childhood, forest, Memoir, reflection, tranquility, women writers

Day 13 ProlificPulse Mo Po: explore the relationship between humanity and nature.

photo by michael krahn

Into the Forest © arlene s bice

In childhood, my forest was a Woods
more than a copse of trees less than a forest
nestled between two developed pieces of land
a special place that I walked, later rode my bike
five blocks, climb a tree, cozy myself in a union
sometimes lucky to find no one else thereabouts
read a comic book from my back pocket
the big boys off playing chosen action games
beyond my size, age, and being a girl

ah, it planted a seed, a memory of warmth
where comfort is found in the arms of a tree

it is still there; I drive to a nearby state park
a forest much larger; I don’t climb trees anymore
but find a fallen log or stump of an old one
bring out my sketch pad or lined journal
pencil or pen in hand soaking up peace,
tranquility, restoration of self slowly comes
a ray of sunlight may filter through the trees
rustle of dry leaves and crickets are chorus
birds quiet, waiting to see what I will do

the magic of Mother Nature, still works.

dreams, Poetry, reflection, women writers, women's stories

Day 12 ProlificPulse Mo Po: a dream you’ve had in vivid detail through poetry.

Dreaming the House of Change © arlene s bice

Repeatedly, it began with my house
of early setting in
back wall completely blown away,
exposed
rooms crooked, uneven,
empty
reconstruction not working,
lopsided
a ramp leading to entrance
crumbling
weatherbeaten, life beaten
a vision of my marriage

this repetitive dream alerted me
change was coming
it did, each time.

anthology, family, journaling, reflection, Uncategorized, women, women writers, writing, WRITING MEMOIR, writing prompt

What’s Your Story?

Overlooking My Ancestors

You know, we all have one. It’s different from everyone else’s. When I first began to write down my story in 10 years of writing classes during the IWWG (International Women’s Writing Guild) Annual Conference, I begrudgingly let out one incident at a time. Like I was sharing a favorite candy bar as a kid. Not wanting to give away too much. Things I hadn’t talked about in years. Things that were stuffed way down inside me like I was hiding a treasure that no one else knew was there. And no one did because I never talked about those things. Hah! Once I began writing, all those stored up memories came tumbling out. Boy! Did it feel good! Like unloading a heavy sack of potatoes off my shoulders.

Has anyone informed you how satisfying it is to write your story? It’s wonderful to write about your ancestors, too. You will get to know them, especially if you have never met them. Unfortunately, there is a lot you can only surmise between the recorded facts. Their personalities will show up as you write. Information may even come to you in dreams where our loved ones sometimes place ideas and messages. Really. It is true. Trust it.

But it’s also true that you are the only one who can tell your story as you experienced it. Your thoughts, impressions, joys and sorrows remembered as only you can. It is a trip back into your past where the pains aren’t so awful as they once were, and the joys are even greater. If you don’t know how to start or where to begin…just write anything, the ABC’s even and your pen, pencil or computer will take over. It’s like opening the flood gates. Remember to write how you felt. I had trouble with that one. I’m still shy about it sometimes.

anthology, family, genealogy, general, psychic phenomena, Tarot Cards, women, women writers

Here’s the Ancestor Skinny

We all have family stories. Some funny. Some tragic. All worthy of telling. One of my grandmothers was born with a veil leading her to be an intuitive tarot card reader. The family story came to me that one day she was reading for a client, when all of a sudden, she yelped, “go home. Go home immediately! Your house is on fire and the baby is sleeping in his crib upstairs!”

The lady rushed home to find her mother dozing in the living room chair. She raced upstairs where her 4 year old, playing with a pack of matches, accidentally set the curtains on fire. The woman doused the fire easily and checked on the baby sleeping peacefully in the crib, unaware and unharmed. My grandmother prevented what could have been a terrible tragedy.

If you don’t have exact dates or certificates, it’s okay. It helps if you have general time periods. Imaging your story is easier if you do. Did you have a favorite aunt or uncle, maybe a grandparent story? How about someone in the family that brings a smile when you think of them. If so, write it down. Enjoy yourself as you write it. Your smiling shines through your words. It’s like being entertained by a movie you are writing. And the truth is, I’m seeking submissions for this year’s Ancestor Anthology. Send me a message or go to my website contact page.

Photo thanks to petr-sidorov @unsplash

women, women writers, women's forum

From: What it is to be a Woman-Tubbs

Image by Sabrina Young from Pixabay-thank you

Something to think about …(C)Sandra Butler Tubbs

Mrs. Rosalind Gertner (Lakewood New Jersey High School Social Studies Department Chairperson, white and Jewish) wrote this in my 1967 yearbook:

“A young woman with your brains and of your race has a very hard line to walk between two worlds. I’ve seldom met anyone with your ability to do it successfully – My best wishes go with you – affectionately, Roz Gertner.”

Thank God for allowing me to grow and flourish among so many wise and wonderful people. At first I thought Mrs. Gertner was ignoring the recent mid-sixties Civil Rights victories. She, like my father, Deacon William Butler, knew that those laws were only tiny baby steps toward a better direction.

My father once said, “Laws don’t change people’s hearts.”

Because of my father, Mrs. Gertner and others, I have survived and thrived on that very hard line Mrs. Gertner described in 1967.

I am ready to begin conversations with red, yellow, black and white about how we humans can start taking steps to be who God wants us to be – you know, loving, kind and considerate to each other.

To my friends and family, we all are part of God’s family, so let us start helping others to be part of that family and to take bigger steps toward the healing needed in the United States and the world; and let’s let God’s love shine through each of us to each other.

anthology, Poetry, women, women writers, women's stories, wormen writing

A Good Read . . .What it is to be a Woman

Introduction

Over many years, I talked and listened to women tell their stories. Whether I waited tables, tended bar, sold or appraised real estate, or leaned on the counter near the cash register on a quiet afternoon in my book shop. I mention the last item because a quiet afternoon in a small town book shop was perfect for a conversation with a woman who needed to release her story to someone who would listen. It didn’t need to be a close friend, maybe even better because I wasn’t. Each one of those stories, though not written here, were not forgotten by me, is honored with this publication. They reveal the various lives we have lived as women.

An anthology is the perfect vehicle to reveal stories untold; to explain, represent and disclose. Like a whisper in my ear from a feminine ancestor, the idea slid right into my mind. It wouldn’t let me sleep until I put thought into action.  Timing is perfect, I said to myself. Women’s achievements of the past are now coming out of vintage trunks. There are tales of heroines of long and not so long ago. Women who made great changes behind the scenes are stepping into limelight they deserve. No more hiding behind curtains or in the backroom.

Reading Jeanmarie Evelly’s History of a Body inRattle #66 set me on fire! It boiled the blood in my veins! It slapped me alert! Excitement charged through me as images passed in front of my eyes. I needed to invite women to tell their stories. I wondered how many women experienced incidents only because they were female. I felt their stories could only be told correctly and completely by them.

It is time to let the world read our words; words reveal who we were, how we lived, loved, and who we are today. We went unnoticed, doing great things in small ways. We influenced others with our quiet deeds.

We postponed and sacrificed our dreams to benefit ones we loved and never mentioned it. Let each reader laugh or cry, cheer for us, or get angry at what happened. Let some disagree with our decisions or shout ‘Brava!’

                                    With kindness and respect,

                                    Arlene S. Bice

Poetry, women writers, writing

THOUGHTS ABOUT POETRY

Writing poetry in high school was not something I did, even though it was, and still is, common for many teenagers to do. However, I loved English class where Miss Sadley taught us to read and write poetry using all the rules and regulations. I wanted to soak up everything in that class.

I planned to be a writer since I was in grammar school and kept trying as an adult to get to a class to further my study, yet something always blocked my way. Poetry was not my goal. When I began attending the International Women’s Writing Guild annual conferences I took a class in poetry and got hooked. It was very different from high school poetry. The late Judi Beach’s class was an automatic choice after that first time. Then I fell into Marj Hahn’s poetry & art class and loved that particular marriage of creativity.

When I met the poet Thomas Park in Warrenton, NC we, including Sherman Johnson, put together a combined art & poetry presentation at the library. Artists held their work, mostly abstract, and the poet stood next to the artist and read the poetry written about their work. The librarian displayed the art and relevant, matted poetry, alongside it in the library for over a month. I still particularly enjoy writing poetry about art. Paintings have such stories shouting out from the canvas, stories understood differently by various people, stories just waiting to be told. Art and objects play important roles in our lives that we don’t always notice.

I especially enjoy having my writers’ groups compose work about abstract art because we all come up with widely contrasting pieces. We relate differently to the art because we each come from various backgrounds and experiences. I just love the differences in us as people.

books, women writers, women's stories, writing

LUNCH WITH AMY NEWMARK of CHICKEN SOUP for the SOUL FAME!


Yup! I drove 185 miles last Wednesday to have lunch with the delightful Amy Newmark, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame! She graciously treated me, along with 5 other women and a few husbands and a friend in the mix! We dined at Bonefish Grill in Arlington, VA on the best Lump Crab & Corn Chowder, Fish Tacos with steamed spinach/garlic and too full, I brought my cheesecake home for later indulgence. It was just great to chat with the other authors and to hear Amy’s story of the Chicken Soup books. She started telling us from the beginning, about buying the company when other book publishers were fading from sight; into the process of reading all those stories that come in, sorting them out, finding titles for a new series, etc. Ms. Newmark is a woman who exudes happiness as she talks and who leads an interesting life loving what she does.
Her cool assistant Maureen put together gift bags for each of us with Chicken Soup books and a charming mug & matching spoon with the CS for the S logo. It was a lovely 3 hours with a smart, informative and imaginative woman. THANK YOU AMY NEWMARK! You offer opportunities for writers to stretch their writing muscles and get published!
H-m-m-m. My 185 mile ride home gave me plenty of time to think about another story to submit.

Memoir, women, women writers, women's stories, writing

Back to my own story

a nosegay

A Nosegay of Violets is more about my psychic awakening than about my day-to-day life as a young housewife and mother. Although the story that includes the strange happenings to me could not have been written without tapping into my normal life, too. So I continue adding chapters, one at a time, about my daily doings during the years of my first marriage. It’s a story that needs to be told. I know that I will not be completely healed from the pain and sorrow I suffered through that time until my entire story is revealed. It was a journey of learning lessons needed in this lifetime. Now that I look back, I see the growing process that has brought me to be who I am today.

So I return to the guidelines I share with others in my workshop about telling their stories. As I write, my memories will make me relive those moments again, tears will spillover but by the end I will see how far I have come on my journey and be thankful for what I have learned.

Memoir, women, women writers, women's stories, WORKSHOP, wormen writing

THE WOMAN EXPERIENCE

DSCF4816DSCF4815

Another Telling Your Story workshop in South Hill VA is over. Armed with information on how to go about it, clues on how to remember what may be forgotten, more women are on their way to writing their own story as only they can do.

Recently while browsing through the book lists on sovalue.overdrive.com/ purposely looking for women’s memoirs to read, I realized that there weren’t many out there. A few women celebrities have written their success stories, but I was looking for the everyday woman like me who sometimes face concrete walls to climb over just to get through the week and still find pockets of happiness to make it worth it. One by one, I aim to help any woman who wants to record their life for any reason, whether they want to publish, which helps a multitude of sisters out there, or just so their offspring can come to know who they truly are, not just the mother, daughter, sister, etc. but the individual.

Thought-provoking and helpful were words repeated in the comment section which delights me. I thank all who attended.

It’s what I do and I love doing it.