Whatever time in your life it is, it’s time to tell your story. Those thoughts are running through my mind right now on this lovely spring Sunday morning, I’m sitting on my sunporch with all the sliding windows open. A bird flies down to perch on the shepherd’s crook in front of me and chatters away before she jumps down to the bird feeder hanging there. It’s a gift from Bill & Joyce Lindenmuth complete with bird seed that has given me pure pleasure.
Other birds come to join her as she continues chattering between pecks at her lunch. I think she is telling her story to them. The bird next to her, looking like a sister, seems to listen before she answers with her own tale of joy. Another bird, a cardinal flies to the crook sampling the water hanging there in a handcrafted pottery dish. That’s a gift from my late friend Anne Peterson. What memories come to me from the simple act of sitting on my sunporch on a Sunday morning.
Last year I planted Butterfly bushes along the sunporch that are growing under the shepherd’s hook. They have survived the winter and will soon add more nature, butterflies & dragonflies, to this little area in the city. One hummingbird has already blessed the bushes by flittering around the leaves last week. Before I moved from Macon two years ago hummingbirds came every year flitting from front porch to back deck adding beauty and wonder to my day. I’m so happy to see they have found me again.
How often do we think of a gift given, sometimes even years, after the moment we received it? Mostly we remember the excitement of the moment. But gifts are tremendous memories for us. Sometimes the memory is not receiving a gift when we expected one. Disappointments are part of our stories, too.
Another gift that I’m enjoying is a bird house hanging eight feet from the bird feeder. This was a gift given at least five years ago from Diane Ratliff. Her husband makes these beautiful homes for birds to nest in. A family of birds is also enjoying my gift. I think of them as townies.
Well, I started out to tell you why it’s time to start writing your own story and to let you know that I have a few spaces left for my workshop on Saturday. But I have gotten caught up in my own memories. . . .that seems to be how it goes.
What are snowy days for? To start a 1,000 piece puzzle of Nancy Drew book covers. That’s what. The puzzle takes me back to when my brother Bob and I put a jigsaw puzzle together on the dining room table. Always after the Christmas holidays were over. We wouldn’t need that table until Easter.
The subject of Nancy Drew took me back, too. I loved her books! I could hardly wait until library day at school, even though the librarian would not allow me more than two books! How unfair! That means I would go for days on end without a good book to read. Of course I wanted to be Nancy Drew.
Fast-forward to the time I opened a new, used & rare bookshop in the 90s. Gary Wheelock offered me the opportunity to meet a Nancy Drew author! WOW! Until then I had no clue that the stories were written by multiply writers. Carolyn Keene was the listed author on the cover of all the series. I went straight to the internet to do some research. Edward Stratemeyer created the series as a female counterpart to the Hardy Boys series.
Well, as least I would have the thrill of meeting one of the esteemed authors. Feeling like a 50 year old groupie I joined Gary in the visit. Some thrill! She was a miserable, unhappy woman who felt no pleasure, no pride in being the writer of the few books about Nancy Drew that she wrote, that were adored by millions of girls. It devastated me. A numbness settled on me. All my happy images of Nancy Drew and all they entailed slapped out of me by this empty woman.
Time passed as I realized that there were many other authors that I could still look up to with anticipation of meeting them. And I have. No more Nancy Drew authors, but there you have it.
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW……A Nosegay of Violets can be purchased locally in Warrenton, North Carolina, at Lloyd’s Bakery at 108 S. Main St.; Friends Two at 126 S. Main St. and Oakley Hall Antiques & Art at 119 N. Main St. for $15.00. Tell ‘em I sent you.
And online at Amazon.com Thanks. Enjoy.
Well, it’s finally here and it is a great relief! Writing this book, A Nosegay of Violets, has been therapeutic, sending all those hidden secrets out into the Universe with a refusal of thinking “what if someone laughs at me?” or “what if no one believes me?” or “what will they think of me, knowing of the marriage I was in? “
Those questions no longer hold fear for me. I have survived the marriage and became stronger because of it. I have forgiven myself for decisions I made, (the hardest thing to do) believing they were the right ones to make at the time. And I have forgiven others who did me harm. They were just being who they were. And I had help along the way, from people-sometimes strangers-from friends, from family, and an Angel here and there when no one else was around to show up. WOW!
You’d think those would be easy moments to talk about, but they were not. Fear of rejection held me back. When I overcame that fear last year, I pulled all the scraps of paper with notes jotted on them and poured over my journals to be sure I would get everything right. It meant re-living the entire experience over again and again and again as I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote. Excuse me, while I allow myself to have this feeling of being wonderful!
LOVING WHAT I DO
Arlene Sandra Bice
Finishing my memoir-interviewing for the next ghostly book-reaching for submissions for this year’s anthology-seeking recipes for the cookbook, accepting stories for the grandmother’s book-writing lesson plans for the writers’ groups-formatting a teaching program-planning a new poetry book-publishing books for others!
It’s about to drive me over the edge
there are not enough hours in the day, yet
I love what I do
cannot give up
time with friends
will not give up
Tai Chai Chih
I love what I do
of gratitude for it
thankful for it
so there is no answer
I just love what I do.
The September First Friday continues to exceed my expectations! I thought that the holiday weekend would bring us a small group dedicated to our efforts of bringing poetry and oral expression to Warren County. Instead, the Warren Food Works (WFW) was packed with a diverse crowd from 18 to 80 mingling, enjoying each other while eating, drinking, and soaking up the words cast out into the atmosphere.
A wide range of poetic subjects seeping from the hearts of writers-Warren County writers, and Virginia writers, too, silenced the room with absorption. The always-welcome songs sung so beautifully by Shavon Russell Jones and afterwards, her sister, (forgive me I didn’t get her name.) A big surprise to everyone when volunteer from behind the bar, Cris Hunter ended the evening with the most beautiful rendition of Nature Boy. It brought some tears for the beauty of it. Their voices were like melted chocolate, velvety smooth and mesmerizing to everyone.
Miranda Medlin offered a stirring presentation, taking all into her realm. Devonte, a poet from our last year anthology Sitting with a Drunken Sorceress gave us his words and Travis Bullock continues to bring people in just to hear what he has to tell us.
So many others came to read, to share thoughts, feelings, and to merely listen. It was a very full night; a night to show Thomas Park what his dream has wrought; a night to make him proud for all his efforts.
JOURNALS & LIZZIE
The holiday season is too busy, too many celebration dates too close together, to reflect on the past year. Carving my own time period, I like to reflect in the quiet of the after-holidays.
I do make resolutions, doable ones:
This year, 2015, I will learn my way around my blog including the terminology.
I will be more regular in my postings. Too often a new post is stuck in the middle or the bottom of my to do list. Not in 2015.
I will explore the site and expand it. (as soon as I learn how)
I will read my 2014 journals (all from Brush Dance) from beginning to end. This is a good exercise for writers. It’s amazing how some of the noted little moments can get lost in the period of one year. I will also look for the changes in me that have taken place and shows up in the journals. And lastly, I will hopefully pick up some bits I was going to write about, but were glazed over and put aside. I’ll address them this year.
Lizzie (my cat & companion) agrees with me, as long as she is left to curl up and rest with no need to make resolutions.