Never Give Up

January 11 2016

My quote for today:

If you want the rainbow, you have to deal with the rain.

Happy 2016!  Another year gone by, another year older. Yikes! I wish I could slow down time…. it’s all going by way too fast.

So thinking of this new year and what my goals will be. I’m writing every day and my book is in the editing stage, so hopefully this year will be the publishing year. It’s been a rough ending to 2015 with all the memories flooding back while finishing up my book. Bringing up the past is helping me understand myself more and put some perspective on my life. It hasn’t been easy as most memoir writers will agree with but hopefully will be worth it in the end.

So that’s my writing goal, my personal goals include continuing working my body, running a couple of 5 k’s, regualr yoga and walking in nature. Chemo and radiation really takes a toll on you body. Nobody tells you about the long term affects. I’s been eight years this month that I finished all treatment and embarked on a life post cancer.

I want to spend more time with my family. My sisters and my brother are my best friends and I need to laugh much more with them. My grand babies…..are growing up ages, 7,6,4 and 1. I want to be around them as much as I can.

That’s it….A thought for today: Spend time with those that you love today!

XO S 

 

Curiosity

Nov 9 2015

Curiosity

I read somewhere about curiosity and how it applies to writing. I identified so much with it…it’s my new favorite word

So… write what you are curious about. It doesn’t matter what the topic is…think about it…..life is full of curious possibilities.

Today …I am curious about why geese fly all together and what’s up with the one that is left behind.  How do they know which side of the v to be on….etc. you get the picture. Will I survive if I never find out….yes.  But I just want to know.

The answer is……Why geese fly in a “V” while migrating is pretty complex actually. There are 2 purposes….

  1.  Conserves their energy …..Think of how smart these guys are. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them helping with the wind resistance. They take turns leading the pack. Each goose provides additional lift and reduces air resistance for the goose flying behind it.When a goose drops out of the v-formation it quickly discovers that it requires a great deal more effort and energy to fly.Team work. Power of others. Rotating leadership. Sometimes we are leaders, sometimes we are followers. 
  2. The v formation helps keep track of all birds. and the shape allows some of them to burn less energy.  Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason. Geese honk at each other ( I love when I see them overhead doing that)  The Importance of Communication.

Other thoughts….Geese help each other.

Scientists discovered that when one goose becomes ill, is shot or injured, and drops out of the formation, two other geese will fall out of formation and remain with the weakened goose. They will stay with and protect the injured goose from predators until it is able to fly again or dies. Likewise, humans work best when they do more than just work together, but care for the well being of each other.

Curiosity

Ponder that word today and see what you are curios about. Research it, write about it. Knowledge is power right?

PS….You know you are curious…I was and now I know. I discovered that I love geese …..really!

Loving my life,

With gratitude,

Sue

Writing about truth is pretty simple….just tell your story. It is yours to tell.

Memoir as Legacy—The Power of Remembering by Linda Joy Myers
Written by Linda Joy Myers

I love the word “remember.” It means to bring together the pieces of your life, your legacy, the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Whether we realize it or not, as we live our lives we’re passing on traditions—through holiday rituals, family sayings and mythology. There is an “us” in the rituals of weddings, funerals, baby showers, and all the celebrations of life–birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, graduations. As we live these traditions, we create records of these moments, photos that will appear in memory books.

I’ll never forget the joy of digging in the old cardboard shoebox of black and white photos my great-grandmother Blanche would drag out year after year. She’d pick up each one, sigh, and start to tell the story. As the years went by, I picked up enough stories to help me know where I came from, my heritage—strong, stubborn Midwestern people who settled the early Iowa farmlands; beautiful women who tried to break away from the “shoulds” and bondage of expectations for women—but with a cost.

Memoir and family story-telling is about creating a legacy and heritage, exploring where you came from so you can know better where you are going—and perhaps how you might want to change that legacy. Every time I read stories about someone’s family history, I’m impressed how memoirists are creating a historical record of how life is being lived now. In a short time, your today becomes your yesterday. What are you preserving for your family?

Libraries collect diaries and journals from “ordinary people” as a record of how we have been living through time. Families have tucked away unpublished memoirs and/or diaries of family members, fascinated by details of family history that they otherwise would not know. It’s especially gratifying when we learn about how someone felt or what they thought—we’re frustrated with lists about the weather or just facts, but that’s often what was preserved from generations who felt that personal details should be kept private. In this era of Facebook and public sharing, I wonder if diaries and journals will offer more juicy details in the archives we leave behind.

Truth and Secrets

In my work as a writing coach, many people ask this question: “What about secrets—what do we include in a memoir that’s for the family? I want to keep the darker stories, the moments of drama private, but they’re the most interesting things that happened.”

Some people write two versions of their memoir—the “lighter” version and a more truthful one. Many people who start to write a memoir find themselves spinning out stories they’ve never told, but the memories start flying out of the end of the fingers and end up on the page. This can feel kind of scary, as if the “writing self” is out of control. As a therapist and writing coach, I believe that these stories need to come out of you, they need to be told.

Allow yourself to be your own witness to your true and honest life. You are just writing when you start, you’re not publishing yet. You can write in private to explore your inner life and parts of yourself you may not be aware of—and what a journey of self-discovery that can be! Save your drafts, and later you can decide what to publish.

Light and Dark Stories

To choose the stories that you want to write, create a list of lighter stories—the humorous ones, the ones with inspiring lessons you want to leave your descendants, and write these first. If you’ve started remembering other stories you feel less comfortable with, keep in mind that they are calling out to be written. Once you have put them on the page, you might gain a new perspective on these memories. As I wrote my memoir Don’t Call Me Mother, I interleafed the lighter, happier chapters with the darker more painful ones. After writing the deeper truths of your life, you might feel relieved, even if you’re feeling emotional about these stories. You can put them away for a while as you weigh the pros and cons of sharing them. Let them marinate in the drawer until you decide.

Life is composed of variations on themes of pain and pleasure, light and dark moments for everyone. Perhaps the stories you don’t want anyone to know about have a valuable lesson to be learned—they are probably some of the most significant moments of your life. As you assemble your vignettes or chapters, write at the bottom of each one what you learned. What was the takeaway for you having lived these moments? These are your wisdom legacies.

The Family Memoir

I’m coaching many memoirists who are compiling the stories from their grandparents and great-grandparents to preserve the family history. They say “I’m writing my grandparents’ memoir,” but in truth they are writing their own memoir and including family stories from the point of view of another person. A family memoir is a great project. It’s considered non-traditional in the publishing world because you have to imagine and make up some of the details about the inner experience of that “character.” You can research the historical era and background of your family members to fill in details, but when you are in the third person, you’re essentially writing fiction because you are not that person. Jeannette Walls got around this problem by writing Half-Broke Horses as a “true life novel.” She didn’t have enough details of what happened in her grandmother’s life for a memoir, and she wanted to be free to imagine the feeling and point of view of her grandmother.

But you can imagine what happened, and let the reader know that you’re compiling information and the story that’s unfolding is imagined. John Lanchester’s book A Family Romance is a good example of this. On a quest for truth after the death of his mother, he draws from his extensive research to enter the heads of all four grandparents and his parents. The details he discovered in his research created a vibrant story of the times, circumstances, customs, and point of view of all concerned as he unraveled the mystery of his mother’s life—and the truths that had been hidden for decades. I recommend the book as an example of a way to present the family legacy.

Begin now!

The important thing is to get started with your family legacy story, and your own.

Write down the significant moments of your life and your family history.
Make a timeline so you can see how the years evolved.
Research the how the history of the world intersected with your family history on the Internet.
Join Ancestry.com or other genealogical sites to find out more about your family.

Thoughts

You feel the way you do right now because of the thoughts you are thinking at this moment.
–David D. Burns

Good thoughts are like bright colors in a painting. Negative thoughts are dark and dreary and drab. Each day we paint pictures of our own lives with our thoughts. If we step back and look at the canvas, we will see whether the picture is alive with bright colors or dreary and lifeless like a dark cloud. Our thoughts have the power to bring joy or sadness our way, depending on what we expect or look for in our surroundings. The choice of how we want our lives to be is ours. Since we paint a new picture each day, we are always free to change things when they don’t please us. What better time than the present?

Is there something in your life you’d like to change today?

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This is a great meditation book……

Persistence

Oct 7 2015

Hello there

I had to look at my phone this morning for the date.  I think that is great, not worried about what day or what time it is today, because you know what it doesn’t matter ….only right here and right now matter.

Ok …… maybe that’s a bit much for you right now but if you think about it …..IT REALLY IS about the here and now and what we do with it.

Today I continue to write ..write…and write…yup still working on my memoir and if anyone tells you that writing is easy …they are CrAzY.

Journaling is easy…I just dump the words on the page but writing a book for others to read is quite different.  I want my soul, my voice to come out on the page and that’s hard work. Finding words to match how I feel on the inside is introspective to say the least. And I LOVE IT. I love to write!

I am chilling in the adirondack mountains today. My mind, body and soul crave the natural beauty and peacefulness. Great place to write and contemplate life.

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So sorry about my site not being up to date….working on changing the format…..I will be posting at least once every week….probably Fridays….I always love that the weekend comes right after. I can share with parts of my book and your comments will help me as I carry on.

what do you think of my author name ?

s frances morris

Ciao for now….

 

Loss

May 8th 2015

I lost a friend to breast cancer today. I am sad. Period just sad. I should be mad at this freaking disease but anger will not bring her back.  You see her and I said a while back that this cancer thing is a “crap shoot”. We both know other women that should have died from the disease but have survived and are still living. …. and the others that have died with many reasons as to why they should have also survived.  I’m talking about the staging, the surgeries and the treatments. Sometimes it all just does not make sense. Gina knows what I’m talking about. She had to suffer. That makes me sad. SAD.

I remember when she told me about the recurrence.  I was on the treadmill at the gym and she said “Sue…It’s back and it’s everywhere.” My body went limp, and I felt this weird rush go through me. What do you say to someone when they tell you that? You say things like…are you sure?…what other tests are you getting…blah.blah.blah.

It was back alright! 

She was one of my “cancer buddies” that understood that if I had a headache for more than 2 days…I would call her up and tell her I think it’s back ….I have brain cancer. We analyzed why our liver enzymes were elevated. We said we would try more yoga because maybe that would help with the joint stiffness. We were concerned about our chemo brains…yet laughed about it.

We both would always end up laughing at the end of each call.  We had camaraderie that other friends did not have……She understood.

 I will never forget the time Bruce Face timed me from the hospital (she worked in labor and delivery at the hospital) and Gina was in the background in her scrubs and she peered into the phone and said “look I’m you today”  I’m sue morris”…….I was laughing so hard….She was wearing the short brown wig I gave her and you know what ….. she did look like me, especially from the side.  We were both fair-skinned, same height and same weight……so it was really funny. I was so glad I gave her that wig.  

You see she had that way about her…..She made you laugh!!! That’s how I choose to remember her. I am smiling now as I write about that. I hope that she too is smiling now.

May your soul be at rest my friend….I will miss you!

I wil miss you my friend!!
I wil miss you my friend!!

XO-S

No Fooling!!

April 1 15

I pulled this one out of my positive jar this morning…..

Don’t believe everything you think!  

Oh boy for those of us that over think things and tend to analyze……this could prove to be challenging.  Sometimes my mind goes off on tangents and it’s hard to real it back in.  For instance I am working on my book, attempting to describe some not so great events from my childhood…..yikes….it’s so hard to put into words the feelings that I repressed for over half of my life.  Don’t get me wrong …..My childhood was filled with tons of good memories….its the bad ones that made me who I am today. If you believe the statement that LIFE IS LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY ….YOU DEVELOP FROM THE NEGATIVES (like I do) then you’ll understand that I probably would not be the person I am today if I didn’t go through what I did.  That sounds so cliche….but for me looking at my life I need to make sense of it and this is one way I do it.

Processing through memories, life events and the reason for things makes me crazy sometimes…As I move forward onto this BOOK journey I will think of it as being more reflective. 

Being grateful for the joys in my life……..

One of the greatest joys in my life was giving birth to my son….who will be 33 this weekend. April 5, 1992…a day I will always remember!!! I wrote about dreams coming true before because they do…..My son is one of the loves of my life.  I still tear up when I write about him being born.  I’m sure many mothers can identify with that.  I secretly was wishing for a boy. But of course didnt verbalize it because I would jinx it.  SO 33 years ago NOT KNOWING the sex before birth ( weird right? everybody knows now) I was beyond ecstatic when they held him up in the operating room for me to see.  I was in love instantly and still am.  So watching him now as a father himself and he too just had a son is beyond my wildest dreams.  Now I have another love in my life. I am so proud of the man you are Joe and so proud to be your Mom!

I think I’ll reflect on that 🙂

xo-S

Harmony

March 21 15

“The hidden harmony is better than the obvious”  ~  Heraclitus~

This is the positive thought for the day…..When I first read it I had to think about it. Um…..going to have to ponder on this more today.

Happy Spring….it has arrived in St. Louis.  Red buds are showing up on trees everywhere!  I am so ready for the change. Just saying goodbye to some family members that visited for the weekend.  Such a nice special time 🙂

XO-S

 

The best is yet to come!!

March 19 15

 

Gotta believe the best is yet to come!  Life can and will be filled with many enriching moments….we just have to want them and BELIEVE that they will happen.  I am having so much fun with Beca being home from school this week.  We are doing a lot of selfies…..Really I should say She is doing a lot of selfies I just happen to be in a few.  I will post some later.  And we are doing  a lot of dancing …in the car…and anywhere to Maroon 5’s SUGAR.  Love that song!  I am so alive with her and love being her mother 🙂
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Irish Blessings!

March 17 15

Happy St. Patty’s Day!  It was my Dad’s favorite tme of the year!  A few of my favorie Irish sayings/blessings!!

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I am finally going to visit Ireland in June of this year…..I cannot wait!  I will let you know about the corn and cabbage thing.  I really dont think it’s an Irish “thing.”

XO-s