An Open Letter

Post by Doris McCraw

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I lost my mother in February of 2011. I still miss her, and thought I would share a letter she might have written to me about how to be a loving person and live in this world without letting define or defeat me. So, Mom, I hope you are looking down and smiling for you were a great teacher.

Dear Daughter,

First, I want you to know how much I love you. I know as you travel this world there will be times when it will not seem worth it. Times when you just want to give up on yourself and the world. I taught you better than that. In case you have forgotten or perhaps need to have a handy reminder, I’ll give you my thoughts about how to survive and thrive.

I will start with, forgive yourself. You won’t be able to forgive any one else if you don’t know how to forgive yourself. I know, you did some bad things, but remember, you were doing the best you could at that time. That does not mean you get to do them again. To do so is only going to make you feel worse about yourself. Sweetheart, give yourself a break and get on with your life. Don’t let the past ruin your future.

Remember the story of Mr. Flemming’s father. He chose to not like a whole race of people, but would and did hire individuals. As long as those individuals worked for him, they were treated like everyone else, including sitting at the table with everyone else and he would be angry if anyone made unflattering remarks. I’m not saying you should dislike a group of people. What I am saying is, respond to people as individuals. Do not let yourself get caught up in the rhetoric of if one, then all. Treat others like you want to be treated, even when they don’t return the favor.

Get over the idea of “it’s not fair”. Life isn’t fair, but it is good. Life and living will be what you make it. When you get caught up in the ‘not fair’ mindset you miss so much of the wonderful parts of life. When you get down, or are feeling put upon, give yourself ten minutes to feel sorry for yourself, then get up and do something productive. Let the hurt go. It may not be easy, that’s for sure. You can forgive and not forget. Think on that one for a while.

You can do or be whatever you want, just remember there are consequences. Consequences are not good or bad, they just are. You are totally responsible for the decisions you make about your life. Yes, you may have people who will help you, but you are the only one you have to live with your whole life. Make sure you’re the kind of person you want to be around.

I know there are many other ‘rules’ your could probably stand to hear, but these are a good use to help you survive and thrive. I wish you well, know I love you and whatever happens do your best to be happy, to be alive, for that is the true gift.

Love, Your Mother

 

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL
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Monday, Monday

 

propic11_1_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

As a 60’s child I was immersed in the music of the time and it’s still my favorite music. Is there anything better? Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Little Richie, Peter, Paul and Mary, and way too many more to mention. This music filled us with food for thought (what do some of Dylan’s lines really mean?), sun-filled days (the Beach Boys), and of course, Monday Monday by the Mamas and the Papas. The first part of the song has lyrics that are everlasting and show off John Phillips writing excellence.

Monday, Monday so good to me

Monday mornin’, it wasn’t all I hoped it would be

Oh Monday mornin’, Monday mornin’ wouldn’t guarantee

That Monday evenin’ you would still be here with me

© John Phillips

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The harmonies, Mama Cass’s strong lead voice and the cohesiveness of the band led the group to win a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for this song on March 2, 1967. Also, Monday, Monday was the group’s only number-one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. (Wikipedia)

As a writer it’s good to look at and listen to favorite music, as it can give you the feel for the plot and movement of your words. I have to write in complete silence, but I do research before and after I write. I often listen to favorite tunes to get a feel for the passion and reasoning the song presents so that I can make my own story flow. It’s also a good way to hear how songwriters create a plot.

As a songwriter myself, I often spend a lot of time reworking a song to get the story told in under 4 minutes – not an easy feat. As an author I have more time to play with, but I must be careful to fill in the cracks and keep the writing smooth and the plot in the forefront.

I love weekends. Although my husband and I are retired, Monday is the start of a new week527725_10151585269811000_632304641_n and all the things to look forward to. Mondays give us time to plan our week, do some new things, or sit back on the deck and watch the birds and squirrels eat the food we put out for them while I read and my husband putters in the flowers.

I have always liked Mondays. No matter how the weekend goes, Monday is the start of a new week and new adventures.

So, thanks to John Phillips for writing a song that will stand the test of time and be recognized for years to come. Even though the song has a feeling of uncertainty, the music is so uplifting that you can’t help but think of Monday as an exciting day of the week.

What about you? Which is your favorite day of the week? Why? I’d love to hear your comments!

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INFLUENCES

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

Doris

As writing takes a bigger role in my life, I wondered where my influences come from. I’ve always loved telling stories, especially on stage. The actor in me loves bringing life to words on the page. As a writer, I want my words to come alive for my readers.

Upon further investigation, I realize there are so many that to name them all would be far longer than this post should be. In the interest of brevity I’ve limited it to either a book, or author that I still remember after all the years of reading.

The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. It was one of the first series I read as a young girl. Of course who doesn’t love horses? This link will add more about the series, in the interest of brevity of course. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Stallion

Phyllis Whitney was the next author of note that I started reading at about twelve years of age. It was her adult novels that captured my imagination and developed my love of mysteries. She along with Mary Stewart’s strong women characters and Merlin series, did much to add to the independent person my mother was raising me to be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_A._Whitney https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Stewart_(novelist)

Later in life I started reading the work of Louis L’Amour and Dean Koontz. Both writers would spin a tales that read like you were hearing them speak. Their characters continue to live on in your life long after you put the book down. Watchers by Dean Koontz is still my favorite in that genre and Flint by Louis L’Amour I’ve read many times. Each time I read either of these books, I find something I missed the first time.

The book that I still remember like it was yesterday, which I read shortly after arriving in Colorado is Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow. It introduced me to the West and how history would add so much to a story. If you get a chance, read it! https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/calico-palace/

I could not write a post about influences if I didn’t include Marcus Aurelius and Alfred, Lord Tennyson:  http://www.biography.com/people/marcus-aurelius-9192657 http://www.iep.utm.edu/marcus/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred,_Lord_Tennyson. Their works and thoughts are another source of reading for me.

Finally, I must include Helen (Hunt) Jackson. Her poetry, essays, novels and life have become so much a part of me, I do believe I might be much less had I not started reading and studying this author.  I have written of Helen and shared her work with you on the post in the past and will probably continue to do so in the future.

So when you read my haiku, my novels and my non fiction writing, you will see and probably feel the influence of the above authors along with many others I didn’t have room to mention. We all are what we experience, whether as ourselves or through the words of others. I am thankful for the works of such amazing people along with that of my mother and father and their parents. Although most have already passed from this world, their influence is still strongly felt by myself and I would add others also.

Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.

A photographer, Doris also writes haiku and combines them with her photography.
In here spare time she writes/casts and performs with a local murder mystery company.

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