The branches, and the tree

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If you have been following me on this blog, you will know I have self-published two books on Amazon that are part of a six-book sequence called The Relative Series. I am new to the writing world, and have been doing my best to maintain a structured writing schedule. Weekly Zoom meetings with my friend and mentor, Neil, have kept me on track (for the most part) and held me accountable to meet a weekly deadline.

The creative aspect of constructing stories that come from the depths of my imagination is a dream come true. Since I was a young child, I have built worlds in my mind, developed characters who lived in those worlds, established conflict, and designed fitting endings for each tale that I had manufactured.

Along the way, there were always signs to tell me that I should forge ahead, to throw caution to the wind and put each and every word onto a page, and last night was no different. I have three white boards in my living room to help me keep the timelines of each book so they flow properly into the next story, and one of those white boards spoke volumes last night.

Writing a series of six books is daunting enough, but making sure the timelines throughout the generations match up is overwhelming. While sitting in my living room as the sun went down, the outline of the tree I planted in my mother’s memory after she passed away magically shadowed the white board holding the family tree of my series. I got the message loud and clear, now back to the story board I go!

We should give thanks every day

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Although our Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone, I came upon this post I wrote at the beginning of my blogging journey and I wanted to share it again.  May my friends south of our border feel as many thanks as I do each year during our celebration.

thanksgiving-snoopy

(image credit)

My family is a collection of characters.  They are as unique as snowflakes.  No one member is remotely the same but they are all intelligent, articulate, thoroughly amusing and fun to be around.  There is never a dull moment at the cottage when the relatives are in town.

With our hectic lifestyles and spanned locations, we don’t get to see each other as often as we used to when I was a kid but that just makes holidays and get-togethers that much more special.  Since it is Thanksgiving weekend, we gathered once again to celebrate the holiday and enjoy each others company.  The stress of life and all of the troubles that we face during the day seem to melt away when the family reunites and nothing else matters except the people who embrace you when you walk over the threshold of the door to the family cottage.  The outside world ceases to exist and laughter and love wrap themselves around our family members like a warm security blanket.  The food is abundant, the conversation is easy and the feeling of love is overwhelming.  There is nothing more important than family.  We can be thankful for all of our possessions, our jobs, our wealth, but all of those things are replaceable.  Family is not.

Thanksgiving is a time to truly reflect on what is most important in our lives.   I am certainly thankful for my health, having a job that I love, co-workers that I admire and respect and possessions and a home that I truly appreciate.  But I am most thankful for the branches on my family tree that continue to envelop me and wrap themselves around me when I need them the most.

With each passing year, the trunk of our family tree grows stronger and it roots itself more firmly in the soil of our existence.  That tree has weathered many storms but still manages to endure the bad times as well as flourish in the good times.  Its bark remains tough but the core of our family tree still remains tender and nurturing.

As seasons come and go our family tree continues to thrive.   I am thankful for my ancestors who planted the original seed.  I am thankful for my family members who have passed and still hold roots in my tree.  And I am abundantly thankful for the family who continue to create branches on that ever-growing tree.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I hope you all take a moment to give thanks for the things that are truly important in your lives.

From Root to Tip

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tree

(image credit: photo.net)

We are an eclectic band of misfits. Each branch of my family tree is twisted and unique. But life in my forest has been full of adventure and laughter. From the moment our family tree took root it was nourished by humor, surrounded by love and encouraged to branch out in any direction it was drawn towards.

The apples that fall from that tree do not stray far and we enjoy the camaraderie that only like-minded semi-delusional people can share.  We are nuts but we are family.

I had recently told a tale, based solely in fact, about how my brother tricked me into eating a petrified piece of dog excrement when I was only five years old. Although I was traumatized as a child, I can now see the humor in the “incident”. Perhaps that humor comes with the foreshadowing of future revenge but we are family and it is divine to forgive. (nobody said anything about forget)

It is my brother’s birthday today. I awoke thinking of this day as his pilgrimage into his 50th year. The common lines of the happy birthday song didn’t seem to do justice to our relationship and this new version flooded my brain at 7:00 am.

Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday to you.

You’re one terrific brother,

but you made me eat poo.

I can only hope he finds as much humor and enjoyment in our gnarled family tree as I do. From root to tip we are certainly an odd bunch, but I wouldn’t want to hang from any other tree!

Happy birthday Jamie!! Love you.  xx

 

 

From the Horse’s Mouth, literally

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Today was a creatively inspiring day.  Today I went from not having any neurons firing in my brain to a cosmic overload of things I want to talk about.

On Friday I wrote a post about my first crush.  It was a Daily Prompt that inspired me to write a cute, truth-based story in response to the idea.  I haven’t thought about that adorable, freckled-faced red-head for many years but writing that post made me smile thinking about him.  The story also encouraged me to check the vast world-wide web to see if he would appear in real form instead of just the memory of a six-year-old.  The result of my search was successful and way beyond my expectations.  It also took me in a few directions I had not anticipated.

I had reached out to him on LinkedIn and found that he graciously accepted my invitation, perhaps out of morbid curiosity, but he accepted nonetheless.  We exchanged a few words and he inquired about the blog post that led me to him.  I acquiesced and sent him the link.  His initial response after reading it was more favorable that I imagined and I was curious to see where his life had led him after our brief time together in school so many years ago.

The object of my youthful affection is a now a documentary filmmaker in Toronto.  He has won several awards for his talent, including two Juno awards, and is now working on a project that is far closer to my life than I would have thought possible.  His company is called Regular Horse Productions (he was formerly with Horse’s Mouth Media) and he is currently making a film about Massey Hall, a significant Canadian structure, a piece of history that MY ancestors donated to the city of Toronto in 1894.  My middle name is that same family name and carries on the tradition of the historic family that is etched into the arts and entertainment district of one of the most popular cities in the world.

I have yet to discover the direction that his documentary will follow but I will be waiting with bated breath to see how my family history will come to life.  I have three original Chatelaine magazines from June to August of 1964 that document and detail the pilgrimage and the ancestral tree of the Massey family dating back to 1531.  Perhaps one day Andy and I will share a coffee and some conversation about my ancestors that will help shed some light on how that beloved plot of land was donated so many years ago and still thrives in Toronto today.

And to think, this random connection almost forty years later began with a school-girl crush and a lost bunny……who knew?