Showing posts from June, 2012

Happy Accidents, Beneficial Mistakes, or Mistakes That Aren't

Sometimes in life what appears to be a mistake turns out not to be. I was reminded of this when the proof, a review copy, of my new collection of poetry, Memory in Silhouette, arrived the other day. My first reaction was "Damn! The front isn't what I submitted. Now I'll have to fix it."

So I opened the file and noticed it was my error... well, not entirely my error. Someone else helped me with a problem I was having, and that someone else adjusted the margins for the photo. I never fixed it, so it was a combination of two people making errors.

I left the room to get a cup of hot tea, and when I came back I noticed the book lying on my desk almost like I hadn't seen it before. I thought. "Wow! That actually might look better than the original..."

I fixed the file on my computer and saved it but didn't upload it. I kept going back to the "mistake" cover. The more I looked at it, the better I liked it. It had a dreaminess... It almost seemed…

My Journey Through and To Memory

Sometimes memories are curses. I've been working on a book of poetry, Memory in Silhouette (release date to be announced soon), for the past few months. I hadn't planned on doing a book of poetry surrounding memories or the idea of what memory represents, but all these poems about memories and the effect my memories were having on me poured out of me. As I looked back over my unpublished work I began to realize I had enough to compile a book, so my planned book Life in Silhouette (a title I never particularly liked. It felt like a cop-out.) started to change before my eyes. It grew more focused on memory. And, as the focus shifted, I was reminded of the importance of letting things develop without pushing too hard.

Plans changed. This book started to take shape. This collection scared me. This collection felt raw. My last two collections, Love in Silhouette: Poems and Reflections in Silhouette: Poems contained some new poems, but they also contained some poems that were qui…

Embracing My Potential: Lessons from Eastern Kentucky University

Recently, I spent a few hours on the campus of my alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University. I walked familiar paths and sat on familiar benches. I stood outside the buildings where I first realized I could be a person who wasn't defined by other people. I was me, just me for better or worse. No one cared who my parents were, who my grandparents were, who my aunts and uncles were, who my sister was, or who my friends were.People judged me on my actions, behavior, and attitude.

We talked about our upbringings, but no one really cared all that much. I made friends with people based on who I was. I started to realize people liked me just as I was, and those who didn't just left. Not everyone liked me or would like me, and I was okay with that because I didn't like everyone I met either. I experimented with the kinds of people I invited into my life.

As I walked around campus, I remembered old friends, former loves, and even a few out and out enemies. Yes, there were people who …

Simple Pleasures

We do the big things seeking pleasure. We travel near and far to see things we've never seen only to realize they look like a dozen other places we've been. We plan outings to events looking for a thrill only to realize that even those outings begin to feel routine. We seek adventure to fill the empty spots in our lives. We risk our lives to feel exhilerated. We run from relationship to relationship searching for the high of new love that dies as the relationship progresses. We reach for the unachievable to keep ourselves motivated.
In the process, we forget the simple pleasures in life. We forget the joy of walking in nature or sitting by a body of water. We forget the satisfaction of sipping a cup of tea or enjoying an ice cream in a cone. We forget the smiles evoked by chatting with a caring friend or meeting someone new. We forget to enjoy the person sitting next to us while we dream about the perfect person we have yet to meet or that we left behind. We forget that joy d…