Thursday, July 21, 2016

In the Beginning...

I'm beginning a journey tonight.  For a long time, I've wanted to write inspirational non-fiction and fiction, but I've been so focused on other projects, I've let that goal slide.  No longer.  I've decided to create a series of writing prompts that begin with a Bible verse (or a few verses) and see where they take my writing (and maybe anyone else's who wants to play along).

So, to start things off, I thought I'd start at the beginning. I am using the English Standard Version of the Bible, and I'm pulling this particular set of verses from https://www.biblegateway.com/.

Genesis 1:1-2:3English Standard Version (ESV)The Creation of the WorldIn the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.And God said, “Let there be an expanse[a] in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made[b] the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven.[c] And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,[d] and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants[e] yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and forseasons,[f] and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds[g] fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Friday, June 19, 2015

#TISHS--Things I Should Have Said

Hindsight is 20/20.  This is what I should have said to the interviewer today.  Maybe I am a little "Pie in the Sky" optimistic and idealistic, but I'd rather be that than pessimistic and 'realistic.'  Without a little idealism, where would you get the vision to make the change you desire?

It's an extreme example, but for goodness' sake, without idealism, we'd still be hanging out in caves. So, maybe I didn't get the job, but if you're wondering how to enact change in your program, you have to start with a vision of what you want it to be.  And guess what?  That takes a little bit of idealistic thinking.

So, I wish you the best at finding exactly what you're looking for.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What Am I Missing?

So many things out there that I never knew existed.
A discovery makes it clear why someone first believed in reincarnation--There are just too many cool things out there to do and be for one lifetime. 

Thanks to the Ephemera Fest, I learned about the existence of "zines."  They are these artistic booklets of pictures and words, put together in thematic ways.  All I know is that, in this world, there was something I'd never experienced before, and it made me realize that I've become too domesticated in my little place in the spinning system.

I used to be a risk-taking, book-devouring, new-trying explorer and now my days consist of what I will eat and what part of the house I will clean.  It's enough to make a grown woman cry and cry and cry.

I want to laugh and learn.  I want to go places and do things--real things--that others are doing.  Maybe that's why I write.  I can live hundreds of lives through my writing.  Each time I begin a new book it is a version of reincarnation.

Maybe this time I'll get it write :)

But what am I missing?  Never stop learning is ingrained in me.  I couldn't stop even if I wanted to.  Yet, documentaries on TV aren't the same as living the experience.  How do I do it though?  I've got responsibilities and compromises to make.  How do I get out there and experience this life I've been given?  How do I make it matter?  I'm not necessarily talking about leaving a legacy.  How do I make my life fulfilling?

My grandmother knew hers was fulfilled because of the family she loved and the love she received in return.  Man, I really miss her.

Maybe I'm just hitting a crisis stage.  I didn't get the job.  So what?  So, now, if I want a position like it, I have to go out of my comfort zone and find some place else.  That's a good thing, right?  Then, why does it feel so wrong?

I think I stay in my comfortable world for fear--not of the unknown--but of the known.  There's an adjustment period with change, and I'm afraid this time won't be an easy switch.

The only thing missing is my courage.  Oh, and funds.  No funding for the wild, new, and crazy things either. :/

I guess it just gives me more time to write.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Take Good Health for Granted

I've been very fortunate the past few years to receive good health reports from my many doctors. I've had several surgeries. Honestly, I never knew just how many times I could be poked in my right arm until the past couple of years.

I'm currently on about my sixth revision to my original Tram-flap surgery to make it more comfortable for me to show a little cleavage. I'm not talking about flirtation level. I just wanted to be able to wear more than a turtleneck for the rest of my life. I'm at that point and down to the final steps to finishing everything.

In the meantime, I've had to watch out for polyps on my uterine wall and fluid-filled cysts on my ovaries. Nevertheless, I'm blessed.  Yes, it's true. Perhaps not perfect, but my health is a priority to me. I have so much riding on it, and the past four and a half years have made that clear.

Go to those regular check-ups.  Perform those self-exams. And, of course, take the medicines and treatments seriously too.  Good health shouldn't be taken for granted. Others are counting on you to be here for them, even if they aren't saying it every day.

Stay healthy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Little, Whispering Voice

There is no motivator like intense hopelessness, if you're naturally a hopeful person. 

Back in 2008, hubby and I decided to join a gym.  We went with one that was close by, had childcare, and gave us many options to get in shape.  Much as I would like to say we started our exercise regimen and stuck with it faithfully, the reality was we were often too tired to make it for a workout.

Yet, funny how things turn out because I was having one of the worst teaching years ever in my almost fifteen year career.  There are some groups of students you just don't click with, and this was one of two in my teaching career I dreaded working with daily.  Don't get me wrong, there were some amazing kids in this student group, but there were also some that delighted in causing as much mischief as they possibly could.

I was miserable, felt out of control and at the end of my rope.  So I began getting serious about something I could control--making time for the gym.  I'd heard at some point that exercise was an excellent stress reliever, and though I thought it was a long shot, I decided to give exercise a try.  At least two or three times a week, I would jump on the elliptical and do my best to push my stress out with the sweat.

As I got into a habit, I noticed I missed the activity if I didn't make it to the gym, and eventually, I was going four to five times a week.  My school year wasn't getting better unfortunately, but my anxiety level dropped.  The most beneficial part of adding an exercise routine started about six weeks into this major change in my life and continued for the next six months--I lost about twenty-five pounds.

It was awesome.  Everyone noticed--co-workers, family (especially hubby), and I noticed.

My stomach was getting flatter, my hips were getting narrower, and even my breasts were fitting in my bras and button-down shirts better.  I was excited to keep working toward my ideal weight.

Then, in September 2009, I was showering, and the thought popped into my head that I hadn't completed a self-exam on my breasts for years.  Yes, years.  It's easy just to go through your routine and think things will always be the way they've always been.  Why I thought to do a self-exam at that moment, I don't know.  I like to think it was an intervention from God.  I wasn't exaggerating when I said, I hadn't purposely examined my breasts for years, and though I'd been to my regular appointments, I hadn't since I'd begun to lose weight.

It was completely unexpected (I mean who really expects it?), but sure enough, I found a lump in my left breast.  Maybe it was because I'd lost so much weight that it was so noticeable to me now, but there it was--undeniably a golf ball size lump.

Two things about that time continue to make me wonder.  My weight-loss, though originally motivated by a tough day job, was probably the key to my being able to feel the lump, and the fact something greater than myself inspired me to find the lump.

Hard times might just be your wake-up call.  And, of course, listen to that little whispering voice.  It might just save your life.

More to come,

Sherry

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's About Time

To say it's been awhile since I last posted is an understatement and a half, but my goal was to begin writing about my recent experience with breast cancer, and honestly, I don't think I was really ready.

Truth be told, given a hundred years to process that time in my life, I don't think I would still be ready, but I'm forging ahead anyway with the hopes that someday, someone reads this and it gives them a little hope to hold on to.

Where to begin was a little tricky.  Sure, I could start with the day I first discovered a lump in my breast or I could talk about the day I was diagnosed, but to really understand the devastation of the experience I needed to begin much earlier.

I had just finished my first undergraduate year at Eastern Kentucky University and was excited to begin my second summer as a camp cook at Aldersgate United Methodist Church Camp.  The previous summer had been one I would never forget, and I expected nothing less of the upcoming one.  Boy, was that calling the spring grass green.  I met my future husband that summer, and eighteen years and three children later, he's still my unforgettable hero.

At the time though, we were young, felt immortal, and rushed headlong into a romance.  As we grew closer, he told me his mother had battled cancer five years earlier, but that she was doing fine now.  Unfortunately, that changed very quickly in the fall.  I met her once.  Actually sat down and had a conversation with her.  I remember she had short, dark hair, a kind face, and a powerful love for her family.

One month later, she passed.  The cancer returned with a vengeance and took her very quickly.  It was a sad time for all.  I was there to support my then boyfriend as he went through the visitation and funeral.  My heart broke for his father, sister and him as they grieved, and though I knew there was nothing I could say or do to make things better, I attempted to be there for my boyfriend.

Looking back, two things about that time stand out to me now.  One rainy evening about a month after her death, I was driving to a creative writing class and had a fender bender.  After the police and insurance reporting was over, I skipped my class and went to my boyfriend's house to wait for him to arrive.  While there, I called my mother and gave her a tearful explanation of what had happened, after which I sat with my now father-in-law and apologized for crying.  He gave me a slight smile and said, "That's okay.  I've cried a little myself today."  Perspective in a second.

Unfortunately, the other thing that I remember about this time is that my future husband and I broke up.  We decided not to see each other any more.  He was sad, very sad, and though I'd tried to be supportive, he needed time alone.  I, of course, understood, though my heart was devastated.

Believe it or not, a month later, we were together again, and I had no lingering doubts about the relationship.  We were meant to be together.  I still feel I could search the world over and never find anyone as perfect for me than him.  He has proven time and time again that love is a very real and powerful force, and I thank God He brought us together.

So, this is where I knew I had to start.  That time was a roller-coaster of emotion, but without this backstory, meaning about my personal struggle with breast cancer years later would be lost.

Until next time,

Sherry

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Posting on Location

I'm posting at ACA this Monday about when life hands you lemons--write about it.  Come check it out.

Happy Writing!

http://www.cheriemarks.blogspot.com
http://www.cheriemarks.com
Into the Fire releasing October 5, 2011 from The Wild Rose Press