Someday when I grow up…

Think back to when you were young…

One of the biggest questions everyone asked was what do you want to be? Pretty big question. But if you were like me, you had an answer to everything back then, didn’t you?

I remember in first grade I knew that answer. I wanted to be a writer. The first piece I ever wrote was a play on several 3 by 5 index cards. It was littered with spelling, grammatical errors, and incomplete sentences. In my eyes however, it was a masterpiece. It sat in a box, tucked in one of my favorite childhood books until we moved, and my Mom gave them to me.

Reading the note cards provided my Husband and I with much entertainment , and by the third card, we were laughing so hard we were crying. Thankfully, my writing skills have improved since then!

Life happens, people grow up. Instead of getting happy, people’s opinions get in the way, and then we hope to get lucky.

Get lucky, and get that promotion. Hope to get a good paying job with benefits. Work for a company that offers a good retirement plan, and if we are lucky, retire by the time we are sixty. That is, if -and that is a big if- we are lucky.

Then life happens. That promotion we were hoping to get, it doesn’t work out. Our luck has not been too good. Times are tough, and with Obama Care in place,  that benefits package the company you work for is increased by $200 bucks a month. You can barley afford to pay your bills, and you will never be able to retire at this rate. Then all that labor you have done for years finally catches up. You get a chronic condition, and that job that you used to be able to do, you can no longer do. You are forced into an entry level job. With no hope of retirement at all.

You are forced to do something for yourself and you family. You come back to the only thing you know how to do.

Write. So you begin writing. The only thing in life that gives you purpose, besides being a Wife and a Mother.

Then you remember the day you grew up. The day that people told you, being an English and or Creative writing major would never make you any money. The day your dreams were crushed. The day they died.

The day I looked into my Sons eyes, was the day I was born. Then I got happy. Not just lucky. I felt the need to write. It hasn’t stopped since. I write stories and poems, for my Son, and he asks me to read them to him. He reminds me daily to get happy, not just lucky. It all made sense. The reason I was here, what life is all about.

Life isn’t about being lucky. It’s about getting happy.

When I ask my Son what he wants to do when he grows up, I am gonna tell him the same thing my Grandfather did, “Do what makes, you happy. Not what makes you the most money.”

I keep thinking about the conversation my Grandfather had with me before nursing school. I wish he was here to talk to me and support me now. He was good at listening. I think he knew me better than I knew myself.

I can’t help thinking about the advice he gave me, and about how he said I would struggle and have to jump through a lot of hoops in my life to get where I was going. He was so right. Right about everything.

I’ve already jumped about through half of them.

Driving in the same car that he used to drive, on the way to the college campus, I started talking to him, asking for his guidance. I just wish I could take one last drive with him.

If he was to ask me today what I wanted to do when I went to college, my answer would no longer be, ‘Making a decent living,” but “living a life of happiness doing what I love with the people I love.”

 

 

 

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Meditation from a Bar Stool

As I sat alone at the bar, waiting for the people from my high school graduating class to arrive, I observed others and sipped my drink quietly. Two hours and two drinks later, and some really good food, I was still sitting there alone. The people that RSVP’ed never showed and I realized many several things. The most important lesson this taught me, is I am so very lucky.

I phoned my husband, told him that the whole class reunion thing is a joke. We had a good laugh about it, and I asked if he wanted me to get carry outs for him and our Son. Of course he said, “Yes.” I placed the order, then waited for the carryout. As I was waiting I saw most of the men were my husbands age, watching the ball game with there buddies, trying to hit on and pick up women who were my age, or a bit younger. There was one man I observed, that looked to be 55-60 years of age bragging about some young girl that was barley legal that he took home the night before. I have not idea if this was true or not, but never the less entertaining.

The bar scene that looked so good in my early twenties didn’t really appeal to me any longer. Quickly approaching thirty, I wondered why so many people my age still do this. Then it hit me. Some of them are not as lucky. They don’t have a husband and a wonderful little boy to come home to. Most people put careers and money above people.

It was probably one of the reasons no one showed. To busy because of work. To busy hanging out with their friends at a local bar. Maybe people cannot afford to get dinner or drinks, or simply put… people just don’t give a shit.

The carry out arrived, and I settled up with the bartender, and called my family to let them know I love them, I would be home soon.

Random thoughts from this experience: 

If your forty, and hanging out at a bar every night… trying to “pick up a young chick,” watch out. You might get more than you bargain for.

You can only depend on family, and a few good friends. That is the truth.

RSVP’s… I don’t really think people in my generation understand what that means.

People are so inconsiderate.

People just don’t care.

People don’t give a shit.

I’m glad I am not one of those people.

I can’t believe people actually wanted me to rent a room for this thing. I’m glad I didn’t, because I would have had a huge bill.

I am never putting a class reunion together again.

Thank God I can make time for people and I am never too busy for friends or for family.

All this from the corner of a bar stool…

 

Write, write, write.

I have always been scared to write. The odd thing is, the more I write the less fearful I become. In evaluating my life, I believe I have figured out where this fear comes from.

The fear comes from people telling me over the years that what I wrote did not matter. That I could never make any money from my passion. Somewhere along the way, I gave up on my dream. I know where. In college.

I was told I was good at taking care of others, so I choose to pursue a career in the health care field. I do not regret it because I feel life is a learning experience and I learned a lot. Most of all I learned from the people that I took care of.

Life is full of disappointment. So you should spend it with someone you love, and doing what you love.

I wish I would have listened to my Grandfather all those years ago. He told me to do what I loved, not what other people told me to do. I listened to what other people told me I was good at doing. I didn’t form an opinion of myself at that age. At 18, I really had not had time to form a strong opinion of my own, so I figured I would listen to those that had formed a strong opinion of me as a person. So, I didn’t listen to that voice inside whispering inside of me.

The started getting louder the day my Son was born.

It started shouting at me the day I collapsed and found out I had a Vestibular disorder.

It woke me up in the middle of the night three and a half weeks ago and wouldn’t let me go back to sleep.

Then, I knew I had to write my ideas for my book down. The ideas have kept pouring in, all day long. Every day since. That voice I have suppressed since I entered college has come back and it shows no signs of going away. The voice that the world tried to beat out of me but couldn’t. That voice that says, Write, write, write. So I listened to it. I picked up my pen and I did.

 

5 a.m.

Sometimes I can’t sleep. The time I am supposed to be sleeping, is used thinking about what I am writing.

I was up tell 5 a.m. last night, trying to figure out what to do with this Novelette I wrote and am in the process of editing. I took a break from this process of editing to watch one of my favorite movies, Copying Beethoven.  It finally hit me with a large whack in the noggin, then I heard this voice in my head, Do something unconventional, like Beethoven did.

Oh my God! That’s it! I though, at 5 a.m., as my Husband and Son were snoring away. I had several novels that I was holding on to. I had not figured out what I was going to do with them. Perhaps, I was holding on to them in hopes that someday I would find a proper place for them. They found their proper place last night.

My short novelette is going to tie into each of my novels. Now I have to go back and change characters names in my Novels and Novelettes, so I can weave the stories together. It will be a tedious task, but one that I am looking forward too, because it is all starting to come together now.

My novelette is very heavy in dialogue, and in my novels I have poetry between each scene or beat, for each emotion. This scares me because my writing is unconventional in every sense, but I feel it has to be to tell the story and for the emotion of the story to come across correctly.

On Thanksgiving I was sharing my Novel idea with my Grandfather. He majored in English Literature and Theatre. He told me he could tell I had a passion for writing. Then, he proceeded to tell me Writing fiction in not easy, because there is a little bit of us in it. There is always truth inside the fiction. I have found this to be true.

I find that sometimes a bit of myself comes through in every piece I write, and I would like to share a bit of that with you from my Novelette, Unspoken Words.

I FOUND A CERTAIN KIND OF PEACE, in the darkness that helped me to think. It was this peace that allowed my heart to be still, however my mind was not. It is one of the many reasons I have never slept well at night. At night when my mind would not be silent I walked, taking in the stillness and quietness of the night, and I hoped that it would be enough of a distraction to allow my brain to shut up.”

~UNSPOKEN WORDS-Christina Oliver~

It is this same thing that happened to me last night. Everyone was in bed, and I had this idea gnawing at me. The idea had to come out of me before I fell asleep. My brain is never quiet and perhaps that is why I must stay up and write, while the rest of the world sleeps.

Watch “Don’t Be Perfect – Motivational Video ft Lewis Howes” on YouTube

“The Universe is made up of roughly 94 percent dark matter…there is always something in our lives that is dark matter…we don’t know why these experiences happen to us…when we reflect on it, we realize we would not be were we are today, if it wasn’t for the dark matter in our lives.”

Watch “Tinie Tempah – Written In The Stars ft. Eric Turner” on YouTube

Inspirational song. “It’s written in the stars, keep shouting tell they hear you out.”

What is the one thing you are hungry for? Please leave you comments below.

Believe in Magic

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  My blog name “Snapshots of a Life,” is inspired by the memior of my life I am currently working on.
  
   When I write, I like to think of a book as a series of short stories. I like to fashion my stories in such a way, that you can pick a chapter anywhere in my memior, and read it independently of the collection.

   I like to think of our life as a camera, and the memories of snapshots. A glimpse into our lives. I love writing true stories, but I also love fiction.

   The reason I love fiction is you can create anything you want. Different characters, different worlds and then imagine how they will react to different situations. This creates the plot.

   I draw inspiration from real life, as you can see and read about in my previous blog entry. I feel that this makes a story more authentic. My goal in writing fiction is to find a universal truth in everyday life, then turn that truth into a story.

   I believe to do this, you must look at life through the eyes of a child. Like the world around you is a magic place. That is where you find truth. Through truth, you find your voice.
  

Auld Lang Syne

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As the sun begins to set, the breeze brings with it a melody from the Valley. Faintly the church bells are heard in the distance sweetly singing the melody Auld Lang Syne. It was appropriate because as the clock chimed, another year rolled by. The sunset began to set as my Grandson and I walked toward it and into the field. A lovely way to end my 60th birthday party. He smiled at me as a new hour dawned and said,

“Happy Birthday Grandpy! Happy Birthday. I love you.”

“I love you too.” I said and then kissed his little head.

He fell asleep as I carried him back to his Mother. I remember when she was young, and I brought her home on a day like this. I saw all the light in the world, and for a minute I thought heaven was in my hand. It was in this moment with my Grandson, I saw the beauty of God’s plan.

Notes:

This is a fiction piece from the perspective of a Grandfather. He is 60, and time continues to move on. For him it is just another day, but he doesn’t want to be reminded of it. He understands that the every year brings a certain finality with it, and that one day he will no longer be here (walking into the sunset) and leaving a legacy for his Daughter and Grandson.

I got this idea from a song I heard from the church down the road. The electronic bells really do carry the tune Auld Lang Syne. It was really my Father’s Birthday today, and I wrote this for him. He has a very special relationship with my Son, and I also wanted to capture this in the story.

This gives you an idea of how I get ideas for my stories and books. By being observant, and looking at the world with wonderment. From the eyes of a child.

For those of you who write, I am interested to know how you come up with ideas for your stories, and what inspires you?

Please leave your comments below.