Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Brave New Tale

Hello, my fellow readers, it's Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, bringing you our latest
tale.  This one is going to be about Brenda's experience with having had the
wonderful opportunity, of taking an online writing memoir course.  It was offered by
Creakyjoints.  Here is the link to that wonderful website.

It is full of wonderful information, for anyone dealing with arthritis or any chronic
condition.  Check it out and see for yourself.  Seth Ginsberg, co-founder and president
of this wonderful organization, has even quoted me in the past, so a plug or in my
own language, a bone for him. 

Getting back to Brenda's experience here.  There was a 10 week online writing
memoir course called, "Writing Your Life: Writing to Heal" which was taught
and lectured by author, Lynn Lauber, who according to Brenda, did a fantastic job with
this.  She was so encouraging to every one there, offering great suggestions. 

I was told by Brenda, that as a result of this, my tales have to start being more
detailed, (detailed) that is funny and more deep.  I am a dog and I dig bones,
how deep are we talking here?  Okay, anything for Brenda.  She told me that
this truly changed her life and was a source of therapy for her. 

Basically each week, there were given a lecture to read and then an assignment,
where they usually had a couple of options that they could choose to write about.

One type, was automatic writing, where you just get your paper and pen, set a timer,
for 20 minutes and start writing.  You are not concerned at this point about editing,
as that would come later in the course.  Brenda was very surprised, that at the end
of 20 minutes, she was still writing. 

Another thing that was so amazing, was after years of thinking that she had forgotten
about experiences in her life, that some just came back so vivid and alive, which
was really eye opening to Brenda. 

Another neat thing about this course, was that they were able to read and comment
on the other participant's work.  It was only to be positive.  Brenda said, there were
some great writers out there.  She made some good friends as a result of this

When she would hear things like, "This made me cry, I could see everything, you
were writing about,"  she knew she was getting the hang of this.  She was a little
nervous about this in the beginning.  In fact, she was the first one to turn in her
assignment for the first week.  It was a good icebreaker. 

She shed many tears along the way, as she is sure many of the others did as well.
They were really writing about some deep and personal aspects of their lives.  That
was all part of the healing process about writing about your life. 

She also discovered something truly amazing about herself during this time.  Brenda
has always wanted to help people, but she realized that even before she was born,
she in a little way did that as well.  You are thinking to yourself, what do you mean?
Brenda was in the breech position, as her Mom was carrying her.  They did an X-ray
to find out exactly what they were dealing with.  She wonders if being exposed to
radiation, however small, could have been the reason for some of her health problems.
She will never know, but it has to make you wonder anyway, doesn't it?

She ended up being 3 weeks overdue, but before she was born, she miraculously ended
up turning and was born naturally, just like all of her 4 sisters had been.  She was told
by her Mom, that she had cramps down to her knees, so maybe this wasn't really a
miracle, but a light went on in Brenda's head, that in some small way, she was at
least trying to help her Mom.  She was almost 37 years-old at the time, so this couldn't
have been easy. 

This is just one of many things, that she discovered along this 10 week journey. 
Brenda tells me, that the time went so fast.  Her greatest challenge was her final
assignment, where that was the only time their work got edited.  Brenda loves
a challenge and she tackled this one with everything she had. 

When you hear, "What a great job!" you just know it was all worth it.  She would
recommend anyone taking this course, if you get the chance.  It is being offered
4 times a year.  Just watch the CreakyJoints newsletter for details. 

Brenda is a big fan of music and a song became very special to her, during this
course.  It is "Brave" by Sara Bareilles.  Here are the words that jumped out at
her.  "Say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out, honestly, I wanna see
you be brave."  WOW! 

There were certainly some brave souls out there, writing their lives, to heal.  I am
so glad she got to take this wonderful course and all of the things she learned from

This is Trevor, The Tell Tale Dog, until next time, telling you to be brave, by
writing your life, to heal.