Saturday, 14 December 2013

This season - A tangled web of emotions

"Tis a season to be jolly, tra la la la la la, la la la la
Deck the halls with bells and holly, tra la la la la, la la la la"

And so the song goes.  But this year, this season brings a mixture of emotions; joy when I watch the glee on my daughter's face as she decorates the tree and helps select wrapping paper with which to wrap her cousin's Christmas presents and sadness because there's an empty chair at the Christmas lunch table.

This will be the first year that I don't have my special Mommy with me.  And I can't lie, it hurts like crazy.  I won't have that special hug and sweet smile from the person who gave me life.  And everyone around the table will be a reminder that she was the beginning of what we call family.

But I won't be too hard on myself.  I will take each moment as it comes and deal with it and not look too far into the future.  I've lost my Mommy and there's no way one can rush the grieving process. One can't erase the hurt with a magic wand.  Even though that wouldn't be a bad idea if there was such a thing.  It's difficult to be happy even though you know it IS the season to be jolly and to celebrate the world's greatest Gift.

So at this time I will spare a prayer and thought for others who too have lost someone dear to them and those who are lonely and have no family close.  I pray that God's Spirit will find them and speak into their hearts and let them know that  there is "a friend that sticks closer than a brother."

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Missing the addiction!

While, I am extremely grateful to say that I don't know the unkind feeling that life-extracting addictions can bring, I certainly know one thing...

I miss writing!

We've moved and there's been no time to sit down and write anything.  Shucks, I had to search for my laptop to write this.  But I knew I had to write something, anything, just to feel the keys beneath my fingertips and hear the happy sounds of click-click as I type.

I don't normal hear the loud clicks that I hear today.  Even that is odd because my nails are longer than normal.  I usually keep them short for typing and for playing keyboards (the other love in my life).  No way I can play with long nails.  Even my Triton is still in his case because of the move. Terrible.  I need to find a place for him to settle into as well.  I am itching to write and record some more music too.  In time, I suppose.

But while the boxes are around, I cannot sit down and relax and let the thoughts flow.  Too guilty. The boxes glare at me shouting to be unpacked.  So soon I'll have to get up and shut one up.

If you're interested, you can check my song on Youtube, "Chasing Shadows by Lynne Torrente".

The big lopsided box in the corner shouts at me again and the jagged tear in his side glares at me.

"Okay, okay.  I hear you.  I'm coming."

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Knitting through the pain: Dealing with grief

Losing someone dear to death is one of life’s cruelest blows. 

That person is no longer there and it leaves a hole that nothing else can fill.    

I lost part of my Mommy to the cruel stroke in 2007.  And I lost so much more as a result.  I was never again able to fetch her and take her shopping with me and my little daughter.  I’d lost all the chances of popping in for tea at her townhouse.  I could no longer drop my daughter off there for her to spend some alone time with her Lu-Lum (my daughter’s word for her Granny as she couldn’t pronounce the word Granny) while she babysat her.  The stroke had stolen from my Mom too.  It had stolen her speech.  Her mobility.  Her independence.  It drained her life but left her alive.  I mourned then. 

Then this year, I lost her again.  This time to death and I mourn some more.  But in my grief I don’t for a moment begrudge the life she has now.  She is no longer in pain.  Released from all of this broken world’s sorrow.  And now she’s exchanged her silence for songs of praise to her King.  Her immobility has been discarded as she dances before her King’s throne.  And as she rejoices in Heaven, I have to learn to live without her.  And that’s the hard, horrible part.

For me getting through the day has been bearable.  Manageable during the grief.  I can busy myself with household chores, washing, cleaning etc.  But there is a time of day when I can’t keep my mind occupied.  I try distracting myself with TV, but find myself staring at the screen but not seeing, and then the mind wanders off on its own and down a path that I don’t want to face.  This is the time that I can’t handle.  I want to scream.  Get up and run down the road.  I feel I want to climb out of my skin to get away from the pain. 

So to cope with this on horrid time of day, I picked up some knitting needles, bought a couple of balls of wool and hunted for a knitting pattern on the internet.  Now while I knit, I am so busy concentrating on keeping my stitches on the needles and trying to figure out the pattern that my mind doesn’t have a chance to set out on its own journey.   I’m keeping my mind occupied while I learn to deal with my grief. 

During this time, I’ve found my Mom egging me on.  And when I get to a complicated part of the pattern and I’ve had to pull it out countless times, I feel her telling me, “aanhouer wen”.  Keep going!  She was always one to persevere until she got something right.  And I feel that she’s proud of me as she watches me decipher a tricky pattern that has me tangled for two days while I tried to make head or tail of it.   

Knitting has been my saving grace.  I am but a novice as I set out with my knitting needles down the road of recovery from my grief.  And as I do, I cling to the fact that I feel her close by as I concentrate on keeping my stitches on the needle.  I sense her smile as she hears the click of the knitting needles and proudly watches me as I try and live my life to make her proud.

If you are dealing with grief remember that there is no right or wrong way of dealing with it.  And you need to find your coping own mechanisms to get through your pain.  Chat to your doctor for medication through the tough time.  There are non-addictive medications that can assist you during this time.  Speak to a counselor or someone you can trust with your hurt. 

And be kind to yourself.  And don’t rush the process.  They say time heals.  But there is no length of time that you must reach to “get over” the loss. 

Further reading on the dealing with grief and the stages of grief at

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Story Starters

Sometimes it's difficult to find a fresh idea to get a story up and running.  But what I've done in the past few days is think about stories my Mom told me.  Granted, she's just passed and I'm getting through the mourning period and thinking about the funny anecdotes she told me has brought a smile to my face during this sad time.

Let me share one of the stories she told me when I was young enough to believe in wonderful notions like Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy.

She tells me that one day she was sitting on the bed and she heard a tiny voice singing.  It was unlike anything she'd heard before so she listened closer and yes, there it was again.  Definitely a faint voice singing. So she leaned over and looked under the bed and what do you think she found?  She says she found a little flea sitting on a matchstick in the middle of the potty singing "Red Sails in the Sunset".

I'm thinking that's where I inherited my love for the creative world of stories.

Are there any stories told to you that could kick-start a new story for you?

Happy creating my fellow writers!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

When can you wear the title 'Writer'?

I wonder how many writers feel this way.

Can you be called a writer or call yourself a writer when you're writing when no-one sees you? When you haven't published yet?  When you know that writing is what you should be doing even though you might be paid to do something else?

The problem is writing is not an overnight thing.  It's a journey of self-discovery while you discover the worlds you're creating in your mind.

You're asked the question, "So what are you doing with yourself these days?"

You answer, "I'm writing."

You note the confused look on the person's face as they try and recall something of yours in printed form.

Then you continue, "Well I'm busy writing a novel."

"Oh, I see."  Comes the answer with a slow nod of the head.  But you wonder if they really see or are they running through a set of thoughts in their minds; "Barking up the wrong tree.  I wonder if that's going to work.  I wonder if she is any good?"

But those unspoken thoughts are rather followed by a "Oh that's nice.  What's it about?"

And then you quickly and very sparsely run through the plot and twenty seconds into explaining your story a glazed look comes over their eyes even though the smile hasn't changed.

Then you feel that familiar feeling when someone hasn't 'got you' and it's very easy to feel deflated and sometimes even doubt whether you should carry on writing.  But then when you sit down later at your keyboard, you feel that wonder inside rise up again.  You feel ignited as you read what your characters have been up to.  You start creating some more and the fire and love for the written word and your created world grows, and then you know.

You know despite what others may say, you ARE a writer and when it does get seen by world, they will know it too.