Me in the Middle of Writing

 

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The Eternal Sea of Creativity

The Eternal Sea of Creativity

© Mary Lou

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“I must write it all out at any cost.  Writing is thinking.  It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.” 

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

Why Do I Write?

I write because I have a story to tell and memories to share.  The story and the memories are through my eyes and not a reflection of someone else’s perception.  Sometimes our stories can be lost or hidden from view unless we find our own voice.  Writing allows an expression of that longing to be heard when we’re surrounded by other versions, other perspectives and other agendas that can distort and embellish the validity of our own experience.

Writing has been a path to my middle ground.  It’s there at the center of my thoughts where I’m able to find that thread of continuity of my own self.  It surprises me when, after procrastinating on getting started, I find a joy and freedom that begins to awaken and I wonder why I waited to begin.  It’s an awakening that points to the whole ‘me’.

What stands out in my memory about my writing experience over the years, more than the keeping of a diary or writing a personal journal, is that writing has become a way to be able to identify the process of finding out where I fit within the middle of things …… my reality.

I remember an award I received in an Anthology of New York-New Jersey High School Essays ~ “Young America Speaks”.  I was genuinely surprised that my essay was chosen and I felt mine wasn’t as good as the other high school writers.  When I reread what I wrote at this time of my life, I can clearly see that what I wrote was helping me to find my place ……. where I belonged in the middle of things.  I belong to a family of writers ~ my father, my mother, my two brothers.  When I wrote I was saying I was a part of it all and that I belonged here.

Whenever I attempted to write poetry, it was usually at a more challenging time in my life.  When I was sorting through life’s paradoxes and finding my way through the complexities and seeking answers.  When I wasn’t able to find the words to express what was going on inside, writing poetry helped to define that struggle.

There’s value in writing!  Sharing what we write is secondary to just the pure act of putting pen to paper.  When it comes to the gifts and revelations we receive about life, both now and in the future, writing is a priceless contribution to ourselves and others.

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 free-canva-write

Me in the Middle of Memories ~ Candy Stripers

Candy Stripers

candy-striper-iii
Teenage girls in the 50’s, who were thinking about becoming nurses, could volunteer at the hospital as a Candy Striper.  I came across my service badge ~ Holy Name Hospital (Our Lady’s Service).  It sparked a lot of memories for me …….. so long ago …….. and so many changes since then.
 
Badge Candy Striper 1950s

Photo by mlq

I remember well the day that I received the badge!  We were all gathered in the auditorium at Holy Name for the Service Ceremony …….. and Pat Boone, the 50’s pop singer, gave each of us our badge and a rose.  He and his family lived in Teaneck where the hospital was located.  We all wore pink and white striped pinafores which is where the name Candy Striper came from.

Pat Boone ~ April Love

(I was a Rick Nelson fan, myself.  😉 )

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The responsibilities I was given as a volunteer included sterilizing the baby bottles in the autoclave,and cleaning the circumcision boards and baby bassinets after each use.  I would string the alphabet beads on elastic cord to make the ID bracelets for mother and baby.  The Maternity Ward was a happy place for a fifteen-year-old Candy Striper as she went about refilling water pitchers with fresh water and delivering flowers and mail to the new moms.  More than any hope of becoming a nurse, I dreamed of one day holding my own newborn.

Maternity Ward Candy Striper

*Images by Pixabay*

Writing as Self-Indulgence: Is Publishing Really Necessary?

Thank you Lynette Benton! I’m grateful that you submitted this to Brevity. So many of us who love writing and have benefited in so many ways had our thoughts validated by what you wrote. This line made me laugh out loud : “In any case, my memoirs aren’t going to make me famous, unless it’s through lawsuits.” 😀

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

zz lynette bentonBy Lynette Benton

Many writers, perhaps most, believe that publication of their books would represent a badge of accomplishment and acceptance, an event that would bring them fame, catapult their lives into new and desirable directions, or at least validate the talent, time, and energy they invested in their manuscripts. Rejections of their work by agents and publishers can have a shattering effect upon them. I point out to them that the publishing world’s misjudgments are legion; note the many rejections of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which went on to best sellerdom and box office success; Tinkers, by Paul Harding, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize fiction winner, which the big publishing houses declined; the 22 rejections for Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, the 12 for Harry Potter. Sometimes the letters accompanying the rejections even contained snarky comments about the writer, the manuscript, or both.

Though I sympathize with their…

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Me in the Middle of Memories to Memoirs 2nd Week

Candy Stripers

This past Wednesday was the second class of the Memories to Memoirs  writing course that I’m taking with OLLI ~ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ UVA.  The assignment was to find a memorabilia and write about it.  Here’s the link to the first class ….. (Me in the Middle of OLLI)
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candy-striper-iii
Teenage girls in the 50’s, who were thinking about becoming nurses, could volunteer at the hospital as a Candy Striper.  I came across my service badge ~ Holy Name Hospital (Our Lady’s Service).  It sparked a lot of memories for me …….. so long ago …….. and so many changes since then.
 
Badge Candy Striper 1950s

Photo by mlq

I remember well the day that I received the badge!  We were all gathered in the auditorium at Holy Name for the Service Ceremony …….. and Pat Boone, the 50’s pop singer, gave each of us our badge and a rose.  He and his family lived in Teaneck where the hospital was located.  We all wore pink and white striped pinafores which is where the name Candy Striper came from.

Pat Boone ~ April Love

(I was a Rick Nelson fan, myself.  😉 )

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The responsibilities I was given as a volunteer included sterilizing the baby bottles in the autoclave,and cleaning the circumcision boards and baby bassinets after each use.  I would string the alphabet beads on elastic cord to make the ID bracelets for mother and baby.  The Maternity Ward was a happy place for a fifteen-year-old Candy Striper as she went about refilling water pitchers with fresh water and delivering flowers and mail to the new moms.  More than any hope of becoming a nurse, I dreamed of one day holding my own newborn.

Maternity Ward Candy Striper

*Images by Pixabay*

Me in the Middle of OLLI

Wednesday was the first class of the Memories to Memoirs writing course that I’m taking with OLLI ~ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute @ UVA.

My hope is to become inspired for more blogging material to be shared with any visitor that might wind up here at my website.  We were given a few questions to help us stir up some interesting stories from our childhood ……… What were your prized possessions? was one that I chose to write on.  This little brown piggy bank has been with me for over sixty years!!    

Piggy Bank 1940's

Thinking of my first Valentine………………. I remember when my dad walked in the door, dressed in a business suit from work, and handed me this piggy bank. It had chocolate heart lollipops sticking out of it. I still have the bank and it’s got cracks around the slot from me trying to get the money out with a knife.  

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………….. And this is my piggy pitcher.  I used it at breakfast time to pour milk on my cereal …………….. Cheerios, Puffed Rice, Rice Krispies, Shredded Wheat, Wheaties.  On the bottom it says ‘Patented ~ Smiley ~ USA’ .  It helps me remember where I sat at the kitchen table when my siblings and I had meals …… with my back to the window and facing the doorway leading into the hall.  My two brothers sat across from me (giving them every opportunity to annoy me with their goofy faces 😜 ) and I vaguely remember my little sister in the booster seat at the end of the table.  I’m not sure if piggy pitcher was one of a set?  I believer she was.    

Piggy Pitcher 1940s

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One of the men in the first class, Steve, talked about remembering sending away for his deed to 1-inch of Land in the Yukon.  I remember Sergeant Preston of the Yukon and I remember this on the box of cereal.  I wonder if my brothers sent for this too?  😀

50 Greatest Cereal Box Prizes

Yukon Gold

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What’s your prized possession from your childhood?