Inspiration to Keep Moving Forward

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One of my favorite quotes is from Pope John XXIII. He said: “Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

Hopes and dreams. Unfulfilled potential. Possibilities.

Each day, I begin with reminding myself of the beauty of this life. I remind myself of my potential to share my words and my art with others and possibly to give joy to others through my words and my art. I prefer looking forward rather than looking back. In my drawing here, the person is walking forward and not looking back. (I love Van Gogh and this is my rough sketch based on his 1889 Sower (after Millet)).  In this sketch, I interpreted my own meaning to the artistic work, as well as using my own color scheme. Of course, art and its interpretation are in the eyes of the beholder. Therein lies the beauty and complexity of art. All these years later, Van Gogh’s art still brings the world joy. I couldn’t imagine that my art or my writing could ever have that sort of lasting impact. But, who knows?

Potential. Possibilities. Hopes and Dreams.

The future is so full of potential, so full of possibilities.

Never look back. Look forward with hope and your eyes firmly focused on your dreams.

Dealing With Rejection

I am a poet, novelist, short story writer, photographer, and artist. These are my passion; these are what gives my creative soul the outlet to express my deepest feelings. I have occasionally been published in a few online literary magazines, such as Southern New Hampshire University’s the penmen review.  I have self-published my poetry book Life at the End of the Rainbow which is available on Amazon/Kindle.

My poetry and short stories have also been rejected on occasion. I think it is vital to remind myself that it is not me that is being rejected, but rather the editor or publisher has a different vision of what he or she wants to publish.

I will not let someone else’s opinion diminish my creative passion. Life is too short to let others define who I am and who I know myself to be. Sure, I would like to be selected for the Poet Laureate of the Known World or the best novelist since Miguel Cervantes put pen to paper and wrote Don Quixote. I write because I love the beauty of words, of ideas, of rhythm, of juxtaposition, of ambiguity, of capturing life and its complexity in my own interpretation.

Truth is, I write as much for myself as I do for others. I am currently writing a collection of short stories and poetry. I plan to have it completed by the end of this month. I will self-publish it, as well. I am also compiling my own art book. I plan to include my photography in my art book. I realize I am not Claude Monet nor could I ever aspire to that level of greatness, but I enjoy what I do. A completed drawing with vibrant colors that I have created makes me smile; my art makes me happy. It gives me joy. A sunset I have captured with my camera gives me joy when I think that I have managed to freeze that moment in time.

Creativity gives me joy; another person’s rejection will never take my joy away.

Life is far too short. Life is fragile and precious. I am thankful for the passion that I feel and can freely express through my poetry, short stories, art and photography.

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Book Review: Charles Heath’s One Last Look

A few months ago, I bought and read Charles Heath’s novel One Last Look on Amazon/Kindle. I have enjoyed reading Charles’ blogs and have found that his novel is equally as engaging as his blog.

His novel One Last Look has a suspenseful plot, strong character development, and crisp dialogue that is effective in moving the plot forward. Protagonists, Ben and his wife Charlotte, are haunted by secret pasts neither can fully escape. The unraveling of these secrets is what Charles has masterfully revealed with perfect literary timing.

I highly recommend this novel to any reader who enjoys a crime novel that explores a deeper understanding of what it means to be haunted by past actions and repercussions of those actions. Ben and Charlotte are believable characters whom a reader will long remember.

As writers, it is so important for us all to support each other’s creative endeavors.  I am glad I read Charles’ novel and I intend to read more of his writing. I would actually like to see a sequel to One Last Look.  I am very curious as to what else Ben and Charlotte might be hiding. . . . . . .

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi Everyone,

A fellow WordPress blogger, Scott at scott speaking bipolar, has nominated me for the blogger recognition award. I am honored to be selected for this recognition. What I love most about blogging is the supportive community that we have all created through WordPress.  Initially, I started blogging so that I could have a platform to share my poetry. Through this first year as a blogger, I have become more comfortable sharing more of my life experiences, such as dealing with grief and disappointment.  This WordPress community has helped me feel supported and has let me see that I am not alone. Others have struggled and triumphed. Life is a journey that is made so much easier by having the support of others.

Other bloggers I would like to nominate for the blogger recognition award include:

Scott speaking bipolar. In his blog, he is honest and open in discussing issues related to mental illness. His blog is so very vital because it removes the stigma attached to mental illness. His Motivation Monday gives concrete strategies that a reader can utilize.

Andrelestina, Life after Death. In her blog, she shares how she has learned to deal with grief. Her words direct the reader to the absolute importance on recognizing God’s love for each of us even in those moments when we think we cannot move forward. Her blog is uplifting and emotionally honest. She has responded to me on a personal level and encouraged me when I have shared my grief.

Jason A. Muckley, Poems for Warriors. Jason’s poetry shares his own painful personal journey through divorce,  final acceptance, and total reliance on God’s love to push through this life’s struggles. His poetry is poignant, honest, and uplifting.

aloysius5, Charles Heath.  His blog, especially regarding his cat Chester, is absolutely delightful to read. He is a talented novelist who shares passages from his writings. I bought his novel “One Last Look” and it is very fast-paced and intriguing.

My advice to new bloggers who are starting out is to be honest. Write from your heart. Be yourself and find your own voice and do not be afraid to express yourself. Be kind above all else when it comes to responding to other bloggers. Life is a learning experience; we are all on a journey. We are all searching for acceptance, for answers to questions that may not ever have an acceptable answer, and for that human connection that lets us know that we are not alone in this world. I have learned so much from fellow bloggers this year. Thank you so much for your support. I hope that my words have been uplifting and encouraging as well.

 

 

Life at the End of the Rainbow

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Hi Everyone,

This is the cover of my poetry book. I published it on Amazon/Kindle last June. It has only sold about six copies. Writing is a very, very lonely endeavor. I am beginning to doubt that it is worth the effort to write at all. I wonder who I am writing for. I have written poems, short stories and two full length novels. One of the full length novels I wrote years ago got rejection letter after rejection letter. Interestingly, I seriously doubt if anyone really took the time to actually read it. The rejection letters were all form letters. I am beginning to doubt that anyone is actually out there. It is as if this modern life is a black hole in the universe; nobody is really out there. This is a desperately lonely planet. I did occasionally get a few poems published. That is something that I feel proud of. Writing has been my therapy, you could say. I have written a memoir that I doubt if I will ever have the courage to share. It is just too personal; it is just too painful. I might just keep that pain to myself and then maybe it will be as if it never existed at all.

I earned a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing a few years ago. I thought it would help me to sharpen my writing skills. I thought it would help me make contacts with other writers. Well, it didn’t. All the university did was take my money and my time. I would suggest everyone steer clear of colleges and universities. Get a library card; it is more economical.

Anyway, my poetry book is still available on Amazon/Kindle for around $2.99. That’s not terribly much. I am considering pulling it from Amazon/Kindle because it is just sitting there. I do want to thank anyone who has purchased my book.

I write because I enjoy expressing myself. I enjoy writing about the human condition-love, hate, happiness, sadness, despair, hope, etc. It has always been my intent as a writer to contribute something to the world through my insights-to give my readers something to ponder about the human condition. Thing is, I don’t have many readers at all. I don’t know how to change that, either.

Life is short. Life hurts. Life disappoints. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. That is just the truth.

Anyway, thank you all for reading my blog here in WordPress. I will probably continue writing just because it is something that I truly do love to do. I love the beauty of words. I just do. I have written since I was a little girl. I am not sure how to reach people with my words though. Like I said, it is as if this life is just a black hole into which everything sinks. Lonely planet, it truly is.

Thanks for reading.

Thinking About France

 

 

 

 

 

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France. 

The very name stirs up images of artistic, musical, and intellectual greatness. France has given us Degas, Cezanne, Monet, Rodin, Renoir, Gaugin, Manet-and that is not even the tip of the iceberg of French artists.

Dubussy, Chopin, Satie-musical genius that stirs the soul.

Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Flaubert, Leroux, Colette, Dumas, Proust, Zola-literature that transcends time and quite simply the best ever written.

France.

Croissants, macaroons, bouillabaisse. Red wine and joy of just living!

My first encounter with the French language was as a seventh grader. I remember struggling to figure out why so many letters are not pronounced. I struggled with it and can to this day honestly say I have never truly grasped the pronunciation of it, however my love for France and its culture has never decreased. 

This horrible event at Notre Dame has made me think more about France and its beauty, elegance, and the indisputable truth that France is an absolute jewel.

Merci, France for all that you have contributed to this world.

 

 

Easter: A Season of Renewal

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Spring is my favorite season because the flowers begin to bloom and the weather warms up. It is a season of renewal. In this Easter season, my mind turns to hope for the future. To me, that is what is at the heart of Christ’s resurrection-that there is hope that at the end of the long, dark night the sun will rise and light will shine forth and defeat that darkness. Christ is that light that guides us out of the dark tunnels of our existence on this earth. There will always be darkness, but there will always be Christ’s light to guide us out of those dark shadows, out of those dark pits into which we all fall from time to time. Easter is about the light. It is about hope. It is about a promise that God has made to us. We are never alone; we are never too far from his reach.

Psalm 139: 1-12 says O, Lord, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandeth my thoughts from afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or wither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. (King James Version, Holy Bible)

In this Easter season, I think about light and hope and the future. Pope John XXIII is quoted as saying “Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you have tried and failed, but with what is still possible for you to do.”

Spring is a season of renewal. Easter is about hope. This season I think about the renewal of hopes and of dreams for my future. I do so with the assurance that Christ’s light will guide me through any darkness that I might encounter.

Have a blessed Easter.