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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Being a Writer

     I have told people that I am a writer. I have told myself the same thing. I am a writer.

    I have written for a library newsletter, I have written stories, unfinished, and I have written letters.
It is hard to think like a writer. I really don't know anyone that profess to be writers. I really don't read like a writer.

    When reading like a writer you should ask how they got the words to go where they want and how they got the characters to do what they do. In all of the how-tos that I have read writers usually say that the book, story, article wrote itself. Now, what they mean by that is that when you write you have the facts, actions and reactions in mind, but the characters choose the where and when this all takes place.

    I was trying to figure this out while sitting one day, and decided that it is like a dress. When you ask a dressmaker how she does her work, she will tell you that you start with the basics. A pattern, thread, material and pins. Sometimes she knows how the dress will turn out, sometimes not. If you are a dressmaker, as opposed to a designer, you follow the instructions and the dress will pretty look like the picture on the pattern. If you are a designer, you start with an idea, and run from there.

    Writing is pretty much like that, too. You can start from a template and add your indredients and come out with a pretty good story. It may not be new, but will be unique. You learn what works and what doesn't, for you.

     However, practice makes perfect. No matter what you write.  Write.  Write. Write. And then write some more. In that writing, you have to edit. Make decisions on what works and what doesn't. What puts your dream out there.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I will go write some more. Have a great day and follow your dream.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

     When I grew up in southwest Missouri, we called it decoration day.  I don't have a lot of memories of going to the cemetaries and putting on flowers. I do have a memory of going to a little creek to gather watercress in the Spring. It was Clear Water creek and I think it was near the cemetary where all my mother's family is buried. I could be wrong. But that is how I have thought of that creek all these years.

    My next favorite memory of decoration day is when I was about 12 or so and we lived in Lebanon, Mo. I had gone to my aunt's out in the country for the week-end. They made crape paper flowers and dipped them in wax, to make them last, and then, we sorted through them to decide which ones went where. They had a dinner on the grounds of the cemetary, where we had gone to church earlier, that day. After dinner, read that lunch ( I am a country girl), we went to each of our relative's graves and placed flowers. My uncle was buried there close to his brothers and sisters. I remember my aunt always spending time by his gravesite and we went with other kids and played. Leaving her time to tell him whatever she wanted.

   My parents are now buried in that same cemetary, and we make the trek there at least twice a year to place flowers and remember. We always make it the week before Memorial Day, but usually not Decoration Day which is the week before Memorial Day, I think. They still have their dinner and decorate the graves. I find it really nice that someone always puts some flowers on my parents grave before we get there. It is nice to know they are remembered by someone other than our own family.

  We should always try to remember the person to whom we are delivering flowers. It seems that we just put out the flowers and say, " Well, that's done for another year." When you think of those gone, try to remember their lives. If they served in the military think on their sacrifice, even it is only the time they served and not their lives. It was a special time to them. Maybe they hated it, maybe they loved it, but it was special to them. It is special to us.

   Have a blessed Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


     It seems there always storms in our lives. Whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual. Sometimes they converge and affect all levels. Here, in Missouri it has been pretty miserable weather since December. There was a tornado in December, snows in January and February, cold weather in March until May. Then we started the rainy season with floods and dam gates having to be opened and causing more floods. Now, we are dealing with tornadoes and thunderstorms.

     We all know the suffering of the people of Joplin, Missouri. They are dealing with putting back together lives and their town from scratch. You do it one step at a time and pray for the wisdom and endurance it will take to do it.

      We sometimes we face similiar circumstances spiritually when all of our stuff is gone. We think all is lost. It isn't. Stuff can be re-accumulated and happy memories are made again. God is with us. He will give us the way to do all this. Even if, as my granddaughter says, " I don't hear his answers." They are there. Lift up your heart and praise him. Lift up your voice and say, "Thank you,". Lift up your hands..... and work.

     We will all get through this with love, laughter and tear.  Remember us all in your prayers and do what you can to help, even in your own back yard.