WRITING AS A HEALING TOOL?

energyNow, you have a chance to use your writing as a healing tool. Does this mean you need to journal every whim you feel? No, but let’s take a look at what we can do to help ourselves survive as a human being and a writer, at the same time.

Our brain helps us, as writers, engage in new characters and ignite relationships with characters. These relationships can be positive or negative, and we have to decide which it will be. As positive writers, we push our characters forward and make steps to improve their lives. Then with the negative, we give our characters a glimpse of the downside of their lives. We are the controller of characters. As writers, we can heal the past.

Open a 3-ring, notebook and begin with an original trauma you cannot put to bed. Free write. Do not stop and read. Forget spelling, punctuation, or any other format. What you want to do is write how you feel. You might have 5 or 50 pages. You might write for an hour, or two, or three. Do not count–just write. Once these feelings come out, you can name them, and see how they take on a different attitude.

Skip a few pages and write these findings to another person. This is your invisible partner and you can pour out all of your feelings from what you have learned. Let your sub-conscious dictate your words and feelings. Do not go back and change or erase. Let your free write take over your mind and paper. Yes, you heard right…a pen or pencil. No keystrokes allowed. There is something interactive between your head, heart, hand, and pen. Let go and give your hand and pen permission to write from corner to corner, across the page, turn the book upside down and write. There are no rules, just writing.

Another part of the notebook is for editing. This is where you put distance between what you wrote so you can vent your frustrations. Put your censor in a box and lock the lid. Read again and label each feeling with your own choice of words. Keep writing. Once the words appear for the labels, you will be surprised at the difference you have for any troubled parts of your life. Each day, you can conquer a label.  These labels are your ‘gut’ reaction, which comes from deep within. Do not change, but if you want to add something try a different colored pencil or draw a picture.

This is YOUR notebook, YOUR feelings, YOUR labels.

Next time, we will see how creative writing cam come from what you have discovered about yourself. Close your notebook, smile, and know you have traveled a long road in a short time. You have conquered the hard work, and now your creativeness will flow.

HAPPY WRITING.

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I’M BACK AT LAST

Two friends“See there, Edna. I told you she’d be back. Now, let’s hear what happened” Ethel remarked. “Then we can compare notes.”

I looked at the last post, September 14, and shuddered. Too long, but when you don’t feel good and go to the ER for a quick check/answer, you never take your computer, flash drive, Kindle battery connection, or even the quick charge to your cell phone. At least I don’t, and this could change. Hurt between the shoulder blades and coughing so hard, I thought….what if I cracked a rib? Sometimes things happen for a reason when we do not know what the reason is. After probing, pushing, pulling, poking, and a zillion tests — bronchial pneumonia, but wait. Another x-ray, CT scan and staring back was a tumor on the tip of my left lung. Here I go in for a diagnostic test and yes, the thing is cancerous and needs to come out. Did I feel pain? No, only from the pneumonia. A leak in the lung brought another part to their attention.

Doctors, surgeons, and nurses all have a language unauthorized for a simple human being. What? Where? What does that do? Do I have to? Sometimes my head hurt worse than the other parts of my body–until my son (medical profession) arrived and conversed with me in what I call ‘momma talk.’

He stayed with me through surgery and the removal of the tumor, the inserting of a tube in my left side to help drain fluid from my lung. Between my son, friends, and priest, I felt comfortable with what was going on. EXCEPT, I was bored and the hospital room never changed. Oops, the room number changed three times, but I could make the same turns in each room. No computer and then no charge for my cell. One of the nurses took it out to the Nurse’s Station and someone had a cord which would fit., but nothing for my Kindle.

On October 2, 2013, the drainage was down to nothing, and with my son taking me home and being there, I got released. Home never looked so good. Now, I am walking, walking, walking and walking at least 4 times a day, doing the exercises I do with my class every day, and breathing DEEP. I will return to my SilverSneakers’ class as their instructor, but will make certain the time is right.

Now, I can devote more time to writing and talking to all of you at patriciachats.

Thanks for letting me give you a short synopsis, but as my readers and followers, I felt you should know.

One thing I believe:  Cherish Yesterday. Dream Tomorrow. Live Today.

Happy writing to all.

“Okay, Edna, we are back in business and I know she’ll have some great stories from characters encountered during her ‘stay.’

BREAK YOUR OWN RULES

DiamondLook at this diamond and notice the brilliance, sparkles, and cuts. Why aren’t we more like a diamond — free to sparkle at any moment, and show a daring brilliance to anyone? Because, we need to live by rules. We have a rule for this, a rule for that, and can always make up a new rule to follow.  Sure, some rules are necessary, but let’s talk about the rules we put on ourselves.

Forget you are a writer, reader, reviewer, office manager, or whatever job you have. Forget everything if you are retired. We need a discussion with a clean plate, and I do not care if you scraped the last morsel off with a knife, fork, spoon, or licked the bowl clean.

Nothing, nothing at all can change yesterday or any part of the past. The future is not a part of the present, so do not get caught up on what might be. Life can change in an instant.

Dare to do something different. Burdens do not allow you to travel light, so do a little re-packing into a small overnight bag. Then, look at all the things you consider burdens and see if there is something you can do to create a new touch. On a second thought, take a look at these burdens and see a different way to look at them. One thing pops up:  LISTS.

Let go of lists, play each moment to moment today in the present. Yeah, you have to get up, fix breakfast, get the kids off to school, hubby off to work, and yourself off to work. No kids, no other off to work, so now you have yourself. You stare at the list posted on the fridge, computer, I-Pad, or phone. What’s the worst thing to happen if you can eliminate some of them?

Maybe, it is time to break your own rules. Look around and enjoy what is before you: the smell of the air, feel the sun on your face, or mist from the early morning. Go for the walk you always wanted to take in the early morning. The house won’t get cleaned, the dirty dishes will not put themselves into the dishwasher, but everything will still be there when you return.

As you walk through life, take the hand next to yours and squeeze. It may be the only touch felt today by you or someone else. Smile. A smile costs nothing and makes the world a better place. Share your smile with all you meet. Smile at everyone, everything, and nothing. You will receive a million smiles back.

Don’t worry.  Remember the old song…don’t worry, be happy,? Try singing the words or humming the tune and realize whatever happens, happens. Learn to roll with the punches. Be flexible and reap the rewards of a few broken rules.

I’d love to hear from you after you have tried breaking a few of your rules. The more we can enjoy life, enjoy others, a free feeling in our lives, the better we can break the rules and roll in the pleasant time of the present.

I want to pass on to all of you a phrase by Emily Dickenson:  “I dwell in possibilities.”

May you have nothing but possibilities pop up for you. I also want to thank all my followers,  and if you want to comment, propose new material for my blog, please check out my website:  http://www.patricia-patterson.com and leave a note in the contact section.I’d love to hear from you.

Hang tight…..the next post will be about demons. Yeah, the monsters we create for ourselves in our lives. We will dig deep and have fun.

WRITING – POETRY – ART?

Book CaseDo not holler yet, please? But, do think about how poetry can assist you in some of your writing struggles. Enter the scenes in your head. No thanks, I write books – I am not a rhyming person – poetry is fluff – I write erotica – poetry is for old people who want to look backwards – poetry, I don’t think so.

There are more excuses about poetry, but before we stick our heads in the sand, we should examine why poetry can, could and does help our writing. How long ago did you pick up a book of poetry and read? Some of our best poets suffered from illnesses, sometimes not mentioned. Sylvia Plath, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Virginia Wolf, and William Shakespeare had addictions, depressions, mental issues and their works of poetry show their true feelings and desperation. One poem I love was written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Her words came from a time , not yet established in her life, she wrote for the future. One particular poem, Solitude begins, “Laugh and the word laughs with you. Weep and you weep alonge.” This is a wide read poem, even today.

Look at some of your favorite poets and read their works. Picture yourself searching for words to fit your expressions. Do not we, as writers, do the same for our works. Of course, and sometimes we use the first word we can conjure. If you are having a bad day at writing, what is one of the things you can do? Return to one of your favorite quotes, or something posted at your computer or on the wall. Reading will help your vision get back on track.

Wanting to write and giving yourself permission to do this are the same for every writer, and the genre does not matter. Remember, there is not bad writing only the first efforts and many revisions create good writing.

Here are a few actions to help yourself feel great about writing and sticking to it every day:

*  Do not judge anything you write as great or a failure

*  Keep Writing

*  Don’t whine about time or energy needed to write. Just write, write, and write.

*  Keep telling yourself you are a writer.

*  Learn more about the craft.

*  Keep paper and pen with you at all times.

*  Jot down sayings you see on cars. What about road signs? They always have mishaps.

*  What about a song on the radio? The music, the beat, the sadness might fit into your next stanza or paragraph.

Another area writers might look into is art. How long has it been since you went to an art gallery or a photography exhibit? The next time you see one advertised, go, study the artists view or the photographer’s camera angle.

Sometimes the blank page is huge and we need to create words and phrases, the same and we need to create words and phrases, just as a paint brush needs to create color, and the camera different angles or the poet a feeling to draw the reader into the depths of a soul.

You are a writer and you must make the choice to write every day. No matter the genre, you write and write and write. The words flow on the pages you write and you watch your dream take shape.

You write because you are a writer.

WRITING RETREAT IN THE GLASS CAGE

unicorn danceThe doorbell chimed and I led the other three writers out the back door to our remodeled back porch. We replaced the outdoor screens with windows, installed a fireplace for cool days of fall, cold days of winter and a waterfall for spring and summer. What shocked them, was a glass cage attached in a corner. Inside was a table, small desk, bookshelves, and all the amenities of the whole porch without intrusion.

“Ladies, welcome to my glass cage. I can see everything and hear nothing. I can be in tune with nature and all of her seasons. Before you leave, you will see the twilight turn into darkness and watch stars sparkle. We all have something different, which represents our writing too. Have you heard from the mystery ladies?”

Heads shook.

“Well, let’s get started. Each one will read their allotted pages and stop. Then say nothing until all of us make our comments or suggestions. Then the writer can address our points.Fair to all of us.”

The evening moved at a fast pace and each writer got good comments and many laughs went around the small table.

“Since this is spring, our treat will be Angle Food Cake with a yogurt topping of your choice; both small in calories.”

‘Hey, we need to let our minds run free and encourage our brains to work better,” one of the group spoke. “We write for our stories and use our imagination, but we have to plot, form, and follow. What if one of us picks a topic and then all of us write whatever comes into our minds.”

Raised eyebrows came, but pens and notebooks began to fill the table.

“The topic for this evening is ‘what wakes you up at 3 a.m.’ Be creative.We have ten minutes and then we read.”

The evening ended in giggles, smiles, laughter, and  whole lot of positive thoughts.

“Guess we are back to Paris next week and maybe our new friends will be with us. They might get a jolt at the way we are improving our retreats.”

As they started to leave, the promised stars shone into the Glass Cage.

“Good Night.”

EEEEEE MAIL

The Otherlife

Have you ever felt like you’re covered up with EEEEEE MAIL? About the time when you think you’ve gotten to the point of done, the next ten or twelve arrive and the blood seeps to your brain. You are certain you can feel the dripping on your keyboard.

We need everything faster and faster. Ideas sooner and sooner. Instant this. Instant that. Quick and quicker. More and more and more. Can you even remember what a Sunday dinner of pot roast  smells like? What about the fried chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans? When was the last time you sat down on an Saturday morning at your own table and had sausage and pancakes with the whole family?

We can’t eat all this fat. We don’t have time to cook like our mothers or grandmothers did. We are ……What are we?

Do you remember when you wrote a letter, scribbled funny things on the sides (we would call these margins), licked the envelope, slapped a stamp in the corner and walked to a mailbox? Can you feel the nervousness of waiting for a response? And, when the mailman came and no letter, the let down feeling. As you wanted to cry, scream, yell, the postman returned with an envelope he’d misplaced.  Communication. The written words filled your soul with happiness. You were content to sit down and enjoy every word in the letter.

I went on a short 3-day vacation and returned to EEEEEE Mails.I won’t deny the number of messages were outstanding and I felt wanted and needed, or maybe not. So, little by little, I am learning to slow down, learn how to interrupt the message as to their importance. Then I do not want to give out numbers to people I know.  Even if you divide the number of emails on a certain day into 3’s; some are not going to get answered.

I gave up and went to bed. My dream woke me up screaming and grabbing at hands around my throat. (Still in the dream.) I got up and fired up the computer. I was drowning in messages. I shut the thing down. No more. I will find a solution. I need my sleep toooooo much.

The next morning, I ducked my head, turned away as I hit the on button. Nothing. No emails, No messages. My breath did a huge intake, and then I realized – yes we do need all the communication and made a vow to myself:  30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the late afternoon. My friends and followers need my attention and any help I can give. I do need to be the judge of what’s important and ……yeah you know the rest.

I may not get to every email within 24-hours, but promise you will hear from me in some unique form. Now, I can go to bed, sleep all night, and wake up looking forward to all the mail I receive. And, I promise to all of you, I’ll answer and please take your time to respond, unless I ask for 911 assistance.

May the gods of EEEEEE Mail be with you in all the days, months, and years that follow. Please let me know you’ve smelled a pot roast cooking in your own oven, even if you had to find it; and treasure the family breakfast on a Saturday morning. These are priceless moments and if you are in the middle of a great family conversation…..

EEEEEEE Mails won’t matter.

My FriendTrip

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Yes, I did make the trip to West Virginia to visit my great friend.  Left in the rain and returned in the rain, but only found relief from the pollen in West Virginia.

Pictures. I promised pictures and…..my camera broke, my cell phone did not take any seeable (if this is a word) pictures, and my friend took all the pictures. Now believe this…..she lives in a valley with mountains all around her home, plus the airlines, which send planes all around. She has a dial-up service. So, I suggested she get prints made, at my cost, and have them sent to me. When I get them….you will too.

A lifestyle change. Farmland all around. Cows, horses, goats, sheep, black bear, deer, dogs, cats, and a stillness which stirs the soul. You do not know the names of roads; only by cousin …..lives here, down a bit, is aunt….. or uncle…..

We went to breakfast at Kalico Kitchens and not only is breakfast served, but the trained Rin-Tin-Tin in Hollywood a couple years ago. Yeah, right. The food isgreat and served by a perky lady, but the main point is conversation.

We went into an art show. All of the portraits and scenes were done by fellow residents. Beautiful art work. Then she had promised her daughter’s Girl Scout Group an hour of exercise by me. All of the girls, 10-11, showed up and after about thirty minutes asked if we had to go the full hour. We had a great time and I loved sharing a few exercise tips.

Saturday morning, we headed out in her van for me to see where she was born and the history in her area. Sometimes were were on state roads, and some on lay-over roads. These are small roads within counties. The road is one vehicle wide and if another vehicle approaches, each pulls over to the side of the road to let each other pass. She is a great driver, but sometimes my heart climbed out the window.

I saw places where mines used to be; places where mines exploded; and places where miners lived with the cinder block foundations still in tact but no homes. She showed me we where she was born, and she is a coal miner’s daughter.

Any place we stopped, no car doors got locked, and people came up to us with smiles and answers to any of our questions. They accepted us and even asked me about life in Atlanta

We sat outside her home at a pond she’s made with gold fish and frogs. The bullfrogs were in mating season and did they ever grunt. She has a garden, but must bring a lot of her plants and food plants up on her porch. Even then, the deer come up and eat whatever they can.

We visited an Amish community where she buys her cheese, crackers, and some meats for sandwiches.

There are so many state parks and visitors streaming in and out. We saw many, but the one which stands out is New River Gorge. This consists of a bridge  completed in October 1977. We did not drive over, but stopped at the park and looked at the span of this huge….huge bridge. Every year on the third Saturday of October, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, hosts Bridge Day. This events lures hundreds of parachutists and others to go off  876 foot high….I was grateful to look from a distance.

Then Sunday, before I flew out, I attended church with my friend. A small white painted church with a membership of 69 at the present. Everyone knew everyone, guests were given a formal welcome, and all participated in the service. Songs played on the piano and sang, made me feel like music had never left the church. They give more, do more, and have community throughout their church. Some Sundays, they have early church and then Sunday School. Why? Because their pastor is a Circuit Pastor. She and her husband work in different areas to make certain everyone has an opportunity to go to church. With all the introductions, I felt I’d been to their church forever. Thank you, my dear friend.

I wanted to attached pics to show all of these beautiful places and people. Please hang tight. They will appear.

Thank you, my dear, dear friend. I love you as my sister.