I’m happy to announce that the e-book of my grandmother’s poetry, “Martha’s Words,” is now available for sale at Amazon.com. I am sharing with you another one of her poems as I did last year. I have learned from this selection, as well as from some of her other work, that my grandmother was a good judge of character and had a keen sense of whether someone was being “true or false.” 🙂 I have not given up the idea of a hardback book and am continuing to explore options.
On a dark, dreary day I am finding myself more focused than usual. Obviously for me, it’s a good time to concentrate on writing something, anything, and to tell my inner critic to step aside.
How do you feel about cold, rainy days? Perhaps if you are a writer, you love them for their creative potential. To me, there is something soothing and nurturing about them as if Mother Nature is bathing the world with a comforting blessing. I find myself being introspective and more in touch with my feelings than usual.
If you go to work or school, you may hate going out in them like I used to. It’s particularly uncomfortable getting wet when it’s cold. Maybe you like school or your job so much, that it doesn’t matter? That’s truly a gift when you do, not to mention a plus for your physical and mental health.
Maybe you like to stay in bed and pull the covers over your head? Listening to Karen Carpenter sing “Rainy Days and Mondays” goes well with that. What a loss to the world that great voice was.
This is the first of a number of brief, light topics I will be throwing out for discussion. I haven’t felt as connected to my blog in the last year as I did earlier on; I’m changing that by taking time to listen to the ideas that float through my mind and not being so quick to dismiss them. I hope you’ll join in.
So, I’d truly like to know how you feel about dark, cold rainy days. What’s you favorite thing to do when you have a choice?
Photo Credit: Copyright: Georgii Dolgykh 123rf Photos
He kept them in a night table drawer—a treasure of poems carefully hand-written in a composition book by his mother fifty years before. One of the poems, “My Boy,” was about him. How it must have warmed my Dad’s heart when he read it. Reece Wilmer Press, Jr. looked a lot like his mother and had inherited her stocky body build splattered with freckles, as I did.
I wasn’t particularly interested in the poems back then. It wasn’t until 1972, when he gave them to me, that I remembered they even existed. Martha Walton Press had died nine years before my birth. I am truly sorry that I never had the chance to know her. Dad didn’t talk much about his early family life, but I had the impression that it was a bit troubled. My mother mentioned to me that he had to quit school at age 16 to help support the family when his parents split up. (Ten years later, though, he graduated with a diploma in civil engineering from Drexel University).
The poems, written between 1899 and 1911, survived the five moves to date in my life. During this time, the writing has faded and the pages have become slightly torn and dog-eared. A few years ago when I took up genealogy, I read the poems several times, searching her words and studying the stylish handwriting in an attempt to know her better.
Recently, when I began self-publishing, it became apparent that these poems should be preserved in print. The themes of love, friendship, death and life are timeless. The words are cumbersome by today’s standards but their simplicity conveys a richness of emotion and nostalgia. Moreover, my grandmother was a feisty, creative, intelligent woman who played piano by ear, sewed clothing that she saw on a model and ran her own beauty shop. From the little I know about her, she seemed ahead of her time. When she became divorced, she married her younger brother-in-law, a bit unusual for the 1920s. She deserves to be remembered, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory.
As I continue in my writing journey, I feel that Martha’s spirit watches me, cheering me on. I sometimes wonder if she would have done more with her writing if life hadn’t gotten in the way. The luxury of retirement was not available to her; at the age of 57 she passed away from colon cancer.
I am planning to publish her twelve poems in a short book entitled, “Martha’s Words,” later this year. Here is the first poem—I hope you like it and will want to read more of her work.
A rose lies withered in my hand,
And one by one, its petals fall.
My thoughts oft turn to a better land
Where no flowers will fall at all.
It reminds me too of an aimless past,
Ah, full of regrets I now see.
Yes, one by one, hopes all fall fast;
There’s naught sure but eternity.
‘Tis sweet to live just day to day
For hope fadeth with the morrow.
And the prize we seek in a worldly way
Is only a false hope we borrow.
I often pray that God, to me, may gift
A life like the pure simple flower,
Content to take his sunshine to live
And scatter his blessings each hour.
As my writer’s journey continues, I look back on the year that’s passed as well as at my goals for 2013.
Last year, I discovered that I enjoy writing fiction more than I ever imagined. It’s fun to see additional characters appear in my stories where none were intended and how they take on their own personalities. I also love seeing where the story line takes me. Who the heck is writing my work? At times, it doesn’t even seem like I’m in control.
I’ve found that my simple writing style which I often thought lacked descriptiveness fits better with the clear, crisp and concise writing styles that seem to be encouraged now. I keep reading that with today’s busy lifestyle, many people want simple, readable material that will not lose them in endless description. I assure you that my novels or short stories will not do that, but neither will my writing quality diminish in favor of quantity. That’s a promise!
I know now that I should write when my inner muse speaks to me, rather than on a set time schedule. I don’t want my creativity to seem like “work.” My writing flows when it is gently allowed to emerge and not forced. Putting myself in inspirational settings like nature, a quiet environment or even watching Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday,” are some of the best ways for me to coax it out.
I’ve learned that it is difficult to attract the attention of a publisher even with a polished, marketable article without a resume of previous publications, despite my education. In particular, it is more difficult when you are writing about “touchy” subjects like cancer. For that reason, my blog will most likely benefit from articles or short pieces that I would have liked to publish in a magazine. At my age, I don’t have the time or the patience to play waiting games of silence. I want to spend my time writing.
So as we enter February (is it already?) and look at the year ahead, I see myself soon self-publishing my first short story, entitled “That’s Just the Way It Is.” This will be a new adventure for me into the mechanics of the self-publishing process. I am planning to use Smashwords which I hope to find user-friendly. After this, I will return full steam ahead to the first draft of my novel which is about three-quarters completed. I see several rewrites ahead of me particularly because I began the book three years ago. Since then, my writing skills have advanced and as often happens, the work has taken on a life of its own necessitating some changes in the earlier parts. I would be thrilled to have a polished final draft completed by the end of the year. Finally, I look forward to continuing my blog with articles and tidbits to entertain my current readers and entice new followers as well. As always, I thank you all for being there with me on my journey.
So, for those of you who are writers (and that includes bloggers), how has the past year influenced your writing goals for 2013?
I fell behind a bit during the last few months of the 2012 as I was selling my condo and moving into a new house. Although I am not completely unpacked and settled, I realize it is now time to return to the keyboard and resume my writer’s journey. Something inside of me misses the self-expression and the sharing of my thoughts with others. Another part of me worries that I’m losing ground in my craft because I’ve let a bit of time lapse.
The first step, however, must be to acknowledge the wonderful additional awards that my blog has been fortunate enough to receive in the last few months. I am bending the rules somewhat in combining all three awards on this page and listing many of my favorite blogs rather than making specific nominations. The most important thing for me is to express my gratitude to the persons who thought enough of my blog to acknowledge it and also to encourage you to visit these sites as well as some of my additional favorites that I will list at the end of the post.
AWARD # 1 -Very Inspiring Blogger Award
Thanks so much to author Raani York for her nomination of this blog for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.” Be sure to visit Raani York for her witty and interesting commentary on various topics. Raani adjusted the rules about the number of blog nominations which I am going to do also by simply listing at the end of this post some of my favorite blogs.
The rules for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” are:
1. Thank and link to the blogger that has nominated you.
2. Then post the award logo to your blog.
3. Write a post on the nomination and nominate 15 other very inspiring bloggers.
4. Notify them and then tell 7 things about yourself.
Here are the seven things about me: ( I hate this part )
1. I love to travel.
2. My favorite color is cobalt blue.
3. I love sitting very close to the ocean staring at the waves.
4. One of my favorite TV series from the 50’s-60’s is Gunsmoke.
5. I love listening to the wind “whoosh” through pine trees.
6. I enjoy coffee and the stronger, the better.
7. I have a tendency to procrastinate.
AWARD #2 -Blog of the Year 2012
A Writer’s Journey has been honored twice for the “Blog of the Year 2012.” These awards were presented by Women Making Strides and Catnip of Life. Thanks so much to Sharla Shultz at Catnip of Life and Susan Ekins at Women Making Strides. Be sure to visit their very inspirational blogs. You will undoubtedly find something worthwhile there to take with you.
My blog was honored for this award by Meg of Meg Travels and Chuckles and Sunshine of Simply Charming. Many thanks to them for this recognition. Be sure to check out their very interesting blogs!
The rules are:
• Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
• Share 7 things about yourself.
• Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire.
• Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.
I am listing the blogs below because I enjoy them and I want to encourage others to take a look. Blog owners may consider this a nomination or not. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t accept awards or if you’ve already received these particular awards. Also, you can choose one or all three awards. I just want to let you know how much I enjoy your wonderful blogs!
A Writer’s Journey has recently been nominated for the Beautiful Blogger Award by Meg Travels. I am very pleased to receive this recognition. It’s good to know that others appreciate the thoughts, words and pictures that are so much a part of me. Sharing yourself on a blog can leave you feeling vulnerable, and these awards are a nice way of saying that someone else values those things that have meaning in your life.
These blogger awards are not only about appreciation and sharing; they are ways to grow an online community, interacting with others who share common threads. In today’s world many of us have a genuine desire just to connect outside of our immediate environment. Perhaps we always did; the technology just wasn’t available until recently.
The requirements for the Beautiful Blogger Award are:
Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and place it in your post.
Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog.
Nominate 7 other bloggers for their own Beautiful Blogger Award.
Thank you, Meg, for this award. I encourage others to visit Meg Travels especially if you enjoy traveling adventures and photos. She posts many wonderful photos of her journeys. I especially enjoy her photos of Italy, which I’m sure does not come as a surprise to anyone who knows of my love for Italy.
Here are the bloggers I’d like to nominate for the Beautiful Blogger Award:
I’ve nominated your blogs because I have found meaning in them, and I want to encourage others to take a look. You don’t have do anything if you don’t accept awards or if you’ve already received this award.
I recently was delighted to receive a message that my blog had been honored with a nomination for the Liebster Award from Sharla Shults @Catnipoflife . Sharla is an educator who writes poetry that shares beautiful thoughts and reflections about life. Please check out some of her inspirational writing at Catnipoflife. Many thanks to you, Sharla, for this award.
The following information about the Liebster Award is copied from Catnipoflife :
What is the Liebster Award?
“The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.”
There are certain rules one has to follow:
If you are tagged/nominated, you have to post 11 facts about yourself.
Then you answer the 11 questions the tagger has given you & make 11 questions for the people you are going to tag.
Tag 11 more Bloggers.
Tell the people you tagged that you did.
No tagging back.
The person you tag must have less than 200 followers.
11 Facts About Me
I’ve traveled through 49 out of the 50 United States.
My favorite singer is Anna Tatangelo of Italy.
King Edward I of England is my 22nd great-grandfather.
I am an “only” child.
I never ate chocolate until the age of four, but I’ve been making up for it ever since.
I love the ocean, mountains and woods; it’s where I feel closest to God and the universe.
My favorite place in the world is Isola Bella, an island in Lake Maggiore, near Stressa, Italy.
My favorite pet was the family dog, Wally, a Maltese, who despite numerous medical problems lived to be 13 years old.
I collect cobalt blue glass.
I’m a perfectionist, although, fortunately for myself and others, not quite as much as when I was younger.
One of the best experiences in my life was a sunset cruise in the Bahamas on a ship with tall sails.
Answers to Catnipoflife’s Questions
1] ‘Checkered blue n white’ or ‘black’?
If I’m wearing it, ‘black’; otherwise, ‘checkered blue ‘n white’ such as for curtains, small checks, preferably.
2] Curtains or no curtains?
Venetian blinds, vertical blinds, interior shutters, mixed with curtains
3] Hardcover, paperback or ebooks?
I purchase a lot of ebooks as they save space and money, but I still like the feel and appearance of a hardcover book.
4] What’s your ambiance while writing?
Nothing fancy at this point – silence in my office at my desktop, or in the living room with my laptop and the low voices from the TV in the background. Glances out the windows to the trees outside from both places inspire me. I love to write in nature, by the Delaware River or on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean but don’t often have the opportunity.
5] Do you plan to publish a novel?
Yes, at least one. I never thought I would do it because I enjoy shorter pieces, but since I have found myself in the midst of writing one now, I will complete and publish it, one way or another!
6] Do you like to make a gift for your loved one or do you rather buy?
I like to make gifts and have done so in the past, but I no longer have the time.
7] Which is the most beautiful color according to you?
Blue, all shades, but especially cobalt blue.
8] What’s your mantra in life?
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3
9] Have you ever thought of becoming a soldier in your life?
No, but I have the utmost respect for the military.