Good evening! “Always give your absolute best!” These are the words my mother encouraged me to strive towards in all of my endeavors. I remember how she stressed this point in our conversations, “there is never a time to NOT do your absolute best”. Of course, It took years to comprehend what she meant. Obedience to her instructions sure served me well until I finally reached comprehension of her wise advice. Allowing her words to echo in my mind is very important to me at this stage — because I am 72.25 hours away from writing a 55,000 word count novel in 30 days…..I have selected her words to serve as my motivation on this amazing novel challenge. Yes, I intend to repeat her words daily – as her words will be the force that will motivate me to keep writing when my fingers begin to ache – as I know they will! How do I know this? Because I plan to keep them glued to my keyboard for the 30 consecutive days of the challenge. My goal is to break my own record – to end with a higher word count than any of my previous years. When Day 30 comes to a close I will be able to say, with certainty, “I gave my absolute best!”
Tag Archives: mother
Good morning! Stories tucked away in our memory can segue into our novel! I have decided to spend the next few days revisiting some of my memories – to gain inspiration as I get closer to writing my next novel. Did you know how connected our memory is to many of the behaviors we perform? Think of something you do every day and ask yourself, “Why do I do this?” Join my journey down memory lane….As far back as my memory serves me – I have warm memories of how much my mother enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee every morning as she eased onto the front porch, retrieved the daily newspaper, relaxed in her favorite seat, engaged me in conversation of current happenings recorded of the previous day events in our community and world, followed by deeper conversations that I treasure. In the colder seasons, our daily ritual moved from the front porch to the dinning table. One day, as an adult, I decided to have a cup of coffee with our conversation. I kept saying to myself, “This taste awful!”…yet, I continued to drink it because, somehow, sharing that pot of coffee appeared to deepen our bond. I learned how to improve the taste of the awful coffee with tons of sweeteners and grew to enjoy the taste of the coffee (or so I thought). When I moved some distance from my mother, we could no longer enjoy a daily cup of coffee on the front porch – however, every day, as I poured my cup of coffee, the miles vicariously melted between us, allowing us to continue our morning ritual via telephone. I thought I had convinced my brain that I enjoyed awful coffee – my brain reminded me that what I really enjoyed was the memory it provided me of the special time with my mother. You see, unfortunately, when my mother departed this earth, the conversations stopped – the taste of the awful coffee surfaced. I could no longer tolerate it. The memory attached to the coffee changed and reality stared me in the face. Many days I forced myself to drink awful coffee just to gain a glimpse of the past memories of sitting on the front porch and engaging in warm conversation with my mother. The memory is worth every awful drink of that coffee. Then I discovered Latte’s, I was overjoyed with the ingredients – I have the smallest portion of coffee with the warm milk and my favorite flavor of syrup and now I truly do enjoy the taste of coffee. It is a win/win with each cup because now my taste buds are happy with the flavor and I am happy because I can revisit the memory of my conversations with my mother.
Good evening! The gift of processing! I would like to share an observation that ‘affected‘ me profoundly. Some years ago, while my mother was in the hospital recovering from major surgery, multiple physical therapists arrived in my mother’s room to assist her. One of them had true passion for his field. You see, I was very protective of my mother, which means that if I felt the requests were too demanding, I would instruct them to stop. Fortunately, one of them did not listen to me. This particular physical therapist exhibited such compassion when he was speaking to my mother, that I decided to allow him to follow through with his request. She was struggling with her thoughts in attempting to answer one of the questions he posed to her. I answered, reflexively, and his compassionate response was, “Thank you! Now I need to hear your mother’s answer.” I continued my observance. He remained very patient with her as he coached her through the session to a positive and healthy outcome. I will never forget the smile of victory upon her face at the end of that struggle. He compassionately explained what her accomplishment meant to her recovery. Why am I sharing this experience? – To show how, sometimes, when we are too close to the story, we need a compassionate expert to step in to help us resolve the issue. Here’s a recent example of how I allowed this with my writing when I was in conflict with a character — I have been working on this piece for a few months – I was stuck on one scene because I felt that the character kept going in directions that I was unable to comprehend. I had a specific outcome for this scene and needed my character’s cooperation. I edited this piece multiple times and was still not satisfied with the direction of the character. I decided to assign a fictional physical therapist, to mirror the skills of the one who assisted my mother. Result – the character is in full cooperation. I was too close to the story – thus blocking the character’s process. However, channeling the therapist’s skills allowed the writer to observe – which gave the character the freedom to process their role. Viola’! Happy character! Happy writer! Scene complete – Story making great progress!
Good evening! I observed the cutest scene today…the sun is shining brightly and melting away all the snow…a little girl was playing in one small patch of snow left on the ground. I wondered how the dialogue was exchanged before she went outside to play, Here are a few scenarios I have created in my mind…
Daughter: “Mama, may I go outside to build another snowman before the snow is all gone?”
Mother: “Sweetie, I am sorry to tell you that the snow has melted away.”
Daughter: “Not all of it, mama, let me show you…there is some snow left…can I please go play in it?”
Mother: (laughing) “Sweetie, that is just a small patch…you will not be able to build a snowman with such a small amount.”
Daughter: “Yes I can! Please let me go outside and I’ll show you! I just need a really little bit to build a snowman!”
Mother: “Ok, dear, have fun!” (Mother smiles proudly while observing her daughter sing as she sets out to build one last snowman with the small patch of snow left on the ground.)
Or – an alternate dialogue –
Mother: “Sweetie, do you want to go outside to play in the snow before it all melts away?”
Daughter: “Mama, it is already gone, my snowman melted already.”
Mother: “I see a small patch of snow right next to where your snowman was…I think there is just enough for you to build one small snowman before the sun melts the rest of the snow away. After you build your snowman, we can bake some cookies and have hot cocoa just like we did last week when you made your tall snowman.”
Daughter: (excitedly) “I’ll try really hard with that little bit of snow, mama, but it will be a really little snowman, can I still have cookies if the snowman is really little?”
Mother: (hugging daughter) “Yes, dear, you can have cookies even if the snowman is teeny tiny!”
Daughter: “Thank you mama, I’m gonna make the best little snowman there ever was for you!”
Good evening! I was reminded today of an observation I made in the fall. A few teenagers were talking and one of them shared with the group, “I really like my mom!” This was a wonderful observation, to me, because she was speaking compassionately about her relationship with her mother without any concerns of how her peers would react…she continued her conversation, elaborating on why she liked her mom and expressed many positive attributes she admired in her mom. I understand why someone might say, “What’s the big deal about a kid saying something nice about their parent?” But, I have had a great opportunity to spend many years with a lot of teenagers, thus, allowing me to observed many of their verbal exchanges – I was able to make a fair comparison — many teens try to avoid their parents at this stage of their life, especially when they are with peers– not her – she was unique and courageous in sharing her feelings. Any parent would have been proud to learn that their child, willingly, shared such positive comments with her friends about them. I learned a great lesson from my observation that I was able to apply immediately to my writing. The lesson that was most beneficial – was how I learned a lot about her mother without needing to meet her because she described her so well in her expression. After this observation, I applied what I learned from this brave and compassionate child toward my character profiles. I added depth to my descriptions to help my readers get to know more about my characters. My goal is to increase the chance for my reader to bond with my characters.