Time to write

Saturday morning the sun is shining and we have had a relatively calm week at home which is just as well as I have had a busy few days at work.

My short story has been well received by those in my office who have been privileged to read it. Now I am writing a second short story which may well end up being chapter two of a short book….you never know. In the past when I have written fiction I have put it online for my friends to read. Now I am not doing that until I have decided what to do with it.  I have been told for years that I should get my writing published. After several years I am finally coming to believe that I might be ready to investigate further.

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short tale

In the UK it has been a public holiday weekend. Each weekend my colleagues in the office ask me if I have any plans for the weekend. I have taken to saying that just to survive it would be a good plan.

This weekend especially with it being a 3 day weekend I decided that I would write a short story. I have decided that I need to get back to writing fiction. I am often asked by friends when am I going to write my first book. I am not convinced that I am able to write a whole book but maybe a group of short stories are within my ability.

I spent most of Saturday mulling over a variety of subjects to write about….inspiration, or rather the lack of it, is my biggest problem. My second biggest problem is that I find writing speech difficult. I much prefer setting the scene, thinking up twists etc. But writing speech holds me back from writing more often.

Eventually after several hours I came up with an idea. I got the first sentence written and then the next. How to continue? I have no choice this has to be written mostly in speech otherwise the story won’t work. 570+ words later I saved my new story into a new folder “short stories” in my documents. I would continue later once I had decided where the story was going to next.

It was Sunday morning when I was ready to continue, this was when I discovered that my computer had decided not to recognise me. My profile wouldn’t load. My son managed to copy most of my files over to another (non administrator) profile on my laptop. But the folder containing my short stories file was locked, I cannot gain access, my password is not working. Unable to retrieve my story I had to re-write it.

Today I finished writing my new story.

Here is a short excerpt.

‘Green tea or builders?’

‘Oh right, got any coffee I do love me coffee I does. How about yer show me around so I can see whats what while that kettle boils.’

‘Um er I’ll have a look we might have some coffee but none of us drink it so I can’t promise. Ah yes he we go, I better check the date though as I have no idea how long it’s been there. Oh that’s ok ha ha it’s in date by 2 months. I hope you don’t take sugar cos we don’t use it well the kids do but me and Katie don’t.’

‘No ta I brung me sweetner wiv me, carry it everywhere just in case folks don’t have any.’

Billy set off up the stairs with Helen following still chattering but Billy wasn’t really listening.

‘As you can see this is the bathroom, you might want to start with this and the kitchen, I’m going back to work, let me know if you need anything.’ 

 

Apologies

Two months ago I started writing my account of our trip to California. I have enjoyed doing this, not only have I enjoyed sharing our trip with you but it has been lovely reliving our memories of the trip. It is also something we can go back to in the future to remind us of the wonderful time we had.

I have found that whilst I started off well it has not been easy to get to the end. Not because I don’t remember, I do and I am in the middle of a post about San Francisco. However life since we returned from our trip has taken a turn that we couldn’t foresee. This change in my home life has made it difficult for me to dedicate time to writing my blog or reading and commenting on your blogs.

Please forgive me and hopefully normal service will be resumed in the not too distant future.

C is for cancer

Months ago I decided that from time to time I would write a random post following the letters of the alphabet. I did A here and B here now it is the turn of C.

Now I could write a list of things beginning with C but I have chosen to write a short post concerning Cancer.

Earlier today I read this on facebook.

NEED WASHING
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Wal-Mart. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence.

It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.. We all stood there, under the awning, just inside the door of the Wal-Mart.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.

I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

Her little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, ‘Mom let’s run through the rain,’
She said.
‘What?’ Mom asked.

‘Let’s run through the rain!’ She repeated.

‘No, honey. We’ll wait until it slows down a bit,’ Mom replied.

This young child waited a minute and repeated: ‘Mom, let’s run through the rain..’

‘We’ll get soaked if we do,’ Mom said.

‘No, we won’t, Mom. That’s not what you said this morning,’ the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom’s arm.

‘This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?’

‘Don’t you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, ‘ If God can get us through this, He can get us through anything! ‘ ‘

The entire crowd stopped dead silent.. I swear you couldn’t hear anything but the rain.. We all stood silently. No one left. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.

Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child’s life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

‘Honey, you are absolutely right. Let’s run through the rain. If GOD let’s us get wet, well maybe we just need washing,’ Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They got soaked.

They were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars. And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories…So, don’t forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories every day.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
I HOPE YOU STILL TAKE THE TIME TO RUN THROUGH THE RAIN.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

This reminded me of one morning probably about 10 years ago.

One of my boys was feeling too poorly to go to school. Skater and I were talking about Statto never having a day off from school. Skater turned to me and said…..

Mummy you don’t get ill either you just had cancer.

To me that was incredible.

I felt that my young child knew that his mother had been very ill with Cancer but had survived so for him the word Cancer was not as scary as it is to many people.

He is now 17 and not quite so blaze about this word which makes grown men cry.

Happy in my own way

Do something for yourself she said……………

So I indulged in a bit of pruning followed by checking my birdfeeders that hand from the non flowering cherry tree. It was then that the idea struck.

It is something I have wanted to do since the beginning but never did until today.

 

IMG_1120 unfortunately the ground was a little too soft after the recent heavy rain. So I had to try again.

IMG_1121  IMG_1122 Now I can see the bird feeders quite clearly from my seat at the breakfast bar. Owl thinks I have gone quite mad!

my boys think I have really been pushing the boat out!

As for me I am just waiting for bird supper time to arrive 🙂

Time

I can’t believe it, the time has gone so fast.

It is almost two months now since we got back from California and I still have not had time to finish writing about that experience.

When we came home it was going to be about 5 weeks before my step children arrived in the UK for a 3 week visit. Last night they were here for a farewell meal with myself and Owl along with Skater and Pug, (my younger two sons.) Today we are meeting up with Missy M and Mr T briefly for the last time for who knows how long. Tomorrow they fly back to California and we will be back to relying on skpe and email.

It has been great to see them here and show them our new home. It has been good for them to meet 3 out of 4 of my son’s their new step brothers. It has been great creating new memories and cementing relationships.

During the three weeks they have been here there have been a number of get togethers for  different combinations of family members, including an evening up on the hill looking out over Portsmouth eating ginormous burgers. An afternoon of tenpin bowling and a weekend visit to our beach retreat.

I only hope that time will be kind to us and we will manage to be together on the same side of the pond again in the not too distant future.

I will survive

Joyce commented on my last post Serenity that it was the most personal post she had seen from me. I was touched by her comment. so maybe I will post one or two more like that as time goes by.

This morning as I lay in bed listening to the radio they were playing a couple of songs that were featured in a listener’s favourite 5 songs. This is a feature that this radio station have been running for many years. A listener tells them their top 5 songs and the station then play 2 of those 5 songs. I have never sent mine in because how do you chose just 5 out of all the many many songs I have adored over the years of my life.

If pushed to name my 5 songs I would start with  this song by 10cc it was one of my favourites when I was at school. Some songs just send a thrill down my spine and this was one of them. 

Next would always be this Moody Blues Classic again it sent shivers down my spine and still does every time I hear it. Both these songs were always played at parties and disco’s during my teens and early 20s.

A third song that struck me in a similar way as a young adult shortly after I had left school and begun working was this 1977 release by Rose Royce.

So now I have 3 out of my 5 songs but what else has struck me in the same way? There were many many songs that had a lot of meaning to me. Many also that I just loved to sing along to. The ones I danced to and ones I later loved to. I have countless songs in my head that I loved as soon as I heard them. Others that grew on me.

But how do I choose just 2 more out of the thousands?

There is one more song that I have long thought of as my personal anthem. I am sure you are all familiar with this classic song by Gloria Gaynor I will Survive. Being a child of the 60s I loved the disco era, Stylistics, Diana Ross, Hot Chocolate, Amy Stewart, Tavares to name but a few. I couldn’t not love this song.

In 2001 I was diagnosed with stage III Cervical Cancer, my then husband told our children that I was going to die. My children at the time were aged 5 through to 13. Obviously this was devastating news for them. However I had other ideas. With four sons to watch growing up I wasn’t about to give in to something like cancer. I had too much to live for. So I will Survive became my anthem. As you can see I did survive and have been in remission since September 2001. I do not however take my continuing life for granted.

In 2005 I reached a stage where my marriage was no longer bearable. Again I will Survive became my anthem as I struggled to get through the awfulness of a messy divorce where we both continued to live in the same house. I turned I will Survive into the tune played by my alarm on my phone so that each morning I would awake to the sound of these powerful words.

A couple of years ago I was thinking about this song and came up with my own version.

You  made me feel so small
You bullied me without me realising it
You told me nobody would want me
How could I manage on my own with four children
It was a long time before I could relax
Afraid you would return
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on
But you won’t disappear
into outer space
You keep calling
Wanting to try again
I changed the locks immediately
Your key wouldn’t help you
I hoped and prayed that
you would stop bothering me
Go on Now leave me alone
Delete my number don’t ever call
Cause your voice is not welcome in my ear
weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with threats
You thought I would crumble
You thought you could make me lose my mind
Oh no, not I
I have survived
As long as I know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
I’ve got all my love to give
and I’ll survive
I will survive
It took all the strength I had
not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend
the pieces of my damaged confidence
and I spent oh so many nights
glad you were gone
I used to cringe
Now I hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
I’m not that chained up little person
still afraid of you
and so you felt like calling up
and just expect me to be free
Now I’m saving all my loving
for someone who will cherish me
  

So I guess this would be my fourth song but number 5 is still elusive as there are just too many to choose from.

What would be your top 5 songs and why?

Serenity

For years I was married to the father of my children, he was an alcoholic. Not the stereo typical type but none the less he was and still is an alcoholic. For about 6 weeks many years ago (until he found out) I went to Al anon sessions. These sessions gave me a strength I hadn’t had before. I only went for 6 weeks because when my husband discovered where I had been going he was extremely angry and made it impossible for me to continue going. However just those few weeks were enough to help me enough. One of the things that I have carried with me from those sessions is the Serenity Prayer. I am not religious therefore it is merely the first verse that I use.  The words of this first verse have been my tenet ever since.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

-Reinhold Niebuh.

I learnt that I cannot change the past, I cannot change another person but I can change myself and I can change my attitude.

For many years I felt like a victim. My life was miserable because I was married to an alcoholic. My life was bad because we had no money and what little we did have went to the pub. My life and that of my children was never going to get any better.

But I learnt that it didn’t have to be so. I learnt that I have a choice, I can continue to be miserable and have a poor quality of life or I can change it. I chose to change it. I decided that I didn’t want to be a habitual victim.  I decided to be happy.

Each morning when I woke up I told myself  that today was going to be a good day and I was going to be happy. (Some days this was harder than others). Gradually over time it became easier. I am not saying that I was truly happy but I was no-longer miserable. I began to gain strength from within. I learnt to change the way I dealt with problems. Instead of always feeling despondent at every little problem I began to treat each problem as a challenge to be over come.

Gradually I learnt to laugh again, I learnt that even small things can make me happy, every cloud has a silver lining etc etc. A number of years later I had grown strong enough to stand up to my husband and divorce him. That alone took every single shred of courage and strength I could muster but I did it. Then came the long struggle to pull myself and my children out of the financial mire we had been left in. Little by little I did it.  No matter how hard any of it was I still continued to laugh and be happy. I didn’t need money or material things to make me happy. I didn’t need a man to make me happy, I was happy.

I had learnt how to change things for the better, if you don’t like something you can change it, if it is something that you cannot change you can change your attitude and or the way you deal with it.

I am no longer a victim ……I am a survivour!!

I am happy

Nobody can take that away from me