Posted in Journal

Tinder Box

I am an American who cares about America. I do not see how I could write a blog post today that did not in some way touch on today’s election results. Joe Biden is president elect. Although almost half of America are not happy about that, I am. Some will not even acknowledge it. I am keenly aware that I am a miniority in Alabama, my state. Barely one-fourth of Alabamians voted for Biden.

I feel like we are in a tinder box. I do not want to contribute to any negative conversations that could ignite a fire. Already I have asked to be dropped from one text group boasting about “our” win and making derogatory remarks about Trump supporters. I am sure I am going to read a lot of derogartory remarks about Biden supporters like me. I am going to be disappointed in some of my friends on both sides. Already there is violence in the streets.

While writing this, someone called to congratulate me because they were sure we are on the same side. In fact, we are. I loved that. We had never discussed the election, but she knows me, so she knew. I am not against talking about the election results with people who are positive. In fact, I need that. I want everyone to know where I stand. Although I am a minority in my home town, my state, and the states around me, I will be active in working with people who believe as I do that Biden is our best choice.

Already I am hearing and seeing so much I disagree with, but I have high and lofty goals. I hope I will walk away from inflamatory conversations on social media and even in person. I am not Ghandi or Mother Teresa, but I want peace.

Years from now I will look back on this blog and be proud I made a stand,

Posted in Bipolar Disorder - I have it, Journal

The Secret To Obsessing

How can a person stop being obsessive? I have a one track mind. I do not multi-task well. If you know me, you have seen it. Working in my yard, quilting, building this block (which was a lot easier than maintaining it), writing my book, writing songs, working puzzles, and probably others I am not thinking of right now. Having an obsessive personality is generally viewed as a bad thing. Like a lot of other things, it is all in how you look at.

I am seventy-five and finally comfortable with my obsessive personality. I accept going into a project or coming back to it that I might not stay interested in it and that I might walk away from it. I am okay with that. In the past, I listened when people reminded me I was good at starting something new but not good at finishing anything. That made me doubt myself and ask myself what was the use of starting or going back to something because I was not going to finish it anyway. It certainly took away from that rush of energy starting a project. I do not think that way anymore.

What works for me is having more than one good obsession so when I am bored or discouraged with one or am obsesssing on one that is not good for me, I can switch off to another one. This does not mean that I walk away from a project everytime I am frustrated or stalled. Sometimes I grit my teeth and refuse to give up. I trust myself to stick with or come back to the ones that matter, even the hard ones. That is where I am with the book. I am not to the walking away point. I accept that I am not making leaps and bounds, so I have to keep my feet on the ground and butt in the chair and put the time in. As long as I do that, I allow myself to obsess with another obsession to free my mind. Tonight it is going to be Doctor Who. Next week it might be quilting.

The answer to the question is you do not stop being obsessive. The secret is you have multiple obsessions.

Posted in Backyard Birds, Journal

Last Year’s Cardinals and Doves

One of my passions is making photos of the birds that come. This year I have been caught up in my songs, blog, and book so have not made photos. I think I will slow down and focus on my birds. All I have to do is sit in my rocker with camera in hand, These photos are October birds on my deck last year.

Posted in Flowers, Journal

Planting Seeds like My Grannies Did

Zinnias, coreopsis, black-eyed Susans, daisies, echinacea, larkspur, cleome, sunflowers, four o’clocks, butterfly milkweed, cosmos, asters, marigolds, poppies, phlox, bachelor buttons, amaranth – in abundance in my yard each spring, summer, and fall. I plant seeds; Mother nature does the rest. Nurseries sell these plants in pots ready to put in the ground. I can not afford buying plant at a time. Why would I when I can buy and save seeds resulting in an abundance of plants?

Some years I have hired someone to break sections of my yard with a rotary tiller and then planted seeds. The last two years I have not connected with anyone with a tiller who will work for me, so I have pulled weeds and grass and dug spots with handheld garden tools. I either knell or sit on the ground to accomplish this much harder step. If I could find hired help, I would not do it all by myself. I am seventy-five with some aches and pains. Starting with grass or weeds to get a spot ready is hard but not as hard after a rain.

Look what grew from seeds in the spots I dug. I would say a huge return on the investment of my time and energy. I garden with Mother Nature. I use no marketed insecticides, herbacides, or poisons. I do water on a very limited bases until seedlngs are well established. I use egg shells and coffee grounds as fertilizer plus some marketed ones.

I asked friends what I do well that they would like to know how to do. One answer was growing beautiful flowers. If I offer a four week online course teaching you how, would you be interested? Let me know.

Posted in Journal

How Can I Help?

I help people. That’s what I do. I am a catalyst for change. Both of these were easier before Covid19. I have immersed myself in finding ways to help online. This blog and the book I am writing are parts of that. I am taking several online course. Developing my own online courses is next. First, I have to know how I can help. What do I have to offer? What do I well that you would like to know how to do? I have never had so much time available to design online courses.

How can I help you?

Either comment or send me email, or if you had rather, find me on Facebook –

Help me help you. I need the energy exchange!

Stephanie C

Posted in Journal, Stephanie C Brown - Songwriter and Catalyst

A Life Well-lived

Do you have a past history of beginning projects you do not finish? I do. Twenty-four days ago, I began the journey of writing my book A Life-well Lived. I have begun and am past the beginning. It is getting to the middle that will be hard. I have promised myself I will write at least five-hundred words a day. For me, the word count is easy; every day is not. Last night at eleven-thirty, I realized I had not written. I managed five-hundred words in thirty minutes.

Sudden stops are not my problem with projects I still believe in. The first two weeks I wrote at the scheduled morning time. Then one day, something happened that I needed to do during that time. Gradually I shifted writing time to whenever I was not doing something else. Remembering at eleven-thirty last night should not have surprised me.

My Life-Well Lived cup arrived in the mail today. Now every morning I will be reminded. An object I can see and touch is vital for me to acheive a long range goal. When I began Golden Ladder and Silver Cradle, my Nashville publishing companies, the first thing I did was pay for someone to design a logo for me. I had cassette labels and inserts, stationery, note cards, and business cards. Those companies exsited for me long before that did for anyone else although others believed in them quicker than they would have without seeing that logo. One Fan Fair a record label assistant called to ask how many passes I needed. At that time Golden Ladder and Silver Cradle were just me. I had created them in others’ minds.

This week someone sent me a text asking how I developed this blog. She is still in the maybe-vision stage. She does not want to begin something she may not carry through with. My advise to her was not to linger too long in the planning stage, to do something concrete. I suggested she get a free WordPress blog, select a free theme, and build the blog. She does not have to actually post until she makes up her mind. She may decide she does not want to invest her time in blogging or that now is not the time. Building the blog does not take the place of planning; it brings the vision into reality.

Stop and think of past projects you have abandoned. Do not worry about the ones in which you no longer have interest. The ones you wish you had completed, start again. Look for something you can see, hear, or touch that will remind you.

I did not order enough cups to give to others, but maybe I will. For now, I am the only one to pour coffee into that cup, already well-loved, and think of A Life-well Lived.

If anyone does want to pay $25 for a cup, let me know.

Posted in Bipolar Disorder - I have it, Journal

Discovery and Recovery

Has your past ever blindsighted you? Memories you had buried or pushed aside appear front and center. That happened to me this week while working on my book that is not all my story but parts of my story. To determine what I want to include and what I do not, I have revisited my past more than I intended. The section I am working on is Claiming the Past. I intended general advice from the other six songwriters and me. Since I am the author, more of what I have claimed from my past needs to be included than from the other six.

Claiming involves an honest inventory of any memory that makes you uncomfortable. I am not advising on how to deal with that discomfort beyond acknowledging it. Some memories touched sorrow I did realize I was holding on to. I do not want to erase those memories or deny the sorrow; I want to see them for what were and are. In a first draft, an author writes quickly knowing she will leave out and add in the next edits. The book is complex. I do not think I would ever finish it by logically and rationally chosing what to include and what to include. In attempting to write about some years and some experiences, I have stopped and moved on to something else because one memory triggered other memories.

I have written over 10,000 words in twelve days. I am claiming my past. I do not know how much of it I will share. Perhaps not even half of what I have written. Once a memory is shared to more than the people involved, it is not longer personal. Some of mine are precious to me. Some are painful. As I write, I am remembering more of both.

My projected published date was late May. I think my rough draft will be finished by projected time od January 10, but the edits will take longer than anticipated. I am okay with that as long as I write every day and meet my weekly word count goal.

Do not attempt this at home without supervision, especially if you have bipolar disorder and have a hard time with timelines.

Posted in Journal, Stephanie C Brown - Songwriter and Catalyst

My Words

Words –

Like the air I breath

There as long as I have life

Even if I couldn’t say them

Write them or even hear them

They’d be inside of me

And I would know them

lyrically yours – stephanie c brown

Imagine a world with no words spoken or unspoken. Of course, you can not because even in imagining there are words. Every image, every emotion, your brain is naming or trying to. Words are so important that we have words to describe our relationship with words. We are at a loss for them; we are moved by them; we are hurt by them; we are healed by them; we search for them; we borrow them; we steal them; we use them; we wish we had them; we remember them; we forget them; we go places and have experiences without our bodies with them. We use words for all of these.

What a mystery words are. I am writer and have been as long as I can remember and before, but I do not know how true my words are for others. I found a wide-ruled, black composition book from the first grade. Before I knew cursive, in large print letters with misspelled words, I wrote about a goat who drove a car and smoked a cigarette. That goat had no basis in reality, but it was in my head and I had words to express it although not well. There is so much I wonder about that goat and the little girl who invented him. I am prone to flights of fantasy, and I find words to express them.

JK Rowling, who certainly knows the power of words and has made a lot of money from words, describes words as the most inexhaustible source of magic we have. Think about it. How many worlds created by words have you visited. How many concepts have you grasped because you either read or heard words spoken or written by someone else. We write them, we speak them, we hear them, but what their force is invisible- magic.

Do words ever die? When no one, no one at all, speaks them or writes them or remembers them, maybe they are dead, but their influence never dies. A language many be “dead”, but its shaping power on a culture or society lives on.

Emily Dickenon’s crystal clear succient words in her poem “Dead Words” writes of words:

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

I say the same is true once a word is written. The words I think and never speak or write affect me. The ones I speak or write affect other people. I write for both reasons.

I even have words to describe when I have no words.

                     Soul of the Past

If I had a video of every moment of my life

I would have nothing but images and sounds.

When my eyes are closed and I hear nothing

Then my past comes to me.

It shifts and changes

So I never really know it

But the emotions remain

For they are the soul of the past.

lyrically yours -stephanie c brown

When I started this blog post, I planned to write about the power of words to create. Instead I wrote the words that came to me. Who knows where words come from? As a lover of words and a writer, I have spent hours writing these words and loving writing.

Comments are so appreciated.

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