For the Love of Stressing

One would think that I have never travelled. I am leaving in a few days to visit friends in CO. I am a nervous wreck about the altitude, my migraines, and the cold. I am from NY but have been living in the south longer than I like to admit. So the thought of the cold is very intimidating. My friend said “It gets into the 40s at night. We sleep with the windows open.” OMG. That is sub-zero weather to me these days. I will shiver my way through my vacation.

Last year I was in Peru and Equador, and I suffered from migraines induced from altitude issues? I don’t know. I thought I would floar away from drinking so much water. My friend said, “Are you drinking a lot of water?” UGH. I am bad about it. I know the miracle of water, but I am bad at providing my body with that sustenance.

I am looking forward to being in the Rockies, hiking, etc. I expect to take magnificent photos. There is nothing to stress about, but I will stress anyway. I am such a garden type neurotic. If I didn’t stress what would I do? Have energy for more productive behaviors? How boring is that, really!

Cherishing the Moments I Work with Women

I facilitated an expressive writing class today.  There were to be ten people attending. Only a few women showed up. It didn’t matter. I love working with women as there is much in their experience that is difficult, if not impossible to get into when men are in the group.

I understand that men have their traumas and their pain, and indeed, we are all human and can share the pain. However, for women struggling to make sense of their pain, shame, and guilt, having a single sex group is helpful.

I enjoy engaging with women. The irony of that statement is grounded in my youthful dislike of women. I didn’t know then what I understand now. That is not to say that I have patience for those females who are superficial, mean-spirited, or airheads. Listen, I never said I wasn’t judgmental.

We learn from the stories other women share with us. Years ago, I wrote a non-fiction book on women and creativity. The stories that were offered to me during those interviews were precious. For the most part, after speaking for a short time, the raw stories of these women tumbled out. I was honored that they shared so openly with me.

I have taught many workshops, most of them to women and every time, the sharing has had a profound impact upon me and others. I cherish those women, their honesty, their courage and their willingness to share.


Thinking Myself Out of Writing

I think too much. I once had someone say to me, “It is too bad you have to hang out with yourself.” LOL. Really! I can worry and ruminate and whirl about something that should be left alone. I sit at my computer trying to organize my workshop for tomorrow. The challenge: each session will be complete. People will  regularly change. How do I impart anything about the writing process if each session is completely new.

I sit working on my novel,  long term project of mine, and I reach a point where I have to change the approach. I get tired and have to stop. Just as I can think too much, I can write too much narrative and not enough dialogue and action. I have been accused of being too much in my head.

Maybe that is why I get headaches. LOL. I am keenly aware of my habits, the feelings in my body, my thoughts. I have been working on mindfulness and positive thinking. Right now I feel as if I have to practice “Acting as if…” Do you know that expression?

There is always respite from myself when I exercise and when I pick up a book to read. Today, I will use both those tools AND I just got Netflicks so perhaps I will watch for the first time House of Cards to see what I have been missing….Oh, I didn’t talk about my art. Since Sept., I have been painting with watercolors. Some of my work is impressive, some of it is awful. However, that is another blog.

What I know: My workshop will happen, and I will learn some lessons. My novel will get written and published, and I will learn some lessons. I will address my behavior and learn some lessons. Hopefully, I will accept the joy in learning the lessons.


The days linger on….

I have no idea what that title may mean. I am sitting here at my computer planning the day’s work with thoughts tumbling about in my mind. So, I will write about a few things as the hot days of summer get going.  I love to travel, and I associate travel usually with summer time. After all these years, and it is many years to be accurate, I am still on the old school schedule. Summer vacation!

I just came back from visiting my daughter and that was great. In July, I plan to visit a friend in CO and in August I am scheduled to go to a wedding in Ireland. I would like to travel in the fall. I actually thought I was going to Paris in the fall, but that has been delayed replaced by the Ireland trip.

Switch subjects: I went to a fantastic Christian McBride concert Sat. night. This year’s South Florida Jazz Concert series was outstanding. Next year’s promises to be wonderful as well. One of Sat. night’s trio was a 24 year old piano player, my my. What an extraordinary talent he was and just a baby, as it were. So exciting to see that talent and hear him play.

Sunday was father’s day. My husband was visiting our daughter: my son is away in Nashville, and I went to visit my dad at his resting place.  He would have been 93 yesterday. I do miss him. He was a good guy,  funny guy, talented guy. My sense of humor and perspective had a lot to do with my dad. I am grateful for him in my life.

Today I was reading a Buddhist magazine. Yes, I am reminder of being mindful. I have many blessings in my life if I stay out of the negative stories I spin in my head and remember to disengage and observe.

Happy, mindfulness to everyone on this hot summer day.

A snob among us or everyone is just not equal

Here I sit. Focus is scattered. “Work on your book,” I tell myself. What stops me besides me?  Good question. I actually went to a writers’ group last week with a chapter from my book. I don’t think I will return to that particular group. Every critic began with “that was really well written.”  I didn’t share the group’ enthusiasm for the works presented nor did I believe the pieces were well written.

I can be such a snob, but I have been writing for quite some time. I know what I need from other experienced writers. I have always gone the process on my own. But then, I have never written a novel before. My books have always been written without input from others, an editor, yes, but nothing like a writing group. I related my experience to others who replied “sounds like you were in the wrong group.” I actually could write a short story about the people who participated as they were caricatures of familiar characters–the arrogant male, who has never published, the old man who was confused, the neurotic, depressed middle aged lady, etc. I walked away thinking I had better simplify the structure if this is my audience.

I have a tendency create complicated structures. Not difficult for a particular group of people, but the majority of readers are not within this group. Years ago, I was told my writings would never be selling in COSCO. I was insulted at the time, but with time I have learned to dumb my work down. Ohhh, the trials of brilliance. LOL. I actually am far more modest than I sound, but I do not have patience for this. I know what I want and need and will not settle for “that was very well written.” Actually, no!  The works ranged from boring, self conscious, neurotic without a point, to having no style, sense of dialogue, place, or movement.

So, there you have it. Now back to my novel.


Life seems regularly filled with transitions. There are work transitions, living transitions, relationship transitions, emotional transitions, physical transitions and sometimes a whole lot of transitions at one time.

I am in the midst of one of those whole lot transitions at one time. I know that I will cope and adjust but sometimes, or more than sometimes, I greet these transitions with a bit of chaotic behavior. I feel as if I have a million things to do but don’t know where to begin. Indeed, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I can do nothing. Other times, perhaps because I am forced to by outside circumstance, I plunge ahead and get things done. But despite the reality that I am dealing, I feel surrounded by chaos.

I have long noticed when I move into chaotic behavior the one of the actions I should take to calm down I don’t. Instead, I engage in mental gymnastics and sleep deprivation out of anxiety. Writing is one action that brings me satisfaction; I haven’t written in about 6 weeks. This starting and stopping is problematic for me because it doesn’t help my mental state. It really makes it worse.

I meet my transitions kicking and screaming–LOL. But yet I intellectually understand and believe that if I go with the flow, as it were, I would handle my life better. The irony is that I know what to do to stay calm and focused but do not do that which would be of great benefit to me. That is another transition that I need to implement ASAP.

via Transitions.

Meaning and Importance

Last night I joined my mom, my sister and my brother-in-law in sharing dinner. At the end of the meal, my sister was trying to show me a photo of someone we knew. She went to Facebook but actually couldn’t get to the photo. That is not important. She then showed me a photo of the meal one of our family members had cooked. “Every night,” my sister tells me, “she puts a picture of what she has cooked up on Facebook.” We all shook our heads. In truth, I do not care what she or anyone else ate for dinner last night. By the way, I had chicken and spaghetti. Sadly,I admit I fallen vegetarian– though I usually never eat meat.

Then, this AM I am riding in my car listening to the end of a discussion about the meaning of life, nothingness, emptiness, randomness, perfection, and the universe. What does the Higgs boson revelation mean and so on.  I find that type of discussion thought provoking, stimulating and indeed important for my mental and intellectual survival. I don’t get to hear that type of conversation too often.

Perhaps I am a snob. But, life seems to me to be filled with questions that are difficult to answer yet struggling with the answers or even the ability to understand the question is more important than sharing what I eat on a daily basis. OK. Eating is an imperative.

Maybe I am missing the truth behind my relative’s willingness to share her creations. Maybe importance of her sharing is tied to her creativity and the desire to contribute something creative on a daily basis. That of course, is probably not the rationale for her postings, but it certainly makes me feel better to know that the importance of her meal gives her actions meaning.

I guess I am in one of those moods….Here’s a comment that I am sure will infuriate some: Down in South Florida I often feel like I have lost my brain and the ability to think expansively. I am a New York snob. You can’t take the New York out of the girl. But, the need to be part of something bigger, to engage in something meaningful can also make me wonder about my work as a writer: how important is it?

Sigh…too much thinking for one day.

The World of Techno: Communications and More

I have been writing professionally for a long time. I had resisted writing for the web for longer than I should have but that changed several years ago. The world of writing for the web is different than the print publication. I do like the printed word on a page. I do enjoy holding a book in my hands and turning the pages. I have not yet experienced reading on the Nook but I suppose that the day is drawing near.

So I made the transition to web writing and it was well different. Since those first days several years ago, I have become quite proficient at the skill. But, I still desire a long tablet to work with, the ability to write complex sentences, and perhaps wax poetic. I was to an internet marketing event last week and the gentleman speaking was from a notable marketing firm. He spoke with glee about connecting all levels of  marketing etc., well that made sense, and glowingly about the near future where one’s every like and dislike will have been categorized and stored so that upon awakening in the morning an individual will be  bombarded with specific ads directed toward that individual. I think I must be getting old, because it didn’t excite me in the least. It felt like Big Brother was closer than I would like to think.

Following that experience I went to an Earth Day event where a gentleman was expounding upon the glories of a new form of city. Reinventing civilization he said. Large skyscrapers where one would live, work, shop, educate the children. I asked, “how do you get outside” , “oh”, he replied, “through one of twelve doors.

Not my idea of new world. I will stick with living in one place, walking to work, and frolicking in some open field.

Time Passes

I can’t recall the last time I came to post a blog. I know that is consider deadly for blogs, but then I haven’t really gotten it together so that anyone visits with any regularity. So, why write?

I have been busy writing about addiction, detox, withdrawal and on and on. It is a job that is good to me. I have just started re-reading a novel that I have gotten half way through writing. I have been unable to touch it in about a year and a half. Life has a way of interfering with plans.

Anyway, I have vowed to myself that I will complete this novel and sell it this year. Of course, I  have determined that it will be a big success.  Will she or won’t she continue to write about addiction….

It is as if I have been missing from this part of my life. I know actually that that statement is ridiculous, as I have very much been in every part of my life. It is more that at the end of the day, I lacked the energy and motivation to write. I guess I needed to push through that feeling. I think it is more accurate to state that I must continue to push through that feeling or nothing of my own will get written. That would make me very unhappy.

So, here’s to new beginnings, or continued efforts or whatever.

Anything Goes

The year quickly draws to an end. For me, the year has been divided into two phases: married and seperated. I have been married for over 36 years. Wow. That is unfathomable to me, but then so is the birthday that quickly approaches in a few weeks- one of those major, decade changing bdays. While it was inevitable that the day would arrive as long as I continued to breathe, I never really thought it would approach so rapidly. It doesn’t matter that it took decades to get here. I still never thought of myself being a woman of a certain age.  it is shocking to have arrived here.

Anything goes when we open ourselves to change. My years of marriage were a struggle  and as the number reveals, I held on for a long time. My marriage was fraught with tension, meaness, love, frustration and many more emotions that don’t need to be mentioned. It would be unimaginable to think of being with one person for that length of time and not to have experienced a lifetime of feelings, not the least of which was learning how deeply one can love one’s children.

Anything goes when confronting other people’s emotional reactions. All those well thought out analyses of any situation do not prepare us for someone else’s emotional reality. Oh. Did I mention that anything goes when dealing with a 17 year old daughter or the necessary but sadly experienced emotion seperation of a dearly loved son.

The  year quickly draws to an end and I have taken a full time writing job, given up writing a business column, moved into my own home, left my dogs behind, discovered a side of my children I never knew existed, yet I feel strong and content with my decision and actions. There are new writing plans for the new year, and I hope to live up to my plans.

What the new year holds for me remains unknown. No doubt I will have set backs, progress forward, successes and maybe disappointments. As long as I stay intouch with myself and accept that anything goes, I will probably move through this new year with grace and some serenity.

Wishing 2010 adieu while welcoming the possibilities in 2011.

Happy new year.