Fall

Hello, again, Fall. My absolutely favorite time of the year.

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Writing the Book

Things You Forget. I’m working on this young adult novel right now. It’s a story that won’t leave me alone. It’s the story that made me ugly cry during a workshop at VCFA. I put it away after workshop, then worked on it again while my husband was going through cancer treatment. I typed in the bedroom closet of our condo, which was located close to the hospital. We came back to the condo after each treatment, and when he slept, I typed. Furiously. Back at home after a successful treatment and good report, I put it away again. That was over two years ago. But this story won’t go away. So I have made a decision. I will write it and be done. And I wanted to make it official, so I’m saying it here.

Memory is a funny thing. It can both destroy and restore. And mining our memories, the good ones and the ones that haunt us, can often bring healing.

Time, You Know…

Wow. It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. Longer than I realized. But I’ve been busy. Life stuff. Family stuff. Finding my way through it all. Finding me, in a way. And I’ve been writing, too. Skimmering around a bit from one project to the next. But writing. Sketching. Picking at my old guitar. So I’ve settled on one project in particular. Well, two really. Working on projects simultaneously is nice. When one project hangs up or begins to smell, and not in a good way, one can always turn to the other. But really, the process of writing for me has gone from a frenetic thing, a high energy thing, an I HAVE TO DO THIS AND I HAVE TO DO IT SO WELL thing, to hello, old friend. Let me sit a while with you. Let me be real. Let me listen.

It’s a process, right? Life’s a process. And time is a slippery beast.

Seasons

 

Picture from fccshelbyville.org

Turning the Corner

Fall

Fall Song by Mary Oliver

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries – – -roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay – – – how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

A Funny Thing Happened…

Laughing babies: the ancient practice of forcing strangers to look at pictures of your children basi

I’ve been thinking about laughter lately, and not just in regard to my reading and writing. I’ve been noticing how moments of genuine laughter make me feel warm and happy and exhausted in a good way.

So, what is it about laughter?

Here’s a little bit of randomness I discovered:

Laughter is a contagious, involuntary response. Ever had the giggle snorts during an important meeting, and the person sitting next to you begins to do the same thing, even though they don’t have a clue why you’re doing it? Ever watched a newscast when one reporter starts laughing and the others follow? Yep, contagious and involuntary.

Snoopy he he he

Laughter releases endorphins, which can produce all sorts of wacky but beneficial biochemical changes in the body. These include increased blood flow, relieved pain, and an improved immune system.

Laughter can also burns calories.

Most daily laughter occurs during everyday social situations, not as a result of things like jokes or funny movies.

The study of laughter is called gelotology. (Yes, there is such a thing.)

Some experts believe that we laughed more in the past than today  – 20 minutes daily back in the 1950s compared to 6 minutes today. (Okay, I don’t know how they got these stats, but it’s still a curious thing to me.)

The first Sunday of May every year is known as World Laughter Day.

new-smiley-face-on-beach

This year, I want to pay attention and laugh more. Every day. I think Dr. Seuss said it best:

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.

When was the last time you really laughed?

Smiling Ostrich

 

Laughing baby photo by Constance Bannister. Snoopy from socialtimes.com. Smiley face from smscs.com. Smiling Ostrich by Jamie Hanson.