Hi friends! We’re taking a minor add-on here to the blog today to participate in the Virtual Blog Tour. I was invited by my artist friend Lillian Connelly over at her It’s a Dome Life (not “it’s a do me life”) blog. Lillian is a dabbler in all sorts of media and she’s also a great friend.
Lilly put it right when she described this tour as akin to being on a train. As you walk through each train car, a new and exciting adventure awaits!
Enough babbling. You didn’t come here to listen to my babbling. You came here to read my babbling.
Let’s do this…
1. What am I working on?
That’s a loaded question. Writing. That’s my quick answer.
Constantly, I’m working on my self-awareness (which is totally different from self-absorption).
I am a yoga student of 16 years and a yoga teacher of four months. I earned my RYT-200 certification at the end of last winter.
Writing-wise, I’m in the midst of a self-imposed 30-day challenge devoted to A Year of Living Your Yoga by a yoga teacher and trainer, Judith Hansen-Lasater, PhD. Lasater has a unique way of blending life with yoga in very simplistic terms. The posts are about 600 words each.
I’ve done other 30-day challenges: one on Brené Brown and another on Carl Jung. I started one on “wisdom” last fall, but I was still too close to the untimely death of my mother, with whom I had a complicated relationship.
I also have determined that I’m an essayist and writer, not a “blogger.” I don’t know why the term “blogger” bugs me so much, but it does. I feel an implicit requirement that blogger means I must DO SOMETHING or know something, like a gadget, more than my reader might.
I just write.
I think I am a “blogger” because I write my stuff online, and that implies blogging, but I have nothing to sell here. Maybe soon, a link to my book, once I get off my arse.
I’ve been at this for almost four years and it’s true what they say, the first post is the hardest.
I also have a memoir in the works and I’ve written an unpublished book, a fictionalized memoir. I also have had a great time with fiction and sporadic poetry. I’ve never published a book because as hard as I work to be self-aware and cut myself some slack, I’m terrified of the book sucking. But I really need to get out of my own way.
I love to cook, take photos and doodle too.
Check out my link above, My Writing, if you’re incredibly bored. . .
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a tough question to answer without my sounding like a jerk, so pay attention because I tend to use a lot of conditional tense in what I write to give those of us who need it a chance to take a breath and experience what’s happening:
The only way I can say how what I might do might differ from what others might do in this blogging world is that I really try not to stand on the shoulders of others, especially children, or ridicule my husband, to get my points across. All the bloggers I like are good about this.
Screw it: I am me. They are them. The world is big. It’s that simple. I just deleted four paragraphs devoted to this comparing nonsense that I just spared you from… If I spend one more moment comparing myself to someone else my head will come off and you’ll have to clean up the mess.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
three two people read it!
I also have a very strong Mercury line in each of my hands. Mercury is the messenger and while at times I feel as though I just can’t help it, that I must write, I will absolutely say this: THERE IS A LOT I WILL NEVER SHARE.
A girl’s gotta have her secrets…
Also because it helps me process what’s going on in my head. I’ve experienced very dry, confidence-less periods in my writing life when I’ve not been sure if I would keep this up.
Just when I felt as though I’d done enough damage to the internet, with my writing, someone chimes in with a comment or compliment that makes me stay at it. In fact someone the other day wrote to me that she’d Google’d the term “chaos addiction” and she found my post about my own disclosure and it was so dead-on that she recognized herself and could begin seeking therapy. She’s doing well now.
I’ve made some impressive disclosures on my blog, and that’s also because I’ve been bolstered by the disclosures of my fellow writers. We have all agreed that when we share ourselves, we enable others to share themselves. It’s not arrogant to suggest it, because I’m proof of the evolution.
I have developed a keen sense of bullshit. I’m eclipsing my 46th year and continue to be amazed by persons who are willfully mindless. As far as I’m concerned, mindlessness is the complete opposite of mindfulness, which I feel is my charge.
Allow me the distinction: it’s not my job to fix anyone or make them more mindful, it’s my job to mind my own stuff, reflect on any similar habits I might have, stay present, and let them be. If it resonates with you, YAY!
I must be fair: it took me a long time to seek therapy. I had a hunch I needed it, but I never made the jump until after my third son was born.
I also believe that there’s a writerly band of brothers and sisters and that we need to support one another; it’s not so much that we must unfailingly comment and read one another, it’s that we should do our best to be kindly aware and advocate for one another. It’s a big internet. In my estimation, it’s hard to make enemies in this arena; but I’ve also been blessed.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
If I’m in a dry spell, I make myself do a 30-day challenge. Wanna hear something funny? About five days into the challenge, I wish I’d never started it. I’m a mess.
Sometimes I have a funny dream and it inspires. Or I have an observation about life or a little story to share about parenting. I believe strongly that children need to be protected; that largely stems from my own loosey-goosey and unpredictable childhood and parents. I’ve detailed my life on Twitter as
@ — hails from Eugene O’Neill plays & Augusten Burroughs novel. RYT-200. writer of blog & unpublished books. advocate of the Self. memoir in works.
Regarding actual process: I will write something and hope it makes sense. If I can’t stay on target, then I scrap it. There are plenty I’ve abandoned in my drafts folder. I can’t even remember a majority of what I’ve written… I should go through them and pick the 10 worst ever. I’m sure people would love to see those…
Me: Hey, readers, let’s go down memory lane and read some of my worst stuff ever…
I try to
not complain grow from each experience. Sometimes, as in the unprecedented bullying incident my family endured this past spring, I will let it rip. I never mention actual names because minors are involved, but the pen is mightier than the sword. I shared that story to retrace it and cleanse myself. I lost a friend and two families were shredded apart. But it helped me understand my own shortcomings in enforcing my boundaries.
Anne Lammott says it best,
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
Everytime I read that quote of hers, I feel ten feet tall. And blonde. And leggy. And tan. And really really smart. And fast. And politically connected.
What I need to do better is spend more time on my memoir. Less writing on the blog, more memoir.
This is the end of my blog tour. I hope you enjoyed it! Next stops…. two fantastic friends:
Mary Swan-Bell, a soul-seeking, God-loving cheerleader sage. Her blog is “Adventures in Overthinking” is where she shares her journey of faith, life, relationships, failures and triumphs. Her posts always make me nod, think and smile. Get to know her, she’s awesome. Her most recent post, where she waxes about a common dilemma, why she lets things get to her, was one of my favorites.
Peggie Arvidson is my flesh-and-blood friend. I met her years ago at a Hallowe’en event — it was one of those one-of-a-kind events that even she wasn’t sure she was going to “work,” but she decided to and I decided to attend. She and I clicked like a really noisy peanut butter and jelly sandwich (that was a shitty metaphor). She’s a woo-woo -free, non-predictive palmist who also works with clients to help them find their life purpose (money, love, job, passions) through the messages in their hands. She’s the one who told me about my Mercury lines. She’s the one who’s been telling me to get out of my own way. She’s amazingly talented and beautifully compassionate.