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September - IWSG - The Proverbial Brick wall

2016-09-07 02:18:02 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. This month’s question is “How do you find time to write during your busy day?”  Good question!

Finding time

Have you ever crashed into a “brick wall” that decimated your car or bike or even you?  Or have you ever had a horrific surgery where you struggled to recover?  Did it take you a while to build your nerve and strength back to get moving again?  What did it take for you to stop being afraid, or to take action to recover?

finding time1

I have hit that “proverbial brick wall!”  It is the blank wall sitting in front of my computer.  My mind is void of thoughts, dreams, or craziness.  How do I revive my interest in writing?  How do I push to rework my stories?  This year has been exhausting for me as I have been caregiving for my husband since Christmas, and we had to move. I haven’t recovered yet!

Now, I keep busy driving my husband to doctors’ appointments as he can’t drive.  Additionally, now I have doctors’ appointments for me.  I’m driving from one end of the county to the other end.  I’m busy singing “On the Road Again.”  When I arrive home I’m mentally and physically exhausted.  Plus, old age is attacking me and I’m in serious pain, as my hips are attempting to divorce me and run away on their own.

finding time2

I do have one constructive job. I have been asked to be on the “Street Team” for one of my author friends.  I’m enjoying reading her latest book that will be published in December, so I’ll look forward to writing a positive review.  So my writing is responding to the IWSG question this month and writing a book review.

Somehow I need to set some goals for me… AND follow though!

Finding time4Finding time3

 

 

 

 

 

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August's IWSG - Discouraged

2016-08-03 14:01:53 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

 

Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh. Now, all I have to do is come out of hiding in my insecure world.

I have noticed that despite my intention to work on some of my stories that I have not opened Word on my computer to even look at my stories for quite some time… like at least May.  So WHY…??

Discouraged

Ok, I’m human.  I’m discouraged.  I can’t concentrate.  This is the first effort I have made to write anything since last month’s IWSG posting.  The good news is that this post made me finally figure out what the problem is and why I’m in such a deep, dark hole.  You know what… I’ve been displaced.

Back in May my husband and I moved from a three bedroom, 2,000 sq. ft. home into an 800 sq. ft. apartment as my husband became seriously ill so I’m caregiving.  Also, I do a great job of being Humpty Dumpty too, so we just could not keep up the home thus we had to downsize.  Mostly, I feel comfortable in the apartment, but what I realized is that we had to give up “MY writing space,” my privacy, and my corner of the world.  I had a desk in a corner of our family room that looked out over a gully and Miller Bay.  I was surrounded by nature, the osprey nest in the top of the fir tree that looked like a space ship had crashed landed.  The bald eagles swooped down to grasp the salmon during spawning season.  Even the Easter bunnies charged across the lawn looking for my delectable flowers to munch on.

But now I am facing the living room wall with the TV behind me.  Yes, I’m surrounded with pictures of my grandchildren, and fun sayings like “Do what you love and happiness will follow” and “Something wonderful this way comes!” but I feel uprooted, stranded, and lost.

Discouraged1

Discouraged2The comfort, joy, and inspiration that I enjoyed evaporated.  Determination is inherent in my soul, so now I’m remembering that it is TIME to dig it out especially when my calendar for August 1 reads “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”  Hmmm, is that a subtle hint or what!

Today I received a reminder from Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” with the question, “What am I doing to inspire my inner artist?”  Actually at the moment, I feel more like I crashed into a concrete wall after going 100 MPH on my tricycle.

Now, I have no more excuses except to figure out a plan, sit down and glue my butt to the chair and get to work.  I need to find inspiration and my way again, in my new home.  I CAN do this!

Discouraged3What do you do to inspire your writing?  Does your mind automatically flow in interesting directions?  Or even how do you take a personal story that deserves to be told to fictionalize it?  Where does your guiding light come from?

Discouraged4

 

 

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IWSG - July

2016-07-06 14:54:57 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

“Keep changing, because when you’re through changing—you’re through.”  Bert-Olaf Svanholm 

“An essential aspect of CREATIVITY is not being afraid to fail.”  Isaac Newton 

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do.  Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors.  Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

In reading the June issue of The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s newsletter, Hannah Haney in her article “A Writer’s Voice has Power” poised an interesting question…

JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?

I’m laughing… I loved hearing that my writing is improving and growing stronger.  Heck, I have edited this article at least four times.  But foremost, the most important comment anyone made to me is that I write real.  Growing up in my family was like avoiding the Vietnamese landmines.  You needed to watch where you stepped.  As crazy as home life was for my brother and me, it was not as heart-wrenching as Frank McCourt’s life per his book, Angela’s Ashes, but there were situations that I truly believe should be told.

Invaluable life’s lessons sprout from books and stories whether through fact or fiction.  However, we don’t understand tripping over mole-holes or falling face first into the mud until we have walked in another’s shoes experiencing why they slipped up, first hand. Learn from others so that our lives will be better, and we will understand the pain and joy people around us experienced.

If you read memoir or fiction based on fact, WHAT is important to you about what you read? What draws you into the story? Why did you pick up the book in the first place?  What hooked you into the story? Are you interested in learning from others’ lives?  What bores you to tears… or did I just do that?  You see, I am insecure! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments, so I hope you will share them with me.  You will help me grow. Thank you for your comments.

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IWSG - Fear of Writing - June

2016-06-01 16:14:36 gwynn-rogers

IWSG Badge

Many Thanks to my friend, Patricia Garcia, who invited me to join the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, started by Alex Cavanaugh.  Since my life has been torn in so many directions, I realize that I now need to learn to effectively participate in the IWSG group in order to receive the benefits.

I am still involved in caregiving for my sick husband, but if we can discover what specifically is wrong with him, there might be light at the end of my tunnel.  The good news is that we are relocated and settled.  The “Long Winter’s Nap” that I yearned for is now part of my daily routine.  Additionally, I have picked up Jonathan Evison’s book, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving… A novel.”  My hope is that it will help me structure and sort through my thoughts and ideas about writing about my experiences of caregiving.  Yes, maybe I can actually throw some humor into this horrific situation.

But, this brings me to another issue… my fear, lack of confidence, and my negativity about my capabilities.  Yes, I have published a couple of short stories.  Despite my working to submit more stories nothing has been accepted.  Heck, I don’t even receive rejection letters… nothing!  When this happens my mind stays stuck like a record in the wrong groove as I replay my mother’s words about my lack of capabilities.  It is amazing the damage family history can play on our psyche!

Consequently, I need to keep learning, growing, and erasing history.  I need to actively work at supporting others so that I will receive support in return.  I need to step out of my hiding place too.  Is there anyone out there that feels as I do?

 

 

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A to Z Challenge Reflections

2016-05-10 01:48:37 gwynn-rogers

2016 Survivor

This is my third year of surviving my A to Z Blogger’s Challenge, but this year was quite multifaceted.  I did not think I would survive the Challenge because of my husband’s illness, and our decision to move.  Yet, what I discovered is that because of my focus on the subject of caregiving my thoughts came more readily than in years past.  Initially, since my husband’s illness broad-sided me, I gushed emotion.  My feelings spilled out all over the place.

However, eventually my brain and my heart communicated as I realized that my friends and readers might want to know what I was undergoing, how my husband and I were functioning together, and the results from our experiences.  Sooner or later my posts showed the positive side of my husband’s and my actions and not just the sad and frustrating aspects of caregiving.  Today’s quote on my calendar shares a good overview of my experience: “Nothing WORTH HAVING comes easy.”

Caregiving for family is NOT easy as besides the duties associated with caregiving, you have the emotions connected with your relationship… for whatever it is worth.  Caregiving for someone you don’t know or have a relationship with would not bare the extreme emotional aspect that I experienced with my husband.  Even, when I helped care for my mother the dynamics were quite emotional as we had a long line of baggage we had not dealt with in my growing up years.

Since my brief overview of caregiving for the Challenge, I have run into friends who are also caregiving for family.  They appreciated my being open about how emotional and challenging caregiving can be for family.  These people had assumed that taking on the project of caregiving for their loved ones would be easy.  SURPRISE!

So the words of wisdom for your caregiving project is to “Give yourself oxygen first, before you try to care for another person!”  Thanks to the many people who supported me in the Challenge as I truly appreciate your support… I NEEDED it!  I SURVIVED!

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6 Responses to Blog

  1. I am enjoying your musings”very much Gwynn! I am so impressed at your writing and rich life. You believe in yourself. Yes! You are perfect person to find mentors for young people. High quality guidance and encouragement can make or break a child IMHO. what a worthy pursuit. Now. Where oh where is that sophomore social studies paper on the decline of America!! What a treasure it must be. Was that Mr. Stannard? Were you In Honors English, and did you know Shelley Bigelow?

    GREAT idea to post your blog link on Facebook for those of us who need all the help we can get

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Somehow your reply snuck in on my blog and it didn’t tell me. Sorry for the late response. As for finding mentors, because of the economy most of the mentoring programs have gone POOF… sadly. So I’m struggling to find some new mischief to get into! As to that sophomore social studies paper, I had good old Mr. Douthwright! Remember him? Now, I nearly fell over laughing… ME in Honors English????? NOOOOOOO, I don’t think so!! I’m a slow bloomer!!! 😉

      Thank you for your kind comments about my writing. It helps being invisible. Plus, I’m in a couple of writing groups and I learn from others.

  2. Solveig says:

    What a great post! I am glad that the tree did not cause any major problems and led to a good friendship. There is something good in everything!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Solveig, It is lovely to see you here. That tree was scary and I’m so glad no one was hurt. It is strange introducing one’s self to your neighbors and asking to remove your tree from their roof. The best part is that due to the structural damage taking place in their roof, before the tree hit, the insurance company got to pay for it. I have been friends with them for about 38 years now.

  3. Nathan Kirby says:

    Excellent essay, Gwynn! I can say from personal experience: you are a natural caregiver. One of the best! You took me right in and what DIDN’T you do to help me out? You were my foster mom. I think you do that with everyone! And you NEVER ask for anything in return, except that people do well.

    You are one of the strongest, most compassionate, empathetic, nurturing people I’ve EVER known! It’s not in your blood: it IS your blood! I’m really surprised you weren’t a doctor or nurse or someone who ran/runs a shelter for abused or wayward people and-or animals. Sometimes such a life has its little rewards. Here I am 22 years later singing your praises to the heavens and thanking you for all you did for me from the bottom of my heart! Hell, I’m upset I can’t get up there to help you move!!

    You’re doing great, Gwynn! No one cares more or better than you! Please keep blazing that ever-growing trail of aided, helped, saved, and eternally grateful people!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Nathan, you are such a wonderful young man. I enjoyed having you around the house. I think you helped us all at the same time. The funny part is that my Numerology all dictates that I AM a caregiver. I guess I was born that way. I LOVE helping people who I care about… you were fun to have around. I truly missed you when you signed up for the Air Force.

      Now you are grown and a caregiver for your father. You and I know how hard this job is and I take my hat off to you. You are doing a ‘stand-up’ job of keeping your father well. Remember to take care of yourself too, as you have one HECK of a job to handle. I’m sending you HUGS!

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About Gwynn

smaller picMy friends pushed me right out of my safe hiding spot, and assured me that my writing and stories deserved to be heard. These stories include fun times and sad times, as I grew up.  They paint a picture of me – define me.

After 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the fields of real estate, high tech, and corporate travel, I have moved on to the career of “Grandma.” When not teaching my granddaughters an extensive vocabulary of “alley-oop-boop, ups-a-daisy, cowabunga or bummer,” I can be found hunting for mentors for the Kitsap Youth Mentoring Consortium, or chasing my fantasies on my treadmill. I currently freelance for magazines.

Also, I wish to thank my friend, William Kahlo Jones, photographer, for the use of his picture for my cover page.  To see more of Bill’s photos go to:  http://fineart.redhillsmedia.com/

 

Bill Jones, Photographer

Bill Jones, Photographer

 

Copyright Gwynn Rogers 2012.  All rights reserved.

 

6 Responses to About Gwynn

  1. Penni Marvel says:

    Gwynn
    These were WONDERFUL and heartwarming to read. You are a blogger! And a writer. GOOD FOR YOU!

    Penni : )

  2. Carol says:

    Immensely grateful for your insight and support—you are an enormous impetus to me–encouragement to face my limitations, real or imagined.

  3. Mary Jo Doig says:

    After hitting and missing you on FB, I finally decided to Follow your blog, Gwynn. Thanks for having me here. I hope your husband is on the other side of his health challenge and look forward to reading your blogs!

    • Gwynn Rogers says:

      Hi Mary Jo, I have been without a computer for over a week. Plus, as you may have noticed I have been remiss in posting as I have a great deal on my plate at the moment. I will attempt to keep up with the 2016 A to Z Blogger’s Challenge. My theme will be caregiving. However, we may be moving in April too so heaven’s knows whether I will finish the Challenge this year. I do have my fingers crossed.

      I DO enjoy reading your notes, but I haven’t seen too many lately. Thanks for connecting with me! I look forward to further chats with you.

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