Posted in cystic fibrosis, NODAPL, psychology, self improvement, social commentary

Happy New Year No Fear

Once again I must apologize to my poor neglected bloggie. It’s been two months since I last posted. Sounds like a 12 Step meeting, doesn’t it?  My name is Sue and I am an artist-writer-psychic intuitive-blogger and all around passive-aggressive rabble-rouser who enjoys retreating. 🙂

No need to recap the ridiculous drama of recent elections in the US. I’m so sorry that we have to deal with more corruption and slanderous whackadoodle energy out there. It’s totally forked up but as a spiritual type writer, my focus is on continuing to TRY and walk the talk and conquer my challenges. “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” – Susan Jeffers

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So dear kindred spirits and fellow bloggers, it’s onward into the new year with no fear.  I’m here to support YOU on your creative journey. As my gift to you I’m sharing some family pics and original photographs of some of my recent favorite memories. Am missing a few family members who were unable to travel because of work schedules, but here goes:

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Christmas 2016 with some of the family-we’re totally rainbow people. We come in all colors of the heart.

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Concert Five Blind Boys of Alabama with octogenarian powerhouse, Jimmy Carter

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Our granddaughter’s annual holiday big canvas painting

As you know I’m into causes. Please join me in contributing your no fear energy into a cause in 2017. I support and stand with #NODAPL  as they refuse to wilt in the face of the greed monsters who simply do not consider the devastating consequences of oil spills and water contamination. ACTION relieves anxiety.

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                                                     Original art * Nature Heals* acrylic

As always, we’re supporting and praying for a cure for cystic fibrosis, because our granddaughter is fighting it. I love this photo of her playing the clarinet. GO CF’ers!  Stay strong!

 

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Playing an instrument helps children learn teamwork, discover talent, develop social skills, increase confidence, and increase eye-hand coordination.  Express yourself!

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Exploring Sedona

Much love and appreciation to you all-back to working on the memoir.

                                the work shed window

                                                   Old California

Journal prompt: write about fear. What helps you face your fears? See yourself as a spiritual guide, relative, or teacher who takes you by the hand and walks with you as you challenge yourself. What would your guide say to you? Don’t hold back. Use images to add to your journal entry. What feelings come over you as you write about fear? Where does fear live within your body? If fear (and money) were no option, what would you DO?

Posted in forgiveness, interviews, memoir, psychology, writers, Writing for healing

Giving the Inner Child a Voice: An Interview with Sherrey Meyer

                                         sherrey final blog post 2013

Let’s talk about how hard childhood can be and how writers  express the pain. Regardless of religious background, ethnicity, nationality, or socioeconomic status, all writers vent in some form through memoir.  Think of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes or Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.  The writing style is a matter of choice.

Today I’m introducing blogger and memoir writer, Sherrey Meyer who is writing about abuse and forgiveness.

SR:   How do you as a writer deal with hurt or trauma?

SM: Susan, this is a good question. I thought when I started writing that the childhood hurts and trauma would not still be fresh enough to be bothersome. Was I ever wrong!

With each word, sentence or paragraph, I felt myself cringing at some of the memories dredged up with my writing. I began slowly because of the recalled pain and soon realized I needed to find a way to cope with these resurgent memories.

One fortunate occurrence for me was the forgiveness I felt for my mother shortly before her death. There were multiple reasons for this forgiveness, none of which were verbal between us.  Yet to share them here would give away an essential part of my memoir.

However, quite often even that forgiveness would not be enough to block the pain and at those times I found several avenues for coping. I would simply stop writing, unless I was at a point where I might lose something I would never reach again.  If that were the case, I would immediately turn to a verse of Scripture that was a favorite and if I may, I’ll share the one I sought most often.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God shares: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This always centered me on the promise that God never intended me to be hurt, that my mother had an inherent problem due to a dysfunctional childhood, and that the hurt actually was not the result of her not loving me.

If all else failed, I turned to music, reading a lighthearted book, or getting outside and stretching my legs.

SR:   Do you think a particular style works for writing about childhood wounds? IE how does a writer effectively deal with trauma without sounding like he or she is reciting a litany of complaints?

SM: Funny you should ask this question. I have recently been struggling with feeling like I have turned into a whining 67-year old daughter. I certainly do not wish to seem to be writing solely about my mother as the “Wicked Witch of the South.”  Mama had her good points too, which my memoir will share.

In recent weeks, I have brainstormed about circumventing this easily adopted pattern of writing about the “bad parent.” On my blog, I have a page devoted to Letters to Mama, where I attempt to give my inner child a voice against Mama’s verbal and emotional onslaughts. As I considered those for inclusion in my memoir, another idea came in a light bulb moment. Incorporating vignettes as I write about those bad times between us would be the way to “show” rather than just “tell” the facts of Mama’s temperamental shortcomings. My nearest and dearest critic, my husband, has agreed this is highly workable and the option of choice.  I’d love for any other memoirists to weigh in on this idea.

SR:  What are a few of your favorite books or writers?

SM: You have opened the gate widely now, Susan. As you may or may not know, I am an avid reader and I review books for several publishing outlets on my book blog, Found Between the Covers.

I’ll try to keep the list short!

Among my favorite authors are Anne Lamott, Natalie Goldberg, Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Faulkner and a local Oregon author, Jane Kirkpatrick.  There are many more but I’ll stop here.

Among my favorite books are Emma, Pride and Prejudice, The Anne of Green Gables series (a gift from Dad), The Little House books (you never grow too old for these!), Stephen King’s On Writing, Bird by Bird,  The House Behind the Cedars, A Sweetness to the Soul, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Power of Memoir.

SR: What are you working on now?

SM: Currently, I’m working on the first draft of my memoir. I’ve had my share of false starts meaning I would get started and life would insert itself in a rude fashion. I would be forced to give up my writing for a while, and then start over again.

I have two other projects in mind, both historical fiction. I love to research and these two books will allow me to dig into some interesting history.  The first is the story of orphanages in this country in the early 1900s centering on my father’s admission to an orphanage at age four and the 12 years he spent there before being apprenticed to a small town newspaper.

The other project is a book my recently deceased brother-in-law had hoped to write. His story idea is built around what was once The Poor Farm here in Portland, Oregon. The central characters visit the now restored facility on their honeymoon and become obsessed with the old photographs on the walls. They begin researching and soon find that the records they are uncovering lead to some interesting facts about their individual ancestries.

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Sherrey’s Bio:

A retired legal secretary, Sherrey Meyer grew tired of drafting and revising pleadings and legal documents.  She had always dreamed of writing something else, anything else!  Once she retired she couldn’t stay away from the computer, and so she began to write.  Among her projects is a memoir of her “life with mama,” an intriguing Southern tale of matriarchal power and control displayed in verbal and emotional abuse.  Sherrey is married and lives with husband Bob in Milwaukie, OR.

You can reach Sherrey on her websites:  Healing by Writing  and Found Between the Covers or via email at salice78@comcast.net.

Thanks, Sherrey! I’m looking forward to reading your memoir. Here’s a shout out to helping children everywhere. I’m a dedicated advocate for kids and families.

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 Journal prompt: Try writing a letter to someone who caused you harm or with whom you have unresolved issues. Let loose, use bad language if necessary and allow yourself to release. Do not send the letter. Wait a few months and go back and read the letter and see how you feel about it.

Suggestion: Try writing from the other person’s point of view and answer your letter. What happens? Is this difficult?

                             side view roadside nice

Readers, if you have a blog or a website and are interested in sharing your journaling, memoir, poetry, or writing about life contact me at:  susanrowland9@gmail.com

Coming up: Native American author, musician and visionary, Joy Harjo.

photo credits: Susan Rowland