I’ve hung on to a lot of shirts over the years. Some are too small. Others have holes. I keep them for the memories. They remind me of how I got to be as old and fulfilled as I am today.
One of my favorites is a fitted black tee with white letteringfrom the seventies that says Improvisational Comedy in an arc across the back. In the front is my name and the word director. These were our costumes for San Ramon High School’s Improvised Comedy Troupe. I loved working with those actors. They were always actors first in my mind and teenagers second.
I let my actors make the decisions about color, lettering, and style. I would not be a performer, so I didn’t order a shirt, but they surprised me. “You’re our director,” one said. “You taught us how to do this stuff,” another added as…
SM: This may sound a little strange, but I’m going to interview my author, B. Lynn Goodwin about the book she wrote before mine.
You see I’ve been learning a few things about care giving since I met a girl named Tessa. You’ll meet her when you read Talent. Her sister came back from Afghanistan with some kind of a brain injury. She’s still in a coma, but Tessa’s keeping a journal for her to help her when she wakes up. So, Lynn, my first question would be is Tessa’s journal like your book?
BLG: A little bit. In both cases caregivers are relieving stress by writing their stories one incident at a time and one feeling at a time.
They are processing their thoughts as they write them down. There’s something about slowing down and putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard that makes what’s happening more manageable. You don’t deny thoughts the minute they flit into your brain. Instead you deal with them.
SM: Cool. That’s like my journal for English class, except I try not to say anything too personal there.
BLG:You can be as personal as you want when you journal for yourself. So who else would this journal be good for?
SM: Maybe my mom. Maybe even my dad. They can’t get over what happened to my brother, Bri. Not that I blame them. But it totally sucks—I mean it’s totally hard—to be me right now. They hardly even know I’m around.
BLG:So they could process what happened to Bri and how they are coping?
SM:Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be asking the questions! Do you have to journal every day?
BLG:Write when you want to. Write as often as you want to. Some people set a timer for 10 minutes. Some people keep going long after 10 minutes.
SM: Where did those 200 sentence starts come from?
BLG: Good questions, Sandee. I’m not sure anyone ever asked me that before. I first wrote them for my students. They were tenth graders who kept saying, “There’s nothing to write about.” So I started saying, “Finish that sentence start on the board and just keep going.”
SM:Did it work?
BLG:Would it work in your English class?
SM: It would for some people.
BLG: Exactly. When I used sentence starts with more motivated people, like drama students developing their characters or my free writing group, people used them to start. They let one idea lead to the next.
SM:So are journaling and free writing the same?
BLG:Free writing is a form of journaling.
SM: So I think I might like a copy of the book for Tessa, and I think I should get Mom and Dad separate books. So how do I get it?
BLG: Go to Amazon. I know you know about Amazon because they sell your story, Talent too. The Amazon page for You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers isYou Want Me to Do WHAT? The page for Talent is Talent.
SM:Thanks for letting me interview you. Maybe I should take up journalism.
BLG: It’s okay with me, but you’ll have to wait until I get my newest book published before I can tell more of your stories, Sandee. I’ll tell you more about that book in our next interview.
It’s hosted by Brandi Kennedy and Jodie Pierce and will cover many genres. Here’s all the information minus the book covers. Sorry about that. They didn’t copy:
Brandi Kennedy is a romance novelist who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world and through adulthood, that love of words has never changed. Brandi is now a contemporary romance novelist and poet with a deep love of writing and a curiously adventurous desire to someday write in several other genres.
A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet, and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.
If you click on that it should take you right to my page–okay the page for my book. I want you to read my story, now that drama teachers are casting the spring musical. M&Ms are only a small part, but refreshments have to be food, and the food was supposed to be related.
I don’t understand why New Year’s is such a big deal. Am I being a party-pooper? That’s what Rob said when I told him I wasn’t going to his party for all the performing arts kids. You’d think he would know better after rehab.
A year ago we were waiting for the Army to tell us that Bri had been found in an Army Hospital. Or any hospital. Or even that he’d been found with amnesia and he’d have to learn who we were again. Anything would have been better than the news we dreaded and feared. But it came.
The amazing thing is that life went on after we got the news. The principal asked me to make a presentation about him in the assembly and one thing led to another, and hear we are. It’s been nearly a year.
Mom was kinda weepy earlier. She got that way on Christmas too, so Dad said that tonight was just for the two of them. He told me about it before he told Mom, which made me feel very grown up. So Diego and I are going to watch movies tonight. And eat popcorn and maybe M&Ms. Dad made me promise I wouldn’t have a party, but he was fine with my having Diego over. He said he’ll trust us and we’d better not give him a reason to change his mind.
What would you watch on TV if you were with your boyfriend? Am I leaving myself wide open with that question? Sure hope not. I guess I’ll find out how well you know me by your answer.
Whether you respond or not, I hope you have a wonderful New Year. 2017 has to be better than the first part of 2016.