Friday, August 13, 2010


As I continued makeover work on the master bedroom, a old feeling penetrated its way into my subconscious. Like buried thoughts and messy memories cluttering my mind, the room had also been neglected over time and other projects.

Instead of feeling the usual enthusiasm and inspiration, I felt...


Snubbed...ignored...minimized. Little words that can invoke powerful feelings.

Growing up a military brat, it was a feeling I was all too familiar with. It wasn't until high school that I felt like I belonged. I was 15 when I discovered I could move people with words.  I had been writing as long as I could remember but it was a high school creative writing teacher who read my words out loud. It seems funny to me, and almost a little bit precious, when I remember those first weeks of having my secret exposed. She was a tough educator and I was a broken child. Writing wasn't something to be embarrassed about, it was a gift to be cherished.

Finding my place in the writing world gave me the time to discover intelligence and wit. Two attributes I was going to need during some very tough years. Like those who can decorate without a second thought, I can paint a picture with words alone.

As I started the final coat of paint on the dresser, I thought about how much time I put into each and every posting. I wondered if those who beautify see an empty room the way I see a blank piece of paper. It occurred to me that a makeover of a piece of furniture and a makeover of a paragraph are more similar than they are different. Each of us strives to find perfection.

Varying items and varying topics, staying with the familiar, as well as the interesting.

Trying to stay original, I look for new and different things for my stories and my home.

The words can come as easily as the drapes that were given to me by a neighbor.  Yet other times, it winds up costing me more than I expected to having to add sheers from the dollar store to complete my window dressing.

Although decorating is fun to me, it does not come naturally. So I try to read other blogs faithfully everyday. I am always looking for ideas and opinions from those whose style I admire.  

Reviewing and learning, I had hoped to gain the easy camaraderie that flows between those with so much talent. It saddened and frustrated me when I realized this hurdle remains stubbornly in place.

Writers are mostly a solitary bunch, living inside their minds and a wall of unwelcome shyness. The simple act of asking for an idea or opinion always gives me hesitation. It is not done easily nor without moments of second guessing myself. How much of my darker side will appear and will they dismiss when they realize that light and breezy is a look I'm trying to achieve through eyes that view the world as a not-so-friendly place? A heart that never quite recovered and a restless soul that longs for safety.
Finishing the dresser and thoughtfully trying to add just the right pieces on the dresser, that old feeling begins  to recede. I look at the results and smile -- making over a room can make over your mood. 

Reminding myself that I write for me and I write for my friend, I pick up the phone to let her know the new posting is going up.  As I hang up the phone and nudge the dresser back into place, I smile at her enthusiasm and delight.  I think of the second sentence in the serenity prayer and nod at its undeniable wisdom.  I make a mental note to ignore things I cannot control and look over at a blank computer screen next to an unmade bed.  There's always a new thought to write and a bed that might need a makeover. Thanks goodness for decorators...and writers.   We are not so different after all. 

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.