Pheonix ashes

I am learning to be a new person, in order to do that I have to quiet the mental gremlins. That is harder than it sounds. I am a survivor. And I am tired of surviving. No, I am not suicidal. But I am trying to change the direction of my life. I am trying to make it where I no longer am having the string of disasters that my life has been up till now.

What that means for me? It means for to start I let my art and my words flow. I continue to put myself out there. I consider writing the memoir that I have been told was something I need to do. That will probably be some of the hardest words I write. I have shared a few of the stories.

To ease some of the panic, I will say that I don’t know if I will publish it. If I do it will be under a pen name.

Journals,  diaries and the journey of the damaged mind. 

        Lately,  I have been trying to do an exercise for my brain in the morning called ‘morning pages ‘. Basically brain vomit put in physical form. This helps me to clear the crap that weighs me down,  and recognize my problems so that I can address them. It actually is helping.  I used to understand the power of keeping a diary… Unfortunately people happened.  Said people used those diaries against me.  So I got out of the habit. I stopped listening to the internal therapist.  And the result?  I have a fair amount of issues that bind my self esteem in a knot.  So by starting to do this at least one time each day,  I am going to see so much of what garbage is buried in my brain.  And I will see what I am able to start working through.  I will be improving who I am.  

        Today I found that I was feeling like a failure because I was not juggling the numerous hats I wear as well as I want to.  Today I was kicking ass as a mom,  but my writing was not going as well as I wanted it to.  I rocked as a friend and I even did decent as a housewife.  But I was doing poorly as a crafter and small business owner.  I was an amazing artist but I felt that I was not a wonderful person…. Now… Read this again.  Today I was amazing but I did not feel like it. That is the place where the exercise helps.  We have to change how we see the world if we want to change the way it sees us. 

     What’s something that you can adjust your way of thinking about?  And how can you use it to make your world brighter? 

Life stories 

    How many times have you found yourself thinking about the past? I am guilty of doing it often.  We are all a collection of stories,  some that we do not tell.  The reason why we don’t varies some,  depending upon the story. Some we are ashamed of,  some we think are going to be boring to the world around us. 

         I am finding out that sometimes those stories are more interesting than we realize. I try to be open about my history and tell my stories,  but some of them do not really sit on the mind as something that I need to tell. Yet,  each of them are a part of who I am.  I am a unique individual who has seen some of the darkness that lives in the heart of man.  I am a survivor who has learned to make do with what I have. And I am a woman who has seen both good and bad,  and came through it ready to try to tell my stories. I don’t know if I will ever be able to write all of the stories of a life survived,  or even if I should.  Not all of my mistakes are ones that any one would learn from… Even me.  Still for now,  I will attempt to continue to dribble my story in small gushes to this blog,  and to my poetry.  Perhaps my journey will aid those who stumble across my words. 

The stories we hide

      I have many stories,  I think that we all do.  Some of us,  the ones who have been through hard moments,  we hide the stories.  We have been taught to feel the shame of those stories.  To feel less because of them.  And I refuse.  

                My memory is still very fragmented. I blocked more of my story out to save my mental health than I remember. Yet,  I remember enough. I am a survivor.  I was abused. I was raped, multiple times. And when I asked for help I was told it never happened. I was told that I was crazy.  

            I might be crazy,  but it did happen. I have been brave before,  I told the man who abused me as a child that I would scream if he came near me again. I was eight or nine. I’m not entirely sure of the exact age.  He locked me in the trunk of his car and told me I would die there. I believed him.  He convinced me that no one would ever believe me. The sad part is he was right.  It took me until I was thirteen to gain the courage to tell anyone. To my shame,  I was told it was not true. 

                So much of my life I have been fighting for my sanity and my life.  I am in my fourties,  and for the first time in my life I am not crazy.  I know my truth.  I will always be the person who was made from the hell I walked through. But I will not hide my truths any longer.  I am not going to let those truths break my spirit anymore. 

Audience 

          Who is my audience?  As an author there is not a day that goes by that I am not asking myself this question.  I have, I think come to a decision on it. My children’s books: the audience is fairly obvious.  Children.  I really write them for my daughter (and now my grandson).  Which is why I believe that the third bedtime stories will be mid grade. The first two were stories written for her when she was small. The third started for a preteen. (And now she is helping me write it.  She was suggesting ideas for the story and is looking forward to hear it when it is done.  She refused me reading it until then.) But I write more than just children’s books.  

        My poetry I have always written for me. So do I really have an audience for it?  Yes,  and no.  It is always going to be how I cope with the world… It is more that then it is written for a particular audience. That being said,  the reason why I published it is because my coping mechanisms can possibly help someone else who may be in a bad place. Or not,  I am not sure it matters there.  My poetry is the clearest view inside of my soul. To tell the truth I publish it because I can.  I have lost so much of my poetry over the years… This is the way of preserving it digitally so I will not lose anymore. 

        Last but not least,  there is Serena’s stories. Anything that I write that is adult in nature will be published under Serena Mossgraves.  Currently that seems to be horror.  I am not sure if it all will be… I just know that I will not be doing erotica… It embarrasses me to write it.  So I figure her audience will be adults,  preferably who enjoy what I write.  

          All seems simple enough.  I only hope that I am able to create a story that someone likes.  

Poetic license 

Recently I asked for advice on my poetry… And it got me thinking.  The advice was given that I need to add smilies and metaphors in my poetry,  because there is no poetry with out it.  Now mind you I added some images,  but some poems just do not work with either.  I feel like I am missing something by refusing to accept that all poetry must have either of the two options.  But,  then I start to question… Who is writing the poem?  

                Yes,  I employ both in my poems,  but not always.  Some poems are just emotions in written form.  If all poetry was just comparison then where is the original ideas?  Images do not have to be a comparison to be evocative.  Sometimes the more you compare the emotional state with something else,  the more you lose of the original idea.  

        Do not get me wrong… I am grateful for the opinions offered,  after all it made me look closer at what I was writing and add more imagery.  I however am not sure that I am willing to completely change my voice because it doesn’t fit another person’s idea of what poetry should be.  

          What do you expect when you read poems?  Which of the poetry styles /rules are a hard and fast thing for you?  Please do respond.  I would love to discuss this idea further. 

Music soothes the mad poet… 

*image found on Google and only used for inspiration. 

            Recently I read a blog done about music and the effect it had on the life of the blogs writer.  It got me thinking.  So often life for me has revolved around the music.  The sounds of life have always been a rich and full part of who I am. I remember my Dad’s deep baritone singing “Amazing Grace” to me as a child. I remember going to see my great grandfather at his radio station and being enamored by it all.  I loved the poetry in the songs,  how it felt like your soul was understood by the person singing. 

          Grandma Ethel,  my Mom’s mom,  used to sit and listen to stories from her youth and she would share those with me.  Radio shows from another era.  She taught me to enjoy classical music,  how to close my eyes and visualize the music. 

         Music for my mom was such a rigid thing.  If it was not country,  she would not listen to it. And as a child,  in her house I was not supposed to listen to anything else either.  But daddy had records of all manner of song.  Stray cats,  and soft rock like it.  She would eventually learn to bend,  she grew to enjoy some bubble gum rock along with the country.  

                      I still remember the first time I heard real rock. My soon to be step brother had a cassette tape of Dr Feelgood.  I was eleven.  It felt wild and I was hooked.  I still enjoy country,  but I am eclectic in my music tastes. 

                Mind you I am skipping over bits of music and memory. I am trying not to ramble here.  The next influence was my first day of high school.  I was six weeks late because I had a child at fourteen.  I was scared to death of what high school would be. My elder step brother was dating this chick,  and man I looked up to her.  She was confident and sexy and badass. All of the things I knew I would never be.  Well she met me at the cafeteria doors holding a boom box.  It was blasting so loudly that the windows in the building were rattling.  Pink Floyd;  Another Brick in the wall part 3…Aka We Don’t Need No Education.  I can’t tell you how much better I felt about high school.  It was not that school was actually any better.  In truth it was a nightmare.  I just suddenly felt braver,  more secure.  

       Looking back,  every person who was ever a intimate in my life has a song.  My playlist is often a minefield of memories.  Some of which I have not even explained to my boyfriend of over twenty one years. Not because of anything other than the fact that I am done with the one who was once attached to the memory. 

        I may have been a singer and put my love of music to use,  except for the fact that I am unfortunately tone deaf.  I was not gifted with the beautiful singing voice that I would have loved.  It has not stopped me, i sang to my daughter.  I refused to deny her that bond,  both with me and with music. She still will ask for her lullabies when she is feeling bad. 

I sang four main ones to her.  “Hush little baby “,”the greatest love of all “(slightly mangled as i forget one verse), “rockabye baby ” (altered so mama catches as the original bothered me)  and the last is called the puzzle song. 

Lyrics for the puzzle song: *note I learned this is a chorus class in school and have no freaking clue who wrote it. 

I gave my love a cherry that had no stone,  I gave my love a chicken that had no bone,   I gave my love a ring that had no end,   And I gave my love a baby with no cry-in. 

How can there be a cherry with no stone?  How can there be a chicken with no bone?   How can there be a ring with no end?  And how can there be a baby with no cry-in? 

A cherry when it is blooming,  it has no stone,  A chicken when it is peeping it has no bone,  a ring when it is rolling it has no end and a baby when it is sleeping has no cry-in. 

What songs have made a difference in your life?  I would love to hear about them.