Bring It Up a Bit, Grieving Still, Thoughts. So Many Thoughts., Writing Therapy

I’m going to start posting a few short stories I’ve been writing.

I’ve been writing a few stories lately, based off ideas and random thoughts that have come into my head during my commute or at work or just in reflection of my day. In what little spare time I have or when I’m grieving and I try to withdraw from people, I’ll just sit and write out an outline for my idea. Once I’ve got the outline, I don’t move until I’ve written 500 or 800 or 1000 words.

It’s SUCH a fulfilling exercise. When I’m in the zone, I get really raw with my writing. Just bare bones I throw out every thought I’m having about the subject.

I’ve been googling hundreds of topics about writing, especially how to write better. One author on eHow suggested writing with comeplete unabandon — geniuninely reflect on how you once wrote when you were a child. You didn’t think about the perfect words, or even about editing as you wrote. You just wanted to get your thoughts on paper – editing was an afterthought. (This is an ad lib FYI.)

This advice alone has accounted for over 5000 words written this weekend. Not exaggerating. What terrific advice it was for me. I was in my own zone this weekend. It felt great. I wasn’t worried about judgements of my writing or reactions to it. I just ran with every single thought I had in the moment. Even if it was bad. Especially if it was bad! Because I know that when I go back to edit, I’ll be better able to correct a terrible piece of writing than having nothing written at all, if that makes sense.

Certain topics to look forward to in these stories:
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Grieving Still

Last night I had the most vivid dream about my grandmother.

Well, I shouldn’t say last night. It was sometime between 6am (when my body finally surrendered to sleep) and 7am (when my alarm started blaring). It was a spectacular dream. The kind you wake up from but then desperately wish you could close your eyes and be right back in.

Except this time, I’d forgotten I’d had the dream until I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, washing my face. All of the sudden, I saw an image of her in the dream. This was in my  mind’s eye, and I instantly burst into tears.

She had been sitting in a sort of rocking chair, the way she always used to. That was her favorite sort of chair — maybe it’s a grandma thing?

And I was lying on the floor, watching tv with her, the way we always used to. Only, this time, we were in my house, which she’s never been to, because I moved here after she passed away. I wasn’t paying attention to her at first, honestly. Often in dreams you’re not really paying attention to the people around you. And I remember laying on the floor, watching tv, with my arms propped up the way I do, below my chin, and I just felt a sincere soul-to-soul connection with someone else in the room. And I felt the warmth, comfort and safety that you feel when you’re near a parent or authority figure. I look up, and I see her beautiful face, looking back at me, my grandmother Linda Allene Watson Norman.

She just looked back at me and smiled.


She was perfectly healthy. She had two breasts, perched in those pointy Walmart bras she used to wear. No disfigured shoulders or back. No cancer in her blood and bones and lymph nodes. She looked so full of life, the way I remember her when she left me in my college dorm room my freshmen year. That’s the Linda I want to remember.

Once I’d come to terms that she was there, watching over me, in her typical Linda way, I remember saying to myself — Yo Marrissa, your grandmother is dead. You should really cherish this time with her. So I looked back at her for a few more moments and let it settle in. And she just smiled at me again.

That was the end of that, but the beginning of a million questions from me.

God is real., Grieving Still

The beginning of a million (seven) questions from me.

For Part 1, please read HERE.

  1. God is real. I begged and begged and pleaded with Him to dream about her right after she died just so I could still feel some kind of closeness to her. It never happened. So why now?
  2. Why were we at my house? Why not her house?
  3. Why is she always in a rocking chair? What’s up with that?!
  4. Why is she smiling? Not to say my grandma was a scowler, but the majority of her expressions were NOT smiles.
  5. Is she still watching over me? Is that why I’m on the ground?
  6. Why was I so blunt with my thought to myself: Marrissa — your grandmother is dead. Why did I have to say it like that?
  7. WHY NOW???

This weekend, I laid out a master plan to set up a nonprofit organization that teaches young people about art and media careers, as an enrichment to the standard public/private school, curriculum. When I realized I needed a name for such a venture, the first that came to mind was,  “Your Oyster, Inc.”

When I was a kid, my grandmother would always tell me the world was my oyster. And the moment I decided to start a nonprofit and name it for her, then I suddenly have a dream about her? Is that why she’s back?

To encourage me?

Well thank God because I am SO nervous about this thing. I mean seriously, God? First Taste and See, with a full time job, writing magazine articles, maintaining 2 blogs, co-publishing a comic book, conceptualizing multiple novels AND a nonprofit on top of all that?

I guess He’s preparing my testimony. Gotta admit, though. I’m still a little nervous.

Grandma and me