Posts Tagged With: writer

spirituality and doing it to death

The Kills is my soundtrack as I journal this morning.
This may seem counterintuitive as I’m writing about spirituality, but it’s working for me.
#enigmagirl
Please listen responsibly.

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sassy Robynbird

Sometimes I’m so good I even surprise myself.

I’m writing things that move.
Accomplishing things I didn’t even set out to do.

I’m editing things that need to go.
Words that no longer hold meaning.

Even took my new colored pencils for a spin.
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They don’t work the way I expected them to work, but they make beautiful color.

I’m having a rather sassy sort of day.
Can I get an amen!?!

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falling in love with Richard Burton all over again

I’ve had the book since it was published but only just started reading The Richard Burton Diaries.
burty2

I have always loved him as an actor ever since I first heard my mother’s record of his Broadway production of Hamlet in 1964. His Petruchio amused me so. And when I saw Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, I was literally speechless.
Now I’m beginning to fall in love with him as a writer.
He was a curious beast.
He wrote about what he saw and felt. He wrote about his desires. He was kind of gossipy and wasn’t shy about putting it to paper. He was proud of being Welsh. He had great disdain for acting. He was absolutely mad about Elizabeth Taylor.
He was a voracious reader and loved learning.
He drank way way way too much and knew it.

I love reading biographies. Especially when written by the individual. One of my favorites is Sylvia Plath’s journals. I also enjoyed the journals of Michael Palin, written during the Python years.
Kind of makes me want to journal in an entirely new way. Only I don’t write like that…if only.

Reading Richard Burton’s writings has opened my eyes to a time in history when certain people lived ridiculously privileged lives. I am loving learning about the inner thoughts of a man I’ve admired, honestly since I can remember.

I watched this wonderful documentary from BBC One Wales.
I hope you enjoy it.

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blogger recognition award

blogger recognition award

I’d like to thank Hummingbird Redemption for nominating me for this award! I enjoy reading about your point of view on the world around you.

Here are the Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you.
(Done and done.)

Provide a link to the award creator.
(The award creator is a mystery to me.)

Nominate other bloggers.
(Keep reading and you’ll see them.)

State why you started your blog.
(I’ve been a writer since I could hold a pencil in my hand. I started my blog because I wanted to share my experiences and learn from other’s experiences. I just love the idea of teaching and learning, laughing and crying together.)

The Nominees:
(In no particular order.)

Spring into Summer
(Elizabeth is an inspiration!)

Gosh This Divorce
(I have loved every moment of being on this journey with her.)

Thoughts Appear
(Thoughtsy brings so much fun to the table.)

JackCollier7
(Reading Jack’s words makes my heart happy and ache in the best possible way.)

Ginger’s Grocery
(“Ginjuh” has a wicked sense of humor.)

witlessdatingafterfifty
(Robin’s words always move me.)

Most of these blogs have more readers than mine. (Deservedly so.) But if you don’t know them, check them out. I promise it’ll be worth it.

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Merry Happy

It’s my first Monday morning as a brain healing writer, wedding planner extraordinaire and temporary hausfrau. So far so good. As the hausfrau, I’ve stripped and remade our bed, switched two loads of laundry, fed myself and done the dishes. All before 8:30.
As the writer…well the proof is in the pudding. (What does that even mean? I’m going to google that asap.)

I’ve got the music going and when I sat down to eat, a song came on that Thing 2 shared with me.
It’s obviously a break-up song. But it’s so perky and I love her message: ‘Sure, you made me happy, but I can do things on my own.’
“Cause you can grow flowers from where dirt used to be.”

I’ve learned to love this unusually voiced girl and her meaningful lyrics delivered in a bouncy way.
This song perked up my Monday morning and I hope it will do the same for you!

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the magical gift of words

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February 11. 2011 6:11 pm EST
~The fire went on leaping and taunting and sucking up great turbulent currents of air that set the flames snapping like brilliant red sails in a violent wind~
John Berendt – the city of falling angels pg 11 & 12
WOW! To write like this!!

I was at the airport waiting for a flight to board. I always travel with a journal and a book. This particular trip, I was traveling with a Tiffany blue journal (natch) and a book I’d read once before. I have a very vivid memory of writing this…where I was sitting at the gate, what I was wearing, the diet Dr Pepper sweating as it sat on the arm of my seat, and the small dark-skinned woman speaking hushed profanities into her phone.
Inspiration comes from all manner of places. This night as I waited for a plane to bring me here to YBW I was inspired by this compilation of words.

Whether or not you like his writing is of no consequence to me. I adored Midnight in the Garden but I absolutely loved The City of Falling Angels. I like the way he novelizes the factual events. I liked the story of Venice from the master glass blower, Archimede Seguso, to “The Rat Man of Treviso”, Massimo Donadon. The political corruption is fascinating, of course we have our own American brand of that here at home.
Anyway, I dig the book.

I was getting a book for Thing C to borrow and passed this book on my shelf. Just seeing the spine reminded me of this moment.
It’s so random how and when something moves you. I do still love this sentence. But would it have made me write it down if I read it tonight? I don’t honestly know.
What I do know is inspiration is all around us every single moment. The more we read, the more music lyrics we hear and sing, the more we talk with people, the more chances we have to be inspired.
Words are a constant inspiration to me…to be a better writer, or at least to write more.
That’s a promise I’ve made to myself while I’m not working: healing my brain, finishing up wedding plans and writing more.

After all, as Albus Dumbledore said: Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.

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14 days!

I never underestimate the importance of a countdown.
I talked about countdowns at they apply to my birthday in counting down.
During the four years that YBW and I dated long distance, we always made a countdown when we knew we would see each other again.
I love counting down to pretty much anything! Right now I’m actually counting down two things simultaneously.
The first is easy: last two weeks at this preschool. The second one is my new favorite: 14 days until Thing 2 arrives!

She and I have been trading texts and emails the last few days:
Me: I’m so excited to see you! I’m going to kiss your face off!!
Thing 2: You know, I have really been needing a good Momma hug this week so all of that love will be hella reciprocated when I get there! I also wanna hug those boys!
Me: It’s gonna be SO great!! Snuggles. Baseball. Tom’s Diner. Snuggles. Lin’s. Hanging out. Snuggles. New do. Girlie stuff. Snuggles. (Y’all notice a pattern? Cause I sure do!)
Thing 2: All those made me really really really excited and smiley!

Me too, girl. Me too!
I’m near bursting with excitement to see my baby girl! We have yet to celebrate her birthday. I can hardly wait for her to open her pressies!
YBW and I scheduled a meeting with the event coordinator at the winery for when Thing 2 is here because we want to share it with her and have her input.

YBW came home today and I said: Want to know something SO exciting?
He said: Sure!
Me: (with a giggle) 14 days!
He giggled and hugged me.
Me: Do you know till what?
YBW: Thing 2 comes!
More giggling.
Me: I’m so excited.
YBW: Me too!
Then I said: I have a little Momma jealousy, I think she’s just as excited to see you as she is to see me.
YBW: REALLY!?!
Me: Yep.
YBW had a GREAT BIG GRIN!

I love a good countdown. It’s a playful way to mark the passing of time between me and something I feel happy about.
I thought, today, of the countdown clock on the wall in Matt Albie’s office on the show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
It’s an old show that only lasted one season. It was a tad left-leaning for me but I loved the characters and the way they related to each other. I adore Matthew Perry, and the natural on screen chemistry between him and Bradley Whitford was a joy to watch! Aaron Sorkin’s rat-a-tat-tat dialogue suited these actors.
One of my favorite scenes happens during the second episode: The Cold Open.
Danny Tripp, played by Bradley Whitford turns on the clock.

download

Matthew Perry’s character, Matt Albie reacts:
Matt: How did it know?
Danny: How did it know what?
Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week?
Danny: Yeah, it’s a miracle of technology that we’ve invented, an electronic device that can count backwards from seven.
Matt: But it was off.
Danny: It has a battery.
Matt: [in horror] So it always knows?
Danny: Don’t endow the thing with special powers, Matt – it’s a clock.

I disagree, Danny. I’m all about endowing the clock with special powers! But only if you’re counting down to something good.
Matt is counting down until the next show…and he has to write it.
Isn’t that every writer’s nightmare? The deadline.
My deadline is picking up my child at the airport on time. I’ll countdown to that ANY day, thanks!

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honoring your commitment (to yourself)

Talked with Thing 2 for a long time yesterday. And while we talked of many things, one part of the conversation struck me and stuck with me. She mentioned she’d been thinking about writing again. I shared with her that I loved her writing and thought even though she wasn’t always comfortable with it, I think it’s very good. She said she was flattered.
I didn’t say it to flatter her. I said it because I believe it. She’s actually quite good.

I told her what I know about writing and about writers. They write every day. They make a commitment to write for a certain amount of time each day. Then they honor their commitment.

I told her I thought it would be so good for her. She’s living in the moment only. With no real vision of her future and not much reflection on her past. I think that’s got to be a hard way to live. I suggested committing herself to a writing schedule might help her break out of that moment to moment living.
The more we talked about it, the more I could hear her begin to really like the idea. She was hopeful that it would ignite some passion within her. (I call it the fire in her belly.) She was expressing her feelings of confusion about what path to take, how to move forward in her life. She is concerned that she has no passion. Like Alice, she used to be much more…muchier. She’s lost her muchness. She knows this and isn’t quite sure how to get back her muchness.

I wondered aloud if writing would stoke the fire in her belly, help her find her passion and remind her of her indefinable muchness…I could hear in her voice that she was really inspired by this.
I expressed that I would in no way “hold her accountable” but I would ask occasionally if she’d written simply out of excitement and curiosity. She liked the idea of that too.

I also shared with her that I was in the process of making such a commitment to myself. That I needed to write more…that I let too much time go between times I write.
I haven’t written since I was in Arizona! Partly because I came home and promptly got sick (So sick I didn’t do anything but lie on the couch and drink apple juice for four days straight.) but a visit to my doctor and a prescription for antibiotics and an inhaler finally sorted me. I’m feeling better enough physically that I’m ready to engage my mind.
So while I’ve suggested to my daughter that she make a commitment to herself, I too will commit to a set bit of time to write each day. It may or may not be in this blog, but I will honor myself and write. I too, am occasionally concerned about my muchness. That I’m so busy living the day to day moments that I’m missing something in me.
I remember something my friend and mentor once said about your first year of teaching, she said it’s “survival year”. I believe that’s true of your first year of anything. The first year of me being here not only held normal adjustments to the spectacular life changes. It was a year in which my beloved child told me she didn’t want me to be her mommy anymore. It was a year in which my dad unexpectedly died. It was a year in which my child and I found our way back to each other. She came to live with us here and left again in a six week period. It was a year in which I changed classrooms in a school where I’ve never felt I completely belong. And (This is the bestest bit!) this was a year in which the man I’ve loved for the last five years put a ring on my finger and asked to call me his wife.
My muchness is all over the freaking place!

Thing 2 and I have traded some snapchats this afternoon. I send her a questioning face asking if she had decided to write today.
She did!
And now I am.
We’re each honoring our commitment to ourselves. I feel a bit as though we’re honoring a commitment to each other too. But that’s honestly not what it’s about, it’s about respecting the decision to do something for ourselves.

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meet Dot

My co-teacher is an artist. I am a writer. We’ve decided to combine our talents and create a children’s book. The idea came to us rather suddenly one morning and surprised us because we couldn’t believe it took us so long to get there.
We’ve worked out the general story line…where and why it begins and where it will go. It is a story about a little girl who learns a great deal about herself in a very peculiar way. It is a story of the power of love. It is a story of hope.
We were sending snapchats back and forth today with ideas while I was out shopping for YBW with Thing C and Thing G and she was at the dealership trading in her car.

Her quick sketch of our titular character, Dot.
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I’m delighted to experience this process with my darling co-teacher. I’ve been out of high school longer than she’s been alive, but the stars aligned when we came to this classroom together. We make each other better teachers. And now we’re beginning this project so close to our hearts with all the excitement of the three year olds we spend our days with!
I wish us bon courage, but mostly I wish us much fun with great love.

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connecting over life’s lemonade

I’ve been thinking quite a little bit about my friend and mentor lately. Actually, I’ve been thinking about connections…making initial connections, staying connected over time and space, renewing connections, and why these are so important. Somehow this train of thought makes me think of her. I say somehow like it’s a big mystery to me…she’s the most actively connected human being I know. She’s one of those people that make other people say, “I want to be J when I grow up.” I know her well enough to know I don’t want to be her…but I do long to be more like her.
She has this uncanny knack for freeing herself enough to engage with most anyone she comes in contact with. I am awed by her.

I first knew her when she was the director of our church’s preschool where Thing 1 went starting when she was 18 months old, she was kind and caring but she was not yet my friend. When Thing 2 started there at age 14 months, we’d known each other for three years and had gotten closer because I was on the school’s parent committee and the chair of the fundraising program, I remember wanting so much for her to like me.
Three years later, the summer before Thing 1 starts second grade and Thing 2 starts her last year at this truly spectacular preschool I get a phone call from J asking me if I want to teach in the toddler class. And that was really the beginning of us becoming close.
The time I asked rather loudly at a faculty meeting if she was on crack may have sealed our friendship fate.
My friend and mentor has so much love in her and she’s unbelievably generous with that love. She’s filled with joy and verve and a positivity that is truly something to behold. She’s a teeny little woman who is the biggest bundle of energy in the most positive sense of the phrase. She’s one of those ‘turn life’s lemons into lemonade’ kind of people, and let me tell you it’s the damnedest thing because I’ve seen her make the most delicious lemonade when she’s up to her ass in life’s lemons.

She is the reason I blog. She asked me to write with her on her blog (She’s an early childhood education specialist.) because she hates to write. Those collaborations lead to therobynbirdsnest. (Merci beau coup.)

She is a Conscious Discipline Certified Instructor, she’s a consulting educator, she’s an educator of educators and parents of young children. She connects every day with teachers and administrators and parents and teaches them how to really connect with young children and how to teach and learn with them through those sincere and authentic connections.
She brings that level of intimacy into her everyday life too, that immediacy, that authenticity is a natural part of everything she does. That’s what I want to be when I grow up, you know?
She is such a gift to we who are lucky enough to have her in our lives. She is connected to each of us in her own unique way, connected not only with a desire to be connected to the people she knows, but sincere passion for the connection itself.

Can you learn to open yourself enough to develop that level of connection or do you have to be born with the gift? Are any of us willing to invest what it takes to develop that level of connection? Making connections and being able to remain connected and reestablishing connection if there is a disruption…this is one of the most positive and rewarding skill sets we can master. And if we can’t master it then we can emulate it by trying every day to show up and open up and be authentic in our interactions with the people around us.
I believe my friend and mentor was given this gift with birth. I cannot describe how lacking my life would be had she not.

I want to be more connected…not only to those around me but to myself…I need to look at myself and judge less and accept more…I need to pour a big old glass of life’s lemonade and connect with the most authentic me.
lemonade
Bottoms up.

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