Fiction Writing? We’ll See…….

About 2 weeks ago, I saw a link to a fiction writers course in a FB post by my dear friend Michelle at https://heartwordsforpoetry.org/ , sponsored by the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. The course was free, is about 6 weeks long, and entitled “How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women.” It’s taught by well-known female authors, with video classes, and assignments, and feedback.

The Iowa Writers Workshop is one of the most celebrated creative writing programs in the world, with 17 Pulitzer Prize winners coming from it, in addition to 6 US Poet Laureates, and numerous National Book award writers. Graduates of the Writers Workshop earn a Masters in Fine Arts degree. So, this course has good genes.
I signed up for it, because I would like to learn to write fiction. Almost all of my writing is personal experience, and I’d like to try my hand at fiction at some point. However, getting my car totaled kind of set me back, and though the first lesson came out a week ago, I hadn’t looked at it until today.

This morning I woke with a very upset stomach. I got up at 6, then went back to bed at 8, and by 9 I felt somewhat better, so decided to keep my appointment with my new endocrinologist. I was supposed to go to karaoke on the beach with my friend and a couple of people I met last week. But honestly, I was beat, still didn’t feel all that well. So I opted out. I napped for about an hour. Then decided since I had the afternoon, to take a look at the assignment.

I did the required reading. I watched the 50 minute class video. And now I’m trying to write a story which needs to be between 1000 and 2000 words. I’ve been on this class and assignment for 3 hours, with only a break for a phone call.

I feel grateful to have this opportunity to explore fiction writing, and see if it’s something I actually like to do. It is taxing my creative abilities, and I hope at the same time, stretching them. Anyway, I thought I’d take a break and touch base here.

On another note, I got my 400th follower today! I am so excited about that! Thank you Nicky M! Check out her blog at https://theshimmerwithinher.com/ . And just so you know, I am grateful for ALL my 400 followers, I just have to shout out the milestones, lol. Ego…..

Love and light all.

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Thoughts on Compassion

thich nhat hanh compassion quotes

It seems that winter has hit the northeast USA today.  It is cold, but not unseasonably so.  It’s just hovering around freezing.  But that’s the problem, it’s precipitating, and it’s sleet, not snow.  Frozen pellets falling from the sky.

Thankfully, I don’t have to work.  Thankfully it’s supposed to change to rain by late morning.  However, I had a dental appointment at 8 AM for a crown, which I just canceled.  To get there I have to drive over a huge hill, in some places it would be called a small mountain.  And there are accidents galore on the highways this morning.  I’m guessing that getting out of my driveway would be challenging.  So, now I have to wait to get this crown done.  I hope the tooth does not fall apart in the meantime.

I still am waiting to hear from the vet for an appointment for Maggie.  I called them late last evening, so I’m guessing they will call back this morning.

So, I’m home for the morning anyway.  I think I may make some jewelry.  I have so many lovely stones I can wire-wrap.  I need to use that part of my brain for awhile.  It will refresh my outlook on things.  Give me some perspective. 

Tomorrow I’m going to see Joy  with Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert DeNiro with a few of my friends, and get a bite to eat.  Looking forward to it.  Although, I may have to take Maggie to the vet tomorrow also.  If I don’t get an appointment tomorrow, I’ll have to wait til next week, I doubt that it would get done New Year’s Eve. 

I did a guided meditation on Forgiveness this morning.  I chose that one, because I felt I was slipping backwards a bit.  I know from the experience with my ex-husband that the only way I can move forward and truly let go of the past is to forgive.  I see my ex now as the flawed damaged person he is, who is still seeking the unconditional love, though he doesn’t believe in it, and in his damaged psyche, doesn’t believe he deserves it.  Which is how, in my heart, I see Scott too. 

I know too much about both men, I know what their lives were like as children, I know the struggles they went through.  I know my ex’s from experience, from almost 40 years of living with his extended family and seeing the dysfunction in action.  I know Scott’s experience from what he told me.  I believe it to be true, because his actions, and his relationships with his sister and his mother bear the stories out. 

When I know this, and see this, I have to feel compassion.  I don’t have to feel love in the way that I did, I don’t have to want to be with them, but I have to feel compassion.  I am just more comfortable that way. 

I believed with Scott that if I loved him unconditionally, as he had never been, it would eventually bring him around.  That was my Pollyanna side, because one person’s unconditional love for that time was not going to be enough to undo years of conditioning.  It was my naivete.  I was coming off of the power it had to give my son strength, but my son had my unconditional love for his whole life, and had a frame of reference.  Scott had none, and so, had no reason to believe that it was real, that I was not just naive and stupid.  In hindsight, he had affection for me, but it was very mixed with his own self-centered self-absorbed desires, and needs.  He is a typical child of an abusive dysfunctional household. 

My ex’s childhood was similar, with different twists.  I know first hand how verbally and emotionally abusive his father could be, because I worked for him for 20 years, before we bought the business, and he visited it upon me a few times. I also know how his mother passively endorsed the abuse, while professing love for her children. It was not until I left that marriage that I learned about abuse, that I even realized there was a name for what I lived through.  I found an online community of over 8000 members, and I remember reading their posts, thinking “Oh My God!  There are OTHER people who have lived with this!  There’s  NAME for what he did to me!”  I remained very active in that community for at least 5 years.  I went in naive, I came out with an education.  The friends I made there are still some of my closest friends.  We still call on each other as our children deal with the repercussions of abuse.

Combine this education, with embarking on a spiritual path, to regain my sense of self, to rediscover who I was when I left my marriage.  Because when you live with abuse, you end up spending 24/7 just trying to keep the peace.  Just trying to stay a step ahead of the abuser, to protect yourself and your kids.  You try to become what they want, so they will be happy.  Of course, they always change what they want, the minute you achieve it, so that you never know what’s going to come at you.  A true honest mind-fuck of the first degree.

I began to recognize the same pattern with Scott, with his push pull game.  The same thing, in a different form. Which is why I kept trying to break up with him, but was unable to let go.  Until, it’s all I could do to save myself.

I cleansed my pendulums this morning with white sage and asked some very pointed questions.  I got what I believe are real answers, and I’m going to try to follow the path that they put me on. They were questions and answers about dealing with these issues with compassion.  Both men and the issues still come into my head way too much, and I don’t want to fear them, I don’t want to hate them, I don’t want to feel angry. 

There was something for me to learn in both situations, and I think, something for me to teach.  If the student refuses the lesson, that’s not my problem.  I think I’ve learned mine.  I’m open to them, and to any that are still hanging out there for me to learn.

I sense that my ex has been humbled.  Not completely, but he is sounding more like he’s reaching out, that he misses having some communication with someone who knows him.  That’s a good thing.  I won’t get caught in his web again, but it’s possible that now that he’s lost everything, and I mean everything….he can be a little vulnerable, because he has nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’m not jumping in, but neither will I be afraid to communicate with him.

Scott, I don’t sense much from.  I think he’s closed whatever small opening he had in his heart that would have allowed love to enter and to extend from him.  I do sense though, that perhaps he’s doing what I suggested, and taking some time to re-evaluate the way he lives.  He’s not doing this because I suggested it, he’s doing it because in his mind he’s lost everything too.  He’s heading into his final years, when he should be retiring, and enjoying life with people he loves, but he’s all alone.  His ploy to keep people in his life based on deception didn’t work.  So I hope he’s going to go within, and try to find his own light.  I still can see that soul, I still can see his light. I have been on an emotional roller coaster with my feelings for him:  love, hate, anger, compassion, longing, repulsion….. 

At the end of the day, I have to go with compassion, because it’s my comfort zone.  It’s what I believe in my heart to be the only way to move forward.  My pendulums seem to concur with that. 

One thing I learned in the abuse community was that hurt people hurt people.  I am no exception.  When each of these men hurt me, I hurt them back.  My words with Scott, while true….were scathing. My actions with my ex, while necessary for my survival and my son’s, blindsided him.  I make no apologies, really, because Scott devastated me, I had to release that pain.  My ex was on a quest to steal my soul…my son…my breath.  If I didn’t leave him we both would have died, literally…because the dysfunction was truly affecting our health.  My son would have never seen that there is a different way to live, he would have been doomed to repeat what he did not understand.

Lord, I did not expect this blog to go here.  But it did, and that’s the reason I write mostly.  To work things out, to express things that I am trying to understand, and in the expression to find the understanding.  If you made it this far, thank you. 

Love and light.