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On Resolve

on resolve new year's resolution
To help my four-year-old boys’ learn how to make a resolution, I purchased, “Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution,” by Pat Miller. The core message is summed up when Bear, the librarian at Lonewood Library, explains a New Year’s Resolution to Squirrel. “A resolution is a promise you make to yourself to be better or to help others,” he says. “When we begin a new year we make a fresh start.” This year, the boys have resolved to carry groceries into the house. A solid first resolution.

In 2018, I will transition from being a stay-at-home-mom working part-time to a mother of school-aged children working…well, that is what I get to figure out. It’s not the first time I have realigned my goals with the entry of a child into school. My eldest is now twenty. Fifteen years ago, as he went into kindergarten, I attended classes at the community college, putting myself on a direct path toward what I dreamed of doing as work: writing.

Since then, I have received undergraduate and graduate degrees, published a poetry chapbook, as well as, several poems, essays and articles in various journals. All of this work was accomplished first as a single mother, then during the recession when my family (my eldest son and new husband) had to relocate for income, the birth and rearing of twin boys, and the care giving of my mother before her death in 2016.

I’ve also reconnected with family members, bonded new friendships, established a balanced diet and exercise routine, started a web development business, exorcised personal demons, became more engaged in my community, bought a house, and reared a child out of the nest and onto the path of his own artistic pursuits. For the past eleven years, I’ve enjoyed ever-strengthening, never-a-dull-moment, love and support between my husband and me.

What’s next?

2018 New Year’s Resolution

This year I resolve to write a personal and professional mission statement to define who I am, who I want to be, and what I want to accomplish. And then, I live up to that mission.

Learning From My Previous Self

Developing a mission statement and business plan is not altogether new. Five years ago, two writer friends, Claire Guyton and Suzanne Farrell Smith, and I, decided to compose our own Writing Life Business Plans. Each following year we reevaluate and refine our goals.

The deep thinking involved, in creating and revising my plan, kept me connected to writing when two babies took all my brain power and energy. Not to say I hadn’t previously maintained tenacity toward my writing goals during busy times. But nothing kept me more focused (except the community of Claire and Suzanne) then taking the time to figure out where I was as a writer, where I wanted to go, and what I needed to do to get there.

Now I’m on the precipice of the boys’ enrollment in school. Not only will I have more time, I have five years of meticulous preparation under my belt.

My resolution is a natural extension of the Writing Life Business Plan. I don’t bring in enough income from my writing life (yet) to justify not having a second career. Luckily I enjoy web design, so the new mission includes my entrepreneurial pursuits as well. Work I hope to integrate more with my writing goals, creating something altogether new and unexpected.

My plan also addresses what kind of citizen I want to be in my community. Where are my talents and skills needed most?

The personal mission statement? It asks me to look closely at my moral foundation–the precursor to all of it.

Work More and Better

From my first blog post back in 2014: “I resolve to continue integrating my work with my art and my everyday life… I vow to do this year after year after year, turning my lifetime into a series of fulfilling days.”

My days are more integrated, and have become more fulfilling. But I’m not finished. Quite the contrary. 2018 is another year where I begin again, and one of the giants’ shoulders I stand on this time, are my own.

On Knowing

as if we know

Excerpt from, “As If We Know,” What Binds Us (Finishing Line Press 2017).

Sometimes a post has to be a day late. Happy Sunday. On second thought, I think I’ll loosen my constraints and commit to posting either Saturday or Sunday from here on out. Yes, that feels much better.

Journalism was never a viable path for me as a writer for one reason: constant deadlines. I’m sure I could have been taught many valuable lessons on the art of the deadline but it would have been up hill the whole time. I’m just not wired that way. My wiring is more the lone poet in the woods feeling for where the heartbeat of our world intertwines with the heartbeat of the universe. Sappy, I know. But true. We do exist. Though someone may not know I’m wired this way upon our meeting. I have three children and live in a bustling city. Luckily I’m able to find my need to simply flow with the world even in the confines of so much structure. I suppose I chose family over a demanding career because something had to give. Even if it is merely an illusion that I have the freedom of the wandering poet, I’m able to keep this side of me thriving. I do make the rules in my house after all.

Photo taken by author. All rights reserved.

On Why I March

By |January 21st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

why i march

Excerpt from my poem, “helio-helios.”

Photo taken by author. All rights reserved.

On Watching Sadness

By |January 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Excerpt from my poem, “Spring Cleaning in Winter.” First published by Strong Verse. Included in my debut poetry chapbook, What Binds Us (Finishing Line Press 2017).

Photo taken by author. All rights reserved.

On Leaving

By |January 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

cheryl wilder love leaves

An excerpt from my poem, “Pupa.” Included in the collection What Binds Us (Finishing Line Press 2017).

Photo taken by author. All rights reserved.

On Middle Age

By |January 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

middle age quote Cheryl Wilder

Excerpt from my poem, “Spring Cleaning in Winter.” First published by Strong Verse. Included in my debut poetry chapbook, What Binds Us (Finishing Line Press 2017).

Photo taken by author. All rights reserved.

New Year. New Blog Project.

By |January 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cheryl Wilder blog

Photo Courtesy of Suzanne Farrell Smith

I’ve been trying to figure out how to become more engaged on social media. Though my writing is raw, transparent and personal, I am more a people watcher than a participator, especially in large groups. I am half hermit and more than 50% an introvert. Yet the other side of me loves my friends and family, wants to meet more people and ultimately wants to engage and connect more often. How to do this? Here’s one way I have decided to participate. Yes, it fills more than one role. As a writer, I want people to read my work. I have always loved quotes, especially making a collage of them on the wall of my office. I figured, why not put all these things together: my work, a love of quotes, and my desire to connect. My first one was posted 12/31/16–six days ago (see how backwards I can be with this social media thing?). Haven’t figured out how to connect FB with Pinterest to my website yet (one thing at a time). My goal is to post weekly on Saturdays. I hope you enjoy.

Best wishes to you all on this New Year. Peace.

Bowing Out (for now)

By |September 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

After reading the article “‘Platforms’ are Overrated” by Stephanie Bane in Creative Nonfiction, I have decided to focus on finishing my memoir. Obviously I’m not ready for a blog anyway, with three posts in nine months. Next time I am back to this space it will be to talk about mistakes, shame, perseverance and repairing a clean, broken-slate identity.

This also stems to other social media, namely FB. I’ve become more voyeur than participant and that is largely due to my time constraints of parenting one-year-old twins and an eleventh grader. Eeking out moments to do what I love is not easy but imperative to both my heart and long-term sanity. I will remain a voyeur and check-in to make sure I don’t miss too much of my friends’ awesomeness. It’s just time that shit gets real. As the eleventh grader would say, Peace out.