February 24, 2016
Recently I read an article where an Ohio boy was suspended from school for staring at a girl. They both consented to it, because the girl giggled, the boy said. Who put that idea in her head that she was intimidated, I wonder? It had to have been her parents, who hated the fact that she had a staring contest, thinking something other than friendship might come out of that staring contest. Were the girl’s parents worried about romance between the boy and girl? It was just an eyeballing contest between the two kids. No harm, no foul.
Ugh, parents need to let kids be kids.
When I was in elementary school in Indiana, the kids were mean to me because I was hard of hearing. I remember the name calling and the middle finger pointing at me from several of the class members (girls and boys alike) while the teacher was out of the room. It was an everyday thing that occurred to me while attending that school. I never told my parents. I guess it was the way I was raised; I dealt with it. If I had been asked to have a staring contest by a black boy, let alone any boy, I’d have been thrilled to say the least.
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January 16, 2016
It’s been five years and one month since my Dad passed away on Christmas Day. Thirty-three years ago, my mom passed away in the same month she was born. Being a numbers addict, I found it fascinating how the numbers matched their birthdays when both passed away.
My Dad would have been 101 years old this January. He was one of the young ones who never let a day go by without doing some kind of moving about; he never sat still. He stayed in good health throughout his life.
I never thought of him as old. He was a snappy dresser, shoes were always polished, never a stray hair out of place. Even his work clothes were tidy. Read more …
November 10, 2015
Libraries have impacted my world in ways I never expected.
My parents didn’t go to the library in the city, nor were they oral storytellers or readers in a big way; I never saw a library before until we moved to a small mountain town. I had no idea about reading for pleasure, though secretly I enjoyed reading my textbooks. My dad only bought newspapers, and the magazines he liked were about hunting dogs and the like. I’d even read the flower and seeds catalog that came in the mail. Not to mention the Sears and Roebuck’s description of clothes that always littered the outhouse, which I read when visiting my grandparents’ house. Read more…
October 17, 2015
When I first started writing weekly letters, I found myself turning a new corner in my life. I didn’t have a clue to what oneyearofletters.com would mean to my life on its anniversary. When writing about myself, I wasn’t comfortable revealing things, but I managed to touch upon a few things.
Upon reflection, I feel as though I’ve grown stronger having written these letters, as I’ve discovered a bit about myself through introspection. What a year to finally let go of what agitated me, and to know that what I had set my heart on doing will come to pass sooner than I think. Read more …
July 28, 2015
You recently moved to a different house. The little creek two feet from your porch thrilled you because you remember how your mom loved sitting by a creek way back when. Then the rains came and flooded the whole yard, and if one more foot of water had risen above your Jeep’s tires, it would have swept it along, but it didn’t. The water receded, leaving a soggy mess of sticks and plastic bottles.
Words, scenes, and conversations enter your mind since the rains came and flooded the culvert. It looks like a proper creek now, the rocks have shifted and they are arranged just so, and how you’ve missed that, watching clear water run down; it’s so relaxing to feel the breeze flowing every now and then toward you in this week’s heat wave. You had moved the Jeep that day, and it makes you wonder: if only it were that easy to move troublesome things in our lives. Read more …
May 23, 2014
Sitting on the porch swing in the morning sun, you caught sight of the flag of USA flying in the wind just down the road from where you live. Since this is the weekend of Memorial Day, you are glad to see it whipping in the air. You won’t be able to attend any festivities this weekend, but seeing the flag swelled your heart. At the same time you remembered your Uncle who died in WWII and a flag they sent home to Grandma, and it broke her. You’d never met him, but had heard great things about him. Read more …
May 16th, 2015
Speaking with an elderly friend has given you pause for thought. As you listened to her the other day, you wondered if you would sit around when you reach your 90’s and talk about your memories, rehash old stories, hoping to leave that part of you with your children when you’re gone. As you listened, you realized that memories are a tricky thing. What once was positive, can be remembered with negativity and that’s the story you tell your kids. In contrast, some of the things that happened were bad, and in trying to minimize the pain of that memory, you tell the story and make it positive. Read more…
April 18, 2015
You believe in marriage, preferably one that lasts a lifetime. Your mom and dad were together for forty-five years until she died. You’ve always dreamed of having a marriage like that and having five children.
It didn’t happen that way.
Your story is different. You have three children whom you love with all your heart. However, your marriages didn’t work. Read more…
April 18, 2015
Change is hard. You are struggling with the knowledge that your family is selling the land, the land that has been part of your family’s history going back to your Grandpa’s time. When did land become a burden to the aunts and uncles who hold the titles to that land? You know they made their homes elsewhere, but they forget what they left behind. You fume at the thought of what you heard time and again how Grandpa and his six boys worked and paid for the land, but now what’s left for the grandchildren like you? Nothing. It’s an end of an era for you. Read more…
The Seven Year Laugh
April 4, 2015
You came across a writer prompt this week: ‘‘Write about a character, who can’t laugh,’ and you thought of the poem you had written when your son, who as a little boy, said that you didn’t laugh but once every seven years.
That’s not you anymore.
You’ve found joy returning to life again. Whether you lift the corners of your mouth at something you’ve read, or at seeing your granddaughter’s eyes light up when she sees you; your heart overflows, and your mind launches new ideas for your writing again.
Looking out the window, you see the ray of a Read more…
March 28, 2015
Last week you pushed that one button and relief filled your soul.
Peace came over you; the clarity you haven’t felt in a long time melted your tension. You didn’t even miss the omitted news or gossip on your Facebook news feed at all. Your hands are not shaking anymore, and your mind isn’t going in different directions at a mile a minute. Read more …
March 21, 2015
A lot of writing groups are great tools for helping writers improve their work and further their learning about the craft. It’s exciting when one finds that kind of group.
You found a writing group like this and spent almost two years (it will be in August ‘13) staying up all night writing so much, and you enjoyed that. It used to be fun and exciting. The group was full of witty things to learn, quips, lessons that stretched your writing muscles, and all around genuine help from fellow writers, teachers, and editors. After awhile, you noticed you started to feel drained. Day by day your will to write diminished, and you couldn’t find the excitement you once had. When the tides turned negative, it tarnished your energy and creativity. As time went on, you saw quite a bit of favoritism and a lot of negativity. Writing groups are supposed to teach and validate a writer’s efforts, but not all groups do that. Some groups can make you feel ignored, or worse, diminished. Read more…
March 7, 2015
When I write, I have this quirk where I add the total word count to single digits, whether it’s a short story or vignettes. My favorite numbers have to add up one of several numbers: three, four, five, twelve, eighteen, or rounded out to an even number. Writing longer pieces, the numbers would go up and then I’ll find myself adding just one more word or deleting a word to keep it to a number I like.
I wonder what other people do when they write, what oddity you display when you’re writing your draft. Read more…
February 21, 2014
As a child you wrote a letter to someone about how you felt, but you weren’t expecting your sibling to find it and make fun of the contents. For years, you separated yourself from your sibling’s harsh words and laughter that day ‘till years later, at twenty years old, you wrote again. You wrote about that one boy whom you liked at the age of five, and the things that he had said before he left, and that he later died when you turned fifteen years old. Somehow, you wanted to explore what came out from your mind and you liked the little story. It made you realize that words were powerful. You like to think that boy would have liked your tribute to him. Read more…
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February 7, 2015
You are such a strong person, yet a loner at the same time. It doesn’t bother you when your life moves on without you being present. I’m talking about how social interactions affect you in public places. There are times when you notice or rather feel as though someone is watching you. Hence, your experience from two weeks ago that made you realize body language is great for studying people and you should use that when you write something. Instinctively, you’ve always known that, but putting that into writing takes on a whole new meaning. Seeing and knowing people are two different things. It makes you painfully aware of what not to do and what to do in public. Read more …
To read more of our letters, click on The Path!
January 15, 2015
You have been shutting yourself off from the world lately. You had slacked off writing due to situations surrounding you, and your perceptions have changed somewhat. Life goes on.
Remind yourself that you’re a writer and that life is showing you what to write about; jotting down ideas makes you excited to jump back into writing again. Yes, forgetting is easy, but that’s not who you are: a writer who quits. Believe in yourself, and never forget you are a writer. Read more ….
January 11th, 2015
As the month of December 2014 came to a close; two family members were rushed to the hospital. They survived, but the news they received about their medical condition left them and the family devastated.
Three days into the New Year, tragedy struck again when a member of your family died unexpectedly, leaving you feeling pain and sorrow. Read more ….
December 18, 2014
Whether we are red, yellow, white, brown, or black; we are the same. It will always be that way. It’s the way God made it at the Tower of Babel. God divided people into different colors and races. Mary, you know that. You’ve encountered that everywhere you’ve lived in your life. Different races, different colors, different languages, God made us all different, yet we are all His people, we are all individuals, yet, we are all human.
There are cruel people in this world, but cruelty isn’t dependent on color. Read more …
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December 11, 2014
Whether you’re married, single, struggling, or cohabitating, motherhood is a difficult task filled with trials and celebrations. Motherhood isn’t for everyone, but to her children a mother is something special. I am a mother first and foremost, and right now it is the only thing I am. I love being a mother. I love you, my children, and I’m thankful you were given to me by the Grace of God.
The years have flown by and you are all off living your own lives. I’m left with the residue of motherhood. Read more …
November 27, 2014
Thanksgiving Day came about as a holiday and a time to be thankful for many things in our own lives. This day is also a day of Mourning for the Native American tribes.
Set aside all the reasons you can’t feast on a Thanksgiving meal every day and focus on the reasons you can and should. Why? The reconciliations of the modern day Americans and the Native American tribes are important. Read more …
November 20, 2014
You pushed through obstacles all your life. Don’t stop now. The end goal you set for writing your novel is nearer than you thought possible.
Feeling invisible in your own house had made you wonder if you had stopped pushing through the hurdles this week. One of the reasons may be that you’ve not been on the social media as much lately.
You’ve begun to feel like an outsider to yourself and other people.
But you’re not and you know that. Read more …
November 13, 2014
You’re being mindful of the things that matter the most to you.
Having already written more this year than ever before, you’ve surprised yourself. You have written almost a quarter of the words that will end up in the book you’ve worked on in the last few weeks; it staggers your mind. That’s the goal you’ve worked toward for years and that’s a reason to pat yourself on the back. That’s not being boastful, but being proud of yourself. You never thought that big before and at this moment you know you can do it.
It’s seemed an insurmountable task to do, but yet you’re doing it. Read more …
November 6, 2014
You don’t know what you’re doing. Did you ever? How DID you make it this far in life? You skipped happily along all year thinking, “Yes, I got this!”, but this week you crashed. This is not your week, Mary. Your home life is in shambles. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you’re restless to see it. You just need patience.
It’s only the 6th day of November and this month had started out wrong and you’re trying to get back on track. When things aren’t good at home, you can’t think or write. Don’t worry, it’ll work out, it always does, in one way or another.
You kinda do things backwards. By the time you realized what’s wrong, you’re scrambling to understand and fix what is going on. Read more …
October 30, 2014
Having taken such a load off your heart last week; you felt the excitement of life and words in the air, elusive, but it’s there. Since your last letter, you started thinking about the ‘ebbs and flows’ in your life. Then you found yourself fiddling your thumbs, and you wondered what’s next? But then doubt crept in, and you wondered why. And then you thought what if I can’t do this?
Of course, you can. And you do! You’ve worked hard toward your goals all year, don’t give up. It’s not likely; you don’t up give so easily, you never had. Remember that, Mary. As you told yourself before, this is a new primary aim, and of course, it’s on shaky legs that you visualize the end goal you’ve set for yourself, but then you crashed. Read more …
October 23, 2014
Long forgotten memories cross your mind, but you need to remember you’re not that person any more. You don’t live in the past, but the memories, the bad ones, have been on your mind recently.
It’s painful looking in the mirror right now. You avoid it with a passion. Some days you don’t like you at all. You look at yourself and think, ‘What wrong with me?’ and there’s no answer.
Why the sad face? You see your family’s features in your face. Read more …
October 16, 2014
You reminisced about your life this past week and you started to panic about what you wanted to write about. You thought of the word ‘Panic!’ and what it means to you. Of course, when you panic about writing, you sit and sit and stare at the screen in front of you because words aren’t flying just yet. However, there have been several instances when you didn’t panic in life.
When your oldest daughter decided to come into the world, she came in a hurry. While on the delivery table you looked over and saw the head nurse, an RN, freaking. You watched the nurse wring her hands in front of her staff because the doctor went to lunch right after he broke your water. You were the one having the baby, but she stood there wringing her hands and going around in circles. You couldn’t fathom her problem; you worried about the baby being born. She ended up getting fired from her job because of the way she handled the situation. That’s panic. Read more …
October 9, 2014
You feel the deep detachments as you do every time something major happens in your own life. You stand in the shadows and watch, trying to find your way. Your way where? Your way out of the mess you think you’ve made of your own life. Why do you ask so many questions? How else will you learn?
Someone told me a while back, “You are a flower, go bloom.” You halted a bit. You thought, will I?
Years ago you’re still standing at the precipice looking down into the abyss. Read more …
October 2, 2014
Last week you wrote a letter to yourself, thinking about how brave you imagined yourself to be, and the truth hit you square in the face this week. Daunting task, it is, to write honestly to yourself, but you are not one to shy away from the truth. You strived and strived this past year, and finally; you’re entering into a new year of writing. It will take a year or more to write all that you want to say to yourself.
You’re scared because last week, you mentioned that you needed to step back a bit to breathe; and then your world crashed down hard on you. Read more …
September 25, 2014
Starting a new chapter in your life has made you quiet all the time now. While I admire your courage to learn to write, and to write well; you need to step back and breathe a bit. Information you don’t understand has held you back a bit. Study hard and you will succeed at what you desire so much.
Sitting here, I ponder the year which has passed you already. You’ve come so far, yet still lacking as I mentioned up above. I wonder if the state of your life as it stands now makes a difference in your writing. Sitting night after night, writing does help, but without a clear understanding; it can take more than a year to overcome the lack of knowledge you have now. Your life makes you who you are now. Don’t forget what I said. There’s only one ‘you’. Read more …