Flourish is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary to mean: to grow or develop successfully, to move something in your hand in order to make people look at it:a big, noticeable movement. They also have a list of related words or phrases. So many times we lock ourselves into a definition and forget it can have a broader meaning. I think I do that with my life. I can lock myself into a life which I believe is destined to be boring, uninspiring, empty and half-lived. So using some of their related words and phrases (in blue) I will write with a flourish about my new life.
Since my divorce I am having to take a step forward in order to advance and evolve my life into something new. When I take the first step, my life will begin to flower and move forward . And when my life is flourishing, I can gather my achievements and continue to grow. It may take awhile but I will eventually have come a long way. It will take time to make headway and progress in order to regenerate and rise. But I know with certainty my new life will begin to take shape while I spread my wings. I will find my stride and live my life fully while it unfolds into a beautiful, compassionate, kind, joyous and spirit filled life.
WordPress Daily Prompt
I finished writing. I am not certain 67,439 words qualifies as a book but it is certainly the most I’ve ever written. Now I need to take the steps to get e-published. It isn’t as simple as it sounds. An editor must be found and paid to do the work. A professional book cover artist must be hired to make the book look appealing. I must research and determine which e-publisher is the best fit for me. This is followed by making certain the book is formatted to meet the qualifications for whichever e-publisher I select. Then the prayers that someone will want to buy my book. I may never become a famous writer, but I can now honestly say I have written a book. Below is a sample from the beginning of the story. I hope you enjoy it. And if any of you have been down the e-publishing road, I would love any and all advice you have to share. The words below are my creation and not to be republished without permission.
First comes Shame, second comes Fear and then comes Murder
Spring was on the horizon. It was one of her favorite times of year here in Bowie Hills. Central Texas prairies produced some of the most beautiful wildflowers. It wouldn’t be long before the roads were lined with Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, purple foxgloves, honey daisies, orange milkweed and more. It was a veritable artist’s palette covering the fields. This year was set to be a good one. There had been enough rain and no late freezes. Charlotte was lost in her thoughts when she used her electronic swipe card. Opening the side door, she entered and headed to her classroom. The lights were motion sensitive and turned on as she made her way down the long corridor. Charlotte marveled at how much the school had grown. Just over 900 students in two grades when it first opened, Bowie Hills High was now home to four grades and over 4,000 which did not include teachers, staff and administration. Bowie HHS was almost as large as the town had been when she first arrived here as a young wife and mother. She had been set to create a perfect life for her, Dan and Hannah. Kaitlyn came along two years later. Her dreams were big then. How dreams can change she thought to herself.
Charlotte had forgotten the latest essays her students had turned in. She had been deep in a conversation with her two favorite students over their most recently read novel. Her attention had been on Andrew and Brandon and not the essays. She had walked off and left them in her classroom. Charlotte decided after dinner to return and pick them up. She would have plenty of free time to read and grade them since it was a three-day weekend. The lights to her hallway would not turn on until she actually had walked a few strides down the corridor, so looking ahead it was dark. When she reached the corner of the English classroom hallway and turned, Charlotte took a few steps and then she tripped. Managing to stay upright and not falling completely to the floor, she turned to see what had caused her to trip. She froze. Unable to scream due to the horrific scene before her, Charlotte just stood there. Staring. Staring at the body lying on the floor in a pool of blood. Coming to her senses, she dialed 911 and requested emergency help. Then doing what seemed obvious, she checked for a pulse. None was to be found. The face was covered with long blond hair and Charlotte carefully moved it away to see if she recognized the girl. There had been an unspeakable crime in her school, in this safe haven for children.
Alright, I may have admitted this before, but it is important we own our addictions. And I have found a new website which happily feeds my addiction. It is Thrift Books. I’ve been using the library for ebooks but sometimes I am impatient and don’t want to be 11th in line for a book, so I feel compelled by my addiction to buy the book. Thrift Books helps me afford to do that but, I am a book addict. I will say it again. I am a book addict. Since January 1st, I have read 38 books. Which means I am averaging one book approximately every 3.8 days. And since last fall I have specifically become addicted to detective mystery series set either in another time or another place. These include:
- The Armand Gamache Books by Louise Penny – set in Quebec, present day
- The Maisie Dobbs Books by Jacqueline Winspear- set in England pre and post WWI
- The Ian Rutledge Books by Charles Todd- set in England post WWI
- Bruno, Chief of Police Books by Martin Walker- set in St. Denis area, France, present Day
I am not certain why I have suddenly become addicted to this type of book but I do know why a series captures me. A good writer makes a character real in my mind. These characters become my friends. I think about them. I wonder what they are doing when I am finished with a series. What do I share with each of them. Each character faces their own demons and identifying with this is easy. I question my choices like Armand. I have been hurt and right now I keep s wall around my emotions like Maisie. Ian struggles with a voice in his head of a lost soldier. I struggle with my own voice chastising me for making so many wrong choices. I long for love like Bruno.
I admire them and their unique qualities. What can I learn from their lives and then incorporate into my own life so I will be happier, more content person. I want to be a better listener like Armand. I want to be patient like Maisie and not miss the details. I want to push past my fears like Ian. And I want to live a life rich with friends and the love of the simple things like Bruno. I know they are fictional characters but I still learn something about myself through each book, each story, each struggle and each triumph.
So again, I admit I am an addict, a book addict and I hope I never am cured.
You would think with all the time I’ve had on my hands I would have spent it writing the book I’ve always said I’d write. I would begin and then think this story is dumb no one will read it. Then I went to a Meetup group for aspiring writers. I met writers who had actually written books, self published and made money!!
I spoke to one afterwards express in my belief no one would read what I wrote. She assured me in no uncertain terms if I wrote a book, self published it, someone would read it. Maybe that’s all I need to hear because as present I am at 38,000 words and counting. According to Internet gurus I need approximately 80,000 words for an adult novel. So I am not quite halfway.
Hoping to finish before I move out and into the unknown I’m using my time during the day to do nothing but write. The story probably makes no sense at all but it has given me something to focus on during the day. Now to find something other than hopelessness to fill my night.
Look at the woman in the following photos.
She is an editor for Huffpost50. Yes you read that right. She is writing articles geared towards an age group she won’t see for probably 20 plus years. I am sure she is a capable writer and editor but we face AGE DISCRIMINATION everyday and even more so if you are female.
I was a “domestic engineer” for 30 years until my ex decided he needed someone younger. I’ve been unemployed since the divorce, January 2013. I’ve applied for every kind of job you can imagine with no luck. Now imagine I feel, along with the millions of women who are over 50, learning one of the editors could be our daughter or granddaughter.
Age discrimination is one of the last forms of discrimination still accepted. It needs to stop.
The Daily Post as WordPress has challenged us with the topic identity. About six months before I turned fifty in 2009 I started to question my identity. I began asking the simple question, Who am I? Why? It was a time of change. I was now an empty nester in an unhappy marriage. I had no career other than mother and wife. If I no longer was needed as a fulltime mother and no longer a wife, who would I be?
Six years have passed and I am still asking the same question. My identity was wound so tightly around being a wife and mother, I had left no room to be just me.
Now I am a divorcée and I hate having to check that box on a form. It feels like a disease. It’s a label that says I failed. I couldn’t make my marriage work. I am also a “mature” adult having passed the midway point of 50. Again another label I don’t like. Although I do understand the blessing it is to be granted another year of life.
We are complex beings much to eager to label people and put them in a box. It’s not for their benefit but our own. How can I know if she’s a threat to my marriage if I don’t know if she’s married? How can I know if she’s too old to join me in an activity? How can I know if she will be a burden and expect too much from me if I don’t know what she does for a living. Of course the answers to those questions have no bearing on what the possibilities are. But as I said, labels help us keep our own world in order.
So I sadly label myself and in doing so I’ve trapped myself in a small box and haven’t been able to find the door to get out.
Identity Daily Post
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to build your blog readership? I am wanting to change directions with my blog and try to expand my followers. For all experienced bloggers, I’d appreciate any suggestions.
Today I received encouragement from a group of strangers. At a coffee shop in Austin a group of would be writers were encouraged by already published writers. Competition is at the forefront of everything so many of us do. And here I had the kindness of others bestowed upon me for nothing. It was free. And it was refreshing.
Now the challenge is to silence the inner critic and write. No need to ask would someone actually read a story I wrote. Just write the story. Get it down on paper. Fine tune it when I’m finished but as Nike says, Just do it.
I have taken photography lessons but never really have just gone out and taken photos. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson , Texas is abloom with native wildflowers. Fields of flowers are protected from mowing. They can’t be mowed down until they’ve turned t seed. This insures the flowers return next year.
As I drive I see a sea of bluebonnets interspersed with buttercups. I can’t see these flowers and not think of my grandmother. I moved to Dallas in April 1985 and the weather had been perfect to produce a spectacular show of color. I remember her telling me the common names of all the flowers. It’s a poignant memory because she is no longer with us and the life I was starting in Dallas all those years ago was destroyed over time by choices of my ex.
Now I’m in Austin. A young and vibrant city where they love music, the environment, good food and life. I’m having to search for my youthful spirit because it was lost due to abuse and time. Can I turn back the internal clock and feel and be young again.
Living in Austin, Texas we don’t have four seasons unless you consider a week or two of 50 degree weather winter. What we do have are three very short seasons and one very long one. So I’m doing my best to enjoy the quickly passing spring. Because today my friend it is expected to be 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32.2 Celcius. Either way that is much too warm on the 14th day of March.
I remember how invigorating and inspiring spring was when I lived up north. After being shut away for 2-4 months, buried under snow, fighting the sub zero weather while waiting outside for the bus, enjoying the snow on the good days, it was a ray of sunshine when the first robin was spotted. It heralded a celebration. We knew flowers would be peeking their heads above ground and trees would be soon dressed in their most colorful spring best. It gave me a much needed burst of energy.
When almost everyday ranges from 60-80 F🌞 (15.5 to 26.6 c) spring just seems like any other day. Rather than spring having a sense of renewal, it signals the countdown to 🌪⛈ and the oppressive and miserable 🔥 heat. We know there will be many nights 🌑 where the thermometer doesn’t go below 80F. (26.6c) Where a simple five minute walk means you need a shower and carefully coiffed hair is either now flat or if curly has exploded to triple its size.
You don’t see people out between 10am and 8pm. Everyone stays inside unless they are fortunate to have a pool 🏊🏼 and even then you must watch the UV index so you don’t fry your skin.
People who live with oppressive winters ☃ think southerners are wimps. Southerners think northerners exaggerate. As someone who has lived in both extremes (went to school at -36f or -37c 🌨and went to high school when it was 105f or 41c 💥 and it was too hot to touch my outdoor locker, I can assure you anyplace where one extreme dominates it’s not any fun.