Tag Archives: writing

It’s Coming…


Dude.

NaBloPoMo is coming.

Yes, I registered my blog. I even registered 2 blogs.

After all, the new glioblastoma blog I’m putting together could benefit from daily writing.

I’m totally insane. But I gotta.

I’ve lost only once in 8 years.

Ain’t gonna be this year.

Therapy, here I come.

Join me.

 

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The World Needs More Letters…


Here’s an inspiring TED video I wanted to share:

The above video is about the world needing more love letters.  And well, it struck the romantic cord inside of me.

It’s been awhile since I made a point of writing letters, but I used to.  I used to write letters every Saturday to my friends at college who waited to get mail from home.  Even though it was a small and close-knit theology school, going to college there was sometimes a lonely place, where you wonder if everyone you ever knew back home forgot about you once you left.  You work so hard, have little money, live in a strange world with people you don’t know and many feel the vacuum left behind without the nurturing comforts they were used to most of their life.

Trust me, letters and care packages from friends were nearly as welcome back in my college 20 years ago as they are in the military.  And not everyone had loving family and friends back home to write them for them.  Little handwritten Saturday notes with goofy cartoons and stickers were a way to brighten someone’s week.

Later I wrote letters for cancer victims and children.  Again, it’s one of those things people forget about doing anymore.  Sometimes at the very onset, people get a flood of attention and well wishes, and a bunch of greeting cards with little more than a name signed.  But come 6 months later?  When things are still scary and no one remembers anymore?  There’s not even that signed card.  Three months, 6 months, a year after a loss, a trauma, a triumph: these are times people need encouragement most of all.  And yes, we need them after triumphs too.

You could send them an e-card, perhaps.  And that’s something.  But there’s nothing like the power of a handwritten note that says, “I’m thinking of you.  I’m still here.  And I’m proud of the fight you’re putting up.”

I also used to keep hand-written journals.  In spite of being a dysgraphic adult I far preferred journaling by hand than by computer.  I have ever since reading Harriet The Spy when I was a kid. Unlike Harriet, I wasn’t interested in writing down what people did when no one was looking, but I did very much enjoy the meditative process.  It’s something I haven’t done in a long time.  But today, I can still pick up one of my handwritten journals from 4th grade and immediately travel back in time.  Flowing through every stroke of the pen, every stroke that I made, I reach back in time and hold the hand of that child I once was.  Remembering what it was like to be that kid.  Even from so long ago, the connection is so strong I almost remember the stroking of each entry as if in the moment.

The handwritten word is so very powerful.  And it’s a wonder that a dysgraphic person like me ever learned to love it.  Even if I do struggle with it to this day.  It’s too easy to take the art for granted.

I have tried to collect letters and recipes in the handwriting of each of my family members possible, alive or dead.  Even my grandparents had trouble understanding my desire for hand written recipes.  They wanted to type them for me and I kept saying, no.  Please give me recipes in your own handwriting.  Because that’s unique.  And when I touch the letters, it’s like reaching out for your hand.  I want my own grand kids to know you, some way, some how in a way that can’t be done so personally.  What better way than through food prepared and written about by your own hand?

Handwriting is an art form and it carries more emotion in the formation of each character than anything typed.  There’s simply more voice in the strokes of the hand-written word, vs. the print of the digital.  And I must admit, like my Grandma Dot, I have saved every single real letter I’ve ever received since childhood.  One of my favorites contains advice that a group of out-of-state high school friends collaborated on and sent me, trying to help me with a stalker situation I didn’t know how to handle.  Each one signed their names.  I have no idea where any of them are today.  But I hang onto their letter and hope to see them again someday.

I can’t think of the last time I’ve received a handwritten letter myself.  I think this weekend I will challenge myself to hand-write a letter to someone.  Maybe roll the dice or draw a name and just do it.  Even if I might have to do some recon to find a mailing address. Maybe just write something to leave out in the world somewhere for someone else to find unawares. But just sit down and for once, write a real letter.

What do you think?  How about you?


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Filed under Editorial, NaBloPoMo, Writing

The Courtship Behind Successful Blogging – NaBloPoMo


“People are watching you, whether you realize it or not.  The question is: what are you showing them?”  ~ Jeff Goins

You can’t love blogging and not love communication.  If you’re going to blog, you have to embrace the fact that you are entering a world of fluid conversation and community.  Neither of those aspects work too well without a sense of relationship.

There are different types of successful blogs and the relationships behind their success.  Blogging for larger businesses is of course different from blogging for individuals.

If you subscribe to a blog owned by a company, it is likely you do so because you like what they have to sell and perhaps want to know when they have new information, releases or sales, etc..  And as a reader/fan, you likely hope the said business will listen to your opinion when you comment.

It behooves the business to communicate directly with their customers.  You are, after all, their greatest asset, the established customer.  If they want to keep you as a customer, then they should invest in your experience.

When you are an individual, the relationship takes on a more personal pitch.  And make no mistake, successful blogging is about developing a successful relationship.  To create a successful relationship with readers, as with any kind of relationship, your blog must court.

There are of course all kinds of relationships in the world.  The relationship between life-partners, between co-workers, between mother and child and best friends.  They all have variations on their rules.  But they all have a period of getting to know each other.

What are you going to say and how?

Successful blogging is a casual communication skill that rides a balance somewhere between traditional writing skills and effective public performance, whether we’re talking about public speaking, or something less stuffy like the art of story-telling.

So what experiences are your readers having?

If blogging is a conversation, do you do all the talking?  Or do you listen too?  If blogging is about community, how do you fit in?  Are you an active and contributing member?  Or are you the quiet one in the corner who never gets involved or helps with anything?  Or worse yet, the arm-chair warrior who always complains, but never has anything to positive to give?  Or the pyramid scheme salesman of the family?

If blogging is like a performance, what is your purpose?  What information and message are you trying to get across?  And can you keep it succinct?  What emotions and experience do you wish to invoke?  What memories will your reader walk away with?

If blogging is a courtship, what kind of date are you?  Always talking about yourself?  The gossip?  Or concerned with things that don’t matter much to anyone else?  Are you careful about your appearance, manners, behavior?  Are you articulate and a good conversationalist?  Or are you shy and hope someone else makes the first move and then feel disappointed when things don’t turn out as envisioned?

And most of all, are you true to yourself?  (Don’t be a fake.)

If a blog was the perfect date (or best friend), what attributes would it have?

As you ponder on these things, here’s an interesting article I found about the value of blogs vs. traditional print in science.


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The Gift of a Mother


I don’t often share my poetry and prose.  But today, I finally share this as my Mother’s Day Gift to you, dear reader.  If you like it, please thumb it up and share the link back to my blog post.  Thank you for sharing.


The Gift of a Mother
06-10-2005


It just happened,
The Way
She was lying in bed
When I chanced
By her open door,

That her silhouette
Suddenly appeared
Just as that
Of her 3 year old self. 

I was about
Morning Chores

When Suddenly
Out of the Corner
Of my Eye,
I caught Her
Sleeping Visage. 

Back turned,
Laying sideways,
Head buried
In her pillow

Bedclothes piled around,
There she was…

My Toddling Little Girl. 

 I stood There,
Caught. 

The lighting
Trickery
Brought out her short
Tousled Curls,

Back when
It was just finally
Starting to grow. 

Head turned,
Her Face appeared
Smaller
And Younger. 

I felt the pangs
Of Beauty
Of Sorrow
Of Fear
As I turned to continue. 

Sorrow that Time
Seems to pass so quickly

That I Haven’t
Held
My Baby
As Much
As I’ve Desired. 

Fear that Time will
Escape
From my grasp
Completely

And I might
Forget
Or Lose
This Moment Forever. 

Beauty because a single Glance
Holds an Infinity
Of Joy
And Knowing. 


As I passed on
Through the house
Capturing
The Reflection in my Mind,

I Saw that it was
The Gift
Of a Mother

To see Her Child
So. 

To Know Her
So. 


For a Mother has the Privilege
To See Her Child in Ways
Even her own beautiful Child
Will never See. 

 To watch Her Child
Grow and Develop.

To Remember
The Quirkiness,
The Sweetness,
The Sheer Innocence,
The Purity of Heart. 

To Remember
Their Boldness,
Their Courage
And Determination,

Their Worries,
Their Challenges.

The Privilege to
Nurture them,
Teach them,
Guide them,
Protect them,
To Set Them Free… 

It’s all Summed
Within a Glance. 

As I came back
By her room…
There She was again.

Face returned,
Angelic in her dozing,
Cuddled into blankets,

Transformed
In a second

From
The Toddler
To the Girl. 

All that She Is,
Flooding Back
To Me
In Pride
And Joy. 

A rare Moment
Of Experience;
Remembering
With Feeling
Yet again,

How our Time
As Parents
Of Little Ones
Is so Small. 

I have Seen
Beauty
That no one else
Will See,

Nor ever can. 

I have the Privilege
Of the Truth:

You don’t know Her
As I Do.
You haven’t seen
What I have Seen. 

It is My Prize.
My Gift.
As a Mother. 

It is the Gift
Of my Mother. 

To See
The Face of God.

Copyright © 2005 by Julia Meek Chambers, All Rights Reserved.

She turns 14 soon, but it is still the same as 6 years ago.


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