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September 24, 2010


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Liz Fichera

So agree! When the visualization (through words) can move you to laughter, tears, etc., that's genius. And not easy to do.


It's rare for so few words to state so succinctly what he's feeling... Very nice!

Donna Cummings

Liz, you're exactly right -- it's not easy to do. But I hope I can somehow do that in my own writing. :)

Donna Cummings

Maureen, it was a really nice post -- I actually wanted to include some other lines he had, but I didn't want to spoil the joy of everyone else getting to experience it. :)

Terri Osburn

This is definitely what I strive to accomplish, "strive" being the key word. I'm not one of those writer about which anyone will ever rave about my prose, but I try. :)

I can't check out that blog because it will make me sappy for my daughter, who is growing up way too quickly for my comfort. She attended her first dance yesterday and loved it. It is the beginning of a new phase.

I'm not sure I'm ready.

Donna Cummings

Terri, I think the striving part is what's important, because it gets us closer to where we want to be with our writing. :) I suspect we'll always feel we haven't quite hit the mark we're aiming for.

I can see where you wouldn't be ready for your daughter's new phase. It goes so fast. My nephews are in their 30s now and I asked my sister, "How did they get to be OUR age?" LOL

Terri Osburn

Wow, I really messed up that comment. LOL! That should be "I'm not a writer about whom anyone will say 'That's beautiful prose.'" And I think I just proved it. LOL!

I was 17 when my little brother was born and now he's old enough to drink. Legally. LOL! When did that happen?!

Donna Cummings

Terri, I thought your prose was fine!

And that's too funny about your little brother. Even funnier, I bet he (and my nephews) think of US as old. LOL Which we're NOT!


I meant to comment this morning but ran out of time. It's ironic perhaps that at the exact time I'm reading this post (kind of my morning routine to visit a few blogs) my son came in the room trying to get my attention and I distractedly say "just a minute." I followed it up with "and why aren't you watching for the bus?" Then I get the beauty of the message. I kind of blink and look at my son. He's got one of his drawings to show me from a couple of years ago when he was six. "Remember when I did this, mommy?" he asks. "You really liked this one didn't you?" It's framed actually and he had to take it off the wall to show me. Yeah, I do love it. It's a colorful fish he made with what I think is an incredible eye for patterns. So anyway, I don't know why he had to talk about it now, that's just the way it comes on a routine day. :) But today, how could I not enjoy a moment of being wanted and to show I wanted his company too? The bus came and went. It didn't hurt for me to drive him to school. So thanks for a broken pattern day. :)

Donna Cummings

Melissa, that other post gave me a lump in my throat, but your comment made me CRY (in a good way!) That was too wonderful. (I'm still sniffling as I write this.)

Thanks for sharing that. I'm glad I was somehow part of your "broken pattern" day. We all need more of those, don't we? Sometimes our "routines" get in the way of what we really want to focus on--and then we miss out on so much good stuff.

Okay, I've got to go find a tissue. :)



I don't have children -- which is not a sad fact at all, although the reasons for that would take way too long to write out -- but as it happens I'm visiting family this week, cousins with school-aged kids. Tonight we all went to my cousin JT's house for dinner.

JT's son died last month; he hadn't made it to his 25th birthday. Everyone says losing a child is the worst. I can see why. JT has two other sons from his first marriage, and two younger kids (11 & 8) from his second.

I'm older than all these people. But because of my quirky childhood, I'm also younger. Of all of them, I can most easily identify with the young man who died tragically, needlessly. I understand that he died because he'd had a crappy start in life through no one's fault, least of all JT's. So I tried to explain to JT that his son had been struggling to live on an island of pain, and even though many people had built bridges to this kid's island, only he could find his own way off.

He just ran out of time.

I'm lucky. I lasted long enough, survived to 25 and then to 30, and started to build my own bridges. I've been able to do what JT's son wasn't able to do: outlast the pain.

So tonight, in a small room on the third floor of their house, I told JT that he'd done everything right and nothing wrong. (Lord knows he did way more than my parents did for me; really, if effort was all that was needed, his son would be alive today, and I wouldn't.) It's a tragedy that his son didn't make it, didn't last long enough to deal with all that pain inside himself, but it's not JT's fault.

I don't know what it's like to be a parent. But I know what it's like to live a tenuous life.

And that's what I'm doing with my writing: conveying what it's like to live a tenuous life until you can be happy. Because I've made it to my happy-ever-after, and writing is part of that.

Thanks, Donna -- for your post and the link to Serge's post. Just the right things to read.

Donna Cummings

Magdalen, thanks for sharing your story. I'm teary-eyed reading about JT's son running out of time, because it sounds like he was making inroads against all of that pain. Some people DO manage to prevail against it and build bridges--I'm really glad you are one of those. It's heartbreaking to hear of those who fight so valiantly and still find the pain unbearable.

It's wonderful that writing has been part of your journey. Writing is more powerful than we realize when we're struggling to follow "the rules", or find the perfect word or phrasing to express our thoughts and feelings.

And writing connects us to each other through universal emotions, even though they are told with varying stories and genres. You never know when something will click with another person, so it's always worth the effort.

Thanks again for sharing your story. I'm looking forward to reading more of them. :)

Jan O'Hara

That Thunder Pie post was lovely. Is there anything more attractive than a man in love with his daughter and who's willing to share it with the world?

Donna Cummings

Jan, you're so right! And I'm so glad he did share it with us. :)

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