Hey y’all. I am so excited to switch things up a little bit tonight. Last week I was nominated to be a part of the Blog Tour by my friend Lisa who blogs at My So Called Glamorous Life. She is a smart, funny, caring, and powerful voice whose blog you need to be following if you aren’t already. You will thank me later. I can’t remember how I first came across her writings, but if you are the reason–then seriously, THANK YOU.
what is a blog tour?
This is an opportunity for writers in the blogging community to share a little more about themselves, and then to introduce others to the writers whom they love to read. As I begin to answer the questions, I feel a little trepidation–mostly because I’d rather be telling y’all about our latest mishaps or foolishness going on here at the house, but for tonight, I’ll put those stories aside and follow the rules. 😉 If you found your way here because of the Blog Tour, I hope you will stick around a visit a spell. If you like what you see, there should something you can click over there to the right to sign up so you’ll never miss a story. Best of all, like one of Cooter’s wonky waves, they are free and hopefully will make you smile. Or wonder why it’s a bit wonky. Anyway…..
what am I working on?
Right now, apparently I’m holding out to see how long I can go without loading the dishwasher. I used to do the whole Flylady shining my sink every night. But then I woke up and realized I’d been dreaming. And yeah, a family of four/five (one is in college and not home all the time) who usually eats at home can sure mess up a lot of dishes.
In all seriousness, I am trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. From different jobs I’ve had over the years, I know I don’t want to supervise anyone or be responsible for how folks treat others. I love writing, and I started blogging every day about eighteen months ago as a challenge to myself to see if I could stick with it for a year. I read something that Jeff Goins wrote that basically said, If you call yourself a writer, then write. Don’t just sit around saying you want to be one. That hit me hard and was the impetus I needed to begin.
About a year ago I attended a Writer’s Workshop led by Ann Hite. She gave us a starter sentence, and we were to write until she stopped us. I don’t know where those characters came from, but they scared me a bit at how they were talking and interacting and telling their stories and all I was doing was holding my pen to the paper. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with them, because they are a lot like my children, they keep on talking and calling my name, trying to get my attention, even when I politely ask them to hush for a few minutes.
I love sharing stories. When I’ve had the opportunity to share the same stories I write here with a group of people, it has made my soul sing. I loved it. I want to continue writing, but I’m working to branch out into speaking and sharing stories aloud that tell who we are and show the beauty in the brokenness. Right now my captive audience–bless ’em–are comprised of my Aunt and other dear friends. But one day…..
That’s my dream. Among so many others.
I’m also working on homeschooling my littles, which gets more complicated every year–and on living day to day without my big girl home here with me–she’s where she’s supposed to be and that makes me joyful. But yeah, I sure do miss her. I am working on remembering to breathe and say no to some things and that it’s okay to say just that–NO. I daily work on not falling apart from missing my Mama and Daddy so much. I’m not sure that will ever change though. It’s the hardest part of loving someone so much–the missing them when they’re gone.
how does my work differ from other work in my genre?
Wait. I have a genre? Wow–I really feel like a writer now.
Last week I was trying to get a decent picture of myself to send to Lisa. I didn’t get one so I will spare you that in this post (you’re welcome), but what was funny to me was that I had to take the picture of myself (a selfie, if you will) and yet, there’s always someone around when I’m in the bathroom or on the phone. After I finally got one I was halfway okay with, I noticed there was an ant trap and a Matchbox car photobombing the picture. *sigh* I gave up and used it anyway–because THAT’s my genre. Real life. The ant traps because, you know, ants, and the Matchbox cars were left there by my little guy, no matter how many times I’ve asked him to put them away. The joy and the sorrows, the silly and the ordinary and the wonder and the grief. It’s all there in my days and in my stories. It may not be very different from what others are writing, but it comes from my heart, every single typed word of it, and that’s how it’s for sure different. It’s just pure tee ME.
why do I write/create what I do?
When I first started blogging, it was a challenge to myself, but it was also more than that. Less than two months before I started blogging daily, my Mama left this world after twenty-five days in the hospital. I was the one who had to sign the papers letting her go. That and watching my Daddy take his last breath fifteen months before her–those things changed me. I needed an outlet to let out what was in my heart and mind and soul. I needed to grieve. I needed to tell their stories–and mine. I had saved up so many stories that I was going to tell Mama after we got out of that hospital, and I needed a place to put them.
I write because, to be honest, I’m a lousy scrapbooker. I have a Joyful friend with whom I used to scrapbook. It was fun and I stunk at it. She was so fabulous, doing book after book for her girls, and my poor girl wound up with one. So I write for my children. So that one day they can look back and know who I am and who our people were and all of our stories. I write about things so I’ll remember and so they will know–how crazy they made me and how much I slab dab love and adore them.
how does my writing/creating process work?
Oh my land. Really?
Okay. I go throughout my day paying attention. I’m not sanctimonious about this or anything–it’s probably a bit OCD if you want to know the truth. I take pictures of the strangest things. My children have learned to quit asking why and just nod and say, “Oh, the blog.” Some I use, some I don’t but a picture not taken is worth zero words. (Or is it–hmmmm, make a note Tara–possible story there)
And that’s mostly how it works. During the day (sometimes a couple of days before) a thought or story comes to mind. Some days it starts writing itself and I have to hush it up until I can sit down with the keyboard for fear it will write itself and the words will be gone. On the really hard topics, I mull them around for several days before the words float to the top insisting to be written.
Then there are days that I have nothing when I sit down to the keyboard. After everyone settles in their beds and it’s just me and Miss Sophie (our dog) sitting in the recliner, I stare at the keyboard and surf a bit–Facebook, Pinterest, whatever, and I think. I go back through my photos taken on my phone to see if something is there to inspire or trigger a story. I’ve been known to text my oldest and say ?????HELP?????. She usually tells me to go to bed or something like that. In the end, something always comes. It may or may not be great, but the important thing for me is to write from my heart, to continue writing, and to have it done before the Friends reruns or midnight, whichever comes first. (That show makes me crazy–real people don’t live like that, but yeah, I still watch from time to time.)
On nights when nothing else seems to be coming to me, I sit and write free flow poetry. I love writing poetry as much as prose, but it’s a totally different experience. I feel freer when I write it. And more exhausted after. The ironic thing is I usually have more feedback from readers on my poetry than I do on the controversial topics that I’ve agonized over for days before writing.
Such is life.
Now that is way too much about me. Here are the stars of the post, and I hope you’ve stuck with me so far, because now you’ve hit GOLD, my friends. Here they are–writers whose voices touch my heart and whom I love very dearly.
And interestingly enough, they all have something in common. One an alum Wesleyanne (a sister from my alma mater), one is currently a Wesleyanne, and the third is about to be a Wesleyanne. Like Lisa who nominated me, they are all strong and smart women whose writings are very different but wonderful to read all the same. I hope you will go visit all of them and cheer them on. Be sure to follow them. You give a writer a great gift when you hit that follow button–just so you know. ❤
The first one you’ve already met in my story about the Scarf-Maker Who Could. My friend, Michelle Chance-Sangthong.
Next a young woman you might have read about here a time or two–my oldest whom I don’t know how I could be more proud of. She amazes me at how strong she is and who she is becoming–Auburn Annabelle.
Auburn is a sophomore at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. She is a double major in psychology and neuroscience and plans to earn a doctorate one day. She blogs so her mama will know she’s okay at school, and so people can follow her journey through life as a Wesleyanne. She loves her guitar, her family, and sweet tea. Follow her misadventures at www.auburnannabelle.com
Last but not least is a young woman who loves on my crazy crew and I am thankful for her. At a young age, her voice is already saying important things.
“I write about everyday life as a teenager finishing high school, preparing for college, and trying to figure out where to go from there. I like to write about simple things, although I’ve found that everyday moments can hold great truths about life.” http://swimmingupstream23.blogspot.com
These three women give me hope for the present and future of our world. I hope you enjoy visiting them, and that they become your great friends too.
Thanks again, Lisa, for inviting me on the Tour. It’s been fun!
Thanks to all of you readers for joining me on this Tour Through Blogland.
Love to all.