God’s Whisper

This past weekend, my daughter and I attended a writer’s retreat at God’s Whisper Farm.

approach

Located in Radiant, Virginia, the home of Andi and Phillip and their family of dogs, cats, goats and chickens, is a place where one finds peace and quiet, laughter and wisdom, a place to hear God’s whisper.

cows on hilltop

house 2

After Andi showed us to our room upstairs in the old farm house, we took a brief tour of the farm.

rooster

bench and table

goats with tree       Goats good

We enjoyed a healthy dinner and read some of our work around the campfire. That’s when I discovered fireflies! An abundance of fireflies blinking on and off around the farmhouse! I took a video with my phone. Maybe some day, I’ll figure out how to load my phone videos to this blog. For now, just know that fireflies are alive and well at God’s Whisper Farm, where I did not notice any mosquitoes.

On Saturday morning, after a walking meditation led by Kelly Chripczuk, Andi read to us from The Mindful Writer, then we worked on writing exercises to help us explore what we need to let go of, what gets in the way of our writing, and what we love about writing.

On Saturday afternoon, we each workshopped a piece of writing and received helpful feedback from the group. Then Andi, author of The Slaves Have Names, and author Shawn Smucker, shared their knowledge and experience on writing and publishing.

After dinner, my daughter and I visited the neighboring pasture where the cows watched us with curiosity, from a distance.

 cow belowcows comingcow standing at attention

We looked for the deer we saw on the hilltop Friday evening. This time, I was ready with my zoom lens, but the deer must’ve had other plans for Saturday night.

distant deer too

Later, we rejoined the group around the fire in the field and listened to Shawn read the first chapter of his book: The Day The Angels Fell.

fire

IMG_2392

On the last day of the retreat, we talked about making time for our writing and how important this is for our well being. Shawn passed along a question asked by the rector of his church:

“Could it be that God delights in the things that bring us happiness?”

happy dog

I come home from this retreat with gratitude for the encouragement and affirmation I received, with a new sense of excitement and direction for my work, preparing me to make a leap of faith, with confidence that God’s whisper is leading me on a path of creativity and freedom.  I believe it is a path that will delight the Creator who ignited this creative spark in me many years ago, knowing it would come alive when the time was right.

All photos on this post were taken by JoAnne Silvia at God’s Whisper Farm.

Farm Vision

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This weekend, my daughter and I are visiting God’s Whisper Farm for a writer’s retreat. When I looked at pictures of the farm, I couldn’t tell much about the lay of the land. My daughter had asked me if it was in the mountains, and I wasn’t sure. To us flatlanders, it is practically mountainous. The air smells crisp like mountains and the nights are cooler than our Carolina swelters. What a relief!

The best surprise so far: fireflies! My recent post lamented about the lack of firefly sightings in my city, and here they are! I must have seen at least 50 twinklers last night! Plus, there are no mosquitoes here! The animals on the farm, goats dogs, and chickens, have lots of room to roam. This fits my vision of what a farm should be.

If I could do anything I wanted, I’d have a farm like this one. I envision people coming to relax, meditate, quit smoking and get healthy. There would be music, bonfires and maybe yoga classes. Oh, and I’d have one room for an art studio. As long as I’m visualizing, why not throw in a stream or a babbling brook.  Tomatoes, corn, basil, squash, beans and arugula growing in the garden.  A pecan tree with a tire swing. Lots of trees, but also open space to see the stars. And fireflies.

I’m looking forward to writing, getting feedback, enjoying the company of other writers and relaxing in this beautiful space.  It’s a good time to connect with my daughter too.

Within a few days, I hope to have some photos to share for more visual detail.

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was “vis.”

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-2515/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz | Makers (Documentary)

JoAnne:

A dream house for $500!  If you’re really into recycling and salvaging, there’s a cute little scene at the very end of the video. Thanks for finding this oawritingspoemspaintings.

Originally posted on oawritingspoemspaintings:


I found this on Instagram. An artist, creator, photographer & his partner building the house of their dreams with 500$. I thought you might like it :)

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favour of fair use.”

Published on 29 Jul 2013
For behind the scenes of the “Glass Cabin” go here: http://bit.ly/16SLwDj
In 2012, Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs and set off to build a glass cabin in the mountains of West Virginia.
Nick is a photographer who specializes in tintypes taken with a camera he made himself. He currently works for a landscape company in Milwaukee designing one-of-a-kind objects and…

View original 88 more words

Inside Out: A Fun Movie About Perseverance….and Faith, and Hope

I don’t go to movies much. But when I saw the trailer for Inside Out, an animated film about feelings, I wanted to go. Then a woman from my support group brought it up and we decided to go see it.

The main character (on the outside) is a young girl named Riley. She has a hard time with her family’s move to California. Having moved at least nine times as the child of a 20 year marine, I could feel Riley’s pain.

The characters on the inside include Riley’s feelings: Fear, Anger, Disgust, Sadness, and the ever popular, Joy. Inside Out shows how all our feelings have important roles to play in our lives.

My favorite part begins somewhere in the middle when Joy and Sadness get sucked out of brain headquarters, where decisions are made, and have to find a way back carrying some really important core memories.

On their adventure they encounter the worlds of imagination, long term memory and the dark pit where forgotten memories go. They meet Riley’s imaginary friend, who’s actions give me a theory about why I have no memory of my imaginary friend, Auntie Jane, who my mother said I blamed for my misdeeds.

The only problem I had with the movie, and it’s a minor one for me, was that the happy ending of the traditional family with mom and dad, might be hard for children who come from  non-traditional or single parent families. But then, the film provides a great framework with which to identify and talk about feelings that might arise. I’m probably activating Fear’s cousin, Worry, about this. I’m sorry, Worry, but you need to go away.

Watching Inside Out, I laughed, and I cried, joyfully forgetting I was watching a cartoon. I found Inside Out  to be entertaining, original, and visually intriguing. It’s a fun movie that teaches about perseverance, teamwork and problem solving. Now that I think about it, it’s also about faith and hope, too.

I might even go see it again.

Remember: Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

Dragonflies and Fireflies

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So many dragonflies

Visit my backyard

Darting and hovering

Over the kiddie pool

Turned doggie bathtub,

Landing on my clothesline

Checking out the clothespin.

dragonfly with clothes pin

 

But where have all the fire flies gone?

It’s been so long since I saw one

Twinkle in my backyard.

 

Was it the pesticides

that chased away the fire flies?

Were they caught in jars

by naughty children

Who didn’t understand?

 

Have fireflies become a myth

like unicorns

in mid summer night dreams?

 

Maybe they are still alive

Far away from city lights

Where trees grow thick

And nature thrives.

 

Here are some fireflies I found at “Emphatic Expression”:

https://sierraoh.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/fireflies/

 

 

Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday post prompt for today was:

“fly/flies/flew/flu/flue.” 

If you’d like to join in the fun, visit:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/07/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-1815/

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Dreaming Big about My Book

Last week’s prompt (yes, I’m a little late) from my Online Writing Community via Andilit, was to imagine and write about what our books will look like: the cover colors, the size, weight, font, etc, and also what the movie version would be like. Following the lead of Coffeesnob, I decided to post my answer here. It couldn’t hurt, and it could activate the law of attraction to bring publication closer. I’ve known that to work! You can find a very short version of the story on my “About Me” page.

The working title is Perfect Timing, Lessons in Love, Faith, and Perseverance.

But I’ve also thought of simply: Love Faith and Perseverance.

An earlier title idea was : God Has A Plan.

Your feedback is welcome on these titles!

For the book cover, I have two options in mind. The first uses a painting I’m working on:

book cover

Unfinished Trees, by JoAnne Silvia

(I still need to put some leaves on the trees.)

The other cover option is a 1972 photo of David and me:

1972 b&w kiss

I imagine the book as paperback of average size and weight, and E books of course.

For the movie version, I have always imagined Julianne Moore playing me. Maybe not the teenaged version of me, though it’s possible she could pull it off.

But there’s also Laura Prepon, who played Donna, from That 70’s Show. Donna always reminded me of the 70’s me.

Andi asked if we’d like to play a cameo role in our movie. I could play my mother, but that would be weird. As far as who would play my high school sweetheart, all the male actors I know about are old, so that will take some research to find a tall, sometimes brooding, but nice, young man who likes motorcycles.

And the best part about making my memoir into a movie, will be all that music from the 1970’s ! Like Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “So Far Away.” And the Beatles “The Long and Winding Road.”

The best way for the movie to end is with photos of our real wedding and this song by America:

I’m still editing the manuscript of 70,000 words and exploring publishing options like agents, small publishers and self publishing, but it’s fun to dream. Dreaming plus work brings the dream into reality.