My Roots Are Showing

Articles from the  Write to Done- Unmissable Articles on Writing blog typically capture my attention and hold my respect.  Besides being poignant for the blogging world, these articles are succinct and sensible.

Today’s post, Know Thyself.  7 Truths About Writers,  was guest written by Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn, one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers.   The title caused me to rewind my speed-read-and-heed habit.  These facts hit home.  If we don’t know them, we’ll waste a lot of time figuring out where we fit.

Joanna succinctly describes the following seven facts about us, at this link:

1.   We are loners

2.   We want recognition

3.   We are scared and doubt ourselves

4.   We are deeply creative but sometimes forget this

5.   We know execution matters

6.   We are always improving

7 .  We know there are dark places within

With reference to #4, Joanna writes,  “Although we may spend years in the wilderness, we can resurrect that creativity.”  I empathized with her description of her business life.  I spent many years in the wilderness with two careers in the financial world.  In each one, I grasped every opportunity to honour my creative cry to write.

Today, when anyone asks what I do, I say, “I am a writer.”  There is no stumbling or uneasiness.  I am a writer.

While still pausing over my creativity, thanks to Joanna’s article,  imagine my delight to find I’d been given an award:

Arindam's Award Night

Serendipity or synchronicity?  Does it matter?

Arindam, a young man in India who blogs at  Being Arindam, hosted an Awards Night – complete with various cultural presentations that translated into a delightful taste of India; not to mention a few tears.  True to his nature, he presented awards to so many of us from his bloghood that I cannot imagine anyone was left out.

Many thanks, Arindam.  Your kindness is a complete surprise.  I will now have to live up to it.  When I don’t, may I blame the spelling of Kreativ?  Don’t tell me the origin just yet!

As you requested, my generous friend, “Seven Facts about Myself”:

1.  I am a storyteller.  I may be more of an essayist than anything – I’m still discovering my springboard.  I am generally not a fan of short stories, but if they have something to teach me, I devour them.   For example, one of our #1 Bestsellers in Canada, is an anthology of  Canadian women writers, “Dropped Threads – What We Aren’t Told”.  My passion for my country’s history as told through lives of women older and younger than me meant I read through tears.  These women have pushed beyond the fallacies and hypocritical nuances laid on women writers – often by other women.  They learned how to be true to themselves.  However, they had to discover what they didn’t know.

2.  I lived a major part of my growing up years believing that my rural background put me in a position of not knowing all sorts of social subtleties that urban kids were automatically prepped with.  When we moved to a small city at the beginning of high school, I was amazed at the behaviour of my city counterparts.  I found them immature and silly.  I befriended students who were three or four years older than me.  It helped that I looked 21 when I was 16.  Today, I hope to be mistaken in the other direction.

When, at 19, I dressed for my first dinner aboard the Carmainia of the Cunard Line, I was placed at a table of strangers.  I looked at the setting of silverware and quickly thanked my father.  Though a farmer and road builder, as a young man he’d boarded with British people who dined each day with the silverware properly placed.  I noticed I was the only one who confidently reached for appropriate cutlery.

3.  I taught myself to play two instruments.  At age 8, while waiting for my mother to finish work as a teacher, I’d plunk out tunes on the piano in the room next to my mother’s classroom.  I’m not sure how she tolerated the noise.  Eventually, I played a rousing rendition of “God Save the Queen”.   I ended my piano career years later with “Cryin’ Time”.  I quit because I could neither sound like Barbra Streisand nor Ray Charles:

(I tried many ways to embed this video.  Please excuse yet another link.)


Post piano, someone handed me a guitar and told me I could keep it.  I bought a book, learned “The Streets of Laredo” and moved immediately into Spanish Flemenco.  There was no need to follow notes when intricate finger work and hard strumming created visions of Jose Feliciano.  I decided the poor instrument surely needed tuning.  I took it into a guitar shop.  The gentleman showed me an old crack in the neck of the guitar.  “It’s been there for some time.  You can’t tune a cracked guitar.”  I haven’t the heart to listen to The Streets of Laredo on a tuned guitar.

I still play “Cryin’ Time” any time I am alone with a piano.

#4.  I handed in my cell phone when I retired.  I have not purchased one for myself.  I thought I wouldn’t need one.  However, my friends use the text feature rather than the phone.   When texts were sent about the recent death of a friend’s mother, I was not contacted and had to hunt down the information.  I need to make a decision since I want to keep up with the technology of communication.

#5.  My close friends still have a tendency to read my blog and feel they’ve had a visit with me.  I have to remind them I that I need a visit with them.

#6.  I am an activist.  This surprises me.  However, I now have time to do homework, research and listen to interviews.  At times I bang on a diverse number of doors, but the thread is single.  I find injustice impossible to swallow, accept or leave alone.  I don’t know if I really have any power, but I belong to Avaaz who has submitted numerous petitions of impact.  With 10 million members from all over the world, we have had remarkable degrees of success.

#7.  I am an old soul.  I have an innate understanding of  humans, animals and flora because every part of life has touched mine.  I have spent many years observing life while meeting various obligations.  Although an extrovert, I’ve been quiet most of my life about matters of import.  I am no longer quiet.  My gathering is done.  It’s time to speak.

Although I’m asked to choose 5 – 10 blogs to honour, when I think of all the blogs I read, every one qualifies as being “Kreativ”.  Like so much of life, it’s only a matter of degrees.

64 thoughts on “My Roots Are Showing

  1. Hi,
    Congrats on your award.
    Yes you are a writer, and I do enjoy reading your posts.
    Thank You for sharing a bit of yourself, a very enjoyable read.

    No problem to click onto the link it was well worth it, an absolutely beautiful song, I loved it.

  2. Yes, you are a story teller. As for your passion of matters, you do make a tremendous difference! The love and spirit you put into the words on your blog alone touches many.

    • Hi Celi. Yah, I really liked the points that Joanna outlines, too. But, you, dear Celi, have Kreativ-ity stamped all over you! You are one of those people who causes me to believe that you could paint, sculpt, draw, write, cook and photograph and it would all be gorgeous.

  3. Congratulations. You write and inspire. You’re a gifted writer. Thank you for sharing those fascinating tidbits. I love that your father sounded like a Renaissance man.

    • Interesting that you pick my dad to comment on, SDS. I don’t write often about him. He was away from home so much that I had little time with him and, as a kid who adored him, it was never enough time. It seemed he was always leaving and the return date was y-e-a-r-s away.

  4. Congratulations on the award Amy, you are most definitely a writer…a most inspiring one too 🙂

    The interesting manner in which you have shared a few things about yourself leaves no doubt of that…it is such a joy to get to know you a little more through that…as also be more in awe of you!

    Thank you also for those very pertinent pointers about writers…Know Thyself…food for thought there! My youngest, a multi-faceted entrepreneur, insists that he is a writer above all, I must share these with him!
    Barbara Streisand is an all-time favorite…many thanks for sharing that clip…

    God bless…

    • Shama, throughout my careers, I knew I loved writing. I knew I would eventually dedicate time to writing something. While I pursued my careers, I also studied writing courses and read voraciously. I mention this, Shama, to comfort you as a mother. I suspect you can trust that your youngest, who probably seems to be going everywhere in a perfectly straight zig zag (!), is laying the groundwork. As a creative person, I was so interested in life that I simply had to explore, taste, try, and experience. My mom used to say, “You are like a good old pot of Irish Stew. You are sitting on the back burner, simmering, as you keep adding ingredients. One of these days, you’ll be cooked.”

      I suspect we never stop cooking as long as we are truly alive.

      • What an absolutely beautiful way to put that Amy…it is certainly comforting….love your mother’s analogy…wisdom with love…perfect 🙂

        You are so right…this son of mine is very creative and brings a lot of laughter and sunshine in my life….the prayer is that there will always be an abundance of that in his life too as he uses his God given talents to the fullest…amen!

  5. You have been doing this longer than I have. You inspire me to seek what is pure and authentic. I am very curious about the things Canadian you mention as my mother’s family originated from New Brunswick…the East coast I know, so perhaps there are subtleties of differences that your roots show. I enjoyed this very much…the title is creative/kreativ. Barbra Streisand was one of the voices I loved early.

  6. Congratulations Amy. You, of course would probably not state this in your list of attributes … so I will do it for you. I don’t know you well but then I don’t think that I need to for this quite simply is the truth. You are a woman of wisdom. So, thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.

  7. You are a wonderful writer and most importantly an intelligent and honest one. You motivates all of us to try and do something different and brave with our blogs. Just like you At age 8, I was also waiting for my mother to finish work as a teacher. But unfortunately I did not try to learn something new during that period. May be I missed something there.
    One more thing, Thanks a lot for these kind words about me and my blog. These words really means a lot. 🙂

    • Arindam, if you were not who you are, I could say nothing. I adore the fact that you have the confidence to join our bloghood. Plus, I thoroughly enjoy knowing what you and the younger set are interested in. There’s so much happening and, even as an aunt many times, it’s hard to catch the best of it!

    • Coming from one of our quality educators, many thanks, Kate. Yes, when we are writers, we don’t just talk about our ideas, we get them down. We have to deliver or WE wither! 😀

  8. Thanks for sharing these 7 fun facts and facets about you with us, Amy.

    Not sure what the coverage would be by you, but we bought a pre-paid cell phone plan from Verizon. We bought the $100 card (because the minutes last up to a year). The cost is about $8 a month if you use it as sporadically as we do ~ it can be used for texting.

    You probably tried this, but here’s how I’ve been embedding videos of late:

    Edit post ~> “Insert media” button ~> From URL ~> click “Audio, Video, or Other File” ~> paste URL into URL line ~> “Insert into post”

    • Nancy, many thanks for both these nuggets.

      Prices in Canada are outrageous compared to south of the Border. We don’t have the coverage options so the prices stay high. I have to go into Victoria and talk to IPhone people because of the capabilities offered. Ideally, I may find it cost justifiable to only have an IPhone, IPad (for internet connection) and my Laptop to work on without the Internet. That may be silly, but I have to find out.

      I will try your approach to embedding. All the techniques that have worked in the past pooped out. Must be another new kid on the block!

  9. Good for you…congratulations on the recognition!

    The commonalities on the writer/blogger in us all were right on the money. I will have to go read more about that.

    I am curious to see if you do end up getting that new cell phone. Can’t imagine life without it at this point. Those texts sure are quick and efficient.

    And I totally understand the friends reading your posts and feeling caught up. Keep nudging them. You need that catch up time with them as well!

    • At times, May, I suspect that texters think they are staying in touch. Well they are if staying in touch means knowing what people are doing. However, my friendships have never been without the heart and soul around doing.

      I have to change my thinking that a cell phone is an emergency device! 😀

  10. Amy, congrats on being singled out for yet another well-deserved award. And may I also congratulate you on the way you handled it.

    Thanks for that video. At one time I was a huge Streisand fan, but I’d never seen her doing that rendition with Ray Charles. I was struck by how young she looked…and not nearly as fully formed and confident as I remember her. One of my all time favorite movies was Yentl. Did you ever see that?

    I’m down with all of Joanna Penn’s truths about writers, except, well. I struggle with number 4. I can say, with a cough, that I am a technical writer. I always quickly follow that with…I don’t do fiction or creative writing. My brain seems to lack that ability to peer into the abyss and find something worth sharing.

    Cell phones are just one more tool. We must master the tool, not allow the tool to become our master. 😉

    • Yah, that video was a treat – in spite of the quality being below our standards for today. Yes, I saw Yentl. I remember it not being very popular – which surprised me. It helped me realize that I was not mainstream in my taste.

      Linda, I wonder if you like writing essays and non-fiction That’s where I’m most comfortable as a story teller. To me, reading essays is far more fun and interesting than reading most fictional short stories.

      I am a gadget freak so I know I’d love a cell phone. But I don’t want to have one unless it has many uses. I’ll look into it – soon as I get to a city.

  11. That article you shared hit really close to home. I feel sufficiently “pegged” and “outed.”

    Love this:

    “Today, when anyone asks what I do, I say, “I am a writer.” There is no stumbling or uneasiness. I am a writer.”

    That’s important. I’m getting more confident every time I say it. I used to say “I’m a writer . . . and a teacher,” as if that legitimized me somehow.

    Great post.

  12. Another excellent post! I enjoyed reading the traits of writers … I agree with the list. You are a storyteller I can read over and over – you have a way of reaching deep within and pulling up points of connection. Well done, and thank you for continuing to share yourself with the reader. Blessings, dear one … continue on as a shining beacon!!

  13. Hi Amy .. you’re definitely one and seven .. of that there is no doubt. A wise bird – old yet young …

    Funny old life re the Serendipity or Synchronicity .. it’s very true – congratulations on the Kreativ Award ..

    The advantage about mobile phones is the ability to text – it is cheaper .. and I hardly use either – but some only text usually .. particularly the three who help/care for/visit my mother .. and in this day and age – cheapness is an essential …

    Cheers – Hilary

    • This is funny, Hilary…at first I thought you meant I was definitely 1 & 7 of Joanna’s description. However, “a wise bird – old yet young” came to light when I realised you were addressing the 7 items about myself. Aha! Thank you very much, indeed.

      Yes, I will be biting the bullet about having a cell phone again – soon. I can feel it creeping slowly up behind me! 😀

  14. Congratulations on the award, and on a great post Amy. You’re a marvelous storyteller, this post was so interesting 🙂
    I love your honesty and wisdom, I’m glad you’re an activist, I’m glad you’re speaking up now, because selfish me, I’ve learned so much from you.

    Even on your little island, if you aren’t able to send or receive text messages you’re living in the last century?!!!? wow that’s scary!

    Thanks also for sharing Joanna Penn’s 7 facts about writers, and for pointing out that there’s a Top 10 Blogs for Writers ranking. I had no idea.

    How does one find the time to read all the stuff one wants to read plus all the extras one should be reading plus all the …

    • Exactly, Rosie…the reason I am surprised at my activism is that I never used to have the time to do the homework! I’m amazed at what I find and follow now that I am not working full time! I used to say to myself, “I’m keeping my back yard clean and helping those I can.”

      Don’t beat yourself up. Your activism will come when you do have time. Right now you are fulfilling a role that is VERY important for different reasons. Not less or more…different. (I suspect Mr. F. would agree!)

      Be the “you” who you are today. We love your blog and all the unique angles you share! I love seeing there’s a new Wondering Rose post! And it wouldn’t matter if you could only post once a week. We know you and love you! So there…! 😀

        • You make me chuckle, Rosie. Your second sentence is the very thing claimed by some of the women I mentor. It has to be the piece of the Divine that is my soul. It knows how to look into yours. I don’t know how else to say it.

    • Thanks, Chris! We do reach “that stage” whether we want to or not…! One of the gifts of aging goes beyond courage which is powered up with conviction and determination. I see that in your writing – bravo.

  15. Congratulations with the award. You really deserve it. You bring so much inspiration and insight to the blogsphere. I enjoyed reading the seven facts about yourselves. I don’t believe where you come from matters when it comes to how we embrace the world. Be a farmer or a urban dweller. But no cell phone? That’s quite amazing in these days.

    • You know, Otto, I’ve noticed that my friends with cell phones – who are doing all the texting amongst one another – have been feeling lonely, less loved, under appreciated and left out. Yet they have this constant connection. I realized that being connected does not provide the intimacy that we need in our lives. The opposite of loneliness is not connectedness, it’s intimacy.

      • No doubt that connectivity doesn’t necessarily mean that one is closely or intimately connected. But it provides an easy way to stay in contact – and for me it would be hard to arrange actual meetings with friends and relatives without cell phone or email. And I like the opportunities technology gives – in addition to good old fashion face to face meetings.

        • I agree, Otto. I love the new technology and use it to make my life easier. It’s up to me to make sure I maintain the levels of intimacy that contribute to a healthy, rounded life i.e. not become a slave to gadgets and electronics. Believe me, if technology could take me to teleporting, I’d be in bliss! 😀

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