Intense Experiences Color Your World and Your Writing

October 15, 2019

Last month, I unexpectedly found myself caring for two older relatives during — what I had no idea would be — the end of their lives. Throughout an intense 6-week timespan, I became a primary care giver and dealt with doctors and nurses. Following the sudden death of one relative, I made funeral arrangements. Then, I dealt with different doctors and nurses at a hospital, a nursing home and finally hospice for the other relative. The second death was somewhat expected, after which I interacted with a different funeral home. It wasn’t the decision making that was hard, it was the reality of dealing with life and death. The 2 deaths were just 15 days apart. This was one of the hardest and most intense experiences of my life.

Dealing with life and death has changed me. 

 

I’m sad and will be for some time to come. I also feel honored and blessed to have done the very best I could, with God’s help and guidance. Some days I can’t believe how much changed during that short time period. Although I’m relieved the intensity has ended, everyday things now seem trivial. How do you go from doing something so important to working a regular job, cooking dinner, folding clothes? From past experience with the death of loved ones, I know these feelings will fade in time.

As I contemplated what to blog about, my planned posts on genre or story form just didn’t cut it.

My experience is hardly unique. People deal with death all the time. I have always had great respect for medical professionals, in particular the care givers and hospice workers. What was so heart-wrenching for me is a true calling for those in the field. I thank God for those people.

It’s said that we reveal parts of ourselves in our writing and I’m no different. I’m a pantser by industry standards, an intuitive writer to the rest of my friends. I go with the flow, let my intuition direct the story line. My recent experience has colored my world and will color my writing. It has touched me in ways I can see and in other ways I may never recognize. I do know one thing. It has changed me and eventually will show up in my writing. Maybe in a hospital scene or an emotional scene with a character dying. Probably in an unexpected form.

My life experiences direct my writing.

 

My fiction includes material drawn from my dating life in my teens and 20s, from social interactions that took place years ago and I didn’t even know I remembered until I wrote them into a character’s life. Material comes from workplace people and happenings, from vacations, from my life. Sometimes, I’m surprised when these memories surface in my writing; sometimes I’m not. I never plan these scenes; they simply bubble up at the right time.

Here’s to my relatives who are now hanging out in heaven. I salute you. I miss you. I’ll be seeing you again soon, in the pages of my fiction.

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Inspire Me!

September 17, 2019

I got into sports at a young age, and my mother gave me three small posters that I framed and hung on my bedroom walls.

3-inspirational-posters.jpg

“You must believe to achieve.” 

“The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.” 

“I can let things happen or I can make them happen.”

quote notes

 

Those posters now hang in my home office, along with hundreds of inspirational quotes I have collected over the years. Since quotes abound online, I’m only including one here. I found it on Twitter; it’s by Jennifer Lee:

 

follow that dream

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. Don’t get influenced by what people tell you should be your dream.

 

 

Here are my three favorite motivational movies. I’d love to hear about movies that motivate you.

Akeelah and the Bee – Little Akeelah Anderson competes in the National Spelling Bee.

The Pursuit of Happyness (yes, that’s how the movie title is spelled) — Will Smith is great as a homeless Chris Gardner pursuing career options.

Rudy – Daniel Ruettiger is determined to play football at Notre Dame.

 My friends also provide inspiration, especially when I’m feeling discouraged. The beauty of nature always lifts me up, whether it’s flowers, trees, mountains, lakes or oceans. Finally, and foremost, my faith is the most important aspect of my life – it brings love and acceptance and encouragement and so much more.

I’ll end this post with a poem you may have seen before. Enjoy.

OUR DEEPEST FEAR

by Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Where do you find inspiration?

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