Category Archives: Memoir

Creative Juice #197

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Creative Juice #197

ABC: Art. Beauty. Creativity.

Creative Juice #195

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Creative Juice #195

Lots of beauty this week.

D is for Dachshund

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My Father’s Day present to my husband in 2011 was a dachshund, something he had been begging me for. He and my daughter Erin went to an adoption event at a pet store. He selected a rescued dachshund who had been found in the state forest.

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We don’t really know her back story. The rescue outfit called her Precious. She was about five years old. Greg renamed her Rudi, the same name as the dog his father had owned.

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Rudi’s eyes eventually grew cloudy due to a buildup of cholesterol in her corneas. She lost a lot of her vision. She sometimes scratched her eyes, and had to wear the cone of shame joy.

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She loved to go for walks and would pull you along for the ride.

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She liked to be outside and sit in the sun.

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She was a good companion.

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As she aged, she slowed down. One day, about two years ago, she had several seizures. We took her to the vet right before closing time. The vet ran some tests and kept her overnight. The next morning, she was dead. The vet thinks she had a brain tumor.

It’s hard losing your dear friend, your furry baby. We only had her for seven years. For months, I said “No more dogs.”

But Greg wanted to try again. Before Christmas, we searched the pound for another dachshund. But most of the dogs were pit bulls. Then Greg noticed a little chihuahua trembling in a corner. He needed us.

That’s a whole other story.

a-to-z HEADER [2020] to size v2

Review of Crazy Brave: A Memoir, by Joy Harjo

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Review of Crazy Brave: A Memoir, by Joy Harjo

 

 

Joy Harjo is the current poet laureate of the United States, the first Native American to hold that position. I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about her.

Harjo is almost the same age as me, which made me like her immediately. However, our life experiences couldn’t be more different.

Harjo starts her memoir with the story of her parents and ends with her young adulthood. Her writing style is musical—even her prose is poetic. The poems included in the book reflect her native culture, which is woven throughout.

As a child, Joy was a good student, an artist who loved poetry, photography, and music.

Harjo’s parents divorced, and her mother married an older white man who physically and emotionally abused her and Joy and Joy’s sister and brothers.

Her stepfather wanted Joy gone, so he suggested sending her to a fundamentalist Christian school. Joy asked instead to be sent to an Indian boarding school, so she would have classmates who looked like her. The family applied through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and she was sent to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. She studied art and theater in addition to her academic subjects. When she graduated from the high school program, she was pregnant. The baby’s father promised to send her money to join him, but he didn’t.crazy brave

Joy borrowed bus money from her brother to travel to her baby daddy’s home. They married, but the marriage didn’t last.

With tribal assistance, Harjo entered the University of New Mexico in a premed program. After one semester, she changed her major to studio art. She met a student who wrote poetry. Joy had always loved poetry; she had loved to recite it as a child. She thought poetry had to be in English. This young man wrote poetry about his tribe and his pueblo and his people and their ideals. He changed the way Harjo thought about poetry. She fell in love with the student, and he beat her. She bore him a daughter and named her Rainy Dawn. He was an alcoholic, and she eventually left him. The book ends shortly thereafter, with Harjo pursuing poetry.

This is an excellent book for a white person to read, especially one whose experience with Native Americans is as non-existent as mine. It’s eye-opening.

Creative Juice #166

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Creative Juice #166

Neat stuff found online.

Creative Juice #137

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Creative Juice #137

Inspiration for your creative soul:

Creative Juice #122

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Creative Juice #122

4, 6, and 7 are especially beneficial for the new year.

  1. I’ve read a bunch of these memoirs and found a few to add to my TBR pile.
  2. Natural fashion.
  3. For all the writers. Especially the freelancers. Do you deserve a reward today?
  4. How to be a good father.
  5. I love The Frugal Crafter! Here’s an upcycling project she recently posted. I love the video as well as the instructions.
  6. Ways to put failures and setbacks into perspective. (Warning: the F-word is used liberally in this article.)
  7. Using the Da Vinci Schedule to increase your productivity and prevent burnout.
  8. I think my next quilt project for myself should be a red-and-white Christmas quilt. Some of these done up in Christmas fabrics would work very nicely.
  9. I’d love to see the tools this artist used to cut this lacy octopus.
  10. Why art matters.
  11. I find this sculpture particularly moving.
  12. Your creativity requires structure.

 

Creative Juice #119

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Creative Juice #119

Beautiful stuff to inspire you to greater creativity. Get out there and make some art, people.

  1. Sand sculptures.
  2. For the cat lovers.
  3. Quilt show-and-tell.
  4. Beautiful tangles from all over the world, same theme.
  5. The 100 books of 2018 that the New York Times considers notable.
  6. Aachen Cathedral and the wardrobe of Mary.
  7. Crease. Fold. Color.
  8. Favorite recipes. Lovely servingware.
  9. Gorgeous laser-cut light displays.
  10. Prize-winning photography.
  11. Artwork available as prints, posters, shirts, and skateboards.
  12. An artist’s tribute to her dad. (You’ll need a hanky for this one.)

In Remembrance

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In Remembrance

Today is the seventeenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. Let us never forget the innocents who lost their lives, nor how the country came together after the tragedy. Celebrate with a random act of kindness in memory of the first responders.

Here and here are some of my journal writings from that time.

WTC

#ALP: Weather

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#ALP: Weather

Are you happiest when it rains? Or do you need sunshine to be content? Hot? Cold? Let it snow? Has the weather ever caused a real challenge for you?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.