.
            Iris Dumont and her had been friends since their school days and she always had a way of making things better than they appeared. Her father owned a nice shop that provided enough of a fortune to put Iris in the best schools, and gave some money to her name. Iris had met Alfred Dumont, the man Mrs. Cromwell had hoped would marry Fiona, at Fiona's debutant ball and was he was delighted in her delicate soft look and meek manners. After Fiona and Jefferson were firmly settled Alfred called upon Iris frequently enough that talk spread all over Boston and within six months they were engaged and another six month passed before they were married. Iris had gone from a shop girl to a woman of society. Through all this Fiona and Iris stayed very close friends after Jefferson passed away Iris took in the Cromwell girls. There would be days that Fiona could not get out of bed and Iris was there to care for them as if she was their own mother. Everyone thought it was sad that Iris had such a maternal instinct but could have no children of her own so she made the Cromwell girls her own. And to Iris there was no more important people than the Cromwell girls. When she read Fiona's letter of Laurel and Emmy's heart ache her heart pounded in pain. She wrote quickly to Fiona saying that she would be there with in a fortnight.
That is exactly where Laurel was. Earlier that afternoon before Iris had come Laurel had received a small parcel. She didn't want anyone to fuss over it so she took it out to the gardens before anyone noticed. She could tell instantly it was from Ethan Foster, the hand writing matched a little not he had written her before he left. Inside the parcel was a little note that stated "Miss Cromwell, I saw this in a shop the other day and thought you would enjoy." It was a little pocket book of wild flower drawings but on the front cover was the inscription "your true friend, may you never forget. -E. Foster." She read it and pressed it against her heart. Until Aunt Iris found her out in the garden she was looking through all the pages going through all the pages going back to look the inscription then would hold it to her heart again.
            "There you are," Aunt Iris interrupted Laurel's train of thought.
            "Aunt Iris, I had not realized you had arrived yet. I would have been there to greet you."
            "Your mother and I had some things to discuss."
            "You are taking Emmy and I to Boston."
            "I am not taking you, I am inviting you to Boston. You are both growing up young ladies in need of seeing beyond the world of Pine Haven. You both should have a little diversion, a little culture and some new people to charm."
            "How civilized you make it all sound."
            "It is civilized, Boston is a splendid city with lots to do and see and some of the finest society on the east coast."
            "I know what mother intends."
            "She only wants your best. She is heartbroken over what has happened here this summer with you and Emmy. She thinks Boston will be good for you and I agree. But you think it over and let me know by the end of my visit."
            "I have already agreed to go."
            "I know, but I want you to come with me, I will not force you. You are graceful and eloquent with a perfect skill in etiquette but do not mask your pain from me. I have known you since you were a little baby, and I know a great deal of the burden you carry but do not forget to listen to your heart Laurel. Dinner is ready, come in when you want, we are going rather casual having dinner in the upstairs parlor, your mother did not want to make a big fuss."
          Though Aunt Iris told her to come in when she was ready she knew the tone meant come in now. It was the same tone that Fiona used when she told her something she did not want to do. Laurel tucked the book in her little drawstring purse, and followed Aunt Iris inside.

To read more click here  

Friday, March 23, 2012

"A Heart Song"


Hello Lovely Readers,
The poem below is from my friend Sarah, who is an aspiring writer, she has been generous to share her poem with me so I can share it with you guys. 

"A Heart Song"

When someday never comes
When I've lost the things I won
Will I turn to God and say,
"How could You let it be this way?”

Sometimes moving on takes time
Sometimes letting go ain't kind
When I think I've made it on my own
Is when I'm hurtled back before His throne

Take me, broken, as I am
Fill me, heal me with your hand
Nothing befalls me that You don't allow
Help me to trust You even now.

Even now.

My heart is crippled and ripped open as hope is lost
How long will I linger and how much will it cost?
How long before I truly know it's God who loves me best?
How many missed moments til I see it’s me he's blessed? 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chinese Food and Jane Austen

Left to Right: Edward Ferras, Colonel Brandon,
Willoughby, Elinor, and Marriane

In a totally lame way, well lame to others, perfect for me, on Friday night I got Chinese Food and watched Sense and Sensibility, the TV mini-series by BBC in 2008. I was practically raised on the 1995 Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman and I love it but when I heard Dan Stevens, aka Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey, was in Sense and Sensibility I had to watch this film. Fortunately for me my school library had a copy and I just awaited a good time to watch it. This weekend I knew I was going to be anti social, even though it is St. Patty's day. I have had a long week getting back in the swing of things and I have worked long hours, so Thursday I checked out the movie and got excited for Jane Austen night.

It is sometimes hard watching a new adapation of something you love so much. So this post will mostly be a comparing and contrasting of my old love and my new love of Sense and Sensibility. There are some major differences just to start off. In the beginning it starts off quickly showing the affair between Willoughby and Colonel Brandon's ward. It was a little surprising how quickly we learn of Willoghby's bad behavior when Jane Austen lets it unfold late in the plot line. But it does explain Colonel Brandon and Willoughby's disregard for each other, when we first see them interact, it is much more blunt then in  1995 version, and I could sense the hatred that loomed over them.

This minni-series was three hours long, unlike that the 1995 version that was 2 hours long, so it had more time to develop the plot, which was nice because not only did it show more of the longing of Colonel Brandon for Marianne, when they first met and how he tries to court her, it also shows their relationship develop after she recovered. I liked having this because it seems their relationship is kind of rushed in the 1995 version. 
Colonel Brandon, Marianne, and Willoughby
Two things that happen in the book that don't happen in the 1995 version but do in the mini-series are Edward Ferras comes to Barton Cottage for one day. At first he seems happy but as soon as Mrs. Dashwood notices the ring with a lock of hair in it, he gets out of sorts. He says he has just come from Plymouth, where Lucy Steel lives (of course in the story we don't know that yet) and I think he is either trying to determine rather he still loves Elinor, which he does, or he is going to tell her about Lucy.
Edward at Barton Cottage, chopping wood to work out his anger
Elinor and Edward
The other thing that happens in the book is that Willoughby comes to see Marianne when she is sick, and tells Elinor, he really did care for Marianne. I have a friend who hates that this was left out of the 1995 version, I never liked this part of the story so I am glad it wasn't included. It is included in the minni-series but I still don't care for it because Willoughby throws himself a pity party, being stuck in a loveless marriage, but I don't feel sorry for him and I just want him to go away. Also Mr. Willoughby is not very handsome in this version and he doesn't seem to charm any one but Marianne. But I do think you can see his deceitfulness right away.
The Willoughbys... you decide
Some things I did like about this version was that the characters look more age appropriate. Marianne is suppose to be sixteen going on seventeen, and no offense to Kate Winslet it is hard buying her as a sixteen year old girl. Also I think it was interesting that in this version Marianne wears her hair either down or in a looser style, I think it shows off her more "wild" or "passionate" side. 
Kate Winslet and Charity Wakefield
But my favorite thing about this version was Dan Stevens playing Edward Ferrars. As much as I like the awkward and blinking Edward played by Hugh Grant; I absolutely adore Dan Stevens. I love him as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey and he made a wonderful Edward Ferrars. While he wasn't as awkward as Hugh Grant he did a good job of capturing my heart.
Edward Ferrars
Some things I did not like is that there was no Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon and I love Alan Rickman. If they had a movie with Dan Stevens and Alan Rickman, I would be very happy.
Also there is no Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer and he has some great one liners.
Great scenes of Hugh Laurie. 

I just love him
Jane Austen stories never get old so it is great watching other adaptations.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Six CommuTing Secrets

A green line train-looks more like trolley

Here in Boston we call the "subway" the T. 

For this semester I have an internship near Harvard Square, in Cambridge and I live on the western side of Boston (circled on map below) and if I drove I could probably be there in 20 minutes but since I don't drive and I am dependent on Boston's sometime erratic schedule I predict an hour of travel time.
With this I have been keeping a little list of commuting secrets. I am not a driver so these secrets are based for more train commuting people. 

1. Carry a snack-  always carry a little snack like a granola as long as it is easy to hold with one hand, because more than likely you will be holding on to a bar or something else with the other hand. Also it is nice that if you can throw your bag and you don't mind if it gets beaten up a bit.

2. Bring entertainment- A book for me is ideal but sometimes hard to maneuver. Either the train is too packed or I have overloaded myself with bags. So bring back up. I think a smart phone or tablet is great for this you can have your music, games, and Facebook. I also like to use my phone "memo section" to write blog post. Most of this post was written on my phone as I was actually on the T, then when I have service I can send it to my email and transfer it easily to a post. But as a student sometimes I feel like my T time is the best time to get some homework done. 

3. Coffee mug should have handle. I don't know how many times I have held my mug by just my pinky. (This isn't really that insightful  just a good trick of the trade)

4. Wear comfortable shoes. I am always impressed by the girls who wear nice high heals on the T and are able to maintain their balance. But I believe in comfort. I mean most of us have seen Working Girl where Melanie Griffith changes from her sneakers to heels...until I was working full time I didn't understand it but now I do. I know now that this fashion trend is such a faux pas but the idea is still the same... be comfortable because you never know how long you will be standing.

5. Bring big bag. I am personally trying to decide if it is better to have one big bag or lots of little bags. I like my purse it holds a lot which is good because I discover sometimes I have to pack for everything I am doing that day as I don't have time to go back home. I can slip a notebook and maybe a book in it... and I still get compliments on it being super cute.

6. Silver linings- some times you have to find a silver lining in your commute. Yeah being on a train for an hour or might suck but if you find something to enjoy it makes it a little better. Silver linings for me are when I get to the station just as the T is getting there so I don't have to wait, or getting a seat, but the biggest one for me is walking through Harvard yard, it is so pretty and when the church bells go off things seem to be at peace even in the hecticness of the commute.  
Well those are my commuting secrets if you have any other suggestions please let me know. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Building barns

On Wednesday night my bible study and I discussed the verses Luke 12:13-21 it is called the "Parable of the Rich Fool" and in the story the "rich man" has so many crops can't store them all so he decides to tear down his barnes and build new ones. God then calls him out and says "you fool tonight your life will be demanded from you, then who will inherit this." While it is good to work hard, this man seems to only thinks about himself and how he is going to benefit from his work. Growing up in the church I have heard this story a lot. One time I heard a pastor say that if this man had been connected with his community he would have given his extra crop to the poor and would not have stored it up. And while these moral stories are good sometimes they are hard to sink in and after hearing the story a lot it is even harder for the story to make an impact. But then my friend said something to the group... he said "in our own way we all build barnes, we all think, oh if I could just get married, or if I could just have a kid, or if I could just __(fill in the blank)_then it will be just righ" but will it be just right? And how long do we have to we keep striving for "just right"; one day God will call us home and then we won't have time to do all the the things we should have done or we won't have time to do what is most important to us and the world. Sorry not trying to be a Debby Downer.

I just know I fall into the trap of thinking "when I get married or when I have kids my life is going to be all set." I remember with my only serious boyfriend that once we got married everything would be fine, I saw marriage as a finish line, not a start line. Any one who is married knows that. So I will admit foolishly I have been building up my barnes waiting for the day when I become a wife and mother. I enjoy being single, doing whatever I want (within reason) being on my own time schedule and not to sound bad but being a little selfish. But their are times I spend  a lot of time and energy waiting for "my dream" to come true. And sadly I think I sometimes miss out on the great time I am in.

I can't do everything I want to do right now because I am kind of stuck in grad school for the next two years. So maybe right now all I can do is build some potential barnes as I wait for the "real world" but I shouldn't pass up on opprotunities that I can take advantage of. For example this summer I am hoping to go down to Honduras and dig wells with living water. But after grad school I would actually love to take some time work on staff with Living Water, so I can go to Africa or India  with them. But after my trip to Denver, I kind of want to move there so I can be closer to my sister and her growing family. (I am of course still praying about these things).

Basically, we only get one life and we can't waste time waitng for things to be just right.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Vow

When I was in Denver my sister and I spent some girl time together and we went to see The Vow. The commercial basically lays it out girl and guy are happily married then they get in car accident and she has no memory of him. Then he must make her fall in love with him again. With out giving anything away it was cool to watch knowing this is based on a true story.

Okay if you have not seen it and want to, STOP reading now because this might have some spoiler alerts.
So the plot of the movie starts off with showing 15 minutes of their love story, how they met, and their wedding. As you might have guessed based on the title, their vows are really sweet and made me have an awh moment. Then we see the car accident she gets pushed through the glass of the front window ( I will always wear my seatbelt when I am in a car). Her body has too much trauma to it so they purposefully keep her in a coma so her body can heal. Then she wakes up and thinks her husband, Leo, played by Channing Tatum, is her doctor. We then find out she has lost all memory of her life leading up to them dating, so she doesn't remember that she has left her parents house, that she has left law school and that her ex-finace and her have broken up. Her parents come and try to take them home with her, she is very confused why Leo has never met her family (it all gets explained later) but at this momement Paige, Rachel McAdams, thinks her family is a happy family. And while she intially wants to go home with her parents she does go back to her old place with Leo, in order to have some kind of normalcy.

I can not imagine how hard it would be to wake up and have lost years of your memory so maybe I can't criticize but I was surprised how little the Paige character tried to learn what was her life before the accident. She seemed more than eager to go back to her parents and back to her ex-finance. I was talking this with my co-worker and she brought up a good point imaging you woke up having feelings for one person but you married to a complete stranger and trying to adjust to the total strangeness of it all. But Leo is so sweet in pursuing her even though it is hard on both of them. But I wish Paige had tried too, instead of flirting with her ex.
Big spoiler alert: So if you are still reading and haven't seen the movie seriously Stop!

The one thing I was most surprised about was they got divorced. It kind of hurt to see after Leo had so faithfully stuck by her that he let her go so easily. I can't imagine for the real Leo that this was easy but the film made it seem like he was letting her off the hook and no longer fighting with her. I talked to my sister about this, we are both big believers that marriage  is to last a life time, but I wondered what I would do in this situation and how God would view this divorce. She told me "God does not like divorce" in my head I was thinking "yeah, but" then she said "for Leo, he promised through good and bad times and this was a really bad time that he would perserve through." "But what about Paige?" I asked "she doesn't remember getting married." Marriage is to last a life time, and she should have to try to live to the vows she made.

But even though they got divorced I am glad their lives paths came back together even though she did not get her memory back, they were able to get new memories. I am also glad Paige and her parents were able to get reconnected.
A bit of the true story

Happy St. Patty's Day


I sadly have to work today, but I am wearing green in celebration. Then I think I should have a wild night of homework. I know do not be jealous of me. But it is the grad-student life.
Hope you all have fun and a little bit of a wild night.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We all have a writing story

Hello lovely readers,

I am happy to announce my second guest blogger. YEAH! Please welcome Kimberly from Here's What I think About ThatShe has an opinion on just about everything and is happy to share them with anyone that will listen (or read). 

I have so enjoyed this Blaire's blog. I’m so delighted to be a guest. As I thought about what I wanted to write, the thing that kept coming to me was I wanted to talk about writing. Specifically my writing story.

I used to journal writing intermittently in my adolescence.  I struggled with being “real” in my personal writing. I really wanted to avoid the angst filled teenage diary.  Not sure what that was about. Perhaps I was self censoring because of the thought that one day my diary would be discovered.

Also, there was a period of time that was so deeply sad that to write about it felt like a betrayal. And to write about anything else felt like a different betrayal.   –You know in sitcoms when a girlfriend tells the boyfriend something sad (like a couple their friends broke up). The girlfriend is clearly upset and wants to commiserate.  The boyfriend? Not so much. He’s like, are you gonna finish your pie? And she’s like: how can you think about food at a time like this?  It was like that.

Many years ago, I went to see Anne Lamott speak about writing. [Side note: If you get the chance to see her speak, take it! ] I fell in love with her when I read “Operating Instructions” a story about the first year of her son’s life. I absolutely loved this book. It captured the sweetness and the raw emotions that are mothering. Anyway...I remember her saying that we should do two things in life:  1) Always eat dessert.  (Because life is short). And 2) write as though your family is already dead. –That seems a little harsh. I really wanted to paraphrase that to say “family will never read this”, but she really said “dead”. I suppose the writing would be different if you wrote as if they were dead. To be honest, I have not been able to do that. I can’t.  –So okay, although I’m a writer, I’m not an Anne Lamott writer.

Natalie Goldberg, in "Writing Down the Bones" says, “Go for the jugular”. Write about the thing that hurts.  And go all the way. Eeek. I don’t like this advice either.

So,  I SAY, “Write what you want to write”. And, if you don’t want to write about sad things...don’t. If you do want to write about sad

Many “how to write” writers say “if you can talk, you can write”. Everyone has the right to create. There are no special skills and no secret society that decides if you are worthy to be a writer. If you want to write and you write, then you are a writer.

My day job (career) is not writing but writing has helped me in everything I do. Writing has helped me formulate my ideas and be able to articulate them to others. {I write out my thoughts before a meeting so that I feel prepared.  –I don’t have to take the notes into the is the writing that makes me confident that I understand the issues and can present my thoughts.}

Away from work, I always wrote letters (epic)! I wrote Newsletters: (Christmas Newsletters, Church News Letters, Book Club Newsletters). If I was participating in something I was always happy to be the scribe.

Then one day, someone asked me point blank: “Are you a writer”. Wow! That question was a turning point. Was I going to go public with it? “Yes”, I said, “yes I am”.

Since then I began to take my writing more seriously. I write more often and take advantage of more writing opportunities.  I even wrote for my employer's magazine. {That was exhilarating and scary at the same time. It was a slick magazine shared through out the entire company.}

I participated in the National Novel Writing Month. Yes, I completed a work of fiction. It is something I wouldn't share with anyone in its current state.  But I actually challenged myself and now have an IDEA {only an idea} of what it takes to write the first draft of a novel.  

Someone I knew once said, "If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly." I thought I had misheard until he went on to explain: Many of us are frozen, afraid to do something poorly.  When, if it is really worth doing, it is worth doing regardless of the end result. First attempts are not supposed to be perfect. We miss a lot of life {and a lot of writing} by holding ourselves to high standards before we even begin. 

So I say to you:  Write Often and Write On!  What's more, I say: ENJOY the process.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Denver Trip

Let me start off in my post called "Offline Lovies" my blogging friend Kaysie at A Day of K  asked me to take pictures... I will say I didn't take any pictures of Colorado I mostly took pictures of my niece. But when you have a niece as cute as this... it is hard not to. Yes I am totally bias but she is adorable.
At Hammond's Candy Factory
Now for my post:
Let me say I consider my self a Bostonian, while I was not raised in Boston from my first trip to Boston visiting schools I felt like I belonged here and when I left I had a little pain as if leaving home behind. On my second trip to Boston I told my mom I was going to tie myself to a park bench so I could stay. Then the Boston Red Sox won the World Series and I felt it was fate of course it didn't hurt getting my acceptance letter. 
But after this trip I started to wonder if I really belong in Boston. I mean I love Boston but I miss seeing my niece grow up. Last time I saw her was in June and back then she talked a little but most of it was mumble. Now she is talking and while she says words that don't always make sense with some translation through my sister she and I communicated.
Her showing off her glasses

Her sayings:
"Papapo"- her dog Parker
"Isee"- her dog Cassie
"Big sista"- is what she says when you ask her what she is.
"That five"- is what she says when she walks by her future school that she will be going too when she is five.

My favorite:  "Abba" that is what she calls me because she can't say Aunt Blaire, I don't know if I want her to call me anything else.

Playing with her Pooh ball

During my trip we did uneventful things but life things like going to the park, playing with the ball in the yard, and baking cookies.
Baking cookies
We also went to the Hammond's Candy Factory, walked by the river front in down town Denver, and went to the zoo. She loves the zoo and anytime we mentioned going some place else she said "no zoo" so we had to remind her we were going to the zoo on Monday. I also taught her "rock, paper, scissors" of course she didn't understand the game but it was sweet how excited she got to play it. But I quickly learned when she likes something she does the sign and says "more" until you tell her no more, which she does understand. My favorite memory was on Sunday we went to church and I was walking down the hall she saw me and she gleefully yelled "Abba" then she ran to me and I picked her up in the air. I loved that memory. 
Showing off the shirt I got her
"Always hoppy"
Then we went to the zoo on Monday. To explain this story I have to explain the week before I came to visit my niece visited my dad and step-mom and they took her to the zoo. At the zoo she saw a rhinoceros that pushed a ball around with its nose, she must of really liked it because she mentioned it a lot during the visit. Of course she didn't say rhinoceros she kept saying "nose, ball" instead. So all day at the zoo she kept saying "nose,ball" at least every 10 minutes. We kept promising her we would not leave until we saw the rhinos.

Her looking at the rhino
Sadly the Rhino was quite lazy and did not push the ball around
Well that was my trip to Denver. It may not be as exciting but it was a wonderful trip. But it was hard to leave Denver. My sister has been telling me to move to Denver since I moved to Boston, I have been telling her since I moved here that I felt this is where God was calling me. But once my sister had a baby, she finally found something that would make me want to move to Denver to be close to her, and it is my cute niece. While I love Boston, and the feeling of home I get in Boston, I sometimes hate being so far away. 
I just liked this giraffe... mostly because it was sitting down
and I have never seen on sit down