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. 

Villains 

      First off,  I apologize for being a day late in posting. The headache monster visited yesterday,  so I got little of my work accomplished. 

      Villains are tricky.  We as writers often see the villain as a tool,  two dimensional concept of evil…as a reader though I am here to tell you that is the end of a story.  Even worse than plot holes,  a two dimensional villain is enough to ruin an otherwise great story. 

       I have a sure fire way of testing my villains.  I give them flaws,  make them as realistic as I can. Then I imagine them in town and let the mental movie unfold… I as I am watching ask myself three questions… 

1) Is the character sympathetic?  A villain who we can sympathize with will make the story more interesting.  Also I am one who thinks that the story should leave the reader wondering if they are happy with the villains defeat. 

2) Is there a way to defeat the villain?  Though I think that the villains defeat should raise questions about how the reader feels about it,  defeat is usually in the life of a villain. And a overpowering villain is often no fun for the hero… Unless the story is not supposed to get the happy ending. 

3) what are the traits that are showing up most with your villain?  Has s he/ she got flaws or traits that you should pay closer attention to? A good villain often has fears,  and accomplishments that they are proud of.  This makes a far more rounded character. Villains are still characters,  and the story is best when you treat them as such! 

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. 

Struggles, Beginnings and the peace gained 

     
           This is the garage door that started the journey for me.  I took this picture yesterday.  Six days from now I will have been with my boyfriend for twenty one years.  Some days that feels like a century… But I digress.  When we first got together,  his “grandma” (who was actually his adopted mother)  let us live in her garage.  She had a bathroom put in on the back porch of her house (and had him pay her back for it to teach the twenty one year old us about bills) but she never charged us for the utilities. At the time I was to headstrong to see the gift that she was giving us… She was stern and slightly scary to me.  I have learned that she really was an amazing woman since. 

          I can say that it was a struggle to make the garage into a home.  We ran gas lines for a stove.  We acquired a refrigerator from a local mission.  He and I slept on a large sofa we were given. I failed to appreciate the struggle then,  because at twenty one I was ignorant of the way of the world.  I had seen the darkness in man,  but I had really never had to do the housing thing.  When my family didn’t have a home I lived with my grandma.  So I always had a roof over my head.  The garage wasn’t even the worst place I have ever lived. I have lived ten people in a two bedroom trailer with no running water.  That is another story though. 

      Now Joe is working on getting the house.  He inherited a fourth of it and his adopted sister is giving him her share.  So we have only two halves to buy before it is ours.  This is a convoluted and stressful time for me.  I want to keep the memories of this house.  I want the stability for my family that the house will provide. But the house also has baggage.  Baggage in the form from of people who are currently in the house.  People who we are trying to get settled.  There is a lot involved with this. Add the fact that we are not able to settle in and you have the chaos of my life. 

      Then I looked at the garage door and felt like it had come full circle. Which is why I took the picture.  The feeling of peace came through in the picture. 

Stress and the results 

We all go through moments of stress. How we deal with said stress is how we are as a person. Now don’t get me wrong,  I am not judging anyone for the way that they deal with the stress in their life.  All that I am saying is that we as a society tend to see dealing with stress as a character definition. 

           However sometimes it is beyond our capacity to deal with.  Then stress becomes mental illness and nervous breakdowns. There becomes physical symptoms.  And it varies by the person. Stress is not something that is wanted by anyone.  It does however,  on occasion sharpen the mind and make clarity easier to achieve. 

            I,  myself,  have found that for example the stress of a deadline can get the creative juices flowing in some.  I have also seen others who freeze when placed under such stress. How do you handle stress?  And what are some relaxation techniques you have for dealing with stress when it shows up? 

Viewpoints 

Rain is the perfect weather to think in.  There is two sides to every story. That is something that we often forget,  especially when we are fighting.  When we are fighting,  all we want is to express our views.  We want to show that we hurt,  and that we believe strongly in what we are saying.  We forget that we love,  and that we may not be the only one who is right.  Two sides to each story does not always mean just right and wrong. 

          Sometimes,  an argument is about two people who have valid points and neither know how bend to see the other view. It really is normal.  However during the fight,  it is not something that anyone thinks of. I myself have been guilty of this.  We get so involved in ourselves that we find ourselves alone with hurt hearts and confused minds.  

          Still in the moment it is very hard to step back.  It is not a thing that comes naturally to most of us.  So we have to decide whether or not to back down or to feel like we are untrue to our own truths.  Standing our ground can cause friction between us and whomever we are arguing with. Sometimes backing down is allowing our truths to be ignored.  

            It is possible for both sides to be right.  So when you deal with the hurt from an argument,  keep that in mind. If you do not want to back down from your view,  it is fine.  Just consider that you are not the only one involved.  Consider if the other party could be right as well.