Writing Woes

Years ago, I read and taught Anne Bradstreet’s poem called The Author to her Book.  A friend had taken her work and had it published unbeknownst to her.  She compared it to sending a child out of the house with tattered, torn clothes or something similar.

I can totally relate to her woes as a self-published author.  After many years of rejections from traditional publishers, I was so excited when self-publishing hit the publishing scene.  A dear cousin tested the waters while having her own memoirs published.  Thus, she introduced me to Trafford Publishing, and I now have over eleven works completed through them.

But, using the newly coined phrase, “Here’s the deal.”  Rather than having loads and loads of notes stuffed here, there, and everywhere, this format allows me to put my writings in a book format.  And yes, I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, but at least my sacred ideas are safely stored for those who come behind me.

I recently embarked on a new endeavor and tried my hand at a more historical work.  I wanted to finish some biographical sketches that my mother had started about some of her family members.  I had notes and little slips of paper, tucked in all types of spaces and places from interviews with loved ones over the decades.

So, I embarked on this herculean feat.  I write in longhand.  Then, I do my own data-entry or type as they used to say back in the day.  And though I try to catch the typos, some still appear.  It is an imperfect life that we live.

Also, with this project, there are almost 200 images and I had to put on my media specialist hat and manipulate and touch up the images that family members sent me.  Yesterday, the eBook appeared and yes, I see its blemishes.  The errors stick out in my mind and I feel quite like Anne Bradstreet.

Yet, unapologetically, here it is with all its imperfections.  As in any race, it is a start.  And the young-uns coming behind me can polish it as they run their own races because they now have a leg up from my writing of By Way Of?  Tracing the Johnson, Cooper, Cummings, Matthews and Dixon Families.

Lynn M.                                                                                       October 24, 2020

Refreshing Newness

Beautiful Trees

The change of seasons is refreshing!  To me, it mirrors the change of our thoughts.  As the earth rotates on its axis, we too continually evolve as we accept life’s ever-giving newness.  We discover that what was once important to us becomes miniscule today because it no longer holds our full attention.

We wave goodbye to past events and bless every experience.  Each one was there as a benchmark and phase of our growth. We simply turn the soil, gingerly water it and sprinkle in a few new seeds that will certainly yield a future harvest. 

As the autumn leaves fall to the ground and the trees display their beautiful colors, we too can show our hues of accomplishment. We can shed light on what has been gained from those lessons learned.  Like the fallen leaves, we too must cast off whatever no longer serves us.  We welcome the showers and sprinkles that both cleanse the earth and spiritually clear our minds of the staleness of yesterday’s bread.

During this season of harvest, we should carefully bend down, gather the fruits of our labors, and place them in our personal cornucopias.  We may be able to pause for a while as we rest on our laurels.  But, then after giving thanks and gratitude for what the universe has offered us, we will know when it is time to rise from our times of reflection.

We will be alerted and know when it is time to walk into our new season and enter new cycles of production. We are still creating and much like the Energizer Bunny, we should beat our drums and keep it moving!

Lynn M.

October 17, 2020

Autumn’s Bounty

Autumn leaves turn our heads around,
Leaving us speechless without sound.

The beauty of colors display,
The depth of hues having their say.

Reflecting light coming from trees,
Assuring hope and blessed ease.

Thus, nature knows that things rebound,
In new cycles shaped in the round.

Lynn M.
October 10, 2020

March On!

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Perhaps Mother Teresa’s poem Anyway says it best when she graciously reminded us to rise above people’s comments and opinions. She wrote, If are you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.”

Unfortunately, many people are entertained by petty gossip and hearsay. It is never a safe pastime, but it easily fills the voids in many people’s personal lives. Every day, we hear something about what someone said or did, but the sources are often neither tangible nor reliable. It is merely inexpensive entertainment for the bored.

If we ever find ourselves caught up in the word flow, it behooves us to try to rise above it. We simply lift ourselves and float above the contentious fray. We know within ourselves what we have and have not done, and we know what is in our own hearts. However, accusatory people tend to think that others think like them and can do what they themselves would do. How erroneous!

We may even find ourselves amid some firestorm and not have clarity about the details. We feel the rustling movement and hear the fluttering of angst wings, but we are too busy taking care of our own affairs and do not give it much credence. We seem to be in the dark but maybe it is for the best. We give a brief pause, shake our heads, and think of Shakespeare’s title, ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’

After we forgive the immature babblers, we step over the Lilliputians or the little people as a dear friend advised me to do. Og Mandino wrote, “I will make allowances for his anger and irritation of today for he knows not the secret of controlling his mind (From: The Greatest Salesman in the World).

We brush off the debris left by wagging tongues and continue to plant our new gardens. We prune the weeds and unwanted growth and enjoy the fruits of our focused labor and march on!

“March on. Do not tarry.
To go forward is to move toward
Perfection. March on and fear not
The thorns, or the sharp stones
On life’s path.”

{Kahlil Gibran}

Lynn M.
September 19, 2020

Remote Learning: A Poem

Remotely we begin the year,
Pushing buttons may cause a tear.

But we go ahead and proceed.
Though frustrated, we don’t concede.

Nor give in and quit the new way,
Since Covid is having its say.

Design a plan and stay the course,
Hang in there; lessen the remorse!

Lynn M.
September 13, 2020

Ascending and Descending

Sometimes you climb the ladder of what some people might claim as success.  You get to the top rung of the ladder and you stop as you pause and catch your breath.  You cannot believe that you finally made it all the way up there.

Then, you look, stare for a while, and take in all the happenings and activity on the new summit.  As a wise one, you look before you take further leaps into limitless lineups of hoops. You should be feeling loads of exhilaration but after further study, dismay sets in to replace those good feelings.

You are not sure that you like nor approve of what is in your frontal view.  You might find yourself having a smh moment as you shake your head.  Your mind is screaming, “Noooooooo.”  You are saying, “Is this what I worked so hard for?  Do I want to be a part of this scene?  Could I ever fit in?  Do I even want to?

But you want to make sure that your feelings are on point, so you place both feet firmly on the surface of the new platform.  You walk around to become more certain of your feelings.  You walk and walk and over a period, the unsettled thoughts do not disappear.  They remain, hang, and linger as they swirl around over your head unlike a halo but more like a bad omen.

Again, the still small voice whispers, “Nope.” So, you quietly leave the scene and exit stage left.  When you get to the edge of the dramatic stage, you lean over hoping to see the ladder still propped there.  It is!  After letting out a “whew” sigh of relief, you calmly anchor your foot onto the top rung of the ladder. 

You slowly and assuredly descend the ladder as you hum a tune and think of Jacob’s ladder with angels ascending and descending like a slide ruler. You softly sing you own mantra and say over and over, “Not for me.  Not for me,” until you place your foot firmly back onto the sainted lower platform.  You think of Julius Caesar’s quote, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” You brush yourself off and give thanks that you ascended, made good choices, and descended with grace.

Lynn M.

September 5, 2020

After the Dance!

When we have climbed to the top of the mountain and successfully jumped through a series of hoops, the question arises, “What’s next?”   Robert Schuller spoke on this subject after he completed his envisioned glass cathedral.  It took years to complete it and yet, once it was beautifully standing, it gave him great satisfaction but only for a season.

He found himself asking that haunting question, “Now what?”  He discovered that the conquest pumped up his adrenaline and drove him throughout the completion of the project.  But what was to be done thereafter?

When we finish some long-withheld dream, we may be astonished to find that the inner fulfillment will last but for so long.  It is comparable to savoring a great gourmet meal.  It was great, but that chasing hunger will return over time.  The totem pole has been heightened but there is still more room at the top.

We check our calendars and our circadian clocks and realize that we have plenty of time and fuel in our personal tanks.  There are quite a few more miles to go. So, we pause and become still.   We then reach for a new draft book from our personal libraries and draw up a new plan.   Obviously, there is more to be done.

We change out of our old celebration clothes and put them neatly away into our closet of precious memories.  We put on our less formal attire such as some overalls and get busy working on that new thing.  We answer the new callings and proceed on, after the dance!

Lynn M.

August 22, 2020



Mountaintop Thoughts!

Mount Rainier
August 10, 2020

A close friend sent me a picture of Mount Rainier after she and her husband visited the site for their 41st Wedding Anniversary.  I have never seen it in person but looking at the snapshot was absolutely breathtaking!

I told her that it looked like a postcard because it was almost unbelievable that anything could be that beautiful without being photoshopped to some degree.  Only the majesty of Mother Nature could evoke this type of jaw-dropping awe!

But, when I saw the people walking in the picture of the mountain, I knew that it was indeed for real.  It is what painters attempt to replicate with their brushes and what writers try to recapture through their use of words with their pens.  They hope to have onlookers and readers see what they have viewed.

I looked at the picture for some time and thought, “Hope.  Possibilities. Scaling, Climbing.”  I even thought of the historic song, “Climb Every Mountain.”  I was immediately lifted higher from where I was in the prior moments.

I felt refreshed as I looked at the snow-capped mountain and was reminded of the coming change of seasons and the cold that will assuredly come soon. Too soon.   I also thought of the brave souls who scale mountains and risk their lives for either a personal rush or to prove some point to the world. 

But more importantly, I thought about being permeated by mountaintop thoughts where we feel encouraged to begin again and create a new reality.  Just as Mount Rainier stands there on a sure foundation, we too can optimistically rise up and do the same.  Despite what we are faced with in our daily lives, we can look at Mount Rainier and gain the courage to stare down the negativity until it moves and fades off of the scene!

Lynn M.

August 15, 2020