Blog

Posted in Uncategorized

Redbird

Redbird – written by Coco O’Connor, Mark Narmore, Stephanie C Brown

How loud does the Universe have to shout before I listen? Redbird is the final song on the project I am so proud of, CoCo O’Connor’s Big Reveal album. For weeks I have been posting on Facebook and Instagram about Buddy, my redbird friend, hopping and flying so close to me even follows me at times. So obvious, yet I missed it.

Posted in Bipolar Disorder - I have it

Interviewing a person with Bipolar Disorder

Interviewing a person with bipolar disorder presents a challenge. Will her mental health diagnosis influence whether you hire her or not. I hope this post is interactive, and that you will answer the questions as you read. The links at the bottom are good self-checks.

What if the one being interviewed has bipolar disorder?

Imagine that you are interviewing someone for a position that involves interaction with the public. The person has all the qualities needed to do the job well. She has the communication skills needed. She is knowledgable. She personable. Her references are good. You are pretty sure you will hire her, but a second interview is company policy. At the board meeting that day, someone comments, “You do know she is bipolar?” Would that knowledge, change your decision? (Legal ramifications are outside the scope of this post.)

I have bipolar disorder and have been interviewed and hired or not hired several times, both with the interviewer being aware I have bipolar disorder and not being aware. I neither have a definitive answer nor do I think anyone does. Somedays I would not hire myself, but my past employment history shows those who did hire me are not sorry.

If you are interviewing a person with bipolar disorder, understanding a few key points should help. First, no two people who have bipolar disorder are alike. Even if you have past experience with people who have bipolar disorder, you will be doing this sperson with bipolar disorder a huge injustice if you judge her by your past experience. The same is true if you judge her from your exposure to characters with bipolar disorder in books, television series, or movies. Those are is seldom accurately portrayed.

To do the person and your company justice, educate yourself. The following links are a good start.

The myths: https://www.healthcentral.com/slideshow/bipolar-on-the-big-screen-accurate-or-not?ap=2006

Bipolar Disorders information from Psychiatry.org: https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/bipolar-disorders/what-are-bipolar-disorders

Bipolar Disorders information from Psychology.net: https://www.psycom.net/bipolar-disorder?ap=2006

Posted in Uncategorized

Life

For several years, I have posted about feeling I was in between the present and something new. Well, that new is my new normal. I am no longer an educator; I am coasting out of songwriting; I am still a creative catalyst for others because I believe that is a gift I have been given with the responsibility of using it.

I have also posted a lot about age. That will continue, the postings and age itself. I was born in 1945 which some classified as the first year of the Baby Boomer Generation. I more identify as The Silent Generation. I missed being a hippie, certainly no drugs, and free love. At nineteen, I was a mother and a wife. There’s a Doctor Who quote that I love. He says, “I came the long way around.”

Songwriting? There’s another saying. Don’t stay too long at the party. Leave on a high note. I began writing songs in the seventies. It’s time. I cowrote all ten songs on CoCo O’Connor’s new album, The Big Reveal, which is getting rave reviews within the industry and other listeners. That’s a high note for me and a big reveal in my life. More about that later.

I am embracing being a novelist. Technically, I do not think I truly am until I am published, but I never have cared much about technicalities. I write every day. Most days I show up at 9:00 to write with a group of women from Women’s Fiction Writers Association on Zoom for ninety minutes. Many days I write with them at 12:00 for another ninety minutes. I am perfecting the craft. Yes, I have been writing for years, but writing books is new to me. I use the analogy that building a basic box is easy, but carving a beautiful, intricate box with secret compartments is not. Some days I am discouraged because I know the odds. Other days I am content with the journey. I believe our days are a testament to others. I hope I am leaving a legacy of staying passionate and true to wherever energy calls. That keeps me positive. I go to bed looking forward to writing in the morning.

I am revamping this blog to more easily share my life – now. Some things are in my life to stay, like family, flowers, birds, lyrical lines, and quilting.

Comments are so welcome. Later there will be ways for you to subscribe to this blog and a newsletter. For now, you will just have to check back.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Two Months Down the Road

The Best Laid Plans…

I have a vision for the next stage of my life.

I had a plan. I would keep family a priority, write every morning on whatever book in progress, keep this blog up to date and delve deeper into building it into a blog with thousands (or at least hundreds) of followers which would mean attending more workshops and seminars and then putting my knowledge to use, promote myself as a writer on social media, write songs, grow breath-taking flowers, be a creative catalyst for others, and do whatever I wanted in my spare time.

Did I mention I would do all of this alone? And that there is no “spare” time

Now I am on Plan B which includes paying attention to my physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Keeping this blog updated much less delving into the depths to attract hundreds of follows will have to wait. I will do well to keep readers updated. I do well to post photos and personal updates on Facebook and Instagram. I have accounts in others but most have a learning curve. I have cut back on songwriter but miss it. I work sporadically in the yard. I have seeds left over from last year.

Writing everyday is still in the top three. Becoming an author, that is the vision. Have I told you I finished the first draft of the book with the main character sixty-five? I now realize for readers to love her, I need to write two more books beginning with her at twenty something and the first draft I already have written be the last in a series. I am well into the first draft of the first book in the series.

I did not say Plan B is less ambitious.

Posted in Uncategorized

Following My Energy: Writing a Novel

50,00 words – 1,667 a day – Stephanie C Brown – Natalie

February
Working our Works in Progress

Have you ever gone through months of knowing your life was shifting. I think Covid isolation was a big factor for reevaluating life for many of us. My life has settled, some what. Here are my thoughts on how that happened.

Follow your passion: I like the sound of that, but sometimes that is not an option. Sometimes you do not have a clue what your passion is or even if you have one.

Follow your energy: I like the sound of that even better, but sometimes we have little. We are lucky if we find something that energizes us or leaves us exhausted in a good way.

Write a novel: that is energizing me. I go to bed thinking about what I will write the next day. I get up earlier than usual for me. (Not every night or day)

Let me tell you about the novel I am writing, how it came to be, and how it is progressing.

I committed to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month. Now during the month of November, people all over the world accept the challenge to write 50,000 words – 1,667 a day. I wrote the first draft of Natalie’s World. As advised I waited a month before reading it and beginning revising and editing. Now I am takiing scenes out and adding new ones.

Worth the times: Natalie is sixty-four or sixty-six. She is contemporary. I know many women like her whose journeys are much alike. Writing a book about an older woman is well-worth my time. Plus,. the story is mine to tell.

A creative tribe or tribes: I joined WFWA (Women Fiction Writers Association) and ProWritingAid. Both have active, supporting Facebook groups. I take part in Zoom writing dates (nothing like dating).

Your Thoughts: Natalie is not a Golden Girl, Miss Marple, or a cougar. Hopefully, you know at least one Natalie – sailing past sixty, living life to the fullest. Intrigued? Interested?

Leave me a comment.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Alabama Yard in the Rain

How are you handling Delta? By choice, I am back to staying at home after enjoying a little post-vaccine freedom. Just me and Jada who stays close no matter what project I am immersed in. I quilt; I make photos; I work in my big yard. Someone else cuts the grass, but I do the rest. For ten years I have been planting perennials which come back every year, annuals from seeds, bushes, and small trees. My yard is my salvation.

This is year to decide what stays where it is, what gets moved, what new will be added, and what will be taken away. Fall is the time for all of that planning a lot of work. That gets me up and moving in the in the mornings. Today it is raining, but I put on a raincoat and made photos of what’s blooming or fading now. I hope you enjoy them.

I love putting to use some of what I have learned in webinars, online courses, and and videos about blog building. This blog is a container for sharing the quilting, photography, gardening, cooking, and, of course, writing. Come back often to see where my energy is in new posts.

Tell me how you are getting though Delta? Leave me a comment. To do that school down a bit – past Recent Posts. I would love your answer to the question and general feedback!

If you are still on the main blog page, go to only this post by clicking on the title. There you will have a comment option. Please, do.

Posted in Flowers

Zinnia Love (in my yard and photographed by me)

I

have zinnias right in front of my house and in an overgrown patch in back of my shop. The leaves have moldy mildred and spots since I garden with Mother Nature with no help from herbicides or poisons.We are past spring time rains and into hot and humid temperatures.

Zinnias are not fussy so tolerate both. Plant them in the sun in poor to average soil, keep them watered and watch them grow.

Posted in Journal

I almost missed it

Life is like a river

Ever changing as it flows

A dream is like a butterfly

Ephemeral and fleeting

Skimming the surface

as the river flows


I wrote the above on July 24th, just a few days ago. I also wrote the following: The time of letting go of life as I knew it was hard to know. I gave so much time and energy holding on, thinking if I kept doing the things I did the joy and passion would still be there, but those have already gone and are waiting for me in life as yet unknown. For now, I am in between.


Fast forward to today. I may be in transition from one stage of my life to another, but joy and passion are not waiting for me out there somewhere. They are here in the in between. I felt them today sitting in the audience of W.C. Handy Fest’s Songwriter Series. I almost missed it. I did miss the Monday show.

My two main passions in life have been teaching and songwriting. I have walked away and back again from both more than once. My daughter used to tell me that I always forgot how much I loved teaching until I walked back into a classroom. Today I realized the same is true my music world. Seven years ago after a twelve-year hiatus from music, I walked into a studio and knew I was back. Today I walked into a live performance of songs and realized I had never left.

I think maybe this concept of being in between was in my head. After all, all there is is now.