Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scrapbooking, Writing, and Wake-Up Call

It's that time again... National Scrapbook Day and National Photography Month! A busy time for me.

I've been working on my webpage -- and finally have the first part of my LifeWriting Workshop up and running.

Of course, this Saturday, May 3rd, the official National Scrapbook Day, I'll be hard at work at Chappell Acres here in Coopertown, hosting our NSD, a lively spring annual event.

Recently went on a ScrapShare retreat with 27 other awesome ladies. What a time we had. We're already planning our next one for October. If you're a scrapbooker, go to and get involved!

Great News! I'm now the Christian Literature Editor for BellaOnline. Click here to check out my page. Also, please, visit my forum. It's been lively lately. If I could write about anything in the world, it'd be books, seeing as how I'm a reading addict, so God knew what he was doing when he guided me here.

We've talked and debated on Oprah's new favorite book, A New Earth. I read the book and wrote a review on my site you can go to. Lots of different opinions on this subject, and that's good.

I'm reading an awesome book now, The Apple You Were Fed, which you can find out more about by visiting my Bella site as well. This book will get you thinking in a way you haven't before. More great books coming up too, so stay around, hang out in the Bella forums, make some new friends and contacts.

Another newsworthy event that's happened in my life -- I went to a writers' conference, Chattannooga Festival of Writers, the end of March. This was an outstanding session, and I learned much. Also made new writer friends.

My favorite workshop was John Sedgwick's "Writing the Memoir." Seeing as how I'm all into writing family stories and researching my German ancestors, I thought this would be ideal. And it was. It packed a special bonus I wasn't anticipating, though. When this very talented author started talking about his book In My Blood, I almost fell off my chair. Then I became riveted to my seat, as did all of the other writers there. This was the only workshop that was standing room only. This book's subtitle is "Six Generations of Madness and Desire in an American Family."

As Sedgwick described his episodes of depression, some of us writers were looking at each other and admitting he might be telling our story. There has to be something common in writers like that I guess. I actually hadn't read the brochure well enough to know that's what his book was about. I just saw "memoir," and knew that was the right place for me.

God knows, he really does, what I'd been going through with depression, what my doctor calls "clinical," but I also believe is genetic. And to find myself in this room with this author, and all these other people nodding their heads at his words, hit me light a flash of lightening. God meant for me to be here.

I'd been dubious about going off for the weekend alone and expressed to my husband before I left my concerns. I'm a person who has never been afraid to go anywhere by myself. I drove from Tennessee to Minneapolis by myself. I was a court reporter who wasn't afraid to stand up in a packed courtroom and administer the oath to witnesses or butt in right in the middle of a lawyer's question to tell him to slow down or speak louder for the record I was creating.

But, yet, for no reason known to me, I was nervous about this trip.


All the way driving home, I pondered what I'd learned in that one session, and as soon as I saw my husband upon arrival, I grabbed him and said, "We need to talk." I knew I had put him through a horrible ordeal with my ups and downs. My extreme highs followed by sudden and quick down-in-the-gutter lows. We agreed that night we would get help for me, more than what I was already getting from my primary care man, who is outrageously wonderful and the best doc I've ever been to.

Things are good right now, thanks to a very low dose of medicine. But they are good more so because I am aware of what's going on with me. I'm thoughtful of the situations that come up in my life and move slowly these days in tackling them. I do not want to enter that dark place again if possible. For me, this wake-up call was a miracle.

That's about all the updating I've got. I'll be checking in real soon with some good stuff on writing and scrapbooking and our faith that holds everything together.


click on image above to go to my website