Monday, the Golden Snail, My Mother

It's been a crazy kind of day. Rainy and foggy. I've been hard at work on my Florida story - I'm having trouble getting the scenes down and the dialog right.

I realize all over again how very hard writing really is. I forget when I've been away from it for awhile. It only takes an hour of writing to remind me. Then it only takes one sentence to come together perfectly to remind me why I write. There's nothing like the feeling that embraces a writer when he gets it just right.

When I was having trouble pulling together a scene, I brought out my certificates and awards for contests I'd finaled in and spread them out across my desk. That's a confidence builder, believe me. I added the gold sparkley snail ornament my writing buddy Sherry gave me. It's to remind me that while the snail - me - is slow he always arrives at his destination.

Looking back on my accomplishments helps me to have the confidence to move forward on a project. To remind me that I can do the work.

We have to do whatever it takes to motivate us to do whatever our life's work is.

On my desk I have some things that make me feel good. I have a healing crystal that my daughter Lisa brought back from Sedona. I have an ordinary rock I brought back from the WV mountains from my friend Patti's property - I feel it's as healing as the Sedona crystal, maybe more so. I have a number of writing books that have improved my writing immensely.

I have a photo of myself and my husband. And I have photos of the grandbabies. Who doesn't feel better when they see a grandbaby? Or just a baby? I always have a quote or two. And then there's the photo of my mother who loved me unconditionally. Whether I wrote. Whether I sold. It didn't matter to her. She loved me. She's gone now but I still feel loved by her.

How can one not be successful at whatever he does when his mother loves him?

I didn't start this intending to end up here - with my mother. But my life started with her and this entry might as well end with her.

She gave me my wit and my way of looking at the world. Sometimes through a magnifying glass. Sometimes through rose colored glasses. Sometimes standing on my head.

Did you have a mother like that? Or not? What formed you? It's a good topic to blog about. Or not.



  1. It's nice picturing you surrounded with so much evidence of love and success. I'm sure it can't help but make your writing flow. You're very lucky to have been loved that way by your mother.

  2. What a wonderful, wonderful post! Thank you! We are often on the same track! Today I was thinking that even though writing is a wonderful job, it's still a job. One that requires hard work and dedication. I'm truly blessed to have a mother who's my writing partner!

  3. I would definitely keep those awards and certificates posted on the wall by my desk. I've also been known to keep the occasional inspirational quote tacked up on my wall, one of my favorites is one from Stephen King's ON WRITING, "If God gives you something you can do, why in God's name wouldn't you do it?"

    Oh, but you asked about my mother. Well, like any good mother she has always been there when I needed her, flying to my aid to rescue me whenever I needed it, and sometimes even when I didn't really need it, and with a safety net like that, well, I've never had to waste much time worrying about things.

  4. I miss Mamaw Ollie...Looking at old pictures over the last few weeks, it seems like she has been gone such a long time. I'd like to think that she is watching over me, and knows all about the crazy kids we have here! I was thinking of her the other day, and wondering why I couldn't muster up some of her strength when I need it!

    As for my mother...I think I got my wit and some of my sense of humor from her as well. She keeps me going when I want to quit. She's always there for me, and always strong for me. I wouldn't be ME without YOU ~ Love you Mom!!

  5. I love all the comments regarding this post. After I finished it - it was off the top of my head - I wondered if it made sense. I didn't set out to write about my mother. It just happened.
    I thought I was writing about writing. She's so inside me that really everything I write is
    a part of her as well.
    Enough! I'll do another post right here. Thank you all. Blessings!

  6. I think of my mother often. She's been gone for 14 years now and at times I miss her so much. I wish she was here to share my writing victories, even tho they are small victories. I think this is one reason I write about family, use family names in my writing and, though it is fiction, I write about places my family lived and their unique qualities. It's my way of honoring them in my writing.

  7. I need to remind myself of my accomplishments every now and again as well. It seems there are more rough days than not but I keep my head up despite the rain. The Lord's promises don't hurt either. ;)

  8. My mom always makes me feel so good about my writing:) She wants copies of everything and shares them with all her friends to the point where I am so embarressed! It's lovely you shared this about your mother.

  9. Barb, what a beautiful reminder that there are so many things to keep us motivated! I love the visual ideas! Someday when I have a writing desk, I'll definitely have my motivators right there!

  10. Barb, what a beautiful post. Thank you for the inspiration! Sometimes you have to gather in all the positives to outweigh the negatives. Writing is such hard work, and mentally we have to concentrate on being positive!

  11. Hi Barb, I love the question you pose "what formed you". I have some poetry on my blog, it's found in the archives under Where I'm From. It is a beautiful writing exercise that everyone should do. Warning, it will keep you up at night, make you cry and you'll make 100's of revisions. It is beautiful and so meaningful to the writer when finished. I hope you can find it and enjoy it as much as I. It's really a fun exercise and it's fun to read others.
    Thanks for stopping by,

  12. Shandra and everyone who read this blog and commented. I love your words as much as you like mine.
    Everyone must visit Shandra's blog. It's called
    Porches, Sweet tea and aprons. It's on my list of people I follow. Beautiful blog and beautiful words.
    Blessings! Barb
    YES, mother's are special...

  13. I love my mum! My family and I are pretty darn close, so I've been formed a lot by their crazy influences (crazy in a good way).

    Hope all goes well with you and your writing.


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