Monthly Archives: February 2009
What If…

The second a word is read by even one other person, it becomes final. Hence the phrase “in black and white.” Another way of saying cast in stone. To let their words “go” a writer must commit. With the infinite possibilities of word combinations, this can often prove quite challenging and immobilizing. It is no surprise that many authors experience long periods of writer’s block, a condition based in fear. The fear of judgement by self and others, the fear of disappointment and the fear of falling short. The fear itself creates a jumbled mind and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This poem was written during one of those self-doubting times.

What if….

What if every word inside my head
Have all already been said
What if those words were never true?
But only said to please you
What if the authentic self, the real me
Lies deep inside, in lock and key
What if, worse, these words fight free
And into abyss, I fall and this is me?
What if I wish I never know
Does this mean I’ll never grow
What if I carry on the same?
And never give inside a name
When I die will I be true
Or will I be what I meant to you?



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Parenting and Pain

I have not experienced anything equal to the glorious pain of childbirth. It was pain in its purist form. Moments in time when only the present existed. At that time I wanted it gone but looking back I think it was probably the only time in my life when I have felt angst-free. I believe there is brilliant reason, just out our grasp, for the existence of this pain, together with the reality of bringing a new person into the world. It almost seems necessary to have this distraction so that we can deal with the enormity of birth.

During my time at university, I knew a young man who had one war cry. He was not bringing a child into this terrible world of ours. I was already twenty-three, only two years away from the birth of my first child, and already I was mentally preparing myself. I rationalized his beliefs away as extreme and escapist and went on with my life. Now, at fifty one, I reflect on this man and can understand why someone could believe these things.

Nothing prepared me for the pain I would feel when I felt helpless to remove pain from my children. It began with something as small as their first fall and the look of surprise on their face when they realized that pain existed and that I could not protect them from it. And then time and time again, like unrelenting lava, I was faced with their pain, both physical and emotional. Often they would beseech me for answers, drowning in their own sense of helplessness. Finally, I asked the same question that my friend had posed all those years ago. “I brought them into the world, for this?” I often say that I have learned more from my children than I have taught. This has possibly been my greatest lesson. I fundamentally realize that everyone is responsible for their own pain and their own path. Pain is not a bad thing. Our most important and most valuable understandings are brought about through suffering. “The truth will set us free”. We all know this phrase but perhaps don’t understand the perfect correctness of it. All I’ve ever wanted for my children is for them to be happy and have often been devastated when my desire alone has not accomplished this. I realize now in later years that my focus has been misplaced. We can’t want them to be happy, we have to teach them how to be happy. We have to teach them to recognize their feelings. We have to teach them the real feeling behind an action, no matter how negative it may seem. And we have to teach them that they and they alone are responsible for their feelings. A child who breaks his toy needs to understand that he’s feeling angry, as well as feelings of loss and sadness.

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A Bit of This and That

Where do the days go? We’re in full force now trying to get the book out there. Not an easy task! I can’t understand it. Doesn’t everyone love the book as much as we do?!

Wedding stuff is going really well. The venue is booked for both the wedding and an engagement party. A good friend of mine has offered to do a “LLLL” – don’t worry, I had no idea what it was either, but we are all looking forward to “A lovely little ladies’ lunch”! My future daughter-in-law found a dress – absolutely beautiful. I saw “Bride Wars” in the theatre last week and despite being a light movie, I was moved. I must be in wedding mode! 

Writing begets writing. It most definitely does not end with the book. Emails to potential customers, press releases, requests to read in libraries or schools, writing articles and of course keeping up with this amazing blog, test my writing skills on an ongoing basis. Forgive me for my “off” days.

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Books, Books, Books

Books are heavy! Unpacking many of them yesterday, I was reminded of my early school years – a time before wheelie-bags and even before backpacks. It was the time of the school bag. Anyone remember those? I was really very proud of my mini suitcase. In fact, it is probably my strongest memory of grade one. Without straps or wheels, I carried my bag, leaning to one side to accommodate a case almost as big as I was. As the years passed, I learned the art of switching hands and if I was lucky, persuading my oldest sister to help me out. Today, with wheels, both on our bags and cars, our kids have lost an appreciation for the weight of books! 

A book should carry its weight with pride. Unless you have taken one from conception to birth, it would be difficult to fully appreciate the enormous work that goes into one little book. When I look at a book, I no longer see paper, pretty pictures and a cover. I see the birth of an idea, the months refining the idea, the search for the perfect illustrator, the endless editing, the uncertainty, the story-boarding, the preparation for marketing, the anxiety, the late hours, the burning eyes, the unpacking, the promoting and most of all, the believing.

Weigh on, little book!

Yes books are heavy, but wonderful. Having taken every step from conception to birth, with this book, I know I will never look at a book in the same way I did before.

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