Jun 052014
 
Things you might not know about me

One of the things you might now know about me is that I love being a soccer mom.

I’m preparing an informal workshop for my launch party tomorrow. It’s a fun version of “Things you might not know about me.” It belatedly occurred to me that it might make a good blog post.

Things that Everyone Should Know About Me

I’m not much of a mystery woman. I wear my heart on my sleeve. But, because I tend to start my paragraphs in the middle—even in conversations—it would be helpful for people to know so basic things about me. Continue reading »

May 132014
 
Dreams come true through a book

I’m on cloud nine, loving watching my dreams come true.

I’m sitting on cloud nine.

Cue the trumpets… Today, May 13, 2014 is the long awaited publish date of Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life. Memories-of-Me-Cover

It turns out that clouds are good for your perspective. Though I have butterflies, I’m grateful. I feel blessed. Continue reading »

May 012014
 
Questions for Ancestors Field Clark

If I could just get that interview, I ‘d have questions for ancestors

In my family tree, there are huge gaping holes in our family stories. I have so many questions for ancestors. If I could go back in time with a little voice recorder, there are quite a few of my ancestors I would want to  interview. I’d also have a few questions for my husband’s ancestors—after all, they, too, are my children’s progenitors.

Note: Keep in mind; stories don’t have to have happily-ever-after endings. Your questions for ancestors could lead to great stories about them!

Van Field Clark: “Are all Grandma’s war stories true?”

Van Field Clark was “Grandpa Clark” to my grandmother. As she collected her memories, she wrote down some of his Civil War stories, none of which I have been able to substantiate. Not only would I want to know if the stories are true, I would want to hear them first hand. Continue reading »

Feb 102014
 
Writing is therapeutic for the reader and the writer

Writing is therapeutic for the reader as well as the writer

We know writing is therapeutic for the writer. (If you don’t, refer back to Write about Memories: It’s Therapeutic! and Ovarian Cancer: Journaling and Healing). But that’s not the full extent of it. Here are a few of the ways that your writing is therapeutic for your readers.

Your Story is Their Story

Very few stories have only one character. Your stories include other people— Continue reading »

Jan 242014
 

I used to hate my dream of a visit from my late father. Waking up to the reality of my loss was brutal.  I didn’t want to go there if it had to end.

Now it’s like re-reading a favorite book.

Five minute friday visit at the tombstone It always starts the same—in the cemetery. As we round the curve to their grave-sites, Daddy is sitting on his gravestone, one foot of the ground. He sees me with a got a cat-that-got-the-canary look on his face. He’s laughing. I run into his arms, crying with relief. He hugs me. Continue reading »

Dec 302013
 
Looking forward or backward

Looking forward or looking back?

This is an odd title for me—I spend a lot more time looking backwards than I do looking forward. But, as the calendar turns the proverbial page, it makes sense to look forward—and to write about it.

Looking forward by setting goals

Yep, each New Year’s Eve, I try to set some goals for the coming year. (One year I came up with a suggested list of goals for my kids. That didn’t go over very well.) Often, my list is nearly identical to the previous year’s. That means those ten pounds still sit around my hips. The ambitious exercise program has again been usurped by exercise that’s more fun. In other words, if I’m not chasing a ball, I’m not running. Continue reading »

Nov 222013
 
Right before John F Kennedy's Assassination

Photo Credit Wikipedia

More than once, my mom spoke of what it was like to hear the news of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

If I recall right, she heard it on the car radio, when she was driving with my sister and I, ages two and four, in the back seat. She was stopped at the light on Reidville Road right by the old J.M. Fields shopping center and the Phillips 66 gas station. She tried to hold it together—play the “everything is okay” mommy—but couldn’t.

It was something I understood, yet didn’t really ‘get.’ Continue reading »

Nov 032013
 

Missing Someone on All Saints Day It’s a somber celebration, if that’s not an oxymoron. Many of us find ourselves missing someone on All Saints Day.

Theologically we celebrate the face that loved ones have joined God and are in communion with other saints. We also confirm our belief that we will join them at the heavenly table one day. (Read a full explanation from Presbyterian Missions.) I used to wonder if missing someone on All Saints Day was bad. Because I always do.

When we think of all the “saints” that have gone from our lives, the less faithful—or more honest–part of us wants to lament. “But I’m going to miss him or her! I already miss them!” If the loss is recent, it can even be difficult to hold it together.

In my church, the bulletin contains a list of individuals who have died since the last All Saints Day. Reading the list is like taking a fist into the gut. It contains the names of lovely people who contributed so much to the life of the church. It has names of people who inspired me. When I think of these people–friends, co-workers, and prayer partners and relatives who have died, I miss them. Continue reading »

Aug 172013
 

Measure a small thing A Small Thing: A #FiveMinuteFriday Meditation

I wasn’t sure I felt up to going out until my friend called to say, “I’ll pick you up.” A small thing, but it mattered—a lot.

Buying a souvenir in a tourist shop in New Orleans, a youth wearing a mission trip t-shirt heard the words, “Thank you for not forgetting about us. Thank you for coming to help.”  Just a small thing, normal southern hospitality, but two sentences made an 18-hour trip worthwhile. Continue reading »

Aug 022013
 
Our story

Our story isn’t a book that’s already written

Our Story — A #FiveMinuteFriday Meditation

Telling our story implies narrating a book that is already written—the setting and characters are in place. Everyone is just waiting to see how it ends.

That might be right for a novel or memoir, but when we tell our personal stories, it’s not just about the ending. Every part of our story–our whole story–resonates. Continue reading »