The Loft

A special place for writing was not something I ever had until recently. A cleared spot at the kitchen table, outside on a park bench, ideas jotted down on paper scraps, thoughts scribbled on the back cover of a work journal, and occasionally taking a personal day just to write wherever I could, was my normal. However, when I retired from my long career in the mental health field and moved back to the Pacific Northwest, one goal I had was to create a specific spot in the new home my husband and I built to write uninterrupted for as long as needed.

It was a challenge because we only had so much money and building costs were rising fast. With help from an architect, we carved out a space above our great room; a loft with a slanted roof and three windows overlooking the forest to let in lots of light. It turned out to be exactly what I had hoped for. Simple, clean lines with a steel railing give it a modern feel. My desk sits in the far corner with the largest of the windows to my left. I often gaze out at the tall trees and the nearby meadow hosting a wide variety of wildlife throughout the year. It’s become not only my sacred place for writing and creating stories but a refuge. Maybe, it’s because the loft is above the house’s main area or that it tends to be quiet, but it has come to be my favorite place. My home within my home. A place I find great comfort in almost every day.

The Loft

It’s a loft. The blinds are closed

to block the morning light so bright

it reflects off the computer screen

and fills the empty spaces. A loft

for writing poems, and stories about

the past, of what-ifs, worlds

without borders, a place to drink

hot tea, ponder new ideas. Quiet

often in this place. A stack of books

thesauruses, files, newspaper clippings

magazine articles, an award. A refuge

from the rain-soaked shambles

of time, the snowdrift cupboards

of fame, fortune. Capturing an old lady’s

laugh when she thinks she might

be young again and walk

in fields of silver and gold.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Gone

Joni Mitchell’s 1970s song Big Yellow Taxi has a famous line I like to repeat to myself, especially when I feel a little melancholy about things… “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ‘till its gone.” This week those words seem truer to me today than they ever have for it appears many things I have cherished over the years are diminishing.

Last summer, after an extreme bout of hot weather, I wrote a blog post titled Water and how its value seemed to be rising exponentially. I discussed how filled lakes, streams, and aquifers were drying up and how water, once something I took for granted, appeared more precious than ever, especially clean fresh water. It looks as if I could write the same blog, maybe, with an added urgency.

Last winter, I wrote another blog about the importance of my good health if I wanted to continue to enjoy snowshoeing on a beautiful winter morning, planting bulbs in the spring, or going for a long hike on a warm summer day. I ended the blog with a quote from Lagacé: “Life without health is like a river without water.” That quote feels more spot-on this year than last.

Lately, I’ve also had a few instances in which a few friends have been confronted with their mortality – no joke serious illnesses. Their health is in rapid decline. It’s sad to watch their demise. It’s sadder still knowing that there is not much I can do about it.

However, there has been a side-effect to all this gloomy stuff like climate change, a dwindling fresh water supply, sickness, and death. I find myself welcoming all the little things in my life. I mean really appreciating them: the fawn who stayed a while in our lower meadow this morning; a large flock of bluebirds sitting atop the mullein, their azure-blue wings dancing in the sunlight; laughing with other friends, their health intact, at a party last night; the long walk I just came back from, climbing the hills, my breath in tandem with my heart.

It’s probably correct, that I will most likely not know how much abundance is in my life until it is gone, but I can certainly try to do my best to stay healthy, cherish each moment and say I love you more often.

“…mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” A. Schopenhauer

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Curveball

In baseball, a curveball is a type of pitch thrown with a distinctive grip and hand movement that creates a forward spin to the ball, causing it to dive as it approaches home plate. In American slang, the meaning of curveball is when something surprising, disruptive, or unexpected happens. Curveball clichés often include the baseball metaphor, for example: when life throws you a curveball –swing; when life throws you a curveball hit it out of the park; when life throws you a curveball hit the ground running; when life throws you a curveball bend so you can reach it, or when life throws you a curveball you have to bunt the crap out of it. I like all these clichés because to me they mean when things don’t go as planned, I need to get creative.

Yesterday I found out that the hardcover editions of my book, Wandering…a long way past the past, will not be ready to be shipped until weeks after the already scheduled book signing event. The shipment takes ten to fourteen business days which translates to about three additional weeks.

I spent hours making posters and had displayed them at certain locations around town. So, today I added a notice on each of those posters stating: “Due to shipping delays, the book signing has been postponed. New date coming soon!” I also began the rescheduling process at my venue, with family, and friends, as well as, redeveloping social media posts and to-do lists. Not to mention, redesigning and printing new posters.

I’m punting, swinging, and running as fast as I can to correct things: making author connections; washing my whiteboard; putting up a new timeline. Check. Check. Check. Punt. Swing. Run. Trying to stay linked to the writing and local community. Trusting in their support. One step at a time.

It might just be me, but I think life throws enough curveballs that I probably shouldn’t make a big deal out of it because aren’t those curveballs always coming? However, I like to think, at least at my age, I might just be learning how to hit some of them.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome is roughly described as distrusting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. This psychological occurrence is more prevalent among high-achieving women, and it is estimated that most people will experience the imposter phenomenon at least once in their lives. Most writers feel like an imposter at some point on their journey and since it is so common, it can almost be viewed as a rite of passage.

I’ve experienced this phenomenon at least a few times since publishing Sylvie in 2021. That silent voice inside of my head, almost shouting “Who do you think you are?”  That voice with the sinister tone questioning whether I am a worthy enough writer, author, or poet.

But I’ve been thinking that, actually, “Who do you think you are?” is a great question I should be asking myself more often because the question tends to keep me awake to the truth, and to the infinite possibilities of my creativity.

Right now, I am a passionate writer anticipating a book signing event next month for my new book, Wandering…a long way past the past. I am also writing my next novel, Maélie. I am a wife, mother, friend, storyteller, and so much more. Like you. Like all of us. Complicated and unique as the billions of stars in our universe.

I’ve come to understand and accept that there will always be someone who will write, compose, tell, or create a story much better than me. There will always be someone who doesn’t like my writings, my books, my poetry, and or my blog. And, of course, the reverse is also true. I will probably go through the imposter phenomenon again after Wandering comes out. However, I’d like to think I might say, “Thank you so much for that question. Who do I think I am?” and answer, “Let me tell you…”

“There is always light.

If only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

                                             ~ Amanda Gorman

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Special Place

Etienne de Gellett once wrote, “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, I can do or show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”  I’ve been thinking about those words a lot lately and how true they are.

Recently, I traveled to a beautiful spot I had often visited in my youth, but for all the right reasons, I had not been able to return there until just a few days ago. The snowclad mountains surrounded by ancient glaciers were still there. The old-growth forest had not yet succumbed to wildfire. The access road had improved as well as several new structures at the trailhead. Other than that, it was the same.

I met a few other hikers on my upward climb that took me longer than when I hiked it last. When I arrived at the alpine meadow, covered in cream and pink blooming heather, a few clouds scurried across the towering peaks. A light breeze cooled my face; a sweat and bug spray mix dripped off my chin. I sat cross-legged on the ground and munched on a peanut butter and jam sandwich, contemplating how much I’d lived through in the many years since my last visit.

On the way back to the car, those words from de Gellett kept popping in my head. Although tired, I made an effort to acknowledge the few hikers I met climbing up to my special place. I listened to my son tell his stories. I let the peace of a place seemingly untouched by the chaos of our modern world tiptoe into my heart, knowing full well I might never see that place again and made a promise to worry less, smile more, love life, embrace change, and to the best of my ability, show kindness whenever I can.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Joy of Camping

Prior to the 19th century, most Americans viewed nature as solely a resource for food, clothing, and shelter. However, by the early 20th century, American families began to discover the joy of camping outdoors, spending their vacation time sleeping under the stars, fishing, hunting, canoeing, hiking, and or backpacking; due, at least in part, to the transcendental movement inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and other early environmentalists. National and State Park systems were developed including the Forest Service. Campgrounds were established, offering places for people to set up their tents, cook on fire pits, collect fresh water, picnic by a stream or lake, take a long walk in the woods, and nap in the sun on a beautiful summer day.

I grew up spending all my family vacations camping by a pristine lake in the remote backwoods of northern Canada; canoeing, preparing meals over an open fire, sleeping on the ground in a lean-to, and listening to the lonely cries of a loon.

When I left home, I worked for the National Park Service for a few years, spending my days hiking the trails and picking up garbage. On weekends, my friends and I explored more out-of-the-way spots in the park systems, camping out in the open air with just our sleeping bags.

I met my husband camping and later, whenever work responsibilities became too much or when difficult decisions needed to be made, we went camping. Long conversations by a fire. Extended hikes in the backcountry. Gazing at the stars on a moonless night.

When our children were born, family camping vacations seemed as natural as rain. We explored national and international parks, upgrading our equipment as we went along, always trying to maintain a certain sense of simplicity, escaping the urban world, experiencing wonderful wild places, and appreciating the art of getting closer to nature. In fact, I think, most of our fondest family memories were made on our camping trips.

I just returned home from a memorable camping trip with our son and his girlfriend, jaunting back to some of the same places I hiked as a young woman. Many things have changed drastically, other things – not so much. But every night we settled into our little camping spot and once again, appreciated the passage of time in the simple ritual of sharing a meal outdoors, watching an elk saunter in the nearby meadow, playing a board game, laughing at commonalities, and letting go of all those things that don’t really matter. Camping by far is my favorite season.

“We can never get enough of nature.” Henry David Thoreau

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Diamonds on the Lake

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to take my kayak out on the large lake near my home. Because there are many people who also enjoy getting out on the water, I tend to prefer a quieter weekday morning, especially when the winds are light and variable, providing just the right amount of breeze –not too hot, not too cold.

This morning was one of those mornings. The day dawned without a cloud in the sky and my husband, and I loaded the kayaks on top of the truck and drove the few miles to a boat launch. When I put my kayak in the water, there were diamonds on the lake. That wonderful phenomenon of the bright sun reflecting off the cerulean blue water.  

I quickly settled into the rhythm of my paddle gliding from side to side and before long we were out of the bay and into the deeper and wider part of the lake. I could see a few sailboats in the distance, their white sails billowing nicely with the gentle wind. Thoughts of book marketing my new book vanished, replaced with the joy of just enjoying the moment.

After about an hour, we came to a small pebble beach, where we got out, and sat on an old washed-up beaver-eaten log, soaking up the warm rays from the mid-morning sun.

My husband said, “These are the best skipping stones ever.”

I watched him skillfully skip stone after stone as if they were ballerinas leaping and pirouetting over the water. When I try to skip stones, they usually plop a couple of times before sinking below the surface.

Heading back, we passed a series of tall cliffs, the diamond effect on the lake shimmering off the dark faces resembling a million butterflies in flight. I stopped paddling to admire the spectacle, letting my kayak bob in the quiet waves. The light and shadow shifted and changed so rapidly it seemed they were in a mesmeric waltz; a beauty that left me feeling light and weightless as if I too were somehow part of it. I breathed in a lungful of air, smiled, and turned my kayak toward home.

“Happiness depends on ourselves.” Aristotle  

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Good Movie

The first color-tinted films of the early 1900s were not very long, averaging only about eight minutes. Then, in the 1920s, the film industry started using Technicolor and began to make lengthier motion pictures. In 1928, The Academy Awards for motion pictures was created to celebrate movies, actors, producers, directors, etc. The movie Wings won the best picture that year and many great movies have been produced since that time: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930); Mutiny on the Bounty (1935); A Space Odyssey (1968); Titanic (1995); Babel (2006). I’ve always enjoyed a good movie; a chance to be immersed in a different world as if suspended in time. I especially appreciate viewing blockbuster historical films in a movie theater with a big screen and all-around sound.

Due to the Pandemic, I have not been to the movie theater in quite a while. So, today I decided to go see Top Gun: Maverick. Usually, I travel to a bigger metro center to see a movie because the theater in my small rural town is, well, outdated, overused with that strange, dark odor. But Maverick has been out for a few months already and most of the modern cinemas have moved on to newer hits.

I chose a matinee thinking it wouldn’t be busy and sure enough I had a whole row to myself with only about a dozen other people in the cinema. For two hours I was completely engrossed in a world of highly trained Naval pilots flying at Mach speeds, trying to outfox the enemy, while also struggling with the usual personal and interpersonal aspects of being human. My heart picked up speed at some of the dramatic stunts. It felt like I too might’ve been in the cockpit. It was wonderful to once again be swept away into a different world and have my worries and to-do list disappear for a bit. A chance to unwind, escape, laugh, cry, and feel energized and awake. Glad to be healthy, alive, and thankful for the opportunity to watch a movie once again on the big screen.

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Ice

One of the things I love about summer is a cold glass of sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime with lots of ice. I love the clink of the ice followed by the sizzle of the pour. I often drink this refreshing thirst-quencher on my back porch, appreciating the coolness, especially after working on the land in the hot sun.

My refrigerator has an ice maker where I can have ice whenever I want. I don’t know about you, but I think the refrigerator and the ability to make ice at any time is something I would have a really hard time living without. I open my refrigerator several times a day. What do I want for lunch or breakfast or dinner? Sometimes I just stare at the contents, especially after I’ve shopped, admiring all the colors.

The refrigerator for home use was not invented until the early 1900s, with the first self-contained unit being introduced to the American public around 1923. However, the refrigerator didn’t take off till about the 1930s with the creation of Freon. (Freon, of course, was banned in 1994 due to the harmful effects on the environment. Today, a safer refrigerant is used.) In the 1940s, about forty percent of American homes had a refrigerator and by the 1950s, when the price to buy a refrigerator went down, it became an essential kitchen appliance. Before modern refrigeration, people used to harvest ice from frozen lakes or ponds and store it in ice houses covered with sawdust until it was delivered to households by horse drawn wagons.

I grew up with a refrigerator, but my mother never took it for granted ‘nor did my older mother-in-law who was raised in a time when ice blocks were delivered and placed on top of her family’s “icebox.” As she was growing up, her family couldn’t make special dishes for guests ahead of time ‘nor stock up on fresh items. They couldn’t save leftovers and therefore always made their children eat everything on their plates, a habit passed down through the generations.

My mother and my mother-in-law were quite different people in almost every way except for their fascination, and possibly adoration, of the refrigerator and the freezer. A design that made their lives amazingly simpler and easier. Something I should always remember when I complain about cleaning it or when the power goes out.

“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” Thomas Fuller

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Natural Order of Things

Today dawned a clear blue-sky day, cool in the morning, warming up nicely in the afternoon. Perfect for the few chores I had planned: weeding out some of the thistles in the tall grasses; transplanting a few wildflowers; washing a window or two; sweeping the front porch. I didn’t get to the weeding until later, methodically combing through the dewberry, kinnikinic, and meadow grasslands.

With trowel in hand, I pushed back several tall swards and noticed a lovely circular nest burrowed at the base of a clump of grasses, near the ground, well-hidden from view. As I bent down to inspect it further a large garter snake slithered past, jolting me for a second. I watched the snake, who seemed to have a full belly, glide through a patch of clover and disappear.

Then, I focused my attention on the empty nest. With a few tugs, the nest easily became dislodged from its protective space. I marveled at the symmetry. A thousand blades of grass were woven into a perfect round, about three inches in diameter.

I went back to the house, located my Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, and quickly found out that small, flat-headed grasshopper sparrows lay four to five creamy white, speckled eggs in well-concealed ground nests where I live; and although wide-spread, they tend to be secretive and therefore, often overlooked.

An image of the full-bellied snake floated through my head, and I contemplated that likely the snake had found the nest before I did. I felt a little sorry for the mama sparrow. But then again, the snake was probably happily basking in the sun somewhere.

For a moment I thought it might have been better to have discovered the nest just before the snake did and have chased it away. But it’s probably good I didn’t because when I try to fix things out of my control, I end up making things worse, only to feel guilty or sad that I just didn’t leave well enough alone, especially with the natural order of things.

“The best thing we can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” Henry Wadsworth

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Long Enduring Mind

When I lived in India, a teacher there once told me that I should cultivate a “long, enduring mind.”  At first, I didn’t know what he was talking about. The statement seemed more like a paradoxical anecdote or riddle. My mind tended to jump from one idea to another quite rapidly, more like a hummingbird buzzing from flower to flower than an eagle perched quietly on top of a high treetop observing the landscape for hours. I wrote the words down in big capital letters and underlined the statement.

At the time I believed I had to change the way I thought or remove my thoughts altogether which seemed daunting or even impossible. And whenever I scolded myself for not having extended periods of silence between my train of thoughts, my skipping-all-over-the-place mind only got more restless. So, I gave up trying to coax my mind to behave and just accepted the fact that I’d probably always be a little skittish.

To this day, I still leap from one notion to the next with lightning-quick speed. It irritates, maybe even exasperates, my loved ones and close friends who sometimes have a hard time following what I’m saying because, by the time I’ve voiced an opinion about something, for example, my mind has already moved on to the next shiny object.

“What? I didn’t get that,” or “Are you talking about…” or “I’m having a hard time following you,” are common comments, which in turn frustrates me. Don’t they know I’ve moved on to something else?

I’m not quite sure what that teacher might have been trying to tell me those many years ago, but I’ve interpreted a long and enduring mind to mean a mind that is far-seeing, tolerant, stable, and able to withstand the tides of change with grace. Because of that, I’m discovering solace in simply taking one day at a time. To laugh more and above all, to not take my thoughts, or me, so seriously. As each day passes, I’m reminded that life is too short not to.

“Don’t take life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.” Bugs Bunny

How did you find solace today?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Year of Solace

Every week, at the end of my blog, I write: How did you find solace this week? So, for this week, I would appreciate hearing from all of you on those things in your life that may have increased your well-being, brought you comfort, and or gladdened your heart. Here is a recap of my weekly Tuesday blogs—65 to be exact—on how I found solace for over a year now:

Old journals, autumn, the joy of writing

acceptance, taking a nap, publishing Sylvie

eating chocolate cake, cleaning my home

receiving handwritten notes from my loved ones

and

empty spaces, laughter, watching the moon

listening to music, letting go, dancing in the wind

water, slipping my feet

into timeworn moccasins

and

giving thanks, trying something new

a cup of tea

being nobody special

celebrating new beginnings

smelling wildflowers, reveling in a solitary day

and

cross-country skiing lost in daydreams

taking a break from things

being patient, never giving up, eating out

remembering that less is more

and

that color, the sky, truth, and the people in my life

are more precious and more beautiful than

I could ever find words.

The synonyms for solace are many: comfort, support, relief, soothe, console, ease, coziness, wellbeing, security, relaxation, and contentment. Solace will likely have a different meaning to each of you and I look forward to reading about what may have brought you consolation or reassurance this past year. Simply post a comment in the comments section after this blog or find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or on the contact page on my website http://www.sharonkreider.com.

Here’s to another year of finding solace in all things great and small.

“I don’t consider myself a great talent, so the only solace I can take is to hope I’m growing.” Paul Simon

“True solace is in finding none, which is to say, it is everywhere.” G. Ehrlich

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

The Big Smoke

The Big Smoke means a large city in Australian lingo or slang. Some say it stemmed from the Aboriginal people who used the term for any European settlement, in contrast to the “small smoke” of their campfires. Others assert it was a popular phrase used by rural residents in nineteenth-century England when they traveled to London where they could see thick smoke enveloping the city, primarily caused by the burning of coal. The Smoke or the Old Smoke or the Big Smoke insinuates the same thing: a big, hustling, and bustling city.

I just got back from a few days in the Big Smoke and although probably not as smoke-filled as the days of coal factories and wood-burning stoves, it was still filled with lots of activity, commotion, hurry, and buzz. Everyone seemed in a rush. Small trucks, big trucks, work trucks, small and large recreational vehicles, sports cars, fancy cars, and old cars, were all vying for their spot on the freeway. Traffic came to a halt when a fire truck, ambulance, or police car needed to squeeze by. Jets, planes, helicopters, and seaplanes filled the sky. It was difficult to find a parking spot at any of the venues I needed to visit.

I tried walking whenever I could but often it did not work out well. A construction zone blocked access to an adjacent street. A sidewalk was temporarily closed or there were no walkways to places I had to get to. I thought going out to eat at a nice restaurant would be a great idea, but eateries were packed and maybe it’s just me, but holy cow! Are lunches as pricey as dinners now?  

There were great moments, though. I had a wonderful visit with my daughter who cooked and drove me around the Big Smoke with ease. I enjoyed the cultural diversity and the manicured parks, as well as the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of cultural events, but it was all fast-paced and my few days in the city seemed to pass in the space of a heartbeat.

When I got home, the first thing I did was take a leisurely walk in the forest near my quiet rural home, stopping now and again to breathe in the cool air from the recent rain and count my blessings, seeing my life as half-full and not for a moment half-empty. The Big Smoke represents a lot of different things to the people in my life, but for me, after a trip to the Big Smoke, I always reflect on everything that is good and true in my life. Which is a lot.

“The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.” Anonymous

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

A Cup of Tea

There are several anonymous quotes about tea that I like: a cup of tea makes everything better; tea is the elixir of life; tea is an answer to most problems; tea is always a good idea; life is like a cup of tea. But the quote by K. Cohen sums up my lifelong love affair with tea the best: “A cup of tea is a cup of peace.”

I drank black teas in my youth, such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, or Darjeeling; steeped well and mixed with cream and sugar –the favored drink where I grew up. Later, when I returned from living in Asia, I drank chai and green tea. When I developed an intolerance to caffeine, I switched to only herbal teas.

These days, my preferred teas are primarily organic teas made with spices or herbs: chamomile lavender, cardamon with cinnamon and black pepper, turmeric ginger, and rose petals with lemon. I find the hot liquid mixed with these aromatic plants relaxes any tension I might have built up from sitting at a computer for extended periods or if I attended a meeting that didn’t end on time. Usually, the first thing I do when I get back from a vacation, a night out, or attending a conference is to make a cup of tea (even in the summer –which my kids think is a bit weird.) Blowing little ripples on the rim of my cup before sipping, relishing the quietude of doing nothing.

For me, tea is more than just a hot drink. It represents a time to unwind from the fast pace of everyday life. A simple practice to encourage my mind to let go of unhelpful or adverse thoughts. To appreciate all I have. See my life has half full, not half empty. To enjoy the moment. Be thankful. Or, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves—slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved

Never Give Up

In 2010, I attended a writers’ conference that hosted a wide variety of classes, clinics, and talks. One of the seminars I selected was for a group luncheon with about eight agents and a few well-known editors; each sharing knowledge and recent information about the publishing world. They took turns speaking about a particular issue: self-publishing versus traditional publishing, queries, new author blunders, social media, and book marketing. I listened attentively and wrote things down I deemed most beneficial. Then the last speaker stood up.

She paused for a moment to look around the room. “Of all the guidance you will receive this weekend, I think the very best counsel is…” She cleared her throat and yelled, “Never Give Up!!”

Everyone laughed. Then we stood and clapped, shouting in unison, “Never Give Up!” I wrote those words in big bold letters in my notebook because the one thing I have always wanted to do was publish my memoir.

I wrote and wrote and wrote. Joined a professional writing critique group. Worked with skilled editors. Took classes. Researched. Cried. Shredded chapters. Met with agents. Queried. Cried some more. Wrote every day. Many times, I just wanted to throw in the towel. But those three little words kept rolling around in my head so I kept on writing; feeling a bit like the little engine that could (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…)

So, at long last, after writing Sylvie and short stories and poems, my memoir, Wandering …a long way past the past, will be published and out later this summer. And this sometimes-clumsy writer will have finally accomplished a life dream. Never give up on yours.

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” R. Bach

How did you find solace this week?

Sharon

© 2022. Sharon Kreider. All Rights Reserved