Art Is Never finished… Only Abandoned — Leonardo da Vinci


 

It’s been a while since I opened up my blog page. I’ve missed writing here and checking in with you guys. Though I have been writing. I kind of got a new spark and have slowly been re-editing my book. I’ve lost count which time this would be. But I feel good about it. And now I am grateful that I didn’t try to publish it with all of the things that I have since changed and continue to rewrite still in it! As for the rest of the time, I’ve been getting ready for shows and restocking a little cozy booth I have at a store in town, called Reminisce. And working 12 hours a day doing it!  NOW that I am seriously attempting to make this what I want to do until I die!

Once upon a time, when someone asked me what I did, I would say that I was an Artist. And I was and always have been. In my heart. If you know my story, I worked as an Artist for over a dozen years and then moved to a small town in Paso Robles and opened up a little gift shop called Rose In The Woods which was supposed to mean “A thing of beauty in an unexpected place.” It was a favorite of the locals and tourists and was doing extremely well for a few years until an earthquake demolished it. (You can find the rest of the story in the ABOUT section of my blog. https://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/a-thing-of-beauty-in-an-unexpectd-place/) But that is not what I want to talk about now, I just wanted to explain why for a while my  title was not “Artist” but Event Coordinator. And that was great. I learned a lot and had an amazing boss that has turned into a “forever friend.” But in my heart I always knew that there were more cards and dolls inside of me.

My husband built me a cozy little Art studio in our garage and created displays for me and has driven back and forth following me to Southern Californ to help me set up. And I do an amazing show that is still going strong called Sugarplum Festivals in Buena Park. I started doing that show almost 30 years ago and it is one of the largest family owned Arts & Crafts Show in California. With over 12 cash registers and a few hundred Artists, they have built an empire! The last show, A February show (mind you!) had customers wrapped around the building waiting to get in! They know how to Market their shows! They welcomed me back with open arms when I first approached them about trying a few shows again and each show I am learning new things. I think I could write a book on the dos and don’ts of doing shows.

But for now, I just kind of wanted to share a little of where I’ve been when not blogging!

 

My cozy little booth at Reminise in the heart of downtown in Paso Robles CcA. And when I’m not there, I am traveling to Sugarplum in Southern CA….

When you are traveling to do shows and have to be there by 9AM there are some perks to the challenge of getting up early to drive the four + hours to be there on time. That’s actually my sweet husband ahead of me, loaded up with half of my stuff.

This is what my booth looks like before I set up. I used to do this with no help at all. I’ve gotten so spoiled lately. Though I am trying to start doing it on my own again, just to see if I can since my sweet husband may be busier in the near future!

This was all set up

This was towards the end of the show! Blessed to take a lot less home! Gotta love me some of that Sugarplum!

My new line for 2019… My Antique Dolls and  if you notice my Shower Doll… Funny story, I was stuffing her and the stuffing got stuck in the middle and so I just went with it! So my new pregnant Shower girls are part of my line for this year!

Some of my cards out of my line… with a brand new line being introduced this year!

Thank you for taking the jouney with me. I am excited to see what this year holds for me! I am  definitely not ready to give up. I am praying that this year brings me enough success so that I can say that “I make a living” doing it!

Please visit my Etsy shop at dianeonawhim.etsy.com

and Sugarplumfestivals.com

(My mom creating when I was little)

I just lost my mom almost two years ago. She was a children’s artist during my whole childhood. I’d like to think that I am continuing her legacy!

Thanks for tagging along!

xoxo

Diane

 

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It’s not about what’s under the tree this year


When you are in Junior High, friendships are made because of many things, your parents are friends, you live in the same neighborhood, you sit next to each other on the bus or in class and somehow you discover you have certain things in common. In seventh grade, I met a girl that liked to write like me. Usually kids play sports or are in some kind of club and connect that way. But writing is different, it’s not really something that is considered a “kid thing” so it was pretty cool to meet someone that had the same passion…  and slowly we began reading each other’s stories. And probably because it was not the normal kind of “kid” connection, I always remembered her and have written about her before here.

Today, because of Facebook, old friendships are being re-newed and we have recently reconnected. To go back with someone that’s shared in your history and remember is sort of magical. In the case of this friendship, we still have writing in common. And today, she proposed that we encourage each other to write prompts. This one is supposed to be about holiday traditions, what we treasure and what we miss as adults.

I know that I have written about knowing just how privileged or perhaps “spoiled” I was being a Mattel Toy’s Executive’s “tester kid” and how the presents were piled ridiculously high around our tree. More so because both my parents were from meager beginnings and I think(that at least my dad) may have tried to make up for what they missed. But it’s funny, because of this prompt, it has made me realize that some of my best memories are not about the most expensive presents but of the times  when my mom would take me to the dime store before my dad had “made it” (when money was still tight) and buy one or two pieces for our little dime store nativity set. It started out with the Stable  and each week we’d buy another piece.  Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, a sheep or donkey or shepherd or wiseman. And with each piece my mom would teach me about the story of Christmas

The other day, I was in Walmart, in the Christmas section, and ran into one of those little nativites,  complete with all of the pieces already packaged in the set. And I am not sure what happened, but I just lost it and had to stand in the corner of the aisle so no one else would see. Maybe it was because my mom died last year and I just miss her. Or maybe I miss how simple it was just being a kid. And how kids really don’t care about the presents in the scheme of things. Sure, I remember a few that stand out in my memory, but mostly I remember the memories that my parents took the time to make with me, and the things under the tree are forgotten. The way my dad would take me Christmas shopping and decorating the tree with my mom, it was those things that mattered to me in the end.

I just realized that in my line of 2018 Christmas greeting cards, I have two cards that say what is in my heart this year. One says: Maybe it’s not about what you can buy at a store… Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.... And… the other says: It’s not about what is under the tree… It’s about who is around it that matters.

This year is going to be very different. I have been out of work and trying to make it with my art business, and some other stuff has come up. And I have realized that ever since my childhood, I have tried to fill my dad’s shoes. Piling presents under all of my trees since I’ve been an adult. Well, this year is going to be a little more like those dime store years, And maybe I had to write about it, to be okay with it, and really believe that maybe it’s not about things you can buy at a store. Maybe Christmas really means a little bit more.

Learning To Fight Fair


I am trying to post a little more regularly. After I came back from not posting consistently, I almost forgot how. I don’t want that to happen again. WordPress moved a few things around and I had to figure it out all over again. But like going to the gym, I just need to exercise this thing I do… write. My post, The Writing Room, made me realize that I’d pretty much decided that “that book” that I have talked about for the last seven years and re-written a dozen times is not as much of a burden for me to write. I think that I had to go through the process of just telling my story to me. If that makes any sense at all? I didn’t know the ending because it had’nt happened in my heart yet. NOW I think that I know it. It took about a half a dozen years to grasp it. I still think that I have a message that I need to share and I finally can.

In the mean time my story still resonates inside of me. And parts of that young girl that survived that story still hangs on by a thread, fighting for validation and to be heard. And I have come to the conclusion that life is all about fighting fair and sometimes I still feel as if I am that young girl trying to feel validated. In a lot of my experiences, I have gained the wisdom that would allow me to go back to my younger self and say: “Don’t be so hard on yourself, or don’t make this or that so important.” Because I’ve learned a thing or two. But I have never really mastered being able to just “let it go” when I feel attacked. For me, fighting fair is first not raising your voice, and the tone and respect you use when stating your argument.

I think because my story is about abuse in my very first relationship, I am more sensitive to times when I don’t feel heard or validated. And yet on the other hand, when I do feel that affirmation, I will give you the world. To me, it seems so simple. But in all of my years of trying to be heard, the one thing left to my story is learning how to fight fair. As I have been going through the pages, I look back at all the fights that kind of formed me into how I have this crazy need to feel validated now. And out of all the things that I have moved on from… the one thing that has lasted is the need to be understood and not have things twisted. I’ve learned to let go of  a lot of things by this scale I’ve learned to use… I ask myself, from 1 to 10, how important is it to me? And recently, I’ve used it a lot and let a lot go. Even if it is just me who notices. I just know that it is making it better for me. But sometimes… when someone misunderstood something I said or twists how I feel about something or misinterperts something else… I can no longer be that young girl again “just taking it” I can’t back down. I just can’t, because I promised myself long ago that I would never cower in the corner again.

girl sitting in dark hallway

Learning How To Fight Fair

Don’t raise your voice, I can hear you.

Don’t talk to me in that tone.

You always want to be entertained

I’d rather be left alone.

I wonder if you hear me,

cuz it seems as if you are just thinking of what you’re going to say

I wish we could discuss this in some productive kind of way.

You totally misunderstood

but I can only see the anger in your eyes.

If only you could see me on the inside

you might just realize…

That I wasn’t even thinking

what you’re accusing me of…

One moment we were laughing

but now shadows loom above.

What just happened here?

I can’t even begin to guess.

What started out as a joke

is now a crazy mixed up mess.

Sometimes I am confused

how we both are so on the defense.

And once the angry words begin,

nothing makes much sense.

You accuse me of things,

that were never in my head

and twist the things you heard

that I never even said.

You say I’ve made it about me now

making me forget words that never were there

I can’t even begin to understand what just happened

when no one is fighting fair!

Diane Reed© 2017

 

“The Writing Room”


It was quiet. The morning’s summer sun flooded the staircase as the woman slowly walked up the steps leading to the attic. Imagining the room before she opened the door, she felt happy. She was finally going to start this project that she thought was only in her dreams. She finally set aside time and was determined to begin to make her dream of having a serious place to write come true. In her dreams she saw it all so clearly… The heavy old well oiled desk filled with lots of drawers and dents and hidden compartments that sat in front of the beautiful bay window overlooking the tree tops, as the little brook below sparkled as it jumped over the stones in the creek-bed below. The birds chirped and flew among the branches, dipping down from time to time to splash in the little brook to get a drink.

The floor was refinished with rustic old barn wood and the wall to wall shelves were filled with books. Of all genres, classics, and every other book about writing that you might imagine. The comfy over stuffed leather swivel chair sat in front of the desk. Her laptop, sat open and waiting for her as a fireplace consumed the other side of the room with an overstuffed window seat and throw placed just so.

Her imagination danced as she opened the door. She immediately was met with the musty scent of memories. It wasn’t a bad smell, kind of like when you take a whiff of a very old book, it is hard to explain just how great of a smell that truly is. Eyes still sparkling, she left the door ajar and surveyed her task at hand, only to be met with the reality of what really was behind the door… She did not see her beautiful writing room waiting for her to pen her first novel, instead she was met with boxes and boxes and more boxes, and stacks and stacks of books and old trunks all filled with things her family had accumulated throughout the years. Some marked with  names of her children, others of her and her husband. Some had names written across the tops or sides of them, of what was supposedly inside.

She looked at the place where her daughter had started helping her several years ago when she first shared her idea of making the attic a study to use for writing. Everyone was extremely helpful at first, promising to help clear out their own boxes. But now, several years later, nothing had been cleared out. It did look as if her daughter might have made an attempt at one time, and now it looked like a story standing still, as if her young daughter had been abruptly called away to go live her life. She smiled as she looked at a place where she once started to organize things. One pile might have been a “keep” pile and another, a “throw away” or” give away” pile, she was not sure.

Everyone was happily living their lives, consumed by their own busy schedules which truly made her happy. She side stepped the piles of teddy bears and books and kneeled down to unlatch a trunk among all the others. Not sure what she would find. The woman lifted the lid that she’d written her name on a lifetime ago. She dusted her palm across her name, as she read “Keri” in curvy round cursive that she almost remembered writing all those years ago. All at once, she was transported back into another time as if finding a time capsule. She lifted old loose photographs, and shifted a stack of yearbooks from every year on the floor beside her. She was just ready to thumb through the first one when something caught her eye. It was a box inside the trunk with packing tape securing each end. In big black marker letters it read PRIVATE with warnings of not to open, scrawled in her own youthful handwriting.

She sat with the box in her hands. So unlike the girl, who had packed that box away decades ago. She thoughtfully frowned and then slowly reached for some scissors and snipped through the aged tape easily. Inside, she discovered what she might describe simply as history. On top of everything she found her diary, still locked shut, but how silly, a key hung from the lock. She laughed quietly as she remembered always faithfully locking it and then hiding it with the key still attached.

She took the key and unlatched the little lock. As soon as she saw the familiar handwriting she felt a sadness as she remembered writing and the feelings of love and heartbreak and confusion that consumed her during that time of her life. The time when writing helped her survive, and it inspired her to go through the boxes and finally give herself that place to write, a place to tell her story.

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)

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

BACKSPACE


writer

You are the pen and today is the page,

your attitude is the ink.

YOU control  the way  you react,

in what you say and do and think.

At times we are bold in the things that we say,

at times we should say nothing at all.

It’s all in the way we write the words on each page,

and the way we want them recalled.

For life does not have a backspace key

for all the things that we say in haste.

So, just remember as you click on SAVE

to review  first, and when needed erase!

S

Diane Reed 2016©

backspace

 

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

 

Dr. Suess Editing


writer's block

I’ve been experiencing “writer’s block” for a while now. Though, I don’t think that I’ve ever truly experienced such a serious one. I’ve written several manuscripts, have a card line, and produced a monthly column for a local magazine. A few years ago, I started writing a book that was on my heart for decades. It was one that >I< needed to write. Now, I am wondering… Did I need to write it for me, or is it a story that others might find time worthy as well? Hmmmm. Well, it’s written. Or I guess I should say…I have the bones. The foundation is there.

Some of my “blog’s readers” have given my little project a thumbs up when I’ve shared pieces of it. Some have even helped edit parts of it, here and  there. But I KNOW that it is far from done. The editing has just begun. I’ve done a kind of Dr. Suess editing. Reading it to myself silently, reading it out loud, reading it to others, having them read it to me. Green eggs and ham, Sam I am. Ya know? You have to put it down, come back to it and read it again. In my case, I think that I’ve put it down for almost too long. I know I find new things wrong each time I come back so that might not be a bad thing. Over the course of re-reading it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I use the main character’s name far too much, I use the word “had” a lot (pointed out by one of my favorite editor/friends.) I Tell more than I show… All correctable. I just need to get my rear in gear and  do it. writers trash can In-between the beginning and end of writing this book, I have lost two close friends and just had some emotionally challenging times. And  have been S-T-U-C-K! Literally. But maybe those experiences can oil the keys and help? Another writer friend recently told me…     Thinking about the task at hand, takes more energy than just doing it!

type the end

 She is right. The blank page is not all that scary once you start putting a few words on it. Today, all we need to do, is backspace and re-write! Right?

Sam I am

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!

After That…. She was HOOKED


woman writing at keyboard

She originally started her blog to write the outline of her book. At first, she wasn’t going to share it. She was just going to use it as a place to store the rough draft and some of her ideas.

library shelves

 

Not being too technically inclined or really knowing how to set up blogs or sites, it took her the best part of a morning but she finally created what she thought, was a private place where she would be the only reader. Though she still “tagged” each new post as she was prompted to, and for a while, she would just write and publish what she’d written, never imagining anyone else was ever reading it. Until one day she got a LIKE and then the next day another, and still the next day two more.

like thumb She thought to herself that she needed to go back into the part of the blog where she set up her profile and make it private because she wasn’t sure she wanted anyone reading such rough and raw ramblings she’d started compiling there. But each time that she’d sign on, she’d be so excited about some new thought she wanted to get down before she lost it, that she kept forgetting about going into the technical side of things to fix the settings.

wordpress wrench

 

And then one day she published a poem and got eleven LIKES and four people who’d actually clicked FOLLOW and a few comments. One reader told her that it had made her cry and thanked her for writing it. After that, she was hooked.

blog readers

Hey Everyone,

Just checking IN!!!! I am on a roll. I have been editing everything and think I have an ending to my book.

“THIS” is an excerpt from my book but it made me think of you guys!

I didn’t want you all to think that I haven’t been thinking about you guys. Also, I have been reading your blogs faithfully but if I am on my phone for some reason, it keeps saying “LOADING” so I can never LIKE things and if I am at work, can’t really take the time to comment like I’d like to. And then when I go home to my laptop, I am writing my book… Soooooo just wanted to stop by and explain and tell you guys I am still here working away and will eventually be back again!

Have a good weekend!

xoxo

me

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

Definition of True Love; If I’d only known….


verse corinth13

As I have recently taken time  to work on my book and go back in my memories to gather information. It has been like therapy for me.  And what I have come to realize does not only apply just to young love but to true love….  It has boggled my mind that I have not figured this out until now! After living well into five decades, I am baffled that it has just come to me so clearly during this Valentine’s Day month….and it is this: There are two kinds of love. One is TRUE LOVE and one is… well, it is… just not! And in writing my book and amidst decades of confusion, and a few broken hearts, I think I may have figured it out.

Let me explain… I have been loved two ways in my lifetime (a few times) And there really are not a lot of options other than two. True love is loving someone  purely because you love them for who they are. Almost like a parent loves a child. It is an unselfish love. A hard to explain kind of love. A love you because of who you are kind of love. The second kind of love is a selfish kind of love. They do things for you to get something back. They give you gifts, they woo you, they promise you the moon… all for their own gain. Not that true love can’t give you genuine from the heart, unselfish well thought out gifts and promise you things to the moon and take you there too… but it is all in knowing which kind of love you are receiving and that my friends is where the trick comes in!

As you know, our emotions can get in the way and whether we are ten and writing notes or fifteen in the backseat of a car or fifty in the back seat of a car! Some of us just don’t stop and think. Age should provide a guage and for most of us it does, but sometimes our hearts have so many holes in them we just want that FAST fix-it job, trying to fill them up the best way we know how. And sometimes that does not mean with our brains kicked in or with a lot of patience.

I think that God designed love in this amazingly perfect way. He mapped it all out for us and and gave us the best example first. A mother’s love. The problem with that is… some mothers suck at loving. And sadly some even only give their children the second kind of love. They only know how to love selfishly and so they in turn don’t teach their kids how to love correctly and then their kids grow up to love other kids that may have had mothers that sucked at loving them and they find  each other in that messed up kind of loving way they have kids and so on and son… and well, we all know how messed up this world is. Even though God Himself has provided some pretty good Mother Love examples.

jesus mary

And if we do it HIS way and wait and get to know WHO we are loving, we could save ourselves a lot of pain. But then who does that? And even if some of us do… it is no guarantee that even if they had the best kind of mother’s love there wasn’t some glitch and they just didn’t get it! Arghhhh!!!!

I guess since this month is coming to a close and I didn’t really get a chance to blog about Valentine’s Day because I was so busy with my project on my other blog: http://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/  where I was feeling a little cynical there focusing on a relationship with a selfish kind of love and am coming to terms with a mother in that story that affected a lot of lives. I had to stop here and make a side note of how grateful I am for truly WAKING UP and recognizing TRUE LOVE for what it really is…. It is not what you can get out of it, it is what you can give, it is not how happy you are all the time, it is about how happy you can make the other person…. it may not always be about doing what you want… it may be bigger… like moving somewhere away from your friends and family for his or her job for a while,  or going on a vacation you really didn’t want to go on because they did… or letting them choose the restaurant or movie for a change… or even as simple as watching a different TV show and then not keeping tabs about who owes who, because love is not about owing. It is about giving and not needing anything in return!

love poem

 

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 ©

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

Chapter Nine – Revised


This is a revised version of the very last chapter that I published (a while ago)  from my book that is still in progress! In honor of those who have taken the time to read and even help with editing. I have tried to take all the suggestions and though I know there may be more to work on… I’d love anyone’s feedback who might take the time to read it. As always… I have mentioned before that if you have not read the first previous chapters (one through eight) you might not follow… but for those who have… Here is Chapter Nine revised. Thank you for your time!

Diane

open diary

Chapter Nine

In the weeks that followed, Keri learned to handle  her relationship with Jack on her own. It was a balancing act. She thought that she was doing  fine. But people began asking her if she was okay.  She caught herself snapping back. Keri trusted no one to talk  about Jack’s mood swings, Keri carried it all on her own shoulders. Then one day, Mrs. Walker came to her with tears in her eyes. She’d been worried about Keri and actually read her journal, “not all of it, but enough” she confessed. Keri was horrified. She’d always trusted the agreement they’d  shared, without so much of a second thought and through the years, she never suspected otherwise and became quite unconcerned and free about what she’d write. If truth be known, her teacher never breached that trust ever before, until she had she’d seen a change in Keri. Keri was coming  to class  upset more and more often.  One day Keri came to drop off an assignment and hadn’t waited to talk to Mrs. Walker who called after her. Keri did  not hear her. Or at least  acted as if she hadn’t.  Mrs. Walker was pretty sure she had.

Keri scrambled inside her head as her teacher stood in front of her with a pitiful look of concern. She tried to recall what she might have written recently.  When there’d been no other place to go but inside the pages of her journal. Mrs. Walker laid the leather-bound book in front of her. Tears of anger burned in Keri’s eyes. All this time, Keri had believed that Mrs. Walker was just initialing each new entry without reading a word. Now, she didn’t know what to believe. Keri snatched the book up and held it tightly against her chest. She wondered how far back that Mrs. Walker might have read.  Her teacher saw the look of betrayal on Keri’s face and rushed to explain. She’d just been concerned,  now, she couldn’t ignore what she’d read. Keri stiffened as Mrs. Walker tried to touch her arm. She pulled away and picked up her books and ran out of the library without a word.

woman crying

Keri agonized all night long. She couldn’t talk to Jack about this. He would be so angry with her. He did not know about the journals. She’d read poems to him from them, but her journals had been hers. They were not even for Jack to know about. She had not wanted him to ask to read them so she never mentioned them.  Her head swam. All of a sudden the room started spinning. Keri grabbed her mouth and ran to the bathroom and got sick. Keri kneeled by the basin coughing and crying.  She’d never felt so betrayed. And yet the hardest thing about her anger was that  she knew that her teacher really did just care. And yet she was just so ashamed that anyone  knew that she’d allowed Jack to treat her the way she’d described in those sacred pages.  Now, she felt naked and as if she wanted to run away, far away where no one knew her. That night she decided that she was going to finish High School even earlier than she’d planned. She did not want to have to deal with Mrs. Walker or anyone. She was so confused. During their conversation, Mrs. Walker told Keri she’d always be there for her if she needed her and  suggested that perhaps she’d really wanted her to read what she’d written. It just made no sense to Keri  and more angry at her teacher.

The next day Keri  went to her counselor to find out exactly what credits she still needed. She was happy to discover that she could complete them all  by taking the required exams through a few independent study classes that she could do on her own through the counseling office at the local community college. She was surprised how everyone seemed to support her plan. Keri  explained that she wanted to finish her Senior year early since her schedule was so minimal. She told everyone that she planned to start working at the Speech and Development School full-time, and have a little time  in-between before she had to start her college classes. She decided that rather than going away to school, she would take some of her general education classes at the  same community college where the counseling office was that she would be reporting to until she completed her High School credits. Surprisingly,  her counselor and her parents didn’t question her new change of plans even though she’d be forfeiting the scholarships she’d applied for. In fact, her mom and dad didn’t seem to discourage or encourage her to go to college. Jack was the only one who really encouraged her to go and yet the idea of  going away to school now,  seemed less and less appealing to both of them as they fell more deeply in love.

The weeks passed quickly and her own graduation was uneventful. There just wasn’t one. A few months later, after completing all of the requirements.  She’d gone to pick up her report card and diploma from the office, only to be told that her official diploma would not be available until after her graduating class had gone through the actual ceremony in June.  Suddenly the realization of what she’d done and was missing out on, hit her. Her choices impacted many things she’d been looking forward to. She’d known that she would miss her prom and other school activities the following year, but she’d also reasoned that Jack would not have wanted to go to any of it and she did not  want to go without him. And yet, Keri couldn’t help feel a tear slip down her cheek as she headed for the parking lot, with her report card in her hand.

The year before meeting Jack, she’d been invited to a boy’s Grad night who she’d met at church and been dating casually for a few months. He was valedictorian of his class and Keri was honored to be his date.  They’d gone to Disneyland after she’d watched him speak to his graduating class and the entire night had been magical.  She was glad that she had that memory, and decided it was going to have to be enough. She was just relieved that school was  behind her and that  Mrs. Walker  had not said anything to anyone else about what she’d read in Keri’s journals. Keri was sure she would have called her parents but for some reason she hadn’t, and Keri was grateful.

When Keri ripped open her report card and saw the A+  in English, a melancholy feeling came over her. She walked toward her car as she scanned the paper. Memories flooded her thoughts as she remembered  all the things she’d learned about writing from Mrs. Walker. She remembered the first time her teacher approached her with tears in her eyes after reading something that she’d written and telling Keri that she had a gift. Tears blurred Keri’s eyes,  just as she was about to  bump into Mrs. Walker herself, who looked equally surprised. She’d not seen Keri for several weeks though signed off on her class after  learning of her plans to not pursue her current scholarship she’d been disappointed but decided not to interfere. In fact, she decided to do nothing.

Keri had seen the familiar signature and had felt uncomfortable. She hadn’t seen her teacher since that day in the library. Only she and Mrs. Walker knew the truth of why she was really graduating early.  “Thanks for the A” Keri said uncomfortably. “You earned it as always, Keri”. Mrs. Walker smiled “Good luck to you honey, you are very talented, I hope you do something great with your writing.” Keri knew that graduating early had ruined her chances for several of the scholarships she was up for,  ones that they worked on together.  Suddenly they just hugged. Though it wasn’t clear who reached out first. The embrace was long and genuine. “Thanks for everything Mrs Walker” Keri whispered hoarsely and Mrs. Walker hugged her a little tighter and then slowly let go. At that moment, she knew Keri better than any adult in her life. The years of mentoring and long talks about her dreams to write, and then watching her progress and win awards, had been her teacher’s own reward. She wanted to say so many things to Keri at that moment and yet she knew that they were all things she would have to learn on her own.

hug

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?

woman on sofa

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.

writing

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.

mountain top kneele3r

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

Checking IN!


babies oh mine!

Just minutes after Sophie was born with her Auntie Brookie

It all started here…. The day my granddaughter was born… the day I seemed to get all caught up in everything…

Life keeps moving fast and from the everyday stuff, work and keeping up with it all I have let my blog take a powder for a bit. Thank you for those of you who have checked up on me! I love you guys! Seems as if I was going strong… working on my book with my friend Deb and networking and building relationships with everyone here and then slowly life happened. But I will be back full force soon! After next week, my next schedule isn’t quite as slammed so I will have more time to write. But in the meantime, I didn’t want you guys to think I was flaking out here!!

I’ve been out of town and back and forth and leaving again this weekend after work. My husband has been trying to get their business up and running with his dad (LOTS of prayers needed on that one please!) And I haven’t seen him for almost a month except maybe one day or so here and there, so it will be nice to catch up with him! But in the meantime… I don’t even have a poem or anything… Just some pictures for ya!

My daughter was up here for a few days and brought her new investment! A wonderful camera that she purchased with Chase so that they could partner up with projects they have going instead of waiting for filmmakers to fit them in…. and I have found her to have quite an eye as she has captured her brother’s sweet little new family as they posed for her. Thought I’d share a few shots with ya as I work on my next post that is long over due!

Love you all! Thanks for your patience!

Introducing our wonderful Sophia with her wonderful Mama Amanda

Mommy kissing me all the time!

And my son…Tough Guy Chadly who really is a softy when it comes to his babygirl Sophie!

Chad Kissing Sophia

With his other sweet girl Jasmine! (Where does time go?)

Jaz and Dad

Who he thinks he needs to always teach to be tough  (“Ahhh come on dad, give me a break!”)

Jaz and Daddd

And our wonderful new little grandson Brenden ~ to whom Chad has already started teaching about the importance of muscles to!

Brenden and Chad Muslemen

Daddy is even telling Sophie about all the important things he wants her to know about!

Talking to Daddy

Such a sweet family!

Amanda's fam

Funny how babies have a way of softening even the tough guys!

Anywaaay, that is my update! Thanks for walking through my little Grandma Brag Book! Thanks Brookie for capturing them all!

xoxo

“me”

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!

Like Romeo And Juliet


Disclaimer:

This poem is for my book that I am working on (all fiction don’t worry!)

 Pieces of the Circle

letters with ribbon

True love can’t be forgotten

though years have hid it’s flame~

Lost love held inside of me

without shelter or a name

ring

 Finding me in my despair,

weary from the pain

so ready for young love

to be restored for me again

woman at the mirror

We hesitated in mid air

like a note sung by a singer~

The scent of love we used to know

somehow made us stop and linger~

couple on a hill

Did we understand the cost

of choosing to stay or close the door?

Did we deserve to take our turn

and even ask for more?

holding hands at sunset

The love inside of me grew until

I thought that I would burst

I feared  that what I held dear,

by my loved ones would be cursed

goodbye hug

The past has met the present

like waves upon the sand~

The foundation was never ready

for us to step on or to stand

walking on the beach

We were caught inside a love story

with all the tragedy and pain

No one would ever accept our love

or allow it to remain,

young girl running away from yelling boyfriend

like Romeo and Juliet,

like Elizabeth and Browning.

Our love was like a soaring sea

as we struggled to keep from drowning.

past lovers quote

God became our rescuer,

The One who calms the seas.

The One who knows all of our tomorrows,

and what they all will be.

Jesus loves me and you

And so we rest in HIM

and put us in His care

And when we I look for true love…

I know I’ll  find Him there.

Diane Reed

2013

*Note* This poem is stored here for future use in my book. (Previous chapters can be found here in this blog.*)

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!

reading comp manreading compreading computer2

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'

Getting Over It


old couple walking in the city

How long is the normal life span? I know a few people in their nineties and several in their eighties still going strong, so it baffles me as to why the beginning two decades are so important to who we ultimately become. But they are very important.  Considering that we will live to be one hundred,       (give or take a decade or two)  our formative years are only 20%  of our entire lifetime but I believe that they are some of the most important.

little girl looking out a window1

Some people tend to totally forget the first ten or so years while others remember every detail as if it were yesterday. We all have had our happy

tire swing leap

and not so happy memories.

bullyingworried little girl

Some of the bad ones are obvious. There is abuse and no matter how you look at it, it is evident. Others are not so evident. It may be subtle, a parent depending on a child too much, a sibling or peers tormenting them. We remember and we form scars that last a lifetime. We have been told to “get over it” and yet how does one get over a mountain? I will tell you. One step at a time. It is possible. But the trick is not to discount the memories.

I know someone who was horrifically abused. More emotionally than anything. He was the boy with the story no one would believe. His mom was  schizophrenic. She was beautiful and full of love for life and for him for that matter,  but in a moment could turn into a raging monster. At first when I met her, I had trouble opening up my heart to her because of what I knew. And yet, she was hard to resist. We slowly became friends and though I never forgot the stories I’d heard, I let my guard down because this boy who I loved, wanted a connection with his mother so badly. I became the bridge that connected them. We shared many happy memories until I witnessed one of her rages. Her words cut deep and were directed towards her son who I loved.

sad reflection

I was very young back then. Our relationship began the summer after I turned seventeen and ended shortly after I turned twenty. Funny how those three years changed me forever. I think that I had a few co-dependent issues from my own childhood and so I brought those with me, thinking that I could fix something that was far more broken than I imagined.  Because the boy I chose to love was abused. I in turn, was also abused by him. Because I loved him, I chose to look the other way. Because his mom couldn’t love him in the way that he needed to be loved, I took on the responsibility of that love and mine.

love in Heaven sillouette

And thus the cycle of co-dependency began to spin.  I looked the other way when he treated me badly because I had witnessed firsthand his abuse. Only imagining him as a child with no one to protect him. And my heart broke for him. Funny, even though I was his target for his abuse towards me back in those days, I took it because I knew where his pain was coming from. But I was still young enough to be damaged by it too. Not until writing my book, did I understand that I was also a victim of abuse in a way I never understood before. Though I looked the other way then, because I felt his childhood pain, I have had to come to grips with my own pain, in trying to break the circle.

little crying boy

In the book I am writing. I share my experiences. Though instead of memoirs, I am producing it as fiction. Taking out the unnecessary details and changing the names for the most part. But what I want to get across is how we find ourselves in situations and why. As I have written it out. It has been like therapy for me. But it has made me realize that the abuser isn’t the monster I remembered him being. For years, I had not even been able to say his name. When we finally broke up, I had been so hurt and damaged I didn’t know what to do with the pain and so I turned it into anger.

girl looking out window

Through out my life, and my relationships I know that, that one relationship controlled my entire life in all of the years that followed. I have had a hard time trusting and I’ve always needed to feel in control since then. Recently, that not so young boy (anymore) contacted me. I was not sure if he was even alive nor was he sure that I was. I  finally got my closure. I know for me, that I needed some sort of a resolution and when the opportunity knocked I had to open the door. I did what was right for me. I know it was selfish but I don’t regret it. I do regret hurting the people in my life now. And I can’t say that I am proud of all of my recent choices but I feel as if I can finally close the anger chapter of my life and that I have been educated in such a life changing way. Far more than any degree could offer me. I have learned so much about who I am and surprised myself about what I am capable of. Not everything, good. But it has gotten me to the place where I can say goodbye to my young self

Rockwell_Girl_at_the_Mirror

and look into the mirror and see ALL of me.

older mirror reflection

 I have had a hard time penning the ending to my book since then. I know now that I clearly had digressed, allowing my seventeen year old self to interrupt everything about who I am today. But though not everyone may agree, I needed to ask questions and say things I never said and I got that chance.

door with couple on both sides

Being “The one that got away” and knowing no one ever gave him the love that I did, is very sad but a little vindicating. Maybe at first, I thought revenge might be sweet. But when you have really loved someone, you only want the best for them, no matter how much they hurt you. Whether it is divorce or young love. There is such a fine line between love and hate. And until even today, I am learning that love is more powerful than any form of hate could ever be. And if the love had ever been genuine and you can go back to find it’s roots,  I guarantee, letting the hate go will feel much more vindicating than anything revenge might bring. It took me over thirty years to feel it. Today, I feel that I can move on. Or as some people have said :”Get Over it”.

typewriter

So I guess in the end, I want to make people see how subtle abuse can be, how everyone is a victim and how the abuser isn’t always a monster but just a product of their own abuse from their own childhood. My book is called Pieces of the circle. Now I feel that I can sigh and find that spot in the circle that needs to be finished and write it.

A rough draft of my book below… I’d love to know what you think or if you have any suggestions…

https://kerisjournal.wordpress.com/

type the end

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!!!!!

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

My Blog


I have been “followed” lately by some new readers. I am not sure how this is happening or how they have been finding me but it is a gift. They have been liking and commenting on some of my older posts. It has made me go back and read some of the things I have written.

A blog is an amazing place. It started out for me, just being a place to store my things. An on-line journal so to speak or a filing cabinet for my book, not really to even share, just to file for safe keeping, somewhere else besides my Documents. As writers we all are different. Some of us are private about our words and others just about tackle you to make you hear what they wrote.  Some bloggers post a random thought every few hours and I have had to stop following them because that is just annoying (smile). And others, I can’t wait for their next post!

Blogging here has been a journey. Not a lot of people really read anything I wrote until just a few months ago. And honestly, I didn’t expect them to. But now that I have gotten some good feedback, I sometimes feel that I can just sit back and ask people to go into  my archives and read that while I take a little break and edit my book but I have learned that, that is not how it works here. You have to be active or people lose interest. And seriously, people don’t read something re-blogged  as readily as we think. And so I am sharing a post that no one really ever read except for one of my new readers that inspired me to re blog this in my own way…

It was called Survivors and I wrote it in April when I was making some big decisions in my life….

Survivors

As we go through life, we take on different roles.

Daughter,

img206! daddyimg100

Sister,

img101img161

Wife,

img073me and Jim

 Mother,

baby shower cakeme and Chadly in the middle of a jokeBrookie and me at the showerme and Brookie in deep talk50th surprisebrooke and me

Aunt,

img115Auntie me

Friend

terri, scott and iTerri and Allen and ijody and me

and eventually Grandmother.

grandma and jas

We take advice, and later even offer it. The life we live along the way prepares us for the roles we take on. Our stories all have lessons we each can learn from. Even our struggles and sorrows are eventually gifts of wisdom. As survivors of different trials we go through, we can offer hope and guidance for others when they see us come out of our own valleys without the battle scars they fear. And what scars we do retain, we can wear them as badges of honor for we are SURVIVORS.

The red flags we learn to be aware of, the lessons learned, the wisdom we can offer all are important pieces to the puzzle. Sometimes some of the pieces are missing and it takes a long time to find where they fit in order to see the bigger picture. But once all the pieces are in place, all the lessons are learned and all the pictures are made, we put them all back in the box, shake it up and make the pictures all over again!

Chapter Two (Edited Version)


Hey guys….you know how we always appreciate feedback or at least like knowing that our work is really being read? Well, I am blown away by some of my blog buddies who have become true friends!

I want to give a shout out to Paul who sent me an edited version of my Chapter Two.   What an amazing gift! Thank you Paul!!  http://pjb1943.wordpress.com/about/

(click on his above link, he has an amazing story and a great blog!)

Here it is, Chapter Two edited thanks to Paul!  I have a lot to learn about grammar and punctuation for a 50 something year old who loves to write… so this was sooo appreciated! When I get the $$ I am gonna hire you my dear!!!!

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
Here it is….

I eliminated the pictures this time so hopefully it will read just as good without them.

typerwriter paper


(Edit
starts
here) 

*********************************************

Chapter Two

Keri watched as her mom and little brother Lonnie, prepared to leave for the airport. It was the first time since 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 told her parents. Though she had to admit,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 together 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 landed a babysitting job for the summer so Keri had decided to stay home this year. After what seemed like endless conversations about 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 her license for almost a year and Keri had finally received hers. This represented a new kind of freedom for both the girls that they had never known before. Her father was always busy. He traveled and worked late hours  so she knew that for the most part she would have the independence for which she longed.
Keri understood that she was to maintain the house while her mom was away and she appreciated that her dad gave 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…

 She threw kisses  as her dad backed out of the driveway, heading for the airport to drop her mom and Lonny off and then take a flight himself.  She grabbed her beach gear  and headed to 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. The blue sky sparkled invitingly as she slid into the driver’s seat of her new car. The latest Top Forty filled the speakers her dad had just installed for her as she tuned up the volume. She rolled down the windows, and smelled the scent of fresh-cut grass. Feeling quite carefree and that all was well with her world.

When Keri pulled up to Lori’s she noticed a boy 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  cap 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 from 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 tightly,“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, smiling as they rolled down the windows. They began singing loudly.  Rocking to the beat laughing. They hadn’t been to the beach for several weeks. The last two months had been filled with 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 has my poor mom, always 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 just started discussing where they would go for dinner as they approached Lori’s 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 him 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.

Chapter Nine


This is Chapter Nine… I think that I will share one more chapter and then that will be it until I find a publisher. Thank you for all who have taken the time to read this. I love your feedback. It has been like gold to me. For those of you just reading for the first time… this is part of a book… it won’t make much sense unless you follow my blog back to chapter one. Here is Chapter Nine for all those who asked for more….

I am off to work and wanted to get this posted  this morning before I left so there may be a few extra type os than normal… I intend to go back and edit some more after work today!

Thank you for reading.

Diane

open diary

Chapter Nine

In the weeks that followed, Keri learned to handle Jack and her relationship on her own. It was a little like a balancing act. Though she thought that she was doing a fine job, people began asking her if she was okay. “Sure, why?” She would almost snap. Having no one to talk to about Jack’s mood swings, Keri weathered the weight of it all on her own shoulders. Until one day, Mrs. Walker came to her with tears in her eyes. She’d been worried about Keri and actually read her journal, “not all of it, but enough” she confessed. Keri was horrified. She’d always trusted the agreement they’d  shared, without so much of a second thought and through the years, she never suspected otherwise and became quite unconcerned and free about what she’d write. And if truth be known, her teacher never breached that trust ever before, until she had she’d seen a change in Keri, who’d come to class obviously upset  one day to drop off her assignments and hadn’t waited to talk to Mrs. Walker who’d  called after her but Keri had not heard her or at least  acted as if she hadn’t. Though, Mrs. Walker was pretty sure she had.

Keri scrambled inside her head as her teacher stood in front of her with a pitiful look of concern, she tried to recall what she might have recently written. There’d been some pretty bad times lately. Times when there’d been no other place to go but inside the pages of her journal. Mrs. Walker laid the leather-bound book in front of her. Tears of anger burned in Keri’s eyes. All this time, Keri had believed that Mrs. Walker was just initialing each new entry without reading a word. Now, she didn’t know what to believe. Keri snatched the book up and held it tightly against her chest. She wondered how far back that Mrs. Walker might have read.  Her teacher saw the look of betrayal on Keri’s face and rushed to explain. She’d just been concerned,  now, she couldn’t ignore what she’d read. Keri stiffened as Mrs. Walker tried to touch her arm. She pulled away as she picked up her books and ran out of the library without a word.

woman crying

Keri agonized all night long. She couldn’t talk to Jack about this. He would be so angry with her. He did not know about the journals. She’d read poems to him from them, but her journals had been hers. They were not even for Jack to know about. She had not wanted him to ask to read them so she never mentioned them.  Her head swam. All of a sudden the room started spinning. Keri grabbed her mouth and ran to the bathroom and got sick. Keri kneeled by the basin coughing and crying.  She’d never felt so betrayed. And yet the hardest thing about her anger was that  she knew that her teacher really did just care. And yet she was just so ashamed that anyone  knew that she’d allowed Jack to treat her the way she’d described in those sacred pages.  Now, she felt naked and as if she wanted to run away, far away where no one knew her. That night she decided that she was going to finish High School even earlier than she’d planned. She did not want to have to deal with Mrs. Walker or anyone. She was so confused. During their conversation, Mrs. Walker told Keri she’d always be there for her if she needed her and  suggested that perhaps she’d really wanted her to read what she’d written. It just made no sense to Keri  and more angry at her teacher.

The next day Keri  went to her counselor to find out exactly what credits she still needed. She was happy to discover that she could complete them all  by taking the required exams through a few independent study classes that she could do on her own through the counseling office at the local community college. She was surprised how everyone seemed to support her plan. Keri  explained that she wanted to finish her Senior year early since her schedule was so minimal. She told everyone that she planned to start working at the Speech and Development School full-time, and have a little time  in-between before she had to start her college classes. She decided that rather than going away to school, she would take some of her general education classes at the  same community college where the counseling office was that she would be reporting to until she completed her High School credits. Surprisingly,  her counselor and her parents didn’t question her new change of plans even though she’d be forfeiting the scholarships she’d applied for. In fact, her mom and dad didn’t seem to discourage or encourage her to go to college. Jack was the only one who really encouraged her to go and yet the idea of  going away to school now,  seemed less and less appealing to both of them as they fell more deeply in love.

The weeks passed quickly and her own graduation was uneventful. There just wasn’t one. A few months later, after completing all of the requirements.  She’d gone to pick up her report card and diploma from the office, only to be told that her official diploma would not be available until after her graduating class had gone through the actual ceremony in June.  Suddenly the realization of what she’d done and was missing out on, hit her. Her choices impacted many things she’d been looking forward to. She’d known that she would miss her prom and other school activities the following year, but she’d also reasoned that Jack would not have wanted to go to any of it and she did not  want to go without him. And yet, Keri couldn’t help feel a tear slip down her cheek as she headed for the parking lot, with her report card in her hand.

The year before meeting Jack, she’d been invited to a boy’s Grad night who she’d met at church and been dating casually for a few months. He was valedictorian of his class and Keri was honored to be his date.  They’d gone to Disneyland after she’d watched him speak to his graduating class and the entire night had been magical.  She was glad that she had that memory, and decided it was going to have to be enough. She was just relieved that school was  behind her and that  Mrs. Walker  had not said anything to anyone else about what she’d read in Keri’s journals. Keri was sure she would have called her parents but for some reason she hadn’t, and Keri was grateful.

When Keri ripped open her report card and saw the A+  in English, a melancholy feeling came over her. She walked toward her car as she scanned the paper. Memories flooded her thoughts as she remembered  all the things she’d learned about writing from Mrs. Walker. She remembered the first time her teacher approached her with tears in her eyes after reading something that she’d written and telling Keri that she had a gift. Tears blurred Keri’s eyes,  just as she was about to  bump into Mrs. Walker herself, who looked equally surprised. She’d not seen Keri for several weeks though signed off on her class after  learning of her plans to not pursue her current scholarship she’d been disappointed but decided not to interfere. In fact, she decided to do nothing.

Keri had seen the familiar signature and had felt uncomfortable. She hadn’t seen her teacher since that day in the library. Only she and Mrs. Walker knew the truth of why she was really graduating early.  “Thanks for the A” Keri said uncomfortably. “You earned it as always, Keri”. Mrs. Walker smiled “Good luck to you honey, you are very talented, I hope you do something great with your writing.” Keri knew that graduating early had ruined her chances for several of the scholarships she was up for,  ones that they worked on together.  Suddenly they just hugged. Though it wasn’t clear who reached out first. The embrace was long and genuine. “Thanks for everything Mrs Walker” Keri whispered hoarsely and Mrs. Walker hugged her a little tighter and then slowly let go. At that moment, she knew Keri better than any adult in her life. The years of mentoring and long talks about her dreams to write, and then watching her progress and win awards, had been her teacher’s own reward. She wanted to say so many things to Keri at that moment and yet she knew that they were all things she would have to learn on her own.

hug

 

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 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Back Spacing


How much honesty can anyone truly handle? I mean, when you ask someone if something makes you look fat, do you really expect the truth or really want it from a spouse, bff, family member or just a stranger in the next dressing room? The question is, do we really want to know? Well, if I ask. I really do. The problem is, when I don’t ask or when others don’t ask. Sometimes our familiarity truly does breed a bit of contempt.

I know that sometimes, I offer my kids unsolicited advice.  And I am really beginning to try to back off lately. I am not breaking down any doors to give it anymore. Recently I have been in a state of what I might define as “observation Mode” I have seen myself in the proverbial reflection of my disdain and can’t stand it. I can tap out a text of what I may feel is a profound revelation in two minutes and push SEND and then re-read it and think WHO exactly do I think I am?! Somehow, the brilliance of my profound thought is totally lost in it’s unedited version. I have spent a lot of time deleting entire threads full of my own opinions,  that I am not especially proud of. Unfortunately, we can’t always back pedal and delete the memory of the words once they are out there. How nice it would be if we could back-space certain conversations we’ve had. Ya know?

At other times I truly feel that the truth needs to be said and when I don’t say it, I feel as if I have missed some pretty obvious and important opportunities by remaining silent. I’m sure that we all can relate to those conversations that we re-play in our heads as we are lying there on the edge of falling asleep,  long after they have happened and we SO want to insert paragraphs we imagine saying after the opportunity has presented it’s self.

I absolutely kick myself sometimes for not saying things that just needed to be said and so sometimes, even if it comes off as a little abrupt, you had better watch out because I am going to say it, no holding back! Sometimes things just need to be said and put out there for the receiving one to ponder! For too long  I have allowed some things to go unsaid and now at this stage of my life,  I refuse to just sit there and not say anything anymore. And then at other times, you just have to choose your battles and what hill you truly want to die on, and decide if the fight is worth it.

But when all is “said and done” or as the case may be not “said” writing is my way of getting to walk through the rooms of my thoughts and try to make sense of an argument or a conflict or just a missed opportunity to validate a genuine feeling. WORDS are the tool I use to find the missing pieces and connect the puzzle, to find the part of me that is filled with words worth trying on and then to shop for just the perfect fit.

Writing is my soft place to fall, like a whispered prayer, when I own what I write, when all the editing and tailoring is completed.  THAT is when I have reached the perfect moment where I absolutely don’t need anyone else’s opinions. I can look in the mirror of my soul and have something that I KNOW  looks good enough for me, that fits just right and doesn’t make me look too fat!

Turning Pages


Prologue
Reference to real people, events establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously.
Once upon a time in an age before cell phones or personal computers, Ipods or even taped messages there lived a girl who had a dream, she wanted to be a writer. It was the summer of her sixteenth year when diaries were still in books with locks on them and the secrets were all just dreams of what might be. Images of houses with families inside, behind white picket fences and the hope of what would come next, danced through her head and found their way onto the pages, she wrote late into the wee hours many nights, pouring out her dreams onto the pages in way of poetry. Such raw and corny words, fell upon the pages as the young girl slowly filled the book, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her prince charming to rescue her and whisk her away into the life she was meant to have.
That old book was packed away, life happened in-between and recently while going through storage boxes the book was discovered again by the girl, not so young anymore, the one who had packed it away so many decades ago. Now much wiser and much more worn out, the woman held that book close and slowly opened the pages breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages, now yellowed with age. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking in the door, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. She hadn’t even looked up when Brynne walked in the door nor had she heard her questions, but just the muffled interruption as she stopped reading for a minute.
The older woman looked up and smiled a melancholy kind of mood seemed to envelope her, Brynne was puzzled. 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. Brynne frowned and sat down next to her mom as her mom began reading a few of the pages aloud to her. She stopped to make sure that she had not lost her daughter’s interest back somewhere at the first page but noted that she looked intrigued. Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured the woman,Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this book when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested. “I never told you this part of my story she said.” Maybe it’s time I try to tell it to you now.
Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed a 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 reading.
Aperture
Back in the seventies letter writing and phone calls were about the only means of communicating.  Journals were in bound books and writers still wrote their ideas on napkins and then transferred them onto the pages wound tightly in their typewriters. If addresses or numbers or names were changed, finding them again didn’t hold out much more hope than a message in a bottle might. The inventors of E-mails, Facebook,  twitter and texting were  not yet born. Little did we know what lie ahead. But my dad did.
In 1966, when I was about nine, my dad took me to his office filled with huge computers and disk drives and told me….
“Someday all these computers that fill this room will sit on just one desk … and maybe even in our life time, you will be able to hold one within the palm of your hand.”
 My first love recently found me on Face book. Our story is bittersweet. For over three decades I only allowed myself to remember the ugly part of our love story and basically stayed stuck there for all of these years. This story is about it all. (The ugly and the beautiful.)
  Everyone’s first love should be a sweet memory. Now through today’s technology I have recently,  I have been given that gift back again. The message here is not just about the mistakes made by the ones in love but by the adults in their life, the secrets kept, the sorrow and pain of young love lost.
In the seventies, we learned;  Love means never having to say  you’re sorry. I have to modify that today by saying.  Love is all about forgiveness.