Of Roles, Responsibilities and Reframing the Past …

The most exciting thing about being a daughter is that of being a daughter. We are who we are.

We are defined often by the tasks with which life charges us, a reality that each moment of breathing and consciousness, action and interaction, thought and idea, imagination, shapes and reshapes.

Our life is a mixture of desires and responsibilities, each pulling at the other, neither one winning out, but each molding and altering the other.

My life as a daughter

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Of Colombiana, Contagion, and Miracles…

“If you are interested in something, you will focus on it, and if you focus attention on anything, it is likely that you will become interested in it.
Many of the things we find interesting are not so by nature, but because we took the trouble of paying attention to them.”
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

I saw two movies this weekend. Contagion, for the first time, and Colombiana for the 2nd.

Viewing a movie for the second time, much like reading a book, allows the opportunity to evaluate and inspect what either makes the story work, or remain vibrant in your mind, or the memories of its plot and characters, if you can recall them, slink into the recesses of the forgotten.

I was not excited at the thought of seeing Colombiana a second time.

Yet now as I write, I realize my hesitation came not from the quality of the movie itself, but quite the opposite.

The story of a young woman, who in losing her parents to a villainous killing at the age of 9, then seeking revenge, Colombiana is clearly a character driven story.

Contagion on the other hand, involves many characters whose roles work to tell the story of not a person, but rather display the effect of

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Of Grinding Pepper, Banalities, and Seeking That Which We Yet Understand…

Working as both a wife of nearly 29 years, and mother of 3, has prepared me in various ways to accomplish the work of a fiction writer.

Working as a wife and mother requires a lot of what an Islamic Imam described as grinding pepper.

Grinding pepper, from the perspective of the imam encompasses those activities that we here in the west describe as comprising the bane of our existence–mindless tasks, that we view as disrespectful of our intelligence and that devalue our worth as a person.

The world banal implies a lack of uniqueness.

Something that is banal possesses no originality.

It is like the wheel that begs for no reinvention, rather more unique and original ways of bringing a deeper level of presence and attention to the task(s) at hand–tasks that when practiced with a presence of mind and heart sharpen our skills and artistry in all areas of life, yield an original creation, and transform us as individuals.

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Magic, Mosaics, and the Alchemical Process of Becoming…

“Like turning base metal into gold, that’s what revision is to me.”

Susan Gabriel, psychotherapist, and author of Seeking Sara Summers

During my recent interview with Susan Gabriel she honestly stated that when first beginning to write she hated the process of revision.

On thanking her for being so truthful, I said that I had felt the same way.

We both then agreed that now upon reaching the stage of having written the rough/1st drafts of novels we love the stage of revising.

It was at this point that Susan wisely coined the phrase that she experienced the process of revision as one of “…turning base metal into gold.”

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Anne Lamott, Bit by Bit, and Microwaved Water…

Our middle child sat for the SAT, at the outset of this week, but not before giving the completed term papers to the respective teachers who had assigned them.

Having read them several times when helping with the editing I learned much about the Gulf of Tonkin.

In editing the second paper I learned how our middle child views their faith in comparison to and contrast with our priest whose faith in God has provided him with the answers to all his questions–that of becoming comfortable with not knowing, the immense of uncertainties of life.

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Ethics, Revisions and the Search for an Editor…

There are times where my writing runs head-on with my blogging. By writing I mean work on my novel. Presently, my novel, “The House” due out this summer is back from the copy editor, Shon Bacon. Once I make all the suggested changes I will forward the manuscript to my developmental editor for one more read through.

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Dying, Revision and Editing, and Striking a Balance…

Writing a book is akin to dying. We are never the same person when completing the book that we were when starting out.

The various revisions through which we take our stories and novels, transform us.

The opportunity and our ability to take in constructive comments helps us along the path to achieving what we all desire–bringing the writing in our book to exemplify and evidence our personal best.

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