Posts Tagged ‘family’

I just wanted to wish everyone who celebrates a very Merry Christmas today! 🙂 I hope it’s a great day spent with loved ones and remembering to have fun. Forget all the stress that you may have from whatever may be going on (like… unfinished stories to write, perhaps? lol) and enjoy the time you have with the ones you cherish the most. I wish I could have gotten everyone a gift but… I am just a mere aspiring writer, so I hope this post dedicated to each and every one of you is enough. 🙂

For the new year I would love to hear any resolutions or plans you may have for 2011. I want to post some of them on this blog if you are willing to share. Please e-mail them to thestoryinme@gmail.com.

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As I mentioned in my last post, this character interview will be the second to the last for my current w.i.p.  In my last interview, we got to know Ben’s mom, Mary Walker a little bit.  From people’s reactions, she wasn’t really a favorite haha.  For this interview, we’ll be getting to know Delilah’s dad,  Dr. Eric Carmichael.

Me: Hello, Dr. Carmichael. Thank you for stopping by on your busy schedule.
EC: It’s not a problem. But, if I am still on call so if they need me,  I’ll have to go.
Me: Of course.  So, tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
EC: Sure.  I’ve been married for over twenty years now to my wife, Jane, who is a very successful lawyer.  We have two daughters, Delilah and Maggie.  Both used to be star athletes, but Delilah decided to quit sports.
Me:  Why do you think she did that?
EC: I think it was too consuming for her. She had a lot on her mind and when she felt nobody else cared about her feelings, she bottled everything inside, so she felt suffocated by everything. Something had to go.
Me: You said that nobody cared about her feelings.  Why would she think that?
EC: Probably because we didn’t communicate very well. At first, she came to us with what happened, but we thought she was just seeking attention.   My wife and I had careers that kept us at a busy pace. Was that fair of us? No. But it happened.
Me: What was the first thing that went through your head when you found out about Delilah’s self-injury?
EC: When I found her on her bedroom floor, I couldn’t breathe. I thought she was dead.  It’s not something they teach you in parenting classes. I felt like I had failed her as her father by ignoring her.
Me: What about now?
EC: Slowly but surely, she’s getting better. She’s taking baby steps, but I really think that group was the best thing for her.  I knew it would be.
Me:  How do you feel about the people in that group?
EC: They have all been great with support because they know what it’s like. I can’t relate to what she has gone through and what goes through her mind, but they can. Ben has been the most amazing support to her and I’m thankful for him.
Me: Do you get to spend a lot of time with Delilah?
EC: Sometimes. Jane, Maggie, and I go over and visit with her when we can. We’ll have game nights or bring over dinner so we can have a nice family dinner.
Me:  Do you have any advice for the parents who may have children who harm themselves?
EC: The only advice I can really give is to gather up as much patience and courage you can. Not only for yourself but for your child.  It’s not something to be swept under the rug. It’s something you have to face and find the strength to overcome.
Me:  That’s all I have. Thanks for answering these questions.
EC: It’s no problem. Thank you.

That was Delilah’s dad, Eric Carmichael. As always, let me know what you think of him.

Also, it is Tuesday which means part 7 of my serial story, The Painter, is now up on Serial Central! Check it out here!

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As I mentioned yesterday, this is my 100th post on this blog. 🙂  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about today. It is a special post after all. Do I post some poetry? Do I post another short story? I have done all that already, so that isn’t very special..

I think for this post, I want to celebrate this blog by showing my appreciation to everyone who takes the time to read this. Whether you have been here since the beginning or you have just discovered this blog, I really do appreciate everyone.

I have been writing stories for so long, I can’t imagine doing anything else.  So, after college, I realized that this was the time for me to really pursue my dreams of becoming a published author.  It was time to put it all into action. I had so many stories to share and so many characters for people to meet.

I started this blog to share my experiences about being a “newbie” writer and trying to achieve that dream of mine. I wanted to inspire others to do the same, to never be afraid to go for what you want. I also wanted to connect with other writers and join them on their journeys. I’m so glad that it  has happened for me.

Without the constant support I have received from family and friends (whether it be in real life or in the blogger world), I don’t think I could have managed to keep going. When I hit a slump, you all are willing to pick me up and encourage me to keep going. Thank you for being my “cheerleaders.” You have no idea how much that means to me.

It’s been quite a journey so far and more people are joining me. 🙂 I welcome you all and hope it is as enjoyable for you as it is for me. With my book halfway finished, I really can’t wait for everyone to read it. My goal will be within reach and that is a celebration I cannot wait to have!

So, thank you again for all of the kind words and conversations we have had on this blog. I just appreciate that people come onto this blog and read these words I write.

That is why I’m dedicating this special 100th post to you. This blog isn’t really intended for myself. 🙂

Now, onto 100 more blog posts! I hope to see you all at the 200th post celebration.

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As Harry Potter week continues on this blog, today is going to be a discussion on the meaning behind the Harry Potter books and what they really mean to you.

There have been serious debates (no, really) about what the plot really means and what JK Rowling is trying to get across with these books.  Everyone has their opinions whether they feel it’s all about loyalty, sacrificing yourself for others, love..whatever you may get out of it. Personally, I think it deals with all of those.

You can get so many themes out of these books.  Loyalty and friendship is definitely one of them. Harry has so many supporters who have helped him gain the courage he needed to face the trials he had to face. Without them, I feel he would have given up. He also stuck by his friends by protecting them and making sure they were okay.

It’s hard to really talk about the themes and give examples because I do not want to ruin any of the books for people who haven’t read them. But, I will say that the theme of acceptance comes through in the last book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Harry has accepted his role as “The boy who lived” and what that means.  He has had to accept the fact that he may have to sacrifice himself so others can live a happy life.

My favorite kinds of books are the ones that you are able to notice a theme that makes you sit back and think. How does it apply to me?  What can I do to change the way I see this? These questions help people grow and I think Harry Potter does this.

People argue all the time that the Harry Potter books aren’t quality literature and children shouldn’t read them. They are bad examples of literature, they say. I think they’re wrong. These books are not only entertaining but they hold such strong themes throughout each one. Kids need to see a literary character be brave and stand up for the people he loves. They need to know that even when you may feel alone, you really aren’t. You have people who stand behind you and support you. Some say there are images and situations kids shouldn’t have to read about like death. What I say is kids see that all the time, whether on the television or in movies. Even in real life, kids see these things. These books can help kids see the power of love, friendship, loyalty, and family.

Isn’t that what makes literature so powerful?

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Today, you guys are in for a treat! 🙂  We have a wonderful author, Dr. Tom Bibey, sharing a story for us. Dr. B. has a blog that you can check out here.  Make sure to stop by and tell him hello. He also has a book that was recently published called The Mandolin Case which you can find on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com.  First, I’d like to thank him for taking the time to be a guest blogger here,  and if anyone else wants to do a guest post, let me know! I would love to have you contribute. Without further ado, let’s welcome Dr. Tom Bibey!

Hello. My name is Dr. Tom Bibey. As far as I know I’m the world’s only physician bluegrass fiction writer. I’ve practiced medicine in rural North Carolina since the early 80s and played semi-professional mandolin in a variety of bands on my weekends off for many years. Over the last decade I’ve covered the bluegrass beat for several local and regional publications. My first novel, “The Mandolin Case” was just released.

I have been a blessed man all my life. My greatest fortune of all was my family. I believe a man should hold his people close and I always have. It wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good a life without ’em, and I never forgot to tell them so.

Hope you enjoy the post as much as I enjoy Melissa’s blog.

The Oil Painting

I remember the exact day I met my wife. She was standing by a fireplace in a college dorm. I called my brother and said. “Some day I’m gonna marry that girl.”

She was some kinda cute girl, not movie star glamorous, but more the girl next door look. Her hair was auburn, but the summer sun had burnished it into a sheen with a reddish tint. I found later it was ‘cause she loved the lake and spent many happy hours there as a little girl. I’d never known any woman who could wear a bikini the way she did. She had a Mediterranean type tan and dark eyes that flitted and sparkled. Man, was I smitten.

I don’t guess anyone woulda believed I could wind up going out with her except me. I felt like Charlie Brown who somehow convinced the little red-haired girl to go to the prom.

Later I learned that she thought I was okay because I was into the arts. I played guitar and sang all sorts of lousy love songs to her.  She married me anyway; I wasn’t much of a singer. She found out I could draw, and was always after me to paint. We’d go to the beach, and I’d render seascapes and still-life pieces. She asked me to paint her picture. As an exercise I tried to imagine in my mind’s eye what she would have looked like as a little girl. She loved the result.

She held it up to the light. The rays bounced off her hair just like the sun would at the lake. “Honey, this is great. It’s very close.” She went to the den and found some old black and white photos from the 50s. I had to admit it wasn’t far off.

I never kissed another woman after the day I met my wife.  I worked way too hard as a young man, but what time off we had was spent floating around in inner tubes or playing music together. We had two fine children. Sure, we had some rough spots but I’d rather fight with her than love anyone else. We are now near old age, and have always had each other’s loyalty.

Every time I see my daughter it reminds me of my wife from years ago. The auburn hair, the dark eyes; spooky similar. One day when she was a young teenager she was tidying up a closet and found an old oil painting. She clutched the painting and ran my way. “Daddy, Daddy. When did you paint this picture of me?”

I broke into tears. It was the painting of how I imagined my wife might have looked as a child I’d done years ago. It was an almost perfect likeness of my little daughter.

“Why are you crying, Daddy?”

“Oh nothing, sweetie. I think my contact is messed up. Hm. Maybe it’s just the gleam in my eye.”

“Whatcha mean, Dad?”

“I’m just so pleased you like it, that’s all.”

She hung the picture in her room, and would take all friends to see the picture her Daddy painted of her. It was years before we told her the story. It was of my wife, but then again it was of my daughter too, so we didn’t feel like we were fibbing too much.

I visited my daughter the other day. She’s an adult now. She has her own home, and the oil painting still hangs in her room. “This is the picture my Daddy painted of me,” I heard her tell a friend.

I went outside, sat on her porch, and contemplated my good fortune. God send me two beautiful women in my life. The circle is indeed unbroken.

Dr. B

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It’s one of my worst nightmares.  It’s hard to type this next sentence, but I will try my best.

Here goes…..

I think I’ve hit a writing slump. These can happen at any time during the writing process. I guess I’ve went through quite a few since I graduated college.  How long do they last? Well, that depends. Some only last for a couple of days. The one I’m suffering through right now has been going on for a few weeks. 😦

What causes them? A variety of things. Usually, it’s those constant plague of negative thoughts that invade my head. I start thinking about the things that shouldn’t be thought about at that time. Certain stresses in my every day life, family problems, financial issues are just a few things that are brought to mind. I know that I should just leave them at the door when I write, but sometimes, it’s hard to let them go.

Then, there are the critics.  My top critic would have to be my step-dad who thinks he knows pretty much everything.  Suffice to say, he hasn’t been a great supporter in my life and doesn’t go out of his way to make me feel like I am either.  I’ve dealt with it, but it would be nice to hear him say that he believes in me, even though this isn’t what he thinks I should do. I know he feels writing is a complete waste of time. I could be taking this extra time to landing a decent paying job. What I always tell him is that there aren’t any decent paying jobs around here right now. There are hardly any jobs at all.

So, when I do finally sit down at my computer and open up my W.I.P, I find myself staring at the cursor blink over and over again. Blink, blink, blink. It’s like if I’m trying to convince myself that if I stare at the screen long enough, words will miraculously appear in front of me. It never happens. Maybe I am just stressing out over what’s to happen once I finish. How am I going to get it published? What if nobody likes it? What will be my next novel? All these questions are taking up valuable time here. I’m only a few chapters in when I know I have a lot to go.

I can only hope my slump will go away soon immediately. I’m eager to get this out into the world so people can read it and enjoy it.

Something I need to remember:

“When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One days work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.”

John Steinbeck

Maybe I should put that on a post-it note and put it right in front of my computer. It’s words to live by for a writer.

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Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul

A few weeks ago, I mentioned I was emptying a box from college and found my treasured book of Dr. Seuss stories. Of course, this made me happy not only because that book was quite expensive, but also because even at 26, he’s still one of my writing idols. Well, along with that book, I also found my copy of Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.

Most of us are familiar with the Chicken Soup book series. They have been published for years now. You’ve got one for the Mom’s, the teenagers, grandparents, couples. You name it, they probably have a book of inspiration for it. This book was given to me a few years ago as a gift by one of my dear friends. He gave it to me the weekend before I was to leave the college we both were attending. I was transferring to another college, so my friends there decided to throw me a “farewell party”. Derek knew how much writing meant to me, and by giving me this book, it was his way of saying “Don’t give up.”

In the book, you have your usual sappy inspirational stories, but hey, sometimes you need that to get you going. At least, I do. There are days when I need a good cry to set the creative juices flowing. The Writer’s book has stories of how to deal with rejection and how you should never give up even when all the odds are stacked against you. Sometimes, I do feel like that. There are many days when I doubt myself and I need the time to think about why I’m doing this.

Not all the stories are the ones that make you want to pull out a Kleenex. Some are entertaining and some are just laugh out loud funny. Some of these people are your average, every day people. They are teachers, cops, parents, grandparents, store clerks, etc. Even though they come from different backgrounds, they all have one thing in common: the passion for writing. They want to help inspire other writers to not be afraid to go for what they want to do.

Inspiring others has always been a great thing for me. It has been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I’ve always been told to accomplish my dreams. My mom had to sacrifice a lot so I could have that opportunity. I’m not going to let her down. Accomplishing my dream will be like my gift to her for everything she has done for me.

One of my favorite quotes in the book comes from novelist, Erica Jong:

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.

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