Posted in Faith, life, Writing

Desiderata “things desired”

I read the following poem on a stormy afternoon while lying in bed. The window was open and great gusts of wind carried in the smell of an approaching spring thunderstorm. Even as the sky darkened with ominous clouds, I felt at peace. A peace I wish you could know. A peace I wish everyone could know.

I happened upon this poem, not by chance I’m sure. It spoke so loudly to me, so clearly, as if it held all the answers.

I felt it needs to be shared.  It was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927, yet its words are timeless. Read it slow. Take it in. Roll it around in your mind. I personally plan to commit it to memory. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Strive to be happy.

Angel

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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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, Writing

My story: Hearts in Rhythm

Here it is.

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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 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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Posted in Uncategorized

30 Things

So I found this pin on Pinterest recently and I think I’ll give it a try.  It’s from a blog titled babymakingmachine.com

It’s entitled 30 things my kids should know about me.

Here’s her list.

THE LIST:

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and describe how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

It’s a bit daunting if I do say so myself, but my goal is to attempt a once a week post on one of these topics.  I doubt I’ll go in order, because that’s just not how I roll.  I’ll do the easy ones first, because that is how I roll and I’ll weed through the rest.

Posted in Uncategorized

Favorites

I did not marry a literary kind of man.   I, on the other hand, love books, articles, the written word.  I come alive in bookstores and libraries calm me.  I love the smell of a new book, the way it has a little creak when you open it.  I do not own an electronic reading device and I still make trips to the local library to choose my books.

When I read something that speaks to me, whether it’s a book, a character, descriptive language, a quote, whatever, I always want to share it with someone.  This someone happens to be my husband.

I don’t know how long after we were married, after I had orated paragraph after paragraph of various topics to him, that  my husband informed me he hated being read to.  It just about broke my heart.  So now, I carefully choose my sharing times and always ask him if I can please read something to him.  He’s never told me no, he just endures it.  As is the husband’s job in marriage.  It should have been in the vows.

But before you start feeling sorry for me, just know that my little girl, EK, loves books.  Even thought she is only almost 8 months old, she shows delight in them.  She loves to pull every one off the shelves, chew on their covers, and eat their pages, which I think must be a sign of fondness.  Or genius.  Or perhaps just a nutritional deficiency, I guess only time will tell.

I get a free magazine called The Country Life.  It comes out quarterly and gives tips and inspirations for country living.  Things like how to arrange a fall flower container and the top 10 tools needed to get your home ready for winter.  Stuff like that.

But the very last part is an article written by a guy named Brent Olsen.   It’s very excellent writing in my opinion and makes you feel like all is right in the world.  So I asked my husband if I could read it to him, and even he agreed it was good.

And because I love to share things that speak to me, I now share it with you.

“Fall is a wonderful time of year.  A deep breath on a crisp morning expunges moist, stale pockets of air that have been cluttering your lungs all summer.  There’s a sense of urgency, an acceleration of pulse and ambition that turns the tired, sweaty trudge of summer into a brisk walk through falling leaves.  Winter is about enduring and dreaming, spring is unreasonable optimism, summer is growth and fruition-new potatoes and fresh tomatoes.  But fall is for planning and preparing.

It’s also about sitting on the patio in a worn wool sweater and warming your hands one the swirl of steam rising from a coffee cup.  It’s about walking across a darkened yard and seeing a flight of geese cross the face of a full moon.  It’s about settling in, relishing the sights and sensations of a world slowing down.

A house warmed by the memory of a sore back and splinters, and a kitchen table blessed by food there as a result of dirty fingernails, sunburn, and compost is a great and generous gift.  Enjoy your fall—we are each granted a finite number of them, and it is a vast mistake to let any go by without cherishing the moments that make them real.”

Fall and words:  these are a few of my favorite things.

And you?  What are your favorite things?