Friday, July 17, 2009


Friday, July 17, 2009

Recently I’ve been journaling a lot. (Notice how I haven’t been blogging a lot? Well, to me I'm not blogging a lot). Here are some excerpts, if you will:

Friday 7/10/09

I feel it today. My calling. To write about SH. (A place, not a person). To write about the NJ I know, to write about NJ in the non Soprano's/Real Housewives of NJ way. To write about my love of gardening. To write about my love (compulsion for) of taking pictures. My love for my husband. I feel will be able to write my fiction more freely once I'm done with my story. For better and for worse, I must get it all out. I feel such a desire to take my new camera and take pictures all over town, SH, H & H Woods. I actually FEEL it!

My book, the one I proofed this Spring with all the blog posts, maybe I need to work other parts of my story into that, along with the blog posts. To make it a memoir of my life and blogging. Something like that anyway. Not sure if that’s the way to put it though.

Monday 7/13/09

I'm feeling off lately yet on the verge of something. Precarious regardless.

I’ve wondered before where the memoirs are from women before they have money and before they get all the “stuff” most think will make them happy & they find out it doesn’t, before they go to far and distant lands (aka travel)? Where are these books? Why can I not recall any at this moment, nor remember reading any?

Then I wondered this afternoon if anyone would read a book about those other times? Would they really? Would they like it? Or is the trend now to read these memoirs about women who “have it all” and aren’t happy despite “having it all” and for so many readers to dislike the author to the point of hatred & disgust for being selfish, unappreciative and whiney? Would a book about the times before the money or about an average woman who’s been through a lot and actually survived be read?

Tuesday 7/14/09

I wrote earlier (well, twittered actually) that I feel raw and wide open.

Not twittered: And I feel the pull of the seasons, feel in tune with things below the surface.

I wonder what's going on with me?!

Wednesday 7/15/09

Quote from Felicity, Season 1:

“…It’s something I really need to do. I guess we all have our own war stories, but they’re meant to be shared. They have to be. ‘Cause these stories are what brings us together and they keep us alive.” ~Sally, Felicity’s pen pal

I am 34. Thirty frickin’ four! When the hell did this happen?

And what is wrong with my emotions lately?

So, what am I? Seriously, what am I? Who am I?!

Back to the present.

Part of my problem lately, I believe, is what I’ve been reading, which is “The Unlikely Lavender Queen” by Jeannie Ralston. ***POSSIBLE SPOILERS IF YOU KEEP READING!*** I was enthralled with her writing from the first 2 paragraphs. It was beautiful and descriptive. I liked it through the Prologue. Then I became frustrated. Very frustrated. I felt as thought the writing changed some how. Maybe it was the tone or the subject matter? I’m still unsure. Maybe the writing hadn’t actually changed at all. Her husband Robb reminded me very much of an ex-boyfriend of mine, one I’d spent 6 years with, only thankfully, they’re unalike in one big way. (J was physically and sexually abusive to me along with all of his other lovely personality traits). Her allowing herself to get so swept up in his lack of consideration, fly by the seat of his pants, passive aggressive (domineering) ways just frustrated the hell out of me.

Her struggles with Post Partum Depression apparently brought back to the surface my own struggles with depression and I became agitated. I stayed agitated until that portion of the book was over, even when I wasn’t reading it and doing other things!

My reactions were unexpected. I haven’t had that happen in a very long time, where the emotions of the characters in what I’m reading (fictional or non) affect my own so much. But once I realized what I thought was going on, I’ve become more calm and settled again.

Of course, we’re discussing this book from the 15th through the 31st at Chicks on Lit (I’m leading) and it’s not going well at all. I seriously want to bang my head against a wall. I've got an 'initial thoughts' thread for the book, which was going fairly well and a 'discussion questions' thread which isn't. I can't keep the discussion going when the other (3) people participating don't answer the questions (or answer questions they've made up for themselves but haven't indicated) or they just post one sentence replies (to a couple of answers?) and when they apparently want to whine about the author whining & how much they hate her husband and her for putting up with him! I was hoping this book would generate some good discussions alá Eat Pray Love (though very different books) but I feel as though they're being extremely judgmental to the brink of immaturity where they can't discuss the book as a result! And one participant has said she's not reading past page 50 but is staying in the discussion. It's over 270 pages! How do you do that? And now there hasn’t been any posts in either thread for a day. I thought if I answered the discussion questions I posted, that would get the others to do the same. Wrong. VERY frustrating. (There’s that word again!) I was really looking forward to this group read. Ah well. Sorry for the rant on that one. (I'm getting over it already, really).


That seems to be about it for me at this moment. I’ve got more journaling to do and hope to get a more coherent piece together by next week.


Zip n Tizzy said...

You might really enjoy Glass Castle. Sure it was written once she was rich and successful, but it pulls from such a wild past and is so objective. I just loved it.
I think it is good to get those stories that are just rattling around in us out before writing the rest. Give it a place to settle and see where it leads.

teri said...

Jo, I've often heard it said that writers just have to write. They can't stop themselves. It sounds like you are at that place now, and you are going for it! That's wonderful.

I'm sorry about whoever is doing the Lavender Queen with you. I understand how that can be. I lead art groups online and sometimes people join things sort of halfheartedly, and its disappointing for those of us who are passionate and put our time and energy into something.

Jo said...

Thanks Z&T! For the book recommend and the encouragement!

Lit and Life said...

Sounds like you found a book that really struck a lot of chords.

I think getting your own stories out is a great idea. Your journals are a great place to draw from.

Joanne said...

All too deep and meaningful for me, I have enough to cope with reading what's going wrong with Lyme politics, so back to the gardening or garden blogging for me.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jo said...

Thanks Lisa! I think journaling is a great thing for anyone to do.

Joanne, I have other many other recent posts you could have chosen to comment on, including many recent gardening posts (though I've never claimed to be strictly a garden blog, as yours isn't either) - reading about the 'politics' of Lyme Disease, or ANY disease for that matter, is anything but light & fluffy reading as far as I'm concerned. I found your comment above to be uncalled for.

With all due respect, if this was your reaction to the subject matter of this post, perhaps it would have been better to refrain from commenting at all.

Additionally, I would like to address that you have not allowed me to mention the fact that I have Psoriatic Arthritis on your blog because you feel it somehow takes away from your Lyme focus and I have undoubtedly respected that (though I personally do not understand the notion of limiting people's knowledge and possibilities when it comes to their health and the seriousness of Auto-Immune Diseases) yet you have mentioned Lyme in nearly all of your comments here on my blog, even going so far as to question my PA diagnosis more than once (directly and indirectly), even after my telling you (more than once) of my UNSUCCESSFUL 11 year long trip down Lyme Disease road.

I am very happy that a Lyme Disease diagnosis has worked out for you and you have found relief and healing thru it. (I know better than most the difficult journey of living with disease and chronic illness, having been doing so for upwards of 18 years now). I did not have the same experience being treated with Lyme for 11 years. Period. End of story. Time to move on. (I already have, nearly 4 years ago). I do not appreciate the lack of respect you have shown here regarding that aspect of myself and my life especially since I have shown you nothing but respect with yours.

I hope things can move forward from this point and mutual appreciation of gardening can continue.

Lizzi said...

When you have to write and let it out you just have to do it. It's great that you are at that point right now. Who knows what wonderful places it will lead you too!

Sorry about the reading issue. I haven't read the book so I've been out of the loop but I know groups can be a challenge sometimes.

Hope you had a nice weekend!

Joanne said...

I apologise for upsetting you there was no disrespect intended.

Jo said...

Thanks Lizzi! I'm hoping this bout of writing leads to a lot of things. Our weekend was hectic yet we did make it up to the weekend place, so it was nice at the same time!

I appreciate your apology Joanne.