Meeting Our Soul Mates Through Words: and Other Adventures In Blogging

“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,” Mark Twain’s famous quote, might apply to my absence from all things writing. I’ve been digging deep, and working on stuff. But writing always finds me… and pulls me back from the edge. And so I’m back, with words about other people.

There are so many things that bring us together in life. We meet friends in school, through parenting, jobs, clubs and shared activities. In today’s hyper linked-in world, we can and do meet many people on-line, who we might never spend time with face to face. And yet, we connect.

Blogging has expanded my world in ways that I never anticipated, when I started blogging almost 6 years ago. I have discovered millions of words that move and shake me, make me laugh, make me think, sometimes push my buttons, and very few have hurt me. I’ve met people who I feel like I know, and people I’m glad I got a glimpse of. There is no doubt, my life has been changed by my blogging life. Some of you have become people who truly inspire me, or lift me when I’m treading water, or who just pique my curiosity and interest on a regular basis.

But it is rare and precious when that connection that is elevated by real human contact, and I feel infinitely grateful for having had that with some of my blogging buddies. I have made an effort to meet people in person, whenever possible. If we’ve connected on line, and one of us is going to be in the other’s area, I hope we can meet. If it weren’t for BlogHer, I might not have met Emily, Julie, Katrina, Kelly, James, Samara, Julie, Amy, and Tonya. At those intensive weekends, a few friendly faces made all the difference. Meeting Arianna Huffington, even briefly, opened doors that I couldn’t imagine at the time. And getting to chat for a minute with The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, was icing on the BlogHer cake!! Reading her blog regularly is great, but she is a true gem in person! I feel so fortunate to have spent time with these wonderful writers, and to have made connections with some of them, that has gone beyond leaving comments or reading each others’ work.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ironically, I met Lish at my dentist’s office, many years ago. But I had only just started blogging and didn’t know what write-outs and a writing community would eventually mean to me. She moved on, and we re-connected on blogging friend Rochelle’s weekly flash fiction site–– Friday Fictioneers –– where I fell in love with Lish’s sharp writing and vivid characters. Recently, she agreed to join the small writing group I’m in, and I now get the benefits of expanding our connection with delicious appetizers and great writing, twice a month. When blogging friend Mike settled down locally, for a short time, we were able to share a few lunch dates. Now he’s exploring new places, and I get to follow his adventures on line again. Meagan and I met at a writer’s conference. A year or two later, I took a leap of faith and went to spend a weekend at her place. Not only was she not a psycho killer, but her beautiful world of great writing friends, the coolest place I’ve ever gone to write-out, sweet moments with her incredible girl, and chickens, taught me to really trust my gut and be open to those special opportunities. It made it easier to leap bigger and visit Jennie, while I was visiting family and friends in North Carolina. She wooed me with humor, thoughtful conversation, and a super cool bar, behind a hidden wall. While I miss her words, since she’s pulled back from blogging, it’s made the journey of watching her become a mother, that much more meaningful. Lisa has become a friend who I stay in touch with, and look forward to seeing whenever I’m in NYC. We share so much in common: age, kids and life experiences, that it’s always sweet when we connect. Melissa welcomed me to Portland, and to an afternoon with her gorgeous boy. Björn and his wife, took my son and me to lunch, in Stockholm, and made us feel right at home, with fresh local strawberries, tales of life in Sweden and lots of laughs. Tak!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I feel lucky that I’ve had so many wonderful people come in and out of my life, through writing. The people who take the time to comment–– some of them over and over, who have reached out, and have become cyber friends, are people I care deeply about, though we have never met in person. Heather, Audra, Carrie, Susan, Brenda, Louise, Honie, and others, not only write gorgeous words, but have more often than they know, said just the right words, at just the right time. They have consistently supported me and inspired me, through their meaningful work, and their kindnesses too many to name. Lucky, is probably too simple a word.

Marian put in countless hours reading my work and helping edit chapters. I put in as as much time editing her wonderful books, as she figured out whodunnit. In our group, we shared important and personal things, and we will always know each other, through the words and deeds we shared. She became a good friend, who holds a special place in my heart. While we’re not in a writing group together anymore, I still catch myself wondering: “What would Marian say?”

Add to this already incredible list of connections, the fact that I’ve had countless wonderful readers respond to my work on Huffington Post, and Tales From the Motherland. Some of these people are not writers, they come to read. There’s the young man who has been chatting with me for weeks, about travel to Israel. He read one of my HuffPo articles on travel in Israel, and reached out on my TFTM Facebook page . His enthusiasm for my insights, and genuine passion for travel and life, is infectious. We have never met, but for a few weeks, I carried him around in my thoughts: Oh, I know a great youth hostel… I never take a comment for granted; the connection is there, as soon as I read. There are folks who have commented on many of my pieces, who I have had no other contact with, but their encouragement and feedback fills me.

Blogging is a strange and magical thing. It’s easy sometimes to feel that you are putting yourself out there, and you don’t always know if it matters. I’m a bleeding heart in real life, and I bleed on the page–– each time I put something out. The fact that so many wonderful people have read my words and supported me in writing them, is something I feel grateful for on a regular basis. There are days when it truly sustains me, in ways that are so deep and so meaningful, that I am overcome with gratitude and love.

If you follow the links above (which took me ages to add), you can check out some of these wonderful people. You can connect with them through their writing, and their words, and through the magic of this platform.The links here are to folks who have reached out over and over, or who I have shared some special time with. I know I’ve missed people. If you know me, you know I will sincerely feel sorry for that, as the names come to me. I will chew on guilt, and wish I’d done better. I bleed a lot. But, know that if we’ve connected, I hold that with me all of the time… not just when I type out words. Know that these connections are special.

In the next few posts I will expand on this, by sharing some special meetings that have impacted me in the most meaningful ways. Jen, Jenny, Sarah and Cathy. These four women have changed how I see the world, and been there for me, in ways that are hard to explain. So, I will try… one post at a time. Go check out their words, and in the case of Cathy, her photography. Then, watch for more, as I share these connections with you. Tonight, I am lucky to be in Denver, visiting my son, and so I get to have dinner with Cathy–– and we will connect, and fill up on all that magic, that comes from reaching out and finding our people. Lucky, is indeed too small a word.

*     *     *

GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Dear Mother…

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the women who have touched me life. We mother each other in so many ways, beyond giving birth. I’m grateful for the gifts you have given me. Above all, I’m grateful for the chance to have mothered the three children who call me Mom. This year, I can add Mima to that list, as my grandson is the newest light in my life. A chance to smell that sweet sleeping baby smell again… and watch a little boy grow.

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

Dear young mother at the park,

Today I watched you stand by the bay, holding your baby boy, and I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. I’m not a stalker; I’m an aging mother, and seeing you there, touched me. The sun was shining, the breeze making the waves kick up the water. Your little boy, a year and a half? Maybe two? Your boy slept with his chubby arms wrapped around your neck, his head nestled against your chest, his face in your neck. Oh my God, how my heart skipped a beat. His face looked like my little boys’, twenty-three years ago, eighteen years ago. I think it really did look like my boy–– but that happens more and more these days. It’s been a long time since a little boy held my neck and slept so contentedly.

You stood there for a long time, and I wondered…

View original post 422 more words

Posted in Honest observations on many things | 12 Comments

Friday Fictioneers: End Of The Diet

I’ve been hibernating. Injured back, too much on my plate, heavy stuff and too much rain… feeling bad that I haven’t been able to keep up with reading other stories… take your pick; I had to take a break. But oh, those photo prompts tease me! They sit in my inbox, urging me to come back and play. This week, Dale Rogerson’s photo won out. And so, here is my tale for the week. As always I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Thanks Kate for reading an oldie and testing that theory!

If you’d like to give Friday Fictioneers a try, check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog Addicted to Purple. She keeps runs this show flawlessly!

dale-rogerson-pizza

© Dale Rogersons

 

The End of Diets

 

“Fuck’m ifee cantake a joke,” she slurred.

A chill hit her shoulders, and she sank deeper into the warmth. A half slice of pizza dangled beside her glass of wine. She pushed it back from the edge with one wet toe, as remnants of her favorite dinner grew cold.

She rubbed tears, which had begun again.

“Thre’s not nuf moisturizer to make me that youngandthin agin.” Her voice grew thicker as the room spun in and out of focus.

The phone rang–– him, calling with more lies. She slipped beneath the scarlet water as it all faded away.

(98 words)

*     *     *

GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | 50 Comments

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep…

This is a hard day, and the irony of Facebook sends a chill up my spine. This morning, I heard the news that a friend from high school lost his daughter in a car accident two days ago. M. and I have not been close friends for years; we weren’t close friends in high school. I didn’t know his daughter. But M is an amazing person who just lost his child. He and I grew up in a very small, unique place, and this past fall when we all reunited, and hung out again, spending time with M. was a highlight. He’s an incredibly funny guy–– he was in high school, and he is still. M.’s also thoughtful, kind and loves his family. I know that, because we talked about our kids and spouses during a long, meaningful conversation that evening. The conversation and connection took me by surprise, but was one of the most lovely moments that weekend. We caught up on 35 years; it’s what you do at reunions–– but M.’s warmth and sweet character made that conversation extra special.

We talked about other things, but that is what haunts me today. M. loves his family, and two days ago it was shattered. Anyone who has known him, can’t imagine M. without a smile… until now. I imagine he’s feeling broken right now, and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that. This kind of loss is just as inconceivable and terrifying, as it was when I first wrote this pot. All day, the reality of it interrupted my other thoughts. All day, a piece of my heart was grieving… for M, for his family, for the the way the world just shifted, for his beautiful 19 year-old daughter that is gone, and for all the reasons I wrote this piece… exactly four years ago.

A lot’s happened since I wrote this post. All three of my kids have gone off to college, two have graduated, and one has her own baby now. That little boy is the light of my life, and now his fingers and toes, are as precious as those I’ve loved forever. I can no longer slip in and make sure my own babies are sleeping soundly. Most days, I don’t know what they’re doing, at any given moment. Two months ago, a friend lost her 27 year-old son, a boy who had graduated with my daughter. I was struck immobilized, unable to reach out and tell her how sorry I was–– shocked by the proximity of that tragedy. And today, I am shaken again.

A lot has changed in four years. But what hasn’t changed is that when I hear news like this, and I’m reminded that the boogey man is still out there, nothing has changed at all. It’s 12:30am and I can’t sleep. My head is full of the horrific news that a dear man, has lost his child. Facebook has an uncanny way of pointing out that life is not fair, and while it goes on, some days there is nothing you can do but count your blessings and hold someone else in your heart.

TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND

When my babies were small, and slept in their own beds. When my babies were small, and slept in their own beds.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. That’s not totally unusual. I’m a woman of a certain age— there are many things that keep me awake these days. However, last night it was the most horrible of thoughts, the darkest of the dark. Yesterday I read in our local paper that a vibrant young girl, who graduated from the high school that my kids have attended, was killed in a scooter accident overseas, over spring break this week. I knew the girl. Not well, but I knew her face, remembered her personality. She was a baby, just having started college— so much life ahead of her. She was doing something joyful and fun, with her sister and friends. She was having an adventure… All I could think, as I lay in bed last night, the dark pushing in around me, was…

View original post 580 more words

Posted in Honest observations on many things | 11 Comments

Friday Fictioneers: And Round We Go

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly flash fiction challenge, led by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Check out her blog for more details, or to join in. This week’s photo comes from Jennifer Pendergast. As always, I welcome honest, constructive feedback.

jennifer-pendergast5

© Jennifer Pendergast

 

And Around We Go

Joe and I never did anything in a straight line. From the day we met, we wore each other down, with our inability to do things traditionally. We were never on time for anything; never followed patterns our friends forged toward good careers and stability. Joe and I never minded the scramble that comes from free-falling.

It wasn’t a straight-line plan when we had baby Sam; we’d barely decided to live together! Timing isn’t our forté either, but he’s the best thing we’ve done.

Predictably, Joe didn’t use a straight line to seal the deal; a perfect gold ring did.

(Exactly 100 words)

*     *     *

GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

Friday Fictioneer: The Temple Divine

Friday Fictioneers is a weekly 100-word flash fiction challenge, with a photo prompt. This week’s wondrous photo comes from Shaktiki Sharma. For more information on how to participate, or to read the other great stories in the collection, check out Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog Addicted to Purple. She herds cats every week, and makes it look easy. As always I welcome honest, constructive feedback. Please leave a comment.

yellow-bug-shaktiki

© Shaktiki Sharma

 

The Temple Divine

“Close your eyes baby, and just breathe. Clear your mind.”

Anya sat still, her mother’s hands firmly on her shoulders. She inhaled slowly, deeply, then exhaled, trying not to think about the others.

“Now remember this: there’s all kinds of beauty, and no one is perfect. God created the deep blue ocean for one person’s heart, and a simple desert rock for another’s.”

Breathe in; breathe out.

“Every pattern–– every shade of color out there, makes someone’s heart sing. You need to look in this mirror, and see that your ebony is no less perfect than the deepest emerald green.”

(Exactly 100 words)

*     *     *

GIPYKAPOW!  I didn’t meet the 2016 goal for Likes on the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page; missed it by 14! So this year, I’m not setting a goal. I’m grateful for each Like I get. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (yes, for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2017  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

 

 

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

I Flinch

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Originally posted on The Huntington's Chronicles:
I’ve done a true disservice to this blog, to this topic, to readers, and to my own internal world, by avoiding writing about the realities of living with HD in our family. I…

Rate this:

Gallery | 8 Comments