Tag Archives: hurt

Almost Redacted

So…  something new for me this week.  It may become a regular feature.  I’m trying it out for now and basking in the glow and energy of another wonderfully diverse and creative writers…

What am I talking about?  The Weekend Writing Warriors, that’s who, and I’ve joined in their weekly bloghop #8Sunday.

The rules are pretty simple.  You can check them out the WeWriWa blog where you can also find the linky list of all the writers who are participating in the hop each week.


My eight sentences come out of the first scene in Courting the Swan Song where Alanii is railing against the commander of his father’s personal guard for …  well, pretty much everything.  And the commander has listened oh, so very patiently.  Very patiently….

Alanii looked directly in the other man’s eyes and snarled. “These are my friends, some of them must still be close enough to be my blood kin, and Father’s too, and if they don’t exist, how much more do those books deny me of the world? How prepared for my duty as Andar if I can’t even read the truth that I live with almost every day?”

He stopped short, realizing he had nothing else to say and that he very likely shouldn’t have said what he had. His temper once again had cursed those he cared for.

At least this time his friends weren’t going to be the only ones to suffer for it. Alanii could only imagine that his father would have his name redacted from the histories and genealogies the way his unknown aunt’s had been for this treasonous spiel.

The Commander’s quiet voice broke through his pensive retreat. “Her name was Audorne Jisalur.”

That’s all there is to it.   Hope you enjoyed this piece.   I’ll be posting another snippet of my work mid-week for WIPpet Wendesday.

Some Words Sunday–Tag Lines

To short cut to the ROW80 check, click here.

We’re here to love each other, serve each other, and uplift each other.” — my morning Yogi tea tag line

I’m a huge fan of tag lines…  the kind one finds on the tea tags of certain brands of tea.  I started out (with my Nanny’s help) with Salada tags when I was about six years old.  She would save them in quart-size Mason jars for me, and when  visited, I would sort them by saying, reading them over and over.

Moment of Heaven

Moment of Heaven

Then I found Good Earth teas (I’m not a huge fan of their Original Blend–too sweet for my tastes) and indulged heavily in their Energizing Black tea with Maté and Citrus (yum!) for a time.  I also indulged in my passion for collecting tag lines, because Good Earth gave me a whole new selection of (sweet, sometimes trite) sayings to muse over.

It was after I broke my wrist last December and found that caffeine was causing me problems with my pain meds that I ended up finding my latest tea tag supplier–Yogi teas (yes, I know I could just spend time looking through a website or book of quotes, but the morning discovery is more than half the fun).  They have some wonderful caffeine-free flavors (tisanes and infusions really–since tea actually only comes from one plant, Camellia sinensis) that I’ve grown quite fond of.  If you want flavor recommendations, just ask… then remember to tell me to stop.  😉

(As a side note, I love the porcelain figurines in Red Rose tea too.  I’m not a collector, but I enjoy it when I get one from a family member or in a box.)

But WAIT!

This post isn’t about tea… Is it?  Well, in a sense, it is.  It’s about what tea is to me–connection and family, love and contentment.

My recent What’s With Wednesday post, despite the fact that it still feels like it needed to be written as it was, has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

I don’t like to read posts where people dwell on the ills they suffered in their youth, especially that harm done by those people who should love them most.  I don’t like to read books about child abuse and neglect (the reason I’m struggling through Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, despite his flair for words).  I don’t like to dwell on the negative.

It’s a power thing…  I hate the thought of giving power and credence to the horrible things we do to each other by speaking about them.  And I hate that I’ve written about them, both in an active sense in my blogs and a more passive sense in my fiction.

I hate it, but I also understand how therapeutic it has been for me to admit that bad things have happened and that not only have I survived but grown and improved… not despite the bad but sometimes because of it.

That said, it’s wrong to dwell on the negative.  Positive things are all around us, and they deserve equal, if not heightened, promotion in our lives.

I was not fair to my father at all in my Wednesday post.  No, Dad is not a perfect person.  Even now, Dad’s temper can be a challenge to deal with.  My own temper can be too, and I’ve witnessed myself acting like him too many times for comfort.

It doesn't go any further back for me than this

Family

But Dad is an amazing man in so many ways.  He is insatiably curious about the world; it’s from him that I discovered my love for Classical music, gained the courage to sing, and useful life skills like swimming and how to fix my car (I don’t own the equipment to rebuild an engine or do most automotive work these days, but it’s a rare issue that leaves me stranded for longer than a short trip for a supply or two).  I know Dad loved his role as a father, and he loves working with and being around kids.

Both Mom and Dad gave me a love of reading and words.

And they both also gave me my love of tea.  Iced tea was Mom’s gift.  Dad introduced me to the joys of brewed tea, not just tea bags, but the delight of watching balls of Chinese Gunpowder unfurl in hot water, of the many subtle flavors and nuances that one can achieve with different steeping times or waters.

Tea is comforting and delightful on its own, but it’s more for me.  My tea drinking might not reach the level of a true tea ceremony, but when I have tea with a friend, to me, it’s always the fifth cup.  It draws on the good things I grew up with and enhances them.

Tea reminds me of how much I love my parents.  And the tag line

ROW80 Check-In

The tea tag line at the beginning of the post also seems to be the theme for this ROW80 check-in.    It inspired my sponsor post, which will be posted some Monday during this ROWnd.  It’s the essence that encouraged me to become a sponsor; it’s the reason I found myself drawn not only to the ROW80 but also Kristen Lamb’s WANA Tribe.

Any creative person knows how hard it can be to work at an endeavor without knowing if his/her efforts will be appreciated by others.  But we do it anyway.  We have to–it’s our nature.

Communities, like the ROW80 and WANA, allow us to support and nurture each other.  And we’re uplifted when we bring another person up.  It’s the same power thing I mentioned above.  Bringing good things to the table is always more empowering than rehashing the bad.

Cafe OfficeThat doesn’t mean denying the bad.  It’s there, and it needs to be dealt with–but positively.

At least that’s what I think.

So along with the good in this post, let me acknowledge some bad.  Despite my choosing to do the April CampNaNo, I’ve taken two days off of writing fiction.  My wordcount is behind but not irrecoverably so.    When I wasn’t pondering the aforementioned sponsor post, I was taking time out to play Minecraft or spend time going to museums or on walks with my family.

I feel rested and rejuvenated.  I feel uplifted.  And I’ve gotten a bunch of exercise and reading done toward those goals as well.

 

What’s With Wednesday — Radical and the ROW80

Yesterday someone in my Facebook feed posted this article about Alice Walker, her daughter Rebecca and their estranged relationship.  (If you don’t know, Alice Walker is the  author of The Color Purple, a book I liked a lot but found deeply disturbing, which was surely an effect Walker had been trying for when she wrote it.)

Boodles and Butterflies

Boodles and Butterflies

The article, like many things involving Walker and her world, made my heart hurt.  As a white woman born to a middle-class home in the North, I cannot say I understand the influences in her life much at all.  Oh, I knew the beatings of a father who’d not had the chance to grow up and learn how to control his temper before he had to learn how to support a family.  I know what it was like to have a mother who felt that she’d been condemned to life-long servitude because she’d had a child…

I was told more than once that I should never give up my freedom to a man to have his children because “All men are really boys, and do you really want to be stuck with a baby when you’re raising your husband?

It’s funny to look back now as my mother’s more radical feminist views have altered and mellowed (becoming the mother of a boy and seeing how society traps young men as easily as it does young women helped there).  My father’s radical…yes, radical feminist views, have increased.  My father, not my mother, is the long-time member of NOW.

My father, not my mother, was pretty much convinced that his daughter should be a career woman –the one he used to rage at, the one who use to watch through the cold-air return in her bedroom floor as he beat her mother because…well, I can’t remember any particular reason, usually something bad had happened to my father at work, perhaps one of his coworkers mocked his stutter or he was asked to do some work that he felt beneath his position because he was of lower seniority in his building…stuff rolls downhill after all, and Mom was just his wife and the mother of his child…

Hmm, on a tangent again.  A lot of tangents show up where family is involved, my family or any other person’s…  even Alice and Rebecca Walker’s.

I agree with Alice Walker’s view that motherhood enslaves women.   It’s a bit sad that Walker cannot see how it enslaves the fathers or the children too.  Or how it’s only enslavement if one sees life as a scorecard where we have to keep track of how much we’re giving away to the world .  Yes, parenthood requires one to put the needs and feelings of another person ahead of one’s self interests for a time….

IMG_2291tweakThroughout history people have made this choice, to put their personal desires aside for the welfare of the human species.  Some have delighted in that role–some people are natural parents; some are not.  I count myself as one who probably should not have been a mother.  Hopefully I won’t have as an estranged relationship with my son as Walker and her daughter have.  He is a wonderful person, and I’m glad he’s part of my life.

I just would have been as happy as a person and as full as a person without motherhood as I am with it.  For every day I find myself as filled with the boundless joy of hugging the Boodle, there is one where I feel trapped by the realization that I am responsible to him for not just the next eleven or so years, but all his life.

After all, my parents have not stopped being my parents just because I’m in my forties and married with a child of my own.  Walker understood this.

What she didn’t seem to understand, or wish to accept, is how empowering it can be to give up one’s self to another.  Or rather she did, but perhaps not in the role of parenting…  In writing, in her craft, yes, clearly she sees the role of sacrifice and the noble power it brings.

I could find article upon article written from the point of view of the indentured and the slave who feel empowered by the fact that they are used so by others.  There is a power in being the one who sacrifices.  Religions such as Christianity and Buddhism have troves of writing involving the value of personal sacrifice…  And indeed, we’re all the result of someone who sacrificed herself (or himself) for our needs.

I can’t say that Walker should probably never have been a mother…  Look at her daughter and the wonderful woman she clearly is.  Same as my own parents–they certainly weren’t perfect parents.  They weren’t natural parents either, but they accepted that they’d made the choice to bring life into the world and that they would be responsible for it, not just financially or physically, but emotionally and… humanely.  They’re still trying their best.

And if anything, that more than anything is what bothers me about articles like this one…  My parents are still trying, still working at being better parents.  Walker and her daughter?  They both seem happy enough to give up.

That’s too radical to me.

(Thanks to the Zemanta prompts because I was focusing on Motherhood, I found this…  Who knew that old National Geographics were posted in Wikipedia!  And wow!  Human nature and how self-important so-called civilized people have always been seen in the picture captions….  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/National_Geographic_Magazine,_June_1917 )

ROW80 Goals and 1st check-in

Monday was officially the first day of this Round of Words in 80 days.  Most people did their goal postings then.  I probably should have posted my own on Sunday, but my head was in a strange place.

My head is back in writing and on schedule now.  I’ve spent he last two days getting about 2000 words of story written for my CampNaNoWriMo project called appropriately Finishing Words.  I’m dedicating this NaNo to the finishing of my other NaNoWriMo projects I’ve started over the years, and to getting the rewriting done on Release done so I can publish it by the end of the year.  This is what I tried to put in for my novel info on the CampNaNo page (I say tried, though the site isn’t letting me):

There is no “synopsis” as I’m playing a bit of a NaNo-rebel role for this camp.  I’m using this camp to get the finishing chapters written in my last four WriMo stories.  The minimum word goal I’m planning toward is the regular 50K, but it won’t be split neatly between the four books.  Swan Song needs a good 30K of story written.  Release likely only needs about 5K and a lot of trimming…

Basically, there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of rewriting and reworking.  But it’s work that I’ve got to do, and there is something about the push of a NaNoWriMo that gets a fire under me more than anything else.  So I’m using it.

And for the month of April, my CampNaNo goals are part of my ROW80 goals.  The remainder of my ROW80 plans include regular daily exercise, even if it’s simply spending 15 minutes jogging in place while I read webpages and blogs.  I have my ROW80 Sponsor duties to do, comments and blog visits made on Mondays and Thursdays.  And when May hits, I will be shifting the large daily word count down to my regular 750words a day and devoting time to editing.

It’s a full enough bucket to haul up the hill on my back.  I may not have a rock that will roll downhill when I reach the top, but there’s always another hill up past the first..