Tag Archives: Women

Friday Friends – Joyce Norman, Writer, Teacher, Friend

I am fortunate to share “friendships” with people I have never met. Through the power of technology and the internet, I have shared many wonderful moments with Joyce Norman, although we have never met. Introduced through a mutual friend on Facebook, Joyce and I have shared a love of writing, books, literature and life. I learn something new every time we speak on Skype or message through email or Facebook. My writing has been inspired through the magic of her editing and reading her stories inspires my own recollections. Her editing is renowned in our circles, a former journalist and teacher, Joyce spends hours reading and working through the manuscripts sent to her. I gladly call her friend.

Joyce has been advisor, teacher and mentor to the many students who attend her classes, join her workshops and follow her Monday Morning Writing Chain. With a brief prompt on a Monday morning, Joyce sets our imaginations free to complete a story with other writers. No other impetus is provided but a few sentences to set a scene or a picture to prompt our story. The co-creation is sometimes filled with great writing, dialogue that flows from characters created by a distant author. Sometimes we hear Joyce attempting to reel us in, as she reminds us of the details of writing, maintaining scene, character’s names and the dialogue written previously.

Joyce’s editing skills have allowed many beginning writers to be published in an anthology, It Was A Dark and Stormy Night. Encouraging her students and colleagues to produce short essays, stories and including a few Morning Chain entries, Joyce compiled the anthology and edited our entries for readers to enjoy. No entries were denied.

Joyce’s own work, Coming Together, published in 2009 with Joy Collins, is a novel filled with foreign intrigue, the love story of a mother in search of her son and a fascinating story of a film maker. Set in Brazil, a place Joyce visited repeatedly, the story uses many of Joyce’s own experiences to engage the reader in the action. Currently, Joyce is writing a fascinating story of her travels throughout the world. Looking back at her past without becoming mired in reminiscing Joyce leads us to tropical islands, a look at other cultures and how experience can be the best teacher.

I am honored and grateful as a writer to know Joyce and to benefit from her skills as a writer, teacher and journalist. Her positive attitude and encouragement has assisted many writers through the dark waters of their first publishing efforts. Her classes and workshops are always filled at the local university and online. I hope you will seek out this talented woman, a woman who seeks to lead by example, skill and experience. You will be encouraged to continue on your path.

 

 

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Cutting Your Losses or Giving Up

Life is the sum of all your choices.  ~ Albert Camus

Do you follow through regardless of the project’s difficulties or do you know when to say ‘enough is enough’? Do you finish every race regardless of how fast or slow you are? Do you overcome every obstacle vowing to finish or can you accept some projects are best left incomplete?

I am raising children, teaching problem solving and working on personal projects. I tend to be agreeable and accepting and strive to keep everybody happy. And that isn’t always the best thing for me. Selfish or self-preservation? A quitter or a sense of self-worth?

I didn’t want to be considered a quitter, and yet, the project seemed to suck all creativity from my bones. I was paralyzed by the simple tasks and the interpersonal struggle. Complete the tasks and pat my back or let go and move on? It is a matter of perspective and yes, there are personal feelings of self-worth involved. Character issues also, as I was raised to complete the project, regardless of outcome. You signed on so you must finish, disregard all sense of accomplishment or value.

I wonder what lesson is taught when the project consumes the creator yet is finished, completed, and done? My children watch and learn to persevere, to subdue anxiety in favor of checking a project off the list. No longer a creative endeavor, the project becomes a To-Do list entry to be scratched off and put to rest. What if I walked away from the project entirely, would that be teaching the kids to give up?

My dilemma is the emphasis put on walking away. Positive or negative? Walk away and be a quitter or walk away and cut your losses? Either way, a sacrifice, either way, you must face yourself in the mirror. Head held high or hung in shame. A dilemma either way.

What do you think?

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My Mentors, I Thank You

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing.  It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”  ~  Voltaire

“Thank you” seems inadequate to express my appreciation and gratitude to a number of women who have lifted me, supported me, guided me, encouraged me, and yes, rescued me during my life.  A dedication page in a book would continue for several pages, these women are so numerous. The following are a few of the reasons I say, “Thank you” to  my mentors in my career, family, and life.

1. Encouragement.

2. Creative prompts.

3. Financial advice.

4. Listening skills (X’s 10)

5. Belief in me.

6. Broad shoulders

7. Packing ability

8. Great sense of humor.

9. Soft shoes for the kick in the pants.

10. A great example of success.

What have your mentors given to you?

Thank You, Mentors

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Crossroad Warning – Women of a Certain Age

I am currently researching life choices and new paths women follow after age 50. If you are interested in participating, please contact me here or email penpaperprose@gmail.com. If you are changing careers, retiring, becoming a grandparent, raising your granchild, a new student, traveling, facing health issues, ANY and ALL of these would be great topics to discuss. I would love to arrange to speak with you. So many of us are seeking meaning in our lives as we turn the page on another decade. What are YOU doing? I’d love to know!

WARNING
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens . . .

….But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

~ Jenny Joseph

Women of a certain age – The Color Purple

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