It is November 4th and many of those adamant about the NaNoWriMo November craze are well into the word count with 50,000 the goal by the 30th. There was no arguing whether or not to write this post although it would take precious time and perhaps 500 words or so that don’t count towards the NaNo goal. But I couldn’t help myself. I needed to write about the past day, the past week, the past year… and in doing so, I feel I will create a memory I can live with to bring forward on my journey. You see, I lost a fan last year when my mom died. I know she would encourage me and, I am sure in my heart, she is watching from wherever it is you go after you leave this world. I have to believe, like everyone else, you will see again in some other space those who have left you behind, or vice versa – they will see you again if you leave first. My writing is important to me – this is when I feel alive, no matter what I am going through. If I leave it, I am ill. If I write, I feel happiness – okay, not jump up and down for joy happiness, but contentment in my choice because I am doing what I was meant to do. There is a discovery somewhere along our journey when we realize “this is it” and our passion confirms our choice (…although I believe the choice was never really ours to make – it is an inherent part of us… we just had to discover it.)
Yesterday marked one year of her passing – the week up to this day was emotional for me as I remembered back to “what was happening at this time last year.” Some were personal times I can share with no one because I was the only one there. Others are common to family members and friends, a sadness shared as we deal with this loss each in their own way. But no amount of crying, no prayers, or denial will bring her back. There is an empty hole in my heart, sometimes a void in my spirit, often an emotional depression, but I will fill them all with words. My NaNo project is a continuation of Novella I, A Journey of Brothers, released in the summer of 2012 as an EBook, dedicated to my mom. She loved the book and I told her I would be writing more to follow up – Novella II – A Journey of Truth, and Novella III, A Journey of Desires, are now in the works.
In much the same way, my 2010 NaNo novel “Power Struggle” came to be started at my dad’s hospital beside - the Journey YA series will be part of connecting good things that come out of what we perceive to be not so good. The new work will be dedicated in my mother’s memory and it is in this way I can leave a legacy and a lasting memory.
The other day my daughter asked me if I liked her sweater. I said yes.
“But it’s grey… I’m not sure if I do,” she declared decidedly as she went off to change into something more “Kelsey.”
I didn’t understand why the change because it really did look good. I rather liked it. But, as I said, I like grey. I’m not sure why I like grey but it has always appealed to me in some way or another – perhaps, it is because of its subtle qualities; it’s a hue less oppressive than black and certainly of more substance than plain old white. It is silver in jewellery and pewter in decor. It is flannel in suits and dapple in horses. It doesn’t stand out. It’s rather common, sometimes dull, and could even be defined as lifeless. I guess it really depends upon what it is that’s grey – I certainly am not impressed with the strands that appear in my hair, more frequently now as I get older. It certainly is not an endearing color for our beautiful Alberta sky. Given it is moving into November, however, grey seems to be the shade of the day for weather. Grey moods are downers and they hit me, more often than I’d like to admit, but again, isn’t it much better to have a grey mood than a black one? Come to think of it, I am lucky my greys don’t morph into blackness, but then again, I’m not hit with many lately I would classify as white ones, either – if there is such a thing in a mood. Grey is the new blue – grey moods are sullen and overpowering and overwhelming like low hanging rain clouds on a Sunday afternoon.
Here I am jumping on the band wagon to declare my take on the many shades of grey – I admit there is nothing bright about wearing worn out clichés, despite how many millions they have raked in. Grey can be sky, color, and/or mood – it can change in the blink of an eye or the parting of the clouds. It can even be hidden, masked by the façade as apparent delight in life.
Since we can’t change the weather we have to do what we can… so when things look down and you are given to the grey, there’s nothing like a ten buck box of sunshine to lighten up your fifty shades.
In a whirlwind of fresh fallen leaves, the month of September slipped silent as we turned another calendar page. It was not quiet in its passing for it was as busy as any fall has ever been ~ and as most will probably always be. So many events start anew with schedules in September often the starting point for programs, projects, activities, and unfortunately, the increasingly evident reminder of colder things to come. We are embraced by fleecy warmth, donned reluctantly from the back corners of our closets, pulled close in the morning and, perhaps by day’s end, a burden over our arm or slung over our shoulder. This diversity in temperature, with its range of highs and lows, leaves us guessing, hoping, pushing, resisting, and sometime fighting against the ailments of seasonal change. The waning light heralds travel home will soon be in darkness. Frosty nights have us scraping early morning windshields. Protective shoes replace the much loved sandal with socks finally seeing the light of day after a summer of drawer arrest. The glory that is September is nature’s beauty, our respite after summer’s heat – a reprive before winter’s chilling hold. September, with its changing shimmering colors and moderate climes, is Alberta’s golden goddess…
I was so busy with everything during the month, I neglected to share my equinox piece, but here is the link from last year’s post: http://wildhorse33.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/autumn-equinox/
(c) Photo by Linda J. Pedley (Glenwood Memorial Gardens #shpk)
We follow our journey through life – sometimes lost, sometimes exploring, sometimes determined and in a hurry to get to where we think we are supposed to go. Often we don’t even know where that is… but through trial and error we persevere and, by and large, we end up following the path we were meant to take all along. Choices along the way challenge us; some work and some don’t which is a testament to what was supposed to be all along. If it works, then it’s meant to be. If it doesn’t, we have a decision to make in order to get back on track. My journey has led to writing and the writing life, and I’ve been slowly inching my way to into the publishing industry – helping others while I help myself. I have been told I inspire others to follow their dreams just by being true to who I am and following mine. I have not done what I would classify as great things to change the world. I have not discovered a cure for anything; I hold no great wealth to attack poverty or provide homes for homeless or orphans or even stray animals. I sometimes barely stay afloat knowing my lot in life is not wealth; I do what I do not for fame; I don’t stand out as a beauty – based on common misconceptions.
Everything and everyone around me shapes my writing journey by molding it to their influences and the effects they have upon my life. I have 3 inspirational influences I want to share today. Unlike my obsession with William Shakespeare, these people are a real part of my life. The first is my late mother – feelings are still raw about this and no matter how much time goes by the differences are too noticeable to ever be the same. I am finding ways to deal with the emptiness her leaving created. I know she would want me to continue building my company and her acceptance of my own writing inspires me to do more. I will continue to see her life, and her death, as something I must weave into my work in order to heal and move forward.
The second is my dear friend – Mandy Eve-Barnett. As fellow writer and co-conspirator on many projects and events, she came into my life fairly recently if you look at the big picture; but as we all know, for a reason. She is a rock of stability and reality in my dream-filled, high hope world. Not that she doesn’t have dreams and hopes of her own but it seems she is able to keep them grounded and does so in much the same way my mother did. Mandy’s writing goals are an inspiration to me and others- she is creative and inventive and meticulous in her plan. She has built in a short time a dedication some take years to develop. You can follow her blog (one a day from the beginning of this year!) at the following link: http://mandyevebarnett.com/
The third person I would like to acknowledge, but by no mean the last, is my daughter, Kelsey Hoople. My little dynamo will shock you with her life advice yet in a short time frame of life she is wise beyond her years – but as she would say “what’s age got to do with it…” It wasn’t a life planned, raising her as a single parent, but one that contributed to her journey and upbringing as well as mine as a person and a parent. Together, we have climbed many mountains and continue to deal with life as a pair. She recently started her own business and aspires to doing great things for those she is prepared to help and the community in which she lives. Her words are posted on her web site under the Let’s Talk tag. http://www.kelseyincorporated.com/lets-talk.html
There have been and are many others and will be many more ahead – people are the greatest influencers in our life. My reminder to this is the saying “a reason, a season, a lifetime.” Good, bad or indifferent, for a short time or forever – lessons are learned, shared, and our stories grow as we live. True inspiration comes to those who are good to one another while being true to who they are and respectful of the journey they travel.
As a writer, many moments surround me that have to do with words and the opportunity for expression exists even though I feel my own creative writing is not as frequent an event as I would like it to be – right now. Right now being a time when I am immersed in the promises and projects of my own publishing company while maintaining my full time employment status, balancing personal time and commitment with volunteer and public appearance. In addition to all these things – life goes on and I am still coming to grips with me and different feelings, processing my reaction to those emotions, and dealing with “how it is” since things have so dramatically and drastically changed. It is said time heals all and, although it is the catalyst enabling us to eventually move on – it does not hide, change, or even make things better. They are merely, different… The situation and all its affects remain constant to me even though the hurt is most often reduced to a dull ache; it is still there, always, reminding. Is that the pensive artist speaking? Or the lamenting poet bemusing? Is it the need to continually grasp that which makes me feel something since there are times when I feel nothing? I am yet unable to write the negative out of me… knowing that I must, in order to purge the inner infestation and ease my own healing. The days are roller coaster weeks of emotional and physical restraints, ups and downs, periods of calm and nothingness erupting into those of stress and tension.
I recently experienced what I thought was “not a bad day” having felt no extremes of sadness or pain; it was a Monday and I embraced it, got up and ventured out into my work world. Then, having accomplished a productive day there I followed it up with attention to other business, and then I spent the latter part of the evening in relaxation and conversation. Imagine my surprise when my daughter countered my expression of “it was not a bad day today” with “why can’t it just be a good day?”
Why can’t it, I asked myself, perplexed with my own realization of how it was stated. We discussed the ramifications of declaring the negative over the positive. The only thing I knew for sure was it felt to be better than some days of late, having experience bad days. I feel that to have a “good day” might mean moving beyond that which I know does not truly exist for me. They are different days with some that are not as bad as others. Why can’t I declare it a good day? For the same reason I am not a “jump up and down exuberantly” happy person. I know I am allowed to feel good. I am entitled to be happy. I am willing to make changes, when and if I can… but I am also taking the time I need to move into that acceptance, allowance, and happiness. I am hopeful it exists in the future; in the meantime, I go on with “not a bad day” being those with the least amount of pain – emotional and physical.
(I was, however, personally pleased and grateful with the offspring who exhibited beyond her years intelligence. She is truly my reason for being; as are my dearest and closest friends who give me reason and cause to smile.)