Posts

Forgotten Influences

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Recently, while making my annual donation to a scholarship fund in honor of the scholarship I received that allowed me to attend Eastern Kentucky University, The Dr. James W. Fox Student Research Award jumped out at me. I didn't remember seeing it on the list before. I wondered if it was a fund honoring my former adviser and professor, Dr. James Fox. I did a quick Google search. I found his obituary which included a request for people to donate to the award fund in lieu of flowers. As I read about his 2008 death, I felt a tear slide down my cheek and a sense of sadness combined with gratitude and joy well up in my heart. I smiled. 

My instructors, particularly my Corrections instructors, were an interesting group of people, but Dr. Fox was a special man. His obituary refers to his dedication to "his calling as an educator" and the way he "inspired commitment in his students." I can attest to both. Part of the way he inspired that commitment was by modeling it in…

Hiatus from Facebook

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A few weeks ago I decided to take a week off from Facebook to concentrate on getting my taxes done and make some progress on a couple of other projects. Once the taxes were filed, I hovered my finger over the little icon on my phone to open the Facebook app, but I couldn't do it. I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety, so I decided to give it another few days which turned into another full week. At the end of that week, I still wasn't ready to reengage.

So here I am three weeks later and I still haven't logged on, not looked at my newsfeed, not checked in on my friends' activities, and I'm still not quite ready to log back on.

I've posted a few things I could post without actually logging on, so I haven't been completely disengaged; however, I haven't wasted time scrolling through a bunch of posts filled with half-truths and biased half-informed, or worse uninformed, opinions. I haven't been disappointed by learning someone I once respected is more i…

Favorites.... Shmavorites....

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A few years ago I bought Creative Knowing: 50 Self-Reflection Questions for Women by Christina Katz, a digital book filled with exercises for getting in touch with one's creativity because I thought it might be nice to use as writing prompts when I felt uninspired or had a lull in my writing. I recently printed Creative Knowing to use as short daily writing exercises while I'm editing my forthcoming book, The Gift of Gratitude: Lessons in Life, Love, and Loss. I find that sometimes when I'm editing a book, it helps if I have some type of shortdaily writing activity even if I'm writing something that I'll never publish like the exercises in Creative Knowing.

As I started working through the questions, I kept coming up against one of those things I don't do well with... Favorites. It sounds like such a simple question regardless of what it refers to...
What is your favorite color?What is your favorite book?Who is your favorite actor?Who is your favorite singer?What…

Decluttering... Yet Again

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For the last six weeks or so, I've been watching a slew of YouTube videos about minimalism and decluttering for inspiration. I know how to declutter. I even know how to keep clutter from accumulating, but... Knowing and practicing are two different things.

Today, as I was looking through some previous blog posts I've written, I came across this one, The Complications of Simplicity from 2012. That was probably the last time I did a major purge to declutter the house. It started with my office and moved outward. Since then I've done smaller purges of areas of the house, but I haven't done a major purge. Yet, as I read the blog post, I realized I still have some of those same feelings about how things have accumulated again. I also realized I only recently, like less than a month ago, finished the shredding that I mentioned in that post. Shredding the last sheet of paper from that box felt like such a liberation even though I knew that part of the reason I hadn't finis…

Suspension of Disbelief...

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"...I felt that what I wanted that scene to say to the reader was more important than its surface reality or plausibility." - Richard Wright, transcript of How Bigger Thomas Was Born included in the book, Native Son.

When I read the above line in Richard Wright's essay/speech about how he created Bigger Thomas as the main character of Native son, I stopped. I stared. I read it again... Again... Again... Then I  read it  out loud, once, twice, thrice.

There's an element in fiction where what's happening must stand a test of whether or not the reader can suspend their disbelief in order to be included; however, I've come to realize this suspension of disbelief depends on many things including the reader's own life experience, or lack thereof. It's easier to get someone who has no experience in a field to believe something because they don't have the background to question it with authority.

But we often do this... We often suspend our disbelief so we c…

Goodreads Giveaway - Memory in Silhouette

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I'm giving away 10 copies of my book of poetry, Memory in Silhouette on Goodreads. Enter by January 11, 2018 to win 1 of 10 copies.


Goodreads Book Giveaway Memory in Silhouette by T.L. Cooper Giveaway ends January 11, 2018.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway

Shame: An Old Foe Still in the Shadows

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Shame... Shame on you... Shame on me... You have no shame... Shame... Sighs!

I am not ashamed of who I am or my life experiences. I am not ashamed...

And, yet, there have been far too many moments of my life lived in shame, lived in the shame of someone else's perception of my existence and my experiences. We all have. We wear shame like a prism of everything we've done wrong shrinking us into our smallest selves and projecting reasons to not be loved into the world.

I recently read I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't): Making the Journey from "What Will People Think?" to "I Am Enough" by Brené Brown (read my review). When I started it, I had no intention of doing the exercises; however, I quickly changed my mind. As I read I realized that to have the full experience, to truly understand the book, I needed to do the exercises. Still, to be honest, I didn't
expect to get much out of it... 

After all, I'd already done this work... I was sure of it.…