Side Worlds

by Karen Y Hamilton, 2017

 

As the years moved along, she began to                 drift

further and further from this world. Sidestepping

now and then into the others. She had always known

that they were there, had always heard the voices

 

of the women from those places spaces whispering

to her. Doors led to smoky forests and windows led

to stringy clouds and waves. She didn’t even have to

close her eyes anymore. Just step          sideways.

 

We need more white space, she said. More white

spaces in which to take a breath          and just drift

for a little bit. So she sat and added white space, listened

to the bird song and far off car hums and let herself step      to the side.

 

He wasn’t always there. Certainly not as much as in the

beginning, right after he died when he was everywhere yet

nowhere. There were those sometimes, and oh how she longed

for the sometimes, when he was waiting for her when she slipped

 

over. Hello beautiful, he would say. And his voice would echo

in her body for days afterwards – hello beautiful  hello beautiful  hello beautiful  

You think too much, one man told her. Another time another

place. So many dark places. But the dark led to side worlds and

 

the sometimes and          hello beautiful. It wasn’t like she hadn’t

tried to go sideways through the light. She did. But the light,

though wide and breathtaking, thinned quickly and led back

to the darkness. This was a comfort, soft and silk caressing her.

1-4-2017 7-29-51 AM

“There is a certain comfort when everything collapses”

May 2017

by Karen Y Hamilton

1122160649_HDR

“There is a certain comfort when everything collapses”

Because you fight to hang on, find words, keep standing, keep

going, and then it all collapses, folding in slowly, dust

billowing obscuring erasing                 It is over.                  It is done.

 

And you sigh with the joy of it. Not having to fight anymore. It is

finished. I see Jesus on the cross saying, “It is done.”       Take comfort

in this because the rising is coming. These transient words

 

collapse. And fade fade         fade

 

*There have been many losses this past year, but there have also been new beginnings, new and beautiful risings. For those of you reeling, hurting, hiding from your own losses, please know this – the rising is coming, so don’t give up. Peace to all of you. Karen

Time & Memory

12258-Just-Live

May 12, 2017

by Karen Y. Hamilton

Time keeps doing its thing, sometimes catching up with us, sometimes slipping sideways and eluding us. We mostly don’t pay any attention. Something in us wants to keep returning to the past and wondering if we could have done things differently might our lives have turned out for the better. But then, might they have turned out for the worse?

And here is where the statement, “If you do understand, things are such as they are. If you don’t understand, things are such as they are” comes in.

But we keep looking, don’t we? We keep reeling back through our memories and trying to figure out where we went wrong and where we went right and dwelling on all of the people and places and things that we would change if only we had the power. To go back in time.

And we just don’t always have the control over what comes to the surface of our memory. The more recent pains, mishaps, adventures gone askew taunt us and come unbidden with a frequency that takes our breath away and knocks us to our knees. And the losses. They especially creep in at odd moments to remind us of the empty spaces they left behind.

It is all about time. That elusive concept that some say does not even exist. As we move along through our every day and every night, time presses in on us and memory dims, dulls and erases. It just takes time. That is what everyone everywhere reminds us. And it is true. Somewhere along the way we let go of what was and don’t even realize that we are no longer longing for one time or another. None of it is a fixed space anyway. Time is such a fluid animal.

Somewhere along the way we stop looking for the past to rise up and we just live.

On Being Set Separate

 

gibney-beach-cottage-02May 2, 2017

by Karen Y. Hamilton

A recent piece I wrote for workshop validated my choice to enter into this writing thing, to push myself to write more, revise even more, and seek publication of my writing somewhere down the road. My peers tell me that I have found my voice, and that is really good news because I feel as if I have been silenced for far too long.

I am somewhat concerned that my voice includes this anger that I have been trying so hard to rid myself of. But perhaps that anger is the fuel that I need to light my own fire. It is a voice that needs to be given voice. Someone said in workshop that those who rail against discrimination and separation need to just ‘get over it.’ Those of us who have found ourselves marginalized need to get past it and move on.

I do not want to carry around my anger at being set as separate because of my gender, because of my age, because of my choice to be a housewife for 20 years, like a badge of honor. I don’t want to yield it as a weapon against anyone.

But I do want to acknowledge that the marginalization exists. And my anger at it is real. It is inevitable that this will seep into my writing, perhaps until I finish giving it a voice. I am not the only one. Not all of us have reached that place where we can ‘get over it.’

So, as the message from the rocks says, I do not have to explain myself to anyone. I simply need to be who I am at this moment in time and write from that place. Be here now and all of that.

Seeking Submissions for 2014 What’s Your Story Memoir Anthology

whats-your-story-cover2smGet ready for this year’s What’s Your Story Memoir Anthology!

Deadline August 16, 2014.

Get writing!! Need help?

Book a workshop or buy the Lifetales Workbook to get you started writing your life stories!

We are accepting submissions for the 2014 Memoir Anthology – What’s Your Story?

Publication will be in November 2014 – just in time for you to order copies for HOLIDAY giving!

NOTE: There is no fee for submitting. There is no payment for submissions. All submissions will receive a free digital copy of the book.  The anthology will be available for purchase in print and ebook.

If your story has been previously published elsewhere, please indicate where and when (see Rights below). Karenzo Media will not be responsible for submissions entered that are not properly cited or cleared through previous publishers. There is no payment to you for your submission, but you can include your website, work, etc. in your bio paragraph.

Rights: By submitting to the anthology you give Karenzo Media the nonexclusive license to reprint your work on a one-time basis, for the life in print of the anthology, and you retain the copyright and all other rights. If your work was previously published, please check with your publisher regarding whether or not you can publish an excerpt of your work in an anthology. 

Categories in the anthology tentatively include:
Favorites

  • Firsts
  • Holidays
  • Dreams
  • Overcoming
  • Special People
  • Triumphs and Trials

3-20-2014 7-54-03 AM2If you’d like some help in writing your memoir, consider reading the Lifetales Workbook for step-by-step help in constructing a memoir.

Guidelines:

Written memoirs should be under 2000 words.  Submit as a .doc or .rtf. No pdfs please!

Not a writer? Worried about your spelling and grammar? Don’t be! I personally edit all submissions, so your memoir will be perfect.

Photographs and artwork should be scans of the actual photo or work (or high quality images). Ideally, images should be at least 300 dpi. All photographs and artwork should be from your own collection or properly cited with permission for use from the owner(s).

Deadline for submissions: August 16, 2014

Send submissions and/or queries to:karenzomedia@gmail.com

 

Hosting a Lifetales Workshop in Your Community

product_thumbnailIf you are interested in hosting a Lifetales Workshop in your community, please contact me.

  • Groups of 10 and under: will travel between Boca Raton and Fort Pierce, Fl
  • Groups of more than 20: will travel anywhere on the East Coast
  • Not on the East Coast? Contact me to discuss hosting your workshop online.

Hosts receive free workbooks, free tuition, and lots of other free goodies!

The Sketchbook Project

1-6-2014 6-49-55 AMI recently heard about this project based out of Brooklyn, N.Y. It is a traveling art show (basically). You order a sketchbook from them and fill it up however you wish – with sketches, photography, mixed media, etc. Then you send it to them and they include it in a traveling book tour that spans the world. Your book will ultimately be kept in a library.

While they send you the sketchbook – it is small (5×7), you can do whatever you want to it. You can rip out all the pages and add your own, rebind it however you want, etc. It sounds interesting, and I think I may try it.

Each book has a theme, and you can choose what theme you want your book to be. The choices for 2014 are Strange Neighbors / Borders and lines / A simple place / Accidents / Found! / Dudes and latitudes / To the last page! / First aid kit / Say words out loud / Paper airplanes / This list… / Atlas of… / Greetings from… / 32 Days / This is not about you / This is not about me /

You can find out more details and order your sketchbook here.

1-3-2014 11-00-40 AM2Join The Storytellers on Facebook for more on writing life stories….

Happy sketching!
Karen

Preserving history…one lifestory at a time…