Apparently I haven’t added a blog post in some time. I thought it didn’t matter, that no one would notice, boy was I wrong. It does matter. There’s a consistency in daily writing that allows one to grow, to hone writing skills. Because we humans must have a sense of purposefulness, a reason to keep going and a schedule to keep.
So here I am. Naked. Exposing myself to this reality, my vulnerabilities are not unique. In fact, it’s the very notion that we are alike that makes me feel so safe here and makes me willing to share.
Because the truth is, we all struggle in life. Am I right? For some people it might be money worries and for others family and emotions. We ask ourselves typical questions:
What are we doing? What have we done? Where have we been? Where are we going? And the worse part is when we gage ourselves by other people’s standards.
But shouldn’t we take time to acknowledge that we’ve already achieved so much? Just today, when we woke up, crawled out of bed and we were still breathing. What if we included this as a success?
Right there, we’ve accomplished so much. And then the rest of the day could be measured in potential. The future steps to take, with so many possibilities! Isn’t that what truly matters?
If we set goals, we need to be sure we give ourselves encouragement, nourishment and not look to others to do it for us. We need to pat ourselves on the back for every little step we take, because not enough people will do it for us.
Why am I writing all of this? Because it’s been a while since I posted a blog & I needed to see this, in writing for myself. So that I’ll remember all that I’ve been through to get here.
I’m a trained certified telecommunications technician, a woman who climbed telephone poles in easements & backyards while people squawked at me from down below.
And the truth is, 5 years ago I nearly lost my life. I don’t talk about it because it’s difficult to talk about, being left deaf on one side and needing a cane are part of who I am now. And as I struggle, I mustn’t let them totally define who I am.
Anyway, I apologize for having missed so many days of writing this blog. Like my artwork, it is therapeutic for me and helps me get through the day. It also gives me a sense of purposefulness, a reason to keep going and a schedule to keep.
21 days before the official release date, this post was tweeted on Twitter to announce Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now.
And now, it’s June! And I’m so excited and honored to have my story included, I don’t think there’s been anything quite like this book. Crowdsourcing the American experience through short stories and easy reads. Wait… what?
Storytelling has always been important in the human experience. Stories that teach, entertain and offer cautionary tales as a blueprint to living life well. This book continues that tradition, as it gently pulls the reader into 101 stories of love, courage and hope, shared by Black women.
And before you ask… yes, everyone needs to read this book. We all need to read these stories because as Dr. Maya Angelou wrote, “We are more alike than we are different.” And these stories are pertinent to us all. We all can learn something from her, her and her too.
These stories are inspirational, in part and precisely because these women didn’t succumb. They’re all successes, women who encountered obstacles and found a way to go around their obstacles, through them and under them.
Ssshhhhh, respect. These women are speaking now, we should be listening now.
I always dreamt of becoming a writer, but instead, 38 years ago, I began my career as a telecommunications technician, climbing telephone poles & wiring main frames. Later, I transitioned to become a parental technician. And while I was enjoying my daughters’ giggles, I effectively stopped writing. I watched in silence as a writer’s tools passed me by, from a roller ball ink pen to a gel pen. From a clunky typewriter to a sleek word processor. From a bulky personal computer to a streamlined laptop.
It seemed my dream to become a writer would come to fruition. And when my daughters grew up and left my husband and I as empty nesters, I started painting, becoming a successful intuitive artist. And I would’ve been content at that, but a friend telephoned me and asked me to write my story and submit it.
It’s been 27 years, and omg here I am! Checking off boxes. I’m so delighted to have my story “These Women Mattered” published in the new book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now.
It’s available June 1st, at your local bookstore and online bit.ly/2Regvww
Edited by @Breena_Clarke and @AmyNewmark, #CSSImspeakingNow is Black women sharing their truths in 101 stories. For so long our voices have been silenced, but we’re speaking now.
I truly hope my personal story in the new “Chicken Soup for the Soul: I’m Speaking Now” inspires you to write and tell your truth too.
Her America. Getting ready to say goodbye to an art piece & realizing that I’m feeling some kind of way.
It has me whispering to myself & posting this out loud. Wondering if the joy I felt while painting it will be discernible when it’s finally unveiled. After traveling hundreds of miles, will it be carefully unwrapped by happy hands? Or will it sit inside its brown wrappings, unhung and unsung, long after the postage stamp and the shipment date have passed and the natural elements of this world have caused the barcode’s ink to fade.
I may not be privy to her final resting spot, but I know all of my subtle brush strokes & glad tidings will remain. Because this is what I do writing & painting for you🙏
Her story. That hand on her shoulder, at times has been heavy. It seemed to hold her back, as much as it was meant to guide.
So this happened… After raising my family and being a caretaker for my Mum who had Alzheimer’s, I’m living my childhood dream.
However, I wasn’t trained to be a writer or an artist, everything I make is created intuitively.
Years ago I was trained to climb telephone poles and spent ten years enabling people to communicate via coaxial cable, couplings and two-way devices. I’ve been trained to identify a problem and to work my way from the good side back. It seemed to come naturally to me. Troubleshooting is a woman’s hidden talent and so I made a seamless transition from cable technician to parental technician, unfortunately without a raise. More work, less pay. But that’s ok, I gained invaluable insight and experience. Fodder for my artwork & writing.
Make-up on, mask off. Intuitive, that’s me. And now here I am, I’ve been doing this for five years, deeply immersed. So if my artwork is rudimentary and my webpage is a little basic, I’m not worried. Because honestly, I only came here to play and to reimagine my life. I didn’t think my old dug up dreams would amount to much. I didn’t think you’d stop by and read this 🙂
When I was a kid I wanted to write. I sacrificed that dream to raise my kids, but no one explained to me that they grow up. So now I have time to write. And I did and do. I wanted to write short stories and be published. Once upon a time, I wanted to paint a picture worthy to be hung up and exhibited in an art gallery.
Humbly… I’ve accomplished both 🙂
And it’s great if I made it look easy, I want other women like me, to reimagine their childhood dreams & grab it with both hands! Because a “has-been mother” is worthy and she ought to be encouraged to live her best life!
So go ahead, you can do it! You too can live your best life, an ordinary life in a most extraordinary way. Salute 🙂
So this happened. While I was commissioned to do one piece, I created 3. Someone asked me, how does that happen… for me, my mind is much faster than my hands and the paint dries too quickly. So I move across one canvas onto the next and in this case, onto the next.
Like siblings, these paintings have similarities and yet, stand alone & free. I wanted to introduce The Artists, an unsold work that makes me smile a little inside.