Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sunday Musings: July 6 2014

Who are you?

I don't mean what's your bio or credentials. Or even who you are in terms of familial relations.

Who are you, the individual?

Folks, this is a long one and trust me you don't want to miss a word. 

 Christine Steeves-Speakman aka ChrisChat aka Chatterbox II

As I start this week’s introduction I’m finding myself thinking back to the end credits of “The Breakfast Club.” How the ‘nerd’ of the group wrote the detention assignment for them all. Guess I feel that way sometimes. A title and perception not of my choosing and not the reality of who I am but the view desired…needed?...demanded?...through another’s eyes.

Reading my fellow Musers’ musings, I’m blown away by the simply elegant definitions of themselves to the deeply insightful power of their words. 

We’re all a product of our surroundings and set into observations carved out of another’s interpretation. But in the end only we can define ourselves.

I’m the person some viewed as a doormat. The person you could walk over all the time cause I wouldn’t turn away. No, that’s not me. I’m the person who has learned to see beyond your moment of anger, moment of stupidity and realize we all say and act like fools.

I’m the person who used to worry about what everyone was thinking about me. I’ve learned, I really don’t matter that much in individual lives and those lives I do matter in, well that’s all that matters.
I’m a writer. I’m a thinker. I’m a silly woman who talks to herself and laughs while I carry on a conversation with a stuffed pink elephant. I still hug my childhood comfort-buddy-stuffed-dog, Mary.

I’m loyal. I’m stubborn. I’ll defend those who are ‘mine’ with every ounce of my being. I will turn cold to you the moment of betrayal and when you hurt those I call ‘mine’. The coldness that becomes nothing. No one deserves to be nothing to anyone, it’s not a part of me I like, but it’s there.

I’m me. The good, bad, crazed, and even ugly. And beyond all this, I love and am loved.

I am the rebel, the one who didn’t walk in step with the rest. I’m the person who dared to break out of the mold, to reach for the dream instead of monetary success. To this day, with the experience of a lifetime behind me and the visions of a future in front of me, I continue my lonely quest – cash poor but dream healthy. Writing was the dream, from the time I picked my first book. Mysteries, contemporary stories, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, anything as long as it was good. Into the dark night my imagination wings, and I shall never stop putting “pen to paper.”

Thank you for inspiring this tale. It’s not one I often tell.

ROBBI, PERNA, author

Okay, who am I?  I am a mature lady who will celebrate her 68th birthday next week.  I've taken care of my family, served my country, and attempt to live a moral life--one filled with experiences that have provided a lot of background in my eight published stories and the new MS I just submitted.  Much of what I write is autobiographical and there is always a little bit of me in each of my heroines.  I hope all this is as interesting to my readers to experience in the story lines as it was for me to live it.


Who am I?  I’m not afraid of what others might think of me or my beliefs no matter how unorthodox that might seem.  I speak my mind, but try to have some tact.  I’m not afraid of questioning and wouldn’t settle for less.  I love beach breezes, mediating, long walks, and the smell/feel of books.  I thrive on human connection and hate being stuck.  Oh, and of course I love the taste of dark chocolate and an iced tea latte.  You can find me in either in a coffee house finishing a revision or perusing the local bookstore stacks.

I am a father to three children, and grandfather to 13 grandchildren, 2 of whom I have not seen for over 7 years because of conflict between my sons and the mothers of the two grandchildren.

Who am I? A couple of months ago I might have described myself as a wife and mother who is also an author. However that was then and now I am a widow living with both of my grown daughters and I am still an author. As an author I feel I have reached a place where I thought I might never be. I have one book published and another one is on the way to being published.

I have always loved books and reading and I never expected to be drawn into the world of writing. I was a teacher for much of my life and a little part of that is still in me. Then after taking writing courses I found that what I wanted most to do was write. Because of one of those courses I started my first published novel and I started to feel like I could join this group of authors myself.

Writing is a drive within me that pushes me to put my fingers on the keyboard and let everyone know my thoughts. And I love the feeling it gives me when I have written something that I like. I pretty much write anything including poetry and it all depends on what is going on in my life at the time. I should also add that I am a poet, because that too is part of me. Poetry was the first way I began to bring my thoughts out and it is still my way to deal with overwhelming emotion.

I am a person who loves to be with people. I also love being in front of people and reading my own work. Reading my poetry or reading an excerpt from my book is just the best!!! I also like to help people any way I can and maybe I have too soft a heart. Sometimes I notice too much around me. If there is an error in grammar or spelling I tend to point it out no matter where I am. One example is the other day I was in a dress boutique and on my way out I stopped by the register with my daughter. She had bought something there. I looked at the things they had there that didn’t seem to fit in a dress store, like note cards. However when I saw the note cards with this cute saying instead of using ‘you’re” they said “your”. Anyone who knows me understands that errors like this send me through a wall!! I thought how can they have these displayed like this? So I pointed it out to the clerk and she said, “Oh, we know about it, but it’s too much trouble to fix it.” How could a printer put out such work and then not fix it? It still bothers me that such shoddy work can be passed off to people. I have seen this juxtaposition of you’re and your in almost every publication now and it seems that our country just doesn’t care anymore about grammar. I hear people using me instead of I and her instead of she and that bothers me too. However, there is nothing we can do about people on TV who use ridiculous language. Grrrr.

One other thing about me is I don’t like to see injustice anywhere. I believe everyone should be treated the same and when they aren’t it bothers me too. That includes how you treat animals as well. We used to have a dog, but I won’t have a dog now, because I don’t feel we are ready yet to bring another living thing into our lives. I just lost my husband and I am trying to cope with this fact day to day. The pain is unbearable, but writing and my writing friends help a lot.

I put a lot of my life into my stories and this one coming out, AFTER, is based on my experiences while my husband had a heart attack and had to have bypass surgery. Reliving that time was very difficult, but it was good, because it took my mind off of the pain.

I wrote this some years ago when asked to write a self-portrait poem:

Green on Thursdays

By Margaret Fieland

Where I was born, the world ended

at the Hudson River

and Sixth Avenue

    was still one block west of Fifth.

In my neighborhood

you never wore orange on Saint Patrick's day,

    never mind if you weren't Irish.

Better to wear green,

unless it fell on a Thursday,

because then they might think you were,

you know,

    one of Them.

Maybe I'll just wear blue.

I'm a person who cares about others' welfare. I believe that...Right is right and wrong is wrong.  No matter what, no matter who. I live pretty much by that.  That's one of the reasons I volunteer weekly at our free clinic.

I just had a friend over this week to watch a movie, a comedy and it was about people scamming others and ruining lives. I don't understand why there are people out there who take advantage of others, for instance, robbing the elderly of their savings, etc. Why are people bad? I don't get it. I'm sure they weren't taught this as children or maybe they were, watching their parents.

Maybe that's why I write mysteries. So in the end, justice is served for the bad-doers. That's who I am.

MEG AMOR, author

I am an alien in this world. I don't fit. Never have. Never will. I don't want what other people want. I don't want a regular life. I'm a gypsy by nature.

The only thing that is constant for me, an unchanging belief is love. I believe that's what our life is about. That's what we're doing here on planet earth. To learn about love. Not just for other people, but for ourselves. I don't mean, running a bubble bath or shouting ourselves something nice.

I mean, that we love ourselves enough, to be all of who we are. The good, the bad, the ugly, the cringe making stuff. The stuffed up bits that you think are unacceptable and other people probably don't think that. I want us to be whole people, not half humans. I don't like unemotional people. I can't be bothered with them. I don't like men or women who don't cry. I think it's frightening when people don't cry or don't feel their pain. How can they feel their joy?

I don't believe in stuffing down feelings, soldiering on, being tough, rugged and durable. I think that's rubbish.

I admire the cultures most that express themselves thoroughly. I work to do that myself. I don't always achieve it. But what I want to do in this lifetime for me and for people to feel EVERYTHING and be okay with that.

I write what I believe in, what I live by. Everything I've ever trained in, Emotional medicine, NLP, is because I want people to love and care about themselves. I want to know how people feel, not what they think necessarily. That's interesting, but I ultimately want to know what people feel. I want to know if people are being true to their heart and soul.

Who am I?  Well first off I am Canadian. Born and raised and still living in Ontario. If I bump into someone or they bump into me, I apologize. Proud Canadian, most of the time, but I never say 'eh', unless I'm mocking someone.

I'm shy, at least in public. Don't ask me to read something to a group or even say a small speech. Not pretty.

I am very opinionated, rather strange for a shy person, I know. Nerves of steel while on social media and while writing.

There is a little kid inside me that loves getting out to play, but I also enjoy a deep conversation.
I fell in love with my husband during long telephone conversations. No, it wasn't a long distance romance, but he called me every night and we talked until I couldn't keep my eyes open.
A humanitarian, I have a soft heart. Very emotional.

I love to travel and we do. 

I enjoy my solitude, but also enjoy spending time with friends and family. We have one dog. Hubby is stern when he says one at a time. Can't argue, the vet bills can be atrocious.
Friends tell me they can see me and my life in my writing. No question, it's there in black and white.

DAWN KNOX, author

That's a hard one, Chris!

I'm really not sure exactly who I am as I keep changing but I think if I applied for the following job, I'd stand a good chance of getting it!

Job Title:

Wife, Mum, Daughter, Friend, Writer

Job Description:

You will be expected to think and care deeply about many people and various issues, have an enquiring and open mind, worry unduly about hitting deadlines and letting people down, take full responsibility for your actions and constantly reassess your behaviour, outlook and beliefs. You must not be critical of others.


Who am I?
I'm a closet introvert: I once stood on a desk in front of 50 people in order to make a point during a presentation, but during the break, I left the building to be alone and to 'recharge my batteries'.
I'm a musician: my father was a musician and my 2 sons are musicians.

I'm a father: My boys are 32 and 35, and I still remind them to not speed and to be smart when they travel out of city, province and country.

I'm a good guy. I'm trying to be a kinder person in the small ways. I have never been the guy who is known to fly into rages and say mean things, but the effort to be kind, for me, comes when the driver in front of me doesn't use their signal light.   ;-)

I'm a writer. I always thought I could write; but I have only recently come to grips with the construct that 'I write things' isn't exactly the same thing as 'I am a writer'.

I am a stay-home mom to three boys. I love them all dearly, though I only gave birth to one.
I am the wife of a busy advertising photographer. I often sit by his desk, reading him my latest manuscript as he works late into the night.

I am a wanderer. Having moved countless times as a child, I never feel content to stay in one place for very long.

I am an epileptic. I like to say that my brain is just more active than most. :)

I am a Disney princess. Okay, not literally. But Disney World is my favorite place, and my husband calls me his princess.

I am both a worrier and an optimist, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

I am myself.  A creator of stories as long as I can remember, well before school age.  A Catholic Christian grateful to God for the talent He gave me and even more grateful for the warm, nurturing family in which He placed me.  I believe in the traditional virtues:  honor and honorable behavior toward others, kindness to fellow humans and animals, love, generosity.  I want to lift, if only for a while, the weight of stress and trouble in this world and am happy at being given the means of doing that through my books.  I cherish friendships, particularly those that have stood the test of time, and I value the privilege of being associated with talented individuals such as my fellow MIU up authors.

LEA SCHIZAS, Publisher MuseItUp Publishing

I am the peace keeper, the medicine ball that is tossed back and forth with some difficulties because no one really wants to hurt themselves if they tried too hard to bust the ball. They understand its historical presence in Olympic games so figure it's a treasure to be handled with some sort of civility. However, the peace keeping medicine ball feels used at times by individuals that don't fully understand all the gifts it can offer to them, therefore tries to absorb some of the brunt force by deflating itself and allowing others to feel superior than it.

That's how I feel like at times...a medicine peace keeping ball...tossing weight then deflating my ego to give others the boost.

Dear reader, thank you again for joining us and we’d love to hear from you. Keep smiling and have a fun week. Never stop believing. See you next Sunday…nothing better than being cozy in bed with some Musings.

If you have a question or comment you’d like us to muse upon, do not hesitate to contact me Christine Steeves-Speakman  at


Meg Amor said...

Wow... that was amazing!! What an incredible honesty and opening up from people. Aren't people just fabulous! What's interesting is how interesting everyone is beyond their societal 'labels.'

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and quite personal pieces of you. Best Musings ever. :-) Great question Chris!! Thanks.

Aloha Meg Amor :-)

Kenneth Hicks and Anne Rothman-Hicks said...

This was a great idea Chris, and great work by everyone who participated.

Susan Bernhardt said...

I enjoyed reading everyone's posts. I think this was one of the better Sunday Musings.

Unknown said...

Beautiful, everyone.

Dawn Knox said...

Amazing! I thought that was one of the hardest musings topics but in the end, I really enjoyed thinking about it and especially, reading everyone else's!

Marsha said...

Wow! You guys are awesome! Impressive writing and generous sharing of your strengths and foibles. I sent one in, but forgot to attach it. :( Chris didn't realize it until Saturday. We're out of town for the Fourth, so I couldn't access it. But I loved doing the exercises. As several of you mentioned, it was a great exercise. Chris said I could include here in the comments, so I shall in a separate response. Thanks, Chris, for starting our Musings, and to all the MIUers who participate. I've enjoyed getting to know you a bit better.

Marsha said...

Who Am I?
Tough to say without mentioning the relationships, because I am all those: wife, mother, Mimi, friend. However, since those are the rules, I’ll follow them because first and foremost I am a Rule Follower. :) I’m a Person of Faith, an Educator, Activist, Elected Official, Play Director, Singer, Speaker, Leader, Listener, Stubborn, Passionate, Creative, Critical, Controlling(though better than I used to be), Out-spoken, Goal Oriented, Hard Worker, and Author.
Most of these describe things I’ve done. It’s the goal/task-oriented part of my nature. It’s important to me to appear and to be competent. One of the hardest part of those beginning years of writing was I was so blamed incompetent, and it hurt!
I’m an introvert who’s learned to live fairly well in an extrovert society. Injustices make me nuts and I am not very forgiving. I’ve had to edit my own posts on FB (and here) about what I’d like to do to people who abuse animals or children.
I’m a life-long learner,and I’m hopeful that will keep all those little synapses in my brain growing and connecting for a long, long time.

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

I just found your blog from visiting Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch. This is an awesome blog. I like very much the comments from authors. I will visit your blog often to get inspiration.

ChrisChat said...

Thank you Brenda. Sorry, for not seeing your comment till now. Please, feel free to share your own musings...we love hearing from everyone.