A dream project

It really hurts to pack my books away. I dream of August or September when I hope to be in a new house. Make it my home. And put all these books back on a shelf.

And then I hope, a new scene (maybe Boston, hope I have not jinxed my future by saying it out loud) means a new thought process and all these hidden projects sitting on my shelves will come to life.  I have wanted to write children’s books for quite some time.  My favorite children’s illustrator/author is Lois Ehlert.  I love her folk art style and the color that embellishes her pages.  The simple stories she writes captures a child’s imagination.  And mine. (Some day I hope I can organize my collections as she has done below.)

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That really could be me pictured in her book.  I spent every summer riding my bike to the library.  I would come home with a pile of books, weighing more than I did, and would sit in my tent in the backyard, reading and dreaming of the world.  To this day, I still have no clue what life means, other than love is precious and relationships are what keeps us from falling too deep into despair.  Oh! if I only practiced my wisdom.  I often find myself sheltering from the world still…. hidden in my writing room dreaming of possibilities.

img_3213-1The above illustration is quite helpful to me.  To plan the whole book at once… ah! makes so much sense!   This will take a whole lot of discipline on my part, as I often write everything without planning.  My learning to become more intentional in creative habits, will be a positive step in my growth as an artist.  (I said it! Am i?)

Although, I do need a sense of mindless space to generate ideas but then will utilize her method to organize my chaos.  🙂

If you have children in your life, I recommend this book highly.  She had an exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum of Art a while back and I was able to purchase it there.  I am sure it is available on Amazon if you are interested.

Happy writing, Jeanne

Six Word Story

Without readers, what are writers worth?

May i say, it seems only natural to thank all the lovely people in the blogosphere. This blog was started as a conversation with the vast unknown. The surprise is the connectivity that slowly occurred. And occurs.

I haven’t bothered to count the years. It’s been many. I allowed a small piece of me to emerge. People are much too complex to truly understand another. We cannot possibly hope to solve our problems, in ourselves or around us. What i found is we spread peace by listening.

I hear you read my words, as i read them back to myself. There exists a glimmer, a smile, a tear. On occasion, a cringe, or no interaction at all. I ask, where is the meaning here?

As i consider tomorrow, i cringe. If i am alive, i will continue to write. To write is to breathe for me. Each word alive until it lies on the paper. Once laid, resurrected or buried.

I admit, i am a lazy writer. Whatever pops into my head i lay down. Give it away. Extend permission to you, to do with it what you must.

For me, I acknowledge past words can (should) be crafted better. Or omitted all together. I believe i am growing as a writer. I am learning to ask myself “Did i solely write this to release emotion? Or is there a greater message?”

My writing challenge for 2018 is to be more cognizant of my thoughts. Do my words help or harm, me and you? Are my thoughts rubbish, even worth penning? I admit, the words i write strike fear in my heart. This is my journey. After all. Thank you for inviting me in.

i hope you continue to read my words, often raw and unedited. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Happy writing, J ✍️

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e, with no name, is one of my companions along for this ride. On his wings he holds a few American authors. Dickinson. Alcott. Wharton. Frost. Missing would be Plath and Henry James. And then there is Woolf.

Mellow out

poems, paintings, and fine wine
they all need time
stand back

wait!
don’t POP the cork
too soon and spoil the tuning fork

I admit, I am quite excited anyone reads my poems and other writings. The Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, has some advice for those who deem themselves poets, and beginning poets in particular. These same thoughts had run through my mind before, but hearing someone else echo similar ideas reassures. Here’s a small rundown:

  • Write, wait, rewrite. During the waiting process, don’t rush ahead. Let the poem become detached until it can fly on its own and then attempt to fine tune.
  • Start a new poem during the interim. Poems do not get jealous (my emphasis here). Or do they? Poems that demand too much attention may need to be put in solitary for bad behavior.
  • There is too much productivity. Now we all can relax. That should help us not to hurry and rush to publish. At least it will for me.

I hope my heart and mind takes this advice. I started to reread the works on my blog. I updated two entries already. I need to organize my categories. Remove tags used. I am embarrassed that I didn’t take my own advice earlier but welcome Mr. Kooser’s today.

Happy writing,

jeannelizabeth©

Holy Imagination, People!

“Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” – Margaret Atwood

From an early age, I remember thinking I could write. Curly q’s and flying w’s donned blank pages. I wondered why nobody could understand what I was trying to say. Perhaps, even now, that I can spell, people still scratch their heads and mumble to themselves.

This is an image I snapped, while walking the beach along Lake Michigan. What do you see? Can you hear anything? Memories?

Washed ashore

Listening Well

This post was started January 13, 2012 with no real intention of finishing. Until now. I searched for a verse to show me what the Lord is doing in my life at present and this sums it up perfectly…

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you’.” Psalm 32:8

Okay, so in a few weeks the Lord took me from this:

The words were bubbling up from the pit of her stomach and the depths of her mind.  Even the blood flowed with twists and turns the best writer could not have imagined. Yet her fingers resisted letting anything escape.  Like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and scores of others, she took the path of least resistance. She made a singular pact that nobody would ever read her written word.

She placed the pages into the shredder. To make it even more permanent, she placed the shredded scraps into the fireplace and watched the flames flare. Every thought was reduced to ash. The ash disappeared too as the wind carried her images to the four corners of the earth. Nothing remained.

I do not believe for one minute, that someone who destroys anything they have created, really wished that to be. When you are writing, do you take that paper and crumble it, shred it and other wise just shew it aside, to call it quits when you feel the utter madness of trying to communicate an idea? Do you really want to destroy all your thoughts? Not every word we think is worth repeating or uttering out loud,  but every thought can be caught captive and examined.   I admit I have never published anything. I have only a few readers of my blog, yet I keep plugging along. Why? Do I really have something to say that has not already been said? Am I just repeating what millions have thought, said and acted upon plenty of times.

I have books on my shelves to read such as Writing the Short Story by Bickham, Dynamic Characters by Kress, Creating Characters by Swain, Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight, on and on the list could go, but have they helped? I cannot say definately, but I do know that I still wrestle with the thoughts that rush through me, beating against my hands, demanding that I release them.  Am I a writer? Is it a mistake to think I can write? or should write? Should I just put a cabosh on this whole notion rumbling through my head?

To this:

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts.  Use them well to serve one another… Do it with all the strength and energy God supplies.  Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10, 11

So, I will continue pressing on. I absolutely feel inadequate, showcasing my thoughts in such a public way, but I will trust the Lord knows what He is doing. I love feedback and would relish every word spoken back to me in the comments. If there is something you were wondering, had a scripture verse you would like to see posted and discussed, would like to guest post, please let me know.

One final thought. I found a blog about listening and it can be found here http://www.listen.org/Blog. A quote from the founder of the International Listening Association had this to say about listening…”The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”— Ralph Nichols. So why write? So you can be heard! Taking it a step further, every writer should read and make themselves available to outside influences. Take notes, visible and invisible. Make pages full of them. Know that by being a student, by listening, reading and writing, the TRUTH will eventually be released. The Lord said if we do not speak, the stones will. So I hope I am not put to shame by having a rock say what I could be saying and need to be saying. Jeannelizabeth©