Tag Archives: writing

Marybelle

meI’m very pleased to announce that I won the West Virginia Writers 2015 Annual Writing Contest in the Nonfiction category with my piece Marybelle.

Marybelle is a memoir of Vietnam and my fourth-grade year.

The story is special to me and I’m very pleased, and honored, that it won.

You can read it here:.marybellenarrative

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Filed under June 2015

Sucker Punched

tuckered emmylouA few weeks ago, I fell for no good reason and landed on my knees.  The impact was such that I’m quite sure I left an impression in the concrete sidewalk.  One knee was torn up and developed a horrendous scab; the other swelled to the size of a softball.  Both of them astonished me with their cries of pain.

The pain took my breath.  For a good four days, I couldn’t stand or sit or walk or lie down without pain so intense I was reminded of labor.  The pain wasn’t baby-producing intense, but it did provoke the same sort of awe.

This week, I got news that sucker-punched me.  No.  Nobody died.  My relationships are all intact except maybe for the relationship I have with myself.  For several days, my self-esteem has been crying out with the same level of pain as did my knees.

I have decided to get over it.

Today, I spent my time in the much neglected garden doing triage.  I didn’t get as far as I had hoped due to the electric lawnmower dying, but I accomplished much in getting my equilibrium (and self-esteem) back.  The puppies frolicked in the warm spring air and I tended to tender plants while guiltlessly executing weeds and banishing leaves.

Gardening season is upon me.  I much prefer the awe of an Appalachian spring over the awe of surprise pain.

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Filed under May 2015

The Conundrum

Off and on, like many things in my life, I journal. I got started in earnest when the book The Artist’s Way was popular.  For a while, I was pretty good about my morning pages – 3 notebook pages of morning brain dump.

I’ll journal somewhat regularly for a bit and then abandon it for even longer, mostly because I find myself journaling over and over the same things – the things I need to do that I continue not to do and the self-improvement activities I should do, but don’t.

The blog is like this too, to some extent. I love blogging, but as my life becomes more and more mundane with more and more left undone, I find myself with nothing to write about.  This becomes a problem, like the journaling, in that I need to write.

The act of writing clears my mind and focuses my thoughts. I often say I don’t know what I think about something until I write about it.  So here I am writing about why I’m not writing.  And I’m stumped.

If anyone has an ideas to help me through this impasse, I would like to hear them.

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Filed under October 2014

Happy, but not content.

053It’s Saturday morning and I’m in the study. Lord, this room is a mess.  All the flotsam and jetsam of the past couple of years that I don’t know what to do with has landed in this room. Couple that with the fact that it needs a good cleaning and you have one big mess.  Yet, it’s a comfortable room — dead bugs, cobwebs and heaps of junk, aside.

I haven’t been able to write and to some extent, I still can’t. But I want to and that’s a huge step forward.

I’m oddly happy these days. And bored.  I’m not sure if those two things are related.  There’s more than enough to do which is to say I have no good reason for being bored.  Perhaps, I’m just in a time out.

As usual, I have an ambitious to-do list. With the change of weather has come some ambition after the long lethargy of the spring and summer.  Perhaps, it’s time for me to be done with this time-out.

I think I deserved a season or two of inertia, but I’ve reached the point where I’m tired of being bored. Tired of unfinished projects.  Tired of having my life on hold while I wait for something – a something undefined.  I think I’ve been waiting for now – this time when I’m unaccountably happy.  A time when I could be content if the to-do list wasn’t about to topple over and kill me.

Contentment – what a sweet word and lovely idea. To be content must be the greatest blessing.  The trick, I think, is to be content in the midst of chaos and I’ve yet to learn that skill.  I’ll put it on the to-do list.

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Filed under October 2014

Throwback Thursday: Cowboy Boots

Iguana!

Iguana!

I haven’t worn these boots since 2008 which is far too long.  I believe I’ll be cowgirling it tomorrow.  As well as dusting the dust off the boots, I’m dusting the blog off.  I feel better when I write and, dammit, I’m gonna blather on.

 

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Filed under September 2014

Writer’s Block (or sumpin’)

I haven’t been able to write these past few weeks, months, years.  It seems that I have nothing to say, but I talk to myself constantly.  Clearly, I have plenty to say, but the tyranny of the blank page is winning.

I’m not sure what my problem is, but it’s as if all my words have dried up and blown away.  I sit down to write and nothing comes out.  Or sometimes, I get drivel.

[Warning:  the following is probably drivel.]

But it’s not drivel I wish to write.  Like many writers, I want to reveal the mysteries of the universe.  Or at the very least entertain with a good story.  It seems I am all out of new stories and I don’t feel like telling the old ones.

I tried to join a writing group tonight.  I got stood up.  Or I misunderstood the time or the place.  Or something.  It struck me that joining a writing group to force me to write was either pitiful or a stroke of genius.  I’m also considering a graduate degree in creative writing.  Also either genius or pitiful.  Perhaps  I need deadlines.  Externally imposed deadlines.  I’m not good at corralling myself.

I need to write.  I’ve often said that I don’t know what I think until I write it out.  The process of putting words in order orders my thoughts in a way that nothing else does.  I need to write.  And I can’t.

This is getting tiresome.

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Filed under August 2014

At Chaco Canyon

atchacocanyon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gathering Hours

A dim vastness

My soul beseeched

The gathering hours

Of this moment’s calm.

A silver shadow

Pierces the darkness

But a glimmering veil

To hide these thoughts

 

Stillness.

Solitude.

As one

Yet taken together.

A memory gone.

An hour finished

Moments to come are many.

 

DBH 1976

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Filed under April 2014