The Power of our Words

helenkellerquote.png

I just found out I was nominated to participate in a 3-day quote challenge. Believe me, I was as surprised as you are to find my name on Tanya’s list. Check out her cool blog over at Scribbled Dreams!

This nomination is a first for me, and it means so much! Thanks, Tanya! For today’s quote, I chose Helen Keller – who never ceases to amaze. Her life bears testimony to the indomitable spirit within each of us. So here’s to you, my fellow bloggers, for rising above your obstacles and turning them into personal, passionate testimonies. Write on!

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I nominate the following today because I find them each so inspiring!!

  1. K at the Blackwall blog, for her endless supply of encouragement and talent. She was sharing quotes before anybody turned it into a challenge, and I for one have been blessed by them ūüôā Don’t miss out!
  2. Susanne at Wuthering Bites has a story or two to tell you, and she’ll keep you laughing all the way.
  3. Ana at Amsterdive. So happy to find her quirky tales of travel and the city she loves.

Here are the rules:

  1. Three quotes for three days.
  2. Three nominees each day (no repetition).
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform the nominees.

Congratulations, bloggers. Go forth and quotify!

 

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A New Thing

doggy-door

As the dust settles on our new life, I am aching to get back to writing. The move played out to be more of a symbol of change than I first knew.

Yes, there were all the requisite tasks of packing – of purging and cataloguing. And the physical burden of lifting, pushing, reaching, jamming, jostling. The stress of moving day. The miscommunications, anxiety, losing stuff. The niggling things left undone as deadlines drew near.

But I was completely unprepared for what was in store at the other end of this momentous transfer. Something happened, and it’s only now dawning on me that it was something good.

Our move – now two weeks old – marks the fifth in 19 years of marriage. You’d think I’d be good at it by now. But we moved in the middle of a heat wave. Unending, sweltering, oppressive work. So frustrations ran high and emotions raw. Somewhere between the physical exhaustion and feeling spent emotionally, I had finally had enough!

If I were the author of this tale, the epiphany would have come at just this moment, unearthed from the ashes, while my protagonist was drained of all sufficiency. But God knew I needed a couple of weeks to feel sorry for myself before I could sniff out the rest of the story.

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Bipolar – I’m an “Overcomer”

A beautiful testimony today from Being Lydia. No matter what struggle is darkening your path, you are not alone. Reach out!

Being Lydia!

Trigger Warning: Discussion of suicide and bipolar episodes

logo-updateTo honor Blahpolar (Ulla) who recently passed away, and today being World Suicide Prevention Day, I have decided it is time to tell a part of my story that, while it might not be easy to read, may hopefully help others.

I am hoping it might help the general population understand better the complexity of mental illness and that there are a lot of gray areas.

I also hope that it may help people dealing with bipolar, depression or any mental issue realize that they are not alone.

I have tried to keep it as light as possible and I will give you a spoiler ‚Äď it all has a very happy ending!

On the surface, I had what seemed to be a normal childhood; however, it was filled with a lot of heartaches which helped to mold me and feed on…

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Rescue

At night, driving – along the Coast, especially – that’s when she felt it. Freedom, coursing through her like¬†the¬†wind that ravaged¬†her hair. Alone was best. To revisit the day, to look ahead, to put it all back where it belonged.

Lately, Cleo¬†couldn’t get her footing, couldn’t remember what she stood for.¬†The values her father had instilled – from the dinner table to the pulpit – clashed with the heady swirl of life on campus. And though her thoughts lined up patiently, waiting to be sorted, she¬†was distracted tonight and gave herself instead to the sounds of the darkness and the rush of the wind, warm as breath on her suntanned skin.

As she sped across the causeway unobstructed, oncoming traffic formed a necklace of headlights before her. Funny, that such a line of cars was leaving just as the weekend was getting started. Twilight reflected in the colors of the bay, foiled against a stack of purple black clouds at the horizon.

Her phone buzzed. With one hand on the wheel, Cleo rummaged in her bag and seized it¬†just as it stopped. She studied the number and then cast it onto the passenger seat with a sigh. Maybe this was a mistake, meeting up with Dad¬†at the beach house. She’d left a thousand things undone at school, barely three weeks into her¬†semester.

But it was their ritual, this annual pilgrimage. And though she was hours later than planned, Cleo knew her Dad would be waiting. And so she rushed down the coastal highway, oblivious to the growing darkness.

As she approached the inlet, a sudden flash of lightning lit up the scene before her, revealing a menacing shelf of clouds bearing down on the thin strip of land. She noticed the wind in the trees then, and, just as suddenly, felt a force pushing against the car as she left the land and drove onto the low concrete span. Thunder echoed all around her, and in the half light, Cleo noticed a ghostly froth of angry swells pushing into the channel.

She was suddenly afraid. The storm was too big for her, and she was utterly alone. A cry escaped her as a bolt of lightning shot earthward just beyond the bridge, followed instantly by a deafening boom. Then the rains came. She sped up, longing to get past the channel and onto land. To the other side and to safety.

The phone buzzed again, and she grabbed¬†it. “Dad?!” she called,¬†too loudly.

“Cleo, where are you? The storm has taken a turn toward land!” Her father’s deep voice¬†was an anchor.

“I – I’m at the inlet.” The wipers on high were barely moving¬†the torrent of water off the windshield. She slowed, searching in vain for the white line at the shoulder. She could feel the wheels losing traction at the tap of her break.

“I need¬†you to pull over and wait until I can get to you!” he¬†commanded.

“I can’t stop here. I’m on the bridge, crossing¬†the channel.”¬†Her voice caught¬†in a sob.¬†Though she had closed the windows at the first sign of rain, her fingers felt sticky wet.

Another rattling thunderbolt¬†shook the car, and she dropped the phone. To her¬†left, it seemed the ocean had taken over the shallow waters of the inlet. With each flash of lightning, she saw the swollen breakers flooding the landscape. Pounding against the bridge’s sturdy frame. Somewhere off in¬†the distance, a blur of¬†emergency¬†lights flashed.

A jag of lightning – so close she could hear the sizzle snap of energy – skewered¬†a loblolly pine on the beach below her, followed seconds later by a piercing thunderclap. Cleo’s¬†whole body shook. She closed her eyes tightly, only for a split second, but it was too late. The car, skating across the pooling water, smashed into the concrete¬†guardrail, sending sparks into the darkness. Her body lurched forward into the steering wheel.

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Meet and Greet – A welcome to new bloggers – Makeovers, Music and Reviews

Hello, friends! I’m overwhelmed today by Smorgasbord’s¬†generosity to herald the work of new bloggers, and humbled to be included in this week’s offering! Great way to make new friends in the blogosphere – thanks, Sally!!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

meet and greetI have met some terrific bloggers this week who cover a very wide range of topics from makeovers to house and gardens, latest in fashions and music and of course writers and poets. I think you will find something for everyone so without any further delay… let’s meet them.

Meet Kirsty of Embracing Authenticity is 17 year’s old and has already experienced harsh reality in the form of Anorexia Nervosa. In her blog she shares her experiences in a very mature way as she faces the challenge of moving through what is a devastating eating disorder.

https://embracingauthenticityblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/discharge-is-only-one-step-closer-to-the-finish-line-and-im-racing-towards-it/

John Willinghamof Dreamy Home has some great ideas for makeovers. Since we are in full makeover mode it is great to see some examples, particularly of colour matching.  This blog is very helpful..

https://dreamyhome.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/window-treatment-ideas/

Those of you who pop in regularly know that I am not a fan of diet or full…

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Say Good-Bye

In response to a writing prompt on the BlackWallBlog, here’s a farewell to summer 2016 (https://theblackwallblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/flash-fiction-challenge-1/).

beach-house

Say good-bye. Beach house. Say good-bye.
Rearview longing. Final leaving.
I will. Not forget.

Chasing breakers. Building castles. Singing, sailing.
Wind and current. Sunburned shoulders.
I found. Sweet rest.

Troubled waters. Dark times. Hard truths.
Trusting prayers. Grace sufficient.
I learned. God’s way.

Seasons change. People grow. New horizons.
Painful times. Left behind.
I will. Look ahead.

 

theblackwallblog

PhotoFunia-1468497988 Created on Photofunia.com by K

THE HISTORY:

This started from a spark inspired from LINK: Richard M. Ankers  blog from

HIS post entitled: LINK: Six Word Stories: Unnoticed ,

which I mistakenly alluded to as:‚ÄĚ5 word stories we never remember.‚ÄĚ OOPS!

                A rookie mistake!

                     (Palm to forehead-WHAP!)

                           With a HAND SLAP!

                        And MAJOR apologies to Mr. Ankers.

                         Journalism 101: Check your facts!!! 

 I  confess, I started it (insert Halo here~ SMIRK),

     with my Small Sentence, Big Meaning post.

       LINK: Small…

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The Girl from Ipanema

ipanema-bossa

Am I dating myself to invoke the 1962 runaway¬†hit that had the world¬†swaying to the bossa nova? Here was rhythm. Smooth,¬†tactile. Thrilling. That’s the kind of¬†pulse I want in my writing.

When it comes to tempo and cadence, I think narrative prose gets the short straw. We tend to relegate such things to poetry. Step-together-step. Tap.

So today’s killer blog tip¬†is to¬†let¬†the measure of your writing tell the¬†story.

Let me explain what I mean. Your protagonist¬†enters the¬†room, and all eyes are riveted, waiting to see what he’ll do. You have planned this for weeks – you know just what happens next.¬†But as you delicately¬†unravel your plotline, a primal yawn escapes¬†– and you¬†realize in horror that your words¬†just aren’t¬†keeping pace with your ideas.

What can we do to put the accent back on the action?

  1. Vary your sentence¬†length. In the same way that your storyline is building toward a¬†crescendo, you want your prose¬†to swell with emotion, to wax and to wane as it mirrors your message.¬†So mix it¬†up a little.¬†Break up those long descriptions¬†with a short, terse sentence that¬†grabs attention. In 9¬†Ways to Write Brilliant¬†Short Sentences, Author John Matthew Fox writes: “A short sentence can gut punch you. [It can] deliver surprise with the utmost efficiency [and]¬†usher in a fantastic¬†plot revelation¬†with a deft flick of a few syllables.” He credits these simple structures with “power due to their brevity” and “agility because they have nothing to weigh them down.” And nothing says action like a short sentence.¬†Go get ’em.
  2. Drop the passive tense.¬†While the twists and turns of life might appear to be arbitrary at times, I think the simple act of holding the pen – of authoring a¬†story – is proof enough that there is a grand design. We won’t let our characters drift without purpose. So why abdicate their motives to the passive voice? Journalist Constance Hale, who penned a series of articles on writing for the New York Times, offers¬†this: “Set your protagonist in action. Do you want him, as Hamlet would say, to ‘take arms against a sea of troubles,’ or would you rather he … [lie]¬†flat on his back, leaving his destiny to someone else?”
  3. Make some music. There¬†are as many styles of writing out there as there are writers. So this last point is just a suggestion to broaden your horizon: don’t be afraid of poetry. Some forms work¬†very well in prose. Like sun and shadow, they teach us the stillness between sounds and the sheer pleasure of words. If you prefer to keep your dialogue conversational, poetry can be good training for hearing the rise and the fall of your character’s voice. I recommend you add poetry to your reading list. My favorite is¬†Gerard Manley Hopkins, whose lyrical alliteration¬†mimics the deeper substance of¬†his rhyme. The tug and pull of¬†poetic verse¬†can add tension and intrigue to your story angle.

Shall we dance?

If you like what you’re reading, check out all my posts in the¬†How to Write Killer Blogs series:
Verbs are Choice Weapons in the Hands of the Word Slinger
Cool Writing Condensates
Get Your Writing in Gear

 

 

 

 

 

Distant Memories

woman-tears

I used to think the space between us
was geography.
That I had a monopoly.
That we were about quality not quantity.

And then I found my photo in your things.
That box that you abandoned here last Spring.

You weren’t looking at me when I called.
You weren’t looking at¬†me at all.

I used to believe you were part of me.
Homogeny. And honestly,
My heart stopped when you lied to me.

But though I tried to close the distance, in your eyes
I saw indifference. And it hurts. I want to hide.

Distant Memories is a response to MiracleGirlBlog‘s writing prompt assignment, Week 4 – to use “distance” and “photo” in a poem. Check out her site to see some of the entries from past weeks. Thanks, Miracle – you are so generous!

 

Feeding a Flame

Laser-sharp vision. Ruthless determination despite the obstacles. Have you got what it takes to realize your dream? It’s hard work, and wavering simply won’t cut it (I’m talking to myself now).

But there is direction along this path, and inspiration: I discovered a gem this morning, and I am astonished at the clarity of this blogger’s charge. It wiped the sleep out of my eyes and left me naked, without excuse. Embarrassed that I’m dilly-dallying when there is too little time. Hope this strikes a chord for you as it has for me!

trenton_ray_smith

If you have a dream, a passion, a hope embedded in your heard, chase after it with blinding intensity. The only hindrance in this place we call life is a demon called doubt. It will rob you of any potential success you could ever hope to have. This demon will ransack your mind and leave it a wasteland of broken prospects. It will not be easy to continue this path; it’s a treacherous one. However, those who didn’t stray made it to the other side as victors. They even elongate their paths, their pain, because they realize that there are no limitations anymore. Once they completed one checkpoint, an array of others was opened up to them. The cure for limitations, for hindrances, is persistence. The result of persistence is eventual success, and success destroys doubt. With that being said, if you aren’t willing to continue pushing on through this cycle…

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