History in the Making by Traci Kenworth

History in the Making

Traci Kenworth

Isn’t it funny that every day we live turns into history? From the time before we’re born till long after our death, each day will become part of the past as time advances. There’s no stopping it. Well, until the end. If there is an end. Maybe after we’re gone, some species will still exist. The oceans will continue to spill against the land, clouds will build into rainstorms.

Time marches on. With or without us. I know there were people who once believed they lived in the end times and that the world wouldn’t pass on beyond their lives. And yet, here we are still. I’m not saying it won’t end someday. Or even that it won’t be one of the days we live. It’s just kind of mind-boggling that time has existed for as long as it has and most likely will continue to be after we’re gone from here.

The point is: what makes history? Baseball games? Wrestling matches? Speeches given by the President. Sure, but more too. It’s every day we live. Every day we make something of it. Living life to the fullest. Being happy. Being sad. Just being. It’s a walk along the beach. It’s a back road in fall.

History exists because we leave a mark. A record for others to remember us by. It’s more than just a gravestone or a birth record. It’s family. Friends. The job we worked. The people we knew. Perhaps the neighborhood we lived in. It’s the doing. Not settling for mediocre. Not just sitting down on a street bench somewhere and staying there forever.

 History sneaks up on us when we feel that curl of a baby’s hand around our finger. Their first birthday party. Sweet sixteen. Teaching them to drive. Their first heartbreak. Listening to their dreams. Watching them leave for college. Being there when they buy their first house. All the moments go on and on. And we treasure them so knowing that they’ll be more for them.

Even if there’s less for us. But that’s okay. Every generation knows that theirs’ ends, and another’s goes on. That’s life. We take comfort in the fact that we were here. We had our own experiences. Our own losses and victories. The time we spend here doesn’t matter. It’s in who we are that does. What we stood for. What we sat out for. The letting go and forgiveness.

In truth, history doesn’t so much as make us. As we make it. We are part of something greater than us. The fiber of life winds through each and every one of us and makes us who we will or won’t be. It brings choices before us that we can either grasp or let slip through our hands. Opportunities for growth and diminishment.

I, personally, am glad to have experienced the life I’ve had. Yes, it had its darkness. Yes, it had its stress. But it built me and allowed me to grow into who I am. I may not have conquered the first dreams in life I wanted, but I enjoy the writing that I’ve done for years upon years now. It’s part of making peace with yourself. The acceptance that you did your best. All part of the history of those before us and after us. Take care and God bless.

Happenings: The neurologist determined I have progressive neuropathy. He said that my nerves are dying. There’s no cure. I’ll never get the sensation back but they can slow it down and ease my pain which the med they’ve given me, topiary, has done. I can’t tell you what a relief it’s been not to feel that excruciating pain every day. Oh, there’s a bit of pain left but not like before, and only in brief moments. It’s helping me get back to doing other things such as writing. I still have to use my cane to get around as I’m a fall risk but well, it could be worse.

Some links around the web you might be interested in:

  1. Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2022/12/11/robbies-inspiration-book-blog-tour-fairies-myths-magic-ii-by-colleen-m-chesebro-and-a-review-poetry-shortstories-readingcommunity/ Thank you, Robbie for the opportunity to share the news of my new book, just in time for the winter solstice and Yule. In Fairies, Myths, & Magic II I share poetry, short stories, myths, and legends about Yule and the winter solstice. One of my favorite discussions was about the mythology of the seven sacred plants connected to the winter solstice.
  2. Syl’s 65 blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2022/12/11/spiritualsunday-48%e2%9c%9d%ef%b8%8f/#like-33779 Always beautiful, divine poetry.
  3. Smorgasbord Magazine https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/12/11/smorgasbord-christmas-book-fair-2022-paranormal-marcia-meara-fantasy-j-m-murphy-yafantasy-janice-spina/ Welcome to the Smorgasbord Christmas Book Fair with a selection of books from personally recommended authors on my bookshelf I believe will make wonderful gifts for friends, family and for you. The first author is Marcia Meara with the first in her Emissary Trilogy… I enjoyed all three books and can highly recommend them. Here is The Emissary
  4. Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2022/12/5-tips-to-boost-your-professional-writing-cred/ Whether you’ve just joined the writing world or you’ve been around awhile, you’ve probably figured out that good writing takes time and practice. Thankfully, it’s a skill like any other and can be honed. While some parts may come naturally, others will need to be learned. And that won’t happen overnight. But you can kick-start your knowledge and make it look like you know exactly what you’re doing. Here are 5 ways to instantly up your writing game:  1. Identify Your Audience You can’t write for everyone. Throw out the temptation to be a bibliophile-pleaser. Unlike a stretchy pair of leggings, your final product will not and cannot be a one-size-fits-all. Know your genre and your readers’ expectations. Writing for academics? Go ahead and throw in the big, fancy scientific words and dry, winding sentences. Penning a book for kids? Leave those words out, and research what’s appropriate for the reading level you’re trying to hit. Creating commercial fiction? Ditch a literary style in favor of something more fast-paced. Putting together a how-to guide? Make sure every step is clear and concise. Sidenote: Word will give you a general idea of where you fit in grade-level wise in the editor feature. I had no idea the editor feature did this. Nice to know!
  5. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/12/12/sorrowful-soul/ Let’s all welcome Harmony Kent to Entertaining Stories. She’s a dear friend, and one of my Story Empire colleagues. She’s here to tell us about her newest publication. She’s also a huge supporter of the indie community, so don’t be afraid to use those sharing buttons. I’m sure she’s done it for most of you. The floor is yours, Harmony. Hi, Craig. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry, Sorrowful Soul. Full of freestyle poems, which provide company and compassion through the devastating journey of grief and loss and onward, this heartfelt collection shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Since Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s excellent book on the stages of grief, we now have an established set of seven stages to the grieving process. Although these stages are non-linear and can be revisited at any time, it’s helpful to have a rough idea of what we might expect during this difficult period of transition. The first stage is commonly known as Shock & Disbelief or Numbness. Here’s an extract from poem about the effects of shock … A subject that I know we can all use as much help as we can get, to break through the mess that follows.
  6. Two Drop of Ink https://twodropsofink.com/2022/12/11/in-memory-of-marilyn-l-davis-goodbye-to-my-dear-friend-and-big-sis/ I owe an apology to all the followers and to the contributors of this site because it’s been a long time since anyone has said or done anything here. That’s because, as many of you now know, our dear friend and mentor Marilyn L. Davis passed away on June 11 of this year. I didn’t find out about her passing until September. I found out through one of the former contributors to the site who was emailing me and was unaware that I did not know she had passed. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It froze me in time. It placed some major decisions in my lap that I was not ready for, and, frankly, that Marilyn and I had never discussed. Believe it or not, in all the years we were together, and with all of the things we shared in conversation, we never discussed what would happen with this site if something were to happen to her. It’s hard for me to believe (in reflection) because she had more foresight than me in those kinds of matters. So I apologize to all of you that it has taken me this long to simply make a decision and to write something on this blog. I have no words. Just so sad and blessed to have known her.
  7. Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/12/12/monday-funnies-15/
  8. Crime Writer’s Resource https://www.suecoletta.com/animal-communication-unnatural-mayhem/ Deep down, each of us has a powerful, underused connection to the world around us. Consider the time when you sensed someone watching you, even if you couldn’t see them. Or the gut feeling, telling you something significant was about to happen. Or the intuitive, instinctive feeling that gave you the name of the person on the other end of the line before checking the caller ID. If we learn how to tap into this sixth sense, we begin to notice when someone—dead or alive—is thinking about us, even when we’re physically apart. Telepathic communication explains why, when you randomly thought of a friend and she texted you the next day. Or that time when you spontaneously called an old friend, and they said, “I was just thinking about you!” Writers are especially attuned to the “little voice” inside us. Some are more intuitive than others, but we all have an underutilized sixth sense. Once we learn its power and how to use it, new doorways open up, doorways that enhance our writing. If we’re open to the possibility of telepathy, the more sensitive we’ll be to messages from our Spirit Guides and ancestors, and the synchronicities or coincidences that have always been present in our lives. Sue tracks down the scariest details!
  9. Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2022/12/10/crisis-of-confidence/ I never got to write at all last weekend. We never had a drop of rain from May to October, and when we finally did, the skylights decided to leak. This led to getting on a contractor’s list, and waiting our turn. The house is over twenty years old, so we decided to replace the roof and skylights rather than make repairs. It was time. They started last Friday and had about six guys on the job. Two elected to work Saturday, but didn’t finish. It snowed Sunday, and that killed Monday. I had to take Tuesday off, because they needed inside. Somehow they’d lost one of the roof vents. I get it, they removed the part, slung the underlayment and lost track of it. That all got sorted out and the job was finished on Wednesday. It snowed again Thursday, so I’m grateful, and the roof looks awesome. I managed to add somewhere around a thousand words to my WIP, but my mind has other things going on. I tried to fill this with a bit of storyboarding. I have one idea that’s going to require magic and artifacts and putting them in the right order to make a discovery. A storyboard is needed. My brain is still focused elsewhere. This is a troubling subject for all writers from time to time. It’s difficult to put into words how it affects us: the thought of walking away from writing. I’ve done so a few times. The grief it puts on your soul is overwhelming. It’s like a part of you has died. It is so hard to stay on this path. But the characters and the stories make it worth it.
  10. Writers Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2022/12/no-dont-tell-me-how-when-should-we-use-foreshadowing/ Foreshadowing is a literary technique we can use in our stories that gives a preview or hint of events that will happen later. While many might think of foreshadowing for mysteries, this literary device can be used in any genre. In fact, most stories need foreshadowing of some type to keep readers interested in what’s going to happen. That said, foreshadowing requires a balance. When used poorly, foreshadowing can make our story feel boring or predictable, but most stories need foreshadowing of some type to keep readers interested in what’s going to happen. How Can Foreshadowing Make Stories More Satisfying? While most aspects of writing contribute to readers’ sense of whether our writing is “strong,” foreshadowing helps create readers’ sense of whether we and/or our story have a plan, whether we’re going to take them on a worthwhile journey. In other words, foreshadowing can help create the sense that every element of the story has a purpose, that it’s all leading to a purposeful destination. Hints of future story elements—even ones that just register with readers subconsciously—make story events fit into a sense of a bigger picture. While unexpected twists can make a story fun and avoid the feeling of being too predictable, foreshadowing can help a story hit the sweet spot of feeling inevitable-yet-surprising. For example, imagine a final dilemma where a character faces a choice between two options illustrating the tug-of-war between aspects of their personality. If the story concludes with an unexpected twist as the character lands on a third option, the ending could feel like a cheat or an out-of-character decision – or it could feel like a brilliant way to resolve the story. I have recently begun to explore more with foreshadowing. In the past, I didn’t see so much that it was necessary. Using the technique now, I have come to appreciate it.
  11. Realms of Fantasy https://conniejjasperson.com/2022/12/12/post-nanowrimo-world-building-part-1-creating-the-physics-of-magic-amwriting/ I read fantasy novels as much as I read in any other genre. In reading five books a week, I come across both indie and traditionally published work in all genres. Many are books I cannot recommend. The sad truth is, both sides of the publishing industry are guilty of publishing novels that aren’t well thought out. Fantasy is and always has been my favorite genre. I became a fan when I first read the Hobbit at the age of nine. I have read countless works written by people who understood how to construct a plot and set it in a believable world. These classics trained me to notice contradictions in what I read, whether in a magic system or elsewhere in a book. Inconsistencies are usually only one aspect of a poorly planned fantasy novel. One can see how an author was unaware of contradictions as they emerged during the writing process. They wrote the story as it came to them and didn’t check for logic or do much revising. They wrote the first draft, edited it, and published it, trying to keep to the three or four-book-a-year schedule that many gurus tout as the way to gain readers. I believe keeping to this kind of schedule is unreasonable and wish some of my favorite traditionally published authors weren’t contractually obligated to produce that many novels a year. It results in shallow, throw-away books written by people whose first books were brilliant, thought-provoking novels I wished I had written. For me as a reader, the struggle is the story. I’m a slow writer myself so I worry about the three of four book a year schedule. I want quality not quantity. I am determined to not let my reader down if I can help it. I hope as I evolve my revision routine that will get faster and thus my production elevate. Myths of the Mirror https://mythsofthemirror.com/2022/12/12/december-book-reviews-part-one/ I know I just shared a bunch of book reviews, but with the holidays coming up, I’ll be taking some time off, and I didn’t want to end up with a huge pile of reviews in January. Only three books today and all of them are excellent! December’s reviews include my 5-star reads of a poetry collection, a sci-fi thriller, and a coming-of-age novel. Click on the covers for Amazon global links. ***** Sorrowful Soul (Book 3 in the Soul Poetry Series) by Harmony Kent Grief is on my mind these days. It’s a solo journey, but this heartfelt book of poetry reminds me that there are common experiences along the road, and in that way, we don’t travel it quite so alone. In her forward (which I recommend reading), Kent offers some wisdom about the grieving process, and she highlights the stages of grief developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross so many years ago and still relevant today. The poems are divided into sections based on Ross’s seven stages: Shock & Disbelief, Denial, Guilt, Anger, Depression, Working Through, and Acceptance. I read this book in one afternoon, and the poetry indeed felt like a journey from disbelief through acceptance. It’s an emotional collection, full of pain and longing, and at the end, a bit of sunshine glimmers through the trees. I highly recommend it. This is free-form poetry, and about half of the offerings are rhyming verse. My favorites were among the less formal poems, and there were a lot of favorites. Below is an excerpt that captures the solemn tone of the section entitled Depression: Winter of Discontent (an excerpt)

All the pretty birds have flown
Abandoned nests in skeletal trees
Frost rimmed dirt and weeds below
Cold, colourless uncaring sky above
It’s impossible life could ever return
To this barren, forsaken land
Where the grim reaper roams free
And winter berries litter the ground
Trampled beneath youthful feet
Too enamoured of life to notice
The carnage as red bleeds into white
As death mars the pristine snow
And invites the bereft with his gleaming scythe…

  • 13. Books and Such https://teripolen.com/2022/12/12/cookies-and-amwatching/ If the forecast is correct, this is the first day we’ll see sun in over a week. It’s been unseasonably warm, but rainy. This past weekend was the one year anniversary of the devastating tornadoes that hit Bowling Green last December, so the warm weather understandably had some folks a little nervous. For the past several years, a couple friends and I have gotten together and decorated gingerbread houses. This year we did something a little different. We changed it up and decorated ugly sweater cookies and gingerbread ninja people. Not your traditional Christmas fare, but it’s good to think outside the box every now and then. As you can tell from the picture, none of us will ever be featured on any baking shows, but we have fun every year, and a few glasses of wine only add to our inspiration. Yesterday I baked the cookies I’ll be featuring on Staci Troilo’s virtual cookie exchange this Thursday. Several bloggers have signed up, so make sure to visit each participant for mouth-watering pictures and new cookie recipes! Hubby was out of town last week, so I watched several Christmas movies in between finishing this season’s American Horror Story and starting Andor on Disney+. I know The Christmas Chronicles starring Kurt Russell released on Netflix in 2018, but somehow I never got around to it – and it was a fun one. There’s also a part two I’m hoping to find time for. A Christmas Story 2 was worth watching. I loved that besides Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, several of the original actors returned, including his brother Randy and friends Flick and Schwartz. It’s not a Christmas movie, but I also watched Lightyear. This Buzz isn’t the same character featured in the Toy Story movies, but I thought Chris Evans did a wonderful job at making him still feel familiar while adding his own twist. There’s also a robot cat named Sox who’s a total scene stealer and nearly caused me to snort wine out my nose. Have a great week, and make sure to stop by for the Cookie Exchange on Thursday
  • 14. Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2022/12/14/the-necessity-power-of-sitting-with-your-critiques-by-grace-bialecki/ My second novel started on a train to Paris and had a locomotive momentum—for months, all I did was put its words down on the page. Then the expat community led me to a drop-in workshop at Shakespeare & Company. Even though I was writing daily, it’d been years since I’d received formal feedback, but a man there appreciated my edits on his novel’s opening and offered to read mine. Thrilled by our budding friendship, I sent him my chapters. Classic mistake. He picked apart my word choice, mocked my protagonist’s motivations, and derailed my positive energy. While he could’ve delivered his feedback in a more constructive way, in hindsight, I wasn’t ready for a critique, much less at the line level. I was still in creative mode—churning out characters and plot lines—not questioning commas. As I read through his notes, I felt defensive and disheartened. This opening was the culmination of months of work, and now I wondered if my novel was worth finishing. (Spoiler alert: it always is.) As writers, we know that critiques are an integral part of improving our work. But we rarely learn how to receive feedback or what to do after. Since that hasty share, I’ve spent years attending and leading workshops. Here are some lessons gleaned about how to receive and grow from our critiques. I’ve had both good and bad reviews. I’ve been crushed by some reviewers and almost quit. Now I realize that they were just frustrated with how their own career was going. In truth though, I have learned the practice of submitting a WIP as you’re writing it, isn’t a good idea. When the work is done is better. I know, some groups encourage this. But as a writer whose work evolves as they write, this doesn’t work for me. I end up having more stories in the middle to ending and have to go back to the beginning to edit that. The lopsided comments I get because of this have caused me no end of frustration, lol. It’s because, to me, I’m learning the story as I go and that’s hard to get down when you set off.

2 responses to “History in the Making by Traci Kenworth”

  1. I am pleased that at last you now have a definitive diagnosis Traci and that the medication is helping with the pain and the progression of the disease. Thank you very much for the mention in such good company and I hope you have a lovely Christmas ❤️🎄❤️🎄

    1. Thank you, Sally. Yes, it is better to know what I face. I had so many theories going on, it’s worrisome that way. The topiary is definitely helping some. I haven’t been able to find the other med recommended to me online here but I’ll keep searching. Have a lovely Christmas!

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