The Saga of Freewriting — Ten Minutes and Counting!


Freewriting again today. What is the subject? Truly the first thing coming into my mind.

For just a few years, I’ve worked on a manuscript, “Chattahoochee Child.” At first, there wasn’t a plot. Only characters. Now, I have the plot although I keep procrastinating about it. Here goes.

The story is placed along the coast of South Carolina, and the rivers of the Chattahoochee River, Columbus, GA.

Basing much of the story on characters I knew. For example, the protagonist is named Rebecca. All of her life she hungers for the love of her mother. The older she became, the worse the relationship with her mother developed. When Rebecca marries at 18, she moves away from her mother’s home, only to be told by her cruel mother that ‘she cannot take anything that belongs to her when she leaves, with exception of her clothes.’

Packing up her clothing, she asked her mother if she can take some of her childhood photos and her senior year picture.

“No. You ain’t taking nothing like that. I’m gonna burn all your pictures.”

Devastated at her mother’s cruelty, Rebecca leaves the mill village of Bibb City, refusing to look back. When her mother finds her, she realizes the relationship needs repairing.

Going back to her mother’s house, Rebecca is alone. Her framed senior picture is gone. When she asked her mother what happened to her pictures, her mother laughs a wicked laughter. “I told you I was gonna burn ’em and I did. Just a few weeks ago. There ain’t no pictures of you inside the house.”

Rebecca rushes outside. Tears pour down her face. She rushes to her car and leaves.

The soldier she married is fighting a war. Rebecca realizes it is time to bury the past and move on; however, when she sees her mother again, she is slapped, belittled and told she will never amount to nothing. Her mother claims she wrote a letter to her husband overseas, telling him Rebecca is sleeping around with every man in town.

“I hope he never speaks to you again. You ain’t never gonna keep a man happy.”

“Just like you, Mom. Right? You don’t want me to have any happiness. I suppose you want me to walk in your shoes, but I refuse to do that. I will have a life You will never destroy me!”

Leaving her mother’s home again, Rebecca decides that some people are not blessed to have a good mother. She vows to enter into a new journey while waiting for her husband to return home from war.

When he does, Rebecca discovers the man she married and waited for is a changed, tormented man. He loses his temper quickly, jumping almost out of his skin whenever a car backfires, or fireworks happen. At night, while sleeping, he straddles Rebecca, choking her while saying ‘Charlie is coming…’

Rebecca discovers her life is still not under her control.

This freewriting for 10 minutes is hard, but it is something I am forcing myself to do in hopes I will regain the confidence I once had in writing.

Life this summer was so demanding and unpredictable. My husband had surgery in late May. He is still struggling to regain his strength. The summer of 2016 was like a roaring, twirling tornado to me. All the plans for a summer of fun were changed, due to the demands of caring for my husband while struggling to keep the house and finances under control. Normally, during the summer I go to the beach on a weekly basis. My first visit to the beach this year was in September. Isn’t it strange how life is sometimes out of control.

Oops. Ten minutes is gone. That’s it for today.

 

Freewriting With the Demands of Life, Interruptions and PTSD


Dearest Readers:

Freewriting today, so here goes. Freewriting has been described as a time for writers to sit and write about anything that comes to the mind. It is now 3:52. I am supposed to write for five to ten minutes. Just write. No editing.

What is on my mind? It is Monday, my scheduled day to clean and catch up on things at the house. Moments ago, my husband walked in – asking me IF I read a card that was addressed to him. “No,” I reply. I do not read your mail.” He got just a bit touchy then. I suppose it is another PTSD day!

What is PTSD? If you have to ask that question, you’ve never been around anyone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. When my husband walked in, I could see that he has dealt with a bit of stress today, although he denies it. Silly guy. Doesn’t he know I can see those eyes and I know I must walk on eggshells once again?
My husband is a Vietnam Veteran. How I wish I could pull those memories of war out of his head, but I cannot. Nor can I get him to calm down from his actions. Sometimes, I simply feel like running away – FOREVER! But, what good would that do? It would simply make him angrier. When he attacks me verbally with his PTSD, I walk away and give him space.

In my next life, I want a happy life. A life filled with someone who appreciates me and treats me kind. Yes, there are days when my husband is kind – it seems the PTSD outweighs the good days. He is a generous man. But kindness – well on his good days!

So be it. Enough about my husband’s attack when he walked in the door. He will not ruin my mood. Today has been a good day, and I am actually sitting here writing again – even IF it is freewriting.

In case you, my readers are interested, I am writing again, but it is so difficult. Years ago, a professor of an English class I was enrolled in asked our class if anyone loves to write. Silly me! I raised my hand. The professor was tall and thin, he had a slight beard and his facial expressions reminded me of George Carlin. He moved quickly to be by my desk. Pointing his finger at me, he shouted – “Then YOU are not a writer! Writers HATE to write.”

I’ve thought about that professor many times, and now I suppose I am a writer because there are times I actually detest writing. I don’t like to say the word ‘hate’ – especially since that dreadful word opens up a can of worms to many people. I try not to ‘hate’ anything.

My computer is telling me it is now 4:07 pm. Time to go start dinner and feed the dogs. Will I cook tonight? Not if my husband’s demeanor doesn’t change! For now, I think I will glue myself to my chair and write. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll repeat this exercise of the brain – writing! Later, Readers! Enjoy your day!

Give Me Wings to Fly…


Today appeared to be a good day. After paying the monthly bills, I settled down, thankful that life was going my way – finally. I looked up to the blue skies, whispering a silent prayer to God, thankful that I could pay the monthly bills and still have a bit left over, just in the event some emergency occurred. The sun was shining bright now. Glittering colors of sky blue, radiant shadows from the sunlight kissed the trees. I sighed, so thankful for the beauty of earth. No more thick black clouds of self-doubt…Pain…Hurt…Depression. This will be a good day, I whispered. That is, until I opened the laundry room door. Sorting the clothing, I stashed the first load of colorfast in the washer, placing other stacks in the hamper so I could accomplish the laundry. I punched the button of the Kenmore front loading machine. No power. Nothing. Checking the fuse box, I flipped switches. Nothing. I phoned Garrett, feeling totally helpless – again. Depending on others is something extremely hard for me. Garrett listened to me and when I started to cry, he reassured me he would get the washer to work.

“Don’t worry, babe. It’s nothing to cry about.”

How could I expect him to understand? Garrett was an uncompromising, capricious demeanor of a man. A Vietnam Veteran who saw the scars, pain, blood and agony of war. He knew the smell of death, decaying bodies lying along the roads. Vultures flying overhead, landing on the fading, deteriorating bodies, attacking, probing and eating away at the decomposing bodies while the sounds of mortars rang overhead. “It don’t mean nothing,” Garrett said repeatedly, reminding him that war is hell and nothing can change it. “It don’t MEAN NOTHING!’ Rarely did something affect him. When his father died, never did he shed a tear. When our son cried, Garrett scolded him. “Real men don’t cry,” he said. Perhaps his attitude was due to his military and combat training. Crying for Garrett was a weakness. Every time I cried around him he rolled his eyes upward, shaking his head, whispering, “It don’t mean nothing!”

Hot tears spilled down my face. I inhaled. Exhaled. Why am I so teary eyed today? What is wrong with me? Opening my appointment calendar I realized in less than ten days would be the anniversary of the loss of my dad.

Dad died July 6, 1999. “The grief should be gone,” I said, tapping my face to wipe the tears away. The memory of his passing was rooted forever inside my brain. I shouldn’t need him so much, but I do. I should be adjusted to his loss. I miss my dad. I miss his laughter and harmonizing gospel songs with him. I missed his hugs, and his reassuring voice. “Make it a good day,” his voice chimed rhythmically when I was nearby. His smile was contagious. I rubbed my neck. Inhaled. Exhaled. My dad made his life completely different after my parents’ divorce. Peaceful. No hostility. No temper tantrums. No one who knew him before his illness could imagine that once he was physically cruel to my mother, knocking her to the ground during a fight. I was amazed at his change, and so proud to call him, Dad.
There was much to do around the house. Depression left me so exhausted, when I made the attempt to clean the house; I forgot to wash the baseboards and the corners of the floors. That can wait until later, I thought. I’m too tired today.

Glancing at the corners of the bathroom floors I promised myself I would scrub them later. After all, no one sees the house, with exception of the dogs.

As hard as I tried to understand my depression, I couldn’t, until I glanced at the calendar. In exactly ten days I would reminisce about the death of my dad. Still, it seemed like yesterday. How long does one grieve, I asked myself, wiping fresh tears from my face.

Gathering my mop and cleaning materials, I scrubbed the corners of the bathroom floors and the base boards. I suddenly realized I wasn’t cleaning the dirt away. I was struggling to scrub away depression. Grief. Sadness. Heart-breaking wretchedness.

Just how long does one grieve over such a loss? I had no answers, but today was a day I could not fight it, so I gave in to it while cleaning and scrubbing the floors.

Grief was introduced to me as a young, innocent girl. During my junior year of high school, I received a nice letter from someone named Benjamin. I read his letter with interest. He seemed to be so charming. Intelligent. Funny. His letter made me laugh. He was stationed in California, in the Navy. My cousin, Donald, was his best buddy. One night while drinking, Donald showed Benjamin my photograph, giving him my address. Donald knew I loved to write letters, so he thought we could become pen pals. Benjamin’s letter was filled with compliments about me, leaving me to be ever so curious about his sincerity. I wrote him a letter, mailing it the next morning on my way to school, hopeful he would write again. What began as an innocent pen pal relationship developed quickly. That summer, Benjamin flew to Columbus to meet me. My heart danced inside my chest, in anticipation of meeting Benjamin. Doubts gnawed inside my stomach. What would happen if he didn’t like me, or think I was pretty? Was I deserving? A young, unsophisticated girl from a textile mill village, without any future plans? All I possessed were the dreams I cherished inside my heart. Dreams about singing and acting and becoming famous. I wrote about these dreams in my journals. When my mother found them underneath my mattress, she read them and laughed, telling me I’d never amount to anything.

My fears subsided when he arrived. I recognized him immediately and rushed into his arms. He lifted me tightly, spinning me around like I was a feather and I laughed with delight. Then, his lips met mine in our first kiss. The warmth of his mouth searching and probing inside of my mouth tasted delicious. This was Love. Finally, I had found someone to love me. Finally I could tell my mother she was mistaken. I was a lovable person. I was more than my mother’s piece of trash. I was someone warm, exciting and deserving of love.

During my senior year of high school, I was filled with happiness. Letters from Benjamin arrived almost daily. Every Sunday evening we talked on the phone. We were engaged, planning for our future together as husband and wife. My new life, filled with love and happiness, was about to begin.
I met Benjamin’s parents at Christmastime. His mother embraced me with love and acceptance. We discussed our wedding and marriage. That Christmas in New England was the most commemorative holiday I had ever experienced in my young lifetime. We were scheduled to ring in the New Year together in New England. Early one morning, my mother changed our plans and we left, without an explanation. My mother was in one of her moods. When I inquired as to why we were leaving now, she balled a fist at me. Her demeanor was malicious. She belittled Benjamin and his family, telling me I did not belong with them. I kissed Benjamin goodbye, praying that my mother’s behavior would not influence our future. Leaving New England, I cried on the plane, and when I arrived home, I cried into my pillows. Something was different. Something was missing, so I cried…and cried…and cried…just like I was crying now – over grief. One month later, I received a letter from Benjamin, ending our relationship. The distance between us was a deciding factor, he wrote. I read the letter over and over again, realizing my mother’s words of my not deserving of Benjamin’s love were so true. We were from different worlds – a naïve mill kid and a sophisticated, handsome military guy did not mix. Like oil and water, we could not make a life together.

Funny. I hadn’t really thought about Benjamin in years. Life had a way of keeping me so busy I didn’t have the time to allow emotions to crawl and brew inside of me, but today was different. Tears were pouring down my face, like an endless waterfall.

Once I had loved Benjamin so much I thought I could not breathe without him. Yet, after we broke up, I realized life still existed. Every morning, I awoke to a new day, only this was another day without my future – Benjamin. My mother laughed at me, telling me I was such a fool for loving a man. “No one should give her heart to a man like you did. It’s no wonder he stomped all over you and broke your heart. You’re such a foolish, insecure and stupid girl. Stupid girls don’t deserve love, and you are one STUPID GIRL,” she shouted, laughing from the depth of her obese stomach at me.

I struggled to stop the tears, but they rushed inside of me, deep from my heart and soul. “I hate crying. Please God, let me stop crying.” The tears continued to spill down my face as I realized my mother was correct. I was a stupid girl who never deserved love. I missed several days of school because my eyes were swollen and red. I was ashamed for anyone to see me.

Much to my surprise, during this time, Benjamin’s mother phoned me. Faith wanted to know how I was feeling. How was I coping? She wanted me to keep in touch with Benjamin, so he would awaken and realize he loved me.

I listened to her, wanting to scream. “Benjamin doesn’t love me. He broke my heart. No one loves me. I’m not worthy of love.”

Faith listened to me, encouraging me to continue the fight, if I really loved Benjamin.

Just how is it someone can grieve so painfully when grief was for the lost…those who have died and we will never see again? I asked myself that question over and over again, wishing to find the answer while the grief rushed over me.

Returning to school, I thrust myself into plans for graduation and my future. When friends asked me about the wedding plans with Benjamin, I pushed them away. I could not talk about the pain I felt. All I could do was burst into another sea of endless tears.

After graduation, I found love again in the arms of another military man, Garrett. He was stationed at Fort Benning, in preparation for his deployment to Vietnam. Charming and handsome, Garrett and I married a bit too quickly. Three months later, he went to Vietnam.

During Christmas of that year, I received a package in the mail. I opened it, discovering a card from Faith, along with a beautiful pair of slippers. She signed the card in her handwriting, wishing me a loving and happy journey in my new life as a married woman. She wrote about lost love and how new love would take me along the trials and tribulations of life. She was confident that I would take on this challenge with the new slippers. The colorful satin slippers would carry me along the paths of life, to areas I had never dreamed about. She wished me well, telling me that she would miss me along the way, but she was hopeful that I would keep in touch with her. Faith gave me new inspiration and hope.
Faith and I kept in touch over the years. During Christmas holidays, we spoke on the phone, catching up like two close friends would do, laughing and crying over life, the birth of children, aging, disappointments and dreams we shared. She consoled me when I cut the cords with my mother. And when I asked her why couldn’t I cry, after my mother passed, she soothed me with her words, reminding me I cut the cords earlier in my life to become a better person since my mother was a bitter woman who was unable and afraid to love. In 2010, I lost contact with Faith. Her phone was disconnected and I knew something was wrong with her. Researching on the computer I discovered Faith had passed away. And so, I cried.

Benjamin was my foundation, teaching me about love. Faith was my inspiration. She believed in me when no one else would. Garrett was my bridge, accepting and loving me for who I was. But — would he still love me as I grew older, stronger from the wisdom and character I planned to develop with self-growth and self-worth.

My brain continued to race with grief. Although I felt grief when my mother died, never did I cry. Those tears were disbursed in 1988, when we said our final goodbyes after an emotional war. She threatened to slap me if I didn’t give her some money. I stood my ground, refusing to allow her manipulative intimidations to weaken me. Garrett was playing golf when we fought. When he arrived at my mother’s house, he looked into my eyes, noticing my vacant stare along with my shaking hands. He saw the suitcases sitting by the doorway.

Garrett nodded for me to go outside on the porch. I opened the tattered doorway, closing it tightly. “What’s the matter? Are you two fighting again?”

“We’re leaving,” I said, glancing down at my chipped manicured nails.

“What happened?” Garrett insisted, his voice firm. He placed his arm on my shoulder and I flinched. “Why are your fingernails chipped?”

Garrett knew me a bit too well at times.

“Let’s go. Let’s get the suitcases and leave. Now!” I whispered, picking at my fingernails.

Garrett opened the door.

My mother stood by the suitcases. “You’re not leaving!” Her arms were crossed. She stood by the suitcases, ready for a battle.

Garrett stood his ground. “You need to move.”

My mother placed her hands on the suitcases.

“If you don’t allow us to take our belongings, I will call the cops,” I said. “We’re leaving and there isn’t anything you can do to keep us here!”

“I want money.”

“I don’t have any money,” I said.

My mother smirked. “You lying bitch! You got cash in your wallet. I seen it. I want it!”

I rolled my eyes at her, reached down and grabbed the suitcases.

“Goodbye Mother,” I said.

I cried all the way home. Garrett touched my hand while he drove. His actions told me I would be OK. Garrett never liked seeing me cry. His demeanor was one of strength. “It don’t mean nothing,” he would say, during and after a fight. “It don’t mean nothing,” and then, he would walk away.

I was the weakling in our family, at least, according to Garrett. In 1992, after another emotional war where Garrett’s jealousy raged into me, shouting accusations that were not true, thrusting his finger at me while he belittled me, I fell completely apart. Sitting on the corner of the couch, I cried. And cried. And cried. Garrett kept pushing me, wanting to know why I was crying. As hard as I tried to turn the water works off, I could not. Watching the cruel, snappish actions of Garrett, he reminded me of my mother and I cringed. Why wasn’t I worthy of love?

That night was a turning point for me as I opened my mouth to share a horrific childhood story with Garrett. “I’d like to tell you something I’ve never shared with anyone before. You must promise to listen to me and not say anything until I finish. Promise?”

Garrett nodded. Glancing at my fingernails, I pulled at the cuticles and my nail polish, a nervous habit I always performed when threatened. I inhaled. Exhaled and said a silent prayer for God to give me strength. I licked my lips and began, unable to stop as I described my mother’s probing hands. Wrinkled, leathered hands that touched me in forbidden places, searching, rushing hands that left me feeling cheap. Garrett listened, occasionally wiping the flood of tears rushing down my face. One hour later, in the darkness of midnight, Garrett held me tight.

“Now, I understand why you apologize so much. Why your beat yourself in the head at times and always say you are not worthy of love. Now I know why your body jumps when you are sleeping and it is lightning outside. Your mother was wrong to touch you.”

“But…she was my mother…She only wanted to protect me.”

Garrett kissed my forehead. “You deserve happiness and love, just the way I love you. Let me love you. Maybe now I can understand why you always hurt yourself, and why you fight me so much when I want to shelter you.”

“Don’t you see, Garrett? I don’t need sheltering. I’m independent. I’ve always liked doing things on my own. All I’ve ever wanted from you is for you to give me wings to fly.”

Our relationship began a new journey on that night.

Character…What It Is, According to Me…


Dearest Readers:

While taking another break from housework, I visited Facebook where people were discussing the cruelty of some of their acquaintances. Yes, acquaintances…not friends.

Reading a few of the comments got me thinking…and if you know me…thinking can be dangerous! I create my best characters while — thinking!

Like all of you, I’ve met many characters in life. Some nice. Some judgmental… Others cruel. Destructive…and then, on a few occasions, I’ve met interesting characters that have influenced my life. One of the most influential characters I’ve ever known was someone I met years ago. She and I kept in contact until her death in 2010. How I miss our conversations, along with her encouragement. She is a character I have preserved and have not shared in any of my stories. Why? Simple. She was the epitome of what a mother was to me. Her arms embraced me when we met. Her voice and encouraging words gave me strength. She is and will always be — a refined and cherished character.

Looking up the definition of character — the word character is defined as:
“the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”

Yes, I have met many individuals and I hesitate to describe many of them as ‘characters.’ Why? Watching their actions, listening to their back-stabbing whispers, seeing the look in their eyes, especially when I walk near them teaches me so much, just by watching the actions of these individuals. You’ve met the type. The type who embrace you with a hug and a cheeky kiss, only to glance over your shoulder to watch their whispers and snide remarks and looks. Actions say so much! Yes, I suppose those types of individuals are considered characters, but only of a cruel, demeaning, and belligerent personality. The type who thrive on building themselves up while knocking you down.

In high school, I knew many characters, only to recognize years later that their cruel remarks were made because they do not know better. After all, they lost the best friend they will ever have by ridiculing me. High school was the most difficult time of my life. I learned to keep all of my secrets to myself, sharing none of them to anyone I knew in school.

I know I am different. I am not the judgmental, cruel type of person. My grandmother taught me to be ‘nice’ and to live by the Golden Rule. After all, She would say, “God don’t love ugly! You must pray over those who hurt you.” When I lost my grandmother, I truly lost my first inspirational character.

If I have a problem with someone, I approach that person and speak with them. If we cannot come to a peaceful understanding, I simply do not socialize or acknowledge them. After all, I deserve better!

It took years for me to realize that. As a child, I lived with cruel, cold, calculated, toxic words. I never knew the love of a mother, nor did I feel her warm embrace. There are many things I felt under her care, but character was not a description I would use to describe what her values were. She appeared to detest me, telling me I would never EVER find anyone to love me. I listened to her. Little did I know that some mothers simply do not know how to care for children.

I broke away from her web of destruction while searching for the character of myself. I was cautious. When people made snide remarks about me, showing jealousy, envy and other cruelties that cut into the heart of who I am, I cut them off. I wanted to walk with my head held high. I wanted to smile while knowing that I had character. A character it has taken me years to build. Most of all, I wanted to love myself. Every morning, I glance in the mirror and say, “Today, you are the best that you can be. Move forward with your life. Don’t look back!”

Two years of therapy taught me much, and now, I still watch people — carefully! I sit back. Observing while watching their body language and when AND IF I feel comfortable, I might approach someone to become a friend. However, if I see that friend using a loose tongue, or back stabbing, I will approach once. If the trust is damaged, so is the character.

Characters are every where, but I am cautious. I make mental notes, and ever so slowly, I continue to build — MY character! Life is much too short to be unhappy.

Freewriting…


Dearest Readers:

It is Monday, June 9, 2014 — my regular day to do housework. Ugh! Years ago, I threw myself into this dreaded chore, while singing and dancing around the house. But — with life comes disappointments. Schedule changes. Interruptions, and so on.

I’m certain you probably get the picture. I decided to take a break for a moment, just to relax, and so — here I am — writing. Actually, freewriting — whatever that means! When a writer freewrites, he or she is supposed to simply write. No edits. No corrections. No revisions. I confess…while writing, my fingers get a bit too fast and I occasionally hit the wrong key. If you saw my ergonomic keyboard, you would laugh! Many of the keys are ‘faded away’ and when my husband has to use my keyboard, he grumbles and curses simply because he cannot find the correct key. No, he never took typing or keyboarding in school. He is from the school of one finger hunt and punch! As for myself, my fingers dance across the keyboard. I certainly should know where the proper keys are since I am a writer!

Silly woman…just WHERE are you going with this blog posting?

Beats me. I am free writing!

Today, my home is quiet. I have turned off the television and no music is playing. All I hear are the sounds of my pups — snoring — on their pillows. Let’s see, glancing at my feet, I see Sandy Bear Sebastian is sleeping soundly. I touch his bottom with my toes, but he doesn’t respond. He is sound asleep in his little doggie la la land! Located next to Sandy Bear, is Toby, our newest member. An adorable, demanding and most loving Maltese, he is curled on the next pillow — asleep. Twisting my chair around, I see (and hear) Hankster — snoring! To be such a little mini-schnauzer, he certainly likes to snore! Located inside the hidden secret area of my desk — where my precious Prince Marmaduke Shamus, aka “Shamey-Pooh” loved to sleep is Sir Shakespeare Hemingway. When Shamus left us in 2012, Shakes claimed his territory and he refuses to allow anyone else take over that spot. Our giant schnauzer is a solid black and beautiful boy named Prince Midnight Shadow. Shadow Bear is asleep in the window seat. Silly, spoiled animals. They are normally so full of life and fun, but when I clean the house, they hover away near my desk. They detest the sound of Jaws vacuuming and sucking away the fabrics, textures, dusts and lints inside the household.

I suppose I should cut this free writing episode short and get back to vacuuming. After all, if I do not do it, who will? My dogs? Nah! They are actually smarter than I am. Snoozing away while I work.

Welcome to my life every Monday. If only I could afford the luxury of someone who enjoys cleaning. Oops. Think I hear Jaws calling my name. Suppose he’s located some crumbs or dust. Oops!

Welcome to my world!

Free Writing 101…


Dearest Readers:

Today is a beautiful day in the Lowcountry of Charleston, SC. The welcomed sunshine is beaming brightly in my windows, especially in my breakfast room. Yesterday, May 4, 2014, I decided to work in the yard, cutting back the brittle branches of my Lantana, lace Hydrangea and other brittle branches needing attention. Normally, I do these gardening workouts in early February. February 2014 was bitterly cold and wet in Charleston. Every time I planned to go outside, either the weather did not permit, or my right eye was swollen and as red as a beet. My eye is not a vegetable! I do believe I have developed an allergy in my right eye. Of course my doctor disagrees, and I laugh. Silly doctor. She may have the medical degree, but I know my right eye fairly well! Like me, it is stubborn, opinionated and loves to do things on its terms – not mine!

I enjoyed working in my yard and I was thankful I had a pair of good gardening gloves – to protect my newly manicured nails. After all, a woman has got to look nice, even while gardening. Yes, my hair was styled. I wore shorts and a black top. It was a great day to be in the yard, bending, stooping, stretching, walking – working out!

If you are curious as to where this post is going – well, let’s just say – it is free writing, so I do not know where it’s going. According to Natalie Goldberg, the rules of free writing are:

1. Establish a time limit. I usually free write for five or ten minutes. Sometimes more, and sometimes less.
2. Do not edit, or correct your writing. Ooooh—h! That is a hard rule to follow, and those of you who know me recognize I always say, “Rules are made to be broken.” I taught that rule of life to my son when he was just a little guy, and later, I truly ate those words when we were in a discussion and I reminded him that he broke the rule. His reply to me, with his devilish little grin was, “Mom… You’ve always said rules were made to be broken.” I wanted to crawl through the floor because he remembered my words. Silly me. Sometimes being a mom to a small child can be a bit of a task. Those of you who are moms certainly understand.
3. Back to the rules of free writing – “If you get off topic…keep writing…” Didn’t I just do that in rule #2???
4. If you struggle to write when free writing just ask yourself if anything is bothering you while you free write. Anything bothering me? Not yet, but it is such a beautiful morning in Charleston just what could bother me today??? Stay tuned. You might find out!
5. When the time is up – stop. Excuse me. I am a writer. Sometimes the words just pour from my fingertips while my fingers dance across the keyboard!

Today, I have many things to do. For one, vacuuming! Last week was such a busy week I failed to do my household chores, so today is the day, and while I vacuum, I will turn on some Neil Diamond music and dance while cleaning. After all, cleaning is movement and according to my Fitbit One, movement is exercise. Yes, I will bend…and stoop…and stretch…just like I did yesterday…and when the vacuuming is done, I’ll do a bit of Zumba. Yes, today is a great day to workout. Tomorrow – I hear the beach calling my name.

So much for free writing. I must get busy with life. Next chore – styling my hair. Let’s just say, at the moment, my hair is ‘every which a-way but styled,’ looking more like I must’ve stuck my finger in an electrical outlet, if you can picture that. I hope you cannot! After that ritual is done, my makeup awaits, and I must find that silly vacuum cleaner. Yes, I know where it is, but I so hate to vacuum! There is too much life to enjoy!

More later, Readers. Enjoy this beautiful weather! And for those of you who are not having this glorious spring weather, just imagine taking a nice stroll along the beach. Your warm feet feel the soft sand underneath while the chilled ocean waters tease your feet. How I hope springtime will arrive for everyone soon, and all might enjoy the beauty of the welcoming, warm sunshine after such a bitterly cold winter.

Have a great week!

My Thoughts About Freewriting


Dearest Readers:
Many of you are actively reading my blog and for that I thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Some of you have asked if I allow others to write on my blog. The answer to that question is “No.” As a writer with a web presence, I do not allow others to post, simply because I do have a reputation to maintain, and I spend a bit of time working on my blog, when time permits. However, I do, occasionally, post press releases from others and they receive the credit for these releases. As a writer, I love promotion and marketing and work hard to share with my reading public.

Today, I shall freewrite. It has been about two weeks since I’ve posted anything on my blog and that is the reason for this discussion today. I have a busy week ahead of me and will share information about that at a later date. Tomorrow, I have Weight Watchers. Most of you know I am an active member of Weight Watchers and I am still struggling to break that bloody plateau I have fought so hard with. Weight Watchers has a new benefit now to their program. We get a card, referred to as the “No Weigh In” card. We can use it on weeks when weight loss is depressing us, or we feel we just do not want to be weighed. I call it my ‘get out of jail free’ card – a Monopoly game card. I have used my get out of jail free card three times, so far this year. Weight is lingering on me, although inches are FALLING OFF and for that – this chick is thrilled! All of my shorts will be going to Goodwill as soon as I complete the dreaded spring cleaning.

In the event you are curious IF Weight Watchers measures you – the answer is NO! All we do is get weighed every week, and that is confidential. No one can glance down to read what the scale reveals. Only the Weight Watchers leaders know and they record the loss or gain privately.

BUT!!! Why are you writing about Weight Watchers? Perhaps you are wondering why – well, it is simple – freewriting is a dreaded chore that writers do to write, or get the mojo working again. Today, with so many things to do, freewriting might get me motivated again. Let us hope so!

Many of you reading my blog have asked private messages of how long I have written and how do I think of so many topics??? Simple. I am alive. When something ruffles my feathers, when inspiration moves me, or when I feel I need to jump on my soapbox, I write. Normally, I allow the documents written to ‘get cold’ meaning – they have sat for a bit of time, then I re-read them, and I post. I confess, this doesn’t always happen, but I am trying to get in the habit. Silly me! Effective today, I am writing blog subjects in a Microsoft Word document – not straight into my blog. After all, I want to have a record of what I am writing – not simply rushing to my blog to find the documents.

Freewriting is an action we writers will do for about five to ten minutes. Seems I forgot to time my freewriting after a phone call interruption. The first call was another bloody telemarketer, and if you are a telemarketer and want to call me to inquire about a survey which will take 10 to 15 minutes – guess what – your survey is much too long to get my opinion – and I’m certain I DO have an opinion. After all, those who know me recognize and describe me as an opinionated woman! Funny, last year at my high school reunion I was described as ‘shy’ — ‘timid’ — ‘someone who we don’t remember…’ Thank goodness that innocent little girl grew up to become someone who DOES have an opinion and someone who ‘makes an entrance…’ Gees…I have to laugh at that description, but it is nice to hear others say now – “Oh…I remember YOU!”

Good or bad? Who knows. By now, you are probably wondering – just where is Barbie Perkins-Cooper going with this posting? Well…it’s called freewriting for a reason.

The second, third, and FOURTH phone calls were from my husband. He has the tendency to phone me LOTS…and IF he doesn’t get me on the landline, he will phone my cell. If I don’t answer, he calls the landline again…Some men are such pains when they want to speak to you…and what they have to say, could definitely wait a bit…but that is HOW my husband is on a day when I have thousands of things to do – such as today!

Maybe on that note, it is time for me to start the Zumba DVD and dance. I need to release a bit of frustration and music is so therapeutic! Yep, I think should play the music and dance. I absolutely detest freewriting! Have a great week, readers.