A Writers Reach: Remembering Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a writer, poet, storyteller, and all around amazing woman.  I remember, clearly, when I read I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, in an Honors English Class, in eight grade.  I still have that exact copy, nearly every sentence highlighted, notes scribbled in the pages (I had yet to learn the fine art of actual, useful, note-taking within a text).

I recall being struck by many things in that book, but the one that has really stuck with me was how beautifully she used language.  Here was a piece of prose, that was also poetry.  Power, and beautiful, and haunting.

Throughout life I’ve revisited her work, read her poems,  and her reflections and thoughts.  And now, upon her passing, it is amazing to see the flood of people and organizations that are joining in remembering her.   Sharing her wisdom, and her beautiful words and her contributions to the world.

Many are reflecting on her impact, on the impact she had on the world, as well as the more personal impact she had on people.

On WordPress you can read various bloggers reflections about her, as well as a collection of quotes from her.

Maya Angelou on Facebook

Maya Angelou Twitter Tags

I hope, that someday, I can have even a fraction of the impact on the world that she has had.




List Lessons

  1. Decide to use the DP Writing Challenge for Wild-Card Wednesday.
  2. Realize that means I have to come up with something to list.
  3. Something clever and interesting.
  4. Ponder possible lists.
  5. Decide no one wants to see my real to-do list.
  6. Or the one of chores undone.
  7. And certainly not the list of bills to pay.
  8. Hmmmm….. Get some coffee and keep thinking.
  9. Wander the internet to see if I can find inspiration.
  10. Find lots of inspiration for future posts
  11. Save those links
  12. Wonder what an entertaining kind of list would be
  13. Wonder if anyone will use my Contact Me Page
  14. Wonder if I will have to come up with my own questions for the first “About Me Monday
  15. Begin to think about what kind of silly questions I would ask myself.
  16. Realize how challenging it might be to answer them.
  17. Find that I am at list item 17…. And perhaps have not said much else yet.
  18. Wonder if I really have to have something to say.
  19. Figure that often what I’m trying to say gets lost of confuzzled anyhow, so it’s probably okay, and I am probably actually saying something while not saying something.
  20. Decide that 20 looks like a nice solid number to end the list on.

Editing, For Reals.

I’ve edited before, don’t get me wrong.  Academic papers have been put through the ringer, looking at the first draft and the final draft of my thesis makes that superbly clear.  And I’ve helped provide editing advice for friends on various projects.

But really sitting down and editing my fiction… that has been something I’ve always let slide.  Happy to just do a little work here and there, tweaking a few sentences.  Occasionally I’d rewrite a section or two, but often I would just let it go Continue reading Editing, For Reals.

Community Cranes

Paper Cranes at the Peace Park in Hiroshima. Photo by Stephanie Yoder.
Paper Cranes at the Peace Park in Hiroshima.
Photo by Stephanie Yoder.

There is a definite history and association to the folding of paper cranes, and a deep power in the thousands of cranes in the Peace Park in Hiroshima.  I remember learning the story when I was little, and being in awe of the seeming power of those cranes, the symbolism, and the beautiful variety of colors that they came in.

But I also have my own personal history that will always come to mind when I see cranes.

When asked for pictures of cranes, my friends were quick to answer.
When asked for pictures of cranes, my friends were quick to answer.

In college I had a friend who folded a lot of cranes.  And so, when it came time for her to defend her thesis project, Continue reading Community Cranes

Recognizing what’s been done, setting goals (making promises?)

In my ongoing goal to actually complete some of the Blogging 101: Zero to Hero assignments, and thinking about a recent conversation over on Love, Support, Educate, Advocate, Accept about looking at the journey, and the accomplishments along the way — as opposed to being hyper-focused on the end point — I’ve decided to take stock of some of those things that I have done, to get a better idea of those things that may remain to be done.

Because the reality is I’ve done more than I think.  Like DAY 5.  This weekend I spent some time looking at themes, and giving my page a little face-lift.  I wasn’t necessarily Continue reading Recognizing what’s been done, setting goals (making promises?)

It’s Getting Serious! Writing My Way.

A while ago, while posting a vague Facebook post about some decisions I had made in regards to career/future, my phone auto-corrected “gut” to “guy.”  As in “I just have to trust my gut (or, as it read: guy) and listen.”  To which a dear friend responded, “your guy?” and my sister chimed in, “… we need to talk soon.”

And I shook my head, and cursed my smart-phone (something that happens a bit it seems), laughed, and responded with the correction, and disbelief that they would think I would trust a guy (especially a guy who neither of them had ever even heard the existence of) with life decisions.  Because, I suppose someday I might be in a relationship serious enough where I would be trusting “my guy,” and seeking their input into big changes I am choosing to take.  But I am not in such a place now.

Which is really just a random glimpse into my life and long introduction to what I really want to write about.

The reality is I am getting serious about something.  I have to admit, this is the first time in my writing career Continue reading It’s Getting Serious! Writing My Way.

Passing Reflection on Community, Family, and Graduations.

This weekend a handful of my friends graduate from seminary in the Boston area.  And a handful of other friends are able to attend the celebrations.  Facebook today is this bittersweet thing, full of pictures, comments, and conversations flying back and forth as people celebrate, receive well wishes, and reconnect.  And, even those of us who are unable to be there, are able to be drawn in.  We celebrate, we share in the conversations, and enjoyed the pictures of our community from a distance.

And it is deeply bittersweet for me.  Because I really want to be there with them.  Cheering for them, celebrating with them.  Because these people were my community, my classmates and colleagues.  They are my friends.  And many of them, truly, are my family.

I have always felt that definition of “family” is (and needs to be) a very flexible thing.  While I am lucky enough to have biological family that does support me, and that I know will be there for me when I need them, I am keenly aware that this is not the case for everyone.  But, you can create family, and I know that many do just that.  With friends taking that place traditionally equated with biological family.  I have been able to find friends and communities that have become part of my extended family.  People that I know I Continue reading Passing Reflection on Community, Family, and Graduations.

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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