Reflecting on Your Stories in 2012

As I work my way back into the blogging word from my unplanned vacation I would like to invite you to check out the link below. My sisters and husband sat around the table and answered these questions over a bottle of wine. I really enjoyed it and am thinking of it now as I enter into a new year with goals and intentions.

Enjoy!! See you in the new year my friends!


Got Me a Writing Coach

Well I did it. I got me a writing coach. I spoke with Brooke Warner of Warner Coaching and she is going to help me tune up and finish Sunlight.  Yippee!

It sounds like I got some work cut out for me. It is going to be a busy road. I foresee a lot of changes which has me excited and freaked out at the same time.

I hope what I learn in this process will help me with the other two memoirs, well, one is fiction.

Imprint: Chapter Two

In disbelief they peak through the open door and see her standing there. She stares at the house for a long time. Then she lays on the grass. They watch in awe, in disbelief.

“She is here.” says one female voice in a hushed relieved tone. “I can’t believe I can be so close to her. She is finally here. Do you see her Esther? Is it real?” Of course she knows it is real but feels the need for reassurance.

“You are being so serious again Nellie. We knew she was coming.” says Esther. Always so practical and calm but gives Nellie a gentle rub on the arm. She is tough and strong but could break in a second.

Esther looks back into the room behind them. Another lady sits in the background. She is on a wooden stool in the dark of the shed. A table in front of her with a lantern glowing and she stares mindlessly at it. Not saying a word but her presence is heavy and full of shadows.

“Is your mom going to come out and see her?” asks Esther confused. Nelly turns her head side to side slowly more in awe of what she watches before her than caring about her mothers mood. Esther sighs with disappointment at how Maria can be so mute all the time but especially in this moment.

The woman they watch grabs the handle of her suitcase and throws a bag over her shoulder. She is heading indoors for the evening. The show is over.

“What do we do now?” Esther says, standing behind Nellie. Her tall frame is imposing in the day let alone the night.

“We wait. We will know what to do when the time comes.”

Creeping back into the shed they drag the old door shut behind them.

Imprint: Chapter One

I stand in front of my house. It is late. A cool night breeze tostles my hair and sends shivers down my back. It feels strange to stand outside my childhood home. It is dark and empty here. I dread the emptiness all of a sudden. The air is heavy and filled with sadness. It is this space, the house, yard and air – it all feels alone. It is empty.

When I would come home as a child I without fail the porch light would be on as my guiding light. If you were not too late you may even see a glow from the kitchen window. Now abandonment lays all around. Everything is in pain. The grass calls to me, asksing how I could leave it when I loved it so. I played with it every day. The grass was my best friend. We were one. We still are. I can feel our connection. It is sad that I turned my back on it.

I’ve been thinking about this place for years. It has always been my intention to return home. I didn’t think my return home would be due to my running away from my life but here I am. I always thought I would return home to be a teacher, that I would help my community. Now I’m here hoping it will heal me. Teach me.

While it is a cool night I have this desire to feel the grass. Plus I am not looking forward to what lies behind that locked front door. It is my grass. Not because of some land ownership law but because it knows me from all the times I’ve laid on it, danced on it, rode my bike on it, slid on it in the winter or when it chased me with dew on it’s fingers.

The grass and I share some bond.  Avoiding the inevitable I lay on the grass and feel it’s coolness beneath me. It is soothing. I realize my eyes are closed. I feel silly and panic for a moment throwing my eyes open. Then I’m greeted with the stars. They surround me like warm joyful grandparents who haven’t seen their grandchild for so long. All is forgiven immediately and they are delighted I’m home. In their twinkling I can see all the times I sang to them, prayed to them, and spoke to them.

I draw my attention away from the stars and sense the yard has settled down. It’s suffering has eased. But the house looms before me. This dark cold hard structure.

I sit upon the grass and stare at it. I know I must go in. I know I have to face it. It has been unloved for so long. I’m afraid to go in and feel the feelings of emptiness all around me. The house will smell different being all closed up for years. It’s heart is broken. Can I fill it with love with just my being here?

I will make some bread. The smell of it will wake the house up. It will warm it. The footsteps will ground it again. When I sit down to eat the house will feel settled. It needs someone to live in it again.

I grab the key that I placed in my pocket. The one I touched a hundred times on my bus ride down. Touching it made what I was doing real. I couldn’t believe I was actually running away and going home.

I unlatch the storm door and swing it wide open to hook it on the little peg resting on the east side of the house.  What a strange, yet simple, everyday thing for one to do.  We only used our storm door occasionally in the summer unhooking it to protect our homemade plywood door from a storm that pelted at it. During the winter we used the storm door all the time not hooking it to the east wall until spring. The fact that we hardly ever did this makes me wonder how I remember to do it at all.

The strangest memory hits me as I place the hook in the ring.

I am running to the door to see if the boy was ready to come out and be in the sprinkler. My nieces and nephew were here and two of my sisters. We had all changed into our bathing suits behind a blanket on the clothesline at the back of the yard. Why hasn’t this boy come out from his change area behind the storm door. I run over to the door to see if he is almost done but I’m not careful enough. I run past the bit of door he was using as shelter and see he’s naked. I see his boy-bits and I am frozen. I’ve never seen boy-bits before. I knew there was a difference between boys and girls because we were often separated and we kind of liked different things. I had no idea that this was something I would see.

I stand forzen hold for a while. It feels like minutes and he quickly lifts up his swimming trunks and starts to get dressed all the while covering himself. He seems scared or nervous. I runaway confused. He follows shortly afterward and we both pretend it never happened but later I would tell Melinda.

Now I insert the key into my lock. I need to shake and jostle things just into place. I feel a click and then the door is loose from the lock that has held it captive to the world outside.

The door squeaks open a few inches and my nervousness is in full swing. What if there is a skunk sleeping on my bed or mice scurring all about? Shit! Why am I coming home in the dark?

I have nowhere to go. I must go in further. Using my cell phone as my flashlight I creep into the porch opening the kitchen door. I listen for the sound of little critter feet moving. Nothing. I don’t smell skunk in the air. I step over the threshold gently.

There is no power. There is no water. Planning to run away at the last minute, late at night, is now making me wonder if this was the best decision. I bring my bags to the bedroom and pulled back the covers on the bed that has been made for a decade. I shine my light on the sheets and see nothing crawling around. I don’t undress, crawling under the blankets hoping to just fall asleep. I need to distract myself from the fact that something might crawl around in the darkness while I sleep. I fill my mind with memories of sharing this room with my sisters and sleep comes fast to me and I would expect.

Imprint: An Introduction

When I was going though my bout of burnout I really wanted to get away from my husband. I fantasized about going back home, to my childhood home, even though the walls are covered with black mould and there is no power or water hooked up.  It seemed like the only place I could go that would be affordable. Actually, it was calling to me. I have always wanted to return home. I hope someday I can or that I grow out of this desire. Nothing worse than wanting something and not working your way there. Or maybe I am and just don’t know it.

Well, as a side to this I have been wanting to write a story about my grandmothers for a really long time. It was the first memoir I ever wanted to write. I discovered an entry in my journal when I was in Grade Eleven that I really hoped I could tell their life story someday. Over the years I have found only a little bit of information on them.  My research has come up empty cause many people that new them are now gone or are vague in what they say.

Piecing together what I know, with a lot of creativity, I started a little story about a year ago about an alternative life path I could have taken during my burnout phase. I have called it Imprint. The story begins with me running away to Rose Valley but my reasons for running back home will be fictional and I don’t know what they are yet. My grandmothers spirits are in the back shed ready to help me on my journey. All the while through the story you will see how their lives have imprinted on me, how their life experiences have been passed down through the generations, how they help me heal and move forward with whatever it is I need to move forward on.

I am pondering the idea of running the story differently. Instead of their spirits being in the back shed I may intertwine our three lives going on at once and you can see how their stories have imprinted on my life. I intentionally started writing this as a screenplay. Maybe someday it still can be one.

Grandma Luneng

My paternal Grandmother, Grandma Luneng

My maternal Grandmother - Grandma Vance

My maternal Grandmother – Grandma Vance

I had the itch to do some writing in it but told myself not to cause I was working on This Old House. Well I gave in. I had to write out my thoughts. The next post will hold Chapter One.