Friday, April 23, 2010

My Life....and What I'm Reading

I failed to get a guest blogger for this week - this stupid cold has caused me to fail to do a lot of things that I should be doing - so I'm going back to "What I'm Reading" and why.

I've known all of you for a long time and you know most of what's going on with my family and in my life. Some of it I've shared in great detail, some of it I've only skirted around.

I don't know why I feel like today is the day to spill my guts (lol) but here it is in a nut-shell.

Everyone knows about my husbands tumor and surgery, subsequent chemo treatments and bouts with seizures. He's doing fantastic now and I feel like speedbump in life is behind us. Thank God!

I've also shared that our youngest has severe ADHD and a mood disorder that often displays itself like bi-polar disorder. As he ages and matures, this is getting much, much better. We can all see the positive changes in him and he's working really hard to control himself and make better choices, but it's a constant struggle for him. And, for us.

This is where I think I've been vague (I honestly can't remember how much I've shared). Last year, on Memorial Day, our oldest came to us for help with a severe opiate addiction. He was mid-semester at school, and when I asked if he could finish out the semester he teared up and said, "I'll be dead by then."


The next day he went back to Raleigh, took a medical leave from school and work and the next day I had him in a detox center. He lived with us for the summer and did three months of out-patient rehab.

It's been a bumpy road for him since. He relapsed once, but for seven months now has been clean. I know every day is a struggle for him and I worry about him constantly.

On top of that, my best friend lost her son to an accidental overdose in December.

So, why am I dumping all of this on you? I'm not sure, really. I guess I just felt like it was time to explain why I've been eratic in my blog posts. And in my writing.

It's been difficult to maintain a consistent writing schedule - and honestly, to find the enthusiasm and excitement to write when all the people I love are struggling. But when I don't write, I'm not a happy person.

Writing is something that I do, it's who I am.

Fortunately, I found a book and a class that has helped me tremendously. It's helped me get back on track and I was doing really well...until my snotty head sidelined me. LOL I'm feeling much better now and am looking forward to getting back to my characters and stories.

Here's the details (from and the cover:

Editorial Reviews
From Publishers Weekly
Perhaps the leading choreographer of her generation, Tharp offers a thesis on creativity that is more complex than its self-help title suggests. To be sure, an array of prescriptions and exercises should do much to help those who feel some pent-up inventiveness to find a system for turning idea into product, whether that be a story, a painting or a song. This free-wheeling interest across various creative forms is one of the main points that sets this book apart and leads to its success. The approach may have been born of the need to reach an audience greater than choreographer hopefuls, and the diversity of examples (from Maurice Sendak to Beethoven on one page) frees the student to develop his or her own patterns and habits, rather than imposing some regimen that works for Tharp. The greatest number of illustrations, however, come from her experiences. As a result, this deeply personal book, while not a memoir, reveals much about her own struggles, goals and achievements. Finally, the book is also a rumination on the nature of creativity itself, exploring themes of process versus product, the influences of inspiration and rigorous study, and much more. It deserves a wide audience among general readers and should not be relegated to the self-help section of bookstores.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Adult/High School--Tharp shows how and why artists must actively seek and nurture inspiration. The dancer/choreographer draws heavily on her personal experiences to guide readers into cultivating habits that give birth to success. In addition, she recounts the experiences of artists from other disciplines, including painting and cinematography. Vignettes from the lives of people such as Mozart underline the fact that even geniuses work hard to realize the fruits of their labor. A personable tone is carried throughout the book, and within the text is a gold mine of advice. Tharp not only promotes tried-and-true habits, but also encourages readers to dig deep within themselves and come up with their own answers. Most sections conclude with exercises; they are fun and almost seamlessly bring home the author's main points. The black-and-white illustrations and photos are few in number. Students from all manner of creative arts who wish to make their dreams come true would benefit from reading this book.--Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Me again...This book is awesome and I highly recommend it for anyone who is struggling to allow their creative nature out to play.

I also want you to know, you've been a huge bright spot in my life. It always makes me smile to come here and read y'alls comments and to know you're there cheering for me.

Thanks for listening and I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!!!!

Wishing you much peace and love,


Silver James said...

HUGE MASSIVE HUGS! To you and to your family. Your strength and perseverance amazes me on a daily basis. Hang in there. We're here when you need a laugh, a hug, or an ear to just rant and rave to get it out of your system. That's what friends do. And we are. Friends!

Here's some thoughts for the day:

A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.

I don't have hot flashes, I have short, private vacations in the tropics.

I'm not fifty-something, I'm $49.95 plus shipping and handling.

Hang in there, hon!

Alannah Lynne said...

I love those thoughts for the day!! Especially the first one. hehe

I don't know why I felt compelled to spill it all today because everything is actually going really well right now. And I'm very, very grateful for it!!

But that book and class have been tremendously helpful in getting me back on track. And letting me see that it is okay to write, something which I sometimes think is trivial in the midst of all the "seriousness" going on around me. So I guess that's why I shared it all today.

I'm actually going to e-mail you something to read, if you don't mind. It's my new story and you are the PERFECT person to give me feedback on it. I'll touch base with you over the weekend. But only take a look at it if you have time.

Thanks for your friendship!!

Liza said...

(((HUGS))) Jodie I remember when Oldest moved home last summer, but guess since I knew he was in college just assumed he was home for the summer. Know I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

So glad you have found your way back to writing again. I know when life gets crazy, sometimes the stuff we love ends up taking a back seat. Looking forward to more stories from you. You have my email and I'm always available if you ever need anything!

Liza said...

I totally forgot to tell you what I'm reading. I got Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips from Net Galley. It is another super fun and sexy contemporary story from Carly and I LOVE it.

Silver James said...

Yay! More stuff to procrastinate with. :D I'm here. Send it when you're ready.

Paula R said...

Hey Alannah, sending you a big cyber smooch and hug. Silver said it best...we are friends, and we are available to you whenever you need us. You know how to get to me. You have my number, right? Thanks for sharing this with us needed to let something "go," and I think you chose a great way to do it. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.

The book looks interesting, and I will be checking it out.

Liza, I am so jealous that you already have Carly's book. Enjoy!

Silver, I am loving the first thought of the day.

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Alannah Lynne said...

Y'all are awesome and I appreciate each and every one of you!!

Truly, things are going better than they have in a long time so no feeling sorry for me!! LOL Maybe I had to get to a better place, a little removed from all the drama, before I could talk about it.

I figure, it's all good for a book!!

Have a great weekend!!

Liza said...

Paula, join Net Galley and you can read books early. You either have to read them on your computer or ereader(I send mine to my Sony reader) but it is really great.