Tag Archives: questions

Priorities

I haven’t written anything for several weeks, I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas. I’ve been learning a new craft and working on new items to list in my Etsy shop. I’ve been doing all kinds of things that I thought were so important. I’ve been busy.

Last Friday I stopped being busy. I spent most of the day watching in horror as the news unfolded about the shooting in Newtown, Conn.

There are not enough words to express the heart break, the horror, the anger I felt, as so many felt, as we learned that most of those who died were children, innocent, beautiful, wonderful little children. The others were their brave heroic teachers who gave their lives trying to protect the children. I can’t imagine the terror, horror they felt as they faced a gunman intent on killing children.

Last Friday, once again our world changed, not for the better, but it did change. All that is left are the questions, why? why would anyone want to hurt little children? Unfortunately too many children are hurt every day, not usually in numbers like Friday but they are being hurt. Child abuse is a fact, not a fact we should ever get used to or allow to exist, but it does exist.

How? How does this keep happening? How many shootings do we have to continue to live through before they are stopped? I can remember far too many of them, Columbine 1999; Virginia Tech 2007; Omaha shopping center 2007; Illinois Univ. DeKalb 2008; a nursing home North Carolina 2009; a civic center in Binghamton NY 2009; Texas Southern University Houston 2009; Fort Hood Texas 2009; Tucson Arizona 2011; Aurora Colorado theater 2012; Accent Signage systems Minneapolis Mn 2012; Oak Creek Wisconsin Shkh Temple 2012; Portland Or. mall 2012 and Newtown Conn. school.

This isn’t a complete list…. there are many, many more if you look them up. One site listed over 65 shootings in the United States in the last 30 years.

When? When are we going to stop killing each other? This is supposed to be a time of good cheer and good tidings towards each other, what went wrong? Where have we all gone wrong? It has to stop…. I wish I had some great plan to stop this but like everyone else I am at a total loss. I wish someone, anywhere had a way to stop all this madness, I was about to say before it gets out of hand, but it is already so far out of hand and it is frightening.

I can’t even begin to imagine what parents are feeling right now as they sent their children off to school this morning. It would have to be the most terrifying moment, even half a country away, the fear is here.

School should be a safe carefree place for children but in one day that was taken away from us, as was going to a movie, or shopping. We need to feel safe again but it is so hard in a world gone crazy enough for a gunman to shoot innocent children.

Despite all the madness around us Christmas will come, perhaps this is a good time to rethink our priorities and decide whether or not we want to continue living in a time and place where children are killed in their classrooms eleven days before Christmas.

Maybe if we all wished for Peace and Good Will, no matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or any other holiday it might just come true.

Tonight hug your children a little longer, hug your family members a little tighter, remember that the holidays are truly about love and kindness not presents and hectic activities.

Have a great holiday

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Why do we read?

As a writer I ponder that question often. Why do we read? I read because books are my life, the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be was a writer. I read to learn. Unfortunately that all too often is a two edged knife, I read books to learn how to write and then spend far too much time worrying that I’ll never be able to write as well as other writers.

I can’t write like anyone else because I haven’t lived their lives as they haven’t lived mine. I have to write my own stories but that doesn’t stop me from worrying. Which brings me back to why do we read?

I read because I love books. Unlike many readers I seldom remember what I’ve read. I can give you a brief summary of the book years after I’ve read it but I couldn’t tell you the name of the book or the author minutes after I’ve finished reading it. I don’t know if that is because of all the unwritten books I still have living in my brain or if it’s just me. I keep a journal of the books I’ve read, as soon as I finish reading a book I write down the title and author so if I pick it up years later and it sounds familiar I can go back and check.

Yet, I can start a book, lay it down and pick it up years later and start reading right where I left off without any problems. I’ve been trying to read “War and Peace” for the last 20 or more years. Even loaded it onto my kindle and started reading where my book mark is in the book on my shelf.  I know it’s weird but it’s the way I am.

Why do we read? I read mainly for pleasure. I love just about all genre’s of books and seldom read two of the same kind in a row. I like to switch up my reading. I also find that I seldom like books that are on the best seller lists. I don’t know why but I usually can’t get past the first chapter in a book that is highly publicized. It isn’t that they aren’t good books, I’m sure millions of people aren’t wrong. I’ve just never gotten into that peer pressure thing.

Years and years ago when I was a teenager my Mom would take me shopping for clothes, she would try to get me to wear whatever by saying, “Don’t you want these, all your friends are wearing these.” At which point I would usually say, “That”s why I don’t wear them. I don’t want to be like everyone else.”

I might be extremely shy and a loner but I am definitely  myself, I don’t want to dress like everyone else or read what everyone else is reading. I like being somewhat unique. The one really great thing about kindles is that you can find a lot of new authors or authors who would not be published the old way. Many of them are really good books, some even great. I still have over 5000 books, all hardbacks. I’m a book snob. I only read paperbacks when I can’t find a title in hardback. Most of my books are old, from the 50’s and beyond.  I love the feel, smell and content of older books.  My old books are my relaxation, security, and sometimes my escape world. All I need to be totally, completely happy is a good book, my dog and a warm blanket and I am set for life.

Why do you read?

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Most difficult part of writing

I wanted to start a blog as a way to sort of show case my stories. It was a good idea, still is, but I never realized that it would also start me thinking about the actual writing.

I am a procrastinator, I can always find a hundred reasons to do something else even though I love writing. I need to write more than I need to breath or eat. Well, maybe not more but I love writing more than I love eating so that makes it much more important, at least to me. It doesn’t explain why I have such a difficult time sitting down to actually write every day.

It’s not the ideas that are the problem, I have way too many ideas and characters running around inside my head. My biggest problem is that I don’t trust myself, or maybe I just don’t have enough confidence in myself. I write and write and then I read it and all I can think is . . .  it’s not good enough. It’s not as good….. and then every book I have ever read comes back to haunt me.

I have always read. I read everything and anything. Some great, some okay and some not so good, but I still read them. Then I compare myself to them, which is really silly because  everyone has their own stories to tell and no one can tell the ones that live in my brain. That doesn’t stop me from comparing my writing to them. It doesn’t stop me from wondering why my stories aren’t as good as most of the ones I’ve read.

Why? Why do I do this to myself, why do I listen to my lack of self confidence? Why do I sell myself short? I know I can write, at least a part of my brain knows I can write. I’ve been writing most of my life and that ‘s a lot of years. I’ve had poetry published in anthologies. I’ve won poetry contests, well maybe not won, but I’ve gotten honorable mentions, fourth prize and such, so I know I can write poetry. No big deal. I’ve always used the poetry to get through the tough times in my life. Things I can’t talk about I can write about and get through them.

Family and friends that have read my children’s stories say they are good. Most of them like what I write. I write Christmas stories for my family almost every year, writing comes easily when I don’t think about it. So why do I think about it? I really don’t know.

I fill notebooks with writing. I work for weeks, months, sometimes years on a story and then just as I’m about to finish it I start something else. I never go back and finish the stories.

So that brings me full circle back to why I started this blog for my children’s stories. Maybe…. just maybe now that I have an incentive to put them out here and maybe, just maybe someone will actually read them I can find the words and inspiration to actually finish all the stories sitting on my shelf.

Several of them are only a chapter or two away from being finished. Maybe now I can actually finish them, unless I talk myself out of doing it again. I need to finish them, it’s the only way I’ll ever get all those characters out of my head and onto the paper where they belong.

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