Thursday, May 27, 2010

Five Years Ago

Five years ago today I was in the hospital giving birth to my first son. With his arrival my life changed forever. Nothing would ever be the same. I was no longer just in charge of my own life, I was responsible for the life of another human being. My actions determined the survival and health of someone else. Wow. That's one giant step in terms of life changes.

I didn't realize what life really meant until I had my sons. Being a mother changed my molecules. It made me love like I had never loved before and showed me fear that I could not comprehend. Nothing prepared me for the all encompassing power of it.

I'm so grateful I had the chance to become a mother. My boys are the world to me and I feel so blessed for them and for the wonderful man that I was lucky enough to meet and create this life with. Every day I'm thankful for them.

Me and my three boys! :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

LOST Ramblings

How could I not do a post about LOST after the finale?

If you haven't seen it yet, please do not read on as I'll be discussing the details of the finale.

OK, I so loved it last night. I was sad when I realized that the sideways world was not real because that meant all the people that had died on the island had actually really died, but the way they did it gave me some peace. I felt especially sad for Sun and Jin because their daughter ends up growing up without either of her parents. But their love story was awesome.

I'm not a religious person by a long shot but I did love the idea of having a place where they all could find each other again and join in their journey to the next higher place, whatever that is.

And then there were the moments when they "remembered" and were reunited in death with the people they loved. OMG, I cried with every single reunion. My eyes were swollen by the end of the show.

There were definitely some questions unanswered but most of the main themes tied up for me. I loved that the characters each lived their own destinies and even though they died at totally different times (for all we know Kate lived until she was 100 or Hurley and Ben grew old together, as number 1 and 2, protecting the island) they all came together in the space between reality and the "afterlife" to help Jack (and each other) move on. There was something beautiful about that.

The Ben thing was interesting. He wasn't ready to leave. Hmmm. He still had some things to work out. But he was still in the Sideways world.

What did you think? Tell me, tell me, tell me....

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just Breath

I feel happy and hopeful today. Like anything is possible.

The last few days I've felt totally overwhelmed by my year project. The pressure of doing it and doing it well has pushed me to do self destructive stuff (eating my anxiety), which I always hate because it's so cliche. And every bone in my body said, stop pretending like you're going to do this thing, you know you're not, why this charade?

But today I am OK. I can see that sometimes you just have to relax and live your life the best you can with no expectations of grandeur.

It's OK to do nothing sometimes. It's OK to just be you, today, the way you are, without having to prove to yourself every second that you're good, you're strong, you're special.

There's nothing wrong with just being, at peace, with no specific purpose than to just breath.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LOST Goodbyes

I'm going to miss Lost. I'm so excited and a little sad about the show finale on Sunday. My husband and I stumbled on the first episode one night six years ago and have watched ever since. We've loved it and now we're ready to say goodbye to this great show. Here's a nice piece from the people on the show:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Say Tomato...

Did I tell you that I have started gardening?

That is if growing a bunch of herbs and little tomatoes constitutes gardening. Just last year I tried to grow some basil from seed in my kitchen and failed miserably. I thought that I was just not meant for the green thumb type activities and left it at that.

Then a few months ago, my neighbor encouraged me to try again and I did. I started small. One basil plant in the dirt patch next to the back stairs and one basil plant in a pot close by. The one in the pot started dying but the one in the dirt came to life. It gave me confidence to try a few other things. I got a little mint from a wild flower patch in the park and planted it close the basil. I watered the basil and mint every day and wa
tched them like I would my babies. Both of them started to thrive. I was so happy.

And then this weekend, I took a big plunge and bought a bunch more things: dill, cilantro, rosemary, and wait for it....tomatoes!!!

Here's a picture of my sweet group of lovelies. I have such high hopes for them. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mother Time

My neighbor across the street planted a tree three years ago on his front yard. I thought at the time how small and puny that tree was and how it's going to take decades for the tree to resemble anything close to a "real" tree that some of us have in our yards. But today as I was driving my son to school I noticed the tree with it's broad stump and it's full green branches reaching for all directions and demanding attention.

I guess it didn't take decades after all. Just three years. In these three short years, it became alive. It blossomed beyond my imagination. I think about what else has happened in three short years. Tens of thousands have died in military conflicts around the world. Brothers, fathers, sisters, mothers all gone. Just perished one day. Sad things. What else? Children have born, they have grown, they are talking, walking, creating, sharing their imagination and ideas. Good things. Beautiful things.

Time scares me. How fast it goes. How if you're not careful and deliberate, it can pass without you making a mark for yourself in the world. Every minutes, every hour, every day that goes by I feel the need to be present and accountable for my life and my output.

I've been thinking about why I want to write a memoir. Here are some honest answers:

1. I am turning 39 in three weeks and it rattles me a little. I want to do something challenging and real by the time I'm 40 (beyond my first love: being a good mother & wife). I want to accomplish something that no one, including myself, thinks is possible. Something that is going to push me way beyond my comfort zone. Something that once I accomplish it I can look back and beam with proud at having conquered.

2. I want to make my family proud. I don't think this need will ever go away. I still have it like I did when I was a little girl.

3. I want to connect to other people. Especially women. The idea of connecting on such an intimate level to tens, hundreds or maybe thousands of people is intoxicating. I love reading so much, especially memoirs. It helps me enter another persons life and feel less alone because I have them with me.

4. I would like to make money. Not a lot but some money so that I can contribute to my family. If I am able to make money from this endeavor, it will mean that there is possibility that I can be free to do this for a lifetime. I can be rewarded on some level other than just the satisfaction of doing it itself. That others see value in my story and how I have expressed it.

5. My boys will have something that gives them a glance of their mother that they probably would never have if not written down. And their children and their children's children would know where they came from. That your history matters and is part of you.

Those are some of the reasons why I want to do it. But actually doing it is a whole other story. I'm struggling with knowing where to start my story. How to capture the reader from the first sentence. How to reveal myself on that first page so they'll want to turn it.

This project is not a fait accompli by a long shot. Each day I convince myself to stick to it one more day and see how it goes. I guess a lot of challenges in life are like that.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Welcome! I'm so happy you came over to my new home. After weeks of thinking about a name for my new blog, I finally came up with Burst of Fruit Flavor. It has all the elements that I love - bright colors, sweet flavors, a little celebration, a little fun and a little cheeky.

I thought Monday would be a great day to jump over here for a start both on this site and also generally in life.

Each Monday I feel hopeful. Even if the week before was sprinkled with moments of crap or disappointment, every Monday I get a charge of energy. I'm enchanted by the notion of beginnings; anything is possible when you're at the start of something.

So even though I'm in the middle of my journey, I look at each Monday as a start. A chance to do it right, to try my best, to be present in it.

I'm so glad you're here this Monday! :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Something Worth Saying

So much going on!

I'm trying to do something creative and productive every day.  I don't always succeed but every day I wake up happy that I have another opportunity to try.

I did a big thing.  I signed up for a year long writing workshop.  It starts in September and meets every Monday night for three and a half hours.  Each session, the group "workshops" 30 page chunks of work.  I talked to the teacher and she said that the group consists of some published novelists, some novice writers and others that are in the process of writing their novels/memoirs.  I need to have a good amount, at least 30 pages, written by the first meeting.

Each step forward I take surprises me.  A few years ago, I would have laughed in disbelief if someone told me that I would be doing a year long writing workshop so that I could put my memoir together.  But here I am, writing a little, reading a lot, putting deposits down on ONE YEAR workshops!  Just crazy.

Also, as promised, I'm giving up  In a week or so I will be transitioning to a new website.  The blog itself will be same but it will have a different URL/web address.  I haven't found anything I absolutely love, which hasn't already been taken, so it might be the one I mentioned last week:  It's simple and describes both what I'm doing and what I advocate for everyone.

Lastly, life has been so fun with my boys lately.  They say funny things and give me lots of hugs.  I'm grateful for this time and hope that the hugs never stop, even when they're ornery teenagers.  :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Don't Turn It On

Not news but TV is the devil.

If I don't turn it on, I'm good.  All day, productive, creative, thinking, doing.  But God forbid I turn it on just for a few minutes to watch reruns of my favorite sitcoms (Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond).  I'll be stuck there for way too long, wasting the precious time I have each day to do other much more important, creative, and necessary things.

Breath.  OK, now that I'm at my desk and the TV is off I'm ready to do things. 

I hope you're having a great day and that you are doing things!  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thought of the Day

What would we do if we knew we could not fail?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Using Your Voice

Happy Mother's Day!!!

So far, mine has been relaxing and yummy.

In terms of the writing, I went to my first workshop yesterday.  It was a one day class on personal essay writing.  I got some good tidbits and met some interesting people but I need to find something that is more tailored to what I need help on, structuring a book, finding my voice, working on style etc.  I am looking at taking a year long workshop that is being offered by a writer in my neighborhood that meets every monday night.  It might be perfect but I'm a little hesitant because of the long commitment and the price.

As a friend recently said, the most important part of writing a memoir is finding (or revealing) your voice.  That's been tough for me.  You would think after over a year of writing on this blog I would have found my voice but every time I sit to write about my life in "memoir" form, I start to write in a way that I think books should be written as opposed to just talking in my own voice, with my own quirks and faults, which is what I need to make my voice authentic.

Though out my life, my best friends always told me that I should write a book because I would tell funny stories all the time about growing up in a crazy family.  When I told them that I was writing a memoir they were thrilled.  One said, "what will be different about your memoir is that the stories will have your quirky and crazy sense of humor."  I told her that I just didn't know how to write funny.  Everything I write tends to sound like a sociological analysis of the need to belong and be loved.  It's so preachy and sappy.  Why can't I make it funny and light and say the same things about my life?  Is it funny to be a kid that leaves her country at 8 and never feels quite right again until she meets a man that loves her so completely that he gives her a sense of belonging she's been searching for since childhood?  How can I make that funny?  I'm sure there's a way.

I'll will try and figure it out. I will either succeed, which will be totally awesome, or fail, which will suck but will give me more material for the stories I tell people at parties!

Today I'll be thinking about how to bring out my own voice in print.

Any suggestions welcome!  :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Testing The Waters

I bit the bullet and signed up for a writing workshop.  It's a one-day six hour long workshop  on Saturday about essay writing taught by a writing professional.  I'm so nervous about it.  Mostly because I'm afraid I'll get there and realize that I'm a terrible writer and have no real shot of creating something good.

I was writing yesterday about my life in Vancouver and in the middle of typing I just stopped and looked at the screen and thought: "Who the hell is going to care about this? How is this interesting at all to anyone but me?"

There are numerous times each day that I think I'm wasting my time doing this project.  That I'm just kidding myself if I think a non-writer can just sit down and write an entire book without years of experience and publications under her belt.  That, frankly, I'm just delusional about the whole thing.

But then I remember the promise I made to myself and to you.  The statement that I've made about myself by making this promise out loud for the world to hear.  That I will do this thing no matter how hard and how unlikely it may seem to others.  And that makes me want to keep going. 

Just write one word at a time.  Take one step at a time.  Go to the workshop and see how it goes.  Don't worry about your husband having to take care of the kids all day by himself.  He'll be fine.  The kids will be fine.  Just go. 

Nike really hit the nail on the head when they came up with: Just Do It!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Writing Down Your Life

So I didn't actually write the story yesterday but I started.  Does a few sentences count?

I was so emotionally twisted up yesterday and so tiered.  I just couldn't keep my eyes open the whole day.  And then I had a lovely night out with some friends.  I have to remember not to talk about my "job" or my stories that I'm working on so much.  I'm sure it's not that interesting to others.  Especially since I'm still in the process of working it all out. 

I'm excited to see a good friend, Kate, today who I consider a great writer.  She's got a wonderful blog and I think she writes very naturally.  And on top of that, she's just a really fun and supportive person.

OK, it's 9:30 am, I will write for at least one hour today.  :)

Oh, and I was thinking about new link to this blog...something about writing down your life.  I think everyone has a story to tell and I love the whole writing-down-your-life movement that has flourished because of blogs and the proliferation of memoirs.

What do you think? 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Picture Is Worth Five Hours

The days can go by so fast and you suddenly turn around and wonder what you even got done in the last week.  I'm terrified of not being productive now that I don't have a regular job.  I say "regular" because I am fully into this writing challenge so I'm counting that as my new job.  One of the main problems, however, with this job is that I may never actually get paid for it!  Oh well.  C'est la vie!

Ok, going back to being terrified of doing nothing productive.  I find myself each day ready to attack my writing chores...write, read, think, write.  But then something (or more accurately many things) happen each day to steer me away from that task.  The TV's not working, the bathroom sink is dripping, it's teacher appreciation week (gifts, cards flowers), play dates, groceries, life...AHHHH, it's just stuff I have to get done but it doesn't contribute to my self regulating job.

So I've decided that instead of being totally hard on myself, I will be happy if I do something, even if not writing or reading, that forwards my cause.  Yesterday that thing was organizing over 20 years of pictures. You see, I sat down to write a great story about my mom's opposition to birthdays and my 11th birthday fiasco when I realized it would be so great if I could find a picture from that time to spark some authentic visions and memories.  So before typing one work, I was off to the basement to find that picture.  Well, as anyone that has attempted to organize a giant box of pictures knows it can take forever and lead you to wasting your whole day looking at horrible outfits and should-be-outlawed hair styles.

Five hours later, I had a box of organized pictures and an aching back.  No story written but I found some great pictures.  A lot of the pictures made me sad but they helped me to appreciate today, which is always good.

Today's task, actually writing a draft of that story!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Not So Big Reveal

You might have noticed that I've changed my name and e-mail address in my profile section.  I thought it was time to take off the mask and be authentic.  This was especially important to me because my entire journey for this project is one of authenticity.  My memoir is a lot about being your true self regardless of the world of differences around you.

So for those of you that didn't know the real me, here I am.  Rebecca.  And I will go forward, in the same way that I've been doing the last few weeks, to share my writing thoughts, struggles, triumphs and lessons with you.

One thing that I need to do to finish the unmasking is to change my website link.  I need to say goodbye to and adopt something more fitting.  Any suggestions?  I want something simple that reveals something about me, my path, and my blog.  I'm having a hard time coming up with something.

I thought of the following as possibilities:

Whitepicketfence - It was taken.  I love this because of its happy life feeling.
Thegift - taken.

I want a happy, idealistic but not naive, achieving your dream, anything is possible kind of name.

Hmmm.  What do you think?