Sunday, July 31, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

From a short story, a sweet romantic adventure called THE OFFSHORE PIRATE, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (written in 1920):

And courage to me meant ploughing through that dull gray mist that comes down on life--not only overriding people and circumstances but overriding the bleakness of living. A sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth of transient things.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Writing on Thursday

Three Lives
(a repost: originally appeared in November of 2009)

It occurred to me with certain clarity this week that I live three lives. Three. All from this one body.

They're separate, but pieces of them overlap. Each is carried out by real parts of me.

Life in the Flesh

I am living, breathing, my body holds a spirit. I primp and present my physical self, nourish my person without regularly exercising it, drive an automatic SUV, read aloud, sing aloud, stir breakfast--and sometimes dinner--with my favorite wooden spatula, lose myself to folding laundry, loathe putting it away. I wince when the phone rings, but love to give hugs. My mind wanders while I'm in church, and I mutter ridiculous things to the family dog. I find solace and happiness and frustation and doubt in the act of writing, can't get enough kisses from my daughters, am never sated. This is real life. The one I've lived for thirty-[two] years, with emotion and experience and depth. Real time. Tangible existence.

Virtual Life

I am a presence. With pictures, sometimes, but most often with words. My thoughts and essence are on display, whether through blog posts or online statuses. I give of myself through a filter, the filter of this internet that is not my physical location, just designed representation. It's me, too, but with time delay. With edits. Smooth, composed. Confident. I banter, I share, I feel, I learn and love. Virtually.

Life through Fiction

I am what my mind creates. My characters are extensions of me, their stories fill me. New experiences, lived vicariously. Papered emotions, felt as if real and raw. People as real to me as the Postmaster, my daughters' teachers, the person driving behind me, my best friend's mother, because they are real, in some other place, even if only by manuscript or in Word document. Entirely made up, but true, honest at the same time. I exist so that they can exist. And because they exist.

These three Jannas, they feel individual, so different, so distinct. But I reconcile one with the others. Aren't I all of them? My three lives. Defining one existence.

What about yours?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday


It means everything falls to me now.

If the sink has the dastardly nerve to leak, I figure out if it's something easily fixable, or whether a professional (ie. apartment maintenance) needs to be notified.

It's my job to keep up on my car's fluids. And not to forget to check tire pressure. Wash the whole thing, too.

Money? It's what I earn, and only what I earn.

There is no one else to make business-type phone calls. (And I hate making business-type phone calls.)

The hanging of pictures and wall things falls to me, even though I'm not good with measuring and centering and leveling. (I am quite good with a hammer and various tools, though, I'll give me that.)

When I end up with 1-ply toilet paper (dangitall), I have no one to blame but myself.

And lots of little things I'm learning about living on my own.

But. But.

Independence means I'm learning how to take charge.

Make decisions.

Grow up.

I'm learning it's okay to go with my first instinct, no second-guessing, because it is whatever I want, and right now a lot is all about me.

I can listen to the radio, and, when my kids are with their dad, sing the unedited versions of the songs, if I want.

I can have chocolate ice cream for breakfast. Or a toasted turkey sandwich. And make whatever it is that sounds good to not-picky-me for dinner. It's totally my call.

I can stay up until 1 AM, first watching a movie (KILLERS with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl is adorable), and then reading a book that makes me cry like an eediot.

I can rebel and not brush my teeth, because I'm a free-thinking grown-up. (Even if I decide to do it anyway, because I do like having a clean and pretty mouth.)

I can come and go as I please. Lollygag. Walk around naked. Leave dirty dishes in the sink. Because there is no one to answer to but me.

Independence means lots of little things I'm learning about living on my own.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

LIVE your dream
CREATE your own happiness
follow your HEART
ENJOY the little things
LAUGH out loud
be your BEST self
CHERISH every moment
EMBRACE every possibility
DISCOVER your passion
BELIEVE in miracles
CREATE peace
make a WISH
REMEMBER to breathe
SING in the rain
fall in LOVE
TODAY is the day

anonymous, from a wall hanging I got last week. it hangs prominently in my dining room

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Writing on Thursday

A Book Review
Everyone has a secret, but can they keep it?
Oh, no they can't...``````````Maroon 5, Secret
photo from 
Thus is the crux behind Tucker's latest novel, her sixth.
David and Kyra Winter are happily married. Life and work and parenthood are all they've ever hoped for. In their son, Michael, they have everything they need.
But then Michael disappears from their backyard, and they are forced to recall their pasts, from before they knew each other. Somehow, this tragic circumstance will be traced to that secret of David's. Or maybe that secret of Kyra's.
THE WINTERS IN BLOOM, through comfortable and beautiful writing, asks these questions: How protective can a parent be? How much do our personal histories play into the way we relate? And does the past ever stay in the past?
So who is responsible for Michael's kidnapping? And on whom does the blame fall?
Read THE WINTERS IN BLOOM to find out...
You can learn more about Lisa Tucker, this and her other books, by visiting her website.
Thanks to Goldberg McDuffie Communications for my ARC of the book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Writing on Thursday

The Way It Happens to Be

It's moving, the way life echoes art. And the way art echoes life.

As I was in the shower this morning, thinking about the stuttered place my current novel-in-progress is at, it occured to me how similar my life, right now, is to the one my protagonist is living.

Doesn't mean I'm writing about me. Doesn't mean I'm trying to live like her. It's just there are parallels. Commonalities. Ways in which I relate to her very deeply.

I'm sure my sub-conscious has played a large role in this. Credit must, I'm sure, be given to all those quiet inspirations and implied emotions. It's because she, and her story, are borne of me, and the things I experience, the world in which I live.

If I'm lucky, this realization will help me ease back to it, and enhance the writing. If I'm lucky, it will be cathartic for my soul.

I think it's just the way the world of creativity works.

What do you think?


If you missed my announcement on Tuesday, click over to see the news... It's easier than having to repeat myself.

And next Thursday I'll be posting a book review for Lisa Tucker's newest novel, THE WINTERS IN BLOOM. Be sure to come back!

Also, thanks again, so much, for all your support. I really do know the best and most loving people.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

And Now We Transition

"Our mom and dad are getting a divorce," said my five-year-old daughter. She conveyed no emotion in that moment, it was a simple fact to her mind, one she had grown accustomed to, and she was stating it for whomever would listen.

It is a fact.

And there is emotion, for all four of us, and others.

But this is what's happening, friends. It's the big change I've hinted at.

This particular post is not right for the personal details, just the announcement that my husband and I are splitting up.

I've already moved out. I am starting new. I am at peace. I will tell you what I've been telling some of my closest family and friends, which is that I have been prayerful and mindful, and this is the path that has been laid for me.

It's the reason (really, a culmination with others) for my refocus. It's the reason I haven't been able to read and write in weeks. It's why I've withdrawn, been lacking when it comes to visiting you and reading your work and chatting through our social networking connections.

But I am in a good place now, as I transition. As we all transition.

I'd like to ask for your quiet respect and continued support.

Thanks to each of you for the place you fill in my life.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

All you have to do is desire it, and if you desire it enough and understand why--really know--it will come...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Writing on Thursday

All My Secrets

I need another story.
Something to get off my chest.
My life gets kind of boring.
Need something that I can confess.
'Til all my sleeves I've stained red*
From all the truth that I've said
Come by it honestly, I swear...

...I'm gonna give all my secrets away.

These lyrics from OneRepublic's song All My Secrets inspire my writing. Because when it comes to writing the stuff of my own life, or when it comes to writing fiction about another's, I want to lay it all out. Hold back nothing. Share the truth in life, what makes us redeemable, fallible, relatable, and what rawly defines our  human condition.

Did you ever feel the freedom of showing your vulnerability?

That's the root behind this new feature system here at Something She Wrote. Keep It Real Tuesday, Writing on Thursday, and Inspire Me Sunday are because of this, because I want to open up. It's what you respond to most, after all. And, it's me being me.

I appreciate your patience as I aim this new direction. And as I build to this announcement I've sort of planted but merely circled around thus far. My life is changing, and I want more than anything to be honest about it... Soon you'll read it directly, and soon I'll share so many more bits with you.

Maybe not all my secrets, but you'll get secrets nonetheless.

*I interpret this line as a reference to the understanding, known to many, that to write you need only open a vein and bleed on the page. And I love it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Keep It Real Tuesday

That Thing Inside a Chest

A heart can break so easily.

At least, I know it's true for me. For my heart.

Harsh words, or the absence of kind ones. Disrespect. Not being understood, or appreciated. Seeing others hurt. Losing a connection, or losing a loved one's life.

I feel things with such intensity. It can really be a pain in the --- sometimes, this emotional heft. Sometimes it pulls me so low. It keeps me thinking too long and too deep, and it can seem an impossible thing to pull up and out.

But. But.

There is always a bright side, a good side, a better one. I have learned this lesson.

Because there is positive emotion to grasp hold of, even if it's just beyond immediate reach. Hope and peace. Love, if not just the promise of love.

There is good intention, and an Ultimate Plan.

There are kind words, and there is respect. There are people who understand. There are memories, and new decisions, and there's strength and purpose.

I have learned this lesson.

My heart always comes back around.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Inspire Me Sunday

Truth and a Right Choice
"There comes a time in the spiritual journey when you start making choices from a very different place. And if a choice lines up so that it supports truth, health, happiness, wisdom and love, it’s the right choice."
 - Angeles Arrien, anthropologist
This quote, so well said, could have been whispered from my own heart.
Can you relate to its sentiment?