Dealing with Hardship

What do you do to help you through hard times? In my novel I am writing that is a big theme that runs throughout the book. Here is a conversation between James and his wife Jennet as they discuss waiting and suffering during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812:

James told her, “Tis true that the waiting part of the war is as hard as actually fighting the war. I remember the stories my mother’s friend Mary Foster told me about their lonely vigils during the last war.”

Jennet smiled and tucked her arm through his as they sat on a fallen log and watched the sunset. She looked off at the sunset as she thought and said, “It seems to me there are many different types of physical and emotional hardship. There’s also the hardship or pain you face with death. A person can die fighting, suddenly or slowly- that’s physical. The other kind is to die inside, a little bit at a time when loved ones suffer or die. Thank goodness God can revive us at our low points. I hope Johanna realizes that, when she thinks about Jake.” Jennet turned and looked at James, her big green eyes serious, “Do you think Jake is still alive?”

A new domain, a new me

I’ve had a busy day. A friend and I updated my wordpress site and I have my own domain. It is called:  janetpierceswritingcafe.com

This led me to think of what inspires me and what influences my thoughts and writing process. Prayer, creative activities, friends and family as well as time for reflection are key for me. That led me to search for an icon to associate with my site. The reading angel struck a familiar chord with me. I love reading, finding inspiration for writing from reading and letting my imagination soar. Hence I combined those ideas with the soaring care of an angel in my icon.

 

How do/did you choose your icon mascot? Please share your own experiences!

Writing doubts

What do you do when you feel discouraged with your writing? You love what you are writing but others don’t or don’t get it. I was gung ho after a recent writing conference but lately life has gotten in the way and I am beginning to doubt myself and my ability.
Instead I decided to take a break and do some experimental painting. I decided I like some of what I painted but like my writing, I think I’m missing something.
Prayers and suggestions ate welcome.

 

What is your perspective of your life?

Perspective. How you see something from different angles, or aspects. In my novel, James is defending his opinion of the fledgling city of Pittsburg. “Pittsburg is truly a promising city, little girl,” he declared as he peered into Matty’s face. “Despite what some travelers say of it, too. Sure it has smoke and dirt but I call it character, not ugly. It reminds me of a young lady who’s just learning some manners.” 

Opinion. What is ugly to some looks beautiful to others. It is all in how you see things. Just like the old conundrum is the glass half empty or half full?

Choices. James chooses to view the progress being made as the village of Pittsburg grows into the city of Pittsburgh (note- when the city of Pittsburg is chartered on March 18, 1816 an H is added to the name.) as beautiful. How do you view aspects of your life? I am choosing to view retirement as a whole new chapter of life and I think it’s beautiful!

Do you wrestle with your role in life?

Do you ever wrestle with what your role in life is supposed to be? James, a main character in my book “Seasons” (working title) wrestles with his role in life several times during the War of 1812 against England. A part of him feels he should volunteer to be a soldier especially when he hears the exploits and near death experiences of his friend Jake. Each time he voices his frustration with being on the sidelines, his family and friends and work associates all hasten to remind him that he is doing vital work right where he is. He is overseeing supplies sent to the army, breeding horses for the army, has a shipyard in Pittsburg that is building boats for the navy and he helps oversee the arsenal in Pittsburg that is manufacturing munitions used by the soldiers.

I think people always wrestle with their role in life, are they doing enough? Are they doing the right thing? But when is enough enough?

Does it take discipline to be creative?

Recently I’ve been thinking about how I keep putting off my writing. I do all sorts of things instead of writing. All I need to do is retype and revise 14more pages in a manuscript, then review it all, adding anything more before sending it off to a publisher. yet, what do I do? anything but that. I have decided for me, it takes discipline to be creative. I need to set aside time to write, do my artwork, and just be creative. Recently I spent 4 days working on a 1200 piece jigsaw puzzle. I finished it, but it took me away from my writing. Sometimes I tell myself, I need to do these “other things” in order to be more creative, to let my thoughts gel before I write. Yeah, right. Can we say procrastinate???? I had enough discipline to write 325 page dissertation in one year (after a year of research. I even set deadline for myself and my director! I think I need to start doing that for this manuscript. 2019 is the year!

What do you think? Do YOU need to be disciplined in order to be creative?

Multimedia art called Tree of Seasons painted after thinking about it for a couple of years.

Getting ready for the New Year- what does it mean to you?

What do you do to get ready for the new year? Do you “reddup” , cleaning out closets, rooms, basements and attics? As a child I remember watching my parents clean the house, “reddup” our toys and make room for people to visit for the New Year. It probably didn’t help that my twin sister and I shared our birthday on New Year’s Day, when we could expect more toys and presents from our relatives. I give everyone credit for being able to come up with presents so soon after Christmas. But that is a topic for another post.

But I am getting sidetracked here. What exactly do you do when you “reddup”? In some parts of Pennsylvania people use this word all the time. It means to clean up, tidy up something or some place. As a college student I used to use the time after the holidays (but before I went back to school) to “reddup” my heart, and mind; relaxing and reading and just thinking. I wonder how much we do that these days? I am looking forward to that time right after the holidays to “reddup” my heart and mind, now that I am retired. Usually as a teacher, it was jump right back into teaching and school work the day after New Years.

I think we all need time in our lives to “reddup” our hearts and our minds. It might help us be more thoughtful in our speech and actions if we take time to “reddup” or reboot ourselves. What do you think?

Day After thoughts

The wrapping paper is collected, the garbage taken out, the gifts left scattered under the tree. I look at the lights and tinsel glittering on the tree and sit back with a sigh. A great day, full of good things to do and eat, celebrating with family. Feelings of peace, contentment and completeness fill me. I am so blessed, yet I realize that so many others have less, both materialistically and spiritually.

As I reflect on the day, I remember anew Christmases past, full of love, and family some gone some still here and am thankful. There are some things I miss, but other things I have gained. Like seeing the wonder and joy on my grandchildren’s faces when they see you or open gifts. sometimes it is the littlest things that bring so much joy.

That’s important to me to remember- take joy in the little things in life. Live in the moment, with no regrets or sadness. And no bitterness either. As adults we carry so much baggage in our memories. I need to focus on the good and forget the sad or painful memories as the new year, 2019 beckons. What about you?

Linda M. Au

Humorist. Novelist. Scapegoat.

Janet Pierce's Writing Cafe

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Janyce Brawn

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