Posted in Uncategorized

My Journey as a Writer

I’m beginning.  I’m still at the beginning.   I’m no longer at the starting line, and I don’t know the route or the way to the finish line.  But I’ve begun.

Not long ago, my mom gave me a green folder that had special mementoes she had discovered while cleaning out.  There were notes and letters.  A child’s drawings of hearts and flowers.  A book report in the shape of Oklahoma.  Just a few things she had saved of mine during my elementary school years.  I looked through them, not seeing much more than a pile of faded construction paper hearts with “I love my mom” scribbled in crayon.  

Not until I dug deep, did I find something significant.  It was a story I’d written, actually two.  My mom had written on the back, “Angel came home today so excited to be a writer. An author visited the school.  Here are two of her stories she has written so far.”  The stories were lackluster and quite morbid.  There were no happily ever afters to them.  It actually made me sad to read them and there wasn’t much talent there at all, just a childhood imagination.

I don’t remember the day the author visited.  I don’t remember writing those stories either.  I’m grateful my mom saved them, though.  It’s seems to confirm that writing is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.  I like to think it’s engrained.   It’s stitched in the fibers of my soul.  It holds me together with big sloppy stitches.  I guess somehow, throughout the years, my childhood dream of writing got pushed beneath all the glamourous, or high paying, or practical jobs that the teachers, parents, and society dictated instead.  The little girl who desired to be an ice skater, then a psychiatrist, who settled on a teacher but not before becoming a waitress forgot her aspiration.  No one valued writing that I can remember.  No one encouraged that.  Instead it was the doctor, lawyer, dentist, Dallas cowboy cheerleader kind of jobs to strive for.  

I started this blog a few years ago.  It’s one of my most valued treasures.  I’ve nurtured it and it is my life memoir, so to speak.   Some people actually read it.  And those same people actually told me I should write more.

So I did. 

Last month, I had a small (not so great) ebook published. That was the first hill of my journey.  

Today I turned in a second book, and conquered another hill.  It is actually a ghost writing project, meaning my name will not appear on it.  Someone else will take my story, put their name on it, and pretend they wrote it.  For now, that’s okay with me.  If I were them, I couldn’t sleep at night, but that’s their issue not mine.

Tomorrow I begin another story.  

And then, I have another one after that.

It’s good.  It’s all good.

I am beginning to think of myself as a writer.  Not a novelist, not even an author, but a just a little bit of a writer.  

I’m not getting rich and famous.  I’m not even being paid much, but it gives me a little Christmas cash, so I’m pleased.

Maybe somewhere down my journey,  I might be considered a novelist.  That would be so cool.  Maybe at mile marker 1,458, I might have an agent, and an editor, and a publisher.  

Dream with me just for a moment.  Close your eyes.  

Can you see it?  I’m wearing glasses and a scarf to hide my old neck.  My hair is grayer and I’m autographing a book.

Yes, I can see it.  It makes me smile.

When I arrive at mile marker 1,459  I’ll look back on this little post right here, and all the ones before it, and see my beginnings.  The ones where I wrote while my baby napped beside me in the bed.  The late nights of lots of coffee while the rest of the house slept, the times I took my laptop to the backyard while EK played with the dogs and chickens and I slaved away and on plot twists and character sketches.  

It’s an exciting journey, and at times it’s hard and long.  But I’m not alone.  

Lots have gone before me, and many are with me now.  

Posted in Faith, Family, Uncategorized

You’d better listen.

This morning I sent this 14 year old off to school.

ash homecoming

It’s Homecoming here.  Last night there was a bonfire, today a pep rally, tonight a football game, tomorrow a dance.

We be busy.

So later, I was replying to some comments here on my blog and I ended up clicking on something that took me way back to some of my first posts.  I saw comments from my dad, which made me smile and brought a touch of sadness as well.  Clicking here led to clicking there until  I came across this post from a few years back that is entitled “Listen.”

I think it’s my favorite blog post of all time.

It’s a voicemail from that sweet 14 year old above when she was a bit younger.   A bit more innocent.  But still as fun.  And crazy.  And tender.

You have to listen to this message.  It shows her heart.

A beautiful heart.

Here’s the original post from 2010:

My niece called me.  She left the sweetest, most precious voicemail.

Before you hear more, I must tell you this.

“Mama” in the message, works in bail bonds.  They were at the jail to bail someone out. Thankfully, not a member of the family…….this time.

My niece had been prostrate weeping and wailing for hours because her friend Perla couldn’t come over after she had been planning it for a whole entire week.  She was devastated.

And lastly, Jesus is her homeboy.

Click on the link below.  You must.  It’ll make you smile, I hope.

http://www.divshare.com/flash/playlist?myId=10255644-023

Authors Note:  It took me 17 hours, 904 online tutorials, and ten of my own dollars to learn how to post this to my blog.  I have yanked every hair from my head and am now forever changed, not to mention bald.  So it had better make you smile.

Thanks for listening 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized

My Heavy Heart Needs Lifting

Lately I’ve found myself in a very deep place of sadness.  I can’t seem to shake it.  I’ve tried prayer, meditation, positive thoughts, reading His word, music, exercise, even sitting alone and forcing myself to smile for a minute at a time.  I’m about to resort to shopping.  I may temporarily feel better after these endeavors, but it is short lived.

No one knows I’m sad.  Not even the people I share my house with.  They just think I’m constantly in a bad mood because I mask it with irritability.  My heart’s hope is by blogging and sharing my struggle, it will help me find my happiness.

I could blame it on the rainy weather that threatens to  linger through 2017 or through Christmas at least. But I think that isn’t the cause of my sadness, but only exacerbates it.

There’s other factors as well.  I’ve been fighting an infection for over a week, and in other body news my thyroid which revolted against me 20 years ago is completely out of whack right now.   I’m not sleeping and I just feel overwhelmed.  I know these physical conditions can affect the mind.  But again, I don’t think they are the cause.

I am battling with my weight, exercising all the time, and then counteracting the good effects by eating much more than one woman ever should.  This is a troubling cycle which only causes frustration.  Each day, I stand again on square one.

I am not a crier, but fighting tears has become too common lately.

When I delve deeply and truly question it all, when I sit still and don’t distract myself with the boring household chores or the internet, when I truthfully look at my situation, I realize the reason for my melancholy is that I feel all alone.  I am living in a beautiful place, surrounded by glory and majesty and color.  A place where people escape to.  I’m surrounded by people and yet I am all alone.  I have no family here.  I have no friends here.  It’s not even that I’m a big friend person.  It’s that if I wanted to call someone up and say, “Hey let’s do something”, I wouldn’t have that option.  Sure, me and EK have a play group and story time and church that we attend each week, but those are just people I see every week, not people who know me.

Is it also that I feel purposeless?  Yes.  Being a housewife is boring and tedious and repetitious.  But do I even want to leave this messy house?  No.  I want to stay in bed, letting the raindrops make trails down my window and imagine God is crying with me.

I know there’s many people who suffer from the blues.  I’ve not been one of them really, until now.  Down in the dumps usually last only a short time for me.  I don’t want to call this the D word, because it will pass, but while I’m here in it, it really sucks.  I also feel really guilty for feeling this way, because I’m super blessed and I have no reason to feel sad.  So then I throw guilt in the mixing bowl with all my other emotional ingredients and I end up with a batter very unappealing.

But anyway, I’ve said enough.  I do feel better, strange as it seems, to open up my soul and show all of you my ugly insides. It’s like a release.  And because I know many of you after you read this will stop and send happy thoughts my way, all the way across the states, the plains, hills, and streams, all the way to this valley that I’m sitting in right now.  And I will see your happy thoughts coming on the winds, like little messenger pigeons bringing me your well wishes, your smiles, your “everything will be okays”.

I will look to the sky and wait for them.  As they approach, I will open my heart and reach out my hand and catch them as they flutter to the ground.  I will clasp them to my chest, close my eyes,  and then send you one back.

 

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted in Faith, Writing

My story: Hearts in Rhythm

Here it is.

515W3lHrvzL-1._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-56,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

My first published story.

My first story, period.

It’s been published as an e-book for Kindle.  It only costs $.99 and I completely picked out that juicy cover picture.

Just kidding.

I had no say in anything after I sent in the story, including the steamy cover.

Gauging from the picture, you might guess it’s a mystery.  Well, you would be wrong.  It’s a romance, but if you know me at all, it is completely PG.  Or even G for that matter.  No Fifty Shades of Gray here.

I don’t expect you to buy it, but you can if you want.

I didn’t go through the traditional publishing route, it was freelance work, which means even if you do buy it, I’ll never see one red cent from it.  I’ve already been paid everything I’m going to be paid.  So even when MGM makes a movie out of it and it becomes a blockbuster starring Leonardo DeCaprio, I will still be wearing  ratty socks and buying underwear from Walmart.

A girl can dream, right?

I’m working on another project now, and the lady who published Hearts in Rhythm has hired me to write another story, so I’m chalking all this up as practice, diligence, and experience, not wealth or fame.

Anyway friends, thanks to all those who encouraged me, told me I should write a book, and said you loved my blog.  You helped me believe in myself.

(Especially my cousin, Jay!)

I must go, I have a deadline to meet.  (Doesn’t that sound cool?)

Much love,

Angel

Oh, here’s the link:
http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-In-Rhythm-ebook/dp/B00F25GLRY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1379082331&sr=8-7&keywords=hearts+in+rhythm

Posted in Children, Family

Moment Dwelling

Last night a physical sickness hit me and I couldn’t sleep because of it.

I crept out of the bedroom leaving my husband and EK snoozing soundly, grabbed a down comforter, my robe, and headed to the couch where I still couldn’t sleep.

I got my laptop and for a reason unknown,  I began looking at pictures I had stored on it.  For three hours, I looked at my baby’s pictures and videos from way back.

Oh my heart.

My cheeks began to hurt and I realized I’d been wearing a smile for a very long time.

You tried to tell me how precious, beautiful, adorable, etc., etc. she was and boy, were you right.

Now that I’m a bit removed from that baby-baby stage, I can’t hardly believe how wonderful she was.  And she still is, just bigger.

It’s just that when you’re in the big middle of it, sometimes you see through a glass darkly.  Or as J-Dub would say, your tail lights are brighter than your headlights.

But last night, everything carried a new light.  The way her hair grew.  The dimples on her hands, her budding teeth, the way her rolls of fat lay upon one another,  her grins and her frowns.

I sat and watched each little video from before she was born where I videoed her kicking in the womb, to her cooing, to rolling, to her wounded soldier crawl, to sitting, and all the beautiful steps in between.

After breakfast this morning, I sat her in my lap with the computer and continued my nostalgic trip.  She knew that was baby Emma on the screen and her face wore the most proud expression as she watched herself growing up and doing this little things that we praised.

Our movie watching didn’t last long.  She wanted to read a Monkey book, and color on the TV with a blue marker, get in the clothes I was folding, eat fish and peaches, then play with the dogs and chickens.

Now she stomps around in too big play shoes, puts Cheerios in her ears,  and throws a mean temper tantrum.

We’re just doing life over here.

I have to remind myself that these mundane, day-to-day chores are the little things that become the big things.  In another year, I’ll be watching the videos and studying the pictures from this season of our life together and realizing how precious, beautiful, adorable etc., etc., she was.

 

Then……

DSC_1563

 

And now….

IMG_1278

 

I must tell myself to live in the moment.

I’m trying.

Posted in Family

Blogging……finally

I had to do a little digging for this fun fact, but for the first time since August of 2009, I did not publish a blog post.

For 4 years…..

48 months……

every month……

I have had a post except this last month.

That’s kind of a sad situation.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Since I missed August 2013, I’ll give a quick recap of the other things that stole my time, that is if I can remember.

First off, we got a puppy.

I started having some puppy fever back in the early summer and I found myself searching for a dog.  This was crazy.  My bro-in-law said what I needed was another baby, but you know, puppies don’t live as long.  Or cost as much.

DSC_2176

Here he is running like crazy to get away from these 2, who seem to want to love him a little too much.

IMG_1267

And here he is, realizing love is a pretty cool thing.

We call him Ozzie.

Oz, the great and powerful.  He likes to bark at himself in the mirror and other inanimate objects like EK’s little rocking horse.  He is a sweet boy and is equivalent to having another 19 month old in the house.  He’s into everything, I have to tell him not to chew on crayons too, and he pees and poops as he pleases.  Kind of like some one else I know.

IMG_1186

Speaking of…….I’m attempting to potty train this sweet girl of mine.  She’s not having any part of it.  She wants to wear her panties, but is a bit traumatized by the potty chair.  This came about after she peed on my lap and I screamed.  She got scared and cried as my mom yanked her britches down and plopped her on the potty that was sitting in the living room floor.  I had run to the bathroom to wipe the pee that was running down my bare legs and onto my socks, so let’s just say that now, she is not sitting on that potty for nothing.  So we put away the concept for a while and we’ll work on house training Ozzie instead.

IMG_1160

Once upon a time, she liked her potty, but only with her clothes on.

Also, in the month of August, I met a writing deadline.  This is something I’m super proud of.  I freelanced a story and spent most of August writing/editing/crying/drinking coffee/burning the midnight oil/stressing/praying/walking the floor/and doubting my ability.  But by August 31, it was complete and I actually received payment, which is pretty awesome.   It was 30,000 words which is about 29,300 more than the longest blog post I’ve ever written.  It ended up being 115 pages and I feel like I birthed a baby.

I think, if I’m brave enough, I can maybe call myself a writer now that someone actually paid me to write a story.   I have another one to write this month, due by Sept. 30.  I need a few extra hours in the day, or just to unplug from the internet, hire a babysitter, and sit my butt down long enough to write.  It’s hard y’all, real hard.  But it’s also completely cool.

The month was also spent with family who came to visit and outings to the mountains to hike and camp.   School started for my sweet niece Ash who made cheerleader.  So we’re acquainting ourselves with the rules of volleyball and dusting off our stadium seats for football games.

DSC_2157

Here she is on her first day of high school.

Life is busy here.

As one of my friend’s daddy used to say, the days go by slow but the years go by fast.

May we cherish every moment.

IMG_1100