Tuesday, August 26, 2014

From my notebook

I have a notebook that I've been writing in since I attended the "The Examined Life" writing conference this past spring.  The notebook is a stenographer notebook.  It reminds me of the notebook my mother kept in our family's car growing up.  She kept it housed in the glove compartment.  She wrote down details from trips in this notebook: mileage at start of trip, gas, food, hotels-money we spent throughout trip, and different stops along the way.  She has always kept lists- her VHS card catalog was detailed.  Recently rid my mother of this card catalog and the VHS taps with helping my parents down size.
Love these notebooks!

So in my weeks of regrouping/refocusing on new goals and adventures I would like to enjoy now that I'm not strapped to a training schedule I decided I'd just peruse through my notebook and share some great quotes/ideas I've written down over the past months.  In no particular order or genre/topic:

"The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease
"all any one needs is a free public library card and determination to invest her mind and time into her child's futures." (xii)
"Reading is the single most important social factor in American life today." (xxv)
"Reading fact no 1: Human beings are pleasure centered.  Reading fact no 2: Reading is an accrued skill." (8)
"The listening vocabulary is the reservoir of words that feeds the reading vocabulary pool." (11)

I am only about 25 pages into this book- it is on my "to read/to finish" list by x-mas.  I've found that one of the best ways to reconnect with my kids and feel like I'm actually adding to their lives in a good way is through reading aloud to them.  My oldest is getting away from me reading to him, but now instead he is begging me to read books- I need to do a better job at reading these books he is asking me to read.  It will help me keep connected to him.  My youngest is that great age of wanting to so badly read well.  I need to just let her soak up our time of reading together, because in a few years I too will not have her wanting me to read to her any longer.  Yes- savor these days of reading with my children-  Definite priority!

"Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg
This book was talked about and suggested throughout my time at the "Examined Life" writing conference so I picked it up.
"Own anything you want in your writing and then let it go" (29)
"We learn writing by doing it." (30)
"Writing too is ninety percent listening.  You listen so deeply to the space around you that it fills you and when you write, it pours out of you." (52-53)
"Basically if you want to become a good writer, you need to do three things.  Read a lot, listen well and deeply and write a lot." (53-54)
"Anything we fully do is an alone journey.  No matter how happy your friends may be for you, how much they support you, you can't expect anyone to match the intensity of your emotions or to completely understand what you went through." (169)

These quotes give me a lot to work on.  I do read a lot, but in comparison to others not as much as I could and I also need to continue to broaden the material I read.  I'm horrible with current affairs, political science, international news, etc.  I also like to write, but I don't do it everyday and don't "work at it" like I should.  Lastly, I need to work on listening.  I'm a very inpatient person and know I need to be better about being quiet, actively listening to others and my surroundings.  I think this work on "listening better" could also do me a great service in my life as parent, wife, and friend. 

Anne Lamott's book "Bird by Bird" only added to Natalie's quotes above... plus her take on religion I totally get and enjoy.
"the one thing I know for sure was that if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans." (87)
"If you stop trying to control your mind so much, you'll have intuitive hunches about what this or that character is all about."(113)
"You have to give from the deepest part of yourself, and you are going to have to go on giving and the giving is going to have to be its own reward." (203)  This comment reminded me of parenting and then she went on to say..."But they are always yours, your books as well as your children."(203)
"You wouldn't be a writer if reading hadn't enriched your soul more than other pursuits." (sorry forgot to write page number down for this one)

I still haven't read all of Anne's books (nonfiction or fiction) so have more to add to my "to read" list. 

I started reading some writing journals/magazines to learn more about the art/process/heart ache and the beautiful script out there.  I heard themes throughout Writer's Digest, The Paris Review (interview articles of authors, poets engrossed me), Poets and Writer's.  The major themes: read a lot, find your voice, work on being creative (writing and other forms of creativity), and write a lot!

I think when starting any new adventure, goal attainment, or task it feels daunting, but after I get mapped out my course of action I seem to be at better peace as long as the schedule/plan doesn't get too stressful or I let it overwhelm my life.  I struggle with this balance. I struggle with the balance between work/home, but have done better with this and yet feel like I'm less powerful/passionate at work because I don't take it home.  I follow-through on my training plans only to hear my son tell me "you are crabby" towards the end of the long term training schedule, and lastly let other "things" like lets say correspondence with friends/family, quality time with husband, and the never ending quest for non-emotional eating to be present in my life.  Oh isn't life a fun, bumpy, emotional, crazy, and just ever-present beating of the heart rhythm that hopefully, thank the lord, won't end anytime real soon (but then again there is the "glass half empty" thought of what if it were to end tomorrow- I have to hurry up today-oh patience my friend/myself).   

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