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Month: March 2019

Adventure awaits

After taking a deep breath, Mrs. Mallard opened the door to her sister’s welcoming arms. As they went down the stairs, Louise looked in awe of the new life that awaited right in front of her. Although she felt saddened by the death of her husband, the life they lived was not one of love or adventure as she longed for. The funeral was full of friends and family giving their regards and sympathies, as Mr. Mallard was laid in the ground, she began to to cry. Cry for the man she wished he was, cry for the man he was and cry for the years with him that were lost.

Weeks after the funeral, Louise and her sister Josephine took a trip to the south. They saw many splendid places and experienced the finest foods. ” Louise, are you ready to get back home and put your life back together? Louise, you do realize you’re going to have to find a new husband, someone to care for you, look out for you? Of course you won’t be able to take care of yourself, not with your heart trouble”. Louise pondered a moment, thinking about what it would feel like going back to a life where everyone controlled her every move, where every moment was planned out and all hope for adventure was lost.

“Josephine, I’m afraid I’m not going to return home with you”. Josephine gasped and said “of course you have to return with me, don’t be so foolish, you can’t make it out here on your own”. Louise asked her sister kindly to please understand that this was something she just had to do. She knew it seemed to be an impossible thought at the time, but she was determined to find what she so desperately needed. As she walked Josephine to the train station, she held her sister tight and asked to please believe in her. Josephine reminded Louise that she could always come home if she needed to, please write and seek out a doctor for her heart condition right away. As they parted ways, Louise felt free to do as she pleased for the first time.

Louise purchased a lovely country home with a few acres of land with the money she received from her husband’s passing. Louise soon added chickens, goats and a few cows. Becoming more accustomed to her lifestyle out in the country, she built a wonderful garden of vegetables and herbs. Louise began selling her produce and was eventually able to buy a bull to bred her cows.


After a long day’s work, Louise sat on her porch in her rocking chair and admired all that she had accomplished. She was content, her heart filled with love, for she was finally living the life she had always wanted. Louise wrote her sister weekly and Josephine couldn’t be happier for her sister’s success but always reminding her that she could come home whenever she needed to. Josephine wrote and said she’d love to come for a visit. The sisters worked out a date and Josephine made the trip the following year for Christmas.

Years down the road, a butcher who had admired Louise from afar asked her one day if he could court her? She was happy to say yes. For she had also admired this man. Months and many dates later, they became wife and husband. Together they worked the farm, while maintaining the butcher shop. Every night they shared their dinner, he held her hand as they took walks and he kissed her every morning when they awoke. Louise finally knew the love she had always longed for and it was not of imagination. She had true happiness.

This short story was inspired by “A Story of an Hour” written by Kate Chopin. Again, this is my own personal ending to the story. The one I felt Mrs. Mallard was desperate for. It makes my heart happy to write a beautiful ending.

Thank you for reading!

What Never Was

 
Below, is the poem I wrote inspired by "Mrs. Dalloway" written by Virginia Woolf.
This was my own personal take on the book and what I felt she longed for,
the life she longed for.

As I walk the streets of Westminster,
Many of faces I see.
As I walk the streets of Westminster,
How many really see me?
Ideas fade to thoughts,
Thoughts fade to wishes.

Dreaming each day of the sun on my face,
Thinking to myself, how many memories I could replace.
I imagined a life without you,
Far too great a thought.
I imagined a life without you,
For it is I, that you have caught.

Making my presence known,
For you I wish I could do.
What a lovely thought,
Envisioning us under the moon.
My life looks ideal,
To those on the outside.
If only they knew,
How it feels on the inside.

Moments of joy shared between two,
What a shame,
You don't see them as I do.
I never knew life until the moments I spent with you,
Can we go back to who we were?
Or am I alone in this too?

My journey is one of excitement,
Others wish to be.
The woman I portray,
The woman I wish to be.
This might not ever reach you,
You might not wish to be found.
But I hope in the end it will teach you,
A lesson learned through sound.

A heart beat reacts to the kindness in a voice,
Maybe it was for me,
That I was unable to make that choice.

The life I dreamt of living,
Will be one of my last.
It's amazing how the heart does,
To feel, what never was.



Thank you for reading!





Now That Everyone Knows

It’s all so puzzling, she said. What is? Said the man accompanying her. Life is, she said. The decision one can make that can impact their whole life and also the life of others. Why do you say that? Said the man. I am speaking of tragedy, loss and having to go without, she says. Why are you bringing this up all of the sudden? Says the man. He said, have you been hurt? She looks at him as though all air had been taken out of her, she cannot breathe. She says, I have had to live my life up until now without you, because of a decision you made and you ask me have I been hurt?

The look on the man’s face was as if someone had punched him right in the stomach. He blew it off and said, but I am here now. The woman stood there, in shock, thinking to herself, is this it? This is what I have waited for, for 27 years? She looked at him and said, you have kept my life a secret for 27 years and now you come here and say I have finally told everyone, you can come out of your hiding spot. Am I supposed to welcome everyone with open arms as they stare and judge? The family she had wanted to know and be a part of. Although she had wanted this all of her life, now that it was here, she had no idea what to do with all of it?

She said, what now? How do I forget all of the rejection, the hurt, the feeling of not being worthy? He looked at her and said, please do this, because I am finally ready to be your father, now that everyone knows.

As promised, above is one of the short stories I wrote inspired by “Hills Like White Elephants” written by Ernest Hemingway. I hold this story close to me. Staying true to myself, I write with my heart.

Thank you for reading!

Here it goes

It’s 3:21 in the morning and I am sitting here writing to myself, at least that’s what it feels like. As of right now, anyone out there who could possibly ever read this seems imaginary to me. As I write, listening to Mumford and Sons, Lumineers and the wonderful sounds of my kids (dogs, Bella and Bruno) snoring, the thing that sticks out most in my mind at this very moment is how the most unexpected moments lead to the most beautiful outcomes. I can say this about many situations and opportunities in my life. Like falling in love, a niece and nephew creating an awesome title (Aunt), getting accepted into college and the steps it took to get there, no matter how many tries. The relationship of a mother and daughter growing together through love, patience, forgiveness, respect and understanding.

Funny little things you would never think could connect one to the other. I have always been a writer, but it wasn’t until 2014 that I brought it back again, awakening a passion that stirred deep within me. Writing is my therapy after all, even if no one ever sees it but me. It was multiple english classes with a professor who I don’t think even realized how amazing she was and is that inspired me to write again. She introduced authors and poets I’d never read before. She gave assignments that allowed creativity to blossom. For a few of them, I could either write a short story with my own personal touch and ending in their style or a poem giving my viewpoint as to what the story was trying to say. I chose both with different authors, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for the poem, allowing me to create my own take on the story. The poem was called What Never Was. For the short stories I chose Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway and The story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. For Hills like White Elephants I chose to write a very personal story in the style of Ernest Hemingway called, Now that Everyone Knows. For The Story of an Hour, I wrote a different ending, allowing the character, Louise Mallard to live a life she was desperate for. I will share these at some point.

My point to this is, it revitized me. When I graduated from Penn State in 2016, I immediately applied to Youngstown State University for their Creative Writing Masters Program. As a non traditional student, having been 28 when I enrolled at Penn State, I assumed making the honor roll every semester, being the student speaker at graduation and submitting my awesome poetry would be enough to get me into the program, wrong. I was not accepted into the program pretty quickly. The reason given, no one writes in rhyming fashion anymore. So basically, I did not fit into the box they had molded and shaped for aspiring writers. I will tell you, this lit a fire under my ass like no other. That was January 2017 and I have been a writing fool ever since. That rejection only fueled that much more writing, especially my style of writing because truthfully, who are they?

This brings us to now. It was a song written by Mumford and Sons called, Hopeless Wanderer that inspired my writing name. Listening to the song on repeat, daily, monthly, yearly. The Wandering Soul Writer was born. I chose this name for the Title of my first self published book. This book contains every poem I had written in the year 2018, 124 poems. The rejection taught me that not everybody will dig what you have to say and that is okay. You’re not writing for them, you are writing for you. You have something to say. I recently read, Girl Wash your Face, by Rachel Hollis. A huge thank you to mom, for putting this book into my hands. After reading, I was absolutely motivated, of course, the book is great! I started this whole blogging notion 2 years ago but found I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t really in it. Thankfully, reaching my own breaking point of just say it already, I decided to create a real website. One I actually had to pay for. So here it is, writing to all of you wonderful imaginary people.

I’m almost done with this story, I promise. So coincidentally, the exact same week I decided to really do this, my sister-in-law (who is actually not my sister -in-law) long story for another day, but we’re a big part of each other’s lives, like sisters, called me up on a Tuesday and said, what are you doing Thursday night? Drawing a blank (due to my full time job filling my brain), but knew I had designated Thursday night for working on this exact blog and attempting to teach myself from scratch what a domain name was, how to research hosting sites and how to link both (which was not easy, let me tell you!) I said, uh I’m not sure, what’s up? She said, do you want to go see Mumford and Sons? The exact thought that popped in my head was, do we all want to breathe? Umm yes, yes I absolutely want to go! After ensuring that the love of my life was unable to get off work to go, my “sister” and I made the official plans.

What I am trying to tell anyone who is willing to read and listen is this, I put it out there! I was inspired by Mumford and Sons to create this awesome website name, two years prior and the week I decided to put it out into this magnificent Universe is the exact same week I received the call to go see live, the band that inspired me. Let me tell you, this was the most amazing, interactive, passionate show I have ever been to. I’ve been to a lot of shows, hands down best ever! Life is what you make it folks. If you really think about it, we truly create the life we desire. Our choices lead us to what seems like, at the time, the most unachievable outcomes, but here we are and here I am. I look forward to this journey and what will come of it. Thank you for reading!

Totem

She never leaves me, my soul, my thoughts, she’s eternally there. What she did for me, words can’t express, but I will try. These recollections are with me daily, so fresh in my mind, every single memory with her. I wouldn’t have this story, or the memories to share if it weren’t for my mom. I was ten years old, and she followed her dreams. She packed us up in a u-haul, and we drove to South Dakota with our car hitched to the back. I will forever be grateful to her for instilling in me the passion to dream, to follow your intuition, and to appreciate every lesson learned.

I’ll never forget the day we pulled up in front of our new home. As I got out of the u-haul, I was surrounded by trees, trees, and more trees. Little did I know at the time how my imagination would relish living in the woods. Our new home was the most beautiful octagon shaped cabin I had ever seen. I could go on, and on but that is a story for a different day. We were now living in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and what a sight it was.

I cannot recall how long we had been living there before I had met her. What I can tell you is that I knew she was my kindred spirit, and we were inseparable the moment we met. Her name was Totem. She was a Husky, Wolf mix, full of life, and energy. Together, we made the perfect pair. Totem lived behind me, and to this day I could describe to you the details of the wooded path I walked countless times to see her. Before I could see her, I would hear her. First I’d hear her yelp with excitement, I think she might have been saying “my friend is here”. Then I could hear her running towards me, and if you could have seen the looks on both of our faces, priceless. Sometimes she’d knock me down when greeting me, and I’d laugh and hug her so tight. Other times we just knew an adventure was ahead of us, and we had to get started immediately.

There was an understanding between her and I that needed no words. A bond so intense that we cried for each other when we weren’t together. Like most kids, I hated being grounded. For some reason, I had a really hard time getting home before dark. My mom understood my love for Totem, the woods, and the outdoor adventures, but that didn’t take away her concern for my safety. Hence the reason I was grounded, most of the time. After school, I couldn’t wait to get home to Totem. We’d go off in the woods for hours at a time. While out there, she was my protector. She watched over me, my steps, and any other animals that might be lurking in the shadows. We would build foundations for little cabins we’d never finish. Climbed mountain after mountain, every time hoping to discover something new and exciting. Together we would find our way home. Oh, and the amount of mud we played in. We definitely paid for it when we got home to our adults, who were not so pleased with us. But between you and I, I think they laughed when we weren’t looking at our love for life.

When summertime came around, I was on break from school, and there was no stopping us. The adventures of Totem and Dani continued. Until one day, Totem was following another dog named Toby that lived in our area. Toby was a little rambunctious, and kept on a tight leash most of the time, but not this day. Before I knew it, I was running down to the main road where I was told Totem was after being hit by a car. My heart sank to my feet when I saw her lying there. She was crying, and it destroyed me seeing her in pain. After returning home from the vet hospital, I was told that Totem’s hind leg was broken, and that she must stay off of it as much as possible for quite some time. Since it was summer, and Totem’s adults still had to work, and my mom being the wonderful person she is, I spent every waking moment with her. We watched movies like “The Bear” while laying on a huge bean bag. Moe “Totem’s cat brother” would walk by and plop down next to us from time to time. I can’t tell you how many afternoons we spent laying in the shade underneath the Bronco eating treats, taking naps, and talking. Before we knew it summer was over, and Totem’s follow up appointment at the vet went better then we ever imagined it would. We were told her wound had healed completely. Even the vet was surprised by her quick recovery.

Totem and I had more adventures together before we moved to Rapid City. I saw her a few times after, and our hearts were mended for those moments. It has been almost 23 years since I saw her, and I miss her more each day. My words simply won’t do her or our memories justice. Looking back now, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. To this very day, I still have dreams about her. Dreams that appear so real. I’m back at our old cabin, walking the wooded path towards her home, and she comes running out to me. We fall over embracing each other, both feeling a sense of completeness. I wake from these dreams crying each time. They feel so real. I miss her doesn’t seem to cover it. She was me, and I was her. Totem, my kindred spirit lives within me, guiding me. She reminds me to stay wild, and wandering just as we were, years ago.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!