Letter to My Friend Who Became A Widow Last Week

friends-photos-free-download-girls-heartDearest Friend,

First of all, I love you. I am so incredibly sorry you are having to experience the gut-wrenching pain of the loss of your Love. He was a good husband, father, a kind and generous man, funny, talented, and searched for meaning beyond the surface of life. Most of the time friends are happy when another friend joins their club, their sisterhood. However, being a member of the widow sisterhood is one club none of us wants to belong to and we wouldn’t wish it on even the meanest person we know. Continue reading

Writing In My Head

pondering

One of piece of advice I have heard or read over and over from published authors and aspiring-to-publish writers is in order to be good you must write every day. Some set themselves a word count that they must meet daily, others set a time limit such as two hours or six hours, but they all write daily. This, it seems, is what successful writers do in order to be successful. This is why I have always hesitated in calling myself a writer because I don’t write every day. I remember my dad telling me that one of our favorite authors, Ralph McInerny, would write every night from 11pm-1pm. He was a professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame by day, but late at night he wrote magazine articles and fiction most notably the Father Dowling Mysteries and the Notre Dame Mysteries collections. My favorite work of fiction he wrote was a stand alone, The Red Hat.  The Interwebs are filled with writers and interviews with female authors who arise in the wee hours of the morning to write for a few hours before the rest of the house awakens. Sometimes they have day jobs – they are wives, mothers, home educators, and, and, and, the list goes on. They often get up at ridiculous hours to create. I wish I were one of these dedicated individuals, but I have never been a morning person. I was so spoiled when my husband was alive because most days he did the morning routine with the kids. I am just not very competent between the hours of 11 p.m. and 9 a.m. Beyond the difficulty with fitting a writing regimen in to the time I have available when I am actually coherent, I just can’t write for the sake of writing. It is probably a tendency toward perfectionism though my writing is far from perfect. Continue reading

You Can’t Fix Grief

Last year I entered my local library’s Adult Creative Writing contest in the category of “Children’s Fiction.” I was awarded an Honorable Mention and the award gave me the confidence to continue to write.  At the beginning of January 2016, I set a goal to enter the contest again.  However, as the deadline of January 31st loomed large and I did not have a work of children’s fiction complete enough to enter, I began to panic a bit.  A lot. I can’t explain to you why but it felt to me that if I did not meet my goal to enter the contest, I would never meet another goal again.  Totally.over.dramatic.  With days left, I looked at the other categories I could enter and eliminating short story and poetry, I felt my best shot was the Informal Essay category.  I decided to write about grief because it is something I am intimately familiar with and knew I could get something done.  It didn’t have to be good, it just had to be done and in the mail, goal accomplished.  Long story short, I won.  Last week I had the honor of reading an edited version of my essay to the crowd at the awards reception.  I say “edited” because I needed to fit my reading in to a five minute time limit.  I think it is better than the original.  I took out the snarky, whiney bits, and got to the heart of my point.  I hope my words might provide insight or comfort to someone walking the journey that is grief.  Continue reading

Hello, I am Here

 

I recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. One of the things she says she does in order to attract creativity is to say to inspiration, “I’m here.” It has taken me ages to write this first post on this blog. Ages. Part of the reason is because this blog is part of a bigger plan, my plan to have a website containing all my creative endeavors. This particular space is meant to be a place to think out loud. Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, discusses the various forms that resistance can take in the creative process. Resistance takes the form in my life of fear and perfectionism. Wanting everything to be perfect before launching and fearful of being delusional when it comes to calling myself a “writer,” has kept me in stasis. Here but not here, writing in my head but not on the page. I decided, as most people do when they finally take the plunge into a new career, to just go for it. There will never be a perfect time or the perfect environment or a perfect set up. Life is messy and more than willing to provide endless excuses for inaction. So, I am here. I want to tell you a little about who I am and who I am not. Let me introduce myself.  Continue reading