Like Blowing Bubbles


big bubble

It’s been a while since I’ve written and even longer since I’ve worked on “my book.”  It’s funny. Once, I couldn’t “not” write. Now, I am not in a major writing block but I don’t want to just write to write. I have fleeting moments when I want to share something but if I don’t move on it right away, it kind of goes away like blowing bubbles… they are there floating around and then POP! Maybe it is because my study is out there with my art studio now. I have to walk outside, unlock a door and turn on a light and warm the place up before I can begin, where once I just walked to my office inside the house. Or… Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and my ideas in my head don’t last as long. Smile.

But in the time I’ve been away from my blog, I have a few things that have happened in life that I would like to share if you would care to pull up a chair for a while and chat with me…

In dreams… I’ve learned that you have to believe in yourself. and you have to become fearless in doing it. Even when you feel you are wasting time, or doubts crowd in so you can’t see the whole picture, you have to realize that dreaming is a form of planning and that nothing worth while ever just happens. Hard work and persistence is the only way you reach your goals. You must run toward your dreams as if you were on fire! And believe that you are never too old to set another goal and another, to reach that ultimate place that you want to be. The trick is… to realize that there is no expiration date on your dream. It is terrifying at times, when reality gets in the way and you have to make the choice to stay stuck in your comfort zone or go for it.

In relationships I’ve learned that love is a funny thing.  It isn’t just about that “all wrapped up in a butterflies in your stomach, over the top Ferris Wheel, falling in love kind of feeling. It is leaning on each other in the good and the bad times. Growing older but still seeing the beauty in staying. It’s still having a few fights but not wanting to pack your bags every time you do. It’s caring about each other with unselfish fortitude and doing things the other wants to do and giving freedom without guilt trips when they want to go do something without you. It is supporting their dreams and getting behind ourselves. And realizing that a supportive spouse is about as HOT as it can gets! And it is wanting to be together while sometimes doing nothing at all. And it is appreciating things in each other that you may have missed along the way. Things that have always been right at the core of why you’ve stayed.

I’ve learned that our kids are small for such a short time. That in the blink of an eye, they will be adults with thoughts and opinions of their own. That we have a tiny window to insert the values that we want them to carry with them. That they learn by not our words, but by our actions. Not by what we tell them, but what we show them. And in the end, it is their choice what to take with them and how well we packed those metaphoric suitcases for them.

I’ve learned that life is short. Time is fleeting. Love is more than a feeling. And only we can choose who we want to be. God has given us all free choice. In believing in HIM and believing in ourselves. I know people in my life who have given up on both. And I have learned through all my choices… never to give up on God or myself or the people I love and that everything is worth it in the end.

Now if you’ll excuse me… I’ve gotta get back to work!

my-studio

(My new art studio/study my hubby made for me!)

abcgarage saws

My garage workshop my husband also set up for me!

abc scarecrows at reminisce

(A start…. My Welcome Folk… Porch Dolls)

SHOUTING to be heard


you-are-a-writer

My daughter gave me a book last Christmas that I have been reading and re-reading this past year, called; You Are A Writer (so start ACTING like one) by Jeff Goins. And something he said really resonated with me; He shared an example of how every Sunday for the past 150 years Londoners have assembled in a corner of  Hyde Park as a place to share their views on anything from politics and religion and everything else in-between. Standing on a stage where they’d get up to speak and shout their views into the crowd. He goes on to say that today the Internet is our Hyde Park and the stage belongs to everyone from artists to entrepreneurs and yes, writers. And how it is important to not have to shout above the crowd but make your own platform where your loyal readers know that they can find you week after week.

speakers-corner

Always loving a good  metaphor, he gave a perfect one that really  made me think! He shares about receiving a newspaper that he didn’t ask for that lands daily at the end of his driveway. It gets rained on and never read and always thrown away. though he realizes that the editors and writers probably put a lot of work in writing and editing and distributing it, he doesn’t care and didn’t ask for it. That made me think. A lot of us write our blogs hoping that it doesn’t land unwanted, on that reader’s driveway, that we have   earned a platform on their page and have an unspoken permission to show up on our followers doorstep when we do.

newspapers

I actually got up today, intending to post this, when I got caught up with my previous post that I just posted. It is different than a lot of my posts, but for some reason I wanted to write about it. Not that I usually expect someone to read two posts in a row. As I never would want to be just another annoying metaphorical rolled up newspaper that’s  ended up at  the end of one of my reader’s driveways. I feel that it is important to recognize that you really must earn the space that make people actually read. Like the Hyde Park gathering where the crowd hushes to listen. To feel heard is an amazing feeling but also an honor.

computer2

I have some pretty loyal readers, no matter if I even answer back, they are always faithfully there reading. Not even a lot of my family members  do that! LOL. I know that some still have the mentality that if I read theirs, they will read mine and if I get busy, I can tell it is a give and take with a lot of other writers. And I understand. I just can’t read everything I follow and only try to follow those I know that I will read.  And love the new writers that I am getting to know and look forward to their posts. Sometimes I will spend a day off wandering through posts that I have missed. I just know that I never want to feel that I have to shout to be heard and that  I’d rather be one of those  newspapers that my readers are waiting for and not one of those soggy old unwanted ones!

Like A Boom-A-Rang


doorknob

I have been spending a lot of time in the archives of some of my favorite wordpress writers here. I have always found it funny when people have told me that they wish I would write more when I have over two years worth of posts in my first archives that I am sure that they haven’t seen or for that matter, no one has ever seen.

When I began this blog, my daughter had just left for school and though I hadn’t been a stay at home mom for years, and had a full life with a full time job, the hole I felt was deeper than I’d ever expected and so in working around my feelings, I found a blog called Empty Nesters that really helped me not feel so alone, where other people talked about their feelings too and it really helped. As an all my life writer wanna-be, I took the plunge and after starting a few different blogs, found wordpress and settled down here. Writing mainly for me. Never expecting anyone else to read my silly ramblings.

book store

 

Now over 2000 followers later, I feel blessed to have settled down in my little blog neighborhood with people who I actually consider my friends. It is hard to keep up with everyone. But it is fun to go back in their archives and read their earlier posts. It made me wander back into my own before anyone ever read any of them… Mostly before 2012. It is like going back and opening up an old door. And it is funny because I find the words I wrote so long ago a little useful to me. I used to say if I could help just one person by sharing my story than that was enough. Never imagining that the one person that needed my advice would be me.

writing signature

Maybe we need to backtrack and from time to time go back into our own posts and find some good advice. You know what they say, sometimes, all you have to do is look in your own backyard for what you are looking for!

Try it. If you are looking for some answers in your life today, go back and look through some of your old journals or posts and see if you might find something helpful there. You might find that you have grown a little wiser since writing. But you may also find that you actually can learn something from yourself all those years ago.

Too funny…. Like a boom-a-rang I have to swallow my own words.

reading on the floorPerhaps we are smarter than we give ourselves credit for and we need to find the answers in our own lessons learned.     d.reed

I will read yours if you you will read mine… Really?


reading computer screen

I am having another one of my reflective mornings,  with a mug of coffee, watching as the fog tethers over the road in front of my window. I think that I have shared with you that I live near a lake in a gated community. In the summer it can be very busy as boats are pulled in and out and I love it. There is just something about the hustle and bustle of  people living life that makes me happy and I don’t mind living so close to the gate (we are right on the corner.) But my very favorite view, if I could choose is that of twinkling lights of a city and a bridge at night. Watching the world below live their individual lives is kind of comforting to me. But today it is a quiet morning and I just felt the need to check in. Because the hustle and bustle of my own life has me missing out on this side of the bridge so to speak!

city view with bridge

I have not been writing or for that matter, reading a lot here lately and have found that when that happens, my sweet loyal followers still faithfully check in and I know we are a kind of cyber family.  You KNOW who you are! We (hopefully) will always be each other’s inspire-ers and eventually find our way back to one another’s door steps, cyberly or not.  But the others fall off. There is a kind of networking mentality among us here… “I will read yours, if you will read mine.”  And slowly, if your life becomes busy and you don’t  comment or at least “LIKE” all of their posts regularly, they tend to move on. (I just find that so sad. I read when I have time and love to find new bloggers to encourage.) And then there are others that are still just finding me trickle in and it feels good that something is working.

like thumb

Soooo even though this is a soft place to fall, for me… it takes work and I do notice the numbers. As with anything, you make a deposit and you can make a withdrawal. That’s just how it works. You get what you put in. Though there are always those friends that give without expecting anything in return and I am so blessed as I recognize who you are. And strive to be like you!

And how could I miss an opportunity for a good  metaphor? (Ya gotta have seen this one!)     There is Someone else who is always there, … HE is just waiting for me to talk to HIM but whether I do or not, remains ever so faithful and is always there, never moving on. How blessed are we to have HIM as our friend? A constant soft place, whether we check in or not, HE is always there waiting for our next “post.” And ALWAYS to follow HIM!

jesus praying hands

As far as this blog, I started writing here as a place to store my book and my poetry. So it surprised me when one reader started reading and seriously critiquing my first posts. (If you look back you will see in the comments that I was a little taken aback, until I actually began to look forward to those comments.) At first it was annoying, and then I found it pretty affirming. That someone took time out of their day to read every post I’d write. Our friendship kind of evolved. And then abruptly stopped. I think there was a kind of a pattern there that had nothing to do with me… but it made me aware that other people might actually read what I wrote. And to also go out and read other’s posts. I discovered kindred spirits and an amazing little family of validation and affirmation and really have learned to not only admire other writers but love and care about you guys!

blog readers

In my life I have learned that at times in life, everyone is lonely, sad, angry, easily offended,  and that the most annoying and prideful, boasters are usually the most insecure. But I’ve  also been taught great lessons by the  forgivers and joy seekers, the ones that don’t notice the wrong in everyone, the ones that don’t judge, the ones that share their own stories to build others up and to help us know that we really are not alone… the ones that  make me have something to strive for, to always be better.

And it is here that I have discovered greatness.

 

 

Or did you just know?


book shelves in library

What comes first, the reader or the writer? For me, first being read to, and then reading, inspired me to write. It made me think at a very young age,” I can do that.” Or perhaps, I want to do that. I know others do it better. And yet, when we do something well, we just know. A dancer, a singer, a baseball player or an actor. We may have encouragement from parents or teachers and adults prompting us to hone our craft. But it is something more, there is just something inside of each of us when we have found that one thing we want to improve on without anyone telling us to.

It is funny, I remember in about second and third grade, grasping the concept of writing and my favorite authors that inspired me to want to do it too. Roland Dahl, Beverly Cleary, Ray Bradbury and C.S. Lewis, just to name a few.  I know that as an adult, I now have my accrual of favorites and I know that they are both similar and different than my style and that I am always aiming for improving and use them as a sort of an archetype. A model of sorts to sharpen my own skills by their style of writing and their formulas.

When I knew that I could write poetry, or could write verses and rhyme sentences, I studied the greats and it wasn’t as black and white as a certain genre such as Fiction or non-fiction. Poetry is an entirely different concept. I have always loved T.S. Elliot and Of course, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, who intrigued me when I’d heard she was an ancestor. Whether or not, I ever have proof of that, just learning that, I think helped to inspire me and for me to feel as if talent might be inherited and hopefully a few blood cells found their way into my bloodline!

Every once and a while don’t you just stop and wonder, why am I doing this? Why can’t I not do this? When did I ever come up with this concept that I might have something worthy of sharing? Do you remember when you first had the notion? Was it some encouraging word from someone else, or did you just know?

Most of my poetry is very Hallmark-ish I always loved Hellen Steiner Rice and I think I tend to count cadence and beats and rhyme accordingly. I am trying not to rhyme. To  dig deep and attempt new things.

Below is a brand new style for me. Not sure I am there yet… It is dark, always dark lately. And very random, no cadence, no formula. I will write a happier one tomorrow! It’s so hard not to rhyme!!!! Not good at not doing that yet! (this is just what came out of me this morning…  I think sometimes, whatever rises up is what needs to be shared… maybe for someone else somewhere…)

On The Brim

cliff girl looking down

as I smell the storm passing

trying to escape where I’ve been

the rain fights with the fog

the storm wins

broken glass eye

it’s hard to see

behind the pain

barely holding on

as it rains

the clutter in my head

crashes in

pieces of glass stare back at me

broken glass3

shattered on the floor

as each finger lets go.

cliff stepping off

Diane Reed

2016

Growing Up


 

 

women writing at desk

I wrote all day yesterday. Everyday last week was taken up with different things and so besides getting out there in the beautiful sunshine and mowing the lawn and catching up with my friends next door for a few minutes, and responding to a few work emails and then turning those off, I had a “me” day and made myself sit down and just write. I mean really take the time to relax enough to take notes and regroup and take more notes and focus on that little project I keep promising myself I’ll finish.

woman writing in the sun

It seems as if every day off I’ve had lately, has been consumed with other things that take priority. So yesterday I literally closed the door and spent 8 hours making myself work on my book. Last night my husband complained that I’d barely said four words to him all day. Well, that was an exaggeration. I could tell he wanted to talk about it during a show he doesn’t approve of me watching. And even though I had it recording and could have stopped to probably argue about me taking a day for me, I just didn’t. I probably should have stopped and talked. But I am still working on boundaries and at times my interpretation of them, can be a little selfish.

In the past, if I’d known anyone was remotely upset with me, I’d prickle like a porcupine and get defensive. Today, I think the difference is that I am growing up. Though that kind of sounds oxymoronish here as I still watched the show my “daddy” didn’t approve of. And no I’m not going to tell you what it was, cuz I’m not proud of the fact that I love reality shows! LOL.

The problem with having experienced abuse in the past, is always expecting abuse in the present. I have a friend who is a fellow blogger with a story much worse than mine and she always makes me think. Today my comment to her post made me think about the fact that survivors of abuse have one thing in common, distrust. We are always expecting a repeat of the same.

She got married last year. Found love and is still pinching herself over how happy she is. My comment to her was that I think the secret to her success is that she waited until she grew up. And that the problem with abuse is that we just begin to expect everyone to be the same as our first experience and to not realize that abuse is not the normal. We don’t learn how to argue like grown ups. We just learn to fight back and make everything a drama.

couple talking seriously 2

I am really trying to break that cycle. I tend to over-react to a normal disagreement and feel backed into a corner before I ever even look at the other side. I have just begun to grasp the fact that not everyone comes from that warped abuse perspective and I need to stop dropping that hat on the heads of people who don’t deserve it, while giving myself a break and embracing  my own choices.  Right or wrong. If I want to have a day off, and someone takes it personally, I need to just explain that I need a break, and nothing is wrong.  And to realize that not everything has to be a drama.  Hence; me growing up? Perhaps.

typed to be continued

Like A BAD Haircut


blog make over
I thought my blog needed a little makeover. So I wandered on over to the Admin side of things and giving myself much more technical credit than I  actually deserved, I proceeded to click on “theme” and color swatches. And when I clicked on  “View” it was like looking in a mirror after a bad hair cut. Reality check. “Hey girl, you DON’T know what you are doing!” And I had to go to work reeeally early yesterday! (WHY do I always do things when I don’t have time to do them?)  So I sucked it up and closed my page and jumped into the shower hoping for the first time since I’ve had my blog, that I’d have no visitors. 

gate

A special friend is someone who looks past your broken down gate and                                                   still admires your garden!

But I really do love my readers because even though it looked like a big fat mess, (you know the kind when you are moving around your room  and you are stuck in the middle of a bunch of furniture kind of mess?) A few still managed to muddle through, leaving sweet comments without ever mentioning the state of my blog which looked like a very BAD make-over by someone who had no idea what she was doing!

salon cartoon

So back to the proverbial Salon I went to try to fix things. And still not sure I like it. But I think it is a little easier to read than my last look. Sometimes you just need a change. I’ve always admired the techie people. I find it kind of hot when someone remotely hops on your screen from somewhere completely different and works on the likes of the little mess I’ve gotten myself into. Showing up on my computer screen and wahlah! It is fixed. (So amazing!) But we all have our limitations and I know mine. So weird that my dad was one of the first computer dudes out there and I am his off-spring. But oh well. We all have our talents.

Whatever my limitations, I needed a change!!! Like when you want a new look so you get a hair cut, or change a room around kind of thing. My blog needed a little dusting off. So I took the scissors and gave it a haircut and moved some things around.

hair cut

Just wanted to warn you guys if you came looking for me and it looked as if I moved. Still here, just with a new look.  What do you think? I am still trying to get used to it. But like hair that always will grow back, WordPress has the option to return to the old look if you guys liked that one better. Also beware, I may keep trying new looks.  Poor Linda! (my hair stylist) Knows that about me after over a decade of working on me and sweetly following my lead and going along with stuff I ask her to do even when she knows that eventually I will want to return back! After all these years you’d think that  I’d learned my lesson by now. (At least with my hair!)

make over cartoon

Why do we write?


I just watched a video of a Chiropractor healing a young man who was bent over for a very long time. In less than a month of treatments, he stood tall as he walked out the door with plans of becoming a Chiropractor, himself. It was so inspirational, it almost made me want to become one!

http://www.newslinq.com/back-pain-kyphosis/

In a way, I think that we write to heal.

Most of us who are writers, remember when we knew we “had to” write. Like those who sing or dance, paint or act. It is so hard to explain. Right? Even when we don’t do what we are supposed to do, we still really are who we are. Does that make any sense at all?!  If a dancer stops dancing, she is still a dancer. I know that as an artist, I am still an artist. I could still draw a new illustration for one of my greeting cards or make a doll and at times I miss the art shows and the long nights getting ready for the next one, or packing up my car to head for a holiday show, But from the begining, I really feel that if I had to choose, I was always meant to be a writer.

During my art show years, I wrote poems for my cards, I could probably publish a few volumes of what I’ve written. I’m talking hundreds. Some not great, some not so bad. But writing here at WordPress, the last few years has really made me want to write more. Though I go through spells. Really dry spells. Recently writing my story, really did me in. Going back in time, affected me more than I knew. Literally, mood changing, and it was hard for me to snap out of it. But it was also very healing. I know I have a message for women. If just one sees herself in my story and takes back her power, it will be worth it.

writer frustrated

I have realized that I need to go back and adjust parts, tear out others and be more brutally honest. I am glad that somewhere inside myself, I knew that it wasn’t good enough. Fictionally introduced to spare those that might not want “their” story told, I intend to pull out some of those muscles that have become mushy and push on, like an old dancer, who knows that they have not danced their last dance, and still have a few more great performances left.

ballerina sitting on floor

The age old question.  Does everyone have something? Why do some live their whole lives without ever sharing it or letting us know their gift? Why do those of us “have to” do what we do? And why do we sometimes stop? I think it is exhausting at times. To share daily, is like going to the gym, you have to be dedicated.

It is more about exercising our words. It heals us as we write. More often, I have been going back into my archives and having my own AHA moment when I need it the most. Pricking my own soul with a message I wrote years ago. And realize that I really am writing for myself. Trying to reach my center, not really being the expert for anyone else but me.

library shelves

Blogging is a funny thing.  There will be the handful that LIKE this before I can even re-read it myself. The ones who support you just to be nice… And then I have my two or three dozen very loyal readers, who really read because that is what they do. (I love you guys!) And then there are the writers who I have bonded with who read pretty regularly, even if I have been missing for a while, every so often, if I don’t write, I get comments from people reading random old posts of mine, which is amazingly inspiring. And then there are the writers, that support you as you support them. If you don’t work it, you lose them. Like anything, ya gotta work it to stay in shape! Lets just say, like my wedding diet (mother of the bride in June) I am back! Well, I am trying!

ballet

 

The Way We Write.


coffee and computer

When my daughter was in High School, she was one of the Drama Kids. They are a special group all of their own. Some mom’s pick their kids up after soccer practice, I picked mine up after rehearsals. It felt like she belonged to a little family that understood each other and it was comforting knowing she had them. I kind of feel like that about the friends I have made here. It is as if we are a family. It is funny, I’ve noticed that the same people who I follow seem to follow one another. All in a little circle of our own. We have found each other and it is comforting. It is as if we all go to the same church, love the same things, like artists or dancers or actors or musicians who hang out with one another because they have that connection with each other that no one else really “GETS”.

dancers

Sometimes I read a line somewhere or wake up in the middle of the night inspired and have to run to my laptop so I won’t lose it.

desk empty

I like clicking on my blog and knowing that I am entering a little neighborhood, where my friends, my family of writers exist. The ones that inspire and nudge, the ones that are my soft place to fall. Many who I have learned to call friend and  and have genuinely grown to love. The ones who I pray for and who pray for me. The ones who advise and mentor the ones who critique and suggest. We are like a writer’s club all having coffee at a cozy little shop that allows us all to gather and read our ramblings.  I love to hear about your writing and what inspires you, imagine where you write and what time.

Fiction_Critique_Meetup_January_19th_edited-1__4536771_ver1.0_640_480

The writer’s studio in my head is a lot like the one I tucked into my last book. It is on the third floor of my imaginary three-story house. The study is warm and cozy with an A framed shaped ceiling, with wall to ceiling built-in bookcases lining both sides. A little gas fireplace sits in the corner of the opposite side of the room next to a window seat  my desk is a heavy wooden, well oiled, antique with a banker’s lamp and a lap top and plenty of drawers. It over looks the tree tops and a little brook below. I usually have a mug of coffee with a splash of cream sitting nearby. And you can find me there every morning before sunrise and sometimes in the middle of the night when my mind forces me up to write.

attic office

In reality, I live in a one story house in a small lakeside community. My house is a little less than 3 miles away. When I am motivated I walk there occasionally and write. My window overlooks the road by the gate where all of the cars come and go, since we live on the corner of the first street inside of the entrance. It gets a little noisey, especially during the summer. I don’t mind though, I find the traffic comforting. One day I sat there writing for so long that I saw an empty moving van drive in and then drive out full. When I get inspired, I “have” to write.

I’d love to hear about your routines. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with an idea so strong that it gets you out of bed? Do you write in a special place? At a special time? What does your “place” look like? I want to go there. Bring me there now with your words. If you please.

Sorry… Could you guys tell me something?


typed to be continued

This is so embarrassing! But I accidentally published the rough draft of my book for a few minutes and then realized it and deleted it. So hopefully most people saw the message COULD NOT BE FOUND. But when I e-mailed my rough draft of my book to my blog, some of you evidentally received the whole thing. It is filled with errors that I was going to do my best to catch before I let someone read it and then re-edit before I hired an editor to go over it again. You know, kind of like the way you clean your house, before you hire a housekeeping company to come and clean it! I KNOW some of you know exactly what I mean! But I feel it is the same way with our writing. There are those people who are just comfortable. We trust them to not judge us, no matter when they come over, no matter how our house looks, they are welcome to just pop in. And there are those who you always try to have your house looking nice for and wouldn’t ever want them to see otherwise.

I feel that our blogs are like the first friends. We feel un-judged and loved regardless. Though there are some that give us welcome and constructive criticism that I appreciate. I think my rough draft slipping through the cracks here, puts me somewhere in-between. I wanted to straighten up my house so to speak before I shared it with the special few who have offered to read it. I understand that asking someone to read 200+ double spaced pages is a LOT. And I don’t take it lightly I am grateful for the ones who are willing. And anticipate their feedback!

question mark

The favor I am asking you guys is… to tell me what you have seen. I’m just wondering how many received my rough draft accidentally? I have received several messages that you guys are loving what you are reading and most have read it in one sitting and I am blown away with gratitude. I told Quiall, one of my very special reader friends that I would provide a place for your reviews. I actually am not posting my book. I published the draft for a few accidental moments before I realized that it actually went through! Embarrassing. If you did receive it, please let me know here. I am just wondering how many slipped out! If you are interested in reading the edited version of my rough draft, I will share it with those who want to give me feedback as I continue to edit… such as… was the ending what you expected? Did you feel it had a redeeming message in the end? Was it confusing in certain places? etc… Any suggestions…. etc… THANK YOU!

Once again through this journey of now three years! I thank all who have shared it with me…. through joining me at the beginning and throughout. Even following me to:          http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com    which I know I have kind of left hanging. You ALL are the GREATEST and I love you!

xoxo

Diane

aka Keri 🙂

The First Draft


typewriter older

Have you ever written something and gone back to it, trying to rework the sentence and then realized, hey I can just backspace this and add that and change it to fit perfectly into what you had in mind? I’m always a little surprised. Not because I’m old enough to remember typewriters with ribbons and then remember when they came out with white-out built right into them. Or carbon paper that we used to use to make copies. (Though I am.) But because it is just so easy to write now days. As I edit my book, and find myself stuck at times, I always feel myself thinking… Oh yeah, I’m not stuck with this sentence or I can actually make this character say something completely different and back space, and delete and wahlah, I am the master of their journey. I wish life were as easy. There are times I wish I could rewind and backspace some of the stuff that comes out of my own mouth. I wish that I could write the  speeches into my brain, that I would like to say to certain people without getting flustered. Ah, now wouldn’t that be nice? To have auto-correct built-in to our mouths! LOL. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone else ever thought these crazy things?

Maybe it is just something that those of us who remember the old ways of writing a story appreciate more. A friend asked me a while back, if I touch typed. I asked him what that was, and realized that it was typing without looking. Yes. I can proudly say that I touch type. And pretty fast at that. My mom made me take typing in High School. I hated it, but I am so glad that she won that fight!

I am not sure that the kids now days even recognize the advancements. I for one am grateful that I am not forever having to white-out and rewind or use carbon paper if I wanted to make more than one copies or stand in line at the library and run off copies for ten cents a copy which is kind of a lot even now. So as I edit and rewrite, it made me really appreciate the fact that I am not stuck with ruining a whole page if I want to change the direction of one of my characters. And of course, you know, I am going to find something metaphoric in all this… A lesson so to speak. So…. Just maybe… I should be a little more tolerant with me and stop kicking myself for having to rewind or backspace and just know that it’s okay to rewrite a scene, because in the end, it might be even better than the first draft!

type the end

I’d like to take this opportunity to say… That I’m happy to report that I think that I am done with my book! After all the deleting and rewriting, I am now in edit mode!

Saving Me


I’ve written a few synopsis during my final drafts. I think that this one capsulizes my intentions. I’d love to have your feedback if you have the time. Does it capture your attention? Would it make you want to read more? Any changes you’d care to suggest? I appreciate you guys!

Thank you!!!!!

Prologue

This book is for all the silenced voices out there, trembling under the shadow of someone else’s demons. For those who know how treading lightly and walking on eggshells feels. And how we all become a little confused about love and loyalty to someone else while forgetting to love ourselves most of all.

I remember feeling so conflicted when I thought about the oxygen mask scenario and how we must save ourselves first, before we can save our children. We instinctively want to give them everything to save them first. But the fact is that without us, they would not survive. And so we must save ourselves before we save them. By receiving the oxygen ourselves first. I believe that it’s the same in love. We cannot love someone else without learning to love ourselves first.

**********

This is a story about a young girl who came from a loving home. Who didn’t have a lot of experience with grown up relationships. She was romantic and a maybe little boy crazy. But the intensity of everything that was to come caught her off guard. She began chronicling everything in a “Writing Journal” that started out as a simple English class assignment. Years later, she found the journals again and decided to share the stories with her young daughter,  now close to the same age as she was when she wrote in them. And through the sharing of the journals, it inspired her to write her story.

One morning, up in her study, half way into her writing project, she sat down with a mug of coffee to continue writing what she’d begun, as she noticed a friend request pop up on her Face book page and the name she’d never forgotten even three decades later, stared back at her. Little did she know that in the click of a key her life would change forever, in ways she could have never predicted. Accepting the friend request would allow her to confront her own demons that had followed her in every relationship since. It will be the closure that I’ve needed all these  years, she reasoned with herself as she clicked ACCEPT.

computer

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested… Below is the book that the above will prologue…

http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

Keri’s Journal


suitcasess

Hi Folks!

I am back! I feel as if I have been away on a long trip! Some of you have come along with me and faithfully stuck it out beside me the whole way and I am forever grateful!

For the others reading this…

I am Sorry that I took a powder for a while. I have been working on a project for my book. Some of you may have gone to my page and searched for Dear Journal Entry #1    and then followed as I have written a draft on here. Kindly offering to edit and read as I write. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from you all as you have offered different suggestions and even told me that you have cried in places! Which I know is the highest form of a compliment! A friend and published author http://dgkayewriter.com/  approached me last year with an idea. She suggested that I take some of the journals that I found and recreate them in my book in place of some of the chapters that I’d already written. Soooo I created another blog: http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

If you are interested after reading “ABOUT”  It is important to know that I started this in November 2013 or to  go to :http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/dear-journal-entry-1/     to begin reading.

I am far from finished but… I’d love to hear your feedback!

There were times that I was signed on under Keri’s name and have wandered around your posts and comments and forgot where I was! I am not done and still have poetry to write on the other blog but for the most part I am back! And will try to get active here again! I have written here and there since I’ve been working on the other project and thank those of you who are still reading “here” but not as much as I would have liked. Anyway…. I Just wanted to explain!

It’s good to be back! I’m gonna go unpack now!

xoxo

Diane

suitcase of memories

No Offense


hole with moss

 

 

This has ended up being kind of a series and I promise this will be the last of it. But as I have dug my way back out of my hole I have tried to figure out yet again what brought me there. The kicker this time is that it was nothing in particular. I mean I’ve had much worse times of life and I know things could still be much worse. And I really don’t want my proverbial memory of a metaphoric “I’ll give you somethng to cry about” happen to me. But what the hell is my problem?! Sorry.

And then it dawned on me that everything that led me to my journey down that dark, dreary hole was about me and my crazy imagination. And though the good thing about a crazy imagination is, that it helps a writer write. The bad thing is that it doesn’t help if you still have to find a way to live in the real world (above the hole) I’d like to say that I am not easily offended and that I have a pretty tough skin. And in some ways that is very true. And as I have grown older, I’ve realized that stupid is… as stupid does… and been able to consider the source of most things. But when it comes from someone that I care about, it hurts just a little. Recently a lot. I’d like to think that I’ve grown an even thicker skin but most likely, I have lost a layer and so perhaps become a little more easier to offend.

So the trick is, deciding to just not be offended. Right? Yeah right. But you can be aware. My husband has a saying when someone is a little off: about how they are… “just a bubble off” it is related to the carpenter’s tool that is called a level that is used to measure if something is well, level. How can I not be offended when I am married to someone who guages me with a level? I’m KIDDING now but in the end I guess the answer is… if you can’t learn to laugh at yourself then you might as well jump back in that hole and pull in the dirt!

Thanks everyone for the support! I think that I am going to go fill in that hole now! (With me on the OUTside of it!) 😉

The End

shovel

 

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11

 

 

 

 

The Scent Of Words


library reading on the floor

I knew at a very young age that I had words and stories locked inside of me. In Elementary school my teachers noticed that I could write. But not until High School did one particular teacher actually take me under her wing and offer me Independent Writing classes.  I think that most writers can tell you when they knew they had that light bulb moment when they wrote  something special or different that set them apart from the rest of the other kids in the class. Like an artist who paints their first masterpiece or the singer that sings a song that takes someone’s breath away. Or a comedian that makes you laugh until you cry, and the dancer that makes people stop and really watch till the end.

ballerina

When I was in elementary school I loved to write for me but when I was in college, I put my amature talents to use and totally BS-ed my way through my Sociology class with my essays. I had no idea what I was talking about! But I received this comment on one of my most blatantly ramblings….                                       “100! If I could give you more, I would! Brilliant!” Okay, now I am coming clean. Like I said….I really, truly had NO idea what I was talking about! I just took the question and re-wrote it a bunch of different ways. But I knew then I could possibly fake it and so I did.

catalog card index

Today, I have a much more humbled outlook. I mean, in fifth grade there aren’t a lot of kids that love to really write. I was a different kind of fish in a small pond that stood out a bit because of just that. But in the bigger world, there are trillions of great writers in a much bigger pond. I am just one of many that likes the same bait.

Dr. Suess

The world has changed a bit also. When I was assigned to write those reports that we all remember. Remember those STATE reports? Didn’t we all have one assigned to us before we reached Junior High?  I’d spend hours at our local library, pulling out drawers filled with information, clinking dimes into a copy machine copying pictures in books for those reports.

copy machine

Now kids today can find it all on line. It makes me dizzy just how far we have advanced but  in the same breath, I am kind of sad that our kids will never experience pulling out a library catalog  drawer filled with index cards with  information on them. But though their computer knowledge will always far suprass mine,  there is still something to walking into a library and smelling the leather bound books with words pressed on pages, and being able to walk to a certain section of the library, finding the shelf, and  pulling down an actual book and breathing in the scent of words.

smelling the books girl

Come on Come Clean…We ALL Need Affirmation


sally field you like me

After my last post on my blog it started a conversation about numbers which I thought was interesting. A lot of us say we don’t care about the numbers and yet we know how many followers we have and though I have noticed that some blogs don’t have the LIKE icon on their blogs, most do. Even in our private lives we seem to keep score to a certain extent. While my daughter and I say” I love you” freely. My son seems to feel the need to ration out his “I love you s”  thinking that they will mean more to the receiver if he doesn’t say them at the end of each visit or phone call which is just a natural place for my daughter and I to say it. Well, I can say that they don’t mean more or carry any more weight than my daughter’s ten “I love you s” to his one. But I must admit that I do notice when he says “I love you” because he doesn’t say it as often. Is that what he is aiming for? I think it must annoy my daughter if I am impacted by my son’s rationed out “I love you s” though in the scheme of things… we are the ones that actually are experiencing joy more of the time but I guess it is all perspective.

bulletin board

I think that from the time we are little and our parents put up our refrigerator art or our teachers put our first papers up on the bulletin boards or later,  read a story we handed in out loud to the class that they especially found well written….  we feel that affirmation and like it and want more. It can be an A on a paper. A membership in a club. A spot on a team. Even when someone in your family says I love you. We need it all. Can we live without it? Sure. But not without it affecting us.

I remember when my first husband and I were just married. He’d never had a birthday party before. Which I found rather odd because my mother in law was a wonderful woman. But for whatever reason she’d never given birthday parties. It affected him. And I kind of am just realizing it now. Because he sucked at birthdays.

birthday

Anyway, I decided to give him a surprise 25th. His sister came over to help. I had been raised to always say I love you as I walked out the door and so I said it when I walked out, and he said it back to me. I think his sister saw the opportunity and said it too. He didn’t say it back. It really hurt her. We talked about it later as we were getting things ready. I just told her that they hadn’t been raised that way and to not let it bother her and that she knew that he loved her. I know he did. (He really loved his niece (her little girl) I’ve always felt that if you love someone’s kid, it is a reflection of your love for them whether you ever say it or not!) Years later before he died, he said he “I love you” all the time. I think it is just a maturity thing.

I think it all starts in the beginning… how ever we start out…. even if our mom says I love you all the time to us… and puts our papers up on the refrigerators, whether we get birthday parties or never have ever had one… we may end up saying I love you everyday or ration them out… we may also end up rationing out our LIKES to only the very special posts…. which are the ones I covet. But I must say that I do care how many followers I generate and what kind of interest my posts attract and I will take a thousand I love YOUS and just the few at a time. I admit it. I want them all. I am a writer. I think that makes me a little different. I think we all need it… bit I am willing to admit it!!!   I NEED AFFIRMATION!!!! to me…. It’s really not just a numbers thing. I need need to know that you like me. You really, really like me! And if you are my kids… I will take as many I love YOUs as I can get! 😉

numbers

Rainy Day Weather Friends


blog readers

I think that I am just feeling a wee bit sorry for myself. Even though I promised myself to never care about numbers. I truly never started out caring, honestly I didn’t. I started out writing this blog just for myself. But as wonderful people began stopping by, it got kind of fun meeting everyone, and kind of addicting to see who actually was reading my silly ramblings. I remember when I got twenty readers in one day and my first comment! I was beside myself with joy!  So now, I am not sure what I am complaining about. I mean, I am edging towards almost thirty thousand views and  a little over twelve hundred followers! And I am not bragging! I can’t believe it! But I think I got spoiled. And maybe I am pouting just a bit. Because this week I only have had  50 visits and I understand that I haven’t posted from this blog for a while because I have been working on my other blog that not everyone has found yet… and I know… Even the best authors are as important as their last best seller.

apple line 2

You know the ones, that their fans spent hours waiting in lines to get autographed, that are now sitting on shelves collecting dust 0r on coffee tables with condensation rings left on them from glasses filled with soda or some sweet old drinks. It just seems to me that  if that poor soul is not cracking out one book after another they are just yesterday’s news… and I have to admit that it feels like I am getting a taste of that world before I have even bit into it!

book store

Blogging kind of reminds me of   Rainy Day Weather Friends. As long as we are actively cranking out daily posts, we get frequent visits. And a handful of loyal friends remain ever so faithful in your amazingness!!!! (you guys know who you are!!!! And I love you for it) Some even bother to go through other doors of past posts of long ago. I mean I have posted almost 300 posts and some have had as many as 80 LIKES some have never been read at all. It is all a mystery to me what makes someone read something. Is it the title, the tag, the category? It is hard to know. I am just as guilty. I have boundaries and time limits. And favorites. I have blogs that I will delete automatically because they post ten a day and I haven’t bothered to go back and un-follow. And I have blogs that I read every single word they write and can’t wait for their next post!

I have an author friend that I met here that wrote a wonderful book and published it check it out! http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO

It is a story about a triumphant young woman who survives the challenges of being raised by a mother with mental illness. She is the kid with the story no one would believe. But who turns out to be the woman with the strength no one can’t admire! I am proud to call her my friend!

conflicted hearts book

Anyway, she is the one who suggested that I attempt to write part of my book in the form of a journal written by Keri, the teenager in my book that I’ve shared on this blog (if you search for chapters here starting with chapter one and so on….)

https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/update-like-a-postcard-or-something-like-that/

diary writer

I have to confess THAT is where I have been! I haven’t invited all of my readers of this blog there because I wanted to really see how that blog would go over. And I have to admit that at first, I saw that I could have played it off… if I didn’t feel like a total creeper! For during the time I am writing that blog… I am Keri again… remembering the pain… mixed in memories and also as a writer,  in the  fiction of it all as I try to figure out how to weave the story to convey the message that I ultimately want to share. (You guys are welcome to go and check it out. I’d love to hear what you think…) http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

Anyway, I guess as I have been hanging out over there… I have lost my momentum here… and felt WELL, okaaay, I seeee how it is… LOL…

But I understand it is like everything… Give and take. Just like a good friend who hasn’t written you for a while. I can’t expect to get a bunch of Valentines without sending them!

But I do love you guys! And didn’t want want to just be a Rainy Day Weather Friend!

Happy Valentines Day!!!!

valentine snoopy

Back Spacing!


reading little girl by tree

When I was a little girl, I would escape into my books. The stories would take me far away from my bedroom or under the tree where I sat, and snap me to another place and time.  I learned what authors I loved and would anxiously wait for their next book. I remember being just as mesmorized by the fact that somebody created the world I was reading about, almost as much as the story it’s self.

lonely girl in window seat

I knew that was what I wanted to do at an early age. And so I began to write, not because I was told to, but because I had stories inside of me. And as I wrote,  something happened to me. My teachers noticed that though I sucked at most every other subject, I did okay at writing. In fact, I was encouraged and put into special classes to motivate me. Where some kids want to be a ballerina or a fireman I  always knew that  I wanted to be a writer and never have ever changed my mind.

writer's block

Sometimes now,  I like to escape as I write my stories. Fiction is like magic for me. You can make each character a certain gender,  as you name them,  decide what age they will be, what personality they have, their color hair , where they live, and what jobs they have. You can have them married, break them up bring tragedy their way and then save them. As the author, you basically create their world.

writer

I Am The Master Of Their Story

I am the master of their story,

I can break their hearts with my pen.

breaking up

Or… I can backspace and delete

and make them fall in love again!

hugging in the rain

I can carry them to different lands

and make them travel over seas.

ocean

So why then can’t I rewrite

the fate that falls on me?

Diane Reed

2013 ©

My Story…. From my Archives


my story

I have come to the conclusion that in-between being a kid, a wife, a mom, single or married. Working for myself as an artist or a store owner or  working for someone else,  the one thing that I have always been is a writer. It is what defines me. I have filled books with ideas and half started  stories I have written poems and lyrics for songs. I have a million, trillion words inside of me that I want to share.

book store

I have listened and asked questions. I have read a thousand books and I have come to the conclusion that everyone has a story worth telling. We all can learn lessons from each other and so I feel that… we ALL should really be writers. But I “get” that some (well probably most normal people)  don’t have the “need” to share their stories. Their words are kept neatly in their brains! Thank you very much!

shel head

But I will always write! I have to. It is what I was made to do. I know that I drive people crazy by needing to know details and asking questions. I never really understood myself, why I have such a need “to know” stuff…  but I think in the end… I will use everything, every little detail…  to write stories that I haven’t even  thought up yet!

All of  us have different talents and weaknesses, sorrows and joy. We all beat to a different drum and so not everyone feels the same passion in their soul for the same thing another may. Which is a very good thing because not all teachers can design a building and not all Mechanics can assist in open heart surgery. But if that ‘thing’ that I call “magic” wasn’t squelched by life, most of us do have passion for something we want to be when we grow up, no matter how old we are.  I truly feel sorry for the kid who doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.  I actually, believe that writers are born to be writers…  and they know it. AND some even get to get paid for doing it .

Passion is important.   It makes you get up in the middle of the night to write what is in your head or else you feel as if you will burst kind of passion.

typewriter glowing

Sometimes it does kind of get in the way of life, when I have to get up early for a job and I have been writing all night, those ideas don’t always happen at the most convenient of times…. But no matter how inconvenient…  I am glad I have it. When I was little, I’d escape my world of pain, by just opening a book. Each page I turned, had me slipping into a world far away from my own problems. Long ago, I knew that I wanted to do that for others.  Writing is a gift that can make the whole world go away or bring it straight to our front door through the archives of our memories.

door little girl peeking out black and white

A singer has to sing. An actress has to act, an artist has to create, a dancer has to dance and a doctor has to heal. A carpenter has to build, a comedian has to cause laughter, a swimmer has to swim and a writer has to write! Like a florist in her garden who takes time to smell the flowers, a writer’s words have their own sweet aroma that only her soul can smell.

Image

In Every Word I Write


The other day, my good friend Sandy,  a great writer herself,  sent me a  quote on how writing is courageous and how we put our flesh and blood down on paper and what a powerful thing we do, allowing someone in our mind of tangled and beautiful thoughts, in a way saying “here, untangle me.” And it inspired me to write this…

 writing a blog

I invite you inside  of me,

past the paper and the words,

past the adjectives and nouns,

between the errors and  adverbs…

writing poetry

 to see the rawest part of

the pain that  I feel

the fantasies I write about

 that I wish could be real.

reading more

The joy in the

very depth of my soul,

the triumphs and failures

that lead to my goals

words of dreams

you have followed me on every journey

and walked on every path.

You’ve been there through my tears

and  know what makes me laugh.

peaceful forest

Each word has been a trail,

weaved throughout my written life.

I give you each a part of me

in every word I write.

writing just hand view

Diane Reed

2013

Like Oxygen


20130429_073645

Do you ever wake up and just have to write? I have found that in the morning especially, writing is like oxygen to me. Perhaps it is because sleeping and dreaming and writing all have some magical connection that is a bit like a fleeting vapor. The memory of a dream or the perfect words you wanted to remember all seem to slip through our fingers upon awakening.  Sometimes remembering what I have dreamt of is such a hazy memory, I wish that I could  capture it in a bottle so that I could have it to refer to later and yet later never comes. And as the day goes by, I often forget what it was that made me feel so intense and usually feel the disappointment of forgetting the whole thing.

This morning I woke up and realized that I get up early for that very reason. To capture the words that dance inside of my head just begging to get out before I forget. So with no interruptions I try to duplicate the messages from my dreams. I have painted a picture or baked a new recipe in much the same way, In the hopes that in sharing my creation, someone else will as I often say…. just “GET IT” and connect with me in a way that is hard to explain. Understanding is such an intimate thing we all share in different ways. A reader’s response to our writing is perhaps much in the same way a chef might feel as he watches and waits for the reaction upon our faces when we taste the first bite of something wonderful that  he just created and in turn,  that small response makes it all worth his efforts.

snow cone cat

(Sorrrrry, I just had to use this picture to make you guys smile!)

I can’t afford to go to a writer’s seminar right now but I know that whenever I find another writer in my own walk of life… someone who is also writing (or has written) a book or blogs…. it is like magic. Our souls just connect and we are bonded. I remember in seventh grade I met another writer who wrote because she just wanted to, no assignments made her write. like me she wrote because she had to. We became friends. We read each each other’s stuff. I am not sure why we didn’t keep in touch. Funny, I haven’t thought of her for a long time. At the risk of sounding redundant, meeting other writers is magical.  It doesn’t happen as often as I would like. I mean if I were a quilter, I could join a quilting club or if I sewed, I could probably run into others who shared my interest at a fabric counter. But writers aren’t as obvious. There is no AA group at the local church for writers. And so I am grateful that I have found you guys and can at least, rub elbows with you cyberly!

Have a great Sunday!

In my love for a wonderful metaphor I dish this one up for all writers and ask you all….

: “Just exactly why do you write?” Use a metaphor to answer if you like!

quote about writing typewriter

The words come like oxygen as she breathes to take them in,

They happen with no warning  for when they’ll begin or end.

She just has to go with it, as they dance upon her screen…

A recipe of words she writes not knowing what they’ll mean.

imagesCAWZP51C rolling pin

So she serves them with the hope that somewhere else on this earth

someone will read what she writes and they’ll somehow see their worth,

like a chef putting the final touches, garnishing his plate,

a writer posts their words and then silently has to wait.

As readers taste her efforts,  taking the time to read,

she prays that somewhere in her words, they’ll find what they might need,

pricking the heart of someone who needs the words she just wrote

as they in turn leave her their own words in a grateful note.

Diane Reed

2013

quote about writing virgina wolfe

Our Blogging Neighborhood


I know that I’ve written about this before. But I just can’t get over the connection I have with some of you.  When I started blogging, I was pretty much doing it for me. A place to store my rambilings and perhaps share some of it with my close friends. But then… Oh and then…  something magical happened.

You guys did!

Thank you for happening to me!

neighborhood at the bridge neighborhood at dusk

I used to pick up my pen to write

when I was there, at my desk alone.

I would write and then re-read

and my feedback was  my own.

WRITER BLACK AND WHITEmy storywriting in the windowseattypewriterwriter

But somehow through the scheme of things

I opened another door

door

and all at once you guys came in

and I was not alone there anymore!

followers on blog

Somehow we’ve formed a village,

a neighborhood of those who understand.

neighborhood

Some of you are not too far away,

and some are in other lands.

But somehow through our passion,

through our need to feel heard;

we all have connected

through our love of the written word!

Diane Reed

2013

This was my reply to the first comment that came in…

(It fit perfectly for the way that I feel about many of you… I thought I’d cut and paste it and add it in the actual post so you understand just how important you have all become to me and how much I appreciate you!) 😉

I am so glad to have met you as well! YOU were one of the ones that inspired this. Some come and go and then come back into each of our lives. No guilt trips or expectations. Just glad to see ya when you’re here and miss you when your not. But thrilled to reconnect with those who haven’t been around a while and excited to make new friends here each day, who I might find that connection with… and when it happens… it is like magic!
I don’t need to ask anyone to read my blog or what they think… I have you all who do that for me. I loved one of the pictures here with the lights all on at night. I can just see us all inside one of those lit windows blogging away or writing our words. Regardless of where we are, in what town, in what country…. our hearts are strung together with our understanding of how important our words are!

                                                                                    Thank you!

Behind The Door Of Yesterday


girl at a new door out in field

Behind the doors of yesterday

girl carrying huge key

we all hold that perfect key

ballerina

unlocking places in our past

ballerina sitting on floor

where shadows used to be

dancing in the wind

Dancing upon moonbeams  until all  the music dies

SONY DSC

letting go of all the pain as the broken winged one flies…

floor crying girl

Falling hard from our dreams, when we finally land

 baby in a bubble

searching for our innocence all where we first began.

finding Diane3

Diane Reed

2013

As I continue to work on my book, I feel stuck. I am in a place of pain. Of total confusion. I guess ambivalence would be the best word to describe where I have landed. I keep going backwards. I need to start moving forward. I have a story to tell. A lot has to do with my past. I have the framework sitting there for me to build upon and yet I am not sure why I need to write these silly poems that have nothing to do with me today….

Or do they?

Life Is Like A Book And Every Day We Write Another Page


my story

For as long as I can remember I have written. First in Diaries as a young girl and then in journals.

little girl writing

There is just something about a book filled with words that someone wrote by hand years before. When my Grandma died. Everyone was choosing memorable keepsakes they wanted that would help them to remember her. I happened to choose her little 5 year diary.

diary closedPhoto of my Gram’s Diary

It was such a treasure because it was written between the years where she met my grandpa and had my mom! Now if you know me at all, you can imagine how special that is to me.

diary gram'sPages from my Gram’s Diary

Whenever I pull it out and read it on those rare occasions, I like to picture my grandmother as a young girl, coming home from a date, excited and in love, flopping on her bed, pouring her heart into the allotted tiny little spaces reserved for her in a five year diary.

Part of my story is centered around my journaling. Not only are those books the keepers of my life’s journey but they are a reflection of my own mantra…. I have said over and over again to my kids and their friends that…

writing in the windowseatwriting just hand view

Our lives are like an empty book and every day we write another page.

We can look at our books as pages waiting to be filled and embrace them… or we can feel that we don’t have a lot of chapters left. In my case I have to admit feeling kind of stuck, as if I have a lot of torn pages with erase marks and crossed out words all over them. I am fighting  to find my way back to grab a new chapter and hang on with dear life and yet … it is hard when you are tired and older and looking back at  all those old journals… reading and remembering and wondering what the heck happened?

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As I sat there reading all the journals in front of me, I couldn’t stop. I read them all.

journals

My journals have been an interesting way that I have captured my past. Like photographs I have different snapshots in way of words on pages. Recently, I found a box of old journals and my Mantra kind of came true for me….

The first journal I pulled out was filled with silly, sad poems…  little girl writing in diary

first about wanting to fall in love and then about falling  in love and then the rest about my broken heart.

girl writing in window

The next was filled with poems from my first marriage. Once again, falling in love and then a lot of writing about what went wrong.

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Between having babies  and finally going through a divorce, I found about five more books filled with prayers and poetry and pleadings to God to make it better.  Finally I found one that is not finished about my life now… Once again, the falling in love and struggles and joys it has brought me.

My blog kind of has replaced my journaling in the way of writing in a book. Though I still love to shop for them and buy them as gifts or keep them just in case I am inspired to go sit on a hillside somewhere and write a poem.        writing outside3

Someone once told me that if anything happens to her she wants to make sure that she has someone appointed that will burn all of hers. I find that so sad. Burning my journals would be like killing a part of my soul. In a way, my words will keep me alive once I am gone. I am so glad that my grandma saved hers.

In my next few posts… I am going to share some of my poetry that I found. Some of them are pretty silly, some are sad, some are quite good and others pretty bad….but they all are parts of me from different times of my life….

Come with me if you like….

Here is the first one…. I wrote it after finding a book that I must have found a few times during my life because it starts out with my son as a baby, and then starts up again with my daughter being born and a lot about my struggling marriage and then I must have found it after I got my divorce and found a lot of pathetic poetry and then a few years later, I was writing about my new marriage… There I was holding my very own quote in my hands… my life written out as a story in a book. Funny how it all came full circle. I was facing my own advice. Knowing it was time for me to listen to myself.

Yesterdays’ Pages

Same Book

same heart

same eyes

same tears

Lost inside the memories

 locked inside the pages

lost in the

rolling around in the grass

laughing

kissing

breathing

dreaming

living….

Yesterday;

 young and stupid

and

so in love

 just on the edge

of tomorrow

Now yesterday’s

filled pages.

Diane Reed

2013

My Story… Excuse me while I shout it from my mountain top!


My Story

Some people are private, they don’t understand the need to be heard.

shhh

They could never understand the concept of bearing  it all. But ever since I was very small I’ve felt different.

little girl writing

I am unique in that way. I’ve always considered it a waste to learn life lessons and not share the lesson learned. Whether in the way of written word or sharing in other forms… even if just over coffee.. It’s all in the relating. And you’ve got to know that  somehow, each and every one of those times of relating will somehow find their ways to words I write someday. Not in a bad way, but in way of a lesson or a moment worth sharing. For when we write we are never truly alone and when you are lonely just write! I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt lonely as an adult. Even as a lonely child, I learned to create my own friends on paper, to read books filled with towns of people I was glad to know that I had that kind of power! And… Through our memories, our experiences and our lessons we learn to share so others don’t feel so alone. Think about it. There would be no books, or poems, no plays or movies or even sitcoms without writers! There would be no speeches or sermons, no quotes. Even God used writers to write HIS WORD! They need us!

Recently,  I’ve had this need to go back and understand my mistakes in order to help others not make the same ones. If my lessons can help others… why not shout them from the mountain tops? Or at least fill the empty pages with words that can give hope to others who are hurting? I mean… what’s the big secret?

friends talking

I also like to tell my story and relate it to yours. For we all have one. A story that is. And I have always felt that your story might help me and my story might help you and if we miss the opportunity to share a lesson we have learned it is like an empty schoolroom filled with unread books.

class room abandoned

If you are a survivor of anything, you have a story! You have hope to offer. You have a gift to give someone going through what you have survived. What a waste to not give that hope away. An illness is cured, a heart is repaired, we are all survivors! When you are in love don’t you want to shout it from the mountain tops? Don’t you want everyone to feel your joy? Well, THAT my friend is just a chapter in your book waiting to be read by someone else who waits for that same kind of love.

When I am happy, I want to tell everyone about how I am feeling, to talk about it and explore it. If it is stifled, if you can’t share it… it almost robs you of the joy you were feeling. When I am sad, I want to talk about it, when I am angry I want someone else to understand.  To be silenced is like being held captive.

hand over mouth

Like a writer without paper, like a pen without ink.

To write is like shouting it from a mountain top.

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To not be able to is like our own private  hell.

crumpled paper

We are all different and that is what makes the world go around.

winnie the pooh and piglet conversation

 I can honestly say that I’ve never written anything I didn’t mean. Writing gives you a chance to backspace and be very thoughtful about what you say…. unlike just blurting it out. We tend to take more time when we are telling our “story” it is a pretty magical process. It really is about our stories… Those are all we ever really have left of value in the end anyway, isn’t it? So regardless of how tactful or private everyone else is… or isn’t… Or if they do or don’t understand what I share or why I need to… I will never stop writing my story… never stop writing the words on the pages of my life.  Even if I am the only one who learns the lessons I was supposed to learn.

my story

A writer writes….


girl writing in window

A writer writes…

because she has to.

typewriter

We are different.

praying on knees

We feel things differently.

Worship by sunset

Others who  hurt and feel joy,

just hurt and feel joy.

we need to write about it

WRITER BLACK AND WHITE

and relive it with every word.

letting go diary

We invite our shadow of experience

shadow kissing

to follow us and whisper words

that can only be found inside our heart…

writing a blog

The one thing that holds the pen to the stories we have to tell!

Diane Reed

2013

I have been on a break… working a lot and exhausted emotionally and physically! I heard something today that inspired this~

When an actor was describing why they act. A student was asking him if he ever got stuck. He went on to say that sometimes he is in a middle of a scene or an assignment and it just flows and other times it just doesn’t. The seasoned actor smiled and replied. If it worked everytime, everyone could do it. WHEN it works is what makes it special.

I loved that!

Have a great day!

My Creative Journey from Artist to Writer…


paint brushes in a row

In my last post I wrote a little about my life as an artist and it seemed to generate a bit of interest and so I thought I’d share some pictures and memories with you here. After I had my daughter, it was hard to imagine ever leaving her with anybody else to go to work, and my son was at an age that I didn’t want him in school all day,  and so I decided that I wanted to take a crack at raising my kids as a “stay at home mom.” 

And so I prayed about it

sad woman3

and the answer came so simply as if God came to me Himself and said “Okay.”

It really did happen just like this…

One day soon after my daughter was born…. my neighbor invited us to their little boys’ birthday barbecue. I was out on maternity leave and not making a lot of money so instead of going out and buying a present, I painted a picture of her little boys in a bath tub for the gift. Personalizing it with their hair color and their names on towels hanging on the tub. Unbeknownst to me, she took that painting to work with her that Monday to show it to some friends and came back with 40 custom orders! Wahlah. THAT is actually how I began. Isn’t God great? How could anyone not believe? He even used one of HIS numbers: forty! Must I even repeat this? How could I not believe that He had answered my prayers?

Jesus anwers our prayers quote

When I was a kid my mom did arts shows as a hobby for extra spending money. Though it ended up being quite a little business for her. She began having an annual  boutique at our house that lasted several years and I remember that she let me try to sell some of my doodlings at a few of them.  Back then, I drew pictures of kids at a bus stop. I honestly can’t remember if I sold any. I actually think I  may have sold  a few.   I liked to draw and my dad told me that I was pretty good. Besides the poems that I wrote as a teenager, and the little doodles that I sketched, I never really felt very artistic .

drawomg

When I first started doing shows, I just focused on the paintings and then I (am dating myself now but…) I started making “Mop Dolls” and even got a rep and sold them wholesale to Longs Drug Stores for a while!

The first show I did was pitiful, I had gotten in by default. There was a waiting list a mile long and because I knew the president of the Art Association I slipped in at the last minute when one of the artists broke her ankle. I was not very prepared and had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have a very good display and only sold children’s paintings and then sold just a few at that… I was so disappointed but I wanted to learn  from it and so I walked around that show, and noted what the busy booths did differntly and the ones that were selling out had more than just ceramics or paintings, they had a variety of things.

So…the same show the next year, I didn’t just sell children’s paintings, but I also sold dolls, ornaments, baskets, etc. I’d  learned by then that just selling one media didn’t work for me and I was right, I made $1000 the first hour at the same show the following year, selling a bunch of different things! Though looking back, I think that I went overboard creating, without a real good focus. Though I did stay whimsically related which was good. I think I needed to reel it in just a bit. Today my advice would be to choose a few things you do well and stick with what you do best.

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One of my first shows ~(You can kind of see my paintings on the right in the 1st picture and the mop dolls sitting on the bottom shelf on the 2nd picture)

Some of my first shows and creations are what I like to call “Early Diane” and I have to say they were  a little embarrassing. I had a booth at a place called Crafter’s Guild and slowly started doing different art/craft shows and building up my own following of customers.

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Brookie standing outside of Crafter’s Guild with my scarecrows as their display and a picture of my booth.

Some shows were pretty sad with poor advertising and not a lot of customers. But ALL of them generated something great! Whether it was new friends or networking about new shows, I never looked at a “bad” show as a waste of time. I met my “wood guy” at a show where I sold one thing and I look back at that show as one of my best because I snagged such a good find! He was this wonderful old man named Wayne who would make me whatever I asked him to and deliver them to my door. His wife used to joke that she wanted to come with him to deliver and he wouldn’t let her. She told me that he would put on his after shave just for me! He was so cute!  Wow, I haven’t thought of him for so long. He was the BEST!

My suggestion before signing up for a show, is to go attend it as a customer first! Walk around and don’t only notice how many people are there but how many of them are buying?? The shows I used to do always had a line at the doors to get in and more at the cash registers to check out. Another good piece of advice is to google the reviews. In this day and age with technology at our finger tips… it is easy to find the reviews on shows and read them all,  from both a customer’s and artist’s persepective. But actually getting in your car and going is your very best measuring stick! Talk to the artists and see how their mood seems, ask if they have done the show before and if they would do it again. Try to talk to more than just a few! There is always one bad attitude in every bunch and you don’t want to judge everything based off of one sour faced answer. Also look around and notice how much competition you may have.. If you make hand crafted things, don’t just ask someone who is selling manufactured items their opinion of the show. You get the idea. (See Sugar Plum’s facebook video below~ I promise it will be worth your time.)

When I first started doing shows, I’d do about a dozen a year until I settled into a juried Festival in Southern California where I lived, called Sugar Plum. http://www.sugarplumfestivals.com/#

sugar plum booths

sugar

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=619354118093879&set=vb.126344157394880&type=2&theater

It was such a wonderful find that I ended up giving up all of my other shows and only doing Sugar Plum about five times a year.The rest of the year I would spend getting ready for the next upcoming one. It was such fun. I ended up getting the job of “setting up” the General Store which was their blended area. The other artists who were also assigned this job, worked late into the wee hours of the morning with me, displaying all the wonderful items that several different artists earmarked for the General Store. And together, we made a magical shopping place that actually looked like a General Store filled with treasures and all of our creations! When we would finish we had a tradition of walking over to the Denny’s across the parking lot for coffee and a late night visit before slipping into our hotels and getting about 4 hours sleep before we had to be back to help open the next morning! Though it was a lot of work. I never would have missed a single minute of any of it!

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My garage Getting ready for a Sugar Plum Show!

I began using overalls and kid’s clothes to make scarecrows and themed dolls and my husband made a choir stand like display for my dolls so that I could keep them away from the saw dust. I became known as “The doll lady” because when I had my garage door opened people would stop and want to buy them right off of their shelf! Somedays I could make “grocery money” for the week!

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My dolls became a hit in the local neighborhoods that loved to decorate for Christmas! There was one called Sleepy Hollow in a Southern Neighborhood in Torrance, near Redondo Beach. One day a w0man came to a show at The Torrance Rec Center and wiped me out. She bought about a dozen of my dolls on the spot! Here is a picture of her front yard. Needless to say she won the competition that year and many years after! She would build a glass house with a life size santa sitting in a sleigh and she put all of my critters around as part of the scene. I was so honored that she chose my designs to be a part of her Award Winning display each year!

Christmas sleepy hollow house

You can “kind of” see all my elves sitting around the sleigh…

Soon my paintings became cards and in the beginning I cringe at some of my Early Dianes that I produced without help. But slowly my husband got involved and learned about a technique called sublimation and for a while started having my artwork printed on mugs and tiles and shirts.

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I still did a few dolls… but here was a new display after my husband got involved….

My trademark look was a “Holly Hobby” kind of whimsical angel with falling down socks and patches on their wings. I started writing poetry again to go with them and soon my cards began out selling my dolls! Each customer would grab a few and a few added up to great big checks and I had a great little business.

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Around that time… my daughter asked me If I had imagined her when I was her age and I began to write my answer to her in way of a book called:  “Did You Imagine Me” Which my Dad produced for me! I still have  a few left for sale in my Etsy shop.

Diane Reed Reed on Etsy

http://www.etsy.com/people/crafterdi

DID YOU IMAGINE ME PAGE

When we moved to Central California, I still tried to do my shows but when we opened our store “Rose In The Woods” I tried to keep up with Sugar Plum and did for a while, but it was hard working all day and producing enough to make it worth doing the shows and so I slowly retired. Though a few of my friends would occasionally  host a little home botique for me. Until I finally sold the rest of my inventory in my store and called it a day.

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After the earthquake and the loss of our store. A lot of things changed pretty fast. But it is nice to be able to look back and see the blessings that have come along the way since a time in my life that I only saw devastation. Though I finally had to get a real job and today I work at a beautiful spa in a resort setting and it is a pretty nice place to work, if I have to. I have to admit that I complain from time to time and seem to constantly worry about the bills during this transition in our life, I have learned some much needed  lessons about appreciating the important things in life through the different set backs. Lessons I know that I might have missed without the ups and downs we have survived. And….For a long time, my art studio sat empty until my husband took it over for his office after losing his job. And I am praying that he will be using it very soon! due to some blessings God is working out for him!

Recently, my daughter got the creative bug after we visited a Sugar Plum Show during one of my LA trips when I came to see her. We’d received one of their post cards and decided to make a date of it. She had great memories of going and helping me set up from the time she was a baby and so we each took a best friend and I must say it was like magic! The owners of Sugar Plum embraced us with so much love and it was so fun seeing all my old friends. I was secretly hoping that I wouldn’t miss doing the shows and it all would be just a happy memory but I have to admit that I missed everything about the entire package from the very minute when I walked in that door. I hadn’t done a show for ten years and it was kind of like withdrawal…. The smells, the energy, all drew me back in like an addict!  My daughter excitedly talked me into doing one last show with her. So I set up my art studio again, this time in our guest room since my daughter had moved out and we now had two guest rooms to speak of. It was fun fixing up a new little place to create and for a while it felt as if the magic had come back. (Maybe someday I will write a book about how to have a successful art business including the dos and the don’ts about art shows and investments. I sure have learned enough to fill all the pages of at least one!)

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A little fuzzy but you get the picture…

 I made one last effort…but did it in a smaller version than before… Later, I heard that people still were looking for my larger holiday dolls so I probably should have stuck to what I knew best but didn’t have that kind of time so I tried something new. (Big mistake!) Once again my cards did well… but nothing as great as in the old days! I’d lost my following a decade earlier for the most part and I just wasn’t in a place to invest the time to build it back up again. I needed insurance and benefits and need to stick with my job for the time being. But it was a happy memory doing a show with my daughter, the once little toddler that had proudly showed off her bright red ears  to anyone who would look.. the day she got her ears pierced and we had to go to Sugar Plum right afterwards, when she was three. It was so fun to go back with her again, and have them all remember her little pink ears and see her all grown up.

Remember that little girl at Crafter’s Guild?img231Brookie's art show                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Brookie with her honey that helped her at one of her many shows last year!)

                                    

We did end up doing a Sugar Plum together a few years ago. It was so fun doing it with my baby! But it was a lot of work. And It really was my last show (I think) But it got her started doing shows while it made me realize that everything has a season… I was happy to pass the baton to my baby. And she has soared. She has done many shows since and has far surpassed me in her own Etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/thenakedbird

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A Naked Bird of course!

She also has a blog here  http://thenakedbird.wordpress.com   She made me the cutest little Writing Mouse typing on her typewriter!

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Sure… dub me the proud mama! I’ll take it! There is nothing better when your kids follow your footsteps. It seems as if I followed my mom and so it is kind of cool. And the funny thing is I knew my daughter was a great actress and writer but who knew she had such an imagination and was such an amazing artist?! But she went to LA to pursue acting and is well on her way so has also had to put away her brushes for now… But every now and then will get an order from her Etsy shop!

So Anyway… I traded in my art studio

PAINT BRUSHES

for a writing studio

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type the end

and never looked back… till today…

Today I really am fine just writing. I don’t miss the mess and the shows and the set up one little bit…. well maybe… a teensie weensie, tiny bit!

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Just remember….  a paintbrush can paint magic….  as our words can become art to the ones who take the time to see their beauty!

Diane 2013

writing magical

Why I hang out here!


A girl I work with shared with me that she reads my blog. I sometimes forget that it is posted automatically on my Facebook page and that people who I actually “know” read it as well. And I have to admit that it warmed my heart. It is hard to explain how validating it is to know that someone takes time out of their day, to care what I have to say. Unless of course you are also a writer and in that case, I KNOW you understand!

I write because I have to. I can’t imagine not writing now. I’ve put it on the shelf for far too long.  Always needing to create in some way.  I had an art studio for years, did art shows and made a living doing them.  I guess I just got tired of doing the shows cuz they really were  hard work. Though they will always remain some of my most wonderful memories and where I met some of my most cherished friends.

sugar plum

Writing really is no different. I just don’t have as big of a mess to clean up or brushes to rinse out…

PAINT BRUSHESART DESKPAINT BRUSHESSSS

But the connection is the same. My artist friends “GOT” me. We got each other.  As an artist, I used to have a following. I had customers at each show that would come and seek me out. I also had artist friends that GOT me. We would set up our booths together and then break them down. It was funny, we used to laugh about how our customers would show up without having a clue what it took to create our shows. The lugging the tubs and displays back and forth was just something we did  behind the scenes. When our customers finally got there, the only thing that they saw was a magical place to shop

craft showsugar plum booths. craft showw

Though it was a lot of work, I always looked forward to seeing them again and hanging out with those who understood my passion, and also stayed up late into the wee hours creating.

ARTIST

Lets face it, we want to hang out with those who get us. And…. that is why I hang out here! You guys are like getting to go to a Writer’s Conference everyday!Though,  I sooo want to go to one someday… actually, to as many as I can! Education and  continued classes are great and have their place  but I hear that you really get down to the nitty gritty at the conferences with published authors and agents. I have mentioned a writers hang out in my metaphoric posts, inviting everyone to a coffee shop in my imagination and it warms my heart just thinking of you all there in my dreams.

writers workshop

Sometimes, I get home and just want to relax, by tapping away on my laptop and signing onto my blog to find you guys and share what we have all written.  I don’t know about you, but not a lot of my friends GET my need to write, let alone the time I invest on my blog. But then, the same ones really didn’t understand when I would stay up late working on my dolls or illustrations.

So this one is for you. All my friends and family who take the time to actually read what I write. The ones who understand what I am talking about.

Thank you.

For My Friends Who Read My Words

….

What I Have To Say

Inside my heart you reside

in that place of understanding,

the windowseat of my soul,

girl writing in window

the sofa by the fire with the throw

that comfortable spot

only you will ever know

woman reading by the fire

you want to read what I have written

You click on my newest words

in true anticipation and you fill me like a cup.

coffee and computer

you come here without prodding

with your words…

I feel you nodding….

You are my  friends

We meet at different times of the day

sunrise morning beautiful

slipping in with the sunrise

Knowing that you care about

what I have to say

 writing signature

Diane Reed

2013

Why Blog?


blog defined

Why Blog? Lately, I have been asked this question by a handful of people and have run into it in a few Q & A writer’s forums.  Are they just curious?Why do I feel as if I need to “defend”  the time I spend on my blog?  It has made me ponder my own reasons for being here. I recently read about a writer who has come to the conclusion that her little projects including blogging do not take away from her “main” project at hand but enhance it. I also feel that each piece we write, regardless of the feedback we may or may not get, can strengthen our final results. Since each time we write, we are exercising our writer’s muscles, toning and working toward that final goal.

sit ups

With all that being said,  I  still wonder if I am procrastinating, Am I not finishing my book by being here? I have this urge to stomp my foot and say; “But I like it here and I don’t want to leave!”  I value what you have to say and have to admit that there is great affirmation knowing that talented writers like you guys have taken the time to read my ramblings and in turn, also find value in them! In the beginning, it amazed me that even one person was interested enough to come by to read what I wrote.  Now it inspires me to know that I am building my audience and that I might say something helpful or inspirational to just one person is enough. One at a time is fine with me.

blog readerssss

My readers…. Smile

Some of us who have seen Julia & Julia can relate where she begins her blog and her following of readers progress. I have been there. Haven’t you? Where someone begins to follow you because they like your writing. They see something worth following. It is quite validating. Writing connects us. When someone says; :”You took what was inside my head and made it come to life.” Well, does it get any better? It is addicting.

blogging door

I know that if we had a Writer’s Group on Thursday nights at a local coffee-house, I would look forward to each meeting with all of you! In the meantime, I love our connection and have learned so much from you, and your feedback here and reading your blogs as well. For instance, Paul took the time to edit a couple of my “chapters” when I posted my very rough draft versions from my book here. He pointed out that I insert the word: HAD a lot. I am slowly re-editing a chapter at a time and totally see how I do that and how taking that one word out, does not detract from anything at all! In fact, it polishes it! I have another friend who has basically gone through the backdoor of my blog and read every post from the beginning. Talk about affirming.

I have been inspired by each of your blogs, regardless of gender or age! Your notes of encouragment as you have read faithfully what I write can’t be duplicated. Just knowing that you feel that my blog is worth your time is like a piece of chocolate cake without the calories!

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In my imagination, we are all sitting in our circle of writer/blogger friends sharing and connecting, encouraging and editing. That is why I blog! How about you guys? I’d love to hear about your reasons. Welcome to our first Thursday night Bloggers Circle… who would like to be the first to share?

writer'

Backing up our work!


Before you read this… I wanted to inform you that I DID receive a note from wordpress below (and pretty promptly if I do say so myself!)  that I wanted to share with you guys but this is a great reminder to back up our work!

wordpress circle

Wow, that was scary. I couldn’t get into my blog this morning. Anyone else ever had that problem? When I tried to click onto “Manage My Blog” it said that my blog had been archived or suspended. Huh? WHAT THE HECK? I mean seriously, WHY???

why

All I have written lately have been greeting cards to my loved ones due to my Hallmark Month of birthdays! Then I read…that if that really would happen, we would not get our content back!

broken typewriter

One of my initial reasons for starting a blog, was storing my book in a “safe” place as I wrote it. Obviously, it was a glitch today. But it made me realize that nothing is a for sure thing.

adelaide cemetary

Once I started wandering into the world of wordpress writers. I began to realize I loved it here. Funny how my heart kind of dropped when I thought that there was a possibility of losing you guys and not to mention… all of my hours and hours of work! It truly made me think. We need to back up our work constantly. Lesson learned today!

wordpress wrench

I have grown to love it here. And you guys have been amazing. The friendships that I have formed here are priceless to me. I feel as if we are kind of like a Thursday Writer’s Group. Meeting at a neighborhood Coffee place to get together and share our new stories and poems and give each other feedback and share tools and new sources. If only! I wish!

coffee cup

But in the mean time. I am blessed to have you. The thought of that door being closed and being locked out kind of freaked me out! I had come here this morning to write a new blog, free of birthday wishes, back to the norm. And was blindsided by feeling locked out. And then as I wandered around the Terms Of Service and found that we could have our whole blog removed without squatting rights…. well, it really make ya think!

So I just wanted to say. For a minute this morning I really took the time to realize how much you guys mean to me and to remind you….

BACK UP YOUR WORK!!

typewriter keys2

An Exercise in Finding The Joy


(I was challenged to find the joy by a friend, “Take Light”  here on my blog… here is my first stab at it! Please be kind… I have been stuck in yesterday for far too long! Thanks! I needed that kick in the butt!)

I thought I’d use the metaphor of jogging to start exercising my heart and preparing it for the joy I plan to round up!

jogging saying

Like tying my shoes before a run,
imagining how I’ll feel when I’m done~
I walk out the door with my ipod on,
facing the chill as my eyes kiss the dawn~

tying her shoes

first, I start to walk slowly and then pick up speed,
knowing that this very moment, is all that I need~
Words dance through my head and into my heart,
realizing this is the way to make the words start~

jogger at sunrise

This writing hiatus that I have been on,
was all stuck in my past and now released in my dawn~

typewriter window view
So… as the sun rises, I see HIS grand work of art
and in the act of just living I’ve found joy in my heart!

Diane Reed ’13

sunrise jogging

                                                                                                                          Here’s to living IN TODAY from now on!!!!!

Passions


I am back! From LA and the buying trip I went on.

suitcase

I visited my friend Jody and got to spend girl time with my baby who has surprised me and become Vegan. And so we had a few foodie moments this trip.

I love Lucy candy factory

Making falafels and trying out a new Vegan restaurant.

She is inspiring and very healthy but it is more than just health for her and she has inspired me to be more aware and I am so proud of her passion when she has a conviction. She went shopping with me and so we got both ends of the taste spectrum. Her trendy and young version and my safe, conservative, what Paso Robles peeps are (hopefully) buying!

shopping bags in trunk

I do need to go and price everything but first I wanted to stop in here for a few and say that I have missed you all terribly and just wanted to catch up for a minute.

If you recall, I was off to write a song as well.

piano music notes

Well, I must say that the melody that I was given inspired me to write a more spiritual song which is not what he (my song writer friend) was looking for and he said that in fact, his inspiration was derived from the few chapters of my book that I posted here

book shelf

a few months ago, which by the way, he was not overly complimentary of. So I was touched that he would take the time to find inspiration from my story.

writer's crumpled paper

I have sent him snippits of what I came up with. It was not my best work. Something was missing. And I think that I know what it was. Passion. It is not that the song was not good. It was not that I am really not a song writer. I think it is just because there is work I must do and it is to finish my book

typewriter glowing.

I have a raw and un-nerving passion that makes me trudge on. It may take a lot of hard work and soul searching but I am passionate about the message behind the story and this was a good wake up call.  I need to focus on more things with passion. I have realized that lately when that little ingredient is missing, I am not in a place where I should be.

writer frustrated

Here is to finding my way back to the place where I can find the passion

and

the words again.

toasting wine

Finding Diane


song writing

I have been given the opportunity to write the lyrics to a song!

music

I am playing it in the background as I write this to you guys in hopes that my writer’s block will break!

writer frustrated

A friend that I made here, is a musician and teacher. And sent me a piece that he had written especially for me. He even called it “Finding Diane” probably due to the theme of all my pieces. I guess that I do write as if I need to be found, like Alice looking down the rabbit hole.

alice down the hole

I have written about going back and finding pieces of me along the way. I know that I live in the past, I have a lot of regrets and am working on going back and getting the part of me that I left behind all those years ago, for once and for ALL.

worried little girl

I try to write so that others might learn from my mistakes.

women with bruises

I have been struggling to find the right place to even start.

writing in a notebook

I have a million beginnings but when I think that I have hit on something, and come back to it. It sounds cheesy when I read it.

I want to honor the beauty of the music that seemed so easy for him to write.

piano keyboard

It is funny, because poetry is so effortless for me. It usually is the easiest thing for me to write. So forgiving and natural, as if it is a part of me. But this is all about math and cadence and I want to say it all in different places where it doesn’t seem to fit.

help

I haven’t ever had this problem before. Even when I was younger, it didn’t take too long for me to write what I wanted. And I have written songs before. Several. I guess I worked on those too for a while. But I didn’t feel that they would be as judged, maybe… or maybe it is just because I am so much older and judge myself more now.

writer's block

Today, I thought maybe if I wrote you all, I could find the part of me that is holding back, and hoarding the words I need!!!!!

piano music notes

I will be back once I have it!!

My own words


writing in the windowseat

My words find me

alone in my room~

They keep me company

like a familiar tune~

records

From the time I was small

I’ve brought them along,

they comfort me

when all else goes wrong~

reading little girl by tree

My words come from

a place deep inside,

where my tears and my love

all tend to reside~

empty pages

At times I have written only for me

and others, just for you~

No matter what, where ever I go,

They’ll always come along too~

suitcase of memories

They are easy to bring.

they don’t take much room~

I’ve carried them with me

since; there in the womb~

words in the womb

Judge them or love them

but don’t take them away~

For without my own words

I’d have nothing to say~

   writers trash can

Diane Reed

2013

When You Make Love To My Words


starry sky

Living this life

under a million stars

star gazer kid

 

forgetting the pain

but feeling the scars

boo boo

holding my face

in the palm of your hands

hugging couple in the rain

making love to my words

only you understand

hugging book

connecting,

validating,

inside my soul

When you read my words

It is my heart

that you hold.

And when you

say them out loud

so that I know that you heard

It is in that moment

 you make love to my words.

Diane Reed       2013

Where ever we happen to be, we can make a difference


cartoon

Some days as I walk around I feel scattered. My mother in law, the psychologist (no, seriously, by profession she actually really is one, okay, okay, I know all the jokes coming… how perfect for me… etc.. lol.) and more recently one of my most valued friends… might call it compartmentalizing. But in a way, it is even more than that. Not just in a way of different feelings I am feeling and from what aspects of my life, they are coming from but a little more abstract than those different places where I find love and sadness and hope and joy…

I don’t know, maybe I am finally going crazy but sometimes I feel as if I am just the carrier of my soul. I mean, I get that my heart and liver and brain… and every other important organ come along for the ride… but there have been days that I have been so disconnected from “me” that I have felt like I am air traffic control, looking out as my eyes kind of navigate “me” around as I go on my daily journey.

I am tired. So very tired. And I know that though, this is not true at all, I sometimes, feel that there is not much more to my life than working a job to just pay the bills. Yesterday, I took two cold pills. One had broken, so I took another. So all in all I took two and a half and it knocked me for a loop. I had to leave early, and go to bed. I slept for seven hours I was down for the count.. Though this was not planned, it made me more aware of the way I kind of just check out in my life. (And pleeease, NO lectures, I learned my lesson!)

Today, I feel drugged and wiped out but a little better. Cold-wise.  I am sure I needed the rest. I guess my point is that I miss a lot of the joy when I just let my life go on auto-pilot.  I think that I have been doing that a lot lately. But yesterday, before my self induced drugged coma happened… I learned an amazing thing and almost missed out on it….

There is a young boy that I work with. He has an incredible story. (And by now you know, that I am all about everyone’s “story.”)  He was an orphan from Russia. He is quiet and I guess if I had to describe him in one word, it would be gracious. He is grateful for everything he has and it is humbling to be around somebody who never complains or talks bad about others, who always has a smile and is patient and kind to even the most frustrating customers. And over the months I have grown to know him. I have not found a glitch in the grace he exemplifies. And to make the story even better,  he is by no means spoiled, but lives a privileged live in comparism to where he came from and remembers it all and so he is grateful for everything and his attitutude is refreshing.

I think that the kids I work with truly like me. At least I hope they do.  I know that they don’t forget me. I most likely, am a character in their memory that will remain and hopefully they will smile when they are my age… remembering me. I ask a lot of questions. They know it is because I am a writer and I am genuinely interested and care, so they all have slowly opened up. And I have been blessed by their trust.

This young man has been different. His story is different. The questions I have asked have been much more sensitive. I have been more careful and respectful in waiting and letting him share rather than barging in and asking. And the most amazing friendship has formed. I told him that he has a wonderful story. I never truly knew if he heard me when I said that because he just smiles a lot. I told him that everyone has at least one “book” inside of them but he has something even more valuable in his memories, an amazing story many others would be interested in hearing and that writing it all down might even be a kind of therapy for him.

writing in a notebook

Yesterday, I noticed in my haze,  that he was seriously writing and writing in a notebook during the slower times at work. Finally I had to ask. “What are you writing?” Never dreaming he had even really listened to what I said in our conversations many weeks earlier. Until…. he turned to me and said… “I am taking your advice and writing it all down.” Perhaps it was something he had heard on the news recently about Americans not being allowed to adopt from the Russian Orphanages any longer that prompted him to consider my advice but it made me realize that no matter where I am, I can still make a difference.

“I am taking your advice” Five little words that changed my day. And my outlook on how I view each new one….

Each day is an opportunity  to make a difference where ever God has me… and whatever job I might be doing.

Merry Christmas To ALL my friends here!


Christmas Typewriter2

Somehow in a corner of my world

I found you

or maybe….

you found me.

All I know is that…

 we have found each other

You…

The one who actually reads my words,

 who shares my passions

and takes the time

to find me

each time I write something new

to LIKE and to comment

and then share your words,

and your time

clock stained

and in the connection

we have found magic.

Thank you to all of my readers

and now my friends.

May the true meaning of Christmas fill your soul

all year long!

Baby Jesus2

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Typewriter

With Love,

Diane

Serendipity


typewriter glowing

Why do we  start our blogs? I think that it would be an interesting question to explore. I would love to find out why the people I have bonded with here, originally began blogging. At first, I initially began my blog as a place to journal, a place to store what I wrote. I like knowing that I have a kind of a  back up place to go to and with a click of a key, be inside the pages of my world of words. I know that I never expected to generate any interest outside of people I already knew. And yet here you are…..  like my own serendipity.

ser·en·dip·i·ty/ˌserənˈdipitē/
                     Noun : The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way  .Eg: “a fortunate stroke of serendipity

study

Thank you for finding me, for taking the time to read my thoughts and words, my poems and stories and daily ramblings. I love wandering around your pages as well. I have found people that I really GET and have been found by people who think the same thoughts as I do… We would probably finish each others thoughts if we were sitting across from each other over lunch.

I am not sure what I expect from my blog. I know it is an impossibility, percentage wise, and yet I am sure the serious writers here have entertained the fantasy of being discovered in a round about way by a friend telling a friend who knows an agent about your blog. But gone are the days of a Hollywood agent discovering America’s next sweetheart on a Soda Shop’s bar stool. Success is more than a fantasy, it is hard work. There are no short cuts.  But it’s always nice to dream. Even though I really know that my blog is just  The Keeper of my words…. and I may never meet an agent or publisher here,  I am still so glad that I have found my little serendipity here in you!

*****Chapter Seven*****


Hello…

In-between the first chapters I submitted,   (which you will find in my sidebar to the right, if you scroll down just a bit)

I took a break…and before that another one… to kick myself into gear…wrote a few little poems etc.. etc… and random thoughts…

And….

 I  have found myself here more than not… A place full of people who understand… and share my passion for writing….

 Networking and socializing with you guys, my new friends, my soft place to fall… My amazing new find!!! Reading and LIKING and commenting on your posts…. and oh yeah…maybe I am procrastinating ever so slightly…. okay then cough, cough… I GET it! Back to work!!!!

But….

How could this be what others may call a distraction or my excuse to procrastinate in finishing my book?

Though I guess I agree… if I could just ask myself.. why is it that I can  not just  finish rather than continue tinker around the likes of this place? Hmmmm???  Smile…

Here it is… the final chapter, at least the final one that I am going to share with you here……   Chapter Seven.

By the way…..

If you have not read the first part of my book, I have it posted here. And really,  if you haven’t read the previous chapters, Chapter Seven will not make much sense. But if I have kept you… this far… I am very pleased… even if you haven’t bothered to read  chapters 1-6…. but it would make 7 make much more sense!

                                                  Here is Chapter Seven….

airline tickets

Chapter Seven

One night at dinner, Keri’s dad announced that he was surprising her with a trip up North to Tara’s house. She and Keri had been best friends since they were both four years old, and had been inseparable since the first day they had met.

little girls running in a fieldlittle girls playing

When the  girls were eight, Keri’s dad had been transferred to another state due to his job but Keri and Tara had stayed in touch through the years by writing letters and yearly visits that Tara’s dad had generously provided. He knew that they  had been heartbroken over the move and so he had always tried to make sure that they got to see each other at least once a year. Their mothers had also become very close and so the trips had conveniently been planned around their yearly Seattle vacations, either stopping on the way there or on the way home and once the girls had gotten old enough to travel by themselves, Tara’s dad had either paid for one or the other to come for a visit.

airplane wing

Keri loved Tara and so did her parents. She was more than a childhood friend, they were family in every way. When her dad said he wanted to send her to San Mateo for a visit Keri was delighted. Unaware of what the real reason might be and why he might be gifting this trip to her so out of the blue. Though she happily started planning the visit. Both Tara’s and Keri’s school had the next Friday and Monday off and so Keri’s dad had booked a flight leaving Friday morning and returning Monday evening.

Jack was not pleased at all when Keri told him that her dad had surprised her with the long weekend trip. Instead of being happy for her, he sulked and brooded the entire night after Keri had announced that she would be going, “What am I going to do while you are gone?” He asked poutingly, angry, feeling that she had not considered him at all! At first, Keri thought it was cute and was touched that he was going to miss her so much. But when he continued to pout, it concerned her.  She had told him that he could take her to the airport but when the plans to take her had been changed, he had grown visibly irritated and hadn’t called her for an entire day which upset her. Though when her parents questioned her, she just told them that she was worried about a test.

frustrated blonde

Keri’s dad worked in El Segundo, and LAX was just a few minutes from his office. He had booked a morning departure flight and told Keri that he would drop her off on his way to work. It had just been the convenient thing to do. He had noticed that she had seemed miserable until she finally heard from Jack and it had concerned him. Keri told her dad that Jack would pick her up and her father had hesitantly agreed since he would be out of town and Keri’s mom didn’t like driving in the evening, especially to LAX. He had not been happy with the arrangements since if truth be told, he had been hoping that the trip would distract her a bit from her relationship with Jack, and having him pick her up  at the airport just seemed to negate the whole purpose of the trip.

airplane

On the day of her trip, Keri was packed and waiting for her Dad as she thumped her suitcase down the stairs. He grabbed it from her easily, carrying it out to the car. She kissed her mom and waved as they drove off. Keri chatted comfortably with her Father as they sat in traffic. He used the opportunity and her obvious good mood to tell her that he and her mother had been worried about her and that they wanted her to spend more time at home. “Why? You’re never there anyway.” Keri complained. She countered his observation trying to not be disrespectful, but feeling as if her independence was being challenged. That’s not the point.” her father replied ruefully. Suddenly Keri realized exactly where  he was going with the conversation, and that the trip may have had some ulterior motives behind it as well.  “I promise that I am keeping up with my grades Daddy, I love him and I want to be with him when we can be.” She reasoned. “Didn’t you feel that way about Mom?“ She asked, softening her still emotional tone. Her dad just smiled at her, saying something about how she should look into being a lawyer and then ruffling her hair, he changed the subject for the time being. He slipped a wad of twenties in her hand as he dropped her off and told her to have a good time, hoping that the time away would at least give her food for thought.

bridge golden gate

Tara and Keri had a great time seeing movies and shopping  in the city and just being together.  Keri didn’t share too much about Jack, knowing Tara would not approve. It was a simple as that. Keri knew that there was something very different about her relationship with Jack. When Tara talked about the boys she dated, it was light and easy, not like the highs and lows she and Jack shared. She knew that no one would understand. She had not even spoken to Lori about it. She was still angry with her for not telling her about him in the beginning. She knew now, that she had to have known something. Though she had decided that she did not want to know if Lori had known anything about Jack’s problems  because she truly didn’t know if she could ever forgive her  if she had. But now she was in too deep. She loved Jack and no one’s opinion would change that. Neither what Lori or Tara thought mattered anymore. The trip did some good as her father had hoped it would, it made Keri realize that something was amiss in her young life. Something she could not talk about to anyone.

The visit was wonderful. Just hanging out with her best friend was a much needed break from all of the drama she had experienced recently. Jack’s up and down moods,  and his not talking and then  their times of making up were all just so exhausting and having no one to talk to about any of it was difficult. Though, she had missed Jack, and when he met her with such enthusiasm at the gate,  she felt hopeful that things would get better again. Jack seemed so happy to see her and told her how much he had missed her over and over again. They fell right back into the little recesses of their relationship, perhaps even more than before. Keri was addicted by the love he showered on her and in turn she returned it equally. The physical portion of their relationship grew stronger. He told Keri she was beautiful and for the first time, she began feeling that she truly was.

airport hug

The days seemed to all blur together. That terrible sailing trip was forgotten or at least never brought up again to anyone, ever. And Jack seemed to take Keri on as his project. He felt as if she was so innocent and naïve He encouraged her plans for college and would quiz her about her dreams. He urged her to step outside of her little box and discover new interests, to actually have opinions. The attention he gave her was addicting. Every new thing she learned seemed to please him and she craved his approval. Her father worked so much and never really seemed to expect more from her though he did praise her for her writing,  she had always felt kind of apprehensive when it came to opening herself up to learning anything new because her dad had so little patience during her childhood when he would try to help her with her homework, especially math. So with Jack, everything seemed new to her and she realized she could learn and was surprised that she actually really liked learning.

After they had been dating a while, Jack took Keri home to meet his dad, Jack Sr. She liked him right away. “Nice to meet you Mr. Sagen” Keri held out her hand, as he took it and quietly replied, “Nice to meet you dear.” She could tell that he was a kind and quiet man, he worked as an Engineer in a building not too far from her dad’s office, and she noticed that he chain smoked quite a bit, later Jack told her that it was almost three packs a day.  There had not been as many horrible stories about him as Jack had shared about his mother, but there had been enough to cause Keri to have a few reservations.  She could see that the relationship between Jack and his dad was much more formal than hers was with her parents. But he seemed so pleased when she would make an effort to talk to his father, and so she always tried to engage him in conversation when she would come over.  He would brighten up when he knew she was coming and genuinely seemed pleased to see her. Sometimes he would cook dinner for the three of them and to Keri’s horror  the first dish he served them had  canned spinach mixed with hamburger meat.  Keri  wanted ever so badly to be polite but she had never tried spinach before and could not hide her discomfort. Both Jack and his dad wathched her, urging her to try it and then they laughed when she touched her tongue to the forkful and then  in Green Eggs and Ham fashion,  announced “Hey, I like this stuff!” Jack’s dad beamed when she asked for another helping.

Jack lived with his dad in the small modest Torrance apartment that he had moved to shortly after his separation. Jack had moved in several months later, after a horrible fight he had, had with his mother. The building was very close to the beach where Keri had spent so much time with Lori. Mr. Sagen worked as an engineer and seemed to have given up everything after the divorce and yet, seemed content enough. Or so she thought.  He had not expected Jack to move in with him and so the one bedroom apartment was a little cramped. He slept on a fold out sofa bed in the living room and had  generously given Jack the bedroom who had protested to no avail, saying something about how a young man needs his own room.  They both seemed to enjoy having Keri around and she loved being where ever Jack was.

When Jack’s dad was at work they would always seem to find themselves at that empty apartment whenever possible. She played house in her head as she would imagine that it was their place.  They would talk and dream and lose themselves in a new world of desire,  and discovered each other without shame. Keri had never really had a real boyfriend before. She had dated a few guys but Jack was her first true love in every sense of the word.  It was as if they couldn’t get enough of each other.  It was all so new and exciting.

young couple making up2

Their kisses were hard and filled with passion and yet soft and filled with love, all at the same time. Their hands roamed in places Keri’s never had before. She felt as if she was somebody else when she was with Jack. Nobody had ever kissed her that way and she learned that she loved kissing. When they weren’t together they thought about being together and couldn’t wait until the next time and then the next. They tumbled further into somewhere they both had never been, and yet stopped just short of the place they knew was forbidden.

kiss2

Shortly after meeting Jack’s dad, he took her to meet his mom Lee, who lived a little less than an hour away, in Monterey Park.  Keri was hesitant. She was the woman who had a lot to do with the demons that Jack was fighting today, she was not so sure she wanted to meet the one who had hurt him so horribly, and for that matter, his dad, who she had grown protective over. She was not sure she could set aside the stories he had told her and yet, it seemed so important to him. He had such disdain for her when he would talk about his memories and yet he seemed to hold out some form of hope that things would be different. Maybe he thought that Keri could be that bridge. Always wanting to please Jack,  she reluctantly agreed to the meeting.

From the very start, Keri noticed a kind of ambivalent indulgence in the relationship between Jack and his mom. It was disconcerting to her but she disregarded her apprehension due to her love for him and agreed to pursue the relationship. To Keri’s surprise, she and Lee hit it off almost at hello. His mother was charming and quite beautiful in an unusually sophisticated kind of way. They seemed to ‘get’ each other from the start. Lee seemed to genuinely like Keri. And from what Jack had told her, had despised Maddie, which made Keri uncomfortably blissful. She had never known anyone like Lee before. They talked about everything for hours. Soon Jack found himself bringing Keri to his mom’s house regularly. Keri loved to hear her stories and advice. Jack was thrilled that Keri and his mom became fast friends and through their new found friendship, Jack felt an acceptance from his mother that he had never enjoyed before.

mirror and make up

They spent a lot of time together and Keri was very impressed with everything about Lee. She obviously loved to live life well and taught Keri to do the same or at least was very generous with her. Though she could not forget the stories that Jack had shared, it was hard to picture her so out of  control ever. And so little by little, Keri let  her guard up and found herself drawn to Lee, as their friendship grew.

As school continued, Keri became so wrapped up in being Jack’s girlfriend that her friends began to complain that she was always too busy for them. Between school and volunteering and the time she spent with Jack, there was just no time left for anything else. Keri didn’t care, she only wanted Jack. Her every waking moment was consumed by thoughts of him or what she could do to please him.  She would pack sandwiches and meet him at the garage where he worked.  She would sit in a car high up on the hydraulic racks as he worked on it late into the night. She studied or did homework in many cars on many nights just to be with him. Most of their times were filled with new adventures and passion that she could not get enough of.  No one had ever made her feel so desired or loved and she looked forward to discovering new things with him. They were so caught up in the excitement of becoming adults, and imagining their future.

mechanic

She pictured how it might be being married to Jack. They spent time looking for apartments and began going to a little church in the neighborhood where he and his dad lived. They became fast friends with some of the young couples who went there and some of the older ones too, and were invited over to their homes. One couple in particular, Dave and Cheri seemed to enjoy Jack and Keri’s company and took them under their wings. They would invite them over frequently to Cheri’s parent”s home for Sunday Supper. Soon they felt like one of the family and Keri learned to love Sunday. One Saturday night, Jack and Keri had come for dinner at Dave and Cheri’s apartment. Keri noticed a wedding album on the coffee table and began slowly turning the pages. She was so impressed with their life and love and faith in God. Cheri shared that they were trying to have a baby and Keri felt so envious. She wanted to fast forward everything and feel how it might be to be grown up and out on her own. As she chatted with her new friend, Keri glanced at Jack sitting across the room, as he and Dave laughed about something and her heart filled. She wondered what it would be like if he were her husband.  All at once Keri knew she would marry him someday.

Jack and Keri became very involved in the church. Every Sunday they were invited somewhere. Jack began to bring his guitar to some of the gatherings that they were invited to. His dad had given it to him years before and it was one of the more special gifts he had from his youth. Keri was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jack had an amazing voice and she was transported to a new realm as she would listen to him as he strummed the strings and sang with the group. She loved his voice and was so proud. One day they talked about the fact that he had never been baptized. He shared with Keri that he wanted to. She was thrilled. He began going to classes and one Sunday in front of the church, he was baptized and watching him as he was lifted from the water, Keri saw his face and the joy that filled it and in that moment, she, believed that everything was going to be okay.

Between his work, and her school, church, and just their being together their free time seemed filled. The days ran together in sweet accord, each better than the last. Keri would run home in-between classes and seeing Jack and their time was consumed only in each other. Until one day, Keri’s mom complained that they never saw her anymore. She told her that even Lonnie had been talking about missing her.  Keri started to argue and then realized that her mom was right and then to her surprise, her mother suggested that she invite Jack over for dinner. Her father would be home and  had asked her to arrange something. Keri eyed her mother suspiciously. “What is this all about?” she asked her mom. “We just feel that we need to get to know this boy, Jack, a little better, since you are spending so much time together, that’s all.” Eyeing her daughter she added, “I promise to make something good.” Keri agreed, “Well okay, if you are sure there is not going to be some big speech or anything?” Her mom laughed saying, “your father and I discussed it and it doesn’t look as if Jack is going anywhere, anytime soon, so we might as well get to know him.” Keri was pleased by the invitation but remained a little hesitant. Her mom continued, “When we allowed you to date, we hadn’t bet on you dating just one boy.” Keri looke at her mom and said, “Well, I wasn’t planning on that either. It just sort of happened.” And then added, “I love him mom.” Her mother nodded. “I know you do honey.”

Jack agreed to dinner enthusiastically, he had been wanting an open door, a chance to prove himself to her parents.  He loved the idea of family and had never felt as if he fit into his. All he ever wanted was to feel as if he fit in and to have a place to belong. Keri knew that about him by now  He talked a little too much that night but her parents didn’t seem to mind or at least they didn’t appear to. They accepted Jack as someone who would be around for a while. Her dad had been impressed by his intelligence, as he kept up with the latest current events. He charmed her mom and helped clear the dishes. Keri thought that the evening had gone quiet well. She wondered what her parents thought.  They remained unbiased, deciding to hold judgment.  They were not sure how they felt about Jack yet. At times, they saw Keri happier than they had ever seen her, and though she tried to hide it, there had been other times when they had also seen her very unhappy. During those times, Keri never spoke of what was making her sad but then just as quickly, the mood would clear and she was happy again.

Her parents accepted her mood changes as normal teenage moodiness, though they remained on guard, having heard horror stories from some of their other friends and the difficulties that they were having with their own “teenage” children. From what they had heard, they counted their blessings, feeling grateful that Keri was so grounded. Her parents just figured that they were also having growing pains letting go, and tried to be more understanding and lenient by looking the other way rather than being so strict. Keri was grateful, never wanting them to guess what was really happening.

sad hug

Though the dark times did seem fewer and farther between, when the rages did happen, they would terrorize them both. Jack seemed trapped inside of them and Keri had learned to be his target. He knew that he was horrible to her but something ridiculous would trigger the anger and the explosions followed like clockwork.  Somehow, it had become a pattern with them. Keri had grown to accept the emotional blows, lost in her own hopelessness that they seemed to represent. The ambivalence she felt was debilitating. And yet she never shared any of it with anyone. She reasoned a little pushing was not like getting punched or slapped and he was usually so sorry after. There had been a time or two when Keri stormed out to get away and he had followed pleading for her forgiveness. He would kiss her tears and beg her to come back, pleading as if his heart would break, telling her that he could not live without her and how sorry he was. He would kneel at her feet and she would pull it up and then sadly follow him back as he would try to make up for everything he had just said. But Keri could not block out the names he had called her, slowly she began to grow numb to it all.

She wanted to protect Jack. She knew he was fighting pretty dark demons from his past and that he was dealing with them in his own way, and she felt it was enough. She also was too ashamed that she would allow anyone to treat her the way he did when he would lose control. He would be sorry and she would forgive him and the in-between, times that they shared, seemed to make up for everything else. The funny thing was that after the awful day on the sailboat, Keri never again, even considered leaving. She just accepted that this was part of her fate and the more she loved him, the deeper in she got.

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This is not the end! There are more chapters to come…. but this is all I will share here. I am now working on editing the finished chapters of my book and someday, hope to have it finished. I just wanted to share a piece of it here to get feedback from my most favorite followers!

THANK YOU for all who have taken the time to really READ it!!!!  You have a piece of my heart!

Still On the Darn Subject Of THOSE “LIKE” CLICKERS!!!!


Maybe I am just shell shocked from the recent election, when every ten minutes I was getting smooozzshed by one political party or another with promises and phone calls,  commercials,  bumper stickers and billboards coveting my vote. And now once again we all are left in the dust. I feel that this blog is a lot like an ongoing election. You can’t avoid the politics. Not even here. Our little corner of the world that we have found, makes the world go away for a just a little while. Our stage where we get to perform, even if to an audience of one or a thousand. We are doing what we love best, writing. Isn’t that enough? Why are those votes so important to us? Perhaps because we learned it really early in our young lives. If we cry, we get attention. If we cry hard enough, we get picked up and even fed. Think about it. We have been searching for that kind of high ever since.

Writing is my way. And if you have a blog here, I know it is yours too. But writing comes with it’s biggest joys and most frustrating draw backs.

A few weeks ago, I went on a hiatus of sorts after realizing that I was writing on this blog for all the wrong reasons. And that was for YOUR feedback. I would post something and then wait for the response.  I mean, we have all loved the proverbial red A+ and maybe even a little smiling face that we used to get after turning in an especially well thought out little story. Whatever it was, and whenever it was, as early as second grade? We experienced that first high and we were hooked. After that, we waited for the next and the next. Finally when our teacher even commented to our mom during a parent conference that maybe we had something special” we lived for the next sign of recognition of specialness.  And as we grew older, when our instructor or professor chose to read our essay as a special example to the class THAT felt even better than the A because we were actually hearing our own words being read aloud with all the same enthusiasm we felt when we wrote them. It was that connection. Our crying was heard and once again we were being fed. Thus… here in my blog, I have felt that. It is nice to be recognized, to feel “gotten” by someone else who understands why I am writing at two in the morning again.

No high could match that. Unless we went on to find it in some other way, I actually did in a  small way. I wrote for our local magazine for a few years…. I was  even given my own column for a while, until I needed to go out and get a “real job” I mean the way I wrote,  .15 cents a word could add up, but that was when I was working for myself, doing art shows as well but both weren’t paying the bills nor providing benefits, and so I had to move on and get the job I have now.  But it was good while it lasted. I would be in town and a random stranger would tell me how they enjoyed my column and once again that  A+, middle of the night feeding high took me to new levels. But then like I said, I had to give that up for a real job,  And for a while, something squashed my creative side by having to succumb to a nine to five. But slowly through the course of less hours and a few other things that inspired me recently, I have found myself NEEDING to write again. As if a part of my heart has re-awakened.

So I stumbled onto this blog here. And as we talked about it before in a recent post entitled :”CLICKING LIKE” I discovered by your responses, that a lot of you felt the exact same way. We got sucked in BIG time to the high of our very own STATS. Arrrrrgggh! And so I went on a little reprieve becuase I was writing posts like this. I would wait for a LIKE and then another and another. (Greedy gal that I am!) And they would come… sometimes right away. Before I was even done re-reading my own first paragraph again, making sure that all my editing was done correctly, I had gotten four clicks. I smiled and then thought…..”HEY wait a minute!” Hmmm what is going on here? How could they be reading everything I wrote so fast???!

So you seee… I fell for the LIKES of those who “CLICK” just to generate traffic to their own blog. They are hoping that there are those like me who actually will appreciate each and every one who takes the time to visit my site and (hopefully) actually read what I wrote, not just click on like for the sake of clicking, thank you very much! Does anyone get what I mean??? I know those of you who I feel that I have connected with do and I guess I am wasting my time writing about this again because the few who do GET what I am saying will probably only be the same ones reading “this” post too. And I love you for it! But I would love to somehow get those darn LIKE clickers (now have I discovered a new slang word here? lol.) And pleeease understand that if you are actually down to this * point in my ranting, you are not who I am talking about! I am talking about to the faithful LIKE CLICKERS that would never be caught getting this far into anyone’s blog. The ones who flat out, don’t read any of it.

Though I am not without fault, I know it is hard to keep up with some of the posts… I have never really cared for TWITTERING, I mean do you really care that I just had a yogurt or if I am on the 101 on my way to work?? As is here, I have found that some of the bloggers (me included at times) write several posts a day. It is kind of comical. We have this random thought we feel is kind of brilliant and so we share… like what I am doing here… so I am not laughing at you!!! I do it too. It is funny how we think that everyone else is so interested in our thought of the minute and yet I know that I didn’t start out coveting your responses or LIKES for that matter, I had come here to write, to stretch my wings, to oil my “writer’s block” to get unstuck and also have a place to store my own journal so that someday, I could come back and look at where I was today tomorrow. How much I have learned and grown someday. But I got caught up in the whole STATs thing and I am sorry I did that to myself. And have to wonder. Is this just a social network of writers? I mean is it more like I will scratch your back if you scratch mine? Or do we really truly genuinely look forwrard to someone’s posts? I know I do. I know I wouldn’t have “followed” you if I hadn’t. And I know I have liked a writer’s posts so much I have sought them out to see if there is a new one that I may have missed. And I can promise if I click LIKE I actually have read it!

Sooo what has prompted me to write this latest rant? Well, I have been posting my book and it is so hard to know who is reading, who is liking and I got absolutely hardly any feedback. Is it that bad??? I have to wonder….lol. I mean even the ones who commented on almost every post I have written…. NOTHING! Well, my friends… are always my best supporters, those of you who I have totally had a kindred moment with (you know who you are) I appreciate!!  But I have to wonder, maybe I am just asking too much to expect people to read eight pages of a chapter at a time. That is rather presumptious of me I know, but what was I was to think? You had puffed me up by LIKING me all those other times! I mean like lifting the proverbial crying baby out of her crib, you fed me… I expected more! Now my stats are sooo low but I expected that. Sadly. I did. I am not out there hanging my flag in the wind OPEN for business like I used to be so my once sky high views have dwindled and so my friends… if you are new here BEWARE…. Really think about the reasons why you blog before you invest so much time. If it is for you then that is wonderful. If it is for other reasons, that may be good too. The connection I have made with a handful of writers here is worth more than the thousand of LIKE clickers I may never know.

And who am I fooling thinking that writers and agents are actually wandering around wordpress looking for raw, new talent…

Getting published is not magic. It takes long hard work. The good old fashioned kind. Technology is awesome. Being able to send a manuscript with a click and publishing a book with another click may be the way of today but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to jump through the same hoops to get there. I GET it now.

Maybeeeeee I would just like to go back to the way things were. Where ignorance was bliss. Where I lived in a world of people LIKING what I wrote. What do I care if they read it or not? Nah. Ya know I do. I want to know if you reeeeeally like ME or you just want my vote.

But the final point (I promise) that I am trying to make i;s that I really am over it… the STATS thing… I probably will always want that primal pat on the back. But I know I dont’ truly need it anymore. Because if I think something is good than it is good. I don’t need  the click or the vote or to check out my stats ever again because I have finally found out how to climb out of the proverbial crib myself!

Chapter Six


Below is Chapter six from my book. For those of you interested, I have published/(posted) one through five in my previous posts. I have taken a break from blogging to finish my book and have been sharing it with my followers who have requested more.  Thank you for all who have actually taken the time to read each chapter. Your time is my most coveted gift!

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Chapter Six

Keri had been slow in sharing anything about Jack with her parents. They had both met him, and he had been charming, while her parents had been cautiously gracious. It was difficult for them to watch their daughter become so consumed with a boy. Keri had always been a good student and had recently, been very focused on going to college early, majoring in English and becoming a Writer, which they encourage wholeheartedly.   Just the year before, they had watched her excel at workshops and earn awards. They had watched her become more involved in the school she volunteered at and had supported her decision to graduate early, and had been impressed that she had managed to accumulate enough credits to do just that.

They were  proud of her accomplishments and  that she had been offered a job at the Center while hearing glowing reports from Betty about what a natural she was with the children, they did not want anything to divert her from her plans, especially a boy. Keri was planning on working at the Center  the first of the year, and enrolling in the local Junior College with plans to transfer to UCLA the following.   Though  Keri maintained her grades and Mrs. Walker applauded her recent work,  they knew their daughter and saw a difference, subtle as it was,  and it concerned them.

Keri realized that her parents weren’t keen on her seeing Jack. He was three years older  and they had just started allowing her to date.  In the past, she had gone out with guys that were friends in more of a group setting. This kind of serious  dating was new for them all.  Keri didn’t want the bubble to pop or to have to answer too many questions so she hadn’t talked about, or brought Jack around a lot. She had  enjoyed the independence she had over the summer and wanted it to continue. Her parents had trusted her and given her more freedom due to an arrangement that they had made with Lori’s mom, knowing that she would be available if Keri needed anything . Though, they hadn’t counted on Jack hanging around.  Now that her mom was home,  Keri did not want to rock the boat too much. She tried not to be on the phone a lot with him when her parents were around or to be too obvious about the time he monopolized,  but she loved him and wanted to be with him as much a she could. And her parents couldn’t help but be concerned.

Keri would ride the bus in the mornings on the days she knew that Jack planned to pick her up after school. One day her mom joked about how Keri had begged to get her license and had worked hard to earn her car and how strange it was now that she was back to riding the bus and mentioned that she hadn’t seen Keri actually  ride the bus since Lori had gotten her license the year before. Keri just smiled, she was happy that her mom seemed to accept the new arrangements as long as she kept up with her school work. It was her senior year and her mom had shared stories of her own memories, telling Keri that her life was like an empty book and this was the year that she would begin to fill the pages with memories that  she would never forget. She told her that she didn’t want her to waste a moment of any of it with regret and seemed to be okay with giving her the trust she had earned over the summer, but Keri had been aware of her mother’s apprehension.

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that her mom happened to drive up as she was hopping off of Jack’s bike. She slammed her car door and stood there with her hands on her hips. “What is this?!” her mother demanded. “Uhhhh,  motoooorcycle.” Keri answered a bit too flippantly with a sarcastic edge to her tone, as Jack nudged her in warning that THIS was not the right time to be joking.”  Keri’s mom reiterated that fact strongly by saying “I know very well that it is a motorcycle young lady! What are YOU doing on it?!”

Keri silently handed Jack her helmet as she was ushered into the house by her mom.  He had no other choice but to leave,  promising that he would call later. As Keri’s mom called after him saying “Oh no you won’t.” in a very firm voice. Keri’s face was filled with disbelief and anger as she raced into the house shouting “How could yoooou?!” As her mother promptly followed her, eyeing her shorts, and demanding, “What could you be thinking getting on that bike with just shorts on?” Keri had actually burned the inside of her calf on the pipe a few days earlier and sheepishly said, “He has a helmet for me. “That’s big of him!” Her mother retorted. “So your head will be okay while the rest of you is turned into hamburger!?”  “I think not!” Keri pounded up the stairs to her room slamming the door shouting, YOU are ruining my life!” Where she could hear her mom’s reply, “No, I am trying to save it!”

Keri’s mom took her to school and dropped her off the following week. Her dad was away on a business trip and had yet to come home but her mom had assured her that they would all have a discussion together as soon as he returned. Keri was miserable that week. She only spoke when necesarry and without any emotion at all. They had, had their share of mother and daughter disagreements but nothing like this. She and Jack met a few times at lunch. They sat beneath some trees behind the auditorium cautiously consumed in each other. “Baby, we will figure this out.” Jack promised, weaving his fingers through hers. He had parked his bike and  started just driving his car after the scene in Keri’s driveway, and had told Keri that he would even sell his bike if he had to. He told her that he planned to go to her parents and talk to both of them when her father came home at the end of that week.

He did as he said and Keri’s dad respectfully listened as Jack apologized for taking her on the back of his bike without their permission.  He assured her parents that he was a very careful driver, with both his motorcycle and his car, but admitted that it had been a bad idea to allow Keri to ride in shorts. Her mom  thanked him for realizing that, as Jack reached out to shake  her Dad’s hand. Her Dad had been impressed with the handshake and Jack’s apology and told them that they would be allowed to to see each other again, adding that he would  even allow Keri to ride on his motorcycle only when they had permission and were properly dressed for riding but he would prefer them  in a car for the majority of their dates. “Thank you daddy” Keri jumped up and wrapped her arms around her father’s neck. And then hugged her mom as well. There had been a lot of tension that week and Keri wanted it over as did her mother. “I KNOOOW that you just want the best for me” she said quietly to her mom as her mom hugged her back with an extra tight squeeze.

After that, Jack would pick her up in his Triumph Spitfire and they would take long drives with the top down. He would bring a blanket and lay it out as he would tell her stories of adventures he had, and wanted to have. Some of his stories were of wanting to sail around the world, others were of how he wanted to learn how to fly, and others included  memories of Maddie, and those were hard to hear. He spoke of  school and how hurt he had been by her and how betrayed he felt. Keri tried to understand and act like she didn’t mind the stories. She knew he was still hurt and had a hard time trusting her completely because of his past, and so she just tried to love him even more. and to prove that she was not Maddie and would never hurt him.

One day they went out on the boat alone. Jack was teaching Keri to sail. She loved it when it was just the two of them. Even though she enjoyed when other couples had gone with them, she cherished her time alone with Jack. Keri had discovered that she actually, loved sailing even though the first time out they had been caught up  in thirty mile per hour Santa Ana winds, they had been out several more times after that, and the weather had been wonderful.   This particular day, the breeze was perfect and there was no one around for miles.  They tacked back and forth a  long time and he praised her for her natural ability, he even sat back and let her handle the boat all by herself and praised her until she beamed with pride. Finally, Jack tied the line and leaned back into Keri, she breathed him in, she loved his smell. He smelled like fresh air and the sea.

Her heart felt full as she leaned back and let the sun coat her bare skin. They sailed that way for a long time and then Jack lazily asked, “You hungry?” Keri thought a minute and said “I guess I could eat something.” She got up and began unpacking the picnic lunch she had packed that morning. She had just handed Jack a sandwich and he seemed to be thoroughly enjoying it. He leaned back sipping a grape soda and began soaking up the sun again. The temperature was perfect.  Boats had slowly begun speckling the scenery and the sky was bluer than she had ever seen it.  Keri took in the day, took a bite of her sandwich and admired Jack’s swimmer’s physic when the wind changed and Jack steered the boat as she jumped up to adjust the jib, as she casually mentioned something about how she couldn’t reach the “rope.”

All of a sudden Jack stiffened and his face grew red and he exploded.  “Line, it’s a damn line!”  He bellowed at her.  Keri’s eyes grew wide in surprise. She was not sure if he was serious. He was in such a rage that it had totally caught her off guard. She dropped her sandwich. He threw his in anger, yelling at her and roared that “the only rope on a boat was the one on the bell ”How could you not know that by now?! he raged.

At first, Keri seriously thought he was kidding but when she realized he wasn’t, something inside of her broke. She had never had a “friend” speak to her that way. Even when she was in big trouble,  her parents had never yelled at her like that. Keri was dumbfounded. She did not know what to think. Something  shifted inside of her,  she did not recognize exactly what it was, maybe it was the instinct of survival kicking in, maybe it was just the simple respect that she had for herself but right there in the hub of that moment she knew that it was over. Even if she had made a huge mistake, if she had pulled the jib so tight that the boat had been hard to recover, she hadn’t deserved his anger, he had no excuse to talk to her like that.   Their day was ruined. Their future was gone. She watched a stranger storming around as he turned the boat back without her assistance. She just sat there frozen.

They were silent all of the way back to shore. She had never experienced anything like the scene that had just happened.  She kept playing it over and over again in her head.  She was devastated. He had not only screamed at her. He had grabbed one of the lines and hit her with it and then somehow in his rage had proceeded to spit on her. She was stunned. She wiped her face and stared out to sea. She tried to remember just what may have led up to his reaction, to trigger such an explosion. She did not know how it had finally ended. The rage seemed endless as if something had snapped inside of him. Keri had finally just started crying and then it was over as quickly as it had begun. As if her tears had snapped him out of the place he had seemed to go. He seemed spent as he reached the shore. She hoped nobody would ever find out. She was totally humiliated and very glad that they had been alone and no boats had been nearby.

The evening fog drifted in as she sat shivering in the car, it was not too terribly cold but for some reason she could not stop trembling, as if she was chilled to the bone. She sat in the passenger seat, trying to block out the memory of what had just happened and feeling the raw emotion of it all. They had never even argued before. She never imagined that he had such a temper. He had always been so patient and kind and a wonderful teacher. This had ruined everything.  She felt no responsibility over what had just happened and yet she was still so confused and began second guessing herself, wondering if perhaps, in some small way, it was her fault. She knew he had made a comment about ropes being called lines and the port and starboard sides and some other technical sailing terms but didn’t think it was such a big deal. He had seemed to love teaching her things and she loved learning from him. Keri began remembering a time when her own father would try to teach her things and would get so frustrated with her and the memory made her cringe. She wondered what really set him off or if it had actually been her. She continued pouring over every detail of the outburst in her mind and could not come up with a reasonable explanation except that perhaps she was to blame.

Keri could not move as she watched Jack hooking everything up. She caught herself holding her breath watching him and when she realized what she was doing, she would slowly let it out as she heaved a deep sorrowful sigh. She was so angry she couldn’t even cry. She was just stunned as she began thinking about all that they had shared,  and all that she had begun to dream of, now all lost in this horrific outburst. She wondered, maybe she had made a mistake about a nautical term but she could not excuse the scene she had  just observed nor could she erase it from her memory. No reasonable person would ever get so upset over something so irrelevant would they?

She wondered if this is why Maddie broke up with him. She wondered if Mrs. T knew about his temper when she manipulated them like little game pieces, relieving her own daughter of this boy only to push him off on some other mother’s daughter, not to mention her daughter’s best friend. She wondered if Lori knew. She sat there feeling totally sucker punched. The nausea inside of her began to make her stomach convulse. He was taking so long and finally she felt tears of anger rising, she began to strategize her departure and the little speech she intended to make when he finally dropped her off.  She kept wondering if Lori had any inkling of what Jack Sagan was capable of behaving like or if she had witnessed any of it. She stewed, growing angry and hurt and decided not to trust anyone ever again. She was mad at Lori, and at Mrs. T. and at Maddie for making her a part of this situation, and then feeling so consumed by it all, she felt nothing, just the hot tears on her cheeks.

Overwhelmed with a sadness she had never known. She had been humiliated, crying in front of Jack. Though Keri’s crying is what ultimately seemed to save her. He had not seen her cry much before and it really did seem to break the fog he seemed immersed in, but now, they were at a standstill No one had said a word since the outburst and Keri just wanted to go home.

The longer Jack took to get in the car, the angrier she became.  She was mad and she had a script penned in her head of what she was going to say to him. Maybe he had treated other girls like that but  she was not going to allow any boy to treat her that way ever again, and she meant it.  It looked as if he was having trouble hooking up the lights on the trailer. The longer it took, the angrier she got. Keri had believed in God since she was a little girl. Her mom had taken her to church and that is where she met Lori. They went to both the same school and church. But like so many, Keri had gotten busy and fallen away from her routine of attending regularly.  She had learned about praying and the thought nudged at her heart as she continued to sit there and slowly she just began to pray quietly but the words formed fluidly. As soon as she closed her eyes, a peace came over her that was hard to describe.  Suddenly, she was not worried about getting home or even about how Jack would respond to her, just bringing God’s name into the situation seemed to help her find an amazing peace. She felt a stillness in her heart that was calming, as she prayed, “Dear Lord please be with me now and on the drive home, it was as simple as that. Nothing elaborate, just simply inviting God into the car. With her eyes closed she felt His presence, almost as if He was sitting next to her and just the mention of His name, calmed her.  Keri watched as Jack walked around and around the boat and tried to wipe out the details of the memory and what had happened earlier. Keri was still hurt but she felt stronger after her prayer.

Jack finally slid int his seat and gently shut the door. The silence filled the car. Every sound screamed loudly inside her head. The door closing, Jack’s breathing, the clinking of his keys, the pounding of her own heart, the sounds of nothing and everything, overwhelmed her. Keri waited for Jack to start the engine, but he didn’t move. He sat there with his keys in his hands. He was not stoic or angry like she had expected him to be. She waited and waited.  Jack just sat there, in silence and then he did something so unexpected, he began to cry. “I am so sorry Keri” he began.”I want you to know that there are things about me that no one knows, I can’t really explain it. But I don’t want to hurt you and I will, I promise I will. I know that much and that we can’t go out anymore. I behaved like a monster today and can’t promise I won’t again. I want this to be goodbye.” He said so firmly that she believed that he was serious.

She sat there blindsided. She blinked, she swallowed. She let out a breath she didn’t know she had been holding and had to remind herself for the second time to breathe. This was nothing like she had imagined the conversation going. She sat still reeling by what he had to say. She sat there dumbfounded as he continued.  She had planned to tell him goodbye but hearing him take the initiative panicked her. He shared some memories from his childhood, horrific things that he had gone through as a young boy, things he had never shared with anyone, as Keri quietly listened.

little crying boy

Her heart ached for him.She wanted to reach over and wipe away his tears, she wanted to hate the ones who had hurt him. Tears filled her eyes as he continued to share his heart breaking memories, of horrific things that had happened to him as a little boy, and realized that his childhood was not a normal one by any stretch of the imagination. Keri’s heart literally hurt as she considered everything Jack had shared. He waited as he ran his fingers through his sandy blonde hair. Once he had finished the recount of some of the things that had happened to him as a young child, he admitted that though it might explain his anger, in no way did he feel it excused what had happened that afternoon and he was so sorry. He said that he knew that he had huge anger issues and had trouble controlling the rage he felt so strongly at times and again insisted that he could not go out with her anymore. He also assured her that none of what had happened had anything to personally do with her.

Even though Keri had made the decision to not continue in the relationship even before Jack had gotten into the car, she did not see this coming. She understood more now, on a much deeper level, where he had come from. She felt honored that he had trusted her with so much. She realized that his inner child felt so out of control that when Jack felt as if he was losing any part of control now, he just didn’t know how to deal with it. Keri’s heart broke for him and she began crying too. She began to imagine the terror he must have felt when his mother became so out of control. She felt his pain and loved him even more. All the anger left her. As her body relaxed, she wondered if God had a hand in helping her understand Jack more.

Keri tried to picture her days and nights without him in them and her heart stopped. She had known him for such a short time and yet could not imagine her life without him in it. She did not care about today. She would not mention it again. She would protect him now and make up for all those times as a child when he felt unprotected and abandoned. She decided then and there that she would show him how to love by loving him so much he couldn’t possibly ever feel unloved again. As long as she was by his side, she would teach him all about love. At that moment  she decided that she was not going to leave Jack. She would make it very clear that could never happen again, but she was not leaving.

Keri reached for Jack, all the resolve of leaving had left. Her heart changed in that moment. She saw his tortured soul. and looked right into it.  Jack could see that Keri was in this for the long haul. She was not going anywhere. For the first time in his life, Jack felt as if he had come home. Keri pressed her lips against his hair and held her face against him for a long time. She soaked in that moment, wanting to remember it forever. Feeling the calm and the love after the storm was like a salve.   The windows of the car were covered with a blanket of fog, providing a remote haven for their new found devotion to one another. They held onto each other with appreciation for their new though unspoken commitment. And then Jack lay his head in Keri’s lap and they both cried  and then sat in silence. Keri stroked his hair for a long time, feeling oddly maternal, and then slowly lifting his head in her hands, she told him. “I won’t leave you Jack, I promise. I won’t leave you, ever.And she truly meant it.

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So thank you to all who have been reading. Just to let you know… there are about twenty more chapters…. I think that I have posted enough of my book for now….

I  will save Chapter Seven and the rest … for you when I finish the book.  Hopefully you have gathered that this story is a look back at first love and coming of age, it paints a picture of how an innocent young girl can lose herself so easily. Even when she knows better and comes from a good, solid upbringing.

It begins, in the seventies before cell phones  and google, before Facebook and Oprah. Before abuse was talked about openly. It makes you think twice about asking someone abused why they stayed. It is not an explanation for them or an excuse for the abuser but hopefully it paints a picture of  how people become who they become… because of where they began.

It is a story about a young girl who falls hopelessly  in love with a young boy so damaged from his childhood, and how that first love evolved into a heartbreak that followed her for the rest of her life controlling the different choices she made along the way and how those choices are a little like raindrops.  It only takes one to begin a flood. It touches on the tools she gathers along the way as she comes full circle, learning to build a dam so that she will never be washed away in the same way ever again.

Soooo again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading! I hope you have enjoyed it so far.

Hopefully I will finally get it published so that you can find out what happens next!

😉

Chapter Five


As I am in the midst of editing… how could I not love this quote??

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Chapter Five

Things returned to normal for Keri as Lonnie and her mom returned home from Seattle the following week. And then school started the next. It was her senior year and she only had two classes along with her Advanced Independent English class that she was continuing with Mrs. Walker, who had told Keri three years ago, that she was her “New Discovery.” During Keri’s freshman year, her English teacher, had assigned several poetry and fictional assignments, and each one that she had turned in, had impressed her teacher more than the last. So much so, that she had requested a parent conference suggesting that Keri would benefit more from an individual mentoring class, adding that she was offering to instruct her. She explained to them that she would have to bring up her  idea to the school board in order for Keri to qualify but she was sure that once they saw her work, they would agree to it.  Her parents had been thrilled and extremely proud.  Keri’s work was submitted, the board  reviewed  Mrs. Walker’s request, and they had unanimously approved it.

So the next year, Mrs. Walker instructed Keri by giving  her assignments that would challenge her and she had excelled. And the class had been extended for the years that followed.  Mrs. Walker had been teaching for over thirty one years, and had only offered an Independent Study class to two other students in the history of  teaching. Both had gone on to earn Scholarships at Berkley and become published authors.

Mrs. Walker started out by making Keri promise that she would keep a daily journal, even during the summers. She had honored that promise, having fun finding new styles of journals each year. This year, she had found a little leather bound one with a lock on it. She had saved up her allowance and purchased it right before the end of school this past year. She was on her third year now, and this past summer she had filled twice as many pages as required. The agreement had been that her teacher would not read the contents, but would just initial the pages when she turned them in once a week. If she wrote a poem within the journal, or something that she wanted to share with her teacher, she would simply copy it onto a separate piece of paper and turn it in. She had never minded before, in fact, she would have liked her teacher to have read some of her entries. But this year, since meeting Jack, she was happy that they had the little “no reading”agreement because she had new things to write about that she did not really want anyone to read, least of all Mrs. Walker.

Thanks to Mrs. Walker’s promptings, Keri had won a few small scholarships for young writers by submitting her work to different writing competitions that her teacher had found for her. When she had been in Junior High School, One of her favorite authors ,Ray Bradbury happened to live locally and for some amazing reason, Keri’s school had been fortunate enough to have him  come to an assembly as a guest speaker. Keri barely breathed the entire time he was speaking. She had read all of his books and loved each one. To hear his story and get to ask him questions was a pivotal moment in her young life and had inspired her to keep writing. And she did.  Sometimes, way into the wee hours of the night. Assigned or not, she knew, without a shadow of a doubt that she wanted to be a writer.

One day after she had turned in a new assignment, her teacher had found her in the school library studying. Keri looked up and greeted her teacher by sitting up a little straigher. “Hi.” They both whispered in unision smiling at one another. Keri had genuinely grown to not only admire and respect her teacher and her talents but to really love her. Over the years she had been one of Keri’s biggest motivators, it was hard not to appreciate someone who basically cheered you on and encouraged your passions. And in turn, Mrs. Walker had grown to truly love Keri as well. She dropped an assignment in front of her saying, “Keri, I think that this is your best work yet, and I want you to consider submitting it for a scholarship.” Keri looked up. “Reeeeally?” she asked. “Yes, her teacher continued, “I’m not sure what has changed but  your writing is even more exceptional lately and I can tell that you are writing from the heart more because this paper is magic.” She finished. “Thank you, Keri whispered beaming, as Mrs. Walker said, “See you tomorrow.”

Keri’s senior year was turning out to be amazing even without Lori. She loved  English,  and really only had one class that was a little difficult and that was Government, which was required in order for her to graduate. She groaned inwardly, everytime she thought of it, and had planned taking it in summer school but Lori had talked her out of it. Now she was cursing her best friend under her breath and was regretting that  very decision as she sat at her desk writing down her long homework assignment for the next day, wondering how Lori was doing in her own classes. At first they had spoken on the phone every day and then Keri had found some cute stationery to send her notes  on, and Lori had found some just as cute to send back to Keri. But lately, as both the girls grew busier, the phone calls and notes had lessened.

Most of Keri’s friends went to Rolling Hills High School or Miraleste, two neighboring schools, just outside of her own district. Though she usually was only attending half days this year, it had been nice to have a friend to catch up with in-between classes and have lunch with on the days that she stayed on campus. Last year, Lori  had attended  full  time, and had been around for Keri. It had actually been Keri, who had not been around as much last year, having to drive all the way to Buena Park two days a week to volunteer. Her mom’s friend, Betty had enthusiastically helped her get a volunteer position where her young daughter Christina went to school. Keri had shown an interest in Christina,  when they had met one afternoon when they were visiting at her house when she had come home from school. She had learned that the little girl was seven and couldn’t speak because she had a condition called Aphasia. Keri had fallen in love with the little girl and her  story had intrigued her. Betty had been happy to let Keri take her daughter on several outings after they had gotten to know each other. One day, they bought a balloon during one of their outings and Keri wanted to surprise Christina’s  mother,  with a new word. “Okaaaay, Keri coached  when she dropped the little girl off, tell your mommy what we bought you.” She prompted.  The little girl looked up with big eyes and pronounced “Ballooooon!” as clear as a bell. She looked proudly at her mom, as her mother cried. After that, Betty had invited Keri to Christina’s school and when she had been offered a position, Betty had kindly come and picked Keri up every Tuesday and Thursday all year long. She had even gone to the office at the High School and arranged extra credits for her. Now that Keri had her own car this year, she drove herself.

Everything seemed so different to Keri this year. She definitely felt the holes that had been left by her best friend not being there. Though, she still had her share of friends and one or two new ones in Government that she would join in the cafeteria or hang out with after school she missed Lori. Though, for the most part, she usually left at lunchtime to go volunteer or spent her Independent Study days in the library working on her English class. Unless, Jack got off early, and picked her up. On those days, she forgot all about missing anyone.

Keri actually had enough credits from the year before when she volunteered at the Speech School, but she had been offered a paying position there when she graduated so she had wanted to keep  her schedule  and continued to volunteer two days a week  to keep in good standing  there. Though she continued to earn more credits, she already had enough to gradutate. Jack had been proud of her when she had told him about the school. He loved to listen  to her stories about the children and what they were learning. But some days she noticed that he seemed to resent her having to go. He liked having her at his beck and call. She loved that he wanted her to be with him but would explain cheerfully, that it was important to her to keep that door open and that school was actually the whole reason she was able to graduate early. And yet, he would pout and Keri would laugh it off and think he was just being cute.

As Keri sat in class with her eyes fixed upon her teacher,  her mind was filled with Jack. His smell, his smile, his kisses, were like intoxicating vapor wrapping her heart so tightly she felt as if she would burst. She doodled as the lecture continued. First she wrote her name, and then his, and then her first name and his last next to it. The innocence of young love consumed her.

Always having been a good student, she was mystified and confused by the new silly feelings she felt.  She smiled as she slouched back in her seat. She was feeling so far away from anywhere remotely having to do with what her instructor was writing on the chalkboard.  She looked at the clock that seemed to be moving painfully slow and sighed.

Finally when the bell rang, she bolted out of her seat and fell happily into Jack’s arms, when she saw him. He was standing beside his motorcycle, and said“Hey baby” he whispered into her neck as he let his fingers gently wind through her hair and pulled her to him, kissing her as he handed her a helmet. She put it on, jumping on the bike behind Jack and wrapping her arms tightly around his waist. She breathed him in, resting her mouth on the back of his neck and lightly kissed the hair that fell upon his collar. She had waited all day to be in this exact spot. This is where she belonged. She thought. Hugging him as tight as she could, she laid her cheek against his back as they pulled away from her school.

The motor roared and filled her world as the wind danced past her bare legs. She could feel the heat of the bike beneath her. She playfully lifted her legs and wrapped them around Jack’s waist and he squeezed one of them and slowed the bike to a place on the cliffs. They jumped off and took their helmets off while Keri shook out her long tresses, Jack pulled a blanket from the leather satchel on the back of his seat. and lay it out and then they tumbled on it in a frenzy of passion and laughter. Kissing and groping and exploring with an innocence that only young lovers know.

“I love you” he breathed into her ear with a warm rush of words that sent a tingle all the way down her back as she breathed the same words right back to him. They said the words often now. Though she had waited a long time to hear them. Long after he had told her that he had liked her, she knew that she loved him, but she was not going to say it first. It meant too much to her, she wanted Jack to say it first.  One night after a day of sailing, as he was dropping her off, he had kissed her and almost said it but stopped short. Keri began probing, “What were you going to say?” She teased, laying her head in his lap and looking up at him. They had ended up having a serious discussion but he hadn’t said it that night. Nor for many more after that.

One late afternoon, he had picked her up in his car. At first she didn’t recognize him because she had been looking for the bike, but when she saw him sitting in his car, she ran over to it and hopped in. “Hi” she said happy to see him. “I wasn’t expecting your car.” He nodded. Suddenly, she saw that he seemed upset. Keri frowned and asked, “What’s wrong?” Jack vaguely told her that he had just had an argument with his mother but he didn’t seem  to want to talk about it. He had been very slow in sharing about anything to do with his home life and she had only gotten little pieces of information from Lori and her mom. But she knew it was a sore subject and not one that Jack talked easily about and so she didn’t pry. But today he seemed to need to talk.  Keri laid her hand on his knee and said “Talk to me.” He looked uncertain and and very uncomfortable but then suddenly, as if a dam had burst,  he began pouring out things he had never shared before. He told her  what the fight had been about, about his mother’s random outbursts, and a little about his very chaotic childhood.  As Keri sat and listened, her heart broke. He looked as if he wanted to cry. He told her that his mom had yelled such horrible words of hate to him, she literally had to muffle a gasp.  She couldn’t imagine her parents talking to her like that. And then he  told her that his mom had thrown something at him as he drove away, shouting, that no one would ever love him, ever. He looked so ashamed and lost as a tear slid down one cheek.

In that moment pieces seemed to all start to fall into place for Keri. Love had come so naturally for her. From the time she was a little girl, she had written poems about it, even before she had met Jack, she had written about Prince Charmings and being in love and whisked away . Her parents loved each other and they loved her. It was all just so natural. They had always said it to each other and she kind of had just assumed that everyone else had that same kind of love growing up.  But now as she sat with Jack, she realized in the hollow of that  moment that love didn’t come so easy for everyone.  Maybe, sometimes, it didn’t come at all. Now she knew why saying I love you had come so hard for him. Maybe it was because he had never felt loved before.

As she sat with Jack, she saw the small boy inside of him that needed to be loved by someone so badly and she knew for the first time in her life what being in love felt like. It wasn’t a contest about who “said it ” first, it was so much more than that. It went much farther back than today she had realized in that moment as she held his hands in hers. She had always assumed that parents automatically loved their children. But she had learned that  love wasn’t a commodity that you could buy or will into someone else’s heart. It was like….  something you could barely describe, it was like “magic.”

Jack  looked so hurt as he shared more about his mom than he ever had before. Finally, after a long time, still sitting in the empty school’s parking lot. She took his face in her hands and kissed it. Feeling the the love more than ever, she knew exactly  what was happening…. the feeling was like twinkling little electric currents running through her,  Even though she had waited for him to say it first, for so long, she whispered over and over “It’s okay,  because…….      Ilove you. She emphasized the word “I”, the more she said them, as if she was even more surprised of her feelings than he was hearing her say the words.  Keri realized that she truly knew in that very moment what falling in  love felt like and that she really , truly was in love. She knew it without a shadow of a doubt, and she had to say the words out loud. With his face still in her hands she held him away from her and saw the tears in his eyes as she said, “I love you, oh Jack, I do, I love you!” Her voice was hoarse with emotion.   He looked so young, like a broken little boy. She knew so well and not at all, and he whispered back so tenderly, “I have never said these words to anyone before, but I love you too Keri.” And then in the parking lot they held each other  and she knew that they had discovered magic.

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Thank you guys… for reading….

This one… I submitted kind of fast after my editing job… trying to run out the door to go to work… so I will come back and fix the errors… but like I’ve said before… would love feedback! Anyone actually following the story? 🙂

Do you guys want more? I guess if you answer… I will know you really are reading… 😉

XOXO

Chapter Four


I have been sharing pieces of my book. (It is already written, I am now in the process of editing it, which I have found is almost a longer process than writing it.) This won’t make much sense without reading the first three chapters. I am asking for feedback and guidance from anyone who has already published a novel. I appreciate everyone’s time! I have stopped blogging for the most part, until I have finished my editing. But please feel free to visit my archives, I have over 100 posts just waiting for you there.

Chapter Four

Keri woke up to her phone ringing. Her dad had left earlier that morning for another business trip and had told her that he wanted her to check in with him and her mother regularly while he was gone, and to still ask permission before just going out to sea again or doing other things that she would normally have to ask to do if they were there, and she laughed and  happily agreed.

Keri’s dad had not been so sure about leaving her for the next week but she assured him that she would be fine. She opened one eye to peek at her clock radio and groaned when she saw that it only said 8:13, she reached for the phone beside her bed. “Helloooo?” Keri said in a raspy voice that was obviously still not fully awake. “Where are you?!” Lori’ demanded loudly. “Huh?.” Keri answered sleepily. Only to be met with another retort, “Did you forget about todaaay!?” Suddenly Keri jumped out of bed. “Oh my gosh, Lori, I am soooo sorry!” Keri said now, fully awake, “I’ll be right there.”

Lori had a few registration issues that had come up at the end of the school year, and had to drive to UCLA to iron everything out so that she could get placed in the dorm of her choice. She had wanted Keri to come along for moral support and to see how to get there so she could visit, often Lori hoped. She was feeling slightly homesick and unsure about making new friends. “You will do just fine.”  Mrs. T had encouraged her, when she had found her daughter in tears earlier that week. Planning to drive the girls up that morning, they mapped out the best route to take. Deciding to make it into an all day outing, she  planned to treat the girls to lunch at her old hang out, called the Hamburger Hamlet that had been a favorite study spot of hers when she had gone to UCLA. The girls had been looking forward to the day and to take the walk down memory lane with her.

Now she was late and she felt horrible as she jumped in the shower and then raced to Keri’s. Matt had left his wallet in the backseat of Jack’s car the night before and Jack had found it that morning when he left for work. When he arrived at work, he had called the Taber’s and Matt answered, just having  noticed minutes prior that it was missing. He asked his mom if she could swing by and pick it up since Sarah’s family was picking him up for a day at the beach but he would need it later that evening when he went to the movies with friends. Lori groaned, complaining that now they were going to be even later. Keri felt secretly pleased for a chance to see Jack again so soon. When he saw the Taber’s car drive up, he ran out to the car and handed Mrs. T the wallet. Leaning in, he caught a glimpse of Keri and looked surprised as he said; “Good Morning!” Lori barely grunted something back, but Keri enthusiastically tilted her head so he could see her better and,  happily offered back in a slightly exagerated chippery voice, “Good Morning!”  Keri could hear Lori mumble a sarcastic mimick of the way she had greeted Jack and frowned but ignored her. Jack grinned back at Keri, obviously happy to see her. “Thank you for finding this.”  Mrs. T added gratefully, touching Jack’s arm. As they drove away Keri waved and watched Jack as he winked back at her and she felt it again, that warmth that she had felt a few times the day before.

Lori had not missed the little exchange and was annoyed. Keri seemed so happy. But Lori knew more than she was letting on and felt horrible about not coming clean from the start with her best friend. The least I can do is, tell her what I know and then let her decide, she would argue with herself. Lori knew enough about what had happened between Jack and Maddie to know she didn’t like it. They had met up at Montana State during a double date and began going out. Lori deciphered enough to know that it had been a very troubled relationship through out the time that they were dating and had overheard their mom talking to her sister during a few late night phone calls, trying to console her when Maddie had called crying after a bad argument. She had even had to come home after one particularly bad fight and Lori remembered hearing her sister sobbing through the walls and wondering what had happened that was so horrible that made her cry like that.

Jack had left a semester early to go help his mom with something and his plan had been that he would return again the following Semester and he and Maddie would spend the summer together when she returned. But her sister had landed a part time job a few months earlier, and could not leave as soon as school ended and if truth be known, she hadn’t wanted to because that is where she had met Dan.  Even though Maddie had broken up with Jack, he had been hoping that he could win her back over the summer. He had planned on taking her sailing and other fun places  but his plans had all been changed when Maddie happened to have plans of her own. All Lori knew was that Jack had expected Maddie to return home to him, and had not been counting on her bringing a fiancé back with her. She knew that her mom had been distressed over how to break it to Jack without hurting him or any possible drama, and she realized that without even thinking, her mom had probably just recognized that Keri had been the perfect solution. Lori remained miffed at her mom for knowing what kind of issues Jack and her sister had been having, and  not being more concerned about Keri.

But Lori felt that she had her old mom back since she had finally broken the news to him and he hadn’t been as devestated as had expected. Mrs. T was just so relieved having the problem of hurting Jack behind her. Lori knew that her mom had grown to love Jack, he had shared things with only her and no one else, and she had begun to understand his demons.  She knew more about his family dramas and why he acted the way he did, and so she excused some of his out bursts that had happened in front of  Maddie and even some that she and  Matt had witnessed.  She had been a kind of a self appointed surrogate mother and counselor to him when he needed someone to  just be there and listen to him.

When Lori had confronted her mom with what she knew, her mother had insisted that she felt that Jack had learned from his mistakes and had changed. And so Lori kept her feelings to herself.Though she struggled with what she knew.  As the weeks passed by, Keri seemed so happy with Jack. So Lori decided to keep quiet, hoping she was wrong and that her mom was right and that Jack had actually changed.

Mrs. T easily navigated  the girls around the campus. They parked and walked for what seemed like miles. As they investigated both old and new buildings. By the time they had gone to Lori’s meeting and explored the different aspects of the campus they were tired and starving  but they loved every minute of it. Lori’s mom told so many stories that day that both girls felt as if they had discovered a new side of her that they had never known. They chatted easily over lunch and laughed at the funny perdicaments she shared about her own first year away from home. By the end of the day, Lori felt more comfortable about moving away and Keri loved and admired Mrs. T even more.

Things seemed to go back to normal for the Taber family, before Jack and the boat occupied their driveway. Lori was planning on leaving a few weeks earlier than expected to take a class that she had found  she needed to have completed before the first semester began. Keri sat on Lori’s bed sulking as she watched her pack “I’ll probably be back in a few weekends.” She reassured her. “And you can always come up and visit.” she reminded Keri who agreed, “I guess” but stuck out her bottom lip as Lori laughed. Keri hopped up handing a stack of tee shirts she had just folded for Lori to add to her pile,  when the doorbell rang. Mrs. T was around back, outside in her garden and Lori was sitting under a pile of clothes so Keri jumped up and offered, “I’ll get it!” as she skipped down the stairs. She was surprised to see Jack standing there with a box of tools. “Hi” Keri said  sounding surprised. “Uh, hi” Jack replied “I borrowed these from the garage and was returning them before I forgot.” Jack stammered. He usually only found Mrs T home this time of day.”I thought that was your car.” He said pointing around to the side of the house where she normally parked so that she could easily maneuver around the progression of cars that ended up along the Taber’s long driveway.

Jack had been calling Keri sporadically  and they had gone out  a few times, mainly to just talk and get to know each other. She let him do most of the talking and slowly he had begun to open up. She felt that he just needed someone to talk to and she had been that someone. She had continued to spend most of her days with Lori but now Lori was leaving and she felt kind of lost. “It is good to see you Jack!” Keri sounded happier than she felt and opened the door wider, motioning for him to come in. Jack grinned, hopefully and stepped inside.

Keri and Jack were still talking at the bottom of the stairs when Mrs T came in wiping her hands and looked surprised to see him there, as he quickly explained that he had brought back the tools he had borrowed when he had been working on the boat. It had been slow at the station and so they let him off early and he told Mrs T that he had meant to bring them up earlier. She thanked him knowing that he had avoided coming, when he knew Maddie would be there. But Maddie had come and gone and was now visiting Dan’s family on the East Coast for a few weeks.

Mrs. T excused herself to go check the chili she had on the stove and asked if they would like a bowl as Lori came down to see who had been at the door. Mrs.T stirred the simmering pot as Lori and Keri pulled the bowls and placemats from the cupboard.  Soon Matt and Sarah arrived and they found themselves all sitting around the table once again, eating cornbread and chatting happily. Jack had slipped in directly across from Keri and she couldn’t help but notice how he was kind of playfully bumping  her feet with his, under the table. When she looked up, he was looking directly at her. She glanced away and then looked again as he she felt another nudge and then giggled and blushed as his eyes remained fixed on hers.

Keri helped Lori clear the table as the boys settled on the floor watching the game. After all the dishes were put away Lori said she had to finish packing since she was leaving in the morning. Keri wandered over to where the others sat watching TV and let her go up alone. Matt was on the floor, leaning back on Sarah who was sitting in one of the easy chairs in front of the TV, affectionately playing with his hair. Jack hopped up from the other easy chair he was sitting in so that Keri could sit. Something flipped in Keri’s stomach as Jack nestled back comfortably onto Keri’s. He had been complaining that his back was sore from having to work on a car upside down all day. He smelled like a combination of shampoo and gasoline from work. To her surprise, the scent made her feel funny inside.

Jack reached up to rub his neck again. Keri pushed him forward a little and he seemed kind of unsure as to why. But when she began massaging his neck and shoulders, he realized what she was offering and leaned further forward groaning with pleasure. Soon,  Matt had talked Sarah into doing the same, joking about how sore he was from a day at the beach. When Lori came down to get a soda she surveyed the scene at hand and rolled her eyes, going back up stairs with the unpopped can she had come down for. For a moment, Keri considered following her up, but  she was not in the mood  for a lecture and  was still a little annoyed that their summer plans had changed so close to it’s end so she just settled back and continued to glide her hands up and down Jack’s back as he pressed comfortably up against her bare legs.

As they both got into their cars that night, Keri mentioned something about going home to an empty house and how she actually missed her mom and little brother and would be glad when they returned soon. Jack offered to follow her home and Keri agreed. She had just cleaned the house knowing that her dad would be home in a few days and had left it sparkling. When he pulled up, she parked in the driveway. She went over to his car. She knew that he had planned to  just watch her go inside. They hadn’t even kissed yet. He had been a perfect gentleman. But something about the night made Keri want to ask him to come inside. And so she shyly asked, “You wanna come in?” Jack grinned. “I thought you’d never ask.”

As Keri unlocked the door, Jack followed her. Dropping the keys on a table by the door, she continued to the kitchen, Jack liked watching her as she turned on the lights and then  opening up the fridge offering  him something to drink. He continued to watch her as she poured them both some iced tea and went into the living room. “How about a fire?” he suggested eyeing the wood. It was almost September and the nights were getting a little nippy, especially near the ocean where she lived. “if you want to.” Lori agreed. When the fire was blazing, Jack went around and turned out all the lights. Keri watched him from the sofa, amused. As he sat down, he took the iced tea out of her hands, placing it on a coaster on the glass slabbed coffee table in front of them. He held her warm hands, still slightly wet from the condensation on the glass and looked into her eyes that looked trustingly back at him, her lips parted, just waiting for what came next. He tilted her head up and for a moment she thought he was going to kiss her but he brushed her bangs away from her forehead ever so gently and breathed. She held her breath waiting for what seemed like several minutes but she knew it had just been a few seconds, and then he said in a  soft, rough voice she knew she would always remember, “I really like you Keri.”

Jack’s words took her breath away, even more so than if he had actually kissed her. The words caught in her heart. She felt as if she would burst. He had emphasized the word “you” so tenderly. She savored the moment and then whispered, “I really like you too Jack.” Then reaching up, she touched his face. Ever so slowly, she leaned up as he leaned down and their lips touched softly, searching and then exploring, getting to know the other. Nothing in the kiss carried anything from the past. She knew at that moment. This was not a rebound kiss. Nor the residual pieces from a broken heart, it was somethng new. No one else mattered at that moment.  He was kissing her, not with the memory of Maddie in it,   but with the possibility of a new future and with the  tenderness of a new chapter, ready to be written.

Chapter Three


To those of you following this… Here is Chapter Three. For those of you just happening to find my blog, I am right in the middle of a little hiatus. I have 21 chapters of my book in the very raw, rough draft stages. I am in the process of fine tuning and editing each chapter. And asking my readers for feedback… Thank you all who take the time. If you are interested I have over 100 posts in my archives that will keep you busy until I return to my regular posting post!

Again, Thank you!

Di

Chapter Three

Keri and Lori went dancing that night as planned. Lori seemed a little more subdued than normal. But when Keri casually asked what she thought of Jack, Lori just replied “He’s nice enough.” In an indifferent tone that was hard to miss. But Keri did. In fact she missed it all together. The music was loud and the bar was crowded as the bouncer stamped their under aged hands and nodded for them to go inside. Keri barely gave Jack a second thought as they surveyed the crowd at the Blue Moon. It was the same place that most of the guys from Avenue F hung out and they always had a good time.

Keri was not looking for anyone serious. She had her summer planned. Jack was nice. Maybe, she could be a good friend to him. He was definitely going to need one she had reasoned with Lori on their way there that night, and Lori had agreed. She knew that Jack was not Keri’s type. She liked dark hair and green eyes and Jack had lighter hair with blue eyes. Though, she had noticed the cleft in his chin and kind of did like the twinkle in his eyes, she had explained to Lori that the main reason she had said she would go sailing was because she just wanted to go sailing. It was “as simple as that”

Keri had gotten a little irritated when Lori kept grilling her as to why she had allowed her mom to finagle her into the date, and told her in no uncertain terms, “I assure you that I really am not interested in Maddie’s leftovers!” Or at least she wasn’t conscious of it, nor was she aware of the fact that Jack had actually asked Mrs. T about her after she and Lori had driven away that day. It had completely gone over her head that he was even remotely interested and as far as she knew, he was still waiting for Maddie to return and had no idea that she wasn’t returning to him. But Mrs. T had come clean that afternoon. She hadn’t missed that Jack appeared to be intrigued with Keri. And when she had come out  to offer him a glass of lemonade after they  had driven off,  Jack had asked about her. Keri had just seemed like a perfect opportunity to help break the news about Maddie to him, a reminder that there would be other girls. She told him that Maddie had met someone but didn’t offer any more than that. Jack had been furious at first. But more hurt than surprised. Mrs. T had reminded him of of their fights but she didn’t need to. He remembered them all.

Mrs. T patted Jack’s cheek and went inside, letting the news sink in. She left him alone with his thoughts. He sanded and pounded and thought about all the fighting and breaking up that he and Maddie had done over the last year. He thought about the last fight that they had, had. And the words they both had shouted to one another, and could never take back. His mother had called him home and he had no choice, Maddie had taken that opportunity to tell him that she wanted a break anyway, and that perhaps this would be a good time for it. He flinched as he recalled the terrible timing and the things he had said to her when he left. When he needed her most, she had not been there for him. As he sanded, he realized that she never had. Even so, in all his reasoning,  he missed her like hell.

Mrs. T had also been thinking. She had seen him perk up when he had asked about Keri and so she had a little plan of her own. She went about making the lasagna and then went out and asked Jack to join them for dinner and mentioned that she was going to try to track down Keri and Lori and invite them too. She had not counted on not being able to reach the girls and remembered  Lori telling her that she was going to spend the night at Keri’s but had missed them the few times that she had tried to reach them at Keri’s.  Jack had seemed disappointed when Mrs. T had told him that she hadn’t been able to reach the girls, but had cheered up when Matt walked in. And then just as they were helping themselves to some salad, the girls had driven up. Mrs. T lost no time, running out the door and returned smiling with them both in tow.

They brought such energy to the table, all tanned and scrubbed, ready for a night out as they bubbled over, laughing and happily talking about their plans for the evening, still trying to decide which house they were going to end up at. “Just let me know, if it’s not here.” Mrs. T requested easily. When Keri had reached for Jack’s hand, as Mrs. T introduced them, he seemed to forget about his broken heart for a few minutes and Mrs. T had not missed the chemistry in that little exchange and had begun to look for an opening to encourage it more.

Keri had fun, just like all the other nights, with a string of boys inviting them both to dance.  They were hot and damp when they found each other again. A dark haired boy who she had danced several dances with asked her for her number. She just smiled and teasingly said “Sure, let me find a pen.”  But when he walked away for a minute, Keri grabbed Lori and said “let’s go.” When she finally dragged her out the door, Lori whispered “He was cute, why didn’t you give him your number?!” Keri laughed. She knew that they had learned where there was one cute boy, there usually was always a friend for the other. And since Lori had not been interested in anyone there that evening she had been hoping the cute guy that Keri had been dancing with, might have a friend just as cute. But for some reason, that night Keri wasn’t interested and didn’t want to give anyone but Jack her number.

Aside from the weather, the sailing date went well. Thirty mile per hour Santa Ana winds had tossed the little boat around significantly that afternoon. Though, the day had started out  with crystal blue skies. Keri’s dad had seen the small craft warnings earlier that morning and told her that he really wished that she would reconsider going, but after a little pouting,  which was really out of character for her,  he finally relented, giving her permission, shaking his head and sighing exasperatedly as she hugged his neck and happily ran out the door.

Keri’s Dad, was concerned and not just about the sailing trip. He had never seen his daughter care about anything more than her writing. Keri had always been so level headed when it had come to boys in the past. He had always known that the day would come when one would sweep her off of her feet but he had grown comfortable in the delay and had been hearing horror stories from his friends and the problems they were going through with their teenage daughters and had counted his blessings. He was confident in Keri. And yet he knew that it only took one boy to change everything. He could only pray that she would make the right choices.

Keri was not sure why she had persisted in getting her dad to change his mind, and why it had meant so much for her to go, except for the fact that she had given her word that she would go, and she liked to keep the promises she made.  She knew that she could have called Jack and told him that her dad had read the warnings and suggested that they change their plans to another day. And that he probably would have understood she reasoned. But she had felt a sense of urgency that she did not recognize, something that had made her really want to go, something that she had not felt before and it had registered with her, and bothered her a little. She realized that she did not want to cause another  disappointment for Jack, he had experienced so many lately, and she just did not want to be another one.

As the boys launched the boat, the sun reflected on the water as the warm winds blew. She wondered where her dad had gotten his information because from what she could see, the day had started out beautifully. Jack was very attentive he had packed a lunch for everyone and as Keri and Matt’s girlfriend Sarah, got acquainted, Matt and Jack maneuvered the boat out of the marina. She liked the way he handled the boat in the winds. How he directed Matt and seemed to know what to do as they increased. Keri felt safe as the little boat moved up and down over the rough waters and Jack took control, instructing which lines to pull as he and Matt steered the little boat back to the marina. She liked how he looked in his wet tank top. And watched the muscles in his arms flex when he grabbed the lines and tied the boat to the dock.

Keri told Jack about the small craft advisories that her dad had listened to earlier that morning and how concerned he had been, she was touched that as soon as they had pulled the boat out, he had found a pay phone for her so that she could call him.   Keri assured her dad that they were fine but admitted good naturedly that he had been right and she was sorry for not listening to him but promised she would in the future. As her father put the receiver back down, he breathed an air of relief though he knew from the lift in his daughter’s voice that she would probably break that promise many times from this day on. And that Jack most likely would be behind those broken promises.

Keri ran back happily to help the boys hook up the trailer and pack the soggy supplies that they had brought back to the car. The evening fog was rolling in as Jack turned on the heater and motioned for the girls to get inside, handing them dry blankets. As she crawled in the front seat, she watched the boys as they worked to hook up the lights. Finally as Jack slipped in next to her, something dawned on Keri, she knew why she had persisted in talking her dad into letting her go. She realized that she really liked Jack. She liked him in a way she had never liked a boy before.

Jack dropped his boat off at his Dad’s apartment where he was staying and then turned to Keri, Matt and Sarah, “How about Bobs?” He suggested. “Sure.” They agreed. They had worked up quite an appetite, having never finished their lunch when the winds had kicked up. And besides, Keri realized that she was not ready for the date to end. When they got to the restaurant she and Sarah excused themselves and went to the restroom, pulling out brushes, in an attempt to try to tame their long beach blown hair.”I must look just great.” Keri remarked as she slid into the seat next to Jack. “I think you look pretty cute.” He said and then added, squeezing her knee, “For a good sport that is! Over hamburgers and sodas they laughed, talking about how wet they had all gotten earlier that day. When their sodas arrived they all clinked their glasses in honor of their surving it.

That night, Jack dropped  Matt and Sarah off first. When he pulled into Keri’s driveway, he turned off the engine but kept the heater blowing. Keri leaned comfortably against her door as they began talking easily. He talked mostly. About school and having to leave it because his mom needed him. He talked about moving in with his dad and having to get a job at the gas station on the corner near their apartment. She knew that his parents had recently been divorced and that his reasons for coming home had something to do with that but she didn’t want to pry and so she listened to just what he shared. He asked her about her plans after she graduated and she told him that she had enough credits and  planned to graduate early.  He seemed impressed. And his admiration warmed her with a feeling that she had never felt before.

Though she felt that they could have talked for hours, she knew that he must be tired and she also knew that her dad had left the porch light on and didn’t want to take advantage of his leniency, after all, there was still quite a bit of summer left. “I had a wonderful time” she offered. Jack smiled and said “I’m glad. Let’s just see if I can ever get you back out there.” Keri laughed, “You just name the day, I’m tougher than you might think” Jack got out and went around and opened Keri’s door, taking her hand, he helped her out. Never letting go, he asked, “Can I call you?”

Chapter Two


For those of you following this… you know that Chapter One was found inside my last post …

“Like A POSTCARD or something like that….”  You really need to read Chapter One to follow… 

Chapter One… begins as (the adult version of)  Keri  finds a journal she kept long ago.

Chapter Two…. finds her back in her younger years, when she actually started that journal and was living the stories that she wrote about… slowly the chapters will carry you forward again to today, which is when she finally begins to understand the lesson in her journey  ~ hence; the title: Pieces of The Circle

(The pictures are NOT mine… I have no claim to any of them in this chapter, I just have fun choosing them to help you read… someday I will have to figure out the right picture for the cover…. ) but I am hoping that I can help paint a picture in your imagination… just with my words,  as I tell you my story… and hopefully,  in the end you won’t need pictures at all… Please keep in mind that this is still a very rough of parts of the book that I hope to someday start submitting as a whole…. I am sharing here for those of you who asked me to and also because I truly need some honest feedback. What parts are hard to follow? What words do I usee too much… etc…  I have come back here to edit at least fifty times so far… there is a technique my daughter told me about called the Dr. Suess Technique… you read it aloud to yourself as much as you can stand it and then read it aloud to others as much as they can stand it! Smile… Here, I have you… I know it is long… so those of you who are busy, I understand if you move on… but those of you who stay….

Thanks for reading! I love you!!!!

Here it is….

Chapter Two

Keri watched as her mom and little brother Lonnie, prepared to leave for the airport. It was the first, in all of their years after moving from Seattle to California, that she would not be joining them on their yearly summer trip. After all, she was sixteen. Too old for “family vacations” she had told her parents. Though, she had to admit, that her summers had been magical. When one would end, she would start counting the months until the next one. Ever since she could remember, she looked forward to every single one of them. Keri and her cousin, Annie, had spent all of their summers togethers at their Grandparent’s house near Lake Washington since she could remember. Memories filled her heart with the special adventures they had shared over the years. She smiled as she recalled how they would cook up schemes,  trying to come up with ways to stow Annie away in a suitcase so that Keri could bring her home with her to California. She smiled now just thinking about it. And she had to admit that it felt odd not to go this year.

But Annie had landed a babysitting job for the summer and so Keri had decided to stay home this year. After what seemed like endless conversations over the subject, her parents had finally consented. It was the summer before her senior year and her best friend Lori’s last summer home before she went away to school. Lori had gotten her license almost a year ago, and Keri had finally gotten hers a few months earlier, which represented a new kind of freedom for both the girls that they had never known before. Her father was very busy. He traveled and worked late hours and so she knew that for the most part, she would have the independence she longed for. Keri understood that she was to keep up the house while her mom was away and she appreciated that her dad had given her a reprieve of sorts by not requiring her to get a summer job. She knew that this was the last summer she had to just be a “kid” and  planned to make it the best one yet. Little, did she know…

Waving goodbye to her family as her dad pulled out of the driveway to take her mom and Lonnie to the airport, and then catch a plane himself. She threw kisses as she grabbed her beach gear and headed for Lori’s to pick her up. The sun felt good on her face as she climbed into her car. The breeze was almost nonexistent. It was a beautiful day and she knew it would be warm at the beach. She could see the ocean from her house in Palos Verdes and the blue sky sparkled invitingly as she slid into the driver’s seat of her new car as the sounds of the latest Top Forty filled the speakers her dad had just installed for her as she turned up the volume on her new stereo. She rolled down the windows, and smelled the scent of fresh cut grass. Feeling quite carefree and that all was well with her world she pushed open the sunroof and waved to her friend who was mowing the lawn next door as she drove by.

When Keri pulled up to Lori’s she noticed a boy who looked to be a little older than her, working on a sailboat on the long driveway that led to Lori’s house. As she passed him he took off his baseball hat and wiped his brow and nodded. She wondered who he was but decided that the day was a wasting and honked for her friend who stood on the balcony outside of her bedroom, motioning for her to come on up.

Keri sighed heavily as she jumped out of her car… Pointing to her watch-less wrist as if to say, “Let’s not waste the rays.” They were already leaving later than they had planned since Keri had waited to see her mom and Lonnie off. “Come on Lori, it’s almost one.” Keri whined in a playfully sardonic tone as the she walked through the door, only to be met with a glass of lemonade and a smile from Lori’s mom “Hey Mrs. T” Keri said accepting the drink and hugging her tight,

“I can never say no to your terrific lemonade.” And then turned as she heard Lori call out “I’ll be right down.”                             “So where are you girls off to today?” Mrs. T asked cheerfully… “Avenue F in Redondo” Keri confirmed. She and Lori had dubbed the spot right outside of the life guard’s station ever since they noticed Brad, the cute new lifeguard that they had met during spring break and had gotten to know even better, during the weekends that followed. They had a little flirtation going on as he would joke about turning down their AM radio, insinuating KRLA and KHJ were passé and the FM stations he listened to were going to be the new place to tune in to. They had a volume war and finally Brad had used his megaphone and the girls had laughingly conceded.

As Mrs. T probed curiously, Keri got lost in  her day dreams as she thought of Brad who was tan with sparkling brown eyes. He was a couple of years older, and very funny. He loved to joke with the girls and they bonded with him right away, and then with several of his lifeguard friends in the area. Brad’s friends had easily become their friends and they all had begun playing what they called:”Sunset volleyball” once the beach had cleared and everyone was off duty. Brad had mentioned the bonfires during Spring Break, and after a day of teasing and sharing cookies they had brought for him, he had invited them back that night to play. They had excitedly gone home to shower and change and then ran back with a six pack of sodas, a package of hotdogs and some of those home baked cookies as their contribution.

When they arrived they found half the guys playing a warm up game near a bonfire that the other half was just starting. There was a big tub of ice filled with beer that they added their sodas to, as they were greeted and quickly integrated into the game at hand, evening out the teams. Not until the sun had finally dipped beneath the horizon did they stop playing.

Keri and Lori dropped to the blanket they had laid out laughing. “That was so fun!” Keri said rubbing her wrists. Lori nodded in agreement. “You guys aren’t bad for girls.” Brad had said and Keri gave Lori a high five, stating, “For girls you say?” Just you wait, we will give you a run for your money when we’ve played more.” Volleyball, bonfires and Avenue F seemed to fill their weekends after that.

“Sounds like fun,” Mrs. T laughed at Keri, realizing that she was far, far away in her thoughts. Keri took another sip as she snapped out of it and absently asked “who’s the guy in the boat?” Mrs. T cleared her throat and said “Oh that’s Jack.” Keri swallowed asking “Jack?” “Yes, Maddie’s old boyfriend.” Keri was curious, “Old Boyfriend?” she queried. “Yes old.” Mrs. T Sighed, “you see Maddie got herself engaged and is bringing home her Fiancé to meet us.”  Maddie was Lori’s older sister by two years. Mrs. T continued, “she has given us a month to break the news to him and get him moved out. Keri was puzzled. She had just spent the night with Lori a few weeks ago. “He lives here?” She asked. “No, but we let him bring his boat here to work on. And he’s been working on it daily.”  Mrs. T replied. Keri was even more confused. Why would someone get engaged if they already had a boyfriend she wondered. But was distracted by Lori clamoring down the stairs, as she kissed her mom and hurriedly began pulling Keri out the door.

Keri noticed Lori’s turquoise swim suit under her clothes and laughed stating, “I almost wore that same suit!” They had gone swimsuit shopping the weekend before at Rosie’s on Pacific Coast Hwy,  a store that always seemed to have the best bikinis, and had both bought some new ones but couldn’t decide on the ones they both liked so had ended up with a few of the same suits. “Lori noticed the pale pink one beneath Keri’s halter top and smiled, saying “I guess we should check with each other because I almost wore the pink one!” Mrs. T laughed. “Oh to be young again, she reflected, so carefree, if I only had to worry about what color my swimsuit was for the day.” Lori rolled her eyes as Keri happily followed her to the car, thanking Mrs. T for the lemonade, she gave her a quick hug. As Lori’s mom waved the girls on telling them to have a good time, closing the screen door she went back inside.

Keri loved everything about Mrs.T. and her quiet, but involved presence in Lori’s life. Always just far enough away to not be in the way, but close enough to show she cared. From the time she and Lori started hanging out, Keri always felt welcome and during the weekends, the girls always were either at one house or the other. Lori was going to UCLA that fall and Keri didn’t want to think about school the next year without her. It made her sad. But she forced herself to just think about the day ahead and decided that today was all that mattered.

Keri buckled her seatbelt and slipped a Chicago 8 track into her player. With the sun shining down through the sun roof, the girls put on sunglass and Keri cranked up the volume and smiled, rolling down the windows, they began singing loudly, rocking to the beat laughing. They hadn’t been to the beach for several weeks due to having to study for finals and all of Lori’s graduation responsibilities so they had both looked forward to today.

The girls sang loudly as they drove down the long driveway, bouncing in their seats. The boy in the boat caught her eye and grinned at them as they drove by.  Keri couldn’t help but feel a little compassion for him. Wondering what the story was… She asked Lori. “Why is he hanging out here if Maddie and he are broken up?” Lori sighed in a way that reminded her of Mrs. T’s sigh and it made Keri smile. “Good old Maddie and my poor mom, she seems to always be trying to fix things but I’m not sure how she is going to manage this one.” Keri asked “Why, because she has a new fiancé?” Lori grimaced yeah. I kind of feel sorry for him. I think that he thought that they would get back together like before.” Keri asked “Like before?” Lori nodded. “yeah they broke up a lot, and would always get back together. This time though, it’s over for sure she already has a new guy and a ring and a date.” “Oh that sucks for him.” Keri said. Lori nodded. Keri couldn’t help but take another glance in the rearview mirror as they drove out of sight.

Brad waved to Keri and Lori as soon as he saw them coming down the ramp. He jumped out of his chair and hopped from the tower. He was still as cute and tan as ever, in his red suit and hugged them tight. A few of their friends were already playing volleyball nearby and waved. Even when the guys were off duty, they seemed to hang out at Avenue F. The girls managed to find a spot, dropping their bags and slipping off their cover-ups, they joined the game. They looked like models in a commercial for suntan lotion, out there in the sand, Brad thought as he watched them from above.

The girls took turns taking showers at Keri’s house after the beach. Her dad was out of town on business for a few days and they planned to go out dancing and then come back to spend the night. “Oh I can’t believe it”, Lori groaned as she walked in Keri’s room drying her waist length hair with a damp towel, “I forgot my new shoes and my overnight bag.” Keri was sitting on the floor putting on the last touches of her make up in front of her floor length  antique mirror as she replied, “That’s fine we’ll just swing by your place and pick them up.”

They had just started discussing where they would go for dinner as they approached her house. Pulling up, Keri glanced at the covered boat still in their driveway, thinking Jack must have gone home for the day. “I’ll just run in and be back in two….” Lori started to say when the door opened and Mrs. T came out waving them in. “You two are just in time for my famous lasagna she gushed. Keri and Lori looked at each other, both loving Mrs. T’s lasagna and without protest, jumped out of the car. “Why not?” they both said in unison and laughed.

Lori ran up to her room to grab her shoes and pack a bag as Keri followed Mrs. T into the great room while waves of warm garlic bread wafted through the room straight to her nose. “Oh my gosh it smells like heaven in here!” She exclaimed as she sauntered into the room with the farm like table filled with the Taber family and Jack.  Mrs. T. immediately introduced Keri stating “Keri this is Jack Sagan.” Keri warmly held out her hand, from the moment she had heard his story, she had felt a twinge of compassion that she could not shake.

And as he took her hand in his firmly shaking it, he looked her in the eye with a confident smile that impressed her. Hmmm she wondered if it was impressed or intrigued. But without knowing exactly what it was, something in the stars seemed to shift.

The aroma of garlic and the chatter of everyone filled the room as dinner was served. Jack was friendly and animated and talked about being ready to launch his boat. Mrs. T seemed pleased knowing that launching it, meant that it would be moved and it was one more thing she could cross off of the check list that her older daughter had given to her. The boat being gone would be a huge load off of her to do list, out of all the things that Maddie had requested be done, before her arrival.

“I have a great idea.” Mrs. T cooed nonchalantly, “Why don’t you all go?” Lori didn’t miss a beat and piped up “Not me. I get seasick!” “Count me in!” announced Lori’s younger brother Matt, who was a year younger than Keri and had been helping Jack work on the boat for the last several weeks. He was eager to try out the vessel on the water. “Can I bring Sarah?” he asked hopefully. Sarah and Matt had been inseparable for the last year when Matt had not been hanging out with Jack. “Sure.” Jack agreed good naturedly. Keri was laughing at something with Lori when she noticed just out of the side of her eyes, Mrs. T mouthing a silent message of encouragement to Jack as he turned to look at her and offered. “How about it?”

Lori glared at her mom, looking annoyed, and realized that she and Jack had most likely discussed these plans earlier in the day and that this dinner was a little more contrived than she had made it all look. Mrs. T seemed to miss or ignore her younger daughter’s reaction. Keri, on the other hand, had not missed the look, and searched Lori’s face for a clue as if asking her what to do.  Lori just shrugged and so Keri turned back to Jack, not wanting to hurt his feelings, especially after knowing the disappointment that soon awaited him, she hesitantly answered “Sure, why not?  I’d love to.” Before they left, Keri reached for Jack’s hand and wrote her number on his palm and smiled.  He looked down at his hand and smiled back.

And that is how the story of Jack and Keri began. Innocently enough, and yet very conveniently for Mrs.T who mentally crossed yet another thing off of her list.

Pieces of A Circle is a book that I am writing about a young girl who got caught up in an abusive relationship that changed her life forever. Not so much because of any of the physical abuse, even though there was some. This is a story that touches more on the emotional and mental abuse that changed the choices she made in her life, and the woman she became because of it all.

It is about the anger she carried with her and a lot about  the life she missed because of it. And then the twist at the end about forgivness and understanding and yet the crazy way she almost found herself lost again trying to find the young girl she had left behind so long ago.

 

 

 

Chapter One


Hi Guys!  Soooo…. I know I am not supposed to be here until I finish my book… but just consider this like a post card or something like that….

By the way for anyone new to my blog… I am trying to finish my book… so I have taken a reprieve… but I have 120 posts that should keep you busy reading in the meantime! Thanks for understanding… and I will be back! 😉 I miss you guys too!!!!

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Pieces of The Circle

 

 References to real people, events, establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously.

“Your life is like an empty book, with pages still unwritten, each day you fill another page.”

 May this story encourage every young girl who still has an unwritten book, pages yet to fill and a life yet to be lived, and may it also inspire those women who think that their pages have already been filled, their books already written, and their lives already lived. May they realize that there are always new chapters or even sequels just waiting to be written and life still waiting to be lived…

 And for all women, both young and old, looking for romance no matter what the cost, to understand what the cost could be…

 Prologue

It was 1973, the summer of her sixteenth year, when secrets were still kept in little locked journals and the words that filled the pages were just fantasies of what she hoped for. Images of a house with a family, behind a little white picket fence

danced through Keri’s head as she wrote, pouring out her dreams in way of poetry. She was sure that she wanted to be a writer and would stay up late into the wee hours of the night slowly filling each page with raw and corny poetry, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her Prince Charming to come and, whisk her away into the life she was so sure that she was meant to have.

That old book had since, been packed away for dozens of years, still holding all of those dreams. Keri had since grown up and so much of life had happened in-between.

 Years later, while going through storage boxes in her attic, the book was discovered again by Keri, the girl, who was not so young anymore, nor hopeful or optimistic. Now much wiser and a little more tired and worn out, she held the book close and slowly opened it, breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages now yellowed with age. The memories flooded her heart and seemed to blindside her with a force she had not been prepared for.

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 Chapter One

The rain was tapping with such force outside of Keri’s window that it woke her up. It was a blustery Saturday morning; the kind that seems to still have one foot in winter and the other, in spring. Keri knew that it was just the kind that made her fifteen year old daughter Brynne, very lazy. But affected her in a totally different way…She had decided that it was the perfect day to talk her daughter, into getting a head start on some spring cleaning. She had spoken to her husband Tim, about cleaning out the attic and making it into a study to write in. An aspiration she had put on the back burner for a very long time. Tim had thought that it was a wonderful idea and told her that he would even build a little loft in their garage to store the boxes that were left after clearing everything out.

Inspired by the thought of moving closer to her dream, Keri put a roast in the oven and headed up to Brynne’s room with a glass of orange juice and a bagel with cream cheese. Keri pushed open the door singing a song that her dad used to sing to her to get her up on school days and Keri had continued the tradition. “Good morning breakfast lovers, welcome to ya, I got up bright and early just to howdy do ya, first call for breakfast, first call for breakfast!”

“Oh mom it’s Saturdaaaay!!” Brynne pulled up the covers and groaned but after a little coaxing, she reluctantly crawled out from under her warm down comforter and followed her mom up the attic stairs, munching on her bagel.

As Keri turned the knob, a rush of warm air and a comforting scent, filled with memories enveloped them, snapping them to another time.

Soon they were laughing and chatting while the rain drummed against the roof above them as they got caught up in all the memories.

“Look Mom” said Brynne as she held up an old floppy dog and danced it over her head  then hugged it tightly with an expression of such love, that for a moment, it flashed Keri back to another time, long ago when that old floppy dog was not so old and floppy. She tried to remember the Christmas morning when her daughter had received it. As she leaned back against the wall watching Brynne pull out old toys and clothes with all kinds of memories attached to each one of them. She smiled and sat down in front of another trunk of her own, filled with old papers and notes and books that had since been long forgotten.

As Brynne got caught up in looking at some old colorforms, Keri reached down into the bottom of one of the trunks and found the little diary. She recognized it right away. A surge of energy seemed to run through her as she held it. The lock still latched, she clicked the little button and felt for its release. It unlocked easily but for some reason she froze and did not immediately open it. She stood up feeling uneasy.

She was puzzled at her reaction, as she looked out the large picture window at the top of the trees swaying in the storm and walked over to it, feeling very melancholy. The rain had started the night before and remained steady. She could see the little brook below and saw that it had filled and was running over. She felt comfortable inside the warmth of the attic and imagined herself, looking out the same window someday, as she sat at her desk and wrote.

The smell of the roast wafted up the stairs prompting Keri to go check on it. Promising a quick return, she left Brynne still sorting through boxes. She had fully intended to just check the roast and go right back up to encourage her daughter into getting rid of half the treasures she had stored up there over the years but Brynne had gotten caught up in her own little journey down memory lane and the whole project seemed to have turned into an all day event. Keri smiled; picturing Brynne in the pile she had left her in as she gently closed the oven door and turned the temperature down a bit, wiping her hands on the kitchen towel, she turned to go back up and then remembered that she had brought down the book, she went over and picked it up from the counter feeling slightly unsettled.

She played mindlessly with the little lock as she clicked it open and shut and walked into the living room, poking at the fire in the fireplace, then sitting down, she pushed the little button and the lock released as she opened the book. Things that she had not allowed herself to think about for a long time consumed her in an instant. Every word on every page snapped her back to another time in her life. She felt as if she had been given a time capsule, opening up such sweet but sometimes painful memories immobilized her as she turned each page. Noticing the initials of Mrs. Walker scribbled on every single page, she recalled how it had all started out as a writing assignment but had grown into so much more. She remembered writing the words and the exact way she felt when she had written most of them down.  The memory of that young girl seemed to take on a life all of its own, as if she were reading about a fictional character and yet the memories those words triggered within her caused her to want to go and find that girl again, to somehow get her and bring her home.

Keri pulled a fuzzy throw over her legs as she read. Every page she turned seemed like opening up an old door and peeking inside. The love and pain and memories consumed her as the glow of the fire filled the room and the sound of the rain hitting the roof seemed to be lost in the background as she continued to read the words she had written a lifetime ago.

She hadn’t noticed how much time had gone by until she heard her daughter padding down the attic stairs. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking into the room, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. Keri looked up and smiled. Brynne was puzzled. She had been lost herself in a magical mood, pulling out old dolls and stuffed animals that had sent her back to another time all of her own.

Brynne had fully expected to find her mom in the kitchen or having gotten caught up in something on TV which she always seemed to have on for background company, even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. “Have you been crying?” Brynne frowned, sounding slightly concerned as she sat down next to her mom eyeing her with a look of uncertainty. She wondered what it was that may have caused her to stop her day like this. Looking amused at catching her daughter’s interest, Keri wiped a tear away and smiled. She was a little surprised with herself, crying over an old diary but the only way she knew how to explain it was to be honest.

Keri had not mentioned the diary when she found it at the bottom of that old trunk. Not really hiding the little book, but not knowing if she even wanted to go there herself.  She had thought that she had put all of those feelings behind her but over the years she realized that they were not as easily packed away as old things in a trunk might be. Like this diary, they would show up when she least expected, like today. Keri tested the waters by reading a few of the pages aloud to Brynne. After a few minutes, she stopped and looked up to make sure that she had not completely lost her daughter’s interest but noticed that Brynne looked quite captivated.

Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured, Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested. “I was so smitten with the idea of being in love and so boy crazy back then, then adding for good measure, ”even though I really was not allowed to officially date until I was sixteen.” She said smiling with a wink. “I hung out with a few boys and then the summer after my birthday I met someone.” Brynne’s interest peaked and she asked, “A boy that was not daddy?” Recently, Keri and her husband Tim had been negotiating curfews and dating rules with their daughter who now, found this all very interesting to say the least, picturing her mother with boys when she was her age was a concept Brynne hadn’t broached.  “Yes.” Keri answered, “I met a boy who was not daddy, a boy who changed my life forever.”

A look passed over her mother’s face that Brynne could not read. They had shared a mother and daughter bond that few can boast about, they finished each other’s sentences and usually knew what the other was thinking with very few words. Both Keri’s and Brynne’s friends envied their relationship. And without ever giving it a name, they had been best friends from as far back as either one of them could remember and Brynne felt as if she knew everything about her mom, until today. Brynne listened with interest.

Keri wanted her daughter to admire her. She felt as if she had made so many mistakes in her life but had managed to rise above most of them. Brynne had always been so level headed and unaffected by the silliness of young love. When her friends would seem unusually boy crazy, Brynne had always been the one in control. She was a dancer and she would not let anything get in the way of her dream. Least of all, what she called silly romantic drama that she witnessed her friends going through much too often for Brynne’s taste. She felt she had plenty of time to find the right one and seemed in less of a hurry than her other friends. But even as level headed as her daughter was, Keri knew that it was only a matter of time, and it only took one boy to turn her heart upside down. And so she decided to share what she had written.

But before she started reading more, Keri scanned the pages that were filled with such innocence and details about her first real love, her first real everything. Each page seemed to captivate her with memories of their first dates and their first kiss and first argument…all of their firsts captured inside this locked little book. She read the sad little poems randomly placed throughout the pages, and even found some very passionate accounts of some pretty explicit moments that she barely remembered actually writing about and blushed as she read each sentence silently to herself,  remembering it all as if breathing in a scent of long ago and not getting enough of it… And then she finally got to that place. It was a place when everything seemed to change. A place where even her handwriting  changed. A place where eggshells and tension seemed to become a part of her life. She began recalling some very unequivocally painful times as she continued to silently read to herself as if she were searching for a happy ending somewhere in the pages. And yet she knew how it all ended.

Realizing, that she had never really shared any of this with anyone she panicked at the thought of sharing her pain now. The anger she was feeling again, distressed her. When it was all happening to her, she had been ashamed. Her friends would never have understood why she stayed. And as for her parents, they wouldn’t have stood for it, especially her father, and so she had remained silent. Even though Brynne and Keri talked about everything, this was a hard one. She didn’t want to just blurt out things that she hadn’t prepared her for. However, she reasoned, if she was going to share this with anyone, the most logical one would be Brynne who was just beginning to be interested in boys.

Keri had always planned on talking to her daughter about this.  She had never wanted her to feel the way she had all those years ago. She wanted her to feel as if she could talk to her about anything. Keri was snapped back to another time as she glanced over the pages. She remembered how she had felt back then and how it was a lonely place to be. Feeling as if no one would understand, so instead, she had found comfort in her writing. She remembered pouring her heart out in those journals like loyal friends, late at night in her room. They were always there for her, like good listeners, to catch her words as well as her tears. She had always kept each one, secretly hidden and then once one was filled she would begin another. It was as if writing relieved her of the ugliness inside.

Over the years, she had never had the heart to get rid of them. They had been like faithful old friends, a kind of reminder to her. A reminder of that young girl she had left behind, so long ago. It was almost as if in opening the pages of the little diary, she had found the innocent part of herself again, the part that she had given up, the part that had been packed away like those old dusty journals, still hidden in the bottom of that old worn out trunk. She was not too sure if she wanted to mess with the feelings that she had managed to neatly pack away. And yet had she really? Had she ever totally forgotten? She knew she wasn’t fooling herself. Her life was different because of all the things inside of those pages. She was different. And nothing could change that.

She knew that she could have gotten rid of those old books a long time ago and yet still would have never been able to forget. And so now, holding onto them symbolized a promise that she had made to herself, to never go there again. And so where ever she moved to, She brought them too, tucked deep down in the bottom of that old trunk, stored away, like her memories. Knowing that someday, she would use them as a message, a template so to speak, of things she wanted to protect Brynne from. But it had all caught her a little off guard today.

She was just grateful that she had found that trunk. In all the years that had passed, her memories had been confined to the privacy of her journals.  She didn’t know if she even wanted to remember. And yet, Keri had always felt that everyone’s story, good or bad, was worth telling if it could help someone else not make the same mistakes. Keri thoughtfully considered her story and wondered if today might be the day she would share it and just perhaps, telling Brynne her story would help guide her in her future.

Long before Brynne had even been interested in boys her mother had encouraged her to make a wish list that included the top ten things she wished for in a husband.  Keri had read the list and then added one more…she told her daughter that if any boy ever showed any sign of a temper that she should run like the wind! Brynne never quite understood why her mom had always been so adamant about that rule but had respectfully added it to her list.

Sitting there with her book in her hands, her life’s story literally tucked inside the pages, and her daughter a willing audience she considered everything. She held the book tight against her chest and looked into Brynne’s eyes filled with questions, with the crackling and popping of the fire raging, she opened the book and said;

“I never told you about this part of my life, maybe it’s time I tell it to you now.”

 Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed another throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but instead she motioned for her mom to continue. All the pieces were fitting in place now Brynne finally knew why her mom had added that extra rule. By the time she was done, the fire had died down to a flicker and more than two hours, maybe more had passed. Keri closed the book and she looked up and noticed that Brynne was in tears. “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.”

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So there it is… I am making myself try to stick to my guns and between working fulltime, and the stuff going on in my life… just finally finishing this… I still have 20 more chapters and some of those have been the ending so this is just a dent but I did want to check in and say I actually AM working on it…   I will share a few more as I go and would love feedback!

Thanks for your time!

Love you all!

Di

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone Writing…


I think I really am going to take a break for a while from the power posting. I kind of feel that all of the dialoging we had in regards to my last post made me really take a look at my own motives for being here. Though I feel that I have grown so much and made  many good friends, I have spent more time trying to keep up with the comments and the new posts from other posters than working on my book. I have to admit to some of you who have been encouraging me to get to work… I haven’t.  As simple as that. I work on it for about an hour a day editing but not really inspired to write more. And yet, I could write on my blog all day long. So it made me wonder if….Maybe I need to focus just on my book for a while.

I am not saying that if I get inspired by a poem or some enlightened thought, I won’t come on here to share it, but I think that I lost something along the way… wanting to be LIKED and grow my stats. THAT is not what I am about. That is not why I write. And I refuse to get caught up in the gimmick… as one of “friends” I have made here pointed out… that a lot of people “click” your post to just generate traffic to their own. She mentioned that if you go to the time on your email you can see. I was disappointed to find that a lot at least in some of the people who “liked” me all at once. I refuse to get sucked into that. I love the comments and at least know that those people did take the time to read what I wrote but even so… I don’t want to care that much. I just want to write for me and for the other people that might be touched… A way to get my feet wet, get feedback, make genuine friends and connect. NOT beat yesterday’s stats. (Which yesterday I broke all records for some reason~ maybe cuz this subject  hits a nerve with all of us)  Soooo I am taking a little break from what I call Power Blogging…    And GONE Writing!

Clicking “LIKE”


This morning I came on and found that someone had liked 47 of my posts! It made me have to wander back with them in my archives because I thought if they are going to take the time to read and then “LIKE” something then I should take the time to at least click on each “LIKE” and re-read the things they clicked.

Blogging is a funny thing. It is like leaving your journal open for anyone to read. There was a day when I had a little diary with a lock on it. I carefully hid the key and wrote my tiny daily paragraph of all the most important events in m life… “Went to school today, came home, and maybe just maybe the boy I liked “looked at me!” Ahhh so much has changed… One BIG thing is… I could NEVER fit all of my “important”  daily thoughts in a little 5 year diary thats provides you with five little lines to chronicle your life!

When my grandma died, I wasn’t there. My mom flew to Washington and my Aunt and cousin went through all the things they wanted. I was in a different mind set then. I didn’t want to come across as greedy. I was so sad. It seemed inappropriate to “want” something of hers after she was gone and yet… she always would tell me “I want you to have my china Diane” I was just about ten when she started telling me that. I was just a naive little kid back then and even remeber thinking “Why would I want your China?” But when my mom asked me if there was anything special I wanted her to bring back… I did say “Well she always wanted me to have her china.”

Today I love it. It is actually pretty nice I think… as china and antiques go… it is Franconia from Germany. And now I realize it was probably very special to her because it was so nice and she wanted me to have it. She was my age now when I remember us talking about it… Which I thought was NOT old enough to be talking about her not being here and leaving me things. And I was right. She lived a long life. I was born on her birthday and was the first grandchild. We always had a specal bond. So besides the china… which was the one thing I knew that she wanted me to have, I asked for my grandma’s diary.

It was one of those five year kind. The thing that is so  unique, is…she started it the day after Christmas her sixteenth year and it ended when she was 21. She talked about her school events, and young girl crushes, dated a little  and then finally,  met my grandpa, fell in love, got married and had my mom all within those five years! It was as if I got to see a little glimpse of my grandma’s life all inside that little leather bound, worn book. It is an amazing treasure to me. I can almost imagine her in her bedroom, after a date writing in it.

Today as I re-read my journals, I wish I had saved one of those childhood ones with the locks on it. But I do have one that I started when I was sixteen. Filled with silly poems and pictures and such innocence. It snaps me back to a time where I had not yet experienced life. I only wrote about, dreaming of what lay ahead and then it also is filled with pages of new love and the passion that comes with it and then heartbreak and sorrowful poems of young heartbreak. It is kind of funny now. I still remember the reasons behind some of those poems that I wrote.

Today, I click on some of my old posts. The ones before I knew you guys… the ones no one “LIKED” because they didn’t know they were there. Or I hadn’t really invited anyone to share yet… I followed a friend’s blog, they followed mine… I was more vague back then. People didn’t really know what I was writing about. Now it is kind of like a puzzle.. I still have not provided all the pieces and yet you can begin to see the picture I have painted and yet you are still following me!

It makes me realize that we all have a story and our stories help each other live our lives, somehow making us feel not so alone in what we are going through, just by knowing someone else out there may understand just a little. I still have some posts in the proverbial little locked diary inside my imagination but waking up to find someone took the time to read 47 of my posts sometime in the night is the best compliment I could have as a “wanna be writer” and it inspires me to keep writing. Hoping that something I might have to say can touch someone enough to keep reading….

I know I have a lot to learn… a lot to tweak and edit and going back and reading some of my older things has made me realize that this blog has done just what I set out for it to do… helped me grow… and stretch my writing abilities to a place where I might not have to beg my family or friends to listen to something I wrote… but people actually go and click on me and search me out and sit there and read my “stuff” all by themselves! Like Sally Field said… “You “LIKE” me you really like me!” And for that … I say thank you!

Would Anyone Read This? Chapter One….


This is Chapter one of my book…  A few days ago, I posted a blog titled: Would You Read This? 

It was the introduction  to a book I have been writing for the last 3 years. This is the next chapter.

I would love feedback. I KNOW I need a lot of editing but would love people who like to read to give me there honest opinion…  And from professionals who could tell me…if I have something that publishers are even looking for.

Chapter Two begins with the sixteen year old girl… I am stuck  at the ending… the place where Keri is older and has been found again but for now here is chapter one…

 

Chapter One

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon; the kind that seems to still have one foot in winter and the other, in spring, the kind Keri knew made her fifteen year old daughter Brynne very lazy. But affected Keri in a totally different way…Keri’s husband Tim was away at work and so she decided that it was the perfect day to talk her daughter, into getting a head start on some spring cleaning. She had spoken to Tim about cleaning out the attic and making it into a study to write in. She had decided to revive her dream to write. An aspiration she had put on the back burner for a very long time. Tim had thought that it was a wonderful idea and told her that he could even build a little loft in their garage to store the boxes that were left after cleaning out the attic.

Inspired by the thought of moving closer to her dream, Keri put a roast in the oven and headed up to Brynne’s room, after a little coaxing, Brynne reluctantly crawled out from under her warm down comforter and followed her mom up the attic stairs. Soon they were laughing and chatting as the rain tapped against the roof above them as they got caught up in all the memories.

Brynne began pulling out old toys and clothes and books from trunks and boxes that had since been long forgotten. She had gotten caught up in looking at some old color forms and books when Keri had reached down into the bottom of one of the trunks and found the little diary. She recognized it at once. The lock still latched, she clicked the little button and felt for its release. It unlocked easily but for some reason she froze. She did not immediately open it. Keri stood up and frowned as she looked out the large picture window at the top of the trees swaying in the storm. The rain had started the night before and remained steady. She could see the little brook below and saw that it had filled. She felt warm and cozy and comfortable inside the warmth of the attic and imagined herself looking out the same window someday, as she sat at her desk and wrote.

The smell of the roast wafted up the stairs prompting Keri to go check on it. Promising a quick return, she left her daughter still sorting through boxes. She had fully intended to just check the roast and go right back up to encourage Brynne into getting rid of half the treasures she had stored up there over the years but Brynne had gotten caught up in her own little journey down memory lane and the whole project seemed to have turned into an all day event. Keri smiled; picturing Brynne in the pile she had left her in as she gently closed the oven door and wiped her hands on the kitchen towel. She turned to go back up and then remembered that she had brought down the diary she had found, and went over and picked it up from the counter feeling slightly unsettled.

She walked into the living room and poked at the fire in the fireplace, and then sitting down, she opened the book. Things that she had not thought about for a long time consumed her in an instant. Every word on every page snapped her back to another time in her life. She felt as if she had been given a time capsule, opening up such sweet but sometimes painful memories immobilized her as she turned each page. She remembered writing the words and the way she felt when she had written them.  The memory of that young girl seemed to take on a life all of its own, as if she were reading about a fictional character and yet the memories those words triggered within her caused her to want to go and find that girl again, to somehow get her and bring her home.

Keri pulled a fuzzy throw over her legs as she read. Every page she turned seemed like opening up an old door and peeking inside. The love and pain and memories consumed her as the glow of the fire filled the room and the sound of the rain hitting the roof seemed to be lost in the background as she continued to read the words she had written a lifetime ago.

She hadn’t noticed how much time had gone by until she heard her daughter padding down the attic stairs. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking into the room, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. Keri looked up and smiled. Brynne was puzzled. She had been lost herself in a magical mood of her own as she had pulled out old dolls and stuffed animals that had sent her back to another time. Brynne had fully expected to find her mom in the kitchen or watching T. Her mom always had the TV on for background company, even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. “Have you been crying?” Brynne frowned, sounding slightly concerned as she sat down next to her mom eyeing her with a look of uncertainty. She wondered what had caught her interest in such a way to have stopped her day like this. Looking amused at catching her daughter’s interest, Keri wiped a tear away and smiled. She was a little surprised with herself, crying over an old diary but the only way she knew how to explain it was to be honest.

Keri had not mentioned the diary when she found it at the bottom of one of her old trunks. She had set it aside with a slight feeling of unease. Not really hiding the little book from her daughter but not really knowing if she even wanted to go there herself.  She thought that she had put all of those feelings away but over the years she had realized that they were not as easily packed away as old things in a trunk might be. Like this diary, they would show up when she least expected, like today. Keri tested the waters by reading a few of the pages aloud to Brynne. After a few minutes, she stopped and looked up to make sure that she had not completely lost her daughter’s interest but noticed that Brynne looked quite captivated.

Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured, Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested.

“I was so smitten with the idea of being in love and so boy crazy back then, even though I really was not allowed to officially date until I was sixteen. I hung out with a few boys and then the summer after my birthday I met someone.” Brynne’s interest peaked and she asked, “A boy that was not daddy?” Currently Keri and her husband Tim had been negotiating curfew and dating rules with their daughter and she found this all very interesting to say the least. Picturing her mother with boys when she was her age was a concept Brynne hadn’t broached.  “Yes.” Keri answered, “I met a boy who was not daddy, a boy who changed my life forever.”

A look passed over her mother’s face that Brynne could not read. They had shared a mother and daughter bond that few can boast about, they finished each other’s sentences and usually knew what the other was thinking with very few words. Both Keri’s and Brynne’s friends envied their relationship. And without ever giving it a name, they had been best friends from as far back as either one of them could remember and Brynne felt as if she knew everything about her mom until today. Brynne listened with interest.

Keri wanted her daughter to admire her. She felt as if she had made so many mistakes in her life but had managed to rise above most of them. Brynne had always been so level headed and unaffected by the silliness of young love. When her friends would seem unusually boy crazy, Brynne had always been the one in control. She was a dancer and she would not let anything get in the way of her dream. Least of all, what she called silly romantic drama. Brynne felt she had plenty of time to find the right one and seemed in less of a hurry than her other friends. But even as level headed as her daughter was, she knew that it was only a matter of  time, and it only took one boy to turn her heart upside down. And so she decided to share what she had written.

Keri scanned the pages, realizing that she had not shared any of it with anyone, ever. Her pain had been confined to the privacy of her journals, late at night in her room.  The idea of sharing this part of her life panicked her.  However Keri had always  felt that everyone’s story, good or bad, was worth telling if it could help someone else not make the same mistakes. Especially her daughter. Keri  thoughtfully considered her story and wondered if today might be the day she would share it . Maybe telling Brynne her story would help guide her.

Long before Brynne had even been interested in boys her mother had encouraged her to make a wish list that included the top ten things she would wish for in a husband.  Keri had read the list and then added one more…she told her daughter that if any boy  ever showed any sign of a temper that, that was her cue to run like the wind! Brynne never quite understood why her mom had always been so adamant about that rule but had added it to her list.

Sitting there with her book in her hands, her life’s story literally tucked inside the pages, and her daughter a willing audience  she considered everything. She held the book tight against her chest and looked into her daughter’s eyes filled with questions, with the crackling and popping of the fire raging, she opened the book and said

“I never told you about this part of my life she said.” Maybe it’s time I tell it to you now.

 

Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed another throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but Brynne motioned her mom to continue. By the time she was done, the fire had died down to a flicker and more than two hours, maybe more had passed.

Keri closed the book and she looked up and noticed that Brynne was in tears. “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.”

Agents, Publishers and little old me~


Soooo, ever since I started this blog I have subscribed to magazines like; The Writer and Poets and Writers and really tried to educate myself, buying books on my Kindle about marketing and how to get an agent,  how to self publish and promote your own work. I have considered signing up for a few classes about publishing. But to be honest, I really am confused about it all. Though, I have discovered one thing about social media and  the likes of blogging. You MUST network. I have to admit that I have been competing with myself in a way. By looking at my stats almost as much as I step on my scale!

Stats are a funny thing. They are a tool to show you the kind of traffic you are generating or not. It is a mystery to me how some have a huge following and some don’t. It is as simple as that, or is it? At first, I started my blog as a place to just keep record of my own writing for me. And then slowly I began posting a poem or something that I would write on my facebook page and a few friends began to follow me, and I would discover their blogs and we would kind of have a little cyber coffee clutch, checking in with each other as we would get notified that one of us had a new post. Gradually, I noticed that people that I did not know began to follow me and it kind of felt good. That strangers were finding my writing worth their time. Slowly, I began to check out who was following me and wahlah… that is what networking is all about! And yet, for me it happened through the back door. I had never really started out wanting to have my private journal made public. But the comments I received inspired me and so I began to explore the art of blogging! And I liked it! The response I recieved was a bit addicting.

Like I said earlier, I was not expecting to share my blog. In fact, there are many personal things in it that I would not really ever have considered sharing with people I  know. I kind of started out thinking that people were only viewing what I was posting on my facebook and then I realized anyone had access to anything I was storing on my blog. As I became more comfortable with the sharing part of things, I became fascinated by the volume of followers my posts were generating. In turn, I began following and I have to admit all this networking has become time consuming but I genuinely enjoyed reading each blog. It was as if I had joined a writer’s group that met daily at the local coffee spot, on line!

My daughter is on Etsy. (An on line shop for artists) She has over one hundred  followers and is in many of what Etsy calls Treasuries.   Her work is unique and wonderful and yet she works hard at updating daily and networking with other artists. I have my own illustrated and written card line on Etsy but I don’t “work it” like she does with her shop. I get a sale every month or so where she gets several. I used to sell a thousand dollars in cards at a show when I would do art shows so I know if I invested the same time there as I do here on my blog, I could actually make some good money. And yet writing is my passion and so I stay here on my blog and working on my book that I am now editing.

I guess my point is… I went on a little vacation this week. The first few days of not responding or networking on my blog here….or posting anything new still generated several likes and comments. But it is funny. I am not sure if it is how the blog is set up, or what, but I do have over 100 posts and yet it seems as if it is just all my recent posts that people tend to read and so my stats went way down. Thus, discovering that even though someone may really enjoy your writing, a blog is kind of like a daily column in a newspaper. You may read Dear Abbey that day but you don’t bother going back into her archives and reading some answer she gave a year ago even though something in those archives may very well pertain to your current life now.

I have received a few AWARDS from readers recently and had always kind of coveted them wondering what they were about and while I was touched by the words I received when they came to me. That would have been enough. The comments were my reward. But I felt obliged to follow through and go through the process of doing what I was supposed to do. It was so time consuming. But I GET it now, those awards are a networking tool. Though…. a very time consuming one! Maybe agents are’nt such a lost commodity. Maybe we DO need them. I have gone the route of self publishing a children’s book and it is costly and though I have done well in a small arena, I have an inkling that a publisher could have done a far better job of marketing it.

With Kindle and e-books and everything going technical and digital it is hard not to be tempted to rely on ourselves to develop our own film, buy our gifts on line, forego libraries and even publish our own books on line or through the vanity press type places… everything is on line now even college classes! I have a friend that makes more money than her husband who is a school administrator, by staying home in her PJs and working from her lap top! She has been promoted over and over to do what she does on her computer at home.

This week I have realized that unless I post something daily, my stats go down and my followers are not as loyal even though I have over one hundred posts to keep them entertained, they need attention back. They need me to be present. Just like a Best Seller author. One book lasts for a season. They better be writing another while they are going on those book signing events! And an agent is a little like the stats here… reminding you that you are only as good as your next post!