Writing

Words on Wednesday – Favorite Writing Quotes/Memes

Welcome to Words on Wednesday, a link-up for writers on the first Wednesday of each month.

Each month I post an optional topic, but you can write about whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing in some way. This includes promoting your work!

WOW quote:meme

The optional topic for today’s Words on Wednesday: Share your favorite writing quote or meme.

It can be a quote directly about writing or one that inspires your writing life. It can be funny or serious. It can be about writing, revising, inspiration, creation, or anything else writing-related.

After you share your quote/meme, tell us why it’s your favorite and how it influences your writing life. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Does it inspire you during writer’s block?
  • Make you shake your head and say yup, that’s me?
  • Provide encouragement when you want to send your WIP through the paper shredder?
  • Gave you the push you needed to start your dream to become a writer?

My quote is: Writing is the painting of the voice ~ Voltaire 

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This is my favorite writing quote for two reasons:

  1. It is a beautiful quote. I picture a paintbrush dipped in gorgeous colors creating words written in calligraphy.
  2. It makes me feel like an artist. I can’t draw to save my life, not even stick figures. But this quote reminds me art is more than images on paper, it’s what inspires the images in your mind.

I look forward to reading your favorite quotes! 

I started this link-up to create a support system for writers. With that in mind, please read and comment on at least one other post (suggest the one linked up before yours). The more you participate, the more our writing community will grow! Sharing the link-up with your writing friends is another great way to meet other writers.

Because WordPress.com doesn’t support linkup programs, please paste the link to your blog post into the comment section below. 

 

 

Musings & Personal

Dear Birth Father

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Dear Birth Father,

You often get the shaft because I don’t talk about you often, especially compared to their birth mother.

I wonder, does that bother you?

I’m sorry – I don’t mean to minimize the importance of you in my daughters’ lives.

You see, it’s easier to talk about their birth mother when explaining this whole adoption thing. She carried them in her “tummy” and although they don’t yet know the details of how a baby gets from inside her to the outside world, they do understand she gave birth to them.

Let’s face it, it’s pretty black and white: Daughters, you came out of her, you are part of her.

I’m not sure how to make the connection between you and them until they learn The Facts of Life.

And I’m not ready yet to have that talk with them…

Another reason I don’t talk about you much: I don’t know you as well. In fact, we’ve only met a handful of times. And aside from only one of those times, I don’t think I was getting to know the Real You; I think I was talking to the This is Who I Want You to See.

I don’t blame you for that – it’s probably how you survived your dysfunctional family, the foster homes, and your years in prison.

My third reason: It’s difficult to initiate conversation when you don’t know the topic. When the girls ask me questions about you, most of the time I don’t know the answers.

I can tell them their birth mother’s favorite color is turquoise but for all I know, you’re color blind.

I wish I could pass on more information about the other half of them – the half you’ve contributed – but I can’t.

I’m sorry.

Perhaps someday you will meet them and tell them your favorite color. Perhaps I, too, will learn your favorite color.

I hope someday I get to know you, the Real You, and love you with the same complexity I love their birth mother.

But until that time comes, please know I hold you in my heart and honor your role in their lives as best I can.

Love,

Lynn

 

Linkup

Words on Wednesday – Share Your Writing

Welcome to the second Words on Wednesday, a linkup the first Wednesday of each month.

Each month I will post an optional topic, but you can write about whatever you like as long as it pertains to writing in some way. This includes promoting your work!

Today’s optional topic is to share some of your writing. This can be a short story, a poem, a longer WIP (work in progress), and even an opportunity to promote your published work.

I’m going to share a snippet of my current WIP, a memoir about adopting through foster care. As of now, the title is Born in My Heart: A Bittersweet Adoption Blessing but I’ve been thinking about changing the title. If you’d like to give me some input, visit my prior blog post to see the options and Gimme your opinion!

Here is my post for today:

All Stitched Up and Nowhere to Go

August 2008: I wonder if I would have accepted Carole’s request to be Ruth’s birth coach if I’d known the amount of pain it would cause me. I’d like to think the experience and knowledge that I helped another would outweigh the pain. The truth is that I’m not sure I would have done it.

Aside from the quiet hum of the car’s engine, a heavy silence fills the air. Andrew and I are driving to the hospital to pick up Ruth and take her to the empty apartment she calls home.

I haven’t felt like myself since witnessing Paige’s birth a few days prior. An undercurrent of emotions rises into a tsunami of tears when I think about Ruth and Paige.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, why Ruth’s situation weighs on my shoulders. Yes, I am a sensitive person: I cannot watch the news without tears, cannot bear the thought of abandoned animals being euthanized, want to make a difference in the world by adopting a foster child.

But why do I care so much about a virtual stranger who has no one to blame but herself for the direction her life has taken?

I look at Andrew out of the corner of my eye. Has he noticed my tangled web of emotions?

“Here we are,” Andrew says as he pulls into the loading zone in front of the hospital. It’s the same place we picked up Eli after his five days in the NICU. There are those inexplicable feelings again. I am sad for Ruth because her baby is staying behind in the NICU, even though it was her poor choices that put Paige there.

I leave Andrew in the car and check in at the nurses’ station. “I’m here to pick up Ruth, in room 225.”

“Will Ruth be staying with you?”

“Umm, no…” The thought never occurred to me.

The nurse’s eyes pierce mine. “She cannot be alone. C-section is a major surgery. She needs to be on bed rest and should only get up to use the bathroom.”

Unprepared for the nurse’s vehement onslaught, I stumble over my words. “I’m only here as a favor. I don’t really know her -”

“Can she stay with anyone else while she recuperates?”

I doubt she can stay with Carole while Payton is living there because CPS is involved. My mind shuffles through our friends, Carole’s friends, church friends. Ruth’s solitary set of flowers from me flashes through my mind. Does Ruth have any friends? 

My heart breaks as I realize how lonely an addict’s life is and that we’re her only option.

I started this linkup to create a support system for writers. With that in mind, please read and comment on at least one other post (suggest the one linked up before yours). The more blogs you visit, the more our writing community will grow! Sharing the linkup with your writing friends is another great way to meet other writers.

Because WordPress.com doesn’t support linkup programs, please paste your blog post into the comment section below. 

Guest Post

Cocaine Donut Mom — Herding Chickens and Other Adventures in Foster and Adoptive Care

I wanted to be the homemade chocolate chip cookie mom. Before the children were placed with us I practiced. I tried all different recipes. I used different ingredients. Organic flour, cake flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips. I practiced making cookies from scratch like it was my job. Then I brought batches of […]

Excellent post by Herding Chickens… Of course, her posts are always excellent: encouraging, humorous and wise.

via Cocaine Donut Mom — Herding Chickens and Other Adventures in Foster and Adoptive Care

Writing

Gimme Your Opinion

My daughters are in camp this week so I’ve been busting my butt to edit my memoir. My brain is fried and I’m convinced my eyeballs are going to fall out any minute.

Editing sucks.

Due to said fried brain and eyeballs hanging precariously in their sockets, this blog post will be short.

raymond quote

In addition to editing, I’ve been working on my book proposal. In How to Write A Book Proposal by Michael Larsen, he gives four golden rules for creating the title to your book, three of which I’ve listed below.*

 

  1. Make your title sell and tell.
  2. Make your title appeal to the heart and the head.
  3. Use your communities to test your title.

This got me thinking – should I test my previously trashed memoir titles on social media?

Side Note: I tried to create a Twitter poll with the choices but I exceeded the measly 140 character count for each choice.

So I’m requesting feedback on alternative memoir titles from writers, readers, adoptive and birth parents, adoptees, agents, your cat, the stranger sitting next to you in the coffee shop… You get the idea.

So, without further ado, here are the choices:

  1. Born in My Heart: A Bittersweet Adoption Blessing
  2. Handprints on My Heart: An Adoptive Mother’s Journey
  3. Takes More Than Love: A Memoir of Adopting Through Foster Care
  4. Two Daughters and a Drug Addict: An Adoptive Mother’s Bittersweet Journey

Feel free to combine or expand on any of them to create something you think is better.

After making your selection, please tell me the reason for your choice.

Thank you for helping me achieve my dreams to become a published writer.

* The fourth one: use your models as guides. I admit that I have no idea what he means by this.

Musings and Personal

Adoption Trauma, pt. 1

The other day, I read and participated in a Twitter conversation about adoption trauma.

Here’s the background of the conversation:

A person retweeted a blog post from the Twitter page of Adoption and Fostering which posed the question Is adoption trauma? The author then listed reasons as to why the answer is yes.

The person who retweeted this article disagreed. He works as a developmental psychologist with children affected by abuse and neglect, who enter the foster care system. His assertion was that adoption heals trauma.

Of course, this is a highly emotional subject and as you can imagine, some strong words were exchanged. I’m not writing this post to get into a debate or piss anyone off, but share my point of view.

Rather, this Twitter exchange got me thinking about adoption and trauma, so much so that I’ll probably post more thoughts on this subject.

But before going any further, we need to define trauma:

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According to the English Oxford Dictionary trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

As a foster-adopt mother, I get a bad taste in my mouth when I hear someone say adoption is trauma. I am raising two girls, both of whom have experienced trauma through neglect, intrauterine drug exposure, and perhaps other adverse early childhood experiences. I spend each day trying to undo their subconscious reactions to the trauma they lived through.

But when someone says adoption/being adopted is a distressing experience, I don’t have that knee-jerk reaction. I am willing want to follow up with “Why do you say that?” or “What do you mean by that?”

I’m not advocating anyone change the words they use to describe their adoption experience, but rather we all try to understand the meaning behind the words.

After all, we’re all in this together.

 

Linkup

Words on Wednesday – Introduce Yourself

Welcome to the first Words on Wednesday!

Each month* I will post an optional topic, but you can write about whatever you like as long as it is about writing in some way. This includes promoting your work!

The first topic is Introduce Yourself.

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About Me:

  • I’ve been writing since I was five years old. I was a prodigy – my very first poem went: There’s a rainbow in the sky; Oh I do, do wonder why.
  • I wrote my first story when I was ten years old. It was about a preteen girl volunteering in the hospital and meeting a girl in her late teens who was dying of leukemia.
  • I wrote a lot of poetry in high school. It was a form of self-therapy for my undiagnosed depression.
  • Four years ago I began working on a memoir about adopting my daughters through foster care. I’ve been revising (does it ever end?) and have begun working on my proposal.

I love to write because it gets everything on the inside, on the outside. The paper is kind of like the pensieve from Harry Potter, and the words are my memories.

OK, now it’s your turn…

When you have written your words, click on the linkup button to add your post. It’s that easy!

I hope… I haven’t actually tried it yet.  Note: WordPress does not support a linkup plugin so please follow the Linky Tools link below to add your post. 

My most beneficial experience as a writer has been building my writing community on Scribophile and Twitter.

This is the reason I created the Words on Wednesday linkup.

With that in mind, please read and comment on at least one other post (suggest the one linked up before yours). Of course, your writing community will grow faster if you visit more than one blog in the linkup. And sharing the linkup with your writing friends is another great way to grow our community.

If you have any questions, please send me a message.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

* This may become weekly after the kids are back in school.

Adoption · Musings and Personal

Why I Chose Adoption

One of May’s topics from Erin Bohn’s Adoption Talk Link-up was Why did you choose adoption? I went with her other topic, What’s the Best Advice You’ve ever Gotten, but today I’m going to address why my husband and I chose to adopt.

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WHY WE CHOSE ADOPTION

Many people adopt because they’re unable to have their own biological children; however, that was not the case for my husband and I. Our hearts broke knowing there are children in the foster care system who age out of the system without knowing the permanency of family.

Shenandoah Chefalo talks about this in her memoir, Garbage Bag Suitcase.

Andrew and I wished to provide a home for a child (or two, as it so happened) in the system.

Admittedly, it was partly selfish, too. I hated being pregnant. I had a rare condition called cholestasis, and a very difficult delivery (almost 48  hours of labor, four hours of pushing), and had no desire to go through that EVER again.

People say you forget all about the pain and discomfort after it’s over.

I didn’t.

In my defense, though, we made this choice before I got pregnant.

As cheesy as it sounds, I always wanted to make a difference in the world. It was the motivation behind every career I dreamed of as a child: nun, psychologist, occupational therapist.

And now, writer.

Many adoptees get upset because they don’t want to be viewed as a charity case. I don’t look at my daughters, or any other adopted person, as a charity case.

I look at it as being practical. Why would I go through the hell of pregnancy, labor and delivery again when there are children in the foster care system who need homes?

And that why I chose adoption.

Linkup · Writing and Blogging

Words on Wednesday – A Linkup for Writers

Writers are an odd bunch hovering between the lines of creativity and madness. I’ve found through the 4+ years I’ve been writing my memoir that a supportive writing community is crucial.

 

To that end, I was thinking of starting a weekly (or monthly?) linkup for writers.  

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Here are some topic ideas:

  • A writing prompt
  • A poem, short story, or your other writing
  • Joys and challenges of being a writer
  • Advice and information about writing
  • Information about events (contests, classes, open submissions)
  • Writing resources
  • Reviews on books about writing
  • Interviews with writers, agents, etc.
  • Anything having to do with writing

Are you interested?

Adoption · Musings and Personal

An Unplanned Adoption

The journey to adopting my daughters could be summed up in with one sentence:

In his heart a man plans his course but the LORD determines his steps.
(Proverbs 16:9)

When Andrew and I began the adoption process, we were looking to adopt a child around 5-8 years. Because we had learned in our foster-adoption classes that older black boys were the least desirable* and most difficult to place, we filled out the pre-placement adoption paperwork with that in mind.

What we planned to do and what we did ended up being two completely different things…

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Paige, a white baby girl, was three months old when we began visits, and five months old when she moved in. Even though she had severe drug withdrawal, she was still considered the most sought-after type of child.*

Payton, her older sister, came to live with us just before she turned three. As a young white child, she was also considered highly adoptable.*

Andrew and I did not have problems conceiving nor did we desire another baby, which was why we didn’t want to adopt an infant, or even a three-year-old.

So, how did we veer so far from our planned course? 

Ruth: The mother of my daughters.**

The whole story started when I became Ruth’s birth coach. My plan wasn’t to adopt Ruth’s baby but that’s what happened. And then we adopted Payton, Ruth’s older daughter when they were unable to reunify.

I was thinking about all this tonight while walking my dog because Ruth and I met for coffee today. Things are still up in the air about how and when we will open up the adoption; however, there is one thing we both know without a shadow of a doubt.

It was God’s plan that we meet and be the mothers of these two beautiful girls.

* These aren’t my words but what we were told in our foster-adopt classes and by the social workers.

** For the most part, I’ve decided to forgo any sort of qualifier when referencing Ruth. She is the mother of my daughters, just as I am the mother of her daughters.