Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

What Does Your Soft Inner Animal Wish?

The first one or two wishes that I wrote were easy to write. They were straight forward wishes and I could look easily at myself and write about what I wanted. Confidence. Perseverence. Self-control. All easily asked for and all obvious needs.

This time I feel like I am being asked to see the small frightened creature, the soft inner animal, that resides within - deep deep within my body, hiding from the world, hidden in among the curls of my intestines, making its home near the beating of my heart; feeling the whishing and swishing of blood through my veins, hearing the thump-a-thump of my heart all the day and night with every breath that I take. It holds one frightened hand on my heart and squeezes every time I try to take a bold step forward making my blood pressure rise and my fight or flight response kick in.

I am afraid to look too closely at this creature inside me. I am afraid if I shine the light too brightly upon it, it will become blind with rage and anger and frustration and dig more deeply into my bowels hiding from my probing thoughts. And what is the point anyway? What does that little frightened creature want? Apparently it doesn't want to be seen, it doesn't want to be out in the light. It hides. It is ashamed. It is fearful. It clings to what it already knows and does not wish to be challenged to try something new because it might fail. It might not be so perfect. It might not be so proud of itself.

Or is it sitting inside my being, nagging me to move forward. Needling me from within to try something new. Is that little creature the one who tickles my stomach when I get nervous, and jumps up and down on my heart to pump it up and get it beating faster and faster until I have to speak, to sing, to write, saying what is truly within me? Is it that little creature within me that goads me on to new things?

How do I feed that little creature within? What does he seek that will make my life better? I know if I feed him the steps toward being a better musician, a better singer, a better friend, a better writer, a better mother and daughter, in small bites he hums gently within me. It is only when I think of taking those giant steps forward that he groans and moans and wails, sinking his claws into my innards and making me stop my forward movement to regain my ability to breathe.

So, what does my soft inner animal wish for? I guess both of us are wishing for small and true steps toward the greater goal of being better at what I love: A better writer, a more creative and thoughtful person, a more confident musician and singer.

What is your soft inner animal wishing for today?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to fly away from?

Responding to Jamie Ridler's Wishcasting Wednesday prompt.  Usually the responses to these prompts lead me to something positive.  This time I am wishing to rid myself of negative things, especially compulsive behaviors. 

I wish to rid myself of the compusions to:
Eat all of the wrong things.
Speak when I know I shouldn't.
Worry about things that are completely and utterly out of my control.

So, with each new day, and each new effort to change my forward movement, I will conquer these things, making myself a stronger me.  How about you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to step into?

I wish to step into confidence in my talents and abilities.  I wish to learn and grow, knowing that continuing to develop a practice will create a space for the focus that is missing right now.

I wish for the focus that is needed to write the way I want to write and share the way I wish to share.

I wish to encourage and be encouraged by all of those around me who have already found the path I am seeking, and who have their feet firmly planted on it, stepping forward day by day, project by project, friend by friend.

I wish that all those who are wishing today may receive the blessings they desire.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Very First Blog Post 2010

Dear Mom,

Thank you for being my mother; for loving me always and never giving up on me.  Thank you for seeing me through the gawky teen aged years when I longed to fit in, but didn't, and for standing by me when I was a college student hiding my talents because I didn't want to stand out; to be noticed; to be different.

Thank you especially for supporting me through the turmoil of years in a bad marriage.  You knew things were not good, not the way they were supposed to be, even when I was still unable to admit it.  You were always there when I needed you, providing an open ear and as much support as you could muster and I could receive. 

Your steadfast confidence in me has been my North Star and kept me on course through the last twenty years when I was raising your grandchildren alone and trying to make a living, writing and studying in the wee small hours of the morning, and singing like a caged bird.

Now, in your later years, it is my privilege to care for you; to become the vault for your memories, slipping away from your mind and leaving you frustrated and forlorn.  I will hold your hand as you have held mine and we will continue to pass the time together, mother and daughter, great-grandmother and grandma, completing the circle of life assigned to us by God himself, sharing tears and happiness together.

Thank you, Mom, for showing me the way and giving me the freedom to sing.

Your daughter, Lynn

Looking at the history of my blog with Jamie and Shannon for Kickin' It Old Skool Blog-a-thon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Coming Out of My Shell

I will be ready to start my new journal sometime in the next few days.  It is always a happy thing for me to begin a fresh book.  It is rewarding to see that I have filled all those blank pages with multi-colored words.  Sometimes they are really good words, sometimes they are achingly sad words, sometimes they show great joy.  Sometimes my words are wonderful and share exactly what I am feeling and what I know to be true about myself and the world around me.  Sometimes they show just how lost and alone I feel.  But all in all, they tell a story of the 'me' that very few people really know. 

I'm not ready to open my journals to show anyone that 'me', but I am happy to share once in awhile a quick short glimpse into that person.  Most of the time I am all smiles and laughter, trying to be encouraging to all those around me.  Then there are times when I see the frightened little girl who is afraid to share her biggest dreams because they are bigger than she is; bigger than what she can hold in a bread box.  But the frightened little girl is trying so very hard to break free and sing aloud in the grocery store and laugh at the rain and open herself to the fear and excitement of new friendships.  She is trying to bolster herself and become more than she is - more than she has been.  More than other people see.

I want to look down into the stream and see the jewels that lie below the water's surface, embedded in the sand and silt below.  I want to see the jewels of my life, not the dull rocks that I have been seeing in the past.  I want to lift them out of the cold water and polish them until they gleam, reflecting the sun's rays and glittering in my hand.  I want to show people that I can be a precious gem, not just a dull rock.  I am struggling to find the way to do that.  I need to move myself forward and discover the right path for me, where my words make sense and my songs are glorious and filled with joy.  I am searching and trying.  I am wandering and wondering.  I am practicing and praying.  I am moving forward. Even though my feet feel mired in the muck, I am moving forward. 

Want to join me?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Happy Book

I have decided to follow along with Jamie Ridler's group working through
The Happy Book to gain some creative inspiration. So this week's assignment was to pick a mascot and take him with me everywhere I went.
I chose Piglet. He didn't mind accompanying me and leaving the Hundred Acre Wood and Tiger and Pooh for the day. He thought it would be a wonderful adventure. So here are a few reflections on our day together.

Piglet sat with me while I wrote my 1,000 words on He has a keen eye for gramatical mistakes
and was sure to keep me on the right track.

Then we headed for Charleston (SC) for my mother's appointment with the audiologist.
Piglet wanted to know if he should be thinking of a hearing aid, too.

We stopped for lunch at Ye Old Fashioned Sandwich and Ice Cream shop where we had way too much to eat. Then, of course, we stopped for Krispy Kreme Doughnuts on the way home. Piglet insisted.

Piglet was oh so happy to be home. He enjoyed a few quiet moments among the geraniums before he headed back to the Hundred Acre Wood. It was a fun day.
Now it's time to see what next week will hold.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Susie, Susie

Susie, Susie,
quite the floozie,
sat beside the road.
She watched as the
princes and frogs passed by
and then she kissed a toad!

She closed her eyes
and baked three pies,
hoping her plum to find.
But the pies she burned
and the lesson she learned
was to depend upon her mind.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Woo Hoo! A brand spanking new month! A great time to turn over a new leaf. many possibilities, I can hardly stand it!

Procrastination is the word of the day. What? Me? Procrastinate? Never! Well, hardly ever. Well, maybe once in awhile. Sometimes, I admit I find it difficult to put one foot in front of the other and move forward with whatever I have decided to do, well thought about doing, well considered the possibilities of doing, but then I must consider the ramifications of doing what I have thought briefly of doing. Oh, shucks. Am I really supposed to do that?

Maybe it would be better to wait. I do need to think about it for a little bit, don't you think? Well, tomorrow is another day. Who's to say it won't be a better day to begin a new project? Besides, I have lots of other things to consider at the moment. And maybe, just maybe, I might, you never know, actually do one of those things that I still am considering doing.

But not today. Today is for thinking. Planning. Putting off until another day, tomorrow or the next day.

Now that sounds good. The next day. I have checked my calendar and on the next day I have nothing. No place to be, nothing to do. So that's it. I'll start on the next day. That will give me plenty of time to think about how to start and what to do to begin. I had better check to be sure I have everything I will need to get started. I'd hate to have the next day roll around with that blank calendar box and then not have everything I need to get the ball rolling. That would be a real shame.

And I should probably X out the box on my calendar so nothing else comes up to interfer with my getting started on the next day. That sounds like a good plan.

So, now I'd better get a second cup of coffee and sit here thinking about what else I can put off until later. Maybe later in the day. Maybe this evening. No, evening is not my best time of day. Morning is my best time of day. Morning is when I am fresh and my brain is fully functioning. Evening is when I tend to slump down and take the path of least resistance. So it has to be done in the morning hours, when I am fresh and ready to go. That's the time when I have the most energy.

But not this morning. No, not today. I have already used up too much of my energy and brain power thinking about it today. So the day after tomorrow still sounds like the best plan.

So, today I'm writing about procrastination. But, I'm not a procrastinator, so I don't know what I can say about the subject. So, see you day after tomorrow. I'll be ready to go then. I think.

Friday, August 27, 2010

What is nice?

Am I nice?

That depends on your definition of nice.
* Am I pleasant to strangers and kind to people in general? Yes.
* Do I try to keep a smile on my face as much as possible? Yes.
* Do I try to listen carefully to people when they speak to me? Yes.
* Is there more to being nice than these superficial things? I don't know.

If you take being nice to a new level, the next level of action, doing something for someone else that makes them feel good or helps them out, is that "nice" or does that move us on into kind, thoughtful, generous...?

Are all of these things necessary to be truly nice? Or is nice enough?
Is it enough to smile at a stranger in the grocery store, or do I need to let them in line ahead of me? Is it enough to put my own grocery cart back where it belongs, or do I need to take the one someone else left behind as well? Is it enough not to throw my trash out the car window, or do I need to pick up the trash other people have left on the side of the road? Is it enough to say happy birthday, or do I need to send you a card?

Is nice enough, or does it require an action to share the niceness? Is it enough to not bother my neighbor, or do I need to reach out and help my neighbor?

So - what is nice?
Am I nice?
Are you?

Thursday, August 26, 2010


N, S, E, W,
pick a direction
and don't look back.

Be persevering in
your attitude.
Keep stepping in
that direction.

Be dedicated to
making the changes
necessary as you
move toward your

Be single-minded
in your approach
to life from your new
point of

Move forward
unyieldingly making
strides in this
new direction
with unfaltering

Be steadfast and
true to your purpose;
hitting the mark
one step at a time,
never faltering
nor vascilating from
the path ahead.

Do not linger or dawdle
along the trail
when the direction
for your next step
is clear.

Hang on.
Knuckle down.
Follow through.

Do not step away
from your chosen
no matter what
challenge appears
in your way.

N, S, E, W,
pick a direction
and don't look back.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Hidden Garden

This morning I was revisiting some of my old journals, and I came across several pieces I had written while participating in a 'virtual writing camp' with Julie Jordan Scott ( I was surprised at what I had written and decided to share some of it with you here.

A hidden garden
a secret place where the world stands still
and it's acceptable
to think enormous thoughts
too big to handle
in the real world,
or minute thoughts
so small as to be
totally ignored outside
the walls.

A hidden garden
where one can go and be totally alone.
Where worries and responsibilities
cannot encroach.

A hidden garden
where one can
imagine anything
or nothing
as the moment desires.

A hidden garden
for those moments of solitude.
A place to breathe deeply;
a place to sigh aloud;
a place to smile at the ants
and befriend the birds.

A place to unload all your burdens
and fill your soul
with calm and joy
before going home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Double Dog Dare Ya!

Challenging myself to write meant writing every day and writing much more than a few poetic lines in my journal every morning. Long ago I read "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron ( which introduced me to the idea of three morning pages every day. When I was still teaching I would do this sporadically, when the vacations gave me the time and energy to rise early and write whatever was on my mind or in my heart. I knew instinctively that the practice of "dumping" all of the emotions, problems, fears, and joys onto the page was like purging my mind of the bad stuff and letting me be free to fill the spaces with something new.

About three months ago, I found a website called It's a place set up for you to do your morning pages online. You can put in a password to keep everything you write absolutely private, which is a good thing! But the website keeps track of the number of words you write and how long it took you to write and even what the weather was like while you were doing it, as well as some really interesting ways of analyzing what you wrote. But I soon discovered that 750 words (three 250-word pages) was just not challenge enough for me, so I added another 250 every day. Now I'm on a 60 day streak, looking forward to it every morning, and rising at 5:30 a.m. to have peace and quiet to start my day.

While I love typing madly away and seeing the word count rise, I missed the actual pen on paper feel to it! I always love to buy those cute journals and colorful spiral bound books to write in. The color of my pen changes by the season or the mood of the day as well. (Today I'm in a particularly pink mood.) So I was happy when one of my regular blog authors started a "Write for 15 Minutes Every Day in August" Challenge. I said, "This would be a great thing for me to do in my little journals." After I write my 1,000 words online, I go to 'Mad Woman in the Forest' (, read her prompt, and write by hand for 15-30 minutes depending on how engaging the day's prompt is.

Then I said, "As long as I'm doing all this, why not be a glutton for punishment and sign up for the "Book in a Week" Challenge ( On this website you set your own goals and check in each day to report your progress. My initial goal was seven pages a day or 49 for the week. I'm proud to say I ended the week with 73 pages!

The next Book in a Week challenge isn't for another month, so I will just have to keep writing about Georgia and Grace, two southern belle sisters, who discover a dead man in their kitchen. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I am competitive. Hmmm. Could that be true? This person who has always taken a spot in the back? Who has always wanted to be invisible more or less? Who has never wanted to be challenged to prove what she thought was probably true deep inside, that she was as good as anyone else, but was afraid to find out by stepping out and being seen?

Competitive? Yes. I like to compete silently, quietly, unseen, comparing myself to those I see around me without letting them ever know I am secretly telling myself, "Oh look, I can do that. Maybe I can do that better than they do." But never wanting to have to stand up and prove that to be so.

So, now I am standing here, admitting to myself and all the world around me that I am competitive and that I am opening myself to that competition within and without by starting to share a little bit of myself with the world at large.

Finding words to put one beside the other and admitting that I am a closet writer and have been for many, many years, more years than I care to admit, although I am unafraid of my age these days. Age has nothing to do with this, except for the fact that now I have the time and energy to believe in myself a little more, to know myself a little better, to get past all of the fast and furious moments of the day and concentrate on what is really behind that - the me that is there - the me that has always been there, fermenting, bubbling away, growing more refined like a really good aged wine. Waiting on the shelf for the moment to come when the cork can be gently extracted and the fragrant liquid can be decanted into the antique crystal cut-glass container that catches the light and refracts it into so many spendid pieces and parts that marvel the eye.

"Here I am," I say. Ready to work to take my place in the world. Ready to be seen or at least to want to be seen. Ready to open the windows and let in the fresh air and the beauty of the world around me. Ready to challenge myself to be and do more and refine what I am and have always been. But ready to share my "me". Taking up the challenge to compete not so much with others, but with myself. Proving to myself that I deserve to be seen. Invisible no more!

Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Beginning

August 2, 2010

Here we are, the beginning of another new month, more than half-way through another year. Where does the time go? What should I have accomplished so far? When I look back on my life, I have

• Raised three children as a single parent, following their sporting and band lives every day and weekend for years; celebrating their achievements and milestones with joy.

• Bought, sold, and built houses, moved my family, and moved my mother in with me.

• Attended church almost every Sunday. I could probably count on my fingers and toes the number of Sundays I have not been in church over the past 15 years.

• Sung songs, written song arrangements, shared my voice and my musical talents with others.

• Worked a full-time job for 32 years, sometimes good, sometimes not so good; sometimes proud of my efforts to do the job, sometimes falling short of the mark, but isn’t that the way it is with a job that you do day in and day out forever?

• Lost and gained and gained again and gained more pounds than I wish I had to account for.

• Made friends, which seems to be feeling more positive these days than ever before. Now I feel I am not keeping myself so much to myself to protect my inner self from destruction, so I am beginning to look outside myself and see what the people around me are doing and what they need from me to be a better friend.

• Writing. I have written for a long time, lots and lots of days, months, and years. There have been dry spells when I simply didn’t think I had it in me to rise early before anyone else in the house just to sit down and meander through my thoughts and feelings on the page. Giving up my anger and frustrations to a private listener who would never tell my secrets or laugh at my convoluted ways of thinking about life, my family, my job, myself. I know now, that the times when I did that were the best times for me emotionally. I was able to spill out all of the germs, so to speak, to keep myself on an even keel.

Many times I have felt that I was overextending my reach day after day, but then the days came and went, my children grew up healthy, more or less, and are happy and reasonably well adjusted adults that I actually like being with. I feel like I had very little to do with that happening, but I know that to be untrue. I know that living with me, learning about Jesus with me, watching my work ethic unfold before them, seeing how I related to my mother, and how I dealt with the ups and downs that life sent my way, had an effect on their growing maturity. I worried about them as they grew up more than I care to admit, and I am happy to say, I still worry about them because that is part of my roll as their mother. Thus it has been and ever will be.

Now I have open space before me to fill, and I am seeing opportunities to be and do something new. Maybe not entirely new, just a new filter over the old to change the shade of the color of my days. You know, like adding white to red to get pink, or yellow to green to get blue. Now I look through the windows of the sunroom that I have always wanted to have on a house, and lose my thoughts in and among the forest of trees that protect the back of my home from the rest of the world. I look up at the sky and marvel as the clouds pass by, changing from wisps of cotton to dark and foreboding moments when the lightning flashes and the thunder shakes the rafters, and then the sky clears and I see that behind all of the clouds, the sun was still shining, still there, always faithful and true, waiting for the time when I could appreciate its glory to the fullest.

Now I look to the next days, weeks, months, years, with the freedom to reinvent myself once again. And to do that, I am challenging my creative side with as many possible opportunities to write – words, music, poetry, stories, characters, books, letters, get-well cards, journals, dreams – whatever way I can to share my experiences and grow from them as I do.

And so, here begins my blog – Handful of Pansies. I hope you enjoy it.