Do You Believe We Should Write/Share What We Cannot Say?

Jacques

“What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.”
Jacques Derrida

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What do you think of this statement?  I know many things that cannot be spoken.  Maybe certain things about my childhood.  Maybe traumatic moments that bring back nightmares.  Some of these things would be hurtful to people – people I’ve forgiven.  Sometimes, I think what a great story these truths would make.  I’ve written many of them down and when I go back and read them, I laugh out loud and snort and get so tickled I can’t stop myself.  At others, I bawl like I’ve never cried before, as though I’ve lost my one true love, or as though I cry for another child that’s so hurt and so far away that I can’t get to her.  That’s how I see my childhood now.  I’m so far away from it.  For me, once I reached (or rather grabbed onto for dear life) forgiveness, I became somewhat removed from my childhood, like I wasn’t that little girl anymore, unloved, thrown away like last week’s forgotten left overs.  It doesn’t hurt me like it used to.

I had forgiven one who hurt me.  I had forgiven and befriended.  I learned how to understand how this person was raised and understand that all people are not the same, that some are unable to give what another needs.  Some people are weak and afraid and don’t even know themselves, who they are, nor who they want to be.  It takes great courage to change and grow into a taller person, into yourself, seeking more, looking for better, wanting to heal, wanting to make amends.

It takes less courage to forgive the person who hurt you.  At least, it didn’t take that much for me.  It just took me 39 or 40 years to learn how.  Once I got a handle on it, it was easy.  So easy, that I didn’t even realize I had done it until after a conversation.  I realized somewhere in the middle of a 20 minute civil conversation with a tragic heart thief that I had forgiven him and it wasn’t even my intention.  Or was it?  Whatever it was, it became so easy after that.  I was forgiving all over the place.

Then, I forgave the one who hurt me the most in my life, who warped me and wrecked my mind, who stole any chance of ever trusting another human, perhaps as long as I shall live (we’ll see).  Once I began to try to understand this person’s horrific childhood (100% worse than mine, not that that even matters – it’s not a contest), and how this person was never shown love or respect, adoration or celebration, kindness or sympathy, a shoulder to cry on nor an ear to listen, I realized I could not withhold forgiveness.  Everyone suffers.  There are different levels of suffering.  There are different layers in people and on these many varied layers, there may not be even an ounce of love to take or give, they may lack understanding, lack forgiveness themselves, or even utter ever a kind word to another, but they still need (maybe even deserve) our forgiveness.

I’m not going to turn this into a religious thing, as I’m not a religious person, although I’m tight with the Dudes Upstairs.  Yeah, God and Jesus – they’re my family.  But I have to speak on these Guys.  I think of what God did for us by sending Jesus and why he sent him.  I think of Jesus and why he came and what he did for each of us.  He did it of his own free will.  He could have caved.  He could have been weak and given up on us.  I can’t tell you that I would have done what he did for all of us.  Sometimes, I think we are all worthless, we don’t deserve what Jesus did for us.  When I think of all the rapists, child killers, demons that walk this earth that should be blown to bits (and I’d like to blow away several of these myself), I think we don’t deserve Jesus, we don’t deserve forgiveness or love or any of it.

But then I look into the eyes of my child.  These eyes are windows to the soul of the one I most prayed for since I was 2 years old.  This child was the answer to a lifelong prayer, with every quality I prayed for and more great qualities I never thought to pray for.  When I see what a gift I was given, I saw, personally, and in my face, how much God and Jesus truly love me (and love and adore each of us).  Later, I began to see how much each of us deserves to have a love like that in each of our lives.  We all do deserve love.  We all deserve forgiveness.  It is not something we have ever or will ever earn (or can we?) but we deserve it, because to live without love and without forgiveness is not a life I would consider worth living.  I used to feel hate/unlove for myself and didn’t want to live.  Thank you, Father, for helping me to see things differently before I did something stupid and selfish.

If you don’t feel love for yourself or cannot forgive yourself, please know you are worth loving and you are worth forgiving.  You truly are.  You are special and unique and this world needs you and your gifts and talents, even if you don’t think you have anything to offer.  You do.  Every person out there that has hurt you also deserves to feel love and to be forgiven, and you don’t even have to tell them if you don’t want to.  Let me tell you, once you forgive someone, it feels so amazing, it frees you, frees your soul.  You then learn how to forgive yourself for your own stupidity and weakness and you begin to pull yourself out of the darkness.  It’s an awesome feeling and I want that for you.

Have you forgiven yourself lately?  Have you learned to love yourself?  What about forgiven others?  Do you realize everyone deserves to feel love?

Back to the original statement above, do you think the words we cannot even begin to say should be written?  I’ve written much of my unspoken stuff down but I will probably burn it, because I don’t want to hurt anyone with the past.  We are not our past.  We build from the past.  We learn from the past.  We move on from the past.  But we are not our past and we do not deserve to relive it nor cause others to relive it.  Do you agree?  I know the original statement means more than just this.  It means many different things to different people, but this is what came to the front of my mind when I read it.

What are your thoughts?

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What If…

salman

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.”   ~ Salman Rushdie

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How great would it be if we all lived this way?  To be so free – to live with abandon.  Why do we not all do this?  Why do we not live more for today instead of procrastinating, putting everything off till tomorrow – tomorrow, when I have more money and more free time – tomorrow, after I finish all the more important stuff I have to do today – tomorrow, when my kid is grown and off to college and I have more time for me.  Tomorrow never comes.  Have you begun to realize this?

Aren’t you worth taking a risk?  A leap?  What if?  What if you did that thing and you succeed?  You’ll be rich.  You’ll be famous.  Well, maybe not.  But maybe.  At least you will have done it and you’ll have the happiness of accomplishing that thing and reaching success.  And then you can keep doing that thing, because you’re successful, or keep doing that and other stuff.  Who knows?  You might succeed at more.

What if you fail?  Well, at least you tried.  And trying makes you more successful than not lifting a finger.  You would no longer need to ask, ‘what if?’  Maybe that thing wasn’t meant for you.  Or maybe you need to keep trying or try harder, depending on how much you want it.  Jack Canfield tried – what? – 140 times before he got published?

What if you don’t try?   …

You’ll never know.

Don’t you want to know?

Time is going by in a blink!  Take a risk.  Step up.  Get it done.  Get it out there.  Do that thing that is soooo in your heart to do.  You’re gonna be glad you did.  And maybe you’ll get it done before you’re 101. I’m just sayin’.  Ya ain’t gettin’ no younger.  Remember, tomorrow never comes.  Put in the work today.  15 minutes gets you closer than none.

What are you afraid of?

 

When Did You Know You Wanted to be a Writer?

 

a1

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t know what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.”
P.G. Wodehouse

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From as far back as I can remember, I was a storyteller.  Before I learned to write, I told stories to my dolls and stuffed animals.  I made up songs and sang to them.  They were always entertained, as was I.  These were private stores between just me and my dolls, as I never trusted anyone enough to share my stories/songs with them.

My bio-father heard me in my room talking once and walked down the hall to ask me, “Who are you talking to?”  He sat down on my bed and I felt his eyes burning into my head.

I was deathly afraid of him, as he was never a kind man, to put it nicely.  This was the one and only time in my life he ever showed any interest in me or what I was doing.  “My dolls,” I said with a whisper, because my fear always stole my voice, as I stared at the floor.

“Will you tell me what you were saying?  Were you singing?”

I just sat there, speechless.  Hairs stood on end on the back of my neck and my skin already hurt as I braced myself for what most likely would come next.  He got up from the bed, cussed me, and not too loudly, for once, as he walked away.  Thank GOD!  That was on a good day.

We’d visit my grandparents who lived a state away (where I live now) and they had this awesome magical antique typewriter.  Of course, I didn’t know my letters, yet, but when I henpecked those keys, a magical world opened up to me.  I realized, one day, I’d be able to write down my stories through a treasure like this.  The sound those keys made was sheer bliss.  I cannot even describe how beautiful and melodic the music those keys played.  Still, it’s one of the most angelic musical instruments I’ve ever heard singing in my ears.  I realize it’s not classified as a musical instrument but it should be.

I miss that old Royal.  I don’t know what ever happened to it.  Mama says we (my brother and I) ruined it by clicking too many of the keys together and they stuck.  I have no memory of ever doing this.  I loved that typewriter!  The instrument was broken and had to be thrown out like garbage.  If it were me, I would have buried it like the beloved friend it was.  I would have held a funeral service and told it how it would be missed, how much I desperately loved it.  I would have wept.

I finally learned how to write and make words and it opened another magical portal in my world.  But, my imagination, of course, grew leaps and bounds as I grew older and I’m afraid I was always in trouble at school for daydreaming.  Every single one of my report cards carries the words, “Carol is a bright girl, filled with a great imagination.  She just needs to stop daydreaming and participate in class.”  Yes, I was never really in class.  I was creating worlds.  I was a super hero, saving kids from certain doom, slaying dragons and battling scary harry monsters that lurked in the night.  It was my escape, you see.  It was the one place I was safe.  Safe from the wretched nearly murderous fingers of my bio-father.  Safe from the bruises.  Safe from the sleepy boredom of those monotone teachers who lacked inspiration, though I can offer up one or two that were inspired and fueled my imagination.  Even encouraged me, believe it or not.

The imagination is an awesome thing, isn’t it?  You can fly.  You can perform magic.  You can create worlds, languages, characters, creatures and situations.  The only limit is your own imagination, if you put limits on it.

So tell me, when did you become a writer and/or imagineer?

Animal Crackers in Your Soup, or Nah?

mark

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” ― Mark Twain

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Don’t you totally agree?  Information left out leaves more room for the imagination to fly off in many varied directions.  Ultimately, even the sky isn’t the limit.

As a writer, do you find it hard to leave stuff out?  Do you feel you have to tell the reader every single thing you’re thinking or the characters are thinking?  Are you afraid they’ll miss something?

We should give readers (imagineers) more credit.  I don’t know about you, but I love to read a novel where much of the details and backstories are left out.  For one thing, it leaves more room for another number in the series but it’s good to let the reader think and imagine for herself/himself.  For another, too many details and too much backstory and you can lose the reader in less than a minute and that’s never good.

I don’t know why Shirley Temple’s song, “Animal Crackers in my Soup” came to mind when writing this.  I suppose because I saw the commercial advertising her greatest hits a while back and the song stuck in my head — it’s a bit catchy, isn’t it?  And no, I don’t think I’d like animal crackers in my soup.  I think it’s a bit much.  I’d like to taste my soup.  I think it’s better with leaving a bit of the additives out.

Maybe just a little cheese.

‘Get Out of Your Own Way’-sort-of quotes

get inspired

If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.

There is no elevator to success.  You have to take the stairs.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

Old ways won’t open new doors.

Get out of your own way.  (my personal favorite)

Don’t be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

Constantly challenge yourself.

 

Of these, which is the most inspiring to you?

Have an inspired day, you guys!

xoxo

– Carol

 

Aren’t Writing the First Words of a Story Delicious?

beatrix

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.”
Beatrix Potter

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Oh, isn’t this the truth?  Beginning a new story is intoxicating.  It’s the start of a grand adventure.  The wonder and awe shouldn’t stop there, though.

If you’re a quarter of the way through the thing and you feel it’s needing a little spice, you can do anything!  Create a perplexing twist.  Kill off one of the main characters or just maim them, or give them a life-threatening disease, put them in a coma, have them come up missing, turn them into a vampire (I could go on).  And I’m not talking about one of the characters you don’t like.  Sure, they might deserve it but it’ll be more heart-wrenching to kill off a beloved character.  You can make the reader cry.

You can create change for more than just one of the main characters — also the supporting cast, or the town, realm/world — there’s a war ensuing, there’s been an explosion, a fire, a rabid beast or Bigfoot is on the loose, the portal to another dimension known as the Bermuda Triangle just moved it’s location INTO YOUR TOWN — I mean, really, the list of what could happen is endless — endless as your colorful and vivid and wonderful imagination.

You can bring someone or something new in.  You can change the direction of a chapter or the entire story.  What you started thinking is the story may end up something completely different.

Some plan it out, organize for structure, have all their ducks set in a row, crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s.  Some fly by the seat of their pants and just go with the flow, making it up as they go.  Some know the ending.  Some have no idea what the end will bring or when it may come nor what may happen on the way there.

For you writers out there, I have two questions for you today:

 

What way do you write best — lead by plot, character-driven or narrative point of view?

When you start your story, do you already know how it will end or do you like to be surprised and find your way there?

Finding Vent At My Pen

abigail adams young

“My bursting heart must find vent at my pen.”
Abigail Adams

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Ah, yes, we must all find our own specific way of venting, lest we lose our minds.  Some play sports.  Some engage in making music.  Some feel and listen to the music without playing.  Some simply run or go to the gym and work out as often as possible.  Some cook.  Some drink heavily.  Some swear incessantly.  I?  I choose to vent through writing, whether it be through poetry, working on my YA sci-fi/fantasy/adventure novel/series (I promise to share more on this eventually.  I have to finish and get it out there first.), working on some other piece of creative story, speaking through pictures or simply crying.  Sometimes, through laughter and dance.  Yeah, you should see me and Hallie dancing through the kitchen.  We are a couple of silly girls.  I love to cook but I’m not sure I vent through it.  Oh, and sometimes I do swear (a little more than I should) but am finding this does not help much in the way of venting.  I think it makes me more angry.  Mostly, I vent best through writing what I love most, depending on the mood I’m in at the time.  Yeah, wine and cheese help A LOT, too.  😉

We must all find ways of unwinding before we become unhinged.

How do you vent best?