Dear Muse


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Dear Muse

By Nandy Ekle

Dear Muse,

 I am 54 years old. You have been with me since I was a little girl. I’ve never not known you.There have been times when you’ve had millions words for me. And there have been times when I I couldn’t get so much as a beep from you.

 I remember when I finally learned to control you. I was just coming into my teens. You brought me a novel length story, which I wrote. Looking back, we were both immature, and the story was very naive. But together we did complete a novel.

You stayed with me for all my remaining years of school. We wrote numerous short stories, and we had a blast doing it. Our friends, Ginger and her muse, wrote with us and all four of us gained tons of experience.

After I married my husband and the children came along, you went on a vacation. I couldn’t blame you for it. Raising children took so much of time that I really didn’t have much left to give you. And I just have to tell you that I wouldn’t have changed any of that. My children needed me and I needed them.

Then they suddenly were grown and flying away to start their own lives. I called for you again, and there you were, whispering to me as if you had been beside me all along. You dictated stories for me to write. And write them, I did. I won honors with them, and a few were published. But the best part of writing your stories was . . . writing them.

Occasionally I notice you’ve gone on vacation again. I realize this when I have my hands on my keyboard looking for a word to type, and no word comes. I call for you and only hear silence. This seems to have happened more and more often. In fact, the stretches of your vacations are getting longer and longer.

But then yesterday, you were back. It was as if you had never gone away. I was sitting at my desk doing my day job. Suddenly, idea after idea came flooding back into the halls of my brain. As I researched for my letter writing, a new idea would pop up. I grabbed a pencil and paper and started writing a list of these ideas for my next projects.

So, welcome back, dear muse. It’s good to see you back here where you belong.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

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Journaling


Journaling
 by Sharon Stevens
There are so many simple memories within our life and those of our families and friends…moments that are fleeting, but not gone forever. A single word, phrase or a picture helps to bring these memories back into focus and into our thoughts.
Take a second to restore these precious treasures to your heart and soul.
You don’t need a fancy journal. Any writing surface will do whether it is a diary, notebook, scrap of paper, school spiral or “Big Chief Tablet”. And don’t be afraid to record any insignificant thought. You never know when this just might be the memory that will touch you not just for today but in the years to come as well.
Below are just a few triggers to help you get started.
“Writing Other Days and Nights and Times of Your Life”
By Maria Altevers-excerpted from Personal Journaling June 2001
Birthdays-Keep the memories-good or bad- of how you celebrated all the birthdays of your life by storing them in this journal.
Sunday afternoons-Record the lazy Sundays that you lived through. Looking back you might find ways to make those afternoons more productive…or not.
Friendship-Keeping a journal with your friends or about your friendships will strengthen the bond that is already present. Plus by communicating in this journal when trouble strike, you may curb the turmoil at the start and avoid major damage to the relationships.
Baby/Child-Forge an even deeper bond between yourself and your children by keeping a journal for them while they are young. It will make a great gift once they are old enough to appreciate such a wonderful and love filled book. Pregnant? Write a journal as your baby grows in the womb.
Sister/brother-Try to avoid the pitfalls of sibling rivalry and strengthen your relationships by channeling your feelings into a journal. One day, the pages might serve up a good laugh.
Women’s (PMS, pregnancy, childbirth menopause)-Keep track of the positives and negatives of womanhood in a journal. It might help preserve the joyous memories of giving birth or help funnel and deal with more emotional times-when hormones are raging.
Work-Schedule those important meetings and luncheons or use this journal to help dissolve job stress. It will enable you to keep your work life separate from your personal life.
School-Not only can you write about all the wonderful-and not so wonderful- times at school, you will have a place to store all those mementos that you’re not quite ready to leave behind.
Pet-If a dog is man’s best friend, treat him that way. Dedicate a journal to your pet. Capture funny moments, paste in pictures and track appointments to the vet.
Exercise-Most people agree that exercise is hard work. Monitoring your fitness progress in a journal can help motivate you to keep it up.
Interactive-Communication is hard to achieve in any relationship. Create a nonverbal dialogue in this diary you share and take turns writing in with another person.
Meditation-Where does your mind wander during meditation? Keep a grasp on peaceful feelings by channeling those thoughts into a journal. It may be a source of comfort during times when meditation just isn’t enough.
Cooking/Food-Journaling about cooking or food and your eating habits just might lead to a healthier lifestyle. You may get tired of writing about the same old foods and, in turn, become inspired to prepare more interesting and healthier meals.
Vacation-Keep all your vacation memories in one place by herding them into this journal, or keep a separate book for each vacation. Both will become an easy reference when reminiscing with family and friends.
Restaurant-Don’t let the restaurants of your traveling experience be forgotten. After visiting new sites, dining can be that relaxing moment when you learn about cultural food and tastes and when you discuss the places you’ve seen. Not a big traveler? That doesn’t mean you can’t still record the fun dining experiences of your life.
HolidayThis will make a nice conversation starter during future holidays when you want to retell the unforgettable stories of celebrations past.
Devotional-This can be a journal of quotes from religious texts or personal thoughts on religious matters. It will allow you to focus on your spiritual side, even if you don’t necessarily practice a particular religion.
Inspirational-This can be classified as a wisdom-for-living journal. Keeping quotes from your favorite authors, philosophers, teachers, family members and more will help to motivate you when you’re dealing with life’s obstacles.
Poetry-Use this journal to store your own poetry, as well as favorites you hold in high esteem. You can also include snippets of thoughts, passing ideas or images…
Gardening-Writing about something you care about can add a whole new perspective on your hobby. This journal can keep track of the seasons of growing for you and your garden.
Photography-Keep a journal of your favorite photos-from your life or from magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. Pictures are still frames of life; they can trigger a memory or spark an idea that’ll keep you writing for days.
Music-Whether you play or just listen, keeping a music journal can help you categorize your favorites. Make lists of your own “Best Albums Ever” and “Best Love Songs” or just write down the words to moving songs. Who knows maybe someday you’ll write your own music.
Hiking/Biking-Have you ever hiked to the top of a hill to find beautiful scenery, then forgotten the path that you took? Record all your hiking experiences and use it as your own personal, self-made guide when you get the next itch to go hiking.
Good laughs-Recall those times when you just couldn’t stop laughing. Write down what made you laugh good and long-before you forget.
Grief-Channel your grief in a positive way by journaling about it. This can be an aid and a comfort to you in your time of need.
Golf-Not a golfer? Keep a similar journal for any sport. Learn to improve by indexing games. Keep track of clubs used when you did right and high and low scores.
Sharon Stevens

TEACHERS


TEACHERS

by Sharon Stevens

You must live on Mars if you don’t know that public school will begin soon. The season comes around every year and we are still taken aback as we face the crowds filled with desperate parents, school lists in hand and disgruntled children in tow, frantically searching for supplies and clothes.

Teachers have been attending in-services and getting their rooms ready whether they teach little ones or secondary. I imagine the dread and elation is much the same for either or. All wonder where their summer disappeared to, and when it will return again.

I love teachers! I treasure their kindness, their firmness, and the knowledge they share. I love my children’s teachers, my friends that are teachers, and teachers wherever they teach. You find each in all walks of life on every level, and every faith.

When our fellow blogger, Natalie Bright, reminded us that we were celebrating a year of blogging with Wordsmith Six blog I thought back to all of the words written this year by each one of us and I celebrate the stories attached to each. Just think, I may have missed out on all of this if it wasn’t for a teacher.

In the middle of first grade we had to move from Canyon to Amarillo and I had to settle into a new school. For some reason I had struggled in Canyon, but blossomed in a different environment. My mom told me later that I couldn’t read and it was the teacher that helped me to figure out what was wrong. Mom said I couldn’t change simple words like cat, to fat, to mat, to rat etc. But once I figured that out I just flew. I loved to read, and from that day on I read everything, even cereal boxes. The library and I became best friends. Teachers are wonderful everywhere and I am sure if I had stayed in Canyon they would have figured out and worked with me, but it was Mrs. Carmody who showed the way.

So this is my homage to all the teachers everywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you teach in the home, Sunday School, private or public school. Please know we cherish you and wish you the most wonderful year. And even though you may be faced with terrible restrictions, state mandates, and ugliness from every avenue imaginable, we cherish the gifts you share.

And in honor of all I wish to leave you with this quote from Theodore Roosevelt:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”

Sharon Stevens

Journaling


Journaling 
by Sharon Stevens
There are so many simple memories within our life and those of our families and friends…moments that are fleeting, but not gone forever. A single word, phrase or a picture helps to bring these memories back into focus and into our thoughts.
Take a second to restore these precious treasures to your heart and soul.
You don’t need a fancy journal. Any writing surface will do whether it is a diary, notebook, scrap of paper, school spiral or “Big Chief Tablet”. And don’t be afraid to record any insignificant thought. You never know when this just might be the memory that will touch you not just for today but in the years to come as well.
Below are just a few triggers to help you get started.
“Writing Other Days and Nights and Times of Your Life”
By Maria Altevers-excerpted from Personal Journaling June 2001
Birthdays-Keep the memories-good or bad- of how you celebrated all the birthdays of your life by storing them in this journal.
Sunday afternoons-Record the lazy Sundays that you lived through. Looking back you might find ways to make those afternoons more productive…or not.
Friendship-Keeping a journal with your friends or about your friendships will strengthen the bond that is already present. Plus by communicating in this journal when trouble strike, you may curb the turmoil at the start and avoid major damage to the relationships.
Baby/Child-Forge an even deeper bond between yourself and your children by keeping a journal for them while they are young. It will make a great gift once they are old enough to appreciate such a wonderful and love filled book. Pregnant? Write a journal as your baby grows in the womb.
Sister/brother-Try to avoid the pitfalls of sibling rivalry and strengthen your relationships by channeling your feelings into a journal. One day, the pages might serve up a good laugh.
Women’s (PMS, pregnancy, childbirth menopause)-Keep track of the positives and negatives of womanhood in a journal. It might help preserve the joyous memories of giving birth or help funnel and deal with more emotional times-when hormones are raging.
Work-Schedule those important meetings and luncheons or use this journal to help dissolve job stress. It will enable you to keep your work life separate from your personal life.
School-Not only can you write about all the wonderful-and not so wonderful- times at school, you will have a place to store all those mementos that you’re not quite ready to leave behind.
Pet-If a dog is man’s best friend, treat him that way. Dedicate a journal to your pet. Capture funny moments, paste in pictures and track appointments to the vet.
Exercise-Most people agree that exercise is hard work. Monitoring your fitness progress in a journal can help motivate you to keep it up.
Interactive-Communication is hard to achieve in any relationship. Create a nonverbal dialogue in this diary you share and take turns writing in with another person.
Meditation-Where does your mind wander during meditation? Keep a grasp on peaceful feelings by channeling those thoughts into a journal. It may be a source of comfort during times when meditation just isn’t enough.
Cooking/Food-Journaling about cooking or food and your eating habits just might lead to a healthier lifestyle. You may get tired of writing about the same old foods and, in turn, become inspired to prepare more interesting and healthier meals.
Vacation-Keep all your vacation memories in one place by herding them into this journal, or keep a separate book for each vacation. Both will become an easy reference when reminiscing with family and friends.
Restaurant-Don’t let the restaurants of your traveling experience be forgotten. After visiting new sites, dining can be that relaxing moment when you learn about cultural food and tastes and when you discuss the places you’ve seen. Not a big traveler? That doesn’t mean you can’t still record the fun dining experiences of your life.
HolidayThis will make a nice conversation starter during future holidays when you want to retell the unforgettable stories of celebrations past.
Devotional-This can be a journal of quotes from religious texts or personal thoughts on religious matters. It will allow you to focus on your spiritual side, even if you don’t necessarily practice a particular religion.
Inspirational-This can be classified as a wisdom-for-living journal. Keeping quotes from your favorite authors, philosophers, teachers, family members and more will help to motivate you when you’re dealing with life’s obstacles.
Poetry-Use this journal to store your own poetry, as well as favorites you hold in high esteem. You can also include snippets of thoughts, passing ideas or images…
Gardening-Writing about something you care about can add a whole new perspective on your hobby. This journal can keep track of the seasons of growing for you and your garden.
Photography-Keep a journal of your favorite photos-from your life or from magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. Pictures are still frames of life; they can trigger a memory or spark an idea that’ll keep you writing for days.
Music-Whether you play or just listen, keeping a music journal can help you categorize your favorites. Make lists of your own “Best Albums Ever” and “Best Love Songs” or just write down the words to moving songs. Who knows maybe someday you’ll write your own music.
Hiking/Biking-Have you ever hiked to the top of a hill to find beautiful scenery, then forgotten the path that you took? Record all your hiking experiences and use it as your own personal, self-made guide when you get the next itch to go hiking.
Good laughs-Recall those times when you just couldn’t stop laughing. Write down what made you laugh good and long-before you forget.
Grief-Channel your grief in a positive way by journaling about it. This can be an aid and a comfort to you in your time of need.
Golf-Not a golfer? Keep a similar journal for any sport. Learn to improve by indexing games. Keep track of clubs used when you did right and high and low scores.
Sharon Stevens